Can Christians Apostatize? – Bible Study Day 30

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II Chronicles 30 – Ezra 6

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25 “…Hezekiah did not reciprocate according to the benefit placed upon him, because his heart became proud. So wrath was upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem.”

II Chronicles

Introduction

This question is probably set in stone for most people, and not so much for others, including myself. Growing up, I thought once saved always saved, mainly because that’s what others told me was so and never really thought about it much. Reading through the Bible, I see stories of several people falling in and out of fellowship with God, especially His people, the Israelites. I understand this theory has to do with Jesus and the salvation He offers, but I’m not willing to disregard the Old Testament entirely in regards to salvation. One thing I ask for people to understand as they read through this series is I’m not interested in telling people what to think; I’m merely giving ideas to make them think.

Can Christians Apostatize?

A standard answer I hear when I seek answers to this question is if a Christian did apostatize, they were never indeed Christian. And I can understand this logic, if someone were truly Christian (believed in God) they could not apostatize. I won’t disparage this remark by calling it expedient because I think a lot of thought went into this answer and with anything in regards to theology you have to compress it down into bite size pieces for the masses to understand. However, I do have a couple of issues with this answer.

The story of Peter and his three denials may put a dent in the ‘always saved’ armor. We can no more deny Jesus than how Peter denied Jesus by literally denying Christ. If Peter were to have died amid his denials, would he have died a Christian or an apostate? I contend that he would have died an apostate; however, I think this presents a problem to the ‘always saved’ contingent. On the one hand, if it is said that Peter would have died an apostate, then we are led to believe when he followed Christ before His crucifixion Peter was never a believer, and we know that not to be the case. On the other hand, if it is said that Peter would have died a Christian, then no consequence is presented when he denied Christ.

Conclusion

I am not trying to be disingenuous or intellectually dishonest and present gotcha moments to tackle a common idea. I generally push back on seemingly unshakeable beliefs, but when approached with scripture become a house of cards. I understand that most Christians will never apostatize. I also know of the ‘Christians’ who do apostatize most may not have been Christian. Our Lord gives us an example of this in His sower parable. However, a consequence of free will is people’s ability to choose. Free will isn’t forfeited once saved, for lack of a better word free will is magnified.

Our Lord tells us to deny ourselves every day, that’s a free will decision. If we are to deny ourselves and follow Him every day for forty years and one day decide to hell with it and chart our own path were we then never saved? Or will there be no consequence and indeed are still saved? Or, the scariest of the options, this decision is to apostatize, and we forfeit (not lose) our salvation to follow our desires?

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