Michael Pearl: All right, Jared has come here today and has got his camera out for me to answer your Bible questions. So, what’s the first question you got Jared?
Edward: My name is Edward from Washington State and my Bible question was, “Is it possible for someone that has been saved, to lose their salvation? And if it is possible, what would they have to do to lose it?”
Michael: All right. That is a question that I really can’t answer in 10 minutes. I have a set of audio on that, a CD, DVD, or mp3 on that and I think it is called “Security of The Believer.” So, you might want to look on No Greater Joy website and order that. I think it is actually two or three messages in order to get the whole thing in. And then we are just hitting the highlights. I recently spoke to a group of Amish Mennonites on this subject, and it took about three or four hours to go through it with them. I can open my Bible and I can give you a list of 12 verses. They are commonly used to teach that you can lose your salvation. For instance, “we are partakers of Christ if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.”
Or the passage in Galatians chapter five where he said that if you go back under the law, you are fallen from grace. Then he says it is a certain fearful looking for a fiery indignation which will devour the adversary. So, he tells us to be careful, to stay in the faith less that situation befall us. So, there are about a dozen passages of scripture in the Bible that for better or worse, accurately or inaccurately, are used to teach that a Christian is in danger of losing his salvation.
And then I can give you 400 to 500 verses that teach a security of the believer. That is, that we’re… That “he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Jesus says, “of those which you gave me. I lost none except the son of perdition.” And then in Romans chapter eight, there in about verse 24, 25, 26, 27, somewhere along there, Romans chapter eight, he says, “whom God did foreknow, of those he justified, whom he justified them he glorified.”
So, he called them foreknew them, justified them, glorified them. So the indication there is that the same number that God foreknew is the same number that end up getting glorified. If the random number is X‑Y that will be saved in the final day, it was X‑Y that was called. It is X‑Y that heard the gospel and believed the gospel. It is X‑Y that endured in the faith. It is X‑Y that are eventually glorified in the day of heaven so he lost none.
So, why then do we have these passages in scripture that teach that you must abide in the faith? Now, the lady’s question was “if you can lose your salvation, what would you have to do to lose it?” OK. If you can lose your salvation, what you have to do to lose it is to cease to believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ. How did you get saved to begin with? By working, by being good, by maintaining a level of righteous?
No, you got saved by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and resting by faith on the foundation of His finished work. What would you have to do if you can lose it? You’d have to stop resting on the foundation of His finished work. You’d have to get disconnected from Christ by faith. Now, if you did that, if you can come under the covenant of grace and be saved, your sins forgiven, and you can get out of under that covenant, off of that foundation of Christ and be lost again….
He says in Hebrews chapter six, “It is impossible for those who were once enlightened ‑ truth comes to them ‑ have tasted of the heavenly gift and the powers of the world to come, the word of God, if… (It’s impossible!) …if they should fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they crucified to themselves the son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame.”
In other words, if a person can and does lose his salvation, then the only way to get it back is for Christ to die a second time because if the blood of Christ has covered his sin completely, and under that contract of Christ death and blood he’s saved, and he gets out from under that covenant, that contract, then that contract is no longer sufficient. It falls away.
Now, the man stands alone without any salvation and he can’t go back under the contract that’s failed. He’d have to have a new contract, a new covenant. And the Bible is very clear. There is not going to be a new covenant. You can only be saved once. So, let us get that clear. If you lose it, you can never get it back. Now, the question remains, “can you lose it?”
The answer is according to scripture, theoretically, yes. What do you mean theoretically? Well, let me put it this way. If this individual right here is saved right now, and he asked me the question, “could I have not been saved? Could I have rejected Christ?” Theoretically, yes. In other words, you had a chance to believe you could’ve said no I don’t want to believe. But in fact, you did believe. So, you are now saved.
Now, this person says, “can I lose it? Can I fall away?” Theoretically, yes. Just as theoretically you could not have believed. You can have rejected Christ. Theoretically you can fall away. And is there a risk? Yes, there is a risk. There is a danger that you can fall away.
But the Bible gives us 15 means that God uses to keep us in the faith until the end. What are those means? It’s the prayers of Christ for us. It’s the chastisement of the church. It’s the Word of God. It’s the Holy Spirit.
It is a whole list of 15 means I discussed that God uses to keep us in the faith. The final means God uses to keep the believer in the faith is the sin unto death. I John Chapter five, James chapter five, I Corinthians chapter two, II Corinthians chapter five or maybe it’s First Corinthians five and Second Corinthians two. He talks about “the sin unto death.”
That is, the person begins the road of sin where he is in danger of reaching that slide to where it is too late and he falls off. He is getting close to departing from the faith. God kills him so that the body is destroyed and the spirit goes to God. He talked about that in James. And in I John he said “whosoever converts the sinner, the sinning Christian, from the error of his ways shall save a soul from death and hide a multitude of sins.”
And then he says there in I Corinthians to turn that sinning individual Christian over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, the death of his body, in order that his spirit will be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. So, God can guarantee our salvation by saving us before we depart.
So should we observe the warnings? In other words should I take a warning that tells me to continue in the faith? Should I follow it? Absolutely. I should continue in the faith.
Is it important to obey the means, the warnings? Absolutely. The means are part of the end. The means secure and guarantee the end. But remember I’m not alone in keeping these means. God is there with me. The Holy Spirit is inside of me and the angels are ministering to keep me in these means until the end.
Now, I know that my answer has been insufficient because of lack of time. And if you are on one side of this view or the other, you are going to say, “hey, that won’t work.” But you need to get all the word of God, all the messages. At these times like this, I don’t sit down and open my the Bible to try to give you a lot of detail. This is just some quick overview answers that come off the top of my head without preparation. But I have messages that I’ve spent days, weeks on preparing and very carefully presented with every verse in the scripture.
In fact, in the one that I most recently did, I challenged the audience for about 45 minutes to give me any additional scripture that supported either view that they felt I should cover. So, we exhausted every single thing that they had to say. By the way, that CD and DVD is free. You can write for that, we can send it free and pay the shipping. Now that is only good for two months.
It’s called the “Amish Meeting” or the “Plain People’s Meeting” or something like that. It’s about 14 hours of teaching. So you can get that during January or February of 2011 free. After that I think we would probably be selling it for $4 or $5 or something. I don’t know what they are selling it for. I don’t get any of the money, so I never keep up with it. But go online on nogreaterjoy.org and you can see that set of messages on Security of the Believer.
Announcer: If you would like to ask a Bible question, email us at BibleQuestions@nogreaterjoy.org or call at 931‑805‑4820.