Can Salvation Be Lost By Not Doing The Will Of The Father? Matthew 7:21-23
“Not every one that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23
This verse seems pretty clear, right? Only those who DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, if any saved believer in Jesus DOES NOT do the will of the Father, they WILL NOT enter the Kingdom of Heaven but will lose their salvation, right? Not so fast.
This verse is one of the easiest verses to prove that it supports Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS). One of the primary rules of interpreting Scripture is to not make up your own meaning to a verse, based on what YOU think it means, but to let Scripture define itself, by comparing Scripture to Scripture, for God never contradicts Himself.
So this verse is correct: Yes, only those who DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER will enter heaven. But what is the will of the Father?
Those who say you can lose your salvation jump to the conclusion that this means that, after you are saved, you must do all the things Jesus talked about, such as repent of sin, walk in obedience, be willing to leave your father and mother, take up your cross daily and follow Jesus, in order to keep your salvation. Those who do NOT do these things, well, too bad. You lose your salvation. You WILL NOT enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
But what does SCRIPTURE say the “will of the Father” means? Jesus answers that:
“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and BELIEVETH ON HIM, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”John 6:38-40
The will of the Father is simply this: Believe in Jesus. PERIOD. That is the ONLY qualification that Jesus says it takes to be saved. And for all who simply believe in Him, Jesus then declares WITH NO OTHER CONDITIONS, “I will raise him up at the Last Day.”
The other things mentioned by people who believe you can lose your salvation (obedience, taking up our cross, saying no to self) all have to do with discipleship, not salvation. To be a good disciple, yes, you should do all these things. But discipleship has NOTHING to do with salvation. The two are very different.
So Scripture is clear and does not contradict itself: Only those who DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER (BELIEVE IN JESUS) will enter Heaven.
In fact, Matthew 7:21-23 says an emphatic “NO!” to what those who say you can lose your salvation believe. For people came to Jesus and pointed to their own obedience, saying in effect, “I did this, I did that, I obeyed, I said no to self and I took up my cross daily.” I, I, I. Rather than trusting solely in the ALL SUFFICIENCY of Jesus for salvation, they really only had partial faith in Christ, but then they also trusted in their own works of obedience to save them. And Jesus said to them, “Depart from Me.”
Now, this does not mean that those who say you can lose your salvation are all lost. Some of these people are in fact saved, because they believed in Jesus to save them, but then became deceived by the false teaching that it’s possible to lose their salvation. The result is that these believers needlessly live in fear over whether they will end up in hell, and they become less effective in serving Christ, for they never enter into God’s rest from all their works. And even worse, they teach others a false, works-based Gospel, potentially keeping others from entering salvation.
On the other hand, it is quite possible that many of those who believe you can lose your salvation have never been saved at all, but think they are. They’re not saved because they never trusted solely in the finished work of Christ, but believe in a works-based salvation, that it’s up to them to keep their salvation by their own obedience. People in this category are truly deceived and lost, because our obedience can never save us to begin with and cannot keep us saved after we believe. It is by God’s grace alone through Jesus Christ that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9), and it is by God’s grace and power alone that He keeps us saved (Jude 1:24). And God is faithful to do both.
So please rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ who saves us and will keep us saved.
Finally, I do this in all my videos, if you are not 100% sure that you are saved, that if you died today, God would welcome you into heaven, I urge you to make your commitment to Jesus secure right now. Here’s a prayer for salvation that you can pray. But keep in mind that a prayer does not save you. You are saved only when you place your trust in Jesus alone, believing in your heart that He died to pay your debt of sin to God and that He rose from the dead to show you the eternal life that He offers. This prayer, then, is just a way of formalizing that decision, putting a stake in the ground, saying that you are trusting in Him and never going back. If that’s what you would like to do, please pray with me:
“Lord, I have sinned and I need you to save me. I believe that Your Son Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins and that He rose from the dead to show us the new eternal life You have for us. I believe solely in Jesus to save me, that He paid my debt of sin 100%. Please forgive my sins and save me now, Lord, according to your promises. In Jesus Name.”
If you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, know right now that you are eternally saved.