Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Once Saved Always Saved?

John 10:27-29

Story a black preacher told when asked if he could lose his salvation.  In a nutshell he said, "when I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I was dipped in His blood, then placed in his hand.  He wrapped his hand around me, and then God wrapped HIS hand around the hand of Jesus."  Now, if the devil COULD pry open the hand of God, AND the hand of Jesus, he'd have to swim through the blood to get to me, so then he'd be a 'saved' devil, and everything would be all right in the end anyway."

This is comforting, yes, BUT, can I wander out?  stray out?  fall out?  jump out?

Last few weeks we discussed "Persevering in the Faith".  (getting in, functioning within, etc)
But, the question remains...... "Once in can I get out?'

The question is not doctrinally out, practically out.   The question is 'Can I lose my salvation?'
(my claim to eternal life?  my relationship with God?  my place in heaven?)

There are 2 answers - Yes and No        Can and Can't

However, within the answers there are 4 Primary Views
Two that say "can't" - Calvinist  (Calvinism)
Two that say "can" - Arminian (Arminianism)

1.)  Classical Calvinism - primarily follows the teaching of John Calvin - focused totally on God's sovereignty - believes that even salvation is God's decision.  Therefore, can't lose your salvation because your salvation has been pre-determined by God.  This is the predominant theology of our founding fathers.

2.)  Moderate Calvinism - states can't lose salvation because KEPT by God.   This view - sovereign God has determined that man has free choice - but once that choice is made, his salvation is kept by God.

3.)  Reformed (moderate) Arminianism - believes can lose salvation BUT only
        A)  Apostates - knowingly choose to abandon the faith, deliberately, intentionally
        B)  and, if lost, there is NO re-entry - can never be saved again.

4.)  Wesleyan (from John and Charles Wesley) Arminianism - can lose salvation two ways:
        A)  By Apostasy OR continual known sin, sinful behavior
 But  B)  can also be re-saved  ( can fall out of grace doesn't mean can fall beyond grace)

ADD:  "Plus One" - means "maybe possible to lose salvation........  BUT, Inconceivable!"

So.... Why are there 4 views?  ---  Because:
1.  can make a scriptural argument for each
2.  all views have:    scholarly proponents
                               Godly adherents
                               long traditions

Pastor's Stance:  #2 - with 1)   recognition of the weight behind each view
                                         2)  a sympathetic eye toward "Plus One"
Reasons:
#1.  Many Scriptures
John 5:24   John 6:39-40   Rom. 8:35-39
(with recognition of problem scriptures)

#2.  Old Testament Pictures  - (analogies, examples, word pictures)
Examples:  Adam and Eve - exiled, not abandoned!
                  Israel in wilderness - Israel in Exile - God still cared for them, chastised, yes, but never abandoned

#3.  New Testament Pictures
         New Birth - John 3:3-7
         Sonship - John 1:12-13 - example - Prodigal Son
         Ernest - Eph. 1:13-14 ------>  2 Cor. 5:5   Holy Spirit (sealed, branded)

#4.  The Nature of Salvation - ie:  a GIFT of God - freely given
by grace - called, saved, gifted, enabled, KEPT!!!  - Jude 24 & 25.  We are not good enough to get salvation.  We are not good enough to KEEP salvation.

#5.  New Testament Promise
       Matt:  28:20 - "lo, I am with you ...... always...."
       Heb. 13:5 - "never will I leave you....forsake you..."
       Phil. 1:6 - ".....will carry on to completion..."

IN SUMMARY:
-- the answer to this question is important - to your relationship, security, growth, confidence in Him.

BUT, it is NOT critical - can live a productive Christian life in the wrong quadrant.

THE Critical Question is NOT - Can you lose it???  BUT, Do you have it??   If you have it, keep what you have.

There is great danger of putting your faith (confidence) in a doctrine instead of in the LORD (Christ), depending on "once saved always saved", - a byword, catch phrase, slogan, platitude (as many seem to!!)

IF your faith is NOT in Christ - you have no security (may have assurance but that's not security!)

But, of you place your faith, trust securely in Christ, then whatever the answer to the question of security, YOU will be safe and secure!!!

Psalm 121:1-8


1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...

IS THE ADMONITION ABOUT FALLING FROM GRACE A FALSE WARNING?

John Calvin said it was impossible to fall from grace. Why would God warn men of something that could not happen?

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Was God joking when He said men could fall away? When a road sign says, litterers will be fine $500 dollars, does that mean it is impossible to litter?

1 Corinthians 10:6-12 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.......

8. Nor let us act immorally , as some did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. (Was that an example of once saved always saved?)

9. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. (Was that an example of eternal security?)

10. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.....(Was that an example of perseverance of the saints?)

12. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

Is God in the habit of issuing feckless, meaningless, erroneous, false, warnings?

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be temped beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

God provides men an escape from a sinful lifestyle. Men have a choice. Men have free-will. God does not prevent men from sinning. GOD DOES NOT GUARANTEE ONCE IN GRACE ALWAYS IN GRACE!


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