The latest installment of the Christian Chronicle had an article titled “Are we loosing our young people?” Near the end of an informative article a heading reads “Keeping the saved, saved”. And then the next few paragraphs talks about a youth ministry in Florida that focuses on “keeping the saved, saved”.
This is rather odd language for this theological and Bible student. I most recently heard the phrase after a “door knocking” campaign when one of the leaders, while discussing follow up, mentioned the job of “keeping the saved, saved”. This terminology is almost exclusive to the churches of Christ according to Google. When I Googled the phrase in quotation marks, of 152 references to this statement, I believe about 150 of them were quoting statements from church of Christ websites, ministries, or preachers.
So what about “Keeping the saved, saved”? I suppose if you saved them you can keep them saved. But if God saved them, He will have to keep them saved. If you believe people are saved, or stay saved by going to church, living a good life, not drinking and not being immoral, then perhaps you can keep them saved. However, if you believe the Bible then you know that no person is justified because of what he or she does or can do but rather wholly upon the merit of Christ.
The righteousness credited to the account of a new Christian is “by faith”, “a righteousness that is from God”, and apart from the law (our doing). (Romans 3:21-30)
The way to “keep the saved saved” is to get them saved to begin with. A man can be converted to a cause, a good and noble cause, and wind up in hell. A man can be converted to a church and end up lost. A man can be convinced to change his way of life and to begin a life of love and kindness and still be rejected at the judgement. Only those who come to God by Christ Jesus will be saved, and they will never be lost.
” But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (spoken by Jesus in John 10:26-28)
Only God keeps the saved saved.
Grace to you,