Do some people who have become real Christians ever renounce their faith and stop being a Christian? Or is someone who’s been saved once always saved?
Christianity is pretty much divided into two camps. One side believes in eternal security and the other side does not. The Bible clearly teaches that once you’re in the faith, Jesus keeps you in the faith unto the end. It also teaches that if you depart from the faith, you’ll be damned.
First of all, I’m going to give you a list of scriptures that teach preservation of the Savior (i.e. God preserves us in the faith). Then I’m going to give you a group of scriptures that teaches perseverance of the saints (i.e. saints must persevere in the faith to be saved in the end).
Verses on preservation of the Savior
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Romans 8:30-32 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
second Timothy 4:18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
These are the passages that teach that the saints have an obligation to stay in the faith unto the end or lose their salvation.
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
“unless you believed in vain” indicates that if they didn’t keep this gospel that he preached that save them, they didn’t keep it in memory, if they threw this gospel away for Mormonism or Jehovah Witnessism or some other “ism” that doesn’t make salvation based in Jesus Christ alone…I met a guy yesterday, he said ‘I was once a born-again Christian. I’m now an atheist.” Right now, being an atheist, he’s not gonna go to heaven regardless of what he was and thinks he was. You must stay in the faith unto the end to be saved.
Hebrews 3:5, 14 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;
He talked about how people under Moses died after coming out because they rebelled against God and he made a comparison there. And he said “don’t harden your heart like they did for we’re made partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.”
Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
2 Timothy 2:12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
Hebrews 10:35-39 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Paul said “but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” so Paul is talking to the Christians there. And he said if you draw back from this faith then you end up in perdition (i.e. hell).
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
I’ve given you two groups of scriptures. One group says when Jesus Christ places you in the faith he will keep you in the faith. There’s no passage of scripture that says once you’re saved, regardless you’re saved. The Scriptures teach that once you’re saved, he keeps you in the faith so that in the end you are in the faith and remain saved by staying in the faith. Second group of Scriptures teach that if you depart from the faith, if you throw Christ away, if you trample under the foot the blood of the Son of God, count the Covenant wherewith you were sanctified an unholy thing, and do despite under the spirit of grace, then you you’ll be damned. So you cannot forsake Jesus Christ and somehow just be resurrected out of the bar at the end of your life a saved man.