Does a Believer Lose His Salvation if He Sins & What about Those Who Turn Back

The answer to the question, “Does a believer lose his salvation if he sins?” is found in the very foundation of the gospel itself. When Jesus Christ died for your sins, He died for all of your sins, past/present/future.

When you put your faith in Christ, all your debt was considered by God as paid by Him. At the same time, He gave you His righteousness – 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Once you see this truth, you have the answer to this question. Salvation is God’s work for and in you – Romans 5:6-11; Philippians 2:13. The moment you trust in Him, He saves based upon a work that He has already accomplished at Calvary. All of your sins are washed away by His blood.

Now, when you sin as a Christian, the Lord Jesus Christ does not allow you to fall away from Him. Rather, the moment you sin, He acts as your Advocate and Intercessor with the Father – 1 John 2:1-2; Hebrews 7:24-25.

Because He cannot fail in His work, you are kept by His power through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time – 1 Peter 1:3-5. HE SAVES YOU. HE KEEPS YOU SAVED. Even as a believer you are not perfect. To go to heaven you must be perfect. Only in Christ are you viewed by God as perfect and fit for heaven. You are in Christ through the working of God – John 1:11-13; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 12:12-14. Since Christ’s blood is the sole basis for you to continually be in God’s favor, when you sin as a believer Christ is continually before the Father as the One Who has paid the price for our sin on our behalf. Instead of losing your salvation, God begins a work in your heart to convict you of your sin so that you will confess and enter once again into the joy of your salvation. It is a question of family discipline. If my child sins, I am still his father even though I will need to discipline him, and he will need to confess to me before he enjoys our relationship again. So it is with God.

He is still our Father even though He may need to discipline us – Hebrews 12:5-11 – and we need to confess to Him what we have done wrong so that our enjoyment of Him will be restored. Do you see this truth?

Now, the true believer does not want to continue in his sin. The true believer wants deliverance! We have His promises in John 10:27-30 and Philippians 1:6 that what He has begun He will complete.

Who can hinder or change the great purposes of God? You can rest your soul in His care of you even when you have sinned and grieved Him. He will not give up on you because you belong to Him by purchase, that is, at the expense of His life here on earth. We need to see His great work and Person as a reason for us to purpose in our hearts to give our all to Him – Romans 12:1- 2. Nothing short of a total devotion of ourselves to Him will do in the light of what He has done for us. When we sin it should cause us much grief until we return to Him for restoration and comfort. We do not want to be ashamed before Him when He comes – 1 John 2:28-3:3.

Thus we see that salvation is God’s work for and in you. He cannot fail. We can hinder the manifestation of His work here on earth, but we cannot alter the final end of what He has promised – Romans 8:28-30.

The remainder of this paper is a response to the following question which is related to what I have said thus far: “What about people who used to be Christians – but they’ve turned back to the old lifestyle – are they still going to heaven?” in reference to Luke 9:62.

First of all, once a person is a possessor of His life, that person is always a possessor of His life. It is impossible to think of a true believer as no longer possessing that life. Eternal life is a relationship with God as Father through Jesus Christ – John 17:3. When a person repents and accepts Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord, God makes that person a true child of God – John 1:11-13; Galatians 4:6-7. Again, all is by grace. Now it is possible for a person to participate in the blessings of the new age of the Spirit by associating with a community of believers and yet never make a personal commitment to Christ. Rather, such a person eventually chooses to turn away from Him as though his salvation must be found in another. For such a person, there is no hope, for there is no other Name given under heaven whereby a person can be saved. See Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-31 with Acts 4:12. Such a person has never been changed within; all was simply external to him. Like those teachers who knew of the truth yet did not love the truth in order to be saved, such a person is like a sow that has been washed returning to wallow in the mud or a dog returning to his vomit. Their actions simply reveal their true character from the start. See 2 Peter 2 with 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. Now, the demands of discipleship do not make a disciple but prove the reality of the profession of faith. If a man says he will follow Christ yet turns back from Him when the going gets tough, then the test proves the absence of true faith. Such was the case with those in John 6:60-71. Some forsook Him early; one betrayed Him later. Yet, the ones who stayed with Him because their faith was real said, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Now, obviously, such faith would not always express itself in a manner that could be known to men, but God knew and still knows all that are His – Luke 22:31-34; 2 Timothy 2:19. He, alone, knows the wheat from the tares – Matthew 13:24-30. Those who are true will be known; those who are false will be judged as such.

No man can fool God.

The true, of course, will give glory to God, for they will be with Him forever, not due to their own merits but due to His great work for them and in them – Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 4; Titus 3:3-8; Revelation 5:9-10.

When we know Him as He is and for all He has done, is doing and, yet will do for His people, we worship Him and follow Him out of love, not fear. As another student wrote, “We need not fear Someone Who loves us so perfectly.” Yet, on the other hand, we are to have a healthy fear of Him, that is, a respect for His Person and authority in our lives that acknowledges that someday we must all give an account to Him of what we do in these bodies – Romans 14:9-12; 1 Peter 1:17. I say that this is a healthy fear because such an attitude is found in all godly men throughout the ages. See Abraham (Gen. 22:12) and our Lord Himself (Isaiah 11:1-5). It is a courageous fear because it motivates a man toward righteousness in a world that is so full of evil. It is a productive fear because it motivates a man to listen to and obey the Word of God. When we truly love someone, we desire to do that which is pleasing to him. If that someone is our Father, we know that we must ultimately give an account to Him for all we do.

In reference more specifically to Hebrews, a careful Bible student must read the passages in Hebrews 6 and 10 in the context of the entire book. If this is done, the meaning of these passages will become clear. Pay special attention to Hebrews 3:7 through 4:2 and compare this passage with Numbers 14:20-25 which helps to explain how people can be addressed as they were in Hebrews 6:4-8 and Hebrews 10:26-31. Also, please notice how the writer of Hebrews shifts to those who have faith in Hebrews 6:9-12 and Hebrews 10:32-39 (“now followers of the crucified and risen Christ”) after addressing those who had associated themselves with the believing remnant because of the perceived blessings they were experiencing only to turn back when the going got difficult (ie. persecutions came). The fact that they turned back proved that they did not have faith or share in His life. His children who sin are disciplined in order to live a holy life – Hebrews 12:3-11. A true believer will be exercised by this discipline – Psalm 119:67, 71. Thus, the key to understanding the writings revealed in Hebrews is to see that the Lord is addressing a mixed multitude of Jewish people (both believers and unbelievers) and that He issues severe warnings to those who do not believe to not turn back but to go on to a full acceptance of their Messiah and the accompanying persecutions that are occurring.

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Does a Believer Lose His Salvation if He Sins & What about Those Who Turn Back

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