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GodSeeker
Jul 23rd 2008, 02:58 AM
If a person chooses to accept Christ as their savior, are they always saved? Or if they stop going to church and stop following the teachings of Jesus do they lose their salvation? How does that work?

Basically, I ask because in my younger years I believe that I was saved. I've been baptized four times in four different churches and believed that Jesus was my savior. But I haven't exactly been living a Christian life for many years now. Am I doomed or still saved?

RoadWarrior
Jul 23rd 2008, 03:15 AM
Godseeker, this question gets asked many times, and debates ensue. But let me just share some of my journey with you. I also have been baptized more than once. I first met the Lord when I was very young, and I stumbled quite badly and even turned away from the Lord. As an adult, I was baptized again, this time with the understanding of the meaning of that baptism.

I knew, the second time around, that I was identifying with Jesus' death, His burial, and His resurrection. I knew that I was turning my back on my old life (dying to my sins), and coming up out of the water (grave) into a new life in Him (resurrection).

Even with this new life, I still did not walk perfectly with Him, because I was lacking a great deal of instruction in how to live the Christian life. I needed a mentor, a discipling time, and did not really get it at that time. I did get it, a little at a time, over the next several years, and eventually became stable in my Christian walk.

I was not saved, unsaved, saved, unsaved, saved. I was a person on a journey with Jesus. I failed to stay on the path, but His eyes never left me, He never forsook me even when I was going away from Him. Eventually He called me back to Himself, as He is now doing with you.

I would like to recommend a book to you, by Kay Arthur. It is "Lord Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days." When you are ready to really study the Bible, this will help you to know how to study for yourself, without having to have teachers and commentaries. As a friend of mine said after she and I completed the book together, "You have taught me how to feed myself."

When you are ready to focus on Jesus, and to re-commit your life to Him, that is all you need to do. Turn your eyes and your heart to Him, talk to Him in prayer. Confess your sins in repentance, (ask forgiveness) and let Him know that you want to come back to Him. Like the father of the prodigal son, He is just waiting for you to do that, and will receive you with gladness and joy. The angels in heaven will burst into songs of rejoicing.

You too can know that newness of life that Christ gives freely. He stands ready to wash your feet and welcome you home.

Ayala
Jul 23rd 2008, 03:55 AM
The Bible tells us that we are saved by grace, through faith in Christ. So the question to ask yourself is, "Am I living with faith in Christ?" He tells us to repent (which means to fervently turn away from) of our sins, take up the cross, and follow Him. Apart from Him, no man can inherit the Kingdom of God. Saying a sinner's prayer doesn't save a person...Being baptized doesn't save a person...Jesus Christ alone saves a person. And it's really as simple as that. May the Lord bless you as you seek Him out...and know that He's waitin for ya. :D

tango
Jul 23rd 2008, 07:43 AM
If a person chooses to accept Christ as their savior, are they always saved? Or if they stop going to church and stop following the teachings of Jesus do they lose their salvation? How does that work?

Basically, I ask because in my younger years I believe that I was saved. I've been baptized four times in four different churches and believed that Jesus was my savior. But I haven't exactly been living a Christian life for many years now. Am I doomed or still saved?

This is a question that many people ask. Some people believe that salvation can never be lost (known as OSAS - once saved always saved), while others believe it can be lost.

Personally I do not believe that salvation can be lost by accident, through making a mistake or by inadvertently doing the wrong thing.

Jesus said that nothing could snatch us out of the Father's hand:

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
Joh 10:28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.

and Paul said that nothing could separate us from the love of God:

Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


That said, I am inclined to believe that by our own active decision we can choose to walk away from God (I did exactly that myself, about 15 years ago). If we make the active decision to desert God and live in open defiance of what God wants for us, I suspect we may give up our salvation. I'm being deliberately vague there because the honest answer is that I don't know for sure whether such a person would be saved or not.

JesusPhreak27
Jul 23rd 2008, 08:19 AM
If a person chooses to accept Christ as their savior, are they always saved? Or if they stop going to church and stop following the teachings of Jesus do they lose their salvation? How does that work?

Basically, I ask because in my younger years I believe that I was saved. I've been baptized four times in four different churches and believed that Jesus was my savior. But I haven't exactly been living a Christian life for many years now. Am I doomed or still saved?

GodSeeker

First off it is GREAT to see another person from North Dakota on here and I welcome you to come to our church here in Minot if that isnt too far away from you!

Secondly on to your question.....

The way I have been explained this is that the ONLY way one can lose their salvation is if they "blaspheme against the Spirit".

Now what does this mean?

I have learned that this is to mean that the ONLY way you can lose your salvation is to quit believing that Christ died for your sins.

Anything other than that (i.e. "I havent been living a very "Chistian" life) puts salvation in our hands and takes it out of God's.

I walked away from God for five years after my dad passed away (I couldnt understand how a loving God could take my dad away from me when I needed him here on earth). I became Agnostic......

In October of 2005 God led me back to His family and now once again I am saved.

Does this mean that I have done evrything the "Christian" way?

Of course not..... I still struggle with the same porn addiction that I had before He brought me back and I still must ask myself if what I do will please God (more often then not asking this causes me to change my actions)

But as a Christian we should find ourselves doing things that are pleasing to God and repenting from those things that are not......

God bless you my friend

ServantofTruth
Jul 23rd 2008, 10:15 AM
It is my firm belief, as a Christian, that once you accept the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you become saved/ a christian and the Holy Spirit (God) comes and lives in you to guide you. Both in learning God's Will through scripture and helping you become a 'new' person gradually.

Therefore it makes no sense, to say a person, could become a non believer - where would the Holy Spirit within you go?

What is possible, i believe, is that you can know the truth, and decide to commit sin more and fight against that Holy Spirit that lives in you. Then you could in the future decide to stop fighting again.

The person who can honestly say i don't believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and i don't believe he was resurrected - in my opinion - never accepted the gospel truth in the first place and the Holy Spirit never came to live in them.

You must remember that God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows when we are saying one thing, however loudly and even if it's to many many people, even teaching the Word of God in authority in a church, if we honestly belong to Him.

Yes we will keep on sinning till the day we die. There has only been one perfect man, God made flesh - Jesus Christ. When you honestly bend the knee at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, become a servant of truth (not fashionable these days?) - THEN you will know it would be impossible to go back.




The Servant of Truth - SofTy to friends! :hug::)

9Marksfan
Jul 23rd 2008, 01:34 PM
If a person chooses to accept Christ as their savior, are they always saved? Or if they stop going to church and stop following the teachings of Jesus do they lose their salvation? How does that work?

Basically, I ask because in my younger years I believe that I was saved. I've been baptized four times in four different churches and believed that Jesus was my savior. But I haven't exactly been living a Christian life for many years now. Am I doomed or still saved?

I tend to put it this way - the only way that we can know if we ARE saved and that we WILL BE saved is if we are BEING saved - ie living for Christ, trusting in His work alone, persevering - are you doing that?

AngelAuthor
Jul 23rd 2008, 04:14 PM
That said, I am inclined to believe that by our own active decision we can choose to walk away from God (I did exactly that myself, about 15 years ago). If we make the active decision to desert God and live in open defiance of what God wants for us, I suspect we may give up our salvation.

This is precisely my point of view as well. That no one can accidentally lose their salvation by saaay, not walking close enough to God or doing this sin or That, or even by backsliding.

But by conscious choice to turn from God? Conscious choice to hate Him? Yes, you can walk away from your salvation.

GodSeeker
Jul 27th 2008, 10:00 PM
This is precisely my point of view as well. That no one can accidentally lose their salvation by saaay, not walking close enough to God or doing this sin or That, or even by backsliding.

But by conscious choice to turn from God? Conscious choice to hate Him? Yes, you can walk away from your salvation.

If a person walks away from their salvation, can it be reinstated by a simple prayer or so I have to be rebaptized and all that.....again?

Bethany67
Jul 27th 2008, 10:08 PM
If a person walks away from their salvation, can it be reinstated by a simple prayer or so I have to be rebaptized and all that.....again?

When I walked away for 8 years and then came back, I sat on my bed and poured my heart out to God, confessing all my sin, asking Him to forgive me, and give me the grace to follow Jesus as my Lord and Saviour for evermore. It was simple and heartfelt, like the prodigal son. I haven't been rebaptised; there is no need because I was previously baptised as a genuine believer. If I'd been unsure I was a believer when I was first baptised, then possibly I'd consider getting rebaptised but only if God told me specifically I needed to.

RoadWarrior
Jul 27th 2008, 10:13 PM
If a person walks away from their salvation, can it be reinstated by a simple prayer or so I have to be rebaptized and all that.....again?

Many of us have been through that journey, having gone our own way and then returned to God. The process is much the same as when you came to the Lord the first time around.

1. Recognize and admit that you have sinned against Him.
2. Confess, repent, ask forgiveness.

Read the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11 ff. Then read Romans 10:9-10.

Baptism, if you did it before with understanding, does not need to be repeated. But if you did not understand before, then you might wish to have it done again. I did.

Here is the meaning of baptism:
We identify in baptism with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. By the act of being baptized, we die to our sins and our old life, we are raised to newness of life in Him. We become a new creation, with a clean slate.

The renewal of your relationship with the Lord is between you and Him. Go to Him in repentant prayer and He will do the rest.

ServantofTruth
Jul 27th 2008, 10:43 PM
We discuss in different areas of the site the outward signs of faith compared to the inner signs. Roadwarrior makes a good point - if you are feeling called back to the family, the first thing you need to do is internal - talk to God, pour your heart out and YES ask him what you should do next.



BIG SofTy :pray::pray: and :pray: again. :hug:

ImmenseDisciple
Jul 28th 2008, 05:47 PM
This is a bit of a hot topic.

There are verses which can form an argument on both sides (which could be said about quite literally anything) and as a result, our opinion is shaped by (and in turn, shapes) how we interpret said verses. You will find Christians who will be adamant that one is the case, with an impressive array of scripture to back them up - and you will find exactly the same thing in the opposing camp. What's more, it's one of the few issues which we are unlikely to accept our ultimate fallibility in - people tend to hold their opinion on this matter very, very rigidly indeed. Hopefully, because they've tested it so much, and never found it to falter, and as much as they've welcomed Him too, have never found God pushing them away from their current view.

The more important question, then, is whether you're saved right now. If you weren't saved in the first place, then there's certainly nothing to suggest you would be saved today - and even if you were, there's plenty who would say it's of no consequence.

I'm interested to hear your perspective on why you're here. I'm sure you don't think you're just here to test whether you can carry on living the way you are and still be saved - but the alternative would be that you've been called here because it's time for you to meet Christ. Or meet Him again :) It should go without saying, though, that we couldn't be happier to see you. Anything else that springs to mind, don't hesitate to ask.

markinro
Jul 28th 2008, 06:10 PM
If a person chooses to accept Christ as their savior, are they always saved? Or if they stop going to church and stop following the teachings of Jesus do they lose their salvation? How does that work?

Basically, I ask because in my younger years I believe that I was saved. I've been baptized four times in four different churches and believed that Jesus was my savior. But I haven't exactly been living a Christian life for many years now. Am I doomed or still saved?

I think its HEB 6:4. It sounds like you can but this says "crucify themselves the Son of God again". This would be someone who rejected what Christ did at the cross and instead goes back under the law. I think the catholic church refers to this as the unpardonable sin - which doesn't make sense that there would be a sin God would not forgive.

I do think you are not alone. We will never be completely free from sin while we have to deal with our flesh. This is why Jesus had to be the first. Yes, he was a man but he was also God. None of us can make this claim.

Remember His mercies are new every morning.

9Marksfan
Jul 29th 2008, 09:27 AM
Apologies - I had not read that you are not a Christian, but are seeking Christ - that is a brave admission to make that many in your position would not.

I agree with what Immense Disciple has said - it may well be that you were never saved as a young person - and that the very fact that you are here and are concerned for your spiritual welfare is an encouraging sign indeed - and I agree, we're delighted to see you here!

There are indeed those on this forum who hold very strong views, but I think most people here would believe that you CANNOT be a lukewarm, halfhearted "believer", because the very NATURE of Christian discipleship is that it is RADICAL - Christ MUST come first - for ALL of us - nowhere in Scripture do we find people saying that they are Christians because they were baptised (however many times!) or because they made a one time "decision for Christ", even if they have rejected or ignored Him for most of their lives ever since - the new birth CHANGES us - FOREVER!!

I think it might be really good if you were slowly and prayerfully to read through 1 John, as it gives us the very clear marks of what a true Christian is like and what a "false" Christian (ie one who thinks he/she is but isn't) is llke - and see how you measure up.

Please feel free to come back with any questions you have.

Blessings.

Nigel

renthead188
Jul 29th 2008, 02:40 PM
We discuss in different areas of the site the outward signs of faith compared to the inner signs. Roadwarrior makes a good point - if you are feeling called back to the family, the first thing you need to do is internal - talk to God, pour your heart out and YES ask him what you should do next.



BIG SofTy :pray::pray: and :pray: again. :hug:

Godseeker I would like to agree with what Servant of Truth has said here.

God is calling you back to Him. Ask Him what He wants you to do. Don't listen to any of us... just kneel down in your own space and time and speak to the Lord who desires to hear your voice. Ask Him to bring you back, ask Him to do whatever it is He wants to in your life to make you completely His. He will and you will love Him for it.

Chris

Buck shot
Jul 29th 2008, 04:25 PM
Many of us have been through that journey, having gone our own way and then returned to God. The process is much the same as when you came to the Lord the first time around.

1. Recognize and admit that you have sinned against Him.
2. Confess, repent, ask forgiveness.

Read the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11 ff. Then read Romans 10:9-10.

Baptism, if you did it before with understanding, does not need to be repeated. But if you did not understand before, then you might wish to have it done again. I did.

Here is the meaning of baptism:
We identify in baptism with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. By the act of being baptized, we die to our sins and our old life, we are raised to newness of life in Him. We become a new creation, with a clean slate.

The renewal of your relationship with the Lord is between you and Him. Go to Him in repentant prayer and He will do the rest.

This is great advise here Godseeker! I too was once a lost sheep that had went astray. Don't wonder if you should repent just do it. Our Father is poking you in the heart to get your life right so that you can serve Him.

You asked about being reinstated with a simple prayer. It's really not a simple prayer. What you need to do is humbly pour your heart out to God and tell Him how you have messed everything up and you are sorry. That you want to have the peace in your life that only He can give you and you will turn from your path to follow Him. And then DO IT!

The baptism has nothing to do with your salvation. If you feel that the Lord is telling you that you need to be baptized again AFTER you have gotten right with Him then humble yourself and do it.

You started out with the question of losing your salvation but you checked the box that you are not a Christian. If you know that you are not following Christ then I think you have answered your own question. The Lord said that when we confess Him before men He will confess us before the Father. If you chose not to stand for Christ among men, how can you expect Christ to stand for you?

I am not wanting to come off hard but this is the time that our Father is knocking on your heart's door and He tells us to seek Him while He can be found. It is very important that you do not wait any longer.