Saturday, January 29, 2011

Departing From The Will of God or Forfeiting Grace?

Here is my answer to a rambling question I received concerning Christians departing the faith and seemingly forfeiting grace.

This question is UNEDITED!
"I read your write-up on the fate of a believer who goes back into sin, and I'm confused. How can we reconcile your teaching with the following Scriptures? 1)1 Timothy 4: 1-2: "Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits & doctrines of devils.." One thing about this passage is crystal clear - that some will depart from the faith. Since it is not possible to depart from something you never possessed in the first place, this scripture is referring to believers who were once saved but who will fall away from the faith. 2)In Heb. 3: 12 & 14, the Bible says, "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God". v.14, "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." Here Paul is addressing the believers in Christ. There should be no doubt about that because in verse 12, he refers to them as "brethren" and in verse 14, he says, "For we have been made partakers of Christ". So, Paul isn't speaking to unbelievers here. He's speaking to believers. He warns them to beware of departing from God. This means it is possible for a believer to depart from God."

The biblical tenet of "eternal security" is upheld in the whole counsel of scripture. John 10:29 [NASB] "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."
Though "proof texting" [focusing on one text] can be accurate in teaching biblical doctrine-it has also led to false doctrine [teaching], church practices and even supports the activities of cults. Here is a verse taken as a "proof text" that many abductionist cults have used to persuade followers to flee families and loved ones.
Luke 14:26 [NASB}" If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple." The duped will think here is a biblical quote supporting a horrible thing. Orthodox Christianity teaches that this saying of Christ is hyperbole [an exaggeration to make a point].

People who are not Christians have an will join local churches. This was confirmed when Christ taught about the wheat and tares. Matthew 13:24-25 [NASB] 24Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25"But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away." Augustine of Hippo taught this as the visible [all professing church members] compared to the invisible church [those born again through out the world].
The Apostle Paul further teaches about false members who are partakers but have not received Christ.
Romans 9:6 [NASB] "But it is not as though the word of God has failed For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;".

We all sin- the saved and unsaved. Though some false doctrine has hurt the church by teaching total sanctification has been achieved by people on Earth. The saved sin. Are they continually leaving salvation? No. But there is a responsibility of the Christian to grow and to be sanctified in grace. Do Christians get caught into false doctrine like the "prosperity gospel"? Yes. They are called to repent. Christians do not sin their way out of Salvation that was given to them by Christ Alone!

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