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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         33
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Is it possible to renounce salvation?


no name joe
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  • Advanced Member

I lost the post, but to the gentleman who espoused that Christians can reach a point of sinless perfection (what Nazarenes call the "second blessing"" but does not believe in eternal security may ask this.
First, let me restate your position and then I'll follow up with the question: You believe that a person can reach a position of sinless perfection subsequent to salvation; nevertheless at any point after this state of sinless perfection they can backslide and lose their salvation.
Now the question is, if you can attain a state of sinless perfection: HOW COULD YOU EVER BACKSLIDE?

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To answer the OP, there are many good arguments in here in defense of eternal security which I think adequately answered the question. Just to add one more. 2 Timonty 2:13 "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." The context of course, is that whether one believes or not, his belief or unbelief has no bearing on the faithfulness of Christ. And since Christ is unchangable, then this verse would still apply to the believer that even after his salvation, if at some point he became discouraged and possibly even angry at God, his unbelief at that moment would not change the status of his salvation. Now if he continued in a perpetual state of denouncement and unbelief, I would have to question whether the person was saved in the first place because John makes it clear that "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us:...." I John 2:19. Since it is God that works in us both to WILL and to DO (Phil 2:13), the will and drive that you have is the evidence of a genuine salvation (Eph 2:10, John 15:5), and the John also makes it clear that a child of God does not continue to practice in perpetual disobedience to Him (I John 3:6). A believer is never comfortable with sin. Whom God loves He chastens (Rev 3:19) and if you are living in sin and are never chastised, you are not a child of God (Heb 12:8)
So when askng a question about a person denouncing their faith, it would be necessary to view their salvation in context with the above expositions of Scripture.
On a side note: one thing that I find fascinating among critics of the Baptist position of eternal security is that they say we give them a license to sin, and then turn around and call us legalists for preaching too hard about sin LOL

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  • 1 month later...

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. 4 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, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 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.
Heb 6:1-6 (KJV) As it says, it is impossible to loose your salvation.

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. 30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
John 10:27-31 (KJV) NOTE: they wanted to stone him........ Yes; eternal life and never perish seems easy to understand.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

And then will I profess unto them, I once knew you : depart from me, ye that work iniquity?? No, it says...

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:23

If He knew you at one time but you later renounced, "I never knew you" would be a lie.

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  • 7 years later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
1 hour ago, VALK71 said:

You can lose it. I have noone to talk to about it cause i dont know what its called, but you can. 

Have you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ to save your wicked soul from God's judgement in Hell and, been indwelled with the Holy Spirit? If so, you cannot be lost: ever. Please read the following verse carefully.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

#1. If you possess(hath) everlasting life....it's "everlasting"

#2. "Shall not" means "condemnation" is never going to happen.

There are other verses but this one should be sufficient for now.

 

Edited by heartstrings
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Hey everyone! I know I’m about 10 years late, I just discovered this website and hope you’re all doing well! I know there can seem to be confusion in Hebrews 6:4-6, but thank God that He can not cause confusion in His Word! I think these verses are a perfect example of Judas Iscariot. We have to remember that Jesus gave power and authority to all his disciples, including Judas, and Jesus knew that Judas would never be saved but to fulfill the Scriptures as Judas being the son of perdition. We know that Jesus Christ was not the cause of Judas’ sin or evil doing, we believe full well that Judas brought these things upon himself alone. Judas walked with Jesus and His other disciples and Judas never had a change of heart even though the Lord gave him authority and holy power to cast out demons and heal the sick. Judas clearly had the power of the Holy Spirit working through him, but this does not mean Judas was born again or even saved. A genuine Christian, truly born of the Holy Spirit can not renounce their faith in Christ or fall away. If someone did fall away then it shows they were never saved, sealed by the Holy Spirit to begin with. The verse says that they were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, but never sealed by Him. Being a partaker is not the same as being sealed by the Holy Spirit of the true Living God. We shouldn’t forget, me included, that God is All Powerful and All Knowing that He can use whoever He wants to spread His kingdom, whether the person is saved or not. Yes, even God uses unsaved people to do His perfect will. I use to freak out every time I read this verse as well and would question my motives, which is not a bad thing at all, but we got to put these verses into context and look at examples in the Bible to confirm these truths. We know God is not the Author of confusion nor evil, but that His holy will is to be done, I’m sure we can all agree on that. It would never make sense for someone to claim to be a Christian and then renounce Christ as a conscious and public decision. That shows right there who they truly are, apostates, not Christians. Jesus said that a good tree can not produce bad fruit and a bad tree can not produce good fruit (Matthew 7:17-18). Someone who is sealed with the Holy Spirit can not renounce Christ. Someone who was never saved to begin with does not even have Christ in Him. John the apostle said that though they went out from us they were never really of us. If they were of us they would have stayed (1 John 2:19). That there says it all. As Christians we need to expect persecutions and tribulations. Those who were easily discouraged and renounced Christ for that reason did not have genuine repentance or even the faith as small as a mustard seed. They probably only came to Christ for the wrong reasons like having an ‘easy’ life, and not doing it because they came to the realization of their sins. Sure they heard the Word with joy (probably not true joy) but it doesn’t mean they were letting it sink into their hearts to take root. And still God is mighty to save and soften their hearts but they must respond to Him with child like faith. Having a life with Christ truly is 100% better than living a life with out Him and even if life gets hard we know One who is faithful and we can ask our Heavenly Father to help us in Jesus’ Name and He will do it! In a sense, life is hard in Christ but it is easier to have Him around even when life hits you hard. A true Christian will never in their hearts want to renounce Christ because they know, we know, He is the Way, Truth, and the Life as He declares with Truth. I could be wrong, but these verses might be talking about false teachers really. Thanks for having me share my thoughts and I’m glad to have read your responses as well! God bless you all!

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  • 2 months later...
  • Administrators

1 John 3:2 (KJV) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Humanly speaking we become sons, or children by birth. We become the son, or child of our father by birth. Likewise we also become sons, or children of God by the new Birth. Following logic, has anyone ever been able to become unborn of his earthly father? He may renounce his sonship, but he cannot undo his birth as a son of his father. His birth was an act of his father, which was past tense and cannot be undone. He can deny he is a son, but that does not change the fact that he was born of his father. There is no act of his own that can change that.

So then; can you lose your salvation? Once you are born of God, how do you become unborn? In answer one might also ask; can anyone actually go back and undo the fact that he was born a son of his father?

Once a son, always a son.

Galatians 4:6 (KJV) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

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Biblically, if you renounce (give up, relinquish, abandon, walk away from) your salvation, you were not saved to begin with.  Biblical sorrow, which is humility and contriteness of heart and spirit leads to a repentance not to be repented of.  True belief, faith that is living will never allow you to "un-believe."  If you preached from a pulpit for 50 years, then wake up one morning and say, "God is not real, none of this is true, and I am not a Christian," you are not de-converting, you are simply revealing what you've always been: a fraud.  The Apostle John said, "...they were not of us," not, "...they used to be of us."  There is no such thing as a used-to-be Christian, only  a non-Christian.  You're one or the other and nothing in between.  This is one of those dangers that comes with easy prayerism, easy believism, and the 1-2-3-pray-after-me evangelism.  Salvation is a heart issue.  It is a conversion from old to new.  We can mimic conversion to an extent and for only so long; but true conversion is God's handiwork.  It is evident, and it is eternal.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
19 minutes ago, Casey said:

Biblically, if you renounce (give up, relinquish, abandon, walk away from) your salvation, you were not saved to begin with.  Biblical sorrow, which is humility and contriteness of heart and spirit leads to a repentance not to be repented of.  True belief, faith that is living will never allow you to "un-believe."  If you preached from a pulpit for 50 years, then wake up one morning and say, "God is not real, none of this is true, and I am not a Christian," you are not de-converting, you are simply revealing what you've always been: a fraud.  The Apostle John said, "...they were not of us," not, "...they used to be of us."  There is no such thing as a used-to-be Christian, only  a non-Christian.  You're one or the other and nothing in between.  This is one of those dangers that comes with easy prayerism, easy believism, and the 1-2-3-pray-after-me evangelism.  Salvation is a heart issue.  It is a conversion from old to new.  We can mimic conversion to an extent and for only so long; but true conversion is God's handiwork.  It is evident, and it is eternal.

Excellent explanation!

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To expand on what Bro Mike said about why would you want to; why would any believer want to? To my way of thinking, if anyone actually wanted to lose their salvation they were most likely not saved to begin with. To know the certainty, wonder, and joys of real salvation and contend that you can, or would want to deny it, is unfathomable to my simple mind.

This is especially true when His Holy Spirit has this testimony for each believer: Galatians 4:6 (KJV) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

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On 4/23/2020 at 11:22 AM, Casey said:

Biblically, if you renounce (give up, relinquish, abandon, walk away from) your salvation, you were not saved to begin with.  Biblical sorrow, which is humility and contriteness of heart and spirit leads to a repentance not to be repented of.  True belief, faith that is living will never allow you to "un-believe."  If you preached from a pulpit for 50 years, then wake up one morning and say, "God is not real, none of this is true, and I am not a Christian," you are not de-converting, you are simply revealing what you've always been: a fraud.  The Apostle John said, "...they were not of us," not, "...they used to be of us."  There is no such thing as a used-to-be Christian, only  a non-Christian.  You're one or the other and nothing in between.  This is one of those dangers that comes with easy prayerism, easy believism, and the 1-2-3-pray-after-me evangelism.  Salvation is a heart issue.  It is a conversion from old to new.  We can mimic conversion to an extent and for only so long; but true conversion is God's handiwork.  It is evident, and it is eternal.

Amen!

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  • 2 months later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On 12/20/2010 at 11:29 AM, no name joe said:

I do not believe a person can "fall from grace" and lose salvation. However, can a person renounce the decision to follow Christ? I have known a few people who have done so. One experienced salvation, and lived like it for awhile. However, after a number of terrible events in his life, he walked away and renounced his belief in Christ, and now lives as an athiest.

Again, I am not talking about losing salvation due to a mere drifting away from faith or falling into sin. I am talking about a conscious decision to renounce Christ and their faith in him. What happens when people do this? Do they lose the salvation that they at one point in their lives accepted? If they renounce it, it is possible for this person to recover their faith?

Hebrews 6:4-6, "4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

6If 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."

I have a few questions about this:

1. What does this verse mean by "fall away." At other places in the Bible, it is clear to me that merely backsliding or falling into sin, or becoming lazy in faith does not cause one to lose salvation. Does a person fall away when one consciously renounces their faith in their hearts, after having become enlightened and tasted the gift of salvation? I know Peter denied Christ, but that was a moment of weakness where I do not believe he renounced Christ in his heart. What is required for one to "Fall away?" In reconciling the doctorine of "once saved always saved" with my experience in watching people truly renouncing their faith, I tend to think this is what these verses are referring to. For the person who has "fallen away" has "crucified the Son of God afresh" and "put him to an open shame." this indicates a consiouce renouncemnt of faith. After receiving salvation, if a person walks away and renounces it, it will be impossible to renew them again unto repentence. In other words, a person does not lose salvation, they throw it away. They renounce it and walk away puting Jesus to an open shame. At that point, their heart becomes so hardened, that it is impossible for them to repent again.

2. If a person does "Fall away" as is meant in this verse, can they repent of their renouncement? Is this the unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit? After receiving the Holy Spirit in salvation, in renouncing one's faith in Christ, does that so reject the Holy Spirit that it is not forgivable, and that they will never gain be able to repent? That certainly seems to be what this verse is saying.

3. If the above explanation is true, then what does it take for one to renounce salvation? Must it be only in their hearts and minds? Must they make an open profession to someone or in public that they renounced it? At what point does shaky faith become a revocation of one's profession of faith?

The reason I ask is that I am sure we have all known people who accepted God's gift of salvation, who later renounced that gift. This seems to be at odds with my belief that once you accept the gift, you cannot lose it. However, I do not believe the two are at odds at all. To say you cannot lose salvation is vastly different than saying once can renounce salvation. saying one can lose salvation indicates that some external force can cause a person to stumble and fall from grace. The Bible is clear that no external force can do so or that no one can pluck you from the Father's hands. However, is it possible for a person to run out of the Father's hands of their own accord? Experience tells me yes, and seeing what I have seen people do and reading the passage in Hebrews, I think I have reconciled this in my mind.

I have seen the church of Christ use Hebrews 6:4-6 to support their doctrine that people can lose their salvation. I think when we don’t rightly divide we find ourselves coming up with some weird stuff. 

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On 12/20/2010 at 11:29 AM, no name joe said:

At that point, their heart becomes so hardened, that it is impossible for them to repent again.

2. If a person does "Fall away" as is meant in this verse, can they repent of their renouncement?

2. If a person does what that verse refers to,   what does the Scripture say about that person ?

1. Is it written that it is impossible for them to repent "because" there heart becomes so hardened ?    footnote:  how 'hard' is the heart of those in the valley of dry bones ?  (that the Creator brings to life in , I think, Ezekiel,  either actually or as in a parable ....)

Or,  if someone wants to repent,  but there is no sacrifice <left; remaining>  for their sin,   what good would their repenting do then ?   

On 12/20/2010 at 11:29 AM, no name joe said:

3. If the above explanation is true, then what does it take for one to renounce salvation?

When someone renounces sin,  what happens - what do they do ?

If someone renounces their worldliness,  what do they do ?

i.e. what does it mean to renounce something ? 

On 12/20/2010 at 11:29 AM, no name joe said:

The reason I ask is that I am sure we have all known people who accepted God's gift of salvation, who later renounced that gift.

I expect there are perhaps multitudes of people who do not know anyone personally,  nor maybe any other way,  who "accepted God's gift of salvation",  nor also anyone personally "who later renounced that gift".    Oh,  they might know or have heard of someone who did something, one or the other,  but they don't know what the person did - it is not publicized and the person does not talk about it,   thus they wouldn't know unless some other way ?

On 12/20/2010 at 11:29 AM, no name joe said:

This seems to be at odds with my belief that once you accept the gift, you cannot lose it. However, I do not believe the two are at odds at all. To say you cannot lose salvation is vastly different than saying once can renounce salvation. saying one can lose salvation indicates that some external force can cause a person to stumble and fall from grace. The Bible is clear that no external force can do so or that no one can pluck you from the Father's hands. However, is it possible for a person to run out of the Father's hands of their own accord? Experience tells me yes, and seeing what I have seen people do and reading the passage in Hebrews, I think I have reconciled this in my mind.

Sort of a tangent -  (just thinking about the question just now - )  did the woman who lost a coin,  lose it on purpose ?  Was the coin a gift from someone else , before she lost it ?  

What about the one sheep lost when 99 were not lost ? 

What about "choose this day who you will serve?"    along with "whoever endures to the end" ?

and "without faith it is impossible to please God" ? 

and finally,   "Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and profits nothing" - no one has to do anything to be or to become 'flesh' - just being born as a man,  they are flesh.

One last thought for now:   when those people who are told on Judgment Day by the Judge Himself that they did not make it,   even though apparently by all that is written they actually believed they were saved right up to the day they die,

are they any different while alive from people who actually are saved already while alive, before they die ?

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John 3:3-4 -- Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Jesus' Teaching on Justification in Soteriology

Nicodemus did not understand "conversion." He thought conversion was some kind of external change, that by embracing the teachings of Jesus, one would become a follower of Jesus. After all, Nicodemus considered himself a master teacher.

Jesus' statement was clear: following Jesus' teaching could never be sufficient; in order to see God's kingdom, a second birth, a new birth, a birth "from above" (anothen, the Greek word translated "again" in John 3:3 has the idea of "above") is necessary. "Conversion" is not external, it is internal.

Jesus' Teaching on Eternal Security in Soteriology

The very same concept debunks the possibility of losing one's salvation. It is not possible to become "unborn." An external conversion can be renounced (I can stop being a member of my church, my club, my credit union, etc.), but I can never stop being a child of my Mom and Dad. Don't miss this - I can change my name, move away, cut all ties, even enter the witness relocation program: but no matter what I do, I can't change the fact that Vera and Ron are my Mom and Dad. The only way I could do that is if they weren't my parents to begin with.

A Child of God is always going to have God as his Father. Conversion is internal, and cannot be undone.

A Necessary Conclusion

Truth: many professing Christians walk away from their Christianity. With the above doctrinal understanding, we can come to two conclusions: 1. They were never born again to begin with - which is probably the majority of cases; 2. They are so mad at God, they don't want to admit any association with Him.

So, is it possible to renounce salvation? Externally, yes. Internally, intrinsically? No. No. No.

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Both Calvinism and Arminianism are heresy! Calvinism teaches that if a person walks away from the faith and rejects Christianity they were not saved to begin with and Arminianism teaches that if a person walks away from the faith and rejects Christianity that they lost their salvation. Both are absolutely false! The Holy Spirit seals us once we are saved and no one can pluck a believer out of God's hand. The moment you believe and trust the gospel, you are saved and have eternal life which can never be lost! Calvinism and Arminianism are both from the pit of hell and must be avoided!!!

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The question has many variants. I am interested if someone, in front of Creator can refuse the salvation he did all to deserve? 

If you feel,  by your free will, can refuse the ultimate prize, for a reason that is not a sin by itself.

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