Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
I saw a long and lively discussion on Facebook just now on the subject of “Once saved, always saved.” I posted the following response:
Monique Shatae, this has been a long and lively discussion. In the main, you are correct. The “once saved, always saved” position is false doctrine. The Bible clearly teaches the absolute eternal security of the believer, not the unbeliever.
It is possible for a person to stop believing. Jesus said so:
Luk 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Any one who has “believed for a while” most certainly (1) did believe, and (2) stopped believing.
Promises of salvation on the basis of believing (like John 3:16) are expressed in the present tense in the underlying Greek text, therefore a single one-time supposed “act of faith” is not what is being spoken of, but a consistent and continuing belief.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
In the KJV, the “eth” suffix on the root word believe, “believeth,” conveys the meaning of the original text, Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible translates “is believing.” The KJV did not do this because the “ing” suffix was not in use at that time to express the present progressive tense in English.
The presence of “IF” clauses in the New Testament definitely shows that some Bible promises are conditional. In the Greek text, there are actually four different classes of “if”! See 2 Peter 1:10 and Colossians 1:23.
Doctrines of seducing spirits and doctrines of demons are warned against in 1 Timothy 4:1, and directly speaks of those who shall depart from the faith (which, in effect, means to stop believing!).
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
One cannot logically be said to depart, fall away, or apostatize from a faith which one never held in the first place. Paul is addressing these warnings to believers, not unbelievers.
Someone above asked for a Bible text that specifically warns believers not to fall away. Here is a warning text which most certainly is addressed to believers:
2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
Peter is addressing believers by the term “beloved.”
The presence of the subjunctive mood in the underlying Greek text (almost always untranslated or incorrectly translated in our English translations, except for Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible and the Lavender ( Lavender’s New Testament ) New Testament. The subjunctive mood in Greek is properly represented in English translation by the word “may” not “shall” or “will.” The subjunctive mood indicates the presence of a stated contingency or requirement in the context, such that to receive the benefit of a promise, for example, the stated requirement must be met. This grammatical feature is present in John 3:16 and most notably in John 10:28.
John 10:28 should be translated “And I give to them eternal life, and they MAY never, never perish forever.”
Why the MAY? The contingency or requirement is stated in John 10:27, “My sheep always heed My voice, and I know them, and they always follow Me.” (Lavender Translation)