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Author Topic: Knowing you are saved  (Read 6268 times) Average Rating: 0
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truthstalker
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« on: April 12, 2009, 04:11:02 PM »

Is it possible for an Orthodox to be sure they will go to heaven?

I look at David in the psalms. He repeatedly expressed his surety in God's salvation. "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever," etc. 
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 04:12:54 PM »

We can only be sure that people glorified as Saints are in Heaven for sure. No one can know that bout those, who already live.
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truthstalker
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 04:20:22 PM »

We can only be sure that people glorified as Saints are in Heaven for sure. No one can know that bout those, who already live.

Why?
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Kav
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2009, 04:26:18 PM »

I was saved ( the sacrifice of Jesus) I am saved ( baptism and crismation into the church) and am being saved ( my daily struggle and growth.)

And as another said, Should I find myself in heaven, my first thought will be suprise and pleasure at who else is there, but even more at my own presence.
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truthstalker
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 04:31:28 PM »

I was saved ( the sacrifice of Jesus) I am saved ( baptism and crismation into the church) and am being saved ( my daily struggle and growth.)

And as another said, Should I find myself in heaven, my first thought will be suprise and pleasure at who else is there, but even more at my own presence.

Ah. I think I heard something very similar from the Catholics.  No need to rehash the arguments.  Is there any difference here between Catholics and Orthodox?
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2009, 04:32:45 PM »

We can only be sure that people glorified as Saints are in Heaven for sure. No one can know that bout those, who already live.

Why?

sin of vanity?
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truthstalker
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2009, 04:37:31 PM »

We can only be sure that people glorified as Saints are in Heaven for sure. No one can know that bout those, who already live.

Why?

sin of vanity?

Are you accusing David of the sin of vanity when he wrote inspired psalms?
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2009, 04:50:38 PM »

Hasn't he been sinning as we all do?
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2009, 04:51:52 PM »

Hasn't he been sinning as we all do?

He sinned big time.  But he still knew he was going to heaven.  He states that repeatedly. Are you saying he was wrong in what he wrote in Scripture?
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Kav
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2009, 05:02:26 PM »

Truthstalker,

Are you asking for your own further enlightenment, or is there an agenda we need to be aware of?

One of my issues with protestantism, and I come from a family background representing several

sects; is by nature it's defining trait is opposition to the Roman Catholic church. It's tiring, like dating

a really pretty girl who spends the evening talking about her ex boyfriend.

Will I be saved? Well, if the guy with a bumpersticker reading 'In case of rapture, you can have this

truck' braced by crome fishies swallowing the Darwin fish with legs doesn't learn to use a turn signal

and mirror, my salvation indeed is open to specualtion- as I repeat the Jesus Prayer after giving a

variation on the Jesus People finger in air shtick.
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truthstalker
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2009, 05:52:39 PM »

Truthstalker,

Are you asking for your own further enlightenment, or is there an agenda we need to be aware of?

One of my issues with protestantism, and I come from a family background representing several

sects; is by nature it's defining trait is opposition to the Roman Catholic church. It's tiring, like dating

a really pretty girl who spends the evening talking about her ex boyfriend.

Will I be saved? Well, if the guy with a bumpersticker reading 'In case of rapture, you can have this

truck' braced by crome fishies swallowing the Darwin fish with legs doesn't learn to use a turn signal

and mirror, my salvation indeed is open to specualtion- as I repeat the Jesus Prayer after giving a

variation on the Jesus People finger in air shtick.

See post 4.  No need to rehash arguments.  Is there a difference here between Catholics and Orthodox? Apparently not.  But then we got into David, and the assertion seems to be that he was sinning in making a doctrinal point, which I have trouble believing you are serious about.  So what do you do with David when he says stuff like this? Is he in error because he doesn't toe the Orthodox line? It seems contradictory to me.
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truthstalker
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2009, 05:59:59 PM »

Truthstalker,

Are you asking for your own further enlightenment, or is there an agenda we need to be aware of?
One of my issues with protestantism, and I come from a family background representing several

sects; is by nature it's defining trait is opposition to the Roman Catholic church. It's tiring, like dating

a really pretty girl who spends the evening talking about her ex boyfriend.

Will I be saved? Well, if the guy with a bumpersticker reading 'In case of rapture, you can have this

truck' braced by crome fishies swallowing the Darwin fish with legs doesn't learn to use a turn signal

and mirror, my salvation indeed is open to specualtion- as I repeat the Jesus Prayer after giving a

variation on the Jesus People finger in air shtick.

I read a psalm today and thought to myself, what do the Orthodox think about this?  Maybe I should have fenced the OP or researched it, but from the good time I have had on this forum so far, I wasn't expecting to be accused of having an "agenda we need to be aware of."  Rather disappointing.
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Kav
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2009, 06:02:38 PM »

I think David was probably expressing the PROMISE and gift of salvation, not it's surety.

That's between David and God.
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2009, 06:04:40 PM »

David "will" dwell in the house of the Lord forever PROVIDED he cooperates with the Lord. Salvation is a two-way street. We work out our salvation with fear and trembling. The Lord provides our salvation with His death on the Cross. This is grace. In faith we embrace what He has done for us. And our faith is demonstrated in our works. Faith without works is dead. Even the demons have faith but not salvation. David was not being presumptuous (in my opinion) but he was demonstrating his faith that he would receive the Lord's salvation based upon the Lord's grace AND David's continued faith and works of obedience.

Let's put it another way. You are an Israelite, the first born of your family, and about to flee Egypt. The night before the angel of death comes to slay the first born of each family. Your father (and perhaps you) spread the blood of a lamb on the door posts (faith and works). You then go INTO the house and STAY there (faith and works). You eat the bitter herbs (faith and works). "IF" you decide to go outside the house you are free to do so and voila... you lose your salvation as it were because you would have been slain. But you were certainly free to do so.

So... David could say he would dwell with the Lord forever based upon his faith in the Lord and his determination to obey the Lord and work out his salvation.

We were "being" saved in our baptism. We are "being" saved in our partaking of the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior. We "will" be saved as we continue to exercise our faith in His provision of salvation and exercise our free will to obey Him.
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2009, 06:16:41 PM »

Truth-I am holding a computer mouse in my hand- not a scourge.

There is nothing wrong with an agenda. I have several.

And Roman Catholics and Orthodox are both brothers in the 'One,Holy and Apostolic Church.'

The sadness of misunderstandings and temporal considerations, like you and I just had  should

be overcome first and foremost, just like the divisions in Christendom.


« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 06:18:15 PM by Kav » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2009, 07:52:47 PM »

Truth-I am holding a computer mouse in my hand- not a scourge.

There is nothing wrong with an agenda. I have several.

And Roman Catholics and Orthodox are both brothers in the 'One,Holy and Apostolic Church.'

The sadness of misunderstandings and temporal considerations, like you and I just had  should

be overcome first and foremost, just like the divisions in Christendom.




The Roman Catholics are not in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2009, 08:13:13 PM »

I just watched TV where Carrie Underwood was singing "How Great Thou Art," and recalled this threrad... Guys, I don't know. The thing is, no sin is compatible with God. Whatever the modern human "culture" says ("errare humanum est" etc.), every one sin committed by me can, and will, send me to hell if it is not repented of. And repentance in the teaching of the Orthodox Church does not mean merely acknowledging that I sinned - it means turning away from this exact sin completely, not repeating it under any circumstances. Can I say that I have really repented of all my sins? NO! So no, whatever David or whoever else said or wrote, I CANNOT be sure that I am saved... God bless little naive Carrie and all Evangelicals with her...
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2009, 08:17:59 PM »

Truthstalker,

Are you asking for your own further enlightenment, or is there an agenda we need to be aware of?

One of my issues with protestantism, and I come from a family background representing several

sects; is by nature it's defining trait is opposition to the Roman Catholic church. It's tiring, like dating

a really pretty girl who spends the evening talking about her ex boyfriend.

Will I be saved? Well, if the guy with a bumpersticker reading 'In case of rapture, you can have this

truck' braced by crome fishies swallowing the Darwin fish with legs doesn't learn to use a turn signal

and mirror, my salvation indeed is open to specualtion- as I repeat the Jesus Prayer after giving a

variation on the Jesus People finger in air shtick.

See post 4.  No need to rehash arguments.  Is there a difference here between Catholics and Orthodox? Apparently not.  But then we got into David, and the assertion seems to be that he was sinning in making a doctrinal point, which I have trouble believing you are serious about.  So what do you do with David when he says stuff like this? Is he in error because he doesn't toe the Orthodox line? It seems contradictory to me.

Lets see.... We have in common the time when Christians were united both East and West in one Church. That Church wrote the books of the New Testament and compiled the Bible, discarding some writings that were not Orthodox and keeping what was. We have that in common.
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2009, 08:29:44 PM »

Rolls up newspaper. Bad Roman Catholics SWAT! Bad Bad!SWAT SWAT!

O.K. from an orthodox viewpoint they made some mistakes.

But from a Christian viewpoint they are still our brothers.



« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 08:30:21 PM by Kav » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2009, 08:38:32 PM »

Rolls up newspaper. Bad Roman Catholics SWAT! Bad Bad!SWAT SWAT!

O.K. from an orthodox viewpoint they made some mistakes.

But from a Christian viewpoint they are still our brothers.





All people are our brothers and sisters, and all baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

But it does not make all those who do not belong to our Church the Church... And the Church is one, and we believe that it is the Orthodox Church. Those of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have not yet been received into the Orthodox Church are catecumens...
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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2009, 08:48:25 PM »

truthstalker,

As he so often calls upon God's mercy in supplication, I don't see any certainty of his salvation in the words of King David. In expressing "that I may live in the house of the Lord forever", he seems to be expressing a desire for salvation, not a definite declaration regarding his own as if it was a done deal.
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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2009, 08:50:48 PM »

Rolls up newspaper. Bad Roman Catholics SWAT! Bad Bad!SWAT SWAT!

O.K. from an orthodox viewpoint they made some mistakes.

But from a Christian viewpoint they are still our brothers.

Brothers?? Yes. In the Church?? No.
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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2009, 08:55:53 PM »

Rolls up newspaper. Bad Roman Catholics SWAT! Bad Bad!SWAT SWAT!

O.K. from an orthodox viewpoint they made some mistakes.

But from a Christian viewpoint they are still our brothers.

Brothers?? Yes. In the Church?? No.

Waiting at the entrance... some will enter, some will not. Still, all of them our brothers. Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2009, 09:24:17 PM »

truthstalker,

As he so often calls upon God's mercy in supplication, I don't see any certainty of his salvation in the words of King David. In expressing "that I may live in the house of the Lord forever", he seems to be expressing a desire for salvation, not a definite declaration regarding his own as if it was a done deal.

Where does he say "may"?  Not Psalm 23 or LXX 72.

Bad, bad Truthstalker! Don't turn this into Another Thread On Eternal Security.  "swats self with rolled-up newspaper"

You have made it plain where you are at on this. Thank you.     "swats self for no good reason"
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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2009, 09:33:46 PM »

Rolls up newspaper. Bad Roman Catholics SWAT! Bad Bad!SWAT SWAT!

O.K. from an orthodox viewpoint they made some mistakes.

But from a Christian viewpoint they are still our brothers.

Brothers?? Yes. In the Church?? No.
Truth-I am holding a computer mouse in my hand- not a scourge.

There is nothing wrong with an agenda. I have several.

And Roman Catholics and Orthodox are both brothers in the 'One,Holy and Apostolic Church.'

The sadness of misunderstandings and temporal considerations, like you and I just had  should

be overcome first and foremost, just like the divisions in Christendom.




The Roman Catholics are not in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

You should let the WCC know.  If you want to get into some REALLY interesting theological circular reasoning you should read the WCC statement on the nature of the church.  I posted it in one of the threads a while back, but if you want to just e-mail me i'd be happy to send it to you.  you can also just look online:  http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-commissions/faith-and-order-commission/i-unity-the-church-and-its-mission/the-nature-and-mission-of-the-church-a-stage-on-the-way-to-a-common-statement.html


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« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2009, 10:43:16 PM »

truthstalker,

As he so often calls upon God's mercy in supplication, I don't see any certainty of his salvation in the words of King David. In expressing "that I may live in the house of the Lord forever", he seems to be expressing a desire for salvation, not a definite declaration regarding his own as if it was a done deal.

Where does he say "may"?  Not Psalm 23 or LXX 72.

Bad, bad Truthstalker! Don't turn this into Another Thread On Eternal Security.  "swats self with rolled-up newspaper"

You have made it plain where you are at on this. Thank you.     "swats self for no good reason"

Oh and another thing we have in common is that we dont "proof text" or cull out gotcha passages.

We have confidence that after two thousand years if certain Protestant type interpretations were the Truth, they would have been discerned long long long ago.
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« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2009, 10:57:11 PM »


Lets see.... We have in common the time when Christians were united both East and West in one Church. That Church wrote the books of the New Testament and compiled the Bible, discarding some writings that were not Orthodox and keeping what was. We have that in common.

That's not entirely correct.  There have always been groups of people who have professed some form of some belief in Christ which was different than the Orthodox Church.  Obviously their vision wasn't accepted by the rest of Christianity vis-a-vis the Ecumenical Councils and most of the early groups died out... only to have their non-Orthodox teachings resurrected later..
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« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2009, 11:36:13 PM »

Is it possible for an Orthodox to be sure they will go to heaven?

I look at David in the psalms. He repeatedly expressed his surety in God's salvation. "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever," etc. 

At the time the Jews were seeking a reign on earth. Actually king David failed at keeping the reign over the house of Jacob. And yet, King David of Israel spoke of the crucifixion of Christ in reign over the house of Jacob forever.
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« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2009, 12:58:05 AM »

truthstalker,

As he so often calls upon God's mercy in supplication, I don't see any certainty of his salvation in the words of King David. In expressing "that I may live in the house of the Lord forever", he seems to be expressing a desire for salvation, not a definite declaration regarding his own as if it was a done deal.

Where does he say "may"?  Not Psalm 23 or LXX 72.

Bad, bad Truthstalker! Don't turn this into Another Thread On Eternal Security.  "swats self with rolled-up newspaper"

You have made it plain where you are at on this. Thank you.     "swats self for no good reason"

Stop doing violence to yourself!!  laugh

In Psalm 26 (27) King David says "One thing I beg of the Lord, one thing will I ask:
  that I may live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, so that I may behold the joys of the Lord
  and always see his temple."

I don't like using "proof texts" because verses should be seen in context, and I'm not sure that the verse is even applicable to thoughts of "eternal salvation" or otherwise. I'm no theologian, but I do get the overall impression, from reading the Psalms, that King David realises the need for continued repentance in the hope of salvation. I don't get the impression that he believes that he knows that he is already saved. He seems to constantly see himself as a sinner in need of repentence and that his salvation is contingent on God's mercy.

Psalm 27 (28)
 1 To You I will cry, O LORD my Rock:
         Do not be silent to me,
         Lest, if You are silent to me,
         I become like those who go down to the pit.
 2 Hear the voice of my supplications
         When I cry to You,
         When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.         
 3 Do not take me away with the wicked
         And with the workers of iniquity,
         Who speak peace to their neighbors,
         But evil is in their hearts.
 4 Give them according to their deeds,
         And according to the wickedness of their endeavors;
         Give them according to the work of their hands;
         Render to them what they deserve.
 5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD,
         Nor the operation of His hands,
         He shall destroy them
         And not build them up.       
 6 Blessed be the LORD,
         Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
         My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
         Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
         And with my song I will praise Him.         
 8 The LORD is their strength,[a]
         And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
 9 Save Your people,
         And bless Your inheritance;
         Shepherd them also,
         And bear them up forever.




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« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2009, 01:23:57 AM »

truthstalker,

As he so often calls upon God's mercy in supplication, I don't see any certainty of his salvation in the words of King David. In expressing "that I may live in the house of the Lord forever", he seems to be expressing a desire for salvation, not a definite declaration regarding his own as if it was a done deal.

Where does he say "may"?  Not Psalm 23 or LXX 72.

Bad, bad Truthstalker! Don't turn this into Another Thread On Eternal Security.  "swats self with rolled-up newspaper"

You have made it plain where you are at on this. Thank you.     "swats self for no good reason"

In other words, interpreting the passage literally, if the word "may" is not there, then that clearly means that we cannot cast doubt on the intent of the passage. Which sounds all well and good....except Protestant biblical interpretation has a knack of interpreting passages literally only when it suits them and when it doesn't (i.e. 1 Cor 11:27) then the passage suddenly takes a magical metaphorical meaning.....Brilliant.
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« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2009, 10:16:44 AM »

truthstalker,

As he so often calls upon God's mercy in supplication, I don't see any certainty of his salvation in the words of King David. In expressing "that I may live in the house of the Lord forever", he seems to be expressing a desire for salvation, not a definite declaration regarding his own as if it was a done deal.

Where does he say "may"?  Not Psalm 23 or LXX 72.

Bad, bad Truthstalker! Don't turn this into Another Thread On Eternal Security.  "swats self with rolled-up newspaper"

You have made it plain where you are at on this. Thank you.     "swats self for no good reason"

The word "will" does not exist there either, it is only used in the English translation to form the future tense.  Therefore using the argument that David said he "will" abide in the house of the Lord forever, and if indeed he didn't, then he was lying can also be applied to God in the ten commandments, because He said, "you will" not make yourself an idol, "you will" not take the Name of the Lord in vain, etc.  Is God a liar?  We (mankind) did indeed do all the things which God said we "will not" do.  The point here, is the same that I have made elsewhere - Do not hang your theology on that of a single English word.  Context is everything.  In Galatians 5:4 Paul says "ye are fallen from grace," so it is quite possible for one to have attained salvation and then lose it again.
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« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2009, 10:52:01 AM »

truthstalker,

As he so often calls upon God's mercy in supplication, I don't see any certainty of his salvation in the words of King David. In expressing "that I may live in the house of the Lord forever", he seems to be expressing a desire for salvation, not a definite declaration regarding his own as if it was a done deal.

Where does he say "may"?  Not Psalm 23 or LXX 72.

Bad, bad Truthstalker! Don't turn this into Another Thread On Eternal Security.  "swats self with rolled-up newspaper"

You have made it plain where you are at on this. Thank you.     "swats self for no good reason"

In other words, interpreting the passage literally, if the word "may" is not there, then that clearly means that we cannot cast doubt on the intent of the passage. Which sounds all well and good....except Protestant biblical interpretation has a knack of interpreting passages literally only when it suits them and when it doesn't (i.e. 1 Cor 11:27) then the passage suddenly takes a magical metaphorical meaning.....Brilliant.
Exactly. In my old Baptist Bible College days I found this to be the rule....always. Interpret literally, unless it leads to a doctrine/teaching that is variant to our ideas. I love the literal method approach to the book of Revelation, as well. It really becomes ludicrous. I will say that I don't think that the OP is just trying to proof text us, though. I think that he has legitimate questions, from an Orthodox perspective, when he is reading Sacred Scripture. Just my 2 cents.
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« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2009, 12:40:15 PM »

With respect to assurance of salvation, the question first has to be asked, "what do you mean by salvation?"  Do you mean getting to heaven or becoming heaven?

That said, everything I read over the years leads me to beleive that not everyone does or should have assurance of salvation, though such assurance is possible and a number of saints have had it. But it was not something that came at the beginning of their walk, but rather more towards the end.

For some such knowledge is dangerous, destructive even, for other's premature.

The best reply to this sort of question is one once possed to an old elder near his deathbed. His disciples asked him what he should say to the Lord when asked if he should go the heaven or hell, and the old man replied, "I shall say, wherever Thy love places me O Lord, wherever Thy love places me, only do not seperate me from your love."

I've always really liked that answer.
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« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2009, 12:47:57 PM »

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Beloved in the Lord,

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted could ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. Many of those posting in this area are ignorant of Orthodox teachings and are using this forum to understand what are the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. Due to the simplicity of many of their requests and responses, direct and simple answers with sources if possible are most helpful.

If the moderators find that the discusions become faith or jurisdiction debates, the topic will be split and sent the appropriate OC.Net forum to continue the discussion or debate. As a poster,You may also ask that a topic be split so that a private discussion can be established to go into detail about the issues that you feel adamant about and wish to debate or discuss. The convert forum is not a place for combative debate or arguement. 

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« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2009, 01:08:34 PM »

What about John 10:25-30 and 1Thessalonians 5:8 , and Ephes 6:17 . What is your opinion guys about that ? How should those verses be comprehended?
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« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2009, 01:22:19 PM »

Is it possible for an Orthodox to be sure they will go to heaven?

I look at David in the psalms. He repeatedly expressed his surety in God's salvation. "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever," etc. 
I would say yes, we can be sure, but only so far as we are sure that we will always be followers of Christ.  If we become apostates any certainty is diminished.
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« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2009, 01:29:44 PM »

What about John 10:25-30 and 1Thessalonians 5:8 , and Ephes 6:17 . What is your opinion guys about that ? How should those verses be comprehended?
We are Christ's sheep when we follow Him and do His Will, but we are free to leave our status as His sheep at any time.  We cannot be plucked out of His hand by the Devil, we leave on our own accord and we heap up condemnation upon ourselves.
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« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2009, 01:41:28 PM »

Predestination is not the predetermined individual plan for each of us, but rather the plan and goal of salvation.  It's like a bus, where the itinerary is predestination for salvation, you can get on the bus and get off it that's your choice but ultimately it's up to the bus driver whether or not you actually reach the destination.
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« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2009, 02:50:08 PM »

OK, so I hope the side topics about Roman Catholics hasn't scared you off the forum, truthstalker.

Welcome, btw.

I used to be a "once-saved-always-saved" Southern Baptist, so I can relate to the crucial nature of this question.  I commented on this HERE, in a sort of compare/contrast between Evangelical and Orthodox views of salvation.  An excerpt from that link pertaining to this discussion:

"Christ has died and risen again; through baptism we are brought into His Kingdom so that we would have the POTENTIAL of working out our salvation with fear and trembling, making every effort to enter into the rest He prepared for us through His Passion and Resurrection.  The enemy, however, still prowls around as the wolf of souls, seeking to make us his prey, so we must be ever mindful of sinful habits that remain in our lives, as they could be occasion for the enemy to gain a foothold.  Our life in Christ consists of constant vigilance, constant repentance, constant participation in the sacramental life of the Church, and constant sorrow and (should God grant) true tears of repentance over our state as 'chief of sinners' so that we might gain times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord which is the comfort for those who have mourned."

Also, if you would like a lengthier article of mine to read, the article Harmonious Salvation touches on some of this, if indirectly.

Regarding Catholic doctrine, we don't deal with mortal vs. venial sins, states of grace, or imputed merits of the saints/Christ (indulgences and all that), as salvation is primarily dealt with as the ridding of death from within our members, for it is from this that sin springs forth.  When we are united with Christ through the Church and her mysteries and, thus, fueled, fulfill the life-giving commandments of Christ, we counteract the death in our members through Christ, Who is our Life, and are thus saved.

Regarding David, as that is my name and he my patron saint, I always find it helpful to remember what an Old Testament Israelite would have considered salvation.  In the strictest sense, King David would most likely have been speaking of earthly deliverance from rulers and/or armies of rival nations/tribes that threatened Israel and/or his kingship.  As the idea of the bodily resurrection and subsequent eternal life was nothing more than an afterthought in the Jewish theology of the time (if that), it's a bit of a stretch to see him as speaking of "salvation" the way a Christian of the first or second century A.D. would.

That's not to say that we can't or shouldn't eisigete that into the text ourselves, seeing Christ as the plain fulfillment of those longings for "salvation," though, as my linked-to stuff states, just having the option for salvation opened to us doesn't mean it's necessarily realized.

I do hope this helps.  God bless.  Hope you had a good Easter.

And, also:

The best reply to this sort of question is one once possed to an old elder near his deathbed. His disciples asked him what he should say to the Lord when asked if he should go the heaven or hell, and the old man replied, "I shall say, wherever Thy love places me O Lord, wherever Thy love places me, only do not seperate me from your love."

I've always really liked that answer.

Oh, wow.  Seriously, WOW.  Beautiful.
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« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2009, 05:43:30 PM »

You might also find some inspiration in the somewhat more lengthly and forceful saying of St. Justin Popovich of Serbia,

"All the universes, all the existing worlds and beings, hold on just a moment! Down all the hearts, all the minds, all the lives, all the immortalities, all the eternities because of all these, without Christ are hell for me, one hell after another; all are innumerable and endless hells and to the height and to the length and to the width. Life without Christ, death without Christ, truth without Christ, the sun without Christ, and universes without Him are all horrible foolishness, unbearable martyrdom, Sisyphian torment, hell! I want neither life nor death without Thee, O Most Sweet Lord! I want neither truth, justice, paradise, nor eternity. NO, no! I want only Thee, Thou only art everything, in and above all! The truth, if there is no Christ, is not needed by me, it is only a hell. Justice, love, good, and happiness, they are all the same hell without Christ; even God Himself is a hell if there is not Christ. I want neither the truth without Christ, nor justice without Christ, nor love without Christ, nor God without Christ. I do not want any of them, in any possible way! I will accept any kind of death, let you kill me in any way you want, because without Christ I want nothing. Neither myself, nor even God Himself, wants anything else between these two; I do not want it, I do not want it, I do not want it!?"
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« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2009, 07:07:22 PM »

BTW, Calvin, that bad boy, was of the opinion that one should not focus overmuch on whether one is saved but should rather focus on God, His truth and good works, and the rest would take care of itself. Or something like that.  That is from somewhere in his Institutes, I think in discussions on predestination, but I haven't read Calvin in a while in a systematic manner, and I have a lousy memory. 

Do you have absolution, like the Catholics, in which you "know you are in a state of grace"? Do you know things because the Church tells you, as the final arbiter of the truth?

I think it is interesting that you do not necessarily rule out the idea that someone can know they are going to heaven.  The Catholics make a similar statement. 

I also know some Protestants who very strongly object to the idea of knowing one is saved.  I also know some who view it as the foundation of the Gospel.  I am also observing strongly divergent opinions among some Orthodox, which is also interesting. You are not the Borg. 
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« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2009, 09:10:05 PM »


Lets see.... We have in common the time when Christians were united both East and West in one Church. That Church wrote the books of the New Testament and compiled the Bible, discarding some writings that were not Orthodox and keeping what was. We have that in common.

That's not entirely correct.  There have always been groups of people who have professed some form of some belief in Christ which was different than the Orthodox Church.  Obviously their vision wasn't accepted by the rest of Christianity vis-a-vis the Ecumenical Councils and most of the early groups died out... only to have their non-Orthodox teachings resurrected later..


Okay.....Which part was incorrect?

The Church that we know today as the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church compiled the Bible . Many scriptures were rejected as not Orthodox. Some of those come back now and again favored by this or that heretical sect or grouping. They were not Orthodox then and they still are not today.

The point was, Protestants are trying to interpolate from scriture various novel idea's un heard of for most of the last 2,000 years, based on a Bible we wrote and compiled.  Go figure
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« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2009, 06:55:04 AM »

Is it possible for an Orthodox to be sure they will go to heaven?

I look at David in the psalms. He repeatedly expressed his surety in God's salvation. "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever," etc. 

The problem right out the gate is that you have misquoted David here in Ps. 27.  It is "that I may dwell..."  David is not presuming his salvation either.

We should always be careful not to fall into the sin of phariseeism (sp?), but should cry out with hope in a loving Savior "God be merciful to me, a sinner!" 
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« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2009, 12:50:03 PM »

BTW, Calvin, that bad boy, was of the opinion that one should not focus overmuch on whether one is saved but should rather focus on God, His truth and good works, and the rest would take care of itself. Or something like that.  That is from somewhere in his Institutes, I think in discussions on predestination, but I haven't read Calvin in a while in a systematic manner, and I have a lousy memory.

It'd be an interesting read.  We would definitely agree with the above as written -- "that one should not focus overmuch on whether one is saved but should rather focus on God" -- provided, of course, that we could unpack the differences in how we see God, Who God is, Who God is not, and what it means to "focus" on Him.

Do you have absolution, like the Catholics, in which you "know you are in a state of grace"?

If you are a human being, you are in a state of grace, as grace is nothing other than the presence of God.  As God is everywhere present and filling all things, grace is everywhere.  But to connect it with confession, it is a direct opportunity to connect with that grace, to let it in and infuse you with life perhaps (and hopefully!) more directly than it might in other moments -- provided, of course, that the individual heart is open to that and not just reading off a grocery list of sins while detached from them personally.  This has to do with heartfelt repentance and an encounter with the person of the Holy Spirit, not a legal category into which you are placed.

Do you know things because the Church tells you, as the final arbiter of the truth?

Well, yes, though we go by the conciliar definitions of Christ and His Church rather than the Pope and the Magesterium; consequently we have less "on paper" that we actually point to and say, "This is dogma; this is not up for debate; this has been infallibly pronounced to be the truth about the Faith which a Christian must hold."

I think it is interesting that you do not necessarily rule out the idea that someone can know they are going to heaven.
 

Would you help me out, please, and point out where that is?  Did we state that on this thread, or are you getting it from another Orthodox source?  Because, to my knowledge, Orthodox Christians should never assume that they know that they themselves (or that other people!) are or are not "going to heaven/hell."  The only human whom I KNOW is in heaven is the little, baptized not-quite-one-year-old baby boy of some friends of ours that recently passed away.  But that's an obvious exception.

The Catholics make a similar statement.

I'd have to know your sources in order to agree or disagree, but this surprises me, as well.

I also know some Protestants who very strongly object to the idea of knowing one is saved.  I also know some who view it as the foundation of the Gospel. 

True.  I was one of the latter ones at one time.

I am also observing strongly divergent opinions among some Orthodox, which is also interesting.

That would be interesting.  Sources, please?

You are not the Borg.

You will be assimilated. 

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« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2009, 07:52:08 PM »

BTW, Calvin, that bad boy, was of the opinion that one should not focus overmuch on whether one is saved but should rather focus on God, His truth and good works, and the rest would take care of itself. Or something like that.  That is from somewhere in his Institutes, I think in discussions on predestination, but I haven't read Calvin in a while in a systematic manner, and I have a lousy memory.

It'd be an interesting read.  We would definitely agree with the above as written -- "that one should not focus overmuch on whether one is saved but should rather focus on God" -- provided, of course, that we could unpack the differences in how we see God, Who God is, Who God is not, and what it means to "focus" on Him.

Do you have absolution, like the Catholics, in which you "know you are in a state of grace"?

If you are a human being, you are in a state of grace, as grace is nothing other than the presence of God.  As God is everywhere present and filling all things, grace is everywhere.  But to connect it with confession, it is a direct opportunity to connect with that grace, to let it in and infuse you with life perhaps (and hopefully!) more directly than it might in other moments -- provided, of course, that the individual heart is open to that and not just reading off a grocery list of sins while detached from them personally.  This has to do with heartfelt repentance and an encounter with the person of the Holy Spirit, not a legal category into which you are placed.

Do you know things because the Church tells you, as the final arbiter of the truth?

Well, yes, though we go by the conciliar definitions of Christ and His Church rather than the Pope and the Magesterium; consequently we have less "on paper" that we actually point to and say, "This is dogma; this is not up for debate; this has been infallibly pronounced to be the truth about the Faith which a Christian must hold."

I think it is interesting that you do not necessarily rule out the idea that someone can know they are going to heaven.
 

Would you help me out, please, and point out where that is?  Did we state that on this thread, or are you getting it from another Orthodox source?  Because, to my knowledge, Orthodox Christians should never assume that they know that they themselves (or that other people!) are or are not "going to heaven/hell."  The only human whom I KNOW is in heaven is the little, baptized not-quite-one-year-old baby boy of some friends of ours that recently passed away.  But that's an obvious exception.

The Catholics make a similar statement.

I'd have to know your sources in order to agree or disagree, but this surprises me, as well.

I also know some Protestants who very strongly object to the idea of knowing one is saved.  I also know some who view it as the foundation of the Gospel. 

True.  I was one of the latter ones at one time.

I am also observing strongly divergent opinions among some Orthodox, which is also interesting.

That would be interesting.  Sources, please?

You are not the Borg.

You will be assimilated. 



The technology is defeating me in terms of cutting and pasting. For that I apologize here.

Quote
Would you help me out, please, and point out where that is?  Did we state that on this thread, or are you getting it from another Orthodox source?  Because, to my knowledge, Orthodox Christians should never assume that they know that they themselves (or that other people!) are or are not "going to heaven/hell."  The only human whom I KNOW is in heaven is the little, baptized not-quite-one-year-old baby boy of some friends of ours that recently passed away.  But that's an obvious exception.

Post 32 on this thread.  Only in the sense that some, who can handle it, get the knowledge, not that such knowledge is common or to be expected. "It CAN happen " does not mean it applies to all.  The Catholics point to the sin of presumption, and assume anyone with such assurance is probably in sin.  However, there can be exceptions.  I don't recollect the source of this knowledge, sort of a grudging admission it is possible, but don't be caught doing it. Grrr.
 
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« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2009, 08:00:53 PM »

Is it possible for an Orthodox to be sure they will go to heaven?

I look at David in the psalms. He repeatedly expressed his surety in God's salvation. "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever," etc. 

The problem right out the gate is that you have misquoted David here in Ps. 27.  It is "that I may dwell..."  David is not presuming his salvation either.

We should always be careful not to fall into the sin of phariseeism (sp?), but should cry out with hope in a loving Savior "God be merciful to me, a sinner!" 

Well, no, actually, to your first point.  The problem is more complex than that, and it has to do with the nature of the use of the future.  In some languages the indicative future and the subjunctive are identical in form. I know know Hebrew, and I really don't know if "I might go to heaven" = "I will go to heaven."   I think I was reading the LXX when David's apparent certainty struck, but when I read your post it occured to me that I really don't know how much certainty there was in his statement.

I don't believe anyone can utter a sinner's prayer, believe they then have a free ticket and are then free to live like Fyodor Karamazov hell in the security that God will save them regardless.  To use Reformed terminology, justification and sanctification are inseparable except from an analytical standpoint.  Those God justifies He sanctifies (Romans 8 ).  Those God takes for Himself He disciplines.
Repentance is a gift of God, as is faith.  There is presumption if we think God will not discipline us or punish us.  He disciplines His children as a good Father, but those without faith are punished. There is more to this than this, but I am now in a hurry and I anticipate someone will come along and mutter about reformed concepts of election and predestination.
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« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2009, 08:15:16 PM »

You have no guarantee, Truthstalker, that you will go to heaven, and I have no guarantee that I will either.  But we do know for sure how we will be judged on Judgement Day - by our love.  When the twilight of this life comes, we shall be judged on love.

Our Saviour is crytsal clear that the two greatest of the commandments are those of love - firstly, to love the Lord our God with our whole heart and our whole mind and whole soul.... and secondly, to love our neighbour as ourselves.

All the commandemts are summed up in these.  And our arrival in heaven will depend on how well we loved.  Heaven seems to have no place for those who do not love.

If you want to have some certainty that you will go to heaven, then.. love....!     
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« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2009, 10:05:23 PM »

Post 32 on this thread.

Ah.  Thanks.  Well, maybe Seraphim has a specific example.  I don't know of one.  All the great Desert Fathers seemed to fall under the "I have not even begun to repent" camp.

Seems to me that it is, indeed, presumptuous to say that you are, for sure, saved and will indeed, without a doubt, "go to heaven" (you may or may not be aware that our view of heaven/hell is quite different from that of most western Christians).

There is presumption if we think God will not discipline us or punish us.

Discipline?  Yes, for our salvation.  Punish in the sense of senseless harm without the motivation of reform?  No, for such would not be love, and God is love, as Irish Hermit said.  Even His "everlasting punishment" which comes from the presence of the Lord is His loving presence experienced by those filled with hate, while those filled with love experience "times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord."  This is heaven and hell to the Orthodox, not spiritual polar opposites into which a soul is "placed" by a ticked-off or placated deity.
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« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2009, 12:04:36 AM »

An Athonite hermit said: "What guarantees a safe journey to eternity is effort, dignity, the sense of being unworthy before God, hope - the spiritual oxygen, consolation, and certainty. Not misery and compelled obedience and forced prayer; not tears and sadness - these all come from Satan. Yes, I ought to weep for my sins, but all the while hoping in Gods love. But I cannot stand it if I cry because the Devil wants me to despair. Many times Satan crushes a person with despair and the devil becomes the victor. But this does not happen when one is like a child on his fathers arm - trusting. Our trust in God is a ceaseless prayer that brings positive results. Despair comes from the Devil. Dont say, Oh, what has happened to me? But give yourself to God totally and hope in Him."

from an Athonite Gerontikon

I coulda sworn I had posted this already....
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« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2009, 03:19:22 AM »

13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. -from Ephesians 6 (biblegateway.com , I woul appreciate if you give me a link with orthodox bible in english thanks in advance) .

 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. - 1Thessalonians 5 .

What does it mean to "take the helmet of salvation" ? And verse 8 from 1Thessalonians 5 "and the hope of salvation as a helmet" . In my romanian orthodox bible translations is "punând coiful nădejdii de mântuire" wich means putting the helmet wich is the confidence of Salvation , the security of Salvation. Can anyone please explain what this means?
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« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2009, 08:25:00 PM »

13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. -from Ephesians 6 (biblegateway.com , I woul appreciate if you give me a link with orthodox bible in english thanks in advance) .

 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. - 1Thessalonians 5 .

What does it mean to "take the helmet of salvation" ? And verse 8 from 1Thessalonians 5 "and the hope of salvation as a helmet" . In my romanian orthodox bible translations is "punând coiful nădejdii de mântuire" wich means putting the helmet wich is the confidence of Salvation , the security of Salvation. Can anyone please explain what this means?

Eternal security?

One Calvinist I knew insisted both that a) there is eternal security, and the number of the elect cannot be changed, and you can know if you are one of them AND b) you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, because you can fall.  He affirmed both eternal security and temporal insecurity and that there is an unresolvable contradiction that parallels the sovereignty of God versus the free will of man contradiction.  No, it wasn't me, but it sounds plausible.
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« Reply #51 on: April 15, 2009, 09:45:46 PM »

13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. -from Ephesians 6 (biblegateway.com , I woul appreciate if you give me a link with orthodox bible in english thanks in advance) .

 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. - 1Thessalonians 5 .

What does it mean to "take the helmet of salvation" ? And verse 8 from 1Thessalonians 5 "and the hope of salvation as a helmet" . In my romanian orthodox bible translations is "punând coiful nădejdii de mântuire" wich means putting the helmet wich is the confidence of Salvation , the security of Salvation. Can anyone please explain what this means?

Putting on armour for battle doesn't mean that we have already won the battle. All who desire deification (theosis) wage a constant war with the forces of evil, hence the need for spiritual weaponry; the whole armour of God. We must continue to fight with all the weapons that God has given us through His uncreated divine energies. In baptism, we put on all the qualities listed as armour in verses 14-17, but these qualities must be exercised in the process of spiritual growth for without struggle there is no defiication.

On the Thessalonians passage, the Orthodox Study Bible (page 1627) states;

The Thessalonion Christians had been speculating about the return of the Lord and making their own predictions. Paul tells them, you have no need(v.1) for that kind of information (indeed, it is not available!). Does a thief in the night (v.2) announce his coming? The disciples had gotten the same kinds of answers to their questions on the Second Coming from Christ Himself (Mt 24:36; Acts 1:6,7). And suppose we know the end; what is this to us? Christians are called not to set dates but to make themselves ready to meet the Lord by being watchful and sober (v.6). Our place is to be ceaselessly aware of the primacy of God's Kingdom and to have full control over our spiritual faculties.

St Paul's advice is not to be concerned with dates of Christ's Return, but to be prepared to face Him whenever our time comes. Using the means at our disposal, given to us by God himself we fight the battle for our own salvation, so that whether we have already resposed at the time of the Second Coming of Our Lord, or are still alive, we will be counted amongst the number that will live with Him.(V.10) "For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him."


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I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

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« Reply #52 on: April 15, 2009, 10:11:00 PM »

13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. -from Ephesians 6 (biblegateway.com , I woul appreciate if you give me a link with orthodox bible in english thanks in advance) .

 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. - 1Thessalonians 5 .

What does it mean to "take the helmet of salvation" ? And verse 8 from 1Thessalonians 5 "and the hope of salvation as a helmet" . In my romanian orthodox bible translations is "punând coiful nădejdii de mântuire" wich means putting the helmet wich is the confidence of Salvation , the security of Salvation. Can anyone please explain what this means?

Eternal security?

One Calvinist I knew insisted both that a) there is eternal security, and the number of the elect cannot be changed, and you can know if you are one of them AND b) you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, because you can fall.  He affirmed both eternal security and temporal insecurity and that there is an unresolvable contradiction that parallels the sovereignty of God versus the free will of man contradiction.  No, it wasn't me, but it sounds plausible.

That sounds a little Arminian (not Armenian) rather that Calvinist, was this person a Pentecostal?
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« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2009, 01:40:21 AM »

One Calvinist I knew insisted both that a) there is eternal security, and the number of the elect cannot be changed, and you can know if you are one of them AND b) you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, because you can fall.  He affirmed both eternal security and temporal insecurity and that there is an unresolvable contradiction that parallels the sovereignty of God versus the free will of man contradiction.  No, it wasn't me, but it sounds plausible.

So he believed that one can fall, but fall in what way?  Fall away from faith into damnation, or fall away from righteousness but maintain "security"?
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« Reply #54 on: April 18, 2009, 06:58:58 PM »

One Calvinist I knew insisted both that a) there is eternal security, and the number of the elect cannot be changed, and you can know if you are one of them AND b) you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, because you can fall.  He affirmed both eternal security and temporal insecurity and that there is an unresolvable contradiction that parallels the sovereignty of God versus the free will of man contradiction.  No, it wasn't me, but it sounds plausible.

So he believed that one can fall, but fall in what way?  Fall away from faith into damnation, or fall away from righteousness but maintain "security"?

I don't know what he would answer.  Probably something along the lines (and here I am guessing) that it is one thing to look at it from God's perspective, another from man's. 
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