This teaching, that we have to keep ourselves pure, and sin-free, in order to remain saved in Christ, has been the wedge that drives people into religion. And once in the religion (whatever one they chose), they become slaves to religion. Most will live in a fear of where they will land once they breathe their last breath, never certain of their place, or their standing in Christ.
A man told me of his father in laws last days in hospice. He would go to visit him, and his father in law would be shaking and screaming out "Can you see the flames, can you see the flames?" The teaching his religion taught him his whole life was that he was in constant danger of falling away, and ending up in hell.
This is what many religions thrive on, either out of ignorance of scriptural truth, or purposely supporting their centuries long traditions, they have become teachers of doubt and fear, telling their followers that God loves them only if they love God, and obey what they believe God wants them to obey. It keeps people in line. A line they were never placed in by the Lord.
The Greek word for religion is: desidaimonia. The English elements are: Dread Teach.
The Greek word for demon is: daimonion. The English elements are: Teach diminutive.
The teaching that has bound religious followers in this uncertainty is not a teaching from God. It does not in any way touch on the evangel of the grace in Christ, which was revealed to Paul. It is a teaching that places all who adhere to it in darkness, bound with imperceptible chains. Paul called every teaching that placed a believer in bondage, or a teaching that exalted a humans ability over Christ's; a teaching of demons, or witchcraft (Galatians 3:1-4, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Cor. 11:1-15).
I AM CERTAIN IT IS VERSE TWENTY-THREE
The next verse that was given to prove this false teaching you can lose your salvation in Christ by a lack of works is Colossians 1:22 (although I am certain the person meant verse 23). I will quote verses 21 to 23, to keep it in context:
"21 And you, being once estranged and enemies in comprehension, by wicked acts, yet now He reconciles,
22 by His body of flesh, through His death, to present you holy and flawless and unimpeachable in His sight,
23 since surely you are persisting in the faith, grounded and settled and are not being removed from the expectation of the evangel which you hear which is being heralded in the entire creation which is under heaven of which I, Paul, became the dispenser."
It has to be asked: "Who is it that grounds and settles, and assures the believer of the expectation of the evangel that we hear, and believe?"
I would think it is the One Who reconciles (verse 21), by His body, through His death, so we are presented holy and flawless and UNIMPEACHABLE in His sight (verse 22), not the sight of others, or our own fickle sense of belonging. And those who know this security in Christ are persisting in the faith because they have been grounded and settled and are not removed (able to fall away) from the expectation (not the weaker word hope) which we hear. The believer hears and believes the truth concerning their salvation; that it is all Christ, The One Who presents us holy, and flawless, and unimpeachable in His sight. He is our expectation, and our guarantee, not our own flesh. Our flesh is flawed, unholy, impeachable. If we spend all our time trying to subject it we end up being a slave to it, and a believer in its ability to either keep us secure, or to cause us to fall, which only ends in hopelessness or worse; self-righteousness.
So again we can see that Paul, here in these verses, does not promote the flesh as a keeper of our salvation in Christ, he simply shows us Who keeps the believer grounded, flawless, unimpeachable in His sight, and reveals to us Who our expectation is in; Christ, the reconciler.
I THINK VERSE TWO IS WHAT THEY MEANT
The next verse given is 1 Corinthians 15:1, but again I am certain it is verse two.
"1 Now I am making known to you, brethren, the evangel which I bring to you, which also you accepted, in which also you stand,
2 through which also you are saved, if you are retaining what I said in bringing the evangel to you, outside and except you believe feignedly."
To believe something feignedly is to believe something that is counterfeit. It looks and sound like the real thing but under the surface it is not. Paul in the next few verses tells his readers what is the truth, and what must be believed to be in the body of Christ.
"For I give over to you among the first what also I accepted, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was entombed, and that He has been roused the third day according to the scriptures."
That is the evangel which must be believed to be in the body of Christ. It is that simple, yet it is believed by very few who call themselves believers in Christ.
Most believe the counterfeit. They do not believe that Christ literally died. They believe His body was placed in the tomb, but they do not believe His first rising was from the tomb. They believe before His chin hit His chest He was a spirit in paradise with the repentant thief's spirit, waiting for the next few days to pass so He could re-enter the tomb, and lift His body from the slab, remove the stone and walk out.
Paul in these verses wants all who believe to believe the truth, unless they believe feignedly. Those who believe feignedly are not in danger of losing their salvation in Christ, because they are not in the body of Christ. And those who do believe can never lose their salvation because they are in the body of Christ, because they believe the truth concerning His death, entombment, and resurrection, and Paul, in these few verses, to the Corinthians, is revealing what they believed, and their belief is not a counterfeit belief, it is based on the truth.
NO ENTRANCE SORRY
The next verse is from Matthew's Account:
""Not everyone saying to Me 'Lord! Lord!' will be entering into the kingdom of the heavens, but he who is doing the will of My Father Who is in the heavens." (Matthew 7:21)
It is common knowledge that there are many who believe that Jesus was here on earth, and believe He did wonderful things, and also believe that by their doing wonderful things, and following traditions and ritual, and believing that what they are doing is His will, they will receive entrance into the kingdom of the heavens.
There are a few things that should first be realized. Jesus, here, was not speaking to anyone other than Israelites (Matthew 15:24). Jews who had so distorted the word of God through Moses that the words were unrecognizable. Also, in this administration of grace, we are not commanded to do good works for our entrance into the kingdom of God. We are saved by grace, through faith, and it is not of us, it is a work of Christ, that no human may be boasting (Ephesians 2:8-9). And our good works were made ready for us beforehand that we should be walking in them (Ephesians 2:10). If He prepared them, there is no way we can avoid them, or we would indeed be greater than God. A teaching that unknowingly (?) is being taught by many, that promotes this teaching of falling away is the teaching called freewill. Knowingly or unknowingly they promote their own sovereignty over the only Sovereign: God.
But lets look into this portion of scripture to Israel any way.
First, once again, we cannot cherry pick out a verse to prove anyone can lose salvation by ignoring the verses surrounding it. Here is the portion that was left out:
"Take heed of those false prophets who are coming to you in the apparel of sheep, yet inside they are rapacious wolves.
16 "From their fruits you shall be recognizing them. Not from thorns are they culling grapes, nor from star thistles figs.
17 Thus every good tree ideal fruit is producing, yet the rotten tree noxious fruit is producing.
18 A good tree can not bear noxious fruit, neither is a rotten tree producing ideal fruit.
19 Every tree not producing ideal fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.
20 Consequently, from their fruits you shall surely be recognizing them.
21 "Not everyone saying to Me 'Lord! Lord!' will be entering into the kingdom of the heavens, but he who is doing the will of My Father Who is in the heavens.
22 Many will be declaring to Me in that day, 'Lord! Lord! Was it not in Your name that we prophesy, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many powerful deeds?'
23 And then shall I be avowing to them that 'I never knew you! Depart from Me, workers of lawlessness!'"
This portion has nothing at all to do with working for salvation, or losing it if you don't. It is a warning to be aware of false prophets (and I would say deceptive teachers as well). And Jesus, here, is telling his listeners how to recognize them and to be aware of them (their fruit), as well as their fate for their deceptive practices, by saying they are doing these marvelous deeds in the name of the Lord not even knowing the Lord, and in turn, He does not know them (recognize them as believers). No believer will ever hear those words "Depart from Me, I never knew you
", because, once again, we, now, are saved in grace, not by marvelous works, or any work that we might perform.
TO THE HEBREWS
Hebrews 10:26 is the next verse given. I will quote verses 26 to 31:
"For at our sinning voluntarily after obtaining the recognition of the truth, it is no longer leaving a sacrifice concerned with sins,
27 but a certain fearful waiting for judging and fiery jealousy, about to be eating the hostile.
28 Anyone repudiating Moses' law is dying without pity on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 Of how much worse punishment, are you supposing, will he be counted worthy who tramples on the Son of God, and deems the blood of the covenant by which he is hallowed contaminating, and outrages the spirit of grace?
30 For we are acquainted with Him Who is saying, Mine is vengeance! I will repay! the Lord is saying, and again, "The Lord will be judging His people"
31 Fearful is it to be falling into the hands of the living God!"
Does that sound like this administration of grace that we, the body of Christ are saved in?
Does the Law given by Moses sound like the gospel message you should believe, or remotely sound like the evangel from Paul, the apostle to the nations?
This has to do with Hebrews, not believers in the body of Christ. And, if there is any comfort that can be gleaned from this, for those Hebrews who sin voluntarily, who trample on the Son of God, and deem the blood worthless, and outrage the spirit of grace, is this; they fall into the hands of the living God.
"And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall, I pray, into the hand of Jehovah; for very great are his mercies: and let me not fall into the hand of man." (1 Chronicles 21:13)
When these two very different teachings are mixed (our, the body of Christ evangel of grace and the Law) there is so much confusion that the scripture become such a mystery that anyone can prove whatever it is they want to believe without proving anything at all from the scriptures. It is that mysterious and deceptive. Correctly cut the word of truth is a lesson that these promoters of this fall away teaching should learn, that all scripture is written for us, but not all is written to us, we are to make this distinction, and not mix the Circumcision teachings (Law) with that to the Uncircumcision teaching (Grace).
"For he who is injuring shall be requited for that which he injures, and there is no partiality." (Colossians 3:25)
This is so true that there is no real reason to comment, except that this does not at all prove salvation can be lost, or we have to work for our salvation.
Paul tells us:
"Consequently, then, each of us shall be giving account concerning himself to God. By no means, then, should we still be judging one another, but rather decide this, not to place a stumbling block for a brother, or a snare. For all of us must be manifested in front of the dais of Christ, that each should be requited for that which he puts into practice through the body, whether good or bad." (Romans 14:12, 13, 2 Corinthians 5:10)
It should always be remembered in the evangel of grace that: "Yet law (Circumcision teaching) came in by the way, that the offense should be increasing. Yet where sin increases, grace (Uncircumcision teaching) superexceeds." (Romans 5:20)
Grace trumps everything else, especially when dealing with our weak flesh. Of course we will suffer loss for some of the things we have committed and what we believed concerning Christ and God, but never loss of salvation.
"According to the grace of God which is being granted to me, as a wise foreman I lay a foundation, yet another is building on it. Yet let each one beware how he is building on it. For other foundation can no one lay beside that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone is building on this foundation gold and silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, each one's work will become apparent, for the day will make it evident, for it is being revealed by fire. And the fire, it will be testing each one's work -- what kind it is. If anyone's work will be remaining which he builds on it, he will get wages. If anyone's work shall be burned up, he will forfeit it, yet he shall be saved, yet thus, as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
All God's future dealings with humans during our time when we stand before Him will be remedial. Whether it is the unbeliever standing in judgment at the Great White Throne, or the believer standing before the Dias of Christ. We are all standing before the Righteous Judge. He does not judge as a human would judge.
"Indeed, then, condoning the times of ignorance, God is now charging mankind that all everywhere are to repent, forasmuch as He assigns a day in which He is about to be judging the inhabited earth in righteousness by the Man Whom He specifies, tendering faith to all, raising Him from among the dead -- " (Acts 17:30-31)
The Man Whom He specifies is The Foundation which is laid: Christ. Everything we build on that Foundation that is not truth will be torn down to the Foundation, but the Foundation will never be removed.
When His judgments are completed He will tender faith to all. At present we are not seeing this, but we can know this by proper handling of the scriptures. By leaving tradition and empty rituals, as well as works we are told will keep us secure where they belong, outside the word of God, and focus on scriptural truth, we will soon see that salvation is sure, and we do not need to fear that God will ever revoke His promises to all who now believe the truth concerning Christ as their Saviour. This does not mean we will know all truth during our time here, but we will know Who our Foundation is that we build on, and rely on, and Whose promises we hold on to concerning our security in Him.