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Why I Don't Bother With The Losing Salvation Debate

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  • #46
    Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

    We see nothing in that to prevent one from voluntarily "jumping" out of His hand.

    And I agree with you otherwise: If a believer does make that choice, it is irrevocable.
    If irrevocable, what do you make of James 5:19-20?
    "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

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    • #47
      I have a rather simplistic view of this....

      Do you know that you are saved TODAY?
      Regardless of your past, or how close or far away from God you were, what about TODAY?
      If you apostatized at some point, what about TODAY?
      Give yourself to God, don't listen to the naysayers - throw yourself on His Mercy.

      The worst that can happen is that you stay lost and hell-bound.
      But the best that can happen is that God will see your repentance and accept you back.

      I think, by even considering that somebody can lose their salvation "irrevocably", we may be helping to doom them to hell.
      They need to put everything they have into recognizing that their Father loves them and wants them back.
      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

        If irrevocable, what do you make of James 5:19-20?
        To go off course is not the same as suffering shipwreck, which happens when one *persists* in the wrong course to the point of "rejecting" fidelity and a good conscience, rather than holding to them -- 1 Tim. 1:19.

        FTR, I do not believe that any sin causes loss of salvation, and, concurrently, that I might believe true believers never sin.

        I have, rarely, *heard* teachings along those lines, mainly from aberrant Wesleyan versions of Arminianism.

        People such as I (oh, the pain of striving for proper grammar) recognize from that Jas. 5:14-16, as well as 1 John 2:8-10 and others that we can and do sin, and can be forgiven when we do. We do not believe one can "lose" salvation by sinning. Gal. 3:2-5 teaches that we complete our salvation the way we began it: By "faith" in the message we heard, not by "works" of "law," i.e. not by managing to not sin.

        We believe that Heb. 6, Heb. 10, and 1 John 5 teach that it *is* possible to forfeit salvation by willfully casting aside our faith. That does not necessarily mean that one who does so no longer believes in the existence of God, but that that one has chosen to cast aside *fidelity* to Him, fidelity being another aspect of "pistis."

        A more thorny problem, ISTM, is the matter of "vice lists" in 1 Cor. 6, Gal. 5, and Eph. 5. They seem plain enough in directly saying that certain sins necessarily result in exclusion from the kingdom. We take comfort, I guess, in being pedantic about the wording. In Gal. 5, we note the verb "prasso" is often translated "practice," which according to my Bible software is a "present participle," which according to Spiros Zodhiates suggests a "continuous or repeated action." In the 1 Cor. and Eph. passages, the use of nouns as persons could be taken to imply that they engage in such behaviors so frequently and notably that those behaviors characterize them. Even so, that does not immediately resolve the problem, because it still means one can "lose" salvation by sinning; it's just that one must sin consistently enough to reach some unknown level that triggers damnation. We generally resolve this by positing that if one engages in such behavior persistently, one may ultimately grow tired of the conviction of the Spirit and choose to abandon the Lord. This relies on things not explicit in Scripture to resolve what would otherwise appear to be contradictions in Scripture.
        Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

        Beige Nationalist.

        "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

        Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          I have a rather simplistic view of this....

          Do you know that you are saved TODAY?
          Regardless of your past, or how close or far away from God you were, what about TODAY?
          If you apostatized at some point, what about TODAY?
          Give yourself to God, don't listen to the naysayers - throw yourself on His Mercy.

          The worst that can happen is that you stay lost and hell-bound.
          But the best that can happen is that God will see your repentance and accept you back.

          I think, by even considering that somebody can lose their salvation "irrevocably", we may be helping to doom them to hell.
          They need to put everything they have into recognizing that their Father loves them and wants them back.
          I am sympathetic. I'm not sure how I would counsel someone. I could not, in good conscience, pretend I believe something about Heb. 12:17 that I don't.
          Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

          Beige Nationalist.

          "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

          Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
            I am sympathetic. I'm not sure how I would counsel someone. I could not, in good conscience, pretend I believe something about Heb. 12:17 that I don't.
            Yeah, depending on the person and the situation, I think I'd tend toward the "what do you have to lose" argument. If you're sincere, and you make your case to God backed up with the appropriate actions (not works salvation) God may well have mercy on you. If you make no move toward God, why should He have mercy on you?

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

            Comment


            • #51
              I view Hebrews 12:17 as taking place on Judgement Day. One is seated before God and cannot undo what has already been done. This might not be the most natural reading of Hebrews in conjunction with the other passages, but the idea that somebody want to repent and become a disciple in this life yet be turned away by God seems impossible to square with John 6:37: "Whoever comes to me I will never drive away."

              I sort of had a falling away in my youth and for years after, I thought that the Hebrews verses meant that I might not be able to return. There are websites out there that argue that people can be in that unforgivable position, and those terrified me. This sapped my joy for years and I really think it prevented me from growing as a Christian. What finally convinced me was those words from Jesus in John. In the case of somebody who wants to repent, like I did, it makes a whole lot more sense to me to view the Hebrews verses as a mix of hyperbole and warning (after all; warnings in the Bible are not always final; Jonah prophesied the destruction of Nineveh, but God averted it when they repented) than to say that Jesus was wrong.
              "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


              • #52
                Frankly, as with various other topics, it's pretty much necessary to conclude at least some of the passages on one "side" or the other do not really mean what they say; or perhaps better, that the most natural reading is not the correct one.
                Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                Beige Nationalist.

                "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                Comment


                • #53
                  The "repentance" mentioned in Esau's case in Hebrews 12:17 was not his OWN repentance. Esau was tearfully attempting to get ISAAC to repent and find a "way to change HIS mind" (as the KJV margin reads) about not giving Esau the first-born's blessing. This is born out by Isaac's frustrated response in Genesis 27:37. "And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son? And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept."

                  With tears, Esau was begging ISAAC to repent of his decision to stay true to his conferred blessing of Jacob. But Isaac had already sworn, and could not revoke it by "changing his mind" on the matter. "Yeah, and he SHALL be blessed", he said concerning his misplaced first-born blessing of Jacob.

                  This Hebrews 12:17 text should not be construed as a doctrine that any of our repentance for sins is ever rejected by God.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                    Frankly, as with various other topics, it's pretty much necessary to conclude at least some of the passages on one "side" or the other do not really mean what they say; or perhaps better, that the most natural reading is not the correct one.
                    When it comes to things like this, I like to look at the entire tenor of Scripture rather than isolating individual verses. The overarching theme of Scripture as a whole (other than maybe Hebrews) is that God is willing to extend pardon to anyone seeking it. I was discussing this with Nick a few years ago and he pointed out the parable of the lost sheep. Yes, you could make an argument that maybe it's technically only referring to a first time convert, but what Nick pointed out was that the parable is about the character of God, and the "you committed the unforgivable sin, sorry" viewpoint goes against almost everything about how Scripture as a whole portrays God.

                    (One of the early church fathers, I don't remember who, went even further when calling out a teacher of the day who was turning people away based on Hebrews. He said that he was acting like if the Good Samaritan found the man injured in the road and killed him instead.)
                    "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


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                      When it comes to things like this, I like to look at the entire tenor of Scripture rather than isolating individual verses. The overarching theme of Scripture as a whole (other than maybe Hebrews) is that God is willing to extend pardon to anyone seeking it. I was discussing this with Nick a few years ago and he pointed out the parable of the lost sheep. Yes, you could make an argument that maybe it's technically only referring to a first time convert, but what Nick pointed out was that the parable is about the character of God, and the "you committed the unforgivable sin, sorry" viewpoint goes against almost everything about how Scripture as a whole portrays God.

                      (One of the early church fathers, I don't remember who, went even further when calling out a teacher of the day who was turning people away based on Hebrews. He said that he was acting like if the Good Samaritan found the man injured in the road and killed him instead.)
                      Yeah, even when Jesus was dealing with the Pharisees and talked about blaspheming the Holy Spirit, I don't think Jesus was necessarily saying they HAD committed the unpardonable sin, but that they were beginning to navigate in those waters.
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Well, we know from 1 John 5 that there are some people we are not even to waste time praying for. (Please excuse the post-positioned preposition.)
                        Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                        Beige Nationalist.

                        "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                        Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                        Comment

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