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Featured Once Saved Always Saved - Why is it so hard?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by supescritter, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. supescritter

    supescritter New Member

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    Let me begin by saying I do not want to prove any point of view. When I want to know the true interpretation of a controversial theology, I read both sides. It upsets me when one side is clearly argumentative and trying to prove that they're right instead of considering both sides of the argument.

    So I have read both sides thoroughly, and the problem is this: the side that believes "once saved always saved", I think, has the superior holistic view of all Scripture. The problem is that there are so many people convinced that believing in OSAS will result in many people going to hell, so the risk of believing OSAS is the greatest so you'd better be right. The other problem is that no matter how you feel about what God should do - it's irrelevant - whether you think something is right or not doesn't make it true. If you are confronted by God and God tells you you're wrong, you do not have the luxury of arguing with Him. Too many people believe in an interpretation based on what they feel is right.

    Lastly: people need to realize that whatever you believe is just an interpretation of the Word - it doesn't mean it IS the Word, even though you quote the Bible. Both sides of the debate quote the SAME VERSES, but have different interpretations. It disappoints me when I read a website quoting all these verses as if their interpretation is correct without bothering to address the other side's interpretation of those same verses (and acting as if the other side has never seen those verses before).

    I believe this is a difficult subject and therefore we must carefully and prayerfully ask God to give us the complete understanding of salvation.

    So what do I want? I want a careful discussion of the controversial verses of salvation and whether you can lose it. And by careful I mean - let's not approach this with a presupposition and refuse to budge from it. Let's approach it from an attitude of seeking the truth realizing that we may be on the wrong side of it.

    I think this is the most important subject in this entire site. There's no point in debating theology if we're not truly saved, therefore we should really really get this theology right.

    I will begin stating my opinions in the next post. Thanks.
     
  2. supescritter

    supescritter New Member

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    Most of my beliefs about OSAS come from this massive blog that explains every single controversial verse, the other side's interpretation on those verses and the "correct" interpretation. It's huge, but every verse is there, and you can google the verse and "hischarisenough" if you just want to skip to a particular verse:
    70 myths about losing salvation. Myth No: 1 Parable of the Sower Luke 8:13

    If you want a nice summary, here is a very summarized video that summarizes the theme of OSAS (by the same author):


    Summary:
    1. The verse about "luke warm" people being spat out by Jesus in Revelations isn't referring to "zeal" because zeal is relative. If "hot" means "passion for Christ" then everyone is "luke warm" because relative to someone else, you're not hot. Furthermore the verse says that God finds "hot" or "cold" more acceptable than "luke warm" - so if hot means zeal - that means that someone who tries to be zealous ('luke warm') is less acceptable than someone who is a satanist? Doesn't make any sense.

    Hot should be interpreted as those who believe in grace, and "Cold" should be interpreted as those who believe in the law. Because God finds both Hot and Cold acceptable - but not "luke warm" - ie. those who believe in grace AND the law (which implies that those who believe you are saved by grace, but can lose it by works are "luke warm").

    2. "Acts of the Flesh" is not referring to sins, it is referring to trying to keep the law!! If interpreted in this way, it gives a whole new perspective on Gal 5:20. Please watch the video above to understand the interpretation in a very concise and understandable manner.

    3. Verses that list sins that seem to imply that doing them will send you to hell (eg: 1 Cor 6:9) are not addressed to believers. For example, 1 Cor 6:9 is telling the Corinthians not to follow Romans who like to sue each other in court, because they do terrible sins that will send them to hell. If you read Corinthians in context, it's referring to believers who take each other to court like the Romans do.

    The other verses that list sins that result in hell (eg. Revelations 21:8) are explained eloquently here: Does Major Sin Prove a Person Is Unsaved? Revelation 21:8

    Another set of often quoted verses is the Sermon on the Mount, where "you can lose salvation if you sin" crowd says if you look at someone lustfully you will go to hell - but they forget the "pluck out your eye" and "chop off your hand" part - why aren't they plucking out their eye or chopping off their hand if you take "hell" literally? I think that verse is figurative - it is better to "chop your hand off than for your whole body to be burned in the cursed place where people used to sacrifice children which was called Gehenna aka Hell".

    4. We know that Abraham was righteous by faith. Abraham clearly had sins that were listed elsewhere that seemed to imply you go to hell if you had them (eg Rev 21:8) - then how could Abraham who didn't know Jesus be saved? Because he was saved by grace, not by works. He didn't live a perfect life, but he believed in God. I find it hard to believe that you can lose salvation by having unrepented sins (eg lying), when Abraham was considered righteous by faith.

    5. There are many verses (eg Eph 2: 8-9) which indicate that salvation is all God's doing, not ours so that no-one can boast. Believing you can lose salvation through a lack of works is functionally identical to believing you can only gain salvation through works: both allow man to pat themselves on the back and said "well God, I did this and gave this all to you, therefore I deserve heaven or deserve not to lose heaven". It treats the blood of Jesus like the blood of bulls and goats, rather than something that God alone did on the cross.

    6. I believe that Genesis to Revelation is God's love story. It begins with Adam and Eve living in grace. Then they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and they became under "merit" - that is knowing right from wrong, and became ashamed because they knew they did not meet God's standard any more. And then Jesus came back to restore us back to our innocence and living under grace again. When Jesus died and rose again, and we accept his gift, we are adopted children. When we are children we sin, but like our own children - they do not lose their place in the family from sin. "Once adopted, always adopted". This is the overall theme of the Bible that I believe. If we can lose salvation through sin, then my view of God's perfect plan becomes marred, because it is a "method of salvation" that would result in a very low success rate. The Bible is clear that we need Jesus because few of us can get to heaven on merit - therefore few Christians can keep salvation on merit if we can lose salvation!

    The OSAS side believes there are two types of forgiveness: judicial forgiveness (salvation); and parental forgiveness (for post salvation sins) where you lose favor with God but not salvation - similar to the children analogy. If human parents can forgive the atrocious sins of their children, how much greater is God's love for those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour?

    7. The "strength" of the "you can lose salvation" crowd does not lie in the interpretation of Scripture (in my opinion) - it lies in these people who claim to have either died and been told by Jesus or an angel, or had a similar vision where they saw Christians in hell for their works or lack of works. While these visions are frightening, I find it hard to believe that we can be judged by visions (especially if they contradict the Word) - how can we be judged based on someone's vision? (what if we didn't watch it on youtube?). If we are earnestly seeking the true interpretation of Scripture, instead of trying to pigeon hole Scripture into our convenient belief boxes, can we be judged by God for having the wrong interpretation? This is the part I struggle with the most - if my interpretation is wrong, but I earnestly tried to follow what I believed to be the right interpretation of the Word, can I lose salvation if I sinned?

    The visions are unanimous in their condemnation of most Christians. Apparently MOST Christians end up in hell in these visions. I think that if you can lose salvation through lying, or getting angry with someone ("murder"), or looking at someone lustfully, or being envious of your friend's new toy - then few Christians will end up in heaven. I find it difficult to believe that God would devise a method of salvation that is SO HARD. That's what my 6 year old son said when I was discussing this with my wife, he said "why does God make it so hard to get to heaven".

    8. I personally feel that based on the arguments above that believing in a middle ground, that is: OSAS is generally true if someone is earnestly seeking after God is the truth. That is: you can lose salvation if you simply walk away; but if you try to obey God and fail, you do not lose salvation.

    I am not saying I am correct, but that I want to know the truth. I have heard the OSAS side address the other side's arguments. I wouldn't mind someone who believes you can lose salvation address the OSAS' interpretation of these controversial verses. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  3. John Hyperspace

    John Hyperspace UnKnown ReMember

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    I believe this is a crucial realization that goes deeper than most comprehend. The scripture often speaks of the "letter" versus the "spirit"; that the former kills, causes death; the latter, heals, causes life. What I've noticed the more I go along is that, we truly know only in part; we truly see "through a glass darkly": everyone has an interpretation of the letter. But all sides have their "proof texts" of what they "believe" to be "right letter of doctrine": when you really get down to it, there's no way to be certain. You can be really confident, but certainty isn't a luxury by the letter.

    This is like a "shaking" of the letter in the spirit, and everything is shaken until only that which can remain, remains. And I find that only three things can remain after the shaking: faith, hope and love. That is the spirit that remains of the things shaken. Hebrews 12:26-27, 1 Corinthians 13:13, 1 Corinthians 13:8. Note that the Greek for "remain" is the same translated "abide" in the first two citations. I believe that ones who think they have "knowledge" (in form of certainty) have yet to be shaken, but shaken they will be, that only those three remain (if even their faith, hope and love can endure the shaking, otherwise they will lose even these).

    Now, clearly you may say "But the verses are scripture and you said you can't be sure of the letter" and that's true: but experience itself tells me that only faith, hope and love can be known for certain. And of course, the greatest of these three is love. Certainty then, is only a luxury by the spirit.
     
  4. John Hyperspace

    John Hyperspace UnKnown ReMember

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    I agree that most of these come down to "under law" versus "under grace" as mentioned in the first paragraph. We have to always recognize this division: this is one of the "difficult" things about Paul's writing that Peter warns can be "wrestled unto destruction" (2 Peter 3:15-16) and by this, Peter is meaning people will misunderstand Paul's point of view, and take it upon themselves to start doing "works of the law" trying to "obey" Paul's writings which are simply stressing the difference of sin imputed to one group, under law, and not the other, under grace, of whom are imputed fruits of the spirit instead of works of the law. Now, by wrestling unto destruction, he is meaning that they read Paul, become convinced they ought not do "such and such works of the flesh" and then go about trying to place themselves under law (the exact place Paul is warning them not to go, or else, these become their "works of the flesh" which are grave sins accused of those under the law) and by placing themselves under the law, they place themselves under wrath, and have, drawn back into perdition/destruction under the law from which they were redeemed through grace.

    I disagree with 8 in that I don't believe anyone can "walk away", but them that "walk away" were never "among us" to begin with: 1 John 2:19.

    I believe that the worst part of the idea of "losing salvation" is the necessary idea that one's salvation is then wholly dependent upon the man, and not on God. A person that believes salvation can be lost by necessity believes that he is the master of his own salvation, and all faith he has in in himself, and none in God. This is because God has finished His work, and is done (in their eyes) and so no faith in God is any longer needed; and all faith must be placed on the man in order to "get his own salvation by his own hands" (a person may vehemently deny this, but it is necessarily true, no matter how a man may protest: his salvation is become his own working and his faith is solely in himself)
     
  5. supescritter

    supescritter New Member

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    Hi John - yes, I struggle with this the most. I really believe God to be so amazingly wonderful that he devised a method of salvation that is so ingenious and perfect and brings us back to the time of Adam and Eve before the fall - that is: Jesus has restored us back to the perfect time when man and woman walked with God.

    To believe that you can lose salvation over unrepented sins is to pray every day for every sin you can think of, just in case you thought/did something bad. Heck - better pray 3 times in case you die before your nightly prayer. Actually why not switch that to 5 times a day just in case you died in-between breakfast and lunch. Oops - now you're a religious "muslim".

    I really believed I had a lovely relationship with my heavenly "Dad", and I had a security in that just like my children have a security in me. When I saw those youtube videos of "Christians in hell" because they lost salvation, it stole the joy of the Lord from me, and I became as fearful as muslims and other religious people who must earn their way to heaven. I no longer felt compelled to do good works because I loved God, I felt compelled to do good works because if I didn't I would go to hell. Now while that may be an inconvenient belief that I don't feel is right, doesn't mean it's false - that's why I want to discuss this. I am willing to explore the possibility I could be wrong.
     
  6. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    There's a lot to unpack with your posts. Too much, really. But a couple of points stood out.

    And what did Abraham do, friend? He believed and he obeyed.

    Does one's personal conduct affect their salvation?

    To use a hypothetical, can somebody profess faith in Our Lord's sacrifice on Sunday, abuse drugs on Monday, rape people on Tuesday, kill people on Wednesday, sell guns to children on Thursday, download kiddie porn on Friday, repent of none of those things on Saturday, die on the following Sunday and reasonably expect to go to Heaven?

    I think you're drifting a bit with your subject since I at least don't see how sola fide relates to Eternal Security/OSAS.

    Still, your example of Ephesians 2 says nothing of the sort. It means that the offer of salvation by faith comes from God's grace; it is not the result of an individual's merit. Grace, by definition, cannot be unmerited as I'm sure you understand (because if it is "merited", it is no longer grace). Grace is the subject of those passages, which logically cannot come from some conception of "merit" by man. The "gift of God" referred to in Eph 2:8 is God's grace.
     
  7. supescritter

    supescritter New Member

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    Thank-you for your reply. The argument "To use a hypothetical, can somebody profess faith in Our Lord's sacrifice on Sunday, abuse drugs on Monday, rape people on Tuesday, kill people on Wednesday, sell guns to children on Thursday, download kiddie porn on Friday, repent of none of those things on Saturday, die on the following Sunday and reasonably expect to go to Heaven?" is often used to justify the belief you can lose salvation, and while it seems "reasonable" that it wouldn't be right for such a person to enter heaven, nevertheless it is merely an opinion. We have to argue based on the merit of one's interpretation of specific Bible verses in comparison with opposing interpretations, rather than merely relying on opinion.

    What is the practical difference between "earning your way to heaven through works" and "not losing salvation through works"? Both of them congratulates the man, not God for salvation. That's the relevance of quoting Ephesians 2.

    I do want to ask you though: if you believe you can lose salvation through unrepented sins, are you sure you remember all of them? Because the interpretation of verses used to support that you can lose salvation state that even everyday sins like lying, jealousy, greed, anger and lust can send you (apparently) to hell. In fact those people who have had visions of hell saw Christians go to hell for those very reasons.

    How does one practically live a repentant life? I think it's impossible. One would have to make a list of all one's typical sins and pray that 5 times a day religiously in case one inadvertently committed that sin, and in case one died in the next moment. Imagine getting in the car, and then someone cutting you off, and you got angry - oops better pray in case the next moment you crashed and went to hell for "murdering the driver in your mind". It wouldn't be a life of freedom I think. It would feel like living under a dictatorship like North Korea, except in N.K. you don't get executed for thought crime.

    That doesn't mean I think that it was "wrong" for God to say that "thought crime" is wrong. I think Jesus was telling everyone correctly that we cannot keep the law, because it is the heart that matters and all of our heart condemns us all. Only by God's grace can we be saved. But if we can lose our salvation - then it would be thought crime that would send most of us to hell.

    North Koreans live an outward life of obedience to the state - commendable I would say, but it is in no-one's opinion a life of freedom. What did Jesus mean when he said he came to set us free? I think he meant he came to set us free from the guilt and condemnation of never being able to keep the law and always doubting our salvation. What is your opinion of what this "freedom" meant?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  8. John Hyperspace

    John Hyperspace UnKnown ReMember

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    The question is, what did Abraham obey? Was it a set of rules for making himself righteous through works of the flesh? There is a passage that explains why Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac, and his reason for being willing doesn't end at "God told him to do it": Hebrews 11:17-19 Do you see what is being said here? Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac because God promised him that Isaac would be the continuance of his seed. Abraham had no doubt in his faith that God had the power to resurrect Isaac from the dead in order to keep His promise. Abraham didn't expect for one second to permanently lose his "only begotten" whom through the promise of God was assured. Do you see how Abraham's obedience was not one iota a "work of the law" or "trying to be good enough" or any such work of the flesh. It was one-hundred percent a show of doubtless faith. That is the belief in the promise of God that was counted to Abraham "as righteousness" and it was all faith and had nothing whatsoever to do with "works of the rules for being a good person"

    I would ask, do you expect a reasonable person to accept your "hypothetical" as a reasonable hypothetical? Do you actually know a person such as in your hypothetical, or, does this person only exist in your imagination? There's nothing quite like the person who responds to "we are not under law, but under grace" with "so then we can just go around murdering people?" as though they honestly think the only reason people don't murder one another is because they are "under law": here is a hypothetical for you: if God said "I give you one week free of consequences" would you rub your hands together saying "Ah, now I can go on the murdering rape-spree I've always wished I could get away with if it weren't for my fear of being punished by God!" if so, I would question your salvation to begin with.

    Do you think a man that hates his neighbor and wishes he could murder him, but doesn't due to fear of the law, is "going to heaven" when he dies? If so, I can tell you, he isn't; and it doesn't matter if he perfectly keeps every rule; because the only reason he is keeping the rules isn't because he's a loving person who loves his neighbor; it's because he's a hateful coward who has a wicked heart and is too afraid of being punished to act according to his hateful nature.
     
  9. John Hyperspace

    John Hyperspace UnKnown ReMember

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    Right; but you'll never hear the "I'm keeping the rules to get my way to heaven" crowd admitting that. They are the one-and-only deciding factor on whether or not the work their way into heaven; but, somehow, it's not about them. "Only I can get myself into heaven by my actions- but it's not about me" out of one corner of the mouth, "Whoever goes to hell is responsible for their own actions and deserves what they got" but out of the other "Whoever goes to heaven isn't responsible, because even though they are the ones working themselves into heaven, the bible says no one can boast; so, they're responsible for their salvation; but simultaneously, not... this makes sense, trust me!"
     
  10. supescritter

    supescritter New Member

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    The "you can lose salvation if you sin" group thinks that believing in OSAS promotes licentiousness. But this is not true. OSAS believers want to do good works for God for the very best reason: because we love God, not because we have to (to not lose salvation).

    Imagine you are an orphan, and 2 families want you:
    1. Family 1 says that when they adopt you, they will never abandon you or forsake you. You will be their child forever. But if you do something wrong, they expect you to repent of it and take responsibility for it (but it won't strip you of your adoption).

    2. Family 2 says that when they adopt you, if you sin and don't repent, you will be abandoned and sent back to the orphanage.

    Which orphanage seems more worldly, and which seems more Godly/gracious? Which family would encourage a child to become a loved, healthy and good member of society, and which family would teach the child that life is really punishing?

    Mind you, even though I feel I know only one answer seems right, it doesn't mean because it feels right that it IS right. If Family #2 is the reality, uncomfortable as the implications mean - we must abide by the rules and so if you truly believe that Family #2 is God's family - please tell us why.
     
  11. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    OK I listen to the entire video on sowing after the flesh and sowing after the Spirit and He never addresses verse that is the major issue and very significant.

    He quotes lots of scripture and quotes the part of Gal. 6: 7 “…A man reaps what he sows.” And Gal. 6: 8 “…whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

    He admits sowing after the flesh results in eternal life, but the issue is with verse 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

    The Harvest (= eternal life) can be given up if we give up.

    To know what sowing after the flesh and sowing after the Spirit can be important, but the question is can we give up eternal life.

    We agree eternal life is a totally charitable gift from God, but since it is a gift the ownership has transferred to us and we of our own free will can do with it as we please and just as Esau gave up his birth right (it was not lost, stolen, or taken back) we can give up our birthright.
     
  12. GenaB

    GenaB New Member

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    This is not complicated. If a person who genuinely loves God and gives their own life over to Him and receives salvation and continues to practice their faith and growth in Christ then they show they love God. Those who say they are saved but by their fruits show nothing of Christ then they were never saved in the first place. We can discern this because we are to watch out for wolves in sheep's clothing. 1 John 2:19, these people professed to be faithful yet walked their own way, because they were never truly saved. This is not about being a perfect person it's about a true heart for God, not perfection but direction. Just because a person professes Christ doesn't mean He is saved, but only God can judge their heart. There are many references to Jesus warning those who will not inherit the kingdom. Matthew 5:20, Matthew 7:21, Mark 10:15
     
  13. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Compassion is the basis of the teachings . Supporter

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    I believe once saved only saved (OSAS) is dimensionally lacking in illustrating what salvation is. Salvation is explained as being born again with an extended metaphor of a new life. OSAS makes being saved look like being given a citizenship card to enter a city that cannot be taken away. It does not address any of the health issues involved with this new life.
     
  14. supescritter

    supescritter New Member

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    you are talking about something completely different but often confused as the same thing. We are not talking about those who were never saved in the first place. We are talking about people who are genuinely saved. Can someone who is genuinely saved but had unconfessed sin at the point of death - for example, they had an argument with someone and did not forgive them, and then they died - would they lose their salvation? There are some that believe that people who die in their sins lose their salvation.
     
  15. supescritter

    supescritter New Member

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    I think the opposite. People who believe you can lose salvation have a dimensionally lacking view of salvation. The poster before you quoted Mark 10:15: you enter the kingdom of heaven like a child. How does a child enter their father's house? By faith in their position, or because they never sinned against their father (a life of perfect works)? I suggest that anyone who teaches their child that after the age of accountability, they're only allowed back home if they are without sin, will raise very dysfunctional children. Children receive love and acceptance and THEN they become well-adjusted children; if children believe that they must be good or else they get cast out of their home, I don't think that will make them healthy, well-adjusted people.
     
  16. Fere222

    Fere222 ...Love each other... ‭‭~John‬ ‭13:34‬ ‭

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    I believe if they are truly saved, God knows their heart and they are forgiven. At the same time, I believe people can "fall away" or "turn their back" on the Lord. I think those people can lose their salvation. They no longer look to please God and only to please themselves.
    Being saved, you have a constant relationship with God. You do your best to not sin and to live a life that pleases God. If you do sin (because we ALL sin), you are truly remorseful and pray for forgiveness.
     
  17. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Compassion is the basis of the teachings . Supporter

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    I agree, the belief that you can lose your salvation has a lesser dimensional view of salvation, as this is like treating salvation as a golf club membership that needs to be continually renewed. I'm talking about a more organic model that revolves around being born again and then living that life in a healthy way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  18. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Compassion is the basis of the teachings . Supporter

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    If people are afraid of something, the question coming from fear doesn't actually need to be answered. This just nurtures the fear. The forward direction uses internal actions such as trust and love.
     
  19. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    Typically because the question places the proponent of Eternal Security/OSAS into a position of denying moral culpability. The phrasing of the question, a positive affirmation, is intended to stoke reflection on the part of the one espousing Eternal Security into considering that, yes, personal conduct does indeed matter.

    Your attempt to limit this discussion to matters of biblical exegesis is clever but not persuasive. Frankly, Sacred Scripture is not the only source we have for reflecting upon the nature of sin. While scripture is informative in this, I do not find it to be comprehensive.

    Common sense tells us that not all sins are equally weighted, a point which I will circle back to shortly.

    The very question is a straw man. No informed Christian believes Heaven is a reward which can be earned.

    This is a common challenge with dialogue involving Protestants. For reasons I confess I find inexplicable, they view any soteriology which isn't theirs as inherently merit-based and therefore invalid.

    This is not the understanding of salvation of traditional Christians.

    Put simply, salvation comes by grace through faith. It is an inherently cooperative process. God chooses to offer salvation to men and men choose to either accept or reject it. If one chooses to one accept salvation, this isn't a case of "merit" (as Protestants define the term) on his part. On the contrary, it's an act of man's will to repent. Human agency, though not causal, is still involved in the process.

    Therefore if one can affirmatively choose to accept salvation, logically one can choose to reject it at a later time.

    You seem to believe that one requires an encyclopedic knowledge of one's sins in order for a thorough accounting of sins to occur, for example, in the sacrament of Confession. On the contrary, there are modalities whereby each of my sins can be adequately addressed.

    To wit: know thyself. It stands to reason that I understand my own character (specifically, the occasional lack thereof in some areas) and thus I already know which aspects of morality are my weak points.

    As you may have already surmised, however, that is not a perfect process. Thus my Church has an Examination of Conscience, which addresses the Ten Commandments and then cites miscellaneous and sundry ways those Commandments can be violated. The EOC form can be found in numerous places online and has benefited me on numerous occasions. Issues that I wasn't aware were sins were brought to my attention so that I could make a good Confession.

    Additionally, culpability matters. This is undeniable. If one isn't aware of the fact that certain things are sins, one's culpability for them decreases. I shall not be specific in this regard except to say that I have committed sins which I wasn't aware were sins at the time of committing them. My culpability is therefore eliminated.

    To be on the safe side, and at the risk of being scrupulous, I confessed those sins anyway (because I think best practice is to address sins as they become evident). Nevertheless, the absolution I received from making good Confessions protects against my culpability in those matters. At no time did I willfully refuse to confess my sins so the absolution I received is binding.

    Nonsense, a mental accounting is generally sufficient. But in order to ensure a good Confession, I typically review the Examination of Conscience and then make notes in my phone as to what issues I have so that I can read it as I address each of them with my Confessor. In ordinary practice, this works out to between one and four issues (depending on how much time has passed since my last Confession).

    Apart from those specific issues, I know good and well that I struggle with certain key issues on a day-to-day basis so I generally make a habit of including those sins in my Confession as well.

    That isn't terrible practice but it also isn't very efficient either. Intent matters. My Church teaches that if your intent is to pray for forgiveness over venial sins like that or to confess mortal sins in a proper Confession at a later date and then you die before you get the chance, your intention to seek forgiveness will be accepted as having actually done so.

    Freedom is a relative concept in this instance. We are not free to commit sins willy-nilly as though our actions bear no consequences. This mentality reduces matters even of grave sin to meaningless acts of human frailty for which we are not responsible in spite of numerous scriptures to the contrary.

    To me, we're touching upon the sacrament of Confession as a spiritual imperative for the Christian life. Again, I shall not be specific but back in my evangelical days, I had a special taste for certain sins which the Catholic Church identifies as mortal sins. I committed those sins with the full knowledge that what I was doing was wrong and then I later sought forgiveness. I prayed to God privately for forgiveness. And yet I did so with the firm conviction that while my prayer for forgiveness was positive, it was nevertheless insufficient considering the seriousness of the sin.

    I didn't realize it at the time but I had, through my own deductive reasoning, recognized the crucial differences between, say, a "white lie" (which is a venial sin; it's serious, yes, but it is not complicated to address) and matters which the Catholic Church has defined as mortal sins (these require a trip to Confession). As an evangelical, I didn't fully comprehend it and I certainly didn't have a sacrament of Confession whereby I could meaningfully address those mortal sins. However, I did understand profoundly that (as above) sins are not all equally weighted.

    You can pray to God for a blanket forgiveness for certain venial sins but more serious matters related to mortal sins require stronger remedies, and that I have access to with Confession.

    Instructions given by God. God told Abraham to move to a different area; Abraham did so. He believed in God and then He obeyed God's commands.

    With respect, notwithstanding what you or I consider "reasonable", my question was predicated if living in abject, unrepentant sin is possible for someone ostensibly bound for Heaven. By their fruits, you shall know them. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit. This we all know. So my question revolves around whether the OP is knowingly countermanding Our Lord's words and principles or if the OP simply hasn't stopped to consider the ramifications of his ideas.

    Instead of getting bogged down with specifics, my hypothetical was intended to raise the concept of repentance through extreme examples of grave sin.

    The ball is now in your court. Is it possible, in theory if nothing else, for someone to do all those things, refuse to repent and then go to Heaven when he dies?
     
  20. John Hyperspace

    John Hyperspace UnKnown ReMember

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    "Move to a different area and I'll make a great nation of you" is in no way the same as "keep my commandments which you cannot keep because of your weak flesh in order to go to heaven": the former puts faith in God and ends up in edification, the latter puts faith in self and ends up in destruction. The former is "I believe God can do this" the latter is "I believe I can do this"

    Someone who practices murder on a weekly basis is clearly not loving their neighbor. Thus the man, having hatred of neighbor in his heart, was never saved to begin with.

    As I said, no it is not because love doesn't murder others; thus the man clearly has hatred in his heart, and has not passed from death to life: 1 John 3:14-15. Now I'll throw the ball back in your court:

    A man hates his neighbor and wishes he could murder him. But, he being afraid of being caught and punished doesn't follow through with his desire for murder. He has perfectly kept the commandment "do no murder": is it possible for him to go to heaven when he dies? Having perfectly obeyed the commandment, he has no need of repentance.
     
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