Can Salvation Be Lost?

By David J. Stewart
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I received the following question from one of my web visitors in July of 2007...

“If one cannot loose their salvation, why is the New Testament so full of warnings about being deceived and missing the mark?”



Hi Joe,

       Good question. Although certain Scripture passages do “seem” to imply that salvation can be lost, it is critically important that we shed the Light of the entire Bible on any particular verse in question, or doctrine. I think 1st Corinthians 5:5 clearly shows that salvation cannot be lost...

“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

This believer was so sinful, that the Apostle Paul said to give him over unto Satan; YET, we see that his spirit will be saved in the Day of Jesus Christ (i.e., the Rapture). If salvation could be lost, then this man should have definitely lost it. How could one be delivered unto Satan because of his wickedness, and still be saved if salvation could be lost? Clearly, salvation cannot be lost.

Also, we read in 1st Corinthians 3:15...

“If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Again, this man's work will all be burned, and he won't have any rewards in Heaven because of his sinful life, but he himself will be saved, so as by fire (i.e., he barely escaped going to Hell).

Also, the Bible plainly teaches that there will be 2 judgments: one for the saved (the Judgment Seat of Christ) and one for the unsaved (the Great White Throne of Judgment).

“Our salvation was settled by our acceptance of Jesus, but now we are to be judged for our works and service. Paul tells us that every one of us shall give an account of himself to God. No Christian will escape; therefore, the apostle reminds us that we are not to waste our time judging our brethren, for the time of their judgment is coming when they must stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”

—Pastor Lee Roberson (1909-2007), Chapter 2, 'Some Golden Daybreak'

Eternal life is a PROMISE from God. Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, PROMISED before the world began.” Eternal life is based upon the faithfulness of God, and not upon the faithfulness of the believer. The entire notion of living holy to keep one's salvation is rooted in wicked self-righteousness. Salvation is of the Lord, and not men.

There are many false teachers today who claim that faith is works, but that is not what the Bible teaches. Faith is faith, and works is works. Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Works is the evidence of faith, but not faith itself. A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance, and not a part of the ROOT of saving-faith. Salvation is receiving, not giving. Jesus Christ paid our sin debt in full. The Bible teaches if saved, always saved.