Apologeet.nlCan a Christian Lose his Salvation?
I guess this is the follow-up of the last video in which we tackled the doctrine of ‘once saved, always saved.’ Can a Christian lose salvation? Good question!
What is a Christian?
First, I think it will be smart to determine what a Christian is. A ‘Christian’ is not someone who sits in church every Sunday. You do not become a Christian because your parents were. You are not a Christian just because you grew up in a Christian country or environment.
Also, quite often when I ask someone what make a person a follower of Jesus, I get the following answers: A Christian is someone who is a good person, who gives to charities, who has been baptized, who prays sometimes, who a religious person, who participate in communion etc.
Obviously, all these things can be part of the Christian experience, but in themselves they don’t make you a real Christian.
The Bible teaches us that a true Christian is a follower of Jesus. Someone who fully trusts Jesus and depends on His sacrifice for forgiveness of sin.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved
A real Christian no longer lives independent of God but wants to be with Him.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Finally, a Christian is someone who received the Holy Spirit.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise
Why a Definition of a Christian?
With this definition in mind, we can ask the question: Can a Christian lose salvation? Or maybe not yet. I think I should explain why I defined that what makes a Christian a Christian.
You see, people who believe that a Christian can never lose his salvation, also believe something else. For this I cite the little explanation one of my followers gave.i
Let’s say you have someone who once professed to be Christian, this person genuinely thought of him or herself as a Christian, and then that person later renounced his or her faith. The once saved always saved position isn’t “Well they’re still saved because at one point they were saved.” Both OSAS (once saved always saved) and non-OSAS doctrine would suggest this apostate isn’t saved. The difference between OSAS doctrine and non-OSAS doctrine, considering the hypothetical I laid out, is that the OSAS would say that the apostate was never saved, that he or she was a false-convert to begin with, whereas the non-OSAS doctrine would say he or she genuinely were saved until they weren’t when they renounced Christ.
Thanks CarryHandle, for this extra explanation. This is something I pointed out in my last video. Those who believe that a Christian can never lose salvation, mostly believe that someone who turns away from Christ was never a real Christian in the first place. According to them, a real Christian has been elected by God and can never ever turn this position down, even if they wanted to—which they don’t because being elected means that you don’t want anything else than obeying the Lord.
Still, those who say a Christian can lose salvation and those who say a Christian cannot, hold to the same definition of the term ‘Christian.’ Doesn’t make it easier, does it?
Okay, whether you believe that one can lose salvation or not seems to be determined whether you believe in the strict sense of predestination. This is the doctrine that God has foreordained all things—that all events have been willed by God—especially that God has elected certain souls to eternal salvation and others not. If this doctrine is true, we can safely say that those who are elected will be saved whatever happens.
It was the Dutch Jacobus Arminius who actually disagreed big time with this, mostly Calvinistic, view. Arminius emphasised free-will, and basically said that the pure form of predestination could not account for that same idea of free-will. It might surprise you that the evangelical ideas—that an unregenerate person could feel such conviction and desire for salvation, because the Holy Spirit is working this in that person—come forth out of the struggles Arminius had with the teachings of the other reformers of his days.
Most evangelical believe that it is the Holy Spirit who
will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment
The evangelical believe that all humanity is elected to be saved but that not everybody will answer the call of the Spirit of God. Also, most evangelical theologians dismiss the idea of unconditional election, the nature of the limitation of the atonement, and irresistible grace. Instead, they teach that election is conditional—which means that only those, who freely choose are elected. In that sense, salvation is truly for everybody, but not everyone wants to be saved and this means, because not everyone wants to be saved, people apparently can also resist God’s grace.
I would love to go deeper into this topic, but for now I hold to the evangelical view on this matter, which, by the way, was also the view of the brothers John and Charles Wesley—from whom the Methodists originated… Don’t you just love this kind of history?
In the previous video I cited the two texts that are mostly used to prove that one can never lose his or her salvation.
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.
And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Notice that Paul is giving us a whole list with things that cannot separate us from the love of God. However, one thing is missing here. Paul does not say “neither can anything I do separate me.”
Besides all the Bible verses of reassuring us of the love of God, I get mostly more emotional arguments. What do I mean by emotional. Okay, let me give you an example of a video from brother Kent Hovind. Yes! I call him brother, even though he would label me as a heretic when I say it is possible to lose salvation. But, even though we differ on topics, we both believe in the risen Christ, who paid for our sins and is the Son of God, and that makes us brothers.
Minute 00:17:16 – 00:18:39 ii
To be fair, brother Hovind does mention many Bible texts in this video. Go and look it up yourself. I’ll place the link in the description of this video.iii
However, saying that an earthly father can never disown his biological son is akin towards an emotional appeal. I mean, legally it is not even a problem to do so. Many have given up their child for adoption right? But I understand what he is saying, the son’s DNA will always be that of his parents, no matter what. And this is precisely what proponents of the ‘once saved, always saved’ idea will bring to the table. They say that a real Christian is infused by the nature of Christ. That nature can never be undone and that nature is perfect. In that sense you might say that it is like DNA, which can’t be undone.
I agree that it is very appealing but still I struggle with the idea that the Bible seems to be clear on turning your back on Christ.
2 Peter 20-21
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
Peter says that someone can escape the contamination of this sinful world. The Bible also teaches that this is only possible when one is saved and cleansed by Jesus. But then Peter warns us not to return back to that wordly state because then that person is worse off than before. In other words, someone will be hold accountable for that what was known to him or her. Christ will judge us according to our knowledge.
And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Also, why would the Bible warn us at all, if we can’t lose the nature of Christ that has been infused within us? Most, if not all, of these warnings were aimed at those who are already trusting Christ for their salvation. I will just name one text, but there are many more.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
You see, He says that the branches that are already in Him can be taken away. The branch that is in Jesus needs to bear fruit, else it will be cut off. That sounds like we need to do work to be saved, right?
Click here for more Bible verses(taken from Jarrett, E.)
- And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22, Mark 13:13)
- But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:33)
- And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:12-13)
- Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. (Luke 8:13)
- Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
- Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away (John 15:2)
- If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:6)
- That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. (Romans 11:20-22)
- By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:2)
- I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel (Galatians 1:6)
- Keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:19-20)
- But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1)
- If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:12)
- Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12)
- We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. (Hebrews 3:14)
- For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
- We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. (Hebrews 6:11)
- But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. (Hebrews 10:39)
- For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to it’s own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:20-22)
Saved by Works?
And that is just what many proponents of the idea of ‘once saved, always saved’ will argue. They say that those who say a Christian can lose salvation, basically teach that we need to be saved through our works. They see our actively choosing to follow Jesus as works. Again, brother Hovind:iv
00:00:25 – 00:00:31
00:05:28 – 00:05:32
00:06:11 – 00:06:22
00:09:43 – 00:10:20
Now, he falsely asserts that those who believe a Christian can lose salvation (Arminianism) holds to ‘works salvation’ because they deny that God forces people to believe the gospel. Let’s listen to Arminius:v
I confess that the mind of a natural and carnal man is obscure and dark, that his affections are corrupt and inordinate, that his will is stubborn and disobedient, and that the man himself is dead in sins. And I add to this — that teacher obtains my highest approbation who ascribes as much as possible to divine grace, provided he so pleads the cause of grace, as not to inflict an injury on the justice of God, and not to take away the free will to that which is evil.
Arminius totally agrees with the other Reformers that salvation was entirely a work of grace. He says that the free will of us, humans, cannot create salvation apart from grace. The human will is darkened because of sin, and we are dead in our sins. We really are in need of the grace of God for our salvation. Clearly he believes in salvation by grace and does not believe that our works can bring about any righteousness.
Likewise, the Bible is full of passages that indicate that we need to endure to the end, to not turn away; to remain faithful. Again, you’ll find these texts, which I have stolen from mister Jarrettvi, in this article. You’ll find the complet link in the endnotes.vii
Why should the Bible warn us to stay faithful to the end? As I said, all of these warnings are aimed at followers of Jesus. Those who believe that salvation cannot be lost look at these warnings and basically say, or have to say, that true believers will automatically listen to them and therefore never lose their salvation. But that would seem that these warnings were redundant, and this does not explain 1 Timothy 1:19-20 where Hymenaeus and Alexander threw away their faith and have suffered shipwreck.
1 Timothy 1:19-20
holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: of whom is Hymenæus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Holding fast to our faith is by no means the same as having to work hard for our salvation. Faith has been given through grace and not because of our own efforts.
The Gift of Faith
Some might argue that faith is the only work on our part which is required to be saved. However, I believe this is not true. Faith is seen as a gift of the Holy Spirit. We have already read that the Spirit of God
will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment
Without the Holy Spirit we can not even begin to have faith.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God
But once we have been given this faith we need to hold on to it.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Fear does not mean that we need to be afraid. The meaning of fear needs to be seen in the sense of respect, awe, and reverence. In other words, we need to keep on working to bring something to completion or fruition. We do this by actively pursuing obedience out of respect and love for our Saviour… Not because we are afraid! In other words: Stay close to God and come into His presence with a spirit of reverence and awe.
Holding on tight to faith is by no means a work. It makes me think of the incident were Elisha and the widow in 2 Kings 4. She was broke the creditor was coming to take her two sons to be his slaves in payment for that what she owed him. The only thing she had left was a little jar with oil. Elisha told her to borrow as many jars as she could. She obeyed, and after she collected as many jars as she could, Elisha told her to pour the oil from the little jar into the collected jars. The oil did not stop until all the jars were totally full. With all that oil she could pay her debt.
I love this story! The lady just did what she had to do as told by Elisha, and she was save from the creditor. The oil kept on going because she trusted the man of God. A simple question that come to mind: What would have happened if she started to pour the oil but decided to stop trusting the Lord? What if she, in the process of disbelieve, decided to smash that little jar? Would the oil keep on running on the floor and somehow miraculously fill the other jars anyway? I don’t think so! Her trust was also a matter of obeying, but that was by no means a work from herself. It was God who blessed her, and she just listened faithfully.
Agreement or Not
So, even thought we might not agree on the ‘once saved, always saved’ doctrine we are in agreement about the total depravity of humanity. Also, we agree that we are unable to make spiritual choices on our own. Yes, we also agree that Jesus’ saving work on the cross was for everyone, at every given moment in history of the world.
But, we do not agree that God’s grace is irresistible. Theologians who believe that we can lose our salvation believe that we can refuse Christ’s offer of salvation. Also, we disagree on the idea that only a few are elected. All of humanity is predestinated to be saved, but not all will answer His call.
Do we need to Live in Horror?
Many who hold to the ‘once saved, always saved’ idea will say that those who believe on can lose salvation live in a constant state of horror. This is ridiculous of course! None of us actually believe that we can lose salvation by the first doubt that pops up. It is not that we go to hell when we walk around thinking bad stuff and then all of a sudden die! That would be a horrific thought. We are not doomed when our last act was a sinful act. You’re on your deathbed making sure that you confess your sin while breathing your last breath… No, of course not! God is good and not willing that any of us will perish.
Salvation is dependent on asking forgiveness for each individual sin. Many seem to think this, and they will even ask the Lord forgiveness for the things they might have done or the things they haven’t done, but maybe they are going to do… You’ll never know, right? I do not find that teaching in the Bible anywhere, apart from a total misunderstanding of
1 John 5:18 (NIV)
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin
and similar passages in that letter.
I love my five children big time! It would drive me crazy if they would come to me every day, asking forgiveness for things they didn’t even do. I am not a monster and neither is God the Father! My default position is love and affection towards my children. I know they want to listen to me, and I also know they will make mistakes! Still, I love them.
The warnings in the Bible are all talking about people who willingly turn their backs on Jesus. We are not talking about this or that Christian who goes through a deep and dark valley in his life of faith. We are not talking about those who are in a depression and not willing to do anything else than staying in bed. It is not about Christians who struggle to keep their prayer life vigilant. Don’t be fooled in that kind of rhetoric.
This question about whether one will never ever lose salvation, is emotionally charged. It is very hard for those with family members or friends who have been Christian but later turned their backs on God. I understand, it is comforting to believe that your loved ones will be with you in heaven. I also understand that it might be comforting for those who just know they live a lukewarm life. But honestly? If you base that hope on something which is just biblically incorrect, then you have bases that hope on false grounds.
Don’t be duped in this teaching which gives you a false sense of security. Your friend who became an atheist needs prayer! A lot of it! We shouldn’t feel comfortable when they return to the broad road which leads to their destruction.
You might want to watch my playlist on eight reasons why people won’t accept the Gospel.viii
Tell me What you Think
So, like to video about ‘once saved, always saved?’ I guess this topic will stir up some feelings. Maybe it did raise some eyebrows. Tell me what you think about this idea of the possibility that a Christian can lose his or her salvation. Like I said, I will write down more Bible texts in the article that go with this video. I am looking forward to hearing from you, but please keep it brotherly.
Check out the description of this video. There you’ll find a link to my Odysee channel. You can also check out my channels on GabTV, Flote, and Bitchute… Not that these channels differ too much from each other. In the end they mostly have the same content. But this way I am sure that there is not just one party who can delete my videos.
Anyway, thank you very much for your prayers and support! Some of you already supported me financially and that is really cool because I am saving for some extra tools, like a tripod and a new button microphone. You can look in the description of this video or on my website to find out how you can help me. Also, you’ll find a link there to both the Dutch and English transcripts of this video.
God bless you, thank you for watching, and Lord willing we’ll see each other in my next video!
i @CarryHandle. (18-12-2022). RE: Once Saved, Always Saved a Critical Review . Retrieved from <https://odysee.com/@apologeet:3/once-saved,-always-saved:2?lc=305004732557e4aa7c35382543d424ac73384f3ed909afc0f966a780bc3c1a83> (edits in italics are mine to make it more readable).
ii Kent Hovind OFFICIAL, “Can You Lose Your Salvation!” Odysee.com, uploaded by @DrDino, 12-10-2022, <https://odysee.com/@DrDino:5/can-you-lose-your-salvation!:1>, accessed 1–12-2022.
iv Kent Hovind OFFICIAL, “Once Saved always saved-Follow up!!” Odysee.com, uploaded by @DrDino, 12-10-2022, <https://odysee.com/@DrDino:5/once-saved-always-saved-follow-up!!:3?>, accessed 1–12-2022.
v Arminius, J., Grace and free will, Works of James Arminius, Vol. 2., [internet] <https://www.ccel.org/ccel/arminius/works2.ix.vi.html>, accessed 20-12-2022.
vi Jarrett, E., Arminianism: The Persistence of Salvation, aclayjar.net, 28-02-2022 [internet] <https://aclayjar.net/2017/10/arminianism-salvation-security/>, accessed 20-12-2022.