Once you have received salvation, can you lose it?
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Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible
(Q) Once you have received salvation, can you lose it?
(A) This is a very controversial subject in the Churches today. Many believe you can lose it, and some believe once you have it, you have it eternally and could never lose it. What the above question is really asking is, once saved do we have Eternal Security, or the Assurance of Salvation. One very important thing you need to know before we get started is that this question is dispensational. If you don’t know what dispensations are then you need to read my question which explains what the word dispensation means and talks about the different dispensations in the Bible. We live in the dispensation of Grace today as revealed by Christ Jesus through our apostle Paul. The Assurance of salvation is different under the dispensation of Grace then it was under the dispensation of the Law. The reason the churches today are so confused about the Assurance of salvation is they do not understand the Bible from a dispensational point of view. The dispensation of Grace runs from the book of Romans through the book of Philemon, so most of our scriptures will come from those books. So let’s look in our Bibles and see what it says about this important matter. Eternal Security looks at the doctrine from God’s point of view and not mans. Let’s start with Romans 3:19-28:
19: Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21: But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22: Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27: Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
I wanted to show from the above verses that the believing sinner is justified freely by the grace of God and that he has nothing in which he can boast as a possessor of salvation. Now we can go to Romans 8: 33-39:
33: Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
34: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36: As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37: Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
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 creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Here we learn that no one can lay anything to the charge of God’s elect, nor can anyone condemn one who is saved due to the fact that Christ is now at the right hand of God making intercession for each saved person, nor can any power in this life or in the life to come, separate us from the love of God. Someone might think yes, but I could walk away if I wanted to, right? No you could not walk away. Read verse 39 again because it says “nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, ( this means you, yourself ) could not separate yourself from God even if you wanted to for some crazy reason! In the book of 1 John 5:11-13 it says you can know that you have Eternal Life and yet this verse is under the dispensation of the Law. let’s look at those verses:
11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
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.
Verse 13 above sounds like assurance of salvation to me! Someone reading through the Bible under the dispensation of Grace may come across a scripture that looks like it says you can lose salvation, but can you? Sometimes you can lose something, but it’s not salvation. Read the verses in 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15:
10: According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11: For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12: Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13: Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14: If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15: If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
If there is anything to be lost in the dispensation of Grace the above verses tell us you could lose Blessings and Rewards, but not salvation. Look at verse 15 again which says you may suffer loss, BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED. Let’s look at a few more verses under the dispensation of the law in the book of John 17: 11-12 where Christ says he never lost any that the Father gave him:
11: And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12: While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled
Also in John 18: 9 Christ again says He did not lose any given to Him.
9: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
God will always remain faithful to His Word even if we don’t. See 11 Timothy 2: 13:
13: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
As true believers, if we are not careful and don’t grow in Grace and knowledge of the Truth, we could backslide and become faithless, even so God will always remain faithful to His promise to give the believer the Free Gift of Eternal Life. You will not lose salvation, but you will lose blessings and rewards at the time of judgment. We as believers have no license to sin, but liberty to serve. Believers should always want to do that which is good and pleasing in God’s sight!
Now we shall look at my favorite verses in Ephesians 1: 13-14 which is a guarantee of salvation from God to the believer in Christ:
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,
14: Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Notice the last part of verse 13 above where it says you were SEALED WITH THAT HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE. Ephesians 4: 30 says the same thing:
30: And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
This Sealing of the Holy Spirit means that God the Holy Spirit is the Seal that keeps your salvation until the day of your redemption; ( until you die, or the rapture takes place ) then you no longer need that seal, because you are now in Heaven with God. No one can ever break that Seal, because it’s God in the person of the Holy Spirit that is keeping you Sealed. Let’s look at 11 Timothy 2: 19:
19: Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
So can you lose salvation? ( NO ) Anyone who has received salvation in this age or dispensation of Grace has Eternal Security, the Assurance of salvation with no possibility of ever losing it! As we finish up now, we will conclude with Philippians 1: 6:
6: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Have a good day,