CAN YOU LOSE YOUR SALVATION?

We have had seven politicians who have admitted to having adulterous affairs recently. They are Governor Mark Sanford, Senator John Ensign, Governor Eliot Spitzer, Governor James McGreevey, former senator John Edward, senator Larry Craig and past president Clinton in the 1990s. We do not know the religious background of each but we do know that some have testified to being Christians. Can you or is it not possible to lose your salvation? I think it is not up to us to make eternal judgments but how does what we do affect one’s salvation? So let us look at some Scripture.

Hebrews 6:4 – 6 – “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

The debate occurs because some believe Scripture is talking about a person who has received salvation and has fallen away. Others believe these are people who have never received salvation though they have shared in the Holy Spirit. John Wesley believed you could lose your salvation and Calvin believed that once you received salvation you could never lose it no matter what you do.

Most, on either side of the debate, believe that once you understand New Testament teaching and know spiritual and biblical truth a person can either reject or disbelieve the teachings or they can accept it. If a person rejects biblical teachings and salvation they cut themselves off from God’s forgiveness. The Bible is very clear. Any sinner, (and all have sinned), who has not been forgiven by God through Christ cannot enter the presence of God. There is a difference between being enlightened and tasting the heavenly gift and accepting it.

II Peter 2:21 says: “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.”

Many believe the author of Hebrews means the heavenly gift is salvation. Some believed salvation was only tasted and not accepted. Others question how can you taste the Spirit without accepting the Spirit? It could be that having shared the Spirit could mean they were around the Holy Spirit and saw the Spirit’s saving grace but they never accepted. Or, they had accepted the Holy Spirit and the Spirit was quenched by their lack of faith and disobedience.

I am sure that many have listened carefully and thought about what they have heard. They may have seen miracles, supernatural powers and signs and were just not willing to give up the world. Is Scripture saying that with all you have seen and heard and you reject salvation it will be impossible to come again to the point of repentance?

Or, is Scripture talking about a person who has received salvation, tried it and gave up and gone back to their worldly ways having rejected the Holy Spirit out of their lives? Many believe that a person can become very knowledgeable and continue to resist making a commitment and totally surrendering one’s self to Christ. They can become immune to salvation. They believe our spiritual system becomes unresponsive and insensitive and they lose the opportunity for salvation. There are many instances where we have prayed years for those who we believed to be lost and finally they accept Christ and invite the Holy Spirit into their lives. Usually they were never fully knowledgeable nor had they tasted the goodness of the Word of God.

Hebrews 10:26 – 27 – “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (I placed the emphasis on deliberately.) We all know we continually “miss the mark”, such as sins of omission or other sins but not necessarily do we do it deliberately or intentionally. How much deliberate sin must we do before we become disqualified as Paul points out?

A person who keeps on deliberately sinning is different from a person who sins through sins of omission, etc. I John 3:9 says: “No one who is born of God practices sin.” Scripture is filled with messages of hope for Christians. It is also very clear; a raging fire will consume those who reject Christ when God’s judgment takes place.

When Scripture says it is impossible, it is my belief that it is not putting restrictions on God but is stating man’s result of denying God is judgment. The only unpardonable sin that I know of is denying, rejecting into one’s life or blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Remember nothing can ever take the Holy Spirit from us. However, it is my opinion we can reject the Holy Spirit from our lives.

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