To discuss the loss of salvation we must first establish the 'fact' of salvation in one's life. Many will say to Christ "Lord, Lord," but they will go away into eternal destruction, not having had that life altering relationship with Christ that is so necessary (Matthew 7:22-23). Many will make a 'profession' of faith in Christ who are not in 'possession' of genuine faith (Titus 1:16). There are tares in the midst of the wheat, tares that look like wheat but are, in fact, weeds (Matthew 13:24-30). Many claim to have the Holy Spirit but are not led by the Spirit into holiness of life (Romans 8:14).
In brief there is a vast difference between merely claiming to be a Christian and truly being born from above, a new creature in Christ, loving the Lord, and living (however imperfectly) in obedience to the Gospel. To the first, loss of salvation mean never having had it in the first place. To the second, loss of salvation would mean that the Lord is not faithful and true, that His gifts and calling are revocable, that He receives His people from His Father, dies for them that they might live, only to lose them in the end (Revelation 21:5; Romans 11:29; John 6:37-40).
Again we must emphasize the difference between the people of God and the pretenders toward God. The first have the form of Godliness, or outward appearance, but do not possess the inward reality and power of it (2 Timothy 3:5). The second pursue and practice Godliness (however imprecisely) because they have the reality and the power of the Holy Spirit working in them.
Should any person be distressed over this issue let him examine himself. Do you hate sin and love God so that you seek to please Him? Are you striving to be a holier Christian than you have been. Do you have prayer and Bible reading as priorities? Do you love your neighbor as yourself? Are you faithful to the truth of God? Do you desire heaven far more than this world? In brief, what is in your heart?
If you can answer these with a truthful 'yes', from the heart, have no fear. You are in Christ, you possess genuine repentance and faith, you are wheat, you are of the Holy Spirit, you cannot be lost, indeed you desire always to remain in the Lord and never be lost.
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Eternal (temporary) Life???
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