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The gift of eternal salvation



"People having trouble in their Christian walk or seeing a friend having trouble often started to worry about whether their salvation is secure. This page looks at the common question as to whether or not it is once saved always saved."


A visitor to my web site asked, "Do you think there is still a chance for a backslider? Is is his name still written in the book of life? If he dies, will he still go to heaven? What if Jesus comes again?"

When I wrote back the first thing I said was a reminder of what God has declared regarding backsliders. He has said,

"Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you."

Jeremiah 3:14. - NKJV


The visitor asked, "If he (the backslider) dies, will he still go to heaven?"

In response to that my answer is that for the most part it is "once saved always saved". This is confirmed by the promises of Jesus:

Jesus declared, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

John 6:37 - NKJV


Jesus also declared,

And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:49 - NKJV


Further He declared,

I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.

John 10:29-30 - NKJV


You will have probably noticed when I wrote above about the security of our eternal salvation I wrote "for the most part". This is because scripture does give us an exception to this general promise or declaration of once saved always saved.

There is a very extreme form of backsliding where the backslider goes as far as high treason akin to Lucifer's high treason. This is described by the writer of Hebrews,

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Hebrews 6:4-6 - NKJV


This matter is then taken up again in Hebrews 10:28-29,

He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Hebrews 10:28-29 - NKJV


Notice that what you are hearing about there, both in Hebrews chapter 6 and in Hebrews chapter 10, is some pretty extreme backsliding. This all describes a very extreme condition indeed. It is one about which the evangelist Kenneth Hagin said, "In over 40 years of ministry I have only come across one case like this and the person was a pastor's wife."


A visitor to my web site asked, "If so is it by completely rejecting Christ and becoming an atheist/agnostic or by worshipping false gods or Satan (that someone would lose salvation)?"

It's that and much MORE according to Heb.6:4-6 and Heb.10:29! For a person to lose his or her salvation he or she would have to consciously do, as a determined conscious decision, ALL of things listed in Heb.6:4-6 and Heb.10:29 in the very way and within the exact conditions stated in those passages. (And please note those are extreme conditions - who is there who having really experienced the heavenly gift in his or her life would lightly totally backsliding counting the blood of Jesus an unclean thing?)


In conclusion, do - when you think about the nature of your eternal salvation - think about the character of the One who gave it to you. Eternal salvation is a gift of God, it came from the God who is known as the faithful God and as God He is, through Jesus, our loving Heavenly Father. Even without looking at the scriptures I've given above, is it likely that He would give a gift with one hand and take it away with the other?

If you spot backsliding in someone, pray for them in the Holy Spirit asking the Father that His grace be present in their lives to turn them back to walking wholly with Christ.

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