Can a Saved Person Become Lost?
There is a doctrine held by a great number of professed believers that no truly saved person can ever be lost, regardless of how they live. It is a doctrine teaching unconditional eternal salvation of believers. Some refer to it as “once saved, always saved.” Most Baptist Churches and Presbyterians hold to the doctrine. It was stated clearly in an older confession of faith, The Philadelphia Confession of Faith as follows:
Of The Perseverance of the Saints, chapter 17.1. Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, . . . (Please open your Bible and read Galatians 5:4).
A very clear statement of how this false doctrine is believed comes from a Baptist Pastor named Sam Morris. Mr. Morris was a very vocal crusader against alcoholic beverages. On a very powerful radio station in Mexico, (station XEG), he preached on the topic, “Do a Christian’s damn his soul?” Here is an extract from a copy of his original manuscript:
We take the position that a Christian’s sins do not damn his soul. The way a Christian lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, or his attitude toward other people have nothing whatever to do with the salvation of its soul. . . . All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong-to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe, all the laws he may keep, all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger.
I understand a Baptist preacher from Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Bill Foster, once stated this doctrine also in equally clear terms. He is reported to have preached:
“If I killed my wife and mother and debauched a thousand women I couldn’t go to hell---in fact, I couldn’t go to hell if I wanted to.”
One of the best polemicists to ever wear the religious name Baptist was Mr. Ben. M. Bogard. In a public debate with the late N.B. Hardeman, before thousands of people, over a powerful radio station, he boldly declared,
“My soul is as perfect as God's.”
Most Bible believers would be repulsed at such statements because the Bible does not teach the unconditional security of a saved person. It teaches just the opposite.
There is no dispute with those who affirm security in God’s grace and mercy for truly saved persons. God will keep those who are saved on the condition they keep themselves in his love and grace. Notice the following two passages:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. - 1 Peter 1:3-5.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. - Jude 1:20-21
The condition upon which God keeps the saved person in his love and grace is that the saved person keeps him or herself in his love. How is that done? By keeping the commandments of the Lord (Please read John 14:15; 1 John 5:1-3).
Here are verses that clearly show the possibility that saved persons can fall away from God by failing to live as the Good Book teaches. Please check them out carefully.
When I say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his righteousness, and commit iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in his iniquity that he hath committed, therein shall he die. - Ezek. 3:13
But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? None of his righteous deeds that he hath done shall be remembered: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. 0 Ezek. 18:24.
For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. - Heb. 6:4-6.
The doctrine that tells saved persons they can live as they please and go to heaven when they die is a doctrine of Satan. Satan, the “father of lies” (John 8:44), told his first like to Eve. God forbad Adam and Eve to eat fruit from the tree that was “in the midst of the garden,” under the penalty of death, Satan preached the doctrine of “once saved, always saved” saying, “Ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:1-4).
Nobody can believe the Bible and believe the doctrine of unconditional salvation. If you have a question about this, please contact us. We stand prepared always to defend the truth of God’s word against such error as this.
Questions about this article are welcome. Valley Church.
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