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Category Archives: first semester

Is the phrase “once saved, always saved” true?

There are differing opinions on this, but I do believe that this statement is true. It begins by looking at some passages of scripture. (Hebrews 6:13-20; Romans 4:16-25; 2 Timothy 1:1) In all of these passages, you will notice that the scripture speaks of eternal life, the gift of salvation as a promise. Now read 2 Corinthians 1:18-22. Does God break His promises? No. When God says He is going to do something, it will happen. The gift of eternal life is a promise. It will never be revoked. John 10:28-29 says we will never be taken out of Gods hand. I choose to stand on Gods promise of the forgiveness of sin through Christ Jesus and the subsequent promise of eternal life.

I think our biggest challenge to this doctrine is when we see people profess to be Christians, but do things contrary to the Word of God. Or, we see people who “walk” with God for awhile then never have anything to do with the church again. The question that we have to ask is “were they really saved to begin with?” Judas Iscariot spent three years walking with Jesus, experiencing Jesus and he is not with the Lord. I John 2:19 says “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” I know people who “walked with Jesus” but now are not. Are they backslidden, or have they never committed themselves to Christ? I don’t know. That is for God to take care of. My job is to preach the gospel, live a life honoring God, be a demonstration of love, grace, humility to a lost world, and continue to pray for those who are struggling, backslidden, or unrepentant.

Sometimes I don’t know if I’ve ever asked Him in my heart. I asked Him when I was little but I don’t know if He is in my heart and I don’t trust that he is in there yet.

This is a great question because you are not alone in how you feel. Many people(young and old) struggle with the genuineness of their confession. Let me first begin by stating that nowhere in the scriptures does it say we are to “invite Jesus into our hearts.” Nowhere. This is just an expression that we use to describe a life change with Christ. Romans 10:9-10 says “…If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

It is easy to see that your heart(who you really are on the inside) is involved in salvation, but it doesn’t say “invite”. There is no formula in becoming a Christian, it is simply a supernatural change when your affections are no longer directed to yourself, but towards the Lord. Even though there is no formula, there are some “ingredients” that will be present.

1. Repentance. Brokenness over sin. You realize that God isn’t happy with your sin, and you want to stop and please Him. John the Baptist was in the desert preaching repentance of sin, getting hearts ready for the kingdom of God. When Jesus began his ministry he said “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is here.” After Peter preached the gospel message in Acts chapter 2, in verse 36 -38 it says:”Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”

2. Believe. Believe what? We are all sinners.(Romans 3:10-11) The wages of our sin is death.(Romans 6:23) Christ died on the cross for our sins, buried, rose again three days later conquering death.(Romans 5:6-11)

Instead of trying to nail salvation down with a formula, or a prayer spoken, or baptism, or going to church, just ask yourself: Am I broken over my sin? Do I want to do it Gods way? Am I sorry for the things I have done? Do I really want to place God first? If you answer yes, Believe in the gospel message. And if it is true and genuine, you will have a hunger to know God, know His Word, love Him and others.

Don’t be led by your feelings. The enemy will always try to stir up doubt and use your feelings against you. Instead, cling to Christ by faith and never let go. Christianity is about living by faith, not by what we see or what we feel. Romans 1:17…the just shall live by faith.

Why did God create us if he knew we would rebel against Him? 

God loves us.(John 3:16) At creation there was only two options for God. Give man a free will, to choose to serve God or make man into a bunch of robots who blindly obey their master.  Choice is one of the most loving acts of God that we can find in scripture, even though the consequences of choice is sin and separation from God. But God also remedied that plan by sending his own son to purchase back those who are slaves to sin.

It was God’s plan from the beginning the He would send His son:

2 Timothy 1:9 (ESV) who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.

Ultimate expression of God’s character is love.  God is Love; “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” 1 john 4:8 ESV For His character to be realized it was displayed “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13 ESV In Christ God was fully realized. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” 1 John 4:10 ESV

How do we know that the Bible is true? There are so many other religions.

There are a number of ways that we show evidence for the reliability of the Scriptures.

1. Fulfilled prophecy. One-third of the Bible is prophetic, and over the span of decades or even thousands of years God is faithful to bring to pass what He promised.

2. Archeological evidence. Archeology has never proven the Bible wrong. Many archeologists actually use the Bible as a reference when doing work in the middle east. Things that have been written in the Bible have been discovered just as it was indicated in the Word.

3. Consistency. 66 books, over 40 authors with different walks of life, spanning over thousands of years. All of them interconnected repeating the same theme of mans sinfulness and their desperate need for God without contradiction.

4. Extra biblical writings. There are other books and writings that deal with the history of the Jewish people or also speak of Jesus and their reports do not contradict what the Bible says.

5. Scientific accuracy . Even though  the Bible is not a science textbook, when it speaks of scientific things it speaks accurately. The water cycle, the earth is round, it is suspended in space just to name a few.

Jesus said in John 17:17- sanctify them in truth, your word is truth

Psalm 119:160 All your words are true, all your righteous laws are eternal

Millions of peoples lives have been transformed over the ages by believing Gods word. The ultimate truth is the life changing power of the Bible seen in our testimonies, and the blessings we receive from obeying God.  All  other religions are works based. Meaning, it is our attempt to reach God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is different. It is Christ knowing that man cannot save themselves, so Christ Came to earth to the penalty of sin for us. The Gospel of Jesus says we are saved by grace through faith, not works. This separates Christianity from all other religions.

It comes to a decision if God’s Word is true then we need to deal with Jesus’ statement “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6 ESV This statement is exclusive. 


“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” -C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity

Do you have to confess sin after years have passed?

Yes. It is a good thing to deal with sin issues as the Holy Spirit brings them up. Lets first remember that when we become Christians we are forgiven for all sin; past, present, and future. In John 1:29, John the Baptist says “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” The word sin in this verse is singular. All sin is lumped together in one big pile that Jesus dealt with on the cross. In Acts 2:38 Peter replies “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” But as we grow in the Lord, he will deal with our past. And as specific things are brought up, confess that before the Lord. This is what the Lords prayer is saying. Forgive us of our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. We should also remember that the Holy Spirit is is very precise in pointing out our sin and past failures. As those come to mind deal with them. Unconfessed sin or issues in our lives that we never deal with disrupts are relationship with God. Just like when you are mean to somebody, over time you can move past it, but the best is to ask for forgiveness.

I have a friend who professes to be a Christian but when he is around me and his other friends he curses, brings up perverted things etc. How do I talk to him about this?

James 3 :9-12 (ESV)

With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Matthew 15:17-20 (ESV)

17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

Check yourself, then approach you friend:

Matthew 7:1-5 (ESV)

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

A caution to note:

1 Corinthians 13:33 (NIV)

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.

Galatians 6:1 (NIV)

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

How does this happen to a Christian?

Romans 13:13-14 (NIV)

So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh

Galatians 5:16 (NIV)

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

See all of Galatians 5

Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ


How do we know who the Antichrist is? What kind of war will we have in the end, and

with who, and with what?

Anti-Christ can also mean “instead of.”

1 John 4:1-3 (ESV)

1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

-Spirit of the antichrist is already here vying for our attention. – (Music, TV, Movies, Video Games)

2 John 1:7 (NIV)

I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist

Matthew 24:23-28 (ESV)

23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.


2 Thessalonians 2 (NIV)

2Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. 3Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. 4He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.

See Revelation 13

When we are walking in sin is that the spirit of antichrist?

Matthew 24:6….21-23 (ESV)

 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.All these are but the beginning of the birth pains………

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

What would happen if Jesus came when someone was accepting God right then?

Would the go to heaven or not?


God knows our thoughts (heart): 

1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV) 

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

Jeremiah 17:10 (ESV)

“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways,  according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Matthew 15:17-20 (ESV)

17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

Death bed confession:

Luke 23: 39 (ESV) One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

God is not surprised:

1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV)

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace–as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

Job 14:5 (ESV)

Since his days are determined,
    and the number of his months is with you,
    and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,



Ask Honest Questions. Get Honest Answers.

The blackbox is a place for students to ask the tough questions, and teachers to seek God and His Word for wise answers. Yes, we admit it: we do not know everything. But whether you realize it or not, God has given you safety in this multitude of spiritual counselors. It is our hope that by offering this safe place for your honest inquiries, we can help you avoid looking for answers to tough stuff from secular sources.