Augustine Conversion According to The Confessions of St. Augustine


Augustine was blessed with a mother who was a prayer warrior. Through all of Augustine’s rebelliousness, resistance to God, placing emphasis on philosophy, joining a false religion and issues with sexual immorality, she prayed him through.

            At last, Augustine seemed interested in spiritual things, however he joined a sect with a form of Godliness known as Monichee. “A key belief in Manichaeism is that there is no omnipotent good power. This claim addresses a theoretical part of the problem of evil by denying the infinite perfection of God…”[1] But Augustine could not deny the emptiness that he was still feeling even after joining this sect.

            On chapter 1 of book VIII Augustine starts by stating, “He, now given to divine things, and yet entangled by the lust of love. Consults Simplicianus in reference to the renewing of the his mind.” Noticed that even as he feels that through this sect he have given himself to divine things, he is still struggling with the renewal of his own mind.

            It was obvious that by now he was convinced of the existence of God; it was obvious that he was not as interested in material things and status as he was before and it was obvious that he was reading the Bible and was fairly familiar with Scripture. Nevertheless, we can see, through this book, his personal struggle to surrender to God.

            Simplicianus was the Father of Ambrose and a key person in planting seeds in Augustine’s hearts. Simplicianus shared the powerful testimony of Victorious with Augustine. This was a powerful and intellectual man, who gave his life to the Lord and later died a Martyr. This testimony impacted Augustine greatly; he wanted to be like this man, nevertheless, he was not willing to give up his lust.

            As I read Augustine’s word, as he describe his struggle and desire for salvation, I can’t help but to be thankful to God for reaching out to me, for we don’t even have the ability to save ourselves. Augustine states,

            “O my God, let me with gratitude remember and confess unto Thee Thy mercies   bestowed upon me. Let my bones be steeped in Thy love, and let them say, who is         like unto Thee, O Lord?”[2]

            I have heard many times how lost people insist in cleaning certain things in their lives before coming to the feet of Jesus, not knowing that 1) Jesus will receive them as they are and, 2) only God has the power to transform their lives. At one point Augustine actually is quoted saying, “Leave me a little while.”[3] Later he states, “Grant me chastity and continency, but not yet.”[4]

            Finally Augustine met the end of his road, the place of desperation. I have never seen anybody come to the feet of Jesus when everything is going good. Here now Augustine’s language is changing, now he is saying, “Lo, let it be done now, let it be done now.”[5]

            As Augustine finds himself weeping in the presence of God, he continues crying out to God by saying, “How long, Lord? Wilt Thou be angry forever?”[6] (Psalm 79:5). As he heard the voice of a child encouraging him to open the book, he did open the Bible on Romans 13:13-14.[7] We don’t know if this was an actual child or an angel or a vision, but he heard this child singing.[8] The power of God unto salvation was finally upon Augustine, but not only him. As he shared his experience with his long-time friend Alypius, he also surrendered to Christ.

            From here until the end of his life, Augustine, who struggled with lust for decades, was now free. Augustine raised a son he had with a concubine during his days as a sinner. He left the concubine and put an end to that relationship; he never mentioned her by name in any of his writings. Augustine never pursued any other relationship.

            We can say that his conversion was radical. True salvation will indeed bring forth fruit; we are still enjoying the fruits of this extraordinary man of God. It is my prayer that we be able to leave a spiritual legacy for our children, grand children and generations to come.

[1] The World Encyclopedia, http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Manichaeism

[2] The Confessions of St. Augustine, 116

[3] Ibid. 121

[4] Ibid 124

[5] Ibid. 126

[6] Ibid. 127

[7] Ibid 128

[8] Ibid. 127

The Doctrine of Salvation 3


salvation-march

Hebrews 3:14-16 tells us,

 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,

Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? (NKJV)

          Who are these verses referring to, the Christian or the unbeliever? It seems like these verses are speaking to the believers. So then, we can harden our hearts as believers, but we don’t have that ability to so as unbelievers? The Calvinist doctrine tells us that no one can resist God; that He is in control and that He knows that his elected will come to the feet of Jesus as established by God before the foundation of the earth. So, are we really free? The Bible tells us in Acts 11:15-18,

 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” 18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.” (NKJV)

         We could get lost between Calvinism and Armianism, but it is important to establish that without repentance, salvation can’t take place. Therefor, the very act of salvation can’t possibly be a decision; salvation is a conversion. Repentance is a gift from God; that means that we do not have the ability to repent on our won; what we have is an unbelievable ability to justify our sin.

         You do not make up your mind in order to assist God in your salvation. You make up your mind to the realization that you are a disgusting and pitiful sinner. That is when the grace of God comes running to release in you, the God-giving ability for you to be able to repent of your sin. After you see the monstrosity of your sin, God’s Spirit releases faith in you so that you are able to trust Christ. 

         Salvation is brokenness; tears and the realization that even when we were yet sinners sinner, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). With salvation, our spirit comes alive and is activated and released from the legacy of spiritual deadness that the first Adam left us. We are now free to worship God in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

         Here we start the process of loving God above all things, we instantly become holy or separated for God and the sanctification process is activated in our lives. Salvation does not give us perfection, but instantly causes tangible and visible changes in our walk.

         Salvation is so powerful that it instantly changes your personality. We become a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your fruit should speak of your salvation (Matthew 7:16). Salvation is indeed a visible thing.

         It is not the sinner’s prayer that saved you or me. The sinner’s prayer becomes a reflection of your newfound faith. The sinner’s prayer is the prayer of a man or a woman who is now spirituality alive. That is why the Bible tells us in Romans 10:9-10 that we must believe in our hearts.

 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (NKJV)

          The word “confess” it does not refer to just a simple prayer that we pray so that now we can call ourselves saved. This word means,

      “To concede, admit, confess to confess publicly, acknowledge openly, profess. To confess Christ personally, meaning to profess or acknowledge Him. To acknowledge in honor of someone, meaning to give thanks, to praise.”[1]

 To confess Christ, as Lord and Savior is to change the way we talk; our confession now acknowledge and honors Christ.

         The word believe here means, “To believe, to have faith in, to trust, to be firmly persuaded as to something.”[2] With this newfound faith our whole believe system is changed radically. Nothing can change a human heart as radically as the born again experience.      

         Faith comes by hearing this message (Romans 10:17); not by hanging around us, not by opening our church for little community programs, festivals or even our charity efforts. Faith comes by hearing the Word. That is one of our greatest responsibilities as Christians. In John 14:6 Jesus stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (NKJV) Jesus must be presented. The fact that you are a Christian is not going to save anybody; the fact that you are a nice person is not going to change anybody.

         Some people think they can present the Gospel without having to talk about Christ. So they develop a very low evangelistic standard. They are satisfied with people recognizing them as Christians, but they are fearful of presenting the Gospel. They use expressions such as I don’t have to beat nobody with the Word, or expressions such as, I am the Bible they will be able to read and such. But it is all a copout from our responsibility as Christians. We must give people an opportunity to receive this Gospel by presenting what the Word has to say about Christ. God is going to confirmed His Word, not anything that we have to say or do outside of His Word. Mark 16:20 says,

 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (KJV)

          Can you see? They went and they preach; that is our job. Then the Lord confirmed His Word with signs.

         I do not claim to have all the answers; beloved we all know in part; so is it ok to say that it is impossible for us to figure everything out. But do you know the basics. Also, God is available to take us deeper according to First Corinthians 2:10.

         I hope this series of articles brought some clarity to the doctrine of salvation. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me at angelcasiano@aol.com. God bless you!

 

 

        

          

 

 

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[1] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[2] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

The Doctrine of Salvation 2


salvation-march

Two theologies of salvation came at the hands of two theologians. John Calvin, born in France in 1509, who became the successor of Martin Luther and, Jacob Arminius, from Dutch born in 1560.

         Calvinism is the doctrine that brings us predestination. The Calvinist believed that some people are predestined to go to heaven and others predestined to go to hell.

         Armianism, on the other hand, is the doctrine that establishes that salvation is a personal decision, that God has something to do with it, that He initiates the process but ultimately, the phenomenon of salvation is in our own hands.

         Make no mistake about it, if you are saved, God chose you. John 15:16 tells us, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (NKJV) God also told Moses, “…I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Exodus 33:19 (NKJV)

         We don’t have to understand everything. Why God is choosing some and seems not to chose others? Or why some get saved and other don’t? I don’t know!

         The greater question for me is, if God is in charge of choosing, why not send us to those who are chosen exclusively? But He is sending us to preach this Gospel to the whole world. Can somebody chosen able to reject God? The Calvinist doctrine teaches that no one is able to resist God; that God is supreme and in control of everything. The Armianism, on the other hand, teaches us that people reject God all the time. The Apostle Paul told Timothy in First Timothy 2:1-4,

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (NKJV)

         If it is God’s will for all to be saved and, in reality, not all get saved, then, can we conclude that obviously some are rejecting Him? If it is God’s will for all to be saved, then why some get saved and some don’t? If anybody can reject Him, then is it possible that they can accept Him also and therefor; do we have something to do with our own salvation? Can we, as evangelist contribute to somebody’s salvation? Can we pray them in?

         I do considered Armianism, on issues of salvation, to be bad theology. I don’t argue that we have a free will, but the Bible specifically tells us that salvation is the total work of God; it is all a gift from heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us,

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV)

         If salvation is a matter of decision, then repentance is not necessary. I can arrogantly say; I am making a decision to follow Christ. For example, the rich young man wanted to make such decision to follow Christ, while holding on to everything he had. Many are convinced that they could be saved while approaching the Gospel just as the rich young man did. In Matthew 19:21-22 we read,

21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (NKJV)

 

         I think that many times we fail to understand that Jesus accepts us as we are, but not without us repenting for what we have done. To follow God we must surrender all to Him. If you let Him do that kind of work in you, He will. However, we also have the right to reject any gift, that is, including the gift of salvation. Jesus told this young rich man to follow him, but the rich man rejected him, as he did not want to let go of his possessions. This is a typology of many that want to come to Jesus as long as they are allowed to continue in their sin. That attitude alone is evidence that repentance have not taken place. The story of this young rich man continue,

23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-26 (NKJV)

         Noticed that in verse 26 we see a little of the Armianism and a little of the Calvinistic approach. The rich young man executed his will by not following Jesus, even after Jesus himself asked him to follow Him. This proves that God can’t be rejected. On the other hand, I see some Calvinism because Jesus made it clear that with God all things are possible. Can we say that if the rich man was truly a chosen one maybe the outcome would have been different? I only know in part!

To be continued…

The Doctrine of Salvation


salvation-march

What differentiates the Evangelicals from the rest of the Christian world is this concept of being born again. Other religions speak about conversion and even force people into such conversion, but the born again concept is uniquely ours.

         In John 3:3 Jesus made a powerful statement concerning salvation and the need to be born again, “…Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (NKJV)

         How do we become born again? Are there many paths to salvation? Can you do it your way? Are there other saviors? Can you be good enough to be saved? Romans 3:10-18 clearly describes our spiritual condition:

10 As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;

11 There is none who understands;

There is none who seeks after God.

12 They have all turned aside;

They have together become unprofitable;

There is none who does good, no, not one.”

13 “Their throat is an open tomb;

With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;

“The poison of asps is under their lips”;

14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.

15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;

17 And the way of peace they have not known.”

18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (NKJV)

         Nobody is good enough or capable of saving him or herself. We have a sinful condition that separates us from God. Psalm 51:5 tell us, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (KJV).

         The message of the Gospel was lost for more than a thousand years. Things were about to change after Martin Luther’s Reformation on October 31, 1517. The message of the Gospel was not fully restored until the Anabaptist came to the scene. After the reformation, common people had access to the Scripture. The Anabaptist came out of that group; they were not into reformation; they saw that the Catholic Church went too far, and they did, so they were separatist.

         Anabaptist means re-baptize. They were against baby baptism. They understood that the requirement for baptism was to be born again. This seemingly simple doctrine brought a devastating persecution against the Anabaptist. They were persecuted by everybody; the church of England, Rome and even by the followers of Luther. I always respected this group and, even as they made some mistake themselves, these were true Christians who loved the Lord and love souls.

         For the sake of this article series we will focus on the Doctrine of Salvation.

To be continued…

What Determines Our Lifestyle?


preachersm

What are you listening to? What is the main message of the local church you area part of? Are they always fighting among themselves? Are they manipulating the Word of God to push a personal agenda? Is the preaching and Bible studies contaminated with bad doctrine? What you and I listen to is important because faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17) and, what we need to listen to is, the unadulterated Word of God. However, this is the warning, everything else comes by hearing also. Doubt, depression, anger, frustration, negativity; etc.

     What we listen to will affect our believe system. We need to be very careful with the believe system we and our families are exposed to. What we believe will give birth to a value system and our value system will determine our life style. What we keep believing will be the direction of our future, that is, good or bad!

Don’t Be A Coward


witnessing

 

I am hearing a lot of criticisms against the church these days, more than ever. Some of the criticism is fair. The church is not where is suppose to be, because we are not where we are supposed to be ourselves.

         I am the first one to tell you that I do not hold back when it comes down to coming against the introductions of false doctrines, man-made religion, etc. However, I also want to point out that there is a great portion of folks among us, who wants to be friends with the world. Some of these people are either not born again or not disciple correctly.

         It is impossible for true believers to be friends of the world. If you are, something is wrong with your Christianity. The Bible tells us, very clearly, in James 4:4,

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (KJV)

 

         This does not mean that we do not have any relationship with the unsaved. We live in this world; they are everywhere. They are our neighbors, our co-workers, our mechanic, the lady in the bank, our children’s coach, etc. Not being friends with the world does not mean that we live in a cave away from everybody. Jesus himself said in John 17:15-16,

 

15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (KJV)

 

         Friendship is a deeper thing than just knowing somebody. Friendship involves fellowship; the Bible tells us that there is no fellowship between light and darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). Why? Because, again, if you are a true Christian, your job is to minister to the lost.

          I am not saying that as soon as you see them you preach the whole Bible to them, but soon or later, the Holy Spirit will give you a chance to face that sinner with the reality that he/she is a sinner, that he/she needs a Savior, that he/she must repent and that even those wonderful things that he/she likes to do, that society approves, are detestable before the Lord.

         When a sinner is confronted with his/her condition, two things could happen, 1) That sinner will repent and accept Jesus as his/her Savior and Lord or 2) They will be highly offended. In First Peter 2:8 Jesus is describe as “A rock of offense.” (KJV)

          Jesus message is offensive to the world. That is the reason why they say things such as, “Do not judge me”, “There is nobody perfect” and my favorite one, “God loves me the way I am”.

         Beloved, understand that we can come to God in whatever condition we find ourselves in. From the man who stole a pencil at work to the rapist, God loves them all and, they can all run after God and be accepted and forgiving. But here is the catch; God accept you the way you are, but He demands His Lordship over your life to change you. You and I cannot remain the same. Romans 7:21 tells us,

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (KJV)

 

         So go into the world and tell them about the love of God; put your arms around them and show them your love for them. Feed them, cloth them, be there for them in times of trouble, etc. But when the Holy Spirit gives you a chance to present the Gospel and their need for repentance, don’t be a coward!

You Have the Right to Go to Hell


bill_maher

Today a thought crossed my mind: You have the right to go to hell if you want to. You may be one that refuses to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, you refuse to recognize your sinful nature, your need for repentance and, you do not believe that you must give your life to Jesus according to the Biblical reality of the Gospel. Guess what? You have the right to do so.

            You may think that you do not need Jesus to go to heaven; you may think that you can go to heaven by placing your trust in the Muslim faith or you may become a Jehovah Witness, a Mormon, etc. The constitution of the United States gives you the freedom to do whatever you want, as long as you do not violate the law and the freedom of others.

            That same constitution gives you the right to believe in the spiritual journey of your preference or believe in nothing that goes beyond you. My dear friend, this nation and God give you the right to go to hell if you so desire. The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:9,

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV)

 

            You don’t have to be a doctor in theology to know that, even as God does not want anyone to end up in hell, many will end up there. That is because God has given all of us a free will.

            I have been saying for some time that the church is distracted trying to change the world. The Bible is clear in letting us know who is the god of this world system, that is Satan according to 2 Corinthians 4:4. The Bible is also clear in letting us know that we do not belong to this world (John 17:14-15)

            We, as Christians, should place our emphasis in pursuing the fulfillment of the first commandment of loving God above all things. We should be a people that embrace the process of sanctification. We are holy people, separated for God. We should not be behaving like the world. We also should be an example to the world by loving one another as a united family. If we do these things we will be able to impact the world more effectively than to trying to change laws, policies and our constitution.

            Church! This is not our world and this is not our Kingdom. Our job is to make sure that we have the power, according to Acts chapter two, to be effective witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ in the mix of this fallen world.

            We need a Christ-centered life style and a life-centered message. There is a great portion of the church that has gotten involved with politics; they love to dance with the powerful. There is another portion of the church that has gone after higher learning and the prestige and fleshly dignifying and prideful attitudes that come alone with it. They sound good, but they have no power and no revelation.

            We need the good old Gospel and all that the Gospel tells us to be, to do and to say. As for the rest of the world, even as rude and as heartless as this may sound, they have the right to their same sex marriage. They are gaining territory as they change their own laws to kill innocent children in their mother’s bellies. By the way, the killing of children was one of the last sins Israel got involved with before they were taken into captivity. That is prophetic of our times; perhaps our own captivity is coming.  The world has the right to continue and promote their immorality. They have the right to promote their violent message through music, video games, movies, etc. They have the right to reject our loving God, but, make no mistake about it, they also have the right to go to hell.

A Message For Our New Graduates


graduates

Maybe I am just getting old, maybe I am just tired, but I see things differently…much differently now. I know that many graduated recently or are about to graduate from 8th grade, from high school and even from college. Congratulation on your graduation by the way! However, I want to make a few spiritual observations!

      What an irritation in a sensitive part of my body, is to listen to these speakers talking about Keys to Success. The arrogance of their lips truly annoys me. They feel so qualify because they have a respected job, a comfortable financial status or because they have a higher learning degree from a prestigious institution. However, Mr. Doctor, there is one problem in your keys to success. You talk about success as if success can be achieved without the Lord Jesus Christ.

      Graduates! I have to tell you this, I don’t want to take away from the beauty of your graduation, but somebody has to tell you the truth. Are you ready for this? This is the true: Without Jesus we are all failures! Matthew 16:26 tells us:

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” NKJV

 

      Get saved! If you are saved, then grow in your knowledge and intimacy with God by developing a committed study of God’s Word, by worshipping God and by becoming a man or a woman of prayer. That is the foundation for success. Then your graduation, your new job and achievements in general will have the right prospective. I don’t have anything against higher learning, but I recognize that it is just one more thing that can be achieved and still lose your soul in the process.

Why Are We Hiding? “Let’s Go and Get Them”


It is time to bring down the idols of our hearts and make sure that Jesus takes first place in all of our desires. It is time to stop hiding from the world, for the Bible tells us in Romans 10:14

 

 

“14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

 

Beloved, how can we be used by God to change the world if we keep hiding? How can the world change if we don’t tell them about Jesus? We, the Christians, have the answer. We waste so much time pointing fingers at the government, social services, Hollywood, etc. but here we are hiding this powerful life changing message. We need to stay away from the things of this world, but be the light of the world. Mathew 5:14-16 tells us:

 

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

Smith Wigglesworth, one of God’s generals in the Pentecostal Movement of last century, was one of the most fascinating men of God of all times; we should learn some very valuable lessons from him. It is said that this man made a commitment with God to win one person for the Lord every day before going to sleep at night. On one occasion Wigglesworth could not sleep. That day, he did not win anybody for Jesus so he went out in the middle of the night, found one man on the street, ministered the Gospel to him, and won him for Jesus. What an amazing example! On the other hand, Wigglesworth did not allow any other book or magazines in his house. It is said that the only book he read was indeed the Bible. Wigglesworth was an example of someone who hated the things of this world, but was passionate about souls.

 

We go to church, we homeschool our children or enroll them in Christian schools, we are always with our families and our comfortable circle of friends, and all that is good, but we never take the time to go and tell somebody about Jesus. Beloved, we need a passion for souls! We are indeed called to hate the things of this world and what the world has to offer. We must remember that Satan is the god of this world and we must remember that we are not from here. But we must have compassion for the lost…yes, the lost! You know, those kids showing half of their underwear in public, the homosexuals, our lost politicians, that co-worker that continuously pushes your buttons, that annoying family member, that woman that is on her third divorce, that man consumed by addictions and the list goes on and on. Who knows? They could repent of their sins and be saved from the flames of hell…but we keep hiding!

 

Holiness ought to give us a heart for the things of God, a special love for our brothers and sisters, but holiness also ought to break our hearts for lost souls. I say it is time to go and get them!

 

“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!”Charles H. Spurgeon

Can We Lose Our Salvation?


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!