When I read the quote from Mr. Koukl, I wondered how the once for all forgiveness is achieved, and then recall the ABC formula which I had heard:" Admit you are a sinner, Believe in the Lord Jesus and Commit your life to God"
So my next question would be, when you have fallen, “and we all are sinners” as my Protestant family members would say and I with them, how do you restore/repair your relationship with God?
I think there is something a person must do, in addition to God accepting our contrition and intention of avoiding sin and doing our best to make ammends.God doesn’t force us to love or repair our relationship as he didn’t make us robots or passive non-thinkers.
Yes, God acts in us and forgives us through his bountiful mercy, but He is just and fair and rewards us for our effort and lack of effort. There are eternal consequences for whatever we leave unrepaired intentionally, and for unrepentance.
I can never see the ‘once saved always saved’ in Scripture or Tradition. It doesn’t exist when the entire context of God’s Word is searched. (While the Thessalonians searched the Jewish Scriptures and didn’t find what Paul preached- a type of Sola Scriptura-and thus rejected Paul and Christ; the Bereans searched the scriptures and accepted the New Testament and accepted Jesus through the Good News which Paul preached, a new message which had never been preached before.)
The only time I see the “all you have to do is believe in the Lord Jesus to be saved” philosophy is when I read the writings of those 1500 years after our Lord promised to be always with us and to lead us into all truth.
If faith comes by hearing, and I believe it does as God has said so in His holy Word, then truth existed during the times of the Apostles and thereafter. Truth didn’t just disappear for 1400 years and suddenly *resurface *during the times of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Wesley, King Henry VIII, Joseph Smith, etc.
It’s so confusing for people when so many thousands of sects are contradicting one another, disagreeing on whether Baptism is needed or whether it is ‘just a symbol’, etc, etc.
Christ’s church teaches that the undeserved grace of God is what is needed to reach eternal salvation, which Jesus gained for us through his passion and death, if we remain in God’s grace…and God helps us do this. He gave us his commandments and His Word, His body and bride the church, His very *son’s body and blood *to nourish us, His Word made flesh, which pour out His grace into our hearts, minds,souls ,and strength.
D in AZ