Eternal Life vs Life Eternal

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    Was Adam, either physically, spiritually, or both, born in such a state as to live forever? Could it be said that he was created in a state of possession of eternal life as you would describe it? Can it be said that Adam was created in possession of eternal life? Is the soul/spirit of man created eternal, and will it live forever?

    Be very careful what you say. It will either establish the validity of some of your presuppositions or it well may be the downfall of them. :tonofbricks:
     
  2. Darron Steele

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    I think the Word of God answers it best regarding the merits of this type of proposed thread:

    "Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers" (KJV).

    "Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers" (NASB).

    --Titus 2:14.

    The written Word of God has spoken. Enough said.
     
    #2 Darron Steele, Jun 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2008
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I see that as a cop-out for a debate forum. I would agree that I chose a poor title for this thread, for it is NOT a discussion wrangling over mere words. This thread was designed to deal with some foundational principles underlying ones theology. Try answering the questions I asked. I believe they are reasonable and meaningful questions that will have a profound effect upon ones theology.
     
  4. Darron Steele

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    The written Word of God says what it says.

    You can give me a bogus accusation of "cop out" if you want, but even so, my motives would not change what the written Word of God says about exactly what you are trying to do.

    "Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers" (KJV).

    "Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers" (NASB).

    --Titus 2:14.
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Why this topic on eternal life? It is not a meaningless exercise in wrangling over words as DS has falsely suggested, but rather an exercise in understanding the nature of eternal life as it affects us humans on this planet. We have heard on this list the constant drumbeat by DHK that if the promise of eternal life can be revoked or set aside, that somehow it makes God out to be a liar, promising something for eternity that may in fact not be true. By examining Scripture in light of Scripture, and allowing our God-given capabilities or reason to be exercised, I believe the honest seeker of truth will see full well the fallacy of any such charge as is made over and over by DHK.

    If Adam was created in a state to live eternally with God, Adam would have been in possession of a soul/spirit capable of eternal life before the fall. He walked with God and communed evidently one on one with God in the garden. There was no sin in his life for a while for they were naked in their innocence at one with their Creator God. They were walking within the framework of holiness and were in possession of eternal life antecedent to the fall.

    Once they sinned and fell, things changed. No longer were they at one with God in fellowship with Him in the garden. The Tree of Life was REMOVED from their presence making it IMPOSSIBLE for them to partake of it in the manner they had in the past.

    They were estranged from God. No longer did they entertain the hope of living and coming with God for eternity for they had severed themselves from that relationship by their willing disobedience against God and they were cut off from the Tree of Life, their only source up until that till of living eteranlly with God.

    DHK has presented a view of once in grace always in grace and presented that view as to indicate that although Adam and Eve sinned, they did not regress from their state of eternal life, but rather only suffered a momentary loss of fellowship, again as I understand him. DHK, to my knowledge has never been forthright with defining their state before the fall other than to exclude it as one of salvation seeing that salvation is only needed as a consequence of sin. Although I agree with him on that point, DHK needs to establish clearly for the list if in fact they were in possession of eternal life prior to the fall. Could not it of been said that it was God’s promise with them that as long as they were obedient they would have eternal life? Was it not God that reiterated to Cain in such wording as to make it clear that they were in possession of this knowledge prior to sin? “ Ge 4:6 ¶ And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” This passage makes it clear to me that not only did the first pair understand the promise of acceptance with God related to obedience, but their children did as well.

    What DHK fails to realize is that the promise and hope of eternal life has always been conditioned upon obedience. The same condition of obedience existed antecedent to the fall as is required subsequent to the fall. God was not a liar before or after the fall, and it in no wise insinuates that He is when one modifies the promise or hope of eternal life by the condition of obedience. DHK simply plays that paper duck argument as a means of trying to paint his opponents on this issue in the worst possible light possible, even in the face of clear evidence that such is not the case.

     
  6. Amy.G

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    Hi HP,
    The problem with obedience being the "saving" factor is that it implies that each time we commit a sin, we lose our salvation. If you have a sinful thought right before you're run over by a truck and killed (not having time to repent and ask forgiveness), you'll go to hell for your disobedience. Is that what you're saying?
    Maybe it would help if you define "obedience". Are you implying we must adhere to every jot and tittle of the law 100% of the time to maintain our salvation? Or do you mean obedience to the gospel of Christ? Which would mean accepting by faith His sacrifice and death on our behalf?
    Help me out here. :)
     
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Obedience is not the saving factor. Obedience is not the grounds of our salvation. Obedience is a ‘condition of’ not the grounds of our salvation. The mercy of God is the grounds of our salvation and the means by which that mercy was displayed was none other than the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We are not saved for the sake of our obedience, but neither will we be saved apart from obedience.

    Your statement implies that salvation is simply a one time act. Salvation involves a process that incorprates three distinct phases: First, when we first by faith repent and enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ by faith, secondly as we walk in obedience with Him in this present world, and thirdly when we in finality stand before Him in judgment, giving an account of every deed and idle word spoken, and are eternally declared to be 'in Christ.'



    HP: No, I never said that. What are you calling a sinful thought? A thought may indeed be nothing more than temptation to evil. A thought is only considered ‘sinful’ in a moral sense if in fact it involves an act of the will in direct disobedience to a known commandment of God. It has been said that you cannot keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.





    HP: Obedience, in a moral sense, is nothing more or less than a complete committal of ones will to the known commandments of God with all of ones strength in light of ones knowledge of God's law. Again, this obviously is influenced greatly by ones knowledge and abilities. Obedience as it relates to a new born babe in Christ or a young individual would most likely be different for them than the obedience God requires out of a mature Christian.




    HP: God’s commandments are not grievous, nor are they impossible to reach as your wording of ‘jot and tittle’ might well imply. Just the same, obedience to God’s law is not denoted as anything other than the following Scriptural command Lu 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
     
  8. Amy.G

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    I agree that God's commands are not grievous, but sometimes I fail. I seek His forgiveness each time. I love Him with all my heart.
    What I don't understand is how a person loses their salvation? Maybe you could explain it to me. How about an example? Do you know of someone who has lost it? Can you know if you've lost it?
     
  9. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: There is not a saint alive that cannot fail and sin under extreme temptation. That does not mean they cannot help but fail, but rather that the possibility exists that they can, and many I believe do at times. Just the same, when we look at their overall life they have lived, it is clear that the desire of their heart was just as yours, to be pleasing to their Heavenly Father in everything they do. Their life is marked by a consistent committal of the will in obedience, erring on the side of caution rather than to run the risk of offending the God they love and serve.

    It is my belief that God knows our heart better than we know it ourselves as Scripture proclaims. The true Christian has a heart bent on obedience. God alone will be our judge on our obedience. 1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
    2Pe 3:11 ¶ Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

    Should not the heart cry of every believer be honestly in accordance to the song writer hymn? “Oh to be like thee, Oh to be like Thee!” If that is the true cry of our heart, I believe God will provide the way for obedience and heart purity.



    HP: With one rare exception, when the Holy Spirit withdraws Himself from man in this present world, it is not over till it is over. One cannot lose in finality what one has not gained in finality. In this world we walk by faith, entertaining our hope of eternal life. No one, other than the one exception mentioned above, has lost all hope of salvation while they are living and breathing. They may have lost their assurance, and if disobedience is persisted in without repentance, they indeed may in the end be said to have ‘lost their salvation,’ but again if they are alive, there is still hope that they will be renewed once again to repentance and be found in Christ in the last day.

    I believe Scripture affords us with examples of those that have indeed had a relationship with God but failed to persevere. Saul of the OT would be a prime example, and would Judas in the NT. I certainly know of the many warnings to me regardless of the fate of others or the debate that always stirs anytime an example from Scripture is mentioned. One we all should be keenly aware of is the following passages as well as numerous others. “Ro 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” or “1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Or, “1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

    Lu 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 2Th 2:3 ¶ Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    Now we simply do not know all the facts in everyones life, but in the end I believe we shall see the example of many that made shipwreck of the faith and are finally lost.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    I can agree with this statement about being obedient. I compare it to an obedient child versus a rebellious child. The obedient one is not perfect and will misbehave from time to time, but in their heart they desire to please their parents, whereas the rebellious child only wants to fulfill his own desires. I think this is what you mean?

    It seems based on your definition, that the person who "loses" their salvation has really forfeited it by turning against God, rather than God just "revoking" it (as Bob Ryan would say :wavey: ). Have I understood you correctly?
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I believe that a believer should pass from the stage of the obedient/disobedient cycle to a stage of consistency in a consistent and holy walk with God. I believe Scripture denotes this ‘second’ stage’ or more mature stage as a state of sanctification. It should be the honest desire of every believer to enter and walk in a state of sanctification 'in this present world', signifying a consistent holy walk before God, where sin, at the least, would at least be seen as the abnormal not the normal, the rare occasison under extreme temptation, not the daily practice of ones life. Heb 6:1 ¶ Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,”

    In such a state one could be said to sin so little it could rightfully be said of them that ‘they cannot sin’ as John exclaimed. 1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.




    HP: That might well be a good way of wording it. :thumbs: Any absolute ‘revoking’ of ones salvation, other than in the case of God withdrawing His Spirit from man, to me would be done at the judgment, not before. Again, as long as we are in this world there remains hope. The judgment to come is reserved for any final revocation.
     
  12. David Lamb

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    I must have missed something, because I don't see the connection between the question of whether our souls are eternal, and the thread title, "Eternal Life vs Life Eternal". Are you suggesting that "Life eternal" is something different to "Eternal Life"?
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I am sorry Brother David. I evidently simply chose a poor title for this thread. What my original thought was to try and distinguish between all having an eternal soul (life eternal in a sense) yet setting forth that all do not have ‘eternal life’ with God. I was trying to point out that just because one is going to live forever, they may not be in possession of ‘eternal life’ in the sense of life eternal with God.

    I see Adam before the fall as having eternal life with God. He was one with God. As a consequence of the fall he lost his standing with God, and God removed the tree of life from him….YET he was still an immortal soul destined to live forever and as such still had life eternal although destined for destruction. At some point in time he had to receive access once again to the Tree of Life in order to live forever with God in a right relationship with Him. I believe Christ is that Tree of Life that grants to us eternal life with God.

    DHK’s rermarks inspired this thread when he presented a view that all Adam lost in the fall was his current fellowship with God. I say Adam lost ALL hope of eternal life with God apart from repentance and faith in an Ultimate Sacrifice for sin, granting him access to THE Tree of Life, Jesus Christ Himself. I believe that Adam would have forfeited his eternal destiny (eternal life) with God if in fact he would not have repented and accepted by faith that Sacrifice yet to be made. Just the same, it can be said of saint and sinner alike in one sense that all will live forever, therefore all again in some sense are in possession of 'life eternal.' Thus the title of the thread was meant to distinguish between the two, eternal life with God forever as opposed to life eternal even though destined to or residing in hell.

    Does that help?
     
    #13 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jun 16, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2008
  14. David Lamb

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    Thanks, HP, that is clear. No need to apologise - it's probably my fault that I didn't understand first time round, as I notice no one else has questioned the title. :laugh:

    I think I agree with you on this, except that I wonder if, in view of the biblical descriptions of hell, "eternal existence" might be more apt. (I was going to say "eternal death", but that might be seen to imply some sort of oblivion). Thanks again.
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I believe you have a good understanding of the point intended for this thread.:thumbs: Scripture is clear that the soul lives on in either heaven or hell. The soul was created eternal. Those on this earth that have not repented and in faith believed upon Christ are still eternal beings with an eternal existence, BUT they DO NOT have eternal life with God. I would agree that theirs is more of an existence than life. Life without the Tree of Life is but mere existence, and their only hope being eternal existence separated forever from God.
     
  16. Andre

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    I believe that Adam was indeed born in a state where he would live forever in all the sense you describe


    I believe that those who die outside of Christ's grace will cease to exist.
     
  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Well, see what you started? :)
     
  18. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Somehow I knew we would not make it far into this discussion without the position you are espousing being set forth. Certainly all should know that I personally do not accept that position as the Scriptural truth.
     
  19. steaver

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    1Jo 3:9 is just one wonderful passage from God's word that declares OSAS.

    "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God".

    What a wonderful word from God to His children! :godisgood:

    Amy, here is an excellent commentary from the "King James Bible Commentary" on this passage from Benjamin C. Chapman, Ph.D. former Professor of Religion, Liberty University.

    A. Identification of Believers. 2:29-3:10.

    29. Every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. This is the summary of the sixth major premise and test to be applied to the false teachers. It is important to note first that doeth (Gr poieo) is progressive present in the original; this means that John is not talking about a person who performs one or two righteous acts, but about a person whose conduct can be characterized as righteous. Of such a person it may be said that he is born (Gr gennao), or rather "has been truly born" (perfect tense) of God.

    3:1. That we should be called the sons of God. Note that sons (Gr teknon) is the word usually translated "children" in the New Testament, and stresses the fact that we are members of God's family by birth; this relates 3:1 to 2:29. John stresses that we are now the children of God.

    2. It doth not yet appear what we shall be. What we shall be along with all John's stress upon true birth and children of God, gives us reason to believe that besides the emphasis on knowledge, the false teachers also believed in some kind of esoteric spiritual rebirth. The argument is that they do not live righteous lives, they are not born of God; they are, of course, somebody's children, the devil's!

    3-5. Every man that hath this hope. The hope (Gr elpis) is not a "hope so" chance for the Christian, but a "know so" expectation which is part of the "knowledge" we have because of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is because of this "sure expectation" that we "purify" our lives. But the implications here for the false teachers are: they do not purify their lives because they do not have the hope; they do not have hope because they do not have the Holy Spirit; they do not have the Holy Spirit because they are not the children of God, which is obvious because they do not live righteous lives.

    6. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not. Sinneth not (Gr hamartano, progressive present) does not mean that once a person is saved he never sins again! It does mean , however, that once a person is saved he no longer lives in sin; his life is no longer characterized by sin (as the lives of the false teachers here are). This is just the other side of the coin of 2:29. To say "No one who is alive in Christ lives in sin" is the same as saying , "Everyone who is truly born of God lives righteously".

    Hope this helps Amy!

    God Bless! :thumbs:
     
  20. Outsider

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    HP,

    One thing we need to consider is that Christ stood as a Lamb led to the slaughter, before the foundation of the world. God's plan of redemption was before the fall of Adam. So God creating Adam and Adam falling was part of God's plan to send Christ, the Savior without spot or blemish. The perfect sacrifice.

    My view of Adam is that he represents mankind without Christ. No matter what man does, without Christ, will never earn eternal life. Only those that have been born again, sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, have been given the gift of eternal life.

    I do not feel that any point of view of Adam (Being made to live forever or die naturally) is the basis to form any theology. Afterall, there were angles in heaven that rebelled.

    True believers have been born again. We have been born of the Spirit of God. Christ is in us. Adam did not have this. God came and walked with Adam. He never leaves us.
     

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