Born Again & Once Saved Always Saved?
The Bible references on this page confirm that if you are not maturing spiritually in the knowledge of God, you're spiritually dead! And consequently no longer saved!!
If not maturing in the knowledge of God, the Bible says you're not saved! Even if you're serving in church, teaching Sunday school (the same inefficient high-level messages), listening to Christian music, or singing hymns in church on Sundays. None of these are spiritual maturity; none are fruit!
Jesus said: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit
Jesus has specific commands in the New Testament! What are they? They're not grouped in one place; they're scattered throughout the New Testament. This page explains: What Does Believe in Jesus Really Mean?
Romans 11:16-17 And Paul said:
...if the root is holy, so are the branches... If some of the branches have been broken off...
Note: you could be a branch that became broken off!
Here's the order of our spiritual transformation:
1. Birth of the flesh, first birth.
2. Birth of the spirit, born-again.
3. Spiritual maturity
Many people lack the 3rd item, spiritual maturity. Because most churches don't preach it. In fact, most Protestant churches teach you cannot possibly become unsaved - "once saved always saved". But the Bible clearly states otherwise.
The Bible says you're spiritually dead; did not mature in the knowledge of God, like one of these people in the verse below, "choked by life's worries, riches, and pleasures":
"The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature."
==> "they do not mature" <==
Become born again and “*go on your way*”? You’re one of these people in Luke 8:14 above. It is our eternity we're talking about; there will not be a 2nd chance if we miss it here! Herd mentality is not the way to God; "the narrow gate" is the way to God.
How do we mature spiritually? Learn Jesus' commands and keep them.
The top 3 are:
Matthew 6:33 Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness
Read the Bible always, the whole Bible, including the parts contradicting to your church's theology!! God is in these Scriptures. This is how we "seek Him" and get to know Him. The more we read and understand, the more He reveals Himself to us. And this new knowledge we gain, is one form of fruit production. The other, and more advanced form is perform miracles in Jesus' name.
Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus said: This then, is how you should pray...
Pray the Lord's Prayer daily, and mean it correctly - the "Bread" is the spiritual Bread of life for the forgiveness of sins. So that we're always "righteous" in the eyes of God. More details here: The Lord's Prayer is Severely Misunderstood.
Matthew 22:37-39 [Jesus:] ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, ... and ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself...'
Love - Wholeheartedly love and worship God. And genuinely love all people of all ethnic groups and financial status and forgive your enemies.
Singing hymns in church on Sundays is admirable, but that's the icing on the cake. You've missed the cake altogether and focused on the icing!!
There are many references in the Bible about the need to mature spiritually in order to remain "saved". Many churches will tell you, you "cannot possibly become unsaved - once saved, always saved". The truth is, the Bible says otherwise. It says you can become unsaved. Here are some parables that clearly describe that:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Notes: After becoming a branch on the Vine, that is after becoming born-again, if no spiritual maturity over time, you may become "a branch cut off" or "wither and die" (spiritually). To remain saved we have to remain in Jesus, and Him in us. This is accomplished by the daily praying of the Lord's Prayer and maturing in the knowledge of God.
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice. Become mature,...
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
Notes: Although the word “fruit” is used in a few different contexts in the Bible and therefore different meanings implied, in this parable "fruit" is precisely maturity in the knowledge of God, as in seek God by reading the Bible and praying the Lord's Prayer daily. God is patient, and waits a long time before giving up on us. But He would give up on us eventually if no spiritual maturity. But careful, Jesus warns us in other parables about "how long God waits for us", example in the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13.
Here's another parable about the need to grow spiritually or else!
14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, depending on each one’s ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately 16 the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. 17 In the same way the man with two earned two more. 18 But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I’ve earned five more talents.’
21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’
22 “The man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I’ve earned two more talents.’
23 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’
24 “The man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a harsh man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26 “His master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy servant! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, 27 then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and I would have received my money back with interest when I returned.
28 “‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 30 And throw this good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Notes: "Talent" in this parable is knowledge of God / spiritual maturity. We are called to multiply the "talents" that God gives us - meaning increase our knowledge of God. The servant who had no interest in multiplying his talent in the parable, was called "evil & lazy", and was cast out - "became unsaved".
Obviously Jesus’s long parable is trying to tell us something very important we need to do here to maintain our "saved" status, so we don’t get “cast out into the darkness and gnashing of teeth”. Definitely not "works of the flesh" nor good deeds, but obedience to grow spiritually. Although He does clarify again here that God is very patient with us and does not quickly give up on us. The fact remains, we have a duty to produce fruit / multiply talents.
In today's 1st-world-countries, most people are living in luxury with plenty of resources and spare time available to them to multiply their "talents", and help their spiritual growth. There is no excuse, except laziness. Relying completely on the church for our spiritual needs is not the way to grow spiritually. In most churches today, human-nature have taken over, and they veered off the path of the original Christian church created by the disciples of Jesus when they were truly filled with the Holy Spirit.
Here are some verses from Paul that Protestant churches don't preach about:
...if the root is holy, so are the branches... If some of the branches have been broken off...
Notes: Clearly this is Paul's version of Jesus' "vine and branches" verses. So Paul too talks about "branches broken off", similar to branches that wither and die, in Jesus' version!! A further confirmation of the possibility of becoming unsaved. And this one is for those who like to hear it from Paul himself :)
And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
Notes: And look at this!! If those people who became unsaved, return later and truly seek God, then God will "graft them back in"!! God gives us a lifetime to truly seek Him and grow spiritually. As long as you're still alive you can fix it. But after death it's too late, even if you try blaming the church for it. Exactly as described in the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13.
Many people are lazy. They love the message of "do nothing". "If the church is saying it, and the church knows everything, then we're all set". Not! The reality is, many protestant churches only preached off of a few high-level verses that said that, and ignored thousands of pages in the bible that elaborated on those verses. While those verses are true at a high-level, crucial details are missing - which are in our daily commitment to God exhibited in us seeking God and His Righteousness. Otherwise, we’re not truthful about our claim of believing, and therefore not producing "fruit"!
Are you a "Do Nothing" "Lip-Service" Believer?
God has a custom verse just for you:
Matthew 15:8 "These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me."
"Their hearts are far from Me" means, they refuse to learn Jesus' commands and they refuse to keep them - they just want to "do nothing"!!!
And Isaiah prophesied about you!
Isaiah 30:7 ...to Egypt, whose help is utterly useless. Therefore I call her Rahab the Do-Nothing.
Please stop the "do-nothing"; you're becoming spiritually dead. You're "honoring God with your lips, but your heart is far from Him". A big difference between "Works" and "Spiritual Requirements":
Works of the law: Also called "works of the flesh", means earthly efforts or still trying to apply the Jewish law - Circumcision, tithe 10%, sacrifices, refrain from certain foods, do a lot of good deeds to offset the bad, etc..
Not works of the law / flesh: Spiritual requirements that Jesus commanded: seek God, read the Bible, pray the Lord's Prayer daily, forgive others, etc.. These are only some of Jesus' commands required for spiritual growth! Jesus' commands are in His parables, and in the Sermon on the Mount.
Every verse in the Bible that says in one sentence something like "believe in Jesus and you're saved...", is meant as a high-level loaded statement. Thousands of other verses and parables clearly elaborate on how to do that. See High-Level Verses & Elaborating Verses.
Accepting this biblical-fact of the need for spiritual maturity by seeking God through reading the Bible often, and the praying of the Lord’s Prayer daily, may seem strange at first. This is because most churches have brainwashed people for years into thinking, any doing = works; “do nothing, nothing at all, just mark the front of your Bible with the date you were saved”, come to church, sing hymns, and donate. And the Catholic church: "priests read the Bible; you don't need to", and "pray to humans to intercede", come to church, eat the Eucharist bread, and donate.
God will not excuse you for not knowing to do the right thing to multiply your "talents". Using the excuse of "...it's the church's fault they taught us wrong..." will not fly with God. Download any audio-enabled app to your device, and listen to the Bible always. It comes in many languages and versions. Then research difficult verses online. God will guide you to answers when you're truly seeking Him. See my page on How to Be True Christians.