Quite often I watch a television show on a Christian channel called "Ask the Pastor," and people call in questions for a panel of pastors ready to offer their interpretation of scripture regarding answers. The question that seems to get asked more than any other is "Can one lose their salvation?" It's asked frequently, phrased in different ways but with the same concern: "Can it happen?" "Did it happen to me?" The emotion behind that question is very real and I've heard some asking the question with the sound of such distress they can hardly get the question out. In considering that question, allow me to offer my interpretation of God's word and also the viewpoint I've seen given on the show from various pastors.
Please understand: If it were possible that you had lost your salvation that would not concern you in the least. You would be so far from God, it wouldn't matter to you. There may have been a confused time in your life when you walked away from God, but listen, He has called you back. When you feel that tug - that pull inside your heart saying, "I want to get back to God." "How do I do that? Will God hear me?" that is God, dear friend, calling you - drawing you back. Jesus said we don't come to God unless He draws us. His Spirit is working to bring you back, to remind you of the truth of God's love and grace that He has for you.
Jesus spoke of the assurance that He will never turn us away. When we come to Christ with the knowledge inside of us of the cleansing power of Christ's blood, shed for us, we stand before God forgiven. When Jesus referred to forgiving a brother seventy times seven, I believe He was referencing it in that way because that is God's response to our ongoing need for forgiveness. It does not end at some point. When Jesus spoke of going off to find the one sheep gone astray, I believe we are given to understand that God's Spirit will seek to find and bring us back from wherever we have gone. When Jesus spoke the parable of the Prodigal Son, that story symbolizes The Father, standing with arms open ready to receive us back, with joy. Believe me, God doesn't want us out in the world wandering in the wrong direction. He wants us with Him forever. But don't allow your heart to get hardened because therein lies the danger. Pay attention to God's Spirit speaking to you of love, mercy and forgiveness. Dear friend, know it with assurance: God is calling you home.