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Can a person lose his salvation by continuing in sin?

q.gif (1639 bytes)   Can one loose his salvation, knowing full well that one is sinning yet continues to disobey God Word - refer to 1 John 5:16-17.


a.gif (1659 bytes)   I John 5:16,17 says, "If any man see his BROTHER sin A SIN WHICH IS NOT UNTO DEATH, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. THERE IS A SIN UNTO DEATH: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death."

You will notice that the term "brother" is used, so the context is dealing with a Christian. The point of the passage is "When do you pray for another Christian to be healed, and when do you not pray for his or her healing?"

The answer is given, "If any man see his brother sin A SIN WHICH IS NOT UNTO DEATH, HE SHALL ASK, AND HE SHALL GIVE HIM LIFE for them that sin not unto death."

But there are times when we should not pray for the healing of another Christian. "THERE IS A SIN UNTO DEATH: I DO NOT SAY THAT HE SHALL PRAY FOR IT. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death." If a fellow Christian commits a sin, and refuses to repent of it, then it would be improper to pray for that brother’s healing.

James 5:13-16 says, "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. IS ANY SICK AMONG YOU? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; AND IF HE HAVE COMMITTED SINS, THEY SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM. CONFESS YOUR FAULTS ONE TO ANOTHER, AND PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

The context in the latter half is dealing with a Christian who has sinned, and is sick because of it. That Christian is to admit his or her sin, and ask the elders of the church to come and pray for his or her healing. If the person is willing to repent of the sin and confess it, then the elders can go ahead and pray for God to heal that Christian brother or sister.

The point is that God chastens His children when they sin. Just like with the children of Israel in the Old Testament, God usually SPEAKS FIRST. Psalm 119:9 says, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to THY WORD." Jeremiah 23:29 says, "Is not MY WORD like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" Hebrews 4:12 says, "For THE WORD OF GOD is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

When God’s people do not listen to His Word correcting them, then He chastens a little more severely. Hebrews 12:5-13 says, "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, MY SON, DESPISE NOT THOU THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVETH HE CHASTENETH, AND SCOURGETH EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVETH. IF YE ENDURE CHASTENING, GOD DEALETH WITH YOU AS WITH SONS; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? BUT IF YE BE WITHOUT CHASTISEMENT, WHEREOF ALL ARE PARTAKERS, THEN ARE YE BASTARDS, AND NOT SONS. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: SHALL WE NOT MUCH RATHER BE IN SUBJECTION UNTO THE FATHER OF SPIRITS, AND LIVE? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And MAKE STRAIGHT PATHS FOR YOUR FEET, LEST THAT WHICH IS LAME BE TURNED OUT OF THE WAY; BUT LET IT RATHER BE HEALED." The desired result of chastening is that we would repent and be healed.

It is God’s will that we NOT sin. I John 2:1,2 says, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

It is God’s will that we not sin, but when we fail and do sin, then, "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins" A "advocate" is "one who represents us and pleads our case." It is not God’s will for us to sin, but when we do, it is Jesus who is our Representative in heaven. He is the "propitiation" for our sins. That word "propitiation" means "satisfaction." Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and satisfied the debt that we owed. The debt was death. Romans 6:23 says, "For THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Because He is "Jesus Christ the righteous," (He never once sinned), then He could pay the price for our sin by His precious blood, and die in our place. II Corinthians 5:21 says, "For HE HATH MADE HIM TO BE SIN FOR US, who knew no sin; THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM." That is why salvation can never be lost, because our salvation is based upon Jesus’ righteousness — not our own.

What is our will for our own children? That they love and obey us. What happens when they do not? As much as we want them to love and obey us, we know that they are going to fail, at times, because they have a sin nature just like us. There is no such thing as a "perfect" child. Psalm 51:5 says, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." Proverbs 22:15 says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child."

So when your children sin, what do you do? Do you say, "You are no longer a member of our family — get out, and never come back!" Is that what you say? No. A parent will first SPEAK to the disobedient child. If the child does not respond and obey, then the parent will use more severe discipline. Proverbs 22:15 says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Proverbs 13:24 says, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." The word "betimes" means "early." The earlier that a child is disciplined, the less harsh that is has to be.

Even so it is with us. We are all sinners. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." If we say that we have "arrived," and no longer sin any more, then we are just deceiving ourselves. I John 1:8-10 says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

God is willing to restore fellowship, if we are willing to confess that we have done wrong. Making excuses or transferring the blame to someone else is not confession. The word "confession" means "to agree with God, to speak the same thing." If we are truly confessing our sins, then we are agreeing with God that our sin is bad.

The crowd that teaches that salvation can be lost, makes excuses for certain sins. They call most sin, "mistakes," and not really "sin." The reason they do that, is because they teach the false doctrine that if a person sins, then he loses his salvation. They know that they do wrong things every day, but in their thinking, they would then have to get "re-saved" every day. Rather than teach that, they teach that only the "really bad" things are "sin," like murder, adultery, etc. But that contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture in James 2:9,10 says, "But IF YE HAVE RESPECT TO PERSONS, YE COMMIT SIN, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL KEEP THE WHOLE LAW, AND YET OFFEND IN ONE POINT, HE IS GUILTY OF ALL." The Bible shows there that just showing partiality or favoritism to certain people over others is sin.

When a person gets saved, ALL OF HIS OR HER SIN is forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ. I John 1:7 says, "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL sin." His blood does not just save until that person sins again, but it saves that person ETERNALLY. Hebrews 7:25 says, "Wherefore he is able also TO SAVE THEM TO THE UTTERMOST that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

So when a Christian sins, God will speak to that one through His Word, the Bible. If the Christian responds and repents, then no further action is needed. The Lord’s Supper is a good example of how the Lord works in the lives of Christians. I Corinthians 11:26-32 says, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever SHALL EAT this bread, AND DRINK this cup of the Lord, UNWORTHILY, SHALL BE GUILTY of the body and blood of the Lord. But LET A MAN EXAMINE HIMSELF, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. FOR THIS CAUSE MANY ARE WEAK AND SICKLY AMONG YOU, AND MANY SLEEP. FOR IF WE WOULD JUDGE OURSELVES, WE SHOULD NOT BE JUDGED. BUT WHEN WE ARE JUDGED, WE ARE CHASTENED OF THE LORD, THAT WE SHOULD NOT BE CONDEMNED WITH THE WORLD."

Before partaking of the Lord’s Supper, we are told that if we eat "unworthily" (which would be eating it without due reverence for the suffering and sacrifice which it symbolizes; or eating it with known sin in our lives from which we stubbornly will not repent), then that would make us guilty and subject to chastisement from the Lord. On the one hand, we would be eating of the elements that show forth Jesus’ suffering and death, as though we really cared and appreciated what He has done for us; but on the other hand, by our continuing in sin, it would be like saying, "Who cares that He suffered and died? I am going to continue in sin." That is the attitude that was common at Corinth, and so God judged them. I Corinthians 11:30 says, "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." Many were sick, and many had even died because they would not repent of their sin.

God will first speak to us from His Word. If we will not repent, then we may suffer physical consequences. If we will not repent at that, then He may take us home to heaven early, because He can no longer trust us here to live like we should. Please notice that this passage on the Lord’s Supper is VERY CLEAR that the Christian is NEVER placed back in the category with the unsaved, even though he (the Christian) may die because of his sin. "But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should NOT BE CONDEMNED WITH THE WORLD."

I Corinthians 3:11-17 also makes it clear that the Christian can never lose his salvation, but he can certainly lose his heavenly rewards, and suffer physical death because of his lack of repentance of sin. "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man's work shall be burned, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSS: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; YET SO AS BY FIRE. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? IF ANY MAN DEFILE THE TEMPLE OF GOD, HIM SHALL GOD DESTROY; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

I John 2:15-17 tells us, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." James 1:12-15 says, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

The Lord promises in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," and that is true. If we sin, He is not going to turn His back on us and disown us. What He is going to do is come after us with chastening. And if that will not work, then He will take us home early. That can be the result of church discipline, as is seen in I Corinthians 5:3-5, "For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FLESH, THAT THE SPIRIT MAY BE SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus." The spirit of the Christian is saved, but God may allow his flesh to be destroyed because of his sin and lack of repentance.

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