Often, once people become aware that they can still sin after they are saved, they become anxious about losing the precious gift of salvation. Let me assure you, it's not possible. Once we're saved, we're saved for good. Salvation doesn't wear off. It's not something you need to do over and over again, neither is it something that is considered null and void when we mess up. No matter what we do or how bad we sin, we cannot lose our salvation.
Now, that is not to say that we have a license to sin or that because we can't lose our salvation, we can live however we want (See Romans 6). In fact, if that is your desire or thought pattern, you may want to examine your life and make sure that you're truly understanding salvation. Remember, salvation places us in a relationship with Jesus Christ, and we should cherish that relationship and long to please Him in all that we do. But that doesn't mean that we'll never fail, as we discussed yesterday.
There are those who teach that salvation is lost every time we sin. If that's the case, most of us lose our salvation daily, if not several times a day. These individuals believe that we must be saved over and over again because of our continual sin, but this is not taught anywhere in the Bible. There is no Scriptural evidence to back up this standing, while there is ample evidence to support one-time salvation. For example, all the many verses we've already looked at in this series that state salvation leads to eternal life make it very clear. Eternal life. Everlasting life. That's forever, not until we sin again.
We must also take into consideration that Jesus only died once for our sins. It was not necessary for Him to die over and over again, neither is it necessary for us to accept His gift of salvation over and over again. Once was enough. His blood is sufficient for eternal life. And speaking of the gift, do you remember the phrase "Indian giver"? I have no idea about the origin of that particular phrase, but I know my brother and sister and I used it often as children when we would "give" something to someone and then want it back. That's an Indian giver--someone who gives a gift at one moment and then decides to take it back soon after. God is not an Indian giver. He doesn't give us the gift of salvation and then take it away. Once we accept it, it's ours forever. No one can take it away!
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. - John 10:27-29
I know of people who claim to be saved yet live every day in fear that if Christ comes, they might not be found worthy at that point in time. Perhaps they said a bad word or had an evil thought and didn't have the opportunity to get saved again. So they live their lives trying to be sinless, not out of love for Christ, but out of fear that they might not make it into Heaven after all because of a slip up. That's not at all what salvation is about. In fact, II Timothy 1:7 tells us,
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
A sound mind is not one that worries every minute that he/she may not be saved or that he/she may need to get saved again after a recent failure. A sound mind is one that is at peace, trusting in the Lord, not only for eternal salvation, but also for daily guidance and protection from
"But I've messed up really bad," you may be saying. "You have no idea how far I've gone astray. Can God forgive me and still welcome me into Heaven when I've betrayed His trust?" Yes, He can. Just ask the heroes of faith in the Bible. Moses disobeyed God. David committed adultery, then murdered a man to cover it up. Noah got drunk. Peter denied. John the Baptist doubted. And we saw yesterday Paul's admission of sin. Yet, each of these received forgiveness for their sins, and I firmly believe they are all in Heaven today.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - I John 1:9
In conclusion, it is impossible to lose your salvation. Once saved, always saved. That being said, it is a good idea to keep short accounts with God. What I mean by that is that we should strive not to sin, but when we do sin, we should ask God for forgiveness. When we do, He will cast those sins into the sea of forgetfulness where they will never be seen or thought of again. He forgives and forgets. This keeps our relationship with Him in good standing by not having sin and guilt piled between us. This confession of sin is not for a renewal of salvation but rather to "clear the air" between you and God. It makes the relationship deeper and the communion with one another sweeter.
When Satan or someone in this world tries to make you believe that you can lose your salvation, remember this: God loved you enough to die for you. Do you really think He's going to let you go that easily?
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. - Micah 7:18-19
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. - Psalm 103:12