1. Can I Lose My Salvation
Inevitably, Sports, Recreation and Fitness (SR&F) Outreach Ministers, or anyone engaged in Evangelistic-Disciplemaking will at some point be asked some rather tricky questions about faith and a relationship with Christ. This series of blogs is designed to provide some basic biblical answers and scriptural references to aid SR&F Outreach Ministers at these times....
So, you arrived ready to lead your fitness class. You were totally prepared for the physical activity, your equipment and music were ready to go and you had even been blessed by God with a great devotional to share. You knew your support team had been praying for this class and today you even felt a special anointing of The Holy Spirit upon the class. T
Afterward, you engaged in a conversation with a person who shared that they were troubled because they’re currently not experiencing the joy, fulfillment, peace or empowerment in their Christian life. Their question, stopped you in your tracks: “Have I lost my salvation?” Wow! You have been trained to be fitness class instructor, not a theologian. What to do?
Well first of all, you need to know that this is a theological question that has been debated through the millennia, and my first piece of advice is talk with your Lead Pastor about your congregation's and denomination's position on this. None-the-less, in this situation it is most likely that your friend is seeking assurance and peace of mind...and gives every indication that she have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. Therefore, rather than wading into a lengthy theological diatribe, it would seem you have been blessed with an opportunity to help reassure your friend of her salvation. To that end, I offer the following set of diagnostic questions that have worked well for me to determine how to respond.
1. Have you ever asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior?
2. If not, why not do that right now?
3. If so, then why is it you now feel like you might have lost your salvation?
Typically their answer to question #3 is one of the following. Either they've engaged in some sinful activity/attitude that has shaken their basic relationship with Christ; are grieving a death; encountering a significant hurdle in their life or experiencing a personal set back of some sort.
Depending on their answer to the questions, I think it your response would be fairly obvious but could include: offering to share in a simple prayer with them; encouraging them to re-engage in spiritual disciplines; sharing relevant bible verses; or perhaps in certain situations, referring them for professional counseling. Remember listening and communicating that you care are perhaps the most important things you can do.
As to relevant bible verses, I believe scripture communicates a person’s salvation is dependent on God and thus a person’s salvation cannot be lost. (See below) Of course, this assumes a person’s conversion (salvation) is real and authentic. The following verses are recommended to be among those you put on your phone file entitled: "Answers to Difficult Questions."
Key Verses – Can I Lose My Salvation
And I am sure of this, that He Who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1.6
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, ‘made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved...
Ephesians 2.4, 5
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship…
Future Blogs on Answers to Difficult Questions will include:
This is an excerpt from Dr. Linville's book to be released in late 2019 or early 2020 entitled: The Saving of Sports Outreach: The Soteriology of Sports Outreach - The 4th book in the Sports Outreach Institutes Series.
Dr. Linville's books can be purchased through the CSRM website - https://csrm.z2systems.com/np/clients/csrm/giftstore.jsp
Dr. Greg Linville
CSRM's Director of Resource Development