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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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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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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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R. G. White
On 10/27/2018 at 11:12 AM, 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?"

Good questions all. We have some of the answers already, thanks to divine revelation, but probably not all of the answers yet, as God wishes to leave us free to choose loyalty to Him based on the evidence, and not to be forced by absolute proof. I believe the core of the answer lies in the character of God Himself. He has our best interest at heart, and we can trust Him absolutely.

Now, here are some specifics, as I understand them. Without the slightest good reason, our first parents chose to distrust and disobey God. In so doing, they so completely deranged the human nature that they would pass on to us, that without divine intervention, we'd never have had the power -- nor the inclination -- to resist Satan's evil suggestions.

For us individually, the process of salvation from our hopeless, helpless condition, begins with a divine initiative. Not only was the cross that saves us all God's doing, but Jesus said no one can come to Him unless the Father draws him. That drawing, that attraction, is a glimpse of the infinite love of God for us, and He will not let us go unless and until our stubborn resistance and refusal render our cases irretrievable. We do have the free will to refuse, however perverse that refusal may be.

I believe the question of whether it is harder to be saved or lost misses the point. We cannot be saved by default. We must make some radical commitments, and follow through with them, in response to God's grace, or there's no point in the Great Physician even taking on our case. On the other hand, we must stubbornly beat back all the power of God's love, until we are hopelessly hardened, in order to be lost.

God does not force us to accept salvation. When we refuse the light, we are left in the dark unless and until God can bring us a further opportunity. Thus benighted, we can go on in carnal security, never fearing anything. As for the final punishment of the wicked, there is a thorough judgment process first. A verdict is reached, in the investigative judgment, based on a careful examination of all the facts, and only those whose free choices have fully unfitted them to live will be condemned. Then, during the millennial judgment, a careful determination is made as to the minimum degree of punishment that will be required in order to satisfy justice. There will be no slap-happy "frying." In the end, every knee shall freely bow, acknowledging the goodness of God and the righteousness of all His decisions, prior to the execution of the judgment.

It will be seen that all God does is in view of the best interests of all created beings.

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JoeMo
1 hour ago, R. G. White said:

As for the final punishment of the wicked, there is a thorough judgment process first. A verdict is reached, in the investigative judgment, based on a careful examination of all the facts,

I respectfully disagree with God having to carefully examine all the facts prior to passing judgement on a person.  God is omniscient and transcendent in time. He can travel back and forth in time like we can travel back and forth across our living room.  The names written down in the book of life were written from the foundation of the world. "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev. 13:8)  God knew the destination of every human being to ever be born before He even created Adam and Eve.

Clarification: I am not talking about predestination here; I'm talking about foreknowledge.  They are 2 different things.

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R. G. White
6 minutes ago, JoeMo said:

I respectfully disagree with God having to carefully examine all the facts prior to passing judgement on a person.  God is omniscient and transcendent in time. He can travel back and forth in time like we can travel back and forth across our living room.  The names written down in the book of life were written from the foundation of the world. "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev. 13:8)  God knew the destination of every human being to ever be born before He even created Adam and Eve.

Clarification: I am not talking about predestination here; I'm talking about foreknowledge.  They are 2 different things.

I agree that God doesn't have to do this. He could make just as good a decision in an instant, without going over anything. However, no one else would be able to see what He was doing. God has apparently chosen transparency for our sake. The millennial judgment is carried out by the redeemed saints (in union with Christ). "The saints shall judge the world." I Corinthians 6:2

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JoeMo

In the judgement, mankind is not the only one being judged.  The unfallen angels and other sentient beings are also judging God/Jesus.  That judgement is pronounced when all of heaven exclaims "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!"

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R. G. White
1 minute ago, JoeMo said:

In the judgement, mankind is not the only one being judged.  The unfallen angels and other sentient beings are also judging God/Jesus.  That judgement is pronounced when all of heaven exclaims "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!"

Yes, indeed. This of course does not suggest that others could have the power to take God off His throne, but the eternal security of the universe depends on everyone being perfectly happy to have Him there. I love how He has it all planned out for us!

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