Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us." ~ Keith Wright

Boxing Day, 1998. That was the year 6 lives got lost during the Sydney to Hobart.  There was so much white water & the seas were so big it made the Beiring Strait look like a kiddie's wading pool.

Even now I can't think about that race without feeling sick to my gut.  It brings feelings of panic & terror & a terrible helplessness.  That is my personal image of Hell.  Overwhelming.  All consuming.  Pitiless.  Merciless.

That is the sea the unsaved are tossed on & salvation is so great a thing that the thought of losing it is terrifying.  To fall back into that sea is to be lost indeed.

I have always believed that Once Saved, Always Saved.  Jesus Himself said that no~one could snatch us out of His hand.  My understanding of scripture was that there was only one possible exception & one really had to work hard to invoke it: the complete rejection of the Holy Spirit.  Given the very nature of the Holy Spirit I'm not even sure that's possible if one has been genuinely saved in the first place but I have run across plenty of Christians who believe that one can most definitely lose their salvation ~ though for the most part they are pretty vague about how that occurs.

The bible does doctrine well; I do not ~ & so I have never been really sure that I am correct doctrinaly in my beliefs.  I just couldn't envision a God who had gone to so much trouble to bring a person to salvation in the first place just allowing them to slip away again.  It makes no sense & I have always found God to be emminently sensible.

So Sunday my ears pricked up when I heard this being addressed because the preaching, while nice & juicy, just the way I like it, is explained in simple enough terms that I can actually understand what is being talked about!

I do like to be right.  I like even better when I understand why I am right! Happy Duckie!


Ruby said...

Romans 8
29"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39Nor 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."

I do not believe one can "loose" salvation. God is mightier than that! I do believe people claim to be saved but are not and turn back but alas, "He never knew them." If Jesus died for all that the Father gave him, then he will not fail to bring all of those to glory!

Julie B. said...

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall listening to that message. I happily attend Community Bible Study, which teaches eternal security. I also attend an Assembly of God church, which teaches that when someone deliberately walks away from the Lord and rejects Him and His ways, they can lose their salvation. I have read verses that seem to support both views. Why don't you prepare a nice little help for me and then we can Skype? :)

seekingmyLord said...

I believe it is not a good idea to put my Lord God to the test.

Ganeida said...

Seeking: Not sure I follow. If one is indeed a new man then the evidence will be in a new life therefore how is one putting God to the test. No new life? I'd be questioning the genuiness of the salvation. What do you think I've missed?

Susan (HomeGrownKids) said...

I've always believed... but then I re-examined it again from the other side. However, I still believe in OSAS... but there are quirky eccentricities in our terminology.

If one can lose their salvation, were they ever really saved in the first place? In a nutshell, I don't think so.

Ganeida said...

Susan: That is how I think. I have heard it argued both ways but 2 cotradictory statements cannot both be true. If we can't be snatched from His hand then we cannot lose our salvation, n'est pas?

Ruby: I think you are better at straight doctrine than I am. I get muddled. ☺ I always what to go, but...what about this?...

Julie: will email.

seekingmyLord said...

What I meant was I would rather not test the theory of once saved, always saved by rejecting the Holy Spirit. Neither am I completely convinced that someone who later rejects God was never saved to begin with.

These matters, I believe, are vague in the Bible for a purpose, so that we will not take for granted what God can and cannot do, will or will not do. As I see it, God is God and He knows His own conditions for salvation. If I trust Him and seek His guidance then He will be sure that I meet His conditions.

People believe what they want to believe and they will use scriptures to prove their beliefs. For that reason, I choose the relationship, not the theology or doctrines.

Ganeida said...

Hmm. Shouldn't doctrine & relationship experience go hand in hand? I mean, shouldn't they validate each other? Otherwise I get it. ☺

seekingmyLord said...

Should, perhaps, but the problem is that "doctrines" differ according to denominations and individual beliefs.

This reminds me of another conversation we have about truth. Remember? Likewise, there is God's doctrine (truth), which is the only real one, but everyone seems to have their own angle on it.

Ruby said...

Ganeida, your comments are set so that no follow ups come to my email. Just wonder whether that is on purpose? Called back to read this time but often forget so I appreciate the email.

Ganeida said...

Ruby: No, it is not on purpose. I have had heaps of trouble with Blogger changing things on me. I don't get notified of comments & I know that setting is set for an email to come through to me. I'm not sure where to look to check the one for you. Direct me & I'll try & figure out what's happening. It is sooo annoying ~ for everyone.

Susan (HomeGrownKids) said...

Ganeida, I'm lost. I have a husband who just found out that his CL (knee) is torn and will be on crutches for 6 weeks and in the same day spent several hours at the hospital with my sick daughter. Getting home at 1.20am doesn't make for a coherent Susan… what exactly are you grappling with?

You wrote to me:
Susan: That is how I think. I have heard it argued both ways but 2 cotradictory statements cannot both be true. If we can't be snatched from His hand then we cannot lose our salvation, n'est pas?

Salvation is determined by God for He only knows the heart of each man. Some will be saved whereas others will be self-deceived. Some may pray the Sinner's Prayer (let's not get started on that atrocity) and think "well, that's it. I"m saved" but may be self deceived. We know that God will preserve/save those who have been predetermined and elected by Him… but not those who are self deceived.

Many who think they are saved will be lost because they were never truly saved.

So, how do we know we are saved? Only God alone has that list. If being saved and staying saved were up to me, then I would not be saved. I trust that He who stared a work in me will complete it. So if the preserving is also done by God then what of the 'believer who falls away'. who is responsible for 'staying saved'? ;)

I don't understand what you are grappling with… for the sake of my tired little brain, can you please clarify? The issue you raise is really an important one as it is fundamental/essential to our understanding of who God is… His very nature. It's worth hashing out.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 1 John 5:2

Ganeida said...

Susan: Now I'm lost ~ but I have a cold & an overfull house & am juggling the sort of day I hate with too much to do. So I will just state what I believe to be true from scripture & see if we can't get us on the same page so we can start grappling. lol

I forget where [so not good with numbers ~maybe somewhere in JOhn?] but scriptures says that God wants us to be assured of our salvation & there are ways by which we can examine ourselves & know for a surety. This gives us security & confidence. There is quite a long list if you wade through it in one of John's epistles but it includes things like the Spirit confirming what we have confessed with our mouth [ie that Jesus is Lord], answered prayer, a desire for the word & the things of God, loving the fellowship of other believers, a changed life, spiritual growth, conviction of sin etc. None of these & I'd be worried. Um, just remembered I preached on this one time. The gist of that can be found here:

God is responsible for our salvation. It is His work. We are responsible for our obedience. Those who love me will obey my commands [John again I think] ~ so by that alone we can know the state of our soul. We are asked to examine ourselves. What we can't know is the state of another's soul.

Perhaps the more important question is one that that is rarely asked thanks to the *sinner's prayer* ~ a little something that makes me froth at the mouth & get wild about the eyes! And that would be, What does genuine salvation look like?

People can & will say anything given the right set of circumstances but genuine salvation shows evidence of a changed life & a deepening relationship with Christ. There will be growth.

While I don't believe we can lose our salvation we can lose our reward through slackness, disobedience etc. Have I just muddied the water's more.

seekingmyLord said...

Which raises the question for me, some genuinely accept the Lord as young children...what change would one expect to see there?

You can throw scripture at it all day long and still not really know if a particular individual is truly a believer. However, I believe that God gives knowledge about whether one is a believer or not. It has happened to me especially when a person believed he was a believer but was not.

Ganeida said...

Seeking: I would expect to see at least some of the same evidences as in any other saved person, especially a love for the Lord & a difference in attitude ~ which would be in accordance with a child's maturity. I would expect to see that deepen & mature as they grew. I do not think the Lord diffentiates that much between adults & children. We are all HIs children.

I know ~ but this is where the *judge not* verse is actually applicable. It is not for us to judge but for the Lord. The Lord may reveal things to us but we are wise to remember that there, but for His grace, go we!

joyfulmum said...

I think I tend to agree with "seeking my lord" on this one! Oh dear Ganeida, don't tell me you're going to blog about Calvinism and Arminianism next lol!

Ganeida said...

Rosemary: I think you're safe! lol I don't know anything about either ~ except the Amish are Armenians, I think, & non~violent. What that means I have No idea!

Susan (HomeGrownKids) said...

***Which raises the question for me, some genuinely accept the Lord as young children...what change would one expect to see there?***

Sin is sin is sin is sin. And human nature is born into sin. So whilst some behaviours, beliefs and attitudes will certainly be different to those raised in non believing families, there still needs to be growth - fruit matures.

My daughter is a second gen believer but she still struggles with pride and anger and jealousy, etc. Just because she was a young believer doesn't mean she is any less prone to fallen humanity. The evidence I see is her heart - she doesn't want to sin, she still goes to the Cross when she does sin. etc.

in fact, one of the greatest sins that early/young believers struggle with, IMO, is that of self righteousness, feelings of superiority, etc

Ganeida said...

Susan: Agreed. I also think the self~righteousness is a real trap for youngsters who become believers early. One of mine really struggled with that.