Updated: Dec 28, 2020
I have spent 30 years, trying to assure others, that once you are saved, you are always saved. AKA eternal security. Eternal security is the essence of the New Covenant. The authors of the New Covenant wanted to assure us that once saved, we are always saved. But unfortunately, there are many pastors who teach that you can lose your salvation. Ugh.
For a Christian to lose their salvation, God would have to erase the mark on a Christian, withdraw the Spirit, cancel the deposit, break his promise, lie, revoke the guarantee and gift, and keep His inheritance.
My wife and I were actually asked to leave a church because the pastors were upset that we were telling other church members, that they could not lose their salvation. That was very painful time for my wife and I. We were not trying to divide the church members and the staff, but were trying to help assure members that Christ would never leave them.
One of the main reasons that so many teach that you can lose your salvation, is because they do not have a full understanding of what salvation is. I have asked hundreds of people what their understanding of salvation was? Most of the time their response was "Jesus died for my sins". While this is an absolute truth, it is only half of the gospel.
We have a bigger problem than being a sinner in need of forgiveness, we are spiritually dead in need of life. That happened the day that Adam disobeyed God's one and only command, "“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17).
And guess what Adam did? Yep, he and Eve did exactly what God told them not to do. That day, the whole human race was given a spiritual death sentence. That is the bad news.
The good news is that God had a plan all along. Jesus Christ not only took away the sins of the world but then He rose from the dead. Does that not blow your mind? That a dead person came back to life? Why did God raise Jesus from the dead? Good question. It was more than to just prove that Jesus was God. Jesus was raised from the dead to offer life to the spiritually dead, which is everyone. The same Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, will raise us from the dead, when we put your faith in him (Romans 8:11). The offer of new spiritual life comes by faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe (John 3:16, John 3:36, John 5:24, John 6:40).
The Apostle Paul puts it this way..."If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). The resurrection is more than just an Easter holiday we celebrate each year. It's the means for us to get to heaven one day.
Salvation is the process of crossing over from spiritual death in Adam to spiritual life in Jesus Christ. Once that transaction happens, God promises over and over to never "leave us or forsake us" (Hebrews 13:5).
There are so many Scriptures which mention what salvation is and how we are saved. Why then, do so many pastors teach that once you are saved, that you can lose it? Is it a control issue or something? Is it to keep us "in line" so that we sin less? Is it to make sure the church is funded and they keep their jobs? Do they really think that God will change his mind on this and withdraw His Spirit from a born again child of God? Is God on a giant swivel chair in the sky? What's the deal?
The Apostle Paul wanted to assure us that losing your salvation was impossible. Paul spent the first five chapters of Romans, writing about man's condition of spiritual death, and God's solution of eternal life. In Romans 6, Paul tells the Roman Christians that they have died to their sin and unbelief. They have died to being in Adam (Spiritually dead, in the image and likeness of Adam and condemned for hell), and have crossed over to eternal life. In Romans 5:15-19, Paul contrasts 5 times, 5 different ways, what Adam brought to all mankind, and what Jesus offers to all mankind. Think he is trying to get his point across? Paul wants people to know their condition, so that they will come to Christ and be saved by his life.
Paul writes the same repetitive way in Romans 6, and assures the Romans Christians that they have been eternally saved, and have died to sin. This does not mean we have died to sinning. We all know that, right? We might have found victory in certain lifestyles, habits and thinking patterns, but we all still sin. Paul's pattern of writing is sometimes to write the same thing, over and over and then over again. You have died to the sin, that leads to spiritual death (1 John 5:16-17), and have come alive to Jesus Christ. This is the sin, which Paul is wrote about and mentioned 11 times in the following verses....
Romans 6:2 "we died to sin"
Romans 6:6 "so that the body of sin would be rendered powerless"
Romans 6:7 "no longer a slave to sin"
Romans 6:7 "we died to sin"
Romans 6:11 "count yourselves dead to sin"
Romans 6:14 "for sin shall not be your master"
Romans 6:17 "you used to be slaves to sin"
Romans 6:18 "you have been set free from sin"
Romans 6:20 "when you were slaves to sin"
Romans 6:22 "you have been set free from sin"
Romans 8:2 "you have been set free from the law of sin and death"
These verses should seal the deal for a born again Christian. Will you ever be an unbeliever again? Will Jesus Christ ever leave you? Absolutely not! You have received the very life of Christ and you have been marked by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).
Here are some other verses, which mention that you can not lose your salvation.
Hebrews 7:25 "he is able to save completely"
Hebrews 13:5 "never will I leave you or forsake you"
Ephesians 1:13-14 "having believed you were sealed"
Ephesians 2:8 "For it is by grace you have been saved" (Past tense)
John 3:16 "you have eternal life and will not perish" (Notice it's not temporal life)
John 5:24 "you have crossed over from death to life and will not be judged"
John 6:37-40 "whoever comes to me I will never drive away, I shall lose none of them."
John 10:28 "No one can snatch them out of my hand"
John 10:29 "No one can snatch them out of my fathers hand"
John 11:25-26 "Who ever believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
1 Peter 1:4-5 "we have an inheritance which can never perish, spoil or fade."
2 Timothy 2:13 "if we are faithless, he will remain faithful"
Titus 1:2 "God does not lie..."
Romans 8:35-39 "nothing can separate us from the love of God"
To further help Christians know that they can not lose their salvation, it is also important ask the question "Why did Jesus take away our sins"? Yes, Jesus died on the cross to forgive us completely and take away all our sins. But there is also a second reason Jesus died on the cross; so that the Spirit of God would never leave us, once we are saved. That is how the cross and the resurrection work together.
Questions to Consider:
1. What caused the Spirit of God to depart from Adam?
2. What caused the Spirit of God to depart from Jesus?
3. What is the only thing that could cause the Spirit of God to depart from you?
4. Where are your sins today?
5. Where your sins judged by God?
6. What was the verdict?
7. What was the penalty of your sins?
8. Who is the One who took it?
9. How much of it did he take? Some or all of it?
10. So then, what penalty of your sins is left for you?
Therefore, why can't the Spirit of God ever depart from you when you sin? Because all of your sins have been taken away! The cause of spiritual death (Adam's disobedience) has been taken away by God. Even when we are disobedient, we are forgiven. That is because Jesus took away your sins once and for all (Colossians 2:13). Once you have the Spirit of God living in you, he will never leave you, for any reason. That is eternal security. That is real good news.
These are 2 verses pastors use to say "you can lose your salvation". Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26.
The Book of Hebrews was written to the Jews, who had been living under the Old Covenant, the law and the sacrificial system. There were some Jews who became born again, but there were many who were either on the fence with Jesus Christ, who was the mediator of the New Covenant. The writer of Hebrews was warning those who had not accepted Christ not to drift away and ignore such a great salvation (Hebrews 2:1-3).
It's probably a good idea to first read the first 5 chapters of the Book of Hebrews. In chapter 5, you will see that here were those who were slow to learn about the salvation and the righteousness which comes by faith. Those people were not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness and were still living on milk, not solid food. They had never changed their mind about faith in Jesus Christ, imputed righteousness and the complete forgiveness of sins.
In Hebrews 6:4, notice words tasted, shared, enlightened. They have not swallowed or drank. That is why it is impossible for them to return to repentance because they never repented and were born again. Have you ever noticed that you can't go back to where you have never been? These unbelievers were still crucifying the grace of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. The author of Hebrews then says "Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation." (Hebrews 6:9).
This is easier to see. "If we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of truth, no sacrifice for sin is left". The sinning here refers to unbelief. Again, they heard, they shared, they were enlightened and they tasted. But they did not swallow the knowledge of truth. They had insulted the Spirit of Grace. There is no sacrifice for them left and they are were in danger of the fire of hell.
Pastors and teachers also use the lives and testimonies of others to say "You know Pastor Jim? he walked away from God, and therefore, we Christians can lose our salvation." Huh?
We will never know who is saved and born again and who is not (That is until, we meet them in the air at the rapture and return of Jesus). But the Apostle John urges us not to rely on the testimony of man and build your theology on it, because the testimony of God is greater.
See 1 John 5:9-12 ......
"We accept human testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."
Can you decide to stop reading the Bible? Can you decide you don't want to go to church or Bible study? Can you become a pastor and then claim to be an atheist and walk away from God? Do we want to base our theology and understanding of salvation on the testimony of man or of God?
I am praying that this blog will help you be secure in Christ and know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Christ will never leave you or forsake you. No matter what.