First, a disclaimer. I am one who believes strongly in ‘open hand’ and ‘closed hand’ arguments.
Closed hand arguments are ones I would go to the cross for. There is no room for negotiation, they are absolute. Things like Christ is fully man and fully God, part of the trinity. Christ died for our sins, past, present and future. Salvation is a free gift of grace.
Open hand arguments are ones I strongly believe but would not go to the cross for. I may argue and cite sources and scripture, but I recognize they are not salvation issues. Is it ok to drink alcohol or not? Is suicide ‘unforgivable’? Pre or Post trib? These are questions I would argue and cite scripture to stand my ground but I don’t see these as salvation issues. I would put this question in this camp.
The question, ‘can you lose your salvation?’ is one that many have debated deeply. I am not looking to rehash old debates. However, I do want to point out why I believe the answer is NO, you cannot.
If by salvation, we mean that your name has been written in the book of life and you will be reunited with your Father in Heaven and Christ your Lord once your earthly life is over. The pen that writes your name in that book is permanent, there’s no eraser, no liquid paper. What’s done is done.
Jesus said “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10 28-29) When Jesus says ‘no one’ can take them away, He doesn’t qualify that. He doesn’t say no one expect Satan. He doesn’t say no one expect themselves. He doesn’t even say no on expect the Father. He simply says ‘no one’. This is an absolute permanent statute.
Now this does not mean that a saved believer cannot fall away from the Lord. They certainly can fall into a life of sin. They certainly can lose themselves in this life to a life of depravity. But when they were adopted, that was permanent. They still have their inheritance. They may miss out on the life God would prefer for them. They may miss out on the opportunities He had in store for them. But they don’t lose their inheritance.
Paul warned us of this in his second letter to Timothy. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Tim 4:3-4) Note here that Paul is NOT saying that these sheep will fall away from salvation. But he is warning that even an adopted believer can fall away from the teaching.
Now many have argued that if there’s absolutely no way to lose salvation, why worry. Why not just go out and ‘live the life’ knowing that your eternity is still insured? Simple. Love. When you truly Love Christ and believe in salvation, you will want others to receive this joy as well. Living the life Christ intends for you means living out the Great Commission, spreading His gospel to all nations of the world.
I know eventually I will be reunited with Him in Heaven. But while I live on this Earth, I aim to serve Him as much as I can. I am to increase the population in Heaven as much as I can. It’s a citizenship that cannot be revoked.