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This article is adapted from a letter I wrote to a young man that believed in the doctrine of unconditional eternal security. He wrote about God's grace (conditional or unconditional), works and where is the line drawn (the number of sins you have to commit) before you lose salvation. God's grace is unconditional in that it is offered to everyone. Sin is not a state of wrong doing, it is a state of wrong being. Almost every religion in the world deals with sinning, only Christianity deals with sin.

If I believe I am saved by what I do, through my good works, by living a good life, that would mean salvation is through works, not by grace through faith, and Christ was crucified for nothing. If I believe that since I am saved by grace, I can live and do however I please then I am in grave error and do not have true faith in that grace or the sacrifice Christ made. However, if I believe I cannot save and sanctify myself, I cannot atone for sin, I cannot redeem the world, I cannot make right what is wrong, pure what is impure, holy what is unholy that this is all a sovereign work of God, then our faith and our righteousness will be based on the perfect atonement of Jesus Christ. The question is: have I faith in what Jesus Christ has done?

To start out with I believe that every Christian's determined purpose should be this:

10) [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power out flowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

11) That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

12) Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.

13) I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

14)I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

15) So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.

16) Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that.
Philippians 3:10-16 (Amplified Bible)

When you talk about salvation it is about relationship, not service or works. It is about "that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me and made me His own." The purpose of Christ is "to bring many sons and daughters to glory." The lodestar of the saint is God Himself, not estimated usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. All that Our Lord heeds in a man's life is the relationship of worth to His Father. We as Christians have one responsibility and that is to maintain that relationship. If we maintain that relationship God will show us the works HE wants us to do and we do that by following HIS will. That is one of the reasons why we are still on earth: to do those works.

20) Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.

21) Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.

22) Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

23) And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].
Matthew 7:20 - 23 (Amplified Bible)

The people here in this passage know Jesus is Lord and have done many mighty works and Jesus says "I never knew you." They did works but had no relationship. We are commanded, and if you love Him you follow His commands, to:

Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).
Philippians 2:12 (Amplified Bible)

As we continue to walk with Christ we have to "die daily" and "put on" that life that flows outward from His resurrection.

I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Galatians 2:20 (Amplified Bible)

As I said, it is about relationship. It is a growth process. Sin severs all this, but our warfare is not against sin. We can never fight against sin: Jesus Christ deals with sin in Redemption. The conflict is along the line of turning our natural life into a spiritual life, and this is never done easily, nor does God intend it to be done easily. It is done only by a series of moral choices. God does not make us holy in the sense of character; He makes us holy in the sense of innocence, and we have to turn that innocence into holy character by a series of moral choices. We still have free will, we make the choices. These choices are continually in antagonism to the entrenchments of our natural or carnal life, the things which erect themselves as ramparts against the knowledge of God. We can either go back and make ourselves of no account in the Kingdom of God, or we can determinedly demolish these things and let Jesus bring another son or daughter to glory.

To put it simply God "will never leave us or forsake us" but we of our own choice can leave and forsake God.

One of the questions asked was "Where is the line drawn? How many sins can you commit?" It is drawn by the person who says "I know it is sin and I choose it over God," by the person who knows it is sin, knows it grieves God, knows God has convicted him or her again and again and does not care, knows that God has given Him or her the power to stop and still chooses that life or thing over God. Then as you harden your heart, it becomes the attitude of heart and at that point you of your own free will have rejected Christ and His salvation. God knows at what point that change has occurred and He does not take salvation away, you have rejected it. You have shoved aside the Holy Spirit's conviction (knowing it is God Himself that is convicting you) to the point you do not feel convicted any more, you do not care that the Word of God says "thou shall not" do this thing. God will not make you obey Him. You choose to or not to. You deliberately choose your old sinful state of being over the very new state of being God gave you, and God will let you have it.

17) But if some of the branches were broken off, while you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them to share the richness [of the root and sap] of the olive tree,

18) Do not boast over the branches and pride yourself at their expense. If you do boast and feel superior, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root [that supports] you.

19) You will say then, Branches were broken (pruned) off so that I might be grafted in!

20) That is true. But they were broken (pruned) off because of their unbelief (their lack of real faith), and you are established through faith [because you do believe]. So do not become proud and conceited, but rather stand in awe and be reverently afraid.

21) For if God did not spare the natural branches [because of unbelief], neither will He spare you [if you are guilty of the same offense].

22) Then note and appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's gracious kindness to you--provided you continue in His grace and abide in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off (pruned away).
Romans 11:17 - 22 (Amplified Bible)


26) For if we go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to atone for [our] sins [no further offering to which to look forward].

27) [There is nothing left for us then] but a kind of awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume those who put themselves in opposition [to God].

28) Any person who has violated and [thus] rejected and set at naught the Law of Moses is put to death without pity or mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

29) How much worse (sterner and heavier) punishment do you suppose he will be judged to deserve who has spurned and [thus] trampled underfoot the Son of God, and who has considered the covenant blood by which he was consecrated common and unhallowed, thus profaning it and insulting and outraging the [Holy] Spirit [Who imparts] grace (the unmerited favor and blessing of God)?
Hebrews 10:26 - 29 (Amplified Bible)

We all sin and God convicts us of that sin and we can repent of what God convicts us of. Repent means to turn from, not say I am sorry Lord and keep doing it.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
2 Corinthians 7:10 (Amplified Bible)

The doctrine of unconditional eternal security tells you that you don't have to make any choices; there is nothing to work out. You can take what the Lord has given you and like the unfaithful servant you can bury it (Matthew 25:14-30) and Jesus said if you do that what you have been given will be taken away and you will be tossed outside and in hell. You said most who believe in this doctrine believe that a Christian who does not live a righteous life will not be rewarded as much. "What does not come through faith is sin". "The righteous shall live by faith". At what point is the Christian that says I hear you God and I know I am suppose to change this in my life, but I am not going to give it up, just take a few rewards in heaven from me. At what point does that Christian become lukewarm?

So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!
Revelation 3:16 (Amplified Bible)

Spew meaning in the Greek from the Strong's Concordance.
1692 emew emeo em-eh'-o
of uncertain affinity; ; v
AV-spue 1; 1
1) to vomit, vomit forth, throw up

Jesus said "if you love me you will obey my commands." What is the attitude of heart? And God judges that attitude:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 (Amplified Bible)

What is the attitude of heart that says I will not obey, I love what I want more? Jesus said the first and greatest command is to "love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength" Do you honesty think that you can say to God Almighty I will keep myself (you good person you) on the throne and barter for a few rewards?

What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]?
1 Corinthians 5:12 (Amplified Bible)

If I see a person that says they are a Christian and they are in danger of becoming an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God] because of false doctrine or any type of sin, and self is the biggest idol of all, do I not warn them? Does not God command me to warn them and you? Yes of course, as I hope they would warn me.

18) When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.

19) But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.

20) "Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.

21) But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself."
Ezekiel 3:18 - 21 (Amplified Bible)


19) [My] brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth and falls into error and another [person] brings him back [to God],

20) Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one's] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins [procure the pardon of the many sins committed by the convert].
James 5:19 - 20 (Amplified Bible)

God is not always gentle when He speaks to us stiff necked people. He wants us to repent because He knows where sin will lead us. When God calls you to preach you call a spade a spade you do not worry about being politically correct or offending people.

If you did this no one could preach, because every time you will offend someone somewhere with either what you say or how you say it. When Jesus spoke He offended many but some heard. The words used at a given service (or article) may just be for one person that had to hear it that way to understand.

True Christianity is not even a religion, it is the relationship you have with God your Creator. You have a choice to pursue it or leave it. Jesus said "to count the cost."

God became a man and gave His life to give me salvation. That is still mind blowing to me. To pay that high a cost so I could be saved. Is it too high a cost for me to pay that I offer Him all my life in return and trust Him that He has a plan for me that is a good plan? To love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I think it is a small price to pay, really no price at all. All I am really doing is dropping the chains that bind me and moving into the freedom that the Lord Jesus Christ promised me. I love God and to do all He commands of me is not work, it is LIFE!

Salvation is a free gift, but it is a gift to be used as God intended it to be used, not as a cheap gift to be put on a shelf, ignored and finally discarded.

Jesus taught us to pray this way "Father, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". If your priority in life is not to seek and fulfill that will on earth what makes you think you are going to heaven and would be happy there where His will and only His will is done all the time? Are you going to say when you stand before the Lord "now that I'm dead I will offer myself to you Lord and now Lord I will now do Your will"? The Lord will say something like this "The time you should have died to yourself and offered was when you were alive, I never knew you".

23) Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24) I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

25) The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

26) If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

John 12:23 - 26 (Amplified Bible)

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Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible.

Everyone must die sometime.
" is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment..." Hebrews 9:27

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