There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between Calvinism’s version of ‘once saved, always saved’ and the BIBLICAL version of Assurance of Salvation.
You see, Calvinists believe you are CHOSEN by God before you are born, therefore you are actually ‘ONCE CHOSEN, ALWAYS CHOSEN’. If you are Elect, you can’t become un-elect! The Biblical version is WE HAVE FREE WILL, when you come to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are REGENERATED; the Holy Spirit comes to abide in you and HE SEALS YOU, and your name is written in to the book of Life.
Philippians 4:3 “Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”
Revelation 3:5 also makes is clear that once a name is written in the book of life, Jesus PROMISES that He will never blot it out.
Revelation 3:5 “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.”
Who are those who have conquered? Well these are those who have overcome the trials of earthly life and are genuinely saved. In Revelation, Jesus was speaking to all the Churches, and He promises to acknowledge us before His Own Father and the angels, those whose names are written in the book of life. Unfortunately (Revelations 20:15) reveals the fate of those whose names that are NOT written in the book of life and they go to the lake of fire…
Revelation 20:15 “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
In Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 21:27, we find the references to the “Lamb’s book of life”, in which are also names of all those who have been washed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. The Lamb who has been “slain from the creation of the world” has a book in which are written all those who have been redeemed by His sacrifice. They are the ones who will enter the Holy City, the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10) and who will live forever in heaven with God. Since the book of life is that which records all who have eternal life through the Lamb, it’s clear that the book of life and the Lamb’s book of life are one and the same.
When the Holy Spirit comes to abide in us, he stays there forever! He does not come and go and come and go each time you fall into some kind of sin.
John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. “
The fact that the Holy Spirit will never leave a believer is also seen in (Ephesians 1:13-14) where believers are said to be “sealed” with the Holy Spirit,
Ephesians 1:13-14 “13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
The envision of being sealed with the Spirit is one of ownership and possession. God has promised eternal life to all who are genuinely born again, and as a guarantee that He will keep His promise, He has sent the Holy Spirit to abide in the believer until the day of redemption. Kind of like making a down payment/deposit on a house or a car, God has provided all believers with a DEPOSIT on their future relationship with Him by sending the Holy Spirit to abide in them. The fact that all believers are sealed with the Spirit is also seen in (2 Corinthians 1:22 and Ephesians 4:30).
2 Corinthians 1:22 “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
NOW LOOK AT THIS – DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OLD COVENANT AND NEW COVENANT:
Now, BEFORE Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, before the NEW COVENANT, the Holy Spirit had a “come and go” relationship with people. The Holy Spirit indwelt King Saul, but then He departed from him:
1 Samuel 16:14 “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.”
Here (1 Samuel 16:13) we read that the Holy Spirit came upon David. But after his adultery with Bathsheba, David feared that the Holy Spirit would be taken from him.
Psalm 51:11 “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”
In (Exodus 31:2-5) we read that the the Holy Spirit filled Bezaleel to enable him to produce the items needed for the tabernacle, but this is not described as a permanent relationship.
The Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth when she heard about Mary’s conception and her baby leaped in her womb.
Luke 1:41 “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost“
But all of this changed beginning on the day of Pentecost, (Acts 2) the Holy Spirit began permanently indwelling believers. Pentecost was the commissioning of the Christian church and the fulfillment of God’s promise to always be with us and never forsake us.
Now, understand this, while the Holy Spirit will never leave a GENUINE believer, it is possible for our sin to “quench the Holy Spirit” or “grieve the Holy Spirit”
Quenching the Holy Spirit: 1 Thessalonians 5:19 “Quench not the Spirit.”
Grieving the Holy Spirit: Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
Sin ALWAYS has consequences in our relationship with Jesus. While our relationship with God is SECURE in Jesus Christ, UNCONFESSED SIN sin in our lives WILL hinder our relationship with God and it will quench the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives. That is why it is so important to ask Jesus for forgiveness of our sins because God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). So, while the Holy Spirit will never leave us, the reward and joy of His presence in our lives will feel far away, because sin drives a wedge between us and God and we are effectively distancing ourselves from Jesus.
As Christians SEALED by the Holy Spirit you will still sin, but if you are genuinely born again, the Holy Spirit will CHASTISE you every time you sin and you will sooner than later repent of your sins. But there are people who PROFESS to be Christian and they do not have the Holy Spirit in then. These are people who can speak Jesus’ name, they go to church, even have big ministries teaching people the bible and they sound so intelligent, but they have not been REGENERATED, because they refuse to give up their sinful ways, they refuse to pick up their cross and follow Jesus.
Luke 14:27 “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
They think they can have it both ways.
2 Timothy 3:5 “They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.”
They have bad fruit, they follow doctrines of demons, and they mingle with evil people and very easily compromise the Word of God for the sake of ‘unity’.
Satan always does twist scripture for his own advantage and tell people that at an alter call if they just pray the sinners pray they will be saved and never lose it, but God knows who is GENUINELY saved and who isn’t. We CAN’T fool Him. People CAN FOOL EACH OTHER into believing they are real Christians, when in fact they are not. And how do we tell if they are not, well by the things they do and say (the fruit of the spirit) – the words the speak/preach. But even then, sometimes we meet some ‘great pretenders’ some brilliant con-artists and it takes a long time to figure them out.
See this article as well: Eternal Security – Genuinely Saved, Always Saved!