By Carol Rushton
I usually do not address topics like this, but I felt compelled to after a recent discussion about this subject was raised in a group of Christian women.
We were studying a specific passage in the Book of Acts. I thought the passage was straightforward and found the resulting conversation about it fairly routine and boring. I wondered what the purpose was of talking about these few verses by Luke when someone casually mentioned that a Christian can never lose their salvation.
I discovered quickly why we were on this theme. All of the women agreed that no Christian can ever lose their salvation – except for one. She was very gracious when she spoke up, gently voicing her belief that if she had unconfessed sin in her life when she died, she would go to hell.
You talk about opening Pandora’s box. Some of the women jumped in right away to convince this errant one that she was mistaken and tried their best to convince her otherwise, using every argument they could think of. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise or I would have joined the fray.
I hope this young woman did not feel that the others were ganging up on her. I know this was not their intention. They were just concerned that she was living in fear that she could lose her salvation based upon her actions or non-actions.
Since I did not have an opportunity to address the subject of losing one’s salvation at the time, I thought I would take advantage of this forum to present my arguments about this issue.
First of all, none of us deserves salvation. No one has lived a perfect life except for Jesus Christ. No person in the history of the world ever has or ever will deserve the free gift that God gave us through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross and His resulting resurrection.
We don’t deserve salvation before we are saved, and we do not deserve salvation after we are saved. We cannot ever do anything to deserve our salvation. If the Lord is powerful enough to save someone in the first place, He is certainly powerful enough to keep that person saved after they become a Christian. If the Lord is not powerful enough to keep us saved, then He isn’t powerful enough to save us at all. The Lord can either save us or He can’t, period. Salvation does not depend upon us, what we do or do not do; it depends upon the Lord and only Him and His finished work on the cross.
The Lord Jesus Christ made that very clear in John 10:27-29. “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is great than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
We cannot be saved one moment and then unsaved the next. Quoting from one of my favorite TV shows, “it is illogical.”
Second, God is not two-faced. He doesn’t promise someone something and then yank it away at the first opportunity, the first time you fail or sin after you become a Christian. How cruel it would be for the Lord to promise us something and then go back on His word.
For instance, I know someone who is an Indian giver. They will give something to someone and sooner or later will demand back whatever they gave. I don’t like accepting things from this person because I never know if they are going to ask for something to be returned.
God is not an Indian giver. He is not going to offer mankind salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and then turn around and say, “Sorry, I was just kidding! The joke’s on you! I didn’t really mean it.” When a Christian says they can lose their salvation, they are actually accusing God of being an Indian giver.
One case in point is Israel. The Jews have failed the Lord time and time again. While the Lord has judged the Jews many times throughout history, He has not abandoned them. Just look at the nation of Israel today. This tiny little country is a modern miracle. Thousands of years ago the Lord promised in the Scriptures that He would return the Jews to their land in the latter days, and He has. Although God has been angry with them, as He is sometimes with us, He boldly assured the Jews He would one day fulfill the promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will, if for no other reason than past performance. If God has kept His promises to the Jews so far, He will keep the rest of them as well.
God is the most powerful Being that has ever existed. He is eternal, immortal. He existed before time began, and He will exist long after time has ceased. He is so powerful that He could create the universe from nothing and hold it together.
If the Lord is powerful enough to create an entire universe and everything in it, if He is powerful enough to keep His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Jews after all these thousands of years, is He not powerful enough to also keep His promise of salvation to those who accept it?
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast – Ephesians 2:8-9.