How can we know that we won’t lose our salvation (especially when some groups say you can)?
So I Said:
Okay, let’s look at some reasons for our assurance first and then talk about why some folks would ever want to preach the kind of message that says you can lose it…
First thing’s first: The Bible Straight-up Says It
The Bible is our authority, and the Bible says it. A lot. Over and over again. It says that once you’re in, you’re in. Here are just a few (of the very, very many) helpful verses you may want to tattoo onto your brain and heart:
Philippians 1:6 (He’s gonna finish what He started in you)
John 5:24 (You’re already in - no judgment)
John 10:27-29 (He’s got you in His eternal grip)
Romans 8:35-39 (Nothing can separate you from Him, period)
Next: It Makes Sense
Folks who say you can lose your salvation are basically saying that a person can get saved, come into a true relationship with Jesus, and then sin so much or so badly that they forfeit grace and lose that relationship. Okay, that doesn’t make any sense. You didn’t earn the grace of God. It was a gift. That means you can’t un-earn it. It’s an eternal gift - so you can’t out-sin it. You can’t forfeit it because He never changes. You see, when you come into a relationship with Jesus, He forgives ALL of your sin. He actually became your sin on your behalf and took your punishment for you. He paid the penalty for ALL of it (even the stuff you haven’t done yet) - which means that God can’t actually punish you for your sin because Jesus was already punished for it. You are actually un-condemnable forever because your record has been paid for and wiped clean. So, the fact that you’re gonna sin again doesn’t mean you’re on shaky ground, it means you’re human. God can’t punish the same sin twice. He already condemned your sin and Jesus already paid for it. If you have believed in Jesus, you are clean, free, forgiven, restored, justified, redeemed and sealed.
Lastly: Why Would Anyone Preach That?
Saying you might lose your salvation if you sin too much is a message of condemnation, and Romans 8:1 says there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” To say you can lose it is to make people always afraid, always evaluating their sin, always hounded by guilt and always cowering from God. So, why would anyone preach that?
Well, I really don’t know. It makes me crazy. I hate being afraid and feeling guilty. I want to be free, and if the truth is that I actually am free, then I don’t want to see anyone in my face with shackles of shame and guilt. The only reason I can come up with that anyone would ever preach this message is that they have never really understood the Good News for themselves. In other words, no one has ever really told them the message of Jesus - the beautiful message that says we were all completely helpless wrecks, and God fixed it forever by coming down here as a person, paying the penalty for all our wrong and giving us a completely free gift of grace whereby we are forgiven forever and declared righteous forever.
I mean, honestly, if those folks had ever really understood that message, would they still be harping on about being afraid of sinning too much? Who knows, maybe those folks just want to keep people in check and they think the best way to get people to behave is to make them afraid of hell so that they’ll straighten up. But that doesn’t really work, does it? Nobody cleans their life up because they’re afraid. That message doesn’t move anyone. It doesn’t make sense and it’s not in the Bible, period. Jesus said, “If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed.” - And brother, that’s good enough for me.