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Can Our Salvation Be Undone?

The scriptures teach that the Lord Jesus imparts everlasting life to those who believe on him. Eternal life means just that: life forever! There are no conditions or caveats given in scripture whereby one can forfeit eternal life or that would cause God to take it back.

It is impossible to lose the salvation that God gives us by his grace. Call it ’Eternal Security’ or ‘Once Saved, Always Saved.’ It matters not. I think of it as ‘Once a Child, Always a Child!’

Yet some argue that our salvation can be undone. They claim ‘Once Saved, Always Saved!’ is a false doctrine. For the sake of argument, if it was possible for one to lose the salvation that God gave him, then there are several divine operations integral to our salvation that God would have to UNDO in order for us to be lost again.


When a sinner believes on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), God imputes unto him the righteousness of his Son and reckons it to his account. With the righteousness of Christ imputed, God declares him righteous.

This is a divine declaration that happens one time for all time. It is NOT contingent upon what the believer does afterward. God NEVER reverses his decree, NOR debits the righteousness of Christ he credits to us. In order to lose salvation, God would have to remove that righteousness and un-justify one of his own.

The scripture says we are “justified freely by his grace” (Romans 3:24). The adjective ‘freely’ is dorean (in gift-like manner, undeservedly, without a cause). If God finds NO cause in a believer as the basis for justification, but rather finds the SOLE cause in his grace, then it stands to reason that God will NEVER find cause in the same believer to reverse that decree of righteousness! If it is God’s grace that justifies us, then it is God’s grace that keeps us justified!

Moreover, the scripture declares: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). The verb ‘being justified’ is a past participle that serves as antecedent to “we have peace” in present tense. Expanded translation: “having been justified by faith one time for all time, we are in possession of peace with God.” Again, once God issues a declaration of righteousness for a believer, there is no retracement of that decree!


Jesus said: “Ye must be born again!” (John 3:3,7). In that context he gave an OT illustration (serpent in the wilderness) that depicts the manner in which the new (or second) birth takes place. When a sinner, dead in trespasses and sins, looks to Jesus in faith as the remedy for his sins and spiritual death, God literally raises him to spiritual life.

This impartation of spiritual life is called regeneration. It is the work of God. It can be neither done nor undone by man. Therefore ONLY God would be able to UNDO a spiritual birth. But there is NO scripture that suggests that God EVER does that!

In addition, the new birth, or regeneration, makes one a child (son) of God. To suggest that one can lose salvation puts God in the position of spiritually ‘killing’ one of his children, whom he raised from the dead, back into the hands of the enemy. What would this say about the power or love of God as a Father? It’s the ultimate insult to suggest that God is capable of such a thing!

Moreover, regeneration makes the believer the habitation of God through his Spirit, who takes up his residence in the child of God (Ephesians 2:22). The Holy Spirit becomes the unbreakable seal of our salvation (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30) as well as the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance (2 Corinthians 1:22). In other words, God gives his very self as earnest money. If a child of God lost his salvation and failed to get the full inheritance God promised, then God would forfeit the earnest of the Spirit. God would have broken his promise, lost his integrity and existence as God. If just ONE saved soul is EVER lost, then EVERY human soul will be lost and doomed!

From an exegetical perspective, Jesus taught us that one who hears and believes on him “hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). The verb ‘hath’ is present tense, signifying the actual possession of eternal life. In another text, Jesus said the unbeliever is “condemned already” (John 3:18). If faith in Jesus delivers one from the condemnation under which he languished as an unbeliever, he has the guarantee of his Savior that NEVER again will condemnation mar his future!

The verb ‘passed’ is the perfect tense of the Greek verb metabaino (‘to pass over from one place to another’). The perfect tense signifies an action with permanent or finished results. The passing of a sinner from death unto life is a finished work that cannot be undone! A saved man or woman can NEVER pass from spiritual life unto spiritual death! According to Jesus, it’s an impossibility!

One more thought on the indwelling Spirit. If one could be saved and then lost again, it would mean the Holy Spirit vacates the premises. Could that newly created God-vacuum go unnoticed? Wouldn’t a Spirit-indwelt person know when that rapid departure took place? Imagine that you are swimming in the deep end of a swimming pool when all of a sudden the water evaporates and leaves you lying on your belly on the pool bottom. The departure of the Spirit would be no less dramatic!


The salvation of a sinner involves the purchase of his soul by the blood of Christ, which is the very blood of God himself (Acts 20:28). The child of God is no longer his own (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are bought with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The title deed of our eternal soul belongs to God. He has CLEAR title with NO liens. In order for one to lose his salvation, God would have to relinquish ownership of his child and sign the title back over to the former owner – the devil. It would signify that the blood of Jesus, while sufficient to accomplish the initial act of redemption, lacks the potency to KEEP a sinner saved and God’s title clear! And if that be the case, the reasonable mind MUST ask whether the blood of Christ has the potency to keep ANY sinner saved for eternity.

The doctrine of redemption is rooted in the Cross of Christ, his vicarious death for the sinners he loved. The blood Christ shed in his death was the total satisfaction for God’s wrath toward our sins. That blood is efficacious to accomplish our redemption. If it is possible for one to lose the gift of salvation, it would mean that something MORE than Christ is essential for us to keep it.


The various arguments against ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ may appear noble. But the implications are devastating. In order for a lost sinner to be saved and then lost again, the God of our salvation would have to undo Justification, undo Regeneration, undo Redemption and then undo himself! That God, my friends, does NOT exist on the pages of holy scripture!

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