Am I Still Saved?

jesus-christAt last count (July 2012), 24 readers say:

  • 13% I was never saved (sniffle)
  • 54% I lost my salvation (but I could gain it back.  Pray for me.)
  • 4% Still saved – Once saved always saved (yeah!)
  • 29% Still saved – Universal Salvation (double yeah!)

Please do vote below after reading my story below. But before you possibly leave generic comments, please do read more about my de-conversion:

  1. My Bio
  2. My De-conversion story,

I de-converted from Christianity about 25 years ago, but I use to be a fervent born-again Christian.

In case you doubt, here are my “fervent credentials“:

  • I was baptized Lutheran as an infant
  • But at 17 years old, I personally accepted Jesus into my heart, confessing my sinful nature and my joy at accepting his sacrifice for my sins and my desire to live as his disciple.
  • I was baptized again as an adult (in an pond, at a farm)
  • As the Lord made me into a new creation, I yielded to the work of the holy spirit.
  • I often confessed that Jesus is Lord and believed in my heart that God raised him from the dead. (Romans 10:9-10)
  • I was thankful for the new role Jesus had taken in my life


  • I later was baptized in the spirit and spoke in tongues
  • I witnesses to many people
  • I read the bible several times through with great devotion and let the Lord guide my mind so I might understand his precious Word.
  • I studied the bible diligently and even studied Greek at college.
  • I prayed often
  • I took holy communion
  • I fasted
  • I tithed
  • I ran a few bible studies
  • I heard the gentle voice of the lord softly guiding me

calvinThe soteriological position of my Calvinist Christian friends (Presbyterian and Reformed) is “Once saved, always saved” (AKA Perseverance of the Saints). And staying true to this doctrine, some of these Calvinist friends feel I must still be saved. They feel I never lost my Salvation and I will still go to heaven. Some even go as far as to say that their god is still using this phase of my life to work his mysterious ways.

But many of my Calvinist Christian friends feel that I must never have been really a Christian. For when they talk to me, they can imagine no way that their God would allow me in His kingdom with the attitudes and beliefs I have now. And if there is Preserverence of the Saints, the only logical conclusion for them is that I was never a saint in the first place.    And when I produce my credentials, they admit that they are impressive (for Christians, that is) but they are sure I must have missed out on something — for how could I have all their credentials and still have rejected it all.  If you feel I was never a Christian in the first place, please leave us a comment explaining why.

But if I lost my salvation, hopefully my story shows you how you can then not be secure in your salvation.  Unless you can offer a clear difference between that former Sabio and the fervent Christian you are today, you too could lose your salvation in the future.

jakob_arminius1On the other hand, my Arminian Christian friends (Methodist, Pentecostal, Catholicism, and many Baptists) have no problem admitting I am hell-bound. In fact, as they and I know, since I now disavow the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I have a special one-way ticket to hell as the following two verses tell us.

I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.
rk 3: 28-29

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
Hebrews 6:4-6 (NASB)

OK, what is your opinion.  Please don’t be shy.


Filed under Personal

28 responses to “Am I Still Saved?

  1. Pseudonym

    Where did you find a Methodist who said you’re hell-bound? I’m sure they exist, but honestly.

  2. Dear “Pseudonym”, Over 20 years of being told I am “hell-bound”, I can’t really keep them all straight. But do tell us about yourself and your opinion!

  3. Your story sounds very familiar, I was born into a Missouri-Synod Lutheran family, fervently believed, but it was about 17 that I started to seriously question my belief and by the time I was 20 or so, I had rejected Christianity as an irrational, false and frankly pretty laughable belief system. That was more than 25 years ago too and while I’ve had people tell me that I’m still saved, it’s really not something I much care about, any more than I care if people tell me Santa Claus is still bringing me presents or the Easter Bunny is hiding eggs for me.

  4. Pseudonym

    Sabio, I’ve never met a Methodist who mentioned “hell” in any sense apart from figurative. Even in the Apostle’s Creed, they prefer the alternate ICET phrasing that Jesus “descended to the dead”.

    I’m sure that such Methodists do exist these days, but I think they’d be hard to find in the English-speaking world.

  5. What?????????

    If Christ died for your sins, who is going to stop you from committing sins and tease people? Who would you care?

  6. @Muslimah — ah, now that is irony. You sarcastically put down Christian soteriology where as Islam’s is no less of a fantasy. Nothing strikes me more humorous than one faith picking on another.

  7. Christchild

    Hi! I found you story (above) really interesting, but it seems like half is missing. You’ve talked about how you became a Christian and what you did that “prooves” your faith. But how did you become an Athiest?

  8. @CC: If you read my Bio and my De-conversion story, do they answer your question?
    (Hope you are tracking this post)

  9. ChristChild

    Hi Sabio,
    I read your “my Bio” and “De-conversion story”, yes they do answer my question thanks.

    I found them really interesting especially since I too have often been confused at why there are non-christian people who are so generous and kind and loving etc and then there are some christian people who are mean-spirited and those who possibly would disown me as a friend and/or girlfriend if I too decided not to be a christian anymore; (obviously there is vice-versa). I find this strange that God’s sacrifice of his Son is a act of love for us that (I belive) lays on our hearts (not our clothes) what is right and wrong, good and sinful etc.

    Unlike you I guess I have not contemplated the worthlessness of following Christ, instead I conclude that we will always fall short of perfection, God is the only one that is perfect and these tests and trials are just part of the growth and the journey.

    What are your thoughts to that (or anything else for that matter)?


  10. OneLutheranGirl

    This is just my understanding of the Gospel (raised LCMS, now ELCA), so I don’t pretend to speak for all Lutherans or anything, but:

    Christ died to save sinners (aka ALL of us) from the eternal damnation we would receive if we were judged by God on our own merit. None of us are without sin, but Christ died so that He could pay the price we can’t pay. He could pay that price (death) and come through hell itself, resurrected into heaven, because He is both human, like us, and also God. His human-ness enabled Him to die, His divine-ness enabled Him to conquer death. God’s love and His wish that we not have to face the punishment we deserve motivated Him to take on human form and suffer as we would have so the price could be paid by Him, who could still rise, rather than we, who couldn’t. Christ beat death so that we could, too. So we could stand before God on our day of judgement and have someone with connections 🙂 there to say “He (or She) is covered. I’ve got her. He can stay.” Our baptism marks us with the cross as a sign that we belong to Him. God made us, we are His. Christ died for every person God created. So a lack of faith doesn’t hurt God, it hurts us. Partly in the sense that separating ourselves from Him (which is an illusion since He made us and all things) causes pain and/or strife in us, and partly because He’s our Savior – the one who saves us from the hell we would otherwise face. So pushing Him aside isn’t going to change His place in heaven, it’s just that unless we cling to Him, none of us have a place in heaven. He’s prepared it for us with His love, death and resurrection, but we can’t get in without Him. So will you allow yourself to be in His care, to be associated with Him, to say on the day of judgement, “He has paid my debt.” or will you say, as you perhaps do now (and we all do, when our faith is weakened) “I’m not with Him, I’m on my own.” If hell is truly the absence of God, then we put ourselves in it if we push Him aside, don’t we?

  11. OneLutheranGirl

    Hope I didn’t do any harm to you by posting this – just trying to offer something toward your question. Incidentally, after being confirmed LCMS I went through a period where I didn’t know if I believed all this because I’d been raised to or because I really did. It was a tough time in life (teenage years are for pretty much everyone, I guess 🙂 ) and I prayed even when I wasn’t sure I believed; also read a lot and one of the books that helped me think it through was C.S.Lewis’ Mere Christianity. I personally enjoy most of Lewis’ writing, though I know it has its critics, but I think it helped me because, since Lewis was an athiest who’d returned to faith before writing it, he looks at things from a relatively logical standpoint. At some point, faith must take over, I think (and he wrote), but the logical arguments he makes are the best I’ve read (not that I claim to know it all by ANY means). Just thought you might like to read it if you haven’t already. God bless you.

  12. OneLutheranGirl

    Ha – I feel dumb after realizing your bio and story were on your site and reading them only to realize that, yeah, I’m pretty sure, given your education, that you’ve read tons and tons more than I on all this – sorry. Your story does resemble Lewis’ in some key ways, though. I’ll be interested to see where you’re led through your blog and thoughts. It is good to hear that you are teaching your children love rather than hate when it comes to religious differences. This is one of the big issues for so many – How can people who believe in a gracious, loving, forgiving God be so apparently ungracious, unloving, and unforgiving. I don’t have the answer, but all I know is that though our God is perfect, we are not. And, as a high school teacher, there are days when I hope no one would associate my students’ behavior with my teaching, and I pray and give thanks as often as I remember that God can show His love and mercy to my students even if I screw up and act like a jerk. Ironically, though someone mentioned something about Christ’s forgiveness allowing us to do whatever we wanted (including more sin), knowing that God is powerful enough to show His love to His children even when my imperfect efforts fail, makes me so thankful I actually don’t want to sin. Of course, I do, but it makes me want to do better as a response to His love and goodness. Also, when you’re thinking about God’s love and compassion, and how much He blesses us even when we don’t always see it, we have much less time or will to be mean or unforgiving to each other, I think.

  13. Earnest

    Sabio I will now describe the events that will unfold at the time of your death.

    Those of us who are saved will watch you die, then in the manner of a giant dyctiostelid slime mold…..

    ….our spirits will all fuse together into a giant hand. We will push St. Peter and the Gates out of the way. We will reach down into Hell and grab you by the scruff of your neck and haul you back into Heaven because dude it’s going to be really boring without you!

    Then St. Peter will get mad and cast us all out of the Garden, overstepping his rank in the power structure. The Giant Hand, on the basis of Calvinist salvation, cannot fall into Hell but gets stuck in Purgatory with you in its grasp. So there we will all sit while St. Peter gets court-martialled. Dante described Purgatory as a place with lots of stones, so we should be able to make a Go board. We won’t need food, so we should be able to play a near-infinite number of Go games with each other while Jesus figures out what to do with St. Peter. A backlog of cases builds up at the Pearly Gates while Saint Peter is in custody with the Angels.

  14. Earnest


    Saint Peter meanwhile has Calvin himself as his chief counsel for the Defense, and they are trying to negotiate a settlement to allow Saint Peter to keep his retirement and a piece of the Garden for himself, as long as he gives the Gates duty away to John the Baptist.

    The lead Plaintiff is the Angel Michael who alone is the instrument of the Lord involving casting out the Saved. his lead counsel is Girolamo Savonarola who is planning to make an example of Saint Peter. Savonarola has a tough time convincing the Trinity that he should not be recused. The motion to recuse is brought by Defense on the basis of jealousy, whereby St. Peter is an actual Saint but Savonarola had been excommunicated. Calvin also posits that the only reason that Savonarola is in Heaven in the first place is on the basis of Calvinist theory and Savonarola’s adherence to modest pursuit of virtues in his early life.

    Savonarola finally recuses himself to get out of the spotlight, and a new Plaintiff’s counsel is sought after. Michael thinks all the other Angels are inferior to himself regarding their desire to see justice done, and fires them all. St. Francis declines the case. St. Paul has existing business ties to the Defense. Elijah and Moses are riding around on the Wheel in a Wheel way up in the middle of the air. Everyone else of sufficient rank is working on St. Peter’s backlog other than Mahatma Gandhi, who has a free pass to move about between Heavens of different religions on the basis of generalized saintliness. Gandhi makes a motion to drop all charges. With no objection from the Father or the Holy Ghost, the Son ends the proceedings, reinstates St. Peter and puts a letter in St. Peter’s personnel file.

    So much time and effort has been consumed with these proceedings that Sabio’s case is lost in paperwork.

    So Sabio you get to Heaven but only briefly. You then play Go for eternity.

  15. @ Earnest — you will certainly burn just for your imagination !

  16. lauren

    hello! i haven’t read many of your blogs (i’ve only read this one, your bio, and your de-conversion story). i guess i just have a question and maybe the answer is somewhere in your blogs and i just didn’t catch it, and if so then i’m sorry for making you repeat yourself 😦 i am just wondering what your thoughts are when you reminisce about your christian days. to be more specific, i’m wondering if you look back on the time when you believed that there was a god and think that you were simply confused or illogical or uneducated, etc. don’t just choose one of those adjectives, though. expound, please, if you have the time! 🙂 i’m just really curious.

  17. Lauren — it is difficult to write to an unknown audience. Tell me a little about yourself, about your religious life and what you think of some of my posts so far so I figure out what parts of my story to tell. Thanx

  18. lauren

    hello again. i am 21 years old and have been a christian for the past 3 years. i’m not really sure what kind of specifics you want me to mention about my religious life though. if you want me to expound more then i will.
    i just happened upon your blog and i guess i’m just really interested in your story for some reason. and so far from what i’ve been reading of your posts i just keep wondering how you view your time spent as a christian when you look back with hindsight.
    okay, hope to hear back from you soon! thanks again.

  19. I embraced Christianity when it was the only religion in my neighborhood. I had just found my best friend dead and was going off alone to a huge university. Christianity was my life vest. It served me well. I appreciated it. Later it became restrictive when I got back on dry land and figured out how to swim.

  20. Beyond salvation, what exactly do you require of God?

  21. @ Chet,
    Since I don’t believe in a god, why would I require anything from a god? I don’t understand your question. Could you please interact with the post a bit more. I’m sort of anticipating a sermon instead of a dialogue — please prove me wrong.

  22. YWhen you believed in God. What did you require of Him?

  23. I never thought in those terms when I was a believer. Why, what do you require of him? You also still have not interacted with the post.

  24. Not sure what post you refer to. From reading it appears you have equated man to God. All man fall short. I too have had many christians do me harm. Those are the self righteous folks who are lagalistic placing themselves under the law. Saved? IF you called upon Jesus as earlier described, YOU ARE SAVED. Has the theif robbed you? If he has you have been ripped off, your salvation remains intact.

  25. Thanx Chet. I was referring to the OP — this post. Hopefully you have said what you intended. I must say, I have a hard time understanding you. But you feel I am saved — great.

  26. what are you are having a hard time understanding?

  27. @Chet,
    If you have any further questions related to the post for me, let me know. If you have any more theology to share, let us know.

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