Baptists/question / about salvation
Good day! I have a question, I hope you will be kind enough to answer it. Here's the question:
can a person lose his/her salvation after being saved? If your answer is no, then kindly explain the meaning of these confusing bible verses. A short explanation for each verse is enough.If you cannot explain all, just answer what you know.Thank you.
1 Corinthians 1:22-23
Hebrews 3:6 and 14
Revelation 2:10, 25-36, 3:1-5
2 Peter 2:20-22
I would appreciate it very much if you can help in explaining meaning of the bible verses given.
( from Philippines )
Good afternoon, Ram. Thank you for writing. I recognize your name from the JW category, as I believe you have approached some of them with questions, as well? Thank you for contacting me with your excellent questions.
You ask...."can a person lose his/her salvation after being saved? If your answer is no, then kindly explain the meaning of these confusing bible verses."
The reason I am not going to break down each of these Scriptures individually, is for 2 reasons....It would be very time consuming, and would be much easier to take them one at a time. If you wish to discuss any of them individually, I will be happy to do so. I think a couple of them, do pertain to the doctrine of eternal security, but some of them, do not. Some are, contextually, either before the New Covenant, or during the Tribulation. But as I said, there are some that do pertain to the topic. Secondly, since my answer is not going to be "no" to your question, then I'm not sure its necessary, and you specified for me to explain them, IF my answer is "no".
In a case like this, I prefer to not just give you my personal opinion, but to let the Scriptures themselves answer the question. What I will do, is try to present a balanced answer, and look at the Scriptures to support both sides of the argument.
There are many sincere Christians who truly are saved, on both sides of this discussion, but in the end, the Bible has to be the final authority. Not man, not a denomination, not a preacher, etc.
Here is my belief, Ram....And this comes from many years of studying this very subject. I realize my answer may not set well with either my Pentecostal brethren, or even my Baptist brethren, which I myself am a Baptist. But as I told a questioner awhile back....I'm about 99% Baptist, not 100%. This issue is where I deviate from Baptist doctrine just a bit.
But let's be balanced, if we may. The fact is, there are MANY wonderful and precious promises of security to the believer in Jesus Christ. We have promises from our Lord Himself, that we NEVER have to worry about losing our salvation. Reason being, He is the One Who gave it to us, and we are in His hand. He is not going to drop us, or forget that we are His. He is well able to keep us, just as He has saved us.
John 10:27-28- "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
So, we see that NO man has the power to remove us from His hand.
Eph. 4:30- "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
2 Cor. 1:21-22- "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."
1 Peter 1:3-5- "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
Clearly, we are begotten by God, we have an incorruptible inheritance which is reserved for us in Heaven, and we are kept, not of our own power or our "living right", but by the power of God.
Now, that being said, right alongside the wonderful promises of security for the one who is trusting Christ, are some pretty serious warnings, as well.....
Hebrews 10:35-39- "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."
I don't think we can just dismiss the warnings, either. We can certainly rest on the promises, but we must keep in mind the warnings, as well.
Galatians 5:19-21- "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
So, the question arises....Will a habitual adulterer, or a murderer, or someone who becomes entangled in witchcraft, go to Heaven should they die suddenly, merely because they made a profession of faith at some point?
That's certainly not what I'm reading in the passage above.
In fact, I really question how a true believer in Christ, could wallow in these types of sins, anyway. I realize a Christian can FALL into sin, but I don't believe one who is trusting Christ, can stay there. Something will have to give....either they will repent of the sin, or the sin will destroy their faith. And that is where I believe the answer lies, Ram.....
I do not hold to the position held by SOME Pentecostals, that people "get saved" over and over again, and that we lose our salvation every time we mess up, or commit a sin. For instance, if I'm driving 80 in a 70 mph speed limit zone, and die in an automobile crash, I'm not going to Hell because of it. But nor do I believe we can just forsake our faith in Christ, turn from it, and go out and get involved in a wicked, debauched lifestyle, either. If we do that, our faith will ultimately become ship-wrecked, and we will no longer be trusting in Christ. It takes faith to get saved, and I believe that our standing with God, depends on our continual trusting in Christ. Suppose a person once served God, but then lost faith and became an atheist, and no longer even believes that God or Christ exists? Are they saved? How are they saved, if they're not trusting in Christ?
I know that answer may not set well with some Baptists either, but as I said....I'm a Bible-believer first, and a Baptist second. Unlike the JW religion, who will take the Organization's teaching when it conflicts with the Bible, I choose to take the Bible's statements, over those of a denomination. Until God shows me that I have misunderstood the Bible passages, that is where I'm at. I believe salvation is a wonderful free gift from God, and it is not to be taken for granted, or treated as something unholy.
Heb. 10:26-29- "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"
And the last verse in the list you gave me, speaks pretty plainly....
2 Peter 2:20-22- "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
There isn't much to add to that, is there?
But here's the thing I would urge caution on, Ram....NONE of this means that we are saved by our works, or that we are kept by living a good life. Our works cannot save us, nor does our good life, keep us. And that is the problem with so many....We think being saved depends on us, and nothing could be further from the truth. I could live the best moral life possible, and even keep the 10 commandments to the best of my ability, but without faith in Christ, I am lost. However, the fact of the matter is, that a Christian who plays around with sin, will ultimately experience a loss of faith. I've seen it play out far too many times. That is where the danger lies.
That's what Jesus meant, when He said "Abide in me"
(Jn. 15:4-6). If we are trusting in Him, we are doing just that....abiding in Him.
I know one thing for certain....My faith in His finished work is rock solid, and it will get me home, no matter what this world throws at me. My trust for my salvation, is COMPLETELY in the shed blood of Christ, and His completed work on the cross.
Thank you for writing, and I hope this answer was helpful.