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As a Reformed person...

Discussion in 'Confessional, Covenantal, Creedal - Presbyterian' started by ChicanaRose, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    I lost someone who grew up in a Christian home but fell away from her faith.

    I don't have an evidence that she came back to Christ before her death.

    But if the Perseverance of Saints doctrine is true, then she must have.

    If not, I would always wonder.

    As a Reformed person, do you have more peace, hope, and assurance at a fallen away Christian's passing, knowing that he or she is in heaven?
     
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  2. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am sorry you lost a friend that you grew up with. And these things do concern us as Christians.

    However, growing up in a Christian home does not make one a Christian. Knowing the facts about Christianity & trying to live a moral life by our good works does not save anyone. Many group up in Christian homes but because they were not spiritually born again, they can be influenced by the secular arguments, especially at college & fall away from their Christian upbringing.

    James talks about a faith that gives 'evidence' that it is alive & not a ritual we follow by rote.

    The Calvinist doctrine of 'perseverence of the saints' teaches that Christians may stumble at times but they will eventually CONTINUE to walk by faith & continue to follow Jesus. It seems your friend did not show this, sad to say. But I am not God. He knows.

    If there is no evidences & no signs of life or a relationship with Jesus & a forsaking Him & obeying Him, then in my opinion, this person was never born again.

    I shared the gospel with someone who said he would receive Jesus but still wanted to continue in a sin. I told him that Jesus would deal with it in time. So he prayed but without the repentance for that particular sin. Afterwards, he said the right things & for awhile read the Bible, etc but soon stopped & from that point on lived the way he wanted to live.

    I learned a valuable lesson in sharing the Biblical gospel, not a watered down one.

    Mark 4:15-17 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts (Luke 8:12 'lest they should believe & be saved.) 16LIKEWISE, these are they which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness. But they have NO ROOT in themselves & so ENDURE FOR A TIME. Afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended [& in time of temptation FALL AWAY--Luke 8:13].

    2 Corinthians 13:3-8 Since ye seek a PROOF of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.

    5Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; PROVE your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

    7Now I pray to God that ye DO NO EVIL; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. 8For we can do nothing AGAINST the truth, but for the truth.


    I grew up in a home where we were all taken to church & the Bible was read. However, I was not saved, even though I went to church, got confirmed & could tell the facts of the message of the gospel & was trying to live morally.

    I even got into a Bible study at college & fooled the Bible study leaders that I was a Christian. I fooled myself. I was drinking more & more and remember telling my sister that why do we go to church, as we don't get anything out of it.

    I was one that outwardly looked OK but inwardly there was no life. I was headed into alcoholism & would have dropped out of college if the Holy Spirit had not intervened & brought me to point of despair & repentance. I cried out to the Lord to be saved & became spiritually born again.

    I became a born again Christian during the Jesus Revolution of the 1970's, a real revival of God. Since then those who did the same thing, now 50 years later, are STILL walking with the Lord.

    Presently in our day & age, we have a massive falling away as Paul predicted would happen before Jesus returned & before the final antichrist is revealed. People who seemed so sincere, even people who became pastors or Christian musicians, are suddenly renouncing their Christianity & showing no 'good' fruit & walking away from following Christ.

    It is like the parable Jesus told about the good seed & the bad seed.

    Matt 13:27-30 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

    Matt 13:37-43 He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

    Matt 7:13,14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    Luke 13:22-27 Then Jesus traveled throughout the towns and villages, teaching as He made His way toward Jerusalem. “Lord,” someone asked him, “are only a few people going to be saved? ” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.

    When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ And he will answer, ‘I tell you, I do not know you or where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers.’

    It is a difficult because people like this have been our friends or we have followed their music or their teaching. One who is truly spiritually born again, who gives biblical evidences of an active & alive faith, will persevere, though sometimes there is the 'sin that so easily entangles us' (Heb 12) that can hinder us for awhile.

    Mark 9:38-41 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone else driving out demons in Your name & we tried to stop him, because he does not accompany us.”

    39“Do not stop him,” Jesus replied. “For no one who performs a miracle in My name can SOON AFTERWARD TURN AROUND & speak evil of Me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Indeed, if anyone gives you even a cup of water because you bear the name of Christ, truly I tell you, he will never lose his reward.

    These verses & personal experiences have helped me in dealing with this situation. Perhaps something can be used by the Lord to help you. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    Well, you cannot guarantee that a person was ever in the faith just because they were raised in a religious home. I know several friends of mine who were raised in a religious Christian home, but they told me that they later found Christ in their teens. They never "fell away" in any sense, they became aware that being born in a Christian home, with Christian parents, doesn't mean they were Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes them a car.

    Also there are passages that talk about apostasy. Some people can profess they know Christ, but know not him in the heart. Many will say 'Lord Lord,' but he will respond that he knew them not.

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend.
     
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  4. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    That's a realistic and rational thought. It is also troubling on a personal level not knowing where she is now. But I appreciate the honesty.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  5. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    Death is a sobering experience, especially when they are friends and family. Just last week, another friend of mine died in an accident. The truck rolled over and tossed him out the window, since he wasn't wearing a seat-belt, and killed him. This same event happened to another person I went to high school with two years ago, and similar to another person that went to all three primary schools with me four years ago. I've had many friends pass away within the last five years, and I always shared the gospel with them constantly. They never shown any interest in Christ, and every time another one passes out of this life it continues to sober me in the reality of how fragile this life is.
     
  6. public hermit

    public hermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As a Reformed person I trust wholly in a gracious and loving God. Who knows what is going on in another person's heart? What I know is God is gracious and desires that none should perish. The rest I leave to God. I am sorry for your worry, but hope Christ will give you peace about this.
     
  7. SeamusDelion

    SeamusDelion Member

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    What do you mean by "falling away"? Because a REAL Christian can not and will not "fall away". One might "backslide" for a time, or give in to various sins, but they would never renounce their faith. And if they do, then they were never REAL Christians to begin with.

    Let me show you in Scripture:

    1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.



    They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.… Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.… These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. (2:19, 22–23, 26)

    Antichrists who infiltrate the church and mingle among true believers, attempting to destroy by spreading lies and deceptions, are clearly identifiable by three primary characteristics. First, they depart from the fellowship. They enter the church only to sabotage it through an often-sophisticated strategy of false teaching and lies. But eventually most depart, separating from true Christians, leaving a path of spiritual destruction in their wake, and inevitably taking some of the weak with them.
    Some who remain are confused and left wondering if the false teachers and their “converts” took the real truth with them when they left. They might also find themselves asking why their professed brethren, if they had really been part of the true church, had so readily followed the antichrists. Such questions were apparently being asked by John’s readers. And the apostle addressed all those doubts with the simple statement, They went out from us, but they were not really of us.
    If those teachers and their adherents had possessed the true eternal life, John elaborated, they would have remained with us. God allowed—and still allows—liars, deceivers, and false teachers to come into the assembly of believers to purge it, so that it would be shown that they all are not of the fellowship. Those who defect give clear evidence of their true character and unregenerate condition. Thus, in His perfect plan, God uses false teachers to draw away false believers from the church, so they will not remain in the assembly as harmful and corrupting influences (cf. 1 Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9). He permits antichrists to do their sinister work in His own church for the ultimate good of His body (cf. Gen. 50:20). In a surprising way, He allowed a messenger from Satan to fracture the Corinthian church in order to wound the apostle Paul and produce in him greater humility, trust, and strength (2 Cor. 12:7–10). Of course, false teachers are fully responsible for their heinous actions, earning for themselves the severest eternal judgment (cf. Jude 13; 2 Peter 2:12). Nevertheless, in spite of their hatred for God, they serve His end to purify His people. Satan and all his demons, in the final analysis, serve the sovereign purposes of God.
    Genuine believers need not fear some fatal influence from the activities of antichrists, because the children of God will always stay true to the faith and persevere to the end (John 10:27–30; Phil. 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24–25). Paul assured the Colossians that because they were reconciled to God they would not defect (Col. 1:21–23), and the writer of Hebrews gave a similar assurance (Heb. 3:6, 14). On the other hand, those who oppose the truth or engage in apostasy (cf. Num. 16:1–35; 22–25; 1 Tim. 4:1–3; 2 Peter 2:1–9; Jude 10–13), or are not anchored in the truth (Matt. 7:26–27; Mark 4:17; Heb. 6:4–6), have no real salvation.
    The second clearly recognizable characteristic of antichrists is that they deny the faith. Specifically in this context they fail John’s Christological test. The spirit of antichrist is that of the liar … who denies that Jesus is the Christ. A right view of Jesus Christ—His person, work, and saving message—is an essential mark of genuine saving faith; no one can be saved who rejects the biblical revelation about Christ (John 8:24; cf. 1:12–13; 3:18, 36; Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9–10; 1 Cor. 15:1–4). Nor is there hope for one who relies on some personal, speculative notion of who He is (cf. Matt. 16:13–14). Genuine salvation requires embracing Him as the anointed Messiah of God (John 1:43–49), affirming that He is the one and only God-man (1 Tim. 2:5; Titus 2:13), and obeying His gospel teachings (Mark 1:15; John 3:36; 15:10).
    As elsewhere in this letter and in his gospel (1:3; 4:2–3, 9–10; cf. John 1:1, 14; 5:23; 10:30; 12:45; 14:7–10), John stresses the inseparable divine equality of the Father and the Son, noting that an antichrist is one who denies them both. He further emphasizes this point by asserting that whoever denies the Son does not have the Father (cf. 4:2–3). Despite their claims to the contrary, those who deny the deity of Jesus Christ do not know God (cf. Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:16; John 5:23; 15:23–24; 2 John 9).
    Any denial, deviation, or distortion of the scriptural view of Jesus Christ—His incarnation (Matt. 1:18–25; John 1:14); that He is both Son of God (Mark 1:1) and Son of Man (John 9:35–37), the promised Prophet (Deut. 18:15, 18), Priest (Heb. 4:14–5:10), King (Isa. 9:7; John 12:12–15), and Redeemer (1 Cor. 1:30; Gal. 3:13; 4:4–5; cf. Isa. 59:20)—constitutes the spirit of antichrist.
    An equally intolerable view, and one more common in John’s day when incipient Gnosticism threatened the church, is to deny that Christ—born, living, dying, rising, and ascending as a real man—came in human flesh (cf. Phil. 2:5–9; Col. 2:9). In his second letter, John wrote, “Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist” (v. 7). That heretical perception of Christ several decades later became a major tenet of Gnosticism. Its unbiblical philosophy envisioned a “Christ spirit,” an ethereal but powerful supernatural being who descended on a man named Jesus at His baptism and left Him just before His death. Thus the “Christ spirit” was not fully human but only temporarily indwelt a man through whom that spirit, before departing, demonstrated extraordinary power and wisdom.
    Third, antichrists by nature try to confuse the faithful. John warned his readers that he had written to them concerning those who were trying to deceive them. False teachers persist in trying to mislead the saints, but ultimately they cannot cause believers to abandon the faith. Regarding their futile efforts, Jesus said, “False Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24; cf. John 10:4–5). They can muddle the simplicity of believers’ devotion to Christ (cf. Gal. 1:6–9; Col. 2:4–5, 16–19), tamper with their spiritual confidence (cf. 1 Tim. 6:3–5a), cause them to doubt the sufficiency of the Word (2 Tim. 3:16–17; cf. Col. 2:20–23) and be confused or uncertain about key doctrines (Gal. 3:1), but they cannot take away the faith that secures them to Christ or the eternal life that belongs to those who are truly elect and regenerate (John 10:27–29).
     
  8. SeamusDelion

    SeamusDelion Member

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    Sadly you have used that verse out of context. It's God's WILL that non should parish and people parish daily, so then that means God's WILL is not done, Yet Jesus prayed "Your will be done not mine" and He is God.. The word "none" here pertains to Gods Elect, and none of those will parish because whom the Father as given unto Jesus no one can snatch out of His Hand. PERIOD.
     
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