Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Can you lose your salvation?

I find this question fascinating and one that also invokes quite a few emotional responses in people. I can understand why. We all want to feel that our own salvation and that of our loved ones is secure. It gives us a sense of peace and control. The two opposing theologies, Arminianism and Calvinism have been battling this for years. For the answer, I went to the greatest authority of all, the Word of God. Here's a list of scriptures that may help clear this up. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

We are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8,9) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

But we can fall from grace (Gal. 5:2-4).
For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins (Hebrews 10:26) That's pretty plain, isn't it?

We are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1)
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[ peace with God through our Lord Jesus ChristBut our faith can become shipwrecked and cease to exist (Lk. 8:13; Rom. 11:19-23).
Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked (Tim 1:19)
But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away (Luke 8:13)

Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off (Romans 11:22)

We are not under the law (Rom. 6:14, 15)
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. But if you live according to the sinful nature you will die (Rom. 8:13).
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins (Hebrews 10:26)

Paul taught against legalism (Gal. 5:3,4)
For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace

But he also taught that no immoral, impure or greedy person has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph. 5:5-7).
You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. 7 Don’t participate in the things these people do.

We are not saved by works (Eph. 2:8,9)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it

But to reap eternal life and not destruction you must sow to please the Spirit and not the sinful nature (Gal. 6:8,9).
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit
God is faithful to us If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.(1 Cor 10:13)

But we must be faithful to him to the very end of our lives to escape the lake of fire or second death (Rev. 2:10,11)
Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life. 11 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.

God surely loves us
(For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[a]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[
b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39)

But those who inherit the kingdom of God love God and to love God means to obey his commandsListen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him (James 2:5)
If you love me, obey my commandments (John 14:13)
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3)

We have freedom in Christ (Gal. 5:1)
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

But this freedom is not to indulge the sinful nature (Gal. 5:13)
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love
For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil
(1 Peter 2:16)


  1. I believe that once you become saved, then nothing can remove from God's hand. We can't lose our salvation.

    However, I DO believe that Christians can fall away from God. We still sin, but because we are already saved, we don't need to constantly ask God to save us again. When I was explaining the concept of asking God for forgiveness for sins after salvation to my brother, I said it was like having done something wrong towards a loved one. You know you're already forgiven, but you need to ask for forgiveness anyway to restore the relationship. NOT asking for salvation again.

    Also, if we spend most of our time after salvation doing whatever we want instead of what God wants, then we have to live with the consequences of no rewards in heaven, the blood of people we could've witnessed to on our hands, and we have to see Jesus saddened because we didn't do what He asked.

    So, that is what I believe. Once you're saved, you're saved. But when you mess up you still need to restore the relationship, and if you never repent, never try to do what God wants, you have to live with the consequences.

    MaryLu, I respect you very much. I love reading your blog, and I appreciated the way this post made me thin, about this subject. But...I wasn't sure if you were trying to just post some verses and let us decide what we believe or if you just forgot to tell us where you were going with this.


  2. Diane, I was just posted some verses on the topic and allowing you all to decide for yourselves. Who knows if any of us are right? Only God knows and understands these things. My purpose is to just get us thinking about the topic based on Scripture. Thank you for your lengthy response! I apprecaite your thoughts. Blessings

  3. Very interesting topic and you're brave to opening it for discussion for it’s very controversial. I believe and have seen believers fall back into a life of the point of suicide...a believer who comes to a place of suicide looses faith and confidence in an Almighty God. I’m thankful I do not have to judge them but nor do I understand it.

    I do not agree with the Calvinistic opinion that we are predestined from birth, or do I believe it's Biblical. Now I know some believers who are Calvins and think highly of them...Elisabeth Elliot would be one of them. I love her writings.

    Our God is a jealous God, you cannot claim to be saved and live a life displeasing to Him. There is no black and white. In Revelations he condemns those who have lost their "first love" and says he will spit them out of his mouth. If they've lost their "first love" that indicates that they were believers and have now backslidden back into a life of in my opinion it is possible.

  4. I think that if you are saved the only way you could lose your salvation would be to deliberately turn your back on God. Such as if you were sinning and doing it on purpose without conscience. Of course, these are just my thoughts, and obviously I can be wrong.

  5. Excellent Scripture references, MaryLu! Christians are adament in their beliefs on both sides of this issue; this is definitely a devisive topic.

    While there are Scriptures that seem to support each side, I lean toward the idea that a believer can eventually separate himself from God, that there is a point of no return somewhere out there. But it doesn't matter what I believe because God is the judge, not me.

  6. I've looked at the scriptures in context as well and have come to the conclusion that once saved always saved and that the only way one can lose that is if they commit the unforgivable sin which is to denounce the trinity and all at that it is. I believe the scriptures in the old testament refer to old law and the ones in the new testament the new law. A sinner will sin and a Christian will sin. A Christian will be drawn to forgiveness a sinner won't. No one can take away what God has given me. Thank God. :)

  7. Is God's promise based on our choice, performance, and power; or His?
    It's funny to me that we have these debates on grace vs. works. If we believe that God's grace is dependant on our choice (our power) then it removes God out of the picture. He really isn't even necessary (much less central) any more as a person in relationship with us; He is simply a rule to follow, a box to check off. If believing in God is based on me (my choice), then belief is nothing more than any other dead work! The paradox though, is, my choices are evidence of God's grace (but not the other way round).

  8. This is a perplexing question if we assume all who profess to be Followers of Christ actually are.

    The truth of this question is not if we can loose our God is big enough to never allow that to happen...if I actually have a relationship with Him through His Son.

    If we are saved...we will fail (1 Cor. 10:12)...but if we continue living like we have always done, because OSAS, then we need to seriously evaluate our hearts...cause "something ain't right."

    Go to Matthew 7:22-23. From the mouth of our Lord, He clears this up for us. Flip over to John 15:1-11. Jesus answers this qustion Himself. It is heartbreaking to consider that "many" are not actually saved. We have a mission field in the walls of our own churches. Can we be "unsaved" But we can be not saved to begin with...and that my friends is eternally tragic.

  9. Can an individual wind up in hell after being born again by the power of God? Man says yes because in mans ignorant wisdom negates what Gods power has wonderfully done, man stoops in his intellectual exercise in his own unfaithfulness and tries to rationalize it into some kind of theology 101!
    Jesus said
    "When he the comforter has come he will guide you in all truth...."
    If man is unfaithful Jesus will remain faithful for he cannot disown himself....
    The only way any that any blood bought born again believer can lose their salvation is that right now one must go to the heavens and destroy all the streets of gold. Then after that bad that individual must destroy all the angels at Holy Gods command. Then after that feat the last thing the individual must do is take on Holy God himself. This is impossible so any individual who called out to Jesus for salvation by repentance cannot and will not lose their salvation it would be a paradox in the face of God's holy word and the payment of mans sin by the blood of his dear son Jesus Christ!
    Gen 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.