Become A Christian
Obeying The Gospel
Baptized Into Christ
Holy Spirit Baptism
What About The Thief
The Great Commission
Works of God
The Baptist Church
A Baptist Sermon
Calvinism vs. the Bible
Apostasy - Can I Lose My Salvation?
The Greek word for “apostasy” is “apostasia” and means “a falling away or defection from the truth”. So... can we lose our salvation? Obviously the most convenient and favorable answer is NO. Who would not want to believe that we cannot lose our salvation? Satan would surely have us believe that we could not. During this series we will study this topic in depth and answer this question with Scriptural truth. We will consider numerous passages, including those that many claim to support that we cannot lose our salvation. This is by no means an exhaustive study on falling from grace, but it is a study which includes answers to many objections and some false teaching floating around the Internet.
Those is favor of not being able to lose our salvation have different doctrinal, yet unbiblical, names for their belief...
~ ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED (Once saved, we will always be saved.)
~ IF SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED (If we are saved, we will always be saved.)
~ ETERNAL SECURITY (Once saved, we are eternally secure.)
~ PERSEVERENCE OF THE SAINTS (All saints will persevere to the end.)
They all mean practically the same thing... that if and once we are truly saved, we cannot lose our salvation. Unfortunately, those that believe we cannot lose our salvation are very misguided. Most people will simply accept what their preacher tells them as the truth and never worry about it. We indeed should not worry about it if we are truly saved, and as long as we remain in Christ. The key phrase is “remain in Christ”. We cannot be lukewarm Christians. We cannot get saved and say, "Okay, I have done my part, nothing more to worry about... I am saved and my preacher says I cannot lose my salvation, so no matter what I do, I am okay."
Revelation 3:16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
The question is not whether we are ever going to sin again... we all sin and even a righteous man sins and cannot always do right…
Ecclesiastes 7:20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.
The question is when we do sin, are we going to continue in that sin and never repent, thereby rejecting God? We will sin many times, but we can overcome it, if we choose to…
Proverbs 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
We surely cannot say that we will not sin. When we are saved, and we sin, the apostle John wrote that we must confess our sins to God and He will forgive us our sins…
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
So, do we lose our salvation every time we sin and just how many times do we have to sin to lose it? There is no set number of times that we must sin to lose our salvation. We are going to sin, and we are going to sin over and over and over. We cannot be sinless. The point of losing our salvation comes when we choose to walk away from God and begin walking in darkness. Sin is what causes us to walk away. However, we can regain our salvation by repenting of our sinful ways and turning back to God. My point is this... if we obey the gospel and we become saved, but then we never do anything else for God for the rest of our life... we ignore Him, we do not live for Him, and/or we fall into a habit of sin and continue to practice that sin, we will lose our salvation. When did we lose it? At the point in time when we cared no more about the fact that we were living for sin instead of living for God. At that point we have no remorse for our sins, we do not care anymore, we do not repent... we just let sin go on and on. When this happens, we let Christ go... He is no longer in us and we are not in Him. The Bible clearly teaches us that we must be "in Christ" to be saved. We cannot be “out of Christ” and enter into heaven.
I have a few statements and questions for some of those who believe we cannot lose our salvation. For those that do not know what to believe, this will be a good way to understand how irrational it is to believe we cannot lose our salvation. When we are lost and all wrapped up in sin, we must repent of our ways and turn to God for salvation... we must obey the gospel and become saved. What is the purpose of repentance, confession and forgiveness of sins after we are saved? Think about it for a minute... why bother to repent, confess and ask forgiveness... if we do not, then what is going to happen? Obviously nothing, because you claim we cannot lose our salvation. Apparently the apostle John wasted his time writing to Christians and explaining to us that we need to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, because according to the false doctrine of eternal security, it does not matter whether we repent and/or confess.
Many people believe that a person who claims to be saved and starts practicing sin again, falling in to a habit of sin... were never really saved to begin with. It appears most people claiming this are the ones who believe all we have to do is pray to receive Christ, or that all we have to do is simply believe. So what happened? Did these people who were never really saved not pray right, or did they not believe, or maybe both? Is it not possible for someone who is truly saved to commit the same sin over and over, because if he does then he was never truly saved to begin with? In essence you are claiming that those that are truly saved have a license to sin. You will either have to agree that we’ll never fall into a habit of sin or that we can be as sinful as we desire with no consequences. Neither of these thoughts are scriptural. There is one truth in this though… those that believe they were saved by praying to receive Christ (the sinner’s prayer) or by simply believing, were never really saved to begin with.
When we become saved, we must continue to live for Christ. If we are living for Christ then God does not see sin in us, instead, He sees Christ in us… but we must continue to be in Christ and Christ in us. Let us consider a few passages and the meaning of a few words to help us understand this truth…
John 8:51 Truly, truly I tell you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death at all."
Notice Jesus said "keeps"... let's consider the Greek word for "keep"… which is “tereo”…
Strong's Definition: to watch; to guard (from loss or injury); (in custody; figuratively to maintain); hold fast, keep (-er), (ob-, pre-, re) serve.
Thayer's Definition: to attend to carefully, take care of; to guard; metaphorically to keep one in the state in which he is; to observe.
When we "keep something", we "hold on to" it. Here the word is "keeps", and is in the mood of "continue" or "maintain". Jesus tells us that we must continue to keep His words in order to prevent us from seeing spiritual death. If we do not continue to keep His words then will we see spiritual death? If not, then why did Jesus make this statement? The answers are obvious. Part of keeping His words is keeping His commandments...
John 15:10-11 If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Notice that Jesus said "IF" we "KEEP" His commandments, we will abide in His love. Jesus said He spoke these things that He "MIGHT" remain in us. So, "IF" we do not "KEEP" His commandments are we still abiding in Him and He in us? Again the answer is obvious… He WILL NOT remain in us.
1 John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
If God's Word "remains" in us then we shall "continue" in the Son, and in the Father. Once we are saved and "in Christ", what we have heard, which is God's Word, must "remain" in us so that we can "continue" to be in Christ. If God's Word does not "remain" in us, then we will not "continue" to be in Christ. If we are no longer in Christ then we have lost our salvation. We cannot be “out of Christ” and remain saved. Plain and simple! We must "keep" God's commandments, which is part of His word, to abide in God and He in us...
1 John 3:24 The person who keeps His commandments abides in God, and God abides in him. This is how we can be sure that He remains in us: He has given us His Spirit.
We cannot say that if we do not keep His words, or if we do not continue in Christ, that we were never really saved because in order to "continue" to be in Christ, we have to be in Christ to begin with… and in order to “keep” something, we have to have it to begin with. Paul further explains what has happened to us when we are saved and what we must continue to do…
Colossians 1:21-23 You who were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled by the death of His physical body so that He might present you holy, blameless, and without fault before Him. However, you must remain firmly established and steadfast in the faith, without being moved from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
As unsaved sinners, we were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, but now as Christians we have been reconciled by the death of Christ. "However" we "must remain firmly established and steadfast in the faith". This statement that Paul makes indicates that Christians may not necessarily "remain firmly established and steadfast in the faith".
Let's consider the Greek word for "abide"... a verb (a verb is a word that denotes an action or a state), “abide” is translated from the Greek word “meno”…
Strong's Definition: a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy); abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand.
Thayer's Definition: to remain, abide; in reference to place; not to depart; to continue to be present; to be held, kept, continually; to remain as one.
We learn that the Greek word "meno" in its verb form means... "abide, remain, dwell, continue, not to depart, to be held, kept, continually".
Now let's consider the Greek word for "abode"... a noun (a noun refers to a person, place, or thing... it can be used as the subject or object of a verb), “abode” is translated from the Greek word “mone”…
Strong's Definition: a staying, that is, residence (the act or the place); abode, mansion.
Thayer's Definition: a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode; to make an (one’s) abode; metaphorically of the God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers.
We can learn that the Greek word "mone" in its' noun form means... "rooms, dwelling places, abiding places", and also poorly translated as "mansions".
John 14:2 In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. (NASB) “many rooms” (ISV)… “many mansions” (KJV).
In this passage we learn how the word "abode" is used in various ways... "many rooms, many mansions, many dwelling places". Jesus says that He is going to heaven to prepare a place for the people who are saved. He is not saying He is going to prepare a place for those who are lost. Now let's consider what else Jesus says later in this same chapter of John…
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.
Jesus clearly says that He and God will make Their "abode" with us "if" we love Him and "keep" His words. "Abode" means "dwelling, abiding place"... "keep" means "continue, hold on to"... so we understand that if we love Jesus and "continue to hold on to" His words, then He and God will "dwell/abide" in us. If we do not “continue to hold on to” His words then God and Jesus will not continue to “abide” in us. We must keep, continue and remain!
Let us continue in the thought of abide, keep, continue and remain as we read the following passage…
John 15:1-6 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in Me that does not produce fruit, and He cleanses every branch that does produce fruit so that it might produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. Just as the branch cannot produce fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who abides in Me while I abide in him produces much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. Unless a person abides in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up. People gather such branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
Jesus is the vine and God grows the vine with branches. The branches are people who become saved. This explains to us that God adds the saved to the church... because Jesus is the church... the church includes everyone that is saved. God will remove every person that does not obey what He commands and everyone who fails to produce fruit, but He will continue to improve those who do His will, which is to obey what He commands, so that we can produce more fruit.
Christians are clean because we have been cleansed by the Word of God. God's Word gives us instructions on what we must do to be saved... because of His Word, we are cleansed of sin and saved. There is no doubt we are part of the vine. Jesus tells us that if we "abide" in Him, then He will "abide" in us. Christ abiding in us is dependent upon us abiding in Him. Jesus verifies that He is the vine and Christians are the branches. Note that Jesus does not say that "denominations" are the branches, but rather the church members (the saved) are the branches. Again He explains that we must abide in Him while He abides in us, because without Him we can do nothing. Jesus explains that "unless a person abides in Me"... then we are thrown away and burned up (remember what "abide" means... "remain, dwell, continue, not to depart, to be held, kept, continually"). Clearly we cannot "remain" in Christ if we are not in Christ to begin with... we cannot "continue" to be in Christ if we are not in Christ to begin with... so we must "remain", we must "abide", we must "continue" to be in Christ, otherwise we will end up being cut off from Christ and burned up. We cannot say that we were never part of the vine to begin with... remember Jesus clearly says we are "already clean"... that we "are the branches", so it is undeniable that we are actually saved. He is talking about people who are already saved and in the church. "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:47b)
Consider now what Paul wrote…
Romans 11:21-22 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he certainly will not spare you either. Consider, then, the kindness and severity of God: his severity toward those who fell, but God's kindness toward you - if you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you too will be cut off.
Here we learn there are those who fell as well as we learn of God's kindness towards us, but there is a condition placed on that kindness... "if you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you too will be cut off." Clearly, Paul warns of others who may be cut off the vine if we do not continue in God's kindness.
Surely you cannot read these passages and believe anything other than once we become Christians that we must "abide", "remain", "continue" in Christ in order to "continue" to be saved. Jesus clearly tells us that if we do not, then those who are unfruitful will be "thrown away" and "into the fire". Absolutely, we can lose our salvation according to the very words of Jesus.
Consider the following passages that show we must do the will of God and "abide" in Christ… note the conditions…
1 John 2:6 The one who says that he abides in Him must live the same way He Himself lived.
1 John 2:14 I have written to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known the One who has existed from the beginning. I have written to you, young people, because you are strong and because God's word remains in you and you have overcome the evil one.
1 John 2:17 And the world and its desires are fading away, but the person who does God's will remains forever.
1 John 2:24 What you have heard from the beginning must abide in you. If what you have heard from the beginning abides in you, you will also abide in the Son and in the Father.
1 John 2:27 The anointing you received from Him abides in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. Instead, because His anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not a lie, abide in Him, as He taught you to do.
1 John 3:24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
2 John 1:9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
Now consider the combination Greek verb "hupomeno" which means literally "to remain under" and is translated "perseverance"...
Romans 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
You see... the faithful Christian will remain (abide) in Christ and remain even under trial and tribulation... we will persevere. Where is the “trial” if we cannot possibly fail "to remain under" these trials and tribulations? There is not really a “trial” and we would not have to “persevere” (remain under) if there was no chance of our falling away and losing our salvation. Think about it... if we cannot lose our salvation... how can there really be trial? Is it trial? Only if we can lose our salvation. Again, if there is no way to lose our salvation, then there is really no trial and therefore no reason to have to persevere. So to claim that we cannot lose our salvation, you will have to agree that God wasted His time inspiring Paul to write to the Romans.
Consider all the above passages because they absolutely nail the lid shut on the false doctrine of "once saved, always saved". However we will not stop here. There is much more truth on this subject that is clearly revealed in the scriptures.
As we continue in our study, let’s consider an ultimate warning from the apostle Peter... follow through with me as we unfold his warning…
2 Peter 1:1-3 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received the same precious faith with us, in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through a full knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord; who by His divine power has given us all things relating to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and virtue.
There can be no doubt that Peter is writing to Christians in this letter. He addresses "those who have received the SAME precious faith with us". Then Peter explains "through a FULL knowledge", that God, "by His divine power", has given us (the saved) all things relating to life and godliness "through the knowledge of Him". Let's look at what John wrote concerning what it means to “know” God…
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
When we "know" God, and Jesus Christ, who God has sent, we have eternal life. Again, there can be no doubt that in Peter's letter he is writing to those that "know" God, and are indeed saved. I really do not believe anyone would argue with this scriptural fact. Now let's continue with Peter's letter…
2 Peter 1:4 Through whom He gave us great and precious promises; that through these we may have fellowship with the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Once again we have evidence that Peter is writing to Christians... God gave us (Christians) great and precious promises. Peter further wrote that as Christians we have "escaped the corruption that is in the world". Through “these” promises we share (“have fellowship” - “partakers” in the KJV) in the divine nature—the holy character which God possesses. Now let's read what Peter explains to Christians that we should add to our faith after we are saved…
2 Peter 1:5-7 Because of this, give all diligence to add with your faith moral excellence, and with the moral excellence add knowledge; and with knowledge add self-control; and with self-control add steadfastness, and with steadfastness add godliness; and with godliness add brotherly love; and with brotherly love add love.
Because of these promises and our fellowship with the divine nature, we should strive to "add" to our faith all of these things he has mentioned. Next we learn what happens when we add "these things" and what happens if we do not add "these things"... let's continue with Peter's letter…
2 Peter 1:8-9 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
We learn that IF we have “these qualities”, that we are not idle or unproductive, but those that lack “these qualities”, he has “forgotten his purification from his former sins” (“cleansed of his old sins” KJV). If we have been cleansed from our old sins (purified), we have been washed of our sins, baptized into Christ, we have been forgiven of our sins... we are saved. Now we get to Peter's warning…
2 Peter 1:10-11 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you shall never fall. For in this manner the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.
If we do "these things" we will not fall. If we do not do "these things" then we have "forgotten" that our sins were cleansed, and we have a extremely clear warning from the apostle Peter that we must be very careful not to fall. Later in his letter, Peter warns of some who may cause us to fall…
2 Peter 2:1-3 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Peter explains that there will be "false teachers" among us and they will "secretly introduce" their own doctrines, teachings, and their own ways. Peter wrote "many" will follow their wrong ways, and that they will malign the truth. These false teachers will exploit us with their false words. Peter says more...
2 Peter 2:20-22 For if, after escaping the world's corruptions through a full knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled and conquered by them, then their last condition is worse than their former one. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and turn their backs on the holy commandment that was committed to them. The proverb is true that describes what has happened to them: "A dog returns to its vomit," and "A pig that is washed goes back to wallow in the mud."
Keeping in context, the “they” in “they are again entangled” is referring to the false teachers previously spoken of. They, "after escaping the world's corruptions through a full knowledge" (clearly indicating they were saved), "are again entangled and conquered" by the world. As Peter explains, it will not be good for them. In this same letter, Peter re-emphasizes that we must be careful not to fall... we cannot get all tangled up and fall back into the world... we must keep our guard up against such false teachers. Notice he says, “knowing these things before, be on guard”…
2 Peter 3:17 You then, beloved, knowing these things before, be on guard so that you will not be led astray by the error of the wicked, and fall from your own steadfastness.
Remember what Peter wrote earlier... that we should add "steadfastness" to our faith. We must take heed so that we will not fall from our “own steadfastness”. If it were impossible for us to lose our salvation, Peter’s warning is a moot point. Consider also what Peter wrote before his final warning... it further supports his earlier comments about false teachers deceiving us…
2 Peter 3:15-16 And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, even as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you. As also he speaks about these things in all his letters; in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, even as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Fortunately, God is patient with us, giving us time to understand His word and to know Him. However, we must make wise use of our study time so that we can understand His word and come to know Him personally. Peter explains that there are those who do not understand the Scriptures because they have not learned the truth. Many people will simply listen to what others tell them and fail to study for themselves. Many people will take these false teachings they have learned and distort them further, to their own destruction. This is one reason it is so vitally important for us to study and understand the scriptures for ourselves, so that we can know the truth and not be misled by those that distort the scriptures. We must study God’s word, accept it for what it says, and not try to twist or wrestle with the scriptures. We do not want to follow that “broad” path that “leadeth to destruction”, and be eternally lost. (Matthew 7:13).
We have studied the warning of possibly falling away which was written by the apostle Peter. Now let's study a couple of warnings from the apostle Paul. We’ll consider this first warning in context to see how it unfolds…
1 Corinthians 10:1-12 For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the fact that all of our ancestors were under the cloud, and they all went through the sea, and they all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and they all ate the same spiritual food, and they all drank the same spiritual drink, for they continually drank from the spiritual Rock that went with them, and that Rock was Christ. But God wasn't pleased with most of them, and so they were struck down in the wilderness. Now these things became examples for us so that we won't set our hearts on evil as they did. Let us stop being idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to play." Let us stop sinning sexually, as some of them were doing, and on a single day 23,000 fell dead. Let us stop putting the Lord to the test, as some of them were doing, and were destroyed by snakes. You must stop complaining, as some of them were doing, and were destroyed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down as a warning for us in whom the climax of the ages has been realized. Therefore, the person who thinks he is standing securely should watch out that he does not fall.
This is a truly powerful story… but before we break it down let’s remember who Paul is writing to…
1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
Make no mistake about it… Paul was writing to Christians. Paul tells the story of how the Israelites were led by Moses (who symbolizes Christ) out of Egypt (symbolizing the land of sin). They were saved from Pharaoh (who symbolizes the devil). In this passage with Paul we learn that the Israelites were under the cloud and went through the sea... "they were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and the sea" (this symbolizes our baptism into Christ). The Israelites were saved from Pharaoh (symbolizing being saved from Satan) when they escaped through the departing Red Sea. If you have ever seen the movie The Ten Commandments, then you probably remember how this happened. The movie gives us a good simulation of this event. While they were saved at one point, they did not do as God commanded and He became unpleased with some of them. In one single day 23,000 of them fell dead. They were worshiping idols, they played by sinning sexually, they tested the Lord, they complained, they were not all living for God as He wanted them to. Paul wrote in this passage twice that these things happened to serve as an “example” for us… as a warning for us. The point he is making is in the last verse when he wrote...
"Therefore, the person who thinks he is standing securely should watch out that he does not fall."
If it were not possible for a Christian to fall, this warning from Paul would not have been given. There is no other possible meaning behind Paul's warning. This warning follows Paul’s watchfulness and self discipline of making his own calling and election sure…
1 Corinthians 9:26-27 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
Let’s now consider another warning from the apostle Paul...
Galatians 5:1-4 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by Law; you have fallen from grace.
Paul wrote that "Christ set us free" and that we should continue to stand firm and not be subject to a yoke of slavery again. What is "a yoke of slavery"? Other translations use the term "yoke of bondage"... but what does it mean? We need to understand this in order to understand Paul's warning. When we are unsaved, we are under the bondage of sin... it is a yoke of bondage (or slavery)... we are serving sin, just as a slave serves his master. Paul explains this in his letters to the Romans…
Romans 6:16 Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey-either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
Paul wrote that we are slaves to what we obey... we either obey sin and are slaves to sin, or we are slaves of obedience to God. If we are "slaves to sin" and "serve sin" then we are under the bondage of sin, or "yoke of slavery".
There is also another way that "yoke of slavery" or "yoke of bondage" was used to describe being under a certain bondage. The Law of Moses imposed troublesome laws on the Jews, it was a yoke to the Jews. They were under bondage to the Law because they were slaves to the Law of Moses. They were under a "yoke of slavery" because they were slaves to the Law.
Understanding now what "yoke of slavery" or "yoke of bondage" means, we can understand what Paul is explaining here. While the Galatians he wrote to were indeed saved, he did not want them to become under another yoke of bondage. You can go back to chapter 4 in Galatians and read that they were trying to be circumcised to be completely saved. There are several instances we read of throughout the New Testament letters, that explains how many of the Jews wanted the Gentiles to obey the Law of Moses to be saved. Paul is explaining that the Law is not what makes them (or us) perfect anymore... it is Christ that saves them (and us) now. These people no longer needed the Law to be saved. Christ set them free from the Law as the Law was nailed to the cross. For them to turn to the Law would mean they would give up Christ and all the spiritual blessings that came through Him. Notice Paul wrote "stand firm and not be subject AGAIN to a yoke of slavery." What Paul is explaining is that they were once under the bondage of sin (yoke of slavery). If they go back and try to obey the Law and be circumcised so that they can be justified by the Law (saved by the Law), that they will then be under a second yoke of slavery. The first bondage was sin, the second bondage would be the Jewish Law.
Today we receive grace from God through our obedience to the faith. We are saved because of what God and Christ did for us. God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins. Once we receive that grace from God, we must hold on to it. There were some Galatians that Paul explains were severed from Christ because they were seeking to be justified by the Law. Paul wrote that they "have fallen from grace."
Granted most people today will not likely turn to the Law to be justified, but this passage clearly proves the possibility of falling. It would be impossible to be "severed from Christ" if they were not "in Christ" to begin with. Paul explains that "Christ set them free"... they were saved, but then “severed”, cut off from Christ. Furthermore it is impossible to "fall from grace" if we do not have grace to begin with. To say that we never had grace to begin with, as some would suggest, would be like saying we were not standing up before we fell down… obviously if you are already lying on the ground, you cannot fall down. It would also contradict what these passages teach us. Again we have solid scriptural proof that we can indeed lose our salvation.
Let’s consider a few more passages that will continue to show we can indeed lose our salvation…
Acts 8:18-24 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, "Give me this power too, so that when I lay my hands on someone he will receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "May your money perish with you because you thought you could obtain God's free gift with money! You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart isn't right before God. So repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, this thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you're turning into bitter poison and that you’re being chained by wickedness!" Simon answered, "Both of you pray to the Lord for me that none of the things you have said will happen to me."
Here we have the story of Simon who was already saved (Acts 8:13 tells us he believed and was baptized). The apostles were laying on hands to give spiritual gifts. Simon saw what was happening and wanted to purchase this same ability to lay hands and give others these gifts. No doubt this was a huge mistake. Even Peter was unsure if Simon's sin could be forgiven when he said, "if possible, this thought of your heart may be forgiven you." Simon was also worried and ask them to pray for him so that he would not lose his salvation.
Revelations 3:5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
Here we have those who have been added to the Book of Life when they were saved... but we clearly notice that we must "overcome" in order to keep our name in the Book of Life. We must be careful to not fall away and lose our salvation.
2 John 1:8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.
John wrote that we must watch ourselves so that we "do not lose what we have accomplished". What is it that we have accomplished? Salvation!
James 5:19-20 My brothers, if one of you wanders away from the truth and somebody brings him back, you may be sure that whoever brings a sinner back from his wrong path will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
It is very evident that James is writing to Christians, “My brothers”. He warns them that if any of them wanders from the truth and loses their salvation, and then someone converts them back from the error of his ways, they would be saving a soul from spiritual death. Notice James wrote "brings him back". There is no doubt that this person’s soul is headed for spiritual death and must be brought back to repentance.
I believe it is very clear that we can fall... unless we endure…
Matthew 24:6-13 You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See to it that you are not alarmed. These things must take place, but the end hasn't come yet. For nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are only the beginning of the birth pains. Then they will hand you over to suffering and will kill you, and you will be hated by all the nations because of my name. Then many people will fall by the way and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people, and because lawlessness will increase, the love of many people will grow cold. But the person who endures to the end will be saved.
Jesus clearly says that "many people will fall" and that "the love of many people will grow cold." Then He said, "But the person who endures to the end will be saved." What will happen to those that DO NOT endure to the end? Obviously if it was not possible for us to NOT endure to end, then Jesus would not have had to warn of it.
Acts 20:28-31 Pay attention to yourselves and to the entire flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to be shepherds of God's church, which he acquired with his own blood. I know that when I'm gone savage wolves will come among you and not spare the flock. Indeed, some of your own men will come forward and distort the truth in order to lure the disciples into following them. So be alert! Remember that for three years, night and day, I never stopped warning each of you with tears.
Jesus purchased the church (the saved people) with His own blood. We must always be on watch for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Even some Christians will distort the truth in order to lure others to follow them. We must be alert! Paul warned these Christians for three years, night and day... he never stopped warning them, even with tears. We must do the same.
2 Timothy 2:5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.
In order to play by the rules, we must know the rules. We must study God's Word to show ourselves approved and know the truth!
God will help us through His Word, which is the truth... but, we must be willing to study it and learn the truth. If we are truly saved, how much does our salvation mean to us? Are we simply going to listen to someone else and not even bother to study God's Word to see if what this person is telling us is true? We place our souls in the hands of man when we do this, and man cannot save us. We should be like the Berean’s and receive the preaching and teaching of the word with eagerness, but also examine the Scriptures to verify what we hear is in fact the truth (Acts 17:11). We must put our trust in God, not man!
Psalms 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
We have considered many passages thus far that clearly show we can indeed lose our salvation. Now we will consider some misunderstood passages that some people use in an attempt to prove that we cannot lose our salvation. It amazes me at the number of preachers and teachers that are supporting such a false doctrine. Not only do they attempt to explain away all of the passages that we have previously considered, but they also take out of context, twist, distort, and malign other passages in order to try and prove their own man-made false doctrines of once or if saved-always saved and eternal security. Let’s look at a few of these passages.
Mark 13:22 For false christs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens to deceive, if possible, the elect.
Many will use this verse to say that it is not possible to deceive the elect... because the verse ends "to deceive, if possible, the elect." If we consider this passage in context (Mark 13:1-23) we will learn that Jesus is speaking to His disciples about things to come, one being the fall of Jerusalem, which has already occurred, and the other about His return, which we still look forward to. None the less, the passage can be applied to us today because there are still numerous false teachers that will always be trying to lead Christians astray. There are a couple of points to remember here… first Jesus says in Mark 13:6, "Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He!' and will mislead many.” Only Christians can be led astray, all others are already astray. Clearly Jesus stated many would be misled, not might, but would. Second, “if possible” does not mean “impossible”. “If possible” I’ll be at worship service on the next Lord’s Day. Does that mean it’s impossible for me to be there? Why would Jesus say just a few sentences earlier that many “will” be misled and then turn around and claim that it is impossible to mislead Christians? I believe the answers are evident.
Do you remember the story of Simon who was already saved (Acts 8:13 tells us he believed and was baptized). The apostles were laying on hands to give spiritual gifts. Simon saw what was happening and wanted to purchase this same ability to lay hands and give others these gifts. Even Peter was unsure if Simon's sin could be forgiven when he said in Acts 8:22, "if possible, this thought of your heart may be forgiven you."
Both of these passages relay the same "if possible"... in one case "if possible" to deceive the elect and in the other case "if possible" for the elect to be forgiven. So, if those who claim "if possible" means "impossible"... we have a problem, because then would not be possible for Simon to be forgiven. Hold on, you cannot have it both ways... it don't work like that.
Let’s move on and consider another misused passage.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor anything above, nor anything below, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I could not agree more than the next person with what this verse tells us... but clearly it does not tell us that we cannot lose our salvation. What many would like us to believe is that because the verse says nothing can separate us from the love of God means God does not love the unsaved and only loves us once we are saved, therefore, losing our salvation would mean God no longer loves us (or it somehow separates His love from us). We could consider this passage in context and clearly learn this is not Paul’s point here, but instead of getting that deep into it, we’ll stick with the obvious. God gave His only begotten Son because He loved the whole world... that is everyone, lost and saved (John 3:16). Consider also what Paul wrote earlier in this chapter…
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Let's move on to yet another passage that many people will use in an attempt to give a false sense of security…
John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
In order to understand what Jesus is communicating to us in this passage, we have to consider the passage in context with what Jesus said earlier…
John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
We must "follow" Him, not just once, but continually. If we follow Him, we will have eternal life. Jesus said, "he who follows Me will not walk in darkness,". What does it mean to "walk in darkness"? It is to continually and willfully practice sin. So if we are saved we are obviously following Christ. If we fall into a habit of sin and continue in this sin, are we still following Christ? Absolutely not! Is it possible that there has never been any Christian that has fallen into a sinful pattern and continued in that sinful habit? Consider the repented and confessed sin versus willful sin…
1 John 1:6-9 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (Repented and confessed sin.)
Hebrews 10:26-27 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. (Willful sin.)
If we are following Christ and not walking in darkness, as John explains in 1 John, then the blood of Christ cleanses us from all of our sins. We must confess our sins and we will be forgiven and cleansed. But, if we walk in darkness we are practicing sin continually and willfully, and if we fail to repent and confess this sin we have no more sacrifice for sin. We have rejected Christ (our sacrifice) and lost our salvation.
Now let's go back to the original passage when Jesus says, "they shall never perish". From these last few passages we learn that as long as we walk in the light, and not in darkness, we will in fact never perish. Jesus says we must continue to "follow" Him and not "walk in darkness", obviously while we are saved. As long as we "follow" Him, we will certainly never perish. Also from the original passage Jesus says, "no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." The Greek word for "pluck" or "snatch" (harpazo¯) has a definition which means "to seize" or "carry off by force". This can only refer to anyone other than our own self. There is that possibility that we could turn away from God ourselves. If we lose something or give it away, are we plucking or snatching it from our self? Are we carrying it off by force? Plucking or snatching requires force by someone other than our self. You or no other person could take my salvation away, but I can fall away or walk away from God by my own free will. So to say that our salvation cannot be "plucked" out of God's hand is true. But, it does not mean we cannot lose our salvation by walking in darkness and turning away from God on our own... which in no way requires any "plucking".
We have begun considering misunderstood passages that some people use in an attempt to prove that we cannot lose our salvation. We’ll continue to look at more of these passages. Let’s start here with a couple of passages from the Hebrews writer…
Hebrews 10:10 By his will we have been sanctified once for all through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Many will say that we have been sanctified (set apart and sins forgiven) "once for all" and that "we are perfected for all time", and that this means we were made perfect forever and cannot lose our salvation. I encourage you to read all of Hebrews chapter 10. You will learn what is meant in context if you do not already understand it. In summary... Jesus was the sacrifice "once for all"... He was sacrificed "once" and it was for "all" or "everyone". We obviously have to believe this and obey the gospel in order to be saved… we must accept the offer. Jesus, "by a single offering" and "once for all" has "perfected for all time" those who are saved. What this means is that our sins are forgiven "for all time". When we are saved, our sins are washed away and are remembered no more. We are then made perfect “in Christ”. Does that mean we will never sin again? Of course not... even a righteous man cannot be without sin (Eccl. 7:20). Do these passages indicate we cannot lose our salvation? Nope. Provided we "remain" in Christ... provided we "continue" to walk in the light... provided we do not "walk in darkness" and go back into a habitual state of sin, we will indeed be perfected forever. Remember, as long as we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, when God sees us, He sees Christ. If we fall into that habitual pattern of practicing sin, then we no longer have that perfection. As long as we remain faithful then we do indeed have that perfection for all time. Yes, Christ died once and it was for everyone, and it will always be forever as far as He is concerned, we only have to "remain" in Him. Let’s consider another passage in Hebrews...
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for God has said, "I will never leave you or abandon you."
Many will claim that because God says, "I will never leave you or abandon you", that we cannot possibly lose our salvation. I agree that God will not abandon us, but as we already studied, we can choose to walk away from God… we can abandon Him. Losing our salvation does not mean God abandoned us... rather we abandoned God. In this particular verse the writer has advised us to keep our lives "free from the love of money". Now, if we do not keep our lives free from the love of money, what happens? Let's look at what Paul warned us about the love of money…
1 Timothy 6:9-10 But people who want to get rich keep toppling into temptation and are trapped by many stupid and harmful desires that plunge them into destruction and ruin. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with much pain.
Clearly the "love of money" and "eagerness to get rich" causes people to wander "away from the faith". If we have this love of money then we may wander away from our faith, but that does not mean God abandoned us... instead, we would be abandoning God.
Here is a really good one that I found on a web site that attempts to support the false doctrine of once saved always saved. This is exactly how they use this passage…
Matthew 28:20 "...and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
They fail to quote the entire passage and take the portion of it they need out of context. Some people that are not that familiar with the Bible might be deceived by this, but I would say that they are ignoring God's Word and not studying to show themselves approved. This is one reason we must study the scriptures… all of them… we cannot live by bread alone. Let's consider the passage in context…
Matthew 28:16-20 But the eleven disciples went in to Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Jesus is speaking to His disciples who He is commissioning to be apostles. There is no doubt that Jesus was with the apostles until the end of the world ("completion of the age" is from the Manuscripts). Jesus was with them in the form of the Holy Spirit to guide and lead them through their age, just as He had previously promised to give them a “comforter”…
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever,
John 14:26 But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.
Provided we are saved, and continue to remain in Christ, He will also be with us until the end of our age.
We will continue considering misunderstood passages that some people use in an attempt to prove that we cannot lose our salvation. Let’s look at a quote I found on a web site titled “Once Save Always Saved”… as well as I’ve heard some others use the passages this site refers to in an attempt to support this false doctrine. Here is how it reads…
"What about the 'backslider' or somebody that forsakes the Lord? The Bible says he will suffer loss (rewards, etc.) — but he himself shall be saved!"
Then the writer quotes 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 as the scriptural proof for his statement. However, if we keep verses 11-15 in context with what Paul wrote earlier in the chapter we can clearly understand what Paul is teaching. Let’s look at a few of those passages…
1 Corinthians 3:1-2 Brothers, I couldn't talk to you as spiritual people but as worldly people, as mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you weren't ready for it. Why, you're still not ready for it!
Paul begins by addressing Christian brothers, explaining that when he had visited them previously he could not talk to them as mature Christians because they could not understand what he was saying. We learn later in his letter, chapter 16:8-9,16, that since his visit he had received information back from some other Christian brothers that caused him concern, which was the purpose for sending this letter to them. From these first few verses we learn they were still not ready. The first fact that we can establish is that these are brothers who Paul converted when he was in Corinth and there are still problems with the brothers in Corinth. Now let's look at more of the letter…
1 Corinthians 3:7-11 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is significant, but God, who keeps everything growing, is the one who matters. The one who plants and the one who waters have the same goal, and each will receive a reward for his own work. For we are God's co-workers. You are God's farmland and God's building. As an expert builder using the grace that God gave me, I laid the foundation, and someone else is building on it. But each person must be careful how he builds on it. After all, no one can lay any other foundation than the one that is already laid, and that is Jesus Christ.
Paul explains in this part of his letter that it is not the one who does the planting or watering that matters, but instead it is God. The one who plants and the one who waters have the same goal, and will receive a reward for their work. Paul wrote that he was an expert builder and he laid the foundation while someone else is building on it. However, each person must be careful how he builds on the foundation, because the foundation that is laid is Jesus Christ. We build on the foundation of Christ. In summary, we can understand that Paul is explaining that he laid the foundation of Christ with these Corinthian brothers and those teaching must be careful of how they build on the foundation he laid. In the same way we may share the Word of God and His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ with others. While building on this foundation we must be careful that we build it strong... while teaching these others, we must be careful to teach the truth, because we are building up Christ's body, the church. The second fact we can establish is those who were suppose to be helping build others up in Corinth were not doing a very good job. Now let's look at the rest of the passage that the writer of the web site takes out of context…
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 Whether a person builds on this foundation with gold, silver, expensive stones, wood, hay, or straw, the workmanship of each person will become evident, for the day will show what it is, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work. If what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If his work is burned up, he will suffer loss. However, he himself will be saved, but it will be like going through fire.
Paul explains what happens with both persons based on what the foundation was built with. Paul is using the analogy of building up the church... if the material used is precious and imperishable, such as gold and silver, then all is good. The gold and silver are paralleled to the doctrines of Christ and men molded into the image of Christ. On the other hand... if the materials are wood, hay, and straw... paralleled to erroneous doctrines and unstable men, then the building will be weak. Paul explains that the workmanship will be evident when the day comes that it will be tested to see if it can hold up. He uses the analogy of fire to show how it will be tested. The next verse is crucial to understanding what Paul is explaining. He wrote, "If what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward." This means that if we have used good doctrines, the truth, and teach our Christian brothers properly, and they survive the test, WE will receive a reward. Once we plant the seed (share the gospel), we must water it, (help it grow). If we build up this person with gold, silver, and precious stones, the person will turn out strong and mature in Christ. This person will survive the test of fire and the builder will receive a reward. However, if we do a poor job and use wood, hay, and straw... the fire burns it up. If the person we are teaching does not make it, then he will be lost, and therefore we suffer a loss. Then Paul wrote, "However, he himself will be saved". Paul is not claiming that the person we were building up will be saved… that person is the loss we suffer. Paul is declaring that we will be saved. This is how we can understand verse 15... if what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. BUT, just because our work burns up in the fire and does not survive, and we suffer a loss, does not mean that WE will be lost as well... WE will still be saved... but it will be like going through fire.
Now... finally we establish the ultimate fact... this passage does not teach us that the backslider (or the person who has forsaken the Lord), will be saved. It clearly teaches us that the person who is teaching the backslider will be saved (provided he/she remains faithful and perseveres), even though the teacher suffered the loss of the backslider.
We previously considered a quote from a web site that supports the false doctrine of “once saved, always saved”. Many people adopt these beliefs and give themselves false hope, believing they have a license to sin. Let’s look at another quote from this same site just as it is written…
"Our salvation is so secure — even if we BELIEVE NOT after we're saved, because we become part of Him (the body of Christ), ‘. . .yet he abideth faithful: HE CANNOT DENY HIMSELF.’ 2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”
I didn’t change a word from how it was written and displayed on the page. I suppose the person writing this would have us to believe that the "He" in "He cannot deny Himself" is the person who BELIEVE'S NOT after he is saved. Actually the "He" in "He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself" is the same person as "Himself" and that person is "JESUS CHRIST", not the one who no longer believes. This is extremely deceiving, to say the least. Let’s consider the passage in context, not that it needs tremendous explanation.
2 Timothy 2:12-13 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
If we endure, NOT WHEN we endure, but "IF" we endure, we will also reign with Him (Christ). If we DENY Him, He will DENY us... HE WILL NOT SAVE US! How much clearer can it be than when Matthew recorded the very words of Jesus when “HE” said, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22) …and, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33).
Just because we are faithless does not mean He will be faithless too, because He (Jesus Christ) cannot deny Himself. In a nutshell, we can conclude from this passage of Paul’s second letter to Timothy that if we DO NOT BELIEVE then He will deny us eternal life. He will deny our entrance into heaven, but Jesus Christ will still hold up His end of the promise He made. He is still faithful. All we have to do is REMAIN faithful and ENDURE, and then we will not be denied. This passage is about as far as we can get from claiming that if we stop believing after we are saved, that we will still be saved. It very clearly explains the opposite of what this person has claimed. It would be wise for this person to take heed of the passages following his quote…
2 Timothy 2:14-16 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.
I want to cover one more passage this same person teaches... again, this is exactly how this person uses the passage…
“1 Corinthians 5 reports of an awful sin in the church. And even though Paul commands ‘. . . To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh" — Paul still speaks of that person being saved — ‘. . .that the spirit MAY BE SAVED. . ."
“’It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. . .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.’ 1 Corinthians 5:1,5”
Again we see another example of scripture taken out of context and maligned... notice how verses 2-4 are skipped. About the only way to understand this passage is to read the entire 5th chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. I encourage you to do so now. In this chapter we learn it is true that Paul has heard of a particular man that has been sexually immoral by living with his father's wife. Paul encourages the congregation to remove the man from the church. Paul wants them to get him out of the church because he is wicked. Read the last verse.. "Put that wicked man away from you." So Paul tells them to turn the man over to Satan for destruction of the flesh... maybe he will repent and be saved in the end. This passage does not indicate that the man will indeed be saved... it clearly reads in every major translation and in the manuscripts "so that he MAY be saved", not that he WILL be saved. There was no guarantee for this man nor is there any guarantee for us, should we become faithless. A careful study on this letter to the Corinthians will help us to understand that this action of no longer associating with such a person practicing these wicked things was a common practice in the early church days and should be a current practice in the church today. When someone is publicly sinning willfully, they must be confronted with their sin. If they do not choose to repent, then they should be turned over to Satan in hopes that the humiliation, shame and the state of their lost condition, will cause them to repent. Again... we learn that no where in this chapter is eternal security guaranteed.
You should see now... if we simply take the word of false teachers then we can easily be deceived. Jesus and the apostles warn us that this is going to happen, and it is one reason why "many" will follow the broad path to destruction and only a "few" will "find" eternal life by entering through the strait and narrow gate.
We have the evidence before us (in God’s Word) that proves we can indeed lose our salvation and we have proven it beyond any doubt. While this is not a conclusive study on apostasy and its’ false teachings, it should be sufficient for anyone to fully understand the truth. Beware of those who teach otherwise... better yet... once we are saved, let’s keep living for Christ and being obedient to God and then we will endure to the end. If we abide in Christ and obey God’s will, then we do not have to fear losing our salvation. I encourage you to please read and study the Word of God yourself and verify the truth... do not believe in me, nor any other mere man... believe in God and the truth.
John 8:51 "Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death."
Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
God Bless You!
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