Bible verses about losing salvation
Many people ask questions like is eternal security biblical? Can Christians lose their salvation? The answer to these questions is that a true believer can never lose their salvation. They are eternally secure. Once saved always saved! It is dangerous when people say we can lose our salvation, which is what Catholicism teaches.
It is dangerous because it is close to saying that we have to work to keep our salvation. Throughout Scripture it talks about a believer’s salvation being eternally secured, but there are still many people who will deny this.
- “If we could lose our eternal salvation it wouldn’t be eternal.”
- “If you could lose your salvation, you would.” – Dr John MacArthur
- “If a person professes faith in Christ and yet falls away or makes no progress in godliness, it does not mean that he has lost his salvation. It reveals that he was never truly converted.” – Paul Washer
Think about this, why would it be called eternal salvation if you can lose your salvation? If we can lose our salvation, then it wouldn’t be eternal. Is Scripture wrong?
1. 1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
2. John 3:15-16 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
3. John 5:24 I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.
It was God’s purpose. Would God go back on His promise? Would God predestine someone to be saved then unsave them? No. God chose you, He will keep you, and He will work in your life until the end to make you more like Christ.
4. Romans 8:28-30 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
5. Ephesians 1:11-12 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
6. Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.
What or who can take believers out of the hand of the Lord? What or who can take believers out of the love of God in Jesus Christ? Can our sin? Can our trials? Can death? NO! He saved you and He will keep you! We are not able to keep ourselves, but the Almighty God can and He promised us that He will.
7. John 10:28-30 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
8. Jude 1:24-25 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
9. Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
10. 1 Peter 1:4-5 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Is Jesus lying? Was Jesus teaching something that is false?
11. John 6:37-40 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
Our eternal salvation is sealed by the Holy Spirit. Is this verse false?
12. Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
So are you saying that you can believe in Christ and live like the devil?
This is what was asked to Paul? Paul made it clear of course not. A true believer does not live in a lifestyle of sin. They are a new creation. They didn’t change themselves God changed them. Christians don’t desire to live in rebellion.
They desire to follow the Lord. Before I was saved I was wicked, but after I was saved I knew nothing about the verses that say we couldn’t willfully sin. I just knew I couldn’t go back to those things. Grace changes you. We don’t obey because it saves us, we obey because we are saved.
13. Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
14. Romans 6:6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
15. Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Grace and eternal security is not a license to sin. In fact, people prove that they are not God’s children when they live in a continuous state of wickedness. Sadly this is most people who profess to be Christian.
16. Jude 1:4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
17. Matthew 7:21-23 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name? Then I will announce to them, I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!
18. 1 John 3:8-10 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
Jesus’ sheep hear His voice.
19. John 10:26-27 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Many people are going to say, “well how about the apostate people who professed to be Christian and then turned away from the faith?”
There is no such thing as a former Christian. Many people are just full of emotion and religion, but they are not saved. Many false converts show signs of fruit for a while, but then they fall away because they were never truly saved to begin with. They went out from us because they were never truly of us.
20. 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
21. Matthew 13:20-21 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
Does Hebrews 6 teach that you can lose your salvation?
No! If it was, that would mean that you could lose your salvation and not be able to get it back. You can taste the goodness of the Word and not be saved. This passage is talking about people who are so close to repentance. They know everything and they agree with it, but they never truly embrace Christ.
They never truly repent. They were so close. Picture a cup about to overflow with water, but right before the water starts to overflow someone throws all the water out.
They fall away! Many people see this verse and say, “oh no I can’t be saved.” Let me tell you right now that if you couldn’t be saved you wouldn’t even think about being saved. It wouldn’t even cross your mind.
22. Hebrews 6:4-6 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Does 2 Peter 2:20-21 teach that believers can lose their salvation? No!
Hell is going to be more severe for people who knew the most. It is going to be more severe for people who heard the Word of God and the gospel time and time again, but never truly repented. This verse shows that they returned to their old ways and were never truly saved in the first place. They were unregenerate pretenders. In the next verse there is a reference to dogs. Dogs are going to hell. They are just like dogs who return back to their vomit.
23. 2 Peter 2:20-21 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior 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.
Now here comes the question can a Christian backslide?
The answer is yes, but a true believer will not remain that way because God is working in them. If they are truly His God will discipline them out of love. They will come to repentance. Did they lose their salvation? No! Can a Christian struggle with sin? The answer is yes, but there is a difference between struggling with sin and diving head first into it. We all struggle with sinful thoughts, desires, and habits.
That is why we must continually confess and forsake our sins. There is growth in the life of a believer. A believer wants to be more and desires to obey. There will be a growing in holiness. We are going to grow in repentance. We are not going to say, “if Jesus is this good I can do whatever” because He who began a good work will finish it. We are going to bear fruit. Examine yourself!
24. Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
25. 1 John 1:7-9 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.
Bonus: He will keep you firm to the end. We are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ forever.
1 Corinthians 1:8-9 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.