Can a Christian lose salvation?

(Sujan) #1

Can a Christian who accepts Jesus as personal saviour and attains salvation could loose salvation by any means?. What if a man is saved and commits sin after salvation but does not repent for the sins committed after salvation…

The below verses are the instructions given by Paul to his Christian brethren.

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:26‬ ‭

“You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭

“For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭3:14‬ ‭

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:23‬ ‭

If once saved always saved how can we fall away from grace, fall away from living God according to the verses. Why should we hold our original confidence firm till the end.

Introduction: My Name Here chukwudi kingsley
Un-born again?
(Andrew Bulin) #2

I had a good discussion with one of my professors about this. He asked me how good would the promise of salvation would be if it was temporary and not effective to cover us with grace? I’m not where I can dig further into this, but when you look at Paul’s warnings, does he say that once you reach this level of sin, you gauranteed to go to hell?

I know Paul draws a clear line where what a Christian looks like and the fruits of the Spirit for those who are saved. But for those that are failing, I think there is hope that their soul may be saved even if they lose their life (1 Cor. 5:5).

As a servant of the Lord, I feel compelled to continue pouring into others without drawing a line between those that will make it and those that do not. That final decision is in the end and in the Lord’s hands (Mat. 13:24-30).

I think the warnings are like what I tell my kid. I say that good kids act like this, and bad kids act like that. I’m im not trying to label my kiddo as a “good” or “bad” kid, but give him a model to follow and a model to avoid.

How can these warnings of missing the eternal salvation encourage believers to set guidelines for their lives rather that setting a strict line in the sand to place people into categories? Interestingly, could it be these categories and need to label are more a part of a western worldview?

Introduction: my name is Cecilia
(Jimmy Sellers) #3

This is a question that comes up regularly. I cannot think of many questions that can impact a believer’s relationship with the Lord then the thought that you might lose one’s salvations. I don’t believe that it is possible for a believer to lose one’s salvation. I think that the Bible is clear on this. Here is a link on the subject.

After you view the video go back and read the verses that you listed in light of this definition of Christian and I think you will see that in all these cases the author of the letters was talking to people who had not made the full commitment to Jesus as Messiah.

Please share your thoughts on this.

(Andrew Bulin) #4

Hey @Jimmy_Sellers, I like that video. It’s along the lines of my thinking that the one who is not saved in the end was not truly saved to begin with.

Matthew 7:21-23 NASB
[21] "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. [22] Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ [23] And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS .’ …

(Sujan) #5

HI @Jimmy_Sellers

Thank you for the video.

In Heb 10:26 when Paul writes saying If “we” go on sinning after receiving knowledge of truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins. I think Paul writes to all believers who have accepted Christ like him and hence he is referring as" If we go on sinning…"… If that is the case then should we understand as there no longer is salvation for those who deliberately sin even after accepting christ and salvation.?

(christopher van zyl) #6

I think to answer your question we must look at the last part of that verse. He says “there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins”. I take this to mean that only Christ is sufficient. There is only one salvation. He can only give what He has, not what He has not. And so I think it is clear that this verse isn’t about people continuing to sin after accepting Christ, but that they have not accepted Christ and they are continuing to sin and therefore there no longer remains a sacrifice. They have rejected the only sacrifice there is.

I hope this at least sheds a bit of light in this discussion

(Jimmy Sellers) #7

Please forgive me if I point you to another video but this does a very good job of framing the Hebrews in the context of the day. I agree with the video this was written to a very Jewish audience and in order to posit an answer I thought that it might be helpful if we were on the same page. It will not fully address 10:26 but I plan to add some thoughts later today. Again I do think you are asking a very good question and there are as always several different thoughts on this verse.

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #8

When I had questions about salvation I stumbled across these verses in Hebrews during my daily Bible study:

Hebrews 9:24-28 NIV
[24] For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. [25] Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. [26] Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. [27] Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, [28] so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Hope that helps a bit.

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Heb. 6:1-2 is a good summary of our covenant program. With all the various definitions of “salvation”, one must ask what am I being saved from and to? An informative quick study is to look at all the verses in the Bible about saved, salvation, covenant, etc since all of them apply. How can one be saved from the consequences of sin unless he/she stops being in conflict the Creator God’s self and kingdom? God’s promises are based upon OUR fully obedient response, otherwise it is one sided and we have learned/loved nothing of Him. This subject is too important for a superficial answer. In a noble approach, Divinity has not removed our agency to choose or reject Him by our actions, etc. He always welcomes us back but we have to repent and make the journey back. No journey… ? What does scripture and the Holy Spirit say… ? May He Who Is draw us closer.

(Benjamin Kaigoulen Baite) #10

What I ve learned is that,man isn’t perfect and are always prone to sin and wander away from God’s will even after receiving assurance of salvation…but one thing is required that he or she must go daily sanctification through repentance and claim the promises of God and clear up his or her conscience with God in prayer and sincerity…Thank you.

(Jimmy Sellers) #11

@valli.sujankumar, I am sorry for the delay in replying to you. I hope this makes sense as it became a little more involved that I thought. But here goes. I have present to views on the subject.
John MacArthur takes the position that this verse describes an apostate. From his commentary on Hebrews he writes these thoughts:

“Of the five warnings given in Hebrews, the one in this passage is by far the most serious and sobering. It may be the most serious warning in all of Scripture. It deals with apostasy.”
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (p. 270). Chicago: Moody Press.

Apostasy is not new in the Bible it represents a willful rejection of the revealed truth of God. Again MacArthur:

“Apostasy is not new, nor is God’s attitude toward it. It is the most serious of all sins, because it is the most deliberate and willful form of unbelief. It is not a sin of ignorance, but of rejecting known truth.”
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 270–271). Chicago: Moody Press.

The ultimate NT example is Judas:

"His story is the supreme contradiction to the common excuse, “I would probably believe in Christ if I just had a little more evidence, a little more light.” Judas had the perfect evidence, the perfect light, the perfect example. For some three years he lived with Truth incarnate and Life incarnate, yet turned his back on the One who is truth and life.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (p. 271). Chicago: Moody Press.

I thought it interesting to consider that apostasy is not something that happen on the fringe of the body of believers but in the very heart of the church.

“An apostate can be bred only in the brilliant light of proximity to Christ. Apostates are not made in the absence, but in the presence, of Christ. They are bred almost without exception within the church, in the very midst of God’s people. It is possible for a person to read the Bible on his own, to see the gospel clearly, and then reject it—apart from direct p 273 association with Christians. But by and large, apostates come from within the church.”
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 272–273). Chicago: Moody Press.

The second way of understanding this verse will come from David deSilva’s book, Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews”.

From his introduction deSilva states:

“Rhetorical analysis offers a wealth of insights into the way in which a NT text sought to persuade its hearers to take a particular course of action.”
deSilva, D. A. (2000). Perseverance in gratitude: a socio-rhetorical commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews” (p. 39). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

He (deSilva) draws heavily on Greek and Romans rhetorical style in his commentary and uses the sourcebooks of “Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric, Anaximenes’s Rhetorica ad Alexandrum (wrongly attributed to Aristotle), the Rhetorica ad Herennium (wrongly attributed to Cicero), Cicero’s On Invention, On the Orator, Partitions of Oratory, Brutus, The Orator, and Topics, and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria. handbook of Aristole….The handbooks tell us much about how orators and leaders would persuade their audiences to take a particular course of action, to embody a certain value, or to render a certain verdict. They tell us how these community leaders would appeal to the mind, the emotions, and the trust of the audience.”
deSilva, D. A. (2000). Perseverance in gratitude: a socio-rhetorical commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews” (p. 40). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Here are some points deSilva makes as he explains this verse. Try to keep in mind that even through this is a Jewish audience they have not been in a vacuum they would understand all the subtleties and nuancing that the author of Hebrews was trying to convey in the rhetoric of the day.

  • In 10:26 he echoes Numbers 15:22-31 where Moses explains the difference between “unintentional sin” and “intentional sin” (high handed). Unintentional sin has a remedy (sin offering) unintentional sin has no remedy only punishment.
  • In 10:27 the warning of “expectation of judgment and a fury of fire” is a recontextualizing of Isaiah 26:11. deSilva says “Using Isaiah at once lends legitimacy and imminence to the threat the author invokes and thus contributes to turning the wavering among the congregation away from apostasy.”
  • In 10:28 the author of Hebrews quotes Deuteronomy 17:6 “upon the testimony of two or three witnesses” but with a twist here he included all sin not just the sin of idolatry which is one of the main points of Deuteronomy 17. deSilva says this about 10:28, “Deuteronomy 17:6 is used to provide the lesser case in a lesser-to-greater argument (if offending against Torah brought these consequences, how much worse will befall the one who offends the Son?). It thus contributes materially to the development of the argument against a particular course of action (namely, violating the covenant with Jesus through shrinking back from open association with the Christian group).”
  • In 10:30 the author quotes from Deuteronomy 32 the Song of Moses this time playing on the difference between the LXX and the Masoretic texts. “This was originally a promise by God to vindicate his own people after they were trodden upon by their enemies. Here it becomes a warning directed toward God’s own people (supporting the author’s dissuasion from apostasy).”
  • In 10:31 the author’s “…terse, forceful statements from the Song of Moses concerning God’s judgment are now brought to bear on the potential apostate, who must be reminded that “to fall into the hands of the living God is a fearful thing” (Heb 10:31). This conclusion continues to resonate with the Song of Moses, as God declares in Deuteronomy 32:39 that “there is none who shall deliver out of my hands”. The ultimate danger any human being could face is to encounter God, the Judge of all, as an enemy. The author adduces these texts to emphasize his point that God avenges violations of his honor, which is the topic of the whole Song of Moses. The addressees are reminded that there is one to fear, namely, the One with power to inflict the punishment that is greater than death: the friendship of this One is worth maintaining even in the face of the hostility of “those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Mt 10:28).”

As a modern day protestant I might question 10:26 as a paradox but as a 1st century believer I would understand that it is impossible to go on willfully sinning (high handed intentional rebellion against the Truth of the Gospel) and still know the grace of God.

As a Christian raised in the protestant tradition I will hang my salvation on the finished work of Christ Jesus much as the 1st century believer did.

John 10:27–29, Romans 8:35–39, John 20:30-31

(Chase Adams Johnson) #12

Thanks for your response Andrew. I have been studying (and struggling) with the idea of gaining and then forfeiting salvation. The interim pastor at my church made a statement, like yours, that brought clarity to my mind: " . . . my job is to help people get ready, not decide if they are . . ." *rough paraphrase…
Thank you for not giving up on anyone just because they do not always behave like a Christian. I find that attitude encouraging, and truly inspiring.
I have been, and still to often do, allow my flesh to dictate if I ‘like’ a person and so do not Love them as our Lord commanded. I withhold knowledge of saving grace, or chastise believers without mercy. I feel calling me a clanging cymbal would be a kindness.
I would like to be filled with the Spirit so that I may pour myself as an offering into the lives of others, not a dictator who prevents them from experiencing love.

(Russell Mashburn) #13

I feel that because we are sinners we will always make mistakes. Everyone has their own weakness’s that evil tries to grow in. The struggle forces us to make a choice. Do we try dealing with it on our own or do we cling to the Lord for help? I believe the Lord loves it when his sheep hears their Shepards call and wants to be receptive to him. If I’m doing something wrong he will prompt me by something simple, but amazing (being receptive). He knows our heart and how weak we are. Pray for him to make you receptive to his guidance. It’s impossible to be saved on our own, but through Christ Jesus anything is possible.