A Voice in the
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January 26, 2001

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Q/A Topics:
Cannot be Saved Again?

QUESTION:
Just a couple of points, for my benefit. Do you agree with the following. That no matter what a persons reasons for doing so, if they return fully to the sinful world, not confessing or repenting, intentionally, but to just return, and maybe in their own mind start all over again sometime down the line, they commit apostasy, blaspheme the spirit, quench it in themselves and are eternally lost. No matter how they might sob and cry 9 months down the line, wanting to start all afresh, its over. They cannot be saved again.

ANSWER:
Recommended reading at the website:

"12 Kinds of People"

There are those who backslide, but take their state of being saved with them. They are still the Father's son, and in the hog pen turn to their senses and repent and return. They took their allotted inheritance with them. (Lk15:12) There are various catagories of this sort of backsliding.

The one who "cannot be saved again" is #11.

QUESTION:
Even if they were only 7 months after being saved with no teaching.

ANSWER:
This fits with some the catagories of Jesus' "seed" of the sower. (Mt13) Some of those seeds sprouted up quickly...they had "life" in them...but died again right away for various reasons. Recommended reading at the Library:

Matthew ch13:1-23b

QUESTION:
Reason is to my understanding, that returning to a dead state would require another calvary to renew the persons soul (hebrews 6:4 - 6:7). Am I correct?

ANSWER:
That's right. Christ died "once for all" (Heb7:27, 9:12,28)

QUESTION:
The situation is not that the person is incapable of repenting, but that they are incapable of having their souls renewed again? Am I correct?

ANSWER:
Well...that Christ died -ONCE-. He does not die again. His sacrifice was a "one time" offering. Man's appointment is to "die once". (Heb9:27) If he receives Christ's redemption, and then throws it away, there is no more sacrifice. (Heb10:26) It was a "one time deal". There is no more.

QUESTION:
Even if the person was tricked(in a way) into getting involved, in that the truth of the cost was hidden from them even when they requested to know if it would cost them, as they suspected that it would be costly and that they needed to be ready, it was kept hidden from them so as not to put them off making the crossing into Christ.

ANSWER:
I'm sure we could speculate the 'zillions' of personal scenarios. One thing is sure...God knows the heart. (Heb4:12) And He knows those who are His. (2Tm2:19) Most of those who are "tricked" are not really saved in the first place; and I would guess this accounts for 99% of the unregenerates in the "churches". They have not yet "tasted the good Word of God" (Heb6:5) They have not yet -truly- "known the way of righteousness". (2Pt2:21) They do not fit this scenario. They have never yet been saved, even though they "went forward" umpteen zillion times at crusades and camp meetings, etc. Nobody told them they needed to repent. The Word of God was not preached, so they had no basis for "faith". (Rom10:17) They went to (rock) concerts, were told to pray, have faith, sign a card, go forward, repeat-after-me, speak in tongues, etc. But none of those things save. They never experienced the "birth from above". (Jn3:3) They have never yet been "in Christ" where everything became "new" for them. (2Cor5:17) They have never been "of us". (1Jn2:19)

That kind of person can continually go back and forth, in and out of a state of PSEUDO-savedness. But neither state is a TRUE Believer. They are not "#11". They have not 'walked away' from Christ, because they were never "in Christ" to begin with. Make sense? They are floundering around in #7-9 (of the "12 kinds..)

QUESTION:
Then they decide to let go of their ideas that anything had to change, trusting in the messenger, get involved thinking that their preconcieved ideas that there would be a cost were wrong, and change was unfounded, they get involved, get testing, find out they are in trouble, alone, no teaching or fellowhship, they remain in some sin, resist the spirit, plod along for a few months eventually turn back willfuly, deciding to go back and straighten out the things which they would have ordinarily done first before getting involved, and try again later in life, despite little voice of conviction warning against this. No matter what a persons reasons, heb 10:32 approx -'if any man draw back, my soul will have no pleasure in him'. Am I correct in this?

ANSWER:
Again...God knows the 'individual' heart. But this is a likely candidate for #11.

QUESTION:
Once the spirit departs from the person, he never ever can return to that person again? Is this correct?

ANSWER:
By definition...yes. The definition of a Believer is one who has the Holy Spirit residing. If the Spirit does not reside, he is not a Believer. (Rom8:9) If he was saved (the Spirit residing) at one point, and then "insults the Spirit of grace" (Heb10:29b) by kicking Him out, and turning their back on God and walking away, then, they can never return again.

But this does not happen by "casual sin". In other words, if we slip up and disobey, that does not automatically make us "lose" our salvation. We were not saved by works. (Eph2:9) Neither can we be lost by works, because as "flesh and blood" (1Cor15:50) we have little sins (1Jn1:8) which need confessing from time to time (vs9), and Jesus' advocacy propitiates for our sins. (1Jn2:1-2) As Believers we are "clean" in God's sight because we have been "washed" (Tit3:5). Being thus "bathed", we only need to periodically have our 'feet' washed (Jn13:10) from our journeys in this dirty world.

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Withered Branches Burned?

QUESTION:
There is one part of John 15 that I am not settled on. That is verse 6...where he speaks of branches being put in the fire. I initially thought this meant that false professors of Christ (nonbelievers) would end up in hell but my pastor told me, no, this means that the believer's works will be burned if the motive is wrong (not from the Lord). I can see both possibilities... given that the discussion Jesus is having is with his disciples and not to the public at large..thus, the message is for his disciples (believers); however the words state "the branch"...meaning the person. It does not say anything about the works of the person. As you say, the Lord will put in messages for both the saved and unsaved. Wasn't Judas Iscariot in the same room when Jesus spoke about this? Thus, the branch being burned could mean that the branch is going to hell if it is not fruitful? What is your understanding of this verse?

ANSWER:
First of all, Judas had already left (13:26-30).

Would I be correct in assuming your pastor believes in "once saved-always saved", calling it "Eternal Security"? [Answered: "yes"] A person who holds to that view would have a hard time accepting what Jesus is saying. Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches.." (vs5) Your assessment is correct. The branches are the 'people'...not the works. Just as Paul makes the connection with a person for whom the Holy Spirit "NOT" residing as being unsaved (Rom8:9), Jesus here speaks of the need to "abide in" Christ. (vs4) How do we know a person? By their fruits. (Mt7:20) And Jesus says we cannot bear fruit unless we "abide" in Him. (vs4) If a person is not bearing fruit, because he is not abiding in the vine...by 'knowing' the fruits (or lack of them), we know they are "withered". They are not "in Christ". (2Cor5:17) The fact that there once 'was' a branch -TO- wither, indicates that there was Life. But now there isn't. They have "drawn back" (Heb10:38-39) away from Christ. Such a person can no-more be saved 'again'. (Heb6:4-6) Yes...they are doomed to hell. Yes, Paul warned of the possibility that, if the "natural branches" (Israel) were not spared, that a (Gentile) person who haughtily makes assumptions about his Eternal Security, based on things other than being grafted into Christ (etc), "may not [be spared] either". (Rom11:21) If the branch is not bearing fruit, it is a 'pretend' branch. The Father "takes [it] away" (vs2) If Jesus is continually speaking of "abiding in" Him, as a 'command', it would seem obvious to even the casual understanding that the 'opposite' of what is being commanded is possible...that one might -not- continue abiding.

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Church youth dressing like the world

QUESTION:
We have about 30-35 youths ranging from 13 - 22. We go out witnessing to others through singing and performing skits.

Now the problem lies with the older ladies ages 18-19 years old. all of a sudden a couple of them think it is fine to look like the world. they want to start dying their hair very strange unnatural colors and also get their nose pierced. They saw a christian girl band recently and that is what they looked like, now they think it is proper for them. I have tried to talk them and tell them it is wrong, that they are set apart and are to lead holy lives but they answer me by saying how are they to witness to those kind of people that look like that if they don't look like that themselves. They know if they go through with it theyhave to take the ring out before they come to youth group and also their will be other consequences .

If you can pour any of your wisdom this way it would really be a blessing to me because I am very frustrated. i keep praying for our group and that they will use the strength God gave them and stand their post and will always continue to do so.

ANSWER:
Well...it is quite likely that they are not saved; if they love the world that much. Jesus said, "..but I chose you OUT OF the world.." (Jn15:19) While we cannot leave the world until the rapture, (1Cor5:10) we are NOT to be LIKE the world (vs11) while we are still here. In witnessing, "..though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ," (2Cor10:3-5) If they are witnessing, asking people to "repent" (which includes 'change'), but they, themselves, are not willing to be different...of what use is such witnessing? Who is changing to be like whom? One of the "arguments (logismos=logic, reckoning, reasoning, judgment)" that God's Word "casts down" is that God's ways are not like the world's ways. His ways and thoughts are "higher". (Is55:8-9) God calls people to "forsake their (evil) way" and to "return to the Lord". (vs7) Witnessing must be God's Word. (vs11, Rom10:17) That is not accomplished by being 'like' the ones to whom one is witnessing. The world's argument/logic is that one must "lure" the person in, unsuspecting. Be a "salesman" and 'deceive' them into the kingdom. Who is the father of lies? (Jn8:44) But God's argument/judgment is that it simply requires His Word. It does not return void. "Let your yes be yes, and your no, no". (Jas5:12)

In today's climate, it is not easy. The 'real' Believers are "few". (Mt7:14) Just because they are in the youth group does not mean they are saved. If they are not saved, they cannot go witnessing. -THEY- need the Lord! And if they are not saved, you cannot necessarily expect their desires to conform to Godly principles. You can EXPECT conflict. You can EXPECT them to dress themselves like the world. It is in their 'nature' to do so. The "stars" they emulate are not Believers... and 'they' do what is their nature to do. You can wash a pig up, and spray some perfume on it, and put a pretty ribbon around its neck...but when it sees some mud, it's 'nature' will draw it to the mud.

Your girls need the Savior!

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Drummer wears a beret

QUESTION:
Our youth have a Praise Band who occasionally play at a Worship Service and the drummer wears a beret when he plays. My wife, raised a Lutheran which have many rules and codes of conduct, was shocked that he wore this hat while playing in the service. I didn't see it as that big of an issue.

My contention was that dress should be modest but could be modern and that wearing a hat by a man is a cultural issue and is no longer viewed as dishonoring (we do not have a dress code, so to speak). My wife believed otherwise. We also have a group of liturgical dancers who have struggled to find the appropriate dance wear, again focusing on modesty while still being in fashion. My brother-in-law left the last church he attended because his wife and daughter were chastised for not wearing a dress to a church event (not a service). Some have referred to the NT "rules" (not sure where) that says women should have their heads covered, etc., but my contention is that the Bible does not set specific standards for dress rather encourages each of us to dress in a manner that is modest, not drawing attention to oneself, not encouraging one to sin, etc., otherwise, I'd better dust off my toga and robes.

Your input would be appreciated.

ANSWER:
"praise band" and "liturgical dancers" ...and you want my input?

Get rid of them both..!!

Sorry to be so blunt, but you've been on this e-list long enough where we've talked about music and worship bands, if I were to give my input, don't you know, by now, what it would be? There's no problem with the "beret". But there -is- with the 'praise band'!!

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