Challenging Questions People Ask

Lesson 3 w/answersThe Security of the Believer

This week weíll continue the study Iíve titled ďChallenging Questions People AskĒ. This weekís lesson is one Iíve looked forward to, as Iím sure itís something many of us have wondered, or even asked. The question this week, ďCan I lose my salvation?Ē is a question Iíve been asked many times, and normally the one asking is a new or relatively new Christian.

Bible

I think that once we accept Christ and come to know and appreciate the priceless gift of eternal life and what itís like living in Godís presence with Christ as our Shepherd we also realize itís something we donít want to ever lose.

I believe that in the early days of growing in Christ we can be adversely affected either by the behavior of people we hold in high esteem as ďmatureĒ Christians or even by our own behavior, when that behavior runs counter to Godís will. Itís almost impossible to quantify the impact on a new believerís life when a respected Christian does something, or behaves in a way, that is clearly not Christian. I think as well that we ourselves begin to doubt our own salvation when we discover that we are still sinners and continue to sin in ways that are unpleasing to God. Both of these circumstances cause us to doubt our salvation, or that of others.

So letís take a look at this question and see how Godís Holy Word speaks to us about our salvation and if there is something or some things we can do that would cause us to lose our gift of eternal life with Christ.

  1. Letís first consider the motivation behind the question. That is, what would make someone even ask the question. What would make you believe that a person could lose their salvation?
    1. ANSWER 1: Most of the time the fundamental driver behind the question is either because the act of someone else who was a ďChristianĒ causes us to wonder can that person still be saved after doing something or saying something like that.
    2. ANSWER 2: Sometimes the motivation behind the question is our own doubt about ourselves. We begin to ask things like - being the sinner that I am how can I possibly be saved, or we begin believing that there are levels of sin. That is that some sins are greater or lesser than others and if we commit what we believe is a great sin against God I must have either lost my salvation or I wasnít saved to begin with.
  2. Now consider the following. Suppose for a moment that the question of losing your salvation is being asked because someone doubts they are actually saved. That for some reason they donít feel worthy, or the new life in Christ isnít what they imagined it to be and, even though theyíve accepted Christ and repented of their sins, theyíre still not sure theyíre really saved. After all it must take more than a confession of sin and Godís great grace to save them. Read 1 John 5:13 Ė what does it tell us about this frame of mind?
    1. ANSWER: Godís word is written in fact so that we may KNOW we are saved. Itís a fact, we can base it completely on Godís faithfulness and His written word, the Holy Bible.
  3. How about John 3:16 Ė the oft quoted verse on salvation. What does it say about those who believe Ė does it say only those who believe in a certain way or come from a certain walk, or have a certain experience? Who does it say is saved, for how long are they saved, and who saved them?
    1. ANSWER 1: ďWhosoever believesĒ Ė all who believe are saved.
    2. ANSWER 2: The believer is saved for eternity.
    3. ANSWER 3: God does the saving Ė nothing we do past repenting of our sins brings our salvation Ė only God and faith that Jesus is the One and Only Son of God who came to die on a cross for us.
  4. Itís important to note this far into our study that nothing beyond repentance and believing on Jesus as the Christ saved us, no act or way of life Ė fasting etc, resulted in us being saved, only Godís great love for us and Jesusí divine sacrifice for us. Letís consider the ďdoingĒ part for a moment. List below some examples of acts or deeds that you would consider could cause someone to lose their salvation.
    1. ANSWER: Typically here people will list things like murder, stealing, being dishonest, lying, cheating, or causing another believer to stumble as reasons a person could lose their salvation. Suicide is another typical response. None are true.
  5. Letís assume for a moment that when you answered question 4 above you listed Murder as a reason a believer would lose their salvation, or cheating with another manís wife. Would you say then that King David lost his salvation?
    1. ANSWER: No, in fact he was one God loved very much.
  6. Perhaps you listed the reason that someone would lose their salvation was behavior that caused another person to stumble or the person did something that went directly counter to Godís will. Then do you consider that Abraham, Moses, Peter and others in the Bible lost their salvation?
    1. ANSWER: Of course not.
  7. Maybe you listed as a reason a believer who lived a life of carnal pleasure and did not do the things that were pleasing to God even though he or she was a believer. Then do you consider that Lot lost his eternal home? Here was a man who not only loved the carnal life but offered his daughters to a rioting crowd outside his door who wanted him to throw the angels out to them who had come to warn Lot of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Did God still love him and save him from that destruction along with his family?
    1. ANSWER: Of course He did.
  8. The basic issue is that when we begin to think that someone can lose their salvation by what they do weíre focusing on works not grace. We believe our works are what keep us saved and those whose works arenít righteous have lost their eternal hope. This then is the wrong focus. What does Ephesians 2:8 tell us about this?
    1. ANSWER: We are saved by Godís grace, and not our works.
  9. Letís consider then just how firm and solid our salvation is by looking at the following verses:
    1. Psalm 37:23
    2. Psalm 138:8
    3. Jeremiah 32:40
    4. John 5:24
    5. John 6:37
    6. John 6:39-40
    7. John 6:68-69
    8. John 10:27-30
    9. John 16:27
    10. John 16:29-33
    11. John 17:8
    12. John 17:11
    13. Acts 1:3
    14. Romans 4:8-9
    15. Romans 4:20-22
    16. Romans 5:1-5
    17. Romans 8:15-17
    18. Romans 8:28-30
    19. Romans 8:33-35
    20. Romans 8:37-39
    21. 1 Corinthians 1:8-9
    22. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
    23. Galatians 4:6
    24. Ephesians 1:4-5
    25. Ephesians 4:30
    26. Philippians 1:6
    27. Philippians 2:12-13
    28. Colossians 2:2
    29. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
    30. 2 Timothy 1:12
    31. 2 Timothy 4:18
    32. Hebrews 6:11
    33. Hebrews 7:24-25
    34. Hebrews 10:22-23
    35. Hebrews 11:1
    36. 1 Peter 1:3-5
    37. 1 Peter 5:10
    38. 1 John 2:1-2
    39. 1 John 3:9
    40. 1 John 3:14
    41. 1 John 3:18-19
    42. 1 John 4:13
    43. 1 John 5:10-11
    44. 1 John 5:13
    45. 1 John 5:18
    46. Jude 1:1
    47. Jude 1:24

Early in my walk with Christ when I realized I wanted nothing greater than to know more and more about the God who saved me and Jesus who died for me, and I began studying the Bible in earnest, a wise pastor warned me of people who form their theology, their belief system, on one or two verses in the Bible taken out of context. I want you to see this week the overwhelming evidence Godís Word has for us that we are indeed saved, and saved forever Ė no one can take us out of Godís hands, nothing, no one, ever.

Many years ago in response to this question from my sister I wrote a piece for her on this subject, it has all of the scripture above included verse by verse within it. I encourage you to take the time to look up all of the references listed above, but if you canít, or youíd like to see what itís like to read each of these without a break as a written word taken from Godís Word, I have provided a copy of it in the "Security of the Believer" link below. I can assure you it will fill your life once again with hope and joy as you come to realize that we are indeed saved by His great grace for an eternity and nothing can rob us of that promise.

PDF resource: "Security of the Believer" letter to my sister.

We may stumble and fall, we may sin greatly in Godís eyes, but we were sinners before He saved us and He loved us then, imagine how much more He loves us now as one of His children. He has much in store for us in the eternity to come and wants to reassure us through His word and His actions that we are His and His forever Ė Hallelujah!

Pass the word, God loves you, He sent His Only Son to die for you and Heís preparing a place for you for all eternity!

Have a great week everyone and thanks for studying with us.

In Christ,

Wes

[PDF Version]