Question: Would you please explain Heb. 10:26-31? Does this mean we can lose our salvation, that we can fall from grace? There are friends of mine who claim that once we are saved we can never again be lost. .

Answer: First let us look at the text:

"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries. A man that hath set at nought Moses law dieth without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know Him that said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense. And again, The Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:26-31).

To "sin wilfully" in this text means to turn away from Christ. And the point is clearly made: If we turn from Christ there is no other sacrifice for sin to which we can turn. Thus, condemnation is certain. That is what the text is teaching. These to whom this Scripture is addressed are Christians, so it is clear that Christians can turn from Christ and be lost. Other passages teach the same thing.

"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12). Why such a warning, if it is impossible to fall???

"For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the last state is become worse with them than the first. For it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them" (2 Pet. 2:20,21).

Notice that these people had "escaped" from the clutches of Satan by knowing the truth (Jno. 8:32), and then are again entangled and overcome. The last state is worse than the first -- and the first state was that of being lost in sin!

"Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace" (Gal. 5:4). This letter was written to Christians, and some of them had been "severed from Christ...fallen away from grace." It is strange indeed that some people who claim to believe the Bible would say that people cannot fall from grace, when the Bible plainly says that some did so!

The truth is, God's promises are conditional promises -- that is, they are conditioned upon our doing His will (Matt. 7:21-27; Heb. 5:8,9; Lk. 6:46; 1 Jno. 2:3; 3:22; etc.). "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 Jno. 1:7). Notice the word, "IF." That is a conditional promise. Jesus said, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give unto thee the crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).

Clem Thurman in Gospel Minutes Vol. 53, No. 51, Dec. 17, 2004.

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