In the 1st century church, they had to endure to the end to be saved.
Matthew 24 “9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
If they stopped believing then they would not be saved.
Colossians 1 “22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.”
1 Corinthians 15 “2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”
They faced persecution and all kind of problems that tested their faith to see if they were faithful till the end.
Revelation 2 “10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.”
1 Peter 1 “6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. “
If they stopped believing, they would lose salvation.
The believers were given the grace of God to fulfill the law by obedience to Jesus.
If they kept on sinning, they would lose salvation.
1 Thessalonians 4 “3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. “
Romans 8 “13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
James 2 “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. …..8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
Galatians 5 “13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love…..19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 6 “7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
If the believer went back to the law, then they would lose salvation.
Galatians 5 “2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”
But today the Law does not exist.
Therefore the believer is not called to fulfill the law or obey any commandments.
The believer cannot lose salvation because we cannot go back to the Law.
There is no law to break and therefore salvation cannot be lost.
Why was it so difficult in the 1st Century church?
1 Peter 4 “17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
They had to suffer so much persecution and it was HARD for them to be saved in all that great tribulation.
All of this Bible was written to THEM…and not us.
The Bible is Israel’s story of the law and the fulfillment of the law by faith in Jesus.
But nobody could have the Biblical faith in Jesus.
In the end the Bible ended….and the story is about man’s failure in following Jesus.
Most of the Churches in the 1st century failed during that great tribulation in AD70.
Acts 20 “29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. “
Matthew 24 “10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other…. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.”
2 Thessalonians 3 “3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
All of this ended in AD70.
The Bible story ended in AD70.
Today the Biblical faith does not exist.
We are saved by the grace and faith of Jesus.
Therefore we cannot lose salvation because its not based on our faith. If it was based on our faith then we will lose salvation because nobody has the faith to follow Jesus, carry the cross, etc.
In the end, the story of the Bible shows that only Jesus has the true faith, love, obedience, carrying the cross, endurance, grace, etc…
The Bible shows us that man cannot have faith in God/Jesus and cannot follow Jesus or fulfill the law, or carry the cross.
Man cannot do anything.
Only Jesus did everything for us.
He finished the work, He saves us by His grace.