Is Once Saved, Always Saved True?

One of the most highly debated topics in Christianity today!

Stain glass window

The question of salvation is a difficult and often controversial topic, even within the Christian community. Most denominations agree that in order to attain salvation, there must be an acknowledgment of your sin against the holy God, repentance, and finally, acceptance of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf as the only way to gain eternal life. Some denominations have certain rituals like water baptism, first communion, and/or confirmation classes, but at the heart of salvation is the work of Christ on the cross. However, whether or not Christians can lose their salvation is a highly debated issue.

In fact, it’s one of our top questions on eBible, an interactive Bible platform to help grow your faith. Below, I’ve outlined a few of the top voted-on answers from others in the eBible community. Check out the original question here. These answers do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of FaithHub or eBible, but I think it’s fascinating to have a healthy debate and maybe, just maybe, expand your horizons a bit. Let’s take a look at a few top responses for if a Christian can lose their salvation.

Defining “Christian”

stones with crosses painted on them

This answer comes from long-time eBible contributor, S. Michael Houdmann. He says: First, the term Christian must be defined. A Christian is a person who has fully trusted in Jesus Christ as the only Savior and therefore possesses the Holy Spirit (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9). This is an important question many Christians have, and perhaps the best way to answer it is to examine what the Bible says occurs at salvation and to study what losing salvation would entail:

A Christian is a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). A Christian is not simply an “improved” version of a person; a Christian is an entirely new creature. For a Christian to lose salvation, the new creation would have to be destroyed. A Christian is redeemed (1 Peter 1:18-19). For a Christian to lose salvation, God Himself would have to revoke His purchase of the individual for whom He paid with the precious blood of Christ.

Statue of Jesus hanging on the Cross

A Christian is justified. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). To justify is to declare righteousness. All those who receive Jesus as Savior are “declared righteous” by God. For a Christian to lose salvation, God would have to go back on His Word and “un-declare” what He had previously declared. God would have to reverse the sentence handed down from the divine bench. A Christian is promised eternal life (John 3:16). For a Christian to lose salvation, eternal life would have to be redefined. The Christian is promised to live forever. Does eternal not mean “eternal”?

Thus, we can conclude, a Christian cannot lose salvation. Most, if not all, of what the Bible says happens to us when we receive Christ would be invalidated if salvation could be lost. Salvation is the gift of God, and God’s gifts are “irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). A Christian cannot be un-newly created. The redeemed cannot be unpurchased. Eternal life cannot be temporary. God cannot renege on His Word. Scripture says that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

Fall From Grace

man falling off edge

Jim New provides a different perspective. He says: I would suggest to you that the Bible does NOT teach eternal salvation, although it sure would be nice if it did. The whole Bible warns Christians that they can “fall from grace” (Gal 5:1-5), be “cut off” from salvation (Rom 11:18-22), have their names removed from the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev 22:19), by committing certain sins and not repenting of them (Eph 5:3-5; 1 Cor 6:9).

In a chilling reminder of the possibility of losing salvation by separating oneself from Christ, Paul says, “I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (1 Cor 9:27). Salvation is not a free ride to do as you please. Jesus said that “only a FEW will make it” Many Christians in esp in America have been deceived just as God said would happen. WE are the “luke warm” Church of today and we all will be judged accordingly.

Common vs. Inherit Salvation

Open Bible to John 3:16

Benny Alexander sums up another view for us: First of all we must understand that – Salvation is a continuous process, we need to work out each day and every moment. Note what Paul expresses about the salvation – Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;”

Paul wrote to Romans (13:11) “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” – Where you will see Salvation is nearer and yet in progress.

In I Corinthians 1:18, you will see “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” that salvation is continuous (Being saved)

Finally, according to Hebrews 1:14 “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”, we can understand only at the end we will “inherit” salvation.

“common salvation” (Jude 1:3) is what we receive when one repents and have faith on Jesus. Not just repentance, but practicing it alone can save us permanently towards eternal life.

View the original question & discussion thread here!