3 Reasons Christians Cannot Lose Their Salvation

We live in interesting times in many ways, perhaps one of the most interesting and frustrating aspects of our culture today is the uplifting of uncertainty. It seems that in order to be a scholar or expert on a particular subject, one must be uncertain of their position. Yes, one can hold a position, but never be as "prideful" to say with absolute certainty that they are correct. This uncertainty is lifted up by many to be some form of wisdom, but this philosophy of uncertainty is feeding many of the false teachings seen in our churches today. One of the questions that has been elevated because of these philosophies is the basic question of the assurance of salvation. 

Can a Christian lose their salvation? This question is being asked by many and I fear the church’s position regarding this issue is sadly becoming more and more grey. This is a clear-cut teaching of the New Testament. Yet, because of the uncertainty of our culture, this question is being asked with more frequency today. To be clear, no, you cannot lose your salvation. Here are three (of many) logical reasons why Christians cannot lose their salvation:

1. Losing Your Salvation says that your salvation is based on works.

You might read that reason and think that’s a little of a reach, but let me explain. When one says that they can lose their salvation, they usually mean that they can lose their faith and become a nonbeliever and invalidate their own eternal destiny. One of the problems with this thought is that if one can lose their salvation that means that after salvation the sustaining of one’s faith is a requirement for the believer. The sustaining of your faith then becomes something that you are responsible for and actively partake in. That is a work. In other words, if you don’t work in keeping your faith, then you will lose it. So the ultimate end of your salvation is not completed in the hands of Christ as Paul teaches the Philippians in 1:6 but rather something you work hard to complete. All of a sudden the line between Catholicism and evangelicalism becomes blurred. 

2. Losing your salvation says that you are more powerful than God. 

If one is able to lose their salvation it not only means that believers are in control of their own salvation i.e. eternal destiny, it also means that believers are able to overpower God. 

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”   John 10:27-30

If one is able to lose their salvation it not only means that believers are in control of their own salvation i.e. eternal destiny, it also means that believers are able to overpower God. 

Jesus is talking about those who would truly follow Him would be His forever. He says that no one can snatch them out of His hand. This means that Jesus is the one who sustains the faith of believers and no one can take them from Christ, this would include you taking yourself. Charles Spurgeon in preaching on these verses said, “The saints of God are safe, because the Father gave them to his Son. He did not give him a temporary inheritance. He did not bestow on him something which he might in time lose. Will the Lord Christ lose what his Father gave him?” To say that a believer could overpower the work of Christ or cause Christ to mismanage His sheep is sheer foolishness. (See what I did there?)

3. Losing your salvation does not flow with the Character of God.

God is immutable. He does not change, nor does He deviate from His plans. As Job states when faced with the magnificence of God, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. He is all powerful. None can interfere with what God has planned. No one can cause God to change His mind or retreat from His desired working. To believe that true Christians can lose their salvation is saying that God is slave to your will and you have the power to override His Character by rebelling in disbelief. This is not true in the slightest. God’s character is perfect, this not only means that it is 100% good, but that it will always act in kind. God is always immutable, good, faithful, all-powerful, and loving. His character will always show through His interaction to man’s finite will. God does not run a foster home, if you are His child then you are His child forever. He will not abandon His children because they act out. Rather He will lovingly bring them back to Him. 

These are just a few reasons why believers cannot lose their salvation. For those who would say what about this example or that example of someone they know. I would say that I agree with David Platt’s idea that assurance of salvation is not about “Once saved always saved.” Assurance of salvation is about If saved always saved.” God is the One who does the work of salvation. He is the One in charge of our eternal destiny, not us. I praise God for this because as John MacArthur famously stated, “If you could lose your salvation, you would.”

- Dean

For further reading see this article by Ligioneer. 

Cited Works:

Charles Spurgeon's Sermon

John MacArthur's Quote at TGC Conference