Can A Christian Fall Away?
Written by Jay Yeager
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 17:27


Can a Christian fall away?

(By Jay Yeager)


I realize this is a passionate subject for many, albeit a needful study for all of us. The reason is simple, there are good people who have been taught that a Christian cannot be lost Once saved always saved. I recognize that such a doctrine offers some comfort, but a false comfort is not really a comfort at all, merely an empty illusion. Such may pacify one in life, but before the judge of all the world (John 5:22; Acts 17:30-31), empty illusions are just that, empty!


Every sincere person ought to demand the truth on this subject, just as we should demand the truth on every subject. Therefore, the scriptures inspired of God must provide the answer (II Timothy 3:16), and there is no shortage of evidence provided.


Now having said that, may I begin with an argument that is without any Biblical merit at all? Namely, if one falls away, they were never really Christians in the first place. Folks, do you know the reason behind that argument? Here is the answer: Those who believe and teach that a Christian cannot fall away, have those who have deserted their ranks. In other words, they have fallen away from that religion.


I wonder if those who advance that line of reasoning consider the apostle Paul an inspired Christian? Paul knew the danger of falling away and issued unmistakable warnings concerning the threat every Christian faces. Please consider the following:


“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12). Of course the apostle Paul had not heard some of our modern scoffers who ridiculed the idea that a Christian can fall away. Then again, the words of scoffers would have meant next to nothing to the apostle Paul anyway. What he wrote was by the inspiration of God, and those words penned by inspiration made it clear that YOU CAN FALL!


“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Friends, in all candor, would a Christian having the assurance that they cannot fall away, ever be plagued by fear and trembling? If once saved always saved is true, no Christian would need to experience fear and trembling. Those would be foreign emotions.


Further, Paul did not exempt himself from the danger, he did not say; “you brethren need to be concerned, but I am an apostle, I do not need to share your worry”. O’ no! Hear him. “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (I Corinthians 9:27). [Castaway – ADOKIMOS, “rejected (i.e. disapproved, and so rejected from the present testimony, with loss of future reward) Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words].


Then again, the Bible teaches that the path to heaven is conditional, by using the word “IF”. Our salvation is guaranteed “if” we meet certain conditions, salvation will be lost “if” we do not meet those conditions. Three examples with the emphasis on the “if” added:

“But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we if we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope unto the end” (Hebrews 3:6).


“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (Hebrews 3:12-14).


“And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” (Colossians 1:21-23).


What happens “if” we don’t hold fast the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end? The Bible in frank and unmistakable language reveals the tragic end of those who fail to continue in the faith.


“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they had known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (II Peter 2:20-22).


Beloved, I understand that a prejudiced mind is hard to penetrate, but unless you are willing to abandon all reason, Peter is telling us this: The saved can be lost! The tragic end of those who exchange heaven for this present world is vividly pictured for every honest person to see.


There is a name that depicts the journey from saved to lost, a man who was spoken of as a fellow labourer with the apostle Paul. A Christian who sent his greeting to his brethren, only to have his heart recaptured by the world, Demas will ever be infamous to every Bible reader as a man who loved this present world more than his own soul. The following three verses are brief and concise, speaking volumes of a Christian who fell away:


“Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers” (Philemon 24).


“Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you” (Colossians 4:14).


“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world…” (II Timothy 4:10).


Then again, the Holy Spirit foretells of an apostasy, a falling away from the faith. What would be the source of that departure? Christians would succumb to a hellish doctrine, their conscience seared beyond feeling. The language the Holy Spirit is clear, plain and undeniable.


“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth” (I Timothy 4:1-3).


I close with a stark warning given to a congregation of God’s people, many of them dead or close to dying spiritually. The admonition, given to those who still had life, was pointed.


“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; these things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Revelation 3:1-5).


No name could possibly be blotted out of the book of life without first being written upon its pages. Can a Christian fall away? Yes!!!