Livecast Discussion: Once Saved, Always Saved? (09-03-21)

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Timothy Kline, Sep 5, 2021.

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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline New Member

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    Good morning, everyone!

    I thought I would take the liberty to start this thread to discuss more on the topic which was covered by the Livecast on Friday evening, September 3, 2021, titled, in part, "Once Saved, Always Saved?"

    I appreciated the brief overview of the prevailing Christian view as far as salvation, and just had a few thoughts I'd mention to contribute to the examination of this particular tenet.

    If I recall correctly, it's the view that once a person is saved, they can, basically, go out and murder someone and still remain in a saved state before God— or something along these lines, right?

    Reminds me of Universalism, which holds that everyone, even Satan, will be reformed back to a state of perfection because God is holy and all things originate from God. Or something along these lines?

    Anyhow, I see this as hyper-salvationism, since it isn't a view shared by the various Christians of various persuasion I've met during my lifetime— but the internet has made it evident that there are, indeed, swaths among Christian believers today who hold this view.

    Where I would agree with even the hyper-salvationist, then, is that as far as salvation from Jehovah's part is concerned, it is absolutely certain— which is why we can put our faith in the promise set before us.

    Jesus touched on the certainty of salvation when he said:

    My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will 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 10:27 Berean Study Bible (BSB)

    The first assurance is that nobody can be snatched out of Jesus' hand, as the Shepherd. Furthermore, the sheep were given to Jesus by the Father, and He's greater than all, which means no one can snatch the sheeplike ones out of His Hands moreso!

    That makes salvation a pretty certain thing, in my estimation.

    And while I've heard decent enough arguments on both sides of the aisle on the subject of free will, as far as salvation, I am of the conclusion that salvation is ours to lose at the same time as its certainty is assured in our being in the hand of Jesus with the full power and authority of the Father who placed us in His son's hand.

    In short, we don't get a free pass in the matter that faced Adam and Eve: obedience. They were in a condition of salvation prior to their disobedience before their Creator. No harm came to them, not lions nor tigers nor bears. No sickness. They were in their Father's Hand.

    Yet while in this condition of salvation, they demonstrated that they were capable of disobedience, and as a result, they lost their salvation and where driven out into the wilderness, giving birth to the children who laid the foundation of the world which we continue to live in today— generations coming and going, kingdoms and nations rising and falling.

    Just like Adam and Eve's, salvation is ours to lose.

    We can establish this by recalling what our Father said to the people He would use to bring forth the Messiah who would save not only the nation if Israel, but (it would later be revealed) the whole world of Gentiles!

    See, I have set before you today life and goodness, as well as death and disaster. For I am commanding you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live and increase... —Deuteronomy 30:15-16 BSB

    That we can lose the salvation set before us is made clear in Hebrews:

    What, then, of those who despise the Son of God? who treat as a cheap thing the blood of God's covenant which purified them from sin? who insult the Spirit of grace? Just think how much worse is the punishment they will deserve! — Hebrews 10:29 Good News Translation

    Now I want to point out that this cannot be referring to the godless world that surrounds us because non-believers simply have no awareness of their spiritual need:

    “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs." —Matthew 5:3 New Living Translation

    Other translations use "poor in spirit," I should add.

    The world, as a whole, just continues on its merry way, separated from God and having no awareness of Him.

    Which informs me that while it's impossible to lose one's salvation— it is self-evident that it's possible to reject one's salvation.

    This view appears to be in agreement with the first letter of John:

    "These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us." —1 John 2:19 New Living Translation

    It's likewise supported in the letter to the Hebrews:

    It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age— and then have fallen away—to be restored to repentance, because they themselves are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to open shame. —Hebrews 6:4-6 Berean Study Bible

    This passage alone should serve as a lasting testimony against hyper-salvationism and Universalism, because it clearly places the believer in a position of salvation/grace only to fall away (apostasize) at a later point.

    In fact, we can return to chapter 10 in the letter to the Hebrews to shed even further light on the subject:

    Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. —Hebrews 10:26 New Living Translation

    Sounds like choice is possible in this matter— and while it is incumbent upon us to choose life, there have surely been those who walked among us who have since fallen away, walking away from this undeserved kindness, this grace, paid in our behalf by our Creator, our God, our Father.

    Peter notes this very same position:

    "When they learned about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they escaped from the filthy things of this world. But they are again caught up and controlled by these filthy things, and now they are in worse shape than they were at first. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command delivered to them." —2 Peter 2:20-21 Contemporary English Version

    Submitted for your perusal and consideration,
    Timothy
     
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    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings brother...

    Or I've heard the claim that if you sin, then you never were one of us. Hence to hold their once saved, always saved philosophy.

    "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us." 1Jhn 2:19

    That also reminds me of those who believe every human who ever lived will enter the kingdom of God. I don't mean anything negative by this, for I know even a couple of members here believe this; I was just reminded of this understanding...

    Amen brother...

    I had a comment on that last video today that states James is speaking about faith and works toward mankind, not God. So they separate James' words from their service to our Lord to justify their narrative. The trinity is explained in the same manner...

    As you and I know from running forums for so long, we won't change people's minds. This information age has allowed people to become ever more sure in their own understandings, (confirmation bias) and openness of mind is rare. It certainly will take intervention to change people's minds. They wouldn't even finish my video because they said I was using a translation with imperfections....lol Even though I use varying translations on differing videos, I could never cater to all beliefs.

    I'm grateful to be able to speak about God's Word, even in my own modest little corner of the world. That's what Heb 13:15, 16 means to me now. "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."

    All love...
     
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    Timothy Kline New Member

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    That would be a difficult position to sustain, considering Jesus also acts in the role of High Priest for us before God, wouldn't it?

    For example, in the first apostolic letter of John, we read:

    If we say 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 we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us. —1 John 1:8-10 Berean Study Bible (BSB)

    The reality is that we are going to sin, to miss the mark we aim for in our efforts to bring our self unto submission unto our Father. This seems to be borne out by this passage in the letter to the Hebrews:

    Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. —Hebrews 4:13-16 BSB

    If, then, once we are brought into salvation, it becomes impossible for us to sin— then it makes little sense that we be provided the High Priest we have in Jesus the Christ. To the contrary when we do sin, we have a High Priest who is able to sympathize with us in our weakness, and in that role of High Priest, he mediates before the Father in our behalf.

    As I understand it, it is willful or deliberate sin which is at issue and which can remove one from salvation. The apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians:

    "Having lost all sense of shame, they have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity, with a craving for more." —Ephesians 4:19 BSB

    I especially like this translation:

    "Those who have cut off their hope and handed themselves over to lewdness and to the cultivation of every impurity in their lust." —Ephesians 4:19 Aramaic Bible in Plain English

    The apostle Paul makes perhaps the strongest, most overt counsel on this subject, in my opinion, when he wrote:

    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images of mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity for the dishonoring of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is forever worthy of praise! Amen. For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. Likewise, the men abandoned natural relations with women and burned with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, He gave them up to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful. They invent new forms of evil; they disobey their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, merciless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things are worthy of death, they not only continue to do these things, but also approve of those who practice them. — Romans 1:20-32 BSB

    These would fall within the same group as the hypocritical men feigning righteousness before men whom Jesus said were "having their reward," I am inclined to think. (Matthew 6:5). When we look around us, there are certainly those who are as above-described by Paul as having witnessed in his day, especially in the Roman empire. More often than not, we were counted among them at some point in our life. Paul admitted of himself as much! (1 Timothy 1:15)

    In his letter to the believers in around and Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote:

    Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. — 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 BSB

    These ones are having their reward even as we await and endure and persevere toward ours, I must conclude.

    Living life to the full insofar as the world can offer, before they die and are forgotten even by God Himself. It's one thing to die, and a whole other matter to cease to exist— when we are forgotten even by our Creator.

    One final thought and I'll hit the "Post Reply" button...

    The parable of the Sower surely deserves consideration here for its teaching how various people respond to the good news, or gospel, admonishing believers specifically because of the different situations in which we can find ourselves which can weigh us down and steal our joy and, ultimately, cause us to fall away and return to the worldly life we had before. At that point, there remains no further sacrifice to cover the willful sinner— for what more can God sacrifice that we might be redeemed and to have what Adam lost for us, than His Own son?!

    Apologies for the ramblings,
    Timothy
     
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    100% brother...

    The confirmation bias people display in such matters can be a detriment to fellow Christians. When pastors preach once saved, always saved, there is no doubt a percentage of people will take that as a ticket to sin, regardless of your admonishment. It really takes away the severity of sin, IMO. And this is exactly how the enemy wants it...

    The entire notion has so many holes; it amazes me that so many are blinded by it. However, as Paul reminds us, we too were blind in our own times as well. We are all traversing the mountain of God with the peak in sight and all on varying paths. May Jehovah allow us a continued path up that mountain through the grace of our Lord Christ Jesus.

    Let's stick together brother, the enemy's arrows are numerous.
     
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