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!

Please share:

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

Debs

I agree. Da truth IS da truth. I was not referring to your bold and forthright stand for the truth. I admire you for the stance you take on the truth. No, I was referring to your style which I sometimes find too forthright. Just my honest opinion. Hugs!

John Chingford
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John Chingford

@ Redeemed: re 54

I have listened to most of that audio. I like most of what he said. Although I was concerned by one thing he said which was “we are little saviours” which is possibly where WoF preachers got the idea of calling us little g’s.

However, I “sort of” understand what he was trying to say, i.e that Jesus wants to use us as disciples to save others. I cringed when I heard him call me a little saviour. I am simply an ambassador for Christ and a mouthpiece – nothing else. I CANNOT save anyone. It is only the Holy Spirit’s work that can bring them to Jesus. I cannot convict them of sin – only the Holy Spirit can do that. So it is dangerous to call ourselves “little saviours”.

Having said that, he makes an excellent point in showing there is a difference between being saved and becoming a disciple.

Obviously, the reason we were not taken immediately to heaven when we were saved is because Jesus has a work (as disciples) for each and every one of us in playing our part to preach the gospel throughout the world, bringing the unsaved to salvation and THEN discipling them so that they ALSO can win others and can disciple them too etc etc.

We should never be satisfied JUST being saved. The cost you referred to is the cost of being a disciple and NOT the cost of salvation. There is no cost of salvation because it is a FREE GIFT which needs to be received by faith through repentance.

Carolyn, I wrote an article covering this entitled:

“Why True Believers Are Eternally Secure In Their Salvation” on:

[removed]l

Please read the article AND the comments. Together they give a direct response to your concerns. Please always remember to put ALL isolated scripture verses into the context of the WHOLE picture of salvation (and God’s eternal plan of salvation) as shown by the WHOLE bible put together. If we do that, then isolated verses can be explained better. The above article seeks to do that.

Please also note that subsequent to August 2010 I have learnt that I was wrong in my understanding of repentance. So the comment I made “Point I am making is that the moment we repented, turned from our selfish/sinful ways and gave our lives to Jesus, we were asking Jesus to take control of our wills.” needs to be slightly changed to:

“Point I am making is that the moment we repented, (changed our minds) being convicted about our sinful condition and gave our lives to Jesus, we were asking Jesus to take control of our wills.”

In response to the cost of being saved, my full reply can be found on my article:

“What Is Repentance?” found on:
[removed]

Carolyn, please read these because it surely will prove that OSAS IS correct.

God bless

John Chingford
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John Chingford

@ Sue: re no 39

Hi Sue

I agree with most of what you said.

I would like to reply to this point you made:

“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”

ABSOLUTELY! When I was in fellowship at a Pentecost church I WAS saved (still am). Although I fellowshipped there, it did not mean I was in agreement with them or in what they practiced. It was in my naive zeal for the Lord and my desire to worship the Lord with all my heart (not just my mind) that I continued to attend. Their style of worship (especially during 1979 to 1983) enabled me express my heart to God eg, “I love you Lord and I lift my heart to worship You Oh my Lord …….” and “Jesus, how lovely you are”.

During the latter half of the eighties, new age started to infiltrate and the “experiential” aspect took over. It was during this time that I started to question the whole “pentecostal” thing and was very disturbed within my soul.

My attendance started to fall, but I did not know where else to fellowship because all the churches of other denominations seemed DEAD to me with highly compromised things being taught. So, I off and on still occasionally attended Pentecostal churches because of the scripture “do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together”.

My walk with God has been a gradual changing of me and a lifetime learning experience of how God speaks to us and that HE never contradicts the Bible. I confess that I am a simple mind and have been extremely naive and too trusting in the past. Little by little my eyes were opened to the apostasy. Now my eyes are wide open. Is this not part of the sanctification work? I KNOW I was saved in 1977, but God took me through a journey to the place I am now. With some they may “see things” really quickly, but with others it may take them longer, but it doesn’t mean they were not saved because they were in a faulty church.

I would be more concerned if a “so called” born again believer stayed in a clearly false religion such as the Catholic organisation.

Redeemed
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Redeemed

@ John Chingford:
Hi John,

I too cringed a bit over the comment “little saviors”. Then I listened to the rest and from what other things I have heard J.R. preach on I know that hsi heart is right and that he didn’t mean it like Benny Hinn and Paul Crouch that we are “little gods”. But glad that you had your discernment ears in action as we do need to catch these things.

I liked the way he described that there is a cost be BEING a Christian and the distinction between that and receiving the FREE gift of salvation.

There are many other sermons listed here and I look forward to working my way through them.

I also have learned more about J.R.’s daughters. From what I’ve learnt so far they do seem to have honored his memory and not become apostate. It would be most disappointing if that was the case.

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

ok ok. I’ll stick around. You all had me laughing so hard, I had to touch up my make-up. So long as you know…I’m not losing any sleep over this. Da fly is only around during daylight hours. At night….she sleeps. smile

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

@Redeemed,

I also have learned more about J.R.’s daughters. From what I’ve learnt so far they do seem to have honored his memory and not become apostate. It would be most disappointing if that was the case.

I apologize and retract my comment stating that ALL Dr. Rice’s daughters have gone neo-evangelical/ecumenical. It was the perception I got from the following report by David Cloud:
(Also I did not know that he had more daughters than those mentioned in David Cloud’s report)

Joyful Woman magazine

Joyful Woman, a magazine for women published by the daughters of the late fundamentalist evangelist John R. Rice, adopted the New Evangelical philosophy in the 1990s. Joy Rice Martin is the editor; two other Rice daughters, Jessie Sandberg and Joanna Rice, are contributing editors; and Elizabeth Rice Handford is the editorial consultant.

The July-August 1991 issue contained a full-page ad for Campus Crusade’s Here’s Life Publishers, including the offer of a book entitled Freeing Your Mind from Memories That Bind. Campus Crusade was radically ecumenical since its inception and has had Roman Catholic staff members.

The Jan.-Feb. 1992 issue of Joyful Woman contained a full page ad for the ecumenical World Vision, as well as an advertisement for the New International Version. World Vision works closely with the Roman Catholic Church in many parts of the world.

The May-June 1994 issue of Joyful Woman featured James and Shirley Dobson on the front cover. Fifteen years earlier, Focus on the Family’s vice president Rolf Zettersten said he and his co-workers “cast their theological distinctives aside in order to achieve a common objective–to help families” (Focus on the Family, December 1989). Dobson has had a close and uncritical relationship with Roman Catholicism. The November 1989 issue of Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine featured Mother Teresa. In November 2000, Dobson participated in a conference in Rome hosted by the pope’s Pontifical Council for the Family and by the Acton Institute, a Roman Catholic organization. Dobson also met with Pope John Paul II. The September 1990 issue of New Covenant, a Catholic charismatic magazine, praised Focus on the Family and featured a smiling Dobson on the cover, while another of the articles promoted prayers to Mary.

The Joyful Woman Jubilee in October 1994 featured the ecumenical Elisabeth Elliot as a speaker. In July 1989 Elliot spoke at the Roman Catholic Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, a hotbed of Roman Catholic-Charismatic confusion. Franciscan University holds an annual conference to exalt the blasphemous Catholic dogmas that Mary is the immaculately conceived Queen of Heaven and advocate of God’s people. In 1998, Elliot spoke at Notre Dame (Our Mother) University. When her brother converted to the Roman Catholic Church, Elliot said it is acceptable to be a Catholic and to celebrate the Catholic mass. She said this during a question-answer session at a gathering at the Wisconsin Expo Center on September 6, 1997, sponsored by WVCY radio in Milwaukee.

Keep it simple
Guest
Keep it simple

Examine Genesis 4:4-7 and Hebrews 11:4 and let me know if you think these scriptures refute Calvinist doctrine. In this passage it is clear that God offered Cain the opportunity to repent and be accepted. According to Calvinist doctrine and their use of Eph. 1:4 everyone is either “totally depraved or “unconditionally elected” before they were born. If this were true then God is being disingenuous with Cain and us.

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

@Paul you said in #38

“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.”

I would say that the Holy Spirit did not have you because you were not obeying Him. But how do we know when we are obeying him? What is Truth?

John 8:43-45
New International Version (NIV)
43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

Psalm 51:6
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

John 18:37
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

First we have to decide for truth. I’ll share this with you…I remember a very odd thing that occurred when I was still in charismania. I made an honest commitment to Truth. I remember the day, where I was standing and how I felt. It may have been my Damascus Light experience. I saw my own propensity for deceptive leanings. I saw the difference between Truth and self dishonesty. One brings light to the soul while the other brings blindness. When presented by God with the option…I chose Truth. It was shortly after that experience that everything else happened.

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

John, you said #63

With some they may “see things” really quickly, but with others it may take them longer, but it doesn’t mean they were not saved because they were in a faulty church.

Someone said something not long ago that got my attention. Charismatics will sometimes say that they just can’t stand going to an ordinary church because it is just dead orthodoxy. He said it’s not the orthodoxy that is dead. It is the faith/belief in the Word that is dead. A truth worth remembering, I thought.

Hebrews 4:2
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Another truth worth remembering is that faith and obedience go hand in hand. In fact you could say that the words are interchangeable…

John Chingford
Guest
John Chingford

Hi Carolyn

re you comment 70 and my comment 63

Thanks for replying.

I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying. I will try to clarify it a bit more.

I was referring to the saved believers within “dead” churches who remain in them longer than others (this also applies to those who remain in apostate charismatic churches). Some may “see things” earlier than others i.e having their eyes opened to the apostate condition of the church.

When I refer to dead churches, I mean those churches where attendants’ hearts are far from God. These so called “worshippers” simply go through the motions of their dead religion. Jesus said “my words they are Spirit and they are life”. These churches may/may not preach the truth or may preach just some of the truth, but those who attend including the pastors, ministers, vicars etc are not even saved. Therefore, not only is the word they preach lacking vitality, because it comes from empty shells, but the worship is dead too because the worshippers do not know Jesus.

This is why Often born again believers leave these dead churches and go to charismatic churches because they naively *(like I did) perceive LIFE in those churches – certainly within the worship. Well ….. that used to be the case until groups like Hillside came onto the scene with their occultic, hypnotic, influenced music which was introduced to charismatic churches.

Here is a bit more of my testimony to clarify things further:

The Pentecostal church I went to in 1977 was nothing like the charismania we saw in the late 80’s/90’s and onwards.

My church gave me good memories of fellowship with some wonderful believers. these believers showed more of the character of Jesus than I could find in any other church anywhere else. These were truly filled with the Holy Spirit. Towards the mid 80’s the leadership changed and everything changed with the emphasis on experiences, signs, wonders and power personalities. Those I loved and respected most were put to one side and rejected as insignificant believers.

Although there were things I were unhappy with and disagreed with, it was the best church I could find (at that time – in fact it is even more difficult, today, to find a decent church). I have always been a Berean and do not/did not accept what I heard from the pulpit or saw within the church, without checking it out first. My conviction was that it would be wrong to “forsake the assembling of ourselves together”.

In my reply to Debs I was trying to state that being filled with the Holy Spirit is essential in our witness, because the true sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit (apart from the fruit of the Holy Spirit) is BOLDNESS in our witness.

Debs is absolutely correct to be VERY cautious regarding charismania but I believe has possibly become a little too cautious about discussing what the fullness of the Holy Spirit truthfully looks like.

Do we not agree that the NT is constantly discussing the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Even Paul’s instructions regarding leaders is that they should be men filled with the Holy Spirit. We need to find the right balance. I get the impression that there are two extremes and no middle ground out there.

There are those who talk far too much about the Holy Spirit, rather than glorifying Jesus (glorifying Jesus is what the Holy Spirit does). They claim all sorts of nonsense about the Holy Spirit and showing false evidences of HIM. Then those who don’t like this extreme go the exact opposite way and are too afraid to even mention the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

We need to show the world what TRUE fullness of the Holy Spirit is and what it looks like as opposed to the nonsense we see out there.

Back to the subject (this relates to the subject, anyway).

It IS related to OSAS because if a person is truly born again (like myself) but in naivety goes to a Pentecostal church for a number of years later on, then is it true that they were never saved? This is what has been said because it is claimed that the Holy Spirit would never have led them there. Or it could indicate that they lost their salvation once they went to that church. My point (above) is that I WAS saved and did not lose my salvation because I subsequently went to a Pentecostal church for a period of time, nor was I showing evidence of being unsaved because I attended such a church. I gave my reasons why I went there.

In any case, when a person is saved they ALL receive a deposit of the Holy Spirit as a seal of their salvation. However, to avoid walking in the flesh, we need to be regularly filled with the Holy Spirit. All of us at times yield to the flesh and sin from time to time. It DOES NOT mean we have lost our salvation. The reason we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit daily is because we CAN walk in the flesh (or even into deception) for a time. IT DOES NOT MEAN we were not saved because we spent a season (long or short) within a faulty evangelical/protestant/charismatic church.

John Chingford
Guest
John Chingford

Hi Debs

re your comment 73

I was referring to comment 38 from Paul where he said:

“and I keep wondering: 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.”

Redeemed
Guest
Redeemed

Methinks there has been a misunderstanding here. I didn’t get the impression that it was stated that one could not be a genuine believer and for a time be involved in a charismaticpentecostal church. The test comes whether or not that person remains there. It has been my experience that there are some good folks who are geninely saved in the Pentecostal churches, but it all comes back to a focus on the external increasing the chances of counterfeits. How OSAS took a detour into charismania and the topic of the infilling of the Holy Spirit I can’t quite figure out. But that is what often happens in conversations and that is what happens in a forum. But I think we need to get back on track.

But to comment on what John and Carolyn said. John is correct in that people in dead liberal churches found refreshing in the charismatice revival. But they only stepped from the frying pan into the fire in most cases unless it was a stepping stone of sorts that led to a more solid doctrinal belief as in the testimony of John.

I respectfully disagree with Carolyn about charimatics and “ordinary” churches. I have heard people traveling in charismatic circles make the comment about visiting a Baptist church for example that was simply teaching the Word of God that it was dead. That is because they were enthralled with the “action” and “excitement” of charismania which does not teach sound doctrine but is quite ecumenical. Whereever the Word of God is preached it should not be viewed as “dead” or “dry” because the Word of God is where the power is through the Holy Spirit Who inspired it.

It is my conviction, having taken a little detour into charismania that it is a very slippery slope. I also attended a pentecostal church for a time and it too was a very slippery slope and those who go there do so at their own peril. In fact now that church has become more and more like the world, entertaining false teachers and embracing worldly traditions and activities.

True, there are some “ordinary” churches that ARE “dead” but it is not because they are cessationist. It is because they put people into bondage under legalism.

This is a very complicated topic with many facets. I think it is more edifying to focus on the elements of sound doctrine that are being trampled under today such as the “P” in TULIP that started this thread. This is a mainstream error that needs to be exposed.

I do praise the Lord for preserving us as believers on this journey called life. Each has their own testimony or account of where they have been. What counts is where we are TODAY and how reflecting on where we have been shows the grace of God to keep us. It also give us the “credentials” to minister truth to others as we can say “been there, done that”. We are kept secure NOT because we were hand-picked but because when God seals us for redemption He keeps us and to Him goes all honor and glory.

Redeemed
Guest
Redeemed

P.S. Apologies – this is an annoying habit.

Each believer experiences an ebb and flow in their lives. At times we are on a mountaintop but there are also valleys. Hopefully as we mature we will walk on more level ground. This is why charismatic/pentecostal teaching is risky because it tries to maintain a “high” that is dependent upon emotions. When that high is not maintained it results in a crash and burn. It also encourages people to “fake it” to go along with the crowd. There was certainly a time when pentecostals were not so extreme and offbase, but the seeds were present and ready to germinate when the time was right and the union between charismatic/pentecostal belief was inevitable except for the holiness groups who were more about the legalism of externals.

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

Debs re #72…nope…that’s not what I meant either. I was not clear on my thoughts. I know exactly what WOF doctrine is. I was saturated in it. And I agree that it is basic witchcraft.

What I meant was that the very word “orthodoxy” scares this Charismatic individual. He/she understands orthodoxy to be dull, boring, lifeless, plain, “without the Spirit”, lifeless…doctrine. The opposite is true. Doctrine that is orthodox in Truth, is vital, alive, compelling, convicting, regenerating, sanctifying, giving peace, faith, hope…and so much more.

So what I was saying is that the Charismatic who comes out of Charismania may take a longer time to see that it is his own belief system that was to blame and not the orthodoxy in the church since he has been conditioned to believe that high flying spiritual experiences, big energy preaching and gifts and manifestations are the real life of Christianity.

The opposite is true.

@ John. are we talking about maturing in our faith? If so, the Lord is the director of our learning/unlearning. There is so much to unlearn, I found it took me a much longer time to untangle myself from all the teachings than it took me to learn them in the first place. But getting out of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches was the first step in the right direction.

I believe you were saved when you went back to the Pentecostal Church. Old habits die hard. smile And I understand that there have been some good old time “Word oriented” Pentecostal Bible Scholars. I leave them and their faith with the Lord. Yes, in the last few years there has been a great upheaval in the AOG/Pentecostal Churches. And unfortunately, none of the other denominations have escaped the shake-up either. No time for smugness these days.

Today, the very thought of going to a Pentecostal Church does not sit well with me. The fullness of the Holy Spirit is something that I find in following the Scriptures. I have a deeper faith, more solid character, more settled hope and a more sound doctrine. As for the gifts of the Spirit, I won’t take the course. The gifts will be distributed to me when and where they are needed, as the Holy Spirit wills.

I’m conflicted on the whole “fullness of the Holy Spirit” teaching so I am one that has swung to the opposite extreme. I’ll take the Scripture, thanks! And nothing but. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit. I do take prayer seriously; waiting and watching in prayer…but I have ceased speaking in tongues and I pay no heed to dreams and visions.

As you can see, I have all the boldness that I need. In the natural I am a rather sweet, little, timid pussycat. But in the power of the Spirit…well…I have no fear to speak up when spoken to.

Sue
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Sue

Hello John
Judging by what both you and Deborah have said, you WERE BOTH saved at the earlier date. We aren’t saved by ‘feelings’ or ‘experiences’ but by God’s Grace through faith. NOT by ‘evidence giving works’. We aren’t told, or expected to clean up our lives to the satisfaction of Pietism, before we are saved. It is a decision we make based on the Gospel knowledge we are given. Romans 10 explains the need to audibly hear the Gospel – so faith comes by hearing, whether in error or in truth, the Gospel is proclaimed, whether they hear or refuse to hear. KAAT is the long accepted definition of Faith/believe; so Faith comes by Knowledge of the Cross with the Acceptance of the free gift and the Assurance it will be as we have been told by Trusting God to keep His word and saved by the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Hyper Calvinism has added to God’s Word claiming our good works is evidence of Salvation. That is totally false, there are NO conditions for Salvation except faith/believe and there are NOT two types of faith called ‘ordinary or saving’. There is only KAAT.By faith alone by Christ alone.

WHERE we are saved is irrelevant, it is what we hear, the Gospel of the solution for sin that counts. It is the acceptance of the words of Christ by Gods GRACE that saves us. When we are lost in sin, we have no understanding of what is good or bad teaching in any particular church because we have no spirit to discern spiritual matters. Once we believe/faith in Christ, we are instantly given a brand new human spirit wherein dwells the Holy Spirit. This new spirit makes us open to what the Spirit of God is saying as spiritual matters can only be discerned spiritually. If you thought you once put your faith in Christ, then why doubt that at that moment in time, Christ bought you from the slave market of sin and the seed of eternal life was planted.

It takes years for any newly planted seed to grow, you don’t expect to pick fruit off an apple shoot, it has to grow first before we can go to it and expect to pluck fruit for nourishment. From the time the seed takes root; that begins the process of sanctification, GROWING into Christ. After a while the young plant may feel in need of greater nourishment as it feels its growth is being stunted – that’s when we may move to another church where they feed from God’s written word. It opens your eyes to deeper truth and you may suppose you are only now genuinely saved – not so, it is the slow process of sanctification that has brought you out into more nourishment with God’s written Word. Don’t despise the days of small beginnings. You are older, and wiser, in the Lord than you have supposed!

Carolyn
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Carolyn

@ Paul…just a continuation of my thoughts #69 on my Damascus Road Experience…

I’m wondering if it was my Damascus Road Experience because it was the suffering I endured after the commitment to Truth that took me from practicing my religion to taking up my cross and following Christ. The cost was great because I “saw” error and I made a federal case about the false “words” of the prophet comparing them to the words of the Scripture.

I had the scales removed from my eyes and I saw blatant rejection of Scriptural Truth among those who should have known better, in favour of experience. It was like talking to people who had suddenly become blind and deaf strangers. They could not “hear” or “see” what the Truth was even though many of them were well schooled in the Word. It was truly baffling. After that I have no doubt about the ability of the enemy to blind minds and create delusion.

So there is a cost of following Jesus, there is a narrow road and there is a cross to bear.

@ Redeemed and Debs…re #50 and #52 – speaking of detours. Yes, there are certainly detours in the Christian life. I don’t think we will comprehend everything until we reach the other side. Like Paul’s thorn in the flesh…was it a messenger, an evil spirit sent to buffet him, to separate him from his faith in God? …that’s my take.

Speaking of my trials, sometimes I have caved on issues and temptations because I have failed to remain true to the Word…we instead, take other criteria into consideration. And sometimes, I haven’t failed, but I still end up looking really bad…sort of like Job.

I know the Lord is faithful to discipline us when we detour…

Job 2:3
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

James 5:10-12
11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

In the end, through all of life’s trials and temptations, will our integrity/faithfulness to God remain intact? That’s what sets us apart from pretenders. The Lord’s faithfulness is never in question…just the reality of OUR faith/belief/trust/obedience.

I’m the first to admit…I don’t know everything. Life is a journey…walking it with God has been the best thing in my life. And it’s always good to walk with others who feel the same way. I seem to walk a lonely road for the most part, but here and there I find someone on the pathway with like faith. God leads…we follow. With respect to eternity, it’s a brief walk.

Maranatha!

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

I will add one very important thing I left out in my comment #45 which is THE FEAR OF MAN (and a corollary to it which is THE DESIRE TO PLEASE MAN)

Prov 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

If God says that he who fears man is NOT safe but prey to Satan’s snare, methinks that person is not saved.

So I was self-deceived and deceived by a stranger because:
-I trusted (believed) in man
-I feared man
-I blindly followed man
-I was gullible
-I took the words of man as if they were from God
–> I had made man into a god, breaking the first commandment. It doesn’t matter if I “believed” I was trusting/following Jesus at the same time.
That was my situation. Actually, I got kind of “brainwashed”. Add to that the impossibility to reconcile Scriptures like John 16:13, John 8:31-32, John 10:5, John 10:27, Matt 24:24 and I find that it was impossible that I had the indwelling Holy Spirit of Truth.

My situation is certainly different from that of many here (Carolyn,John) though there are similarities.

It has been my observation that most people are paralyzed by the fear of man.

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

@Carolyn,

First we have to decide for truth. I made an honest commitment to Truth. I remember the day, where I was standing and how I felt. It may have been my Damascus Light experience. I saw my own propensity for deceptive leanings. I saw the difference between Truth and self dishonesty. One brings light to the soul while the other brings blindness. When presented by God with the option…I chose Truth. It was shortly after that experience that everything else happened.

You nailed it Carolyn. Commitment to the Truth (Jesus Christ) at all cost. That’s the commitment I took in June 2011, against all odds, and I believe that is when I got saved.

I would say that the Holy Spirit did not have you because you were not obeying Him.

God gives the Holy Spirit only to those that obey Him by being committed to the Truth.

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

So you see, since I was not obeying Him, I did not have Him.

Sue
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Sue

Redeemed posted

“ 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.”

My ‘discernment’ reaction to both the message and your words ‘easy believism’,’false profession’,’not counting the cost’, ‘only one cost’ ‘what it costs’….is ‘HYPER Calvinism’s, Lordship Salvation’ that changes God’s Free Gift of Salvation, into an experiential WORK, thus denying God’s Grace and Christ’s Sacrifice ALONE to deliver from Sin.

What cost? – Gods Grace is FREE. There is only one CONDITION given to be Justified, and that is Pistis – faith/believe.

Justification is the FIRST stage for Salvation when the seed takes root in whatever soil it is given and a new human spirit is given.(Past tense – SAVED)

Sanctification is the SECOND stage for Salvation when GROWTH is ABLE to begin by the indwelling Holy Spirit within the new human spirit. (Present tense – BEING SAVED)

GLORIFICATION is the third and final stage for Salvation when we shall see Him (living and resurrected dead) at the Rapture when we shall finally be PERFECT (Future tense – PERFECTION.)

It’s the usual Calvinist confusion between Justification and Sanctification that is insisting on a ‘work’ to be Justified.

Sanctification = GROWTH. Some do, some don’t, from Justification to glorification i.e. GROW!.
Whether they do or they don’t makes NO DIFFERENCE to the legal fact that they are JUSTIFIED wearing the freely exchanged divine RIGHTEOUSNESS of Christ. ALL sin was paid for IN FULL at the cross. Sin is no longer an issue. Pistis -faith/believe FOR Justification and IN Sanctification until we are Glorified is the issue.

The Judgment Seat of Christ will give or remove awards according to our WORKS done in the Holy Spirit, or in the flesh, (hay, wood and stubble for burning)SAVED, yet through fire.

Maranatha

John Chingford
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John Chingford

Hi Carolyn

re your comments on 79:

You mentioned that you were replying to my comment 72. However, you would not have seen my reply 74 (to Debs 73) BEFORE you wrote your reply because it took one full day to get published. So please read 74 to clarify my comment 72.

You said some things in 79 above that triggered some thoughts in my mind. You said “my Damascus Road Experience” and “I had the scales removed from my eyes”.

Those words reminded me of the timing of Paul’s conversion. When was Paul saved? Was it when he met the Lord on the road to Damascus or 3 days later (Acts 9:9) after Ananias laid hands on him to receive the Holy Spirit?

Then, What about those in Ephesus in Acts 19:1 Paul said “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

It says they BELIEVED before they received the Holy Spirit.

As Sue correctly pointed out; salvation comes the moment we believe.

Is Paul referring to a deposit (seal) of the Holy Spirit in Acts 19:1 “believed” or a fullness. If Paul says in Romans 8:9 “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” then those Ephesians could not have been saved and yet it says they were already believers.

The conclusion MUST be that they DID have the Holy Spirit but had not yet been FILLED with the Holy Spirit which CAN come later as p[art of the sanctification work of God in believers. Please understand that I AM NOT talking about tongues or charismania mumbo jumbo, here or the false teaching of Pentecostal churches. I am simply stating what the BIBLE says.

Paul remained blind UNTIL he was enlightened by receiving the Holy Spirit in fullness. However, his blindness only partially disappeared after 3 days.

We read that he went into the desert for 3 years learning the truth about Jesus, I assume “undoing” all the false teaching he had received whilst being a Pharisee.

So when was Paul saved and when were the Ephesians saved? How does it apply to those of us who were saved (or even continued) under faulty teaching? Can we apply the examples of Paul and the Ephesians to that question?

John Chingford
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John Chingford

Carolyn

Sorry, I referred to your comment 79 as a reply to mine. Please note, that should have read “77”. However, the rest of my reply above WAS referring to 79.

John Chingford
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John Chingford

Dear Sue

I have known Redeemed long enough to know what she means by “easy believerism”. There is a distinction between simply believing the gospel and therefore receiving salvation as opposed to the Joel Osteen, Rick Warren way of salvation which is NOT actually belief in the gospel at all.

You are correct that we are saved by grace THROUGH faith alone.

My question is “do those who are ‘saved’ at ‘seeker sensitive’ churches REALLY believe?”. The gospel that is presented to them is a false, shallow all encompassing gospel which is a “wide way” to salvation. True faith responds to what you believe. Do these hearers REALLY believe that they are sinners who are perishing, going to hell and who realise they NEED to be saved who believe that Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father and the ONLY way to be saved and that His blood is sufficient to cleanse them from their sins?

Faith is ALL you need, but surely faith includes putting your trust/dependency on Jesus for that initial salvation? If you simply say the words “I believe” but your heart is far from God, then that person does not really believe and is therefore not saved or justified.

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

Thanks Sue for helping us see our error in mistaking justification for sanctification.

So what I said earlier, that “I was genuinely saved, and God knew my heart, that is why He took me out of there, and out of all the deceptions.” is true.

Are false doctrines, heresies, damnable heresies the same thing as “works”?
Are all the false teachers out there who have professed KAAT saved? Are their blind followers saved? Could we say that if someone truly saved is following these false teachers, he will of necessity sooner or later see and flee from them?

There are still many questions unanswered in my mind regarding false teachings, false teachers, false doctrines, wolves in sheep clothing and their followers, suppression of the truth from pulpits, willful compromise of the truth…

Redeemed
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Redeemed

Sister Sue, clearly you misunderstood what I was saying or I did not make myself clear. Please allow me to clarify.

Firstly, I am adamantly opposed to Calvinist/Reformed theology and Lordship Salvation taught by John MacArthur and others.

Yes, of course salvation is a GIFT. A gift DOES cost the GIVER, but the recipient does not pay for a gift. All one has to do is RECEIVE the gift and understand what the gift is.

The Gospel is a simple message all can understand. But it has been twisted, perverted
compromised and watered-down. A false gospel does not, cannot save. There are some who say that one can be a practicing Mormon and be a born-again Christian. Then there is the ecumenical gospel that is all encompassing.

The Bible says we are not saved by works, but we are saved for good works. Some new believers have the benefit of being discipled and grounded in the faith and grow but others due to circumstances are left to fend for themselves to stumble forward.

Too many Christians take their Christian walk too lightly and subscribe to “greasy grace”. To follow Christ in faithful service DOES have a price tag attached. It requires us to give up our pride, perhaps our status, our financial gain or assets, earthly comforts
and other things we hold dear in an earthly sense. The disciples were told to leave their livelihood behind and follow Jesus. Martyrs who refused to deny Christ gave their lives and many suffered in the process.

Christians who chose wrongly and sin will be chastened because God says He will discipline those who are His. Being taken to God’s woodshed is not pleasant, but it is
for our own good. He does it out of love, much more so than the best earthly parent.

This is what I meant to say and I hope that this is adequate clarification. We are to consider the COST our Savior paid to obtain our salvation and it should cause us to desire to serve Him out of love and gratitude for what He has done for us.

You are right, faithful service will be rewarded at the Bema Seat. But even then, we will cast our crowns before Him because He is worthy of all honor and glory and we owe ALL to Him.

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

I must admit that during these years in deception, the Holy Spirit DID point to me from time to time certain things that were wrong or false in the doctrines and the system(I am not talking about works of my flesh). Each time I either rationalized, glossed over or silenced the Holy Spirit (i.e. did not act on the prompting of the HS) because:
(1) we were taught to obey and follow the leader even if he’s wrong (that it’s God’s business to deal with him if he’s wrong)
(2) I was too trusting, i.e. “he can’t be wrong”, “he’s too spiritual”, “he looks so perfect”, “he’s too close to God”, “if he says God told him, then it must be true”
(3) I feared man (this is probably the biggest thing)
(4) Everybody else was following without questioning

Well, eventually the Holy Spirit’s promptings became less and less frequent and less and less audible.

That is what I call brainwashing.

TruthfulConversation
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TruthfulConversation

Debs,

That post you made above, I gave my heart to Jesus at age nine too, and that was my story too, only it took me longer smile