Persecution Is A Test | Parable of the Sower | Once Saved Always Saved

Regarding persecution, a very important parable (the Parable of the Sower) declares there are four different types of people who hear the word of God. The second type mentioned “believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away” (Lk. 8:13). In Mt. 13:21, the explanation of this type of person is given:

But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.

This type of person does not continue to live spiritually because of persecution.

Please realize, therefore, that persecution does not come to build us up or promote growth, as some Once Saved Always Saved teachers wrongly proclaim. Neither does it come to weed out the mere professing believers from the real Christians, as others teach. The word of God is given to build us up (Acts 20:32) and for growth (1 Pet. 2:2). Persecution comes as a test (Lk. 8:13 cf. Mt. 13:21; Acts 20:19; Rev. 2:10) which will cause some genuine Christians to fall away or die spiritually!

Furthermore, the Scriptural meaning of fall away in context is die as evidenced by the withered plants. To fall away is equated here with ceasing to believe. The seed (or word of God) produced (spiritual) life, for there was a living plant that afterwards withered, or as Jesus taught, such “believe for a while, but in the time of testing, they fall away.”

Notice: after they initially believed through the word of God in such a way as to produce life, they ceased believing. Such occurred because of the persecution or trouble in their lives that came from the word of God. Clearly then, persecution for godly living can potentially be spiritually fatal to the real Christian!

Again, from the Parable of the Sower, we see that it is possible for a Christian to have a genuine, life-producing faith that doesn’t continue, as evident in Jesus’ words, believe for a while.

The Once Saved Always Saved teachers are wrong to say it was “a temporary faith,” meaning that such people never had a true faith, since it didn’t endure. One can only wonder, how could a temporary faith be equated with a false faith, since such did produce spiritual life?
Similar to that faulty interpretation is what we read in the notes for Lk. 8:13 of The NIV Study Bible. It wrongly states:

This kind of belief is superficial and does not save. It is similar to what James calls ‘dead’ (Jas 2:17,26) or ‘useless’ faith (Jas 2:20). (The NIV Study Bible, p. 1,554)

The point made by Jesus regarding this type of person, is that there was real spiritual life produced by the word of God and personal faith that didn’t endure. It wasn’t a dead faith, as James 2 mentions, for it produced genuine, spiritual life that lasted until the persecution came and the spiritual life, at that point, was terminated. In other words, it wasn’t a dead faith, but a living faith that became dead!

Unfortunately, besides The NIV Study Bible, other study Bibles (and reference Bibles) slip in Once Saved Always Saved from time to time. The Ryrie Study Bible, MacArthur Study Bible and the Scofield Reference Bible are some other examples.

Copyright, Dan Corner.

How Do We Get Forgiven For Sins After Salvation Conversion?

The following is an email received by Evangelical Outreach regarding how a person gets sins forgiven after conversion. Below the letter please read the response.

Thank you for the teaching on the Eucharist. I have another question. I never believed in “once saved, always saved.” Since Protestants don’t have confession how is a persons sins forgiven? What are we judged on after we die? My friend (a protestant who believes in once saved always saved said we are not judged by our sins, we are judged on gaining or losing rewards. This I don’t understand. If this is true then how are we held accountable for our sins? Please don’t see these questions as a debate or argument. I am just confused and I am trying to learn the truth. Thank you for any help you can give me regarding these questions.

[Evangelical Outreach’s Response: Greetings in Jesus’ name. Let me answer your question like this: There is ONLY ONE WAY to get sins forgiven. This is at the point of a trusting and submitting faith in Jesus, when a person turns from his sins (Acts 20:21 cf. 20:26; 1 Thess. 1:9b; Prov. 28:13; etc.). That point in time is when he/she gets “born again.” (Catholics are NOT “born again” at infant baptism, like they think.) After conversion, if a Christian yields to the devil’s temptations, to be cleansed of those sins he MUST:

  1. confess them to God, 1 John 1:9; Psa. 32:5
  2. turn away from them with an attitude to SERVE God as the Prodigal did, Luke 15:18, 19 and
  3. forgive those who have sinned against him (Mt. 6:14,15).

(Catholics do NOT get their sins forgiven by confessing to the priest and saying three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys, even though they have been taught this.) A person will enter the kingdom of God or go to hell based on his spiritual condition at the end of his life. If person X has spiritual life in him, he goes to Paradise. If not he goes to eternal fire.

Sin can cause a Christian to lose his salvation by bringing him to spiritual death. A faithful Christian, known as an “overcomer” in the book of Revelation, will be rewarded based on his labors while saved which were done with the right motive.

Please carefully read Mt. 6:1-18 where Jesus teaches about this. Rewards will be lost if a good deed (like praying, fasting and almsgivings) is done to be honored now by man. Such a person will receive no reward. Heretics, like Charles Stanley, teach that Christians will see their rewards burn up in heaven because of adultery, theft, murder, etc. His message, though popular, is NOT the message of the Bible, so don’t be deceived.

PLEASE, for your own SOUL’S sake, go by the Bible. Catholicism has a FALSE salvation message. Don’t believe their message. Your soul hangs in the balance. GOD BLESS YOU. Remember 2 Tim. 3:15-17.]

Read more Bible answers from Dan Corner.