Need alittle Help Here

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by steaver, May 26, 2013.

  1. steaver

    steaver
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    Greetings board!

    This conversation is for those of us who ascribe to the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints, or OSAS.

    I want to give you the testimony of a young man (he's about 32 I believe) and his experience with Jesus Christ. I know this man well, for he is my Nephew.

    He was churched (mostly Baptist) from an infant up, and at age six he calls upon Jesus Christ to be His Lord and Savior. He goes to church, Sunday school, youth nights. As a young teen he encounters a youth evangelist at an event who convinces him (by the sermon) he is not really saved, so he once again goes forward and calls upon Jesus Christ to be his Lord and Savior. He continues on with SS, church, youth events (not forced mind you, he loves going to church events). He loves being part of the youth and all the events and such. He graduates high school, heads off to college, Liberty University, attends for about a year and a half and drops out. Don't remember what he was studying there for but he decided he no longer wanted to be there and was going to join the Air Force. He spends four years in the Air Force and decides this is not going to be his career, so he leaves the Air Force and gets a job as a bouncer at a bar. Yes, you say what? This fine Christian boy working in a bar? His family was all puzzled as well. He moves from bouncer to bar tender and waiting tables. We prayed, thought it was a "phase" that he needed to work through, but it gets worse. One day at a family camp picnic he decides to confess that he no longer believes there is a God and has felt this way ever since leaving Liberty College years ago, he kept it a secret from us, knowing we all would be very disturbed upon hearing this, his father and mother were in tears and to this day are heart broken for he has not repented of his position. He claims to be an Atheist, and has been now for about ten years, living a life of sin and left-wing liberalism with his ungodly bar friends. He claims he believes Evolution to be a far better answer than an invisible God.

    Since all of this revelation came to light concerning my Nephew I have had many in depth conversations and debates with him on this issue, yet he remains in an antichrist state of mind.

    So here is my question, is he saved? Now this is for the OSAS camp to deal with, we already know what the other camp believes. Before you are quick to answer "he was never saved to begin with" remember his testimony, how he desired to be saved and called upon the Lord Jesus willingly. I know some Calvinist who have told me that nobody comes kicking and screaming to Jesus Christ, they come willingly and wanting, as my Nephew did.
     
  2. annsni

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    I have found that often times, those who "love" being at church and church events love it for the social aspect, not the spiritual aspect.

    I do not believe that he was ever truly saved if he no longer believes in God. I really have seen and believe that if one is saved, they cannot NOT believe in God. Their heart - which is indwelt by the Spirit - can never deny His presence.
     
  3. Winman

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    I personally believe if your nephew sincerely called on Jesus to save him when he was a young man, then he is saved. None of us is 100% faithful to Jesus, even after we are saved, but thank God, Jesus will always be faithful to us.

    This is similar to the story of Solomon who turned from God when he was old.

    1 Kin 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
    5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
    6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
    7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
    8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
    9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
    10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
    11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
    12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.
    13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
    14 And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.

    As we see, Solomon not only turned from God, but he actually built high places for false gods and gave sacrifices to them.

    So, was Solomon lost? I do not believe so. Solomon wrote much of the Old Testament, such as Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. And only "holy men of God" wrote scripture.

    2 Pet 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    There is nothing in the text to indicate that Solomon lost his salvation, although God was very angry with him and decided to take away his kingdom.

    So, if you nephew meant business when he was young, I believe he is saved. Like Solomon he has turned from the Lord. The Lord may punish him as he punished Solomon, but I believe he will be saved.
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    I read your account very carefully. First, none of us have access to his heart to know for sure one thing or the other. Second, he could be convinced that his first profession was false, and then could also be convinced his second profession was just as false. Perhaps we should believe him in both cases.

    I have seen the same kind of scenario work out with many who have had such early childhood professions. It is not strange for children raised in a church atmosphere to assimilate into that kind of atmosphere due to the acceptance and positive encouragement.

    What one might look at more closely is the circumstances around his childhood profession. Many children are eager to please their parents or respond out of fears.
     
  5. BobRyan

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    1. I am very curious how it is that he goes to Liberty and then decides "no more God". What happened at Liberty to change his mind??

    2. The fact that he is more certainly out today - does not mean he is doomed to stay out - according to Romans 11 "God is able to renew them again IF they do not continue in unbelief"


    As for the past and whether his early life experiences were genuine - as an Arminian I tend to side with "yes" - and leave the details to God. IF God has some way figured out where all of it was fake - then let God say so, I don't need to be God in any case.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. steaver

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    Thanks for the input Ann, I'm not sure about the "never" deny the Spirit's presence. I have to examine my own life walking with the Spirit for the past 39 years and I can honestly say there were many times I went for spells not feeling the presence of the Spirit. So, I'm not sure about this.
     
  7. steaver

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    Thanks for the reply Biblicist, he tells me he believed he was truly saved according to what he was taught from the scriptures and according to what he was feeling inside emotionally, but then this evangelist "convinced" him he wasn't, or at least caused him to doubt, so he wanted to make sure, so he once again confessed his sins and called upon Jesus Christ to save him just as the scriptures teach how one becomes a child of God. So he is not saying his confessions were false, he is just saying he believes now what he felt inside was not any Spirit of Christ but rather just common emotions that all people can feel if they want to believe something is real.

    But this is what we want and teach. We are commanded to raise our children in the Lord and in the church, and not to suffer the little children to come unto Him. And God gives a promise, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Provb22)

    You will have to trust what I tell you for I know my brother and I know my nephew well. He was not coerced into calling upon Jesus Christ, he freely wanted to, and believed Jesus would honor his prayer.
     
  8. annsni

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    I think there's a definite difference between saying and "knowing" that there is no Spirit and just not feeling Him for times in our lives. I think every one of us has had a dry time in our spiritual lives but I've never during that time said "There is no God. I deny that one even exists."
     
  9. steaver

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    He gave me two reasons why he stopped believing while at Liberty College. He said he took a logic class there and part of that class was on the "burden of proof". I'm not sure what all was said, I would hope that this class was designed to strengthen the students faith rather than weaken it, but he came away with the notion that there is no proof for a God existing and began to dismiss his experience with this "so called" Spirit inside as just something he or anyone can whip up within themselves through common emotions. Secondly, he said that the kids he dormed with doubted their was a God also.

    One thing I learned from my many conversations with him is that he sees Christianity as just another religion based on faith without knowledge. I think we are failing to teach Christianity as being separate from all other "faiths". Christianity is being viewed as just another "blind" faith, void of any proved knowledge of a God. This is our fault, how many Christians know how to explain the difference between our faith and any other? I have heard many say when asked how do you know for sure "well, you just have to believe".
     
  10. steaver

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    No, I haven't either, well, there were times I did doubt, especially as a child/teen, and then as an adult I opposed the Spirit and went into a decade of sin and destruction. So I ponder, is my nephew just in a bad place in his walk, is he denying the Spirit he feels working in his emotions? If I am to believe that he was never born-again, then mustn't I believe Jesus Christ denied a young child's prayers?
     
  11. BobRyan

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    Steaver - those are good points you are raising.

    It can be easier to remain a Christian while living at home and attending a local public university - rather than going to a Christian university away from home because at a public university you "expect" everyone to be pagan and to have bad ideas. So you just tell them "I am sorry I can't do that - I am a Christian". That does not work at a Christian university.

    I am aware that some Christian universities have professors that actually believe in evolutionism - but this is not the expectation of the students or parents. Thus when students discover that they are being told that evolutionism is true - and that even Christian professors believe this - many lose their faith.

    I don't know what happened at Liberty - but I know that these are two common problems.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. Thomas Helwys

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    Since you set down the parameters of this conversation, I'll honor that by only saying this and no more: This story shows the error and folly of OSAS.

    I had something very similar happen to a close relative of mine.

    I will pray for your nephew as I am praying for my relative.
     
  13. Winman

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    This story reminds me of Peter. Remember how Peter heard the wind and saw the waves and began to doubt?

    Mat 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
    31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

    Your nephew seems to be a fellow with weak faith. He was convinced by an evangelist he was not saved, and logic class seems to have confused him as well.

    The good part is, Jesus does not let his child perish. When Peter doubted and began to sink, immediately Jesus reached down and caught him. And if your nephew is saved, Jesus will catch him too.

    It is hard to say what will bring your nephew back from this despair, but the scriptures say faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. He needs to hear the word of God in an encouraging way, you can't beat him over the head with it. You have to be very gentle with some folks, and I suspect your nephew is one of these persons.
     
  14. steaver

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    Yes, it is sad, a SB preacher once told me when I was considering a seminary not to go, "they will mess you up". I believe I could go now, but back then I was very impressionable. I can see how one who is not mature in the Lord and well grounded could get messed up.
     
  15. steaver

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    I appreciate the prayers Thomas, thank you!

    The reason I said OSAS camp only is because I didn't want a debate over whether or not OSAS was truth. I should have been more clear, I appreciate your interest and I cannot order anyone to stay out of a open public forum. I don't believe this example shows any folly or error in OSAS, but it can show some folly in how we teach OSAS, and we have to be more sensitive to real life situations as we apply the full counsel of God's Word.

    Thanks again! :thumbsup:
     
  16. Scarlett O.

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    ....and there it is.

    As a believer in OSAS, I hold fast to the fact having it preached/taught wrongly brings disaster.

    I have prayed for your nephew today that the stronghold in his life be bound and that he be delivered from evil, experience genuine salvation (if not already experienced), repentance, healing, and sanctification.

    As one poster has said, for some reason he appears easily influenced. I can't say if he is saved or not - not knowing him. But I can say that many, many, many Christians - for various and asundery reasons - experience a shaking of their faith.

    I'll continue to pray for him. Someone - somewhere has really done a number on his fragile belief system.
     
  17. steaver

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    Good advice Winman :thumbsup:

    Yes, I am on very good terms with my nephew, I do not preach "turn or burn" type preaching. We have to understand, telling a person of an eternity spent in hell does not phase a person who does not believe in a hell. However, we must always apply scripture as we can, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
     
  18. steaver

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    Thank you Scarlett! That is a very good prayer :love2:

    I love to learn the "why?" of things, I analyze situations, problem solve, try to correct mistakes. Why has this happened? What was done wrong to allow this to happen? Things like that.

    Appreciate the prayers, I believe it will take a Holy Spirit encounter in which he will not be able to deny any longer the truth of Jesus Christ. We must PRAY for all of these wayward ones, and I am sure we all personally know some. :tear:
     
  19. Winman

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    If logic and so called "science" has caused him to doubt, perhaps you can talk to him about why you believe the word of God in a modern world.

    Ask him what causes him to doubt, he will tell you, and then study the word of God so you can provide an answer to his doubts.

    Be very patient and gentle, he is a fellow who doubts easily. There are reasons for this, perhaps he has been kicked around a bit by life. Show him how God loves him.
     
  20. salzer mtn

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    I have been saved for fourty years this past March eleventh. I have had dry spells, and sevier trials and tribulations in my life as well as the closeness of walking with Christ. At no time have i ever had the desire to not want to be a christian any more. I have been chastened of the Lord but he didn't wait years in between the disobedience and the chastisment. When God saved me he gave me assurance at this time. I was saved in free will belief and later started believing in the sovereignty of God. I had a sovereign grace preacher tell me one time it was impossible to be saved under free will preaching and i should make a new profession. I would not because i believe it would be a denial of the Holy Spirit that came into my soul the night i was saved. Your nephew i think was led into easy believism and had an emotional experience rather than a spiritual one so therefore it was easy to walk away from. Easy come, easy go.
     
    #20 salzer mtn, May 27, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2013

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