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Once Saved - Always Saved?

  • Once Saved - Always Saved?


    While writing about the dangers of being lukewarm in one of my devotionals, I compared our relationship with God to a marriage relationship. In a good marriage, we do our part out of love for our spouse. Likewise, there are things we do as Christians, out of love for our Creator. After all, the church is believed to be the “Bride of Christ” and betrothed to Jesus (2 Cor 11:2). He called Himself the “Bridegroom” (Mark 2:19) and Jesus said that if we loved Him, we would keep His commandments (John 14:15). Jesus also said: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46). Apparently even then there were people that called Jesus Lord, but would not do what He taught them.

    It was merely an observation but it caused quite a stir. We received a lot of requests to clarify this statement and telling us that we were going into error. I felt that it was too much for a short devotional, so I am going to try and explain what I believe in this teaching. It is just “what I believe” and you are still free to believe anything that you want. If we can’t love and respect each other without agreeing on every point of doctrine, we will never have unity in the body of Christ. Many well-respected people teach eternal security and I am not trying to take away anyone’s salvation. I can only write what I actually believe in my heart to be true. I honestly don’t know where you will end up, but I sincerely question any salvation that requires no action, nor causes any change in your life.

    I speak from personal experience because I have backslidden more than once in my life and I did not feel “saved” during those periods. When I returned to the Lord, He always welcomed me back with open arms. It never occurred to me that I may have never been lost, because I sure felt like it. To me, the teachings of Jesus were pretty clear on being lost and I will cover some of my thoughts here. 

    First, scripture makes it clear that we are all sinners and that we are saved by grace, not by our own works (Eph 2:8-9). We cannot “earn” salvation; it is a free gift from God. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1John 1:8). Jesus said that we need to be born again in order to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). We are born again (saved) by confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believing in our heart that God raised Him from the dead (Rom 10:9). Jesus said that whoever believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16).

    To be saved on that basis, we need to:
    1. Acknowledge in our heart that Jesus is Lord.
    2. Confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord.
    3. Believe that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the grave.
    4. Repent of our sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus. 

    All that you need to do to get started is to pray a simple prayer like this and sincerely mean it: 

    “God, I know that I am a sinner and I ask for Your forgiveness today. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose again. Lord wash me clean from sin, shame and guilt. Come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Guide me from this day forth, in Jesus’ name I pray.” 

    If you are able, be baptized in the name of Jesus (though the thief on the cross was not). That is how we all begin our walk with the Lord Jesus, but now what? Is anything else required of us? Can we “undo” this? There are two extremes on the view of salvation and today; I agree with neither of them. I might later if the Lord increases my understanding. Perhaps they are above my current level. 

    1. Intermittent Security: For a few years I attended a church, where if you did not repent on your knees at the altar every Wednesday and Sunday, they thought that you had backslidden and added you to the prayer list. The entire message and focus was “repent or burn in hell”, even for people who had been attending for twenty years. You wanted to set at least three rows back because of the preacher yelling and spitting. I was baptized often to get a fresh start, just in case. Members were taught that no one could be certain they would be saved. Though you lived your life every day for the Lord, if you had a lustful thought, then pulled out into traffic and were killed in an accident, you would certainly burn in hell over it. There was no security and it made God seem distant, unloving and to me there was no need in building a relationship with Him because it was like a house built on the sand. This was one extreme.

    2. Eternal Security: The other extreme is when people believe that they are eternally saved, and that nothing they can do will ever change that. They believe that they are “sealed” and no matter what they do, the Lord is powerless due to the previous contract. They have a license to sin as much as they want, once they have prayed the sinners prayer. This is "greasy grace" and another extreme. This lukewarm attitude scares me the worst.

    To me, the truth is somewhere between those points. I know that God loves the world and wishes that no one would perish (John 3:16), though it is clear that many will (Matt 7:13). Most that preach eternal security use Paul’s teachings as a basis, but to me, Jesus is greater than Paul and if a doctrine does not agree with the teachings of Jesus, then I do not agree with it. Also Paul came from the strictest sect of pharisees and believed in obedience at all cost. I don’t think that he would like people using his teachings as a license to sin and to do the least possible. Paul was not a slacker and you cannot use him as an example of doing the least possible to get by. You would never call Paul “lukewarm.” In his own words:

    “Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I am more so; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. Five times from the Jews I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I suffered shipwreck. I have been a night and a day in the deep. I have been in travels often, perils of rivers, perils of robbers, perils from my countrymen, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the wilderness, perils in the sea, perils among false brothers; in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness.” (2 Corinthians 11:22–27 WEB)

    Peter warned us that Paul wrote some things that were difficult to understand and that people would twist them (2Peter 3:16). I believe that in general, the church spends far too much time in the letters of Paul and not enough in the gospels. Even Paul, though, disciplined his body and kept it under control, “lest after preaching to others that he himself may be rejected.” (1 Cor 9:27)

    The real difference in the two views are whether you can do things like sleep with prostitutes, or actively be one, and still go to heaven. That I am uncertain about. I do not know who will make it to heaven. That is for God to decide and not me. I plan to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). I do believe that it is clear that we are to imitate Jesus and our behavior should reflect Jesus as best we can manage. A tree is known by the fruit that it bears, whether good, or bad (Matt 12:33). 

    Here are some teachings of Jesus that speak to me about being ready and not sleeping on the job. We are to be actively preparing ourselves while awaiting His return. Whether you will burn in hell or not, I don’t know, but being vomited out of His mouth or cast into outer darkness does not sound good either: 

    He who does the will of My Father:“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’ “Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock.” (Matthew 7:21–24 WEB)

    Remain in My love: Remaining in the Father’s love was not for Jesus a passive thing; it involved obedience to His commands. The same is true for Jesus’ disciples. They remain in Jesus’ love by keeping his commands: “I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man doesn’t remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you. In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples. Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and remain in his love.” (John 15:5–10 WEB)

    The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11): Jesus told a parable about a son who lived with his father, but then left with his inheritance and spent it on prostitutes and reckless living. He came to his senses, returned to his father and repented. His father was glad to have him back and when the older brother complained, the father said: Your brother who was dead is alive again; he was lost but is now found (Luke 15:24). While the son was away spending his money on prostitutes, the father considered him dead and lost, not alive and saved, though he was always welcome to return. 


    The parable of the ten virgins (Matt 25:1): Jesus told a parable about ten virgins waiting on the bridegroom to arrive, just as we are waiting on Jesus to arrive. Five virgins prepared themselves and were ready to meet Him. The other five were unprepared and caught off guard. The five who were ready went into the marriage feast, the five who were not were locked out. They knocked on the door and said “Lord, Lord, open to us!“, but He answered and said “I do not know you.” (Matt 25:11). All ten virgins knew the bridegroom, called him “Lord, Lord”, and were waiting on His coming. The half that prepared themselves went in, the rest were locked out. Which group would you rather be in? Can you be in the group that made themselves ready without doing anything? If so, what was the difference between the two groups other than one prepared for his return and the other did not?

    The parable of the talents (Matt 25:14): Jesus told a parable about a man going on a journey that gave his servants talents to invest while he was away. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to the last man one, according to their ability. A talent was a large sum of money, equal to about 6,000 days pay for a laborer. It is interesting that the English word for “talent” (natural aptitude) comes from this parable, though here it is speaking of money.  When the man returned, he rewarded the ones that had been actively investing and increasing what he had given them, but cast the worthless servant into outer darkness because he had done nothing with his talent. Being a Christian is more than just “not doing anything wrong.” It requires active, responsible, faithful service. 

    The wedding feast and garment (Matt 22:1): Jesus told a parable about a man that gave a wedding feast for His Son, but those invited would not come. So He invited people off the street to fill the hall with guests. Each guest was responsible for their own clothing and to show up in dirty clothes was an insult. When the king came into look at the guests, there was a man there in dirty clothes. He was thrown out of the feast, into outer darkness. Dirty clothes were unwelcome at the feast and it was his responsibility to be clean.

    Worthless salt is thrown out: You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men. (Matthew 5:13 WEB)

    The parable of the watchful servant (Luke 12:41): Peter asks Jesus who the parable of the watchful servant was meant for and Jesus answered with another parable. A master appointed a servant as manager over his household and then apparently went on a journey. The servant had considerable freedom over the estate. A diligent servant whom his master found working efficiently when he returned would be promoted. But if the master stayed gone a long time, then a careless servant may begin to feel independent. He may forget that he is actually just the servant, and not the master. It is a bit like the sheriff of Nottingham in the movie Robin Hood. The longer the king delayed coming, the more wicked he became. The master’s sudden return would surprise him and the wicked servant would be cut in pieces and put with the unfaithful (46).

    Some thoughts: Jesus was talking to Peter and His disciples (Luke 12:41). He plainly told them that they were to serve faithfully, watchfully and to feed the other servants while He was away. if they abused the freedom they were given and became wicked servants, they would be put with the unfaithful on His return (46). The disciple who knew His Master’s will but did not get ready or act on it would receive a severe beating. God’s unconditional love will not be a get out of jail free card if they chose to continue in disobedience.

    Following the Shepherd: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27 WEB. There are three things Jesus mentioned here: 1) My sheep hear My voice. 2) I know them. 3) They follow Me. To those He will give eternal life, they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of His hand. This is all a part of the Christian life, hearing the Lord speak, having a relationship with Him, obeying Him as best you can. 

    The lukewarm Laodicean church (Revelation 3:14–21): Jesus spoke to John about the Laodicean church that had become lukewarm. This church felt they were rich and needed nothing, but were poor, blind and naked. There was more hope for open antagonists than the cooly indifferent. Jesus said that He would vomit the lukewarm out of His mouth, but those that overcome would sit down with Him on His throne. I am not sure what being vomited out entails, but it does not sound pleasant.


    Other quotes from Jesus:
    “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 WEB)

    Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24 WEB)

      

    Apparently, some of your current actions could still affect your future: For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in his glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26 WEB).

    “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning. Be like men watching for their lord, when he returns from the marriage feast; that, when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord will find watching when he comes.” (Luke 12:35–37 WEB)


    “That servant, who knew his lord’s will, and didn’t prepare, nor do what he wanted, will be beaten with many stripes, but he who didn’t know, and did things worthy of stripes, will be beaten with few stripes. To whoever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.” (Luke 12:47–48 WEB)

    Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.  (Matthew 5:16 WEB)


    Quotes from the Apostles:
    Peter said that we should be holy and not follow our former lusts:“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be sober and set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ— as children of obedience, not conforming yourselves according to your former lusts as in your ignorance, but just as he who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all of your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13–16 WEB)

    Pigs that are washed clean, then return to wallow in the mud, are no longer clean:“For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the last state has become worse with them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, “The dog turns to his own vomit again,” and “the sow that had washed to wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:19–22 WEB)

    James said that faith without works is dead: “But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;” and he was called the friend of God. You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith. In like manner wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.”
    (James 2:19–26 WEB)

    Paul believed in “obedience” and spoke of the “obedience of faith” (Rom 1:5) and “faith working through love”: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:5–6 WEB)

    Paul also wrote how he felt about sin: “Now I would not have you ignorant, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. However with most of them, God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Neither let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell. Neither let us test the Lord, as some of them tested, and perished by the serpents. Neither grumble, as some of them also grumbled, and perished by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn’t fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:1–12 WEB)

    In later days some will depart from the faith and fall away. Being that you cannot depart from a building that you have not entered at all, this means to me that these people were once a part of the christian faith. So it is possible to be a part of the faith, and then to fall away from it. No one can snatch you from the Father's hand, but you can crawl out of it on your own accord if you choose. You have free will or you would be a mindless robot. The prodigal son was free to leave his father's house and was considered dead and lost until he returned: "But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1 WEB)


    Summary: I am not promoting legalism. You cannot be saved by keeping a set of rules and you cannot be saved by works alone. You are saved by Faith and it is a free gift, not earned. Faith in Jesus plus nothing. There is, however, no true faith that is not followed by obedience. If we really believe in Jesus then we will act accordingly. If we love Him, then we will keep His commandments. There will be fruit in our lives, and trees are known by their fruit. 

    There is more to being a Christian than merely saying the sinner’s prayer once and then never giving God another thought. To me, this is an ongoing relationship much like a marriage. Whether you can lose your salvation or not, I honestly don’t know. I do feel that it would be foolish to walk on the fringe and try and prove that you cannot by doing the least that you possibly can.

    I do feel that if you are trying to serve God, that He will work with you, help you and you will make it to heaven even if your life is still a mess. I just feel that professing to know Jesus, but living like you don’t is very dangerous. The lukewarm that Jesus will vomit out of His mouth were part of the church, called themselves Christians, and felt they had need of nothing (Rev 3:16). In my opinion, we should not even have to discuss things like this because the goal is not to do the very least possible in order to be saved. Or is it? We should be pressing in, praying, learning, serving and drawing closer to God every day of our lives just as Jesus did. 

    “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46 WEB). 


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57 comments
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Kay Rushin
Kay Rushin I think this is clear and precise. If you love me, you will keep my commandments, Since God knew we could never be perfect, he sent his son to stand in the Gap for us......He will search our hearts, but it is no way we won't be trying in our limited sinful c...   more Reply  ·  Like
June 26, 2015
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Julie Schneider
Julie Schneider I agree with you completely...and i too am not sure why we have to have this discussion because it would seem natural that if we love Jesus we would want to please him...just as we try to please those on earth that we love.  I know that some people point to the thief that died on the cross with Jesus and say that he went to paradise a deathbed confession but I believe that moment you are saved begins your time of trying to live the best Christian life you can. I have certainly had times of slacking in my life when i didnt pray as much or read the Bible but i am always drawn back, "thirsty" for more.
June 26, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Yes, I thought it was strange that it was a point of controversy, but I I believe a lot of people who grew up in church experienced the practice where they had to get "re-saved" every other day. Those people may have been hearing echoes of that in the message. Not growing up in that kind of thing, it was news to me :). I think anyone should agree that if we love someone, it should reflect in our actions.
June 26, 2015
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Kay Rushin
Kay Rushin Amen it should reflect!
June 26, 2015
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Carol Pady
Carol Pady Amen! I completely agree with you.  We have to bear good witness as a Christian. What we think do and say should be a reflection of Christ! We cannot do it alone but we can do all things through Christ.  He knows our hearts and our thoughts and His Holy Spirit gives us victory! I pray that we all stay the course with our feet on the right path and the armour of God upon us as we walk daily with our Savior, constant in prayer, always repentant, always striving to know Him better.
June 26, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Amen, Carol!
June 26, 2015
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Nancy Cavataio
Nancy Cavataio I agree. I was just having 2 conversations yesterday on this topic. Yes, the thief on the cross didn't need to say the sinner's prayer, Jesus felt his belief in Him and the sorrow and repentence in his heart. Many people say they are Christian but by the way they conduct themselves, you wonder. I 'accepted Jesus' at one time but did not 'believe' (rely,adhere,trust' Amplified Bible) and when things got rough, I left God and handled things my way. I don't believe I was saved during those years. Today I am truly a follower of Christ and I could NEVER leave and do things my way again.
June 27, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Great thoughts, Nancy, amen!
June 27, 2015
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Joan Joseph
Joan Joseph  Paul said in (Hebrews 6:4-5), For  it is  "impossible" for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come. I believe if you "know" Jesus you won't turn your back on him ever. We might mess up in life a few times but just like the prodigal son he is waiting for us to return with his arms wide open. "Thats love".  Thanks Pastor Todd for the teaching.
June 27, 2015
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Tina G
Tina G I had no idea that we had a little controversy over the "vaccination" post. But I loved this "essay" today. A whole study in itself and a good read. Thanks you Dion for a very thourogh lesson. The amount of work you put into it is apparent and I appreciate it. I need to bookmark this one! Thanks a bunch and let's enjoy the fruits of faith today +
June 27, 2015
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Peg Maculley
Peg Maculley I believe whole heartedly that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I pray every day and try my best to resist temptations...sometimes I fall short by my own hand, but I always pray for forgiveness. I do daily devotional and talk with the Lord throughout my day. I seek guidance and direction during the course of my day. I don't go to church though...I'm intimidated and feel unworthy. Every time I go to church I cry as the sermon always seems to be directed to me. So instead I'm working on my personal relationship with God in my own home. I feel compelled to confess my sins before God and get baptized again, now that I'm an adult and understand the word and expectations of me more clearly. So, my question is this...If I were to be baptized now, as an adult, does that mean that I have to attend church services or can I continue to go about my daily interaction with the Lord the way I have been, until I feel compelled to join a church?
June 27, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd I'm thinking some of the comments were from reading more into it than was intended. Still, I enjoyed the teaching myself, and it's probably something that is good to have on the site, as part of our statement of beliefs :).
June 27, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Hi Peg :), no getting baptized and joining a church are two separate things. I just asked Dion, who has been a member of a lot more churches than I have and he says local churches will generally be happy to help you with that. That said, I pray that the Lord grants you a powerful sense of how loved you are to Him, in the name of Jesus!
June 27, 2015
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Debbie Thompson
Debbie Thompson Thank you Pastor. I was myself was certain and uncertain of the "once saved, always saved" myself. My thoughts on this are 1) Matt. 13 and parable of the sower. It is true many do and have said the sinners prayer, but where did their seeds fall? 2) 2 Cor. 5:17 where once you truly accept salvation the old you dies and a new you is born. I have posted on social media challenging people to judge themselves on an eternal level "Just because you call yourself a Christian, does God?" 3) Paul did not speak of his own accord, but by divine inspiration as an emissary of Jesus. Paul was called to bring the Gentiles predominately to saving grace. But just as Jesus, was no respecter of people. Jews, Gentiles, it didn't matter, he spoke the words of God. And I don't recall the passage, but it is written God hates divorce! If you are truly His bride, He will not divorce you because you backslide. He is long suffering and will wait for your return as one of missing flock. The Prodigal Son! The times you didn't feel saved was because of the curtain of separation from being out of fellowship! When we live in unrepentant sin we are separated and thus feel unsaved (I've been there!) if we have truly accepted Jesus and die in our sins we will still go to be with him, but rewards will be withheld. A part of our treasure if you will. Backsliding simply means we rebelled and unfortunately became lukewarm, but He is waiting in love and patience. If you die lukewarm, well only God can judge. We must remember if that situation comes up that we left Him, He didn't leave us!!
June 27, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd “ I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. ”  (Jeremiah 3:8 NIV) God may hate divorce, but He divorced Israel when they continued to backslide. I believe that each of us will have to do we feel is right in our heart. Jesus said that the path of life was narrow, but the path to destruction was wide and heavily traveled (Matt 7:13). If we all we have to do is mumble a few words and ignore the rest of His commandments, it would seem that the path of life would be the wide road. I feel that the OSAS view is very dangerous and I cannot teach that. 
June 27, 2015
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Kevin Cosse
Kevin Cosse I don't claim ability to, yet when OSAS is preached, (although in my opinon True), it, even unintentionally, skews one's thoughts into having an excuse to sin, which certainly isn't profitable unto salvation.  :)  
August 26, 2015
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Jeanne Hill
Jeanne Hill Salvation is not left to us but if we are not punished by our sin or not remorseful, are we truly saved to begin with?  That should be our question.  Thank you Pastor Todd for this in-depth answer.  God bless you.
June 27, 2015
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Mary Bailey
Mary Bailey Excellent!
June 27, 2015
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Kevin Cosse
Kevin Cosse Salvation is not of our own doing.  ✞And as we know in  John 10:2 (KJV) 28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.✞   The Lord gives His sheep the endless life of fellowship with God ( 17:2–3 ). He protects them from perishing, according to the infallibility of divine grace; and He allows no one to snatch them from His hand. The saints persevere because God preserves them. The sheep are not able to snatch themselves out of God’s hand because the divine Shepherd will keep all of His true sheep from eternally straying (cf.  17:12 ). The solemn warnings of Scripture against apostasy are not intended to cause doubts about God’s perseverance with those He has saved (cf.  1 John 2:19 ). See “Perseverance of the Saints” at  Rom. 8:30 . [RSB Study Notes]  
June 27, 2015
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Daryl Donerson
Daryl Donerson Very good use of scripture Kevin 
August 26, 2015
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Kevin Cosse
Kevin Cosse Yet, some will depart from the Truth.  'Once saved always saved' is often argued extensively - pointless.  I personally TRUST Jesus Christ's sovereignty and pray for and thank Him for His protection.  
June 27, 2015
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Kevin Cosse
Kevin Cosse REMEMBER - When Peter began doubting, he began to sink.
June 27, 2015
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Winona Pyritz
Winona Pyritz Wow!!! This teaching re-enforces what I was taught as a child and young woman growing up. I pray that I will not be lukewarm in my walk. These words are the"bread of life". This past week has shown our world what faith can accomplish. The nightly news is mostly bad news. But Jesus' message is only GOOD NEWS.
June 27, 2015
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Christopher Shannon
Christopher Shannon Hi, Pastor Dion!      Matthew 16:24 is the vast sum of what we should be as Christians. Paul said that we are not our own.  I agree completely. The price paid for my salvation is overwhelming in attempting to comprehend.  I often ask myself, "How and why am I worth it?!"  Thank you for illuminating these truths.  I see so many believing in the free pass philosophy and I am guilty of this as well. I, too, have been on the slope of backsliding more times than I am able to count.  Believing I can do no wrong and nothing can revoke my salvation is gravely arrogant.  I will never again believe I am deserving without an effort on my part. Today is a renewal.  I thank God for our paths coming together in our walk with Jesus.  God bless you and Sylvia, my Brother and dear friend!!!               Chris        
June 27, 2015
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Debbie Thompson
Debbie Thompson Pastor Todd, unfortunately the rest of my comment wasn't posted, but you misunderstand me. You can not be saved on Sunday and Mon. continue your adultery, drunkeness, etc. if you are really saved, you are transformed. Only God knows the heart! Only He knows if your salvation is genuine! That's why the parable on Matt. 13. If you are truly His "obedient" bride, He will not divorce you just as a faithful wife will not be divorced (or shouldn't be) here on earth. Backsliding is easy and it causes a separation. If you die separated from Him as a true believer only He knows your fate. It would take hours to discuss in detail the pros and cons that are all through the Word. I'm no theologian, just a humble sinner who takes Gods Word literally by faith. 
June 27, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Great thoughts, Chris, thank you :). I liked this especially: " Believing I can do no wrong and nothing can revoke my salvation is gravely arrogant."
June 27, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Amen, Winona!
June 27, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Hi Debbie, I believe I understand what you're trying to say, but it kind of sounds like if you are a "true believer", you'll never sin. If that's the case, probably none of us would make it...not trying to be argumentative, just sharing a viewpoint, which you can certainly correct :). I believe your comment that " If you die separated from Him as a true believer only He knows your fate" is very true. That's really what we believe, rather than the idea that God has no choice just because someone might have said the sinner's prayer one time, even if the person meant it at that moment :). Have a blessed weekend!
June 27, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd Thank you Debbie :)
June 27, 2015
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Christopher Shannon
Christopher Shannon Thank you, Sylvia!  I have always believed what Dion is conveying in this message to be truth.  His testimony is compelling and strongly reinforces what I hold in my heart as God's truth.  As a Christian, I will do my absolute best to be humble and to serve as Jesus asks of me.  Again, I thank you for your kind words!     
June 27, 2015
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Daryl Page
Daryl Page I agree with much uve said n will give my perspective on the matter n depth perhaps another time. However I will question ur meaning about Baltimore after conversion I'm assuming ur meaning the baptism of the Holy Spirit n not water. If u mean water after salvation I'd leave u with these problems with that thought process. 1 u take away all death bed conversions 2 what of a person who can't b submersed do to skin or medical issues 3 what if u live n a place there is little or not enuff water to b baptized 4 No where did Jesus ever baptize. He allowed his disciples to baptize for remission of sins but it wasn't after salvation nor for salvation as they were still under the law. Jesus taught much of how the church would act yet not till he went to he heven did church start at Pentecost hence Paul's teachings who was taught 3 yrs by Christ r very important n I don't think they came from perspective of who he once was but by the closeness or deep relationship he had cuz of that three yrs. He got much more out of his time then the 12 as they had agenda to by pass the death n go straight to King. They got it when he returned n spent the 40 days with Christ. Paul had no agenda after his conversion except to learn lol he could n cuz of his great knowledge of the OT he  was able to teach very deep yet plain truth. Peter meant n my opinion Paul teachings were hard to understand at times likely from their lack of knowledge n his deep knowledge. However I will always put Christ ahead of Paul but take Paul's teachings very seriously as he was so Instramental in starting n pastoring them also. Last thing for now is the spiritual truth once saved always saved there are over 50 verses n the word that teach us that. It comes down to making Jesus Lord of ur heart (salvation) n Lord of ur life. This is the paradox we need to deal with. I hope I can spend time discussing that another day however I think Pastor.Dion we have much more n commen they things we don't on this subject   Thank u all for ur foarm n ur time prayers n love. We r blest to have this ministry as part of our lives n God wi do awesome things three n because of this ministry   I ask ur forgiveness to any I may have offended. God Bless. One Love. Pastor Daryl 4EVERHIS
June 27, 2015
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Patty Martin
Patty Martin Thank you, Pastor Dion.  I truly needed to hear the depth of this message today!  May God bless you!
June 28, 2015
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David and Dianna Wyles
David and Dianna Wyles This is a tough one for me and often a topic of debate with my husband. Thank you for this perspective, it was helpful. I too believe if you have true faith you must be moved to act in faith while my husband clings to his belief that we are are all declared righteous on our faith alone. Maybe it is somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. Thanks again for the food for thought. Stay blessed
June 28, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd It is hard to cover a doctrine of baptisms in a comment but here are some quick thoughts: The thief on the cross was not baptized but still presumed to be saved, so I believe that deathbed conversions are real. That said when you have the chance, I believe in being baptized in water because Jesus was (Matt 3:16) as well as his disciples (John 4:1), the apostles later (Acts 10:48, 16:33), then this verse:  “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. ”  (Mark 16:15–16)   I also believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in the book of Acts.  Cornelius and his house was still  baptized with water after being baptized in the Holy  Spirit (Acts 10:48).
June 28, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Yes, I believe so, Dianna. I don't see how it could be either "get saved and get away with whatever" or "just do these 10 things and you will be ok". God, and we, are so much more complex than that :).
June 28, 2015
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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Thank you for the feedback, Patty, Dion worked many hours on it :).
June 28, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd For those interested in what arriving in heaven may be like, listen to this testimony by Howard Pittman who died of an arterial aneurism in an ambulance, was taken to heaven, then later revived at the hospital about 15 minutes later. God sent him back with a warning for the church that we are living in the lukewarm laodicean church age spoken of in Revelation chapter 3:14.
June 28, 2015
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Ticardo Williams
Ticardo Williams Yep.
June 28, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd Thank you Chris. I had to do this teaching to make it clear what I believe to be true. I write a lot about grace and the love of God in our devotional, but we should remain balanced in our beliefs. Calling Jesus Lord merely gives Him a title. Making Him Lord means that we do what He says. Have a  blessed day and thank you for reading! :)
June 29, 2015
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Kevin Cosse
Kevin Cosse Salvation is not a 'licence to sin'.  Every sin, even our own (choice to) sin had far more consequences than imaginable.
June 29, 2015
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Anna Eriksdotter
Anna Eriksdotter .......
June 29, 2015
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Debbie Thompson
Debbie Thompson Oh no!! It's written if you say you have no sin, you're a liar! ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our righteousness is like filthy rags!! BUT if you are truly saved, you will strive to be like the Master and not sin! However, we do sin, sometimes w/o knowing it! You pick up pen to sign something, you inadvertently put it in your pocket w/o thinking. You just stole that pen! SIN! This is why Jesus shed His blood and told Peter to forgive 70 times 7. Repentance is infinite, however this is NOT a license to sin, on the contrary, this is agape love from our Lord! The Spirit convicts the sinner. The true Christian obeys that conviction, those that aren't truly saved don't get convicted. My opinion from both sides of the fence!
June 30, 2015
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Christopher Shannon
Christopher Shannon Hi, Pastor Dion!  You are welcome.  Your teaching was much needed.  Thank you for taking the time to explain it so eloquently.  Have a wonderful and blessed day!   
July 1, 2015
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Dana Rozell
Dana Rozell This made me realize I'm fallen away and going to hell, I pay jesus lip tribute yet my heart is stuck on worldly things like wanting money and a Wife , I know for sure now that my faith is dead and understand why God doesn't give me my hearts desires. I've been a wanna be christian for a long time .Praise God for People like pastor Dion who tell the things that people dont want to Hear. Not All Truth is pleasant.
July 8, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd Dana, while you are breathing you have a choice and it is never too late to turn your life around. Don't fall off the other side and become so religious that you are no earthly good either. I just had to write this to address the idea that you are eternally saved no matter what you do with your life. To me that is what 2Tim. 4:3 is talking about. If you put God first the other things will come anyway. Serving God is a win/win.  I pray that the Lord will bring you encouragement, hope and help you find your place in the name of Jesus. 
July 9, 2015
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Allie Ponzo
Allie Ponzo I finally got to read this, I kept meaning to but kept getting to busy. It was perfectly explained and couldn't agree more. You didn't say anything that made me question you or what the bible says. After 27 years of being a Christian and doing some backsliding of my own, I feel completely secure in my salvation and even though we still sin and will till the day we die it's that conviction of the Holy Spirit that always keeps me in check and I think that IS the difference! If we are truly saved He is living inside us and He will convict your heart. We just have to be careful not to let it get hardened to where we can't hear Him anymore. Getting caught up in the worlds ways can easily do that. I great prayer to pray is "Lord, always convict me of the things you don't want me to do, help me to hate what You hate and love what You love". 
July 10, 2015
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Allie Ponzo
Allie Ponzo Wow, your honesty floored me! That would be  God speaking to you though this message. Most would not be that honest, kudos to you and move forward from here. Small steps and changes are fine just be sure it's God making the changes and not you. When you focus more on Him those other desires will become  less important, that is a Fact. I have experienced it many times over.
July 10, 2015
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Dana Rozell
Dana Rozell The howard pittman Video is Really Good, I don't feel bad about the confession I wrote on the once saved always saved blog. It makes me sad to think so many people think they are disillusioned within themselves that they are Serving The True Good God Almighty of the Bible.
July 14, 2015
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Darin Gulley
Darin Gulley Brother you are not lost, just maybe waking up a bit. The fact you acknowledge what you have says to anyone that has "ears" that God loves you, just step closer...
July 14, 2015
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Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Thank you dear Pastor for the message! Great teaching!
July 19, 2015
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H William Lewis
H William Lewis Everyone is entitled to their belief on this subject but last night as I was drifting off to sleep these verses came to mind: Matthew 7:22-23 " Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" (NIV)  And 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 "If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood hay or straw, 13  their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14  If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15  If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.(NIV). Note in the first passage, God says "I never knew you" not I once knew you but you decided to give me up so I don't know you now... He is very positive that the person he is talking to was never, ever a believer. That person did not lose their salvation. In the second passage Paul says it is possible not to do any "good works" however, they suffer loss "but yet be saved". Just something to think about. Everyone is entitled to their belief on this subject but last night as I was drifting off to sleep these verses came to mind: Matthew 7:22-23 " Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" (NIV)  And 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 "If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood hay or straw, 13  their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14  If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15  If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.(NIV). Note in the first passage, God says "I never knew you" not I once knew you but you decided to give me up so I don't know you now... He is very positive that the person he is talking to was never, ever a believer. That person did not lose their salvation. In the second passage Paul says it is possible not to do any "good works" however, they suffer loss "but yet be saved". Just something to think about.
July 19, 2015
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Dana Rozell
Dana Rozell Thanks for writing on this subject! I cant honestly say i never knew jesus, ive fallen away, yet In my heart I know he has known me, and knows me,  I have wondered on these same verses in confusion feeling i had messed up my salvation. Our adversary is a great liar.
August 17, 2015
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H William Lewis
H William Lewis (continued): Note in the first passage, God says "I never knew you" not I once knew you but you decided to give me up so I don't know you now... He is very positive that the person he is talking to was never, ever a believer. That person did not lose their salvation. In the second passage Paul says it is possible not to do any "good works" however, they suffer loss "but yet be saved". Just something to think about.
July 19, 2015
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Darla Bailey
Darla Bailey Great teaching! I approached this as a full-on bible study! Absolutely marvellous!!!
September 3, 2015
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Tyler Velau
Tyler Velau Amen, Pastor Todd. Thank you so much for this teaching! I feel as though a lot of this applies directly to me. I am(I think) new to faith and try the best that I can, but I have limited knowledge and understanding. But, thankfully, RHM has been a HUGE help to me, and I am very grateful of that. Thank you for your help to me and I hope that all of us can help each other grow in faith and understanding together. 
October 30, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd Thank you Tyler.
October 30, 2015