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That is a great statement. On a personal level, I cannot think of ANYTHING that would cause me to walk away from the Lord. Because of the Lord, this world has been ruined for me...and I am glad for it.
That said: I think that there is a difference between "losing salvation" and literally "walking away" from it. The Scriptures are clear about people who run ahead and do not continue in the faith. The warning in 2nd John, Hebrews 10 and elsewhere seems quite clear.
One of my older sisters walked faithfully with Christ throughout her life...until very recently. As a teenager (before I was a believer), I used to wake up at night watching her pray over me in tears. I would pretend that I was asleep and no one knew (or cared) that she was there. She led many people to Christ. She was married and had a two year old. She held very strict standards of propriety in the way she dressed, what she listened to and what she watched.
Then, she began to change.
My sister broke fellowship with the local church and the believers that she knew. She stopped praying (except for "saying grace" before meals). She started partaking in worldly things like movies, television and music. She changed the way she dressed. She started spending a great deal of time on the internet.
I actually spoke with her about these things. She assured me that I was correct and she let me pray with her. However, I felt led to warn her about the dangers of the internet for people who aren't walking steadfastly with Christ.
Within a month of our talk, she separated from her husband. My oldest sister saw her MySpace account and noticed a man that she was chatting with. Sure enough, my sister had begun a relationship with him. She eventually divorced her husband -- a faithful believer and a very good provider (earning a six figure income) -- leaving him for an extremely worldly bi-polar man living on government assistance.
Subsequently, one zealous "eternal security" believer told me that my sister was still saved. Another zealous "eternal security" argued that my sister was "never truly saved in the first place."
Yet, I knew my sister. At one point, she truly loved Jesus. She had a wonderful reputation in her high school as a "Jesus freak" and was obviously sincere and very humble with her relationship with Jesus. I even remember when she gave her heart to the Lord. No one knew her better than her family...and we knew that it was real.
At this point, my sister doesn't even want to talk about the Lord...or what happened. She wants us to "accept her" and her decisions without mentioning the obvious.
So, I think that it would be more accurate to say that my sister "ran away" from God. Something in this world tempted her...offered her a substitute to her relationship with Jesus...and she eagerly gave in to that temptation. I (and the rest of my family) has shed many tears for her. Her ex-husband is still close to our family and still calls us for prayer. He has even flown to stay with us in California on a couple of occasions.
What is the end of a person like my sister if they never "come to their senses?" The Scriptures seem clear that an individual must be "faithful unto death" in terms of their faith. It is possible for people to "put their hand to the plow and look back." It is possible for "prodigal sons" to pass from life to death and back to life again. It is possible that some people are tempted back to a life that they had left behind.
I have met others who have had similar experiences as my sister had. I have known individuals who are now "agnostic" who claim that they once truly believed in and served the Lord.
So, instead of arguing about "can a person lose it," we might first try to determine if there are reasons that people would leave the faith. Is it possible for a person to abandon the faith? What is the end for some a person?
| 2012/4/10 17:04||Profile|
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Maybe a swing from charismania to reformed, admittedly a big swing but a blowing in the wind none the less.
In my case I would hardly call it a swing... more like a crawl...
I was deceived into Word of Faith because of my ignorance when I was first saved. As I grew in the Word and began to "study to show thyself approved" I came out of WOF, and eventually ended up where I am... and I would be a fool to think I have "arrived".
Thats not "swinging in the wind", bro. :-)
| 2012/4/10 17:06|
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That is very sad, Chris. It is real life stories like yours that should prevent anyone from saying that "she wasn't saved and that's why she fell away".
Of course it is possible to abandon Christ. Everyday we wake up we choose to walk with Him or not. There are examples all around us. One thing that causes people to fall away is bitterness and unforgiveness.
Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
2Pe 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
| 2012/4/10 17:10||Profile|
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One thing that bothers me is when people take advantage of the OSAS doctrine and use it as an occasion to sin. I've heard of many occasions where people lived in sin but they justified it (or worse, a person in spiritual authority justified it) because a long time ago they "gave their heart to God." How can we who are dead to sin live any longer therein?
| 2012/4/10 17:12||Profile|
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Any doctrine that gives one a false security will also give one a license to sin. Living in sin and believing that you are saved is the epitome of false security, bad doctrine and a false gospel.
| 2012/4/10 17:23||Profile|
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Something I shared once...
I was recently reminded of a conversation I had with a young lady I met while out sharing the Gospel one night. While speaking about her self-admitted lifestyle of sin and worldliness she looked at me and said but I was raised to believe in once saved always saved so it doesnt really matter. I could have offered her a treatise on what the word of God says to willful sinners who profess Christ, but the Lord gave me something else instead. Arguing doctrine with someone in such a poor spiritual condition is usually fruitless since it is the greatest defense of the false professor. They will not easily hand over their shield that has protected and defended them so well. It usually has the support of those they view as religious leaders, those who theyve attended Sunday service with, and their own flesh. Attacking the doctrine often will only cause the barriers to be fortified; sometimes it is best to go straight for the heart of the matter.
I just looked at her and softly said something to the effect of imagine a young woman married to the most wonderful man in the world who says its ok if I cheat on my husband whenever I want, hes vowed not to divorce me. Christ died to purchase you back from the devil, to demonstrate Gods love, to make you his spotless bride, and this is your response, boasting in your unfaithfulness to him? She looked down ashamed, and her boyfriend who had less of a Christian background even looked ashamed. I hope they both left the conversation under Godly sorrow that night.
I actually do believing in the perseverance of the saints, that Gods word gives assurance and comfort to His true saints that they will be kept, sanctified, made holy, overcome, endure until the end, not love their lives unto death, be found spotless and blameless, clothed in Christ, using their wills but ultimately saved and kept by an act of sovereign mercy of God working and willing in them. To paraphrase one brother Gods grace will embolden the true saint to pursue a deeper love and obedience to Christ, and it will embolden the false convert to continue in sin and worldliness.
With that being said, I do NOT believe in OSAS , the perseverance of the false converts, that gives false assurance to those living in habitual sin and worldliness because they have claimed some interest in Jesus Christ through church attendance, a sinners prayer, alter call, baptism, mental profession of faith, born in the bible belt, etc. The grace of God that saves teaches us to deny ungodliness. I am not talking about sinless perfection either. After weve done all of our duties, we have to realize it is not of him who wills or runs but of God who shows mercy. Christ covers the sins of His people and they are saved by His merits. If that truth emboldens you to sin, or gives you comfort to keep sinning, then it is probably a good sign that Christ does not cover your sins and you are not saved by His merits.
| 2012/4/10 17:27|
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"Thats not "swinging in the wind", bro. :-)"
But there is a danger of embracing movements and theologies rather than the person of Jesus, Steve. When someone starts to identify themselves as " reformed," or " prosperity" or any other movement or theology, then they may have simply taken their eyes off Jesus? And when our eyes are off Jesus, we are all " swinging in the wind," despite the correctness of our doctrines........ bro Frank
| 2012/4/10 17:41|
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"But there is a danger of embracing movements and theologies rather than the person of Jesus, Steve. When someone starts to identify themselves as " reformed," or " prosperity" or any other movement or theology, then they may have simply taken their eyes off Jesus? And when our eyes are off Jesus, we are all " swinging in the wind," despite the correctness of our doctrines........ bro Frank "
That is the pure truth there brother Frank - amen.
| 2012/4/10 17:53|
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That's right, Frank.
Amazing how the adversary has a million little ways to TURN US AWAY from Jesus.
| 2012/4/10 18:03||Profile|
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Chris, I am so sorry for your sister - I understand your grief perfectly.
Will pray for her as the Spirit reminds me. In the meantime, you stay close to the LORD and do not allow this to happen to you.
You know there is the verse, "He that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall."
God bless you Chris. Thanks for sharing.
| 2012/4/10 18:36||Profile|