Q&A: Loss of Salvation in Revelation

Loss of Salvation in Revelation

Question

Does Revelation 22:19 mean a person can lose his or her salvation?

Answer

It kind of sounds like Revelation 22:19 is teaching that we can lose our salvation, doen't it? We know from the rest of the Bible, though, that our salvation is secure. The tricky part in this particular verse is that it talks about us losing our "share" or "part" in the blessings of salvation.

I think the best way to understand this is to notice that the Bible sometimes speaks of people possessing a right to or an expectation of something that will never be fulfilled. For example, in Romans 9:1-5 Paul says that the Jewish people possess all sorts of blessings of salvation, and he also indicates that they have not and will not receive these blessings. His point is that because they are in covenant with God, they have the right and expectation to these things if they will only keep covenant. Since they do not keep covenant, however, they forfeit these rights. In the same way, we may have a "part" in eternal life not be being saved, but simply by being in covenant with God -- because being in covenant with God gives us a right to inherit the covenant blessings if we fulfill the covenant stipulations (i.e. being perfectly righteous). Now, we can't be righteous on our own, and we can only inherit the covenant blessings in Christ, but that doesn't change the fact that God promises to bless us if we can be perfect on our own. Because that offer exists, it can rightly be said that all who are in covenant with God (i.e. all who are in the visible church) have a "part" or "share" in salvation, even if they have never come to faith in Christ. Thus, those who are in the church but who are never saved lose their "part" or "share," which is their right to be saved if they keep covenant. But they do not lose their actual salvation, which they have never actually possessed.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.