CAN ONE FALL FROM GRACE?
Charles E. Burch
In order to answer this question, and to benefit from the answer, one must remove any preconceived ideas. One must understand that God’s word is the only authority in Christianity today. One must also understand that God’s word will judge all on the great judgment day. Jesus said, “He that rejects me, and receives not my words, hath one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Therefore, one must be willing to accept what God says on any subject above what man says, and also accept the Bible as the inspired word of God. The apostle Paul stated, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17). By so doing there is an infallible standard to guide everyone in matters of faith.
The Bible does teach that a child of God (one who has been born into the family of God through obedience to the gospel of Christ) can so sin as to be eternally lost in hell. Some teach that “once saved, always saved”, but that contradicts the Holy Scriptures.
In the following scriptures God warns His children against falling. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12). “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12). “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it” (Hebrews 4:1). Please read also (Hebrews 6:4-6). If God’s child cannot fall, why did the Holy Spirit give these warnings?
The apostle Peter tells the child of God to do certain things so that, “...ye shall never fall” (II Peter 1:10). If Christians cannot fall, then why these instructions? In (Revelation 2:5), some at Ephesus were told what to do to come back to the place from which they had fallen. Again, if one cannot fall, why the instructions as to what to do when they had fallen?
In (I Corinthians 10:8) reference is made to 23,000 who fell. In (Acts 1:25) the word teaches that Judas by transgression fell. The apostle Paul states that those who would justify themselves by the Law of Moses had fallen from grace. Notice the words he used, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4). If those who where in a saved relationship with God cannot fall, then why does the Bible say that these had fallen?
Obviously, from the above scriptures, one can fall from grace. If not, why didn’t the Holy Spirit know that it was impossible to fall? Why did He guide the writers to say one could fall. When one deviates from the truth, to teach church doctrine, they are doing something God forbids. Who are we going to believe, GOD or MAN?