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Why and How Most Christians Are Misled
This is my interpretation and my understanding, for your consideration.
 
I had been taught that once you are "saved" or "born-again" you had your ticket to heaven. According to scripture that is not so. Unless (possibly) you were to die at that moment. You must "live" the doctrine!

Once we are "born again," "begotten" or "saved" the Holy Spirit's influence is upon us. Our values change, our feeling towards God and other people will change. We are now ready to begin the road to "salvation" and the possibility of becoming born-again of the spirit upon our resurrection. This is accomplished through the process of living the doctrine, practicing the Godly walk that Jesus showed us. To live as a Christian, not just profess the doctrine but to live the doctrine, as much as possible. We still will fall short and fail from time to time but God forgives us when we confess our sin and ask forgiveness... AND TRULY MEAN IT IN OUR HEART we are heaven bound! It's not the movement of the lips, making words but the spiritual feeling. To my knowledge, God doesn't care about the formation of words, HE looks to the heart!

Consider this verse... 1st John, Chapter 3, Verse 9... "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." That is a source of confusion for some because even though you may have had a "born again" experience, or as I call it, a "begotten" experience, you can still sin! Even though you are "saved," "born again" or "begotten" you can still sin. We are able to sin as long as we are in this flesh body... Not until we are born again of the spirit upon resurrection are we incapable of sin. Therefore, "born again" may be referenced to the born again experience while still in this body or born again of the spirit upon the resurrection, allowing us to enter heaven.

More on Born Again...

The context in which today's evangelicals refer "born again" means a rebirth or birth of the spirit while in this earthly body.

When we are born of human beings, we are born into human life as Jesus said in verse 5, below, in red.

In this first part of the lesson I will use the New Living Translation which is in modern language but based on the King James Version.

John 3:3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” 4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

In the same verse, 5, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. Therefore, we are "born-again." We are born of the spirit. It is a memorable experience! You will know that something is very different! We are born again as a new creature... a new creation.

Now read the same scripture in the original King James Version...

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

In this version it appears to me that Jesus is saying, verse 5, "Unless a man is born of the spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" ... He goes on to say "that which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit." It appears to me He is saying that only spirit can enter the Kingdom of God and not flesh... The way I read that in the original King James Version... it sounds as though Jesus was making reference to a spiritual birth after physical death, which is required to enter the Kingdom.

HOWEVER.... in verse 5 ... Jesus says, "he cannot enter into the kingdom of God"

QUESTION: Is the "Kingdom" our eternal home in the next realm that we know as "Heaven?" OR... is it a spiritual dimension that is omnipresent and here with us now? I would not argue it either way. Both explanations work for me... AND... I think both are correct... The Kingdom of God is with us here and now in another (spiritual) realm and I believe it is our eternal home upon physical death and resurrection of our new, permanent body.

Understanding both meanings can't hurt you! Both are true! When we are resurrected, we are resurrected in a new and perfect body that is incapable of sin. As long as we wear these old flesh bodies, we are capable of sin. We have a new spirit from God but still capable of sin as long as we are in this earth suit.

Once Saved Always Saved...
(A Feel Good Doctrine)

In my mind, this doctrine is one of the most dangerous doctrines ever taught. I believe these folks have misused the term "saved."

According to their belief, once you utter a few sentences in the form of "The Sinner's Prayer" you are "saved" and heaven bound. According to the people I have known that have discussed this doctrine; from this point on, you can not fail to make it to heaven. That is their belief.

According to this doctrine: Regardless what you might do or sin you may commit, you are "saved" and will be in the Kingdom. I do not believe that. Read the scriptures carefully. This is a "feel good" doctrine that is not scriptural. Do not risk your eternal soul by casually accepting this false doctrine.

One of the examples these folks use to prove their doctrine, is when King David cried out to God "Return to me the joy of my salvation." They will go on to explain that David did not say "save me again." This is a pretty flimsy analogy. It proves nothing! Had David not repented and asked God's forgiveness he would not have been heaven-bound but well on his way to hell.

Remember, the term "saved" is misused. I would think the term "saved" is better thought of as that time which I was "begotten." A time when the Holy Spirit of Jesus came upon me and made me ready for my trip to salvation and the true "born again" experience upon resurrection, into the spiritual body.

The experience of being "begotten" alone will not take you to the kingdom. You still have to practice the doctrine of Jesus to the best of your ability until death of the physical body. That's why I can't acknowledge "once saved always saved." I must live the doctrine... that is a continuing constant. In other words; I can't abandon my Christian ethics and lifestyle, live like a "heathen" and expect to make it to the Kingdom.

Remember, there is no magical prayer that makes you acceptable into the Kingdom of God. Unless you apply God's principles in the way you conduct your life, you are not "saved." On the bright side... when you are "begotten" it will be easier to WANT to live according to God's principles.

A person may be "begotten" on their death-bed and make it into the kingdom. The only requirement is that as long as you are alive in your earthly body, you live a life according to the principles Jesus gave us. I don't suggest waiting until you are on your deathbed, because the Holy Spirit may not present itself, it may be too late.

Jesus said, if you obey two commandments all of the other laws will automatically be fulfilled. Those two commandments are (paraphrased):
1. Love God with all your heart and mind.
2. Love your neighbor (others) as you love yourself.

If you are able to do these two things, from the heart, you will do the Christian thing. If you fail (and you will) you repent, ask forgiveness (and really mean it) and you are kingdom bound! A "Begotten," "Saved" or "Born Again" Christian on your way to eternity with the Lord. The longer you live the Christian life, the easier it becomes.

Summary...

Don't make the mistake that many are taught: That at a particular, moment, by saying a prayer or being baptized or some other ritual... that from that moment on you are guaranteed entry to the Kingdom (Heaven).

You may have been 'begotten' of God at that time... AND... if you were to die at that moment, you are heaven bound. However, if after that experience you continue to live in sin and do not repent of your sins, from the heart, you are NOT guaranteed anything. I am not the judge and I do not wish to tell you for sure what the outcome will be for you. That is up to the all-knowing God and His Son Jesus.

................................................................................................

From the 'begotten' moment you are a newly conceived son/daughter of God and you are now in your period of gestation, on your way to becoming born again of the spirit.

As a matter of importance... This "begotten," "saved" or "born again" experience is FELT in your spirit and heart. It is not simply a ritual to which a person gives lip service. That's like getting married when you don't really feel love or caring for your mate, you just say "I Do" when you really don't mean it from the heart. Make sense?

Much is written about this... "Faith without works is useless" and so on.

Before you close the page, be sure to consider Hebrews, 10:26... You may see how serious this false doctrine is.
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

Your Friend,

John

P.S. Here is one of many truths from the bible that should help...

1st John, Chapter 2:3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

 

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