Can We Lose Our Salvation? – by Greg Albrecht
|Q: Do you believe we can lose our salvation once we are truly saved? My personal belief is that, yes, we can. While God will never take it away, through constant and willful sinning, we can turn our eyes away from God. This will eventually lead to a case of “Pharaoh’s hardened heart,” a state whereby we can reject God’s offer, and create a wall between ourselves and God that even God will not cross—for to do so would be to break his promise to us of free will. |
A: No, I do not believe we can lose our salvation. Before explaining why, let me say that this discussion, in my view, is not a “make or break” theological perspective. Christians differ about the details of the question “Can we lose our salvation once we are truly saved?” I believe Christians are, in Christ, able to differ on this and other non-essential issues/questions/discussions and that we should respect one another’s differences. Having said that, here’s the position I take, and why:
1) This topic is most well-known as “eternal security”—it is also known by an older, more traditional title— “perseverance of the saints”—and is often negatively approached by those who believe salvation can be lost as “once saved, always saved.”
2) My hermeneutic—that is, the interpretation that governs my understanding of the Bible—is Christ-centered and grace-based. That’s my starting point, and that’s my ending point. I absolutely believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that nothing we do has or will ever earn us any part of salvation. I believe salvation—all of it—is a gift of God. I reject the idea that God’s grace gets us started but the rest is up to us. I believe any notion that we can, of and by our human efforts alone, gain or lose our salvation is Galatianism, a theological perspective that is clearly and dogmatically opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, as explained in the book of Galatians.
3) Salvation is eternal life. We are given eternal life because of God’s love. God’s love does not change. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
God’s love is the basis of our relationship with God. Our good deeds or our bad behavior do not change the love that God has for each of us. We cannot cause him to love us more, we cannot cause him to love us less.
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