QUESTION: “THE PASTOR where I go to church teaches that a child of God can’t be lost – no matter what he does. What do you think?”
ANSWER: Thank you for this good question. However, since what I think is unimportant, let’s see what God says (1 Pet. 4:11) in His Word:
1. A child of God CAN sin as to be eternally lost:
- Can a child of God be unfaithful to his or her spouse and be guilty of adultery?
- Can a child of God harbor hatred and animosity in his heart?
- Can a child of God experience jealousy as the result of another Christian’s good fortune?
- Can a child of God become a source of division and strife among his brethren?
- Can a child of God aim a loaded shotgun at another, pull the trigger, and thus be guilty of murder?
- Can a child of God consume so much alcohol that he is guilty of drunkenness?
When the apostle Paul wrote to church brethren in congregations of South Galatia (1:1-2), he told them, “those who PRACTICE such thing will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19; cf. 1 Cor. 5:11; Jas. 5:19-20).
2. If a child of God cannot so sin as to be eternally lost, then many of the WARNINGS of the Bible are confusing at the least, and contradictory at the worst:
“Let him who thinks he stands take heed LEST HE FALL” (1 Cor. 10:12).
“Therefore, BRETHREN, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for IF you do these things YOU WILL NEVER FALL” (2 Pet. 1:10). What does “if” imply?
“Beware, BRETHREN, lest there be IN YOU an evil heart of unbelief IN DEPARTING FROM the living God” (Heb. 3:12).
“Looking diligently lest anyone FALL SHORT of the grace of God” (Heb. 12:15).
QUESTION: If a child of God cannot fall and be lost, then why did the Holy Spirit inspire men write these things? There are OVER 2,500 passages in the Bible that teach/demonstrate the possibility of apostasy.
3. A child of God can TURN BACK to the world and be lost:
“For if, AFTER THEY HAVE ESCAPED THE POLLUTIONS OF THE WORLD through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, THEY ARE AGAIN ENTANGLED IN THEM AND OVERCOME, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, THAN HAVING KNOWN IT, TO TURN FROM THE HOLY COMMANDMENT delivered to them” (2 Pet. 2:20-21).
Jesus, in the parable of the prodigal son said, “For this my son was dead (spiritually–mb) and is alive again; HE WAS LOST and is found” (Luke 15:24).
Yes, a child of God can sin and be lost.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
He/she can repent and return home.
“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!” – Mike