There are two extremes in regard to the topic of apostasy and if Christians can commit the act of apostasy. To avoid these extremes one must take into consideration all of Scripture, the context of Bible verses, and not ignore or twist Bible verses that do not line up with one’s personal beliefs.
Predestination-Heaven or Hell
Once Saved, Always Saved
This extreme believes that God out of His sovereignty predestines individuals to either heaven or hell. It removes the free will of man. The concept is that God in eternity past decided which individuals are going to heaven and which are going to hell.
Those predestined to hell will never respond to the Gospel. It is impossible for them to do so since God has decided their destiny.
Then there are those who God has decided are going to receive Christ and go to heaven. Taken to the extreme, once these individuals accept Christ, no matter how they live or what they do (can ‘live like the devil’) they will still go to heaven since there is the promise of eternal security and they have predestined to heaven.
It should mentioned that there are many, if not most, in the Once Saved, Always Saved camp that do not believe in the extreme predestination doctrine. They believe God knows ahead of time who is going to heaven or hell but He does not remove the free will of man. But because of all the eternal security Bible verses they believe a Christian cannot commit the act of apostasy.
A Christian Can Lose Their Salvation
Those in this extreme believe a Christian’s ongoing salvation is always ‘up in the air’ because of their overemphasis of the free will of man. They believe a Christian can be ‘in and out’ of salvation. So they certainly believe a Christian can commit the act of apostasy based upon all the conditional Bible verses.
A Christian Can Walk Away From Their Salvation
A more balanced approach by many in this camp is that a Christian does not ‘lose their salvation’. But they can make ongoing wrong choices that can lead them to a place of making the choice to abandon their relationship with Christ, because even in salvation God does not remove free will.
There are those who look at all the Bible verses regarding eternal security and all the ‘if/conditional’ verses and make the determination that it is not either/or but both. A Christian does not lose their free will so they can fall into apostasy. God would not give all the warnings if there was not the potential to fall away. At the same time there are all the promises of eternal security. Thus if a Christian heeds the warnings, is committed to Jesus not only being their Savior but their LORD, and they are totally dependent upon Christ, they can be confident that their salvation is secure. Not based upon their actions or works but through the Holy Spirit and the promises of God.
Those who are truly born again, true followers of Christ, totally trusting in Jesus alone for their salvation, acknowledging His Lordship will never fall away from the grace of God. Their salvation is secure. Yes, even if they fall short multitudes of times.
Apostasy-Part One, Definition
Apostasy-Part Two, Biblical Warnings
Apostasy-Part Three, Conditional Verses
Apostasy-Part Four, Lordship of Christ
Apostasy-Part Five, An Example
Apostasy-Part Six, The Extremes
Apostasy-Part Seven, Summary