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Question & Doubt Haven

Posted by on Jul. 25, 2007 at 1:23 PM
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This is a safe place to ask difficult questions that may be uncomfortable to discuss.  I believe that God encourages us to dig deeper so that we can grow closer to him.  Plus, I believe that the Bible can hold up to scrutiny and questioning, since it's never been proved wrong once in almost 2,000 years since its first production!

And Jesus didn't berate Thomas for wanting to see the holes where the nails were when Jesus showed himself to his closest followers in John 20:24-29.  Jesus encouraged him to touch the holes and believe.  Thomas always asked what the rest of us were thinking but too scared to ask!  So if Jesus didn't berate HIM for that, why would it not be okay for US to express our questions?

After all, our purpose is to grow closer to God and we all need more understanding!

c-ya

Laurie


by on Jul. 25, 2007 at 1:23 PM
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HosannMaranatha
by Group Owner on Jul. 25, 2007 at 1:35 PM

To answer a question I was asked about whether can you be saved again after living a path of unrighteousness:

There's different ways to answer that depending upon the circumstances.  The key word in that question is "again".  So I'll give you the best answers I can with different possible life-scenerios and if I didn't cover what you needed, let me know and I'll try again.  I've included lots of links here (in blue & underlined) so that you can see where I'm getting my Scripture from - it's CRUCIAL that you get all your advice based on Scripture and truth and make sure that no one is leading you wrong.

Bottom line is that true salvation is once and for all and cannot be revoked (Romans 8:38-39 & John 10:28-29) so there is no worry once you receive the Holy Spirit (our guarantee) upon your salvation (2 Corinthians 1:22, 2 Corinthians 5:5 and Ephesians 1:13-14).

Now we're at the question of whether this hypothetical person was truly saved to begin with, which is really the root of that question I was asked.

Let's say this person has good intentions, wants to follow God but chooses not to - they won't "become new".  Or they were misinformed about how salvation is gained and think they have it but do not.  In that case, there isn't an actual change of heart.  One can KNOW HOW and CHOOSE NOT TO or one might NOT KNOW HOW because they were misdirected by even a well-meaning person.

Let's say they continue their sinful ways without regard to God, without truly desiring a holy life but they don't want to risk their eternity.  Or they WANT to serve God but figure they have to DO something on their own such as acts of works or something to gain or complete salvation (in that case, that person says that God lied when he told us salvation was a free gift and cannot be earned!).  

Or they say a prayer and figure that's it, but that's not true (in that case, then, they probably weren't saved to begin with.  That link explains about how God will graft us onto the tree of life but not if we do not believe.  That is important to remember.

Also, with salvation comes the fruits of the spirit (list of fruits are in Galatians 5:22), and God provides repentance and a change in life (2Corinthians 5:17 says we become brand-new).  If there is no evidence of the Holy Spirit in the person, if they feel empty and hopeless still, they likely didn't have initial salvation and need to understand what God requires for salvation.  They would need to read the Book of Romans to better understand, especially Chapter 2. 

Only God knows a person's heart and challenges, so since he is the true judge (Romans 2:1-3) it's not for me to gauge whether they're a brother or sister or not. 

On that note, remember that no one can be made right by only following the law (Romans 3:19-20) and none of us are righteous on our own.  We require God's righteousness and we simply reflect his righteousness, we have no ability within us to be righteous; kind of like holding a mirror near a lamp and making the light bounce off the wall.  The wall has no light source, the mirror has no light source, it just simply reflects that light that comes from the lamp.  That is the way righteousness works.  WE are not righteous, we are just to remain a mirror for God's righteousness.  God is our lamp of righteousness.  Faith in Jesus as our salvation is required (Romans 3:21-26) and needed for us to be a "clean mirror" to reflect righteousness and God's glory.  It's not our own and if someone thinks it is then they are misinformed.  The law ONLY shows us our sin and our need for Jesus, we are not expected to obey it on our own because we are just not capable, we need God for that.  If this person has not surrendered every aspect of their lives to him, I can see your cause for concern.  But that alone doesn't mean they're not saved. 

For example, I surrendered myself to Jesus and continue to do so daily (it's a daily to-do task) but I have trouble letting him guide my finances and children.  It doesn't mean I'm not saved, but I do need to give that over to him.  God knows our hearts.  He knows that I desire very much for him to control my life and he knows me better than I know me.  But fruits of the spirit are evident in my life.  Plus, with salvation comes repentance.

God doesn't expect us to be perfect overnight after salvation.  We are works in progress, we are being broken down to be able to be pliable enough for him to mold into something useful.  Sometimes we fight that breaking-down, but it doesn't risk our salvation.  If you truly want Jesus to change your life, you truly believe that he died and was raised on the third day to be a perfect, spotless sacrifice which replaces all other sacrifices and you are willing to obey, then you understand salvation.  That is what is required.  Just because someone gets off track, especially if it is a season of their life that God is quiet, nothing can separate us from God's love and salvation (Romans 8:38-39).

Another way to answer that is if the hypothetical person in question wants to be saved but has not really ever surrendered to God.  In that case, they should rededicate their life to him, pray again for Jesus to come into their heart (he is there knocking - Rev. 3:20) and to change their hearts and lives so they may follow Him and repent. 


Also click this link for a similar answer:  http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-lose-salvation.html



Hope that helps!

c-ya

Laurie

SweetSherry
by New Member on Jul. 25, 2007 at 2:12 PM
In Romans 12:1,2 "And so, dear brothers and sisters,* I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and Holy sacrifice-the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is it too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is:.

As you know I came out of a very manipulative church I went to from 15-21 and it was the only church experience I've had since getting saved there. Yes I've been to other churches but never a commited member(can u blame me I was soooooo confused about God, christians and my own decisions). Probably cause I haven't met any friends there yet. No one seems to have gone through legalism like i have or who are young with a family with a non-believing husband to.

Now u know where i'm coming from here are my questions...I don't expect you to have all the answers but I'd like to get different ideas :-) Plus I have no relatable friends to talk with rememeber? lol!

1)What does it mean to give our bodies to God? Sexual sin? If so that doesn't really apply to me cause I'm married and don't masterbate thinking about another man. Let alone sleep with someone else. Well, I don't masterbate cause my husband takes care of those urges anyway :-) Not to sure how this applies to me when now I'm married?

2)How can my body be a Holy sacrifice? Don't cut myself? Don't smoke or drink alcohol???????????? For me I drink once in a while and don't see the problem as long as I'm not drinking to escape my problems or feel guilty about something. It's good to turn to God instead of the bottle for these things. With smoking I don't like the smell anyway and it doesn't help ur skin, teeth, breath or health. I'm just too vain to mess with that! lol! I don't want to mess with this beautiful face! hahahhahahaha!! It's sad...but I really am that vain!  Plus it says right on the box it causes Cancer. Why would I want to get cancer? I want to live the longest life possible.

3)How do I change the way I think? I let other people think for me for 6 years cause I was insecure and trusted God was speaking through them. So what they said was final. If I question it...I was questioning God. I know this is not right and down right spiritually abusive. Just as harmful as any other abuse. Maybe even worse cause it messes with ur image of God and your conscience. I'm so used to hearing how I need to be, think, act, dress, etc. a certain way and if I'm not that way I'm not excepted. Please try to clarify these 2 versus for me as I'm looking to be excepted by God and be secure in Him. I don't mind being corrected by God I just want to know what it is he really wants. Rather than what I've been tought he wants.......








HosannMaranatha
by Group Owner on Jul. 25, 2007 at 4:00 PM
If anyone has anything Scriptural to add to answer questions here, please feel free!  And if I am in error on my Scripture interpretation, please let me know.  I welcome the accountability!

In answer to SweetSherry:
1) & 2)   I believe that when God directs us to give our bodies, to him, that is both literal and figurative.  He expects ALL of us.  We can't be a Christian with one foot in heaven and one foot on earth.  He's saying that all we do should be for his glory.  We are to give ourselves as obedient servants to God spiritually,, mentally, and physically.  He will convict us of those sins and it is our job to obey. 

Giving of ourselves physically means that we don't allow actual sexual sin (as opposed to fantasies which is mental), abuse of bodies (diet, etc.), and it also means that we may be called to die for him as a martyr.  Though that is pretty extreme, it does happen.  People die trying to worship God in other countries that don't agree with Christianity.  Watch the news & there are martyrs all the time with more to come, because it won't stop today. 

Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 for details from the apostle Paul.

2) The part of that question about making your body a holy sacrifice:  honor God with our bodies.  He WILL convict you if you are not.  Pray about what you're doing.  If you want a couple of drinks of wine, it is not the end of the world to me.  But God may convict you differently. 

  1. Romans 14:21
    It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that will cause your brother or sister to sin.
    **This verse speaks to instances when you are with someone who has chosen a special diet (vegan) or not to drink for spiritual reasons.  You are not to cause them to change that because the reason they do it is because God has given them that special assignment.  It does not mean that every person is required to do that.  He speaks to all of us differently for different purposes.*** 
  2. Ephesians 5:18
    Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit.
  3. 1 Timothy 3:3
    He must not drink too much wine or like to fight, but rather be gentle and peaceable, not loving money.
    These two verses speak to not being drunk.  You aren't forbidden to drink, you are told not to be a drunkard.  How can you witness being falling-down drunk?  But you can still witness after a glass or two.  God speaks of moderation, but some people he calls to be without drink.
The first instance in the Bible where wine is mentioned, was when Noah drank too much.  But wine, ceremonial and celebratory, is not a sin to drink UNLESS God has convicted you to remain without it.  That is only achieved in prayer & seeking God's will.  If you're asking about it to me, I hope that you are praying about it because it may be something God is placing on your heart.


3)  How to change your heart is a great question.  You have to make quiet time for God to find out where he wants to start.  When Jesus was accusing the Pharisees in Matthew 23, he said that cleaning the inside of us will by default clean the outside.  So to do that internal housekeeping and be strong in the Lord instead of dependant on others, you really have to seek a deeper relationship with God.  You have to have that strength to stand up for obedience to God while being as respectful as you can toward those that are no longer making your decisions.  Reading your Bible is an excellent place to start, but really make some quiet time to come to him in prayer, for you to be still and quiet your heart so that he will speak to you or give you a feeling of direction.  Click on this link to take you to a website page I found helpful when I was researching this question.



Hope this helped & if anyone has other verses or something to add, please do!
Laurie



JCfriend
by on Sep. 12, 2007 at 12:05 AM
Thank you for that.  I went on just to see what your answer would be.  There's no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit is directing you.  Thanks be to God. Kelly
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