From what I understand salvation is not just being born again, it is believing the death burial and ressurrection and "STANDING" on that for "EVERYTHING" in your life. The only requirement to go to heaven is to be born-again, however, one must take up his or her cross daily and follow Jesus in order to live the "abundant" life. Now, I have heard many different explanations about all of this salvation issue, but the Lord revealed to me that there is a difference between salvation in a sense of your "spirit" and "soul"! The soul must be purified over time and that is impossible to get perfect or even "better" overnight, it's just downright silly. When one is born-again they then are given the power to "BECOME" a son or daughter of God.
I was also reminded that God is the one who changes us, we can do nothing of ourselves- I believe the only decision me must make is to "NOT" be a rebel... and to be obedient when the Lord changes us. I used to go crazy wondering if I was really saved or if I was going to lose my salvation every minute of the day. If that's the case, none of us are going to make it-period.
God has to break down our soul-(mind, will, and emotions) AFTER we are born again so we can "then" enter into the kingdom of God. When I finally understood this I was more at peace and I quit running from God. The more I heard you could constantly lose your salvation and "FALL AWAY" I then would fall away because I couldn't take the fear in my life-I almost killed myself over this issue if you want to know! Now, God has been extremely merciful to me even in my days as a rebel, but I think people have the wrong concept of heaven- like God is wanting to send everyone to hell. I have battled with this for many years and I still have my battles. However, I see it as not necessarily heaven being the reward, but the rewards of those who gave their entire lives to Christ.
The bible makes it clear that salvation is the same for everyone who will believe, but glory and rewards are different for everyone. What does the verse of scripture about the person being saved through the fire mean to you? You know, I may be wrong, but I refuse to stand here in constant dread that I'm going to lose my salvation from day to day. And at what point does one lose thier salvation?? Now, I understand when Jesus said not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter. However, he does say later on in that verse- I never "knew" you.
Now one can walk away and reject Christ after they fully undrestand Christ and salvation, that I am not disputing (Many are called and few are chosen) It's just that I HAVE walked away from God even after salvation because of the issue of losing your salvation I went crazy and for 2 years I was manically depressed. At that time I felt I was "never" going to make it which is the mentality of most fearful christians. Through these horrid times and backslidden states I have learned there is no peace away from Christ, but to think if everytime I mess up God is going to strike me dead (thats another extreme) I start becoming fearful while serving God and it always causes me to fall. Then I wouldn't be happy in either extreme.
I just want to know how people like yourself have any peace if you always fear you could go from heaven to hell one minute back and forth. Personally, I can't do it anymore. Now, I just trust God he is ABLE to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day!! I might add, I don't just sit around with a passive faith though either, I continue to "Trust" more and more, however, I am saved because of God's mercy and grace through "His" faith, that I "hold fast" to! That's how I understand it!
Now last but not least, I also have come to understand that there are two seperate books of life (the Lambs Book of Life and the book of life=which is the book of the living. David prayed that his enemies be blotted out of the book of the living not the Lamb's book of Life- because they weren't in the Lamb's Book of Life) basically he prayed that God would kill them. Hope you'll reply.
My response is in Green:
Maybe you only read the one letter on OSAS, but you have my view all wrong. You kept saying that you wondered how I have any peace because I think that I might go to hell at any moment if I slip and sin. You are wrong about my view. I am as secure in Christ as I want to be. My point is that we must continue in the faith. That does not mean that if we sin God blots our names out of the Lamb's book of life, but it means that if we reject Christ and walk away then we have given back out salvation.
Let me ask you a question. If I had died while I was away from Christ, having done all the bad things that I had done and another Marine who was doing exactly the same things I was doing also died, why should I get into heaven and not him? Is that fair, if I no longer followed Christ? No it isn't. If you will read my the other postings I have you will see my view better explained. But the point remains that I believe that the ONLY thing that can separate us from God and our salvation is us, if we quit putting our faith in Jesus Christ. There is no fear of losing our salvation, but we can choose to give it back and walk away. You will never wake up and find that you have lost your salvation, but you may at some point decide that you no longer believe or want anything to do with Christ. Would He still force you to go to heaven? I don't think so.
But it does not matter what I think or what you think it matters what God says. So let me give you a few (just a few of the many) passages which show that we must continue in the faith:
Ezekiel 18:24 (NIV) "But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die."
(2 John 1:8-9 NIV)  Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.  Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
In Revelation we read the letters from Jesus to the seven churches. I want to quote just one small part from each of those letters. Notice the common theme: (Revelation 2:7 NIV) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
(Revelation 2:11 NIV) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
(Revelation 2:17 NIV) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
(Revelation 2:26 NIV) To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations
(Revelation 3:5 NIV) He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.
(Revelation 3:11-12 NIV)  I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.
(Revelation 3:21 NIV) To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
It is to the person who overcomes, or in other words who finishes what they started to whom Jesus makes these promises. Now let me ask you a question. What do you think happens to the person who does not overcome? Would they get to eat from the tree of life? Would they not be hurt by the second death? Would they be given the hidden manna? Would they be given authority over nations? Would they be dressed in white? Would they be able to sit down with Christ on His throne? If they were able to do all these things, then it would make no sense for Jesus to even have mentioned them. No, don't miss the warnings and promises here. We must continue and we must overcome.
So who is it that overcomes? (1 John 5:3-5 NIV)  This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,  for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. It is those who place their faith in Jesus Christ, but also who follow His commands. In other words, the person who continues to follow Jesus.
No I do not believe I can lose my salvation. As long as I want to follow Christ I am eternally secure, but if I change my mind and don't want anything to do with Him, He will allow me to leave, because I still have free will.
Look at what Peter had to say: (2 Peter 1:5-9 NIV)  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Notice he says 'cleansed from his past sins' not cleansed from past, present and future sins. That is also the idea behind this: (1 John 1:9 NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
This is not to say that a sin can take your salvation away, but if you sin and refuse to confess it and repair your relationship with God, then you are more likely to sin again and again and drift away into apostasy. Jesus told us what the end times would be like. He told us that evil would get worse, He also told us what would happen to many believers: (Matthew 24:12-13 NIV)  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Notice again, He says that those who stand firm will be saved. We must guard our faith and our love for Christ, as long as we do we are eternally secure, but that does not mean we can do anything or live anyway we choose, we must stand firm and continue in our faith.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)