Q: Can Someone Who Used to Belong to a Cult Be Saved?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

In reference to Jude 22-23 (and other false-prophet, false-teaching, and apostasy verses), can someone who used to belong to and participate (teach) in a cult, like the Unity Church of Christ, truly repent and accept Christ as their Savior, or does the Bible say that they are forever lost, damned to Hell, and cannot be saved?

It is possible for a cult member to turn to Christ in faith. In fact, there have been entire cult groups who have recognized their errors and turned to orthodox Christianity. We should not give up on someone, even if they are a cult teacher. God is patient, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). So we should be patient too.

Now there is a time when, because of someone’s willful, obstinate rejection of Jesus Christ and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, that God will give a person over to his own desires, once and for all. As C.S. Lewis said, instead of that person saying to God “Thy will be done,” God will in effect say to that person, “Thy will be done.” In other words, “If you want to reject Me, fine; I will give you want you want.”

We know this is true because the Bible teaches it (Romans 1:18-32, Hebrews 6:4-8, 2 Thess. 2:8-12). When a person actually reaches this point, we ourselves have no way of knowing. In fact, we should never claim to know or speculate when or if this ever takes place in a person’s heart. We should always continue to pray for their salvation and continue to show God’s love by treating them with love and kindness while we try to correct their understanding.

However, I don’t think Jude 22-23 is specifically referring to this type of person, though. Jude spends the first 19 verses talking about these false teachers, but in verse 20 it seems like he shifts gears and begins speaking to the congregation about how they should handle their own members who may be doubting or confused, possibly even by the false teachers.

Convincing Proof