When I was young, my mom carried me to different churches, looking for one that felt 'right' to her. She took me to different kinds of denominations, and I sat and listened to what all these preachers had to say. The one thing I understood for sure was that all these churches taught something different and they all thought it was correct. The reason that they all thought it was correct, was because they all 'proved' their position by scripture. They would use this scripture and that scripture, and they all seemed to make really good points. Needless to say, I was confused. How could the same bible be used to 'prove' different things. So I stopped accepting what other people taught about the bible, and started studying it for myself. I would still listen to what people were saying, I started reading the entire chapter of the scriptures so that I could get the context of what was being said. I started doing word studies on the scriptures, so that I understood what the scripture meant in the original language that it was spoken or written. But most of all, I started to form my own opinions, that were based on my own study, and stopped relying on other people's interpretation. Because what I discovered, was that EVERYONE had their own interpretation, EVERYONE believed that the Holy Spirit led them to 'their' conclusion, and very few were actually honest enough to admit even the possibility that what they believed could be wrong. They believed what they believed, and everyone else was wrong.
One of the topics that came up most often was the subject of salvation. Some churches believed that you could lose your salvation, ( and had scriptures to 'prove' it ) and other churches were equally convinced that you could not lose your salvation ( and had scriptures to 'prove' it. ) What I found was that the churches that believed you could lose your salvation NEVER talked about the scriptures that seemed to indicate otherwise. They never addressed them, they never explained them, they never quoted them, and most of the christians that went to the church never even knew that those scriptures were in the bible. The exact same thing could be said for the churches that believed that you could not lose your salvation. And what end up happening is that most Christians could 'parrot' what their church believed, and could quote scripture supporting their position, but very few could actually defend what they believed. They couldn't explain how those 'troubling' verses ( the ones used to support a different position ) fit into what they believed.
So I am going to start a series of topics that have led me to my conclusions on the end times. I am going to try not only show how I arrived at my conclusions, but will try to show how those 'troubling" verses fit into what I believe. The reason that I put this topic here is because all of these subjects led me to the conclusion that the pretrib rapture is true, and that is the central point to this series.
So now that the intro is complete lets' get started....
Salvation. There is probably not another topic that has been more divisive than this one. This topic has been debated throughout the entire church history. If you have never taken the time to really study the history of the doctrine of Salvation I highly encourage you, because it is a fascinating study. It would surprise some people to learn that what is believed about salvation today is not what the church had always taught. But that is outside the scope of this thread. I want to talk about how my understanding of salvation affects my understanding of the timing of the rapture.
Let's start with the big question. Once you become saved, can you lose your salvation? The one question has divided more Christians than any other topic in history. Why? Well let me ask you a question? Does the bible contain verses that seem to indicate that you can lose your salvation? YES it does. Does the bible contain verses that seem to indicate that you can not lose your salvation? YES it does. And we are going to look at both groups.
Let's look at the verses that defend OSAS first.
1 Cor 1:21-22 21 Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
John 10:27-29 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
And first verses really clinched it for me when I was studying this topic. Consider this question. Who is the responsible party in us standing firm in Christ? If you can lose your salvation, then the question is obviously We are the responsible party. If you can't lose your salvation, then the answer is God is the responsible party. And the scripture clearly says that God is the responsible party. Not only that but consider verse 22 in Eph 1. God seals us with his Spirit. And the Spirit is the "earnest". What is the earnest? The original word that Paul used was the Greek word arrabon. Arrabon means money which is purchases is given as a pledge or downpayment that the full amount will subsequently be paid. Now I ask you, who makes the pledge? Us or God? So let me paraphrase just a little. It is God that annoints us, it is God that seals us, it is God that makes us stand fast in Christ, it is God that pledges to complete the purchase. When is it completed? Eph 4:30 tells us, the day of redemption. When is that? At the rapture. So what is the security of our salvation based on? Us or God? It is God. He is the one that made the pledge. He is the one that sealed us, He is the one that promises to complete our redemption.
In the next post I will discuss the scriptures that deal with people losing their salvation.
As Iron sharpens Iron.