Hi! I have just been devouring your website! I was raised in a Southern Baptist home, and was always taught "Once Saved, Always Saved." I was also taught that the references you have on your site [about people who willingly sin] are only talking about the unsaved [people who have never accepted Jesus]. Over the course of my life, I have been taught a hodgepodge of both Extreme and Moderate OSAS doctrines.
I never found anyone who could adequately explain how a believer could, at some point, commit " the unpardonable sin" and still go to heaven. I have always believed deep down that salvation was conditional on OUR acceptance or rejection, and not simply at one point of our lives, but over our entire lifetime -- but until I visited your site I was never able to adequately express myself (primarily because I wasn't as faithful as I should have been in reading the Word, and when I did, I tended to believe [though sometimes half-heartedly] the teachings of my pastors and leaders).
Here's what drew me to your site: Just this past Sunday, I got into a debate with my Sunday School class members, because I said that I believed we could "give back" our salvation by willfully choosing to renounce Christ. After a chorus of raucous "NOOOOO!"s, my "error" was "explained" to me -- but the person "correcting" me did not cite Scripture, but "a knowledgeable THEOLOGIAN!" I was incensed that I was being told in essence that a THEOLOGIAN knew more about the Bible and could explain it better than the Bible could explain ITSELF!
After attending worship, I was still pretty upset. I went to one of my pastors and told him what happened. He told me that the "unpardonable sin" WAS PARDONABLE FOR BELIEVERS, EVEN IF THE "BELIEVER" DID NOT REPENT OF IT, BECAUSE IF WE SAY THAT GOD WILL NOT FORGIVE A "BELIEVER" OF IT, WE ARE SAYING THAT THE BLOOD OF JESUS IS NOT ENOUGH. I was shocked. I said that I believed that Jesus' blood could cover all sorts of things, that it could cover ALL that we repent of, but that if JESUS said it was "unpardonable," how could WE justify it as being "pardonable?" He told me he wanted me to read Charles Stanley and Charles Ryrie so that I could have a better "understanding."
So I decided, if I was going to make a good decision about what was "right," I would examine both sides of the argument. (Didn't Solomon say in Proverbs that he who answers a matter without reading it brings folly and shame?) I typed in "Once Saved Always Saved" and got a listing of many sites, yours included. What I found was that the OSAS sites didn't back up much of their teachings with scripture. That bothered me, since I had just gone through that 2 hours before in Sunday School. But YOUR site was different -- instead of "reading into" scripture and having to "explain" what it said, it simply let it speak FOR ITSELF.
Once Saved Always Saved Is Another GospelSince visiting your site, I have found lots of things that simply AREN'T TAUGHT at my church by way of omission. Some verses I have read I have never read before [to my shame], and some have been "redefined" to only be applied to those who have never been believers, just as in my youth. I am happy to say that since I have started asking questions and have provided Scriptural backing for NOT believing in OSAS, I have had some of my FRIENDS start asking questions about these false doctrines. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to their hearts, and that the Truth of God's Word will be taught openly.
I would appreciate it if you would send me some information about your ministry. I have enjoyed the excerpts from your new book and may purchase a copy [funds permitting, of course -- I am a married mother of three!]. Thank you for your faithful work. It is because of your tangible faith that I have re-examined my "Christian walk" and strive even harder toward the goal, for the glory of God. My eyes have now been opened. In Christ (CA)
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