Once saved always saved? / Is eternal security biblical? / Can a Christian lose salvation?
Jesus spoke many times concerning people who say they are followers of his who were not. Some said they healed the sick, cast out demons, etc' in Jesus' name and Jesus said "Get behind me, I have never known you.
Just my opinion, and I could be wrong, but I think it might have been one of these that said "Once saved-always saved"
It is understood that Mankind has free will.
Does this freewill not include choice concerning salvation?
I kinda think that salvation includes everyone.
It is written that God gives faith to those that he chooses.
Does this mean those that God chooses not to give the gift of faith doesn't receive salvation?
I think that God has giver everyone a job to do, even those that were not given the gift of faith. This would mean that even the unbelieving are doing the work they were given to do.
Do those people loose out on salvation because they were doing the best that they can with what they were given.
These are just questions and NOT statements presented as fact.
if a person salvation is to be proven or disproven by a standard that brought about by men among men, then that one have have not yet seen eternal life... there is not position to lose what he never had......
They can't lose it. They can give it up willingly if they so choose to.
Brenda what if they sin against the Holy Spirit?
Personally, I think that they'd have willingly hardened their hearts by that time, else they wouldn't have the audacity to sin against the Spirit; so they've basically doomed themselves by that time...
But one should search the Scriptures on that.
Matthew 13: 31 & 32 says
"....All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."
Of course now we come to the question of what exactly constitutes blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? Just the act of "speaking against" Him, as it seems to say, even if a person spoke in the heat of the moment and then changed their mind? Or is it meaning that one's heart is so cold against the Spirit that they have no shame about their sin and deliberately have vowed to close their hearts and minds?
Brenda that was my point. The Question or Topic is, "Can a Christian Lose Salvation" My point is that if a Christian let's say for the sake of argument is so depressed, that they rebuke or sin against the Holy Spirit, they could lose salvation, could being the operative word here as only God can judge the sinner and their intent.
Yes, I think willingly hardened one's heart = sinning against the Holy Spirit
Could be. I know the Bible says seek Him while He may be found. Maybe that's what is meant when the Bible says His mercy endures forever?.... He will always be there to answer us if our hearts are truly repentant, but if He knows we're gonna keep denying Him, He hides himself?
Brenda: God nor Jesus would ever hide Himself from anyperson repentant or not, because He would not wish to be unseen or unavailable just incase they changed their minds.
He did (or threatened to anyway) in Micah 3. ... to the leaders of Israel who hated the good, and loved the evil and made His people err.
"Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings."
Psalm 45: 15 also says He hides Himself (from those who are against His people).
The Bible also says seek Him while He may be found. I dunno if that means while we're alive (since that's the only time we have hope of salvation), or if it means He will turn us away after He's been striving time after time after time with our spirits and we've denied Him. It says His Spirit will not always strive with mankind. Same question there. I don know I wouldn't want to take that chance.
Brenda, good point, so those would then correlate. Yes, and then what I see in the book of Revelation is that there are still last chances given for the wicked to repent, if they only would and be saved. So even to the hard of heart God keeps trying to 'knock' to see if per chance there is one remaining soft spot in a hardening heart that will open the door to him.
Can a Christian lose salvation?
It is written in OUR bible that salvation is gained through faith. It is also written that God gives faith to those that he chooses. Sooo ... having faith is not a choice.
It doesn't say that God asks anyone if they want to have faith. Sooo it would seem that if God wants someone to have it, they are going to get it whether they want to have it or not! Don't know! whatcha think?
What is salvation? Is it the opportunity to be pulled up out of a bad predicament, or is it the act of being pulled up?
It is also written that God has dealt to every many a measure of faith.
Howdy Mr Sir Dent
I have not read that. I am curious as to where it is written. I know that is unfair sinse I am unable to recall chapter and verse on most occasions.
Not that I doubt this .. would just like to read it.
Rom_12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
I can't see why being a Christian would lead anyone to salvation. Are we to believe that an evil Christian, who kills in the name of their God is more entitled to salvation than a loving atheist, who does good for their fellow man or woman?
God says clearly he desire above all else, mercy... and that love is the greatest of all things.
I am a believer that a loving Atheist will be shown where he is wrong and given the opportunitty to learn. Especially in this age of confabulatted doctrines and false teachers.
The above site answers your question really well.
Can a Christian lose salvation?
Those Christians who believe that Jesus died on the Cross do lose salvation; as Jesus did not die on the Cross and salvation does not depend on this doctrine invented by Curch.
John 10:28-29 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."
When Jesus says no man can pluck them out of my hand, He means no man including yourself.
Romans 8:38-39 "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
"Nor any other creature..." again reemphasizes the fact that noone or nothing can ever remove us from what God has extended to us once we receive it.
Regarding the blashpeming of the Holy Spirit, I think the best question to ask is, Can someone who is genuinely saved blasheme the Holy Spirit? I dont believe so. I believe this is someone who has hardened themselves beyond the point of repentance to the length they will never accept Christ as being the Son of God. Most theologians agree and add that anyone who would attribute the works of God to Satanic influence would fall into this category. I think it would be safe to say these would not be saved individuals.
GrowingDeeper, then how would you explain James 5:19-20? If someone can stray from the truth and be turned back to it, then he or she must have initially held to the truth to begin with, right?
I even know someone who was a Christian who witnessed for Christ then turned atheist and now attacks Christians publicly with there-is-no-God arguments.
Ms Dee, I have looked at that passage. At first glance, it appears to totally contradict the verses that assure eternal life. But, I have attempted to study it out and went back and rechecked some things. Here is what appears to be the conclusion: James uses the word brethern which we almost always assume means the church. But, James was the first book written in the NT. He was talking to His Jewish "brethern" as in sharing a common nationality. These Jews were known to "err from the truth" by not relying on legalism according to tradition. The word sinners there is the same word Jews would refer to the gentiles or heathen by. He is not talking to saved Jews to convert those Jews who have heard and known sound doctrine by do not live by it. In other words, they are still lost. To know doctrine, to hear truth preached does not necessarily mean one has put faith in it. The whole book of James is to the "12 tribes scattered abroad" (James 1:2) whom he calls brethern. It is also a lithmus test to see try ones faith against and see if you're faith measures up with TRUE faith in God.
And, just because someone claims Christianity never makes them a Christian. There are many preachers who aren't blood bought Christians yet they profess the name of Christ. The Bible says even Satan believes and trembles, and that he can appear as an angel of light and his demons as ministers of righteousness. So, your Atheist friend probably proclaimed the name of Jesus but never really put his full trust in Him no matter what his words or even actions spoke. An unrighteous person can perform deeds and have a form of godliness but still deny the power thereof. Hope it makes sense. And, just to make it clear, this is not just my opinion. I have studied, researched, asked other, etc. And, not just for a one sided argument. I would rather be right by God's Word than my opinion or belief.
He was talking to His Jewish "brethern" as in sharing a common nationality. These Jews were known to "err from the truth" by not relying on legalism according to tradition.
This should read by relying on legalism. Paul rebukes this teaching in Galatians and even talks about "false brethern" who teach a perverted gospel in an attempt to get people to "err from the truth".
Note Galatians 3:1 among others but Paul says they were tricked into not obeying the truth. Very similar arguments.
Paul in Galatians is saying they have been tricked, yes, but into thinking they received God's Spirit by legalism--obeying the law of Moses--rather than by Jesus' death for them. Whereas, James is coming at it from the other direction. His main point is to show your faith to be practical. Faith without good works can call into question whether the person is truly one of God's people. Genuine faith in Christ would show itself with good fruit or behavior, or repentance towards good behavior. Thus, I remain puzzled by one who once showed this good fruit but now has left the faith in Christ.
I'm so glad to see this response from you, GrowingDeeper! Interesting to hear what you have found, looking into these final verses in James. I had forgotten that considering these verses being written to Jewish Christians could change their intent. The main commentary I have followed says this about who James is writing to in 1:1 - "It is possible that the reference is to Jewish Christians, but more likely it is to be taken figuratively as a description of the Christians, the new people of God who constitute the new Israel." On the other hand, "With the concern that James has about right living, truth here has to do with truthfulness in Christian conduct, not the correctness of Christian belief. The focus is more moral than intellectual." So this argues for straying in terms of Christian behavior more than Christian faith. However, then when looking at 'death' in v20, it sways the argument the other way. "There is a question as to whose soul is meant by his soul. Is it the person who has sinned? Or is it the person who has turned the sinner back? The text can be understood either way. But it seems clear that the soul that has been saved from death is the soul of the one who has sinned and then come back." So then it seems to talk about rescuing someone from eternal death, rather than only un-Christian behavior. Ugh!
It is a tricky passage on several levels. This is another reason we must take the totality of Scripture to interpret Scripture and create sound doctrine and not just one verse. We can create contradictions that simply are formed from our misunderstanding one verse out of context with the whole theme of Scripture on a given topic.
And, not being offensive, but one problem with that commentary (from my perspective on a surface level only having what you have posted) is it seems to be taking an approach to the verse from a replacement theological perspective. If you aren't familiar, it is where people believe the church replaces the Jews as God's "new Israel". We have not replaced them. This is a discussion not to take up here, but just something I noticed because it would skew the perspective on the whole Epistle of James
This is an interesting point you make. Yes, it does seem to suggest replacement theological perspective. I do actually lean towards that, myself--though not totally.
Ms. Dee Check out hebrew4christians.com i believe it is. You can Google it and make sure. But, they have a very well written piece on the subject of the church and national Israel. Much better explanation than I could begin to give. And, since James specifically says, to the 12 tribes. I really believe this is a key to helping us understand the context of the epistle being to his Jewish brethern. Not saying there isn't application to all who are saved, but this specifically was directed to Jewish believers in a certain time period who were dealing with heresy being taught by false teachers. Of course, it still happens today.
For example, if you are truly saved and you know someone who goes to a "church" (or is even in your own church but has believed misguided teachings) that teaches enough Bible to sound believable, but teaches erroneous doctrines about salvation and you were able to expound the Scripture to him and lead them to Christ, you would convert the sinner. They would have erred or deviated from the TRUTH. The True Gospel.
Also, consider James says the sinner. I am not familiar with a Christian ever being called such in Scripture. One last point, Jesus taught that there will be tares among the wheat even until His return when He will separate them. There is much false doctrine being taught, and we who have the Truth should be patient, apt to teach those who have a perverted gospel based on anything other than the Salvation by faith in the atoning and redeeming sacrifice of Christ bloodshed on the Cross. I believe this is at the heart of these last two verses in James. Needless to say, others will have their thoughts and may express them more eloquently, but Id rather be wrong than do an injustice to the Scripture as God meant it. I believe I can with a clear conscience say this is what the Lord meant.
Now this is coming pretty close to some things which I have been saying.
Thank you so much for this reference, GrowingDeeper! I will definitely go check it out.
True, I can't think of an already converted sinner being referred to as 'sinner' again in Scripture.
Yes, it is appallingly overwhelming how much false doctrine is out there! Amen, nothing but Christ crucified and resurrected to God's right hand.
I very much appreciate your taking the time to dialogue with me on these verses I have long puzzled over. I will try to apply the angle on them you suggest here and think through it again.
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