If I Become Saved, Can I Lose It? – A Biblical Stance
– Is The Salvation Of A Believer Temporary Or Permanent?
– Is Salvation To Be Worked For Or Freely Received?
– How Long Does The Salvation Of A Believer Last?
– Salvation: Is It A Gift Or Is There Room For Works?
– How Long Does A Believer’s Salvation Last?
– Popular Opinions Say Salvation Can Be Lost, But What Does The Bible Teach?
It is no doubt that so many have made the “once saved forever saved” statement without the understanding of salvation and worse still, without being saved themselves.
However, it would be very wrong to establish or to condemn a doctrine based on people’s experiences and perspectives. Only scriptures are profitable for doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16). This article will answer some basic questions like:
1. What is salvation?
2. Is salvation a reward or a gift?
3. What is the durability of the gift?
4. Is there a single record of a believer that lost his salvation in the early church?
Salvation is from the Greek word “sōtēria.” Soteria means ‘deliverance,’ ‘preservation,’ ‘safety,’ and salvation.
The one who has believed in the gospel of Jesus has been saved from sin, delivered from the kingdom of darkness, is safe from the wrath to come and the second death (in the lake of fire), and has been given the Holy Spirit (John 3:16, Acts 2:38, Colossians 1:27, Ephesians 1:13, 1 Thessalonians 1:10).
Salvation is God’s gift of love to mankind. We didn’t do anything to merit this gift of love from God (1 John 1:10).
“We were yet sinners when Christ died for us- (Romans 5:8)”
It is not a reward for a work well done. It is an unmerited gift from God (Ephesians 2:8).
That said, what then is the value of the gift of salvation from God?
It is natural to love and adore a gift because of the value it has. One of the factors that determine the value of a gift is its durability.
God’s gift of salvation was purchased by the blood of Jesus. Under the law of Moses, animals were slaughtered, and their blood was used for the atonement of sins (Leviticus 6:6,9, Hebrews 9:22). But the blood of animals couldn’t deal with the sin problem, because it only covered for a year long.
“It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Hebrews 10:4).” The only thing the blood of bulls and calves could do, was to purchase a temporary (year-long) salvation!
But when Jesus came, and shed his blood, it dealt with the sin problem eternally; once and for all! (Hebrews 9:24-26). The blood of Jesus Christ brought about an eternal redemption from sin (Hebrews 9:12). The blood offered for sin determines the value and durability of the salvation provided. The blood of bulls and calves, as clearly seen in the scriptures provided an annual (temporary) salvation, while the blood of Jesus Christ brought about an eternal redemption from sin (Hebrews 9:12).
About The Corinthian Church.
The believers in the church at Corinth were addressed as “saints,” “sanctified,” “beloved,” and “brethren,” even though some of them were immoral. Apostle Paul didn’t tell them to stop being immoral because if they continued they would lose their salvation. Nothing of such was mentioned in the epistles; not even a single record of a believer in Christ who lost his salvation.
If losing salvation to sin was possible, then it could have been a major warning by the Apostles. They could have said it clearly in all their epistles to the churches. We would have read something like “If you continue in your sins, you would lose your salvation, like XYZ lost his/hers.”
See how Apostle Paul addressed his letter to a church with immoral people: To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours… (1 Corinthians 1:2).
From verse 10 downwards, he talked about the division amongst them. Notice also that he didn’t tell them that by doing that (being divided) they could lose their salvation. Instead, he reminded them that they’ve been chosen by God, and also, that Christ is their righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:26-30).
The one who is saved but acts immorally is yet a babe in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:1), not a sinner! A sinner has not been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ. The believer in Christ has been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ (Revelations 1:5).
Throughout the early church and the epistles, we see some believers acting immorally but not a single one of them were told that salvation could be lost. Not one!
Are we now teaching that believers should live in sins? No!
Know that eternal life is a gift. We received this gift by faith in the son of God. But in the coming kingdom of Christ, we shall all be rewarded according to our good works. We were called unto good works (Ephesians 2:10), and our works shall be tested by fire. Our works, not us! (1 Corinthians 3:13,14), but we shall be saved.
The believer in Christ is therefore taught and admonished to produce good works in righteousness.
We don’t teach that believers should live carelessly because their sins are forgiven eternally. No! That’s a false accusation. No preacher of the gospel has ever said that.
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure (1 John 3:2-3).”
However, if a believer falls into sin, he is not condemned. His salvation is not at stake. He won’t lose his salvation. “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (1 John 2:1).”
If anybody does sin, he won’t lose his salvation. He won’t be condemned. There’s an advocate, Jesus Christ Our Lord!
The fear of losing your salvation is not of God. God is love. Perfect love casts out fear! (1John 4:18). The reason why there’s celebration over a soul that is saved from sin, should tell us that salvation is a once and for all thing (Luke 15:10).
Salvation from sin is possible through faith in Christ alone (Acts 4:12).
and only him can ensure you remain in the faith (Jude 1:24). Nobody gets saved and walks away. Nobody!
“Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us (1 John 2:18-19).”
There’s no record of a believer in Christ who lost his salvation. Could it be that they were all blameless in the early church?
There was no warning about losing your salvation in the epistles!
©Pastor Ikenna Okoye.
As regards the issue of the durability of salvation, numerous big names in the Nigerian Christian scene have taught that on the contrary, salvation can be lost.
What then is your take on this matter?
Feel free to ask questions. Thank you for reading through