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  #151  
Unread 9th May 2008, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimbeaux View Post
Can a believer forfeit salvation?

For the record …
1. I do not believe that a Christian can “lose” their salvation like they can lose their car keys. Losing something is an involuntary act, an accident.
2. Nor do I believe that a Christian can "sin away" their salvation. Christ atoned for all sins once and for all.
But I do believe …

A person’s free will to choose their eternal fate remains in tact even after they become believers—IOW, God does not take away our right to choose our eventual destiny when we become believers. We do not become robots, cyborgs the instant we are saved. A Christian has every God-given right to choose to no longer believe, if they so wish.


Interesting example:
One of the best examples of this is Charles Templeton (1915-2001), a Canadian and colleague of Billy Graham in the 1940s, one of the most promising evangelists of the early postwar period and co-creator and initial leading voice of Youth With A Mission. Templeton became a believer in 1936 after experiencing a crisis of faith in a revival meeting, followed by a meteoric rise to become one of the world’s most gifted preachers, whose oratorical skills, some said, surpassed that of his partner Billy Graham’s. In 1948 he attended Princeton Theological Seminary and afterward began to question his faith. By 1957 his growing skepticism led him to forfeit/deny/abandon faith in Christ and he became an avowed and lifelong “agnostic” until his death in 2001. Templeton and Graham remained lifelong friends. In 1982 he wrote, “There is no feigning in [Graham]: he believes what he believes with an invincible innocence. He is the only mass evangelist I would trust."But by the end of his life, his admiration for Graham had waned. In 1995, Templeton published A Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith which set forth his arguments for agnosticism, while also depicting Graham as a fraud who didn't believe in his own crusades. In the latter part of the book, Templeton includes several quotes that have been described as "devastating" to Graham, setting up the case that the latter was simply caught up in good way to make a living. (Wikipedia profile and photo of Templeton HERE)
Now, was Templeton saved, OSAS? Will I see him in heaven? His life until the early 1950s gives every evidence that he was once a believer. He gave stirring testimony to his conversion, preached to hundreds of thousands, brought many to Christ, created YWAM (which to this day is one of the leading evangelistic ministries to youth in the world), wrote books and articles extolling Christ, had his own religious television show on CBS, was endorsed as the leading Canadian voice for Christ by the United Churches of Canada, etc., etc. but later in his life, from 1957 until his death, was the leading agnostic voice in his country.

To say that Templeton really never was a Christian is question how any of us can "know" we are Christian? All the evidential “fruit” was there in Templeton’s life and ministry from his conversion through the mid-1950s. He believed he was a Christian? If he really wasn’t, how can I possibly know for sure that I really am a Christian? Where goes my "security"? How can you know for sure you are really a Christian? How can you know your pastor or your favorite celebrity televangelist is really saved? How can I know for sure you are really a Christian?

It gets complicated, doesn't it?

For me it is simple. Charles Templeton willfully forfeited his salvation, choosing to ignore the dictates of his spirit to embrace the questions in his mind. He did not “lose” his salvation, or “sin away” his salvation but, because God never took away his freewill, Templeton simply and willfully abandoned his faith in Christ and became reprobate concerning the faith. He rejected Christ and His gift after having enjoyed it for more than 20 years.

Hard to imagine a Christian turning their back on Christ, but instances are there in scripture (Judas, Demas, Alexander, Hymeneaus, Simon Magus, Diotrophes, Philetus) and in contemporary life.

In short, you don’t have to go to heaven if you don’t want to. God did not drag Charles Templeton kicking and screaming through the pearly gates, OSAS style.

~Jim




If your absence doesn’t make a difference, your presence won’t either.
Does your concept have room for the insane and those otherwise not in full responsible possession of their mental and spirtual faculties?

Wouldn't someone who turned down heaven in favor of the "other" place be.... well, bonkers.
Does God execute His boken children?
Just a thought.
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  #152  
Unread 9th May 2008, 03:29 PM
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No one has answered my question yet. I hate to be rude, but this is very important to me.

Can someone give away their salvation to a loved one who was not saved at their time of passing?

If my husband passed away and out of grieving I asked God to give him my place in Heaven, would God do that? Would I really loose my salvation?
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  #153  
Unread 9th May 2008, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by c1ners View Post
No one has answered my question yet. I hate to be rude, but this is very important to me.

Can someone give away their salvation to a loved one who was not saved at their time of passing?

If my husband passed away and out of grieving I asked God to give him my place in Heaven, would God do that? Would I really loose my salvation?
Since each person is responsible to God for their own acceptance of Him, I would have to say that this is not possible.
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  #154  
Unread 9th May 2008, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dmhforJesus View Post
I know that this is pertaining to the Gentiles and their desire to continue in the lust of the flesh (unbelievers)

And what we were discussing was unbelievers - people who possibly once believed (or at least called themselves believers) but had chosen to not believe anymore (continue in their sinful lives) - would they not fall into the category of unbelievers since they no longer believe?

If you can choose to believe when you were an unbeliever can you not also choose to not believe any longer when you were once a believer?

I guess it all depends on what we mean when we say "believe". Do we mean a mental assent - like I know in my brain that it is true - or do we mean that we have faith in (trust in) God?

We also have so many terms that we throw around... "saved" "born again" "sanctified" etc. that sometimes cause confussion in this issue, IMO.

I have always believed that the moment a person believes and confesses, they are saved and born again. We who were dead in our sins are buried with Christ and made alive again - given regenerated spirits. Although it may not be something we can see and it may not be something we can really feel (or the feeling of it comes and goes)... it's as real as our natural births.

So my question would be... if this supernatural act of regeneration happens, and it happens by God's act, not our own (by Grace through faith, not by our works).... then how could a time of disbelief or doubt on our parts make us dead again?

If a person is truly born again, IMO, it may be possible for him to willingly and knowingly reject Christ. But I don't believe that it's possible for him to backslide to a point of non-salvation. And I believe that the Holy Spirit is going to continue to call to the person to bring him back to righteousness.

If a child of God is being disobedient, God doesn't cut that person off. God disciplines him to bring him back. And if God doesn't discipline him, then he's probably not really a child of God. God chastens those He loves.

To me, this is comforting. God loves me enough to not give up on me and let me go my own way... He might make it very painful to me, but in the long run discipline that was painful works in us a much better result.
  #155  
Unread 9th May 2008, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by c1ners View Post
No one has answered my question yet. I hate to be rude, but this is very important to me.

Can someone give away their salvation to a loved one who was not saved at their time of passing?

If my husband passed away and out of grieving I asked God to give him my place in Heaven, would God do that? Would I really loose my salvation?
Of course not. Salvation is a personal matter between you and God and no one else. Notice these scriptures:
4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load. (Gal. 6)

4 Each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, (1 Thess. 4)

14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (James 1)
~Jim

Infatuation becomes love when two people stop looking at each other


and start looking in the same direction.
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  #156  
Unread 9th May 2008, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by c1ners View Post
No one has answered my question yet. I hate to be rude, but this is very important to me.

Can someone give away their salvation to a loved one who was not saved at their time of passing?

If my husband passed away and out of grieving I asked God to give him my place in Heaven, would God do that? Would I really loose my salvation?

Are you an acceptable sacrifice for your husband's sins? Are you perfect, without blemish?

There's only one sacrifice that God is going to accept... Jesus. Jesus already made Himself the substitute. No one else can do that.
  #157  
Unread 9th May 2008, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tamara224 View Post
I guess it all depends on what we mean when we say "believe". Do we mean a mental assent - like I know in my brain that it is true - or do we mean that we have faith in (trust in) God?

We also have so many terms that we throw around... "saved" "born again" "sanctified" etc. that sometimes cause confussion in this issue, IMO.

I have always believed that the moment a person believes and confesses, they are saved and born again. We who were dead in our sins are buried with Christ and made alive again - given regenerated spirits. Although it may not be something we can see and it may not be something we can really feel (or the feeling of it comes and goes)... it's as real as our natural births.

So my question would be... if this supernatural act of regeneration happens, and it happens by God's act, not our own (by Grace through faith, not by our works).... then how could a time of disbelief or doubt on our parts make us dead again?

If a person is truly born again, IMO, it may be possible for him to willingly and knowingly reject Christ. But I don't believe that it's possible for him to backslide to a point of non-salvation. And I believe that the Holy Spirit is going to continue to call to the person to bring him back to righteousness.

If a child of God is being disobedient, God doesn't cut that person off. God disciplines him to bring him back. And if God doesn't discipline him, then he's probably not really a child of God. God chastens those He loves.

To me, this is comforting. God loves me enough to not give up on me and let me go my own way... He might make it very painful to me, but in the long run discipline that was painful works in us a much better result.
I agree...
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  #158  
Unread 9th May 2008, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Tamara224 View Post
*****

I have always believed that the moment a person believes and confesses, they are saved and born again. We who were dead in our sins are buried with Christ and made alive again - given regenerated spirits. Although it may not be something we can see and it may not be something we can really feel (or the feeling of it comes and goes)... it's as real as our natural births.

So my question would be... if this supernatural act of regeneration happens, and it happens by God's act, not our own (by Grace through faith, not by our works).... then how could a time of disbelief or doubt on our parts make us dead again?

*****
The prodigal, while in his father’s house, was saved (for lack of a better term), then, through an act of his own chose to leave his father’s care and, according the father, he was lost/dead but when he returned (of his own freewill) he was alive again.
24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. (Luke 15)
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  #159  
Unread 9th May 2008, 04:42 PM
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The prodigal was not in his right mind when he did what he did. Which brings us back to my ignored post.

Luke 15:17
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

If he was not in his right mind, would God hold that against Him?
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Unread 9th May 2008, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Tamara224 View Post
I guess it all depends on what we mean when we say "believe". Do we mean a mental assent - like I know in my brain that it is true - or do we mean that we have faith in (trust in) God?

We also have so many terms that we throw around... "saved" "born again" "sanctified" etc. that sometimes cause confussion in this issue, IMO.

I have always believed that the moment a person believes and confesses, they are saved and born again. We who were dead in our sins are buried with Christ and made alive again - given regenerated spirits. Although it may not be something we can see and it may not be something we can really feel (or the feeling of it comes and goes)... it's as real as our natural births.

So my question would be... if this supernatural act of regeneration happens, and it happens by God's act, not our own (by Grace through faith, not by our works).... then how could a time of disbelief or doubt on our parts make us dead again?

If a person is truly born again, IMO, it may be possible for him to willingly and knowingly reject Christ. But I don't believe that it's possible for him to backslide to a point of non-salvation. And I believe that the Holy Spirit is going to continue to call to the person to bring him back to righteousness.

If a child of God is being disobedient, God doesn't cut that person off. God disciplines him to bring him back. And if God doesn't discipline him, then he's probably not really a child of God. God chastens those He loves.

To me, this is comforting. God loves me enough to not give up on me and let me go my own way... He might make it very painful to me, but in the long run discipline that was painful works in us a much better result.
As a Baptist/Charismatic, I find it interesting that my Baptist friends seem to have adopted a hybrid Calvinist/Armenian viewpoint, merging two diametrically opposite viewpoints. Baptists are Armenian in the sense that they believe people have free will and are capable of choosing to follow Christ, but Calvinist in the sense that once we make that choice, God will not let us fall away. This seems peculiar even to me--a hybrid myself of two positions diametrically opposite of one another (vis-a-vis the Holy Spirit).

I think we all have missed the big point of this discussion. As finite human beings incapable of foretelling the future, we follow a God who knows the end from the beginning. Even now, He sees the end of each human being--whether said person shall eventually live in Heaven or burn in the pits of Hell.

With that contast in mind, I suppose that unless God has good reason to do so--which, of course, would be his prerogative--He is not going to entrust his glory, power and the like to someone He knows will one day waste it and burn in Hell anyway. Then again, there is something to be said about judging someone harshly for wasting the bounty of one's grace (ala like the unforgiving servant in Jesus parable): A person who has experienced God's grace and rejected would presumably be entitled to greater punishment than one who never experienced God's grace at all.

Be that as it may, this eventually boils down to an issue of predestination v. free-will, which is a question will not be answered by me.
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