Ask Donnell: Can a Christian lose salvation?

Can A Christian Lose Salvation?

We received the following questions from Faith;

Hello- two questions, many Christians debate once saved always saved- Do you believe this? I read my bible and I know what the scrptures say- but the interpretation of the scriptures usually are debated as well. Also we will receive rewards in Heaven according to our deeds done on earth correct? So we can lose our reward and still receive salvation or receive a partial reward as well?

Faith, these are great questions. Thanks for submitting them. For the first question, I'm going to share with you some scriptures and let you make your own decision. I'm not sure how to interpret them to mean anything other than exactly what they say. Some scriptures are very abstract and can be easily misinterpreted. I doubt these fall into that category.

Hebrews 6:4-6(NLT) - For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— 6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.

2 Thessalonians 2:3(AMP) - Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition),

2 Peter 2:19-22(NLT) - They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”

1 Timothy 4:1(KJV) - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Do I believe in once saved, always saved? I could. There are several scriptures which seem to support that viewpoint. At the same time, there are others which seem not to support it. It's easy to argue back and forth about how to interpret these scriptures. However, there's nothing like personal experience. Because I have personally encountered several people who have walked away from the faith I know it is possible. The scriptures I quoted are consistent with that perspective. So, let's move on to your next question.

"Also we will receive rewards in Heaven according to our deeds done on earth correct? So we can lose our reward and still receive salvation or receive a partial reward as well?"

This question can be answered directly with the following scripture;

1 Corinthians 3:12-15(NLT) - Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

Yes, you can be saved and still lose your reward in heaven. Why? Salvation is through The Blood of Jesus which means that it has precious little to do with you. Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is all about what He has done for you. He did all the work and all you have to do is confess and believe in the finished work He completed on the cross according to Romans 10:9-10 and you are saved. However, the distribution of rewards is all about what you have done for Him. If what you do has value, you will be rewarded. If not, you will still be saved but you will not receive any rewards. These are two separate things.

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