Can I Lose My Salvation?
Ever wonder: “Can I lose my salvation?” Here’s what we think.
God did not create us for hell, or hell for us. It is ultimately someone’s own decisions, not God, that will send them there. It will be a life of them saying & showing to God, "I want nothing to do with you, I hate you, get out of my life, I hate everything about you." Because our heavenly Father won't force us to spend eternity with Him, He leaves us with another option.
God looks at your heart. All your sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, but this does require you to first accept and apply this great gift. For example, I believe that 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16 suggest that once someone has sincerely prayed the sinners prayer and truly does have a heart for God, it would be hard for them to go to hell.
When is someone really saved?
My take is that just because someone “prays the prayer", it does not mean that they are saved. It's Romans 10:9-11 lived out on an ongoing, continuous basis, until death takes you home, or Christ returns for you. Remember, when the Father sees you, He sees the new you, the one in Christ, the last Adam, not the old you.
What is the “once saved, always saved” issue?
When we pray the “sinner's prayer”, we have simply walked through the door, which is Christ. We are not truly, fully or completely saved, meaning that we have not yet fully arrived until, like Paul, we can say we have finished our race and fought the good fight. In other words, we are saved, yet we are also in the process of being saved and will only be fully saved when we meet Him in the air or join Him in heavenly places.
“We were never told to make converts, but disciples.”
Starting a race does not mean we finish it. We must run the race as though to win, meaning to finish and finish well. While many simply “buy a fire insurance policy”, that is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. We were never told to make converts, but disciples. Discipleship implies a lifelong journey - again, until we are fully like Him.
When most people speak of “once saved, always saved”, they have the mistaken impression that they have already arrived, and thus are fully saved. I personally disagree with that. Any gospel message that doesn't include the journey in Jesus, who Himself said He is the way, truth & life, (John 14:6) denies the process which we call sanctification. Thus, true salvation only takes place when we are fully glorified. So do I believe in “once saved, always saved"? Yes, but not like others. I am currently saved only in that I have been delivered from the penalty of sin through the blood of Jesus.
I am being saved as I yield to the Holy Spirit led process of sanctification, as I am being fully formed into the image and likeness of Jesus, and I will be fully saved when I am in my glorified state, with Jesus in a resurrected body.
Do I believe that I can walk through the door of salvation, having been justified by faith, with access to that place of peace with God through Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:1)? Yes. Do I believe it’s also possible to step backwards through that same door and enter into the “no longer being saved” state? Yes, I do.
However, I feel that can be a result of several potential factors, all adding up together:
1. Lack of discipleship into the greater and more mature things of God.
2. A refusal to personally be willing to lay aside old sinful habits and patterns that hinder our sanctification.
3. An unwillingness to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, coupled with a hatred (possibly initiated by an offence) toward God.
So for my sake, I believe I was saved in February 1976, which is when I walked through the door, justified by Jesus Christ. At that time, I began my journey into being saved, which continues to this day, resulting in my sanctification. Then, one day, when He returns or when I graduate and join Him in heavenly places, I will be fully saved. I will enjoy my glorification with all the saints who have gone on before me, awaiting their journey back to the earth, under the triumphal reign of our King and Lord Jesus.
“We should never need to waste our energies on fearing that we could lose our salvation.”
The only fear God wants you to have is a healthy reverence of Him. As long as you keep your heart right, and choose to run to Him rather than from Him when you sin, He will be there to guide you. As you seek to develop and keep that love affair with the Godhead alive, the desire to see all sin and its effects abolished from your life will grow. One way to see sin abolished is by obeying Him to the best of your heart's ability, and to deal with any obstacles or negative pattern that may come up in your life. We should never need to waste our energies on fearing that we could lose our salvation.
Honestly, our God is so merciful that people who don't even succeed in half of what I have listed above will still likely go to heaven when they die, as long as they have a sincerity in their hearts to move into the Father's heart through Jesus Christ.
The issue is so much greater than going to heaven- it is the issues of our eternal rewards in Christ Jesus. Those that have as their goal in life to “just scrape into heaven” are so deprived because they are missing so much of the incredible vision that God has planned for all of us who love Him. Just as 1 Chronicles 2:9 (ESV) states, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”
But that's a different story.