ARE YOU TRULY SAVED?

Over the years I have struggled with Calvin’s teaching: Once saved always saved. I have witnessed too many Christians and especially leaders who professed to be Christians but lived impure, worldly lives. They were caught committing adultery, were slaves to addictions and many left the church entirely. Were they saved or not? Will they go to heaven when they pass away?

I Thessalonians 4:7–8 “God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” NLT

Acts 8:14–16 “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.” NIT Can you go to heaven without having the Holy Spirit in your life?

A number of years ago at an Elder’s retreat a Th.D in Theology shared with us that in most churches only about 20% of the Christians in attendance make up the core of the church. They tithe, play an active role in the church and they can be counted on when needed. Then there are many who attend but are not truly committed as Christ teaches and it appears they do not live holy lives. If God commands them to do something they will ignore Him. They continue to do things they know God would not approve. They do not realize that sin causes negative consequences and if they do, they do not care. If this is true, what does that mean? It is like polls may say 80% of Americans believe in God but how many have a personal relationship with Him and live holy lives?

There are numerous Scriptures that tell us if we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we shall be saved and receive the Holy Spirit. My question is: “If God knows everything, does He not know who is serious and who is not about becoming a follower of Christ?” Will the Holy Spirit be given to a person who at the spur of the moment accepts Christ and has intention to live a holy life but never does? Or, does God give His Spirit to that person and withdraws His Spirit when the person ignores completely and rejects the checking and guiding of the Holy Spirit? Isn’t the unpardonable sin, deliberate and continual rejection of the Holy Spirit? Otherwise, would some accept Christ, become saved and be assured of eternity with God and then continue to live as the world lives knowing that once saved always saved?
I have gotten around this by believing it is absolutely not essential that I know one way or the other. But what about the many, if we can believe statistics, who attend church who never get serious about living a holy life? Do we take Scripture seriously that says: “Anyone who refuses to live by these rules (living a holy life) is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you”? My concern is, are we allowing Christians to assume they are saved because they accept Christ but never followed through in allowing their lives to be spiritually changed? We then have to ask, are we talking about working our way to heaven or are we saved by grace? James tells us faith without works is dead. By our deeds we will be judged. Therefore, is it not necessary to live holy lives? How do we interpret 1 John 2:15? – “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Will the Holy Spirit be in the life of a person who does not have the love of the Father in them?

I believe most Christians will agree we will be judged by our heart, our attitude, our relationship with God and our love for others. It is my belief that we will see many in heaven that we do not expect and just as many who we would expect will not be there. But there is only one judge and that is Jesus Christ. But shouldn’t every Christian be taught what the rules are that we must live by or is that called meddling? Many new Christians have absolutely no idea what living a holy life means. But, if the Holy Spirit is truly in them their lives will progressively change because they will be sensitive to His leading. If not, chances are there will be little or no change and they will continue to live as the world lives.

I have always supported our church’s motto: It is ok to not be ok but we must not stay that way. We must never have a critical attitude of others. But in love we must, through example, point the way to holy living. We must show the world that living a holy life really works.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: