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

After believing into Christ, the first frustration to our Christian life is to doubt that we’re really saved. I addressed this in my post, “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.

Why we can't lose our salvation

To address this problem, we’ll consider four reasons why we can boldly say that we can never lose our salvation.

To base our understanding on the Bible, here 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.”

Four Reasons Why We Can’t Lose Our Salvation

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 backslide 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!”

If you enjoyed this post please take a moment to leave a comment. You can also stop by the Holding to Truth Facebook page  to continue the conversation.

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.

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!

65 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.


    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


      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).

    2. Vicki

      A salvation that isn’t secure isn’t real salvation and is, in reality, an insult to the good Shepherd. I am so glad you’ve received the truth that God revealed to me long ago as a new Christian. People who think we can lose what God gave as a free gift in Christ simply don’t understand salvation and don’t understand what their belief really implies. The Bible plainly says Jesus can’t lose anything that belongs to Him. Praise Him, He keeps His sheep.

      1. Tom Smith

        One of the most striking things to me was to realize that our relationship with God is that of a Father begetting children with His eternal, divine life (John 3:3-16). This is like human parents bearing children that can never be “unborn.” When John 1:12-13 says that those who believe in Christ are “born of God,” it indicates an irrevocable commitment by God to us. In 10:28-29 the Lord says, “I give to them eternal life and they shall by no means perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. May such a realization of the assurance and security of our salvation provide a solid base for us to grow in the life of Christ unto maturity. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  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


      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


      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


      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


      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.

        1. Eli

          How about Hebrews 6:4-6?

          1. Tom Smith

            For a deeper understanding of Hebrews 6:4-6, I would encourage you to read the Life-study of Hebrews, message 30 by Witness Lee which covers these verses. You can freely read it online at ministrybooks.org. If you have further questions after reading the message, feel free to send a reply.

  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


      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


      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


      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,


  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


      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).

  19. Susan

    I have struggled with the possibility of losing salvation. I feel better when I think that it is not possible, however, today I read this passage in Luke 12:41-48. In verse 46 Jesus says, “The master of that slave will come on a day and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him asunder, and will appoint his portion with the unbelievers.” And Jesus goes on to say other lazy, indifferent slaves (believers) will be whipped, some more than others. It seems there are dire consequences for the believers who fail in their dedication to Christ. I just recently found your site and have gotten a Recovery Bible. I appreciate this ministry. Thank you.

    1. Tom Smith

      It is a real mercy from the Lord to discover that as believers we don’t just believe in Jesus, die and go to heaven.

      There is the matter of the judgment seat of Christ and the kingdom reward or punishment in the coming age of a thousand years. Then, after the Lord has completed his work of restoration, he will execute the final judgment at the Great White Throne for eternal perdition (to Satan and his followers). Then God will usher in the new heaven and the new earth with the New Jerusalem as its center (Rev. 21-22).

      The passage in Luke 12:41-48 along with those in Matthew 24:45-51 and 25:1-30 have to do with the reward or punishment of believers. The punishment in Luke 12:46 will take place at the judgment seat of Christ (different from the White Throne for perdition). It will be a temporary discipline to God’s lazy, indifferent children so that they can be prepared to reign with Christ in eternity.

      We must be assured, based on verses like John 10:28-29 and 6:37, that one of God’s reborn children can never be snatched out of His hand nor cast out. However, based on verses such as those in Luke 12 and Matthew 25 we must be sober to realize the seriousness of living a defeated Christian life today. It may bring us the punishment you are referring to. But, be assured, that God’s discipline on His children in His house is not the same as His eternal judgment on the unbelievers for eternity.

  20. Courtney

    Thank you so much much for this. It made me cry. I was a lukewarm Christian. I had continually prayed for how to grow in my faith. I was then convicted with the answer, and was well on my way.. But then a logical question unexpectedly turned me away. I have never knowingly denied God since then, however, I have never felt more despairingly lost. And I have been feeling like God has been calling me back. Events recently seem to confirm what I was convicted of last year.

    But then my mind said what about all those times God didn’t even find one worthy? I haven’t denied God’s existence, but I have been avoiding him, while at the same time believing with all of my being that we are in the last days, or close to it. But it stands to reason that God didn’t find one worthy because his spirit was not even in those cities, right? Nobody there was born of God. If there had been a saved person there, God would have saved the whole city even if that one person was sinning at the time? I’m rambling, but thank you for the article.

    1. Tom Smith

      Courtney, the wonderful thing is that you are Christian, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. This is God’s mercy. But first, be assured that if you have received the Lord Jesus, you are a child of God who is born of God (John 1:12-13). You may experience a loss of fellowship due to failures in your life, but you can never be “un-born.” The eternal life is now in your regenerated spirit (Rom. 8:10) so you will never perish (John 10:28-29). However, that should not make us sloppy since we still must give account to our Lord at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10) for our living after we are saved. Those believers who do not live to the Lord after being saved will never perish but may be put to shame from the Lord at His coming (Matt. 25). This is not to perish, but to miss the reward for our prudence and faithfulness after being saved. May we be sobered by the Lord’s word to pursue Him daily and grow in HIm normally. Here is another post with 4 Simple Ways to Grow in Christ. May it lead you into a fuller experience of the overcoming Christian life.

  21. Rachel

    Hi Tom,

    Your article is such a blessing. Im a firm believer of once saved, always saved. I just have a little to share as Ive noticed that this has been a cause of contention among many believers. I went to our midweek service earlier tonight, and our preacher asked who among us believes in the once saved always saved doctrine. I politely raised my hand. It turned out I was the only one who did. I was taken aback when they openly rebuked me and told me that I have to have a long discussion with the pastor over this cos he is a BIBLE SCHOLAR, which left me feeling so invalidated and incapable of presenting my belief (which by the way is backed by numerous passages in the Bible and my own experience) all because I am not a Bible scholar. They say this doctrine overrides the truth about free will. Given the scenario, is it healthy to remain in this church? Thank you so much for your time and counsel. God bless u.

    1. Tom Smith

      Thank you for sharing your touching comment regarding your experience in standing for the truth regarding eternal salvation. This truth is clearly founded in the word based on verses such as John 10:28-29 and 6:37. The later verse says, “…him who comes to Me I shall by no means cast out.” Then why is there so much contention about these evidently clear Scriptures? It is because there is a whole body of divine truth that is veiled to most Christians. Most believers only think of salvation or perdition. As such when they see verses regarding God’s punishment of believers they automatically attribute that to perdition. This exposes their limited understanding and even that of many so-called theologians. For example, the parable of watchfulness in Matthew 25:1-13 regarding prudent or foolish virgins gets misconstrued to refer to the perishing of false or backsliding believers. The qualification to participate in the wedding feast is not a matter of salvation or perdition. It is a matter of a reward to faithful believers who love the Lord supremely and are filled with the Spirit in this age after they are saved. Those who do will enjoy the wedding feast with the Lord. The foolish virgins who do not will miss the wedding feast. But that punishment is not the lake of fire experienced by the unbelievers.

      There are many such passages including the five warnings to the backsliding believers in the book of Hebrews. However, in each case the context is not a matter of salvation or perdition but of a warning regarding a certain punishment or loss of fellowship due to a believers failure. There are too many cased to address in this reply. For a more thorough understanding of this profound truth, I would recommend the Life-study of the Hebrews by Witness Lee, especially Messages 45 and 46. You can freely read the full text of these messages online at ministrybooks.org. Please feel free to respond with any further questions or fellowship regarding this matter.

  22. Sharon

    I grew up believing once saved, always saved, but always had a nagging question about some verses. One of the verses have a question about is 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 it says:
    Don’t you know that those doing such things have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who live immoral lives, who are idol worshipers, adulterers or effeminate will have no share in His kingdom. Neither will thieves or greedy people, drunkards, slanderers, or robbers. There was a time when some of you were just like that but now your sins are washed away, and you are set apart for God, and he has accepted you because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.
    What I can’t reconcile in my mind is that those who become saved and then live immoral lives, etc. are still washed and set apart when it says that “those doing such things have no share in the Kingdom of God.” I realize we all sin, but the things listed are specific. I know two men who were both Christians and adopted the homosexual lifestyle, and there are rarely people, even churchgoing Christians, who wait for marriage to live together or have sex. There are other verses that seem to have conditions attached, also. Some people will say that maybe those who do that weren’t “really saved” to begin with (even though they had prayed and confessed.) If that is true, how does one know he is saved? If people can live like that and still be set apart, what is the difference between being saved or not? One can simply believe on the name of Christ and be saved, and then live as he pleases? Or, is there a litmus test to know if one is “really saved”?
    I hope you can answer my nagging question. I have read all the verses about being sealed, not being snatched out of His hand, can’t be “unborn”, etc., but none of them will answer my nagging thoughts until I can reconcile these verses in my mind.
    Thank you.

    1. Tom Smith


      First it is important to realize that one part of the Bible does negate another part of the Bible. John 6:37 says clearly, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and He comes to Me I shall by no means cast out.” “By no means”— that is a very clear word spoken by the Lord Jesus Himself. Later in John 10:28 Jesus strengthens this same word by saying “I give to them eternal life, and they shall by no means perish and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.” “By no means perish and no one shall snatch them”—that is an even stronger word of the Lord Jesus.

      Then what do we do with verses like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 as you mentioned which speaks of sinning ones not having a share in the kingdom of God. One problem is that many Christians only think of heaven or hell. But there is much more to the kingdom of God than that. To get my point, I would encourage you to check out the chart on the kingdom of the heavens and the kingdom of God on the ministrybooks.org website.

      We need to see that the kingdom of God spans from eternity past to eternity future. But more specifically, we who believe in Christ are reborn into the kingdom of God today (John 3:3-6). The kingdom is also in the proper church life today (Rom. 14:17).

      In addition, there is the manifestation of the kingdom in the coming millennium (Rev. 20:6) which will be a reward to the overcoming believers in this age (Matt. 13:43; 25:10, 21; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26-28; 3:5, 12, 21). However, all the sinning and defeated believers (Like those in 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Eph. 5:5; Gal. 5:19-21) will miss this aspect of the kingdom. That is, they will not inherit the kingdom of God as a reward in the coming age.

      Rather, the sinning and defeated believers will miss the wedding feast with the Bridegroom (Matt. 25:10) and will suffer and be perfected through the discipline of outer darkness during that age (Matt. 25:30). Both the foolish virgins and the unfaithful slaves will experience this. Note that these are both believers since the Lord called them “virgins” and “His own slaves”—albeit foolish and slothful ones.

      Then there is the eternal kingdom of God in the new heaven and new earth with the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21-22). After the 1000 years of restoration directly under Christ’s rule, all God’s chosen ones will be prepared to be His eternal expression in the holy city, having the glory of God (Rev. 21:11).

      So be assured that God will not give up on a single one of His called ones but will His complete His good work in them to the shame of the devil and to the glory of God.

      Having such a complete understanding of the kingdom of God and God’s unconquerable will to finish what He has begun would never give a believer license to be sinful or lazy. Rather, it would make them realize that the God who called them also will do it—sooner or later. So it is much better to cooperate with Him now and get the reward, than to disobey Him now and suffer the punishment later. We should be clear that nothing can stop our God until He is done.

      Be aware of the fact that the many passages such as those in Hebrews 2:1-4; 3:7-4:13; 5:11-6:20; 10:19-39; 12:1-29 all are related to this kingdom reward or punishment of God’s backsliding and sinful people in the next age. This will be decided by Christ at His judgement seat (Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10), when He returns at the end of this age, not at the white throne after the millennium (Rev. 20:11-15). Sadly, their limited concept of heaven or hell causes many dear Christians to miss the mark regarding this truth.

      1. Sharon

        Thank you, Tom. I don’t remember ever hearing it explained that way, but I may have “missed” that part. It seems that for many years I would read the Bible and nothing really made sense or jumped out at me. Now, at this point in my life things are jumping out at me and I notice things that I never noticed before. It’s been a lot more rewarding, although confusing at times!

  23. Ferreira

    if you have free choice to come to Christ why don’t you have free choice to walk away from Christ?

    1. Tom Smith

      We have a free will and we may walk away from Christ. However, we can never be “un-born” as a child of God (John 1:12). We need to see the organic relationship we have with Christ and the deeper significance of “eternal life.” When we believed into the Lord Jesus to received the eternal life (John 3:15-16), and were born of the Spirit (v. 6). This divine birth is something divinely organic like the genetic relationship children have with their parents. The parents can be offended by their children’s disobedience. The family fellowship may be temporarily broken but they cannot extract their DNA, their genetic essence from their children. Even the children may separate themselves from their family for a time, but they could never change their genetic origin and essence. So it is with our life relationship with our God and Father. He will never give up on a single one of His children. Be assured, we cannot escape His work in us (Rom. 8:29-30).

      1. Ferreira

        so can I go live a worldly life. Thank you I don’t have to worry about sin. I feel much better now.

      2. Ferreira

        It’s ok to go get drunk now and cheat on my wife. If she gets mad I will show her your post and say it’s Biblical. Thank you for your clarification. Your a God send.

  24. Ferreira

    Sorry for being bother you by my questions

    1. Tom Smith

      I believe you have missed the point of my reply, Please follow my trail of comment replies to Thomas, PJ, Susan, Rachel and Sharon. They all point to the missed understanding of Scripture regarding the reward or punishment of believers at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10) versus the eternal judgement of the unbelievers at the great white throne (Rev. 20:11-15). The punishment of disobedient, unfaithful believers with the outer darkness during the millennium (Matt. 25:30) may not be the eternal fire of the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15) but it is still something for a believer to take seriously. I would much rather hear the Master say, “Well done good and faithful …enter into the joy of your master.” Any God-fearing, Bible-believing, Christian realizing that he will one day face Christ as His judge would not want to live a worldly life, eating and drinking with the drunken or be unfaithful to his wife. Rather he would confess his need for Christ to be his daily and moment by moment supply to live Christ for His magnification (Phil. 1:19-21).

  25. Wei Wen Teng

    Hi Tom, I’m really happy to come across your article, however I of course wouldn’t take it as a free pass to “sin”, but I’ve seen a lot of preachers say we can lose our salvation from a lot of verses in the bible, and one of the scariest and strongest verse is Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who (B)says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will (C)enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who (D)does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 (E)On that day (F)many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not (G)prophesy in your name, and cast out demons (H)in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 (I)And then will I declare to them, ‘I (J)never knew you; (K)depart from me, (L)you workers of lawlessness.’” Even demons believed in God. They are believers that’s why they can cast out demons with Jesus name, they are believers that’s why they have the gift to speak in tongues. The reason why I’m so scared of not being saved is because I’ve seen they say we have to repent 100%, and repent means to really hate the sin, I’m not disagreeing with that but I think human mind is very vast and not everything is either one or another. We have sin that we repent easily, there are sin that we will do it accidentally not out of our will, but there are also sin that we do it out of our own will in times to times and which human can say after they’re saved, all the sin that they do is out of their will? There will surely be some here and there, therefore I think it makes our salvation very uncertain and we can only hope that we are doing good enough in our repentance to “prove” that our faith was real in the beginning, everytime we sin in our own will whether out of temptation or addiction, we question ourselves if we did get saved in the first place or not.

    1. Tom Smith

      Thank you for your comment. I would encourage you to look at my numerous replies to comments on this post in the past. Basically, there are two issues here which often get confused: 1) eternal salvation and 2) dispensational reward or punishment. Sadly many Bible teachers have confused the two, confusing the dispensational punishment of defeated believers with the eternal perdition of unbelievers. Hence, they take passages like Matthew 7:21-23 which is a reference to the loss of the kingdom reward to believers who called Him Lord but did not do His will to eternal perdition. To enjoy the kingdom reward during the Millennial kingdom of 1000 years we need both to be saved by calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:12-13) and to do the Father’s will after our salvation (Matt. 7:21). The same principle applies to John 15:2, 6; 1 Corinthians 3:1-17 and the five warnings in the book of Hebrews, chapters 2, 3, 5, 10 and 12. Many Christians simply think that it is a matter of heaven or hell but they don’t realize that there is the judgment seat of Christ at which every believer will stand (Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10). This judgment is not for eternal perdition but for living and work for the Lord after being saved. It is possible to be saved but have all of our works, after being saved, burned by the Lord’s judging fire (1 Cor. 3:13-15). Such a failure would cause us to miss His reward, be punished for our perfecting during the 1000 years, but still be saved in eternity. Our Lord will never be defeated but will finish His good work in every one of His children. We can stand on His word and grow to maturity, repenting and going on with Him when we fail.
      This is totally different from the Great White Throne of judgment for the unbelievers that will condemn them to eternal perdition (Rev. 20:11-15).
      Yes, our salvation is eternal and we can never be unborn (John 3:6; 10:28-29) but we must still live soberly in this age for with all believers we must face our Lord at His judgment seat. May we love Him and live to Him that we may not be put to shame from presence at His coming but enter into the joy of the Lord when we see Him.

  26. Whitney

    Hello brother Tom,

    I am wondering how to explain to a sister who believes 1 tim 3:16 means a person loses their salvation. Thank you for such a rich way to share the gospel and to build up the body and to clear confusion and corruption the enemy oppresses on The body of Christ.

  27. Whitney

    Lord We repent. We need your filling. Thank you lord Jesus for all your care today. May we gain you more into our being today. We deny ourself and just take Christ. Thank you lord that you are the newness we need and refresher in our human spirits. We can be supplied when we contact you. Amen

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed this post. Realizing that we cannot lose our salvation strengthens us to live to Him, to cooperate with Him so that He can bring us to the goal of His salvation. If a child felt that their failure might cause their parents to reject them, they could hardly have a normal upbringing. Realizing that the heavenly Father who has begotten us with His eternal life will never let us go, will surely cause us to submit to Him and cooperate with His saving work in us. We would do this because we love Him and do not wish to be put to shame from Him at His appearing. May His strong hands (John 10:28-29) assure us to continue in the faith until we meet Him (2 Tim. 4:7).

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