Neo, if salvation depended on anything then it wouldn't be a free gift. There's a lot of double-speak going on here, bro. You can't have it both ways.
Not sure if I did this quote thing right, but the quote was from someone else directed to neo. Just how free is this gift, if its really indeed that free then in the same respect that you say one cannot reject a free gift, then one cannot and does not have to accept a free gift; hence its free. If this is so, well then everyone is saved, and no one is going to hell, and all scripture pertaining to any of the sorts is quite needless. So now it either is free or it isn't... The price paid was the gift and is free for all those who wants it, nothing no where in scripture says you have to keep it after accepting it. In fact God says He wants us to love Him freely without forcing us to love Him or else we would all be robots instead of free moral agents. So are you saying that once I accept Him even if I no longer want Him that 1) I never knew Him in the first place or 2) that I can never get rid of Him and I therefore forfeit my free moral agency and I become a robot; and God becomes a liar at your erroneous interpretation because He said He wouldn't force us to love Him, because its not real love then anyways. Hmmmm!!!!
I will say this first, "Faith without works is dead". They must go hand in hand. One cannot show faith without works. The life lived is the proof of the faith held. If a man lives in obedience to Christ, that is proof that he has faith in Christ. A bare profession may gain the good opinion of pious people; and it may procure, in some cases, worldly good things; but what profit will it be, for any to gain the whole world, and to lose their souls? Can this faith save him? All things should be accounted profitable or unprofitable to us, as they tend to forward or hinder the salvation of our souls. This place of Scripture plainly shows that an opinion, or assent to the gospel, without works, is not faith. There is no way to show we really believe in Christ, but by being diligent in good works, from gospel motives, and for gospel purposes. True believing is not an act of the understanding only, but a work of the whole heart. That a justifying faith cannot be without works, is shown from two examples, Abraham and Rahab. Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. Faith, producing such works, advanced him to peculiar favors. We see then, ver. 24, how that by works a man is justified, not by a bare opinion or profession, or believing without obeying; but by having such faith as produces good works. This is the grace of God wherein we stand, and we should stand to it. There is no middle state. Every one must either live God's friend, or God's enemy. Living to God, as it is the consequence of faith, which justifies and will save, obliges us to do nothing against him, but every thing for him and to him. (James 2:14-26).
So How does it mean you don't lose your salvation when salvation is based on faith with works (fruits) and contingent upon confession and repentance, yet if your faith is dead without works then you have no faith and are not saved or (lose your salvation). I think that is very evident and clear. Not to mention the works of that faith it talks about are your "fruits" which is how someone can tell who you belong to and if Christ is in you or not (saved or not saved). As to the "works" in Ephesians 2:9 those works are the law, so in actuality should read we are saved by grace through faith, not of ourselves, and not by the law. Meaning ourselves nor the law can save us, only Jesus Christ.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Believeth is a verb meaning its an action word... so is that not a work or a fruit to show believe. It expresses an act and a continued process. It could not be that one act of (Faith) and no more will save the soul (Luke 8:13, 1 Tim. 1:19, 4:1, 5:8, 12, 6:12, 21, 2 Tim. 2:11-13, Heb. 3:6, 12-14, 4:11, 10:23-38, Jude 5, Rev. 2:13). The faith that saves is an ever present active one and it cannot cease and still produce results. Even God has faith in all He does (Rom. 4:17, 1 Cor. 13:13). Believers live by the faith of the Son of God and must always live by faith (Rom. 1:17, Gal. 2:20, Heb. 10:23-38).
3 Things men must do and continue in to receive Eternal Life:
1) Believe, which implies complete and continued obedience.
2) Hear His voice, and be not hearers only, but also doers of His Word (Jas. 1:22-27, 2:9-26).
3) Follow Christ, not only at the beginning of a Christian experience, but daily and throughout life (Lk. 9:23). To claim eternal life when one does not follow is like these Jews claiming to know God and have eternal life. Jesus declared such was not true (Jn. 5:37-47, 8:54-55)...
My own excerpt of the passage (prodigal son) under the knowledge and understanding from God and the living Word through the power of the Holy Spirit.
What I get from the parable is quite simple. I believe it does prefigure salvation but also shows the conduct of Jesus being justified in accepting “sinners”, and the conduct of the Pharisees to be erroneous. Please bear with me, but in essence the older son represents the Pharisees; the younger, returning sinner, who “repented”; and the father, God, who is willing to receive them that “choose” Him.
You can see that the disposition of a sinner is selfish and egocentric. He desires to get all that he can get own his own. Sinners waste their blessings, and reduce themselves to a state of want and wretchedness. A life of sin brings on spiritual want, misery, death, and destruction. It destroys the faculties, the mind, hardens the heart, abuses the grace of God, and makes us careless of Him who gave us all that we have, and unconcerned to the “penalty” of our own disobedience, iniquity; Sin.
The son went on neglectfully and heedlessly - like every sinner does to enjoy oneself, and to waste, misuse, or turn away the toils of His father that He had procured for him. Compare this to the world now and the sinners of those lost or saved today! Afflictions are often the means of bringing sinners to reflection. Think about that statement. It usually takes something tragic to occur in one’s life before they ever come to the realization and acknowledgment of Christ; that they’re a sinner, lost, and need a Savior. While what he had lasted for a short period of time the prodigal son cared very little about his Father if at all. When all he had was gone and he was in the midst of a famine, he thought of his ways. When sinners are in prosperity they think little about God; their own Father too. When he takes away their mercies, and they pass through afflictions, then they think of their ways, and remember that God can forgive them and give them comfort if they so choose. See, he had spent all, had nothing, no righteousness, and no comfort. He was far from God, away from his Father, and in a land of strangers. The sinner has wandered, and has no friends. His miseries came upon himself "because" he was so far away from God on the account of his own free will choice. He chose to turn away from God when he already had everything given to him, yet he still chose!
The prodigal son should have returned to his father “at once”, but he rather chose to become a servant of a citizen of another region. So He chose to be somewhere else and part of another family. Then the sinner, when rational about his sins, should also return at once to God; but he often continues still to wander lost. He tries new things, seeks new pleasures, new friends, differ faiths, religions, even gods, and find them equally inadequate. He engages in new pursuits, but they are all in vain. He is still comfortless, in a strange famished land, lost and spiritually dead.
In (Lk. 15:18 & 21) we see that the sinner repents, “which is required” or “conditional” upon forgiveness, righteousness, and to be “saved” or “saved again”. The key factor is in his “repentance”. If he was never lost and did nothing wrong why ask for forgiveness? Before his reconversion the sinner was alienated from God. He was spiritually deranged, lost, and dead. His own Father says two differ times that he was lost and dead, but now is alive and found. Well, to what then was he lost and dead from if he was always alive and saved? He most certainly was not dead physically!
As far as the Father dividing His living to him, that took place before He ever left. He was giving a saved person Heaven, not a lost, backsliding, falling from grace one. You said yourself and I quote, “God has given us a choice and gives us multiple chances regardless of knowing those of us who will reject Him”. Sounds like one more choice and one more chance even though He already knows the outcome. Furthermore, sinner or not, saved or not, God is still our Father whom created all things and knew us before we were in our mother’s womb. I think I already touched on this, but the fact He remained his Father, as God remains to be our Father, is not a very strong point. Also, it is very obvious that God wants us to come to Him in the first place, but that if we turn away from Him, then He does “long for our return”. I’m glad you used the word return because that means that he has left, departed, turned away, gone astray, and is dead. If not than he physically nor spiritually could ever return unless of course he was missing. Not to mention why would the Father long for his return if He is suppose to already know if he would come back or not.
Again one or two sins, for we all do fall short of glory, will not condemn your soul or make you lose your salvation. I already told you this. In the case of the prodigal son one can choose to walk away from God, for he was lost and dead. The older brother was always with his Father, so obviously the Father was always with him; he never left. Not to mention if you read the context over and over again as I have, it’s like saying you have one child who lives with you “all the time” and another who don’t who only visits, and when he visits you try to do something special with him because you hardly get to see him. The other gets jealous so you tell him that he is always there and that you always do special things with him. Can you not see this? Furthermore, God is more likely to be with us, then say us always be with Him; hence we can chose to leave. You also said yourself that “the younger son was out about and wandering in the world”, so he was not with God but in the world. Can you serve both and love both? Or, will you love one and hate the other?
Just because his Father was waiting, more or less hoping, does not mean He knew he was going to return. Also, in no way shape or form does that reflect on Him as being a good or bad father. People turn from God all the time, or they never come to God in the first place, and die and go to hell. Does that mean that God is not a very good Father? Absolutely not! God gives chance after chance and knowing or not knowing who will and who want, is not Gods fault nor the Fathers fault if we never come back. Opportunity is there and if we choose to come to, or in the case of the prodigal son to come back to, then that is our choice.
I'm sorry for what seems like I'm laying into you all, but I'm really not. The problem lies with being able to rightly divide the word of truth and accurately. My efforts are not to condemn but to teach truth and get people thinking about what the living Word really says. That is why its important not to be a dude that is a bible surfer, but to actually get into the word. Its a lifestyle not just some flyby drive by hit it and quit. We are talking about eternal damnation vs. an everlasting life, and like it or not either way we were born, we will die, and live eternally in one or two places. These are things beyond our measure of control period. I am just scratching the service, for I have a lot more, which is all scripture because I have been dealing with all this for an entire year now. Please study yourselves approved and work out your own salvation in fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12). I guess those once saved always saved think this scripture is null and void and of little importance. If you have salvation forever and are sealed at what point do you need to work it out? and why in fear and trembling less you can um... well you know guys, your all wise!!!