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The Contender
Pro (for)
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A Christian can lose their salvation 2

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/24/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,283 times Debate No: 17630
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




Round one is for acceptance and rules only.
+ No semantics, if you don' understand the resolution don't accept the debate.
+ Arguments must be backed with scripture
+ Keep it clean
+ Please only accept if you're committed to debating this topic.


Round one is for acceptance only, so I guess I have to wait till round 2 to show my evidence that a Christian can lose his salvation. I look forward to Con's argument that he can't.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent first of all for accepting this debate!
Let me start by saying that this is a topic that as of now I'm fairly uncertain of my stance on. there is plenty of scripture both ways to support either belief.
It it my hope that through the course of his debate, that both my opponent and I can argue in such a way as to produce genuine thought and clash between these two beliefs. It is not my hope, that either of us debates this round with the intention of simply trying to tuck another win beneath our belts, or to change the others beliefs. But instead to test the metal of our own.

That said, I will not begin with the actual debate.
= Definitions =
Romans 10:9 "If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Lose- [1]"Be deprived of or cease to have or retain"
Salvation- [2]
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

= Arguments =
1. John 10:27-29 NIV
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them 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."
+ They have Eternal Live, and shall never Perish
+ No one can snatch them out of the Father's Hand

2. Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
+ The lord will never leave us nor forsake us

3. Philippians 1:6 NIV
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
+ He who began a good work in us will carry it out until completion

4. 1 John 5:13 NIV
"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."
+ We have eternal Life

5. Revelations 22:17 NIV
"The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let the one who hears say, "Come!" Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life."
+ Cross reference with John 4:14 "but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.""
+ Once their their thirst has been quenched, they will never thirst again.
+ If one loses their salvation, then they are thirsting.

6. Hebrews 7:25 NIV
"Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."
+ Save completely

7. Romans 8:31-39 NIV
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
+ No commentary necessary

"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

= Sources =
[2] Google Dictionary


Since my opponent seems to prefer the NIV, that's the translation I'll use unless otherwise stated. Now to address the passages he used:

1. John 10:27-29
Jesus says no one can "snatch" them out of his hands, he doesn't say they can't choose to leave. As long as you are one of his sheep you will never perish, but only if you remain one of his sheep till the end. Matt 24:13 places the condition on salvation that one must endure to the end. If it were impossible to lose salvation, it would not be conditional on their endurance. Many who once served God chose to turn away. Why would the Bible writers waste so much effort warning us not to go astray from the path if it were impossible to lose our salvation? A person who accepted Jesus could thus become homosexual, and a rapist till he dies and still be saved. This is the logical conclusion of the once-saved always saved doctrine. That God will let you into his kingdom no matter what you do after you are saved, which is impossible, for if you blaspheme against the Holy Spirit you won't ever be forgiven. (Matt 12:31-32) Even Paul says some actions can stop us from being saved if we don't repent. (1 Cor 6:9-10)

The alternative is to argue that a saved person could not do wicked acts to the extent that they lose their salvation. But this implies that God takes away their free will to choose not to obey, and are now like robot machines with no choice but to serve God. This isn't really serving God from the heart, but a mockery of salvation, where God drags the unwilling sinner on the ride to heaven.

2. Deuteronomy 31:6
The Lord will never leave us nor forsake us, on the condition that we remain faithful to him. In the previous chapter Moses tells God's people (many of whom I assume were already saved) that if they obey God he would stay on their side, but if they left him, they would perish. (Deu 30:15-19) In fact, surprising you mention Deu 31, because in verses 16-18 of that same verse God promises that he would "forsake" Israel when they turned away from him to worship other gods.

3. Philippians 1:6
Yes, God will continue to work in us as long as we obey him, but in Phil 2:12 Paul tells us to "keep working out" our own salvation with fear and trembling. This shows that the final, ultimate salvation of the individual is not yet closed until that person is dead. If there was possibility of losing salvation once gained, they would not need to keep working it out all the time. Paul was writing to believers who were already saved.

4. 1 John 5:13
I know I have $5, does that mean I can't loose it? No; know that you have something is not proof you can't loose it. Because they have eternal life doesn't mean they can't loose it.

5. Revelations 22:17; John 4:14
Remember, these things are all conditional. One must read the word in order to keep filled spiritually. (Psalm 1:1-4) He must also pray, and do other things to keep his relationship with God alive. If one does not do these things, his relationship will become weak and he will get thirsty again. Now, what is the water being spoken about in these passages? The word of God that nourishes us like water. "What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow." (1 Cor 3:5-6) It is the word that gives life, hence Jesus says "The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life." (John 6:63) Paul says "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word." (Eph 5:25-26) Here again the word is likened to water. So "the water of life" is God's word, his instructions, that we must take hold of in order to really life. This is a condition of maintaining one's salvation; without this life-giving water, we would die, for man must live not on bread alone, but one every word from the mouth of God. (Matt 4:4) If we don't feed ourselves spiritually, we'll become spiritually sick, and dead.

6. Hebrews 7:25
This verse is talking about what Jesus "can" do, not what he "will" do for "every" single person. Just because some let go of their salvation does not mean Jesus can't save them completely.

7. Romans 8:31-39
Nothing can separate us from God's love under the conditions that we choose to remain in his love. Notice Paul warns that we can actually loose out on God's favor. Paul says: "You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off." (Rom 11:19-22)

Paul is saying that the natural branches (Hebrews) were cut off because of lack of faith, so if Gentile Christians don't remain in the faith, they too will be cast off. Note the condition "provided you continue in his kindness," so salvation is dependant on our continuing faithful to God.

Here are some verses that indicate a Christian can lose his salvation:

Heb. 10:26, 27, RS: "If we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries."

Heb 6:4-6 "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned."

These folks were obviously saved, really saved, they had been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, shared in Holy Spirit, tasted not just the goodness of the word but also the powers of the world to come, so these were genuine Christians, yet, they fall away to the point beyond repentance, and end up being destroyed. Here is a classic case of losing one's salvation.

I close with these questions: if a person is saved, can he choose to become an atheist? If not, why not? Does God force him not to believe this? And if so, is this not salvation by force? How does free will enter into all this? And if God is saving people against their will, why only save some and not all? I look forward to my opponent's anwers.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for their rebuttal!
Just as a brief road map, I'll follow their arguments straight down the flow.

1. John 10:27-29-
+ The whole "They can choose to leave" argument is a weak one. Scripture makes is very clear, that once some-one has known the love of God, they are literally unable to turn away from him.
+ Homosexuality, Rape, Murder, essentially any sin you can think of all have one thing in common; they are all sin. Christ didn't come to die solely for these big ticket sins, but he came to die because any and every sin man committed separated them from God.
+ This verse simply means that those who stay strong to the end will be saved, it does nothing to prove that those who stumble will not be saved
+ Blasphemy of the holy spirit, is not using God's name in vain; but it's denying the holy spirit. i.e. never accepting him in the first place.
+ When quoting 1 Cor 6:9-10 My opponent forgets to quote the 11th verse of this passage "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." Also, Romans 5:1 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"

+ No, the alternative is that we are forgiven and justified through faith. We cannot live our lives in this fear that we are constantly at risk of losing our salvation.

2. Deuteronomy 31:6
+ let's look at Deuteronomy 30:17-18 "But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess."
It says the will be destroyed, but not that God would destroy them. And again, this means they still have salvation.

3. Philippians 1:6
+ Philippians 2:12 does not show that we only have partial salvation, or that we can lose our salvation, it simply means that we need to continue to grow close to God, and continue to work out, and clarify our salvation.

4. 1 John 5:13
+ My opponent does not back this argument up with scripture.

5. Revelations 22:17/6. John 4:14
+ If it where conditional, it would not be called a gift.
+ Psalm 1:1-4 means that the faithful will prosper, not that the unfaithful will lose their salvation.
+ 1 Corinthians 3:5-6 Does not prove my opponent's argument, it simply shows how we come to know Christ.
+ John 6:63, again does not prove my opponent's point. It simply shows the importance of the spiritual food God gives us.
+ Ephesians 5:25-26 Again does not prove my opponent' point.
+ In order to fully live out the relationship Christ promises us, we must remain faithful. This doesn't mean however that by being unfaithful we lose our salvation. 1 Timothy 1:19-20 "holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme." Hymenaeus and Alexander did not lose their salvation, although they committed blasphemy.
+ Again, Matthew 4:4 doesn't mean without this we'll lose our salvation, it simply means we need it. And while we will become weak and sick, we will not die.

7. Hebrews 7:25
+ My opponent doesn't address this argument with scripture.

8. Romans 8:31-39
+ Romans 11:23 "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again." Along with this, extend my rebuttals on 5&6. This doesn't speak of losing your salvation, but simply in being right with God.

Hebrews 10:26-27
+ This judgement doesn't mean that we go to hell, it simply means that once in heaven we will have to give an account of our lives. Revelations 20:12-13 "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done."

Hebrews 6:4-6
+ This is blasphemy of the hold spirit, the only unforgivable sin. They where confronted with God, and yet they denied him. They chose not to become a Christian.
+ Extend the clash on John 10:27-29
+ Extend the clash on Revelations 22:17 and John 4:14

= Conclusion =
+ In conclusion, I've shown with immense proof of scripture that once cannot lose their salvation.
+ I've also shown how Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is not a saved Christian committing apostasy; but it is when some-one is presented with the word of God and is led by the Holy Spirit to accept Christ; and they deny him. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is not accepting Christ.
+ If they've never accepted Christ, then they Do Not know him. Thus they are not losing their salvation.


"once some-one has known the love of God, they are literally UNABLE to turn away from him."

So the angels to turned away from God "never ever" knew the love of God? (Jude 6; Rev 12:4) So Adam and Eve "never" knew God's love before they turned away? Even Satan himself was not always the Devil, did he not "ever" experience God's love? Con says Christians are "UNABLE," that is, THEY DON'T HAVE THE ABILITY,a to turn away from God. So would this not impinge on their free will? Salvation maintained by force? Why didn't God create man without the ability to sin in the first place so that no one would go to hell? Robot Christians; is that what we become once we accept Jesus?

He says that Matt 24:13 "does nothing to prove that those who stumble will not be saved." But surely no one could deliberately "practice" sin without repenting and be saved. There are many Christians who lose faith in God and embrace such things as atheism, agnosticism, homosexuality, etc, and maintain these positions all their lives. Surely they have not endured to the end.

If, as Con claims, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is never accepting him in the first place, but there are people who have not yet accept Jesus; are they guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? If so, they will not be forgiven even if they repent and give their lives to Jesus; so salvation isn't open to them. So did Jesus only die for "some" men? Jesus mentioned blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in the context of people who should know better attributing the power of God to Satan, that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. (Matt 12:22-34)

At 2 Cor 11:2-4 Paul tells the believers that he is afraid that they might embrace another Jesus. Tell me, were they not saved? Was this not a congregation of Christians many of whom were saved? Yet, accepting another Jesus, another gospel, would entail losing one's salvation, for it is faith in the true Jesus, in the true Gospel of his death, that his blood cleanses us from sin, that saves us in the first place. To embrace the Jehovah's Witness doctrine, for instance, that Jesus is a created being, (which would be to accept another Jesus) would be a denial of the one who really saves. We are saved by FAITH through grace; how can one still be saved if he loses that faith?

"We cannot live our lives in this fear that we are constantly at risk of losing our salvation."

Cause in Con's mind, once you're saved you can't lose that salvation, and this leads to the doctrine held by many that no what they do or for how long (even a lifetime) they are still saved. Yet the Bible warns that if we willfully practice sin after knowing the truth, we have no sacrifice for sin left. (Heb 10:26-27) He was talking to Christians. Were there no saved people among them? 1 Tim 1:19-20 says that some have shipwrecked their "faith" (the thing that saves us when put in Jesus). So even the faith itself we put in Jesus needs to be guarded, it can be ruined.

Deuteronomy 31:6 was talking about "salvation"? For argument sake, let's say it was, "not fail, nor forsake thee." Now, to whom was this addressed, the Israelites. So, I'll ask Con, were they all saved? If not, then it was conditional.

Deuteronomy 30:17-18 "But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess."

This is an "if" statement. It would not present even the possibility of turning away from God if this was impossible for people who are saved. If worshipping other gods up to the moment one dies is not turning away from Yahweh, please Con, tell us what is. Previously Con claimed a saved person is UNABLE to turn away from God, so were none in this audience to whom Deuteronomy 30:17-18 is addressed saved?

"It says the will be destroyed, but not that God would destroy them. And again, this means they still have salvation."

So there you have it. Con claims these people were saved and yet could worship other gods right up to the point when they were killed by their enemies. How is that not "turning away" from God? Is this not just an excuse for church people to do whatever they want, and break God's commands with the understanding that they will still get to heaven? This flies in the face of God's word which says that Jesus will says to them, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt 7:22-24) To worship false gods right up till you die is not my idea of enduring to the end, which is exactly what one must do to remain saved. (Matt 24:13)

Philippians 2:12 says to "work out" our salvation with "fear and trembling." If we can't loose that salvation, what do we have to be afraid of? He was the one who said earlier that we can't live in fear of losing our salvation; this verse says the direct opposite.

1 John 5:13 merely says that they have eternal life, it doesn't comment on weather or not they can or can't lose it; this verse doesn't prove Con's point at all.

"Revelations 22:17/6. John 4:14
If it where conditional, it would not be called a gift."

Salvation is a gift, but it is conditional that we have to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior first. So gifts do come with conditions. One condition for maintaining that salvation is enduring to the end. (Matt 24:13)

I gave 1 Corinthians 3:5-6 to show how the Bible symbolically uses the word "water" to explain its significance in Rev 22:17 and John 4:14. As for John 6:63, the word is life, so if someone does not feed on the word, he will die spiritually. Let Con tell us, can one be both "saved" and "spiritually dead"?

Timothy 1:19- Hymenaeus and Alexander
Are you serious? You actually believe these guys didn't lose their salvation? It is faith in Jesus that brings salvation, and these guys shipwrecked their faith, not just their works, but their "faith" itself was shipwrecked. Without faith in Jesus there can be no salvation. Paul says he handed them over to Satan!

On Matthew 4:4 Con actually says that we won't die if we don't eat the very food Jesus says we need to live. Well, I'll take Jesus' word over his. What about you?

He says I never addressed Hebrews 7:25, I did, and I'll do so again. Jesus also says the God "can" raise up to Abraham children from stones. (Matt 3:9) Does that mean he will do it? No. Heb 7:25 is talking about what Jesus "can" do, not what he "will" do; but I n any case, this verse doesn't imply that he forces those who come to him for salvation to stay.

In Rom 11:19-22, what is it they were cut off from? Con says its not salvation, let him tell us what it is; this answer should be revealing.

"Hebrews 10:26-27
This judgement doesn't mean that we go to hell, it simply means that once in heaven we will have to give an account of our lives."

If we are still going to heaven despite practicing sin "willfully," the judgment would not be one to "fear"! At most it might be a scolding; but Paul tells us here to fear this judgment! Verse 28-31 continue to show that this punishment is one worse than physical death under the law of Moses, and under that law people were stoned or burned to death. Sounds a lot like hell to me.

Hebrews 6:4-6 says these people have actually "tasted" of the heavenly gift. Only a person who is truly in Christ could taste it, not an unbeliever. They even tasted the "powers of the world to come," now tell me how an unbeliever experiences that? Only through accepting Christ can one do so. But just to make sure, Paul says its not possible for them to "be brought back to repentance," which means that previously they had truly "repented," so this was describing people who were Christians. And they turned away from God, losing their salvation.
Debate Round No. 3


I'm sorry to my opponent, but before I time out, I really need to say thanks for a great debate.
I do not have time to make a rebuttal, but I've truly gotten a great deal out of this debate.
This isn't a forfeit, and I hope my opponent will understand.

Again, thanks for a fantastic debate!
Please vote Con.


I want to thank Con for what I think was indeed a worthwhile debate. He is indeed a worthy opponent. As he didn't have time to make a final rebuttal, and as he won't be able to reply to anything I say here, I won't be offering any rebuttals or new points. Thank you all for reading and please vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Hello-Orange 7 years ago
It doesn't matter what you WANT your religion to be. If you're a Christian, you need to know what you believe based on scripture.
Posted by alex0828 7 years ago
I don't want my religion to be a religion where a mass murderer can go to Heaven just because this person says their Christian. That would make Christianity the free ride to Heaven religion. I DO however believe that God forgives those who are TRULY sorry.
Posted by Hello-Orange 7 years ago
Posted by BlackVoid 7 years ago
Well devout Christian A can theoretically get in a car crash and scream "Oh my God!!!" just before they die, and they would be sent to eternal damnation for using God's name in vain.

That makes sense, right? Right?!
Posted by Hello-Orange 7 years ago
Whew, I barely made this within the time-limit @-@
You've made some great arguments daley!
Posted by Hello-Orange 7 years ago
>-> I may time out, if so I'm very sorry.
Posted by Hello-Orange 7 years ago
I'll have my argument up tomorrow, sorry for taking so long and hanks for the patience :)
Posted by Gileandos 7 years ago
I will accept but you will need to clarify.
Are we debating the veracity of once saved always saved? Frozen Chosen? or even if you are saved you will lead a holy life by response and cannot fall?

You are going to get a semantic debate if you do not clarify.

But I do accept when you make the changes.
Posted by freedomsquared 7 years ago
Would I be right in saying that the resolution means it is possible to be damned to hell before you die (you won't be able to repent, no going back, etc...)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by PARADIGM_L0ST 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO was able to prove, biblically, that one can lose their salvation. The Parable of the Sower, alone, proves this, but PRO went the extra mile.
Vote Placed by kohai 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Great debate but pro's 3rd round went unrefuted. Also, misquotes from con and a nice solid rebuttals of the proof texts.