Can you lose your salvation? Once Saved Always Saved?

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“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.

YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE NEW PODCAST BY CLICKING HERE.

63 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.

    Thanks!

  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 you.how 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 heart.by 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 saving.by 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud4_sb7huo4

    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: https://theos.org/media/section/1/

    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. https://ithinkbiblically.com/?p=386

  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.

    Conclusions:

    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,

    Samuel

    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.)

    Samuel

  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!

      br.d

      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.

  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: https://faithalone.org/jourvsnal-articles/secure-yet-scrutinized-2-timothy-211-13/ 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.

  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 it.so anyone who truly hears the gospel can never lose their salvation.how 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 prayer.as 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 years.at 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 thankful.today 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!

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