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Eternal Security and 2 Peter 2:20-21

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I am sure this has been discussed in the past, although I don't see any recent posts for it. This topic is really bugging me. I would like to believe in eternal security, but I cannot get past this passage: "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled and overcome, the latter end is worse than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment given to them." - 2 Peter 2:20 - 21. To me, this clearly implies that the person has been cleansed and saved, and having turned, will suffer worse damnation than an unbeliever. Is there any other way to interpret this passage? I have a disobedient streak a mile long (not obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit out of fear) and frankly, I'm afraid I'm going to end up in hell for it. My relationship with God grows weaker everyday, and I am afraid I will fall away.

I would like to see scriptural support from people on both sides of this issue. It would really mean a lot to me.

Thanks.
 

A-Christian

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I have a disobedient streak a mile long (not obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit) and frankly, I'm afraid I'm going to end up in hell for it. My relationship with God grows weaker everyday, and I am afraid I will fall away.
Why don't you just stop being disobediant?
 
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I am trying to stop being disobedient. But I choke when it really counts. I am afraid to obey the Holy Spirit most times. He will tell me to go to a certain church and I am afraid because I used to have social phobia and it still crops up or He will tell me when to stop eating, as I have a problem with this, but I will cave in to my flesh and keep eating. These are the sort of things I am talking about. I guess I have just not matured enough to trust God. I don't know. I used to be ON FIRE in a major way, but satan deceived me into thinking I had lost my salvation (for disobedience in regard to food and for fear of witnessing to total strangers which He asked me to do, but I did not do). For eight months I was in a living hell anticipating what hell would be like, I even got sent to a mental hospital. Finally I realized I had been deceived, but I have never fully recovered from it. God feels distant, not intimate like He once was. For the most part, I have just been afraid to do the things He wants me to do.
 

cyberjosh

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Faith,

Don't let Satan toy with doubt and condemnation in your mind. Your screen name says it all, Faith Transforms. But you have to step out on faith, and trust in God, even if it means sacrifice. I have found personally that I have often only gotten past the insurmountable obstacles in my life by breaking down before God, in humble frailty, to the point of tears, and crying for deliverance. In our weakness He is strong. I had a horrible addiction of watching pornography and (forgive me I this is being too explicit - but many Christians fall into it) masturbation, and sexual strongholds are some of the strongest and worst. Yet God has helped me over years to combat it. It comes back to tempt me every so often but, by God's merciful grace, I walked away from it (though I have caved in at times). But God can break the greatest strongholds, for nothing is impossible with God. If you have sincere concern, tell God, pray aloud, and direct your life and mind in such a way that you keep it always in your mind, even if only in the back, that you need to and can come to God every day with your problems. As for me I rarely even get on the road without saying a prayer for protection each day. I acknowledge that God cares about the small things, and indeed the big things. The closer you come to God the more humble you become and the easier it will be to get away from addictions. And lately I too have been overeating (I can see it) and I told God, "Hey, this is a problem. My body is your temple I need to shape up." And I'm trying but I keep eating what I lose and it is indeed frustrating, but I'm not gonna quit, and I'm gonna excercise and try to eat as light of foods as possible till I get to a satisfactory weight.

I will pray for you, but you need to pray also that God would help you.

It may be a little awkward giving a prayer through a forum (and I will make a private one for you as well), but allow me to share this appeal to our great God and Savior,

"Dear Lord, in the name of your precious son who has given all for us, I pray for divine healing of mind, body, and soul that your power would be greater than Faith's circumstances, for you are the God of our Fathers, and the great God of your saints, and nothing shall be impossible for you. Lord I pray for protection of Faith's mind that the lier and deciever would not utter condemnation to those who have no condemnation in Christ. I pray for a clarity of mind, and not confusion or fear. I pray that you would call Faith toward you to see who you are and that your grace is sufficient. Lord though we suffer, you uphold those who love you and will reward us with a crown of glory for persevering. And Lord may Faith not be anxious, but cast all burdens upon you, since you care for us, and I pray that your peace which surpasses understanding would come to rest on Faith, and renew confidence in what you can do. Carry those who are weary, heal those who are sick, strengthen the feeble, and give riches of your grace to those who are poor, and regard those who desire to do right before you. Leave the sheep-pen to go after those that feel isolated and unprotected, and sing a song of deliverance over Faith's circumstance, be the strong deliverer, the Lord Strong and Mighty in battle. Lord sometimes we must say "I believe, yet help my unbelief!" Lord heal, help, save, be Lord over our circumstances, and have compassion. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen."

I pray that you grasp the height, and depth, and width of God's love for you and see that though things will not be easy on the road of deliverance, that God is there to stand beside you and fight the battles with you and even for you, if you will call on Him for deliverance. Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up.

And may this encourage you, "The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).

God Bless,

~Josh
 
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Is this subject just a complete bore for people or is there really no one out there that has scriptures to back up their point of view regarding this? I find this issue in particular is one where people rely on the traditions of men or on what they think with their own minds is logical, rather than on the Word of God.
 

Vic C.

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faithtransforms said:
Is this subject just a complete bore for people or is there really no one out there that has scriptures to back up their point of view regarding this? I find this issue in particular is one where people rely on the traditions of men or on what they think with their own minds is logical, rather than on the Word of God.
Hi faith. I can't answer your first question. Maybe it's because others have discussed this many times or they are discussing it in another thread. Look around for any "common threads".

As for the verse in question... after reading it in it's context, it appears Peter is referring to false teachers; men of God who once were taught truth but turn from it and teach something other than the truth.

2 Pet 2:1 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.

Always try and establish the writer's "target" when determining verses like this. Out of context, it could apply to anyone. I've learned the writers of these letters are sometimes writing about specific issues concerning specific groups of people. Of course, verses like this do have future, prophetic application.
 

guibox

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Faithtransforms,

Like cybershark and yourself, I do struggle with many things as well. I am still searching having gone through (and still going through) a spiritual crisis that began last year. I have been bombarded by my own faith's views and the Calvin/Reformed views on OSAS and election. It can be confusing and the relationship between faith and works and salvation is becoming more and more hazy the more I study it. I have a BA in Religious Studies and I feel like a neophyte now! :roll:

I would recommend you read Romans 7 and 8. Paul was talking about the same thing you are going through and he has good news there!

Remember that your salvation is not based on what you feel, but on the faithful promises of God that 'He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it'.

This is why I have such a problem with the traditional view of hell...It is nothing more than fear mongering. Satan has used this false doctrine so well to discourage and crush struggling souls. Shame on us Christians for perpetuating such a stain on the loving character of God!

Faith, keep putting your trust in God and 'lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths'. Wise words from Solomon. 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.'
 

n2thelight

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Can we once have been "saved" and then be lost? Does God's Word speak of the righteous gone into unrighteousness, the good gone bad, the living condemned to death?

Ezek 18:21-26 (speaking of the good gone bad, and the living becoming dead)
21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. (KJV)

Once saved, our spiritual well-being hinges on the repentance and forgiveness of sin that Christ bought and paid for with His blood that day on the cross. And if you have slipped into following the traditions of man that are taught on this earth today that lead us away from the True Christ and toward the false; then you ask God to forgive you in the precious name of Jesus Christ, thus documenting that you are a believer.

Along with repentance and forgiveness ask your Heavenly Father for wisdom and guidance to discern the true Word of God from the lies of satan. God wrote you a personal letter, it is called the Bible, and all your answers are contained within it. It is through that book that you can check out what any teacher/preacher tells you. If what they tell you does not align with what you read in God's Word, then it is not God's Word that they preach.

Now lets look at 2nd Peter

II Peter 2:20 "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning."

This is stating that these souls came to the knowledge of the saving power of God through Jesus Christ, and knew that He died on the cross and shed His blood for their sins, and in repentance they have been made righteous in the sight of God. If they have reached this point in their salvation, and then turn their backs on our Heavenly Father, and entangle themselves in the traditions of men, they will be worse off at the end. It would have been better of that they would have never heard of the Word of God, and the saving power and love of Jesus Christ, then to have tasted of it, and turn their backs to it.

Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 12:43; "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none."

Matthew 12:44 "Then he saith, 'I will return into my house from whence I came out;' and when he is come, he findeth it empty, and swept clean, and garnished."

Matthew 12:45 "then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter into and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation"

This is talking about the man in his flesh body that had a demon in it. Then when that man comes to accept the Lord Jesus Christ and is saved, his mind is swept clean of all those wicked things that were part of him before. If that person is not filled with the teachings of God's Word, but instead that saved person is just left alone to search for the truth him or herself, the wicked demons that return to that person will be far worse than the ones that were there before. When a person is saved a large void is made in his lives, and it is the Christians responsibility to fill that void with the truths from God's Word. To arm that person with the armor of God that will allow them to stand when he is attacked by Satan's spiritual warfare.

If Christ is not instilled in the mind of the saved person, the evil spirits will hit them seven times stronger that at the first, and that person will be worse than the day that he was saved. You must fill every house with Christ, and their house is their mind.

II Peter 2:21 "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."

"The holy commandment delivered unto them" is the entire Word of God. It is the words written by Moses, David, Isaiah and Daniel in the Old Testament, and to the Disciples and Paul in the New Testament. It is the entire Word of God. Peter is warning by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God that it is better for the person to have never heard of the love of Jesus Christ and the Word of God, then to have become part of it, and then turn to the church systems and the traditions that they fill your life with, that go against the Word of God.

You are the only person that can prevent this from happening to you and your life. This is because you are responsible for your own soul, and it is not a church that will defend you on judgment day, but only you. It is not a sin to be biblically illiterate, but it is a sin to stay that way, once the unction of the Holy Spirit touches you. Your knowledge in God's Word is the beginning of your understanding of God's overall plan for not just this earth age of the flesh, but of all ages. It is your choice and it is only you that can make it.
 
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onelove said:
Can we once have been "saved" and then be lost? Does God's Word speak of the righteous gone into unrighteousness, the good gone bad, the living condemned to death?

...This is stating that these souls came to the knowledge of the saving power of God through Jesus Christ, and knew that He died on the cross and shed His blood for their sins, and in repentance they have been made righteous in the sight of God. If they have reached this point in their salvation, and then turn their backs on our Heavenly Father, and entangle themselves in the traditions of men, they will be worse off at the end...
(Emphasis added by francisdesales for clarification)

Onelove,

A very good post, I enjoyed it. However, we should be careful not to interject our own personal theology into God's Word. Peter is not attacking the "traditions of men", but rather, their FORMER lifestyles, the so-called "vomit". It is not "traditions of men" that he is worried about, but returning to the ways and ideas of the world. No doubt Peter is against traditions that lead us from God, but that is not what this passage is addressing.

"Faithtransforms", you should be able to discern whether you are returning to your former lifestyle or not. Do not be overly scrupulous! God does not require that we be perfect - but rather, that we call upon Him in time of need. Just the fact that you are not as happy about your current spiritual situation is reason enough to be hopeful - those who do not care are the ones that are on the verge of "returning to the vomit".

Regards
 

Vic C.

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"Faithtransforms", you should be able to discern whether you are returning to your former lifestyle or not. Do not be overly scrupulous! God does not require that we be perfect - but rather, that we call upon Him in time of need. Just the fact that you are not as happy about your current spiritual situation is reason enough to be hopeful - those who do not care are the ones that are on the verge of "returning to the vomit".
Good point Joe. Those who show no lack of remorse whatsoever are the ones who never really had any hope In Christ at all.
 
G

GraceBwithU

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faithtransforms,

2 Peter 2:20-21
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
KJV

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world"

This does not necessarily mean that they had been true Christians, and had fallen from grace. People may outwardly reform, and escape from the open corruptions which prevail around them, or which they had themselves practiced, and still have no true grace at heart.

"Through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ"

Neither does THIS imply that they were true Christians, or that they had ever had any saving knowledge of the Redeemer. There is a knowledge of the doctrines and duties of religion which may lead sinners to abandon their outward vices, which has no connection with saving grace. They may profess religion, and may KNOW enough of religion to understand that it requires them to abandon their vicious habits, and still never be true Christians.

"The latter end is worse with them than the beginning"

This is usually the case. Apostates become worse than they were before their professed conversion. "Reformed" drunkards, if they go back to their "cups" again, become more abandoned than ever. Thus, it is with those who have been addicted to any habits of vice, and who profess to become religious, and then fall away. The "reasons" for this may be:

(1) that they are willing now to show to others that they are no longer under the restraints by which they had professedly bound themselves;

(2) that God gives them up to indulgence with fewer restraints than formerly; and

(3) their old companions in sin may be at special pains to court their society, and to lead them into temptation, in order to obtain a triumph over virtue and religion.

Hope this helps :)
 
D

Dunamite

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faithtransforms said:
I am sure this has been discussed in the past, although I don't see any recent posts for it. This topic is really bugging me. I would like to believe in eternal security, but I cannot get past this passage: "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled and overcome, the latter end is worse than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment given to them." - 2 Peter 2:20 - 21. To me, this clearly implies that the person has been cleansed and saved, and having turned, will suffer worse damnation than an unbeliever. Is there any other way to interpret this passage? I have a disobedient streak a mile long (not obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit out of fear) and frankly, I'm afraid I'm going to end up in hell for it. My relationship with God grows weaker everyday, and I am afraid I will fall away.

I would like to see scriptural support from people on both sides of this issue. It would really mean a lot to me.

Thanks.
Here are Jesus' words. I take them seriously.

John 10: 5 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.â€Â

Nobody can take away what God has given.

John says this:

1 John 2: 18 Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. 19 These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.

Salvation. You either have it or you don't. If you have it you cannot lose it. Some people act as if they have it, but don't.

Matthew 7: 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Calling Jesus Lord or even doing religious acts does not get us into Heaven. We can't do anything. It is about having a personal relationship. A relationship however is reciprocal. Some people think they know him, but don't. They know about him, but they don't know him and he certainly does not know them.

There is only one unforgivable sin and it is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. This isn't something that you can do by accident or by a slip of the tongue. It is a willful act of attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the Devil.

The argument of OSAS has raged for centuries. You have to come to your own understanding based on your own understanding of scripture as led by the Holy Spirit.

My own feeling is that God cannot make a mistake. He knows our heart and he knows whether we will follow through. Since he knows the first from the last, he cannot err. He knows before he gives it whether we will be saved. Once given it cannot be changed. Otherwise God would be fallible and that is impossible. It violates his sovereign nature.

It all comes down to what we know to be true and what God knows to be true. People like to fool themselves or they may not understand the meaning of salvation.

John in 1 John 3 and James in James 2 tell us that saving faith moves us into action. If it does not move us into obedience and to love others then we do not understand God's nature or our own commitment. Therefore since it is based on partial understanding or insincerity, our salvation isn't real. James and John spend lots of time telling us what authentic Christians are like. So there must be counterfeit ones out there. We know that there are false teachers and Antichrists among us, so it shouldn't be surprising to find counterfeit Chrsitians.

James says, "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe thatâ€â€and shudder." (James 2: 19)

Blessings,
Dunamite
 

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