What about those who fall away?
Many of us know people who, at one time, walked very closely with the Lord, confessed Jesus as their Savior, went to church, read the Bible, taught the Bible, and defended the Christian faith, only to fall away, and deny Christ. Many atheists here have similar stories.
Is this proof that it is possible to lose our salvation? This is a fair question to ask, and the Scriptures answer it: 1 John 2:19 says, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
The Scripture says that if someone really is of God, if they really are saved, then they will remain. If they do not, it is because they never were saved, to begin with.
From CARM: If it is possible for us to lose our salvation, then we must ask some questions:
* What must we do to lose it?
* How much sin must we commit?
* If we stop believing, do we lose our salvation, and if we believe again, do we get it back again? (2 Corinthians 5:17)
* If we can get our salvation back again, doesn't that contradict the Scriptures, which say, "If we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins," (Hebrews 10:26)?
* If we can lose our salvation, and we must continue to believe, in order to keep our salvation, then are we in danger of keeping our salvation by being good? After all, believing in God is a good thing to do.
* If we can lose our salvation, what is to prevent someone from living in fear, not knowing what he can, or cannot do, before he loses his salvation?
* If he lives in fear of constantly losing his salvation, then how is he resting in Christ? Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest," (Matthew 11:28).
Is this a license to sin?
No! This is not a license to sin. The Bible says, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). Being secure in Christ in no way means that we can go out and sin. Anybody who would think they could do that, would be exhibiting evidence that they are not saved in the first place.
Though the members of the Body of Christ still fail, and still sin in their struggle to be more like Christ (1 John 1:7-9), their sins have all been paid for by the risen Lord Jesus, who bore their sins in His body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). They do not need to maintain their salvation by their deeds (Gal. 3:1-3). They have rest in Christ (Matt. 11:28). They have been made clean by the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7), and possess eternal life (John 10:28).
So how can you tell that you are saved? Many of you have heard this from me before but I never posted the list. This was taken from True and False Conversion, Ray Comfort:
What fruit will grow in a True Christians life:
1. Repentance - A 180 degree turn away from sinful behavior and towards Godly behavior.
2. Thankfulness - A thankful heart that is grateful for what God has done... and shows itself in a cheerful disposition.
3. Good Works - A life that becomes others centered (helping the aged, feeding the poor, teaching children, etc.) Not self centered (all free time consumed in personal hobbies and interests)
4. Fruit of the Spirit - An ever-growing capacity of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control in the life of the believer.
5. Fruit of Righteousness - Doing the right thing according to the way God defines it in his word. Not according to the way man defines it in his own mind.
We are here to get fruit bearing Christians not decisions for Christ to fill pews.
If we understand the parable in Mark 4:3-13 then it unlocks the secret to all parables: Foolish virgin=false convert Wise virgin=Genuine conversions. The good fish, the bad fish. The man who built his house on rock and the man who built his house on sand. The one who built his house on sand is the one who hears the word of Jesus but doesn't keep them. False Convert.
6 characteristics of a False Convert:
1. Mark 4:5 - Lack depth of understanding. Immediate results impressive changes occur quickly then false convert will fall away from their faith over time and the results and changes disappear.
2. Luke 8:6 - False convert lack moisture in other words they lack the life-giving and life-sustaining power of God's word. To a false convert the Bible is dry and uninteresting and struggles with daily devotions.
3. Matthew 13:6 - False convert have no roots like a plant that dries up when the heat comes because it's roots aren't deep enough to reach water to sustain it. So is the false convert who's faith dries up where persecution comes his roots of faith don't run deep enough to reach the life sustaining water of God's word and Holy Spirit.
4. Mark 4:16 - False Converts receive the word with gladness. Hears the gospel message with gladness and really seems to latch on to it. He may express, for example, with tear filled eyes of joy. How this is the answer he's been looking for. When any test or trials comes his way, excuses become his trademark he falls away from following Jesus.
5. Matthew 13:20 - Repeats that same point false convert receive the word with joy (at first)
6. Luke 8:13 - Because they do believe for a season this is the one that fools the most people because they do believe, for a short time, the Gospel message. These false converts walk and talk a very good game. They often sincerely believe the Vital truths. That Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died a sacrificial death and rose from the earth and that he was fully man and fully God. they believe those things in their mind. When it comes time to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Jesus into test and self sacrifice the false convert displays, slowly but surely, the truth that they never believed in their hearts. Never made that commitment to Christ and eventually becomes distracted by the worries and opportunities of life and lives for himself not Christ.