I just finished a vacation to visit a relative out of state. On the way home, I happened to notice a bumper sticker that kind of shook me up. His Bumper sticker said ‘Once saved always saved…hogwash”. I asked him about it since we were at a gas station. He was resolute in his conviction and said ‘I am filled with the Holy Spirit but weighed down by the devil’.
That was a strange statement by a strange little man. So I mulled over that bumper sticker. I, myself, started to doubt myself. After all, I have not been involved with a church for a few years which is fodder for a different story.
So I asked a few people in my life that question. My aunt said simply to look up the answers myself in the word, with a few suggestion to get me started. My parents gave me an answer based on a verse as did my sibling. (Ha, you don’t know whether my sibling is a he or a she because it is not important to the story)
So here is what I learned from prayerfully studying the bible, and so you know, I used the KJV, NKJV and the Geneva Bible translation of 1599.
For your reference, these are the books and verses that I referenced:
Romans 11:29 1 John 5:13
Numbers 23:19 1 John 2:25
Hebrews 6:4-6 Romans 10:9
Hebrews ch 9 John 8:29
John 6:39 John 3:16
John 10:7-28 1 John 2:18 & 19
1 John 2:23 2 Corinthians 5:17
John 14:23 1 John 3:9
OK, so this is only a small amount of research, after all this is only about 2 to 2 1|2 hours of prayerful reading, but I did see a constant theme here. We can not earn salvation nor can we buy salvation but it is a gift offered by Christ. We have to accept it much like if I offered you a gift of a $20 dollar bill. You have to accept it. Now, because of who God is, he is not going to take that gift back. Much like adoption, We have been adopted into the family of God. Now Christ liked to use current Jewish law to give a glimpse into what heaven is like. Jewish law states that, while a natural child can be disowned, an adopted child can not. We can look at Romans 11 vs 29 where we are taught that Gods gift is irrevocable or ‘without repentance” which means God does not take back the gifts given to his children.
So the real question should be, did the person in question have a real conversion, meaning did that person really give his or her life to Christ? Romans 10:9 states that …If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. (paraphrased….depending on your translation)
So, obviously you cant feel emotions in your heart since your heart is an organ that pumps the blood thru your body, but you could have a modern translation that reads ‘…believe in your soul…’
So my interpretation is that no, you can not lose your salvation. But that brings to mind two alternatives…
1) You did not truly believe in your soul that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead so you did not have a true conversion…your conversion was an act for the benefit of yourself and/or others.
2) You have fallen away from a close relationship with God and that has made it easier to fall back into your natural human nature of selfishness. You haven’t lost your salvation but have ‘shelved’ God so to speak. I call it the ‘prodigal son’ syndrome (Luke 15)
Luke paints a vivid picture here that God is the father and we are the son. We see in verse 20 that the father ‘saw him’, which means the father had to be watching out for him. In verse 21 we see the son repent and ask his father to forgive him and then in verse 22, we can only imagine the celebration that must have ensued, because the son came back to him. A real BBQ. So God is looking out for us, we need to turn and go back to him, we need to repent to him and then we will again have that close, personal relationship with Him.
So, I guess you will have to search your self and ask ‘did I have a real conversion?’ Do you really believe? Did you accept God because you wanted a relationship with him or was it an act?