Does Falling Away Prove A Person Was Never Saved To Begin With ?

A Calvinist reader of “Doctrine Matters” weighed in on the “once saved always saved” issue by saying:

keeping on proves your faith is genuine

This is a common tack taken by “once saved always saved” advocates. Their argument is that if a person falls away, that proves they were never saved to begin with. For example Hebrews 3:12 (“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God”) is a passage commonly used to defeat the “once saved always saved” theory. The Calvinists’ common reply is that this verse is describing false brethren, only pretenders. But this reply ignores the context. Verse 1 of the same chapter says about these same brethren that they were “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling.” The chapter has to be talking about true Christians then, doesn’t it? Non-Christians are not “holy” and have never been “partakers of the heavenly calling,” have they? And so if a true believer changes his heart to unbelief and departs from the living God (as Hebrews 3:12 says is possible), that would prove a saved person changed to being a lost person (John 3:36b), right?

Hebrews 3:1,12 is a classic case of where a passage clearly disproves a false theory, so advocates of the false theory place an interpretation on the passage that contradicts its obvious meaning, and violates the context of the passage. The immediate context is always part of what a passage teaches.

To listen to a fair and friendly debate on the “once saved always saved” issue, click here: http://98.131.169.180/Debates/Audio/OnceSavedAlwaysSaved-GarrettDonahueDebate20061013/index.htm

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