The Faith of Cowards - Disciples Path Ministry

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The Faith of Cowards
While sharing recently, a common, but a general question was asked. For centuries the question has been argued by great thinkers and religious scholars, and the debate continues to date. Frankly, this question has excellent answers from both sides of the question. I applaud anyone and everyone who dares investigate and continues to examine this question impartially. I would be remiss in my responsibility to others if I did not make the following statement before beginning this narrative.
Certainty can be the faith of cowards. Everyone, especially religious leaders, must remain open-minded and willing to argue, defend, and be prepared to concede, if mistaken, all that they claim as correct.

The question is: Can we lose our salvation? The comment I usually hear following that question is, I was taught once saved, always saved. Let me address the latter first. John Calvin created this doctrine from a misinterpretation of Saint Augustine's Treatise on the Gift of Perseverance, written around 429 A.D. Once saved, always saved is not in Scripture. As for the question can we lose our salvation, I firmly believe this must be a personal decision based on individual research. A personal decision made only after thorough, but never-ending impartial study and review. There is no room for mistake here, no do-over or excuses. Our eternity is at stake.

My personal decision is yes; I can lose my salvation. I can support my decision with 75 or 80 warnings that do not need scholarly Scriptural interpretation to understand. Others who disagree with me can do the same. When asked this question directly, I answer what I believe for me alone. Am I willing to hear arguments to the contrary? Yes, I always welcome discussion and continually seek knowledge from others, but I make time to research, with an open mind, afterward. In other words, I believe what I believe, but I am not so puffed-up that I will not listen to, and impartially research, different points of view. I am not so puffed-up that I will not admit when I am mistaken. As I stated earlier, certainty can be the faith of cowards.

Time, space, and format do not allow me to exhaustively or even adequately express the reasoning of my personal decision. So I will draw from a lower shelf and attempt to explain extremely in brief why I believe anyone can lose their salvation.
·         From the Book of John, we read, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they know Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand.
I was okay with that in the beginning until I realized – even though no one will be snatched from His hand…I can decide to jump out of it!
·         There are several examples; for example, Rev. 3:5, where we find our name, can be blotted out from the Book of Life.

After reading so many places in Scripture where I can be "blotted out," or similar words of that meaning, I realized my salvation is not and was never a sealed deal.
When I wrestled with the question of it being possible to lose my salvation, what seems to have put the pieces of that puzzle together for me was reasoned thinking. I started with the most significant reason for the possibility of losing it – I am human. As long as I continue to ask God to forgive my sins – I am not saved, His grace forgives me. The tearful, goosebump filled meltdown I had was me finally accepting Christ Jesus – not being saved. There is a difference between justification and salvation. I am indeed Blessed by God continually, and it amazes me. I am not foolhardy enough to believe the reason I am so Blessed is that I am saved. As long as I breathe, I must continue to have faith and continuously work on my relationship with God. My God is my Creator and will save me when I can sin no more, or He won't. He knows my heart, and that is what is most important to me, let the other's debate.

From the Book of Jeremiah, he shared, "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve" (Jeremiah 18:9-10). Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. I bet that is just how He sees His relationship with us, His creation. I do not want to be saved yet because I in no way deserve it as long as I continue to sin. God's Will be done now and forever.  Amen.
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