Answers to "Ask Mike"
16. Can a Christian fall away into sin so far that they lose the hope of salvation?
The simple answer is yes. That is only because it is possible to go so far in rebellion that Christ's substitutionary death is rejected once and for all! Most of us wrestle with a besetting sin. Evidently Paul understood the pressure. See Romans 7. Nonetheless, Paul also wrote Romans 6 where he says that we should not continue in sin so grace would abound. I do not believe the Bible teaches that once you are saved you can never be lost, regardless. Nor do I believe the Scripture teaches that a believer who wrestles with sin faces eternal jeopardy. Scripture says we are justified (declared innocent because of our faith in Christ) and sanctified (set apart but also progressing toward Christlikeness). God does not remove all of the temptations the moment we believe; rather, he teaches us patiently how to overcome them. Some sins and temptations hang on longer than others. We must seek to be overcomers and trust God to give the victory. If one knows his besetting sin, several things can be done to help overcome that sin.
a) Avoid situations where the temptation for that sin occur.
As long as any believer continues to trust God they have not passed "the line of no return." Rebellion against God's authority, however, is extremely dangerous so one must continually face the fact of failure, confess it, and do their best to "go and sin no more."
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