Can a Christian lose his/her salvation?
A “Christian” is not a person who has said a prayer, or walked down an aisle, raises their hand or been raised in a Christian family. While each of these things can be a part of the Christian experience, they are not what “makes” a Christian. A Christian is a person who has, by faith, received and fully trusted in Jesus Christ as the only Savior (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9).
So, with this definition in mind, can a Christian lose salvation? Lets see what the bible actually says about salvation?
A Christian is a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This verse speaks of a person becoming an entirely new creature as a result of being “in Christ.” For a Christian to lose salvation, the new creation would have to be canceled and reversed.
A Christian is redeemed. “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19). The word “redeemed” refers to a purchase being made, a price being paid. For a Christian to lose salvation, God Himself would have to revoke His purchase that He paid for with the precious blood of Christ.
A Christian is justified. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). To “justify” means to “declare righteous.” All those who receive Jesus as Savior are “declared righteous” by God. For a Christian to lose salvation, God would have to go back on His Word and “un-declare” what He had previously declared.
A Christian is promised eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Eternal life is a promise of eternity (forever) in heaven with God. God promises, “Believe and you will have eternal life.” For a Christian to lose salvation, eternal life would have to be taken away. If a Christian is promised to live forever, how then can God break this promise by taking away eternal life?
A Christian is guaranteed glorification. “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:30). As we learned in Romans 5:1, justification is declared at the moment of faith. According to Romans 8:30, glorification is guaranteed for all those whom God justifies. Glorification refers to a Christian receiving a perfect resurrection body in heaven. If a Christian can lose salvation, then Romans 8:30 is in error, because God could not guarantee glorification for all those whom He predestines, calls, and justifies.
Lastly, salvation is given as a gift, not deserved or earned; but granted by grace. So, if we can lose salvation that means that we can do something in order to earn it. At this point we should know that salvation cannot be earned based on effort (Romans 3), therefore it cannot be lost based on a lack of effort. Christ's effort in gaining the victory by paying our penalty is sufficient and we must put our hope in that. Over and over again the bible tells us to "hold firm" or "stand firm" until the end. This simply is encouraging us to keep a close eye on our heart to make sure we have not deceived ourselves by thinking we receive salvation through some external efforts. True believers in Christ "WILL" stand firm until the end.
This personally plays out in our ministry at Netcast when I am baptizing people. Some people have seen me having conversations with people in the dunk-tank before we baptize them. Here's whats happening in that moment. At that time, I rejoice with them but also warn them. Although I totally believe that everyone we have baptized at Netcast is a true believer in Christ; only God knows their heart. I warn them while in the water, "Only time can truly tell if this act is a resemblance of an inward conversion, or if you are just getting wet in front of a crowd." If the conversion is real, God will complete it (Philippians 1:6). If its not, the seed that was planted in you will be snatched away (Matthew 13).
The most frequent objections to the belief that a Christian cannot lose salvation are 1) What about those who are Christians and continually live an immoral lifestyle? 2) What about those who are Christians but later reject the faith and deny Christ? The problem with these two objections is the phrase “who are Christians.” The Bible declares that a true Christian will not live a continually immoral lifestyle (1 John 3:6). The Bible declares that anyone who departs the faith is demonstrating that he never truly was a Christian (1 John 2:19). Therefore, neither objection is valid. Christians do not continually live immoral lifestyles (un-repentant sin that does not convict the conscience), nor do they reject the faith and deny Christ. Such actions are proof that they were never redeemed.
In the end, No, a Christian cannot lose salvation. Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39). Nothing can remove a Christian from God’s hand (John 10:28-29). God is both willing and able to guarantee and maintain the salvation He has given us. Jude 24-25, “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”
Some of this was taken from GotQuestions.org which is a great site to help us gain greater insight on issues and questions we run into.
Everyone wants a better life. In 2010 Americans spent $14 billion in the self-help industry. We try weight loss programs, self help books, personal coaches and even stress management programs. Every infomercial we turn on, every commercial we watch and every ad we see is just another marketing tool that promises us some sort of false hope to a better life.
But nothing seems to work…..Debt is at an all time high. Depression is at an all time high. Loneliness is at an all time high. Violence and Sex Trafficking are at an all time high. This year Americans will spend more money on anti-depressant medications and in the porn industry than revenue generated in the NFL, NBA and MLB combined. Everywhere we look to find life, it seems to only suck the life out of us. Our Jobs typically stress us out. There seems to never be enough money. Sex doesn't give what it promises to give. Marriages and relationships seem to be up one day and down the next.
What is the answer?
There is one main reason why the apostle John wrote his gospel. John 20:30-31
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
This text clearly states that true life, abundant life, a blessed life, a joyful life can only be found through belief in Jesus Christ. Its a pretty bold statement, but all the evidence points to it being true. And, if life is found in Jesus alone, than trying to find life in anything other than Jesus leads to death.
Netcast Church @ Briscoe MIddle School
7 Sohier Road
Beverly MA. 01915
This is a huge day in the life of our church and we would love for you to to join us. Some have recently said that Netcast is the fastest growing movement in New England. You can see the short video here: Join the Movement.
See you tomorrow. Service starts at 10:30am
The question was…..."Is hell real? Is hell eternal? What happens to the un-repentant sinner (non-christian) after they die?"
It is interesting that a much higher percentage of people believe in the existence of heaven than believe in the existence of hell. According to the Bible, though, hell is just as real as heaven. The Bible clearly and explicitly teaches that hell is a real place to which the wicked/unbelieving are sent after death. We have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23). The just punishment for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). Since all of our sin is ultimately against God (Psalm 51:4), and since God is an infinite and eternal Being, the punishment for sin, death, must also be infinite and eternal. Hell is this infinite and eternal death which we have earned, and asked for, because of our lack of desire for Jesus displayed through our sin. Heaven is a place where the people who love Jesus, get Jesus in all his fullness.
The punishment of the unbeliever in hell is described throughout Scripture as “eternal fire” (Matthew 25:41), “unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12), “shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2), a place where “the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44-49), a place of “torment” and “fire” (Luke 16:23-24), “everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9), a place where “the smoke of torment rises forever and ever” (Revelation 14:10-11), and a “lake of burning sulfur” where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
The punishment of the wicked in hell is as never ending as the bliss of the righteous in heaven. Jesus Himself indicates that punishment in hell is just as everlasting as life in heaven (Matthew 25:46). The wicked are forever subject to the fury and the wrath of God. Those in hell will acknowledge the perfect justice of God (Psalm 76:10). Those who are in hell will know that their punishment is just and that they alone are to blame (Deuteronomy 32:3-5). Yes, hell is real. Yes, hell is a place of torment and punishment that lasts forever and ever, with no end. Praise God that, through Jesus, we can escape this eternal fate (John 3:16, 18,36).
My main job at Netcast is to make sure we uphold sound doctrine and I was burdened to clarify as my personal bible reading was in Matthew 25 this morning. The entire chapter is on this subject.
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.