Skip to comments.Finders Keepers? - The Evangelical notion that Christians can't lose their salvation is unbiblical.
Posted on 06/27/2010 3:10:25 AM PDT by GonzoII
You're discussing religion with an Evangelical friend. For 20 minutes you've responded as best you can to her pointed arguments against Catholic doctrines like Mary's perpetual virginity, praying to saints, venerating statues, and purgatory. She's unconvinced. You're frustrated. It doesn't look like there's much of a chance you'll agree on anything.
Then comes the jackpot question. "Look," she says earnestly, "we can disagree about many things, but what's most important is that we know we can be saved by Jesus Christ. Tell me, if you were to die tonight, do you know for sure if you'd go to heaven?"
This is the "all-important" question for Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants. Although your friend is completely sincere in asking this question (as she's been coached to do by her pastor and the anti-Catholic radio preacher she listens to in the afternoon), you realize that if you don't answer correctly, you'll walk into a sort of theological ambush.
If you respond that Christians can't, apart from a special revelation from God, have metaphysical or absolute certainty concerning their salvation, a completely biblical and theologically precise answer, your Evangelical friend will gleefully spring a "trap" on you, based on 1 John 5:13: "These things I write to you, that you may know you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God."
"See?" she smiles confidently. "The Bible disagrees with you!" She then proceeds to inform you that if you "confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For, with the heart, we believe unto justice; but, with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9-10).
(Excerpt) Read more at envoymagazine.com ...
I do not believe in "once saved always saved". I believe that we can lose salvation through unrepentant sin. I also believe that those that struggle with sin, and honestly try, will be saved. When we lose a battle, one gets up and starts anew. The attitude of our heart is what makes the difference.
But doesn’t John say “if we say we have no sin we decieve ourselves and the truth is not in us”. And John was writing to Christians when he says this. Note also that John includes himself in this statement saying “we” and “us”. Thus the Apostle John is saying that the entire Church he is writing to, as well as himself, still sins. BUT he also reveals the good news several verses later, “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus the righteous.” Thus, even Christians (indeed, even one as Holy as the Apostle John) still sin. This is why repentence is a continuous process, not a one time act, and this is also why sanctification will never be completed (”perfection”) in this life, although it is what we work for every minute of every day.
Well, I, for one, have. Several times. Front to back in order
Ahhh...but “the faith of Jesus”!
We’re supposed to try, and try extremely hard. We are to strive for perfection. We are to repent (turn from our sins) or we WILL perish.
That’s the “works” part.
Here’s the “grace” part:
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The devil believes in Jesus. That belief isn’t going to save the devil though. We all must understand that our modern day definition of the word “belief” is NOT the same as the biblical meaning of what it means to “believe”. Study it, and see for yourself.
We have to repent, which means we have to STOP SINNING, and we have to ask God to forgive us when we fail at that goal.
Our greatest commandment is to love the LORD our God with all our heart and all our soul. We are also supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves.
The command is *not* to have “affection”, but to love - as a verb (something you DO, not just something you feel). This is another term we don’t understand anymore. The biblical meaning of “love” is not the same as our modern understanding of the word “love”.
All of us must heed this warning from Jesus:
“You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! [...] Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
We must not allow ourselves to become guilty of that. Know your bible. Know what God’s word is. That is only possible by actually READING it. All of it. Over and over and over. There is nothing more important. NOTHING.
Read all of Matthew chapter 5, especially 5:17, 12:36-37, 15:18-20, 19:17-21, 26, all of chapter 23, 25:31-46.
In John read 8:31-36, 12:44, 47, 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.” (There’s *love* as a verb!) 14:23 “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.” (more verbal love) and “He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”
There are parallels in Mark, Luke too.
There is MUCH, MUCH more in the rest of the new testament. Go read it! Over and over and over.
And read the old testament over and over too. The bulk of God’s word is in the OLD testament, so don’t neglect it. Please!
I have - more than once.
You just made my day!
Reminding me to go to confession this morning. Thank you.
Well no offense, but you make Christ sound silly with this entire thread:
28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
29"My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
Once you make the 'claim' that salvation can be lost you've just proclaimed Christ is either an idiot or a liar because of His above statement. You choose.
That’s wonderful to hear! I wish everyone would read their bible.
I have to ask though...
And I’m sorry to ask this, but over the years I’ve probed people about this and found out that their understanding of reading “all” of it is a bit different than what I consider to be “all” of it.
Did you both actually read every single word? All of the geneologies? Both censuses (sp)? The minute details of the tabernacle? The requirements for the priests and Levites? The tedious and repetitious details of the various offerings and sacrifices and feasts?
Did you honestly read every single word of the entire bible, without missing even one word? Honest to God?
If so then wow, I’m really impressed. Most people don’t have the time or inclination.
I have read every word of the Bible - at least 66 of the books of the Bible. Any other questions?
James 2:20-24: 20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
Yeah, I do have another question! :-)
How many times?
It does my heart good to know that there are still some people who actually read their bibles!
You really read every single word? Honestly?
If so then thank you. That would make 3 people who say they’ve read the entire bible, and that makes my heart sing.
Yes. Every chapter, every verse, Genesis to Revelation. Even Leviticus - LOL.
I have no point. I just said it makes my heart sing to know that people are actually reading their bibles.
I was wondering, why are you not only focused on scripture now?
Not all evangelicals hold to OSAS, and Rm. 11:22, which deals with people groups, is not the strongest verse which indicates that one can willfully deny the faith and forfeit the justification which faith appropriates, which position Gal. 5:14 and Heb. 10:18-39 less disputably supports.
Related to this is the idea held by some that a faith which holds to the promise of eternal life for believers is salvific, though one’s life overall denies it. The “these things” of 1Jn. 5:13 refers to the prior description of what manner of faith constitutes saving faith. The faith that justifies is one that is characterizes by following the Lord, (Jn. 10:27,28) and repenting when he is convicted of not doing so. (2Cor. 7:10,11)
The problem for RC’s however, is that is denies salvation by imputed righteousness, but holds that sprinkled infants realize a constitutional holy change, and that through cooperation with grace dispensed thru RC sacraments, they may be said “to have truly merited eternal life.” (Trent, 1547, The Sixth Session Decree on justification, chapter XVI; cf. Canon 32)
In essence, she preaches salvation by grace thru merit, while effectualy she promotes confidences in her own self-proclaimed power for salvation. Self-proclaimed, as her claim to be the one true and supreme church is effectively based upon her “infallible” declaration that she is infallible, when speaking according to her own infallibly declared conditions.
And despite Rome’s emphasis upon works, in comparison with evangelicals, Roman Catholics typically come in far behind, along with similarly institutionalized Protestant denoms, in evidences of faith commitment and doctrinal fidelity. http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/RevealingStatistics.html#Sec4
many times since I was 10 and 1/2. Love the Bible.
Maccabbees also???? :)