Boy I know that I am about to step in some serious toes here! This topic is one, if not the main divider between Pentecostals and Baptist. I hope that with this small article we can open a respectful dialogue. Both, Pentecostals and Baptist claim to be Christians; they both honor Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and they both believe that the Bible is indeed God’s Word and is to be trusted one hundred percent. So why is it that in an important topic such as Salvation they are so divided? In Matthew 7:22-23 the Bible gives us a couple of verses as good starting point for this discussion.
“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:22-23
So, who is Jesus speaking with? Clearly Jesus is speaking to Christians! In Mark 3:22-26 Jesus is being accused of casting out demons in the name of the Devil “Beelzebud”. Jesus’ answer here is the confirmation that in Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus was speaking to Christians:
“And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”
So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end.”
If Jesus was indeed speaking to Christians in Matthew 7:22-23, then the argument that we can’t ever lose our salvation is out the door. Jesus stated:
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:23
Jesus is speaking to Christians that were saved, did great things for God, but in the process they lost their intimacy with God and gave themselves to lawlessness. I am not talking about struggling with sin as we all do in certain areas; I am talking about people who turn their backs on God. You had the choice to be saved as you respond to the Holy Spirit and you also have the choice to walk away. Free will is not taken away from us just because we are saved.
Now, I am sure that God is not going to give up on us that easy; He will do whatever possible to bring us back, but at the end it is our choice to return or not. Revelation 3:5 also gives us a key verse for this topic:
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
In order for our names to be removed from the Book of Life our names needed to be there to start with. Beloved, I am also convinced that many that claim to be born again are not. They repeated a prayer in some service, but they never believed in their heart. Some others think that they are saved because they grew up in the church. You see in them no change, no fruit of salvation, no conviction of sin, no passion for Christ and no use of their gifts for God. They don’t make it to church or express any desire to fellowship with God’s people and have no desire to read the Word. They have the “I can have it my way Gospel.” Those are in great dangers with the Always Save doctrine because they believe the lie that tells them: “I am in, no matter what!”
I want to make it clear that losing our salvation is not an easy thing; but if we make up our minds to purposely turn our backs on God then Mathew 7:22-23 will be applied.
I welcome your comments in this very vital topic!