TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Book of Hebrews VS Once Saved Always Saved
- “IF We Hold Fast Until the End” Verses
- Departing from the Living God
- Salvation For the Obedient
- Renewal unto Repentance
- Inheritance through Faith and Patience Unto the End
- Drawing Back Unto Perdition
Book of Hebrews VS Once Saved Always Saved
The book of Hebrews is written by an unknown author. Some people say it must be Paul but the reality is we don’t know. However, the author who is writing mainly to Jewish believers makes a lot of references to the Old Testament which makes this book quite unique. While explaining the gospel of Christ, the author mentions that the New Testament is one of grace but is careful to add that this gospel does not mean we can go on sinning deliberately. Because of that, this book alone has many scriptures that go against the false doctrine of “Once Saved Always Saved”.
In this study, I am simply going to lay these verses out for you and comment on them. To the OSAS brothers who disagree, if you find some good objection that can be used to argue against these scriptures, please don’t hesitate to contact me or comment and I will be glad to add the objection and the response to the article.
“IF We Hold Fast Until the End” Verses
In the book of Hebrews, there are many exhortations to hold fast the faith and to stay steadfast. The author is always encouraging the believers to stay the course and that until the end to receive salvation.
Let us look at 2 verses with added comments:
Hebrews 3:6 – But Christ as a son over his own house (Christ is the Son OVER the house, what House?); whose house are WE (WE are that house, the house of God), IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (We are His house now and will remain His house IF we hold fast until the end)
Hebrews 3:14 – For we are made partakers of Christ (we SHARE IN CHRIST, sharing in Christ is sharing in the Spirit), IF we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end (we will remain partakers of Christ IF we hold stefast until the end);
These verses clearly show that salvation is for those who hold on until the end. To be the house of Christ and partakers with Him is same as to be saved. I hope we agree that we cannot be saved if we are not part of God’s house and partakers of Jesus Christ.
Notice also that these verses go well with all the Overcoming verses in the book of revelation and what the Lord Jesus Himself said in Matthew 24:13.
So, according to these 2 verses, we are the house of Christ and Partakers with Him IF:
- we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end
- we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end (notice here the word “beginning”, we begin with this confidence and we hold it steadfast unto the end)
Now, my friend, if you believe in “Once Saved Always Saved”, how are you going to ignore the obvious? Only if you already don’t want to listen to the truth, only if you already have a preconceived doctrine in your mind, only then, you will go on trying to find an excuse not to accept these simple IF statements.
Unfortunately, people who don’t want to give up sin will still do. Let’s look at one objection I once faced.
OSAS Objection: these statements are not oriented at us, it is for the Hebrews
Some OSAS believers have suggested these statements are for the Jews and not for us “the church”. They say the whole book is for the Hebrews not for us as it is clear from the title of the book.
It is true that the author is primarily addressing Hebrew believers in Christ, but does that mean that this doesn’t apply to us? Aren’t Hebrew believers in Christ Christian? If they are not Christian, then who are the first Christians dear friend? Aren’t they Jewish?
All the apostles of Jesus Christ were Jewish, are we going to say that they are not Christian? The fact is we are ALL ONE IN CHRIST. Therefore, what the author is telling his readers applies to us Gentile Christians too. This is what Paul says to the Galatians:
26 For ye are ALL the children of God by FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS.
It is clear therefore that this is yet another attempt to excuse ourselves from having to hold fast our faith until the end.
Departing from the Living God
This verse is pretty straight-forward.
Let’s look at it quickly.
Hebrews 3:12 – Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing FROM the living God. (If Alex departed from his house, does that mean Alex was IN his house? Of course he was)
Salvation For the Obedient
This is another great verse which even uses the word “Salvation”.
Let’s look at the verse in KJV with some comments.
Hebrews 5:9 – And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY him (salvation is given to them that believe AND obey);
By the way, the verb “Obey” here is in the present continuous tense here. That means it is something that is maintained, not a one time thing. A good translation to show that is the Young’s literal version (YLT):
Hebrews 5:9 – and having been made perfect, he did become to all those obeying him a cause of salvation age-during,
To obey Christ is to obey ALL His teachings which obviously include repentance but this is a subject for another article.
Renewal unto Repentance
This passage is one of the best against the “Once Saved Always Saved” lie. There is simply no way around it, though of course OSAS believers have to find a way to twist the obvious.
Let’s look at the passage in the KJV with included comments.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened (those are obviously spiritually aware and are those who came to know the truth), and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost (they share and are partners in the Holy Ghost, born again),
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (they have experienced the powers of the world to come),
6 IF they shall fall away (If those born again believers fall away which means it is possible), to RENEW them AGAIN unto repentance (it is impossible to restore them again, notice the word “AGAIN“; that means they were in a forgiven state); seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
This passage is packed with truths about the state of the believers the author is singling out. These are not some believers who are superficial, these are believers who are enlightened, who share in the Holy Spirit and who already tasted the powers of the world to come. This explains the harsh warning to fall away from that state, it is because they KNOW. If they came to KNOW JESUS and then turn away from Him to sin, that means they deliberately are crucifying Him, and it would be impossible to restore them to repentance.
Seeing how packed this passage is, it is a usual target of OSAS believers who try to oppose the obvious. Let’s look at some of their objection to this.
OSAS Objection: these believers are not really born again, they just “tasted” the powers
According to this objection, this passage is not about true born-again believers since these believers have only “tasted” the powers of the world to come. They also “shared” with true believers who had the Holy Spirit but they weren’t born again themselves.
Believe it or not, this objection is not used by Bible students but by very known preachers and teachers. I am talking about preachers and teachers like John McArthur, John Piper and others in Calvinistic circles.
My friend, please do this exercise. Suppose there wasn’t this doctrine called “Once Saved Always Saved”, would you really have thought these verses are talking about believers who are not born again? Be honest.
Let’s look more closely at the words “enlightened” and “partakers” in the Original Greek:
Original Word: φωτίζω
Part of Speech: Verb
Definition: (a) I light up, illumine, (b) I bring to light, make evident, reveal.
Here is another occurrence of the same word in Ephesians:
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being ENLIGHTENED (the eyes are enlightened); that ye may know (now they know because their eyes are enlightened) what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who BELIEVE, according to the working of his mighty power,
It is clear that the word “enlightened”, when attributed to a person, means someone who is illumined and KNOWS. That is why this same word is used by Buddhists to mean someone who is enlightened, who now knows the whole truth about life which is why they stop being reborn in Buddhism.
Original Word: μέτοχος, ου, ὁ
Part of Speech: Adjective
Definition: a sharer, partner, associate.
Here is another occurrence of the same word in the same letter to the Hebrews:
Hebrews 3:1 – Wherefore, HOLY brethren, PARTAKERS of the heavenly calling (notice how the same word is used for Holy brothers to say that they are partakers, sharers, partners of the heavenly calling), consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
I doubt anyone would try to say in this verse that “partaker” means one who “only shares” with other people whom they themselves have the heavenly calling. They don’t need to do this in this verse because this is obviously not attacking the doctrine of “Once Saved Always Saved”.
Now here is the verse 6:4 again:
Hebrews 6:4 – For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of (Partakers of WHAT?) the Holy Ghost,
The author of Hebrews is talking about partakers, sharers, partners not of other believers, not of churches but of the HOLY GHOST Himself.
What about the word “tasted”?
Some OSAS believers see hope in the word “tasted” and say it means just sampling which is a sure sign that these were not really born again.
Really? Dear friend, in this present life, we only see glimpses, we taste of the things of the world to come but when we inherit them, then and only then we will really have them.
1 Corinthians 2:9 – But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Inheritance through Faith and Patience Unto the End
This is another passage that shows us how we must endure until the end with faith and patience.
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises (how do we inherit the promises? through faith and PATIENCE, which fits perfectly with the exhortation to show diligence in holding unto the full assurance of hope to the end).
Drawing Back Unto Perdition
This is another passage that shows us how we must not draw back and that we must believe until the saving of the soul.
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith (Who lives by faith? the JUST): but if any man draw back, (draw back from what? from living by Faith through which we are saved), my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition (draw back unto what? Perdition, not loss of “rewards”, this means losing salvation); but of them that believe to the SAVING OF THE SOUL. (Yes we have to believe and do the will of God until the saving of the Soul at the day of judgment)
I want to exhort everyone to please meditate on these verses and take the time to read the book of Hebrews again without any prejudice and bias. Dear friends, let the scriptures explain themselves, let them speak to you with the help of the Holy Spirit. Don’t listen to any man, don’t listen to me, just read the scriptures again and again. Don’t put your salvation in the hands of other men.
As you have seen in these verses, it is through faith, patience and holding fast until the end that we will be saved. We are saved now but we have to keep the faith, we have to hold fast what we have received. That is all we have to do, hold fast unto the Lord and He will do the works, rest in Him, walk in the Spirit!
To the OSAS believers, please brothers, I care about your souls. Don’t draw back unto perdition by going back to sin but be patient and believe to the saving of your soul!