Eternal Security: NOSAS Versus OSAS (Part 1)

Eternal Security -NOSASvsOSAS

Eternal Security: NOSAS Versus OSAS (Part 1)

I have debated many people on the topic of eternal security among them atheists, Calvinists, Muslims, Afrikaner Israelites, Seventh Day Adventists, Sabbatarians, Charismatics and, believe it or not, even Christians.

None of them made such a profound impact on me than the one I had with a group of Christians who tried to convince a young man that he can lose his salvation. The young man actually believed that he had already lost his salvation and was so stricken with despondency, I thought he was on the verge of committing suicide.

During my conversation and attempts to convince him that a saint cannot lose his salvation, the other members of a well-known Bible forum attacked me head-on, accusing me of all kinds of things. I could sense that Satan was really doing his utmost to keep the young man in bondage to a lie so many Christians believe to be true.

By the grace of God, the dark cloud of misery and uncertainty lifted from the young man and he eventually knew for certain that he never lost his salvation. We must remember that our younger generation of brothers and sisters in the Lord are exposed to immense temptations and many of them do succumb to them.

The ensuing battle with Satan and his host can be so intense that the saint begins to contemplate suicide. “You call yourself a Christian. Look what you’ve done now. Look at you, you wretch. You’ve lost your salvation.” It is always a good thing to remind ourselves of these words:-

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)

The mere thought that you are standing is proof that you may have already fallen. If you have, don’t remain there. Get on your knees, enter into the holy of holies through the blood of Christ and ask forgiveness (Hebrews 10:19-23). Then, get on your feet and continue to follow Christ Jesus. Why is Satan so keen to sow doubt in the hearts and minds of God’s saints?

His main purpose is to get you to distrust Jesus Christ, your only Saviour. If he can get you to turn your eyes away from Jesus where He is seated at the right hand of God and turn them inwardly to yourself, he has gained a foothold that can cause havoc in your life.

A brother in Christ, whose acquaintance I was privileged to make on Facebook, asked me to critique an article he had written on free-will. A comparatively large part of his article included his thoughts on eternal security. At first I was a little reluctant but quickly realized that Louis was a man of gentle persuasion who could throw and receive punches with dignity.

With his permission which he granted me without any hesitancy, I now present to you our little debate for you to make your choice for or against eternal security. Please choose your words with placid gentleness when you comment. Thank you.

The believer’s security

LOUIS: No other issue arising from Augustinianism/Calvinism is of wider interest today than that of “eternal security,” or perseverance of the saints (also called once ‘saved always saved’). True Calvinists still hold on to this 5th doctrine of TULIP as a logical part and conclusion of their theology.

Many who have abandoned or minimizing the other four doctrines, have generally held firmly on to this one, even when its logical foundations have been removed. In their minds it followed as a necessary conclusion from their view of divine sovereignty, predestination and unconditional election.

It is certain that the elect can never be lost. The mild Calvinistic position includes all those who have departed from strict Calvinism but who still hold to unconditional security for the believer. There are serious problems with this modified view.

TOM: I can assure you that my belief in eternal security is not some kind of residue of TULIP or any other Calvinistic doctrine. It is based entirely on the promises of God in Scripture. I wouldn’t call the Calvinist’s view of eternal security “Once Saved Always Saved.” I would rather refer to it as “Once allegedly Elected Always allegedly Elected.” Allow me to explain. True repentance involves a godly sorrow (sorrow approved by God when His Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment).

This happens when the sinner realizes that he/she is lost (bound for hell) and of his own volition comes to Jesus to seek forgiveness and redemption because he/she knows they desperately need a Saviour. “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

The elect cannot possibly know that they are sick and that they need a Physician to heal them. Dead men aren’t sick. They are dead and cannot possibly know that they are terminally ill.  (To a Calvinist “dead in sins and trespasses” means that the sinner is as dead as a corpse and completely unable to hear and respond to the Gospel Call. To substantiate this view they use the resurrection of Lazarus as an example of regeneration. Read here.)

I notice that you have failed to mention one of the most important passages in Scripture dealing with eternal security and that is 2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

The truly converted sinner will never regret his or her conversion/repentance/salvation and turn his/her back on God, no matter how difficult the road ahead may be. Only those who had a “conversion” inspired by the sorrow of the world eventually turn their backs on God because they are not genuinely saved. They are usually the ones who say: “I used to be a Bible believing Christian but I no longer believe in God and His Son.”

Pharaoh had such a “conversion.” “And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.” (Exodus 9:27) “Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you.” (Exodus 10:16).

An unbeliever’s mere acknowledgement of sin means nothing. Pharaoh proved it. People do that every day. An unbeliever’s acknowledgment of sin without a conviction of being lost (hell-bound and deservedly so) cannot save. Jesus can only find and save sinners who know, realize and acknowledge that they are lost (Luke 19:10).

I usually ask Calvinists: “When were you convicted of judgment – before or after your monergistic regeneration?” They can’t answer: “Before regeneration” because a corpse cannot be convicted of anything. And they cannot answer: “after regeneration” because what’s the point in being convicted of judgement and hell when they have already been delivered from it? That’s preposterous. The only answer they can give, is the one a Calvinist once gave me:

The bible never says that God’s people were ever bound for hell, it says they were chosen “in Christ” before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). The conviction of sin is usually misinterpreted by God’s people to be the conviction that they are hell bound, the gospel explains to them that they are not, because of what Christ did FOR them.”

“Conviction of sin is the belief in the reality of sin in light of God’s holiness and perfection. Many of God’s children believe this to mean that they are going to hell. They are not. That is why they need to hear the good news of their salvation, so that they can believe it, rejoice in it, and profit from it.

The gospel doesn’t make their salvation true, their salvation IS TRUE and the gospel proclaims it to the Lord’s people who receive it by faith and profit from that understanding.”

So you see, Calvinists have always been Jesus Christ’s sheep, they’ve always been saved (God’s elect). They only need to be made aware that they are saved (elected) and live accordingly (perseverance of the saints). There is absolutely no difference between them and the Emerging Church who claims that Jesus already dwells mystically in sinners and they only need to be made aware of it.

Is this not perhaps the reason why Neo-Calvinists like John Piper and Mark Driscoll have penchants for the mystic practices in the Emerging Church? I’m no prophet but I predicted more than seven years ago that this was going to happen. Sadly, Total Depravity (Total Inability) deprives the Calvinist of true repentance and salvation.

They are deceived and don’t know it. I have tried for many years to figure out why they cling so tenaciously to John Calvin’s doctrines and have come up with two answers. They are deathly afraid to violate God’s sovereignty and the other reason is simply “The Mystery of Iniquity.” I, therefore, wouldn’t associate “Once Saved Always Saved” with “Once allegedly Elected Always allegedly Elected.”

Logical inconsistency

LOUIS: Logical inconsistency In his Institutes vol. 1, p. 8-9 Calvin makes a long statement which plainly means that laymen reading the Scriptures are to interpret them according to his doctrine. Jacobus Arminius discovered the same priority of doctrine at Leyden University.

Gomarus, the professor of New Testament studies, insisted that the Scriptures should always be interpreted according to the creed, while Arminius held to the Word of God as the final authority. The doctrine of security, then, was not derived from the Bible but from philosophical and logical considerations.

TOM: I beg to differ. If eternal security was derived from philosophical and logical considerations and not from the Bible, then we should consider the death and resurrection of Jesus (the very foundation and bedrock of eternal security) from a purely philosophical and logical angle instead of from the revelation given to us in the Bible.

If the death and crucifixion of Jesus is the bedrock/foundation of our salvation, which of course it is, then we need nothing else to secure our salvation, least of all philosophy. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8). In fact, your entire discourse on the issue of eternal security is based purely on philosophical presuppositions. Your following statement proves this.

LOUIS: One cannot insist on unconditional eternal security of the believer, while neglecting or denying unconditional election and irresistible grace (See TULIP). When Calvinistic evangelicals preach the Biblical Gospel to all men and declare that people are genuinely free to receive or reject it; they are denying the Calvinistic concepts of unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace.

And when they say that once a person has repented and received Christ through a free, voluntary act of faith he is no longer free to renounce Christ through a voluntarily act of unbelief and disobedience into apostasy, they are taking a position unsupported by Calvinism, the Bible or sound reason.

TOM: Your train of thought is fallacious. You cannot assume that because TULIP says that unconditional election requires no free-will that it debunks free-will in unconditional eternal security. You seem to be saying that TULIP’s unconditional election is the only barometer by which eternal security must be assessed.

That’s a pure philosophical argument which, to my mind is, holds no water. To draw a parallel between two things just because the same word “unconditional” appears in both is not kosher. I have already proven to you above that the Calvinistic view of eternal security (“Once allegedly Elected, Always allegedly Elected”) is worlds apart from “Once Saved, Always Saved,” simply because the Calvinistic foundation for salvation is a false one.

The premise that If man is free to receive or renounce Christ’s death on the cross as the only means for his salvation, it follows that he is also free to renounce his salvation once he has been saved, is also fallacious. I have already shown earlier, that the truly repentant sinner who realized that he/she was lost without Jesus will never regret his/her salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Those who regret their “salvation” were never saved in the first place because they built their “redemption” on a false foundation. This happens frequently within the ranks of the Charismatic fraternity where health wealth and prosperity doctrines are put out as proof for one’s salvation.

When most do not experience what they’ve been told, they grow despondent, renounce God and turn their backs on Him. As you can see I tend to base my conclusion on biblical facts rather than on philosophical arguments.

LOUIS: The modern “eternal security people” are inconsistent when they declare that sinners are free to repent and exercise faith in Christ (through the aid of the Spirit), but once having been saved, they are no longer free to reject Him (through resisting the Spirit).

TOM: I have already dealt with your assertion in the previous paragraph. One more thought will suffice. You call the “Once Saved Always Saved” crowd the “modern ‘eternal security people.'” Is there any difference between Paul’s and the other apostles’ views on eternal security and the modern day “eternal security people?”

I don’t think so. Paul said: “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12). Paul uses the past tense, as you may know, not because he once believed and then fell into unbelief.

He was referring to the day in Ananias’ house in Damascus where he called on the Name of the Lord for his salvation. To him, and this should be the case with all the truly saved believers, faith is to commit your entire being – spirit, soul and body – into the hands of Jesus Christ on the basis that He has paid the penalty for all of your sins.

It was this commitment (the relinquishing of his own authority on his life) by faith alone that gave Paul the absolute assurance that Christ Himself would preserve him until that day. It ties in perfectly with what he says in Philippians 1: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6).

Was there any possibility that Paul could renounce his faith in Jesus Christ, turn his back on him and turn away? Absolutely! But I think the issue here is not whether he could renounce his faith but rather whether he wanted to, and the answer is a resounding “no” because he knew from the very outset into whose hands he committed his entire life.

May I ask you whether you would ever want to renounce your faith in Jesus Christ and turn your back on him never to return again? No? Why then would anyone else who’s had a true salvivc encounter with Jesus Christ even contemplate such a disastrous thing? Ah, of course, it is always the other person who loses his salvation and not I.

Some cliches of eternal security

LOUIS: Some cliches of the security doctrine To promote this doctrine, the mild Calvinists have made popular a number of brief statements “Once a child, always a child” or “once a son, always a son” This is not binding in a spiritual sense.

All believers were once children of the devil. If the analogy is binding, we must always remain so. Since children of the devil can become children of God, the analogy is obviously not binding. John 8:42, 44 and Ephesians 2:3 say that we were children of the devil and by nature children of wrath. If that cliche is true, that would prevent any unbeliever form ever becoming a believer and being saved.

TOM: Having been a child of the devil can hardly be used as an analogy against the “Once Saved Always Saved” doctrine. If anyone, who is being held captive in the clutches of Satan, must remain there because of a manmade binding analogy “once a child, always a child” or “once a son, always a son,” then Satan is the omnipotent God and not YAHWEH.

Moreover, salvation would have then been a cruel hoax and YAHWEH the author of it. What did Jesus say to his disciples when they asked Him “Who then can be saved?” He said: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27). Nonetheless, is it possible with God to save someone without them having to put their trust in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross?

Doesn’t that limit God’s sovereignty and omnipotence? (Hebrews 11:6). Indeed, nothing is impossible with God but in his salvivic work He has sovereignly and omnipotently decided to accomplish his salvation – which has never been impossible with Him – through faith and faith alone. If faith could limit God’s omnipotence and sovereignty, we would again squarely be in the Calvinist camp and we don’t want to go there, do we?

If the analogy “once a child, always a child” or “once a son, always a son” could be applied to both God’s and Satan’s security systems, we would have to say that Satan’s security system is equal to or just as good as that of God and vice versa. Needless to say, that would be disastrous for God and a resounding and eternal victory for Satan.

As you yourself said “that would prevent any unbeliever from ever becoming a believer and being saved.” However, the millions upon millions of sinners who’d been saved throughout history prove beyond any doubt that not only is God’s salvation but also his security system magnanimously superior, greater and stronger than that of Satan. (Matthew 12:29; 1 John 3:8; Colossians 2:15).

The phrase “ex agorazo” is used several times in the New Testament and denotes Christ’s formidable and irreversible redemption. It conveys the meaning of someone going into a market place, purchasing slaves and taking them into his home never to sell them again.

While it is hypothetically possible that the analogies “once a child, always a child” and “once a son, always a son” may be applied to Satan because it is so easily applied by saints to God’s salvation and his preserving grace, the maxim “once saved, always saved” cannot possibly be used of Satan. It can only be applied to God.

Yes, it is true that we would have remained sons and daughters of Satan IF Jesus Christ never became flesh. Yes, if He hadn’t paid such a magnanimously high price for our deliverance from the clutches of Satan we would still have been Satan’s sons and daughters. Therefore, the notion that a saved saint can lose his salvation and forever remain a son or a daughter of Satan demeans the magnanimous salvation of Jesus Christ on the cross.

It would mean that Satan is stronger than Jesus Christ. If Christ’s sacrifice has satisfied God the Father for all eternity why wouldn’t it satisfy the saved sinner? Indeed, it does because he would never regret his salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10)

“A person who is once born cannot be unborn”

LOUIS: “A person who is once born can never be unborn. This is also a subtle way of convincing those who are not careful in their thinking. The Bible never uses the term “unborn,” for the opposite of being born is to die, not to be unborn. The Bible clearly teaches that one who has been born can die. Life does not end by “unbirth,” but by death.

A fire that is once kindled is never “unkindled,” but it can be quenched. A fish that is once caught is never “uncaught,” but it can be cast away as worthless. Likewise, a person who is once born can die, both spiritually and later physically. Nothing at all is proved by the fact that we do not use the term “unborn” to express the end of life.

Yes, I too have heard children of God using this analogy to substantiate OSAS but must admit that I myself do not like it. Nicodemus fell into the same carnally minded trap when he asked: “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:4). He too thought that man first had to be unborn before he could be born again.

Jesus didn’t make it any easier for him to understand when He said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8).

Note the expression “of water and of the Spirit.” Many believe that “water” is a reference to baptism by immersion in water but that would make rebirth a mixture of something physical and spiritual while God Himself says that physical phenomena profit men nothing (is void of any salvivic properties) (John 6 :63).

Therefore, the “water” must refer to a spiritual phenomenon that is equally potent in salvation than the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit. And indeed Jesus confirms this in John 4, Revelation 22:17 and John 15:3. The reason why I am making such a spiel about spirit verses physical is to illustrate that as soon as we mix the two we are immediately prone to error. And you seem to be doing just that. You say: “The Bible clearly teaches that one who has been born can die. Life does not end by “unbirth,” but by death . . . . Likewise, a person who is once born can die, both spiritually and later physically.”

And then you conclude: “Nothing at all is proved by the fact that we do not use the term “unborn” to express the end of life.” The fact that a saint dies physically does not in any way prove that he can also die spiritually. Physical phenomena cannot prove spiritual phenomena.

If physical phenomena were able to prove spiritual and supernatural phenomena we wouldn’t have a single atheist left in this world. But let’s assume that physical phenomena such as organic death can in some way represent spiritual death and as a result we may use the inevitability of physical death as an example for the inevitability of spiritual death whenever saints fall away.

At first glance this seems to be quite feasible when we take into account what Jesus once said, “Let the [spiritually] dead bury their [physically] dead.” (Matthew 8:22). The difference, of course, between the two is that the spiritually dead are still physically alive and have every opportunity to be made spiritually alive through faith in Jesus Christ while the physically dead have no opportunity whatsoever.

Now, to get back to Nicodemus. Look again at Jesus’ answer: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6). He was saying: “That which is born of the flesh is corruptible (given over to death and decay) and no-one can escape death by re-entering the womb of the mother or by being unborn again.

But that which is born of the Spirit is wrought in the deepest being of man, his spirit, where the seed of the Spirit remains forever. “You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23)

“Eternal life has no end; so a person who has eternal life can never lose that life”

LOUIS: “Eternal life has no end; so a person who has eternal life can never lose that life” We must realize from the Bible that what is eternal has neither beginning nor ending. If eternal life cannot be lost because it has no ending, then it cannot be gained either, for it has no beginning.

Accordingly, a person cannot be saved unless he was eternally saved without a beginning. The fact is, eternal life is in the quality of life which is in Jesus Christ. It has its origin nowhere else. “…God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have not life” (1John 5:11-12).

If we receive Him, we have eternal life; if we lose Him we lose eternal life. It can have both a beginning and ending in us – a beginning when we repent and believe on Him for personal salvation; an ending if we fall away in apostasy (cease to believe and follow Him). This need never happen, but it is a possibility the believer is often warned against and urged to avoid.

TOM: Your statement “If eternal life cannot be lost because it has no ending, then it cannot be gained either, for it has no beginning. Accordingly, a person cannot be saved unless he was eternally saved without a beginning” makes no sense, at least to me. But bear with me to see whether I understand you correctly.

Eternal life is a Person, and I think you acknowledged this when you quoted 1 John 5:11-12, “and this life is in His Son.” In the first place, eternal life cannot be gained by man. That is a given and indisputable fact. It is given without price to everyone who believes, as the first part of 1 John 5:11 and 12 plainly say.

As such, eternal life in a repentant sinner has a specific beginning, i.e. when he/she puts their trust in Jesus in whom eternal life has no beginning. Thus, there are two features closely interwoven in the one concept “eternal life” – the one with a beginning and the other with no beginning. Yes, of course there can be no eternal life if it had a beginning from God’s point of view. God is eternal and, therefore, life in and through Him is eternal.

If eternal life had a beginning, it follows that Jesus who is the essence of eternal life must have had a beginning. The logical supposition, if eternal life had a beginning, would be that it also has an ending. But now, since it has no beginning in Jesus Christ it cannot possibly have an ending.

Voila, the eternal life that was begun in a repentant sinner the moment he/she put their trust in Jesus for their salvation cannot possibly have an ending because the beginning of the saint’s eternal life is grounded in Jesus Christ in whom eternal life has no ending.

If it were possible for a saint’s eternal security to cease or come to an end, it would mean that Jesus Himself would have to cease being the essence of eternal life. Impossible! The fallacy of your argument lies in the supposition that saints need to do something to maintain their salvation. Such a view must inevitably lead to the notion that a saint can lose his/her salvation because failure is commonplace in the lives of frail human beings. Had they not been frail and prone to failure, they would not have had any need for an Advocate and a High Priest. Continuation at:


Note:
  • DTW/WAP obtained written permission from Louis Matthys Ackermann to quote him in this series.  Thanks Louis.
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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing 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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Hester

Sorry I am of the opinion that one can lose your salvation. Just as we are called to Christ and we make the decision to follow Him, (Deut.30:19) so we allow the world to lure us to walk away from the Lord. The Word of God says clearly Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. See Ezekiel 18:24.

In other words, the man starts out “saved.” He’s been justified. Is in a “position as” righteous. He turns back, away from that “state” of being saved. Not merely just “committing sinful acts.” But as he turns back, he EMBRACES sin as his “life.” He lives it, gives his whole attention to it. This act of treason results in his righteousness not being remembered. He is not “recorded” [in the Book of Life.] His righteousness will not be mentioned…as Jesus said, “I will deny him before My Father.”(Mat 10:33) And Paul writes, “If we endure, We shall also reign with Him, if we deny Him He also will deny us.”(2 Tim 2:12) His outcome, “He shall die…perish.”

Also, And to repeat this much also: God’s end of the bargain is secure and sure. (Rom 8:31-39) But just as we have the option to “choose life” (Deut 30:19); when we have been, thus, ‘righteous’, we can also deviate from that righteousness and choose evil. (Eze 33:13,18) Notice the wording…

“When I say to the righteous that he shall live life, but he TRUSTS IN HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND COMMITS INIQUITY, none of all his righteousness shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has done, he shall die.” (Eze 33:13)

He has been declared righteous (Rom 5:19) but then “withdraws” with “an evil heart of unbelief” (Heb 3:12) because he has been “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (vs 13)

As a friend of mine says as long as we are still on this earth, we still have free will going. And as God was “not well pleased” with most of Israel, who had experienced His salvation through Christ (1 Cor 10:4-5) because they were in unbelief (Heb 3:19), we are exhorted to “fear lest [we] seem to have come short of [His rest].” (Heb 4:1) Anyone who reads the writings of Paul comes away with this sober realization that he was always striving before God. The matter of salvation was a serious matter to him. He did not figure, “Well, I’m saved. It’s all settled now…la dee dah!” No! “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but…I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”(Phil 3:13-14)

But, again, I am glad that the Lord knows those who are His.(2 Tim 2:19) And each person is answerable to God for himself.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Hester

I am sorry, but you mis-understand scripture. And let me say this, no genuinely saved Christian who believes they are secure thinks salvation is NOT a serious matter. The fact that we have the Holy Spirit in us CONVICTING us is the driving force of us repenting, NOT our own works.

If the Holy Spirit can not convict you of sin and bring you to repentance of your sin AFTER you have been TRULY BORN AGAIN, then Jesus Christ death on the cross was truly and utterly in vein. In other words, the Jesus, the Holy Spirit and everything means nothing. Jesus has no power in your life. Are you saying that Jesus Christ has no power in your life as a Christian?

Think about what you say before you say you can loose what God GIVES you as a FREE gift not to be returned.

Redeemed

Hester, do you believe that a believer is sealed unto redemption by the Holy Spirit upon conversion?

Hester, have you borne or adopted children? Do you believe there is a reason why the Bible uses the term “born again”? We were born into sin but when we receive Christ as Savior we are “reborn” in the Spirit. Once a baby is birthed it cannot go back into the birth canal and neither can the “born again” Christian. At that point God gives spiritual birth to His child and calls that person His child. God does not disown His children even when they are disobedient.

Hester, do you believe in God’s chastening? The Bible tells us that God chastens His children when they do wrong, He is not a permissive parent! And even in extreme cases, He calls a sinful child home prematurely. That does not mean they lose their salvation!

God takes sin very seriously, but there is no way we can earn our salvation and there is no way we can earn the keeping of it. When one comes to Christ, one’s past sins are forgiven and since it is a fact that we don’t reach perfection in this life, we will sin and God has made provision for that. That is NOT a license to sin, but rather a covering over all ot. If God only forgave our past sin, none of us would make it into heaven!

Redeemed

Hester, I might add that no TRUE Spirit-indwelt believer will ever turn against God and embrace a sinful lifestyle with no conviction or chastening. They may make some bad choices, and for a time relapse into sin, but a true believer will not love their sin any longer.

Thomas’s question to you is very relevant. Where is that imaginary line that one has to cross in order to lose one’s salvation?

I think the issue is not if one can lose one’s salvation, but was one truly saved in the first place. There are many false confessions due to incomplete and compromised “gospels” devoid of repentance (easy believism) and laying the proper foundation of God’s Word.

i hope this helps to sort this out as it is a very important question as speaks to solid doctrine. Thanks and God bless you.

Hester

Okay maybe I need to just clarify that I believe there is a difference between eternal security and eternal salvation. I also believe that once you have lost your salvation you can never ever get it back again. (Hebr 6:4 – 6). and when a person so turns from God, their latter state is worse than the first.(2Pt2:20)

Debs of course I do not say that Jesus has no power in our lives after salvation! Wow, I even cringe just typing that!! How else will one grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ then? But, throughout Scripture there are warnings over and over, “he who overcomes”‘ “stand”, “watch yourself”, etc. I also do not believe that our Lord forces Himself upon anyone.

Tom this is the SECURITY part of “Eternal Security” This is God’s work. He is reliable. He is sure. His intentions will not change. However, “Security” is not the issue. A person turning his back on, or leaving…consciously, purposely…is not the same thing as “being snatched/plucked.” How does one snatch/pluck himself? Snatching is something a person does to ANOTHER person/thing.

Redeemed, you say “and for a time relapse into sin” what happens to that “believer” at that time when they have relapsed into sin and dies? Because the Bible says without repentance you perish. (2Pt3:9, Lk13:3,5, Rev2:5,22)

Yes, there are those that were never saved to start off with (1 John 2:19), but there are those like in the parable the seed that was sown in rocky ground, they come up fast but then they die. For something to die, it had to live first right?

When we consider salvation, we must keep certain things distinct. God’s provisions vs. our response. God provides Salvation. He accomplishes the whole thing. And once done, it is secure and eternal. Although, it is not fully complete yet. Not totally fulfilled…right now.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Hester

I understand what you are saying :) Now, tell me, when will you know if you have lost your salvation? At what point will you know you’ve lost it?

Hester

I am talking from a perspective of seeing it in the lives of believers and will give two examples. No. 1 spoke the language, walked the walk, was very involved in women ministry for many years and something happened in her life that she could not come to terms with. She literally turned her back on the Lord and I guess it was a process. Slowly, slowly she stopped reading the Word, stopped praying and slowly the curse words started creeping in and finally she decided that she is the master of her own life and her own destiny. I am not saying that that is the only sign, but, certainly someone who speaks such vile language is not a representative of the most Holy God.

Now, can we say she was never saved to start off? How do we know? Does God only half save people? The heart is most wicked above all things and we need to guard our hearts.

The second lady to this day is the most dear and sincere old lady that I know. She went into the missionary field (Congo) as a young women and worked and ministered and went through many hardships whilst doing that, to the point where she nearly died of malaria, TB etc. She came back to SA a couple of years ago and at an advanced age in her life became involved with a man, whom she fell in love with and married. He is studying to be a Rabbi and she went through the whole conversion to Judaism. No, not Christian Jew but orthodox Jew! I have had many tears over her as I cannot understand how when you have seen, experienced and lived the power of Jesus Christ, you can deny that He even exists!

These are only two examples, but, I am sure if you look around you, you will see many such examples unfortunately.

1 Peter 5:19,20 “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth,[he is not saying if anyone of you do not know the truth] and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins”.

Looking unto Jesus.

Hester

Debs, so in both instances, denying that Jesus Christ is Lord. That is how I will know that you have lost your salvation.

Redeemed

Hester, I understand the examples you gave and I have known such people. One was even a pastor’s wife who turned into an alcoholic divorced a faithful husband. She gave every evidence of being saved. This has left many perplexed and wondering how this could be so.

Hester, we cannot look to people to prove biblical texts. What the Bible says is either true or it is not. Of course we know it is the ultimate truth and the foundation of our faith.

You did not answer my questions about being born again – would you kindly do so? If someone is truly born again, that process cannot be undone, can it any more than a natural child can re-enter the mother’s womb.

In your examples you referred to both women as “believers”. Upon what do you base that upon? Did they hear the true and complete Gospel and respond to it or was it a “gospel” of works? We don’t have a complete picture. What EXACTLY was the origin of their belief?
How do you know it was genuine?

Thomas makes a good point. There are so many false professions based upon faulty preaching. There is the extreme of dragging people to the altar through brow beating to emotionalism to works-based salvation, to easy believism with no repentance. It runs the gamut. It is sad to think how many people are running around with unconverted hearts, trying to live the Christian life in the flesh and to please others rather than the Lord and serve Him out of a loving and grateful heart.

Hester, you can’t interpret the Word of God and determine doctrine by looking at people. You can’t say for certain that these women were even believers because God knows the heart.

These are both tragedies for sure. And like the example I cited, it leaves us scratching our heads. The woman I mentioned in retrospect liked the limelight and was very self-focused, things that went unnoticed. Her story isn’t over either. She is in God’s hands.

I know people who don’t believe in eternal security of the believer. They don’t know how to rest in the Lord. They constantly strive and have no peace. Their service tends to be in the flesh our of obligation rather than love for the Lord.

I thank you for this discussion and I hope that it is fruitful for all. It is certainly one that is needed.

Redeemed

Hester, you said:

Redeemed, you say “and for a time relapse into sin” what happens to that “believer” at that time when they have relapsed into sin and dies? Because the Bible says without repentance you perish. (2Pt3:9, Lk13:3,5, Rev2:5,22)

Yes, there are those that were never saved to start off with (1 John 2:19), but there are those like in the parable the seed that was sown in rocky ground, they come up fast but then they die. For something to die, it had to live first right?

When we consider salvation, we must keep certain things distinct. God’s provisions vs. our response. God provides Salvation. He accomplishes the whole thing. And once done, it is secure and eternal. ALTHOUGHT, IT IS NOT FULLY COMPLETE YET. NOT TOTALLY FULFILLED…RIGHT NOW. (EMPHASIS MINE)

Dear sister, that last statement pinpoints the error of your thinking. You have confused the work of sanctification with salvation. Are you saying we are not saved until we are sanctified?
I fear you may be a proponent of what is known as the “holiness” movement as with the teaching of Charles Finney. If one does the research on him and his teaching it goes along the lines of what you are saying and the groups who hold to the “holiness” doctrine.

Hester

Tom, I am fully in agreement with the background of this book and agree. However, I am sorry but I cannot read anything other than what the Word says in 2 Peter 2:21 “for it would have been better for them NOT to have KNOWN THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them”.

Hester

Tom, herein lies your problem. You are still mixing eternal security with salvation. I, myself, would love to make a bold statement like you do that maybe they were not saved, but I can’t because only God knows a person’s heart. To say, who is to say they will not repent, well, again, only God knows whether it will be so or not, but then I believe again what the Bible says, “it is impossible to renew them”.

Do you think we as mere mortals have a choice when we are called to Christ? When that day Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit called you, did you make a decision to follow Him, or do you believe that you had no choice in the matter.

We are admonished and reminded how many times in the Bible “stand”, “he who overcomes”…. If there was no fear of us having to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, why all these warnings?

I used those examples as I have not experienced it myself and cannot use myself as an example.

But then lets look at Acts 4:32 “Now the multitude of those who BELIEVED were of one heart and one soul:…” and then we go to Acts 5:1-5. Does the Bible clarify that Ananias was not amongst the multitude who believed? Did Ananias willfully lied to the Holy Spirit?

Point is each and every believer is responsible for their walk with Christ Jesus. You choose daily to read your Bible, to pray, to be fed by the Holy Spirit and for whatever reason you might decide to not do those things, you will be on a slippery slope faster than you can say Adam.
I think to make a blanket statement, that they were not saved, is arrogant and trying to simplify things.

I am standing off at this point Tom. Looking forward to some more brilliant articles. Thanks so much.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Hester

>> Do you think we as mere mortals have a choice when we are called to Christ?

Don’t even dare call use Calvinists Hester, you know fully we have free will, BUT until such time that you come to accept Jesus Christ as your saviour, you are BORN AGAIN, a miracle happens, a miracle that can’t be undone! And you know what? Your name is written in the Lambs book of life…look here:

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 forever! He 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 – THE OLD TESTAMENT vs NEW TESTAMENT…..

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 REGENERATED, they know the truth, but because 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 power. So 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.

source: —> taken from my article here: The DIFFERENCE Between Assurance of Salvation (Once Saved, Always Saved) and CALVINISM’S Perseverance of the Saints (Once CHOSEN, Always CHOSEN)

——–

Now, Heather is your name written in the Lambs book of life? :) If it is, it can not be blotted out! Do you see that! And if you argue with that scripture then… I donno.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

>> herein lies your problem, You are still mixing eternal security with salvation.

Errr… I have no words for that… lol

>> I, myself, would love to make a bold statement like you do that maybe they were not saved, but I can’t because only God knows a person’s heart.

We are not making bold statements about anyone, only God knows who is saved and who is not Heather, only YOU KNOW YOUR own heart. My goodness.

>> We are admonished and reminded how many times in the Bible “stand”, “he who overcomes”…. If there was no fear of us having to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, why all these warnings?

Do you not understand that without the Holy Spirit you are nothing, it is He who makes you FEAR, it is He who makes you STAND, it is He who makes you TREMBLE, it is He who makes you REPENT, it is He who makes you GROW, it is He that FILLS YOU, it is He that CHASTISES YOU and BRINGS YOU BACK to Jesus when you go astray, it is not you that does these things, we don’t have the strength, it is not your work. We are willing, we give ourselves, we say yes, we change our ways, we change our mind, and He does the work. Our flesh is weak, we do not do the work (per se). If we did the work, then we have no need for the Holy Spirit.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Hester

>> so in both instances, denying that Jesus Christ is Lord.

So let’s say you get tangled up in some false teaching and follow a doctrine that teaches that Jesus did not come in the flesh. That is denying Jesus Christ. You have now sinned terribly. What now? This can happen very easily. So now according to you are unsaved.

Peter denounced Jesus THREE times. Did he lose his salvation?

    Matthew 26:33-35 33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

    Matthew 26:74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

That’s precisely why Paul wrote:

>> And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

Now if the apostle Paul was SO SURE why can’t Hester be sure…

Eh, Hestertjie :)

Hester

:) Debs, just love you.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Hester

(HUGS)

Jean

Calvinists do not deny free will. (someone made that comment above). I don’t know where anyone ever got that idea except perhaps via Dave Hunt. To correct two common misconceptions:

1) If God is completely sovereign, we’re just robots.
It is common to hear opponents of God’s sovereignty in salvation say that lack of free will produces robots or puppets. The underlying assumption in such thinking is that there are two basic choices: human freedom or God’s intervention. But, that’s a false assumption. The Bible is quite plain that all of mankind falls into one of two camps: sons of God or sons of the devil. In other words, if God does not pull your strings, you are not simply “morally neutral,” implementing your own plans and designs for your life. If God is not in charge of your life, then Satan is. Someone’s pulling your strings, either way.
When you read the language of Scripture you see the consistent contrast between those Jesus chose and those who constitute “the world,” whom Jesus would not pray for (John 17:9). Or, Jesus speaks of “the believing,” who have everlasting life, versus the unbelieving, who are “condemned already” (John 3:16-18). You find Paul’s contrasts between the children of the free and the children of bondage (Gal. 4:30-31). In Col. 1:12-13, Paul contrasts the “saints in light” who were delivered from “the power of darkness.” And, in fact, those are the very words Jesus used to describe Paul’s predestined ministry, as a “chosen vessel.”
“And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:14-18)
And, of course, Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees was not that they were simply following their God-given free will as they rejected Him. He said that they were incapable of understanding His words because they were not His sheep and they were indeed “of your father the devil.” There is no such thing as moral neutrality; there is only light or dark, good or evil, free or bond, God’s or Satan’s.
That contrast is consistent. God’s interference in the lives of some people is not an assault against their freedom. It is deliverance from a darkness that they themselves do not even recognize. Satan has so blinded the eyes of sinful men that they are incapable of recognizing the things of God. Only when God intrudes on a person’s heart/mind/soul/will can that person recognize both their sinfulness and the grace that delivered them. Everyone’s a puppet. It’s just a question of who’s pulling your strings.

2) Love that is not freely given (with the free option to be withheld) is not genuine love or devotion.
Given that the above assessment of man’s natural state is true; and if it is Biblically accurate that all mankind is “dead in trespasses in sins” (Eph. 2:1), then man has no natural ability to love God.
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom. 8:7-8)
The notion of love freely chosen and freely given as an act of the libertarian, unencumbered free will is a nice sounding idea — it’s just an impossibility. Our natural wills are only free to do evil. While we may choose from myriad wicked options, we are utterly incapable of choosing that which is right and good; and that would especially include unfeigned love toward God. Where our love for God is concerned, the Bible is clear:
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
We are incapable of generating positive love toward God unless He first moves on our hearts, removes that stone of indifference and rebellion, and revives us to “newness of life,” forming the capability to love God within us. God must first grant us the ability to do what we simply cannot. And the only people to whom He grants such ability are those whom He has chosen as recipients of His gracious love. We love Him in reaction to His love.
The argument that the only true love is love generated by free will ignores man’s incapability and places the responsibility to love on the very creatures that are described as dead in their own sinfulness, always at enmity with God, incapable of pleasing Him, and defiantly in love with their own sinful flesh. If we’re going to look at this matter Biblically, the only real love that God will accept is that love which He Himself generates. That is the only love pure and good enough to be offered a truly Holy God. Human emotional love is of no value to a God who defines love according to His own character and nature. Thus, He must generate and sustain any love worthy of Himself.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Jean

>> Calvinists do not deny free will.

ROTFL You kidding right? Are you sure you understand the doctrine of Calvinism?

Sharon

Then give us One Example in the Bible where a truly saved person lost their salvation. There are NONE. See if God does the saving and He does the keeping us saved then someone would be calling God Almighty a liar when His word says the following:

2Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Ephesians 1:13 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,
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

No one, not you, not me can get out of the grip of Jehovah God. You believe you can lose your Salvation. Then what sin makes you lost again? You might lose it and not know it.

1John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

I do not understand why people try to add something to their salvation or the loss there of. I believe it is because of pride and arrogance. Those who believe you can lose your salvation will: 1. Admit that Salvation is by grace through faith. 2. But when it comes to eternal security their pride says, God saved me but I am keeping myself saved through good works.

The Oscar Myer Company here in the USA calls one of their “cold-cut meats Bologna. I call being saved then lost Balony. Read God’s Word…He does the saving and He does the keeping.

Hester wrote:

Sorry I am of the opinion that one can lose your salvation. Just as we are called to Christ and we make the decision to follow Him, (Deut.30:19) so we allow the world to lure us to walk away from the Lord. The Word of God says clearly Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. See Ezekiel 18:24.

In other words, the man starts out “saved.” He’s been justified. Is in a “position as” righteous. He turns back, away from that “state” of being saved. Not merely just “committing sinful acts.” But as he turns back, he EMBRACES sin as his “life.” He lives it, gives his whole attention to it. This act of treason results in his righteousness not being remembered. He is not “recorded” [in the Book of Life.] His righteousness will not be mentioned…as Jesus said, “I will deny him before My Father.”(Mat 10:33) And Paul writes, “If we endure, We shall also reign with Him, if we deny Him He also will deny us.”(2 Tim 2:12) His outcome, “He shall die…perish.”

Also, And to repeat this much also: God’s end of the bargain is secure and sure. (Rom 8:31-39) But just as we have the option to “choose life” (Deut 30:19); when we have been, thus, ‘righteous’, we can also deviate from that righteousness and choose evil. (Eze 33:13,18) Notice the wording…

“When I say to the righteous that he shall live life, but he TRUSTS IN HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND COMMITS INIQUITY, none of all his righteousness shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has done, he shall die.” (Eze 33:13)

He has been declared righteous (Rom 5:19) but then “withdraws” with “an evil heart of unbelief” (Heb 3:12) because he has been “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (vs 13)

As a friend of mine says as long as we are still on this earth, we still have free will going. And as God was “not well pleased” with most of Israel, who had experienced His salvation through Christ (1 Cor 10:4-5) because they were in unbelief (Heb 3:19), we are exhorted to “fear lest [we] seem to have come short of [His rest].” (Heb 4:1) Anyone who reads the writings of Paul comes away with this sober realization that he was always striving before God. The matter of salvation was a serious matter to him. He did not figure, “Well, I’m saved. It’s all settled now…la dee dah!” No! “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but…I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”(Phil 3:13-14)

But, again, I am glad that the Lord knows those who are His.(2 Tim 2:19) And each person is answerable to God for himself.

Sharon

God’s Sovereignty is not threatened by Free Will. He’s a Big God. Why did God create man? To fellowship with us. Our purpose in this life is to 1. Know God, 2.To make Him known. 3. To Glorify God. That doesn’t sound like mindless Robots to me.

Calvinism has caused more harm to the True Church of Jesus Christ than any other False Teaching I know of. The very worst part is that Jesus only died for the elect. Where is the verse with those exact words found? Jesus died for all. It is not that His power was diminished by people going to hell. It is those people will be “without excuse” on judgment day. John Calvin was an unrepentant murderer. His “theology” came from Augustine a Catholic that prayed to Mary for Salvation. So we know where Augustine resides now and it is hot there! Calvin is possibly there too. His professions of faith/conversion have nothing in them about repentance and receiving Jesus Christ as Savior. His nick-name was the Pope of Geneva. He supposedly hated the Catholic religion but he acted just like their Pope.

Jean wrote:

Calvinists do not deny free will. (someone made that comment above). I don’t know where anyone ever got that idea except perhaps via Dave Hunt. To correct two common misconceptions:

1) If God is completely sovereign, we’re just robots.
It is common to hear opponents of God’s sovereignty in salvation say that lack of free will produces robots or puppets. The underlying assumption in such thinking is that there are two basic choices: human freedom or God’s intervention. But, that’s a false assumption. The Bible is quite plain that all of mankind falls into one of two camps: sons of God or sons of the devil. In other words, if God does not pull your strings, you are not simply “morally neutral,” implementing your own plans and designs for your life. If God is not in charge of your life, then Satan is. Someone’s pulling your strings, either way.
When you read the language of Scripture you see the consistent contrast between those Jesus chose and those who constitute “the world,” whom Jesus would not pray for (John 17:9). Or, Jesus speaks of “the believing,” who have everlasting life, versus the unbelieving, who are “condemned already” (John 3:16-18). You find Paul’s contrasts between the children of the free and the children of bondage (Gal. 4:30-31). In Col. 1:12-13, Paul contrasts the “saints in light” who were delivered from “the power of darkness.” And, in fact, those are the very words Jesus used to describe Paul’s predestined ministry, as a “chosen vessel.”
“And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:14-18)
And, of course, Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees was not that they were simply following their God-given free will as they rejected Him. He said that they were incapable of understanding His words because they were not His sheep and they were indeed “of your father the devil.” There is no such thing as moral neutrality; there is only light or dark, good or evil, free or bond, God’s or Satan’s.
That contrast is consistent. God’s interference in the lives of some people is not an assault against their freedom. It is deliverance from a darkness that they themselves do not even recognize. Satan has so blinded the eyes of sinful men that they are incapable of recognizing the things of God. Only when God intrudes on a person’s heart/mind/soul/will can that person recognize both their sinfulness and the grace that delivered them. Everyone’s a puppet. It’s just a question of who’s pulling your strings.

2) Love that is not freely given (with the free option to be withheld) is not genuine love or devotion.
Given that the above assessment of man’s natural state is true; and if it is Biblically accurate that all mankind is “dead in trespasses in sins” (Eph. 2:1), then man has no natural ability to love God.
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom. 8:7-8)
The notion of love freely chosen and freely given as an act of the libertarian, unencumbered free will is a nice sounding idea — it’s just an impossibility. Our natural wills are only free to do evil. While we may choose from myriad wicked options, we are utterly incapable of choosing that which is right and good; and that would especially include unfeigned love toward God. Where our love for God is concerned, the Bible is clear:
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
We are incapable of generating positive love toward God unless He first moves on our hearts, removes that stone of indifference and rebellion, and revives us to “newness of life,” forming the capability to love God within us. God must first grant us the ability to do what we simply cannot. And the only people to whom He grants such ability are those whom He has chosen as recipients of His gracious love. We love Him in reaction to His love.
The argument that the only true love is love generated by free will ignores man’s incapability and places the responsibility to love on the very creatures that are described as dead in their own sinfulness, always at enmity with God, incapable of pleasing Him, and defiantly in love with their own sinful flesh. If we’re going to look at this matter Biblically, the only real love that God will accept is that love which He Himself generates. That is the only love pure and good enough to be offered a truly Holy God. Human emotional love is of no value to a God who defines love according to His own character and nature. Thus, He must generate and sustain any love worthy of Himself.

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