Can a Born Again Believer Lose His Salvation?


As I have heard John MacArthur say, “If we could lose our salvation, we would.” And I agree with him. The old song writer knew this well; “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.” Our only hope is that God would take our hearts and seal them (Eph. 1:13). If our salvation was ultimately up to us, first, none would ever be saved, and second, none would ever stay saved. Bu the good news is it is not ultimately up to us. Its up to God, and his grace and mercy. In many aspects of our salvation, we are completely passive. In others we play a part, but never the ultimate part. In regards to being born again, we did not cause that to happen, we were passive. Thus we cannot un-cause it to happen. Being born again was not our choice. The Holy Spirit was completely sovereign in it. We chose Jesus out of the natural outflow of our renewed born again heart, with it’s new affections. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, and God made us alive in Christ. And thats our hope, that God (The Holy Spirit) will keep us alive (believing). We passed from death unto life. In a sense we were like Lazarus. dead in our trespasses and sin, following the course of the prince of the power of this world, and God said, “come alive”, and we did. We did not choose to be made alive. Dead people can’t choose to be made alive. Dead people don't choose anything. That’s the point. Not only that, but there was nothing good about us when He chose us. In fact, when God us chose we were at our worst. Since there was no reason in us, that could have caused him to choose us, there will never be any reason to cause him to un-choose us. It wasn't our goodness that got us saved, and it will not be our goodness that keeps us saved. It will be God’s goodness and faithfulness that sees us through. Our hope, is not so much our hold on Jesus, but rather Jesus’s hold on us. Not that we will keep holding onto him, but that he will keep holding onto us. He is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) He will finish the good work in us that he started (Philippians 1:6) Our hope that we will wake up tomorrow still believing is that God will see to it that we will wake up tomorrow still believing. John Piper says this, and it rings true for all, “I bring nothing decisive to my creation. And I bring nothing decisive to the ongoing existence of this divine spiritual life in me. I exist as a Christian by it. I did not create it. I don’t keep it in being. Not any more than the universe came into existence by its own power or is upheld by its own power” (Heb. 1:3). The book of Jude closes with this doxology, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25) Can we fall away for a time. Yes. God might permit that. The Westminster Confession has this to say when talking of perseverance in chapter 17.3, “Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalence of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their perseverance, fall into grievous sins; and for a time continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit; come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts; have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalise others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.” But he will not let us walk away for good. In the exposition of the Westminster, it goes on to explain: “The caution addressed to "him that thinketh he standeth, to take heed lest he fall," and the ardent prayers of the saints, that God would "cleanse them from secret faults, and keep them back from presumptuous sins," manifest, that though none of the saints can fall from a state of grace, yet they may fall into very great sins. And the Scriptures furnish many instances of partial falls in the most eminent saints. The patient Job cursed the day of his birth. The man Moses, who was "meek above all men which were upon the face of the earth," spake unadvisedly with his lips. David, the man after God's own heart, was guilty of an atrocious and a complicated sin….. Peter, too, was recovered from his lamentable fall. When Christ "turned and looked upon him, he went out, and wept bitterly."–Luke xxii. 61, 62. When his Lord afterwards questioned him respecting his love, he could appeal to him as the searcher of hearts, that he did love him in sincerity; and Christ having renewed his commission, he laboured zealously and faithfully in his Master's service. The fact, then, that true saints may fall into grievous sins, is by no means incompatible with their final perseverance. The Lord promises to "heal their backslidings" (Hos. xiv. 4); and while this promise implies that they may fall partially, it secures that they shall not fall totally and finally." God will do whatever it takes to get his children home. This salvation of ours started way back in eternity past, way before we were born again. There is something you will notice about what is often called the golden chain of redemption found in Romans 8:28-31, everyone who is chosen, called, and justified will be glorified. There are no dropouts. If you walk away from Jesus, if you walk away from Christianity, if you walk away from the faith, the only thing that proves is that you were never a Christian to begin with. Do some people walk away and lose their salvation? Yes. But the reason they can walk away and do walk away is not because they lost their salvation. If they can walk away for good, they never had a true salvation. It was a false salvation, a false belief, a false christianity, based on humanistic reasoning and springing from an unregenerate heart. The Bible speaks of this. It is not unheard of. 1 John 2:9 says, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” In fact, it is normal and to be expected. Scripture says that there will even be some false believers amongst true believers even all the way up until the judgement. And that then there will be a separating. So week, and week out, it is very possible that for whatever reason, there are people who are fooling themselves, or being fooled by Satan, and are false converts. But a true believer, will never fully and finally fall away. Our belief was a gift, and God will not take it away. He will keep us from stumbling to the point of no return, to present us faultless before the throne (Jude 24-25) Why are we faultless? Because we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. How and why will he keep us from ever ultimately falling away? Because he’s God. He can do that, through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is faithful to finish what he has started (Phil. 1:6) not based on the faithfulness of others, but based on himself. So to grace, how great a debtor

Daily I'm constrained to be

And let Thy goodness like a fetter

Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love

Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it

Seal it for Thy courts above

Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it

Seal it for Thy courts above Next article, Lord willing, in the next few days will be on Hebrews 6:4-6 Look to God for your strength, your sustenance, and your all in all. And praise him for it!!!


© 2014 by CORAM DEO MISSIONS

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