Can a Person Lose His Salvation?
Believers and non-believers ask, "Can a person lose his salvation?" The question has been debated by many people. Some disciples of Christ believe they can lose their salvation. In fact, some preachers preach that a person can lose his salvation. So, what is the answer according to the Bible?
Salvation is a free gift given to those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He paid the price for our sins by His redemptive work on the cross. We owed a debt we could not pay. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe. We could not save ourselves but Jesus did.
Once Saved, Always Saved?
In order to be saved, there are two things that a person must do. Romans 10:9 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
- Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus.
- Believe in thine heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.
Romans 10:10 says, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation."
It is easy to understand that once saved a person is always saved because of God's grace and God's gift.
1. Salvation Is a Free Gift
Salvation is a free gift. God does not give someone the gift of salvation and takes it away just as we would not take back a gift we have given someone.
2. Adopted Into the Family of God
Once a person repents and accepts Jesus, he is saved and adopted into the family of God with all the rights and privileges of being a child of God. Even when we sin, we can ask God to forgive us.
When a child does something wrong, his father does not put him out of the family. After the child owns up to what he has done, his father forgives him and keeps him in the family. God does the same thing.
An earthly father does not put his child out of the family every time the child is disobedient. If so, the child would be going out of the family and returning all the time. God does not take the gift of salvation back and puts His children out of the family either with a cycle of coming and going.
However, there is something people do lose in both their earthly family and the family of God when they are involved in a lifestyle of sin.
How Secure Is Your Salvation?
The very minute you repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Savior, He comes to live within you. When you turn your life over to Him, Jesus becomes your Lord. People tend to say it backward when they declare that Jesus is their "Lord and Savior." It really should be said, "Savior and Lord" because Jesus must become your savior first before He can become your Lord after you surrender your life to Him. Therefore, it is salvation first from the Savior and then there is surrender to the Lord.
Only God knows for sure if people have truly and sincerely repented of their sins and given their lives to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. If they have done that, according to Romans 10:9 and 10, then they become saved at that very moment.
That means they are adopted into the family of God, and their salvation is safe and secure and cannot be snatched away from them. They belong to God forever and nothing will be able to separate them from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
When a person has a lifestyle of sin and goes astray without any repentance, he breaks fellowship with God. He no longer has a relationship with God. There is something the sinner must do to establish fellowship again.
He can reconcile his relationship with God. It is like a husband and wife who have an argument and are not speaking. The marriage is not destroyed because of that argument. The couple can make up. That act is called reconciliation.
Reconciliation is a term that means "to make friends again." People who have distanced themselves from God can make up with Him and re-establish their relationship and be back in fellowship again. However, this does not mean that they have lost their salvation. They still have the privilege of saying, "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15).
What Salvation Is Not
Salvation is not how often you go to church. Salvation is not based on the number of songs you lead in the choir or how many visitors you greet at the church doors.
Salvation is not based on how many sermons you preach or how many Sunday school lessons you teach. Salvation is not based on your parents' relationship with the Lord. Salvation is an individual act that is available to all people when they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.