A Question I Was Asked:

'Did Some People Lose Their Salvation at Galatia?'

The Actual Question

I always believed that once we are saved we are always saved. However, Paul, already a believer, said that "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." Gal.1:8.

Is Paul saying that we can lose our salvation?

My Reply

Well, first of all, Paul is not here even discussing Eternal Security ('Eternal Security,' of course, referring to the assurance of salvation of the true believer). Secondly, Paul is not literally referring to himself or to a true angel of God but is using a figure of speech. He is saying that the person who is preaching a false gospel deserves condemnation (not, by the way, that the recipient of that subverted teaching deserves it). So Paul is indeed saying that those who set out to pervert the gospel (frankly, liberal theologians and the prosperity teachers are in this group) deserve to be permanently separated from God. If they do it knowingly - while fully understanding the truth - they are in a very spiritually perilous position!

If you are suggesting that the false teachers already had salvation but could lose it, that is incorrect. They were/are either naive and would/will eventually grow in understanding and come to repent, or, they were/are simply not of God and will go into condemnation.

But maybe you are suggesting that Paul considered the offence so serious because it could cause true Christians to lose their salvation. The answer to that is the Elect of God cannot be snatched out of God's hand - that is impossible. But to pervert the meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to confuse believers is a very serious matter in the sight of God.

Did anybody actually lose their salvation at Galatia over this matter? According to your Bible and mine, the Elect of God do not 'lose' the salvation which God has granted them. It is much more the case that either certain people were extremely naive but later moved away from their error and repented, or such people simply confirmed that they were not God's people.

You might want to read:
Once Saved, Always Saved?

What is the Unpardonable Sin?

Robin A. Brace, April 21st, 2009.