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Can you lose the Holy Spirit?

Can you lose the Holy Spirit?

Once we have become God’s child through faith, we receive the Holy Spirit, and God promises us that we will never lose His Spirit.

In some Bible passages it seems that we can lose the Holy Spirit. In Hebrews 6:4-6 we read: “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding Him up to contempt.

But we have to compare that with other passages in the Bible. For example, when you listen to Paul in Romans 8:29 and 30, he clearly teaches that getting saved is from the beginning to the end the work of God alone, like a golden chain stretching from eternity to eternity:

For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified“.

Nothing can separate us

That is why a Christian can say: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38 and 39). And everybody who belongs to Jesus also has the Holy Spirit! (See 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.)

In John 6:37 Jesus says: “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away“, which means: What the Father gave to His Son Jesus, Jesus will never lose again. Jesus says something similar in John 10:27-30: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one“. Yet in the same gospel Jesus warns us to remain in Him (John 15:4). And the same apostle Paul that we quoted earlier also warns the people he writes to not to lose what they have gained. For example in 1 Corinthians 15:2 he writes “Otherwise, you have believed in vain“.

Did Jesus and Paul contradict themselves?

Does Paul contradict himself? And does Jesus contradict Himself? No, in our deepest tribulations and fears, we may hold on to these wonderful promises, that our salvation is entirely Gods work and He will carry on the good work He began in us until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6). But that doesn’t make Christians lazy people who already have their salvation in their pocket!

Some workings of the Holy Spirit even non-believers can experience

Judas must have experienced something of the spell of being in the presence of Jesus! There are people in the last judgment who will say to Jesus: “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” But Jesus will answer them: “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:21-23).

He will finish His good work in us

When we are really known by Jesus, He will finish His good work in us, but it will go through some dark periods in our life in which we may sometimes think we aren’t His children at all. Sometimes God will hide Himself to make us look for Him and feel our dependence upon Him. Some Christians will experience this darkness in their life more than others, but every Christian will experience this in some way or another.

So once we have been reborn by the Spirit, can we ever lose Him again? No! Yet Jesus also warns us: “Remain in Me, as I also remain in you” (John 15:4). Only in the presence of the Lord do we find the happy security of our salvation.

How does this Bible passage speak to you? Please share your thoughts below!

Also read How do we receive the Holy Spirit?