Mike Novotny - Can a Person Lose Their Salvation?
So here's the toughest question I've had to answer in a long time. Can a person lose their salvation? Can someone who's forgiven, saved, adopted into the family of God, like if they took their last breath, boom. They're out of that danger, they're gonna be with Jesus, can a person lose that? Now, I call that a really tough question because there are some really great Christians, smart Christians, Bible-loving Christians that I know, that have different answers. Some of them say, "Yes, that can happen". And others say, "No, the Bible says that can't happen".
Let me start where both of those groups would agree. Both of those groups would agree that sin can separate you from God. Both those groups can agree that lots of people can come to church, they could read their Bibles, they could pray, they could be baptized and not ever have a real genuine faith in Jesus. Both groups agree that kids can be raised in a Christian home and then walk away and then, not just deny the church, but deny Jesus and their Christian faith all together. Like, we all agree that there's a bunch of people here who seem like they should have faith and yet at the end of their life they end up over there. Not saved, not with Jesus, not trusting in his love.
So back to the question, can a person lose their salvation? When I read my Bible, I get why people give two different answers. Because when I read the Bible straight forward, I kind of get two different answers. There's a whole bunch of passages that I love that would say no. If you're saved, God's not gonna lose you. Let me rattle off a bunch to you. I think it was John chapter 10. Jesus said, I know my sheep, my flock, and they know me and no one will snatch them out of my hand. No one. In Romans, chapter eight, the Apostle Paul talks about those that God has predestined and chosen, he called. The same ones he called, he justified. And those he justified, he glorified.
Like, not chose you, called you, justified you, well then maybe something happened. No it's like God gets you all the way to the finish line. The book of Philippians has this great comfort. Right? God is faithful. He put faith in your hearts and he's gonna preserve that faith until you see him face to face. Or the Apostle Paul's beautiful words that God Right? God put the deposit in and you might made a deposit and then run out of money and you can't guarantee a payment. But he's not you, he's God.
And so if you have the Holy Spirit, there's this guarantee that you're gonna make it. Alright, so can a person lose their salvation? Well, we'd say, John 10, Romans 8, book of Philippians, well no. God's gonna keep them. But then, there are these other passages. Throughout Paul's letters, when he's speaking to brothers and sisters, he warns them about losing their faith. Was he worried and giving this warning for something that couldn't biblically happen?
Or Jesus, in the parable of the sower. Remember that? The farmer sows seeds, that's the Word of God, and you know, some people don't believe it at all. But Jesus said this. He said, Jesus didn't say, You know, they kind of looked like they believe, or they profess to believe but they really didn't. He straightforwardly says, They believe and then they fall away from the belief that they had.
Hebrews chapter six is a classic paragraph. Those who have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit and then they fall away as they trample on the grace of God and the message of Jesus. So what? You know, I get why people who love Jesus and the Bible say no and yes. So what's the answer? I was raised in a church culture that taught me an answer that I've come to appreciate and love. The answer is both things are true but they're meant for different people.
You know, I have met people who were baptized and they say they believe in Jesus and yet they seem to be living in sin. They're doing this or that, this, that, I'm concerned, I don't want to talk to them. They say, "It's okay pastor. I pray, I trust that Jesus died for all of my sins. You know, I know that I've been saved". And I want to say to them, "But you can lose your salvation in a time of testing when this is hard for you. And you have to pick up a cross and deny yourself, you could lose it. Don't resist the Holy Spirit. Don't push him out of your heart. This could happen to you. Don't fall away and lose out on all eternity".
That is a helpful, biblical, true answer. And, and I sat at the coffee shop with the teenage girl who was weeping because she's so scared that she's too weak. He faith is too small. Jesus is gonna slip through her fingers. Do I say to that scared girl, "Well you know, technically you could lose your salvation. Hebrews six, Luke chapter eight, Matthew 13". No. Instead I say, John 10. "Jesus has you, he knows you. No one is gonna snatch you out of Jesus hand. The Holy Spirit in your heart is a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. He called you, he justified you and he will glorify you".
It's like these two teachings work perfectly in the human heart. And they might seem like they can't coexist in our logical mind, but as people who get too comfortable with sin, or sin and feel too ashamed of it to think we can't be saved, those two messages hold this beautiful tension that's actually very practical for the human heart. I know that's a lot to take in. A lot to consider. It's really the foundation of the Bible, the Law and the Gospel. Two things that are true that seem contradictory that are perfect for the human heart at the perfect time. So can a person lose their salvation? No. Yes.