Can Salvation Be Lost, According To Scripture?
An intense, raging battle continues over the doctrinal issue, can salvation be lost or are we once saved always saved? Connected with this subject are several other related issues:
● If it can be lost, what are the ways?
● How can a Christian protect himself spiritually?
● Can you get salvation back again?
Let’s carefully examine all these questions in this same order.
Can Salvation Be Lost Or Is It Once Saved Always Saved?
ANSWER: Yes, salvation can be lost. A righteous person can die spiritually. Spiritual Death can definitely occur to a Christian. If a person would read the New Testament without any preconceived ideas of what it says and just accept what it declares, there would be no controversy. It is clear—salvation can be lost. Rather than ignore or reject the overwhelming evidence, embrace it and act accordingly. It is to your advantage to believe the truth that salvation can be lost. Furthermore, that can possibly happen even over One Sin. Conversely, it is to your great disadvantage to deny this. It is actually self-destructive.
There are nearly two dozen examples of people, named and unnamed, who died spiritually after salvation. That is conclusive evidence which ends this once saved always saved debate for truth lovers, but that is not all. There are also many warnings of this same possibility. Here is one:
The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)
According to Jesus, a Christian loses or keeps his salvation based on his loving or hating his life in this world. The many ifs connected with salvation are the icing on the cake. Without doubt, salvation can be lost. Hence, the Holy Spirit had New Testament writers proclaim:
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. (Heb 3:14)
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (Rom 11:22,23)
What Are the Ways Salvation Can Be Lost or How Can You Lose Salvation?
ANSWER: There are three main ways you can lose salvation: (1) Through certain sins, (2) By believing and/or preaching certain false doctrines related to salvation, and (3) Disowning Jesus during persecution.
Not all sins lead to spiritual death (1 John 5:16,17), but many do. Besides the obvious sexual immorality, drunkenness and idolatry, there are other sins which can bring spiritual death, like Fruitlessness, lukewarmness and being Unforgiving. Dozens of Scriptures can be cited.
Preaching a False Gospel will also damn a person, while not continuing in doctrinal truth, which brought salvation, will likewise cause loss of salvation:
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal 1:8,9)
See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—even eternal life. I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. (1 John 2:24-26)
It is our own responsibility, under the Christian gospel, to hold on so as to continue with salvation:
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1 Cor 15:2)
Disowning Jesus will cause him to disown you:
But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. (Mat 10:33)
Between Initial and Final Salvation there are many things that will occur over time which can be destructive to spiritual life. Those things could be persecutions for godly living, cares of this life, painful trials, prayer disappointments, Sinful Temptations, sicknesses, bad relationships, false teachers (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons etc.), financial calamity, etc. We must remain on guard. It is a salvation issue and nothing less. All of these truths should be readily known by all professing Christians, not debated as they are. To reject disturbing truth will not change it. The danger is still real—not nullified—by discounting it.
How Can A Christian Protect Himself
ANSWER: A Christian must take serious the various directives to protect himself and stay alive spiritually, which is the exact opposite of the prevalent security-in-sin messages in our day. There are well over a dozen Spiritual Safeguards, which need to be heeded. Here are a few:
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Eph 6:11)
Holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. (1 Tim 1:19)
Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. (2 Cor 6:17)
All of these are under grace and true Christian teaching. To Obey them is not legalism or a work’s salvation, as the blind guides say. Those are just Common Misconceptions About A Conditional Security. It is vital to ignore those False Teachers and DO what Scripture says. Jesus taught the following simple truth about how to avoid spiritual death:
I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death. (John 8:51)
There is no salvation security in wickedness. Do not be deceived by blind guides who confuse the issue and allow for Occasional Acts of sexual sin, drunkenness, etc.:
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Eph 5:5-7)
Can You Get Salvation Back Again
ANSWER: Yes. In every case but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (or eternal sin) one can get salvation back again. Eternal Sin is only committed when a person says and believes Jesus had a demon and by the power of the Devil he performed his miracles (Mk. 3:22-30). This is also the sin related to the well-known Heb. 6:4-6 and 10:26-29 passages.
Other Scriptures are clear in revealing salvation can be regained (Lk. 15:24; James 5:19,20; Rom. 11:19-23). There are also actual examples of those who did regain their salvation (David, Peter, the Prodigal, etc.), which prove the point indisputably. The plain truth is: A real present- tense Christian is described in the following:
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Mat 7:21)
He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:21)
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)
Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. (John 5:29)
If those Scriptures do not describe you NOW, repent for you are in the greatest danger. You are on the road to Hell, regardless what you have done in the past or how you were once changed. Just believing you are not lost now will not change the fact that you are! So, can salvation be lost? Can you lose salvation. Yes, according to Scripture, but the repentant can get it back.
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A Form of Godliness (The Social Gospel)
The New Creation In Christ Radical Change
Eternal Security or Conditional Security?
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