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The answer is no. God teaches us in countless places in both the old and new testaments that "once saved, always saved" because a person is elected unto grace and salvation by Jesus Christ through the effectual call of His word and Spirit. Ephesians 2:4-6 "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, MADE US ALIVE together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and RAISED US UP together, and MADE US SIT together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" Paul continues in this chapter to describe salvation as "the gift of God" to the believers in the church. Do you think God would take back a gift He has given? Romans 8:28-30 "And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God to those WHO ARE CALLED according to his purposes. For WHOM HE FOREKNEW He also PREDESTINED to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also CALLED; whom He called, these He also JUSTIFIED; and whom He justified, these He also GLORIFIED." God has predestined those whom He is pleased in the appointed time to call out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, unto regeneration (re-creation or spiritual birth) and eternal life. Why would God save someone only to take it back later? Though Christians by the temptation of Satan and the indwelling sin remaining in them fall into grievous sins, and suffer consequences as a result, they will renew their repentance and ultimately be preserved by faith in Christ Jesus to the end...believing anything else would be blasphemy. God chose the Israelites to be His people, He never abandoned them. Surely he allowed them to suffer persecution at the hands of their enemies at times due to their disobedience, but He promised them a Savior and thankfully delivered on that promise. The Lord does not do any of this for the sake of His creation, but for the sake of His great and holy name. Ezekiel 36:25-28 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and CAUSE you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be my people, and I will be your God." We are all born enemies of God, and no one is righteous enough to choose to repent and believe in Christ (see John 6:44). It is the Lord who saves us and assuming that one can lose that "no condemnation status" calls the faithfulness of God into question. Malachi 3:6 "For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob." John 10:26-29 "But you do not believe, because you are not My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand." Psalms 89:31-33 "If they break My statutes and do not keep My commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, nor allow My faithfulness to fail." Phillipians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Jeremiah 32:40 "And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from me." If you think you are an ex-Christian, sadly you were deceived in believing you were ever saved to begin with.
There are so many verses in the bible that tell us we are saved by faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross. He said when we are saved by that faith he joins his spirit to our spirit and He has written our name in his hands. He said that no man shall pluck them out of my fathers hand. That means you too. Now there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. You can no longer be condemned to hell. You cannot pick yourself up by your own bootstraps to heaven. If you could live a sinless life Jesus did not have to die. Those that believe they can be lost are trusting in themselves to save them selves by good works instead of trusting in the only name given among men where by we must be saved. Having said that, there will be rewards in heaven to those that walk in the spirit and not in the flesh. Having been saved by grace through faith we should love him because he loved us first by saving us from hell. Do you love Him? He gave his life a ransom for you. He took your place on the cross to die for your sins and mine. Of all that He has saved none shall be lost. Even to those that believe on his name. One of the greatest lies of satan is to get you to believe you can save yourself by being good. That is why those who say but Lord Lord, what about all my good works. An He will say depart from me I never new you. Please trust in His righteouness and not your own. Salvation is a free gift to all that put there trust in Him.
The question asked is: "Is there such a thing as an ex-Christian?" The answer is yes. There is no such teaching in the N.T. that states "once saved, always saved" That teaching is from Satan and not from God. People who believe that they cannot become an ex-Christian are sadly mistaken and such a teaching does not lead to a zealous reaching out for that which is ahead and leaving those things of this world - walking according to the flesh behind a priority. For most who think that they will be saved if they believe and are baptised they will be saved regardless as to how they conduct themselves after are in for a shock. They will be told the following: Notice: Matthew 7:19:19 Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Matthew 7:21-23: Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of God - heaven; BUT HE THAT DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. 1 Cor:6:9: Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Paul was talking to believers in these quoted verses... Galatians 5:19: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Again, Paul is talking to believers in these verses!..... Galatians 6:8: For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Again, these verses are directed to believers! So yes a Christian by walking according to the flesh and not walking according to the spirit can become an ex-Christian, and end up being caste into the lake of fire.
No! There cannot be an ex-Christian. Once a Christian, always a Christian. Read Dr. Charles F. Stanley's book Eternal Security, which shall assure this objective truth. If you do not have the time to read the whole book, at least read the conclusion. And I quote here: "I have never met a Christian who has lost his salvation. However, I have met plenty who have lost their assurance. Our security rests in the hands of an unconditionally loving heavenly Father." The point is that once a Christian has accepted the triune --one in three and three in one God: Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit-- he or she cannot wriggle out of the grasp of the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God. The eternal God is his/her refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms. George Parakulam
No. As there are no such things as back-sliders. Once a Christian, always a Christian. The problem is we mix up those who are false-converts with genuine Christians. The false-converts continue for awhile, until the going gets rough and they back away and fall off. God does the saving, therefore can man undo what the sovereign God has done? We are sealed unto the day of redemption and no man can pluck us out of His hand. So no, there are no such things as ex-Christians or people who used to be Christians. And no, a person biblically saved cannot deny Christ. It's not his to give back.
Let's look at Romans 8:22-35 with special emphasis on verses 28-30. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? v. 28 uses the word "called" which is preceded by the definite article "the" which are a specific group/class. In v. 29 it is stated "whom" he foreknew, NOT what he foreknew. Whom he foreknew were predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.v. 30 Moreover (furthermore) those he predestinated he also called and whom (those) he called he justified and those that he justified he also glorified. Let's look at some definitions. v. 28 "the called" (Gr. klā-to's) I.called, invited (to a banquet) A.invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ B.called to (the discharge of) some office i.divinely selected and appointed. v. 29 "foreknow" (Gr. pro-gē-nō'-skō) I.to have knowledge before hand II.to foreknow A.of those whom God elected to salvation III.to predestinate. v. 30 "predestinate" (Gr. pro-o-rē'-zō) I.to predetermine, decide beforehand II.in the NT of God decreeing from eternity III.to foreordain, appoint beforehand. "justified" (Gr. dē-kī-o'-ō) I.to render righteous or such he ought to be II.to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered III.to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be. "glorified" (Gr. do-ksä'-zō) I.to think, suppose, be of opinion II.to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate III.to honour, do honour to, hold in honour IV.to make glorious, adorn with lustre, clothe with splendour A.to impart glory to something, render it excellent B.to make renowned, render illustrious i.to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged Consider that the ALL the graces and attributes bestowed upon the believer are ALL past tense? Certainly there are people yet to be saved but in the mind of God it is already a done deal! (John 17:20) God called God foreknew God predestinated God justified God glorified 1 Corinthians 1:31 "That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" There's no such thing as an ex-Christain.
I was taught the "once saved always saved" theory growing up also. I was saved at the age of nine. I know for a fact beyond a shadow of doubt I "truly" accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savoir. However, because I was young in the faith and didn't have a strong influence directly in my life, I fell short very quickly. Satan made sure that every friend I had was the part of the wrong crowd. I became an alcoholic and drug addict. I'm not so sure during that part of my life if I were to die that I would've gone to heaven. I still believed in Jesus Christ and declared Him as my Lord and Savoir but my lifestyle did not reflect it at all. The bible says in Philippians 2:12 "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." This doesn't mean we literally have to work to earn our salvation, but it does mean as Christians we should be sincere and always striving to become more and more like Christ each day. I'm so thankful that God was patient with me and I've been delivered from that lifestyle almost ten years now. It wasn't until I was filled with the Holy Spirit that I truly began to develop a relationship with Him. I can't imagine walking away and denying Christ ever but I know if I wanted to I could and God would allow it. No one knows how many chances God will give us to repent and come back to Him. That's why it's pertinent that we stay in the Word and in His presence. It's no different then someone being married for years and years and then they decide to get divorced. That doesn't mean the couple was never in love and it certainly doesn't mean they were never "truly" married. It means a conscious decision has been made to end the relationship. So it is possible to walk away from Christ. God will never take away your salvation but you can definitely choose to walk away from it!
I don't believe anyone is able to answer definitely as both sides have supported scripture. My answer comes from life experience. I married a man who was a Christian and led me to Christ just before we got married. Think of David, a man after God's own heart, who made fleshy mistakes time after time BUT always repented and came back to God. My husband went down a sinful spiral and while away on business committed adultery multiple times, did drugs, drank and even thought of taking his own life. When I arrived,while 20 week pregnant with our first child, he confessed all his sins and told me to divorce him and leave him there to die. Now, yes, biblically I had grounds for divorce... But I also knew as it is written that God hates divorce. I was going to hold up my marriage convenent no matter what. So I forgave him and through the support and help of Christian friends, we were able to "bring him back." God does work miracles and today my husband is a better man and a "stronger" Christian. One of the reasons why I couldn't walk away from him was because I couldn't bare to let the love of my life end up in hell... Because at that moment looking at him full of sin and death, I knew if I didn't help try to "save" him... He was done for. At that moment, looking upon the face of Satan, I was wasn't a 100% convinced that our salvation was secure... That once a Christian, always a Christian was true. He has told me numerous times that had I left him there, his life would have ended and he wasn't so sure where he would go. He didn't ever "deny" God was God, but he gave into every sin, every fleshy desire that was going to lead him to sure death. I'm thankful I'll never have to find out if our salvation is secure by the example of my husband. But why argue about this? Shouldn't we, as followers of Christ, do everything in our power not to leave it to chance?
When Jesus said free indeed he meant even till the end of time (John 8:36) While you were in sin he came and died for you. You did nothing to earn his love, nothing is gonna make you lose it. Jesus is so madly in love with you that he watches you every second of every minute of every day. He said he'll be there with you till end of time.
What Paul is saying there in Hebrews is that it is impossible for one who is saved to fall away. The bible clearly states that all who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved, event to them that just believe on His name. We just want to make salvation hard. It is believing that Jesus death and resurection, and He being the son of God that lived a perfectly Holy life was a sacrifice for our sins. When we confess our sins, He is just and faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. At the point of our belief He sends the Holy Spirit to join with our spirit and we are sealed unto the day of redemption. He gives us His perfect righteousness in place of our unrighteousness. Salvation is a free gift and;you can not earn it. Paul said " By grace you are saved through faith, not of works lest any man should boast. The only thing we can boast in is the cross. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.
Yes, it is possible to be an ex-Christian; that is, a former Christian who had faith in Christ for a time, but defected from the faith and returned to his former state of slavery to sin. If one rejects faith, he is no longer a Christian. A non-Christian cannot claim the promises of God; they reject Christ’s covering blood and so their sins are not forgiven. If we reject faith, such as the twice-dead false teachers who deny Christ (Jude 1:4, Jude 1:12, etc), then that is the opposite of 'building our-self up in the most holy faith' (Jude 1:20). We cannot claim Christ or the protection of God if we have no faith in Christ. It is possible that this defection from faith and rejection of the Holy Spirit is the 'unforgivable sin' that leads to death (I John 5:16-17, Matt 12:31). Scripture gives many examples of 'ex-christians', as well as warnings to Christians to hold fast to faith so that we do not defect ourselves. II Pet 2:20-22, II Pet 2:1, Jude 1: These false teachers had once ‘escaped the world’ through a personal relationship with Christ (epignosis). Yet, they then returned to the world. Their latter state was worse than their initial state of mere unbelief! They were ‘twice dead’, for having escaped death through Christ once and being born again as a new creation, they died to Christ and returned to the world. “For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire." II Pet 2:21-22 (This passage speaks of true/personal/relational knowledge, not mere head knowledge.) I Tim 1:19: Some had failed to ‘hold fast’ to their faith, but actually thrust it away. They had suffered shipwreck of their faith as a result. I Tim 4:1: The Spirit teaches that in the latter times some will depart from the faith. Mark 4:13-20, Luke 8:13 - some received the word with joy, but did not endure. In times of trial they fell away. Others heard the word, but the lure of the world made it unfruitful. (John 15:5-17, II Pet 1:3-11, Heb 6:7-8). This is actually two types of falling away: completely dead faith that leads to God rejecting us at the judgment (Mark 4:18-19, Matt 22: 11-14, Heb 6:8, John 15: 6), while the other group is those that reject faith and leave while on earth (Mark 4:16-17, 1 Tim 1: 18-20)]. Heb 6:5-8 warns of Christians who have seen the light (II Cor 4:6), ate of the heavenly gift (John 6:33), shared in the Holy Spirit (I Cor 12:13, II Peter 1:4, Eph 3:6, Heb 3:14, Col 1:12, Phil 1:7, Eph 4:4, etc), tasted the goodness of the word of God (Psalm 38:4) shared in spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:4), and repented (Acts 2:38), but then fell away. In Heb 6:6 'parapipto' is to fall from close beside or desert - this fall/defection is from something you are apart of. [https://ebible.com/questions/673-does-hebrews-6-4-6-mean-we-can-lose-our-salvation#answer-14122] Heb 3:12: Paul asks the brethren to take care lest anyone have an unbelieving heart that would cause them to turn away from the living God. This follows off of his example of how the Israelites who followed God often hardened their hearts and turned from Him. Heb 10:26-31 gives the strong admonition that we not return to slavery to sin after once being sanctified by the covenant. Much like Heb 4:4-8, this is the case of those who had personal, relational knowledge of Christ, but returned to the world. There is no ‘do over’ for them, for they reject the sacrifice of Christ’s death. Matt 24:10-12: Many will fall away, and in turn will lead other believers astray. Here are some other warnings to believers to endure until the end, hold fast to faith, remain in Christ, to overcome, etc: Rev 2:10, I John 2:27-28, II John 1:9, John 15:5-17, James 1:12, Luke 14:28-35, Heb 6:9-12, II Tim 4:6-8, James 1:2-8, II Pet 1:5-11, Heb 10:38-39
I agree with Kevin Stinchcomb and Jeremiah 32:40"... but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from me." However we all are individuals, think what we think, feel what we feel. I cannot imagine to deny Jesus or God from my heart. I can be angry, I can have perilous times, but the fear of God is so permeated me, that I simply know, I belong to God's crowd. Even when I heard any word against God disturbs me -and there is a good reason for it - and a real Christian will understand. From time to time we may stumble, but keeping away from God? How to do it? - I don't know.
There is no such thing as an ex-Jew. Why? Because circumcission places an indelible mark on a person's character (a cut that won't grow back). He is marked forever. He can be called a non-practicing Jew or a fallen away Jew. Similarly, there is no such thing as an ex-Christian. Because baptism places an indelible mark on a person's soul (he is born again of spirit and fire). He is marked forever. He can be called a non-practicing Christian or a fallen away Christian.
Is there such a thing (person) as an ex-Christian? Absolutely not! If someone, after learning of Jesus' death on the Cross for our sins and resurrection into the promise of eternal life, says he/she believes and continues to walk in the 'flesh' then they missed the Truth of the Message and never believed to begin with. Romans 6:3 says. "Do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" Romans 6:6, " We know that our old self (Adamic nature to sin) was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin." Romans 6:14, " For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law but under grace." Romans 6:18," You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. " Our old 'man'/'woman' died! Jesus didn't just cover our sin with His blood, Ho took our sin away completely and we died to sin with Him on the Cross. Psalm 103:12," As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions (sins) from us." We are new creatures in Christ and we walk in God's Grace, dead to sin and alive in Jesus. Appropriate the objective truth (Truth) of the Bible. Your emotions will fool you sometimes into feeling and thinking you can't be a new creature because your 'flesh' (body) has the urge to sin but that flesh is just the vessel we live in until our own death and resurrection. Believe you are who the Bible says you are because that's who you really are and live that way by avoiding temptation with the Holy Spirit as your guide. If a person mouths the words but doesn't really believe them then they were never a Christian to start with so, there is no such person as an ex-Christian. We are new creatures in Christ!
God's Holy Bible, our 'written' communication link to insight, depth and validation form of understanding His words tells us that when we 'believe on the name of Jesus Christ, trusting in Him that He will save us by that belief (Faith) and asking Him to forgive us all our sins --ALL OF THEM!...that "He will send His Holy Spirit to reside in us and be with us all the days of our life on this Earth!". And, in addition, His Holy Word tells us that 'do not grieve the Holy Spirit, but He also tells us --and this is very, very important-- that we are 'sealed unto that day of redemption'! He seals us because God will bring unto Him whom He hath provided! We are 'His sheep, each and every single one of His redeemed." ***Look at John 10: 26-29, and read and understand God's Holy Word.*** A good way to look at this is to get people to understand from a slightly different and unique observation: "God is not an 'Indian giver'! What does this statement mean? In the old west, on the plains of America, there were times that cowboys would be given gifts by leaders of an Indian tribe...but time would pass, and the agreements made would falter, therefore making the tribal chief angry. So, what would happen next? The chief would send his warriors to take back that "gift" and hence, a battle would ensue. My point is this: "God is not an "Indian Giver"! ~~Andy~~
I do believe that once you are saved you will always be saved. Because that is an act of faith. Otherwise, there would be eternal insecurity about salvation and it would become a 'works trip' Romans 11:6 It is a testimony of faith to confess Jesus to others! (Romans 10:9-11, 13). I have just read 1 Corinthians 5, where Paul has to deal severally with sexual immorality despite the church being saved. He never said anything that these people lost salvation, but he rebuked their behaviour.(1Corinthians 5:1, 2) We should not sin, once we know our Saviour. (Romans 6:15) Deliberately going the wrong way will bring us the fruit for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. Galatians: 6:7 Incidentally, it is the same people of Galatia, where Paul has to rebuke them about being bewitched: (Galatians 3:1) Despite everything and all their mistakes, (because we are going to make them until we will be perfected in the resurrection) God still has mercy. Even in the old testament, despite all the evil kings, God did not forsake his covenant with David for a very long time and fulfilled it ultimately in Jesus! Just think! What a terrible yoke that would be, having to walk on eggshells daily not to break salvation! That would be equal to the old law, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. And even then you would be insecure. But of course, we must heed to Christ's teachings and follow in His footsteps as much as we as weak mortals can! He knows how to straighten us out if we deliberately abuse His freedom! The guide for following Jesus is of Course the Holy Spirit, the comforter (John 14:26)
Just as Satan made himself the Devil by desiring what was not rightfully his (Gods' Sovereignty), Christians can become former\ex-Christians by falling away from God, or the faith, and remaining unrepentant. Satan was among those son's (Spirit sons\Angels) of God whom shouted for joy at the creation of the earth (Job 38:4-7). He later however rebelled, that's actually how he came to be the Devil, and Satan. He thus made himself, and the rebellious demon angels who chose to follow him at enmity with God. Likewise Christians to can fall away from God: Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall 1Corinthians10:12), But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him (Hebrews 10:38). The Apostle Paul helps us to appreciate that some brothers were excommunicated, the fact that the term brother was used indicates that they were Christian! Notice what the text says at 1Corinthians 5:9-13 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world, But rather I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler,drunkard, or robber - not even to eat with such one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Drive out the wicked person from among you." Therefore if the individual remains unrepentant, he/she makes or renders themselves ex - Christian
I agree with Jenn. Either side of the question will find supporting scripture that they feel supports their view. The reality is that the arguments given above will not change the views of those who beleive you can and those who believe you can't give back your salvation. There are other areas that Christians disagree in as well and will preach what they think is right. This causes conflict for the weaker brother (1 Cor 8) which causes them to stumble/fall/be destroyed. I won't give my view here as to wether this means one can give back their salvation. What I do know is that one day we will be called to account and judged on what we build with (1 Cor 3 12-15) That does worry me becuase I want to build on the right things. If you had know me 10 years ago you would have said I had given mine back. I'd stopped going to church and wasn't living the way God had called me to live. In my heart of hearts I still believed in Jesus and definitely knew that one day I would meet God. I called out to God every day to help me. Had i given back my salvation? We can be quick to judge people like me. We can be quick to write people like me off. We can be quick to think that someone like me who did not go to church for a long time was not one of us and not saved. My heart was broken, my spirit was broken, and during that time I was away I could count on one hand the number of people in my church who sought me and on the other hand I could count how bad they made me feel for not going to church. I would like to finish with "We exist to equip and encourage people to keep believing in Jesus" We do this by loving them to the very core as he loves us. When someone like me who went astray we go and seek them and preach the grace of God our Father. He loves us so much even when we walk like the prodigal son.
This is one of those questions that cannot be answered in a vacuum or with one single verse from scripture. As a Wesleyan, I would answer YES. Free will is something we keep intact throughout our entire human existence. I choose each day whether or not I am going live in relationship with Christ. I choose to accept the Word as Truth. I choose to follow Christ. However, tomorrow I could choose to reject Christ, the Truth of Scripture and go my own way. (Granted, that would place me in great eternal jeopardy.) Anyway... that's my 2 cents worth.
Can a person be an ex-Christian? Of course they can, and the concept of eternal security will once again be overturned by truth that we have in the Scriptures. The epistles of John are very important in the process because they are often used to defend the concept of eternal security. In them, the apostle tells us that if you’re a Christian you cannot sin so those of the OSAS persuasion have deemed that it means that all your sins, past, present, and future are already forgiven. Yet the apostle also says in the Epistle that if one sees his brother sin that’s “not unto death”, he should pray for them. If Christians are eternally secure, you would not need to pray for them if they sin, because that concept implies that though Christian's sin they are already forgiven. Let’s take a look at a classic Scripture use for the OSAS group. They often quote First John 2:19, but they quote it totally out of context. Here in verse 19 John is addressing a specific group of antichrists that were dwelling among them in his time; it is not a general statement related to people leaving the Church. If you will read from verse 1st John 2:17-19, you can see it relates to those antichrists. If it was to be a scripture related to OSAS doctrine, why would the apostle John further down in the same chapter show that the condition for remaining in the Father and The Son was to continue to keep the Word of God? 1 Jn 2:24 "Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father". 1Jn 2:28 "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming". John is not preaching a 'Once Saved, Always Saved' Doctrine at all. He is relating these conditional warnings that come from John 15 - the teaching of the true Vine! He is saying if you continue to keep the Word of God you will continue in the Father and the Son. It was written to warn them not to cast away the Word of Christ they had received from the beginning of their salvation, or they would cease from being in the Father and the Son. This is confirmed by such Scriptures as Romans 11:20-23, and of course many other Scriptures especially from Christ’s discourse to the 12 apostles John 15. If they wanted to remain in Christ they must decide to continually abide in Him. Unfortunately, those of the other persuasion seem to remove the conditions for continuing in Christ and make it a foregone conclusion. If the conditions for remaining in Christ were removed, then the passages mentioned in John 15 and Romans 11 would not be in scripture. We should never replace the word “if” with another word “since” as some do. One person of the OSAS persuasion told me “Since Christ has abided me in the Vine forever I cannot lose my salvation” That was not what Jesus was saying at all, Jesus taught that even if the apostles did not continue to abide in Him they would eventually dry up and be removed from the Vine. They would be cut off from Christ.
If we are talking about Christian religion, the answer is yes there is, since a religion is a man's concept of God with the consequence of there are a lot of sects, denominations, etc in each of religion as men are leaning to their own understanding (Proverbs 3: 5). Since Christian is a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, who gave a New Covenant to all who believes in Him as an amendment and fulfillment of the Old Covenant (Mathew 5: 17-20), the answer is no, there is no such a thing as an-ex Christian. There is only an eternal life or condemnation (John 3: 16-21).
“Is there such a thing as an ex-Christian?” I responded to this question in June, 2015, and after viewing new responses throughout the year and growing in grace, I’d like to revise my answer to the following. If we believe the Word of God, then there can be no ex-Christians. If you have truly received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior by faith and believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, then the Holy Spirit comes to live in you and seals you. If we were to think a person can lose his salvation, we would be missing the whole point of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and we would also be falling short in our faith and trust in God and the words and work of Jesus Christ. That line of thinking also gives mankind a big egotistical part in his own salvation. First, what is a Christian? A Christian is a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. A true Christian loves the Lord and obeys His commandments. John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Ephesians 2:8-9 - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. John 14:15 - If you love me, you will keep my commandments. Second, what happens to you when you become a Christian? You are transformed into a new creation in Christ, and you receive the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. Jesus said: John 14:16-17 - 16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. The role of the Holy Spirit is to be a witness to us about God. He tells us we are children of God. He brings us into all truth. He keeps us. He is our teacher, our illuminator, He warns us about temptation, He draws us to God, He teaches us how to worship, He helps us fight temptation, He makes all necessary protection and provisions for us, and He intercedes for us. John 14:25-27 - 25 These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 16:13 - But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. For a person to claim to be a Christian and then to renounce Jesus and reject everything he once believed, one of the following two things would have to be true. 1) Either that person never had saving faith to begin with. Or 2) the Holy Spirit failed in doing His job or changed His mind. Since 2) is impossible, the answer has to be 1) – the person was never saved in the first place. If there is any possibility at all that we can lose our salvation or that we have to maintain our salvation, then God did not finish our rebirth and transformation like He said He did. “It” would not be finished. If our everlasting salvation is contiguous to our behavior, that would mean that God isn’t in total control. We would have some control over our salvation by what we do. And since He can’t inhabit an unrighteous dwelling, the Holy Spirit would be moving in and out of us like a revolving door. Do we really have that much control of God? Jesus said it is finished. We can't undo what God has done. Therefore, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27. Blessings!
The devil roams around looking for someone to devour... and it is his greatest goal to separate us from Christ. He comes at Christians HARDER than nonbelievers because they are already lost, whereas we are found. But as scripture clearly explains, we are weak, He is strong and we need to lean on Him and Him alone to be strong against the evil one. When we don't... well, that is when we fall. Ephesians 6:10: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. So the question is, do we fall and get back up again and turn to God once more, or do we continue in the fall and never turn back? If we fall and turn away from God, were we ever truly 'saved' in Him? Therein lies the question that even John wrestled with: 1 John 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 1 John 2:24: Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. The fact that John says "IF that..." means, to me, that people CAN fall away from the Lord. In fact, I'm sure some do the latter... so yes, there is such a thing as an ex-Christian. I've met quite a few actually in my short 2 years of being saved, having been raised in the church, came to know Christ and chose the world over Him, sadly, for me, for them and most definitely for our Abba Father. Blessings, in HIM, Lynn
The 1 John passage alluded to above is not an easy one to blend into a more Arminian viewpoint but other, much more numerous passages in the New Testament fit much less well. I once read an article about the Hebrews "falling away" passages that said that what the passages addressed was completely hypothetical and not something that God would ever allow to happen. Problem is that Jesus said that many WOULD fall away. So, of course, the Hebrews author was writing about true apostasy. Also, the apostle Paul wrote (in Galatians) to believers who had undergone circumcision that they had been cut off from Christ and fallen from grace--a very graphic comparison to the severing of the foreskin that would then fall away from the body. In Paul's theology, grace and Christ were synonymous with salvation. And he did not modify or qualify his words in the least to the Galatians. If Calvinism was true, then Paul created a huge heresy among these Galatian churches, whom he supposedly loved. Thus is seems more likely that what John was saying was that the people who departed from Christian fellowship had actually forsaken Christian belief before abandoning the Church--and not that they never had God's Spirit within in the first place.
If we were too corrupt to know our need for God until he called us. I think it unlikely that he would let us go once he did call us. I also liken God to a "good" drug, once you have ingested it you want more. You want to read his word, you want to go to church for fellowship, you chastise yourself for petty vanities and angers, finally, when that is not enough you start buying theology books. On and on it goes. I think if the Holy Spirit were really in us we could not stop pursuing God. It is an itch that needs scratched. Sorry for the drug analogy.
[Moderator note: The following does not conform to the eBible statement of faith, but is allowed for direct relevance to the question at hand. A selection of related eBible topics have been added to aid in navigation of this answer]. Ok, this is not true. I am an ex-christian. I was a huge part of my church. I loved God with all my heart and soul. But now, over the past year, I did a lot of thought about religion and decided I don't believe in it anymore. [Related link: https://ebible.com/questions/1844-can-a-christian-give-back-salvation] I figured why should I be a christian, if to me it appears Christianity itself has stories and beliefs than were held by people beforehand? [Related links: https://ebible.com/questions/309-is-jesus-a-myth-is-jesus-just-a-copy-of-the-pagan-gods-of-other-ancient-religions https://ebible.com/questions/1212-did-the-bible-copy-some-of-its-stories-from-other-religious-myths-and-legends https://ebible.com/questions/1386-did-moses-copy-the-law-from-the-code-of-hammurabi https://ebible.com/questions/1092-how-do-i-know-the-bible-is-not-just-mythology ] Also, how come religions seem to be based on where in the world you live in? To me, this sounds like humans evolved and made up little fairy tale explanations about why things are the way they are and the fairy tales eventually evolved into these complex religions that the religious people don't even understand. [Related links: https://ebible.com/questions/3080-what-is-christianity-and-what-do-christians-believe https://ebible.com/questions/1412-is-religion-opium-for-the-masses https://ebible.com/questions/1206-what-is-the-origin-of-religion https://ebible.com/questions/3117-what-is-the-right-religion-for-me https://ebible.com/questions/9284-what-is-the-oldest-religion https://ebible.com/questions/1209-is-faith-in-god-a-crutch ] I also have questions about why Jesus' crucifixion was so terrible. Yeah it was terrible, but there were more people that were crucified that suffered longer and more. Yet Christianity says this sacrifice is worthy of taking the sins of the whole world? I don't personally buy it anymore. [Related links: https://ebible.com/questions/2359-was-jesus-sinless https://ebible.com/questions/3523-how-is-jesus-christ-unique https://ebible.com/questions/3496-who-is-jesus-christ ] I do not like this accusation that I was never a "true" Christian. I was probably the most "Christian" out of all of my friends. [Related link: https://ebible.com/questions/1888-what-is-a-true-christian ] I now call myself an atheist, and all the inconsistencies of religion are my reasons. [Related links: https://ebible.com/questions/1388-does-god-exist-is-there-evidence-for-the-existence-of-god https://ebible.com/questions/2158-who-is-god https://ebible.com/questions/1425-what-is-atheism https://ebible.com/questions/3211-does-the-bible-contain-errors-contradictions-or-discrepancies ]
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