My question revolves around the idea that you and many others put forth, the once saved always saved doctrine. Once I became a Christian, I couldn’t snatch my soul back from Christ even if I wanted to.
I have been raised on this doctrine and I do believe it. However, I have noticed other commentaries on other Christian sites that seem to point more towards an attitude that says that Christians shouldn’t ever sin. In fact, I have even found some sites that say that if you are really a Christian, then you are incapable of sin. Is it possible that sinful behavior could be present in someone who is saved? Shouldn’t the Holy Spirit have driven such sinful activities from the body at the time of the individual’s salvation, I ask mainly because I know that I am not sinless even today, but I have always believed in the power of God and his son Jesus Christ to save me in spite of my occasional failings. However, messages like these have had a tendency to make me feel like I should question my salvation because I still sin.
In the parable of the Shrewd Manager in Luke 16, Jesus said in verse 8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of light.”
Even though the manager was dishonest, he was still commended for his shrewdness.
Is this a gentle, but firm rebuke against Christians (followers, believers) because they are not wisely handling money or because of poor stewardship? Does he suggest that we could “learn” from the ways of the world when it comes to money? Is he suggesting that, we as Christians must be wiser and shrewd in our business dealings? What if we engage in a financial transaction with our family and things don’t work out, do we need to be shrewd with our own family members?
I have been a Believer for many years (several decades, actually), and have sat under the Church’s teaching on evangelism feeling condemned for not “doing my part” in the Great Commission. To tell you the truth, I can not recall praying with anyone to lead them to the Savior.
Several years ago, I experienced an extreme personal revival through which time I came to love and “thirst” after Jesus like never before. It was like a consuming thing – so intense that I thought that I would explode. While this intensity has subsided (can’t imagine anyone living in that for very long), I have been permanently changed. During that time, the LORD challenged many of my religious ideas, one of which is the carrying out of the “Great Commission”. There are many individuals within the Church who are driven by their gift of evangelism. While every Believer is a Light-bearer and should be ready to give a reason for the hope within them, not all have the gift of evangelism where they see the LORD work them them to bring people to Himself.
I believe that I have a gift of teaching and used to get so frustrated with fellow-Believers that they don’t have a clear understand or love for the Bible. I see now that I was being driven by my gift of teaching in the same manner as the evangelist.
The Church today seems to be in a cycle where the key thrust is to “reach the lost”. I recall that several years ago, the thrust was a deeper relationship with God. Could it be that we Believers tend to emphasize our passion/gifts (whether witnessing, teaching, helps, etc) as the most important function of the Church, leaving each other bruised as a result?
I’ve read your articles on Forgiveness, thank you for the enlightenment as the holy spirit has revealed it to you. This revelation though in front of me all along yet hidden from my eyes has given me new freedom from sin and the torments of Satan.
I have one question though that you didn’t discuss. Jesus said if your brother comes to you and says ‘I repent,’ forgive him. Is there any evidence that we should forgive though he has not asked or repented? I feel for our own sake we should forgive, yet our own salvation is conditional on us asking and repenting.
What is the difference between believing in your heart when praying the sinner’s prayer and just telling Jesus that you believe? Or is there a difference?
I see that your position is that someone can believe there are other sinless persons that have existed throughout human history, and still be born again through faith alone in Jesus. I am wondering if you think a person can pray to Mary and to the various saints and also be a born-again Christian? Does praying to others besides Jesus, indicate a lack of faith in and understanding of who Jesus He is and what He has uniquely done through His death and resurrection on our behalf? Does praying to others also a indicate a denial of Him as the only possible mediator between the sinner and God the Father because of His unique sinlessness and deity?
I am having a hard time imagining an indwelt believer, not grasping the basic understanding of the unique sinlessness of Jesus and why only He is able to mediate between sinners and God. That’s almost like saying the Holy Spirit isn’t doing His job.
Like everyone else, I’ve been intently watching the headlines, wondering what’s next for our country, our world. I’m a pre-trib believer, but I’m also realizing that my family is not prepared for the “tough times” we’ll probably experience before the Lord comes for us. I’m wondering if you could give some advice, insight, references regarding what we can do today to make sure we are as prepared as we can be regarding finances, food, fuel, etc. Like many others, money is a little tight for us right now; but I feel like I could be doing more to prepare us for what lies ahead.
Thank you for your recent articles on the subject of prayer. I had been troubled about why the prayer section in my local Christian bookstore is so large.
When the Lord Jesus had his earthly ministry, did He ever say “No” to anyone who came to Him, asking (praying to) Him for help, healing, sight, hearing, speech, wine for a wedding, food, etc?
He certainly is saying “No” a lot since then, and that has me troubled, as He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” “What is too hard” for Him? So maybe it is the institution of prayer that has changed? Does the Bible tell us everything about God, or only what He thinks we need to know?
He told us that we were to have the faith the size of a mustard seed, not that of pseudo-theologians who appeal to “original languages” to hedge on the prayer promises. If faith “is a gift of God, not of man, lest no one should boast.”(clearly this verse refers to faith as the gift, since grace is by very definition a gift from God, that to mention it would be silly) then how and why do I need to have more faith for my prayers to be answered if the very faith that He requires, is a gift from Him???
Perhaps the best answer is “I don’t know”. “That’s God’s business.” He gave us so many prayer promises, with “whosoevers” and “whatsoevers”, but evidently, that has changed. I find it troubling.
I was hoping you could shed some light on two scriptures for me if you could:
The first being Ecclesiastes 12:6, what specifically are these objects that are being destroyed i.e. the silver cord?
The second is Amos 5:2, why does God say that Israel is fallen never to rise again?
Thank you so much for your help as always.