Tricky Topics in the Bible

Can You be Saved Twice?

If you receive updates on new posts through email, you may not have gotten the You Tube link that I mentioned in the last post (Impossible to be Renewed Again to Repentance After Falling Away?); however, the video is available when you access my site directly. I presented this video because the explanation on Hebrews 6:4-6 made sense to me. Here, I want to summarize what was said in the video, and give you my own commentary on it. This is such an interesting topic.

First, here’s the passage:

Hebrews 5:12-6:9 (KJV)

12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

CHAPTER 6, verse 1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

And this will we do, if God permit.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:

But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.


If you didn’t get a chance to watch the video yet, here it is.

Basically, here’s the point of the passage from Hebrews 5:12-6:9, as Michael Pearl explains it (my paraphrase), and as I understand it:

It’s time to stop being baby Christians and begin to grow up; meaning, we needn’t keep “receiving Christ into our hearts” over and over again (to put it into contemporary terms that we’re familiar with), but instead, we need to recognize that 1) that would be impossible to do anyways (to get saved more than once), and 2) we need to become mature and start to understand the more complex themes in the Bible, moving beyond the simple gospel message.

Why can’t we be saved twice? Well, the passage says that “it is impossible.” So, if you’ve lost your salvation, that’s it. You can’t ever get it back. There is no such thing as being saved twice.

I like how Michael Pearl doesn’t try to convince us that maybe the person was never saved in the first place. No, he says, clearly the person being talked about is a born-again believer (he or she tasted of the heavenly gift, was made partaker of the Holy Spirit, had tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come). No, what is being stressed here, is that EVEN IF, hypothetically, a person somehow COULD lose his or her salvation, then that person could NEVER get saved again, because it would be IMPOSSIBLE. So, stop trying to get “saved again,” and move on toward maturity. Time to grow up.

Why would it be impossible? Because then that would mean, hypothetically, that Christ’s atonement for the first time that person got saved had been all used up, and no longer sufficed; it would mean that the person had somehow “out-sinned” the atonement that Christ had provided, and that His work on the cross was no longer sufficient.

This makes sense to me. We didn’t receive our salvation because of any good works we had done; it was given to us by God as a free gift (Romans 6:23 –> “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”) A gift isn’t earned, it’s given. All you have to do is open up your hands and receive it. So, how can it be, that once we have been given this gift from God, He is going to take it away again because we “didn’t measure up”? If we have to “measure up” in order to keep the gift, then it’s not really free.

The death of Christ on the cross was all-sufficient for our salvation, and can’t be repeated again. We can’t lose our salvation one day, and get saved again the next, because then that would mean His death WASN’T all-sufficient; it wasn’t enough to keep us from losing our salvation; it wasn’t enough to cover that one sin (or more) that was just so bad, we lost our salvation.

If we truly are saved, then yes, there WILL be something to show for it (see verses 7-9 in chapter 6 of our focus passage). There will be SOME sign of Christ’s life living in us, even if we still haven’t matured yet and are still living like little baby Christians. We can’t lose our salvation because we “messed up too bad.” No, we need to get right with God, and move on to maturity. The real danger is for those who are not genuine believers, but are posers. It can be hard to distinguish the two.

A true believer may be living an ungodly lifestyle (for a time), because she hasn’t moved on to maturity. Maybe she doesn’t know the Bible very well yet. Maybe she’s still struggling to overcome old habits from her former life. Maybe she’s stubborn. But that doesn’t mean she’s not saved. She’s just a baby Christian.

Then there’s the poser. This person lives an ungodly lifestyle because the life of Christ is simply not within her.  She’s a fake. She may go to church, and some people may have her labeled as a “baby Christian,” but they don’t realize that the reason she acts the way she does isn’t because she’s just an immature Christian who needs to grow up, but because she isn’t a true Christian at all! 

How to tell the difference? Maybe WE can’t–but God can. In the meantime, He allows the good to grow up along with the bad (Matthew 13:24-30). One day, He will separate the two, and the posers will be burned up like weeds; but the true Christians, even though perhaps still immature, will be saved.

I want to “move on to perfection,” don’t you? I don’t want to be a baby Christian all my life; I want to begin to understand the more complex themes of the Bible, and I want to live by faith, and not just say that I have faith. I want to stop wondering if I’ve lost my salvation because I “haven’t been good enough,” and I want to leave that burden to rest, while acknowledging that yes, I have “messed up” at times, but also yes, Christ’s atonement was sufficient for ALL my sins, even the ones I haven’t committed yet (but I know I will because I’m not perfect, and won’t be until heaven). When Christ saved me, He knew all the ways I was going to sin after accepting His free gift, but He gave it to me anyway. IF I could lose my salvation, I would have lost it years ago, and it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to be saved again, according to this passage from Hebrews. So then, what am I doing? If I’m now no longer saved, and CAN’T be anymore, then I have no hope at all! So, the point of this text is, that since that’s not gonna happen (being saved twice), let’s accept that our salvation was good enough to last a lifetime (an eternity, to be exact), and stop worrying about losing what we can’t lose anyway. Let’s move on to maturity instead.

*Note: I haven’t finished examining this topic, so there will be more to come in future posts, as I analyze other texts that relate to this issue. I may also publish other interesting videos and commentaries that present what seems to me a logical understanding of the subject. Thanks for joining me!

 

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13 thoughts on “Can You be Saved Twice?

  1. One thing that I always enjoy hearing, which Mr. Pearl stated right away, was “let’s look at the earlier verses for context”. You’re right, his explanation does seem logical to me as well. I also liked the part where he said (paraphrased), “so this would mean that the Christian has sinned enough to make Christ’s death of no importance and Christ would need to die again.” That even sounds ridiculous to me, let alone the picture of Christ being nailed to the cross over and over again. Everything we base our Christian lives on would then be a sham!
    I also like what you’ve said, “let’s stop worrying about what we can’t lose anyway. Let’s move on to maturity.” Worry is a tool of the devil. He wants to keep us in that perpetual state so we are ineffective for God. Like those green pepper plants I planted this year. I put protection around them so their roots would get established. I watered them, but the one key thing I didn’t do was give them the nutrition they needed to produce peppers. They became stunted in their growth. No peppers.
    We, too, need our proper nutrition for spiritual growth.
    Excellent post, Jessica!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Ruthie!
      I like your illustration of the pepper plants–so sorry they didn’t turn out. I think you’re right, that we “need proper nutrition for spiritual growth.” Thanks for making that point!
      Jessica

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  2. Thank you for summarizing the message of this video.
    To tell the truth,my English ability(especially listening!) is so limited that I could not grasp what his message really means.
    Talking about spiritual,profound issue on our faith always make me think about where I stand. I always hope that God allows me to stay in Him. If I were valued by Him as true Christ believer,I never loose my salvation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think most of us feel that way, Sanae: “I always hope that God allows me to stay in Him.” We are weak human beings, on our own; I think that it is God’s Holy Spirit within us Who will enable us to stay in Him.
      Also, thank you for making the point that, “If I were valued by Him as true Christ believer,I never loose my salvation.” Only God sees the heart, therefore only God can value the sincerity and genuineness of our belief. I put myself in His hands.
      Thanks for your valuable input!
      Jessica

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  3. Dear Jessica,

    Thank you so much for paraphrasing the video message! It really helped me to understand the content.

    “I like how Michael Pearl doesn’t try to convince us that maybe the person was never saved in the first place. No, he says, clearly the person being talked about is a born-again believer.”

    Yes, I agree with you. Many times, I’ve got confused to hear people say that the person was never saved in the first place.

    I’ve come to see more and more of His amazing grace which is beyond my imagination. At the same time, I’ve seen that this grace is not “irresistible” in a sense that He respects our human will because of His love. Some may disagree with me in this point but this is my current understanding. (but I am open to His correction at any time.)

    Thank you so much again for taking your time to write down his message for us, Jessica.

    Kinuko

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    1. You’re welcome, Kinuko!
      Well, I also agree with you (for the most part) that His grace is not irresistible because He respects our human will. I do believe in God’s sovereignty, and that no man can come to Jesus Christ unless the Father draws Him (John 6:44), and at the same time I believe that we are given the CHOICE to come. It seems to me that there is a peculiar meshing of God’s will and ours that remains a mystery to us, and makes the issue hard for us to understand. (We tend to go either one way or the other: on the one side, there are those who believe that our sin-hardened hearts would never respond to the gospel and the love of God if it wasn’t for God’s special intervention; and on the other side, there are those who believe that there is enough sense in us to be able to come to God on our own without needing to be “forced.” Why can’t it be both? I think that it must be both things, because it seems to me that that is what the Bible teaches, whether we understand it completely or not–most likely, not; and here’s where I include myself.)

      I think, however, that our discussion centers not so much on that INITIAL decision to follow the Lord, but on whether or not we can change our minds AFTERWARDS. I believe this to be one of the most honest and stimulating discussions I have ever had the privilege of sharing with another like-minded Christian lady. Thank you for being willing to be open regarding this topic: I really appreciate your feedback! Of course, I hope to look at other Bible texts in the future; be free to mention any that you feel will contribute to this ongoing conversation.
      Jessica

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  4. I really enjoyed this post, and also the video. However, I recently saw a different video with an entirely different interpretation and I wonder what you might think about it. I will link it here if you want to watch. But, basically he says that the passage is meant for Messianic Jews who after coming to a saving knowledge of Christ and tasting of the Holy Spirit were trying to then go back to the High Priests and the Temple to make sacrifices for their sins. In other words those verses are saying that it is impossible to have your sins covered by an animal sacrifice once Jesus came and became the sacrifice. Its a lengthy video, but worth watching in my opinion.

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    1. Thanks!
      I will definitely watch the video. It is a topic that interests me greatly, and I of course want to hear what other people are saying about it; though, in the end, my own simple understanding of the text is what I’ll go with. But, I always appreciate hearing someone else’s fresh perspective! I’ll get back to you with what I think after I watch the video.
      Thanks for your input!
      Jessica

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  5. Dear Michaels Girl,
    I did watch the entire video, and here’s what I think.
    The way the speaker ties the text together with the cultural and religious background of the Jewish believers is, of course, natural. It is natural to assume that since this letter mainly addresses the Hebrews and their preoccupation with the Mosaic law and the priesthood, along with the sacrifices that used to be offered as part of that, that this section of Hebrews 6 would be in response to that.

    Makes sense.

    However, I still can’t get past the word “impossible,” when it is said that “it is impossible…if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance.” Impossible, to me, means that it just can’t happen. And yet, isn’t it true that while we still have breath in our bodies, there is always a chance for us to repent and turn back to God? So then, where does the impossibility lie? It still seems to make more sense to me to view this part in a HYPOTHETICAL sense, as I point out in my post. As in, “you can’t lose your salvation (if you’re a genuine believer), so stop trying to lay the foundation over and over again (which you can’t do anyway)–you need to get past the basics of the gospel, and move on to maturity–you need to grow up.”

    And, of course the statement “once saved-always saved” needs to be qualified. I DO NOT believe that an emotional, superficial, spur-of-the-moment decision is binding. I believe that the genuineness of our commitment to Christ, while it starts with a simple and sincere belief from the heart, will naturally continue to bring forth fruit in our lives and a faith that is evidenced by works. Not that we will be perfect, but that our belief will persist, with God’s help, even despite our shortcomings.

    I hope that clarifies some things! But if not, or if you have other comments or questions to add, please let me know!
    Thanks–Jessica

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  6. Jessica,
    Wow, it’s been a year since you replied about the video I posted…not sure how I missed that! I was spending as lovely evening re-reading some of your posts and came across this. I absolutely agree with your conclusions. In addition, I have come to believe that while a basic understanding of culture can be beneficial sometimes in reading scripture, it can not be NECESSARY! God’s word alone must be enough. “If this were not so, we could have no confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture—that it contains all that is necessary for life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:2-4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).” Therefore, if a person’s interpretation (such as the one in that video) DEPENDS on an understanding of culture than I don’t believe it can be valid. Now I understand that Jewish culture can be known from reading the Old Testament, but I still believe that a lot of the foundational ties he makes in his argument would be almost impossible for a non-Jew to grasp without outside information. What do you think?

    God Bless,
    Corinna

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    1. Corinna,
      It’s been so long since I saw the video! I do faintly remember it, but I would have to watch it again to be able to answer more specifically.

      However, I can say right now that most of the Bible seems pretty clear and simple to me without having to know all the details about the culture of those times. And if we’re talking about salvation, we have more than the book of Hebrews to base our beliefs on: it’s the whole of Scripture, combined together, that interlocks and gives us the complete picture.

      So, one of the best ways to understand a text–after reading it carefully, slowly, and openly–is to compare it with other similar passages in the Bible. Even without much understanding about a specific culture, this should give us the information we need.

      I agree with what you said about the sufficiency of Scripture. Amen!
      Jessica

      Liked by 1 person

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