To be saved means to be saved from the penalty (eternal damnation) of one’s personal sin. To further extend the definition, to be saved means to be given a new life in Christ. Since salvation requires a recognition and a turning from (repentance) from your sin, some Christians wonder if it is possible for some folks, who once claimed to be saved, are still saved. They see a lot of people who pay lip service to Christ, maybe by making a decision during an altar call or just by the fact that they grew up in church, but then see them live hypocritical lifestyles.
The word “hypocrite” means “a person who lives contrary to their stated beliefs and opinions.” Certainly a Christian would not have to look far to see that there are indeed some people who claim to be Christians yet consistently their words and actions do not match up. And I’m not just talking about the occasional slip-up or even the acknowledged struggle with sin, but an unrepentant attitude toward some aspects of their lifestyle.
So, there are some that would say, “Yes, you were once saved, but you have forfeited that salvation by your lifestyle choice.” Check out what this pastor said:
If you could not give up your salvation voluntarily, then once you become saved you could then go ahead and do whatever you wish. You could steal, murder, cheat, lie, never pray, reject the scriptures, lead others astray, blaspheme God from morning to night – do anything that is sinful, rebellious, and against the laws of God. To believe that “once saved, always saved” is believing that one has a “license to sin” after the person is born again.
So, to summarize it, they seem to be saying:
A) A person claims to be saved.
B) He/she may start out with some evidence of their salvation.
C) They stop going to church/caring about spiritual things and start making worldly decisions.
D) The Bible makes it clear that you cannot say you are born of God and still make a practice of sinning.
E) Therefore they must have lost their salvation.
But, is that the right assessment? Continue reading