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obvious CC: Can one lose their salvation?


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HOW I WISH I WAS BETTER AT EXPRESSING MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

I'm putting this first because it's SO important!!! I'm NOT struggling because of PEOPLE. I'm struggling because of GOD.

 

I WON'T go to church because of PEOPLE, and this, too, has affected my relationship with God, but ultimately, I FEEL BETRAYED BY GOD ASIDE FROM PEOPLE/CHURCH.

 

I honestly feel deeply blessed by the people in my life.

I don't know if this has been discussed before. I'm going to keep my thoughts and struggles quiet for the moment.

 

Please share.

 

ETA:

 

ok, perhaps WAY too soon, but I'll bleed a little here and add it to my OP.

 

What if you felt SO betrayed by God that you could no longer worship him. Could you lose your salvation?

 

On the same line, what if you've been SO hurt by the church (different situation than the betrayal by God) that you could NEVER return to it? And/or what if you've witnessed SUCH behavior by the leaders in the church, numerous churches, that you could never return?

 

And HOPING NOT TO MAKE THIS HOT: What if your experience has shown you that the worst behavior of mankind you have ever seen was that by Christian brothers and sisters?

 

And because of all of the above, you are seriously doubting there is a God, and could NEVER return to the church?

 

And what if all of the above caused serious hurting in your family, and your kids have decided there is NO God because of the above?

 

SIZE="3"]BUT ABOVE ALL: MY STRUGGLES WITH FAITH AND BELIEF ARE SEPARATE FROM MY STRUGGLES WITH THE CHURCH AND HUMANITY.

 

I feel bad posting this while I've been praying for others. But I will admit, I'm praying and not knowing if anyone is hearing me.[/size]

Edited by Denisemomof4
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Well there's a hot topic for a Sunday afternoon! :)

 

Personally, I believe you can't lose it, but you can reject it. :( Sadly, I have been acquainted with folks who have believed and then walked away. However, I think God is also a pursuer and, as the Bible says, "found by those who do not seek him." How gracious! So, even if we should choose to walk away, I believe He still loves and draws until the end.

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Depends on who you ask--a Calvinist or an Arminian.

 

Calvinism's "U" in TULIP is:

 

Unconditional Election:

God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).

 

Arminianism (which many main-line denominations are) teaches that mankind is really just sin-sick in need of a healer, and that you must do your part in order to receive the forgiveness of God.

 

Wiki has a decent article on it.

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Well, unfortunately there's not an answer for you. This is an age old debate that theologians have argued for quite some time. My personal opinion though is that one cannot lose their salvation. I have had many lengthy discussions regarding this topic, and I've yet to change my mind ever. I believe redemption and regeneration are separate. I believe I did nothing to earn salvation, and therefore, I can do nothing to lose what I never deserved in the first place. However, I do believe that salvation produces within us a new person. There is some outward evidence of an inward change. This area is very gray & brings up a lot of "what if" scenarios regarding people and their personal relationship with God. I'm not the "salvation police" though, so in situations where people are struggling, I simply extend grace and love. For people that were once religious & denounce God, I can't help but wonder if they ever knew Him to begin with.

 

FWIW - I attend a southern baptist church, if that matters to you in where my viewpoint stems from.

 

Susan

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The other line of thought is that yes you can lose your salvation. But I believe it has to be through a conscious decision to reject God/Christ.

 

This is what I believe. IMO, there is a big difference between "where I stand in Christ" versus "how I feel about my relationship with Him." What I mean is that, while I may be feeling pulled in so many directions, I may be questioning some things, I may be feeling that Jesus is so very far away, all the while, I am still "saved" -- that is, I am secure in Him. My right-standing before God is settled. Done deal. That is not going anywhere.

 

My relationship with Jesus has changed over the years. Getting married later in adulthood and having three children in two years might have had something to do with that! The closeness I feel with Jesus may flow, and it may ebb, sad to say. Actually, for the past 10 years I have felt as though I am waiting for Him... just waiting. As though the next move is His to make. It's been a long wait, and yet, I trust Him. He is good. He is merciful.

 

I could walk away from church (I haven't), I could reject a particular belief or practice (thought about it), but being saved is about more than those things. I used to think ;) that my salvation rested on my belief -- my belief being correct enough, or strong enough, or enduring enough.

 

But is life in Christ solely about having a correct set of "doctrines?" Baloney. I am saved through faith, but that faith is in a living Person. I can know Him, and I should seek to know Him. But more than that, He is the One who seeks me. Who loves me. Who carries and delivers me. And, at times, He puzzles me. Then I pray:

 

 

Lord, make me willing to live with Your mystery, as well as Your revelation. Oh Jesus, deepen me in my spirit, so that I let You lead me in the dark.

 

 

 

Ultimately, I have come to believe, we are saved not only because we yield to His love for us, not only because we cry out for His mercy. We are saved because Jesus saves us.

 

 

"Thou shalt call His name 'Jesus,' for He shall save His people from their sins."

 

I once read in the Desert Fathers, "If you can only say two words, in either order, you will be saved." The two words -- Lord and Help.

 

FWIW, my parents' prayers have also been an enormous influence on my spiritual life. If you love someone so much that it hurts, you can "cry out" for that person's salvation and life direction before the Lord. I have seen miracles, I know our prayers are heard.

 

Praying for you today.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sahamamama
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ok, perhaps WAY too soon, but I'll bleed a little here and add it to my OP.

 

What if you felt SO betrayed by God that you could no longer worship him. Could you lose your salvation?

 

On the same line, what if you've been SO hurt by the church (different situation than the betrayal by God) that you could NEVER return to it? And/or what if you've witnessed SUCH behavior by the leaders in the church, numerous churches, that you could never return?

 

And HOPING NOT TO MAKE THIS HOT: What if your experience has shown you that the worst behavior of mankind you have ever seen was that by Christian brothers and sisters?

 

And because of all of the above, you are seriously doubting there is a God, and could NEVER return to the church?

 

And what if all of the above caused serious hurting in your family, and your kids have decided there is NO God because of the above?

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Well, unfortunately there's not an answer for you. This is an age old debate that theologians have argued for quite some time. My personal opinion though is that one cannot lose their salvation. I have had many lengthy discussions regarding this topic, and I've yet to change my mind ever. I believe redemption and regeneration are separate. I believe I did nothing to earn salvation, and therefore, I can do nothing to lose what I never deserved in the first place. However, I do believe that salvation produces within us a new person. There is some outward evidence of an inward change. This area is very gray & brings up a lot of "what if" scenarios regarding people and their personal relationship with God. I'm not the "salvation police" though, so in situations where people are struggling, I simply extend grace and love. For people that were once religious & denounce God, I can't help but wonder if they ever knew Him to begin with.

FWIW - I attend a southern baptist church, if that matters to you in where my viewpoint stems from.

 

Susan

 

Oh, I most DEFINITELY new him, and I have SERIOUS doubts now. I don't question what I once knew - it was VERY real. Now? Not so much. Not at all. How sad that anyone would question the faith I once had.

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ok, perhaps WAY too soon, but I'll bleed a little here and add it to my OP.

 

What if you felt SO betrayed by God that you could no longer worship him. Could you lose your salvation?

 

On the same line, what if you've been SO hurt by the church (different situation than the betrayal by God) that you could NEVER return to it? And/or what if you've witnessed SUCH behavior by the leaders in the church, numerous churches, that you could never return?

 

And HOPING NOT TO MAKE THIS HOT: What if your experience has shown you that the worst behavior of mankind you have ever seen was that by Christian brothers and sisters?

 

And because of all of the above, you are seriously doubting there is a God, and could NEVER return to the church?

 

And what if all of the above caused serious hurting in your family, and your kids have decided there is NO God because of the above?

 

I don't know. None of us really do. But I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry for the hurt. :grouphug:

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Denise, unfortunately some of the most horrible people sit in church pews & never will have their hearts changed. That was true in Christ' day too, with the religious leaders of his times. You mention a lot of "what if" scenarios that are just too vague to dissect honestly. I think when it comes to someone's salvation, God does not want you to worry over these things. You plant the seed, but only He can make grow. As for personal salvation, whoever is feeling betrayed by all of this hurt, I imagine God (who has seen it all play out too) is not shocked by your being upset, but rather His heart hurts along with you (or whoever your talking about). Grace is given to us and should be extended to those that equally don't deserve it. For every bad church, there is a good church. Where wounds and brokenness were created, there is another place where you can be healed and restored. People are people & in difficult times like the ones you've described, it reminds us why we need Jesus. I'm so sorry you have been hurt (or whoever), but the question is, How big is God? I believe He can use all circumstances to refine us and make us better. Even in the most horrendous of circumstances, we are not alone, nor do we need to face trials & tribulations blindly. His promise is not that hard times will pass us by, but rather, that we will never have to face them by ourselves. As for leaders in the church, the bible says they are held at a higher accountability. I believe this is exactly why too. Deceit and Ugliness cause division and hurt. God hates to see his children quarrel. Joyce Meyer has a great analogy. She said rough circumstances and people are like sandpaper sometimes. They refine us, polish us, better us into what we're created to be. But often, the people that rubbed us will just be left at the end of it all as a used up pieces of sandpaper, lol. Not nice, but funny!!

 

Hang in there. There is nothing new under the sun, and God will not only listen to your hurt but help get you through it.

 

Susan

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Denise, unfortunately some of the most horrible people sit in church pews & never will have their hearts changed. That was true in Christ' day too, with the religious leaders of his times. You mention a lot of "what if" scenarios that are just too vague to dissect honestly. I think when it comes to someone's salvation, God does not want you to worry over these things. You plant the seed, but only He can make grow. As for personal salvation, whoever is feeling betrayed by all of this hurt, I imagine God (who has seen it all play out too) is not shocked by your being upset, but rather His heart hurts along with you (or whoever your talking about). Grace is given to us and should be extended to those that equally don't deserve it. For every bad church, there is a good church. Where wounds and brokenness were created, there is another place where you can be healed and restored. People are people & in difficult times like the ones you've described, it reminds us why we need Jesus. I'm so sorry you have been hurt (or whoever), but the question is, How big is God? I believe He can use all circumstances to refine us and make us better. Even in the most horrendous of circumstances, we are not alone, nor do we need to face trials & tribulations blindly. His promise is not that hard times will pass us by, but rather, that we will never have to face them by ourselves. As for leaders in the church, the bible says they are held at a higher accountability. I believe this is exactly why too. Deceit and Ugliness cause division and hurt. God hates to see his children quarrel. Joyce Meyer has a great analogy. She said rough circumstances and people are like sandpaper sometimes. They refine us, polish us, better us into what we're created to be. But often, the people that rubbed us will just be left at the end of it all as a used up pieces of sandpaper, lol. Not nice, but funny!!

 

Hang in there. There is nothing new under the sun, and God will not only listen to your hurt but help get you through it.

 

Susan

 

I could not have said it better. :iagree:

 

:grouphug: to you, Denise, and may you find peace in spite of the storm.

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What if you felt SO betrayed by God that you could no longer worship him. Could you lose your salvation?

 

When someone says betrayed by God, I often wonder what they mean. Does that mean that something terrible happened to you and you feel that if there were really a God then it wouldn't have happened? Terrible things happen to all of us at times. It doesn't mean that God doesn't exist. It rains on the just and the unjust. Suffering is sometimes part of His plan. Sometimes that's the only thing that drives us closer to Him.

 

On the same line, what if you've been SO hurt by the church (different situation than the betrayal by God) that you could NEVER return to it? And/or what if you've witnessed SUCH behavior by the leaders in the church, numerous churches, that you could never return?

 

Find another church. Get over the idea that somehow people in church aren't going to screw up. Find new forgiveness every day. Pray for your enemies.

 

 

And HOPING NOT TO MAKE THIS HOT: What if your experience has shown you that the worst behavior of mankind you have ever seen was that by Christian brothers and sisters?

 

I'd say it's a shame that fellow Christians are behaving badly, but again, they are sinners. Take it to them individually, or as a group and deal with it directly. Forgive and press on.

 

And because of all of the above, you are seriously doubting there is a God, and could NEVER return to the church?

 

I find this a little to difficult to swallow. Because people are acting sinfully you're willing to let go of your belief in God? If anything, this points out (all the more painfully) how much in need of a savior we all are. Man is sinful, all men, and that includes you. If you call yourself a Christian and believe that you never wrong people or hurt people, you're mistaken. Just like you need forgiveness, so do others. That doesn't make God less real.

 

And what if all of the above caused serious hurting in your family, and your kids have decided there is NO God because of the above?

 

Do not cause your children to stumble. Persevere to the end.

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Well, unfortunately there's not an answer for you. This is an age old debate that theologians have argued for quite some time. My personal opinion though is that one cannot lose their salvation. I have had many lengthy discussions regarding this topic, and I've yet to change my mind ever. I believe redemption and regeneration are separate. I believe I did nothing to earn salvation, and therefore, I can do nothing to lose what I never deserved in the first place. However, I do believe that salvation produces within us a new person. There is some outward evidence of an inward change. This area is very gray & brings up a lot of "what if" scenarios regarding people and their personal relationship with God. I'm not the "salvation police" though, so in situations where people are struggling, I simply extend grace and love. For people that were once religious & denounce God, I can't help but wonder if they ever knew Him to begin with.

 

FWIW - I attend a southern baptist church, if that matters to you in where my viewpoint stems from.

 

Susan

:iagree:No, I don't believe you can lose your salvation. John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." But was there real salvation to begin with? Was there repentance and an inner change of self?

 

As for those in the church that cause hurt and damage, I can only say they are human, wretched sinners. I believe God either causes or allows things to happen and that very often very, very bad things happen for many reasons. But in the end we are purified and refined by those circumstances. It's very much a mystery to me, but I do know we live in a fallen world and the beast is prowling around every corner. Even in the church.

 

My prayer for you is that you would find your way to a church body full of loving and TRUE Christians who can help you heal. Please believe me, not all churches are like what you have experienced.

 

I will pray for you about this. Can I recommend a book? Randy Alcorn's new book If God is Good is an awesome read on this topic.

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What if your experience has shown you that the worst behavior of mankind you have ever seen was that by Christian brothers and sisters?

 

:grouphug: I'm sorry you're having such a hard time, Denise!

 

I was struck by your question (quoted above) and all I can say is that just because people may call themselves Christian and "talk the talk" doesn't mean that they are good people. Sometimes, they're big liars, and many people act nice so they can take advantage of others, and others just don't care if they're doing horrible things.

 

The same is true with churches. Some are wonderful and others... not so much. But maybe what you may want to consider is how to separate your feelings about God vs. how you feel about the church.

 

I'm no expert on any of this, but I think you may need to step away from your "affiliations" and sort out what you really believe, and then work from there.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

Cat

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Oh.. I just read that you are speaking personally from your circumstances, so if my previous post seems weird it's simply because I had no idea who or what you were referring too. I don't think you are denouncing God, Denise. It sounds like you want to run from all churches though, and from what you've shared, that sentiment is more than understandable.:grouphug:

 

If I, a total stranger, have total understanding and sympathy with your pain & hurt...how much more does Jesus? Bring it Him and be fully transparent. I have yelled, cried, ignored, blamed, and every other emotion you can think of with God. We have had it out many times. Not once did I feel I was on the verge of losing my salvation though. I don't think you need to worry about that. That's my honest opinion.

 

 

Susan

Edited by susankenny
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I do not believe that you can lose your salvation. I Love Lucy gave a good verse for why I believe this. Some other reasons I believe in eternal security. When you believe in Jesus Christ for salvation, God is the one who does all the work. Our salvation depends on His work and His faithfulness, not our work or our faithfulness. Also 2 Cor. 5:17 says that "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creature, the old things passed away, behold new things are come." I believe that salvation transforms us irrevocably into God's child. No one can take away that change.

 

The other parts of your post are separate questions that I'm not ready to answer right now. Maybe if I get a second wind later, I'll say some about that.

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I do not believe that you can lose your salvation. I Love Lucy gave a good verse for why I believe this. Some other reasons I believe in eternal security. When you believe in Jesus Christ for salvation, God is the one who does all the work. Our salvation depends on His work and His faithfulness, not our work or our faithfulness. Also 2 Cor. 5:17 says that "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creature, the old things passed away, behold new things are come." I believe that salvation transforms us irrevocably into God's child. No one can take away that change.

 

 

:iagree: You expressed my sentiments too, Jean. :)

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Oh, I most DEFINITELY new him, and I have SERIOUS doubts now. I don't question what I once knew - it was VERY real. Now? Not so much. Not at all. How sad that anyone would question the faith I once had.

 

Gently, I don't understand this. If you know someone, then you can't unknow them, YKWIM. You can't meet someone, talk to them, have a relationship with them and then determine years later that they never really existed. That would automatically invalidate your original beliefs, wouldn't it? You can think you may have believed and now decide that you don't believe, but doesn't that logically necessitate that you only THOUGHT you believed and that you never really did, or that you did believe in something but it turns out now that that something was not real? I'm just thinking out the logic here. As if I saw a tree in my back yard, touched it, believed it was there and then went in the house and said there is no tree in my back yard. That would have to mean that I didn't REALLY touch a tree. I can understand when someone says, "I used to believe in Christ, but I don't think I do anymore." I can understand when someone says, "I believe in God but I choose not to follow him." But I just don't understand the words, "I knew Christ, but I don't know Him anymore." It's like saying that years ago he was real (no real to me, but actually real) and now he isn't real. It doesn't make logical sense to me. :confused:

 

Personally, I believe that if you are a true child of God, you can not loose your place with him. That's like one of your children becoming not genetically related to you. That's imposible. He's your child and always will be. I also believe that true salvation transforms the heart permanantly.

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Oh.. I just read that you are speaking personally from your circumstances, so if my previous post seems weird it's simply because I had no idea who or what you were referring too. I don't think you are denouncing God, Denise. It sounds like you want to run from all churches though, and from what you've shared, that sentiment is more than understandable.:grouphug:

 

 

Susan

 

Your post brought me to so many tears I had to step away from the computer. Yes, I'm speaking of me personally, but although I've experienced HORRIBLE behavior in the church, and among Christians, the worst thing is that I feel so betrayed by God that I can't trust HIM.

 

I MOST DEFINITELY had a very REAL relationship with him, a VERY REAL faith. But there was something I prayed for DESPERATELY for 20 years. I prayed. I struggled. I pleaded. I sought professional advice. (therapy) I bled my heart to pastors and leaders who couldn't help. My kids have been affected and I've lost my faith.

 

And the above is an ENTIRELY different situation than the pain the church people, leaders and pastors have caused. I've seen so many families destroyed by the church that I can't count how many. Yet the churches go on with their revolving doors and people are ruined and lost in their path. And it continues on and on and on.

 

I've lost my faith in God, and aside from that, I will NEVER return to the church.

 

I question, though, have I lost my salvation?

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I'm so sorry you've had a bad experience, I know how upsetting that can be. The church is full of sinners, always has been and always will be, but we should strive for holiness. Find a place where that is a part of the message. The focus should be on Christ and not on self.

hat if you felt SO betrayed by God that you could no longer worship him.

This is a feeling, a temptation against faith. Love is an act of the will and you don't have to "feel" like worshiping God to actually give him the honor that he is due. Feelings come and go and it is a sign that you are maturing in your faith that you are experiencing this (see 1 Corinthians 3:2 "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able." Milk--some call spiritual candy--just a feeling.

Can one lose their salvation?
I believe you can. Through grace we come to understand the gospel message and through grace we persevere. Just a few-

Mt 10:22, Mt 24:13, Mk 13:13

But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.

 

1 Cor 10:12T

Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.

Luke 9:62

Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."

Phil 2:12-13

So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.

2 Cor 6:3-5

We cause no one to stumble in anything, in order that no fault may be found with our ministry; on the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God, through much endurance, in afflictions, hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts

Romans 8:24-25

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

Hebrew 6:11-12

We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of hope until the end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

1 Pet 1:13

Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Edited by love2read
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Gently, I don't understand this. If you know someone, then you can't unknow them, YKWIM. You can't meet someone, talk to them, have a relationship with them and then determine years later that they never really existed. That would automatically invalidate your original beliefs, wouldn't it? You can think you may have believed and now decide that you don't believe, but doesn't that logically necessitate that you only THOUGHT you believed and that you never really did, or that you did believe in something but it turns out now that that something was not real? I'm just thinking out the logic here. As if I saw a tree in my back yard, touched it, believed it was there and then went in the house and said there is no tree in my back yard. That would have to mean that I didn't REALLY touch a tree. I can understand when someone says, "I used to believe in Christ, but I don't think I do anymore." I can understand when someone says, "I believe in God but I choose not to follow him." But I just don't understand the words, "I knew Christ, but I don't know Him anymore." It's like saying that years ago he was real (no real to me, but actually real) and now he isn't real. It doesn't make logical sense to me. :confused:

 

Personally, I believe that if you are a true child of God, you can not loose your place with him. That's like one of your children becoming not genetically related to you. That's imposible. He's your child and always will be. I also believe that true salvation transforms the heart permanantly.

 

I can only give an example.

 

From your posts, you OBVIOUSLY love your husband dearly. What if you found out that during his time away from you, he was doing things that were so disgusting, so outrageous that you couldn't bare to look him in the face?

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY: you felt such a sense of betrayal that you realize that you never truly knew him?

 

This is an example of what I'm feeling with God. I don't care what you or others think, but I knew him. I loved him. I had such faith that I thought NOTHING could shake it. But I was wrong. WIthout getting into details, I sought him for 20 years and he turned his back to me. He was silent. And my family has been deeply affected by this.

 

I hope he won't betray them in the long run, but they certainly feel there is NO god. This is what I can NOT get beyond.

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I'm so sorry you've had a bad experience, I know how upsetting that can be. The church is full of sinners, always has been and always will be, but we should strive for holiness. Find a place where that is a part of the message. The focus should be on Christ and not on self.

This is a feeling, a temptation against faith. Love is an act of the will and you don't have to "feel" like worshiping God to actually give him the honor that he is due. Feelings come and go and it is a sign that you are maturing in your faith that you are experiencing this (see 1 Corinthians 3:2 "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able." Milk--some call spiritual candy--just a feeling.

I believe you can. Through grace we come to understand the gospel message and through grace we persevere. Just a few-

Mt 10:22, Mt 24:13, Mk 13:13

But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.

 

1 Cor 10:12T

Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.

Luke 9:62

Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."

Phil 2:12-13

So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.

2 Cor 6:3-5

We cause no one to stumble in anything, in order that no fault may be found with our ministry; on the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God, through much endurance, in afflictions, hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts

Romans 8:24-25

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

Hebrew 6:11-12

We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of hope until the end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

1 Pet 1:13

Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

It's hard to worship ANY being when you feel such betrayal.

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I don't think it is possible to lose your salvation either. The Bible says we are "sealed with the Holy Spirit" and I don't think it is possible to unseal ourselves. I too have suffered a great deal at the hands of people in the church. In fact, if my salvation experience with God hadn't been so dramatic as it was, I probably would have walked away too because it all happened when I was a brand new Christian 21 years ago. Jesus does warn us about wolves in sheeps clothing and that we must be gentle but also shrewd because he sends us out as sheep among wolves. That's why we need the armor of God everyday. Even Jesus was betrayed by one of his own disciples who He poured teaching into for 3 and a half years. As far as your personal experience, I am truly sorry that you are hurting and doubting. I really am. :grouphug: I think it is natural to feel that way when you are really going through the wringer, but if I can use the words of my pastor to encourage you when he taught about Naomi, "hang in there. You may be in the middle of the chapter of your life, and nothing makes sense and it seems like God has abandoned you, but HANG ON, your story isn't finished yet." This is from a man who was in your exact same position. He wanted a child more than anything, his wife was barren for 10 years. She finally got pregnant and they were so excited. They were rejoicing! She suffered a miscarriage and my pastor almost walked away from the faith he was so upset with God. He couldn't understand why God would give him such a heart to be a father and such a love for children only to disappoint him like that. He still doesn't know why God had to take the child, but years later, he loves God more than ever and he has two GORGEOUS children. A boy and a girl. Sorry this is long. I just wanted to encourage you. I hope it helps. :grouphug: PM me if you need to talk to anyone. I've been through some stuff in my walk too. God bless you sister. :grouphug:

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This is an example of what I'm feeling with God. I don't care what you or others think, but I knew him. I loved him. I had such faith that I thought NOTHING could shake it. But I was wrong. WIthout getting into details, I sought him for 20 years and he turned his back to me. He was silent.

I believe you!! Please know that this is a part of the spiritual journey. Some people---many people never get to where you are. You can endure and your joy and peace will be greater than before if you pray your way through this. Pray the Lord's prayer if that is all you can do at the moment, but don't turn your back on God. He did not turn his back on you. Remember in this life we have to practice faith and hope. Those won't be needed in the next life, but as scripture tells us, they must be practiced now. How could they practiced if there was only peace, joy and spiritual candy from God.

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:grouphug:Denise, why not simply share what's going on? Yes, it's a public forum...but it sounds like you have nothing to lose & maybe God can use someone here to shine new perspective on this trouble that is destroying you. What has taken place that God is at fault over???? Your example of a husband with hidden and repulsive behaviors simply can't apply to God. It is against His actual nature to be a liar that deceives. He doesn't just give love. He is love. I'm not sure what has happened, but I know that God cannot be the root of it's blame.

 

I'm so sorry you are feeling broken. As for your salvation? It's only for you to sort out. Personally though, I believe if you had it, it is indeed still your's.

 

Love,

Susan

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This isn't meant to be snarky or rude....but I am genuinely wondering why you are concerned about salvation if you don't believe in God at all. There is no need for salvation if there is no God.

 

However, in reading through some of your posts, I don't really think you have lost your faith in God, I think you are simply going through a very rough time and questioning the whys of humanity, which most of us go through in some varying degree of some sort at some time.

 

I am very sorry that you feel betrayed and I hope there is someone IRL that can listen and help you through whatever it is that you are going through.

 

Unfortunately, people screw up.

 

:grouphug:

 

Dawn

 

Your post brought me to so many tears I had to step away from the computer. Yes, I'm speaking of me personally, but although I've experienced HORRIBLE behavior in the church, and among Christians, the worst thing is that I feel so betrayed by God that I can't trust HIM.

 

I MOST DEFINITELY had a very REAL relationship with him, a VERY REAL faith. But there was something I prayed for DESPERATELY for 20 years. I prayed. I struggled. I pleaded. I sought professional advice. (therapy) I bled my heart to pastors and leaders who couldn't help. My kids have been affected and I've lost my faith.

 

And the above is an ENTIRELY different situation than the pain the church people, leaders and pastors have caused. I've seen so many families destroyed by the church that I can't count how many. Yet the churches go on with their revolving doors and people are ruined and lost in their path. And it continues on and on and on.

 

I've lost my faith in God, and aside from that, I will NEVER return to the church.

 

I question, though, have I lost my salvation?

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Your post brought me to so many tears I had to step away from the computer. Yes, I'm speaking of me personally, but although I've experienced HORRIBLE behavior in the church, and among Christians, the worst thing is that I feel so betrayed by God that I can't trust HIM.

 

I MOST DEFINITELY had a very REAL relationship with him, a VERY REAL faith. But there was something I prayed for DESPERATELY for 20 years. I prayed. I struggled. I pleaded. I sought professional advice. (therapy) I bled my heart to pastors and leaders who couldn't help. My kids have been affected and I've lost my faith.

 

And the above is an ENTIRELY different situation than the pain the church people, leaders and pastors have caused. I've seen so many families destroyed by the church that I can't count how many. Yet the churches go on with their revolving doors and people are ruined and lost in their path. And it continues on and on and on.

 

I've lost my faith in God, and aside from that, I will NEVER return to the church.

 

I question, though, have I lost my salvation?

 

 

Just to clarify where you are:

 

If you don't believe in God at all anymore, then you wouldn't care about salvation, because it wouldn't exist. So, this means you still believe that there is a God out there. You just don't trust that He cares for you or can/will do anything for you, right?

 

Oh, sweetie pie, that's so sad.

 

And shame on those Christians/churches who hurt people. It's exactly like in Jesus' day. He made such a show of rebuking the church people who were hurting everyone. And he made such a point of traveling to the areas/people that everyone else had written off.

 

Big hugs to you.

 

This is a tough question. It's like asking permission, "Can I turn away from God, resent Him, and reject him and still get into heaven?" I'm not so sure. I just don't know. But if you purposely refuse to have anything to do with God thinking, "Well, I'll still get into heaven," that sounds like faulty reasoning to me. Sounds risky to me.

 

But I also understand that you can't pretend that you're not feeling resentful and betrayed. I can only encourage you to ask him to show you what's going on and to show you his love for you.

 

Is there a strong, mature Christian who can talk to you? I'm not saying to go to church, because that doesn't sound like it will be good for you...but do you know anyone who is grounded and can hear God for you to talk to about your loss of trust in God?

 

When I was shaken, years ago, I didn't talk to anyone. I managed to muddle through, but I vowed that I would never hide alone with my doubts/fears. I would go to someone strong in their faith and at least talk to them. I can only encourage you to go to someone and talk and receive their encouragement.

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I can only give an example.

 

From your posts, you OBVIOUSLY love your husband dearly. What if you found out that during his time away from you, he was doing things that were so disgusting, so outrageous that you couldn't bare to look him in the face?

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY: you felt such a sense of betrayal that you realize that you never truly knew him?

 

This is an example of what I'm feeling with God. I don't care what you or others think, but I knew him. I loved him. I had such faith that I thought NOTHING could shake it. But I was wrong. WIthout getting into details, I sought him for 20 years and he turned his back to me. He was silent. And my family has been deeply affected by this.

 

I hope he won't betray them in the long run, but they certainly feel there is NO god. This is what I can NOT get beyond.

 

Using the husband example: I would say, as painful as it would be to admit, that what I had thought about who my DH was turned out to be untrue. Are you saying that Christ exists, but that you now believe His character is different then what you thought, such that instead of being a good God, he is evil? Or that you now believe he doesn't existed and never has? These are the only two choices.

 

I will say that I am so very, very sorry for your pain. Obviously, you've been through a trauma. But I also need to defend my beloved. You can not blame God for the actions of people. Christ does not turn His back on anyone who seeks Him. Christ does not betray. I'm so, so sorry for the place you are in. So sorry. But I can only urge you to read your Bible and continue to pray. There is no other answer. That He betrayed you or that He does not exist is not the truth. I hope someday you find your way back to Him.

 

(Of course, these are my personal beliefs.)

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I believe you!! Please know that this is a part of the spiritual journey. Some people---many people never get to where you are. You can endure and your joy and peace will be greater than before if you pray your way through this. Pray the Lord's prayer if that is all you can do at the moment, but don't turn your back on God. He did not turn his back on you. Remember in this life we have to practice faith and hope. Those won't be needed in the next life, but as scripture tells us, they must be practiced now. How could they practiced if there was only peace, joy and spiritual candy from God.

 

I can't get myself to that place until my kids are there.

 

THIS IS SEPARATE FROM THE PAIN WE HAVE ENDURED IN THE CHURCH.

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This isn't meant to be snarky or rude....but I am genuinely wondering why you are concerned about salvation if you don't believe in God at all. There is no need for salvation if there is no God.

However, in reading through some of your posts, I don't really think you have lost your faith in God, I think you are simply going through a very rough time and questioning the whys of humanity, which most of us go through in some varying degree of some sort at some time.

 

I am very sorry that you feel betrayed and I hope there is someone IRL that can listen and help you through whatever it is that you are going through.

 

Unfortunately, people screw up.

 

:grouphug:

 

Dawn

 

Very good question.

 

BUT ABOVE ALL: MY STRUGGLES WITH FAITH AND BELIEF ARE SEPARATE FROM MY STRUGGLES WITH THE CHURCH AND HUMANITY.

 

I feel bad posting this while I've been praying for others. But I will admit, I'm praying and not knowing if anyone is hearing me.

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Denise - how to answer you in a way that might help instead of tear you down in the midst of what is obviously still very deep hurt. . .

 

I can only put my trust and faith in things that are bigger and more solid than my own experience. To me, that is the person of God and His Word which is His message to us. So - to answer the question of whether He is there or if He leaves us, I have to go to Scripture, not to my own experience. When I do that, I find verses (promises really) that tell me "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:4- 6 and "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38 - 39.

 

I put my trust in those words, not my own feelings of pain when I was r*ped and my sense of betrayal a couple of years later when my pastor at the time announced to the congregation that I was not a Christian because I asked a woman who assaulted me for 3 straight hours to leave my house.

 

To be rather vulgar, we could get into a "p*ssing match" over one person's experience vs. another person's experience and what that leads us to believe about God. But honestly? None of that matters. What matters is "What does God say about God?" "What does He say about who we are as human beings and then later as those who have been saved through the work of Jesus Christ?" "What does He say about sin in general and about sin the life of a believer?"

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God doesn't betray anyone. It's against His nature to do so. People, however, do and they often do in the "name of Jesus." People are sinners; God is holy.

 

I've been betrayed by the people closest to me and you know what I found during those times? God was closer to me than at any other time. His mercies are new every morning and great is his faithfulness. Don't let sinners behaving in sinful ways steal you from your faith in God. Turn TO him, not FROM Him at this time and He will be faithful to you.

 

Job refused to let his friends, and even his wife, dissuade him from renouncing God and God blessed him abundantly. God reminded Job who was in control and who had the master plan. Trust in that, not in people acting like jerks.

 

I'm sorry you're hurting, but use this hurt to draw closer to God; don't use it to shake your fist at Him. :grouphug::grouphug:

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Denise - how to answer you in a way that might help instead of tear you down in the midst of what is obviously still very deep hurt. . .

 

I can only put my trust and faith in things that are bigger and more solid than my own experience. To me, that is the person of God and His Word which is His message to us. So - to answer the question of whether He is there or if He leaves us, I have to go to Scripture, not to my own experience. When I do that, I find verses (promises really) that tell me "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:4- 6 and "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38 - 39.

 

I put my trust in those words, not my own feelings of pain when I was r*ped and my sense of betrayal a couple of years later when my pastor at the time announced to the congregation that I was not a Christian because I asked a woman who assaulted me for 3 straight hours to leave my house.

 

To be rather vulgar, we could get into a "p*ssing match" over one person's experience vs. another person's experience and what that leads us to believe about God. But honestly? None of that matters. What matters is "What does God say about God?" "What does He say about who we are as human beings and then later as those who have been saved through the work of Jesus Christ?" "What does He say about sin in general and about sin the life of a believer?"

 

:grouphug:I'm going to PM you.

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:grouphug: to you first and foremost b/c I, too, have been where you are. Let me just offer a few things. FIRST..none of this surprises God! Your questioning, your hurt, your frustration, your anger, feelings of betrayal, etc. NONE of that surprises Him and certainly NONE of it causes Him to love you any less! That is the good news! I've shaken my fists at God, screamed at Him, ignored Him, questioned Him, etc. All of it. BTDT. I've wrestled with Him until my hip hurt. All of this, my friend, PROVES that you DO recognize that HE EXISTS! Your challenge is not in believing IN Him; it is believing Him. Does that make sense? I don't know the answer to your original question. I've asked it before. I will simply urge you to keep wrestling with Him and with this hurt. He can handle it. It is ultimately bringing you closer to Him. Believe it or not. I will be praying for you. PM me if you need to...I'm not one to get super-religious and preachy. But if you need an empathetic ear, I am good for that. I've btdt and still struggle sometimes. :grouphug:

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God doesn't betray anyone. It's against His nature to do so. People, however, do and they often do in the "name of Jesus." People are sinners; God is holy.

 

I've been betrayed by the people closest to me and you know what I found during those times? God was closer to me than at any other time. His mercies are new every morning and great is his faithfulness. Don't let sinners behaving in sinful ways steal you from your faith in God. Turn TO him, not FROM Him at this time and He will be faithful to you.

 

Job refused to let his friends, and even his wife, dissuade him from renouncing God and God blessed him abundantly. God reminded Job who was in control and who had the master plan. Trust in that, not in people acting like jerks.

 

I'm sorry you're hurting, but use this hurt to draw closer to God; don't use it to shake your fist at Him. :grouphug::grouphug:

 

Honestly, it's going to take a LOT of effort on my part to believe that God doesn't betray. It's been three years and I can't shake what I'm feeling. I've shared with my close Christian friends, and even with a few acquaintances. Maybe I'll always stay in this spot.

 

I guess I want to put this all to rest. Seal the deal. Is God real or not? I can't answer that anymore. But I can say with definite certainty that I once had this answer. If anyone wants to judge the belief of others, shame on you. If, on the other hand you simply don't understand, maybe my posts will help you.

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:grouphug: to you first and foremost b/c I, too, have been where you are. Let me just offer a few things. FIRST..none of this surprises God! Your questioning, your hurt, your frustration, your anger, feelings of betrayal, etc. NONE of that surprises Him and certainly NONE of it causes Him to love you any less! That is the good news! I've shaken my fists at God, screamed at Him, ignored Him, questioned Him, etc. All of it. BTDT. I've wrestled with Him until my hip hurt. All of this, my friend, PROVES that you DO recognize that HE EXISTS! Your challenge is not in believing IN Him; it is believing Him. Does that make sense? I don't know the answer to your original question. I've asked it before. I will simply urge you to keep wrestling with Him and with this hurt. He can handle it. It is ultimately bringing you closer to Him. Believe it or not. I will be praying for you. PM me if you need to...I'm not one to get super-religious and preachy. But if you need an empathetic ear, I am good for that. I've btdt and still struggle sometimes. :grouphug:

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

Why am I so emotional?

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I don't question what I once knew - it was VERY real. Now? Not so much. Not at all. How sad that anyone would question the faith I once had.

 

:grouphug: How sad that you would question the faith you once had... or maybe not so sad? Denise, don't worry right now about what other people think about you or your faith. If your honest present place is on the Question Mark, then that is where you are. Sometimes the road bends, and we live on the curve.

 

This is what I had to do when I was where you are now: Go away. No, I don't mean that in a nasty way, LOL, I mean that you really, really need to schedule a time out from your everyday life. I didn't know this from my upbringing, but there are places all over the world where people can go to be alone with God (that is, if He exists, if He knows you exist, etc.). And if He doesn't exist, or doesn't meet with you, then at least you've had a time of rest. There is nothing quite like a retreat of solitude. Can you plan to go away for at least a few days, even better a week? Some places will let you stay for no charge, will bring meals to your hermitage (like a little cabin or room), and will provide spiritual direction (if you request it), but will otherwise leave you blessedly alone.

 

I don't mean that you should try to find a person with the answers for you. I don't think you will find that person, honestly. I never did find someone to tell me how it all works, although spiritual direction has at times been very helpful. But who could ever say, honestly, that everything will work out just fine? Actually, it doesn't all work out fine, at least in my experience. (Sorry).

 

As for the worst behavior you have ever witnessed coming from Christians, what can I say? Yesterday I fixed a toilet for my parents' neighbor. I have known this woman nearly all my life. She is so precious to our family. She is wonderfully wise and witty. She is Jewish. She is 88 years old. She has a number tatooed on her arm. Her father, mother, sisters, brothers, and relatives were all killed in concentration camps. Only one sister survived with her. How ghastly to think that, in Mrs. E.'s mind, this was done by "Christians!" Her family was brutally murdered, her people were intentionally annihilated, but not by anyone following Jesus, of that I am certain.

 

His heart would never do us harm. Isaiah 53,

 

Who has believed our message?

And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,

And like a root out of parched ground;

He has no stately form or majesty

That we should look upon Him,

Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

3He was despised and forsaken of men,

A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

And like one from whom men hide their face

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4Surely our griefs He Himself bore,

And our sorrows He carried;

Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5But He was pierced through for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,

And by His scourging we are healed.

6All of us like sheep have gone astray,

Each of us has turned to his own way;

But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all

To fall on Him.

7He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

Yet He did not open His mouth;

Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,

And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,

So He did not open His mouth.

8By oppression and judgment He was taken away;

And as for His generation, who considered

That He was cut off out of the land of the living

For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?

9His grave was assigned with wicked men,

Yet He was with a rich man in His death,

Because He had done no violence,

Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10But the LORD was pleased

To crush Him, putting Him to grief;

If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,

He will see His offspring,

He will prolong His days,

And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

11As a result of the anguish of His soul,

He will see it and be satisfied;

By His knowledge the Righteous One,

My Servant, will justify the many,

As He will bear their iniquities.

12Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,

And He will divide the booty with the strong;

Because He poured out Himself to death,

And was numbered with the transgressors;

Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,

And interceded for the transgressors.

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I am at a loss as how to reply to this. First you have my sympathies... many sympathies actually. I am not feeling sorry for you, I want to point out. I just feel with you, for you... My grandmother had been raised Baptist, I believe. She married a man at 17, and had 5 children with him. He was in the army and beat and raped her every chance he got. He cut her hair, leaving scissor cuts on her scalp. Beat her into miscarrying. This man was evil. On top of it she lost ALL of her children. The first dies in a drunk driving/hitch hiking accident very young- she had 2 children, whom my grandmother has never seen since. Her second child disappeared as a young adult, never to be seen, heard from or found again. Her third child, which I believe was my mother, committed suicide almost 5 years ago because she was so haunted by what she had seen and had to endure when her father kidnapped her and her sister from her mother when she finally left him. Her forth child, died of SIDS at 4 months. And her last, died on an operating table from a blood clot in the artery surrounding his heart. After all of this, my grandmother did lose her faith and love in God. I understand, as much as one can who has never endured all that she has. My heart goes out to her, and I cry for all that her poor, worried soul has had to endure. My mother, to my knowledge, never found God. She gave me up, after almost aborting me, to my grandmother. There is so much loss, and terror, and heartache within my families history. I can not begin to imagine what you might have had to suffer or endure to get one to turn away from God. My own history has not been pretty... and at times when I have not been rooted in self-discipline and the church, I still have had love for God in my heart. I still have had tried to understand the *why's*. I may not agree with some of the "God fearing" people I have met, they may have been corrupt and no good, I may not agree with the my current churches doctrine, or the where the church is going as a whole... but regardless, my love for God stands. My knowledge that he exists pushes me to search out further. To stretch my bounds to understand, to find what it is He wants for me. Without knowing fully whatever it is that is troubling you and eating at your soul it is hard to remark. I am not sure we ever lose salvation. I am not sure if we do stop loving him, that we get to keep it. But this is coming from someone who has a hard time grasping salvation, because she has been taught that while salvation/Atonement it is a gift, a sacrifice that was given... if we do not pay tithing, support our leaders, live their counsel, give up alcohol, smoking, tea and coffee we can not enter His holy house... and therefore can never live in His presence in the afterlife anyway. So when you have all of that, a checklist if you will, what does salvation really mean??

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I'm sorry your family is going through such a tough time! But, I guess since I view our salvation as the ONLY thing in our lives too valuable to lose, there is NO person/group/church/Christian/pseudo-Christian/whatever that I will allow to get in the way of that. I would not give them that power.

 

If I had a problem with (whichever of those), I can certainly QUIT (whichever of those) in order to maintain my sanity and keep my ties to God. I have my preferred denomination for bringing me closer to Jesus, but if that denomination became an actual OBSTACLE (for whatever reason) I would certainly seek out either a different denomination or just go it alone, but I would not give up my belief in God based on Human Events.

 

No one had more reason to do that than Jesus' own mother (based on human events -- her OWN denomination put her Son to death, for St. Peter's sake!) So it isn't like this road hasn't been traveled before.

 

If you feel your faith itself is wavering, ASK God for help! "Lord, help my unbelief!" Jesus responds to all who ask with a sincere heart.

 

Best wishes to you, it must be quite a situation to have you questioning your faith, and many of us have been there with you. May God show Himself to you during this Christmas season.

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"I'm putting this first because it's SO important!!! I'm NOT struggling because of PEOPLE. I'm struggling because of GOD."

 

No, actually you're struggling because you are human and God has given you free will. You have the right and full ability to doubt Him all your life if you so choose. He does not want this, but He has given you the right to separate yourself from Him in this way. And every human being has such rights.

 

"I WON'T go to church because of PEOPLE, and this, too, has affected my relationship with God, but ultimately, I FEEL BETRAYED BY GOD ASIDE FROM PEOPLE/CHURCH."

 

No church is perfect. You may find one that is more right for you than another; or right for you for a while, at least. But all churches are filled with imperfect human beings who are going to struggle, fail, sin, betray and do all sorts of "wrong" things all the time. We live in a fallen world. That's just the way it is.... God did not create this imperfect world. He allowed us to choose our path and we chose wrongly. We brought all this upon ourselves. He, however, is always there to correct wrongs.

 

"ETA:

 

What if you felt SO betrayed by God that you could no longer worship him. Could you lose your salvation?"

 

Well, I would hope that once a person has become a Christian they will stay in closer relationship to God than that and will not feel betrayed by Him. But I know that's not always going to be the case. I don't think that any of us can know what the result will be if a person turns their back on God after salvation. I guess I would question whether they had ever truly been saved if such a circumstance occurred and remained permanent. I tend to think that our "blaming" God for human events is a rather childish and immature, but possibly quite common occurrence. God is not to blame for sin and imperfection in the world. All human beings have free will and I'd dare say most of our hurts are a result of that free will. We can't see the big picture over time to realize this a lot of times; God can.

 

"On the same line, what if you've been SO hurt by the church (different situation than the betrayal by God) that you could NEVER return to it? And/or what if you've witnessed SUCH behavior by the leaders in the church, numerous churches, that you could never return?"

 

Everyone finds their own way to worship, but God does tell us to forgive seventy times seven. Human beings are always going to fail. God never fails. We are still called to be in communion with other Christians. We are not told how we must do this.

 

"And HOPING NOT TO MAKE THIS HOT: What if your experience has shown you that the worst behavior of mankind you have ever seen was that by Christian brothers and sisters?"

 

Really? Worse than Manson? Worse than Hitler? Worse than serial rapists? Worse than drug kingpins and cartel lords who regularly assassinate people? Worse than a million other evils that fill our world? I'm pretty ready and willing to guess that you don't know too many serial killers.... But let's assume that you do know Christians who do very heinous things. How did you heal them? Because that is your job. And it's my job, too. How did you correct the situation? Merely looking on in horror and condemning is not what we are called to do. Walking away, as those who left that man in the ditch for the good Samaritan isn't what we're called to do, either....

 

"And because of all of the above, you are seriously doubting there is a God, and could NEVER return to the church?"

 

Well, I would suggest studying the scriptures much more in depth, particularly as to how God has called us to love (agape love). I'm not saying I'm a perfect model of this, either - don't get me wrong. I'm just saying that agape is what we're called to and is the answer to our problems.

 

"And what if all of the above caused serious hurting in your family, and your kids have decided there is NO God because of the above?"

 

I tend to think they are modeling from their parents.... Children learn what they live.

 

"BUT ABOVE ALL: MY STRUGGLES WITH FAITH AND BELIEF ARE SEPARATE FROM MY STRUGGLES WITH THE CHURCH AND HUMANITY."

 

Well, they may be, but they don't sound like they are.... Perhaps there's more that you've not stated here....

 

"I feel bad posting this while I've been praying for others. But I will admit, I'm praying and not knowing if anyone is hearing me."

 

Why feel badly? You are human and imperfect. I am human and imperfect. Together, in God's love, we can ask Him for anything and He will answer, or not, as He deems best for the big picture over time (which we cannot know). I pray for you that you find perfect peace in Him, my friend, and that you radiate His love to your children and all those you love, as well as those you feel you cannot love....

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:grouphug: I'll take up prayer for you and your family. I do believe that you can get back to your former relationship with God. It took a lot to get you to this place and I'm sorry. It may well take a lot of time to get things worked out. God is real and you haven't lost your salvation. While you separate the sin you've seen from your relationship with God it sounds like the kids can't get past the pain. I'm sorry. :grouphug:

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I sought [God] for 20 years and he turned his back to me. He was silent.

 

I hope you understand what I write...

 

Love his back. If that's the side of God that you see, then love His back. Say, "Jesus, it seems to me that you have turned your back on me. It feels as though I've sought you for twenty years and you have not answered me. I feel as though you have betrayed the trust I had in you, and yet... and yet, I will go on trusting you with a broken heart. I still love you. I will go on loving you, even if you never turn back to face me, to love me face-to-face. I love you."

 

And then, when He is silent, be still. Wait. Live in the wait.

 

The next step is His. Wait.

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I do believe that people can lose salvation by their own actions - either through sin or turning their back on God. I don't want to be presumptuous, but I think I understand a little of how you feel. The worst treatment I have ever received, the worst behavior I have ever witnessed, has been at the hands of Christians. In my mind, I know it's the person who has betrayed me, but in moments of weakness I lay the betrayal on God. Then I think to myself: if God is God (all perfect), it would be impossible for God to betray me. Is it fair of me to hold God responsible for the actions of his people?

 

When I started this whole process of just letting my anger and doubt out, I said something like, "God, if you're real, then I'm going to trust in your unconditional love and trust that you'll be there for me and when I get myself sorted out you'll be waiting for with open arms." Because God will be patient with me, right?

 

There have been days when I the best I can say is I'm agnostic; I can't believe in a God who has such a poor bunch of humanity following him. Most days I can't honestly say I believe any of it. That's when I get worried about losing my salvation - quite a contradiction if I don't believe, huh. I have a dd who has completely left Christianity because of the treatment we've received, and one of the biggest factors was how hurt her mother was because of this treatment.

 

On my best days I ask God to keep being patient with me. I'm trying. Does that count for anything? I guess I hope it does.

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I am sorry you are having doubts but doubting doesn't make you lose your salvation. I am with the majority of the posters that you can't lose your salvation. But I really want to address another point you made- I prayed for 20 years and God betrayed me. I have no idea what you are referring to but I will talk about several possibilities. If the prayer has been for you in some way like certainty about salvation or closeness to God or something of that nature, I would recommend that you examine the life of Mother Theresa. I am not a Catholic but do believe she was a believer and doing God's work. In her writings, she confesses how she had long spells of doubt but she kept at God;s work. I have read other Christian writers who talk about their doubts and/or their feelings of apartness from God. Some that I can quickly recall are Sheila Walsh, who suffers from major depression, and Philip Yancey, a theologian who writes many books.

Now let;s take another situation- prayers for the salvation of someone else. I think this is a particularly difficult situation but my way of coping with this is to trust in God and know that my ways and understanding are not His. So I can't know who will be saved and I am not the judge. I also don't know how God will help us in Heaven if we find that loved ones aren't there since Heaven is supposed to be a place without hurts and to us here on earth, that would really hurt. I just have to take God's word that it will work out. BUt what I can't do is decide that God betrayed me since X hasn't outwardly converted. Maybe it is easier for me since my loved ones who aren't obviously Christian are also not obviously non Christian (i.e. they aren't flaunting God's laws or acting anti-Christian). But if that is the issue and it involves an adult child, may I recommend Stormie Omartian's book The Power of a Praying Parent of an Adult Child. If it is a spouse, she has a book called The Power of a Praying Wife. SHe has a series of these and I have found them helpful.

If the prayer has been for lifting physical or emotional burdens, I have to remark that the Bible warns us that being a Christian is difficult and we will have troubles.

I will pray for you.

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No need to feel bad at all, as I said, most of us question to some degree or another at some point.

 

Without knowing how you feel God has betrayed you (and I am not asking for you to tell), I am not sure the answers will be sufficient.

 

However, I can say that even when you sometimes feel like you are praying to a brick wall, God is there. That may seem trite at this point, but I do believe that if we pray for Him to reveal Himself to us, he will.

 

I am sorry you are going through a rough time.

 

Dawn

 

Very good question.

 

BUT ABOVE ALL: MY STRUGGLES WITH FAITH AND BELIEF ARE SEPARATE FROM MY STRUGGLES WITH THE CHURCH AND HUMANITY.

 

I feel bad posting this while I've been praying for others. But I will admit, I'm praying and not knowing if anyone is hearing me.

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Denise, unfortunately some of the most horrible people sit in church pews & never will have their hearts changed. That was true in Christ' day too, with the religious leaders of his times. You mention a lot of "what if" scenarios that are just too vague to dissect honestly. I think when it comes to someone's salvation, God does not want you to worry over these things. You plant the seed, but only He can make grow. As for personal salvation, whoever is feeling betrayed by all of this hurt, I imagine God (who has seen it all play out too) is not shocked by your being upset, but rather His heart hurts along with you (or whoever your talking about). Grace is given to us and should be extended to those that equally don't deserve it. For every bad church, there is a good church. Where wounds and brokenness were created, there is another place where you can be healed and restored. People are people & in difficult times like the ones you've described, it reminds us why we need Jesus. I'm so sorry you have been hurt (or whoever), but the question is, How big is God? I believe He can use all circumstances to refine us and make us better. Even in the most horrendous of circumstances, we are not alone, nor do we need to face trials & tribulations blindly. His promise is not that hard times will pass us by, but rather, that we will never have to face them by ourselves. As for leaders in the church, the bible says they are held at a higher accountability. I believe this is exactly why too. Deceit and Ugliness cause division and hurt. God hates to see his children quarrel. Joyce Meyer has a great analogy. She said rough circumstances and people are like sandpaper sometimes. They refine us, polish us, better us into what we're created to be. But often, the people that rubbed us will just be left at the end of it all as a used up pieces of sandpaper, lol. Not nice, but funny!!

 

Hang in there. There is nothing new under the sun, and God will not only listen to your hurt but help get you through it.

 

Susan

 

 

:iagree:

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