A Christian (One who has been saved from sin) Can Lose Their Salvation and Become Unsaved
Affirmed: The Bible teaches that it is possible to have once believed and obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ and been saved from sin, then later having changed and turned from the faith, forsaking God, forfeiting salvation and becoming unsaved.
1.) It is possible for a Christian to sin (transgress God law – 1 Jn. 3:4)
2.) The penalty for sin is death – Rom. 6:23 (separation from God – Isa. 59:1-2/Heb. 3:12)
Therefore, since a Christian CAN sin and transgress God Word, for which the penalty is separation from Almighty God and eventually eternal punishment; then it is certainly possible for a Christian (i.e. one who has been saved and forgiven of sin) to so sin as to fall from the grace of God and lose their salvation.
First is cite John 14:16 which says: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.
How can the Counselor be with the saved forever if a Christian can loose his salvation and the counselor? I will approach this like a geometry proof and say: definition of forever.
Now I look to1 Peter 1:3-5 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God"s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
If I loose my salvation my inheritance therefore perishes, and spoils. Also it says that we are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation. Why would God take away the salvation and forgiveness but still shield us?
Lastly God even kindly states in Romans 11:29 - ...for God"s gifts and his call are irrevocable. God wouldn't take away a Christian's salvation because if he did he would be contradicting Himself when He says God is not a man that He should lie.... therefore he doesn't contradict Himself.
I eagerly aware your reply.
First of all, I express my sincerely thanks and utmost respect to my opponent for accepting my challenge to debate this crucial topic. As this issue is serious and of grave importance, I will likewise esteem my opponent in that same light throughout this debate.
In response to my opponent’s argument, I say that his approach to my proposition is not only directed in the wrong direction, but it also denies arguments which are not in question.
He says that since the “Counsellor” or the Holy Spirit is given to be with us “forever”, that it is impossible to lose or forfeit one’s salvation.
The passage he used in this premise is Jn. 14:16; a passage referring NOT to Christians in general or the church, but to the apostles of Jesus Christ, to whom the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to empower them to perform miracles and spiritual gifts in confirmation of their preaching; “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” – Mk. 16:20 and “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will?” – Heb. 2:3-4.
Moreover, this function of the Holy Spirit in no way precludes the free will of the Christian. The write of the Book of Hebrews confirms this very idea, affirming that those who had once “tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost... and the powers of the world to come” could in fact “fall away” – Heb. 6:4-6. In which case, as well as any, the “fallen” had exercised volition, will and choice in turning from the God who had once saved him/her.
Secondly, my opponent cited 1 Pet. 1:3-5 as proof-text in support of his argument. Again, a text which indicates the surety and steadfastness of God and His promised reward, but not at all addresses the volition and free will of the Christian. Yes, the reward is laid up for the Christian who remains faithful until the end – 2 Tim. 4:7-8/Jms. 1:12. Peter points out in this passage that the reward that is promised to every Christian is not perishable or corruptible and does not wax old and wear out. This is confirmation of the Lord’s Words; “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” – Matt. 6:19-20. Neither I nor Peter suggested that anyone’s reward is “taken away” from them. However, in so sinning as to turn from Almighty God, one simply forfeits and renounces their reward.
So, my opponent mentioned Rom. 11:29, stating that neither God’s gifts nor His calling are revocable.
The term employed in that text is actually “αN7;μεταμεL9;λητος -ametameleM2;tos”, translated and defined as “regret”rather than “revoke”. Nevertheless, the text doesn’t say what my opponent pretends it says. Just a few verses prior, in the very same context, the inspired apostles warns the Christians he’s addressing, not to be high-minded or puffed up with pride, because “if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee” – Rom. 11:21, and goes on to say “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off” – vs. 22.
Finally, one passage for your careful consideration: “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” – 2 Pet. 2:20-22
The apostle Peter describes Christians who had “escaped the pollutions of the world”, “known the way of righteousness” and become pure inwardly and clean outwardly; but, had later “become entangled again” with worldly pollutions, “forsaken the holy commandment” and defiled themselves again in returning to the sin from which they were once saved – 2 Pet. 2:20-22.
The possibility of a Christian falling from God’s grace and losing their salvation is ABUNDANTLY clear, especially in this passage.
I stand by my previous arguments normally I'd give my rebuttal, but I think you may be right when you said I was going in the wrong direction.
So here goes can a Christian loose his salvation? First let's define Christian
A Christian is a person who has, by faith, received and fully trusted in Jesus Christ as the only Savior. With that definition in mind let's look at what the Bible says happens when one becomes a Christian: he or she is a new creation(2 Corinthians 5:17),he or she is redeemed (1 Peter 1:18-19),A Christian is justified(Romans 5:1). A Christian is promised eternal life(John 3:16), A Christian is guaranteed glorification(Romans 8:30)
Many more illustrations of what occurs at salvation could be shared. Even these few make it abundantly clear that a Christian cannot lose salvation. Most, if not all, of what the Bible says happens to us when we receive Jesus Christ as Savior would be invalidated if salvation could be lost. Salvation cannot be reversed. A Christian cannot be un-newly created. Redemption cannot be undone. Eternal life cannot be lost and still be considered eternal. If a Christian can lose salvation, God would have to go back on His Word and change His mind"two things that Scripture tells us God never does.
I hope that's better.
Actually “Lightning”, you’re going backwards now. “Christian” is defined in my initial proposition; “believed and obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ and been saved from sin”.
I truly do not know WHERE you’re getting your “trusted in Jesus Christ as the only Savior” business. Where is that taught in the Bible?
If I need only ONE verse of scripture to complete annihilate my opponent’s position, that verse would be “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” 2 Thess. 2:3.
The inspired apostles affirmed that God’s wrath will be unleashed upon His enemies (the persecutors of Christians) AFTER a mass “falling away” of unfaithful Christians.
The prophet Jude had this to say to warn first century Christians from falling from God’s grace and losing their salvation and Heavenly reward (PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY): “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” Jude 5
Now, answer this “Lightning”. Why did the inspired apostles call these “our EXAMAPLES and WARNING” if it were NOT POSSIBLE for Christians to likewise become, unfaithful and unbelieving and ultimately “fall away” and fall short of our reward?
Finally, the inspired writer of Hebrews made it totally CLEAR that the once “saved” Christian can develop “an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” Heb. 3:12.
Now, can you “DE-part” (be “removed”) or “separate” from anything of which you were never part OF or connected TO? IMPOSSIBLE! Nevertheless, the writer warns that the Christian's unfaithfulness leads to and results in “removal” and “separation” FROM the living God who at one time saved him/her.
Lightningstar forfeited this round.
Consider the Lord’s illustration in the parable below.
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Lk. 8:11-15
Jesus described four groups of souls who ALL heard the gospel of Christ, of which only one of the four groups ends up saved eternally. Notice that the “seed is the Word (i.e. gospel) of God.” vs. 11
Really, many have and continually hear and believe the gospel of Christ, rendering obedience in baptism for the forgiveness of sins. But, often when events happen and circumstance arise in life where Christians either make decisions contrary to God’s Word, or end up gradually drifting away from God and the faith (adultery, fornication, homosexuality, drug abuse, alcoholism, etc.), from which many never repent and/or recover. Thus, they fall away from God’s grace.
It happens all the time and we read about it in scripture over and over. Therefore, the IMpossibility of a child of God falling away, is among the devil’s most cunning and effective devices which trap so many unsuspecting souls.
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt. 7:21-22
I defined Christian for a reason your definition was vague at best.
Now for my closing statement:
My opponent says my argument is wrong because I say salvation is a promise when reality it was a promise God promised he would send salvation. It was a promises and we both agree God doesn't go back on his promises. That is all there is to say about that.
Now I thank my opponent for a spirited debate and wish him luck.