Once saved, always saved?

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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BavarianWheels
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#61

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Nov 16, 2004 8:51 am

Felgar wrote:
RGeeB wrote:Does anyone know of anybody who accepted God's grace through Christ and then 'fell away' for the rest of their lives? All the drifters I knew (only a couple) eventually came back to Christ.

Maybe OSAS is true in a sense - just because God in His mercy always brings the prodigals back.
There's a guy on another forum who vehemently denies God's existence; says he drifted away in a 6-7 year process and now is convinced that God never existed in the first place. I don't know him personally though. He's tough to argue with because he knows more about the scriptures than pretty much every other nonbeliever. :)
But apparently OSAS says he's still saved as of this moment...should he suddenly croak...what a sweet deal.

Sign me up for the easy way!
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#62

Post by Anonymous » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:09 am

Wow - what an intense segment of threads... You guys are really at each other's throats in some places. Makes me want to sing:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Eph 4:32
^Done singing^

So, Mark - God bless your return back to the Lord Jesus! I'd recommend looking to the 10 commandments, the law of God that we have spurned. Find where you've dishonored and angered God and repent of those things. Then look to the immeasurable justice of God at Calvary. He did not spare His only Son's blood, how much less should He have spared you? Therein is the great mystery of the love of God. Understanding these things - depths of our sinful hearts and the depth of our loving King - should keep Jesus near and dear to you all the days of your life.

First, I want to offer up this resource for people to listen to or watch:

http://www.livingwaters.com/listenwatch2.shtml

The message is called True and False Conversion and speaks directly to about everything contained within this thread. It's been a great help to me understanding issues of salvation, grace, justification, backsliding, etc. Rich Deem has an article on the website about Predestination and Free Will - is it one or the other?

http://godandscience.org/doctrine/predestination.html

Maybe we have a similar situation here. I think the most important thing anyone can have is the Fear of the Lord. That, coupled with humility, will be enough to keep you close to the Lord and not fall away (what we commonly consider 'backslide').

On the issue of losing your salvation there's some neat things I wanted to share. Hopefully, I will let scripture speak for itself. I'll do that in the next post to keep them reader friendly.

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#63

Post by Felgar » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:35 am

BavarianWheels wrote:But apparently OSAS says he's still saved as of this moment...should he suddenly croak...what a sweet deal.

Sign me up for the easy way!
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Yeah I think he is still saved. But that's not the easy way!!! Trust me, he's miserable.

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#64

Post by Anonymous » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:41 am

17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
This text makes incredible assertions towards losing one's salvation. Mostly it speaks of the Jews and their relation to God - through unbelief being broken off from the olive tree but not abiding in unbelief graffs them back in. It also gives us (the Gentiles) a warning to take heed because God might not spare us... Notice the duality of God - goodness and severity. You'll see God's duality (Mercy + Justice for example) all over the place - we serve a really complex God!
Who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 2 Cor 1:22
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Eph 1:13,14
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Eph 4:30
These verses speak wonders about being sealed by God's holy Spirit. Remember in Revelation where it speaks of being sealed with the mark of the beast 666. How no one can be saved after they have taken that mark. Would not the same hold true when we are sealed with the mark of the Lord (His Spirit)?

Also, another neat thing is about Jewish custom. I mention this because God often speaks/prophesys things through His chosen people and their circumstances/situations. Just think of all the holidays they celebrate, Passover, and where they have been (Babylon), etc. One neat custom I heard of once was regarding adoption. If I remember correctly, the Jews hold VERY strict customs regarding adopted family members. They are basically accepted into the family and can never be cast out (unlike blood born relatives!?). If someone of greater authority than I in the subject knows more, your post would be kindly welcomed. I mention this because:

rom 8:15, rom 8:23, rom 9:4, gal 4:5, eph 1:5 --> all speak regarding adoption. Interesting to note that Rom 8:23 states we are waiting for the adoption... that's something to ponder. Justified but not yet glorified? Maybe there's space to be cut off from the olive tree until we receive the adoption that's through Jesus Christ.

Hope you enjoyed some of those passages/thoughts. Maybe the real answer to the salvation issue is "yes" - God's able to make someone lose their salvation and He's also able to make someone unable to lose their salvation. I'm sure there's an answer to be found, but I know that it's not wise to put the Lord in one of our man-made boxes. I'm fully persuaded that God will keep those that are His. If you're not His, then I'd consider making this an issue.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:33

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#65

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:07 am

Felgar wrote:There's a guy on another forum who vehemently denies God's existence; says he drifted away in a 6-7 year process and now is convinced that God never existed in the first place. I don't know him personally though. He's tough to argue with because he knows more about the scriptures than pretty much every other nonbeliever. :)
Bav wrote:But apparently OSAS says he's still saved as of this moment...should he suddenly croak...what a sweet deal.

Sign me up for the easy way!
Felgar wrote:Yeah I think he is still saved. But that's not the easy way!!! Trust me, he's miserable.
So...a person that has been saved and then turns away and now is even working against God at this moment...has been working against God for some years, should he die while denying God in a post, is saved nonetheless?
John 15:2 NIV wrote: He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit,
John 15:5, 6 NIV wrote:I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
Hebrews 6: 10-12 NIV wrote:God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
Seems to me that there is danger in turning away...and even more danger in turning away believing a doctrine like OSAS...in the sense that most believe it.

I believe that OSAS is true only of the true believer. One that is in a constant relationship with the Spirit, falling daily, and getting up daily.

A track record of true faith.

This is where OSAS rings of truth.
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#66

Post by Felgar » Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:22 am

It's thinking like yours that leads directly into a 'saved by works' mindset Bav. Protestants broke from the Catholics for this very reason. Works replacing Faith is the very reason why we so often see the Catholic church dead - there is no Faith there.

I don't know what else to say; (I've edited and re-edited this post about 10 times) These are instructions for how Christians should live and I don't think they are about our eternal fate. Whoseoever believes in Him shall not perish. It does NOT say whosoever believes in Him and does works.

The Bible is God's Word. God does not lie. Period. And so it is promised to us:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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#67

Post by Anonymous » Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:57 am

Felgar wrote:
There's a guy on another forum who vehemently denies God's existence; says he drifted away in a 6-7 year process and now is convinced that God never existed in the first place. I don't know him personally though. He's tough to argue with because he knows more about the scriptures than pretty much every other nonbeliever.
True and False Conversion - the false convert "believes for a season" but falls away when trials, temptations and tribulations hit. They are scorched by the heat of those three things. It's not easy to become a Christian and it certainly isn't easy to stay one - we have about a 90% "backsliding" rate within the contemporary church. That means every 9 out of 10 people who profess a faith in Christ aren't in local churches or living a Christian life one year later. Just go witnessing in Southern California or the Bible belt and you'll find people who have been born again 6 or 7 times - "yeah I was born again when I was 6, 14, 22, 28, 32, 44..." and you know the guys not a Christian - he's a blasphemer and a fornicator. The truth about backsliders is that they have never slid forward in the first place.

Some people think Judas was a Christian - he followed Jesus and even took care of the money bag! The disciples had no clue... they thought that when Judas went to betray Jesus after the last supper, he had gone to give money to the poor John 13:27-29. So, no one else but Jesus knew how deceptive this professing believer's heart truly was. Here's a good clue though,
Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? John 6:70
Regarding works, please note mat 7:20 . Look towards 1 Cor 13 - love is the centerpiece. In some translations it uses the word charity (like the KJV) which I like for this reason - charity is the noun form of the verb love. Is 1 Cor 13 a descriptive or prescriptive chapter? Does it describe what love looks like or is it prescribing for the believer what they should be doing to have love? Using the noun form charity makes this clear - it's a descriptive passage, this is what love looks like... Similar to faith + works - James 2 describes what faith looks like... it is accompanied with works. Thus by their fruits you shall know whether they are believers or whether they are wolves, goats, bad fish, foolish virgins, etc.

Do the works save? No, but they attest that you are saved. Without the proper fruit, there is no Biblical support to show that someone is "in Christ". Remember, like our physical harvests, spiritual fruit may take time to grow (new converts) but if you're bearing bad fruit (blasphemy, idolatry, lying, stealing, fornicating...) then you should wonder if you've ever slid forward in the first place towards salvation.

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#68

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:57 am

Felgar wrote:It's thinking like yours that leads directly into a 'saved by works' mindset Bav. Protestants broke from the Catholics for this very reason. Works replacing Faith is the very reason why we so often see the Catholic church dead - there is no Faith there.

I don't know what else to say; (I've edited and re-edited this post about 10 times) These are instructions for how Christians should live and I don't think they are about our eternal fate. Whoseoever believes in Him shall not perish. It does NOT say whosoever believes in Him and does works.
Saved by works? No...I think we all agree one is not saved by works...but by a faith that works. See James 2: 18-26.

I am a Protestant! Christ alone, Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.

OSAS leads to resisting to do what is right because there is no real need if OSAS as you and others have been promoting it is right.

If a sinner has confessed Christ as Lord and Savior...and falls away, what importance is there in bringing him/her back? OSAS says s/he is saved no matter what...right? Let the fallen away remain away because OSAS!
Jac3510 wrote:we cannot unjustify what God has justifed. What God has declared righteous, we cannot declare unrighteous.
That's what some including a few here are essentially teaching. How do we know God has justified someone that in His foreknowledge has not had a faith that works? If they bear no fruit, they are cut off!
Romans 11:22 NIV wrote:Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. [my own emphasis]
We fail to realize we have total and complete freewill. We choose God freely and God justifies those he predestines according to his foreknowledge. (Romans 8: 29)

Foreknowledge in what? In the end result.
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#69

Post by Felgar » Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:32 pm

BavarianWheels wrote:If a sinner has confessed Christ as Lord and Savior...and falls away, what importance is there in bringing him/her back? OSAS says s/he is saved no matter what...right? Let the fallen away remain away because OSAS!
In many respects we're not trying to bring him back for his own sake. Rather it's so that he will later bring others into the fold just like the seed that falls on the good soil. Were it merely for his own sake we may very well let him go; knowing that his soul is saved.

1 Corinthians 5:5
hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature [or flesh] may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

On the matter of false conversions I would contest that indeed there are those who never believe - those who simply profess belief but are a wolf in sheep's clothing. But those that DO sincerely believe, are thus saved through that belief.

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#70

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:45 pm

Felgar wrote:
BavarianWheels wrote:If a sinner has confessed Christ as Lord and Savior...and falls away, what importance is there in bringing him/her back? OSAS says s/he is saved no matter what...right? Let the fallen away remain away because OSAS!
In many respects we're not trying to bring him back for his own sake. Rather it's so that he will later bring others into the fold just like the seed that falls on the good soil. Were it merely for his own sake we may very well let him go; knowing that his soul is saved.

1 Corinthians 5:5
hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature [or flesh] may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

On the matter of false conversions I would contest that indeed there are those who never believe - those who simply profess belief but are a wolf in sheep's clothing. But those that DO sincerely believe, are thus saved through that belief.
Then why is there a Gospel that one must believe if in your interpretation of 1 Cor. 5:5, communion with Satan saves?

Christ really didn't need to come and die!

Read a few commentaries on this verse and you'll see it has more to do with repentance than what you are implying.
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#71

Post by Felgar » Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:16 pm

BavarianWheels wrote:I believe that OSAS is true only of the true believer. One that is in a constant relationship with the Spirit, falling daily, and getting up daily.
The point is Bav, everyone falls. Just like you mention here; falling and getting up. So what then; if you die in the evening before getting up spiritually you're not saved?

Where will you draw the line between 'a faith that saves' and a faith that doesn't?

Oh, maybe I haven't done enough hail mary's today to show that I have a faith that saves... Do you see what I'm getting at here?

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#72

Post by Anonymous » Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:21 pm

I do. I think this is why they call the loss of salvation a debatable theology. One of those things that has been back and forth for quite a while - there's a good reason for this.

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#73

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:22 pm

Felgar wrote:
BavarianWheels wrote:I believe that OSAS is true only of the true believer. One that is in a constant relationship with the Spirit, falling daily, and getting up daily.
The point is Bav, everyone falls. Just like you mention here; falling and getting up. So what then; if you die in the evening before getting up spiritually you're not saved?

Where will you draw the line between 'a faith that saves' and a faith that doesn't?

Oh, maybe I haven't done enough hail mary's today to show that I have a faith that saves... Do you see what I'm getting at here?
I do see what you are getting at...I do!

The problem is this OSAS teaching. Where does one draw the line? How long is too long? When does the unpardonable sin come into play? What is the deciding factor? How long can one be secure away from Christ?

I don't know. What we do know is that we are told to remain in Christ, (John 15:1-11, 1 John 2:24, 27) submit to the work of God, (1 Corinthians 16:15, 16) submit to God, (Eph. 5:21, 22, Heb. 12:9, James 4:7) to have patient endurance and faithfulness, (Rev. 13:10, Rev. 14:12) persevere, (1 Timothy 4:16, Heb. 10:36) persistence, (Rom. 2:7) follow Christ, (Rom. 15:5,6) not to be idle (1 Timothy 5:11-15) follow Christ's steps, (1 Peter 2:21)

No where in the Scriptures are we told to relax, it doesn't matter if you fall away, it doesn't matter if you fall to the deception of men (Jude 1:19) or fall from truth (Matt. 24:4, Mark 13:5)

We are told over and over...obey, follow, seek truth, persevere, endure...

We are also told that to follow Christ will not be easy. (Matt. 24:9, Mark 13:9) and many will fall away (Matt. 24:10, Mark 13:12)

Please show me where one can be secure away from God?
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#74

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Nov 16, 2004 6:37 pm

OK guys, this is the last time I'll respond in this thread. As has been noted, things are getting a bit heated, and while that is OK to an extent, I think we are coming close to the place where we all have to say (or at least me) that we have stated our positions and let conclusions be drawn.

Briefly, before I walk through Bav's primary objections to OSAS, let me comment on Adam. Listen, Bav. God never declared Adam righteous. Show me in the Scriptures where He did. I can show you where He declared Abraham righteous (Gen. 15:6), and I can show you where we are declared righteous (Rom. 8:30). Adam was created in a state of moral innocence, not moral perfection. In other words, he did NOT have a sin nature, and at the time of his creation, he had no sin in him. Therefore, he was morally innocent. That is very different from moral perfection, which is what we will be in the New Creation. A Morally Perfect being cannot sin. It goes against their very nature to sin. Please note that while Adam did not have a sin nature, he equally did not have a divine nature (as did Jesus Christ). Look at James 1:14. God tells us that sin tempts the desires already existing in us. What did Satan tempt Adam to? Easy: independence, autonomy, and self-government. Adam had a desire within him to "be his own god.' If he did not, then he would not have sinned, for he would not have been tempted. However, the existence of that potential restricts us from applying to Adam the term "moral perfection." Adam had what we might call a neutral nature, neither divine nor sinful. Today, we have sinful natures. Jesus had a divine nature, which is the reason He was able to live without sin.

So, AGAIN, you still have to provide a precedent for your position. You haven't done it, and I guarantee you that you can't.

Now:

First, let's clarify "Once Saved Always Saved." I have said this before and it was overlooked. What we are dealing with, more accurately, is "Once Justified Always Justified." It is EXTREMELY important that you see that, Bav. Observe:

1) Those whom God justifies are considered righteous before God (Rom. 4:5). As you are aware:
  • “justification” “to justify,” in a legal sense, the declaring just or righteous. In Biblical literature, δικαιουν, dikaioún, without denying the real righteousness of a person, is used invariably or almost invariably in a declarative or forensic sense. (ISBE)
2) Righteousness is not real righteousness. That is, we are not literally righteous, but God chooses to view us as such. (see ISBE's article on justification, 3.5.b., esp, "This is shown further by the fact that it is the ungodly who are justified (Rom_4:5), and that the justification is a reckoning or imputation (logízesthai) of righteousness (Rom_4:6, Rom_4:22), not an infusing or making righteous.")
3) This righteousness is reckoned or imputed by grace (Rom. 4:6).
4) This grace is received through grace alone, and not by works (Eph. 2:8-10)

Now, to be declared righteous is to be justified of sins. That is, God makes a legal decree: Not Guilty. Those who are justified are adopted as Sons of God (Rom. 8:15, Eph. 1:5). Those who are the sons of God are no longer under the Law (Gal. 4:5). We know that the Law does not save, but that grace saves--in fact, the Law can only condemn! (Rom. 3:20)

So, picture what we know so far: you have come to faith in Jesus Christ, confessing with your mouth that He is Lord and God, and believing in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, as per Rom. 10:7-10. What happens? God, through His grace and His grace alone declares all your sins, past, present, and future, as paid. Jesus Christ has become the propitiation for all of them (Heb. 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10). Therefore, you have overcome the world (1 John 5:4). We know you have overcome because you have been "born of God" (1 John 5:4).

What, then, does that say to us if we are "born of God?" Rev. 3:5 tells us that he who overcomes will not have his named blotted out of the book of life. Remember who overcomes: he who has been born again! So, if we have been born again, we have overcome, and if we have overcome, our names will not be blotted out of the book of life! This is undeniable. It is straight Scripture, Bav.

What, then, do we say about the Book of Life? Rev. 20:15 says that anyone who is not in that book will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. Why? Because they will be judged from the other books, that is, the books of their works, and their works will show them guilty. However, those in the Book of Life will not be guilty for their works, because their works have already been paid for by Jesus Christ through His justification of their sins through their faith in Him!

Therefore, we conclude that future sin in the life of the Christian does not prevent him from being saved, for there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1). ALL sins have been atoned for. Therefore, we are forced to ask ourselves this question: how can one be unjustified once he has been justified? We will note that no where in the Scriptures, not ANYWHERE, is a justified man declared unrighteous. This is because it cannot be done! Why? Because justification is not the work of man--it is the work of God, and what God has done, man cannot undo.

You ask what of the man who removes his faith in Jesus Christ. I say that he cannot be renewed to the state of repentance (Heb. 6:4), and his state now will be worse than it was prior to being justified (2 Peter 2:20). Why is it worse? Because, like Saul, God has rejected his service in this life, and he has been turned over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh (1 Cor. 5:5). It is a horrible state, one of deep shame. But, this does NOT unjustify him. How can it? Even that gross sin has already been forgiven! If not, then that means that God changed His mind, and He clearly has not done that!

You argue that OSAS (better, OJAJ) allows a person the right to "keep on sinning." I have adequately shown that it does not. If a person does keep on sinning, then he loses out on the sanctification process. He can no longer lay up treasures in heaven, so he is worse off than the unbeliever who still has a chance. He is still, though, justified. That means he is still in the book of life, and that means he still has a place in heaven.

It is, therefore, absolutely essential that we understand the relationship between justification and salvation. You cannot assume that salvation results from sanctification. That simply is not true. It is the measure of your glorification that will result from the process of sanctification (2 Cor. 5:10. Note, this is a reference to the judgement of Christians. See also 1 Cor. 3:15).

In conclusion, then:

1) Justification is a one time, irreversible declaration of God that seals one's place in heaven.
2) Sanctification is the ongoing process through which the believer is turned more and more into the likeness of Christ. The measure of this sanctification equals the measure in which one will be glorified. This process may be halted by death or the loss (that is, rejection) of one's faith.
3) Glorification is that final state in which the work of salvation, began in justification, is completed. Some will be glorified more than others, depending on their exposure to the sanctification process.

Therefore, OSAS IS the proper biblical doctrine.

I could go on to list dozens more references, Bav. I could argue that the rejection of this doctrine can actually land one in Hell. As long as this post is, it isn't nearly as detailed as it should be, but, it is enough to show that, Scripturally speaking, the justification process CANNOT BE REVERSED. You, then, have to answer one simple question:

Can a person justified by God find himself in Hell?

God bless
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#75

Post by Felgar » Tue Nov 16, 2004 6:58 pm

Thanks Jac - I was pretty much at my wits end. :)

Edit: An amazing summary Jac. The depth and breadth of your understanding of God's word really shows through. God bless!

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