When you say a person can only be saved once what does that mean? Does that ensure their place in heaven? No matter what their behavior or actions? If so, what happens if they go on to commit horrible crimes and sins and never repent? Does being saved one time excuse their sins so they enter the gates of paradise?
hey! thanks for asking!A person is saved (will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus)/justified when they trust Jesus with their life and salvation because of His work, not their's:Romans 10:9: if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart othat God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Justification is a legal action that happens once where a person is made right in the sight of God by the perfect work of Jesus. His death has atoned for their sin, past, present, and FUTURE. The gavel has been sounded in the courtroom. Done.We may not know/understand the exact timing of when it happens, but God does. For some, they think they know the moment, for others it seems like a long process... but it is once. At that point in time God enters a covenant with us- kind of like a marriage, but a perfect marriage- "I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded(husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part." right? :)...the institution of marriage is a human picture God gave us for our relationship with Him...So, yes, if you are in covenant with God, no matter the actions, he has paid for all of it- you are saved. This is where it gets tricky. We are all sinners, right? So all of us Christians will continue to sin our whole lives. And much of our sin we are not even aware of to repent from, ya know? BUT a true person that follows Christ will desire to know their sin more so that they can turn from it and repent because they know that is what is for their good. It's a heart posture that the holy spirit gives, a contrition. If a person says that they are a Christian but has a blatant disregard for their sin all the time, never repents, and has no humility or broken heartedness about it ever, then I may call into question if they are really wanting to follow and trust Jesus. God commits to enduring to the end all those who he is in covenant with. meaning, those who are justified by jesus WILL follow him until the end by the holy spirit, by his grace. brace yourself here, those who are not endured until the end were never really saved/justified/in covenant.... which is so hard! Sum up. Yes, Jesus paid for all your sins one time on the cross. you are justified by him. But also a person that trusts and loves jesus will demonstrate a heart posture of repentance. did that help?? :\...its tough.
This is tough. So, a person who lives a kind, selfless, humble life....always loving and doing for others but has never really had faith of any kind will not go to heaven? Some people, in some parts of the world don't even have exposure to the bible so how can the same expectations even be there for them? It's a great concept that God sent his son to die for us and cover our sinful ways as long as we believe and trust but then, if ya think about it, it also seems unfair.
great questions. I know..but the grace and mercy are unbelievably beautiful. correct. it is jesus that saves by grace, it is not us that save ourselves by being good. thank God! Moralism (earning our salvation by being moral people) is NOT the gospel. In fact, it is anti-gospel. not to mention, it doesn't work- we can NEVER be good enough, right? and how exhausting. we do not perform to get God to love, accept, save us. He choses to out of his grace and love for us. additionally, we are all sinners in need of jesus. no person is perfectly kind, selfless, and loving. even that person is sinful and in need of a savior. the bible exposure question is tough. Romans 1:19-20: For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.God's creation is meant to point us to him. The billions of stars twinkling on a clear night, the view from a snowy mountain top, the way a palm tree raises it's branches as if praising it's creator, the vastness of the ocean. Creation is made to make us think about what glorious person created such things. Beauty, kindness, all good things are to point us to God. Any kind of redemption that happens in the world points us to ask more questions. All good things come from God and are meant to direct our gaze to him. BUT we do need scripture to understand the work of Jesus. We do not know all the answers here, except to say God calls himself a loving father. We lean into his loving character. He is a person, not a technical robot. What about an infant that passes? ..We trust he a good and loving father. And also, this is why scripture says, go and tell people the news! This is what he calls us to do. the unfairness issue. it depends how you look at it. if you see us how God sees us- all as sinners, then actually we all deserve hell, and it is his incredible grace and mercy and kindness to desire to save us at all! how beautiful! if you look at it as, but we are so good, we deserve heaven, then it does seem unfair. but the truth is, we are not so good, but God is so good to us! We are saved by his great grace alone, and also he is God, he gets to make all the rules...which is hard for us too...you are asking really good, hard theological questions, that do not have simple answers. please keep asking, discussing, researching, reading, praying. God is honored by it and wants to reveal more to you. thank you so much asking :) is it clearer or no?
I encourage you to read Romans 3 :)
Greetings Laura! My name is Heather and I just have a quick question about your blog! If you could send me an email at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com that would be great!
What about all the horrible things that happen to good people? The children with cancer or painful diseases? The senseless school shootings? The list could go on and on? Are these things the gifts from a loving father who never gives a bad gift? I know we have been given free will so some of the pain and suffering come from others bad choices but how does that make sense to the innocent who are suffering? How does that soothe a mother who lost a child to SIDS? Sometimes the pain and suffering feel like they come from a place of evil and certainly not love.
ugh. this is SO hard. i don't wanna even try, but this is what i can offer here. We live in a fallen, broken, sinful world, and Satan is the prince. Jesus is still king and ultimately has won, but for now in His perfect timing he is still allowing suffering. We beg him for his return!!! Lord Jesus come quickly!!! God IS NOT the author of sin. Absolutely NOT are shootings and disease and SIDS a gift from God, he HATES death, sin and disease and grieves with us. But, you are correct, we have choices and we sin and He hates it! That is the reason he sent to son to begin to redeem it now through the holy spirit. Ultimately he will get rid of all sadness and we will live in the perfect world we have always longed for. In this age though, 1) Satan is still trying to draw people away from God however he can, He really does work evil in this world. 2) The fallenness of this world causes natural disasters, disease, mental illness, death, etc. and 3) our own sin hurts everyone around us. God is not the author of this but does allow it because of his own great knowledge that we do not understand- this is so hard and painful for us. Suffering does remind us how much we need Jesus and want him back, it makes us long for heaven.Our consolation is that God promises to work all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). He desires for us to trust that he really is good even still, and that our sufferings are NOT the end of the story. One day it will all just be a distant bad dream.In the midst of suffering Jesus promises 1) to enter in. He knows what it is to suffer as an innocent man. 2) to be with and care for 3) to work the good out of every painful situation for those that follow him 4) to grieve with/ shed tears with/ rage anger with 4) that one day justice will be had and all wrong things will be put right 5) that all sad things will come untrue. The mother who had a child pass away from SIDS will hold her lively cooing baby in her arms once again. I do not want to be trite or simplistic here. When things we don't understand happen, I encourage us to grieve, be angry, be sad, wrestle with God, these are right/ good responses. its okay to not understand.
*just wanna be clear, the promises I mentioned above are for those that are in Christ...(important detail :))
Why do bad things happen to some people and not others? I know everyone has sadness and losses but some have to suffer some horrible, even unthinkable, circumstances. Why them?
Laura, I'm a friend of Lauren S - and met you back in the day at a Cardinals game. Followed your journey and was praying for you when you were having pregnancy complications. Just want to say I LOVE this!!! So much wisdom in this - we are studying Romans right now too, so I love how this all goes with the story. God is so good and I love all the wisdom He has given to you!!
O man! This breaks my heart. I really don't/can't know why some people suffer more than others, and I probably shouldn't even dare to answer it. But I will say a few things I do know. We do know that the reason we suffer CANNOT because God DOESN'T love us. We know by the cross that he is for us. He loves his creation just like we love the things we create. However, there is an order that God has created for this world, and if one goes against that order it causes suffering. For example, when you get a hair dryer what does it say in the instructions? Warning: Do not throw this in the tub- right?. "Well, why not? what if I would like to throw it in the tub?" Then go ahead, but there will be painful consequences. God gives us an instruction manual/ warning label on the world he created in the commandments because he wants to see us thrive, and not get hurt. When we don't obey, it hurts us and others. So if someone decides to cheat on their spouse or steal from a neighbor, it will cause pain and suffering. Additionally, the more we engage in sin, the harder our hearts become because of the choices we make. So, some suffer because they bit God's order and it bit them back. As for suffering that was totally out of people's control, the book of Job shows us that it is best not to try to even guess- but just grieve continuing to believe in God's goodness and love, we cannot know. check out this free Tim keller sermon on suffering: http://sermons.redeemer.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=29
I can't check out Tim Keller's sermon at the moment but I will. I am glad you mentioned the commandments though because that makes me wonder if our actions, our behavior, doesn't actually determine if we go to heaven or not?! I know you said it doesn't but then why have we been given the commandments at all? I know you said we want to do good to feel closer to God and BECAUSE he loves us. However, if breaking the commandments or taking things out of God's order causes consequence that results in pain doesn't that imply that what we do, our actions do matter?! Or are you saying the consequences and suffering are only in this life and have nothing to do with the afterlife? So, once again, we can break the commandments and cause suffering for ourselves and others but as long as we love God, believe he sent his son to die on the cross and save us, we will be rewarded with life in Heaven? Is that correct or am I missing something? An important piece of this confusing puzzle? I surely must be because this doesn't make sense. Does it?
If some people suffer because they bit God's order and it bit back is that God being angry? Is it God teaching the sinner a lesson? It makes sense to me because I believe in consequence but doesn't that mean God does intend for us to suffer at times? For our own good, in other words.!
Our actions DO NOT determine if we go to heaven. the commandments are his kindness to us to keep us from harm- this is not for salvation. Jesus saves, we do NOT save ourselves by our actions. remember the hair dryer example in my comment above? don't drop it in the tub or it'll hurt. thats what the commandments are. they are an instruction manual for his world. In the time of Moses the commandments were the law, now we have Jesus who kept the law for us, because we CANNOT keep it ourselves- this is the new covenant. can i get a hallelujah?! yes, our actions matter in terms of there will be consequences- but if you are in Christ- then you are saved. period. have you read this entire post? i know its a lot- but it may help to re-read it if you have the time. :)
To the God's order question. NO..it is not like he is up there zapping lightning bolts. I mean, our sin grieves him, but it just the natural consequences of the world. remember, JESUS was the one punished for our sin- all his anger was taken our on Jesus. it is finished.I guess you could see it as teaching a person a lesson. God is sovereign, meaning, in control of all things. And he does discipline those he loves, just like your father would, out of love and care. I think it is always good to be thinking, "what is God trying to show me/ teach me?". But I kindof think of it more as just, there are natural consequences. If you lie to your BF and it hurts her, you do learn that you didn't like that and don't want to continue it.. God does ALLOW us to suffer at times and experience hardship and trials. He promises to use it for good, he works everything for our good for those in Christ. But, don't forget about the fall, and sin- remember- he is not the author of that! but he will work it for good. He is kind, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love. Whenever you have questions about suffering, remember his character. I might encourage you to re read this entire post if you have the time- it may clear come things up a bit. And continue to talk to others, pastors, read, pray, etc. this is tough stuff and hard to do through writing... thanks! :)
I think you have done an awesome job answering some very, very difficult questions that are discussed and debated over and over. Your faith and love for our Lord is comforting and admirable. I want to be like you....strong, steady and sure of His love. Thank you.
Thank you so much. I really am not strong and sure- just ask my husband :), I am filled with belief & unbelief ...just like the next person :). Any strength and wisdom I do have is from the Holy Spirit. I am so thankful it has been helpful for you though.