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!

 

 

 

Reflection After Whitney Houston’s Death!


I am so sad for the death of Whitney Houston; there is no doubt that no other female singer has touched my heart with her voice as much as Whitney. Truly, gone too soon!

We can talk about her drug abuse, her terrible marriage with Bobby Brown, etc; but who are we? For what? The reality is that when I see the tragic ending of people like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and now Whitney I reflect on what happens to us when we surrender to the desires of our flesh and the lies of the devil. That is why the Bible calls the devil “The Enemy.” Here I see this beautiful, talented and powerful woman, whose life seemed to have ended under water in a bathtub. I can’t hold back my tears!

I did see the video of her last performance as she sang “Jesus Love Me.” Musically, not a good performance, but I pray that was a revelation; the amazing realization that God indeed loves us. It is my hope that before Whitney left us she had time to be reconciled with the Lord and that at this very moment she finds herself singing before our Heavenly Father. At the end of the day, when we take that final breath, all that will truly matter is what we did with Jesus who gave His life for us!  Beloved, there are only two destinations when we die: Heaven or Hell and only through Jesus Christ and Christ alone can we enter God’s Kingdom. For the Bible tells us in Luke 9:25

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”

 

Our final destination has nothing to do with what church we go to, our denomination, if we are Catholics, Baptist, Pentecostals, what position we hold, what we have, don’t have, what we do or not do, etc…It is through Jesus that we can be saved. John 3:16 tells us:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

 

If God is touching your heart right now you have the chance to be saved. In Romans 10:9-10 the Bible gives us how to be saved:

“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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Now, the key is not to repeat this prayer that I am about to give you, the key for your salvation is to believe in Jesus Christ and not only to believe, but to trust Him and not only to trust, but to manifest your trust in Him by changing the way you talk and the things you confess. If from now on you are willing to confess Jesus as King of your life for the rest of your days and if right now you trust God with all of your heart no matter what, then today is your day of salvation. With these thoughts in mind, read this prayer out loud:

“Jesus, I give you my life! Today I believe that you died on the cross for me and that the Father raised you up on the third day. Today I believe that you are siting at the right hand of the Father and that you are my Savior. I believe in you Jesus, I give you my heart, take my life, transform me, fill me with your Holy Spirit, be the leader of my life and guide me in the ways that pleases You. Come into my heart, renew my mind and make me a Born Again Believer. Give me hunger, thirst, passion and understanding of your Word. Make me a faithful man/woman and teach me how to pray. Take all of me; I am yours now, I no longer belong to the devil, but I belong to you. From this day on I give you all of my talents; use them for the service of your people and for your glory. In Jesus name…Amen!”

 

If you believe this prayer, you are saved! Please e-mail us at angelcasiano@aol.com so that we can tell you what to do next. Welcome to the family of God! God bless you!

Do You Really Believe? Part 4


“What Separates a Christian from the Rest of the World?”

 

“Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

‘Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

 1 Peter 2:6 NKJV

            In conclusion, when we trust God there is a promise that we will never be put to shame. There is boldness and a confidence in Christ that takes place when we experience being born again. However, there lies the problem; if you are ashamed or shy to the point that you don’t even share Jesus with your own family and friends, question your salvation. How can you be filled with such love and such power and not be affected in your confession?

You have no problem talking about your kids, your job, the football game last week, your wife, etc. but when it comes down to making a confession for Christ you automatically shut down and have nothing to say? Being shy is not something that should be taken lightly; it is not a small sin. We must understand that being shy for Jesus is being a coward. The Bible tells us in Revelations 21:8

“But the cowardly, unbelieving,abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

            We love to speak against sexual sins, homosexuality, etc. but here the Bible places the cowards in the same level as the rest of these awful sins. We must cast this shy demon out of our lives; we must be bold in our confession. The reality is that you are either playing religion like many others, not saved or in need of prayer and understanding that being shy concerning sharing Christ is Biblically an unacceptable behavior that can lead your soul to hell.

I know these are strong words and perhaps they sound a little fanatical for some; but they are the truth and we must deal with this truth now that we have the opportunity. Only when we place our ultimate trust in God can we call ourselves Christians. The greatest evidence of that salvation is our willingness and excitement to share our amazing God with others. We see couples in their beginning stages of their romantic and platonic relationship always talking about how wonderful the other is; such beautiful times in our lives that many of us remember with a smile! How much more should we share Jesus as we are called to love Him above all things? How can our daily confessions not change? But the main question remains…Do You Really Believe?

 

Do You Really Believe? Part 3


“What Separates a Christian from the Rest of the World?”

“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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

After repentance takes place and after, by grace, we believe; the next step is a vital part of the fruit of our salvation. We must now deal with what “confession” really means. This is where the enemy is having a good time in introducing false gospels. This is where many feel that they are saved because one day they came forward and repeated a prayer. In Romans 10:9“Confess” means: (ὁμολογέω) to express openly one’s allegiance to a proposition or person—‘to profess, to confess, confession. (Louw Nida 33.274)

This definition is very significant because inMatthew 10:32-33, we find the use of the same word:

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

 

We can also addHebrews 10:23to make the point that confession is more than just a onetime thing, it is indeed a lifestyle.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

Romans 15:9also closes the argument about confessing Jesus among the Gentiles or non-believers.

“And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.”

 

            The idea that we can repeat a prayer and accept that as being saved is a Biblical error. This word “confession” challenges us to express openly one’s allegiance to a proposition or person. This means that as witnesses we are unashamedly declaring our alliance to Christ. Many are making it look as if they have an alliance to Christ; but at the end, when you study them a little deeper, you can clearly see that their alliance is not with our Lord.

In our own churches, I have heard people who claim to be Christians; however they also believe in other ways of salvation outside of Christ. Others claim to be saved, but don’t believe that the Bible is totally accurate. I actually had a young man that told me that he was a Christian, but that he had a problem with Jesus being the only way to heaven, as the other religions have been around longer than Christianity. They claimed to be saved because at one point they were, in many cases, manipulated into repeating a prayer. They stand today as enemies of the cross and it will not take long before there lie becomes visible.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Do You Really Believe? Part 2


“What Separates a Christian from the Rest of the World?”

 

            Let’s explore what really needs to take place in the life of an individual in order for that individual to be saved. A key verse to understand salvation isRomans 10:9-10:

“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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

The first thing we need to understand is that there is no salvation without repentance. Repentance was John the Baptist‘s central message. It was also Jesus’. God accepts us the way we are; no doubt about that; but we must repent for what we’ve done. The second thing that must happen is that we must believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord.Luke 6:45tells us:

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heartbrings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

            Even as Romans 10:9-10 mentions confession first, we must understand that confession is the result of a repented heart. The third thing that must take place is the confession itself. What I have said so far is not perhaps strange or far off, but there is more that we must understand in order to go deeper into the doctrine of salvation. We must look at two key words “believe” and “confess.”

“Believe: From the Greek Word (πιστεύω; πίστις) Meaning to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance—‘to believe in, to have confidence in and to have faith in. In rendering πιστεύω and πίστις it would be wrong to select a term which would mean merely ‘reliance’ or ‘dependency’ or even ‘confidence,’ for there should also be a significant measure of ‘belief,’ since real trust, confidence, and reliance can only be placed in someone who is believed to have the qualities attributed to such a person.” (Louw Nida 31.85)

Lets take a look at the following verses that gives us the same Greek Word for Believe:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3.16

 

 “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Romans 4:3 KJV

“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” 1 Peter 2:6 KJV

Believing is more than just acknowledging, but is in fact, trusting. That is what makes us believers!

TO BE CONTINUED…

Do You Really Believe? Part 1


“What Separates a Christian from the Rest of the World?”

I am growing concerned with the fact that many people that sit in the church on Sundays are not saved from the terrorizing Lake of Fire. These are people that perhaps repeated what is commonly known among evangelicals as the “sinner’s prayer;” nevertheless, it was all an illusion, a lie, an incorrect interpretation of what true salvation is. Many people call themselves Christians, some are even baptized, but they were never born again. They remained in their pitiful lifestyles, refusing change.

Beloved, it is impossible to be a Christian without first being born again. For some, this is common sense, but after working as a Chaplain and Counselor in a Christian Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program and after doing one-on-one Biblical Advise Sessions with so called, Christians; I am finding out that they don’t even understand the basic doctrine of salvation. They are Deacons, Youth Pastors; they work with the kids in the church, are Elders and some are even Senior Pastors. I grieve at Mega Churches and their “cheese-ball” Pastors such as Joel Austin with sugar-coated messages that simply add to the confusion. Watch this Video of an Interview Pastor Austin had with Larry King live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwL1DThtxYg The Bible clearly tells us inGalatians 1:8

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!”

            It is not really a surprise that the enemy is introducing other gospels; after all, he is the father of all lies. However, we as Christians must clearly understand salvation. Without such basic understanding, not only are we going straight to hell, but chaos will exist here in earth. We will literally live fruitless lives. Mathew 7:16 explains:

“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

On Steve Harvey!


               Why do we continue to insist on a different Gospel? To become a Christian we must be born again (John 3); to be born again, we must repent of all of our sins and call on Jesus to come into our hearts (Romans 10:9-10). After you are born again, then the Christian life is about learning the Ways of God and moving away from the ways of the world. It is about dying to who we are and living for Jesus! This friends, is the Gospel! We are called to do things God’s way; when we do things our way it will never end-up well. We are supposed to learn this reality as we get older! As we do things our way and then look back to our mess, we will hopefully get to a point of surrendering to Jesus… Believe me I know!

            The Gospel does not take you as you are (That is a lie); the Gospel takes you in when you repent for the things you have done as it relates to sin and then this same Gospel is powerful and loving enough to not leave us as we are. The Gospel will change us to be more and more like Jesus and less and less like ourselves. To say that you can come as you are, without the message of repentance is again, a Biblical inconsistency.

            My heart goes out to Comedian Steve Harvey; it is obvious that God is dealing with him as I recently saw a video of him on TBN; but the idea that you can excuse an un-Godly life and message because of the demands of your job and under the umbrella of self-imperfection is heresy. God demands that we give Him our all, not just some. Steve needs someone to preach the true Gospel to him and stop using his fame as an excuse to use this man for their own agendas and fame. Mr. Harvey needs Jesus… period! He does not need another TBN interview or another invitation of a famous Gospel singer to host his show. None of that is going to save Steve; the way of the Gospel is in the Word and it applies to everybody. Nothing changes the reality of the Gospel; the hypocrisy of many in the church, the hurts in the Body of Christ, etc. does not, in any way change the Word. Steve needs to be born again and if he is already born again, he needs to be a disciple. Before going public; he needs to go in the private with Jesus!

Let’s pray for Steve Harvey that someone would be bold enough to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this man and that Mr. Harvey will make Jesus the Lord of his life.

To view Mr. Harvey’s interview on TBN please click on this link:

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4ADRA_enUS388US389&q=steve+harvey+on+tbn

The Transforming Power of Salvation


“Going Back to Preaching the Purity and Reality of the Gospel without Shame and without Fear”

            The idea that there is another way to salvation, other than through Jesus Christ and that we can be saved today and continue business as usual tomorrow, can’t be further from truth. My concern, as it refers to our churches, is that they are watering down the truth of the Gospel trying to accommodate a more secular and less “offensive” approach.

The following twelve points should challenge all of us, as Christians and leaders, to review our own salvation and how we define and present the Gospel to a lost humanity. I should also add that the Holy Spirit play a center role in every step:

1.     You must come to the realization that you are a sinner in need of salvation.

Sin entered humanity in the Garden of Eden through Adam and Eve. From that very moment we stand in need of salvation. As long as we continue to see ourselves as good because we don’t drink; we don’t smoke and we have not killed anyone; we obviously have not come to the revelation of the reality of our condition as sinners.

2.    You must repent of your sins before God.  (Luke 3:1-3)

 Repentance is a MUST; without it there is no salvation. John the Baptist preached, as we can clearly see in these verses, “…a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” To ask Jesus to come into your heart, without repenting of your sins is a Biblical error and an inexistent gospel.

3.    You must believe in Jesus. (John 3:16)

The Bible states in this verse, “…whoever believes in Him shall not perish.” We will not perish if we believe in Jesus. There must be a deep revelation that Jesus is what the Bible says He is.

4.    You must confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord as you place your trust in Him. (Romans 10:9-11)

As you confess with your mouth and as you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and that God raising Him from the dead, your trust in God is activated. Verse eleven tells us that “…anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” Now we realize that this is not a far away God. Now we know that it is personal, and that God is someone we can trust. This process of trusting is on-going, as we grow in our relationship with God and as we develop a history of testimonies of His faithfulness.

5.    You are now a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17)

Your nature has change. It used to be your nature to sin, now it is your nature to please God. Yes, we will struggle with sin, the desires of our flesh, etc. Yet, in our new nature we desire to please daddy. We may stumble into sin, but we no longer live a life style of sin.

6.    Your love for God is activated in your heart, soul and mind. (Revelation 2:1-7) (Matt 22:37-38)

Nothing will be more challenged in your Christian walk like your “first love” for God. The Devil will come at you to take that excitement of that first love away. We must give God, not only our hearts, but also our soul and our mind. This is very important, because if we only give Jesus our hearts, we are giving Him our emotions. There is much more to us than our emotions. Our soul is our personality and our mind is our thoughts. Our personality and thoughts should also be given to God. It is then appropriate to ask Jesus to come into our hearts, our souls and our minds as we begin the pursuit of making that first commandment a reality in our lives with the help of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5)

7.    You start loving your neighbor. (John 13:34-35)

This is the greatest evidence we can show the world that we are followers of Christ. Jesus said in verse thirty five, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” A born again believer’s love for others must experience an on-going increase.

8.    The Bible now becomes your final authority. (John 1:1)

That same Jesus that you call into your life is the Word. Therefore, the Bible must be the final word in your life; not your opinions. There are no “buts” after what God has established. Your sins; the culture you grew in, your ideas and opinions, etc; are not substitutes to the Bible. The same Bible that applies to Americans applied to Chinese, Latinos, Europeans, etc. We are all subject to the culture of the Bible. If you continue to insist in your ways above God’s ways; perhaps you need to check your salvation!

9.    We are now in position to bear fruit. (Matt. 7:16-20 12:33-34)

Jesus stated in Matthew 7:17-19 that, “…every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus by their fruit you will recognize them.”  Bearing good fruit for a Christian should be normal. Not bearing fruit is then evidence that a person who claim to be a Christian is not; therefore, their destination is the Lake of Fire. Just as we are able to confirm physical healing; the fruit of a person’s life allow us to confirm if that person is saved or not. This is not religion; this is Bible truth!

10. Our new faith involves action. (James 2:26)

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” We do not get saved by works. However, we can’t call ourselves Christians and do nothing for God. Good deeds must follow our faith; it is just part of who we are.

11. Fellowship with your brothers and sisters.  (I John 1:6-7)

 

“If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” I am particularly interested every time I see the word “If” (A conjunction used to indicate the circumstances that would have to exist in order for an event to happen) If we are in the light; if we are in Jesus, then it is expected that we will enjoy fellowship with one another.

12. We must be ready to share our testimony of when, how and where our salvation took place. (Revelation 12:11)

 

Testifying of our salvation is crucial in order to be able to overcome. Paul, in all his insight, always went back to his testimony, “On his way to Damascus…”

Without salvation everything else will fall; we need a solid foundation. Also, as you can clearly see, salvation involves a tangible transformation of the human heart, soul and mind.  Let’s go back to preaching the purity and reality of the Gospel without shame and without fear. The Gospel is the only hope of the World!