Surely you agree that all one must do in order to be saved is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31)
But, of course, this is not just a mental assent to the fact that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day. Rather, it is first seeing ourselves as sinners who deserve what Christ bore for us, and then, in humble and grateful acceptance of what He has done for us, coming to the end of ourselves as we receive Him as Lord—giving up our selves, losing our life—with the willingness to do any and everything that He commands us. This is obedient faith (Heb. 5:9)—faith that saves—and, according to God’s Word, it saves instantly all who thus believe from the heart; and this faith saves the individual before he manifests it in good works. God alone knows who has thus believed from the heart (2 Tim. 2:19), but we may have confidence in others as brethren when we see the fruit produced in their lives (Matt. 7:17-20; John 13:35).
What happens the instant one has believed from his heart on the Lord Jesus Christ?
- He is saved from hell, and the lake of fire and therefore can never go to either place (1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15; Eph.2:5, 8, 9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5; John 5:24; Rev. 20:10-15).
- He is given the gift (undeserved) of everlasting life—the life of Christ which will never end (John 3:15; 5:24; 10:27-30; 1 Jn. 3:14; 5:1l.-13). You can never lose (by undeserving) something you didn’t deserve in the first place.
- He receives this gift of life by being born again, “not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever” (1 Pet. 1:23-25). See also John 1:11-13; 3:1-8; James 1:18; 1 John 3:9 –“His seed remaineth”; and 1 John 5:1,18).
- He is not only born of the Spirit, but also comes to be indwelt by God’s Spirit, who is the earnest (the guarantee) of his inheritance. (1 John 5:10 with Romans 8:9, 16, 17, 23; Eph. 1:13,14). Also, he is sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30).
- He is instantly baptized in the Holy Spirit into Christ, into Christ’s death, and into Christ’s church—against which the gates of hell cannot prevail (Matt. 16:18; Acts 1:5; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27; 1 Cor. 12:12,13 ). Though death and judgment are appointed all sinners, Christ has kept our appointment for us, bearing our sins and judgment on Calvary, and when one believes the gospel he is baptized in the Holy Spirit into Christ and consequently into His death and burial, and God thus justly reckons that the sinner has already died, because it was in our place that Christ died, and God will not require the payment of sin’s penalty twice. Compare Hebrews 9:27,28 with Rom. 6:1-6.
How can one who is saved from hell and the lake of fire ever be lost?
If one goes to hell and the lake of fire, he was never saved from them. How can one with the unending life of Christ ever be lost? [Read: 10 impossible ways to lose your salvation] How can one who is born of incorruptible seed which remains in him ever be lost? How can one who has already suffered the penalty for sin be put to death again? How can one who is sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption ever break that seal? How can God’s guarantee of our eternal inheritance ever be nullified? These are questions which must be answered for me ere I could believe that other Bible verses teach that I can lose my salvation in Christ.
I know of no instance in scripture where one who is positively said to have been saved, born again, and given eternal life is later said to be lost
But there are many recorded instances of saved people walking in the flesh—walking in sin—who are still said to be saved, though it is clearly brought out that they were chastened and suffered loss, not only in this life but in the life to come also. For example: Lot (2 Peter 2:6-9); David (2 Sam. 12:13); and the believers at Corinth (1 Cor.3:12-15). – Excerpt from Safe in Christ by Berl Chisum