The problem with those who think they can lose salvation, is the belief that it is a one time event.
Salvation is a process where in we were saved, are saved, and will be saved.
We can see we have been saved in Ephesians 2:5
even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
We can see we are being saved in Acts 2:47
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
We can see we shall be saved in Romans 5:10
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
But the end result of salvation only comes if we remain firm in the faith. If we walk away from faith, then we were never saved. In those cases, we will have had a faith which sprang up quickly but died quickly too – it was an emotional event but not a saving one (Mat 13:3-23, Mk 4:3-20; Lk 8:4-16).
3 “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. 6 And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
We see the explanation of the parable of the sower in Mk 4:14-20
14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16 In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
The word of the kingdom is the seed. Verse 15 tells us that verse 4 is speaking of the one who does not understand – the seed sown beside the road – this is someone who has not believed and so is not saved.
Verse 16-17 is speaking of verses 5 and 6, where word springs up immediately, but dies quickly away – this is someone who believed for a period of time (This is belief without faith, a temporary thing), but then did not believe to the end and so is not saved.
Verse 18-19 speaks of verse 7, where someone hears the word but worry and deceitfulness of wealth causes the word to be unfruitful and they are not saved.
Verse 20 speaks of verse 8, where someone understands the word and bears fruit.
It is only those who are fruitful until the end who are and will be saved. The others might have THOUGHT they were saved, but were not. They may have claimed to be Christ’s, and they may even done miracles in the name of Christ, but Christ was adamant that they had to have been righteous and done the will of God.
15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
We see this more clearly in Matthew 25:31-46 – where the King will separate the sheep (who gave food and drink and clothing to those in need and visited those in prison) from the goats (who did none of those things).
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
If we do not remain firm, then we were never saved to begin with. If we continue in the faith firmly established, then God has reconciled us to present us holy and blameless – but if we dont remain steadfast in the faith, then we never truly had it in the first place. Paul said many times we are saved if we remain firm in the faith.
1 Corinthians 15:1-2
1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
In fact, if we leave the community of faith, then we were never truly of it to begin with.
1 John 2:19
They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
So the question is not really can we lose our salvation, but rather are we saved to begin with?
We must have faith to be saved. Luke 7:50
50 And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
This faith is belief (something that even demons have, see James 2:14-25) coupled with that something inexplicable that results in obedience. It is not our obedience that saves us, for then it would depend upon us. It is the faith that results in obedience that saves us, as seen in Ephesians 2:8-9.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
If we do not have the habit of obedience, we will have a habit of disobedience. We know from 1 John 3:9 that those who continue to sin (live a life, a habit if you will, of sin) are not born of God.
1 John 3:9
9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Our faith must have corresponding works, and both the faith and the works must persevere until the end:
20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
I Corinthians 15:2
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,
Some believe that we stand firm by our own power, but Paul says GOD causes us to stand firm, that GOD anointed us, seals us, owns us, given us His Spirit as a guarantee of our salvation.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22
21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
But if we have this faith, we are saved and will not loose that salvation – for you have been sealed by God, and will not be snatched from the hands of Jesus, not even by you yourself
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
Not only can no one snatch us out of Jesus’ hands, but He will not drive you away. More than that, Christ will lose none of those the Father has given Him, but everyone who believes in the Son will have eternal life and He will raise them up at the last day.
37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
If we ARE saved, then we are sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption.
who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
When we truly believe, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and will be lifted up.
So no. If we are truly saved, then we can not and will not lose our salvation. But if we are not saved, or if we walk away from the faith, then we were never saved to begin with.
Filed under: Christ, Eternal Life, Faith, God, Holy Spirit, Righteousness, Salvation | 3 Comments »