Once Saved, Always Saved?

Sandi Smith
Sandi Smith

April 22nd, 2002, 2:29 pm #11

We are not "church of Christers." We are Christians, disciples of Christ, yes, the Bride of Christ. It is time we stop being brow-beaten into politically correct submission! CHRIST, the Son of God, GOD HIMSELF, established this church, not us, the members of this Body. I make no apologies that I am a member of the ONE BODY of CHRIST. That was His plan, and I accepted His will for His church when I put Him on in baptism. That is the only way to be added to HIS church, and the only way to receive the blessings of being a part of the church of Christ. Christ loves this church - He died for this church - and we should love it, too: with no shame and no apology.

Denominations are just that: divisions, bodies that have separated from the Body of Christ. They are lost, and we need not placate them with pretty words. Read Ezekiel: we are the guards on the watchtower, and if we have relationships with these people and don't warn them of hell but pat them on the head and pretend all is well, we will be guilty of their lost souls and lose ours in the process.

Harsh words? YES! But these are the words of Christ Himself, from Whom many "Christians" seem to have taken all authority and power by saying 'He won't really punish people because He loves too much!' Are they saying Christ is a liar? God forbid!

Be not deceived. The epistles of the New Testament we written to baptized believers; Christians. They were not written to all peoples of all faiths - that is an absurd notion. We need not try to sugar-coat the Truth. There is one LORD, one faith (system of worship and belief), one baptism (meaning burial in water), and ONE CHURCH ~ all established by Christ.

We are not a denomination! We should be proud and grateful that God gave us this beautiful gift of His church (the called out of God). And, we should be trying to save those who do not believe this Truth.

Pretty words that tickle the ears have been mastered by people like Max Lucado, but let the Scriptures (Words and Laws - yes, LAWS of Christ) assure you that his pretty words are NOT Truth and will NOT save men but condemn men to Hell.

How sad. . .I pray for Christ's one church every day - that we all wake up and repent before Him (for making His church a mockery before all the world) before is is everlasingly too late!

Sandi Smith
(I only did not reference scripture because there are so many - if anyone requires a scriptural reference for any of these points, please write and let me know. They are there, and we should all be reading them every day!)
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Chai Voraritskul
Chai Voraritskul

April 24th, 2002, 1:10 am #12

Sandi, I am just trying to get a reference point as to where you stand, and for whom are you speaking when you say, “We are not ‘church of Christers’.” This is the first time I ever heard this type of name-calling. Were you ever called by that name by someone? Why would someone call any believer by that name? Would you care to elaborate?

You seem to have so much anger in your writing. I am not too concerned as to what position you or anyone takes on any issue within the body of Christ. To me, salvation is not “positional” but “directional.” It is not where I stand on issues confronting my own life or the life of a church today but toward what direction I am moving on each issue that is far more important. Ray Chester, who was the minister at Sixteenth and Decatur Church of Christ in Washington, D. C., in 1960 baptized me into Christ. That was 42 years ago. Since that time, I have changed my convictions on different issues many times. As I ponder and permit God’s words to speak to me afresh every time I read them, it becomes more and more apparent to me, that numerous godly men, who taught me, could be sincerely wrong on issues within the church. There are probably still plenty of misunderstandings present in mine, theirs, and in your very own life as well. Or, have you already arrived at a perfect state of understanding?

I believe God’s grace is sufficient for all of us. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). And he is not finished with me yet. Is he finished with you? I can not speak for you. But as for myself, as long as I am moving in the right direction and growing in knowledge and understanding, I know he is patient with me. And my salvation is secured in Christ. His grace was sufficient for me as well as for those who taught wrongly in the past. God’s grace is sufficient for us now, and it will continue to be in the future, regardless of our misconception on any issue within the church. How are you different from anyone on this point? Let’s hear it.

You said, “It is time we stop being brow-beaten into politically correct submission!” Is anyone guilty of browbeating anyone into politically correct submission here? Could you please explain your statement more fully? You can be specific and direct, can’t you?

You said, “Denominations are just that--divisions, bodies that have separated from the Body of Christ. They are lost, and we need not placate them with pretty words.”

Sandi, you are not living in denial, are you? The CoC does not have any written creed other than the Bible. There is no head-quarter on earth. Each local church is autonomous and is self-governing. There is no main spokesperson. Which Church of Christ do you represent? Do you fellowship the Christian Church denomination? Do you fellowship the Disciple of Christ denomination? Do you fellowship Max Lucado and his brand of the Church of Christ? Do you fellowship a non-musical church? Do you fellowship a musical and/ or musical instrumental church? Where do you draw your own line of fellowship? Where does the scripture draw the line? Would you please give references to support your explanation?

You said, “We are not a denomination!” What are we then? Are you aware of the history of the divisions within the Churches of Christ in the last 100 years? Jesus says, “By their fruit, you shall know them.” The fruit within the Churches of Christ is nothing less than constant “denominating” and “dividing,” even as we speak! There are those who would advocate division and will take delight in dividing any church in a New York minute right here at this web site over any disputable matter. Have you no eyes to read? Is this a fruit of the Spirit? What is their justification for that? So that they can preserve the truth as they see it? An ounce of truth, perhaps, but a ton of personal pride if the truth is fully known. Fear not. God will judge each person’s heart and will expose it in his own time schedule.

“They are lost, and we need not placate them with pretty words.” These are your own words. Where have you been? We could definitely use more mirrors in the house of God. Welcome to the kitchen, Sandi.

Chai Voraritskul 4/23/2002
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Weldon McKinney
Weldon McKinney

April 24th, 2002, 1:16 pm #13

Chai, I have read with interest many of your posts. But I did not see any anyer in Sandy's post, why did you?

Chai, brother, if salvation is merely directional, then it would appear that through growth and knowledge that we move closer to the eternal promise of heavenly salvation.

And if that is so, then there was no need for Jesus Christ on a cross. I mean, if salvation is directional--as I grow closer to God.

The Scriptures are absolutely clear on the matter of salvation--it is in Jesus Chirst and Him alone. It is not directional, it is positional! Salvation is absolutely in Jesus--that is positional. It is not a matter of a spiritual journey or growth--it is purly my relationship to Him.

Romans 8:1--"There is now no condemnation to those who are in Chirst Jesus".....Galatians 3:27--"For as many of you who you have been baptized into Christ, have put Him on."

Chai, there is salvation in no other name but His. The real church are the "called-out," those who have been buried with Him in a baptism like His and raised to walk in newness of like--those people shall share in His resurrection!

Salvation is purely positional, not directional. Sincerity does not save us, but only the blood of Jesus Christ. Those who are so called comprise His church, and it is not a denomination.

Forever, yours in the Service of the Master,

Weldon
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literal seed
literal seed

April 24th, 2002, 9:39 pm #14

Weldon,

I agree that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Are we not predestined to be conformed to His image? Are we not a work in progress? No we can do no more than accept the gift...but it is directional...go into all the world!

ls
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Joe McKnight
Joe McKnight

April 25th, 2002, 1:40 am #15

We are not "church of Christers." We are Christians, disciples of Christ, yes, the Bride of Christ. It is time we stop being brow-beaten into politically correct submission! CHRIST, the Son of God, GOD HIMSELF, established this church, not us, the members of this Body. I make no apologies that I am a member of the ONE BODY of CHRIST. That was His plan, and I accepted His will for His church when I put Him on in baptism. That is the only way to be added to HIS church, and the only way to receive the blessings of being a part of the church of Christ. Christ loves this church - He died for this church - and we should love it, too: with no shame and no apology.

Denominations are just that: divisions, bodies that have separated from the Body of Christ. They are lost, and we need not placate them with pretty words. Read Ezekiel: we are the guards on the watchtower, and if we have relationships with these people and don't warn them of hell but pat them on the head and pretend all is well, we will be guilty of their lost souls and lose ours in the process.

Harsh words? YES! But these are the words of Christ Himself, from Whom many "Christians" seem to have taken all authority and power by saying 'He won't really punish people because He loves too much!' Are they saying Christ is a liar? God forbid!

Be not deceived. The epistles of the New Testament we written to baptized believers; Christians. They were not written to all peoples of all faiths - that is an absurd notion. We need not try to sugar-coat the Truth. There is one LORD, one faith (system of worship and belief), one baptism (meaning burial in water), and ONE CHURCH ~ all established by Christ.

We are not a denomination! We should be proud and grateful that God gave us this beautiful gift of His church (the called out of God). And, we should be trying to save those who do not believe this Truth.

Pretty words that tickle the ears have been mastered by people like Max Lucado, but let the Scriptures (Words and Laws - yes, LAWS of Christ) assure you that his pretty words are NOT Truth and will NOT save men but condemn men to Hell.

How sad. . .I pray for Christ's one church every day - that we all wake up and repent before Him (for making His church a mockery before all the world) before is is everlasingly too late!

Sandi Smith
(I only did not reference scripture because there are so many - if anyone requires a scriptural reference for any of these points, please write and let me know. They are there, and we should all be reading them every day!)
Dear Sister Sandi:
Thank you for your post, it seem you too get upset with all this modern "feel good, pacifying, baby's milk teaching". My reference of "church of Christers" is a true reference of the christians that are associated with the body of Christ that believes in accordances to a centralized coordinated standards of believes that are contrary to the Word. Yes Chai, as I see it and read it, and the Holy Spirit shows it to me.
A little history: I'm 46, was born third generation (if not more) coC. About 3 years ago God got very active in my life showing me the lies I accepted and was taught in the coC. I finally had to throw it all out so the Holy Spirit could have new ground to work with. After 3 years of trails and test (which I'm still in school) I can truly recomend the process to any true lover of the truth. The truth is marvelous

To God be the Glory
Joe McKnight
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Weldon McKinney
Weldon McKinney

April 26th, 2002, 1:15 pm #16

Weldon,

I agree that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Are we not predestined to be conformed to His image? Are we not a work in progress? No we can do no more than accept the gift...but it is directional...go into all the world!

ls
Literal Seed, I could not agree more with your short statement. But, it does not seen to be in the same context as the previous discussions with Sandy and Chai.
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Chai Voraritskul
Chai Voraritskul

April 29th, 2002, 10:06 pm #17

Chai, I have read with interest many of your posts. But I did not see any anyer in Sandy's post, why did you?

Chai, brother, if salvation is merely directional, then it would appear that through growth and knowledge that we move closer to the eternal promise of heavenly salvation.

And if that is so, then there was no need for Jesus Christ on a cross. I mean, if salvation is directional--as I grow closer to God.

The Scriptures are absolutely clear on the matter of salvation--it is in Jesus Chirst and Him alone. It is not directional, it is positional! Salvation is absolutely in Jesus--that is positional. It is not a matter of a spiritual journey or growth--it is purly my relationship to Him.

Romans 8:1--"There is now no condemnation to those who are in Chirst Jesus".....Galatians 3:27--"For as many of you who you have been baptized into Christ, have put Him on."

Chai, there is salvation in no other name but His. The real church are the "called-out," those who have been buried with Him in a baptism like His and raised to walk in newness of like--those people shall share in His resurrection!

Salvation is purely positional, not directional. Sincerity does not save us, but only the blood of Jesus Christ. Those who are so called comprise His church, and it is not a denomination.

Forever, yours in the Service of the Master,

Weldon
Weldon, if I sound angry in my writing, I repent, and I would like to apologize to Sandi here. When I communicate, I do try to be direct, specific, caring, and transparent, but not angry in any way, toward any one. The Lord is gracious. Life in him is good. How can we be otherwise? Sorry that I could not respond to your post as promptly as I would like, but here it is.

Concerning salvation, whether it is positional or directional, I really don’t remember where, when, or from whom I have heard or read this, but I have accepted it to be true and have stored in my mind that salvation is directional. I have never questioned it, until you challenged me. Having a chance to rethink this point through, I now see that this is not an “either or” situation, but it is “both.” I believe that you are right, in looking at our relationship to Christ, our salvation is positional. When we believe in Jesus, we repent of our sins. We confess with our mouth that he is God who became flesh, and he is our personal Savior who died on the cross, buried, and was resurrected. We were immersed under the watery grave, became united with him his death, for the forgiveness of our sins. We were raised from the watery grave to walk in the newness of life. We are saved and are given the Holy Spirit, as a gift and a seal of our salvation. We now are God’s children and joined heirs with Christ. We are also the called out, the church, the brides of Christ, fellow citizens of the Kingdom of the Lord. All of these designations and relationships with our Lord do not change until Jesus comes. You are right. They are all “positional.” But consider these:

Both John the Baptist and Jesus called people to “repent.” Jesus said to his apostles, “…and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his (Jesus’) name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). What is “repentance?” This Greek word: “metanoia” means, “a change of heart or mind.” Before I put my faith in Jesus, my life was moving in the direction of the flesh and of the world. When I put my faith in Jesus, I changed direction. I turned around 180 degrees and started walking in his direction. I constantly move toward him. “Come near to God [directional] and he will come near to you” (James 4: 8).

Paul says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above [directional], where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above [directional], not on earthly things” (Colossians 3: 1, 2). Here is an example of some one setting his heart, not on the things above but on earthly things.

A young man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as your self.” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Matthew 19: 16-22). [This young man had his mind set on earthly things. He went away sad. Wrong direction!]

How do you follow someone? You walk in the same direction he walks. If he stops, you stop. If he turns, you turn. What if you decide to go in a different direction? You are not following him. Following Jesus is very intentional as well as directional. What if he walks in a certain direction, but you stop [that is, remain positional]? Unless you start walking again or running toward him [directional] to catch up, or he turns back to pick you up, you will be left behind.

Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10: 27, 28). Imagine the chaos when the shepherd calls to his sheep to move on, some sheep just lay around, not moving. A few sheep run in circles. A few sheep casually prance off in different directions. No one can follow Jesus by merely walking in place, in circles, or in whatever direction he/she so chooses. There is one and only direction to go, following him. He will lead us [directional], if we will listen to his voice!

Paul says this, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead [very directional], I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me [in what direction?] heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained” (Philippians 3: 12-16).

Yes, in our relationship to Christ, salvation is positional. In our daily walk, salvation is directional, in the direction of Christ and his righteousness, heavenward. No other direction will do. It is a pilgrimage, a lifelong journey. Our salvation is not either positional or directional, but both.

Weldon, thanks for challenging me to rethink my theology. I stand corrected.

Chai Voraritskul 4/29/2002.



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Weldon McKinney
Weldon McKinney

May 1st, 2002, 1:31 pm #18

Chai, the only thing I would add to your excellent expose is Hebrews 12:1-6.

You have beautifully stated your thoughts and they are most graciously accepted.

At the outset of your text you mentioned anger. I am so very disappointed with the anger seen by some on this site. Simply put, anger would be a response given when someone is simply stumped or is unable to adequately communicate with others.

I am not angry at the recent choices made by RHCC elders. I love those men very much. But that love will not cloud my perfound disappointment over some recent decisions.

Simply put, they have made a doctrinal change--I have not and am not willing to make this change based on their research of I Timothy 3:11.

Chai, again simply stated, I believe that their direction is now away from the basic principles of the restoration movement to a movement embrased by many of the community churches--a movement to bring the unchurched into our doors--not to introduce them to God, but to a "church" that is more accepting to the ways of thw world and it lure and entertainment.

In my own personal directional journey to God and my call to discipleship, I am obviously going in another direction.

Love to you my brother.

Weldon
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James Kisner
James Kisner

August 22nd, 2002, 6:40 pm #19

We are not "church of Christers." We are Christians, disciples of Christ, yes, the Bride of Christ. It is time we stop being brow-beaten into politically correct submission! CHRIST, the Son of God, GOD HIMSELF, established this church, not us, the members of this Body. I make no apologies that I am a member of the ONE BODY of CHRIST. That was His plan, and I accepted His will for His church when I put Him on in baptism. That is the only way to be added to HIS church, and the only way to receive the blessings of being a part of the church of Christ. Christ loves this church - He died for this church - and we should love it, too: with no shame and no apology.

Denominations are just that: divisions, bodies that have separated from the Body of Christ. They are lost, and we need not placate them with pretty words. Read Ezekiel: we are the guards on the watchtower, and if we have relationships with these people and don't warn them of hell but pat them on the head and pretend all is well, we will be guilty of their lost souls and lose ours in the process.

Harsh words? YES! But these are the words of Christ Himself, from Whom many "Christians" seem to have taken all authority and power by saying 'He won't really punish people because He loves too much!' Are they saying Christ is a liar? God forbid!

Be not deceived. The epistles of the New Testament we written to baptized believers; Christians. They were not written to all peoples of all faiths - that is an absurd notion. We need not try to sugar-coat the Truth. There is one LORD, one faith (system of worship and belief), one baptism (meaning burial in water), and ONE CHURCH ~ all established by Christ.

We are not a denomination! We should be proud and grateful that God gave us this beautiful gift of His church (the called out of God). And, we should be trying to save those who do not believe this Truth.

Pretty words that tickle the ears have been mastered by people like Max Lucado, but let the Scriptures (Words and Laws - yes, LAWS of Christ) assure you that his pretty words are NOT Truth and will NOT save men but condemn men to Hell.

How sad. . .I pray for Christ's one church every day - that we all wake up and repent before Him (for making His church a mockery before all the world) before is is everlasingly too late!

Sandi Smith
(I only did not reference scripture because there are so many - if anyone requires a scriptural reference for any of these points, please write and let me know. They are there, and we should all be reading them every day!)
This sounds like the old line most church of Christ folks used to believe -i.e. that we are the only ones going to heaven. What utter rubbish!

Jesus told his disciples when they wanted to stop people from healing and ministering in his name that he had other sheep that were not "of this fold." How tragic that we skip over these words (written in red!) and choose to believe that we are the only children of God in any town. That smacks of sectarianism through and through. The fact of the matter is this: the only one that I can know absolutely, 100%, is saved, is the person I see in the mirror. My salvation I can be (and am 100%) certain of, based solely on the grace of God through Jesus. Every one else must stand or fall before his/her own master (God, of course). To go any further in passing judgement is to assume the throne of God, who, I might add, will allow into heaven anyone he chooses, regardless of what the Church of Christ teaches. His plan of salvation as revealed in the Word of God is the only hope for the world that I know about. Yet, even that does not tie God's hand.

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Jeff Day
Jeff Day

August 23rd, 2002, 5:40 am #20

We are not "church of Christers." We are Christians, disciples of Christ, yes, the Bride of Christ. It is time we stop being brow-beaten into politically correct submission! CHRIST, the Son of God, GOD HIMSELF, established this church, not us, the members of this Body. I make no apologies that I am a member of the ONE BODY of CHRIST. That was His plan, and I accepted His will for His church when I put Him on in baptism. That is the only way to be added to HIS church, and the only way to receive the blessings of being a part of the church of Christ. Christ loves this church - He died for this church - and we should love it, too: with no shame and no apology.

Denominations are just that: divisions, bodies that have separated from the Body of Christ. They are lost, and we need not placate them with pretty words. Read Ezekiel: we are the guards on the watchtower, and if we have relationships with these people and don't warn them of hell but pat them on the head and pretend all is well, we will be guilty of their lost souls and lose ours in the process.

Harsh words? YES! But these are the words of Christ Himself, from Whom many "Christians" seem to have taken all authority and power by saying 'He won't really punish people because He loves too much!' Are they saying Christ is a liar? God forbid!

Be not deceived. The epistles of the New Testament we written to baptized believers; Christians. They were not written to all peoples of all faiths - that is an absurd notion. We need not try to sugar-coat the Truth. There is one LORD, one faith (system of worship and belief), one baptism (meaning burial in water), and ONE CHURCH ~ all established by Christ.

We are not a denomination! We should be proud and grateful that God gave us this beautiful gift of His church (the called out of God). And, we should be trying to save those who do not believe this Truth.

Pretty words that tickle the ears have been mastered by people like Max Lucado, but let the Scriptures (Words and Laws - yes, LAWS of Christ) assure you that his pretty words are NOT Truth and will NOT save men but condemn men to Hell.

How sad. . .I pray for Christ's one church every day - that we all wake up and repent before Him (for making His church a mockery before all the world) before is is everlasingly too late!

Sandi Smith
(I only did not reference scripture because there are so many - if anyone requires a scriptural reference for any of these points, please write and let me know. They are there, and we should all be reading them every day!)
It is with great sadness that I read your post. We ARE a denomination in the sense that we have used the way WE interpret scripture to "beat people over the head" and say we are the only ones who interpret scripture correctly. We have separated ourselves from the body of christ in the process.

In John 17 Jesus prays that ALL of those that BELIEVE in Him shall be ONE. Jesus is the common denominator here, not what we do. Jesus should be who we believe in and not a list of things we "check off" to make sure we are "doing it the right way".

And the comment you make about about our church being the one named in the Bible is absurd. There were no Church of Christs until the late 1800s. What about all the people from AD 100 until now? Are they all lost because they did not call themselves "Church of Christ" or have the name out in front of their building.

Shameful.
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