What Does Scripture Have to Say?



No announcement yet.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What Does Scripture Have to Say?

    It has been said, "You are saved IF you are saved."

    Anyone can confess Christ as motivated by emotions or any other internal or external promptings. However, if we do not come to a FULL realization of our unbelieving and sinful state, but instead accept Christ's atoning sacrifice as a religious act to please family, out of fear of loss, as a fire escape from Hell, or as a fix-it bandage to get through a difficult trial, any temporal inspiration will not be effectual and will wane quickly. It is only when we realize we are hopeless hell bound sinners, that only the shed blood of Christ can redeem us, and we have repented earnestly from our unbelief in Christ's finished work and for our sinned stained hearts… then we have entered upon the path. Genuine salvation requires the Holy Spirit to remove the veil of blindness covering our spiritual eyes, by means of the Truth (Word of God) and His Spirit. “No one is able to come to me, unless the Father who has sent me should draw him; and I will raise him up in the last day.” John 6:44

    ONLY by the supernatural power of God working through the proclamation of Truth through the working of the Spirit, can a soul come to understand the message of the Gospel. To those whose veil remains, and who are spiritually blind, The Good News message is nothing but foolishness and superstitions (1 Cor. 1:18).

    I confessed Christ as Savior at age 13 because everyone else in the church was doing it at that age, but I wasn’t transformed unto salvation until I was 26. Initially, I lacked genuine repentance resulting from the touch of God upon my heart. After salvation, there is the daily journey of sanctification. We can start the spiritual journey, fully persuaded to please God and be true, but anytime later in life, be challenged in some manner or fall into sin, leave the path and forfeit our salvation. Not to say we cannot come back, but it is very difficult once departed, if not impossible.

    I should share a few Scriptures to highlight the sensitivity of the last two sentences. While these passages are mentioned again below, it is important to read a couple of them now:

    “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die."
    Ezekiel 18:24

    "Has God indeed said...Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away." (Luke 8:13)

    "For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt." Hebrews 6:4-6

    "Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified." (1 Corinthians 9:27)

    The teaching of “once saved always saved” (OSAS) is true in the sense of remaining steadfast to the way, but it has become a cliché that has persuaded believers to become spiritually lazy, thinking no matter how they live, they will easily pass over without any concentrated efforts. However this is entirely wrong, for anyone to think they can abuse the Grace of God through Christ and cheapen it by committing spiritual adultery by living in sin. What does this mean? Since the Church is the purchased Bride by the blood and Christ is the perfected Groom of Holiness, once we enter into a relationship with Him, we will provoked by the indwelling Holy Spirit to die to self and sin. However, if we continue in a sinful lifestyle or blatant love of the world, the result could indeed lead to eternal separation.

    In perspective, if a person can continue in sin unabated or love the world, we should question our salvation, whereas genuine conversion results in a new nature that is motivated toward purity, holiness while finding the lusts of the world an increasing problem. The Laodicean mindset of spiritual deception regarding our positional standing has been promoted for centuries and comes in many forms. It is even more proficient thanks to the New Age “God is Love” philosophy. The teaching essentially promotes that God would not send anyone to hell because God is good. Within the seeker sensitive Emergent or Progressive Church Movement, you will hear little about such teachings, because the candle stand has for a long time been removed.

    I have a notebook page I filled with scripture some 20 years ago, that makes it so clear that one can turn away and forfeit their salvation. I think the most defining and repeated twice is Ezekiel 18:24-26 also Ezekiel 33:18. 1 Chronicles 28:9 is stern and to the point. Then Hebrews 3:12-19 makes it even easier to understand. 2 Peter 1:10 says to make sure of your election. 1 Timothy 4:1 are those formerly saved but have turned to false voices. 1 Timothy 6:10 are those who have fallen in love with money and given up on the faith. In 1 John 2:24 the keyword is “IF” you remain in the Father.

    Paul the Apostle was revered as one who had a definitive grasp on Christ's message and about the deeper truths of the Kingdom of God. He exhorted the Corinthians by saying “Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

    Here is a short list of scripture that details how a once steadfast believer can walk away from salvation.

    1. Fall from grace - Gal. 5:1-4,13
    2. Be led away with error - 2 Pet. 3:17
    3. Err from the truth - James 5:19-20
    4. Weak brother may perish - 1 Cor. 8:11
    5. Fall into condemnation - James 5:12
    6. Be moved away from the hope - Col. 1:21-23
    7. Deny the Lord who bought them - 2 Pet. 2:1
    8. Depart from the living God - Heb. 3:12
    9. Can be a castaway - 1 Cor. 9:27
    10. Can become accursed children - 2 Pet. 2:14

    The Scriptures also exhorts believers to guard their walk with faithfulness which is an exhortion to remain devout to the faith.

    1. Be steadfast immovable - 1 Cor. 15:58
    2. If these qualities are yours - 2 Peter 1:5-11
    3. We will reap if we do not grow weary - Gal. 6:9
    4. Be faithful unto death and I will give crown of life - Rev. 2:10
    5. Practice these things and God will be with you - Phil. 4:9

    How does God draw the line when it comes to forfeiting our inheritance in Christ--our kinship? When a person begins a journey on the narrow path and later reverts to the wide path because it is easier. If they have put their hand to the plow (start the work for the Kingdom) and look back with a longing for the pleasure of sin or former unconverted ways. Such are not fit for the journey and are potential deserters (Luke 9:26).

    A person will have evidence when they have turned aside from the way. They will be immediately oppressed/annoyed by spiritual things, going to church, reading of scripture, Christian music or media... anything promoting the genuine message of Christ. Such reaction reveals when the Spirit has been quenched and the heart is hardened. For once a person knows the truth and turns from it, they are worse off than if they never knew it. Christ said it would have been better if they had never known the truth.

  • #2
    Their are major problems with the OSAS teachings.

    Though, their is also scripture to back it up, John 3:15-18 John 10:28-30, Jesus says: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." The forgiveness of God through Christ is sufficient to cover all of our sins -- past, present, and future. There is nothing a person can do that God cannot forgive. This doctrine is supported by Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 4:30, and Jude 24, among others.

    On the other hand, if a person is talking in reference to predestination and election, I believe that this is taken out of context to back the OSAS position up, Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:3-6. Romans 8:29-30 is used to back that up but clearly this is misused to back the OSAS position, this is also supported Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 4:30, and Jude 24, among others.

    As long as a person remains in Christ then yes, in that sense it is true, the OSAS position does not realize that God works on the bases of conditions, the OSAS position teaches that if they have rejected Christ they were not saved to begin with, this is also not taught in the Bible.

    The OSAS believe that men are predestined to great detail, that God has our lives mapped out and planned before we were born, this is simply not true, we are not created as living robots and we are not forced to obey. The bibles only revelation concerning predestination and election is regarding salvation, who are Gods elect. Well, if you read the writings of Paul the Apostle, what does he say, Salvation is for first and foremost Israel, then the gentiles, when in John 3:15-18 John 10:28-30, Jesus says: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." this is what he is saying no one snatches Israel out of his hand.

    The OSAS takes this verse out of context to back up their position, Paul always went into the synagoge first, then the market places, Paul being a Jew, his first priority was to his people, God always kept his promise with Abraham, we are only grafted in to Abrahams seed to provoke the Jews to make them jealous.

    In fact, if you read the whole bible, God's priority is the Jewish bloodlines, through Abrahams seed, God will save Israel.

    OSAS and the false teaching around predestination, is basically replacement theology, it replaces the church with Israel.


    • #3

      No one can snatch us out of God's hand however that's not to say we can't take ourselves out of God's hand.

      Scripture speaks of salvation as being conditional. If we remain firm, if we persevere, if we 'work out [our] salvation in fear and trembling. 'We cannot judge ourselves. However, scripture does speak of a predestined elect. What it does not say is that we WILL be one of those. We must persevere till the end but we cannot know from our present behavior what our future behavior will be-another words we cannot know if we persevere till the end. Well,until the end.

      In short we can neither presume our salvation nor despair of the mercy of God. I do think though that some folks who do get saved (OSAS) try to live out a life of faith and take the commitment very seriously. The problem is that you can also conclude that what one does doesn't matter or become confused that once you fall maybe you weren't REALLY saved in the first place; or had a REALLY saving faith to begin with.

      The parable of the prodigal son (a very powerful parable about the love of God) is totally contradictory to OSAS.

      God Bless,


      • #4
        More Thoughts on Assurance of Salvation

        The study of God's word has to taken together in context as a whole, not just a part. In the field of Biblical Hermeneutics (the study of accurate scriptural interpretation) to look more deeply at a passage is when it seems to be giving a contradictory teaching on some particular of theology. If apostasy is an actual peril for every Christian, the Scriptural warning passages must be frankly accepted rather than interpreted into irrelevance or circumvented by theological hypothesis which is what suprapsarianism Calvanism does. One must review scripture in balance and as a whole.

        It can be summed up in a short sentence, you can be certain you are saved IF you remain in the way. Baptists (Dr. Stanley for one who is a Calvinist of the Westminster Confession or sublapsarianism) and other ultra-conservative teachers have a tendency to interpret scripture with perceptural limitations. I was mentored by Charles Stanley for 8 years, during my rigid fundamental conservative days, but learned later that some of his theological positions were boxed in. Much like Jerry Falwell, who is even more a mentor to me than Dr. Stanley, also exhibited a boxed in theology. However, both these men are excellent examples of genuine converts through Christ.

        My theology changed when the Spirit move in my life through the power of healing and deliverance via my own ministry, which was much like the startling event that happened to Saul on the road to Damascus. Most conservatives have the opinion that the gifts ceased with the Apostles. Often men’s understanding of God, Spirit, and Truth is limited to their subjective experience, something that can bind them their entire spiritual journey. I am grateful that God gave me a Damascus experience to unveil my spiritual eyes a little more. We all have defective spiritual perceptions since the fall, which does inhibit deeper revelations. Even though indwelt with the Holy Spirit, we are subject to short-sightedness and dull hearing. Wisdom realizes we never perceive clearly and constantly petitions God to pull back the veils from our spiritual eyes and ears.

        I have assurance that I am going to heaven. The Scripture is laden with methods to evaluate our position and walk. However I am confident I can walk away from salvation and forfeit it all. As the prodigal son who took his inheritance (salvation or a type of spiritual birthright) and gave it away to riotous living much the same way Esau gave up his birthright for a bowl of soup. It wasn’t until the prodigal saw his state and return did he again enter into the fathers rest, the father never forced him to return. God honors our free will, even if means eternal separation based on our choice. The scriptures do say that if you are a genuine Christian, you can be assured that your name will not be erased from the Book if Life.

        Hebrews 3:12-14 is the clearest warning: "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” There is no way to dance around this scripture! The writer is correctly saying, 'Be careful fellow Christians, don't allow evil choices entice you to depart from God. Rather encourage your fellow Christian, because ongoing sin will harden your heart against God. We will inherit a position in heaven with Christ, IF we do not turn aside, by maintaining the same fervor as in the beginning.'

        Famous theologian Adam Clarke said it well when he wrote “Take warning by those disobedient Israelites; they were brought out of the house of bondage, and had the fullest promise of a land of prosperity and rest. By their disobedience they came short of it, and fell in the wilderness. Ye have been brought from the bondage of sin, and have a most gracious promise of an everlasting inheritance among the saints in light; through unbelief and disobedience they lost their rest, through the same ye may lose yours. An evil heart of unbelief will head away from the living God. What was possible in their case, is possible in yours. The apostle shows here five degrees of apostasy: 1. Consenting to sin, being deceived by its solicitations. 2. Hardness of heart, through giving way to sin. 3. Unbelief in consequence of this hardness which leads them to call even the truth of the Gospel in question. 4. This unbelief causing them to speak evil of the Gospel, and the provision God has made for the salvation of their souls. 5. Apostasy itself, or falling off from the living God; and thus extinguishing all the light that was in them, and finally grieving the Spirit of God, so that he takes his flight, and leaves them to a seared conscience and reprobate mind. He who begins to give the least way to sin is in danger of final apostasy; the best remedy against this is to get the evil heart removed, as one murderer in the house is more to be dreaded than ten without.’

        Adam said in essence, that when the Holy Spirit is forced to flee the apostate, the seal is relinquished and that soul is treated as reprobate. A claimed soul has to forcefully rebel with intent, whereas Christ does not give up on a deserter easily, he will intercede as long as he sees hope. In Luke 13:6-9 Jesus told this story: "A man had a fig tree. He planted the tree in his garden. The man came looking for some fruit on the tree, but he found none. The man had a servant that took care of his garden. So the man said to his servant, 'I have been looking for fruit on this tree for three years, but I never find any. Cut it down! Why should it waste the ground?' But the servant answered, 'Master, let the tree have one more year to make fruit. Let me dig up the dirt around it and put on some plant food. Maybe the tree will make fruit next year. If the tree still does not make fruit, then you can cut it down.'" This has a two-fold application, one the chosen nation of Israel relating to its hardness of heart, and equally so to a Christian who has become reprobate.

        One can study the parable of the sower to gain a good look into understand Christ’s teaching on this doctrine. The parable is included in ALL the Synoptic Gospels, which magnifies its importance. Of the four scenarios, three of them entered the faith, stayed for a time, but later departed… completely. Only one scenario prospered to bear fruit that fulfilled the will of the Father, the seed that fell on the good soil, this being a softened heart able to hear and receive the truth, and conforms themself to be an imitation of Christ.

        The potential for debate on this issue is as old as the church, something that has caused more splits in churches and fellow Christians than any other issue. The main doctrinal difference that led to the Reformation is in regard to the subject of salvation and its assurance. The argument is how the person whom God saves is justified. The difference between the Catholics and Protestants come at fundamental turns in theological development that occurred after the first five Ecumenical Councils.

        The Protestant articulation of Soteriology (theology of justification) is we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, apart from good works. For the Protestant, what separates Christianity from all other religions is that in Jesus Christ, the work has been done for us so that there is nothing left to do but accept the free gift in trusting faith. However, Catholics speak of salvation in terms more akin to a process. There is not a single moment which one can point to where one is considered right with God. Indeed, to the Roman Catholic, as long as you are alive on earth, God is still working out your own salvation with you. The Catholic wants to emphasize that we need to trust God in this process, which is what faith is. However, the Catholic does not see faith as a single act on a particular date where you know that you have already been saved. The Catholic speaks of the "born again" experience as a beginning that started with baptism, but continues throughout life until death. Only at the moment of death will the final result be known with absolute certitude.

        To even begin to understand all the dynamics, one must trudge through the theology of the centuries to understand varied positions, all firmly based on scripture, whereas varied positions exist as I am trying to illustrate.

        PROTESTANT VIEW: The notion of the perseverance of the saints flows from the notion of “irresistible grace.” (This is Calvinism, my position is somewhat Arminianism, notably of the John Wesley camp, or “Prevenient Grace”, although I do embrace predestination to a point.) You must know that you are saved with absolute assurance, even when you fall into sin or encounter any outward hardship. The believer will repent of sin and do good works as a result of God's irresistible grace and in thanksgiving for what Christ has already done. However, the works of repentance are not what saves one. Rather, they are the result of having already been saved. John 10:28 says that none of Christ's own will be snatched from his hand.

        Justification is forensic, rather than intrinsic. A foreign righteousness is credited to our account. This is an imputed righteousness, whereby our sins are covered in Christ's blood. When God the Father looks on the sinner who is saved by Christ, he sees the perfection of Christ.

        Grace is God's favor on the believer, but has no ontological or intrinsic effect in the sinner, who remains a sinner before, during and after salvation. The gift of salvation is granted as a free gift by God's own volition, and there is a sense in which all believers were predestined to salvation, though Protestants will argue amongst one another about just how much free will plays in the process.

        CATHOLIC VIEW: From the divine perspective, God knows exactly who will be saved. However, in the temporal sphere, we work out our salvation, sometimes in fear and trembling, as a process (Philippians 2:12). Catholics do not believe that it is a sign of a lack of faith to question your own salvation. Indeed, since self-righteousness and presumption are so often condemned in Scripture, Catholics see it as a sign of humility and spiritual maturity to leave even your own personal salvation in the hands of God without knowing that you are saved. To a Catholic, perseverance expresses itself through doing the works of grace even when you do not necessarily feel it and are not particularly sure of yourself.

        If we turn to history or tradition, the Protestant view on several issues CAN be supported by many theological opinions written prior to the Reformation. The Catholic view may have been more prevalent and developed, especially in Aquinas, but the Protestant views are not absent. A good Protestant apologist can find support for Protestant doctrines in some of the writings of the early fathers or in practices of the early church.

        I go through all this because this position is typically a theological debate between denominations for centuries, not just a casual discussion. I agree with much of Calvinism (TULIP), but also see the side of Arminiamism. So I have always been partial to both positions on certain points. Besides, Charles Haddon Spurgeon is one of my heroes of the faith, and he was a supralapsarianist Calvinist. A final note from the Word of God… "Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons." I Timothy 4:1

        I will share what I wrote to a Catholic brother just the other day: “I learned some time ago that man’s idea of what God, Spirit and eternity is all about is largely beyond our comprehension, for “God’s thinking is above man’s thinking” as reflected in Isaiah 55:9. We are only given a portion of truth, seeing as through a dark glass (1 Cor. 13:12). Regarding most debates, a wise and discerning soul should not be dogmatic and stubborn, because there is rarely sufficient revelation to develop a fixed position. Becoming caught up in doctrinal debates will cause division, rather Christians are called to focus on loving others and give little thought to heady controversies. I find there are acceptable truths in any position founded upon scripture, but no one has absolute knowledge. Never will in this physical life As Paul said "I resolved to know nothing… except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2).
        "Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life." John 14:6


        • #5
          Scriptural References that Warn of Apostasy

          This is a very important subject, therefore I have compiled a number of scripture that reviews thought around "One Saved Always Saved" Calvinistic position on salvation. Again, not that this statement is not true, but to think one has assurance that no matter what one chooses after profession doesn't effect the end result. This then is where the error lies.

          Parable of Sower:

          Mark 4:16 (Luke 8:13) "And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; (they believe for a while) and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

          Fallen from Grace:

          Galatians 5:4 "You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace."

          Pruning the Wavering:

          John 15:5-6 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
          Romans 11:19-23 "You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again."

          Hebrews Warnings:

          Hebrews 6:4-6 "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame."
          Hebrews 10:26-27 "For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries."
          Hebrews 10:38-39 "But by righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul."

          Doctrinal Apostasy:

          Acts 20:17,28-30 "And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church." ... "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them."
          1 Timothy 1:18-21 "fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander"
          2 Timothy 2:16-18 "But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and thus they upset the faith of some."
          1 Timothy 4:1 "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons"
          1 Timothy 6:20-21 "O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"-which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith."
          2 Peter 2:1 "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves."
          2 Peter 3:17 "You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness"
          2 John 8-9 "Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son."

          Moral Apostasy:

          1 Timothy 6:9-10 "But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang."
          2 Peter 2:20-22 "For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A dog returns to its own vomit," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.""
          James 5:19-20 "My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins."

          Book of Revelation:

          Revelation 2:4-5 "'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 'Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place-unless you repent."
          Revelation 3:5 "'He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.
          Revelation 3:16-17 "So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked"

          Old Testament References:

          Ezekiel 18:24-26 "But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die. "Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not right.' Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right? "When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die."


          • #6
            Some final thoughts

            I don't want to beat the topic into the ground. So these are only going to be some final thoughts.
            First, I believe scripture is infallible. I do not believe that God gave us an infallible source of revelation and then left us with fallible interpretation.

            You wrote: "Regarding most debates, a wise and discerning soul should not be dogmatic and stubborn, because there is rarely sufficient revelation to develop a fixed position. Becoming caught up in doctrinal debates will cause division, rather Christians are called to focus on loving others and give little thought to heady controversies. "

            Sometimes there are heady controversies but sometimes these are questions that have to asked and doctrines (beliefs) that have to be discussed. It's THE most important question we ask ourselves. God would not reveal truth and then not have it be able to be known.

            I too worry about division - this is why I am sorry the Protestant movement ever took place.The division that began with the Catholic Church hasn't subsided a bit. In fact it has grown, from the beginning, to division after division. (Remember the first word in Protestant is protest).

            I think understanding and discussion, with respect, will help us towards unity but I will say this. There will never be true unity without the Eucharist. That's a pretty bold statement, but I'm certain of it. We need unity now more than ever for the very reason this forum was founded. It would give such a witness to the world that the world needs so badly now. But unless we talk about these matters all we can do is sweep them under the rug and that I'm afraid doesn't help.

            We don't need to beat each other over the head either, but we do need to discuss the real problems not pretend they don't exist. Always in charity though.

            I honestly don't go as ballistic with our Protestant brethern as I do with sites that claim to be Catholic and are New Age Movement. Or sites that claim you can be Wiccan and other occult movements and Catholic. When you present them with the truth, they usually duck for cover or get angry. Those are the ones I go ballistic over. I think there is such a thing as justifiable anger and that may be it. But it's not out of hatred.

            One of the hurdles in discussion is authority. Who has authority to interpret what scripture means? I find non-Catholics are very uneasy with any authority except individual authority.
            God Bless,


            • #7
              Infallable Sola Scriptura

              This is not a matter of opinion, this is a matter of fact. Scripture as it is written has no less then several thousand grammar and interpretation errors within the KJV and Catholic Oxford Annotated Bible (based on the RSV) as two examples. It isn't until the NASB in 1995 that we have much better translation and tranliteration, but much is still left to guessing because of the missing "Q" manuscript used to develop the Synoptic Gospels (Probably Mark). Any apologist who studies the authenticity of scriptures objectively can confirm this. However, regarding the truth contained, the Scripture is indeed infallable and certainly the best source for enlightenment and truth.

              The fact remains that people are a sum composite of their culture, tradition and understand life and its principals based on what authority figures have taught them. I have found few adults that actually think for themselves outside the box. Our minds are packed tight with misconceptions, distorted axioms and psychological nuances that mislead people their entire lives.


              • #8
                More Thoughs regarding OSAS...

                Can A Person Walk Away?

                This question comes up frequently, but the answer bears repeating. According to Ephesians 1:13-14 and 2 Cor. 1:21-22 when we first become believers, the Lord seals the Holy Spirit in our hearts to guarantee our inheritance. At that point the Lord accepts responsibility for keeping us saved. In John 10:27-30 and other places Jesus said that no one can get us out of His hands.

                Christians sometimes rebel and may even say they’ve renounced their relationship with the Lord. But if they were truly saved, He has promised to go after them like a shepherd goes after a lost sheep and will bring them back. If He doesn’t that means they were never saved in the first place, because He has promised never to lose anyone the Father has given Him. (John 6:38-40).

                Can We Give It Back?

                There are several verses that if taken literally tell us that once we agree to be saved the matter is out of our hands and God accepts responsibility for keeping us that way. For ex, John 10:27-30 which is one of them. Common sense tells us that the words “no one” are all inclusive and pertain to us as well. Romans 8:38-39 is another such passage where Paul said that nothing in all of creation can separate us from God’s love. Since we’re part of creation, that means us. Some people like to add the phrase “no one but us” but the Scriptures don’t support that, in fact they seem to clearly include us among those who can’t get us away from God.

                In John 6:38-40 Jesus said that it was His father’s will that He should lose none of us. We may not always do His fathers will, but surely Jesus always does.

                My personal favorite is 2 Cor. 1:21-22 where we’re told that it’s God Himself who makes us stand, having put His seal of ownership on us. Earlier in 1 Cor 6:19-20 Paul said that we’re not our own, we were bought with a price.

                All these statements tell me that once we come to the Lord we have no further say in the matter. We become His children and He accepts responsibility for keeping us in the family. The more you understand the sin nature, the clearer it becomes that He had to do that. We simply cannot be trusted to always act in our own best interests. Like the sheep we are, we’d wander right into the open jaws of the lion if the Shepherd wasn’t there to prevent it. In summary, there is no Scriptural support for the idea that we can hand back our salvation.

                Can I Un-Save Myself?

                There are several verses that answers this question in no uncertain terms. John 6:39 says it’s God’s will that Jesus will lose none of all those who are given to Him. 2 Cor. 1:21-22 says that God has accepted responsibility for keeping us saved. He’s the one who makes us stand. He put His seal of ownership on us and His Spirit in us as a guarantee.

                Remember how clearly Jesus used the analogy of the sheep and the shepherd in referring to His relationship with us? Sheep are prone to wandering, but when they do it’s the shepherd’s job to bring them back. John 10:27-30 explains this very well. No one can take you away from Him, not even you. Romans 8:38-39 says that nothing in all of creation can separate you from His love. That also includes you.

                Deceived By The Apostate Church?

                Q. This has to do with the “falling away” 2 Thes. 2:1-12. I understand that many will be deceived by/into the apostate church of the End Times through various avenues. If someone is/starts out a true Christian but in the process of living becomes deceived and does not realize nor repent of this but continues to sincerely believe they are following Jesus even though they have fallen away from the Gospel they were saved with and their relationship with Jesus, have they lost their salvation?

                I believe in OSAS - but some refer to verse 12, it is talking only about those who have never been reconciled to God — or is it also talking about those Christians who become deceived?

                In 2 Cor. 1:21-22, Paul wrote that at the moment He sealed the Holy Spirit with in you, God accepted responsibility for keeping you saved. In John 6:38-40 He said he would never lose any of us. John 10:27-30 and Romans 8:38-39 both say that nothing can ever get us away from the Lord.

                2 Thes. 2:10 identifies the subject of verses 11 and 12 as “Those who are perishing.” Non-believers. Besides, these verses refer to a time after the anti-Christ is revealed, in other words after the Church is gone.

                JL Handlon
                <: ))))>< ^j^ ^j^ ^j^

                "WARNING: Exposure to the SON... May Prevent Burning"



                • #9
                  "Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." Hebrews 3:12

                  "God has no patience for unbelief"
                  warns Pastor David Wilkerson from a message at Times Square Church, May 16, 2004, reviewing the fall of Saul, Sampson and Solomon. The outcome of such "evil heart of unbelief," if allowed to become fixed and permanent, will be apostasy (cf. Luke 8:13; 1 Timothy 4:1) from "the living God," from him who is Eternal Life and the Source of all life and salvation. (Excellent message here: http://media.tscnyc.org/wmedia/20040516S1.wma)

                  There is in every person, whether a profane sinner, or a hypocritical professor, an evil heart, and an unbelieving one. There is unbelief in regenerate persons, which when cherished and encouraged by them is a great evil, and must be pressed out. This sin is aggravated by the many seasons of God's grace, and by the many declarations of it, and by the exceeding great and precious promises God has made, and by the great discoveries of his love to their souls in times past. This sin, when it gains footing, has a grave influence over the heart, to make it evil; and unbelief was the first sin of man, at least it very early appeared; it is the mother sin, and puts persons upon every sin. It defiles the conscience, hardens the heart, renders the reading or study of the Word unprofitable, unfit for duty and renders souls unstable, and especially because of the darkening effect that follows.

                  There is a final and total departure from Christ, from his Gospel and ordinances, from his people, and from a former profession of faith, which is never to be found in true and steadfast believers. By letting go their hold of Him, or by a non-exercise of faith upon the presence of Christ is a castration of the heart. This should be the care and concern of every individual member of the church, and at all times; unbelief is very dishonorable to God and Christ; contradicts the word and promises of God; it is a sin that very easily besets, and is very provoking to God. To apostatize from Christ is to apostatize from the living God (Hebrews 2:3).

                  "And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again." Romans 11:23.

                  The restoration of the Jews is, far less improbable than the call of the Gentiles to be the children of Abraham; and though others now possess these privileges, it will not hinder their being admitted again. By rejecting the gospel, and by their indignation at its being preached to the Gentiles, the Jews were become enemies to God. But God is able to graft them in again; as many of them were in the times of the apostles, and some since, for nothing is impossible with God. Where what is true with the Jews, is true of the those who have wandered. God can remove their unbelief, knock off the shackles and fetters in which they are held, and bring them out of the prison of unbelief, in which they are shut up. He is able to take away the blindness of their minds, and the hardness of their hearts, the veil that is over them, and turn them to the Lord. He can by his mighty power work faith in them, and cause them to look on him whom they have pierced, and mourn in genuine repentance. He can bring the wandering souls back to Christ, and among his people, and fold them with the rest of his sheep, under one shepherd, Jesus Christ.


                  • #10
                    Thank you for covering this. I'm still a little unclear as you referenced at least 6 verses that confirm the doctrine of eternal salvation, but then there are obviously a multitude of verses that warn of falling away (along with your final statement reminding us of Christ's warning). There is definitely a tension there.

                    Someone loosely described something like this to me before as to how this plays out in heaven. Basically, the statement was OSAS, but that the rewards in heaven vary greatly and are disbursed according to how our faith played out in our lives in terms of fruit, obedience, heart issues, etc. So the person who believed and was saved, but had a hard heart and bore no perceived fruit, heaven would be a different experience (or the reward would look different) than the person who, like Paul, fought the good fight and finished the race well.

                    Thank you for your thoughts and clarifying insights. I continue to ponder and pray about these things. I continue to study the Word. Speaking of which, are there any good exegetical books that give the varying viewpoints for different verses? For example, you mentioned the three main viewpoints for Hebrews 6:4-6. Do you have a specific books that contains these insights or did you put those together based on your own studies of different exegetical resources?


                    • #11
                      Yes indeed, there is a tension. I did list a short list of 10 verses that distinctly point to the potential of going astray, along with 6 verses assuring our salvation. That assurance is largely dependent and reflect on the 10+ verses that warn about forsaking the faith. Taking all the New Testament in context, we come away with an assurance on God's part, but dependence of sustaining on our part in combination with continuing in the Holy Spirit. We don't have a prayer to remain on the path if we try in the flesh, but must continue in the Word, to DAILY purge the flesh and enlarge the Spirit.

                      There is no formula to apply as to ascertain the exact outcome for each person. Where the Lord did respond to the disciples to the question, "Then who can be saved?" But He said, "The things that are impossible with people are possible with God." If we are flirting with apostasy, then we increase our risks of abandoning the way. If we are embracing sin or courting the world without limit, we are certainly revealing a growing apostate condition that is prone to abrupt departure.

                      My modification of the saying has always been "Once Saved Always Saved If We Are Saved." Not perfect theology, but the implication is if we are truly in Christ, then we will remain in Christ. If we are in the faith for any other reason than genuinely being born again, we will not remain true to the course, but wander away. Thus the parable of the four types of soil in Matthew 13 and Mark 4, all showed signs of change, some for a short time, others for the long time, but only the fourth was genuinely transformed in heart and deed and remained true to the course and inherited eternal life. Or again the parable about the man who hid his inheritance. He had a form religion, was not questioned by any in attendance, but was not part of the family, "And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matt. 25:30 Therefore the idea of hopefully sliding in by a narrow margin may be a dangerous premise, where such could be found disqualified.

                      I don't have any books in my library that I could recommend off hand. Most my studies come from years of digging, as you, seeking the truth until I could come away with a balanced and contextualed answer.


                      What's Going On


                      There are currently 1689 users online. 0 members and 1689 guests.

                      Most users ever online was 6,289 at 09:07 PM on 12-25-2023.

                      Discerning the Truth Forum Statistics


                      Topics: 298   Posts: 985   Members: 221   Active Members: 0
                      Welcome to our newest member, Markus Wagner.