“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 afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Jas. 6:4-6).
Those who believe you can fall from grace (lose salvation once you are saved) often put forth that the above Scripture proves their case. They say the words “if they shall fall away” teaches there is the possibility of being saved, then falling away from salvation because of sinfulness. Yet, if the phrase, “if they shall fall away,” proves the case that salvation can be lost through sinfulness once one is under the grace of God through Christ’s shed blood on the cross of Calvary, how, then, can the person who falls away be restored through repentance? They ignore this Scripture’s plain teaching that no one could, if he fell from grace, come back into the salvation fold. These same people usually believe in God’s forgiveness of sin and that a sinner can be restored to the point of being resaved. Their use of this scripture to make their point that one can lose their salvation, therefore, makes no sense.
What Hebrews 6: 4-6 teaches, of course, is that it is impossible to lose your salvation. The thing that must be considered here is whether one, if he then lives in sin, without any desire to repent, was ever a born-again believer. Paul wrote, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid” (Rom. 6:1-2). Eternal security is not license to sin without severe consequences. God will discipline His children. In some cases, the heavenly Father will call home His disobedient children who will not heed His corrective measures. The Bible truth about those who claim to be “Christians,” yet who live “like the devil” with seemingly no consequences is: they are probably the children of another father –the Devil.
John, the great apostle, through divine inspiration, spoke to this Bible truth:
“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” (1 Jn. 2:19).
God’s Unbreakable Seal
Almighty God holds the saved within His all-powerful hand, Jesus said. It is stronger than any lamination process that could ever be devised. God’s seal cannot be broken under any circumstances. Paul wrote about Jesus and those who truly believe in Him for their salvation:
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13-14).
Paul wrote that a believer should strive never to disappoint or grieve God. But in the next thought he assures that the believer is eternally secure, no matter what:
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
The Lord explained, through John, the relationship of the born-again child of God to his or her heavenly Father when it comes to the matter of sin:
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:6-9).
Some claim that once saved, a person can live in sinless perfection. Let’s see what God says about this:
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jn. 1:10-2:4).
When Jesus Prays
When the Lord Jesus prays, the heavenly Father ALWAYS grants His Son’s prayer. Jesus prayed for the children of God –all children past, present, and future, saved through Christ’s precious shed blood:
“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them…Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (Jn. 17: 9-10; 20-26).
Paul wrote extensively about his own sinfulness –and he meant the sin he committed after his Damascus Road experience. He was saved, yet sinned, much to his sorrowful remorse. Read Romans 7, beginning with verse 14. He then wrote the following, telling us that we live above sin because we are seen by the heavenly Father through Christ Jesus, not through our flesh:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:1-17).
Jesus is the One who makes us free. If we are free in Him, we are free indeed! Eternally!
Progressive is the term for the mind-set most lauded by media today. The word “progressive,” of course, is the label media and “progressives,” themselves have pasted over the word “Liberal” in order to distance themselves from the many failed policies of liberalism. Even those of the progressive mind-set recognize that those failed policies within the arena of American politics and government has been proven to be…I don’t know how else to frame them… insane.
We’ve all heard that one definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing again and again, even though it fails every time. Nothing more aptly describes the liberal mind-set in American politics and government than does the policy begun by the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration in 1964.
Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” to create his “Great Society,” was to eliminate poverty and assure that every citizen become more equal in achieving a prosperous life. A noble thought, right? Well, yes. I’ll concede that many –including the president, himself, most likely really wanted that to happen. With Liberals –I mean– Progressives– it’s always the good intentions that count. But, it didn’t happen. It still has not happened.
Our government has now spent more than $22 trillion in exactly the same manner since 1964 –over and over again. Poverty is worse, and the welfare state has created and perpetuated a class of totally dependent people –people that for the most part are healthy, able-bodied, and who would be capable of doing for themselves –if not for the slothful element government has encourage and exacerbated.
I mention this economic fact only to show the insanity of the Liberal —excuse me– I mean the Progressive thinking to which we are subjected every hour of every day. This mindset goes far, far, beyond economic madness, as we will see.
Such thinking is prophetic. Paul foretold just such a mindset and where it would lead as the end of the age and the return of Jesus Christ nears.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened… And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient…” (Rom 1: 18-21, 28)
Reprobate thinking, as we have seen before, is upside-down thinking. It is thinking which can neither see a problem in a clear-headed way, nor can it formulate a reasonably effective solution to a problem. Thinking that excludes God produces a reprobate mind –one that will –for example– keep throwing trillions of dollars that don’t exist (because we are broke) at a problem which that money only makes worse, not better.
The Progressive mind-set demonstrates time after time, again and again, over and over, that it wants to carry on with life apart from governance from the God of Heaven. Humanistic government on an ever-increasing grasp for power and control is at the core of the Liberal –excuse me– the Progressive way of thinking.
The Creator –God– has said that marriage is for one man and one woman for life. The Progressive says that this is a new time and place and Biblical thinking is old fashioned –outmoded. We must Progress…
But, nature itself –the way male and females of all species capable of reproducing are constructed, show plainly that it is male-female, not male-male or female-female that constitutes the sexual union God –or if you prefer– nature intended.
Paul the apostle, in His letter to the Romans, again put’s a scriptural finger on the rebellion that festers within the Progressive mind-set.
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” (Rom 1: 26-27)
God says plainly in His Word what He thinks about the killing of babies in the womb. He speaks clearly about shedding blood of those who are a threat to no one, because they are, in human terms, “innocent”.
“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood…” (Prov 6: 16-17)
The Progressive says that, in effect, God –if there is in fact a God– doesn’t know what He is saying in His Word. Life in the womb isn’t life –at least, not yet human life. The Progressives have the right to choose whether the child in the womb is to live or not. They have the right to choose what is convenient for their own life, and this includes the right to choose to execute a defenseless baby before it takes its first breath for expediency’s sake.
Entertainment media is the incubator for the Progressive mind. In these last days every thought of the heart is only on evil continually, as in Noah’s day. The entertainment calls good evil and evil good, and the progressive mind becomes more reprobate by the hour.
Now, let me say as a caveat that political conservatism deserves little more praise than does progressivism. Humanism rules at the heart of all political and governmental entities upon this fallen and soon to be judged planet. The greatest desire of all who name the Name of Christ should be to wage a campaign to win the hearts and minds of mankind for the Lord we serve.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2: 14-16)
Jesus Christ, Creator of all that is, once asked and asks the question still:
“Who do you say that I am?”
Nothing any person does in life is more important, more crucial, than answering this question. One’s response determines an individual’s ultimate destiny, where that person will spend eternity after this short life on Earth is over. And it is indeed a short life lived in our physical bodies. God’s Word, the Bible, speaks truth about the matter:
“The days of our years [are] threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength [they be] fourscore years, yet [is] their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psa. 90:10).
Again, God’s Word says:
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).
Jesus asked that most profound question to ever confront mankind. He asked His disciples directly: “…whom say ye that I am?” (Matt. 16:15). When Peter answered,
“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16), the Lord said, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 16:17).
Jesus went on to declare that He would build His church upon that very foundation. All who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God will become children of the heavenly Father. This truth is confirmed by the inspired words of Paul the apostle following Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9).
The question posed by Jesus when He asked, “Whom say ye that I am?” is the one every individual has to answer. It is not an option. One must either accept that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, or reject Jesus Christ, thus declaring that Jesus was not and is not who He claimed to be. Believing upon Jesus Christ and His redemptive sacrifice on the cross at Calvary for the sins of mankind (Jn. 3:16) means a person will be saved from sin, which separates the souls of men and women, boys and girls, from God, Christ’s Father. Not believing upon Christ means eternal separation from God in a place of torment called the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15).
To accept Christ’s sacrifice is to recognize and admit you are a sinner who needs salvation. You must totally believe Christ died for you. You must ask that Jesus come into your soul and become Lord of your life. By inviting Him to come into your life, you agree that you desire to turn from your sinful life and depend upon the Lord to direct your life as He deems best. Jesus instantly comes to dwell within your soul through God the Holy Spirit. This is called being “born again” (Jn. 3:3). You are then a child of God, saved once and for all – for all of eternity. The Holy Spirit dwelling within you begins helping you grow under new management – King Jesus, the Lord of Lords!
Future Secure Forever
Your future is secure because God holds onto you forever, not because you are holding onto Him! This is most important to recognize and remember. Christ does the saving of your soul. Your part is to simply and genuinely accept the grace gift, the sacrifice for redemption God offers through His beloved Son, the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Jn. 1:29; Rev. 13:8).
We know with absolute certainty you are once and forever in God’s family because of the words of the One who created all that exists. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand” (Jn. 10:29). Jesus was speaking about all people who have lived on Planet Earth who have or will in the future accept Him as God’s once-and-for-all sacrifice for the sins of the world.
He was telling us, through the Mighty Word of the God of Heaven, that it is impossible for the heavenly Father to ever let a single born-again child of His slip from His omnipotent grip.
The Apostle Paul, under direct inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, nailed down eternal security of the born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He wrote:
“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 creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”(Rom. 8:38-39).
Paul said further, “…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12).
Insecurity of Believers
Many who are true Christians today hold that the Bible teaches that people saved by the matchless, unfathomable grace of God can lose salvation if they backslide to the point that sin rules their lives. They reject the Bible truth “once saved always saved.” Many of these who believe, preach, and teach insecurity of the believer (that one can lose salvation) declare at the same time that a Christian called “carnal” can be re-redeemed, restored to the family of God upon repentance. They accept part of the truth found in Hebrews 6:4-6 but deny the truth of the other part. That Scripture says:
“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.”
We will examine this terribly flawed interpretation of this Truth next week.
Commiserating with Lot
June 25, 2018
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is the story of a man–but it is much more. It is a story of mankind.
The man is Abraham’s nephew, Lot, who chose to take the greener pasture when his uncle gave him the choice. That greener pasture was, of course, the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was much more appealing in lushness and the entertainment and other attractions it apparently offered.
The story of Lot, of Sodom and Gomorrah, is also a dramatic picture of all of mankind in its fallen state. The story foreshadows how the human race always chooses the ways of the world that take people farther and farther from their Creator.
Lot, despite being among the lost, debauched thousands of Sodom, was nonetheless considered righteous in the eyes of that Creator -the God of Heaven. There is one thing more we know about this nephew of the great progenitor of the people that would become Israel. Lot was sorely vexed. The story of the sorely vexed Lot can be found in the 19th chapter of the Book of Moses–Genesis.
There, we remember, God sent two angels, first to Uncle Abraham, then to Lot in the debauched city of Sodom.
Here is what the Apostle Peter wrote in regard to our vexed protagonist, Lot. The context is God dealing with egregiously rebellious mankind in righteous judgment.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (2 Peter 2:1-10)
Now, Peter points out–under divine inspiration and without any doubt–that ol’ Lot was indeed vexed. The definition of vexed in one instance is the state of being extremely irritated or frustrated to the point of a sense of being oppressed.
I use the word sorely, because it has always been a KJV term that amuses me. Some in biblical stories, for example, have been described as “sore afraid.”
I have no doubt that Lot, living among these ravenously homosexual men who threatened the angels who came into Sodom, was not only vexed, but sorely vexed.
Now, I want to say here that while watching things going on all around us in today’s society and culture I am sorely vexed. It seems that fully half of the American people are immersed in activity that can be construed as anti-God. Government, media–both news and entertainment–seem bent on tearing down most every moral pillar to which our national life used to be tethered. And, we who oppose that tearing down are called the irrational, ignorant morons that are holding up progress.
We who think boys, not girls, should be Boy Scouts, who believe males should not be allowed in restrooms that are designated for females, who hold that God knows best when saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman, are hated and vilified. Those doing the vilification and hating see themselves as the supreme moralists. And, their side has the public airwaves for the most part. They have Satan’s propaganda machinery that, without ceasing, preaches their Sodom and Gomorrah-like comportment as being the way life is meant to be lived.
This being the case, all of my vexation instantly turns to a shudder of realization when thinking on the future for those in such rebellion. The words issued by Peter above are yet–perhaps very soon–to once again come to fulfillment.
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.