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8thdaypriest

Which is easier - to be saved, or to be lost?

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8thdaypriest

I asked my hubby this question.  After a long pause, he said, "I don't know."  It's hard to give up control to a supreme power outside of yourself.  It's easy to continue with sins you like.  It's easy to tell yourself that God will save you, even with your bad habits, 'cause your basically a nice guy' and God wants to save you. 

We discussed this for a few minutes.  We wondered whether Satan or Christ "has the advantage" when it comes to saving people. 

What if God has set the balance, so neither He nor Satan has the "advantage".  That way, Satan can't cry "FOUL.  You set things to Your advantage."   And the one who is ultimately lost, can't cry,
Injustice! God gave Satan the advantage and that's why I was deceived to my destruction."

I've heard preachers say "It's easy to be saved."  But is it - really.  I know it becomes easier once one surrenders to Christ.  But the tests grow stronger and more subtle and more difficult.  Satan targets believers, and "seeks to devour". 

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The Wanderer

A very good question!

I can explain my version of "the answer" by briefly relating a conversation I had today with someone who has cancer; and it was mentioned how "the dying part is easy, it's the living that can be so hard!" Truly, there are many contexts and points of view on this. I look forward to following this topic. :)

Edited by The Wanderer
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Narcah

Broad is the way that leads to destruction, narrow and hard is the way to salvation...

By default we are lost, born into sin. 

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Gregory Matthews

By default, with the sin of Adam, condemnation came to all.  Romans 5:18

By default, with the death of Christ, salvation came to all.  Romans 5:18 & 19

Salvation is ours to reject.

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The Wanderer

This "default" business creates theological havoc. If we are "agents of free will" then why did we not have any choice on that score? Now, we are FORCED to "accept salvation." or "die by being burned in the lake of fire. So when God starts the deep-fry on a person, will they be given anesthetic or pain-killers?  Should this be called "mercy killing" or "euthanasia?" I didnt ask to be "born in sin" I didnt choose it in any way shape or form; and I doubt that my parents did either. Is it just that untold millions be consigned the the righteous Deep-Fry of God's "justice?"

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The Wanderer

"God will judge those who do not accept his offer of grace."

I heard such statements since I was a child and in turn I repeated them often until for the first 30 years of my life, but there is a problem with that thinking.

Grace is not grace if it is offered. If grace is an OPTION on the menu of life then it's not grace. Grace is pro-active, not reactive, if grace is reactive then it is a reward or payment for something done. If grace is something done in return for an action or belief on your part then it is something that is owed to you

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The Wanderer

to say that God gave me grace; God gave me something I dont deserve; is to say that He will kill me for being born. I had no choice to be born in sin; yet I [apparently] am going to die in sin IF I dont "accept" His grace! So YES  Being "saved" must be harder than being "lost."

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8thdaypriest
11 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

By default, with the sin of Adam, condemnation came to all.  Romans 5:18

By default, with the death of Christ, salvation came to all.  Romans 5:18 & 19

Salvation is ours to reject.

I AGREE!!

The Calvinists teach that God's will is supreme, and He decides whom He will save.  Man has no choice.

Armenians teach that man's will decides.  God will save those who CHOOSE to accept His offer of grace.  Man's will is stronger than God's will.

Neither of those seems right to me.  A man cannot accept God's offer of grace, without God's help to do so.  Faith is a gift from God.

But I can refuse the GIFT.   It's not a gift, if I cannot refuse it. 

I believe that God created sentient beings (in His image) with the ability to make choices based upon evidence (rather than merely instinct). 

Of course, God could overpower the will of the human.  But the Creator has made a choice - to hold back His power, lest He overpower the human will - when it comes to the choice to accept - or to reject - the influence of His Spirit.  THIS is the key factor. 

We are born with a physical nature that craves bad things (we do have some instincts).  We are exposed to less than perfect role models, and taught lies. 

Is the Spirit of God, STRONGER THAN all of the other influences upon us?  Is the Spirit of God STRONGER THAN our own will? 

To the second question:  The Spirit of God WILL NOT OVERPOWER human will.   We are FREE to resist.

To the first question:  Yes.  "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world."  (1Jn 4:4).

But you must ALLOW Him "in".   So it's all down to resistance.  That is our CHOICE to make - to welcome, or to resist. 

Consistent, ongoing resistance IS the "unpardonable sin".   So long as one resists, he is not open to the healing of God's Spirit.   Even resurrection from the dead us because of His Spirit.

"He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you." (Rom 8:11 NIV)

It's THE SPIRIT of GOD - vs - all the other forces pushing and pulling us.  Which one is STRONGER? 

 

 

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8thdaypriest
6 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

This "default" business creates theological havoc. If we are "agents of free will" then why did we not have any choice on that score? Now, we are FORCED to "accept salvation." or "die by being burned in the lake of fire. So when God starts the deep-fry on a person, will they be given anesthetic or pain-killers?  Should this be called "mercy killing" or "euthanasia?" I didnt ask to be "born in sin" I didnt choose it in any way shape or form; and I doubt that my parents did either. Is it just that untold millions be consigned the the righteous Deep-Fry of God's "justice?"

Those who resisted to their destruction will die at the Glorious Return (Daniel 12:2-3). 

Of those raised as "the rest" at the 8th millennium, multitudes will die by the "glory of God" as they come up to attack Jerusalem.  (I've often wondered if THAT is "suicide by cop".  They know they can't succeed.  They know God will stop them.)

THEN - after the Gog-Magog destruction - comes the final Great White Throne Judgment

I personally believe "the dead" will "stand before" God only in the sense of their records.  If they are DEAD - they are not conscious.  I don't read of a THIRD RESURRECTION.  When "the sea shall give up the dead" - that isn't a resurrection.  It's a FINAL REVIEW of everyone who died in the sea. 

So the "fire" (Lake of Fire) is a destruction - not of their bodies - but only of their unconscious spirits (which God has retained).   God destroys His perfect memory of them, so that they can never be resurrected again, to continue their lives. 

It is final CLOSURE for the redeemed - NOT "punishment" for the lost. 

Just my view. 

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phkrause
23 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

By default, with the sin of Adam, condemnation came to all.  Romans 5:18

By default, with the death of Christ, salvation came to all.  Romans 5:18 & 19

Salvation is ours to reject.

I agree

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Ellen

This topic harkens to the book by Elder Venden, "Hard to be lost"

Jesus has provided everything needed for us to be saved.  It is our Relationship with Him that makes it easy. 

 

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JoeMo

IMHO, when Adam and Eve sinned, our DNA changed. Instead of having a natural genetic predisposition to righteousness, we now have a natural genetic predisposition to sin.  Our "sin gene" was turned on.  Without the indwelling of God's Spirit and His grace, we are all doomed to receive the wages of sin.  We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners - predisposed from birth to put self first.  Without Christ, it is impossible to be saved  if we have made a conscious decision to reject the grace offered by Christ.

Once we truly receive Christ (not only believe who He says He is and what He has done for us, but to absolutely depend on that) I believe it becomes harder to be lost than to be saved.  We have accepted the gift of the golden ticket from Christ - He cannot take it back, since it was a gift.  I guess we can choose not to cash it in; but once we have experienced God's love, who would want to do that?  There are those who try to "help" Jesus save us through their good works.  Nothing wrong with good works; but they are the RESULT of grace received; not a PREREQUISITE.

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JoeMo
On 10/27/2018 at 6:12 PM, 8thdaypriest said:

I personally believe "the dead" will "stand before" God only in the sense of their recordsIf they are DEAD - they are not conscious.  I don't read of a THIRD RESURRECTION.  When "the sea shall give up the dead" - that isn't a resurrection.  It's a FINAL REVIEW of everyone who died in the sea. 

So the "fire" (Lake of Fire) is a destruction - not of their bodies - but only of their unconscious spirits (which God has retained).   God destroys His perfect memory of them, so that they can never be resurrected again, to continue their lives. 

 

I think this is a view worth considering; but I'm not totally on board with it yet.

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