I am currently reading The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien. Frodo Baggins and his companions meet a man named Strider on their journey to Rivendell. He is rough-looking and frightening.
Strider is actually Aragorn, son of Arathorn, heir of Isildur, the rightful ruler of Gondor. Gandalf the wizard says of him in a letter to Frodo, “All that is gold does not glitter, Not all who wander are lost.”
In other words, things aren’t always what they seem. Appearances can be deceiving; there is always more than meets the eye.
Realizing this helps us answer the question, “Can a Christian lose their salvation?”
A Flawed Trend
We tend to think of people as either saved or unsaved. We also put them into these categories based on appearances. If someone lives like a saved person, they are saved. If they live like an unsaved person, they are unsaved.
But what happens when a saved person lives like an unsaved person? Do we put them back into the unsaved category? If an unsaved person can be saved, can a saved person be unsaved?
We want this to be a black-and-white issue, don’t we? We want to keep things simple and give a definite “yes” or “no” answer. But the Bible reminds us that things aren’t always what they seem.
What the Bible Says
The Bible defies our simplistic thinking. It complicates the issue by cautioning us that:
Not all who seem saved are saved
“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
“They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us” (1 John 2:19).
When a saved person lives as though they are unsaved, they might be revealing their true spiritual condition.
Not all who seem unsaved are unsaved
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently” (Galatians 6:2).
“My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).
When a saved person lives as though they are unsaved, they might be revealing their need for others to bring them to repentance.
What It Means For Us
Jesus told the Jews who rejected Him, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment” (John 7:24). We shouldn’t be quick to assume that someone has lost their salvation. After all, things aren’t always what they seem.
Now let us return to our question: “Can a Christian lose their salvation?” In a previous post, the Bible assured us of our salvation. In a following post, it warned us not to lose our salvation. In this post, it cautioned us that things aren’t always what they seem.
We are now ready to give an answer next month in the final post of this series.
Is it true that things aren’t always what they seem when it comes to others’ salvation? Leave your thoughts with a comment below!
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4 thoughts on ““Once Saved Always Saved”: Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation? (Part 3)”
I really have appreciated you doing these series on ‘can we lose our salvation’. Thank you. 🙂
It’s been good for me to think it through. Thanks for the idea!
Good news for you. I asked you awhile back to pray for our son, Philip and his wife, Heather. She is not a Christian and our son has slid back. Well, since then they have discovered a church our daughter in laws cousins have been going to and they really like it. Our grandchildren loved Sunday School too, so they are going to “try to go once a month or so”. God is working and I am encouraged. Thanks again for your great blog and your prayers. God bless you in your ministry. Debbie 🙂
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