When I was born physically, I had a father. His name was Richard. As his daughter, I have his blood running through my veins. Richard and Debra are "blood related". Nothing I could possibly do would change that. No act or mistake. We are related by blood. But is there anything I could do which would affect the harmony of our "relationship" as father and daughter?
Certainly. My attitude and behavior caused at times a strain or conflict in our relationship. What did I need to do to keep our relationship in harmony? I needed to be obedient. Our relationship issue was settled at my birth; the harmony issue became dependent upon my behavior and obedience.
In the spiritual realm, when I was born again I became a member of God's family. God is my father and I enjoy an eternal relationship with Him through the blood of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:18-19
18. knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19. but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, [the blood] of Christ.
The issue of "Eternal Security" is a real hot button of debate. Here is where I differ somewhat with the author of this book. I will try to state my case in a succinct manner. If you do not agree with me, I totally understand. I have voiced my opinion loud and clear on several occasions in the past. But my understanding of eternal security changed after study and prayer and asking God many questions concerning this matter. Up until that point I had believed that no matter what you did as a Christian, no matter how you acted, what you said, or what you stood for, you were still going to heaven. "Once saved always saved". Now believe me, I know all the scripture that supports this. But let's just view this from the common sense viewpoint of ourselves and God. I don't believe we are to throw common sense out the window in our viewpoint of God.
When we are born again it is a matter of forgiveness of sin, confessing publicly and acknowledging Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then surrender and asking for Jesus to come into your heart. We use our will to get to that decision.
Some denominations go the other extreme. They believe you can lose your salvation more easily. I know both these viewpoints as I have been a member of both of these denominations.
Let's use Adolf Hitler as an example, or any other maniacal despot from history for that matter. Ruthless killing, desiring complete control, hideous actions and ways of thinking. Some say mental illness, I say pure evil. Now what if as a young boy, Adolf had made a profession of faith at his local church. What a sweet young boy. Then as time went by there became no evidence of his relationship with God. No evidence whatsoever. He manifested into the dictator and murderer that he has come to be known for. Do you think that Adolf will be sitting next to Jesus at the marriage supper of the Lamb? Not unless he had a complete and utter profound experience of salvation right before he shot his companion Eva and then put a bullet in his own head.
Now some of you may be ready to argue with me at this point. Some would say, "Well, he just never actually had a salvation experience." But I will say this. I believe some people have a real salvation experience, but for some reason or circumstances they find they do not want God in their lives. They deny their relationship with Christ and basically lock the door to their heart. It is not easy to lose your salvation. Almost impossible, and it is not done with our failures or actions. Salvation is lost when we make a clear statement to God that we are done with Him. finished. over. We tell Him to get out of our lives and never come back. This is part of the "unpardonable sin", blaspheming of the Holy Spirit. I believe that before this happens we are given every opportunity to patch things up with God, even if we are angry and feeling hopeless and lost.
"And everyone who will speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him.
God will have the Holy Spirit do everything to comfort and change our heart. Our will is still our will. I believe just as our will says yes to Jesus and the Holy Spirit to invite Him in. We can choose our will to "evict" the Holy Spirit and say NO to anything He desires to do for us. It isn't about mistakes, hurts, disillusionment, or "backsliding". It's about a conscious decision to sever our relationship.
Think about Peter in John Chapters 18 and 19, when Jesus had been arrested. He denied Jesus in front of others, but he was sick in doing so. He made a horrible decision to deny his knowing Jesus, but he was not evicting Him. Peter was terrified of being arrested also. He was a coward, but not someone that denied Jesus in his heart.
Now, as I have said, I know the scripture, but I also know the scripture that supports the loss of salvation. And I'm not going to "debate" this. You have your opinion and I have mine. All I ask is that you put it before God yourselves. Seek God on your own, without "church doctrine" in mind. Even as a young person I had questions on this subject. No answers that my church tried to teach me fully covered all the areas of this. It just didn't make sense to me. Evicting the Holy Spirit is not a matter that most of us would even consider doing or being involved with.
You ask me how I know? By experience. There was a time that I came into deep disagreement with God. He had told me something was going to happen. It didn't happen when I thought it should. I was so angry I said some things to God that were really bad. I had a vision of myself going over a cliff. He grabbed me by the neck and rescued me. I knew at that time that He wanted me to not continue, that if I continued in the way I was feeling, acting, and the things I was saying I would be putting my eternal relationship with God in jeopardy.
So having divulged this belief that I have. I will still say, As a Christian, we cannot change God's mind about us, and we are always in Relationship with our loving Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ. As long as we willingly choose to be His child we will remain so. No matter what. And if you are worried that you have lost your salvation, please do not worry, you have not. If you have lost your salvation, you will not care.
Love, in Jesus,
Thank you for sending this message.ReplyDelete
It is definitely something for me to reflect and pray about.
AMEN....so many people need to hear this. Thank you for sharing from your heart.ReplyDelete
Thank you Debra for explaining this issue so clearly! What great analogies.ReplyDelete
PS I totally agree.
Your blog is well written, but I must respectfully disagree with loosing salvation.
You can certainly hurt your fellowship with God but do you believe you can "change" your relationship with God anymore than you could change your relationship with your earthly father. You are his daughter and that will never change. Peter denied Christ three times to his face and even went back to being a fisherman, but Jesus restored him that night on the sea when they were fishing and Peter left fishing and never went back.
Jesus himself just before being hung on the cross said he kept all that God had place in his hands except one, the son of perdition (Judas) in order that prophecy be fulfilled.
Once you are covered by the blood of Jesus, you can't wash it off. God doesn't take the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross lightly and to think we have greater power (to undo what Christ has done for us) is not correct. Romans 8:38-39 says nothing can separate us, not man, which would mean us. I can choose not to fellowship but I cannot change relationally who I am in Christ.
I think we may have to agree to disagree on this one.
We are not here to debate, but I agree with Rose. No man can pluck us from His hands, even ourselves! I reflect back to whether someone was truly saved in the first place, if they are continuing their lives in the same sins. (only God can judge) We all sin and can backslide far away from God, but God understands that we are merely human, and shows mercy and forgiveness towards us, and is always ready to restore that relationship. Thanks for a thought provoking post. :o)ReplyDelete
Blessing to everyone, I'm so glad that we can state our opinions and positions on scripture and doctrines without "stepping on everyone else's toes". I knew there would be a lot of varied opinions on what I discussed today. I grew up in the Baptisit Church, but then joined the Assemblies of God about 10 years ago. That's why I don't really go by a denomination now. I just know what my heart identifies through the Holy Spirit and by His direction of me. As I said earlier, this is NOT about our sin, backsliding or, disallusionment with God. (As in Peter's case. He sinned by his words, but he hadn't rejected Jesus Christ in his heart. He disgraced himself and was guilty and dejected by his acts, but still loved Jesus.) This is about our "willful" termination of God in our life, and I don't think it happens very often. God will do everything to restore us, but it says in scripture, many will fall away; that is what "apostasy" is, the renunciation of our faith or the mental rejection of God.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your comments on this. I know we can interpret scripture individually, that's such a huge blessing we enjoy.
love you all,
Hi Debra. This is a very thought provoking post. I too have thought about this more than once. And though I can't say that I know with absolute certainty the mind of God, I too believe just as you do. Of course though I believe that a mentally insane person's actions are looked at differently by God there are some people such as Hitler who was maniacal controlling egotistical madman. At this point there is no God to this person and I believe after the mass amount of killings, he was truly soulless and therefore a follower of Satan rather than God.ReplyDelete
People may disagree with me on this next point and I know there is a lot of scripture but here I go anyway.....
I heard that the Jewish faith will not go to heaven because of their lack of believing that Jesus was who he said he was. Well I have a hard time believing that all Jews will end up in hell. I see many Jewish people who are constantly living a Godly life spending their lives doing and giving to others. They are profoundly dedicated to their faith and serving God. Can you spend a lifetime thinking and doing for others and having a heart of love and kindness and not go to heaven when the so called Christian that goes to church, has been saved and is next door molesting the neighborhood children? Can Hitler kill unfathomable amounts of Jews from innocent children to adults really go to heaven and those who he killed go to hell. Personally I don't believe so.
I love hearing everyone's opinion this is just mind.
Love in Christ, Tracy :)
I need to clarify my words in "the rejection of our faith" meaning those that willfully denounce and deny Christ by their renouncing Christ to become another religion, such as Muslim, Buddhist, or even Jewish. Any other religion that does not believe in the life and death and atonement for sin by Jesus Christ on the cross is a denounciation of Him. At that point would someone who had once been a believer in Jesus Christ renounce Him to become a follower of another religion? Personally, I don't know how someone could do this, yet you see this happen in marriage over and over. Now whether or not they had truly had a salvation experience only God Himself really knows.ReplyDelete
I am here Debra- thinking.ReplyDelete
Dear Sisters in Christ - I too am one who believes that cannot loose our salvation. There are many scriptures that support this position. With that said, I think the important thing to focus on is that each day we choose our thoughts and actions so that we live to glorify the Lord and share the gospel message with those that are hurting, wounded and lost. There are some things we won't know until we meet the Saviour face to face. If we hold ourselves accountable to seek after holiness, these things won't matter. While I believe doctrine is extremely important, I remind myself of the scripture that says, "choose you this day who you will serve."ReplyDelete
Well this one couldn't be farther from what I believe dear one! I love you sister and accept you for who you are in Christ. But I absolutely believe in the grace message and that means what Christ did on the cross was a covenant between God the Father and Him. We broke the covenant He had with us, God knew we couldn't keep it so the new contract had nothing to do with us. It is all Christ and we can do nothing more, He has done it all. The whole book of Romans says it is not by works but by grace. I have a post up on my blog called the gospel if you care to read another point of view.
Blessings to you
Debra, Very thought provoking discussion today. In the past month, as we wait for the biopsy on Wed and then another 48 hours for the results of the mass in his only kidney, I have stayed very close to the Lord. Actually, I am combining the last three days Bible Study in one answer as I don't always get to read every day, but when I do, I go back to the days I missed. I am so grateful for this Bible Study. Truthfully, I don't know the answer to "loosing our Salvation". I believe it is a very valid discussion and I can see both sides. I am a person who KNOWS I don't want to loose MY Salvation and believes this answer lies in each individual heart. It is the "heart" that turns away from HIM just as it is the heart that asks HIM into our lives based on the blood, the cross and Jesus death. Can anyone truly know at the very last minute the state of the "heart" between that individual and the Lord? I don't believe we can. As you pointed out, seeking HIM for HIS answer to these questions is seeking Truth. We all try to reason with our "minds", but HIS ways are not our ways. I believe that "questions" per se are "bridges" to a deeper walk with HIM as we go to HIM for answers. Just my humble opinion.ReplyDelete
I believe if there could be an award to the person who gracefully introduced a topic that causes such division yet handled the discussion with the love of Christ - you'd receive that award my sister!! lolReplyDelete
This issue, along with several others, is definitely a hot-topic among many who believe strongly one way or the other.
I, on the other hand - have believed both ways. I was brought up believing that because 'no man can snatch me out of my Father's hand' and if 'Christ died once and for all' - we could never 'lose' our salvation.
But over the years, with more in depth study of Scripture, I still believe that we can't 'lose' our salvation similar to losing our keys or misplacing our purses. I do not see in Scripture that one act (or several) can separate us from the "love" of God in Christ.
But I do believe we can choose to harden our hearts and turn our backs on God and 'return to our vomit' (2 Pet. 2:20-22). We can 'choose' to step out of God's hand.
As none of us can determine the heart of an individual, we (as finite humans) can't state with surety whether or not someone will or won't 'be with God in eternity' based solely upon a prayer they once prayed. Yes... everything for a Christian is 'under the blood' - until we of free-will choose to pull it out from under that precious blood.
I've seen good, solid, strong Christians who've spent years walking with God, be enticed away and leave the faith and turn to Islam and Wicca.
Again my dear friend, I am blessed by the way you approached this topic and by the grace you've shown through the differences of opinion.
Amen!! We definitely think and believe the same!! It is awesome to be in blog fellowship with like minded believers!! PTL!ReplyDelete
But I do always wonder about the scripture where Jesus says...."Many will come saying 'Lord, Lord...etc... and I will say depart from me into everlasting darkness I knew you not!" These were those who did works in His name but He still cast them away.
Free in Christ
I agree with your position. It is a sobering subject and you handled with with great tenderness of the Spirit.
There is nothing more heart wrenching than to see a brother or sister willfully turn from the faith.
God's Word tells us there will be a great falling away 2 Thess 2:3 , and a,
gain 1 Timothy 4:1 speaks of the latter times that some shall depart from the faith.
The parable of the sower is extremely sobering. God's word tells us to examine ourselves whether we be in the faith.
Heb:3:12: Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Praise God our hope is in Jesus....Stay close to Him.
Thank you Debra for sharing.