Once-And-Done Salvation Is No Salvation

Oct 19

Once-And-Done Salvation Is No Salvation

Let me preface what I’m about to say by stating that I believe salvation does indeed come in a moment of time, when a person repents and believes in Christ. At that very moment, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of them, and as a result they are made holy and have become a new creation. It isn’t based on works, but it comes by faith on the basis of God’s grace.

However, we have often taken this core teaching of the Gospel to an end that really is an end. And that end is destruction; not salvation.

We often teach that if you come down the altar, say a prayer of repentance, and profess Christ, you are saved. Not necessarily true.

We all know that to become a Christian, one needs to do two things: repent and believe in Jesus. Yet are those things “once-and-done”? Clearly not. By definition, to repent means that you change directions. To say that you turn around toward God at one instant in time, and then turn back to the world for the rest of your life–how is that repentance? That is fake repentance. Or to say that at one moment in time, you decided to trust Jesus to save you, but you don’t trust Him with your day-to-day life–how is that really trusting Jesus?

To put it another way, 1 John 3:23 says, “This is His commandment, that we 1) believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and 2) love one another, just as He commanded us.” Does that mean that we can simply, at one moment in time, love some given individual, and then go on living selfishly, and thus say we have fulfilled this obligation? Surely not!

If that is the case, how can we say that we can “believe in Jesus” in such a way?

The problem with once-and-done salvation isn’t that it leaves out works–it actually promotes works! It turns salvation into merely a momentary human decision (works!) instead of salvation being a genuine, inward change that is brought about by God. Salvation happens when a person’s heart is gripped by the conviction of the Holy Spirit that they must let go of the life they have been trying to build, return to God, and trust only in Jesus. Clearly, a person must respond to this conviction by surrendering to God’s conviction and leading. But that is not a work; instead it is giving up trying to work, and giving into God’s working.

Repent and believe! This is not once-and-done salvation. That is not salvation at all. Instead, this is once-and-for-all-time salvation. A work of the Holy Spirit that changes your life. A supernatural stirring of God that gives birth to a new man.


  1. avatar

    Great thoughts Tim. Keep’em coming!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *