THE FALLACY OF ONCE SAVED, THEN LOST AND RE-BORN AGAIN

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy spirit, and have tasted of the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame” – Heb 6:4-6

There has been a debate between two camps which has existed now for many decades. The issue of whether or not a born again believer can lose salvation. The verses listed above have been at the heart of this debate which appear to confirm one can indeed fall from grace, and become spiritually darkened. Many teach that the language of verses 4 & 5 clearly describes those who have experience the saving grace of God, and denotes a complete disowning of Christ, a deliberate and decisive abandonment of the Christian faith. They argue the people described here are not backsliders but apostates. That they have not merely fallen into sin but have denounced Christ altogether.

The Greek word parapíptō in verse 6 for “fall away” means to fall aside or away, err, or stray. Used only in Heb_6:6, denoting a falling away, an abandonment. Some have suggested that this word and its noun paráptōma (a lapse, error, wrongdoing) indicate errors of weakness, faults or accidents and do not represent deliberate, blameworthy or willful sin, contending that this would be expressed by parabaínō, to willfully transgress. The word is speaking of those who deviate from the right path, turn aside, and wander, however, the text is also clear, “to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame,” would have to be understood as an impossibility. In other words, they cannot go back and re-repent, and be re-born again.

The idea of losing one’s salvation and then being re-born again is just not supported by Scripture. We do have examples in Scripture of what can happen if a believer strays into sin and continues in it. In the church of Corinth a man had his father’s wife, and the Corinthians had a casual attitude about sexual immorality (1 Cor. 5:1). Paul scolded the Corinthians and instructed them to “deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:5). Paul informed Timothy he had “delivered Hymenaeus and Alexander to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1:20). To deliver an offender to Satan refers to excommunication, which was remedial as well as punitive. In both cases above we see two desired results, in the Corinthian offenders case, death to secure his soul for the day of the Lord was prescribed. In Hymenaeus and Alexander’s case, it was to learn not to blaspheme. John speaks of a sin which does not lead to death and a sin which leads to death (1 John 5:16). The sin unto death means a case of transgression, particularly of grievous backsliding from the life and power of godliness, which God determines to punish with temporal death, while at the same time he extends mercy to the penitent soul.

The chastisement in these verses pivot on extreme efforts by Paul to correct, secure, and restore, erring brethren. If the loss of Salvation was even remotely possible, the cases above would have never occurred.

THE PERIL OF NOT PROGRESSING

To understand any text one must turn to the surrounding context for a fuller meaning. What is in view in the context of Hebrews 6 is Spiritual Immaturity and the lack of progressing beyond the foundational principles of the spiritual life. The Hebrew writer reprimands these believers in Hebrews 5:12-14 for their slothful attitude towards the Word of God. They were still stuck on the first principles of the oracles of God and have come to need milk and not solid food. They were still babes in Christ and should have been mature at this point in their walk with God. Continuing Christian immaturity is dangerous leaving the believer annulled to the discernment of good and evil. Unskilled in the Word of God as well leaves them susceptible to false teachings, sin, and they run the risk of going astray.

Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection (maturity), not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, or resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.” Heb. 6:1

Foundational principles are not to be laid again but built upon. “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11). All six of these foundational principles fall within the provision of the Cross of Christ. This is why the Hebrew writer said in 6:6 the renewal of repentance is impossible. That foundation has been laid, it is the lost who are called to repentance from dead works, and faith towards God, not the saved. Maturity is the building process upon the foundation of Christ’s finished work at Calvary. A distinction is made between the requirements of the lost and the saved as regards restoring ones relationship with God. For the lost, repentance of sin and faith towards the finished work of Christ is the Biblical requirement while the believer who has erred in sin or gone astray need not repent, but confess unto God. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:8-9.

This is why this writer believes that the loss of salvation is not in view here in Hebrews 6:4-6. Believers cannot go back, only forward! On the straight and narrow road there is no room to turn around, no re-repentance. Confession is the only requisite to restore a right relationship with God. Once repentance from dead works is made and faith towards Christ is consummated the believer enters the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb 13:20). “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin” Heb 18:28. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us of ALL sin, past, present, and future. The apostle Paul wrote: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you ALL trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” (Col. 2:13,14). How many of our sins were nailed to the cross with the Lord Jesus? The answer is all!

To clarify what I have just said in the paragraphs above let’s look at an example in Scripture, the prodigal son. If your familiar with the parable the one son took his inheritance and left his Father, wasted his possessions, lived a lascivious lifestyle, only to end up feeding swine (Luke 15:11-16). Finding himself in poverty (to the point of death vs. 17), he came to himself and returned to his Father willing only to be received as a servant rather than a son. When his Father met him, instead of repenting, he confessed, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son” vs. 20. The Fathers response was full of compassion, he fell on his sons neck and kissed him, threw a party, put his best robe on him, a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. The prodigal was a son when he left and was still a son when he returned. Humility and the confession of his sin restored him to his rightful place in his Father’s house.

Let’s pause here for a moment; the fallacy of once saved, then lost and re-born again lay in an improper understanding of what salvation is. This camp is very accusatory of men and women who believe in “once salved, always saved,” i.e. eternal security, most likely a result of their own insecurity. One such accusation is that many in the eternal security camp will make the statement, “they were never saved to begin with,” which the “you can lose your salvation” camp” says is unbiblical. Let me demonstrate that it is:

For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 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. 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” – 2 Peter 2:18-22

Notice the distinction between “those that were clean escaped” and “those who live in error.” Those who have escaped are allured through the lust of the flesh but not overcome. It is “them who live in error who is doing the enticement, who are overcome and brought into bondage. They have a form of godliness, escaping the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior but are still unregenerated, they posses knowledge but have not the faith unto salvation. The key here is found in verse 22, “the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” The word “washed” means to “cleanse garments exclusively.” Just as Jesus told the Pharisee’s they were “like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” Outwardly they appear righteous to men, but inside they are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matt. 23:27). Lastly, the dog and the sow did by nature what dogs and sows do. They never became a new creation in Christ, so, they were never saved to begin with.

THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY SALVATION

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minster. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” Heb. 6:9-11

Faith looks to the one who promises while hope looks to the things promised. Faith and hope are what marks maturity exemplified in the believers work and labor of love shown towards God’s name, demonstrated to fellow believers. Mature Christians carry the burden of the weaker, setting the example for them to follow. The Hebrew writer was encouraging these “babes in Christ” to move beyond infancy and imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Over and over we are told in Scripture to bear one another’s burdens, to esteem others higher than ourselves and when we see an earring or straying believer we are to restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, by doing so we fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:1-2). God has given us each other to accompany us in salvation and in our spiritual development.

THE IMMUTIBILITY OF GOD

“For when God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you. [Gen. 22:16, 17.] And so it was that he [Abraham], having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him. Men indeed swear by a greater [than themselves], and with them in all disputes the oath taken for confirmation is final [ending strife]. Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened (mediated) with an oath. This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us]. [Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it–a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, [Lev. 16:2.] Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.” Heb. 6:13-20 AMP.

Confirmed it by an oath: The meaning here is, “that he interposed an oath” between himself and us by way of a confirmation or pledge. All the hope one has of heaven is in the fact that God is immutable. His unchangeable purpose, to call Jews and Gentiles to salvation by Jesus Christ; to justify every penitent by faith; to accept faith in Christ for justification in place of personal righteousness; and finally to bring every persevering believer, whether Jew or Gentile, to eternal glory encompasses His oath. His immutability provides our consolation and security in Christ as the anchor of our soul. Salvation rest in His promise and ability to keep that which we have committed to him, our lives, our souls, our future. The two immutable things are by His word of promise, and by His oath, neither of which can ever be broken. The confirmation of His oath is our guarantee so God’s unchanging nature is the believers consolation and encouragement. Our hope is secure in Christ. An anchor is only as secure as that to which it is fastened to, in this case it is fastened to the immutability of God’s own oath. God has in fact pledged Himself as the surety of our Salvation since He could swear by no greater than Himself. “The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” Rom 11:29.

If any passage of Scripture defends the eternal security of the believer, this passage does. Both the promise and the oath of God are a firm ground for the assurance of salvation. The immutability of God is the object of our hope and a preservative in our salvation. An act of sin does not cost you your salvation, however, we must, out of love on one hand and godly fear on the other, seek to live a life that is pleasing to Him. If one continues in a course of known sin, assurance of one’s salvation may be lost, fellowship with the Father may be severed, and they run the risk of premature temporal death, but the soul is still saved.

CONCLUSION

Now that the context has been examined, it becomes clear the passage is dealing with the maturity of the believer as they move beyond the foundational principles of God’s Word to a deeper relationship with Him. Everything in Hebrews 6 points the believe forward, they cannot go back and re-repent and hence, be re-born again as they are secure in the promises of God in Jesus Christ. The New Covenant is an everlasting covenant, one which God alone keeps. We, as a result of so great a salvation, work as a result of salvation to please him and do His Will. For erring brethren to go astray, God has placed a punitive system into His Word for believers to follow in the hopes of restoring them. If they refuse and continue, God intervenes delivering such to Satan to complete His chastening purposes. In some occasions, as is clear by Scripture, temporal death is the end result. Others learn from it and by confession of their sin, the Lord is faith and just to forgive and cleanse them, restoring them to their rightful place His Kingdom.

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32 thoughts on “THE FALLACY OF ONCE SAVED, THEN LOST AND RE-BORN AGAIN

  1. Hello, very excellent blog and subject. I mostly am in harmony to what you say.

    I do have a question in relation to your statement–“Hebrews 5:12-14 for their slothful attitude towards the Word of God. They were still stuck on the first principles of the oracles of God and have come to need milk and not solid food. They were still babes in Christ and should have been mature at this point in their walk with God. Continuing Christian immaturity is dangerous leaving the believer annulled to the discernment of good and evil. Unskilled in the Word of God as well leaves them susceptible to false teachings, sin, and they run the risk of going astray.”

    If a person doesn’t grow up as a Christian and stays stunted how do you reconcile that with the verse that says in Phl 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

    how is staying stunted til a person dies being ” a good work in you carried to completion” is what I’m asking???

    Thanks

  2. you’re so right! It is confusing and ultimately ends in mystery. God just hasn’t chosen to reveal everything to us at this time. Someday in the great by and by we will know, just as we are known. I look forward to that don’t you!!

  3. Godlee, I don’t find your comment confusing. I believe your right, however though God’s has foreknowledge (declaring the end from the beginning), and the fact that He knows those who are His and He knows all who will believe, I also believe that redemption was provided for all mankind. The Scripture speaks many times of “whosoever.” In fact John 3:16 covers the parameters of “For God so love THE WORLD, that whosoever believes. This then makes God just in His judgment of mankind, no one is with excuse, able to say, I didn’t know. And as you pointed out in the one of your comments, Romans 1 clears this matter up with the fact that even creation itself is enough for all men to know their is a God and are without excuse before Him. Predestination is a hard subject because so many have such divers opinions about it. Personally, all who come to Jesus Christ by faith are predestined, while those who reject God’s gift of Salvation are punished eternally separated from God by their own rejection of the Gospel. Isaiah states that God takes no please in the death of the wicked, and 2 Peter 3:9 says: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. This shows God’s heart, He desire all to be saved, but many reject His love and the provision of Salvation through Christ. However, on the flip side of the coin, Scripture is clear that we are “chosen,” which means “hand picked,” so the subject of predestination is a little confusing. As you said, But God’s will is Sovereign, dominant, unlimited and infinite.

  4. Thanks for this. I guess fear and trembling naturally occur when we realize our life is ultimately in Gods hands, knowing our salvation is in His hands alone. “It’s fearful to fall into the hands of the living God” Heb. 10: 31
    I’ve been thinking too that our freewill is very limited or else we’d have more eternal choices than just heaven or hell. But God’s will is Sovereign, dominant, unlimited and infinite.

    I’ve been realizing that one of the Calvinist points—-“Limited Atonement” can possibly be a damaging doctrine if preached the wrong way. They say Jesus only died for specific people, not the world—-possibly creating an elitist attitude in some.
    Now w/ that said—-Jesus obviously did know beforehand those who would come to Him and He did die for them specifically, (having them on His mind while suffering for their sins). I think Scripture makes this clear, but many Calvinist preachers may leave this out, provoking anger in some.
    So all this goes into predestination also—–I don’t believe God specifically predestined some to go to hell—-although Judas Iscariot comes to mind as I write this. Anyway, I think this goes back to the foreknowledge of God again. He obviously knew Judas would be a “son of perdition” before he ever came to be. Now the question is did God specifically make him a “vessel of destruction” as Rom. 9 speaks of?
    I’m more apt to believe, that just as God hardened Pharaohs heart, (knowing he’d never come to him anyway), He must have done the same w/ Judas. There’s so much to think of and study. Sorry if this is confusing. This is how I learn I guess—–as I go and as I share. Thanks for the outlet and the feedback. oxox in Jesus

  5. Godlee, These verses have helped me some, Phillippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Salvation is not dependent on one’s continued works, but salvation must express itself in progressive Christian living and upright character. Without denying man’s freedom, or violating man’s will, our cooperation with the Lord allows Him free access to our will as he works in us His will for our lives. I hope this makes sense, but I see salvation in the same way, we hear the Gospel of salvation, believe and/or faith is then given as we submit our will and life unto the Lord, this begins the process of the new birth. However, I have seen evidence in Scripture, just as you have pointed out, one can hear, understand, and still resist or reject the gift of Salvation. Truth is, we cannot be saved, we cannot be repentant, we cannot believe or have faith without God giving it. We just submit ourselves to His Will. When I first heard the Gospel message, it simply made sense to me, when asked if I would receive Christ as Lord and Savor, I could not see any reason not to, it was clear to me that I need Jesus so I believed. My life changed for ever, however, like yourself, I rebelled many times only to be chastened by the Lord which was for my good, it’s corrections stirred me back to a life of obedience. This is just another reason why I believe in the security of the believer because a Child of God cannot continue in sin without experiencing His chastisement. His chastisement is for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness, as it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Heb. 12:10-11). You are right, our beliefs are played out in practice, that’s why the more we yield ourselves to His will the greater our works will be and the benefits of those works as well. God Bless!

  6. I see your point on “irresistible grace.” I’ve been doing more study on these issues and am finding some interesting points. For one, “Total Depravity”–is true in the sense that we are all born into sin—-but John 1 states that Jesus is the Light of the world and of men—-couldn’t that mean we are all given a measure of light or “measure of faith” as Rom. 12:3 puts it?
    Besides, according to Rom. 1, creation itself reveals to man that there is a God, some just won’t acknowledge Him as God.
    Plus, God has given everyone a conscience to know right from wrong. So perhaps God does give us light through creation and conscience, that once the gospel is heard we have enough light to be responsible to respond.
    Perhaps Gods grace is “irresistible”—to those whose conscience is not seared, to those who acknowledge their accountability to their Creator. Acts 7:51 Paul tells those people that they always resist the Holy Spirit—so obviously there are those that can resist. Yet, in Rom 9: 19-20 it’s obvious that even then, some believed no one could resist Gods will. All I know is that I can’t resist it—-I know I desperately need it!!!
    Some of this boils down to how beliefs are actually played out in practice. As you’ve said before.
    Personally, I don’t flat out consider myself Calvinist or Arminian at this point, BUT as far as my personal experience, I can honestly say I would be able to relate more to the Calvinist stance than the other—–mainly because Gods Sovereignty is my ultimate concern and my personal experience has been my inability to ultimately resist His will. Believe me I tried for years but He chastened me severely. In fact, I’ve been so rebellious at times, I’m very surprised I haven’t been swallowed by a whale yet!!!! But God is faithful and will have His way. His will —-will be done—no matter what—LOL God bless.

  7. Oh yea, my husband and I were watching a local Christian station where one of my old Word of Faith pastors comes on. I hadn’t listened to him in over a year, determined just to study Gods Word in context apart from their unbiblical interpretations. As a result, I was able to see right thru his whole scheme.
    One thing that really caught my attention was his Arminian views that I had never realized before. He would say things like “You have to allow God to do this or do that”——it was all total bondage where God’s hands are tied unless we give Him permission to do this or do that—yet he would contradict himself and say things like “God has a right to do this or do that” then would turn around and say—-“but you have to “allow” Him that right”——very confusing and it all comes down to us, us, us—-what we do, do, do.
    I’d rather focus on God and what He does and what He has done, done, done—–Jesus said “It is finished!!” Praise God!!! I’m free!!!
    My husband commented on how amazed he is w/ how far I’ve come since I was in that mess. I’m so grateful to the Lord for His mercy on me. God Bless

  8. From what I’ve read, the title “Calvinist” was put upon anyone who was into Reformed Theology. Supposedly John Calvin just took the “five points” from what the Bible says on salvation—-that our flesh is enmity against God and cannot be subject to Him (Rom. 8:7) for instance.. The Holy Spirit has to regenerate us by the Word being preached, (ex.–1 Pet. : 23-25) where God calls out His people, those who will “obey the truth” Rom 2, etc.
    Second Point—“Unconditional Election”—too many verses to even list—Rom. 9, Eph. 1: 11-12, etc. about predestination.
    Third Point—-“Limited Atonement”—this is a biggy—the cause of much tension between the two groups. It states that Jesus died for particular persons, those He foreknew to be predesined to salvation and He atoned for their sins specifically. However, there is still a universal call to believe the gospel and repent—–Hyper-Calvinists deny the general call to repentance and just focus on the saving call toward those they feel will receive the truth. But noone but God knows who the elect are. Their hyper view leads to missionary paralysis rather than Jesus’ command to preach to take the gospel to “every creature.”
    Fourth Point—-“Irresistible Grace” This is another point of contention. For one, people naturally want to believe they are in complete control of their destiny and don’t want to feel like a puppet—however, the opposite view makes God out to be less than God. I’d rather settle for being a “puppet” besides, I’ve found peace in knowing I don’t have to try to control everything. This is one of the main reasons people end up in Word of Faith—-to try to control everything, including God. If God determines to save someone, who are they to resist? I think the problem is the thought that God determines to send certain ones to hell, this is where things get wierd between the two views. This is also where it all ends in mystery and where we just have to let God be God—-besides, He IS God!!
    Fifth Point—“Perseverance of Saints” —this is where the “once saved, always saved” term came into play. This is where it is realized that it would be ludicrous to believe Jesus shed His blood in vain for the elect. His blood is an everlasting covenant between Him and His people that can never be earned or broken—-if we can’t get ourselves saved, we can’t keep ourselves saved—He keeps us.
    Arminians have five points too—-but they are so depressing and bring so much bondage, I prefer not to go into that yet. Besides, I lived it most of my life, especially in the Word of Faith movement.
    Sorry so long.

  9. Its been years since I studied it out but the Arminians set up a counsel with the Calvinist to discuss their differences and have the opportunity to present their view to the Calvinist. The Calvinist agreed but it was to be held on their turf so when the Arminians showed up hundreds of them were arrested, some where put in prison, others were excommunicated and forced to leave their country. The Calvinist never gave them a chance. Though it is not Calvin’s doing himself, what developed was a hierarchy which became oppressive to any who did not share the same views. I don’t believe in the Arminian view, nor do I consider myself to be a Calvinist, that is a tag placed on anyone who believes in the eternal security of the Believer. What troubles me most about the two views today is no one is willing to sit at the table of debate and take a close look at the Word together. So in effect, what happened between the Calvinist and the Arminians is still being played out today. Both sides just reject each other and call each other heretic. I know severa people who believe you can loose your salvation yet we get along well. I don’t think we should allow division, but we should humble ourselves before the Lord and allow His Word to correct us and be the final authority. But…like I said, no one is willing to do that.

  10. Can you give me some info. on the fued between the Calvinists and Arminians. What did the Calvinists do to the Arminians that was bad? I can’t find anything on that aspect of it yet. Thanks.

  11. Yes, thanks. I was also reading Heb. 10:26 just this morning, which seems to coincide w/ what you’ve written—about sinning willfully.
    I think that sinners can regret mistakes they’ve made—-but for the wrong reasons—–because of consequences, etc. But true believers in Christ will hate sin due to knowing it’s done against their Maker and Savior.
    Sometimes I have to really examine myself, because I don’t want to love any sin more than I love God. For instance, I struggle w/ feeling good when I feel I’m doing better than someone else. I have to catch myself. It’s like an ego boost I guess and I hate it!!! It just seems so natural at times, but I know it’s wrong. In reality I know I’m no better than anyone else. But the opposite extreme happens too—-thinking I don’t measure up to others, which is also a snare the devil lays so that I’ll try to earn enough praise to feel decently acceptable. But the ground is level at the foot of the cross and I can’t possibly earn anything. It’s a miracle that God bids me to come for His free grace, because I’m not worthy, that’s for sure!
    Just think—-He values us, not because we’re valuable, but because He is so great to value something as rotten as us. That’s why He gets all the glory.
    Thanks for reminding me of Paul saying the flesh and spirit are contrary to one another, so that we do not do what we wish.
    I always used to think that 1 John 1 meant that if I confessed sin and asked God to remove all my flaws and sins (in this life) then I should be able to expect the next thing to happen—–“be cleansed from all unrighteousness,” and not have to struggle w/ it anymore. Then when I would sin again, I’d question my salvation because I obviously wasn’t “cleansed from all unrighteousness.”
    But I see more each day that by realizing my total inability to be sinless (this side of heaven) may actually be a type of “thorn in the flesh” to keep me humble perhaps? I’m also seeing that I have to live in a state of repentance (knowing my only hope is in Jesus’ blood).
    “God have mercy on me a sinner”

  12. Lee Anne I’m sorry I haven’t answered you yet, I’ve been very busy lately and haven’t had much time. I’ve looked at 1 John 3:6-9 and it is interesting that verse 9 says “His seed remains in him.” I don’t think that these verses are talking about perfection, or sinlessness as there would be an apparent contradiction if you consider what John wrote in chapter one; If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10 We have to take the whole body of Scripture into account when considering a passage like 1 John 3:6-9 and remember that at present our souls are saved, righteous, and complete. However we are still in this flesh and Paul spoke to the Galatians and taught them by saying; “I say then; Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” Gal. 5:16-17. The Greek word here for “lust” is epithumeo and is translated “desired” in other places and means to covet, greatly desire, or lust after. The word emphasizes the intensity of the desire rather than the object desired. It describes both good and evil desires.

    In 1 John 3:6-9 John’s argument is grammatically based by using the Greek present tense he does not declare that Christians are unable to commit an occasional act of sin but that they are not characterized by the spirit of lawlessness (vs. 4), powerlessly led into a habitual practice of sin. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. We are partakers of the Divine nature once we believe the Gospel and are born again, the natural result is the desire to do righteous works, to please our Lord. It’s out of the nature within us then, that we are convicted when we follow the flesh and then sin. But as John wrote, when we confess it He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. I believe that once a person is saved, they are the righteousness of Christ. It is His righteousness that make us who we are, not our own righteousness. Yet we can and do have the capability to desire after the flesh and be led by the flesh to do things contrary to the Will of God. The Father views us as He views His Son Jesus, we are in Christ, just as John says here, His seed remains in us. Therefore, God never looks upon our sin, in His eyes we are sinless in the Savior. John is contrasting two complete natures here, one is seen in verse 7, because a person is righteous, he practices righteousness, the other is the nature of the devil, he who sins is of the devil. The key is found in the word “practice.” A lost man takes no thought to his sin, his actions, or the consequences of his actions. But a saved, born again believe does! He may commit a sin, but is quick to confess it and make it right with God. He’s not going to practice sin, he’s not habitually going to live in sin. He can’t for very long before he is chastened by the Lord. Hope this helps.

  13. Hey, I went ahead and posted the SOZO article. I regret that it didn’t get published. I e-mailed the publisher to ask ask when it might be published due to it being such an urgent matter. The only response I got was “I’m sorry, have we discussed the column yet? I’m sorry I don’t remember!” I asked him what “column” he wanted to discuss (since I submitted my article to just be a letter to the editor basically). He never responded back. It’s very strange how he is ignoring me now. At first I thought maybe it was because I mentioned Catholic mysticism and perhaps that he was Catholic—-that wasn’t it—because he just published a letter this week by a guy totally giving churches down the road for observing Halloween, which the writer stated was originated by Catholics. Maybe he’s into some of the stuff I mentioned or perhaps the Pregnancy Cnt. has something to do w/ it, but that’s only speculation.

    Anyway, I’ve been reading 1 John 3: 6-9 a lot lately. Just like the above verses you’ve elaborated on, in your artice, I was wondering if you could offer some similar feedback to make these verses more clear. I really appreciate your thorough study and godly insight.
    I’ve heard it said that they mean that we are no longer dominated by sin—but that doesn’t settle right w/ me. It reads as if it is speaking of our daily practice of either righteousness or sin, and we all know Christians sin—so it’s a little confusing.

  14. We have to remember also that only God can grant repentance. Rom. 9 is all about the fact that God chooses who He will have mercy on and who He will harden. I found this neat quote by Charles Spurgeon www. spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm
    —“You must not expect that you will be perfect in repentance before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. Repentance is a grace. Some people teach it as a condition to salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God grants the salvation Himself.”

    I’ve heard many say—repent, believe, etc. and you will be saved. But many take that to mean that it is within their ability to do so which is not true. “The carnal man cannot receive the things of God for they are spiritually discerned” (Rom. 8)–We need to remember that if one is able to truly repent and believe, then they have truly been regenerated by the Holy Spirit—–it occured before they took action, not the other way around. This is a crucial element missing in many a presentation of the gospel today and it’s tragic. The gospel is to be all about God’s glory in doing all the work from start to finish. (Phil. 1:6) He begins the work and finishes it. “Whosoever will” are those whom God has given a will to serve Him. Jesus knew those He was specifically dying for as a substitution in their place. His blood was never wasted on anyone He foreknew would not accept Him. This is very humbling which also helps us to worship Him in godly fear and reverance. Knowing He saves before we could have had anything to do with it. It’s not unreasonable, just beyond our human reasoning to fully comprehend. He is God and we are not. All glory to Him.

  15. Allen,
    I’m so sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you. Thank you so much for your reply. I think we both agree that this is a difficult topic, and emotions usually runs high. I’m so grateful that we can still love one another in our disagreements and as you shared about your nephew, these types of topics become even more so and rightfully so. We will certainly keep him in much prayer that he will come to the knowledge and acceptance of the love grace of God’s salvation. God bless you

  16. Lee Anne, I can’t say with absolute truth, I’d have to study it out as it’s been years since I have but I personally believe that every person who ever has or ever will live is recorded in the book of Life. Upon rejecting Christ and at death, they are blotted out. The Book of Life is also present at the Great White Throne Judgment of the dead as a witness that they had been in it but removed. God is just, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us not willing that any perish but that all would come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9. Jesus told his disciples “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” Luke 10:20. Let me point out that this was before the provision of redemption was made by Christ on the Cross, yet their names were already recorded in heaven. The provision of Salvation through Christ and the Cross covers all, so in a sense, all have been redeemed. However, one must repent, believe in Christ’s redemptive work, and be born again, regenerated by the Spirit, baptized into the Body of Christ. For those who reject the message of the Cross, eternal separation from God. Predestination is simply the foreknowledge God, He knows those who are His, He knows those who will believe and trust in Jesus Christ, but the gift of salvation is offered to whosoever will. It is all about Him, Amen! And yes, that was my whole point about the dogs and pigs, it is their true nature. Believers are a new creation, created in Christ, they may stumble and even fall at times, but God in His loving Grace as a good shepherd always chastens them putting them back in right standing. And I like “a persevering saint” once saved, always saved does have negative connotations, but only because many don’t understand it’s true meaning with in Scripture. I have asked many who believe they can loose salvation to explain the Gospel to me, none have to date. I’m convinced they lack a real understanding of just what Salvation is. It’s Jesus plus or minus nothing else. His work, not ours, He keep us, not we ourselves!

  17. Sorry, but I just have to add this——The kids and I went yard saling a couple of weeks ago and I found John Bunyans book “Grace Abounding” that I had been wanting forever, because a friend of ours kept talking about it. They just gave it to me for free! I felt I’d been handed gold.
    Just to think, I thought I was the only one who had ever been thru that kind of torture, to find out seven years later, that one of my favorite writers, who became somewhat of a martyr —-experienced the same thing. Oh to live and die for the Savior!!! The best things in life truly are free!!!
    Freegrace vs. freewill———–I’d rather have free grace anyday!! Wouldn’t you?

  18. I can’t help it —–I’m drowned w/ the revelation of God’s glory!!!! Isn’t He beautiful and Sovereign. I just had to add that in John Bunyans book “Abounding Grace”—-he went thru something like I did for years—-especially 7 years ago. A dark night of the soul, I guess you could call it. He was tormented by the thoughts of not being a chosen one of God. He hung for dear life on God’s word. He was tortured by Heb. 6, but relieved by vss. such as when the devil wanted to test Job to see if he would still want to serve God, even if he was never rewarded.
    I went thru pure torture—–need to write about it on my blog probly, but I just have to get this out for God’s glory. The devil tried to convince me that I was doomed for hell. I told God—I’ve tried so hard to do Your will and I can’t, I give up—-but You are God and I can’t deny Your existence and I know that whatever You see fit to do to me, it will be justice. I actually resigned myself to hell, but I told God, even if I never make it to heaven, even if you send me to hell, cause I can never be good enough—-I will still serve you as long as I live—-because You are God. I gave up hope of heaven I guess, but I didn’t use it as an excuse not to serve God. God got me to the point to where I was willing to serve Him, ———no matter what!!
    I was still in the church of Christ at the time and never got to hear the full gospel of grace, lived under condemnation, but God as my witness—-John Bunyans writings helped me to get rooted and grounded in my own salvation. Especially, “The Intercession of Christ–a Complete Savior.” You know how you read some books and your focus is on yourself—-not that book—-it’s all on the glory of God.

  19. I’ve been really going over these issues thru the Bible. Get this verse—2 Pet. 1:21 “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
    And this verse–Rom. 8: 30-31—but especially the entire chapter 9 in Romans—-it’s all about God being in complete control. Especially Rom. 9: 16, “so then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. vs. 18—He has mercy on who He wills and hardens who He wills—vs. 19—-we can’t resist His will——–could this be the “irresistible grace” the Calvinists speak of?
    But Revelations makes it clear that some in the book of life will be blotted out————
    Obviously, it all goes back to predestiny—-God already knows who will reject Him—He knows everything. We have to let God be God. Mans decision is not supreme either way you look at it. Gods will is. And although that’s scary—“Its fearful to fall into the hands of the living God” Heb. 10:31
    We have to accept it—-why? —-because it brings Him glory. It’s all about Him, not us.
    And that is the most beautiful, most glorious revelation ever!! Scary but beautiful.
    And as far as hypercalvinism goes—–spiritual paralysis occurs when we start to believe that mans will doesn’t come in to play at all——it does in the sense that God allows our true nature to come forth—whether it be a dog that returns to vomit (because it’s their true nature) —-or—-a persevering saint—which is what I prefer to say than “once saved, always saved” due to the negative connotations connected to that cliche’. The puritans supposedly first termed it as the “perseverance of the saints” I

  20. I’ve heard of some problems with FB, haven’t had any myself. You can set your settings to private so no one can access you info. That’s cool though, if you ever do you know where to find us.

  21. I’m not sure about Facebook yet. I’m interested, but we have some friends that have told us that they totally lost their privacy thru Facebook and can’t control the information that’s made public now. Is that true? I don’t know much about it. I guess I’m really behind the times huh?

  22. Thanks Lee Anne, it takes allot of work to study an entire context of scripture to get to the truth when addressing controversial topics. But the rewards are with it, the freedom we obtain from the truth is overwhelming. That is my hearts desire, to get to the truth, not my opinion. Every time I do, I see Jesus a littler clearer! I’m also rewarded when people such as yourself can read it and be blessed by it…God has blessed us both in that regard. I’m not a Calvinist per-say, but I wholeheartedly believe in the security of the believer. I your interested, Pat and I have a group on Facebook called “Reign Scent” would love to have you join. Here is the url http://www.facebook.com/groups/reignscentministry/ It’s a closed group as people share intimately and we try and help people recover from deception and church hurts.

    God Bless,
    Mike

  23. Hey I just thought of something else. It would be great to do an in depth study on predestination. Rom. 9 is a great chapter that I used to be scared to death of, but now I feel its beautiful. God’s will truly is Sovereign and we have no say in it. It is beyond our understanding and we have to humble ourselves under it. What choice do we have? Exactly, our “freewill” is very limited indeed. Or else we’d have more than 2 choices as to our eternity. My bet is that if there were a middle ground, most would choose it! Because who wouldn’t want to avoid hell? Many want heaven, but not the all consuming God who will hold them accountable. Many come to Jesus for pardon, but never go all the way to the Father for reconciliation. Blessings and love to you both.

  24. Hey Pat and Mike,
    This article was beautiful. I haven’t stayed on a website this long in forever, but couldn’t resist. My eyes really start bothering me if I stay on the computer very long. But, I know God is speaking to my heart, so it’s worth the pain!! My husband and I were just talking about Heb. 6 last night!!! He basically tried to explain it to me the same way, but didn’t quite grasp it until now!!!! I’m so happy.
    I couldn’t read all of the comments due to my eyes, but from what I gather, we do have to bear w/ one anothers weaknesses. I’ve always been the sensitive type w/ a weak conscience (I guess that’s what its called). But I’m thankful for it, for it seems to be how God keeps me close to Him.
    I’ve done some research on Arminianism and Calvinism. There’s a lot of info on gotquestions.org on this, but I haven’t been able to read it all. There’s 5 point calvinists, 6 point, etc. Don’t understand it all yet, but I do not by experience know for a fact that I never want to be Arminian again. In word they speak of grace, but in practice it becomes works—-how could it not when they believe you won’t make it to heaven w/ out being baptized in water? There again there are some who preach calvinism in the morning and arminianism in the evening. We just have to take God’s Word in context, which I believe you all have done a splendid job indeed. I praise God for it!!! You helped make my day!

  25. Hey Mike, Thanks for that. I too have been where you speak of, so I know how that goes. I guess the only place I differ from your view is that I believe that when God starts pulling us back to the truth, we could, if we were deceived or proud enough, refuse to obey that call, which I believe is what Peter & the writer of Hebrews are talking about.
    I absolutely 100% agree with your & Pat’s sentiments re; the bickering and even outright abuse that goes on (it’s sinful really, when you get right down to it), so please don’t think I’m in any way antagonistic to your point of view. As I said, it’s very difficult to pose an alternative point of view without sounding like we’re on opposing sides. I think the most important thing is that we’re both lovers of the truth who are passionate about contending for the faith once delivered to the saints.
    I read recently where someone said that when Jesus prayed and asked the Father that we would be ‘one’ as they are ‘one’, the Father would’ve answered that prayer, so we don’t have to strive for unity, we ARE ‘one’, as members of the body of Christ (although I think we often forget that!).
    May God richly bless you,
    Shalom,
    Al.

  26. Hey Alan, I did a study a while back on Armenians and Calvinists and what I found was troubling to say the least. The things the Calvinists did to the Armenians was cruel and despicable. I hate when we believers find ourselves on opposite sides of the fence on doctrinal issues. Unfortunately it is unavoidable, but what we can do is try to work together to discover truth. And as Pat said, we get abusive with the opposing side rather than meet with them across the table and try to settle issues. There are many hard things in God’s Word, and I have found that when I approach God’s Word humbly, and honestly allowing it to correct me, truth is always the result. I’m the last person to say I’m always right. As far as eternal security, well, I’m sold on it but that does not mean I’m not still searching the Word for direction and correction. There are many verses which make me cock my head and wonder if the loss of salvation is possible, but, as I understand exactly what Salvation is and what was accomplished by Christ on the Cross on our behalf, Its hard to believe one who is truly born again could ever get that far away from God with His intervening to redirect them back to the right path. I’ve experience this in my own life. I went through a terrible, dark time many years ago and for six years I could only be seen as a heathen. But the Lord chastened me, restored me and has been building me up ever since. I’ve learned from that experience that there is no place I can run where I can escape Him…No matter what, you and I are brothers…tho we are separated by distance, we are brothers still the same. God bless and keep running the race….
    Mike.

  27. Hi Pat, I need to apologize to you & anyone else here for giving the wrong impression, so I do so now. My comments show the one glaring problem with posting, emailing, writing, etc, & that is that without voice inflection or facial expressions, rhetorical questions or statements as well as other language nuances can be misconstrued. I try to make up for that in various ways, but it is always there. I apologize.

    Let me state here & now, that I believe discernment sites areVITALLY important to the
    body of Christ! They are doing what ALL preachers OUGHT to be doing, but aren’t.
    Your ministry is needed more than most Christians realize, but the majority of people I talk to use exactly the argument I posted, which is WHY I posted it. I was trying to present it as an example of exactly the kind of thing you mention, where people go to extremes. I’m sorry I didn’t get that across & can only plead my desire to economize with words.

    I too have struggled with this issue from my early teenage years & I’m well aware of the dangers involved in the various views held. I have a nephew who’s convinced that he ISN’T one of those chosen, (calvinism), so he has accepted his ‘fate’. He’s wrong, but it’s very hard to convince him otherwise, so this issue is one I’m personally wrestling with if you like.

    My own view is that while God will never turn us away, we can, if we are deceived, turn away from Him. That’s exactly why discernment ministries are so important, so that people can be presented with the truth as the Bible presents it, not as this or that person perceives it. I do believe that if a person follows wrong teaching, to the pint where they stray from Biblical truth, they will end up like those in 2 Thess 2:10-11, where God will send them a strong delusion. Of course this is different from someone who sins then dies before getting the chance to repent, as in 2 Peter 2:20, they end up going back into the world’s way of thinking, which is the logical result of following deception & why deception is the Christian’s biggest danger. The only way a person can ‘lose’ their salvation is to allow themselves to be deceived to the point where they no longer hear the Holy Spirit’s leading as in 2Thess 2:10-11. If that wasn’t possible, then the warnings to work out our salvation with fear & trembling, etc, wouldn’t be necessary. You & I are absolutely agreed on the point that it’s vitally important that we LOVE the truth and guard against deception, while both Arminians & Calvinists both disagree with us, for diametrically opposed reasons. Neither camp is ‘right’.
    The chirch needs discernment misitries more now than ever before, so be encouraged, don’t let anyone put you off doing what the Lord has called you to do, contend for the faith.
    Shalom,
    Alan

  28. “Again, if there is no chance of deception posing any danger to a true believer’s salvation, then warnings are really anachronistic, because what they begin to believe cant’ affect their salvation, so it doesn’t matter. Many people have used this as a logical argument against ANY form of discernment teaching, which is valid if they are eternally secure.”

    You have read and commented on many of the other articles on this blog in the past, so I’m sure your aware that this is a “discernment/warning against false teachers blog. So my question is do you really believe if someone who believes in eternal security, really thinks or believes that there is no need to warn others of deception?
    Whether you believe in once saved always saved, or that you can lose your salvation again and again is an endless debate. But to suggest that one falling into deception by false teachers doesn’t matter or is not relevant if you do believe in eternal security, is not only dangerous but in complete error and an extremist tactic . You may know some who do, I don’t and this blogger is not one of them, or else why would this blog even exist? Because it is a “discernment/warning against false teachings” blogsite.
    Why does is seem to be an endless debate??? Because one side or the other invariably goes to the extremist example of the opposing side, which opens the door of the other opposing view to do the same: i.e.
    • Those who believe they can lose their salvation live in constant fear and dread of the belief that if they sin and don’t get a chance to repent of that sin before they die, they will go to hell. Or they hit the altar every Sunday getting saved again and again.
    • Those eternal security folks believe they can live like the devil and still make it to heaven. They think they have a free pass to sin and can all they want because their salvation is secure.

    Now the question that needs to be asked is , do we really believe that about one another? Granted both sides have seen these extremist examples in real life, but does that really represent the majority of either camp? The answer is NO it does not but how quick we are to throw them at each other as if they were. I do believe that both sides could agree that these extremes that we do see are from immature babes in Christ or that neither are truly saved or have ever been saved. Once this slinging is put into motion, both camps have just laid down their Bible’s in exchange for throwing stones at each other’s beliefs, oh we may pick it back up, but only to snatch a verse from here or there to “prove” our point…..that the opposing camp is the one messed up about salvation. Most of this behavior/belief is really the result of years of hearing these types of situations reinforced from the pulpit of whatever camp you’re in. That translates many times to just being spoon fed and believing whatever the leader says. I know I believed in eternal security because of that type of spoon fed conditioning and I could not defend it, nor did I have a good understanding of it, until I decided to dig into the Word myself. Right fighting always goes to the extreme and it’s error and sin to do so with each other. By taking the extremist stand we sin not only against each other but God Himself. We veer off the Word of God into endless, hurtful and demeaning scenarios of the extremes.
    Coming from the eternal security camp I had spent several years in the Charismatic church and know and love many wonderful fellow believers from the “lose your salvation camp.” They are kind loving, encouraging, I’ve prayed with them, for them and they with and for me. They didn’t live in constant fear of losing their salvation over sin. Although I have been in churches where they actually did have a few that would come forward to get saved again and again, that was and is not the norm.
    Just as those who believe in losing salvation, know and have fellowship with the eternal security believers realize and understand that they do not promote or condone a sinful wanton life style, by saying “well at least their saved”…. this too is not the norm, they are kind, loving and encouraging also.

    Let us rather lay aside the extremist examples that do nothing but insult, hurt and anger one another and leads absolutely nowhere; not to mention that is does not edify in anyway either the mature believer let alone the babes/immature believers; but rather let us stay in the Word so that we may both grow and learn. Not snatching scripture from here or there; but take the Word in context and with sound Biblical guidelines. I know that both camps believes that any sin has an immediate impact on our fellowship and relationship with God. Surely there is something for both camps to learn and grow in together.

  29. Hi Mike, yes, I’m aware of the judgement seat of Christ for believers, where our works will tested by fire, which will refine the worthwhile things of Gold & Silver, etc, but destroy the worthless things like as if they were hay & stubble and I also believe there will be various rewards for those who overcome, or are martyred, etc. Just like there will be varying degrees of punishment meted out to sinners (Mat 5:22).
    However, in the parable of the sower we are presented with FOUR different hearers of the Gospel; One who hears, but doesn’t understand & therefore rejects the message, the second one who hears, understsnds & recieves the message, but only in a mental, or shallow, way, so that persecution (or even just offence) that comes his way as a result of his belief will cause him to regress. The third is said to BECOME unfruitful, which means that he stops producing fruit, so he must have doe so at some stage. Unsaved people can’t produce fruit from the seed of the Word, as they haven’t taken it in and had it germinate within themselves, so this person MUST have been truly regenerared, but his faith is choked by the cares of this world. One of the hallmarks of WoF teachings is their emphasis on what happens in this world, rather than the next, which fits exactly with this description, although they wouldn’t see it that way.
    Again, if there is no chance of deception posing any danger to a true believer’s salvation, then warnings are really anachronistic, because what they begin to believe can’t affect their salvation, so it doesn’t matter. Many people have used this as a logical argument against ANY form of discernment teaching, which is valid if they are eternally secure.
    What we feed our minds with definitely affects our hearts, which is why Paul tells us to think on things that will be healthy spiritually, rather than things that can be unhealthy. Peter says the people he’s referring to; once knew the way of righteousness & the only way we can be considered righteous is by being saved. The Pharisees had head knowledge of righteousness, but were judged unrighteous because their hearts were unregenerate, therefore they didn’t really ‘know’ the way of righteousness in the way Peter is talking about.
    Lastly, as I said before, we always have the choice; to humble ourselves before God, or not. We will all fail in that area to some degree ’til we die, but to deliberately weave ourselves back into the fabric of the world is obviously possible, or Hebrews wouldn’t have the warnings it does. Heb 6:4-6 says that if they have tasted of the Heavenly gift (what is the Heavenly gift, if not salvation? It cannot be tongues, as some say). It also says they have been enlightened, which can’t refer to sinners dead to spiritual things. It also says they have been partakers of the Holy Spirit, which also means they MUST be truly saved. Then the writer says that if they have done all these and then fallen away, they are unable return, because it would mean re-crucifying Christ. If the writer meant that no-one who fills the description CIULD fall away, the text would say that it’s impossible for them to fall away, but it doesn’t, it says if these people DO fall away, they are without help. Or as Peter said; “their end is worse than the beginning.”
    If these verses of irretrievable sinfulness don’t refer to true Christians falling away, then they are logically meaningless, because a sinner hasn’t ever availed himself of Christ’s sacrificial atonement once, yet Hebrews speaks of these people needing to do so twice and points out the impossibility of that, which is why they are beyond any more help.
    If a truly regeneratd person can’t fall away, then this verse is totally illogical, as are all the warnings against false teachers. Sinners don’t listen to false teachers unless they’re looking for ammunition to use against Chrsitianity, so the warnings are for. US.
    Shalom,
    Alan.

  30. Alan, Let me say first, that I am not a Calvinist, in fact I disagree with allot of what Calvin taught, such as irresistible grace. I believe a man can come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ but still reject Christ as Savior. I do believe in the eternal Security of the believer. I have a page at the top of this blog entitled “eternal Security” which will explain why. The issue is not about the loss of salvation, but the loss of reward. Deception and sin do have eternal consequences, Revelation 14:13 says “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” If you look at 1 Cor. 3:12-15 you will see that there is a judgment of the believers, the judgment seat of Christ. It is our works which are tried by fire. Some receive reward, some beleivers works are burned up, “but he himself will be saved.” Deception and sin not only stunts our spiritual maturity and affects our relationship/fellowship with the Lord, it robs us of our rewards. Paul warned the Colossians in 2:18 “Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshy mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.” Clearly, many believing Colossians got caught up in error, and were deceived, the cost was reward. John admonished the elect lady in 2 John 8 to “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.”
    What many forget is that the church is a mixed bag, wheat (believers) and tares (religious/but lost). It is my opinion that the ones who are considered apostates, are those who are tares within the church. Matthew 24 gives a distinction between these two, vs. 9-12. I have known many people who were very religious, moral, even said they Loved God but never experienced the New Birth, they go to church every Sunday, give of their income, work within the church and do great things. But they are still lost. I have know many, personally. Had some friends like that, when I would try to present the Gospel message, they always would refer to the list I just mentioned.

  31. Hi Mike, I tried to post a comment from my iphone, but it doesn’t seem to have worked.
    UM, I have to say I’m more than a little puzzled by your post, because you seem to be taking the Calvinist line that no-one can ‘lose’ their salvation?
    One glaring problem I have with this idea is what on earth did Jesus waste his time warning us about false prophets and their false teachings for, if we can’t be deceived to the point of falling away from the faith?
    Logically, if Once Saved, Always Saved is true, then there is no need to give the warning, because saved people can’t lose their salvation, so deception isn’t a danger to them.
    It really ultimately wouldn’t make any difference whether or not they were deceived into following a false doctrine, because they will maintain their place before God.
    Or the alternative argument is that true Christians can’t be deceived, which again begs the question; Why the warnings? Every book in the New Testament contains warning against heretical teachers and/or teachers. It’s one of the major themes of the NT. Also, Jesus wouldn’t warn us to be careful no-one deceives us if it wasn’t possible.
    There’s no point warning people who aren’t saved, because they can’t be discerning even if they do read the Word, as they don’t have the Holy Spirit leading them into all truth.
    You quote 2 Peter 2:20-22, which is worth reading very carefully. Peter talks of people who have escaped the pollutions of this world by the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. You can’t escape the ‘pollutions of this world, except by being saved and regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
    The fact that they have escaped by their knowledge of the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ also points to these people having been saved.
    He is clearly referring to the same people he’s had in view from the beginning of the chapter and in v.1 he says that these people even deny the Lord that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction. Jesus paid the price for all mankind’s sins, but the only people referred to as being ‘bought’, are those who have been saved.
    Continuing on in v.20, Peter says they become ‘entangled’, which in the Greek is ‘Empleko’, which is where we get the word implicated. It literally means to ‘weave’, so we’re not talking about someone who stumbles and sins as we all do from time to time, we’re talking about someone who has made a deliberate choice to submerse themselves back into the polluted world they are saved out of.
    We all wonder at why anyone would be so foolish, but then the Bible is full of people who are just as pigheadedly foolish. Just look at the people in Revelation, who KNOWING that God is responsible for their torment, and KNOWING that of they repent they can be spared, still refuse to humble themselves, but shake their fists at God and curse Him.
    The last part of v. 20 tells us that the latter end is worse with them than the beginning, which can only be true if they were actually saved for real and here’s why;
    If they weren’t really saved, they can’t be worse off than they were before, because there IS no ‘before’.
    You can’t have these people continuously live in the same state (unsaved) and then talk about them being in a certain condition in a ‘latter’ state that is WORSE than a ‘beginning’ state, it’s illogical. The only way an sinner can be in a worse state than he was when he was a sinner, is when he is either dead, or he has voluntarily returned to being a sinner.
    The issue is one you touched on a while back in your post: “Loving to contend, or contending to love?”, it’s our pride that is always going to be our biggest danger, the failure to daily die to our self and ask God;
    “Lord what would you have me to do?”
    That this is the main cause of the downfall of these men is plainly spelled out in this chapter. They are so arrogant, they speak evil of ‘dignities’ Peter says. (Sounds a lot like some characters we both know of, boasting about what they’re gonna do to the demons and Satan.)

    Another point I want raise here is that we DO have freedom of choice, in-spite of what the Calvinists teach. John 3:16 says;”…whosoever believeth…”
    If we have a choice about whether or not we will humble ourselves and ask forgiveness for our sins, then we must surely continue to have a choice about whether or not we will continue to humble ourselves daily and submit to God’s will rather than do what we please. I look at those in Matthew 7 who claim all the great things that they did in Jesus’ name and then what is His reason for denying them? They work iniquity (or practice lawlessness one translation has it). Jesus doesn’t deny their claims of great works done in His name, He denies their obedience to Him. They’ve been doing good things, in His name, even FOR Him in their way of thinking, but according to THEIR will, not His.

    The alternative to us having a choice, is that we don’t have any freedom of choice (because of predestination, according to Calvinists), so whatever we do is really just God pulling our strings.
    If this is true, then God forcibly controls us to believe on Jesus and be saved, which then would allow the Holy Spirit to forcibly take us over whenever He wanted us to prophecy, or speak in tongues, etc.
    I cannot accept that the Bible teaches us that is God like that.

    Sorry for the long post, but my bottom line is that if a truly born again, regenerated person can’t ever become deceived to the point where he becomes apostate, then all the blogs we subscribe to about false teachers/teaching, etc, are really a waste of time, because the ones who are deceived aren’t saved anyway and without the Holy Spirit can’t ever exercise discernment, so they can’t understand what we say to them. Those who are saved don’t need us to point out the danger, because it’s a paper tiger, powerless to harm them because their salvation is eternally secure from every danger, including their own mind and thoughts.

    Hope I haven’t trod on your toes too much, but I’ve had people tell me that there’s no need for watchmen, because once your saved, it’s sealed forever, so all us watchmen types do is cause grief for no good reason and we should just shut-up. God has it all in hand and I’m saved, so don’t tell me about negative stuff like false teachers, just let God handle it. It’ll all be resolved on Judgement day. I’m sure you recognize the words here.

    God Bless you with every good thing,
    Shalom,
    Alan.

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