Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation? A Biblical Analysis

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Once a Christian is saved, can they lose their salvation?  What if a believer falls away from the faith, can they be restored again to God?   Have you ever doubted your own salvation?  Is once saved always saved true?  Once a Christian is saved, can they be lost again?  Is there such a thing as eternal security?  Can a person’s name be erased from the Book of Life?

What Saves the Believer?

Some denominations and some Christians believe that once you are saved it is possible to lose their salvation.  But what is salvation in the first place?  We can believe what the Bible says above what people or churches say.  Let’s review some of the scriptures that talk about salvation:

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  A literal rendering of “shall” is actually “will” so this scripture, according to the Greek, ought to read “…that whoever believes in him will not perish but has [the present indicative means they already possess] eternal life.”

Acts 16:30-31: ““Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

Acts 4:13: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

John 3:18: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

The overriding factor in our salvation is that we must believe that Jesus Christ is Who He says He is and is not tied in any way to what the believer does.  We do not initiate our salvation nor do we do anything to achieve it. In fact no one really seeks after God (Rom 3:11) but it is God who seeks after us and calls us (Gal. 1:15-16).  That He saves us to completion and to the uttermost is directly attributed to God.  We are in no position to save ourselves.  It is not about letting Jesus “come into your heart” or about thinking that “God has a wonderful plan for your life” but it is about believing in Jesus Christ.  And whoever believes in Him walks in faith and accepts Him in faith.  You are saved only by the grace of God and apart from yourself, it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.  Ephesians 2:8-9 echo this, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Jesus Plus Works Equals Nothing

If anyone believes that their works can save them remember that God calls even the best of good works filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).   Here is the one and only work that God accepts and that Jesus testified to, “…This is the work of God, that you believe on Him Whom He has sent” (John 6:29). “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rom 10:3).  Romans 4:6 clearly says that we are saved “without the deeds of the Law” (Rom 3:28), and it is “not of works” (Eph. 2:9) “It is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).  No one is saved by works…we are saved for works.  God would not give us the gift of grace only to take it again. Who gives someone a gift and then goes and takes it back?

God Saves Completely

John 6:37 and John10:28-29 both testify that once God calls you and saves you, He will not ever caste you away or you can never be snatched from Jesus’ hand or the Father’s hand.  Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Further, I Corinthians 1:8 states, “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. “  God does not call the qualified but He qualifies the called.  Holiness is not the way to Jesus; Jesus is the way to holiness.  Your own salvation is not all of your responsibility; it is your response to His ability.

Was this Article Helpful?

If this article was helpful to you, please consider linking this article to your own blog or sharing this through the social buttons to the left. You might also find some of these other good Christian Answer articles helpful:

 

Do Animals Go To Heaven?

What Does The Bible Say About Church Membership?

Does The Bible say What the Devil Looks Like?

Sources

The Holy Bible, New International Version

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



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{ 111 comments… read them below or add one }

latrice June 25, 2011 at 2:11 am

check out revelations 3,20 and 21.psalms 69:28 and 109:13-15.and some others ,so yes a person name can be blotted and taken out of the lamb book of life.

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Jack Wellman June 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Latrice, thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate it. I read the chapters and could not see any conflict. For example, Rev. 3:5 says “The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.” Here is says their name will NOT be blotted out.

In Rev. 20:15 it says “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Again, if they are not in the book of life they are thrown into the lake of fire. If they ARE in the book of life, they remain there.

In Rev. 21:27 it reads “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Once more, there is no mention that their name can be removed from the book of life. Only that it is there and only those who are IN the book of life remain in it. God would not erase what He puts in the book of life for God has predestined us all (Ephesians chapters 1 & 2) and having foreknowledge, why would He put someone in the book of life if He knew they would not remain in there? If He had perfect knowledge of the future, which He does, then why would He put someone’s name in the book of life if He knew they would not be saved and have to have it be removed or erased? God has no eraser for He would not put down what He would later erase.

In Psalm 69:28 what version of the Bible are you using? Every translation I could find reads “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.” It says nothing about being blotted out from a “book of life”. Even in the King James, the EVS, or Revised King James it says the “book of the living” and NOT the “book of life”.

Finally, in Psalm 109:13-15 it reads “May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation. May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out. May their sins always remain before the Lord, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.” Here is says that their names are to be blotted out from the “next generation” and “may the sin of his mother never be blotted out”. This says nothing about a “book of life”. It is talking about their life and their generation (or their families heritage or their children and children’s children). In no translation does it speak of o the book of life.

Thanks so much for visiting us.

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genesis October 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

my book does say in psalm 69:28 it says erase their names from the Book of Life; don’t let them be counted among the righteous. I am afraid that i lost god cause i would sometimes think that that jesus is bad and mean but i didn’t give in to it. I am a new believer again and i would have bad thoughts like i thoughts Satan was good!!! and i am terrified that i lost jesus or god because of this, my mind is in caious right now and my mind thinks of both bad and good things and i am scared that my thoughts would kill me with him. Please help JACK WELLMAN!!

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Jack Wellman October 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Genesis. These people that is spoken of in Psalm 69 are those unrepentant and degenerate who sought to kill David who was the rightful heir of the throne of Israel. This is not directed to Christians. Also, in the Hebrew, this is better translated to mean erased from the Book of the Living, or in other words, their life be taken away. That is the best translation of that. Again, Satan is cleaver and wants us to believe we can lose what he can never have. He wants us to believe our feelings over God’s sure and certain Word, which is never a lie and is fully truthful at all times. You have nothing to fear for Jesus defeated Satan at the cross and even death has lost its sting and there is nothing nor no one [including Satan] that can separate you from God nor snatch you out of Jesus or the Father’s hand (John 6:37, John 10:28-29). Let me tell you that when the Devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future (Rev 20 & 21).

Read John chapter 6 and chapter 10 and tell me if you are not able to sleep in peace tonight!

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genesis March 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm

i am doing ok and your versus comfort me and satan is very clever and knows when i doubt. Like when people talk about heaven or the second coming of christ my mind immediately thinks if i am saved and i know i am it is just annoying how i still have that doubt.

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Pierce November 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm

The best way to see this question in my mind is like this….

Live like you COULD lose you salvation, even if you CAN’T!

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Jack Wellman November 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Pierce, that is so powerful and so true. We should not use grace as an excuse and many do unfortunately but I love what you said. I wish I had included that in my article. Its spot on the mark of truth. I can see that you MUST live like a true disciple and a man after Christ’s own heart sir. God bless you and thank you for such an edifying and encouraging remark sir. We should never trample on the blood of Christ and should have fruit that reflects our faith.

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Jack Wellman November 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Amen Pierce, that is so powerful and so true. We should not use grace as an excuse and many do unfortunately but I love what you said. I wish I had included that in my article. Its spot on the mark of truth. I can see that you MUST live like a true disciple and a man after Christ’s own heart sir. God bless you and thank you for such an edifying and encouraging remark sir. We should never trample on the blood of Christ and should have fruit that reflects our faith.

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Jonathan McIntosh December 8, 2011 at 7:58 am

While I agree with most of what you say, you misquoted John 3:16. It does not say shall not perish, it says should not perish. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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Jack December 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Thank you Jonathan for your comment and input. I tried my best to not mistranslate it and took the literal rendering of the Koine Greek as my source. To say that whoever believes in Jesus (places their trust in, their faith in) should not perish is to infer that they shouldn’t be they might. To say that they will not is in the perfect tense that they can not. I think that if a person believes in Christ they will not is the correct wording according to the Koine Greek:

The verse in the original Greek is as follows (associated Strong’s Number in superscript):

Οὕτω γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν κόσμον , ὥστε5620 τὸν Υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν1325, ἵνα2443 πᾶς3956 ὁ3588 πιστεύων εἰς Αὐτὸ μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ᾽ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον

Now that’s Greek to me! LOL Seriously, that’s the original in Koine Greek and has the literal wording from each of these Greek words as:

“For in this way God loved the world: that he gave the unique son, so that all the ones trusting in him would not perish, but have eternal life.”

So if it is in error, then the original manuscripts written in the Koine Greek (which is what the language of the New testament is) is not correct. I would not depend upon my own translation because then indeed, it COULD be in error, as I’ve had my share Jonathan. What do you think sir? Thanks again for your comment and visiting us.

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David March 4, 2012 at 10:07 pm

King James version states “shall not perish”

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Jack Wellman March 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Thank you David for your giving us the KVJ but the King James version post dates (came over a thousand years later than) the Koine Greek, which the original manuscripts read, “For in this way God loved the world: that he gave the unique son, so that all the ones trusting in him would not perish, but have eternal life.” The “have” in have eternal life is in the imperfect tense, meaning that it is non-conditional or they already posses eternal life so it is not so much “shall not perish” as much as it is “will not [most certain already] perish.”

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Micah Crossman January 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Personally I immediately thought of Rev. 3:5 and was pleasantly supposed to see Latrice bring it up. I believe it, at a minimum, points towards Christ having an eraser. The context of the church in Rev. 3 is that they had a reputation of being alive yet now they have soiled their garments. Why would Jesus have an eraser? Second the Hebrew word for life and living in Psalms 69 are the same. Transliteration CHAY. You can’t cross reference it of course with the new testament Book of Life because that is Writen in Greek. If the Creator is complex beyond our wildest dreams, why do we think we can make such grandiose statements like one can not loose their salvation. This is ramped in the modern church. One is Calvin while another is Armenian. Someone else says the Lords Supper was not wine. All of these discussions bring simplicity to subjects that are far to serious.

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Benjamin Chamblee February 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I have grown up in church, and been a part of every denomination, and I see both viewpoints. I believe that once you truly give your all to God, and love Him with everything within you, I believe it would be almost impossible to turn your back on him. However, I do believe you can backslide, therefore blotting your name out of the Lamb’s Book of Life. The scripture that I would like to throw out there includes, “you will know a tree by the fruit that it bears.” If your life is not producing the fruits that the Bible talks about, then you have no part with Chirst and with eternal life.

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Jack February 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Thank you Benjamin for your comment. I am so glad that you found our website and it is my hope that you will return to bless again with such comments as this. May God richly bless you in your walk with Christ.

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j.olivo March 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

These verses somewhat confuse me because these lawless workers seem to believe they have salvation. I need help on this.

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Jack March 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Hello J.Olivo. Thank you for your comment and question. This verse is a serious warning. This is from Matthew 7:21-23 and Jesus is telling the difference between true disciples of His and false ones who only said that they are “Christian”. I know many people who say, “Yes I am a Christian” but then they never go to church, they never read their Bible, the continue to sin openly like drink, do drugs, swear and cuss, and show no fruits of the Holy Spirit. These are the “many” who say today that they know the Lord but truly are not converted. As 1 John 3:6 says, “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

Do you see that John says the same thing. They don’t “know Him” and He does not know them but they are fooling themselves thinking that they are really a good person and will go to heaven but good works are like filthy rags to God. Does this help? For more, read this link about what a person’s fate is that say, “Yes, I’m a good person” at the below link. I hope this helps. If not, please comment again or click the “Contact” link at the top of the webpage. Thank you.

http://www.everydaychristian.com/blogs/post/8601/

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carlos March 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Hi Jack, appreciate your perspective and interpretation. However, there are numerous versus that counter your view. When I pray and read the bible, and understanding God from the old testament as well as providing his son as a sacrifice, the spirit guides me to believe one can back slide, be removed from the book and be judged more severely then those who never new him. The GOD that hates sin is going to accept those that turn from his son, that do not repent and have an active relationship because they once believed? We have free will, and someone can absolutely belief in something and then change their mind. Does not revelation state this clearly? Also Hebrew 10: 26-31 clearly addresses those that know the truth (God) then turn from him. “No sacrifice for sins is left but only a fearful expectation of judgement and of raging fire…” “how much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the son of god under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” This clearly states of someone who was sanctified. In fact Jesus states, “because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” If your saved no matter what if you accept Christ then why would he say those who stands firm to the end? Also the parable, “Why do you call me, “Lord , Lord,’ and do not do what I say?…” goes on to discuss the man that listens and builds a house with a foundation on a rock, the other man’s house collapses the moment the torrent is struck. It shows just believing is not enough; while our works can not save us alone faith with out works is empty too. Lastly, and there are many more versus, the parable of the farmer who went out to sow his seed. “Those that land on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in time of testing they fall away.” I think its pretty clear here. As a christian I believe professing that once saved always saved is not only incorrect but dangerous. Thank you for allowing our posts and God Bless.

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Jack March 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Thank you Carlos for your comment. I do not believe it is dangerous to believe the eternal security of the believer or what is called “the perseverance of the saints.” How is this dangerous? How fearful to feel saved one day only to feel they are lost the next. Perfect love is said to cast out fear. The parable of the sower is that those who have no root were never clearly saved in the first place.

Did Jesus really mean what He said in John 6:37 and John 10:28-29 which both clearly testify that once God calls you and saves you, He will not ever caste you away or you can never be snatched from Jesus’ hand or the Father’s hand? And what of Paul’s statement where he said in Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus?” Never means in the Koine Greek, never!

Does the passage you quoted mean if we commit the sin (mentioned in this passage) we can never again be forgiven and find grace from God? If the “sin” was referring to any kind of sin like murder or adultery, then all such sins have been forgiven through Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross. But in this context, the phrase “deliberately keep on sinning” or to “sin willfully” (in the NKJV) is actually referring to the sin of unbelief. We need to confess that sin to God and repent of it. If we continue to sin willfully, then there is obviously no repentance and every reason to question the truth of the conversion. The author wrote the book of Hebrews primarily to the Hebrew Christians during the time of persecution of the early church to exhort them not to depart from their faith. They were under pressure by the legalistic Judiasers to reject Jesus’ sacrifice and go back to the temple to sacrifice bulls and goats instead. That would be tantamount to “trampling the Son of God under foot” and insulting the Spirit of grace, because Jesus’ blood is far more precious and efficacious than the animals’ blood in removing all our sins. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4) Read John Mac Arthurs Study Bible, R.C. Sprouls Reformation Study Bible, or Lightfoots, or nearly every Study Bible.

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.”
(Hebrews 10:12)

If you read the history behind this time of the early church and church historical records from the early church fathers on this, you will understand that the writer gives truths and urgings to both saved and unsaved Hebrews who are in and among the regional target community of that age between Messiah’s ascension, and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Certainly the community, where the letter was destined to arrive, was primarily composed of Hebrews who already believe in Jesus as Messiah, but it is absolutely vital that we keep in mind the fact that the letter is written to saved Hebrews to take in hand, guard, learn from, and teach, yet with unsaved Hebrews in mind.
If you do nothing to contribute to your salvation and if you did not cause your salvation, how can you cause anything to loose it?

John 6:37, John 10:28-29, Phil 1:6, and 1 Cor 1:8. Please explain these verses and square them with your once saved-can be lost again doctrine please by giving me your interpretation of them one at a time and I may believe. It is far more dangerous to believe and teach you can be saved and then, opps, lose it thru human sin, error or walking away.

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Ed July 20, 2012 at 2:20 am

Hi Jack…I’ve read through the comments, and it seems like you’re steadfast in your belief about ‘once saved-always saved’.

It seems a common criticism leveled at the ‘Conditional Salvation’ adherents is that we believe that one sin, or a small series of sins would cause a believer to become ‘unsaved’. I don’t know of any Protestant who believes that. If they did, the Paul would be at times unsaved, according to his confession at the end of Romans 7. But obviously Paul was saved and still sinned. BUT, he did not live according to the sinful nature within him. He said in Romans 8 that those who did ‘will die’ (v. 13). There is a distinction between ‘committing sins’ and ‘living according to the sinful nature’. All believers commit sins, but believers don’t live according to the sinful nature. (v.4, v.9)

I have a question for you. Does our faith depend on our belief? If a person is truly saved through faith, follows Christ and serves the Lord for many years, with much fruit, and later decides NOT to have faith, and in fact does not believe…was such a person ever saved? Or are they still saved?

I see nobody answered your questions from March 13…so I will try to answer them from the Conditional Salvation perspective:

John 6:37: Jesus says he will never ‘drive away’ those who come to him. True, the former-believer falls away on his own choice. Christ doesn’t push anyone away who comes to him in faith, repentance and obedience.

John 10: 28-29: It’s important to add verse 27…he is talking about people who ‘follow him’…I don’t think the verse applies to people who choose not to follow him. It is true that Jesus will give eternal life to those who listen (and keep listening) and follow him. Some would argue that nobody can snatch anyone from Jesus’ hand, but free-will allows to leave by choice (at our own peril).

Phil 1:6 and 1 Cor 1:8…these verses apply to the two churches, plural…I don’t think they apply to the individual. In 1 Cor. 1:7 he says ‘you do not lack any spiritual gift’, but we know that all Christians don’t possess all spirtual gifts. On Phil 1:6, Paul expresses in ‘confidence’ which is not exactly a promise. I can be confident that my truck will start tomorrow and I will get to Bible study on time…however, the starter may fail and I would be late.

Anyway, good discussion. Thanks and God Bless You.

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Jack Wellman July 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Ed, thank you so much sir. I do not like the “once saved, always saved” when people use it. I am not in support of this because it takes for granted the gift of eternal life and can easily make us render the blood of the Lamb as a license to sin (licentiousness). I appreciate your words and know what you were saying and I realize you didn’t insinuate that I said those words but believe this.

One thing that is interesting is that I am always learning and will never, naturally, arrive. I love the verse of John 6:44 which says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” The Greek word for “draw” is literally drag. The same word that was used in Acts 16:19 where “When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.” Dragged in Acts 16:19 is the same word in John 6:44 that is rendered (falsely) “draw” and is the same word that the Greeks used to drag or draw water out of a well. Who is doing the dragging or drawing in John 6:44. God Himself.

Let me put it this way about my salvation:

He sought me, He caught me, He bought me, He taught me, what I ought be. Its all about HE and the only thing the “Me” brings is a heart full of sin and hands that are only empty.

I heard of a person who for 16 years after they were “saved” lived a life of crime, drugs, adultery, and sinfulness to the hilt. Now, after reading 1 John 3, were they really saved in the first place? If they lost their salvation and then found it again, then did they really have it in the first place because 1 John 3 seems to suggest that they never truly knew God for no believer continues in and constantly abides in sin. As for John 10:27, if they are following Him, they are not abiding in sin as a lifestyle (1 John 3). One of the greatest evidences of whether one knows Him or not is in that chapter. The present indicative or present possessive form is used nearly ever time when Jesus says “I give them eternal life.” Would Jesus give something for those who trust Him completely and then only to take it back if they “fall away?”

Thank you Ed.

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Maria July 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I am really trying to come to terms with this conversation. The bible does say no sin can enter into heaven I believe that means you have never asked forgiveness for your sin and accepted the Lord and the blood of jesus has not been applied to your life and heart, If it was you have to live sin free after your conversion then we all must prepare our selves for hell because none of us are without sin….whether it is exagerating the truth which is lying, coveting something someone else has cause we have to keep up with the Jones’s or as serious as murder sin is sin…..no big sin no little sin sin is sin so if no sin is gonna enter there we all might as well give up because this is something we will struggle with until we are transformed into our new being…..I do however not believe a person should practice sin as a part of their life if you are walking in the light you might stumble into darkness and sin but you will not stay there…the bible says a righteous man falls but he gets up…..we are all capable of falling at anytime if we think not woe to us because the bible also says pride comes before the fall and afterwards destruction…..bottom line I believe only God sees a person’s heart and knows if it is turned toward him and the motives a person has and He alone knows when people have we like to call them weaknesses but really they are sin…..that they are trying to get free from….so I say don’t judge someone just because you think they are not right with God even if they sin because God is the only one who sees into our heart…man looks on the outward but God looks at the heart….and I believe the scripture whenever God calls someone he will see it to completation they may be some maturing and learning and growing and humbling and road blocks in the way but before it is over GOD WILL SEE THAT PERSON CALLING AND SALAVATION TO THE VERY END NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES……..thanks and God Bless

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Vince May 13, 2013 at 8:13 am

Amen Maria. After being discharged from the United States Navy, Three tours in Vietnam. I received Jesus in 1972 and gave my life to Him. In 1973 to 76 studied for the mission of reaching the world for Him.
1973-93 Worked with Amor en Accion Mission’s Stationed overseas in Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Salta, Argentina. Rio de Janeiro & Porto Alegre, Brazil. Lapaz, Bolivia. Equador and Lima, Peru & directed three more Youth Retreats in Spain

1998-99 Attended Evangelism Explosion classes, answering visitor’s questions and going on home visitations upon request. (The most fulfilling experience in life is to be with someone when they come to Jesus)
2010-2013 Worked in the Got Questions team and lead teams with Evangelism Explosion at Mclean Bible Church 1998-2013 Started A Plus Renovations LLC MHIC 88188 designed the internet site & I own and run it.
During my life if there is one thing I have learned it is that I have not become a sinless saint, but I have come to the knowledge that without Him I cannot get into Heaven. As Paul said Rom. 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

As Jesus said only God is Good. Luke 18:19 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19And Jesus said to him, Why call you me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

We do not ever come to complete perfection until He brings us home to heaven.

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janecanapilim@yahoo.ca August 4, 2012 at 11:37 am

thank you for summing it all up on “Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation?”. i have so much joy for the affirmation that I dont lose my salvation. it makes me want to share to others and please the Lord more.

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Jack Wellman August 4, 2012 at 11:52 am

Thank you so much for such an encouraging comment. Many are troubled over Heb 6:4-6 that says its impossible for those who were once enlightened that if they should fall away, can be renewed again. Let me address that here using Scripture. Consider the alternative, that you could lose your salvation. By virtue of the fact that you could lose it, would mean that keeping salvation would depend upon you efforts or actions. In other words, a person who says that he can lose his salvation for whatever reason, is in reality saying that he is trusting in human works to save himself. Look at Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace (mercy) are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.”

A good rule to remember when interpreting difficult passages in the Bible is as follows: Whenever you have a passage that is difficult to understand you never allow it to contradict a clear passage on the subject. In other words, you should interpret a difficult passage in the light of clear passage. A good rule to remember when interpreting difficult passages in the Bible is as follows: Whenever you have a passage that is difficult to understand you never allow it to contradict a clear passage on the subject. In other words, you should interpret a difficult passage in the light of clear passage.

“If they shall fall away” is not referring to salvation but it is referring to the “Christian life”! Hebrews 6:1 tells us that the writer is speaking about things that accompany salvation. Hebrews 6:1 tells us that the writer is talking about maturity in the Christian life and not about how to be saved. If a believer falls away from serving the Lord, the procedure is not to become saved again. That is impossible. It is impossible to “renew” them again unto repentance (the change of mind necessary to trust in Christ as Saviour). Hebrews 6:6 warns that if you try to become saved again all you do is crucify Jesus Christ afresh to yourself, thereby shaming Jesus Christ. The Bible does not teach that one must be born again and again and again, etc. You can only be born-again once, never to be cast out (John 6:37) or lost (John 6:39). Salvation is complete and final. (Read John 5:24). Does this reaffirm your salvation? I do hope so because many bring up this Hebrews 6:4-6 to cast doubt where it ought not be, and needlessly so.

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Daniel Chavez September 8, 2012 at 8:21 am

Jack wellman speaks like Paul washer lol. I love it. God bless you brother. I’ve only been walking for a year and this is truth! Salvation involves regeneration! The evidence that one is truly converted is that he is born again! Salvation is not human decision but a supernatural work of God and that is by having faith in Christ Jesus. You cannot jump from the bus that leads to hell into the his leading to heaven. Since when has man had such authority to decide for God? The Bible says that those who stand condemned are those who do not believe and what necessarily a Christian? A believer. It clear that if you know God that you will obey God’s commands! In first john 2:3. Many will say Lord Lord haven’t I casted out demons in your name and done many miraculous signs and he will say depart from me all those who practice lawlessness, you claim to know me, yet you you act as though I never gave you a law to obey. Therefore, your profession of faith means nothing if you do not obey his commands – Titus 1:15-16. Prior to our salvation I truly believe a person must be born again! And if I asked myself how do I know I’m born again? I’d simply say this, has God so worked in your heart that what you once loved you now hate? Do you now have a knew relationship with God and with sin? Anyway, guys don’t break my heart. I’m still learning in my walk. God bless you all and thank you all. I love you all. Share please. I’m always opened to hear.

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Jack Wellman September 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Amazing post Daniel. You truly live up to the meaning of your name, which means ” “God is my judge”. To be mentioned in the same breath as Paul Washer is better to me than I deserve. This man is truly evangelistic and passionately desires to rescue the perishing. I have heard this man preach. It’s an exhilarating experience to be sure. Please come back soon Daniel. I see you have such a hunger and thirst to know God. God bless you young man. I wish I had you in the church that I am under-shepherd of. Wow.

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Daniel Chavez September 9, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Thank You, Brother Jack. It’s funny how you’re able to tell that I’m a young man lol. I’m 26, I’m grateful that God has given me ears to hear and eyes to see and that I’m not spiritually blind in my youth. God gave me many gifts, to understand scriptures and to evangalize! And to definitely tell people the things that they like to blot out and don’t want to hear! Scriptures is not to be preached to sound pleasing to man but it suppose to sound scandelous in man’s ears. Today’s Gospel has become so carnel that nearly no one preaches about sin anymore, especially when that is one of the greatest works of the holy spirit, which is to convict us of our sins! A verse that I love to meditate on is Romans 8:1 – There’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This verse seems to enlighten many people but what came to my mind after I read this verse for the very first time is, how do I know I’m saved? And why do I believe that I am saved? Why???? And how do I know I’m just not a condemned man???? Why???? Because someone laid hands on me?!? Why?!? Because someone prayed over me for five minutes and declared me to be saved? I have even heard many people’s stories about them losing their salvation and how some have gone out seeking some other faith like the JW for example. Whenever I hear people speaking about losing their Salvation, this verse just comes to my mind, Jeremiah 32:40 “I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me. So it brings me to my knees that such people were never saved in the first place. It’s either you’re saved or you’re not! I remember what Jesus told Nicodemus, the evidence that you have seen God is not because you have seen miraculous signs but the evidence that you have truly seen him is because you were born a new creature (born again)! So I realized that when a person is born again, he’s given a new heart of flesh for that old heart of his which is of stone, everything done by the power of the Holy Spirit. And when a man is born a new creature, he’s dead to his old sinful nature and born a new man. Whereas, a man is able to delight in God, respond to God and sin has no power over his life! I remember asking myself, why am I struggling so much with sin and why do I feel so sick to my gut when I give in to it? Many times I’ve felt so disgusted, that no matter how many times I would bathe, nothing would be able to take away this nasty pain troubling my spirit! I remember being in the world and never struggling with sin because it was a part of my nature, and by this, I now understand what the bible means by having a heart of stone! A man is so corrupted in his sin that he doesn’t acknowledge it, no more than a fish knows he’s under water! I noticed that the evidence that God has done a good work in my life is because I would mourn myself to sleep and live in brokeness after I have sinned, and even struggling with sin was evident that God has done a good work in me because never was it a struggle when I was living in this world. Few enter the narrow gate, but many among those few that enter the narrow gate forget about one thing and that is the narrow path. I truly believe that a man cannot walk the narrow path unless he’s born again! A man who isn’t born again still lives in his sinful nature and both his pleasures and his desires pertain to this world. If a man declares to be saved but is still walking in his old corrupt mind, getting drunk, fornicating, doing drugs, using profanity, sleeping with his brother’s wife, stealing, lying, evidence is that his pleasures pertain to this world and not in God, but a man who’s truly born will do everything for the glory of God! If he wants to be pleased, it pleases him to do what is pleasing to his Lord! For Those who claim to be Christians and live immoral lives, chances are that they have never been saved, because a man who is Christian will do those only to please the Lord and not himself! When we are given a new heart, it is in our nature to please the Lord and not take pleasure in this world. Our desire is to please the Lord, to do things that only please him. The things of this world makes a new man sick! The world is an enemy to a man born a new creature! Try feeding a dog people food for the first time and see what you’ll get out of it! Next time try feeding that dog some dog food, chances are he won’t eat it. Because he’s born to like new foods and the old he hates! So anyone who says he has fellowship with the Lord, and is walking in darkness is a liar. To have fellowship with the Lord would be like saying that a man is saved and to have fellowship with the Lord is to do everything to please the Lord! If a man is a genuine believer, it is in him not to do something that is knowingly an abomination to God. His desire is to walk the narrow path! And he will walk that narrow path! The world is the way to destruction.

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Jack Wellman September 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Hello Daniel…we truly need more Holy Spirit filled men like you my friend. Your comments remind me of 1 John chapter 3 which is the acid test of whether you are a believer or not. Your words ring true. If a person loses what they believe is their salvation, then I don’t believe they really had it in the first place. Go back to the first paragraph of the friend of mine who was so troubled by his feeling that he had it one day and lost it the next. I am as persuaded as Paul was when he wrote in Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The Lord is not a giver and then taker as far as salvation goes. Jesus Himself said it in John 11:25-26, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” The Greek “present indicative” is that he HAS eternal life…already inherent. I believe Jesus and don’t believe my doubts. Thanks Daniel.

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Ed September 11, 2012 at 12:22 am

Jack…it’s been a few weeks, but I thought I would ‘chime in’ on your recent comments.

I liked your wording on 1 John 3 as the ‘acid test’ for the believer. It sets the standard very high…much higher than most churches I have attended!

In the same post, you quoted John 11: 25-26 where Jesus seems to be saying we are saved by ‘believing’.

So, isn’t it logical that the man who ‘believes and lives’ would no longer “keep sinning” (1 Jn 3:6)? I think that’s what John is saying.

Yet, it seems many ‘believers’ who claim eternal salvation would say that continued sinning has no consequence, since everything is ‘covered by grace’ for those who simply believe.

Perhaps you could comment on that?

Also, please help me understand your view of James 5:19-20. It seems that James is saying that a ‘brother’ could ‘wander from the truth’, become a ‘sinner’, and could be ‘saved from death’. Isn’t a ‘brother’ already saved from death? How did he become a ‘sinner’ again, and require someone ‘bring him back’ and to ‘turn him from the error of his ways’?

Lastly, I know of a man who who has served Christ faithfully for decades, but rather recently confessed that he had made false deductions on his tax returns for many years. He knew it was wrong, but he never got caught and really never considered the matter any big deal, since it was all ‘under grace’. Still, the sinning continued year after year. Now he has stopped the sin and is filing truthful returns. So, was he actually ‘saved’ decades ago, or was he deceived about his salvation for all those years and only now truly a believer?

I would appreciate any thoughts.

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Jack Wellman September 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Hello Ed. It is good to hear from you again. Regarding James 5:19-20, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” it appears that if a person wanders away from the truth, this means that they have wandered into sinful actions and these can result in a premature death, as Paul told the Corinthians who were taking the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner and so some have “fallen asleep” (died). If you can show a person who is committing adultery for example, tell them that the Lord will chasten them and have them brought back to the truth but to win them back to the truth (or the faith). I do not believe James means eternal death for his soul, for that would contradict Jesus teachings in John 3, 7 and 10 and so on. The fact that by doing so, this love will cover “a multitude of sins” by this loving correction. When looking at difficult Scriptures, I have been taught to look at other Scriptures to place against them to bring to light what this means.

As far as the tax cheating brother, this might be just what James was talking about. If he continued in this, you would have needed to warn this man of the wrath of God for a believer who knows better. To say he is under grace is to do what Paul said, licentiousness (a license to sin) which Paul says, “God forbid.” Only God knows whether this man was truly saved because if you read 1 John chapter 3, he surely didn’t show that he was saved by his continuing to abide in sin so he may have had an easy believism…(so to speak) or just recently came to actual saving faith for no one who is born of God continues to sin (1 John 3). Does this help Ed? Thanks much.

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Ed September 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Hi Jack …that does help a bit…especially about the tax cheat. I believe a man has every reason to question his salvation if he chooses to continue in sinful habits…regardless of teachers and people who tell him everything is eternally settled for him.

On the James 5: 19-20 passage, I agree that we need to examine and consider other scripture when interpreting difficult passages.

When James uses the word ‘death’ (Greek: thanatos) it is the same word used regularly in scripture for the fate of unbelievers.

Romans 6:23 – the wages of sin is death
Romans 8:6 -to be carnally-minded is death
James 1:15 – sin, when finished brings forth death
1 John 3:14 – he who loves not his brother abides in death
John 5:24 -he (the believer) has crossed from death to life
John 8:51 – if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death

‘Falling asleep’ uses the Greek word ‘koimao’ which refers to those who, despite a physical death, have a future hope (1 Thes. 4: 13, 15).

I will admit that ‘thanatos’ is also used for physical death in the NT, however I think James is writing about ‘separation from God’ at the end of his epistle. Especially so when he says “will save his SOUL (not body) from death”.

The last words of James are interesting as well…the person correcting the ‘wanderer’ will: 1) save his soul and 2) cover a multitude of sins. Didn’t that happen ‘once and for all’ when the man became a ‘brother’ the first time?

I not surprised that Martin Luther was opposed to including James in the Canon of scripture.

I continue to enjoy our correspondence.

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Jack Wellman September 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Hi Ed. I will have to get back with you on this one friend. There is much to consider here. I now you are right about Martin Luther.

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Ed September 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Addendum – on my last entry. I noticed the the Greek does not have ‘soul’ in James 5:20. It could be James is talking about a physical death, but the verbage and context seems to be more eternal. In the same verse, using the KJV, the ‘brother’ who ‘errs from the truth’ needs to be ‘converted’.

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Jack Wellman September 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm

It just seems to me that this would fly in the face of eternal life being a gift because why would Jesus give the gift of eternal life and then allow it to be lost when all of the times that Jesus said “has eternal life” the possessive form? It is hard to use 2 verses to throw out all the other ones numbering nearly in the hundreds, do you think?

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Ed September 12, 2012 at 1:13 am

Hello again, Jack. I hope I am not wearing out my welcome here.

I agree it would be folly to ‘throw out’ scripture based on two verses. Perhaps James got it wrong. Or, maybe he disagreed with Paul. Or perhaps we need to re-examine our understanding of some other verses to see how James fits into the picture.

In John 15, using the NIV, Christ says “remain in me and I will remain in you” (v.4) and “if anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away…into the fire and burned” (v.6). If we are ‘branches on the vine (Christ)’, we have a responsibility to ‘remain’, but Jesus gives us reason to believe it is possible NOT to remain, chiefly by not producing fruit.

Paul sites a similar ‘obligation’ to his ‘brothers’ in Romans 8:12-13. Jesus requires fruit, Paul requires that Christians put to death the misdeeds of the body.

Christ also taught that some would ‘believe’ and then fall away. In Luke 8, the parable of the soils tells us that some hear the word of God, but don’t believe and are not saved…no surprise there! But then he says some ‘believe for a while’ but then fall away. Because of some of the scriptures you have mentioned, I’m led to think that those people are saved, for a time, by their ‘belief’. But then they fall-away in time of testing. So I must determine what ‘fall away’ means. Perhaps it is what James was talking about in his epistle? Are those who ‘fall-away’ still saved, regardless of their change of belief and/or sinful lifestyles?

You wrote ‘has eternal life’ is in the ‘possessive form’, and I think we do possess eternal life if we abide in Christ. But our faith and position must be maintained. Theologians can debate who does the ‘maintenance’, the Holy Spirit, or us, or both. I am convinced at this point in my walk that it is possible for sincere people to change their minds about Christ. Some would disagree.

Paul had a companion named Demus, and wrote that he was a ‘fellow worker’ with Paul (Philemon 1:24). But Demas later left Paul ‘because he loved this world’. ‘Loving the world’ means the Father is not in us, according to 1 John 2:15. Are we still saved if the love of the Father is not in us? I think John would say ‘no’.

Another teaching of Christ was about a ‘master’ and ‘three servants’. The master entrusted each servant with a talent. Two were faithful and productive and entered into the master’s happiness. One servant, who was also entrusted by his master, turned out to be lazy, neglected his responsibility and thrown into darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-28)

As Christians, we are God’s servants. I am rather unconvinced that we can in fact be servants of God without belonging to Him, as we can do nothing good on our own (John 15:15, Romans 7: 18, 25).

Yet Jesus tells of unprepared ‘servant’ who will be ‘cut to pieces’ and ‘assigned a place with unbelievers’. (Luke 12:46). Could this wicked servant have one time been within the family or ‘household’ of believers? From Luke’s wording, it seems that the wicked servant fell from his position of authority within the master’s realm to a much lower place, with ‘unbelievers’. Christ goes on to say that those who know the master’s will (believers who had at one time received the Spirit?) but don’t do it will suffer greater punishment than those who don’t know his will.

That’s enough for now. It is sufficient to say that sometimes we need to question our understanding of some scripture that we think we are sure about, and consider those same verses in light of other scripture that would appear to have a conflicting message.

I hope you would agree…at least with the last sentence!

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Daniel Chavez September 12, 2012 at 4:41 am

Hello Jack, hi Ed. I don’t mean to chip in but if we read back in Chapter 1 of James, it says that this letter is written to the “twelve tribes” Jewish believers scattered abroad. To me this could be like anyone out there who had some seed planted in their heart and have drifted away from the truth due to some other teaching. We can say that stuff like this happens everyday. It could happen to a neighbor who has been introduced to the truth at some point in their lives or someone out there in the streets. Or even someone who’s made a profession of faith at some point in their lives and believed to be saved because of a decision they once made, yet they are still living worldly lives. If we take a clear look at Hebrews 2, we might be able to see almost the same thing that is written in James’s letter. Look at Hebrews 2:1-4 for just a quick sec. Now whenever I read it, it reminds me of Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:5. When he said, examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith. To see if your faith is genuine. Not false! This makes sense of the parable of the scattering farmer.

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Daniel Chavez September 12, 2012 at 4:44 am

Oops I meant, parable of the farmer scattering seed. Sorry!

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Daniel Chavez September 12, 2012 at 5:19 am

A Christian will bear fruit but the evidence of anyone who’s isn’t regenerated is that they are still doing what pleases both their flesh and this world. That person is still caught up with his old man. Romans 6:1-2 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we still live in it?

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Ed September 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Hi Daniel…thanks for your thoughts. I agree with most of what you said. James does address his letter to the “12 tribes”, but it is obvious he is instructing Jewish Christians (James 2:1), not those who are under the law.

I did read Hebrews 2: 1-4 as you suggested, and it is useful.

It seems to me when the Bible talks about ‘falling away’, ‘wandering from the truth’, ‘drifting away’ etc., it implies previously having been ‘there’ (in the truth, or under grace in Galatians 5, or sharing the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 6).

For instance, I can’t fall off a roof I have never been on, or wander away from a place I have never been. I don’t think a person who has never known the truth (Jesus) could wander away from it.

In Hebrews 2:1, I believe the author is addressing the ‘heirs of salvation’ mentioned with the previous verse (1:14), and encourageing them to be careful and not drift away. To ‘drift away’ was tantamount to ‘ignoring salvation’ (v.3)…not a place any of us want to be!

Last note on the parable of the seeds/soils. For the man who ‘believes for a while, then falls away’, there seems to be two logical conclusions, if we assume that such a man does not inherit eternal life. One, he believes, but it is not a ‘saving’ faith. Or, two, he WAS saved by faith, but is no longer saved.

The major problem I see with the first conclusion is that we must then define the difference between what Jesus called ‘belief’ and ‘saving faith’ which results in eternal salvation. I’m hard pressed to do that using scripture and the context that Christ is teaching within. Perhaps you can help me?

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Daniel Chavez September 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Hello Ed, regarding our discussion about your topic, I am a little confused myself but if you look closely and turn your bible to hebrews 6:4-8, we might see something here. Let’s look at verses 4&5 and meditate on these verses, we can understand that ” those who were once enlightened and have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the holy spirit, and tasted the goodness of the word of God have turned away or drifted away.” I’m already assuming this has to do with the “truth” that James wrote about in 5:19-20 which can also be linked also to Hebrews 2:1-4, the truth which men have drifted from. Now, if we look at verses 6:7-8, it is clear that this whole chapter isn’t talking about losing salvation. If we read verses 7&8 it may be clear that this entire discussion has to do with those men who again claim to be Christians but aren’t producing fruit. Verse 7 simply signifies a man who’s blessed and saved and the evidence is because he’s bearing fruit, but look at v8, it is clear enough to say that this is referring to a man who isn’t bearing, therefore, he’s condemned and cursed. It leaves us to understand that he was never saved, therefore that branch must be cut off and casted out! Now look at verse 9 where writer is specifically telling his men that this is not applying to them, those already saved, born again and bearing fruit! Now I’m thinking that if a person falls away and recrucifies God the son, he has never been justified. His faith was never a saving faith. Hebrews 6:6 would contradict the new covenant if it meant that people could be truly justified members of the new covenant and then fall away and be rejected. It is not dependent of us whether we persevere in faith and master fruit. He is working in us and it is dependent on God and not in our own effort. I mean, anybody can believe like I have when I was in the world. I truly believed that Jesus was God but I was too proud. Even the demons believe. My thing is that people are just getting baptized for the wrong reasons when their hearts are actually wrong with God! Even when a man repents he does it all in his own effort. This shows that he’s proud, self- righteous, self- justified, self- exalted, and his strength, hope, trust, isn’t in God but in man! he’s relying in himself to be delivered from his ways rather than God being his only source of wisdom! But when a man actually repents it’s because he’s helpless and when he’s come to an end and notices nothing is in his power! I mean, a man shouldn’t trust in himself to maintain his own righteousness, neither to maintain his own justification. Now I don’t want to jump out of topic here. All of your points I truly agree with but I will have to do more studying on this. Just check this out for now. This has to do with that word belief like you said!

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Eliseo January 5, 2013 at 2:35 am

“Once Saved Always Saved” = Promotes Sin
“You Can Loose Your Salvation” = Promotes Keeping Your Faith Strong

Now before you dismiss me, I decided to put this first cause whether you agree or not it sure does get your attention.

People don’t be fooled.
I don’t understand why some of you keep trying to make this a sin issue when it really is a State of Body, Soul and Spirit issue. The Bible doesn’t say you can loose your salvation because of sin. So we know sin isn’t the case. Sin is only the means/ the instrument/ the medium in which all evil tries to separate your Body, soul and spirit away from your Salvation.
Now I believe in eternal security the Bible clearly says it. You know without a doubt you will go to heaven when your Body, soul and spirit are living as one in Christ. There is absolutely no one that can snatch you away from his hand. God with us who against us. But it also says a house divided will fall. The Body, soul and spirit must be one in Christ. We cannot serve 2 masters.

Jesus has already done everything for us to enter the kingdom of God. And for us to truly accept it is Having our Body, soul and spirit as one in Christ enduring till the day we Die. Repent!

The Bible, what’s it’s purpose? What does it do? I know you’re hearts are in the right place but you guys know deep down once Saved Always Saved promotes sin. Don’t kid yourselves. The only weapon the devil has to try to confuse you. “The Bible” = Does not promote sin /Does promote keeping your Faith Strong.. So which one is Biblical? I’ll leave it up for you to decide.

But I encourage everyone to not believe us until you read the Bible for yourself and the Holy Spirit reveals you the truth

I apologize if there are any typing errors I wrote this on my phone at 2 in the morning 🙂

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Jay January 23, 2013 at 3:21 am

Matthew7:21-23 shows us that not everyone who says they r belivers will go to heaven, 1peter 2:16 show that we have been free but not to satisfy our flesh, therefore if we then start to backslide to our old life or to the habbits of our old life and die without repenting we will not enter heaven,rev. 21:27. Ezeq. 33:13-20 show that once we r saved but then start giving ourselves to sin again we will not enter heaven. We all sin but the difference.is r we giving ourselves to sin. The bible says that through the blood of Jesus the chains of sin have been brroken and has no power over u, and that nothing will snatch u away from the Lord. But its a different thing when u yourself give yourself back into it. Read..hebrews 10:26-31 matthew 25:41-45, faith withoutgood works is dead. James 2:19-20

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Nathan Filyk January 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm

For those who criticize the concept of “Once Saved, Always Saved” what would be the opposite?

“Once Saved, Never Saved?”

Do you have an alternative? How about “Once Saved, Maybe Saved?”

Going further, if you doubt your salvation, does that mean you are unsaved? In that sense, why not “Once Saved, Maybe Saved, As Long As You’re Sure.”

This is a slippery slope. If we have no assurance of salvation and eternal security as Christians, what do we have?

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” – 1 Corinthians 15:19

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Jack Wellman January 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Well done sir. I believe you nailed it. If a person believes that they can lose their salvation by their own works, they must also believe that they can earn it by the same. I agree with you. If we can blow it, then we are most miserable. What peace is there in that. Thank you for standing up for this “perseverance of the saints” doctrine which is so widely taught in the New Testament and even in parts of the Old testament. If a person believes that they can lose something that they never were able to achieve in the first place, they obviously have never read and believe much of the Bible, i.e., Eph 1 & 2, John 10, John 3, 1 John, etc. Thank you sir for your comment.

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Nathan Filyk January 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Amazing Law, how horrid the sound,
That condemned a wretch like me.
I once was found but now am lost,
Could see, but now am blind.

T’was Law that taught my heart to fear.
And Law, my fears confirmed.
How tenuous did Grace disappear
The hour I last believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
but Grace won’t lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as my good works, faith, and personal righteousness
and some other miscellaneous factors endure.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess outside the veil,
A life of fear and torment.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Flames burning as the sun.
We’ve no less days to rue the day
Of when we first begun.

Amazing Law, how horrid the sound,
That condemned a wretch like me.
I once was found but now am lost,
Could see, but now am blind.

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Jack Wellman January 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Love this. You made your point indeed. If a person can lose their salvation then we need to throw out half the church hymns that have ever been written, tear out dozens of pages of the Bible, and say that grace is only amazing as long as you keep it. What’s so amazing about that?

Thanks for this. Well said and in a very unique way!

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Jack Wellman January 31, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Nathan, there is a lady that is so mixed up on one article called on this link:

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/can-a-christian-commit-suicide-and-still-be-saved-a-biblical-analysis/#comments

What do you think my brother?

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Nathan Filyk January 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Thank you, Jack. I find your comments are inspiring and balanced, because you still allow opinions from all sides of the issue and admit yourself that you are not all-knowing about every facet of the issue (only God is), but you present a strong and convincing argument for your soteriological position.

Here is a good sermon I found on the issue of eternal security, that touches on the verse I quoted above:
http://www.tollandbaptist.org/audio/fears-tears-jeers

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Jack Wellman January 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Loved the message my friend. I feel sad for those who feel that they can lose what they have not gained in the first place. When Jesus said, in His last breath, “It is finished”, the original language indicated that He basically said, “Paid in full” and so why do we want to say that we can nullify His payment? Thanks brother.

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Jason Durnil February 14, 2013 at 1:33 am

You know, Ive been a solid follower for years but I just had things spiral out of control this last month. Thank God Im almost back with interest. I became weak and the enemy has been really beating me up with lies. Ive come to determine these lies have been planted slowly over the years until now, Im near defenseless. Im wondering if Im saved. HA, I cant believe I let him con me like this. Point is, after being on both sides of always saved and can loose your salvation, Im looking at this logically now.

At what point are you saved?
At what point do you loose your salvation?

You see, when any of us first believe we still only understand how to live in the world. There is no righteousness in us besides being able to believe. I will call this 99.99% carnal, from our perspective. This of course is based on a new believers actions.

Even now that Ive been walking with the Lord for many years Id call myself %50 carnal. Sure, there where times I thought I was %100 righteous from my own view but the truth is, think about all of the non-righteous stuff that goes on in our minds. If you ever worry, have anger, get prideful, doubt, envy, covet, delay forgiveness, and so on. Pass up an opportunity to love someone because we didn’t feel like it. The point is, we fall SO very short of Gods glory. How many seconds can you be perfect?

So the question becomes, when do you loose your salvation? In which moment of imperfection? I just realized Ive never been %100 perfect before Him, but I love Him. My love for Him will be my proof that I am His and He is mine (-: As I love Him, I will strive to please Him. That is worshiping Him. I will not obey Him out of fear, but I will obey Him as a gesture of my love for Him. Every time I resist the enemy, I will give a little node to my Papa. Showing Him how I believe Him. When I fall short, I will ask Him for His help, so that I can be made more like Him.

This is relationship… we know each other.

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Jack Wellman February 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Mr. Durnil, this is so good and so true my friend. I always love to fall back on two of my favorite memory verses.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

and,

2 Cor 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

These two are such a cozy, comfy easy-chair to fall back on when I feel unworthy. Thank you sir for such wonderful words of wisdom.

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CT March 7, 2013 at 11:52 am

I got saved when I was in middle school. I am 24 now and when I was in high school I fell into porn and I was stuck in it for about 5 years. It was really bad and I didn’t realize how much control it had over me. About 3 years ago I got in a car wreck that shattered my pelvis and took my ability to run cross country well. I think this was his way of telling me to wake up. I love God and want to live for him. I want his forgiveness from my addiction to porn but I feel that I have gone too far and done too much wrong for God to forgive me. I want to live for him but my past keeps getting brought up in my mind and I feel like crap for doing such a stupid thing. All I want to do is live for God and be obedient to him. Since I fell into a sin like this does this mean that I might not truly be saved. Please help me ASAP. Thanks

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Jack Wellman March 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Hello CT. Thank you for visiting us and I am so glad you did. First things first. If you have repented of this and all your sins, then confessed them to God, and put your trust in Jesus Christ to save you, you can be born again into the Kingdom of Heaven (Rom 10:9-13). We are all sinners and we all have sin to overcome. You are not alone in battling this stronghold of the mind. No one has ever gone too far to not be able to be forgiven. As long as you are drawing breath, there is hope for you. Read 1 John 1:9 and 2 Cor 5:21. Today may be your day of salvation.

Let me say that since you are sensitive that this is sin, the Holy Spirit may be convicting you right now to this sin and that is a good thing! Those who are not saved or being drawn to Christ by the Father (John 6:44) don’t even care about their sins. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and God grants repentance. Please read the link below from an article that deals specifically with your addiction. It’s called “How to Overcome an Addiction to Pornography” at:

I urge you to read this and follow the actions steps…every one of them. Pray and fast and seek others to pray for you. Talk to your pastor. Ask the fellow saints in the church to pray for you for “an unspoken need.” That will help because the more saints are praying, the better. There is strength in the Body of Christ, the church. I will also pray for you.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/how-to-overcome-an-addiction-to-pornography-help-for-struggling-christians/

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CT March 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Thank you so much. I have already talked to a few people at my church about this. The two verses in Hebrews made me think that I have no hope because I have sinned too much and that I let this get a hold of me.

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Jack Wellman March 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm

CT, I don’t know which 2 verses you mean out of the book of Hebrews but remember that all of the Bible is written for us but not all of the Bible is written TO us. This book was written to the Jews and since they had seen Jesus and seen His miracles, they had no excuse for rejecting Him and they knew that He fulfilled the Scriptures but reading the rest of the chapter you may be thinking of in Hebrews 6 “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away(literal translation is “if they fall!” not fall away), to be brought back to repentance.To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

What’s Paul’s conclusion in verse 9? “Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation.” You see…he was CONVINCED that this was not the cast with them. The “things hav[ing] to do with salvation.” How can a person sin so much as to make the cross of Christ not enough!? There is not so much sin that God can never forgive and that the cross does not cover!

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CT March 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I know I shouldn’t be doubting God’s ability to forgive me. I never doubted his ability to forgive me until i read Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10. I just let difficult verses like Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10 make me think otherwise. Just because I’m saved by God and I fell into this junk.

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Jack Wellman March 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm

None us us can say that we have not fallen into sins but 1 John 1:9 is the truth, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Doubt is from the Enemy, conviction is from the Holy Spirit. These are different as darkness and light. Believe God! He can not lie.

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CT March 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Thank you so much for your help today. Could you please keep me in your prayers. I know God has a lot in store for me. I have such a passion to tell people about God an live for him. I just have to block out the doubt in my head. Could you explain what Hebrews 10:26-31 means and then I leave you alone. Thanks.

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Jack Wellman March 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

Hang in there CT my friend. We must understand that the book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers not non-Jewish Christians. Read ALL of Hebrews and this will become clear to you. We know this was written to Jewish believers because of the title, but also because so much of the book is explained by the understanding that the readers were Jewish. These Jewish Christians were evidently being pressured to give up their Christianity and return to pure Judaism. The letter to the Hebrews was written to persuade them to go on to maturity in Christ (Heb. 6:1), for there is no means of salvation other than Jesus (Heb. 6:1-8).

When considering whether or not Hebrews 10:26-31 conveys the notion that Christians exist in mortal danger of losing their salvation, one must be made aware of the utter folly of taking any Scripture out of its context. As we examine the broader context of the whole of chapter ten of Hebrews, the thoughtful believer in Jesus should come away from this study with a conviction of his own eternal security in Jesus, not his insecurity! Let us begin our examination of Heb. 10:1-39!

Please observe that the writer counted both himself and his readers as being among those who presently exist as having already been set apart or sanctified (Heb. 10:10)! The writer combined two words, esmen, we presently are or exist, (a present tense verb) and hegiasmenoi, “the ones having been set apart,” a perfect passive participle. A perfect verb form refers to an action done in the past with results accruing up to the present. The passive form of the verb here means that someone else sanctified or set apart the writer and his readers. Combining these two words, the author is stating that both he and his readers presently exist in a state of having been sanctified by the will of God. It is God who had sanctified them – they had not sanctified themselves!

The very fact that a person may worry that they may not be saved or may lose their salvation is the exact reason that they ARE saved. That is, they care about their salvation, they acknowledge their sin (as I do too!) for the lost person could care less about salvation or their “sins” which they don’t even believe in. Modern psychology doesn’t believe in sin and so since the vast majority of the world doesn’t even consider themselves sinners they see no reason to be concerned and see no need of a Savior (as we most certainly do!). I pray this helps my friend. Please believe God (1 John 1:9, 2 Cor 5:21).

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AmazingGrace March 7, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I’ve been through a similar experience. Don’t worry, if you are saved God will do what he needs to to bring you to a holy lifestyle. All you have to do is submit and draw closer to him.

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Jack Wellman March 8, 2013 at 11:27 am

Amen Amazing Grace. Spot on. May God richly bless you for your encouragement to CT. Thank you and I thank God for you.

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CT March 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Thank you so much guys! I feel a lot better about this and I am moving forward and leaving this behind so I can be used by God.

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genesis March 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

i am afraid that at some point in my life i will leave my christian life and go back to the old way i was living and i am afraid that i will backslide and never go back to god again. like in hebrews 6, if i go back to my old way of living and sin then i am not saved anymore.

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Jack Wellman March 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Genesis, what you feel is not dependable. What God says IS and God can not lie. I am repeating myself but PLEASE read all of this and all of these Scriptures given:

We must understand that the book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers not non-Jewish Christians. Read ALL of Hebrews and this will become clear to you. We know this was written to Jewish believers because of the title, but also because so much of the book is explained by the understanding that the readers were Jewish. These Jewish Christians were evidently being pressured to give up their Christianity and return to pure Judaism. The letter to the Hebrews was written to persuade them to go on to maturity in Christ (Heb. 6:1), for there is no means of salvation other than Jesus (Heb. 6:1-8).

When considering whether or not Hebrews 10:26-31 conveys the notion that Christians exist in mortal danger of losing their salvation, one must be made aware of the utter folly of taking any Scripture out of its context. As we examine the broader context of the whole of chapter ten of Hebrews, the thoughtful believer in Jesus should come away from this study with a conviction of his own eternal security in Jesus, not his insecurity! Let us begin our examination of Heb. 10:1-39!

Please observe that the writer counted both himself and his readers as being among those who presently exist as having already been set apart or sanctified (Heb. 10:10)! The writer combined two words, esmen, we presently are or exist, (a present tense verb) and hegiasmenoi, “the ones having been set apart,” a perfect passive participle. A perfect verb form refers to an action done in the past with results accruing up to the present. The passive form of the verb here means that someone else sanctified or set apart the writer and his readers. Combining these two words, the author is stating that both he and his readers presently exist in a state of having been sanctified by the will of God. It is God who had sanctified them – they had not sanctified themselves!

The very fact that a person may worry that they may not be saved or may lose their salvation is the exact reason that they ARE saved. That is, they care about their salvation, they acknowledge their sin (as I do too!) for the lost person could care less about salvation or their “sins” which they don’t even believe in. Modern psychology doesn’t believe in sin and so since the vast majority of the world doesn’t even consider themselves sinners they see no reason to be concerned and see no need of a Savior (as we most certainly do!). I pray this helps my friend. Please believe God (1 John 1:9, 2 Cor 5:21).

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Ed March 8, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Genesis…my dear friend…Proverbs 9:10 says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fear can be healthy and keep us out of all kinds of trouble. In Acts 4 when Ananias and his wife Sapphira sinned, great FEAR came upon the church. I believe God uses fear (and grace, and love) to help us grow to love and serve Him for effectively.
Have no doubt, you will be tempted. God will provide a way out…TAKE THAT DOOR! Check out 1 Corinthians 10: 1-13.
Sadly, there are some who fully embraced Christ at one time, and now live as heathens. I don’t believe they are still saved based on several scriptures quoted earlier on this blog. In Luke 8, Jesus said some would believe temporaility and then fall away. It happens.
The best defense I know is to put yourself around believers who love you enough to hold you accountable and will help succeed in your quest unto holiness (1 Thes 4:7). I’m rooting for you. Press on toward the mark, forget what is in the past. You are a new creation…the old you (the person without the Holy Spirit) is gone! Live according to the Spirit and enter into the joy of your Father. It isn’t always easy, but it’s who you are now as a believer and servant of Christ.

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Eliseo March 18, 2013 at 9:45 am

Ive been taking the time to study this topic and I discuss it over and over again in my head asking the Holy Spirit to reveal what the Bible truly says about this. So with the Bible in hand this is what I feel hes put in my heart and it has given me comfort..

First we must know and believe that Jesus is the ONLY way and through him we get to be in Heaven. If someone tells you, You must be baptized in water in order to be saved they have just created another way to get to heaven. If someone tells you that you must go to church in order to be saved they created another way. Jesus is the ONLY way.

After we establised that Jesus is the way, we must look at works and sin and how they are both still relavent in our lives and should not be taken lightly.

Why is it that we know about works. We know that no amount of works alone cant get you in heaven, But yet we are constantly reminded that faith with out works is Dead. How is it possible for someone to say they believe in God when there faith is Dead.

Sinning is just as important in the new testament as it was in the old. Again we are constantly reminded in the Bible not to sin. For us to come to our senses and stop sinning. We are not to practice sin. And Ive got news for you, living life your way is practicing sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is the ONLY way to get in the Heaven. We must feed our faith with works for it to stay strong just as this body needs food to survive. With a strong faith in the lord no lies like once saved always saved can deceive you. We are not to sin cause enough pratice of sin can and will make you forget about God. God will become and after thought and do you seriously think God wants that. A person who was once in the grace of God can fall away. And if he were to die in that state he will go to Hell. There are reasons why we must go to church, be baptized, do works and not to practice sin. And if you think im describing a miseriable life then you must not know the God that I know..

2 Peter 2:20-21
New International Version (NIV)

20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

Ezekiel 18:21-24
New International Version (NIV)

21 “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
24 “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.

The truth has set me free. I hope this helps you

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Eliseo March 18, 2013 at 11:24 am

Correction
*There are reasons why we should go to church, be baptized, do works and not to practice sin.

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Jack Wellman March 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Eliseo, great comment and you are so right. We must preach repentance from sin and putting our trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ. What you have written is spot on the mark my friend. I witness to many people who think that they have been a good person and they believe that this will get them into heaven. What they don’t realize is that our works are filthy rags and unless we are placed under the precious blood of the Lamb of God, no one is going to go to heaven based upon our works (2 Cor 5:21). There are so few churches it seems that are willing to tell sinners the bad news because only then will the good news of the gospel of Christ make sense to them. I thank you for your words full of wisdom.

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genesis March 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm

i got a question, is it my faith that keeps me saved or my thoughts? or is it purely and only jesus

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Jack Wellman March 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Genesis…it is so good to hear from you again. Great question. It is pure and only Jesus for what does the Scriptures say: Philippians 1:6 saysm “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Christ began a good work in us…we did not and Jesus is He who will complete it until the day of His return.

First Peter 1:5 says “who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Here we see we are protected by the power of God thru faith…not our faith and by our efforts but “by the power of God.”

Romans 8:29-30 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” and verses 37-39 ” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We are conqueror THRU HIM..and that is comforting for if it were up to me I would be worried Genesis. Does this help? Did I answer your question satisfactorily?

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genesis March 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm

i understand and thank you for telling me

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Ed March 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Genesis…nice to hear from you again. Hopefully all is well. Your question is terrific. I agree with the verses that Jack posted. Scripture says that Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith (Heb. 12:2) So, I give Jesus all credit for ‘keeping’ my faith. But, I also try be mindful of this:
“It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim 2: 11-13)

Faith/belief may occassionally be attacked by doubt…it may waver between strong and fragile. It is very important that we endure and don’t deny Him. Of course, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able to allow God to helps us transform our minds/changing the way we think and understand what God’s will for us really is (Roman 12:2, NLT)

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genesis March 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm

is it possible to understand gods word spiritually, cause i think for allot of my doubts it was surrounded by worldly view, ex: gods grace for saving us, it is hard to comprehend worldly but spiritually it makes sense to me

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Jack Wellman March 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Thanks again Genesis. Let me ask you this. How many of your sins were ahead of you when Christ died for you? The answer is ALL of them. We are covered by the blood of the Lamb, and so any unconfessed sin left unconfessed before we die is also covered. Please don’t doubt what God has done in securing you by His Word (read John 10:28-29, John 6:37).

The difference between human or doubt from the Devil and conviction from the Holy Spirit is that the Devil makes you want to believe you are beyond saving, but the Holy Spirit makes you want to come for cleansing to remove all doubt.

I urge you to read 1 John…all of it. Its a short book and its just for the very purpose of reassuring people that they are saved and can not ever be lost again (John 6:37, John 10:28-29). Read these verses too and see how much you can trust God. Jesus can not lie! You must believe what He says. Your feelings are so untrustworthy, like mine, but God is full of truth and never errs and so we must believe Him even if our eyes or minds lies to us. The Devil makes us doubt but Jesus removes all fear and doubt.

Guilt verses Conviction

I have probably spoken with hundreds of people over my lifetime who struggle with guilt. And by “hundreds” I mean Christians. So many believers are living with guilt over their sins of the past and those that they still battle with, however there is a world of difference between human guilt and the conviction by the Holy Spirit.

Guilt is like Satan accusing the brethren before the throne of God, day and night (Rev 12:10). Even though we are forgiven we are naturally not perfect. Guilt says that we are worthless, hopeless, and have no chance to be saved. We have too much baggage to possibly be saved, even by God. Guilt says, “Who do you think you are! What makes you think that you are a Christian…just look at what you do?” Guilt takes us away from God.

Conviction is different. Conviction points us to God and of our need of forgiveness. When we sin, and we all do (1 John 1:8, 10), we feel God the Holy Spirit showing us that we need to go to God and ask for cleansing, which He promises to do (1 John 1:9). We are convicted about our sin but not about our relationship before God.

Do you have unnecessary guilt? Yes you likely do because we are all human and human feelings & emotions are highly unstable and not trustworthy however God’s grace is available to you. God has forgiven you…now you must learn to forgive yourself. Thank God for the conviction of the Holy Spirit this points us to our need to go to God. Guilt makes us feel afraid and unworthy to go to Him and run away from Him. Conviction makes us run TO God for a cleansing of our sin. Guilt wants to make us severe (cut off) the relationship with God…conviction makes us run into His presence for forgiveness. Guilt leads to condemnation…conviction leads to repentance. That’s a huge difference. If you know the difference, you would do well and have more peace of mind.

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genesis March 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

hello jack i hope im not bothering you but i think that i do have the holy spirit but i only let him take control of my attitude and motives (being nice to people, helping people) i haven’t yet let him take control of my thoughts but i just realized this

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Jack Wellman March 28, 2013 at 11:06 am

Genesis, I am sorry if I implied you didn’t have the Holy Spirit. I apologize for that. We can be controlled by the Spirit by reading His Word, the Bible, by yielding to Him when we are tempted, and by being fed and taught in a Bible believing church with sermons and in Sunday school, if that will help you sir. Thank you so much.

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genesis March 28, 2013 at 7:16 pm

you didn’t imply that i didn’t have the holy spirit,sorry, i am in spiritual warfare and i do have the armor of god. it is really hard to let the holy spirit renew my thoughts though.

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genesis April 6, 2013 at 10:56 am

i have another question how can i tell if i am hearing the Holyspirit, Satan,or just my own thoughts?

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Jack Wellman April 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Great question Genesis. This comes up quite often. Here is what I do know on whether it’s Satan or the Holy Spirit:

Guilt verses Conviction

I have probably spoken with hundreds of people over my lifetime who struggle with guilt. And by “hundreds” I mean Christians. So many believers are living with guilt over their sins of the past and those that they still battle with, however there is a world of difference between human guilt and the conviction by the Holy Spirit.

Guilt is like Satan accusing the brethren before the throne of God, day and night (Rev 12:10). Even though we are forgiven we are naturally not perfect. Guilt says that we are worthless, hopeless, and have no chance to be saved. We have too much baggage to possibly be saved, even by God. Guilt says, “Who do you think you are! What makes you think that you are a Christian…just look at what you do?” Guilt takes us away from God.

Conviction is different. Conviction points us to God and of our need of forgiveness. When we sin, and we all do (1 John 1:8, 10), we feel God the Holy Spirit showing us that we need to go to God and ask for cleansing, which He promises to do (1 John 1:9). We are convicted about our sin but not about our relationship before God.

Do you have unnecessary guilt? Yes you likely do as I do at times also because we are all human and human feelings & emotions are highly unstable and not trustworthy however God’s grace is available to you. God has forgiven you…now you must learn to forgive yourself. Thank God for the conviction of the Holy Spirit this points us to our need to go to God. Guilt makes us feel afraid and unworthy to go to Him and run away from Him. Conviction makes us run TO God for a cleansing of our sin. Guilt wants to make us severe (cut off) the relationship with God…conviction makes us run into His presence for forgiveness. Guilt leads to condemnation…conviction leads to repentance. That’s a huge difference. If you know the difference, you would do well and have more peace of mind.

And He, when He (the Holy Spirit) comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. John 16:8 (NASB)

God’s voice always aligns with His Word and to know if its your thoughts is not as important as know what God’s thoughts are. I pray this helps you my friend.

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Stephanie April 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm

hi Jack, I’ve commented on another one of your pages before, a nd you greatly helped me. however I’m still afraid because I truly do worry that my ” sin” is worse than any. I had a blasphemous thought toward Jesus go through my mind, and I didn’t even mean it, it just appeared out of no where! I immediately freaked out and asked forgiveness but I’ve been miserable for months. I’m afraid the Holy Spirit left me, I’ve committed the unforgivable sin etc. I Keep thinking about it too abd can’t hardy getthrough the day in so terrified. I don’t want to have thoughts like that but, it’s always been my #1 goal to please God, do u dint know why I’d have a horrible thing like that in my head! How can u be sure I haven’t committed the unpardonable sin? how do I KNOW Jesus meant attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the enemy? that’s what several pairs have told me but I’m still so scared. also, by asking Jesus to be my saviour more than once am I ” putting Him to shame” as the Bible talks about,,?

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Jack Wellman April 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Stephanie, as long as a person is concerned that they have committed this sin is evidnece that they have not done so. How many of our sins were ahead of us at Calvary? The answer is ALL of them. There is no sin that can not be forgiven except that of rejecting Jesus as Savior and putting your trust in God. God will forgive all of our sins (1 John 1:9) and because He has promised to do so, He will not change His mind for God can not lie. Trust what He says. I would talk to your pastor about this for more reassurance and see what he says and I think you’ll feel better. We believers are often under spiritual attacks from the Enemy and wants us to belive we can not be forgiven. That is a lie. Believe in God.

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Jack Wellman April 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Stephanie, as long as a person is concerned that they have committed this sin is evidnece that they have not done so. How many of our sins were ahead of us at Calvary? The answer is ALL of them. There is no sin that can not be forgiven except that of rejecting Jesus as Savior and putting your trust in God. God will forgive all of our sins (1 John 1:9) and because He has promised to do so, He will not change His mind for God can not lie. Trust what He says. I would talk to your pastor about this for more reassurance and see what he says and I think you’ll feel better. We believers are often under spiritual attacks from the Enemy and wants us to belive we can not be forgiven. That is a lie. Believe in God.

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Stephanie April 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Thank you sir. I actually have had several conversations with my pastor, he is amazing. He has assured me of the sand things you are. I leave him every time feeling so much better, then after a few days I start to worry again. my fear is that since the thoughts were negative toward Jesus, my advocate, that HE won’t forgive it. I did not even mean it, it was just words in my mind, but i know He knows my thoughts. 🙁 my pair said that if He was willing to die for me He would not refuse to forgive me f or a thought, but I just KEEP worrying. I will just have to trust I guess, maybe he is teaching me to REALLY have faith in his word. I was honestly just afraid because the Bible doesn’t go into detail about the unforgivable sin, a nd thoughts, etc. thanks f or the quick response

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Anonymous April 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Dear Mr. Wellman,
This is urgent. I am a Christian. Horrible thoughts frequently pop into my head, thoughts that I do not believe or want. They won’t leave me alone. I hate them. Are they mine or am I being attacked by the Devil? They seem to come and go. Some days it doesn’t seem to happen, and sometimes it will go on for days. Is there anything I can do? I hate the lies so much. There is so much stress in my life already. (I lost my little sister to cancer and I have anxiety problems to name some of the stressful things.) Some days I think I’m literally going to go crazy from all the stress. Why is God letting all these things happen to me? If you can please help!

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Jack Wellman April 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm

My friend, my first question is do you have a church home? Talk to your pastor. If you don’t, then you are trying to live the Christian life alone which was never intended to be so and Satan is said to be a roaring lion roaming about seeking whom he might devour and he goes after those who are stragglers or loners.

Consider Job who was a righteous man. He lost his family, his home, his health, his livestock…everything! Yet he ws blameless. I can not speak for you, but for me, trials drive me to my knees and make me acknowledge my utter and desperate need for God. Ironically, this is exactly what God desires. It is pleasing to Him, as it would be any parent, to say “Oh, father, I need your help desperately”, “I can not go on without you“. What parent would not respond to that?. Its important to know that there will be storms, and you can’t always take them personally or as if God is punishing you. There can be storms of correction but more often they are storms of perfection. Regardless of which storm it is, you can take comfort in the idea that neither of these storms are intended to hurt you; conversely, they are designed to help you. God can hear your cries; He already knows your sorrows (Ex. 3:7) and He listens to our groans (Ex. 6:5). God is not so much interested in working with the external, which soon will pass, but the internal, which is meant to last forever (Rom 8:18).

Jesus was called “…a Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief in every way” (Ish. 53.3). Jesus certainly groaned, He wept, and He was sorrowful when He saw suffering. In fact the earth “groans and travails earnestly in a state of decay while awaiting its own redemption, which will come with the manifestation (or appearance) of the sons of God” [that would be us] (Rom. 8:22-23).

A good deal of suffering is because it’s a fallen world. There was an original choice given to humans. The choice of being obedient to God or that of making decisions for themselves. Humans decided that they wanted to rule over their own selves. Human societies are pushing God further and further out of society, television, and movies. They have also thrown God out of the schools, out of the government, and now even in the market square. And when disaster strikes, they ask “Where was God!?” I believe that society has thrown Him out of about everywhere but church!

Humans complain of suffering, however no one has suffered like the Messiah or like the Father of that One and Only Son of His who was illegally tried, convicted and put to death in the greatest travesty of justice ever. The most unjust, inhumane, cruel, humiliating, brutal and torturous death of Jesus Christ was the most unfair thing of all. He was without sin and did nothing worthy of death. Those stripes really should have been ours. Why did God allow such terrible suffering of His Son? To pay a penalty that we could never pay for ourselves…that of atoning for our sins and enabling us to have a relationship with God that sin had made impossible. That is because He is far too Holy for a sinner to approach Him. For more on suffering, please read this:

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/why-do-bad-things-happen-to-good-people/

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Anonymous April 9, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Thank you for responding so quickly. To answer your question, no I do not have a church family. I am fifteen. My parents have said that we could go to church (they are both Christians), but for one reason or another we don’t usually go. One reason may be that we are probably losing our house and they don’t want us to get attached to anything in our current area. I understand that we (Christians) will have times of suffering until we are with Jesus. Jesus never promised that life would be easy. It’s just so hard sometimes, and I feel like I can’t handle it. I have another question. If someone added or subtracted from the book of Revelation and then asked God’s forgiveness, would they be forgiven? Would they still be punished the way it says they would in Rev. 22:18-19?

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Jack Wellman April 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm

What it means to add or subtract from the Word of God is to teach that some Scriptures are wrong or to make a translation that adds or subtracts any verses or to add something of their own ideas and so I would doubt very much that this is something that you have done. Many cults do this and that is why they are called cults. Rev 22:18-19 talks about doing this. Many cults have their own translations and so this would apply to them. Other false teachers may add meaning to what the Bible says and I doubt you are in danger of this.

Any sin that we confess can be forgiven as stated in 1 John 1:9 but to willfully add or subtract from the Bible without repentance would have them appear to face the wrath of God and their place in the lake of fire assured (Rev 20).

Hang in there my young friend. There is no rule that should prohibit you from going to church. I am concerned that if your parents are losing their home, this is the very reason they need to seek God in a Bible-believing church for God may be using this to humble them and see their need for God which you have apparently already seen the need. Hebrews 10:25 commands Christians to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (in church) and even more so as we see the day approaching (of His return). This may be a warning shot from God that your family is having hard financial times.

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Anonymous April 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! For the first time in days I feel a bit of peace. I don’t want to bother you, but do you have any advice on how to fight bad thoughts?

Jack Wellman April 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Romans 12 is a great chapter to read when you are trying to fight bad thoughts. Also, read the gospel of John and 1, 2, and 3rd John. These are so precious to me and they exalt the love of God so much.

Philippians 4:8 may help too, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Also, fall on your knees and pray to God for His thoughts. The more you read the Bible, the more your mind will be renewed (Rom 12:1-2) and you begin to have the very mind of God.

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Anonymous April 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Thank you so much for your help!

Jack Wellman April 9, 2013 at 9:41 pm

My pleasure. If I can help you sleep better, then that’s worth it for sure. Be blessed my friend.

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Anonymous April 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Can the Devil put bad thoughts in your head, or are they always your own?

Jack Wellman April 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Yes, the Devil can put bad thoughts in our mind but we can pray to God for help to rid ourselves of these. As I told another person just a moment ago, the devil or his fallen angels, demons, can put self doubt into our mind but the Bible declares there should be on doubt. Read Romans 8 to see why I say this. Satan makes you feel unworthy and you have no chance and thus can’t be saved. Self doubt may be fed by the Enemy. If you are doubting, you are showing a somewhat lack of faith in Christ’s ability to save you (read John 10:28 and 29) and John 6:37.

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Anonymous May 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Mr. Wellman, would you mind praying for me? I’m having a really rough time trying to fight bad thoughts. I feel like my mind is in a constant fog of lies. I also feel like I’ve dug a hole for myself so deep that God won’t get me out of it.

Jack Wellman May 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

My friend…it is my pleasure to pray for you. I know doubt creeps in and we often fee in a hole but when we are on our knees in prayer, reading the Bible daily, and worshiping with the fellow saints, we are more likely to be lifted up by the Holy Spirit. When you feel in a hole, start worshiping God and thanking God for God is said to inhabit (dwell in, abide in. live in) our praises and thanksgiving.

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Anonymous May 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Thank you!

Anonymous May 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Is there a way I can email you Mr. Wellman?

Jack Wellman May 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm

My friend, you can click on this link: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/contact/

for my email address at: jack@whatchristianswanttoknow.com

but again, I am not sure why you don’t schedule a private session with your own pastor who can sit across from you and speak to you one to one which I can not unless you are near my church in Mulvane, KS at the Mulvane Brethren Church at 310 S. Central.

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genesis April 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

is it weird to pray to god for more convicting of the holy spirit cause i sometimes get convicted, not all the time and i get a little discouraged.

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Jack Wellman April 11, 2013 at 10:18 am

Genesis…it would be far worse if there were no conviction. This shows that the Holy Spirit is in you and working thru you. That’s a great sign.

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genesis April 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm

thank you Jack Wellman, i have a question for you, for a few months i have been with this bothering fear, i try and continue my walk with god but when i do there is this thought in my mind that says Am i saved? then i feel afraid, and i spent a long time wondering if i am saved and every time i continue with god this same question pops into my head, i dont know if it is self doubt or satan.

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Jack Wellman April 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm

The devil or his fallen angels, demons, can put self doubt into our mind but the Bible declares there should be on doubt. Read Romans 8 to see why I say this. Satan makes you feel unworthy and you have no chance and thus can’t be saved. Self doubt may be fed by the Enemy. If you are doubting, you are showing a somewhat lack of faith in Christ’s ability to save you (read John 10:28 and 29) and John 6:37.

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genesis April 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Thank you jack,for your words they are of great comfort, sorry for bothering you i learned about gods grace today and was wondering if i should focus on my doubts, satans tricks, how to resist the devil or grace i have so much to focus on, i want to focus on one of them and was wondering what i should do for these thoughts? so i can be organized in my thoughts

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Jack Wellman April 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm

That’s a great question Genesis. The phrase “resist the devil” is found in James 4:7 where the apostle James exhorts believers to resist the devil in order to cause him to flee or “run away” from us. To resist means to withstand, strive against, or oppose in some manner. Resistance can be a defensive maneuver on our part, such as resisting or withstanding the temptation to sin. Or, it can be an action we take to use the only offensive weapon in the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-18), the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Using the Scriptures to expose Satan’s lies and temptations is the most effective way to strive against and defeat them.

Why will resistance cause the devil to flee? Because he knows he cannot have victory over us if we are prepared to do battle against him. As mentioned before, the Bible assures us that we need only put on the full armor of God to be fully protected from evil and to actively resist it. There is nothing more frightening to Satan than a believer who is fully equipped with spiritual armor, beginning with the “helmet of salvation,” which protects our minds and the “breastplate of righteousness,” which protects our hearts because it is the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Only a true believer wears these because only those who have received God’s forgiveness by grace through faith have eternal salvation and the righteousness of Christ imputed to them.

I believe the Devil fears Christians most when we kneel and pray before God and are in His Word daily.

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Genesis April 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm

You jack for answering my questions, I am a little concerned that I am not being convicted as often as i should, I don’t get convicted all the time when I sin and I am a little worried if I really have the Holy Spirit in me.

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Jack Wellman April 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Doubt is from the Devil, assurance is from God. None of us are convicted all the time but as long as we ask for a daily cleansing, we know God promises to do so (1 John 1:9, 2 Cor 5:21). Don’t depend on human feelings which are so unstable, unreliable and highly subjective. God can not lie. You must believe Him or it is a lack of trust or faith in what He promises in His Word.

Read 1 John (the whole book) for more on this and read about Paul’s daily struggle in Roman’s 7 with a very encouraging conclusion.

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Genesis April 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Most of the reason why I am having trouble is that I do meditate on scripture but don’t act on it.

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Genesis May 17, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Hi jack, I was following the Holy Spirit for a few days then I had doubt and now I’m struggling again, I try and believe but it is so hard for me to cuz the doubt overshadows my faith

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Jack Wellman May 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Hello Genesis…I guess I don’t understand what you meant that you were “following the Holy Spirit for a few days.” Reading Ephesians chapter 1 and 2 shows that the Holy Spirit abides IN every believer and can not depart again. Your doubt is from the Enemy. You must trust God’s Word and not rely on your feelings (read John 10:28.29 and 6:37 and 1 John all of it). Again, have you spoken with your pastor over this? You really need to talk to him but of course you are always welcome here.

Also please add John 11:25 and 26 to your reading and in fact, the entire gospel of John. Doubt keeps us from the Word of God and the Word of God keeps us from doubt.

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Genesis May 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm

about following the Holy Spirit was that I lisented to what the Holy Spirit told me

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