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It shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.  Acts 2:21

The thought occured to me recently that churchies often use the passage above to say that once someone has "confessed Jesus as lord", they are completely sealed and saved by God, regardless of whatever they may (or may NOT) do after that proclamation.

What sticks out to me with this passage is that it is written in the present tense by using the word "calls", instead of just saying something like "whoever has called on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

The word "calls" alone seems to indicate an on-going relationship with God, and not just a one time ritualistic act that can guarantee that person a spot in heaven.  Reading it this way lines up with Jesus' own teaching that we "will be hated by all for My name's sake; but he who endures to the end shall be saved." (Mark 13:13)

When faced with a person who has "called on (or confessed) Jesus as their Lord" at some time in the past, and then returns to their old ways, possibly even turning completely against God, the "once saved always saved" people argue that they must have never been "saved" to begin with.  But this is not necessary if we understand that a person can start out right and then give up and be lost, thus not "enduring to the end".

We've got an entire life to live before the "prize set before us" can be won, and it will take continual dependence and an ever deepening relationship with the "Most High" until the reward of eternal life will be given to us as the precious gift from God that it really is.

No matter how appealing the "once saved, always saved" doctrine sounds, let us all continue to daily "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling".

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