Updated: Dec 9, 2021
By: Dr. Richard G. Arno
Are we eternally secure? Once we are saved, can we backslide and loose our salvation?
This is an important question and one that concerns everyone.
The Baptist preach “once saved, always saved” and most of the other denominations preach (warn) about backsliding.
When I was attending Duke and studying to be a pastor, I was faced with this question and, honestly, I needed an answer. I needed to know the truth. After all, if I was to accept the responsibility of being a shepherd (lower case s), I realized that I better know the true answer to such an important question. Souls were at stake!
I searched the scriptures and found as many that supported one argument as the other.
How can this be? Nevertheless, it is true. There are just as many scriptures that cause you to feel secure and free from the fear of backsliding as there are scriptures that make you feel that slipping back and losing your salvation is just one little sin away. What is the answer?
I was frustrated and could not understand why the Word did not provide a clear answer.
I went to the Father in prayer and explained my dilemma.
After much prayer and meditation, He answered me. His answer was simple, but profound. I know it was from Him, because no part of me could be as wise.
He said: “How do you get saved?” I said: “That is easy. You confess your sins, repent (turn away) from them and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior.”
God asked me: “Do you get saved by behaving good?”
I said: “Of course not, it has nothing to do with behaving good. We must confess with our mouth!”
Then the Lord opened my eyes to the truth. He said: “You receive salvation with your mouth, not your behavior, and that is exactly how you lose your salvation--just ask Jesus to get out of your life (with your mouth, not your behavior) and He will leave you and you will lose your salvation.