Eternal Insecurity – Once I Was Saved, But Now Am Lost?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

So many people think they can lose their salvation, but what does the Bible say about eternal security?

Once Saved, Once Lost

So many people think they can lose their salvation, but what does the Bible say about eternal security? It actually says a lot about the security of the saints, and it’s not up to the saints to hold onto it by their own efforts alone. When I walked my son across the street in his youth, I didn’t tell him, “Okay, hold on as tight as you can…it’s up to you to hold on tight!” No, I said, “I’ve got your hand, and I’m not letting go.” God is the One Who preserves us and keeps us in His name. It’s not like the old hymn with a new twist where it says, “I was once lost, but now am found…but then I was lost again.” What a way to live. They can think they are saved one day but the next day, they are lost. How can we share the gospel of a “hope-so” salvation, rather than a “know-so” salvation in Christ? Try going up to someone to share the gospel and tell they that they can be saved by trusting in Christ and receive eternal life but to be careful because they could blow it. That’s no better than what the world offers. The world hopes in promises the world can’t deliver, so there is never any absolute security for unbelievers. What a way to live. Believers can have their joy robbed too by living in such fear, and for no good reason (1 John 4:18).

My Favorite Bible Promises

Eternal Life, Unless…

Jesus said that whoeverbelieves in Him can receive eternal life (John 3:16). It is unqualified. He didn’t say, “Whoever believes in me will have eternal life unless they blow it.” When Jesus says “They have eternal life,” it is in the Greek form of a present tense or present possession. If you believe you’ve lost your salvation, then you may not be saved at all or you don’t understand what is taught in Scripture. You could also be receiving false teaching from someone who believes you can lose your salvation. If you believe you have eternal life but then can lose it, then it was not eternal life that you received! In the last decade or so, hundreds have contacted us to say they believe they have lost their salvation or blasphemed the Holy Spirit. Still others berate us for teaching the security of the saints, despite what the Bible teaches (Rom 8:35-39; John 6:37-39, 10:28-29). God has no aborted children of God!

Fallen Away?

One “proof text” people cite is where the Author of Hebrews writes, “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore…” (Heb 6:4-6). Any that leave the faith never had the faith in the first place. John says that they went out from us because they weren’t really of us in the first place (1 John 2:19). They might have “tasted the goodness of the word of God” and shared in “the heavenly gift” (Jesus Christ!), but they truly never believed. They never took in the goodness of God and partook of the Bread of Life. They only got a taste or sample of it, so this is not about believers. How do I know that? It is because of the author’s conclusion that if they reject their only way to be saved, there is “no longer” a sacrifice for their sins. The author is not writing to believers here but about unbelievers. Once again, in his conclusion, the author of Hebrews says “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation” (Heb 6:9), so in our case, that is for believers, the author feels sure of better things for believers.


Many also cite Hebrews 10:26-29 which says, “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace.” So is this talking about believers? No, for the author’s conclusion was that “we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (Heb 10:39). Many hear the Word of God and have tasted God’s goodness (Heb 6:4-6), but they just keep on sinning, showing they are not God’s children anyway (1 John 1). In their case, or in the church’s case, the author was saying we are not like those who might profess faith but then just keep on sinning. We are not of those who keep on sinning after they hear the gospel and thereby, trample on the blood sacrifice of Christ. Unless they repent of that, there is only a fearful expectation of fiery judgment. If you are still diliberately sinning after hearing the truth, you are not saved.  We all sin, but believers don’t deliberately seek out and practice sin.


The Apostle Paul could confidently say, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me” (1 Tim 1:12). Jesus said we’re in His and the Father’s hands (John 10:28-29). Paul writes that nothing created or even death itself can ever separate us from God (Rom 8:37-39). But, if you have still not trusted in Christ, then you are still dead in your sins (Eph 2:1-5) and have no hope outside of Christ and on judgment day and have no security of salvation when you eventually face God’s judgement (Heb 9:27; Rev 20:12-15). Today, if you will trust in Christ, you can have the security that God promises through His Word and that not one will be lost whom He has chosen to save (Eph 1). This is why I plead with you today to repent and put your trust in Christ. If you don’t, then you will have to face God’s judgment, either after death (Heb 9:27), or at Christ’s appearance, and without Him standing in for you, you will pay for your own sins and for all time.

Here is some related reading for you: Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation? A Biblical Analysis

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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