Can you lose your salvation? Once Saved Always Saved?


“Can I lose my salvation,” is one of the most googled phrases regarding the topic of soteriology. Many people are concerned with this tragic potential. In order to answer this question some refer to the doctrine called the “Perseverance of the Saints,” and others the more common teachings such as, “Once Saved Always Saved,” or “Eternal Security of the Believer.” All of the discussions typically center around the foundational concern of an individual feeling insecure in his relationship with God.

Many of us have gone through similar insecurities in dating relationships.  We know how we feel about that significant other, but we are not quite sure how they feel about us. What has to happen?  The “DTR!” The “Defining of the Relationship.”

NOTE: I preached a Sermon by that Title HERE if you are interested.

We have to sit down with the one we care about and tell them how we feel  in hopes that they reciprocate those feelings.  In that process we can either bring that relationship to an end or find security in knowing how the other feels about us.

It is similar in our relationship with God. As long as we are unaware of how God really feels about us individually, we will continue to have these insecurities.  The good news is that God’s word does provide us a “DTR.”  The bible clearly “defines the relationship” between God and man, which is where we develop our systematic teachings on each particular subject.

This brings us to the “P” in the popular Calvinistic soteriological acronym called TULIP.  Chapter 17 of the Westminster Confession of faith defines it in this manner:

securePerseverance of the saints is the Calvinist doctrine that those who are truly saved will persevere to the end and cannot lose their salvation. It doesn’t mean that a person who is truly saved will never lose faith or backslide at any time. But that they will ultimately persevere in faith (inspite of failures) such as not to lose their salvation.  The doctrine of perseverance is rooted in God’s unconditional election and predestination. That is, since God is the One who chose and predestined the elect to salvation, therefore the elect will be saved. They might turn away from faith and give appearance of losing their salvation, but if they really are elect they will repent and ultimately return to faith, because God is the One ensuring their salvation.(1)

Those of us who hold to “The Corporate View of Election” (the most widely held view of Southern Baptist biblical scholars), likewise affirm the Calvinistic doctrine that “those who are truly saved will persevere to the end and cannot lose their salvation.” Some Calvinists feel it is inconsistent for those of us who deny any part of the TULIP doctrines to try and maintain the doctrine of perseverance. This accusation, however, is misapplied because it fails to recognize that we affirm the effectual work of regeneration, just like our Calvinistic brethren.  We disagree as to the “ordo salutis” (order of salvation) in that we do not affirm the concept of pre-faith regeneration (irresistible grace). Instead we believe as John clearly stated, “These are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.” -John 20:31

In today’s podcast I go over these points in great detail, outlining Ephesians chapter 1 and Paul’s teaching regarding Predestination, the TRUE “P” of the biblical doctrine regarding the perseverance of those who are “IH HIM.”

John Piper writes this about the doctrine:

“The true Christian is safe, but his safety is confirmed in his pressing on to make his final inheritance his own. Our safety is seen in the words “because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” In other words, our security is not based finally on our grip on Christ, but his grip on us. ” -John Piper

I could not agree more with this statement, though we might disagree as to means and methods that God uses to “make us” His own.  The real question of this debate is not, “Can you lose your salvation,” but instead, “If you lost it, did you ever have it to begin with?” 1 John 2:19 answers that question quite clearly:

1jn219I recently had a woman in a church tell me she “fell out of love with her husband and got a divorce.” With great care I had to explain to her that she cannot refer to that as “love,” because according to God’s definition “love does not fail.”  True genuine love is a never ending commitment.  So, she may have cared for her husband, liked him a lot, or been infatuated with him for a time, but she cannot rightly call what she had “love.”  We cannot change the definition of the word to match our behaviors.

The same is true of salvation.  If it lasts, then it’s real.  If it does not then it is proven itself to have been false.  So, from the human perspective, unlike God who can see the heart, it may appear one has lost something that he once attained.  This may be why some passages appear to suggest that we may lose our salvation.  However, from the divine perspective one choosing to walk away from the faith is merely revealing externally what has been true internally all along.  The ultimate external fruit of true salvation is perseverance to the very end.

Now, does that mean God’s warnings about falling away are benign?  Is God just bluffing as a means to ensure we do not fall away even though He knows full well we cannot?  I do not believe so.  We should never dull the edge of God’s warnings with our systematics.  The warning is a real one and it is given for those who may be self-deceived into thinking they have something they truly do not. OSASThis is why Paul exhorts his listeners to, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith.” (2 Cor. 13:5) Paul is not concerned for those who truly are in the faith, but for those who falsely believe they are in the faith.  The only way the self-deceived may come to realize their error is by examining themselves to see if Christ is truly in them.  I love what Francis Chan wrote in his book titled Crazy Love in reference to the parable of the sower:

“Do not assume you are good soil.”

In today podcast   I reflect on my own faith journey (and get a bit emotional, which I shouldn’t be embarrassed about, but as a prideful man I still am). I discuss how reaching one’s pig sty in life and experiencing God’s unconditional love will change you.  I honestly believe that anyone who experiences that level of love and forgiveness will never walk away from it.


97 thoughts on “Can you lose your salvation? Once Saved Always Saved?

  1. Amen Brother! All Christians believe in everlasting security of salvation at some point. The Calvinists believes it is granted at some presumed moment of individual election before the foundation of the world (at least logically, if not experientially), those in our group :-), believe it happens at the moment of regeneration, when everlasting life is given. And Arminians believe, though they do think about the inconsistency, that everlasting life, that can not be taken away, is granted at the moment the body receives its gift of redemption. They are inconsistent, because though they say everlasting life is a present possession of the believer, it literally is not everlasting until after that believer’s death or translation in the Rapture.

    I think it is also helpful to point out that those Paul commanded – “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith” (2Cor. 13:5), he also called “brethren” (1:8, 8:1, 8:23, 9:3, 9:5, 11:9, 11:26, 13:11), but not in any other way than any preacher would. He was addressing them only as professing believers in a local church. No pastor is ever 100 percent convinced that every covenant member of his congregation is truly saved, but he still addresses them as “brothers and sisters” based on their profession of the true gospel alone, unless of course, they have rejected church discipline (Matt 18). And he keeps preaching the gospel to them because he knows the likelihood of false professions (1John 1:6, 8, 10; 2:4, 6, 9).

    1. They perish like the beast of the field. They are no more. Ps 49:12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.

      Would a just God torment a 5th century American Indian in some burning eternal hell, which I cannot find proof of in the Bible, for not even hearing the word Jesus in his life?

      2 Peter 2:20-21 (NIV) 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

      Clearly its better not to have known about Christ in the scriptures above… implying certainly less a consequence than those knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus. Those who have heard about him are accountable and those who have not perish at death. See John 3:16.

      By the way, would someone please enlighten me with and alternative explanation to 2 Peter 2:20-21 if it does not clearly read a person who knows their Lord and Jesus Christ can certainly lose Salvation? I’m not asking for more scriptures on Grace, just an explanation of 1 Peter 2:20-21.

      In the Truth, Samuel

  2. The argument does not boil down to the question “can you lose your salvation?” It boils down to the question “when do you get salvation?”

    1. You got permanently saved at the MOMENT of believing that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and that He paid on the Cross for all our sins.

  3. Hello, I’m new here, I’ve read some but never commented.

    I have a different interpretation of 2 Cor. 13:5 I thought I would put out for consideration, hopefully there will be some feed back.

    I believe the context of this verse is not about testing or examining themselves or ourselves to see if one is saved (which could cause discouragement or doubt. Assurance comes first and foremost from the word of God) but connects back to verse 3: “since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me…”, the proof was verse 5: “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith”. If they were genuine then they were the proof of his apostleship. If they want to see his credentials they should look at themselves.

    Examining ones self is more like the P in TULIP to be sure one is “elect”. Paul is not saying to engage in self-examination as proof of their salvation but is asking them to find in their salvation proof of his apostleship.

    And this would also be why he calls them brethren as BRIANWAGNER pointed out.

  4. A couple of things: (1) It seems this blog, I respectfully state, was more on opinion and less – much less – on the support felt from the Bible for this doctrine of OSAS. Maybe the intent of the blog was to only lightly discuss the issue and, if so, that’s no problem. However, such a light look at the issue is, imo, not convincing at all. (2) The idea that one who, by outward evidence, falls away and does so because and/or is evidence that they were never saved is based purely on speculation and rather dismisses offhand the whole, perhaps, fruitful life and godly influence – that lifestyle that had every evidence of being “in Christ” – that may have existed before the apostasy.

    I’m not saying that all who apostatize were truly saved to being with, but it seems to me that the, at least, outward evidence shows (and my reading of the Bible supports it), that not all were never saved to begin with.

    As much as I respect Flowers, I must disagree here.

    Btw, you don’t need to deny being an Arminian to believe in OSAS; some Arminians do believe it.

  5. Oops, for clarity’s sake, the second paragraph of my previous comment should read, “I’m not saying that all who apostatize were truly saved to *begin* with…” etc.


  6. Please forgive my ignorance, I am new to this.
    What of the child raised in church that accepts Christ as their savior and truly repents of that sin that he understands, but goes on sinning and living a sinful lifestyle than he is only vaguely aware of “being wrong,” and isn’t even sure about that because several Christian authorities in his life differ in instruction? (This broadly describes my own upbringing and that of my brother who I believed love and trusted Jesus but died as a result of drunkenness at the age of 19).

    1. I’ll make an attempt to answer your question. We cannot say with certainty whether (or perhaps “ought not try to determine if”) your brother was ultimately saved. The Lord knows.

      “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”” – 2 Timothy 2:19

      However, on the other hand, we can’t ignore Scripture that warns us of the signs and fruit of those who will be and not be saved in the end. Paul is clear on the matter:

      “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

      Therefore, it’s not merely what we profess with our mouth that determines if we are saved but what sort of fruit we bear. Notice two things that Paul said: 1) “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.” He is speaking of an outward righteousness and not merely a positional righteousness before God. 2) “do not be deceived […] drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Paul is basically repeating himself but giving detail and examples of those who are unrighteous. This is not an exhaustive list, but points out perhaps the particularly common sins of the church in Corinth (notice the parallel with the sins listed in the previous chapter in verses 10-11).

      I hope this was helpful. I didn’t want to be discouraging but to just present the facts of Scripture. On the other hand, let the Scriptures I provided be an encouragement and warning to you for your perseverance in holiness and righteousness. God bless.

      1. How do you figure? Can you elaborate? So you think that “not inheriting the kingdom of God” refers to the loss of reward? Do you then suppose the same when Paul also said, “the wages of sin is death”?

      2. It is impossible to lose your salvation because when the gift of the Holy Spirit enters you., You have a new found awareness of what sin is. We look to David as an example. David was a man after God’s heart. And yet David murdered Uriah. He fornicated with Bathsheba.David paid the steep penalty for those sins yet he did not lose his eternal salvation I am sure.once you come to God with your heart and you have a repentant heart God seals you with the Holy Spirit and the mystery is this: Christ in could God’s grace be so weak where you can have it one day and lose it the next? And so that verse is clearly speaks they were never of us.If you are truly saved you cannot walk away from the faith It is Jesus himself said and the truth will set you free!!when you truly know the truth which is revealed to you by the Holy Spirit it is impossible to continue in perpetual sin. Even Satan knows the gospel inside and out. But Satan was not saved because he did not truly believe in God’s grace. He himself wanted to be God.what is so hard to understand that an almighty God can save and elect whom he wants if they bow down and humble themselves and have the opportunity to know that they are in need of a savior???as far as the Indian who never heard the word of God he will be judged by the standard of his heart. It is not a contradiction.That Indian who never heard the gospel will still enter into the kingdom of heaven through the blood and mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. It is clear Jesus said it is a law of itself. Until that Indians heart that never heard the gospel will be judged by the law of itself. God knows a man’s accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior You attribute nothing to your own salvation. In fact. It is more humbling to admit that you are defeated and that you cannot save yourself and that you need to call upon God to do the saying God just randomly throws pegs up in the air and chooses only the blue and red pegs is a disgrace to what Jesus did at the cross.oh Israel Jesus went on to say how I wish you would return to me like a mother hen protects their young. Why would Jesus say this?? Because we have choice

  7. Once you believe in Christ you become born again, a Christian and you can not loose you salvation, EVER! – even if you commit the worst crime. You can only loose your spiritual maturity.

      1. Titus 3:5 due to 2 Cor 5:21 and Jn 3:16. So now your life is NEW in Eph 2:10 = Born Again.
        Permanent spiritual Life is obtained by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
        Spiritual life is executed by filling with God the Holy Spirit.
        Everyone sins! Christian sin. Non-Christian sin (Rom 3:23) – sin is not the issue. Salvation has nothing to do with sin or with being “good” or “bad”. The issue for salvation is What do you think about Christ? – Mtt 22:42.
        Salvation takes place in an instant, in a MOMENT of faith and in that instant we pass from spiritual death to eternal life Jn 5:24.
        I give to them ETERNAL life – Jn 10:28. Even if we fail as Christians (because of unconfessed sins) we do not loose salvation, we only loose spiritual maturity. The moment we confess (1Jn 1:9) we’re back in fellowship with God.
        Belief in Christ restores our relationship with God.
        Confessing our sins on a daily basis restores our fellowship with God.
        No matter how much we sin, once we get saved, God does not take back His gift – Eph 2:8-9.
        Ask Him if He will leave you – He will never leave you. He will never forsake you Heb 13:5. Even if we deny that we’re saved, He still remains to be our Father and our salvation is secure permanently and forever 2Tim2:13.

  8. Chris, re. ” Do you then suppose the same when Paul also said, “the wages of sin is death”? ” – that’s why Christ had to die. Paul states that Jesus died to pay for the sins of those who He would save . SALVATION is the cure for death.

  9. Please fix these two things: The link to the sermon appears to be broken. Also I was unable to find a podcast from the link provided for that as well.

    1. Hey Greg, the article is over three years old so links tend to change in that time period. I’m sure you could find the podcast by looking iTunes for around the time the article as posted.

      1. I don’t have iTunes, nor do I know how to use it, if I had it. I tried to go the iTunes webpage and search around. There doesn’t seem to be a search function there. I tried google, and that didn’t work either. He might as well just update the article, and get rid of the link.

  10. But if righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does,will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered.because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed,they will die. Ezekiel 18:24

  11. What about all the scriptures like John 3:16 which mentions that if we believe in Christ we will have eternal life. The only condition was belief. What about the criminal on the cross which only had a simple belief in Christ and went to heaven. How about the believer in 1 Co who sleeped with his father wife and Paul condemned him but said he would go to Heaven. You mention that Christ only died for the sins of Christians. Actually Christ died for the sins of the entire world past, present, and future. The only sin Christ did not die for was rejection of Himself as mentioned in the Gospel of John.

  12. Why do I feel after reading this argument and watching the statements online that his argument is worse than a Calvinist defending his faith. Love the videos and podcast but OSAS is very weak position. Surprised you have not applied the same principles on the other arguments to this. Either way .. great site and videos.

  13. @brdmod Thank you for the iTunes link. But I really wanted to hear Leighton Flowers’ sermon. If any of you can find me that! I will be forever thankful 🙂

    I kinda believe in “Conditional Security” kinda like what Steve Gregg teaches. Link to this debate: “Eternal Security Debate Tom Morris & Steve Gregg” I can’t stress enough listen to the debate more than what I got to say. Because these two men are way smarter then I.

    Here is my attempt at trying to explain why I think the way I think. But I want to say it again! Listen to the debate, and listen to Steve Gregg, to get a better grasp at this perspective. Because I am not any good at this, and He’s got things put together. Here is His website:

    The Bible says you must keep the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7, Revelation 14:12 Jesus says if you remain in Him then He will remain in you. John 6:56, John 15:4, John 15:5, John 15:6, John 15:7, John 15:9. You only love Him if you continue to obey Him. John 14:15. I’m completely aware that some Christians would consider this to be a work based salvation. But I don’t think obeying Christ qualifies for what I think you’d call “Human Works” Because your doing what your Master is requiring you to do. Firstly Keeping the Faith – Don’t allow yourself to stop believing in Him. Staying in the word, so that you keep feeding yourself off of Him. Keep praying, so that you build your relationship with Him. When you let any of these things go for a period of time, the world’s way of thinking starts to invade your mind. Romans 12:2 Then if you keep going in that direction, you start sinning more. Little by little you drift away. God tries to call you back, but if you refuse by saying, “I don’t trust you anymore, and this sin seems to be the right way”, He eventually gives up and cuts your branch off. Ephesians 4:30 I think the word “sealed” is kinda like giving a promise ring to your girl friend. Your sealed until the seal is broken by one of you. Because it says: 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. In other words, grieve the holy spirit and you will be removed.

  14. I disagree with the interpretation of 1 John 2:19. I think you’re adding the words “never”, “ever” and “forever“ to the text. An objective reader, not polluted with once saved always saved opinions, would conclude that John is saying no more than this; if they had been believers when they left us then they would have continued with us instead of leaving us. I wrote an article on this verse and would be interested in some feedback.

  15. Brothers and Sisters,

    Are we too just ignore these verse? 2 Peter 2:20-21 (NIV) 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

    We all have free choice and without it there is no love or even a decision to follow Christ. Yes he(Jesus) is faithful, but it has always been up to us to continue in our faith and choose Christ. Lets keep in mind Paul himself said, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (ESV) So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (Paul himself is aware of the threat of losing his salvation.)

    Titus 1:9 (ESV) 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

    Romans 10:2 (ESV) 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

    James 3:1 (ESV) 3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

  16. Brothers and Sisters, In Love I would like to share with you my study for some 6 months compiling scriptures and forming the truth of what I believe the Scriptures say about whether or not someone can lose their Salvation. Most all of my scriptures I reference below are directed toward Saved Believers or the Righteous.

    Luke 9:62 (NIV) Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow(commits to Christ/God) and looks back(has a change of heart) is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.”

    Ezekiel 18:24 (KJV) But when the righteous(Godly person) turn away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

    Col 1:21-22 But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

    Hebrews 3:12-14 See to it, brothers and sisters (saved believers,) that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if (conditional) indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.

    1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory (do not fall away, stay the course.) what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

    John 15:5-12 (NIV) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. (There is no eternal reward for unfruitful branches.)

    Romans 11:22 (NIV) Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in His kindness(Conditional.) Otherwise, you also will be cut off.

    Hebrews 6:4-6 (NIV) It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift(believers,) who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away(blaspheme the Holy Spirit,) to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. (Clearly directed toward saved believers who have “fallen away.”)

    Ezekiel 33:18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.

    Matthew 23: 13-14 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    *We must all study God’s word for ourselves, not just believing denominational teachings of the past and present.

    2 Tim 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    2 Tim 4:2-4 (NIV) 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience(love) and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

    *God will not be mocked. It is preposterous to God to think we can pray a prayer and believe for a season & then turn away & receive the most incredible reward possible – Eternal Life. Is God really going to reward those who do not finish the race strong and live their life to the end for His Kingdom? If one “falls away with no roots” and their faith withers and dies will they be part of this incredible reward? Or if one lets the “cares (idols) of this world” choke out the gospel as Jesus says in the “Parable of the Seeds,” will they inherit eternal life as a reward as well? I think not, keeping in mind what it says about these 2 seeds in Matthew 13:20 “they received the word (gospel) with joy….” / believers that fall away. Jesus emphasizes to his disciples only “the seeds which produces much good fruit” will inherit his Kingdom.

    Rev 5:10 (KJV) And He hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

    Is God really going to elevate and commission half-hearted believers and lovers of the world (enemies of God) to high positions of authority with immortality to serve alongside Christ when Jesus returns and establishes his Kingdom on earth? The answer is logically ”No.” It not scriptural and would make no sense.

    Is it important we get this truth right?

    Gal 1:9 (ESV) As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.


    Salvation is and always will be about grace and faith. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation as salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone. However, once we open our hearts to realizing our need for a savior, repent of our sin, believe & put our full faith & trust in Jesus Christ, this salvation is manifested and demonstrated though faithful acts of service and giving back of one’s entire life to live for Christ and God. This is the evidence and substance of our Faith! Heb 11:1 Just as the apostle James said, “Faith by itself without works is dead.” James 2:17

    Clearly the numerous scriptures to “Believers” referenced above state one must continue to remain in God and serve Him and others for His Kingdom purposes till the end to be awarded the “Crown of Immortality.” And to the contrary, if one chooses not to remain in God and produce fruit, they will be “cut off” and their previous righteousness will not be remembered on the day of judgement. They will not inherit eternal life.

    *If this was the message being preached from the vast majority of Christian Churches today, would not our Churches be “Busting at the seams” and the Christian community be exploding in population with overwhelming acts of service and love to the rest of the body and their neighbors? I believe so!
    *Would our teenagers who go off to college be quickly abandoning their faith at a rate of 70-80% if they believed, “Yes, you can lose your salvation and it’s not all wrapped up with a prayer and a short season of belief?” I think not.
    *Would parents do a better job of prioritizing God, Christ and his church instilling Biblical knowledge and equipping their children to run the lifelong marathon race of being a Christ follower and disciple? I believe so!

    In Love and the Truth of the Scriptures,


    1. What about people who get baptized and then live a life of all the unrighteous things and then realize they are headed o hell and repent and turn back to Jesus and beg him to forgive them? I have struggled with this as a was baptized at 7 and held to the belief that I was saved so I could sin all I want because God would forgive me and used that as a free pass to sin. Much like the Corinthians did and those Peter talks about. I am 40 years old now, and I want to repent from my addictions and idols and very very deep bad sins but I am afraid that their is no hope left for me. I started trying to come back to the Lord at 35 when i started reading what the bible actually says and was terrified because i had broken all the laws after believing on Jesus. I even got rebaptised just in case. Am I beyond the grace of God like in Hebrews or can I still be forgiven and be saved on the day of Judgment? I stopped going to church around 16 years old and lived as a sexually immoral drunk womanizer and even went to jail for a dwi. I have hurt others and myself and have been a mean and hateful pride filled evil person. I lived in complete lawlessness and grievous sins. I still struggle with alcohol and lust. I want to be saved but i fear that i am an apostate. I have come to understand now that salvation can be lost. Is it to late for me? Everyone tells me to forget my past but i cannot. I cannot live and abide in Christ if i do not know whether he has cut me off or not. Someone please help me. I am so depressed and scared and i hate my life for the choices and sins i have made. I know i deserve hell, but i am hoping a can still be saved from the wrath of God and the wages of my sin.

      1. Hello JT
        I hate to make this sound as simple as this – but for me the answer is Jesus.
        Who is Jesus?
        Does Jesus love you?
        Did Jesus die for you?
        With the power of the Holy Spirit can we humans overcome our internal desires which seek to destroy us?

        For me the answer to all of those questions is YES.
        That is what I believe and hold to.

        And Jesus has made the difference between a terrible life of self destruction – and a life of Liberty from those things.

        The scripture tells us – the enemy come to lie and cheat and steel from us.
        But Jesus has the power to deliver us from all evil.

        Please let me know if that doesn’t answer your question.

  17. 2 additional Verses relating to the above. My favorites.

    2 Peter 2:20-21 (NIV) 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

    1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (ESV) So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (Paul himself is aware of the threat of losing his salvation.)


  18. i have a question. so lets say you test your faith and you come to the conclusion that you are not saved, how do you become saved and then know for sure you are saved. This is a great frustration for me, ive struggled with my salvation for most of my life and ive repented asked jesus into my heart more times than i can count, but my fear is they werent genuine or real, ive doubted christ many times on whether or not he is who he says he is and im worried that because of this i havent truly put my faith in Him. ive tried to put my faith in him but almost feel like i dont have true faith or saving faith. there are moments for sure that i do think im saved but I want to be sure i dont want to continuously live in fear that when judgment comes God will take a look at my heart and throw me right into hellfire. im just in need of some guidance and understanding.

    1. Hello Kate and welcome

      I have a question for you – how do you test your faith?
      How do you know if the test you have considered is a true test?
      Perhaps the Lord has a different test – that you may not be aware of?
      Perhaps you’ve been passing his tests and you haven’t known it?

      Lets say a father puts his 5 year old daughter to the test.
      What kind of test would that be?
      Does she fail her because she doesn’t acquire a college degree?

      Wouldn’t you say that a loving father will only test his daughter with that which can be expected of her?

      And consider how the Lord makes the human body.
      If you put a small amount of virus into the body – it will respond by making anti-bodies that will fight against the virus.
      In the end the exposure to that virus ends up making the body stronger.
      And the wind that blows the fragile stalk of wheat – and how that wind will make the wheat grow up that much stronger.

      Please consider the possibility that you’ve been influenced by the false teaching of Calvinism – which presents the idea that God creates people for damnation.

      I have a suspicion that you are much stronger in the Lord than you might know.
      But Paul would always tell you to build yourself up in the most holy faith.
      To do that – you will want to keep company with believers who will are loving, Christ-like and a positive influence for you.
      And you will want to continue to immerse yourself in the promises of God within his love-letters to the church.

      I Think of Jesus – who died for me – and how much love he has for me.
      If he has that much love for me – how can I question that?
      And I believe the same for you!


      1. Thankyou this is really helpful.

        You are correct, I didn’t start to really really struggling with my faith until I learned what Calvinism was. It hit me like a truck and I’m still struggling with it all. I’ve worried time and time again that I’m not elect and it’s been a great struggle.

    2. You don’t have to ask Jesus into your heart. He comes into your heart when you believe. Jesus promised to save everyone who believes in Him as presented in the gospel. He is God, He died on the cross for our sins and rose again, we are sinners and unable to save ourselves and He is able and willing to give anyone who trusts in Him eternal life. Belief and faith mean “confidence in someone as true or trustworthy”. When you first believe in Jesus, God forgives all of your sins, past, present and future, and the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and makes you spiritually alive. You become a child of God and you are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. There is nothing you can do to lose your salvation and nothing you can do to prove you never had it. In Ephesians 1:13 and 14 the Bible says “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” When you heard the gospel and you believed, at that time you were sealed, you were made secure by the Holy Spirit and He is a guarantee of your inheritance in heaven. If you have believed in Jesus for eternal life then you have it and you cannot lose it or prove you never had it. Your faith doesn’t save you. The object, Jesus, of your faith saves you. You could have strong faith in a leaky boat but you would still drown or you could have weak faith in a seaworthy boat but it would save you from drowning. The issue isn’t whether you have a strong faith or a weak faith. It’s about whether the object of your faith can save you or not. Jesus is able and willing and he has promised to save all those who have believed in Him. If you doubt Jesus after you have first believed that doesn’t mean you never believed in the first place. Take Thomas for example. He believed in Jesus but after Jesus died he had doubts. He didn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead. That doesn’t mean he lost his salvation or proved that he had never believed. Jesus said to all the disciples, except Judas, in John 15:3 before he died that they were already clean because of the words he had spoken to them. And something super awesome about our Savior… When Thomas doubted, Jesus didn’t look down on him disapprovingly, waiting for Thomas to figure it out. He met Thomas right where he was. He showed him his hands and his feet and his side. If you still have doubts or ever do again check out Nabeel Qureshi, Sean McDowell or William Lane Craig or any other apologist for reasons why Jesus is who He says He is.

      1. Mica,

        You had said:
        “Your faith doesn’t save you.”

        We need to first define faith. Hebrews 11:1 tells us what faith is:

        Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) FAITH IS:
        Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

        Strong’s Concordance Greek Ref #5287: Assurance
        Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition defines assurance as: Pledge, Guarantee

        Romans 8:24-25
        For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

        Hoped, Hope:
        Strong’s Concordance Greek Ref #’s1679, 1680: Expectation or confidence
        Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition defines hope as:
        to expect with confidence; Expectation is defined as: Anticipation; Anticipation is defined as: The act of looking forward, and, visualization of a future event or state.

        Hebrews 11:1
        Now FAITH IS: The guarantee of things (substance/assurance) expected (hoped/waiting for).

        Faith: Strong’s Concordance Greek Ref #4102:
        Persuasion, i.e. credence. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition defines credence as: mental acceptance as true or real.

        Think of a bus schedule. You give credence to a bus schedule. You believe the bus schedule. The bus schedule states that the bus will arrive at 2 pm. You expect the bus to arrive at 2 pm, all because the bus schedule said so. So, you are at the bus stop. You are waiting for the bus.

        Some use the following verse as a means to say that you can’t lose your salvation. NOT ME:

        2 Timothy 2:13
        If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

        You brought up Thomas. But Thomas ended up SEEING Jesus. See to believe. That’s not faith. But Jesus said:

        John 20:29
        Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

        That’s faith.

        My point? 2 Timothy 2:13…The bus…you don’t believe the bus schedule, so you leave the bus station. You stop waiting for it. But the bus is still going to arrive, whether you believe in the schedule or not. YOU missed the bus, but the promise still stood. The bus arrived, but you left. And it would have stood for you, had you believed the bus schedule.

        You missed the bus.

        Now, think of God.

        You give credence to the God’s promise. You believe God’s promise. God’s promise is eternal life. You expect eternal life, all because God said so. So you are waiting for that glorious day.

        I need to expand the promise somewhat, in that not only was the promise eternal life, but the way to the promise was through the promised seed…Jesus, promised to the seed of Jesus.

        But again, you had said that faith doesn’t save you. Part of the bible definition of faith (Hebrews 11:1) is the word hope (expectation, waiting, anticipation).

        Romans 8:24-25
        For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

        All because you believe in the promise of eternal life through Jesus.

        Now…CAN you LOSE eternal life, IF you no longer have faith/hope? ABSOLUTELY (Brian doesn’t think so, but I do).

        Some “IF” statements for you to consider:

        Colossians 1:21-23
        21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
        22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
        23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard

        1 John 2:24
        24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

        If you STOP believing, it means that you left God, and then God subsequently left you. You can SPIRITUALLY DIE AGAIN, too.

        All that “spiritual death” means is…separation from God. And in this case, “separation from God AGAIN, as opposed to BORN AGAIN.

        Hebrews 3:6
        6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

        Hebrews 10:38
        8 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

        Hebrews 12:25 King James Version
        25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

        Who is “we” in that?

        Can you lose your salvation after once being saved? ABSOLUTELY.


        First of all, salvation hasn’t happened yet. It is still FUTURE.

        we SHALL be saved:

        Romans 5:9
        Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

        Romans 5:10
        For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

        1 Corinthians 3:15
        If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

        Our faith will still have to be JUSTIFIED by what we DO. You faith must be LIVED OUT, in other words.

        Both Jesus and James talks about that. Jesus, with the LORD LORD examples, didn’t I do this, this, and this in your name?…get away from me, and James, where faith without works is dead.

        The Holy Spirit is just a PROMISSORY NOTE, which the KJV calls EARNEST, as in EARNEST MONEY that you give to a real estate agent before you buy a house, just to say, “I PROMISE TO BUY THIS HOUSE…RESERVE IT FOR ME, SO THAT NO ONE ELSE PLEDGES TO BUY IT”.

        Brian speaks of the resurrected body, and free will.

        But what he neglects to tell us is that evil will not exist, the tempter will not tempt anyone, and therefore, the only thing to choose would be whatever is on the menu…and sin isn’t on the menu. You can’t sin in a resurrected body.

        But we don’t have that yet. Sin is still on the menu. And therefore, we can indeed chose to leave the faith. Some might be surprised where they end up after they die…LORD LORD, DIDN’T I…GET AWAY FROM ME!

        Ed Chapman

      2. Mica,

        In my previous, I had said:
        “Our faith will still have to be JUSTIFIED by what we DO. You faith must be LIVED OUT, in other words.”

        To expound, our faith (Hebrews 11:1) must be TESTED/PROVED/TEMPT/TRIED

        Genesis 22:1
        And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham

        James 2:21
        Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

        Hebrews 11:17
        By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

        But why?

        18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

        19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

        Because he had faith in the promise of God. He believed that EVEN IF he killed his own son, that for God to keep his promise, that God would have NO CHOICE but to resurrect Isaac from the dead.

        His faith was JUSTIFIED by what he did. So God stopped him from going through with it.

        Our faith MUST be tested…in this life.

        12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

        This was not about OBEDIENCE, as many think. It was about the FAITH of Abraham (Hebrews 11:17), not faith GIVEN to Abraham.

        If Abraham didn’t believe God’s promise, would Abraham OBEY God, regarding sacrificing his son, after God promised that his seed would continue through Isaac? No. Because Abraham would have thought God to be a liar.

        Therefore, Abraham obeyed BECAUSE he had believed. Faith without works is dead. And if dead, then not saved.

        So your faith (Hebrews 11:1) has to be justified by what you do. Faith comes FIRST, however. Because if he didn’t have faith, he would not have obeyed (worked), and his faith would not have been justified.

        My whole point…you must prove your faith by what you do, because you will be tested.

        Faith/Works goes hand in hand. You can’t have faith unless you LIVE IT. And in that sense only, I agree with your statement “Your faith doesn’t save you”, because it lacks LIVING WHAT YOU BELIEVE (Works).

        Some will throw in 1 Cor 3 at me, but “stubble” or hay or wood in verse 12 is STILL works…just not as much as others with gold, silver, precious stones.

        But you took it in a different direction, regarding Jesus saves. Yes, I agree that Jesus saves. But without faith in Jesus, he does not save. Faith comes first…YOUR faith that Jesus saves. Therefore, YOUR faith does indeed save you. If you didn’t have faith that Jesus saves, you would not go to Jesus.

        Luke 7:50
        And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

        Who’s faith? The faith OF Jesus, or the faith of the woman about Jesus?

        The word FAITH gets complicated explanations with both Calvinists and Arminians, including Provisionists.

        Ed Chapman

      3. Hi Ed! Thanks for your response 🙂

        Yes definitions matter haha

        Faith is “confidence in something”. It is a simple, volitional, human response to the hearing of the gospel.

        In your analogy of the bus… you see the bus schedule (the gospel) and you go to the bus stop (belief). The bus (eternal life) is already there and as soon as you show up at the bus stop, the bus driver (the Holy Spirit) comes out, picks you up, carries you onto the bus and straps you in.

        So yeah you have to show up at that bus stop but showing up at the bus stop doesn’t save you. The driver putting you on the bus is what saves you and you have no control over that. And after you’ve been put on the bus you can’t get off no matter how much you want to.

        As a believer you have eternal life now. Eternal life isn’t “someday we will get to heaven”. Eternal life is the Holy Spirit making us spiritually alive. That happens immediately when you first believe. Eternal life is life that does not end. If you can lose eternal life then that life would end and eternal life could not be defined as being eternal. That is a logical contradiction. Jesus says in John 11:25-26 “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Now if it was possible for someone to believe in Jesus-which according to Him means they will never spiritually die, and then they lose eternal life- which means they spiritually die, that would make Him a liar.

        You try to make the point that “shall” means in the future and therefore you aren’t finally saved until you die I’m assuming?

        First of all I would like to point out there are multiple verses where the statements “you have been saved” and “you have been sealed” and “we have been justified” are made to still living believers. Ephesians 1:13 and Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 5:1

        John 5:24 is another verse where it is clear that the one who believes currently has eternal life and has been made alive. “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

        Second if I were to say “whoever comes over to my house I shall feed dinner” that means that when the condition (coming over to my house) is fulfilled I feed dinner to whoever comes. That does not mean that whoever comes has to stand at my door until some unspecified time at which I will feed them.

        Whoever believes on Jesus will be saved. In other words when the condition is fulfilled, the person is saved. Now it’s possible that there could be time between when the condition is fulfilled and the person is saved. But the text would have to specify that. You can’t assume it just from the sentence structure. And since there is scriptural evidence to the contrary, there is no reason to assume that.

      4. Mica,

        Now this is where we split on opinion. In your scenario of getting on the bus, I believe that you can indeed get off the bus at any time.

        And the one thing that you are missing in your SAVED NOW explanation is regarding the word HOPE, that is mentioned in Hebrews 11:1, regarding the word Faith.

        As you may know, I also defined the word HOPE. And there is also a BIBLICAL definition that matches the dictionary definition, to wit:

        Romans 8:24
        24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
        25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

        Now see that in play with Hebrews 11:1

        Hebrews 11:1
        Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

        You haven’t seen the bus yet. You are waiting for it.

        You haven’t seen eternal life yet. You are waiting for it.

        I cannot dismiss the SHALL BE SAVED verses like you do.

        I can CONSIDER that I’m saved, based on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But I still live in THIS LIFE, and I wil indeed die.

        Ephesians 1:13-14
        In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
        Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

        NOTE TWO WORDS above. Earnest, and UNTIL.

        From the Strong’s Concordance, Earnest:
        ἀῤῥαβών arrhabṓn, ar-hrab-ohn’; of Hebrew origin (H6162); a pledge, i.e. part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest:

        And as you can see with the verses, and the definition, salvation hasn’t happened yet. It’s future. The bus ISN’T THERE, and no one forces you on the bus when it arrives.

        Romans 13:11
        11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

        Other verses of like manner:

        Matthew 10:22
        22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

        1 Thessalonians 5:8–9
        8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
        9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

        NOTE the above words, HOPE and OBTAIN?

        For those who don’t think that you play a part in your own salvation:

        Philippians 2:12
        Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

        There are a handful of other verses to include, but I’ll stop there.

        Yes, you can lose your own salvation, because salvation hasn’t happened yet. You can leave God. Free Will.

        HOPE. By the way, many people confuse the word HOPE with the word WISH.

        Many people I see these days uses the word TRUE when using a word. For example TRUE CHRISTIAN, or TRUE CHURCH. That’s like saying, TRUE SHOES, or TRUE can of chili. OK, so defining something with the word TRUE in it, loses its meaning with me. Like, a TRUE CHRISTIAN. Either you are a Christian, or not.

        A Christian CANNOT lose their salvation, as both you and Brian point out. Yes, I agree with that statement.

        BUT…a Christian, by his own free will, can indeed FORFEIT their salvation just by CHANGING THEIR MIND. Otherwise, where is the free will that YOU AND HE speak of?

        Ed Chapman

      5. Because I don’t have time to go through the context of each of those verses I’ll just ask a couple of questions regarding them.

        Does “save” always mean “saved from hell” or does it simply mean “delivered” and context determines who is being delivered from what?

        Believers can be “saved” from physical death, from loss of reward at the bema, from temporal judgement, from having unworthy works burned, from unprofitable lives etc.

        Does reconciliation always speak about legal justification before God or can it speak about relationship/fellowship bring restored?

        Believers who are legally justified before God can break their fellowship/relationship with Him and then be reconciled to Him. That does not result in losing salvation/justification.

        For example I can break my fellowship with my physical dad. However, he does not stop being my dad as a result of the break in fellowship. So too when a believer is placed in Christ when they believe, they become a child of God. If they break fellowship with God that doesn’t mean they are no longer a child of God.

        If you are interested in the responses to the verse in Corinthians and Colossians…

        {links to web-sites removed per system policy}

      6. Your faith doesn’t save you. God’s grace saves you. His grace is recieved through faith. His grace is a gift do there are no works before or after salvation that are necesary to keep salvation or to prove one has been saved.

        Ephesians 2:8–9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, NOT A RESULT OF WORKS, so that no one may boast.

        Romans 4:4-5 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. However, to the one who DOES NOT WORK but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.

        If you have to do something to keep your salvation then you are saved because of your works. Galatians deals with this topic.

        People’s problem with that is…what about license? If you tell people they don’t have to have good works to keep their salvation, aren’t they going to use that freedom to reject Jesus and live in sin.

        Well let’s see what Paul says when he confronts this very issue in Romans 6

        Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?”

        Paul’s answer is to point them to Christ, explaining their position and security in Christ and finally challenging them to present themselves to God and their members as instruments for righteousness. Believe it or not his answer is not to tell them “if there isn’t evidence of your salvation then you’ve lost your salvation.”

      7. Mica,

        I have to disagree with your statement that your faith doesn’t save you.

        If you didn’t have faith, you can’t be saved.

        The PROMISE is based on your faith.

        Only the RIGHTEOUS get the promise.

        And how is one declared righteous?

        Romans 4:3
        For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

        His faith saved him.

        The law is not of faith.

        Deuteronomy 6:25
        And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.

        That is known as DEEDS OF THE LAW.

        Romans 4:13
        For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

        Romans 4:16
        Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;

        YOUR faith gets you grace. Without YOUR faith, there would be no grace. So it is by YOUR FAITH that you are saved.

        Yes, your faith saves you.

        Ed Chapman

      8. Mica,

        You had said:
        “If you have to do something to keep your salvation then you are saved because of your works.”

        Many people get STUCK on that particular sentence, as if YOUR faith is WORKS. I don’t know where they get that idea that faith is works.

        First of all, the ONLY works is THE LAW OF MOSES. I’d sure like to know what religious guru added faith as a work.

        But yes, you have to DO SOMETHING to keep your salvation. What is it that you MUST DO?

        Produce FRUIT. If you don’t PRODUCE FRUIT, then you will LOSE it. Matthew 5 and Matthew 7.

        Plant or Water. 1 Cor 3.

        LIVE what you believe, AKA LIVE YOUR FAITH. The book of James (Faith without works is dead). Abraham went to sacrifice his son, which was contrary to the promise. Faith justified. Passed the test of his faith.

        Yes, there are things you must do to KEEP your salvation. You must PROVE what you believe.

        James 2:18
        Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

        Ed Chapman

      9. Mica,

        You had said:
        “Believe it or not his answer is not to tell them “if there isn’t evidence of your salvation then you’ve lost your salvation.””

        My response:

        Believe it or not, Jesus did say it.

        Matthew 7:20-27
        20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

        21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

        22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

        23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

        24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

        25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

        26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

        27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

        What are the fruits?

        17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

        18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

        19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

        20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

        So here you have people who believe in Jesus…they called him Lord. Not only did they call him Lord, but they cast out devils in his name, prophesied in his name, and did MANY wonderful WORKS in his name.


        But they didn’t PRODUCE any fruit. There is no evidence of their salvation.

        19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

        23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

        Then you have Matthew 25, too!

        Yes, you have to DO SOMETHING to keep your salvation.

        Ed Chapman

      10. Mica,


        I found this parable to be quite remarkable:

        Luke 13:
        6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

        7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

        8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

        9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

        The Certain Man is God. YOU are the tree who has been a Christian for “3 YEARS” (VERSE 7). Who is the “dresser”? A mentor (elder), or your pastor. But for 3 years, you haven’t given any EVIDENCE (FRUIT) of your salvation.

        If you have a job, you are an EMPLOYEE of the company. One of many employees. You ARE a part of the TEAM.

        But if you don’t produce your allotment…you are fired. Your employer may give you another chance, however.

        So, you believe in the REDEMPTIVE “WORK” of Jesus on the cross. You believe that he is Lord. Yes, based on that alone, you are saved.

        But you don’t seem to think that you need to DO ANYTHING to maintain your salvation? If you are not doing anything, then you can’t PRODUCE anything. You are not producing fruit. You are fired!

        Matthew 13:23
        But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

        You’re burnt!

        Ed Chapman

      11. This is for both Mica of FREE GRACE, and Brian of…I don’t know what he’s of,

        Hebrews 3:
        12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

        The words TAKE HEED can’t be overlooked. Neither can the word BRETHREN (see verse 1). DEPARTING is very important.

        19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

        FREE WILL!

        Ed Chapman

      12. This is an excerpt from the book ‘Must Faith Endure for Salvation to Be Sure’ by Thomas Stegall.

        “If faith is inherently non-meritorious because it relies upon the work of another, Jesus Christ, then how can continual faith be considered meritorious just because it extends over a longer period of time?

        The answer is that in such a case, faith itself is not really the ongoing condition, but rather faithfulness becomes the condition. Perseverance in faith as a condition for final salvation is indeed meritorious because it changes the object of faith from Christ to self. It results in a person having faith in his faith! When a lost person is told that Jesus Christ can and will save him but he must persevere in holding on to Christ, faith is no longer a matter of relying upon Jesus Christ to do the work of saving, but the person holding on is actually doing the necessary work of salvation.”

        Your faithfulness, your commitment, your obedience and your works will never be good enough to keep your salvation. God demands perfection, not only outwardly with right behavior, but inwardly as well with right motives, desires and thoughts. If only once you have a wrong desire you are condemned before Him. Even our good deeds are dirty rags to God. We will never be perfect. But our God in His mercy and grace provided a way for us to be perfect in Christ. Jesus took the penalty for every sin ever committed on the cross and He said “It is finished.” Then He rose from the dead declaring victory over sin and death. We are justified before God the moment we trust in Jesus for eternal life. As long as we trust in our faithfulness, our obedience, our commitment or our good works we cannot trust in Jesus alone for salvation. Trusting in Jesus alone is relying on His work to save us rather than relying on our own. His work will never fail but our works will fail constantly.

        God’s grace is amazing! He’s not distant or unconcerned or just waiting for us to make a mistake so He can kick us out of His family. He is passionate and faithful. His love is fierce and his grace is unending! He is a wonderful Father!

      13. br.d
        The argument commits the fallacies of false dilemma and grasping at a straw

        A person can have faith in something external to themselves.
        For example – a person can have faith in God or the finished work of Jesus Christ
        In such case – the *OBJECT* of one’s faith is external to one’s self – i.e. God or the finished work of Jesus Christ.
        It is logically false from that – to argue that the object of one’s faith is their own faith.
        When you enter a doctors waiting room and sit in a chair – you exercise faith that the chair will not collapse.
        The *OBJECT* of your faith – is the chairs ability to unquestionably hold your weight.
        In such case – it is silly to argue – You are putting faith in your faith!!!
        Sometimes people have need for an argument to work so badly – that they are willing to travel into the land of *IRRATIONAL* in order to convince themselves.

      14. Mica,

        Noah BUILT the Ark. God didn’t. He WORKED. And I’m sure he put in a LOT of hours WORKING late into the evenings.

        That Ark Saved 8 souls, including Noah’s.

        I’d say that Noah had something to do with his own SAVING by his WORKS.

        Keep in mind, the law of Moses did not exist under Noah, either. So it’s NOT about Works of THE LAW.

        I wish that people would stop trying to DELETE James’ statement that faith without works is dead.

        Whoever invented the phrase “HUMAN MERIT” didn’t have a clue what they were even talking about.

        Abraham was ALREADY RIGHTEOUS long before he WORKED, or, should I say, went to kill Isaac. James calls it works, so I’ll stay with James’ rendition.

        So we have God who promised Abraham a small piece of real estate, telling him that his seed THRU ISAAC would inherit the land.

        And then God tells him to kill that particular Isaac.

        Isn’t that CONTRADICTORY to the promise? Does anyone in Mica’s world ask that question?

        What if Abraham would have said, “NO!”?

        Does Mica stop to ask that question?

        Would Abraham still be ENTITLED to RIGHTEOUSNESS that was PREVIOUSLY imputed to him?

        Let me say that again…Abraham was PREVIOUSLY imputed Righteousness long before this. If Abraham would have told God, “NO, due to the request being CONTRADICTORY to the promise”…would Abraham STILL be entitled to RIGHTEOUSNESS?

        Faith without works is dead, and you can’t get around that…but your people sure do try.

        Ed Chapman

      15. Mica,

        You had said:
        “Even our good deeds are dirty rags to God.”

        I keep hearing people say that. But I’ve NEVER read anywhere in the bible that “GOOD” deeds are dirty rags to God.

        Isaiah 64:6
        But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

        Can you show me which word signifies GOOD DEEDS?

        Deuteronomy 6:25
        And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.

        Where is GOOD DEEDS? Not even James discusses GOOD deeds.

        I’m wondering why people keep inserting the word GOOD, when discussing works/deeds, when that is a different conversation to have.

        Ed Chapman

      16. I can understand where you are coming from by saying “your faith saved you”. I just hesitate to go that far because your faith did not actually do the saving and Calvinists will claim your faith is meritorious if it saved you.

        Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?

        What’s the hope we cannot see and are waiting with patience for? Verse 23 gives us the answer: the completion of our sanctification which is the redemption of their bodies.

        We wait eagerly for this because we have already tasted of the Spirit which we currently have. We have already experienced the wonderous grace of God and as a result we long for the redemption of our bodies when we will be completely conformed to the image of Christ and we will be with Him.

        In that hope they WERE SAVED. (Past, perfect tense signifies an action completed in the past) What is faith?-confidence or trust in something or someone. When we believed (trusted or had hope and confidence that Jesus was able to fulfill His promise) we were saved.

        Thanks for pointing out another place where living believers are told their salvation was completed in the past haha

        Also look at the previous verse “we have the first fruits of the Spirit” not “we will have”.

        I’m not going through every verse you take out of context here in this comment section. If we had a Bible study I would be happy to do that.

        Once again “saved” and “salvation” simply mean “delivered” or “deliverance”. Context tells us who is being saved from what.

        Elect means “chosen”. Context tells us who is being chosen for what.

        Salvation first tense=justification (we are saved from sin’s punishment)

        Salvation second tense=sanctification (we are being saved from sin’s power as we, by faith, yeild to the power of the Holy Spirit. This will look different for every believer)

        Salvation third tense=glorification (we will be saved from sin’s presence)

        God promises to glorify those He justifies in Romans 8:30. We are justified immediately when we believe on Jesus. Romans 5:1

        Hebrews 10:12–14 “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

        Do you think His sacrifice was insufficient?

        Colossians 2:13-14 “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

        Do you think Jesus died for the sin of unbelief?

        The idea that one can lose their salvation is logically inconsistent with scripture. Here is a great resource that points that out.

        How many times can a person lose their salvation and gain it again?
        If a person believes, rejects the faith and then comes back, what is there left to believe that they haven’t already believed?

  19. Will it be possible for God’s child not to continue in the faith after resurrection since they still will have free will?

    Some believe OSAS (once saved always saved) starts after resurrection… others after regeneration. But almost all believe OSAS is true salvation at some point… meaning never to be guilty of sin again.

    There are a few who even believe that God never gives that final salvation, and they think they can forfeit whatever salvation they have even after they get to heaven. That is not much of a salvation in my thinking.

    1John gives the evidences of regeneration as practicing righteousness (2:29), not practicing sin (3:9), loving the brethren (4:7), continuing to believe Jesus is the Christ (5:1), overcoming the world (5:4). These are all present tense participles defining continuing actions that the change of the new birth makes.

    Thus, I believe these actions continue forever, since those changes could not be reversed without proposing that the God of love who gave the new birth life, creating His child, has taken that new birth life away and returned that one to being a child of the devil. There is no verse teaching God unbirths any of His children.

    1. @BRIANWAGNER, your discussion above of I John is interesting in the point that the new birth engenders certain continuing actions, but do you imply the believer no longer has the free will to depart from these actions and the faith? I find it possible that a true Christian can become an apostate, for example Hymenaeus and Philetus mentioned in 2 Tim 2:16-18, where rejection of a major doctrine, not even rejecting Christ, is considered their departing from the faith; they must have once held the faith to have departed it. Also, because you raise the issue of the Greek tenses, I would appreciate your critique of this Free Grace exegesis of 2 Tim 2:11-13, which uses the tenses to argue that believers who do not endure will be denied the privilege of reigning with Christ, yet still have eternal life due to God’s faithfulness: Thanks very much!

      1. Hi Dave. Thanks for your questions. We both agree false professions exist in people who even preach in Jesus’ name and do miracles in His name but whom Jesus “never knew”, (Matt 7:23) meaning, they never were saved. I see Hymenaeus and Philetus as examples.

        As for 2Tim 2:11-13 and many other places in the NT’s preaching of truth, I see apostolic writers using pronouns like “we” and “you” as pronouns of general reference, basically meaning the same as “anyone” or “someone” professing to be saved, but may not yet be.

        If you have ever preached before professing believers you know how you address them as “brethren” but then somewhere in the sermon say – “if any of you are still refusing to trust Jesus as your Savior you are lost” – thinking to yourself there may be some like that in the assembly.

        See 2Cor 13:5 where Paul clearly does this using “you” and then “brethren” (vs 11).
        2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV — Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

    2. How can anyone come away from reading 1st John as proof of regernation and still think they are saved?

      Do you think you are good enough to prove you were saved?

      Do you not practice any sin, ever? Do you love the brethren like Jesus loved? Do you practice righteousness all the time? Do you overcome the world?

      Are you perfect? That’s what Jesus demands isn’t it?

      How do you know that you won’t start practicing sin, or not loving the brethren well enough somewhere down the road? Wouldn’t that prove that you never were truly saved in the first place? And if that is the case how can you know you are saved now?

      From the moment a person first believes in Jesus for eternal life that person will never be guilty of sin again because they are covered in the righteous of Christ for eternity. So I agree with you there but how can you think that a believer who stops believing or does not have “good works” after they first believed, never truly had salvation in the first place? If belief is a simple, volitional, human response defined as “confidence or trust in someone”, then it is possible to know if you have believed. God promised to save those who believe so if you have believed you will never lose your salvation, no matter what you do.

      My salvation is not based on my works before or after I believe. My salvation is based on God’s promise through the finished work of Christ on the cross and the Holy Spirit and He will never fail. And thank goodness for that because I know I am not good enough to prove that I am saved. Based on the world’s standards maybe, but based on God’s standards I dont have a chance. That’s what the entire gospel is about. We don’t somehow become sufficient once we believe. Jesus is sufficient and we are in Him. He is the only basis of our hope. Ephesians 1:13-14 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” 2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.

      If I stopped believing that my dad existed would that be proof that he was never my dad?

      1st John is about fellowship with God after salvation, not tests to determine if you are saved.

      1. Hi Mica. Assurance isn’t based on me proving I’m saved or born again but on God keeping His promises of what He causes in me through His new birth. Yes, I’m perfect in Christ, and don’t plan or practice sin, though through my flesh I still fall into sins. I do plan and practice righteousness especially through the loving discipline of God, my Father.

        I’m not sure what you mean by “well enough”, but I know by God’s truth of what He says that His new birth causes, that I will continue to love the brethren. I will continue to believe Jesus is the Christ. I will continue to overcome the world.

        The problem with free grace theology is that is doesn’t believe God’s salvation, once received in the new birth, makes any lasting changes that will continually be recognizable by His child. He clearly states that it does. Praise His Name!

      2. Hello Mica and welcome
        We need to remember – the critical difference between the Calvinist and the NON-Calvinist position – does not hing upon anything having to do with people – or the propensities of people – or their willingness or desires or ability to believe – etc etc.
        The critical difference is not people
        The critical difference is the god of those two systems
        The God of Calvinism purposefully creates the vast majority of human individuals within the total human population – specifically for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure. And he does not grant people CHOICE in the matter of anything.
        The NON-Calvinist God – does not create people for evil purposes – because Agape love does not work that way.
        The NON-Calvinist God grants ALTERNATIVES (e.g. life and death) to people
        Along with granting ALTERNATIVES to each individual – He also grants them CHOICE between those ALTERNATIVES
        In the Calvinist system – the reason people do not believe – is because they are not granted belief
        Every impulse within every human brain is pre-programmed in advance by infallible decree
        And no ALTERNATIVE from that which is decreed is granted.

      3. Hi BR.D!

        I agree 🙂

        I am not a Calvinist and never will be.

        Calvinism is based on assumptions that are not taught in scripture and it comes to conclusions that directly contradict scripture.

      4. br.d
        Hi Mica
        Yes! I heartily agree. :-]
        It becomes pretty obvious – that the Calvinist system of interpretation is heavily subjective.
        Firstly – the underlying foundation of Calvinism is EXHAUSTIVE DIVINE DETERMINISM (EDD)
        So EDD thus becomes the Calvinist’s most sacred divine truth within scripture.
        He quite naturally is going to have a critical need to find EDD within scripture
        But what he ends up with – interestingly enough – is a limited number of verses – which he uses as proof-texts to affirm EDD
        And here is where the irony appears – because the urgency to find EDD within scripture backfires on him.
        There are a plethora of verses – which when he tries to read EDD into them – results in a conclusion which no Calvinist will find palatable.
        And watching what the Calvinist does in that circumstance becomes very instructive!
        Suddenly EDD – the most sacred divine truth within scripture – magically disappears and no longer exists.
        So what we find – is that EDD – Calvinism’s most sacred and divine truth – exists within scripture only when the Calvinist finds it palatable.
        The rest of the time – the Calvinist treats his most sacred and divine truth *AS-IF* it does not exist.
        That pattern – makes it easy to recognize how subjective the Calvinist reading of scripture is.

    3. Hey Brian! Thanks for your reply! Firstly I wanted to apologize if I came across harsh. I realized after posting I may been been a bit too blunt/in your face.

      I love your answer!

      It seems like your assurance and Christian walk is based completely on God’s work in you and that is awesome!

      My question then is why teach other people that if they don’t persevere in faith and good works, it is highly likely that they have never been saved in the first place?

      All that seems to do is put the person’s focus on themself and their works instead of on Jesus.

      Some context… I went to a Calvinist church for a couple years where this doctrine was very prevalent. People were always talking about how “you would know if you or others were true Christians by your or their fruit”. The believers there were incredibly critical, depressed and hopeless about their own and others faith. Sin seemed to be the focus of everything. At the time my thought was “if this is the hope of Christianity, I want nothing to do with it” which is incredibly sad considering I already knew Jesus at that point. When He was all I had left, the teaching at that church distorted my view of him so it seemed that even He had turned away from me. While I never walked away from the faith, I certainly wished I could. It’s taken five years to finally come to grips with the fact that the church was, although they were in a position of authority and far more educated, simply wrong. But I see it even in the church I go to now, unfortunately also Calvinist. It’s watered down, not nearly as critical or as hopeless but the focus still seems to be mostly on self and sin. If that is true, what does Christianity have to offer that Mormonism doesn’t? Where is Jesus in all this? Where is His victory over sin and our helplessness to acheive righteousness without relying completely on Him? Where is grace? Didn’t Jesus say in John 17:3 “this is eternal life that they would know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ”? Why is the focus not on Him completely? The entire New Testament seems so focused on Jesus, on knowing Him and abiding in Him and then even the Old Testament (as much as I have read so far) seems so entirely focused on God, on knowing Him and trusting Him and waiting on Him. Why then is so much of what I have heard of Christianity so constantly focused on the self and sin? It seems to me that a lot of it comes down to the doctrine of perseverance of the saints.

      The Free Grace position teaches that at the moment of salvation the believer is positionally in Christ so everything that Christ is they are. I agree anyone who is in Christ is perfect. However our condition (our practical experience) here on earth is far from perfect and santification is God bringing our condition in line with our position through our continued trust in and surrendering to Him. God’s desire is that there will be a change in behavior and most of the New Testament is an exhortation to believers for that very purpose. However santificaiton is conditioned on the believer’s continued response in faith to the Holy Spirit’s working in them. Free Grace holds that it is possible for a true believer to “fall away or fall into unrepentant sin or fall into legalism” and that they do not lose their salvation or prove that it never existed as a result. This is evident in the Corinthian believers, in the Galatian believers and throughout the New Testament. I think to deny that a true believer can fall away is to underestimate the sin nature in a believer and to assume that God forces the believer to surrender to Him.

      Also as a side note I would like to see where this doctrine is spelled out in scripture, not presupposed.

      1st John 2:19 that he uses as support in this post is from a section where John is warning his readers against false teachers. He is teaching them how to identify “liars” or “antichrists”. He says in verse 22 “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” He then explicitly says in verse 26 “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.” To use this verse to support perseverance of the saints ignores the immediate context.

      1. Well Mica, I do not believe in perseverance as necessary for assurance, because it does indeed focus on our faith and our works instead of watching what God does in one’s life as a result of the new birth. I also do not believe in the Free Grace position that a true believer is able to apostatize and still be saved, because I do indeed believe the new birth makes everlasting changes to the will so that faith continues forever (1John 5:1, Phil 1:29), and God’s effective discipline will produce some fruit.

        Yes, I also believe the sin nature is unable to undo what the new birth accomplished in that regard. You, at least, must believe that resurrection will make the will unable to sin, though it will still have some freedom to choose between good things, and yet not a freedom of will like Lucifer or Adam had in their innocence, yet able to sin. I just believe the freedom to deny Jesus as the Christ does not exist in God’s child because of the new birth (1John 5:1, Phil 1:29). And God will not ever throw any of His children into hell, but in love will discipline them to fruitfulness in the sanctification process (Heb 12).

        And children of God are not only unable to stop believing, they are unable to kick the Holy Spirit out and make Jesus break His unconditional promise, never to leave or forsake (Heb 13:5).

      2. Ok I think I’m beginning to understand. I misunderstood your statement about the verses from 1st John being evidences of regeneration.

        Would you think that if those evidences are not present or if a person stops believing the person isn’t saved?

        What do you think about all of the believers who do walk away from the faith or do practice sin?

        How do you explain Peter denying Jesus and Thomas refusing to believe and the Corinthian believers practicing sin and Hymanaeus, Philetus and Alexander and those in 1st and 2nd Timothy whose faith was overturned by the teaching of Hymanaeus and Philetus?

        I agree with you that children of God aren’t able to kick the Holy Spirit out and that God disciplines His children to produce fruit and he does not throw them into hell. I would probably even agree with you that all believers have some fruit (depending on how you are defining fruit).

        In 1st John 5:1 the only thing I would point out here is that John only says “everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.” He does not address whether people are able to stop believing. We would obviously agree that those who currently believe have been born of God. The question is whether they are able to stop believing and whether those who once believed and now don’t have still been born of God. John’s statement that ‘whoever believes is born of God’ doesn’t prove that ‘whoever is born of God will continue to believe.’ If I’m wrong here I am open to being corrected haha

        I know some people will argue that since the verb “believe” is in the present tense, one must continue in belief to be saved or to verify that they are saved. There are verses, however, where the verb “believe” is in the past tense like Ephesians 1:13. If it was “when they believed that they were sealed” why would I conclude that if they don’t continue in belief, they were never sealed to begin with?

        My understanding of Phillipians 1:29 is that his readers have been given the opportunity to believe in Jesus and to suffer with them. I not sure how that supports the idea that they are unable to stop believing?

      3. Thank you, Mica for reading my reply and interacting with it completely and thoughtfully. I see the present participles in 1John as describing what outcomes the new birth causes, proofs that the new birth has taken place. They are continuing results after the new birth.

        So, the reasonable implication is that if those results are not seen, or never seen, or what they thought were those results stop being seen by the person in their life, that person is unsaved, and not yet saved. It is equally reasonable that they were never saved, no matter what type of Christianity they may have previously professed or practiced, and feelings they had from such practices. They never saw really saw results that the new birth produces.

        The only other reasonable (though not biblical) theory is God’s salvation was taken away by God, and that He failed in causing lasting results from His new birth, and He chose rather to cause one of His children to return to becoming a child of Satan, meaning their ultimate salvation was dependent of how they performed, not on Christ and how He performed in the new birth and the promised results from it.

        It is not reasonable (or biblical) to believe that God fails in His promises of salvation, which include fulfilled promises of recognizable, lasting changes in this life.

      4. Hi Brian I appreciate the discussion 🙂

        Do you know what Paul’s response to that question was?

        Romans 6:1-14 Paul’s answer is to point them to Christ, explaining their position and security in Christ and finally challenging them to present themselves to God and their members as instruments for righteousness. Believe it or not his answer is not to tell them “if there isn’t evidence of their salvation they were never saved to begin with.

        1 Corinthians 1:4-9 and 3:1-3 Paul identifies them as saints. He says the grace of God was given to them. They are not lacking in any gift. Jesus will sustain them, guiltless to the end. But he tells them they are carnal, not spiritual. They are infants in Christ because they are still in the flesh. Notice, however, how he says they are still in Christ despite not practicing righteouness, practicing sin and not loving the brethren.

        Galatians 5:1-4 He tells them that because they have been set free in Christ to stand firm and not submit again to the yoke of slavery. They are estranged from Christ. They have falled from grace because they are attempting to be justified by the works of the law rather than by grace. Interestingly enough you can’t be estranged from someone you never had a relationship with and you can’t fall from something you never had. (Some people would use this to say they have lost their salvation but contextually that is incorrect.)

        I have seen your response that every pastor knows there are some unsaved in the audience. However saying Paul is doing that is an assumption, not something clearly taught in scripture. And that would assume that Paul is only addressing the faithful saints which it is clear that he is not since he tells them they are of the flesh, estranged from Christ and fallen from grace.

      5. Mica,

        Well said! Fallen from grace. There is only two sides to the coin. Grace is on one side, works is on the other side. Faith is required for grace. The law is not of faith, grace not given. Fallen from grace.

        Fallen from grace brings you back to the law, and faith is made VOID.

        I loved your comment! You are correct!

        Ed Chapman

      6. Mica, Paul is addressing local churches in Galatia and the local church in Corinth, based on their profession, like any preacher does who cannot see hearts of the readers. So yes, he addresses all levels of maturity in true Christians plus those professing but not yet possessing. That is not hard to assume.

        But the results of the new birth are there for each to see if they really are in the faith. They aren’t asked, Did you pray to receive Jesus? Were you baptized? No! 1John gives specific evidences of the new birth, so they can know if they have that everlasting life that comes with it.

        Paul calls the Corinthians “Brethren”, like any preacher would, based on one’s profession. But, he tells them to test to see if they are saved.

        2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV — Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

      7. Whether the person is looking for evidence of their own works or faith or evidence of God working in them, the outcome is still exactly the same. Their focus is on themselves, not on Jesus. The Bible says over and over that to be saved we must trust in Jesus. All we need to verify our salvation is too look at our Savior.

        That view is also very subjective. What might be evidence to you that the person is saved, might not be to someone else. And you will never know another person’s motivations for “practicing righteouness or loving the brethren”. It could be pride or selfishness or the desire to prove they are good enough for God. And even then I would say the vast majority of professing Christians love the brethren and practice righteousness and believe in Jesus so how do you tell the difference between a true believer and a false believer. How many times do you have to sin to be practicing sin? How many times do you have do a good work to be practicing righteousness? And unless you are with a person 24/7 how do you know whether their behavior is consistent with God’s work in it them?

        That being said I used to hold a similar view in regards to apostasy. I figured that if one could lose one’s salvation or prove that one never had it, unbelief would be how. But since I’ve started looking into it, I am finding it very difficult to find that doctrine taught anywhere in scripture.

        Those are bold claims there haha that the only “reasonable” theories are that a person has lost their salvation or never had it. And that the view that God saves a person when they first believe and that nothing that they will do can cause them to lose that salvation or prove they never had it, is “unreasonable” and “unbiblical”. I hope you can back them up 🙂

        Where does God promise recognizable, lasting changes in a person’s life as a part justification and regeneration? Where does God promise recognizable, lasting changes in a person’s life in sanctification?

        The only time I know of that God promises recognizable, lasting changes to the believer is when they die and are completely conformed to the image of Christ.

        I’ve not read every word in the Bible and of what I have read I don’t remember everything so I could be wrong and I’m open to being shown evidence to support your claims.

        Also that is a slight mischaracterization of my view. I do not think God’s promise of salvation has failed even if someone rejects Jesus after having first believed because I don’t think the Bible says God promised to irresistibly change the believers will (such that they are unable to practice sin or stop believing) in salvation-referring to justification and regeneration.

      8. Have you ever spent much time in John 15…fascinating chapter. Judas has left and Jesus is talking to the disciples right before He is arrested. John 15 is on the same topic as 1st John is. Same author so the language is even very very similar. In fact if you read John 15 and then hop over to 1st John it reads as a more in depth study of Jesus words in John 15. John 15 is all about abiding in Jesus. It’s about the relationship one has with Jesus after they have been saved. Interesting to note John 15:3 before Jesus goes into what abiding in Him looks like and means, he makes this statement “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.” Now I would take that to be Jesus reminding then that they are already saved. They have already been cleansed (including both Thomas and Peter who will both stop believing in Him). There are similar statements in 1st John 2:12-14.

  20. Here are some Scriptures pro and con to ponder:
    Joh 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 
    Joh 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    1Jn_5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
    Heb 6:4  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 
    Heb 6:5  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 
    Heb 6:6  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
    Heb_10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
    One thing is certain….no one will fool God….Heb 4:13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

    1. Those scriptures confirm even more so that God gives us the choice to choose him. Choosing is nothing to boast. Because when we have the opportunity to hear the gospel it is the power of the gospel and God’s supernatural voice that we hear. But many already have decided not to hear anyone who truly hears the gospel can never lose their could anyone knowing the God of the universe has saved them through grace go back to a sinful lifestyle it’s impossible?? If you go back to a sinful lifestyle it means you have never truly heard. You were never of him You were with him but not of him!!

      1. Hello Robert – and welcome.
        I can kind of half agree with this statement.
        On where your wording states “god gives us the choice” – – to be more precise – so as to distinguish from the Calvinist position – it would be better stated as “god “MERELY” permits the choice to be UP TO you. He does not determine what your choice will be.

        On Calvinism absolutely nothing is UP TO you
        Because 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – has already been determined before you were born.
        Every impulse that appears within your brain – does so by infallible decree.
        And absolutely nothing about infallible decrees are UP TO you.

        Which means – the Calvinist brain cannot have one single impulse that he can call his own.

      2. Yes correct. God gives us the spirit of discernment and growing up as a Catholic I knew I was not completely following the true scripture.I had a burning desire to know the truth and went from different religion to know the truth God put it on my heart to seek him out. But it was my choice to do so I knew that what I felt about myself was that I still was lost. I interviewed all of these “. Religious” leaders and realized I did not want so much to belong to a religion but true Christianity.If I fall down on my face and prostrate myself before the Lord and say that I’m powerless over my sins please help me this is in no way boasting.quite the contrary if I say for some mysterious reason that God has chosen me out of this world there must be something special about me shouldn’t there be?? And that is the conundrum with Calvinism. Sorry about the run-on sentences I use voice recognition

      3. No problem at all Robert
        I totally loved the sentiment you clearly stated!!

        You were like the person whom Jesus spoke about – who beat his breast and said “God forgive me a sinner”
        While at the same time – a Pharisee stood by himself and prayed “I thank god I am not like that man over there”.

        Your heart became a tabernacle for a living and loving god to dwell in. :-]

      4. One question I do have though. What about the instance of Paul Hope clearly was chosen by God was that a special circumstance?

      5. Yes Calvinists will say that apostle Paul had no choice because he was chosen by God when he was on his way to Damascus. So it seems clearly Paul did not make the case to choose God but rather God chose Paul. Well I do not believe in the calvinistic views I I do believe that God calls all man and that we are without excuse to know that there is a God as Romans says.that it is not choosing God to fall on your face prostrate before God and ask him to reveal himself to you. But my question was.Paul did not have this choice He was called by God for the specific purpose of being the apostle to the gentiles. And so was he a special case of election?

      6. Well this is a matter of perspective for different people.
        I for example – take note of the fact that scripture says to “make your calling and election sure”.

        Now language like that for me, clearly implies that a person’s calling and election are to some degree UP TO the person.

        When it comes to scripture – I want to bear in mind how the human mind interprets any data.

        Professor Gordon Fee used to say: “We need to come to grips with what INFORMS each theology’s interpretation of the data of scripture”

        Have you ever stopped to think about the underlying principle behind the Rorschach ink-blot?
        What is it that makes one person see a rabbit in an ink-blot – when another person sees a child being sexually assaulted?
        And the truth is – no such information exists in that ink-blot.
        How then does the mind interpret it that way?

        The mind interprets data in accordance to internal associations.
        In other words – we interpret the data of what we see – with what our minds are convinced is true.

        There was a time – for example – when people grew up being taught that the sun revolved around the earth.
        They’re minds accepted it as unquestionable truth.
        So how is that going to INFORM their minds – concerning what scripture says about the heavens and earth?

        Nicolaus Copernicus refused to have his books published until after his death – because he knew the Holy Fathers of the Catholic church – who were the INFALLIBLE interpreters of scripture – would call him a heretic and burn him to the stake.

        So this becomes a pattern that we should look for in any theology’s reading of scripture.

        The Calvinist for example – approaches scripture with his mind being conditioned to assume EXHAUSTIVE divine determinism
        That becomes unquestionable truth in his mind – the exact same way a Geocentric universe was unquestionable truth for the Catholic Holy fathers in Copernicus’ day.

        So if your mind has been influenced by Calvinist thinking or Calvinist interpretations of scripture – you may be inclined to interpret Paul’s words to indicate that nothing about his calling and election were UP TO him.

        That is the way the Calvinist mind is conditioned to read scripture.
        But since my mind is not conditioned that way – I don’t automatically interpret scripture that way.

      7. I don’t want to answer my own question but I did find this article and it does explain a lot about Paul’s conversion. I agree it is a dangerous precedent to say God chooses some and not others.this can also strengthen man’s will to resist God by saying well God doesn’t call me and I don’t feel God so I will not search for God I’m lost anyway so I might as well remain this way.I believe all people can jump off a building if they want or kill themselves That is their choice. Did God pre-ordain them to jump in front of a car or jump off a building? Of course not.That’s why I must agree that God gives us that choice to hear his word and accept it or deny it. I do know as a young man from the very start I had it in my heart to seek out God That is one part that I don’t understand. But my whole life I resisted God and finally I am submitting more to God and accepted his grace. As a young boy growing up in the Catholic Church I did not not understand what salvation was but I would go in my room with a Bible and put bread in the Bible and say my own mass God. I have a much longer testimony but I’ll make it brief. My mother on her dying day had an email address Susan Jeanette visionary 63 at she was in a horrific car crash and nearly died.You told me as a little boy a vision that she saw of Jesus Christ on the cross that she was calling out to God for mercy through the pain in the emergency room.The doctor was pulling out shards of glass from her head and stitching her up.she said the Lord’s prayer and she said she saw Jesus in front of her as if he was really there with her.she said that he looked into her eyes and took all of her pain away and she said he had huge thorns embedded in his head with blood trickling down his head. There is much more to this but it is too long. But it stayed with me and that is the beginning of how I would pray to God as a boy It stayed with me. When I reached puberty I forgot about God and discovered girls.I got married at the age of 21 knowing that I would do what I want to do and I cheated on my wife at every chance I had. I did not know truly what it meant to have a Christian walk. But all during those years I knew I was doing wrong and felt the call of God all along. One day when I was married to my first wife.I was watching religious programming and I felt guilty about my sinful life.I addressed Satan personally which I should not have done.I said Satan I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ no matter what I have eternal salvation through his blood even though I was living sinfully.Just then it seemed that the room went dark It was like a supernatural event.I felt my heart beating in my head and I was paralyzed and fear and could not move. I was laying on my bed but I was not asleep.I heard a woman laughing I thought it was my wife but it was a very evil laughter. The laughter was so intense and bellowing that it was something straight out of hell something I could never describe something that nobody would ever want to hear. I felt myself levitating down into the ground.from my peripheral vision I could see that the door was closed and the door knob was opening up as if something was coming in the room for me as the laughter grew more intense and louder. I began to pray the Lord’s I was saying those words in my head a little wouldn’t cross appeared at the bottom of the door. The room became bright again and everything went away.I couldn’t believe that it happened I was like the apostle in prison when he realized the chains were removed. At first I didn’t believe it but I know it did happen It wasn’t a dream it was a reality.what happened to me stayed with me for a little while I tried to be a good husband but I tried on my own was not able to do it. Soon I was divorced.I love the very reckless life sleeping with woman whenever I had a chance gambling drinking and doing whatever I felt like I was a true prodigal.I had won a lot of money on Thanksgiving Day in 1996 at Bally’s Grand in Atlantic City. 29,000 dollars actually to be exact playing baccarat. I was driving an expensive car because I created a business that God had given me which I did not realize and exterminating company I was making money and I was single and living a life that I wanted to.I was coming home to Thanksgiving dinner for my mother God will always give you a day you’re never forget. I went up to 90 mph on cruise control and lo and behold there was a state trooper with his radar on me.when he started to chase me for speeding I flowed the car went up to 160 miles an hour The top speed of the car. I lost control as I was running from the police to avoid a speeding ticket. I screamed out to God. God save me.I saw white but it wasn’t the white of God It was the white of the airbag as my head was smashing through the airbag into the windshield.I was not wearing a seat belt and this was a convertible Mercedes-Benz SL.I felt myself spinning around the car and my life flashed before my eyes I was 36 years old and not ready to face God.I felt a sensation of death and I saw myself in the coffin all during my spin in the car as I went out of control.I thought of everything in that split second not ready to face God how foolish what I did I’m going to be robbed all the crazy things you can imagine my life flash before me in that instant.I felt pain searing all over my body I was hitting every part of the car yet I remained inside the vehicle. The car finally came to rest on the other side of the road. There is much much more to my testimony. Needless to say miraculously I got off all tickets as I retained a lawyer that was a former prosecutor and just managed to have me pay a seat belt violation only again God’s grace. I still did not learn my lesson I went out and still did what I wanted to do for another 5 the age of 41 I met my wife that I have today that God has given me.I was told in my previous marriage I could not have children I had a low sperm count In fact when they analyzed it I only had one sperm. I fell in love with my wife she became pregnant before we married. God takes all things and makes them for his purpose and his will. Today I am married for 22 years to the same woman I love my son he is my only son like Jesus was God’s only son. God has taught me the relationship between the family and how important it is and the Godhead.I know it sounds in an example of election but I know that I always had the choice. I will fully rebelled against God even though I knew the truth.If I listen to the radio and heard Christian music I would put a rock station on That was my choice. If I heard preaching I would turn the channel and listen to something else.I know for a fact that God does give us choice but he continues to call those who he knows will be receptive to the call.It is not that God stops people from hearing the call it’s just that they do not want or which to respond to the call. God sees the human heart which he created free . I was spiritually dead but it did not stop me from making the choice to call upon God’s name in that death spiral in my car.God showed unconditional grace to me and mercy and I am forever it’s my mission to spread the good news about God and to tell my testimony to all who will hear. God bless you and your ministry!

      8. Robert – you have a totally wonderful testimony!!!!
        I thank the Lord for pulling you out of the path you were headed.

        And I know he did the same for me :-]
        Big blessings – and thanks!

  21. Hi Leighton, the link to your DTR sermon at Heights Baptist is now broken…

    But I found it here on Vimeo if you would like to fix the link:
    (Vimeo ID 77988289 – Defining the Relationship – 10/27/13)

    Heights Baptist sermons now seem to only go back to 2017 in the sermons section on their main page:

    But their Vimeo page has over 1200 past videos since 2012 (in case you need to fix any other broken links):


    1. Thank you very much Josh!
      I have forwarded your post to the content editor of the site.

      Sincere thanks!

  22. Justification is based on one response of faith while sanctificaiton is based on continued responses of faith. Lack of sanctification does not prove that justification never occurred. If anything it suggests that the believer doesn’t completely understand who God is.

    In the example you provided of the woman who divorced her husband because she didn’t love him anymore, the fact that she divorced him in no way proves that they were never married to begin with it. And unlike human marriage which can be broken, eternal life cannot be lost or it would cease to be eternal life. All that woman’s actions suggest is that she didn’t understand what love is. A sinner doesn’t have to undertsand what love is or love God in order to be saved. The Bible tells us very clearly that all the sinner must to do to be saved is believe in Jesus as you noted in John 20:31. I thank God that my “commitment” to Him is not what saves me. He saved me through Jesus death and ressurection and the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. My commitment, my works, my obedience either before or after had nothing to do with it. It is either all of grace or not of grace at all.

    I understand the intention of this teaching is to encourage superficial believers to go deeper but shaking their foundation is not the way to do it. A believer who does not think their foundation is secure will never be able to build on it. If you are focusing on your faithfulness to prove your salvation, your foundation will never be secure because our walk, our works, our commitment, our obedience will never be perfect. Only when you focus on Jesus entirely will your foundation be secure. Let’s be like Paul when he addressed this issue in Romans 6. Instead of telling them to focus on their faithfulness, he teaches them more clearly who they are in Christ, how they died to sin and are raised with Christ and challenges them to present themselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and their members to God as instruments for righteousness.

    If you are worried someone hasn’t believed in Christ alone for salvation, take them through the clear gospel. Don’t tell them to rely on their works post conversion to prove that they are saved.

    I used to think the same “how could someone who has experienced God’s love and forgiveness and grace this way ever walk away from it” and then I got hung up in this doctrine and I got my eyes off Jesus and on myself and I would have walked away completely if I hadn’t had enough knowledge of apologetics to know Christianity is true.

    I challenge you to put away the presupposition that “true believers will persevere and if they don’t it is clear they were never true believers to begin with” and see if the Bible actually teaches that in context.

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