This is not to generate any debate on this millennium-long controversial faith concept. I have quietly been raising questions in my own solitude, digging up evidences for and against both sides of the divide, and upholding the teaching of the scriptures above personal theory.
So I write this as a report of a long time solemn study on this issue that has caused some to fall into hyper-grace; taking the grace of God for lasciviousness, while making some to become burdened with weights of self-imposed guilt; being ignorant of the potency of the blood of Christ to forgive.
A character-study of someone who fell away from salvation to perdition that is commonly cited is Judas Iscariot. Some claimed Jesus had not died when Judas hung himself to death, so they believe it is not possible that he was saved.
But Jesus said in John 17:12, “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.”
It would be right to say all the disciples were saved by his name (probably not by his blood at this time), except for Judas.
One important thing that acted against Judas eternal salvation as cited by Bible scholars is that he (Judas) never believed Jesus as the Messiah. Probably, he did believed him as a Master with ability to perform miracles, but he never believed him as LORD.
See what Jesus said in John 6:64, “Yet there are some of you who do not believe.”
For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.
And the benchmark requirement for salvation is faith in Christ. For the just shall live by faith.
Now to my book of Hebrews discoveries.
Heb.6.4-6, “For it is impossible to restore to repentance those who were once enlightened–those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come–and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people to repentance again because they are nailing the Son of God to the cross again by rejecting him, holding him up to public shame.”
I sent this to one of my friends, who is a Bible scholar, and a firm believer in eternal salvation (once saved forever saved).
So he said, “Note that scriptures said, “enlightened” not saved.
NIV, KJV, RSV all used the word enlightened.
This implies one being free of ignorance. Completely understanding everything with nothing left wanted. Such a person has basically seen it all, been in the midst of it all, but turned their backs.”
But I asked, “is it possible to receive Holy Spirit by just enlightenment or by faith in what we heard?”
Since the verses says they shared in Holy Spirit and tasted the word of life and then turn back.
Heb.7.25 says, *”Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him.*
He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf.
So he is able to save, once and forever.
Fast forward into Hebrews 10:14, “For by one offering He has perfected forever *those who are being sanctified*
Note the words, ‘being sanctified.’
Meaning they aren’t there yet. They are worked on by the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.
(As Grandpa John would advocate in 1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”).
Meaning, they are not perfect, but they are on a threshing floor, being sanctified on a daily basis. They have faith and obedience to the Christ, as LORD and Saviour.
Hebrews 10:22 says, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water”
We hold on to our faith by our confession of hope.
But in Verse 26-29 the writer of Hebrews says “For if we sin willfully after we received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgement, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”
Here is my temporary conclusion:
Whatever anyone would need to get saved forever had been provided for by the sacrifice of Jesus. But like in the beginning, God has not taken away from man the gift of his ability to choose. You may have been brought into this eternal salvation, but your choice to walk out or stay put is still intact.
David was asked to choose between being tormented by the hands of enemies and by the hand of the All Powerful God.
David knew the reach of God’s mighty hand that transcends the universe, he knew the breathe from His nostrils are like fiery flame. He knew His eyes are like thousands sun, but he also knew His mercy is without end. He chose to fall in the hand of God rather than in the hand of men. For God is merciful, but not men.
Although Hebrews 10:31 would say it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But regardless of how far you have walked away from the cross, if there is still breathe in your lungs, reach out to God from the depth of your fallen state. His hand is far reaching, His mercy endures forever.