Q. If someone believes that they can lose their salvation because of their behavior, are they saved? Though they claim the name of Christ and say they believe he is their Savior, their salvation is not really based on Jesus at all but on themselves. Aren’t they are the ultimate savior of their souls and not Jesus? And though they say that Jesus died for their sins, wouldn’t believing that you can lose your salvation because of something you did or did not do really be saying that because of sin you can go to hell? Thank you for any light you can shed on this. You are greatly appreciated.
A. In my mind this is a real conundrum. Like you, I think that if we believe we can lose our salvation because of our behavior then we have to believe the Lord’s death might have been sufficient to save us initially, but it’s not sufficient to keep us saved forever.
Since the Lord’s death is a constant and our behavior is a variable we would in fact become responsible for maintaining our own salvation. We would have to be very careful to make sure that our behavior was always good enough to keep us saved, even though it wasn’t good enough to save us in the first place. This violates a number of clear promises the Bible makes to the contrary. It would also allow all those who arrive in Heaven to say that they got there at least partially because of their own efforts, in spite of what Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9 about no one being able to boast.
So, does the Lord save us forever when we first ask, whether we believe it’s guaranteed or not? Or, knowing that we don’t believe it’s guaranteed, does He not save us at all? We know He can’t save us conditionally because of the promises of Ephesians 1:13-14 and 2 Cor. 1:21-22, which say that our inheritance is guaranteed from the moment we believe.
In Matt. 7:7-8 Jesus said everyone who asks receives, and in John 6:37 He said “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” which says to me that once we ask Him to save us, He will never “unsave” us. So I would say that everyone who asks for salvation receives it and receives it forever no matter what they believe about eternal security, or (as is usually the case) even if they’ve never heard of it.