Yes, You Can Lose Your Salvation
The idea that your eternal destiny is secure — that you’re absolutely certain you’re going to heaven no matter what you do — is a very attractive one. What a deal!
In this video, I’m going to expose the “once saved always saved” theory as a false tradition of men that you can easily refute from the Bible alone.
There are two problems with the Once Saved, Always Saved theory:
1) The Bible teaches the opposite
2) No one taught or believed it before John Calvin invented it in the mid-sixteenth century.
- You and I were made for heaven, because of God’s free gift, yet are in peril of hell, because of free will. “God has brought salvation to everyone” (Titus 2:11) and He “wills that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
- Scripture mentions certain behaviors—mortal sins— that disqualify one from entering the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:5, for starters.)
- Heaven is not a guaranteed destination for anyone.
Eight Bible passages that clearly show that salvation can be lost and therefore cannot with perfect certainty be known beforehand:
1. Matthew 24:13: “But he who endures to the end will be saved.” The logical corollary to Jesus’ words is that he who does not endure to the end will not be saved.
2. Matthew 24:44:
“Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” If Once Saved Always Saved is true, why do you have to be “ready”? Who cares if He comes when we don’t expect it?
3. Romans 11:22:
“Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off.” Here is another condition Paul lays down. If Christians do not continue in His kindness they will be cut off — i.e. lose their salvation.
4. John 20:21-23:
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained. ’”
If OSAS is true, why did Jesus bother instituting the sacrament of Penance (Confession) if all you need to do is receive Christ as your Savior in a once-for-all-time event?
5. 1 Corinthians 9:27: “But I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” In this sports analogy, Paul presumes that disqualification is a real possibility for any athlete. Disqualification is analogous to the loss of salvation.
6. Colossians 1:21-23: “And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard.”
The words “provided that you” indicate that final salvation depends upon human cooperation and is not a divine guarantee.
7. 1 Timothy 5:8: “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Another teaching of Scripture that flies in the face of the OSAS theory, as Paul envisions a man who had the faith — and then lost it — and ended up in an even worse situation.
8. 2 Timothy 2:10-12: “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory. The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him …”
If: the most profound word in any language!
- Many Christians underestimate the nature of sin and the damage it does.
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:
“Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.” (1849)
“It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal — so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.” (1850)
- We must “work out our salvation” not sipping a martini in a hammock somewhere, but “in fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
We can be filled with the Holy Spirit, but we leak!
“The best way to love something is to realize it may be lost.”
– G.K. Chesterton