Onced Save Always Saved?

It is a matter of doctrine that is often debated. Can someone accept Jesus as payment for their sins at one point in their life, then “lose” that salvation?

I think there is a problem with the whole question. Often you hear it asked, “When were you saved?” I think there can only be 2 answers to that question, and neither one is one anyone can remember. Either you are saved at the cross when Jesus paid the price for your errors, or you are ultimately saved before the throne. Salvation here in our lives is not a “point event,” it must be worked out (Phil 2:12).

A perfect example of this is Simon the Sorceror. It says right in scripture that he believed and was baptized. However, later Peter clearly implies that he is “perishing” and that he needs to repent that God might perhaps forgive him. His salvation was not worked out.

Salvation is a way of life. We need to renew ourselves daily. We can be secure in our faith, but not with our walk.

What Is Evil?

Many of the problems in theology derive from the questions similar to “Why is there evil?”

I think the answer needs to be made in two parts. First, I accept as fact that there is evil. There are many places in the bible that speak of it, but I will use 3 John 1:11 as my example because it also furthers my first part of the answer.

I believe that evil is the result of man’s free will. I wrote in The Laboratory about our choices in freewill. In order for God to give us true freewill, we have to be able to choose evil as well as good.

I do not think good and evil are a binary choice. There are degrees of both. For the choice to be legitimate, the zero point has to be near the center of the spectrum. If there was only a small fraction left for evil, the choice would not be nearly as hard.

Take as a given that there is a wide spectrum between good and evil, and that zero is near the center. If God wanted there to be room for His infinite love, kindness and grace, He must have then created near infinite potential for evil.

The second part is more directed at the question of “Why did God allow this evil?” Where this is any event that someone deems too awful for a loving God to allow.

If God is omniscient and omnipotent, He could have not allowed it to happen. He saw it coming (omniscience), and He could have stopped it (omnipotent). In this sense, God is at least complicit in every act committed in creation. However, before we try to drag Him before a judge and jury, we need to look back at part one of the answer above, it is because He loves us that He allows us to screw it, and each other, up.

We also need to look at, “Who is the judge of what is evil?” The answer is obviously, God. He is the judge, not you. Look back at God is good, all the time.

I think whenever we ask God, “Why did you let that happen?” His loving answer is, “I had to do it.” We never know the full story, we never know all the details. We cannot keep track of all the butterflies. But He does know.

Has anyone ever told you, “Those are things best left to people who understand it better?” Well, I suggest we take their advice when it comes to questioning God’s actions. He knows.

Animal Style

In-n-Out Burger, a local fast food restaurant, has a very simple menu: Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Double-Double (double patties and cheese), Fries, Soda, Lemonaide, Tea and Shakes. That is it, nothing more. There is however a “hidden” menu that they will serve you if you ask. Its not as secret as it used to be, when there were only a few locations. In fact I found that it was actually listed on their website now.

We were at a catholic funeral recently and I could not help but cringe a few times at some of the things that were said. My wife even caught me shaking my head and told me to stop, someone might see me. We later had a conversation about the Catholic Church and how there were some real believers that knew the Lord that went to catholic church, but we wondered why.

It was then that it occured to me that the Catholic Church is a lot like In-n-Out. They actually will serve you real spiritual food, but its not on the menu. You have to figure out so much by yourself.

Unfortunately, Rome does not have a monopoly on this menu, but it is the largest in that market.