Thinking Cap # 48 - Can You Lose Your Salvation?
So, can you lose your salvation? How's that for a hot button? Over the years, since I have been putting together these thot provokers, this is perhaps one of the more requested topics. Entire religions and denominations are built around the premise that your salvation is not secure, that if you cross the line of sinful behavior, you will somehow or other have your name erased from the "Book of Life" and thus lose your place in heaven. It is a great way to keep people faithful to a system or a church, but is it really defensible from the Scriptures?
In this Thinking Cap, I would like to demonstrate in outline form, why I believe that the Bible teaches the eternal security of the believer. I trust this will be a blessing to those who have truly repented of their sins and placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and also provide you with a tool to help others understand what the Bible teaches. In presenting the argument, I will summarize the material that is in a discipleship booklet that I use to mentor Christians in their faith, and I will then summarize an excellent argument that I recently read that was written by Bill Harvey who passed away in 1992.
There are abundant passages that speak of the believer receiving eternal and everlasting life. If you could "lose" it, then the word eternal has lost its meaning.
Jesus Himself said that those who come to Him, He "will in no wise cast out." (Jn. 6:37). He will not cast you out of his family no matter what comes to pass or under any circumstances.
John 10:27-29 makes it clear that no "man" can cause you to lose your salvation, because God your Father is greater than all men.
No man can lose his salvation on his own, because no man earned his salvation on his own (Eph. 2:8-9).
2 Tim. 1:12 assures us that it is Jesus Christ who keeps us, not we ourselves.
Take a moment are read Romans 8:38-39. Paul says that he was persuaded (convinced by argument) that none of the extremes of existence could cause him to lose his salvation.
Paul stated that the Holy Spirit, who comes to reside in the true believer at the moment of conversion, will remain in the believer until the rapture occurs (Phil. 1:6).
Once you transfer your trust from yourself to what Jesus already did for you, you become a child of God by relationship (Jn. 12-13). As with your physical father, you are his "son/daughter" for life. You may strain the relationship, and you may lose the fellowship; you may disown your father and perhaps even "divorce" him, but that does not change the fact that you are his child by birth. The relationship, once established remains forever.
Eph. 1:13 teaches us that once we are saved, we are "sealed" by the Holy Spirit. In the symbolism of the Scripture a seal carries with it the meaning of a) a finished transaction (your salvation is done, nothing can be added to it), b) ownership (you are "marked" as belonging to God) and c) security (you can count on the "package" being delivered to its intended destination).
If Eternal security is really Biblical then,
1. The Bible would have to say clearly that a believer has everlasting life right now, in this life - perhaps as Jesus said in John 5:24.
2. The Bible would have to say clearly that salvation is not attained or retained by works of the believer - perhaps as Paul said in Ro. 4:5, Eph. 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5.
3. The Bible would have to say clearly that the believer is completely safe and can never be taken away from God - perhaps as Paul said it in Col. 3:3 and Rom. 8:38-39, and as Jesus Himself said it in John 10:27-30.
4. The Bible would have to say clearly that Someone is continually praying for the believer, Someone whom God would never fail to hear and answer - perhaps as Jesus said it in John 17:9-10, or as Paul said in Rom. 8:26, 27 and 34; or as the writer of the Hebrews said in Heb. 7:25.
5. The Bible would have to say clearly that the believer is totally different from the person he once was - perhaps as Jesus said it in John 3:5-6, or as Paul said in 2 Cor. 5:17.
6. The Bible would have to say clearly that the believer is not in danger of returning to condemnation - perhaps as Jesus said it in John 5:24, or as Paul said it in Rom. 8:1.
7. The Bible would have to say clearly that God Himself is for us and will give us all we need - perhaps as Paul said it in Rom. 8:31-33, and Phil. 2:12-13, and Eph. 2:10.
8. The Bible would have to say clearly that the restoration is of the "joy" and not of the "salvation" when we stray from the Lord, as David said it in Ps. 51:12-13.
9. The Bible would have to say clearly that the believer is a child of God "now" and God treats him as His child - perhaps as John said it in 1 Jn. 3:2, or as the writer of the Hebrews said it in Heb. 12:5-8.
10. The Bible would have to say clearly that salvation is a "gift" and it can only be received - perhaps as Jesus said it in John 1:12, or as Paul said it in Rom. 6:23.
11. The Bible would have to say clearly that the believer is supplied the very faith by which to live the Christian life in this world - perhaps as Paul said it in Gal. 2:20.
12. The Bible would have to say clearly that the believer can know for certain he is saved and what the One who saved him will surely do for him - perhaps as Paul said it in 2 Tim. 1:12 and as John said in 1 Jn. 5:13.
13. The Bible would have to say clearly that the believer still sins after he is a child of God and prescribe what he must do about it - perhaps as John said it in 1 Jn. 1:8-9.
14. The Bible would have to say clearly that the One who saved you promises to stay with you forever - perhaps as Jesus promised in Matt. 28:20, and in Hebrews 13:5, and as Paul said in Phil. 1:6.
15. The Bible would have to say clearly that there is in the believer a part of him that cannot sin - perhaps as John said it in 1 John 3:9.
16. The Bible would have to say clearly that Jesus knows His own --- perhaps as He Himself said it in John 10:27. Let it be noted that if a person can be lost after he is saved, Jesus could "not" truthfully say in Matt. 7:23 what He said to those who depended on their own good works to save them.
17. The Bible would have to say clearly that Jesus Christ did all that was necessary for the believer to be forever saved - perhaps as the writer of Hebrews said it in Heb. 10:10-14.
18. The Bible would have to say clearly that boasting is excluded (in anyone or any church or creed or system, but Christ alone) - perhaps as Paul said it in Rom. 3:27
19. The Bible would have to say clearly that any basis for the believer's return to lostness is gone - perhaps as the writer of the Hebrews said it in Heb. 10:17-18.
20. The Bible would have to say clearly that the believer is provided with Someone powerful enough to see him all the way through this life and raise him from the dead - perhaps as Jesus said it in John 14:16-17, or as Paul said it in Rom. 8:11 and again in Phil. 1:6
As Bill Harvey said, "All pagan religions keep their adherents in bondage,
put them on probation and force them to live by strict rules and regulations
if they are to remain in the good graces of superiors. Christianity offers no
such paganism. Jesus Christ sets us free (Jn. 8:32, 36), free to thank and praise
Him forever for His Gift, free to love Him for giving us His salvation and not
putting us on probation."
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