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Redemption Is Eternal

During a Home School Family Camp this September, I had the opportunity to play paintball with the campers. After several rounds of capture the flag, team elimination and just plain fun, we ended the afternoon with a game called “Moose.” In Moose, two people are chosen to be “eternal” (they cannot be eliminated), and they have to take out all the other players before the game is over. It was fun when I was “eternal” because I knew that I could never be taken out. Even if the other player hit me, it didn’t matter—I was not going to stop until they were “dead.”

In a way, Moose reminded me of the security I have in Christ. It doesn’t matter what I do, with genuine repentance, all my sins are forgiven. The apostle Paul reflects on this security as he asks the Christians in Rome if we should use this security to continue in sin so that God’s grace will be even greater our lives? The answer, “God forbid.” (Romans 6:1) The implication here is obvious: namely, that we have security, but it is not an excuse to continue in sin. As Christians, we should have a desire for righteousness. Once we repent of our sins and trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are granted “eternal” life, and it is literally “eternal.”

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Leave10 Responses to testRedemption Is Eternal

  1. J T Cole September 22, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    I am often amazed how some small thing can be used to illustrate the grace of God as with the game you described. To be eternally secure with God who is eternally trustworthy, holy, and powerful is a great place to be. Thank you.

  2. Vincent Eagan III September 22, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Hello, Mr. Hovind.

    I enjoy reading your articles. I myself am an Evangelist, and have an MA in Contemporary Apologetics – a degree I hope to be able to use more fully one day.

    Your article today causes me some concern – enough so that I registered in order to be able to comment. It appears that you are saying once one repents, one time only, he never has to be concerned over the state of his soul again. You encourage people not to sin, as Paul did, but what if someone DOES fall back into sin. I ask that you consider the following and take into account that what man says does not matter only what God has said matters – only that is truth.

    1. Simon the sorcerer: In Acts 8, we are told of Philip’s evangelism in Samaria. Peter and John then go down to transfer upon the people, who have already been saved, the miraculous measure of the Holy Spirit. Simon, one who has already been saved (vs.13), offers money to buy the power to do this same thing, but he is told: “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you, for I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

    It appears that while Simon was saved, he could still be lost. He was told to “repent” – it would appear that he needed to repent again.

    2. Paul himself: “1Cr 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

    If Paul was already a Christian, why would he be concerned about becoming “disqualified”, if in fact redemption is eternally secure?

    3. 1 John: We would agree, I believe, that 1 John is written to those who are already Christian. Thus there is no need to instruct about Salvation. This being the case, in verse 9 we see this: “1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    What unrighteousness have I, if in fact I became a Christian and now have not to worry about any sin?

    Ananias and Sapphira, who were Christians but then lied about the money from their sale of land, were they in a saved state when they died? Demas, who forsook Paul, was he all right, seeing as he was once saved? Alexander, Phyletus, or Himeneous – all stated as false teachers, but once were true believers – were they in a saved state when Paul warned others about them?

    I do not believe God’s Word teaches salvation is a tightrope and I believe we can know we are saved and have security. It is not possible for anyone or anything else to pluck us from God’s hand. But, i it not possible for person to ignore the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin, and to walk out of God’s hand himself? If it is not, what did the Hebrews writer mean when he said, “Heb 6:4-8 For it is impossible to keep on restoring to repentance time and again people who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have become sharers of the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of God’s word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away, as long as they continue to crucify to themselves the Son of God and to expose him to public ridicule.” Or, what was meant here: “Heb 10:38-39 ‘But my righteous one will live by faith, and if he turns back, my soul will take no pleasure in him.’ Now, we do not belong to those who turn back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”

    I do not mean my comments to be disrespectful in any way, and hope that we can “reason together” to reach a conclusion concerning God’s Word and the saved state of a person’s soul.

  3. Stephen Holshouser September 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Eric,

    Amen, I’m glad that Jesus is the Author AND Finisher of our faith… He gets the glory from start to finish!

    Jesus Christ obtained eternal redemption for us when He paid for our sins (Heb 9:12), right? So, my question is; if Jesus took all the wrath of God that an individual deserved and made full payment for that individual’s sins, is it possible that this same person could die, go to hell, and pay for them again?

    2nd question; In your opinion, who is the “their” in the following verse?
    Isaiah 53:11
    He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear THEIR iniquities.

    this is for Eric, but anyone else feel free to comment if you like.

  4. Stephen Holshouser September 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Hello Vincent, just thought I’d try to answer your questions… and maybe preach a little, too. : )

    1. Simon the Sorcerer; You are assuming that when the Bible says that Simon “believed” that he was truly born again. Many thousands have believed in Jesus with a head-knowledge without ever having genuine repentance and faith. Simon still believed as strongly as he did when he offered them money as he did when he saw the miracles and was baptized… He wouldn’t have offered them the money if he did not still believe.

    John 2:23-24
    Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

    The demons and Satan himself believe in Jesus and tremble, that doesn’t mean they are saved. James 2:19

    2. Paul himself; He is probably referring to being a castaway in the sight of men, but certainly not in an eternal sense.
    Paul, by revelation, knew that when God began a good work in someone, He performs it unto the day of Jesus Christ, and that all Christians would be confirmed to the very end. Phil 1:6, 1Cor 1:8, 1Thess 5:23-24. Besides, at what point would God say to Paul, “Okay, I no longer love you eternally now as my own child… you’re going to hell”? By definition eternal life cannot have and end.

    3. 1John; I agree that this is to believers, but believers sin every day and can even go off into gross sin (King David). There are many examples in scripture where believers sin and are chastened by God because they are His true sons… now if you practice sin and don’t receive chastisement, then you are a bastard and not a true son. Heb 12:8. God ended Moses’ life because he sinned, but that doesn’t mean he lost his salvation. There were church members in Corinth that were not partaking of the Lord’ Supper properly and were stricken with sickness and even killed, but this doesn’t teach they were eternally lost (1 Cor 11). If Ananias and Sapphira were ever true Christians, they are in heaven today… Jesus either paid for all their sins Himself, or He did not. If He did pay for it, it is gone.

    However, you can find countless examples of professing believers who ultimately turn away. These were simply never children of God to begin with… “but it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” 2Pet 2:19-20. You see, you can wash a pig, but it is still a pig. A person can claim to know Christ, get baptized, go to church, give tithes, and still be as lost as a person that doesn’t believe in God at all.

    1Jo 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

    The passages you list in Hebrews are the same type of people as mentioned above. Did you see Paul’s final conclusion of the matter? Heb 10:39 “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Though he realized that there would be those false-brethren that would turn away, he knew that he was one of the elect of God that would persevere to the end. This verse also shows that Paul never thought He would be a castaway in the sight of God as you asserted in your point # 2 about Paul.

    You cannot “walk out” or “give back” your salvation because it is not like a temporal or physical gift that you get. Salvation involves a complete spiritual change so that now you are a new creature in Christ Jesus. When a person becomes a true believer, they can no more change back to a non-believer than a leopard can change his spots or an Ethiopian his skin…It’s just what you are now. We can’t save ourselves, and we can’t unsave ourselves. God’s love is unconditional to His elect. If you had a son that you loved eternally would you send him to hell if he disobeyed you? How much more then does God love us than we love our own children?

    Vincent, let me say to you that salvation from start to finish must be by God’s grace alone through faith alone, or God would be indebted to you, and this cannot be (Rom 4:4-5). If you add even so much as one little work to grace, it is no longer grace at all, but works. Not only do we repent and turn from our sins when we come to Christ, we repent of our own “righteousnesses” which are as filthy rags before God.

    As a believer or an unbeliever, if you can keep the whole law and yet offend at one little point, you are still guilty of all of it. If you are doing your best to be saved or to stay saved, you might as well do your worst because in the sight of a Holy God, your best is so close to your worst, they are almost indistinguishable. Read Galatians.

    You must turn from all works, good and bad, and rest in the perfect, finished work of Jesus Christ the righteous. You must offer to God nothing except the merits and blood of the Saviour as your only means of acceptance with him. He accepts this and only this every time. Romans 3:19-28

    Our good works and abstinence from sin is the result of our salvation, NOT the cause of it or the means by which we keep it. We are kept by the power of God.

    Ephesians 2:8-10
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    One last thing; What was Jesus’ mission? John 6:37-40, Matt 18:11-14. Did, will, or can He fail in it??

    Respectfully,

  5. Mike Ayala September 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Hi Vincient,

    Nice to meet you.

    Just a very very quicky here cause I have to be asleep a few hours ago. I’ll address your questions tomorrow, God willing.

    Firstly, notice that Simon did not have a relationship with the Lord, and he was bound by iniquity. (Think in terms of Roman 6:16)

    Secondly, meditate on these two verses and the context in which they rest:

    Hebrews 3:14 and Romans 8:39

    God bless you and fill you with all His joy.

    Mike Ayala

  6. Leonard Ciciarelli September 23, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    @ Stephen Holshouser

    Hi Stephen. I’d like to answer your first question.

    Yes, God paid our sin debt in full at Calvary. However, the unbeliever must STILL decide whether he himself will pay his own sin debt forever in Hell, or except God’s payment on his behalf.

    At Calvary, Sin and Satan were defeated but business between God and man is ongoing.

    To illustrate:

    A certain man owed a large fine that he was unable to pay. A wealthy friend said to the man, I have the money to pay your fine set aside for you; all you have to do is come pick it up. The man had to decide whether he was going to accept his friends gift, or pay the fine himself.

    Does that help clarify?

  7. Mike Ayala September 25, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Hi Vincent,

    Sorry for the misspelling above.

    For simplicity sake, please let me summarize you note above:

    Essentially, you voice a concern that once someone repents, that buys that one a free license to sin as much as they want, or so they think, as evidenced by the many who do fall back into sin.

    Is that a fair assessment?

    If we allow the word of God to be the absolute standard by which we measure all things, that it is our authority for our faith and practice, then we are on safe ground to explore the reality of the nature of the salvation that was bought for us by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross.

    First things first: we need to establish what we do know so that we might be able to compare spiritual with spiritual, compare scripture with scripture, so that we might know the things God has freely given us.

    -

    Let me first point to the verses I posted above, Hebrews 3:14 and Romans 8:39 plus 1 John 2:19.

    Hebrews 3:14

    “For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.”

    Romans 8:38-39

    “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    1 John 2:19

    “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest that none of them were of us.”

    -

    When we compare scripture with scripture, we find the awesome reality that the word of God is authored by the Holy Spirit as He steered His penmen as a rudder moves a ship; that there is a continuity from cover to cover, and that it does not contradict itself – not once. Hence, the word of God is our reliable source for the teaching of God also know as doctrine.

    If we first take a quick look at what we do know, then we can examine other passages of scripture comparing the new passages in the light of what is already revealed by God.

    Hebrews 3:14 is an interesting verse because it so well defines one aspect of the nature of our salvation, that is, “we have become partakers of Christ”, (we are members of His family and household), “if we hold the beginning of our confidence”, (do not depart from the living God), “steadfast to the end.”.

    The “have become partakers” is a perfected verb meaning that it is a one-time act, an action that occurred once in the past with a lasting effect never needing to be done again.

    So, “we have become partakers of Christ” , (we are members of His house and family), “if”, that is, the becoming a partaker of Christ, the one time act in the past with a lasting effect never needing to be accomplished again, is evidenced by the following condition, “we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.”.

    The unequivocal truth of this verse is the fact that we who have become partakers of Christ will “hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.”

    The implications of this truth is staggering when considered in the once-saved-always-saved debate.

    -

    Next we look to Romans 8:38-39.

    The main point to extract out of these two verses is the all inclusive list, “that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth” can separate us from the love of God. The question should arise in your mind when wondering “is it not possible for [a] person to ignore the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin, and to walk out of God’s hand himself?” is whether or not that person is a “thing… present”. If he or she is a thing present, then no, one cannot walk out of God’s hand himself or herself.

    ‘But how can I be sure?’ you might ask?

    Well, just in case Paul missed anything in that list, and it is an impressive list for its all inclusiveness, Paul adds, “nor any other created thing” just so absolutely no one may be in doubt about how the word of God stands on this issue. Is the person trying to walk out of God’s hand a “created thing” ? Of course, yes, a created thing.

    Can one whom Jesus has loved and washed from sins in His own hand walk out from between the hand of Jesus and the hand of the Father? Resoundingly, No!

    -

    But what about the folks we see who apparently leave God for a life of unrepentant sin? Are they not losing their salvation? Are they not walking out of God’s hand?

    Just in case there is any lingering doubt, the Holy Spirit reinforces the idea in 1 John 2:19,

    “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest that none of them were of us.”

    Never underestimate man’s ability (that’s Mr. & Mrs. Man) to deceive oneself about such things, whether or not one has really submitted oneself to Jesus and His authority in one‘s life. The heart of man is desperately wicked, deceitful above all things. Many people make emotional overtures when asking Jesus into one’s heart. The Bible never asks one to ask Jesus into one’s heart. Rather, the Holy Spirit exhorts us to believe His word, His testimony about Jesus, God the Son, and what He did on the cross to save us.

    Acts 16:31,

    “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

    “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…”

    One whom Jesus has loved and washed from sins in His own blood will have changes, lasting changes, in that one’s life. One who is born again will bear fruit, lasting fruit, that will remain. Jesus says so.

    -

    There are a multitude of tangential issues to explore when considering this all-important issue of the nature of our salvation, and you also brought many points worthy of examination. As necessary as it is, this forum is likely not the best place to get into a nuts & bolts examination. But let me point to a few areas to immediately explore.

    Check out 1 John 2:28 – 3:3 where we learn that we who have the hope of the resurrection will purify ourselves even as Jesus is pure. That’s flat out awesome!

    Also do an exegesis on the rest of 1 John 3:3-12. Beware not to over compensate by misreading the passage. Get into the Greek verb tenses and understand the difference between active verbs and perfected verbs. (The OnlineBible is very helpful for this type of study, and it is FREE!)

    The “does not sin” and the “cannot sin” verbs are not the one time acts of sin but rather the continual practice of sin as one who lives in the sin and even seeks ways to improve how to sin.

    We need to also examine all things concerning the nature of our salvation, how we got it, who is in charge of it, who keeps it, and what will Jesus do in the last day for all who are His, as in John 6:39.

    Remember, if we can do anything to keep and maintain our salvation, that is blasphemous heresy: We can do nothing to earn our salvation, for we are ineligible and lack the capacity to pay the penalty for our sins and still rise from the dead. Likewise, to keep one’s salvation requires the same standard as earning one’s salvation. It just is not going to happen – no, not ever.

    If one could “keep” one’s salvation, if one’s salvation was dependent upon one not walking out of the hand of God, then that one would become one’s own co-redeemer. Then we would see boasting sessions in heaven how each one there got there because of the superb way they kept their own salvation.

    -

    When we do understand the word of God, and particularly the nature of our salvation, by comparing scripture with scripture, many of the so called problem areas or controversial areas of Bible doctrine will not be a problem or controversial, and the confusion will evaporate and hardly be a memory.

    I’d love to go over the Hebrews 6 passage with you because it is so misunderstood because too often it is not read with understanding, and it is considered out of the context of the book and time in which it was written. You will be surprised when you dig into it a just at little bit. Maybe I’ll be able to get to it a little before the page closes.

    When we understand:

    Who Jesus is
    What Jesus has done for us
    What Jesus is doing for us
    What Jesus will do for us

    then we will walk in unshakable confidence in the light of His love and word.

    God bless you, Vincent.

    Mike Ayala

  8. Mike Ayala September 25, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    Stephen Holshouser
    September 22nd at 2:58 pm

    Hi Stephen,

    The short answer is:

    1. No, not if that one is in Christ. Remember:

    “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we always be with the Lord.”

    Focus on the “so shall we always be”. Study the future role of the bride of Christ if you want to know what will happen to those in Christ. Where He goes we go.

    Also, you and I cannot pay for our sins. We are ineligible and unable to do so even if we were eligible.

    -

    2. Directly in that passage it is wholly Israel. We also know in other places that Jesus will do the same for us.

    Jesus presents himself as the Messiah of Israel by fulfilling the prophecies of the Messiah long before the Church comes onto the scene. It is really a very interesting study.

    God bless you, Stephen,

    Mike Ayala

  9. Stephen Holshouser September 25, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    Hi Leonard,

    Be patient with me… I’m trying to figure out exactly what you believe; do you think Jesus paid the sin debt in full for people or did He merely make the payment available to people?

    If a judge asks you, “has your fine been paid?” and you say, “yes, it has been paid… well, actually, the money is available for me to pay it..” He’s going to say, “Which one is it? Has it been paid for or not?”

    Did you consider the 2nd question?… read the whole chapter of Isaiah 53 for the context of that verse and then read John 17 and tell me, according to these scriptures, who you think Jesus Christ is making payment for.

    enjoy the chapters, they are amazing!

  10. Vincent Eagan III September 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    Steven, thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.

    There are a few things you said which confused me. At the beginning of the post, you suggest that Simon wasn’t REALLY saved yet, that I just assumed that. I suggest that he was saved because the Word says: “Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.”

    Later in your post, you tell me that it all has to be grace, that there is no work connected with salvation. Then you go on to tell me that we repent and turn from our sins when we come to Christ … are those not works? And if there is no work than one needs do, then why was Simon not saved yet? What are you saying he lacked, if in fact no work is necessary?

    Washing of regeneration is a continual project. If you choose to spurn the conviction of sin from the Holy Spirit, and continue in it, there is a point at which it will stop.