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As Christians, our salvation is at the very core of our faith. The Bible teaches that salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned, but is freely given to those who believe in Jesus Christ. However, there are some who teach that Christians can lose their salvation. This is contrary to the teachings of Scripture, and it is a dangerous heresy.
This false teaching not only undermines the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, but it also undermines the assurance of salvation that believers are meant to have. It undermines the fact that Christians can rest in the finished work of Jesus on the cross for the full accomplishment of our redemption. Worse, it trivializes the work of our Lord.
The teaching that Christians can lose their salvation is contrary to the clear teachings of Scripture. For example, in John 10:27-29, Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand”.
This passage clearly states that those who belong to Jesus will never perish and cannot be snatched out of His hand or the hand of the Father.
Romans 8:38-39 says, "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord".
This passage highlights the fact that nothing can separate believers from the love of God, which includes losing their salvation.
“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”.Philippians 1:6
The teaching that Christians can lose their salvation is inconsistent with the sovereignty of God. God is truly sovereign, and to think that He would allow those whom He has saved to fall away and lose their salvation is nonsense. If a person could lose their salvation, then it would mean that they have the power to undo the work that God has done in their life, which is a direct challenge to His sovereignty.
The sovereignty of God is strongly evident in the teachings of the church fathers and Puritans. Augustine, one of the most influential church fathers, wrote, “The perseverance of the saints is the gift of God, and that He who has begun the good work in them will carry it on to completion” (Augustine, On the Gift of Perseverance, ch. 16). Similarly, the Puritan theologian John Owen wrote, “Those who are truly converted and justified, He [God] will so guide and uphold by his Spirit, as that they shall not totally nor finally fall away from Him” (Owen, The Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance, ch. 6).
A commonly cited passage in support of the idea that Christians can lose their salvation is Hebrews 6:4-6, which says, “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt”. However, this passage is not speaking of believers losing their salvation, but rather of those who have heard the gospel and tasted of its benefits, but have not truly been born again. The warning here is not to fall away from faith, but rather to come to true saving faith.
The idea that Christians can lose their salvation undermines the assurance of salvation that believers are meant to have. If a person believes that they can lose their salvation, then they will always be in a state of uncertainty and fear. However, the Bible teaches that believers can have confidence in their salvation. 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life”. This passage emphasizes that believers can have assurance of their salvation, which is a critical aspect of the Christian faith.
The Perseverance of the Saints
The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints affirms that salvation is a gift of God’s grace that cannot be earned or lost by human effort. Those who are truly saved are kept by God’s power and are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14). This assurance of salvation is a source of great comfort and hope for believers, who can rest in the knowledge that their eternal destiny is secure in Christ.
The Perseverance of the Saints is a central doctrine in theology. This is because it is grounded in Scripture and in the sovereignty of God. While the silly debate may continue, Christians can take comfort in the fact that if they have been saved, God will keep them until the end.
In conclusion, teaching that Christians can lose their salvation is a dangerous heresy that undermines the sovereignty of God, the clear teachings of Scripture, and the assurance of salvation that believers are meant to have. While some passages may seem to support this idea, a careful examination of Scripture and the teachings of the church fathers and Puritans reveals that it is not a biblical belief. As believers, we can rest in the assurance that once we have been saved, we will remain saved for all eternity. Let us trust in the Lord and the promise of His Word,
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Romans 8:37-39
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Salvation is a gift of God’s grace that cannot be earned or lost by human effort.
Come to Christ and rest in the assurance of His finished work on the cross.