Is The Never Really Saved (Never Saved) Argument Valid and Consistent
The never really saved, false convert or never a Christian responses comes from eternal security proponents when their doctrine is rightly being exposed as a license to sin. For a person to say that a professing Christian was never a Christian and always a false convert, if he turns away from God to sin, is fallacious in at least 7 different areas. If you are a Christian, carefully ponder the following so you can help others see the dangerous folly of the never a Christian and false convert declarations cited by once saved always saved advocates.
For one to say a professing Christian who turns to open sin was never saved is also to deny that we can know who is saved and who is not by their present tense behavior. Such is clearly unscriptural:
Never Really Saved Argument
Denies We Can Tell Who Are Saved
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:10)
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil. (1 John 3:7,8)
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:3,4)
The Bible is crystal clear that we can know them by their fruit (Mt. 7:16,17) and there is observable evidence of God's saving grace:
News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. (Acts 11:22,23)
To say a professing Christian who turns away from his profession of Christ to wickedness was never saved is to deny that others were ever able to spiritually identify him. True Christians can and do, at times, fall away.
For one to say a professing Christian who turns away from God to sin was never saved is also to have an inconsistent message. If those same teachers were consistent they would have to say David, Solomon and Peter were never saved because they backslid. David turned to adultery and murder (2 Sam. 11); Solomon turned to idolatry (1 Kings 11:4-10) and Peter disowned Jesus three times (Mt. 26:33,34). Both David and Peter repented and returned to God, but Solomon continued in wickedness. There is no solid evidence that Solomon ever returned to God -- just the opposite.
The Never Saved Response is Inconsistent
To say a professing Christian who turns away from God to wickedness was never saved is to exclude prominent Biblical characters who were truly saved before terribly falling to that degree. On this basis alone, the I never knew you argument is destroyed.
To say a professing Christian who turns away from God to wickedness was never saved is to imply that true Christians will not turn away to sin, but continue to obey God. That type of message, however, is often opposed and scoffed at by the same teachers! In other words, those same teachers declare Christians constantly sin in thought, word and deed. They also wrongly use Romans 7:14-25 for support and to teach that Paul was like that and such is the normal Christian life! Imagine that! They teach like that, then turn 180 degrees around and teach the same crowd if you turn away you were never a Christian -- two completely opposite teachings, yet their audience seems oblivious to it.
The Never Really Saved Belief Denies Backsliding
To say a professing Christian who turns away from God to wickedness was never saved is also to teach that a saving faith will always obey God and never backslide, which is denied by their misuse of Rom. 7:14-25.
Never A Christian Ignores Many Scriptures
To say a professing Christian who turns away from God to wickedness was never saved is to ignore at least 26 Scriptures in the NT. They show people who previously were disciples and followers of Christ later fell away, turned away, went back, etc. and not once in those 2 dozen plus passages do we read because they became apostates by backsliding, that was evidence which proves they were never Christians. Scripture shows it happens far too often for followers of Christ to turn to wickedness, get deceived into believing a false gospel, etc.
To say a professing Christian who turns away from God to wickedness was never a Christian is also to display ignorance of those 26 Scriptures (plus all the other relevant Scriptures) which teach the opposite. (See The Believer's Conditional Security: Eternal Security Refuted p. 632 for a listing of those Scriptures.)
Implies You Can Never Know Who Is Really Saved
To say a professing Christian who turns away from God to wickedness was never saved is also to teach you can never know if anyone is a Christian brother or sister, including the preacher himself who taught you this never a Christian absurdity. Maybe he is just a false convert too.
Their doctrine would have us believe another's salvation can't be known as long as one remains alive, because as long as they remain alive they might apostatize and thereby prove they were never saved. If you can't tell if another is a Christian then you can't consider someone to be a spiritual leader or a possible spouse to marry, since both require true Christians.
To say a professing Christian who turns away from Christ to wickedness was never saved is also to teach that no Christian can ever know another to be a possible spiritual leader, spouse for marriage, etc.
To say a professing Christian who turns away from God to wickedness was never a Christian is only backed by two passages, which are both distorted away from their immediate context.
The Two Primary Misuses of Scripture
"I Never Knew You" (Mt. 7:21-23 Explained)
The first is Mt. 7:23 where Jesus tells continuous tense evildoers "I never knew you."
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I NEVER KNEW YOU. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Mat 7:21-23)
The context shows the religious ones referred to there were never saved but were continuous tense evildoers. Those religious-but-continuous evildoers never had evidence of saving grace, that is, a freedom from sin addictions which occurs when one contacts the blood of Jesus at true conversion (Rom. 6:22; John 8:34-36; Rev. 1:5; etc.), but that doesn't mean others who had a true conversion can't shrink back, as the Bible shows has happened many times. Christians must remain alert and self controlled for their own spiritual protection.
Furthermore, the never saved proponents focus in on the one and only passage which has the words never saved (or its equivalent), but conveniently overlook three passages which show others were also not known by the Lord Jesus, but not told they were never saved:
"I Never Knew You" VS "I Don't Know You"
But he replied, “I tell you the truth, I don't know you.” (Mat 25:12)
Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, “Sir, open the door for us.” But he will answer, “I don't know you or where you come from.” (Luke 13:25)
But he will reply, “I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!” (Luke 13:27)
Jesus didn't tell them, I never knew you, like in Mt. 7:23, but instead I don't know you. In other words, Jesus didn't say they were never a Christian, but that they once previously were! The I don't know you phrase implies they were once known (saved), but later lost their salvation. This is especially clear with the 10 Virgins teaching (Mt. 25:1-13).
1 John 2:19 Meaning
The second Scripture typically misused by the never a Christian OSAS crowd for support is 1 John 2:19, which refers to people who did not believe Jesus was the Christ, as shown in 1 John 2:22:
Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.
Their doctrine clearly excluded them from being a Christian. They too had no evidence of saving grace since they denied Jesus was the Christ.
To say a professing Christian who turns away from God to wickedness was never saved is to rely upon the two aforementioned Scriptures, both of which are misused and misapplied. Hence, there is no solid Biblical support from either 1 John 2:19 or Matthew 7:21-23 for the false convert being very similar or almost identical with a true Christian. The people referred to in each passage never had evidence of saving faith because they were either continuous tense evildoers or doctrinally denied Jesus was the Christ. That is NOT similar to the radical change that occurs at the new birth!
Trying To Mask a License To Sin
To say a professing Christian who turns away from God to wickedness was never a Christian is also cited as an argument to conceal the license for immorality that the once saved always saved doctrine shows itself to be. When their doctrine gets exposed as the security in sin gospel by inferring there are Christian adulterers, Christian drunks, Christian thieves, etc., most proponents tend to mention their contradicting, inconsistent, double message with no Scriptural support—the never saved absurd argument.
With some people, that tactic has actually succeeded in confusing the issue enough to conceal the glaring wickedness and salvation security in sin being taught through eternal security.
People who cite the never a Christian argument are either grossly ignorant of hundreds of Scriptures which counter the never saved doctrine or are intentionally hiding those related-but-contradictory-truths to preserve their own doctrine, which began with the devil himself in Gen. 3:4.
There are well over 100 relevant Scriptures which refute the never saved argument. They only have 2 verses, which are both misused and misapplied. Which will you believe?
One more point: Calvinist John MacArthur is one of the leading proponents (along with Ray Comfort) of this absurd unscriptural never a Christian (or false convert) argument. Yet MacArthur clearly teaches, at times, there are Christian adulterers, Christian drunks, Christian thieves, Christian liars, Christian murderers, etc.
Please consider getting our 801 page book refuting eternal security entitled, The Believer's Conditional Security: Eternal Security Refuted. There is MUCH in it that can help you better understand this salvation related subject. That NO Eternal Security Book is a whopping 801 pages in length!
The Believer's Conditional Security is the most exhaustive and comprehensive refutation to eternal security ever written. [Remember the never a Christian (never saved) or I never knew you argument is not solidly based on Scripture, neither is it consistent!]
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