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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      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.

"Unpardonable Sin"


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What is the "Unpardonable Sin". I've always heard that if someone commits this sin, then they're not going to be concerned about it.

I have been going through a very bad place spiritually recently, it's become hard to read my Bible because I keep thinking I committed this sin. For about 4 years I resisted conviction from the Holy Spirit, and finally after those 4 years I stopped resisting and looked to Jesus for forgiveness and direction. Now after 10 months of reading the Bible and praying daily, I am at this state where I realize I have even some bitterness towards God ( I know it's horrible, but I can't change even though I really want to).  I've read that the unpardonable sin is rejecting the Spirit's conviction enough so that he stops working on you. I have been so worried I have a hard time even reading my bible now and everything seems hopeless. The more hopeless I feel the more bitter I become. There was a time I found so much joy and comfort in reading the word, now I just feel that it is always condemning me. I have all these thoughts that God is threw with me and has cut me off forever, it's terrible. I hate my sin so much and strive as hard as I can to resist, but it's become so hard now that I feel like this. My sin makes me feel horribly sick, I wonder if God has cursed me because for so long I chose sin over Him and now He won't help me escape it. In the past I used to love hearing the name of the Savior, now it either scares me or irritates me. I feel so guilty of this and know it's wrong and want desperately for this to change but it's been getting worse.

I've gotten to a point where I'm not really repentant about my sin, I'm just so scared and feel miserable and sick of it and completely out of touch with God. I can't even put my faith in Jesus Christ to deliver me from this because every time I try I just get these thoughts that it's impossible.

I know this is the second time I've put something like this up here but I just really need help. I'm going to a new church and need to speak with my pastor about this on Sunday if he's not to busy.

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First, I would say that the feelings of guilt, fright, and hating your sins are good signs. I know that might sound strange, but it shows the struggle between your flesh and the new spirit within a saved person.

What is the unpardonable sin? As you've attested, you'll get different answers from different people. Some here may even disagree with me, but let's see what the Bible...what the Lord Jesus Christ says the unpardonable sin is...

Matthew 12:31-32
31   Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32   And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
 

Now, what is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? The Lord Jesus Christ tells us in the previous verses...

Matthew 12:22-30
22   Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
23   And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
24   But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
25   And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26   And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27   And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28   But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
29   Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30   He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
 

So, to blaspheme the Holy Ghost; in short, is to attribute his work to Satan...or to deny that his work is his, and attribute it to Satan. They were basically saying that the Holy Spirit was actually Satan, and the Lord Jesus Christ received his power from Satan. That's my understanding of it. How that relates to life today, I'm not sure.

Remember my testimony that I shared with you? I struggled for several years thinking that I couldn't be saved unless I "felt" Jesus come into my heart. It got to the point that I thought that I couldn't be saved at all. So, I know what you're going through to an extent. All that I can tell you is what I told you before...the answers and comfort you need and seek are in God's word. That's where I finally found my answers after years of turmoil because I believed what a man...a preacher told me I should experience...and there wasn't a lick of God's word that supported what he said. There's nothing wrong with seeking advice from others; the Bible even says that it's wise to...just be careful with what others tell you (including me). I can tell you from my own experience, just because a man is a preacher, that doesn't mean he's right about everything. Get advice, and measure it (as best you can) by what the Bible says. The answers are in God's word; you just need to find a way to win this battle that has you not wanting to read it. Hey, you don't have to spend hours in it friend...just try 10-15 minutes a day. You'll get there, and know that I'm praying for you.

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"The Unpardonable Sin"

I am of the belief that the "unpardonable sin" cannot be committed by someone today.
Here's why:

First let's look at the verses pertaining to this:

Matt. 12:31-32
31 "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men."
32 "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."

Now let's look at to WHOM these verses were directed:
Jesus had performed miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was/is the prophecied Messiah. Through the miracles He did it SHOULD have been proof positive to the Pharisees and Sadducees that He was their promised Messiah.

Start with verse 1 of Matthew 12 and you can quickly find out to WHOM Jesus was sepaking to.
Again in verse 14 we see it is the Pharisees who "went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him."
Throughout the chapter it shows of how Jesus fulfilled OT (old testament) scripture (see v.7, v.16-21)

Then we get to verses 22-24. In these verses we see the Pharisees (falsely) claimed that Jesus was empowered by the devil or Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24)!!!
THAT is the accusation which is "unpardonable". To attempt to connect Jesus and the Holy Spirit's power to the devil/beelzebub and not to God and the Holy Spirit!!!
Jesus was saying this was blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and that it was unpardonable. 
They had rejected Him (Jesus), as well as accused Him of using power from the devil/beelzebub.
THAT is the "unpardonable sin"

Why can't we commit it today? 
Jesus has gone to the cross (willingly)/died/was buried/resurrected and is no longer on the earth (in a man's body) using the Holy Spirit to show signs and wonders to Israel (as He was then).
We cannot commit the same sin they committed (in essence) because Jesus is not here (pre-cross) in order to accuse Him of doing His miraculous work by the devil/beelzebub.
We (believers) never would accuse Him of something like that anyways!

There really is only ONE thing that is "unpardonable"
John 3:18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

THAT is what it all boils down to. Either we believe on Jesus alone for salvation or we do not.

The gospel (plain and simple) is 1 Cor. 15:1-4
specifically v. 3-4 give us this:
3 "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;"
4 "And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures"

Understanding that Jesus is the ONLY ONE way...
John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

that Jesus paid for all of our sins, He took our place on the cross...
1 John 4:10 "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

BELIEF is the requirement:
Rom. 10:9-10
9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
10 "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

There is only ONE mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5), Jesus is also our only advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1)

Summary:
Can we (modern day) commit the unpardonabe sin spoken of in Matt. 12:31-32? No.

What is the ONLY thing that condemns? Unbelief/rejection of Jesus' perfect finished work on the cross/death/burial/resurrection, refusal to believe/accept Jesus alone for salvation.

 

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32 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

It got to the point that I thought that I couldn't be saved at all. So, I know what you're going through to an extent.

Wow, no way to explain what that is like. Thank you. Earlier today and many times this week this has seriously left me afraid to even approach Jesus in prayer and have had temptations I've never experienced in my life before. The fact that I'm even tempted makes me sick to my stomach literally. I backslid pretty bad for a very short while recently and though I came back from it quickly the temptations are like never before. It's like the more hopeless I feel the more intense the temptations are.

 

32 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

The answers are in God's word; you just need to find a way to win this battle that has you not wanting to read it. Hey, you don't have to spend hours in it friend...just try 10-15 minutes a day. You'll get there, and know that I'm praying for you.

Thank you Brother, that means so much to me.

I actually calmed down and was able to read the end of the gospel of John just a little bit ago. Man, when I went to church yesterday I even got this crazy thought that God didn't want me there contaminating his people and his house, kinda like " A little leaven leaventh the whole lump". 

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54 minutes ago, Ronda said:

What is the ONLY thing that condemns? Unbelief/rejection of Jesus' perfect finished work on the cross/death/burial/resurrection, refusal to believe/accept Jesus alone for salvation.

Amen.

I guess I've been reading so much on the subject recently that it's all I've been thinking about. I've been under the assumption that there is some kind of connection between the "unpardonable sin" and the falling away mentioned in Hebrews 6 and I guess came to the conclusion that at one point the Holy Spirit ceases it redemptive working on a persons life. I'm not totally sure that this is true but just a conclusion I've come to. Maybe it takes some kind of vile hatred towards the Spirit that would ever actually bring one to that point.  Still not entirely sure about it. 

 

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Matthew 12

22Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

25And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

30He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

31Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

 

Witnessing the power of God, being in the very presence, influence and conviction of the Holy Ghost (Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost) these men attributed the presence and power of God to the works of Beelzebub( "Lord of the Flies"),  the most vile and despicable devil. A person may say bad things about Jesus, but when the very Holy Ghost is moving, working, wooing their heart, and they REALIZE it; it's one thing to say "not today, maybe later" but to openly despise and blaspheme His love and righteousness; that is very dangerous.

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19 hours ago, Wmccarthy99 said:

Amen.

I guess I've been reading so much on the subject recently that it's all I've been thinking about. I've been under the assumption that there is some kind of connection between the "unpardonable sin" and the falling away mentioned in Hebrews 6 and I guess came to the conclusion that at one point the Holy Spirit ceases it redemptive working on a persons life. I'm not totally sure that this is true but just a conclusion I've come to. Maybe it takes some kind of vile hatred towards the Spirit that would ever actually bring one to that point.  Still not entirely sure about it. 

 

Friend,  There's nothing we can do to "unsave" ourselves. Please don't just take my word for it... Let's see what God's word has to say about it :) 

Eternal Security of the Believer: We can see in the following verses the eternal security of those whom have believed on Jesus alone for salvation.
When we accept/believe on Him, He seals us with the Holy Spirit until the "day of redemption" (either physical death or the rapture)

Ephesians 1:13-
13 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,"
14 "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

2 Cor. 1:20-22
20 "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us."
21 "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;"
22 "Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."

Ephesians 4:30 "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

Next, we can see that believers are not "kept saved" by their OWN works, but by God Himself.

John 10:28-30
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."

So when we believe on Jesus alone for salvation (not trusting in our OWN works, but in HIS perfect completed work), God Himself seals us with the Holy Spirit to indwell us until the day of redemption.
There's nothing we can do to "unsave" ourselves!!!  

NO-ONE and NOTHING can pluck us out of the Father's hand!
We are eternally saved and secure in Him. :) What an assuring blessing His word is! 

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3 hours ago, Ronda said:

Next, we can see that believers are not "kept saved" by their OWN works, but by God Himself.

This I believe. I recently was shown this truth (Praise God!) through some other members on this forum. The church I used to go to taught that  salvation is entirely by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, yet then the pastor would turn right around and say "as long as we keep following him and don't walk away". I thank God and His word that I am not attending that church anymore.

As for my assumptions on the "unpardonable sin" I definitely don't believe it is something a born again Christian can commit. I first became worried about this after reading about "the man in the cage" from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. I didn't completely agree with his interpretation of the verse but ever since then I've gone through seasons of intense worry and fear about it. You guys have helped me by encouraging me though and right now I'm a lot better than when I first posted this. I still want to study this topic more though so I can understand it fully. It's like these fear's come from a few selected scriptures (mostly in the book of Hebrews) and rather than just not think about the verses at all and pretend they don't exist, I'd like to discover the true meaning of them so that I might be able to overcome that fear.

9 hours ago, heartstrings said:

Witnessing the power of God, being in the very presence, influence and conviction of the Holy Ghost (Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost) these men attributed the presence and power of God to the works of Beelzebub( "Lord of the Flies"),  the most vile and despicable devil. A person may say bad things about Jesus, but when the very Holy Ghost is moving, working, wooing their heart, and they REALIZE it; it's one thing to say "not today, maybe later" but to openly despise and blaspheme His love and righteousness; that is very dangerous.

I think this is one of the best interpretations of the "unpardonable sin" I've read. I wonder if someone who gets to this point would ever even want to come back to Jesus. There's no mention at all of the Pharisee's changing later, even after the prophesies about Jesus were fulfilled. 

Sometime I wonder if Judas and Esau are symbolic of people who do reject salvation to the point of never being able to receive it , but afterward regret it and want to come back.

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I believe I know the verses that you're referring to from Hebrews. Even here, you will get different interpretations of what those verses mean...but I do believe that despite some differences in their meaning, most here would agree that they're not talking about a saved person being lost again. With that said, let me give what I believe they mean. I will try to keep it as simple as I can...forgive the length.

First, as you read the Bible, what truths do you already know and are assured of? One that you've recently settled is that eternal salvation is eternal...right? One can't lose their salvation. AMEN! You've seen that truth, you've accepted it as truth, and you're assured of its truth. So, when you come across a scripture that (in your mind) seems to contradict that truth, you're left with a couple of options...

  1. Accept that the truth you know isn't truth after all. In its most basic concept, this will leave you with feelings of doubt concerning God's word. Do I believe "this", or do I believe "that"? One of the most important things to God is that we believe him and his word.
  2. Accept that the truth you know IS truth; therefore, the seeming contradiction must somehow align with and affirm that truth. This involves digging deeper into God's word. In other words, it requires study and prayer. It requires cross-referencing...known as comparing scripture with scripture.

As a new believer, you're on what the Bible calls "the milk of the word". That's absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about; we all start out as babes. As you grow, these harder to understand portions of scripture will become easier...you will move from the milk of the word to the meat of the word. 

Now, I believe that your situation (if I understand it correctly) is this...

You believe in eternal security, but it's verses such as the ones in Hebrews and "the unpardonable sin" that makes you doubt if you are truly saved. We've seen what the unpardonable sin is, and the verses in Hebrews are neither about a saved person being lost again nor about a lost person who is unable to be saved. Let's look at them...

Hebrews 6:1-8
1   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.
7   For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8   But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Verses 1-3:  See the word "Therefore" at the beginning? That means what he's writing now is based upon what he had just written previously. So you'd need to go back to the previous verses before it to see what he's building on top of. He was building on exactly what I was talking about...moving from the milk of the word to the meat of the word. Since we need to grow, there must come a time when we "leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ". We leave the basics of dead works (our works can't save us), faith toward God, baptism, etc. In other words, we move past the basic knowledge and understandings about Christ, his work, and the basics of Christianity. We move past that toward becoming a mature believer. Simply put, as God's child, we must grow. We must grow in our understanding of his word; thereby, we grow in our relationship with him.

Verses 4-6:  See the word "For" at the beginning? That means these verses are based upon the previous verses...so they also refer to growth...or lack thereof. What are the verses saying? First, you must think about who these verses were written to. They were written to "Hebrews"; therefore, much of what is written must be looked at through "Hebrew eyes". What would have been an early Hebrew Christian's temptation to fall away to? The Mosaic system of laws and sacrifices.

I believe that's what is being inferred here. He's saying that if they were to fall away from the basics of the doctrine of Christ...in other words, they know, believe, and have accepted the basics of the doctrine of Christ. They're saved; they've been made partakers of the Holy Ghost. However, if they fall away and return to some form of Mosaic system, it's impossible to renew them to salvation? No, it's impossible to renew them to repentance. Rather than repenting (turning from their error of mixing works and grace), they will continue in it. The book of Galatians is a great example concerning this and condemning this.

So how can that apply to us today? There are denominations who present a works plus grace gospel; such as, The Church of Christ and some Messianic Judaism churches come to mind. They will not repent of it. I think the difference is this though...the writer of Hebrews was writing to actual believers...new believers...warning them not to depart from the true faith. They were saved; however, if they departed and mixed the basics of Christianity with works, they would lead others into that same false belief...condemning their converts into believing a false gospel. The denominations who teach works plus grace do the same today. They will not repent of it, and they condemn their converts into believing a false gospel. 

Verses 7-8: Cross reference those verses with these verses...in fact, look at how this whole section of Hebrews fits with these verses from 1 Corinthians 3...

1 Corinthians 3:11-15
11   For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12   Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13   Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14   If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15   If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Many of our works will be burned...but those who are saved will still be saved.

I know it was long, but I hope it possibly helped.

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17 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Verses 7-8: Cross reference those verses with these verses...in fact, look at how this whole section of Hebrews fits with these verses from 1 Corinthians 3...

 

17 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Many of our works will be burned...but those who are saved will still be saved.

I know it was long, but I hope it possibly helped.

That definitely helps and totally different from my understanding of it. I could see how it might mean that. It still seems like there is other verses in Hebrews that seem to speak of apostasy. I'm definitely agreeing with you on this whole subject maybe being a little bit too much for me to chew. I guess I thought that since it was scaring me so bad I needed to understand it to overcome the fear, but I'm starting to understand there is no way the Holy Spirit is not doing a work on me with all these "groanings" for Jesus Christ my soul has been having. 

I might just leave the subject of apostasy and the unpardonable sin alone for now ... It was all that my mind was on for a about a week, and it was a horrible place to be.

 

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On 7/22/2016 at 9:18 PM, Wmccarthy99 said:

...I keep thinking  ...I feel  ...I feel  ...I wonder ...I feel   ...I'm just so scared and feel miserable

 

I'm going to a new church and need to speak with my pastor about this on Sunday if he's not to busy.

Well I'm a little late to the party, I sure hope you've settled this with your preacher by now.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” - Jeremiah 17:9

“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” - Proverbs 28:26

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” - Proverbs 3:5

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” - 2 Timothy 3:16

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” - James 4:7

You know the Romans road and have, in your heart, made biblical repentance towards God and put your trust in Jesus Christ.  If you've done that, no matter feelings or thoughts you've had since, they cannot erase your name from the lamb's book of life.  You are eternally saved.  Satan's demons are having a field day with your emotions young and weak Christian.  They are tirelessly working day in and day out to separate you from God by exploiting your weaknesses, even though you're saved, if they can get you to return down the old path, they'll have victory, at least for a time.

Separate yourself from any strange flesh, the world's music and the hellavision.  Confess your sins to the Lord and fill your mind with the Word of God.  Learn to hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost, he will show you your sins, what you need to work on and teach you the Good Book.  Through faith you can rest in the assurance that God's Word is true.  If the Bible says you are saved, the issue is settled FOREVER.  That doesn't mean you're perfect or having nothing else to repent of, you'll probably be repenting daily for some years if you're as a broke down sinner as I was and still am.  Such repentance is not for salvation, but to maintain fellowship with the Lord, to keep him hearing our prayers.

Faith means to Trust.  Exercise some faith in God's Word, which is Jesus Christ.  

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