Saturday, September 18, 2010

Can a Christian lose their Salvation?


There are those who believe that a Christian can lose their salvation after God has given them this free gift. These folks believe that if we, as believers, make a mistake (sin) that our Almighty God will erase their name out of the Lamb's Book of Life (Rev. 21:27). I have to admit, that there are a few scriptures in the Bible that may cause a believer to think God will remove their names from the Lamb's Book of Life, but if you look closer at God's Word you will see that there are so many more scriptures that are so clearly telling us this is not the truth.  When God promises to never leave us nor forsaken us He means exactly that (Deut. 31:6) .


The following passage from the Book of Matthew is used quite often by those folks who advocate that Christians can lose their salvation. However, after taking a closer look at this passage we see that our Lord Jesus was not talking about those who "believe" in Him, but of those who were false teachers and those who never accepted Him as their Savior and Lord.  These unbelievers continued to practice "lawlessness" and these are the people that Jesus will declare, "I never knew you...".

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

Some self-professed athletes can “talk” a great game, but that tells you nothing about their athletic skills. And not everyone who talks about heaven belongs to God’s Kingdom. Jesus is more concerned about our walk than our talk. He wants us to do right, not just say the right words. Your house (which represents your life, Matthew 7:24) will withstand the storms of life only if you do what is right instead of just talking about it. What you do cannot be separated from what you believe.

Jesus exposed those people who sounded religious but had no personal relationship with Him. On “that day” (the day of judgment), only our relationship with Christ – our acceptance of Him as Savior and our obedience to Him – will matter. This will be the final day of reckoning when God will settle all accounts, judging sin and rewarding faith. Many people think that if they are “good” people and say religious things, they will be rewarded with eternal life, in reality; your faith in Christ is what will count at the judgment.  Because so many people teach the wrong way, there is a tendency to ask how so many people could be wrong. Such doubts are especially strong when false teachers prophesy, cast out demons, and perform wonders in Jesus’ name. However, it is important to remember that the Word of God is superior to any miracle.

After studying and meditating on Matthew 7: 21-23, you can plainly see that Jesus was not referring to His followers (believers), but to those who were "Religious" and did not put their faith and trust in Him.

Now let us look at another passage of scriptures out of the Book of John that is taken out of context by those who advocate that a Christian can lose their Salvation. This verse must be taken in context with the rest of the passage where Jesus talks about Him being the Vine and "Believers" being the branches (John 15: 5-8). Let us look closely at this verse that advocates of Christians' losing their Salvation use to support their claim.

"If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned." (John 15:6)

Now, if we read and meditate on the complete paragraph (John 15: 5-8), we see that Jesus is talking about His followers (True Believers). It is true that not abiding in Christ has very serious consequences: (1) The person is cast out as a branch, indicating the loss of fellowship; (2) the person is withered, indicating a loss of vitality; (3) the person is burned, indicating a loss of reward.

The fire here is figurative, symbolizing either fiery trials (see 1 Pet. 1:7; 4:12) or the fire at the judgment seat of Christ (see 1 Cor. 3:11–15). Failure to abide produces spiritual disaster, they gather them: Note the movement from “He” (the Father who is the vinedresser, John 15:1) to “you” (the believer who does or does not abide, John 15:4) to “they” (unbelievers looking for signs of life; see John 13:35).

Again, as you can see these two passages from the Word of God has nothing to do with a Christian losing their Salvation. It is very true that a believer can lose fellowship with God, but there are just too many clear passages that indicate that our Almighty God will never let us go after He has given us His free Gift of Salvation (John 10:27-28, John 6:37-40, 1 John 5:13, John 6:47, 2 Thess 2:13). God be the Glory. Amen.

So the answer to the question.... CAN A CHRISTIAN LOSE THEIR SALVATION is NO!

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), the Nelson Study Bible.

34 comments:

Miawa said...

Amen, I am sure as a Christian that God holds me and never let's go. If we lost salvation every time we sinned, who of us would make it into heaven, being human? This is a wonderful post with scripture for reference and detailed explanation, thanks Lloyd for being a man of God and letting Him use you.
Romans 8:
38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39Nor 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.

Jennifer @ Pearls of Wisdom said...

Good post. This reminds me of a sermon by Chuck Swindoll when we talk about who IS a Christian and who is not: "Going to church does not make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car."

The saddest part of it all is that there are almost as many people in our church congregations doing the right thing while believing in a God, but don't know Jesus personally - as there are out in the world.

MTJ said...

Hi Lloyd,

I pray that this post is read by many who've been hindered by guilt and deceptive lies that have them convinced, "You have no hope in Christ". The truth is that Christ calls out saying, "Come unto me...I will give you rest."

Thank you for sharing these words of encouragement.

Blessings and peace.

MTJ

One Heart said...

Lloyd, now I have no doubt that you were definitely a police officer. You are one brave man of God serving with great boldness.

I have a good link on other Scriptures concerning this subject but I know you rather not have a link or url here. A couple more verses which might come up here are:

Rev. 22:19 "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." and

Rev. 3:5 "He who overcomes . . . I will never blot out his name from the book of life.” I recommend studying both and there are many sites which offer sound doctrine and good teaching. I'd have to write way more than I am already writing here.

I bring them up because many will debate that these verses mean we can lose our salvation but we must read them in their proper context and the study the Word of God as a whole.

I am one to believe we cannot lose it and we HAVE overcome by the blood of the Lamb; HOWEVER, what I will add is that if thinking we can lose it, makes someone take better care of their walk, then by all means it can be a benefit. Man can run into self-righteousness and pride going this route though.

Others would also bring up Phil 2:12 "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;" And again I say read it in proper context. If you continue reading in verse 13 it says, "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

We see Who is really taking care of this salvation--the ONE who gives us the will and ability to do His pleasure. It's all HIM!!

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

It is sad to think that there are many who believe they will be with Christ in the end days. There is false hope . . . not accepting the free gift of salvation is what will keep them out.
I pray for those that have the "look" of a believer but has not accepted Christ as their personal Saviour. God bless you my brother in Christ for sharing this powerful post.
In HIS Hands,
Bren

Debbie said...

I agree with you and Scripture agrees with you. A true Christian cannot lose their salvation. How thankful I am for His grace, mercy and patience with me. I still make mistakes (sin) but I know where to run for forgiveness.

Blessings,
Debbie

Denise said...

Another good post brother.

Jane said...

Great post. I find such inspiration here. Many thanks for blogging!

Jane

Gorges Smythe said...

Many years ago, I attended a series of lectures about eternal salvation from the "once saved - always saved" perspective. The elderly minister discussed not only the scriptures that supported his point of view, but equally, those which appeared to point the opposite way. Still, I emerged with the understanding that not only was our salvation "unlosable", but that if we kept drifting back toward Hell of our own choosing, that God would take our life before letting Satan reclaim us.

Yet, my strongest belief in the "always saved" doctrine is due simply to the fact that there IS NO peace that passeth understanding without that assurance.

Arts&Disability said...

Thank you for this witness, Lloyd.....!

When I met our Lord through revelation 41 years ago.... Jesus placed this in my heart as secure as He is, & in total vision of how it is in Him in Heaven.... may our earth also reflect the perfection of our Father in Heaven!

I then started reading the Bible... with a thirst of knowing all I could from the grace Jesus saved me in. The Bible fully backed up everything Jesus imparted to me in an instant at the moment of salvation grace in Him.

41 years later.... it is & always has been the same! Our Lord NEVER leaves us! What incredible love! Thank you, Jesus!

Love in our Lord Jesus Christ,
His Sonshine

Protoprotestant said...

I think we know who the real believers are by their fruit, by the perseverance.

The warnings and conditional exhortations of Scripture are real.

Obviously those who are elect, saved by Divine Grace are truly saved and the plan of God cannot be thwarted.

But here in the temporal realm, in the Not yet as the Scriptures say, we don't have the eternal perspective of God's throne. We don't know who is elect and who isn't. So we need to preach the gospel to ourselves every day, continuing in the faith grounded and settled and not being moved away....

Making our calling and election sure, working out our salvation with fear and trembling...because we can deceive ourselves.

In a convenantal sense, one can be a Christian and then fall away...and no longer be reckoned among the people of God.

Does that mean they were unregenerate or non-elect? We don't know. Maybe they'll come back? We can't pry into their hearts and see if the Holy Spirit has changed it, so working through the means God has given us we simply say....they've fallen from grace.

So on the one hand, in no way can you lose your salvation. In another sense, speaking in terms of visible covenant...yes you can.

RCUBEs said...

With me being programmed with worldly ways, this is very comforting brother Lloyd! When the enemy throws lies at me that I am not His anymore, that's when a soft whisper reminds me that my sins: past, present and future were all erased! Glory be to God! Thanks be to Jesus!

Velvet Over Steel said...

Great post & thank you for the passage links. I like having the references a 'click' away.

Thank you for the invite. Following and Off to read more now.

HUGS,
Coreen

Ian Curtis said...

Hello, Lloyd,
I must say this is a sensitive spot; there is no other doctrine taught by Christians that grieves me more than "falling away."
I understand that proponents of this doctrine use it as a vehicle to promote godly living; but fear is a poor motivator when compared to love for the security God has willingly given us in Christ.
The passages in Revelation about the "overcomer" are some of the verses in the arsenal used by teachers of "falling away," yet John wrote, "Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1st John 5:5.
If we received salvation when we were unworthy of earning it, it is strange logic to think that since now we have been given this gift of infinite value we must work to retain it.
As it is with salvation's reception, so it is with it's retention: "And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace," Romans 11:6. "For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable," Romans 11:29.
If Christians can agree that salvation is God's free gift, then it is irrevocable.
Thanks for letting me rant. Love to see you defending His truth, Ian.

mchristiangirl said...

Hi lloyd! Thanks for stopping by my blog. So glad you did and I was able to find yours. I have really enjoyed reading your posts, and believe I can learn much from you. Have a blessed day. Angie

Denise said...

As someone who was out of God's will for a period of time, I can speak from experience. Not only am I still saved but He NEVER gave up until he found a way to woo me back to Himself! Even when we are unfaithful to him, He is Faithful to us.

Lloyd said...

Miawa - Thank you for the visit and encouraging words. I just love Romans 8:38-39. God's blessings too you.


Jennifer - Thank you for your visit. Only God knows the heart and soul of a person. I think it is true of any church that there are always going to be those who know about Jesus and who He is but do not have a personal relationship with Him. Remember... even the devil knew who Jesus was. It is my prayer that all will come to Jesus and turn their life's over to Him. God bless.


MTJ - Thank you for your words of wisdom and visit. I pray along with you that the "lost" will be "found". The devil is the father of all "lies" and rejoices every time a person is deceived into thinking that there is no hope in our Lord. The angels rejoice when a lost soul finally submits their life to the Lord. Blessings my friend.


One Heart - Thank you my friend for your visit and words of encouragement. I have always been a defender of the truth and firmly believe that our Almighty God will give me the courage and wisdom to do His will. Having said this... I realize that this is a very hot issue among the Christian community and that there are scriptures that, if taken out of context, would make a person think that God would turn His back on them.


Thanks again for your support and if you get a chance, please email me the links that you have that deal with salvation. I have several myself, but am always open to study any others that are biblical based. God bless you my friend in Christ.


Bren, Debbie, Denise and Jane- I want to personally thank each of you for your visit and kind comments. I agree with you Bren, that it is sad that there are so many folks out there that will hear the words, "I never knew you.", when the Day of Judgment comes. So many people out there believe the false teachings and doctrines relating to God's free gift of Salvation. Blessings to all of you.


Gorges - Thank you for your visit and comments. I agree with you that there is "NO PEACE" that passes understanding without that "BLESSED ASSURANCE". Otherwise...There would be no HOPE if I felt that God would leave me every time I made a mistake (sinned). Blessings my friend.


Arts&amp - Thank you so much for your visit and wonderful testimony for our Lord and Savior. Blessings.

Lloyd said...

Protoprotestant - I want to thank you for your visit and comments. It is true that some scripture indicates that a believer could lose their salvation in certain circumstances, however, taken in context with the whole Bible and the love that God has for His greatest creation, mankind, God will never leave nor forsake His children if they come too Him through His Son.


I find it interesting that over the centuries Christians have always debated and argued on whether they CAN LOSE or CAN NOT LOSE their salvation. Some of the most brilliant minds in the Christian community have researched scripture but still there is this division among us. My conclusion is this... I do not believe that our Holy God would ever leave us nor forsake us after we have opened up our hearts and souls too Him and accepted His Son as our Lord and Savior. Now this is just my own personal opinion. I can honestly say that I have all the peace and joy in the Lord knowing that when I die, there WILL be a place in Heaven for me. The question I have to ask folks that do not believe in "Eternal Security" is this: Do you have the peace and joy knowing where you will be after you die? Or, are you still uncertain because you feel that God may not think you are worthy enough to enter His Kingdom. Blessings my friend in Christ.


RCUBE's, Coreen, Angie, and Denise - I want to personally thank each of you for your visits and comments. I think RCUBEs, that we all are programmed with "worldly ways" but when our "worldly ways" begin to interfere with our relationship with our Lord and Savior, that is when the Holy Spirit begins to convict us to change our ways. What an Awesome God we have that even though we sometimes drift off course, He will ALWAYS be there to take us back.

I want to thank you Denise for such a wonderful testimony for the Lord. God will never leave us or forsake us. His love for us is unconditional and eternal. Blessings to each of you.


Ian - I want to thank you for your visit and I always enjoy reading your comments. It grieves me too that so many Christians are taught that they can lose their salvation. There are several "Hard Line" Christians out there that use "fear" to motivate their congregations to be faithful instead of using the love, grace, and mercy that only comes in an intimate relationship with our Savior and Lord Jesus. When folks are motivated by "fear" that undermines the "Love" of Christ. I agree with you, "If Christians can agree that salvation is God's free gift, then it is irrevocable." Blessing to you my friend in Christ.

Jackie said...

Great post brother! And the comments are great as well!!

Also, I haven't been here for a looong time and was blessed to read some of your older posts!! And YES, I think Glen Beck is being used by God in this season!!

Keep up the good work here!!

HE IS FAITHFUL!!!

Blessings!
Jackie

SurvivorDiane said...

Amen! Loved the post - love to see the gospel explained CLEARLY and not out of context. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Look forward to reading many more great posts.

diane from survivordiane.blogspot.com

Tracy said...

Great post. I'm sure grateful that God saved me by His great mercy and grace, that He even gave me the faith to be able to believe in Him. I'm grateful that He keeps me.

Debbie said...

You put such thought and care into your posts. Thank you for that.

Zimbabwe said...

I think that depends on the question, what we understand the Salvation. Because something very different is situation, when one Christian who lose in some circumstances his way, who can't have happiness because of Salvation - the best example could be Peter, who denied Jesus. After this accident Jesus said to Peter: Feed my sheeps (I don't know, if I well translated these words from Polish).
Another question is in the case of person, who in reality didn't know Jesus.

Ian Curtis said...

Hello Lloyd,
I just wanted to share with you a couple passages of scripture that I have found comforting and edifying regarding the remarkable position we have in Christ; I hope you enjoy them as well. The first is Psalm 121, and the second is Jeremiah 50:20; both of which I have greatly enjoyed gleaning from lately. Just wanted to share.
Thank you for sharing Bonnie's story as well. My wife and I have been praying for her, and your family. We might rejoice that she is going home to glory, though we mourn with those she leaves behind. Our love and prayers go out to all of you. Ian.

Lloyd said...

Ian - Thank you so much my brother for sharing these scriptures with me. It is amazing how much comfort and peace comes from meditating on God's Word.

I want to thank you and your wife so very much for the prayers that you have made in behalf of my dear cousin Bonnie and her family. As much as I will miss Bonnie, it is very comforting to know that she has no more pain and suffering. God's blessings too you and your wife.

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

Hi Lloyd,

I agree that the Lord never forsakes us or leaves us. But what about those to forsake and leave the Lord?

I once had a very dear friend, who loved the Lord (she actually had more influence on me accepting Jesus Christ as my personal saviour and being born again than anyone else I've ever known), served in her church, and was what I considered a little bit of a "Jesus freak" prior to my own salvation. - Now, I'm the Jesus freak.

Several years after my own conversion her family went through some long and serious trails. In the midst of these trials she came to me and told me, "I give up. I can not fight the good fight anymore. I am too tired. I ask, expect, and thank the Lord in advance for rest and resolution however, our trials continue to worsen. I seriously think the way of the world would be easier." Please note: her family trails were incredibly serious.

I, of course, prayed with her, for her and her family and tried to encourage and counsel her. I made my self avaialable to her and whatever needs she may have had. I felt the Holy Spirit impress upon me that she was in the Spiritual fight of her life - It was very clear her family's trials were literally beating the life out of her. Heartbreakingly,
within a few short months of her confession and plea for help, she left her husband and children. By the end of that year she met and began living with a Wiccan High Priest. Today, she is divorced from her husband, has no contact with her children AND, most heartbreaking of all, has denounced Christ and the Holy Spirit and fully embraced the pagean religion of Wicca.

Did God forsake her or leave her? Absolutely not! SHE has forsaken and left God. She has fully embraced a false pagean religion that God will NOT honor.

Based on what I've personally witnessed through this situation and read in the Bible, I fully believe that if she passes unrepentant, she will perrish in the lake of fire for all eternity.

We are free agents. Just because we accept the gift of salvation doen't mean there won't be those who later in life reject it and literally throw it away.

So, am I to judge from our post that you are saying that if one is "truely" saved they will never turn away and fully reject God and those who do fully reject God, were never "truely" saved to begin with?

Mrs.B

Anonymous said...

I just want to say, brother Lloyd, thank you for all your prayers. The good news is, by the grace of God, my husband helped rip me from his (Catholic guy) clutches. I no longer want to be a blogger until he's long gone. Hopefully my husband and I can still read your blog together sometimes.

God bless you

Lloyd said...

Anonymous - I will keep you and your husband in my prayers. There are so many things in life that can cause us to worry and burden us down. God did not intend to have His free gift of salvation to be a burden to anyone, who by faith accepts His Son. The RCC indoctrinates their converts with such unbiblical doctrines that in reality they (RCC) becomes a stumbling block for those who seek God's truth.

Belonging to the RCC and adding works (baptism) in order to be "Saved" is absolutely not necessary to receive the freedom in Christ Jesus that our Holy and Almighty God wants us all to have. I look forward to you and your husband's visits and comments. May God continue to bless both of you. Lloyd

The Angulo's said...

Mrs. A is typing. My husband wants to know if your a Christian blogger po po?...lol!

We read your blog together tonight. You made my husband's head get big because he already new the answer.

This is what he said: I agree with Lloyd's words. I remember when I was growing up my mom would make me go to church. It seemed that the pastor would always ask in the sermon, "If God were to come right now would you go to heaven? And if your answer is yes, why?

I never understood why the pastor would ask that question so often. It always made me feel like I could never get to heaven. This was one of the biggest reasons why I left the church. How could you ever feel saved if your pastor always made you doubt? At that point I felt it was just a waist of time to even go to church.

It took many years for me to learn, realize, and accept my FREE gift of salvation. I enjoyed your blog. I hope allot of young people read this one.

The Angulo's said...

By the way, I just wanted to let you know for future reference that my husband jokes allot and he doesn't ever mean anything in a bad way.

We added you to our blogroll. You share good, important stuff!

God bless!

Frank Blasi said...

A very encouraging article. This debate about eternal security of the believer has been going on for some 400 years. But how did it originate?
I have read on the life of James Arminius, the author of "On the Reconciliation of Free Will and of the Sovereignity and Providence of God." - from the internet, and have written a simplified version on one of my blogs:
Once Saved Always Saved, Part 1 - The Origins - and the idea that a Christian can lose his salvation actually has its beginnings from a "mystic vision of the Virgin Mary" which to me seems certainly occultic.
My blog page is "Frank's Thoughts."

Lloyd said...

Frank - Thank you for the visit and comments. I enjoyed your blog and agree that the "mystic vision of the Virgin Mary" is quite occultic. God bless, Lloyd

Patrick said...

Good article. Doesn't the scripture in Matthew refer to those who are believers? It seems to me in my studies that no one could ever cast out demons if they never had the Holy Spirit inside of them. They would hold no power against demons. So it seems that Jesus is indeed referring to those who DO know him and believe. And why would the verse in Revelations ever be said by him if there was no cause or purpose for a name to be blotted out from the Book. Only those "Born again" are to be recorded, correct?

Frank Blasi said...

Patrick,
In Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7, where we call the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus was addressing a mainly Jewish audience who believed that they could "cast out demons". But the brunt of the passage in Matthew 7:21ff was that the reason he dismissed them from his presence was because they trusted in their own works, including exorcism.
They cried out in protest:
Lord, Lord, have WE not prophesied in your name? And in your name have WE not cast out devils? And in your name have WE not done many wonderful works?