Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bittersweet Refinements: XVIII

Bittersweet Refinements is another book that I have been given to publish. If it gets to sounding an awfully lot like a broken player stuck on repeating the same old wrong song over and over again that is because it is to a fairly great extent. For most of it contains rewritten parts of the Bitter/Sweets that were published here before. Hopefully, it will get to sounding a lot better to you very soon, and for the benefit of those who do not have access to multiple versions of our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible, numbered Scripture references in the text (for example, [1]) provide links to such through Bible Gateway this time around. The same also applies to verses included in the text.

Chapter XVIII
Contractual Obligations

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” [John 10:27-30 NIV]

No, there is no reason to worry about being stolen from our Heavenly Father’s pen, but this is not to say that the gate is kept closed[1]. For it would not fulfill our Heavenly Father’s purposes to force anyone to spend all of eternity with Him in His Kingdom of Heaven as an heir to all that is His in glory against their will[2].

Therefore, let us want to guard against taking too much for granted[3]. For this is surely a path that leads to destruction[4].

A good example of taking too much for granted involves something that I have been allowed and enabled to experience up close and oh so very personal. For I was raised to believe that once a person is saved from eternal damnation through the acceptance of Christ Jesus as truly being their own personal Lord and Savior[5] that they would remain saved from eternal damnation[6]—no matter what[7].

What I am talking about is often referred to as being once saved/always saved, and I clung to this doctrine with all of my might while I was out there sowing my wild oats. In fact, I would often preach such to a drunken choir when there were not any fair young maidens to entertain in the bar.

Then I was changed, and it was all brought into focus for me[8]. For instead of it being like a contract that cannot be altered in any way by either party involved, the absolute truth of the matter truly is that a child of our Heavenly Father’s family remains a member of His family for as long as they want to because of how much He has always loved them[9].

In other words, it is all about being wanted, and this is something that we can all have faith in. For it truly is as it is written: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:37-40 NIV]

No, it does not help matters much that it has been so widely taught that the love of God is nothing personal. For that promotes an image of our Heavenly Father not wanting anyone to perish[10] as being more about keeping score than anything else.

Alas, what a dreadful thing to look forward to. For who would want to spend all of eternity with someone who could not care less about whether they (as in regards to them as an individual) are really there or not.

Yes, it is quite natural to think that spending a relatively loveless eternity in Heaven would be better than being cast into the Lake of Fire[11], but if you would ask someone who is spending their life in a loveless marriage, I am quite sure that they would be of the opinion that it would not be all that much better. For if spending only twenty years in such a situation can feel like forever, just think what FOREVER AND EVER is going to feel like if the love that our Heavenly Father has for us is indeed completely devoid of passion.

Now, what about us? For it is written: It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. [Hebrews 6:4-8 NIV]

Yes, the absolute truth of the matter truly is that one can lose their salvation. For in order for our Heavenly Father to truly have the kind of relationship that He wants to have with each and every one of us, on an individual basis and without exception, we must be free to reject Him—even after the marriage vows have been exchanged[12].

Granted, it is correctly argued that not all who claim to have accepted Christ Jesus as truly being their own personal Lord and Savior actually have[13], and that they did not have any salvation to lose when they appear to fall away[14]. Nonetheless, such an argument does not negate the fact that it is the same with us as it is with our Heavenly Father’s holy angels[15].

No, this does not have anything to do with earning our keep[16]. It does, however, have everything to do with us truly wanting to be one of our Heavenly Father’s children by faith[17], and most are not even close, nor have any desire to get closer, which places them in great danger of being spit out of His mouth, come Judgment Day[18].

Be truthful, is that not being proven to you at this very moment? For you feel a great uneasiness stirring deep down in your very soul, which is not an unfamiliar feeling[19], and yet you continue to resist because of how contrary what our Heavenly Father actually says is absolutely true is in comparison to what you have really placed your faith in[20].

So, may your rebellion be brief[21]. For the end may be nearer than you think[22], but even if it isn’t, who in their right-mind would want to delay truly having a very close and personal relationship with our Heavenly Father[23]?

{1}John 10:9; {2}John 1:12-13; {3}1 Corinthians 10:12; {4}Matthew 15:13-14; {5}John 3:16; {6}Ezekiel 18:4; {7}Psalms 25:3; {8}2 Corinthians 5:14-21; {9}John 8:35; {10}Ezekiel 18:32; {11}Revelation 20:10-15; {12}John 15:14-17; {13}Matthew 7:21-23; {14}2 Corinthians 11:13-15; {15}Jude 1:6; {16}Romans 11:6; {17}Luke 9:23-26; {18}Revelation 3:14-22; {19}John 16:8-11; {20}John 3:19-21; {21}2 Peter 2:4-9; {22}2 Peter 3:8-14; {23}1 Corinthians 2:6-16.


  1. I agree with that.
    But it leaves me worried when I look at myself.

  2. The bottom-line, my dear Adullamite, is that our Heavenly Father wants all of us to spend all of eternity with Him in His Kingdom of Heaven as heirs to all that is His in glory, but it would defeat His purposes to force anyone to do so against their will. Therefore, we are all free to abandon Him at anytime, but He promises to never abandon those who want to truly be one of His children by faith.

    Be assured that the key to it all is truly hearing His voice. For what our Heavenly Father actually says is absolutely true about truly being one of His children by faith is quite contrary to what most have been led to believe.

    Furthermore, it is not the same for all. For more is required of those who have been given more, and only those who can truly hear His voice can know for sure just what that is.


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