In a search for some resources, I happened upon some comments by you and another regarding Dr. Stanley and Eternal Security of the Believer. I would like to offer some suggestions, as I perceive that you are struggling with a number of Biblical Doctrines at this time that often confuse Christians. The following comments are quite basic and verry important for the Believer to understand and remember.
a.) The Bible with the exception of sharing the plan of Salvation with the lost, is "family-truth" and not to be discussed, with the un-believer.
b.) The Bible cannot be understood by mans intellect, but by the revelation of God, given to the believer ,by the in-dwelling Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, there is no real understanding of what is written in it's pages. Many that claim the name of Christ, really haven't had a valid conversion and so little if any understanding of the Scriptures is possible. Some Believers frustrate themselves by attempting to understand the Scriptures, without allowing the Holy Spirit ,to reveal and clarify the portion in question.
c.) What God chooses to reveal by his indwelling Holy Spirit in us, is in his time and not our's. Some things the Believer might never understand because of a personal relationship with God that is lacking in several areas. As for being "critical" of either a believer or an un-believer, it's not our job to criticize nor condemn either the Believer or the un-Believer. Most that do are still living under the law, and not the grace of God.
Having once been a member of a Baptist church in which it's members criticized one another, as well as others outside the church, I understand their frustration. A church caught up in legalism has these verry symptoms, which are destructive to ones spiritual growth. No criticism of you is intended, as I sense you are only attempting to understand some basic truths, within his word.
Your checking what someone says about a particular teaching against what the Scriptures say, is the correct way to get at the truth, and not to believe everything you hear or read. Most " Christians " are so caught up in the world, that they will understand verry little, as they will never reach any level of spiritual maturity.
The Lord rewards obedience to him and not dis-obedience. Maturity is directly related to obedience...
Hope some of my comments have been of some help.....
Lord Bless, Dr. ----- ----------
My reply is below in green:
I must admit, I am at a loss to understand your comments, but I will try to respond to them. First I have no idea what your point is concerning a) and b). I reviewed what Charles Stanley said, so I can't figure out your point. That is unless you are trying to beat around the bush but believe Stanley isn't a believer. I doubt that is what you are saying, it is the only way I can make sense of your first two comments. In a) you claim the Bible is 'family-truth' and yet I am discussing what another Christian claims the Bible says. Of course unless you are claiming I am not a believer and if that is the case then you should have given me the gospel. In b) you say much the same thing, you talk about people not understanding the Scripture because the Holy Spirit hasn't shown them. Okay, but are you speaking about Stanley or me? If you are not referring to either of us, then what is your point?
That brings me to c). I understand your point better in this section, but I disagree with it. You make a claim that many Christians make and that is that we are not to criticize another believer. Well I contend that criticizing is not wrong if done for the purpose of correction or protection of others who might believe what they are saying if it is wrong. That is exactly what I was doing in this review. Stanley has published this book and I don't believe his doctrine is biblical so I have 'criticized' his position using Scripture.
That brings me to your opening statement about me; "I perceive that you are struggling with a number of Biblical Doctrines at this time that often confuse Christians". I take it from that statement that you think I am confused, but if that is true, then why the mumbo jumbo, why not rather show me my error?
But back to my point about c). You say we should not criticise or condemn either the Believer or the non-Believer, but as I said I disagree with that and will show you in Scripture why I disagree with that:
Jude 1:3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. [NIV]
We are to contend for the faith, but how can we do that if we can't criticize someone we feel the Holy Spirit is showing us is teaching false doctrine?
2 Tim. 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. [NIV]
Useful for ... rebuking, correcting ... If we can't criticize or condemn, then how can we use Scripture to rebuke or correct?
1 Cor. 5:12-13 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you." [NIV]
How can we expel wicked men from among us if we can't criticize or condemn using Scripture?
There are plenty more, but I won't insult you by continuing to list them. The point is that we are to take a stand on Scripture and if there are those who are preaching false doctrine then it is our responsibility to speak up.
I imagine from your letter to me that you agree with Stanley and disagree with my point of view, that is fine, but then show me in Scripture where I am wrong. I used Scripture to refute his believe that a person can be a Christian and never show any fruit and in fact never follow Jesus Christ. One of us is dead wrong, we can't both be right. I stand on Scripture that states you must continue in the faith. I will continue to criticize him and people like him, such as Tony Evans who put out books with this false doctrine.
If you truly believe I am wrong then condemn me or criticize me please, but show me the truth in Scripture. I have already laid out my position with Scripture and in fact have many pages defending my view, so feel free to join the discussion. This false doctrine of once saved always saved is not a side issue, it is sending people to hell. I have had many people write me who were contemplating suicide and have asked me if they will be welcomed into heaven if they take their own life. My answer is no, you can't deliberately rebel against God and His authority and still have salvation. I show them biblically why I say that, but I have head Charles Stanley, Dave Hunt and others tell people on the radio and in writing that even if a Christian purposely and deliberately rebels against God and takes their own life that they will be welcomed into heaven because that sin has already been forgiven. That is not biblical and I will not allow someone to go to hell because I am afraid to criticize another believer or to speak the truth.
I thank you for your comments and I admit I might have totally misunderstood them, but that is my reply to the best of my understanding of what you were trying to say.
His reply is below in blue:
To the point plain and simple, if you believe that you can loose your salvation for any reason, you never had it to begin with.
In the old testament economy under the law, sacrifices were made in payment for sin, and the sacrifice was only a "covering" for that sin. You might remember in Genesis when Adam & Eve sinned and fell from grace, God provided a covering for them. The blood upon the door post in Exodus 12, was again a covering protecting them from the death angel, that would take the first born, if the blood was missing.
In the new testament, when God's Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit, and we become sons and daughters of God, our sin is removed ( past, present and future ) as a result of God's grace and mercy. Payment was made for that sin by the death of Christ on the cross.
1 John 5:18-19
5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that( not of yourselves ): it is the gift of God:
2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast
It's all of him and none of us...
My reply is below:
That is what I figured, you were questioning my salvation. I guess it is okay to question a person's salvation, after all that isn't criticizing them or condemning them, right?
OSAS is false doctrine that is not supportable from Scripture. Nothing you quoted means that a person can't walk away from Christ after conversion, but many passages show that you can:
John 15:6 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. [NIV]
Colossians 1:21-23  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. [NIV]
There a many more, but I have addressed them already on my site. You mentioned the Passover and the blood of the lamb, but you failed to remember that the Israelites were instructed not to leave the house. Just like we can't leave Christ and still be saved.
But at least now I know what you were trying to get at. I just have to wonder why you didn't just come out and tell me I can't have the Holy Spirit and therefore can't understand the Bible since I don't have salvation?
I hope you continue in the faith, if you do then your false doctrine won't mean anything, but if you wander from the faith it sure will mean something.
James 5:19-20  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.
His reply is below in blue:
That is what I figured, you were questioning my salvation. I guess it is okay to question a person's salvation, after all that isn't criticizing them or condemning them, right? " Criticizing or condemnation "...No! Concern....absolutely.
My concern is not only based on some of your comments, but on my own personal experience. In the 70's I had made a decision ( I thought ) for Christ. Went off to Bible College and then taught math and science in a private church school for a few years, before a caring Christian had confronted me, concerning my Salvation. Little if any real change had taken place in my life, up until that point. It wasn't long after that, before the Holy Spirit confronted me about my need of a Saviour, and at that point I received the Lord as my Saviour. The Holy Spirit's indwelling presence, is something that I am always consciously aware of, in that he not only reveals truth to me, but when I am off course, he lovingly corrects me. There is life within now, that there wasn't before that point.
Too many churches today are having conversions based on an intellectual decision, instead of a spiritual decision. Having been there, makes one conscious of such things.
Ralph ! The following points I would like to address in the a.m.,
I received the next e-mail before I had replied to the last one.
I would first of all, like to return to the issue of Salvation, before going on.
The parable of the soil, is probable the finest illistration in the Scriptures, in dealing with the topic of Salvation. There are several key words in the passages, that address this issue.
a.) The Sower = God
b.) The Seed = The word of God
c.) The Field = Is the world
d.) Soil = heart ( three types of soil )
God sowes his seed ( the word or scriptures ) by using the believer as the instrument of sowing that seed.
Many that claim to be Christians are not, but in most of those cases God is dealing with them, by preparing their heart ( the soil ) to receive the word of God ( seed ). The condition of the heart upon receiving the word, determines whether or not the individual has really received Christ as Saviour or not. Often, as in my case, he had to prepare that soil ( heart ) to properly receive the seed ( The word of God ) Personally ! I believe this is what is taking place in your case, as it was in mine.
The trials he brings into our lives, which is a breaking process, prepares the soil for a proper reception. If mans heart is not truly repentant at that point of making a decision for Christ, a true conversion will not take place. God knows our hearts and until the heart is " broken and contrite "nothing occurs.
The easiest way to check our Salvation is self examination in regards to the " fruits of the Spirit." Galatians 5: 22 - 26 If the fruit of the spirit is present in our lives, we can be assurred that we are truly Saved.
It is most important for us to understand that Salvation is all of God, and none of us. We only respond to God reaching out to us, as he did with the Apostle Paul and others. The scriptures tell us that man is spiritually dead and trespasses in sin. Someone spiritually dead is unable to reach out, without God first breathing life into the individual, so that he or she can trspond.
Ones pride rejects the fact that he is unable to do something in the form of works, to gain a place in heaven. This fact keeps more folks from receiving Christ as Savior, because the need to humble oneself before God.
After all of this, I still haven't gotten to the other questions. A full day this has been and I am out of time once again. Will try again in the morning....
I received the next e-mail before I had replied to the last one.
In your first e-mail, you made the following comment, which I hope I can address, in a manner that would please the Lord.
"We are to contend for the faith, but how can we do that if we can't criticize someone we feel the Holy Spirit is showing us is teaching false doctrine?"
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver Proverbs 25:11
Much is said in the scriptures about the tongue, and the wisdom seasoned with grace, that it takes for the believer to speak, in such a way that honors the Lord. As you correctly pointed out, condemnation of the world, is not for the believer but for God. The trials and difficulties that many believers experience and often suffer for, is most often brought on by them becomming offended by the world, and striking out at them in pride.
When address a brother or sister in Christ, we must first of all remember the following:
" A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contensions are like the bars of a castle " Proverbs 18:19
When in doubt, as to whether or not an individual is correct in what he/she said, any criticism or rebuke should be done in private, and not in an open forum ,with other believers etc.
Personal experience in this matter, coupled with Bible study and the direction of the Holy Spirit, has taught me much regarding this issue. When done in an open forum of believers, If we are the one in error, embarrasment occurs. When looking back at a time or two when I chose an open forum, I now realize that it was my pride that was speaking out, and not my desire to get at the truth, which should have been done in private. The political division that our nation is presently involved in, is a result of both camps refusing to iron out their differences behind closed doors, instead of in public. The same is true in the church, when we speak openly about a mater.
As an educator, I always chose to correct a student behind closed doors, instead of imbarrasing them in front of others. Parents often experience hostility from their children, due to their imbarrasing them, in front of others.
I believe you had another question that I will address in my next e-mail. Hope this has been of some help to you.
My reply is below:
Let me quote something you said: "The easiest way to check our Salvation is self examination in regards to the " fruits of the Spirit." Galatians 5: 22 - 26 If the fruit of the spirit is present in our lives, we can be assurred that we are truly Saved."
I have a real problem with that, oh not what you might think. See I have no problem with that biblically, my problem is that you don't believe that, or at least you claim not to believe that. See you told me that if I believe I can lose my salvation then I was never really saved. Meaning that you believe in OSAS, and in fact you started writing me because of my review of Charles Stanley's teaching on OSAS. Which means you also believe OSAS and you support his views. Now let me quote from Stanley and by the way, these quotes were on the page you came from originally:
Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy.
... believers who lose or abandon their faith will retain their salvation ....
... a Christian who at no point in his entire life bore any eternal fruit. And yet his salvation is never jeopardized.
That is the doctrine of OSAS, that once you are saved your sins are forgiven past, present and future and it doesn't matter how you live your life from that point on. So my question to you is how can you believe that the best way to check to see if you have salvation is to check your life for fruit and still believe that a 'believer' can have no fruit whatsoever in their life and still be saved?
It is not only Stanley that preaches this false doctrine here are a couple of quotes from Tony Evans too:
But for the Christian, fruit is not a salvation issue, but a fellowship issue.
Salvation is guaranteed, but not discipleship, because discipleship makes radical demands that some people are not ready to meet. There are Christians who are truly saved but do not continue on the road of discipleship. People in this condition certainly need to check their hearts and their standing before God, but this is not to deny that it is possible for a believer to fail to follow the Lord in discipleship.
But believers who turn away from God can become so hard other people can't win them back, and their lives may end in spiritual ruin as far as their earthly service is concerned- even though they are saved.
Sometimes it's hard to tell the saints from the "ain'ts" because some lost people live exemplary lives, while genuine believers can be capable of some really heinous behavior.
So again how can you claim that I am not saved if I don't believe in OSAS and still claim that a saved person WILL have fruit of the Spirit? The two positions contradict each other. This is the reason I have such a hard time discussing OSAS with people who believe it, they are not consistent on what they believe. The Bible clearly says that a believer will produce fruit, but since OSAS would be shown to be corrupt if a believer who showed spiritual fruit then walked away from the faith and quit producing any fruit, they must deal with that and they do so by claiming you don't really have to follow Christ or produce any fruit at all.
That is just like you saying that when I was saved my sins were forgiven past, present and future but then also saying that if I believe I can lose my salvation that proves I was never saved. How? Is believing you can lose your salvation the unforgivable sin, while all the other sins are already paid for. This is corrupt doctrine and I stand by my point that it has and will lead people to hell because it leads them to sin and believe it is no problem.
His reply is below:
Afternoon Ralph !
I do accept the fact, that you believe that you can loose your salvation, and will not criticize nor fault you for that.
There were many things I once believed, of which my views have changed in recent years. Not that God or his word has changed, but my understanding of his word, has changed.
Along with numerous secular Univ's, I attended two different Bible Colleges and a Seminary, or as we humorlessly call it a " cemetary."
Most professors and pastors have slightly different views concerning certain Biblical doctrines. These varied views are generally the result of sitting under the teaching of pastors and professors with conflicting views.
There is a vast difference between understanding the Bible from an intelectual standpoint ,and seeking the Holy Spirit for direction in understanding the Scriptures. Having experienced both, makes me keenly aware of the differences between them. Some of the Bible can be understood with the mind, but most is unclear, unless it is filtered through the spirit first.
I must take some time in the next e-mail, and explain the varous divisions of man, as a 3 part being, which will greately help you in your learning process. I will also give you some verses dealing with eternal security of the believer, and frome there, it's up to the Holy Spirit to clarify the issue.
I remember an issue in the Scriptures , that I was hung up on for some time. Knowing now, that my understanding came from my intellect, instead of God's Spirit. It was if I were blind, and just couldn't see.
These experiences are just incredible, as the teach us to trust completely in the Lord, and nothing else.
in closing, when looking at the lives of individuals, it's not difficult to understand why many have problems with eternal security. Solomon is an interesting study, in that he had the best from God, and yet tumbled to the verry bottom. One might think that he had lost his salvation. At our best, we were totally depraved and in-capable of helping ourselves, until the Lord came along. A picture of the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascas.
Have a teriffic weekend ...Ralph!
My reply is below:
Don't bother spending time on the next e-mail, you haven't bothered to do anything so far other than question my salvation and if the Holy Spirit is in my heart at all whether I am listening to Him. I gave you specific questions about your doctrine to answer and you ignored them. Why? Your doctrine isn't even consistent in your own writings as I have pointed out and you have ignored. As I said in my last e-mail, this is why I have a problem discussing things like this with people who are so blinded by their doctrine that they are willing to say and believe anything.
I have news for you, I do have the Holy Spirit in my heart and He has spoken to me and He has shown me what Scripture means. I find your e-mails very condescending and I am frankly tired of it.
If you want to go back and answer the question I had about fruits of the Spirit then fine, I will read what you have to say. If on the other hand you are just going to continue to be condescending about my spiritual maturity, don't bother.
By the way, God showed me years ago that when the Bible says we were created in God's image it was referring to us being a triune being, body, soul and spirit, so I don't need a lesson in that, especially since it would make no difference to the doctrine under discussion.
You have degraded me in each and every e-mail you have sent, questioning my salvation, my maturity (if I am saved that is) and I have responded with Scripture and questions which continue to go unanswered.
No I am not mad, I am just tired of wasting my time. I have tried to be fair and open, although I admit that I have called your doctrine a false doctrine, but I did so in hopes of getting you to defend it. That didn't work either. I have given you plenty of Scriptures which show that we must continue in the faith, but once again you ignore all of them and just tell me about your experiences and how you were blind and lost like I am before the Holy Spirit opened your eyes.
I have over 60 pages on my OSAS section on my website and I have answered many people's questions, so I am not hiding, nor am I quitting this conversation because I can't defend in Scripture my point of view, I am quitting because we are going no where.
Let me answer one other thing you did mention in one of your other e-mails. You talked about if two brothers have a problem with each other they should confront each other in private. Believe me I have heard that many times before, but most of the time people will at least quote Matthew 18 to me. The problem is this, Charles Stanley nor Tony Evans, nor you have sinned against me, you are just teaching false doctrine. There is a difference. I don't know about you, but Stanley and Evans teach their false doctrine publicly so I answer them publicly. I even have scriptural backup for what I do as I have already shown you, about rebuking and correcting. Granted you could still claim I should do it in private, but if you do then you have forgotten about this:
Galatians 2:11-14 When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.  Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.  The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.  When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? [NIV]
I will stop there. You can either answer the questions I gave you about your doctrine or we can part ways at this point. For what it is worth the Holy Spirit has shown me over and over again that OSAS is false doctrine and I have documented over and over again Scripturally on my site what the truth is. Just for the record, I don't believe you can lose your salvation, but I do believe you can choose to follow the world and thereby fall from grace and be lost after a true conversion.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)