There are very sincere, very committed believers on both sides of this question. I don’t believe this is worth divided over, I want to be united around Christ, and so I will try to give you my perspective. It’s a very challenging question, it brings up all sorts of debate.
All of you who have been around Christians for much time at all, you probably know someone who appeared to be very committed to Christ and then their life totally changed and now they don’t believe, or they’re not living like it at all.
Take a guy that went to church, professed Christ, and now mocks Christ and Christians.
When I look at him I have to ask myself, a, is he back sliden? B, Is he a Christian who has now just fallen away? Was he a Christian that lost his salvation, and he’s not a Christian anymore, or was he never really a Christian in the first place? This is a very complicated, very important question.
Those who say once saved always saved, you can never lose your salvation, they will say once your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, no one can blot it out. Good argument. John 10:27-28, Jesus said:
My sheep listen to my voice. . . I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John10:27-28
Sounds very secure. Ephesians 1:13-14:
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with as seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God ‘s possession.
Sounds very secure, once saved always saved. This was my theological bias, this is how I’ve been raised and this to me is what Scripture points toward, that you are saved by grace, you stay saved by grace.
Those who say you can lose your salvation make a fair argument, pointing to Hebrews6:4-6, which says:
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance.
The Bible says it is impossible that if they fall away to be brought back to repentance. They will often quote Luke8:13, the parable of the sower, a sower went out to sow some seed, some fell on the rock, Jesus said:
Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a little while, but in the time of testing they fall away.
These verses are the reasons why people debate back and forth as once saved always saved, or can you lose your salvation. Again, my bias is toward once saved always saved, but I can’t say with absolute and complete certainty.
Here is what I will say with absolute and complete certainty, and that is that your salvation is never based on what you do, but always based on what you believe. It’s not based on what you do, it’s based on who you trust. Ephesians 2 says that it is by grace are you saved through faith, it’s not by works so no one can boast.
You are only saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone. If you are saved by grace, you will stay saved by grace. Therefore if you are saved by grace and you fall into some sort of sin, you stay saved by grace.
Is it possible for people to lose their salvation? This will probably be debated until Christ returns. Again, from my perspective, I do not know how anyone can taste the goodness and the grace and the power and the presence of the risen Christ, and ever walk away and totally reject Him. I do see how people can doubt, go through a series of questions, fall into different temptations and sins, but I do not understand how anyone who has been truly transformed by the resurrected Christ, could ever walk away from His goodness.
My bigger fear is that there are many people today who have head knowledge of Christ, but not a heart relationship. They believe in the story, but have never met Him personally. My fear is that there are many people that are going to miss heaven and eternal life by 18 inches (that’s the distance between your head and your heart), because Jesus said that many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, and He’ll say, ‘I never knew you’.
If there is any fear, or any insecurity, or any doubt; I would say this to you, call on Christ. “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” Romans 10:13. Trust Him, not your good works, not religion, not church membership, but Him and Him alone. And when you meet Him, you will be transformed, you will be forgiven, you will be filled with the spirit of God.
For more about the series, Things that Make You Go Hmm, go to www.RidgeFellowship.com