ECHO Devotional: Day 5 – Can I Lose My Salvation?

 

Can I Lose My Salvation?

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My father who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:27-30, ESV)

I have five children, Shelby, Hayden, Kennedy, Cassidy and Madelyn.  No matter what they ever do, they are my offspring.  Even more so, they are my children and I am their father. 

Imagine that they go down to the courthouse, change their last name, and refuse to have anything to do with our family. Imagine they reject their family name, Jenkins, and all of the heritage that name stands for.  Should this ever happen, something will have gone horribly wrong.  There will be a forfeit of familial blessings and relational benefits.  There will be a terrible loss of intimacy, and even a broken harmony between other family members and friends of the family.

They would still be my offspring.  They would still be my children.  I would still be their father.  But things would surely be different.

The phrase “once saved, always saved” is popular among Christians.  In fact, when many people join a church, they ask the pastor, “Do you believe “once saved, always saved?” Or they’ll ask, “What do you believe about eternal security?”

What people really want to know is, “Pastor, is there anything I can do to make God kick me out of the family?  Is there anything I can do to willfully change the fact that I am a child of God?”  More specifically, they want to know, “Once I’m saved, will I for sure go to heaven when I die, and get all of the benefits of relationship with God, regardless of how I live my life?”

This phrase is helpful in someways, but it can also be very misleading.  The idea behind the phrase is to help communicate the Biblical truth that salvation is secure by God’s grace through personal faith.  It is also to help communicate that no matter how much you sin, no specific sin or amount of sin will make you lose your salvation.  The phrase is misleading in that it fails to address the very important issue of persevering in the faith and continuing to walk out salvation. 

No person needs to be saved again after being saved the first time.  You can’t lose your salvation and then do something to get it back.  All saved people continue in their faith by confessing their sin, turning from their sins, and walking in the ways of Christ in fellowship with Him.  God’s sovereign grace has saved you completely.  You are His elect and he will empower you to endure.

Another concern to stay mindful of when considered the “once saved, always saved” idea is the grave danger of drifting, turning away, deliberately sinning, or telling yourself, “I can do whatever I want now because I’ll have time to repent and act right later”.  It’s dangerous for many reasons, including:

      • Abusing Grace:  This is one core evidence that a person may not actually believe the truth about Jesus and may actually not even be saved.  No one can believe in Jesus, never change and live however they want to.  (Romans 6:1-4)
      • Hardening the Heart:  Quenching the Holy Spirit is the process of rejecting His voice, all warnings, consequences and discipline.  The end result of this is a mind that is corrupted and so full of self-deception that it is impossible for them to get the roots of deception out of themselves.  This is a very dangerous and unfruitful way to live.  (Hebrews 10:26 )
      • Develop a Carnal Mind:  a carnal mind is one that is always on the flesh and has no real faith.  It wishes for change but cannot do anything to please God because there is no connection of faith in the heart.  All of the motives become corrupted by self and fear.  (Romans 8:8 )

Life shouldn’t be lived in paranoia of losing our salvation.  We don’t have to keep coming to God and asking Him to save us again and again.  Our salvation is eternally secure. But don’t forget, there will be evidence of salvation in a life that is truly saved—this is the walking out part of salvation.  Lets look at it this way:

1. Eternal Security: this is living in a covenant agreement with God wherein you put your faith and trust in Jesus, and you will have eternal life.  In this case you are justified forever.  This means you’re made right with God.  You should feel secure in this work of Christ on your behalf. 

    • We are saved, justified and eternally secure by grace alone through faith alone and apart from any performance or works.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)                                              
    • God will glorify, or, give a new resurrected body to everyone who is justified by Grace. (Romans 8:30)
    • God will keep his children from ultimately falling away.  (Philippians 1:6, I Corinthians 1:8-9)

No amount of sin, large or small, be it through mistakes, apathy, negligence, or willful disobedience, causes the loss of salvation.  Salvation in Christ is secure for all eternity.  Salvation is not based on performance, but on God’s grace given freely to those who have faith and continue in faith in Christ Jesus.

2. Eternal Insecurity:  feeling lost and even thinking you’re lost when you’re actually saved.  This is caused by a misunderstanding of how powerful God’s grace is; the wrong thinking is that grace can’t cover you when you feel bad and are even doing bad.  It’s also a lack of realizing the power of the Holy Spirit in you and in the body of other believers around you.

    • God will keep his children through his sovereign power and even through the help and work of his people loving, teaching, warning and even correcting and disciplining.  (Hebrews 3:13-14)

The opposite end of the spectrum is wondering if you might be saved because you’re a good enough person, but accurately feeling as though you indeed are not good enough. Salvation is never secured by being a good person. No one should feel secure without a personal relationship with Jesus. In that relationship, He wants them to feel secure.

3. False Security:  this is the extreme danger of feeling secure through humanistic reasoning.  It is using your own self-centered, self-desiring beliefs as the yardstick by which to measure salvation, rather than using God’s absolute truth. No one can claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ and live however they want, being their own Lord. No one can live in constant rebellion with no relationship with God and refuse to practice His ways and claim Him as savior in the end.    

4. Eternal No Security:  If you do not believe Jesus is the son of God, no part of you wants Him, and you’re living however you want with no regard for God at all, then you have no reason to have any hope of eternal life with God.  You’re lost and headed for an eternity without God.  Your eternity is in the hands of a very loving God who loves you, but the same God is just.  His justice will judge you according to your life without Jesus as your defender.  If there’s any sin in your life ever, and you have no relationship with Jesus the savior, then there is no reason to have any eternally security at all with God.  This position is fatal to the promise of eternity with God for his saved ones.  You really should change your thinking and turn your heart to God right now and seek Him. 

If you’re a child of God, saved through Jesus Christ, then these things are true of you:

You are permanently secure in God’s hand and nothing or no one can snatch you out of his hand.

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My father who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:27-30, ESV)

1. When you walk in the light of fellowship with Him, not only are you secure but you deeply and personally know with certainty who He is and who you are  in Him.  You know Him and He knows you; and, this is eternal life.  Knowing Jesus and being known is eternal life.

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.  (John 17:3)

QUESTIONS

Do you ever feel insecure in your salvation or faith?  What behaviors surround these feelings?  What is life like when you feel insecure regarding eternity?

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Is there anything you feel stuck in?  Is there anything you thought would change when you followed Christ and received the Holy Spirit in your life?  How do these habitual sins or patterns affect your sense of security?

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How has God used the church, friends, family, His Spirit and His Word to keep you continuing in walking out your salvation in Christ?

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PRAYER

Father, even when I feel insecure and stuck in my sin, you love me the same and are always working to keep me.  Lord, thank you for always bringing me back to you.  Today, Lord, keep me in your love.  Draw me close to you and awaken my heart to be so captivated by your love and wonder that I truly experience your presence like never before.  Lead me in true repentance.  Restore to me all that I have lost and fill me with the joy of knowing you today.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.

NEXT STEPS

  • Testimony:  If you have never shared your personal testimony of faith in Christ with another person, to this today.  Set up a time to share your faith journey with someone and tell them where you are in your journey today. 
  • Baptism – if you have never been baptized after receiving salvation, go to myanchorchurch.com/baptism and register for baptism today.
  • GROWTH TRACK – register today for Step 1, 2 or 3 in the Growth Track at www.myanchorchurch.com/growthtrack.  Then tell someone about what is happening in your journey to Know God. Day Day

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