Things you should consider if you believe in losing your salvation…
My response is in Green:
First I don't believe a person can lose their salvation. I am not saying that a person can't once saved fall back under condemnation what I am saying is that it won't happen without the person's knowledge and their will for it to happen. You don't just wake up one day and wonder what happened to your salvation. However, that said, I will attempt to answer these questions.
You can't lose what you don't own.
Although I don't think you can lose your salvation I take exception to this statement. If I give you something but retain ownership of it, is it not possible for you to lose it? Of course it is. But I do understand what you are trying to say, so let me address that. Our salvation is a gift from God. Not one that He forced on us, one we had to believe in and accept from Him.
If salvation is a free gift given to us by God, why can't we decide we no longer want it and give it back? If God gave us the free will to decide whether we wanted to be saved or not, why would He then take that free will away? Why would God, who did not force us to take the gift, now force us to keep it? Is that consistent with His character? I don't think so. I don't think that God would force anyone who did not want to be with Him to spend eternity with Him.
If you believe you can lose your salvation then it is up to you to maintain it and it is no longer on the basis of grace it is then based on works.
This is an argument that I hear quite often but I don't think it holds water. Salvation is based on God's grace but only put into action through our faith. Does that mean that salvation is by works? The work of our faith? No, of course not, it is by grace through faith. So why does it bother people that we must maintain that faith to maintain our salvation? If having faith in the first place is not an act of works, then why is maintaining that faith a work?
I believe that is what James is trying to tell us. (James 2:20-24 NIV)  You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.  You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. James is not teaching salvation by works, but he is telling us that our works must work with our faith. Why would one of those works not be the continuing in the faith? Are these just one time works or a life long work? I think it is life long. If you say that it is just one time, that you have to show fruit, then in a way you are saying that there is a point where you have done enough works to maintain your salvation. That to me sounds more like works to me. I believe that if we are following Christ our lives will show it. If we turn from our faith on the other hand our live will also reflect that by the lack of fruit in our lives. I believe at that point, where we have quit placing our faith in Jesus Christ and our life no longer shows fruit, we have given back the free gift God has given us.
Jesus mentioned the same thing: (Matthew 7:19-20 NIV)  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Continuing the same thought look at this passage: (Romans 11:13-24 NIV)  I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry  in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.  For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?  If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.  If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,  do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.  You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in."  Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.  Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.  And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.  After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
Verse 20 tells us that those who have been broken off were broken off because of unbelief, and that we stand by faith. The passage goes on to say that we should not be arrogant but that we should be afraid, because if God did not spare the natural branches He won't spare us either. Look at verse 22; kindness to us provided we continue in His kindness. Now how do we continue? By faith!
This should not scare anyone, if you love the Lord and understand what He did for you, you will continue in the faith, however, if you love the world more then Christ and turn from your faith and go back to your wickedness then you should tremble with fear.
If you can lose your salvation than according to the Lords own word his sacrifice has failed and is not sufficient to save. "I have lost none of those the father has given me"
This too is a hollow statement. For one Jesus was speaking about eleven people, none of whom He had lost. Secondly, does God lose the person if they decide to walk away? No, for God to lose them would mean that He did not do what He needed to keep them from accidently leaving, that is not the same things as allowing them to have free will. Jesus' sacrifice does not fail if someone decides they don't want that salvation anymore. If that were true, then it would also be true that if not everyone falls down and repents of their sins, then Jesus' sacrifice failed to save everyone. This is just word games. Jesus' blood is capable of covering any and all sins, but only if the person is willing to have that blood poured over their sins.
This brings us to the statement given by most OSAS teachers, that our sins are forgiven past, present and future the moment we believe in Christ. You will not find that statement in the Bible. It is not there. In fact I believe the very opposite is there. To me they are saying that once you are saved you no longer have any sin. That to me flies in the face of this passage: (1 John 1:5-10 NIV)  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. John was speaking to believers. If our sins are forgiven past, present and future, then why would we need to confess them and ask for forgiveness? If they are forgiven past, present and future then couldn't we honestly say we have no sin? Yet John tells us that we are liars if we say that.
The question is this; does Jesus' blood cleanse us from all sin at one moment in time, even sin we have not yet committed or does His blood cleanse our sins as we confess them to Him? I say it is as we confess them. I will address this more fully later, but let me say here, that I believe none of us is perfect and we all stumble and fall. I don't believe that God is sitting on His thrown with a bottle of white out and the Book of Life waiting for us to sin. I believe that when we sin the Holy Spirit convicts us of that sin and if we love the Lord and keep our faith in Him we will confess that sin and He will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness. I also believe that we will again face the temptations that go with being in this human body, and that we will have to decide to be obedient or to sin. If we sin then I believe we now have more unrighteousness that Jesus can and will cleanse us from if we will confess it and repent.
If you believe you can lose your salvation than your service to God is out of fear not out of love. And although the fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom it is not the end. "If you love me you will obey my commands" Not if you fear me you will obey my commands.
Again I think you are using word games. The Bible clearly tells us that we should both fear the Lord and love Him. I quoted Romans 11 above and in verse 20 to 21 it says:  Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. The only fear we need to have is the fear of God's wrath if we choose to leave the fold.
Look at this passage: (Hebrews 10:26-31 NIV)  If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Notice something in this passage, in verse 29 it says 'who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him.' If you look back to verse 26 people often say that this person never was a believer, even though it says they have the knowledge of the truth, but if that is true then how could the person have been sanctified by the blood of the covenant? Or people will try to say that this person will not go to hell, but only lose rewards. My question to that is will the enemies of God be in heaven with Him? Will there be judgment and raging fire in heaven?
The plain reading of this passage makes it clear that those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior but then return to their evil ways are considered enemies of God and will suffer punishment in raging fire. I think it also clearly shows that punishment for such a person will be much worse then that for people who never knew Christ as their Savior.
This should be a very sobering thought. I fear that there have been many people mislead by the OSAS teaching that think they can go back to their old life of sin and thereby reject Christ, but in the end they will still be saved. They will suffer the lose of rewards but so what? Oh how horrible it will be if they are told to depart from His presence.
The belief that you can lose your salvation puts your works on top of Christ's all sufficient payment on the cross. In other words you have added to a work that God said was finished before the creation of the universe.
This question is just a reword of a question above. As I stated above, I don't consider continuing to believe a "work" in the sense that you are trying to make it a work. James tells us (again as I have quoted above) that works will follow true conversion. Christ's work was finished, but we still need to believe, why shouldn't we also be required to continue to believe?
When God throws the unbelievers into hell he says "I Never knew you" He does not say "I knew you once then you fell away"
You are right, but I don't think you are giving the whole picture. Jesus told us that there would be many who say to Him "Lord, Lord..." and He will tell them that He never knew them. I don't disagree with that but notice that He does not mention the millions who will not call Him Lord. Nor do I believe He mentions those whom He did know but who walked away.
Let me ask you this, on judgment day do you think that Jesus will say "I never knew you" to Judas Iscariot? I don't think so. This brings up a good point. People claim that Judas was never a believer. I can't buy that. He was predicted to betray Jesus, that is true. He was also appointed as an Apostle by Christ, Himself. (Matthew 10:1-4 NIV)  He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.  These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;  Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;  Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Jesus gave them (all of them) authority, He also sent them out two by two. So if Judas was not a believer at this time, who was the unfortunate one who got him for a partner?
(Luke 22:31-32 NIV)  "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." Why did Jesus pray for Simon if his betrayal was meaningless? Why did He pray that Simon's faith would not fail if it didn't matter? Why did He say 'when you have turned back' if it is impossible to turn away in the first place? Now people will try to say that this all took place before Jesus' death and that is the difference, but does God change? No.
If you can lose your salvation how many sins do you need to commit to lose it . According to James "He who keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" That means that according to scripture any sin you commit even the unknown ones would break your relationship to God and you would have to get saved all over again.
Once again I don't believe you can lose your salvation, not even by committing a billion sins, however, I do think that if you commit continued sin that just shows that you have turned away from your salvation. So how many sins does it take? It could take one, it could take hundreds. 1 John 1 tells us that if we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us. Is this salvation all over again? No, I don't believe so, unless that person has turned away and is now coming back to the fold. But don't forget this passage also: (Hebrews 10:26-31 NIV)  If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
We cannot just get out ticket to heaven punched by the blood of the Lamb and then tuck it way and live anyway we want until our death and then pull our ticket out and demand to be let into heaven. To do so would be to trample the Son of God under foot and God makes it clear what happens to people who do so.
I have one final question for all my OSAS believing brothers and sisters. Why is it so scarey to believe that God requires you to continue on in your faith? If you truly love the Lord you will continue on. No one nor any power on earth or in heaven above can snatch you from Jesus' hand, so why would you be afraid of being able to walk away of your own volition?
(Revelation 3:1-6 (NIV)  To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.  Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.  He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. In this passage again we see a choice. Jesus tells the church at Sardis that they should strengthen was remains and is about to die. Now if it remains and is about to die that would mean that it is not completely dead and that it did at one time exist. People will try to say that the church of Sardis was not a believing church to begin with, but that can't be true if there was anything that was not yet dead. Also we see in verse 4 where there are a few people who have not soiled their clothes. What is a believer clothed in? Christ's righteousness. But even more basic then that is this, if Jesus was trying to say that there were a few there in Sardis who had never sinned then He would be contradicting His own Word, because the Bible clearly says that we have all sinned.
So if they soiled their clothes by sinning, and yet some have not soiled their clothes, that must mean that to begin with their clothes were clean. Only Jesus blood can cleanse. Does this not mean that these people were believers, but some of them sinned and soiled their clothes? No one is worthy unless they have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and Jesus says these people who have not soiled their clothes are worthy to walk with Him dressed in white. He also goes on to say that the person who overcomes will, like these people, be dressed in white. But they must overcome! The people who soiled their clothes are not mentioned as being worthy to walk with Christ.
Jesus also said: (Matthew 24:12-13 NIV)  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Wouldn't the common reading and understanding of that passage be that those who do not stand firm will not be saved?
We must remain in the faith, and stand firm. Don't let anyone tell you that you can get your ticket to heaven punched and never have to worry about your faith or your lifestyle. We must be awake and alert for our Bridegroom is coming soon!
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)