| Salvation Can Be Rejected and Lost|
It is important to take the whole Bible in context and interpret scripture with scripture. If there is no warning to the believer about securing his/her salvation, then it is a question not necessary to even be answered. I do believe the Bible does teaches a secure salvation, but not eternal security for a person's salvation. What I mean by this is that a person must continue to trust in the salvation provided by Jesus Christ. It is not unconditional, just as 1 John 1:9 is conditional. Sin is only forgiven if it is confessed-"IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." IF is the key word of this verse-IF is a condition, not unconditional. Salvation only comes through Christ and Him alone, all other efforts are in vain and will result in being lost (Romans 8 and Galatians 4-5). Calvin taught that Jesus only died for the elect (limited atonement)which totally goes against the Word of God. Salvation is made available to anyone who would receive the gift purchased by Christ. Yes, God will in His foreknowledge know who will accept or reject His offer, but I do not believe God controls the choice. God does not reveal Himself as a Father who waves a gift or present in front of all humanity and tease them with salvation, only to pull it back and say, "Sorry you were not chosen, you were not one of my elect, go to hell!" Whosoever(John 3:16) means just that, anyone can come to Christ. Anyone can receive the gift of salvation. Just as you can receive a gift, you can also reject it. To say that someone never received a gift is not logical. I might receive a gift in the mail and open it up. You can not tell me I did not receive the gift. At the same time, I can wrap up that gift and send it back, not accepting it. God will not force us to serve Him, He does not want robots! He longs for our fellowship with Him and that was purchased and restored by Jesus Christ. Many believers have rejected Jesus after they opened the gift which was free to any who wanted it. If you want to accept eternal security, then you must accept all four other points of Calvinism to make it work. Too many people who accept one or two points of Calvin's teachings do not understand they all are connected together-you can not seperate them. You must take them all or reject them all. It is much like constructing a tall building. You can't build all the stores of the building except the 3rd or 4th stores, the building will collapse. Calvin and others that followed him in his teaching taught five points. 1) Total Depravity of Man-man can not come to God, God must go to him. 2) Unmerited Favor-Grace was extended to you without any choice-you can not reject this grace. 3) Limited Atonement of Jesus Christ-Jesus only died for the "elect" and them only, all other people not chosen are predestined to be damned to hell without any choice. 4) Irresistable Grace-once God chose you to be "elect" you are elect no matter what-meaning you had no chose in the matter-God predestined you to be saved no matter who or what you did. 5) Perseverance of the Saints (Eternal Security)-you are chosen or "elect" you have no say or can not be unelected. God already chose you to be saved. (This is why if you truly believed this, we need to stop preaching the Gospel to everyone and lie to multiple millions upon millions that Jesus died for them and their sins. If they are truly elect, God will make a way for them to be saved! This is so unbiblical it makes my heart just break thinking about it!). God died for all and some will receive this and others will reject. Others will accept and continue to serve God and enter into the rich reward promised to them. I hope this is clear as I have tried to explain in just a few lines the truth I believe the Bible holds. Remember, only one interpretation is correct! One is right and the other is wrong. I am siding with the whole Bible and not picking out just a scripture here and there to support a false doctrine like Calvin's.
| 2005/7/24 2:57||Profile|
| Re: Salvation Can Be Rejected and Lost|
If Calvin was right that only the elect are predestinated to salvation then the damned would be predestinated to hell. This seems to me to make God the author of sin instead of Satan.
How can God through his word tell you and me to seek him or to resist the devil or to repent unless it is our free will and choice to do these things. With this said, it is God's grace that not only saves you or me but gives you or me the ability to resist sin. It is a cop-out to have an excuse to continue in sin. If you or I continue in sin it is our choice and not by being predestinated to sin that brought this into our life. Repentance is a choice.
| 2005/7/24 9:06||Profile|
| Re: Salvation Can Be Rejected and Lost|
Just want to say....
What came to be known as 'Calvinism' is probably not what he had in mind when he wrote his first treatise on what is necessary to be believed for salvation. You have to remember a whole lot more about what was going on politically and religiously at the time, and give the guy credit for finding a [i]Biblical[/i] way for groups of believers to accept the authority of scripture, which could also be translated into peace with a sympathetic political system.
This was in stark contrast to the effect of the Pope's claim of authority from God to depose princes, (kings) - to declare them not God's choice of ruler - thus suddenly creating turmoil for any Catholics who were now risking, they thought, their [i]eternal salvation[/i] if they acquiesced to a government no longer under Rome, because by default, they were thus rejecting Papal authority.
| 2005/7/24 9:37|
Hm. I'd have to disagree on many points. But first I need to say that we must not and cannot put a limit to anything coming from Abba. He has no limit of salvation. He has no limit to grace. No limit on love. His mercy cannot ever run dry or low. There is no gauge that can measure the perplexity of His love for His most wonderful creation. I know that He weeps when we put limits on Him. We have that power to put a limit to the limitless in our mindsets. And as someone previously stated, to say that God sends people to Hell is making Him the author of death & not life. We condemn ourselves, we cannot save ourselves. We are ragamuffins, & when we realize that we can do NOTHING to earn, or support our salvation, we can live freely. No, this is not a license to sin, it is a license to live as a true son/daughter of the Living Gracious God.
What boggles me mind is that we know that NOTHING can separate us from the Love of Christ. NOTHING. Nor angels nor demons, nor depths nor heights, no hardships, no lottery tickets, no cars, no fame, nothing can seperate us.
So can we truly lose salvation?
I believe one can reject it, never having it, hence never being able to lose it because you can't lose something you have never held. It is said that those who stray weren't truly a part of the pact. So what does this say? That we cannot LOSE salvation. If you believe in a God that has truly SAVED you, & can turn around and take that away by ACTS?, then there is no hope for ANYONE. Jesus died once & for all. One time. There is no limited atonement. He would cease to be the Lord, His words speaks of.
There is no limit to the limitless.
You cannot create the uncreated.
Once we are lay our brokenness, worries, cares, pains at the feet of Abba, once we have set Christ Jesus on the Throne of our hearts, once we TRULY lay in the arms of the Other, there is no way He can let us go for it is said that no sheep can go astray once they have been claimed by the Good Shepard.
But we must rest all things on ONE solid foundation. Sovereignty. There is something that we, as humans with finite minds, cannot understand. That is God's supreme & utmost Sovereignty. I am glad that this is fuzzy. I rejoice in not knowing all things. I sing songs to the Lord for the unclear picture He can deliver called Life. This brings upon, TRUST. If there is a clear outlined picture of life, trust ceases to exist. As Brennan Manning stated, "Craving clarity, we attempt to elminate the risk of trusting God."
Let us trust in His Sovereignty. This is something we could never understand.
In His Name
Arnaldo Santiago, Jnr.
| 2005/7/24 13:18||Profile|
| Re: Responding to Your Comments|
I totally agree that God knows all things from the beginning to the end. Our finite minds will never completely understand the awesome ways of God. I am saying that doctrine that can lead people astray is dangerous. My wife was raised in a five point Calvinist church. This church still exists to this day, but no efforts are beginning made to preach the Gospel to anyone. I am not saying that as a passing phrase. This is the truth and God can not be pleased when a body of believers live in disobedience to his Great Commission. If you truly believe that God's sovereignity will make sure all who will be saved hear the Gospel, then why would he command us to go? What I am trying to say is that God has chosen to use the church to share of who Jesus Christ is. The lack of obedience is sin and each person is accountable to God for their actions. Can a person in disobedience fail to present the Gospel to someone and that person die without knowing Christ. I believe that is absolutely possible. Even though God could intervene and make a way for the Gospel to be preached to some tribe that has never heard of who Jesus is, He has placed His authority in the church. If the church fails to move in obedience, those souls will be lost and this does break His heart.
As far as a salvation by works, I do not hold to. However, James refers to the faith of a person without works is dead. We are not to judge people against people, but we are to inspect the fruit of that person to see if they are multiplying the kingdom of God and producing good fruit. If a person truly receives Christ into their life, but then turns away from Christ, I believe God allows this to happen according to the free will He has designed in man. The first two humans on planet Earth, Adam and Eve had a choice to either follow and obey God or listen to the lies of the serpent. We know what happened. What I am trying to say is that Adam had a choice to either follow in obedience to God or not. Eve had this same ability. They lived in a perfect world where sin had never entered into the heart of man before, yet they failed to follow God and turned to actually serve themselves. The moment they reject God's covering and presence, they were removed from the presence of God because of their sin. Adam reject God, but God allowed him to and made a way to restore him. If Adam never had a choice to serve God or not, would have made him some type of robot who only served God because God made him to. God created us with the ability to accept His grace or reject it, including those who once have been enlightened and reject the truth (See Hebrews Chapter 6). You can not taste of the things of God unless you have truly eaten of those blessing. You can not say that the person never eat, his stomach is full. The same person, however, can get up from the table of blessing and walk away from what God offered to give him or her. Peter warns to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
I once had a discussion with someone about this. I told them if the position of Calvinism is correct I make it to heaven. However, if I am correct that a person can turn away from God to the point of reject that grace and died in that state, they will be lost forever in eternity. Too many times the Bible gives parables and examples of people who chose not to continue with God. People like Judas who followed as a disciple of Christ for three years. I have heard so many people say that Judas was never truly saved to begin with, that is why he fell away from God. I challenge to also remember, however, that Judas did the same signs and miracles that the other disciples did. How can you heal and perform miracles for the glory of God unless you know Him? Can God use an unbeliever to perform the signs and wonders the disciples did? Jesus warned us not to attribute the things of God to Satan. Some might say that Judas did these signs and wonders from the power of Satan. The Bible does not state this and no one questioned the heart of Judas for those three years. Peter also fell away from God by rejecting Jesus three times. The difference between Peter and Judas, was that Peter repented and returned to God. Judas never could forgive himself for betraying Jesus. God allowed these choices to occur, even though His sovereignity could have stepped in made the events different. God has set into motion the laws of nature and can step in and change those laws of nature if He wants to and He does. However, I do not believe the Bible teaches that God controls humans like little puppets to do acts of evil or service unless the vessel is yielded. It works both ways, including those who are demon possessed. The person must be willing and yielded to be possessed by demon spirits. God allows this to happen and requires to enforce the victory He purchased on the cross two thousand years ago.
Thanks for your thoughts
Remember, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel!"
Because of Him
| 2005/7/25 2:59||Profile|
I must begin this post by stating that I was raised believing the teachings of eternal security, perseverance of the saints, once saved always saved, or whatever else you want to refer to it as. It wasn't until this time last year when I really started getting into reading my Bible, that I noticed a whole bunch of verses that just don't fit with that doctrine.
I believe one can reject it, never having it, hence never being able to lose it because you can't lose something you have never held. It is said that those who stray weren't truly a part of the pact. So what does this say? That we cannot LOSE salvation.
This is something that a lot of pro-eternal security people say, but does the Bible actually say that? On the contrary Jesus paints quite a different picture in Luke 8:13 when He says "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. He does not say that they are people who "never truely believed"
Quote: The Bible refers to eternal life as a "gift" (Romans 6:23). A gift is something freely given. The same verse also refers to death as "the wages of sin". Wages are something you earn. If God gives you the gift of eternal life and you go back into sin, God is not taking anything away, you are merely earning death. What God says in Ezekiel chapter 33 verses 12 through 20 is important to remember.
If you believe in a God that has truly SAVED you, & can turn around and take that away by ACTS?, then there is no hope for ANYONE. Jesus died once & for all. One time. There is no limited atonement.
Eze 33:12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.
Eze 33:13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
Eze 33:14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
Eze 33:15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Eze 33:16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
Eze 33:17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
Eze 33:18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.
Eze 33:19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
Eze 33:20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways. Many of the eternal security teachers try to discount the Old Testament by saying that it was a different covenant and that the Old testament isn't important anymore. Jesus didn't come to destroy the law, he came to fulfil it (Matthew 5:17) God doesn't change who He is. Just to clear up any confusion, Jesus says something similar in the New Testament. Matthew 16:27 "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." And also in Revelation 2:23 it says (remember He's talking to the church here) "and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works." We cannot earn salvation because it has been given to us freely, but we can certainly earn death as the wages of our unrepented sins.
Quote: Yes Jesus died once and for all, you are completely correct in what you said there, but take a moment to look at Romans 3:24 and 25 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Jesus died once & for all. One time. There is no limited atonement.
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God". It says for sins that are past, not past present and future. There is no limited atonement, that is why it is important to confess our sins to God, so that He will forgive us of them. If we try and justify them ourselves, then Christ cannot be our justification. The New Testament often refers to people losing their salvation. Like Matthew 7:21 through 23 "Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." In order to have cast out devils these people would have had to have been saved, or they could not have done it, as is described in Acts 9:13-16 "Act 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
Act 19:14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
Act 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
Act 19:16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded."
Practically the whole chapter of 2Peter chapter 2 talks about this, but I will bring to attention the last three verses in that chapter. "2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
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. " I can go on and on with scriptures that don't fit the eternal security point of view. The thought that God would be willing to forgive us every time we come to Him and ask forgiveness, to me makes Him sound like a more personal, more loving, kind merciful and gracious God. (note: asking forgiveness takes being humble, pride is what keeps us from confessing. And the Bible says "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." James 4:6, 1Peter 5:5)
May the Lord's grace be with you all.
Always in Christ Jesus ~Shaun
| 2005/7/25 5:12||Profile|
| I totally agree!|
I appreciate your thoughts about this question and I hope you continue to study the Word of God completely in context throughout and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth. There is only ONE correct intrepretation to what God says. Too many people want to say and think that each person can intrepret it as they believe. God forbid this teaching and thought! False doctrine can begin so easily in an environment that accepts false teaching with the truth. God means what He says and says what He means. It does not matter what man's opinion is, it is His opinion that counts.
God Bless You
| 2005/7/25 5:20||Profile|
| Re: I totally agree!|
There is only ONE correct intrepretation to what God says. Too many people want to say and think that each person can intrepret it as they believe. God forbid this teaching and thought! False doctrine can begin so easily in an environment that accepts false teaching with the truth.
...and 'the ONE correct interpretation' wouldn't happen to be the one that you hold I suppose? ;-)
| 2005/7/25 5:44||Profile|
[quote...and 'the ONE correct interpretation' wouldn't happen to be the one that you hold I suppose? ;-)
I hope I am not the only one that can say that all the scriptures seem to minister to me differently each time I go back and read them, maybe that is why it's called the living word. :-)
| 2005/7/25 9:03||Profile|
Cache Valley, Utah
I must admit to the brethren, I have not had peace in my heart about either of these teachings. For a long time now I have wrestled and wrestled with this question, and my spirit cannot come to terms with either. But perhaps that is a good thing:
[i]My heart is not proud, O LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.[/i]
I have drawn a conclusion of mine own. I believe, with every fiber of my being, that this topic is too wonderful for me to comprehend. Considering all Scripture, God telling man to do one thing, God saying another... whether or not God chooses salvation or man chooses God...
But one thing I do know: We are told to preach the gospel to all creation, and this I can understand. And this we can all do, and leave the rest up to God, whether a person will be saved or not, and whether a person will remain saved. [b]The only thing we are required to do is preach the gospel and build up the brethren.[/b] If we do this, Calvinist or Arminian, we can all agree that this is the will of God.
Leave these things to God. Rather, seek and save the lost, contend for the brethren, inherit the Kingdom.
| 2005/7/25 10:11||Profile|