How Can You Lose Your Salvation?
In order for someone to answer the question, can you lose your salvation, they need to know which salvation is being asked about. The bible talks about two different major salvations. First, there is salvation by the forgiveness of our sins. (Luke 1:77) And second, there will be salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Hebrews 9:28) At this point in time the phrase “once saved always saved” can only apply to baptism. Baptism is forever; it cannot be lost or undone. On the other hand, eternal salvation equals eternal life. Now eternal salvation occurs only once in most bibles. Having been made perfect, Christ became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation. (Hebrews 5:9) Clearly the eternal salvation in Hebrews 5:9 is earned by obeying Christ and God. (Matthew 7:21) You cannot lose salvation from past sins. (Romans 3:25)
Salvation after Baptism
Based on the bible the questions should be can you lose your salvation from past sins and can you lose eternal salvation. There are so many writings by people who do not seem to know the difference. After baptism, the process of eternal salvation by doing the will of the Lord begins. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved. (Mark 16:16) Having been justified, we shall be saved. (Romans 5:9) Our spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (I Corinthians 5:5) The word of the cross to us who are being saved is the power of God. (I Corinthians 1:18) We are a fragrance of Jesus to the Lord among those who are being saved. (2 Corinthians 2:15) Some did not receive the love of the truth so that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:10)
The bible makes it clear that the people who endure until the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22, 24:13, Mark 13:13) Moreover, Peter has the following message for people saved by baptism. Since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same purpose, because those who have suffered in the flesh have ceased from sin, so that you live the rest of your time in the flesh to the will of the Lord. (1 Peter 4:1-2)
Salvation by the Will of God
People want to know about eternal life when asking can you lose your salvation. So, can you lose eternal salvation (life) by not doing the will of God? The bible is very clear on this point. Whoever does the will of God will live forever. (Matthew 7:21) Therefore, you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may inherit eternal life as promised. (Hebrews 10:36) The will of God is that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. (1 Peter 2:15) A person keeps the way of God by doing righteousness and justice. (Genesis 18:19)
When a person practices righteousness, they will surely live. (Ezekiel 18:27) You shall keep My Law, by which a man may live if he does them. (Leviticus 18:5, Nehemiah 9:29, Ezekiel 20:11, Ezekiel 20:13, Ezekiel 20:21) If you warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live. (Ezekiel 3:21) When a person observes all God’s statutes, he shall surely live. (Ezekiel 18:19)
If a person observes all of God’s statutes and practices righteousness, he shall surely live, he shall not die. (Ezekiel 18:21) When a person turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. (Ezekiel 18:28) If a man walks by the statutes that ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live, he shall not die. He has practiced righteousness he shall surely live. (Ezekiel 33:15-16) Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness that is based on law shall live by that righteousness. (Romans 10:5) Whoever does the will of God will live forever. (1 John 2:17)
Salvation by the Way of God
If you do not follow the way of the Lord can you lose your salvation? The will of the Lord and the way of the Lord are closely related. A person keeps the way of the Lord by doing righteousness. (Genesis 18:19) The will of God is what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2) The will of the Lord is your sanctification, that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality. (1 Thessalonians 4:3) The will of God is that we live by doing what is right. (1 Peter 2:15) People who suffer for the will of God will entrust their souls to Him in doing what is right. (1 Peter 4:19) The bible makes it clear that the way of the Lord is certainly in the will of the Lord. So, you can lose eternal life by not following the way of God.
Apostasy After the Gift of Salvation
Now we know that according to the bible you cannot lose your salvation from past sin? However, the same is not true about eternal life. The Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will fall away from the way of God. They will instead obey spirits that tell lies. They will follow the teachings of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1) During that time, many believers will fall away. (Matthew 24:10) They will not allow the way of God deep into their souls. They keep it for only a short period. When persecution or trouble comes because of the teaching they accepted, they give up. (Mark 4:17)
When people leave the way of Christ, can you make them change their lives again? People who once learned the truth received God’s gift and shared in the Holy Spirit. They hear God’s good message and see the great power of his new world. Once they leave it all behind, it is not possible to make them change again. That is because those who leave Christ are nailing him to the cross again, shaming him before everyone. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
The popular man-made doctrines of once saved always saved, eternal salvation and eternal security erroneously refer to eternal life. Remember, it is the person who endures to the end that is saved (inherits eternal salvation). Now you certainly cannot lose what you have not inherited. Can you lose your salvation from past sin according to the bible? The biblical answer is no.