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Thread: Eternal Security of the Believer !

  1. #136
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    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadgeteer View Post
    Roger, what wastes my time is when I put together meticulous discussions replete with Scriptural backing, and you just brush them aside. You brush aside both the discussions, and the Scriptures. If you would engage the verses cited, you would see a far different picture of God's perspective than "predestination".

    I may regret offering a reply point by point, for I don't want to go through a debate about interpretation -- but here are my thoughts to your 'points'

    [G-Man] 1. "Predestination" violates the essence of LOVE, which cannot demand its own way. God is love. But God is NOT love under that doctrine, for the majority --- He is HATE

    <RbG> This is interpretive on your part... God is the great I Am. And has revealed to us that He is also a jealous God. A holy God. A Name above all names. A God of vengeance. A God of Mercy and Grace. He declares His love for His Son, and through His Son, loves all who believes in Him. He declares that He loves Himself and what He has created, in a perfect way. We love not from within our selves, but because He first loved us.


    [G-Man] 2. Scripture says that God LEADS all men to salvation, but their response determines their own destinies.

    <RbG> More interpretive than factual. All men do not seek after God, do not comprehend the light, for they [we] enjoy darkness. This view declares that the power of faith lies within the man to comprehend and understand, when God declare that man does not nor cannot.


    [G-Man] 3. Scripture says God calls ALL men, gives the word-of-faith to EVERYONE, makes it possible for all to believe.

    <RbG> Interpretive. Scripture does declare that God desires for all men everywhere to repent and believe. The calling is open to the hearing of the Gospel thru those for whom God have given to preach it. The calling is an open call. Yet left to a man's sinful heart untouched, it is not a desire not responded to. [Romans 3]... Thus, God does not give all men the 'word-of-faith; for there are those who have died who never heard. And there are those who have heard and reject... equals n faith at all.


    [G-Man] 3a --- in the face of God sincerely opening salvation to all, and He patiently waits for all, and each man decides to love God or to love sin; even Jesus said this in Jn3:20-21

    <RbG> This position places God subservient to man's will thus lowers God under man's will to decide right form wrong. Salvation is never a decision, but a divine understanding that God has given Christ as one's savior from the penalty of sin.

    [G-Man] 3b --- ALL men are commanded to love God and to repent; "predestination" simply brushes this aside, thinking "NOT REALLY".

    <RbG> This is a mixed sentence with two disjointed statements trying to be connected as one. There will be a day coming that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord and God... Those who believe in this life will live forever in His presence, Those who reject him in this life will then be separated from Him forever. To Part B, this ignores the sovereignty of God in not having the knowledge nor the power to not only declare His future will as what the Prophets and Jesus Himself has stated will be. For example, not only did He tell His disciples that before he set's up His kingdom on this earth, He must die to rise again, but he also told Peter that he would deny Him in the hour when Jesus would be heading to death, for which Peter did not believe until it came to pass. God holds the future, He knows it, He has designed it, He brings it to be the past in accordance to His will.


    [G-Man] 4. We are warned time after time against DECEIVERS who can really deceive us away from Jesus

    <RbG> Guess what... we agree. The bible is replete of warnings of false teachers and false faith. Those for whom have the Spirit of God within, will hear or read and it will make sense and take to heart the warnings. Again, like your mother and father reminding you of how to drive in the snowy weather or to watch out for the deer where the country road has a history of interactions with cars that travel through, those warnings are to only those for whom the parents care for and have trained... thus those warning are valid.


    [G-Man] 4a --- we are warned against being deceived away from Jesus and eternal life by our own SIN

    <RbG> Another AMEN! See above!

    [G-Man] 4b --- we are warned against deception away from Jesus by demons and evil spirits

    <RbG> This one is a stretch for me, so will disagree based on who Christ is within a believer. He who is in me is greater than he who is within the world. These may be for those searching and not for those who are. For I think one of the misnomers many Christians have is to say that everything written is for me to apply...


    [G-Man] 4c --- these warnings are written as REAL, not mere hyperbole/effect-means-by-which-God-KEEPS-us


    <RbG> Agree Amen!

    [G-Man] 5. Time after time DILIGENCE is required of us to remain saved. Peter said it, Jesus said it, Paul said it often.

    <RbG> Make certain of your calling is so true... Self-examination is crucial... But that is not what I see you declaring G-Man, sorry to say... for you preaching against a part of the body of Christ that give salvation attribute of God keeping all those he has deemed His. But that diligence is not without it's place. That diligence is the evidence of one's salvation. You and Slug seem to say that a man will lose his salvation is he does XXXXX And the truth is, because one now sees where he is saved, by God's Spirit within him, works out his salvation that God has prepared for him to walk in. Salvation is not conditional when Christ is within the heart of the faithful, salvation is firm and secure - and is confirmed via testing. God gives a man faith;God tests for faith. Not that God does need to know, but for us who believe to be sure ourselves. If one's faith has never been tested, then my question would be make sure who know the metal of your faith, is of God or of your own heart?


    [G-Man] 6. We affect who will be saved, and who will not

    <RbG> We are share the gospel to any and everyone, and God calls all for who He wants to hear. If for some way God has purposed me to help another see His glory, then praise God. But I know it was not my words that were important, for it would be Christ within me to deliver the testimony to the ears of the prepared listener.


    [G-Man] 6a --- it is by OUR preaching that men can be persuaded to be saved, in multiple verses

    <RbG> God is the potter, I am the clay, the implement. I view that it is never my words that save, for who am I but a lowly sinner, saved by His Grace upon me. The God being sovereign in all things provide the wisdom that behind the 'freewill' actions of a man, lies the will of God in control. So I save no one. Jesus saves.


    [G-Man] 6b --- it can be by OUR bad choices that men who WERE saved, can be RUINED/DESTROYED/SHUT-OFF


    <RbG> Of all your dogmas, this is the one I disagree the most with... Flip Wilson in the 60s comedy show use to say 'the devil made me do it, honey'! If a man changes his heart, He never had a heart birth by God in the first place, and your bad choices are not held accountable for that 'man losing his faith'. You are held accountable for the bad choice you make, but God will hold each man accountable for what they do with Christ.

    [G-Man] 7. The whole doctrine of "predestination" founds on redefinitions and rewritings; "all" becomes "some", "free will" becomes "irresistibly-led-by-God", "responsible" becomes "God-sovereignly-controls".

    <RbG> I'm just the messenger, for God is what He states He is. He 'knows the beginning from the end'.

    Isaiah 46:9 "Remember the former things long past,
    For I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is no one like Me,
    10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
    And from ancient times things which have not been done,
    Saying, 'My purpose will be established,
    And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';

    All that you do, all that you think, is within the hands and knowledge of God... God reads all hearts, knows all thoughts, knows the day of your conception and the day of your death, and items in-between. There is nothing that is outside of God's will. All things work together for good. You fail to grasp the awesomeness and Power of our almighty God, if you deny just one point of His sovereignty. Thy kingdom on earth is coming. He has given us the signs of the season as to when. The future, just as the fulfilled past, will happen. You can either choose to believe this, or you can continue to reject it... for you cannot declare to me or yourself that there is nothing that God doesn't 1) know about you or 2) that you would do outside of God's will, whether it be for Good or for evil. So fear God, and love Him with all your heart!


    [G-Man] 8. The doctrine of "predestination" impugns God's character and nature, fully casting Him as causal in sin and fraudulent in judging, for really He has ordained and determined everything

    <RbG> G-Man, that is your understandings that are casting Him in that way. I can appreciate your sincere heart here... wrongly placed in my opinion. That has never been my beef - but with your views. My concern is that you are quick to judge other members of the body who give God attribute not only to His saving grace within our lives, but His sovereignty in the universe and the Glory He desires and deserves. I know you'd again with His glory comments, but to this point you have been blinded to think men must save themselves in endurance and also say that men can sin all they want if God saves them outside of themselves, which is also a misnomer.



    [G-Man] I neglected to add Scripture citations to these points, because I've cited them before --- can easily do so again if anyone wishes.


    <RbG> G-Man, I actually like what you wrote here because it's more from your heart than lecture... It's detailed enough to understand you, yet short enough that it's not a burden to pick and choose what to read and comment to. Thank you!



    [G-Man] You have a doctrine that you cling to tightly in your arms, and you're so sure of it that you won't consider critically verses that oppose it; either you brush them off, or consciously look for ways they don't mean what they seem to say.


    <RbG> Another misnomer on your part. No one here is defending a doctrine, just conveying the word of God as we understand it. As you may remember, I have never read one book of John Calvin until this year when another poster suggested a work, and have been called a Calvinist since I got here in 2006. I have to stand firm in my faith to the calling God has given me, yet I haven't yet charged you or Slug that you hold to a false doctrine as I and other have been so charged. I even offered you folks to walk through the Westminster confession of faith, with is a very common Protestant statement of faith, and would think we would agree to 90% of it understanding of scriptures as applied to what we all understand. But thus far no takers.


    [G-Man] No, it's the ignoring that wastes time; hopefully passers-by gain knowledge from the discussions, as they look up and ponder the verses that you will not.

    No intent to offend you, Roger.


    <RbG> If the goal is to show others one is right and the others are wrong, then that goal is not my objective... But if the goal is to Glorify God and to find a common love between us... I'm all in as my time permits. Again, I'm not interested in taking a point counterpoint to each of your tenets in a debate, trusting my honest reply will be recied for what it is.

    Blessings
    "Enter by the Narrow Gate...
    Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way...
    ... there are few who find it."


    -----------------------------------------------

    * All Scripture when quoted is taken from:

    The New American Standard Bible®,
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
    1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
    Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

    Italics, bold, color and/or underline are added for emphasis


  2. #137
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    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadgeteer View Post
    Very well --- then don't reply to this post, I'll answer it for "passers-by". If they fell BECAUSE THEY WERE ALWAYS ROCKY, then that is Calvinism, and God is CRUEL to let people joyfully believe when He's really MADE them rocky/sinful/hated/condemned!:-)
    Gadge, ... you did it. You finally did it! Rejoice. Rejoice. Rejoice. ... kinda like this:

    At last, the great gulf has been mended, and we are ALL reaching the unity of the faith. ... listen to those bells ringing! Ding Dong. Dong ding.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Love first, ... answer questions ... later ...

  3. #138

    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by Eyelog View Post


    Gadge, ... you did it. You finally did it! Rejoice. Rejoice. Rejoice. ... kinda like this:
    Eyelog, what did I say that I haven't consistently said all along?

    At last, the great gulf has been mended, and we are ALL reaching the unity of the faith. ... listen to those bells ringing! Ding Dong. Dong ding.
    Is it true that a woman was once horribly humiliated by her Wizard-of-Oz ringtone, when her forgotten cell phone rang in the middle of a funeral?

    "...Let us have a moment of silence in honor of this dear departed lady..."
    < ("Ding dong, the witch is dead, the wicked WITCH is dead!!!") >

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    You're not really kissing me, are you?

  4. #139

    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by Redeemed by Grace View Post
    I may regret offering a reply point by point, for I don't want to go through a debate about interpretation -- but here are my thoughts to your 'points'

    ...I'm not interested in taking a point counterpoint to each of your tenets in a debate, trusting my honest reply will be received for what it is.

    Blessings
    Hi, RbG. I really appreciate the time and trouble you spent on this post. I'd like to reply, specifically asking you for the reasons behind some of your understandings; and that on a lot of those points you posted.

    Are you willing?

    :-)

  5. #140
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    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadgeteer View Post
    Hi, RbG. I really appreciate the time and trouble you spent on this post. I'd like to reply, specifically asking you for the reasons behind some of your understandings; and that on a lot of those points you posted.

    Are you willing?

    :-)
    What would be your intended outcome? For it seems to me you have declared that you see yourself as enjoying debate and that you claim Jude to contend earnestly for the faith. So with that as background, I really don't see a point-counter-point banter bringing any value to the Gospel, particularly if you feel adversarial towards the reformed position folks on this board.

    Don't get me wrong, you are a nice guy and all, but I can't see a reasonable value being achieved at the end of the discussion... So just stating my thoughts to sit is good enough for me for the moment.
    "Enter by the Narrow Gate...
    Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way...
    ... there are few who find it."


    -----------------------------------------------

    * All Scripture when quoted is taken from:

    The New American Standard Bible®,
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
    1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
    Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

    Italics, bold, color and/or underline are added for emphasis


  6. #141
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    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    I havent read all the posts, but I will say that I believe in "conditional security". As long as we abide in Him, we are secure in Him. We are saved and kept by the power of God through faith, and it is He who is able to keep us from falling.

    a. To believe that we can live in unbelief, sin, and failure to abide in Him and be secure is a dangerous presupposition.
    b. To believe that we can stand on our own strength and to try to keep ourselves by the arm of the flesh will lead to falling over and over again. We need to learn to operate in the realm of the Power of God, by Grace through faith, just as an eagle soars on the wind. ( I heard a tiny slice of a sermon on TV, a few days ago that mentioned this metaphor, so I thought I'd borrow it.)

    Blessings.

    PS-

    Is it true that a woman was once horribly humiliated by her Wizard-of-Oz ringtone, when her forgotten cell phone rang in the middle of a funeral?

    "...Let us have a moment of silence in honor of this dear departed lady..."
    < ("Ding dong, the witch is dead, the wicked WITCH is dead!!!") >
    That was funny, Gadge!
    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.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  7. #142
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    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadgeteer View Post
    You're not really kissing me, are you?


    No. Gadge. That was an emoticon.

    Though 5 verses of scripture may recommend, or even command, holy kisses, that was not the intenion here.

    I will say, however, ... I did have some additional thoughts on the subject earlier ....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Eyelog; Nov 30th 2012 at 02:48 AM. Reason: BC some things are not better left said. LOL
    Love first, ... answer questions ... later ...

  8. #143
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    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by glad4mercy View Post
    I havent read all the posts, but I will say that I believe in "conditional security". As long as we abide in Him, we are secure in Him. We are saved and kept by the power of God through faith, and it is He who is able to keep us from falling.
    a. To believe that we can live in unbelief, sin, and failure to abide in Him and be secure is a dangerous presupposition.

    Hi G4M.... Think of a yard stick... does the left side of the stick ever touch the right side of the stick? Meaning does the 0" mark touch the 36" mark? With God in you, your heart changes as so does your desires, for He effects your walk with you, thus this condition you describe cannot be ----for the old man now with the new is just like the east is from the west


    b. To believe that we can stand on our own strength and to try to keep ourselves by the arm of the flesh will lead to falling over and over again. We need to learn to operate in the realm of the Power of God, by Grace through faith, just as an eagle soars on the wind. ( I heard a tiny slice of a sermon on TV, a few days ago that mentioned this metaphor, so I thought I'd borrow it.)

    Blessings.

    Exactly.... It is in Him that security rests
    "Enter by the Narrow Gate...
    Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way...
    ... there are few who find it."


    -----------------------------------------------

    * All Scripture when quoted is taken from:

    The New American Standard Bible®,
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
    1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
    Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

    Italics, bold, color and/or underline are added for emphasis


  9. #144
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    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Hi G4M.... Think of a yard stick... does the left side of the stick ever touch the right side of the stick? Meaning does the 0" mark touch the 36" mark? With God in you, your heart changes as so does your desires, for He effects your walk with you, thus this condition you describe cannot be ----for the old man now with the new is just like the east is from the west
    I believe that God changes the heart and desires in regeneration, yet we are still subject to temptations and make daily decisions as to whether to obey or disobey in many areas. Additionally, if we fail to abide near to God and grow in Him, we can become shortsighted, even to blindness, and forget that we were cleansed from our old sins. (2 Peter 1:9)

    It is possible for a Christian to fall into laxity, then laxity leads to sin, then sin leads to conviction of the Holy Spirit, then unheeded conviction leads to hardening, then hardening leads to chastening, then unheeded chastening leads to further hardening, then hardness left finally and totally unremedied leads to fiery indignation. Take it from a former prodigal son and a firebrand snatched from the fire. I went through all of that except the fiery indignation. Thank you, Lord.

    Therefore, I believe that God has abundantly supplied everything we need to stand and not fall, and that there is no reason why a person who truly believes should ever fall, but I stop short of saying that it is impossible to fall.
    Exactly.... It is in Him that security rests
    Amen.
    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.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  10. #145

    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by Redeemed by Grace View Post
    What would be your intended outcome?
    Both of us to accurately exegete Scripture, to properly understand what they meant. That our doctrine truly reflects Scripture.
    For it seems to me you have declared that you see yourself as enjoying debate and that you claim Jude to contend earnestly for the faith. So with that as background, I really don't see a point-counter-point banter bringing any value to the Gospel, particularly if you feel adversarial towards the reformed position folks on this board.
    Shouldn't be a question of how I feel, or how you feel; but what they wrote.

    Don't get me wrong, you are a nice guy and all, but I can't see a reasonable value being achieved at the end of the discussion... So just stating my thoughts to sit is good enough for me for the moment.
    That's why I asked --- if I respond, I would be asking you about what men can seek and pursue.

    And if we really can affect (that is, change) whether or not people believe. You said:
    Of all your dogmas, this is the one I disagree the most with... Flip Wilson in the 60s comedy show use to say 'the devil made me do it, honey'! If a man changes his heart, He never had a heart birth by God in the first place
    But I didn't say anything, I only quoted verses; verses which really do have words in them like "were-entering" and "stop/shut-off" --- and it says "ruin/destroy your brother for whom Christ DIED". So it's not me you're disagreeing with.

    And I would want to discuss your statement, Make certain of your calling. What I read, is "Make your calling and election/salvation FIRM/STEADFAST" --- which does not go well with the idea that God decides everything. We could go to the Greek, and perhaps a commentary or two (but not a Calvinistic commentary like MacArthur's) to see what the original intent really was. Can election be UN-STEADFAST?

    So just stating my thoughts to sit is good enough for me for the moment
    No, you did more than that --- you actually labeled my thoughts with words like "misnomers" and "interpretive"; so I should defend what I said.

    And "the power of faith lies within the man" --- yes, I do perceive that; how else can we understand Deut30 and Acts17? Didn't God put that "word-of-faith", that ability to believe, in every person? These things (and associated verses) I'd really like to discuss, to understand how you perceive them.


    ...I would really like to understand why you say "salvation is never a decision". Several verses spring to mind --- may we discuss them?

    Whaddya think?

  11. #146

    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by glad4mercy View Post
    I believe that God changes the heart and desires in regeneration, yet we are still subject to temptations and make daily decisions as to whether to obey or disobey in many areas. Additionally, if we fail to abide near to God and grow in Him, we can become shortsighted, even to blindness, and forget that we were cleansed from our old sins. (2 Peter1:9)
    This is an excellent post, Glad. Spot-on with what Peter said; and harmonizes with Eph4:22-24, which really teaches "be regenerated constantly".
    It is possible for a Christian to fall into laxity, then laxity leads to sin, then sin leads to conviction of the Holy Spirit, then unheeded conviction leads to hardening, then hardening leads to chastening, then unheeded chastening leads to further hardening, then hardness left finally and totally unremedied leads to fiery indignation. Take it from a former prodigal son and a firebrand snatched from the fire. I went through all of that except the fiery indignation. Thank you, Lord.
    I'm really glad you are a "returned son". :-)

    ...what you said also aligns with Hebrews3:6-14, James1:14-16, and many others...
    Therefore, I believe that God has abundantly supplied everything we need to stand and not fall, and that there is no reason why a person who truly believes should ever fall, but I stop short of saying that it is impossible to fall.
    "Impossible to fall" just wouldn't make sense with all of the warnings; they read as real dangers.

    You're right, a person "who truly believes" should never fall. The question is simply --- can true belief, ever turn into unbelief?

  12. #147
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    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    I believe in the possibility, but not the probability, of apostasy.

    For some reason, I don't see God issuing warning about things that cannot happen.

  13. #148
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    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by RabbiKnife View Post
    I believe in the possibility, but not the probability, of apostasy.

    For some reason, I don't see God issuing warning about things that cannot happen.

    You hit the nail on the head, and you did it clearly and concisely. Great post.
    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.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  14. #149
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    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Impossible to fall" just wouldn't make sense with all of the warnings; they read as real dangers.
    Absolutely correct.

    You're right, a person "who truly believes" should never fall. The question is simply --- can true belief, ever turn into unbelief?
    If we're not obedient, isnt that often due to unbelief in some manner? And it is evident that sin, if not repented of, will further corrupt the mind and heart, for where ever unrepentant sin is there is sure to be corruption and bondage, and darkness, as surely as fire creates smoke. Also, if sin is left unchecked, does it not spread? The little foxes end up spoiling the vine, don't they?

    Yet I am with Rabbiknife on this one, I agree final apostasy is possible, but not probable. It takes a final and deliberate rejection of Christ, and God has taken and is taking incredible measures to keep us from falling. I don't think anyone apostasizes accidentally. It only happens when people scornfully and carelessly disregard the repeated warnings and chastenings of God. How can a believer reach this state? Due to the fact that the human heart is capable of great evil, and must be guarded with all dilligence, and for no other reason.

    We dare not sin wilfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth...
    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.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  15. #150

    Re: Eternal Security of the Believer !

    Quote Originally Posted by glad4mercy View Post
    If we're not obedient, isn't that often due to unbelief in some manner?
    The concepts of "unbelief", and "disobedience", are used in Scripture interchangeably. It's so in Hebrews3:18-19, where in the same breath he says "disobedient" and then "unbelief".

    So to believe is to obey, and to obey is to believe.

    And it is evident that sin, if not repented of, will further corrupt the mind and heart, for where ever unrepentant sin is there is sure to be corruption and bondage, and darkness, as surely as fire creates smoke. Also, if sin is left unchecked, does it not spread? The little foxes end up spoiling the vine, don't they?
    Yes. As Jesus said in Jn8, "he who sins (repeatedly), is a slave to sin; so whom the Son sets free is free indeed."

    Yet I am with Rabbiknife on this one, I agree final apostasy is possible, but not probable. It takes a final and deliberate rejection of Christ, and God has taken and is taking incredible measures to keep us from falling. I don't think anyone apostasizes accidentally. It only happens when people scornfully and carelessly disregard the repeated warnings and chastenings of God. How can a believer reach this state? Due to the fact that the human heart is capable of great evil, and must be guarded with all diligence, and for no other reason.
    What do you think about all the "don't-be-deceived" verses? Take Heb3:6-14, and James1:14-16; we can be deceived by our own lust and sin to spiritual death and falling away from God. Col2:6-8 and 1Jn2:26-28 and 2Jn1:7-9 and 2Pet3:17 all speak of people able to deceive us away from Christ. 1Tim4:1 and 2Cor11:3 say that demons can deceive us away from Jesus. Then there are all the "save-yourself-by-diligent-perseverance verses like 1Tim4:16.

    In the face of all of those, do you really think it is so difficult to become unsaved?

    I love how Paul worded it in 2Tim1:12-14; God guards what we entrust to Him by faith, and we use the Spirit's power to guard the treasure of eternal life that He entrusts to us. In the middle of that is yet another "abide-in-His-teachings" warning.

    It doesn't sound so improbable to me, Glad.

    We dare not sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth...
    We dare not, if we continue in belief. But deception is a subtle and sneaky thing; it creeps in if we let down our diligence even a little. "Just a little bit can't be all wrong, why we're not really off the path it's only a small thing."

    One small thing leads to another small thing, until there are enough small things to amount to quite a large problem.

    What we should promote most, is spending time with God --- entering within the veil for each of us, that we fellowship with Him. The closer we are to Him, the more His heart becomes our heart, and the stronger we are against sin and deception.

    Yes Eph6 says we battle evil forces with armor (and we use those weapons in our lives constantly); but the internal battles are mostly won by not even being fought, but by clinging to HIM that His victory wrought on the Cross, becomes ours.

    But read Luke10:17-19, and don't focus on that; focus on verse 20 --- we rejoice not that demons are subject to us, but instead that our names are written in Heaven.

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