Eternal Security

Know that you are washed clean after you ask forgiveness. Know that He wants the best for you so do just what He wants, to walk in the spirit and deny the lusts of the flesh. If you work at it, it will come easy. If you ignore what God wants for you, it will be hard. Part of the restoration process is being restored to the proper relationship to God as we had from the beginning. God overlooks times of ignorance but we are now admonished to fill our lamps, this is with the oil of the Holy Spirit. Do not worry about it, put it behind you. Perfect love casts out all fear and love covers a multitude of sins. Know that you do love the Lord and that He loves you and prove that love by reaching out to others.

We are being saved when we finally come to the conclusion that Jesus died for us and went to the cross to forgive us of our sins. He went once for our sins and we are the ones that have sinned. Jesus never sinned, He went to the cross just once but we are continually sinning and in need of constant repentance and forgiveness. We know that God is faithful and just to forgive our sins but we are not to remain in that sin. I hope you are getting to my point because I am not defending the premise that you can lose your salvation here but only that our walk with the Lord is a day to day thing either way, salvation is a process and we are to grow in our spiritual life, that is a day to day thing for sure. There are Christians that actually believe that you only need to repent once and then it is not needed again so this is an important issue. Apostasy is a word to describe the abandonment of the faith once believed in. The message is still the cross.

I mentioned a while back that God never hated anyone but then it came to my mind that God hated Esau. Esau sold His birthright so that he could eat well. Can you imagine Christians so into themselves that they would sell our new birth in Jesus to live well? Many do, or maybe they never had that new birth at all and just think they do. Edomites, the inheritors of Esau were cursed into oblivion, if they tried to build anew, it would be torn down, "the people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever." I cannot say that the Lord deals with us this way but judgment is coming and I do not ever want to be in that position, do you? But what of the people that are?

One thing that we do know is that Jesus taught that many are called but few are chosen. The Lord will say to many in the last day that He did not know them, even those that have been calling Him Lord and had done mighty works and cast out devils. Did they lose their salvation or were they ever saved at all? Because Jesus went to the cross, does that mean that we do not? We are told to take up our cross daily, yes it is a day to day thing and we are to choose life, it is not ours by right or from how good we are, it is a gift in response to a spiritual call. Faith in Jesus means that you believe what He said to do, not simply in believing in what the church says about Him, there is the historical Jesus and there is the spiritual Jesus. He is at the door of our hearts, He comes in the power of the Holy Spirit, it is not merely mental ascent as if these people are saved by thinking themselves so, it is not a question of losing your salvation here, it is a question of bringing dead Christians to life.

The outer court of the temple is for all in the body of Christ, but there are hateful things in the outer court. Is that good enough for us? What is our responsibility in Christ? It is to walk in the power of His Holy Spirit, that much is certain, that is the holy place - and to seek the lost. It is not in our own works but through the power of His grace and walking in His Spirit. Can we do that? If not, maybe there is no salvation for you to lose. These are only rhetorical questions because we should already have confidence in our relationship with Him but many will be disappointed in that day.

We cannot really understand what it is to be saved without bringing in the idea of eternity. Eternity has no beginning and no end, so in effect, in our lifetime, no one is really saved yet because we are still in a temporal existence. But then, if we enter into eternal life now, as we are taught, then all who have been chosen before the foundation of the world are saved already, always have been and always will be. That dichotomy is a hard concept to understand and it is no wonder that there is so much controversy surrounding eternal security. The fact is that Jesus said on one hand that it was those who will endure to the end that will be saved and then told the women that was forgiven of her sins that "thy faith hath saved thee."

Now if Jesus tells us that "he that endureth to the end shall be saved," does He mean the end of the aisle at an altar call? I don't think so. Look at all the dead churches that rely on simple faith for salvation. No repentance, no deliverance, no infilling of the Holy Ghost, no responsibility to choose through free will, no love or unity with others who disagree with their traditions, just a simple confession of faith and zap, you are saved and into the kingdom of heaven. What a crock! This has got to be one of the high places that we must tear down in these days. Not only are they told they are saved but are ipso facto saints.

Salvation therefore, is a past, present and future work. Those that are being saved have always been saved in terms of eternity, yet still in the process from our point of "being." The element of faith and works enter into the misunderstandings also. Paul teaches us that it was according to grace and mercy and not by works of righteousness, still our reasonable service is to bring our bodies into subjection and walk worthy of our calling and as St. James says "faith without works is dead, being by itself." Certainly we are to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling" as Paul tells us in Philippians but then he goes on to say "for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." So, the only way we can truly work out our salvation is when God does it through us. Certainly, it is by faith in the name of Jesus that we are saved but then Paul also tells us that "we are saved by hope."

Simple faith is not enough. There are scriptures that would make you think so because of the importance of faith: whoever calls on the name of the Lord, he that believeth and is baptized, etc. But the scriptures are also clear that the devils also believe and that weak faith may not be enough, nor is the misplaced faith that arises from trusting in false prophets that also come in the name of Jesus. These things should not be so complicated but they are, the simplicity is that love makes the difference and the reason that it is not spelled out as clearly as it could be. Our salvation is borne out by faith, hope and love, love being the greatest of the three and the only objective proof of another's salvation. Do not be surprised in that our salvation is accompanied with trial and tribulation, this is how we enter the kingdom.

"Being" saved is the important thing whether that is a process or an immediate result of our justification through the atonement of the cross. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." I Cor 1:18.

When Jesus said that many will call me Lord but "I never knew you," He did not say that I used to know you but now I don't, He said that He never knew you at all, nada, zip, and it is in our relationship to others that we are known. I hope you see the difference. In the long run, it is not whether we can lose our salvation but whether we really have it at all.

We know that the apostasy is here and that includes people that have abandoned the faith. Quite possibly, in this age of grace where Jesus has died for all, we are all included in the book of life and if we choose to refuse it, we are erased from that book. Who knows? I cannot doubt the salvation of one that has a healthy fear of God to think that he could be erased from the book of life. Nor can I doubt the salvation of one that is so secure in the love of God to know that this eternal life can never be taken away from him. I can doubt the salvation of either one who thinks that the other is a heretic for not feeling the same way over the issue. That betrays the love of God and puts Jesus to open shame. That loss of love and unity is the apostate Christian of the hour no matter how saved he thinks he is.

Paul tells us to run the race. It is a race of endurance; we cannot finish the race if we give up in the middle, thinking that we have already reached the end. "...Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Hebrew 12:1." Run the race, yes, it is still up to us to make that decision. We must do it with the blood of Jesus running through our veins, enthusiastic adrenaline pumping from our hearts to reach out to others to join us in this holy calling. The heart is a muscle and to borrow from Bosley to Charlie's angels - in bodybuilding, we exercise the muscle and it grows bigger and stronger. It's the same with the heart. We are going to be so buff that we can clean and jerk His love three sets, ten reps each. We do not run to compete with others, Jesus has already won, we just need to join Him and finish together. To run the race like the heathen and trust in our salvation without the heart felt compassion for others is not holiness, it is a cop out, it is watching the race from the side-lines.

Don't get me wrong, I have a long way to go but when I sin, I cannot trust in my salvation for positional holiness, I must repent and ask for forgiveness. Does someone have a better way? Paul knew: "I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our LORD, I die daily." I Corinthians 15:31. He was not sure that he would finish the race but where does that leave me? I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am saved and will never lose it, I just cannot say that for everyone. Paul felt the same way and knew that he had not yet arrived.

Some may need to come to the point of doubt before they can come to a saving faith. I believe that doubt is a good thing. Doubt is not the same as unbelief but will challenge mistaken notions of misplaced faith. We need to doubt our institutions, our pre-conceived notions, our prejudices, the traditions of men and allow the Holy Spirit to create in us a little inspirational dissatisfaction of present circumstances. Unless of course, you think that you already have it all, if so, you have already lost the race.

I see many in the joy of the Lord and I see the joy of our salvation. I know that many are saved and that many have the belief in the promise of eternal life through that saving faith but I see love and compassion in them.

I was reminded today of the parable of the sower. Those that hear the word, some gladly, some in shallow soil, the increase in good soil. Now are all those saved? Many would think so, just ask the pastor who counts the commitment cards. But the ones that withered, were they saved? Jesus said that the seed was sown in the heart and the devil took it away. Jesus did not take it, the devil took it, but was that person saved and then lost it? Listen, Jesus said that he received it with joy. How many people are like that? Again, was he saved and did he lose it? Or did he not have it at all? The bottom line is that it is not ours to judge.

Jesus is said to spend more time looking for the lost sheep than He spends with those that in the fold. I want to be able to love them just as much as He, but shall I consider the lost sheep as unsaved, or saved ones who have lost their way and in need of revival? Again, I will not make that judgment but I just don't know about those that do make these judgments, this is really hard for me. I sometimes would rather spend time with those that are lost than those who thinks that they are found, I think that the foulness are pretty much those that look real good and saved but their hearts are not right. I would like for us to agree with this but that will take time. I just don't see it. Too much confusion right now. Maybe even the confusion is foul and we should be taking a harder stand on this issue. I am considered a heretic from all sides, you know why? Because I believe that the Bible is for us today as much as it was for the early church, because I believe in the communion of saints, because I believe that we are created in the image of God with free will, because I know that I will never lose my salvation. Well Paul was a heretic too, so I guess I am in good company but I really appreciate you all as being here with me.

There will be many on the issue of eternal security that will bring up the verse in Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." You know this is a great verse with a great truth but have you ever heard anyone quote this verse out of context to prove their point without the second part: "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit"? I have, many times. Paul teaches a lot in that eighth chapter about walking in the spirit, the flesh being opposed to the spirit, the carnal mind contrasting with life and peace. We need to understand that without the spirit, there is no life, no matter how saved you think you are. If it does not conform to the spirit of God working within you, your salvation is only a delusion. It is Christ in you that is the hope of glory and it is the power of an endless life working within your being.

Paul goes on to say and I believe that this is the central point of the whole chapter that

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God...
Now the question is, have you received that spirit? If so, you are led by that spirit and God's spirit has born witness with your spirit - that is experiential. Those that deny this truth will say that we are speaking of emotionalism. Listen, hope is an emotion and Paul says that we are saved by hope. Love is an emotion and the initial evidence of the Holy Spirit. Those that cannot point to an experiential time in their life when they were baptized with the Holy Ghost will deny the experience altogether and think that the legal aspects of our positional relationship to Christ is enough to save you. That may be true but how does a person know that they are indeed in that position without the witness of the spirit? Our position in Christ is essential to walking in the spirit but it is not enough to say that you are saved and have accepted Him as savior in your life, He must be Lord and that is by walking in His spirit. It all relates to Jesus going to the cross to give us life and reconcile us to the Father through faith but He is the door to that eternal life and it is up to us to open that door in order to accept the free gift. The door is our heart, He is knocking and asking to come in and be a part of our lives. He says that it is up to us to enter in and He says that we will see Him. You cannot choose life if you believe that it has already been chosen for you, it takes an initial effort to receive.

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22
Water baptism is an outward action that represents our inward repentance. It is the spirit that washes us clean as a result of our commitment, not the water. Baptism saves you in that we are obedient to the mandate, without that obedience, we have not proven our faith. When I was baptized with the Holy Ghost, it was a profound spiritual immersion, which is experiential for sure and gives me the confidence that I will see eternal life according to the high calling. I believe that I am saved, past, present and future tense but I have that experiential validation from God that gives me a tremendous hope. That may be proof only for myself but God knows our hearts. We need God to reveal these things to us but the devil is right there trying to deceive us, so we must make perfectly sure.

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Philippians 3:15.

It is truly sad that so many pastors and Christian teachers have pronounced people saved without the assurance of faith through the witness of the spirit. Faith is that assurance, not the pronouncement of it for it is the just that lives by faith, not merely living in faith. It is active faith, not passive faith, and the kind of faith that proves itself through the fruits of the spirit. It does not even have to be that much, it can be little faith as well as much faith, the difference is whether it is true faith in the true God of love and whether Jesus is Lord, or if it is in pride and wanting to lord over others. One leads to life and the other to eternal humiliation. Think of all the Christians that want to lord it over the flock because of their positional authority and you will see what I mean. Paul teaches in Romans 4 that imputed righteousness comes through faith and grace. Not just simple faith in Jesus in order to take out a fire insurance policy or kissing up to God like a rich uncle in hopes of an inheritance. You tell me what salvation exists where righteousness has never been imputed and the spirit has never borne witness. Jesus died for us all and the justification is offered to all. God is unwilling that anyone should perish, contrary to what the Mormons and Calvinists teach but justification is only granted to those who accept it through faith. This faith is what makes our election sure but again - WHAT KIND OF FAITH? The faith that negates God's promises of eternal life? The faith that Lords it over others in the flock? The kind of faith that trusts in one's own salvation and does nothing for the kingdom? The faith that cannot prove itself in love? The faith that does not bear witness to God's spirit? No joy or holiness or humility or liberality or compassion? These are the types of faith that shows up in the apostate, deceived, reprobate, self-righteous and deluded and the lost, not as the power of God to the true child of God.

Salvation is a gift, not a right and so is faith or Paul would not have written in II Corinthians 15:5a "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves..." Think like St. James, "can faith save him?" Now the easiest way for the true believer to prove yourself in the faith, and the hardest way for the false believer is to get God to bear witness to your faith and I mean His Holy Spirit, not some kind of unholy prideful spirit. If you think that the baptism and power of the Holy Spirit is the same as receiving the Holy Spirit, you have never understood the difference between Jesus breathing the spirit upon the disciples and then telling them to wait for the promise at Pentecost for the power. If you have been taught differently than what the Bible teaches, either get with a church that tells you the difference from the word of God or strengthen your own church with the truth. Full gospel means just that and if you think any different you are deluding yourself.

These are the premises:

  1. Eternal life is eternal and to be not eternal is nonsensical.
  2. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
  3. Those that seem to lose their salvation never had it to begin with.

I believe that the context in the following verses in Hebrews is in saving faith, that the others are not part of us and that salvation is a process, making the premise "once saved, always saved" a moot point. Note the word "after."

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:36-39

You may have noticed, the premise of losing your salvation or not is taken to middle ground here in that no one is truly saved yet so the controversy is bogus and just another tool of the enemy to separate us. I am disagreeing with the extremes yet defending both positions under certain circumstances. So far, the best arguments that I have seen have also taken this approach, but we are looking for truth here, not a compromise. If salvation is a process, you cannot lose what you have not yet received in full.

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