What would it mean if a child of God were finally and forever lost?


Sam Storms:

Have you paused to consider what would be true were it possible for one of God’s blood-bought children to fall fully and finally from saving grace? Often I hear people casually speak of “losing” their salvation. But there would be far more involved were it possible for a justified-by-faith-alone-in-Jesus-alone believer to suffer eternal damnation. I was awakened to this yet again on reading Marcus Johnson’s excellent book, One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of Salvation (Crossway). Here is how Johnson put it:

“When God joins us to Christ through faith, he is making real in our temporal lives what he has already decreed in his eternal will and accomplished in the incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of his Son. To be severed from the Son would require that the Father rescind what he has already decreed and accomplished. Every benefit that we have received from being united to Christ would have to be undone. Having already justified us in Christ, God would have to re-condemn us and repeal our participation in Christ’s righteousness; having already sanctified us in Christ, God would have to reverse our baptism into Christ’s death, burial, and new resurrection life; having already adopted us in Christ, God would have to make us orphans; having already resurrected us with Christ and raised us in his ascension, God would have to lower us into death and cast us from the heavenly realms; and having already glorified us in Christ, God would have to terminate the end to which he appointed all of his blessings. In sum, having joined us to Christ, God would have to dismember the body of Christ” (175-76).

So, may I suggest that you be careful should you ever find yourself questioning the reality of the saints’ perseverance in faith, fully and finally unto the end. To argue that a redeemed and reconciled child of God can undergo un-redemption and un-reconciliation is to destroy God’s eternal purpose that he ordained for us in Christ. Praise be to God that his unshakable determination is “to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 24b)!

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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