Several months ago, I read an article describing how one could lose their salvation. There is a woman in our town that has told me many times she needs to be saved again – that she had committed a certain sin and she is no longer a child of God. This doctrine is rampant in my town and so many people live defeated lives because they believe a lie. If God can save us, He can certainly keep us.
Don’t tune me out just yet. Think about the above statement – she is no longer a child of God. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Very true. If one is not born again, they will never see Heaven. But if one is born again, they are born into a new relationship – into a new family. We are His child. He is our Father. Sin does not and cannot affect the parent-child relation. My children have at times been ornery, even rebellious, but guess what! They were still my children. They could grow up and change their name and hate me, but they are still my children. It is with this once and for all relationship that God ties us to Himself.
The story of the prodigal in Luke 15:11-24 paints the same picture, although many would try to use this portion of Scripture to justify losing their salvation. Who is it that is waiting for the boy’s return? – the father. To whom does the son choose to return? – the father. This story does not depict a loss of salvation, but a loss of fellowship. When we sin, certainly our fellowship with the Father is broken, but I am here to tell you in no uncertain terms that if you are truly a child of God, you can never lose your salvation.
Oh, so that means I can commit any sin I want to and still go to Heaven. I didn’t say that. Neither does the Bible. The Bible says in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” If you are truly a child of God, you will do your best to follow HIm. This past week I did something stupid and deeply hurt my wife. For a while, our fellowship was affected, but I still belonged to her and she still belonged to me. It grieved me so that I hurt her. Why? Because I love her. How much more ought we to love the Son of God? Despite her disappointment, the relationship was never broken, just our communion for a time.
Some might point to I Corinthians 5:1-5 as proof that we can lose our salvation. Please read it carefully, especially verse 5. “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” What is being delivered to satan? The flesh. Why? So that the spirit might be saved. Amidst the wickedness of Corinth and in particular this man’s incestuous relationship, God still kept the spirit. Think about the wickedness Lot was involved with. Yet Peter refers to him as just in II Peter 2:7, “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.” We can twist words all we want, but the word “just” here means innocent or holy. Yet amidst his sin, Lot was a child of God.
When one accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, he begins a new family relationship, never to be separated. Do you think Paul is just blowing smoke when he says in Romans 8:38, 39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The actual issue is that by claiming we can lose our salvation, we are robbing God of His glory and attempting to keep our own salvation. My friend, that is called p-r-i-d-e, and God hates it. I cannot save myself and I cannot keep my salvation, but God can and does both – “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” To say that God disowns us if we commit certain sins is nothing short of wickedness.
So what happens if someone “falls away”? One of two things – either they were never saved in the first place (and I think this is usually the case), or God will lovingly chasten His child to correct him and bring him back to the fold. He will not let you run unchecked if you are His. Hebrews 12:6 gives us this insight, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” I was saved at the age of four (please do not tell me a four-year-old cannot understand God’s simple plan of salvation). Between the ages of 17-26, I was completely out of the will of God. I turned my back on Him and wrote Him off because I thought He had done something unfair in my life. How wrong I was. But this I know. I was His child. He had to chasten me, but I was still the son and He was still the father.
Let me list some other Scripture for you and let the Holy Spirit show you the Truth: Psalm 48:14; Psalm 94:14; John 6:37, 39, 40; John 10:28-30; Acts 10:39; Romans 8:15-17; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 5:9; I John 2:25; I John 5:11.
If this was the only verse in the Bible, it would be enough to convince me I am eternally secure in my God. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The Greek word for everlasting has a strange meaning. It means everlasting, without end. Years ago when I accepted Christ as my Saviour, He gave me everlasting, without end, life. I experience it now. Eternal life does not begin when we get to Heaven. It begins when God makes you a new creature in Christ.
If the doctrine of eternal security is false, then God lied in His Word over and over in the above verses that I gave you. The Truth is God is true, no matter what we may think. I close with this verse. “…yea, let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:4)