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Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Nicholas25, Nov 20, 2008.
When is your salvation lost?
I assume never, because I cannot see myself ever ceasing to serve Jesus Christ.
Therefore, frankly, I do not see much relevance in thinking about loss of salvation.
This could be a very valuable discussion so long as people don't come up wth simpleton answers.
We think it can never happen, and scripture certainly supports that doctrine of perseverance of the saints. There are, however, incidents in history, where people have "left" the Christian faith behind and moved along.
A good friend of mine, co-founder of the Youth for Christ movement, alongside Billy Graham and others, and former pastor of the C&MA, Avenue Rd Church and succeeded by the famous A.W. Tozer.
Charles Templeton left that ministry and became an agnostic. I know that many came up with the cliche that he "was never saved in the first place." That is too simple. This man was as evangelical and sound in theology beforehand. He made the mistake of going to Princeton and was never the same man when he came back.
Privately he said he still believed in Jesus and believed that he was saved. He continued to pray, but still ad those dark shadows over his mind. He did not shake the shadows to his dying day.
I can't answer definitively is Charles was saved or not, if I am being honest. Only God knows that of anyone. In my mind I would like to believe that he was.
If he was not, he would be a prime example of of one losing his salvation. It is called in scripture commiting the "unpardonable sin" for which there is no redemption.
I just wanted to demonstrate what can happen to a man regarding his personal belief system. It does not shake my confidence in eternal security, but it sure raises some questions.
There are two individuals that I knew well for many years who became agnostics in their old age. One was a former pastor of the Baptist church where I am a member, the other a lawyer. Both of these men led lives that clearly demonstrated fruits of the spirit and both of them led many people to Christ. Yet, as their lives waned they became more and more cynical. One of them told me the message of the Bible is a fairy tale; the other told me it is nonsense. Only God knows their eternal destiny, but not believing in eternal security myself, I have no difficulty with the notion that these two men had "fallen from grace."
As long as there is life
As long as there is life, there is hope...
Our God is merciful and is not willing that any should perish...
Given this background...
I do not think that a persons fate is sealed in the negative until death.
Except for the possibility of the unpardonable sin...
Which I have not had a "clear" definition of.
And, which I do not believe could be committed by accident...
Relationship? Only touchy-feely people can be saved? What about people who only want to be good neighbors but are not "into" relationships? Those who only want to respect God?
Never. Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). God has told us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5; Gen. 28:15; Deut. 31:6, 8; Josh 1:5). Likewise, Jesus told us in John 10:28 that no one can snatch us from His hand. You are a someone. Therefore, you can not remove yourself from His hand. I am a someone. Therefore, I can not remove myself from His hand. He simply will not leave me nor forsake me. If I try to depart from Him He just stays with me and will not let me go.
What about them? Are you suggesting that they are saved (i.e. born again believers in Jesus Christ)? Muslims respect God. Would you say they are saved?
For the discussing the "Unpardonable Sin"; I highly recommend you read this article.
It discussing exactly what the unpardonable sin is NOT, what the unpardonable sin IS, and if it can be committed TODAY. Very good read. :thumbs:
Now, in order for one to answer Nicholas25's question, one must believe that this is actually possible (which I do).
Now, my view on how you can lose one's salvation is based biblical instances, logic, and common sense concerning God's nature, grace, and mercy.
Here are some biblical instances of ones losing their salvation -
2 Timothy 4:10 Demas losing his salvation.
"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."
Galatians 5:4 Some of the Galatians losing their salvation
"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
Acts 8:9-24 Simon the Sorcerer losing his salvation
(Vs. 9) "But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
(Vs. 12) But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
(Vs. 13) Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done
(Vs. 18) And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
(Vs. 19) Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
(Vs. 20) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
(Vs. 21) Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
(Vs. 22) Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
(Vs. 23) For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
(Vs. 24) Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the LORD for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
Luke 15:11-24 Parable of the Prodigal Son
Sorry, I must go - I will return and finish this post - but read the story of the Prodigal Son!
As we see in Matt 18 -- your forgiveness is revoked when you persist in rebellion after having been fully forgiven by Christ.
As we see in John 15:1-8 - you are removed from the vine of Christ when you persistently refuse the pruning activity of God.
Well I agree that until they commit the unpardonable sin they can always choose to repent and accept salvation. If they persist in not accepting salvation however - they remain lost.
Context, context, context... Who is speaking in this verse? It is Paul speaking to Timothy. He tells Timothy in v. 9 "Be diligent to come to me quickly." Why does Paul need for Timothy to come to him quickly? Because Demas, who loved the present world ran off and left him, and only Luke remained with Paul. This verse says nothing about anyone losing their salvation. You have admitted that you hold to the presupposition that we can lose our salvation. Then you go looking for verses that seem to support your presupposition. When you find one, as in 2 Tim. 4:10, you impose your presupposition on the text. However, a literal historical grammatical reading and understanding of that text makes it clear that it never mentions or implies that anyone lost their salvation.
If we follow your presupposition and fallacious logic here we would also be forced to conclude that John Mark, the writer of the second Gospel, also lost his salvation when he deserted Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13:13. However, this same passage makes it clear that there has been a reconciliation between Paul and John Mark because Paul tells Timothy to get Mark and bring him also, for he is useful to me for ministry 2 Tim. 4:11). You are attributing the loss of salvation to a text that is clearly simply speaking about broken human relationships. By the way, I asked you previously (and you may have answered and I missed it), do you read NT Greek?
Marcia has already addressed your hermeneutical and doctrinal errors regarding this passage.
Simon the Sorcerer sinned in that he wanted to purchase the gift of God, most likely for his own gain. Notice that in the verses, which you conveniently skipped over, the text tells us that none of the new believers in this area (including Simon the Sorcerer) had received the Holy Spirit and had only recently been baptized (Acts 8:14-17). Remember, Simon the Sorcerer was a babe in Christ, still being fed on the milk of the Word, and he sought to grasp the meat. Notice, when Peter rebuked him he immediately repented and asked Peter to pray for him.
The text does not imply or hint that Simon the Sorcerer lost his salvation. Again, your presupposition led you to impose that meaning upon the text. You appear to be equivocating the fact that even after we are saved we still sometimes sin and have to repent and ask God for forgiveness with the false idea of losing one’s salvation.
Waiting for your interpretation of the text before I comment.
Never. I you walk away, you were never saved in the first place.
>What about them? Are you suggesting that they are saved (i.e. born again believers in Jesus Christ)? Muslims respect God. Would you say they are saved?
I suggest that God can regenerate anyone "in" Jesus Christ. "In" in this context (pun intended) means "because of the resurrection of."Or it could mean "under the protection of?" It is not a location, not "inside", such as in a box or in New Jersey or the baby is in the mother.
I suggest regeneration precedes conversion. "Saved" is a synonym for conversion, not for regeneration.
I suggest that regenerate is the null case. One must opt out, not in. see www.evangelicalinclusivism.com In that sense, yes, one can be deconverted.
I think that the truth of dispensationalism is that in every dispensation God has provided (different) means of dispensing temporal blessings, a social contract that is available to everyone who accepts. In this dispensation the social contract is the Church. Church membership has nothing to do with one's status in the next life just as the Mosaic Covenant had nothing to do with the next life. The blessings and curses were 100% temporal else Moses and David will end up in Hell.
so, eternal doesn't really mean eternal/ It is just a temporary eternal. A suppositional eternal.
Since God is also eternal, He is only temporarily eternal and isn't always at home when we call.
Personally, I think a person can physically and mentally walk away. It will affect his personal relationship with God, but not his eternal salvation. Despite how some people sing it, the song is not: "Ye must be born again and again and again.........."
We receive eternal salvation!
This topic was dealt with already pretty thoroughly:
As for the 'Unpardonable sin:'
1. Many believe this could only be committed in Jesus' day by those who saw him perform miracles and claimed he was doing them by the power of Satan.
2. Only unbelievers commit this sin because it involves not believing Christ is who he says he is.
3. If anyone is concerned about committing this sin, then that proves you cannot commit it, or you wouldn't be concerned about it. You would not care at all.
People make way too much of this.
I missed this one earlier...
First, Paul talks about us being Adopted into God's family... That is clearly a Relationship...
In any relationship continuous involvement and communication is essential to it's survival...
The issue of being "Estranged" may be a valid discussion in the area of whether you can or can not lose ones Salvation...
The Command is also Repent and Be Baptised...
Repentance requires a change of heart. For a change of heart to occur one must first believe and accept God's verdict of them.
In addtion, God has also stated that no one comes to the Father except the Holy Spirit draw them (oops... Touchy Feely) and there is NTHER NAME under heaven whereby men must be saved.
Lastly good deeds and good intentions, even great miracles aren't enough. Consider:
I NEVER KNEW you... Sounds like a relationship to me...
I am really in between the conditional and unconditional security of the believer right now. My buddy who believes in unconditional eternal security used the example of spiritual circumcision. Colossians 2:9-17 really addresses it well. It's a work of God, and obviously circumcision can not be undone. My buddy taught me that our soul is saved, but that we will be judged by our works in this sinful body. This was probably the best "once saved always saved" example I have ever heard.
I am still struggling with the extremes. What if one totally denounces the faith after years of bearing fruit for Jesus? Please do not say they never were saved in the first place because I simply do not belive that. What if one leaves the faith and lives in gross, wicked sin for years? I know we are not saved by works, therefore we can not lose salvation by works, but our works do show where someone's faith is. This is the extreme I am struggling with concerning unconditional eternal security.
Concerning conditional security I am struggling with the question of when is salvation lost? Hebrews 6:4-6 makes it sound like one could not return to Christ, but I struggle with the thought of one not being able to come to repentance. I also struggle with the fact that if we could repent and return to a right relationship with Christ it would be like being born again a second time. I also think about our names being written in the book of life and how God knew before the foundation of the world who was in that book. It's not like he is sitting there with an eraser. It's not like when we get saved he puts our name in that book, but erases it when we walk away from fellowship with him. I am struggling with the extremes. Hebrews 6:4-6 also seem like a "needle in a haystack" verses, and I think we have to be careful to base an entire theology on one or two verses.
I would appreciate a Godly, humble, well thought out answer. I am studying as hard as I ever have. This is weighing heavily on my heart right now. Thank you and God bless.
When we read about unforgiven sin - we are reading about the very real possibility that he is lost.