Wednesday, January 26, 2011

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A CHRISTIAN TO LOSE SALVATION?

This blog will answer questions asked by those who have questions about faith in Christ.
Recently I have been accepted to be one of the writers for GotQuestions.org,
Here was my sample question in my application. What do you think about it?


Q: IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A CHRISTIAN TO LOSE SALVATION?

For a person to contemplate losing their salvation can be one of the greatest fears a new believer can have.
Very often what shapes a Christian's opinion of whether they can lose or cannot lose their salvation is shaped by worry or the church or denominational teaching they have received.
Some Scripture verses often sited that a Christian's salvation can be lost are

Hebrews 6:4-8 [NASB]

"4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
This verse is a theoretical bit of contemplation. If they left salvation they could not return to it theoretically since they would have to "crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open Shame." It says if people "tasted".
In Matthew 26:6 Jesus says "Take , eat, this is my body." We do not just "taste" we eat or fully receive this gift given to us. No earning or trying out salvation is recorded in scripture.

Another scripture passage often recalled in falling from grace is usually partially quoted.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
"9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived;neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God."

God's grace is the champion here. The Bible says we are all sinners. The Christians in Corinth were reminded of their plight as they needed and received The Savior.

"11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."

Many Christians who believe we can fall from grace are from churches and denominations that are described as Wesleyan, Holiness or Armenian. Their are exceptions in each group but the predominant view of these Christian groups is that a Christan can "fall from grace."

Here are some scriptures that support many Christian's who view salvation as lasting or permanent.
These Christians are said to believe in "eternal security" or in church slang "once saved always saved."

Romans 8:35-39 [NASB]
"35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36Just as it is written,
"FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED."
37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

John 10:27-29 [NASB]
27"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
29"]My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
Many churches and denominations that teach "eternal security" are from a Reformed and or Baptistic heritage. Critics of "eternal security" see this view as Antinomian as they falsely can say "eternal security" people feel they have a "license to sin." Critics of those who hold the view that they can "fall from grace" can wonder how anyone could be saved since we all still sin. We are being sanctified after we are saved. We have not and can not reach "sinless perfection." No one who believes in "falling from grace" can tell us how or when has a Christian sinned enough to forfeit salvation.
Can we lose our salvation? No. God through Jesus Christ's substitutionary death on the cross washes and fills us with His Holy Spirit at our moment of salvation. God is consistent in His promise and fulfillment of our salvation. It has been often said God is a Sovereign (He rules over all and everything), and man is responsible to respond. Man is still in a sinful bodily state until his glorification as he meets eternity.

Recommended reading:
CHOSEN BUT FREE: A Balanced view of God's Sovereignty and Free Will, author Norman Geisler
ETERNAL SECURITY, author Charles Stanley

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