Christians have heard over and over and over, had it hammered into our heads, that salvation is a “free gift” and “totally unconditional” and “no strings attached”. Is this really true?
Take this scenario. It is your child’s birthday. You have a gift you have prepared for your teenage child for their birthday. No strings attached, right? It’s a “gift” which inherently means that it’s free without any obligation from the recipient, right?
It is true that a gift inherently means that the receiver of the gift does not pay for it. Otherwise it cannot be a gift. If they pay for it, either by money or by doing some work like doing a chore, then it can’t be called a “gift”, it would be called “compensation” or “payment for services rendered”.
Certainly, when God gives us the gift of salvation, we did not “earn it” in that context by our works. Salvation was offered to us because of the love of God, not because we deserved it by being a good person. In fact, we do not deserve it because we have sinned once. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
On the other hand, take the following scenario. On their birthday, your teenage child proceeds to slash your tires, steal your valuables, and burn down your house. Are you really going to give that child the gift you had prepared to give them? No! If you do, you are probably a bad parent, rewarding your child for evil. Even if you already gave your child that gift, after their horrible behavior, you are going to take it back if possible. There is no way you are giving that gift to such an evil child who did such horrible things.
Salvation with God is similar. We do not “earn” salvation by our works. We do not receive salvation because we “deserve it” – not in the way that Jesus deserved it because Jesus was sinless. However, if even after receiving that gift we essentially spit in God’s face by continuing to act evil, by stealing, lying, hating, despising, reviling, acting sexually immoral and defiling this temple of God, and not spending any time with God, do you really think that God is going to just let that slide and let you keep the gift of salvation? Do you really think God wants your evilness in eternity with Him? Absolutely not. “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left” (Hebrews 10:26).
However, this is exactly what the “unconditional grace” doctrine is saying. Grace doctrine is saying that after you received the gift of salvation, it’s yours forever no matter what. Even if you steal from God, hate God by hating His people, defile the temple of God – repeatedly even – and live your own life how you want, worshiping the idols of greed, money, self-gratification, sexual immorality, and other idols, and refuse to listen to what God tells you to do – the false Grace doctrine purports to tell you that it all doesn’t matter, you still get that salvation in the end.
The modern Grace doctrine tries to say that people who, after receiving the gift of salvation, continue to live in sin and rebel against the God of heaven, that none of this matters, they will never lose that salvation.
However, what the Bible says is the absolute opposite. The Bible tells us that “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them” (2 Peter 2:21). The Bible clearly says that it is actually worse for someone that has received the knowledge of God to then continue in their sinful ways.
How can it be worse for them if they are “once saved always saved”? It cannot! The truth, the truth that the Bible affirms, is that “once saved always saved” and “unconditional grace” doctrines are nothing but a flaming lie of Satan to trick God’s people into losing their eternal salvation.
If a Christian after becoming a Christian continues in their sinful ways and does not change, then God is going to cut you off from the family of God. Jesus said, “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” (John 15:2). How could Jesus say that he will cut people off who do not bear fruit, if you can never be cut off? Someone is lying, and it’s not the Bible who is the liar. The liar is the modern Grace doctrine.
Jesus said that He will cut people off, He will take them away, if they do not bear the fruits of righteousness. But those who do bear fruit, Jesus said that He will discipline them and remove their sinful parts so that they can bear more good fruits of righteousness.
God will help each one of us to become fruitful Christians, living a holy life in righteousness. However, it is up to us to choose to bear fruit in the first place. Does an orchard farmer make his tress grow fruits? No, the farmer only gives the tress everything they need to bear fruit. Those tress which do not bear fruit, the farmer will replace those trees with fruit-bearing trees. And those trees which bear fruit, the farmer will prune so that it may bear more fruits.
So it is with us. Those who refuse to bear fruit and believe that they are saved forever even if they live a fruitless life full of sin, are like the tree who does not bear fruit but that believes it is safe because it is in the farmer’s orchard. The tree will be shocked when the farmer comes and sees no fruit and then uproots that tree and removes it from the orchard, casting it into the fire to be burned. These unrighteous Christians are sadly and terribly mistaken, because they have trusted their eternal souls to the doctrines of men, the doctrines of grace, instead of trusting in the very words given to us by God, including the very words of Jesus Christ.
There is no such thing as unconditional eternal security. If you fail to heed the Word of God and live a life of sin because you believe in unconditional grace, sooner or later God is going to cut you off, and take back the gift. It will be worse for you, because once knowing God and seeing the truth, when this is taken away because you failed to obey God by living a righteous and fruitful life, you will understand the gravity of your dire situation.
So turn from your sins, Christians! And nonbelievers masquerading as the church, cast away your sinfulness! God is waiting to receive each and every one of you, but if you fail Him because you believe that “grace” saves instead of God, then you will lose the gift of salvation. Do not let this happen to you. Sacrifice your life for the sake of Christ.
Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25). And Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” And Jesus said in John 12:25, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life”.
This command and warning is found in all four gospels, Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, and John 12:25. If you live for your life on Earth and try to save your social status, earthly possessions, ambitions and personal goals, friends, family, and anything, instead of giving it to God, you will lose your eternal salvation. And if you do not live a life of righteousness and instead go your own way, even pretending to serve God – perhaps even fooling yourself – but bearing no fruit, you will lose your salvation.
Paul said, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24). Not everyone is going to win this race. Don’t be an eternal loser. Run this race of life to win it – not for the world but for God. Pursue God with all your heart, and God will provide you everything you need. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).