It has been said that once a person is saved, they are always saved. In other words they always are in a saved condition. There is absolutely nothing they can do to lose their salvation. Let us discuss this a little further. Let us say that if a person is saved, they can murder, lie, cheat, and steal without having the consequence of eternal life in Hell. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? There is no doubt, that if a Christian lives an obedient faithful life until his earthly departure, he truly will be saved. Some professed Christians will say that if a person “disowns” God, that they were never saved in the first place. While this is true in some cases, it cannot be true in all cases. First of all, we do not know the heart of anyone. Only God knows whether or not the conviction is true. Secondly, there are many scriptures that deal with falling away which we will discuss in this study. Thirdly, I hope that the reader reads and studies this topic thoroughly with objectivity and without prejudice.
One problem with the once saved-always saved argument is that some who get saved, will think that they have a license to sin. Hey, after all, once saved, always saved. They think there isn’t anything that I can do that will cause me to lose my place in Heaven. This without question is a dangerous way of thinking. To teach this, flies in the face of many scriptures throughout the bible. I realize that there is nothing that you can do to merit salvation. Beyond a doubt it is by the blood of Christ that we are truly saved. However, what I am attempting to point out is, is it possible for one who is truly saved to lose their salvation ? I am not going to discuss those who pretend to be Christians, or those who hide behind the church. The issue is whether a true Christian (a true believer) can really lose his salvation. Let us begin our study.
· Juergen U. Duetsch
"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. - Revelation 3:14-16 (KJV)
Here, God tells the Laodicean church that He will spew them out of his mouth. In other words, he wants no part of their wishy-washy attitude. Apparently, they know God, but are disobedient. This my friend, was a group of Christians. God Himself said he will spit them out !
Where you ever really thirsty ? You go over to get a nice ice cold drink of water from the fountain and to your surprise, it is lukewarm. You would probably spew it out from dissatisfaction. This is what it feels like to God, when His children cannot make up their minds to serve Him wholeheartedly.
You know, I hope God will never have to spew me out. I know I am far from perfect. We are in a spiritual race. We cannot rest until we cross that finish line.
"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." - Romans 8:12-13
We owe our lives to Jesus Christ. He was the atonement for our sins. Even though it is impossible for us to repay Him, we are still in debt to Him. We are to put off the deeds of the body. We are to serve Him faithfully.
The implication of the scripture is simple. If you are His, then do what He says. I believe, the majority of mankind knows what is right and what is wrong.
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that art ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know the hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. - Revelation 3:1-5 (KJV)
The church in Sardis was spiritually dead. We must remember these are Christians that were spiritually dead. They are told to repent and the consequence if they refuse. However, there are some who have not fallen away (have not defiled their garments). These Christians will walk with God in white. Why ? Because he called them worthy. They didn't falter in their walk. They overcame all of life's obstacles.
The word of God is plain in Revelation 3:5: He that overcomes will be clothed in white and His name will not be taken out of the book of life. There is the implication here that a Christian who does not overcome will have his name removed from the book of life. Jesus will confess the over comer's name before the Father and before His angels.
Matthew 10:32 (KJV) says: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in Heaven."
"And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they." - Numbers 14:11-12 (KJV)
This passage clearly teaches that God will only be provoked up to a certain point. Then He will punish the disobedient and disinherit them. I realize that this is in the Old Testament; however, we can definitely learn from the old ways. Compare this with Revelation 3:16.
It seems that we can be disinherited if we choose to walk in the flesh.
"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." - James 5:19-20 (KJV)
The book of James deals strictly with Christians; therefore, we must keep in mind that the warnings contained therein apply to believers. In James 5:19-20 above, it says if a brother in Christ errs from the truth and you correct (convert him from the lie to the truth) him, you save a soul from death (spiritual death). If you bring a fellow Christian's sin to his attention and he repents, in a sense you helped restore him back into God's grace. It seems to me that if one is not walking with Christ that their salvation is in danger.
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from eats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth." - 1 Timothy 4:1-3 (KJV)
It is impossible to serve the Lord without faith, yet here in 1 Timothy 4:1 it says some shall depart from the faith. This implies that they were once in the faith and now they will depart from the faith. I don't know why anyone who has become a Christian would want to leave so great a gift. But Paul tells Timothy that some will depart from the faith.
Some people teach Faith only is what saves. Well then, if that is true then some will lose their salvation. I do not believe that you are saved by faith alone but by God's grace, repentance, confession, baptism, love, the blood of Christ, obedience, etc. It all points to Jesus on the cross at Calvary. That is were our ransom was paid. That is the only reason we can be saved.
For almost two thousand years since Christ, there has been false teachers. We in our times have all kinds of false teaching from Eviloution to Wicca to all sorts of idolatry.
"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth ?" - Galatians 5:4-7
The fourth verse of Galatians, chapter 5, teaches that one can fall from God's grace. If Christ becomes of no effect to you, then you have fallen from grace. In verse 7, Paul asks them why they were being hindered from obeying the truth. After all, these Christian brethren at the church in Galatia, were running the Lord's race well. It is pretty obvious, God dislikes disobedience. He deals with disobedient Children, just as any father would. Hebrews 10:31 tells us that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. I don't know about you, but I do not want to be punished by God. Some make the argument that we won't lose our salvation, we will just be punished. However, if the punishment isn't being separated from God, it really isn't punishment. It just would be discipline. The fearful thing would be facing the possibility of Hell.
"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."
- 1 Corinthians 10:12
It is obvious that a Christian can fall. Someone who thinks that he is beyond temptation is foolish. It is vital that all Christians stay on the straight and narrow path.
You know God will provide an escape for you (1 Cor. 10:13), but you must take the exit ! You must flee from sin when it faces you (1 Cor. 10:14). Isn't God wonderful ? He lets you make the choice ! Listen to His wisdom. In Deuteronomy 30:19, God said He has put blessings and cursings before His people. He told them to choose wisely, that is choose life. In the same way we should choose His blessings and avoid falling into temptation. So take heed, lest you fall.
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize ? So run, that you may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep my body under subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” - 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
In this passage, Paul said that if he runs in vain, he would be a castaway. Well, what is a "castaway" ? The American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language defines a castaway as: adj. 1) Shipwrecked; cast adrift or ashore. 2) Discarded; thrown away. -n 1) A shipwrecked person. 2) A discarded or rejected person or thing. It can then be said that a Christian who does not keep his body in subjection, may be rejected.
"And their word will eat as a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” - 2 Timothy 2:17-18
Here in this passage it shows that false teachers can cause the faith of some to be overthrown. Their words eat as a festered wound. These individuals taught that the resurrection of the saints was already past. We know that is absolutely false, but there are some today that teach this same thing and many other false doctrines confusing sincere people to the point of having their salvation in jeopardy.
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God" - Hebrews 3:12 (KJV)
Paul tells the brethren (Christians - those already saved) to take heed. He warns them in case doubt should arise in their faith which would cause them to depart from the living God. It is obvious here that one can not depart from God if he was never with him in the first place. Therefore, one can become lost even after they were already in a saved condition.
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
- 1 John 1:7-10 (KJV)
In this passage, It says that if we walk in the light then the blood of Christ pardons us from all sin. It does not say if we walk in darkness that the blood covers us. Let me explain a little further what I mean. First of all, there is no question that we sin every day. Secondly, we must continually confess our sins to Him and repent of those sins. We must be in a constant relationship with Him. We must be faithful servants. When we confess our sins to Him, he erases those sins. He will truly forgive you, if you truly desire it. We must always strive to walk in the light.
"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things to be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen. - 2 Peter 3:14-18 (KJV)
It is imperative, that we as Christians are always reading for Christ's return. We cannot be led away with the error of the wicked. Why? Because, that would cause us to lose our steadfastness in Christ. We do not want to go into the path of destruction.
"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." - Revelation 2:4-5 (KJV)
The church here in Ephesus has left its first love, that is, Christ. He reminds them to come back to the fold and to repent. They are to serve him as in the beginning. If they do not repent and don't do the first works, their candlestick will be removed. What does this mean ? Well, I believe it means that if you turn away from Christ, you will be removed from His presence.
""For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, that, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But is happened unto them according to the true proverb. The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallow in the mire." - 2 Peter 2:20-22
The three verses here in 2nd Peter, chapter 2 make it quite obvious that a Christian who goes back to the way he was before he was a Christian, is far more miserable than if he never knew Him at all. Peter basically says that it is absolutely disgusting for one to fall away. The "backslider" has become entangled back into the world. Doesn't the bible teach that the world will be burned up? Well, if that is the case, then the apostate will be burned up along with it. There is no logical way that one can support the Calvinist doctrine by comparing these three verses.
"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall be thought worthy, who hath trodden under the foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, werewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace ? For we know him that hath said, vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, the Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
- Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV
This passage teaches about deliberate sinning. When we know that something is wrong, and we go out of His way and do it anyway, then it is willful. We know the Lord will truly forgive us, if we repent and are really sincere about it. However, we cannot go about sinning and thinking to ourselves: "I'll just ask God to forgive me after I commit the sin." It is ridiculous to think that you can go about preplanning sin and preplanning forgiveness. You can't fool God. You can only fool yourself.
The part about "There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" is difficult to explain or understand. But I believe if you sin and do not feel guilty or remorseful to the point of having your conscience seared, then for you there remains no more sacrifice for your sins. Basically, you have thrown Christ away from you. You must always repent for your mistakes.
"As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things which offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." - Matthew 13:40-42
It is so vital that you walk in His way. Do not become entangled again into the world.
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." - Galatians 6:7-8 (KJV)
Christians know that if they sow to the Spirit that they will inherit everlasting life. If a Christian sows to the flesh, he may end up where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
"But when the righteous turneth away fro his righteousness, and comitteth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live ? All his righteousness that he done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die." - Ezekiel 18:24 (KJV)
What about the Christian who turns away from his righteousness (which is Christ) ? What about the unfaithful Christian ? What about this apostate ? Shall he still live eternally in Heaven ?
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore art thou no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly element, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage ? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
- Galatians 4:6-11 (KJV)
It is obvious that these Galatians were committing apostasy through idolatry. Paul asks why they would do such a thing as returning to their former ways. Paul is afraid that his teaching of the Gospel to the Galatians may have been in vain (empty, without value). These Galatians were Christians. How can one return to something unless he went somewhere else ? These Galatians became Christians and now they have returned to idolatry (the weak and beggarly elements). For some strange reason they desire to be in bondage of these idol rituals. In the same sense, some Christians today desire to constantly be in bondage to sin whatever it may be. Each has his own sort of idolatry whether it is lying, cheating, stealing, pornography, adultery, fornication, laziness, etc. God looks at all sin equally. In Revelation 22:15, it says that without the gates of Heaven are dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. It does not say Christians are excluded from this list. So it is vital to avoid these pitfalls as we walk our Christian lives. We must live diligently towards that which we as Christians have been called.
"Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brothers way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably, Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ has died. Let not then your good be spoken evil of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things werewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended or is made weak. Hast thou faith ? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. - Romans 14:13-23 (KJV)
These verses teach us that it is very important for us to walk circumspectly to prevent other brothers and sisters in Christ from stumbling. Why is this so? Well, to prevent them from falling or an occasion to fall in their way. We will be held accountable for what we do, especially to the weaker brother or sister in Christ. 1 Timothy 1:19-20 says: "Holding faith, and a good conscience, which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme." These two individuals became stumbling blocks to some Christians in Ephesus and have caused their faith to be shipwrecked ! The scriptures plainly teach that some can lose their faith whether it is by their own choice or others influencing them to abandon the faith.
"But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay, lest ye fall into condemnation. - James 5:12 (KJV)
Basically this passage teaches us to refrain from lying unless we want to fall into condemnation.
The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 teaches us about five who were wise servants and five who were foolish servants. The five who were foolish took no oil along with their lamps. The five who were wise took oil in their vessels. While they were sleeping, the bridegroom tarried. Finally at midnight there was a cry, the bridegroom was about to arrive. The virgins were told to go out and meet him. All the virgins rose up and trimmed their lamps. Well, the wise virgins were definitely prepared and ready to go. However, the five foolish ones were probably very nervous for they were unprepared because they did not bring any oil to refill their lamps. They were caught in the dark, after all, it was midnight. They pleaded to the wise virgins for some oil because they had none to refill their now empty lamps. Their lamps were useless without the oil. The wise virgins responded in this way: "Sorry, we cannot provide for you because we may only have enough for ourselves. So, why don't you go out to some oil peddlers and buy some for yourselves.” Well, they had to go out and take care of the need they neglected in poor judgment. Well, while they were out buying the oil that they could have bought at an earlier date, the bridegroom came. Those wise virgins who were ready and went within, to the marriage, and the door was shut! Now the foolish virgins came along asking if they could be let in to the wedding. Guess what happened? They were denied entry because the Lord said "I know you not."
There are many Christians today who live their lives like the foolish virgins so content that there is nothing that they can do to be rejected. Just look at the foolish virgins. If the Lord would have came when they still had oil, they would have been ready. They became negligent in their walk and it cost them big time. Many will say to the Lord: "Please, let me in." The response will be the same. He just may say I know you not. Are you a lukewarm Christian? I encourage you to be like the five wise virgins that you might be ready when the bridegroom comes. Jesus is the bridegroom and we never know what hour he may come. It is so important to have a real relationship with the Lord.
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believe not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." - Jude 3-7 (KJV)
Did you notice in this passage that even angels fell from grace. In fact they are being held in custody until judgment day. Their sentence will be eternal fire. Some use the argument that we are different than the angels and that we can not be punished in the same way. Well, please read Luke 20:34-36. Even though the passage in Luke is talking about marriage in heaven, it says we are equal to angels. There is no marriage in heaven except for the church being married to Christ. Psalm 8:5 says that God made man a little lower than the angels. Is this a contradiction? No, while we are here on earth we are lower, when we go to heaven we will be equal. In any case, God does not make an exception for those who ultimately deny Him. Eternal fire awaits those who do not diligently serve him. Hebrews 1:4 says that we have a better name than the angels, Christians, hence, serving Christ the name above all names.
The point that I am trying to make in this study is do not take your salvation lightly. It is the most serious thing in life. If you are struggling, may I point you over to Luke 15:10. It says there in Luke 15:10 that "...there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth." In 1 Corinthians 6:3 says that the saved will judge angels. Matthew 7:1-2 says that we will be judged in the way that we judge. If we see a brother making a mistake, we must examine ourselves first, and deal with that before we can deal with our erring brother (Matthew 7:3-5)
In Jude 3-7 above, Sodom, Gomorrha, and the other cities gave themselves over to fornication. They are an example to what happens to those who give themselves over to sin. It says in the book of Jude that they will suffer eternally through fire. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. Friend, just make sure that you are constant in your walk. Jude reminds us to earnestly contend for the faith.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
Did you notice this scripture gives emphasis to those that do the will of the Father will enter the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, those who refuse to do His will not enter into the kingdom of heaven!
Let's go on a little further, in Matthew 7:22, some professed Christians will plead with the Lord. They will say haven't we done many great things for you and in your name? Guess what verse 23 says? The Lord will say to them depart from me! I never knew you! Why doesn't the Lord know them? Because they worked iniquity in spite of the fact that they had done many good things for the Lord. If you want the Lord to remember you in that day, please read Matthew 7:24-27 and you will be able to overcome.
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. - Acts 10:34-35 (KJV)
In this passage, it says that God is not a respecter of persons. It can then be said that it doesn't matter whether you are a Christian or not. You must fear him. That is you must revere him. It also says in this passage that those work righteousness is accepted with him. Therefore, if you work unrighteousness or iniquity, then you are unacceptable. If you profess to be a Christian, you must walk according to His will.
"And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
Do you notice that these three verses show that vengeance will taken upon those who do not know God? Did you also notice that those do not obey the gospel of Jesus will be continually destroyed throughout eternity? I hope you are obeying the gospel.
John 14:15 says: "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
Have you ever wondered if you truly love the Lord? One way that you can be sure is by keeping his commandments. There are a lot of people who profess to love Him but it is not evident by their conduct. Some people will rationalize to suit themselves and to avoid any admittance of wrongdoing. They may even sound pretty convincing in their own deception, but God knows the heart and will hold accountable every thought, every deed.
John 14:23 says this: "Jesus answered and said unto him, If any man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."
It is quite obvious that obedience is required in our true display of love for the Lord. It is better to obey than sacrifice. (See 1 Samuel 15:22)
1 Peter chapter 1, in verses 22 and 23 tells us that we, as Christians, have purified our souls by obeying the truth through the Spirit towards an unfeigned love for the brethren. It also says that we are born again of an incorruptible seed. All baptized believers are born again (John 3:4-5). They are new creatures in Christ. However, this doesn't mean that we can't sin. What it does mean is that Jesus has wiped our slate clean and we are to live in His light. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” - Hebrews 5:8-9 (KJV)
Jesus himself learned obedience by all the things that he suffered while here on earth. Obedience made him perfect as a man. He never sinned, no matter what he went through, he always overcame. He is the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey him. He is not the author of eternal salvation to those who disobey. We can see from the above passage that obedience is absolutely necessary for our salvation.
1 John 2:4 says this: "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." If you really know the Lord, you will do your best to do what he says in his holy word. Revelation 22:15 says that whosoever loveth and maketh a lie will be without the gates of heaven. Revelation 22:14 says "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." It is without question obedient and faithful servants of the Lord don't have anything to worry about. However, those who think they can stand should take heed lest they fall!
1 John 5:3 says this: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." We show our love for the Lord by keeping his commandments. Isn't it ironic that God's love requires our obedience to His word?
In the book of Romans (AV), in the sixth chapter, in verse 16 it says: "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, ; whether of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness?" Who are we servants of? Is it Jesus or is it Satan? Hopefully, you said Jesus. He is the only means of salvation.
James 2:24 (AV) says: "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith alone." It can be said, by this verse, that what we do in our Christian walk has bearing on our justification. Faith alone will not save you. Christ must be evident in your life.
“But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. - Matt 24:48-51 (KJV)
What is a servant? A servant, here, is a Christian. This word is used in the New Testament as one who serves God. Here we have an example of a worthless servant. He fools himself by thinking he has plenty of time to act up, when in essence, his Lord may return at any moment. He will be caught off guard and then it will be too late to repent!