I don't think you can lose your salvation unless you actually denounce Christ.

Dear Ralph,

I enjoy reading your webiste and the point of view you have concern many aspects of the christian faith. The question concering Once Saved Always Saved is one that hits very close to home. I grew up in a very christian family, both my grandparents and 2 of my uncles are pastors, and many of us in our family and argued over this point, some of them have even stoped talking to me because I do not believe what they believe. I have always believed that a man could not lose his faith unless he or she denounces God and confesses that they do not believe in the chirstian faith anymore. A person could not lose their salvation by simply sinning (which is what alot of my family members are wanting me to believe) no matter what sin it is, because it is on our nature to sin as humans. Saying that we could kept out of heaven for lying or gossping or anything else you can think of makes no sense at to me because if that were true then why did jesus die for our sins, nobody is perfect like him as to not commit a sin. We are humans, and God knows that, everyone is going to slip up sooner or later, but as long as you are truly sorry and wanting to be forgvien and not turn your back on God, im sure he is willing to forgive also.

My response is in Green:

I agree with you to a point. Let me explain. I don't think that a person loses their salvation if they stumble or even if they fall, if like you said they repent and ask for forgiveness. We don't get to heaven by not sinning and I don't think that we lose heaven by sinning, but that said I do think that sin is very serious even in the life of a Christian and that sin can separate us from God. Here is my point. Sin is the symptom of the disease, but it is not the disease itself. You don't die from the symptom you die from the disease. The disease is a broken relationship with God.

We are all born with this disease and we all sin because of it. Jesus died to cleanse us from our sins, but also to repair that relationship between us and God. Now we are human and we all stumble and fall at times, but it should be very out of character for a Christian, if it isn't then it shows that the disease is back.

Suicide is a good example. This is one of the watershed issues for OSAS. OSAS says that if a Christian commits suicide they will still retain their salvation and be immediately in the presence of Christ. My problem with that is this; a Christian does not just stumble and commit suicide. The fact that a Christian is even thinking of suicide is evidence that there is trouble in their relationship with God.

See my point, in my opinion it is not the sin that causes the person to lose their salvation but it is a sign that the relationship is not being maintained. I think that is what this passage is telling us: (Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV) [26] If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, [27] but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

So you see I agree with you that if for whatever reason a person tells a lie and then dies before being able to ask for forgiveness they are not lost, as long as that relationship is intact. Again this is only my opinion but look at David. I believe that if he had died between the time that he committed adultery and had Uriah killed and the time Nathan confronted him, that he would still have gone to heaven, however, if he had not repented when God sent Nathan to confront him, then he would have been lost. I believe that happens with Christians today. When we sin the Holy Spirit convicts us of that sin. If we will repent we keep that relationship and we are forgiven, but if we resist and are rebellious then I think we have harmed the relationship and in effect rejected what Christ did for us. So I don't think a person has to come right out as say that they reject God or Christ, but that they can do that by their actions and rebellion.

I think you and I agree more then disagree, but I wanted to make sure you understood my point. The reason I have such a big problem with OSAS is that it teaches that no matter what we do after being saved nothing will change that. No matter whether you continue in the faith or not does not matter and I just can't justify that from Scripture.

Anyway, thank you for writing.

Ralph

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