Pastor Brian Bloye of the West Ridge Church in Dallas, Ga., has started a new series, "Who Told You That and The Lies We Believe," and one of his sermons deals with a question that many Christians ask, "Can we lose our salvation?"
It's a "Life changing" series, says Pastor Bloye. It began a fortnight ago, and is based on Genesis 3:8-11, where God asks Adam and Eve a question about the source of their fear after they sinned, "Who told you that?"
The passage reads: "And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, 'Where are you?' And he said, 'I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.' He said, 'Who told you that you were naked?'"
The enemy is the accuser of the brothers and sisters, Bloye says, adding that we too have believed the lies of the accuser as well as those of our teachers, coaches, friends, the world and our own minds.
"My hope in this series is not only to encourage you to put your faith and your trust in Jesus Christ but also to expose some of the lies that we have believed, and then to replace them with truth... found in God's word," the megachurch pastor explains, encouraging the congregation to ask the question, "Who told you that?" over and over again, whenever they are faced with fear, doubt, depression, discouragement or confusion.
Pastor Bloye's first sermon in the series dealt with the question, "If you truly have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, can you lose your salvation?"
The title of the sermon was "You Can Lose Your Salvation." The titles of his sermons in this series are apparently statements of lies that many Christians tend to believe.
Many denominations believe a Christian can lose her or his salvation, he said, asking, "Who told you that?"
Bloye then told the congregation he would "mess" with them by sharing seven ways they can lose their salvation.
One, if someone comes into the world that is more powerful than God, he said. But even superheroes don't match up to God, he added, and quoted John 10:27-29: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."
Two, he shared, if eternity comes to an end, we might lose our salvation. Eternity began as soon as you put your faith in Jesus, he told the congregation, quoting John 5:24: "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."
Three, if Jesus stops getting His prayers answered, Bloye said. Jesus is talking to God about each believer right now, he reminded the church members. And God loves Jesus, he added, and quoted Jesus' prayer from John 17:24: "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world."
The fourth way we can lose our salvation is if God breaks His promises, the pastor shared. We don't trust people because they break their promises, but God never breaks His promises, he explained, drawing the congregation's attention to I John 5:12-13, which says, "Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life."
Five, if you can work your way to Heaven, Bloye said. Salvation can be found only in the finished work Jesus has done for us, and that's unique about Christianity, he added. One of the verses he quoted was John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Six, if the Holy Spirit gets tired and quits. Before we come to Christ, the Holy Spirit does the initiating or convicts us of our sin, the pastor explained. And when we come to faith, He does the sealing, he added, quoting Ephesians 4:30, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."
And the seventh way we can lose our salvation is if God ever stops loving us, Pastor Bloye said. Not only does God love you, but He also promises that nothing can stop Him from loving you, he told the congregation.
He quoted Romans 8:38-39, "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
But the assurance of salvation is not the freedom to sin, the pastor cautioned. If we do, we would trample on God's grace, live with guilt and walk powerless, he warned.
In conclusion, Bloye told the church members if they have genuinely accepted Jesus, they cannot lose their salvation.
Last Sunday, the pastor shared about the tendency in some Christians to seek perfection in performance. He said he recently read a useful tweet in this regard, which read, "When the pressure to perform is heavy, whisper these words of grace to your heart: 'Because God's love is perfect, I don't have to be.'"
Bloye said one of the schemes of the devil is to get our focus on ourselves and our performance, and off the Gospel of Christ, and then to turn us against ourselves. This is why we have thoughts like, "No matter how hard we try, it's never good enough," he pointed out.
True life and freedom are found in Christ's performance, he said. Jesus has already performed, and said, "It is finished."