“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” ~Jude 1:3-Jude 1:5 NKJV
Are we, as so many say, “Once Saved, Always Saved”? If it were so, then consequences would not be a concern to us as we could do anything we desire and not be held liable, but didn’t Paul tell us, “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV While this passage is about the eating of sacrificed foods to idols, it does have a much greater meaning, in that, we must be careful what we do in the midst of other Christians. Especially the baby Christians, because they are being influenced by us and our actions – regardless of the biblical text. And they will do as we do, meaning that we should not be doing things that are stumbling block to our brothers and sisters. Or also, better worded by Paul, “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.” Romans 14:13 Because we will be held responsible to God for our actions, deeds and words, both good and bad, openly and those in secret. (see Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.“” ~Gal 2:20-21 NKJV
I cost Jesus’ life on the cross in order to save our souls. If that is all it took for us to do anything we desire, are we not throwing away His life for our temporal enjoyment and pleasure? If once we became saved and claimed Jesus as our Lord and Savior just to live our lives in debauchery, would that not negate our freewill and negate the will of God that commanded us to:
“…love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish…” ~Deuteronomy 30:16-16 NKJV
And Jesus reiterated this command to us when He was asked as to which was the Greatest Commandment:
“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”” ~Matt 22:37-40 NKJV
If we are “Once saved, always saved,” and we lived such a debaucherous lifestyle – in what way are we emulating the Christ-likeness that we are called to live? We must also remember what the prophet Isaiah told us:
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.” ~Isaiha 59:2
That being the case, it is my opinion that we must confess our sins all of the time in order to regain our place with God. Just reading the Psalms, King David sought forgiveness from God all of the time; especially, at times his sin(s) were highlighted. How much less should we do the same?
This “love” which Jesus spoke of was not carnal nor lust filled, it is not like a brotherly love or a love between a husband and a wife; but was Agape love which is the most self-sacrificing love that there is. This type of love is the love that God has for His own children. This type of love is what was displayed on the cross by Jesus Christ, where Jesus laid down His life for our eternal souls that He would be the ultimate sacrifice.
There are tests aimed at us every day of our lives, if you do not believe me then re-read the Book of Job you will learn of tests of sorrow, pain, character and integrity. You must decide for yourselves how you are to approach your Christian walk before God. Bertrand Russell once said, “The best argument against Christianity, are Christians.” Or something to that effect, I recently heard it on an interview.) But just think about it, Christians will (in many cases) twist the biblical scriptures to say what they desire them to say in order to do as they desire. And, unfortunately, I in my youth and in my past have – ashamedly so – have done this. We all have weak moments in our lives because as we have been told in the Book of Genesis, “…the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…” (Genesis 8:21) I do not use this as an excuse, but actually as a judgement against all of mankind, because we all fall short of the glory of God! (Romans 3:23) And we are all destined for a grievous awakening one day, if we do not watch out for our walk with God. There is no free lunch, and the piper will have to be paid…these adages are quite telling, as well as fitting. There are consequences for our choices and our actions…we all need to REMEMBER THIS!
I pray that you will all read this with an open heart, mind, and spirit and think deeply upon this issue. I cannot make you what think anything, nor will God, we can only show the way that you should go and point you in that direction; that is both the blessing and the curse of FREEWILL, only you have to make that choice! The consequences and the blessings are before you, but you must choose the path you will take at any given time.
The final note is this: are you willing to gamble your eternal soul on your present choice?
May God Richly Bless You All!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD