One of my favorite CLC’ers writes, “I have a question: several times this year I’ve had some interesting conversations about whether a Christian can lose their salvation. I’ve done my personal study and have what I believe to be the answer, however, I would love to get more wisdom from you as well.”
Well, you’re certainly not alone. I’ve been asked this question probably more than any other single question, so I’ve written about it here and here and most recently, here.
Let me quickly say that, at CLC, we do not make this a test of fellowship, and we have members on both sides of the issue – an issue that has been debated in Christendom for hundreds of years, so we’re not likely to resolve it in this post.
In my 46 years of ministry, my views on many Bible subjects have changed, sometimes more than once on the same subject! But in my study of this particular subject in Scripture, I personally remain convinced that our salvation is not as ‘irresistible’ as some have taught, nor as ‘easily lost’ as others seem to think. Like SO MANY doctrines of the Bible, the truth is somewhere in the middle of two extremes.
I don’t think I can improve on what I’ve written before (if you want to read those earlier posts to which I linked above), but I will once again add some verses that I think might be helpful for your own study and consideration:
On this particular topic, I hope I am wrong! If so, there will be more people in heaven than I expect, and that would be a good thing. But I prepared this document in the past, giving a number of pertinent Scriptures with a few comments that I think would be good for your personal study of this subject. Then, I think the principle of Romans 14:5 applies.
I Cor. 10:1-12 this passage would be meaningless if it were not possible for us to fall from salvation. The obvious conclusion from Israel’s example (they did not enter into the Promised Land) is that we, too, can fall after having known the Lord.
I Cor. 9:24-27 even the Apostle Paul could become a castaway!
2 Pet. 2:20-22 how could the latter end be worse than the beginning IF the person is still saved?
2 Pet. 1:4-10 why would Peter say “IF you do these things, you will never fall” if it is impossible to fall from salvation anyway?
Mt. 25:1-13 this parable is generally interpreted as believers (‘virgins’) awaiting the return of the Lord. Oil throughout Scripture is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. All of them had oil in their lamps initially; but the foolish virgins did not replenish their supply and were thus unprepared when the Lord came.
Luke 17:32 why should we “remember Lot’s wife?”
Read Jude 3, 4 in “The Living Bible”
Rev. 2:4-5 the threat to “remove your candlestick” sounds pretty serious (they would cease to be a church!)
I Tim. 4:1-2 can someone who has “departed from the faith” still be saved?
Luke 15:11-24 this parable of Jesus demonstrates the Father’s love for even His wayward children (here represented by the younger son). Notice in v.24 that the prodigal was said to be “lost” and “dead.” He had once enjoyed fellowship in the Father’s house, but because of his own choices, he was now lost! (The GOOD NEWS is that, thru repentance, he did come back home and was accepted by His Father!)
Heb. 10: 19-39 notice especially vv.27-29
Mt. 25:14-30 (v. 14 – who is this parable about? Then read v. 30)
Whew! Hope that helped a bit in your own study.
Now, what would YOU like to Ask the Pastor? Leave your questions or comments below-