Doesn't Proverbs 2: 21-22 disprove “once saved, always saved”?
Proverbs 2:21-22 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the
perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the
earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
I see three ways to look at these verses.
- Practical. In context the preceding verses talk about the dangers of visiting the local prostitute specifically and fornication generally. Here the penalty might be seen as immediate in terms of Levitical consequences.
Leviticus 19:20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a
bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor
freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to
death, because she was not free.
- Kingdom. In this perspective "dwelling in the land" could refer to entrance into the Kingdom. Here the pursuit of unrighteousness could be seen as a bar to entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall
exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no
case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
- Heaven. If one takes "the land" to mean heaven, being "cut off" as a result of wickedness seems to support a loss of access to heaven. However, it also opens the salvation by works can of worms.
What can complicate the interpretation of verses that use the word righteousness or perfect in particular with regard to the Old Testament is that righteousness was imputed by faith.
Romans 4:21-22 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised,
he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for
I see the wickedness that is cut off as unbelief. Those that do not trust in God can often be identified by their preoccupation with fornication. To me these verses do not speak so much to the issue of salvation, but rather to the issue of living by faith.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from
faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.