Can Christians Lose Their Salvation?
(Reading time: 5 minutes) Read these relevant Scriptures and decide for yourself whether Christians can fall away from God and lose their salvation.
“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matt. 24:12-13, NIV) The love referred to is agape, which only believers have, but only those believers who stand firm to the end will be saved.
“If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’” (Mark 9:43–48; also, Matt. 18:8-9)
“Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” (John 8:51) Implied: those who don’t obey will see death.
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2) “Every branch in me” refers to believers.
“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.” (Rom. 11:22)
“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:2)
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.” (Gal. 1:6)
“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation — if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.” (Col. 1:22–23)
“He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.” (1 Tim. 3:6)
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (1 Tim. 4:1)
“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Tim. 4:16) Implied: those who don’t persevere in godly living and doctrine will not be saved.
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”(1 Tim. 5:8) “Denied the faith” means to repudiate, disown or refuse to agree with the faith.
“Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.” (1 Tim. 5:15)
“Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.” (1 Tim. 6:21)
“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Tim. 2:11-13) “Disown him” means to deny, repudiate or refuse to follow him.
“And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” (Heb. 3:6)
“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.” (Heb. 3:12-14)
“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” (Heb. 4:11)
“… once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” (Heb. 5:9) Condition: we obey him.
“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” (Heb. 6:4-6) Such people were genuine Christians, based on what they had experienced and because they couldn’t fall away from something they never had.
“How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, 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.” (Heb. 10:29-31) Applies to “his people.”
“See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?” (Heb. 12:25)
“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20) A believer (“brothers and sisters” and “one of you”) who wanders from the truth is considered a sinner.
“If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.” (2 Pet. 2:20-21)
“Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” (2 Pet. 3:17)
“As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.” (1 John 2:24)
“Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (To the church at Ephesus, Rev. 2:5)