written: Thursday, September 27, 2007
My two cents for free!
Current mood: thankful
Category: Religion and Philosophy
During our ministry time the other day at church, there was a pretty heated debate about the idea, “eternal security” or “once saved, always saved,” which basically means that
once a person accepts Christ as their personal Savior, meaning that
1.) they believe that he is the one and only way to heaven,
2.) they live their life believing and furthering the fact that He sacrificed His life for their personal sin,
3.) and they grow in wanting to know His heart and follow His will for their life
–once they believe and live out these principles, there is no way they can lose eternal life, or their salvation.
For those of you who are perplexed because you’ve never heard anyone argue against the security of your faith in Christ, there is a belief, which is commonly associated with Pentacostal doctrine, that a person can “fall from Grace,” or, in other words, lose your salvation (that the Word of God promises is eternal, as long as one believes in Him.)
(You can obviously tell my stance…i would say “my opinion,” but the Bible states clearly that you cannot lose salvation, and I would gladly be lukewarm on the issue if I didn’t believe it is evident in the Word.)
I won’t get into the argument yesterday, because I did a poor job of keeping emotions under wraps enough to express my point clearly and effectively. I used too many personal examples and opinions instead of focusing on what God clearly states in the Bible.
1: No, i am not regurgitating Baptist doctrine: I am regurgitating my studies of the Word of God, and my interest is based on nothing but curiousity. I don’t think you can say a prayer and live however you want to. I believe salvation is the very act of believing in the Lord and what He has done and is doing in your heart and in this world, and when you believe that, there is evident change in your life–because how couldn’t there be, when you are aiming to be a representation of He who perfectly walked this earth, wholly man and wholly God?
2: Yes, I KNOW being saved is a relationship between you and God. Like I said, Salvation is the very act of believing in the Lord. People draw illustrations and say when sin breaks the line, you have lost your salvation. Well, where is that line? No, I won’t just know–because that isn’t Biblical. There is no such “line,” just like the Bible doesn’t mention an Age of Accountability, so I don’t know how old a kid has to be to be responsible for his salvation. But many Christians hold some made-up idea with age 5 or 7 (Well, how do you know? “I just know.” WRONG.) The Bible doesn’t say it, therefore, it’s just speculation
3: It isn’t my place to judge situations in which people die in sin. It isn’t my place to judge peoples’ hearts as being saved or unsaved. As long as you live believing in Jesus Christ, you are SAVED through His perfect sacrifice. It’s no more complicated than that.
I am merely saying that
the one and only Lord Jesus promises me eternal life, and when you say I can LOSE that eternal life–well, then that eternal life isn’t very eternal then, is it?
And not to mention the fact that I didn’t do anything to derseve it anyway, so what can I do to lose it?
And if I didn’t deserve it, then I sure didn’t earn it, so what sin could earn me “falling from Grace”?
Oh, and doesn’t the Bible happen to mention that all sins are seen as equal in the eyes of the Lord?
So, if you proclaim to be a Christian, yet you are a hopeless gossip your whole life, and you die gossiping–and you KNOW you are living in that sin–will you go to Hell? Will you burn right beside Ted Bundy who murdered countless women? You say, “Erin, now that’s a little extreme. I mean, everyone gossips”
WELL, PEOPLE, EVERYONE SINS CONSTANTLY–THROUGHOUT THE DAY!
And if all sin is equal like the Bible says, and you happen to believe that living in continuous sin will make you “fall from grace,” then, to me, that is what you seem to be saying.
The above idea seems to create a pretty exclusive, unattainable heaven when in the Bible, God is explained as the God who loves all mankind and wants to see them all saved. It seems like a fearful life of being scared to do anything for fear of losing the gift God gave you unconditionally.
The following is an example of what He didn’t say in John 3:16, a common Bible verse (I added the content in brackets to show an exaggerated form of the “falling from grace” idea),
“For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him” [and doesn’t commit more than forty sins in a day or live in sin for more than two weeks] “shall not perish and have everlasting” [as long as you don’t break “the sin line” which is up to you to figure out where that is, so long as you know that the everlasting part is conditional upon your actions, minimizing the sacrifice of the most perfect Jesus on the cross] “life.”
NO, it says, “whosoever believes in HIM shall not perish and have everlasting life,” meaning there are no other conditions God thinks important enough to add in to qualify you for life eternal.
He didn’t say you will have it as long as you’re pretty much sin-free.
Why do people make God so difficult?
If he wanted you to know you could lose your salvation, He’d make it clear in the Bible. If He wanted you to know your salvation was secure for eternity, He would say so in the Bible–OH WAIT, HE DOES!
So, it’s not much of a debate anymore to me.
No, it isn’t an essential truth in order to get into heaven.
But it is a pretty exhausting way to live life if you don’t have to.
And, yes, it is an unarguable Biblical truth. Not taken out of context. Not watered down. Not squeezed or analyzed to make it seem like that’s what it may mean. It’s black and white. Word for word IN THE WORD OF GOD.
(i’d love to hear anyone’s findings in the Bible about this issue. Opinions are ok, too, but, not to be rude, you are wasting your breath if you don’t give me a verse, in context, to back it up. Because if God didn’t say it, or if words are being manipulated, I’m really not interested.)
Currently listening :
In Christ Alone
By Keith & Kristyn Getty
Release date: 28 August, 2007