Perseverance

Posted: November 15, 2012 by Dillon in Theology
Tags: , , ,

It’s one of the hotly debated topics in Christianity: can I lose my salvation?  This is such a powerful issue that entire denominations have formed in trying to understand this question.  While the source for these ideas is scripture, I think my own life experience will apply here.

I’m going to be a bad journalist and only present the the side that I believe is true (but I think that makes me a good blogger?).  There’s a doctrine known as the Perseverance of Saints.  It simply states that once saved, always saved.  It gets a little more in-depth than that, but we can use that as our working definition.  But life story time!

I despise talking about myself but I think this is important.  When I was growing up I attended an Assemblies of God church.  It was very exciting–someone even spoke in tongues once!  And when I was nine the pastor told me I was ready to be baptized.  In case you aren’t familiar, a lot of denominations choose to have baptism performed when you can make the choice, instead of as a baby.  Of course, I had pretty much no idea what was going.  I could regurgitate all the “right answers” but I didn’t actually understand the meaning of it.  But I assumed that once I was baptized everything would make more sense.  Well, it didn’t.  After that baptism, everyone was cheering about how I was displaying my faith at such a young age…I guess you could say that congregation had a flair for the dramatic.  After my baptism I stopped learning things.  Call it a flaw in their system, but the church assumed I knew everything I needed to know, which was very far from the truth.

We left that church when I was 11, leaving me to try and figure out all this complex theological stuff on my own.  Needless to say, that didn’t go very well.  For my 12th birthday, some family friends bought me a couple Left Behind books.  Actually, it was Left Behind: The Kids.  It was the popular series rewritten from a kids perspective.  I was absolutely enthralled by the books.  As the story progressed, I slowly became aware of what I was missing in my own spiritual life.  Reading this books actually brought me to the point of finding Christ.  There I was, a 12 year old reading some books, and suddenly it all made sense and I became a Christian.  I still remember being in the car and having that incredible moment of clarity.

However, I had no place to plug in and find out more.  The Assemblies of God church left a sour taste in my family’s mouth, so much that we didn’t want to approach any church.  This left me somewhat wandering.  I checked out books from the library and I tried reading the Bible (I tried reading the OLD King James…).  Slowly, I developed a very…unique theology regarding God and Christ and how everything fit together.  I was often at odds with Catholic and Lutheran friends, but Christ took more and more of a back seat in my life and in my thoughts.  It’s crazy for me to remember some of the things I thought about God at that point.  Fast forward to me being 17.  I’d had five years of confused stumbling and searching, when I finally settled into a Deist view point.  I started to date a wonderful girl who had a very strong conviction with her faith, as did her whole family.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back I can see how much of Christ’ love was pouring out from them.  Even though it was subtle, Jesus and God and everything were slowly moving to the forefront of my mind.  Eventually I started to attend church with this family.  It began with me wanting to impress them, but it turned into me finally getting the fuel I had so desperately been seeking.  Things were starting to make sense.  I was motivated to continue studying and learning.

In college, I happened to get placed on a floor where my CA (or RA) was a Born-Again Christian.  He invited me to Cru, a giant Christian movement on campus.  The only way I can describe my first visit is magical.  I realized, at that moment, that everything in my life had worked to bring me to this very point.  God had, in mind blowing ways, brought me back to Him through my searching.  I’ll never forget how incredible, humble, and broken I felt listening to this song.

That’s a tidbit of my life story.  After I studied the idea of Perseverance of Saints, it immediately rang true to me.  Jesus said, “and I give eternal life to them and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:28-30).  To me, that’s all the proof I need of once saved always saved.  What do you think?  

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