Can you Lose your Salvation? Answering objections to my article

I wrote an article a few days ago in which I give Scriptural support for the idea that it is possible to lose your salvation. One person replied and said, “False teaching” and then he and others followed it up with a few thoughts. These few thoughts I now seek to address in the article below.

Gary W. says: “All the references to being kicked out are about the Jews who have national identity in God but still need to be born again. So exclusively they can lose their belonging by rejecting Christ. This is why you are false teaching and sowing a doctrine of demons among people.”

Harsh words. Now let us see if they stand up. In order to assert that all the warnings about being kicked out are only given to Jews one ought to be able to prove this, because so much hinges on it.

It is an addition to Scripture to say this. I will stand corrected if you can show me a Scripture where Jesus or the apostles say, “The warnings in the gospels, and the words of Jesus, only apply to Jews.”

It would be like saying that John 3:16 doesn’t mean what it says or doesn’t apply to us because Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, a Pharisee at the time. The fact is, Jesus spoke things that were universally true. So much wasn’t recorded, but the things that were recorded, were done so towards the end of the 1st century because the original witnesses wanted the Gentiles to know them also.

Concerning the end of the age and the second coming, there are many warnings given in Matthew 25 and there is a severe warning given in Luke 12. Does it makes sense to say that these words applying to the Second Coming only apply to Jews?  If the BIBLE doesn’t say it, by what authority do we claim to reverse the warning of Jesus by adding something to the text that isn’t there?

Gary W. further states, “What you lose is your reward. The gospel is very very bad news if its down to us to maintain right standing. “

This kind of statement is based on an erroneous interpretation of 1 Corinthians 3. In that passage, Paul says  the kind of work you do for God is judged by fire, and you will lose your reward if the work is of inferior quality. He is not saying, “If you fornicate, lie, cheat in business, commit adultery and worship idols don’t sweat – you will only lose your extra rewards but not your eternal salvation”. How do I know this? Because in Galatians 5 and Ephesians and even in the same book in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 it says that those who live a certain way WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Paul isn’t contradicting Himself. If you interpret Paul in a way that makes him contradict himself, you are twisting Scripture.

The gospel is good news for a sinner who truly is sorry he offended God and wishes he didn’t. It is great news for a person who believes in the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word to sanctify and transform his life. It is great news for a person who wants the slate wiped clean. It is NOT great news for someone who wants to keep on sinning and have no consequences.

What Gary W. says is tantamount to saying that God will not transform a person’s heart or give them a new heart that wants to please God. Or that someone may want to please God but God is completely unwilling to give them the power to change and be holy. He seems to misrepresent my views in such a way that he makes out that I believe that a Christian can keep himself saved without any help from God. But that is NOT my position. I believe that without Him, we CANNOT, but without us, he WILL not.

Asandul M. says, “How can we lose something when we did not earn it in the first place?” I don’t see how this is a cogent argument. Someone once gave my wife a valuable diamond. It was in a ring. But then after moving house we found the diamond had fallen out and was missing. We never found it. According to Asandul’s argument, if we lost the diamond, we must have earned it. This is ridiculous. It was given as a gift. And sadly, it was lost.

In the same way, Jesus Christ cleansed and sanctified us by His blood. People who keep on sinning wilfully and never repent trample underfoot the blood of Jesus by which they were sanctified, according to Hebrews 10:26-29. There is no longer a sacrifice for sin for such people.  Scripture is plain.

Whatever gift is given by God does not unconditionally guarantee a place in heaven. I challenge you to find ANY record of such a belief in the writings of the early church fathers. But even if you could, it wouldn’t mean that it made Scriptural sense.

At this point Bill O’D. chimes in and says concerning what I write:  “It is false teaching and directly against what Jesus taught.”

Really? I was quoting Jesus and the apostles extensively.  Gary W. at least sees that if Jesus was talking to us, many would be in trouble. So he says that Jesus  is only warning Jews. But Bill says that it is “directly against what Jesus taught”. Which quotes of Jesus I made are directly against what Jesus taught? And where did Jesus teach  that a person cannot forsake Him? He did say that no third party could snatch a true believer away from him. In John 6:66 it explicitly says that many of Jesus’ disciples forsook him after a hard teaching. In 1 Timothy 4:1 Paul explicitly says that many will DEPART from the faith. How is affirming this “going directly against what Jesus taught”.

Bill then uses a strawman argument declaring that I use an argument which I never use, and I think is ridiculous.  He says the argument amounts to this, “there are warnings, so you can lose your salvation”. Well, if the apostles warn people about something, and mention consequences, just maybe you should take the warnings seriously!! How about that for a radical method of Scriptural interpretation? The opposite way might be something like, “the consequences mentioned can’t happen, so no need to heed the warning”. But warnings aside for now, Paul explicitly states that certain people fell from grace, that certain people made shipwreck of their faith, and sometimes he names names. If you have a theological gift to take such statements and use them to prove a person can’t lose their salvation, all it means is that you are good at twisting Scripture so it ends up saying the opposite of what it seems to say.

Bill O’D says that “a quick read of Ephesians” will clarify people to see he is right. How about Ephesians 5:5

“For this you know [I wish people knew it], that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words.”

Bill then says, “And if doubt remains, check to see if you are in the faith. That to me would be the main reason one would doubt Jesus’ word.”

Its not “Jesus’ word” we are doubting when we warn of the possibility of losing salvation! Jesus’ words about this very thing are the very ones we are quoting. Which some doubt, or say are only for Jews. Even though the Bible never says that.

It seens to me that the reason people accept interpretations which directly oppose the plain teaching of Jesus and the apostles on this issue is that people generally are uncomfortable with the requirement of God to forsake sin. They want to say that there is no such requirement in the New Testament. To do this, they need to listen to long sermons which quote Scripture but oppose its plain meaning. Just as evolutionists appeal to “the entire academic community” for support of their ideas, so some people appeal to “the whole of Scripture” to support their unscriptural but comforting notions. But when you look at how they actually interpret Scripture, they have a complicated system which allows them to throw out 99% of everything it says on the subject in order to affirm their particular interpretation of a few verses.

To those who oppose me, I suggest you work out your salvation with fear and trembling. If you’ve never trembled, it might show there is a problem.

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About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

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