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USA Taxpayer: Salvation
These notes are not an attempt to change God's word in any way, they are simply a reflection of what I have learned as I explore the Bible and other resources. Perhaps, hopefully, they will give the reader an incentive to explore the Bible and build their own personal relationship with God.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

A Few Basics
* What is a Christian?
A Christian is a person who believes in and looks to Jesus Christ for his salvation.
* What is salvation?
Salvation is the forgiveness and deliverance from all of our sins as a free gift from God, through our faith in Jesus Christ, as written in the Christan Bible.
* Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is God, who came to earth as the Son of God, a man, to help us understand God. He paid the penalty of our sins so that if we believe in Him, we will be welcome to live with Him forever in paradise.
* Who is God?
God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth... Everything!
* How do we become a Christian?
It is absolutely necessary that we understand and believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Believing in Jesus means much more than just acknowledging that he existed, it also means that we must receieve salvation...
* How do we qualify for the free gift of salvation?
We must believe that Jesus Chriat paid the penalty of death for our sins, we must repent and ask forgiveness for our sins, and we must surrender our soul to Jesus and God the Father.

These are my notes on Christian Salvation. While I believe the Lord has made salvation very easy to achieve, I also believe salvation is sometimes difficult to understand, but understanding is not necessary to receive salvation.
The best example I find in the Bible is The Criminal on the Cross, Luke 23:39-43. The criminal simply asked Jesus to remember him in death and Jesus replied that he would be be with Jesus in paradise that very day... That's it, nothing else required... The criminal asked and he was saved!
When we ask forgivness and surrender our soul to Jesus, from then on it is not a matter of us clinging to Him... Jesus takes possesion and promises... He will never lose us!
This is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. (John 6:39)

Audio: How Permanent is Your Salvation?
Below are the Bible verses (NIV) that follow along with this audio.
Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)
All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:37)
This is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given me, but raise them up at the last day. (John 6:39)
To me this is the most powerful evidence, assuming that we are given to Jesus the instant we are born again, and Jesus promises he will lose NONE! I don't see any way to misunderstand this verse.
Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47)
NOTE: These first four verses are spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of John. I tend to recognize direct quotes from Jesus as a higher value, especially those He preceded with "Verily verily" or "Very truly."
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10)
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. Hebrews 10:11)
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:14)
Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. (Hebrews 10:17)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! (Matthew 7:22-23)
NOTE: This is very interesting, Jesus does not tell them they are backsliders or they have fallen away... He simply says, "I never knew you."
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isaiah 64:6)
And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:6)
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined, and everyone undergoes discipline, then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:6-11)
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:28)

Bible Verses That Refute "Eternal Security" - Once Saved Always Saved.
This review of the above audio was supplied by my Pastor at The Church at Creston LCMS...
The speaker is definitely of a Baptist background and believes in "once saved - always saved" at least according to the first 20 minutes that I listened in. But he does have some good points such as "salvation being a present reality and we don't have to wait until we die or the judgment to have our salvation". So just because it isn't Lutheran Doctrine it is not all bad!
1 Hebrews Passages:
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
NOTE: The author of Hebrews, Paul or an unknown, seems to take a more severe stand than Jesus. If we fall away or sin, then we cannot be brought back? I doubt there Is a Christian who has never fallen away and sinned, so this would seem to include everybody.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (Hebrews 10:26-27)
NOTE: If we deliberately and knowingly sin is closest to where I am, but it is hard to deny what Jesus Himself said in John 6:39. I think NONE means NONE!
But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back. But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. (Hebrews 10:38-39)
2 Doctrinal Apostasy Passages: LCMS Doctrine?
apostasy: the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief.
From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church... Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:17,28-30)
NOTE: Sorry, this is not a very useful verse. It can be, and often is used to accuse or cast doubt on what another person believes or is saying, no matter who is saying or accusing. Statements like "You are a ravining wolf" and "God is not a liar" are simply used to bolster what the accusers point of view saying and diminish others.
Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:18-21)
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. (2 Timothy 2:16-18)
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)
NOTE: Where?
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith. Grace be with you all. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
NOTE: In his day, Martin Luther had quite a few "opposing ideas."
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. (2 Peter 2:1)
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. (2 Peter 3:17)
Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:8-9)
3 Moral Apostasy Passages:
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud." (2 Peter 2:20-22)
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20)
4 Revelation Passages:
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Revelation 2:4-5)
The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. (Revelation 3:5)
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (Revelation 3:16-17)
5 Old Testament Passage:
But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die. Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die. (Ezekiel 18:24-26)
Other Scriptural Arguments That Refute "Eternal Security..."
A. The fact that the bible exhorts faithfulness
My Conclusion...
As above, if we deliberately and knowingly sin, it is certainly not good, but would that block a Christian from paradise? While I don't intend to test my salvation, nor would I advise anyone else to do so, I tend to believe "once saved, always saved" is true. I think John 6:39 says it best when Jesus says very clearly, "I shall lose none of all those He has given me."
One thing in the audio I noticed, while God loves us all, it says we are not His children until we are born-again. I haven't found anything in the Bible to that effect but God the Father does call us his children. Since I have 3 children, that is something I can relate to.
The many verses that say we can fall away or commit unforgivable sins, are contrary to once saved, always saved... However, in light of Jesus' promise to never let us go, I must assume that he simply will not allow those who belong to Him to commit those unforgivable sins.

25 Reasons Why Salvation Is Permanent For Christians
Here are 25 reasons that conclude that salvation is permanent for Christians, and that once acquired by faith in Christ it cannot be lost, forfeited or nullified by subsequent behaviors, attitudes or events.

I'm a better Christian than you...
One of the most effective deceptions that Satan has foisted upon Christians is the idea that certain individuals are more spiritually mature than less-enlightened believers. Those who hold to an "I'm a better Christian than you" mindset can always find Scripture that will support their stance. What they need to do is examine their rationale for holding to this view.

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