once saved always saved parable of unforgiving debtor

Once Saved Always Saved clashes with Jesus’ Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor

There are many narratives in the Bible which clearly show that God is not teaching us the doctrine of eternal security of salvation. In this article, we will use the Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor (Servant/Slave) to point out that Jesus Himself is against the teaching of once saved always saved.

Here’s a summary of the OSAS (or doctrine of “eternal security”):

“Once a person has accepted Christ as Savior, they may wonder if it is possible to lose that salvation. What if they commit a sin? What if they commit a lot of sins? What if they do something very, very wrong? Is it possible to be saved, and then lose that salvation? Fortunately, the answer is a resounding “no.” Once a person has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, he/she is forever saved.”

Take note of the following in the doctrine of OSAS:

  1. The person accepted Jesus. He is a believer. He is already saved.
  2. But he keeps on committing sins
  3. OSAS says that the person is still saved.

The Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor

Now, here’s the Parable of the Unforgiving Debotr. Let us examine what it can tell us about the doctrine of eternal security of salvation.

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

Jesus’ words are not supporting Eternal Security doctrine

Here’s a summary of what we can pull out from the parable which defies the doctrine of OSAS:

  1. The unforgiving servant was forgiven by the king (saved).
  2. Despite being forgiven, he cannot forgive others (wrong act).
  3. The unforgiving servant was declared “evil” (not saved). We all know that all forms of evil are not allowed in heaven.

And by taking the context behind the parable, here’s what we can get:

  1. Jesus was talking to saved believers (Peter and the disciples)
  2. Jesus said that if you “refuse to forgive” (wrong act),
  3. Then Jesus continued with “that’s what My Father will do to you”, i.e. no forgiveness and thus, paying the awful consequences.

We can clearly see here that Jesus Himself taught that if a forgiven individual (saved) does not know how to forgive others (wrong deed) then his forgiveness will be taken away (no salvation).

Jesus is teaching us to be consistent in our changed behavior after we accepted Him, and it is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit– we call this sanctification. In the process of sanctification, we need to continuously be connected to Jesus, otherwise, we will be spiritually dead and not bearing fruit.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

John 15:4 KJV

We all know from Jesus words Himself that dead branches are thrown into the fire.

“If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”

John 15:6 ESV

Share this short study to your friends if this has blessed you. Let them know that Jesus loves them too and wanted them to know this truth as well. Praise God for His guidance!