Eternal Life: Can Eternal Life Be Lost?
Suppose we ask the same question we asked last lesson: Do you have eternal life? Probably you are ready to answer "Yes,” now, for God says we may know that we HAVE eternal life, if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour. But how about tomorrow? Will you have eternal life then? And suppose you should sin, would you lose your eternal life? In other words, our question today is, "Can eternal life be lost?”
If you say eternal life can be lost, you are really saying that eternal life is not eternal. If you had six months life you could lose it at the end of six months. If you had six years life, you could lose it at the end of six years. If you have eternal life you could lose it at the end of eternity, but eternity has no end, so you can never lose it.
But we do not have to guess, for God's Word has something to say about it, very clearly. First of all, Jesus said in so many words that we could never be lost, if we have eternal life. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand" (John 10:28). So we can never perish. Jesus says so. And he tells us how we are kept - "Kept by the power of God" (1 Peter 1:5). It was the power of God that made the earth and the sun and the stars. It is by His Power that the earth keeps turning, and that the stars whirl through space and do not collide. It was His power that raised Christ from the dead. So we can be sure that there is no danger of being lost, of our losing our eternal life, for it is the same power that does all these things, that keeps us. Philippians 1:6 says that the One Who has begun a good work in us will keep on perfecting it till Jesus comes. He never leaves His work unfinished, as we sometimes do. If He has begun to save us, He is not going to stop in the middle. Paul was sure of this for he said, "I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (1 Timothy 1:12).
One reason why we know that our new, eternal life can never be lost is that God did not make up His mind on the day we believed to save us. We were chosen before He made the world. Read Ephesians 1:4. Just think - before there was any man or any earth, God could look down to the present time and see you. And way back there He chose you to be His own. Do you think, after that, that He is going to let you go? Never! Romans 8:29-30 tells us that He has predestinated (or planned before) that we should be like Jesus, and that, so far as He is concerned, we are as good as in Heaven, glorified, already.
But what if you sin? What then? The answer is first, that God forgave you once for all for every sin you could commit. When Jesus died, He died for all your sins, not just a part of them. No matter how you might slip, He knew all about it beforehand, even when He chose you. Romans 5:1 says we are justified by faith - it is just as if we had never sinned, so far as God is concerned. He wiped the record clean for us, and we can never be lost. If we sin, He is ready and waiting to cleanse us, and will do it if we confess our sins (1 John 1:8-9; 2:1). If we refuse to confess to Him, we shall be chastened for our sins (1 Corinthians 11:31-32). But nothing can take away our eternal life, for it is eternal.
* Can one lose their salvation? Explain.
* Is our salvation dependant on God's faithfulness or our own?
* What is the unpardonable sin? Can Chrstians lose their salvation if they commit this sin?