Can We Lose Salvation As Christians?

lose salvation

Can Christians Lose Salvation? (Romans 11:22)

 

 

An ever popular and potentially devastating belief is that of being unconditionally saved; commonly referred to as “once saved always saved” or “perseverance of the saints”. Many have been confused by this, many unjustifiably comforted by it, and many led astray by it. As with most things, when error is encountered, people tend to be reactionary and as a result move from one error to the another. While the devilish concoction we call the Catholic Church had for many years deceived people by calling into question their salvation almost from moment to moment by requiring all manner of religious ordinance to be observed, another error emerged which was merely a 180 degree turn. 2+2 does not equal 8, but neither does it equal 3. We must be careful to strive for that which is accurate and not merely reactionary. There are two gutters in every bowling lane; avoid them both. Can a Christian lose salvation?

Let us observe firstly in our text, the condition by which believers can be “cut off”, namely their failure to continue in God’s goodness. The term “cut off” is not a reference to rewards or temporary chastisement, but rather judgment. Jesus uses this same phrase when speaking of false prophets in Matthew chapter 7, telling us we will know them by their fruits. He ends by saying, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 7:19) The unmistakable context is that of complete separation and judgment. This is what Paul is conveying in Romans 11. The bible is replete with many “IF”‘s concerning entering into blessing from God. While God’s desire is for us to be in intimate fellowship and communion with Him, that reality is conditional. Even as one may be employed currently, with “job security” so to speak, that does not nullify conditions of employment. If conditions are violated, termination is possible, even if you were once employee of the month. You cannot be an adept employee one day and a disheveled drug addict the next. We must “continue” or “abide” in good standing. Any time you see the word “If”, it denotes a term or a condition that must be carefully observed. Here is a small sampling of verses that highlight this biblical reality:

“…if indeed you continue” (Colossians 1:23)
“…if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.” (Hebrews 3:14)
“…if they do not continue in unbelief, [then they] will be grafted in…again.” (Romans 11:23)

“…if you keep My commandments, [then] you will abide in My love” (John 15:10)
“…if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people.” (Exodus 19:5)
“…if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments… [then] all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deuteronomy 28:15)

This is a mere fraction of the myriad “if / then” clauses we see throughout the bible. Blessing is contingent upon obedience and those who say otherwise may potentially peddle licentious living without thinking, but at the very least are simply misrepresenting Scripture. This is falsely called a “work” they say, for how can one lose something that was a gift to begin with? If we have to work to keep it, then it was never a gift in the first place and therefore it must be a false gospel; a works-based salvation…. they say.

Losing Salvation Is A False, Works-Based Gospel?

Let’s examine this logic for a moment. First let us note that this is not a biblical objection, but an anecdotal objection. It is merely philosophical, not theological. Might I add, it is poor philosophy as well. The premises for this argument would be formally framed as such:

Premise 1: Salvation is a gift from God, not by works of man.
Premise 2: Since it is not by my own works, it never depended on my obedience.
Premise 3: If I can lose a gift, then it depends on my obedience, which is a work, and it was never truly a gift.
Conclusion: Therefore; if salvation can be lost, then it constitutes a works-based gospel.

This sounds compelling at first glance, and it must, for it appeals to emotion and mere human reason without biblical guidance. In order for a deductive argument to have a sound conclusion, the premises must be true and airtight. In the case before us, Premise 3 is the weakness whereby the entire tower comes crashing down, though Premise 2 also presents a half truth. I have done my best not to erect a straw-man argument here, but to accurately present the argument as fairly as I have heard it presented.

Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that it is “by grace through faith” and NOT works that we have been saved; that salvation is a gift from God. The book of Romans belabors that it is faith and not works that God is pleased with and that it has only ever been faith that has accessed the blood of Jesus by His grace and mercy; “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28). We read in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”. This is, of course, contrasting the works of the Law (Torah) and showing that Abraham (and therefore all) was justified by faith, that is an inward submission to and belief in God, and not merely a ceremonial adherence. Paul reinforces that we have been, “justified freely by His grace.” (Romans 3:24). It is apparent then, that works cannot save us, but that salvation is indeed a free gift that nobody is deserving of, and therefore all boasting is made void. So, what about the argument?

I have scarcely met someone who would call “faith” a “work”. Indeed, faith is the very thing that is contrasted with works. We find faith juxtaposed to works all throughout Paul’s writings, so it is fair to conclude that if there is anything that is not a work it is faith. Yet, we know that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). So, although salvation is a gift of God, we are told that men are justified by their faith in God, so that faith must be present in an individual or they will never be justified before God. So, what do we know about faith according to the Bible?

What Is Faith?

The Bible tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). The word “faith” (pistis) in the bible, is also translated as “faithfulness” as seen in Romans 3:3
“For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?
We know that true faith brings with it the connotation of action as James goes to painstaking lengths to prove, so much so that the “de-Catholic’d” Martin Luther said it was, “…an epistle of straw.” We can see how the reactionary mindset tends to dominate when trying to escape and error, leading us right into another. It’s like over-correcting a car steering wheel after having veered off the road. Many accidents happen as a result of a violent over-correction. True Christian faith is apostolic, not reformational, not even patristic, but apostolic and biblical. Ah! How hollow is the phrase “sola scriptura” for most? Faith without works is dead and we know that for Abraham “…faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect..” (James 2:22) So, if faith is real it will inevitably produce fruit. If there is no fruit, or works, then that faith is properly dead. It is impossible for real and healthy apple trees not to produce apples, lest it be proven to be some other kind of tree or one that has become dead. So then, faith without faithfulness is not real faith; works proving the validity of the faith, though men are not justified by the works themselves, but rather the faith producing them. Where there is faith, there must be obedience. And where there is disobedience, faith has vacated.

Back To The Argument

We can now see more clearly the shaky foundation on which Premise 2 is situated:
Premise 2: Since it is not by my own works, it never depended on my obedience.
Being ceremonially obedient never saved a soul apart from faith, but real faith always produced that same obedience. Two people may have identical lives outwardly and only one be justified. One man, by faith in God, will produce righteous fruit and another man, through faith in himself, will produce behavioral modification. These may look near to mirror images of each other to the casual passerby, but God tests the heart. To remove obedience from the equation is to remove faith from the equation unwittingly, for if there is not obedience there cannot be true faith.
As we look to Premise 3, the case becomes more bleak:
Premise 3: If I can lose a gift, then it depends on my obedience, which is a work, and it was never truly a gift.
Separating obedience from faith is like separating olive oil from olives. Obedience is the product of faith.
The question must then be asked whether or not it is possible to lose faith. If it is possible to lose faith, then we are not talking about a “work” per se, but rather the seminal condition upon which salvation is established. This is where people jump off the anecdotal deep-end and resort to conjecture and poor, unbiblical logic in the process. If faith can be lost, then salvation is nullified, for the salvation of men in obtaining God’s grace and mercy through the blood of Jesus is inextricably tied to faith in Him and faithfulness toward Him (John 14:15). The premise in the faulty argument assumes that one who has at one time believed can never fall into unbelief, and while we will examine their arguments for this shortly, let’s first examine what the bible says, explicitly, about this very topic.

Falling Into Unbelief

The very notion of “apostasy” is predicated upon departing or defecting from where one was previously, and one cannot fall away from where he never was. The word apostasy becomes a meaningless word unless we presuppose that it is possible to depart from something. The Bible tells of a great falling away which will happen in the last days. This alone tells us it is not only possible, but actually prophetically imminent that believers can fall into unbelief. Even our text above speaks of “…those who fell.” Their falling presupposes that they were at one time standing, else falling becomes impossible.

Anytime you read the word, “Beware” in the bible, let me exhort you to….. BEWARE! When you see this warning in tandem with the word “Brethren” know that it is intended for none other than believers. God’s word does not exhort us to “beware” of hypothetical impossibilities. If there is a hypothetical situation suggested, it is one that is possible, especially because we are to “beware” of it. Nobody is careful for that which is impossible. The writer to the Hebrews tells us to,
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12).
Let me reiterate that the audience here are “brethren” meaning that they are presumed to be born again believers in Jesus at this point. The brethren are then warned about the development of an “evil heart of unbelief” that will culminate in “departing from the living God.” If these were not believers, they would not be called brethren, and if it were not possible for them to depart from the living God, these words never would have been written.

Honestly assess who is being described here:
those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come…”
Can an unbeliever be enlightened, taste the heavenly gift, partake of the Holy Spirit and taste the powers of the age to come? Obviously not. This language is reserved for believers; for the brethren.

And yet, the rest of this passage (Hebrews 6:4-6) tells us that it is possible for such to fall away even to the point of being past repentance. The writer to the Hebrews says that these were “partakers” of the Holy Spirit. The same word is used 5 times in the book of Hebrews and is also translated as “partner”. Can the Holy Spirit be a partner to an unbeliever? Study this carefully all you who are “enlightened”. Never once in the whole of the bible is an unbeliever described in such language. This is clearly speaking of those who were believers to the extent of being partners with the Holy Spirit at one time.

Warning of a hypothetical impossibility would be a colossal and confusing waste of time and it is absurd to think that the Holy Spirit would go to such great lengths to warn us of things that were irrelevant or altogether impossible. Rest assured, this dreadful reality that we are to beware of can happen and has happened to many believers who eventually departed from the living God. These two verses alone would be reason enough for us to take a long sober pause to reflect, but when we see it supported by so many other verses, it would be near to an act of insanity to not pay them serious heed and reevaluate our thinking on this topic.

According to God’s Word it is possible to:

let the things which you have heard slip (Heb. 2:1)
go astray (Mt. 18:12,13)
ignore God’s will (Lk. 12:47)

err from the faith (1 Tim. 6:10,21)
err from the faith and overthrow the faith of others (2 Tim. 2:18)
lose your savour (saltiness) (Lk. 14:34,35)
be offended by Jesus (Mt. 11:6; Mk. 14:27,29)
fall away from grace (Gal. 5:4)
believe for awhile but in time of temptation fall away (Lk. 8:13)
be offended, betray one another and hate one another (Mt. 24:10)
have your faith shipwrecked (1 Tim. 1:19)
turn back and no longer follow Jesus (Jn. 6:66)
forsake the right way and go astray (2 Pet. 2:15)
stop abiding in Christ and as a branch, be withered and thrown away (Jn. 15:6)
be offended (Jn. 16:1)
turn aside after Satan (1 Tim. 5:15)
depart from the faith, having your conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Tim. 4:1-2)
turn your ears away from the truth and turn unto fables (2 Tim. 4:4)
acquire an evil heart of unbelief and depart from the living God (Heb. 3:12)
fall away to the point where you can’t be renewed to repentance (Heb. 6:6)
refuse Him that speaketh from heaven (Heb. 12:25)
become lukewarm and get spit out of the body of Christ (Rev. 3:15,16)
not remain faithful and be hurt by the second death (Rev. 2:10,11)
have God take away your part from the tree of life and in the holy city (Rev. 22:19)
be led away with the error of the wicked and fall from your steadfastness (2 Pet 3:17)
be carried away by all kinds of strange doctrines (Heb. 13:9)
be appointed a portion with unbelievers (Lk. 12:46)
be beaten with many stripes. (Lk.12:47)

be destroyed after being saved (Jude 1:5)

Selah!

All of these things are said about people who are presumed to be believers in Jesus. This is a staggering fortress of evidence against any such notion that we cannot fall away, or that we will be unconditionally preserved as if regeneration were synonymous with robotic. Any who reflect upon these verses in sequence with even mild sincerity ought to be immediately sobered.

Warnings From The Old Testament

“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)

A Warning From Jude

I want to briefly address two particular examples of tragedy after being chosen by God, that we find as warnings in the Old Testament. The last verse in our list above comes from the book of Jude which is a reference to the rebellious children of Israel as recounted in the books of Moses after their deliverance from Egypt.

“But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” (Jude 1:5)

The four words we need to focus on in Jude’s epistle are “saved”, “afterward”, “destroyed”, and “believe”.
To briefly dismiss a possible objection, let us first acknowledge that God only allowed Caleb and Joshua to enter the promised land, and even Moses was excluded. This does not mean that Moses was consigned to hell as everything is not a 1:1 ratio. We are speaking of the types and shadows, and context in all things is important. Jude’s epistle is speaking of those God “destroyed” which is not how Moses departure is described. Let us begin there.

The word “destroy” is the same word used by Jesus Himself when He warned that we should, “…fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28) This is not some light punishment being spoken of, but rather a total and eternal one. When the demons recognized Jesus and began to plead with Him in fear, they asked if He had come to “destroy” them (Mark 1:24). This destruction Jude speaks of is that of God’s judgment on sin. Notice that this destruction happened “afterward”. But after what? According to Jude, “…after having saved [them].”

The word “saved” used by Jude is “sōzō” in Greek and it means exactly what is says. This is the word that denotes salvation. This is the word used to speak of those saved by God through the blood of Jesus nearly 100 times in the New Testament.

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17)

Jude goes on to tell us that these same people who had been saved were afterward destroyed because they DID NOT BELIEVE. That’s right. They fell into unbelief. The word “believe” is basically our word “faith” (pistis) but the verb form. They fell into unbelief, or lost their faith. Recall our verse at the top: “…those who fell.” (Romans 11:22). Now let’s examine this in light of a fuller biblical context.

We must understand that the Old Testament gives us types and shadows of things to come. The New Testament was concealed in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament (Novum testamentum in Vetere latet, Vetus in Novo patet). To be brief, Egypt is a type of sin in the Old Testament, and the crossing of the Red Sea is a type or foreshadowing of baptism. This could be an entire article all on its own, so I cannot expound upon this in great length only to say that both of these can be clearly demonstrated from the books of Hebrews and 1 Corinthians alone if they are not already evident to some degree. Moses is a type or prefiguring of Christ, who leads His people who are in bondage to sin, out of it and eventually into a new land flowing with milk and honey; he saves them.

The children of Israel were “saved” from Egypt (sin) and then crossed through the Red Sea (baptism [1 Corinthians 10:2]), and AFTERWARD “did not believe” (lost faith, rebelled) and were “destroyed” (Judged by God).

The reformed theologian, or Calvinist, will typically appeal to God’s “elect” and espouse that they cannot be “unelected” so to speak. Were the Children of Israel “elected” by God? Yes. He elected them and saved them, but Jude’s warning is clear and an almost ignored and irrefutable example of how those who were once saved from Egypt, having passed through the Red Sea, can lose faith and incur the judgment of God by falling into unbelief. Remember that Jude, in the New Testament, wants to remind us of this.

A Warning From King Saul’s Life

Perhaps a more pronounced example of someone “elected” and anointed by God, was King Saul. Many readers likely know that the word “anointed” (which is used to refer to Saul and the position of King over Israel in general) is the word “mashiyach” or Messiah. While this is already quite significant, the description of his transformation is staggering. In the whole of the Old Testament, and arguably the New Testament, you do not see a detailed description of transformation quite like this. It is the most vivid parallel of someone being born again that I can think of. Indeed, the language nearly says that verbatim. While there is much debate about whether Old Testament saints were regenerated or born again in the same way New Testament saints are, it is worth noting that Jesus rebukes Nicodemus, a teacher of Jewish law, for not knowing that one must be born again. Nevertheless, we cannot deny this very clear language about what God did to Saul, which appears to be what we would call “regeneration”.

First the prophet Samuel prophesies to Saul that,

“…the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with [prophets] and be turned into another man.” (1 Samuel 10:6)
We then read that,
“…when he had turned his back to go from Samuel… God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day.” (1 Samuel 10:9)
The language here is shocking and almost never spoken of. This sign of one prophesying after the Spirit has come upon them is something that we see in tandem with those who receive the Holy Spirit even in the New Testament. Those who formerly knew Saul were so astonished by this that they exclaimed,
“What is this that has come upon the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” (1 Samuel 10:11)
God’s Word tells us that Saul was chosen by God (elected, if you will), anointed, and that the Spirit of God came upon him. God’s word then tells us that Saul was “turned into another man” and that, “God gave him another heart”. This is decidedly the language we would use to describe regeneration and being born again, and that is undeniable. We are told of the “new creation” that results from being in Christ, in 2 Corinthians 5:17, and can we deny this distinct language used to describe Saul’s transformation looks nearly identical? This “heart” is the same “heart” (לֵב  lêb ) Jesus references in Matthew 15 when speaking about Isaiah’s prophecy, saying, “But their heart is far from Me.” (See Isaiah 29:13) God gave Saul another heart; the innermost core thing. Some contend that God only gave him desires and inclinations befitting of a king, but whatever we might conclude about this passage, we cannot deny that it stands alone and there is not another specific description quite like it in all the bible that I’m aware of. The point is this, God chose and anointed Saul then changed his very nature; the Holy Spirit coming upon him to the extent that he prophesied with prophets.

After all of this, what can we learn from Saul’s life? Despite becoming another man and being given a new heart, he rebels against God, the Spirit of the Lord departs from him, he consults a witch and then effectively commits suicide. How can such a thing be possible for a man chosen and anointed by God who was given a new heart and who was turned into a new man and on whom the Spirit of God dwelt so mightily that the people exclaimed, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”? How? This happened because it is possible for it to happen. As it was then, so it is now. Gentiles who have been grafted into God’s family today are no more “elected” than Saul or any of the children of Israel who rebelled. Like them, we too can fall into unbelief, which is why we are constantly exhorted, even by Christ Himself, to “abide” in Him, or to continue.

Jesus’ Warning Against Falling Away

Our Lord Himself gives a sobering warning to His disciples in the Gospel of John, chapter 15. The context of this chapter begins 2 chapters prior where we see the commencement of the Last Supper. The audience is again, “brethren”; His disciples, which He clarifies even in His statements saying,
“I am the vine, you are the branches (John 15:5)
We know that “branches” can only refer to believers. Branches bear fruit as a result of being connected to the vine (Jesus). But Jesus gives this sobering warning:
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away.” (John 15:2)
Please note the phrase, “in Me.”  Jesus is speaking about believers in Him. These can be taken away if they don’t bear fruit, but He acknowledges that they were at one time “in” Him. He then continues,

“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6)
He makes it clear that branches (believers) can be “cast out”, “gathered” and “burned” in a fire. This is not talking about the loss of a reward, but the branch itself is cast out and burned. This is a clear picture of judgment that corresponds with hell. They are cast out as a result of failing to “abide”. This word “abide” (menō) means to wait, or to stay in a certain place; to continue. The word is used 8 times in this chapter alone as Jesus is strongly emphasizing the importance of CONTINUING or abiding in him. This word is also translated as “remain”, “dwell”, “tarry”, and “endure”. If we do not do this, Jesus makes it abundantly clear that we will not bear fruit, even though we were branches, and as a result we can be cut off, withered and burned.

Another prominent and startling warning comes to us from Jesus in His final letters to seven churches in the book of Revelation wherein He gives rebuke to five of them. Here are some of Jesus’ words to these churches of believers:

“…repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:5)

“Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” (Revelation 2:16)


“Indeed I will cast her (Jezebel) into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds…and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”
(Revelation 2:22-23)


“…hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”
(Revelation 3:3)


“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.”
(Revelation 3:5)

[In this verse, Jesus clearly implies that people can be blotted out from His book, else the statement becomes incoherent. If it was impossible for this to happen, this verse becomes essentially meaningless. Names can be blotted out and that is the irrefutable context.]

“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
(Revelation 3:16)

Jesus does not say that they will merely lose some reward, nor can that at all be inferred from warnings so scathing, but that this repentance is urgent and the consequences dire. If their salvation could not be lost, why would Jesus not rather say, “Be of good cheer! You have been saved and can never be lost. You are unconditionally saved no matter what you do. Sure I don’t like that you are doing these things, but you’re going to heaven no matter what. I’d prefer you had more rewards so you’d have a happier eternity, but it’s only a matter of rewards. You can’t lose your salvation.”?
This is ludicrous and plainly so. The call for repentance is so urgent that the situation is clearly that of being near to cut off, which is why Jesus continually emphasized the necessity of being one who “overcomes”; a word found 8 times in these passages. We either overcome, or we are overcome by.

Traditional Defenses

Here are the few and flimsy defenses traditionally put forth in favor of the “perseverance of the saints” or “once saved always saved.” My response is under each verse. You will notice that these verses must be read completely independent from the rest of the context of the bible and the literally dozens of verses heretofore shared and expounded upon.

“…I give [My sheep] eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29)
This is true; Jesus said it. Unfortunately people read what isn’t there and make the verse say something it doesn’t say. Nobody can snatch us away from Jesus, but it says nothing of our departing from Him willingly which we have seen is very clearly taught. Even angels left the domain God assigned to them and desired them to keep. (Jude 1:6) John 10 cannot be read independently of John 15 (or the rest of Scripture for that matter) where Jesus places the clear condition of “abiding” or continuing on someone’s salvation. Nobody can separate us from the love of God against our will, but the bible makes it clear that we can separate ourselves by falling into unbelief.

“…whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)
The context of this verse is almost always ignored. The very first verse of Romans 8 gives us more light as to this meaning. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” There are qualifications for those who are actually in Christ. It assumes that they are not walking according to the flesh, but as has been clearly shown, this verse says nothing of the inability of people to revert back to walking in the flesh later. In fact, the book of Hebrews gives us a fuller understanding, stating, “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29). The author of Hebrews says that someone who has already been sanctified by the blood of Jesus, can trample Him underfoot and insult the Holy Spirit, as he (by the Holy Spirit) presupposes that we can willfully sin after being sanctified by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:26). So, yes, being predestined, called, justified and glorified are all contingent upon abiding in Christ and even verse 1 of Romans 8 gives this qualification. It says, “those who ARE IN Christ Jesus.” It makes no claim to the future or even the past, but only the present. Romans 8:30 cannot be divorced from Hebrews 10:26, but that’s exactly what people do. It is a pretext that ignores dozens of other clear verses in favor of one that is decidedly more ambiguous.

“…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
As we have already seen, Jesus clearly intimates that names can be blotted out per Revelation 3:5. As sins are blotted out, so too can names be blotted out if there develops a heart of unbelief. If this were not possible, Jesus’ comment in Revelation 3:5 is incoherent. Therefore, it is possible which is why He warns of this. The Lord even tells Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” (Exodus 32:33) Names can be blotted out.

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:13)
Yes, the Holy Spirit is a guarantee for those who have Him, but it is not a guarantee that people cannot depart from Him. We have already seen this clearly in the book of Hebrews; those who can “depart from the living God.” Here are some things that can be done to the Holy Spirit:

We can GRIEVE Him (Ephesians 4:30)
We can QUENCH Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
We can RESIST Him (Acts 7:51) *So much for “Irresistible Grace”. Sorry Calvinists*
We can INSULT Him (Hebrews 10:29)

So, while the Holy Spirit is given as a “guarantee” or the “down payment” if you like, we cannot isolate this verse from the fortress of other verses appealed to, lest we make this a pretext for a doctrine we simply wish to be true. This is a pledge or a surety of God’s faithfulness, but that says nothing of our willful departure from Him. Remember that Romans 3:3 contrasts God’s faithfulness with Israel’s unbelief. Both can exist simultaneously.
“Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.” (Romans 3:4)

“This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:39-40)
While it is the will of God that Jesus should lose nothing, it is also the will of God for, “… all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” (1 Timothy 2:4) but this is hardly a good argument for universalism. The King James literally says, “[God] will have all men to be saved.”  We know that everyone will not be saved, despite it being God’s will. Jesus also says to Jerusalem, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” So, despite Jesus’ will to gather Jerusalem, their will was to resist and despite God’s will being for all men to be saved, all will not. See also Luke 12:47 as Jesus says clearly that it is possible to know your Master’s will and do the opposite. This one was called a “servant” of his Master and yet disobeyed and was judged. Not only can he violate his Master’s will, but he is a servant of Him, not a stranger. Recall Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:2-3: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.”

Moreover, when Jesus says, “…everyone who  sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life…,” we must observe the word “believe” here. In Greek, this word is in the imperfect tense. Without being overly technical, this is basically a progressive past tense. An example of the simple past tense would be “they believed”, and an example of the progressive past tense (imperfect) would be “they were believing.” You can see the difference immediately. There is a progressive nature to the belief, it is not merely a one time event. So, those who are believing to the end will indeed have eternal life (Hebrews 3:14). And although it is God’s will that none would be lost, we see even Jesus lament Jerusalem’s unwillingness to be gathered, which was against His will.

To return to the original argument, they say that gifts cannot be lost. Even if we interact with this analogy superficially, it is absurd. While it is true that gifts cannot be worked for, by definition, that doesn’t mean that I cannot forsake the gift that was given to me. Supposing someone gives me $100 dollars that I did nothing to earn. I certainly cannot boast that I obtained this of my own merit, but this does not preclude me from simply throwing the money in the garbage. The one who gave me the gift may be faithful, but I can discard of that gift willingly. The gift still nullifies any boasting on my part, but that does not ensure that I will not neglect or otherwise dismiss it.

 

Can We Lose Salvation Every Hour?

This is the unfortunate and ridiculous trap people get consumed by (no doubt by Satan’s design) on the other end of the spectrum and the error that many who embrace “once saved always saved” seek to rid themselves of. The Catholic Church mandates penance, and a sacrificial “mass” weekly, because the sins of the people must constantly be atoned for and there is no assurance of salvation due to the necessity of ordinances that must be observed above faith. This doubt is, at least in part, designed to create a dependence upon the Catholic Church itself, which (according to their devil-deluded minds) one cannot be saved apart from. This is an angst ridden life that induces sympathy for those consumed by it and empathy for those, who as a result, adopt a mode of “once saved always saved” thinking. The problem is that they are both wrong and both dangerous to one degree or another. The Scriptures do not indicate that God saves people to lose them, but that He is actually “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy,” (Psalm 103:8) constantly imploring repentance and offering hope to those still seeking Him. On the one end, we can run the risk of licentious living, falsely believing that we are saved because we can recall the Holy Spirit working in our lives at a definitive time and our lives having borne fruit as a result. For some, this thinking has induced complacency. On the other hand we can take our eyes off of Jesus and stop abiding in Him by being in a constant state of anxiety which we are actually commanded not to do: “Be anxious for nothing.” (Philippians 4:6)

Someone might ask, “At what point does one lose their salvation? How many times can they lose it and regain it?” Even if a strict Calvinist mindset were adopted, the question is an absurd one. I could just as easily ask the Calvinist, “At what point can I definitively declare someone saved?” The answer is: It’s impossible. I can accept a profession of faith as valid in good faith, but only God knows for sure. Our job is not do make such declarations, but to judge the fruit of the moment and to be aware of what can transpire. We cannot know for sure when the point of no return has been crossed; only God knows. Our only business should be to never find out. If we are abiding in Christ, we will be growing in holiness and repentance and away from the possibility. By the time that happens, one would likely not know or care to know. None of the disciples knew that Judas would betray Jesus as all outward signs indicated that he was in good standing. If not, they would not have all questioned themselves as potential betrayers. Judas apparently did not stand out. We can only judge a person’s fruit in any given moment, and we should all be judging our own fruit. There may be tares among us that we cannot perceive and God will deal with them. I don’t need to know how many gun shots I can possibly survive; I don’t want to be shot at all. And anyone who has been shot will tell you that they do not want to be shot again. Only know that it is a possibility and stay off of any path that could potentially lead to that end. Our job is not to make Popish declarations, but biblical declarations. We should never presume upon God’s grace lest our hearts be hardened. (Hebrews 3:13) There is a point of no return which can be crossed. We cannot know, nor should we want to know where that line is, but rather, we ought to grow in holiness and devotion to Christ, ensuring that line is not even on our path.

Are All Calvinists Heretics?

This is the unfortunate and extreme conclusion drawn by some who have a zeal but not according to knowledge (Romans 10:2). All Calvinist are not the same, neither are all Arminians. Extremes exist in both worlds and we must be careful not to hastily lay hands on one, nor anathematize another without good cause for both. There is a heresy of Pelagianism on one end and a heresy of Antinomianism or Hyper-Grace on the other with various others in between. Hyper-Calvinism is indeed a problem, and I find the tenets of traditional Calvinism sorely wanting. Some even postulate that God sends babies to hell based on their arbitrary understanding of election. This is unthinkable and, frankly, stupid. There are, however, many Calvinists who would be nearly sick unto vomiting to hear it suggested that Christians may live lawlessly under the presumption that they were previously saved or “elected”, but would rather say that it is evidence that they were never saved in the first place. In this sense, then, there can be a practically similar outworking as it concerns growing in holiness. The reformed believer who regards holiness as our high calling in Christ, would urge the same testing of one’s self and should they be found wanting would suggest that they never fell away, but simply never commenced truly believing. This is a possibility, but as my contention shows, there is another possibility as well. Truly Jesus said there are many who will hear the words “I never knew you,” but there is no indication that these will be the only lost religionists.

Here I offer the statements from One prominent Calvinist about a prominent Arminian, and of one prominent Arminian about a prominent Calvinist, without commentary.

Charles Spurgeon (Calvinist) on John Wesley (Arminian):

Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one “of whom the world was not worthy.” I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see these truths [Doctrines of Grace], or, at least, cannot see them in the way in which we put them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Saviour, and are as dear to the heart of the God of grace as the soundest Calvinist in or out of Heaven.”

John Wesley (Arminian) on George Whitefield (Calvinist):
[After the death of George Whitefield a woman sought to ask John Welsey a question, but was afraid of his answer]

‘Dear Mr. Wesley, do you expect to see dear Mr. Whitefield in heaven?’
A lengthy pause followed, after which John Wesley replied with great seriousness,
‘No, madam.’ His inquirer at once exclaimed, ‘Ah, I was afraid you would say so.’
To which John Wesley added, with intense earnestness, ‘Do not misunderstand me, madam; George Whitefield was so bright a star in the firmament of God’s glory, and will stand so near the throne, that one like me, who am less than the least, will never catch a glimpse of him.'”

What Then?

We can be confident that God has planned to and intends to complete the work He began in us (Philippians 1:6) while also being mindful that branches can be broken off if they do not abide in the vine. All of this can and should be done with reverent fear since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). To avoid either extreme, we must continually fix our eyes on Jesus, following fast after Him, not worrying, but not in complacency; with fear, but knowing the riches of His mercy and grace toward us. We know that God does not will that any perish and that rejoicing in heaven takes place when lost sheep are found. The dual gutters of angst and complacency can consume even the most seasoned saint. The objective is not to focus on ourselves as much as we are focused on the Lord. We should take stock and examine ourselves, but always looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He has made it clear that He will never forsake us and that as long as we abide in Him, we will indeed bear fruit. It behooves us, then, to never wander from Him, but to remain. Our admonition to remain or continue in Christ is no more a work or cause for boasting than one who clings to a life-preserver in the ocean. They have not saved themselves, but merely held fast to that which was extended to them. Should they decide to let it go, they will drift despite safety being freely offered.
Indeed, “the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12)

The truth often lies between two extremes, nevertheless, our aim is to be biblical no matter the apparent proximity to a certain proposition. We may be inclined to think that 3 is a better answer than 8 in the problem of 2+2 since 3 is “closer” to 4 than 8 is, but this is wrong-headed and doubly so in spiritual matters. Wrong is wrong and we must seek to be right. Whether that means a 180 degree turn or simply a turn of half a degree, we must strive for the marks that God has set. We are admonished to “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” (2 Corinthians 13:5). I will note that this is in the present tense, not the past tense. It does not say to examine whether you “were” in the faith, but whether you “are” in the faith. We can obtain new mercies every morning and cling to the old rugged cross. Never presume upon God’s mercy, but don’t believe the lie that mercy is gone from the broken and contrite heart. Jesus said, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” (John 6:37). God will always be faithful to His word and therefore we needn’t worry. Our “God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) There is need to simply trust in Jesus. We must live in the present, not putting trust in the past nor being overcome with worry of the future, but actively, presently remaining in; continuing in; abiding in Christ, that our cares may be cast upon Him for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). May the gracious and merciful God of all the universe have Christ to be fully formed in us and bring many sons and daughters to glory.

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Joshua Chavez

A slave of Christ. My name is Joshua Chavez.

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83 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    WOW! THIS WAS AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE.
    Scripturaly sound!

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Mary,
      I pray you were encouraged by it and the Lord uses it to clarify truth in His word. God bless you.
      Joshua

      • George says:

        What you explained is pretty much not good news.
        In a roundabout way, you are saying…its up to us.
        The other problem is, yes, there are many warnings in scripture about falling away, but what about the many verses on election? Or “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion?”
        Or, we are saved because we believed Jesus words? (Read john 5:24)
        The many verses you used apply to false believers, those who have been deceived.
        It is also to deny “they went out from us, but they did not really belong to us, they would have remained with us, but their going showed that none of them belonged to us” 1 john 2:19
        The church comprises of the wheat and chaff/tares.
        The scriptures speak to both groups. The elect who are truly saved (and the better way to phrase – those who are genuinely saved, are always saved) and the deceived, false christians.
        I mean, when we are told that in Christ we are new creations, and that weve been given new hearts (a new nature) we can uncreate that? We can undo the supernatural work God has done in us?
        Genuine believers can form hard heartedness over time, but to lose our salvation?
        Thats to deny Christs complete atonement of all of the believers sins, past, present future.
        I realize taking an arminian positiin does give us a sort of control over our destinies (which is another inherent human lustful desire)
        We get at unrest to sit and rest in our secured salvation. We feel the need to roll our sleeves up.
        For me, knowing my salvation is eternally secured drives to me to do good works.
        Even paul in romans 7 struggled with his desire to do right but did wrong instead. Was he in danger of falling away?
        It gets dangerous because, if your right, where is the fine line cut off point of being saved?
        If any part of continuing for the sake of staying saved is up to me, well, ive got no hope then.
        Next year i may turn my back on christ.
        Who knows?
        But no. We are secure in his sovereignty, love and mercy.
        Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
        We participate in our sanctification, (because of our new nature) but my justification is a once off act based on the completed work of the cross.
        I spent many of my early years as a christian afraid i might lose my salvation until l understood romans and galations in a clear and concise way, and in which many like luther, spurgeon etc found freedom in.

        • Joshua Chavez says:

          George,
          Speaking of Romans, perhaps you can share with the class the “clear and concise” explanation of Romans 11 here:
          “You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

          • Pieter says:

            Hello Joshua. I Think there is a seemingly little but fatal misunderstanding here in this romans 11. In here, God is speaking about a salvation of a group of people, not individual. Let me post it from someone else which explanation I think is sound.

            “Take a closer look at Romans 11. It speaks of Israel, who was hardened in part, and was a branch that was “cut-off” because of widespread unbelief (vs. 20). Paul then admonishes the Gentiles to “continue in his kindness. Otherwise {they] too will be cut off.”(v. 22)

            If we understand the olive tree metaphor we will gain a more complete understanding of the Text. This may be something worth studying more deeply but for purposes of brevity I will simply say the following: Romans 11 has broadened the the discussion of individual salvation which we saw in Romans 9 to one speaking of corporate people groups joined in covenantal relationship to Christ – a large scale, big-picture perspective of the era(s) of God’s sovereign election and timing of His favor to Jews or Gentiles: when He sovereignly chooses to impart faith and redemption to one or the other of these corporate entities. And just as the Bible says, not the children of Abraham by physical descent are God’s children, but only the children of the promise are so regarded .. so also not all persons who are in the visible church are “Christ’s offspring” but only the children of promise. But Paul warns if the Gentiles begin waning in faith en masse, God can cut them off and graft the Israelites back in. This isn’t talking about an individual losing salvation and then coming to faith again after a long period of unbelief (as would be the case of corporate Israel in this passage). No, it is discussing a the big picture of God’s plans for the salvation of people groups, specifically Jews and Gentiles. That God hardened the Jews in part for a time (except for the elect among them) (see Rom 11:7-11) and God did this so the Gentiles could benefit for a time … and then after the full number of the Gentiles come in God declares that He can corporately bring in the Jews again.

            Most importantly here, in the context of this passage, the Apostle Paul is directing his comments to a body of Gentiles, stressing the fact that God’s timing of the election of Jews or Gentiles is His own decision and a matter of His own sovereign authority. Also that God can move His election to or from Jews or Gentile at a time of His choosing. Giving them fair warning that faithfulness would be the way to go. This is not speaking of particular individuals as if God were saying He intends on plucking salvation away from you or your neighbor, but rather towards (or away from) Jews or Gentiles as people groups.

            In the Western world we often have an tendency to over personalize this Text as well as others. But the Text here is clearly speaking of corporate favor (or disfavor) in the plan of God.

            To summarize and personalize: God has authority to remove the candlestick (Rev 2:5), from nations, tribes and peoples in a time of His sovereign choosing. Professing Christians who are Gentiles are CORPORATELY in outward covenant with Christ so, I believe, Romans 11 is speaking more about the question of collective ecclesiology, not individual soteriology. This passage is a warning to a collectice body, the visible church, which is corporately joined to Christ in a covenant relationship but this does not mean that every INDIVIDUAL in it is in saving union with Christ. “Union with Christ” applies to the elect, and only to the elect. To them, “…the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.” But since non-elect covenant members can apostatize, Christ clearly appears to have non-elect branches (John 15:2-12; 15:6) and while they are joined outwardly in covenant with Christ, since they have professed faith in Jesus and have received the covenant sign of baptism, but the faith of some is spurious because they were never truly in saving union with Christ (1 John 2:19). So the question the Bible appears to ask really isn’t whether a believer can lose his salvation or not. Rather its whether a person has salvation in the first place.

            There are many professing Christians who simply do not believe some element(s) of the Gospel. It is possible they are still partly trusting in their own righteousness, or they do not really believe in the physical resurrection, or perhaps reject the idea that Jesus is the eternal second Person of the Trinity, or do not affirm that Jesus is a sinless substitution and therefore the only acceptable sacrifice for our sins. Maybe they like the idea of an all-loving Jesus, but find His other Perfections troubling.”

          • Joshua Chavez says:

            Pieter,
            There is no such thing as a “non-elect branch”. You have invented a category the bible knows nothing of in a bid to force the bible around your theology. This is absurd. Even if I grant, for the sake of argument, that Romans 11 is indeed speaking about a group of people, you still have the 37 other verses I listed outside of Romans 11 to contend with. Romans 11 was used as a general spring-board from which I evaluated other passages which were more specific, namely from Hebrews 6, Jude, John 15, and 1 Samuel. I did not evaluate the context of Romans 11 with any specificity, it was merely used as a spring-board from a general concept into other specific territories. If you wish to contend with the arguments I actually made, that would be advisable, but please leave absurd inventions of “non-elect branches” out of it. This would be to add to God’s word that which is nowhere to be found. You’ve spent a lot of time erecting a straw-man argument, when I gave plenty of other specific arguments. You have begun with “covenant theology” and it is tainting your every interpretation. Read John 15 for what it actually says, not for what you wish it said. He didn’t say He would break off perceived branches that were not actually branches, but says that branches are believers and gives no stipulation as you have. Compare it with the Hebrews 10 man who “was sanctified” before trampling the Son of God underfoot. While this may challenge you entire world-view, it is a testament to how powerful tradition mixed with wishful thinking can be.

          • Jordan says:

            Hello Peter, I read your post and wanted to entreat you to consider the context of Romans 11 if I could.

            The Burden Paul is preaching began in Romans 9, it has to do with the fact that Jesus Christ (the Deliverer Rom 11:26-27) has come and yet all of Israel is not saved. This was troubling to the Jews but not to us gentiles in the 21st Century, namely because we don’t even know that this was an inseparable part of the gospel all throughout the prophets. (For most it’s because they don’t read the prophets of the OT, may God have mercy 2 pet 3:1-2)

            The gospel According to Isaiah for example is that God’s own Arm would bring salvation to His hopelessly lost people (Ex. Isa 59) and finally restore that which was lost from the beginning, namely an all saved Israelite people serving the Lord in holiness and delivered from all their enemies Lk 1:67-75) The Gospel as it is preached in Isaiah is of a Deliver who would come and save the people of Israel from their oppressors and their sins. (Thus the offense of many in Christ’s day that He was speaking of dying, not reigning, of suffering and not conquering)

            God promised that at the appearance of the Messiah He would turn away ungodliness from Jacob and establish and everlasting covenant with them. (Isaiah 59:20-21 For example)

            If this is the case, why is it that all of Israel is not saved? Has the word of God taken no effect (Rom 9:6)? The answer is no, in fact shockingly, the answer is that all physical Israelites are not Israelites, nor because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children, but in Isaac shall thy seed be called. (Rom 9:7-8)

            Shockingly, God is able to make not only Jews of this seed, but also gentiles! (Rom 9:22-33)

            After proving this and speaking about the causes of provocation in the Jews, and how they are overwhelmingly perishing in this generation; He speaks about God provoking the Jews to Jealousy through the Gentiles.(Rom 10)

            The question then comes concerning the promise of God toward Israel if He has cast them away, (Is this provocation of God being found of the gentiles who aren’t seeking Him, and blinding of the Jews who were [selfrighteously in that generation] seeking Him the end of the Jews as a people and nation?)

            The answer is clarifying to this interpretation you are giving concerning Romans 11…

            Firstly the answer is no, because God is still saving Israelites, just not all. There is a remnant according to the election of Grace (Rom 11:1-6)

            But there is an overwhelming number of Israelites being “blinded” by a spirit of slumber that God is pouring out upon them.(Rom 11:7-10)

            What is astonishing is that Paul then goes on to make the case that the Israelites who have fallen are being replaced in the tree by gentiles from a wild olive tree! (Rom 11:11-19)

            Please take note of the language…
            Romans 11:17-24 KJV
            [17] And if SOME of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in AMONG THEM, and WITH THEM partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; [18] Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
            [19] Thou wilt say then, The BRANCHES (PLURAL) were broken off, THAT I might be graffed in. [20] Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, (only the unbelieving Israelites were broken off!) and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
            [21] For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. [22] Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: ON THEM WHICH FELL (those who were unbelieving), severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. [23] And they also, (the unbelieving Israelites) if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
            [24] For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall THESE, which be the natural BRANCHES (notices plural), be graffed into their own olive tree?
            Do you see that an election according to grace of Israelites are still partaking of the covenant in Christ, (though a large portion of them were blinded by God) and the gentiles are not partaking of some separate salvation for the time with gentiles, they are graft in among the believing Israelites and partaking of the root and fatness (Christ)
            Paul is warning the believing Gentiles to beware of provoking the Lord the way the presently blinded cast away Jews had, do you remember what that provocation was?
            Remember how John the Baptist warned them that the axe was laid at the root of the trees and every tree that didn’t bring forth fruit meet for repentance would be hewn down and cast into the fire? Do you remember how the Jews were tempted to say, we are children of Abraham…(do you see why they would have said this now? Because all the children of Abraham they believed, heretically, would be saved, especially in the time when the Deliverer came) Do remember how John warned them that the Lord is able to raise up these stones as children unto Abraham? God has done just that, all those who would not repent have been cut down and cast into the fire, and God is seeking out Gentile stones to be children unto Abraham, through a spiritual circumcision! Shockingly!
            Paul Warns the Gentiles, who have been so undeservedly sought out and elected by God, not to make the same proud mistake, to say within themselves, I am elect of God, and it matters not whether I continue in faith and the fruits thereof. If God is able to cut off these natural branches, who boasted in their election without making it sure (2Pet 1:10-11) and still fulfill His word, (by saving Gentiles and making them spiritual Israelites) how much more will He not spare us if we are proud and high minded, and unbelieving of the goodness and severity of God?

            He goes on to speak about a time when the fullness of the Gentiles will be brought in, and God will perform the promises like Isaiah 59:20-21 not just spiritually (as He has been the whole time) but even physically, where every living Israelite at this time will be saved (at the 2nd coming of Christ, the Deliverer from heavenly Mt Sion, but that is a glorious topic for a different time)

            (This is not as exhaustive as it could be concerning all that is being preached in these three chapters but i hope this helps clarify what I believe is the plain interpretation of the text.)

            Your servant for Christ’s sake
            Jordan

      • Kobe says:

        Hello Josh, I have a question. Why do you only use the kjv or nkjv and not other bible translations? I have a king james bible myself but my friend says to read multiple different bible translations and that the kjv is not accurate because it is old and what not. However, I do not have an argument for this. It would be greatly appreciated if you answered my question. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you.

      • Chip says:

        I have read most of the arguments regarding the issue on salvation. With that said I have to side with Joshua Chavez. One of my biggest problems with those saying that the believer can’t fall away is that they say God has already predetermined those who he saves… And they say it is his will for all to be saved and only those drawn by the father will accept Jesus and so the act of free will to accepting faith in Jesus is a false gospel. Well if its God’s will for all to be saved than why isn’t the Father drawing all to Jesus? After all only those the Father draws to Jesus are saved because that faith comes from him and its a gift… And if the Father does attempt to draw all to Jesus than why isn’t everyone accepting his work? Because there are a lot of unbelievers in the world who have heard the message and yet refuse it. Sounds like free will to reject Jesus after the Father draws them. What happened. Was the Father not very convincing? Was he not powerful enough to give them to Jesus? Because if free will has no root here than everyone in the world should be saved regardless of their choice on the matter. This teaching makes it seem that regardless of whether or not you want to follow Jesus its up to God, not you. So you might as well just sit and do nothing while hoping God picks you out of the world. This can also bring to question, why teach the bible? Why not just throw it away since our free will is irrelevant to the saving act of Jesus. After all the Father will just draw those He chooses to Jesus and they, without any will of their own, will automatically believe and be saved. If the disciples where told to go and preach the gospel to all nations and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, then the only logical conclusion is that one must hear the gospel preached by men, and with the free will that they have choose to accept what was spoken of by the apostles and come to know God through faith. James 1:22 But be you doers of the word and not hearers only. Every command in the bible is given for us to follow as a choice. We will either obey him or not. Consequences will come. If we have no free will while in Jesus then the bible should have no warnings. There would be no point for God to place them there. But since we do have the choice, God has given us the choice to follow him or not. God is looking for those who choose him over the world. He’s not looking for mindless beings. He has the animals for that. Sure faith is a gift from God, but you still have to accept the gift. Sure salvation is a gift from God, but you still have to accept it. And yes grace is a gift from God, but again you still have to accept it. And then once you accept it, you get to choose what to do with it. This is why the bible gives instruction on what to do with it so your not mislead. So you can hold on to the promises of God and overcome. If we were not meant to overcome anything than it wouldn’t be mentioned in Revelation with the seven churches of Chapters 2-3. Repentance would also be irrelevant since that requires a choice, but it is also granted by God. Repent and sin no more. A command by Jesus requiring a choice to be made. All this nonsense of free will faith being a work and is therefore a false gospel is a misunderstanding if scripture. On that basis alone we can conclude that just by hearing the word of God that brings us to Jesus is also a work, for it requires us to shut all other noise out and silence the worldly message within us to listen to God’s given truth. For those not understanding this I heard the Word of God a long time ago and at that moment I had to choose…. To follow or not to follow that is the question. A question so many unbelievers come to when they hear the gospel. It becomes a choice to choose Jesus or the world. These people make it seem like they are chosen beyond their ability to choose. To me this sounds like God is a tyrant and he is picking who will die and who will live regardless to what they have done in life even before birth. Like a kid with a magnifying glass over an ant hill. They are saying God chose them for life, God chose you for death. And only those who are saved where chosen to be saved beyond their free will. Again we wouldn’t need to go out and preach the gospel with that message because God will do it himself. Why work when God is going to do it himself and his way is perfect. Bottom line is, we have to make choices. Even the choice on accepting Jesus or not. Peace and blessings in Jesus everyone.

  2. Kathy Hays says:

    This is very sobering. Your defense of this position is irrefutable I think. Keep feeding us Joshua. Some are listening with great and grave attention.

  3. David says:

    Joshua,

    I have always strived with the scriptures you mentioned in defense of losing one’s salvation. I have had fear and contempt of my weakness when contending with certain sin in my life. I thank you for the last part of your sermon in that God won’t discard those that are seeking him. Now I know where the healthy fear fits in. I long for peace over this whole matter! At times, the guilt of past sins get Overwhelming! Bless you and keep fighting the Good Fight.

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      David,
      Learn from the past, but never live in it. The past cannot be changed and when we are in Christ, we are told our sins are remembered no more. Don’t worry about the future as we are not even promised tomorrow. Cling to Jesus today. Grow in Him today. I pray this was of some encouragement and clarification for you. God bless, my friend.
      Joshua

    • Susan says:

      David, we all have a past best forgotten…. U don’t live there anymore. U have passed from darkness to light. A wonderful preacher I know lived a very very dark life. He has been transformed and is preaching the Gospel and visiting hospitals all over Ireland.

  4. Alex says:

    Joshua,

    Once again, I’ve gone hours watching your videos and now that I just finished reading this, I just want to say that was very well said, brother. I agree with it 100%, not because I agree with you but because we both agree with God’s word. Keep doing what you’re doing for His glory. May God keep on blessing you!

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Alex,
      May the Lord use it for you edification and to excel your devotion to Him. God bless.

      Joshua

  5. Jason Kruzel says:

    I once staunchly (albeit unbiblically) defended the “once saved always saved” stance. I even went as far as hyper Calvinism. What arrogance on my part! That theology makes us all puppets as you succinctly stated and therefore unable to ultimately choose for ourselves to accept or reject the gift so freely given. By His grace, however, He has kept me alive long enough to accept Christ , be born again and grow in holiness through sanctification, but to say it’s irresistible is both erroneous and unfounded, in experience and in truth. Thanks again for some 🔥 exegesis

  6. Jason Kruzel says:

    I sent this to my friend who is overtly Calvinist and he is saying that you presuppose autonomous self will in regards to salvation ( that salvation is not monergystic), but I don’t see that. Personally, I don’t believe that we have the ability to come to Christ unless the Father draws us, which is what he is saying that you are presupposing. To me it looks as though you ( and the Bible) are teaching that we do have the ability to accept by faith the gift of salvation? Or we don’t have the choice to receive it but we do have the choice to reject it. In my experience, he called me and when I was born again it had nothing to do with me, but then as well as now I have the free will to ultimately reject the gift. What is your stance on total depravity?

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Jason,
      This article was about the “P” in TULIP, not the “T”. Your friend is simply changing the terms of the discussion. As for “Total Depravity”. It appears from scripture that men are drawn by the Lord, but it is also apparent that men can resist that drawing. Moreover, after the sin in the garden in Genesis 3, presumably, on Calvinist thinking, “Total Depravity” had entered the picture and yet Adam can still hear God’s voice in the garden. The notion of being “dead in trespasses and sins” is a statement on our judicial standing before God, not our utter inability to process anything spiritual whatsoever. Romans 1:21 says, “although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” There was some awareness of God that was rejected. They were not altogether blind to Him. I’m not at all removing God from the process, nor do I believe men can save themselves or regenerate themselves in any sense. Without the Lord’s mercy and pursuit I would be abysmally lost. As for monergism, your friend must have ripped Acts 7:51 right out of his bible. You see, he, like many others begin with the conclusion rather than allowing God’s word to speak for itself. Read Acts 7:51 and tell me how he rationalizes this away, “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.” Rebukes like this become simply incoherent on a Calvinist line of thinking, and completely destroy the “I” in TULIP. Denying that God creates robots is not the same as postulating autonomous, self-saving people. Please see my analogy on the life preserver. Drowning people cannot save themselves, but they can choose not to lay hold of a life preserver that is thrown to them. Nor, when they have grasped it are they responsible for saving themselves, but are still pitiful beings who were unworthy of being saved in the first place. This is unmerited favor, yet we must hold fast to that which is offered. It rather sounds like your friend simply didn’t bother to digest almost the entire article and instead dismissed it. Hopefully that helps for now. God bless.
      Joshua

      • Cristian Puiulet says:

        Joshua,
        One hundred percent of sane people who don’t have a death wish would grab a life preserver thrown to them if they were drowning. They’d immediately understand what it’s for, floating there above the waves while they were thrashing underneath them, and they would find that life preserver irresistible. Does this mean that the one throwing the life preserver forces them to grab it? Of course not. What it means is that it is too compelling a thing for a creature with survival instincts baked into their very core to pass up. In light of this undeniable truth, why are so few saved, while so many drown?
        Respectfully submitted.

        • John Ryan says:

          Many do not realize or believe they’re drowning. They need to hear the Gospel, which reveals their true condition.

          • Tara Wells says:

            The “life preserver” analogy does not work. There is NO life in us. We are not floating, drowning, or whatever. There is NO life in us. We’re at the bottom of the ocean lifeless. No one desires God before He saves us by His GREAT gift of grace. I cannot boast one iota, because my bones were dry. I couldn’t lift a pinky to save myself. It’s ALL GOD, the Father, who chooses (as He does through the whole Bible), who gave those to Jesus, to not lose one, so..Jesus gets ALL GLORY. I pray everyone sees that. The Good News has NOTHING to do with us, and ALL to do with Jesus. God bless you all. ;0)

  7. Nancy says:

    The most important thing I have learned from this article is that Faith is progressive. Your explanation is so clear and understandable.

    • Cristian Puiulet says:

      Nancy,
      What do you mean faith is progressive? You have just a little at first, so you’re only “kinda” saved? But then it hits its stride so now you’re really REALLY saved?
      Perhaps Joshua can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think what you learned from this article is what the author meant to convey. Perhaps you mean sanctification is progressive? Sanctification is a lifelong process that God works in us after the moment of salvation. Salvation comes fully, at once, the moment a sinner believes in the person and work of Jesus the Christ. It’s an important difference.

  8. Tui Pearson says:

    I love this article and it has explained so much of the bible. Scriptures have fallen into place and things are so clear now. Thank you so much Joshua.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for taking the time to reference the Bible regarding this matter in such an extensive form. I finally have enough biblical evidence to fathom how one might accept Jesus and then chose to fall away. It is so important for Christians to take the time to study the Bible and understand the things God has revealed to us! Thanks again. I can see you put a lot of heart into this study so others could learn. God bless you.

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Jennifer,
      I truly pray you were helped by this article and clarity was afforded to you concerning this topic. Jesus is our only hope and His substitutionary death is the only thing that allows for the salvation of man; the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. God bless.
      Joshua

  10. Angel Perez says:

    Great article I agree on and see things this way. I have a question for you and I’m just wondering why did you choose the Chi-ro symbol as your logo for your channel? Or is it a christogram? I get maybe because it stands for Jesus Christ alpha and omega, except I don’t really agree on it’s origin and how the Romans used this symbol seeming to me it was the birth of what came to be the Roman Catholic Church by the Emperor Constantine. I guess I’m concerned why do you have a Roman symbol as your logo? I hope this doesn’t seem ignorant of me but I ask for clarification on this other than that I agree with 98% of what you teach.

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Angel,
      Correct. It is simply a christogram. It’s use predates the Roman Catholic church by a couple hundred years. Martyred Christians were etching it into cave walls. The Catholics maintain the use of many things and even doctrines that we should not dispose of. They have hijacked certain things, but the chi rho is simply the first two letters of Christos in Greek. It represents the name of Jesus. Nothing more. I hope that helps. God bless.
      Joshua

  11. Martín Zacarías says:

    Gracias a Dios porque él produce el querer como el hacer por su buena voluntad, gracias a Dios porque el ha prometido estar con sus hijos todos lo días hasta el fin del mundo, gracias a él porque ha prometido que si comenzó la buena obra la va a perfeccionar hasta el día de Jesucristo, Fil 1:6.gracias a Cristo por ser el autor y consumador de mi fe y ha prometido que no perderá a ninguna de sus ovejas porque las compró con su propia vida. A él sea la gloria. (ah y gracias a Dios que no soy seguidor de Calvino ni de Arminio, porque si no no seria siervo de Cristo)

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Martin,
      Don’t follow Calvin or Arminius, but only Christ. Yet, you cannot deny the very clear warnings that were put forth in this article. The Lord is always faithful, but salt can lose its saltiness, and Philippians 1:6 cannot be read in isolation from the rest of the bible. God is not in the business of losing people and yet we are constantly urged to be diligent in pursuing Him and warned not to be deceived and fall away.

  12. kenneth says:

    many claim to personally know and follow Him but many who He has never known will be sent to the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, where the hypocrites, cowards and fishermen of coin will be assigned to and they will live there for eternity thirsting for the Light, even what they thought they had will be stripped from them but eternal life will be granted as promised them, in the darkness though and not in the presence of the Light,

  13. Linda Hatter says:

    Hi i would like your insight on Jimmy Swaggart and his family. Plus Andrew Womack. Ive lost alot of friends over these people, and if you could spend a few min.on your blog about them.it would be appreciated. Thank you. We listen to you on youtube.

  14. Zenobia says:

    Just love this Joshua. I can’t explain how much clarity is in your guidance. Ever have that feeling where you read, and listen, hear and see and nothing sinks in? You leave feeling more confused than when you entered. In one ear out the other. With your explanations it’s like a moment of clarity that “oh yes” I get it moment. Thanks Joshua. Keep them coming.

  15. Paul says:

    Hi Joshua,

    Life is tough. At least it appears that way. I have perused the contents of your You tube channel and believe that you are revealing things that may help a few people in the long run. With the proliferation of knowledge as prophesied by the bible, its probably getting difficult for me to even see my own toes in this over-crowded battle for the minds and thoughts of people. I believe that this issue of “saved” or “lost” is not a critical issue. For one, on both sides of the fence, many are going to be saved and many lost. There is a saying that belief kills and belief cures. That means that whatever you actually believe in can kill you. That may be true depending how one defines the word “belief” and of course it is how it is intricately woven in their life, not the actual word but the essence of the word.

    I really believe that in the long run what matters is what Jesus said – My sheep hear my voice and recognizes it. Another they will not follow. (paraphrased). In other words group beliefs do not count, it is personal belief and implementation of that belief that counts. (Implementation brings up another question as to whether it is our efforts or the efforts of the Holy Spirit).

    A question that could be asked is – Is it possible that Abraham or Daniel or John the Baptist (who of course seemed to ask a very strange question in prison), or Paul the Apostle or any of the great saints of the bible could have lost their salvation near the end of their life, and if so, why.

    In the spiritual world 1 + 1 +1 = 1; this does not apply to the temporal world, thus, I believe that the Spirit of God is instrumental in revealing and confirming truth from the bible. The bible is extremely simple but the hardness of man’s heart has blinded him in such a way that caused the donkey to see things that Balaam could not see.

  16. Radiance Arulsamy says:

    Thank you Joshua for your very extensive truth of the Once Saved always saved doctrine. People called me a tare but I would tell them that you can lose your salvation. From my study of the Word and I am not that prolific as you and many others are, yet I read those verses and would tell them that you cannot do as you please and still be in Christ.

  17. Edward Hendrie says:

    The premise of your Arminian theology is that all men have a free will to believe in Jesus or reject Jesus as they sovereignly choose. But the gospel as set forth in the Bible impeaches your theology. The bible states clearly that salvation comes not by the will of man, but totally of God. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

    Clearly, salvation is by the will of God and NOT by the will of man. To argue otherwise is to disagree with God.

    You quote John 6:39-40, but you then quickly switch to another Bible passage and take it out of context to explain away John 6:39-40. Why did you not quote from John 6:44. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44)

    The bible expressly teaches the very thing that you deny. You left out John 6:44: “and I will raise him up at the last day.” By ignoring that clause, you are able to construct a theology whereby God draws everyone in the world. However, with that clause read in context, it is clear to any reader that all who are drawn by the Father will be raised up on the last day. There will be none among the drawn who will be lost. See John 6:37-39. To be saved, one must be drawn; all who are drawn will be raised up on the last day. Hence, the Father only draws those whom he has elected for salvation. Read in its entirety and in context, John 6:44 renders your Arminian theology impossible.

    What does it mean to be drawn to Jesus? Jesus explains what it means in John 6:45. To be drawn to Jesus by the Father means that God opens one’s ears to hear and learn from the Father and believe in Jesus. “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” John 6:45. Notice that it is not just some, but “every” man who hears and learns from the Father comes to Jesus. The faith to believe in Jesus comes from God. Faith in Jesus is a gift from God; it is not the exercise of the free will of man. Those who come to Jesus do so in faith, and Jesus states that “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” John 6:47. It is clear, “no man” can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him, and “every man” that is drawn to Jesus will come to him and believe in him.

    Those who do not believe in Jesus and are not saved do not believe because the Father has not drawn them to Jesus. “No man” can come to Jesus unless the Father gives him the faith to come to Jesus. In John 6:63-66, Jesus stated to those who “believed not” in him that they did not believe in him because the Father had not given them the faith to believe in him. The message of John 6 and the entire gospel is clear. Salvation is by the will of God and not by the will of man. See John 1:12-13. In John 6 many of the supposed disciples went back and walked no more with Jesus. They walked away from Jesus not because they were saved and lost their salvation, but as Jesus explained, because the faith to believe in him was not given to them by his Father.

    “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (John 6:63-66)

    You quote John 10:28-29 but you ignore John 10:26. Why? Because John 10:26 impeaches your theology. “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” (John 10:26) The order here is of great importance. Jesus does not say, because you do not believe you are not my sheep, thereby making belief a condition of becoming a sheep. That is what your Arminian theology portrays. Rather, Jesus says the exact opposite of your theology, “You do not believe because you are not my sheep.” Belief is a consequence of being an elect sheep, it is not a precondition of becoming a sheep.

    Your gospel has it reversed. Your gospel has the will of sovereign man overruling the will of God. The true gospel has the will of the sovereign God overruling the will of man.

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Edward,
      Jesus said BRANCHES (Christians) can be cast out after they are attached to the vine and be subsequently withered and burned. You have no argument. It appears you “cast out” John 15 from your bible. So, you make Jesus a liar since according to your bankrupt interpretation of John 6:44 Jesus should raise up every branch that was ever in Him. You are like those “ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth.” The context of John 6:44 is found surrounding it in John 6:40 and John 6:47 with the word “believes” which in Greek is in the present participle active tense in both cases….. so BELIEVING continually must be assumed. It is not a one time ordeal, but a constant state…… hence the term ABIDE in John 15. This is what happens when you read books on systematic theology and have never fully read the bible. You started with your conclusion and worked out from there.

      • George says:

        im amazed you get so defensive at edwards post (i find many in the camp that deny election throw hissy fits) again, you basically deny the many verses that deal with election, Predestination, God drawing men etc and only refer to the falling away verses.
        You see, we dont deny the falling away verses and yes, they do serve as a warning, but we also do not deny the aforementioned verses/doctrines presented in scripture.
        One would call your exegesis unbalanced.

      • Kevin says:

        I find the key with all the “shallow belief” followers (not truly saved ever) is that they don’t “bear fruit”. Meaning, they didn’t receive the indwlling and seal of the Spirit. These non fruit bearers will fall away or be cut off. Many examples, including the one mentioned about the branches that are cut off. Those branches never bore fruit. Shallow believing, by human flesh, not reborn and fruitful by the Spirit.

  18. Kevin says:

    Joshua,

    I have recently caught up on all of your videos after coming across your channel a few months ago. While I was challenged and sobered to the point of despairing in my faith (I have engaged in habitual sin for many years), that I have only begun to truly have freedom in Christ through right doctrine. Even 10 years ago, when I allegedly began a “personal relationship with Jesus” at a Cru conference (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ), my “altar call” was bathed in emotion – and music. Ever since that time, I had wondered whether or not I could really be a Christian, since I continued to “struggle” with an addiction to sexual immorality. Now, based on your uncompromising and loving teaching of Scripture, I have begun to follow suit and take passages like 1 John 6,7 so seriously. I have been seized by fear of the LORD Almighty and godly sorrow that I have loved my sin rather than the God I professed with only my lips – indeed, I even tried to call the act of loving sin a mere “addiction” that was, somehow, “beyond my control” and needed to just keep “trying” while I waited for the Holy Spirit to “deliver me.” Such foolishness!

    I have met consistent resistance when I discuss difficult passages in His Word – some even from those identifying as Christians that also lean conservative and are family/friends that I would expect more of an ear from. But I am grateful to God and to my wife, who has patiently honored me these last several years as I continued on in my unbelief – such kindness is clearly more than I deserved. And I am grateful to God for you as well, Brother Joshua. Please, continue in His Word with all faithfulness and let no one discourage you from word or action if either is done according to His commands.

    I have had many thoughts and questions as I’ve listened to and read your teachings, but I did not come this morning for that purpose. I have come merely to show you how your faithfulness over just the past few years has been used by the Lord to bring this prideful man low over just the past few months. Thank you, Brother, and may our God continue to gain glory through both your life and now mine!

    – Kevin.

  19. Edward Hendrie says:

    Joshua:

    You begin your analysis of John 15 on a false premise that the branches that do not abide are saved Christians who have forfeited their salvation. John 15:6 makes it clear that the branches that do not abide in Jesus Christ are cast aside to be burned. A Christian, by definition, is saved from eternal punishment through the propitiation of Jesus Christ on the cross. He will never ever be punished. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)

    You claim I have no argument about the branches that are cast forth into the fire in John 15. That is not true. In John 15:4-6 it states that the branch cannot bear fruit of itself. It must abide in the vine to bear fruit.

    “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:4-6)

    Here is the clincher. You steered completely away from John 15:16. Why? Because it destroys your mythology. We read that it is not the believer that has chosen Christ but rather Christ who has chosen his elect. What did he choose them to do? He chose them to bear fruit. Indeed, he ordained them to bear fruit. All believers elected by God for salvation are ordained to abide in him and bear fruit. None are fruitless. God never elected for salvation the fruitless branches that are cast into the fire to be burned.

    “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16.

    So we have Jesus Christ choosing his elect for salvation and ordaining them to bear fruit. All believers will abide in Christ and bear fruit.

    You seem to think that the abiding in Christ is an act of man’s free will. That is wrong. Abiding in Christ is an act of God’s sovereign grace. You seem to think that faith comes from man’s free will, and he can change his mind about it. That is not true. Saving faith in Jesus Christ does not come from man. Faith comes from Jesus. The faith of the Christian is the faith “of” Jesus Christ. It is a gift of God. “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16 (emphasis added). Jesus is the source of a believers faith. He is the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:2.

    John 1:12-13 makes it clear that salvation is NOT by the will of man but it IS by the will of God.
    “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” One must be born again. A person cannot birth themselves.

    Jesus flat out said we must be born again to see the kingdom of God. John 3:3-7. In the analogy, he compared the new birth of salvation, which can only come through the Holy Spirit, with the wind. Just as “the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) His point is that man cannot birth himself. We are born again not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13)

    Man by nature is spiritually dead. God must quicken you, that is, make you spiritually alive. Ephesians 2:1-10. You then become a new spiritual creation through God’s Holy Spirit.

    We, who believe in the Jesus of the Bible, are adopted children of God. God chose us for adoption before the world was created. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” (Ephesians 1:4-5) Notice that salvation is according to the good pleasure of God’s will, not the good pleasure of man’s will.

    That is why in John 6:44 Jesus stated that “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

    We, who believe in Jesus Christ, were predestined to be glorified with Christ. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30) From beginning to end, salvation is the work of a sovereign God.

    Jesus is the good shepherd who gives his life for his sheep. John 10:11-17. A shepherds duty is to watch over and guide his flock. But your Jesus sits idly by while his sheep wander wherever they want to go. Your gospel has a hapless Jesus who watches his sheep as they stray off into perdition. Your Jesus does not watch over and guide his flock. Your Jesus will not raise a finger to stop his sheep from prancing off to destruction. Your Jesus is a bad shepherd.

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Edward,
      You are very confused. Jesus says, “YOU are the branches.” He is speaking to His disciples. Then He says that a branch (a believer) can be in Him, that is attached to Him, and if it does not ABIDE, or remain in Him, that He will cast it out and it will be withered and burned. You have no argument. Paul reinforces this in Romans 11, which you have apparently ripped out of your Message bible. This passage must really bother you:

      “You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” (Romans 11:19-23)

      IF YOU CONTINUE…. otherwise you will be cut off…. Paul is saying this to… wait for it…. “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints” (Romans 1:7). So Paul tells the “beloved of God, called to be saints” that they can be cut off if they do not continue in His goodness and that God “may not spare” them if they fall into unbelief. I’m sure you’re having a theological crisis right about now and are probably going to have to replace your John Calvin t-shirts with something a bit more modest, but this is what the Bible says, Edward. You are not arguing with me, you are simply isolating verses as a pretext and arguing with yourself and God’s word. John 15:16 was a specific comment to the eleven men sitting in front of Him. Unless you are prepared to call yourself an apostle, then vs. 16 does not apply to you directly. This is a description of them, not a description of you, because Jesus did not ordain you as an apostle. Verse 6, however, is applicable to anyone as it is a general statement in which he says “if ANYONE”. Verse 16 is talking directly about the 11 disciples whom He had called and was commissioning. Before you object, note that Jesus also said this, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” Was He speaking this to the whole world or to the people in the room specifically? Context, Edward. Context. I’m sure you’re very flustered right about now. Cancel your vacation plans in Geneva and instead plan to study the bible. Branches can be cut off and those who once were grafted in can be cast out. There is no denying it. Good luck, sir.

      • Kermos says:

        Lord Jesus did not indicate the actual action of any branches being “thrown away as a branch” (see John 15:2, John 15:6).

        These are warnings not implementations.

        Only we that believe in Him can abide in Him.

        He said “apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

        Nothing apart from Jesus, Lord and God (John 20:28), is a key point, and this includes the fruit of abiding in Him.

        • Joshua Chavez says:

          He said, “YOU are the branches”, speaking to his BELIEVING disciples. He then says, “Any branch IN ME…” These branches are in Christ and then cast out. They are warnings about a possible reality, not warnings about things that cannot happen. It says, “He takes away” and “he is cast out” NOT that “he will” take away or “they will be” cast out. This is in the present tense, not a future unreality.

  20. Ralph Jansen says:

    Joshua,

    OSAS (once saved always saved) and Perseverance of the Saints are two different things. (I’m not sure why you seem to be so confused on this, since I would think you would have researched this before writing about it.) OSAS is the invention of men to support continuing to live in sin, while claiming to be saved. Perseverance of the Saints is the hope that the true believer has that God is able to keep them from stumbling, and to present them before Himself, blameless. (Jude 24.) “24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” To attack “Perseverance of the Saints” is to attack the very character of God’s faithfulness. If God isn’t faithful, what hope does anyone have?

    Jesus also staked His whole sacrifice on the will of God. The will of God, as presented in John 6 is the perseverance of the saints. According to John 6, then will of God is that the Son not lose anything drawn to Him. The rest of the chapter explains that Jesus is speaking of believers who are drawn unto Christ. So if Jesus will not cast them out, or drive them away, and if the will of the Father is that Jesus not lose a single one, how can one lose their salvation? Jesus makes it clear that it is solely due to Himself. He will raise them up on the last day. They do not raise themselves. It is on no merit on the man’s part, but solely on the part of God Himself. If one cannot trust God to be faithful, who can we trust? I mean, even your banker believes we can trust God, and even writes it on our money. [Yes, just a humorous aside.]

    If you are truly saved, you will remain steadfast unto the end, not because of yourself, but because God is able, and will present you before Himself, blameless. There is no where else that you can, or should, place your trust. Also note, if you can lose your salvation, Hebrews makes it clear that you have no hope of salvation. It is actually very clearly written. It states that if you could be brought to repentance (again), that you bring Christ Himself to open shame.

    Josh, Perseverance of the Saints is to trust that God Himself is faithful, and He is able to keep us. All the talk about branches, abiding in Christ, work out our salvation in fear and trembling, etc. is about ensuring that our salvation is true. Were we truly saved, or did we deceive ourselves. To those who are sinners, but say they were once saved so they are good to go, there is no perseverance of the saints. They are living against God. John makes this clear in I John, where He goes over how we can be sure in salvation. Assurance of salvation can be found in I John, but we have to be honest with ourselves.

    I also believe that perseverance of the saints is personal. I cannot tell you who is saved, I can only tell you who I believe *may* be saved. (That is what the fruit is for. God doesn’t need to see our fruit, He knows our hearts and where we stand at all times. The fruit is for the world to see, that when we say we are Christians, our fruit, our works, reflect that. If not, then why should the world listen to us.)

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Ralph,
      What you are describing as “perseverance of the saints” and what is affirmed by “once saved always saved” have the exact same practical end. You are playing semantics here. I know others who use the phrase “once saved always saved” that don’t regard it as an “invention of man to justify sin” but regard it as synonymous with perseverance of the saints. You’re both wrong. The only place we find “perseverance of the saints” in scripture is in Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience (perseverance) of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
      This verse compliments everything I wrote and contradicts your basic premise. Your problem, like so many is that you began with the conclusion and forced the scriptures into your paradigm. You have to deliberately ignore the literally dozens of verses I cited which contradict your conclusion. Jesus wasn’t confused in John 15:6. Branches are believers and they can be cast out and burned after having been a part of the vine. I know you love your theology, but I’ll encourage you to love God’s word more than your preconceived notions which have shaped your interpretation.
      Joshua

    • KENNETH says:

      Ralph, The bible does say “Now to Him who is *able* to keep you from falling”–However, that does not mean that God is “absolutely going to” keep one from falling. It also states, “Now to Him who is *able* to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask”–That does not mean He is ‘going to do’ above all that we ask. I’m sure God is able to do a lot of things. That does not mean He is going to do them. You and I obviously see things differently, you are still my brother in Jesus! God bless you my friend!

  21. Ralph Jansen says:

    Josh-

    I wrote already, but I don’t see it here, so this will be short. In your common defense entry, you made the same mistake many have made in understanding the difference of nuance between I Timothy 2:4 and John 6:39-40. In English it says *will* in both verses (in some translations), but in the Greek, they are two different words. (related, but different) The word used in I Timothy 2:4 is θέλει (thelei) which is translated as will, wish. The nuance is wish or desire. God wishes/desires that all will be saved. This is the more definite nail in the coffin of universalism. However, when Jesus speaks in John 6 about will, He uses a different word. θέλημα (thelēma) which means will. No nuance for wish/desire. Determinate will. It will happen, or God failed. If Jesus fails to do what He says is the *will* of the Father, then God is not in control. It is fine if a wish or desire fails to come to pass because wishes and desires are arbitrary. (Like opinions.) However, if God’s determinate will fails to come to pass, that is on a completely different level. Please consider that. (As for you words on Calvinism and Arminianism, I’m probably as far from hyper-calvinism as one can get, and still lean calvinist.)

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Ralph,
      First of all, you are simple wrong. There is no nuance and the words are synonymous. But I’ll play by your bent and misinformed rules to show you that you are ignorant of what you speak. The specific word used in John 6:39 is “thelema”. This same exact word is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;” By your understanding, it is impossible for any believer to ever fall into any form of sexual sin, either in thought or in deed. Moreover, the exact same word is used in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Which means, (according to your understanding), that it is utterly impossible for any believer to ever not give thanks; it is impossible for them to forget or become complacent ever in their lives, because, after all….. God’s will cannot be thwarted. Therefore, any believer who has ever sinned sexually in any capacity or failed to give thanks is lying and not a believer at all, because it is impossible for those things to happen. You therefore make Paul a liar, who commands the Corinthians to restore the one caught in sexual immorality, presuming him to be a Christian. This is what happens when you begin with conclusions. You make a mockery of scripture and create false realities. Perhaps most baffling (I thought you might have studied this before commenting about it) is that you give the devil equal power to God and make Satan’s will unthwartable. You guessed it, Ralph. The same word is used here: “and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:26) Yet of this will it says they can escape it… but according to you, this word means “Determinate will. It will happen”. Congratulations, you have just unwittingly ascribed to Satan, the same attributes you ascribe to God…. You might want to rethink your understanding and possibly master English before jumping into Greek.

  22. Jason says:

    Sir u wrote my article! Excellent work, I start reading and I’m going from “i like” to “wow ur using all the same scriptures I use”. Fantastic! Brilliant! jason

  23. Tobias De La Torre says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome. What a relief. All I want is to please the Lord and be in his will. So many doctrines are taken to hyper, or dogmatic or extremes that ignore the whole bible and word of God in full and correct context. I won’t say “common sense” but I will say ” consider all common denominators”. Choose your battles (none are worth losing salvation or peace over anyway) would be a good mediator here. We should probably avoid being so stubborn as to say once saved always saved, faith alone or has to be pre, mid or post trib, or dispensation or for Jews only or the church or whatever else. True faith to the end and adherence as much as possible to all the LOVE commandments and admonishments are what we should all strive for. Keep Jesus Christ top and center of all of your beliefs and we will probably in the perfect middle of all the correct doctrines. Jesus Christ Lord and Savior says clearly to Love the Lord God with all our Heart mind soul strength and love our neighbor as ourselves. Love God, hate evil in a Godly manner, fear God and follow Jesus to the absolute best of our ability through his Holy Spirit and obedience to His Word and we should all be just fine.

  24. KENNETH says:

    Read Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ…” Many use these verses to prove their point that a believer can in no way lose their salvation. Note: Paul mentions nothing about ‘sin’ nor ‘belief to unbelief’ in these verses. Why so? Because Paul knew that ‘sin’ and ‘belief to unbelief’ can indeed separate us from the love of Christ. P.S. One might say that Principalities is sin. Grab your Strongs concordance and look up all the verses on principalities. Clearly by context it leans heavily towards a ‘ruler’–e.g. a Principal of a high school is a ruler. Hence, Principalities is not synonymous to sin. Read Heb.6:1-8, Verse 8 says ‘near’ to being cursed. (NKJV) Why so? Because he is still alive and therefore still has a chance to repent. He is therefore only near to being cursed. If he dies in his rebellious sin and/or unbelief, he is no longer ‘near’, but in fact the end has arrived and he is to be burned forever. Hence, he is no longer ‘near to being cursed’, he is cursed, whose end is to be burned! Read Heb.10:26-39 Notice how much pleasure God takes in one who draws back in verse 38. Answer: None! Then read verse 39. Before I move on I would like to say that I agree 100% with the dissertation by Joshua Chavez. Belief to unbelief is possible. This is a way a believer can lose his/her salvation. Albeit, here is simply another way a believer can lose his/her salvation. It is through sin alone. ANALOGY: A man is an alcoholic for 30 years. He is also a believer in Christ Jesus. He has a firm belief that a Christian can not lose their salvation. He attends church services 3 times a week. The whole time he lives with agonizing guilt. But his belief never wavers. He finally comes down with terminal liver disease. A direct result of his drinking. On his death bed 30 seconds before his final breath he takes a big swig of whiskey and then prays ‘forgive me Father’ and then dies. END OF ANALOGY. This man has been deceived. You ‘must’ be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only. He has sinned his salvation away. Even a believer can choose to sin right up until their last dying breath. We have the free will to choose to sin. That’s all for now. P.S. My name ‘KENNETH’ distinguishes me from another ‘kenneth’ who writes in on occasion. He uses ‘all’ lowercase letters. I appreciate your undivided attention.

  25. Samuel Cajigas says:

    I like to also mention that David had to understand what took place in Saul’s life and Psalms 51 reflects on this when he prayed to God not to take the Holy Spirit away from him.

    My father when ever he received a gift always put it away without wearing it and I have learned in life what is important is not receiving a gift, but what you do with it once it is given to you and the same goes with the Scriptures, what is important is not finding the truth, but what you do with it once you have it.

    Though salvation is a free gift that God offers, I do believe that one can lose their salvation, but the only way this can happen is by a believer indulging in sin, doing that which is wrong in the sight of God, without the thought of repentance, and remember that sin separates man from God and let me make myself clear, I am not insinuating to receive God’s free gift and then go on sinning and continue to repent.

    Another thing, Ahab, deliberately sinned against God and God spit him out of his sight and we know that God has no respect of person. If a believer indulges in sin they will position themselves in a state that they will gradually turn away from their faith and though God can spit them out of his sight he does not have to because they eventually will continue sinning removing themselves from the faith.

    In addition, I believe that one can deliberately betray his faith plucking himself out of the hand of God. Yes, no one can pluck a man out of the hand of God, but the one who is being held I believe he can deliberately remove himself because he wants to do something else, just like when a child’s hand is being held, he tries to pull away from the parent that is holding his hand and sometimes the parents lets him go and sometimes the child in his struggles manage to pull away.

    Josh, if you see a problem with what I posted that is not scriptural, you are welcome to point it out and I will weigh it truthfully and if I see that the way you presented it is according to the Scriptures I will make the correction as to why the correction.

    It was a good reading and I have to acknowledge you have a good vocabulary, you add words of descriptions.

  26. Abiskar says:

    Wow! Great insight brother Joshua. Very intense commentary section. I almost hold my breathe in your debate with Edward. But you got him in the last! Just saying! I’m a new believer in Christ so I’m digging deeper daily. Praise be to the LORD. Thank you brother. 💙

    • Greg says:

      38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

      Will Jesus fail to do the Father’s will ?

      Mans free will decisions can override Jesus’s will to do the Father’s will ?

      • Joshua Chavez says:

        Greg,
        The word “will” there is “θέλημα or thelēma”
        Here is that same word used to show us that one can defy that will:
        “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” (Luke 12:47). So, Jesus Himself tells us that a servant can violate the WILL (thelēma) of God. Good luck. Unless you’d like to call Jesus a liar for saying this. Would you? Perhaps you should not develop a theology before you’ve actually read the bible. Your wrong conclusions are now forcing your bad interpretations. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3 Paul says it is the WILL of God that Christians abstain from sexual immorality, yet we know that sexual immorality happened to believers in Corinth. Does this make Paul a liar? Does it make God a liar? I thought nobody could override His decisions. If God decided that abstinence from sexual immorality was His will, then it would be impossible for it ever to happen, which means no Christian ever would even have a lustful thought. Perhaps you need to get a better grasp on what this word means before making conclusions.

  27. Greg says:

    Jude 1:1

    Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,
    To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and
    kept for Jesus Christ.

    ” To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ “. What is your take on the meaning of this statement ?
    Thanks !

  28. Bob Leonard says:

    We are given 2 known gifts from God at birth one is free agency and the other the image and likeness of God the angels were not given these things and the was one big factor in the war of heaven yes I do believe the once you are truly saved by God u cannot be unsaved God will never break His promise and u cannot be unborn just like God will never take away our free agency and God Knows all things so he does know who are saved are who are not…

  29. Ed Iwaniak says:

    Amen!! Well said, my brother. No other doctrine has contributed to the mass amount of lukewarm Christians than this lethal doctrine of OSAS! The amount of pride, anger and pushback I have received by simply relaying God’s Word (as you have beautifully done here) is astounding and heartbreaking. Continue marching on, Joshua, doing the work of our Father. May we never stop “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” lest we become a fruitless, withered branch only to be cut off. God bless you and your ministry!

    • Kevin says:

      Brother, good works and a sincere repentant heart are evidences of salvation…Not a means of salvation.

      God gets all the glory and No man can boast. It is not of man’s will or effort. God is merciful. If it was based on our performance we would all go to Hell.

      Good news, truly saved followers receive the Holy Spirit which sanctifies us. The journey won’t be perfect, but a truly saved should notice the dramatic change and continual push from the Spirit to repent and die to self over the long term. I hope.

  30. Mason Meacham says:

    Joshua, this article has convinced me that “once saved always saved” is a lie. So does this leave us with two options? 1) Some true believers will lose their salvation. 2) Some will fall away proving they were never actually believers.

    Also how does this hold up to Ephesians 1:13-14? If we are sealed by the Holy Spirit how can we lose it? Please help me understand.

  31. Michael Hayward says:

    I just can’t be perfect like you so I may as well plan on going to hell.

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Michael,
      Any man in Christ is perfect before God. If you are not in Christ, you will indeed go to hell. Best be IN CHRIST.

  32. Pia Dinitzen says:

    Dear Joshua
    So glad I found your page and also your youtube channel. I learned about you watching “Corrupt Christian music.” Then wanted to check you out more. I totally agree with this article! OSAS is everywhere these days, and even the Gospel itself confirms OSAS as Heresy and Salvation as conditional: 1 Cor 15:1-4 (verse 2) If we do not keep in memory what was preached to us, we are believing in vain!!! Many omit this verse when posting, I noticed!!!
    But I do believe that we can call faith work. Isn’t that what Jesus says in John 6:28-29, being asked of the disciples?
    We must conclude with James that faith without works is dead (James 2:26).
    Thank you for standing firm!! God Bless you richly!

  33. Readthewholething says:

    Wow this is hot garbage. A wonderful example of cherry picking and ripping out of context! Read the whole not the part.

    • Joshua Chavez says:

      Nearly 8,000 words. Hardly “cherry picking” or out of context. That’s why your response was emotional and not biblical.

  34. biakte says:

    words cannot describe how blessed i am to have found this article and read it. thank you so much joshua for sharing.

  35. Harold says:

    I need to read the article thoroughly. One thing I perceive from the text is that Paul may not have been warning individual saved believers. He may have been warning them God will cut them off in the same way He did unbelieving Israel if they did not continue in God’s goodness. There are churches who have become so liberal they are unrecognizable as real Christian churches. As a body, they are so full of apostasy that God has to cut them off. The individual who is saved continues in God’s goodness because he is saved and the Spirit doesn’t allow him to fall without the necessary motivation. In fact, a real Christian who chooses sin will be miserable because there is no real relationship with God if he is sinning. As you can see I tend to believe in the perseverance of the saints rather than tending towards the Arminian position. It’s based primarily on John’s statement that the one who is born of God cannot keep on sinning because he HAS been born of God. The debate is centuries old but I tend to think you can’t be truly born again in spirit without perseverance. But then, I need to read the whole thing. Wesleys quote was telling about Whitfield. They came to appreciate one another regardless of opinion. Difference of opinion between real believers is not the same as staying away from apostate people who deny the Lord.

  36. Kenny says:

    In john 3 we read That no man will see the kingdom of God unless he is Born Again.

    So if we are truly a Born again christian, how do we become unborn ?
    Its impossible because we are sustained by God,
    He starts it & he finishes it, Its not dependent on me.
    If it were dependent on me then i would be aswell giving up now cause im riddled with sin and i will fail. But Jesus blood paid the price for my salvation. “it is finished”.

    The bible doesnt say born again and again and again as if it were dependant on us, although we are to ask for a filling of the Holy spirit everyday and asked for the Lord will to be done in our lives.

    If we say that we can lose our salvation then we are basically saying that God cannot sustain us.

    people will fall away but these are the people who give lip service and wolves in sheeps clothing, that have never truly been Born Again

    Why do you think there are many many preachers these days, share a watered down Gospel and dont even mention being “Born Again”.

    Lastly, In my opinion stick to the KJV, its the only Bible that is not copyrighted, you have to change 20% of the Bible words to get a copy-write. does that not scare you! The rest are Alexandrian counterfeits to lead people astray.

    Godbless eveyone……… Jesus is coming soon !

  37. Kenny says:

    In john 3 we read That no man will see the kingdom of God unless he is Born Again.

    So if we are truly a Born again christian, how do we become unborn ?
    Its impossible because we are sustained by God,
    He starts it & he finishes it, Its not dependent on me.
    If it were dependent on me then i would be aswell giving up now cause im riddled with sin and i will fail. But Jesus blood paid the price for my salvation. “it is finished”.

    The bible doesnt say born again and again and again as if it were dependant on us, although we are to ask for a filling of the Holy spirit everyday and asked for the Lord will to be done in our lives.

    If we say that we can lose our salvation then we are basically saying that God cannot sustain us.

    people will fall away but these are the people who give lip service and wolves in sheeps clothing, that have never truly been Born Again

    Why do you think there are many many preachers these days, share a watered down Gospel and dont even mention being “Born Again”.

    Lastly, In my opinion stick to the KJV, its the only Bible that is not copyrighted, you have to change 20% of the Bible words to get a copy-write. does that not scare you! The rest are Alexandrian counterfeits to lead people astray.

    Godbless everyone……… Jesus is coming soon !

    • Rob says:

      Kenny,

      If you can understand how one can die daily as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15 you’ll understand the text better. Dying daily.

      The old “they were never born again” is a dangerous statement to make. I wouldn’t assert that. Do some study on apostasia, you have to have the truth in the first place to fall away from it.

      It is clear from your comment that you look at scripture to proof text your preconceived views on the matter. Same thing with the KJV only stance, the preference is always on the original Greek and Hebrew and although the KJV is a good translation (especially for its day) there are issues with it, look into them, seriously.

      You have two choices when encountering confronting text, receive it for what it is and be edified or develop a way to eisegetically explain it away.

      Take up the cross and follow.

  38. Greg says:

    Yes, Kenny, I agree, OSAK.

    OSAK- Once Saved Always Kept

    Jude 1:1

  39. Dan says:

    Joshua,
    Awesome job rightly dividing the word(because you study). Thank you. The ones who don’t get it and don’t understand it, don’t actually study it. They rely on “authors” to teach them(lead astray).
    One scripture that helps put it all together is 1 Peter chapter 1. Peter describes salvation as being kept for us, to be revealed in the end “through faith” and if our faith is genuine(endures) we will receive the goal of that faith, the salvation of our souls.
    Setting your goal(hope) on the promise. Hebrews 10:36 and 12:1-2. Paul described it as a race to the goal. You have to finish the race to receive the prize. How did he finish? By keeping the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

    I think the confusion comes in the word saved. Based off my interpretation of 1 Peter 1 and others, our faith is in the promise of salvation. Since what we are saved from is judgement as in the 2nd death- revelation 20:11-15, and that event is yet to come, we are not already saved, but being saved through faith in the promise of that salvation. So we don’t lose salvation because it’s yet to come, we just stop believing in the promise(lose faith, stop abiding, deny, etc). Once Christ returns and the believers have endured and receive the promised salvation, then they can’t lose it. So after judgement OSAS will apply. They put the cart before the horse so to speak.
    It’s like Abraham believed God’s promise to make a great nation from him and even though it was a future event, he didn’t stop believing in it.
    Your thoughts?

  40. Melinda Zark says:

    Wow am I late to the party. People who say Christians cannot fall away are misinterpreting Paul’s statements about the Law of Moses–specifically–as referring to any obedient thing a Christian does. They weren’t. He was only discounting works **of the Law of Moses,** NOT Christians’ obedience to the Holy Spirit. Paul’s fight was with Jewish believers who wanted to incoporate the Mosaic Law in Christianity for various reasons (to avoid persecution from unsaved family members, for one).

    Read the overall context of his “not of works” statement in Eph. 2, for example. It’s obvious he was referring to works of the Mosaic Law (to emphasize that Christ took the wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles out of the way), it was just one of few times he didn’t include the phrase “of the Law” after it. Paul clarifies with “Of the Law” nearly everywhere else he speaks negatively about works…Galatians, for example. But Christendom has ignored this simple explanation in favor of over-generalizing Paul’s statements about the Law, and created an apparent contradiction that isn’t even there.

    Christ did not just take away the Law of Moses, and leave His People with nothing. He replaced the Law of Moses with the Law of the Spirit/Law of Christ/Royal Law.

  41. Peter says:

    Josh I can appreciate the work you have done here and it is obvious you know the word. I was watching some of your vids on yt about Justin Peter’s and he responded to my comment about him in your defense about tbn and he said that you also support losing your salvation and I said I find that hard to believe and yet here it is in black and white. I will try to make my response as short as possible and hope you listen but I am sure you have probably exhausted all the versus in the bible to support your position but hope I get through. I can see it would take quite an argument to convince a man of a postion that knows the word like you do but hey with God sometimes the smallest things are the most profound. I have read the versus you have pointed out and all the things that we can do to ” apparently lose our salvation” but in all of that it is not the truth.I wont combat you with the versus and I can see you will comeback with another and another as you have many to support your position and I wont bother as you have good reason to believe that other than let me take a leap here and assume, when you first got saved you more than likely never held this position and have since that? I in my own life have had feelings about that on occasion only from hearing it from someone else who had a good argument but I must say it brought fear into my life as one can never truly know if you will be saved if that is the case and the only answer that gave me comfort was that it is because of sin in my own life that causes fear and doubt and I know enough of Gods word to know that no matter what it says ” I” can do to lose my salvation, I cannot lose what God say’s ” He” wont do and that is leave us,, Jesus said depart from me for I never knew you and no mater what verse you come up with they all have to be assumed of other meanings or not pertinant to us, if you could lose your salvation than Jesus would say I knew you once but….Romans 8 vs 1 position is not an act but a position as you can see in verse, 4 and 9 walking in the flesh/ being carnal minded is Paul referring to what they are acting like but not who they really are and to stop going back to who you think you are. There is no joy in a christians life if you can lose your salvation because it is work orientated and I know you know that cant be true, I know when I am open to hearing of the spirit I have no fear and no matter what one may say to me about losing my salvation it has no bearing and the only time doubt comes into my mind is when I am not pleasing to God with my actions. I struggle daily with pornography and my mind has been watered down by sin and I have more moments of losing than I do of knowing, the law of sin is very powerful and has the ability to even distort what we know but thankfully God’s everlasting truth hits me and assures me if he will never leave me how arrogant it is for me to think that I can leave him if he wont, Pride is the only reason I can think of that makes me think that as like yourself I know Gods word enough to to always come up with an answer everytime I doubt but I have to take on faith when those times happen that God says he will never leave and bottom line that means no matter what I may do he still wont. Best wishes brother as I really love your passion and zeal as you remind me of myself being a Peter I put a lot of pasision in my stance and am very convincing when I am on the mark but also hit very hard when I miss the mark. Gods speed my brother Peter

  42. Kylee says:

    Thank you for this article! It’s clear that you know the Word very well. I have a question: is it possible for a believer to lose their salvation without realizing it? Could one gradually grow further and further away from Christ without the Spirit convicting them, or is apostasy a conscious choice one must make? I often find myself terrified that I might reach the Throne of Judgement one day, only to find out that I had accidentally lost my salvation at some point in my life without knowing it had happened.

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