When you read your Bible it may seem that some verses describe a Christian losing his salvation. Can you lose your salvation?
Can you lose your salvation?
When the question is asked at a church or within believers about losing your salvation many don’t know how to respond. We will analyze the main passages on this subject when it comes to losing your salvation which is found in John 6, Ephesians 1, Hebrews 6 & 1 John 2. The simple answer to this question is No, you can’t lose your salvation. I will break down why this is and how the bible gives us a guarantee of eternal security. Jesus himself said that we are secure in him and nothing can change that, it is settled in heaven.
“And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Jesus speaking to the crowds in John 6 is beginning to reveal his divinity. He is starting to show his other side. Jesus was one hundred percent man and one hundred percent God, also known as the hypostatic union. He would say one line statements that would shake the religious people of the time. “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” Mic dropped! He would then continue with to say “I should lose nothing of all that he has given me.” Here we find that Jesus telling us that whatever the Father has given to him, he will not lose anything.
What has the Father given to Jesus? In John 17, famously known as the High Priestly Prayer, Jesus would pray for the people that the Father has given him “I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours” and “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world.” Clearly, those who believe in Jesus Christ are secure and he will lose nothing, not one of them. Here we can clearly see in scripture that our salvation is secure in Christ.
“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.”
Paul writing to the church in Ephesus about 60-62 AD reminds the church that they have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. This isn’t a maybe but an absolute truth statement. So much was happening to this church in Ephesus and Paul is reminding them the promises of Christ. Here we have a very important verse when it comes to the eternal security of our salvation. He starts this letter with the spiritual blessings we have in Christ and our inheritance. He then proceeds to remind us that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and that He is the guarantee of our inheritance. To those that believe in him, when they heard the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, it’s settled. This verse is one the most powerful verse in the new testament for our eternal salvation security.
“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God.”
We have arrived at the main verse that opponents on this subject will bring up. Hebrews 6:4-6, at first sight, might seem to be speaking about someone that can lose their salvation. The author of Hebrews in Unknown, some believe it was Paul and I take that view myself. Regardless, we know that the Holy Spirit inspired it. Here we read, “For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened.” Many people will attend a church service, they will be “Enlighten” with the truth of the word of God, they will hear it and yet still reject it in the end. Secondly, we read that they “have tasted the heavenly gift.” Many people will be enlightened and taste the heavenly gift of God. They will see what Jesus is doing in the lives of others yet in the end not full follow him as Lord. Thirdly, we see the writer of Hebrews tell us that these people “have shared in the Holy Spirit.” Today you will find people within the church filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit, they are sharing in the midst of true followers of Jesus yet never really surrendered. Fourthly, we see that they “taste the goodness of the word of God.” Throughout the ages of history, millions have tasted the Word of God. Some receive it and others reject it, both taste the goodness of the Word of God. Lastly, we see that they have also tasted of the “powers of the age to come.” Miracles, supernatural power can all be tasted by a non-believer. All throughout the new testament, we see Jesus healing, resurrecting and performing miracles to all men.
As you can see all of the above can be said of a person who might have gone to church, might have tasted the goodness of the word of God, possible experienced miracles in his or her life, yet in the end, there was no true faith in Jesus Christ. For that person that wasn’t really of the faith, it’s impossible to restore them again.
In addition, 1 John 2:19 we read “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” Here the apostle John which writes to the church about 90-93AD is comforting the church during this time. Many antichrist figures were entering and leaving the church. By implication, it seems that they didn’t really understand why this was happening. John is explaining that many have “Went from us” meaning left the church or appear to have left the faith but “they were not of us” he continued to explain. Here we see John is explaining that many people will come and go from the church. Some will stay and others leave for good. We can see that not everyone that claims faith in Jesus Christ is really a true follower. At the end of this verse he reaffirms that “if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”
What Hebrews 6 is talking about is not a true Christian, but a person that appears to be in the faith. Someone just coming to church for alternative reasons. This person, in the end, is hopeless, it’s impossible for this person that played church all his or her life to be redeemed as they are crucifying once again the Son of God. If you are a true follower of Jesus, you cannot lose your salvation.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. – Matthew 7:21
Here Jesus is speaking about people that will miss heaven by eighteen inches, the distance from their head to their heart. God will use any person to accomplish his will on earth. It is possible for an individual to come to faith hearing one of these people that maybe have spoken the word of God, cast demons out, and have done wonderful works.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. – Philippians 2:13
Here Paul is writing to the church is Philippi as he is in prison, in Rome around 61AD. What Paul is writing here is modern terms is that we work from victory not for victory. Works in our salvation is a by-product of something that has happened in the inside of our hearts.
You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. – Galatians 5:4
Paul is writing the letter of Galatians in chapter 5 basically to let the church know that it’s either the law and circumcision or grace. Pick one you can’t serve both. It’s either the full grace of God or slavery to the law.
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. – Hebrews 10:26
The apostle John writes in 1 John 3:6 “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” If we have continual sin in our lives then how can we truly be in the faith, maybe we should examine ourselves if we are really in the faith?
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