If being saved is not "easy" then how hard is it?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by shannonL, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. shannonL

    shannonL
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    We were sitting around the dinner table last night talking. When the conversation turned to the thief on the cross? Sometimes people are highly negative when referring to "easy believism"
    I'm not suggesting my opinion either way.
    Just think about this though.
    The thief on the cross didn't have time to be discipled. He didn't have anytime to bear fruit.
    I don't believe baptism saves you. But the ole boy certainly wasn't dipped or sprinkled.
    He "simply" understood that he himself was a sinner standing before God undone. He obviously repented and confessed that Jesus was Lord,God.

    Jesus said to the thief "today you will be with me in paradise" If Jesus could say that about some ole thief then surely some poor ole soul who lived his life like a rogue could receive Christ on his death bed.

    I'm not saying that everybody that prays the sinner's prayer meant it but this little story here does make you think?

    I just want to hear opinions on this encounter and how it relates to some of the issues discussed concerning salvation like eternal security, perserverance of the saints,loss of salvation etc... Yall are some studious thinkers give me some feedback.
     
  2. PASTOR MHG

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    Amen Bro. ShannonL!!! [​IMG]

    No feedback necessary...you've got it!

    Max
     
  3. shannonL

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    For those who hold to "peseverence of the saints" rather than "once saved always saved" is evidence of your salvation by your fruits only neccesary if you have the time? The thief on the cross didn't have time to prove anything. If the thief had lived another week instead of dying that day would Jesus still have been able to make the statement that he made? Was his faith to believe in Christ only good for that moment, or would it have been enough if he had lived a life without ever being a good witness to those who can only see the exterior not the heart?
     
  4. Charles Meadows

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    I think OSAS and perseverence of the saints are essentially different ways of saying the same thing.

    I think Jesus was clear that salvation represents a night/day dark/light change. He called it being born again. That seems to me to be describing an irreversible change.

    I think the main question is how many of those who have an emotional experience at an altar are saved. If someone "gets saved" and goes back to a life of habitual sin, WITHOUT CONVICTION, that person was never truly born again.
     
  5. shannonL

    shannonL
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    Charles I know this is gonna come as a shock to you but I agree with you!
     
  6. shannonL

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    For those who believe in baptismal regeration, how do they refute the fact that the thief on the cross wasn't baptized I've heard different things anybody wanna share a situation or argument?
     
  7. IfbReformer

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    Charles,

    I would respectfully disagree with you that OSAS is the same as perseverance of the saints. This is a common misconception.

    Perseverance of the saints teaches that while true believers may fall into sin here and there, the pattern of their lives will be one of righteosness and they will always repent and come back to the Lord when they fall into sin.

    So after they have professed faith, if their righteous deeds do not outweigh their wicked deeds, they prove they were never saved.

    Or even if they have a massive amount of good deeds, but at the end of their life fall away into sin and never repent of that sin, they again prove they were never saved.

    OSAS, does not depend on a professed believers good works after profession outweighing their bad works. It also leaves for the sad possiblity of a believer dieing in unrepentant(backslidden state).

    There are different OSAS positions though, some say belief can totally be lost and the person could become a muslim, yet they are still saved. I disagree with that, it is belief alone that saves, God causes this belief in us who are saved, and God sustains the belief in us.

    We may get mad at God, and with out mouth deny him, we may deny him in a moment of fear as Peter did, but we can never loose that faith in our hearts that God infuses us with.

    I agree with you that if someone shows no conviction of sin, they were probably never saved. This is one of the first things I look for when someone claims they made a profession of faith, is their conviction for their sin, is their any desire to return to a right relationship with God?

    IFBReformer
     
  8. shannonL

    shannonL
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    Ifb,

    What about deathbed confessions of faith.
    The thief on the cross. How does one articulate perserverance of the saints then?

    There was no time to see if good out weighed bad.

    I do agree that a person will demonstrate good works if they are saved. I disagree that they have to demonstrate them in order to be saved that is totally different.
    Again we are left with the thief on the cross. How does one explain that if they hold the kind of ideas your talking about?
     
  9. TexasSky

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    God is the final authority. The ultimate King.

    We are convicted criminals in the kingdom of God. We've sinned, and the King knows our sin, even if our fellow men don't.

    He has called us before Him and offered us a royal pardon. As we stand before Him, he says, "I know what you did, and you know the consequences of what you did. Death and eternal separation from me and my kingdom. HOWEVER - I love you. I love you like a son. I do not want to see you die. I do not want to see you suffer. I do not want separated from you for eternity. So, I will grant you a royal pardon. My son has been punished for crimes he never committed. He has atoned for the crimes you committed. He offers you HIS atonement for YOUR crimes. Do you accept that forgiveness? Do you accept His atonement? Do you accept the pardon I offer? Or do you choose death and eternal separation?"

    We did not earn that pardon people.
    We cannot earn it.
    We will NEVER be "good enough" to DESERVE the death of the only begotten son of God.
    We will NEVER be "good enough" or "repentant" enough to DESERVE the love He gives us.

    But HE is King. HE is powerful enough to give pardons to convicted criminals.

    A pardon does not go to the innocent. They don't need it.
    A pardon is not earned - you cannot undo the sin you committed, no matter HOW hard you try.

    A royal pardon is not YOUR RIGHT to have.
    A royal pardon is the Kings right to GIVE.

    GOD offers you a royal pardon.
    Don't try to reduce the holiness, the authority, the power of God by claiming you earned it with your human rituals and human traditions, and CERTAINLY not by your behavior.

    Don't pretend God is less than God.
     
  10. paidagogos

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    IMHO, the term Perseverance of the Saints is a misnomer. I think Perseverance of the Savior as expressed in Philippians 1:6 is more accurate—“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.”
     
  11. Scott J

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    Easy believism is a focus on superficial acts rather than genuine repentance.

    Matthew said that both of the thieves reviled Jesus. Luke said that one defended Jesus and turned to Him for salvation. One apparently repented.

    I am not sure that you could define that as "easy" while being tortured to death in one of the most cruel ways ever devised. This nameless man has also borne much fruit by his testimony as repeated by others.
     
  12. TexasSky

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    There is NOTHING superficial about the belief that Christ and Christ alone has the power to forgive sins.

    And man, without Christ, cannot overcome temptation. You are saved, and being saved, Christ in you guides you from sin.

    It is NOT "I quit sinning so God forgave me."
     
  13. shannonL

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    Well, Scott one of your points makes some sense the other doesn't. The thief was going to die a torturous death regardless of whether he came to Christ or not. Agree?

    His testimony has borne fruit through the Scriptures by those who have read of its account and so on. I don't see how this helps him any. If had done the same thing and nobody heard about it he still would have went to heaven.
    You could speculate that those that were there that day maybe heard his confession were touched and it maybe led to some of them being converted. The Bible doens't say.
    I think your still kinda saying he had to bear fruit to prove he was saved arent'ya? What are you trying to say?
     
  14. shannonL

    shannonL
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    Well put paidagogos.
     
  15. IfbReformer

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    They don't have a problem with the thief on the cross. They will just say, he did'nt have time to do all these other things. They will say, had he lived and not been crucified, he would have been baptised and would have lived a life that was a pattern of righteousness and holiness and his good would have outweighed his bad.

    IFBReformer
     
  16. IfbReformer

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    Lets say what we mean and mean what we say, I will translate your statement for our listening audience:

    Easy believism is a focus on superficial acts[belief on Jesus Christ as God and Savior, conviction of and recognition of one's sinful state] rather than genuine repentance[belief on Jesus Christ as God and Savior, conviction of and recognition of one's sinful state AND people pledging to turn from their known sins and having them weigh their good deeds vs. their bad deeds after salvation for assurance of their salvation.].


    IFBReformer
     
  17. Karen

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    Lets say what we mean and mean what we say, I will translate your statement for our listening audience:

    Easy believism is a focus on superficial acts[belief on Jesus Christ as God and Savior, conviction of and recognition of one's sinful state] rather than genuine repentance[belief on Jesus Christ as God and Savior, conviction of and recognition of one's sinful state AND people pledging to turn from their known sins and having them weigh their good deeds vs. their bad deeds after salvation for assurance of their salvation.].


    IFBReformer
    </font>[/QUOTE]Don't BOTH positions as described here focus on superficial acts?
    My assurance is in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Not in perseverance as described here in which I must subjectively weigh MY good deeds and have them come out ahead somehow of bad deeds.
    No, I am not promoting the idea that you can just live as you want.

    I'm going on a missions trip this summer. How many sins will it cancel out to be in this balance you are talking about? [​IMG]
    Does a one-week trip count for more or less than several nights of visitation in my own town?
    What a subjective way of having "assurance"!

    Yes, there are many verses that talk about examining yourselves and about holy living.
    But somehow, what you are saying sounds quite a bit different.

    Karen
     
  18. TexasSky

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    There is an order to salvation, and the bible spells it out time and time again if we look carefully.

    The bible says, "We are saved by faith, not of works, lest any man should boast."

    Think about that.
    PURE faith.
    You can't boast about that.
    You can't run around going, "Well, I have bigger faith than you do."
    You could run around going, "My repentence was bigger than yours, I used to be a satanist, and you were just a gossip."
    You could run around going, "My Baptism was in an ice cold, mountain spring in the dead of winters, yours was in a heated baptistry in a heated building."
    You could say, "I went back and repaid every person I ever hurt."

    You can boast about repenting and baptims.

    You can't boast about faith.

    "You are saved by faith, not of works, lest any man should boast."

    Repentence is work folks.
    Don't believe me?
    Break any bad habit in your life.
    Chew your fingernails? Drink a cola or cup of coffee at the same time every day? Smoke? HAVE to have another slice of fudge-cake? Have a drug addiction? A lustful spirit?

    Repenting is HARD work.

    "You are saved by faith, not of works, lest any man should boast."

    Before you are saved you sin. You just don't know it is a sin, and even if someone told you it is, you don't CARE that it is a sin.

    You will NOT repent from it because you either don't know about it or you don't care about it.

    FAITH brings you to Christ.
    Once at the feet of Christ - you are aware of your sin, and because of your love for Christ, you will regret that sin.

    Christ in you gives you the awareness of your sin.

    Christ in you gives you the strength to overcome that sin.

    Christ in you is WHY you repent.

    Take a close look at Paul.

    He was killing Christians because he was trying to please Jehovah Yaweh in the only way he knew how.

    Then Christ said, "Why are you persecuting me?"

    Paul MET Christ, and from that point forward - Paul tried his best to please Christ. He was changed, right there on that road.

    Not after he confessed all his sins, and begged forgiveness.

    Not after he was baptized.

    Not after he got his Ph.D. in theology.

    Right there on that dusty, dirty road that man was changed 100% for eternity.

    And AFTER he was changed - he asked God what he was supposed to do, and God sent him to a Christian. Not just A Christian, but to a Christian whose reaction was pretty close to, "God, are you nuts? That man KILLS Christians!" But the Christian listened to God, and Paul listened to God, and together those two men listening to God resulted in a changed world.

    It all started with Faith.

    Saul wasn't Paul because he lived a great life and repented from everything.

    Saul became Paul because God in heaven said, "I am Jesus."

    See, its EASY because God does it.

    If its hard, its because YOU are trying to play God.
     
  19. IfbReformer

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    Lets say what we mean and mean what we say, I will translate your statement for our listening audience:

    Easy believism is a focus on superficial acts[belief on Jesus Christ as God and Savior, conviction of and recognition of one's sinful state] rather than genuine repentance[belief on Jesus Christ as God and Savior, conviction of and recognition of one's sinful state AND people pledging to turn from their known sins and having them weigh their good deeds vs. their bad deeds after salvation for assurance of their salvation.].


    IFBReformer
    </font>[/QUOTE]Don't BOTH positions as described here focus on superficial acts?
    My assurance is in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Not in perseverance as described here in which I must subjectively weigh MY good deeds and have them come out ahead somehow of bad deeds.
    No, I am not promoting the idea that you can just live as you want.

    I'm going on a missions trip this summer. How many sins will it cancel out to be in this balance you are talking about? [​IMG]
    Does a one-week trip count for more or less than several nights of visitation in my own town?
    What a subjective way of having "assurance"!

    Yes, there are many verses that talk about examining yourselves and about holy living.
    But somehow, what you are saying sounds quite a bit different.

    Karen
    </font>[/QUOTE]Karen,

    I am not in the camp that says you must weight your good and bad works after a profession of faith to know if you are saved. Only two people know for sure if you are saved, God and you. You know if you trusted Christ in your heart, I don't.

    Going on a mission trip while it may or may not earn rewards, has nothing to do with you assurance of salvation.

    I am arguing with those who say true repentance, as it relates to salvation, means a person's life WILL be a pattern of righteousness. That means there after a profession - their life will have more good than bad, else they are not saved.

    My position, is that faith alone in Christ alone saves. My life should be a pattern of righteousness after that, but it may not be. This is a fact some of our fellow believers reject.

    IFBReformer
     
  20. shannonL

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    Texas Sky,

    Next time get fired up about it!!!

    You keep preaching.I'll turn the pages.
     

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