“Do you believe a Christian can lose his salvation?” This was one of the questions posed to me during my ordination examination. And here is how I answered it. I said, “You cannot lose what you didn’t have in the first place”. By that I meant that there are those who call themselves Christians but do not have the gift of salvation. They were not born again.
Is that even possible? I submit to you that it is very possible for someone to live as a Christian but had never been born again. Judas Iscariot is an example of such a person. He was one of the twelve men whom Jesus appointed as apostles. He walked with Jesus, talked with Him and witnessed all the miracles He performed. But at the end, Judas’ heart was unregenerate. He betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Granted, Judas felt remorse after he had done that, but who wouldn’t?
Remorse does not indicate repentance; it especially is not proof of regeneration.
Jesus Himself said, later, that He had not lost any of those that the Father gave to Him, except “the one headed for destruction” (John 17:12 NLT). This implies that Judas, though he was included into Jesus’ inner circle, he had from the start been destined for destruction.
Paul also talked about a falling away from the faith in the last days (1 Tim 4:1). While Paul did not give further clarification as to the reasons for the falling away, John did…later. He said, They left us, but they were never really with us. If they had been, they would have stuck it out with us, loyal to the end. In leaving, they showed their true colors, showed they never did belong” (1 John 2:19 MSG). Referring to Jesus’ parable about the “Wheat and Tares”, these who fall away are in all likelihood the “tares” which the enemy planted in God’s field (Matt 13:24-30).
Now, to answer the question more fully, as to whether or not I believe a Christian can loose his salvation, I’d say “it would not be impossible, but it would be unlikely”. The Bible is full of assurances such as this one: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 1:24-25 KJV).