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Losing Salvation and Holy Spirit Guidance

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:41 pm
by email
Inquiry in Reference To:

I've been saved for almost 6 yrs now and am always trying to be diligent in study and discipline in God's Word and what He teaches. And as much as I desire to live a godly life, I do fail. Sometimes often it seems. I always try to immediately confess my sins because I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts and compels me to do so. I have been taught the OSAS doctrine. but my hope is not in this doctrine, rather in Christ Himself. I believe that we are to guard ourselves from sin because we are saved. My question is one that I am certain that you have heard a thousand times, but one that I have never asked. Given the view of salvation that you adhere to, what would happen if I happened to die immediately after giving in to some temptation and sin? This is one of the thoughts that bother me on occasion because of the fact that I DO NOT want to presume upon God's Word or His Grace.

Losing salvation

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:45 am
by m273p15c
Thanks for the excellent question! Many people, who either grew up believing "once saved, always saved" or were converted to it, are understandably uneasy with their personal salvation outside of OSAS. First, you should know that the Bible provides a clear basis for confidence in one's personal salvation. The Bible alternative to OSAS is not a life of uncertainty, doubt, fear, and trembling. Second, God is not a being looking to destroy us (II Peter 3:9). He has already gone to the greatest lengths possible in offering His Son to provide for our salvation (Romans 8:31-32; John 3:16). So, I have little fear that He will squeal in glee whenever I sin, pouncing upon His opportunity to strike me dead. The great patience He has shown (for example, think about how He put up with ancient Israel for so long, II Chronicles 36:15-17) and the great patience He has promised to show us (II Peter 3:9) should produce confidence in us that God will always apply patience to our judgment, if patience will make a difference. (Remember, anyone can become so hardened and unrepentant that no amount of patience will make a difference. In fact, such patience will only make such a person grow more hardened in his or her sinfulness, Hebrews 3:12-13; Ephesians 4:17-19; . For example, think of Pharaoh.)

So, God has abundantly provided for us and demonstrated Himself to be a God of hope, mercy, love, and patience. As long as I am willing to challenge everything in the light of God's Word, showing no favorites, because He will show no favorites (Acts 10:34-35; I Timothy 2:3-4), and as long as I am willing to follow that truth no matter what, then I trust Him to take care of me. Now, if I plan on obeying most of what He said, then I'm headed for trouble. Or, if I start making exceptions or back away from examining myself in light of Scripture (II Thessalonians 2:9-12), then I am headed for a rude awakening:
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (Matthew 7:21-23)
Obedience on some points does not license disobedience in others.

I would encourage you to read the following articles, which touch on these points in better detail:
There is a balance of sorts to maintain. One can become overly fearful or overly confident for any number of reasons, but either extreme is destructive.

If you have previously been convinced of "once saved, always saved", then may I presume that you also believe that baptism is not commanded for salvation? (They usually go together.) If you have not been "baptized for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:37-38; Romans 6:1-6; Galatians 3:26-27; I Peter 3:21), then I would encourage you to study it and be so baptized. Even in the New Testament, believers who were previously baptized for the wrong reason were baptized again, but for the correct reason (Acts 19:3-5). We have a few articles on that point here:
Thanks again for the good question. I hope and pray you will look over these articles, but more importantly, I hope you will examine, study, and mediate on each of the referenced passages in their context.

If you have any follow-up thoughts or questions, I would love to hear them.

Re: Losing salvation

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:57 am
by email
Thanks m273p15cfor the insight. I will give these things careful study. I absolutely do believe that the Holy Spirit guides into all Truth and I guess that if I must confess my ignorance in many matters I also must confess that I believe that the Lord IS indeed leading me in my desire to understand His Word and His Will.

Thanks again

Losing salvation

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:17 pm
by m273p15c
You are more than welcome! If I can serve in the Lord's cause and help others, it is a true joy and honor.

You mentioned a topic that leads me to a couple of questions. The Holy Spirit is an interesting topic, and I believe that much of the division we see in "Christendom" is a result of misunderstanding about the Holy Spirit. Although many people believe in the power of God's Word, they believe the Holy Spirit overrules or helps them to understand it more perfectly. In short, many people allow their feelings on a subject, which they interpret as Holy Spirit leading, to outweigh what the Bible says. As a result, people are going every which direction, all claiming that the Holy Spirit is guiding them, which elevates their decisions beyond all questioning and scrutiny. God doesn't lie (Titus 1:2), so if people are going in different directions, then it is not the Holy Spirit leading most of them, if not all of them. Something is obviously not right with this picture. So, please allow me to offer a few questions for your meditation.

Can you think of any verse that suggests that Christians generally had access to a direct Holy Spirit leading apart from the revealed Word of God? Whatever passages you accumulate, can you decide from the context if that promise was offered to all men or was it given to the inspired apostles and prophets of the first century?

While you are thinking on it, please take a look at Ephesians 3:3-5 and II Timothy 3:16-17?

I look forward to hearing from you. :)

Re: Losing salvation

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:50 pm
by email
Thanks for writing back and having such an interest in sharing God's Word.

What you have asked is actually something that I have thought about. I just looked up a few quick references that came to mind (Acts 5:42-1Cor.4:17-1 Tim 6:3) Where the apostles taught and were warned that men ought not teach other doctrines. It's scriptures such as these that have led me to believe that we should NOT react to scriptures with our feelings or preconceived notions, but rather allow scripture to teach what God's will for us is. When I speak of the Holy Spirit leading me into all Truth, my meaning is that the Lord would soften my heart to heed His Words so that pride would not cause me to resist. Because I know that there is a way that seems right (Prov. 14:12-Prov16:25) but the end is death.

Hope that I don't seem to hardheaded! There is much that the denomination that I'm a member of believes, but I don't necessarily agree with. Not that I think that they are emphatically wrong, but that I choose to study scripture FIRST before blindly following. Not better than anyone only trying to humble myself to God's Hand.

Thanks again

Losing salvation

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:47 pm
by m273p15c
Thanks for the reasonable and humble response!

Whenever you have time, I have collected a few lectures on the Holy Spirit, which you may find insightful:
There's no rush, but I'd love to know what you think about them. I listed them in the order I think one should listen to them.

If you ever want to discuss anything else, or if I can help in some way, please let me know.