Sunday, March 23, 2014

Not Always Saved

Not Always Saved
March 24, 2014
Hebrews 3:12  "See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God."

There is a controversial theory among Christians suggesting salvation, once attained, can never be lost.  It theorizes that a person who has accepted the free gift of salvation will never in his lifetime lose that salvation, no matter how far he lives from the Lord.  The phrase is "once saved, always saved."  People like to hang on to this idea, especially after a loved one has died.  Often times people live for the Lord and accept salvation from Him, yet fall away and live sinful lives so far from the Lord's desires that you would never know the person ever had a relationship with the Heavenly Father.  If that person dies, the surviving family likes to believe he made it to Heaven, even if the most recent 20 years of his life were spent living like he never met God.  The theory is meant to console someone after recently losing a loved one because the guilt of living with the idea of the person burning in Hell is too much to bear.

There are both sides to this argument but the Bible never says salvation is permanent in a person's life.  In fact, it paints a really good argument against salvation being permanent.  In the book of Hebrews, the writer likens Christianity and salvation to the Children of Israel in the desert after Moses led them away from Egypt.  The Children of Israel were the Lord's people and He was leading them to their inheritance, The Promised Land.  When they all left Egypt, each and everyone of them believed whole heartedly the Lord would lead them to The Promised Land.  Along the route, many rebelled against the Lord and fell away from their full belief in Him.  The Bible says the Lord put most of them to death in the desert and they were not able to ever enter The Promised Land.  In Hebrews, the parallel is drawn to The Promised Land being a metaphor for Heaven, which is for ALL the Lord's people.

Like the Children of Israel who fell away from the Lord and didn't reach their intended inheritance, the writer of Hebrews suggests Christians who fall away from the Lord will not reach their intended inheritance either.  It is a scary thought to think of losing your salvation, forfeiting the right to enter into Heaven.  Many Christians put their head in the sand when it comes to tackling this issue, but it must be raised.  There comes a point when a person's life does not parallel what he had at one point confessed with his mouth.  You can say that Jesus is Lord but if your life proves otherwise, then the words are moot.  I do not know at what point a person can lose their salvation but Scripture paints are really convincing argument that it can be lost.

This isn't meant to scare you or judge you, but to motivate you.  Rather than someday living with guilt thinking your loved one is in Hell, the book of Hebrews urges you and me to encourage each other in the faith.  We are to talk about it constantly with others, with our family, keeping watch on the sin that could so easily tear us away from the Father's hands.  Likewise, it should put a respectful fear in your own life from walking down the wrong roads.  I do not want to see you go to Hell and I would be remiss if I didn't tell you it is still a possibility.  Hell is real and your loved ones could be going there unless their lifestyle proves they have their own faith in the Heavenly Father who saves.  Your faith is not enough to cover someone else's life or keep them from going to Hell.  Talk to your loved ones today and make sure they are still living with full faith in their hearts.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Hebrews 3 & 4, Hebrews 6:4-8

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