DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Can you lose your salvation once you’ve honestly committed your life to Jesus? A friend of mine says you can, and another says you can’t. This bothers me, because I sincerely believe in Jesus, but I’m afraid I’ll do something wrong and maybe lose it all. — R.J
DEAR R.J.: I don’t doubt the sincerity of your friend who believes we can lose our salvation if we sin after we’ve given our lives to Christ, but I respectfully disagree. Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37).
Think of it this way. When children are born, they become part of a family. Even if they rebel or do something wrong, they’re still members of their family, and nothing can ever end that relationship. And when we come to Christ, we become members of a new family, the family of God. We are now his children, and just as earthly children will always be part of their families, so we will always be part of Christ’s family, even if we sin and turn away from him for a time.
But let me add two important warnings. The first is a warning against false belief, that is, assuming we’re committed to Christ when we really aren’t. Many people, I’m afraid, fall into this category. They’re like the plants Jesus warned about, that grew for a time but then withered and died (see Luke 8:4-15).
The second is a warning against allowing sin to control us, even as believers. Sin cuts us off from God and has devastating effects on our lives. Flee from sin, the Bible says, “and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).
Write to Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
Tribune Media Services 10/22