Re: Once saved, always saved?
Just clicking. I used to worry about "losing my salvation" if I sinned. I felt like if I messed up one more time, God might say, "That's it David, I'm through with you. It was almost like I was on probation. That all changed when I came to understand sonship and adoption. I have two daughters, and I can say truly that there is nothing that they can do that would make me stop loving them or change the fact that their my daughters. Now, it is true that they could disown me, or choose not to have a relationship with me if they chose to, ( of course they havent), but even if they did I would always be there for them if they wanted to come back. Very much like the parable of the Prodigal Son.
So my point is that we can walk away from God or abandon God, but He does not give up on us, at least not while were still alive. I also believe that if one is truly a child of God and falls into sin, God will discipline them with the rod of correction. Also,a true Christian can only be comfortable in an active state of rebellion against God by a long, deliberate rejection of God and hardening of heart. I have backslidden as a Christian and lived in a state of sin for a long period of time, but I never got comfortable in that condition. My conscience and spirit was grieved and troubled on a daily basis. Would I have perished if I died in that condition? I don't know. I do know that God was merciful to me. On the other hand, can a Christian use this mercy as a basis to think they can trifle with sin and get by? Of course not. It is doubtful that people who think like that are truly saved to begin with.
The Bible is clear that no liar, adulterer, fornicator, sorceror, etc. will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. If a person calls themselves a Christian and practices such things, they are deceiving themselves and need to repent. Now I practiced some of these things in my backslidden state, but God showed me mercy and pulled me out.
The belief that one can lose their salvation can be dangerous if taken too far because it removes the blessed assurance that we are kept by the power of God, and it can lead to too much emphasis on keeping ourselves in our own strength which can only lead to failure. The belief in once saved always saved can be dangerous if taken to far, because it can cause a false sense of security in those who are professing Christ, yet dabbling in sin. Both views when taken to the extreme can be hazardous. Both views are held by sincere, genuine Christians, one side emphasizes Divine Grace the other human responsibility. Both Grace and human responsibility are Biblical teachings, it just seems that some over-emphasize one to the exclusion or neglect of the other.
The bottom line to me is everyone who is in Christ and abides in Him is secure and there is no occasion of stumbling in them.
1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.