I have been in a conversation with several regarding salvation. This got quite involved regarding whether we could be assured of our salvation or if it, indeed, can be lost. One man was asking for his own benefit. He revealed he suffers from PTSD and anxiety. The fear of losing salvation is giving him a great deal of trouble. He specifically asked me questions that I felt compelled to answer. I am going to share my response. His name has been changed to protect his identity. The forum we used is closed to the public.
I will answer you with full awareness of James 3:1, knowing that I will be judged with greater strictness by God. This should give me pause every time I share, but especially so now. Many on this forum will disagree with me. That’s ok. Since you appear to be asking me, I will answer you directly.
It is my firm belief that salvation cannot be lost. We are still human and not yet perfected. One day we will be. Until then, we still sin. Sometimes we want to; sometimes we don’t. We still have our own evil heart that leads us to sin (Matthew 7:11). Satan is always prowling about, looking to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). Not until the day we meet Jesus face-to-face will we be free of sin. Doubt can lead to sin. Just like any other sin, it leads us away from God. If we stray long enough, we will certainly feel lost, even permanently lost. If we think about it, that’s exactly what Satan would want of a believer. When lost, we are ineffective for the kingdom.
Being lost seems hopeless. I was once lost in the woods. It was awful. Strange enough, panic grips us even though we know we are not far home or that help is near. God is so close that all we need to do is call out his name. He never leaves us even though we may think we have left him. John 10:28-30 teaches us that nothing can snatch us out of either Jesus’ or our Father’s hand. Matthew 18:10-14 teaches us that Jesus will seek and find the one who is lost. So, even though you may have doubt, I do not believe scripture teaches us we can “lose” our salvation. In fact, I believe that the opposite is hammered home – that our salvation is assured.
Now, you will hear many arguments from others who are convinced that one indeed can lose their salvation. Actually, the better term would be “throw it away.” If this is indeed true, then Hebrews 6:4 would certainly seem to negate the possibility of ever restoring the gift of salvation. In a very real sense, it would be as if salvation had never occurred in the first place. Again, I do not believe it is possible that salvation can be reversed by anyone. This would include God because he cannot lie.
How then, do we address doubt? First, and foremost, we need to square ourselves with God. James 4:7-8 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you double-minded.” We need to get control over our evil thoughts, whether it be from our own heart or Satan’s interference. We do this by resisting the devil and drawing near to God. That’s the big picture. Playing that out may involve a ton of work. I recommend a good Christian counselor. Nobody is too “sane” to see one. Of course, a good church and accountability partners are a must. Medication may be required. God certainly will guide you.
Make no mistake, life here on earth will not be easy, but we are guaranteed joy in Christ. That means we need to stick close to him. There will be difficult seasons, like with Job and many, many others in the bible, but joy is a gift freely given by God. It is ours to receive. And here’s the great hope we have – one day we will be with Jesus and all things will be made new.
Take care. PM if you wish. I will make a point to pray that you may enjoy the assurance God provides.
Father, I pray for George and many like him, that they may find peace and joy in the assuredness of their salvation. Amen.