Hell After Salvation: The Doctrine of Spiritual Suicide

There is a doctrinal split among preachers and pastors throughout Christianity on whether a person can lose their salvation after being born again, or the “once saved, always saved or not” theory. This topic is one that requires rightly dividing the Word of truth, solid biblical understanding, and revelation of the Spirit.

Hell After Salvation: The Doctrine of Spiritual Suicide

There is a doctrinal split among preachers and pastors throughout Christianity on whether a person can lose their salvation after being born again, or the “once saved, always saved or not” theory. This topic is one that requires rightly dividing the Word of truth, solid biblical understanding, and revelation of the Spirit.

There are scriptures that point to both theories, however, but is not contradictory and is left to the faith of the believer. For instance, Jesus says in St. John 10:27, 28 reads: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

This passage proclaims that followers of Christ have eternal life and shall never parish and no one, not even the devil, can take them away from Christ. Another passage in 1 John 2:24, 25 says: “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”

This passage promises salvation to the believer as long as their faith in Christ and God is in them, they have eternal life. We know that faith saves us, not good deeds or the works of the Law. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2.

The difference is in the power of faith and the Spirit of life that saves a person. We know that we must be born again to enter into the Kingdom of God, and if we are born again, the only way we can lose salvation is to die under the sin of the law. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6.

It all comes down to whether we walk in the flesh or walk in the Spirit by faith as to whether we will die without God. If people do not have the Spirit, then they naturally walk in the flesh. Likewise, if a believer allows the flesh to control their walk in Christ, they quench the Spirit under grace, and the Spirit dies under the law of sin.

So, the question comes to scriptures in the Word that imply being lost after salvation. There are many preachers that teach that some scriptures are proof that a person can be born again and still lose their salvation and go to hell.

However, staying true to the spirit of man’s knowledge, no one on this earth can honestly say whether a person is going to hell or not. Thus, we are basically left with God’s word and our own measure of faith that we are given to understand this issue.

One such scripture reads: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6.

Another teaches from the book of 1 Thessalonians 2:3, which says: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”

Both passages speak of a “falling away,” of believers which would denote that they have lost their salvation and are hell bound. Yet, neither scripture actually say the believer is going to hell. In Hebrews, it says that “it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance.” However, we also know that “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” St Luke 18:27. Jesus replied with this answer after it was asked of his followers, “Who then can be saved?”

Again, in Hebrews 10:26, 27 it talks about people who willfully sin and it reads: “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

Notice that the scripture never says they who sin willfully are going to hell, but it says there are no more sacrifice for sins and they are in danger of the judgement. God forbid that anyone should continue in sin simply because they are under grace, if the believer has the Spirit, they need to walk in the Spirit. We struggle daily with sin in the flesh, especially newborn babes in Christ, and we seek for the Lord to cleanse us of our sins.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 2:9. “All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.” 1 John 5:17.

Nevertheless, we are delivered and cleansed of our sins we should not return to those same sins. This is the same as the Israelites returning to Egypt once God delivered them. Or Lot’s wife turning back and looking at Sodom and Gomorrah after God destroyed them, she turned into a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26.

One of the more misinterpreted scriptures that preachers use to warn believers of losing their salvation comes from the book of Revelation 3:1-6 where the Lord is talking to the church of Sardis. He tells them he has not found their works perfect before God. “…that thou has a name that thou livest, and art dead.” Verse 1.

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Verse 5. God warns them that they needed to strengthen the things that remain because even though they were living, they were dead. How can that be?

They were dead because they had forgot how they had received and heard and had not repented. They were walking in the flesh so they were alive, but they had forsook the Spirit, which made them dead in the spirit. If they did not repent, God said he would remove their names from the book of life. Apparently, when a believer willingly cast off the spirit, they kill themselves.

In other words, it is spiritual suicide to return to the world of sin and lust of the flesh after you have received the gift of the Holy Ghost. A person would have to completely reject God and the Holy Spirit even after they have received it, much like the Israelites did and Lot’s wife. This would be a consciousness effort to leave God on the part of the believer.

We know of one other follower of Christ that consciously left Christ and crucified him putting him to an open shame, and that was Judas, the son of perdition. “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” St. John 17:12.

The sons of perdition are those who betray the word and Spirit of Christ. They are before ordained for this falling away and betrayal. They are those who fall away and walk in the flesh and lust of the world. They love the world and the rewards of the world and never bring any fruit to perfection They were never saved but ordained to condemnation.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 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 us.” 1 John 2:18, 19.

A true believer must bring forth good fruit. “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” St. Matthew 7:19. If a believer does not bring forth fruit, that means they are fulfilling the lust of the flesh. “and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” St. Mark 4:19.

Again, no man can or should ever tell a believer that they can go to hell after they have received the gift of the Holy Ghost. The above warnings are sufficient by explaining to them the importance of walking in the spirit and bringing forth good fruit. Some people may die not having brought forth all fruit to perfection. Some bring forth 30, some 60, some a hundredfold of fruit.

“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” St. Matthew 13:23. If the believer can only bring forth thirtyfold fruit, it stands to reason that the other seventyfold of that believer is still in the flesh. This does not mean they are going to hell. It means they died before coming to perfection and God will perfect them when it is in His time.

“Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:1. God has mercy on whom he will.

Pastors should warn believers of the misery that comes with walking in the flesh and quenching the Spirit, yes, but condemning believers to hell when they have no real knowledge of what God’s plan is, is presumptuous and a sin within itself. “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death.” Verse 16.

Finally, it is of faith that a believer walks in salvation according to the Spirit. If they walk in the flesh, they will suffer the consequences of the flesh in this life but if they walk in the spirit, they will grow and bring forth more fruit. Faith is the key. Believe in the promises of God and the believer will die and answer to God according to his faith. No one should live in fear.

“…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23.