I believe on your site someone brought up something about Hebrews 6:4-6
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
The funny thing was that they used this passage in support of their claim that 'once saved, always saved' is false, when in fact it says the opposite. Christ died once and for all for ours sins, once we truly turn from them and to Christ, we are saved. Truly we must be 'born of water and of spirit' to be saved, according to Christ in John 3:5. When he says born of water, I believe he means the Baptism of John, which was a baptism of repentence. So literally we don't have to be dunked to be saved, (of course I still believe God wants us to be baptized) but we have to turn from sin, and then the rest is us to God, if we are sincere....God baptizes us in His spirit. Hence, we repent and are given the Holy Spirit; we are born anew. So do we have to be born again every time we fall into sin? Not according to Hebrews 6:6: "seeing they crucify the Son of God AFRESH, and put him to open shame." Based on your theory, every time we fall into sin, we gotta re-crucify Christ. "It is impossible (Hebrews 6:4)....to renew them again unto repentence." (Hebrews 6:6) Either this passage means two things........once we are born again, and fall into sin, there is nothing we can do to redeem ourselves, or: there is no need to repent and be baptized again in the Spirit, because Christ died once and for all. There are two natures in us: that of the flesh and that of the Spirit. that which is of the flesh will perish and that which is of the Spirit will continue when we die. The more humble we are and submissive to God's will, the more rewards we will receive; a result of our thriving spirit and crucified flesh. The less humble and submissive we are, the less we will receive; a result of our quenched Spirit and thriving flesh. but the issue here isn't salvation. we are saved once, placed out of the law and in Christ.
How few of us would be going to heaven if we had to atone for every sin we commit. Say someone kills theirself who is saved. they'll be in heaven, and you can be sure of it, if they were really saved. there is no difference in someone who dies while they are not engaged in doing God's will and someone who dies because they commited suicide. Both died while sinning, though the sins may not be the same, it is still sin. Why, we must sin a thousand times daily. God has a plan for us, every moment of our lives. I don't fully realize God's plan for me, honestly cause I don't pray enough, and that's a sin too, cause God wants me to pray, and I'm going against His will by not praying enough. so if God wants us to witness to someone at the grocery store and we don't because our flesh keeps us from doing it, and we walk outside and get hit by a car, by your point of view we'll be in hell. that sucks.
seems like Christ died for nothing.
but He didn't, trust me........trust Him.
and read the bible in it's proper context.
My reply is below:
You have misrepresented my views. I have stated over and over again in my OSAS section that sin is only the symptom of the deeper disease. In other words sin does not make us lose our salvation, but it is a sign that we are wandering away from Christ. When we wander away, we eventually lose our faith and then fall back under condemnation. So you see your statement that every time we sin we have to re-crucify Christ is ridiculous.
Second you misunderstand the passage from Hebrews to your own detriment. Here is the whole passage:
(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,  who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,  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.
You need to take the Bible as a whole so you can figure out what is being spoken of. The author of Hebrews is not saying that someone who wanders from the faith can't come back. If that is what is being said, then the Bible contradicts itself and we know that isn't true. Let me show you:
(James 5:19-20 NIV)  My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back,  remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
If your assertion for Hebrews 6 is correct then James contradicts it by this passage. As I said we know that God is not the author of confusion, so we can be sure that the passage in Hebrews does not mean what you claim it means. Now our job is to figure out what it does say. First we need to look at who the book of Hebrews was written to. That is pretty simple, since the name of the book tells us. It was written to Jewish believers. That is a very important fact.
What the author is saying is that if anyone who has been saved (placed their faith in the atonement of sacrifice of Jesus Christ) and then goes back into Judaism and tries to have their sins forgiven through the Law, they have rejected the only sacrifice that can take way their sins. They can't later come back because they have already rejected the sacrifice as not being able to totally save them. This is totally different than someone who wanders from the faith as James speaks about. But don't take my word for it, let's see if there is anywhere else in the Bible which would back this conclusion up:
(Galatians 5:2-4 NIV)  Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.  Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.  You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Wow, looks the same doesn't it? Here again Paul is speaking to believers and tells them that if they, after believing in Christ, allow themselves to be justified (or attempt to be justified) by the Law then Christ will be of no value to them. They have fallen from grace.
So you see your whole point is off base. However, these passages do expose the error of OSAS. Both of these passages show that it is possible to be lost even after placing faith in Jesus Christ at one time.
You have also missed the boat on the kind of life a Christian is to live. You have fallen for the false teaching that we all sin in word, deed and thought everyday. Or as you put it we all sin thousands of time each day. That is a false idea and it is a defeatist attitude which does not glorify Christ. Maybe you have missed these passages:
(1 John 3:9-10 NIV)  No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.  This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
(1 John 5:18 NIV) We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.
If a Christian is sinning constantly, they better re-evaluate their relationship with Christ because there is something wrong. Are we perfect? No of course not, we will stumble and sin, but our lives certainly should not be characterized by sin, we certainly should not be sinning thousands of times per day!
(Hebrews 12:14 NIV) Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Do we need to repent of every sin? Well if the Holy Spirit brings a sin to our mind, then yes we need to repent of it. Does that mean if we happen to miss one we will go to hell? Of course not and that was my whole point about how you view my point of view. Our salvation is a relationship bough and paid for by Jesus Christ's blood. If we stumble and sin and die during that sin we will still go to heaven as long as we were following Christ and still in the faith. However, if we sin and the Holy Spirit convicts us and we refuse to repent and we continue to sin, we are separating ourselves from Christ. We are no longer following Him and at some point, which only God knows, we will be lost. As these passages show:
(John 15:6 NIV) If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
(Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV)  If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
(1 Corinthians 15:2 NIV) By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NIV)  Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
(Romans 2:7-8 NIV)  To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.  But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
(Romans 11:17-24 NIV)  If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,  do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.  You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in."  Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.  And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.  After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
(Galatians 1:6 NIV) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel
(1 Peter 1:15-16 NIV)  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
(1 Thessalonians 3:5 NIV) For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.
There are many more. I did not even use any from the Old Testament but there are plenty there too, and God does not change, as He Himself tells us.
Can a person be an enemy of God and still go to heaven? I don't believe so:
(James 4:4 NIV) You adulterous people, don´t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Who is it that can become an enemy of God? A sinner can't because you can't become something you already are. Only a person who is no longer an enemy of God can become one, so this passage has to be speaking of believers who choose to be friends with the world and then become enemies of God.
Let me ask you a simple question; how does a person get to heaven? I don't mean it to be a trick question, the answer of course is by believing Jesus Christ and having their sins forgiven, right? So how do you explain this passage?
(Mark 9:42-48 NIV)  "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.  If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,  where "'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"
If all our sins are forgiven, past, present and future, then this passage makes no sense. Here is my point. By the doctrine of OSAS, if I am truly saved and I wander from the faith and then cause one of the little one's who believe in Jesus to sin, so what? I may lose some rewards but I am going to heaven!! So why did Jesus make this statement? Oh, maybe He was talking to sinners and not believers. No that can't be, because we have already established that a sinner won't get to heaven just by living a good enough life, so it would do a sinner no good to cut off a hand or foot or pluck out an eye to keep from sinning. It would have to be believers that Jesus is speaking to, so why would He make such a big deal about making another believer sin? And how in the world could He say that it is better to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye then to have two eyes and be thrown into hell? Surly Jesus did not think it was possible for a believer to be thrown into hell? I hope that makes you stop and think.
The scripture is very clear on this point. I will give you one thing, you can find many well known teachers who teach OSAS but don't let that sway you. Believe what God's word says. It even tells us that things like this will happen:
(2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV)  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
You are right we need to read the Bible in context and without the preconceived notions of some doctrine that we like or want to believe. You can find OSAS teachers who will 'explain' away all those passages I quoted, but their explanations won't make sense, except to those who want to believe them. God's word is not difficult to understand if we will just read it for what it says. If it says that we either remain in Christ or we are like branches that wither and are cast into the fire, then believe it and remain in Christ!! It is just that simple.
This whole argument kind of bothers me and here is why. If we as true believers continue to follow Christ, then this is a non issue. It only becomes an issue when someone leaves the faith. Yet OSAS believers are so determined to show that I am wrong that we need not continue in the faith. Why? What in the world bothers you guys so much about believing that we must have faith to be saved and then must continue to follow Christ? He loves us and if we want to follow Him, He will keep us safe and secure, but if we decide to be friends with the world and follow the world instead of following Him, He will allow us to do that too, even though it will cost us our eternal life.
You mention suicide and say that a Christian who commits suicide will go to heaven. You miss a very important point. How did the Christian get to the point of suicide? It sure wasn't a sin they were tempted to do and stumbled and fell into. It certainly wasn't something that they just woke up one day and decided that their life was not worth living and decided to do. No, it is the end of a long road, a road with warning signs and plenty of places to make u-turns. Let me quote from Jesus:
(Matthew 16:24 NIV) Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
The Christian who commits suicide has certainly not denied himself and followed Christ. Yes I know that there are circumstances that we all go through where we would love to get to heaven sooner then God intended, but that is not our choice. When a person decides to take their own life, they are playing god and taking His rightful place in their life. They have ceased to put Christ first or to even follow Him. The very sad part of this is that OSAS can be at least partly to blame for this. A person who has heard this teaching all their life, and then becomes despondent and depressed has no reason not to follow through because they have been taught that suicide is just an early ticket to heaven. Trust me when a person is depressed and despondent, they won't care about lost rewards. That is why I hate this doctrine with a passion, it causes people who trust in Christ to sin and we already know what Jesus thought about that.
Look at this passage:
(Revelation 21:6-8 NIV)  He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
Here is the eternal question. Why is 'the unbelieving' just one in a list of people who will be sent to hell? Unbelieving would cover all sinners, so why mention the other sins? Don't be fooled a believe is no longer a believer if he is a liar, sexually immoral, unbelieving, etc... We must continue in the faith and walk as Jesus did. Yes we will stumble and fall into sin, but as long as we want to continue to follow Christ and listen to the Holy Spirit and turn from our sins, we will inherit the Kingdom, but when we think we have already been forgiven and therefore there is no reason to follow Christ we are on thin ice.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)