Conditional vs. Unconditional Salvation: What was the Question?

debate 1There has been an attack upon those of us who believe in OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved) on Facebook by those who believe OSTL (Once Saved Then Lost). I am OSAS…….ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED…. and I certainly don’t want to mislead anyone that aren’t OSAS into thinking that I believe someone can lose their salvation.

Often the verbal language is extremely hurtful, even cruel in many respects as those who are OSAS in belief are called deceived, heretics, and told the OSAS crowed will lead many straight to hell. 99% of those who are OSTL have been vicious and condescending, and act as though the OSAS people are already lost and going to hell just because they believe it. One individual recently went as far as to say that those who believe in OSAS should have a “spiritual lobotomy.” Now if we are to take this literally, one can safely conclude that all those who believe in OSAS posses an intractable mental disorder, meaning we are not easily controlled, not docile, and that we are obstinate in our view of Eternal Security.

The simplicity of salvation is plain and easily understood in scripture. Likewise, the doctrine of Eternal Security is also easily understood in scripture. It should be equally as easy to understand if one can lose salvation…..and at what point. When challenged, you get a myriad of “proof-texting” isolated verses thrown at you which are neither contextual or conclusive in themselves. If in fact a true blue born again believer can lose salvation, at what point do they? How much sin does one have to commit before they are cast out? Can you be saved again? And, how many times can you be saved again? Is it really an issue of sin? Or, is it simply a matter of abiding or overcoming? No matter how you slice it, every example presented from OSTL always ends up being a Salvation by “works” rather than “grace,” ALWAYS! Yet Paul scolded the Galatians by saying:

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? -Gal. 3:1-3

If it’s a matter of “falling away,” or “abiding,” what of the Prodigal Son who left his Father to live a lascivious lifestyle and wasted his inheritance on riotous living? Was he not still a son when he returned to his father? Or is this an example of losing one’s salvation only to be re-born again? The Prodigal did confess he sinned against heaven and in his Father’s sight. And if it is so that he was “born again” again, how does this fit into Hebrews 6 where it is said “For it is impossible…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?” (vs.4,6) And what of the lost sheep whose owner sought it out and returning once he found it rejoicing having found his sheep which was lost (Luke 15:4-7). Was the sheep lost eternally? Or did it simply loose it’s way? If it was lost eternally, was it then reborn again? It seems that before this sheep was lost it was indeed a sheep, remained a sheep while lost, and when returned was still, a sheep, was it not? What of the man in the Corinthian Church who was sexually immoral having laid with his Fathers wife? If you look closely, Paul instructed the Corinthians 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. 5:1-5 (Emphasis Mine). In this case, there is no thought of the man’s eternal damnation, he is disciplined by the Lord in this life because of the sin he has committed, but he is saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

When presenting these questions to the OSTL more often than not you get a schizophrenic response, or you just get ignored altogether. While eternal security can be identified as a formable doctrine in Scripture, OSTL exist as a patchwork theology lacking any real biblical exegesis and is hermeneutically bankrupt. One such example is the idea that “Salvation is a gift, and like any gift, it can be returned.” This may be a nice philosophy but lacks in biblical content. In fact, not one example exist in Scripture. False teachings seek to rob people of what is worthwhile, but offer nothing substantial in its place. A denial of eternal security is, in its essence, a belief that we must maintain our own salvation by our own good works and efforts. This is completely antithetical to salvation by grace; “For by Grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” – Eph. 2:8-9 (Emphasis Mine).

Not of works and that not of yourselves is pretty straight forward! The moment you add works of any kind or in any amount as a means of gaining or keeping eternal life, salvation is no longer by grace (Rom. 11:6). We can contribute nothing towards salvation! “God justifies the believing man, not for the worthiness of his belief, but for the worthiness of Him in whom he believes” [Hooker].1 So why do some of the most enthusiastic supporters of truth get so tripped up over eternal security? The loss of one’s salvation cannot be explained nor supported by Scripture, still various scriptures are explained with theories and conjecture which become a patchwork quilt of far-fetched interpretation that require an unbelievable amount of energy to propose, must less defend (Last sentence is borrowed from a friend, edited by myself).

So to the question of giving back the “Gift of Salvation,” I think the chances of a Christian giving back his new nature in Christ in return for his old self, that self which was condemned to hell for eternity, would be like a heart transplant recipient giving back his new heart for his old diseased heart. If it were possible, why would we? Believers are born again (regenerated) when they believe (John 3:3; Titus 3:5). For a Christian to lose his salvation, he would have to be un-regenerated. The Bible gives no evidence that the new birth can be taken away. The Holy Spirit “Indwells” the believer (John 14:17; Rom. 8:9), for a believer to become unsaved he would have to be “un-indwelt” and detached from the body of Christ. No evidence is given in Scripture supporting such an act. John 3:15 states that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal life.” If you believe in Christ today and have eternal life, but lose it tomorrow, then it was never “eternal” at all.2

So from this point on, and to the end of this article, I’m going to insert an article from “got Questions?org titled: “What is conditional security?” My reason is simply because it explains the difference between these two camps far clearer than I myself can. Although, it will ruffle the fathers of those who are OSTL. Before I do, let me clarify myself, I am in no way either a Calvinist or an Arminian, I believe in “Eternal Security” because it is a formable Biblical Doctrine upon which I agree on. With that in mind, I submit the article:

Conditional security” is a theological term used in reference to the salvation of believers in Jesus Christ. It describes the enduring quality of the Christian’s salvation. In other words, a Christian’s salvation is “conditionally secure.” This begs the question: upon what condition is the believer’s salvation secure? Proponents of conditional security assert that the salvation is conditional upon remaining faithful until the very end. To use an analogy the Bible uses, the athlete must finish the race in order to receive the prize. To support this view, those who adhere to the doctrine of conditional security would point to such biblical passages as the following:

“And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:11-13)

“So therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:12-14)

“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:7-9)

These passages, and many others that could be cited, point to the conditional quality of the believer’s salvation. In each of these passages, the biblical author (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) uses conditional language (e.g., if you endure, then you will be saved) to highlight the nature of the believer’s security in Christ. In order to ensure the security of our salvation, the believer must: 1) Endure to the end; 2) live by the Spirit; 3) hold fast to the preached word; and 4) sow to the Spirit. It’s not as if the gift of salvation is lacking in any way, but the individual believer must earnestly strive to remain faithful. In the words of Paul, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

Given the weight of the biblical evidence, it would seem that the view of conditional security is unassailable. How could anyone argue with the notion that the believer must remain faithful until the end to secure his salvation? Yet, there is another side to this debate. This is the age-old theological debate between Arminians (those who hold to conditional security) and Calvinists (those who hold to what it called “eternal” security or Perseverance of the Saints). Where the Arminian can trot out dozens of biblical passages that point to the believer’s conditional security, the Calvinist can point to an equally large array of biblical passages to support the view of eternal security, such as the following:

“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.” (Matthew 24:24)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29)

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Just as with conditional security, many more passages could be listed that detail the eternal security of the true follower of Christ. For each of the above passages, one thing stands out—the eternal security of the believer has nothing at all to do with the individual effort of the believer, but on the preserving grace of God, whereas the passages that support conditional security seem to focus on the believer’s ability to remain faithful.

debatesWhat are we to make of all this? Does the Bible teach both conditional and eternal security? Does God speak with a “forked tongue”? The answer to both questions is “no.” Yet, we must be able to reconcile the passages that speak of the believer remaining faithful with the passages that speak of God preserving the believer to the end. The key to this riddle is in looking at what theologians have called the Doctrines of Grace (DoG). The DoG have been alternately called the Five Points of Calvinism (a misnomer as Calvin never articulated just “five points”) or TULIP (an acronym based on the aforementioned five points). Here, in brief, are the DoG:

Total Depravity: Due to original sin, man is born thoroughly corrupt and is unable to do anything pleasing to God, nor does he seek after God.

Unconditional Election: Because of man’s depravity, God must step in to secure the salvation of the believer. God does this by electing him unconditionally (i.e., man contributes nothing) to salvation.

Limited Atonement: In order to receive those God has elected unto salvation, atonement must be made to satisfy God’s righteous judgment on their sin. God does this through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Irresistible Grace: God applies the merits of this salvation in “real time” by drawing His elect irresistibly to Him by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. This is accomplished through the means of preaching the gospel.

Perseverance of the Saints: The salvation God has wrought for believers is seen through to the end as God preserves and sanctifies His elect until the end.

In order to evaluate whether or not the believer’s salvation is conditionally or eternally secure, one must first deal with the preceding five points of the DoG. Perseverance of the saints is not a stand-alone doctrine, but logically rests upon the other four points. The linchpin of the DoG is the first point, total depravity, which, if true, the other four points must necessarily follow. Space does not permit a thorough defense of the doctrine of total depravity, but suffice it to say that the Bible unequivocally teaches that man is, on his own, totally incapable of coming to God for his salvation (Matthew 19:25-26; John 6:44; Romans 3:10-18; and many more).

Critics of Calvinism and the DoG will assert that if we teach and hold to these doctrines, holiness and piety will go out the window. In other words, if salvation is eternally secure, what restrains a believer from sinning at will? Claiming faith in Christ becomes the ultimate “get out of hell” card. The Apostle Paul asked the same question in Romans 6:1. Paul’s response was that sin is not compatible with the new life in Christ (Romans 6:2-4). Far from advocating a license to sin, the DoG actually do more to promote Christian piety than the doctrine of conditional security. The Puritans, known for, among other things, their piety and strict devotion to holy living, were predominantly Calvinists. In the DoG, piety is seen as the grateful response of the believer for God’s amazing grace in salvation (Romans 12:1-2). These doctrines, if held and believed rightly, make the works we do a response of true love to our gracious God who loved us enough to save us from our sin and misery. The Heidelberg Catechism (one of the earliest confessional documents of the Protestant Reformation and a teaching tool for children and new believers) is broken into three sections: The Misery of Man (our sinful state); Of Man’s Deliverance (God’s gracious act of salvation through Jesus Christ); and Of Thankfulness (our response to God’s grace, which also outlines our duty as Christians).

So if we accept the premise that the DoG are true (i.e., biblical), then how do we reconcile that with all of those passages that purportedly speak to conditional security? The short answer is that we (believers) persevere (remain faithful until the end) because God preserves us. To put it another way, if we do nothing to obtain or earn salvation (salvation being a free gift of God’s grace), then how can we lose salvation? Conditional security is acceptable only to those who also believe that they somehow contributed to their salvation in the first place (which Arminian theology logically implies). But this flies in the face of such passages as Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast,” which clearly assert that we contribute absolutely nothing to our salvation; even the faith necessary to receive the gift of grace, is itself a gift of God.

On the other hand, Arminianism gives man a reason to boast in the end. If by my cooperation with the Spirit of God I remain faithful to the end, I can boast (a little) about how I was able to stay the course and finish the race. However, there will be no boasting in heaven except to boast in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:31). The doctrine of conditional security is not biblical; the Bible is quite clear that we persevere because God preserves us.3

1. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary

2. got Questions?org

3. got Questions?org; What is conditional security?

18 thoughts on “Conditional vs. Unconditional Salvation: What was the Question?

  1. “Both views (conditional salvation or unconditional salvation) have produced strong denominational Christian testimonies throughout the centuries. The conditional view has driven the evangelical movement, bringing millions to Christ. The unconditional view fostered covenant theology and established long term ministerial commitments to education, society and culture. The Holy Spirit has used both as instruments of grace and redemption. ”

    Excerpt From: Mike Stair. “The World’s Favorite Bible Verses.”

  2. My name is Alan Finch. I became a Christian 42 years ago.

    A Christian’s Eternal Security and a Christian’s Salvation do not have the same Biblical meaning. This lack of Biblical understanding on such a “VITAL” Biblical issue has been responsible for much confusion among Christians.

    A Christian cannot lose their Eternal Security. However, a Christian can lose their eternal reward of ruling & reigning with Christ.

    There is a lack of understanding in the Church today of what a person is actually being saved from when they accept the gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ.

    The traditional teaching of the Church today teaches that when a person accepts the gift of Salvation that they are being saved from the judgment of “eternal torment” in “hellfire.” However, the “Scriptures” teach that when a person accepts the gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ, it is not the judgment of “eternal torment” in “hellfire” that they are being saved from, but it is the judgment of having to go through the process of the future refining FIRE of God’s Spirit for the purpose of divine purification that they are being saved from.

    I have written an article that over the course of 4 years there always seems to be something more to add to the article. In the article that I have written, which has now grown to 24 pages, I have done a very detailed and in-depth Scriptural study on the contents that are contained in the article.
    If anyone would like a copy of the article in it’s original Word Document Format, feel free to e-mail me and request a copy. (

    ………. What is the “GOOD NEWS” of the Gospel of Christ? ……….
    (Re-examining the widely held belief of “eternal torment” in “Hellfire”)

  3. Chris I couldn’t agree more. I have been saying for years that I am neither a Calvinist or Arminian but adhere to Sola Scripture. Sadly this debate will never end until the Lord Returns.

  4. I have not been much on Arminianism vs Calvinism, but more on getting what The Plain and Clear Scriptures teach so that They can Then be compared to the Obscure/Difficult (often “isolated”) verses (which “need to be” interpreted) to keep God’s Word Harmonious.

    The following has helped me immensely in this very controversy:

    Three Tenses of God’s Eternal Salvation

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him
    that sent Me, hath everlasting life [present], and shall not come into
    condemnation [future]; but is passed from death unto life [past]. (John 10:24)

    Additionally there are also three phases/tenses in the realm of SIN & DEATH that should help all of us even further understand God’s Eternal Salvation:

    [God, Who raises the dead] Who delivered us from [the penalty of sin] so great a death, and doth deliver [us from the power of sin]: in Whom we trust that He will yet deliver us [from the presence of sin] (2 Corinthians 1:10)8

    Penalty of sin [past tense] – DEBT Paid in FULL by the BLOOD of The LORD JESUS CHRIST

    Power of sin [present tense] – we can ask for God’s Grace to help overcome sin in time of need

    Presence of sin [future tense] – The LORD JESUS CHRIST will deliver us at the Rapture/resurrection

    Keep up the great work! God bless!!

  5. Jesus Christ did not die to give us a 50/50 chance of salvation. OSAS is not a get out of hell free card, it’s evidence of a changed life. I thank God for his simplistic message of Jesus’ saving Grace.

  6. This is largely Academic Christianity. Judge Jesus will not solicit your doctrinal statements on that Day. On the other hand, Authentic Christianity deals with real life, not just theology. Authentic Christians love and follow Jesus. As long as the “gift” of salvation must be treated as a “thing,” an “it” that God has, then gives away (and “God is no Indian-giver”) so now you have it (your own personal gift of salvation) and He no longer does, then this issue won’t be seen spiritually. Until folks see that the gift of Salvation IS the Savior Himself, and Eternal Life is He who IS Life, and that when He grafts us branches into Himself, the Vine, we become partakers of the divine nature (Himself)…until we recognize that we NEVER have our very own immortality, which God says that He alone intrinsically has, we only deceive ourselves. Our eternal life is simply the sharing of His. Those who keep asserting that they have their very own eternal life / immortality now that they’re “born again,” are assuming that they are now gods themselves. They are not only slandering God who, in Scripture, states that He alone has immortality, but also asserting that they no longer need God – they have eternal life apart from Him. Our local Baptist pastor says that relationship is not important, that doctrine is everything. I pray that he sees before it’s too late, that it’s just the opposite. Those who don’t have relationship with Him have worthless doctrine in eternity – regardless of how correct it may be – because right doctrine is not what God cherishes if it comes from those who are strangers to Him. If I’m categorized among the “99%” then so be it, but speaking the truth in love is always my goal.

  7. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.” (Matthew 24:24)
    Response: It is presumptuous to believe that the gospel writer wrote this verse in reference to those who believe in conditional salvation as it could just as easily be referring to those who hold to unconditional salvation. To be faithful to the text it deals more with warning signs of the end of the age; i.e., signs & wonders that will deceive the elect – nothing more and nothing less.

    “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
    Response: This is certainly a true statement that nothing outside of ourselves can separate us from God’s love. Notice however that these verses do not include unrepentant habitual sinning which leads to spiritual death and separation from God which Paul warns about earlier in the same chapter: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:12-13). V.13 is a conditional statement marked by the word “if” and consequences for the believer it he/she chooses to sow to the flesh.

    “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29)
    Response: This verse actually proves the opposite of your point as these verses are dependent on the preceding verse which states: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Assurance of eternal life is only given to those sheep who LISTEN and FOLLOW – in other words obedience is required. Converse logic dictates that those who are disobeying are given no such assurance.

    “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
    Response: The notion that the Holy Spirit guarantees our inheritance is I believe a misinterpretation of the text. The text simply says that the Holy Spirit is given as a deposit or down payment toward our redemption until we acquire possession of it. As such we do not yet possess it. The analogy is similar to one’s purchase of a house or piece of property. A deposit or down payment is given as an earnest payment to demonstrate one’s good faith in completing the transaction. The pertinent question is who gives the down payment? Answer – God does –not us and as such the earnest payment shows good intention and faithfulness on God’s part; but that in no way guarantees the faithfulness of believers in keeping our part of the agreement. It is not uncommon, in human transactions, for a party to back out of a purchase or violate a contract after earnest money has been paid. The point here is that God will not back out if we keep our part of the agreement. But if we do not keep our part of the covenant, God is not obligated to provide us with eternal life. He can and will then withdraw his earnest, and we will consequently forfeit our salvation.

  8. I’m so thankful to God!!

    You know I thought of something really funny today and would even like to draw a cartoon to go with it if I couldt!!—-
    Think about it—- there has NEVER been a person alive who has EVER stated something like this:

    “well, I’m saved, not because I want to be, but because I was forced by God–so now I’m just His puppet and I’m hating every minute of it” ahaha!!
    No, we always hear just the opposite!!!——thank God.

  9. Well godlee, I can’t agree enough with what you said, well put, God declared the end from the beginning therefore in His Sovereign Will and foreknowledge He chose us and called us to redemption in Jesus Christ! I know that day the Christian Minister came knocking on my door was God’s sovereign Will as I was saved unto the glorious light of Jesus Christ on that day. There are no accidents with God, He knows those who are His. “Having predestined us to adoption according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:5-6). Amen!

  10. You’re right!! —It is perplexing! Because noone can completely in this lifetime explain the freewill of man vs. the sovereignty of God. It’s beyond our comprehension and God wants it that way. Just like Paul says in Rom. 11:33 after he goes over our choices and God’s sovereignty in the preceeding ch—here it is—-
    “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”
    Amen to that!
    But how do you know for sure that the convicting of the Holy Spirit is not actually the regeneration? Those who aren’t called to be saved may actually feel the conviction of sin during the UNIVERSAL CALL to redemption, due to knowlege of the law, which God says in-Rom 2:15—their conscience bears witness to it , but choose to deal with it another way (works, drugs, denial, etc.) rather than submitting to God’s grace. For they don’t have the ability to submit. Therefore, “the wrath of God abides upon them”—–
    But there is no UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION ——because only the elect are able to receive —why? There’s no other answer than—–
    “when it pleased God” Gal. 1:15 He “saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” 2Tim.1:9.
    So this means that God has already fulfilled the conditions of salvation in Christ, “who gave gifts to men” one being —-you got it—-belief!
    We still have freewill mind you—-but it is limited—-God’s “freewill” however, is infinite! And it’s a good thing huh? Because if it wasn’t for God’s “irrisistible grace” He would have just left us to ourselves.
    Just to think that He loved us enough to intervene and change us. Any other love would be shallow, not the kind where Jesus goes all out to rescue the lost sheep—-now that is love— I love writing about this, because every time I do, I feel His presence so strong.

  11. Yes, I agree with what you are saying, not yet completely clear on it yet. I don’t believe we can add one thing to salvation, Jesus did it all and it is finished on the cross. However, in Acts 2:37-38 they were “cut to the heart,” that is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit of our sinful condition and when they asked Peter “what shall we do?” Peter responded, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The receiving of the Holy Spirit is the regeneration process, it is the baptism into the body of Christ. There are certain conditions God has placed on Salvation which must be met, first, one must “hear” the gospel, then when convicted of our sinful state we must respond with “repentance.” My understanding of your comment, if I understand it right is what Calvin taught as “irresistible Grace.” My understanding of irresistible Grace is that those elected to Salvation has no choice on their part to be saved. I disagree with this, we are (even though we are in a loss condition) agents of free will. I know your familiar with John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Again the condition of belief is placed on perishing and everlasting life. I think a person can hear the Gospel, understand it’s message, and still reject it. Salvation is completely the work of God in people, we can do nothing to be saved but believe on Jesus Christ, yet I think we must first believe for that Salvation. Yes, I also agree that without the direct intervention of God Himself we would never believe so this is a little perplexing issue.

  12. Now that I see my comment went thru, I’ll try to add to what I just sent, to make my point more clear I hope.
    Unbelief is a sin——correct? O.K.—now didn’t Jesus’ blood cover all sin? Which would include unbelief. Because if He didn’t die to cover all sin then we are all in trouble —-for no sin can enter heaven.
    With that said, isn’t it biblical that God gives us a new heart to replace our “evil heart of unbelief” Heb 3:12 which is what we are born with? But when we are regenerated we are “born-again” —–regenerated so that we are enabled to believe!
    Doesn’t this resonate with your spirit and make you want to rejoice? It does me because now that I know this, I don’t have to worry about getting alzeihmers and losing my ability to believe, because God is the beginner and finisher of my ability to believe!!!!

  13. Sorry my comment went thru twice. I thought I had to retype and resend what I had written because it looked as though the computer lost it all when I tried to send it.
    Anyway, here’s a “theological thought”—–if saving faith and belief is something we can have before we get regenerated, then wouldn’t our salvation be dependent upon something we are able to do in our own power—believe. And wouldn’t that make belief a work that we can do to be saved? Do you see what I’m saying?

  14. godlee, I will keep you in prayer that you will be effective with your friend. I know how dangerous Sozo is and how damaging it is to the soul. As we speak the truth of God’s Word He then opens one’s heart to see. Look forward to your article on Sozo! God Bless!

  15. godlee, I don’t have any info on Shabar, sorry. I’m not sure that one is first regenerated, I’ve always seen where the Lord “calls” by His Spirit once the Gospel message has been preached. Upon belief one is then regenerated. I don’t think its a sequence but a result of belief that one becomes regenerated. The moment one believes they are born again and of course they confess Jesus Christ with their mouth believing in their hearts. I’ll look into what you said here deeper. If by some chance I get some info on Shabar I’ll pass it along to you. God bless!

  16. Wow—you all have really been studying!! Only one thing I want to add while It’s fresh on my mind….the part about being regenerated WHEN we believe John 3:3 This almost sounds arminian because they believe one has to conjure up belief and faith BEFORE they are regenerated. When actually the Holy Spirit regenerates a sinners spirit so that they CAN respond in faith and repentance—not tryin’ to be nit-pickty—just sayin’
    I was just explaining this verse to a lady online this morning. I found her website while researching Shabar (having trouble w/ this). I explained that one has to be “born again” (regenerated) before they can respond in faith and repentance. She is in the midst of suffering and going thru Shabar sessions as we speak. My heart breaks for her, but she has been refusing to see the light. However, she did at least check out my blog and read my upcoming article on Sozo. But there’s so much bondage there—please pray I can break through
    I truly believe “arminianism” is at the root of the whole mystic river. By the way, do you all have any extra info on Shabar —I appreciate your dedication. God Bless.

  17. You’ve been very busy studying!! Wow. I just want to add something while It’s still fresh on my mind—-the part about being regenerated WHEN we believe John 3:3, almost sounds Arminian—- because they believe one actually has to believe first, THEN be regenerated. But actually, the Holy Spirit regenerates a person FIRST so that they can then respond to the gospel with repentance and faith. Not trying to be nit-picky, just sayin’
    I just e-mailed this verse to a lady online this morning and explained the same thing basically. I happened to run across her blog while I was trying to research Shabar (having trouble with this). Anyway, she is in the midst of Shabar right now and continues to defend it although she’s read my upcoming article on Sozo, my blog, etc. I truly believe “Arminianism” (a convenient label) is at the root of all this charismania madness.
    By the way, do you have any extra info on Shabar? Hope to hear from you soon!

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