Posts Tagged ‘elected’

Help, Did I Just Lose My Eternal Security Again???

May 4, 2015

Many Christians aren’t sure whether a saved person can be lost again or whether once saved they are eternally saved.  If a believer is unsettled on this crucial truth, doubts/fears/insecurity are bound to thrive. In place of truth, the devil continually presents wrong teachings, doubts and false reasonings. In the Garden of Eden he pulled those strings suggesting, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1).  And the distortion of the clear Word of God has been with us ever since.  The Holy Spirit calls for simple faith in the Word of God. Joy comes by accepting what God has told us plainly in His Word, rather than by allowing our confidence to be confused/stolen by a verse that is difficult to understand.  The first principle of interpreting Scripture is this: If there are passages that might seem to suggest Christian might lose their salvation, there are many others which with crystal clarity clearly state that we have genuine eternal security in Christ.  A second principle which follows is the always seek to read the Word of God from God’s perspective rather than bringing the fallen wisdom and flawed philosophies and reasonings of sinful man.  So when it comes to salvation, people who are reading the Bible from man’s point of view are coming to God’s Word with the view that salvation is up to us – when the Bible says salvation is up to God.  The Bible says that God predestined us, foreknew us, called us, chose us, elected us, appointed us.  Don’t dismiss the sovereign role of God in salvation.

The question is do we hold on to our salvation?  Or is it eternally held?  If our salvation depends on your “holding on,” then we should MORE than doubt our eternal security.  Because our salvation is up to us.  Rather, God’s Word says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).  It asks, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).  We are told that “Salvation comes from the LORD” (Jonah 2:9) rather than from us or anything we can do.  The New Living Translation for that verse is even clearer on this point: “For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 argues, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  And we’re assured, “if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Tim 2:13).  If you want to hold on to your salvation and make it all about you and what you can do for yourself, even by making it all about YOUR faith rather than GOD’S work, well, you go ahead.  As for me, I’m counting upon God to hold it for me.

Many want to claim that if we can choose to be saved, well, surely we can choose to be UNsaved.  But without bothering to venture into the debate between Armenians and Calvinists (I am actually a Molinist who upholds both human free will AND God’s absolute sovereignty), let me show how that is a false dilemma.  When a Christian freely confesses Jesus as Christ and Lord, that Christian freely makes Christ the Master of his/her life.  The last sentence in 1 Corinthians 6:19 reads, “You are not your own.”  And the first sentence of 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “You were bought at a price.”  If you confessed Christ as Lord, you freely chose with your own free will to make yourself what the Bible calls a “bondslave” of Jesus Christ and of God (e.g. Eph 4:12; 1 Pet 2:16).  If you’ve made yourself God’s slave, you can’t decide you get to go free; because that decision is not UP to you, but to your Master.  And Jesus says He doesn’t let anyone out of His hand (John 10:28).  You used your free will to make yourself His, to give your soul to Him.  Which is to say you  ALREADY exercised your free will.  And it is not the kind of decision you can unmake/undecided any more than you can decide to commit suicide by jumping out of a high flying airplane without a parachute and then “undecided” to re-exercise your free will as you are hurtling toward the ground.  In that example, you exercised your free will in a one-time decision to choose death; if you confess Christ as Lord, you used your free will in a one-time decision to choose life.  And you can’t take that choice back.

If we can lose our salvation, there would have to be THREE classes of people: the saved, the unsaved, and the ones who used to be saved but lost their salvation.  There would be the (saved) sheep, the (unsaved) goats, and the sheep-goats.  And those who were elected/appointed/predestined/called to be SAVED by God (e.g. Acts 13:48; Rom 8:27-30; 9:11,16,23-24; Eph 1:4-6, etc.), were thus  subsequently RE-elected/RE-appointed/RE-destined/RE-called to be UNsaved by the God of salvation.  I don’t see that in God’s Word.  I don’t see God appointing someone to eternal life and then re-appointing that same individual to eternal death after He had appointed him/her to eternal life.  Colossians 1:13 says “For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves”; it does NOT say that God does the opposite and transfers believers back into the dominion of darkness.  See John 5:24 (“whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life”); see 1 John 3:14 (“We know that we have passed from death to life”).  Show me ONE passage that clearly states that process EVER works the other direction.

Jesus provides a powerful assurance to His sheep: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow Me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will 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.  I and the Father are one” (John 10:27-30).  First of all, just how can life be “eternal” if it can be changed to eternal death?   And second, if salvation comes from the LORD alone, and if no one is able to snatch us out of God’s hand, well, what’s the question again about losing your eternal salvation?

Those verses beg one question: how can you have “eternal life” and lose it?  Doesn’t “eternal life” by its very definition mean that you can never die and that you will live forever?  If I can have eternal life today and lose it tomorrow, I don’t have eternal life today and frankly can’t ever have it because “eternal life” becomes like a “square circle” and doesn’t even make any sense.  It is non sequitur to “lose your eternal life.”  If you have “eternal life” it can NEVER be lost or it wouldn’t be very “eternal.”

As sheep, our security is the responsibility of our Shepherd (1 Pet. 2:25) as “the Overseer/Guardian of our souls.”  The Bible repeatedly points out the fact that it is the NATURE of sheep to wander/stray (Isaiah 53:6).  And what does God DO when His sheep wander?  See Matt 18:12.  We “are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed” (1 Peter 1:5).

Are there passages that give us reason to believe that not everyone who says they’re Christians are actually Christians?  Yes.  Jesus taught the parable of the sower (Matt 13:3-8): there was seed that was sowed on the road, and the birds came and ate it up; there was seed that fell on rocky places and seemed to spring up, but having no true root, withered; there was seed sown among the thorns and again the lack of true roots choked out the shoots; and then there was the seed that was sown on good soil that sprang up with real roots and yielded a crop.  But what Jesus does NOT say is that the seed that is sown on good soil with real roots will perish!  Hebrews 6:4-7 is a favorite passage that people who teach “eternal INsecurity” rely upon.  But they are WRONG for TWO reasons: 1) the passage doesn’t merely suggest – on their own reading – that you can lose your salvation; because on that view it flat out states that “it is IMPOSSIBLE to renew them again to repentance” (vs 6).  So if you think you’ve lost your salvation, don’t bother trying to get it back again.  And 2) while there is suggestive language used “enlightened,” “tasted,” “partakers,” the word “saved” or “salvation” is NOT used of them and in fact is CONTRASTED to them in verse 9 (“But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation”).  I submit to you that this passage is describing an individual who has “tasted” but not “eaten” the Bread of Life.  They have been around it; they have been surrounded by it – but they simply never made that true decision for Jesus.  Franklin Graham was surrounded/immersed with Jesus; he saw all kind of miracles.  But he wasn’t saved until he made his own decision at age 22.  And many others so surrounded by faith never make that decision of faith for themselves.  And so they end up having “fallen away” the same way that the seed in Jesus’ parable lacking the true root ends up dying.

[For the record, many exegetes believe Hebrews 6 refers to Jews who had professed faith in Christ, but when persecution against Christians came, forsook Christ and returned to their Judaism and began offering animal sacrifices again – tantamount to profaning the blood of Christ (Heb 10:2-3)].

I think 1 John 2:19 sums it up best: “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.”  There are pseudo-Christians to whom Jesus will say, “I never knew you” (Matt. 7:21-23).  The point here is that they were NEVER known; that is, they were never saved even if they appeared from the human perspective to be saved.  Jesus is most certainly NOT saying, “I used to know you, but you lost your salvation and now I don’t know you any more.”  He’s saying He NEVER knew them at all.  By contrast, Jesus says “I know My sheep” (John 10:27).  And Jesus says that His sheep will “never perish but have eternal life.” (John 10:28).  How can eternal life be eternal if it can be lost, particularly when Jesus said they will never perish?  If they will never perish, then they obviously can’t lose their salvation.  Also, Paul says that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-39).  Read the Bible from The Author’s Point of view; you can’t consider the divine perspective and doubt that salvation is eternal and secure.

In terms of eternal life truly being eternal and salvation truly being of the LORD, I love this passage which provides a powerful guarantee that God will keep them despite their tendency to sin/stray: “But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.’  Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me” (Isaiah 49:14-16).  And Christians have a pair of nail-scarred hands – with those nails being driven into His hands WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS (Rom 5:8) AND ENEMIES OF GOD (Rom 5:10) – that guarantee us that our salvation is secure as long as Jesus bears the nail-engraved scars on His hands (Luke 24:39; John 20:27; Rev 5:6).  We are saved as long as Christ is alive, because Heb 7:25 states: “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”

Are there passages that suggest to us that we if we are living just like the world, that we might still BE of the world?  Yes.  People want to say if you deny Christ, you can lose your salvation, for example.  But, for all of Peter’s denials of Jesus, Jesus didn’t say to Him, “You lost your salvation.”  Jesus restored Peter.  And as to my relationship, having been born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13), I am a child of God (Rom 8:16), I have eternal life (John 3:16), I am “in Christ” and a member of His body (1 Cor. 12:13). I am no longer in Adam, but a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).  And so are YOU if you EVER truly knew Jesus.

Some of the passages that emphasize eternal security for believers:

  • John 6:39: “And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day.”
  • John 6:40: “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
  • 2 Tim. 1:12: “…I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”
  • Rom 5:10: “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!”
  • Jer 21:23: …“I have loved you with an everlasting love…”
  • Rom 8:30: “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
  • 2 Tim 1:9: “He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.”
  • John 1:12-13: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
  • 1 John 3:2: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
  • John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
  • 2 Cor 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
  • Colossians 3:3: “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”

If you are what is commonly described as “a backslidden Christian,” there is a high price that you will pay in this life until you are truly right with God.  You will suffer hardships in this life that you may not have suffered and you will miss out on rewards in heaven that you could have received while you were backslidden.  But you will NOT pay the ultimate penalty of hell.  Because when you confessed Christ as your Savior and Lord, He took ALL of your sins upon Himself once for all and for all time.  Let me try to explain in my own story.

My testimony: I became a Christian at age 15 on September 25, 1979 at Forest Home, when I went with my high school youth group.  I’d grown up in church, but had never truly experienced God (He was an old man with a big white beard in a bathrobe who saw everything I did – and disapproved) or Jesus (He was a wimpy guy carrying around a wimpy sheep) as something I wanted in my life.  At Forest Home, I first encountered Jesus as someone powerful who I truly wanted to follow.  I prayed to open my heart to Christ that day.

I came home changed.  My two best friends ultimately became Christians because of my transformation.  One is a Wycliffe missionary and the other became a pastor.

I entered the military.  But I ended up like too many young men end up today, wounded and  injured.  And the experience broke me both in body and in faith.  I simply could not understand why God had allowed me to get hurt.  And when I cried out to God, He did not seem to come to my rescue.  I came out of the Army bitter and questioning.  What good is God?  Is He even real?  And I lived for a number of years like a pagan.

Because I truly had been saved, I knew deep down that I wasn’t living rightly.  The backslidden Christian is the most miserable creature on earth, because on the one hand he/she doesn’t have the power to live a joyful and triumphant life pleasing to God and on the other hand as one who has the Holy Spirit within he/she can’t take true pleasure in sin the way unbelievers can.  You can sin, but there is a nagging sense that you are doing wrong.  In my heart, I knew where I needed to be.  I claimed to doubt God, but whenever I was in a tight spot, I prayed.  More than once, I had the realization that God would not let me die like this.

That said, I wasn’t going to church and I sure wasn’t living as a Christian.

I knew already in my heart that if there was no God, then there was no morality.  As Dostoevsky put it, “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” And that if Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler had the same end, morality is for fools and everyone should be as wicked and selfish as the slogan “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” entails.  But I knew deep-down that wasn’t true.  I knew right from wrong because the Holy Spirit lived in me.  And it was because the Holy Spirit lived inside me that the entire time I was rebelling against God, I was miserable.  I couldn’t enjoy the immorality that the world could wallow in.  Deep down I always knew that I was on the wrong path.  At the same time, I couldn’t enjoy my experience with God because I constantly knew that I was not pleasing Him.  I was stuck in the middle of the road in a deep rut.

It took years for me to reach the end of myself and finally come to the point where my resistance to God had softened such that I could miss the relationship that I had once truly had.  But I had to know for sure that my faith was in something/Someone REAL.  I began to search.

I first considered evolution, because if evolution was true there was no need for God and frankly no point IN God.  I read Richard Dawkins’ Blind Watchmaker and was actually more convinced of the reality of God when I put it down than I’d been when I’d started reading it.  I was appalled by the foolish reasoning and by the trivial dismissals of arguments that deserved profound exploration.  I read another book called Darwin’s Enigma by Luther Sunderland and was amazed at how bad the arguments for evolution truly are even according to many leading evolutionists.  But it took my examination of the historicity of the Resurrection and the marvel of prophecy to make me realize: it really happened.  On January 30, 1997, I prayed a prayer of re-dedication.  And I had an experience of a Presence just barely within my peripheral vision.  The passage, “And you will hear a voice behind you…” immediately flooded into my mind, and I wept like a baby as I realized that I had turned my back on Jesus, but that He had NEVER turned His back on me.

Did I lose my salvation and find it again?  No.  Like Peter, I had been sifted like wheat.  And I had folded like a cheap suit.  But like Jesus said, I was in His hand, and He wasn’t going to let go of me.  No matter how lost I felt, Jesus knew exactly where I was every second of every day.  And He never gave up on me, never quit working in my mind and in my heart.  Because as God says in His Word, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb 13:5).  And He won’t.  That is a promise from God.

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If You Like ANY Of The Rights The Bill Of Rights Affirmed, You’d Better LOVE The 2nd Amendment’s Right To Keep And Bear Arms Without Infringement

February 4, 2013

Let’s take a quick look at the Bill of Rights.

Here’s a few things that stand out: the most important ones mention the rights of “the people.”

4th Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated

2nd Amendment: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

And you see, the same liberal big government worshipers who feel like they are justified in infringing on a right that shall not be infringed will ultimately feel every scintilla as justified in violating rights that shall not be violated.

Maybe a liberal wouldn’t mind explaining to me why “the right to vote” means not having to show ID when the right to keep and bear arms without being infringed upon somehow necessitates not only an ID but background checks up the whazoo.  Their argument might amount to “the right to vote never killed anybody.”  And I’m saying, SERIOUSLY?!?!?  Dude, the Nazi Party in Germany was ELECTED.  We watched several years back as the Palestinian Liberation Organization – a murderous terrorist organization – was ELECTED.  We just watched as the Muslim Brotherhood – a murderous terrorist organization – was ELECTED in Egypt.  And that organization just imposed fascist sharia law over the nation’s constitution by fiat almost immediately afterward.

The right to vote is FAR more dangerous than the right for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.  And you are a moral idiot to the extreme not to understand that.

Moral idiots are far worse and far more dangerous than intellectual idiots.  Because moral idiots are people with dishonest minds and dishonest minds prefer lies to the truth.  Moral idiots such as those who run our culture today devote their intelligence to advancing lies.  And they are the first to justify extreme policies with the notion that the ends justify the means.

Let me point out that the very biggest moral idiots of all are the so-called “intellectuals” who dominate our universities and our political think tanks.  Thomas Sowell interacted with George Orwell to produce this gem:

“George Orwell said that some ideas are so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them, for no ordinary man could be such a fool. The record of twentieth century intellectuals was especially appalling in this regard. Scarcely a mass-murdering dictator of the twentieth century was without his intellectual supporters, not simply  in his own country, but also in foreign democracies, where people  were free to say whatever they wished.  Lenin, Stalin, Mao and  Hitler all had their admirers, defenders, and apologists among the  intelligentsia in Western democratic nations, despite the fact that  these dictators ended up killing people of their own country on a  scale unprecedented even by despotic regimes that preceded them” – Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p. 2.

And a lot of the people who are such beyond-belief fools are the very same people who continue to be for banning guns “despite the fact that  these dictators ended up killing people of their own country on a  scale unprecedented even by despotic regimes that preceded them.”  They are consistent only in that they are so consistently morally stupid.

The nature of the big government socialist left was, is and will always be fascism.  And the nature of fascism has always been to deprive human dignity and freedom – starting with the right to self-defense.

Because herd animals shouldn’t have a right to defend themselves.  We don’t want our hamburgers getting guns any more than fascists want their people to resist their policies (such as Hitler’s Final Solution, such as Stalin’s Collectivization, such as Mao’s Great Leap Forward).

Which is why they’re going after our guns first just like Hitler and Stalin and Mao and Castro and Pol Pot and Kim Il-sung did before they brought the Horror against unarmed and defenseless people.  Considerably more than 100 million people were brutally murdered by leftist big government dictatorships during peacetime alone.  And the one thing all these governmental philosophies had in common besides big government totalitarian control was the initial disarming of the people they were about to impose horror against.  This is a fact of history.

What has the left done with the 2nd Amendment?  First of all, they have defined the right as belonging only to a militia.  Okay.  Then the 4th Amendment (and other important amendments such as the First Amendment) needs to be only for militias, because the same amendment which says the right of the people to bear arms says the right of the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.  And if “the people” in the 2nd Amendment refers only to “militia,” then ALL of the rights accorded to the people only pertain for those belonging to a militia.  Because a right recognized for “the people” either applies to “the people” or it doesn’t.  And which is it?  Which do you want?  “The people” either refers to a militia or to the actual “people.”  Just because the right to arms are also granted to well-organized militias does not in any way, shape or form abrogate the right of “the people” to keep and bear arms any more than the mention of the right of the press somehow abrogates the right of the people to freedom of speech and to peaceable assembly as guaranteed in the First Amendment.

They also try to limit the 2nd Amendment by asserting that it somehow only allows for hunting.  Why shouldn’t we have a right to the frankly dishonestly named “assault weapons”?  Because you don’t need thirty bullets, or even ten, to shoot a deer, we’re told.  That is absolutely absurd.  The founding father’s writings are jam-packed LOADED with their clearly expressed view that the ultimate purpose of an armed citizenry was to serve as a safeguard against a tyrant government along with serving as a means for a free people to defend their homes, their property and their persons.  Lastly, they have infringed ALL OVER the 2nd Amendment guarantee while dishonestly saying they’re not infringing on anybody’s rights.

Fascism and government tyranny has started with the confiscation of guns from the people, to disarm them in order to control them.  Big government is ALWAYS about controlling people.

If you value ANY of the other rights of the Bill of Rights, then you’d damned well better protect the 2nd Amendment.

I keep telling anyone who will read me, over and over again: the beast is coming.  And he most certainly is.  And soon.

The thing you need to realize is that by the time he gets here, the Democrat Party will have given the once-great and mighty United States of America into his hands by disarming the people.  And it will be Democrats who worship this ultimate big government leader and take his mark on their foreheads or their right hands as a sign of that worship.

We just went through a disgusting act of propaganda via incredibly deceitful editing of video by the leftwing MSNBC.  Neil Heslin – the father of a slain Sandy Hook shooting victim – said, “I ask if there’s anybody in this room that can give me one reason or challenge this question … why anybody in this room needs to have one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips.”  And then he categorically stated, “Not one person can answer that question.”

Yeah, Neil.  We CAN answer that question.  We have a right to be able to protect ourselves with the same sorts of weapons that either predatory criminals or an even more predatory criminal thug government possess.  Our founding fathers gave us that right, and our ancestors died to preserve that right for us.  Here’s a question for YOU, though: can you answer to the hundreds of millions of families who saw their governments brutally murder their parents, their children, their brothers and sisters, their grandparents, their cousins, etc. etc., just why it was that they didn’t deserve the right to be able to defend themselves???  Can you explain why you believe government ought to have the right to slaughter us like farm animals by the hundreds of millions???

That’s my question.

Consider smoking.  First the left forced restaurants to divide their buildings, airplanes, etc. into smoking and non-smoking sections.  But the nature of the left is to keep taking, keep building more regulations with more penalites.  Now you can’t smoke at all in any government place – whether the owner of that place likes it or not – and many people are not lawbreakers even for smoking in their own homes.  If that isn’t bad enough, you’ve got liberals saying that now that the left has taken over and socialized health care, it is too expensive to give the smokers the Medicare and health services they paid into.  And so they should die.  And I mean literally be killed by denial of medical treatment.

You’re only one government regulation away from being treated like Hitler treated the Jews or Stalin treated the Ukrainians or Mao treated, well, pretty much all of his people.