Monday, February 22, 2016

Can You "Lose" Your Salvation?

Believers have different points of view on many topics.
  Could one, in particular, be causing Christians to become lackadaisical regarding their walk with God?
This is my main question, and it has to do with another question.
 The question is, “Can a person lose his or her salvation?”  This question has caused so much division within the church body, so please just read what I have studied and compiled here.  After that, carefully study the scriptures for yourself. We are instructed to 
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
Scripture also tells us...
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
 1 John 2:27
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things... John 14:26
Therefore, do not solely rely on another to teach you.
 We, as humans, are not without error.
  Study God's word, and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding. 
  So with that said, I now dive into the Word of Truth.
Join me.
I have studied Biblical references and notes from scriptural studies, and this is what I have received through my study.
When one "loses" something, it is usually meant that one has accidentally lost something.
 It was not willfully given away or departed from.
With that in mind, I want to mention that
 we are in God's hands.
He is not in ours.
  Therefore, we cannot lose what is, in all actuality, holding us. (Read that again.)
  Moreover, God is God and He doesn't misplace or "lose" people.
So first of all, I'd like to say that when people ask if you can "lose" your salvation,
the word "lose" is not the appropriate term.
  In reality, the term "lose" makes it a ridiculous question.
  Of course the answer to a question like that would be 
NO.
I repeat, how can WE lose(accidentally misplace)what is, in all actuality, holding us? 
 However, He holds us, but He does not forcefully hold us down.
 Think on this while I venture out in a few other directions.
Jesus is willing to save any person who calls on His name.  However, sin separates us from God.  This is why we need salvation through Christ in the first place.
 We cannot willingly
continue in sin
 while abiding in (remaining in)
 Christ Jesus.
  There is a very familiar term used, and it is “REPENTANCE”.
  Without repentance from sin,  we cannot have fellowship with a holy God. We are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).
  Do we only repent once?
I pray not.
  Do we not need to repent of some form of errant behavior on a daily basis?
  Of course we do.
 However, that is not to say that we need to be re-saved every day.
  When a Christian sins, it should immediate prick his or her heart unto repentance.
We were to daily take up our cross. 
"...I die daily." 1 Corinthians 15:31
  There is a significant difference between living with a repenting heart and in willful, continual sinfulness! 
 "There is a sin unto death...All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death." 1 John 5:16-17
  I am going to give you numerous scripture references and point out a few certainties from most of them.  In several, the key word is “if”.
John 8:51- I tell you the truth, IF anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.
Since we will all experience a physical death, death here is evidently a spiritual death.  Notice there is instruction here. Obedience is necessary!
1 John 3:6- No one who lives IN Him keeps on sinning.
There is more to this verse, but the point is that a person cannot claim to be IN Christ and continually and willfully sin. So, if a person claims to have been saved by grace, yet he continues in a sinful lifestyle without a repented heart, then he is not in Christ.
  Does Not In Christ = Saved ?
No.
 "If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness[sin], we lie…" 1 John 1:6.
  This brings up another topic. Let me venture out here for just a moment.
  How is it that so many claiming to be saved are walking in darkness? So many are doing what they think is right in their own eyes without studying God’s word. For example, many are obsessed with the television show, The Walking Dead.  God’s word says, "I will set no wicked thing before my eyes." Psalm 101:3
 and "Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
 In this show, bloody zombies, with their bones showing and their guts hanging out, walk around killing and eating people.  While researching this show for a blog post,"The Walking Dead, Please Don't Watch", I stumbled across some horrifically evil pictures of zombies.  To no surprise, there is a new street drug making people act like Zombies.  A man in Florida had to be killed because he was caught naked eating another man’s face off.
  This is all connected at the very core of evil,
 yet some Christians assume they are free, in Christ, to indulge in watching such wickedness even when they know it's evil.  Now we, as Christians, seem to get into things we ought not to, so I am not judging a person as condemned or lost for watching or listening to something. However, Christians need to be learning and growing in spiritual maturity on a daily basis instead of growing more worldly.  As we grow, there should be things we use to do that we don't do anymore. We need to be mindful of the evil around us, and I believe that even a babe in Christ should be able to discern the demonic nature of this television show. We are free in Christ to be free of sin, not to indulge in it. 
 Moreover, if a person thinks he or she is under no laws and free to live however he or she wants; one becomes lax regarding his or her relationship with God.  Because of this heedless attitude, more and more sinful practices are embraced such as:
Adultery
Fornication
Debauchery [shamelessness]
Partying lifestyle
 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
The bottom line is that many who believe they cannot possibly go astray
 do not take sin seriously.
  Whats more, if they are living in a continual sinful state, then they will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven.  
  Paul wrote,
 "What shall we say then? Shall we CONTINUE in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:1
From the same chapter, I like how verses 15 and 16 illustrates it.
"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."
  These verses are not casually warning us that we are better off if we don’t sin. They do not imply that if we do sin then we will still be okay because we are under grace.  NO, no, no! It goes on to say…
"Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of OBEDIENCE unto righteousness."
This means that if you yield yourself to sin, you are serving the devil. The end of this is death. This is spiritual death. Spiritual death does not equal everlasting life!
 So regardless if you call yourself a Christian, if you are again entangled in sin then you are obeying and serving satan unto death.
OBEDIENCE is necessary!
There are many preachers in today’s world who give people a false sense of security by teaching them that once they are born again, they can never depart.  However, we choose to become children of God.  By choosing to willfully return and continue in sin, we choose to be children of the devil.  Let me share a true story with you.  I heard a preacher say something along the lines of a person being saved at an early age then, after growing up, he shot several people at a McDonalds.  He got killed in the process, but then he woke up in Heaven wondering how on earth he got there!  I was flabbergasted! One cannot be in habitual, routine, persistent, and ongoing sin and be IN Christ. 
Take for example the story of the Prodigal Son.
Luke 15:11 starts by saying that “A certain man had two sons.” We can see from the parable that both sons were abiding with their father.  Most of us know the story.  The younger son wasted his inheritance (much wasted on harlots) and lived a riotous life. When he came to himself, he realized who he had become and how much he needed to return home although he felt unworthy.
  Here is what I’d like to point out.
  His father says in verse 24 “for this my son was dead and is alive AGAIN; he was lost and is found…” Before he left home, this younger son was safe abiding IN his father’s home.  He willfully chose to leave and was lured into a far country.  This is what satan desires for us to do.  This son was indulging in prostitutes and lavish sinful living. We also see how his older brother became angry and jealous when his father welcomed home the younger son with a feast.  Both sons committed sin, but only one was lost and dead because of his willful and continual sinful lifestyle. This is explained in 1 John 5:16-17.  Remember, the verses were about sin unto death and sin not unto death?
 The father explained to the older son, “Son, thou art EVER WITH me, and all I have is thine. vs. 31  See, the older brother ABIDED constantly with his father. Although he was not perfect, he abided still with his father, and was heir to all his father had.
  However, the younger son willingly left and fell utterly into a life of sin.  Verse 31 says again, “…thy brother was dead, and is alive AGAIN; and was lost and is found.” Notice the word “again”.  If the son was alive again, this means that he was alive before when he abided with his father.
  He was
ALIVE [abiding in his father’s house]- DEAD & LOST- then ALIVE AGAIN.
We all know this parable is comparing the father to God. 
Here is another thought.
  Wouldn't you think that the father hoped that his son would return?  Don't you know that he must have prayed for his son just as the Bible tells us that Jesus prays for us?
    Verse 20 says, “…when he (the son) was yet a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran, and fell on is neck, and kissed him."
What a beautiful verse!
 Yes, God is able to see one who is far off.
“For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.” Ezekiel 34:11
There is no doubt that the Lord calls out to the hearts of those who have gone astray.  However, we see that it was not until the son admitted his sinfulness and turned for home that the father ran to meet him, wrap his arms around him, and welcome him back home.
  God gives everyone the freewill to choose.  He did not create us as robots.   This parable shows what a loving and forgiving Father we have.  It also shows that one who leaves the Father for a sinful lifestyle is considered dead and lost.
  He must REPENT to be alive AGAIN.
  DEAD and LOST does not equal Eternal Life!
  What if the son willfully chose to stay in the sinful state he was in? 
The following scriptures show very clearly the danger of returning to sin.
“Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’  If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done.Ezekiel 33:12-13.
That needs no explanation.  Some say, “That is in the Old Testament. We are under the New.”  The scriptures answer:  “Now therefore ye [the New Testament church]… are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” Eph. 2:19-20.  “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you…that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior.”  II Pet. 3:1-2.
  Thus, Paul and Peter both taught that the doctrines of the New Testament are founded on the teachings of Jesus, His apostles, and the prophets of old.
  Knowing this, it is impossible to brush off the words of the prophet Ezekiel as mere history.
  The truths of Ezk. 33:12-13 still hold especially true in the New Testament and tell us very plainly how God feels toward those who willfully choose to sin after they have been born again.
“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”  II Pet. 2:20-22.
This very clearly tells us that someone can turn from righteousness and go back to their old, sinful ways.
  Their condition is worse than if they had never been saved.
God told Moses, “Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.”  Ex. 32:33. 
Now this is very serious, for on Judgment Day, "whosoever is not found written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire." Rev. 20:15.
“…Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34.  “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” Matt. 6:24.
  Here Jesus says you cannot serve God and mammon.  Mammon is simply money and earthly possessions. 
 How much less can a person serve God and sin?
 It cannot be done.
  “He that committeth sin is of the devil…In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”  I John 3:8-10.
 Can you be a child of God and of the devil at the same time?  No!
When a person is saved, they receive eternal life.
  Some say, “See–it is eternal; it is never ending. You can never lose it.”  The Bible says, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” I John 3:15.
  Some say it is possible for a person to be living in sin, have hatred, commit murder, adultery, etc. and yet still have eternal life.  This scripture says that we know it is not so.
“For the wages of sin is [still] death…”  Rom. 6:23.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”  John 15:6.
  For something to wither, it must first have had life.  It was a living branch that was cut off from its source.  It dies.  It hasn’t changed from Adam’s day, when God told him, “…In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen. 2:17.
“Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.  Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith.  Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”  Rom. 11:19-22.
  The disobedient will be cut off.
  A branch cut off of a tree does not live.
The devil loves to ease the consciences of  people to make them feel comfortable in their sins and give them a false hope of heaven.
  However, sinners(those who willingly live in continual sin) will receive the sentence of eternal damnation on Judgment Day no matter if they called themselves “Christians” or not.
 We all need to walk in obedience to God, keeping our garments unspotted from sin and the world.  Only in obedience can we remain children of God in righteousness and holiness and expect a home in heaven.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Matt. 5:8
Those who are impure in heart will not see God.
Eph. 5:5,6 –”For of this you can be sure:  No immoral, impure or greedy person… has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ…  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” 
Again, it’s about OBEDIENCE.
"Anyone who chooses [See you still have a choice] to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” James 4:4 
 To sin makes one a friend of the world; and enemies of God don’t inherit eternal life.
"I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.”  Acts 26:20 Deeds do not insure salvation, but they will show a repentance (or non-repentant) heart.  “Repentant” –present tense– in continuous “repentance mode.”
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after having a knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left… [because that person has] treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and… has insulted the Spirit of grace…” Heb. 10:26-31.
 Notice that past tense form of the word “sanctified”.  And notice what happens to this once sanctified person who insults the Spirit of grace –who is “Jesus” (Acts 16:7) [the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ.] 
"Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray [with their huge, cunning false doctrines].  He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.”  We ourselves are righteous as we rest IN Him because we do righteously.  For as v. 9 says, 
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s nature abides in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” 1 John 3:7
Therefore, if a person is willfully living in sin, is he still IN Christ?
 Absolutely Not.
John 15:1-6 - We must bear fruit or be cast off.
Disciples are described as branches "in Christ" (v2,5, etc.) who have been cleansed by His word (v3).
  First, think about this… How can a person be a branch on the Vine if he does not belong to the Vine?
  The branch illustrates a believer IN Christ.  To be a believer IN Christ one must be born again.  So the branch being cut off and thrown into the fire clearly illustrates how a person willingly disobeying and sinning against God will be cut off from Him?
But if they don't bear fruit and abide in Christ (v2,4-6), they will be taken away (v2), cast into the fire and burned (v6). Abiding in Jesus and bearing fruit requires obedience.
 I John 3:6,24; John 15:10; Gal. 5:19
Romans 8:12-17 - We must live according to the Spirit, not the flesh.
This is addressed to children of God (those who have been born again)(v16).
We are warned not to live according to the deeds of the flesh but be led by the Spirit. If we live according to the flesh, we will die (v13). This cannot be physical death since we all die physically regardless of how we live. This death is the opposite of the life we receive if we follow the Spirit.
Why would Children of God be warned of dying spiritually if it were not at all possible?
To be heirs of Christ, we must be led of the Spirit (v14) and suffer with Christ (v17). It is conditional and depends on obedience.
Galatians 6:7-9 - We must sow to the Spirit, not the flesh.
This is addressed to members of the church (1:2), sons of God by faith (3:26). [4:6]
We will reap as we sow. If we sow to the spirit (if we produce the fruit of the Spirit 5:22-25), we will reap eternal life (v8). If we sow to the flesh (do the works of the flesh 5:19-21), we reap corruption (6:8), which is the opposite of eternal life.
 In this case, we cannot inherit the kingdom of God (5:21).
We reap eternal life if  we don't grow weary in doing good (v9).
Be not deceived. One will not reap eternal life  if they sow to the flesh.
1 Corinthians 9:27 & 10:12 - We must control our bodies and avoid sinning like Israel did.
9:25-27 - Paul, who was an apostle and therefore a child of God, was striving to gain the imperishable crown (v25). He had to discipline his body and bring it into subjection lest he himself be disqualified (NKJV; "a castaway" - KJV; "rejected" or "reprobate" 2 Cor. 13:5; Rom. 1:28; 2 Tim. 3:8; Tit. 1:16).
10:1-12 - Israel is an example showing us the importance of avoiding sin. The people to whom this warning applies ("we" "us") include the church, sanctified saints (1:2; 1:9), and the apostle Paul.
This is an example and admonition to us (v6,11). We should not lust after evil (v6), commit idolatry (v7), commit fornication (v8), etc. One who thinks he stands, must take heed lest he fall (v12). In context, this means he will not receive the crown Paul described (9:25-27). 6:9,10 show that people guilty of these sins won't receive the kingdom of God.
Hebrews 3:6,11-14; 4:9,11 - We must avoid rebelling like Israel.
This is addressed to "holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling" (v1).
Israel failed to enter God's rest because they lacked faith and obedience.
 We too must guard lest we have an evil heart of unbelief, departing from God (v12), and become hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (v13).
To partake with Christ, we must hold fast our confidence (faith) firm to the end (3:6,14).
 If we do so choose to willfully depart, we will not enter the rest God has for us (4:9,11).
Hebrews 10:26-31,39 - We must avoid willful sin.
This is speaking to those who know the truth (v26) and have been sanctified by the blood (v29). It is discussing the Lord's judgment on "His people" (v30).
We are warned not to sin willfully (v26). As long as we go on sinning willfully there is no sacrifice for sin.
(This is not discussing what will happen if such people repent and change but what our condition is as long as this conduct continues.)
  Therefore, one cannot "lose" one’s salvation.  Rather, one can deliberately, willingly, and rebelliously chooses to depart from the security found only IN [abiding in or remaining in] Jesus.
John 10:28,29 - "They shall never perish … no one shall snatch them out of my hand."
This is a wonderful promise. But is it so unconditional that a person's soul cannot be lost no matter how he lives?
The context gives conditions in verses 27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
Note the word "and" repeated. Receiving life and never perishing are tied to hearing Jesus and following him. These are conditions.
As the Good Shepherd, Jesus protects His sheep so no one can destroy themas long as the sheep hear Jesus and follow Him. But what if they cease to hear and follow, as we have learned elsewhere they can?
"Pluck" refers to an outside force.
"Pluck" (KJV) or "snatch" means "to seize, carry off by force" like the thief might do (v10,12). Neither Satan nor any outside force can steal you from the Lord, as long as you abide IN Him.
But we must "resist the devil," and then we have assurance he will flee from us (James 4:7).
 What happens if, through negligence or willful rebellion, we wander away from the protection of Jesus' fold?
Sheep can stray from the shepherd's protection.
Luke 15:3-7 - 100 sheep belonged to the shepherd (v4,6), but one became lost.
Acts 20:28-30 - Wolves may enter among the flock, speak perverse things, and draw away the disciples.
 However, they cannot compel us to follow them.
 We may still choose to follow the Lord's voice. But false teachers can lure us, attract us, and tempt us if we choose to listen and follow them (Just as the Prodigal Son did).
I Peter 5:8,9 - Satan is a roaring lion seeking to devour us. If we do not withstand him, he can lure us to destruction through sin. 
 However, we can withstand him if we have faith and vigilance. This is what Jesus promised in John 10. (John 17; 6:37-40; I Pet. 2:25).
Think about it this way….If sheep cannot possibly stray, even of their own free will, then this would deny our free moral power to choose. We could not become lost even if we wanted to!
So why would the Bible even warn us?

Is it impossible for a born again Christian to sin?
"One begotten of God "does not sin … he cannot sin"
1 John 3:9
We must take all the Bible says on any subject (Acts 3:22,23).
We have already shown many passages showing that it is possible for a child of God to sin. Many more verses, even in 1 John and addressed to these same people, show this is true:
1 John 1:8,10 - If we say we don't sin, we lie and truth is not in us. This is exactly the condition of some folks who argue that Christians cannot sin!
1 John 2:1,2 - John wrote so we would avoid sin. Jesus is our propitiation if we do sin.
1 John 2:15-17 - Love not the world. If we do, we don't love the Father (I Cor. 16:22). Why warn us, if it is impossible to be guilty?
1 John 5:21 - Guard yourself from idols. Why, if it is impossible to fall?
A true child of God may occasionally commit acts of sin, but he must repent, confess, and be forgiven by Jesus' blood (1:9; 2:2). He must not continue in the practice of sin.
As I mentioned before,
"There is a sin unto death and a sin NOT unto death"
 1 John 5: 16-18
Sins not unto death are sins that do not mark a deliberate and persistent rebellion against God. 

"God's seed abides" in the child of God.
The seed that begets us, so we become children of God, is the word of God:
1 Peter 1:23-25 - We are begotten again by the incorruptible seed which is the Word of God.
James 1:18 - We are begotten by the word of truth.
1 John 2:14,24 - The word of God, which we heard, abides in us. [Luke 8:11; I Cor. 4:15; I John 1:10; 2:5,7]
How does the seed abide in us?
 Can it cease abiding in us?
1 John 1:10 - If we say we do not sin, His word is not in us. We may still know what it says, but we have rejected it.
John 5:38 - If we do not believe Jesus, God's word does not abide in us.
Acts 2:41 - Those who gladly received the word were baptized. Receiving the word requires believing and obeying it. Otherwise we are rejecting it. (I Thess. 2:13)
To have the word abiding IN us means to have a receptive attitude toward it, believing and obeying it, applying it in our lives.
 If this is our attitude,
 1 John 3:9 says we will not continue in the practice of sin. Of course not, because to do so would be to reject the word so it no longer abides in us!
Psalms 119:11 says, " Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!"
This is exactly what 1 John 3:9 says.
But can we cease believing the word, studying it, and striving to live by it?
 We have shown that we can.
 If we do, the seed no longer abides in us, so we practice sin.

1 Corinthians 10:21 says, "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils."(it is not lawful).
Hence 1 John 3:9 means that when one has accepted God's word into his heart and so becomes a child of God, his attitude and the principles of the word will not allow him to continue practicing sin.
 God's word (the seed) has become the guiding principle of his heart, and it would be inconsistent with this to continue practicing sin.
For example, suppose an employer asks a Christian employee to tell a lie. The Christian replies, "I can't do a thing like that." Is it physically impossible? No, but it is completely contrary to his nature as a child of God. As long as his attitude toward God's word is right, he will not do it.
2 Peter 1:8-11; 2:20-22 - We must grow in Christ instead of returning to the world.
1:8-11 - This is spoken to those who have obtained like precious faith (v1), escaped the corruption of the world (v4), and been purged from old sins (v9).
We must add to our lives the qualities listed in verse 5-7
"...add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

If we do, we make our calling and election sure so we don't stumble (v10), but we receive the abundant entrance to the everlasting kingdom (v11).
 Note there is security for the believer, but obedience is required.
2:20-22 - This is still talking to people who have escaped the pollution of the world (v20), knowing the way of righteousness (v21). [v1,15]
We are warned not to become entangled again in the world (v20), turning from the holy command (v21). If we do, we are worse off than we were before we knew the truth (v20). We are like a dog returning to vomit or a sow returning to mire (v22). 
Romans 6:12-18 - We must not let sin reign in our bodies.
These were baptized into Christ (v3,4), set free from sin, and become servants of righteousness (v18).
They are warned not to let sin reign in their bodies nor present their members as instruments of sin (v12,13). The result of that would be death (v16).
 This must be spiritual again, since all die physically.
 The wages of sin, even for those here addressed, is death, in contrast to eternal life (v23).
*See, those who were baptized in Christ are still warned not to let sin reign in their bodies OR it will bring death!
  Death does not equal eternal life!!
Hebrews 6:4-8 - We must avoid falling away.
This is addressed to those once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift and the good word of God and were partakers of the Holy Spirit (v4,5).
We are warned not to fall away (v6). If they continue in this pattern of life, they will be burned up. They are crucifying Jesus afresh and putting Him to an open shame (v6). Their destiny is to be burned like a field of thorns (v8).
I would like to add that if a person beareth a field of thorns and briers, he is cultivating sin.
  To cultivate, one has to tend to it like a farmer does to a garden.  This person would be willfully and continually planting and bearing sin in their life. Remember, this is talking about those once enlightened.
Why would God continually warn His children of the danger of sin and spiritual death if it cannot happen? God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33).
 Why waste time warning us about dangers that cannot happen anyway?

The Old Testament contains countless examples in which God's people sinned and fell from God's favor, both individually and collectively. (Lev. 26; Deut. 28-30; I Sam. 12:10; chaps. 10-16; 28:15,16; I Chron. 28:9; 2 Chron. 15:2; 24:20; Isa. 1:28; Jer. 2:19,32 cf. Psa. 9:17; Jer. 3:6-14; 8:4-13; 9:12-16; Hos. 9:10; cf. Acts 7:37-43; Rev. 21:8)
The fact that these are in the Old Testament does not diminish the lesson for us!
The New Testament expressly warns us that the same principle applies to us [I Cor. 10:1-12; Heb. 3,4].
 With regard to the possibility of God's people sinning and being lost, the Old and New Testaments teach the same.
Christians who lost their faith
Hebrews 3:12 warned of the danger of developing an evil heart of unbelief like Israel. Many New Testament examples show people to whom this very thing happened:
2 Timothy 2:16-18 - Hymenaeus & Philetus strayed and overthrew the faith of some. (Faith cannot be overthrown in those who do not first possess it.)
1 Timothy 1:18-20 - Timothy should hold the faith and not be like Hymenaeus and Alexander, who made shipwreck concerning the faith and committed blasphemy.
1 Timothy 5:8 - Anyone (including a child of God) who doesn't care for his family has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
What happens to people who lose their faith? Faith is essential to salvation.
Hebrews 11:6 - Without faith it is impossible to please God (the application in the context of this book is to those who had faith but turn from it - 3:12; 10:30).
Revelation 21:8 - Unbelievers will be in the lake of fire.
Let me tell you a true story of a man who lost his faith and became lost and dead in a sinful lifestyle. 
A certain man, whom I know, was once obedient and served God.  Over the years, his heart grew callous.  He no longer lived obedient to the Lord.  He even began to doubt the existence of God.  As he aged, his physical health began to deteriorate and he found himself crying out to God. One day, after crying out to God,he heard God speak to him.  God said, "I cannot forgive you because you do not love me."  The man wept and continued to pray. He heard God speak to him again.  God told him to get on his knees.  After praying and crying, God spoke to him again.  The man heard God call him by name, and then God said, "I forgive you and I love you." Today, God is still doing a work in this man's life, and he is trying to live a more obedient life. I was so glad to hear that this prodigal son decided to return home into the loving arms of his Father.  
Was God calling this sinner back home?
  I believe so.
 Was it his choice to return? Yes, I believe so.
Now let's continue with this study.
Acts 8:12-24 - Simon the Sorcerer
Simon believed and was baptized (v13). This is what Jesus said one must do to be saved (Mark 16:16). This is what the other Samaritans did (v12). Simon did "ALSO" the same things the others did. If they were saved, he was saved. If he was not saved, then none of the others were saved.
But Simon later sinned. His heart was not right (v21), he was guilty of wickedness (v22), and was in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity (v23). As a result, he would perish (v20) if he did not repent and pray (v22).
Galatians 5:1-4 
These people were children of God (3:26; 1:2-4; 4:6), who had been set free by Christ (5:1). They had to be in grace if they fell from it (5:4).
They sinned in that they desired to go back to the Old Testament yoke of bondage (5:1) and bound circumcision. As a result, Christ profited them nothing (v2), they were severed from Christ (v4), fallen from grace (v4). They were not obeying truth (v7).
These were children of God who were in God's grace but then fell from that grace so that Christ profited them nothing and they were severed from Christ. Can one receive eternal life if he is severed from Christ (Eph. 1:3-7) and fallen from the grace that saves (Eph. 2:8)? 
Folks are sometimes confused by passages. We need to understand the arguments and how to answer them. Some of these passages do offer hope and security to believers, but they are conditional passages, and these conditions are often overlooked.
 If we study the verses in light of what we have already learned we will see that, while they do give security to those who are faithful, they do not teach unconditional security.
Passages that Say We Have Eternal Life
Numerous passages are cited which say we have eternal life: John 10:28; 17:3; 5:24; 3:36; 6:47; 3:16; I John 5:12,13. Some argue that, if we have it, and if it is eternal, then we cannot lose it. If we do, it wasn't eternal.
We have eternal life now only as a promise or hope.
1 John 2:25 - This is the promise He has promised us, even life eternal.
James 1:12 - The crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love Him.
Titus 1:2; 3:7 - The hope of eternal life, which God promised.
We receive eternal life, in the sense of a present possession, only after earthly life is over and then only if we endure faithfully till life is over.
Luke 18:30 - We receive eternal life "in the world to come."
Romans 2:5-7 - Eternal life will be given at the judgment IF we continue patiently in well doing.
 [This is the same time that the wicked will receive eternal punishment - Matt. 25:46. Does this happen in this life?]
Revelation 2:10 - Be faithful until death and receive the crown of life.
In this life, we "have" eternal life in the sense of a promise or a hope based on faith.
But we actually enter eternal life at the judgment if and only if we continue living faithfully (not in sin) till life is over. This is a conditional promise.
We will be lost if we willfully fail to abide IN Christ.
The proof texts, used to defend "present possession" of eternal life, themselves state conditions to be met.
John 5:24 - He who hears and believes. But we have shown that one can cease doing these.
John 6:47; 3:16,36 - He that believes. But one can cease believing.
1 John 5:13 - verses 11 &12 speak of those who believe on the Son, and life is IN the Son.
 But we can cease believing and fail to abide in Him (John 15:1-8).
John 10:27,28 - Hear Jesus' voice and follow Him.
John 17:3 - Know God. But one can forget God, turn from Him, and cease to know Him (I John 2:3-6; Jer. 3:21,22; Psa. 9:17; 106;12,21,24).
Note also that saving faith requires obedience, and to cease to obey is to cease to have a saving faith(James 2:14-26; Heb. 10:39; chap. 11; Gal. 5:6; etc.)
The fact life is "eternal" does not prove we cannot lose it. "Eternal" describes the nature of the life.
 It has nothing to do with whether it can or cannot be lost.

"And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" Heb 5:9
Unto who?
 "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" James 2:24

Acts 11:14; 10:34,35 - Peter told Cornelius words whereby he would be saved. But the first words He said were that, to be accepted by God, people must work righteousness (not wickedness).
 This is true for all people, for God shows no partiality!
Matthew 7:21-27; Luke 6:46 - To accept Jesus as Lord (ruler, master) and enter the kingdom of heaven,
we must do what He says.
 We may believe and confess Him yet be rejected, because we did not obey.
1 John 5:3; John 14:15,21-24 - Loving God requires us to keep His commands.
 If we do not obey, we do not love Him
Remember the story about the man whom God told that He could not forgive because he(the man) did not love Him(the Lord)?
Can one be saved if he does not love God?
 (1 Corinthians 16:22; Matthew 22:37-39)
The doctrine of "faith only" or never being able to become lost again denies the necessity for all obedience to commands.
 All the passages we have just studied show that such a view is false doctrine. (See also Rev. 20:12-15; John 5:28,29; 1 John 2:17.)

 John 15 said we must “abide in Christ”.
 How can one person be in another person?
The phrase is used in Scripture to describe a close, intimate, personal relationship.
 One person is “in” another when they have a harmonious spiritual union or fellowship with one another.
Notice some relationships for which the Bible says one person is “in” the other.
The Father and Son are “in” one another.
John 14:10,11 — Jesus said we should believe that He is in the Father and the Father in Him. They are not the same Being or individual, but they are so close in their relationship or fellowship that Jesus said they are “in” one another.
[John 10:38; 17:20-23; 14:19-23]
Christians are in the Father and the Son, and the Father and Son are in us.
John 14:20-23 — If (note the word “if”)we love Jesus and keep His commands, we are in Him and He is in us, as He is in the Father. He and His Father will love us and come and make their abode with us. So we are “in” the Father and Son in the same sense that they are “in” one another.
 We do not become all one individual, but we love one another and our relationship is so close that they are said to abide with us.
Beautiful, isn't it!
John 17:20-23 — Jesus prayed for all who believe in Him to be one in Him. We are one with them and Jesus is in us as He is in the Father and the Father in Him. Note that this passage explains that being “in” one another means being one with them.
[2 Corinthians 6:16-18; John 15:4-6; Eph. 3:17; Gal. 2:20; Rev. 3:20; 21:3; 1 John 2:6,24; 3:24; 4:12-16; John 6:56; Phil. 1:1; Rom. 8:10; Col. 1:27; 1 John 1:3-7]
The Holy Spirit is in Christians.
1 Corinthians 6:19 — Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in us.
Note the similarity to the above passages. Most people can understand that, for the Father and Son to be in us, means we have a close relationship: a fellowship of unity and oneness. If so, then we should be able to understand that, for the Holy Spirit to be in us, means the same thing.
So for us to be “in Christ” means to be in a close, harmonious spiritual relation with Him. As a result, we receive the blessings He offers.
[1 Cor. 3:16; Acts 5:32; Rom. 8:9-11; Tit. 3:5,6; James 4:5; 2 Tim. 1:14; Gal. 4:6; John 14:16,17; 1 John 4:13; Rom. 5:5; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 6:4; John 7:37-39; Eph. 2:22; Acts 2:38; 5:5; Eph. 1:13,14; 4:30; 5:18]

In the Old Testament examples, God placed His blessings in a place and, in order to receive those blessings, people had to be in that location.
The New Testament requires us to be “IN Christ.” Why should we want to be in Him? Why is it important to REMAIN IN Him?
As in the Old Testament examples, blessings are found in Christ that we can have if we are in Him but will miss if we are not in Him. Notice some of these blessings:
Reconciliation,
 redemption,
 and forgiveness of sins
IN Christ.
Ephesians 2:12-17 — People who are guilty of sins are outside Christ, far off, strangers, foreigners, separated from God [Isaiah 59:1,2].
 But “in Christ” we are reconciled to God (made friends again), made near to Him, at peace with Him.
We will not go on willfully sinning!
[Phil. 4:7; 2 Cor. 5:18,19; 1 Pet. 5:14; Rom. 3:22-24; Col. 1:14]
New creatures in Christ (but still the old man of sin outside Christ).
Romans 6:11 — In Christ We are dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. The old man is crucified and the body of sin is done away (v6).
2 Corinthians 5:17 — If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Outside Christ we are still guilty of our sins. This is the old man. When our sins are forgiven, we come into Christ and all is made new. Other passages refer to this as being “born again” [John 3:3,5].
Freedom from condemnation in Christ (but condemnation of sin outside Christ)
Romans 8:1 — There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
A person will be obedient to His word if he or she is ABIDING in Christ.
  If a person, once saved, willingly returns to a sinful lifestyle, there will be condemnation because they are in sin and no longer IN Christ.
John 15:6 — If anyone does not abide in Jesus, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
Grace of God in Christ (but no grace outside Christ)
2 Timothy 2:1 — Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 5:4 — You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
God’s grace is the unmerited, undeserved favor that He extends to us by the blood of Jesus. We deserved to be under eternal condemnation because of our sins. But because God loves us, He sent Jesus to die for us so we could be saved though we do not deserve it.
Since Jesus is the sacrifice for our sins, grace is found only in Him. If we are estranged or severed from Christ, we are separated from that grace. Those who believe in salvation by grace must come into Christ to obtain that grace.

Salvation from sin in Christ (but no salvation outside Christ)
Acts 4:12 — Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
John 15:9,10 — If we keep Jesus’ commands we abide in His love. But if we don’t obey Him, we are cut off as a branch and burned (v6).
 God still offers His love even toward those who sin. But if we do not serve Him, then we do not abide in that love and do not receive the benefits of it. [John 14:23]
Eternal life in Christ (but eternal death outside Christ)
1 John 5:11-12 — God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Eternal life is available to those who have fellowship with Jesus.
If we continue in sin, we do not have fellowship with Jesus and do not have the hope of eternal life.
[Rom. 6:23; John 1:4; 14:6; 2 Tim. 1:1]
All spiritual blessings in Christ (but separation from these blessings outside Christ)

After Coming into Christ, One Must Then Abide [remain] in Christ.
John 15:1-6 — Jesus said we must abide in Him as a branch must abide in the vine. If we don’t, we are cast forth and are burned.
 It is not enough just to come into Christ and think that is all there is to it.
 Some believe that once you come into Christ, you are assured of eternal life
 no matter how you may live.
But consider the cities of refuge and other Old Testament examples. It was not enough for people just to come into the place of God’s blessings; they had to remain there else they ceased to have the blessings. So the Bible says there are things to do to remain in Christ and continue to receive the blessings available there.

 Consider what the gospel says we must do “in Christ”:
John 15:1-6 — We must bear much fruit in Christ.
This is necessary in order to abide in Jesus. We must do the good works of service He has commanded; otherwise we are cast off and burned.
Philippians 4:1 — We must stand fast in Him.
It is possible for one who is in Christ to become negligent or indifferent and become lost. To avoid this we must stand fast. We must maintain our commitment to serving Him and not give up or fall away.
 Colossians 2:6,7- We must walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him.
Our walk refers to the way we live. We must have firm roots so that we do not fall away from His teachings, but continually walk according to them.
1 Peter 3:16 — We must have a good manner of life in Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:58 — We must be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in work, for labor in not in vain in the Lord.
We cannot earn salvation,
 BUT if we fail to live obediently, we willingly choose to depart from God and our eternal reward and again become worthy of eternal punishment.

1 John 2:3-6 — To know we are abiding in Him we must keep His commands and walk as He walked.
 To have the blessings in Christ we must abide in Christ, else we will be cast forth and burned. To know we are in Him, we must obey Him. Hence, we must come into Him by obeying His conditions of forgiveness and abide in Him by continuing to serve Him faithfully. [2 John 9,10; 2 Cor. 6:16-18]
Revelation 14:13 — We must die in Him.
We must continue to serve Him faithfully till death. Being in Christ requires a lifetime commitment of faithful service to Him. This does not mean if we sin our case is hopeless.
We can be forgiven again, but in order to remain in Him we must turn from sin and diligently strive to overcome it in our lives.
 REPENTANCE!
The security of remaining in the love of God is comfort against all external threats.
 
Take Noah for example.  Nothing could have harmed Noah or his family while inside the ark.  Nothing could have plucked or snatched them out of the ark.  IF we continue to remain In Him, we do not have to worry about “making it” to Heaven! 
We don’t have to be worried about losing our salvation!
 It isn’t by our works but through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Although we did not gain salvation in our own, we did have a part in our salvation.
 We had to choose.
 Just as we chose to be In Christ, we must choose to
 Remain In Christ.
  Noah walked with God.  Noah was obedient. He was a preacher of righteousness.  He followed God’s instructions.  He remained IN God.  So you see, we do have be obedient and do what God commands, which is written out for us in His word.  God requires obedience.
  God is more than able to keep us.
  He is our Ark.
  Just as the people in Noah’s day, we too have the God-given choice to enter in
and to remain in
Christ, our Ark.
  IN Christ, we are secure from all external threats! 
Yes, I believe that 100%
However, we must stay obedient and vigilant, so we won’t be tempted into willful sinning.  We have to be able to recognize external threats for what they really are.
 There are wolves in sheep's clothing, seducing spirits, and lusts of the flesh.
 The devil cannot twist our arms, snatch us away, or make us sin.
  The devil is the master of deceit. The devil is a roaring lion seeking to devour.
  He has a way of turning people ears away from hearing the Shepherd’s voice.  He uses lust of the flesh, cares of this world, entertainment, social media, drugs, and individual weaknesses to entangle people and make them 
complacent.
  His arrows are fierce.  It is possible to stray, become callous, indulge in sin, and be overtaken. 
 The flood waters will come, and God will shut the door.
Are you secure IN the Ark?       
Remain IN Him!

7 comments:

  1. Wow, Chris! What a amazing post! I can see how much effort, energy, and time you put into this. Thank you for all of the wonderful passages you have compiled for us to read and study here. God bless you for your diligence to dig deep and to share the truths He lays upon your heart. I love and appreciate you so much!

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. I appreciate your encouraging words. It was a long study. I had piles of notes on this for quite some time. I am glad that i finally put it all together.
      Love ya

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  2. Carolyn, I hope you will see this comment. I appreciated your comments so much, but I accidentally deleted the thread. I had them all checked and clicked on delete. I know we can't get all of what we had written back, but please feel free to comment again. I wanted you to know that I did not deliberately erase them. I was so upset. Your thoughts inspired me into more study. God bless.

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  3. My husband and I often talk of these same things and you have brought up some new food for thought... Thank you for the time it took you to research all of these verses.

    "But he that shall endure unto the END, the same shall be saved." ~ Matthew 24:13

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    1. Thanks! It is much to study, but it is a good study. I had been compiling verses and notes for some time. I am glad that I was finally able to put it all together. God bless.

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  4. My husband and I have been studying this in depth, too, and we agree with you. Great synopsis of one of life's most difficult questions.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. I am glad to see you're in agreement since you and your husband have been studying this in depth. I don't think many people study "in depth" much anymore. It seems people just pick verses and use them without much in depth study, or they go by what they've been told. I hope you will continue to study. God bless.

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