The DIFFERENCE Between Assurance of Salvation and CALVINISM’S Perseverance of the Saints

Assurance of Salvation

The DIFFERENCE Between Assurance of Salvation (Once Saved, Always Saved) and CALVINISM’S Perseverance of the Saints (Once CHOSEN, Always CHOSEN)

There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between Calvinism’s version of ‘once saved, always saved’ and the BIBLICAL version of Assurance of Salvation.

You see, Calvinists believe you are CHOSEN by God before you are born, therefore you are actually ‘ONCE CHOSEN, ALWAYS CHOSEN’.  If you are Elect, you can’t become un-elect!   The Biblical version is WE HAVE FREE WILL, when you come to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are REGENERATED;  the Holy Spirit comes to abide in you and HE SEALS YOU, and your name is written in to the book of Life.

Philippians 4:3    “Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”

Revelation 3:5 also makes is clear that once a name is written in the book of life, Jesus PROMISES that He will never blot it out.

Revelation 3:5    “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.”

Who are those who have conquered? Well these are those who have overcome the trials of earthly life and are genuinely saved.   In Revelation, Jesus was speaking to all the Churches, and He promises to acknowledge us before His Own Father and the angels, those whose names are written in the book of life.   Unfortunately (Revelations 20:15) reveals the fate of those whose names that are NOT written in the book of life and they go to the lake of fire

Revelation 20:15    And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

In Revelation 13:8 and Revelation  21:27, we find the references to the “Lamb’s book of life”,  in which are also names of all those who have been washed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. The Lamb who has been “slain from the creation of the world” has a book in which are written all those who have been redeemed by His sacrifice. They are the ones who will enter the Holy City, the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10) and who will live forever in heaven with God. Since the book of life is that which records all who have eternal life through the Lamb, it’s clear that the book of life and the Lamb’s book of life are one and the same.

When the Holy Spirit comes to abide in us, he stays there foreverHe does not come and go and come and go each time you fall into some kind of sin.

John 14:16   “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. “

The fact that the Holy Spirit will never leave a believer is also seen in (Ephesians 1:13-14) where believers are said to be “sealed” with the Holy Spirit,

Ephesians 1:13-14    “13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”   

The envision of being sealed with the Spirit is one of ownership and possession. God has promised eternal life to all who are genuinely born again, and as a guarantee that He will keep His promise, He has sent the Holy Spirit to abide in the believer until the day of redemption. Kind of like making a down payment/deposit on a house or a car, God has provided all believers with a DEPOSIT on their future relationship with Him by sending the Holy Spirit to abide in them. The fact that all believers are sealed with the Spirit is also seen in (2 Corinthians 1:22 and Ephesians 4:30).

2 Corinthians 1:22   Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”   

Ephesians 4:30  “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

NOW LOOK AT THIS – DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OLD COVENANT AND NEW COVENANT:

Now, BEFORE Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, before the NEW COVENANT, the Holy Spirit had a “come and go” relationship with people.  The Holy Spirit indwelt King Saul, but then He departed from him:

1 Samuel 16:14  “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.”

Here (1 Samuel 16:13) we read that the Holy Spirit came upon David.  But after his adultery with Bathsheba, David feared that the Holy Spirit would be taken from him.

Psalm 51:11   “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”

In (Exodus 31:2-5) we read that the the Holy Spirit filled Bezaleel to enable him to produce the items needed for the tabernacle, but this is not described as a permanent relationship.

The Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth when she heard about Mary’s conception and her baby leaped in her womb.

Luke 1:41   “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost

But all of this changed beginning on the day of Pentecost, (Acts 2) the Holy Spirit began permanently indwelling believers.  Pentecost was the commissioning of the Christian church and the fulfillment of God’s promise to always be with us and never forsake us.

Now, understand this, while the Holy Spirit will never leave a GENUINE believer, it is possible for our sin to “quench the Holy Spirit” or “grieve the Holy Spirit”

Quenching the Holy Spirit:  1 Thessalonians 5:19   “Quench not the Spirit.”

Grieving the Holy Spirit:   Ephesians 4:30   “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Sin ALWAYS has consequences in our relationship with Jesus. While our relationship with God is SECURE in Jesus Christ, UNCONFESSED SIN sin in our lives WILL hinder our relationship with God and it will quench the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives. That is why it is so important to ask Jesus for forgiveness of our sins because God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).   So, while the Holy Spirit will never leave us, the reward and joy of His presence in our lives will feel far away, because sin drives a wedge between us and God and we are effectively distancing ourselves from Jesus.

As Christians SEALED by the Holy Spirit you will still sin, but if you are genuinely born again, the Holy Spirit will CHASTISE you every time you sin and you will sooner than later repent of your sins.  But there are people who PROFESS to be Christian and they do not have the Holy Spirit in then.  These are people who can speak Jesus’ name, they go to church, even have big ministries teaching people the bible and they sound so intelligent, but they have not been REGENERATEDbecause they refuse to give up their sinful ways, they refuse to pick up their cross and follow Jesus.

Luke 14:27   “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”

They think they can have it both ways.

2 Timothy 3:5   They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its powerSo avoid people like these.

They have bad fruit, they follow doctrines of demons, and they mingle with evil people and very easily compromise the Word of God for the sake of ‘unity’.

Satan always does twist scripture for his own advantage and tell people that at an alter call if they just pray the sinners pray they will be saved and never lose it, but God knows who is GENUINELY saved and who isn’t.  We CAN’T fool Him.  People CAN FOOL EACH OTHER into believing they are real Christians, when in fact they are not.  And how do we tell if they are not, well by the things they do and say (the fruit of the spirit)  – the words the speak/preach. But even then, sometimes we meet some ‘great pretenders’ some brilliant con-artists and it takes a long time to figure them out.

See this article as well:  Eternal Security – Genuinely Saved, Always Saved!

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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20 Comment authors
Deborah (Discerning the World)hemrajWayne JackmichaelJohn Chingford Recent comment authors
John Chingford
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John Chingford

Hi Debs

I do not believe it is all so black/white as you have stated regarding those in charismatic circles being unsaved. I will give part of my testimony as an example.

I came to a time in my life when the words “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me” hit me like lightening. The sudden realisation like a beam of light that it was my sins that nailed Jesus to the cross and that He suffered for my sake because of me. At that point I was overwhelmed by God’s love for me and broke down in tears before my Saviour and willingly committed my life to Him. It was indeed irresistable love (not the Calvin type).

From that moment I was born again with a changed heart. I was so enthusiastic for Jesus that I wanted to read everything about my faith that I could get my hands on (that was a mistake) and I was absorbed with reading/studying the Bible. Soon after I got into the bible, other books paled into insignificace with reading the Bible. However, one of the books I read at the beginning was “a cross and a switchblade” by David Wilkerson.

This book got be focussed on seeking the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”. I actually DID have a wonderful experience (not by the laying on of hands) whilst in a prayer meeting. It was like light completely shined within my soul releasing me from every shackle that I still had. Beforehand my heart/emotions were awakened to love Jesus, but now it was COMPLETE release. I could sing these words “my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed thee”. Whether I was already saved or NOW saved, I do not know, but all I know is that I received a boldness in my witness I didn’t have until then.

I attended charismatic churches for many years after then (in the late 70’s early 80’s) and I KNOW I was saved DESPITE in naivety being part of them.

John Chingford
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John Chingford

Debs

As you know, I DO FIRMLY believe (as stated in Scripture) that if someone is truly saved (born again or born into God’s kingdom as a newborn child of God) they can NEVER lose that status and can NEVER be unborn.

I wrote my last comment because of what you said in item 30 to Carolyn:

“Now listen to this, until such time as you obeyed the Holy Spirit and came out of false teaching, you were one of those branches ready for the fire (just like I was before I was saved). You thought you were saved, but you were not. You thought you were following the bible but you were not”

If what you said was true then I did not become saved until I stopped attending charismatic churches in 2004. I know that I was saved in 1977 and filled with the Holy Spirit about 1.5 years later on. My understanding of what happened was that as I offered myself in surrender to Jesus HE then had more of me, rather than me having more of the Holy Spirit. The result was a filling.

Please do not be afraid of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” by throwing out the baby with the bath water just because there is SOOOOOOO much of the counterfeit going on and those who preach it most are the biggest fakes on Earth.

The fact is that it is scriptural to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Then Ephesians 4:18 “be filled with the Holy Spirit”. Paul was addressing born again believers.

John Chingford
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John Chingford

Sorry. The last verse I quoted, should be Eph 5:18 NOT 4:18

Redeemed
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Redeemed

Hi Carolyn,

I see you addressed me as “Redeemer”. There is only one Redeemer. Of course it was a typo.

Sister, you are a real hoot and I think if we sat down over a spot ‘0 tea we would have a great time of fellowship and a lot of giggles and chuckles and some guffaws mixed in. And I don’t think I would find you “loopy”, but instead just a regular person who has had a wealth of life experiences.

I am thankful for DTW and that Deborah allows a forum for us to come together and discuss all of this, much of it iron sharpening iron. There is little to no sound doctrine coming from the pulpit anymore, so those who love the truth and are confused or questioning can come and we can “talk” about it and hopefully as a result we can find clarity.

I truly hope that your alcoholic messed up friend with the faithful praying mother comes to his senses and TRULY surrenders to the Lord. I know people who know how to talk the talk and deceptively worm their way into the lives of believers and even so far as marrying them. Then at some future point they are exposed for what they TRULY are – FAKES. They posed as Christians for personal gain, perhaps to win over someone they want to marry or wish employment from or some other benefit. It happens all the time and we just have to be discerning and see the red flags. Often there is no way except through the test of time to discover the truth. And that ends up as a very painful experience.

If one is living a life of sin, not temporary slippage, but practicing it as a lifestyle, it is a choice. We say so often that we can’t know the heart, but we can judge from the FRUIT of the life as to whether that person has the Holy Spirit.

Your friend loves his sin, that is why he practices it. No true believer will love their sin, but will be miserable in it. That is a test that shows what is in the heart. We don’t have to be clueless about this.

tosin
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tosin

i am so disappionted in your comparison of calvin theology and bible. are you the true bible teacher. you are proud. pray that God should reveal what he thinks about you to you

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

Hi John. I also believe that it is not as cut and dried as “you’re either in or you’re out”. Then we cross into cookie cutter kind of Christianity where, “if you don’t look just like me, you’re not a cookie”. Who do we serve? That’s the question.

It is God who sees our response to the Holy Spirit and the message of the gospel and continues defining, refining, and perfecting our belief. He is the one who gives life. He is the one who exposes our sin, our idolatry and heart issues that keep us from total freedom in Christ. He’s the one who puts us through the fire and we don’t know what he’s doing sometimes, (no make that most of the time)…but as a disciple of Christ, we follow, we pray, we ask, we knock, we seek and we believe. He who made the promises is faithful to bring his Word to pass in our lives. He will bring us home.

Hi Redeemed. I had to look back to make sure you were telling the truth. Did I really call you Redeemer? Ha…yes I did. I will probably not make that mistake again…but then again, my synapses are not always connected. Depends how much coffee I have drinked that day :-). Yes, it would be fun to sit down over a cup of something…green tea, earl grey, black, herbal…your choice sister.

In my friend’s case, the fact that he became angry with the pastor and didn’t quickly repent was the thing that separated him from the life of peace with God that he had enjoyed up to that time.

I know in my own life there have been a couple of times when I hated someone and both times, I was awakened with what felt like an ultimatum from the consuming fire of God…can’t explain it…it was scary. In both cases I was more than justified for my anger (due to betrayal, lies and nasty words said to me) but that didn’t matter to God. I knew it was either give up my anger and forgive or forfeit my peace with Him. Had I hedged, I may have lost out. But in both cases, I got up, hauled in the horns, made the calls and asked forgiveness.

In one of the cases, I saw little to no reciprocation (it involved a whole raft of characters from family members to spouse to friends and charismatic elders). Today because I made the calls to those I hated, my conscience is clear. That did not mean that I allowed them to walk all over me. I still detached from their abusive behaviour. Most of them chose not to have a relationship with me because they refused to be respectful. But God had freed me from my own hatred.
1 John 2:9
He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1 John 2:11
But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

My friend lives with his hatred every day. I heard the story of the argument between him and the pastor at least a dozen times while he was here (although I would change the subject momentarily). Hatred still consumes him…as does his sin. If only he had repented quickly….Still…I can’t say that he will NEVER repent. I can judge his sinful lifestyle however and when his time was up…he was outta here. God opened the door and I lent the boot.

Paul (Continue in His Word)
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Paul (Continue in His Word)

Debs and John,
I read your exchanges, and they are related to the question I have been pondering with again and again since June 2011 when I came out of deception.

I was saved in 1992. Shortly after that I joined the Cameroon based charismatic cult called Christian Missionary International founded by the late Zacharias Tanee Fomum. I loved the Lord passionately. I was totally committed to the Lord, yet I blindly followed this cult and its founder and his vision to win the world for Christ, because I most sincerely believed that he was serving the Lord. Even though the cult taught that you can loose your salvation (–> works based), even though I didn’t have complete victory over sin in my life, I NEVER doubted my salvation. Despite my education, I’ve always had a childlike faith in the Words of Jesus in John 1:12, John 3:16, John 3:36, John 5:24, John 10:27-29, 1 John 5:12-13, etc.

To make a long story short, God in His Mercy and Grace miraculously opened my eyes to that deep deception and satanic lies in June 2011. Since that day it has been a passionate and liberating journey and search and discovery of truth.

Now, I am having a hard time reconciling Scriptures like John 16:13, John 8:31-32, John 10:5, John 10:25 on the one hand, and having had the Abiding Holy Spirit in me all these 19 years. The depth of the deception I was in is simply unfathomable to me today, and I keep wandering: was I genuinely saved then? if yes, where was the abiding Holy Spirit of Truth who only leads us into ALL Truth? Where was He? Why did I hear the voice of and followed a stranger? Why did I not flee from the stranger? Why did I not hear the voice of Jesus and did I not follow Him?

Sincerely, the only true answer I can give today, the only logical conclusion I can give is I DID NOT HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF TRUTH. And consequently I was NOT saved. what I have been saying until now is: I was genuinely saved, and God knew my heart, that is why He took me out of there, and out of all the deceptions. What I have been saying is: If someone in there is truly saved, he will of necessity get out of there. I have not been seeing them as unsaved. If what I am realizing concerning myself is true, it means they are still all unsaved. This is a sobering thought.

After all, did our Lord not say that “IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, they shall deceive the very elect.”, meaning that they shall NOT deceive the elect?

Anyway “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”

Sue
Guest
Sue

Salvation comes in the millisecond one believes, or faiths in the Gospel. Nothing goes before (not even repentance, or baptism) that vital moment of agreement and acceptance of God’s FREE gift, the ONLY condition for Salvation is for ‘pistis’, to believe/faith in Christ and that is stated more than 200 times in Scripture. The second we believe, we are Justified as Jesus takes on our unrighteousness and credits to our account HIS righteousness. Legally, by heaven’s court, our dept is paid IN FULL by Christ and we are declared to be ‘not guilty’ as the Holy Spirit immediately INDWELLS the new believer in our brand new human spirit and we are given the ‘new nature’ in Christ. At that very moment, the Holy Spirit also plunges us INTO the Body of Christ, His Bride, the Church and there we are kept for eternity by the power of God.

JUSTIFICATION is the initial part of our being saved/born-again. This is by God’s Grace, through faith alone in Christ alone and there is no outward evidence of the miracle of Salvation that has taken place. This does not mean we do not sin, because we also retain the ‘old man’ or ‘sin nature’ as well as the ‘new man’ in Christ. So the trial of our faith begins as we say yes to the Holy Spirits leading instead of our fleshly (its all about ME) sin nature. Over our life span, The Holy Spirit will change us, as we choose to obey God’s Word instead of self. This is SANCTIFICATION.

First comes JUSTIFICATION – and regardless of how we behave, good or bad, we are 100% saved by no works salvation. NOT deeds, it is a God proclaimed legal FACT. For by Grace are you saved, through faith, and that (our salvation) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by any works lest any man should boast. God alone can see our transition from eternal death, to eternal life in Christ.

It is the process of SANCTFICATION that is visible to onlookers. This process will take our remaining mortal life span to be changed. Even then, it is only when we finally see Christ at the Rapture; that the perfect is come in each of us and Christ’s Body is complete. It’s easier for us to see rebellion against God in others during our sanctification – the refusal to submit to God’s will in obedience to His Word is easily noted in the thief, the alcoholic, the proud and the deniers of Christ. The Corinthians are a prime example of saved believers i.e. the justified who are sinning as if they were still in the world remaining babes instead of growing into mature believers which is God’s will for us all.

Mistaking Justification for Sanctification is a common error.

Maranatha – please.

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

Debs, you said:
“Now listen to this, until such time as you obeyed the Holy Spirit and came out of false teaching, you were one of those branches ready for the fire (just like I was before I was saved). You thought you were saved, but you were not. You thought you were following the bible but you were not. But you are clearly a genuine seeker of the Lord Jesus Christ and God KNEW that you would come out of false teaching (because He knows all our futures) and accept Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit would come to abide in you and then your eyes were opened to the TRUTH of everything you were involved in and slowly to quickly you came out of it…”

I believe the question is, what is genuine faith?

I believed the gospel, John 3:16 as a child. But my family was steeped, I say steeped in NOLR and Pentecostalism and we had books like Guideposts with rat eared corners sitting on the coffee table and God Calling sitting on another table. William Branham was the hero of the day and anything that moved or breathed charisma was welcomed.

Hey…if we grow up in these settings, we have to start somewhere. Like John I read the Bible and the books and somewhere through all the fog of false teaching there was a spark of genuine faith as small as a mustard seed. He who began a good work in me through the seed(His Word), is carrying it to completion. I know that he was present listening to my prayers, throughout my life, even though all my doctrine was not correct but because of the seed of faith that he had planted in my heart through the Word of Truth.

The thing that saved me and brought me out in the end was, of course my rejection of the “false prophet” that came to our church and all the ensuing chaos. But the reason I recognized the false prophet was because I knew the Word and I knew he wasn’t speaking things that agreed with the truth. No one else seemed to care, but I did.

To me genuine faith is faith in the Word period. It can get choked out by worries, cares, pleasures, idolatry and in today’s world, by false signs and wonders and every wind of teaching. My faith proved genuine because it was the genuine seed of the Word that remained when the winds of trouble blew in. I can tell you that during the time of testing when the WOF teaching failed me, I was devastated but when all was said and done…I was left with the Word of God still intact. And that’s the foundation that I have built on since leaving charismania.

So can I lose genuine faith? I believe the answer is NO, since genuine faith is that which is rooted solely in the Word of God. Are we on the same page?

Michael
Guest
Michael

What does to believe really mean according to the word of God.

I found this written by Vitali on the web.

It appears a simple and helpful.

1) The verb “to believe” is closely related to the noun “faith”; basically “to believe”=”to have faith”
2) At the heart of the meaning is the idea of certainty. So, to believe means to be very certain about something. This is in contrast with modern English meaning, which can range from certainty to a guess, as in “I believe there will be good weather tomorrow”.
3) As a logical consequence of 2), having certainty about something often results in action, as you put your trust in it
4) The degree of certainty may vary, e.g. you can have little faith or faith to move mountains.

How do you know you believe in something (in the biblical sense)? I often find people to be poor judges of their faith, tending to overestimate it. The easiest test, quite independent from personal opinion, is to see whether your faith naturally results in a corresponding action. I am intentionally highlighting the word “naturally”, because

1) It is possible that outside circumstances, a punishment or a reward can make you behave in a certain way even though you don’t believe you should. In this case your behavior is not a sign of the faith.

2) You can force yourself to behave in a certain way precisely because you lack faith. This often happens when Christians do not have certainty that God has accepted them as they are, and hence are trying to make up for it with “good behavior”, “acts of righteousness”, as to earn God’s favor. This is the basis for so-called “salvation by works”. Compared to 1), here the action is a sign of having no or little faith.

So, does this mean that if we cannot detect a trace of reward expectation or punishment fear, or lack of faith in our behavior, then it is natural? Well, again, I find people (including myself) to be poor judges of why we do things. Most of us like to think that we do not steal because we are good people, but take away the potential punishment (as often happens in times of war, revolution), and the true character sadly shows up.

I would like to propose the following two tests. They might not work ideally in all circumstances, and may sometimes misclassify some natural behavior as unnatural, but I find them more reliable than others:

1) The natural behavior lasts. This is in contrast with the punishment or reward-based behavior, which only lasts until this punishment or reward is withdrawn. The natural behavior is caused by great inner certainty and hence depends little on outside circumstances.
2) The natural behavior is easy. Here by easy I don’t mean it does not require any effort, but that regardless of how much effort it requires, you can accomplish it with joy. This is in contrast with trying to compensate for the lack of faith, which is emotionally straining, and makes you lose joy as you feel you are never good enough.

While I was trying to be general in my description so far, the Christians, in particular, are called to believe (have absolute certainty) in the gospel. For a Christian, every trace of unnatural behavior should be a sign that he does not believe the gospel nearly as much as he might think. How to change? Admitting this unpleasant truth should be the first step. In the words of boy’s father from Mark 9:24, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” And He will help.”

Paul (Continue In His Word)
Guest
Paul (Continue In His Word)

Continuation of my post #38 above

The Lord has further settled the matter in my heart with the following Scriptures:

-My sincerity, my passionate “love” for the Lord all those 19 years don’t mean anything because “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25) and “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

-By following a stranger,I was automatically rejecting Christ even though I “believed” I was following Him at the same time, because: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24 and ”
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:26
This is actually breaking the first Commandment “Thou shalt have NO other god besides me”. When you follow, trust, believe a stranger, you are actually following, trusting, believing, and worshiping that stranger’s master who is Satan, and that is what I was doing: I had another god BESIDES Jehovah God.

-By trusting and following man, I was under the curse of God because “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5) and no one who is cursed by God is saved.

Paul (Continue In His Word)
Guest
Paul (Continue In His Word)

@Carolyn,

you wrote

To me genuine faith is faith in the Word period. It can get choked out by worries, cares, pleasures, idolatry and in today’s world, by false signs and wonders and every wind of teaching.

The abiding Holy Spirit of Truth does 3 things in the saved believer:
-He convicts him of sin, which conviction leads to repentance. You SEE(discern) your sin. You KNOW you have sinned and grieved the Holy Spirit. You are peaceless and joyless until you repent. The worries, cares, pleasures and idolatry(?) you mention fall into this category.

-He convicts him of righteousness, i.e. discernment of what is Right vs what is wrong, what is Truth vs what is false, error and deceitful (if not then verses like John 16:13, John 8:31-32, John 10:5 and John 10:27 are lies). He then rejects and flee from what is false, error, deceitful, wrong, and he cleaves to that which is true, good, right. The “false signs and wonders and every wind of teaching” you mention fall into this category, and makes me wonder if you were truly saved then, if you did not hear HIS voice warning you about the false signs and wonders and every wind of false teachings. Note: Only God knows our hearts. I’m not judging you heart. Just asking a sincere question that has troubled me but that is now settled (see my 2 latest posts on this discussion)

-He convicts him of Judgement, ie the constant consciousness of the imminent return of Christ and the coming Judgement Seat of Christ for the saved ones, and the Judgement of the Great White Throne for the lost.

Paul (Continue In His Word)
Guest
Paul (Continue In His Word)

@Carolyn,
you wrote:

The thing that saved me and brought me out in the end was, of course my rejection of the “false prophet” that came to our church and all the ensuing chaos. But the reason I recognized the false prophet was because I knew the Word and I knew he wasn’t speaking things that agreed with the truth. No one else seemed to care, but I did.

You rightly use the word “saved me”. Could it be that that is when you actually got “saved” for real?
You know what? Your testimony I just quoted is EXACTLY what happened to me in June 2011! Amazing isn’t it? I attended a 4 days conference where this “false prophet” was the speaker, and those four days were kind of my Damascus Road experience. My scales fell off and I could see. At the end of the conference I exposed, denounced and rejected that “false teacher”. Chaos ensued. No one else seemed to care. As I continued to obey and follow the Lord and Him alone, He continued to show me all the lies, false doctrines, etc, and He hasn’t stopped.

That is WHEN I date my true conversion.

God bless you my dear sister. We have many things in common. Oh yes, we have the Abiding Holy Spirit of Truth in common.

Paul (Continue In His Word)
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Paul (Continue In His Word)

@Debs,

Thank you for YOUR HONESTY! Many will not be that honest.

You know, it is not easy to swallow our pride and acknowledge that our “spiritual age” is not what we have always thought to be, to cut 19 years(in my case) from your testimony of conversion, and to suddenly become a spiritual babe (19 months in my case). It is not easy to have to rewrite the “story” of our conversion.
It takes a great deal of humility, and I have struggled with that until I have now come to terms with that.

Of course, my former “spiritual family” considers that I was “saved” before that, and that now I am “lost”. Yes, I am “lost” to them and saved unto Jesus Christ!

Redeemed
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Redeemed

Michael, I don’t know if this properly addresses what you have said, but here goes.

The thought of consequences for one’s behavior can serve as a deterent for sin just as it works in the criminal justice system. Oftentimes a deterent does not work, but oftentimes it does but there is no way to document how many crimes were prevented.

In Christianity, if one is truly saved, one will want to please the Savior out of gratitude for what He ahs done for us. That is the Holy Spirit within us. But also, there is or there SHOULD be a reverence and awe for Who God is, His majesty, His power, His might, etc. Just as a child obeys a parent, sometimes it is because they don’t want to get a spanking or it is simply to please out of love.

Surely the choice one makes on a spiritual level will determine where one spends eternity. When one fully understand the impact of spending eternity in hell it is terrifying. Some people need to hear “fire and brimstone” and others need to know the grace of God.

Certainly everyone’s life experience is different and we all face challenges to our faith. But if it is genuine saving faith, not a fleeting faith that comes and then fades quickly, we will weather through all the storms.

Redeemed
Guest
Redeemed

@ Paul (Continue in His Word):

Actually, this is for Carolyn also because you both share how you came out of false teaching. Firstly, I praise our wonderful Lord for delivering you! Paul, so recently and yet you have grown by leaps and bounds.

I don’t think any of us can discern at what point you actually surrendered your life in genuine faith. But the greater issue is that you DID and you are living for Him and desire to grow.

I too have had many “detours” in my Christian life. I believe I surrendered to the Lord as a child of 11. But there were many challenges to come, even extending into adult life. I took a trip in Charismania through a sweet couple who didn’t know better. But with every “detour”, God used that experience to His glory because I could say “been there done that” and show others it is false.
As I came out of that belief I went back to them and showed them the errors. Sadly they were so entrenched they didn’t heed my warnings, but they did step out of the worst of it. I believe they were genuinely saved, but deceived.

On the one hand we can judge fruit to see if the walk matches the talk and yet like Debs says, only God knows for sure the state of that person’s heart. Are they just going through a rough patch or are they unregenerate? My attitude is to never ASSUME someone is saved if they may profess but display bad fruit. They still need ministry even if they are saved. They need to have their salvation readdressed and confirmed and validated.

Life is a journey and there are many forks in the road. That ais why I call my departures from truth “detours”. But my Shepherd always came looking for me and brought me back to the right road. I may have got stuck in the mud but He rescued me. But we have to get on the right road to start with.

I have been edified by these exchanges and appreciate this forum where we can fellowship and ask honest questions.

Redeemed
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Redeemed

Yes, Debs case in point. The sweet elderly couple who introduced me to the “Charismatic Renewal”. They came out of a very liberal church environment into Charismania. I do believe they were saved – they are both now deceased. And they came out of the craziness of it into a more “mainstream” at that time anyway, church.

But they still revered Benny Hinn and others. I tried to show them that Hinn was a false teacher, but they chose to remain in the “signs and wonders” camp. I do not question their salvation, but at the same time I do believe when they stand before the Lord they will give an account of refusing to reject false teaching and idolize man. I hope I see them in heaven because they did believe in the biblical plan of salvation.

A side note to this. I was present at the lady’s bedside as she passed from this earth dying from cancer. It was not a peaceful passing. It was quite unsettling in fact. I and another relative quoted Scripture and prayed over her and finally she passed. I have been at the bedside of one other person and saw the life leave his eyes. It was quick and instanteous. This person had made a profession but was still connected to the Masons,m but not ample time after his profession to realize and renounce. Why the difference I am baffled. But it is in God’s hands.

I think it is just so important not to assume that someone is a Christian because they profess but there is no fruit. This is playing Russian roulette with one’s eternal destiny. But too often it is accepted at face value that one is a Christian with genuine saving faith when in fact it is not.

Redeemed
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Redeemed

p.S. to above

There is way too much “easy believism” going around that results in false professions without counting the cost of being identified with Jesus Christ.
The Gospel is simple to understand, there is a cost involved.

I like this message from John R. Rice’s book What It Costs to Be a Good Christian. It is an audio from a site where many of Bro. Rice’s sermons can be heard. I always hestitate to send someone to a site because every jot and title may not be right. So please use discernment always. There are some real gems here and some old-fashioned preachin’ that we surely could use in our day.

What It Costs To Be A Good Christian
http://fundamentalbaptistsermons.net/sermonsRice1.htm

Carolyn
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Carolyn

Paul, Redeemed, Thanks for the kind words. I don’t disagree.

Debs…I agree with much of what you say. However, I have studied Once Saved Always Saved and I still can’t fit the Scripture into that doctrine. I still see the “if” verses for what they are saying. I cannot make them fit the OSAS doctrine. Also, you stated that I was misrepresenting the Scripture. I don’t believe I was. That’s the way I read it.

So I can see on this issue we will not agree. But I know that we both agree on the important issue of WHO are faith is in. We’re both trusting in the same Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thanks for an honest discussion. I leave on a positive note:
Philippians 3:14-16
New International Version (NIV)
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Following Paul’s Example
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

John Chingford
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John Chingford

Hi Carolyn

Why leave? Why not stick around? You won’t find better respectful, open discussion on any other site anywhere else (apart from on my site [tongue in cheek, lol] though DTW is a much bigger site than mine).

Please believe me because I have tried to find a suitable one. There are some who welcome you AS LONG as you agree with them. Woe betide you if you disagree – you get ridiculed, ostracised etc etc. Then there are others that are okay but they are too open and do allow “leaven” to spread rendering the site ineffective.

Although Debs can be sometimes a bit too forthright imho she will always allow discussion which allows for respect for each other. Those who Debs allows to comment freely are those who show more of the character of Jesus than I have found anywhere else (I try to do the same on my own site also).

Let’s face it, why should strangers come in and start “slagging” us off. However, if they give their opinions in a respectful way then Debs will publish their comments. I do not see that leniency anywhere else.

So PLEASE stick around! For the sake of “Redeemed” please hang around because the two of you seem to be “hitting it off”.

Also, I am in the process of putting something together which I would like you to read and reply to.

God bless

John Chingford
Guest
John Chingford

@ Deborah (Discerning the World):

Debs, the point I am making is that the NT is full pof references to “being filled with the Holy Spirit”. The “baptism of the Holy Spirit” is just another term for receiving or being filled with the Holy Spirit. Although there were specific apostolic gifts given for JUST those 12 apostles, surely we all need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to be effective disciples of Jesus? The purpose of being filled with the Holy Spirit is to give us the strength, courage, discernment etc for witnessing. I am not giving my opinions. These things are very clear throughout the NT. Paul said that those who do not have the Holy Spirit do not belong to Christ. That means that receiving the Holy Spirit is a requirement for ALL believers and is what happens when a person is born again. The Holy Spirit within them makes them a new creation. “The old has gone……”.

Btw, Carolyn, that is another verse that shows that a truly born again believer can NEVER lose what they have THE OLD HAS GONE! It cannot return because it has gone for good! You have become an eternal child of God and can never afterwards be anything else.