Pastor, Why? #19: Why Can’t Christians Lose Their Salvation?

What if a professing Christian “backslides” far from God, goes to prison, has an abortion, commits adultery or suicide--can he lose his salvation? Or what if he renounces his faith in Christ as Savior? The early church struggled with this question regarding those who denied Christ under severe torture. The Church of Christ, Church of God, Assembly of God, most Pentecostals and some Baptist churches believe there are conditions upon which one can lose their salvation. Here are ten reasons why it is impossible for a truly born-again child of God to become lost:


1. Salvation is by grace alone through dependence on Christ alone

This is the very heart of the Biblical doctrine of salvation. (Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-28; Ephesians 2:5, 8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5)

  • The New Testament claims over 200 times that salvation is by faith in Jesus who paid for our sins and offers salvation as a free gift. Works and grace are opposites. Like water and oil, they cannot mix.
  • Salvation is never about what one does, but about what Christ has done in full, one time and forever. (Heb. 7:27; 9:12, 26, 28; 10:10)
  • If one is kept saved by good works, or if one can lose salvation by bad works, then salvation is no longer by grace alone, but grace plus works - a false, man-centered doctrine. (Galatians 1:8-9)

2. When one is born again he is “justified” (declared righteous Forever) by God’s unalterable decree.

Acts 13:39 - “...All that believe ARE justified from ALL things.” This must include all future sins as well as all past sins. (cp. Romans 5:1, 9)

3.   The moment one is saved he possess eternal life right now.

John 3:36 - “He that believeth on the Son HATH everlasting life....”   (Also John 5:24; Romans 8:30) Something that is eternal can never cease, or it is not really eternal. New life in Christ is as eternal as God Himself. A saved person is promised he will live as long as God does.

4.    At the moment of salvation every sin, past, present and future is paid in full.

Hebrews 10:10-14 assures us that, “…we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.... forever.” (cp. Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:7) If God’s forgiveness did not extend to future sins, then one would have to get re-saved every time he sinned again.

5.   Salvation is based on God’s faithfulness, not ours.

Philippians 1:6 - “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”   (Also Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:24)  

6.   Eternal salvation is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit of God.

  • Ephesians 1:13-14 - “...after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession....”   (Also Ephesians 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22)
  • He is our “seal” -- A seal is a symbol of a finished transaction, like a signature; a symbol of authority, like the Presidential Seal (cp. Esther 8:8; Daniel 6:8, 17; Matthew 27:65-66), and a symbol of ownership, like the seal on shipping containers or a brand on cattle.
  • He is our “earnest” -- down payment, security deposit; The Holy Spirit in me is my guarantee that Christ is coming back for me.

(cp. John 14:1-3)

7.   One’s salvation is secured by the omnipotent power of God.

  • 1 Peter 1:3-5 - We are “kept by the power of God....”
  • Hebrews 7:25 - We are saved “to the uttermost”, meaning utterly, completely, forever. (cp. Romans 8:31-39; Jude 24)

8. One’s salvation is secured by the eternal promises of God.

Hebrews 13:5 - “...He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Not only is God able to keep us saved, He promised He WOULD keep us saved. (cp. John 3:15; 4:14; 5:24; 6:35-58; 10:27-29; Note the many promises in the prior points as well.)

9.   Salvation ought to bring peace and assurance, not fear.

1 John 5:13 - “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know [not hope] that ye have [present tense] eternal life....” (cp. 2 Timothy 1:7, 12)                    

10. The worldly Corinthian Christians are called carnal babes in

       Christ, not lost former saints.   (1 Cor. 1:2; 3:1-4)

They were not living right in many respects, but they were not “lost”, nor did Paul ever warn them of any danger of losing their salvation, only their testimony and reward. (1 Corin. 3:1-3; 12-15; 2 Corin. 5:10)



    The Bible is clear: “Salvation is NOT probation!” Man is neither saved by works, nor kept saved by works. Since salvation is a free gift offered by grace and personally accepted by faith, the only way one might logically “lose” it is by personally and deliberately returning God’s gift as it was received. However, based on God’s numerous promises, He would never allow one of His own children to eternally and finally reject Him. The real question then is, “Have I been truly converted to begin with?” Paul exhorted the worldly Corinthian church to “Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). Are the signs and fruit of true salvation evident in your heart, mind and life? The evidences of salvation are found in Galatians 5:22-23 and 1 John.


    God’s grace and “eternal security” are never a license to sin!

Read Matthew 7:16-20; Romans 6:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 1:16.


   Judas Iscariot is often held up as an example of one who lost his salvation. Was he saved and later lost, or was he never saved at all? Jesus gave us the clear answer in John 6:64, 70-71, and 13:10-11.