13 January, 2016

Can I lose my salvation?

By Ron Graham
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out…” And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing… Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:37, 39, & 47.
As we read and study our Bibles, there should be a voice speaking to us, reminding us to take in the full council of God. Too many Bible teachers will take one verse out of Scripture and build a doctrine on it. Even though that scripture is qualified by other scriptures and the teacher has drawn an erroneous conclusion, the wrong interpretation is still taught as truth. The controversy over “once saved, always saved” is one of those doctrines.

Can we, once we’re born again, lose our salvation? Jesus says, “All that the Father gives Me I will not lose or cast out”. Jesus reconfirms verse 37 using verse 39. Then He puts a cap on it with verse 47. Christ is sending a clear message to all who have turned their lives over to Him, that once justified the born again believer cannot lose their salvation. God the Father draws us to God the Son, and God the Son tells us we are in His hands. Nothing can separate us from Him.
The following verse is used often by some Bible teachers to establish doubt about the notion of once saved always saved. “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” Philippians 2:12. Paul is not advising the Philippians to save themselves that would be works. All he’s saying is don’t be satisfied with just being saved, there is much more to do now that we’re saved.

As born again believers, we are in Christ. “[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” Romans 8:1. Condemnation is Satan’s tool, and he wields it mercilessly. Do Christians continually mess up? Yes. John the Apostle has a response to messing up. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9. There’s a battle raging between our spirit and our flesh. Sometimes we win the battle and sometimes we lose, but we cannot lose the war. That’s a different matter altogether. There’s a spiritual war going on all around us, Satan and his minions of evil vs. God and His army of angels. God’s the winner and Satan’s always the loser.

Taking scripture out of context can lead to flawed interpretations. If we are endeavoring to teach others through discipleship, we certainly don’t want to teach erroneously. I’ve heard it said by some that we don’t necessarily lose our salvation but we can leave it behind. That statement makes no sense to me; we are either saved or we are not. There is no middle ground here. These verses from the book of Matthew seem to add credence to those who teach the doctrine of leaving ones salvation behind.

“But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite [his] fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” Matthew 24:48-51.
The term evil servant says a lot about this individual. The fact that this evil servant, on occasion, refers to his master as “lord” says nothing of a profession of faith. The servant’s evil actions alone condemn him. The word hypocrite, (hypokrit─ôs in the Greek) has more than one definition. One of which is pretender. A person can pretend to be something they are not, in this case the evil servant was pretending to be a loyal servant when all along he was only an evil doer. As I read the verse above I see no sign that points to this evil servant as ever having been saved. He didn’t leave his salvation behind, he never had it.

Calling Jesus Lord doesn’t cement anyone’s salvation. Jesus said: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 7:20-21. Clearly the servant spoken of above, even though referring to his master as Lord was not doing his masters will.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul the Apostle gives us a huge nugget to chew on “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” Romans 10:9 & 10. This is a 2 part requirement….those who confess and believe are saved. You can say it all you want, but unless you believe it you’re lost.

This servant spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24 was not saved. Remember, Judas Iscariot was with Jesus for His entire earthly ministry, and yet Judas betrayed Him. Was Judas a born again believer just because he spent three years walking the shores of Galilee with Jesus? Certainly not, he was pretending.

We are called by a Holy Calling. Once called, and once we’ve asked Jesus to come into our lives to be our Lord and Saviour, we are justified. We are a new creation in Christ, born again, and according to God Himself, we can never leave our salvation behind. Falter now and then, absolutely. Does it change our status as born again? Not hardly, but here’s the rub. When we become born again, that begins our journey with Christ. We have an obligation to Christ to be a witness for Him. We aren’t accomplishing anything by keeping silent. We must witness to the lost. Many Christians falter in this area. When it comes to witnessing, I believe Christians by their blatant refusal to witness begin to experience a sense of condemnation. Then they begin to feel they’ve lost their salvation. It isn’t that they’ve lost it. It’s that they are hiding it. Share your faith, be His disciple, spread His Gospel to all that will listen. Remember, condemnation is of the Devil.

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