Can a Saved Person Ever Be Lost? This is one of many important questions that I have been asked over my lifetime as a Pastor. Here is one way to start to explain it, and I will continue to in the up-coming months. Ephesians 2, is where you would need to begin as I walk through this important question.
Let’s pretend that we all have just boarded a jet for a non-stop trip overseas. We all get on the airplane, take our seats, and fasten our seat belts, then we reach for a magazine, and when we do, we see something at our feet that bothers us…a set of bicycle pedals. Attached to those bicycle pedals is a big sprocket with a chain going thru the floor to the engines.
So, you call for a flight attendant, and you ask, “What’s w/ the bicycle pedals?” She says, “Look around!” You look and everybody’s got them. “Why do we all have these pedals?” you ask. “Well, the pilot has agreed to get us in the air, but we have to keep it in the air…he’ll get us to 30,000 feet, but then we’ll all have to pedal real hard to keep it there.”
I don’t care how hard we pedal, how long, how fast…we’re going down! And your chances of keeping that jumbo jet in the air by pedaling is equal to the chance of you keeping your soul secure by your efforts.
If the pilot of our souls doesn’t get us up and keep us up, we have no hope.
Charles Stanley was raised in a church where he was taught all his life that you could lose your salvation. He did not believe in eternal security or, “once saved, always saved.”
In Bible college, he began to grapple with the issue. Here’s a quote from Charles Stanley, “It was my intense study of the scripture that caused me to begin doubting my position, that you could lose your salvation. Verse by verse, I picked my way thru the passages used to support each view. Thru this process, two things became apparent. I was guilty of ignoring the context of many verses that I had quoted to defend my view. When I began to dig deeper into the text, they took on different meanings. Secondly, I discovered thru my study that the belief in salvation by grace cannot be reconciled with the belief that one can lose his salvation. If I must do or not do something in order to keep from losing it, then salvation would not be by faith, but by works. I specifically remember the day that this truth dawned on me, I found myself at a theological fork in the road. To maintain my position, I realized that I would have to abandon my belief in salvation by grace alone. It was like a light came on. Suddenly, I saw it, I wanted to shout. I felt like a man just freed from prison. I began to thank God that for all those years I was wrong, and then I was struck with the most awesome thought of all: I had been eternally secure since the day I got saved as a 12 year old boy.”
So, in other words, as long as anyone believes that they can lose the “free gift of God”, they will always live trapped, or in bondage, and never truly experience the freedom they have in Christ! A person would have to feel that each and every day they MUST work harder and harder to maintain their salvation. That thought process is contrary to the Truth of His Word.
Pastor J. Lee
God’s “story” is one of romance. The romance begins with God in a relationship beyond our wildest imagination. Think of your best moments of love or friendship or creative partnership, the best times with family or friends around the dinner table, your richest conversation, the acts of simple kindness that sometimes seem like the only things that make life worth living. For example, the shimmer of sunlight on a lake, these are reflections of the love that flows from God. We long for intimacy because we are made in the image of perfect intimacy. Still, what we don’t have and may never have known, is often a more powerful reminder of what ought to be.
Our story begins with The Hero in love. And yet, what kind of love? There are indeed selfish forms of love relationships that are closed to the outside world. But real love creates a generous openness. Have you ever been so caught up in something that you just had to share it? When you are walking alone in the woods, something takes your breath away–a sunset, a waterfall, or a simple song of a bird–and you think, “if only my beloved were here”. The best things in life were meant to be shared.
I faintly remember Sunday afternoons as a boy before my Dad passed away. Sundays would find Aunts, Uncles and Cousins gathered at the old farm. The grown-ups would be sitting on the porch, talking, laughing and playing tricks on the kids. The children would be running across the pasture fields, enjoying the great outdoors. I wasn’t responsible for these days. They didn’t depend on me. These were the best days of life being shared and experienced through genuine love of family.
And so it is with God’s story. Before any of our complex and sometimes overwhelming smaller stories took center stage, there was something truly wonderful going on. “Once upon a time” there existed the kind of Home we’ve been looking for all of our life. It is this Home that we will someday discover. It is this Home that “The Hero” has created for us, and reserved for us. It is this Home that is filled for all eternity with love that was meant to be shared. Yes, from the beginning we know God is a lover at heart.
It seems the more knowledge we acquire, the less wisdom we seem to have. The economic security we gain, the more boredom we generate. The more worldly pleasure we enjoy, the less satisfied and contented we are with life. We are like a restless sea, finding a little peace here and a little peace there, but nothing permanent and satisfying. So the search continues! Men will kill, lie, cheat, steal, and go to war to satisfy their quest for power, pleasure, and wealth, thinking thereby to gain for themselves and their particular group peace, security, contentment, and happiness.
However, inside us is a little voice that keeps saying, “We were not meant to be this way. We were meant for better things.” We have a mysterious feeling that there is a “fountain” somewhere that contains the happiness which makes life worthwhile. We keep saying to ourselves that somewhere, sometime we will stumble onto the secret. Sometimes we feel that we have already obtained it, only to find that we have been disillusioned and unhappy.
The happiness, I have learned, which brings worth to our lives is not the superficial happiness that is dependent on circumstances. It is the happiness and contentment that fills the soul even in the midst of the most distressing of circumstances. A few years ago, I was dependent upon circumstances that fulfilled me and gave me true happiness. But, is was through a circumstance that I discovered again my Lord and Savior. He brought me to a time when it was simply Him and me, alone. After all, isn’t that the only thing that matters? When everything in life is peeled away, all that should truly remain is Jesus and me….Jesus and YOU.
” The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid” (Psalm 27:1)?
Have you found that “fountain” of happiness and contentment? Are you STILL looking? You can find it ONLY in Jesus Christ.
I recently read a story about a computer expert named Bill Husted. Mr. Husted went to his fortieth high school reunion, and upon entering he shook hands and hugged people for twenty minutes before he realized there were two high school reunions in the building that day, and he was at the wrong one.
Mr. Husted, a technology expert, used that experience to illustrate one of his own ideas for troubleshooting: Check the obvious first. Before you replace the sound card, make sure the volume control is not turned down. If the modem isn’t working, check to see if it’s connected.
I am in no way a computer “expert”, just ask my children! However, I am pretty sure when I am feeling a little sluggish, or I am not running on all cylinders, I know I need to check the obvious. I need to make sure that I am connected to the Source of my strength. The Scripture says, ” God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble” ( Psalm 46:1). He is there to help us whenever we are struggling ! He is there to lift us up from the depths of our hurts or pain! So, before you give up, check the obvious first.