This is a question that haunts Christians who may stumble in their path or experience periods of doubt: can you lose salvation? Has your stumbling and doubt destroyed your chance of ever entering God’s presence? To answer this question, we have to look at what it means to be a true Christian in heart, mind and soul. We have to look at salvation and all that it entails.
What is a Christian?
Remember, a prayer does not make someone Christian. Neither does being born in a Christian family or having a special seat in the church. Christians are not made up of Christian-like experiences but rather by the faith that exists inside them. A Christian is someone who has faith. More than that, it is someone who believes in the salvation given to us by Jesus Christ, our Savior. “For by Grace you have been saved through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16; Acts 16:31)
What is Salvation?
Now that you know what a Christian is, think about salvation. Jesus gave us the chance at salvation. God has promised and guaranteed us so much as a result of His sacrifice.
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). A Christian is a brand new creation. What once was is replaced by something different. God creates. Now, can you reverse the process of creation?
- “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19) The word ‘redeem’ means to recover that which you’ve lost by paying a price. We know what God’s price was. It was the blood of His son. This means that a loss of salvation is a revocation of that price.
- “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) To ‘justify’ someone is to declare them right or, in the terms of the Bible, righteous. A Christian is made righteous through faith. God knows every inch of our soul and the deepest parts of our hearts. With all His knowledge of us, would he mistake our faith?
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). God gave a promise in this verse. He promised that a Christian would have eternal life ahead of them. They could look forward to an eternity in His presence. To take away eternal life, God would have to break a promise to people He loved enough to gift with His son.
- “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30) Romans 5:1 teaches us that justification is declared by faith. A Christian declares their faith. They are the predestined, the called and the justified. For the justified, there is glorification. So, Christians are guaranteed that glorification, that perfect resurrection of the body in heaven.
A Christian Cannot Lose Salvation
The Bible supports this because a loss of Salvation invalidates God’s word, His power and Jesus’ sacrifice. We cannot unmake His new creations. There is no revoking the price Jesus paid as our savior. God knows us too well to mistakenly declare us justified. Eternal life is a promise He will not break. Glorification follows justification and it is guaranteed for the predestined.
The Scripture has made it clear that God does not take back His Word. He does not change His mind. Salvation is promised.
Ephesians 1:11-14 says, "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
There are those who claim a Christian can lose salvation. However, what are their objections?
- Some Christians remain immoral.
- A Christian can still lose their faith.
- A Christian can still deny Christ.
For an answer to those questions, you have to look back at what it means to be a Christian. 1 John 3:6 makes it clear that a true Christian does not remain immoral. 1 John 2:19 teaches us that someone who abandons their faith was never a true Christian. A true Christian does not deny God.
A true Christian cannot be taken from God or removed from His hand, but they can instead expect the salvation He will deliver. (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:38-39) Jude 1:24-25 says, “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”