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Can a Person Lose His Salvation?

Updated on March 23, 2019
revmjm profile image

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

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."

  1. Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus.
  2. 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).

Broken Relationship

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.

Do you believe you can lose your salvation?

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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      6 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, Jacks, for reading my article and adding your comments to it and presenting "the other side of the coin."

      I appreciate the points you made. In some instances, we said some of the same things. However, we did discuss it from different angles.

      Shalom!

    • Jack Jenn profile image

      Jack Jenn 

      6 months ago from Nelson Bay NSW Australia.

      Hi Margaret,

      Under your heading Once Saved, Always Saved? the scripture you use from Romans 10: 9, 10 is certainly true but I have to disagree with the last sentence in that paragraph.

      Because what I will say here is fairly lengthy, I won't add the scriptures that support my comments but they are there in scripture for any who look.

      Can you lose salvation after it's given? I believe you can.

      Salvation is in 2 parts, firstly when you first believed and then fully after death, either if that's before or during Tribulation - or if raised alive at the end. Salvation must be in 2 parts simply because we are still here after receiving it. We remain here as a witness before others as we haven't been 'taken home' yet. This first part is an interim or probationary period to demonstrate that our faith is genuine - or that it isn't.

      Jesus' love for us IS unconditional but salvation is conditional. What you do after salvation is given will determine whether you remain saved - and I'm not talking about good works, which won't save you, you are saved only by His grace as long as you continue and that's the requirement that makes it conditional.

      We ALL sin in some form every day - not that we want to, which is why we are told to confess and repent from our sins on a daily basis.

      If you reject Him by no longer believing in Him YOU ARE LOST, it's as simple as that.

      Salvation is given the moment we believe in Jesus, ALL our names are in the Lamb's Book of Life and were there from the foundation of the world, even every unbeliever's names are there until, either by the wilful act of accepting the mark or remaining an unbeliever until death.

      Some will say why is an unbeliever's name there when Jesus knows all. He allows it to be there in His grace right up to the end, not wanting any to lose opportunity for salvation. The 'end' being your own end either before or during - or at the end of Tribulation.

      IT'S UP TO YOU WHETHER IT STAYS THERE.

      I respect your views Margaret and I am not trying to be argumentative, that isn't beneficial to anyone - I'm merely presenting the other side of the coin.

      Again Margaret, my best regards,

      Jack.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      6 months ago from Richmond, VA

      PoetikalyAnointed, you are my #1 fan. Thank you for your kind comments.

      I love teaching the Bible and sharing biblical principles with others.

      Blessings to you!

    • PoetikalyAnointed profile image

      PoetikalyAnointed 

      6 months ago from US

      Amen and Awesome!

      Thank you Margaret for this one! As you said, it has been debated about for the longest time and what you said resonates with me. It makes total sense that we don't lose our Salvation because of our hiccups. For me, Salvation is more about what a person believes where as how you live your life is predicated on who your God/Lord is. So you're right, it is two-fold and I never thought about it the way you put it, very insightful.

      People do tend to say "Lord and Savior" and not the way you suggested.

      C'mon people, Margaret's on Fire right here!

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