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Once saved, always saved?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by ChurchofChristguy, Apr 27, 2019.

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  1. ChurchofChristguy

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    Another interesting part of the Baptist church that I am curious about. This hits home to me personally because it is about my mother.

    My mother degree'd in Bible at Abilene Christian in the early 60s. She was a believer (and a baptized believer). She taught Sunday school for years. She headed up a jail ministry for years, bringing numerous women to the Lord. She hosted home Bible studies with my dad, again bringing people to the Lord.

    That all would change around 1982. She had an affair on my dad, they divorced, and she ultimately completely, totally renounced her faith. She doesn't even believe in God, much less Christ. Even today, all those years later, she's still a hardened atheist. This is greatly distressing to my children of course, because they fear for her soul, and well they should (as do I).

    Now if I understand correct, the Baptist point of view on this is going to be that either: 1) She never was saved to begin with, or 2) She's still saved.

    I believe she once was saved, but has since deliberately fallen away. Perhaps I am misreading Hebrews 6:4: It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

    Unfortunately, I believe that my mom was saved, she was enlightened, she tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the Holy Spirit, as well as the goodness of the word of God. She then walked away. While there is always hope, I believe that God has given her over.

    I am interested in thoughts on this. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Can you not know your Mom? If your Mom knew God, she cannot not know Him, just as you cannot not know your mother.

    Two questions (I do not need the answers).
    Does your Mom still profess Christianity?
    Regardless of that answer, ask her, if you can, when she was a practicing Christian, what would she explained to someone as to how to become a Christian and know one is going to Heaven?

    Best regards.
     
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  3. ChurchofChristguy

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    Thank you for your response. My mother not only doesn’t profess Christianity, she loathes it. Certainly there is some misbehavior by the church that aided in getting her to such a place, but she arrived there regardless.

    I have no guess as to the last question re: what she advised/taught.

    My dad continued his walk with the Lord until he finished his race three weeks ago today.
     
  4. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping she could be asked. Her answer would be her answer. I would not force the question. The Idea is to open a discussion, and ask questions, not to argue. Not to cause anger.
     
  5. ChurchofChristguy

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    When my son was around 13 years old, he attempted to witness to her at her home, and she became incensed. My son called us while we were out eating and said “dad can you please come get me, I’m scared.”

    When he got in the car, he was crying uncontrollably, saying that while he was witnessing to grandma, “I saw the devil in her eyes.” Their relationship was forever changed.

    But he has not lost hope: When he was home last weekend for Easter break, he left some sort of book for her on her porch at night that he chose at Lifeway. Poor thing, I feel terrible for him.
     
  6. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    1 John 2:19 tells you in plain clear language what God's viewpoint is toward all who end up repudiating Christ or turn "anti-Christ."




    The translation above is erroneous as the Greek text uses the subjunctive mode properly translated in the KJV as "if they have fallen away". The text is saying if it were possible for true believers to fall away it would be impossible to bring them back to salvation. However, he goes on to show that it is not possible as there are evidences that accompany true salvation that denies this possibility. Hence, there are only two possible options. Either you are lost or saved or metaphorically you are a weedy field or a well groomed field with no third option (well groomed that becomes weedy).
     
    #6 The Biblicist, Apr 27, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2019
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  7. ChurchofChristguy

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    Is there an ignore function on the board ?

    Edit. Found it.
     
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  8. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, that is a very handy function as I use it regularly.
     
  9. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Your mothers denial is probably a defense mechanism.

    The Spirit of God will never leave her alone but will continuously demand repentance in this life perhaps on her deathbed.
    This was the case with my stepfather who loudly proclaimed his denial of Christ until his deathbed.
     
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  10. ChurchofChristguy

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    Thank you for your thoughtful response. I have suspected this myself. I sometimes think she claims atheism for attention. And often, a moral crisis begets a spiritual crisis. That is, if I am doing something that i know for certain is immoral, it becomes much more palatable if I discard the moral compass and decide that it is rubbish.
     
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  11. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Exercise the fruit of the Spirit, be kind and gentle - this is the guideline of scripture
    I held my stepfather's hand as he passed into the kingdom.

    2 Timothy 2
    24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
    25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
    26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
     
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  12. Gup20

    Gup20 Active Member

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    Faith isn’t a magical force that is “given” to a believer or something that magically transforms a person. Faith - mere belief in the gospel as defined in scripture - is how we are qualified to inherit Christ’s righteousness which was given to Abraham and promised by God to all of Abraham’s descendants. The only way to qualify to inherit that righteousness is to have the same faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ that Abraham had (Gal 3:8). The only way to NOT be qualified for salvation is to NOT believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Hebrews 10:36
    For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
    38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
    39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.


    Hebrews 3:6
    but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

    Hebrews 3:12

    Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
    14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,


    Hebrews 4:3
    For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
    10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
    11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.
    12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

    There is still hope for your mom, but if she is unbelieving in the gospel, she is not qualified as an heir of salvation. Now that your father has passed away, maybe she can let go of her hatred and resentment that pushed her away from God.
     
  13. ChurchofChristguy

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  14. ChurchofChristguy

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    I tend to agree with much of this although I would hazard that belief and faith are slightly different animals. As i understand it, faith is not something that comes from within, but from the Lord. Hebrews says that the Lord is both author and perfecter of our faith. Perhaps this is why the apostles asked the Lord to “increase our faith”.
     
  15. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    ...if you're gonna be that thin skinned around here you'll have a very long ignore list in a short time. Probably should just go ahead get it over with and put me on it too.
     
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  16. ChurchofChristguy

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    Ha! Glad to know that!

    Seriously though, I enjoy dialogue and honest disagreements, as long as the discourse can be accomplished with mutual dignity and respect. "You are preaching a false gospel" crosses the threshold.
     
  17. Gup20

    Gup20 Active Member

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    He’s the author because He was the first to proclaim the gospel;

    Galatians 3:6-9 (NASB) 6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.​

    Since God first told the gospel, and believing it made Abraham righteous, then those who believe the gospel (faith in the gospel) are the descendants of Abraham and inherit the righteousness God gave him.

    Genesis 17:3-7 (NASB) 3 Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, 4 "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 "No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 "I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7 "I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.

    The everlasting covenant is to the descendants from many nations, not from one nation.

    Isaiah 54:1 (NASB) "Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous Than the sons of the married woman," says the LORD.​

    Galatians 4:5-6 (NASB) 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"

    Galatians 4:22-28 (NASB) 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24 This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. 27 For it is written, "REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND." 28 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.​
     
  18. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    With the Hebrews passage much depends on the audience. I believe the letter is written to a distinctly Jewish audience caught up between First Century Judaism and Christianity. I doubt the question is hypothetical. Instead I view it as explaining should one be enlighten and taste the things of the Spirit, to have been enlightened to God - should they fall away from the fuller revelation in Christ then there is no other way. They would turn back to an empry religion.
     
  19. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    I agree.
     
  20. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    While I believe the Bible teaches that a true child of God is eternally secure, I am not a fan of once-saved-always-saved (OSAS). OSAS tends towards antinomianism. IOW a professed believer can live their entire life like the devil but since they prayed the prayer they are saved. Such a view is unbiblical (c.f. Romans 6). OTOH eternal security is rooted in the nature of God and the organic change that takes place in the life of a believer. When a person comes to faith in Christ, scripture says that they are a new creation or creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is impossible to go backward and become the old creature. That creature is dead (Romans 6:3).

    So, how should we view the person who has renounced their faith? First, we do not possess perfect knowledge. We can only judge on externals. There are times when even a professed Christian can fall into sin and continue in that sin for a season. However, there are principles in scripture that we can look to for direction. These principles may impact how we interact with a person who, in our opinion, have apostatized. One poignant principle is found in 1 John 2:19 which reads, "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us." The principle is this: a person who abandons the faith never possessed that faith to begin with. Had they possessed genuine faith they would have been a new creature and they would have abided in Christ.

    The reality is that it is very difficult for a person who has apostatized to come to genuine repentance and faith. Not impossible, but difficult. When someone has been in and among God's people and shared in the blessings of His covenant people and then treated that holy thing with contempt, they find themselves being described by the author of Hebrews, who wrote in Hebrews 6:4-6, "4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame." I believe this passage is not talking about genuine believers who have fallen away but of false professors.
     
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