A young adult pastor with a Texas megachurch said he doesn't believe a true Christian can lose their salvation unless they renounce their faith, saying that any notion that implies Christians can lose their salvation suggests the Holy Spirit "won't keep His promise."
J.D. Rodgers of Watermark Community Church in Dallas claimed in a July 26 sermon that Christians he doesn't think authentic followers of Christ can lose their salvation as long as they are justified, verified, sanctified, glorified and in Christ.
"If you can revoke your salvation, you are saying that the Holy Spirit can be unsealed, that the Holy Spirit won't keep His promise to give you your inheritance," Rodgers said.
"What is your inheritance? Glory. Eternal life. John 3:16 says that we will as Christians' receive eternal life.' If there's something that you can do to take back the gift of eternal life, was it ever truly eternal?"
Rodgers said that once a Christian gives their life to Jesus, there is nothing they can do to lose their salvation because Jesus was "an appropriate payment for our penalty."
"He lived on the earth 33 years. He then died a sinner's death on a cross. He hung there. And on that cross, He took every sin that you committed against God that deserved death. He took it and He died in your place on the cross. And if you put your faith in that, what happens? You are justified. You are now a Christian because you've been justified by faith," Rodgers said.
"You were once opposed to God. Now, therefore, 'because we have been justified by faith, we now have peace with God.' Because of the death, burial and resurrection, Jesus went to the grave [for] three days. Three days later, He rose from the grave, conquering sin, conquering your shame, your guilt. So now, you don't have to be afraid of death. You don't have to be afraid of a penalty. You can stand free before God because of Jesus. You are justified."
According to Rodgers, Christians who say they "can lose your salvation" are saying they can "change the definition of the gift of eternal life that you receive the moment you were saved."
"To say you can lose your salvation [is] to say that God is not trustworthy, that God will take back what He's promised and God will take back the gift that He's given to you," Rodgers said.
"All three of those things are inconsistent with what the Bible says is the character of God. God is trustworthy. God has given the gift of His Son of eternal life freely. He's not taking it back. No matter what you've done."
Rodgers addressed situations where people who once proclaimed they were "in the faith" left the faith to practice a different lifestyle or became an atheist.
"The problem with these two oppositions is they come with the assumption that these people were actually Christians to begin with," Rodgers asserted.
"That is the force behind this argument, because if you were someone who lives in unrepentant sin, 1 John 3:6 says that 'if you know God, if you abide in Him, you will not continue a life of sin.'"
"1 John also actually says that, 'if you walked with us, and you looked like us, and then you walked away, you were never one of us.' 1 John 2:23-24, it says, 'No one who denies the Son has the Father.'... So if there's any point in your life where you say, 'No, I don't believe Jesus has done this for me,' you do not have the Father. You never had the Father. That's what the Bible would teach."
Whether a Christian can lose their salvation is a contentious question, with some, among them Michael Bradley of the website Bible Knowledge, arguing that a believer can fall away.
Bradley cited verses like Hebrews 10:26, "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left."
"I believe the words' no longer remains a sacrifice for sins' is implying a definite loss of salvation if someone has pushed the envelope too far with God the Father," wrote Bradley.
"I am afraid some Christians, who are living in some of these heavier sin areas on a regular and frequent basis with no intentions of trying to pull out of them, are going to be in for a very big surprise once they die and cross over and have to meet the Lord for their own personal final judgment."