Don Blackwell

Church of Christ Sermons by Don Blackwell. Don Blackwell is a graduate of the Memphis School of Preaching. He has done local work in Bankston, AL, Statesville, NC, and North Charleston, SC. He served as Director of Broadcasting with Truth for the World in Duluth, GA, from 2002 to 2006, where he produced television and radio programs that were heard around the world. A graduate of St. Leo College with an Associate degree, Don received his BA in Biblical Studies from Southern Christian University and his MA from Liberty University. Don hosts the one minute spot called Sixty Seconds About the Second Coming as well as being one of the speakers on the Truth About series. Don has worked with GBN since its inception.

Once Saved, Always Saved?

Has anyone ever told you that once you become a Christian that you can never do anything to fall away or to lose your salvation? today on answering the air we’ll take a look at that topic hi I’m Don blackwell and this is Aaron Gallagher and we would like to welcome you once again to answering the error on this series of programs we take videos done by various teachers and preachers and we examine them in the light of God’s Word and we always want to make it our practice when we do someone’s video that we reach out to that person and we invite him to discuss the topic with us and we want to emphasize at the beginning of this in every program that the reason for this program is we don’t want anyone to be lost eternally you know John 8 in verse 32 jesus said and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free first John chapter 4 and verse 1 says to test the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets have gone out into the world and so we’re trying to do that our hope is to reach both the speakers on these videos as well as the people who are listening to us today our request to you is this that you examine the evidence that’s presented and see if it aligns with the Bible if it does accept it if it does not then reject it we invite you to be like the Bereans we read about in Acts chapter 17 of verse 11 the Bible says that they search the Scriptures daily to see whether those things were so and they had the Apostle Paul teaching them and yet they were searching the Bible to see if that was accurate and true that’s what we’re inviting you to do airiness we begin can you tell us what today’s video is about absolutely so today’s video is by a man named Charles Stanley and the video he’s answering a question that someone emailed into him and the question really is can a Christian lose their salvation can they fall from grace which is sometimes called the perseverance of the saints or impossibility of apostasy once saved always so that’s exactly right yes okay all right well let’s begin and watch the first segment right salvation is from God and no one else it is only through the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we can be forgiven of our sins and United with the father this is a free gift of God something we cannot earn or deserve such a gift should make us grateful and give us a desire to serve the Lord always okay Aaron in this segment the course of this whole discussion is about the topic can a person live a life of sin and remain saved but as he introduces this segment he talks about salvation being a free gift would you agree with that you know I would the Bible talks about the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God the New King James and the King James say gift of god I don’t believe free is in the Greek text but Faiers lexicon says it it can be added it’s the right concept and so we know that while we can’t earn it that gift has been given to us by God’s grace but we have to receive it according to his terms that’s a key right and of course Ephesians 2 in verse 8 for by grace are you saved through faith that not of yourselves it is the gift of God now here’s my question does the fact that it’s a free gift imply that there are no requirements because that’s what is oftentimes asserted that’s a great question and you know we want scripture to be the authority so when we look in the New Testament for instance which is is what we’re under as Christians you know I go immediately to Acts chapter 2 verses 37 when religious people Jews if the day of Pentecost asked Peter what must we do that’s a perfect opportunity for people to Peter to say there’s no requirements and yet Peter says repent and be baptized acts 9 6 Jesus is told by Saul go to the city you’ll be told what you must do so that’s Peter and Jesus which I think are pretty good – pretty good people to listen to ok great points as we start ok let’s continue with the video but what happens when the person receives this gift and then lives pretty much like everyone else that works can’t save us but what do our works say about us today’s email addresses this question how can a person be saved backslide into a life of sin and still be saved for all eternity well that’s a good question one that is often asked because and I think that one of the reasons so often ask is that many people who have been saved and living in sin are feeling so guilty they can’t quite settle what’s going to happen to me okay Aaron in this section he asked what happens after a person receives this gift and then lives pretty much like everyone else and then he goes to an email question that he’s received and I want you to answer the email in just a second but the the email question says how can a person be saved backslide into a life of sin and still be saved for all eternity how would you answer that email can a person be saved go back into a life of sin and be saved for all eternity well I’d love to answer it with Scripture there’s so many passages that the first one that comes to mind is James chapter 5 verses 19 so remember this is the letter written to Christians it starts out verse 19 brethren so it’s writing to Christians if anyone among you anyone among you brethren a Christian wanders from the truth and someone turns him back let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way so he’s referred to as a sinner will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins so that verse right there says if a brother wanders from the truth and you turn him back you’ve saved his soul so that’s a brother whose soul needed to be saved right and it indicates that he can turn back that’s exactly right and that’s really the question here is once saved always saved true in fact as we begin this discussion it might be good to lay out some other verses a 1st Corinthians chapter 9 and verse 27 the Apostle Paul is speaking he says but I keep it on my body and bring it into subjection lest by any means when i have preached to others i myself should be a castaway and so the idea that paul is putting forward is i have obeyed the Lord I’m out teaching other people to help save their souls but he says I got to keep control of myself and watch over myself because I understand I could be a castaway what does he mean when he says he could be a castaway he’s referring to the possibility of losing salvation you know and that’s that’s pretty haunting to hear someone like Paul say that we think old Paul would never have a chance but he writes that he could be and you know even earlier in 1st Corinthians 5 that same epistle he talks about in 1st Corinthians chapter 5 verse 5 deliver such a one a Christian to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day to Lord Jesus so that’s two examples just in in the Corinthian letter and the New Testaments full of them here’s another I’ll mention before we get back to the video in 2nd Peter chapter 2 and verse 20 this is written to Christians in general the Bible says for if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that is they’ve come out of the world they’ve obeyed the gospel they’ve been washed of their sins they’ve become Christians the Bible says they are again entangled therein and overcome that’s our very discussion he’s asking the question can a person be saved go back into the world at parallel second Peter 2 in verse 20 what happens he says they are again entangled therein and overcome the latter end is worse with them than the beginning now if you look at the question and you parallel it with this verse it lines up at the beginning they come out of the world they are again entangled those two parts parallel but then he’s going to tell us you can’t be saved the Bible however says the Lateran is worse with him than the beginning what does that mean incidentally it means that it’s worse to become a Christian and fall away you know I immediately think of Hebrews chapter 10 this is one of the haunting passage verse 29 talking about people who sin willfully written to Hebrew Christians how much worse punishment talk about that worse punishment than if he’d been born do you suppose will be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot so it’s not about trampling the son of God Jesus underfoot and counted the blood of the Covenant Christ’s blood by which he was sanctified a common thing and insulted the spirit of grace it says this is someone who’s been sanctified that’s a good point because sometimes I hear people say well if he falls away he was never saved in the first place but that says he was sanctified by the blood of Christ this is a saved individual that’s exactly right you know second Peter 2 and verse 21 the next verse says for it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than after having known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them and so he’s indicating you were lost you were saved and you were lost again it’s a direct answer to the question sometimes people put it this way they will say you can’t fall from grace listen to this verse very interesting Galatians 5 and verse 4 this is written to Galatian Christians Christ has become of no effect unto you who are justified by the law the King James says ye are fallen from grace and so we’re told you can’t fall from grace but the Bible says just the opposite and those four words right if you think about it yeah there was a Paul Harvey had the if I were the devil and if I think the current personally if I’m the devil what’s a better doctrine then for Christians to say don’t worry about sin you can live a life of sin God will always draw you back that sounds really good but it’s very dangerous and even Hebrews 3:12 it says beware brethren beware lest there be in any of you brethren an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Living God that’s right okay let’s go to the next segment well so let’s think about what happened to your salvation well here’s the promise of Jesus once you trusted him as your personal Savior a verse I referred to often here’s what he says and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish that you now know what never means never means never not if not but not when never okay this is very interesting in this segment mr. Stanley here mentioned some people who were saved and then he describes these people as living in sin and they begin to worry about what’s going to happen to them very interesting they would be worried about it their their conscience is telling them there’s there’s a problem here he says they worry about this but then he as a proof that a saved person cannot lose his salvation he cites John chapter 10 and verse 28 that passage says and I this is Jesus speaking and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand now mr. Stanley emphasizes that never perish he says never means never he says never he says not if not but not when and ever he seems to think that this is an ironclad proof that a Christian cannot lose his salvation now first is this what this verse is saying no it’s not and one of the things that that you always should do when you’re reading a passages is to look at the context some people say the 10 or the 20 verses before it and after it and fortunately in this case you only have to go back one verse you know in verse 28 and I give them eternal life so who is the them you go back to verse 27 my sheep it says my sheep who hear my voice that’s present tense keep on hearing my voice and I know them and they follow me I believe that’s present tense too so those who have eternal life and will never perish are the ones who continually follow his word hear his words and our obediently follow excellent point on it I think if a person looks at it that way verse 27 describes people who are following the Lord will never perish I think a good parallel passage to this is first John chapter 1 in verse 7 the Bible says but if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin and the idea is if you keep walking in the light it’s the idea the parallel of John 10:27 if you’re following him if you keep walking in the light you will continually be clinched and you won’t perish the Sheep if they keep following the Shepherd they will never perish it’s a parallel passage and that idea in first John is repeated you know I think of first John chapter 3 and verse 9 whoever has been born of God does not sin does not keep on sinning for his seed remains in him that seed Luke 8:11 is the Word of God so it’s seen if just like John chapter 10 if you hear those words and you keep following them you walk in the light that you have that continual cleansing by the blood of Christ one more passage 1st John 5:18 says we know that whoever is born of God that’s a Christian whoever is born of God sent ahthe not it doesn’t mean he never sins but it means that he’s trying to walk in the light he’s trying to be faithful he’s following the Lord but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself that is he’s following him he’s following him faithfully the Bible says the wicked one cannot touch him that’s parallel to the idea that he won’t perish that he’s continually washed and he’s cleaned and so there’s a sense in which once saved always saved is true is there not yeah exactly it’s once saved always saved as long as that person is a faithful believer that’s right but if they were to stop hearing stop following then the God will allow them to walk away you can’t take salvation but God will allow you to walk away he’s not gonna he won’t hold you against your will that’s right so Det John 10:27 if you keep following you won’t perish that’s right John if you keep walking in the light you won’t perish and so the idea of the Bible is faithful service if you’re a Christian and faithful to the Lord then you will not perish if you cease to be faithful and that’s the question he’s being asked if a person becomes a Christian and then walks away and is unfaithful he says they’ll be saved anyway that’s incorrect you have to keep falling if you don’t fall if you go back in life of sin then then you can be lost that’s right okay next segment if a person is truly saved here’s what’s happened the Bible says in 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17 therefore if any person is in Christ they’re safe they become a new creature old things have passed away behold all things have become new in Jesus conversation with Nicodemus he said except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God why did he use that term because once born they’re born okay Errin he says of course he’s still defending the idea that a Christian cannot lose his salvation his first proof of that is John 10:28 we just talked about that as further proof number two he cites 2nd Corinthians 5:17 which says that if a man is in Christ he’s a new creature and he ties that to John chapter 3 verses three through five and that is the discussion of Nicodemus Nicodemus was told he must be born again now here’s his argument he says once you’re born you’re born so argument number one is from John 10 this argument is once you’re born you’re born what about that is this a good argument what’s he getting at here well a few things number one he said when you’re in Christ your new creation and that’s correct romans 6 3 and 4 says you get into Christ when you’re baptized then he went to John 3:3 through five born of water and the spirit it’s interesting every Greek scholar will agree that that is referring to water baptism 80 Robertson a Baptist scholar said it was it’s interesting if you go back in history only John Calvin I think Philip Schaff is a historian that mentioned this John Calvin was actually the first guy to say that this is not referring to water baptism so you look at that John 3:3 through five you become a new creature you’re born again when you’re baptized and then from there once you’re born you can’t be unborn well that’s true but you can die once you’re born you can die and so we look at a lot of people who have been born again but you can die spiritually in the New Testament is pretty clear on that fact I’ll offer another passage here 2nd Peter chapter 1 in verse 10 says wherefore the rather brethren brethren these are Christians he says give diligence to make your calling and election sure now that’s interesting give diligence to this why because you might not make it if you’re not faithful give diligence to make your calling and election sure now listen to this part for if you do these things you shall never fall what’s the key word there never fall if you do these things Jude 21 keep yourselves in the love of God how do you do that you do that through faith first Peter 1:5 kept by the power of God through faith God’s got the power but he’s not gonna enact it on you unless you keep yourself in it by faith so excellent excellent okay let’s continue we’re not saved because we deserve it we’re not even kept because we deserve it the scripture says in Ephesians 2:8 9 he says for by grace you have been saved through faith that not of yourselves it is a gift of God not of works lest any person should boast of it okay of course he’s right about the fact that we’re not saved or kept because we deserve it but that doesn’t prove the idea of once saved always saved doesn’t know it doesn’t I mean the Bible it is a little off-topic we’re saved by grace through faith 100% we love every scripture we’re saved by God’s grace which he gave through us through the plan of the gospel Titus 2:11 and 12 the instruction came from God appeared to all men through the system of faith not of works works of the law of Moses we don’t earn it okay there’s nothing we could do to earn but Hebrews 5:9 he became the author of eternal salvation to who them that obey Him okay next segment so let me just remind you of this you cannot get away with sin because you have been saved and you go back into a life of sin you’re not getting away with anything it doesn’t mean that your nature has changed it doesn’t mean that you’re now unborn salvation is a present experience and it’s an eternal experience so the question is can I lose it well how you gonna lose it somebody says well if I go back into a life of sin then I’ve lost it let me ask you this ask any question to any believer about their lifestyle and they’re gonna say well at times in my life I’ve sinned and so we’re talking about a person you say who just goes back into a life of sin do they lose their salvation for all eternity and the answer is no and this this is what he says he says we’re talking about a person who just goes back into a life of sin do they lose their salvation for all eternity and the answer is no that’s of course his words what would you say to that how would you respond to that from the Bible I would say really it makes a majority of the New Testament nonsense if you look at for instance the book of Galatians we know it’s written to Christians written to brethren in Galatians 5 he says walk in the spirit he’s saying walk in the way that the spear is instructed you through the word he gives the list of the the what we call the lusts of the flesh and he says in verse 21 just as also told you in time past those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God and then it’s interesting down in chapter 6 verse 7 do not be deceived God is not mocked God will not be mocked if we decide to go back into a life of sin there’s we’re going to be punished for that unless we repent but to just go back into a life of sin and think there’s no consequences it’s against the majority the New Testament teaching it’s a good point you know it’s interesting to parallel this again to second Peter 2 and verse 20 because here’s his words we’re talking about a person who just goes back into a life of sin do they lose their salvation for all eternity the answer is no now listen to the Bible for if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ they are again entangled therein and overcome the latter end is worse with them than the beginning yeah same situation in his question and the Bible but his answer is no they don’t lose her salvation the Bible says the Lateran is worse than the beginning yeah okay next segment their awareness of the presence of God seems to disappear their prayers go unanswered they feel very unworthy and separated from God there’s a feeling an awareness of guilt and shame and fear and emptiness and they will miss the will of God in their life they will waste away their life they will miss the blessings of God and they will miss their eternal reward so remember this there’s a difference in losing your salvation and losing all the things that I just mentioned because when the person lives in guilt and they live of a sense of separation from God and unawareness of his presence and cannot have answered prayers they feel very very lost that doesn’t mean they are lost because he says I given to them eternal life and they will never perish he didn’t say they wouldn’t suffer and for example remember this you also lose your reward and in 1st Corinthians chapter 3 Paul makes it very very clear about losing our reward when we live a life of sin earned this section is very strange to me I have never read anything like this in the Bible but that is what he’s arguing he argues that a Christian can have guilt and quote missed the will of God in their life waste away their life and many earthly consequences of living in sin but he says but that’s different from losing your salvation he makes a distinction here between losing your reward and losing your salvation and he cites first Corinthians chapter three to support this can you explain what he’s talking about here so when you try to reconcile I think the majority of passages that say that you can fall and you also have this idea that you can’t you have to find a way to reconcile the two and so sometimes they go to a very difficult passage first Corinthians 3 is undoubtedly a difficult passage but if you lit the Apostle Paul interpret his own language with his writing you can understand that so if we turn to 1st Corinthians chapter 3 verse 9 we are God’s fellow workers he’s just kind of talking about Paul I planted Apollo’s watered we are God’s fellow workers those evangelists you the Corinthians are God’s field you are God’s building so he starts out telling the Corinthians about what they are they’re God’s field God’s building and then he goes on in the next few verses to explain how as a wise masterbuilder Paul has built on the foundation of Christ and that each one of those work is speaking of the converts he’s talking about those people he’s made a Christian so when it says that there if anyone’s work is burned he will suffer loss but himself will be saved he’s saying if those converts that I taught were baptized if they fall away Paul will still be saved but they won’t it’s not talking about losing your reward but also still going to heaven that’s exactly right ok next segment so the question is can a person be saved with the grace of God born again new creation in Christ Jesus and slip back into sin and still go to heaven yes you can but it is a very expensive trip you lose and lose and lose and lose and when you stand before God you will have lost your reward and this is just astounding to me because he is speaking so directly against so many passages that we’ve already cited he says so the question is can a person be saved by the grace of God born again new creation in Christ Jesus and slipped back into sin and still go to heaven he says yes you can this is a bold and absolutely false statement yeah he’s really basing a lot of this on that 1st Corinthians 3 passage if I was somebody taking notes I’d write down first Corinthians chapter 9 and verse 1 he tells the Corinthians that you are my work in the Lord so what is the work is that a person’s merit no it’s a convert Paul says that he speaks this way frequently 1st Thessalonians chapter 2 19 and 20 he talks about converts or his joy glory crown and hope so if you let the Apostle Paul interpret him himself he’s not speaking about that he’s speaking about a convert can lose so that sort of eliminates any Bible support for the idea of losing your reward but still going to heaven so and again they might cite next to 1st Corinthians 3 in their Bible they might write down 1st Corinthians 9:27 perfect because it shows that Paul was even concerned about this in his own life that’s right what he’d be teaching that you couldn’t fall in chapter 3 but he could in chapter 9 of course not that’s right okay let’s continue so the question is this can I stand a little bit here a little bit there and get by with it no you cannot because you see the Bible says your sin will find you out it is a costly a costly experience to walk away from God into sin because that is an eternal loss not of your salvation but of your reward it is a foolish decision well thank you for joining us today for the broadcast and until next week obey God leave all the consequences to him it’s the only way that you can experience life it’s very best so why not here’s the quote for mr. Stanley he says so the question is this can I sin a little bit here and a little bit there and get away with it no you cannot is what he says but his argument is completely absolutely contradictory he argues that you can live a life of sin and go to heaven and yet you don’t get away with sin heaven won’t be a place of joy and reward and and no tears it sounds to me like you’re absolutely getting away with it but he says no you’re not getting away with it because you’re gonna miss some things in this life once you get to heaven is that gonna make a difference what do you say to this well I would say you know how about me giving you an example in Acts chapter 8 and verse 20 Simon the sorcerer he is baptized he has the sins washed away then he tries to buy the gift of God with money and Peter says this Peter says in Acts chapter 8 and verse 20 your money perish with you perish that’s Apollo me in Greek which is the same one in John 10:28 you can never perish peter is telling Simon the sorcerer your money perish with you he’s saying you’re in a state of condemnation right now you will perish unless what here’s the key verse 22 repent of this of therefore your wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven if a Christian falls into sin they have to repent that’s the the central teaching in the New Testament once a Christian becomes a Christian they have to repent to be forgiven by God and reconciled right of course I think this is an important question once a person becomes a Christian can t lose his salvation you know a large portion of the New Testament was written to address us remaining faithful a large portion of the letters were written to Christians who had not remained faithful and so this concept kind of negates at all of course he’s arguing well you’ll miss some rewards in this life but this is an important question because it’s something a Christian would be concerned about and he’s worried about and the truth of the matter is that a Christian should be able to have confidence in his salvation right absolutely right that’s what the whole book of 1st John is written it’s it I wrote these things these things have written so that you can know that you have eternal life in fact that is my favorite verse in the New Testament first John chapter 5 and verse 13 John says these things I have written to you who believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life now that’s interesting because first I can know that I have eternal life it doesn’t mean once they’ve always saved we talked about the fact that their conditions walking up in the light but if I do that I can have confidence in my salvation but it’s very interesting how I can know what how can I know that I have eternal life by these things that are written in first John chapter 1 in verse 4 and these things we write to you that your joy may be full and then verses 6 through 10 if we walk in the light verse 7 as he is in the light we have fellowship in the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses present-tense continual cleansing us from all sin it’s like windshield wipers if I’m walking in the light following God’s Word and I sin that sin will be forgiven if I’m walking in the light so let’s be clear about that but the book of first John can give you real real confidence in that you know it’s interesting to me he doesn’t say guess that you have eternal life he doesn’t say hope that you have eternal life he doesn’t say wait and see but he says these things I have written unto you that you may know that you have eternal life what that means then is we don’t rely on Charles Stanley or anyone else we have to go back to the written word of God and that’s why we’ve cited a lot of Scripture in this program because everything that we do has to be based upon the Word of God and of course that’s what we’re trying to do on answering the error we want to get people to open the Bible and go back to the Word of God and only to the Word of God we’d like to thank you for joining us today if you have a video that you would like us to review we would encourage you to send it in to us at the gospel Broadcasting Network until next time we hope you have a good day

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