Can I Lose My Salvation?

July 29, 2013

Have you ever asked yourself questions like these: Can I lose my salvation? What if I do something wrong? What if I sin? Can I be “unsaved?” Have I already lost my salvation?

If we’re hounded by fears that we’ve lost our salvation or that we might lose it someday, it’s nearly impossible for us to progress in our Christian life.

In a previous post, we discussed how we can be sure we’re really saved.

In this post, we’ll cover five points addressing how secure our salvation is and whether we can lose it.

1. God never changes; whatever God does is forever.

As a starting point, we need to see that God isn’t a changing God. Ecclesiastes 3:14 says, “I know that whatever God does, it will be forever.” So, our salvation in Christ is irreversible and cannot be undone. It’s solidly founded on the unchanging nature and person of God Himself, “with whom is no variation” (James 1:17).

Takeaway: Our salvation is secure because God never changes.

2. We did not initiate our salvation; God did, and His calling us is irreversible.

Ephesians 1:4-5 says that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world and predestinated us (meaning, marked us out) for sonship. He’s the One who initiated our salvation before we were even born. Since this is the case, our salvation doesn’t depend on our behavior, good or bad.

Not only was God the initiator of our salvation, but Romans 11:29 also says that the calling of God is irrevocable. This means our God-initiated salvation is irreversible, permanent, final, and unalterable.

Takeaway: Our salvation is secure because God initiated it and because His calling of us is irrevocable.

3. God’s righteousness safeguards our salvation.

Our salvation is a matter of righteousness. To illustrate this, let’s say we violate a traffic law and a police officer gives us a ticket. But we have a problem—we can’t pay the fine. However, someone pays the fine for us. Since that person paid the fine, the judge can’t require us to pay it again. He has to righteously acknowledge that the fine has already been paid.

This illustrates how Christ fulfilled the righteous requirement of God’s law for us by dying for our sins, bearing them in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). Therefore, the righteous God can never take away our salvation. Our debt was paid! We were redeemed with the “precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).

God is righteous, and because Christ paid our debt on the cross, God cannot demand that we pay it, too. His righteousness would never allow Him to do that.

Takeaway: Our salvation is secure because God must righteously recognize the fact that Christ paid the price of our sins for us.

4. We were born with God’s eternal life.

Our salvation in Christ isn’t a membership in a society. If it were, our membership could be canceled because of our poor behavior. By contrast, if we give birth to a child, our biological relationship with our child can’t be canceled. Even if our child’s behavior isn’t pleasing to us, as the parents we can never cancel or undo the fact that our child shares our human life.

It’s the same with our salvation. John 1:12-13 says that “as many as received Him [the Lord Jesus], to them He [God] gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name, who were begotten (born)…of God.” Since we were born of God as His children and received His eternal life, we can never be “unborn,” even if we do things that aren’t pleasing to God. The life we received from God is eternal, and our life relationship with God is also eternal.

Takeaway: Our salvation is secure because we were born with God’s eternal life; we are now and forever children of God.

5. God holds us in His hands.

The Lord Jesus said that we are His sheep, given to Him by His Father. He, our Shepherd, holds us in His hand, and He’ll never let anyone snatch us out of His hand. He also says that the Father who has given us to the Son is greater than all, and no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand (John 10:28-29). These strongest hands in the universe hold us fast, and no one, not even Satan, can snatch us away. This should comfort and reassure us.

Takeaway: Our salvation is secure because the strongest hands in the universe are holding us!

So, can we lose our salvation? No, we can never lose our salvation!

We may be discouraged by our failures, but at those times, we must realize that regardless of our condition or how we feel, our salvation is eternally secure.

Praying a simple prayer like this can help:

“Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me eternally. I know that whatever You do is forever. Since You initiated my salvation, I know my salvation is eternally secure. Thank You for paying the debt for my sins with Your own precious blood. God can never claim my debt again from me. Lord, thank You, I was born of God with the eternal life and am now a child of God. I can never be “unborn!” And I praise You that Your hand and the Father’s hand are stronger than anything. No one can snatch me out these strong hands. My salvation is so secure! Thank You, Lord Jesus!”

Did a particular point in this post help you to know you can never lose your salvation? Share with us by leaving your comments.

This post is based on Chapter 2 of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1. Bibles for America gives this book away for free; order your free copy on our order page. You can also download a PDF version here. All verse references and quoted footnotes are from the Holy Bible Recovery Version. You can order a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version on our order page.

22 Comments

28 Comments

  • Mickey Grace says:

    There was NOTHING I could do to gain my salvation except agree I was wrong. God drew me God saved me what can I do but say amen!?

  • Jeanie Kelley says:

    My question on this would be. What if you cuss and use bad language? How can I escape this? I know that I need to come and repent for and ask forgiveness for this thing I have done. I feel guilty for saying these bad words. I continue to look at God like I look at my father here on earth. Big and strong and can wipe out anything in its path. How can I look past this and come to God for forgiveness and say I am sorry for what I have said. I love you Lord and do not want to do this anymore.

    • Bibles for America says:

      Dear Jeanie,

      Thank you for your question regarding not losing your salvation. You asked, “What if you cuss and use bad language? How can I escape this?” There are at least three issues here.

      The first issue is your eternal salvation. That was forever settled on the day that you believed into Christ. John 10:28-29 say clearly, “And I give to them eternal life, and they shall by no means perish forever, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” If even once in your life you say, “Lord Jesus, I believe in You. Forgive me of my sins. I receive You as my Savior and Lord,” you’re eternally saved. If you are not sure that you have done so, just pray these words to the Lord Jesus right now…You’re saved. (For more on this point please read the Assurance, Security and Joy of Salvation – Chapter 2 in Basic Elements of the Christian Life, Vol. 1.)

      Second, the sins you commit after believing can interrupt your fellowship with the Lord Jesus. They need to be cleansed away by the powerful blood of Jesus. Your cooperation is to confess each sin as you become aware of it and receive the Lord’s forgiveness (1 John 1:7-9). (You can read the Precious Blood of Christ – Chapter 3 of the same booklet quoted above.)

      Third, there is the issue of escaping the power of sin that makes you “cuss and use bad language.” This is not just a matter of forgiveness but of being “saved in Christ’s life.” The life you have received is not just for the future but for your present experience. You can enjoy this life by calling on the name of the Lord often. (You can read about this in Chapter 4 of the same booklet.) Having a daily time with the Lord will also be a big help. (See Chapter 1 of Volume 2 in the same series.)

      We hope that this helps answer your question.

  • Yes it did and I Thank you for what you are doing in helping change lives God Bless You all in Jesus name

  • Richard breveglieri says:

    We are in a minority who believe in the security of a believer…less than 15 percent…as we also know many do not even believe in the new birth experience ..let alone that Jesus has the power to save us with out our help…predestination in Romans 8:28-30….what a gift and what a blessing ….

  • Terry Clifton says:

    You said it far better than I could. I will share this with others.
    Thank you.

  • Loretta Kaye McCloud says:

    Outstanding, simply outstanding…..God bless!

  • Tom Smith says:

    I especially appreciate point 4 which says that “We were born with God’s eternal life.” John 3 speaks of the believers being born anew or born again (John 3:3, 5-6). It also says that we receive eternal life (v. 15-16). So the divine birth is with God’s eternal life. This divine life can’t be removed from our being any more than a parent can remove their life from the child they give birth to. Although we may fail, sin and may temporarily lose our fellowship with God, we’ll never cease to have this life-relationship with Him. What a comfort. When we lose fellowship we simply need to confess our sins, apply the blood of Jesus and recover our fellowship with God(1 John 1:7-9).

  • carol Ramos says:

    Yes I like that God never changes;
    Whatever God does is for ever so I know that my salvation in Christ is irreversible and cannot be undone.
    Thank you Lord, for you are my Everything. Amen
    God bless you all my sisters & brothers lots of love. Gb

  • R. Simon says:

    So what if someone already accepted Jesus, then starts his/her old habits like smoking, prostitute, killing people, drugs, etc…then suddenly died in his/her sin can he/she still be saved?

    • Bibles for America says:

      There are two issues involved in answering your question. First, there is the issue of the security of a believer’s salvation. Second, is the issue of God’s dealing with His defeated children.

      The first issue concerns whether “someone has already accepted Jesus” is eternally saved. For this issue we need to see that God’s eternal salvation is much greater than we are and transcends our sins or failures. From the Bible we can see that:

      1. Our salvation was initiated by God—He chose us, He predestinated us, and He called us. God would never change His mind. Ecclesiates 3:4 “Whatever God does it will be forever.” His selection, predestination and calling will never be reversed. In fact, Romans 11:29 clearly says that God’s calling is irrevocable.

      2. The life that we receive is “eternal.” In John 10:28-29 the Lord Jesus says, “I give to them eternal life, and shall by no means perish forever and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.” The gift of eternal life is not a package that can be stolen but the living person, the Son of God Himself indwelling our spirit from the moment we believe (John 1:12-13; Rom. 8:10). The Bible says that when we believed, we were “born of God.” As such we can never be “un-born.” Any more than a parent can remove their human life from the child they brought forth.

      The second issue is one concerning how God’s deals with defeated believers who die in a sinful and backslidden condition. From the Bible we know that:

      1. For the sins believers commit in this age, we have the provision of the cleansing blood of Jesus. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9).

      2. But how does God deal with the sins that have not been dealt with before a sinful believer dies?

      We need to realize that every single one of God’s children—both the overcoming and defeated ones—will ultimately be conformed to the image of Christ and will express the glory of God for eternity (Rom. 8:28-30).

      Those who cooperate with God’s salvation in their life-time, and allow Him to complete His work in and through them, will be rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10) and will feast with the Lord and enter into His joy at His second coming (Matt 25: 10, 21; Rev. 19:7-9).

      However, those who do not cooperate, and live a defeated life in a foolish and slothful way, will miss the reward and will be put to shame at the judgment seat of Christ and suffer in outer darkness where there will be the weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 25:11, 30).

      Such a temporary punishment should not be confused with eternal perdition in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14-15). Neither is it some kind of “purgatory.” It is like a sloppy child having to shamefully go to “summer school” to make up for his failure while his diligent siblings get to go on a wonderful vacation. This period of discipline in the next age will be used by God to finish His work in the defeated believers that would not cooperate with Him in this age.

      We must realize that all believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ for our Lord’s reward or punishment. With such a sober warning, the reward of the kingdom should become a great incentive to every believer to run the Christian race, and to finish the course victoriously in this age (2 Tim. 4:7).

  • R. Simon says:

    Because a friend of mine we were discussing this issue last night and I told her yes and no.

  • Jane Smith says:

    What about a person who completely loses their faith? My daughter was a devout Christian, saved and Baptized during her childhood, and is now a very outspoken atheist. I fear for her soul, and can only take comfort in knowing that at one time, her name was written in Christ’s book, in Christ’s Blood. If she ever repents, will she be forgiven for her blasphemies against the Holy Spirit? If she never repents, has her soul still been saved or is she doomed to Hell?

    • Bibles for America says:

      Dear Jane,

      Thank the Lord that your daughter was saved and baptized during her childhood!

      John 3:15 clearly says, “That every one who believes into Him may have eternal life.”

      So when anyone receives the Lord Jesus, believing into His name, they receive the life of God and are born of God to become children of God (John 1:12-13). Once a child is born, they can’t be “un-born”—although they may deeply hurt, grieve or offend their parents.

      We must stand on the sure word of the Bible—“I give to them eternal life and they shall by no means perish forever, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand” John 10:28.

      The Bible says, “no one.” That includes the person themselves—including your daughter. Sometimes Satan will convince a weak believer to turn from their faith. But, they can only reject the Lord for a time. He says, “no one can snatch them out of My hand.”

      We must say, “Amen!” (meaning “it will be so” and “it will surely come to pass”) to God’s Word. This is faith.

      This does not mean that one who turns from the Lord’s way will not suffer some punishment. But the Lord’s chastening or punishment of His children is different from eternal perdition.

      To appreciate the security of your daughter’s salvation, I would recommend reading “The Assurance, Security and Joy of Salvation” which is Chapter Two in Basic Elements of the Christian Life, Volume One. If you don’t already have a copy, you can order it online here.

      For more understanding of God’s discipline of his children, you may want read Hebrews 6:8-9; and Hebrews 12, both with the footnotes in the Recovery Version, also available online at BfA.org.

  • Manuel Garcia says:

    As God’s children we were not only given the position of a son, but we were made children of God in life. We share His life the way my very son shares my life. We are “now and forever children of God!” Based on this I appreciate the comment, “We may be discouraged by our failures, but at those times, we must realize that regardless of our condition or how we feel, our salvation is eternally secure.” The power that the realization of the security of our salvation can bring us is immeasurable. The truth shall set you free (John 8:32).

  • William arrowood says:

    I have been though some failures but he has always pulled me through it

  • I believe Hebrews chapter 6, particularly verses 4-6, contradict what is being shred upon in this blog. From my studies, I understand salvation as a promise, a progress, and a goal which we will only attain if once being justified by faith in Christ, we also endure until the end by that same faith. It is started in the Bible as “hope”, not assurance. No one can snatch someone out of God’s hands, but we can choose to leave. Help me understand where I may be wrong in my thinking.

    • Bibles for America says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your comment. Your concern is understandable! Hebrews 6:4-9 is a difficult passage for many Bible students. It refers to judgment of the believers’ unapproved living and works after their salvation at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). In the Recovery Version, verses 4-6 read,

      “For it is impossible for those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and yet have fallen away, to renew themselves again unto repentance, crucifying again for themselves the Son of God and putting Him to open shame.”

      These verses, taken by themselves, could mean two things: that if we fall away, we lose our repentance, and we shame Christ with our sin; or, that if we fall away, we do not need to try to be saved again, because that would be a shame to Christ.

      We have to remember that the way to interpret any verse or set of verses from the Bible is in the context of the whole passage, book, and Bible. We should also remember that many truths in the Bible have two sides, such as God being three yet one. Here are some verses for us to remember in our interpretation of this passage:

      Hebrews 6:1—”Therefore leaving the word of the beginning of Christ, let us be brought on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith in God.” This verse corresponds to verse 4.

      Matthew 18:21-22—“Then Peter came and said to Him, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive Him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to Him, I do not say to you, Up to seven times, but, Up to seventy times seven.

      John 1:12-13—“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name, who were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” We were born as children of God. John 3:3-6 also tells us this.

      1 John 5:13—“I have written these things to you that you may know that you have eternal life, to you who believe into the name of the Son of God.” This points out clearly that as believers, we can know that we have eternal life.

      Not only can we know that we are eternally saved, we also can be assured that we will never lose our salvation. Just as in the picture God gave us in the physical world, once we are born of our parents we can never be un-born. Even if we change our last name or we die, our DNA will still show that we are our parents’ child. Spiritually, We believers have been born of God, and His life is eternal. Even if we no longer want to be a Christian, we could never remove His eternal life from our spirit, any more than a child can eradicate the life of his parents within. This should encourage and motivate us, like the Hebrew believers, to go on to grow in this life unto maturity (Heb. 6:1).

  • I would like to thank all those who ask questions, especially those questions that are challenging and thought provoking. Most watering and reassuring responses to all of us who believe. Grateful to all.

  • remy calimlim says:

    Very clear that I have now the assurance of my salvation.because of what Christ did on the cross of calvary.That is my faith.some says we need to workout our salvation.In your teaching our good and bad behavior can not depend to save us.But; only the righteousness of God can save us.Praised God halleluiah!Thank you for this teaching very clear tha my my salvation will not takeaway.It”s your kindness Lord that you lead us to repentance Oh Lord.Thank you God!

  • Bernadet says:

    Thank you for teaching us the assurance that we are eternally saved. But my question is, what did the Bible mean when Jesus said, that many are called but few are chosen? Again Jesus said that on that day many will come and say Lord, we did this and that in your name and He will say, away from me you who were disobedient. Not everyone who says Lord Lord will inherit the Kingdom of God.Again He said the way to heaven is narrow and those who find it are few, but the one which goes to hell is wide and may go there Mat. 7:13-14 Mat. 13: 24-29′ the parable of the ten virgins in Mat. 25:.. etc etc.

    Please note that I am not writing this to argue, but to get clarification!! God bless you.

    • Bibles for America says:

      Dear Bernadet,

      We’re happy to hear you have the assurance that you are eternally saved and we appreciate your question!

      The verses that you mention are related to something more than our eternal salvation. They are related to a further aspect —reward in the coming age.

      “To be chosen” (Matt. 22:14), to “enter in through the narrow gate“ (Matt. 7:13–14), to “enter into the kingdom of the heavens” (Matt. 7:21), and to be “ready” to go in “to the wedding feast” (Matt. 25:10) all refer to the believers who receive a reward based on how they live their lives. Matthew 7:21 indicates these ones have learned how to do the Father’s will and according to the parable of the ten virgins, they have paid the price to have oil, that is the Spirit of God, fill their whole being.

      The Life-study of Matthew, part of a book-by-book study of the entire Bible, says the following about the parable:
      ​”​At midnight the Lord returns, and all ten of the virgins arise to go forth and meet Him. At that time five wise virgins receive the reward and are able to enter into the marriage feast. Five others who are foolish are shut out from the marriage feast. In other words, five receive a reward, and five miss the reward. When the Lord Jesus comes back and the kingdom is manifested, all the real Christians will be judged. What we have done since we have been saved will be judged by the Lord Jesus at that time (1 Cor. 3:12-15). This will not be a judgment to determine whether we are saved or lost, but to determine whether we will receive the reward or miss the reward. This is to determine whether we shall enter into the marriage feast or be shut out of the marriage feast. This matter is very clear in the parable of the ten virgins. Because of the lack of revelation in past centuries, many Christians have considered that the five foolish ​virgins were not saved. But according to the pure Word the five foolish virgins are real virgins. They may be foolish, but they are not false. Because one is foolish does not mean that he is false. One may be foolish and yet still be genuine. The five foolish virgins are real Christians, but they will miss something at the Lord’s coming in the manifestation of the kingdom. Some real Christians will miss the marriage feast. ​”​ (Message 36 of Life-study of Matthew)

      Such a reward is God’s incentive to us, so that after we’re saved by believing in Christ we would grow normally and run the Christian race faithfully (2 Tim. 4:7-8). May the Lord make us such believers, growing in Him every day.

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