Welcome aboard -- and thanks for your comments.
I have been reading through this thread, as well as numerous older threads on the topic. I noticed that there are people who do not believe that someone who [u]truly[/u] loves God will walk away from the Lord. While I cannot understand [u]why[/u] someone could do this -- it has happened.
There was a guy in my high school that also attended the same Church as my family. I went to Church because my parents forced me to. But "Pete" went out of what seemed to be pure love for Jesus. This young man was a very quiet and humble teenager. Neither of his parents went to Church. Pete was from a violent and poor home, and it was remarkable that God did such a work in his life without much family help. He would quietly live the life -- while also patiently preaching the Gospel at school. He had been serving God with great eagerness since the seventh grade.
Pete would sometimes spend the night at my house (at my parents' invitation). Although we had little in common (I was quite popular in school, and I was not a believer -- and somewhat agnostic), Pete enjoyed staying in our home. He loved to see my parents' computer Bible programs, as well as our library of Christian books and reference materials. Even at our home, Pete would spend quality time with the Lord. I sometimes accidentally walked in on his prayer time (both in our home and while he was alone at Church). Pete would have tears streaming down his face as he sought the face of God.
Pete truly studied the Word of God with great sincerity and eagerness. In fact, he was the first person to introduce me to the ministry of Leonard Ravenhill. Pete always spoke of the importance of living a holy and consecrated life unto God. His passion for the things of God was evident -- and decidedly pure. A few people at school would make fun of him, and would call him "the walking Bible" and "the prophet." But even these mockers respected him.
Shortly before I gave my heart to the Lord, I noticed that Pete was not attending Church as often. After a while, he stopped attending altogether. My parents asked me about him, but I didn't know. I just naturally assumed that he may have been out of town or busy.
The summer that I met the Lord, I spent a great deal of time in my house seeking God. I didn't spend time with my friends (or even friends from the Church). I loved to spend time with God -- in prayer and study of the Word.
As the new school year began, I hoped that I would be able to associate myself with other believers -- especially Pete. But I hardly saw Pete during school. When I finally saw him, I noticed that he was dressing differently. Before, Pete did not seem to care very much about his appearance. Now it seemed that he was wearing the latest fashions, and he seemed very concerned about such. I also noticed that he was dating a beautiful young girl, who was the lead singer in a local Christian rock band. I really didn't think much of it, and I didn't see him again for quite some time.
One day, as I was ministering at the local shopping mall, I saw Pete from a distance. He was standing with a group of people (some of them that were involved in the local Christian rock music scene). As I approached him to say hello, Pete turned and saw me. He was holding a cigarette in his mouth. When he saw me, he looked embarrassed. He pulled me to the side (away from the others). I asked him how he was doing. He informed me that he had not been seeking God for a while, and that in fact, he was miserable. I offered to pray with him, and he politely told me to pray on my own time. He said that he knew that he needed to choose between his new friends (and girlfriend) and the Lord. "Right now," he told me, "I choose them."
I didn't see Pete for quite some time after that. About a year later, I saw him at the local "Whataburger" restaurant late one night after Church. Pete was stoned. He told me that he was at the Whataburger to pick up some drugs for a friend. I asked him, "Pete, how can you do this? Don't you think about the Lord?" He told me, "Everyday." He went on to tell me that he was the "most miserable person in the world," and that if God did not do a miracle in his heart, he knew he would die and go to Hell. I offered to pray for him, and he allowed me to pray with him at the restaurant. He left without picking up the drugs. He also asked that I would pray for him -- that his heart would become tender once again for the things of God.
Shortly after that meeting, our family relocated to another state. One day, I spoke with Pete's cousins, and they informed me that he died in a drug deal gone bad.
As I have read through some of the posts, it appears that many believers (especially in the once saved/always saved camp) do not believe that a person like Pete was ever truly born again. However, I knew Pete very well. He certainly gave his heart unconditionally to the Lord. But it seems that at some point, however, he wanted his heart back. Pete told me that he "fell away" because of a lust and desire for the things of this world (namely, girls and friends). But was Pete ever saved?
My question is this: Has anyone else had a similar experience? Have you ever known someone that loved the Lord who turned away because of having loved this world? Is a person like this saved? Were they ever saved?
Anyway, this gives us [u]alot[/u] to think about!
| 2005/11/27 1:15||Profile|
| Re: OSAS|
Bravo and Amen,
It would seem that to refuse to believe OSAS is a sin because it is an indication of unbelief. If we dont trust in Gods salvation even to all eternity, then we are living in unbelief. And look at all the problems caused by unbelief. (hypocrisy, dead churches, messed up lives, compromise with the world, etc)
Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Notice it was not their faith but it was their unbelief. Notice that it is the faith of God that has effect.
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
What is upon all them that believe? It is the faith of Jesus Christ, It says unto all and upon all and there is no difference.
Again Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
It takes the Faith of Jesus Christ as given to believe and the Holy Spirit to convict of sin that the Faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those that believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
And more and more faith by the faith of Jesus Christ given to and made righteous by His Faith.
Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Phl 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Phl 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
How can any person be made righteous by his own faith? He can not because faith is a works, but a works of God in Christ Jesus, This is both Grace and Faith, all from God to usward.
Righteousness by the Faith of God birthed in us by the Grace of God, Jesus Christ Himself our all in all which includes Once Saved Always Saved is God's choice not man's choice.
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
The only one who can get out of God's Hands is the one who tried to get their on his own and could not. No faith No righteousness can man generate on his own.
Isaiah 64:5-8 Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Amen:
In Christ: Phillip
| 2005/11/27 1:28||Profile|
We need both. We need the objective revelation in the Scritpures and we need the revelation of the Scritpures to us subjectively.
The One is the "Faith once for all delivered to the Saints" and the other is our subjective appreciation of it, entering into the reality of the Truths in Scripture.
The Spirit within us brings us into the reality of those objective truths in the Bible.
Paul teaches us about this reality.
Rom. 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtorsnot to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Here Paul teaches that even though the Spirit dwells in us, we still have a choice to submit to the leading of the Spirit. Those who do not submit, (unbelief) will remain in bondage to their carnal minds. Those who remain in their carnality, who do not "put to death the deeds of the body" will be as the branch of the vine that withers and is cut off and burned.
So the subjective experienced is realized only through our submission to the Spirit that is in us.
| 2005/11/27 9:59||Profile|
| Re: Can't Romans 8 and 11 be Reconciled?|
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Well, doesn't that mean God loves sinners? And so, in loving sinners, God even loves them that are in Hell--even Hitler, Stalin, Kantz, Freud, and others who stood so harshly against His Word.
I don't think that can be deduced from these scriptures and the passage quoted in Romans 8:35 'who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" is preceeded by:
31-35 what then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? ... Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies, Who is he who condemns? It is christ Jesus who died and, rather, who was raised, who is also at the right hand of God , who also intercedes for us.. Who shall separate us from the love of God...
The whole point here is "nothing can separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus. There is no one to condemn us because God has justified us and Christ has redeemed us and also interceeds for us. We are secure. Period.
(vs.30) "And those whom He predestinated, these He also called: and those whom He called, these He also justified; and those whom He justified, these He also glorified"
Hitler, Stalin, Kantz, Freud were not predestinated, called, and justified. They died in their sins and were never regenerated. They were never justified, and will not be glorified.
The whole point of Pauls argument is that for those who are called and justified, there is , "no one to condemn us". How can we be condemned?
On what basis could we be condemned? We are called, we are justified, we are being glorified.
And this is the basis for He statement in 29: Because those whom He foreknew, he also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son that He might be the first born among many brothers..
And this is the effect of "God causing all things to work together for our good because the Spirit within us prays and interceeds for us according to the will of God.
This is our security and destiny.
| 2005/11/27 11:19||Profile|
Romans 8:16-17 "The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God, And if children, heirs also; on the one hand, heirs of God; on the other, joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified with Him."
To be an heir of God is by birth, That is by being born of God by the Spirit of God to have the Life of God which is Eternal.
To be a joint heir with Christ requires us to suffer with Him that we may be glorified with Him.
D. M. Panton in - "The Judgement Seat of Christ", Gave a wonderfull illustration. He said that in the early days of astronomy they found Uranus and tracked it but it did not behave as they believed it should. The laws of gravity even began to come into question. But one day there was discovered that beyond Uranus was another planet called Neptune. And the gravity of Neptune explained all the inconsistancies that they had encountered.
The difficulty of the OSAS position of the Calvinist and the other side being the traditional "arminian" position is that each side can muster up a cataloge of scriptures which seem to unquestionly support their position and neither side can adequetly explain away the others.
It can even be seen here. One will have a page full of scrptures seemlingly showing the conditionallity of salvation. Another pulls up a list and cataloge of scritpures which show us that salvation is eternal and cannot be lost.
What Panton saw from scripture was the confusion between the Kingdom of God and Eternal Life. He saw that in Scripture, all those verses which speak to eternal Life are those which without question speak of eternal security of those who believe into the Lord Jesus Christ and are justified and recieve His Eternal Life in regeneration.
On the other hand, all those conditional scriptures which reveal our need to persevere, to run the race, to finish our course, etc. are all related to the reward of the Kingdom.
The Canvinist did not see the reality of the Kingdom being primarily "amillennialist". Therefore their only explination for the Arminian "proof text" are that these never were saved in the first place.
While the Arminians just cleave to their conditional text and ignore those which speak to the security of the believer.
But the Scriptures make a clean distinction between the Kingdom of the heavens and our entrance into it as a reward and Eternal Life which is wholly by grace thrugh faith.
Regeneration brings the eternal Life of God into us and we are justified and will never perish and we shall enjoy this Eternal Life in the New Jeruselem for all eternity.
But the 1000 year Kingdom is a reward for those who "suffer with Him that they might reign with Him. The Kingdom is a reward and can be lost. Not all will enter the Kingdom. Not all believers will reign with Christ for 1000 years and enjoy the reward. But many will suffer outside the dicipline of the Lord.
The judgement seat of Christ is ignored by most theologies and the Kingdom is neglected. This is the hidden planet which has kept the church in constant turmoil for centuries because they did not see it as the gravitational pull which accounts for the seeming discrepencies.
| 2005/11/27 11:54||Profile|
So the subjective experienced is realized only through our submission to the Spirit that is in us.
I think the point here is that when we repent and believe into the Lord Jesus Christ, we are forgiven, justified, regenerated and Christ enters into us. And in Christ is all the riches of His Person and work.
But only as we undergo the on going process of the Spirit's enlightement to these wonderful riches which are revealed in His Word are we able to know them and enter into their reality in experience.
Paul prays for the Ephesians that' the eyes of your hearts may be enlightened that you might see what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the Saints and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
We may be in Christ and Christ may be in us, but if we do not see this Reality and its application, we will not be enjoying the experience of our liberation from sin and self that His indwelling Life and work afford us.
This is why Paul in Romans 6 says, 'Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? may it never be! Or do you know know....that as many of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus have been baptised into His death...
Our experience is conditional upon, "knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be rendered powerless...
The Lord Jesus prayed, "Father, sanctify them in the truth, thy Word is Truth.."
And 2 Thess. says we were, selected by God unto salvation which is in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."
To be sanctified which is an ongoing process, we need the truth. And this truth is embodied in the written Word. And only by the Spirit's enlightenment and application are we sanctified in it.
| 2005/11/27 12:33||Profile|
About predestination: Doesn't that make God a cruel trickster to have sent His Son to be crucified, yet only choose a handful from the earth? That seems to be absurd, since God came that "all should be saved"--an opportunity for [i]all[/i], not just an elite minority whom He slaps a "Saveable" seal on.
Sounds a lot more like a club for the select (hasn't that become the Western Church's problem) than a cure for a dying world.
PS: I only find this disconcerting; sorry if it seems more like a dogmatic reproach.
| 2005/11/27 17:32||Profile|
| Re: We sure mess things up|
Sounds a lot more like a club for the select (hasn't that become the Western Church's problem) than a cure for a dying world.
Wasnt this part of the downfall of Israel? They trusted in their special position and look how badly they fell! I grew up reformed, and, believe me, I saw the same problem. It is dangerous to view yourself, or your particular group as Gods favored select. It produces pride, complacency, carelessness, insensitivity to others, looking down on others. I think Jesus addressed this problem clearly several times.
Mind you, even when I was Baptist for many years, and later when I was in an Armenian church, I saw the same typical problems. At this point, I have come to believe that it doesnt matter which position one takes - it all comes out the same in the wash.
Israel may have indeed been saved from Egypt, saved from the desert, saved from surrounding tribes, but they didnt persevere. And they ended up dying in unbelief. So it is for most who say Lord, Lord
They think they persevered - but NOT according to God's criteria.
The more I read through these posts, including the very stirring account of the young man who died of an overdose, the more I believe that whats at the end is what counts. And God is the only one who can see the end now. He could see it before the beginning of time.
So, why do we keep on putting people in slots at the beginning of the journey - before its time?
.. but we need some qualifications for church membership
and what criteria should we use for eligible elders or SS teachers? Dont you think that we place too much trust in the beginning of their spiritual journey?
Cant you see the problems we get into when we want to run religion ourselves? And even with Gods leading
... think of Judas, one of the twelve. Jesus would have known his destiny, but the other disciples would have considered him a good follower of Christ. Yet Judas served Gods purposes.
I am thankful that we can't find the answers we are looking for. It would cause too much damage.
| 2005/11/27 18:33||Profile|
About predestination: Doesn't that make God a cruel trickster to have sent His Son to be crucified, yet only choose a handful from the earth? That seems to be absurd, since God came that "all should be saved"--an opportunity for all, not just an elite minority whom He slaps a "Saveable" seal on.
2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 says, "But we ought to thank God always concerning you, brothers beloved of the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth. To which also He called you through our gospel unto the obtaining of the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Thessalonians 14:5 "Knowing brothers your selection by God For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance..."
Predestination is a fact of scripture we have to come to terms with. It is not a matter of our theological view but of the plain statements in the Scripture.
The only thing in question is upon what basis God predestinates. That is, one what basis does He choose.
The fact is, God owes none of us salvation, We are all rebels and sinners and dead in transgressions and sins. We need the Spirit's enlightment to see ourselves in our true condition before God. Without the Spirit's Light and conviction, none of us would even be conciouse of our fallen and dead condition.
What a mercy that God sends His Spirit to us to unveil Christ to us and to make us concious of our need of Him. And God sends to us those who are His messengers to preach the gosple to us in the power of the Spirit.
And what a mercy that the Spirit opens our eyes, and we see the Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ, we appreciate Him and believe into Him calling on His Name and are saved and recieve His eternal LIfe.
| 2005/11/27 23:32||Profile|
| Re: Once Saved Always Saved|
I want to set a preface:
Saved. Genuinely saved. That alone is the groundwork for such a discussion. Your heart has changed, your life has changed, your thoughts have changed ... but you stumble ... you fall deep into sin. Are you still saved?
When we begin to look up at the Cross, what do we see?
A broken, battered, torn, shamed, rejected, crucified man. God enfleshed in the humility of a fallen creature. 100 percent God, 100 percent Man. The agony to which the Man Jesus went through ... is unimaginable. The shame that His Father felt when He had to turn His face from His One and Only Son ... can we begin to imagine blood bursting from our pours in a dark garden from fear? All of this ...to save you.
Can we believe that someone who has been shipwrecked and saved can lose this wonderful gift of salvation? You can forfeit the grace which has already justified you? To think that God will remove this gift from you once He has written your name in the Book of Life is to stand in the middle of Golgotha, look up at the defeated Lord, and believe that His perfect sacrafice was simply ... not enough.
Arnaldo Santiago, Jnr.
| 2005/11/27 23:50||Profile|