Bible Discussion Thread


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  • Angela Dick on John 5:4

    Could a believer lose their salvation?
  • Mishael - in Reply on John 5:4
    Angela: Rededicate your life to Jesus. Sometimes we need to pray with someone.

    After I was born again, a church member prayed with me. She said, you are forgiven,

    About 30 times. I got up a new person.
  • Stan - in Reply on John 5:4
    No. We can't lose our Salvation. If we could lose our Salvation because of some sin we commit then every body has already lost their Salvation because everybody sins. And nobody who is truly saved will ever use the fact that we can't lose our Salvation as an excuse to sin. As the Apostle Paul says: "Shall we sin so that Grace may abound? God forbid." What he was saying was, shall we go hog wild killing, stealing and committing every sin in the book just because we're saved by Grace and can't lose our salvation? Of course not. And there has never been a single truly saved person in the entire history of Christianity who has ever had that attitude, contrary to the accusations of those who don't believe once saved always saved. What some people seem to have a hard time understanding is that all sin, no matter how big or small causes us to be separated from God and undeserving of Salvation. That's why the only way to be saved is by having your sins forgiven and to remain forgiven forever.
  • Adam - in Reply on John 5:4
    Hello, the Bible refutes that with these 2 verses and more. A Christian who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit clearly isn't forgiven and won't go to heaven, because that's what Jesus said. He warned Christians about this in the Bible: Mark 3:28-30. Hebrews 10:26. How can anyone claim that a Christian who deliberately turns their back on God and permanently denounces Jesus is still saved? It seems that Jesus's own words would have to be ignored to come to such a conclusion. John 14:15. Why would Jesus tell his Christian followers to obey Him if they were already saved and if it made no difference if they obeyed or not? Why does this Matthew 7:21 reference say also to obey if you don't have to? Clearly these verses paint a different picture than the one satan is painting trying to convince Christians that its ok to disobey and sin all you want with no consequence. One of these beliefs is true and the other is false. Satan is the father of lies and may be behind one of them- which is more likely, that satan is deceiving Christians into being unnecessarily obedient, or that he's deceiving Christians into believing it's ok to be disobedient?
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    Correction: I meant to say God, not God's. Originally, I had those who are trusting in "God's promise." While trying to trim things to fit, I removed the word promise, but missed changing God's to just God.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    Adam, let's look at Mark 3:28-30, the unpardonable sin. V.29, Jesus says, But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: He's not talking about Christians. Verse 30 says, Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. Who are "they?" Not Christians. If you back up to Verse 22, you see who Jesus is giving the warning to. Blaspheming means to express rejection. When the Holy Spirit convicts a person of their sin, and their need of Christ, if they reject the testimony, their sins will not be forgiven. Christians receive the testimony, they don't reject it. Why use Hebrews 10:26? It has nothing to do with losing salvation. You're free to believe that you yourself can lose your own salvation, but you shouldn't be trying to convince those who are trusting in God's that they can lose theirs. Instead of looking for verses that seem to indicate you can lose your salvation, I would try finding the verses that indicate you can't!
  • Adam - in Reply on John 5:4
    Hi Jesse, is your position that Christians never commit blasphemy of the holy spirit? or that they are incapable to? or they don't have the freewill to?

    The Bible says even angels in heaven sinned, because they too have freewill in heaven. Humans have the same freewill, and Christians have the same freewill, do they not? Unfortunately some Christians have turned to evil and denounced faith in Jesus and committed blasphemy of the holy spirit, do you recognize this? Judas did that.

    What is your reason for living life as a Christian or trying to be obedient to Jesus, if it has nothing to do with going to heaven?

    Hebrews 10:26 You said doesn't refer to salvation, except it does. Have you read the whole chapter? How do you feel about James 2:17-26 or John 14:15, or Luke 12:9?

    Many verses say Christians are to be obedient, but are you saying obedience or transforming isn't needed to enter heaven? Do you think there's no downside to Christians following the world of sin? Romans 12:2
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    Do I think there's no downside to Christians following the world of sin? (Romans 12:2)

    "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

    I think there's a tremendous downside. But scripture tells us that we are not of this world. Our citizenship is in heaven. Being transformed is an inward transformation, a permanent and complete change. And the change comes by the renewing of our mind. God is not impressed with our performance. He wants to change us and transform us here so that we can take it with us when we leave. God wants to transform me and change me from within. And it's permanent! I take it with me. But I am to take care how I build. Some build with wood, hay, and stubble, and some with gold, silver, and precious stones. And no, how I build does not determine my salvation. But what's not of Him, it will burn in the fire.

    I hope I've answered all you've asked?
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    How do I feel about Luke 12:9? "But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God."

    I've heard this twisted before and some will say that if you don't confess Christ publicly that you are denying Him. That is not what it says!

    This is important to understand. The word "deny," ARNEOMAI, means to reject. The early church believers were put in a position where they either had to confess that Jesus is Lord or that Caesar is lord.

    And by doing that, they would be denying that Jesus is Lord. So in order for this to be true, one of two things has to happen. You have to confess Jesus, or, you have to deny Him, reject Him!

    Have you rejected Him? I haven't!

    I will answer your last question on Romans 12:2 next.
  • Adam - in Reply on John 5:4
    Hi Jessie, thanks for the comments. I still don't understand your views. It sounds like you said you believe a Christian has freewill, but it also seems that saying it's impossible for a Christian to commit blasphemy of the holy spirit or to purposefully commit evil or to deny Jesus. There's both empirical evidence of Christians doing that today and Christians in the Bible doing that so it seems like an unusual position to take that it's somehow impossible as if Christians, as if they no longer have freewill, despite the verses and evidence that they do. If the spirit 'wont allow' something that's not really freewill. Can you see how that would seem contradictory to someone? I can be tempted to sin and the holy spirit can convict me, but I can still choose to sin, same with who I worship, same with following Jesus.

    If this were true, why did the Christians Peter and Judas both deny/betray Jesus? Why do we see Christian pastors and worship leaders periodically leave and denounce the faith? Even angels have freewill in heaven to sin, so doesn't it seem unusual to believe that Christians are somehow prevented from having freewill to commit certain sins when evidence shows otherwise?

    The second thing that doesn't appear to make sense is the view a Christian is saved regardless. The Christian can become Hitler and commit mass murder, worship satan, and do whatever he wants and is still saved and goes to heaven, according to that view. - OR - you maybe you'd say 'that's unlikely' or 'impossible' that the spirit doesn't allow that. Then you would once again be claiming a Christian doesn't have freewill. These views don't seem to reconcile.

    Have you prayed to God and asked Him to confirm if this is true?
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    Adam, you have freewill, yes? How do you exercise your free will? I've already explained how I exercise mine. If you believe your "freewill" is stronger than God's will for your life, go ahead and put it to the test. Everyone I've come across that believes salvation can be lost always bring up freewill and they say that those who believe in eternal security think they can go out and sin all they want. Why is that? You say you can be tempted to sin and the Holy Spirit can convict you, but you can still choose to sin?

    Every believer can be tempted to sin, and every believer does commit single acts of sin. However, a true genuine believer cannot live a lifestyle of continuous sin, the lifestyle they lived prior to salvation. It's impossible. I tried to explain my view to you, but this becoming Hitler, committing mass murder, and worshipping Satan doesn't even come close to the view I presented to you.

    And why do you believe Judas was a Christian? I would like to know how you come to that conclusion. Judas betrayed Christ because it was prophesied that he would. When God prophesies something, it will happen. And Peter was told ahead of time that he would deny Christ. Peter learned his lesson, wouldn't you say? Why did Jesus ask Peter three times "Do you love me?" Since you say both Judas and Peter were Christians, and one denied Christ, and one betrayed Him, did they lose their salvation?

    Let me ask you this. What makes a person a Christian? Can a person be a Christian if they don't have the Spirit of Christ living in them?

    Let me give you another answer you ask of me. You ask why do we see Christian pastors and worship leaders periodically leave and denounce the faith? Many professing believers do leave and denounce the faith. I don't disagree with that. But you want to know why they leave. 1 John 2:19 tells you why. They leave because they were not genuine believers. Pretty simple!

    I hope you take the time to answer my questions, as I have answered yours.
  • Adam - in Reply on John 5:4
    >You say you can be tempted to sin and the Holy Spirit can convict you, but you can still choose to sin?

    Absolutely, that's the definition of freewill. If you believe a Christian is incapable of being tempted and sinning then you don't believe in freewill, which defeats the whole purpose of life on earth and Jesus dying on the cross for you so that you have the opportunity to CHOOSE whether you want to follow Him or not, and if you do then you everyday make the same decision on whether you want to continue to follow Him. It's not a one time task that you check off your list then go back to being in the world. It's a life transforming decision that requires regular discipline. If avoiding sin was automatic then why do Christians struggle with sin so much both in the Bible and today? Paul described his struggle in Romans 7:19. If he was incapable of sin then he wouldn't struggle. If followers couldn't sin Jesus wouldn't have warned his disciples so many times to avoid sin and be obedient and wouldn't have taught them or others so many lessons.

    >a true genuine believer cannot live a lifestyle of continuous sin, the lifestyle they lived prior to salvation. It's impossible.

    If impossible then why does it happen so often? It sounds like if someone sins beyond a certain point then you don't believe they are a Christian. Why is that? Who do you think is a Christian then? Is someone who repents, confesses, believes Jesus is Lord, is baptized and follows Him a genuine-enough Christian? What if they later turn from Christianity, were they suddenly never a 'genuine' Christian then? Since you don't know anyone's future actions can you ever be 100% sure of anyone being a 'genuine believer'? I believe the Bible is clear that anyone can be saved and can start their journey to follow Jesus and are a Christian. They still have freewill though and some later turn away. Maybe you've never met them but some Christians do this. Hebrews 6:4 Hope this helps.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    Can you please answer my questions I asked you before I respond to more of yours?
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    Adam, you've asked me several questions today, and I have respectfully answered all your questions so far. But before I answer anymore, I think it would be fair for me to ask you a few, and I hope you would in turn give me the time I gave you.

    If you are saved, which I believe you are, but since we cannot save ourselves, once you were saved and until the day you depart this earthly life, who are you trusting in to remain saved, yourself, or God?

    What does it mean to you to surrender your life to Christ?

    Who are you placing your trust in as far as your salvation goes, God, or yourself?

    Do you personally yourself believe that between now and the time you depart this earthly life, you will reject Christ and turn away?

    If you yourself one day decide to reject Christ and turn back to being a slave to sin, because a person is either a slave to Christ or a slave to sin, how are you going to get rid of Christ inside of you when He said He will never leave you?

    What is your understanding of the phrase "sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption?"

    And to the moderators of this site, thank you so much for adding more character space. God Bless!
  • Adam - in Reply on John 5:4
    Hi Jesse, I appreciate your time in sharing your perspective. My interest is how someone justifies the once saved, always saved belief when so many scriptures do not appear to support that idea. I'm a Christian saved by grace and I believe Christianity is an active religion involving following Jesus, which requires pursuing Him, not standing still or running the opposite way. I also believe in freewill just like the Bible says and believe that Christians can commit blasphemy and there are examples of that happening today in addition to those in the Bible. I believe there's a dangerous trend where people are told in some churches that it's ok to not try, to not obey Jesus, to not care, that it's ok to sin as much as they want with no consequence.

    For instance since Hitler attended mass while growing up and may have accepted Christ during that time before he became an atheist, and this OSAS teaching would say his later actions are all covered by grace according to this teaching. The Bible says most people will go to hell Matthew 7:13 and there's currently 2.5 billion claiming to be Christians and if they all made it in that would be a very wide gate. A % don't follow Jesus anymore and love committing sodomy, fornication, lust, drunkenness, murder, and variety of sins. Some do this because they believe a teaching that says they'll already go to heaven so their sins don't matter. So, I think souls will be lost due to the OSAS teaching which doesn't seem to be from God or supported by scripture. All other questions seem to be distractions from this important salvation issue. I believe exactly what Jesus says that many will be surprised they learn they won't go to heaven: Matthew 7:13. The audience Jesus spoke to was both non-Christian and Christian, but that specific verse was talking to people who believed they were a Christian follower and thought they would be saved. James 2 explains this.
  • Jeff M -- Follower of Christ - in Reply on John 5:4
    I totally agree with you that the Bible is filled with verses warning us of the possibility of losing our salvation. Even the Apostle Paul recognized that he could be LOST in the future if he wasn't careful. We see this in 1 Corinthians 9:27, which says, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." Our Lord Jesus Christ also told us that the person who perseveres to the end would be saved. A decision made one time during an altar call doesn't exempt a person from following Christ for the rest of his or her life. I believe that the "Once Saved, Always Saved" doctrine is very dangerous, and has no support in Scripture.
  • Chris - in Reply on John 5:4
    Jeff, I had for the longest time fully believed that a believer could lose his salvation, whether by choice, or being found no longer worthy of this high calling. When I then first understood my security in Christ, that which God cannot un-seal me from & my changed life being filled with & led of His Holy Spirit, I knew that there was absolutely nothing that could separate me from Him. It has been suggested that a believer can still choose to depart. But my question, would a believer ever want to or give it any consideration? Wouldn't a believer NOT deny the One Who purchased him, even willing to go to his death (as so many before us did, happily marching onward to the burning stake). If a believer is not prepared to lay down his life for the Lord, then some self-examination is in order, to see whether the Faith of Christ is his blessd possession. How many would be like Peter (Matthew 26:75) facing death.

    So after what is said above, I refer to 1 Cor 9:27. I know that this verse is sometimes used to show Paul's fear of losing his salvation if he didn't persevere with all diligence in the faith, but is that the meaning of the Scripture? He speaks of bringing his body (with any remnants of its affections & lusts) into subjection (making it a slave instead of vice versa). And if he failed to do so, then after speaking of the victory that his hearers can have in Christ, he himself should be a castaway (Gk. adokimos = not standing the test & being rejected). Now, if 'rejected' means 'loss of salvation' to you, so be it. But I see in Paul's application, that he is actually speaking of him becoming a hypocrite & one unworthy of the high office of an apostle. And this is the thing he feared: that he would displease his Lord & shame Him in his ministry. I almost see a connection with Acts 20:28, when Paul sent for & spoke to the Ephesian elders, "to take heed unto yourselves (lead circumspect lives) & to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers...".
  • Jeff M -- Follower of Christ - in Reply on John 5:4
    Chris -- Thanks for the reply, and thanks for being civil. I still have to disagree with what you said. When you began your defense of your views with, "Wouldn't a believer...", I couldn't help but think that this is not how we must, as Bible-believing Christians, defend a position. When we hold a doctrine to be true, we must not use human logic or, "Don't you think that ___?" We must appeal to Scripture for our views, and Scripture alone. And Scripture, in fact, gives us an example of one who DID walk away from his salvation, after knowing Christ face-to-face. That person was Judas Iscariot. He knew our Lord, talked with our Lord, and walked with our Lord, yet he chose to reject Jesus and go his own way...As for the verse I cited from 1 Corinthians, maybe you disagree with what I said, but I wonder how you can dismiss these very clear verses:

    But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:15)

    But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13)

    He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5)

    There are other verses I can provide, if you're interested. The clear testimony of the Bible is that we must persevere in the grace of God, otherwise we will be lost. No one can snatch us out of God's hand, but that doesn't mean that we cannot walk away from him. Quite frankly, the fact that OSAS is so popular in America, scares me, because it is making people take their salvation lightly.
  • Chris - in Reply on John 5:4
    (from previous comment)

    And I could add another verse that could give more support to those who believe that our salvation could be lost: Hebrews 6:4-6. As you know, it refers to the 'believer' who falls away (turns his back to God) having once partook of Salvation, the Word & the Holy Spirit. When we examine this portion (& hopefully using the light given & not diluting with human logic), we understand that after the Hebrews writer rehearsed with the believers the things they had learned, he wanted them to go onto 'perfection' = greater maturity, leaving behind the "milk of the Word & to receive strong meat" (Hebrews 5:12).

    The writer adds verses 4-6 (I suggest, in parenthesis) reminding them of those who MAY have been a part of their company (this group's presence there is not certain, from the reading), who had received the Light from the Word, partaken of all that was taught to them or given to them & behaved nobly, but afterwards chose to reject all that they heard & received, they had placed themselves (by choice) in a position of no further opportunity for salvation (v 8). One might think that this understanding is an attempt to force the Eternal Security belief. However, the Writer goes on in v 9, "But beloved (the Hebrew Church), we are persuaded better things of you, & things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak": i.e. "I don't believe you are fake believers as those I've just described, but are genuine, who are maturing in the knowledge of Christ". My apologies for the paraphrase, but I want to emphasize my understanding here. True believers are secure in His Love & they can never be rejected by our Loving Father, nor can they ever choose to reject Him. And sadly, the Church is filled with both types, but it is the Lord Who remains our Judge of our hearts, not us. And sadder still, the Church often fails to preach Philippians 2:12, so many enter into a false sense of security believing that "saved now means I can do whatever I like". A damnable teaching.
  • Jeff M -- Follower of Christ - in Reply on John 5:4
    Chris, thanks for the reply. I can't take the time to answer all of what you said right now, as this is my only day to spend with my family. My only reply would be to focus on the statements of Jesus in the Synoptics, which are very clear. People often start with Paul, or the Book of Hebrews, and these letters have some very difficult-to-understand sayings. Jesus, however, warns again and again that we must persevere. As you have said, we must use deductions sometimes, and I can say there is no need to warn someone to persevere if that person is incapable of NOT persevering.
  • Chris - in Reply on John 5:4
    Jeff, I perfectly understand your need to spend time with the family & therefore no immediate comment is expected.

    Just to offer a quick response to your comment: I fully agree that all of Scripture, including the Gospels & Jesus' instructions, must be considered, when dealing with any issue. However, I always keep one thing in mind when I refer to Scripture pre-Cross/Pentecost: whoever Jesus was talking to or whatever teaching He was giving, was of course to let His hearers know the Father's Mind & Will, but we bear in mind, that the Holy Spirit had INDWELT none of His disciples. I know this point can be argued, but the Gift was UPON them, e.g. in their ministry of healing, casting out demons, etc., as a temporal measure, & as an extension of Christ's ministry on Earth & their position as disciples.

    It was not until Pentecost, that they were endued "with Power from on High" to begin a true life as Christians & to labour even to sacrificing their lives (except in the case of John), for the Name of Jesus. So any reference to 'perseverance' pre-Pentecost, I consider as one's effort without the help & Power of the Holy Spirit within.

    Now, at the references to it post-Pentecost, then 'perseverance' is still an 'effort' by the believer (Hebrews 6:4-6), but now we not only have the Spirit's convicting & help in 'setting our hearts right' immediately, but also a reminder to the believers tending to slacken off, that they need to get back to correct thinking & personal discipline. They would not lose their salvation, but they stood to become spiritually destitute & deserving of God's dealing with them (Hebrews 12:3-11) as a result. I think that where the problem appears between us, is the fact of God's eternal Seal upon us & the subsequent Spirit's indwelling which removes the possibility of a soul being lost forever. Yes, our choice to remain true or depart is still there, but the Spirit simply can't permit that to occur & His Work aligns with our spirit to persevere.
  • Chris - in Reply on John 5:4
    Jeff, your reply is very much appreciated. Jesse has echoed my understanding about Judas Iscariot's position, in that he, as all the disciples of Jesus, were just ordinary carnal men who followed the Lord & subsequently, at Pentecost, were baptized with the Holy Ghost & became 'Christians'. I could never give the Christianity label to anyone pre-Pentecost.

    Re: "wouldn't a believer...". This was not intended to be an expression of my 'human logic' but one of deduction based on Scripture. Let's face it, we all have to make deductions/judgements on what we learn, or else we would be no better than robots, which just regurgitate (& maybe by use of mathematical calculations) what is fed into them. So I won't labour that point further.

    And speaking of Judas: not only he, but all of the disciples could have walked away from the Lord, but the Lord knew that they wouldn't, except Judas, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? (John 6:20), as Jesse pointed out. And I appreciate the Scriptures you cited: they are very precious & relevant; none of them are 'dismissed'. And I refer to them now:

    Matthew 6:15: true. How can we expect God's forgiveness, if we fail to show forgiveness to others? A genuine believer will always forgive, or at some point (soon) experience that change of heart.

    Matthew 24:13: I believe in the 'perseverance of the saints'. In another thread, I had written about remaining true to the Lord despite all that may be thrown upon us, even to the point of laying down our lives (which Peter as a carnal, unsaved man failed to do, but after his salvation & at his martyrdom, he demonstrated a glowing testimony of his unswerving devotion to the Lord Whom he first denied). Our salvation & faith are proven, not only by the works that follow us (Js 2), but also how we finish the race. The true believer will live a fruitful life & never deny the Lord.

    Revelation 3:5: fully agree (as per comment for Matthew 24:13).

    (see following comment).
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    Hi Jeff,

    I might be intruding in your conversation, and please accept my apology. But you have stirred my curiosity on something. You mention Judas walking away from his salvation. Someone else in another post said that Judas was a Christian. I have never heard anyone refer to Judas as being a Christian, or saved for that matter. In John 6:70, Jesus said have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

    Jesus did not choose Judas Iscariot to become evil. He chose him to be part of His ministry because he was evil, because the scriptures must be fulfilled that He be betrayed, And He can't be betrayed by one of His own. There has to be a demon in the camp! Judas was evil the entire time, and only Jesus knew it.

    But I'm still impressed by how after three years, Jesus can announce to the disciples at the Last Supper that one of you will betray me, and none of the disciples knew who it was.

    You would think that after three years, if Judas Iscariot is a demon, you would think that the others would have noticed something strange about him during that three year period and say "I knew there was something weird about that guy!"

    But they didn't know. He talked like them, acted like them, and looked like them. They couldn't notice any difference over three years. You would think maybe over a month that he could deceive them for a whole month, but three years?

    That is scary! That's why believers in the body of Christ, even in our day, in the last days, we must trust and go by the Word of God not by appearances.
  • Jeff M -- Follower of Christ - in Reply on John 5:4
    Jesse, thanks for the comment. Forgive me if this reply is short, but this is my family day, so I don't have time to write something long. You said, "He can't be betrayed by one of his own." Yet, this is the very definition of being betrayed. A person is not betrayed by an obvious enemy, but by someone who was his friend. Judas Iscariot exercised his free will to leave Christ. I believe he was a true believer, because in Matthew chapter 10, he was one of the disciples listening to the instructions of Jesus to go out and heal the sick and drive out demons. Judas was evidently given that power, which isn't given to non-believers.

    We can freely choose Christ when we first believe, and after we become Christians we don't become robots. We're free to persevere or free to leave the faith. It's a sobering thought.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4

    First of all, thanks for responding.

    Okay, your definition of betrayal makes perfect sense to me. I can see how it would relate to being betrayed by a friend. However, if I were to place Judas in the category of friend or true believer, I would say friend, but with extreme hesitation.

    I would say Judas exercised his "free will" to be evil the entire 3 years of Christ's ministry. If Judas was ever a true believer or friend, Jesus never mentioned him in a positive way. In fact, the only time Jesus makes reference to Judas, he calls him a devil. Doesn't sound like much of a friendship to me! And I highly doubt that Jesus would ever call a true believer a devil.

    Of course Judas was part of the group that Jesus chose, but calling him a true believer does not fit. A true believer would not steal from the group. Judas did.

    If Judas exercised his "free will" to leave the faith as you are saying, the bible says he showed remorse. He was so remorseful that he even tried giving the 30 pieces of silver back. And the remorse was so unbearable that he killed himself. If he was that remorseful for exercising his "free will" to betray Christ, why didn't he use his "free will" to ask Christ for forgiveness?

    Jesus chose Judas because he needed an evil person to fulfil the prophecy given in Zechariah Chapter 11 Verse 12. Jesus knew ahead of time that He would be betrayed. And He knew it would be Judas when He chose him.

    It's such a blessing for me to know that Christ knows what I'm going to do tomorrow and every day of my life after that. He even knows the day I'm going to die. He knows! I don't have a clue what my days might bring, but He knows, just like He knew it would be Judas who would betray Him when He chose Judas.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    How do I feel about John 14:15? "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Some of the Greek texts, instead of a command, it is the Future Tense. If you love me, YOU WILL keep my commandments. Isn't that interesting? Everything in our relationship with Jesus Christ is based on love. I already said this, but I'll say it again. We make decisions based on who and what we love the most. When I have to make a decision between two things, it's which one I prefer, like, or love. Sometimes we have to decide between studying the word, or going to some activity we really love. We will make decisions on who we love the most and what we love the most. Jesus says if you love me, and in the Greek text, it is a Third Class Condition yet fulfilled, meaning if you love me YOU WILL keep my commandments. Period! Jesus is not giving us a challenge to prove our love for Him. He's giving us a statement of fact, YOU WILL! The reason we don't obey Him is because we love something/someone else more. More to come!
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    How do I feel about James 2:17-26? If we are talking about faith without works is a dead faith, then I totally agree. But to understand what it means, you have to have an understanding of what the bible means by faith. Please give me your definition of faith. You and I cannot produce the faith the bible speaks of. All we can produce is flesh. The faith the bible speaks of is spiritual faith. Only God's Spirit can produce spiritual faith (Galatians 5:22). The works that come from us come from the persuasion of God's Spirit persuading us to do those things. But it is His work, not ours. He gets all the glory. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    Again, due to space, I'll answer your other questions on John 14:15, Luke 12:9, and Romans 12:2 next.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    Have I read the whole chapter? That doesn't deserve an answer. But let's look at Hebrews 10:26. First of all, the book was written to the Jews, Hebrew people. It was not written to the church. For a Jew or Hebrew person to turn away from Judaism and receive Christ meant severe persecution would follow. "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins." Receiving knowledge of the truth doesn't save a person. Did you ever notice in the gospels that whenever huge crowds would follow Jesus, and He would turn around and preach truth to them, they would leave? They received knowledge/ truth from Christ, but they turned away. "Oh, I'm going to suffer if I surrender to you? I'm out of here!"

    Do you see what the writer is telling them? You received the truth about salvation, but if you turn back to Judaism because it is easier than surrendering to Christ because of persecution, there is no more sacrifice for your sin.
  • Adam - in Reply on John 5:4
    Hi Jesse, to me the scripture is crystal clear. One of our views is right and one of our views is wrong. It's not both. One of them has lots of scriptural support, is consistent throughout the Bible, is logical and the other isn't. Satan likes to deceive and since you think my view is wrong, do you think it's likely that satan has gone out of his way to convince Christians to be more obedient than they need to be, to maybe love Jesus more than they need to, to love others more than necessary, or help others more than needed. So, satan's great deception is to trick Christians into being 'gooder' than they need to. - or - is the deception that satan wants you to not fear God, to not obey Jesus like we're commanded to, to not try, to spread this idea to others that they don't need to do anything, don't need to go to church, don't need to do anything good, that its ok to sin as much as you want, because only grace saves. Wonder in which of those two options satan is most likely to deceive.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    Hello Adam,

    I just finished answering your other question you asked me. You're giving me a workout today, and I do appreciate it. I always find a blessing in every discussion I have with other believers, whether I agree with them or not. I respect your view, I truly do. And I hope you would respect mine. You are correct in saying that Satan likes to deceive. But He still can't take us away from Christ. In order for him to do that, he would have to penetrate God's Spirit that lives in us, and it is impossible for him to do that. Greater is He that is in us, then he that is in the world. Do you know that there is (only one) weapon that Satan uses against a believer? Only one!
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    You ask me "What is your reason for living life as a Christian or trying to be obedient to Jesus, if it has nothing to do with going to heaven?"

    I never said obedience had nothing to do with going to heaven. Where did that come from? I do not "try to be obedient" because that takes human effort. My flesh will never be in obedience to Christ, so why try? I am not obedient to Him because of any human effort on my part. I am obedient to Him because of what His Spirit is doing in my life. Do I choose to be obedient to Christ, or do I choose to be obedient to my flesh? There is a battle that takes place between my flesh and the Spirit of Christ who dwells in me. Which one are you yourself obedient to? Who do you submit to, Christ, or your flesh?

    Space running out, more to follow.
  • Adam - in Reply on John 5:4
    Hi Jessie,

    >I do not "try to be obedient" because that takes human effort. My flesh will never be in obedience to Christ, so why try? I am not obedient to Him because of any human effort on my part. I am obedient to Him because of what His Spirit is doing in my life. Do I choose to be obedient to Christ, or do I choose to be obedient to my flesh? There is a battle that takes place between my flesh and the Spirit of Christ who dwells in me.

    I don't understand what you wrote there with human effort vs spirit. In any given choice you make or action you take in life I'm not sure which you assign to your human action or holy spirit. Why can't it be both? You agree Christians have freewill to choose good or evil, right? Is it not your own choice whether you sin or not? Do you claim 100% responsibility for your actions or do you assign it to a spirit? And how do you know which of the things you think, say, do, decide is human vs spirit?
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4

    The reason why it can't be both is because God does not recognize or reward us for anything we do apart from His Spirit persuading us to do. In other words, we have to differentiate between spirit and flesh. Are we doing something because He's persuading us to do it, or are we doing it out of our own human effort and ambition? Romans 14:23 says "for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. If we understand that biblical faith is produced by God's Spirit, not us, and that faith literally means persuasion, then we can ask ourselves, am I doing this because God's Spirit in me is persuading me to do it (Faith), or am I doing it out of my own human ambition? One of these, God is not going to recognize!
  • Adam - in Reply on John 5:4
    >we have to differentiate between spirit and flesh

    Do you have a reliable way to differentiate and what Bible verse sources? In your view does everything you say or do in life have such a spirit / flesh separation? How do you know if driving a car, eating, taking a shower, watching news, typing comments on the computer is ever spiritual or flesh?
  • Angela Dick - in Reply on John 5:4
    Help me to understand the seals in revelation chapter 6
  • Mishael - in Reply on John 5:4
    Angela: I Googled Revelation Time Charts. Lots and lots. Pick one from a preacher that you trust. Most likely each one varies from the other.

    A great teacher was Grant Jeffreys
  • Mishael on Sin Dilemma - in Reply on John 5:4
    I know I'm a sinner saved by Grace. I'm conscious of it day and night. I never forget what God pulled me out of. I know at the Cross, my sins past, present and future have been thrown as far as the east is to the west. When I sin, I pray from 1 John. I thank God that his mercies are new every morning. I turn off media and turn on praise. I believe in "I will keep in perfect peace whose mind has stayed on Me. For me God is at my house every day. I'm conscious of His presence. There are times when I mumble what the speed limit is, but I just move out of the way & don't get upset. I actually pray for those people to find Jesus. We have choices. I've had my fill of worldliness long time ago. I'm content. I love my family and play with my grand son, often as I can. I used to read him Psalms at nap time. I tell him Bible stories. Somewhere in this world system we all live in, is the great whore of Babylon. I avoid that contamination much as possible.

    We all fall short of perfect, but God gave us Jesus our Lord. Each one of us choose the narrow gate or the wide one, every day.

    I love studying in this discussion group. It gives me a lot of encouragement to widen my scope when it's just me and a Bible. Seeing what troubles other people, helps me to pray better. When I was unsaved, I used to sit in the dark and rock, and pray over and over, "somebody help me." The first thing God did for me, was peel me like an onion. Everything I trusted in was removed. It lasted a year and a half. Then I was ready to meet my Savior.

    How do you turn your back on that? I'm grateful. There's a sense of Divine romance. You tell Him your stories (which He already knows) and you read His stories in his Word. It should get sweeter and deeper.

    Contending with compromise diminishes the sweetness. It doesn't matter if you're male or female.

    God is exactly what the unsaved sinners want. Someone they can trust. Good night all.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4

    What and awesome and powerful testimony, Amen. I can sit and read that all day and be blessed by it each time!
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    I can just tell you how I differentiate. Every single day of my life, I have to make choices. And at the end of each day, I have to ask myself "What was that all about?" You list several things here, and for each one of those things, we can ask ourselves if it is Christ leading us to do those things or not. There are many things we do in life on a daily basis that are not spiritual, but worldly. There are necessities in life. And I believe we are to use the things/necessities in this world. We're just not to overuse them. In other words, we're not to let the things of this world control us and cause us to lose focus of the race that is set before us. A few verses that come to mind would be Galatians 5:16-25, Romans 8:9, Romans 8:12-14, Colossians 1:9-10, Psalms 42:1-2, 2 Corinthians 10:4.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    My answer to your first question is yes, that is my position. If you understand what takes place at the point of salvation, then maybe you'll see why I take that position. Free will? We're allowed to make decisions. But every decision we make is based on what or who we love the most. We either submit to the persuasion of God's Spirit telling us what He wants us to do, or we submit to what our flesh wants to do. Which one do you submit to? You say some "Christians" turn to evil, and denounce Christ, and then you say it is unfortunate? That's not unfortunate, especially since Paul says that division is necessary? Those "self-professing" Christians who turn to evil and denounce Christ were never saved or they wouldn't have left (1 John:2:19). You bring up Judas. Was that unfortunate? No, not at all. Jesus chose an evil man to fulfill His plan.

    There is not enough space here to answer all you question, but I will answer in a separate post.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    (Last Part)

    But probably one of the most powerful Scriptures of God's keeping power is Romans 8:38-39: "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor powers, nor any thing which has come, nor things coming, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    The only way a person can be saved is by a spiritual birth from God; and the only way a person can keep his salvation is through the keeping power of God.

    That is my position. I don't believe I can lose it because I am trusting in the power of the one who has saved me, sealed me, and has promised not to lose me. I'm sitting there at the "will call" waiting for the one who purchased me to come pick up His possession.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    (Part 4) John 17:11-12 also shows the keeping power of God. I believe in the permanency of salvation because the bible teaches that God is the one who saves and He does so from out of His mercy. According to Paul, in Ephesians 2:8, grace, faith, and salvation are gifted from God.

    John says, in John 1:13, believers "were born, not from blood, nor from the will of the flesh, nor from the will of man, but from God." Therefore, from Scripture, a human being cannot save him/herself.I can't keep myself saved, so I have to trust God's power to keep me. John 10:27-29 is one of the most beautiful pieces of scripture that shows me that I am secure in Christ.

    Also, Jude states in his doxology in Verse 24, "But to the one being able to keep you without stumbling and to set you before His glory blameless in exultation." Paul emphasized the keeping power of God's Spirit Ephesians 1:13-14, Ephesians 4:30.

    Sorry this is long, but salvation is very important to me. One more post, I promise!
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    (Part 3)

    Not only is God is the sole source of salvation, but every saved person is kept by the power of God. Peter writes, in 1 Peter 1:5, that believers are, "The ones who are being kept in the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

    Paul writes on the same subject, in Galatians 5:17, "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are opposing to one another; in order that you should not do what you want." These scriptures show that believers cannot be taken away from Christ by the flesh, because the Spirit of God is dwelling within to prevent that from happening.

    Jesus Himself said, in John 6:37, "All that the Father gives to me will come to me; and the one coming to me I will never cast out." He goes on to say in John 6:39, "And this is the will of the Father who has sent me, in order that of all which he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up in the last day."
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    (Part 2)

    Once I was drawn to Christ by the Father and surrendered my life to Him, His Spirit came into my spirit and sealed me unto the day of redemption.

    I belong to Christ. He purchased me, meaning he owns me. Paul said in Romans 8:9, "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this one is not of Him." In Romans 8:14, he wrote, "For as many as are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God."

    In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul challenged the church at Corinth: "Examine yourselves, if you are in the faith; prove your own selves, or do you not know your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you, except you are reprobates?" John, supported the same understanding in 1 John 3:24, and 1 John 4:13. Salvation happens only when God's Spirit enters and remains in a person's spirit, thereby causing spiritual birth. Nothing in the Bible teaches that salvation is accomplished by the repetition of the Sinner's Prayer or through the performance of any other kind of human formula.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    Angela, people's salvation is the most important to me. Please let me share with you where I stand on salvation. I will have to break this up in order to explain my position. I am one of those that strongly believe that salvation cannot be lost. Emphasis on the ability to save has been shifted in recent years from God to man. As a result, the permanency of salvation has been called into question quite frequently. Many believe you can lose it, and many believe you can't.

    For me, I have to ask myself who am I trusting? Am I trusting in myself to keep myself saved, or am I trusting God's promise to keep me saved? My salvation is based solely on God's Spirit coming into my spirit, causing me to become a new creation, a new person. My experience of regeneration by the Holy Spirit is an act of God, not of myself. I would have never came to Christ if God the Father did not first draw me to Him. The salvation process begins with God the Father (John 6:44).
  • Bob Hilt - in Reply on John 5:4
    Some argue once saved always saved and eternal security of the believer. Some use this grace as an excuse to sin.

    I just know that the Bible says this:

    Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not BLOT blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

    One can argue over the interpretation of who gets blotted out of the book of life. It is a scary thought to consider some names in the book of life could be blotted out. Who will these be? pray over it and ask.

    I am not sure either.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4
    You make a great point Bob. There are people who think since I am saved and I cannot lose my salvation, I can sin all I want because I'm covered. It's sad that people think that way, but they do. It should never be like that, ever. I don't understand how anyone who professes to be a believer, professes to follow Christ, and professes to love God would want to go out and sin anyways. Those who believe that way make me wonder if they're even saved at all.

    Revelation 3:5 is a verse that has been such a blessing to me. When I read the phrase "He that overcomes" from the original language, I see it is a Present Participle, meaning the one (who is) overcoming. So, if I have Christ living inside of me, I am overcoming, and I will overcome, because He overcame, and He promises not to blot me out of the book of the Lamb, His book. I believe there are two books, the book of life which has listed in it everybody that has received human life. And then the book of the Lamb, those who belong to Christ.
  • Chris - in Reply on John 5:4
    Jesse, just wanted to thank you for your great posts (the last two specifically): I concur fully with your stand, in that God makes no mistakes - if He saves us, then His Salvation is complete & perfect. Nothing more can be added to guarantee or perfect it & if a believer errs in sin, the Spirit is quick to alert us & longs for our repentance & restoration. I think where we fail as Christians, is that we take it on ourselves to make a final judgement on who is a Christian. Often lovely spiritual words, buoyant ministry, & even demonstration of the Christ's graces leads us to accept that person as a brother or sister. When in reality, we are not called to judge others (in any form), but rather to judge ourselves as Paul did daily (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Not that we should not consider each other as family, but ever remembering that it is only the Lord Who knows our hearts & we have not been put in a place of judgement of hearts by Him.
  • Mishael - in Reply on John 5:4
    Chris: My brain was reworked to street preaching. Much easier than warning Christians. I make a list of people skipping their way to being weeded out as a goat. Then I sit on the floor by my bed and pray for them. I ask the Lord to send workers into the harvest to witness the love of God to them before it's too late. I thank Him for rescuing me and pulling me back with that shepherds pole. Our sinful slip ups help us reach out as a disciple of Jesus. Jesus was humble of heart, on task, merciful and knows what we need. He has never hit me in the face with the Bible. I only see lost people. If our prayer life is rich, the Holy Spirit will help us to think less about judging the sin and "come let us reason together; tho your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red as crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18, 43:26, 29:18.

    There's a scripture about a full stall (kinda funny) but I view it as a productive prayer life. Jesus is interceding and so should we.
  • Jesse - in Reply on John 5:4

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I have been blessed by several answers you have posted. Very well said about His salvation being complete. Salvation is all of God. The only thing we contribute to our salvation is the sin to which we need to be saved from. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He designs it, and He brings it to its completion. My perspective on judging is that we are not to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we are to be "Fruit Inspectors! Ye shall know them by their fruits. So even though I am not to judge you, per se, I'm still to inspect the fruit. And from what I see, you're relationship with Christ seems to be "Rock Solid." God Bless!
  • Chris - in Reply on John 5:4
    Jesse, I too appreciate your comments here & do always look for them, as from one who correctly divides the Word of God & has an intimate relationship with the Godhead. I know we may never agree on everything - who even does or can? - but what is essential is that His Word & His Love is enriching us daily & we together "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus". The Lord give you His Grace & Wisdom in your life & your contributions here.
  • Chris - in Reply on John 5:4
    Adam, I too believe that it is "once saved, always saved". If it weren't, then the work at the Cross was defective & God's Eternal & Perfect Plan was not well thought through. The problems that are evident: do we recognize that God is truly the Judge of men's souls & has the Christian truly been saved by faith through the hearing of the Gospel? In relation to the first question: even before a supposed believer re-enters into a life of sin & rejection of the Godhead, God already knows the state of that soul. It is us who fall into error by giving a 'qualified' judgement of who is saved & who is not. Yes, we do accept one another as part of Gods Family, & so we should, as we are to also preach this challenge: "So you think you are a Christian - Why?". Secondly, how many out there believe they are Christians because of partaking in the ordinances, maybe a strong feeling, Church membership, in Christian service? The truly born again simply cannot be lost.
  • Adam - in Reply on John 5:4
    >If it weren't, then the work at the Cross was defective & God's Eternal & Perfect Plan was not well thought through.

    Not well thought through? Just because a Christian still has freewill to sin, and just because some Christians do in fact commit blasphemy and just because God doesn't forgive you for it doesn't mean God's plan isn't well thought through or imperfect. Where does your criteria of what is 'not well thought through' come from?

    The Bible is full of verses warning people to avoid sin. All the parables are warnings. Most people will go to hell whether people like it or not, whether PC or not. Sharing the gospel is to seek and save the lost. If Christians can never do any wrong, why did Jesus keep warning them to obey. What is the point of even trying if everyone is saved? So, a Christian can sin as much as they want- is that your belief? Is that what Jesus says in the Bible or did he actually say the opposite?
  • Chris - in Reply on John 5:4
    (from previous comment). 5. Christians can never do wrong. Christians can sin, but the Holy Spirit convicts & repentance must follow; the unbeliever or phony Christian has no such check, repentance or restoration. 6. Can a Christian sin as much as they want? Not possible. A Christian cannot pursue a life of sin: his works (manner of life) are proof of the genuineness of his conversion (Romans 6; Galatians 5:19-26). He can sin at times, hence the instructions & pleas by the Lord & the apostles to new & mature believers to abstain from all appearance of evil; how to deal with temptations; how to find victory. But the believer has to be on guard against Satan (1 Peter 5:8) & to "work out (attention to) his own salvation with fear & trembling" (Philippians 2:12). A constant warfare, requiring vigilance, but the believer remains secure in God's Perfect Plan for him.
  • Chris - in Reply on John 5:4
    Adam, I'll only address the 'apparent' errors I make in my comments.

    1. Freewill. Yes, all Christians & unsaved have a freewill (to sin). 2. Blasphemy. Not possible for Christians. Blasphemy is the accusation one makes against the Holy Spirit that Jesus' Works are generated from Satan (Matthew 12:24-32). 3. God's non-forgiveness to blasphemers. As above: Christians cannot blaspheme. 4. "Not well thought through". The purpose of my phrase was that God's Plan of Salvation WAS well thought through, but IF His Plan allowed for a (truly) saved person to be lost, then the Work of the Cross has failed in that person's salvation. God's Plan is Perfect, "all that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me...I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37); "sealed with the Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30, 2 Corinthians 1:22). (see next comment).
  • Adam - in Reply on John 5:4
    Hi Chris, thanks for your response. I think the OSAS view contradicts itself and contradicts scripture.

    The statement "Christians cannot blaspheme" contradicts Christians having freewill. Either Christians have freewill or don't. Some people were Christians then denounced it, like Marilyn Manson, Hitler, among many others. So we have the personal evidence on Earth, and scripture evidence including Matthew 10:33 and many others.

    > "But the believer has to be on guard against Satan (1 Peter 5:8) & to "work out (attention to) his own salvation with fear & trembling" (Philippians 2:12). A constant warfare, requiring vigilance, but the believer remains secure in God's Perfect Plan for him."

    These verses also contradict the OSAS movement. If a Christian is already saved why would they need to be on guard? What is there to 'work out' if salvation is already decided?

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