by Stan Coffey

This content is part of a series.

The Sin unto Death (19 of 20)
Dr. Stan Coffey
I John 5:16-17

(Read I John 5:16-17)

One of the most controversial subjects that we find in the Bible is the subject of once saved, always saved, or what happens to the backslider who dies in a backslidden and sinful condition? When you say that you know someone who was saved, and they lived for the Lord for a while, and then they went away from God and began to serve the devil and walked their own way. While they were in that backslidden condition, they died. You ask the question, "What happened to them," you need to remember that none of us can tell for sure whether or not anybody else is saved. The Bible teaches us that man looks on the outward appearance, and God looketh upon the heart. We can inspect their fruit; we can ascertain the commitment of their life as we look at what they're doing. But in reality we cannot say for certain that they are saved, that they are children of God - even though they made a profession of faith. They may have walked an aisle; they may have lived for the Lord a little while. They went back into sin, and they died in their sin, and it's impossible to say whether or not they were really saved.

So there are three possibilities concerning a backslider, whether he be one that you've known in the past or whether you're thinking about somebody today, who came and made a profession of faith in Jesus, who came and gave their life to Christ here in the church, and then they turned away from the Lord. Today they're rebellious; they're sinful; they're disobedient. First of all, there is the possibility that such a person was not actually and truly saved. The Bible teaches us that there are those who make outward professions of faith who never came to know Christ. Again and again in the Word of God, you are warned to be sure that you know Christ, to be sure that you're born again. Paul says, "Examine yourself to see whether you be in the faith." So a ...

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