Greetings Bible Scholars! What a wonderful day to continue our study of the Holy Bible. I would like to thank all of the people who have e-mailed me, who have sent in their comments, and who have sent me the beautiful death threats (to whom my only reply is “neener, neener, neener.”)
Today’s topic is an important one to me. I think many people will appreciate the profound implications of what we will discuss today. Our topic is whether or not one can fall from grace. For many people, including many of my atheist readers, this is an important topic. If at one time in your life, you were a Christian and had accepted Christ as your savior but now are not, are you still saved. Well, many Christians will say that leaving Christianity will clearly sets you toward damnation. We need to see what the Bible says:
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
2 Peter 2:20-21
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
1 Timothy 4: 1-2
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
If we take a clear look at these verses, it seems pretty clear that you can backslide out of Christ’s grace. The last verse is especially clear about this. Peter is telling us that it is worse for people if they at one time have accepted Jesus and then are “entangled” in the pollutions of the world and to “turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” Additionally, we see that in the “latter times” some shall depart from the faith. This also seems to indicate that people can fall from grace.
One the other hand, there are verses in the Bible which tell us that one cannot fall from grace and that nothing can remove a person from grace. Let’s take a look:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It seems that our selections in 1 Timothy and Romans are completely at odds with each other. In once case (1 Timothy), Paul wants to tell us that seducing spirits will make people fall from grace. On the other hand, Paul assures us that nothing can separate us from God’s grace. In fact, many Christians believe in the doctrine of the Preservation of the Saints which suggests that one cannot fall away from Christ. See this link for more details. http://www.thecaveonline.com/APEH/calvinTULIP.html
Hmmm . . .
Let us pray. “Dear Lord, we are once again mystified by your word. Clearly you want us to know that we can backslide fall from grace and that we cannot backslide and fall from your grace. We are humbled once again by your magnificent opaqueness. We also pray for the atheists who have forsaken you. Those who once knew you and now speak against you are going to be in for a big surprise when they, too, get to go to heaven. Moreover, we pray for the Christians who will be even more surprised to see those dirty atheists walking around in your glory. In your spiffy name, AMEN.”