There have been debates for centuries over loss of salvation. Can salvation be lost or forfeited? Can someone choose Christ and then later in life choose to reject Him? Can you be saved, and then fall into sin and go to hell? Jesus addresses this issue in our text, but He does so in a way contrary to our thinking.
Salvation is ultimately God changing a person’s nature
What is salvation? The contemporary thought is that salvation is primarily a change of eternal destination. We are saved from hell. However, the Bible paints an entirely different perspective. According to the Bible we are dead in sin. We love sin and freely choose evil. We are without strength and unable to do what is good by our own will power. Salvation is when God changes a person’s very nature, a goat becomes a sheep. The heart is born again with a new nature with a new will and new desires. The person is saved from sin (Matthew 1:21). They are delivered from a nature of sin and the sinful desires of that nature. They are a new creature with new desires. The old nature and desires are passing away (2 Corinthians 5:17).
This new nature results in new desires which lead to a new way of life
Those who are born again, sheep, now freely choose to follow the Shepherd, Jesus. The sheep now desire to hear His voice and obey it. Although they are still sheep that are prone to wander, Jesus the Good Shepherd guides them back into the path when they go astray. The born again person desires to follow Christ and will ultimately follow Him. Salvation is not a “decision for Christ.” Salvation is a new nature that follows Christ. Salvation is not a man-made, momentary act of the will. Salvation is a sheep being lifted out of the mud by the Shepherd’s might not their own.
This gift of a new life is forever by the power of the Giver not the power of the receiver
This new life is given by the Shepherd who will ensure the eternal safety of His sheep. They will never perish, not because of the strength of the sheep but because of the decree of the Shepherd. Spurgeon said that if you could lose your salvation you most certainly would. However, to reference Spurgeon again, it is not your hold of Christ that saves you but His hold of you.
No one is stronger than the Triune Godhead
God is able to keep you from even the power of Satan. No being has the power to snatch you from God’s hands. But what if you want to get out of salvation? One, your will is not greater than God’s. When it comes to the battle of the wills, God always wins. Two, you are also a man who does not have the power to even snatch your own soul out of God’s hands. Lastly and ultimately, if your heart does not desire salvation you were never born again to begin with. The idea that you can be “saved” from sin, yet desire sin more than Christ is ludicrous. It is butchering the very meaning of language. No one who is “saved” from sin will die in their sin. This is because salvation is not God bringing you out of your sin momentarily. It is God bringing you out of your sin by permanently changing your nature, will, and desires. Those who are truly born again will persevere in a state of grace by the power of God’s hand, not their own.
Will you trust Jesus with your soul?