I have heard this mind boggling question many times during my Christian journey. Are we always saved once Jesus saves us? The responses are diverse for multiple reasons.
Some would say that not all those who are saved are always saved. Multitudes have sadly fallen away from the faith and renounced their belief in Christ, some of the following names you may recognise; Hillsong writer Marty Sampson (speaks about judgemental Christians and claiming Christianity is not for him anymore), Joshua Harris (author of “I kissed dating goodbye” – a book I read many years ago), Dave Gass (Christian for 40 years – 20 of them spent in evangelism – said he was leaving the faith and that it had been years in the making for this decision), Paul Maxwell (desiring God author – said he is no longer a Christian) – information found on Christianpost.com/voices/what-about-high-profile-Christians who renounced their faith?. Yes this is very sad to hear… Only God knows the heart and the motivations behind their decisions.
Surely the belief of always being saved is not correct then right? If many have fallen, then being saved is not a one moment event but a continuation of constantly being saved right?
Before we answer those questions and ultimately the question this post is about, what exactly does it mean to be saved? What are we saved from?
First of all, it is vital to note that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name in heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:2). Therefore, it is the name of Jesus Christ that must be confessed in order to receive salvation. What we are saved from are the consequences of sin (death – especially spiritual death being eternally sperated from God) so that we may instead receive the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23). For, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). Jesus also said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father accept through me“. The narrow gate to heaven is through Christ alone! He is our salvation and ultimately what we are saved from is hell… eternal separation from God.
If eternal life is a gift from God (John 3:16) and that gift is accepted by the recipient (human beings) then this does not depend on what good works we do, but only our faith in Christ. We first believe by faith, this itself is a gift as grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time (2 Timothy 1:9). We then receive the Holy spirit and we also chose to get baptised as a physical representation of dying to our old self and being raised to new life. The Holy Spirit is our seal guaranteeing eternal life when we rise from the grave (Ephesians 1:13).
Therefore, if salvation is a gift from God and Gods foreknowledge attributes to those who are saved, then how can salvation be lost? Those who are chosen cannot be unchosen, otherwise how can God be omniscient and know who will truly respond to salvation?
What about those who fall away? I know so many prodigal sons and daughters. Some of them were on fire for the things of God and now they are not walking with the Lord, this includes my closest friend from England. All who have wondered are alive but living a life without walking with the Lord. I have asked God why? The Holy Spirit reminds me that God is sovereign over everything. When the prodigal son finally returned the Father was waiting in eager anticipation and threw a party once he returned! God is waiting eagerly for the return of the prodigals, but sometimes they need to walk separately from God for a season, it is there they realize the world has nothing to offer compared to God.
If God gives us eternal life and then takes it away then it was never eternal in the first place. It is true that we can miss the calling of God on our lives through our disobedience and that our service for the Lord will be tested with fire. The apostle Paul said that if the work burns up, the worker will lose his reward but will still be saved (1 Corinthians 3:15).
Salvation is the work of Christ alone, nothing can be added to it… this is why Jesus said on the cross it is finished (John 19:30). The work of salvation was done! This is why the sinner on the cross could instantly be saved when he said “Jesus remember me in your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42). Therefore, when someone truly puts there trust in Jesus Christ for salvation they are saved and sealed through the Holy Spirit.
Yes many “false professors” are in the church and many believers do not grow into maturity of faith. Yet we can be confident of this, the Lord knows those who are His (2 Timothy 2:19). If one falls away from the faith and then perishes we wonder if they ever truly walked with God. Yet the Lord looks to the heart, something that we cannot do, he knows if they still believe in their heart or not, we will only find out when we all stand before God.
It is not our duty to examine the heart of others to know if they are saved, that’s God’s duty. We are called to love God, love our neighbour and love ourselves. Speak the truth of God’s word and make disciples. We should not be surprised if one turns on Christ or away from him, after all, Judas walked with Jesus just as the other disciples did, but still he betrayed him. This is the sad reality that we need God’s strength to handle. Yet we still love them, just as God does… and we pray they may repent before their last day!
One last thing, some may refer to the unpardonable sin (read Matthew 12:24-37) as losing salvation. Yet Jesus makes it clear that this is to do with the condition of ones heart and rejection of allowing the Holy Spirit to change that heart. If we are a new creation in Christ Jesus and the old has passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17), this means we also have a new heart. Do we still sin? Of course! But our attitude changes towards sin, especially as we continue to grow in relationship with God. So, do not fear that you have committed the unpardonable sin! The very fact that you desire to please God, live for him or even consciously think about your words and actions shows that you are living (or at least wanting to live) for God almighty.
Thank you that you chose us before the foundation of the earth, according to your word. If we ever doubt our belief, help us with our unbelief. Give us faith to move mountains and confidence to trust fully in the name of Jesus Christ. May those we know who have wondered from the truth be restored to their faith in you! You are sovereign over everything, your desire is to save as many as possible… Oh save us father God! We ask in the mighty name of Jesus Christ – amen.
Any questions or comments please share, would love to hear!
NEXT POST: Is there really a rapture? If so, then when is it?
You can read the previous post here…Why does the devil obey God? #Challengingtopics.1
Image credit: Pinterest – Once saved always saved
Love and God bless