Hello... you replied the very next day, so I wouldn't expect an apology for not replying sooner. I am the one who was gone for quite a while. At times I need to take time away from other people and just read the scriptures and pray. I will reply in pink again if that is alright.I will have to take time to look into what you are saying.
ME, It had been a while since I looked into this site, so I assumed that I was remiss in answering. I did not look at the date of your post. I'm also recovering from a knee operation and on drugs. I guess I'm just not thinking straight.
Let's take one subject at a time--OSAS. When we settle that issue, I will show you that JWs teach that Jesus is Michael the Arcangel in human form. Since Michael is a created being, he can't be God and should not be worshipped. I promise I will not avoid this subject. But first, here's a writing I did some years ago on OSAS. You will be able to see clearly that the Jews under the Gospel of Circumcision could lose their salvation. But members of the Body of Christ saved under the Gospel of Uncircumcision can't lose their salvation.
Can a Christian today lose his or her salvation? Or is salvation secured? One can open the Bible and show Scripture to prove both sides of this issue. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s examine Scripture that supports both sides of this argument.
Can Lose Salvation
Ezekiel wrote that a man could lose his salvation:
"But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness that he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die." Ezek. 18:24-28
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said that we must tough it out to the end: Ã¢â‚¬Å“But he who endures to the end shall be savedÃ¢â‚¬Â (Mat. 24:13).
The writer of Hebrews wrote: Ã¢â‚¬Å“For it is impossible for those who . . . have become partakers of the Holy Spirit. . . if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance. . .Ã¢â‚¬Â (Heb. 6:4, 6).
Peter said that it is better not to be saved than to be saved and lose your salvation: Ã¢â‚¬Å“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to themÃ¢â‚¬Â (2 Pet. 2:20-21, 22).
Other Scripture that supports this side of the argument: 1 Chr. 28:7; 2 Chr. 15:2; 24:20; Ps. 51:11; Mat. 6:12, 15; 10:22; 18:23-35; 23:13; 25:1-13; Mark 13:13; John 15:2, 6; 17:3 w/1 John 2:3; Heb. 3:14; 4:1; 6:4-15; 10:26-30, 36-38; James 2:9-13; 5:19-20; 2 Pet. 1:10; 3:17; 1 John 1:9 w/ LordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Prayer; 3:15; 5:2-3, 16-18; Jude 4-6; Rev. 2:5, 10-11; 3:1-3, 5 w/20:15, 15-38; 16:15.
Does this settle the argument or are there other Scripture passages which support the opposite view?
Cannot Lose Salvation
There would be no argument if only we could get rid of a troublesome little Jew named Saul of Tarsus (later renamed Paul, the Ã¢â‚¬Å“apostle to the GentilesÃ¢â‚¬Â):
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress . . .? Yet. . . we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 8:35, 37-39
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Gal. 2:20
"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the Guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. . ." Eph. 1:13-14
"For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day." 2 Tim. 1:12
Then Paul points out that we are members of JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Body, and Jesus will not deny us because then He would be denying Himself:
"If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself [i.e., His Body; however, He will deny (v. 12) certain rewards (vv. 5-7) to the shameful (v. 15) believer]." 2 Tim. 1:12
Other Scripture that supports security of your salvation: 1 Cor. 5:5; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 2:6; 4:30; Phil. 1:6; Col. 3:3, 13; 2 Tim. 1:12.
Kingdom Believers Could Lose Salvation
Notice that the first set of Scriptural verses are addressed to Israel Kingdom believers under the Gospel of Circumcision or the Law. Jesus told these believers that they had to take the plow and not look back. They had to visit the sick. They had to visit prisoners in prison. They had to give to widows, orphans and the poor. They had to preach the gospel. They had to go two miles when asked to go one mile. They had to produce fruit (for Ã¢â‚¬Å“any tree not producing fruit will be cast into the fireÃ¢â‚¬Â). If asked, they had to sell everything they had and follow Jesus. They had to heal the sick. They had to take up their crosses and follow Him. They had to love Jesus more than mother and father. They had to cast out demons. They had to have faith (if only as much as the grain of a mustard seed). Whew! And we are just getting started. And, if they endured to the end, Jesus would say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well done, good and faithful servant.Ã¢â‚¬Â Such is life under the law. A person saved under the gospel of circumcision was not assured of his salvation until he met Jesus. Jesus could say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well done, good and faithful servantÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know you not; I will cast you out of My presence.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Understand though that even after these Kingdom believers gave it their best shot, they would still fall short. But God would add a little grace to their works. One can add grace to works, but one can never add works to a gift of love (JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ sacrifice). At the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, when Paul reveals the Gospel of Grace that he is preaching to the Gentiles, Peter defends PaulÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gospel (which was totally different and new): Ã¢â‚¬Å“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we [Circumcision believers] shall be saved in the same manner as they [PaulÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s converts under the Gospel of Uncircumcision or grace]Ã¢â‚¬Â (Acts 15:11). If we paraphrased Peter in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s jargon: Ã¢â‚¬Å“LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face it, guys. Unless Jesus cuts us a little slack for our works, ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t none of us goinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ make it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Why was Peter the apostle who defended Paul's gospel of grace at the Jerusalem Council? Before God passed the mantle to Paul and cut off Israel (the Twelve were Israel), God communicated to Peter that there was a new Dispensation coming. God sent Peter to Cornelius the centurion. When Peter entered the centurion's house, the Holy Spirit fell on all those Gentiles. But, what astonished Peter was that the Holy Spirit fell on them WITHOUT THEM BEING CIRCUMCISED! For Peter, or any other Jew, this was unthinkable. Circumcision was entry-way to Israel's Covenant of circumcision. Paul bragged in one of his letters that he did not have to circumcise Titus to be accepted by the Circumcision leadership. The reason they could not deny that Paul was legit was that God initially gave Paul and his converts tongues and miracles. He did this so that Peter and James could not deny that the mantle had been passed to Paul--"for the Jews require a sign."
Tears and Regret in Heaven
Even though we who are saved under PaulÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gospel of grace and are secure in our salvation, there will still be tears in heaven. Jesus will wipe away and dry these tears, but there will be real tears and regret. In the movie SchindlerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s List, there is a scene at the end where Schindler breaks down crying when he realizes that he could have saved more Jews. He points to the gold ring on his finger and weeps with regret that he could have purchased one more Jew with the gold ring.
Imagine how we will feel when we are in heaven, secure in our salvation and with our Lord, but confronted with the horror that we did not witness to our children, our parents, or our friends and they are now in hell never to be seen again. Yes, there will be tearsÃ¢â‚¬â€much tears and sorrow.
The excuses we had here on earth for not witnessing would have gotten us a standing ovation on the Oprah: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I never discuss religion or politics.Ã¢â‚¬Â I am not judgmental and I would never judge anyone.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I thought my mother was a good person.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“My motto is, Ã¢â‚¬Å“to each his own.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I keep my religion personal.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“We must love the homos because God loves everyone.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what kind of god you worship, but my god would never send anyone to hell.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I forgive everyone, even my unrepentant child molesting priest.Ã¢â‚¬Â And each of us could add a few to this list.
A believer saved under the Gospel of Circumcision or the Law could lose his or her salvation. Salvation hinged upon faith plus good works and keeping the law, (Ã¢â‚¬Å“the weightier, without leaving the lesser undoneÃ¢â‚¬Â). Ã¢â‚¬Å“Give it your best shot, and I will add a little grace,Ã¢â‚¬Â promises God.
God cut off Israel for unbelief and their plan for a promised Kingdom is on hold (but Ã¢â‚¬Å“God will graft them in againÃ¢â‚¬Â). God then sent Paul, theÃ¢â‚¬Âapostle to the Gentiles,Ã¢â‚¬Â to the world, bypassing Israel. When God did this, He gave Paul a different gospelÃ¢â‚¬â€the gospel of grace. Paul writes that Ã¢â‚¬Å“this was a mystery never before revealed.Ã¢â‚¬Â He calls it Ã¢â‚¬Å“my gospel.Ã¢â‚¬Â He said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Follow me as I follow Christ.Ã¢â‚¬Â He said that he was the first man saved under the gospel of grace (a Ã¢â‚¬Å“patternÃ¢â‚¬Â). In Galatians Paul wrote that God instructed him to go up to Peter and the other circumcision apostles and Ã¢â‚¬Å“explain to them the gospel which I preach.Ã¢â‚¬Â If he were preaching a circumcision gospel, why would he have to explain it to the circumcision apostles?
The first man in IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kingdom was King Saul of the Tribe of Benjamin. The first man in the Body of Christ was Saul (or Paul) of the Tribe of Benjamin. The first Saul started out great (under the law) and ended up committing suicide and is now is hell. The second Saul started out badly (killing Christians) and ended up saved and is now with the Lord (saved by grace). What better man was there to show GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new dispensation of grace?