Can Christians Lose Their Salvation?

“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” – Hebrews 10:26

Can a Christian Lose Her Salvation?

Hi friends! I hope that you are well. Thank you for reading. I appreciate you!

In the religious world today, there are many who teach that only those who are true believers are the ones who remain faithful to the cross and committed to the end. They contend that people who don’t continue in the ways of Christ,  after beginning and first believing, never were genuine about the Christian walk in the first place. Well, that’s not always true. A person can believe wholeheartedly and then at some point stray from the truth and fall from grace. Let’s view this topic in light of Scripture.

1. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 – “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth.”  Paul warned Timothy that it was possible for believers to depart from the faith and that some actually would because they would follow the lies of false teachers.

2. Galatians 5:4 – “You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace!” The Christians in Galatia needed to be reminded of the purpose of the law, and Paul, through the Holy Spirit, told them that any one of them who were trying to seek justification any other way (for them it was through the law) than by Christ had fallen from grace.

3. 2 Timothy 2:17-18 – “Their word will spread like gangrene, among whom are Hymaneus and Philetus. They have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and are overturning the faith of some.” We have an example of two people who were once Christians who left the path of truth and taught something different than what was true of God, Christ, and His church. Paul said to the Galatians that “there are some who are troubling you and want to change the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him” (Galatians 1:7-8). Unfortunately, this is still happening today – people are preaching a gospel that is not the true gospel of Christ.

4. James 5:19-20 – “My brothers, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, he should know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his life from death and cover a multitude of sins.”  A person can know, have, and obey the truth, still end up straying from it, and ultimately be on the road to death if they do not turn back to God. Romans 8:12-13 says that if you live according to the flesh, you will die.

Conclusion

The scriptures are very clear: once a person is saved, they are not always saved. It’s possible to fall from grace, to stray from the truth, and to depart from the faith. I think that’s why Paul admonished to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). He knew that it was possible, that’s why he said brought his body under strict control, so that he wouldn’t disqualify himself from the crown of life that is prepared, by giving in to fleshly and worldly desires (1 Corinthians 9:27). Even Judas Iscariot went from being an apostle to an apostate. A follower of Christ can lose their salvation.

The great hope is that you can be saved. You can do so if you obey Him by doing what He commands: believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God; confess that Jesus is Lord; repent of your sins; be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, be faithful until death, and you can be saved and live a new life in Christ Jesus (Mark 16:16; Romans 10:9; Acts 2:38, Revelation 2:10).

“When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, committing the same abominations that the wicked do, will he live? None of the righteous acts he did will be remembered. He will die because of the treachery he has engaged in and the sin he has committed.”Ezekiel 18:24

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2 comments

  • This is a super important topic. 😊
    I do believe that those who are in Christ and are saved, chosen by God before the foundation of the world ( Ephesians 1: 4-6), will remain in Him. God knows from the beginning to the end, and some people are saved. Period. They won’t lose it because they truly are saved. They won’t permanently backslide. They will not be reprobate.

    There are others who come to God and backslide permanently or become reprobate. My understanding is God knows all things and for the reprobate, they were not saved in the first place, only to have it undone.

    Rather, they went through outward motions for a duration and then fall away.
    It reminds me of the parable of the sower and the seed, including the ones where the word fell on stony ground. These types of people remind me of those who seem to be safe, but then the truth is manifested.

    It is very important and good you remind people they do not have a license to sin. Some people literally seem to believe that they can say a sinner’s prayer or “get saved” and live however they want to, and they are all set. NO.
    The proof that someone is saved will be in their fruits; in the life that they live. We are saved by grace. Works cannot save us, but works show evidence of who we are.
    Thank you. 🙂

    Like

  • Hi Petrina. It is a very important topic that I think warrants serious discussion.

    First, I’ll note that Christ died for all, not just an elect few (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). As it relates to “the elect” or those who are saved, the apostle Peter wrote to “the elect” (1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Pet 3:1). In his letter, he penned that “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).

    Note that the false teachers are among the elect, they will deny the Lord who “bought them,” and they will bring on themselves destruction – loss of eternal life. “The elect” can lose their salvation, as Peter explains would happen.

    You note that those who become reprobate went through the motions for a while and then fell away. If they “fall away”, they had to have first been saved to be able to fall away from God. They can’t fall away from that which they have never had or received – salvation.

    It’s interesting that you mention the parable of the sower. In Luke 8:13, Jesus said, “And the seeds on the rock are those who, when they hear, welcome the word with joy. Having no root, these believe for a while and depart in a time of testing.” Jesus taught that there will be some people who believe at first, but then they depart from the faith when trouble arises because the Word is not rooted in their hearts – not that they never had the Word or never truly believed.

    If it was true that once you are saved you are always saved, then people could live however they wanted to and not lose their salvation. But we know that’s not what the Scripture teaches. Sin separates us from God. When we willfully sin, there remains no more a sacrifice for our sins, “but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:26-29). The Scripture here is talking about someone who has been sanctified, or saved, and willfully chooses to sin. A saved person can choose to sin and trample underfoot the Son of God.

    And yes, we will know a tree by the fruit it bears. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (Matthew 7:19).

    Lastly, I’ll note what James said in James 2:24: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” We are made right with God, or saved by our faith and our works. Obedience is a work. Jesus said not everyone who says to Him, “Lord, Lord!’ will enter into the kingdom, but the one who does the will of the Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21). So, those who are obedient to God are those who will be saved. We don’t lose our free will once we become saved. We can choose to stop following Christ just as well as we choose to follow Him.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments on this topic.

    Liked by 1 person

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