Can backsliding cause me to lose my salvation?

Baptism of Christ. Jesus is baptized in the Jo...

Baptism of Christ. Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River by John. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Question: : I have been a Christian for about 4 years but I feel like I have fallen away. Backslidden I guess. I just haven’t been leading a very Christ-like life. I want to really bad. I read these verses in Hebrews 6:4-6:

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

I was wondering if this means that those who fall away from the faith cannot come back into faith because you are crucifying Christ over again. Does this mean that I have lost my salvation?

Answer: This passage must be understood in its context. The writer to the Hebrews was concerned that they were Jews who had converted to Jesus but who were considering leaving Christianity for Judaism. They had experienced some persecution and felt that God was signaling them that they had made a wrong decision about leaving Judaism, plus they were no doubt hearing fellow Jews talk about the importance of the sacrificial system and priesthood, as well as how their faith had been delivered by angels through Moses and Joshua and so was authoritative.

But the writer makes it clear that Christianity is superior to Judaism because now the Son on whom Judaism was supposed to be focused, the Messiah, was come and he is superior to angels, Moses, Joshua and the priesthood of Judaism. His covenant, the New Covenant, is a superior covenant and his sacrifice is a superior sacrifice.

He warns them here that if they abandon the faith they are leaving this sacrifice of Christ and saying it is useless. Since, of course, Christ cannot be sacrificed again, it is impossible to renew them to repentance. They have committed the unpardonable sin. Even though they may have been enlightened, tasted of the heavenly gift, shared in the Holy Spirit, and tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, this would indicate that they were never really born again. This would indicate that they are like land that produces thorns and thistles and is worthless, rather than land that drinks up the rain and produces crops.

However, he says, “Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case – things that accompany salvation” (verse 9). Because he believes they are really saved, he does not believe they will abandon the faith, but will continue to maturity.

If you are a believer, even though you have backslidden you are not in danger of losing your salvation. Salvation cannot be lost. If you desire to come back to Christ and live the way he wants you to, you have not committed the unpardonable sin, you are not incapable of repentance. You have not abandoned the faith, but are feeling convicted of its truth and thus of your failure in it. Confess your sins to God and accept his forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and begin to take the steps necessary to come back to a Christ-like pursuit.

Randall Johnson

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One thought on “Can backsliding cause me to lose my salvation?

  1. Pingback: Confidence in Our Rescue (Theology for Living from Philippians) « A Thimble-full of Theology for Daily Living

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