Can someone who has come to saving faith in Jesus “lose” or “walk away” from their salvation? Is there Biblical evidence for this? So many believe it is possible that it seems there must be scriptural evidence for it, right? Um… No. There is none. But, just in case you won’t take my word for it let’s see what God says about it in His word, ok? To begin with let’s look at something Jesus taught Israel that many wrongly interpret to mean that New Covenant believers can lose their salvation. It is found in John15 where we see Jesus teaching the disciples about who He is and why they need to believe it. He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
First, we need to see that when Jesus spoke these words He was speaking to Israelites. And that these Israelites were under the Old Covenant. And that in that covenant it was required that they keep the law and believe in Jesus for eternal life. We see Jesus teaching this in Mt.19:17-21 when He answered the rich young ruler, “if thou wilt enters into life, keep the commandments… and come and follow me.” What we are seeing here also applies to those He was speaking to in John15, so that what Jesus told them in John15 was not New Covenant eternal life which is by grace through faith without works, but was faith + works for eternal life. And that since this was true, what Jesus was telling those in John15 is that they also needed to keep the commandments and follow Him. This shows that what Jesus was actually doing was confirming the covenant Israel already had with God as Paul said He came to do in Gal.3:17. And was not preaching a New Covenant.
So when Jesus told them “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman” He was showing them that in the Old Covenant He was their Messiah. This is why He said “any branch in me”. Because He was referring to the fact that they were already in Him because of the covenant they already had with God. The covenant God made with them through Moses and Abraham. And that since His coming for Israel was to confirm the Old Covenant with Israel they now needed to trust in Him for eternal life. And that if they did not they would not bear the fruit unto eternal life and as a result would be cast away into the fire and burned.
So this scripture is not teaching any New Covenant principles about how the New Covenant believer can lose or walk away from their salvation. On the contrary, Jesus was teaching Old Covenant Israelites that under that covenant He was the one they were in covenant with. And that if they would not recognize Him as such they could not have eternal life. But, instead would be cast into the fire and burned.
In Heb.6 we find another passage that is used by those who don’t yet really know the love of God to show that a believer can lose their salvation. In this, they show just how confused one can get because they apply what is written again to Israelites, the same people that Jesus was teaching who were under the law as if it applies to everyone. But, if we will recognize this context we can plainly see there is no reason for this confusion. By doing this it should become perfectly clear to anyone with ears to hear that the passage in Heb.6:4-6 does not speak of a believer in Jesus that has turned away or “backslidden”. Nor does it speak to Gentiles. Remember, this is the letter to the Hebrews. So it speaks to Israel and their experiences with God in the Old Covenant and what happens if they subsequently reject Jesus when the New Covenant is preached to them. It says;
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened (Israel’s experience with God in the Old Covenant), and have tasted of the heavenly gift (Israel’s experience with God in the Old Covenant), and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost (Israel while in the Old Covenant), And have tasted the good word of God (Israel while in the Old Covenant), and the powers of the world to come (Israel while in the Old Covenant), If they shall fall away(will not believe Jesus is their messiah when the New Covenant is preached to them), to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame (when the New Covenant is preached to them).”
What is in parentheses shows the timing of these things mentioned in the verses cited above. And it reveals that the writer is showing that each of these things was experienced by Israel under the law in the Old Covenant. It shows that when they were given the oracles of God and God spoke through prophets they were “enlightened” and “tasted the good word of God”. That when they were fed and cared for by God as they were in the wilderness, for example, they “tasted of the heavenly gift”. That when they received prophecy spoken through the prophets and were led by God with a cloud by day and a fire by night, for example, they were “partakers of Holy Ghost”. And that because they had the only gov’t in history that was established by God and saw many miracles they experienced the “powers of the world to come”.
So what we see in these verses when we read them in context is that this is about Israel rejecting Jesus when the New Covenant is preached to them now. And not about someone who has believed in Jesus and then “falls away”. So we see that this portion of Hebrews that is so often used to show that the believer can lose their salvation is only used in this way by those who do not yet really know the love of God. Or understand what it means to “rightly divide the word of truth” as Paul said we must. Because in context it is clearly teaching Israelites that they must trust in Jesus as their Messiah or they will fall away from the God they had a covenant with by crucifying to themselves the Son of God afresh.
Then there is an argument from some that Rev.3:5 is teaching that because it says their names will be “blotted out of the book of life”, the New Covenant believer can lose or walk away from their salvation. It says, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” First, this is again an Old Covenant scripture because the great tribulation that Revelation is all about is the completion of the final week of the 70 weeks prophecy given to Daniel. And all of it is to be fulfilled under the Old covenant.
So is there an argument that can be made that this is also saying New Covenant believers can lose or walk away from their salvation? No. Because the Bible teaches the New Covenant believer something else. And we can know this if we will believe what the Bible says about God’s “will” and “predestination” for mankind. And how this shows how the names get into the book of life in the first place.
In Rom.8:29,30 Paul tells us that “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Here we see that the predestination of God for all men is that they will be born of the Spirit. This is why Jesus said that many are called but few are chosen. And we know that all men are called because Peter tells us that “it is God’s will that none should perish”. But, this does not mean that all men are forced to be saved as the Universalist believes. And it does not mean that a few men are forced to be saved and the many are forced to go to hell as the Calvinist believes.
These are false doctrines that have their genesis for the Roman Catholic and Protestant religions in the false teachings of Augustine who denied that men have free will. And because we know that it is God’s will that “none should perish”, the only reason that a person will perish is that they, in fact, do have the free will to choose to not allow what is the will of God to lead them to salvation when they hear the gospel preached. We can see this free will in what Jesus said to the Father when He said, “Nevertheless not my will but Thine be done” in Luke22:42.
So the Bible teaches that because of God’s predestination of all men to be saved God has written everyone’s name in the book of life from the moment they are conceived. This is also proven by the fact that the Bible teaches that babies who die go to heaven because God considers them to be completely innocent as we see in Deut.1:39 and 1Cor.15:45-49. Jesus also testifying to this when He said: “suffer the children to come unto me and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of God“. And because God has written the names of all men from their conception into the book of life, the only way for someone not to go to heaven is by rejecting Jesus so that their name is blotted out of it. Even when works + faith are needed for eternal life as it was under the Old Covenant that was in force when Jesus came the first time. And as it will be again during the great tribulation that is referred to herein Rev.3:5. So we see once again that the scripture does not teach that a New Covenant believer can lose or walk away from their salvation.
Lastly, let’s see what Paul said in regard to God’s ability to keep us. He wrote in Eph.4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” What day is the day of redemption? To answer this we look to Paul’s letter to the Romans in ch.8 where he begins by telling them, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” So he lays the groundwork here to show them that if they have believed in Jesus the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus has set them free from the law of sin and death. This law they have been set free from is the “ministration of death written on stones” that Paul refers to in 2Cor.3. So we know that he is speaking to Israelites and not Gentiles of the deliverance of Christ for them. Deliverance from the law written on stones into the New Covenant. So that they are no longer condemned by the law which gives sin it’s the power to enslave men to it as Paul said in 1Cor.15:56. But, have been set free from it and it’s condemnation.
He goes on to say that “we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
So there you have it. The day of redemption that all men are sealed unto by the Holy Spirit is the resurrection. This shows that Paul taught that there is no way for a truly saved person to ever lose his/her salvation. Not because it’s ok to be bad. And not because being good keeps us saved either. But, because the Spirit of God, and not ourselves, has sealed us unto the day of the redemption of our bodies.
John confirms this by saying in 1John3:9 that “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” The sin John is referring to here is the sin of unbelief that Jesus told them He would send the Holy Spirit to reprove the world of after He left to be with the Father in John16:9. The reason John says the believer can not sin is that once a man is truly saved he has been born of God. Born of His Spirit so that he knows God. And is now made a spiritual being that he never was before so that the sin of unbelief is no longer possible. And this sin is the only sin that keeps men from knowing God and having eternal life. Because now being a spiritual being by being born of God he is eternally in the family of God. So just as a man can not stop being human while he is in his earthly body. So it is that the child of God can not stop being His child because the spirit birthed in him is of God and is therefore eternal. This is the seal Paul spoke of when he said we are sealed unto the day of redemption. It is the seal of the Holy Spirit that communes with our spirit showing us that we are the children of God.
Now the only question is, Have you believed in the Jesus of the Bible? Or a different Jesus? Paul tells us we can know this by examining ourselves to see whether we be in the faith so that we will not be reprobate. And we do this is by looking at the scriptures. Scriptures where Jesus told us there would be many false Christs and that we were not to follow or believe them because they are deceivers. If you have believed in a Jesus whose purpose in coming was to “pay the penalty for sin” then you have been deceived and are following a false Christ. Because a Jesus that died to appease a god’s wrath by paying a penalty for sin was one that points his followers to one like the false god Molech spoken of in Lev.20. You can see the parallels between him and the false Jesus’ god here as well https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch.
Because his sacrifice was a bloody torturous sacrifice of the innocent to appease his god’s wrath so that his god would be able to give his “unmerited favor” to those who worship him in this way. Therefore the false Jesus’ god is not the God of the Bible. But, instead is a god who requires the bloody torturous death of the innocent from his worshippers. Which is as pagan as it gets. And an abomination to the true God. But, the Biblical Jesus sacrificed His life because that was the only way that He could join with mankind in our death. Not “in our place” as the false god Molech required for appeasement. But, so that by His resurrection He could conquer our death. Not to appease the wrath of a false god like Molech. But, only to show the true God’s infinite and unconditional love for man by making the way through the wall of death so that all who will believe in Him and His resurrection could join with Him in eternal life. Doing this even before we ever knew Him. So we could be sealed to Him as His child unto the day of redemption by His Spirit that comes to dwell in all those who will believe in Jesus as Jesus believed in the Father when He was living as a man on earth.
Will you be born of His Spirit so you too can be His child and inherit eternal life? The fleshly birth only prepared you for this natural world where death reigns. Will you too be born again by being born of His Spirit? So that as His child you will now have for your inheritance His kingdom that is eternal where there is no death? If you are reading this God is calling you. He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is this eternal life that provides you with the spirit that makes you God’s child.John17:3.
Because while all men are created by God, not all men are born of His Spirit so that they are children of God. It is only those who have come to know Him that is spiritual because knowing Him is to be born of His Spirit. So if you do not know Him, but have now believed that He is Lord and that He has raised from the dead to conquer death for you, then please take the time right now to talk to Him and confess to Jesus that He is Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead to conquer death for you. If you do believe in Him then tell Him something like this and you will have eternal life:
Dear Jesus, I believe you. Thank you for joining with me in death so that by conquering death by your resurrection I could join with you in eternal life. Thank you that you raised from the dead so that I could raise from the dead too by trusting in, clinging to, and relying solely on you. Thank you for giving me a new spirit now Lord so that I can live with you in your kingdom forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
By praying a prayer similar to this one and really meaning it from your heart you have been saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from the wrath to peace with God. And now as you begin reading the Bible and believing what it plainly says it will begin to change the way you think and believe. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you were only able to relate to and trust in what has been made. And now will be equipped for God’s kingdom because you are no longer only natural flesh and blood, but are a new creature made a spiritual being ready to inherit God’s spiritual kingdom. It is because of Jesus’ resurrection that He is the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. Because only Jesus has broken through the wall of death that the flesh and blood natural body can never get through. And only by the new birth are we made ready to receive the spiritual body that can go through the wall of death as Jesus’ did first so we could follow Him in the way He has prepared for us.
God Bless you in your new life in Christ.
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