My church teaches that a person can lose their salvation. Do you think this is true?
This is a question many have wrestled with, but it needs more precision. We must ask, “Is it possible for a person who is truly saved to lose their salvation?” The answer is no. Jesus says, “My sheep [those people who are truly saved] listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:27–28). The expression translated “never” is the strongest negative in the Greek language. Jesus declares that His sheep will never ever—under any circumstances—perish. The true believer in Christ is safe and secure for all eternity (John 6:38–40; Rom. 8:28–39) and can never be lost! Salvation is a work of God, and He will bring to completion His work in every true follower of Christ (Phil 1:6).
Will a person who is truly saved continue to walk in obedience to Christ?
The person who is truly saved will continue to grow in the faith. The Lord says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” (John 8:31). Paul writes, “He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation, if you continue in your faith, established and firm” (Col. 1:22–23). The author of Hebrews notes: “We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end” (Heb. 3:14). Some have construed these passages to teach that it is possible to lose our eternal salvation. But this is not the teaching of these texts at all; they teach that continuing in the faith is the test of and evidence for the reality of Christ’s saving work in our lives. These Scriptures also warn those who waver and those whose lives do not demonstrate a growing faith that their profession of belief in Jesus might be empty. A life without growing obedience to the Word of God is a life void of the reality of conversion and new life in Christ.
Sometimes my feelings and inner impressions about an issue are at odds with the clear teaching of the Bible. What am I to do?
Every believer in Christ has probably experienced this at one time or another. We are to trust the clear teaching of God’s Word and not our impressions! The supreme standard and ultimate authority for Christian thinking, living, and dying is the Bible and not our feeling (Deut. 6:6–9; Ezra 7:10; Matt. 4:1–11; 2 Tim. 3:16–17). Feelings come and go; they can be easily provoked and manipulated, and they are woefully inadequate as standard for living. Stand by faith on God’s Word, and you will discover the truth of the words of the hymn: “How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word.”
As a Christian, then, do my feelings even matter?
Of course they do. God created us with feelings and emotions, but the Bible’s objective teachings are to inform, shape, and train our feelings. God wants us to think and feel in certain ways about good and evil. We are to love righteousness and hate iniquity (Heb. 1:9).
Feeling biblically grows out of thinking biblically. As our thinking is transformed over time we begin to rejoice at that which pleases God, and hate the things that displease God. Growth in the areas of feeling biblically about life is called our affective worldview (the way we see the world). Understanding God’s Word ought to shape the way we think and feel about God, people, and life in general. For more help with this issue I recommend reading the classic books, Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards or the Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis.
Would you please explain what "Hallelujah" means?
The word Hallelujah
is a wonderful Hebrew term, composed of two parts: (1) Hallelu, the Hebrew imperative meaning praise, and (2) Jah, a shortened form of God’s sacred name, Yahweh, translated in English as LORD. Hallelujah means "praise the LORD" or "praise Yahweh." Hallelujah is used many times in the Old Testament, usually translated as "praise the LORD." Psalms 146 through 150 are Hallelujah Psalms, calling us to praise the LORD.
By Dr. Winfred O. Neely, Professor of Pastoral Studies