YOU CAN LOSE
God will not leave you, but by continuing in sin, you are being unfaithful and leaving Him, just like an adulterer or adulteress. He will come after you, but if you continue to go your own way, you could lose it all.
God loves us and wants us to love Him. He is a faithful Father and Husband; He will not leave you. However, you can choose to leave Him. Christians, by their own free will, often choose the things of this world instead of loving and serving God. God will not leave you, but by continuing in sin, you are being unfaithful and leaving Him, just like an adulterer or adulteress. He will come after you, but if you continue to go your own way, you could lose it all.
Those who promote the “once saved, always saved” doctrine often refer to the sonship of the believer. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14). By using this verse, they say a son will always remain a son and can never lose his inheritance. Seems good, but is it true? A husband and wife are even closer than a son, “and the two shall become one flesh; so, then they are no longer two, but one flesh.” (Mark 10:8). Nevertheless, Jesus said marriage could be dissolved in the case of adultery. (Matthew 19:9). James warns the Christians who love the world, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4).
Our loving Father is merciful and forgiving. He welcomes the repentant prodigal son home with open arms (Luke 15:10). But we all have a free will. Some Christians will love the world, harden their heart, and never return. Sadly, there are many prodigals, adulterers and adulteresses sitting in our churches. They love the world far more than they love God.
Consider these conditions – “IF” is a very big word:
• You are reconciled to God IF you continue in the faith – “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight – IF indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard…” (Colossians 1:21-23).
• You are partakers of Christ IF you are steadfast to the end “For we have become partakers of Christ IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.” (Hebrews 3:14).
• You are secure in Christ IF you abide in Him: “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 15:6). Jesus is clearly speaking about Christians. They were part of the vine, but did not abide (remain). The fire mentioned here is not refiner’s fire. Wood cannot be refined.
• You are secure in Christ IF you continue in His goodness: “For if God did not spare the natural branches (Jews), He may not spare you (Christians) 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.” (Romans11:21-22).
I don’t think we should allow our differing viewpoints to divide us, but “once saved, always saved” is a dangerous doctrine. During times of weakness, Christians who believe in eternal security are more vulnerable to the lies of the enemy. Many have heard him say, “Go ahead, it’s okay. You can’t lose your salvation.” Then, they succumb to the temptation. It is easier to resist temptation when you fear God and the serious consequences of sin, knowing if you continue in sin, your name could be blotted from the Book of Life.
Revelation 2 says that Jesus hates what the Nicolaitans taught (2:6) and would judge the Church of Pergamum, because there were some there who held these beliefs (2:15). Irenaeus, a 2nd century Church father, said the Nicolaitans “lead lives of unrestrained indulgence.” They taught that man can freely partake in sin because the Law of God is no longer binding. They were “righteous” because they believed in Christ. They believed the deeds of the flesh did not affect the well-being of the soul and, therefore, did not affect their salvation.
The current false grace teaching doesn’t say, “It’s okay to sin,” but to say that you remain righteous even when you are sinning, and there is no need for repentance because your sins are already covered by grace, implies that you can continue in sin and there will be no eternal consequences. The flesh is weak, and to teach that you can never lose your salvation endangers those being tempted.
Here are a few other significant scriptures:
James 5:19-20 – “Brethren, if anyone among you (a Christian) wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul [not body] from death and cover a multitude of sins.” This can’t mean physical death; it is referring to the soul.
Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” These are Spirit-filled Christians operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but they’re not spending time with the Lord and they are continuing in sin—perhaps pride, sex, money, etc.
Revelation 3:5 – “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Why would Jesus tell the Christians in Sardis that He would not blot out their name from the Book of Life if that was not possible?
Some will say, “If I have to obey the rules to be saved then I’m earning my salvation.” Salvation is a free gift of grace, purchased by the blood of Jesus, for all who will believe in Him. It’s not earned by doing good deeds. (Ephesians 2:8-9). Nevertheless, if someone gave you an expensive ticket to your favorite sporting event, I think you’d be grateful and keep it in a safe place. If you foolishly discard it, you won’t get in.
There are also rules for entering a stadium. For instance, they won’t let you in with a box of fireworks. If you refuse to follow their rules, you won’t get in, even with your free ticket. I hope you can see that following the rules didn’t purchase your ticket. You did not earn that ticket by following the rules. It was a free gift.
Salvation is a free gift and you don’t have to earn it. But obedience is required if you want to keep it, you must obediently follow Jesus Christ. There is a big difference between trying to earn your salvation and keeping it. Sadly, many have insulted the Spirit of grace and discarded their salvation. “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29).
This is another way of looking at it:
Moses was a “type” of Christ in that he “saved” the Israelites from the hand of Pharaoh and the bondage of Egypt—he delivered them. Jesus saved and delivered us from the hand of Satan and the bondage of sin. In the following passages you will see that the children of Israel were “saved” from Egypt. Nevertheless, their salvation was an ongoing process until they entered the promised land; it was not a one time event.
After they were saved from Egypt, they were led through the wilderness and their obedience was tested. Sadly, they grumbled, complained, rebelled and lusted after the things of the flesh. God was not pleased with most of them and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Most of them never made it into the promised land. Paul says this is a warning to Christians. Salvation is not just about saying a salvation prayer; it is not a one time event. As you venture through the wilderness of life you must continue to obediently follow Jesus.
1 Corinthians 10:1-5 “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. (This speaks of Christian baptism and communion.) Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.”
1 Corinthians 10:8-11 “We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as EXAMPLES and were written down as WARNINGS for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.”