|There is a doctrine, which divides families, friends and churches. Those discussing this particular belief invariably end up with frayed nerves and ended friendships. What is this doctrine that is defended and attacked so vehemently? What could possibly turn loving friends into heated adversaries?
The dreaded debate is whether or not there is such a thing as "Unconditional Salvation". Some say once a person prays the prayer of salvation he is guaranteed to have eternal salvation no matter how close to or how far from the teachings of Jesus Christ he walks. According to this doctrine, we are saved strictly by faith having nothing what so ever to do with works; that the Lord continues to cleanse us whether we ask Him too or not; this being supported by the following scripture.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8-9
The question I am raising here is whether this is indeed a sound teaching from the Bible, or is this in truth a false teaching taken out of context? If this is false then it's condemning many souls to eternal damnation, and on the other hand if it's sound then the sin of unbelief is committed. How do we determine the validity of this doctrine? Going to the Word of God is the only way to really know.
But first I want to say this; we need to agree in prayer for the Lord to open us up to the truth and show us clearly what that truth really is. We need to go into this with an open mind setting aside preconceived ideas and the teachings of man.
Abba Father merciful Lord, I pray you will guide my hand in writing this study, and the anointing of Your Spirit will rise up within me. We go into this with the desire to know your truth. Thank you for wisdom and knowledge, which I trust you, will give us in studying this subject. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen.
Before we begin digging into the Word, I want to list the works of the flesh, which I found in one of my Bibles, along with the Vines Greek Dictionary. This list will help us define what sin is being spoken of in the scriptures.
1. Adultery [moichia]: Sexual relations of a married person with someone other then spouse; including lustful thoughts.
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matt 5:28
2. Drunkenness [methe]: Impairing one's mental or physical control by alcoholic drink.
3. Emulations [zelos]: Resentfulness, envy of another's success, jealousy
4. Envyings [phthonos]: Resentful dislike of another having something one desires.
5. Fornication [porneia]: Sexual relations w/o marriage, incl. adultery, taking pleasure in pornographic material. Metaphorically [spiritual], taking part in pagan idolatry while professing to be Christian.
6. Hatred [echthra]: Intense hostile intentions and acts; extreme dislike or enmity. Malicious, unjustifiable feelings toward another.
7. Heresies [hairesis]: Division in the congregation into selfish groups or cliques destroying the unity of the church. Self-willed opinion replaces the truth.
8. Idolatry [eidolotria]: Worship spirits, persons, or graven images. Trust any person, institution, or thing as having equal or greater value then God.
When we put anything before serving the Lord [including prayer and study] we are replacing Him as God of our life. It might be putting the following things first in our thoughts and hearts, rather then the Lord: Our home, children, money, TV, churches, ministry and position the list goes on. We must be very careful whom or what we are serving, if He is Lord to us then He must be put above every thing else. Our actions are what counts.
9. Lasciviousness [aselgia]: Having no shame or sense of public decency, moral restraints, wanton.
10. Liar [pseudes]: Lying, false.
When we say we love the Lord, and He is our Lord yet won't submit to Him in all things, then we are lying.
11. Murders [phonos]: Killing a person unlawfully with malice.
It is murder to kill a person's reputation with GOSSIP!
12. Revellings [komos]: Excessive feasting, revelry; party spirit with alcohol, drugs
13. Seditions [dichostasia]: Introduce divisive teachings not supported by the Word of God; dissension, division
14. Strife [eritheia]: Selfish ambition and seeking of power to provoke, debate. quarrel.
15. Uncleanness [akatharsia]: Sexual sins, evil deeds; thoughts and desires of the heart; personal cleanness as well.
16. Variance [eris]: Quarreling, antagonism; debate, strife, struggle for superiority.
17. Witchcraft [parmakeia]: Sorcery, spiritism, black magic, worship of demons and use of drugs to produce a "Spiritual" experience.
Astrology, card reading and psychic hot lines, as well as trying to control another person, is all a part of witchcraft,
18. Wrath [thumos]: Explosive anger or rage which flares into violent words and deeds, fierceness.
Now let's see exactly what the scriptures say regarding sin and salvation. I will be using the Amplified Bible. Please continue to read this to the end, giving God's word room.
For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh [godless human nature]; for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. But if you are guided [led] by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the doings [practices] of the flesh are clear [obvious]: they are immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger [ill temper], selfishness, divisions [dissensions], party spirit [factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies], envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:17-21
Wow, this is an explosive scripture to begin with isn't it? Ok, what about this last scripture? Those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God, how does this line up with unconditional salvation? The pastor at a local church told me that we can be deep in sin and still be saved; this is error. We can't take one or two scriptures at random to make a doctrine, so lets go the length and see shall we?
For Part 2 please click next... NEXT
I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son
of the living God, who died for my
sin, and on the third day, was
I invite the Lord Jesus Christ
into my heart and ask that He
would be with me always.
Thank you Lord
FACT OR HERESY?