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Equipped_4_Love
Apr 28th 2008, 07:53 AM
So, I have been coming to this board for about a year now, and for the most part, I have learned much. Like much of the rest of my life, my spiritual walk has been a lonely one. I am not the most confident or mentally-balanced person in the world, and I am also not one to bother people with all of my doubts and concerns. Many of you may not know it, but by nature, I am extremely shy, and always feel like I am being a bother to people when I try to talk to them about my innermost doubts, and my relenting depression, so I find it's best to put on a happy face in front of my church family, and come here to resolve the things that I need to. Anonymity lends a certain comfort, and it's easier to unload when I am just another faceless IP# amongst the cyber-crowd.

In coming here, I have learned much, but some of the topics discussed have caused me to rethink my stance on several things which I thought my understanding was pretty clear on, but apparently not. One of those topics is that of OSAS. Before I started coming here, I held to the theory that a person can lose one's salvation, if that person backslides and falls into sin. After coming here, and reading the posts of many, though, I have sort of re-examined my stance, and find the OSAS stance to be a real possibility (although I am still not completely sure of where I stand on this).

Because of this line of thought, I have become greatly discouraged, and feel that I must work hard to prove to myself that I am truly saved. Please let me explain. I was raised in a Christian home, by a very Godly single mother. From a very young age, I remember feeling God's sweet presence in a very powerful and beautiful way...It was as though He took me into His arms and really connected with me in a paternal way, since my earthly father was pretty much absent. Also when I was young, I was given the gift of tongues. No one can refute that as a child I was truly saved...at least, that's what I thought until I started considering this whole OSAS position...now I'm not so sure. Not only that, but when I was 14, and my mom got cancer, I started really drifting away from God, until I had absolutely no relationship with Him whatsoever.

I backslid with a vengeance, and started engaging in some of the darkest sins imaginable, which led to my eventual mental breakdown and anguish. When I was deep in this pit of sin, there is no way that I was still saved. Now I am once again walking with the Lord, but I am wondering if it is a valid walk, and herein lies my dilemma.

If the OSAS doctrine is valid, then how do I know I was truly saved when I was young...and on that note, how do I know I am truly saved now? The fact that I was speaking in tongues makes me think that I was saved, but if a person is always saved, then was I saved when I backslid? Furthermore, how do I know I am truly saved now? If I wasn't saved back then, how do I know I am saved now...and if a person is always saved, how could I have done those horrific sins?!

Either I was saved when I was backsliding, or I was never saved in the first place...and if I was never saved in the first place, how do I know that I am saved now? How do I know I won't backslide again, and go further into sin....if I am not really saved, why go on?

Do you see the conclusion I am drawing from all of this? It seems impossible to know if I am truly saved. My salvation seemed so beautiful and real when I was young, but if I was never saved, then obviously the whole thing was a figment of my imagination, and if it was back then, how do I know that it isn't now?

Do you see my dillemma? With this in mind, I feel like I am under more pressure to "prove to myself" that I am saved; therefore, I am having to work very hard to keep in it. Because of this, everytime I stumble, I feel like perhaps this is a sign that I am not truly saved. Not only that, but I feel a constant pressure to continually keep in the Word...not so much because I need it, which I do, but I am so afraid that if I get out of it, I will become complacent, and will start to digress into my previous sinful state, which will completely prove that I was never saved in the first place.

I constantly beat myself up when I do stumble, and I find myself trying to "prove" that I am really saved...It's as though Christ's forgiveness isn't enough for me; after all, if I am not truly saved, then how do I know that I am forgiven? I am trying my best to rest on the promises of God, but I almost feel like this whole walk with the Lord, this closeness that I supposedly feel with Him, could be a complete delusion on my part, because in the end, only God knows if I am truly saved or not.

If OSAS is correct, how do I know I am truly saved now? I know that the Scripture says if I call upon the Lord, admit that I am a sinner, invite Him into my life, and trust in Him, that I am saved...but I did this when I was younger, and I ended up backsliding. How do I know that I won't do that again...and if I do, then this whole salvation experience is not valid, because I was never truly saved.

This whole thing is really starting to destroy my faith. Like this week, I was on vacation, and I determined that I was going to really seek the Lord, and delve into my Bible, but of course, I was spiritually lethargic, and didn't do it as I had determined I would. If I am truly saved, why didn't I have the discipline to do this?! It's not just the fact that I am not doing it...It's the fact that when I don't keep in the Word, I could so easily slip into sin again. I just know it. If I am a child of God, how could this be?!

I love the Lord with all of my heart, and I hope that he loves me, too, but if I am not truly saved, then this is all just a waste. I loved Him when I was younger, too....not only that, but some of the things that I feel God has inspired to me through my reading of the Word...well, it doesn't appear like they are correct a lot of the time, and if I am truly saved, how can I mistake the voice of the Lord like this?! I really don't feel like I'm a blessing to anyone...aren't Christians supposed to bless one another? Most of the time, I just feel like I annoy people.

Right now, I am at a very low place. It's as though I feel myself drifting from God, but even so, this isn't enough to motivate me to seek Him right now. I haven't prayed properly for about 2 days now...I didn't go to church last week, and the only reason I went this evening was because I had nuresery duty. You know the really sad thing?! Part of me doesn't even care. I feel myself drifting from God, and part of me just doesn't care, and the other part of me hates myself for hurting God like that, but what am I to do?! If I was never really saved in the first place, then this is bound to happen. I will eventually drift from God, and be back to the miserable, wretched person that I was before...and if that happens, I might as well not even live.

Can someone please tell me what on earth is going on?! Am I saved, or not?! If I am, then how do I know?! My faith is hanging by a thread here.

daughter
Apr 28th 2008, 08:28 AM
Hey, Cloudburst... the fact that your heart is breaking over this is proof, to me at least, that you are in fact saved. If you weren't saved, you woudn't feel a thing about any of this.

As for backsliding... people do backslide. David was annointed by God, king of Israel, author of some of the most amazing prayers ever - and he committed adultery and murder. Not only that, but he involved others in his sins.

But God didn't let go of him, even though He let him fall into a deep dark place. Perhaps David needed to fall to realise his utter dependancy on God.

I'm not saying that you don't need to keep growing closer to God, I'm not saying that God isn't going to lead you into greater and deeper truths. But I am saying that it is possible for a saved person to sin, and sometimes to sin quite horrendously, and still be saved.

Remember, no less a person than the apostle Paul says, "that which I want to do I do not do, and that which I do not want to do, that I do do!" (Something like that anyway.) Basically, he's bewildered that he loves God and still sins.

I think perhaps you are entering a time of spiritual growth, and God is preparing you for a deeper revelation. This may well hurt, growing pains always do. But you will need to cry out and pray to Him. I'll pray for you too.

Brother Mark
Apr 28th 2008, 10:36 AM
It always goes back to grace and trust in Him. We are never taught to examine what occurred before as in examining an experience. We are taught to examine the fruit of our salvation. You were deep in sin, yet you came out of sin. That is pretty good fruit. Even so, on my best day, I need God's grace to enter in and on my worst day, I need God's grace. One of the most comforting scriptures I have ever read is this one...

Luke 18:13-14
13 "But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' 14 "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other
NASB

When feelings of great unworthiness grip me, I fall back on this passage that reveals the heart of God. A man of great sins I am. But God is a great forgiver.

HisLeast
Apr 28th 2008, 02:11 PM
Its funny that you attribute the "OSAS" school of thought to your rocky road. I haven't experienced doubt and confusion so powerfull as when I arrived here a few years back and heard the n-OSAS camp.

Brother Mark
Apr 28th 2008, 02:15 PM
The biggest key to getting passed doubt, is to focus on God's character instead of our own. We will fall short. But God, he never falls short of his word. He amazes me with how he upholds me by his right hand. When I wanted to quit, I could not. God kept me and I don't know how he did it. But he did it.

Ps 73:21-24

21 When my heart was embittered,
And I was pierced within,
22 Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before Thee.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with Thee;
Thou hast taken hold of my right hand.
24 With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
NASB


I became like a beast before God. Yet still he held me with his right hand.

*Living~By~Faith*
Apr 28th 2008, 03:36 PM
I don't have anything to add to this, but I just wanted you to know that I'm right there with you. I could have written most of what you said myself. We're down in the valley right now, but if we just keep our eyes focused on the Lord, then we'll be back up on the mountain in no time.

th1bill
Apr 28th 2008, 04:16 PM
If the OSAS doctrine is valid, then how do I know I was truly saved when I was young...and on that note, how do I know I am truly saved now? The fact that I was speaking in tongues makes me think that I was saved, but if a person is always saved, then was I saved when I backslid? Furthermore, how do I know I am truly saved now? If I wasn't saved back then, how do I know I am saved now...and if a person is always saved, how could I have done those horrific sins?! .. Let's begin at the beginning. You said that as a child you were saved, that statement requires clarity. If you made a profession of faith in God, knowing that you were a sinner, you, very possibly were saved and just backslid. If you did not realize your sinful state and just went through the motions, even if you were baptised, all you did through the entire process was to get wet.
.. If the latter were true, you were safe, not saved, because you had not reached that, somewhat hard to define, age of responsibility and God would have been felt by you because of that condition.
.. Now, the big argument. Speaking in tongues is not "the" mark of salvation although it ids taught as such in some churches. Speaking in tongues is far to often the result of peer pressure and has no connection with God at all in these cases.


Either I was saved when I was backsliding, or I was never saved in the first place...and if I was never saved in the first place, how do I know that I am saved now? How do I know I won't backslide again, and go further into sin....if I am not really saved, why go on?.. Knowing that you are saved is a simple enough matter. In a very private place, a closet, confess to God, no one else needs to know, the sins you remember and ask for His forgiveness and His salvation. Then read two verses of scripture and remember them until we see you in Heaven, Romans 10:9 &10 and 1Jon. 5:13. That will settle the issue for all eternity. As for "why go on?" That will be because you are so in love with your LORD that you cannot live without Him.


Do you see my dillemma? With this in mind, I feel like I am under more pressure to "prove to myself" that I am saved; therefore, I am having to work very hard to keep in it. Because of this, everytime I stumble, I feel like perhaps this is a sign that I am not truly saved. Not only that, but I feel a constant pressure to continually keep in the Word...not so much because I need it, which I do, but I am so afraid that if I get out of it, I will become complacent, and will start to digress into my previous sinful state, which will completely prove that I was never saved in the first place.What I see more than anything else is that you've failed to close the back door and Satan is attaking you, full scale.


I constantly beat myself up when I do stumble, and I find myself trying to "prove" that I am really saved...It's as though Christ's forgiveness isn't enough for me; after all, if I am not truly saved, then how do I know that I am forgiven? I am trying my best to rest on the promises of God, but I almost feel like this whole walk with the Lord, this closeness that I supposedly feel with Him, could be a complete delusion on my part, because in the end, only God knows if I am truly saved or not.
My best answer for you is to stop living by what any of us have to say and begin to read your Bible for 15 minutes every day and to pray, constantly. You do not have to fall on your face and close your eyes to talk to God, He hears your every thought.

If OSAS is correct, how do I know I am truly saved now? I know that the Scripture says if I call upon the Lord, admit that I am a sinner, invite Him into my life, and trust in Him, that I am saved...but I did this when I was younger, and I ended up backsliding. How do I know that I won't do that again...and if I do, then this whole salvation experience is not valid, because I was never truly saved.
.. No one knows that they will not backslide in the future and not having your father to be close to you caused you to miss a very important lesson about love. As I grew I made a lot of serious mistakes and my dad often took strengent measures to correct my cours in life but he never, not once, stopped loving me. Once I realized my error and asked him, he always forgave me in love. God will do the same for you and being more mature now, you will make better decisions now because you are more knowledgable of the truth.


This whole thing is really starting to destroy my faith. Like this week, I was on vacation, and I determined that I was going to really seek the Lord, and delve into my Bible, but of course, I was spiritually lethargic, and didn't do it as I had determined I would. If I am truly saved, why didn't I have the discipline to do this?! It's not just the fact that I am not doing it...It's the fact that when I don't keep in the Word, I could so easily slip into sin again. I just know it. If I am a child of God, how could this be?!

I love the Lord with all of my heart, and I hope that he loves me, too, but if I am not truly saved, then this is all just a waste. I loved Him when I was younger, too....not only that, but some of the things that I feel God has inspired to me through my reading of the Word...well, it doesn't appear like they are correct a lot of the time, and if I am truly saved, how can I mistake the voice of the Lord like this?! I really don't feel like I'm a blessing to anyone...aren't Christians supposed to bless one another? Most of the time, I just feel like I annoy people.
.. The main purpose of a Christian is to lead others to the LORD and that means we make ourselves available to be annoyed. We just need to nurture your faith, that's all.

Right now, I am at a very low place. It's as though I feel myself drifting from God,
No one can force you to seek God, that is a choice you must make on your own.

RoadWarrior
Apr 28th 2008, 04:54 PM
...

Can someone please tell me what on earth is going on?! Am I saved, or not?! If I am, then how do I know?! My faith is hanging by a thread here.

I'm going to take a wild guess here ... but I'll bet you are spending more time reading these threads about doctrines of man, than you are spending in the Word of God.

Spend some time in the Psalms.

I saw another thread you started, that you need a hug. Here is a great big one for you. :hug: :hug: :hug: Okay that was 3!

I'd like to share more with you about my own journey, it was pretty bumpy as well. But somehow there was a still small voice in the back of my head that said He never left me ....

Keep this thread going, Cloudburst, and I'll get back to you. I have some things I must go do right now.

RobbieP
Apr 28th 2008, 05:12 PM
Cloudburst,
I dealt with a similar issue over the past two years. The Lord has brought me to many lessons that have helped me get past my past!

First of all- believe the Lord-I am currently in a study that explains that your thoughts will bring you to wonderful or horrible places. You need to control them..and seek God in all your thoughts. If you do not believe what God says you are showing unbelief ...You obviously have faith -believe what He says in all things..

Hosea- The Lord brought me to that Book when I was at a very low point in my worries. Read through it- it shows He forgives abundantly if we seek Him...

Chistian friends- He brought me some very strong Christian friends that helped me with scripture and the love of true Christians. Pray the Lord will do the same for you...you need somebody that will take your circumstances seriously and hold you accountable

Prayer- Pray that He will remove your doubts and that He keep a hedge of protection around you from Satan..Satan is lying to you--Pray that he be gone "In Jesus's name".....God loves you , He forgives

Sometimes we think it is so horrible that there is no way He can forgive and we wallow in our own self condemnation......don't do it...
Make a conscious decision to believe the Lord...find the verses that will help and memorize them...

Notice your BLESSINGS!---see how He is blessing your faithfulness- do not discount where you have come from to where you were...That was Him!

I almost took it like a goal to just get past it....There is no way the Lord is blessing my faithfulness if He has not forgiven....He has forgiven me and I praise Him daily for being my true Father ..

Praying for you...I understand your burden .....trust Him...He'll take it...

:hug:

Souled Out
Apr 28th 2008, 05:42 PM
Cloudburst, I smile :) at your post because the sure sign of a man drawing nearer to God is when he asks too many of the right questions.

The man knows the answers but is either 1) afraid to verbalize them as theyíre different from what he currently believes or 2) heís afraid to take a stand, or 3) he's allowing the influences outside of him to ring louder than the influence on the inside of him. You can either accept the answers or put them on a shelf to be reconsidered later. It really is up to you.

In the meantime you risk perishing because of a lack of knowledge.

My heart is filled for you, brother. :hug:

There is so much that can be said but wonít be in this post. No amount of scripture quoting will ease the battle thatís going on inside your mind unless it is received with the love that the Father has for you. The words will be dead unless you lean on your relationship with Him who is able to impart life to you with those words and help you with what youíre going through.

Your battle is in your mind, not your heart. Your heart is where God chose to live and speak to you, not your mind. Thatís why your most precious times and memories with Him reside there. Guard your heart.

Godís deposited a lot there and we are to lean on, trust in, and be confident in Him with all our heart and not rely on our own understanding (or the understanding of others) of Him.

What He put in your heart is in good measure FOR YOU not against you. That treasure is meant for you to live off of. You are not as poor as you are projecting.

God knows whatís wrong. He weighs all things and when He examines you, He does not judge you according to your sins, and He knows all about your doubts, fears and battles.

Every one of us has gone through what youíre going through. That's why your cry is that of every man. As a matter of fact the battle you (and countless others) deal with is the same one David (a man after God's own Heart) went through constantly. It was David who said, "Do not take your Holy Spirit from me." The fact is David, despite his doubts and his sins, never experienced God leaving Him, though he feared it at times.

In the end it was through David that we received the Messiah, even though David was far from perfect. Do you think God expects more from you than He did of David?

Itís in the times of our greatest need that we are to enter His grace. Itís in our times of fear when we are to come to Him and itís in our times of weakness that we are to rejoice in Him. He is God and God is Love. He is not the author of confusion.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No matter what youíve done, youíve got to know without a shadow of a doubt that you are forgiven and loved by Him. You need to settle that fact on earth as itís already settled in heaven. If you don't settle this you are in for a world of hurting.

In spite of your faults, His love and acceptance of you has never changed one iota. Believing anything else will torture and torment you and no amount of encouraging words will help. The only thing that grieves Him is what you are doing to yourself right now over a past that Heís not holding against you.

Fear is faith in evil. If you ask God for faith, why should He give you more when you put it all into fear?

Donít squander the faith He gives because He gives it to you so that it can be put into good things. Donít put in the wrong ground because wherever you put that seed is where your harvest will be. Donít put faith in fear and doubt unless you want more of the same.

Look at Adam. He doomed the whole world and if God went looking for him, not in condemnation because he sinned (imagine that!), but because Adam was in need. How much more do you think God will seek and comfort you in your time of need?

Love and relationship are not that hard, but it will be if we make it so. Christ came so that we can have life and have it to the full. If we're not experiencing that then something is terribly wrong and we're not yet living the life He sacrificed to give.

Realize that God does not want your religion, He wants you so that He can love you like you've never been loved before.

Partaker of Christ
Apr 28th 2008, 06:24 PM
Php 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Hi Cloudbust!

I can relate to having knowing God, and His sweet presence in my life, at a very young age. I can also relate to having backslidden later on. Although I had not stopped believing in Christ, I went and lived a very sinful and shameful life, for many years. My problem was, that I believed that I was a good man, with a good heart. My sins were forgiven, but I thought they were not that bad. On the surface, I was a good son, a good friend, a good neighbour, a good husband, a good father. What more could God ask?

I guess like the unmerciful servant. Although the King had forgiven him his debt, he gladly received the pardon, but he thought it no real big deal, because had the King been patient, he would have had the means to pay back the debt. Had no real concept of how big a debt he owed the King. So there would have been no real change in his heart. No pierced through the heart change, so the joy would be short lived, and the grace would have not taken any deep root.

Luke 7:47 "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."

Oh how far and how easy we can all fall.
We may know something of God, but we do not know our true selves.

Deu 5:26 For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
Deu 5:27 Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.
Deu 5:28 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spoke unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.

Deu 5:29 O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!

How can we love much, if we have not been forgiven much?
How can we love Him, except that He loved us first?
How can we keep His commandments, except we love Him?

God has a perfect will, but I believe He also has a 'permitted' will.
I believe He allows certain things to happen, so that we will get to know ourselves. How totally wretched we really are, and how so utterly we are daily dependant on Him, on His Grace and His mercy.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

aaalynn
Apr 28th 2008, 06:39 PM
One of my favorite verses in the bible is Luke 15:11-32, its the story of the prodigal son. You said you grew up in a christian home so you probably already know it.

It is so awesome to me that our God takes us back even when we turn and go our own way. As long as you are repentive and truly believe that God is who he said he is, He will NEVER let you go!

Thats what I believe anyway. You have nothing to fear, I think satan loves to make us question our salvation.

Ill be praying:pray:

Saved7
Apr 28th 2008, 08:29 PM
I love the Lord with all of my heart,


there it is, the most important command. You've fulfilled it, so why worry, just keep on lovin Him, and TRUST Him...He's got you.:hug::saint:

torazon
Apr 28th 2008, 09:03 PM
While this board is a great resource and many here are fantastic folks to fellowship with, you need to remember that the only one you can really trust is God / The Word. I do not believe for a second that anyone can lose their salvation. Saying you could lose your salvation would be suggesting Christs work on the cross was not enough to cover all our sins and somehow you were bad enough that you lost your salvation. BALONEY! I would simply question whether or not a person was ever saved in the first place, but only God knows that for sure. But theres a whole other thread on that topic that has gotten ridiculous in my opinion, which unfortunately has caused people that are already depressed to suffer further. Don't waste your time reading it!

Anyone that never struggles or claims to never have doubts about their salvation is most likely not saved. Ask any honest pastor and they will admit their human weaknesses to you. Trust me you are not alone in your battle / struggles. I have good days and bad days with my "feelings". The Bible tells us not to trust or rely on our feelings or flesh as they CAN and WILL deceive us.

Again only God knows your heart 100% but I seriously doubt you would care so much if you were not really his child. Maybe you should take a break from certain sections of this board and focus on prayer / praise and the Word.

I will be praying for you.

RoadWarrior
Apr 28th 2008, 10:02 PM
While this board is a great resource and many here are fantastic folks to fellowship with, you need to remember that the only one you can really trust is God / The Word. I do not believe for a second that anyone can lose their salvation. Saying you could lose your salvation would be suggesting Christs work on the cross was not enough to cover all our sins and somehow you were bad enough that you lost your salvation. BALONEY! I would simply question whether or not a person was ever saved in the first place, but only God knows that for sure. But theres a whole other thread on that topic that has gotten ridiculous in my opinion, which unfortunately has caused people that are already depressed to suffer further. Don't waste your time reading it!

Anyone that never struggles or claims to never have doubts about their salvation is most likely not saved. Ask any honest pastor and they will admit their human weaknesses to you. Trust me you are not alone in your battle / struggles. I have good days and bad days with my "feelings". The Bible tells us not to trust or rely on our feelings or flesh as they CAN and WILL deceive us.

Again only God knows your heart 100% but I seriously doubt you would care so much if you were not really his child. Maybe you should take a break from certain sections of this board and focus on prayer / praise and the Word.

I will be praying for you.

Torazon, you said some good things here, but the bit I underlined is where I think the problem is ... the side teaching of OSAS is that if someone appears to be in sin, then "they were never saved in the first place."

This is what I hear Cloudburst struggling with. Whether or not salvation actually took place when she was a child.

Cloudburst, I want to assure you that what you are experiencing is not at all unusual for Christians. I am one who loved the Lord as a child, was baptized when I was 13 years of age, and then swiftly got into the grips of sin. I kept trying to believe, and failing. It was not until I was past age 50, that someone began to teach me the basics of Christianity, and how to walk the saved life.

Being saved is not a "magic wand" being waved over you and then you live happily and sin-free ever after. Nor is it a "ticket to heaven" then you can do whatever you want. IMO, it is a first step on a journey toward God.

My encouragement to you is that you spend some time in prayer, cry out to God, ask Him to show you what is your foundation. I had to do this once, and felt that everything got scraped away, and there was Jesus. He is the foundation. With all the garbage of false doctrines scraped away from my thought patterns, He could start anew to build a true faith in my heart and mind.

When all else fails, Jesus does not fail. He is the one who promised, He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.

Even though the hounds of hell come nipping at you, Jesus does not depart from you. If you turn your eyes and your heart to Him, put your focus on Him, He will help you to defeat the hounds. When He is LORD in your life, when the focus is on Him, those other things fade into the background.

:hug:

ilovemetal
Apr 28th 2008, 10:41 PM
hey cloudburst.

all i can say is don't worry about the past...because it's in the past. and as for right now, i think you think other people might not sin as much as you...but as these posts have said, we all sin. live for the present.

the fact your seeking is a good sign. many of us have been in that boat. but i can say if you keep on track you will previal.
anyways. i will pray for you. don't forget to take a step back from life. take some alone time. i love alone time. i need alone time or else i fall into sin.

ok. heart you!
kev

pepsi33
Apr 29th 2008, 12:12 AM
Dear Cloudburst,
When you said you don't feel like youare a blessing to anyone, you are wrong! you are a blessing to many because it is admirable that you are so worried and concerned about getting closer to God and not wanting to sin. When others see that, wheather Christians or not, it is a good thing to see and helps others to keep themselves in check. You are also a blessing b/c you simply are, and because many people can relate to what your going through and it makes them realize they are not alone. Whenever i voice my concerns similar to yours to my boyfriend he always says "if you really didn't care then why would you be constantly worrying about it?" and God knows that you care and that you love him. Read the Bible and trust in God's love.

torazon
Apr 29th 2008, 01:28 AM
Torazon, you said some good things here, but the bit I underlined is where I think the problem is ... the side teaching of OSAS is that if someone appears to be in sin, then "they were never saved in the first place."



You are right, I should have elaborated more, thank you for correcting me.

Cloud - I really hope you can get yourself together with other believers face to face. This board is great and all but nothing replaces in person encouragement from fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. If I didn't live in Ohio I would come talk with you myself ;)

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 29th 2008, 01:57 AM
Hi, everyone;

I want to thank you all for your responses, and all of your advice. I think the thing that helped me the most is seeing that you all seem very sure about your salvation...You seem very confident that you will finish the race victoriously, which I guess is my main concern here.

Many of you said that it doesn't matter what I did in my past, and with that I agree...the problem, though, has less to do with my sinful past than being sure that I am completely saved for good.

I know that God forgives sins abundantly...this is not the problem. I also know that it doesn't matter what I did in the past, because Christ's death is sufficient. The problem is not that I was a sinner. The problem is knowing whether or not I was truly saved from the beginning.

If OSAS is a valid doctrine, then the only way by which I can make sense of it is...if God does not take away a person's salvation, and that person dies in sin, then the only reasonable alternative is that God never gave that person salvation in the first place, because He knew what state they would eventually die in. This is the only way I can justify the Scriptures that say sorcerers (drug abusers) and fornicators shall not enter the Kingdom of heaven. If a person is a fornicator, and a drug abuser, he can claim Christ all he wants, but this doesn't necessarily mean he is under the blood of Christ.

When I was backslidden, I was both of these things...and more. So, then, if OSAS is correct, are you saying that if Christ had come while I was abusing drugs, or sleeping around, that I would've been raptured, along with the other saints who were actually walking with the Lord? I don't think so.

If this is the case, then that only leaves one possibility...that I was never saved in the first place, even when I was a young girl. Perhaps it was all just delusional, which isn't that much of a stretch. I did hear voices in my head, and other strange things, when I was young. I was always afraid of demons...thought they were in my house. So, then, you see how it is possible that I was never truly saved? Perhaps I was just a disturbed young girl.

If this is the case, then how should I reconcile my current salvation with my lack of salvation when I was younger? If, for some reason, I fall into sin...and God doesn't revoke a person's salvation...then that obviously means that He never gave it to me in the first place, because He knew that I would fall back into sin. This would also lead me to believe that I am not truly forgiven, because God doesn't forgive those who are not His children.

So, then, do you see what I am talking about when I say I have to put forth extra effort to ensure myself that I am truly saved? It's as though I must constantly struggle to keep this fire going, so that I do not become complacent, as this is what led to my downfall in the first place.

His_Least...I find it interesting that you stated that the OSAS school of thought actually helped you in your Christian walk. This theory has actually done just the opposite for me...leaving me with a lot of doubt. If this theory is correct, then not everyone who professes Him today will be saved in the end. I realize that it is the same thing with the NOSAS theory, but the thing that worries me about OSAS is the fact that not everyone who thinks they are walking in the Spirit actually have the Spirit.


The truth is, we don't know the condition of any person's heart. A person could genuinely love the Lord, and somehow stray from Him, as I did. This worries me, because God is the only one who truly knows my heart...not only today, but tomorrow. He is also the only one who knows the spiritual condition that I die in....and if for some reason I die apart from Him, and if OSAS is correct, then in the here and now, I am not truly saved.

This would make my present relationship with Him a delusion. Remember the story of Samson? He believed that the Holy Spirit was still with him, even after it departed. This seems to indicate that it is possible for a person to think God is with them, when in actuality He is not...and if for some reason I was never saved in the first place, then obviously, this would be the case.

At least when I held the NOSAS theology, I could be sure of my salvation, because I could determine it by how I was walking in the present...but if the Lord knows how I will die, and saves me accordingly, then how do I know my actual condition in the present...wether I am saved or not?!

It has nothing to do with feelings...It has to do with a line of reasoning that just seems so fatalistic and discouraging. If OSAS is true, then how is salvation meted out? It appears that a person can think he/she is a Christian, and not be truly saved, which indicates to me that the Holy Spirit was never in or upon that person.

How sad, and I truly hope I am not one of those people.

This is what is disturbing me...the fact that I could think I am a Christian, and in reality, have the Lord be absent.

Not only that, but having struggled in the past with bipolar disorder, I understand what it is to not be completely sure of one's mental state. Perhaps I am not truly saved, but just think I am, because of my past mental illness.

I just wish there was some way to be completely sure, you know?!

Brother Mark
Apr 29th 2008, 02:04 AM
1 John was written so we could be sure. You may want to read it.

I would encourage you to focus, not so much on your experiences in the past, but on what the word says. Is your faith in your faith? Is your faith in your ability to endure? Where is your faith centered? Are you going to trust God to do as he says he will do? Or are you resting in your ability to know and see?

Go back to the publican who would not lift his eyes towards heaven, but simply placed himself upon the mercy of God. He said "God be merciful to me a sinner" and Jesus said that man went away justified. Can you rest in the promise of Christ and how he treats a man who places himself upon the mercy of God?

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 29th 2008, 02:14 AM
1 John was written so we could be sure. You may want to read it.

I would encourage you to focus, not so much on your experiences in the past, but on what the word says. Is your faith in your faith? Is your faith in your ability to endure? Where is your faith centered? Are you going to trust God to do as he says he will do? Or are you resting in your ability to know and see?

Go back to the publican who would not lift his eyes towards heaven, but simply placed himself upon the mercy of God. He said "God be merciful to me a sinner" and Jesus said that man went away justified. Can you rest in the promise of Christ and how he treats a man who places himself upon the mercy of God?

But if OSAS is correct, than this promise is obviously not for everyone...only those who endure the race victoriously. So far, my track record isn't all that great Mark.

Believe me, I understand what you are saying...and I can definitely see myself as the publican here, but the Bible also says that the heart of man is deceitfully wicked. I am deceitfully wicked.

I'm sorry to bring all of this gloom and doom stuff to the table. Is there anyone out there who can tell me that perhaps I am misinterpreting this whole OSAS thing?! PLEASE, someone tell me I am reading too much into it.

Brother Mark
Apr 29th 2008, 02:19 AM
But if OSAS is correct, than this promise is obviously not for everyone...only those who endure the race victoriously. So far, my track record isn't all that great Mark.

Neither is mine CB. Look at this verse and tell me, did Jesus come for the people who have their act together?

Matt 9:12-13
12 But when He heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 "But go and learn what this means, 'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,'for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
NASB



Believe me, I understand what you are saying...and I can definitely see myself as the publican here, but the Bible also says that the heart of man is deceitfully wicked. I am deceitfully wicked.

That is why it is important not to look to your own heart, nor to your own ability to endure. Instead, look to Him! See Him as the source of all that is good in your life. See Him as the one who you rest in. Your heart cannot be trusted. But his heart can be trusted. Rest in what he did, not in what you will or won't do.


I'm sorry to bring all of this gloom and doom stuff to the table. Is there anyone out there who can tell me that perhaps I am misinterpreting this whole OSAS thing?! PLEASE, someone tell me I am reading too much into it.

You are reading way too much into CB. You have taken your eyes off Christ and put them squarely on your ability to endure. It is not your works that will save you. It never has been. Rest in Christ to keep you. Trust in Him to hold you in his hand. Rest in Him and not in your own ability.

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 29th 2008, 02:28 AM
Thank you...I'm going to meditate on all of this tonight. I just wish there was some way that I could be sure that I am truly saved.

I just don't understand....if a person cannot lose their salvation, then obviously, there are some who never gained it in the first place....i.e. those who backslid because they were never saved.

Mark....I will read that chapter that you quoted. I have already read it several times, but I will read it again.

Brother Mark
Apr 29th 2008, 02:32 AM
I just don't understand....if a person cannot lose their salvation, then obviously, there are some who never gained it in the first place....i.e. those who backslid because they were never saved.

This is where trust really comes in. God, I am not worthy of salvation. I am not worthy of anything you have ever given me. If not for your mercy, I will not get in. Like you, I despise my sin. Please be merciful to me.

Did God ever not answer that cry of the heart? Sometimes, there are many things we don't understand. At this moment in time, your mind is being tormented and you are crying out for help. The enemy is telling you all about how wicked you are and have been and how easily deceived you can be. He is telling you the worst about yourself and many of us know how bad we can be. When I look inward, if I am not careful, I can see some of the deepest, blackest things imaginable to man. Only in the grace and mercy of Jesus do I stand a chance. I rest not in my understanding, nor in my knowledge, nor in my ability to stay on the straight path. I rest squarely in what he offered for me and in his merciful heart.

RoadWarrior
Apr 29th 2008, 03:16 AM
... Is there anyone out there who can tell me that perhaps I am misinterpreting this whole OSAS thing?! PLEASE, someone tell me I am reading too much into it.

You are reading too much into it. This is one of those doctrines that is fallible. You cannot find this phrase in the Bible "once saved always saved" - it is not in there. So it becomes a construct of man, piecing things together in an attempt to make the Bible teachings small enough to comprehend with the human mind.

Maybe some of these verses will comfort you, and give you hope. I believe that the overall teaching of salvation has three parts:

an event (surrendering your life to Him)
a process (living it out day by day)
an ultimate victory (being with Him in the end).

Acts 2:47
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. NKJV

1 Corinthians 1:18
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. NKJV

2 Corinthians 2:15
15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. NKJV

Matthew 10:22
22 ... But he who endures to the end will be saved. NKJV

Mark 16:16
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. NKJV

John 10:9
9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. NKJV

Acts 11:14
14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.' NKJV

Acts 16:31
31 So they said,"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." NKJV

Romans 10:9
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. NKJV

1 Corinthians 3:15
15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. NKJV

moonglow
Apr 29th 2008, 03:22 AM
Hi, everyone;

I want to thank you all for your responses, and all of your advice. I think the thing that helped me the most is seeing that you all seem very sure about your salvation...You seem very confident that you will finish the race victoriously, which I guess is my main concern here.

Many of you said that it doesn't matter what I did in my past, and with that I agree...the problem, though, has less to do with my sinful past than being sure that I am completely saved for good.

I know that God forgives sins abundantly...this is not the problem. I also know that it doesn't matter what I did in the past, because Christ's death is sufficient. The problem is not that I was a sinner. The problem is knowing whether or not I was truly saved from the beginning.

If OSAS is a valid doctrine, then the only way by which I can make sense of it is...if God does not take away a person's salvation, and that person dies in sin, then the only reasonable alternative is that God never gave that person salvation in the first place, because He knew what state they would eventually die in. This is the only way I can justify the Scriptures that say sorcerers (drug abusers) and fornicators shall not enter the Kingdom of heaven. If a person is a fornicator, and a drug abuser, he can claim Christ all he wants, but this doesn't necessarily mean he is under the blood of Christ.

When I was backslidden, I was both of these things...and more. So, then, if OSAS is correct, are you saying that if Christ had come while I was abusing drugs, or sleeping around, that I would've been raptured, along with the other saints who were actually walking with the Lord? I don't think so.

If this is the case, then that only leaves one possibility...that I was never saved in the first place, even when I was a young girl. Perhaps it was all just delusional, which isn't that much of a stretch. I did hear voices in my head, and other strange things, when I was young. I was always afraid of demons...thought they were in my house. So, then, you see how it is possible that I was never truly saved? Perhaps I was just a disturbed young girl.

If this is the case, then how should I reconcile my current salvation with my lack of salvation when I was younger? If, for some reason, I fall into sin...and God doesn't revoke a person's salvation...then that obviously means that He never gave it to me in the first place, because He knew that I would fall back into sin. This would also lead me to believe that I am not truly forgiven, because God doesn't forgive those who are not His children.

So, then, do you see what I am talking about when I say I have to put forth extra effort to ensure myself that I am truly saved? It's as though I must constantly struggle to keep this fire going, so that I do not become complacent, as this is what led to my downfall in the first place.

His_Least...I find it interesting that you stated that the OSAS school of thought actually helped you in your Christian walk. This theory has actually done just the opposite for me...leaving me with a lot of doubt. If this theory is correct, then not everyone who professes Him today will be saved in the end. I realize that it is the same thing with the NOSAS theory, but the thing that worries me about OSAS is the fact that not everyone who thinks they are walking in the Spirit actually have the Spirit.


The truth is, we don't know the condition of any person's heart. A person could genuinely love the Lord, and somehow stray from Him, as I did. This worries me, because God is the only one who truly knows my heart...not only today, but tomorrow. He is also the only one who knows the spiritual condition that I die in....and if for some reason I die apart from Him, and if OSAS is correct, then in the here and now, I am not truly saved.

This would make my present relationship with Him a delusion. Remember the story of Samson? He believed that the Holy Spirit was still with him, even after it departed. This seems to indicate that it is possible for a person to think God is with them, when in actuality He is not...and if for some reason I was never saved in the first place, then obviously, this would be the case.

At least when I held the NOSAS theology, I could be sure of my salvation, because I could determine it by how I was walking in the present...but if the Lord knows how I will die, and saves me accordingly, then how do I know my actual condition in the present...wether I am saved or not?!

It has nothing to do with feelings...It has to do with a line of reasoning that just seems so fatalistic and discouraging. If OSAS is true, then how is salvation meted out? It appears that a person can think he/she is a Christian, and not be truly saved, which indicates to me that the Holy Spirit was never in or upon that person.

How sad, and I truly hope I am not one of those people.

This is what is disturbing me...the fact that I could think I am a Christian, and in reality, have the Lord be absent.

Not only that, but having struggled in the past with bipolar disorder, I understand what it is to not be completely sure of one's mental state. Perhaps I am not truly saved, but just think I am, because of my past mental illness.

I just wish there was some way to be completely sure, you know?!

You can be completely sure! The fact you are struggling with this (as others have said) means you are...otherwise you wouldn't care...and when you back slide before..still doesn't mean you weren't saved...King David was an excellent example of that as was posted already.

Here is how you can know you are saved or not...read Hebrews 12 when you get a chance...God disciplines those He loves.

I am in the no osas camp myself and have no problems with it or any worries about it.

I don't think the issue is either one of these things though with you...you need to learn about the stages of salvation!

I was like you..saved as child...in my teen years and young adult I did similar things as you. Yet I knew God was there. I wasn't filled with the Holy Spirit yet...but I was what you could say, marked for God because as a child I truly believed.

I hope Brother Mark can provide you with the information on this..I really have to get some sleep. But it explains I think some of what you are going through.

Philippians 2:
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Learn about the stages of salvation and I think you will start feeing better and it will make more sense to you.

Here is a little I know about it:

First Stage (Justification)- Jesus paid the wages for our sins with His precious blood so that anyone who would come to Him shall receive eternal life (John 3:16). This gift of salvation comes from the grace of God, not based on our works (Romans 3:28).

Second Stage (Sanctification)- After being born again (as Christ has resurrected) as a Christian, we are being regenerated continually (1John 3:3) as guided by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,17). To have faith is to be obedient (1John 5:2), and to be obedient is to love (1John 3:23-24), so that all men will know that we are Christs disciples (John 13:34-35).

Please pray for this...pray for help in trusting the Lord in this and pray for Him to guide you and teach you what you need to know regarding this.

God bess

Partaker of Christ
Apr 29th 2008, 02:14 PM
Hi again Cloudburst!

There are many good replies in this thread to your problem. I can 100% agree with Brother Mark when he speaks of 'looking inside'. I believe one of the biggest hindrances to faith and growth, is over introspection. Yes we are told to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith, and to see if we have ought against a brother that need resolving. If we go looking within ourselves, all we see is darkness.

It was once best described to me like this; We can be likened to the moon. In it's natural form it is dark. Only as the moon turns towards the sun, does it being to have light. The more it turns towards the sun, the more light it receives, and the more light it receives, the more light it reflects for others to see.
The more we fix our eyes on Him (the True Light), the more light we receive, and the darkness is swallowed up.
If we look to Him, we are walking in His light. If we look away from Him, then His light still shines on us, but we only see our own shadow, and the way is not clear.

We will often have our faith tried and tested. There will be clouds that block out the sun. Some of those clouds may be very dark at times, but we should always remember, that beyond the clouds, the sun still shines towards us, and the clouds will pass away.

Saved7
Apr 29th 2008, 05:03 PM
Hi, everyone;

I want to thank you all for your responses, and all of your advice. I think the thing that helped me the most is seeing that you all seem very sure about your salvation...You seem very confident that you will finish the race victoriously,


This statement reminded me of a scripture....God is the author AND FINISHER of our faith. If He started it in you, He will complete it. He's not going to let one fall to the ground, and you know you have faith, we know you have faith, that's all you need to know.:saint:

Frances
Apr 29th 2008, 06:15 PM
I'm sorry to bring all of this gloom and doom stuff to the table. Is there anyone out there who can tell me that perhaps I am misinterpreting this whole OSAS thing?! PLEASE, someone tell me I am reading too much into it.

I don't believe OSAS.

From what you have said you were definately Saved as a child - you submitted what you understood of yourself to what you understood of God through Jesus Christ. . . and He accepted you and filled you with His Spirit. Unfortunately we all leak, so need to be continually re-filled. Your childish understanding needed to grow and be re-submitted continually, but it appears that, like so many of us, you allowed yourself to slide away from Him. There is no way that the behaviour you described would be allowed anywhere near God. Wholehearted repentance was necessary, which you have done.

Please don't let posts from well-meaning people cause you to doubt your childish or present Salvation. God Promises that no one can snatch you out of His Hand, but He will not keep anyone there against their will - everyone is free to leave Him if they so choose, and He will let them go. (eg.Mark 10:17-22)

I'm sure you are right to doubt the OSAS position. Peter forfeited his discipleship when he denied Jesus, which is why the angel said (Mark 16:7) "tell His disciples and Peter. I don't suggest one unrepented Sin excludes us from Salvation, it is the state of our heart the Lord is interested in - whether or not letting God down grieves us or not - and while you were engaged in your back-slidden life you were not concerned whether your lifestyle was pleasing God or not. A previous post mentioned the parable of the lost Son - you will note that the father didn't go to find the Son and bring him home, even though he loved his son dearly he let him stay away and ruin his life . . . it was only as his son was returning that he ran to meet him.

When you repented your former lifestyle God, the Father, ran to meet you - He re-instated you as His child. This experience is valuable because, like me, with your adult understanding, you will be so grateful to the Lord for all He has done for you, you will never let anything separate you again. . . .

Ask Him to re-fill you with His Holy Spirit, use every Gift of His Spirit for His Glory alone, and one day you and I will meet in His Heavenly home, where I will :hug: you for real. :)

:pray: that He fills you, right now, and Guides you with His Peace . . .

CynthiaRai
Apr 29th 2008, 08:38 PM
In all the posts I noticed something that was missing..... FAITH... The bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God... so of course if you are not faithful about whether you are truly saved or not, you will struggle with that. Now lets strive to understand faith.. Faith is the substance of things HOPED for and the evidence of things not seen. So if you are not hoping for God's complete salvation, your faith is absent.... Ask your soul... Why are you downcast??.. Hope therefore in God!!!.... I had to remind myself of these things the other day.. HOPE IN GOD... He will finish the work that he started... Stop trying to make sense of God!!... you can NOT put him in a box!!! .....HOPE in him and he will direct your paths...

You have a purpose in God... and the enemy will do whatever he can to stop OR delay you... so having done all to stand, stand firm...

Also when you were a child... there were things about God that i'm sure you didn't quite understand... so keep God number one and remain teachable... if you can't read one day... read the next.. ask God what to read...

I remember God answering my prayer several times before I backslid also... during those times I was diligent, crying out for God and he answered me by setting me free with his word... but not right away... be patient with God for he is faithful... though we may not be faithful... HE is...

I thank God for you because you blessed me!!!!..... I was unable to see what God was saying to me through these things but ministering to you allowed me to minister to myself...

God bless you honey and know that you are loved...

Mograce2U
May 1st 2008, 04:04 AM
Cloudburst, #19 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1620718&postcount=19)
What you are describing is the result of your self-focus which is causing you doubt. Whereas faith has a Jesus-focus and is centered upon Him. Are you believing and trusting Him for your salvation - or is it your own reasoning and feelings that must give you this assurance? Faith is about trust and hope. The problem of doubt comes in when we think that our human condition can give us the assurance we need, when there is nothing in this world that can be likened to it. We do not have a blind faith in Christ, but a proven faith. And we don't prove it by stepping off a cliff, but by resting in Him. All that you need for salvation has been accomplished and provided by Christ and there is nothing YOU need to do to have it except to believe the gospel. Salvation is not a one-time event in this spiritual life you have received, any more than the first moment you took a breath was the end all of your physical life. You must keep breathing and keep believing.

Now if you were to stop believing, then you might have something to worry about! How long can you hold your breath...?

Semi-tortured
May 7th 2008, 04:17 AM
After reading this thread, I feel like I'm just coming out of where Cloudburst is now, but I am not fully out of it yet so I don't want to give advise. So many people can give verses that make me feel like there is more to it than just putting your faith in Him. I also deal with the fear that He doesn't exist. I don't think that is the case. I believe in Him and I am prepared to die for Him, but Satan uses fear to needle me. I don't accept the lies, but they trickle into my mind and cause anxiety.

I also understand PERFECTLY with Cloudburst is saying. I came from a Christian home and always thought I was saved. I then hit some sort of wall where I doubted EVERYTHING. Because of that, I doubted I could ever be saved. Then I started exploring this board and found so many conflicting doctrines with ample scripture supporting every side and it further confused me because I thought, if God was real, how could it be that so many doctrines seem plausible according to His word?

I am thinking very seriously about leaving this board. For one who has a completely open mind and only seeks the truth, this board can be a disaster. And I know that if people are actually reading my diatribe, there are some that are thinking to themselves, "Well, this guy is lost. I know the truth. He needs to hear it from me." Problem is there is probably going to be a guy that thinks that exact same thing while reading this, but has completely different opinions on key issues. You both will say you've felt God lead you. You both will have verses to back you up, yet only one of you can be right.

I want Jesus as Lord of my life. I have confessed my sins and know I am a sinner. I just want to be in his precense in a perfect world. But there are so many doctrines all over the internet that are so damning that how could anyone know? It's easy to say that you should put all your faith in Jesus, but there are doctrines that can fuzzy that up a bit. :B

RogerW
May 10th 2008, 09:41 PM
Greetings Cloudburst,


I am wondering if you might be convinced of eternal security if you look at it as perserverance of the saints rather than once saved always saved? I've posted the following article by Rev Michael Krall hoping to show you that we can be assured of our salvation, and we can also be assured that when we are saved we are indeed eternally safe in Christ. I hope this article brings you comfort and assurance. Many Blessings - RW

TRIUMPH OF GRACE UNTO GLORY

Perseverance of the Saints

by Michael Krall

How does Grace effect the life of the child of God? We look to the Christian in his journey to the Celestial City in what is commonly called "Perseverance of the Saints". Many in the church today, that have grasped part of the truth of this doctrine, erroneously term it "Eternal Security". We do not believe this term accurately supports this doctrine as taught in Scripture.

What does the doctrine of perseverance mean if it does not mean we are eternally secure? The way to Biblically present this is to ask the question: "Can one who possesses a vital saving union with Christ, through any action on their part, die separated from Christ and be lost for all eternity?" There are those who do teach that it is possible, even to the point where one does not know if, in fact, they are in a state of grace at any given time. Then there are those that go to the opposite extreme and say "once saved always saved" no matter how you live. Many reject the first four points that we have discussed regarding grace in the life of lost sinners on the basis of man's "free will", but have no problem with this erroneous interpretation of the perseverance of the saints. It appears from this view that man must somehow lose his free will when he gets saved.

An unscriptural interpretation of this doctrine, that results from a rejection of unconditional election, it that which is behind the heretical teaching of the "Carnal Christian". The easy believism of our day has produced this damning delusion because when no true heart repentance is evident, we must put some kind of label on the product. Hence, we have a person who lives just like the unsaved world, but somehow his decision makes him a Christian. This, of course, is the logical conclusion of this false doctrine that rejects the free and sovereign grace of God.

The thing that must be clarified is the that the proper use of the term is the "perseverance of the saints". This is an important distinction in terms because perseverance emphasizes grace working in the life of the child of God and their responsibility to "press on". In contrast to this, "eternal security" puts an imbalanced emphasis on the biblical teaching of the security of the believer to the neglect of the responsibility of the Christian to mortify the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13) and to make his calling and election sure (2Peter 1:10).

The tendency of many in the church today is to think that because we are saved by grace alone and secure in Christ there is no need to deal with our sin. But as we try to emphasize, saving grace does not exempt us from the battle with remaining sin- it guarantees us victory in the battle. This is a principal all through Scripture. When God promised Joshua that Jericho was his if he just followed His instructions in Joshua 6, did he still have to proceed in the battle?. Yes, of course! But wait, God said in verse 3 I have given you Jericho... Why didn't Joshua just lie back and relax since it was certain that it was his. The principle is that the certainty of a promise of God does not cancel out the means God uses to bring it to pass.

The apparent contradiction of these two things is expressed in Scripture in Philippians 2:12-13 this way Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. The co-action of the believer and the Spirit are expressed here with the focus of our attention on our working not the Spirit's working; otherwise, there would be no need for the command. If God is working in us, then we are commanded to work that out.

In Philippians 3:13-14, we see another picture of the pursuit of holiness that should characterize all true Christians. Paul says forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead I press toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
A third picture of this pursuit used by the apostle Paul is in 1 Corinthians 9:26-27. There we read Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. Two things are worth noting in this verse. First that the word translated "discipline" which is "hupopiazo" carries with it he meaning to beat the face until it is black and blue. Of course Paul is speaking figuratively not a literal beating. The second thing to note is that the word translated "disqualified" is "adokimos" which is translated elsewhere as "reprobate".

Our main emphasis in calling attention to these verses is to show the scriptural teaching that those for whom Christ died and have the regenerating work of the Spirit applied to their hearts will ultimately persevere. This doctrine teaches us that the child of God will follow after holiness because God is working in him.

This teaching sheds some light on the Scriptures that are presented as warnings to the Christian. Why does God warn us if we cannot lose our salvation? A father warns his child not to go near the curb because of the possibility of being struck by a car. If that child goes near the street, will the father say "well I warned him; so, too bad: he'll just have to get run over"? The father had every intention of saving the child even after he warned him. But the other side to the coin, is this: why didn't the father not warn the child but simply be there to protect him? The possibility did exist to get hit by the car, but the father was determined not to let that happen even if it was independent of the action of the child. The father is determined to teach the child of the dangers around him.

There are many objections to this doctrine, the main one being that it will breed a life of carnality if we know we cannot lose our salvation. This is a wrong conclusion for two reasons. First, this denies that in true salvation the heart of the believer has been changed so that... he delights in the Law of God according to the inward man. (Romans 7:22). Secondly, anyone who believes that true salvation can be lost must accept the fact that they do not know whether they will endure to the end. Since they cannot know this for certain, there can never be any real assurance of salvation without an element of carnal pride entering in. But the apostle John says in 1John 3:2-3 that Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him like He is. And everyone that has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. It is the hope of eternal life, not grounded in the boastful pride that one will make it that is the motivation child of God to live a holy life. This hope that John speaks of is a confident and joyful expectation not a wishful desire as the world would define the word.

Before we proceed to examine additional objections to the doctrine of perseverance that also exists among professing Christians, it would be of help to briefly examine the question "What is salvation?" When God sets out to save a sinner, that salvation is first of all a salvation from self! It is not primarily a salvation from hell. As A.W. Tozer said, "You cannot just scare someone into the kingdom only by convincing them they are going to hell, because the moment someone convinces them there is no hell, they're gone." Hell is a part of the motive, but it is a result of the real problem: SELF! Self must be crucified. The average person wants to be saved from hell; he just does not believe in hell or does not believe he is bad enough to go there. He must see that he is a sinner worthy of eternal damnation.

The second point to consider is that salvation is spoken of as a past experience (Ephesians 2:8-9), a present process (1Corinthians 1:18) and a future reality (1Peter 1:5). This three-fold process is called justification (at conversion), sanctification (initially at conversion then continuous in our spiritual growth) and glorification (the final act of God conforming us into the image of His Son). There is no saving relationship with Christ without the ultimate presence of all three stages! Glorification can only take place following the first two stages. If glorification does not take place, then there was no initial salvation. Full salvation in Scripture is ultimate glorification of the sinner. That is why in Romans 8:30 we read, Moreover, who He predestinated, these He also called, whom He also called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

In the light of these scriptural truths, it behooves us to insist upon a conversion experience that produces a holy life. If God is conforming His children into the image of His Son, how then can we fail to enter into it? Any conversion experi- ence that does not produce a perseverance in holiness is a damning delusion from the pit. The question we need to ask ourselves is not only "What did Christ do for us," but "What is Christ now doing in us!" Anything less then this is not Biblical salvation.

What about all the verses in the Bible that apparently teach that salvation can be lost? No study of this would be complete without at least mentioning Hebrews 6:4-6. There we read For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, since they crucify for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.

Two facts must be considered in these verses. First, if real conversion was being spoken of, then that person cannot be saved again. It clearly says that it is "impossible...to renew them unto repentance". This would be crucifying the Son of God afresh.

The second thing to note is that verse 9 is the key to whether or not this is speaking of salvation. There we read, But, beloved, we are confident of better things of you, things that accompany salvation. The things mentioned in verses 4-6, however, are not things that accompany salvation.

There are two qualifying statements that we must consider when studying this doctrine. The first is that a Christian's perseverance is not dependent upon their own works but on God's free and sovereign grace working in the life of the Christian. Although we are commanded to work out our salvation, nevertheless, it must be credited to the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

The second qualifying statement is that although a truly saved person cannot be lost, he can fall into sin. If this does happen, the Christian will repent and ultimately be brought back into fellowship with the Lord. Martin Luther said this concerning the ultimate salvation of the elect: "God's degree of predestination is firm and certain; and the necessity resulting from it is, in like manner, immovable, and cannot but take place. For we ourselves are so feeble, that if the matter were left in our own hands, very few, or rather none, would be saved; but Satan would overcome us all". Any true child of God who falls into sin could not remain there long without a deep conviction by the Holy Spirit for God is at work in the lives of His children.

What practical importance does this doctrine have to us? First, this doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints should speak to our hearts about getting a clear understanding of the importance of holiness in the life of a Christian. The heart of this doctrine is the pursuit of holiness, for the true meaning of perseverance is a perseverance in holiness!

The second important application is that this should strip us of all self confidence and crediting ourselves for our ultimate glorification. If it is God working in us to persevere, then where is the boasting?

Thirdly, this doctrine should strip us of any attempt to deny the responsibility of the Christian to make his calling and election sure. As was said previously, saving grace does not exempt us from the battle; what it does is guarantee us victory.

Fourthly, this doctrine is really the backbone of the doctrine of assurance. In 1John2:3, we read By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. The keeping of God's commandments is not how we obtain salvation, but it is instrumental in the child of God in obtaining assurance of salvation (John 14:21).

Finally, this doctrine should give us a deeper understanding of the greatness of our God, whose eternal purpose to save His elect will not be thwarted by all the devils of Hell. Meditation on this doctrine should humble us with a deeper reverence for our God and a greater boldness in our battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil. This should drive us with a holy vengeance to deal ruthlessly with our sin.
In the words of the Apostle Paul as he wrote to the Philippians from a Roman jail, ... being confident of this very thing, He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Mograce2U
May 11th 2008, 03:31 AM
Hi Roger,
There are a lot of good points in that article but I liked this one best:


The principle is that the certainty of a promise of God does not cancel out the means God uses to bring it to pass.
There you go there... our faith is to be engaged.

Kingsdaughter
May 14th 2008, 04:30 PM
Hi cloudburst, how are you doing sister?

IBWatching
May 14th 2008, 05:07 PM
...You cannot find this phrase in the Bible "once saved always saved" - it is not in there. So it becomes a construct of man, piecing things together in an attempt to make the Bible teachings small enough to comprehend with the human mind...

WHO is Salvation worked by?

1. God Alone
2. God and Man
3. Man

There is only one CORRECT answer, and it is clear enough from the NT that one does not have to indulge in "human construct" to believe or rely on it. Either Jesus died for all sins (past present and future sins) of all mankind on the Cross or He didn't. And one either truly repents or they don't/didn't. And God either grants that repentance which leads to Life or He doesn't. And God either starts the Work of Conforming us to the image of His Son through the Work of Salvation or He doesn't.

There are no gray areas here.

maddelf
May 28th 2008, 01:39 PM
Gidday Cloudburst,

You've always believed, that means you have faith, even when you backslid. Your faith brought you back, that proves you continued to have faith, even when it was stuck in the smallest room in your house (maybe your little toe :) ).

Faith is a gift from God, free, and totally awesome. Faith means you are justified, righteous, and saved through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Sin means you are human. Regret means you have faith. Faith means you are saved.

OSAS only works for those who have faith. OSAS doesn't work for those who espouse faith, but then leave it for the birds to pick up, as the parable goes. Some, it would seem, receive faith and then let it die. I think that you, even when you were committing 'the darkest sins imaginable' still believed. Remember the prodigal son? That's you, me, and a whole lot of others out there.

One of your respondents suggested you are growing in your faith at this time, and I would agree. You are growing. It is good to reflect on your faith. Faith alone, Christ alone, Grace alone. That means no human response required. If you believe, it is from Jesus Christ.

2los
May 30th 2008, 06:37 PM
Hi Cloudburst,

How are you doing these days?

I pray the Lord Jesus has brought you peace and comfort through the Holy Spirit...

I encourage you to read the book of Romans chapters 1-8 over period of 30 days, don't study it, just read through it. In the first 8 chapters, you will find every answer to your present questions about Salvation in the Christian life.


2los

Mograce2U
May 30th 2008, 07:09 PM
Hi Maddelf, #37 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1653316&postcount=37)
Are you sure that "no human response is required"?

(Rom 10:13-14 KJV) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. {14} How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Calvin
May 30th 2008, 08:08 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but what the heck is OSAS?

Calvin
May 30th 2008, 09:59 PM
Duh! Once saved always saved.

Befaithful
May 31st 2008, 02:31 AM
How are you doing now? Praying for you:pray:

Iam4christ
May 31st 2008, 11:51 PM
this is my first post here. I felt compelled to register due to CloudBursts post. I have had many doubts about my salvation also. I also have bi-polar depression for which I take medicine for. In my case when I FOCUS too much on my THOUGHTS I get discouraged and doubtful. I am LEARNING to FOCUS on the word of God.

I too was focusing on my own thoughts and thats when I get in trouble.
I am trying to get in the word as much as possible. I have found out it is my solace from my own mind and of the world. I can listen to his word of truth instead of my own thoughts. Now don't get discouraged by not reading the word everyday. I found out if I just sit down and study I am better off than promising myself a schedule. I am jut saying in my case

the Word of God is the only thing that sustains me. I am also in contact with a Pastor he is a good friend and teacher. I hope you can find peace.



In Christ,

Israel