Ms. Evelyn ask, "The latest controversy at my church is whether or not you can lose your salvation. What do you say"
Thanks Ms. Evelyn for your question. If I remember right, you submitted another question in the past. Thank you for coming back. This question is one that has divided many Christians, but when you look into God's perfect Word, the answer becomes very clear. The sad truth is, some people will take one or two verses and make a Biblical doctrine (teaching) out of it. This is what has happened in regards to the teaching that you can lose your salvation. However, it is wrong to make a doctrine out of one or two verses when there are literally hundreds of verses that teach something else.
When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their eternal security. Jude 24 declares, "To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy." God's power is able to keep the believer from falling. It is up to Him, not us, to present us before His glorious presence. Our eternal security is a result of God keeping us, not us maintaining our own salvation.
The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:28-29b). First, Jesus calls our salvation that He gives us "eternal life". Secondly He says we shall NEVER perish, and thirdly, He proclaims that He has us firmly grasped in His hands. Who could possibly separate us from the grip of God? Sounds to me like Jesus believes His salvation is FOREVER !!! Dozens upon dozens of times God uses "everlasting", "eternal", and "forever" in regards to our salvation. John 3:15-16 tells us that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will "have everlasting life." If a person were to be promised everlasting life, but then have it taken away, it was never "everlasting" to begin with. If eternal security is not true, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.
Ephesians 4:30 tells us that believers are "sealed unto the day of redemption." If believers did not have eternal security, the sealing could not truly be unto the day of redemption, but only to the day of sinning, apostasy, or disbelief. It is also worth noting that in Biblical days, a seal was put on something that was being delivered, and was punished by death if someone other then the intended person broke that seal. No doubt Paul had this thought in mind when he pinned these words under God's guidance. When a person is truly saved, God puts His seal on us, and that seal can not be broken.... we will be delivered to God with that seal in place.
The most powerful argument for eternal security is Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Our eternal security is based on God's love for those whom He has redeemed. Our eternal security is purchased by Christ, promised by the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Also, we should dwell on these words... "These things I have written to you who believe in the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.(1 John 5:13)." Notice that the Apostle says you now have eternal life. We don't get eternal life after we die... we have it right now, when we believe.
Now, let's follow this idea to its logical conclusion. If we know we have eternal life when we believe in Jesus, how long does eternal life last? Can you have eternal life for a year? A week? A day? If words mean anything at all, then eternal life must be eternal. It must last forever! Eternal life by definition cannot be lost.
Let's look at it another way. What sin is so big that Jesus' death could not atone for it? There is none. Every sin that man can, or will commit against God and man, even the most heinous was dealt with at the cross of Calvary. They are already forgiven, past, present, and future sins included. Therefore, you can not lose your salvation for any of these sins. If this is so, then what sin can be so bad that it would cause God to "unforgiven" that which He has already paid for? Romans 8:38-39 explicitly states this, saying "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." I am a created thing. The verse above states that created things cannot separate us from the love of God, therefore I cannot separate myself from the love of God, either!
Remember, there is nothing we can do to merit salvation, it's all a work of God. Also remember, God predestined us to our salvation (Eph. 1:4). Would God make a mistake? No, I think the evidence clearly supports the view that your salvation is secure. That thought should be comforting in times of doubt.
Also, as alluded to previously, we can not work for our salvation, and works can not keep us saved. Eph.2:8,9 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast".
But what about those who have backslide...fallen away, or walked away from God? Well, God addresses that to, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of" (1 John 2:19)... They were never truly saved in the first place.
Now, I don't want to mislead you. There are several passages which, when read alone, may lead you to believe that you could lose your salvation (Heb 6:5-6, etc.), but a careful look at these verses, and it becomes clear that losing salvation is not what is being spoke of. Again, as mentioned above, you can not make a Biblical doctrine such as losing your salvation on one or two verses when hundreds of other verses teaches the exact opposite.
I hope this helps to clear up this matter for you and others in your church. I could have written a dozen or more pages on this topic and used dozens of other verses, but hopefully this will be enough. Remember, if you are saved, you will always be saved, and you will want to live for the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are not, you can play as many games as you want with God, but you know, and He knows that you are not His child.