John Shore Christian Blog and Commentary

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Can Christians Lose Their Salvation?

Some of my fellow "fellows" over on Boar's Head Tavern (the group blog run by the mighty Internet Monk) were discussing the Christian doctrine of perseverance. To this conversation about the possibility of a Christian losing his salvation (an issue I once addressed via my The One Unforgivable Sin), I added this:

As to salvation/perseverance: The truths underlying these kinds of discussions aren't complicated; if there's one thing we can say about Christianity (or certainly should reaffirm every so often), it's that it's profoundly uncomplicated--- which is exactly why it's as efficacious as it is.

God/Jesus left behind for each one of us the Holy Spirit within us, because we're morons and otherwise within three weeks of his having gone back into heaven everyone would have totally forgotten he was ever here on earth at all.

We who are still here on earth sin because we're stupid and weak and selfish and mean; we sin because we're human, which means we have free will, which means we must make a zillion decisions a day, which means a good number of those decision are bound to end up wrong. To be alive is to hurt ourselves and others. You live; you screw up. Period.

Screwing up makes us feel bad. One way or another, sooner or later, we all end up acutely aware of our essential, enduring isolation: our ineptness, our loneliness, our shame. We become (to whatever degree) desperate for solace.

We who are Christian then turn to the Holy Spirit! There's the entirety of God within us, a mere thought away! We listen to the Holy Spirit; it comforts us; it guides us; it puts us back in the game. And voila: we're again good to go. We feel strong. We feel confident. We feel we can do no wrong.

Which, of course, leads us in very straight order directly back into the land of Oh God What Have I Done?

And so back we turn to God, and the cycle begins again. Rinse, repeat; rinse, repeat; rinse, repeat.

The only way to finally and ultimately lose salvation is to deny the savior. If you're a Christian, that means denying Christ. Which would mean you're not a Christian anymore---which would render Beyond Moot any question or consideration of whether or not you've lost your Christian salvation. You just wouldn't care. You'd be off playing a whole other game.

There's no way to hold as true the story and reality of Christ and lose salvation, just as there's no way to be in a pool and not get wet. We're all perfectly free to climb in and out of that pool whenever and however we want. But once we're back in, we're back in all the way.