Sunday, November 29, 2009

All Means "ALL"

A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"

When addressing the erroneous doctrine of Once Saved Always Saved, one will often hear, "All means ALL." This statement is usually made in reference to two Scriptures.

ALL Will Be Raised

"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:39-40

Jesus describes those who will be raised on the last day in two ways:

They have been given to Him by the Father = They have seen Jesus and believe on Him.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

God is Faithful

A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"

Another statement that is made in trying to support OSAS is that God is faithful. To this I say, "Amen!" God is faithful to do all and everything He says that He will. He is not a liar, nor does He break His promises. His word stands sure.

The issue with the Once Saved Always Saved doctrine is not the faithfulness of God, but the faithfulness of man. The word of God is clear that even after salvation, man can:
  • Draw back from the faith (Hebrews 10:38)
  • Have his faith overthrown (II Timothy 2:18)
  • Cast off his faith (I Timothy 5:12)
  • Have his faith made shipwreck (I Timothy 1:19)
  • Fall into unbelief (Romans 11:20-22, Hebrews 3:12; Hebrews 4:6-11)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Eternal Life is "Eternal"

A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"

Another peculiar statement that is made from supporters of the Once Saved Always Saved doctrine is that eternal life is "eternal". This is a strawman argument where people are debating against positions that no one holds.

While it sounds sort of snazzy (YES, that is a word!) to say, "If we can lose it, then it is not eternal.", such a comment is really a Non Sequitur. It is a statement containing an illogical conclusion.

Who are the ones claiming that eternal life is really not eternal? Those who dispute OSAS are not calling into question the attributes of the life given, but man's receipt of it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Predestined by God

A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"

Predestination is the understanding that God has pre-determined or foreordained how events unfold in this world. This is completely true. However, some take this truth a step farther and claim that this also relates to how God creates mankind. They state that God has created some persons expressly for the purpose of being saved and others expressly for the purpose of being damned; leaving man with no choice in the matter. This belief is unScriptural.

This false doctrine is used to claim that we are unconditionally, eternally secure in salvation because we have either been designed by God to be saved or to be damned. This is an expansive topic, which I will surely not cover adequately in this post. However, in order to show how the Biblical understanding of predestination in no way implies Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS), I must address common misconceptions.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You Cannot Be "Unborn"

A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"

The statement that one cannot be "unborn" as a defense to Once Saved, Always Saved has to be one of the most puzzling arguments presented. It is a completely illogical assertion for even in the natural, there is no such condition as being "unborn".

Being born is the process whereby life is made manifest. The opposite of having life is not to be "unborn", but to be dead. Just as one dies physically when life is no longer present, one also dies spiritually when the life of Christ is no longer present within.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We Can Only Lose our Reward

A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"

Another claim people make is that we can only lose our rewards, but not salvation itself. We are pointed to I Corinthians Chapter 3 as proof of this assertion, but is that what the text is really saying?

The Chapter begins with Paul chastising the church for being carnal and forming allegiances according to the various ministries of men. They were trying to judge amongst themselves which ministry was greater. Paul's answer? None of them were greater. He tries to impress upon the people that their focus is misplaced; it is not the minister to whom they should be aligned, but to the Lord.

To make this point, Paul uses two analogies. His first analogy is that of a garden.


Monday, November 16, 2009

We Can Only Lose Fellowship with God

A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"

A common argument made in support of Once Saved, Always Saved is that we can only lose fellowship with God if we depart from His ways. However, such a statement demonstrates a critical lack of understanding about what fellowship is.

"God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." I Corinthians 1:9

Fellowship with Christ is the basis for our relationship with God. Fellowship and relationship represent the same concepts. Fellowship means "association, communion, joint participation, intercourse, and intimacy".

If we have
no fellowship, we have no relationship. This is why Jesus came, to restore or reconcile us to right relationship/fellowship with God.

Nothing Can Separate You From the Love of God

A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"

In supporting the Once Saved, Always Saved doctrine, people will sometimes refer to the following text saying that "nothing" can separate us from the love of God.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39


In a previous article, we reviewed how this text actually contains our promises to God as well as God's promises to us.



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Eternal Life is a Gift

A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8


One of the most nonsensical explanations that is given about why salvation cannot be forfeited is because it is a "gift". Some will say, "Because we did not earn it, we cannot lose it."  However, such a statement is completely absurd.  When I was 8 years old, my father gave me a gold pendant from Hawaii.  I didn't earn it or have to work for it; it was a gift.  But guess what...I lost it.  As an adult, my mother gave me a piece of original artwork with a formal certificate of authenticity, but in moving a number of times, I eventually lost it. 

Apart from seeing that I was not perhaps the most organized person in my younger days, it is clear then that losing something doesn't imply that we earned it.  It simply means that at one point in time, the item lost was in our possession.  

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." I John 5:11-13

When we enter salvation, we obtain the gift of eternal life at that time by virtue of faith in Jesus Christ even though the fulness of that gift is not realized until we leave this world (John 4:14, 5:24, 10:27-28, 11:25).  It is therefore accurate to state that believers in Christ currently possess eternal life.

Scriptures are clear that eternal life is a gift we obtain in Jesus Christ through no effort of our own, but by His mercy and grace alone. However, Scriptures are equally clear that eternal life is a gift that God gives us now.  The issue then is not that we misplace eternal life - like I lost my pendant.  Rather, we disqualify ourselves from receiving it.  Eternal life is a gift which is only obtained "in Christ".

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus." II Timothy 1:1

The promise of life (which is zoe meaning eternal life) is only found "in Christ". In other words, the only ones who have this promise are those who are in Him or are members of His Body.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Once Saved, Now Lost - Part 4

We Are Sealed Until the Day of Redemption

In supporting the doctrine of Once Saved, Always Saved, some will point out that we are sealed by God as His children. This is true, but knowing the purpose of the seal requires one to also have understanding of covenant.

The seal ratifies the agreement. Once the seal is in place, the details of the covenant cannot be changed. It is a token of authenticity, ownership, and authority. The seal serves to bind and execute the covenant agreement.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Once Saved, Now Lost - Part 3c

Covenant Responsibilities

We have examined so far in this series the various texts in the New Testament which illustrate that man can forfeit the salvation found in Jesus Christ. We have also seen how the Abrahamic covenant - a pattern for the new covenant relationship - also required Abraham and his seed to keep the covenant God had established.

Yet, that leads to the logical question of, "What does it mean to keep God's covenant? What responsibilities do man have to stay in the covenant relationship with God?"

In His word, God provides the perfect illustration for this in the institution of marriage.  dd


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Once Saved, Now Lost - Part 3b

Was the Abrahamic Covenant Unconditional?

"That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.  

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect...And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3:14-17, 29

The promises fulfilled in the new covenant were first made to Abraham based on his faith in God, which is why Abraham is called the father of our faith. Yet distortions in the understanding of the Abrahamic covenant have been used to reinforce belief that the OSAS doctrine is sound.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Once Saved, Now Lost - Part 3a

Salvation is a Result of Covenant

As we discuss whether the Once Saved Always Saved doctrine is upheld in Scripture, one of the essential topics which must be addressed is our covenant with God.

I recently had a discussion with a believer in the OSAS doctrine where I attempted to touch on this matter. In doing so, the person responded, "What are you talking about a covenant between us and God? The new covenant is between Jesus and the Father, not us."

While I was hopeful that this lady's perspective was atypical of those supporting the OSAS doctrine, I have seen that such is not the case. Many are in fact perverting the nature of the new covenant in order to validate the OSAS position.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Once Saved, Now Lost - Part 2b

"IF"

God not only continues to admonish us to abide faithfully in Him, He gives us several illustrations for what happens when we don't.

Cast From God's Body

"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." Revelation 3:14-19


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Once Saved, Now Lost - Part 2a

"IF"

In the previous articles, we discussed how God doesn't mince His words. There are multiple Scriptures where God states that He can blot out names from His book of the righteous (the Book of Life). We examined verses where God speaks of man forsaking Him. These passages must be explained away to mean something other than what the text says if one believes we can never forfeit salvation.

God says that we must believe on Jesus Christ to be saved. That is a condition.

"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Once Saved, Now Lost - Part 1b

God Doesn't Mince Words

As we saw in the previous article, God declares in the Old and New Testaments that He can and will blot out names from His Book which contains the names of those who receive eternal life. We can also see in His word that God continually references man's ability to forfeit the salvation found in Him.

It IS Possible to Fall Away

Let's first establish that there are such things as false converts to the faith. People who are never really converted. References to such persons are often discussed as these individuals not being "true believers" or not having "saving faith". Essentially, what is meant by such expressions is that these individuals have never been born again through faith in Christ.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Once Saved, Now Lost - Part 1a

Before getting into this topic, it should be stated that our purpose here is not to instill fear in anyone's heart or to cause one to be less assured in our standing before God. In His word, God has given us great and precious promises so that we may know that we know Him, and know that He has granted His people eternal life. The intent in this series is to examine a particular doctrine to see if it holds water in the light of Scripture.

What Saith Scripture?

There is a doctrine that has permeated parts of Christianity often referred to as Once Saved Always Saved, Eternal Unconditional Security, or Preservation of the Saints. This doctrine asserts that once one has received the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, such a gift is always assured. It can in no ways be lost.

Personally, I do not prefer the term "lost" as it gives the image of someone looking around for a set of misplaced keys. In terms of this series, the word "lost" refers to man's ability to determinately walk away from a covenant relationship with Him.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Placebo

What is the Church's Dope?

Hear the personal testimony of an ordained minister, upright member of society, and family man...who was on his way to Hell and didn't even know it.

This is a message by Min. Howard Pittman; a Baptist minister who, on August 3rd 1979, died in an ambulance after suffering a massive internal hemorrhage when the main artery in his abdomen ruptured from animism. Through this experience, he finally came to know Jesus Christ...after spending decades thinking he already did. Jesus gave him a vision of the current day church and showed him the deception which has taken over much of the church world.

Listen to him retell what he saw and experienced from God, as well as the remarkable message he was sent back to deliver to the church.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Remember Swine Flu 1976?

Deja Vu All Over Again

Do you remember the Swine Flu epidemic of 1976? The virus appeared at Fort Dix, infecting about 230 Army recruits and killing one. Fearing a potential pandemic, President Ford ordered mass vaccinations against the newly discovered virus and about 45 million Americans were vaccinated. Thousands then became ill with a neurological side effect called Guillain-Barre syndrome.

The news show 60 Minutes did an investigation into this issue years ago and that video is attached for your review. It is well worth watching. Be sure to watch the video after the 60 minutes excerpt which features a speech made by the Polish Health Minister on November 5, 2009 citing her concerns about the readiness of the swine flu vaccine.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A RADICAL Disruption!

This video was shared with me today and I just have to post it. One statement made in this video just leapt off of the pages to me:

"The cross RADICALLY disrupts the very center and citadel of your life from self to Christ."

Praise God!

Has the very center, the very essence of your life been DISRUPTED so that you are no longer first, but Christ is?? No longer first in your thoughts, in your needs, in your ambitions, in your struggles, in your prayers?