The Danger Of Thinking You Can Lose Your Salvation
In a previous post, we discussed one of the biggest questions we may have as Christians: Can we lose our salvation? We saw the clear and definite assurance the Bible gives us that once we believe in Christ and receive Him as our Savior, were saved eternally. We cant lose our salvation.
But heres another question: Does it make any difference whether we know we cant lose our salvation?
The answer is yes, and in this post well discuss why this is so important.
Does The Bible Say You Can Lose Your Salvation
When asked the question, Can you lose your salvation? A wise and godly Bible study teacher by the name of Nancy Littlefield replied, Even if you believe you cant lose your salvation, you should live as if you could.
That simple wisdom, spoken by a backslidden-Baptist-turned-Nazarene turns the age-old, deal-breaking, denomination-splitting question on its ear and places the focus of the dilemma at the foot of the cross.
In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we find Gods justice, Gods mercy, and Gods grace extended for the sole purpose of offering you and me salvation. Says Clarence L. Haynes Jr., in Why Is Salvation through Christ Alone?. Our salvation is not only through Christit is in Christand thats where all the answers to every age-old question can be found.
Declare God’s Grace As Insufficient
This first step involves the basis of your salvation. When you accept Jesus Christ as Saviour, you are saved totally by the grace of God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches: For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Grace is defined as God’s unmerited favor. It is God doing for you what you cannot do for yourself. Since you cannot save yourself, God offers His gift of grace as the basis of your salvation. This means you cannot save yourself by good works. Water baptism, church membership, church confirmation, loving your neighbor, and even the keeping of the ten commandments are all unable to give you or anyone else a place in heaven.
Romans 3:20 states: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Titus 3:5 declares: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost
Now, since good works can do nothing to earn salvation , then evil works can do nothing to remove salvation. You are saved in spite of your sins you cannot become lost because of your sins. Since you are saved by grace, you can only become lost by declaring God’s grace as insufficient for you. That is the first step.
Do These Passages Show You Can Lose Your Salvation
First, let me compliment you on your Web site – very clean and neat.
Here’s a couple of thoughts for the “what-its-worth” department on the question about Hebrews 6 being difficult to reconcile with a “once saved, always saved” viewpoint:
What about if you just read it as it is and accept it as such? The writer of Hebrews was not attempting to write some kind of “crypto-Greek” for his readers to struggle with and try to figure out how this Greek word or that Greek phrase could be translated to support what we THINK the passage means. The writer of Hebrews was simply writing a sermon to the Jews and trying to get his point across. Doesn’t it seem rather unlikely that we should all have to go through all sorts of literary and mental gymnastics to try and come up with the meaning of these “difficult” verses? Instead, let’s just accept them at face value, as the holy word of God.
I would suggest to you that the Bible does not teach eternal salvation, although it sure would be nice if it did. The Bible warns Christians that they can “fall from grace” , be “cut off” from salvation , have their names removed from the Lamb’s Book of Life , by committing certain sins and not repenting of them .
In a chilling reminder of the possibility of losing salvation by separating oneself from Christ, Paul says, “I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” .
- Matt: 6:15
- Rev. 2:10, 25-36, 3:1-5
- 2 Peter 2:20-22
Is It Possible To Lose Your Salvation
The modern grace message would tell us that, as believers in Jesus, nothing that we do can ever change our standing before Godeven willful, persistent, unrepentant sin and unbelief. Numerous scriptures challenge that view But does that that we cannot be secure in our salvation? Absolutely not!
But rather than asking if it is possible to lose your salvation, lets ask the question, Is it possible for you to walk away from God? As a follower of Jesus, do you still have a free will? Can you still make choices? If so, can you choose to deny Jesus and choose a life of sin instead?
When looked at from this angle, it should be obvious that the answer is, Yes, I have still have a free will, and I can still make choices as a believer, so theoretically it would be possible for me to deny the Lord and abandon Him.
You might say, But I want to live for the Lord all the days of my life. Im just afraid that I could mess up in some way and lose my salvation.
Well then, lets focus on that word lose for a moment. Theres a reason I prefer not to use it.
Normally, you lose something accidentally, like losing your car keys, your glasses, or a business card. Where did I put those keys? I cant find them anywhere.
Jesus is our Savior we do not save ourselves. And just as we didnt get saved by accident, we cant lose our salvation by accident.
Its the exact same thing with salvation.
How then do we sort things out?
Its really very simple.
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Back To The Original Question
So what about the Christian who sins and dies before he can repent? If the person is genuinely saved, then his sin is not going to affect his salvation . The only factor determining whether he goes to heaven is whether he is a genuine Christian or not. As long as he is a genuine believer, he does not have to worry about losing his salvation because of sinful acts.
If you are unclear how to identify a genuine Christian, please check out my other article addressing that subject.
What Are The Arguments For Losing Your Salvation
Although the Bible presents a solid scriptural ground for the security of the believer, there are biblical passages that have caused the newest baby Christian and the most educated theologian to tread carefully. These verses offer strong warnings about apostasy and the hazards of falling away from the faith .
Many believers have hung their hats on these scriptures as proof that we can lose our salvation. Others contend that these verses refer to those who made a simple profession of faith but were never born again. No easy answer exists for many of these questions. Scripture does, however, make it clear we need to study the Word without ceasing so as not to be swayed by teachings that could pull us away from our faith, explains Hope Bolinger in What Is Apostasy?
To take these challenging verses lightly or explain them away haphazardly would be a mistake. Were told in 2 Timothy 3:16 that All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, not just the passages that affirm our doctrinal beliefs. Throughout history, great men and women of the faith, skilled in hermeneutics and devoted to rightly dividing the Word of God, have vehemently disagreed about the interpretation of these scriptures. In fact, the verses in question have become the ink by which denominational boundary lines are drawn.
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Can You Lose Salvation
Being a Christian is not something that happens one day and then you carry on with your life. Being a Christian means you are now a follower of Jesus. Your life has not just changed. You have an entirely new one!
You want to walk the way God wants you to and you no longer want to fall into sin. In fact you hate the very thought of sin because what is in you now is holy. Suddenly it happens, your first temptation that drives you to your knees. What happens next?
Unbirth Yourself From The Family Of God
When you are saved, you are born again. This is the doctrine of regeneration.
Titus 3:5 states: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost
Notice that you are saved by the washing of regeneration. The word “regeneration” means to be reborn. You are said to be born again because your salvation is your second birth.
Read the teaching of John 1:12-13: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
While your first birth was physical, your second birth is spiritual . By this new birth you become one of the sons or children of God.
Since you have been born into the family of God, you cannot become lost by denying your birth. A child naturally born cannot cease to be the father’s child, no matter what is said or what separations are made. So, an individual born into the family of God cannot simply cease to be the Father’s child. In order to lose your salvation, you must somehow unbirth yourself from the family of God. That is step eight.
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First A Lesson On Bible Interpretation
Lets start with a little lesson on Bible interpretation, first of all. Because when you start a proof text war and you say, Heres my scripture, and someone else says, Well, heres my scripture, and you see whos got the longest list of proof texts, thats really not the best way to interpret the Bible!
I would advise you to look at the proof text from both sides. Because if the Bible is saying that you can and that you cant forfeit your salvation under any circumstances, then we ought to throw the Bible out, right? Because its unreliable, it doesnt even agree with itself! But the Bible is internally unifieda consistent messageand so its one or the other. Either you can or you cannot forfeit salvation under certain circumstances.
If you have a list of scriptures on one side and a list of scriptures on the other side, you need to look at all of them. And then, whatever viewpoint that you adopt, you have to take the other sides proof texts and somehow harmonize them with your proof texts. Then youre going to be safe. The side that is not able to harmonize their proof texts with the other side, thats the wrong side. So theres a little advice on interpreting the Bible on any subject whatsoever.
Nothing Can Separate You From The Love Of Christ
Romans 8:3539 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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Separate Yourself From The Love Of Christ
At the very moment any person accepts Christ as Saviour, another wondrous blessing takes place. They are placed within the center of Christ’s love. The love of Christ, which is beyond human comprehension, becomes your strong refuge.
Read here in Ephesians 3:19: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
To know Christ is to know a love which is unknowable. This is one of the miracles of salvation.
This love into which you are placed is not only beyond human comprehension, but it is also the greatest power in the universe.
Romans 8:35-39 states: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Bible Verses About Losing Your Salvation
Bible verses related to Losing Your Salvation from the King James Version by Relevance
Topics and verses are auto-generated from user searches. If a verse or topic does not belong, please contact us. Some scripture references/categories courtesy of Open Bible .info under CC BY 3.0
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A Daily Little Lesson
Todays question is another good one. We hear it often: can true Christians lose their salvation? First of all, I dont like how the question is phrased because it implies that you can lose your salvation just like you lose your car keys: totally accidentally, never expecting it. In fact, you dont even realize it until sometime after you discover that theyre lost.
The answer to that question is: absolutely not. Salvation is very precious and valuable. Its not something that you get accidentally and, certainly, its not something that you lose accidentally.
But is it possible for a true believer in Jesus Christ who possesses the gift of eternal lifewhos a child of Godto somehow forfeit or lose that? Well, Christians are divided on this issue and everybody has their proof texts.
God’s Gift Of Salvation
Not one of us initiated our salvation. Ephesians 1:4-5 shows us that God initiated our salvation before we knew anything about salvation, before we were even born: Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.
Our salvation didnt start with us it started with God. Romans 11:29 gives us this reassuring word: For the gracious gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. This means our God-initiated salvation is irreversible, permanent, final, and unalterable.
A Christian cannot lose salvation. Most, if not all, of what the Bible says happens to us when we receive Christ would be invalidated if salvation could be lost. Salvation is the gift of God, and Gods gifts are permanent. A Christian cannot be un-newly created. Eternal life cannot be temporary. God cannot renege on His Word, and scripture says that God cannot lie .
John 10:28-29 tells us were held in the strongest hands in the universe: I give to them eternal life, and they shall by no means perish forever, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of My Fathers hand. No one, not even Satan, can snatch us away from these hands. Our salvation cannot be more secure.
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Does Ezekiel : 20 Mean We Can Lose Our Salvation
Whenever we read or study any passage, we must understand the use of words such as salvation, righteousness, death, repentance, etc. according to the context and be very careful not to read our own ideas into the text. Salvation can refer to salvation or deliverance from physical death, from divine discipline, or any number of conditions. Of course, it often does refer to eternal life as well, but this must be determined from the context.
I have copied a quote from the Bible Knowledge Commentary on Ezekiel 3:20 which I think will help.
Specific Sins That Could Keep You Out Of Heaven
If some of the above verses are possibly implying that you can lose your salvation then what are some of the specific sins that could cause you to lose your salvation? These next two verses will give you some of those specific sins.
Are these next two verses talking about Christians or nonbelievers? If you match these two verses up with the ones listed above, then I believe that some of these sins, if being committed by Christians on a regular and frequent basis, could get them into major trouble with the Lord and possibly be endangering their salvation with Him. Here they are:
- Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
- Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Notice the sin of adultery is specifically mentioned in both verses. Does this mean any Christian who regularly cheats on their spouse may be in danger of losing their salvation?
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