Join Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley and Sam Storms as they discuss whether or not one can lose their salvation.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    5 replies to "Theology Unplugged: Problem Passages 9 – Can You Lose Your Salvation?"

    • Tyler Cowden

      Nice show! I wholeheartedly agree–Sam nailed it: vv. 7-9 is the inspired illustration and therefore a perfect grid for interpreting 4-6.

      Looking forward to the James 2 show. The ESV Study Bible notes are the best I’ve seen it explained yet. They show how the two distinct events in Abraham’s life (his first confession of faith in God’s promise and the sacrifice of Isaac) are referenced in James, and how Abraham is forensically justified by faith in Genesis 15 but is “justified” in the sense of “vindicated” as having true and living faith by his willingness to sacrifice Isaac in Genesis 22. When James asks ‘Was not Abraham justified by works when he offered Isaac?’, one part of a true answer would be, ‘No, he was justified in Genesis 15 way before that.’ Of course it’s also true that in another sense, of course his works outwardly demonstrated his trust in God (specifically, His resurrection power, according to Hebrews).

    • Steve Martin

      Jesus warned us about “losing ourselves”.

      But the Scriptures also tell us that Jesus has lost none that the Father gave him.

      I take great comfort in that, but we still not take our salvation for granted. We can and should have assurance in His external Word of promise to us.

    • Steve Meikle

      Can one lose salvation? one can reject it. Hebrews 6:4 is most explicit, if one who has partaken of the spirit falls away it is impossible for him to be restored.

      how can one partake of the Spirit and not be born again?

      Impossible, so those born again can fall away to perdition. So once saved always saved is false

      the solution is not fear or frantic legalism it is abiding in christ in personal relationship.

      Staying with him is not a doctrinal platform but a relationship. OSAS is a doctrinal platform not a relationship. There is nothing to fear re falling away but OSAS as a doctrinal platform seeks to deny the warnings in scripture. AS such it, OSAS, can mask the danger of legalism and actually produce said falling away unnoticed by us

      YES, we can fall away.

      Stay with Him, Abide in christ.

      I reject OSAS outright and take mny security in christ the person not in christian doctrine alone (ie) separate and distinct from christ the person, which is in fact to defy said doctrine and make an idol of it

      for personal intimate love relationship with the Father is what HE would give us.

      We can be as orthodox as we like, without this we are still lost

    • R.C.

      One cannot lose one’s salvation in the sense of having it taken away without one’s own cooperation.

      But one can by one’s own will reject it in various ways.

      The easiest is unforgiveness: “If you do not forgive men their sins, neither will My Father in Heaven forgive you.” Can a person go to Heaven if the Father has not forgiven his sins? No exception is made for people who, at some point in the past, accepted Christ and prayed the sinner’s prayer, et cetera.

      And the vine/olive tree passages likewise show that a person who has no fruit will be taken out of the vine/tree, thrown into the fire, and burned. But you have to first be IN the vine/tree before you can be taken out of it.

      Finally, keep in mind that Adam was walking in union with God prior to sinning. His eternal destiny, had it not been for that sin, was everlasting life…and Adam didn’t have the impediment of habitual sin or a preexisting tendency towards sin. Yet even in that exalted state, Adam, by sinning, was able to fall.

      If a man who had never sinned before, who never had to wrestle with sinful habits, who as yet had no impediment to communion with his Creator, no sense of distance or estrangement between him and God, was able to fall away from life into death by his own choice, how much more so is that possible for the rest of us?

      The idea that one cannot reject salvation through sin is, sadly, a tradition of men which nullifies the word of God. Good, well-meaning people often hold it (I once did) but it is incorrect.

    • R.C.

      One other issue: The passage cited in the audio is in the letter/sermon to the Hebrews. And the writing makes it clear that it is not directed to all Jews, but specifically to Jewish Christians. And, of course, this is in the first century as persecution was starting.

      Keeping all that in mind, we get a better picture of those who have fallen away: They are Jews who initially became convinced that Jesus was the Messiah and became Christians.

      Later, after being Christians and taking communion (“tasting the heavenly gift”) and perhaps experiencing various miracles or charismatic gifts, these people renounced Christ and returned to non-Messianic Judaism.

      In order to do this, they had to reject Jesus as Messiah, and thereby identify Jesus as a false prophet, a pretender, and a blasphemer. All the miracles of Jesus would, in that context, have to be explained as diabolical works or tricks.

      So we must not draw hasty comparisons to a person who falls away from faith in modernity. These formerly-Christian Hebrews being described are not like modern Jews who often go so far as to call Jesus a “good man.” They were calling Jesus an evil blasphemer and liar and in all likelihood were assisting the non-Christian Jews in persecuting the early Christians.

      This, then, is the kind of person that it is impossible to “restore to repentance.” Funny term, that: It suggests something done externally by another as in when doctor restores a patient to health.

      What, then, is the lesson?

      We Christians, when confronted with an ex-Christian who has left the faith in a determined way, switching to an anti-Christian polemical position which badmouths Christ and all Christians, cannot externally do anything to the ex-Christian which will bring them to repentance.

      They themselves might still repent, by God’s grace. But we can’t expect that WE can do anything to make it happen. We can pray for them, but it’ll be impossible to convince them they’re wrong, to…

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