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  • Is Once Saved, Always Saved a Scriptural doctrine

    A doctrine taught in many churches today is that of Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS). Many believe that if we are saved, then we can never lose that salvation no matter what we do. They state that if a person does “fall away”, then that person was never truly saved in the first place. Is that Scriptural? Is the idea of eternal security accurate? Again, let’s not rely of opinion or feelings, but let’s go to the Word and see what God says about this subject.

    Let’s begin in 1 John 1:5-7

    “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    The verb for of cleanses here means not just a one time cleansing, but an ongoing, continual cleansing. This is very comforting, because even though we are made new in baptism and are freed from the law of sin (Rom 8:2), we continue to stumble and sin all through our lives. This sounds very much like “Eternal Security” doesn’t it. If the Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, how can we not remain in a state of grace? I’m glad you asked. This passage tells us that IF we walk in the Light, then the Blood of Jesus continually cleanses us of all sin for the rest of our lives. But what if we choose to not walk in the light? What if we choose to forsake Jesus? Does that mean that we were never really saved? No, of course not.

    It is the Spirit of God that adds us to the Body of Christ (grafts us into the Root) when we are baptized into Christ. We are grafted in (Rom 11:19-21) by the Spirit of God, not by our own efforts, and God is a very gifted gardener. If He grafts you in, you are grafted in indeed.

    “You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.”

    But in this passage we are also told that He will cut us off of the root if we do not continue in His goodness. So then, God can graft us in (forgive our sins and save us), and then we can fail to continue in His goodness (stop walking in the Light) and be cut off from the root (lose our salvation) and still wind up in Hell for eternity.

    There are numerous passages that also tell us the conditional nature of God’s forgiveness.

    John 8:31-32 – “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    John 15:1-4 – “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

    Rom 11:22 – “ Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.”

    1 Cor 16:13 – “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”

    Col 1:21-23 – “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

    1 Tim 2:15 – “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”

    1 Tim 4:16 – “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

    1 John 2:24 – “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.”

    1 John 3:24 – “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”

    1 John 4:12-16 – “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

    2 John 1:9 – “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

    Jude 1:21 – “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

    Rev 2:10 – “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

    Indeed, Scripture is replete with admonishment to remain faithful, with the warning that we will lose our salvation if we do not. So then, the idea of OSAS is a false doctrine that should be purged from what is taught, and flushed with the rest of Satan’s lies.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Doug Brents View Post
    A doctrine taught in many churches today is that of Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS). Many believe that if we are saved, then we can never lose that salvation no matter what we do. They state that if a person does “fall away”, then that person was never truly saved in the first place. Is that Scriptural? Is the idea of eternal security accurate? Again, let’s not rely of opinion or feelings, but let’s go to the Word and see what God says about this subject.

    Let’s begin in 1 John 1:5-7

    “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    The verb for of cleanses here means not just a one time cleansing, but an ongoing, continual cleansing. This is very comforting, because even though we are made new in baptism and are freed from the law of sin (Rom 8:2), we continue to stumble and sin all through our lives. This sounds very much like “Eternal Security” doesn’t it. If the Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, how can we not remain in a state of grace? I’m glad you asked. This passage tells us that IF we walk in the Light, then the Blood of Jesus continually cleanses us of all sin for the rest of our lives. But what if we choose to not walk in the light? What if we choose to forsake Jesus? Does that mean that we were never really saved? No, of course not.

    It is the Spirit of God that adds us to the Body of Christ (grafts us into the Root) when we are baptized into Christ. We are grafted in (Rom 11:19-21) by the Spirit of God, not by our own efforts, and God is a very gifted gardener. If He grafts you in, you are grafted in indeed.

    “You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.”

    But in this passage we are also told that He will cut us off of the root if we do not continue in His goodness. So then, God can graft us in (forgive our sins and save us), and then we can fail to continue in His goodness (stop walking in the Light) and be cut off from the root (lose our salvation) and still wind up in Hell for eternity.

    There are numerous passages that also tell us the conditional nature of God’s forgiveness.

    John 8:31-32 – “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    John 15:1-4 – “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

    Rom 11:22 – “ Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.”

    1 Cor 16:13 – “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”

    Col 1:21-23 – “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

    1 Tim 2:15 – “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”

    1 Tim 4:16 – “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

    1 John 2:24 – “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.”

    1 John 3:24 – “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”

    1 John 4:12-16 – “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

    2 John 1:9 – “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

    Jude 1:21 – “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

    Rev 2:10 – “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

    Indeed, Scripture is replete with admonishment to remain faithful, with the warning that we will lose our salvation if we do not. So then, the idea of OSAS is a false doctrine that should be purged from what is taught, and flushed with the rest of Satan’s lies.
    I don't believe OSAS is a false doctrine, but is clearly based on Scriptures that say we are given "eternal life." Is it really eternal life that we have if we can lose it? No, if we lose it, it never was eternal, was it?

    I do not equate "spiritual life" with "eternal life." We can all experience spiritual life simply by praying to God and by putting into action Jesus' commands. However, in order to obtain "eternal life" we have to accept Christ into our heart, to have an everlasting covenant with him. Once we have made this decision, and once we have truly acted on it, it is a binding contract. If indeed we have signed, sealed, and delivered this contract, with our signature written in blood, and if God has responded by putting His Spirit in our heart, then we have eternal life. Simple. Eternal Security.

    The passage about being "cleansed" when we apologize to God is not a matter of winning and losing Salvation. Rather, it is a matter of remaining in good standing with God. We do not have to disrupt our fellowship with God when we sin. We may immediately return to our relationship with God--it is not broken simply because we fall short of good standards.

    Our covenant relationship is based on something deeper than the ebbs and flows of our walk with God. Our covenant is based on our decision to walk with God forever, and not just intermittently.

    If people want to experience spiritual life and walk with God intermittently, they will know God and experience His power. But they will not be saved. True Salvation is an embrace of an eternal contract with God--one that can not be broken by the ebbs and flows of our obedience and disobedience.

    We must embrace Christ as our lifestyle, and not just as our temporary partner. We don't "shack up" with Christ. We "move in" with him. ...Not to put this in crude terms. Describing it this way simply helps to understand that this is not a "loose" contract. It's the real deal!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by randyk View Post

      I don't believe OSAS is a false doctrine, but is clearly based on Scriptures that say we are given "eternal life." Is it really eternal life that we have if we can lose it? No, if we lose it, it never was eternal, was it?
      We do not receive "eternal life" until this life is over. We are promised eternal life IF we remain faithful until death.

      Where in Scripture does it say anything about receiving spiritual life through prayer? It is not there! We are Spiritually dead until we are baptized into Christ (see my thread "A Study of Salvation").

      Yes, if we are faithfully trying to follow Christ and live by His commands (knowing we will stumble and fall (sin) along the way) the Blood of Christ continually cleanses us of all sin. But if we choose to stop walking in the Light, we will lose that cleansing. Scripture for these statements are in the original post above. IF we walk in the Light. IF we continue until death.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Doug Brents View Post

        We do not receive "eternal life" until this life is over. We are promised eternal life IF we remain faithful until death.

        Where in Scripture does it say anything about receiving spiritual life through prayer? It is not there! We are Spiritually dead until we are baptized into Christ (see my thread "A Study of Salvation").

        Yes, if we are faithfully trying to follow Christ and live by His commands (knowing we will stumble and fall (sin) along the way) the Blood of Christ continually cleanses us of all sin. But if we choose to stop walking in the Light, we will lose that cleansing. Scripture for these statements are in the original post above. IF we walk in the Light. IF we continue until death.
        But Scripture does gives us this assurance from the lips of Christ. Clearly the life we have in Christ by believing is forever. And it is given us the moment we believe!

        John 11:26 (KJV) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Doug Brents View Post

          We do not receive "eternal life" until this life is over. We are promised eternal life IF we remain faithful until death.

          Where in Scripture does it say anything about receiving spiritual life through prayer? It is not there! We are Spiritually dead until we are baptized into Christ (see my thread "A Study of Salvation").

          Yes, if we are faithfully trying to follow Christ and live by His commands (knowing we will stumble and fall (sin) along the way) the Blood of Christ continually cleanses us of all sin. But if we choose to stop walking in the Light, we will lose that cleansing. Scripture for these statements are in the original post above. IF we walk in the Light. IF we continue until death.
          You're misconstruing what I said. Like you said, if a person walks away from his contract with God it is, of course, broken. But my argument would be that it never was a contract then. Once you make an *eternal contract,* it is binding forever.

          And that's why you don't get saved, get lost, get saved, get lost, etc. It is because an eternal contract is just that--eternal. It covers daily smaller failures, but it also covers big failures. But if a person completely walks away, and never turns back, it is evidence, to me, that an eternal contract was never really made.

          I said, if you quote my entire statement, that a person may experience spiritual life in 2 ways--through prayer or through obeying Christ's words. How can one *not* experience the Spirit of God when he or she prays to God? How can one even obey the commandments of Christ unless he or she experiences the Spirit of God?

          You want proof of this? Do you think Israel heard God in the OT at Sinai and yet had no experience of God's Spirit? They *all* heard God, and yet many did break their covenant with God! This means that people can experience the Spirit of God and yet not be really fully contracted with God for the duration.

          Heb 6.4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance.

          This indicates people can experience the Spirit and power of God, and yet not consummate an eternal relationship with God.

          You say that there are no Scriptures indicating we *already* possess eternal life, but only receive it in the future? I don't believe that's true.

          John 6.47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.

          Although it is true that there is an aspect in which we will receive eternal life in the future, there seems to also be an aspect in which we *already have* eternal life *in the present.* I don't know how you can get around this? If we don't have Salvation now, what even is the Gospel of the Kingdom? If we don't sign onto the Kingdom now, our signature isn't worth the paper it's written on.

          But Salvation equates to Eternal Life. If we have Salvation now, we have Eternal Life, and we possess the Kingdom now, even though we will actually enter into the Kingdom in the future.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by randyk View Post

            You're misconstruing what I said. Like you said, if a person walks away from his contract with God it is, of course, broken. But my argument would be that it never was a contract then. Once you make an *eternal contract,* it is binding forever.
            You make a huge mistake then. You're saying that God is a bad gardener? You're saying that when God grafts us into His ROOT He doesn't do it properly? God is the one who adds us to His Body. He is the one who saves us. But then HE tells us to remain faithful or HE will cut us off again.

            Originally posted by randyk View Post
            And that's why you don't get save, get lost, get saved, get lost, etc. It is because an eternal contract is just that--eternal. It covers daily smaller failures, but it also covers big failures. But if a person completely walks away, and never turns back, it is evidence, to me, that an eternal contract was never really made.
            No, we don't get saved, then lost, then saved, then lost... But the fact that a person falls away and never returns is not evidence that a "eternal contract" was never made. It is evidence that the fallen believer has turned his back on God.

            Consider Heb 6:4-6 - "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 to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame."

            Those who have tasted Heaven's gift? Partakers in the Holy Spirit? These are clearly "saved" individuals. They are "IN" Christ. They are branches that have been grafted into the Holy Root by the perfect gardener. But what does the Word say? "if they fall away". Clearly, the bond that makes us "In Christ" can be broken, and it is then irreparable. Notice that "it is impossible ... to renew them again to repentance". They once had repented. But now it is impossible to restore them to repentance.

            Originally posted by randyk View Post
            I said, if you quote my entire statement, that a person may experience spiritual life in 2 ways--through prayer or through obeying Christ's words. How can one *not* experience the Spirit of God when he or she prays to God? How can one even obey the commandments of Christ unless he or she experiences the Spirit of God?
            No, we do not "experience spiritual life" through prayer. We can only be reborn by being united with Christ through the Holy Spirit in baptism. We are not reborn by any other means according to Scripture. No one comes to God except through Christ (John 14:6), and we are baptized into Christ (Rom 6:1-14, Col 2:11-15, and many others).


            Originally posted by randyk View Post
            You say that there are no Scriptures indicating we do not *not* possess eternal life, but only receive it in the future. I don't believe that's true.

            John 6.47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.

            Although it is true that there is an aspect in which we will receive eternal life in the future, there seems to also be an aspect in which we *already have* eternal life *in the present.* I don't know how you can get around this. If we don't have Salvation now, what even is the Gospel of the Kingdom? If we don't sign onto the Kingdom now, our signature isn't worth the paper it's written on.

            But Salvation equates to Eternal Life. If we have Salvation now, we have Eternal Life, and we possess the Kingdom now, even though we will actually enter into the Kingdom in the future.
            Salvation does equate to eternal life IF WE ENDURE TO THE END! We have eternal life now in as far as we endure, but Heb 6:4-6 states very clearly that we can be saved and then fall away. We can have the "contract" signed and sealed, but God puts a condition on our maintenance of our part of the contract through the rest of our life. If we fail to keep up our end of the contract, He will remove the blessings of His part.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RogerW View Post

              But Scripture does gives us this assurance from the lips of Christ. Clearly the life we have in Christ by believing is forever. And it is given us the moment we believe!

              John 11:26 (KJV) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
              No, it is given the moment we obey and are baptized. But it can subsequently be relinquished if we do not continue (see all the passages in the original post stating this fact). Once a person is "in Christ", he must walk in the Light, and remain faithful to Christ unto death to receive the crown of glory reserved for him. This is the carrot that God places in front of us to keep us on the "Straight and Narrow". He also shows us the "stick" in His descriptions of Hell. We are given both reasons, carrot and stick, to remain faithful to the end. Only then will we receive the blessing, and be spared the curse.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Doug Brents View Post

                You make a huge mistake then. You're saying that God is a bad gardener? You're saying that when God grafts us into His ROOT He doesn't do it properly? God is the one who adds us to His Body. He is the one who saves us. But then HE tells us to remain faithful or HE will cut us off again.
                No, of course I'm not saying God is a "bad gardener!" If I gave everybody the truth, and then tell everybody go out and prosper in it, why would that make me a "bad gardener" if people simply don't take that truth and go out and do anything positive with it?

                That's precisely what the Gospel of the Kingdom does. It makes known to all the world that a Kingdom is coming, and that they can prepare for it right now by enjoying the spiritual life of that Kingdom and by doing right. But that message goes out despite the fact many will ignore it, or even start out on the path without paying the full price.

                Luke 14.28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ "

                The fact is, there is a big difference, in my mind, between those who merely start out with the Lord, praying to Him and following His word, and those who don't just start out with the Lord, but actually consummate a genuine eternal contract with God. The difference is the difference between a superficial experience of God, though it is indeed a real experience, and an actual implantation of God's word in our heart. To have Christ reside in our house permanently is what we call being "born again." Once born, one cannot be "unborn." Once reborn, one cannot be "unreborn."

                Originally posted by Doug Brents
                Those who have tasted Heaven's gift? Partakers in the Holy Spirit? These are clearly "saved" individuals. They are "IN" Christ. They are branches that have been grafted into the Holy Root by the perfect gardener. But what does the Word say? "if they fall away". Clearly, the bond that makes us "In Christ" can be broken, and it is then irreparable. Notice that "it is impossible ... to renew them again to repentance". They once had repented. But now it is impossible to restore them to repentance.
                What Hebrews is saying is that when one rejects the *truth* of the Holy Spirit, there is nowhere else to turn for Salvation. Many times people reject salvation due to misunderstanding the Gospel message, or due to some kind of abuse they've suffered by Christian ministers. They may even have bitterness over a bad experience that causes them to view the Gospel in a demented way.

                They may not actually be rejecting the Gospel, but only some kind of distorted form that anybody would reject. But when the Holy Spirit makes the truth clear, in an unadulterated way, then we are rejecting Salvation straight from the mouth of God, and will not get a message that is better put, or more desirable, that will lead us to the same destination.

                As I said, people can experience God without being saved. That, to me, is what Hebrews 6 is suggesting, namely that the people of Israel had experienced God, and yet walked away. But Jesus message was that His true disciples will accept the truth and be saved, in other words, have salvation, or eternal life. They will already be members of the Kingdom, and will *never* be snatched out of God's hands. Once really in, you're in!

                Your example of "branches grafted in" is, again, not salvation, but only being called into the knowledge of God and of His will. Being called does not necessarily mean we will be chosen. In this we can be called to be a chosen nation, and yet not qualify to be one of those chosen to comprise that holy nation.

                And so, your example doesn't fit. It just confirms what I said, that men can be called into the knowledge and spiritual experience of God, and can even begin to follow the commandments of Christ, and not be truly "born again." God has not really penetrated all the way down into the heart to permanently reside there, and they do not *have* eternal life, they are not truly "born again," they are not truly members of God's Kingdom. When Christ really comes to live inside us he comes to live inside us forever, and we enter into an "eternal contract" with God.

                Originally posted by Doug Brents
                No, we do not "experience spiritual life" through prayer. We can only be reborn by being united with Christ through the Holy Spirit in baptism. We are not reborn by any other means according to Scripture. No one comes to God except through Christ (John 14:6), and we are baptized into Christ (Rom 6:1-14, Col 2:11-15, and many others).
                I'm not saying we aren't reborn into God's Kingdom by spiritual means! I'm saying that we can have a Christian spiritual experience *without* being born again. I don't know why you think people in this world cannot experience the spirituality of Christ without being born again? I've seen many non-Christians recognize the power of God's Spirit in their midst. Even cultists have some measure of God's power to obey His commandments. But this isn't to be confused with being "born again."

                Originally posted by Doug Brents
                Salvation does equate to eternal life IF WE ENDURE TO THE END! We have eternal life now in as far as we endure, but Heb 6:4-6 states very clearly that we can be saved and then fall away. We can have the "contract" signed and sealed, but God puts a condition on our maintenance of our part of the contract through the rest of our life. If we fail to keep up our end of the contract, He will remove the blessings of His part.
                I'm not against free will. I believe that even "eternally saved" Christians can fail in their calling, and can do horrible things. I also believe that those who only superficially experience the power and Spirit of God, without being truly born again, are free to embrace Christ in an eternal covenant.

                The trouble is, God has only chosen so many. And the devil has inspired man to operate on his own, taking God's gifts and twisting them into something independent of Him.

                These ultimately do not choose to be born again, whereas those who assume their place in accordance with God's predestined will cannot ever fall away. They are free to fail in their calling, but they will never, in their heart, turn away from the One who called them. Just my opinion.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RogerW View Post

                  But Scripture does gives us this assurance from the lips of Christ. Clearly the life we have in Christ by believing is forever. And it is given us the moment we believe!

                  John 11:26 (KJV) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
                  Absolutely true! Thanks for the confirmation. The only thing I'm trying to show the brother is that there is a difference between simple belief and true faith for salvation. "Even the devils believe, and tremble!" Therefore, simple belief in Christ, include a superficial experience of God's Spirit, is insufficient for salvation.

                  To be genuine faith for salvation requires that we allow our hearts to be changed by the indwelling of God's Spirit. We actually become a permanent temple of God, because God dwells there forever. Our hearts are so changed that a new spiritual being comes into existence that is like Christ. We don't just do good--we become good, by the grace of God.

                  Some may indeed believe--nominal Christians--and may experience the Holy Spirit, do good works, and even perform miracles. But unless God comes to dwell in their heart, they have not truly entered into an eternal covenant with God. Christ *must* dwell in their heart!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by randyk View Post

                    Absolutely true! Thanks for the confirmation. The only thing I'm trying to show the brother is that there is a difference between simple belief and true faith for salvation. "Even the devils believe, and tremble!" Therefore, simple belief in Christ, include a superficial experience of God's Spirit, is insufficient for salvation.

                    To be genuine faith for salvation requires that we allow our hearts to be changed by the indwelling of God's Spirit. We actually become a permanent temple of God, because God dwells there forever. Our hearts are so changed that a new spiritual being comes into existence that is like Christ. We don't just do good--we become good, by the grace of God.

                    Some may indeed believe--nominal Christians--and may experience the Holy Spirit, do good works, and even perform miracles. But unless God comes to dwell in their heart, they have not truly entered into an eternal covenant with God. Christ *must* dwell in their heart!
                    To be genuine faith for salvation requires that we obey the Gospel which includes baptism, not just simple belief. God only dwells in our hearts forever if we remain faithful until death. If we fall away, then the Spirit exits us, and we return to a lost state from which there is no redemption.

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                    • #11
                      So, without quoting endless scripture right away to allegedly prove my position, let me ask...
                      Do we have God, or does He have us?

                      Does "Saved" mean, "Rescued"? As by Another?

                      Does "Grace" mean, "Unmerited Favor"?

                      Is eternity (infinity, the timeless), the greater reality and truth? Or, is this present world wherein there is continual change, wherein we enter and depart, the greater truth?

                      Do you feel Jesus went to the cross for "the sin of the whole world", as John the baptist stated? Or, just for sins of your own, in the past, but not in the future?

                      And regarding sin, do you feel that it is merely an act, or acts?
                      Or, is humanity a fallen situation,
                      and sinful?
                      Which Jesus shed His blood for.

                      My position...
                      something eternal has taken place when one hears and receives Jesus, the Truth.
                      The receiver is eternally changed.
                      Also?
                      "Predestination", is an issue in the Bible.

                      They may fail, perhaps sin, go astray, but it is as Jesus Himself stated,
                      "No man shall pluck them from my hand".

                      You might reconsider the Catholic position, whom some of you no doubt, have criticized and demeaned.
                      The power and control remains with God, not with the individual who is part of a fallen humanity.
                      Sin is not merely an act, or acts. Humanity is a fallen and sinful situation.
                      Last edited by Sirius18; Mar 16 2020, 12:31 AM. Reason: Clarity

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by randyk View Post

                        No, of course I'm not saying God is a "bad gardener!" If I gave everybody the truth, and then tell everybody go out and prosper in it, why would that make me a "bad gardener" if people simply don't take that truth and go out and do anything positive with it?

                        That's precisely what the Gospel of the Kingdom does. It makes known to all the world that a Kingdom is coming, and that they can prepare for it right now by enjoying the spiritual life of that Kingdom and by doing right. But that message goes out despite the fact many will ignore it, or even start out on the path without paying the full price.

                        Luke 14.28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ "

                        The fact is, there is a big difference, in my mind, between those who merely start out with the Lord, praying to Him and following His word, and those who don't just start out with the Lord, but actually consummate a genuine eternal contract with God. The difference is the difference between a superficial experience of God, though it is indeed a real experience, and an actual implantation of God's word in our heart. To have Christ reside in our house permanently is what we call being "born again." Once born, one cannot be "unborn." Once reborn, one cannot be "unreborn."



                        What Hebrews is saying is that when one rejects the *truth* of the Holy Spirit, there is nowhere else to turn for Salvation. Many times people reject salvation due to misunderstanding the Gospel message, or due to some kind of abuse they've suffered by Christian ministers. They may even have bitterness over a bad experience that causes them to view the Gospel in a demented way.

                        They may not actually be rejecting the Gospel, but only some kind of distorted form that anybody would reject. But when the Holy Spirit makes the truth clear, in an unadulterated way, then we are rejecting Salvation straight from the mouth of God, and will not get a message that is better put, or more desirable, that will lead us to the same destination.

                        As I said, people can experience God without being saved. That, to me, is what Hebrews 6 is suggesting, namely that the people of Israel had experienced God, and yet walked away. But Jesus message was that His true disciples will accept the truth and be saved, in other words, have salvation, or eternal life. They will already be members of the Kingdom, and will *never* be snatched out of God's hands. Once really in, you're in!

                        Your example of "branches grafted in" is, again, not salvation, but only being called into the knowledge of God and of His will. Being called does not necessarily mean we will be chosen. In this we can be called to be a chosen nation, and yet not qualify to be one of those chosen to comprise that holy nation.

                        And so, your example doesn't fit. It just confirms what I said, that men can be called into the knowledge and spiritual experience of God, and can even begin to follow the commandments of Christ, and not be truly "born again." God has not really penetrated all the way down into the heart to permanently reside there, and they do not *have* eternal life, they are not truly "born again," they are not truly members of God's Kingdom. When Christ really comes to live inside us he comes to live inside us forever, and we enter into an "eternal contract" with God.



                        I'm not saying we aren't reborn into God's Kingdom by spiritual means! I'm saying that we can have a Christian spiritual experience *without* being born again. I don't know why you think people in this world cannot experience the spirituality of Christ without being born again? I've seen many non-Christians recognize the power of God's Spirit in their midst. Even cultists have some measure of God's power to obey His commandments. But this isn't to be confused with being "born again."



                        I'm not against free will. I believe that even "eternally saved" Christians can fail in their calling, and can do horrible things. I also believe that those who only superficially experience the power and Spirit of God, without being truly born again, are free to embrace Christ in an eternal covenant.

                        The trouble is, God has only chosen so many. And the devil has inspired man to operate on his own, taking God's gifts and twisting them into something independent of Him.

                        These ultimately do not choose to be born again, whereas those who assume their place in accordance with God's predestined will cannot ever fall away. They are free to fail in their calling, but they will never, in their heart, turn away from the One who called them. Just my opinion.
                        You totally miss my point. God telling us to go prosper in the truth, and then us doing something, or nothing, with it is not what I said. God adds us to the Church. God grafts us into the Body of Christ when we are saved. He is the good gardener. When He grafts you into the Root, which is Christ, you are indeed grafted in. So that rules out the thought of a person not really having been saved if they fall away.

                        The Kingdom of God is here today. It started on the day of Pentecost. But that is a debate we might have in another thread on another day.

                        There is a big difference in your mind between people who start out strong but fade, and those who endure through the rough times, but God grafts them both into Himself equally when they first come to faith. The fact that the one fails to endure changes his position with God because God says the person will receive a crown IF he endures to the end.

                        In the parable of the seed, all of the last three receive the Word. All of them were saved, but the middle two allowed the Word to be taken from them by the worries of the world, and hardship. Only the final recipient of the Word endured to the end. But three of the four are at least initially saved.

                        No, a person who is reborn cannot be unreborn, but they can die again. And Heb 6 says that this death is unrecoverable. Can a person be a "partaker in the Holy Spirit" and have "tasted the Heavenly gift" not be saved (other than Cornelius)? No. This is clearly dealing with people who have been saved. And this doesn't even begin to address all of the other passages that tell us that we receive the gift of eternal life IF we endure.

                        I agree, there are hundreds of millions of people living today who have "experienced God" but are not saved. They have not obeyed the Gospel. But the person who has been grafted in to the Root of Christ is a saved person, not just someone who is "experiencing" God. Jesus is the Root, the Vine, and we are the branches. The Jews were God's people (they were IN), but then they were cut off for unbelief and some of the Gentiles (who did believe) were grafted in. When we are grafted into the Vine, we are "in Christ" which equates all through Scripture to being saved.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doug Brents View Post

                          You totally miss my point. God telling us to go prosper in the truth, and then us doing something, or nothing, with it is not what I said. God adds us to the Church. God grafts us into the Body of Christ when we are saved. He is the good gardener. When He grafts you into the Root, which is Christ, you are indeed grafted in. So that rules out the thought of a person not really having been saved if they fall away.
                          I did not miss your point. I simply disagree with you. As I said, I believe people can be "grafted in," just as in the example of the branches being "grafted in." They are welcome to become part of the congregation, but this does not necessary make them "saved." Salvation is step beyond becoming participants in the congregation. It is a step beyond experiencing the knowledge, and power, and Spirit of God.

                          So it's not that I don't understand your point. I simply disagree with it. Being "grafted in" is not, for me, "salvation."

                          Originally posted by Doug Brents
                          The Kingdom of God is here today. It started on the day of Pentecost. But that is a debate we might have in another thread on another day.
                          Yes, I've become quite convinced that the Kingdom is spiritually "among us," but is not materially here in the "realized" sense. The Kingdom of God, biblically, is "near," but not yet "here."

                          Originally posted by Doug Brents
                          There is a big difference in your mind between people who start out strong but fade, and those who endure through the rough times, but God grafts them both into Himself equally when they first come to faith. The fact that the one fails to endure changes his position with God because God says the person will receive a crown IF he endures to the end.
                          Not quite what I said! I never made the distinction you're making. I fully agree that we are called to endure, but I also recognize that there are "saved" people who fail to endure, who will be ashamed at Christ's Coming.

                          My point is that there is a qualitative difference between the "nominal Christian" and the truly "saved Christian." When the truly saved Christian has adopted Christ within his or her heart, a critical change takes place, beginning a relationship between God and the worshiper. The adherent may succeed or fail, but the relationship continues forever.

                          That is not true of the nominal believer. He or she may experience periodically a word or knowledge of God, but does not live by it continuously. It is, at best, a periodic relationship, and not really grounded on an organic, spiritual union.

                          A true commitment to Christ is this organic, spiritual union that comprises an eternal relationship, an eternal covenant that can never be destroyed. There may be a lack of endurance, but this will not break the spiritual union for the truly born again believer. It is the *eternal relationship* that is the basis of forgiveness, and not moving back and forth from autonomy to dependence, with respect to our relationship with God's word.

                          Originally posted by Doug Brents
                          In the parable of the seed, all of the last three receive the Word. All of them were saved, but the middle two allowed the Word to be taken from them by the worries of the world, and hardship. Only the final recipient of the Word endured to the end. But three of the four are at least initially saved.
                          Where is that actually said? In Matt 13, we have a comparison between a good crop and weeds. And so, we have unfruitful seed and fruitful seed. I should gather that seed that fails to fully produce is a failure, ie representative of someone who is unsaved.

                          Originally posted by Doug Brents
                          No, a person who is reborn cannot be unreborn, but they can die again. And Heb 6 says that this death is unrecoverable. Can a person be a "partaker in the Holy Spirit" and have "tasted the Heavenly gift" not be saved (other than Cornelius)? No. This is clearly dealing with people who have been saved. And this doesn't even begin to address all of the other passages that tell us that we receive the gift of eternal life IF we endure.
                          As I said, it isn't as though I don't understand you. I simply disagree with you. Those who experience the Spirit of God are not necessarily "saved."

                          Originally posted by Doug Brents
                          I agree, there are hundreds of millions of people living today who have "experienced God" but are not saved. They have not obeyed the Gospel. But the person who has been grafted in to the Root of Christ is a saved person, not just someone who is "experiencing" God. Jesus is the Root, the Vine, and we are the branches. The Jews were God's people (they were IN), but then they were cut off for unbelief and some of the Gentiles (who did believe) were grafted in. When we are grafted into the Vine, we are "in Christ" which equates all through Scripture to being saved.
                          That's where we disagree, brother. Yes, many experience God and are not saved. But being "grafted in" is not being "saved" either. Many people become members of the Church by signing up for Christianity, and yet never produce the fruit of a regenerated soul. To do that, an eternal covenant must be made with God internally. Only those who do it know they are truly "saved." All else are really still at the "knowledge" level.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Doug Brents View Post
                            A doctrine taught in many churches today is that of Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS). Many believe that if we are saved, then we can never lose that salvation no matter what we do. They state that if a person does “fall away”, then that person was never truly saved in the first place. Is that Scriptural? Is the idea of eternal security accurate? Again, let’s not rely of opinion or feelings, but let’s go to the Word and see what God says about this subject.

                            Let’s begin in 1 John 1:5-7

                            ....

                            Indeed, Scripture is replete with admonishment to remain faithful, with the warning that we will lose our salvation if we do not. So then, the idea of OSAS is a false doctrine that should be purged from what is taught, and flushed with the rest of Satan’s lies.
                            I have followed the discussion roughly. What no-one seems to want to do is call your proffered scriptures into question. You have alluded to a lot of warnings, but which one plainly said that it is salvation that is lost? We know that God chastises His sons. We know that there reward and loss when our Lord comes. We know that Christians can even "be hurt" of the Second Death. But where in the whole Bible is a single verse that threatens to undo the Work of Christ in a believer? On the contrary, even the most heinous of crimes is subject to temporal chastisement SO THAT the man can be restored. I proffer 1st Corinthians Chapter 5. We know that incest is punishable by death in the Law. We know that sexual sins pollute the earth. We know that a Christian man is the Temple of God and that sexual sins take place INSIDE the body. Besides murder, sexual sins rank very high.

                            So what happens to the incestuous brother in 1st Corinthians 5?
                            • Death! He is to be handed over by the authority of an Apostle to Satan for the destruction of his flesh
                            • Excommunication! Without the Apostle, he MUST be excommunicated. Since the Church has the power to bind on earth and in heaven, and has the keys of the Kingdom, the incestuous brother is cast out of fellowship now and cannot inherit the Kingdom when Christ sets it up on earth at His Second Coming.
                            • Stripes during the Millennium! (Lk.12:47-48)
                            • "Hurt" of the Second Death during the Millennium! Revelation 2:11 is addressed to BELIEVERS. The threat is great for the Second Death is described in Matthew 10:28. It is agony of both soul and body inflicted by God Himself on a wayward person. It is to be feared! But it has an end. After 1,000 years there is no more suffering for God's people (Rev.21:4). Because of the constant use of the word "AND", the whole section of Revelation 19 to the beginning of 21 is SEQUENTIAL! The word "and" is copulative (that is, it joins things), it is cumulative (that is, it adds things) and it is SEQUENTIAL! "He pushed the button AND the bomb exploded". The bomb going off is a sequential result of the button being pushed. Thus, Armageddon comes first. Then the 1,000 years reign, or Kingdom of Christ, THEN the New Earth. That is, the chastisement of a Christian lasts 1,000 years. Israel's chastisement lasts 2,000 years (Hosea 6:2). The Christian's chastisement lasts 1,000 years.
                            But all this sadness, loss, suffering and infamy is for ONE THING - to save the spirit of the man. Why? Because the human spirit is that place where God comes to dwell at rebirth. When Israel went a whoring after the gods of the Gentiles so badly that God called Nebuchadnezzar to defeat, kill, disperse and deport Judah, God first removes Himself from the Holy of Holies of Solomon's Temple. This is recorded in the opening Chapters of Ezekiel. God is a Holy God. Any man entering the Holy of Holies while God is there meets with instant death. So if God had not removed Himself from the Temple, Nebuchadnezzar and his army would have been slaughtered. It is a Temple "made with hands". So God can withdraw. But what about a "Temple made WITHOUT HANDS"? Is it not built by Jesus (Matt.16)? What about a SPIRITUAL House (1st Pet.2)? What about John 14 where Christ has prepared a place for the believer? Is it not part of "The Father's House"? Will God retreat from Christ's Work?

                            NO! NEVER! To retreat from Christ's Work is IMPOSSIBLE for God! That would be to dishonor His Son's massive sacrifice and costly works. I propose that the doctrine of losing one's salvation is NEVER EVEN ALLUDED TO IN THE BIBLE! The folly of this doctrine comes because Christians believe that they are going to heaven - that it is "The Kingdom IN Heaven". But it is NOT! It is "The Kingdom OUT OF Heaven". It is; "Thy Kingdom COME (to earth)"! It is; "Thy will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven"! The whole matter of the Bible starts in Genesis 1:26-28 where man is made FROM the earth, nourished BY the earth FOR RULING THE EARTH! And this it the threat to wayward Christians. You are SAVED for the Kingdom (Jn.3:3-5). Your inheritance is the Kingdom. And it is THIS KINGDOM that is threatened (e.g. 1st Cor.6:9-10; Gal.5:21; Eph.5:5).

                            NO ONE CAN UNDO THE WORK OF CHRIST. But one can, instead of entering the "joy of the Lord", be cast into "outer darkness" for 1,000 years and chastised there!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Walls, your reference to millennialism is better left for another thread, as it is not the topic of discussion here, but just to cover it briefly, the "Millennium" comes after this Earth is destroyed by fire. The millennium is the wedding party for Christ and the Church in Heaven. There will be no more souls saved during the millennium. Those left outside the Gates during the party will all be cast into Hell. But enough of that for this thread.

                              You are mixing your "places" built by Jesus. His home in our heart is not the same as the place He went to prepare for us in John 14. John 14 speaks of the place for us in the Fathers house. 1 Pet 2 refers to us as a spiritual house and a holy priesthood. And God can and will leave a spiritual house that is committed to sin. These passages (1st Cor.6:9-10; Gal.5:21; Eph.5:5) all refer to the fact that those who have not repented of their sins cannot enter the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God came into existence on Earth on the Pentecost right after Christ ascended into Heaven (at the very latest, the claim could be made for It starting on Resurrection Sunday). But again, if you disagree, this is a discussion for another thread.

                              As for passages that tell us specifically that we can lose our salvation if we choose to leave God and give ourselves over to sin even after we are saved:
                              Rom 6:16 - "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?"
                              Romans was written to the saints (those who have been saved) in Rome.

                              Heb 3:16 - "For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."
                              The children of promise were excluded from receiving the reward that was promised because the did not believe and they did not obey. What part of God's character has changed? Does He not respond to us the same today as He did then? He has set conditions for us to uphold in every covenant recorded in OT Scripture, and if those conditions are not upheld on our end, we don't receive the blessing promised.

                              No, we cannot "undo the work of Christ" on the Cross, but we can walk away from Him and have our name stricken from the Book of Life.
                              Rev 3:1-6 - "“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
                              “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"

                              While it is not said emphatically, the inference and the threat is clear, if we do not overcome (remain faithful as it is said in other passages I have referenced), then we WILL have our names blotted out of the Book of Life, and He will not confess our names before the Father.

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