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August 19, 1997

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Q/A Topics:
Once Saved-Always Saved?

Q.
In Saved 11 you talk about God's omniscient nature and because God created time He is therefore outside of time able to view it all past, present and future at once. Hence when the Bible talks of the Lambs Book of Life being written before the foundations of the world that is exactly what has happened since God can see the beginning and the end of time and see who will choose Him and who will not. But, in "Once Save-Always Saved?" you state that a person who is saved can choose to turn away from God and because of his turning away have the salvation previously promised to him removed.

My question is, if a person who falls into this category was once saved then their name must have appeared at one time in the Lambs Book of Life and then was blotted from it. But how can this be if the God already knew before the creation of the world that that person would turn away and therefore not put their name into the Lambs Book of Life in the first place? It is not that I hold to a once saved always saved doctrine but that I do not understand and would like to since right now to me they seem to contradict each other.

A.
Something we need to keep clear. There are two parts to salvation. There is God's part. The provision He made. His promises. And then, there's our response to Him.

As an illustration, suppose you have a birthday, and I am presenting you with a gift. I come to your house with the gift in hand. I bring it in, and offer it to you. I might set it on the table for you to accept.

(Just supposing, for the sake of illustration, that your razor had broken, and the gift was a razor.)

You can accept the razor, open the box, and use it to shave, and maintain a smooth beard. But then, after having used it a few times, you can put the razor down, and refuse to use it further. For whatever reason you decide you don't want to have anything to do with me, nor anything "attached to" me. So, you pack it up and mail it off to me, expressing your sentiments. It doesn't change the fact that I gave you the razor, and desired for you to use it. However, your beard is now going to grow.

Same thing. If you double-check the paragraph on "predestined" and "free-will" you can see that God knows everything. He knows that the person will receive Christ. And thus, He offers and promises eternal life. The name is written in the "book." God's promise is sure. If the person turns away, and, in effect, asks God to remove his name...God's promise is secure until the person turns away, and says, "I don't want it." (He refuses to "use the razor") And, in His foreknowledge...God also knew this sequence of events would happen. ...that the name would be written, and then blotted out. I really see no contradiction at all.

Q.
Also in another article you talk of how the truly saved believer is adopted into the family of God as his child. Again, I have a question about the saved believer who turns away. If they were once saved then they must have been adopted into the family of God and His child, then when they turn away are they unadopted or disowned?

A.
This point, here, is why "walking away" is not a casual "chance" slipping up and sinning. It is not an "oops...I lied...I lost my salvation." 1John 1 is pretty clear on this, and 2:1 speaks of the advocacy of Christ for those slip-ups.

But yes. Things happen in families where the child says, "I want nothing to do with this family any more." Or, the father has the will re-written to remove a certain child from the inheritance.

Our being "saved" is like a legal transaction. We were in sin, but Jesus comes and pays the ransom, and "draws up the papers" to purchase/adopt us, and legally/positionally before God, we are justified. The Holy Spirit "seals" the transaction. So, just as the papers could be drawn up, the recipient of the benefits can also take those papers and rip them up and burn them.

The deal is secure in heaven. Jesus has one of those safety deposit box keys. And by the sealing of the Holy Spirit, we have the "other" key. But it takes two keys to open the box. Both Christ and the saved individual coming before the Father. If the person throws their key away, that box cannot be opened. Like the wedding guest who didn't have the wedding garment.(Mt22:11)

Q.
And Finally another article talks about saved believers being indwelt forever by the Holy Spirit. If a person is indwelt forever by the Holy Spirit and that person turns away is the Holy Spirit taken away?

A.
I'm scratching my head on this one. Not quite sure the context you are refering to. Closest thing I can think of is john 14:16, ""And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever;

If this is what you are refering to...you notice, it doesn't say "He WILL abide with you forever" (even against your will) But the word "may" speaks of that which is available. No...not "He may, or He may not" (as the winds of whim may happen to dictate) But rather, "He is given to [be available] to you forever...if this is the route you choose to accept, He will be there forever...He's not going anywhere. Again, [God's] security. The surety of the Holy Spirit always being there, if we receive Him and remain steadfast.(Heb3:14)

Q/A -Cannot be Unborn

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How/why I Switched from "Once Saved-Always Saved"

Q.
Just a suggestion, and not meaning to be critical, because I enjoy your ministry a bunch. 4 books that will clear up some things for you on the Eternal Security of the believer in Jesus Christ....that will Bless and encourage you are: (ed. by authors: Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, H.A. Ironside, Zane C. Hodges, Charles Stanley)

You seem to border on the Arminian notion, that somehow a child of God in Jesus Christ, if disobedient might be lost... maybe not....but sort of.

Also, Hebrews 10:29 is a false professor, not a true born-again child of God.

I hope you read the books I recommended, they will certainly Bless you.

A.
I don't know why it is, every time a "Once Saved Always Saved" person reacts to "walking away from God" or "starting out with Christ and turning back" that the only thing they can see is "disobedience... therefore lost." Yes, children are disobedient...but that does not make them "cease to be" children. But, on the other hand, Scripture speaks MUCH of starting out with Christ, not having counted the cost, and turning back, deciding not to follow after all. Jesus speaks of it MUCH. Paul speaks of it much in his comments of "continuing steadfast" and "enduring" etc.etc.

BTW...where does it say that Heb10:29 is a "false professer?" The context begins as close as vs26, the one who "received the knowledge of the truth." That's another expression for a Believer. Paul writes often of growing in the "knowledge of Christ." Believers. To "know Him." John writes of "knowing Him...and keeping His commandments." So, why should "this" passage be any different?

I will say briefly...I used to be in the "Once Saved Always Saved" camp. I believed it because it was what was taught to me by all the respected teachers. And Dallas Seminary, the "finest in the world" at the time, taught it. But you know...there were just TOO MANY "problem passages" when that view was held. These passages had to "assume" too much as having been "written between the lines" and "interpreted." Things the passage simply did not say.

For me the telling moment occured a few years ago. About 11 years ago I knew this lady who used to bring her daughter to the house for piano lessons. Once the lesson was over, we would sit around talking... "fellowshipping" in Christ. Talking of Spiritual matters. There was a "witness" of the Spirit, that we were both Believers.(Rom8:16)

Then, for several years I didn't see her. Then, around the same time my unequal yoke left, she divorced her husband and married a person who owns a couple of local music stores.(guitars, drums, P.A.systems) 'Next time I saw her, she was a different person. Now, the "spirit" was of the enemy. And as I was at the counter taking care of the business I was there for, she came around....and in hearing her joking with the employees, there was a "FOULNESS" to her speech; words I had never heard before, nor understood. But fully realized the "spirit" that she was now of. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Mt12:34)

How, could a Christian "loose" her salvation and become a "demonic" person? If a person is "Once Saved Always Saved" ...how could this be??!! She was Most Assuredly a Believer before. And just as assuredly was NOT "now."

A trusted Christian Brother shared with me the concepts, which I knew, but had not realized...as illustrated in "Twelve Kinds of People" ...I had not realized the catagory of the "walk-away from Christ" person.

I spent a complete afternoon at my store (the phones didn't ring, and business was slow) doing word searches on any combination I could think of in my Bible software. From Genesis - Revelation. Looking up the lexical word definitions. Checking the Strong's numbers for every instance of particular words throughout the Bible...getting an overall view of Scripture. A frantic afternoon...as this whole concept was about to shatter a "pivotal doctrine" I had simply accepted, because the "great men of God" and theologians taught it, and believed it all my life. In that one afternoon, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes...and *ALL* the "problem passages" were resolved. Now, the passages actually meant "what they said" without having to be explained or interpreted.

While I appreciate your suggested reading list, I have read other just-as-equally notable authors...before I learned the Truth. I think I'll stick with what the Holy Spirit has taught, through Scripture.

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Unpardonable Sin -Word definitions

Q.
11) Saved - Fall away purposely, permanently. -cannot be saved (again) -better if they had not been born -better if they had not known the Truth -how much worse their punishment?

    "But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die. (Ez18:24)
What is this "unpardonable" sin(s)? All of us have (knowing better..even at the very time) done something we KNEW was not right. Right off, I can think of buying a software program that I just knew I had to have, but that it was not in God's will. (This sounds silly, but to me it was wrong and I knew it at the time). This tends to suggest that if we sin, knowing it is sin, there is no forgiveness. But then I know God is changing me daily, making me what He wants me to be. I stumble along the way, of course. I know I'm still "in" Christ. Where is the correlation????? This one scripture has troubled me before.

Does this mean PURPOSELY, PERMANENTLY TURNING AWAY and in doing so, deny Christ after having known Him? A specific decision to turn from God? Not merely knowingly doing something we know is not God's best, then truly repenting, letting God pick us up again, and going forward again with God?

A.
The "unpardonable sin" (as many have come to call it) is not some specific sin/act one commits. I hear people talk about "seven deadly sins" and others, probably based on Catholic traditions of penance and purgatory, come up with a hierarchy of sins. Some being better/worse than others. As though, if one commits "this" sin, he's REALLY doomed, but these "others" over here, are "not so bad." And, while it may be the case that some sins have more or less outward effect on lives....sin is sin. And comes under the sentence of death.

John writes, "Whoever abides in Him does not sin...whoever is born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin."(1Jn3:6,9) On the other hand he says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."(1:8) Is this a contradiction?

(1Jn3:6,9) refers to the same thing Ez18:24 (above) does. The word/s "commits iniquity" has the meaning, "to fashion, to work at, to make/produce, prepare, acquire, ordain, institute ...iniquity." This, in the context of him "turning away/back" from his "state of being in" righteousness. He was in a "position" of righteousness (which is what Christians are), turns his back upon that "essence" and turns to "a way of wickedness." He embraces wickedness and sin as "belonging to" him.

If a person abides in Christ...he does not also "embrace" sin. So, how does this compare with 1Jn1:8, "if we say we have no sin?" This word "have" is a transitory word. To "have it in hand, it's external, something one clings to." This is due to our physical natures, from which we have not yet been "changed."(1Cor15:53)

Kinda like...we are walking in this filthy earth. And as dust/mud might cling to us from walking through a barnyard/corral, so, in the same manner sin clings to us as we are "sojourners." But it is not an "essential part" of us. When we go into the house for supper after working outside, we "wash up." In the same way, we "confess our sins."(1Jn1:9) As Jesus washed the feet of His disciples He said, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean."(Jn13:10)

So...after all that lengthiness...to your paragraph begining "does this mean..." ..."yes" that's it. Let us remember: DOING righteousness or sin does NOT MAKE us rightous or sinner/s. We sin because we ARE sinners. We do righteousness, because we are righteous. We are saved by Christ's act of dying on the cross, which we receive. And we can CHOOSE TO walk away from God.

The "unpardonable sin" as Jesus spoke of it, was "blaspheming the Holy Spirit."(Mk3:29) This was in the context of them (Israel) rejecting the Holy Spirit, as they had the Father in the O.T. and Jesus in the Gospels when they crucified Him. And found themselves cut away from the tree for a time.(Rom11)

But we see from Heb 10:29, that the same principle is at work for the one who "sins willfully after [receiving] the knowledge of the truth."(10:26) It is the Holy Spirit Who has been "insulted" [blasphemed].

In the O.T. people worshipped God [way "out there" someplace]. Although He wanted to be in their hearts.(Deut30:13,5:29) But the Church has the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.(Jn14:16,23) We are not separated by the priests, temple, veil, etc...but God is [in] us, as we are His temple/s.(1Cor6:19)

But, to knowingly buy some software that we know we shouldn't. To look with lust at the opposite sex. To...."you-fill-in-the-blank" No...these are not unpardonable.

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