Answering Easley – Part 5

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:26-31).

The challenge we have been addressing this week is Dr. Michael Easley’s dare to show from in the New Testament that a Christian must do something to continue in the faith. We have talked about throwing off sin, doing good works, and pressing on with confidence. One important question comes to mind in conclusion: Can a Christian forfeit their salvation?

We believe they can. The above passage is a great warning concerning this. It is talking about one who keeps on sinning after receiving knowledge of the truth. The word “we” is used, indicating that the writer is one with the group of people he is talking to, which throughout the book of Hebrews is clearly shown to be Christian. This warning is dire: to continue to sin will lead to judgment and the fires of hell.

Again, we want to stress that the Christian is not saved by works, but does have a responsibility of action in the Christian walk. This is illustrated time and time again throughout the New Testament. Passages constantly discuss actively throwing off the things of the flesh and taking on the new self, as well as performing acts of good works. We are exhorted to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1).

And again we want to stress the importance of taking heed of these words of Scripture, being the very Word of God spoken to us. God has given us clear instructions concerning the life we are called to live as Christians. We take an active part in obeying these commands and living out the things set before us. For a Christian, somewhere along the way in their walk, to refuse to obey God and to turn away from the gospel which they have received carries eternal consequences. “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them” (2 Peter 2:20-21).

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