There is one question that I have been asked more than any other when talking with new Christ Followers about their salvation: Can I lose it?
For me, the short answer is: No.
Technically there’s more to it than that. And as we search the Scriptures, we can see that God tells us in His word all we need to know about the security of the believer, or what many call “once saved, always saved”.
First, we need to realize that we cannot earn salvation through our own actions. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for it; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Since we didn’t earn it through our actions, we likewise cannot lose it based on anything we do. Many may wonder, “What if I commit a sin? What if I commit a lot of sins? Surely God will take my salvation away”. However, in John 10:28-30, Jesus tells us, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them from out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” When God forgives us, it is for all of our sins – the ones we’ve committed in the past and the ones we will commit in the future. To say, then, that we could lose our salvation, would be to say there is some sin that God cannot forgive.
A quick reading of Romans chapter 3 explains how we all have a sin nature, and that none of us is worthy of eternal life based on our own merit. If losing our salvation was possible, we would spend most of our time wondering whether or not we were saved – would only a few sins be okay but how many would disqualify us? All of this leads us down the path of works-based salvation which is in precise opposition to the Bible which teaches us that we cannot save ourselves.
Some critics of “once saved, always saved” will say that it gives believers a license to sin all we want, as if some people would accept Christ only so they can continue to sin with no repercussions. This is false, though, since anyone who has been truly saved will experience a real change and become a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Further, someone who carelessly and blatantly sins may not have truly surrendered their heart to Jesus in the first place. Hence, their issue is that of not ever being saved, not one of losing their salvation.
For more on this topic, explore more Bible verses, such as Romans 8:38-39 and Jude 24.