Friday, July 9, 2010

Lucia Throwing away salvation

This post is in response to Kris K on last weeks Friday Night Free For All.

Salvation is not so much lost, it is thrown away. Just as belief is an act of the will, so is refusing God's gift of salvation an act of the will. Having done this myself in the past, I know what it means. I also know how hard it is to come back, even with repeated invitations from God.
Some people promote an especially attractive idea: All true Christians, regardless of how they live, have an absolute assurance of salvation, once they accept Jesus into their hearts as "their personal Lord and Savior." The problem is that this belief is contrary to the Bible and constant Christian teaching.

Keep in mind what Paul told the Christians of his day: "If we have died with him [in baptism; see Rom. 6:3-4] we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him" (2 Tim. 2:11-12). If we do not persevere, we shall not reign with him. In other words, Christians can forfeit heaven.

The Bible makes it clear that Christians have a moral assurance of salvation (God will be true to his word and will grant salvation to those who have faith in Christ and are obedient to him [1 John 4:19-24]), but the Bible does not teach that Christians have a guarantee of heaven. There can be no absolute assurance of salvation.

Writing to Christians, Paul said, "See, then, the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who fell, but God's kindness to you, provided you remain in his kindness, otherwise you too will be cut off" (Rom. 11:22-23; see also 1 Cor. 15:1-2, Heb. 10:26-29, 2 Pet. 2:20-21).

Note that Paul includes an important condition: "provided you remain in his kindness." He is saying that Christians can lose their salvation by throwing it away. He warns, "Whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall" (1 Cor. 10:11-12).

Related link: PILLAR OF FIRE, PILLAR OF TRUTH ~ Catholic Answers, EWTN

3 comment(s):

Stripe said...

I'll leap into this one. :)

Romans 6 follows on from Romans 5 which teaches men are saved by accepting the gift of righteousness from God. And we know God is faithful and would never demand that gift back on account of some offence. But there is a hierarchy to salvation. Some who go to heaven will only get there by the skin of their teeth. Some will arrive in great agony. Some will turn up smelling of smoke and sulphur.

So I think the verses you use to speak of a loss of salvation actually refer to those who will reach heaven only through the fire.

Lucia Maria said...

Hi Stripe,

It's not that God demands the gift back, it's more like you throw it on the ground and walk away. Yes, He can run after you and ask you to take it back, but He's not going to force you to take it up again. That's your choice to make.

Interesting that you talk about reaching Heaven only through fire. Sounds like you are referring to Purgatory. Do you believe in Purgatory?

Stripe said...

Purgatory? Not necessarily, though the concept is probably not too far from what will actually happen. Whatever happens we will have to give an account for our thoughts, deeds and actions.

With regards to God's offer of righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, He will not renege on His part. If we are faithless He will remain faithful.

I guess a very motivated man angry enough at God could get to heaven and demand to not be admitted, but until we get to that point there is nothing we can do that will deny us access.

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