Hi to my Forum Friends,

Today, a young lady who is a close Christian Friend and a sister in Christ wrote on Facebook, "You know what?  I have decided to not let ugly, judgmental hearts get to me.  The Bible tells me that when I repent of my sin, I am forgiven, and it is washed away -- I  am untainted.  No one can tell me otherwise.

Ezekiel 33:12-16 tells us that, if a wicked man repents, he will no longer face the condemnation of his sins.  Therefore, it is unbiblical to say that a sin I have repented of -- still has active consequences, sent by God, that I will reap today."

My Friend, the difference between forgiveness of sin under the Law and forgiveness of sin under Grace - is that, under the Law, the forgiveness of sin was past and present - but, not future.   But, under Grace, the precious blood of Jesus Christ, who died on the  cross that "ALL who believe" shall have eternal life (John 3:16) -- covers all the sins (past, present, and future) of the believer, who is  but a "forgiven sinner."  Hebrews 10:11-18 explains this well -- "He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time. . ." (Hebrews 10:12) -- "For by one offering He has perfected FOR ALL TIME those who are sanctified"  (Hebrews 10:14).  (Emphasis in caps is  mine)

Although, in this life, we will always be only "forgiven sinners" -- He has paid the "full price" and purchased our pardon -- forever.   When we do sin, we confess and ask His forgiveness.  Why do we do this?   We need to recognize our own failings, our own sins,  and know where and when we have failed Him.

Is our confession for His sake -- or for ours?  He knows what we have done; He knows all we have done or will ever do.  Our  confession is so that WE can and will recognize what we have done - so that we can ask for greater strength to help us not repeat this offense, or these offenses, in the future.   But, regardless of our failures, regardless of our weaknesses -- we who are believers ARE children of God, joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:16-17) -- and no one can snatch us from His hands (John 10:28-29).

Then, my Sister in Christ wrote, "Recently I was told that all the struggles I am facing right now are the result of a sin I committed and repented of last year -- that its a consequence of that sin."

If you have studied the book of Job -- you will find that Job's three old friends, and his young know-it-all friend, all told him the same thing, that his troubles were a consequence of unrepented sin -- even though Job was a man of God.  Yes, Job lost all his material wealth, he lost all his children, and all he was left with was a nagging wife and friends who tried to dump ashes on him.

But, we read in Job 42:10, "The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold."   This verse, and this lesson, have stayed in my heart for many years.  I pray it speaks to you as well.

Are there consequences of our sins?  Yes, there are three consequences of sin. 


First, is the physical.  If, in your sin, you do physical harm to your body, i.e., lose an arm, leg, an eye, etc. -- that consequence will stay with you even after God has forgiven  you.  You may ask God's forgiveness -- but, if this sin caused you to lose an arm -- you will be a one-armed "forgiven sinner"  throughout this mortal life.

Second, is the civil consequences of our sins.  No matter what sin a person has committed, no matter how contemptible -- God will forgive the person who sincerely seeks Him and His forgiveness.  However, if our sin caused us to break a civil law -- we still have to "pay the piper" to civil authorities.

A fantastic example is the work of my long time dear Friend, Mommy Olga Robertson, who has spent most of her adult life ministering to those incarcerated in prisons in the Philippines.  For about fifty years, Mommy Olga, brought the love of Jesus Christ to prisoners throughout the prison population -- from minor offenders to those on death row.   She led many of the prisoners to Christ; even those on death row.  In her book "The Men in My Life" -- she tells of men who had committed horrible crimes and were sentenced to death.

Those men who became followers of Jesus Christ went to their execution with an excitement -- KNOWING that after that short pain of the execution -- they would be in the eternal presence of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Yes, they had to pay the civil consequences of their crimes -- but, they had the joy of knowing they were "forgiven sinners" in the most important court -- the throne room of God.  They died with a smile on their faces and anticipation in their hearts.

Below are excerpts from articles which tell more about the life and work of this amazing woman of God:

 

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Olga Robertson: Setting Prisoners Free Through Christ
http://www.calvarymagazine.org...nal_testimony_25.pdf


Olga has not only been sharing the Gospel and training disciples and pastors these many years, she has also lived amidst prison  employees and prisoners’ families on the “reservation” just outside the national penitentiary in Manila, even adopting a prisoner’s  child when she was 60 years old.  Shalom Nathan, who is now 22 years old, says his mother spoils the prisoners.  When asked if  this is a good thing, he smiles and gives the thumbs up.

Olga has countless stories to tell of hardened criminals being transformed by the love of Christ.

Not long ago, a young woman, Anna Jose, was introduced to Olga’s autobiography, The Men in My Life, in a Sunday school class.  The book includes the story of the three rapists.  Anna told the Sunday school teacher that she was the product of one of those  rapes.  When Olga was introduced to Anna, she comforted the young woman with the assurance that her father had repented of his  sins and would one day be there to meet her in heaven -- where their shared history of sorrow and shame would be forever turned to  joy.

 

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Rally For Jesus Holds Evangelical Outreach In Muntinlupa, Philippines
By Dan Wooding,  ASSIST News Service (ANS) – www.assistnews.net
Thursday, January 27, 2011    http://rallyforjesus.com/news

 

Rally for Jesus Holds Evangelical Outreach in Muntinlupa, Philippines:  Event is supported by Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel  Costa Mesa and Philippine Missionary "Mommie Olga" Robertson

“Mommie Olga,” who is 85 years old and is of Lebanese decent, has been a missionary to the Philippines for more than 53 years.  She has sent a warm greeting to all wishing she was with them this day.

Her ministry of sharing the love of Jesus Christ within New Bilibid maximum security prison was described in her book, “The Men in  My Life.”  By God’s grace she has reached thousands of hardened criminals and gang members for the Gospel and tells of these  criminals being transformed by the love of Christ.

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My wife, Dory, and I have had the personal blessing of having Mommy Olga Robertson and her son, Shalom Nate, as our Friends for about twenty years.  We have attended Bible studies and worship services with them -- and, I have treasured her book “The Men in  My Life” in my personal library for many years.  

About eight years ago, I gave my copy to a long time Friend to whom I had been witnessing.  He had cancer, thought he was okay spiritually because he was an extremely good and warm hearted husband, father, grandfather, and friend.  In other words, he trusted in his good works to give him salvation.  One of the books I gave him in my attempt to share with him was Mommy Olga's book.

As much as I treasured that book; I treasured my Friend's eternal life even more.  So, I gave it to him.   He died about three years ago -- and when I was talking with Mommy Olga, I told her that I had given my copy of her book to him and that I prayed that her testimony in this book helped lead my dear Friend to look past his works and look to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

For now, I do not know -- but, one day when I get there -- I pray that my Friend, Bob, is there with his perpetual smile and funny one-liner jokes, standing beside Jesus Christ, to greet me.

When I told Mommy Olga that I had given away my copy of her book -- she sent me a new copy.  Praise God.

If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy, I can put you in touch with Mommy Olga's daughter, Kay, who will help you.

The third consequence of our sins is the most important -- spiritual.   I started to write, "When I was a non-believer. . ." -- but, that is not quite true.  I cannot remember a time when I did not believe, intellectually, in God and in Jesus Christ as His Son.  I believed He is God, I believed Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal salvation -- but, I stopped short of opening the door of my heart and asking  Him to come in and be my Best Friend (Revelation 3:20).

For most of my life, I was standing by the door -- but, I never opened the door until I was fifty years old.  And, because God gave us "free will" -- He will not open the door, He will not force His way into our hearts.  But, the moment I, or anyone, will open that door, He will take our hand, dine with us, and will forevermore be our Best Friend.

In doing this, in this hesitation, I was like the people described by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 6.  Paul tells us, "Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ -- let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God"  (Hebrews 6:1).

I was still in "elementary school" like the people Paul was addressing in Hebrews 6 -- knowing about God, but, not personally knowing God -- always stopping short, hand on the door knob -- but, never opening the door.

Hebrews 6:4-6, "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away. .  ."

Paul is not speaking of believers who have fallen away.  He is speaking of people like I was most of my life -- almost there, but never quite willing to go all the way.

Yes, that Hebrew passage describes me.  Starting in my Alabama home town of Sheffield as a teenager, I had heard the Gospel, had tasted the "heavenly gift and the good Word of God" -- but, never took that final step and invited Him into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior.

Why?  Because I was still a slave of the world.  The world and all that it offered -- fun, good times, material wealth, pleasure -- was my god.  I knew about God -- but, I did not know God.   So, I spent many years of my life, wanting to know God, but, also wanting my worldly pleasures.  How to reconcile the two?  I know, find a church which will assure me there is no hell.  If there is no hell;  then, I can live like hell all week, go to church on Sunday -- and be on God's team.  Wrong!

Yet, I did find a Chaplain in the Air Force, from a major liberal reform denomination, who assured me that hell was only a myth.   Praise God!  Now, I could have God and the world -- and not have to worry about hell. 

 

And, that, my Friends, is the danger of the  "Feel Good" churches and their skewed teachings.

So, to my dear Sister in Christ who wrote on Facebook and started me on this journey of sharing my love of Christ -- yes, there will always be physical and civil consequences of our sins that we cannot change in this mortal life.  But, the most important is the spiritual -- and knowing you I am comfortable in saying to you, "God is not going to punish you, or any believer, for sins He has already forgiven.  And, that includes past, present, and future sins.  Personally, I have no doubt you are a child of God and I look forward to spending eternity in the presence of God with you."

If this dialogue has been helpful to you, please feel free to share it with your Friends, Relatives, Associates, and Neighbors -- all your FRANs.  Let's keep sharing the love, the forgiveness, the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all the world -- until He returns.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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Original Post

I don't believe in once saved always saved. No where in the Bible will you read those words. I  do believe that once a person has been truly saved and has accepted Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior that NOTHING can pluck me from my Saviors hand. Call it once saved always saved, saved until eternity, or whatever you want to call it. That's what the Bible say's and I believe it. Can a person be saved and then that person sin and lose their salvation. Absolutely NOT. If that were true then there would nobody in Heaven for we all are sinners and we sin EVERY DAY. One other issue about once saved always saved, the Bible say's that a person is saved as long as he/she believes.

Originally Posted by I am the Fireman:

OK...Let's pick this apart, shall we?

 

 

I don't believe in once saved always saved. No where in the Bible will you read those words.

OK. You DON'T believe in "once saved-always saved" because it's NOT in the bible.   Got it.

 

 

 I  do believe that once a person has been truly saved and has accepted Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior that NOTHING can pluck me from my Saviors hand.

Call it once saved always saved, saved until eternity, or whatever you want to call it. That's what the Bible say's and I believe it.

Wait.....What?  OK, you DO believe in "once saved-always saved" because it IS in the bible?

 

 

 Can a person be saved and then that person sin and lose their salvation. Absolutely NOT. If that were true then there would nobody in Heaven for we all are sinners and we sin EVERY DAY.

 

 One other issue about once saved always saved, the Bible say's that a person is saved as long as he/she believes.

That's not another issue-It's the same issue you just flipflopped on.

 

You must be retarded.

People like you are the reason everybody in the real world laughs at religious simpletons.

Did somebody forget to water you this week?

 

 

Originally Posted by I am the Fireman:

 I  do believe that once a person has been truly saved and has accepted Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior that NOTHING can pluck me from my Saviors hand. 


Not true, Fire.  I was once convinced I was saved. Twice actually.  Once when I was baptized as a kid and again when I did so as an adult.  Walked the walk, talked the talk. Believed with all my heart and soul. It was the real deal.  

And look at me now.

Yeah, I know, someone that has never heard of the "No True Scottsman" fallacy will inevitably come along and inform me that I was not what I thought I was--that I was only fooling myself.  And they are correct. I was obviously fooling myself as are all believers.  But it was real to me at the time.   

So true unob. I think one thing believers hate about atheists is the fact that they know they could go through the same "awakening", and they need that belief so much they can't stand the thought they too could lose it. And here we are, proof that it does happen. When it first began I couldn't understand why I was having doubts. I loved going to church, loved the people, loved the little church I went to, (think Mayberry), and would have never thought I'd ever "stop believing".

 

There was nothing I wanted to do, such as "run wild", do drugs, start hanging with a bad crowd, nothing at all that would make me want to leave the church, except I lost the belief. I've said before that my husband had been having the same thoughts, and we finally decided it was time to stop living the lie. Of course some of them can't accept that. Like with bill and some others here, even when you tell them what happened they make up your life story to suit them. They've said someone hurt me, made me angry, all that BS, and when I say none of that happened they say I'm in denial about it.  The thing about that is they know it's not true but they have to figure ways to get in their jabs. Bill and his ilk think everyone is as bitter and judgmental as they are, and as I've told them, their belief hasn't seemed to give them a lot of peace or love for their "fellow man". 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally Posted by Unobtanium:
Originally Posted by I am the Fireman:

 I  do believe that once a person has been truly saved and has accepted Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior that NOTHING can pluck me from my Saviors hand. 


Not true, Fire.  I was once convinced I was saved. Twice actually.  Once when I was baptized as a kid and again when I did so as an adult.  Walked the walk, talked the talk. Believed with all my heart and soul. It was the real deal.  

And look at me now.

Yeah, I know, someone that has never heard of the "No True Scottsman" fallacy will inevitably come along and inform me that I was not what I thought I was--that I was only fooling myself.  And they are correct. I was obviously fooling myself as are all believers.  But it was real to me at the time.   

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I'll agree with you on this one uno. I know other people with the same story,

It's not that far fetched. Once saved, always saved isn't logical or the

continuation of life as we live it today logical.

What need would we have for this way of life today?

 

.


 

[quote] Originally Posted by skippy delepepper:
Matthew 24:13 , "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

Revelation 2:26,  "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:"

Bill what am I missing?  Skippy [/quote}

Hi Skippy,

 

A LOT!!  But, why don't you explain, in your own words, what YOU believe these Scripture verses mean (from the Bible, not the Book of Mormon) -- and then we can discuss the issues.

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:
[quote] Originally Posted by skippy delepepper:
Matthew 24:13 , "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

Revelation 2:26,  "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:"

Bill what am I missing?  Skippy [/quote}

Hi Skippy,

 

A LOT!!  But, why don't you explain, in your own words, what YOU believe these Scripture verses mean (from the Bible, not the Book of Mormon) -- and then we can discuss the issues.

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Emphasizes Endure to the End. Then you will be Saved. Not just Praise the Lord then ride it out to the end. If it was proven that Stalin accepted Christ as his Lord when he was a young man then went on to be one of the worst Monsters of all time.

Skippy

Hi Skippy,

In my post, I write, "Forgiven! -- Forever!" -- and you come back with "Matthew 24:13 , "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."   Revelation 2:26,  "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over  the nations:"   Bill what am I missing?"

Then I ask you, "But, why don't you explain, in your own words, what YOU believe these Scripture verses mean (from the Bible, not  the Book of Mormon) -- and then we can discuss the issues."

And, you respond, "Emphasizes Endure to the End.  Then you will be Saved.  Not just Praise the Lord then ride it out to the end.  If it was proven that Stalin accepted Christ as his Lord when he was a young man then went on to be one of the worst Monsters of all time."

First, let me say, "Yes, if Stalin, Hitler, or any sinner truly repents, turns from his evil ways, and turns to follow Jesus Christ -- that person is saved.   It is not the size of the sin; it is the sin -- period.  Sin is disobeying God -- period.  Stealing a paper clip is just as much a sin as killing 100 people."

Skippy, you give me Matthew 24:13, "But he who endures to the end shall be saved."

What is the topic of this discussion between Jesus Christ and His disciples?  The apostles have asked Jesus, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

And, He tells them of the condition of the world leading up to the Rapture of the church, the seven year Tribulation, His Second Coming, and His Millennial Kingdom.  He tells them, and us, that things will really get bad, brother turning against brother, wars and rumors of wars, the world beginning to come apart -- for the world will finally be nearing the stage where full secularism will be in force.

He tells them, in Matthew 24:11-12, "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.  Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold."

Those false prophets are those who are teaching world religions and cult religions such as Mormonism -- and they will mislead many.  That lawlessness which will be increasing -- is the world being taken over and controlled by secularism and false religions.

And, then, He tells them, "But he who endures to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 24:13)  Yes, those who turn from those false religions, who turn from those cult religions during the coming End Times and endures the attacks upon our Christian faith -- will be  saved.  The Christian believers, i.e., the church -- will be Raptured out of the increasingly evil world.

Now, Skippy, you take us to Revelation 2:26.   What is happening in this Scripture passage?   This is Jesus Christ's message to the church at Thyatira, the Compromising Church.

He tells the church at Thyatira, "Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.  And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent." (Revelation 2:20-21)

Who is this prophetess Jezebel who Jesus Christ so dislikes?  It is the false religions, the false teachers who teach and seduce His people.  Many see this as the Roman Catholic church; others of us see it as cult churches such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Unitarian Universalist, mixed with New Age religions and seasoned with Eastern mysticism, traditions, and practices.

And, Jesus Christ is telling the church at Thyatira that it has been compromising by allowing such false teachings to infect their church.

But, He tells those few faithful in Thyatira, in Revelation 2:25-26, "But hold fast what you have till I come.  And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations."

This has nothing to do with a believer's salvation -- it has to do with keeping the local church pure and preventing the infiltration of false religions, i.e., the Jezebels, into their midst.

And, with that said, we look at what really defines a believer and his/her salvation -- in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

My Friend, when God gives a gift -- He does not take it away.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Good morning Puppy,

It's very obvious that you're not a very smart person so let me explain my earlier post. NO WHERE IN THE BIBLE WILL YOU READ THE WORDS "ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED" BUT the Bible does say that NOTHING can pluck a true Christian from God's hands. Once a person becomes a true child of God then nothing can change that.

You have those people that say "well then you can get saved and just live like you want". Only issue with that is, when a person truly accepts Christ then that persons want to changes. That person don't want to go on living like they used to. A person that say's they have been saved then they continue to live as if nothing has changed never got saved and they are only fooling themselves.

Originally Posted by I am the Fireman:
 Once a person becomes a truechild of God then nothing can change that.

You have those people that say "well then you can get saved and just live like you want". Only issue with that is, when a person truly accepts Christ then that persons want to changes.

 

--------

 

That was inevitable.

 

Allow me to introduce you to a new concept: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman

quote:   Originally Posted by I am the Fireman:

It's very obvious that you're not a very smart person so let me explain my earlier post. NO WHERE IN THE BIBLE WILL YOU READ THE WORDS "ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED" BUT the Bible does say that NOTHING can pluck a true Christian from God's hands.  Once a person becomes a true child of God then nothing can change that.

 

You have those people that say "well then you can get saved and just live like you want;"  Only issue with that is, when a person truly accepts Christ then that persons want to changes.  That person don't want to go on living like they used to.  A person that say's they have been saved then they continue to live as if nothing has changed never got saved and they are only fooling themselves.


Hi Fireman,

 

So true!!  Amen!  Amen!  Amen!  What amazes me is that salvation is so simple, so easy to attain -- and, yet, our self-declared highly intelligent atheists and other non-believing Friends cannot seem to grasp it.   I suppose what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:22 it really true, "Professing to be wise, they became fools."

 

By the way, you are right that the words "Once Saved, Always Saved" are not in the Bible -- just as the word Trinity is not in the Bible.  However, for both -- the concept is so clearly taught in the Bible -- that even a cave man, or an atheist, should be able to understand and believe it.

 

Fireman, keep up the good work.  I am so happy to see another believer who is not intimidated by the huffing and puffing of our non-believing Friends.  As you and I both know -- it is really foolish for anyone to be intimidated by hot air.   That is only good for flying balloons.

 

PM me one day and tell me about yourself.

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

 

Mr. Gray--you posted this:

 

<<<<<Hebrews 6:4-6, "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away. .  ."


Paul is not speaking of believers who have fallen away.  He is speaking of people like I was most of my life -- almost there, but never quite willing to go all the way.>>>>>


For you to be correct and consistent on this matter, you will have to concede that a person can be made a "partaker of the Holy Spirit" and yet not  be a "believer", i.e. saved person. That is not an easy case to argue.  How say you?

Hi Contendah,

You tell me, "Mr. Gray--you posted this:

Hebrews 6:4-6, "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away. .   ."

Paul is not speaking of believers who have fallen away.  He is speaking of people like I was most of my life -- almost there, but never  quite willing to go all the way.

For you to be correct and consistent on this matter, you will have to concede that a person can be made a "partaker of the Holy Spirit" and yet not  be a "believer", i.e. saved person. That is not an easy case to argue.   How say you?"

What does it mean -- "to partake of the Holy Spirit"?  You are assuming that the writer of Hebrews meant that a person was indwelled with the Holy Spirit and had became a born-again Christian.  But, that is not necessarily true.  I believe that the writer of Hebrews (which very likely was Paul) was addressing Jews who had heard the Gospel, who had been caught up in the excitement of  the moment -- but, had not taken the final steps to become a true believer.  In other words, they partook of the movement of the Holy Spirit -- but, then stopped short of becoming believers.

In their Crusades, both Billy Graham and Greg Laurie have never called those who came forward at the invitation -- believers or converts.  No, they see them as "inquirers" -- as those who have tasted, or partaken, of the Holy Spirit that evening -- but, still had further to go to become Christian believers.

Both Graham and Laurie realize that folks at the Crusades get caught up in the excitement of the moment and go forward, or some go forward because a friend went forward.  Yes, the Holy Spirit was working in them -- they went forward to become believers -- but, the next day, the next week, when the world began to tug at them -- they went back to the world.

In the same way, the writer of Hebrews saw the Jews getting caught up in the excitement of the moment; but, then, later falling back into Judaism.

At the Crusades, when people come forward, there are counselors there to pray with them -- and to put them in contact with a local Christian fellowship.   Billy Graham tells us that when the person who goes forward has been involved in a local fellowship for a couple of years, been involved in their Bible studies, Sunday Schools, i.e., has begun to grow and mature in the Word -- then, they reclassify them from "inquirers" to "converts" or Christian believers.

This, to me, was the intent of the writer of Hebrews.

By the way, you come on the Religion Forum and seem to be standing with one foot on both sides of the chasm.  Are you a Christian believer who is here to defend the faith?  Or, are you a non-believer who is here to attempt, through slight of hand (or keyboard) to disprove the Christian faith?   

It is good to be honest up front -- so that we have a level playing field.  In which camp do you reside?

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Hi Contendah,

You tell me, "Mr. Gray--you posted this:

Hebrews 6:4-6, "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away. .   ."

Paul is not speaking of believers who have fallen away.  He is speaking of people like I was most of my life -- almost there, but never  quite willing to go all the way.

For you to be correct and consistent on this matter, you will have to concede that a person can be made a "partaker of the Holy Spirit" and yet not  be a "believer", i.e. saved person. That is not an easy case to argue.   How say you?"

What does it mean -- "to partake of the Holy Spirit"?  You are assuming that the writer of Hebrews meant that a person was indwelled with the Holy Spirit and had became a born-again Christian.  But, that is not necessarily true.  I believe that the writer of Hebrews (which very likely was Paul) was addressing Jews who had heard the Gospel, who had been caught up in the excitement of  the moment -- but, had not taken the final steps to become a true believer.  In other words, they partook of the movement of the Holy Spirit -- but, then stopped short of becoming believers.

In their Crusades, both Billy Graham and Greg Laurie have never called those who came forward at the invitation -- believers or converts.  No, they see them as "inquirers" -- as those who have tasted, or partaken, of the Holy Spirit that evening -- but, still had further to go to become Christian believers.

Both Graham and Laurie realize that folks at the Crusades get caught up in the excitement of the moment and go forward, or some go forward because a friend went forward.  Yes, the Holy Spirit was working in them -- they went forward to become believers -- but, the next day, the next week, when the world began to tug at them -- they went back to the world.

In the same way, the writer of Hebrews saw the Jews getting caught up in the excitement of the moment; but, then, later falling back into Judaism.

At the Crusades, when people come forward, there are counselors there to pray with them -- and to put them in contact with a local Christian fellowship.   Billy Graham tells us that when the person who goes forward has been involved in a local fellowship for a couple of years, been involved in their Bible studies, Sunday Schools, i.e., has begun to grow and mature in the Word -- then, they reclassify them from "inquirers" to "converts" or Christian believers.

This, to me, was the intent of the writer of Hebrews.

By the way, you come on the Religion Forum and seem to be standing with one foot on both sides of the chasm.  Are you a Christian believer who is here to defend the faith?  Or, are you a non-believer who is here to attempt, through slight of hand (or keyboard) to disprove the Christian faith?   

It is good to be honest up front -- so that we have a level playing field.  In which camp do you reside?

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

**********************

Both my feet are firmly planted of the solid ground of TRUTH, Bill--truth as revealed in scripture.

 

It is you, I fear, who are straddling a chasm.

 

You contend that the Jews to whom Paul wrote had not actually become believers, that they had merely gotten caught up in the excitement of the moment.  The text strongly suggests otherwise.

 

Not only are these persons said to have been "made partakers of the Holy Ghost," they also are said to have been "enlightened" to have "tasted of the heavenly gift," and to "have tasted the  good word of God and the powers of the wqrld to come."  All of that varied experience just does not seem equivalent to just getting "caught up in the excitement of the moment."

 

The text also (verse 6) says THIS about  these particular persons:

 

"6 ['For it is impossible' (from verse4)] If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

 

From this, it is evident that these persons had at some previous time been in a state of repentance; otherwise the description ("renew them again unto repentance") would make no sense.

 

So, the persons we are discussing had been "enlightened," were "partakers of the Holy Ghost,"and had "tasted of the word of God and the powers of the age to come."  AND--they had experienced repentance of their sins.

 

The depth and breadth of  the spiritual experiences described for these persons is hardly to be passed off as merely being "caught up in the excitement of the moment."

Hi Contendah,

 

I have no doubt that every single person who has gone forward at an altar call at a Billy Graham Crusade or at a Harvest Crusade with Pastor Greg Laurie -- felt just as you have described.  Yet, a large percentage of those who went forward at a Crusade -- went back into the world soon after.  Why? 

 

That night, they would have told you that they had been "made partakers of the Holy Ghost," they also are said to have been "enlightened" to have "tasted of the heavenly gift," and to "have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come."

 

And, yet they go back into the world.  Why?  Because this was an intellectual and emotional experience.  Because they were still seekers, still "inquirers" -- and not yet true "converts" -- had not yet taken that final step, opened the door, and allowed Jesus Christ to enter and be Lord and Savior of their lives.  Because they had not gone that final step -- the world was able to lure them back into its secular, pleasure filled arms. 

 

Just as those Jews were lured back into the religion of Judaism -- with which they were comfortable, for they had grown up under Judaism.   Familiarity is a strong pull -- and these people, according to the writer of Hebrews -- were being pulled back into that old state again.  Jesus Christ had been crucified to bring them out of Judaism and into a personal relationship with Him -- and they turned back to the old and familiar.

 

Actually, I believe the writer of Hebrews is not telling them they cannot repent and be forgiven -- but, that they will NOT allow themselves to do this.  Like Pharaoh, by going backwards, they hardened their hearts to the point of no return.

 

This make much more spiritual sense to me -- and it fits the person and attributes of God.  Keep in mind that they Bible tells us that the ONLY sin which cannot be forgiven -- is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.  How does one blaspheme the Holy Spirit?  By preventing Him from doing His main task -- leading us to salvation in Jesus Christ.  So, when a person hardens his/her heart and dies without knowing Jesus Christ, that is a slap in the face of the Holy Spirit -- that is blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  And, because the person has already died in sin, there is no second chance -- thus the unforgivable sin.

 

And, I believe this is what the writer of Hebrews is telling these people -- harden your hearts by going back into Judaism -- and you will not allow yourself to return to Christ.

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Hi Contendah,

 

You tell me, "Both my feet are firmly planted of the solid ground of TRUTH, Bill -- truth as revealed in scripture."

 

My Friend, I am not saying you are not a Christian believer -- but, some of your posts do seem to be straddling the fence.  You say, "truth as revealed in scripture."   In saying that, do you mean the Christian Bible -- or do you mean another, such as the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah's Witnesses "New World Translation" or another? 

 

It would help if you would be a wee bit more explicit, i.e., are you speaking of Christian Scripture, are you in a Christian church, do you consider yourself a born again Christian, etc.  

 

For myself, I study the Christian Bible, mostly the NASB, but often I will use the NKJV, the KJV, and, sometimes in my writings, for clarity, I will use the NIV.  Those are my choices, in that order.   Which Scripture do you mean?

 

And, if folks ask me, I will declare that I am a Christian believer.  If they push the issue, I will acknowledge that I have been worshiping in a Baptist church (most of the time BGC, sometimes SBC) for the past 24 years.  I do not introduce myself as a Baptist, not that I am ashamed of being Baptist -- but, because I consider myself Christian first, and Baptist second.  Usually, I will tell folks I am a Baptist flavored Christian.  Why?  Because my personal Biblical Christian Doctrines, my personal Statement of Faith, aligns very well with the Baptist's Statement of Faith.

 

So, Contendah, that is where I stand on the playing field.  Where do you stand?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Hi Contendah,

 

You tell me, "Both my feet are firmly planted of the solid ground of TRUTH, Bill -- truth as revealed in scripture."

 

My Friend, I am not saying you are not a Christian believer -- but, some of your posts do seem to be straddling the fence.  You say, "truth as revealed in scripture."   In saying that, do you mean the Christian Bible -- or do you mean another, such as the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah's Witnesses "New World Translation" or another? 

 

It would help if you would be a wee bit more explicit, i.e., are you speaking of Christian Scripture, are you in a Christian church, do you consider yourself a born again Christian, etc.  

 

For myself, I study the Christian Bible, mostly the NASB, but often I will use the NKJV, the KJV, and, sometimes in my writings, for clarity, I will use the NIV.  Those are my choices, in that order.   Which Scripture do you mean?

 

And, if folks ask me, I will declare that I am a Christian believer.  If they push the issue, I will acknowledge that I have been worshiping in a Baptist church (most of the time BGC, sometimes SBC) for the past 24 years.  I do not introduce myself as a Baptist, not that I am ashamed of being Baptist -- but, because I consider myself Christian first, and Baptist second.  Usually, I will tell folks I am a Baptist flavored Christian.  Why?  Because my personal Biblical Christian Doctrines, my personal Statement of Faith, aligns very well with the Baptist's Statement of Faith.

 

So, Contendah, that is where I stand on the playing field.  Where do you stand?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

 

 

How many orphans did you help today?

How many homeless did you provide a meal and a kind word to today?

How many people were "saved" today because of the Christian example you set?

How much time did you spend on the street today, doing good deeds, and leaving those you helped with only the words "God Loves You", and not some long azzed "hell and brimstone" sermon?

YOU...personally, not through "alms" to you local church.

How many?

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Hi Contendah,

 

I have no doubt that every single person who has gone forward at an altar call at a Billy Graham Crusade or at a Harvest Crusade with Pastor Greg Laurie -- felt just as you have described.  Yet, a large percentage of those who went forward at a Crusade -- went back into the world soon after.  Why? 

 

That night, they would have told you that they had been "made partakers of the Holy Ghost," they also are said to have been "enlightened" to have "tasted of the heavenly gift," and to "have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come."

 

And, yet they go back into the world.  Why?  Because this was an intellectual and emotional experience.  Because they were still seekers, still "inquirers" -- and not yet true "converts" -- had not yet taken that final step, opened the door, and allowed Jesus Christ to enter and be Lord and Savior of their lives.  Because they had not gone that final step -- the world was able to lure them back into its secular, pleasure filled arms. 

 

Just as those Jews were lured back into the religion of Judaism -- with which they were comfortable, for they had grown up under Judaism.   Familiarity is a strong pull -- and these people, according to the writer of Hebrews -- were being pulled back into that old state again.  Jesus Christ had been crucified to bring them out of Judaism and into a personal relationship with Him -- and they turned back to the old and familiar.

 

Actually, I believe the writer of Hebrews is not telling them they cannot repent and be forgiven -- but, that they will NOT allow themselves to do this.  Like Pharaoh, by going backwards, they hardened their hearts to the point of no return.

 

This make much more spiritual sense to me -- and it fits the person and attributes of God.  Keep in mind that they Bible tells us that the ONLY sin which cannot be forgiven -- is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.  How does one blaspheme the Holy Spirit?  By preventing Him from doing His main task -- leading us to salvation in Jesus Christ.  So, when a person hardens his/her heart and dies without knowing Jesus Christ, that is a slap in the face of the Holy Spirit -- that is blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  And, because the person has already died in sin, there is no second chance -- thus the unforgivable sin.

 

And, I believe this is what the writer of Hebrews is telling these people -- harden your hearts by going back into Judaism -- and you will not allow yourself to return to Christ.

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

******

 

True, a large percentage of those who went forward at Billy Graham or Greg Laurie crusades were not saved.  It is questionable whether ANY of them were saved as a consequence of what happened during the subsequent counseling they received after coming forward. That, however, does not prevent either Laurie or Graham as claiming them among the alleged hundreds of thousands of person allegedly saved in those evangelistic charades.

 

But those people were not "partakers of the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit does not come in segments like a Tootsie Roll.  A partaker of the Holy Spirit is one who "share[s] in"(from the Greek, "metecho"; see Vine, W.E. An Exposition of Biblical Words, pp. 833-34) the Holy Ghost.  Your artificial contrivance of a person who somehow just brushes up against the Holy Ghost, being allegedly just "caught up in the excitement of the moment" does not do justice to the true meaning expressed by the writer of Hebrews.  You have merely contrived a facile device to avoid acknowledging that the persons described by Paul had indeed been faithful believers and then had fallen away.

 

I am going fishing; will check for your reply when I return.

quote:    Originally Posted by ReleaseTheElephant:
quote:   Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Hi Contendah,

 

You tell me, "Both my feet are firmly planted of the solid ground of TRUTH, Bill -- truth as revealed in scripture."

 

My Friend, I am not saying you are not a Christian believer -- but, some of your posts do seem to be straddling the fence.  You say, "truth as revealed in scripture."   In saying that, do you mean the Christian Bible -- or do you mean another, such as the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah's Witnesses "New World Translation" or another? 

 

It would help if you would be a wee bit more explicit, i.e., are you speaking of Christian Scripture, are you in a Christian church, do you consider yourself a born again Christian, etc.  

 

For myself, I study the Christian Bible, mostly the NASB, but often I will use the NKJV, the KJV, and, sometimes in my writings, for clarity, I will use the NIV.  Those are my choices, in that order.   Which Scripture do you mean?

 

And, if folks ask me, I will declare that I am a Christian believer.  If they push the issue, I will acknowledge that I have been worshiping in a Baptist church (most of the time BGC, sometimes SBC) for the past 24 years.  I do not introduce myself as a Baptist, not that I am ashamed of being Baptist -- but, because I consider myself Christian first, and Baptist second.  Usually, I will tell folks I am a Baptist flavored Christian.  Why?  Because my personal Biblical Christian Doctrines, my personal Statement of Faith, aligns very well with the Baptist's Statement of Faith.

 

So, Contendah, that is where I stand on the playing field.  Where do you stand?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,   Bill

How many orphans did you help today?  How many homeless did you provide a meal and a kind word to today?   How many people were "saved" today because of the Christian example you set?   How much time did you spend on the street today, doing good deeds, and leaving those you helped with only the words "God Loves You", and not some long azzed "hell and brimstone" sermon?  YOU...personally, not through "alms" to you local church.  How many?

Hi Cage,

 

Which is better -- to offer someone a meal -- or to offer them eternal life in Christ?  I will admit that a person with a full stomach is better able to hear the Word of God -- and that is why organizations such as the Salvation Army do so much good. 

 

Cage, I will ask the same question of you.  How many homeless did you feed today?  How many homeless did you offer a hand up today?  How many orphans did you feed today?   If you did -- that is wonderful and I applaud you.  If you did not -- and are only using this as a way to put down Christian evangelism -- then, I have other words for you.

 

The Bible tells us, and we know from personal experience, that God gives different gifts to each believer.  The gift He gave me was not to be a pastor or a street evangelist.  Instead, the gift and the ministry He gave me is writing and sharing through the written word -- about His "free gift" of eternal life for all who will, by grace, through faith -- believe and receive His "paid in full" pardon and the eternal life in Christ it provides.

 

What is your gift, Cage?  And, did it come from God -- or the other side?  Is your gift the desire to share God's Word -- or to denigrate Christians when we try to share His Word with others?   After serious thought, Cage, what is your gift?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:
quote:    Originally Posted by ReleaseTheElephant:
quote:   Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Hi Contendah,

 

You tell me, "Both my feet are firmly planted of the solid ground of TRUTH, Bill -- truth as revealed in scripture."

 

My Friend, I am not saying you are not a Christian believer -- but, some of your posts do seem to be straddling the fence.  You say, "truth as revealed in scripture."   In saying that, do you mean the Christian Bible -- or do you mean another, such as the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah's Witnesses "New World Translation" or another? 

 

It would help if you would be a wee bit more explicit, i.e., are you speaking of Christian Scripture, are you in a Christian church, do you consider yourself a born again Christian, etc.  

 

For myself, I study the Christian Bible, mostly the NASB, but often I will use the NKJV, the KJV, and, sometimes in my writings, for clarity, I will use the NIV.  Those are my choices, in that order.   Which Scripture do you mean?

 

And, if folks ask me, I will declare that I am a Christian believer.  If they push the issue, I will acknowledge that I have been worshiping in a Baptist church (most of the time BGC, sometimes SBC) for the past 24 years.  I do not introduce myself as a Baptist, not that I am ashamed of being Baptist -- but, because I consider myself Christian first, and Baptist second.  Usually, I will tell folks I am a Baptist flavored Christian.  Why?  Because my personal Biblical Christian Doctrines, my personal Statement of Faith, aligns very well with the Baptist's Statement of Faith.

 

So, Contendah, that is where I stand on the playing field.  Where do you stand?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,   Bill

How many orphans did you help today?  How many homeless did you provide a meal and a kind word to today?   How many people were "saved" today because of the Christian example you set?   How much time did you spend on the street today, doing good deeds, and leaving those you helped with only the words "God Loves You", and not some long azzed "hell and brimstone" sermon?  YOU...personally, not through "alms" to you local church.  How many?

Hi Cage,

 

Which is better -- to offer someone a meal -- or to offer them eternal life in Christ?  I will admit that a person with a full stomach is better able to hear the Word of God -- and that is why organizations such as the Salvation Army do so much good. 

 

Cage, I will ask the same question of you.  How many homeless did you feed today?  How many homeless did you offer a hand up today?  How many orphans did you feed today?   If you did -- that is wonderful and I applaud you.  If you did not -- and are only using this as a way to put down Christian evangelism -- then, I have other words for you.

 

The Bible tells us, and we know from personal experience, that God gives different gifts to each believer.  The gift He gave me was not to be a pastor or a street evangelist.  Instead, the gift and the ministry He gave me is writing and sharing through the written word -- about His "free gift" of eternal life for all who will, by grace, through faith -- believe and receive His "paid in full" pardon and the eternal life in Christ it provides.

 

What is your gift, Cage?  And, did it come from God -- or the other side?  Is your gift the desire to share God's Word -- or to denigrate Christians when we try to share His Word with others?   After serious thought, Cage, what is your gift?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

 

 

Well, Bill, to be honest?

I haven't seen any Salvation Army posters on this forum. Offering the Salvation you offer, with "terms".

I have had many dealings with the Salvation Army. And! Guess what...I have NEVER once been asked about my "religious affiliation"...OR...belief.

Only, my situation.

You, on the other hand, want to pass judgement. Although you do not know my plight, you impose your "Get right with God" stipulation.

 

You pass out vinegar...a bitter taste, while telling those that it is "honey". They are not fooled.

They see your transparency.

 

Humble as a little child? It's a requirement you do NOT meet.

 You are a false Prophet. 

You are an equivalent of those who blatantly "show their works unto Men"...for Recognition.

 

Your "high" is posing as a Godly Man, while following your own personal agenda. The "See Me", I am  

Holy. 

You lack understanding of the Gospel.

Originally Posted by ReleaseTheElephant:
 
quote:    Originally Posted by ReleaseTheElephant:

 

 

 

Well, Bill, to be honest?

I haven't seen any Salvation Army posters on this forum. Offering the Salvation you offer, with "terms".

I have had many dealings with the Salvation Army. And! Guess what...I have NEVER once been asked about my "religious affiliation"...OR...belief.

Only, my situation.

You, on the other hand, want to pass judgement. Although you do not know my plight, you impose your "Get right with God" stipulation.

 

You pass out vinegar...a bitter taste, while telling those that it is "honey". They are not fooled.

They see your transparency.

 

Humble as a little child? It's a requirement you do NOT meet.

 You are a false Prophet. 

You are an equivalent of those who blatantly "show their works unto Men"...for Recognition.

 

Your "high" is posing as a Godly Man, while following your own personal agenda. The "See Me", I am  

Holy. 

You lack understanding of the Gospel.

-----------------------------------------------

 

You nailed that one RE.

Hi Cage,

You tell me, "Well, Bill, to be honest?   I haven't seen any Salvation Army posters on this forum. Offering the Salvation you offer, with  "terms".  I have had many dealings with the Salvation Army. And! Guess what...I have NEVER once been asked about my  "religious affiliation" ... OR ... belief.   Only, my situation

You, on the other hand, want to pass judgment.  Although you do not know my plight, you impose your "Get right with God" stipulation.   You pass out vinegar...a bitter taste, while telling those that it is "honey". They are not fooled.  They see your  transparency.   Humble as a little child? It's a requirement you do NOT meet.  You are a false Prophet.   You are an equivalent of  those who blatantly "show their works unto Men"...for Recognition.  Your "high" is posing as a Godly Man, while following your own personal agenda. The "See Me", I am Holy.   You lack understanding of the Gospel."

Cage, my Friend, salvation has nothing to do with your "religious affiliation" nor with "your situation" nor "your plight."    It only has to do with your relationship with Jesus Christ.   If you have sincerely asked Him into your heart to be your personal Lord and Savior -- you have eternal life in Christ.  If you have not -- you do not.  It is as simple as that.

And, only you know if you truly have this saving relationship.  I cannot say "yea" or "nay" -- nor can anyone else.  But, I might share one small hint -- if you truly do have this relationship -- would you be saying such things about another Christian whose only desire is to share the Word of God with others?  Your call.

Keep in mind that anyone can declare himself to be a Christian -- but, there is a responsibility of "fruit" to show to the world.  Yes, you may, as do a few others on the Religion Forum, say that I am not a Christian because I tell people that if they continue to deny God until they die -- they have condemned themselves to eternal hell.  Well, my Friend, if that is your full evidence against my Christian state -- then, praise God, I am safe.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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