Can a person believe in Jesus, lose faith, find Him again and be forgiven?

Hi there, I came across your website, and I was wondering about something that was on it. You said that Jesus Christ is capable of forgiving any sin. However, I've also read elsewhere that if a person believes in Christ at one point, and then stops believing, they are lost forever, and it would have been better had they never believed at all. So my question is can a person believe in Jesus, lose faith, then find Him again and be forgiven? One other thing. Does Jesus Christ = God? It seems like The Bible has them as two different entities. Much thanks.

My response is in Green:

You asked some good questions. There are two verses that you might be thinking of about the person who walks away from Christ. Let me quote them and then try to explain: (2 Peter 2:20-21 NIV) If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. {21} It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. And this is the other one: (Hebrews 6:4-6 NIV) It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, {5} who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, {6} if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

I am pretty sure one of these two verses is what you are thinking of. Let me address the first one from 2 Peter first. These people would be worse off than if they had never believed, because they will go to hell and on judgment day they will be judged for what they knew just like everyone will be. The more knowledge a person has and yet rejects the worse their punishment will be. Peter does not say that these people cannot come back to salvation, it is only worse for them if they continue on in their sin.

Now as for the passage from Hebrews it is a different story. This passage is much harder to understand and you have to look at the over all context to understand it. The whole book of the Bible was written to Jewish believers. It was written to explain to them that they were no longer under the law of the Old Testament. The author of Hebrews explains the difference between an earthly priest who has to have his own sins forgiven and then continually offer sacrifices for the sins of the people over and over again, and Jesus Christ who offered Himself once and for all for all our sins. He did not have to have His own sins forgiven and He does not have to die over and over again.

Now the point to that is that the Jewish believers grew up thinking that they needed to have a new sacrifice over and over again to be sure they were forgiven. When you believe in Jesus you don't need anything further. There Jewish believers were tempted to go back and make human sacrifices to "make sure" their sins were forgiven in the sight of God.

The author of Hebrews (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) is telling them that if after they have accepted Jesus as their sacrifice and atonement for their sins, they then go back and try to find a better sacrifice than Jesus' death no longer does them any good. They can't even come back to Him later, because He only made one sacrifice and they rejected it, so He will not die again for them and they are lost.

So I don't believe it is referring to just anyone who walks away from the faith and then wants to come back later, it has to do with someone who decides that Jesus' sacrifice was not enough and they try to find a better one.

As for your question of whether Jesus and God are one or separate. Well they are two members of what we call the Trinity. God is one being, yet He is three separate persons. It is a concept that we can't fully grasp with our minds. We believe that the Trinity is; God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit.

You can see this in the Bible: (Matthew 3:16-17 NIV) As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. {17} And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." This passage was written about what John the Baptist saw when Jesus was baptized. Jesus was physically there, the Holy Spirit came down like a dove and God the Father spoke from heaven. There are more examples but that should give you the idea.

Now as to Jesus being God, here are some examples of where He claimed to be God:

The Jews knew that only God can forgive sins, so they understood what Jesus was saying when He healed the lame man and said: (Mat 9:2 NIV) Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." In effect He was claiming here to be God and to have the right to forgive sins, which belonged to God alone.

When Moses saw the burning bush, and God talked to him and told him to go to Egypt, Moses asked who should he say sent him. God answered:(Exo 3:14 NIV) God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Now look at what Jesus said (John 8:58 NIV) "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" A man could not claim that, Abraham was born thousands of years before Jesus. The wording itself tells us that Jesus was claiming that He was the great I AM, or in other words God.

Let's look at another statement that Jesus made:(John 10:28-33 NIV) I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." There was no doubt in the Jews mind that Jesus was claiming to be God.

(Mat 10:1 NIV) He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. No one but God could give this kind of authority. Not only did He claim to have the authority but He was able to give it to others, who were then able to use it. No prophet or good man could do this.

Well I hope that helped.

Take care,
Ralph

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