My wife and I, in previous years had an ongoing debate as to the maintaining of one’s salvation; meaning once one has been saved, can one lose their salvation? This has been a great debate among Christians for generations. If you are a true believer, Accepting that you are a sinner, Believing that He shed His blood on the cross for past, current and future sin, and having confessed your sin before Him-you have been saved. But the nature of your salvation (whether true or not) being eternal is the question of many.
God granted us free will in the beginning and allows us to choose whether we want to follow Him or not, but I have no doubt that if it were up to man completely, no one would ever be saved. When Christ came to die on the cross, He came to bare all sins for all people (Past, Present, and Future). Would it not be moot if He came to die for only the sins already committed? If that were true, could anyone beyond the day of the cross ever truly be saved? Jesus bore our sins, so that we could spend eternity with Him, it is through our faith in Him and His mercy that covers us-Forever.
KJV Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Upon the cross He erased our debt, all of it, forever, but for who was it that He shed His blood? KJV Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. If He is taking away the sins of the world, what does it matter how we live if the world’s sin is forgiven past, present, and future? If that were true, what would be the meaning of Him dying on the cross, could not have He just said all is forgiven, live as you want? There must be a justification, or it becomes just a side note in history as all will be saved anyway.
The justification comes in the resurrection. Once Jesus raised from the dead, God the Father proves the authenticity of His Son to the world. God wanted to leave no doubt that this is His Son, purely righteous, justified before God. Paul writing in Romans then ties our justification to the resurrection in Romans 4:24-25 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
So then, our justification comes only upon accepting, believing, and confessing the Christ and His resurrection from the tomb. So He did, as John 1:29 states that he “taketh away the sins of the world” but only those who believe, as Paul stated would gain justification.
It follows in 1 Timothy that He died on the cross that all would have the opportunity for the truth of salvation
1Ti 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
2 Peter upholds this that ALL should come, but it is only those that come to repentance will be justified.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
If we have repented and come to faith in Him, then we are justified by that faith. We have been filled by the Holy Spirit and He will then be guiding our steps through His Word and prayer. Our faith carries us forward to a closer walk with Him daily. It is this faith that will keep us in His eternal grace. But can we lose our salvation?
John 10:27-30 is very clear on that point 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.
It is extremely clear in Jesus’ words that no one could take even one of the flock as God’s power is greater than any and His hold on His followers is eternal.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 2:8–9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
No one can know what is truly in the heart of any person. Whether one’s salvation is real or not is only known to God. It is not our place to determine whether a person is truly saved, but to treat all with the love of Christ, share the Gospel, and grow in our personal walk with Him, staying in His Will for this life. If there are some that seem to have “fallen away” I must wonder if their salvation was genuine or just an emotional response to a life situation.
As for me, I believe that if one is truly saved-Have given over their heart and soul fully to Jesus Christ-they can never lose their salvation. They will live a life to emulate the life of Christ, an impossible but worthy goal. They can doubt, they will still sin, but they will NEVER be plucked from the Father’s hand.