How You Can Lose Eternal Life

Those who teach OSAS (once saved, always saved) doctrine think they’re so clever when they try to support their demonic doctrine with the slick question “How can you lose eternal life?”  

To those who actually study the Bible as carefully as they should and receive its counsel honestly,  they know from the examples and instruction of the Bible that eternal life can indeed be lost.  They also know that a better question is “How does one hold on to eternal life after they’ve received it?” Along the same lines, it is prudent to ask “How does one who obtains eternal life not die spiritually before they reach the finish line so that eternal life becomes their full possession rather than a mere downpayment given to spur them on to lay hold of and attain the actual prize of eternal life in its fullness?”  Those who understand well that humans never become inherently divine, and understand that earth is a place of testing and trial where no one has yet come to the finish line in the narrow way in Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life, they know that the question of how one can lose eternal life leads to an obvious case against OSAS (once saved, always saved) instead of serving as a rhetorical gotcha question which can be employed to justly validate the OSAS concept.  

Eternal life in the Bible is spoken of as a quality of life related to being properly related to our Maker on His terms.  

John 17:3: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

The eternal life that those who truly believe in Christ receive in this life is a measure or a deposit of eternal life, not eternal life in its fullness, as salvation in this life has not been finalized nor already arrived at.  This is seen in passages such as these.

1 John 3:1-2: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Romans 8:22-25: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

Hence those who receive eternal life in Jesus Christ must yet lay hold of eternal lifevuntil the end of their life until they possess a full salvation wherein they are fully restored to paradise in the immediate presence of God.  (We’ll see that proven shortly).

Idolatry is involved in all sin, somehow, in some way, when sin is carefully analyzed.  Idolatry is incompatible with eternal life; and the mindset of the Apostles involves a valid concern that a real Christian who had truly repented of sin and worshiped the true God in spirit and in truth, from the depths of their heart (otherwise they surely have never became a real Christian at all to begin with), might depart from this genuine worship and turn back to idolatry.

Acts 11:20-23: “And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.  Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”

Acts 13:43: “Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.”

1 John 5:20-21: “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.  This is the true God, and eternal life.  Little children, keep yourselves from idols.  Amen.”

Look then at what Ezekiel 14:4-8 established about those who don’t keep themselves from idols. 

“Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.  Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.  For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself: And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”

See also 1 Corinthians 10:1-22.

Hence the following exhortations to maintain, grow in, and stay on the right course to the end to attain the fullness of eternal life were given to those who had already been born-again and received (a measure or a deposit of) eternal life from God.

1 Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

Philippians 3:14-21: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example.  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Hebrews 3:12-15: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you (Christian brethren- Hebrews 3:1 makes this clear) an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation (referring to the Israelites in Numbers chapter 14 refusing to go forward into the land of Canaan when God had told them to do so- those who provoked God by their unbelief and disobedience to His Word died in the wilderness and never entered into the promised land).

So how do you lose eternal life?  That is easy!  

Genesis 2:16-17: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Adam and Eve lost eternal life and died spiritually when they ate of the forbidden tree.

These passages are written to real Christians!  Paul is reiterating the principle laid down in Genesis 2:16-17.  

Romans 8:13: “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.”

The Holy Spirit of God is given to those who turn from sin and obediently submit to Christ to walk in the truth of God’s Word, which His Holy Spirit also inspired, the Holy Spirit will never contradict the written Word of God and empowers those led thereby fulfill the Word of God’s righteous demands.

Galatians 5:16-21: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Matthew 24:9-13: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

Jesus, the Apostles, and all the godly people in the Bible whose faith we are told to follow took it for granted that loss of eternal life could indeed happen.  They were concerned that people actually obtain it, maintain it, grow in it, and attain to the fullness thereof after (and if) they have faithfully finished their course in this life.  That is the hardest part. 

Galatians 3:19: “ My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you”

Colossians 1:21-29: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”

Revelation 3:1-6: “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 are 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 what 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.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Revelation 2:18-29: “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.  And I will give him the morning star.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

I’ll also mention that the entire Book of Jude is essentially a book written to Christians about maintaining eternal life, and warning about the ungodly deceivers who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness, and deny the righteous, holy, binding authority of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ by falsely teaching that Christians can never fall from God’s grace due to disobedience and ungodly living.

Aaron’s email is: [email protected]