Can He Give It Back?

Q. As a follow up to OSAS and Galatians 5, is it possible for a believer to voluntarily surrender his or her salvation? I have a brother-in-law who got saved and left the Catholic church many years ago, then recently returned to Catholicism because now he believes he has to have the sacraments to be saved. Other members of the family believe he may have lost his salvation. How can I explain to them that he has not?

A. In effect 2 Cor. 1:21-22 says God has accepted responsibility for keeping us saved. John 10:27-30, Romans 8:38-39 and other places agree. The Holy Spirit is sealed within us as a guarantee of our inheritance and there is no provision in the Bible for unsealing us. Therefore we can’t give our salvation back. If your brother-in-law believes keeping the sacraments are a necessary part of salvation, then either he was never saved in the first place, or else he’s going through a time of confusion and the Lord will rescue him as He does a lost sheep. Jesus promised never to lose even one of those who’ve been placed in His care (John 6:38-40).

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