Monday, July 27, 2015

Can the Saved be Lost? by Robert Notgrass

Many believe and teach that once an individual is saved he cannot be lost.  However, the Scriptures clearly teach that a child of God can forfeit his salvation and be eternally lost.  Many passages speak of the conditional nature of our future salvation.  The apostle Paul reminded the Christians in Corinth of the gospel by which they were saved “if ” they held fast to the word which was preached to them (1Cor. 15:2).  The word “if” places a condition on salvation for the child of God.  To the children of God in Galatia Paul wrote, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal. 6:9).  The word “if” here implies if we as children of God do lose heart we will not reap the reward.  The writer of Hebrews declared we are of Christ’s household “if we hold fast our confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Heb. 3:6).  Why do the Scriptures make these conditional statements about salvation if once we are saved we cannot be lost?
The Scriptures point out the conditional nature of our future salvation by giving solemn warnings against apostasy (falling away as to be lost).  The apostle Paul in warning the Corinthians against apostasy realized he too could fall away and be lost.  He said “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1Cor. 9:27).  Certainly, if there was a possibility for the apostle Paul to be rejected, then we too could be.  Right after that statement he used the example of the Israelites who fell from God’s favor by their disobedience and were not permitted to enter the promised land.  Paul’s conclusion was, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1Cor. 10:12).  The Hebrew writer declared, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of if” (Heb. 4:1).  These are solemn warnings against falling away and being lost.  Therefore, why give the warnings if once one is saved he is always saved?
The Scriptures also speak of examples of those who did fall away.  Among some who became Christians at the preaching of Philip was a man by the name of Simon.  When he later became covetous of the apostles’ power, Peter told him, “Thy money perish with thee…for thy heart is not right in the sight of God…I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity” (Acts 8:12-24).   Paul wrote to some who had at one time been faithful, but now had turned back to Judaism.   He said “Christ is become of no effect unto you . . . ye are fallen from grace.” (Gal. 5:4)
These are but a few of the many passages where the Scriptures plainly teach that salvation is conditional based upon our faithful obedience.  Only if we are faithful unto death will we receive a crown of life (Rev. 2:10).

Sunday, July 26, 2015

“Embrace waiting. Wait on God. It is a form of faith and a declaration that there are things that must happen that you do not control.”
~Ed Gungor 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

Untrained Children ~ Fighting Atheism’s Influence in the Home by Brad Harrub

God does exist. All of the best-sellers in the world that espouse otherwise will not change that fact. But if we really expect our children to believe and follow the One True Living God, we must start thinking outside the box! Sadly, the atheists of this country are doing their job better than we Christian parents are. It’s time someone states the obvious: What we’ve done in the past hasn’t worked.
Are you Children Studying?
Are your Children Studying?
If you do not believe this, just walk into a church building and inquire if anyone there has children who have abandoned the Faith. But be prepared—the line that forms before you may be much longer than you ever expected. Far too many young people are leaving the Church only to turn around and embrace secular humanism, or even worse, atheism.
Now think: How many of those children who have left the Church could list most of the state capitals? How many of those children know the value for pi, or how to solve for x in an algebra problem? How many of those children can name bones of the body or could describe the water cycle? How many of those children know every word to their favorite songs or could tell you, verbatim, lines from their favorite movie? How many of those children have studied for hours to take tests over meaningless material?
As you sit there considering how much time these young people have spent cramming for standardized tests, ask yourself this one simple question: How much time have they spent actually studying Christian evidences or logical arguments to prove God’s existence? If we are going to reverse this trend, we must start thinking outside the box as to what is “normal”. It’s time we expect more from ourselves and more from our children.
“Are you actually suggesting that we test or quiz our children over Christian evidences or make them study biblical material outside of Bible class?”
I guess my response would be: “Yes, whatever it takes.” After all, which “test” is ultimately more important? I’m not downplaying the importance of a good education—I’m just trying to remind parents that their children spend an enormous amount of time learning “things,” but too often they only spend a small fraction learning about God and His Word. It is no secret that during their educational years students spend a great deal of time studying evolution, humanism, other religious beliefs, and even the tenets of atheism. Why not counter this with a solid Christian foundation?
As I mentioned before, what we’ve done in the past hasn’t worked. It’s time we get serious and combat the atheists’ propaganda with knowledge! Ask yourself this question: Can my children and grandchildren truly prove that God exists? Our children are told that if you can not measure something using the scientific method (using your five senses), then it is an illusion. Where does that place God— a Spirit (John 4:24)? Anyone who has spent any time at all studying philosophy or logic understands that while a Supreme Being may not be proven in a laboratory using the scientific method, the laboratory’s very existence is proof for His existence.
Consider this simple logic: It is a self-evident truth that something cannot come from nothing. (If someone wants to argue this fact, I would love to sell them some “nothing.”) Since something now exists, this indicates that something has existed forever. That means something is eternal—meaning it has always been here. This is simple logic—something exists today, thus something has always existed. The question is what or who has eternal properties?
Atheists and evolutionists would have students believe that the Universe is eternal; however that does not fit the scientific data. We know today that the Universe is expanding, which is a clear indication it had a beginning. As evolutionist Robert Jastrow admitted: “The lingering decline predicted by astronomers for the end of the world differs from the explosive conditions they have calculated for its birth, but the impact is the same: modern science denies an eternal existence to the Universe, either in the past or the future” (1977, p. 30).
The only logical conclusion is that God is eternal and He was responsible for the creation of the Universe. With a little time and a little study we can teach these Truths to our children and grandchildren. I’ve heard it said many times that it takes more “blind” faith to be an atheist. Given the amount of evidence we have for God I would agree.
Brad Stine once mused: “Who is more irrational? A man who believes in a God he doesn’t see, or a man who’s offended by a God he doesn’t believe in?” I would take that even one step further: “Who is more irrational? A Christian who believes in a God but doesn’t teach his child about Him, or an atheist who doesn’t believe in Him but takes the time to teach the child his beliefs?