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Question #301

Can you fall from grace?

Can you fall from grace? Some believe grace covers all. Even if you continue to sin deliberately, you are covered by grace. How about Hebrews 6:4-6?

The Answer:

A Christian can so sin as to be eternally lost. See the answer to Question No. 11. Grace covers sin, but it does not cover sin for those who fail to do the will of the Father. Matt. 7:21-27. Grace covers sin, but it does not cover sin for those who are impenitent. Luke 13:3, 5. Grace covers sin, but it does not cover sin for those who have not had their sins washed away in baptism. Acts 22:16.

Hebrews 6:4-6 is not to the contrary. Nor is Hebrews 10:26-31. These passages are not addressed to ordinary apostates – those who had sinned through weakness, indifference, or ignorance. These had repudiates Christ as their Savior and had returned to the Mosaic Code as the only proper system of religion on the belief that a future Messiah would appear. The law could not justify; no Messiah was yet to come; their repudiation of Jesus eliminated the possibility of salvation through him; thus their salvation became hopeless. The reason that they could not be saved was because it was impossible to renew them again to repentance. The impossibility was not on God’s part, but was created by their unwillingness to conform to God’s will. Their permanent rejection of the Christian system made it impossible for them to be saved.

But what if they returned? Since the impossibility was not with God, if they did return God could and would save them. However, the writer warns that these had, and thus reminds us that we may, go beyond the point of no return, in the same manner that a transoceanic flight reaches the point where the fuel on board is insufficient to take it back to its point of departure. Read Heb. 6:7-8.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)