7777777 wrote:Would you say someone who says, "I don't believe in God" saved? Even if after calling upon the Lord? I don't think I can be any more specific.
Quite possibly they did. And if they rightly called on the Lord, then my friend they are saved.
Even if they say they still don't believe?[/quote]
That is always an interesting discussion, and one that I could not answer on the information provided. My experience is that many people who claim to have been Christian, don't even understand what it means to be a Christian in the first place. They either have their own ideas about what it means to be a Christian, or they grew up in a church that espouses incorrect doctrine. They prayed a prayer at VBS, or some other contrived easy believism. It is a great opportunity to probe. The first thing I would do is ask, "What do you MEAN, you don't believe?" Or, "what you mean you used to be a Christian." "...used to believe in God?" We should never jump into some hasty rebuttal without really knowing what this person is claiming in the first place. You will usually discover that, if they are willing to discuss, there is something much different than they came to actual faith in Christ and then rejected it. It fact that argument is self-defeating. A true believer is one who knows Christ. And so how do you come to unknow someone? So, you are right when you say it makes no sense. They certainly might have practiced some religious program that they felt was Christianity. But we know that this is not Christianity. Ask open ended questions like the ones above and you will see.
BTW, you didn't answer my questions.
Regarding what PL said regarding calling on the name of the Lord. It is most definately a valid point. Calling on the Lord requires us to rightly know the purposes of calling, and whom this Lord is that we are calling on.
Regarding #4. Falling away is a little vague. What we are talking about in 1 John 2:19 is very specific to those who deny in their own lives that Jesus is the Christ.
Of course when one rejects anything of God, His heart is hardened towards God. It is very much a self-fulfilling prophecy.
PL, I'm curious as to why you don't think redemption (the cross) can be universal in its effects, yet salvation conditional and exclusive.
The Bible teaches universal redemption in its statement that Jesus Christ, "by the grace of God, tasted death for every
man," and that He "gave himself a ransom for all
, to be testified in due time." (Hebrews 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6) Again, "He is the propitiation for our [the church's] sins and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world
." (1 John 2:2)
Contrast that with: "Whoever
believes in him is not condemned, but whoever
does not believe stands condemned already
because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."
Just like the penalty of death is universal in Adam, yet the penalty of the 2nd death is tied to one's own personal sins against God. And so the penalty of all the world's sin in paid in full through Christ death. Yet salvation is a matter of one's personal decision regarding Christ.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord
"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious