Question: I read your “Q&A” on “eternal security” and I’m still left with this nagging question: Can an individual who made a confession of faith in Christ come to a place where he ceases to believe?
Response: In the parable of the sower (Mt 13:18-23) we’re given examples of those who have opportunity for salvation. We believe the first example represents almost everyone in the world because no one leaves this world without being presented in some compelling way the hope of salvation. As Romans:1:20 states, “they are without excuse.” The analogy indicates that many are hardened against believing the gospel. The second example tells us that some will show a superficial interest in the gospel but that won’t last long. The third example relates to those who try to make the gospel fit their hope of salvation, which is man-made and worldly. Examples 1 through 3 did not believe the gospel. Only #4 presents an individual who truly believes the gospel and receives eternal life. Such a person then demonstrates (not gains) the reality of his salvation by showing some degree of growth and fruitfulness in Christ.
Run your question (“Can an individual who made a confession of faith in Christ come to a place where he ceases to believe?”) by the above. If the “confession” fits 1, 2, or 3 it’s an example in which the person never truly believed (1 Jn:2:19). It can’t fit in example #4 because in express contrast to the others there is no allowance for ceasing to believe.
If maintaining our faith for salvation were dependent on us alone none could be saved. But it is dependent upon the only One who could save us and only One who can keep us. For various reasons we may waver in our faith and have times of little fruitfulness, but sustaining our eternal security is something only God in Christ can do.