Sealed and Saved?
The following verse is often used for proving that "once saved, always saved" is correct.
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, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
- Ephesians 1:13-14 (KJV)
But is that really what it means? Is being sealed the same as being saved?
Is it really not possible to lose your salvation?
What about free will? What if I don't want to go to heaven anymore?
Can I just continue to sin? No, of course not.
Here's an excerpt from an article:
After putting true faith in Christ as Lord, which is consummated by faith in your heart and the confession of your lips (Rom 10:10), and which is evidenced by your turning from sin in your mind and action (Acts 26:20), and being born again (a new nature) John 3:3-8, symbolized in baptism (Mark 16:16, 1 Pet 3:21), we are "saved" to the point of now having a future inheritance of salvation (Col 3:24, 1 Pet 1:3-9), but not in actual possession of it yet.
In our new "saved" position, we are no longer declared to be an enemy of God and we have been reconciled to him through the death of Christ Jesus (Col 1:22). We have been marked with his seal of the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13), much like a King would authenticate his letters with his signet ring pressed into a wax seal, and salvation is now reserved for us in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4), but we don't actually attain it, until we have stood firm in our faith to the very end (Mat 24:13, 2 Tim 2:12, Rev 3:11). As it relates to salvation and eternal life, what we really have is a future inheritance, not an actual possession of salvation yet (Rom 8:24-25, Heb 9:28).
Here we clearly see that being sealed is not the same as being saved.
If you continue to grieve the Holy Spirit (by sinning), He will eventually leave you. It happened to Saul.
But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.
- 1 Samuel 16:14-23 (KJV)
David would have seen all this, and was afraid it might even happen to him.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
- Psalms 51:11 (KJV)
Jesus clearly points out that not every Christian will end up in heaven.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
- Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)
There will just be a point where grace won't cover your sins anymore.
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
- Hebrews 10:26-27 (KJV)
Salvation = grace + works of repentance.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
- Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
- James 2:26 (KJV)
That's exactly what the seal of God is also.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
- 2 Timothy 2:19 (KJV)
We don't just stop sinning when we get to heaven. That starts now.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
- Reveleation 2:5 (KJV)
God hates sin, and we should stop sinning.
Ellen White agrees:
This goody-goody religion that makes light of sin and that is forever dwelling upon the love of God to the sinner, encourages the sinner to believe that God will save him while he continues in sin and he knows it to be sin. This is the way that many are doing who profess to believe present truth. The truth is kept apart from their life, and this is the reason it has no more power to convict and convert the soul.
- Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 155
The Holy Spirit leads us home, but if we never stop to listen, we will never find home.
Repent, repent, and repent.