Can You Lose Your Salvation?
There are many churches today that teach that you can lose your salvation There are also some churches that teach that you can give your salvation back. Many of the people who believe that you can lose your salvation will tell you that salvation is by faith through grace alone. Many of them will also tell you that there is nothing you can do to earn salvation. Many will also tell you that they do not believe that salvation is by works. In the same breath they will come back and tell you that they believe you can lose your slavation. It is a cinch that if God will not allow you to do anything to earn your salvation that he is NOT going to allow you to do anything to keep it. If you could work to keep your salvation, then you would have somewhat to boast of before God. The only works that God will accept for your salvation is the finished work(s) of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the works of the Lord Jesus Christ that have saved you and it is the works of the Lord Jesus Christ that will keep you because our salvation is kept by the power of God. Many times you will hear the statement: "You Baptists are all alike. You believe in "once saved always saved". The theological term for this doctrine is eternal security of the believer. In place of the terms "once saved always saved" and "eternal security" we prefer to use the Bible word "eternal" or "everlasting". The King James Bible defines salvation as being eternal and everlasting. John 3:15-16 say:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Many times we also hear the statement: "You Baptists believe that once you are saved you can live like the Devil". Real Bible believing Baptists do not believe that. That is a heresy called Antinomianism. Webster's 1828 dictionary defines Antinomian as:
One of a sect who maintain, that, under the gospel dispensation, the law is of no use or obligation; or who hold doctrines which supersede the necessity of good works and a virtuous life. This sect originated with John Agricola about the year 1538.
Whether Baptist or not, the problem with most people who live like the Devil and claim to be saved is that they have NEVER been saved to start with. They have never repented of their sin. Faith and repentance are required for salvation. Repentance is not a work of the flesh. Repentance is a work of the indwelling Holy Ghost of God . Repentance is both the evidence and the fruit of salvation. The question I have for you if you are in open sin and defiance of God and the Bible is "ARE YOU REALLY SAVED?". The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 13:5: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" Our churches today are full of reprobates that have never been saved. They never had it to lose it. Salvation changes people. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new". Click here AND here to find out if you have ever been saved. God expects and requires holy living for the Christian NOT as a means of earning or keeping salvation, but as the means for maintaining fellowship with God and fellow believers. The reason that I know most people who live like the Devil are not saved is that they have never come under the chastening hand of God and they are still alive. The Bible says that "there is a sin unto death" for the Christian and that "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth".
If salvation is not eternally secure, then it is a works based salvation. God states in the Bible that salvation is eternal. If we say that salvation is not eternal, then we are calling God a liar or telling God that He cannot keep us until the day of redemption. We see in Titus 1:2:
2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
and again in Hebrews 6:18
18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
The Roman Catholic Church mocks Bible believing Christians in their publication "Pillar Of Fire, Pillar Of Truth where this statement appears:
"Some people promote an especially attractive idea: All true Christians, regardless of how they live, have an absolute assurance of salvation, once they accept Jesus into their hearts as "their personal Lord and Savior." The problem is that this belief is contrary to the Bible and constant Christian teaching. Keep in mind what Paul told the Christians of his day: "If we have died with him [in baptism; see Rom. 6:3-4] we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him" (2 Tim. 2:11-12). If we do not persevere, we shall not reign with him. In other words, Christians can forfeit heaven."
THAT STATEMENT IS A DAMNABLE HERESY (2 Peter 2:1). Neither of the scriptures they refer teaches that you can forfeit heaven (salvation). Read them in context for yourself. Any doctrine that promotes the idea that you cannot have assurance of heaven or that you can lose your salvation is heresy. I do not care if that doctrine is taught by a Roman Catholic, a Freewil Baptist, a Methodist, a Pentecostal, an Assembly of God, the Church of The Nazarene, the Church of Christ, a Non-denominational, and etc. It is heresy. What does the Bible say about eternal life?
In my search of the Bible I ran across at least fifty-six (56) separate references to phrases such as eternal life (26 times), everlasting life (11 times), life eternal (4 times), everlasting salvation (1 time), salvation without end (2 times), life everlasting (4 times), eternal salvation (1 time), never perish (1 time), never die (1 time), save to the uttermost (1 time), that fadeth not away (1 time), eternal redemption (1 time), and never leave thee (1 time). Those Scriptures really talked to me. The loudest thing that they said was that there were no conditions applied to those terms except the necessity of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. Eternal life is not just something that Baptists teach and preach. Eternal life is what the Bible teaches. Eternal means eternal and everlasting means everlasting. By the way, eternal also means everlasting and without end. It is not my intent to go into every one of the above mentioned 56 Scriptures. However, I will cite at least ten of those Scriptures. This is not a doctrine that is unique to the New Testament. Perhaps its strongest statement is in Psalm 37:28:
28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
We continue on to the New Testament.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 blows the Arminian view of salvation out of the water because it says everlasting. John 3:16 blows the Calvinistic view of election out of the water because it says whosoever. As a reminder, the Arminians are those who say you can lose your salvation. Contrary to biblical teaching, the Calvinist says that individuals have been predestined to go to hell or to go to heaven before they are born.
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Timothy 1:12
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Did God say in Hebrews 13:5 that he would sometimes leave us, or maybe, just would not be around?
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
These verses in John 6:37-40 are for those who think that they can be cast out and thereby lose their salvation. There are also those that think they can give back their salvation. If they really believe that, then they have never been saved. Besides, if God has given them salvation, what do they think they are going to do? Make God take His salvation back?
We must not forget the ministry of The Holy Spirit in relation to the assurance of the believer’s salvation. The Spirit is given that we might have assurance of peace and quietness in our souls as is stated in Isaiah 32:15-18:
15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. 16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
Notice that the work of the Holy Spirit is to produce a fruitful field that leads to righteousness (sanctification and holiness). This righteousness is fostered by the Holy Spirit. The effect of this righteousness is to produce peace and quietness in the soul of the believer. This righteousness also gives us an assurance that is for ever. This is just another way of stating that we are granted assurance of an eternal security. The peace that is granted through this assurance is that referred to by Paul in Philippians 4:7:
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We also have the promise of God in John 6:27:
27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
God accomplishes this sealing through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The foundation and the result of this sealing is described in the following Scriptures. We have the sealing and the earnest of the Spirit in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22:
21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Earnest is that which has been paid as security to guarantee that some future transaction or event will take place. In our case, that earnest was the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once God has sealed, or closed up something, neither man, nor demon, nor Satan himself (Revelation 3:7-8; 5:1-5, 7:1-4, 14:1) can break that seal or enter the door for which God Himself has the key. We see that the 144,000 that were sealed for the coming great tribulation in Revelation 7:1-4 made it through until the end in Revelation 14:1.
We have the earnest of the Spirit for future deliverance from death into the presence of the Lord in 2 Corinthians 5:4-8:
4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
It is this earnest of the Spirit that gives us the confidence that we will be in the presence of the Lord someday. That is the reward of faith. That future deliverance is the salvation that is sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise as we see in Ephesians 1:10-14:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 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, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Many times we grieve the Holy Spirit by our ignoring a call to service or by sin in our lives. Those two items - service and sin - are the message and focus of the whole of chapter four of Ephesians where we are told in verse 30:
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
When we refuse a call to service by the Holy Spirit or allow sin in our lives we grieve the Spirit of God. Through our actions, or lack of action, we can quench the Spirit of God (1 Thessalonians 5:19). When we quench the Spirit of God, we do not feel His presence. Many false prophets teach that when we do not “feel” His presence then we have lost our salvation. In other words, if we do not “feel” like we are saved, then we are not. What garbage! These are some of the false prophets that Paul spoke of in 2 Timothy 2:14-19:
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Many that are involved with the “you can lose your salvation” Charismatics, and many Baptists also, have dull hearing because they will not study (see above) so that they can rightly divide the word of truth. Because they will not study, they cannot discern good from evil. They are nothing more than babes in Christ referred to in Hebrews 5:10-14:
10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. 11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The source of our confidence in Christ and belief in eternal security is the washing of the good Word Of God.
We point new believers to 1 John because it offers the clearest proof to the new believer that they are saved and can have assurance of that fact. It is written in 1 John 5:9-13:
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 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.
The book of 1 John also lets the new believer know that there are standards and conditions that God has set for the Christian to maintain fellowship with God and with other believers. These standards and conditions include separation from this sinful world and communion with Christian brothers and sisters. The surest path to maintaining fellowship is in 1 John 1:9:
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The believer is also commanded to try the spirits whether they are of God.
We can know that we are saved by the witness of God within (see 1 John 5:9-13 above). Romans 8:16 also says: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. We also have assurance of salvation because we know that God has raised Christ from the dead as we see in Acts 17:29-31:
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
If you are troubled by questions of whether you can lose your salvation, then believe the promise of Christ in John 14:1-3:
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
What a blessed promise! I will close this discussion on eternal security with the following Scripture in 1 Peter 1:3-5:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:3-5 is the answer to all those that think they can lose their salvation. They do not believe God. God says here that that inheritance, or in other words eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, is incorruptible, undefiled, fades not away, and is reserved. That word incorruptible literally means “not liable to die”. It is an undefiled inheritance because it has not been defiled by sin neither can it be defiled by sin. Our place in heaven is not defiled by our sin though we lose much reward at the judgement seat of Christ because of our sin. If we are true believers, our place in heaven has been reserved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our place in heaven is not defiled, nor can it be defiled, because it has been prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:1-3). It fades not away because it is God’s promise. Why are all these things true? They are true not because of what we have done, not because of what we are doing, or because of what we will do, but because they are KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD.