Question: The idea of the loss of salvation is one that I do not fully understand . Can you explain it to me?
I have run into many Protestants who — like you — have problems with this. I have never fully understood the Protestant belief on this. I think it has to do with a defective notion of “salvation.” Many Protestants who teach “eternal security” claim that one cannot be truly “saved” if one can fall away. This is a blatant projection of a narrow SECULAR English meaning onto a biblical word. If you look in the OT, you will see that salvation does not necessarily means that one is saved once and for all. Salvation in the OT was very concrete and materialistic. It usually means salvation from war, pestilence, starvation, slavery or death. The NT idea of being “saved from sin” would have been a abstraction that the OT Hebrews would have had difficulty grasping. They saw salvation as deliverance in the “here and now” from very real and material threats. Just because you were “saved” from death today did not mean that you couldn’t die tomorrow. The following OT quotations illustrate this:Deu 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered [with fatness]; then he forsook God [which] made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. 1Sa 11:13 And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel. 1Sa 14:45 And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: [as] the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not. 2Sa 22:3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: [he is] my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. 1Ch 16:35 And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, [and] glory in thy praise. The biblical concept of salvation means to be delivered NOW from some danger. It does not mean that the danger is no longer a threat.
By Art Sippo