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Always Lost” Errors
The following email came in concerning those who correctly teach a Christian can lose his salvation and rightly reject eternal security, but also teach backsliders can never get their salvation back again. Perhaps, some have never thought about the adverse ramifications of the twice lost always lost (TLAL) teaching. Here is the actual email:
Perhaps you could provide some Biblical commentary online regarding the topic of “twice lost, always lost” mentioned on page 414 in your book “The Believer’s Conditional Security.” I currently attend a __________ Church and the doctrine of this local church (and most ot the churches of this denomination) is that a Christian can lose his salvation, but once it is lost, there is no hope of heaven. In theological terms, they do not believe in or teach multiple (or repeated) regeneration. The primary Biblical support for this doctrine is Hebrews 6:4-6. On page 414 of your book, you cited several passages to refute this doctrine, the most compelling being the passage in Luke 15 on the prodigal son. The Greek in verses 24 and 32 clearly state that the prodigal was dead and is alive “again,” implying that he was previously “spiritually” alive. You also cited Romans 11:19-23 in your book, but most commentaries that I have read (particularly the modern ones with a dispensational bent) indicate that this reference is to the nation of Israel.
Thank you for your time and your online ministry.
EO Response (In Part)
Greetings in Jesus’ name.
There are really three passages that teach a backslider can return to salvation: Luke 15:24,32; Rom. 11:19-23 and James 5:19,20. Regarding the one in James, please read this article http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/james51920.htm
It is true that Rom. 11:19-23 refers to Israel, but it also refers to NT Christians. Notice v. 21, which was addressed to the saints in Rome:
For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
Problem #1 With TLAL
A problem arises that many who embrace “twice lost always lost” have never thought about and that involves King David when in adultery and murder. If it really is “twice lost always lost,” then did David lose his salvation through such vile wickedness? They would have to say NO, since David is now in heaven. Hence, they are then indirectly saying one can commit such evil (as he did) and remain saved, which is a license for immorality. The truth is: David lost his salvation by those sins (Ezek. 18:24; 33:18; Rom. 8:13; James 5:19,20; etc.) and later got it back.
Heb. 6:4-6 is ONLY referring to people who committed eternal sin (not adultery, murder, drunkenness, etc.) so they could return to the synagogues. Hence, the sin of those referred to in Heb. 6:4-6 was not forgivable (as all other sins are), and therefore, they couldn’t be renewed again by repentance (Heb. 6:6) as others can. (By the way, we know, among other ways, Heb. 6:4-6 is referring to people who were saved at one time because it alludes to them repenting in the past.)
Problem #2 With TLAL
This brings up another issue, namely, for those who backslide, like the prodigal, and sincerely desire to return to God, but think they have been away from God too long or sinned too much. Such repentant people are very distraught and tortured in their minds because they don’t know the truth that they can indeed come back to salvation again and once more get off the road to hell. They can be renewed again by repentance. However, the “twice lost always lost” teaching would horrendously deny this fact.
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