I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.1 Corinthians 9:27
I think most of you know these Gems are live. While they are not always written “on the day” they are the fruit of an idea I had of having a live Quiet Time and sharing it. I love it when ‘you out there’ respond like some of you did yesterday. It seems that some of you like the songs I include at times. I have managed to do one song for each series I have done so far. Admittedly the song yesterday was a little dated but a good one. I look for the connectedness rather that the choice of the song itself. Yes I think the Holy Spirit prompted me to include the song yesterday. I was heading in another direction.
It seems the Gem yesterday also prompted a number of you on the issue of “once saved always saved”. Can you lose your salvation? I have clipped one person’s comments for today but will allow that person to remain anonymous. They have summed up the issue well. I send it out to all of you as food for thought. I am not going to answer it at the moment. But will when the time is right.
I am merely dealing with the Biblical text so any implication as mentioned below come from the reading of the text, not from Ian. They may be implications from Paul I guess. You work it out. I will add some more at the end to assist you in your ponderings. But ponder by all means. It is an important question.
“With this one, it kind of implies ‘lose the goal of eternal life’ ie lose salvation (because salvation is receiving eternal life)? So what about (the) once saved always saved idea? Or is it more about the works / good deeds idea so what is tested / burned up vs what makes it through to eternity in terms of reward? ie saved by grace (so have eternal life) but our good deeds are tested (ie what we get / carry through into eternity?) or am i missing something? (highly probable).
If Paul the apostle was concerned he might not make it, then gosh what hope for me who am not beating myself like him to preach the gospel. Either that or I’d be scraping into heaven by the skin of my teeth (though technically that would have to be enamel)! I always sense there’s some aspect of this that I have not quite ‘got’ yet. I have challenged folks at home group and spoken to a few other folk. Most of the circle give text book/pat answers ‘once saved always saved’, so not earning salvation etc. But then why do we have to work out our salvation? Beat our body into submission? Ensure we not entangled in sin etc. Another person said, from God’s point of view those He saved have been saved. So not all who start out finish the race – which counteracts the ‘once saved always saved’ idea.
Or is salvation a two way thing. and good deeds count but what’s the criteria? For John, eternal life involves knowing God. For students to pass the examination, they need to know the goal, the criteria. As teachers, we give them clues. I feel I’ve lost the clues with the above. Like what do you do in the evenings if you don’t have work to do and no family? How does relaxing, reading a book help with eternal stuff. if i spend my evenings door knocking telling the gospel (and days working) then I’d go mad, become resentful and be driven. Or is that irrelevant? In reality i can seldom lead home groups because my workload is erratic. (Ian’s note: the assumption here is that I must be doing some Christian work to make it.) If you feel you can say something then do, if not don’t worry, I’m sure it will get answered sometime between now and eternity. Thanks”
Well there you have it. I thought her input was good enough to pass on to you all. No I don’t think she is missing something. I think she has summed up the issues rather well. I have protected her anonymity but yes you do know she is a woman. Now the possibilities of who she is are halved for you. I hope this sparks some more response from all of you. Go for it.
I will see where this leads. Kind of fun really to be a catalyst for people getting into their Bibles. The ball is in your court. I am sure there will be more.
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shovelling the drive before it has stopped snowing.Anon
Some profound offerings from Bob Gass that may help stimulate your thinking:
When you blame yourself you multiply guilt, chain yourself to the past, and increase your already low self-esteem. When you blame God you cut yourself off from His power, doubt replaces trust, and you put down roots of bitterness that make you cynical. When you blame others you add to the distance between them and you, and lose the only option that works – forgiveness.Bob Gass