Great Quotes: Dr. Craig Keener

Many beliefs today are popular because they appeal to our weakness rather than because they are biblical. Such beliefs include spiritual justifications for materialism, theological exemptions from suffering tribulation, and even justifications for not sharing our faith with others. The idea that someone who professes conversion will share eternal life even if they do not persevere as believers in Christ is another belief that is comforting—and dangerously false.

From: Once-Saved-Always-Saved?  Maybe Not

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4 Responses

  1. I feel Like I understand what Kind David was talking about in Psalm 51 when he was pleading with God not to take away his Holy Spirit and to restore fellowship. Here’s a copy of my testimony. Please tell me if you know of anybody who believes they committed apostasy or sin unto death.

    I confessed Christ as Lord in elementary school. I stopped going to church in high-school, and I forgot all about Christian life. In my 20’s I was infested in sin. Alcohol, drugs, unknowingly idolatry, probably every sin written was committed I’m ashamed to say. I remember telling people I believed in what the bible said, but I wouldn’t call myself a Christian. I didn’t want people to look at my life and have a negative opinion about Christianity as a whole. It was probably self righteous of me, but I thought I meant well.

    I left Dallas in my early 20’s to move back home here in Victoria. Looking back I think God was trying to get my attention several times. I was so entrapped by the illusion of false pleasures sin provides, that I just couldn’t see it. I can’t remember, but maybe 7 years ago I had a vision on my bed. I’m 38 now. I can’t remember what I saw to exact detail, but it was a vivid clear picture of a head of an animal that didn’t leave my mind until I opened my eyes. I was sober at the time and remember it being a brown cartoon, like a picture of a bulls head? I did all I could to forget.

    My cousin moves in with me about 5 years ago. I am influenced by his interests of philosophy and some pagan garbage. I remember telling my dad during an argument that Christ was probably just a man. I said it out of anger just to shut him up, I didn’t truly believe that.

    This brings me to about 2-3 years ago when I realized I had hit rock bottom in life. I started reading the bible again. On my bed I had a moment where I just cried out to God and said ” what my eyes have seen I don’t believe, but I believe in You! I thought I felt a peacefulness enter inside me. I cried and didn’t want that feeling to leave. Maybe it was all in my head, but it felt real at the time as I remember it.

    The next few months I’m trying to live for God. I’m praying and reading scripture, but I don’t believe I ever repented in the sense of changing my mind about sin. About 3 or so months later in this walk, I am right back where I was before. I’m doing drugs, alcohol, fornication, and idolatry. When I say idolatry, I believe we are surrounded by idolatry here in America and don’t realize it. Movies, music, hobbies, materialism, food, people, self, possessions, and the list never ends. I’m reminded of Peter who talks about the dog that returns to its vomit. It would have been better for that person to not have known than to forsake the Holy commandment given him. That scripture scares me.

    This brings me to 4-5 months ago. I stop watching tv and listening to music. I am reading scripture and praying and trying to live for Christ. I believe during this time I was reading the first 5 books of the Old Testament and got an idea of how God viewed sin. I did a lot of crying and praying during Leviticus and Numbers. I felt a lot of guilt and remember how ignorantly I was saying in prayer I didn’t want to feel guilty all the time. Right before that period, The lusts I’ve struggled with my whole life just stopped. Urges I could never walk away from where gone and it was odd to me. I was smoking cigarettes at the time, but gave those up shortly after. My walk at this point was as solid as it’s ever been. I wanted to feed poor and share scripture.

    This brings me to a month and a half ago when all this rain you mentioned earlier started. I live in Victoria, which is down by Houston, so I understand the torrential rain you mentioned earlier. I was talking to an old friend who pastors in Dallas and he was trying to find me a scripture of encouragement. Then he found one that just popped in his head which happened to be Hebrews 10. He reads me from vs 1 up to vs 25, then he has to get off the phone. I naturally read vs 26 and the others referring to judgement. I am terrified at this point. I never seen this verse that I can recall. I turned on the radio at that point, and John MacArthur is preaching on Hebrews 10:26.

    That night I get home and go to sleep, only to be awoken an hour later with that verse on my mind. It was as if something or someone would wake me up and flash that verse in my head with a presence of terror. A couple nights of tossing and turning, I prayed out to God a short prayer asking for mercy. My Fan light’s switch had been broken for sometime. At the end of my prayer when I said amen, sparks shot out of my fan lights. The next night or night after that, I am praying to God in my front driveway. It’s about 2am and I see sparks in the sky coming towards me about 20-40 feet air above me. I come inside the house to pray it off, and I lay in bed. I felt, for lack of a better description, a heavy presence of lust that seemed to envelope me. I had a carnal dream that night. When I awoke, I grabbed my bible to find scripture of encouragement. I opened the bible immediately to Jude, as if taken to that passage. It’s the scripture about those that defy angelic majesties, even defy flesh in their dreams.

    My friend from Dallas sends me a scripture for comfort and sends me Phillipians chapter 3. All I get out of this chapter is vs 18 where Paul is weeping over those who walk as enemies of the cross.

    This is where it gets weird if it hasn’t already. Birds fly to me in ways I can’t explain. If I drive 5 minutes or an hour away, large birds which appear to be turkey vultures fly in the vicinity of my vehicle everywhere I go. I’ve had a couple dive within 20 or so feet of my vehicle. I’ve got pictures with different times and locations to prove this. I showed my mother and she couldn’t dispute it.

    About 3 weeks ago, I awoke on the couch about midnight. On television there was a black goat. That morning I got a phone call from an old alarm company to inform me the alarm went off. This was a previous job I hadn’t been employed at for several years. They told me they would ” take my name off the list”. I had been thinking about how When Christ would come back, He would separate sheep from the goats and how people’s name could actually be blotted off lambs book of Life. I know it sounds like I’m symbolizing everything and using associating far too much. But I’m leaving out a lot of things similar to this which have happened during this time.

    I’m reminded of King Saul who disobeyed God, God sent a spirit to terrorize him. I’ve been able to sleep since those first couple weeks, Praises be to God for His mercy. It’s like He has answered all my prayers: Lord give me a hunger for you, help me fight off these lust of flesh, give me discernment, give me a fear of You, and help me with self control. It’s as if God has answered these prayers, but it’s as if they have been answered too late. When I tell people this story, they claim Satan is doing this. That is how arrogant we have become as a people, we just toss out opinions with no thought. This all has been done in such an order, it’s hard for me to explain. Every time I turn on radio or go to church, or talk to people, the subject of death or curses come up. The wheat from the tares. The scripture of Christ coming up to the tree with no fruit and making it wither. I have a fear of God I’ve never had, I’m terrified to sin against Him. And for the first time in my life, I realize how incredibly special He is, how I’ve taken such a treasure in the opportunity of fellowship with Him for granted. I have a hunger for God that was never there. A minister suggested to me He might be warning me. Since this all happened, I’ve cried only a few times. I feel like something is missing. It’s as if I totally understand David’s prayer in Psalm 51. I can’t find anybody who is dealing with what I am dealing with. I’ve found stories of people online who feel as if the Holy Spirit was taken from them which I can relate to. Anyhow, I’d be interested to hear what you think about this.

    Believe me, this is the short version. I’m not kidding when I say I can’t drive anywhere without what appear to be turkey vultures in vicinity of my vehicle and I don’t live out in country. This is done in such a way as if it where an omen or curse. I beg all who comment not to be arrogant and claim it’s satan. If this is indeed God, lets not attribute the work to satan because people tend to forget God did curse people and at certain times gave up on people and stopped listening to their prayer. I pray and hope that’s not my case, but just want to remind others on the warning.

    Thanks

    Michael

  2. Michael,

    That is quite a story. I can relate to much of it (walking away from any real commitment for God and fully indulging in sin for a period of time, etc.), but much of it I cannot relate to personally (your dreams or issues with vultures, except to say that I also see vultures all the time as they seem to have made quite the comeback in the US).

    Asking people to explain what is happening in your life or why you are experiencing what you are experiencing is a tall order, especially when you say that Satan cannot have anything to do with it and if someone says that, it means they are arrogant.

    I am confident you would not have a desire for God if you had crossed some irrevocable line. One way or another, God has been pursuing you and is continuing to do so because He loves you. Christ has promised not to cast out any who would come to Him. From what you have written here, that seems to plainly be you. As long as you want Him and are pursuing Him you can be sure that He will not turn you away.

    As for all the rest, I don’t think anyone can explain all of that. That is something will need to figure out on your own. Personally, I do think you are likely reading too much into a lot of what has happened in your life. But again, that is not for me or anyone else to say definitively, which is why it is hard to give you the sort of response you seem to be seeking.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  3. Relatively new believer here, a little over 6 months. I don’t like to call myself by any man’s name, so I’ll just say I’m a follower of Jesus Christ and His disciple. I’m no Calvinist. I know that Calvinism is flawed because the Spirit made that abundantly clear to me when I first got saved and started reading the scriptures. I side with conditional security and Arminianism but I won’t label myself by any name because I think scripture makes it clear to be called by the name of Christ alone, a Christian.

    Anyways none of that really was important to know and I don’t really have a question concerning anything on this blog. Before I ask my question though I just want to say thanks for this blog, it’s a great one concerning the errors of so many Christians nowadays.

    I ask this question because I saw a comment by a user named Michael that you responded to. The user said he lives in Victoria right around Houston and that you had mentioned something about all the rain that hit Texas in these past months. My question is simply, where do you live? Might seem stalkerish, but I live in Houston and I was just wondering.

    May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you and may He multiply grace and peace to you in the Spirit. In Christ, Jacob.

  4. Hey Jacob,

    It seems Michael was leaving part of his testimony that he had left somewhere else for someone in particular who was having a discussion with him at the time. So the comment about the rain wasn’t from me. It was from whoever he was originally talking to when he shared his experience. I don’t personally live anywhere near Texas.

    I am glad you are enjoying the blog.

    God Bless,
    Ben

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