CHRISTIANS AND THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
Can Christians lose their salvation? Now that's an important question. Can I be sure that I'm really saved?
Most Christians have probably had moments of doubt about their salvation. After all, we've all entertained thoughts and have committed acts that we knew were displeasing to God. We've all experienced that sense of remorse and sometimes questioned the reality of our salvation afterwards. Backsliding can no doubt cause such feelings to arise, and should hopefully move us to repentance (1 John 1:9).
However, when it comes to the issue of eternal security, the Bible makes it absolutely clear that those who have been saved will never be lost. Jesus emphatically pointed this out in the Gospel of John when, in reference to believers, He said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand..." (John 10:28). In this passage, Christ explicitly declared that no one who has received eternal life will ever lose it.
Furthermore, in such passages as 2 Corinthians 1:22, and Ephesians 1:13, the apostle Paul indicated that the Holy Spirit acts as the very seal of God's ownership of the believer; He serves as the guarantee of our inheritance to come - namely, eternal life (John 5:24; 1 John 5:13). In describing our inheritance the apostle Peter used some very powerful words - words like "imperishable," "undefiled," and "unfading" (1 Pet. 1:5). With these words He underscored the everlasting assurance believers have with respect to God's gift of salvation.
Now I know what you're asking: "What about the Christians who have completely abandoned their faith?" Well, judging by what we're told in Scripture we can only conclude that they were never saved from the start. You see, while "once saved, always saved" is true from God's perspective, man only looks at the outward appearance and thus cannot always accurately assess who is really saved in the first place. The question therefore is not whether someone lost their salvation, but whether they had ever had it at all. As Romans chapter eight says, "there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (v. 38-29). He is the very source of our salvation.
And remember, eternal life that comes to the believer through faith in Christ is not life for two weeks, two months, or even two years; eternal life is everlasting life. It begins at the moment of conversion and stretches on through the eons of time.
From the Christian Research Institute
CRI Perspective: CP0703