Saturday, November 25, 2017

I am Confused About The Permanence Of Salvation, Please Clarify!

Do You Believe Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS)?

Question: So I have a quick question, do you believe once saved always Saved? Hell is real, as Heaven is real, and I have been taught that we must keep our cloths clean, without wrinkles, and our lamps filled with oil, for we don't know when the Groom will come for his bride. We must be like Christ, always seeking, and looking for the Kingdom of GOD which is at hand. So what I am reading is that by Grace we are saved, I understand Works don't save us, We must submit to God and be different from the world. Look, walk, speak, and act different from the world, to stand apart.. So I guess I am confused?? Can you Clarify?

Note: The Acronym for OSAS is Once Saved Always Saved, which will be used to mean the doctrine of the permanence of salvation through out this article.

Answer: Greetings to you in Jesus wonderful name! I understand the dogma you are holding, and I also appreciate your sincere desire to know more from the Word of God.

But let us get in to the Word first, "4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men." (Titus 3:4-8).

Here we go....The kindness and love of God our Savior appeared towards humans two thousand years ago...when the Lord God the Creator of all things (Col 1:16), chose to become a human baby (Luke 2:11-12), then went through all the day to day hardships of all humans (Luke 2:51), grew up having no sin but choosing to stay without sinning even one time (1 Pet 2:22; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1 John 3:5). Then around thirty years of age started to do good works going everywhere God wanted him to go and spread his message of love through healing all who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38), then after three and half years of ministry, chose to die on a cross according to God's will for the sins of us all to be forgiven (Heb 9:11-14; Col 1:14), buried for three days which symbolically buried our sin nature (Rom 6:3-4, 5-6), and rose again on the third day victoriously declaring that humans are now justified by faith and by grace before God if they believe Him (Rom 6:8-9; 5:1; Tit 3:7). In other words, God saw the anguish of Christ's soul because of sin and was satisfied by His sacrifice of Himself even unto death, so now therefore "by His [i.e. Jesus'] knowledge...[have] justified many" by giving them the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of the future salvation (Isa 53:10-11; Eph 1:13-14).

So the purpose we are saved is to become a person legally entitled to the property or rank of another [(i.e.) Jesus] on that person's death, so that we can become and live as the child of God on earth (John 1:12; Gal 3:26). In other words, through receiving salvation from Jesus, we become a heir of God (Rom 8:17), which means we inherit and continue the work of our predecessor who is Jesus our example, which gives us the hope of a eternal life to come (1 Peter 2:21; 1 Cor 15:19).

The early apostles were facing a lot of trouble from unbelievers within the Church, who professed themselves to be saved, but in fact they were never saved at all. So they took the grace of God as a licentiousness to sin (Jude 1:4). The believers were affected by the lifestyle of these ungodly men who acted as though they were saved, but their lives were very ungodly. So apostle Paul who wanted this kind of deceit to end within the Church, so he said to the believers to constantly affirm and tell publicly to encourage believers, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works, not because they will go to hell fire as there is no condemnation now for all believers (Rom 8:1), but it is good and profitable to men who are saved by God for eternity (Heb 5:9).

Only the circumcised heart of the flesh of believers can obey Jesus in their day to day lives and repent by confessing to Jesus when they sin (Ezek 36:26; 1 John 1:9; 2:1).

There are two things in the Scripture we should not confuse and get confused ourselves, one is Union and the other is fellowship. There are Scriptures that speak about union and there are Scriptures that speak about fellowship. Union of a believer with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit happens when we are saved (1 Cor 6:17), this union can never be cut off for eternity ahead and Jesus Himself is the guarantee of this union, and by depositing the seal of the Holy Spirit with in us when we were saved, Jesus have given evidence of this OSAS within us (Rom 8:34, 35-39; John 10:27-30; Eph 1:13-14). Once the seal of the guarantee of the Holy Spirit within the eternal salvation gift has been given through the union Scriptures (Eph 2:8-9), nowhere else the Scripture ever speaks or warns about a unsealing due to our works. In fact, we get a lot of encouragement, admonishing and even warning from the apostles of the lack of fellowship with God that we will suffer because of letting sin in to our lives, and these are fellowship Scriptures (1 John 1:3-4; 2:1; 1 Thess 3-8; Heb 13:1-6; 6:4, 6; 8; 10:26-30; 1 Peter 4:17).

This story will give you an understanding of the Union and Fellowship part of a believers life a little better. Once there was a great rich man who had a great palatial house and farm all around his house, he had so many servants in his house to serve him. He had a Son who died valiantly for a noble purpose of uplifting humanity and securing the border of their country. After this, he had a great desire to adopt children as he had no child for a long long time. So he took many babies from very poor background and adopted them to be his real children legally (Rom 8:17; Eph 1:5). The servants in the house of this man were very jealous of these babies who were given the privilege of the very Son who had died, but they themselves being the rich man's servant their babies were never given the same privilege (Heb 2:16). So as these children grew, their Father loved all of them equally and wanted them to become obedient under the tutelage of the servant who were all very well learnt (Gal 3:24).

One day as a particular child of the Father was playing in the garden, he was throwing stones at the birds that was flying away in groups, so as to scare them all away, and the little fellow was enjoying it though he knew that he should not throw stones high in the air as it might unexpectedly hit someone and cause injury or even death.

Lo and behold, as the little child kept throwing stones one after the other and was having the time of his life, suddenly one stone hit one big duck that the Father had recently purchased for breeding it in the farm. The servant who was in charge of the little boy came at that time and told the little fellow, that he knew what has happened by him throwing stones at the duck, so he tried to intimidate the little fellow from that day on.

Due to fear the little boy never told his Father of what has happened, but from that time onwards, he was not able to love back his father as he loved him unconditionally the same way as before the incident happened. In fact, the servant slowly became the master of the little child and was blackmailing the child to do chores that he should actually do for the child.

The fellowship with the Father was no more available because of fear within the child, but then the child chose to confess his sins to the father one day out of great burden and bondage that he experienced, and could bear it no more. The Father hearing the child, ran towards him and embraced him, saying, 'I have forgiven you, do not worry I knew it.'

The next day the servant not knowing what has happened between the Father and the little child, expected the little boy to do the same household chores for him. But them the child rebuked the servant to do his job and not be lazy. When the servant threatened to reveal the secret sin of his, he told him that he has already confessed it to his Father and he has forgiven him. Saddened sadistically, the servant obeyed the child and began to serve him from that day onward as he ought to serve the child of the owner whom he serves.

Here in this story, the child is us who are believers, the servant is the devil, the Father is our heavenly Father, we have been adopted in to His family legally by Him through Jesus the only begotten Son who died for our cause. The moment we have accepted ourselves as His baby through Jesus, we have become our Heavenly Father's child (John 1:12). This is Union which cannot be changed by our behavior. Now whenever we sin, fear accompanies it and keeps us in bondage to the devil (Heb 2:14, 15). When we confess it to our Heavenly Father, we no more have to fearfully obey the devil anymore (Luke 15:20-21;1 John 1:7, 9; Rom 6:16; Jam 4:7). We become the authority of who we actually are (i.e.) child of God, once we have fellowship with our Heavenly Father (1 John 1:3-4; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 1:9-11; 1 John 2:14, 13).

Yes God wants us to look, walk, speak, and act different from the world, because we are already the children of God who are called to be like Jesus and become conformed to His image, but even this only God can help us to glorify us with His character as we cooperate with Him day by day (Rom 8:29, 30; Php 1:6). Our Heavenly Father wants us to mature in our Character and grow in grace that we might become like Jesus Christ and bring glory to God in various levels and degrees (2 Peter 1:8; 3:18). No earthly father will want a child of his to spend more years in the pre-kindergarten, let alone for the entire life. How much more our Heavenly Father will want all his children to grow in wisdom and spiritual stature and in favor with God and men just like Jesus (Luke 2:52).

Sin makes us weak spiritually and takes us away from the very Presence of the fellowship of our Father in Heaven (Isa 59:2), usually these are the times when we question all the promises of God and let unbelief harden our hearts (Heb 3:12). There comes a rest for the people of God apart from the works we do for God (Heb 4:9-10), if we have entered this rest of God through faith, we will cease from works as God did His, and let God continue to work through us to let us enjoy the works we do for God out of our love for God (John 5:17), rather than do the works out of fear wrongly thinking that we should be saved by doing it which actually becomes dead works at the end of it all (Heb 6:1; Php 2:12-13). In other words, as God works for us from the day of our salvation, we co-operate with Him to work through us from the day of salvation.

Just because I say OSAS is right doesn't mean that I condone sin in any way. God hated sin in the garden of Eden, and still does so where ever He finds it still, because sin takes away from God the humans whom He loves. God's call for holiness is non negotiable, whatever stage of spiritual life we are in, whether it is a baby stage or a mature stage. What did the great apostle Paul reveal to us in this matter? "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”" (2 Tim 2:19). In other words, Paul the apostle emphasizes here that the Lord knows who are all saved, and those who are not saved but just profess that they are Christians. So He does say to us, if we are saved, we should depart from the very nature of sin which works within us as flesh and deteriorates and takes our life away from God without His fellowship. In fact, we know that those who think that they are saved without having the proof of the fruit of the Spirit which are all the good character of God displayed in us (Gal 5:22-23), have no proof even to prove to themselves that they are saved, and therefore will not inherit the Kingdom of God if they continue to delude themselves by thinking that they are saved , when they are not (Gal 5:19-21). In other words, a person is either saved for eternity, or is remaining unsaved, there is no other intermediate level in salvation. Further in context, Paul reveals that if someone is already saved, and departs from iniquity regularly, he or she will be used for the Master Jesus in His service and will become a vessel of honor whom the Lord will use to bless all others around them (2 Tim 2:21).

If we are saved and have become a child of God, peace with people and holiness with God is very much essential to see the activity of the Lord's salvation in display in our lives (Heb 12:14). If we know that we are saved and the Holy Spirit have spoken within our heart and have assured us, only then we know that we are very safe which is in the hands of the Lord (1 John 3:24; 4:13; John 10:27-28, 29).

Hell is real, and Heaven is real, those who have believed in Jesus the Christ and have repented of their sins are those who will have the Kingdom of God within to enter it spiritually (John 3:17-18). The narrow way of faith is the one that leads to life, broad is the way of works that delude people to hell fire because by working their way to God they make themselves debtors to God by setting aside the grace of God, as they delude and deceive themselves to think wrongly that righteousness comes through keeping of the Law when it actually condemns them as sinners (Matt 7:13-14; Rom 4:4; 11:35; Gal 2:31).

Yes we must keep our cloths clean, without wrinkles, and our lamps filled with oil, for we don't know when the Groom will come for his bride? But when the truth explained is seen contextually, we come to know that only those who are saved by Jesus are those who are blessed to wash their robes clean in the blood of Jesus (Heb 9:14), "that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city." (Rev 22:14). Only those who are saved can be able to keep their garments clean (Matt 22:12; 1 John 5:4-5; Rev 3:4-5), all others will defile themselves with dirt because they were not saved at all, they prove the truth of this proverb: "A dog returns to its vomit." And another says, "A washed pig returns to the mud." (2 Peter 2:22). Only those who are really saved are the only ones who are filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit even when they were sleeping along with the unsaved who had no oil (Matt 25:3, 4, 5; Rom 8:9). When the bridegroom came, only the wise who were saved went along with him, and the unsaved who had no oil were left alone or left behind as they went searching for those who supply oil, as the suppliers also will be raptured, they will have to knock the door of the gospel of Jesus by faith to find that the door to eternal life was already shut with in the Church (Matt 25:9; 7:7, 11; John 10:9; Luke 11:9, 13) and that those who want to stay in faith must die as martyrs during the Tribulation of those days (Rev 13:7-8, 10; Matt 24:21-22; Mark 13:19-20). Jesus tells only those unsaved as those whom He never knew, and it is a fact and He never ever knew them because they were not saved at all (Matt 25:11-13).

As the time of the Church is the acceptable time of the Lord to receive salvation through faith (Isa 61:2; 2 Cor 7:10; 6:2), we must all repent to be saved first, so that we could answer the call to be like Christ to receive the reward (Rom 8:29; 1 Cor 9:24-25; 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 22:12), always seeking, and looking for the Kingdom of GOD which is at hand (Luke 17:21; Rom 14:17). So fellowship is a call to holiness which is life long process, but union is a call to salvation from sin and is a one time event. Either you are saved from sin or you are not. So fellowship can be restored, but salvation can only be inherited once to retain it by the power of God forever. We do nothing to gain salvation, in the same way we can do nothing to lose salvation. By the life of Jesus we are saved (Rom 5:10), but by our holy life of works we are profited and rewarded by God now and for eternity (Heb 12:14, 10-11).

Much Blessings.....


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