By Earl E. Robertson
Though it is the religious conviction of many that once one is saved from sin by the blood of Christ it is then impossible for one to apostatize and be lost in hell, the Bible does not teach it. The Bible plainly teaches the possibility of a child of God, one saved by the grace of God, to so sin as to be lost.
Phillip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ to the people (Acts 8:5). The things Philip spake were agreed to by some (Acts 8:6). Philip preached Christ! He preached things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, and the people believed it. “When they believed what he preached, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12). Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:15, 16). The Samaritans, like the Corinthians (Acts 18:8), believed and were baptized. Who is prepared stay they were not saved?
However, in the city of Samaria lived a man who practiced sorcery, bewitching the people, whose name was Simon. His efforts failed in the presence of the truth preached by Philip. Simon knew he too must yield to the power of God that saves (Rom. 1:16, 17; 1 Cor. 1:21). Luke testifies, “Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized. . .” (Acts 8:13). Who shall judge Simon’s action as that of an imposter? He did exactly what the others in Samaria had done at Philip’s preaching. The Bible says he believed “also” and was baptized. “Also” translates the Greek kai, and is used in the New Testament as conjunctions, cumulative particles, adversatives, and introduction of the apodosis of a sentence. Here it takes the nature of an adverb; it makes something added to what has already been said. The conversion of ,the Samaritans as stated in verse twelve still holds good, and Luke says Simon did exactly what they had done!
But, later when Simon saw the disposition of the Holy Spirit by the apostles’ hands, he “offered them money” in an effort to do likewise (Acts 8:18). Yes, a baptized believer attempting to traffic in sacred things! It was sinful; so sinful that Peter said unto him, “Thy money perish with thee …. thy heart is not right in the sight of God” (Acts 8:20, 21). He is then commanded to `Repent therefore of this wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity (Acts 8:22, 23). This is not a description of a saved man! So, the case of Simon proves the possibility of apostasy from the faith and the results of such a condition being lost.
Truth Magazine XXII: 3, p. 59
January 19, 1978