Perry, as most know, is an extremely popular performer. She is as gifted as she is popular. I may have cut my teeth on the rock scene of the 80’s but I nevertheless find her music quite enjoyable. Her lyrics less so. Perry’s songs are filled with the kind of sexually charged nihilism that has defined the pop industry. The messages she performs are diametrically opposed to her upbringing as a preacher’s kid. Therein lies the question about her future. Will someone, like Katy Perry, who claimed to be a Christian but has since strayed from the faith, be saved in the end?
It all depends on where they are in the end. For this reason we cannot know Perry’s fate since she has not finished her journey.
Let’s put Perry’s condition aside for a moment and consider the biblical truths involved. There are many biblical texts that state that those who are truly saved will persevere in their faith until their death. Jesus says, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”” (John 6:38–40, ESV) Here Jesus explains that he keeps those who believe in him until the last day. Salvation is held by God and this makes it secure.
Commonly this truth has been described as ‘once saved—always saved’. The unfortunate effect of this phrase is that it can imply that the life and conduct of a person is irrelevant to their final destiny. Comforted with this illusion, scores of people have relapsed into the ways of the world without fear for their souls. But these people misunderstand the doctrine. The promise of Jesus is that those who are truly saved will persevere in their faith until the end. Wayne Grudem defines it neatly in his signature work, Systematic Theology.
“The perseverance of the saints: The doctrine that all those who are truly “born again” will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly “born again.””
So when Katy Perry announces in a Marie Claire interview that she is not a Christian and she does not believe “in a heaven or a hell or an old man sitting on a throne” there is reason for concern. Such apostasy brings into question if she ever had a genuine faith to begin with or if she was merely mimicking the faith of her family. But we cannot and will not know her destiny until the end. Until then we will join her parents in prayer—God please rescue Katy Perry.