- 1 Perfect World versus Fallen World
- 2 The Everlasting Covenant
- 3 Individual Deeds versus Inherited Nature
- 4 The Position of the New Creation
- 5 The Impossible Switch of Natures
- 6 The Impossible Separation from Love
- 7 The Father’s Greatness
- 8 The Fear Factor
- 9 The Motivation for Living Holy
- 10 The “Good News” of Losing Salvation
- 11 The Loss-of-Salvation Hypothesis
- 12 Listen / Watch / Download
Perfect World versus Fallen World
Let’s see another proof of the security of salvation. Lucifer himself and the first Adam fell away into sin in a perfect world and from a position of perfect holiness. Even more so, in a world full of evil, temptations, and of all the appetites and bad habits working against you as a believer, the probability of you falling from salvation is a million to one unless God keeps you and maintains your salvation intact by the power of the Holy Spirit. Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:7–9 that not ourselves, but our Lord Jesus Christ is the One who will sustain us guiltless to the end because God is faithful:
1 Corinthians 1:7–9 (ESV)
7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
8 Who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Then, Jude says those who are called are sanctified by God the Father and preserved by Him in Jesus Christ:
Jude 1:1 (NKJV)
1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ…
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 conveys the same idea that the God of peace will Himself sanctify us and preserve us blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ because He who called us is faithful, and He is the One who will also do it:
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 (NKJV)
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Finally, Jude says God is able to keep us from stumbling and present us faultless before the presence of His glory:
Jude 1:24 (NKJV)
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,…
The Everlasting Covenant
Let’s read a compelling passage from Jeremiah 32:37–40 about the New Covenant and its effects on the believer:
Jeremiah 32:37–40 (NKJV)
37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely.
38 They shall be My people, and I will be their God;
39 then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them.
40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.
In this passage, God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah to the people of Israel specifically, but about the New Covenant in Christ extended later to the Gentiles as well. In Verse 37, God tells the people of Israel something pertaining only to them as a nation, namely that one day He will gather them out of all countries and bring them back to Jerusalem. But then, from Verse 38 to Verse 40, God begins to tell them things about the New Covenant that apply to all believers in Christ today. How do we know that? First, God promises them they shall be His people. This is a recurring theme in both the Old and New Testaments. God has always been looking for a chosen race and a Kingdom of priests that will be His temple to dwell in. We see in Exodus 19:5–6 a promise to the people of Israel that if they obey the Law, they will be that people:
Exodus 19:5–6 (NKJV)
5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
6 And you shall be to Me a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.
Then, in the New Testament, in 1 Peter 2:9, after the Crucifixion of Jesus, God tells all people who are in Christ (both Jews and Gentiles), in the present tense, that they are that chosen generation, His own special people because Christ has fulfilled all the Law and conditions:
1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
The second proof that the text from Jeremiah applies to the new creation is the promise of God that He will give this people one heart, a new heart, and one way, that they may fear Him forever. Who is the way, the only way to God? Jesus Christ. He says this in John 14:6:
John 14:6 (NKJV)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Now, after we have established that Jeremiah 32:38–40 applies to believers in Christ, let’s notice what God says about that New Covenant, respectively about salvation. First, in Verse 39, God says He will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Him FOREVER. In other words, this new heart guarantees that they, by their own free choice, will fear God FOREVER, not just temporarily. Second, in Verse 40, God says He will make with these believers an EVERLASTING COVENANT. A covenant between two parties ends only when one of the parties dies. We know God never dies, but we also know believers can never die either since they have eternal life in their new spirits at the time of salvation. Moreover, an EVERLASTING covenant means that covenant will NEVER end, suggesting believers, even by their free choice, will never want to come out of that covenant. Third, in the second part of Verse 40, God reiterates that He will put His fear in their hearts so that they, even by their free choice, will not depart from Him.
Individual Deeds versus Inherited Nature
Before Christ came, why were people condemned to a future hell, after physical death? Was it because of their individual sinful deeds or on the account of Adam’s sin that was transmitted to them? It was because of Adam’s sin because, if Jesus had not come and died on the cross, the good people of the Old Testament like Abraham, Noah, Elijah, and all the others who have ever manifested faith in God and had good deeds, would have still been condemned to hell despite their good works. In the same way, believers in Christ are saved and remain as such based on the last Adam’s righteousness, which is Jesus’s righteousness, and not on account of their good works after salvation.
The Position of the New Creation
God would not have had any guarantee that His Son didn’t die in vain or that anyone would make it to the end if He didn’t sustain that salvation. Let’s try to answer these deeper questions: In what position are you before God today as a Christian? There are three possibilities. You are either in Adam’s position before the fall, in which you can forfeit salvation anytime, or you are in Jesus’s position before the cross, meaning that you have to earn and keep your salvation, or you are in Jesus’s position after resurrection, in which you can neither fall away back to death nor have to earn and keep your salvation. Of course, the third position is the true one, and that is the heart of the Gospel, the great news, the mystery God kept hidden for ages.
The Impossible Switch of Natures
Is it possible for a human being to switch natures at will? Even naturally speaking, human beings can never change their DNA or become sons and daughters of somebody else. It’s impossible! Why would that be possible in the spiritual sense, especially since this realm always governs the natural one, knowing that the things in the natural realm are an analogy of the spiritual things? How can it be possible to be an old creation today, a new creation tomorrow, and then, after a while, back to an old creation? Of course, it’s not possible.
The Impossible Separation from Love
Let’s see another biblical support for assurance of salvation in Romans 8:38–39.
Romans 8:38–39 (NKJV)
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This passage states in a very detailed manner that nothing and no one, nor any other created thing, can separate believers from the love of God. However, most Christians again add in their minds that “no one can separate them, BUT THEMSELVES.” Not true. The word says, “nor any other CREATED THING.” Are believers human beings created by God? Then they cannot separate themselves from His love. They will never even want to do so at the bottom of their hearts. Plus, this issue is a very critical one. If believers could separate themselves from the love of God, then the Word would have mentioned it explicitly. Can a natural son or daughter change their DNA to become the son or daughter of someone else? No. Neither can a spiritual son nor daughter change their spiritual divine DNA. Can a natural, normal father or mother ever give up on their son or daughter? No. Since they cannot do that as created beings in the image of God, even more, God the Father cannot do that. Are earthly parents better and more loving than God Himself, who created them according to His image? Of course not. God is much better than His creation.
The Father’s Greatness
John 10:27–29 declares Jesus’s sheep will never perish.
John 10:27–29 (NKJV)
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
The Father God is greater than all, even than believers themselves. However, again they might add in their minds, “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand, except themselves.”
The Fear Factor
The possibility that salvation expires either by default, because we are not careful how we live our lives, or by our own free choice introduces a significant dose of constant uncertainty, fear, and anxiety into Christian practice. But, the Christian walk should be in rest (Matthew 11:28). Fear is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Believers in Christ should not live in any kind of fear. If you, as a believer, detect in your life any fear of this type that you might somehow lose your salvation, you must know that fear is not from God. Because we are still exposed to temptations and still do sinful deeds, the repetitive questions of whether our salvation was genuine or whether we have already passed the point of no return are inevitable. The possibility that, one way or another, salvation will be lost removes certainty and, at best, gives way only to hope. But the very fact that you want to make sure that you will never give up on Christ shows that your salvation was genuine and eternal.
Without the assurance of eternal salvation, there is no real peace. Without peace, there is no joy. Without joy, there is no ability to love other people unconditionally. Consequently, even God does not love us unconditionally if we must maintain our salvation, either directly or indirectly, through our good works, continuously. But 1 John 4:18 says that there is no fear in love and that perfect love casts it out because fear involves torment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love, that is, he has not come to be fully convinced of how much God loves him and that that love is without conditions. Moreover, accepting the fear that you might lose your salvation through your choice reveals an unbiblical confidence in your effort and good works to keep you in the faith. God is the One who has anointed you and establishes you in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:21), and He’s also the One working in you both to will and to do works of salvation for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
Last but not least, let us ask ourselves the following: do people (both believers and non-believers) turn against God out of pure hatred of Him, as the devil did, or maybe because of past traumas in their lives, because of certain frustrations or unfulfilled wrong expectations? Most of the time, if not always, people who seem to be against God and speak ill of Him do so out of frustration or lack of understanding. God knows the heart of man and does not consider those verbal statements, when they are not intended. Thank God He ignores them! How can a born-again believer ever come to a place of genuine hatred against God? It is like saying that God or Jesus Christ might one day give up their state of holiness and become sin. It’s impossible! Most such apparent apostasies of Christians come from unfulfilled expectations and not from the fact that they really want to give up on salvation.
The Motivation for Living Holy
The only reason why believers (especially preachers) promote the idea that Christians can lose their salvation, is to motivate the children of God to a holy living, more specifically, to moral behavior. In other words, “live holy, or go to hell!” However, first, Christians are justified and made righteous at the time of salvation, without doing anything good or bad. Second, if true believers could lose their faith, their incentive for sanctification or living a holy life becomes corrupted. The fear of hell becomes the primary mover rather than the believer’s genuine desire to be holy, a desire springing forth from a regenerated heart as an overflowing response to God’s initial love. Fear of hell is not the right godly motivation, and it surely doesn’t last for the long term.
The “Good News” of Losing Salvation
A fluctuating salvation adds a considerable measure of reluctance to believers regarding evangelism and a lack of appeal in unbelievers toward the Gospel. The world and life in general are already full of uncertainties. A doubtful salvation, with the possibility of losing faith, is not good news, neither is it appealing in any way.
The Loss-of-Salvation Hypothesis
Now, let’s suppose for a moment that it’s possible for you, as a believer in Christ, to lose your salvation through sin. How many sins are necessary to make you lose your salvation? The Bible doesn’t mention a maximum number of sins that will make you lose your salvation by default. Then once you lose it, can you get it back? If yes, that would entail getting baptized in water and with the Holy Spirit again, support for which cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. If you cannot get salvation back, how do you know when you have crossed the point of no return? Is there such a specific and deciding point? If indeed you can lose your salvation, how come this process is not described in detail anywhere in the Bible? How can you know when you lost it? Since this is not a trivial issue but a matter of life and death, most Christians would like to know about this, and the Bible should have covered it. But the Bible doesn’t do that! The Gospels and the epistles clearly mention how people can be saved and when is the exact moment when they can know for sure they are saved (Romans 10:9–10). However, it doesn’t mention anywhere clearly when believers can know that they are fallen away from faith and that they lost their eternal salvation.
Romans 10:9–10 (NKJV)
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Next, we will attempt to give a biblical answer to the most common objections believers bring against this assurance of salvation.
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