Examples of Eternal Life Being Lost


In the Bible we not only have many passages plainly stating that eternal life can be lost and that the saved who sin will die and be damned, but we have many concrete cases of men and angels who once had eternal life and were in grace and favor with God, and who sinned and will be damned in Hell forever, regardless of their sonship and past union with God in grace.


Lucifer is spoken of as being “perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, TILL iniquity was found in thee” (Ezek. 28:11-17). He led an invasion into Heaven to dethrone God but was defeated and cast to the Earth 2 Pet 2:4.
*.Abraham’s descendants – many who went into sin during the 430 years of the period between Abraham and Moses. They lacked faith in God (Ex. 2:11-1414:1-9), and were in rebellion in the land of Egypt when God called Moses to lead them out. At the time of Moses they received the born again experience and were healed bodily until there was not a feeble person in all their tribes (Deut. 32:18-19Ex. 15:2623:25Ps. 105:37107:20). After that they went into idolatry and other sins at Sinai and in the wilderness, until God pronounced them “a stiffnecked people,” who had “corrupted themselves;” and He wanted to “consume them” (Ex. 32:7-10). At this time He vowed, “Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book ” See Ex. 32:32-33
*. Aaron and all Israel as sinners regained God’s favor and were blessed spiritually and physical
(Ex. 29:43, 4431:13Lev. 11:44, 4520:8152322:9Ex. 15:2633:12-17). Moses testified that they were begotten of God (Deut. 32:18). They had their names written in Heaven (Ex. 32:32, 33). When they sinned God said, “Whosoever hath sinned against me, HIM WILL I BLOT OUT OF MY BOOK” (Ex. 32:33). God would have destroyed them in a moment in their sin if it had not been for the intercession of Moses (Ex. 32:9-14Deut. 9:20). He did later destroy the ones who afterwards did not believe (Jude 5).
Israel is spoken of as having been “redeemed” by God
(Ex. 15:13Deut. 9:2615:1521:82 Sam. 7:23Psalm 71:2377:15;106:10107:2; Isa.29:22), as having had the gospel (Gal. 3:6-14Heb. 4:2), and as having had every transgression they committed punished (Heb. 2:1-41 Cor. 10:1-18). The whole redeemed nation were destroyed because of sin and unbelief; that is, the old generation (Jude 5Heb. 4:11). See Lesson Eighteen, Point IX for the many spiritual blessings of Israel before they were cut off because of sin and unbelief. This proves they were in grace and were saved but were finally lost. If the many thousands were destroyed in plagues in the wilderness, as stated in 1 Cor. 10:1-18
, then their souls were also lost.
*. Nadab and Abihu, priests and holy men of God, were cut off because of sin (Lev. 10:1-20Num. 3:4).
The past favor or grace of God did not save them in the day of their sin. God soon proved to them that once in grace always in grace was not true when sin is committed.
*. Korah, Dathan, Abiram, priests and holy men of God, as well as 250 princes and many common people in the redeemed nation of Israel, were in God’s favor or grace, but were cut off in the day of rebellion (Num. 16).
*. Saul, who was in God’s favor or grace and who had the Holy Spirit, lost that favor and was destroyed because of sin
(1 Chron. 10:13-14). He committed suicide and must be lost, for no murderer has eternal life (1 Sam. 28:7-2531:1-61 John 3:15Gal. 5:19-21). To argue that he was never a saved man is to demonstrate ignorance of Bible truth. “God gave him another heart . . . and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied” (1 Sam. 10:9-13). If this was not an experience of the saved man then it was nothing. It is also recorded how the Spirit of God left him when he sinned (1 Sam. 16:12-23). He went into spiritualism and God said He would cut off the man who did this (Lev. 19:3120:6Deut. 18:11). He was a very humble and godly man to begin with, but he did not end this way (l Sam. 10:21-24).
No modern unconditional securityite could claim a better spiritual experience than Saul had, for they boldly testify they live in sin every day and at least Saul and every sinner could claim this much of a Christian experience. If Saul had the Holy Spirit he also had life, for all eternal life comes by the Spirit (John 6:63; Rom.8:10-132 Cor. 3:6Gal. 6:7, 8Rev. 11:11). If the Spirit left Saul, then he lost the eternal life he had by the Spirit. It is impossible to have the Spirit and not have eternal life, according to the above passages. Saul then had eternal life and lost it by sin.
*. The nation of Israel – multitudes who failed in the 1700 year period between Moses and Christ, known as The Law. In this time Israel had many revivals and backslidings, many restorations to grace and many falls from grace, and those who died in sin and rebellion were lost, as individuals. See the following scriptures: 

Num. 11:1-916:22-2746-5021:4-923-3425:1-13Deut. 30:1-1032:19-35Josh. 7:1-26Judg. 2:1-233:5-78:23-2410:6-161 Sam. 2:35-363:11-141 Kings 9:3-911:1-830-392 Kings 14:22-2417:1-2021:19-262 Chron. 12:13-1414:1-1115:2-1617:1-619:3-1120:13-3421:6-2023:1-2124:1-2725:1-28;26:1-2127:228:1-2633:1-25; 34:1-35, 37; 36:1-23Matt. 23:1-39Luke 21:20-241 Cor. 10:1-13; Rom.11:11-22

*. Balaam – a true prophet of the Lord until he sinned and rebelled against the Lord, falling from His grace and favor. He schemed to get his reward and was killed by the sword of Israel
(Num. 22:22-3523:4-5121624:41631:162 Pet. 2:15;Jude 11Rev. 2:14).
*. Achan – a man in the days of Joshua whose sin was so great that God refused to bless the nation of Israel further until the sin was judged. If he had been a sinner before this God would have punished him before this; therefore we know that he was in God’s grace until he broke the law, and was executed (Josh. 7:11-1522-26).
*. Jeroboam – a man in God’s grace who was promised the 10 tribes to reign over; and his house was to endure forever. All this was on the basis of: “if thou wilt hearken to all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that which is right in my sight . . . as David did”
(1 Kings 11:30-39). Instead of doing this, Jeroboam made golden calves as gods and set up a rival worship to Jehovah. He went into the depths of sin, being afraid he would lose his kingdom over Israel (1 Kings 12:16-33). Because of his sin he fell from grace and favor, and God cursed him and cut off his whole family and kingdom (1 Kings 13:2-3;14:7-1615:3034;16:1-4,19263121:2222:522 Kings 3:3;  9:910:29,3113:2-1317:21-2223:1525:1-30;    2 Chron. 13:1-20). Jeroboam never did regain grace and favor with God.
*. Amaziah – a king of Judah who turned to God and did that which was right for awhile. He thus regained grace and favor with God who blessed him (2 Chron. 25:1-12). After that he found new gods in Edom and fell from grace by worshipping them (2 Chron. 25:14-16). For this apostasy God cursed him and he died out of grace (2 Chron. 25:20-28).
*. Many disciples of Jesus went back into sin and were lost for they followed Him “no more” (John 6:66). To argue that these people were not saved does not disprove the plain fact that they were “disciples” and had eternal life up to the time they went back (Heb. 10:26-39).
If they went back, then they had something to go back from.They had something that caused them to follow Jesus in His persecutions. They were like the class in Luke 8:13 who “received the word with joy: and . . . for a while believe, and m time of temptation fall away.” To believe in Christ for a moment brings eternal life and makes one a son of God (John 1:121 John 5:1). Even these false security teachers make one act of faith all that a man must ever do to be saved eternally. So they, above all, should believe that these disciples that believed for a while had eternal life at one time. Jesus said the unprofitable servant would be cast into Hell (Matt. 24:45-5125:14-46Rev. 3:14, 15). Of course, if we have to believe modern teachers we cannot believe all the Bible, so we have to make our own choice of whom to believe.
*. The apostle Judas is an outstanding example of a man once saved who was lost because of sin. In Scripture we have statements that Judas was to be a man who was a “familiar friend” of Christ who ate of His bread, which is an idiom of close friendship (Ps. 41:9). He was not an enemy of Christ, but an equal in grace, a guide, and a sweet acquaintance (Ps. 55:12-13). He was to have his habitation desolate and be blotted out of the book of the living (Ps. 69:25-28 with Acts 1:20), and he was to have “another take his place” in the Christian ministry and in the kingship over one of the tribes of Israel (Ps. 109:8). These passages were fulfilled in Judas according to Matt. 26:24John 13:18Acts 1:16-25.
In Matt. 10 we have the facts recorded that Judas as one of the “twelve disciples” received power over demons, sicknesses and diseases and a call to preach the gospel. Of these twelve (Judas included) it is said that Christ gave them power and sent them forth, and commanded them to preach, and to heal the sick. Christ said to Judas and all the twelve, “freely ye have received, freely give…. I send you forth as sheep . . . it shall not be ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Matt. 10:1-20).

These statements prove that Judas was once chosen as a genuine apostle. He was then once a true believer, a saved man, one divinely empowered for service and equal in every sense to the others, a called preacher, a destroyer of Satan’s works, an obedient man, a sheep, a man filled with the Spirit, and one who had God as his “Father.”

In Mark 6:7-13 we read that the twelve (Judas included) went “forth two by two . . . and preached that men should repent. And they (Judas included) cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.”
This proves that Judas was a divinely efficient man, a successful preacher and endued with power to heal. If he was not a saved man and if he could have all these experiences and do all these miracles as a sinner, then it would seem that the modern Christians who claim to be saved regardless of what they do should be able to do as much as Judas did whom they say was never saved. It is unreasonable and going too far to accuse Jesus of choosing an unsaved man to preach repentance and holiness, to heal the sick, to cast out devils, and to represent the Kingdom of God among men. Such men would rather hold on to this sinning-saint heresy than to cease accusing Jesus of such an unholy precedent whereby they make God’s Word a lie. The only proof some men give to prove Judas was never saved is their own belief that Judas was not a saved man at one time because he was finally lost. They do not give one Scripture that proves that he was never saved, but they cite 

John 6:64-70

which passage does not say that Judas had at all times been a devil and unsaved. Jesus in this Scripture, was speaking of “some” of His disciples that believed not. “For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” The first part of this statement refers to the “some” that did not believe and does not include Judas, for after these had left Jesus, Judas was still with the twelve whom Jesus asked, “Will ye also go away?” Only the last part of this statement refers to Judas. Jesus not only knew who did not believe, but He also knew who would betray Him. He did not say that Judas did not believe or that he was a devil from the beginning and therefore was not a saved man.

Judas did believe as proved in the facts above concerning his power and success in casting out devils and healing the sick. One cannot do these things unless he does believe. Even unconditional securitites cannot do these things after their one act of faith, which they contend is all that is necessary to be saved. Judas had to repent, believe, and be baptized in water to become a disciple and especially to be chosen as an apostle to do miracles.

The Holy Spirit through Luke records that Judas “by transgression fell” (Acts 1:15-25) and if men would be as anxious to believe the Holy Spirit as they are to believe men, and if they would be as anxious to believe all Scriptures as they claim to believe some, they would show some consistency and honesty regarding the whole Word of God. Judas not only had a moral fall but sin caused it.
Judas was not always a “devil” and a “thief.” He became both after he had been saved for some time. His weakness was the love of money and this caused his fall (John 12:6Luke 22:5Matt. 26:14-16). If he had refused to be the treasurer of the first Christian disciples and had frankly told them that money was his weakness, he would have been better off. He had seen Christ escape the mob many times and he no doubt thought that the Lord would escape again and he himself would be $19.20 to the good.
The Greek word diabolos translated devil in 

John 6:70 is also used of men. It literally means adversary. Any human or spirit-adversary of Christ is a devil. It is translated “false accusers” (2 Tim. 3:3Tit. 2:3), “slanderers” (1 Tim. 3:11), and “devil” elsewhere. It teaches that Judas became an adversary, accuser, and slanderer of Christ. He was not a devil from the beginning as many teach. No such statement is found in the Bible of Judas, or anyone else. Even Satan was not a devil from the beginning. He was a sinless angel (Ezek. 28:11-17).

It was not until the end of Christ’s ministry that Judas began to pilfer and to grow cold in his love for Christ. It was not until the last supper that the devil entered into him, that is, became united with him in the same crime. It was two days before the Passover that he put it into the heart of Judas to go to the enemies of Jesus to betray Him into their hands (Matt. 26:1-514-16;John 13:2). It was at this time that he openly broke with Christ and sought opportunity to betray Him.
Judas was sorry afterwards for his betrayal (Matt. 27:3-5). He could have been forgiven as much as any of the others who cursed, denied Christ, and fled like cowards in the test. But being of a disposition to do so, he brooded over his fall and yielded to temptation to commit suicide.
Judas then is a specific example of a New Testament man who was once saved and in God’s favor or grace, but who lost this favor and went to Hell because of sin (Matt. 25:24Acts 1:16-25). Jesus, Himself, acknowledged to the Father that of those whom the Father had given Him Judas was the only one whom He had lost (John 17:12). Christ could not have lost Judas if He had never had him to lose. Jesus further testified that to every one (including Judas) that the Father had given Him, He had given eternal life (John 17:2). Judas had this eternal life as much as the others but he became “lost” later and “by transgression fell” (Acts 1:25).
*. Ananias and Sapphira were both killed by the power of God because of covetousness and lying to the Holy Ghost (Acts 5:1-14). That they were once saved is clear from Acts 4:32-5:1
, for Ananias and his wife were classed with “the multitude of them that believed” and “were of one heart and one soul…. as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet…. But a certain man [of those who believed and were of one heart and one soul] named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.” If these two were believers and had been saved and were in the church, then it cannot be disputed with any degree of honesty that they were once saved and then lost. To deny they were once saved is to deny truth and it is not worth the price one has to pay.
*. Many Galatians who were saved and had “received the Spirit,” who had “begun in the Spirit,” who were “redeemed and justified by faith,” and who were “sons” of God by being made free from sin (Gal. 3:2-43:13244:4-75:1-26), fell “from grace” and Christ became “of no effect” unto them (Gal. 5:4, 5). They were “removed from him” and “from grace,” so once in grace, always in grace is not biblical unless one stays in grace (Gal. 1:63:1-55:1-9). They were plainly told that to go back under the law and into sins of the flesh, meant to “frustrate [cause to fail, nullify, make void] the grace of God” and that in such case they were not in grace and would reap corruption (Gal. 2:215:1-96:7, 8). They were told that if they built again the things of sin that were “once destroyed” they were transgressors and sinners (Gal. 2:17-18). They were taught that true eternal security was by walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:16-266:7, 8). Paul did not tell them that if they ever got in grace their responsibility as to sin was over. He accused them of falling from grace (Gal. 5:4), so such must be possible.
*. Many other men who were formerly saved have gone back into sin and have been lost. This fact is clear from such statements as: “some having put away concerning the faith have MADE SHIPWRECK…. he hath DENIED THE FAITH. . . . when they begin to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; HAVING DAMNATION, BECAUSE they have CAST OFF THEIR FIRST FAITH . . . and TURNED ASIDE AFTER SATAN . . . But they that will-be rich FALL INTO TEMPTATION AND A SNARE, and INTO MANY FOOLISH AND HURTFUL LUSTS, WHICH DROWN MEN IN DESTRUCTION AND PERDITION…. they HAVE ERRED FROM THE FAITH…. and OVERTHROWN the FAITH OF SOME…. If God will peradventure give them REPENTANCE…. that they may RECOVER THEMSELVES OUT OF THE SNARE OF THE DEVIL” (1 Tim. 1:19, 205:85:11-15206:110212 Tim. 2:8-16).
Each one of the statements above would disprove that doctrine of once in grace and faith always in grace and faith and once saved always saved, but here in 1 and 2 Timothy are many such statements in only two small books of the Bible. False security men go to any length in trying to explain away these simple passages because they so clearly contradict their theory. Some of them go so far as to deliberately mistranslate the Greek and quote self-made translations of men to prove that such simple statements do not mean what they say. For example, they mistranslate “they have cast off their first faith” to “they have broken their former promises” as if this proves a person cannot be lost. The Greek word pistin from pistis is never translated “promises” out of the hundreds of times it is used in the New Testament. It is translated faith 222 times and is referred to as the saving faith in Christ in Rom. 1:516, 173:254:5-205:1, 210:17Gal. 2:203:24-29Eph. 2:94:5
; etc. Thus the “faith” that they “made shipwreck” of, “denied,” “cast off,” “erred from,” and did “overthrow” is the true saving faith and has no reference to some promise that the people made themselves. They could not CAST OFF, DENY, and MAKE SHIPWRECK OF this saving faith if they had not once had it. They could not get into the snare of the devil AGAIN unless they had once been delivered from him. They could not AGAIN be taken captive by the devil if they had always been his captives. They could not have “turned aside” AGAIN after Satan, if they had not been following Christ. They could not have ERRED FROM the faith through the hurtful lusts that “drowned in destruction and perdition” if they had not been once in the faith and free from such lusts. They could not have their faith OVERTHROWN if they had none to overthrow.
 If any of these things happen to one’s saving faith he will no longer be saved, and he no longer will have the new life, which is only kept in him by faith (Gal. 2:20Heb. 10:38-39Gal. 3:11; Rom.11:20).
The unconditional securityites argue that the word “damnation” does not mean the loss of the soul, but means that one is condemned. The Greek word krima is translated “judgment to come” (Acts 24:25), “eternal judgment” (Heb. 6:2), and in many other places it is used of the future judgment of God, at which time men will be sent to Hell. It is translated “avenge” (Rev. 18:20), “condemnation” (1 Tim. 3:6Jude 4), “damnation” (Matt. 23:14Mark 12:40Luke 20:47; Rom.3:813:21 Tim. 5:12), and “to be condemned” (Luke 24:40). One can see by these Scriptures that it means the loss of the soul as in 1 Tim. 5:12. Changing the word damnation to condemnation does not change the final result, for all that are condemned will be sent to damnation and eternal Hell (John 3:17-19; Rom.5:16-188:1Jude 42 Pet. 2:6Rev. 20:11-15Matt. 25:4146).
*. “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Tim. 4:10). He was a preacher according to Col. 4:14Philemon 24. He could no longer be a child of God and have the love of God in him when he loved the world, for “if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him,” for God is love and He could not be in the life when love was not there (1 John 3:15;4:816).
*. Many in the seven churches in 

Rev. 2-3

 who were fallen frown grace were required to repent and do their first works or else be cart off in sin and be lost. Jesus was not a good once in grace man or an unconditional security according to His own words to these churches, for He kept rebuking, warning, and commanding Christians to meet certain conditions if they were to be saved, as we shall see in Point VII, 8 and 9 below.
*. The church at Ephesus – a church that enjoyed God’s favor and grace at one time or it could not have fallen as indicated when Christ said to it, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (

Rev. 2:4-5). One losing his first love loses God, as is clear from 1 John 4:7-8 which shows that if one does not have love he does not have God, for God is love. Any one who does not have God or love does not have grace. Having fallen from all of this the church at Ephesus was ordered to repent and do its first works, or have the candlestick removed, which means that the whole church would be removed, for the candlestick represents the church (Rev. 1:20). The church, completely destroyed for centuries, apparently did not do the first works again. As the case is, with any other backslider, the latter end is worse than the beginning (Luke 11:24-262 Pet. 2:20-22). Christ demanded other churches to “repent” of idolatry, of committing fornication, and adultery (Rev. 2:14-1519-243:19), and urged them to be on fire for God again, or be spued out of “my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16).


Thus we have many plain Scriptures stating that eternal life can be lost and many concrete examples of men who have lost eternal life through sin.