What Happens When We Stray?
What happens to Christians who stray, or follow another Jesus, another Spirit, or another gospel?
This is not a hard question to answer because it happened in the Bible. The consequences of going astray are well-documented.
Yet the question is worth asking because many people don’t know the answer. Or, rather, they have the wrong answer, which is this:
What happens when Christians stray? They fall from grace prompting a loving God to discipline them with punishment. If they don’t repent they’ll lose their salvation and be eternally condemned.
The bit about falling from grace is true but the rest is a big fat lie. Your heavenly Father’s discipline never takes the form of punishment – that’s old covenant thinking – and those who have been found by Jesus cannot be lost by Jesus (John 6:39).
Joseph Goebbels once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
The reason many Christians believe they can lose their salvation is because they have heard it over and over again. But it’s not scriptural. It is an extra-Biblical fabrication parroted by those who would distract you from Christ and his perfect work. It is a lie that will cause you to trust yourself and your staying power instead of standing on Jesus and the eternally unshakeable foundation of his love and grace.
I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but it’s not nearly as harsh as telling your brothers and sisters they are in danger of hellfire. And it’s not nearly as harsh as speaking guilt and condemnation over those whom Christ has justified.
“So what will happen to me if I stray from the Lord?”
Well, hopefully you won’t stray, but if you do, you won’t get kicked out of the family. It’s just not possible. But that doesn’t mean you won’t reap awful consequences…
The Bible identifies at plenty of bad things that can happen to those who are distracted, seduced, deceived, or led astray. Each is something to avoid.
I don’t want to rush through these tragic consequences so I’ll look at seven in today’s article and seven more in the next.
Seven things that happen to Christians who stray
1. We lose sight of God’s love for us (Rev 2:4)
Jesus told the Ephesians, “You have left your protos agape,” or your primary love. What is our protos agape? It is not our love for him; it is a revelation of his love for us:
- Love comes from God. (1 John 4:7)
- This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us… (1 John 4:10)
- We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
Why would Paul pray that we would know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Eph 3:18-19)? Because there is a danger we might not know – that we might forget it or leave it. And that’s the thin edge of a bad wedge. God’s love is like air for us. We can’t live without it. When we fall from the high place of his love…
2. Things become complicated – our minds become corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3)
The gospel is simple but lose sight of God’s love and everything becomes murky. “I know God loves me but…”
Suddenly the good news is not so good. It needs qualifying. We feel an unholy need to balance his grace with our works. We start thinking there’s more than one side to every scripture, the Bible is full of paradoxes, and God is a mystery.
Next thing you know, you need a divinity degree to be saved and you’re trusting the guy who can recognize Greek words and aorist verbs more than you’re trusting the Holy Spirit. Not good.
3. We start striving to keep the rules (Gal 3:3, Col 2:20)
We never call it legalism, for that would alert us to the danger. Instead, we call it “Christian responsibility” or “duty” or “doing our part.” God has done his part, now it’s up to me to finish what he started. I have to work out my salvation and prove my repentance.
We worry about cheap grace (there’s no such thing) and invest in a little works-insurance (there’s no such thing). We tell ourselves, I gotta pray more, fast more, attend more. I gotta witness to two people this week. I gotta be a good Christian for Jesus. This sort of thinking appeals to our religious flesh but it’s not long before…
4. We feel unworthy and unqualified (Col 2:18, AMP)
The New International Version says, “Do not let anyone… disqualify you for the prize,” as if anyone could disqualify those whom God qualifies (Col 1:12)!
The point is not that we can disqualify ourselves, but when we get distracted from Christ and his perfect work – when we begin to trust in our own performance, our self-denial, our rule-keeping – we start to feel disqualified. Although Christ makes us worthy, we feel unworthy. And when that happens…
5. Our consciences condemn us and shipwreck our faith (1 Tim 1:18-19)
As I have explained elsewhere, “shipwrecked faith” does not equal “Christian burning in hell.” But it’s still a bad idea to thrust aside your good conscience.
Paul repeatedly warns about the need to hold “onto faith and a good conscience” (1 Tim 3:9, Acts 24:16). He’s not saying, “Avoid sin to keep your conscience clear.” He’s saying, “Treasure what Christ has done for you” (Heb 10:22). If we don’t value what Christ has done, it won’t be long before…
6. We lose our freedom (Gal 5:1, Col 2:8)
The Galatian Christians famously lost their liberty by enslaving themselves to law, while the Colossian Christians were in danger of enslaving themselves to worldly philosophy. We repeat their mistakes whenever we take on the yokes of performance-based Christianity and manmade expectations. When that happens…
7. We fall from grace and cut ourselves off from Christ (Gal 5:2-4)
Falling from grace does not mean falling out of the kingdom. We fall from the high place of grace and favor when we try to merit what God has freely given us. This can happen when we put ourselves under the old law that says, “do good, get good; do bad, get bad.” If you think you have to work before God will bless you, you have made Christ of no value.
Christ died to set you free. But if you enslave yourself to religious expectations, then what was the point? Christ won’t cut you off – he’s utterly faithful – but you can cut yourself off from his love and grace.
Lessons from church history
Most of the Christians who went astray in the Bible did so with pure motives but misguided zeal. The Ephesians were working hard for the Lord, the Galatians honored the law, and the Colossians were religious, yet all three groups needed correction. All of them went astray to one degree or another.
Perhaps you have strayed from the faith. If so, how do you get back on track? The best remedy is the one Jesus gave to the Ephesians:
Remember the height from which you’ve fallen! Repent, and do what you did at first. (Revelation 2:5).
Remember! What a simple yet powerful solution. What did you do when you first came to Christ? Can you remember? You probably didn’t do much at all other than receive the love and favor of heaven.
Jesus is saying, “Stop what you are doing now and go back to doing that! Receive from me. Stop trying to impress me and rest in my love.”
It’s so simple, yet we can miss it and go astray – especially when we’ve been seduced by bad teaching. We feel the pressure to perform from all sides. We hear the exhortation to rest and we rest – for five minutes. Then we wonder, “Lord, am I not supposed to work for you as well?” And Jesus replies…
If you need the assurance of dead works then you are operating in unbelief. It’s faith in me from first to last. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Author and Finisher. Fix your eyes on me alone and walk in the sunlight of my love! Rest in me and stop worrying about what you’re doing or not doing. The ‘works’ will take care of themselves. Trust me, when you’re walking in the unforced rhythms of my grace, it won’t even feel like work. It’ll feel like fun.
Thank you, Jesus!
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If I denied the LORD before many people at different various times I’m ashamed to say because I blamed HIM for allowing me to be diagnosed with various sicknesses-some which my brain surgeon says I can not be cured from even through surgery and I became distraught/numb even emotionally about it all and hopelessness set in. I disgraced HIM in many ways, even forsoke the only ministry HE gave me -Intercessory Prayer & for (what felt like decades) stopped listening (only to) Praise and Worship music and listened to worldly self-centered arrogant music and having lost His Peace (which Col. says is meant to act my umpire-be my umpire) within me in life – I lost direction and purpose in life where before, all I knew as a believer was to hear/listen attentively to others with the sole purpose of praying the Word (in prayer closet – so I would receive ‘no’ recognition from God or people, then after praying the Word for others, praising and worshipping the LORD in song with thanksgiving-knowing because of the measure of faith HE gave me that prayers for others were answered; ever since 17 mo ago I committed to praying for Israel 4 hrs a day much affliction, pain and suffering hit my body. God-by His Grace answered many many….of the prayers for Israel and the 1st 13 months I didn’t mind that my body went through so much all I asked God was that by His Grace alone that I’d be faithful to that which He’d called me to but I was not. I chose not be be faithful after just that short time. I didn’t stand the test. 5 months (only) after being diagnosed with Pusaltile Tinnitus -cause: brain tumor, I (unfortunately) chose fear instead of faith in Him and faith in His Word. Am again, for 2 weeks now after returning to Jesus, serving Him by His Grace through faith but His joy and peace is gone. Will still serve and obey Him and His will for me by faith as His Spirit of Truth leads me in Intercessory Prayer once again. It’s all by faith completely -there are no feelings involved- possibly cause I am reaping what I’ve sowed in the flesh when I was walking in the world. By His Grace, this time -I will be faithful till the end. He helps me not to respond/react to the much pain in my brain from the tumor as well as the ‘very…loud’ 34/7 bass pounding in my ears-Pasultile Tinnitus. Walking with Him is totally by faith alone but I must confess that I really miss His steadfast Joy and Peace. The other fruits of the Holy Spirit are obvious other people tell me. Even some say that they see that I am so very Happy, which is true but the degree if Joy and Peace I had in Christ Jesus has greatly been reduced. Am I just reaping what I’ve sowed in the flesh for the past 7 months which I went into the arrogance of the world? Only thing that I ask from The LORD is a humble heart and mind, not physical healing. Hopefully, if it is His sovereign will, He’ll use me once again as His humble instrument to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem. Thank you for listening. In Christ Jesus -Lord and God.
That is why none of our blessing or prayer requests are based upon our behavior but on who we are in God’s family. You are a son of God covered and purchased by the blood of Jesus!(Galatians 4:6-7) God knows our weaknesses and made a way that cannot be undone by those same human failings. Resist the devil and he will flee. Not by begging in prayer but by standing firm on the truths of scripture and telling him(yes out loud) that he no longer owns you or your emotions and from know on only God will direct your path.
Your sin isn’t unforgivable if you repent, not just bring sorry but going to God. If you repent it is Gods work and he promises not to cast you out. If you trust in Jesus, he promises to save you. If you repent then God didn’t let your heart fully harden in a complete rejection of him. There is hope, praise the Lord!!!!
This is great, the seven things at the bottom are literally exactly me right now except for # 7. I ask, how do I give myself back to Christ. I am literally begging to be saved because I feel like I am not, and I literally said to God “You’ve done your job, now I have to do mine.” I am trying to prove to myself that I am saved and it was real, but how do I stop. I am trying to stop everything and tell Jesus I want him, but I think I already have him, but don’t realize. What do I do. Every morning I feel like he is not with me because I have fallen many times. I told God I wanted to stay with him 100 percent this time, that was about a month ago. I just don’t know what to do when I am saved. I want to be saved through faith, but I am still trusting in my works to prove that I am saved. How do I stop completely and start over?
How do I come back? How do I start over and go back to where I was. I don’t feel like I did then, I feel like I’m not saved now. I just want to start over and go back to the life where I wasn’t trying to do things to prove to myself I am saved, I just want to live life as a Christian and not worry about my salvation.
I think you need to look at what’s going on now not what you did in the past. In the past you may have asked Jesus in your heart but this may be what you did. Instead look at what God did. Did he give you true faith in Jesus and confirm it by causing you to know that you believe and that Jesus will save you. This is not just emotions but a true conversion experience trusting in Jesus to save you and knowing it’s true. Only God can give you saving faith. If this is true you are saved and God won’t ever let you fall away into complete unbelief or complete rejection.
Praise God for I have been serving my god by my own strength setting myself up for the fall sorry lord I surrender to your whatnot mine let’s try again forgive me o loving God
THANK YOU….and God Bless!!!!!! I have been under such condemnation that I quit going to church, reading my Bible because I felt like I could never get back to Grace. I thought I was condemned because I had severe doubts when I started studying other religions and atheism and I thought Wicca sounded like the real religion (not Satan—worshipping though!!!!), just honoring “Nature” and the “Universe”. I don’t understand how this happened to me because I was a devout believer, but I allowed my doubts to lead me down a rabbit hole….but oh My God, how I have repented. I also have obsessive compulsive disorder, which is known as the doubting disease. ..so it doesn’t help me lose the doubts about salvation. Anyhow, I am going to read your post 10 times a day everyday until these doubts subside. Again, thank you. I have been in such torment.
Thank you, Dana. It is so encouraging to hear how the good news of God’s grace is bearing fruit in your life. Your heavenly Father is leading you to a good, green place beside still waters (Ps 23). Be blessed.
Here’s my question…Someone who is saved. If they turn from Christ and decided they don’t want to live a Christian life anymore, They still love Jesus but just don’t want to live that life. Are they still saved when they die? I’m struggling with the ‘once saved always saved’ motto or are we saved and always saved no matter what happens on this earth?
If man could undo what God has done, then sure, but I don’t believe it’s possible. My children don’t stop being my children even if they run away and no longer want to be my children. Jesus said, “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (Joh 10:28). And then for emphasis, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:29). If Jesus is holding on to you, and the Father is holding on to you, you’re not going anywhere.
My issue is I feel disenchanted distracted what used to be fervent is not just a dying ember and that old man is rising up in me again with this comes all the things you listed . I just can’t get back to that place of whole hearted seeking . I feel lost backslidden and desperate .
What about losing your virginity in your teens before marriage? I’m a Christian but feel myself falling, I can’t stop having sex it is like a drug. What do I do?
I presume you want to stop? Don’t say no, to sin; say yes to Jesus. How do you do that? One way is to thank him for your wife. I know you haven’t met her yet, but she’s out there waiting for you. When you’re tempted to hook up with someone, think of your wife. God knows who she is. Thank him for her. Ask him for the grace you need to become Mr Right. Ask him for help in preparing you for a lifelong commitment. But don’t make marriage an idol. Find your rest in Christ alone. For more, see this post.
Thank you so much sir and GOD bless you
Sir Paul as you said that when some one is in Christ he can not lose his salvation. then is sanctification need.and please tell me it important with bible reference
Hebrews 10:10 & 14
…I began to have blasphemous thoughts about raping people, which began to utterly terrify me. I was even so concerned about that one night, I was so distressed that I prayed to Christ to let this demon go free from me and go into my sister’s boyfriend who is now her husband. (I am still today utterly shamed and upset that I did this).
I then went back to university and still I was still obsessed with crossdressing and was still masterbating to it and still I thought I was in a good place with Christ. Then when I came home for the summer I began to have really blasphemous thoughts and even had thoughts saying “F*** the holy spirit”, “Jesus is the son of the devil” which is something I don’t even believe and I was so worried that I had blasphemed the holy spirit that I broke down and started to weep uncontrollably because I thought I had blasphemed the holy spirit and I was never going to be forgiven. Thankfully, this was the time when I realised I needed to repent and start living for Christ again. However, recently I backslide temporarily and masterbated in defiance to the holy spirit because I had asked God to take away these thoughts continually which I now realise was incredibly wrong and I have repented.
Although I still have blasphemous thoughts which I don’t want very rarely now and I have made an active decision to turn away from crossdressing and live for Christ. I still find that I have very little joy and nearly no faith at all and don’t feel like I’m loved and saved even though in my heart I know that God did save me when I was young. I’ve even stopped taking God’s communion because I don’t feel worthy of it. And feel no joy of salvation at all. I even see no fruits of the spirit in my life and don’t feel I have changed, even though my friends say that I have. I want to trust in Jesus and know I’m saved, and feel like i have no faith at all, but I just feel condemned all the time. But I am determined not to give up and instead love and live for the God who loved me first.
Thanks for the encouragement. I backslid into gross sin for 13 years and have not been able to find my way back to God. I live in fear.depression and hopelessness. I struggle with some sin I am unable to overcome (addictions) . I live in constant fear of life and death. I miss the peace and love I once had in Jesus.
Your first step towards healing is to give back satan the lie that you and God are separated because of your sins. These lies are why you are depressed and hopeless. God will never leave you or forsake you. Look up Romans 8:31-29 and take them as truth that applies to you. We are justified(forgiven) not because we have done nothing wrong but because it is granted to us because of faith in Jesus. We are not condemned because of Jesus also. Romans 8:1 says that there is no condemnation for people who are in Jesus. “Yeah but what about walking in the Spirit?” It’s not about sinless lifestyle choices. Romans 8:9 says that if we belong to Jesus we ARE in the Spirit. So pick yourself up, tell satan to take his lies packing and realize that even with your sin struggles that you ARE loved by God and that He never left you during your dark times. There are facts and truths in life. Facts are what we think and feel are real but truth is in God’s word and IS true even when it doesn’t feel that way or look like it is actively going on.
There are a couple of articles here that might help you
You have stated that if a Christian goes astray, he does not lose his salvation. If a Christian refuses to go back to Jesus, he is in a worse state than he was before. Like a dog swallowing what it just threw up, or like like a clean pig going back to the mud. (2 Peter 2:22)
If he refuses to come back, he is lost. Please consider this, because I think you are teaching false doctrine.
2 Peter 2 is not describing the children of God but false prophets and false teachers who deny the Lord (verse 1). They are unjust, rather than godly (v.9) who never cease from sin (v14) and shall utterly perish in their own corruption (v.12). More here.
I have a question here based on the above article. Jesus says in Mathew 7:22 ” on that day they will say Lord, Lord , we have prophecied in your name, did mircales in your name, casted out demons in your name”. But He will say ” I did not know you”. How did these people do miracles? Where they saved before? How about Judas and Balam? Balam heard from the Spirit of God and prophecied. How could he do that without knowing God? Judas was with Jesus, witnessed miracles. Probably he would also have done miracles when Jesus sent His disciples for ministry. Where these two saved? Can you please explain? Would appreciate if you could send me a mail on this. Thank you.
For my response to your first question, please see my article on Matthew 7:22-23. No, they weren’t saved, and we ought not to be fooled by the counterfeit. Judas tasted the goodness of God but rejected it, and Balaam was very much a false prophet.
So many look at “Salvation” as a “thing” rather than a “person”. If you can be separated from the “person” your separated from salvation. Does God do the “separating”? Nope, never, but man does. God is about “Reconciliation” of those who “separate” themselves. Can one turn back and be united again to this “person”, yes, always! Prime example is the “prodigal son”. No God, the Father didn’t “unchild” Him but He could NOT get anything from the Father until HE returned.
You can most certainly be “separated” from Jesus (i.e. Salvation) but you can most certainly always return. That’s the “good news”!!! The Father will run to you When He sees you returning and Bless you.
To say we can separate from Him and not be separated from “salvation” is a HUGE mistake. Just as being separated from Love, Peace, The Way, The Truth, and the Light because He IS Salvation, Love, Peace, The Way, The Truth, and the Light. To not understand this is to not understand Who He IS. To say you can have this things when you are separated, apart from Him is absolutely ludicrous and dangerous.
Salvation IS a person NOT a thing.
All the benefits and blessings of grace are found in Jesus Christ, which is precisely why we can be assured that nothing can separate us from his love. Our union with the Lord is connate and unbreakable. Until you understand this, you will always worry that there is something you can do to end what you never began. But the scriptures are clear. We may prove unfaithful, but he cannot deny himself. The unregenerate man does not know this union, but those who have been wed to the Lord will never experience separation.
Paul never says the Galatians had lost their salvation; how could do they do that? When he says they have cut themselves off from Christ, he means they have fallen from grace. They are no longer walking in grace but works. Falling from grace has bad consequences, but causing God to break his word is not one of them. Jesus said, “No one can take them from my hand.”
Salvation is sonship so the prodigal son story fits perfectly. No matter how far he separated himself he was still a son. He just could not partake of the added benefits of eating at his father’s table. Sonship was never a question or even at stake.
Jesus bought salvation/redemption and gave it to us in the form of real spiritual changes. So many people think of salvation as a club where you can join and leave at will. But salvation is not a club. Your old man got killed on the cross with Jesus and when He rose your new man rose up with Him. God performed a spiritual circumcision that cut off our body of sins and that is not something you can reverse by an act of will. Jesus bought you from satan’s kingdom and now owns you. You are not your own. You have been bought with a price.
You seem to think of salvation as something you can jump out of and into. Did you know that Hebrews 6 says that IF it were possible for someone to become unsaved they cannot get resaved as no new sacrifice exists to save them again as they already rejected Jesus first one.
Your argument keeps falling flat no matter which way to turn it. Yes we can walk away from Jesus but we cannot walk away from our new man, It is who we are. We do not own ourselves to resell ourselves back into sin slavery.
“It’ll feel like fun.” If that’s so, why does He talk about taking up our cross and denying ourselves?
Perhaps because God wants you to be miserable. At least that’s the message of dead religion. It’s certainly not good news and it’s hardly Biblical. God invented fun. In his presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand are pleasures forever more (Ps 16:11). This idea that we have to deny our God-given desires and appetites appeals to our religious flesh, but it’s not what Jesus meant when he told us to take up our cross daily.
This is is the goodness of God. The Gospel we’re called to preach. Alleluia. Thanks so much for the exposition!
I am a miserable wreck of a woman of God. Due to backslidding not once or even twice but three times. I need prayer pls. And my youngest son cade is being terribly abused by the man adjudicated as his dad. Ive paid three different attorneys and I guess since the last one was paid in full on day one she really hasnt got a reason to work. She let the court rake me over the coals and did nothing .pls keep my family in prayer…thank u
Renee, look up the word “shine” in the search box below and see what you find. Blessings. Of course, praying.
Don’t depend on our prayers but we’re praying.
Paul, what do we do if we have strayed like this? Is there any hope???
Whoops I didn’t read the whole article before I asked that sorry.
Natalie and Michael, some believers have supernatural experiences where there was a tangible presence of such Goodness which bathed us in love that one can’t really articulate…some have actually heard God’s voice. There are many and varied experiences.
I heard of a preacher who said he felt God’s presence with him for about four months, and he hardly slept that whole time it was so intense. He was thankful for this experience, but said he believed that God’s plan is for us to live by faith, believing in Him…experience or no experience.
The lack of supernatural feelings does not mean we have strayed, or God has left us, or is displeased with us.
What of the majority of believers, who have not felt any supernatural experiences…apart from the peace and joy of knowing that God justifies the ungodly, and who believe in His Son?
Good read. But one can lose salvation. It’s called free will. Why would Satan be out to kill steal and destroy? Kill what? Steal what? Destroy what? Be that as it may, the bottom line is where is ones salvation today? Today is what matters.
You may be interested in this article on eternal security.
For a believer, he wants to steal, kill, and destroy your peace and joy.
Brilliant. Just what I needed to hear: “Remember the height from which I had fallen.” Repent, receive from Jesus and stop trying to impress Him.
I cannot thank you enough
My pleasure, Peter. Thanks for the feedback.
Wow, talk about dangerous theology…
(The following Scripture quotes are ossibly paraphrased but the meaning is there, unless you’re a King Jame’s Version only magical bible translation theorist.
For a start, what about:
“work out your salvation in fear and trembling”
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col 1:24).
I could go on with the letter of James more from St.Paul and especially Christ’s own words.
But OSAS people refuse to use common sense (even if /when guided by The Holy Spirit).
Presumption and despair are not only transgressions but the source of all other transgressions.
What is dangerous about warning people of the consequences of sin? What is dangerous about reminding God’s children that his grace is greater than their sin? What is dangerous about getting people to trust in the Lord’s 130+ promises regarding their eternal security?
Yup. Jesus theology is the most dangerous one out there. Who would dare suggest that a holy deity would offer eternal-everlasting life in trade for faith? Gotta love that old over parroted work out your salvation thing. It gets thrown around like it is the end all and be all proof of working for your eternal life. All it means is to study hard, like figure it out, in old English phrasing. A gift is paid for by the giver not by to receiver. If someone has sold you the other gospel of having to earn your salvation through your work/;ifestyle might I suggest digging deep into the whole gospel and not just the anti-osas parroting.
The bible also says that there will be a day some will say, Lord, Lord, and He will say depart from me, I never knew you.
What about Christians living in blatant disobedience? Not turning from their fornication. I know of a worship leader who is in an unequally yoked relationship and shacked up from the start of it.
Bible says fornicators, adulterers, etc. shall not enter the kingdom of God. What if this guy died tomorrow and has not repented?
The answer is in the very scripture you shared, “I never knew you”. If Jesus never knew them, it is accurate to say, they never knew him. This one, if died tomorrow, sounds like the one Jesus is speaking about. For, if he had a true encounter with Christ he would be among those that Paul spoke about; “ and such were some of you” , 1 Corinthians 6:11. He spoke in the past tense, “were”, but no longer are, fornicators. But it is amazing even after this he recommends that we, “ Flee fornication”, verse 18. Why? Because, “we are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body”. So question is, why is he not fleeing? Maybe cause he does not know (I never knew you) he has been bought with a price. Pray he one day will savingly know, and if he does know now, remember, God chastens every son he receives. God only knows, the rest of us are merely fruit inspectors.
Jesus knows the people who believe on Him for eternal life. Those who look to their deeds are the ones He does not know. The “Lord, Lord” folks were full of doing great stuff for God and thought they was what got them into heaven. They looked to their behavior instead of Jesus so they were still workers of iniquity despite doing great things for God.
Lets plug the verse you mentioned about fornicators back into the full passages. 1 Cor. 6:9-20 What does the whole thing really say? Especially 11-12 & 15-20 Does it say sexual sins unsave us or does it say we are the washed temple of the Holy Spirit and because of that we should not sin those kind of sins? Look past tradition and into what the words really say in full context.
What if someone dies without repenting? These articles might help- https://escapetoreality.org/2010/12/24/the-axe-of-forgiveness/,https://escapetoreality.org/2012/06/08/1-john-1v9/, https://escapetoreality.org/2015/07/17/debit-card-forgiveness/
The passage that sheds the most light for me is Hebrews 9:23-26 because it tells when and how often the blood of Jesus works on our sin.
Yes you are right, Jesus knows, but what I was getting at is, we only have manifest outward appearance of those claiming such. Again, anyone living in sin does not know God, as John say’s; “whosoever sins (practices it) has not seen him, neither known him.” 1 John 3:6. He share’s more in this vein, up to verse 9, then speaks of the “manifest” outward appearance of the two types of lives that are lived in this world, verse 10. No, sexual sin’s don’t unsave us, but can, more likely speak of who we are, (saved or unsaved) according to John. This fellow, Seth speaks of, seems to have had a profession from his head and not his heart, Romans 10;9,10, as only through the heart can God change our nature. We must be born again to experience true change.
I’m 61 years old and have been living by feeling all my life. I remember when I was 30 I’d read the Scripture, take long cruises around the neighborhood singing my prayers to the Lord and could not wait to settle down for the evening for quiet one-on-onei loving and being loved by Him. I was still drinking and had many relationships but I often saw his hand in my life.
I was around 40-45 when I got caught up in the organized religion at a few years before I realized it was a sham. I read pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and I left the fellowship that I was in and got involved with comparable all Internet chat since I knew of no other believers that I could hang out with.
Got caught up with reading articles podcasts, ordering CD’s and other teaching material. Somehow I strayed from the relationship with Jesus a few years ago. Then I got caught up in self-righteousness thinking that my drinking and in drugging had stopped because of him and had quit all sexual relationships. I don’t know if it was his grace that delivered me all that lifestyle or if I just got bored because it was unfulfilling.
There has been no joy or peace in my heart for the last two years. My life is dull and boring. But last night I could not sleep even after taking sleeping medication and trachea and herbal tea I didn’t find any peace so I listened to Andrew Womack’s audiobook grace the gospel of truth.
I was my own Savior. I had been wanting God to fulfill my needs and my agenda. Also the last two months I can’t get music out of my mind whether it’s a song or commercial jingle. Cannot concentrate on prayer for long.
So this morning I gave up trying to do anything for myself and give then to what The Spirit reminding me to”us in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” and “trust in my Life”
It looks like I’ll be spending quite a bit of time here hopefully reading more than any writing.
Thanks for sharing
“Christ won’t cut you off – he’s utterly faithful – but you can cut yourself off from his love and grace.” Romans 8:38-39 nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Wow, so glad to come across this article! I have been on quite a confusing and painful journey from deep legalism into grace. I was entrenched in very harsh legalistic “Christianity” ever since I was a child. I came across this same article a couple years ago but did not understand it as I did when I read it today. I came across Joseph Prince about a year and a half ago and it was such a new message. Through his teaching I finally understood why I feared and often hated God, yet also loved Him and wanted to please Him. Condemnation! Since then I have been learning about grace, righteousness and condemnation. I thought I understood it, but then I kept falling under this horrid condemnation. Thank you for your detailed step-by-step of what happens in that cycle! That is exactly what has kept happening to me. I have not yet quite grasped that He actually loves me. In addition to the legalism, I was severely abused as a child, all in God’s name. So many years of terror of God – it got to the point where I would wake up with nightmares about God. I have been praying Eph 1 and 3 every day, that I might know this love of God. He is drawing me and I know I too will understand and experience it. Thank you for providing this information, it was the answer to my prayer to God of “what is happening to me and why?” Bless you.
Welcome home to your real Heavenly Father. In His house your heart will increasingly learn to trust in Him as He serves you with His life. He delights in you.
My sincere Prayer is that Michel Brown would read this post and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what it is saying! He (MB) has caused me many hours of fear, guilt and condemnation! He is the king of “Do good, Get Good, Do bad get bad, In other words it is up to us ( our behavior) not trust in Christ’s finished works, Thank you SO,.so much Paul for the encouragement