Once an individual is born again, is there anything they can do — such as not live lives pleasing to God, not repent of a particular sin, doubt the sovereignty of God, waver in their daily faith or anything else — through which their salvation can be lost? Whether yes or no, where in the Bible is this written?
That is a good question that needs to be answered, as there are many troubled about the matters you’ve posed here. The main issue that needs to be addressed is whether salvation once received can be lost or not. In other words, after being born again and becoming a child of God, can one ‘revert’ and become a child of the devil. The Word of God has not left us without any clues to come to a conclusion about this matter.
In the natural birth, the person who is born is passive in the whole phenomenon. One who is thus born cannot annul the birth. It is the same rule in the matter of spiritual birth also. All that had to be done to attain that, Christ has already done. Therefore, once children of God, such are His children forever. Neither they nor anyone else can ever alter the status of this relationship.
This is not just a matter of logic or reason. It is also supported by multiple verses in the Bible, which is the touchstone for a follower of Jesus for any matter, doctrine or practice. Notice the following portions:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears My word, and believes on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24
Once children of God, such are His children forever. Neither they nor anyone else can ever alter the status of this relationship
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:28-30).
All these are words of Jesus Christ. Along with these, also notice what Paul said in Romans 8:33-35, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
These words come from the confidence one has in the permanence of the salvation and eternal life one has received. Neither the world, Satan, sins or any other circumstance in life is able to take away the eternal life God grants. There are many passages like these that assure us of the ‘eternal nature’ of the relationship one has with God, which is received by grace through faith.
Having said that, for a person who is truly born again, in spite of the truth about the permanence of his salvation, he will have a strong desire to keep himself clean from all evil and please God with his life. He would never be able to say that he enjoys sin because “eternal life is eternal” (1 John 3:9). If he happens to fall into sin, for there is no one who does not sin, he will make efforts to reconcile with God and with anybody he may have hurt due to his words or deeds. This is the mark of one who is truly saved: a changed heart that no longer loves sin, but rather hates it; and who produces fruit accordingly.
The question also raised the problem of doubts occurring in the lives of those who are born again. Doubts are only natural when one goes through difficulties. John the Baptist doubted whether Jesus Christ was truly the Messiah or not (Matthew11:3). The mighty Elijah also went through a stormy and unsteady patch (1 Kings 19). Doubts can come at any time in anyone’s life. But the Lord is kind to such. His words are full of promises, assuring His children that He will never, never forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).
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