There are basically two positions on this question. Some say the people in these verses were saved, but by falling away, lost their salvation. They support their view by observing that: (1) These people had a relationship with Christ; (2) they had escaped corruption; (3) they had since become entangled again, worse than before. They also see the tragic results as reasons why the New Testament warnings against falling away are so vital (see, for example, Gal 5:4; Heb 6:4–6).
Others disagree and see salvation as an irrevocable gift. They believe people can appear to be saved—they know about Jesus and that their lifestyles appear to improve. But this view concludes that such changes are merely superficial and that such people were never truly saved in the first place. Those who hold this position see a distinction between genuine Christians and those who merely dabble in Christianity for a time (see, for example, Ro 8:38–39; 1Jn 2:19).
A third view incorporates elements of both of these positions. This view says some people fall away because they were never sincere in their faith while others fall away because they neglected their faith. The dividing line in these various opinions seems to depend on one’s view of God’s grace: Are God’s promises irrevocable or do they depend on our response? Do we have eternal security in Christ or do we have conditional security in Christ? These questions may never be reconciled this side of heaven