You salvation which comes from Jesus is highly valuable. This will keep you from going to hell when you die and away from eternal judgement at the Final Judgement. With salvation they joys and security of eternal life in Christ are promised. We must take care that we always have our salvation from God. So here’s a question that pertains to this; can salvation be lost?
A quick and direct answer to this is that salvation can be lost if you give up on Jesus and the Gospel. One can also say that if a person was a Christian but renounced the faith later and then became an atheist then he will automatically lose his salvation. It’s that simple. Now, I know that for a question like this, it’s important to know why salvation can be lost. Also some may wonder what does it mean by ‘give up’ in this case. I’d suggest that you read the following as objectively as you can to understand why a person may lose his/her salvation.
An uneasy question indeed!
This question that makes people very uneasy in church, office and school. The fear of eternal damnation is so compelling that people try to avoid this topic when at dinner at home or at a church picnic. They prefer if the preacher is preaching about dangers of being in sin to a general audience instead of smaller groups or one on one.
If you don’t ignore physical safety then why ignore spiritual security?
When it comes to your physical safety, you know there are rules and principles to be followed. You don’t fiddle with the law of gravity but take due precautions when going in an aircraft. Small babies by instinct scream when they see a vicious snake around and so alert their parents. If you see a landmine its unwise to step on it even if your captain says to tap it, you’d rather choose to disobey him and throw a stone on it from (real) far away to show him that is dangerous. So if we take care of our physical safety how much more must be aware of everything related to our spiritual security in this life and the life to come?
Beware of the bandwagon effect
Then as usual you have the denominational bandwagon effect in which legalistic people are of the opinion that if you follow all their rules you are saved but if you do not, then you’re not going to heaven. Also, there is the permissive crowd which has a feeling that everybody will go to heaven if they say the sinners prayer no matter how they behave later. It’s not wise to depend on someone’s feelings or opinions when it comes to salvation. You need to have the facts which prove themselves true in every situation and every time. This is a case of reality and not wishful thinking. No wonder you need to know that the Bible says about salvation and losing salvation.
To understand salvation lets read the below scripture verses. I’ve put an explanation in italics, where necessary.
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
- Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24) (‘my word’ means the Gospel which also includes repentance of sins)
- Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
- and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31)
- For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
- If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)
- Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) (It’s Jesus who saves us and not our good works)
To get a clear picture of how a person can lose salvation you can refer to the following scripture verses. Lots of verses here, so you may like to slow down a bit, when reading them:
- Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:18)
- “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46)
- “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
- For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)
- He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Romans 2:6-8) (here ‘patience in well-doing’ means to continue to believe in Jesus’ work of salvation for them)
- Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
- But the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book. (Exodus 32:33)
- And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelation 22:19)
- The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:11-12)
- For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. (Hebrews 10:26-28)
- And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:3-4)
- But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die. “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. (Ezekiel 18:24-26) (in context of the Gospel, this would indicate any person who turns away from the Gospel is deemed a sinner)
And finally please consider:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36)
So by this we must have great regard of the salvation which comes to us from Jesus and never take it lightly. If you have sinned, there is hope. Simply repent of your sins and unbelief and choose to follow Jesus again.