By Dr. Richard B. W. Ing
March 20, 2007
The doctrine called “Once saved, always saved,” comes straight out of the pit of hell and has caused created countless luke-warm Christians who are non-committed to the kingdom of God. Worse, many have probably lost their salvation because of it.
One can lose his/her salvation. In Part Two, we quoted a few scriptures indicating that not all Christians will go to heaven. Revelation 3:5 says, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels.” That means some Christians’ names can be blotted out.
Matthew 22:2-14 speaks of a king that gave a wedding feast for his son. The invited guests refused to come and even murdered the king’s servants that called them. Therefore, the king destroyed the murderers. Scholars agree that the intended wedding guests were the Jews. Jesus went to the Jews first, but they murdered Him, John the Baptist, the apostles and saints. He then had his servants go into the highways and invite as many as they could find to the wedding. The second group of invited guests was the gentiles and anyone who would come to Jesus. One such invited guest did not have the proper wedding garments. The king ordered him bound and cast into outer darkness. “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few chosen.” Verses 13-14. Many are called to be Christians, but not all will be among the chosen. Those that are not clothed with garments of righteousness will be cast away.
In Matthew 24:44-51, a Lord went on a long journey. Upon his return, he rewarded the diligent servants. However, of the servant who had become lax and drunken and who beat up his fellow servants, the Lord said, “(C)ut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. When Jesus returns, the hypocrites will be cut asunder. Who are the hypocrites? They are Christians who claim to follow Jesus, but refuse to carry their cross and labor for the kingdom of God.
We find the following passage in Matthew 7:21-27:
Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Even a Christian baptized in the Holy Ghost, with many gifts of the Spirit and who does many miracles in the name of Jesus, can lose his salvation.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus gave the parable of a master that traveled to a far country. He gave one servant five talents (money); another he gave two and the third received one. The first and second servants doubled their lord’s money, but the third dug a hole in the ground and buried his one talent. When the master returned, he called the first two and said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Verses 20-23. But of the third servant, the Lord said, “Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed.” Verse 26. Jesus continued:
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divided his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Verses 29-34.
Every one receives at least one gift of the Spirit. 1 Co. 12:7. Some receive more. Those that receive more are required to do more to increase the kingdom of God. The more you have, the more you are required to do. But even those with only one gift of the Spirit are called to increase the kingdom of God.
Those Christians that increase the kingdom of God are called sheep; those that do not are called goats. Only the sheep will inherit the kingdom of heaven.
In Revelation 2:20-23, Jesus says,
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that women Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; . . . .
Those that have the spirit of Jezebel in them and who refuse to repent, and those that follow the person with that Jezebel spirit will be destroyed along with her. They will lose their salvation. Sadly, many with the Jezebel spirit refuse to repent and receive deliverance. They will be judged and those seduced by her shall suffer the same fate.
Jesus said in Revelation 3:16, regarding lukewarm Christians: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” In other words, “I will reject you!”
In Luke 13:6-9, we find the following parable:
. . . (A) certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, when after that thou shalt cut it down.
A Christian that does not bear fruit will be cut down and cast away. In John 15:1-2, Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” God casts out those that do not bear fruit and He chastens, corrects and cleanses those that do, so that they can bear more fruit. He doesn’t retain and bother with slothful, careless, lukewarm, proud and unprofitable Christians.
Every Christian needs to bear fruit for the kingdom of God; otherwise, he is in danger of being cut down and cast away. We were not meant by God to sit back, enjoy life and be minimal Christians. We are called to be fruitful servants of the Lord, not lovers of the world. Otherwise, the kingdom of God would never grow and many more would fall into hell. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross would be of non-effect. The Scriptures clearly show that a person can lose his salvation.
Blessed are those who strive and labor to bring many people into the kingdom of God. They bear fruit and are called good and faithful servants. Daniel 12:3 speaks of end time Christians: “And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” Ps. 111:10. Scholars claim that the “wise” are teachers. However, one does not need to be a teacher to turn many to righteousness.
The prospect of being cast into hell by God should put fear into any Christian’s heart. Do not be presumptuous, self-confident in your salvation and fruitless. Many who are in love with the world and call themselves Christians are going to be surprised and shocked when their time on earth is over and they find themselves in hell. Those who are gifted and in a position to bear much fruit are in an even more precarious position. The greater the gifts, the more God requires of them. No one can afford to take salvation for granted. Fear the Lord!
Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Mt. 10:28. When your physical body dies, your soul lives on. The question is - where will you be when your physical body dies? Will your soul be in heaven or hell? Are you sure? Better to fear the Lord!