Q. In Hebrews 12:12-14, it says that unless you live the right way you will never be saved. Verse 14 adds that unless your lives are Holy you will never see the Lord. What do you make of this teaching in light of Grace, Justification and OSAS?
A. I think you’ve misunderstood the intent of Hebrews 12:12-14, because if your understanding is correct then the Lord’s insistence that it’s what you believe that saves you (John 3:16, 6:28-29 & 40) along with half a dozen supporting statements by Paul are incorrect.
Hebrews was written to believers, people who were already saved. Hebr. 12:12-14 is part of a teaching on seeing the hardships of life as training. The writer was explaining that while it’s not pleasant, it makes us spiritually better and stronger and that makes us holier and therefore is a good thing.
Hebrews 10:14 says that by His one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. It doesn’t say that we’re making ourselves holy, but that we’re being made holy. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit accomplished through our hardships. Belief in the Lord’s sacrifice saved us and made us perfect forever. The Holy Spirit He sent to us is making us holy through the experiences of our lives.
Salvation is an event. It only happens once and when it does the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us. Holiness is a life long project and is never finished until the rapture when we’re finally perfected.