Nuggets from An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith by Dave Hunt – Fallen, or Never Saved? |

Dave Hunt

Here is an important distinction. Those who believe in falling away would say of a professing Christian who has denied the faith and is living in unrepentant sin that he has “fallen from grace” and has “lost his salvation.” In contrast, those who believe in eternal security, while no more tolerant of such conduct, would say of the same person that probably Christ “never knew him”—he was never a Christian. We must give the comfort and assurance of Scripture to those who are saved; but at the same time we must not give false and unbiblical comfort to those who merely say they are saved but deny with their lives what they profess with their lips.

Are we not then saved by our works? Indeed not. Every Christian’s works are tried by fire at the judgment seat of Christ” before which “we must all appear” (2 Corinthians:5:10). Good works bring rewards; a lack of them does not cause loss of salvation. The person who hasn’t even one good work (all of his works are burned up) is still “saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians:3:13-15). We would not think such a person was saved at all. Yet one who may seem outwardly not to be a Christian, who has no good works as evidence—if he has truly received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, is then “saved as by fire” and shall never perish in spite of his lack of works. This is not theory or wishful thinking but what Paul clearly says under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Do we then, on the basis of “once saved, always saved,” encourage Christians to “sin that grace may abound”? With Paul we say, “God forbid!” We offer no comfort or assurance to those living in sin. We don’t say, “You’re okay because you once made a ‘decision for Christ.’” Instead we warn, “If you are not willing right now to live fully for Christ as Lord of your life, how can you say that you were really sincere when you supposedly committed yourself to Him at some time in the past?” And to all, we declare with Paul, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians:13:5).

Our confidence for eternity rests in His unchanging love and grace and the sufficiency of God’s provision in Christ—not in our worth or performance. Only when this is clear do we have real peace with God. Only then can we truly love Him and live for Him out of gratitude for the eternal life He has given to us as a free gift of His grace—a gift He will not take back and which He makes certain can never be lost!