Can You Lose Your Salvation?
When we think of the possibility of losing our salvation today, we often think of many preachers over the airwaves that positively teach that under no circumstances can we lose our salvation, no matter how terribly we sin.
Preachers give many examples of believers falling into adultery, fornication, drunkenness, homosexuality, and yet claim they still remain in good standing with God. In short, once saved always saved basically teaches that if you were gunuinly saved in the first place then you abslolutely cannot lose your salvation. Basically they are saying you cannot out-sin the grace of God. But is this true? Is this Biblical?
It seems that Adam and Eve were told the very same thing in the Garden of Eden a long time ago. Do you remember they were told by the serpent that they wouldn’t die if they disobeyed God? They disobeyed and the outcome was that they did in fact die. They were told a lie. The consequences of sin were downplayed in a major way. The same is true today with the false concept that once you are Born Again you cannot lose your salvation. They say you cannot sin your way out of the eternal life.
Some of the most popular verses used to teach “once saved always saved” at first seem to suggest that this may be true. “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”. (Jn. 10:28) Verse 29 again states “no man shall pluck them out of my hand”. Thank God that no man can pluck us out of the hand of God. But to read into this that we have unconditional security and deny that many other verses tell us plainly that we have free will and can walk away from God is misleading. We will look at a few examples later on. But for now, another proof text would be Romans 8:25 which states “who shall separate us from the love of Christ”? The list of things that cannot separate us are clear: tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword. Thank God none of these can separate us from the love of Christ. But take note that sin is not mentioned because it can separate us. We read in Isaiah 59:2 “your iniquities have separated between you and your God”. Sin is still as lethal today than it was in the Garden of Eden. There are many Biblical examples of individuals who lost their salvation in the Bible.
The Old Testament records the fall of King Saul, who had a changed heart, was made into a new man, according to 1Sam. 10. Then we read in 1 Sam. 15 that God rejected Saul. Furthermore, King Solomon was walking with God and blessed with wisdom, riches, and honour beyond all the men of the east. However, 1 King 11 records how he loved many foreign women, made affinity with Egypt, worshiped false gods, and broke the covenant. If he ever repented we have no record and scripture closes with his fall, therefore, we believe he was lost at death. The New Covenant also portrays clear examples such as the prodigal son in Luke 15 who was said to be dead, but is now alive, was lost but now is found. Thank God the Prodigal eventually repented although he lost his salvation for a season, which is evident by the terms describing him as “dead” and “lost”. Demas, in 2 Tim. , having loved this present world, said Paul, has forsaking me. Can you love the world and love God too??? (see 1 Jn. 2:15) If Demas never returned, and we have no record, then he too died lost. Judas Iscariot fell by transgression according to Acts 1, was chosen and commissioned as the other apostles, yet lost his eternal life and went to his own place!!! Otherwise Jesus contradicted himself and was stained by putting someone into ministry against his own words. “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins, keep thyself pure.” (1 Tim. 5:22) Judas started off on the right road but deviated and the devil entered him later, otherwise Jesus ordained a devil from the start! Take a look also at James 5:20, 2 Peter 1:9-10, Hebrews 3:12; 6:4; 10:26-27, and 2 Tim. 2:17-18 that teach one can err to the point of losing one’s salvation. Ezekiel 33:13 also teaches that one can live most of his life serving the Lord and near the end die spiritually because of sin . “When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live, if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered, but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it”(see also Eze. 18). Lastly, mention must be made of the Galatian church which started to frustrate the grace of God by going back to the law and Paul was concerned that they had fallen from grace. He wanted to labour for their salvation again. Lastly, Jesus also said, “...He who endures to the end, the same- shall be saved”,
So, be on guard, the old lie that you can’t die is still being told today.
By Pastor Andrew Justa