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Thread: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

  1. #1
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    What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    You often times here people talk about believers falling away from the faith. Other phrases may be that these people are not enduring to the end, finishing the race, etc.

    How about we define what it means to fall away from the faith, and what exactly will be taking place in such a person when this happens. Is it a matter of too much sin? If so, how in the world would you quantify such a thing?

    Or, is it more a matter of how someone feels about sin? Basically the person's attitude toward sin.

    When it comes to our eternal position in Christ, how much is dependent upon what we do? I certainly do not advocate OSAS, but at the same time, how secure is our position in Christ really? Are we on shaky ground? At the same time, at what point are we getting into an "anything goes" kind of mentality? Where is the balance? Normally where there are extremes the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    Then there is the fear of God. Should we fear God? Certainly! However, should we fear Him in such a manner thinking that He will basically disown us as one of His children if we fail? At what point will God cut off one of His own? Or will He at all? There is a difference between fearing the awesomeness of God as opposed to living in fear thinking God is ticked off at you and is waiting for His opportunity to smite you into everlasting torment.

    Thoughts?
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    The best I can think of for the phrase "falling away" would be to forsake.

    Revelation 2:3-5
    3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

    Notice verse five and take comfort that we can return. Also the comfort in Hebrews



    Hebrews13:4-6

    5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, _ "Never will I leave you; _ never will I forsake you."[a] 6So we say with confidence, _ "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. _ What can man do to me?


    I liken it to a leaf falling from a tree on a calm day. It is no longer attached to the tree, exposed to the earthly things it once lived above.

    Unlike the leaf that can never return to the tree, by repentance, we are instantly reattached and live on (and sometimes even more firmly attached) as a part of the tree.

  3. #3
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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    "Falling away" is apostasy....from two Greek words, "apo," meaning "away" or "away from" and "Stasis", meaning "place" or "position" or "stance."

    Simply put,the word means a condition in which one intentionally abandons a previously held position.

    In context of the faith, it is used to describe one who was truly in the Body of Christ, but at some point, because of sin, chooses to reject the salvation offered by Christ and to no longer trust in that salvation. According to Hebrews, that person can never be reunited to the Body.

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    Quote Originally Posted by RabbiKnife View Post
    In context of the faith, it is used to describe one who was truly in the Body of Christ, but at some point, because of sin, chooses to reject the salvation offered by Christ and to no longer trust in that salvation. According to Hebrews, that person can never be reunited to the Body.
    If you don't mind, could you clarify your opinion here? Are you saying that at some point because of so much sin a person reaches a place where they no longer believe on Christ for salvation?
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post
    You often times here people talk about believers falling away from the faith. Other phrases may be that these people are not enduring to the end, finishing the race, etc.

    How about we define what it means to fall away from the faith, and what exactly will be taking place in such a person when this happens.
    Faith is simply affirming the propositions of the gospel message. The child of God is doing more than having faith, he or she is also loving God, fearing God, putting the kingdom of God first, forgiving others, loving the brethren, repenting, is a disciple of Jesus, persevers under trial, and remains humble. To fall away is to abandon all of that.

    Is it a matter of too much sin? If so, how in the world would you quantify such a thing?
    Repenting is one thing, changing behavior is another. It isn't as easy as it sounds and therefore we should cut each other some slack and not judge ourselves or others based on a snapshot of our life at the moment. Look at the long term progress instead.

    Or, is it more a matter of how someone feels about sin? Basically the person's attitude toward sin.
    Yes, this is a very large part of it. The child of God repudiates sin, mourns, tries to avoid it even when doing so would be painful or inconvenient, makes no excuses, and prays to be free of it. God isn't keeping score, he is working in our hearts to change our minds, attitudes, perspectives, and knowledge, not only about sin, but also about love.

    When it comes to our eternal position in Christ, how much is dependent upon what we do? I certainly do not advocate OSAS, but at the same time, how secure is our position in Christ really? Are we on shaky ground? At the same time, at what point are we getting into an "anything goes" kind of mentality? Where is the balance? Normally where there are extremes the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
    In Romans 8, Paul reminds his readers that we are no longer under a slave of fear anymore. This is encouraging to those of us who think we are walking on egg shells around God. Paul is trying to help us get over our fear of rejection and to have confidence that our failure is no obstacle to God saving us. Anyone with an "anything goes" mentality isn't a child of God in the first place.

    Then there is the fear of God. Should we fear God? Certainly! However, should we fear Him in such a manner thinking that He will basically disown us as one of His children if we fail? At what point will God cut off one of His own? Or will He at all? There is a difference between fearing the awesomeness of God as opposed to living in fear thinking God is ticked off at you and is waiting for His opportunity to smite you into everlasting torment.
    God never cuts off his own. We need to stop thinking of God as the grim reaper and start thinking of God as our coach, training us, working with us, evalutating our strengths and weaknesses and helping us improve.

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post
    If you don't mind, could you clarify your opinion here? Are you saying that at some point because of so much sin a person reaches a place where they no longer believe on Christ for salvation?
    Yes, sin will eventually lead to a place at which one consciously, intentionally refutes their salvation. You don't get saved by accident, and you don't reject your salvation by accident.

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post
    You often times here people talk about believers falling away from the faith. Other phrases may be that these people are not enduring to the end, finishing the race, etc.

    How about we define what it means to fall away from the faith, and what exactly will be taking place in such a person when this happens. Is it a matter of too much sin? If so, how in the world would you quantify such a thing?

    Or, is it more a matter of how someone feels about sin? Basically the person's attitude toward sin.

    When it comes to our eternal position in Christ, how much is dependent upon what we do? I certainly do not advocate OSAS, but at the same time, how secure is our position in Christ really? Are we on shaky ground? At the same time, at what point are we getting into an "anything goes" kind of mentality? Where is the balance? Normally where there are extremes the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    Then there is the fear of God. Should we fear God? Certainly! However, should we fear Him in such a manner thinking that He will basically disown us as one of His children if we fail? At what point will God cut off one of His own? Or will He at all?
    It certainly appears that He will if anyone does not continue to "standest by faith" and "continue in his goodness".

    Romans 11:20Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
    22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

    My understanding is that when it speaks of Gentiles being grafted in it's only believing Gentiles who were grafted in. People are grafted in by faith. Yet this says the ones who were grafted in could be cut off if they do not "continue in his goodness" which would have to do with continuing to have faith since verse 20 says "thou standest by faith" in contrast to those who were broken off "because of unbelief".

    So, to answer your question "At what point will God cut off one of His own?" it would appear that it would be at the point that the person decides to no longer believe. How exactly it can get to that point, I don't know, and I don't plan on trying to find out.

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    You have only to look at Israel to understand this falling away. Those to whom the word of God was entrusted changed its meaning and began to serve the law instead of the God of Whom the law testified. We have the same thing in modern Christianity. Changing the gospel from one of salvation by grace through faith a blood bought salvation into a social gospel a gospel of social justice and social equality. Or a gospel of changing mankind into a kinder gentler more civilized man by self improvement and making himself like God. I always see apostates as unbelievers trying to pass themselves off as beleivers. They use the bible (take it to church) but they do not believe the bible and they do not obey the bible.

    For the cause of Christ
    Roger

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    Quote Originally Posted by RabbiKnife View Post
    "Falling away" is apostasy....from two Greek words, "apo," meaning "away" or "away from" and "Stasis", meaning "place" or "position" or "stance."

    Simply put,the word means a condition in which one intentionally abandons a previously held position.

    In context of the faith, it is used to describe one who was truly in the Body of Christ, but at some point, because of sin, chooses to reject the salvation offered by Christ and to no longer trust in that salvation. According to Hebrews, that person can never be reunited to the Body.
    I understand what you are saying. It's been somewhat confusing to me when I look at Gods promise to us in Hebrews 13 verse 5 (in part)
    "Never will I leave you; _ never will I forsake you."

    It sounds to me that God can never forsake, but then never allow us to be reunited with Him is in direct conflict.

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    God doesn't forsake, but he honors our choice if we choose to leave.

    Why would God want someone to spend eternity with Him that didn't want to be there?

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    When our children were self-centered and acting like brats, when they were demanding that I do something THEY wanted done for no reason other than they wanted it - well, I would drag their sorry butts home. They CERTAINLY didn't want to be there. But they were my children.

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vhayes View Post
    When our children were self-centered and acting like brats, when they were demanding that I do something THEY wanted done for no reason other than they wanted it - well, I would drag their sorry butts home. They CERTAINLY didn't want to be there. But they were my children.
    You do that with your adult kids now?

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    No. They are adults. But any Christian who has had a relationship with Jesus Christ and then walks away can in no way be considered an adult. They are a child.

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    Says who? Adults do stupid, ridiculous stuff all the time.

    You think God wants to spend eternity with someone that doesn't want to be there with him?

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    Re: What Does It Mean To Fall Away?

    Quote Originally Posted by RabbiKnife View Post
    Says who? Adults do stupid, ridiculous stuff all the time.

    You think God wants to spend eternity with someone that doesn't want to be there with him?
    I think God will never allow a child of His to spend eternity away from Him.

    And I was determined i would never get involved in another one of these debates. Silly me. But I really do have to get to work. Thank GOD!!!!!!!!!!

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