One of the most common questions that a pastor gets is, “Can a Christian lose their salvation?” Often, it is asked by someone who loves God but has had a moment or season of rebellion, folly, or sin and is worried that they have burned their bridge to heaven.
To be honest, I’ve never really liked the question. Salvation is, after all, not something we own. Jonah 2:9 speaks of the owner of salvation clearly saying, “Salvation belongs to the LORD!” Since salvation belongs to the Lord and is a gift that He gives to us sinners who do not deserve it, we cannot do something to lose it because we did not do something to receive it. If we did not earn our salvation, we cannot unearn our salvation.
Speaking of salvation in John 6, Jesus says four things that give us assurance that those who truly are saved will continue to walk with Jesus through this life and into eternity. Why? Because Jesus walks with them.
- Jesus promises salvation, calling it in John 6:40 “eternal life”. In John 6:58 Jesus says that those who believe in Him “will live forever”.
- Jesus promises satisfaction, saying in John 6: “shall not hunger…shall never thirst”
- Jesus promises security, saying in John 6:37, “whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
- Jesus promises sufficiency, saying in John 6:39-40, “this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.””
I believe a better question to ask is, “Can Christ lose a Christian?” The answer to that question is, “no”. To be sure, there are fake believers just like Judas who hung out with Jesus’ disciples but never shared their heartfelt love for Jesus. But, the true Christians found by Christ are never lost by Christ. Just as Peter denied Christ and Thomas doubted Christ, we too will have our rough days, but just as Jesus sought them out and brought them back so He is faithful to do the same for use. Because He walks with you, you walk with Him. In the Bible, this is called perseverance.
Are you truly saved, or more like Judas and hanging out with God’s people but not one of them in your heart?