A doctrine of man known as the impossibility of apostasy is a doctrine that closely clings to other doctrines of man known as unconditional election and limited atonement. Unconditional election is a teaching that God’s choice of a person is in accordance with His sovereign will, and the person chosen has nothing at all to do with this matter. In other words, God choice “was not based upon any merit [including one’s personal response] shown by the object of his grace.” Limited atonement is the teaching that Jesus died only for some, not all. “Christ died indeed, for many people, but not all.” If unconditional election and limited atonement are actual Bible teachings, then the question “Can one lose his salvation?” has to be answered in the negative. God’s choice can’t be overcome by any action or desire of man. In other words, one is saved no matter what.
Are those two doctrines taught in Scripture? The answer is no. Consider the following: Unconditional election is wrong because Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; he who believes not shall be damned.” Note the conditions before salvation is attained: belief and baptism. Thus, unconditional election is not taught. Limited atonement is wrong because Jesus died to atone for the whole world; 1 John 2:2 speaks of Jesus as being the propitiation (atonement) for the sins “for the whole world.” Note also that it is God’s desire that ALL come to the knowledge of the truth, that none be lost (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Thus, limited atonement is not a teaching of the New Testament.
Since these two man-made doctrines are not taught in Scripture, what about the question, “Can one lose his salvation?” The Hebrews writer said, “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” (Hebrews 6:4-6, ESV).
As all three are tied together, unconditional election, limited atonement and impossibility of apostasy, they all fall together also. RT