Can Salvation Be Lost?

SALVATION—is it intellectual or heartfelt?  It was a Sunday evening in July, 1953; I was attending an evening worship service.  The sermon was on: “What is it like going to hell?”  By the time the service was over I was scared to death.  The minister asked if anyone wanted to stay out of hell they needed to come to the altar and pray.  I went straight to the altar fell on my knees and a number of Christians started praying for me.  I wasn’t as concerned about salvation as I did not want to end up in hell.

It was an intellectual thing, I did not want to burn throughout eternity.  Most sinners feel to some degree guilty.  If all they have to do is ask for forgiveness, accept Christ as their Lord and accept Him into their heart, they can be and are saved.  Once saved, they no longer are guilty and their life will be changed and better from then on.  It doesn’t always work that way.

I do not believe we place enough emphasis on repentance and what is required.  This is a changing of one’s mind about sin and a change in a person’s heart toward sin.  It is accepting the Holy Spirit into our hearts and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and check our behavior and belief system.  It is then pursuing a worshipful relationship with God and Christ through prayer and Bible study.  From that day on we live to please God in all that we say and do.  The more committed we become the more challenges we may face.  It is through problems and seeing God meeting our needs that we develop more faith, trust and belief.  Under the above relationship, I believe once you are saved you will always be saved.

I believe many people accept Christ as their Savior intellectually as I at first had.  They believe there is a God and that Christ can save them.  However, they do not take repentance seriously.  They do all that they are told to be saved but they make little, if any, changes in how they live.  They continue to live as the world lives and fail to seek a true relationship with God.  They may say a few prayers and occasionally read their Bible.  They may go to church each week and become involved.  But they never really become totally committed to serving God and living to please Him.

We are born self-centered.  Many are unwilling to become more God-centered and centered on others, a requirement.  So little change takes place in their lives.  I believe these people can backslide and lose their salvation and many do.  Satan can then deceive them into believing that no matter what they do, they are assured of going to heaven believing once saved always saved.

What happens after a person accepts Christ and becomes saved will probably determine whether they have accepted intellectually or heartfelt.  It is possible that many of us initially accept intellectually. But have we actually repented as described by Scripture?  Who is first in our lives and who do we focus on;    is it ourselves or Christ?  Are we living to please self or God?   It isn’t difficult to determine whether you have truly repented, changed your ways and are totally committed to living to please God.  It may be easier for others to recognize whether we have an intellectual relationship or a heartfelt one than ourselves.   But God knows and He is the important one!  What do we need to know to make sure our salvation is heartfelt?

The message of the Gospel was love.  A sinner’s love is normally selfish and perverted.  Whereas, God’s love is unconditional.  The Bible emphasizes a personal relationship with God and being able to have the same love for God and others as He has for us—unconditional.  Love permits freedom.  We cannot be coerced to love.  God will test our relationship with Him by our love and our love of others.  Love promotes ethical behavior.  It directs our motives, attitudes and relationships.  Love reaches out, having respect for the thoughts of others who may disagree.  It does not withdraw from society or civil concerns.  Love is caring.  Love is in joy, sorrow, frustration and every complexity of life.  A Christian’s love is generous.  Love must not be used to gain an advantage.  Our faith can come from love and our morals are a result of love.

We believe God created each of us to have a master.  He then gives us the responsibility to choose our master.  It was God’s desire that we chose Him.  Many may select money, fame, power or some other purpose.  Most cut themselves off from God and Christ.  They are more concerned about their own thoughts and loyalties.  Since we were created also to serve, many are more willing to serve self than God.  Does it make sense to choose one’s weak and imperfect self over the power of a limitless God?  Are we willing to giving up being fulfilled for the fantasy of freedom?  We must ask ourselves: is our heart right with God?  Are we willing to serve Him with reverence?  Is our heart right toward our neighbor?  Is our love shown by our deeds?

May we ask ourselves, is our salvation once saved always saved or do we have a salvation that can be lost?  Have you repented and has your love changed?

Leave a comment


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