Archive for the ‘once saved always saved fallacy’ Category

Counted As Worthy

March 9, 2013

In Luke chapter 21 we read of our Lord explaining the last days. A very descriptive account of the travail that will come upon the earth. Then in verse 36 He says “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” So clearly the end time people, those living in the last days(our time),  must be found worthy.

What does this mean–worthy? We have all heard week after week, – Grace, grace, and more grace. Does not these two words– worthy and grace, seem somewhat contradictory? However, it seems today that the great masses are solidly in the “grace” camp. The leaders and pastors have drilled them again and again , that we really don’t have to worry in our walk–we are covered by grace. Just be kinda good and let all the rest fall unto Jesus. Our Savior is our excuse, our reason why we don’t have to be that careful and obedient, right?  Absolutely wrong. Let us see clearly why.

In speaking of  “worthiness” our Lord shows further examples “He who loves His father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matt. 10:37). 

In researching for this post I found someone’s comments that I found right on concerning what (Matt 10:38) means “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”  In the article, the author says  “(Mt.10:38) has been grossly abused. The phrase, “taking up one’s cross” has become so ubiquitous, that practically any unavoidable difficulty, aggravation, or inconvenience is likely to be piously labeled, “just the cross I have to bear.”

The cross, for Jesus, was NOT an unavoidable inconvenience! Neither was it a case of submission to illness, natural disaster, or insurmountable evil! Jesus was speaking sober truth when he said he could have called upon all the hosts of heaven to rescue him! He CHOSE not to do so, in order to ransom the people of his Kingdom from the domain of death and fear (Heb.2:14-15), by his triumph over both! Cross-bearing entails voluntarily suffering completely undeserved injustice for the sake of the Kingdom of Jesus!”

In other words, to be found “worthy”, we should be taking up the cross and be willing to be, among other things — scorned, murmured against, unpopular among some, ridiculed or a host of other injustices simply for proclaiming God’s truth and walking therein.  Just like our Lord. We’re a  chip off the ol block as they say.

Ellen White explains, “Satan’s attacks against the advocates of the truth will wax more bitter and determined to the very close of time. As in Christ’s day the chief priests and rulers stirred up the people against Him, so today the religious leaders will excite bitterness and prejudice again the truth for this time.”(Gospel Workers, p.324)

“Satan works at the very ones that do him most harm. God can make them a host against their enemies. Ye give up too quick.  Ye let go too soon. That arm, the arm of God is mighty.” (Spalding and Magan Collection, 3:4)

 Brother Houteff explains,  ” Just as did the Jews of old, thousands today dearly believe that there is a certain saving magic simply in membership in the church, thus letting themselves be brought to prize and depend upon it more than upon the message, which demands repentance of sins and in return lifts the penitent sinner from the dark and miry pit, into the healing, saving light of Present Truth. 

Had these worshipers of temples made by hands, lived in the days of Christ, they would have shown their utter ignorance of and disregard  for the Truth, by rejecting the respective messages of John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the apostles, in order to maintain their membership in the “synagogue” and to shun the reproach they would otherwise have been called upon to bear.  Whereas God’s true people have always bound themselves to new and unpopular truths which, while new, the self-styled men “of  experience” have denounced as heresies.” (Tract #7, p.60-61)

So how do we balance grace with worthiness? The answer is that we as His followers are striving with all our hearts to obey Him through His word, as said by the prophets.  Then as we become obedient to His messages as sent by the prophets, we can count on His grace to save us. You see, as we strive to be obedient we will sometimes slip and fall, that’s when we can count on His grace. When Paul was striving with all his heart to work for the Lord, being obedient as possible, what did the Lord say in response to his request? ‘My grace is sufficient for thee..” (2 Cor. 12:9). Grace covered a righteous man , not an indifferent,  careless man of God.

Grace abuse is described in (Romans 6:1) “What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?”  Those who repeatedly fall in their walk often think that grace will cover them, leading them  in effect to not claim the Lord’s power to help them overcome sin.

 But the key is that we are trying very hard and not carelessly neglecting our walk, and then saying ” I’m going to sin and there is nothing I can do about it  but  He will save me through His grace anyway”.  We must decide that we cannot continue in sin( see Hebrews 10:26). With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can “overcome” our sins.(Rev.21:7)

Yes, we will slip and fall. But as the word says ” For though a righteous man falls seven times, he will rise again..” (Prov. 24:16) The key is to –rise again, meaning we get up and repent and continue on with our walk, being careful not to slip again. It’s all about wanting to do right thing before the Lord.

Ellen White speaks about worthiness, ” I was shown that fathers and mothers have departed from their simplicity and neglected the holy calling of the gospel. The Lord has admonished them not to corrupt themselves by adopting the customs and maxims of the world. Christ would have given them the unsearchable riches of His grace freely and abundantly, but they prove themselves unworthy.” (Test. for the Church, p.74)

Last year we did a post on backsliding call ‘Recovering from backsliding”. In it I pointed out that we all succumb to temptation now and then. As I mentioned last year I had fallen back for a few days into my old sinful behavior. The devils are particularly  hovering around those who are proclaiming God’s truth. We are viewed as their number one adversaries.

As the devils know a wide range of tactics, one of them is the old trick of “over-worthiness”. They tell us,  “You’re a hard worker for God, you deserve a little something now and them”.  I fell for it and went back to some espressos and even a few beers after work for a few days. Thinking that I had somehow earned these “treats”. But I was jolted to reality a few days later! Repentance was deep and I was received my Lord’s words, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten..” (Rev.3:19). It was quite scary to be honest, a real jolt of reality set in. 

In further illuminating the cost of being found worthy, Ellen White says, “God will test and prove his people. One sacred truth after another will be brought to bear upon their hearts, close and cutting, until their faith will be purified and tried like gold, until all their dross will be purged away, and Jesus will present them unto his Father without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. We must overcome through trials and sufferings as Jesus overcame. We must not shun the cross or the suffering part of religion. The language of the heart should be, let me know the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ. Let me suffer with Him that I may reign with Him.(Review and herald, Sept.16,1862)

Let’s look at our prophetess’ words concerning the  struggles of those who are taking part in our last days work of the Lord.

“I saw some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness was expressed in their countenances; large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God’s approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look would settle upon them.

 Evil angels crowded around, pressing darkness upon them to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and thus they be led to distrust God and murmur against Him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels of God had charge over His people, and as the poisonous atmosphere of evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the heavenly angels were continually wafting their wings over them to scatter the thick darkness.

As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances. Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones.” (Early Writings, p.269-270)

What I found interesting is that those who “participated” in the agonizing and pleading of God’s work and their own spiritual condition, were the ones involved in the dark struggle. The careless and indifferent ones, meaning those who don’t participate in the work of His present truth for this time and who also don’t plead with the Lord to help them overcome their sins.  Darkness “shuts them in” and the Angels have “left them”. This vision  is prophetic about what is going on right now. The true workers of God are in an internal struggle, complacency is the farthest thing from their mind. At times they feel the heat in other words!

Let us never forget that we as the Laodicean church have the strictest reprimand from the Lord. We are warned not to be lukewarm. Is lukewarmness a sin? Absolutely. The 11th hour message we are called to give–the Elijah message — is our test today. Ellen White says,  ” God means that testing truth shall be brought to the front and become a subject of examination and discussion, even if it is through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated. Every controversy, every reproach, every slander, will be God’s means of provoking inquiry and awakening minds that otherwise would slumber.” (Test. for the Church, Vol. 5, p.453).

To sum up our post, we ask the following– ” Must we be found worthy to inherit the kingdom of God?” For sure. “How do we know we can be found worthy?” By taking up His cross (standing up for His truth today). “And what can we expect once we decide to take up His cross?” The devil attacks, but we can then say and believe -“Greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Let us close with the beautiful words of the Lord through his prophet Isaiah. ” Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near, let the wicked forsake His way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)

May our Lord give us wisdom for these last days, to be counted as worthy, amen.

The Converted Life

March 24, 2012

Note: This post comes with a plea, that we must realize that there is a cost to enter God’s kingdom–it costs you your life, that is, a changing from a sinful life into a holy life. A careless attitude of “I got my Jesus free pass card” must be  changed to a ” I want to walk upright with my Lord everyday”.

It really saddens me to think that being called a “Christian” or even a “Seventh Day Adventist”  will soon be a thing of the past. Sadly, the Lord will finally have had it , with those names. The degrading and mis-representation of those who profess something wonderful, yet do what is wrong in our Lord’s site, will have finally reached the heavens.

Speaking to those who falsely profess His name, He says ” You will leave your name for a curse to my chosen ones, and the Lord God will slay you. But My servants will be called by another name. ( Isaiah 65:15) And just so you don’t think our Lord means calling us a new name in heaven, but here on earth (Isaiah 62:2) reads “The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory.You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name.”

So we see the converted life really involves careful warnings to our brother and sisters.

One of the great deceptions produced from the evil one, is the old belief we have no accountability per se.We think  ” Our Lord died for me and paid my price, therefore I’m safe. I don’t have to be concerned with my walk, just as long as I’m fairly good and live a good clean life, I’m fine.” It’s the twisted belief in “righteousness by faith”. A  completely false idea of just what that means. Let’s look at how narrow the path to life really is. But as narrow as it is, anyone can stay on it, they just have to want it badly enough.

How bad? Let’s let scripture answer this. ” If you look for Me with all your heart, you will find me”. (Jer.29:13)  How about when we seek Him with half our heart, what then? Well, I don’t know about you but that sounds like lukewarmness to me. The kind our Lord will sprew out of His mouth.

The purpose of this post is not to make you feel all is helpless, rather it is a real account of what it takes to enter the kingdom. The solemn fact is that our Lord cannot compromise on His word, and it specifically call us to repentance. Repentance that is true, a turning away from sin.

Let us remember, there was one family in all the world saved in Noah’s time. There was very few saved in Sodom and Ghamorah. There was only two (above the accountability age of 20) that God allowed into the promised Israel. He has always been loving but He cannot compromise with sin and unrighteousness.

It’s so sad that many of us think our Lord is but a big Santa Claus up there in heaven saying ” Oh, Oh, Oh, come on in all you sinners, no need to repent, just some on in, Oh, Oh, Oh”.

Ellen White says “If we have any regard for our soul’s salvation, we must make a decided change. We must seek the Lord with true pentience; we must with deep contrition of soul confess our sins, that they may be blotted out.” (1 Selected Messages  p.125) Should we be so foolish to think we can continue to purposely sin and without repentance be forgiven? No, true repentance means we’re sorry for doing a certain sin, and then turn away from that sin. Asking our Lord to help us with His power to overcome.

Sometimes I truly wonder how many in our church, in God’s true loving way, reach out to a wayward brother or sister and say ” You know brother, you rally shouldn’t be smoking, that’s not right before the Lord.”  Or “you know sister, you shouldn’t be listening to that rock in roll music, the Lord can’t be pleased with that music.”

(Isaiah 58:1) tell us what we must do about this. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob thier sins.”  Some  may think this verse describes our Lord showing His people their sins–it does not. The “your” in your voice is not captilized in the scripture. So it’s a direct plea to–us,  His people.

As we have wrote about in  a prior post, the sealings of God is happening now. This sealing is not being lightly and carelessly placed on His people. A converted life is the foremost requirement to receive this eternal seal. Just how converted ? Let’s look at the prophetess’ inspired words.

“…everyone must deliver his own soul by his own righteousness.” (Test. for the church, p.215)  Whoa, wait a minute. What about Christ righteousness is our righteousnes? He’s our righteousness, so we are always righteous.

Yes, our Lord’s righteousness is ours indeed! But we claim that righteousness (which means –right doing) ONLY when we have made a full commitment to live a right doing life. You see, even after we make that commitment we’ll fall short, but then we can claim His righteousness because we are striving with our whole heart. His righteousness is no longer a cop out or convient excuse and claimed by us as we walk sinfully through our professed “Christian” life.

Let’s now look at some examples of a “converted life”.

— You know the Holy 10 Commandments  1 to 10  and 10 to 1. If someone asks you–“What is Commandment no. 7?”  you know immediately. For the original short form of the 10 Commandments, see this link

— Come Friday sunset, you are well aware this is the Holy Sabbath, honoring God is the primary focus you have, and this lasts through out the Sabbath

–At the store the cashier gives you back 10.00 extra, you notice it after you get to your car. You walk back in to that cashier and hand it back.

–A close friend or relative calls and invites you to their wedding this coming Saturday. You don’t even hesitate, and politely decline.

–At work you notice a co-worker wants to take a small item from the office, you gently remind them that they shouldn’t do that, and you have a chance to share God’s Law with them (No.8 -Thou shall not steal)

–On Friday, you know it’s preparation day, so you make sure to get gas, meals ready, clothes ready, etc. It is dreadful to you if you do these things on Sabbath

–You no longer watch TV every night, instead you are studying God’s word, alone or with family or friends.

— You bring your bible with you each and every week to church. Your bible is marked up, due to numerous passages you have noted and love. His word is in your mind and heart. Especially each and every Commandment.

— A  Friend calls you on Friday night to fill you in on the big news at work, you politely explain it’s the Sabbath and you’ll call them back on Saturday night or Sunday

–You dress on the Sabbath as if you are going to see the president of the USA. But in this case you know you are seeing a much greater than that!

–Worldly music is out, you shun it in the car, home and work.

Those are just a few of the examples. The Holy Spirit will guide you on so much more as you make an effort to convert.

I gave a short sermon in our church a few weeks back explaining how many members look at going to Sabbath services as “punching in their time card.” They do as they please during the week, and when Sabbath comes they get well dressed and “do their time” and so the Lord is pacified. No, the Sabbath is the culmination of our “right doing” during the week, and so we come before the Lord, arms stretched out and ready to faithfully worship Him. This is the converted life in action!

We must remember the devil has took over Christianity to a great degree. This has been so at least from the 2nd or 3rd century. And one of his greatest deceptions is to get you to feel complacent.  Our Lord described His people in His last church (the Laodicean church)  “Because you say, ” I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”(Rev.3:17) This lukewarm attitude tells us to relax, don’t worry about our walk, or even learning new light and truth. We’re safe, no need to search any further for His truth.

 We should “fear” Him in a healthly way. Frequently we should ask Him to guide us, and warn us. This is so important in our walk. We are admitting we can’t rely on our own strength and even our own knowledge, we need more! Why do I  bring up knowledge?  His solemn words.  “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee..”(Hosea 4;6) The ones who come to us seriously saying “listen brother or sister, I want to show you this light that has been revealed to me” –we should not blindly ignore them, if it is something we don’t agree with or understand, we must search it out. Zealousness comes from the Lord, and if someone has it and wants to share it, it should always be listened to, and studied.

One of the most solemn areas of study, we will do once we are converted is the upcoming Ezekiel prophecy. In Manuscript releases, Vol 1, page 260, Ellen White says “Study the  9th chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be literally fulfilled; yet the time is passing and the people are asleep. They refuse to humble themselves and be converted. Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them, but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience.”

In case some of you are not familiar, Ezekiel 9 is the sealings of the 144,000  as spoken of in Revelation 7:3. This is where are Lord will begin the judgement of the living in the house of God, His church. EGW knew this, yet today very few speak of this from the pulpit  — Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel.

What are some of the keys to knowing a brother or sister is coming to us with a message from God?  1) They are zealous (Rev. 3:19)  2) They are “blowing the trumpet” (giving many warnings) “Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of Israel. Because they have transgressed My covenant and rebelled against My Law.” (Hosea 8:1)  3)They stand solidly on the Law and the testimony (Isaiah 8:20)  4) They are willing to study with you and want to share knowledge (Hosea 4:6).

When  a brother or sister comes us to do a study, engage it, find out the matter. Don’t  think you’re above it and don’t need it. Afterall how do you know, that the Lord Himself did not specifically send that person into your life to learn some important truth you need?

“Whatever may be a man’s intellectual advancement, let him  not for a moment think that there is no need of thorough and continuous searching of the Scriptures for greater light..” (Gospel workers, p.300)

“We should now feel the responsibility of laboring with intense earnestness to impart to others the truths that God has given for this time. We cannot be too much  in earnest.” (Test for the Church, Vol. 6, p.16)

EGW was given these words from the Lord, please read and understand them, as it clearly shows our path we must follow will require a sincere effort.

“In concluding this narrative, I would say that we are living in a most solemn time. In the last vision given me, I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and saved.” (Test. for the church, Vol.1,p.608) Why is this so startling? Because sadly, few of us want of make the whole hearted effort to live the converted life to the Lord.

Does that mean our own individual life will become a never ending struggling tight rope, always worrying about whether we are right with God? No, when we convert and start overcoming temptation after temptation, we gain a power from God, a type of momentum that keeps us strong and steady. A true feeling that we are indeed walking on that straight and narrow path.

My brothers and sisters, let none say what EGW pointed out in (Christ’s Object Lessons, p.331) “Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character. If you come to that decision, you will certainly fail of obtaining life.”

So in closing, we must realize that just going through the motions won’t do it now. Anyone of us could have tomorrow be the “close of probation’ for us. Our Lord said near the end of His final book (Revelation) “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.” (Rev.21:7)  Overcome what? It can be none other than- continual sinning.

I remember my Dad told me something when I was a kid that really stuck with me. He said God gave us only one thing that is only ours, and everything else is His. That one thing is our will. When we will truly want to find the Lord with all our heart, we’ll find Him. This half way stuff won’t cut it. We’ll no longer cherish sins, rather we’ll change and commit to the life we must have—  The Converted Life.

In Christ, from Whom all knowledge flows, –Rob

Once saved, always saved, is it true?

July 10, 2010

Today a very popular doctrine being preached is called  the “Once saved, always saved” doctrine. As with ALL important  bible truths we must look to the scriptures for the real answers. I can tell you there is so much bible evidence against this , it would take up too much here to allow. So I will condense it.

The basic belief is that once a person “accepts” Jesus as their Lord and savior, that settles the issue once and for all. They are saved no matter what they do after this. On the face of this it seems perposterous, but MANY believe this. There are so many flaws to this I will post a few of the obvious ones.

Jesus died for us because we were hopeless “sinners”. His death paid our deserving death and punishment. It is because of this that our slate has been wiped clean. Would it then make sense to assume we can go ahead and filthy our lives with continual sinning and expect our Lord’s sacrafice to be therefore of  no significant importance? What was His sacrafice for? If we can continue to sin and simply “say” I accept Jesus as my savior, it makes a mockery of Jesus suffering death!

(Romans 6:1-4) says “… are we to CONTINUE in sin, so that grace abounds? God forbid!  How shall we who died in sin, still LIVE IN IT?”  Here it is bascially saying that once we are saved, do we continue to willfully sin, relying on His ever expanding grace to cover us? God forbid!  Meaning –Don’t do  it. Stop your sinning and appreciate His suffering sacrafice for you.

Then we have the powerful (Hebrews 10:26) ” If we sin willfully AFTER receiving the knowledge of the truth, there remains NO MORE SACRAFICE FOR OUR SINS”. Now this one is about as straight forward as you can get. It means that once we acknowledge that our Lord paid the sacrifice for our sins, we CAN’T continue to willfully sin or else we can’t rely on the Lord’s sacrafice to save us.

(Eze 33:11) says ” Say unto them, as sure as I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but want that the wicked turn from his way and live, turn ye, turn ye  from your evil ways, for why will you die, oh house of  Isreal?”  Here it says if we continue to live wicked lives (continual sinning) we shall die, but why do it when we can live righteously in Christ? The Holy Spirit will help us to keep from this continual sinning, IF WE SUBMIT!

All this really shouldn’t be a  concern  for the true believer. Because the Holy Spirit should have taken up within us to help us overcome this repetitive sinning. Sanctification takes place and our life is changed.

In summary, let us never think we can carelessly continue to sin, relying on the false belief that we are saved no matter what. The Lord’s sacrafice was an awesome thing for us and we can never hold it in contempt.

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