Can a True Christian Fall Away from God?

1 John 2:19

Once saved, always saved? If so, how do we explain friends, family, and even church leaders who walk away from the faith? In this lab, John Piper explains eternal security and what it means for those who have walked away from the faith.

Principle for Bible Reading

No Need to Repeat

Like a patient father, God graciously repeats foundational truths that his children ought to live by.

But for as much as God does give us reminders, he does not need to repeat himself in order to be believed. If God has said something once, and through careful study we see no reason that he has altered his sentiments (e.g. changing from the old to new covenants), it is as binding as if he had said it a thousand times.

As we read the Bible, it is wise to confirm that our understanding is accurate by checking whether it conforms to the rest of Scripture. If the teaching is not taught or hinted at elsewhere, we should double check to make sure we rightly understand the passage. But, if a passage speaks clearly, it does not need to be explicitly stated elsewhere, and should land on us as the words of God.

In This Lab

John Piper shows that the doctrine of eternal security is a biblical one. Drawing from 1 John 2:19, he unpacks this one verse to show that the Bible teaches that true Christians will endure to the end.

Study Questions

  1. Do you believe that a Christian can lose his or her salvation? Why or why not?
  2. What does 1 John 2:19 tell us about Christians walking away from the church and the faith?
  3. If it is accurate that all true believers endure to the end, does that mean we can coast in our walk with God?