Biblical Warnings against Losing Salvation


Max Aplin

I have been a Christian for over 30 years. I have a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Edinburgh. I am a British national and I currently live in the south of Scotland.You are very welcome to take any of my articles to post on your website, blog etc. If you do this, you may Americanise the English spellings, leave out the links at the end of the article, and change the format of subheadings, quotations etc., if you want. But please attach my name and keep the content of the article unaltered.Check out my blog, "The Orthotometist" above.

2 Responses

  1. Nomad says:

    I agree with some of your assessments but I feel you are including scriptures that are not speaking of salvation but rewards. Salvation is a free gift, it wouldn’t be a total lie to say hey salvation is a free gift but if you don’t run well enough you’ll lose your salvation. So the prize I believe Paul speaks of are rewards. Paul was in fear of being disqualified from his apostleship. If not preaching enough or doing enough for Jesus lost him his salvation then clearly it isn’t a gift.

  2. Max Aplin says:


    Thanks for your comment.

    I am still sure that the texts I refer to in this article warn against falling away from salvation, not just losing rewards. The wording just doesn’t make sense as references to rewards.

    It is true that we continue in salvation by faith and not by doing good deeds. So we would lose salvation by losing faith, not by failing to perform good deeds.

    However, there is a very close connection between having saving faith and doing good deeds. As James 2:26 says, for example, faith without deeds is dead. The faith is a bit like a magnet attracting good deeds to itself.

    But since faith and deeds always go hand in hand so closely, the Bible can refer to one with the understanding that the other is present. And it can refer to losing one with the understanding that the other will also be lost. Furthermore, the Bible often talks about things relatively untechnically and imprecisely.

    So when Paul talks about losing salvation if he doesn’t preach the gospel, this is a relatively untechnical way of putting things. If we were to rephrase his words by putting things more technically, what he means is that if he fails to preach the gospel, that would be inconsistent with his continuing to have saving faith. His disobedience in doing God’s will would be a sign that his saving faith had disappeared.

    So Paul is not talking about failing to earn his right to remain saved. He is in effect talking about failing to continue in saving faith. What he isn’t talking about is simply losing rewards.

    I discuss the connection between faith and good deeds much more fully at

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