Praise The Lord for your ministry!
The letter No Longer Deceived struck a real chord in me as I went through a similar experience.
My wife, son and I went to an Independent Baptist church for approximately 9 years. My son was enrolled in the Christian school that was affiliated with the church. We were taught OSAS [once saved always saved] as well and I had a real problem with the doctrine for a few years. But we settled into the doctrine and I can tell you it affected all of us to the point where things got so bad in our walk that we questioned our own christianity and that of many of the people that went to church with us. Eventually we left the church because we just did not feel love in the church and there was so much backbiting and disruptive forces in the church that we had to get out. So then we started "church shopping." We wanted to find a good bible preaching church and start getting fed.
Our son continued to go to this school I mentioned above and he just got worse and worse in his behaviour. He was questioning everything about what he was being taught and felt that the system was rotten and full of hypocrisy. We didn't understand the seriousness of his despair until things got so bad he attempted suicide when he was 16! The teachers in the school weren't even too upset! Their complacency can only be explained by the fact that they must have believed that he would have gone to heaven I guess. I'm not quite sure about that but I stood up at a parent teacher meeting and castigated the teachers and principle for the lack of the one quality that is supposed to set us apart from everybody that is not christian and that is the gift of LOVE!
I won't go into the miracle of how God restored our son's health but where there was serious lifelong liver damage done; when it was all over there was absolutely no damage to his organs. The doctors said from the tests that there would be lifelong damage and there was none! It was all part of God's plan to bring us back to him. It was the incredible jolt of our son's attempted suicide that woke us up! I pleaded with God to show me the truth about Himself and the truth about why our christianity was so dead! I also asked Him to show us why our son was so miserable that he didn't want to live. God graciously removed me from my job for 11 months with a serious neck accident that happened at work when I slipped off an icy step while delivering mail. I took this time to diligently research God's Word and He gave me revelation after revelation concerning many, many things.
The first bastion of false doctrine to fall was OSAS. I must tell you ... I was in total shock for 3 days! No kidding. My wife and son like to remind me now how they were worried about my health and state of mind, I was in such shock about the truth. We realized that we weren't even saved! Our Christianity was more of a ... belonging to a church than having an intimate relationship with Jesus. We also realized with profound gratification to God that He spared our son's suicide, which would have put him in hell as he would have been guilty of murdering himself! God used that crisis to shake us up and propel us to dig into His Word for truth. I thank God for revealing this truth to us and all the other glorious truths He has given us. It is 4 years later now and we are going to a great church with an annointed Pastor who loves God and preaches the truth. Our son is doing well and we are eternally grateful for this and for everything.
I want to thank you for the great web site you have and the awesome tapes and books you provide. I listened to your sermon on the false doctrine of OSAS and this was after I had already been given that truth from God's Word. Your taped message was so clear and the preponderance of bible verses that blow this false doctrine out of the lying waters of deceit, makes one wonder how the lie is so rampant in Christian circles.
The only answer I have is that many like me never seriously read the Bible because we didn't think we had to. We relied on the pastor to lead us. I pity those pastors that are leading their flocks into hell. God's Word warns of the retribution they will pay for leading the sheep the wrong way. Their guilt will be much greater as they should have known better! The deceptive doctrine of OSAS played a big part in making me complacent! Almost complacent to death! Thank you for giving me the added ammunition to be able to show the truth to people blinded by this most insidious lie of the devil.
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