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The issue of the seal of the Holy Spirit being an unconditional guarantee that such a person having experienced this will always enter heaven is very common among the once saved always saved (OSAS) people, but does this really mean as they teach it? The seal of the Spirit is mentioned in the following verses:And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory. (Eph 1:13,14)And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30)First, nowhere does the Bible say here or anywhere else that the “seal” can’t be broken. Please make a note of this. In fact, the same Greek word translated “seal” (sphragizo) is found elsewhere and the context shows the seal can be broken:So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. (Mat 27:66)Since that stone over Jesus’ tomb was latter moved, and the seal didn’t prevent that from happening, then we know such doesn’t absolutely assure it can’t occur, as OSAS teachers say. They assume something they can’t prove, but don’t teach it as an assumption.
Secondly, we know the seal of the Holy Spirit can be broken because people that were saved have afterwards lost their salvation either temporarily or permanently. Since they were previously saved, then they were sealed yet it didn’t prevent sin from bringing forth spiritual death, as many scriptures declare can occur (Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 33:13,18; Rom. 8:13; James 1:14-16; etc.). Some examples of people who lost their salvation are as follows. (Other examples are not cited here, but are in our book “The Believer’s Conditional Security”):Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. (1 Tim 1:18-20)Paul, the true grace teacher, knew the same horrible fate that occurred to Hymenaeus and Alexander could also happen to Timothy (who was certainly sealed by the Holy Spirit). Paul consequently told him what he needed to do to prevent this from happening to himself. So, as Hymenaeus and Alexander shipwrecked their faith, Paul knew godly Timothy could also have this happen to him (just like any Christian can). Another example is also from 1 Tim.:The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. (1 Tim 1:5,6)Please be assured that the only way any person can ever come to “a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” as Paul describes himself as having, is by a saving faith which contacts the blood of Christ. (Our hearts are purified by faith in Jesus, Acts 15:9.) Yet some people whom Paul knew (which he doesn’t mention by name) “wandered away” from these (a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith) and turned to “meaningless talk.” Since one must have a pure heart to see God, and be holy (Mt. 5:8; Heb. 12:14; Rom. 6:22; etc.) and such can change after the point of salvation, then the seal of the Holy Spirit doesn’t prevent this horrible thing from happening. Clearly then, Paul didn’t think of the seal as the OSAS people do.
Please note also that Paul never said because those unnamed people turned from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith that it was proof they were never saved. (Some OSAS people argue like this at times but at other times say saved people can turn to adultery and murder like King David did and still remain saved.) What a heresy. So Paul, who wrote of the seal of the Holy Spirit in Eph. chapters 1 and 4, shows by these other scriptures what the seal meant to him. But one doesn’t have to go past the book of Ephesians to also get insight into this issue of the seal. Please ponder the following:For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Eph 5:5-7)Paul wanted Christians, who were sealed with the Holy Spirit, to know that “No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” In other words, he wanted them to know that the seal would not prevent those sins from nullifying their inheritance of the kingdom. Other Scriptures show that if one will not inherit the kingdom of God, he will go to the lake of fire (Rev. 21:1-8; Mt. 25:33-46; etc.). Hence, in the same breath that Paul wrote of the seal he also warned Christians that sin could cause loss of salvation and the seal wouldn’t prevent this! To teach otherwise is nothing more than “empty words,” as Paul put it (Eph. 5:6). Don't let the eternal security teachers deceive you. GOD BLESS YOU.
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