Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Once Saved Always Saved? The Doctrine of Eternal Security

   If Christians sin willingly, knowing what they are doing is sin, What then?
   There are opposing, schools of theology on this.
   One group says, once saved, always saved, that no matter what, it is impossible to lose salvation once one is born again. This group usually deals with the issue of habitual sin by saying  the sinner must have  never been saved in the first place.
   The Bible does say that true Christians cannot practice sin without conviction of wrong-doing. It also says that, over time, practicing sin sears the conscience. Therefore, we believe that taking the position that habitual sinners never got saved to begin with, is a cop out.  
   Those who teach this, are taking the path of least resistance. It is simply easier for spiritual leadership to say that a professing Christian was never saved in the first place, than to deal biblically with habitual sin in a professing believer’s life.
   The other group takes the completely opposite view. They agree with professing Christian habitual sinners, that they most likely did get saved. But teach that if one slides back into sin after coming to Christ, they lose their salvation. 
   But...
   ...if they repent, and give up the sin; they are renewed back into salvation, and, if they continue in the faith, will "make it" into Heaven.
   We call this "Yo-Yo" salvation. Lost it--got it back--lost it--got it back.--lost it--got it back... 
   The scriptures do not teach yo-yo-salvation. But the Bible does teach Christians to continue in the faith (that involves repentance and forsaking sins that easily beset us). Paul wrote to the Galatians that he was afraid his work with them would be in vain (they were backsliding into sin, but repentance and renewal was still available to them). The scriptures also teach that if a Christian "falls away," (falling away and backsliding are not the same thing) renewal back into repentance is impossible (Hebrews 6:4-6). 
   If one does ever fall away (loses salvation)--it can never be regained. There are no more sacrifices available. Jesus cannot be crucified again. 
   So where does that leave Christians who sin, for scripture assures that we will certainly sin after we are saved? 
   New life in Christ, does not translate into lives completely free of sin. First of all, we need to believe the scriptures. There is only one sin that can cost us eternal life, and that is the sin of rejecting Jesus. All other sins committed, after one is saved, can be repented of and forgiven (1 John 1:9). 
   Does that knowledge give a Christian a license to sin? 
  Absolutely not! But no one [except God] can say when that awful line might be crossed from backsliding to falling away, so it is important not to condemn. Rather, always be ready, with love and humility, to reach out those in bondage to sins that easily beset them (all Christians struggle with such).
  It is also important to understand that neither belief nor unbelief are mere intellectual acknowledgements. Every devil--even Satan himself--believes in (acknowledges the existence of) the incarnation [life], birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Scripture says they tremble because of this. 
   There are no unbelieving devils [fallen angels]. 
   Yet they are not saved.
   Fallen angels, fell because of unbelief which was expressed in choices. James 1:13-15 lays out some steps that can lead Christians to "fall away" by searing (hardening) the conscience. 
   First, according to James, we are drawn away by our own lusts and enticed. God will never tempt us with sin (death). Rather, Satan tempts us with what we already want
  When we are drawn away and enticed, lust conceives (becomes pregnant with sin/death). At this point, it is still possible to abort (confess and forsake). 
   Choose to abort the death--not eternal life! 
   If the pregnancy (the gestation of of sin and death) is allowed to reach full-term, and bring forth that which it conceived, James 1:15 says it will give birth to "death"-- the very death described so graphically in Hebrews 10:26-29.
    James is speaking to Christians in this passage. He is not referring to an early physical death (though that could happen as well). He concludes by saying, "Do not be deceived my beloved brethren
   Backsliding can be repented of. But if not repented of, can lead to the only sin that can cause a "falling away." Falling away, is irreversible--permanent. It involves a conscious rejection of Jesus Christ, after having known him and the awesome powers of the age to come.  
   Hebrews chapter 10, says this is a fearful thing.
   Christians do not lose salvation every time they sin. There is no need to be afraid that we may not "make it." The Bible says if we say we have no sins, we are liars, and the truth is not in us. 
   If we were sinless, there would be no need of a savior. 
   The Bible says we have an advocate with the Father, and if we confess known sins, he is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us from all [even unknown] unrighteousness, as we each make individual faith journeys through this kosmos.

For further studies on REDEMPTION click HERE.

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