The Bible does not teach the doctrine of once saved, always saved. When the Apostle Peter closed his discourse on the so-called Christian Graces, he says, If these things be in you and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for it you do these things you will never stumble (2 Peter 1:8-10). This scripture certainly suggests that if you don’t make your calling and election sure, you will fall.
In Galatians 5:4, Paul tells the brethren there, You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. The Hebrew writer says, For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversary (Hebrews 10:26). And Peter says (2 Peter 2:20-22), For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: a dog returns to his own vomit, and a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire. Do these passages sound like you can’t fall from grace?
Several others passages could be cited to show the fallacy of the argument that the Christian, once having been saved, cannot then so sin as to be lost; but these should suffice. Then that poses the question comprising the title of this little piece: What Must I Do To Stay Saved?
We must grow. The passage we cited earlier from 2 Peter 1 says so. If these things be in you and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful That argues the need for spiritual progress. The same Apostle exhorts that one who is a child of God, As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby (2 Peter 2:2), and Grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Growth is necessary to faithfulness. A Christian’s faith must grow (2 Thessalonians 1:3). We are to leave off being immature, or children, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head Christ (Ephesians 4:14).
We must worship Him. There is no such thing as a true Christian who does not assemble regularly with the saints and take advantage of the opportunities to glorify Him. In the very first place, forsaking the Lord’s Day assembly is not allowed. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. It is a very serious matter to willfully forsake the worship services. In fact, one who does so is said to trample the Son of God underfoot, and to have counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace. The writer concludes that It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (See Hebrews 10:23-31).
We must not neglect our opportunities. We have opportunities to teach; we must be about the business of doing so (Acts 2:42; Acts 2:46-47; Acts 8:4; Galatians 6:6; 2 Timothy 2:2; etc.). We have opportunities to practice benevolence; we must be about the business of doing it (James 1:27-29; Galatians 6:6-10). We have the opportunity to take a stand for truth; we must be about the business of doing so (Matthew 5:13-15; 1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Peter 3:15; 1 Peter 4:16).
We must keep on keeping on. Paul said, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). That says its your salvation and that you must work it out. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls, Peter says (1 Pet. 1:9). We must keep on looking at the goal. Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). We have to keep on keeping on.
It is not time to rest (Hebrews 4:9). And so, let us give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken by angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation . (Hebrews 2:1-3).