Announcement

Collapse

Deeper Waters Forum Guidelines

Notice – The ministries featured in this section of TheologyWeb are guests of this site and in some cases not bargaining for the rough and tumble world of debate forums, though sometimes they are. Additionally, this area is frequented and highlighted for guests who also very often are not acclimated to debate fora. As such, the rules of conduct here will be more strict than in the general forum. This will be something within the discretion of the Moderators and the Ministry Representative, but we simply ask that you conduct yourselves in a manner considerate of the fact that these ministries are our invited guests. You can always feel free to start a related thread in general forum without such extra restrictions. Thank you.

Deeper Waters is founded on the belief that the Christian community has long been in the shallow end of Christianity while there are treasures of the deep waiting to be discovered. Too many in the shallow end are not prepared when they go out beyond those waters and are quickly devoured by sharks. We wish to aid Christians to equip them to navigate the deeper waters of the ocean of truth and come up with treasure in the end.

We also wish to give special aid to those often neglected, that is, the disabled community. This is especially so since our founders are both on the autism spectrum and have a special desire to reach those on that spectrum. While they are a special emphasis, we seek to help others with any disability realize that God can use them and that they are as the Psalmist says, fearfully and wonderfully made.

General TheologyWeb forum rules: here.
See more
See less

Why I Don't Bother With The Losing Salvation Debate

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Why I Don't Bother With The Losing Salvation Debate

    It's just not worth it.

    Link

    ------

    Is this debate worth having? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    I saw someone else on Facebook recently make a post about losing salvation saying the idea was heretical. A later post toned it down, but the die had been cast. This is one of those debates I used to take part in, but now I don’t really even bother.

    In all openness, my thinking is much more on classical Arminianism. I reject open theism and I don’t hold to Calvinism. However, if you asked me if I believe in works salvation, of course not. Now some people will say that saying you are to believe in Christ counts as a work, but I just consider this pedantic.

    This does not mean I deny the sovereignty of God. My thinking on the whole issue is I just hold to two statements. God is sovereign. Man has free-will. How do those work out? Beats me. Better philosophers than I have wrestled with that and it’s not a necessary question for me.

    So what about losing salvation? This question I think misses the mark because we really lose sight of the goal. I think we all agree that we want to preach the gospel so that people get saved and come to know Jesus, we want to instill a life of discipleship in people, and we want them to live holy lives.

    The Calvinist will evangelize because he doesn’t know who the elect are and he knows that this is the means God has chosen to bring people to salvation. The Arminian will evangelize wanting to give everyone a chance to come to know the gospel. Both are doing the same thing. Both will encourage repentance, holy living, and discipleship.

    So why not focus on those things that we are encouraging? Why not instead of thinking about salvation and if it can be lost, have people live in such a way that it won’t be a concern. The overwhelming majority of Arminians don’t think you can just casually lose your salvation. Instead, it’s more that they think you have to outright apostasize or participate in some blatant sin, such as those in 1 Cor. 6.

    I will interject this. I do think it needs to be addressed when someone is concerned they have lost it, such as the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. If someone is doing a sin that they are concerned about, we really need to be doing is calling them to repentance. A little bit of leaven goes through the whole dough and sin can easily destroy everything in someone’s life.

    Yet looking at this, let’s suppose we have someone that both Calvinists and Arminians agree is living in blatant sin. What are both sides saying? Calvinists are saying “Was never saved to begin with.” Arminians are saying “Lost it.” Again, both camps agree on the conclusion. The person is not a Christian.

    Therefore, instead of debating on this point when we agree on so much really, why not ask this question. How can we encourage Christians to lead more holy lives? What can we be doing to foster discipleship? How can we help those who are struggling with sin and those who are unrepentant?

    Oddest thing. That’s what we’re supposed to be doing anyway? If we do that, then the question really won’t matter.

    Now some might say, “But you’re not trusting in God for your salvation.” I don’t know any Arminians who rely on their works for salvation. We say God is the one who is saving us and it’s not because of what we do. How that works with sovereignty and free-will I do not know, but I do just choose to trust God and live as I ought.

    Thus, I don’t engage in the debate between Calvinists and Arminians. It would be far more profitable for both sides, and may both of us see one another as fellow Christians, to just come together and work on what we can do to increase discipleship and holy living, which we do agree on.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)
    Support my Patreon here.

  • #2
    I disagree in that a number of Christians tend to downplay their own dalliances with sin by appealing to the fact that they can't lose their salvation (which I would question whether they have in that case, but that's a different issue). Even non-Christians who know a little bit about Christianity tend to have a view where one can do whatever they want as long as they repent later. There was a case near my hometown recently where a prominent lady in the community tried to hire a hit man to kill a business rival, and said she knew it was wrong but she could later repent. This statement made the headlines for the non-Christian world to see, and it behooves us to push back on this.

    The New Testament view of sin is that we should fear sin; fight against it to the point of shedding blood. This seems to be based on a fear of being disqualified later (as the harsh warnings in Hebrews underscore). Even Paul wrote that he could be disqualified later if he didn't press on. Teaching eternal security seems to undermine all these biblical warnings.

    In theory, I don't think Calvinists and Arminians are that far apart in what they believe in practice on this issue, but most Christians don't pay attention to the intricacies of this debate and just see it and think, hey, if this means I can't lose my salvation...
    Last edited by KingsGambit; 03-24-2021, 12:11 PM.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
      I disagree in that a number of Christians tend to downplay their own dalliances with sin by appealing to the fact that they can't lose their salvation (which I would question whether they have in that case, but that's a different issue). Even non-Christians who know a little bit about Christianity tend to have a view where one can do whatever they want as long as they repent later. There was a case near my hometown recently where a prominent lady in the community tried to hire a hit man to kill a business rival, and said she knew it was wrong but she could later repent. This statement made the headlines for the non-Christian world to see, and it behooves us to push back on this.

      The New Testament view of sin is that we should fear sin; fight against it to the point of shedding blood. This seems to be based on a fear of being disqualified later (as the harsh warnings in Hebrews underscore). Even Paul wrote that he could be disqualified later if he didn't press on. Teaching eternal security seems to undermine all these biblical warnings.

      In theory, I don't think Calvinists and Arminians are that far apart in what they believe in practice on this issue, but most Christians don't pay attention to the intricacies of this debate and just see it and think, hey, if this means I can't lose my salvation...
      And if we encourage holy living and discipleship and avoiding sin, it covers even that lady. I don't see how this is a problem for my position.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think I get what you're trying to say.
        Rather than do battle on the "can someone lose their salvation" - focus on how they're living NOW.

        I believe Satan has two tactics he loves to employ...
        A) convince lost people they're saved when they're not (because they're good moral people, they give money, they belong to the "right" Church, etc)
        2) convince saved people they're not saved (because they still have a problem with sin, they fail, they trust 'feelings' too much, etc)

        In child evangelism fellowship, we used the "choo choo" model - that the engine is FACT, the coal car is "FAITH" and the caboose is "Feelings".

        fff.jpg

        If it's true that you were serious when you asked Jesus to save you and forgive your sins, then the FACT is that He is faithful and just... 1 John 1:9
        Even if your "feelings" aren't on a mountain high, the FACT that you gave your life to Christ should carry you on.

        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          I think I get what you're trying to say.
          Rather than do battle on the "can someone lose their salvation" - focus on how they're living NOW.

          I believe Satan has two tactics he loves to employ...
          A) convince lost people they're saved when they're not (because they're good moral people, they give money, they belong to the "right" Church, etc)
          2) convince saved people they're not saved (because they still have a problem with sin, they fail, they trust 'feelings' too much, etc)

          In child evangelism fellowship, we used the "choo choo" model - that the engine is FACT, the coal car is "FAITH" and the caboose is "Feelings".

          fff.jpg

          If it's true that you were serious when you asked Jesus to save you and forgive your sins, then the FACT is that He is faithful and just... 1 John 1:9
          Even if your "feelings" aren't on a mountain high, the FACT that you gave your life to Christ should carry you on.
          And it's probably difficult to teach on subjects like this and make sure that people in both those categories are covered. Somebody who is living in sin definitely needs to be warned that the path they're on leads to hell; but somebody who's genuinely trying to follow Jesus and thinks everything they do is a sin when it's not might hear the same message and be terrified. There's just no easy one size fits all approach.
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            And it's probably difficult to teach on subjects like this and make sure that people in both those categories are covered. Somebody who is living in sin definitely needs to be warned that the path they're on leads to hell; but somebody who's genuinely trying to follow Jesus and thinks everything they do is a sin when it's not might hear the same message and be terrified. There's just no easy one size fits all approach.
            Yeah, I think that's where a pastor or sunday school teacher (or even a good Christian friend) can help -- somebody who actually gets to know the people and can use some spiritual discernment.
            Unlike the old "hell-fire revival preacher" who is there to unleash a fiery sermon.

            It's kinda like the argument between "leaving them alone" because it will all get sorted out at the end of the age (the parable of the wheat and tares) and the instructions we have to confront false prophets, and to warn those brothers who are in sin.

            I see it as a wise carpenter who has many tools in his toolbox and on his belt, and he needs to choose the right tool for each task. An experienced carpenter gets to where he doesn't even have to think about which tool to utilize.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

            Comment


            • #7
              Here's my questions regarding losing salvation...

              Say you have Bob. Bob wants to become a Christian. But unknown to Bob, he will reject Jesus in 10 years and become a die-hard atheist. Then 20 years later he will die cursing God.

              So Bob, not knowing that now, prays to God and asks to be saved, for his sins to be forgiven, past present and future, so that he can be with God forever. And he really means it.

              Now, God knows that Bob is going to reject him in 10 years and become a die-hard atheist.

              Now if you can lose salvation then how does it work for Bob?

              Does God say, "sorry Bob, but since you are going to reject me in 10 years, I cannot save you, because you won't die for another 30 years and you will be an atheist then. You never belonged to me"

              How can Bob be saved now but not in 10 years? What good does being saved now do if he isn't going to die for another 30 years, after he rejects God? Ultimately he is not "saved" now or later, right?

              So he doesn't "lose" his salvation, he never had it if salvation ultimately relies on your final state before death.

              That means none of us knows if we are saved now or no if It all depends on our state right before death.
              Last edited by Sparko; 03-24-2021, 02:03 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                Here's my questions regarding losing salvation...

                Say you have Bob. Bob wants to become a Christian. But unknown to Bob, he will reject Jesus in 10 years and become a die-hard atheist. Then 20 years later he will die cursing God.

                So Bob, not knowing that now, prays to God and asks to be saved, for his sins to be forgiven, past present and future, so that he can be with God forever. And he really means it.

                Now, God knows that Bob is going to reject him in 10 years and become a die-hard atheist.

                Now if you can lose salvation then how does it work for Bob?

                Does God say, "sorry Bob, but since you are going to reject me in 10 years, I cannot save you, because you won't die for another 30 years and you will be an atheist then. You never belonged to me"

                How can Bob be saved now but not in 10 years? What good does being saved now do if he isn't going to die for another 30 years, after he rejects God? Ultimately he is not "saved" now or later, right?

                So he doesn't "lose" his salvation, he never had it if salvation ultimately relies on your final state before death.

                That means none of us knows if we are saved now or no if It all depends on our state right before death.
                Which is why I focus on the "now".
                The conventional argument, I think, was -- well, if he parted from the faith, then he wasn't sincere in the first place.
                I don't want to waste time going down the rabbit hole.

                I think that's why we ask "if you were to die right now...."
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                  That means none of us knows if we are saved now or no if It all depends on our state right before death.
                  I don't have a problem with putting it that way. My reading of 1 Corinthians 9:27 is that even Paul allowed for the possibility that he might not make it in the end if he didn't let his guard up (I know some Christians interpret that verse differently.)

                  Likewise, Hebrews 3:14 says: "We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end." There's an if in there. So, no, our final destination is not set in stone until death. We don't know the future, but at the same time, it's not like God is going to just walk away from us. The ball is in our court.
                  Last edited by KingsGambit; 03-24-2021, 02:35 PM.
                  "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                    I don't have a problem with putting it that way. My reading of 1 Corinthians 9:27 is that even Paul allowed for the possibility that he might not make it in the end if he didn't let his guard up (I know some Christians interpret that verse differently.)

                    Likewise, Hebrews 3:14 says: "We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end." There's an if in there. So, no, our final destination is not set in stone until death. We don't know the future, but at the same time, it's not like God is going to just walk away from us. The ball is in our court.
                    I've heard it put this way - "Holding firm, I am firmly held"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by alaskazimm View Post

                      I've heard it put this way - "Holding firm, I am firmly held"
                      Yes, unto Him who is able to keep us from falling!!!
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                        Which is why I focus on the "now".
                        The conventional argument, I think, was -- well, if he parted from the faith, then he wasn't sincere in the first place.
                        I don't want to waste time going down the rabbit hole.

                        I think that's why we ask "if you were to die right now...."
                        It's good to keep it on that focus. I think if somebody is thinking about how much they can get away with in the future, they don't truly understand Jesus.
                        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                          It's good to keep it on that focus. I think if somebody is thinking about how much they can get away with in the future, they don't truly understand Jesus.
                          And not that Baptism saves you, but we would quip "he didn't get baptized - he just got wet".
                          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                            I don't have a problem with putting it that way. My reading of 1 Corinthians 9:27 is that even Paul allowed for the possibility that he might not make it in the end if he didn't let his guard up (I know some Christians interpret that verse differently.)

                            Likewise, Hebrews 3:14 says: "We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end." There's an if in there. So, no, our final destination is not set in stone until death. We don't know the future, but at the same time, it's not like God is going to just walk away from us. The ball is in our court.
                            but then that would nullify all of the verses that say things like:


                            1 John 5:13
                            I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

                            John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.

                            It talks about HAVING eternal life NOW, in the present. But if you can lose it in the future, then those people don't even have it now. You can't have eternal life and then NOT have eternal life. Eternal life is eternal. If you can have it now but ultimately not have it when you die, then you really never had it. You just thought you did. Which would be fine, except for the fact that God KNOWS the future so he knows that many who truly believe in him and ask for eternal life are just fooling themselves and it makes his word a lie, saying that if they believe in him they HAVE eternal life, when they really don't.



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Gotta admire Nick. In starting a thread about why he does not debate this particular topic, he ignited a debate on this particular topic -- and quite predictably.
                              Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                              Beige Nationalist.

                              "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                              Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by Apologiaphoenix, Today, 09:20 AM
                              1 response
                              11 views
                              1 like
                              Last Post rogue06
                              by rogue06
                               
                              Started by Apologiaphoenix, 06-11-2021, 09:08 AM
                              0 responses
                              19 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Apologiaphoenix  
                              Started by Apologiaphoenix, 06-10-2021, 09:03 AM
                              9 responses
                              77 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Hypatia_Alexandria  
                              Started by Apologiaphoenix, 06-09-2021, 09:18 AM
                              1 response
                              20 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post mossrose  
                              Started by Apologiaphoenix, 06-08-2021, 09:03 AM
                              0 responses
                              17 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Apologiaphoenix  
                              Working...
                              X