I know, you’re shocked, so I’m going to also tell you that I have not loved God with all my heart today.
This is the first commandment, people…it’s serious, and I have broken it several times today.
I haven’t had faith in God like I should either…sometimes I doubt Him when I shouldn’t.
What am I going to do?
Can I trust these feelings?
Have I lost my salvation?
Do I need to get re-saved?
The answer in short is “no” however there are some denominations that would wrongly tell you “yes, you can lose your salvation.” My adopted hometown paper runs articles written by local pastors in the religion section on weekends. A few months ago it ran an article by a local Pentecostal pastor with the headline “Once gained, can salvation be lost? Best to take no chances” naturally, this piqued my interest as well as my frustration as I read the article. The pastor argued that “the Bible teaches that a person can forfeit their salvation by their action or inaction” That doesn’t sound like the same Jesus that said: “My yoke is easy, and my burden light” does it?
So according to this pastor, salvation, once received, is up to me to keep.
Salvation is how God gives us a divine second chance?
That’s funny …I can’t seem to recall any Bible verses that said that salvation was an action on our part.
I thought that maybe I was wrong on this, maybe there are verses that teach that salvation is an action on our part, I mean I’m not as well-educated as someone who has been to seminary. So I looked…
I suppose you could try to make the argument that Jesus states several times in John 14 that if we love him we will keep his commandments. But we have to understand to whom was Jesus talking here…his eleven disciples…and us as Christians…us who are already saved. Jesus is not speaking to someone who is in need of saving, but to those who are already saved. The obedience Jesus refers to in these verses are nothing meritorious concerning our salvation, they actually refer to the coming of the Holy Spirit, the helper who guides us and directs us and makes our hearts glad to obey Christ.
The other big problem here is the idea of free-will. I have already discussed the myth of free-will in a previous blog post, so I won’t re-hash that argument here. I will, however, re-emphasize that God is not powerless over our “free-will.” Christ is not a beggar outside the door to your heart pleading with us to let Him in. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” was not an invitation by Christ to unbelievers…it was a call to the church.
I know I cannot trust my feelings, feelings change, and they are misleading. The Bible warns that the heart is desperately wicked, so I know I cannot trust my heart, but I can trust the Bible when it says that God never changes. “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is YOUR faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”” Lamentations 3:22-24. Salvation rests on the grace of God, not upon your level of faithfulness, faith is an instrument, but Christ does the saving. I know from reading my Bible that my works did not save me nor can they keep me saved. Salvation is of the Lord!
“But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the LORD!” Jonah 2:9
“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.” John 10:27-29
I know that even though there are times I don’t “feel” like a Christian, and I don’t “feel” close to God, I am saved and I am firmly in His grasp, and nothing can be snatched from His hand. I know that because I am saved, I do not have to get re-saved because I have sinned. And I know that I cannot willful forfeit my salvation because it is not possible that my will is greater than God’s.
I believe that of all the different branches of Christianity those that teach that you can lose your salvation or can backslide out of a gift freely given are the most egregious. They teach the doctrines of man and not of God. They fall into the same camp as the Pharisees that Jesus spent so much time warning us about. They tie heavy loads on the backs of their followers, and only add to the problem when the weight becomes more than a person can bear. I pray that God would let these men see the error of their ways and they would start preaching the doctrines of God instead of the doctrines of man.