Can Christians Lose Their Salvation!


In Numbers 23 we read how King Balak of Moab was threatened by the Israelite’s presence and so he employs a prophet named Balaam to curse the Israelites. On three separate occasions Balaam tried to curse Israel but three times he ended up blessing them instead, Numbers 24:10.

As you can imagine King Balak wasn’t very happy about this and Balaam comes to the conclusion that the Israelites are so blessed by God, that it wouldn’t really matter what the Israelites did, God would always bless them.

I guess we could say that Balaam believed in ‘once saved always saved’. This, of course, was the wrong assumption, because God’s people had terms and conditions attached to their covenant relationship with Him, Exodus 19-24 / Joshua 24, they couldn’t just live anyway they wanted and expect God to be OK with it.

If they could do whatever they pleased, why would God punish them over and over again for their sinful behaviour and idolatry? Deuteronomy 28:36.

Many people won’t or fail to acknowledge that there are actually terms and conditions based upon our relationship with Christ today. Just like Balaam, they believe that a Christian can never lose their salvation, ‘once saved always saved’.

This of course is a dangerous teaching because it totally ignores the many warnings in the Bible about the dangers of falling from grace and ultimately losing our salvation. The same principle applies to the doctrine of ‘predestination’, the Bible speaks about things which are predestined, but it’s always in relation to the good works, Romans 8:29-20 / Ephesians 1:5 / Ephesians 1:11, which God has planned in advance, NOT for the salvation of our souls, we have the choice to obey Him.

A Few Examples

‘So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!’1 Corinthians 10:12

Now there will be some who come to this text and say, this isn’t speaking about losing our salvation but read the text following up to this verse, 1 Corinthians 10:6-11, the people being described here were destroyed because of their behaviour. In other words, the Christians to whom Paul is writing to are being warned if they don’t sort their lives out and start living properly as Christians they would end up being destroyed by Satan and spend eternity with him in hell.

If Christians can never lose their salvation, then what would be the reason for Paul’s warning in the first place?

‘You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.’ Galatians 5:4

Remember just like the Corinthians, Paul is writing to Christians and yet he tells them they ‘have fallen from grace.’

In this context, Paul is referring to those who are thinking about going back to try to be justified by the Law of Moses, and he tells them that if they do that they will be ‘alienated from Christ.’ Paul is saying that we can get involved in sin to such an extent that we can remove ourselves from the Head, who is Christ, and from the body, which is His church. When we do this, it prevents us from being in fellowship with Christ.

Notice that Paul says to these false teachers that they ‘have fallen from grace’, surely this doesn’t teach that a person is always saved! They’ve already fallen from grace because of their actions, they fell from grace when they tried to be right with God through law-keeping rather than relying on Christ and His grace, John 1:17.

‘If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit,’ and, ‘A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.’ 2 Peter 2:20-22

Again, Peter addresses Christians and gives the picture of a Christian who gets so involved in sin, they totally submit their life to it. This is speaking about a Christian who had obeyed the Gospel and have been cleansed from their sins but are now so involved with sin, their outcome will be worse than their beginning.

If a Christian gets involved in sin and then is lost again, it would have been better for them if they had never known the way of truth because now they know the things on which they are missing out.

There are many other passages which we could look at to further this point, but I don’t want to bog us down with them. just ask yourself a simple question,

Why would the writers of the New Testament warn these early Christians against all kinds of evil and sinful behaviour, Galatians 5:19-21, if those very same Christians could never lose their salvation anyway?

Why would Jesus write to the seven churches of Asia Minor, Revelation 2-3 and warn them to change, if their souls were eternally secured anyway?

Terms And Conditions For Salvation

Remember that God’s love for mankind is unconditional, Romans 5:8, but God’s offer of salvation comes with terms and conditions. For anyone to be saved they must hear God’s Word, Romans 10:17, they must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, John 3:36, they must confess His name before men, Romans 10:9-10, they must repent of whatever sin that is in their lives, Luke 13:3 and they must be baptised for the forgiveness of their sins and so be given the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38.

Once a person becomes a Christian, this doesn’t mean we can just continue to live our lives however we want, there are still terms and conditions attached if we want to remain saved.

The Two Lettered Word

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.’ John 15:1-6

‘If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.’ 1 John 1:6-10

Notice how the terms and conditions are laid out in these passages with the word ‘if’, that small two lettered word carries a lot of weight but is often overlooked, especially by those who claim that Christians can never lose their salvation.


Like so many false doctrines, they lead us to a false sense of security, ‘predestination’ teaches that we have no choice, as God has already chosen who will and who will not be saved, whether we want to be saved or not.

‘Once saved always saved’, teaches that we can never lose our salvation as long as we continue to believe, Titus 1:16 / James 2:14, but as I have shown above, there’s more to being a Christian than simply believing, God demands obedience to His will.

Yes, the Jesus says, ‘no one can snatch us out of His hand and the Father’s hand’, John 10:28-29 and Paul says that ‘nothing can separate us from God’s love’, Romans 8:38-39

however, He won’t force us to stay in His hands, He won’t force us to remain in His love, this is our choice. The only people that can remove us from His hands and love are ourselves, it’s called free will, sadly many chose to leave this security and therefore forfeit their eternal salvation and become lost again.

‘Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.’ Philippians 2:12