Can a Christian lose his or her Salvation? (Yes and No)
1. Can you sin your salvation away?
Yes and No-Sin hardens your heart and leads you in a direction you don’t want to go and will bring consequences that you don’t want.
Let me get your mind thinking with this illustration:
It’s a tale of two men. Both are born-again Christians. That means they have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They have followed him for years.
John is married and has two kids. Lately, he has been struggling with boundaries. He has been getting too close to his secretary Sherry. Sherry is a born-again Christian, too. They have even been going out to lunch and some suppers together. Their conversation is not work related. They talk about the Lord and other things. It is exhilarating for both even though they know it’s wrong.
Finally, their relationship leads to a sexual rendezvous. John comes out of the hotel feeling very conflicted and very guilty. He heads home and tragedy strikes. He is hit head-on by a semi and dies instantly. John did not have time to confess his sin of adultery to God and ask for his forgiveness and repent. Did John go to heaven?
Mark is married with three kids. In fact, he goes to the same church as John goes to. They are not close friends but know each other from a Bible Study they attended at a mutual friends’ house. Mark is a born-again Christian as I have already stated. He is an elder in the church. He is a very Godly man. Over the years many have come to him for counsel. Mark is late for a meeting with his boss. It is a crucial planning meeting and he is going to be late. His boss doesn’t do late. He is a stickler for being on time.
Mark of course knows this and has two choices. He could call his boss and tell him he is going to be about fifteen minutes late. That isn’t an option because his boss believes being late is a mortal sin. He is always on time and expects his executives like Mark to do the same. No exceptions. That is how he build his business by running a tight ship.
So, Mark decides to drive 20 miles over the speed limit and go 90 on 70 mph freeway. If he does this, he should get there on time. He knows it is wrong. He is breaking the Law. He is a believe and know that the Bible says that we should obey those Government Authorities from Romans 13. That includes traffic laws. He knows he is sinning but chooses to do it anyway. Mark heads around a corner that is more slippery than he realizes and loses control. He veers off the road and hits a tree head on and like John is instantly killed. He did not have time to confess his sin, ask God to forgive him and to repent (turn away from this). So, did Mark go to heaven?
This is probably one of the most debated and misunderstood questions in the Bible. It ranks right up there with our understanding of how Divine Healing works.
So how do we know if these guys, John and Mark went to heaven or not? I will tell you at the end of my teaching.
2. There are two types of Believers: Baby Christians and Mature Believers
Baby Christians are either new Christians or carnally minded Christians. They either have not had time to grow or the self-discipline to grow. The Corinthians in the New Testament were immature believers because they were boasting and doing about anything and everything
Let’s read from Hebrews 6 and I will point out to you what Scriptures says about what qualifies one as a mature believer
Hebrews 6:1-6 (ESV)
1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
3 And this we will do if God permits.
4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,
5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
If you are a mature believer according to this definition you and you walk away and totally reject Christ; you can never come back. Here is the bottom line; you have decided, and you will not desire to come back. Once you reject Jesus at this mature level it’s over. For the baby Christian, it’s different, they waffle and act like they are unsaved some of the time, but they are secure in Jesus.
3. What about people who are lukewarm?
Revelation 3:14-22 (ESV)
14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!
16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
This must be talking about the church that doesn’t preach or live a born-again Gospel. They make it up as they go along. Church is a bunch of rituals and more of a social club for functions and group meetings.
This, I believe can also refer to people who have cooled off in their faith and are taking God for granted and are just doing whatever pleases them. God states that he will reprove them so they should repent.
This is a very dangerous state to be in; because you are playing with fire. You think you are doing well and really a blessing and you are spiritual blind. But if you willfully keep on sinning and don’t repent (turn away from) you will Cut off the work of the Holy Spirit convicting you and guiding you and eventually you come to a fork in the road and you may choose to take the wrong side!
4. How does sin affect a Christian?
Romans 6:1-2 (ESV)
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Romans 6:12-16 (ESV)
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
· Sin dominates you.
· It controls you and make you it’s slave.
· Don’t play with fire unless you want to be burnt.
· You can’t go where your mind hasn’t been.
5. I will never leave you nor forsake you.
God will never give up on us. He won’t depart from us or kick us to the curb and just throw us away. Our salvation is secure; but never dishonor it by taken it for granted.
Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESV)
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
· We must ultimately pull the plug or what sin would it be that would take us to hell.
· We are so works-oriented
· We look at the actions and try to take a snapshot of the person and think that’s all there is. I am glad we are not God.
· We need to look at not just one act which could be a snapshot but at the whole photo album to determine if they had walked away from God period
So, what happened to John and Mark?
They blew it but did God forsake them and sentence them to hell. As hard as it is to swallow because of what we have been taught and our judgmental natures that just isn’t true. John and Mark messed up their lives. John’s legacy as a Christian would have been stained.
We want to say that John went to hell because of the adultery. We want to say that Mark went to heaven because it was only speeding, and he had a good reason and because everyone speeds.
It doesn’t work that way. You better hope it doesn’t. Because you are not man or woman enough to confess all your sins that you have ever committed. None of us are. You are either totally covered by God or not. There is no saved/lost/saved/lost-in and out.
Sin is not an issue with God for the believer; it really is an issue with the hardening of the heart; and your reputation and relationship with your fellow man and it gives access to the devil. And let me just say this: Don’t you just want to please and honor God after all he has done for you? Look at it this way: Sin should not be taken lightly because it is like erosion. It begins to erode the strong bond between you and God. Not of God’s side. He doesn’t move away from you; you begin to move away from him.
So quit sinning! (remember you’ll never be perfect) and just Love him and let him love you. Let your life honor him.