Once Saved, Always Saved

We’re going return to the New Testament for the next 3 months and work through 1st and 2nd Peter, written by the apostle Peter approximately 30 years after the crucifixion of Jesus. In the 30 years since Peter denied Jesus three times, Peter has grown a lot. Within two years of writing 1st and 2nd Peter, Peter was martyred, proclaiming the glory of Christ till the very end.

I’d love to spend a lot more time discussing who Peter was, how he grew from a fisherman, and in Acts he was described as “unlearned and ignorant,” to the man who wrote these letters. Peter is a perfect illustration of 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Peter was in Rome when Rome burned; Nero, who “fiddled while Rome burned,” blamed the fire on Christians and martyred both Peter and Paul during this time. So you can see how much history is wrapped up in Peter’s life, but we need to delve right into 1 Peter and see what this apostle has to say to us. So let’s get started and see what the Holy Spirit has to say through this man of Christ and perhaps have hope that we, too, may become this unlearned and ignorant. So take out your bibles and turn to 1st Peter and let’s dig in. 1 Peter 1:1-2 :

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

“Strangers in the world” is also sometimes translated as “temporary residents” or “aliens residing in a foreign land.” Believers in Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit inside, soon find that their moral values are different from the world. We become new creations that don’t seem to fit with the old world anymore. We turn from partying to service, we turn from selfish behavior to loving our neighbor. We become strangers in the world. Peter defines a whole bunch of characteristics of Christians in a single sentence –

  • God’s elect, chosen according to the foreknowledge of God. God knows all, including knowing who will choose Him. It doesn’t say God makes us choose Him, we have the gift of free will He gave us. But God knows all.
  • Through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. When we accept Christ, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit who turbocharges our conscience and begins the lifelong process of sanctification.
  • Obedience to Jesus Christ. To love our Lord, we seek to find His will in our lives.
  • Sprinkling of His blood. This is a also a gift given to us, and nothing we did to earn it. Christ died for us.
  • Grace and peace be yours in abundance. Two more gifts given to Christians; as we allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify us, God’s grace and the peace from Christ lives in us. In abundance, too.

Wow. No wonder we’re going to go through the books of Peter slowly. That’s five descriptions of Christians and we’re not out of the first paragraph yet, and each description we could devote a complete study. Not today, though, we’re going to study 1 Peter 1:3-9 instead. I’d like to read this together as a class, and to make sure we’re all reading the same version, I’ve provided a handout with these verses:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Peter tells us so much here, about how to have inexpressible and glorious joy, how our faith is protected by God’s power, how we suffer so that our faith may be proved genuine. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Once saved, always saved?” I confess that before I started studying this week, I had some doubts about that. No more, no more doubts. And absolutely knowing that there’s not a thing I can do to mess that up brings me this peace and inexpressible and glorious joy. The salvation of my soul is secure, kept in heaven for me and shielded by God’s power. There’s a lot of comfort in that. Peter tells us that through Jesus we have come into an inheritance that can never, spoil or fade, that this inheritance is kept in heaven and protected by the all powerful God.

Are you pretty sure you’re going to heaven? Unless something goes horribly wrong, there’s a good chance you’re going to heaven? Or do you absolutely know, without a doubt, 100% guarantee, that you’re going to heaven? God wants you to know and be absolutely confident, because there is joy and peace in this knowledge. Let’s see if there’s any other scripture that talks about this confidence.

1 John 5:13:

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may *know* that you have eternal life.

It doesn’t say “think” we have eternal life. So that we may *know* we have eternal life. It’s not arrogance to say that I know I will go to heaven. It’s confidence, not in my ability, but in Christ’s sacrifice. Once a person places their trust in Jesus, God immediately and irrevocably grants that person eternal life and salvation and a guaranteed place in Heaven that can never be lost, regardless of what they do or what they don’t do. It’s not based on you, never was. It’s entirely based on what Jesus did.

John 5:24, Jesus says,

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

Jesus uses certain Greek tenses of verbs here to make His point. When He says, “has” eternal life, Jesus uses the present tense. Then He switches to future tense, “will not be condemned”. Jesus says believers have it! And if that wasn’t clear enough, Jesus says the believer “has crossed over from death to life.” Jesus switches present tense to perfect tense, and is saying that the believer has already crossed, always will be crossed over from death to life. We are new creations already, we don’t become new creations after we die. We *have already* crossed over, we *have* eternal life, and *will not be* condemned. Past, present and future.

John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son *has* eternal life.” John 6:47, “I tell you the truth, he who believes *has* everlasting life.” It’s an irrevocable contract Jesus makes with us when we confess Him as our Lord, written here in the Good Book for us to read the fine print anytime we wish. What does Jesus promise to do for us as our Lord? Well, here’s the fine print of the contract.

  • Hebrews 10:17, God says, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” You and I can’t forget, as hard as we try, but God will remember no more. Poof, it’s as if they never happened. With the blood covering from Jesus, we become pure in God’s sight.
  • Philippians 4, our names are inscribed in the Book of Life. Again, not *will be* inscribed. They *are* inscribed.
  • Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Now. No condemnation. Freedom.
  • Micah 7:19, “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” Deeper than the Titanic, our sins are buried in the sea.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” The Holy Spirit lives in us, takes up residence, and gives our conscience a kick-start.
  • Galatians 4:6, “So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” We become adopted by God, we are His children, His heirs. We are no longer slave to sin and the death that comes with it.
  • Romans 8:31-33, God has chosen us, we are God’s elect, and if God is for us, who can be against us?
  • Ephesians 1:13-14, “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession.” Marked, sealed, identified, stamped. Seems like every translation I read used a different word here. Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours. We are indelibly branded, permanently stamped, and guaranteed our inheritance.
  • John 10:27-28, Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” Jesus becomes our shepherd, we becomes His sheep, He gives us eternal life, we will never perish, and no one can change that.
  • Any loopholes left in this contract? Romans 8:38, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Looks like an absolutely iron clad contract to me, how about you?

This salvation we already have. This eternal life we already have. Heaven is a destination where we go when our mortal chores are through, but our place there is already guaranteed. Peter says praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that our inheritance awaits us and to rejoice. Rejoice! Again I say, rejoice! I rejoice because I know if I could do something to lose my salvation, I’d have done it already. I’ve messed up so many times and if I was given a second chance, I’d just lose it again. Sometimes I can go for 6 or 8 hours in a row without sinning, but then I wake up and have to get out of bed. This is great news, knowing we’re eternally saved. In order for us to lose our salvation,

  • somebody would have to find some sort of loophole in the contract that isn’t up or down, present or future, angel or demon, and convince Christ not to love us anymore,
  • change us from Christ’s sheep into a toad,
  • remove the brand He sealed onto us,
  • snatch us right out of the hand of Jesus even though He chose us,
  • cancel God’s adoption papers and write us out of the will,
  • evict the Holy Spirit out of His home in our heart and tell him to find someplace else to live,
  • dive to the very bottom of the ocean and dredge our sins back up,
  • remind God of all the things He’s promised to remember no more,
  • and make God into a liar for putting all these promises down in writing.

Ya know, I just don’t see any of that happening.

So what about all those difficult questions about “Once saved, always saved?” What if I claim to be a Christian, but don’t seem to be living a Christian lifestyle? I party and drink and do drugs and sleep around and so forth – Am I still going to heaven? And what if I say I’m a Christian and I know I’m going to heaven, does that mean I can do anything I want? Lie cheat and steal, take candy from babies or be a serial killer? Am I still going to heaven? How about if I say I’m Christian, but then I curse God to His face, turn my back on Jesus and says I want nothing do with those uptight religious freaks anymore? Am I still going to heaven? And what about when I hurt or when I’m depressed and I just don’t feel like getting up and going to church anymore? Am I still going to heaven?

Great questions. I hope somebody here can answer them, I ran out of time studying.

No seriously, they are great questions, and the answers are in this same Good Book.

Number 1. What if somebody claims to be a Christian, but doesn’t seem to be living a Christian lifestyle? Partying and drinking and so forth? I think it’s important to remember that eternal salvation is granted when you confess with all your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. God does the rest. If we think our actions before God are better than somebody else’s actions, we have a fundamental misunderstanding of what Jesus did for us. Romans 3:20 says, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law.” No one, no matter how good we try to be, is good enough for God. Any righteousness we have comes not from ourselves but from accepting the blood covering of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” It has nothing to do with what we do. We don’t gain eternal life because of our good performance, and we don’t lose eternal life because of our bad performance. It’s Jesus plus nothing; it’s a gift. The church of Galatia thought the same thing, and Paul gave them a dressing down. In Galatians 3 Paul writes, “You foolish Galatians! […] After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” 2 Timothy 2:13 Paul says, “if we are faithless, He will remain faithful.” Getting into heaven has nothing to do with our human performance and everything to do with God’s grace. We don’t sing Amazing Human Performance in worship for a reason, we sing Amazing Grace. So if somebody has truly accepted Jesus Christ but doesn’t seem to be living a Christian life, they still have an invitation to God’s Grand Afterlife Party.

Number 2. If our salvation is secure, does that mean we can do whatever we want? If I’m going to heaven no matter what I do, why does it matter what I do? Why not lie, cheat and steal? Why not cheat on my spouse? Why not party like it’s 1999? I’m going to heaven! Well, there’s a serious problem with this. You may have that invitation to God’s Grand Afterlife Party and you are guaranteed entry, but what you do in this life has everything to do with what kind of reception you’ll get when you get there. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 says

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames

.

The foundation is Christ, and with our mortal lives we build on that foundation. We can build on it with long lasting stuff – obedience, servant hood, prayer, humility, or we can build on it with disobedience, arrogance, and selfishness. The choice is up to us. But there will come a day of Judgement where we stand before Christ, and all our earthly deeds will be exposed for what they are. Everything bad or worthless will be burned away, and if there’s anything left, there’s a reward. What kind of reward? I don’t know – I’m guessing something made of chocolate. All I know if there’s a line forming to collect a reward from the almighty God, I want to be in that line. What if your building is all gone? Well, you don’t get any chocolate, but you yourself will be saved. You’re not in heaven because of the building, you’re in heaven because of the foundation.

Another problem with living a sinful, selfish life, the Holy Spirit is inside doing a number on our conscience. We will feel guilty. Things we could get away with before accepting Christ, we feel bad when we do them now. David writes in Psalm 32 that when he kept silent about his sins, not confessing, not repenting, his bones wasted away and he groaned all day long. When we accept Christ as our savior, we become more focused on pleasing God.

Number 3. What if somebody turns their back on Jesus, renounces God, becomes an atheist. Are they still going to heaven? Let me tell you a story about Robert Robinson, a young teen who lived in London from 1735 to 1790. He was a delinquent teen, but at 17 took his gang to an open air revival service where George Whitfield was preaching to “laugh at the poor deluded Methodists.” Two and a half years later, Robert Robinson gave his life to Christ. He felt the call to preach, was appointed by John Wesley to pastor the Calvinist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk England, writing powerful sermons and hymns, and at the age of 23 wrote this powerful hymn:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Beautiful hymn, and 250 years later we still praise our Lord with these words. But these words were a spiritual, prophetic autobiography. Robert Robinson did not stay in the fold of Christianity, eventually dismissed by the church and he returned to his sinful ways, eventually turning his back on Christianity and became Unitarian who do not believe Jesus was the only Son of the Father. In his later years, while taking a stagecoach ride, and in a non-Christian condition, a female passenger offered to share a poem with him, that it might help him as it had helped her, and she began to read “Come Thou Fount” to him, and when she got to the third stanza,

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.

Robert Robinson broke down and cried and said, “Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then.” Robert Robinson never did return to Christianity, and died denying the deity of Christ.

So what happened? We can’t know for sure, can we, because we can’t ever know Robert Robinson’s heart. But we do know this – if he ever truly trusted Christ, then yes, Robert Robinson is in heaven. Even if we are faithless, God is faithful. In Matthew 21:18-19, Jesus tells us what happens to people like this.

Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

In order to produce fruit, you have to be connected to the sap of the Holy Spirit. If you’re not connected, the best you can produce is leaves, and Jesus says if you’re not connected to the sap of the Holy Spirit, the sap of the church of a body of believers, you wither. You become bitter and angry. I’ve never met a person who has accepted Christ and then turned his back on him that was a joy to be around. They’re hurtful, mean, selfish people. But when you’re connected to the sap, you produce fruit. So when you meet a person like this, either they never truly gave their heart to Jesus, or they did give their heart, but through circumstance, weakness, persecution, suffering, whatever, they turned their back on Jesus. It’s not for us to determine, but the Lord knows their heart, and if they truly gave their heart, they’re in heaven. But not in the chocolate line, they’re in the … carob line.

Number 4. What if I just don’t feel saved? What if I don’t feel connected to the Holy Spirit, or connected to the church. Am I still going to heaven? One of Satan’s tricks in our materialistic secular humanistic society is the “do what feels good” philosophy. Feel bad about debt? Go shopping until you feel good. Feel bad about weight? Eat until you feel better. Don’t like your spouse? Get a divorce. And you look at our society and see what happens to us when we let our feelings determine our direction. When our feelings are at the wheel, we don’t have any idea what direction we’re headed.

I know exactly first hand what happens when you let feelings rule. I left my wife because of feelings and my feelings drove me right off a cliff. But you know what? Christ caught me. Now instead of trying to get happy and going in whatever direction I wanted to, I let Christ take the wheel and let Him determine the direction, and I ended up far happier than when I was trying to be happy. Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Feelings aren’t supposed to be driving your around; feelings are supposed to be in the passenger seat.

So do your feelings determine whether you’re going to heaven? Does John 3:16 read, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” as long as he feels like it? John 5:24 says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” How do your feelings change that? John 10:28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” Unless, of course, they’re unhappy? Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Where do feelings come into play? Your feelings are something you do, and nothing you do will gain your salvation. I think we try to make this complicated, but it’s almost too simple to believe. God gives us the gift of salvation, and we say “thanks.” That’s it, and nothing we do or feel or say will change that. No performance evaluation, no report card. Just grace. Your destiny is already safe, already secure, you are already an eternal being. When you’re not afraid to die, then you’re not afraid to live.

So you don’t have to get up every week and walk down the aisle every single week and give your life to Christ, Meredith. You already belong to him and nothing, not death nor life, not angels nor demons, not the present nor the future, nor any powers, not height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to change that one teeny bit. Your destiny is safe. And that’s why Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:8-9, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Once Saved, Always Saved? It really is that simple. Don’t complicate it with man-made judgments and opinions. Salvation is a gift through Jesus that is eternally secure. To receive it, all we have to do is ask. And all we have to do to keep it is… nothing.

* due credit goes to Lon Solomon of the McLean Bible Church and his sermon series on Bible bootcamp for the ideas and scripture references behind the “fine print of the contract” above.

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26 thoughts on “Once Saved, Always Saved

  1. Once Saved, Always Saved. I found it good reading. 🙂 Light along the Journey asks an important question in Beauty and Waste. I liked what Amanda’s dad had to say here. 🙂 This post over at Tidbits and Treasures I liked as well. So…what animals are in your church? Or

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  2. James 2:24, “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.”

    Well, tell me what you mean by “justified”. I believe it means being declared righteous before God. In other words, it compliments 1 Cor 3:11-15. Justification is not the same thing as salvation or the entry into heaven.

    It can’t disagree with the other scripture, and there is no one righteous, no not one. Our works are certainly important (credited to us as righteousness), but no works are sufficient for salvation. We don’t have the ability to lift ourselves up by those bootstraps.

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  3. Oh, and a lesson on James – eventually, I’m sure. I’ve looked ahead and we’ll be studying 1st and 2nd Peter until the end of May, and then the minor prophets over the summer.

    Let me dig around the church resources and see if there’s a long term schedule… oh. Goodness. They’ve set a schedule through 2015. They’ll cover the the entire bible in 8 years. James is up in the Summer of 2009.

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  4. I’m afraid you use a lot of big words I’m not familiar with. I’ve never performed an “elaborate exegetical exercise” in my life, at least not that I’m aware of. 🙂

    I’m well aware of the reference to James 2:24 – Sean brought it up in the very first comment – but why would you hang your hat on that single piece of scripture? By doing so, you contradict all the other scripture I referenced above. Would not it make more sense to view the word James uses as an addition to the above verses? James is telling us that true faith must have works or it is not true faith, and that we do not appear righteous before the Lord without true faith. Blend this with the discussion of 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 above and you’ll see it makes a lot more sense to view “by works a man is justified” as one of the rewards, one of the “stones in our crowns” we receive in our salvation. Our salvation itself, though, is secure.

    I don’t agree with your statement that once grace is received that somehow obedience is optional. I wrote about the importance of being obedient last fall. Our faith – our true faith – calls us to be obedient to our Lord. Our obedience, though, does not save us.

    The alternative – your interpretation – indicates that somehow we can work our way into heaven. There is *nothing* we can do to earn our way. Paul says in Romans 3:10-12, “There is no one righteous, not even one.”

    I’ll accept the gift of eternal salvation for what it is – a gift. In gratitude for His sacrifice for me, I will be obedient to the Word of my Lord.

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  5. About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

    Peace Be With You
    Micky

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  6. Micky, thanks for sharing your story. My pastor says every person’s personal testimony of the love found in Jesus is holy ground, and I can see why. That was powerful.

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  7. Michael:

    Dittos to your comments on Micky’s testimony…POWERFUL!

    I, too was a “walking dead man” when the Holy Spirit finally broke through my spiritual blindness some years ago. I was literally on spiritual death row at the time of my salvation, but thanks be to God for His incredible mercy!

    God bless.

    Bryan

    p.s. A blogger of lesser intellectual–and spiritual–honesty would simply have deleted my previous opposing viewpoint on OSAS. Thanks so much for letting me express my views!

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  8. Heh. Thanks for the encouragement, Bryan, and I appreciate your views. I may not agree, but I also know I do not have any sort of lock on the knowledge of our eternal salvation. Any perception I may have is tainted by my own flawed and pale intellect. You may, indeed, be right, but if we both have placed our faith in Jesus and are both obedient to His word, then when we get to Heaven you and I can discuss the nuances with a better realization.

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  9. Amen!
    We probably have many more areas of agreement than disagreement, including the fact that–as you indicate–as long as you and I are found “abiding in Christ”, our eternal security is never in question.
    Keep up your blogging; it’s always an encouragement to hear from people who have a passion for Christ!

    Bryan

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  10. Thanks, Bryan. I’ve started studying for my next lesson (1 Peter 4:7-19) and I’m always rewarded with some insight I never knew before. I’ll post about it early the week of April 22.

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  11. I have some serious issues with the “once saved, always saved” doctrine because Scripture does not give us a blank check to do what we want and still consider ourselves FOLLOWERS of Christ. We would be hypocrites just like the Pharisees if we said one thing, calling ourselves Christians, but not at all living like Christ–and we take our place with the hypocrites, not with the righteous (Matthew 24:51). I’d be interested in your response to this article:

    http://members.tripod.com/crossbearer-brian/id60.htm

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  12. I’m pretty sure I’ve already addressed those issues. First, all scripture is in agreement, so how do you reconcile those scriptures with the dozens I’ve posted above? I believe we’re talking at different points in time; for instance, Matthew 7:21 is talking about somebody who hasn’t accept Christ yet. And scholars often interpret 2 Peter 2:20-22 as a hyothetical questions that begins with “if this were possible, then.”

    I think it’s clear that obedience to God’s word is important, and if you are a follower of Christ, you want to obey. But you cannot obey “good enough” to get into heaven, nor for the same reason can you lose your salvation.

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  13. You ever wonder if the Holy spirit is shaking his head over the church Christ founded to spread the good news to the world?

    How is it that so many supposedly spirit-led interpretations have led to the fracturing of the Church that Hell cannot prevail against until the end of time?

    Hubris, thy name is “self appointed theologian”.

    Here’s praying for a reconciliation of all Christian faiths.

    Sorry, I just read the link above on 16, and my head aches.

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  14. Hi Michael,

    I’m not sure I agree with “once saved, always saved” statement. You bring up a lot of good points, however there are verses that contradict your statement. Jesus spoke of believers who lost their faith (not just thought that they had it but had it and lost it) on at least two occasions: Matthew 24:10-13 and Luke 8:13. What I take from these verses is that the only way for us to know that our faith will take us to heaven is to persevere and endure to the end. Those who fall away do not make it (Matthew 24:13).

    I’d like to hear how you understand these verses.

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  15. Hi Viktoria. I’m not a biblical scholar, but I do know that all scripture is consistent, so those passages must be consistent with the “once saved” passages above. Matthew 24 is addressing the church of the tribulation (or the church of the millenium), while scholars often call the current times the “church of grace.” And Luke 8 appears to question whether the believer has truly placed their faith in Christ.

    Does that help?

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  16. Hi Michael,

    Sorry it took me so long to check back for your answer. I appreciate you taking time to address my questions. However your explanation does not make sense to me, especially the explanation of the Matthew verses.

    I am not aware of existence of different churches. I see Matthew 24 as being addressed to me, not someone else. I think Jesus addresses my faith.

    I agree that scripture is consistent, but it doesn’t mean that we have to ignore or somehow separate (like, well it is not really referring to us) Matthew verse because of other verses.
    Maybe it is there to make us look at our faith from a different angle. I don’t know what it is but I think it means that God gives us our faith and God keeps us faithful as well, helping us ‘endure to the end’. We do not just convert to christianity one time, it is a lifelong journey and we have to fight for our faith and joy in God every day.

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  17. Viktoria, the scholars sometimes interpret Matthew 24 as applying to those Christians after the rapture bt before the Day of the Lord. I confess I do not know. But just because Jesus says, “he who stands firm to the end will be saved” doesn’t mean to me that salvation can be lost. What does He mean by “standing firm?” If one accepts Christ, is that “standing firm?” If one doesn’t stand firm, then did he truly accept Christ?

    Otherwise, I agree with your post. Christianity is indeed a journey, a sanctification. I look back at my early Christian years and can see evidence of Christ’s work, and give Him the glory for what He has done and continues to do.

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  18. Hi Michael. On the 24th of July 2007, a question was raised by Victoria relating to the “Once saved, always saved” saying that there are verses (Mat 24) that contradict your statements on this topic. I believe in eternal security and would like to give you my answer to this:

    In Mat 24 Jesus gives the signs of the His coming and v8: “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” “Sorrows” is the Greek word “odin”, meaning birthpains. Birthpains only occur just before birth, not through pregnancy. These signs are the events that are going to take place just before the second coming of Christ.

    Secondly, the church will not be present during the great tribulation (V21), as the church has been raptured before the antichrist will appear. (2Thes 2:3,4) Compare Matt 24:4-9 and Rev 6:1-7 (beginning of the great tribulation). Mat 24:13 is directed to the last generation just before the second coming of Christ. In this context it is refering to Israel that must be alive at the end. If they (Israel) endure to the end, they will be saved. Sag 12:10, Acts 15:16, Rom 11:26, Dan 12:1. A true believer do not have to endure to the end TO BE SAVED…HE IS ALREADY SAVED. He will be raptured before the last seven years of tribulation starts.

    Hope this will explantion will clear up the confusion.

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  19. Thank you, Rudi. I think overall scripture is clear that nothing we can do, save for confessing Christ is Lord, will save us. And therefore nothing we can do will lost that salvation. Passages you reference, must be understood in that context.

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  20. Hi.
    I found your Web Site by Google
    And I wish you the best you can get,
    the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

    Welcome to visit my Site.
    Allan Svensson, Sweden
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/INDEX.HTM

    Once saved – always saved?
    The doctrine of election, which William M. Branham preached,
    that the elected cannot fall away from the Lord, it can entice
    people into a false safety, which can be their fall. Branham’s
    doctrine of the election does not agree with Ezekiel 33:12-19
    or Rom. 11:17-22.

    If the elected ones cannot become lost, why then are there so
    many warnings in the Bible? Why did Jesus warn us about
    false teachers and false prophets, if it is impossible that the
    elected ones become lost?

    If it is no risk to lose our salvation, then we do not need to
    hold us awake or be careful against false teachers. Why then
    are Israel’s sins and punishments under their wandering through
    the desert, written down as warnings for us? Why then did Paul
    write, “Now all these things happened unto them for examples:
    and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of
    the world are coming. Wherefore let him that thinketh he
    standeth take heed lest he falls.” 1 Cor. 10:1-12.

    A usual reason that Christians fall away from the Lord, is that
    they follow false doctrines, which lead away from the sincere
    faithfulness to the Lord. They believe more on preachers and
    priests than on the Bible.

    A remarkable phenomenon is, that the most resistance against
    revival comes from those Christians who have been praying for
    revival during many years. They have prayed for revival, but
    when the answer to prayers comes, then they become angry.
    They do not like to hear the truth of the Assembly of God, the
    Body of Christ. Instead to praise Jesus, they are irritated and
    afraid. Why? They are spiritually blinded of Satans false
    assembly doctrine. They do not have the knowledge of the
    Assembly of God. This truth has never been preached in the
    churches.

    Churches and denominations are Satan’s tools to hold control
    over the Christians. The purpose of the churches is that with
    false doctrine defend churches and denominations, and to hold
    their members in religious slavery, and hinder them to
    understand God’s word.

    In the time of the apostles any church did not exist, and
    therefore the word “church” does not occur in the Bible.
    Everywhere in your English Bible where you see the word
    “church” it is a grave translation error. It ought to be
    “assembly”.

    As you can see in my Web site, I am no member in any
    church. In the year 1965 I left Babylon the great, and since
    then I have been outside of all churches and denominations,
    according to the command of the Lord. Rev. 18:4.

    This command of the Lord is the most powerful revival
    message we can find in the Bible. Yet, this truth of the Bible
    has not been preached among God’s people, and therefore the
    Christians are entirely unprepared for Jesus’ coming. Only
    few Christians have obeyed this command of the Lord to
    come out of the great Babylon.

    Just this is revival, that all God’s people become free from
    all churches and denominations, the great Babylon. Many
    preachers are speaking that Jesus shall come, but they do
    nothing to prepare themselves.

    On my Homepage I have written very much about the
    Assembly of God and about churches and denominations.
    It is very urgent that all God’s people get the knowledge
    of this.

    None be saved by works of the law, Gal. 2:16,
    and none be saved without works of faith. Matt. 7:21-23.

    Prepare you to meet Jesus!
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PREPARE.HTM

    Evil spirits in the churches
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/SPIRITS.HTM

    Why did the Pentecostal Revival take an end?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRISIS.HTM#end

    What does hinder the Antichrist to appear?
    What is the Restrainer?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/MESSAGE.HTM#Antichrist

    Like

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