Can Your Name Ever Be Removed From The Book OF Life? Are we, ‘Once saved, always saved?’ Or can we lose our Salvation through sin or other means? This is a major question in every Christian's life, that every person in this room has probably contemplated at one time or another. Strong beliefs in the answer to this question have caused division between church denominations for years, many being very adamant, even hostile about the issue. It has direct and powerful effects on how you view God, and how you think about, and walk your Christian walk. Honestly, an imbalance in how people view this topic sometimes causes them to have a very distorted view of God—some looking at Him in constant fear and dread, unnecessarily, others seeing God with a flippant irreverence and disrespect. Therefore, we can see the extreme importance to learning the Biblical Truth behind such an important question. When your spiritual well-being—your very Spiritual destination—and your emotional and mental health are at stake, whatever your view of this subject, I simply ask you to listen until the end, and speak with me afterwards if you have further questions.
There are two opposite views that are popular today. Each one so radically different from the other, that you wonder if they are reading the same Book sometimes. First opinion (one side of the spectrum)– once you are saved in Christ, you are forever sealed and kept by His power and you can never fall away from that place of salvation again. A radical view of this allows some to think (at least subconsciously), “I can live how I want after I’m saved, and God will forgive me again, I’m secure!” A more realistic and very common situation is this: a Christian may grow slack, impartial, even completely cold towards God through the years, they may even choose to go back to living life totally for themselves again, but, if you ask them, they will assuredly tell you that they are ok, because on such-and-such a day and place they were saved. That is a dangerous position to be in. The opposite opinion is this—after accepting Christ, your continued Salvation will perpetually hinge on whether you remain free of sin in your life, and each time you sin again, you are lost until you repent once more and get right with Christ—even to the point of believing that if you die after knowingly sinning, before you can repent again, you are lost forever. This view will cause a complete nervous breakdown for a true believer. Making them live in constant fear and guilt—never allowing them to live in the true love, forgiveness, and rest that the Scriptures talk about: 1 John 4:17-18. This is almost a cruelty to new believers.
So, with two completely opposing ideas, who is right Scripturally? Both have a nugget of truth in them, but, each view has taken that nugget of truth and carried it far beyond any Scriptural reality. Let’s see what Scriptures blatantly say, with nothing added or taken away—they do speak volumes on the matter—showing every different aspect, every level that we can view this from, and see if we can’t create a solid basis for our beliefs.
Let's start with a solid foundation. Before we dive into Scriptures, let’s first apply God’s known Character to the problem.
Which view stands to reason under His personality? Which view would best uphold His ultimate purpose in mankind?
If my whole goal in life was to have a truly passionate relationship with you, would I really have accomplished that goal if, after getting you to marry me, I locked you in the basement and never let you leave whether you truly continued to love me or not? Or, I hypnotized you afterwards and made you choose to love me forever, regardless of your true feelings? Of course not. The absolute same thing is true with God—He wants your true love, not just a convert. He gave you a choice to love Him or not in the beginning, why would that freedom change after conversion? Why would He hold you captive or turn you into a robot after you made that initial choice? He wouldn’t—He would want a continuous, growing love affair, just like we would. The often-quoted Scriptures to prove eternal salvation are these: Romans 8:38-39; John 10:28-29: these verses alone may make you wonder. But, two important things to take careful note of, when you read these texts for what they truly say:
1) these verses must coincide with many, many, many other verse concerning the same topic and the loss of salvation 2) we must see these verses for exactly what they are saying. Both verses emphatically say that God will never stop loving us, no matter what, and that no power on earth or in heaven could take us away from the God who loves us. So, let's look at that in a real, and practical scenario: No one could ever make me stop loving my own wife, could they? No man could ever take my wife away from me as long as I had the power to protect her, right? But would she, herself, still have the power to walk away when she chose to do so? Absolutely. Nothing could stop my love for her, no one could steal her away from me, but because I want her true love, she must always be there by her choice, she can always walk away at her own will. And on the flip-side, this is just as true in a marriage, if you were truly, deeply in love with your spouse, would you want to throw them away every time they made a mistake until they got it right again? In God’s own plan for marriage, if you really loved them you’d stay with them and work through anything, as long as they were willing to dwell with you. Look how powerfully and clearly, this next verse stresses these points about God’s Character: 2 Timothy 2:11-13. So, God’s Character—His Plan—would seem to say: Nothing can take you away from His love and protection, and He will never give up on us just because we fall or even have a momentary lapse of faith, but in His fairness and desire for a true relationship, we are free to walk away ourselves at any time. This makes sense in theory, but, is it supported by Scripture?
If we could walk away from God, and the results were a loss of salvation, and a lost relationship with Him, I think it would be fair to say that He would strongly warn us of that fact in Scriptures. So, is that the fact? Do Scriptures warn us?: Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:12-14; Galatians 4:8-9, 11; Colossians 1:21-23; 2 Peter 3:17-18; Matthew 10:22; Matthew 24:11-13; 1 Corinthians 15:1-2; Matthew 5:13 [Need we go on?] In reality, there are many pages of Scriptures that could be read with the same warnings, but, this is enough to show a very clear pattern that God’s Prophets and Apostles warn us clearly and repeatedly, of the possibility of turning from God, and forfeiting one’s Salvation—as a choice, not because we stumble or sin.
Does Scripture ever just state that you can lose Salvation directly—no hinting, straight up, spelled out plain text? Let’s take a look at just how directly Scriptures will go to spell this out for us: Hebrews 6:4-6, 11-12; Revelation 3:3-6; Exodus 32:30-33; Psalm 69:27-28; Revelation 22:19; 2 Peter 2:20-22.
Jesus Christ Himself, describes in great detail, how true followers can fall away before He returns. Listen to this parable closely: Matthew 25:1-13. Notice all ten were brides waiting for their Bridegroom. All ten initially had a light ignited for Christ. So, although all ten were believing, waiting, and burning for their God, the foolish virgins simply did not endure in their desire for the Bridegroom. Could there be a more clear and exact parable to tell us some will not remain in the faith, not, that they never believed? Scriptures are clear that no one loses their Salvation because they stumble in trials or fall victim to a sin. God loves and protects and secures us, even when we fall, but the Bible is just as perfectly clear time and again, to the open-minded reader, that you can walk away from God—you can give up your Salvation—and just in case you still aren't convinced, or you believe that a person who falls away again, must never have actually truly believed in the first place—what is still the same outcome for that person? Misled; lost; in need of Christ.
Next week we will talk about: What causes many to walk away from God? How does it happen after knowing such an awesome, loving Christ? Can you always be restored after you have fallen? These are things that you need to know in order to help other hurting people for Christ; these are things you may need to know for yourself. Are you on the edge of walking away from God? Are you absorbed in a secret world of sin that no one else knows about—that has taken your heart away from Him? Have you lost the love you once had for Him? 2 Peter 3:17.
There are most probably some here, who had a moment of emotion and a trip to the altar when you were younger, that never resulted in any real or lasting change, but you feel you are safe in Christ, because of that moment. Nothing could be farther from the Truth.
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