I’ve heard from many people that salvation isn’t sure. They believe that your salvation is only actual once you die and are judged. If you had done enough good, stopped sinning, kept on believing and repented enough, then you get finally saved. If you haven’t done enough good, sinned once too often, faltered in your faith, or failed to repent of that last sin, then you are finally damned. Usually I hear this from cults like the Mormons and the Roman Catholics. Of course the Mormons don’t believe in a Hell, just a lower realm of Heaven.
I am not trying to misrepresent their position. When someone says that they believe you can lose you salvation this is how I understand what they are asserting. This type of doctrine can only come from a person with poor hamartiology. Their understanding of sin and their culpability is not right. If they understood just little bit of how exceedingly sinful people are, they wouldn’t adopt this works righteous doctrine. Here is a story of what I did out of my own prideful attitude, I woke up one morning and thought, “I will see how long I can go without sinning.” I was brushing my teeth and realized that at that very moment where I presumed to be able to not sin, I had sinned. You see my sinful pride and self-righteous attitude produced a sinful thought.
The thought that a human could even live just a moment without sinning shows how utterly lacking their knowledge of their own personal sin is. In the span of one second we fail and commit sins in an amount approaching infinity. You might not like this, but it is true. Think about God. How holy is He in His infinite and perfect holiness? If He is that holy how can you succeed in obeying the first commandment sufficiently to please Him? Look at the rest of the commandments and ask yourself the same questions. When you steal His air and don’t thank Him for every breath, when you take for granted that He is keeping you alive every nanosecond, when you think a deceitful thought even though you didn’t actually lie, then you try to justify it because you didn’t actually lie… really? God sees our hearts and our thoughts in truth as they are. We can only perceive them through senses corrupted by the curse of the fall. If just for a moment you could see how utterly hopeless and wretched you are, it might then bring you to the conclusion that if you are to be saved it must be completely the work of God from beginning to end.