|The comforting security of Once Saved, Always Saved
Pastor Bill, a fundamentalist Baptist pastor and childhood family friend, is corresponding with me regarding my loss of faith. He has kindly agreed to allow me to post his correspondence here on my blog. I ask my readers to be polite to Pastor Bill. Even though he has disagreed with my decision to become a Lutheran, and most recently, an agnostic, he has always been kind and polite. You are welcome to post (polite) comments below the post(s). Whether Pastor Bill chooses to respond to readers’ comments is his choice as I know he is a very busy man.
I will intersperse my comments in red.
Gary, I saw/see this intro on your page each time I go to it. I’d like to address it for both you and others who might be reading… Follows the quote from your page;
….”In February, 2014, I was a devout orthodox (fundamentalist) Christian. By June, 2014, I was no longer Christian. I came to realize that all fundamentalist religions are based on superstitions; superstitions that cause sane, decent people to hate and commit violence all in the name of their “inerrant” holy books. I now follow Reason and Science. I want to share these truths with anyone interested in listening….”
If you were ever a “devout (fundamentalist Christian)” you still are ….a Christian anyway.
Perhaps a reminder of some of the Biblical words and their definitions would help;
I remember sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with a young lady (perhaps 8-9 years old). She had asked her daddy (who understood his responsibility in her spiritual upbringing) some questions about eternity that he wished some help answering. As we spoke to her, she was very attentive. This was not something someone was making her do, nor was she driven to ask her young questions by any fear that is often associated with the gospel. She was simply an intelligent young lady who was under conviction and wanted to know the truth, . When we had explained to her that the gift of God was “ETERNAL LIFE” to all those that received the Lord Jesus she stopped me and said that she wasn’t quite sure what “Eternal” meant. We tried several times and a couple of different words to explain to no avail. But then, it was like a light came on and she ask, “Is that like forever and forever?” …. She was exactly correct and since then, I’ve met young people, uneducated people, poor people, diverse races and colors of people who could understand the term, “Eternal Life” and at the same time I’ve met others, including rich, well educated, religiously trained peoples from all walks of life and of most every age, and from each of the 2 genders, who didn’t have the slightest idea what it meant… May I repeat the little girls answer? “ “Is that like forever and forever?”
When a person truly becomes “born again” they can no more be unborn spiritually than they could be physically. Eternal life…the gift of God to everyone who receives the Lord Jesus as their own personal Saviour. Since you have not yet provided any convincing evidence (convincing to me, at least) that demonstrates that the Bible is the inerrant Word of a god, Pastor Bill, this is simply your personal opinion.
1 John 5:11‑12 (KJV)
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Lasting or enduring forever; perpetual; continuing without end.
I don’t claim to be very smart but I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday either. In the small country school I was raised in they did teach us to use a dictionary and it gives us this definition of the word, “Everlasting”… That’s the word the Lord Jesus used when He spoke of the gift He desires to give to “whosoever”. In the most famous of all Bible verses He says;
John 3:16 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Note too the words in the above scripture; “…should not perish…”
Note Jesus giving us the same sweet assurance in;
John 10:27‑29 (KJV)
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
It is important we understand, eternal, everlasting life is based upon a person having the Lord Jesus in their hearts and lives…not upon some good work we have done..
Titus 3:5 (KJV)
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Isaiah 64:6 (KJV)
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Galatians 2:16 (KJV)
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Someone might ask, “Then what was the purpose of all those rules and commandments in the Old Testament?” They were to show us what a perfect person could do….
Galatians 3:24 (KJV)
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
A perfect person would not / could not sin…. Anyone who has sinned (everyone) needs a Saviour and Jesus is the only One qualified to be that Saviour. Looking at the law will cause honest people, who are not full of themselves, to know they are sinners, separated from God by their own sin. It was a school teacher (master) to teach us we’re not perfect and the necessity of Jesus coming to die for us. I owed a debt I could not pay and Jesus paid a debt He did not owe.
Because a person who is a Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and because He has promised to;
Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Anyone who has been saved is still saved! Many are the people who went through some sort of a religious experience but have never received the Lord Jesus and because of that have not been made a new creature in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I know Jesus loves you just as much as He loves me….with Him heaven, without Him is hell.Beings who are “loving” do not burn people alive., Pastor Bill. A “loving god” who burns people alive as punishment for disobeying him is an oxymoron. It is a sick, sadistic belief that has been passed down from the first indoctrinated (brainwashed) Christian parent to his or her innocent, gullible child, and then generation after generation, for two thousand years. It is not true. The evidence clearly demonstrates that a concept of Hell was introduced into Judaism during the Greek occupation of Palestine, which was then adopted into early Christianity. As proof, one cannot find any mention of a place of fiery eternal damnation and torment anywhere in the first 2/3 of the Hebrew Bible! Hell is an invention of Churchmen, not a god, Pastor Bill.Dear Pastor Bill: You continue to engage in preaching and not in actual debate regarding the root cause of my deconversion from Christianity: My discovery that the Bible is riddled with errors and contradictions; that scientific discoveries in astronomy, archaeology, genetics, geology, etc. overwhelming demonstrate the Bible to be a book written by the likes of scientifically and medically ignorant Bronze Age goat-herders and not by an all-knowing, perfect God.
You seem to want to continue to quote Bible passages to me
as if Bible passages are going to convince me that I am wrong. The problem is
that I don’t believe that the Bible is a divinely inspired book. I believe that
it is a collection of ancient middle eastern writings, written by very devout,
probably well-intentioned, but scientifically ignorant, superstitious men. The
Bible is full of errors and contradictions. If the author of the Bible is a
god, he could not pass a sixth grade science quiz.
I know you probably find that offensive, but that is what I sincerely believe.
It isn’t that I am mad at your god, it is that I do not believe that your god
exists. I believe that your god is imaginary. So if you wish to continue
quoting Bible verses to me, that is your choice, but if you really want to help
me, you will address my concerns regarding the reliability and inspiration of
the Bible. You can’t use Bible verses as evidence that the Bible is the
inspired Word of God. It would be no different than if I asked a Muslim cleric
to prove to me that the Koran is the inspired word of God and he quoted passages
from the Koran that say it is as evidence that it is!
Bottom line: The Bible cannot be trusted as a reliable source…for anything..