Skip to main contentAccessibility feedback
Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world’s largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy, fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. If you’ve never made a gift, now is the time. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar this week only. Thanks and God bless.
Dear catholic.com visitors: This Catholic Answers website, with all its free resources, is the world’s largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. We receive no funding from the institutional Church and rely entirely on your generosity to sustain this website with trustworthy, accessible content. If every visitor this month donated $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. If you’ve never made a gift, now is the time. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar this week only. Thanks and God bless.

Doesn’t 1 John 5:11-13 Prove “Once Saved, Always Saved?”

Question:

The Bible speaks of believers as having eternal life now (1 Jn 5:11-13). This proves "once saved, always saved."

Answer:

Sometimes Scripture speaks of believers possessing eternal life now, but it also talks about it as something in the future.

When eternal life is described as a present possession of Christians, this is an example of what theologians call “realized eschatology.” This means that Christians participate now in a limited way in what they will experience more fully in the Kingdom of God to come. It doesn’t necessarily imply those who have so partaken of the Kingdom and its gifts can’t be lost (Heb 3:14; 6:4-6).

The Bible speaks of eternal life as something future (Mt 19:29; Mk 9:43-47; Ti 1:2; 3:7; Jude 21) and based upon our fidelity, by God’s grace, to his commandments (Mt 19:16-17; 25:46; Jn 3:36; Rom 2:6-10; 1 Tm 6:18-19; Jas 1:12; 2 Tm 2:12).

Did you like this content? Please help keep us ad-free

More from Catholic.com

Enjoying this content?  Please support our mission!Donate