Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Four Reasons Why We Can’t Lose Our Salvation

Why we can't lose our salvation

After believing into Christ, the first frustration to our Christian life is to doubt that we’re really saved. I addressed this in a previous post entitled, “How Can I be Sure I’m Saved?

A second frustration to our Christian life is the plaguing doubt that we can lose our salvation. In this post we’ll consider four reasons why we can boldly say that we can never lose our salvation.

Related to this, there are two key verses, John 10:28-29, that would be good to remember. Here the Lord Jesus said of His sheep,

“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.”

Now that we’ve read these verses, let’s continue with four reasons why we can boldly say that we cannot lose our salvation.

First, the eternal life the Lord gives us will never run out.

The Lord has given us “eternal life.” Eternal life is not a boarding pass that can be lost or stolen. It is God’s divine life that is eternally ours based on our divine birth. Christians talk about being “born again,” but, according to the Bible, what does that really mean?

John 1:12-13 say, “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 [or born]…of God.”

So those who receive Christ by believing into His name are born of God with the life of God to become children of God. Since, as believers in Christ,  we’re born of God, we can’t be “un-born.” To illustrate, no matter how much a child offends their parents, the parents still can’t take back the life they’ve imparted into that child. It’s the same with God.

Second, the hands of the Father and the Son will never fail.

The second point in John 10:28-29 is the keeping hands of God the Son and God the Father. God’s hands will never fail so our salvation is eternally secure and we can never lose it. We have such a Shepherd and such a Father to keep us and protect us. Their hands are stronger than anything—stronger than Satan and surely stronger than we are.

Third, God’s eternal will that initiated our salvation will never change.

According to His will, God initiated our salvation in eternity past. Ephesians 1:4-5 tells us that before we were born or had a chance to do anything good or bad, God already chose us and predestinated us,

“Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

God chose us in eternity past and our believing in Christ was based on His irrevocable calling. God has called us that we might be saved and He will not take His calling back. Romans 11:29 says, “For the gracious gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”

At times, we may backslde in unfaithfulness, offend God by our sins, and temporarily lose our fellowship with Him. However, God’s plan for us will never change. Since it was His eternal will to choose us, predestinate us and call us, our salvation is secured.

Fourth, Christ’s promise to never cast us out and to keep us can not be broken.

This is what John 6:37 and 39 have to say about our eternal salvation,

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and him who comes to Me I shall by no means cast out…And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all which He has given Me I should lose nothing but should raise it up in the last day.”

Praise the Lord, God’s word will never fail! Christ promised not to cast us out and to keep us.  We should simply believe God’s word, rest on Christ’s promise, and praise God that our salvation is eternally secure.

“Lord, we praise You for giving us Your eternal life. Thank you, that as those who have been born of You, we can never be un-born. We are God’s children forever. Praise you, that Your strong hands are firmly holding us. Thank you that Your promise to keep us and not cast us out assures us that our salvation is secure. Praise You, dear Lord!”

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References and Further Reading:

  • If you’d like more help concerning this matter of whether or not you can lose your salvation, I recommend reading The Assurance, Security and Joy of Salvation by Witness Lee. You can read it online at www.ministrybooks.org under “Additional Titles by Witness Lee” or you can receive a free copy from Bibles for America at their website www.bfa.org under the “Free Literature” tab. It’s the second chapter in Basic Elements of the Christian Life, Volume One.
  • In addition, you may enjoy reading  this post, “Can I Lose My Salvation?

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

41 Replies

  1. Beatriz

    “Thank you, Lord, for Your promises and Your faithfulness to Your Word.
    You keep us and You don’t cast us out because You need us as much as we need You. You bought us and we are Yours.
    Dear Lord, we love You and we praise You. Please fulfill Your purpose in us and through us.”

    1. Praise the Lord, we can be assured that we will never lose our salvation! That’s because it was initiated by the faithful and unchanging God in eternity past; He chose us and called us. We did nothing to deserve this salvation and neither can we do anything to lose it. Our salvation is a matter of God’s eternal life that will never fail, according to Christ’s promise that can not be broken, and kept by the strong hands of the Father and the Son. This is really a strong foundation for us to live the Christian life.

      1. jasmin

        I thank the Lord Jesus for His eternal love and life is in us. Lord I repent and return to You again. I love You Lord Jesus…

        1. Tom Smith

          Amen! Thank the Lord Jesus for His eternal love and life is in us. We repent, return to enjoy our loving Lord Jesus.

  2. rickytmorales

    Amen. God’s faithfulness never fails. He is gracious to those who call upon His name.

  3. SANDRA

    Can a person loose his salvation if he stops seeking God and deliberately sin , does not repent of newer sins but still beliefs Jesus is the savior?

    1. Sandra,

      Thanks for the question. No, a believer in Christ cannot lose his eternal salvation, even if he “stops seeking God and deliberately sins.”

      The Lord said in John 10:28-29 that He gives His believers eternal life and no one can snatch them out of His and the Father’s hands.

      Also in John 6:37, Jesus said, “All that the Father gives to Me will comes to Me, and him who comes to Me I shall by no means cast out.”

      We can’t be taken from the Son’s or the Father’s hands and the Lord will not cast us out so our eternal salvation is secure. We will not suffer eternal punishment in the lake of fire with Satan and those who joined themselves with Satan by disobeying the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      However, that doesn’t mean that believers who sin will suffer no consequences. Believers must still realize the seriousness of their sins.

      1. Sinning separates us from God’s presence—Gen. 3:8.
      2. Sinning causes us to lose our fellowship with God and with our fellow believers—1 John 1:6-9.
      3. Sinning may bring us some punishment from God in this age—1 Cor. 3:17; 11:32.
      4. Unconfessed sinning will bring us under God’s judgment at the judgment seat of Christ—Rom 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10.
      5. Undealt with sinning will cause us to miss the blessed reward of reigning with Christ during the millennial kingdom—Rev. 20:6.

      So we should not make the security of our salvation a basis to be loose in sinning. Rather we should treasure our relationship with Christ, confessing our sins and dealing thoroughly with them according to the Lord’s shining in our heart when we come to Him in prayer.

      You may be helped by reading Chapter 4 of The Experience of Life by Witness Lee. You can read the full text freely at ministrybooks.org.

  4. Good points. I also write a blog and I’ve been studying extensively on this subject of our eternal security in Christ. Believe it or not I used to be against the belief of once saved always saved. I fought with my “sword” the Word of God, with anyone who dared to convey this idea of a secure salvation. I am so glad to now receive this glorious Biblical truth. We are eternally secure in our Father’s hands and nothing can seperate us from His everlasting love.

    1. Tom Smith

      John,

      Glad you enjoyed the post. The security of our salvation does not mean that nothing can interrupt our fellowship with the Lord Jesus. But that is what the Lord gave us His blood for. When we confess, His blood cleanses us from every sin (1 John 1:7-9). However, when we are born of God, we receive His eternal, divine life as the new element of our inner being. Since our spirit is “born” of His Spirit (John 3:6), we can never be “un-born.” He may chastise or punish us as His children for our good but He will never take His eternal life from us (John 10:28).

  5. Carol

    Revelation 3:5. It sounds like he could, but won’t , Blot out our name, If He overcomes . Aren’t only the saved in the book of life?

    1. Tom Smith

      Carol,

      Your question is a very thoughtful one that often troubles the Lord’s seekers. In Rev. 3:5, the name not being erased from the book of life, relates not to eternal salvation from God’s perdition, but to enjoying the blessings of the eternal life as a reward to the overcoming believers during the kingdom in the millenium. In this case the kingdom reward is an incentive to the believers to pursue the Lord faithfully in this age. I would recommend, reading Revelation 3:5 with footnote 3 in the Recovery Version.

      In the millenium, it is not only a matter of being regenerated (born again) to possess eternal life, but of overcoming to enter into the blessed sphere of eternal life as a reward . Those who do not overcome, will miss this blessing, but will not be “un-born”–still possessing God’s life in their spirit. After maturing under God’s dealing during the millenium, they will be prepared to enjoy the eternal blessings of all God’s redeemed in the new heaven and new earth for eternity. (The parables in Matthew 25 with the footnotes in the Recovery Version provide further incite into this matter.)

  6. Delores

    Thank you for your article. I just read another article before reading yours and started to question my eternal salvation. The article says we can lose our salvation. Could you comment on the scripture(s), namely ‘finding your life losing your life’ that was discussed in that article?
    Thank you.

    1. Tom Smith

      Delores,

      The article you were referring to which “finding your life or losing your life” is unfortunately taken out of context. The matter of saving one’s life or losing it there does not refer to a believers eternal salvation but to their receiving a reward or punishment at the judgment seat when Christ returns (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10). This is different from the eternal judgment of God at the great white throne (Rev. 20:11-15). Although an unfaithful believer may suffer the loss of their soul’s enjoyment as a result of God’s discipline, this does not mean that they will suffer eternal perdition.

      Receiving and keeping one’s eternal salvation is not based on their good works or faithfulness. The security of a believer’s eternal salvation is not based on behavior but on the unchanging God. Our salvation was initiated by Him. He chose us (John 15:16), predestinated us (Eph. 1:4-5) and He called us (Rom. 8:29-30). He would not choose us, predestinate us and call us and then abandon us. Also, when we believe in Jesus Christ we are born of God to become the children of God (John 1:12-13). If God has brought us forth as His children, we cannot be “un-born.” In John 10:28-29 Jesus tells that He gives us eternal life and we shall by no means perish forever and no one can snatch us out of the His hand or the Father’s hand.

      You may also enjoy reading a chapter called the Assurance, Security and Joy of Salvation by Witness Lee. You can read it for free at: ministrybooks.org or download a free PDF from mass.ministrybooks.org. It is chapter 2 in the Basic Elements of the Christian Life, Vol. 1. You can also order a free hard copy (in USA) from Bibles for America.

  7. David Hope

    my question is about Hebrews 10:26

    1. Tom Smith

      David,

      Thanks for your comment inquiring about Hebrews 10:26. This verse says, “For when we sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice of bulls and goats for sins.”

      The sacrifice the writer was referring to was the Old Testament sacrifices of animals offered for their sins according to the Judaic law.

      Footnote 3 on this verse in the Recovery Version study Bible says,

      “If the Hebrew believers had abandoned the church and returned to Judaism, there would have remained no sacrifice for sins in the economy of God, for all the sacrifices of the old covenant had been altogether replaced by the one sacrifice of Christ. Since Christ offered Himself once for all as the sacrifice for our sins (7:27; 10:10, 12), the sacrifice for sins ceased (v. 2). It was taken away by Christ (v. 9), who offered Himself to God as the real sacrifice for our sins.”

      Such an apostasy by the Hebrew believers would be an offense to God who offered His own Son for us. It would be of no profit to those believers because those sacrifices have been replaced by Christ’s unique sacrifice for us.

      This warning, does not imply that the backsliding Hebrew believers would in any way lose their eternal salvation which they received through their faith in Christ. However, it may cause them to suffer some punishment or discipline for their holiness (Heb. 12:5). Instead they should heed the Lord exhortation in Hebrews 12:1-2,

      “Put away every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race which is set before us,
      Looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.”

      Going back to the Jewish worship would be an encumbrance and an entangling sin to the Hebrew believers. Instead they should run with endurance the race set before them by looking away to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of their faith. We should do the same.

      1. David Hope

        Thank you for you getting back with me about this. it really means a lot to me. I have the KJV Version knowing that i can never lose my salvation because of Jesus and God. I’m going to keep following Jesus and God

  8. David Hope

    John 10:28-29 so nobody can snatch us out of Gods hand no matter what, not even ourselves??

    1. Tom Smith

      David,

      That’s right. The Lord’s word in John 10:28-29 assures us that no one, even ourselves, can snatch us out of the Son and the Father’s hands. This means that we can not lose the eternal life that we have received through our faith in Jesus Christ. Some people mistakenly consider God’s discipline of His backsliding children, such as the four warnings in Hebrews, as justification to say that a believer can lose the eternal life that they have received through their divine birth (John 1:12-13; 3:6). However, we can lose our fellowship with God through sins, failures and wrongdoings, etc., but we can never be “unborn” by God. This is not license for a sinful or worldly life, but an encouragement to repent, confess our sins, recover our fellowship, and continue to “run the race set before us, looking away unto Jesus” (Heb. 2:1-2). He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith and we should follow in the way of faith without doubting. Like Paul, may we “pursue toward the goal for the prize” (Phil. 3:14).

      1. David Hope

        Thank you for you’re message back. I have been Backsliding, not happy about that. But thank you for you’re reply back Tom Smith.

  9. Nick

    im struggling with my lust addiction, i fought for it and it seems so strong that I thought ive lost my salvation. I want to live a pure life for Christ. please help.

    1. Tom Smith

      Nick, only by the powerful Spirit of life can we be freed from the law of sin and of death in our fallen flesh. Rom. 8:2 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death. Trying to defeat our sinful flesh by our self effort will leave us a wretched man as Paul referred to in Romans 7. However, when we cooperate with this super law of life in our spirit it enables us to transcend like an airplane can transcend the law of gravity by putting into affect the law of aerodynamics. We can cooperate with the Christ by minding the things of the spirit, and setting our mind on the spirit (Rom. 8:5-6). One of the best ways to do this is to call on the name of Jesus—”O Lord Jesus!” to pray to fellowship with Jesus, breathing out your life of self and sin. Then breathe in the word of Christ by pray-reading it, singing it and musing on it throughout the day. For better singing, You may want to check out hymnal.net and hymns radio. Let me know if this helps. Much grace to you.

  10. Sid

    Is it possible today for a true believer to blasphemy the Holy Spirit (even accidently) and commit that sin that can’t be forgiven?

    1. Tom Smith

      Sid,

      Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, in its context, is the sin that offends the Spirit and hinders Him from bringing sinners to repentance. Such a blasphemer commits an unpardonable sin and will then not be able to be brought to the Lord to receive His salvation. A believer in Christ has already received this eternal salvation, partaken of the eternal life, to be born of God and cannot be snatched out of the Lord’s hand (John 10:28). Hence, though he may quench the Spirit or grieve the Spirit and possibly suffer some discipline of the Holy Spirit, he can not sin so as to lose his salvation.

  11. David

    But there is one question i wanna know. Can christian men wear earrings? because i use to and now i dont and was going to put them on again.

    1. Tom Smith

      Hi David,

      In your comment you asked, “Can Christian men wear earrings? because I use to and now I don’t and was going to put them on again.”

      Whether believers in Christ can do certain things or not is not based on a certain code of behavior but on the operation of God’s life in them.

      In Hebrews 8:10-11 the Lord says,

      10 …I will impart My laws into their mind, and on their hearts I will inscribe them; and I will be God to them, and they will be a people to Me. 11 And they shall by no means each teach his fellow citizen and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all will know Me from the little one to the great one among them.

      When we receive Christ, God imparts His law into our inward parts (our mind and our heart). This regulation by the law of the divine life (Rom. 8:2). It regulates us from within. So whenever are concerned about what we should do we need to pay attention to the Lord, as the Spirit, living in our spirit. When we live according to the spirit, God’s righteous requirement is spontaneously fulfilled in us–not by us.

      Romans 8:4 says,

      “That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.”

      Learn to pray to fellowship with Jesus and in the spirit seek His face. Then you will not only know what is the right or wrong thing to do, you will gain more of Christ and be found in Him all the time. This is the real Christian life.

      I would encourage you to read the referenced verses and the accompanying footnotes in the Recovery Version study Bible. You can read them freely online at: online.recoveryversion.org.

      Let me know if this response is helpful or if you have further questions.

  12. Chuma

    Good day Sir, i am blessed by your message. I am from Nigeria. Please can explain this for me…. “What will happen to the Christians that didn’t receive rewards during the Millennium Reign of Christ? Will they be punished or what? Plz i want to know Sir. Do you have any teaching on the millennium reign of Christ? If so, can u give the link? Thank you soo much….

    1. Tom Smith

      Chuma,

      The reward that the believers will receive at the judgment seat of Christ will not be a matter of salvation or perdition but of reward or punishment. This reward or punishment will be given to the believers during the millennial kingdom. We can see this in the Lord’s reward in the parables in Matthew 25 concerning the wise or foolish virgins (vv. 1-13)and the faithful and slothful slaves (vv. 14-30). The wise virgins were rewarded to enjoy the marriage feast with Christ, their Bridegroom because, in addition to the oil in their lamp (their spirit) they had gained the extra portion of the oil (the Spirit) in their vessel (their soul). The foolish virgins, who did not pay the price in this age to gain the extra portion of Spirit in their vessel, were not able to enter into the feast, but had to go away into the outer darkness to buy oil.

      In Matthew 25: 14-30, the faithful slaves made a profit with their Master’s possessions. Whereas, the slothful ones did not. Therefore, the faithful slaves were set over many things and were rewarded to enter into the joy of their Master. However, the slothful slave, who had made no profit, not only had his talent taken away from him but was cast into the outer darkness (vv. 28-30).

      You can freely read more about this in the Life-study of Matthew, Messages 64-65 by Witness Lee at the ministrybooks.org website.

      There are also a number of messages (242-245) that touch the millennial kingdom in the The Conclusion of the New Testament by the same author also available on the same website.

      I hope these resources answer your questions. I’d be happy to fellowship further after you’ve had a chance to read some of the references.

  13. Jason

    Hey Tom,

    What do I tell my backsliding Christian friend or even a Christian who professes to be atheist now if he has lost his salvation?

    Do once Christians, now-atheists really go to heaven?

    Thank you.

    1. Tom Smith

      Jason,

      The truth about salvation is that it is not merely an outward identity, like a political affiliation that you can change according to mood and environment. The divine birth is exactly that–a spiritual birth of the Spirit of God in our spirit (John 3:6), a germination with the divine life, the divine gene or “DNA.” Children often offend their parents and lose their parents blessing and fellowship, but that does not alter their organic relationship with them by birth. In John 10:28, Jesus said, ” 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.” Even we cannot snatch ourselves out of the Lord’s hand.

      Your backsliding friend needs to realize that if even once he or she received Christ, this wonderful Person dwells in them right now and for eternity–whether they feel like it or not. The Lord Jesus will never leave. Your friend can even run from the Lord, deny that He exists, but can never eradicate this divine life from within them. This indwelling Christ will not let them go until they are fully conformed to His image–whether in this age or the next. It is not a matter of heaven or no heaven. It is a matter of whether we have the eternal, divine life of God, Christ Himself, in our spirit. He is stronger than we are. He will ultimately win. So we should simply submit our life to Him and willingly allow Him to complete His good work in us.

  14. Thomas Varghese

    Dear Tom,

    I am Thomas from India. Your article on salvation is very insightful. A brother who was attending Church for many years has deserted his faith and went on to join Islam. Now it is easy to say that he was never saved in the first place. What I can say is that he had once exhibited all the signs of a true believer.

    Now he practices Islam for whatever reason that may be. Now how do I understand eternal security in the light of the above incident?

    Thanking you

    1. Tom Smith

      Dear Thomas,

      We need to understand eternal security from the perspective of the divine life that we receive at the moment we believe in the Lord Jesus. As the Lord Jesus said, “…that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). Any birth, animal, human or divine is the issue of a life element. In the case of regeneration (being born again) it is the uncreated, eternal life of God imparted to us by receiving the incorruptible seed through God’s living and abiding word (1 Pet. 1:23). A believer may backslide in unfaithfulness and even renounce their faith but they never can extract that divine element that has been constituted into their being. It is truly a mingling of the Lord as the Spirit with our spirit, a union in life (1 Cor. 6:17).

      One who denies Him and does not repent in this age, will be denied by Him at His judgement seat (2 Cor. 5:10) and will miss the reward of the kingdom in the coming millennial kingdom. However, our faithful God will never be defeated and will use the suffering of outer darkness during the millennium (Matt. 22:13) to prepare His disobedient children that they may be transformed and prepared to participate in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2) as the eternal blessing of all God’s chosen and redeemed people in the new heaven and new earth for eternity.

      I hope this response is clear and I will be happy to continue the dialogue on the blog or by email. I would strongly encourage you to follow the links to the reference verses and prayerfully read them along with the related footnotes.

      Much grace to you in Christ,

      Tom

  15. JJJ

    Ephesians 1:13 & 4:30 – SEALED by the HOLY SPIRIT until the day of your redemption

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen. The Spirit has sealed us, making us God’s possession, and continues to apply Himself as a living seal until our body is redeemed and brought into His divine glory. Thanks for the comment.

  16. Bambi

    The God’s love is unmeasurable. Thank God.

    1. Tom Smith

      God’s immeasurable love caused Him not only to send His Son to save us from perishing but to impart to us His eternal divine life (John 3:16). This life, begetting us as God’s children (1:12-13), results in an irreversible relationship of life with God. Once we are born of God, we can’t be “unborn.” We may lose fellowship temporarily with God due to our sins and disobedience, but we can never lose this eternal life (10:28). We simply need to repent and confess to enjoy renewed fellowship with God (1 John 1:9). We thank Him for such a love.

  17. PJ

    What about Col. 1:21-23; Heb. 3:6,14; 2 Pet. 2:18-21; Ez. 18:24; Heb. 10:38-39 and verses like these? I was raised believing that salvation cannot be lost, but these passages have confused me.

    1. Tom Smith

      PJ, the essential problem in passages such as these is a misunderstanding between God’s eternal perdition God’s judgment of His own house. God will deal with the unbelievers at the great white throne for their eternal perdition (Rev. 20:12-15). He will deal with the believers at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10) for their reward or punishment in the age of restoration. Sadly, many Christians confuse the two. As believers, we do need to be warned we may be put to shame at the Lord’s coming (See Matt. 25). We need to to be watchful and prudent to prepare to meet our Bridegroom and Master! Otherwise, we may be put into the outer darkness (v. 30) to allow the Lord to finish His uncompleted work in us. However, this does not mean that the Lord’s foolish, slothful, worldly and sinful children will perish. The Lord’s selection (Eph. 1:4-5) and calling are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29) and He will never be defeated. He will finish His perfect work in every one of His children sooner…or later. We should be wise to cooperate with Him today.

  18. marsha

    I had believed that I lost my salvation so much and kept thinking I was going to hell, cuz needed and wanted the spirit to impress and put things on heart like before. It messed up my faith and fellowship with God, where I am unsure

    1. Tom Smith

      Marsha,

      We need to realize that at the moment we believe in Jesus, we receive eternal life and are born of God (John 1:12-13). Although we may fail the Lord after we are save, we can never be “unborn.” However, our sinfulness can damage our fellowship with the Lord. But when we confess our sins, the blood Jesus cleanses so that our fellowship with Him is restored (1 John 1:7-9).

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