21 Days of Once Saved Always Saved Salvation Assurance – Day #15 1 John 2:19
This is day 15 of a video series called 21 Days of Once Saved Always Saved Salvation Assurance. It’s January 2022 and, in honor of the new year, my church in Marietta GA has asked us to dedicate 21 days to the Lord to draw closer to Him. Over these 21 days, I’m going through 1 passage of Scripture a day that proclaims our salvation assurance in Christ and shows how salvation can never be lost or forfeited but is held securely in place for us by our heavenly Father so we can have confidence that we are eternally saved.
Today’s passage is 1 John 2:19:
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:19 KJV)
This passage is a strong answer to those who falsely say, “You may not be able to lose your salvation, or have it taken from you, but you can give it up yourself by turning away from the faith.” Therefore, salvation is not assured. They think it is possible for saved believers to once again become unbelievers, apostates, and thereby give up their salvation. Is it possible that a saved believer could walk away from the faith and once again become lost?
This same question was raised in the first century church. That’s why the apostle John wrote this verse. There were people in the church that appeared to be saved but then they left the faith. Everyone wondered, “Why did they leave, and did they lose their salvation?” The apostle John answered that question in his letter. So, let’s break this verse down.
John begins by saying,
“They went out from us…” (1 John 2:19 KJV)
The first question that needs to be answered is who exactly is John referring to when he uses the word, “they?” Who are these people? If we go up 1 verse, to verse 18, we get our first clue.
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:18-19 KJV)
John identifies these people that went out from them as “antichrists.” Now, in today’s world, when we see the word “antichrist,” we typically start thinking Biblical prophecy and can get the wrong understanding of exactly who John is talking about. Well, we don’t have to guess at what this means because John defines the term “antichrist” in verse 22:
“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22 KJV)
So, in John’s vocabulary, an “antichrist” is simply anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ, who denies the Father and the Son. This is not just an unbeliever, since many unbelievers simply haven’t heard the Gospel so as to believe. No, this is someone who has heard the Gospel and has rejected it. It is someone who has heard the teaching that Jesus is the Christ and has decided to reject it and deny it.
From this, we now know who “they” are, to which John is referring. They are:
- People who came into the church and attended as “believers.”
- They gave the appearance that they were saved by Christ.
- Everyone thought they were saved. They were members of the church.
- But then they turned away from the faith, rejecting it.
- In reality, despite appearances, they ultimately decided to deny that Jesus is the Christ. They denied the Father and the Son.
- And they left the church.
So, when they left the church, everyone wondered, “Did they lose or give up their salvation?”
John’s Response: “No, they were never saved!”
“They went out from us, but they were not of us;” (1 John 2:19 KJV)
John said that, despite all appearances that they were saved believers in the church, they weren’t really saved. “They were not of us.” These were counterfeit Christians in the church.
But then he gives the reason why he says this. John says,
“for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us:” (1 John 2:19 KJV)
The fact that they left gave evidence to John that they were never saved, for he said that if they had been saved, “they would no doubt have continued with us.” There was no uncertainty in John’s mind that a truly saved believer will stay in the faith. A truly saved believer will not abandon the faith.
This gets even stronger when you look at this statement in the original Greek. In English, translators added the words, “no doubt” to the phrase to try and capture how strong it is in the Greek. “They would no doubt have continued with us.” The words, “no doubt,” do not appear in the Greek. Instead, the Greek text says it in an even stronger way, “they would have continued.” There were no ifs, ands, or buts in John’s mind. A saved believer in Christ will stay in the faith. That is one of the evidences that we are saved.
The people who left, on the other hand, were giving evidence that they were not saved, for John goes on to say,
“but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:19 KJV)
Their leaving the faith gave evidence to John that they were never saved.
So, the interesting thing to me is John’s complete assurance that a saved believer will never leave the faith, will never become an unbeliever again, an apostate. He was totally certain of that.
Why is it that a saved believer CANNOT leave the faith, and become an unbeliever again?
Don’t we have free will? Aren’t we free to make choices anymore? How can it be impossible in John’s mind that a saved believer could turn away from the faith?
Scripture tells us the answer. The answer is that it is God, not us, Who keeps us from falling. It is God Himself Who protects our salvation and preserves us in the faith. He does this so that not even one of His children will be lost. We looked at a few of these verses in other lessons but let me summarize them here.
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” (Jude 1 KJV)
In the very first verse of his letter, Jude tells us three things about believers in Christ: That we have been sanctified, preserved and called.
Believers have been sanctified or made holy, not by our own obedience, but by God through faith in Christ. We don’t sanctify ourselves. We are sanctified by our loving Father.
Second, we are preserved. This word, “preserved” in the Greek means to keep, to guard, to protect. It was a military term used to describe a military garrison guarding and protecting a valued item. It is God the Father Who keeps, guards and protects us in the faith so that none of His children are lost.
And Jude says we were called. It is the Father Who called us to salvation, Who sanctifies us, making us holy, and Who preserves us in the faith, guarding and protecting our salvation.
Jude ends the letter saying the same thing:
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25 KJV)
Notice that it is God Who keeps us from falling, not ourselves. God has taken that responsibility on Himself. If it is God Who keeps us from falling, will any of us fall away from the faith and become lost? No. Impossible.
The Apostle Peter said the same thing:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5 KJV)
Peter described our salvation as incorruptible (which means it cannot be corrupted), undefiled (which means we can’t defile it with our sin), fadeth not away (which means our salvation is not going anywhere), reserved in heaven (which means it cannot be lost, stolen or forfeited, but is kept for us by the One Who reserved it, our Father).
Why can’t salvation be lost, stolen or forfeited? It is because we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” God’s keeps us secure in the faith through His power.
But doesn’t a believer have free will to turn away from the faith? Yes. When we are saved, God does not take away our free will. He doesn’t make us into robots who can only go in one direction. So, in order to preserve and protect us in the faith so that none are lost, God uses a number of means to persuade us and keep us secure. God is extremely smart, which is an understatement, and He knows how to keep His children without violating their free will.
Here are some of the means He uses to keep His children in the faith:
- Warnings in His Word
- The sealing of the Holy Spirit inside a believer
- The work of the Holy Spirit to lead & teach us
- Warnings & encouragement from believers
- Teachings in the Word and in the church
- The Body of Christ working in your life
- God’s chastisement and discipline
- Allowing consequences of sin to happen
- Allowing sickness or disease
- Angels working in our lives
- Intercessory prayer
- Lifting God’s protection, allowing spiritual oppression into our lives
- Early death – “There is a sin unto death:” 1 John 5:16
God uses these means and more to preserve, protect and keep his children in the faith so that none are lost.
Therefore, the Apostle John was adamant when he said:
“for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us:” (1 John 2:19 KJV)
A believer in Christ simply cannot forfeit his or her salvation. God is a good Father Who loves His children dearly and will not stand idly by while that happens. The moment you start drifting into sin or unbelief, God begins using His many means to pull you back in, so that you stay in the faith. He does this lovingly, without violating your free will. He knows how to persuade you so that you freely choose and end up on the correct path. The result is always the same: None of His children will be lost. Not even one. He is a good Father Who will never let that happen.
Therefore, John concludes his letter with these words of assurance:
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13 KJV)
If it were possible for a saved believer to fall away or walk away from the faith, we could never really know with certainty that we’re saved, because tomorrow we could fall away and become lost. But John said he wrote these words so that you may know with certainty that you have eternal life. If it’s “eternal,” then we can’t lose it or give it up.
So, how about you? Are you 100% certain that you have eternal life? It comes down to this:
Salvation = God’s Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Nothing more. Nothing less. There are no other requirements to be saved than to believe in Jesus. The question is: do you believe this? Or are you like those who are not trusting in the finished work of Christ but are trying to prove yourself worthy through your own obedience. Well, let me give you some help: You’re not worthy! You never will be. None of us are. It is Christ who is worthy. We stand in His obedience by faith, not our own. We stand in His righteousness by faith, not our own. He makes us worthy. He makes us righteous.
Once you believe in Him, you are born again, and you are forever a child of God. Our Father is a good Father Who will never abandon you but will preserve you in the faith and never let you go.
If you are not certain about your salvation, time is getting very late. Don’t take the chance of missing out on God. Prophetically, the current “Age of Grace” where God is giving people time to turn to Him for forgiveness is almost over. When it ends, it will be too late. God’s judgment is coming. Those who are not saved will be separated from God for all eternity. Don’t take chances with God. Don’t play with Him. Take Him seriously.
If you are not 100% sure you are saved, don’t put it off any longer. You can know with certainty that you have eternal life today. Do it now before it’s too late.
Making Sure You Are Saved Is As Easy As ABC
Admit to God that you have sinned.
Believe that Jesus, God’s Son, died to pay for
your sins 100%, was buried and rose from the dead.
Call upon Jesus and ask Him to forgive you and save you.
If you make that decision to call upon Him, God gives you this assurance:
“For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13 KJV)
If you are still not sure, I’ll include a link to a video I did called, “What is the Gospel (in 6 Words)?”
Thank you for watching.