Ask Your Preacher
I was wondering if it is possible to ever lose your salvation? And what verses back up your answer?
Looking For A Guarantee
Dear Looking For A Guarantee,
Yes, you can lose your salvation – but not by accident. There are two extremes when it comes to discussing salvation.
One extreme is the Calvinistic view that your salvation is never in jeopardy, regardless of what you do. This view is called ‘Perseverance of the Saints’ – the belief that if you are saved, you will always persevere without ever needing to worry about your salvation. This view is simply not biblical. Consider several verses from the book of Hebrews. Heb 6:4-6 talks about ‘enlightened partakers of the Holy Spirit’ (certainly this refers to saved christians) who then ‘fall away’ and ‘crucify afresh the Son of God’. There can be no doubt that this is talking about people losing their salvation. Heb. 10:26-27 talks about knowledgeable christians rejecting the gospel and the terrifying expectation of judgment to come upon them. Paul said he feared that his preaching had been in vain to the Galatian brethren because they were turning away from the pure word of God (Gal 4:11, Gal 1:6). Yes, we most certainly must watch how we live and act so as to not miss the prize of heaven (1 Cor 9:25-27).
The other extreme is to have zero confidence in your salvation. This is the attitude of “unless I am living perfectly, I am going to be lost.” This view is also wrong. Christ died to save sinners (1 Tim 1:15), and it is His blood that pays the price for your entrance into heaven (1 Pet 1:18-19). Your salvation is not dependent upon perfect living but FAITHFUL living (Eph. 2:8): hearing God’s word (Rom 10:17) and then living by that Word (Jas 2:14-18) to the best of your ability. Perfection is not a requirement of salvation in Christ – commitment is. A committed christian, though he often may fall short of who he wants to be, can be confident in his eternal reward.
Once saved, always saved. True or false?
The idea that you can’t ever lose your salvation is a warping of Christ’s message in Jhn 10:27-29. “Once saved, always saved” is a basic doctrine of Calvinism (read “Calvin And Sobs” for more details on the errors of Calvinism). The Bible clearly says that you can lose your salvation. Heb 3:12 says that we must be wary and protect our hearts because an evil, unbelieving heart can fall away. 2 Pet 3:17 says that we can lose our salvation if we get caught up in false teaching (1 Tim 4:1 also states this). If we return to a life of ungodliness, then we crucify Christ again (Heb 6:4-6).
What are some Scriptures that show the depravity of man and our need for God’s salvation?
Give Me Book, Chapter, Verse
Dear Give Me Book, Chapter, Verse,
The term “depravity of man” is normally used by those who teach that people are born sinful – there are no Scriptures to show this teaching because it is false (read “Calvin And Sobs” for more details on this teaching, also known as Calvinism). However, there are lots of verses that show that mankind has chosen to sin and that we need God’s salvation. Many of them are found in Romans because the book of Romans spends a lot of time dealing with that particular subject. Here are a few:
- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23)
- “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned.” (Rom 5:12)
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)
- “What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we before laid to the charge both of Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God; they have all turned aside; they have all together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not, so much as one.’” (Rom. 3:9-12)
- “For God appointed us not into wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 5:9)
- “And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’” (Acts 2:40)
What happens to a believer that commits suicide? Will he be saved still? What does the Bible say about the eternal security of a believer?
Looking For A Guarantee
Dear Looking For A Guarantee,
Suicide can send you to hell, and the teaching of eternal security isn’t biblically accurate. Let’s deal with them one at a time.
Suicide is murder, self-murder, and is therefore very clearly a sin (Rev 21:8). The only difference between suicide and murdering someone else is that you don’t get a chance to repent after suicide. Suicide is a final decision and leaves no room for correction or for asking forgiveness. It is a willful act of disobedience against God without opportunity for repentance. The final judgment belongs to God (Heb 12:23), but we certainly wouldn’t want to face that judgment with our own blood on our hands.
The teaching of eternal security says that it is impossible for someone to lose their salvation once they become a christian… this is false. The Bible clearly states that people “drift away” (Heb 2:1), “are rejected” (1 Cor 9:27), and “fall away” (Heb 6:4-6). Christians can fall away from God in this life; that is why we are commanded to be faithful unto death (Rev 2:10).
Once saved always saved… is that true? Is every person’s name already written in the Book of Life, and if we don't receive Jesus as our Savior, is that when our name is blotted out?
Wanting A Guarantee
Dear Wanting A Guarantee,
It is the exact opposite of that. We don’t lose our salvation if we don’t receive Jesus; we gain salvation when we do believe in Jesus. It may seem like a trivial difference, but it has huge implications. People go to hell because of their sins (Rom 6:23), not because of Jesus. Jesus’ death on the cross is a cure for mankind’s self-inflicted spiritual death sentence. It is the same as a disease outbreak – the disease kills people, not the lack of a cure. If Jesus had never come, and none of us had ever heard of Jesus, we would all have been lost.
As far as the issue of “once saved, always saved”… it is possible to lose your salvation if you turn your back on Christ. Read “Salvage And Recovery” for specifics on that issue.