Answers to "Ask Mike"
16a. In reply to Mike's answer to Question #16, "Can a Christian fall away into sin so far that they lose the hope of salvation?", Tyson provides the following comments:
Hello, sir. In response to your question #16 , "Can someone
lose their salvation", if someone were to think yes then they need
(Editor's note - I have reformatted and reworded the reply slightly for consistency with the rest of this page, but I think that I have captured the original message and intent.)
My brother Tyson raises one of the standard responses to any possibility of losing one's salvation. John 6:37-39 states that when someone comes to Jesus, He will never drive them away. I have no argument for that. When one repentantly comes to Jesus and seeks to focus his life on following Him, Jesus will not cast them away. Every believer has the assurance of salvation and there is no need to doubt. To say "once saved always saved," however, says something Scripture does not say. Jesus is not the last word on the subject. The apostolic writers often condition one's salvation on continuing to faithfully follow Jesus (see Hebrews 6:4-6 for example).
Believers generally take one of two approaches to this issue.
Some suggest that one who falls away was never saved in the first
place because the truly saved will never fall away. Paul's (and I
believe it is Paul who writes Hebrews) description in
In other passages, the apostolic writers often use the word "if"
to denote the condition of remaining "in Christ." The second view
suggests that those who are saved can so harden their hearts that
they eventually turn away from Jesus and the salvation He died to
procure to the extent they never return. There are other examples of
this in Scripture. The case of Simon Magus in
It always amazes me that when someone suggests one could lose
their salvation, emotion seems to overwhelm reason. I am not talking
about every sin or misbehavior causing one to be lost. I do not
believe in "yo yo" salvation -- saved one minute, lost the next
depending on whether we sin or not. I am not talking about
perfectionism or a second blessing bringing us to sinless
perfection. Believers can go to extremes on any issue. On one hand,
those who hold to "once saved always saved" occasionally believe
they can sin willfully without penalty. Such an attitude produces a
spiritual hardness that entices one away from the Lord.
Eternal security, no. At least not in the erroneous concepts of those who teach "perseverance of the saints." On the practical level, there is little at stake for the believer can rest assured they are saved. On another level, however, the believer is counseled to be vigilant and to keep their eyes focused entirely on Jesus rather than their own efforts.
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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.