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pray_hands.GIF (680 bytes) Prayer & Spirituality
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Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Sins Forgiven: Past, Present, and Future

The Building Blocks of Eternal Security
Are all future sins forgiven?

How many of our sin's were paid for at Calvary? None? Some? All? If not all, then which ones? One can not but help answer ALL my sins were paid for. Now if ALL your sins were paid for at the cross, and that happened 2000 years ago, weren't ALL your forgiven sins future sins? And if ALL your sins, past, present and future were paid for at the cross then there can never EVER be a possibility of your being judged guilty in the future, can there? Or can there?

The idea of sins being paid for past, present and future opens the door to many questions that ultimately lead one to find out that it isn't logical thinking. If there was a payment made, then whom was it made to? The Scriptures don't tell us. Of course, the Scriptures don't tell us that there was a payment either! But let's suppose it WAS a payment. What was paid for? Your sins were paid for. 1 John 2:2 will tell you that it wasn't only your sins, but the sins of the WORLD! 1 Timothy 2:5 says He gave Himself a ransom for ALL. So was this a real payment or something we imagine. If it is imagined, only a concept, we should treat it as a concept and not rest our eternal security on it! If it was, in fact, a real and absolute payment then we run into problems. If it is real and irrevocable as Securists claim, then it stands to reason that ALL mankind will make it to heaven. Why? Because Jesus died for ALL, not just for you, not just for me, but for the whole world. This means Universalism. If Jesus paid for everybody's sins then everybody must be found innocent on Judgement Day.

Unbelief can't keep us out, it is a sin and was paid for 2000 years ago. The only way Securists have of getting around this dilemma is to say that it doesn't come into effect until you have faith. But this excuse only leads to more problems. Now the Securist must explain why the non-believers sin is no longer paid for. He must also explain why and how Jesus "un-paid" for their sins. And if he can explain this, then what stops Jesus from un-paying the sins of the one that stops believing and turns away? This also denies that the payment was real and absolute as they claim it is. And if it isn't real and absolute, neither is a guarantee of eternal security, as it depends on this theory. And the Securist also needs to explain why salvation is of Grace. If Jesus paid for our sins, then salvation must be by merit of payment. If by merit of payment, then faith is of no effect. Belief will not help your salvation nor will it hinder it. If there was a true and absolute payment made in the past then nothing in the present can change it. Your only assurance of eternal security comes from knowing that this payment was actual, and you don't have any evidence that it, or even the theory of it, is true.

If future sin's were forgiven when you became a believer then certain verses in the Bible become unclear as they imply that future sin's are not forgiven unless conditions are met. "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14-15

"Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." Matthew 18:23-35

"And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." Mark 11:25-26

"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:" Luke 6:37

"And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil." Luke 11:4 (Part of the Lord's Prayer. A model for our prayers.)

"And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." James 5:15

"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." 2 Peter 1:9

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousnes." 1 John 1:9

If you believe that not everyone will be saved and that Jesus died for the world then you must see that a payment made some time in the distant past isn't true. But a provision made in the past covers all. And a provision can and does demand that conditions be met in order to enjoy it's benefits. In this case, repentance and believing the Gospel are the condition (not merit) of receiving the benefit of the provision.

God's provision is this "If you remain repentive and continue to believe in my Son, I will give you eternal life." Your response to hold up your end of the provision would be "Yes Father, I DO believe in your Son and will continue to do so with repentance."

I know at this point many Securists are ready to shoot off an email. How can I say that we can make a bargain with God, that's works and salvation is all about Grace! Is salvation all about Grace or is salvation made possible BECAUSE of God's Grace? And is holding up our end of the provision "works" or is it procurement of the free gift? Jesus died on the cross to clear the way that we can be justified before God, that means forgiven of our sins and counted blameless and free from accusations (Colossians 1:21-22. Verse 23 provides a condition of the provision). But it is of no effect without a saving faith*. Scripture tells us that we must accept Jesus as Lord to be saved. We believe that He was raised from the dead (believe unto righteousness) and confess Him as Lord with our mouth (confession made unto salvation) (Romans 10:9-10). Obedience to Him is a natural and necessary evidence of our love for Him as we receive Him as Lord (part of the fruits of our faith).

Now that our position has been made clear, let's have a heart to heart. I have the sincere conviction that the problem with believing future sins are already forgiven goes much deeper than scripture pointing to the opposite.

Just as going too far to the extreme with future sins being unforgiven without confession can lead to legalism, going too far to the extreme of future sin having already been forgiven leads to legalism in reverse (license). It seems apparent to me that the ideal to strive for is that there should be NO sin in the life of the believer. If we walk in the light we have fellowship with God and the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us from sin. What does that mean? Are you cleansed of sin if you are actively involved in it, while assuming that those sins are already forgiven and of no consequence? Doesn't that tend to make it evident that you never truly received Christ or if you had, that you have turned away? Shouldn't we, having repented and been cleansed of sin, be of the opinion that sin has no place in our life? Rather than assuming that sin will send us to hell or cause loss of rewards shouldn't we be more concerned with how it interferes with our witness? Shouldn't we strive to be all that God wants us to be? Shouldn't we have a true dislike, even hatred of the very idea of sin in our life? It isn't a matter of law and legalism, but love and heart condition. It should be a matter of just how much we want to please God, without thoughts of hell or loss of rewards involved, but out of love and devotion to Him. This holds true of works, they shouldn't occur out of desire for rewards or expectations of eternal life, but out of love and faith! Doesn't it make much better sense to see sin as rebellion against God and not believing Him? (* see note below) Doesn't that make it a whole different situation? Now it isn't a matter of whether sin is of any consequence in our life, but that condoning it is paramount to going against God and willfully abandoning salvation. Now it is a matter of heart and volition. And believing with a child like faith, we can see sin as hurting us just as a child scrapes his knee (I don't mean this to lighten the seriousness of committing sins). We can cry "Abba, Father" and have that scrape cleansed and suffer the reprimand of "I told you not to do that" or "didn't I tell you that you would get hurt?" and know not to do it anymore (repent of it!). And never forget, God provides a means of escape whenever we are confronted with the temptation to sin. It is our own fault if we don't take that route of escape, being as it is up to our own volition.

True Christians should honestly grieve over personal sin and repent of it and try to take measures to avoid it. In like manner true Christians should be constantly yielding to the Holy Spirit to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. To take a no care or not important attitude towards allowing sin your life shows that you aren't serious about your profession. Be honest with yourself. If an attitude that sin is of no consequence in your life describes your feelings it is very possible that you have unknowingly displaced your faith. Rather than having it in Christ, it is very possible that it is now in the remembrance of your past conversion experience and your belief in the validity of OSAS doctrines (and OSAS doctrines are the only place you can find future sins already forgiven). This is summed up by Robert Shank in his book "Life in the Son" :

"One of the false "sweet frames" on which multitudes of sincere people rest their hope for eternity is the erroneous doctrine of unconditional security. Many who deplore the fact that some trust in church membership, baptism, decent living, and other false frames yet rest all their hope for salvation on a false frame just as deadly. Many, quite unconsciously, have transferred their faith from Christ Himself to the fact of a past conversion experience and the assumed validity of the popular doctrine "once in grace, always in grace". Their confidence now rests, not actually in Christ Himself, but in their conversion experience sometime in the past. They know the time and place they were saved; but they do not know Christ. They have no sense of present need for Him - no sense of present dependence on Christ for saving grace, no living faith in a living Savior. They are abiding, not in Christ the Living Vine, but in a popular doctrine.

"I trusted Christ years ago," say they. But they have long since ceased trusting Him and now are trusting in their past conversion experience and in the erroneous assumption that 'once in grace, always in grace.'"

If this is the case, it's time to come home as a prodigal... alive again!

Next: Covered By His Blood

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