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Can Christians Lose Their Salvation?
Christians can lose their salvation. The Bible teaches that God offers salvation to all. But people have the freedom to accept His gift of salvation or reject it at any time. Let’s examine the following references:
1-The Christian’s salvation is dependent on his continual abiding in Christ. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:5-6).
2-The Lord taught the same truth about losing eternal life after being saved in the parable of the sower: “Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” (Luke 8:12).
3-Christ said that a faithful servant can choose to become unfaithful: “…Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household…But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants…the master of that servant..will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers” (Luke 12:42-46).
4-Continued forgiveness from God is dependent on the believer willingness to forgive others. In Matthew 18:21-35, we read of a certain king who forgave a servant a large debt. That servant went out and found a second servant who owed him a small amount. The first servant showed no mercy to the second servant and threw him in prison because the last servant could not pay his debt. When the king heard what had happened, he had his first servant thrown in jail till he paid his debt in full.
5-Salvation is dependent on overcoming sin and endurance. Jesus said, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life” (Revelation 3:5).
6-Salvation is conditional on the Christian’s acceptance of the Lord and following His will:
“If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father” (1 John 2:24).
“If anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38).
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch” (John 15:6).
“If anyone keeps My word he shall never see death” (John 8:51).
“If you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Romans 11:22).
“If you do these things you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:10).
“For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Hebrews 3:14).
“If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:12).
“If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).
“If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14).
“If you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).
“When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it” (Ezekiel 33:18).
7-There was a possibility, for even Paul, to be lost if he cherished sin. He wrote, “lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27).
8-Paul taught of the possibility of born-again believers to suffer damnation if they received the Lord’s Supper unworthily. “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself” (1 Corinthians 11:29).
9-Paul stated that many of God’s chosen Israelites who rejected Christ were, therefore, cut off. The illustration is used of an olive tree. The branches were the children of Israel, but because of their unbelief, they were broken off. Then, some wild olive branches were grafted in, these represent the Gentile Christians. “For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Romans 11: 21, 22).
10-Peter stated that it is possible for Christians to fall away after being truly converted: “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning…” (2 Peter 2:20, 21).
11-Timothy stated that some who first believed will choose later to depart from the faith: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).
12-Believers can leave their first love and lose their salvation if they don’t repent. “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2:4, 5).
From the above Bible references, we learn that as long as the Christian chooses to connect himself to the Lord and follow His path, his salvation will be secure in God. But if a believer, at any time, chooses to disconnect himself from God, he will lose his salvation. A person is free to choose his own path and destiny.
In His service,