Tim Johnson, editor
March 9, 2003
a Christian be Lost?
it an Exaggeration?
"A WORD TO THE WISE IS SUFFICIENT"
On January 16, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia lifted off into space for a sixteen-day journey only to be sixteen minutes shy of landing safely back on earth. The brevity of life is flashed before us once again. It is moments like this that should cause us all to realize how precious the life we have been given by God really is. Those seven souls aboard the Columbia were headed home to their loved ones. After sixteen days in space and just sixteen minutes from landing, the shuttle broke up and exploded. They were so close to returning to their families, but, instead, began the very first day of an eternity. God knows the answer as to where they will spend eternity.
How much time do you and I have left on this earth? Nobody knows. For all we know, we could be within our last sixteen days or sixteen minutes. The Bible teaches: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up" (II Pet. 3:10). I am convinced that if every person would live life as if it were their last day, what a loving environment we would have. You know, we just may be taking our last breaths of life upon this earth. We must be prepared, we must be ready for our Lord's eternity.
Can we know where we will be spending our eternity? Sure we can. Our God is a God of promise (Heb. 9:15). God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Therefore, if we do the will of God (Matt. 7:21), we can enter the kingdom of heaven. God has promised that those that abide in His teaching will put on incorruption and live with Him eternally. Because God is a God of promise who cannot lie, He has told us specifically what we must do to have eternal life. We must believe (Heb. 11:6), repent of our sins (Acts 2:38; 17:30), confess Jesus (Rom. 10:10; Matt. 10:32), be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) and life faithfully until death (Rev. 2:10). That is what God has asked us to do in order to have eternal life. The apostle Paul wrote: "Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality" (Rom. 2:7).
It saddened everyone here on earth to learn that the seven astronauts had just spent sixteen days in space and were just sixteen minutes away from home here on earth when they perished. Good friend, God has given you the choice upon where you will spend your eternity by way of the 16th chapter, the 16th verse of the book of Mark: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."
-- By Richard Thetford
A man claims to be a strict Calivinist. He says that once you are saved, you cannot be lost. If a person lives a sinful lifestyle after being saved, he was not really saved in the first place. What does the Bible say about a Christian being lost?
First of all, the Bible is clear that we can be sure of our salvation. "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13). The apostle tells us we can know we have eternal life. There are some who still do not understand that we can rest confidently in the assurance that God's grace has saved us.
On the other hand, the fact that we can know we are saved does not prevent us from choosing to live away from God and His grace. The scripture tells us in no uncertain terms that a genuine Christian can be lost.
For instance, if a believer abandons the cross and goes back to a legalistic way of salvation, that believer has given up on grace and is lost. "And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace" (Gal. 5:3,4). Paul is warning the Galatian Christians that if they accept a way of salvation that includes keeping pieces of the old law, they are obligated to keep the whole law. And, by choosing to be justified by the law, they have given up on being justified by the grace that has come through Jesus Christ. So, a Christian who turns to legalism, (the old law, SK) to be saved has, in fact, lost grace.
Further, one can be lost by going back into a sinful lifestyle. Take time to read (2 Peter 2:18-22).
Peter has been speaking in the above passage of those who call themselves Christians but live worldly lives. He tells us they are worse off having chosen salvation and then returned to sin. They are again entangled in sin (slaves to sin) and overcome (lost). They have gone back into Satan's domain by choosing a wicked lifestyle.
As you mention in your question, some would claim neither of these could have been genuine Christians to begin with. But God speaks to that as well. Throughout the Hebrew Letter God is telling believers not to return to Judaism for salvation. He explains that Christ is far superior to anything related to the old law. Then God warns those considering abandoning Christ. (Read Hebrews 6:4-8). Notice the words used concerning these people. They were enlightened, tasting the heavenly gift (salvation), were partakers of the Holy Spirit (given to those who are born again). They had been part of the Word and seen the future of God's plans (the gospel message). Yet, they had fallen away.
How could they fall away from something they did not have? How could they fall away unless they lost what they did have? As God tells us, they had become cursed, failing to produce the fruits expected of born again people.
The mistake I think that is made in this thinking is the idea that man cannot change his mind. No one I know would argue that a person must choose to believe in Christ, choose to commit his or her life to Christ. Yet some would argue that a person cannot choose differently after that. The fact is, we can make many choices to alter our walk with God. Some of those choices can and will cost our salvation. But those choices always center in choosing to abandon God's means of salvation (grace) or God's call to holiness. We must choose to believe in Christ to be saved. We can choose to stop believing in Christ and thereby be lost.
--By David Thurman
The last verse of the last chapter in John, we can find these words, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" (John 21:25).
Think about all that is recorded in Matthew through John, concerning the life of Christ. In the span of about three and one half years, the personal ministry of Jesus took place. When I study what was written, I see a very busy Savior spending His time actively doing the will of His Father (John 17:4). This meant teaching, praying, and demonstrating who He was and that what He taught was truth, through miracles.
Yet, John tells us that there were so many things that Jesus did, he supposed the world itself could not contain the books, if they were recorded. Is that true? The apostle was inspired, and if anyone was aware of much of what the Lord did, while He walked with man, John would know.
This causes me to stop and wonder, just how much could be written about us, relating to what we do for the Lord? Would it be a short book? Would it contain observations of an active person or an inactive person? Would books written about us reveal gaps between being active and not? Would your biography, so to speak, be a help to other Christians, or not?
We are to let our light shine for Christ (Matthew 5:13-16). We are to be active for the cause of Christ. Jesus made use of His three and one half years. What have you done in the same amount of time? Make use of your time knowing that some day we will give an account for what we did in this body (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Are you learning from Jesus? Let's be found busy when our time is over.
-- by Chuck Bartlett