“Once saved, can’t we choose to reject Christ?” Someone asked this question at the Membership 101 Class. It illustrates how important a membership class is.
If someone believes a person can be saved, then unsaved, then saved again, all by the fickle act of our will, then there are other sincere followers of Christ who believe this too. Perhaps they don’t want to be a member of a Southern Baptist Church. And that’s “OK.”
But, the “Security of the Believer” and “Perseverance of the Saints” are beliefs Southern Baptists cherish. We believe that once someone is saved then that person is always saved. We also believe that once a person is genuinely converted by Christ, that person will persevere in the faith.
Salvation is first and foremost an act of God, not of man:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 ESV
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:37 ESV
Salvation is also an act of our “faith” and for “whoever comes” to Jesus, as the two verses above also reveal.
So, Jesus shows there is a conscious coming to Him, but also shows the security of the person who will never hunger or thirst again, never! He said:
I am the bread of life: whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35
Certainly salvation requires an act of faith on our part.
But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. John 6:36
But once we believe, salvation does not depend on us being able to hold on to Him. Jesus said:
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:37
Jesus came only to do the Father’s will. And what is that will?
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
There is no work we can do to earn salvation, it is by God’s grace through an act of faith. Therefore, we can doing nothing to KEEP our salvation, it is an act of God.
The debate will go on, I’m sure, on this side of heaven. But here we stand: genuine believers are secure in Christ.