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 Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?

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maflynn
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PostSubject: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:38 pm

The title says it all?

Most mainstream Protestant denominations say no.
Catholics say yes, i.e., unconfessed mortal sins.
some Pentecostal denominations say yes.

What's your take on it.
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ebuddy
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:13 am

maflynn wrote:
The title says it all?

Most mainstream Protestant denominations say no.
Catholics say yes, i.e., unconfessed mortal sins.
some Pentecostal denominations say yes.

What's your take on it.

This is a tough one. I've never bought off on the "mortal sin" bit because the Bible clearly states the wage of ONE sin is death. There is little to suggest one sin is weightier than another, only how to be saved. With regard to "once saved, always saved" there is Scriptural evidence that; "whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." and "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."

What may be at question here is whether or not you truly believe in Him and as such, included in the above. I say this because Scripture also suggests that upon accepting Jesus as your Savior, your life is anew. Repentance is critical and it is more than saying you're sorry though if you've come to truly hate sin, you likely feel great remorse for your past. We are all sinful, but if you're not growing you're dying IMO. In other words, it may not matter to be concerned about all this as much as continued growth. Seek and ye shall find.

I remember my brother's adult baptism. He came up to me, hair still dripping wet saying; "I don't feel any different. I may have to go under again, I'm not sure it took." Wink
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maflynn
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:32 am

Then there's Philippians 2:12-13
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

If we are saved by grace why do we need to work out our salvation, conversely, if we fail to work out our salvation does that mean we go to Hell. How does grace fit in at that point, since the book of Romans is very clear that it is by grace that we are saved.

I believe we are saved by grace and we cannot lose our salvation but admittedly the wording of the passage can imply works over grace.
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elshaddai
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:46 pm

I always understood Hebrews 6:4-8 to address those who were once Christians and then fell aside to apostasy:

Quote :
4 For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, 5 tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, 6 and who have fallen away, because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt. 7 For ground that has drunk the rain that has often fallen on it, and that produces vegetation useful to those it is cultivated for, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and about to be cursed, and will be burned at the end. (HCSB)

That seems to suggest that if you willfully accept and then reject the gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit, you are doomed like the thorns and thistles.
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:07 pm

i'm never quite sure how to nail this one down.

in order to ever live like a changed christian, i imagine you have to believe and have some assurance that you are a christian.

i think there is assurance of salvation. and I think not visibly walking with the Lord does not negate your acceptance of the gift of the cross. you're missing out on other things, but not eternal life (in my opinion).

but that said, the "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" also seems to have something to say about this. That is, this is THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION you can/will EVER make in your life. If indeed eternal damnation is at stake, then you want to be (pardon the pun) damn sure you're saved.

I disagree with those who say "he's not walking with the Lord anymore, therefore he must never have a been a christian at all," this is no clearer or better than a belief in the possibly of apostacy.

but in my opinion its not all that worth worrying about.
if you're unsure about your salvation, you're probably in trouble anyway. If you're not walking with the Lord, you've got troubles anyway.

say the prayer (rom 10:9), love the Lord, live a life reflecting grace, and then I dont think you have anything to worry about.
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maflynn
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:28 pm

elshaddai wrote:
I always understood Hebrews 6:4-8 to address those who were once Christians and then fell aside to apostasy:

Quote :
4 For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, 5 tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, 6 and who have fallen away, because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt. 7 For ground that has drunk the rain that has often fallen on it, and that produces vegetation useful to those it is cultivated for, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and about to be cursed, and will be burned at the end. (HCSB)

That seems to suggest that if you willfully accept and then reject the gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit, you are doomed like the thorns and thistles.

While I cannot dispute the scripture this passage confuses and concerns me. So in a moment of emotional turmoil, I reject Jesus and God, seemingly walking away from Christianity, then get hit by a bus 5 minutes later. I'm going to hell? What about the Holy Spirit and God's promise never to leave me?

If you can lose your salvation you start focusing on what not to do, instead of what to do and it does become work focused and not grace. I'll be honest though that passage is there and I don't have an answer.
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Nathan
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:06 pm

Quote :
Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?
Yes.

A person must choose to turn to Christ for salvation, he can just as easily turn away. I've met a few people who've made that decision. They were interesting people, but it always makes me sad and depressed to think about them.
No

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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:38 am

Nathan wrote:
Quote :
Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?
Yes.

A person must choose to turn to Christ for salvation, he can just as easily turn away. I've met a few people who've made that decision. They were interesting people, but it always makes me sad and depressed to think about them.
No

Of course it doesn't matter what I believe but I've generally held the position that one cannot because God's grace is sufficient but if I decide to walk away from God, have nothing to do with him for the rest of my life. Why would I want to spend time with him in eternity.

I dunno, there's no easy answer and this subject is such that you can make a case either way.
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Nathan
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:39 am

If man was given the freewill to choose disobedience which lead to our sinful state. Wouldn't it make sense then that the same freewill allows us to choose whether or not to turn to God for our salvation, within the framework which he created for that purpose? I'm not totally committed to this understanding, but I don't have a better way of comprehending things.

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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:57 am

i also think if a person were to consciously choose to no longer believe/accept christ as their savior, then it would be hard to imagine that they're still saved.

someone who chooses to leave the kingdom is probably allowed to leave.

i more think those people who no longer walk with the Lord are probably still saved as long as they dont willfully, consciously choose to stop serving the Lord
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:17 pm

I just had a really interesting conversation with TC about this. Mostly along the lines of the whole Calvinism/Arminianism debate. Pretty crazy stuff, theology.

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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:01 pm

maflynn wrote:
The title says it all?

Most mainstream Protestant denominations say no.
Catholics say yes, i.e., unconfessed mortal sins.
some Pentecostal denominations say yes.

What's your take on it.

Just a quick note. I think passages like John 6:37-40 rule out the chance that a true Christian could ever be lost again. Professing Christians can be lost again, true Christians cannot (Heb 6:4-6, 10:14).

I can expand on those thoughts later. Got to go for now... bounce

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rogermugs
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:49 pm

Martin wrote:

Just a quick note. I think passages like John 6:37-40 rule out the chance that a true Christian could ever be lost again. Professing Christians can be lost again, true Christians cannot (Heb 6:4-6, 10:14).

I can expand on those thoughts later. Got to go for now... bounce

you think so? even if the true christian goes through some horrible experience and then decides to renounce God? Would take the stand of still a christian, or he never was (i.e. he was just professing)?
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maflynn
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:53 pm

Martin wrote:
Just a quick note. I think passages like John 6:37-40 rule out the chance that a true Christian could ever be lost again. Professing Christians can be lost again, true Christians cannot (Heb 6:4-6, 10:14).

Only God can truly judge if you're a "true" Christian or a professing Christian - which by the way doesn't that make you a true Christian
Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Back to the point, I've known a number of people who seemingly had a vibrant faith, and the fruits of the spirit and was genuine in wanting to please God - as genuine as we humans can tell. Shockingly some of these folks have either renounced the belief, fell into sin and gave up on God or just thought God didn't care anymore.

I cannot judge if they were genuine, but I can tell they acted more Christ like then I do and to see them fall away is scary because if it could happen to them...
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:43 pm

maflynn wrote:

I cannot judge if they were genuine, but I can tell they acted more Christ like then I do and to see them fall away is scary because if it could happen to them...

fear and trembling.... check.
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maflynn
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:54 pm

I'm using some of this stuff for my blog - hopefully nobody objects. Its taken a few different twists and turns as I've researched, prayed and looked for passages.

Anyways to Martin's point we have
1 John 2:19
19They 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.

So while others who seemingly showed evidence of Christianity, they did not remain and thus failed this one passage.

I think it boils down to that only God knows our hearts and whether we are truly sincere in our profession of faith. Again see Romans 10:9 which states that
Quote :
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

No easy answer and it really does fall along the lines of the whole Calvinism/Arminianism as Nathan so aptly put it.
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:10 pm

maflynn wrote:
I'm using some of this stuff for my blog - hopefully nobody objects.

I for one, am extremely pleased that this is helping you generate ideas...

as to the rest of what you're saying...
i agree there is no easy answer.
just tough to sort through what we thought of people who "seemed" to really have it together.
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maflynn
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:11 pm

rogermugs wrote:
maflynn wrote:
I'm using some of this stuff for my blog - hopefully nobody objects.

I for one, am extremely pleased that this is helping you generate ideas...

Thanks, I have a couple more ideas for topics but those require more in depth Bible studying. Mostly involving end times prophecies. I'm drawn to the book of Revelation and to Daniel - always was since I became a Christian. Time however is a luxury I do not have so it will take me a little while to bang them out.

The benefit of this, is my spending more time in the word and less time on the net Very Happy
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Martin
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:44 pm

maflynn wrote:
Only God can truly judge if you're a "true" Christian or a professing Christian - which by the way doesn't that make you a true Christian

==True, only God is the judge. However in His Word He has given us "the clues" who the true believers are (Jn 8:31, 1Jn 2:19, 1Jn 3:9-10, Gal 5:19-21).

mayflynn wrote:
Back to the point, I've known a number of people who seemingly had a vibrant faith, and the fruits of the spirit and was genuine in wanting to please God - as genuine as we humans can tell. Shockingly some of these folks have either renounced the belief, fell into sin and gave up on God or just thought God didn't care anymore.

==That does not mean that they were truly saved. Keep in mind that the folks in Matthew 7:21-23 did miracles in the Name, preached the Name, and cast out demons in the Name of Jesus. Yet they were lost. A person can look good from the outside. They can go through all the right motions and do all the right things. However that does not make a person saved. A person is saved when they repent and turn to Jesus in faith.

A person who finally falls away or walks away is not, and never was, a true believer (Col 1:21-23, Jn 8:31, 1Jn 2:19).

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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:45 pm

rogermugs wrote:
you think so? even if the true christian goes through some horrible experience and then decides to renounce God? Would take the stand of still a christian, or he never was (i.e. he was just professing)?

==I think Scripture would say that he/she was never a true Christian (Jn 8:31, 1Jn 2:19, etc).

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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:54 pm

rogermugs wrote:
i agree there is no easy answer.
just tough to sort through what we thought of people who "seemed" to really have it together.

==I think there is a really easy answer to this question. Can a true Christian perish or be lost again? The answer is no.

"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day" -Jn 6:39

The term translated "lose" in that verse is the same word normally translated perish. Our Lord is answering the all important question in the negative. No true believer (vs37) will ever perish (Jn 10:26-30). It will not happen.

As for folks who "seemed to really have it together", I would point out that appearances can be deceiving. Look at the folks in Matthew 7:21-23. From the outside they had it all together. However, like the Pharisee, what people saw on the outside was not what was on the inside. While they did all the right things on the outside, on the inside they were spiritually dead in sin (Matt 23:25-28 ). This can be a very painful truth, I admit. However I don't think it should be as controversial as it is. The more I have studied the Scriptures about this issue over the years the more amazed I am about how clear the Scriptures seem to be. Sure, there are verses that can cause some problems. However when those verses are examined in their context and when those verses are understood in the light of very clear and uncontradictable statements of Scripture (Rom 8:29-30), most of the "problem" goes away.

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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:14 am

Martin wrote:
==I think there is a really easy answer to this question. Can a true Christian perish or be lost again? The answer is no.

"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day" -Jn 6:39


I've come full circle on this topic, after going through the scriptures, I believe those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ and became a true believer cannot lose their salvation. John 6:37-40, John 10:28-29, Romans 8:28-31, Romans 8:38-39 Of course its not what I think but what God thinks. To that end, I'll be working out my salvation with fear and trembling,.
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:35 am

maflynn wrote:
I've come full circle on this topic, after going through the scriptures, I believe those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ and became a true believer cannot lose their salvation. John 6:37-40, John 10:28-29, Romans 8:28-31, Romans 8:38-39 Of course its not what I think but what God thinks. To that end, I'll be working out my salvation with fear and trembling,.

Then does the Hebrews passage refer to Christians in name only - those who didn't really believe - or does it mean that apostasy of the believers will be burnt to nothing (cf. 1 Cor 3:12) like weeds, but still redeemed in the end on the foundation of Christ?
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maflynn
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PostSubject: Re: Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?   Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:24 am

Its a difficult passage to be sure.
My first question regarding Hebrews 6 is who is the intended audience for the letter and more specifically this passage. gentile Christians or Jewish Christians.

After reading it, and considering the issues that the first century Jewish Christians dealt with, its plausible that the author is warning Jewish believers that the mind set of continual sacrifices and works like from the old covenant do not hold true with the new covenant, i.e., "to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again"

I also believe the english translations of this passage miss the mark somewhat at conveying some of the meaning. I'm not a greek expert but a quick search of this passage shows quite a number of indepth analysis showing some interesting concepts regarding the words fall away and such.

Finally we need to consider the fact that scripture will not conflict with scripture and there's many passages of salvation by grace and God protecting his flock. We then need to dig a little deeper on these types of passages to help better discern the meaning.
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PostSubject: Saved and Unsaved - Eternal Security   Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:12 pm

If I repent of my sins and accept Jesus as my Savior, I am supposedly saved. If at a later point (20 years - lets say), I renounce my faith and become a muslim. Was I ever really saved in the first place?

Maybe this quesiton will look a bit different if we use a more common example. Let me ask another quesiton.

If I make a promise to pick you up from work tomorrow (and intend to do it), but when the time comes, I have a change of heart and decide to do something different. Was I really sincere?

How does this look different from the temporal limited point of view and the eternal perspective.

From our point of view we see people lose their salvation, from God's point of view He see's our commitment at the time - however sincere, was not of a sort that would last.

Consider the parable of the four soils (Matt 13:1-33). The rocky ground receives the Word with Great Joy - it grows a plant, but its roots do not sink deep and it whithers in the heat of the day. Some people may be rocky ground, or have thorns and thistles in their lives. It doesn't mean that life cannot begin in them and flourish for a time, but they will not last (unless they change).
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