Many people are taught that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. That’s accurate but not absolute. God will forgive us if we ask for it, and prove we mean it by doing T’shuvah (turn from sin), which will be to live our life showing that we reject sin, accept Yeshua as our Savior and follow the leading of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) as our guide and comforter.
Otherwise, the salvation God is willing to grant us will be lost- not taken away (no one can take away that which God has given you), but thrown away.
Let’s look at the warnings in the Bible about this:
Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
2 Peter 2:20-22 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”
James 5:19-20 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Matthew 24:10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other
These warnings against falling away from the truth and the way clearly state that these people had known the Lord and were “saved” but chose to return to their sinful life.
Too often people are taught that once you are saved, you are always saved. And that is true, but only from the perspective that God will forgive you when you ask in Yeshua’s name. But that is not the end of it- it is only the beginning. When a slate is wiped clean, there is nothing on it. But when we come before God we are not to come before Him empty handed (Exodus 23:15 and again in Deuteronomy 16:16). As such, the slate He has wiped clean with the blood of Messiah Yeshua better have some real good writing on it (i.e., works of faith) when we bring it back to the Lord at Judgment Day. Look to the parable of the servants given talents by their master (Matthew 25:14-30.) The one who did nothing with what he had been given was not allowed into the master’s joy- he was thrown out into the darkness.
Yes, we are saved when we call on the Lord, when we ask for forgiveness in Yeshua’s name, and when we truly do T’shuvah. We are forgiven our sins, thus “saved” from them, but we are just starting the journey to salvation. It is a long and hard road, treacherous and difficult to stay on. And if we lose our way we may be lost, forever. The Ruach HaKodesh is our GPS system, but if we neglect the “Turn right in a quarter mile” when we hear it, often enough, we will become totally lost. And when that happens, as is human nature, we will deny it was our fault and blame the GPS for not giving us the right information.
What is your GPS? Is it the Holy Spirit? Is it a religious leader, like a Rabbi or Priest or Pastor? Is it some self-help guru? Is it a “fad” religion? There is only one true, reliable and proven GPS for salvation: God’s Word. And I mean the entire bible, which is Genesis through Revelations. Heck- you should even take a look at the maps at the end, just to make sure you don’t miss anything!
Salvation is promised by God to those who ask for it, but it is then our job to use His gift, to give Him back more talents than He gave us, and to have useful writing on the slate He cleared when we come before Him. James said faith without works is dead (James 2:14) so don’t kill yourself right after God gives you back your life.
One last parable to show salvation received is not salvation guaranteed is the parable about the spirit that was removed and then returned with 7 other spirits (Luke 11:24); again this demonstrates, unquestionably, that a person who has been “cleansed” can still be made “dirty” again if that person just does nothing with the gift he or she has been given. So make sure that you write on your slate, that you invest your talents, that you do not leave your house empty- make sure you use the gift of salvation or you will find yourself in the same place those who we read about in Matthew 7:22-23.
Will Rogers once said:
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Please- don’t sit on your salvation.