A lot of people worry about losing their salvation for one reason or another. I really don't think that they should worry about losing their eternal salvation, I think what they should worry about is whether they were ever saved to begin with.
When it comes to being saved, on achieving eternal salvation, I really think that God the Father is the one that calls a person to be saved. I don't think we come to the Lord, but instead The Father is the one who calls us, and I think that he calls each one of us at various times throughout our lives. May I give just 3 verses.
The secret of being the one who is called by God and getting saved and staying saved is alot like a drowning man. Imagine that you are drowning in the ocean. There is no way you can save yourself. Without assistance, you will surely drown. A boat comes by to rescue you. The person in the boat throws you a life preserver tied to a rope. The person in the boat is the only one able to save you. Yet, you must reach out and accept his help. If you refuse to trust in him, and you do not latch onto the life preserver, then you will surely die.
You see, sin is our fault. We are responsible for our sin. We cannot save ourselves from "drowning" in our sin. God is the only one who is able to rescue us from death. We cannot expect to solve our problems and our failures in our own way when it was our way that brought us the problems and the failures in the first place. But fortunately God is responsible for our salvation. God threw us the life preserver when Jesus came. We latch onto the life preserver by placing our faith in Jesus. Just as one cannot expect to be rescued from drowning if one chooses to remain in the ocean, so we cannot expect to be rescued from sin if we choose to remain trapped in it. And the person who has gained eternal salvation is the person who never ever forgets this fact.
When a person is truly saved, something "clicks" on inside that person. Maybe it's the Holy Spirit moving in as a permanent resident, maybe it is something the Holy Spirit brings with him, maybe it's that brand new heart that the saved one receives, maybe it's no longer, "I that lives", but it is now Christ living within me, or maybe it's something else that we can't even comprehend. But regardless of what that thing is, when a person is truly saved, when Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit move in and begin to live within that saved person, then the lifestyle is going to change. The aims and the desires are going to change. The attitude and outlook is going to change. Everything about that person is going to change. In fact you might say that the person becomes a new creation.
You might compare it to a gold miner who discovers his first gold nugget. From that moment on, that miner has gold fever and he will spend the rest of his life thinking about, looking for, and dreaming about gold. Gold will always come first. And I think the same is true for a true believer. When he is ready to fully and completely receive and accept Jesus Christ into his life, and to put Him above all else, then there is very little that is ever going to happen to cause him to lose that salvation. It's almost like the Holy Spirit is far too entrenched in his soul to ever allow that soul to be taken away from God.
What is required to be saved?
There is only one possible way for anyone to achieve eternal salvation. And that one and only way is by having complete and total faith in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, most Christians are not willing to place their "complete and total" faith in Jesus Christ. They are happy to give him part of their life, but certainly not all of it. They are like the drowning man being buffeted around in huge violent waves that when thrown a life preserver, will only grasp it with the end of a single finger tip.
And you remain saved, by maintaining your faith in Jesus Christ.
John 14:6--- "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Acts 16:31--- "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved".
John 6:47--- "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life".
So being baptized won't save you, nor will keeping the 10 commandments save you. Going to church, and having love in your heart for all others will not earn you salvation. Reading the Bible and giving to those in need won't save you. None of these will gain for you eternal salvation. There is absolutely nothing that you can do that will save you. There is not a single action or a single "work" that anyone can do that will gain them eternal salvation.
Galatians 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.
But what about all the things mentioned above? Things like reading the Bible and keeping the 10 commandments. Are they not important? They are very important, but their purpose is to help you lead a Godly lifestyle, a lifestyle that will be both pleasing and approving to Jesus, a lifestyle that will keep your faith in Jesus Christ at a very high level at all times.
The problem with many people is that even after they think that they have found Jesus Christ, and they think that they are saved, they sort of begin to fall away. Soon they begin to lose what little faith they had in Jesus Christ. And once a believers faith begins to wane, then eternal salvation begins to slip away.
Most people think they are saved, but unfortunately they may not be. Sure they went through all the initial steps at one time. For a brief moment they thought that they wanted to be saved. They were sick, or in pain, or terribly depressed or scared. But they called out to God only when there was an emergency.. They saw God only as a 911 type of God. They were only to willing to use him while they were going through the adversity and after that was over, then they and God could once again go on their separate ways.
And unfortunately these are the same people that once that bad episode or that disaster is over, stop talking or even thinking about God. They don't pick up his word and began to read it. They really don't care to find out what God is all about. They never really place their trust in God nor do they dedicate their hearts and souls to God. They don't pray to God for guidance nor do they care about God's great unconditional love. They instead put a wall back up to block out God's love and prevent this love from having any affect on their lives. They have no intention of growing in the Lord, nor do they want the Lord to put any restrictions on their lifestyle. They instead allow their sins to once again continue unchecked and to control their lives. They basically don't want God to bother them until the next great disaster comes along. When that happens, then they will call on God once again. These may be the people who are being described in Matthew 13:15. "For the hearts of these people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed".
Were these people ever saved? They will tell you they are saved, and they really feel that they are saved, but have they really achieved eternal salvation, or have they instead just successfully deceived themselves? Have they become their own worst enemy? For most people the problem is not whether a person can lose his salvation, the problem is whether they ever had salvation to begin with. Why do you think so few people ever take the time or put in the effort attempting to really find out who Jesus Christ is? Why don't more people want to know what Jesus Christ expects from them or what they can expect from Jesus Christ? Why don't we see more people living lifestyles that are being guided by the Holy Spirit?
If a person is saved he should have tremendous faith in Jesus Christ. You cannot show someone your faith. You can't prove to someone that you indeed have faith in the Lord. But once you are saved the Lord gives you a brand new heart. It is no longer you that lives, now it is Christ that lives within you. Being saved you now have the desire to live a righteous life, one that is pleasing and approved by Jesus Christ. But the only real way that a person can show that they have faith is by their works. And a persons "total daily works " is everything that they do or say or think during a 24 hour day. Everything that a person does during the day and night is a "work". All their actions over a 24 hour period is what goes into making up their "works".
And sadly, there doesn't seem to be an abundance of good works being done by individuals in today's society, and I see very little "good works" being done by people who claim they are "saved Christians". I go to church with "Saved Christians" who don't even bother to bring their Bible's to church. I work with many Christians who think nothing of disgracing the Lord's name in daily conversation. I come in contact with saved Christians who spew hate and vile words out of their mouths constantly. I see supposedly saved Christians taking advantage of others, gossiping and telling lies about them, and degrading and disrespecting them. I see many Christians saying all kinds of off colored remarks and frequently expressing wicked sinful smiles and glances. I know Christians who look upon other human beings as if they are filth and garbage. I know many Christians who take great pleasure in watching as much filth on TV as they can. I have seen many Christians "look away" when they come across someone truly in need.
I also know a great many Christians who complain bitterly that the local schools will not let the 10 commandments be posted in the school classroom, but I have yet to be in a single Christian home where a copy of the 10 commandments is posted. And I wonder whether any of those doing the complaining can even name the ten commandments. And perhaps worst of all, I know saved Christians who are greatly offended if you even begin to discuss God or anything about God.
A lot of people worry about losing their salvation for one reason or another. I really don't think that they should worry about losing their eternal salvation, I think what they should worry about is whether they are even saved now, and whether they were ever saved.
In order for you to be saved, God has to call you first. There's a beautiful and astonishing little truth that explains how many are "called and offered" that very first step towards salvation.
The saved soul is the one that doesn't forget God once the horrible episode or disaster passes. The one that is saved remembers God, and is thankful to Him for coming to his aid. The saved person is left with an urge to find out what this God is all about. The saved person realizes that he should know a great deal more about this person that he is going to be spending eternity with. The saved person will begin to read about God, try and understand Him, and begin to spend time with Him. And the saved soul is the one that wants to understand the word of God.
In short, he wants to know and begin to understand God's instruction book to us; the very word of God, the Holy Bible. And after he actively begins to instill Godly discipline into his life, he sees first hand the tremendous changes and blessings that begin to occur in his life, since blessings follow discipline.
Who is the saved soul? It is that special individual who truly believes he is saved, and who after talking and praying to God, after reading his word, after learning as much as possible about God, comes to the realization that he needs God so very much more today than he did yesterday, and even more importantly, that he is going to need the Lord so much more tomorrow than he did today. Maybe that is the time when the Holy Spirit really begins to go to work. Maybe that is the time when rejoicing reverberates throughout the heavens. Maybe that is the time when that one person out of a great many achieves eternal salvation.