Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?

Over thirty years ago I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I remember being baptized in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a wonderful experience, and like most Christians I was on fire for the Lord. I took every opportunity to share my faith. As time passed and I’ve gotten older, I’ve had periods where I drifted away from my faith. After a time of separation from the Lord, He lovingly called me back to the fold.

As the years have passed in my life, I find myself reflecting on those periods of separation and beginning to wonder if my actions have caused me to lose my salvation. You know what I mean. You ask yourself the question, “Was what I did so bad that God will not let me spend eternity in heaven with Him?” These kind of questions beg the overriding question of “will I lose my salvation?”

The following is an article from a trusted and respected source. The tile of the article isCan A Christian Lose Their Salvation?” I hope this article will answer that question for you and alleviate any fears you might have.

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First, the term Christian must be defined. A “Christian” is not a person who has said a prayer or walked down an aisle or been raised in a Christian family. While each of these things can be a part of the Christian experience, they are not what makes a Christian. A Christian is a person who has fully trusted in Jesus Christ as the only Savior and therefore possesses the Holy Spirit (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8–9).

So, with this definition in mind, can a Christian lose salvation? It’s a crucially important question. Perhaps the best way to answer it is to examine what the Bible says occurs at salvation and to study what losing salvation would entail:

A Christian is a new creation. “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 not simply an “improved” version of a person; a Christian is an entirely new creature. He is “in Christ.” For a Christian to lose salvation, the new creation would have to be destroyed.

A Christian is redeemed. “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 redeemed refers to a purchase being made, a price being paid. We were purchased at the cost of Christ’s death. For a Christian to lose salvation, God Himself would have to revoke His purchase of the individual for whom He paid with the precious blood of Christ.

A Christian is justified. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). To justify is to declare righteous. All those who receive Jesus as Savior are “declared righteous” by God. For a Christian to lose salvation, God would have to go back on His Word and “un-declare” what He had previously declared. Those absolved of guilt would have to be tried again and found guilty. God would have to reverse the sentence handed down from the divine bench.

A Christian is promised eternal life. “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). Eternal life is the promise of spending forever in heaven with God. God promises, “Believe and you will have eternal life.” For a Christian to lose salvation, eternal life would have to be redefined. The Christian is promised to live forever. Does eternal not mean “eternal”?

A Christian is marked by God and sealed by the Spirit. “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” (Ephesians 1:13–14). At the moment of faith, the new Christian is marked and sealed with the Spirit, who was promised to act as a deposit to guarantee the heavenly inheritance. The end result is that God’s glory is praised. For a Christian to lose salvation, God would have to erase the mark, withdraw the Spirit, cancel the deposit, break His promise, revoke the guarantee, keep the inheritance, forego the praise, and lessen His glory.

A Christian is guaranteed glorification. “Those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:30). According to Romans 5:1, justification is ours at the moment of faith. According to Romans 8:30, glorification comes with justification. All those whom God justifies are promised to be glorified. This promise will be fulfilled when Christians receive their perfect resurrection bodies in heaven. If a Christian can lose salvation, then Romans 8:30 is in error, because God could not guarantee glorification for all those whom He predestines, calls, and justifies.

A Christian cannot lose salvation. Most, if not all, of what the Bible says happens to us when we receive Christ would be invalidated if salvation could be lost. Salvation is the gift of God, and God’s gifts are “irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). A Christian cannot be un-newly created. The redeemed cannot be unpurchased. Eternal life cannot be temporary. God cannot renege on His Word. Scripture says that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

Two common objections to the belief that a Christian cannot lose salvation concern these experiential issues: 1) What about Christians who live in a sinful, unrepentant lifestyle? 2) What about Christians who reject the faith and deny Christ? The problem with these objections is the assumption that everyone who calls himself a “Christian” has actually been born again. The Bible declares that a true Christian will not live a state of continual, unrepentant sin (1 John 3:6). The Bible also says that anyone who departs the faith is demonstrating that he was never truly a Christian (1 John 2:19). He may have been religious, he may have put on a good show, but he was never born again by the power of God. “By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:16). The redeemed of God belong “to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God” (Romans 7:4).

Nothing can separate a child of God from the Father’s love (Romans 8:38–39). Nothing can remove a Christian from God’s hand (John 10:28–29). God guarantees eternal life and maintains the salvation He has given us. The Good Shepherd searches for the lost sheep, and, “when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home” (Luke 15:5–6). The lamb is found, and the Shepherd gladly bears the burden; our Lord takes full responsibility for bringing the lost one safely home.

Jude 24–25 further emphasizes the goodness and faithfulness of our Savior: “To Him who is able to keep you from falling 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.”

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Advancing Through Adversity

At medical checkups, children periodically need immunizations. Boys and girls may not understand that inoculations protect them; from their point of view, they are experiencing pain—while someone who loves them is allowing it! Such an experience affords a little insight into God’s dealings with His children. It answers one of the questions we often ask when painful things happen to us: Where is God or Why is this happening to me?

The Bible tells us that “in all their affliction He was afflicted” (Isa. 63:9). You may remember your earthly father restraining you so that the doctor could administer the injection. Perhaps you recall him commenting that the experience hurt him more than it did you. That is exactly what our heavenly Father is describing in this Bible passage. To a childish mind, it is an utterly incomprehensible concept, but when we have children of our own, we grasp it clearly. We then begin to understand what kind of a God we have. He Himself entered into all our agony, and He has tasted the last drop in our own cup of suffering.

Where is God? He is where the pain is. The book of Isaiah says, “He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him” (Isa. 53:5).

As you face hard times, look into the Savior’s tear-stained face—you won’t see anything but love. If we would follow Jesus, we must bear the fellowship of His suffering. We must go where He is, and the cross is one of the sweetest places to find Him.

What It Means to Pray in Faith

Mark 11:20-24

Have you ever—even subconsciously—accused the Lord of not answering your prayers? When God doesn’t seem to respond to your petitions, the first thing you should do is take a good look at your request. Are you truly praying in faith, trusting your heavenly Father to work in the situation, or are you simply complaining to Him about everything that has gone wrong?

Consider whether you have prayed like this: “O God, the situation at my workplace is just terrible. I am so frustrated. I go out of my way to help my coworker, but he just walks all over me. I never get any appreciation or recognition for what I do.”

At some point in our life, we’ve probably all voiced a similar prayer and discovered that it brought no sweeping change. The problem is the focus. In this case, it’s all about self. In verse 24 of today’s passage, that’s not the prayer of faith the Lord Jesus had in mind.

Having faith in our prayers is not the goal. The object of our faith is the Lord. If we set our hearts on our own desires, we’ve just transferred our faith to our agenda. Praying in faith means surrendering our rights, complaints, and desires to the Lord and resting fully in His sovereign choice in the matter. As we align our requests with His will and purpose, we will begin to see His power displayed.

If you’re reluctant to pray like this, just remember that God is wiser than you, loves you infinitely, and knows exactly how to weave all the tangled threads of your life into a beautiful tapestry of Christ- likeness.

What It Means to Love God

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. (Psalm 63:1–2)

Only God will satisfy a heart like David’s. And David was a man after God’s own heart. That’s the way we were created to be.

This is the essence of what it means to love God — to be satisfied in him. In him!

Loving God will include all his commands; it will include all his word; it will include thanking him for all his gifts; but the essence of loving God is enjoying all he is. And it is this enjoyment of God that glorifies his worth most fully.

We all know this intuitively as well as from Scripture. Do we feel most honored by the love of those who serve us from the constraints of duty, or from the delights of fellowship?

My wife is most honored when I say, “It makes me happy to spend time with you.” My happiness is the echo of her excellence. And so it is with God. He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

None of us has arrived at perfect satisfaction in God. I grieve often over the murmuring of my heart at the loss of worldly comforts. But I have tasted that the Lord is good. By God’s grace I now know the fountain of everlasting joy.

And so I love to spend my days luring people into joy until they say with me, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

(reblog | Daily Devotional | John Piper Ministries)

Empowered By God Himself

God the Spirit is important to us in our daily lives. He is so important that Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away … if I go, I will send Him to you”. He’s the Spirit of truth who interprets God’s Word for us, and helps us remember and apply it to our life. He’s also our encourager, and He empowers us to obey.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t bring attention to Himself but always seeks to glorify Jesus. He guides us, challenges us, and transforms us. Allow the Holy Spirit to transform your life. Then, all of your challenges, problems and rough times will seem insignificant because you have been empowered by God Himself living within you.

What comes to mind when you hear the word favor?

What comes to mind when you hear the word favor? While we use the term in a variety of ways—such as doing something to help a person or showing honor in some way—the biblical meaning is to show kindness or acceptance. As believers, we have experienced God’s favor toward us as a result of our salvation. But God’s favor also works in us and changes us.

We must fight the tendency to take God’s favor for granted. We must also guard against desiring His blessings more than we desire Him. Think about how His favor has changed your life: Belonging to, knowing, and loving the Lord far outweigh any material provisions He can give.

Why Should I Pray?

Here’s a question a lot of people ask. “Why should I pray? What is the point of prayer when God knows the future and is already in control of everything? If we cannot change God’s mind, why should we pray?

For the Christian, praying is supposed to be like breathing, easier to do than to not do. We pray for a variety of reasons. For one thing, prayer is a form of serving God (Luke 2:36-38) and obeying Him. We pray because God commands us to pray (Philippians 4:6-7). Prayer is exemplified for us by Christ and the early church. If Jesus thought it was worthwhile to pray, we should also. If He needed to pray to remain in the Father’s will, how much more do we need to pray?

Another reason to pray is that God intends prayer to be the means of obtaining His solutions in a number of situations. We pray in preparation for major decisions; to overcome demonic barriers; to gather workers for the spiritual harvest; to gain strength to overcome temptation; and to obtain the means of strengthening others spiritually.

We come to God with our specific requests, and we have God’s promise that our prayers are not in vain, even if we do not receive specifically what we asked for. He has promised that when we ask for things that are in accordance with His will, He will give us what we ask for. Sometimes He delays His answers according to His wisdom and for our benefit. In these situations, we are to be diligent and persistent in prayer. Prayer should not be seen as our means of getting God to do our will on earth, but rather as a means of getting God’s will done on earth. God’s wisdom far exceeds our own.

For situations in which we do not know God’s will specifically, prayer is a means of discerning His will. If the Syrian woman with the demon-influenced daughter had not prayed to Christ, her daughter would not have been made whole. If the blind man outside Jericho had not called out to Christ, he would have remained blind. God has said that we often go without because we do not ask. In one sense, prayer is like sharing the gospel with people. We do not know who will respond to the message of the gospel until we share it. In the same way, we will never see the results of answered prayer unless we pray.

A lack of prayer demonstrates a lack of faith and a lack of trust in God’s Word. We pray to demonstrate our faith in God, that He will do as He has promised in His Word and bless our lives abundantly more than we could ask or hope for. Prayer is our primary means of seeing God work in others’ lives. Because it is our means of “plugging into” God’s power, it is our means of defeating Satan and his army that we are powerless to overcome by ourselves. Therefore, may God find us often before His throne, for we have a high priest in heaven who can identify with all that we go through. We have His promise that the fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much. May God glorify His name in our lives as we believe in Him enough to come to Him often in prayer.

Two Of Our Deepest Needs

The two needs that every one of us has are the need for rescue and help and the need for purpose and meaning.

  1. We need a heavenly Father to pity us and rescue us from sin and misery. We need his help at every step of the way because we are so weak and vulnerable.
  2. But we also need a heavenly Lord to guide us in life and tell us what is wise and give us a great and meaningful charge to fulfill. We don’t just want to be safe in the care of a Father. We want a glorious cause to live for.

We want a merciful Father to be our Protector, and we want an omnipotent Lord to be our Champion and our Commander and our Leader. So when Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 1:1, You are the church “in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” we can take rest and help from one and take courage and meaning from the other.

— A Five Point Summary of the Gospel —

Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:18)

For those who don’t know Jesus, here’s a summary of the gospel to help you understand it and enjoy it!

1) God created us for his glory.

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory” (Isaiah 43:6–7). God made all of us in his own image so that we would image-forth, or reflect, his character and moral beauty.

2) Every human should live for God’s glory.

Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). The way to live for the glory of God is to love him (Matthew 22:37), trust him (Romans 4:20), be thankful to him (Psalm 50:3) and obey him (Matthew 5:16). When we do these things we image-forth God’s glory.

3) We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “Although they knew God they did not glorify him as God or give thanks to him . . . . but exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images” (Romans 1:21–23). None of us has loved or trusted or thanked or obeyed God as we ought.

4) We all deserve eternal punishment.

The wages of sin is (eternal) death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Those who did not obey the Lord Jesus “shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). “They shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).

5) In his great mercy, God sent forth his only Son Jesus Christ to provide for sinners the way of eternal life.

God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). “Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

(reblog from John Piper’s daily devotional)

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

What do you do when you hear people discussing what it takes to get into heaven where one person says they’ve been a good and moral person and the other says they are saved by faith in Jesus Christ? Of course this further begs the question, “What do I need to do to hear, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ when I arrive in heaven?”

In Jesus’ parable of the talents, the Lord tells of two faithful servants who used what they had been given to increase the master’s wealth. When the master returned from a long absence, he rewarded his two faithful servants and said to each of them, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21, 23). Every Christian longs to hear those words from Jesus’ lips someday in heaven.

We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9), but we are saved “to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10). Jesus spoke of laying up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20), and His parable of the talents hints at various rewards for those who faithfully serve Him in this world.

To hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” from Jesus, first make sure you are saved. The unbelieving will never hear those words, for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). And recognize that Jesus is not only your Savior; He is also your Lord (see Luke 6:46). “Serve the LORD with gladness!” (Psalm 100:2, ESV).

Here are some ideas on ways you can serve the Lord:

1. Share the gospel. The Lord Jesus desires us to make disciples, teaching others of the nature and character of God and sharing the meaning of His death and resurrection (Matthew 28:18–20).

2. Help the disadvantaged. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19–31, the rich man is condemned because he doesn’t help Lazarus and because he trusts in his wealth too much. Don’t put self-gratification before the needs of others. First John 3:17 says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”

3. Forgive others of their offenses. This isn’t the same as reconciliation or trust, but it means you renounce vengeance. The Lord Jesus modeled forgiveness: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to [the Father] who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).

4. View your position of authority as an opportunity to help the people under you, and view your position of subservience as an opportunity to submit to your authority, just as Jesus submitted to the Father’s authority. Either way, you can be Christlike, because Jesus was both master and servant to different people. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

5. Seek to know the character of God better through church fellowship, listening to sermons, studying the Bible, praying, and chronicling how He seems to have been involved in your life.

6. Recognize that every advantageous position you’re in is because of God, the Source of every blessing: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17).

7. Be willing to be unpopular, displaying rare courage like the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable (Luke 10:30–37). Do what the Bible says is right, always. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29, ESV).

8. In introspective moral judgment (evaluating your own character), look at the character of Jesus as a measure rather than rationalize your questionable actions and attitudes. Show humility.

It all comes down to this: love God more than anything, and love others sincerely (Mark 12:30–31). At the judgment seat of Christ, those who are faithful to the Lord who saved them will hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” No true servant of the Lord could ask for more.

(article reprint | Got Questions.com)