Beloved Enemy of Mine

I have a much loved friend who told me one wonderful day that she hated me for seven years.  She said she read everything I wrote just so that she could prove me wrong.  When we interacted on Facebook, she’d get angry and wordy, (she could get your ire up for sure in return) 🙂 .  With her and others, I try very hard to speak with sound speech that could not be condemned, always hoping (and sometimes praying) that I keep grace and salt in my speech.  A lot of prayer was in order as we all can speak in ways we should not in the heat of the moment.  

This day was really exciting and a huge blessing to me.  It was the day that I came to FB and there was a friend request from her.  I am not sure if an email preceded the friend request, but we were not friends at that time. I was friends (or conversing) with a family member of hers and met her through my public posts.  So I was encouraged and thankful (and slightly suspicious – haha).

Can you lose your salvation?

Click here to read more on eternal security

She used to believe you could forfeit it.  If we could, it would be hopeless for us all, although many of the self-righteous judge your salvation by the things they do or do not do.

We started off lightly in conversation, a little cautious.  But we began to share more freely back and forth with each other.   She also used to believe you had to repent from your sin to be saved, and that you could walk away from your salvation.  

She shared that my posts had offended her, and I apologized for anything I might have offended in myself.  She reassured me (ever so sweetly) that it was only offensive because I stepped on certain areas that she used to believe were true, but  then found out they were not.  She said it was a good kind of pain.  I cried.  So to the rest of you out there, keep speaking the truth.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.  Pr 27:6

She had no idea what kind of a blessing she was and continues to be to me, after years of sowing.  I often am reminded of the great gift of her friendship and fellowship when I am possibly going to answer in the flesh in heated conversations.  Which one of these enemies might be recovered?

Love Never Fails

My now dear friend recounted how she had read my posts back to 2007 (and laughingly assured me that she was not a ‘stalker’).  These things had (still have) me in awe of the Lord (even more so as she was sharing with me.  I have another very good friend who used that term along with ‘lurker’ and she (along with so many others) have become so very precious to me.  I have a special fondness for that term.  What they mean by ‘lurking’ is that they were reading from behind the scenes but often didn’t comment.   How huge is that?  

So many things go on behind the scenes as the Saints labor in the harvest and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered.  Some helping to explain the Word of God, others praying, watching, faithful.  Lurkers in bondage being set free, and the lost coming to the knowledge of the truth.   What a compelling reason to keep our speech sound and gracious (with the Lord’s help). 

Do not weary in doing good

What she was saying was like the most wonderful confirmation from the Lord to continue to be patient.  There was a sweet reward for the long time period of her enmity towards me.   A great reward in this life.   Many years before, I had asked the Lord for encouragement to let me know that I was doing the right thing.  If I should speak at all, or if I was speaking in the manner His Word told us to, and saying only as much as He wanted (I tend to be wordy myself in wanting to be thorough).   With all the flack I got, sometimes it was hard to know.

I didn’t always know when (still don’t) to make the distinction between those who are teaching false doctrine and those who are just deceived by it.  But I asked that He might send someone to encourage me from time to time if I was headed in the right direction.  Just a few, not too many so that I might not also get exalted somehow (as Paul said of himself).   God (as usual) was right on time with my new beloved sister.

As we talked back and forth, she told me that before she started reading my posts, that she worked so hard to be good enough to be saved and got so discouraged and depressed.  This is something I too experienced (along with others I know) as I got into the subtle error of Loadship which crosses the religious party lines of Arminianism and Calvinism. 

What is lordship doctrine?

A more through explanation can be found on expreacherman.com at this LINK.

Loadship (I believe a more apropos name) is called lordship by many, but I prefer to remain with my nickname of loadship.  None of us are denying He is our Lord (as they claim).  What we are contending for has nothing to do with us not believing Jesus is both our Lord and Savior. He is and we believe it.  But what they do is put loads too heavy for you to bear in order for one to become saved.  It does not matter when or where the load is placed.   If it is placed before or on top of the gospel, it will keep the lost squarely lost, it is still a burden.   Jesus told us to bring our burdens to Him and He would give us rest.   It is not by ANY works we are saved.  Not works of any kind.  Over and over in Scripture we are told to believe.  And over and over again they mock belief alone.  They say this is what they believe, but with their doctrine they deny the power of godliness (belief in the gospel).  They justify themselves by their wonderful works.

They utter speech, and speak insolent things;

All the workers of iniquity

Boast in themselves.

Psalm 94:4 (see also Matt 7:22-23)

Turning from sin to receive the free gift of eternal life?

Turning from sin might be a good work, even a righteous work.   But it cannot be added as a work to receive the free gift of eternal life.  Because it is not by works of righteousness that we are saved (Titus 3:4-7).   Christ died for me commending His love for me while I was still a ungodly sinner, one that had no righteousness of my own, no strength.  I wasn’t good.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:6-8

Christ made me alive once I believed. Eph 1:4 tells me that this happened was while I was still dead in my sins, NOT once I had turned from them.  (Calvinists teach one is pre-regenerated before they can believe) but vs. 13 in the same chapter is pretty clear that is not what is taught in His Word.  We believe and we are sealed with the Spirit until the day of redemption (Eph 4:30). 

Can you lose your salvation if you practice sin?

Arminians tend to say that if you practice sin, you lose your salvation (They often cite 1 John 3:9 – please see Dr. Arnold at this link)

Calvinists tend to say that if you practice sin, it’s likely you were not ‘truly saved’.   This is also known as the ‘P’ in the acronym T.U.L.I.P.  (See more here about the Perseverance of the Saints by Pastor Tom Cucuzza).

Neither doctrines are Biblical, yet they will argue that until they are blue in the face.  That’s not so much my concern.  I worry whether or not they have ever believed the truth and am concerned also about those they will mislead.  They seem to miss their own pride and sometimes false accusations are sin along with teaching a false gospel.

Works added to the gospel is another gospel

If works (including turning from, stopping or forsaking sin) are placed after the gospel as a necessity to keep your salvation or prove you are saved, it is still another gospel.  They insist you must do good works to stay saved or prove you are saved, (once we are His, we should do good works) but it is still a load that doesn’t belong on top of the gospel.   A burden on the hump of a camel whether before, on top of, or after, is still a burden that has to be unloaded before a camel can to go through the eye of the needle.  Our filthy rags of righteousness cannot be added to His gospel (Is 64:6). 

Over and over these blind leaders of the blind claim that they believe salvation is by grace, and then they will come back with the false accusation that you are teaching people to sin so that grace might abound.

Cheap grace

Before you accuse me of Cheap Grace (typical tactic that is somewhat common), or that I am suggesting we shouldn’t do good works, or that I am teaching people to be licentious, just stop.   I will tell you straightaway, that is not true.   And it is you that cheapens His grace if you try to add your good works to it.  

Whether before or after as a requirement, we CANNOT finish in the flesh what He started in the Spirit.  It just doesn’t work.  Trying to live by rules and regulations or the law does not work.  It not only keeps our works operating solely in the flesh but it renders our gospel ineffective as we begin to become hypocrites and are not straightforward about the gospel.   Galatians 3-5 makes it clear you have become bewitched, and are under bondage and if you believed have fallen from grace.   

Shouldn’t we do good works?

Yes, Believers SHOULD be careful to maintain good works.

Believers SHOULD add to our faith.

Believers SHOULD walk in the Spirit.

Believers SHOULD NOT walk in the lust of the flesh.

Believers SHOULD abstain from sexual immorality (and much more).

There are things that believers should or should not do.  We ‘do well‘ if we abstain from certain things.  And we are to be doers of the Word once we are saved.  But we are not saved from hell by any works of righteousness of our own, nor are we saved from eternal separation from God or kept by any works of the law or any works at all. 

Please read these verses to understand where I am getting this. (Gal 3:1-5; Isaiah 64:5; Col 2:20-23; Titus 3:8; 2 Pet 1:5-9; Acts 15:28-29; Rom 5:16-17; Gal 2:16; Eph 2:8-9; Rom 4:3-5; 11:6; 1 Pet 1:3-5).

We are kept by the power of God  

My friend shared that her unbelieving friends had never mocked her or made fun of her belief.  But she said she has experienced mocking from other professing believers who do not believe in the free gift of salvation.  She said they try to change the Simplicity that is in Christ into something that says, “I have to do something to help save myself”.  (Did they ever believe the simple gospel? Only God knows, I am not judging their salvation).

How profoundly true that is in so many I have met in my life.  How often I too have encountered the same thing, predominantly starting at my Christian High School.   Some there were teaching that you could sin away eternal life, or if you ‘practiced sin’ it proved you were never saved.  Of course they were just as convinced they were saved, that always flummoxed me because as I watched them speak and accuse others, (and stop their ears when others speak), they seem woefully unaware of their pride, false accusations, anger and self-righteousness.  Pray for them.

A famine in the land for the hearing of God’s Word

Has your brain been dirtied?  Do you listen to men’s words over the Word of God?  See this recent sermon by Pastor Tom Cucuzza

My dear friend (who came out of this egregious error), encouraged me in the reverse.  She encouraged me regarding my dealings with the mockers in all of our lives.  She wisely told me we need to just stay strong and grounded in our beliefs on Jesus Christ. Remembering Who He is and what He gave to and for the world of sinners.  She empathetically added that some of the scoffing issues people have come from the false teachings of church’s and society.  She also reminded me to have compassion on those that have been brought up in falsities and to understand that any one of us could be walking in their life.  She said she did for so long in LoadShip teaching and so many of my friends have said the very same thing of their experience. 

My sweet little Lamb advised all believers to hold fast, arm themselves in truth and try to use His Word to undo a lot of the damage done by the wolves. (His Word is truth, we need washed and sanctified by it – John 17:17; Eph 5:26).

She finished with this sage piece of advice;

“Let people know we are all human, all sinners and not one of us can ever be good enough or do enough good things to save ourselves.  That Christ being purely God and walking as man, did it all for us and all we have to do is accept his free gift to us.

From the beginning it has always been faith in his grace and never the law…for no man followed it and all would be doomed if not for Jesus. I love you.  And I am finally finding much peace in my past, my life and my future…forever.”

What a huge blessing to see someone I fought for and prayed for come to the truth (all with His help, reminders, urging and wise advice from His Word).  Thank you dear Lord.

God bless you all, and I thank the Lord for His tender mercies which are all over His Works.

In Christ, Holly

 

 

12 Responses to “Beloved Enemy of Mine

  • Stephen Rosberg
    2 years ago

    I look forward to seeing an update on your blog I my email box. Thank you so much for the great work you are doing .

    • Stephen, Welcome and thank you for your kind words. This one was very special to me, and I pray that it might touch some, but mostly that the Lord is glorified in all, and so much thanks is due to Him for all of His lovingkindness. Please keep stopping by. In Christ, Holly

  • Holly, this is Brad from ExPreacherman. Can I have your email address please?

    • Brad, Hi, sorry, just saw your comments, I don’t always come here each day. For a number of reasons I don’t give out my email address usually. One is I believe it’s more proper to keep doctrinal things out in the open to be discussed by all. Another reason is just from the perspective of time. Some people want to discuss finer points of things they believe and that can be helpful in an open discussion if people will hear what the Scriptures are saying.

      I suspect you’d like to discuss things from the other site, and I just won’t do that either. Not from any group mentality, but because I am in agreement and don’t mind saying so in the open where it should stay.

      You seem to still be a little stuck in wanting other proof. We’ve discussed this before. I have a lifetime of looking for proof in those areas, and it doesn’t satisfy for long, and it does come back to accuse. Because it’s not the proof (testimony) we have that we are saved.

      While we may have benefits from the Lord that bless us when we’re doers of the Word, or walking in the Spirit, we can never use that as an assurance we are His. The assurance should always come from the fact that God made a promise. He swore by Himself and there is no greater. It was a one-sided contract that only He would be performing. He asked us to believe. We can know we have eternal life for that reason alone. Because we believed His testimony.

      If we start looking at other things to prove we are His, we’re going to falter. We need to remember it’s because God is not a man that He should lie, and because He said that if I believed I would have eternal life and I would never perish, that is the assurance of my salvation. His Word on the matter.

      In Christ, Holly

  • I’m not sure if the last comment I left here went through or not. Holly could you please give me your email address?

  • EDITED: I had a tangible experience when I was saved and have experienced tangible evidences that I am saved since being born again. Do you want me to ignore those experiences?

    I also wanted to ask you what I asked twice ELSEWHERE.

    Can I ask that question here if you’re not willing to give me your email address? It’s not a loaded question, I’m not interested in those sorts of questions.

    Besides all of that. Thank you Holly and God bless you for the wonderful work you do here.

    • Brad, I edited your comment because I don’t believe it’s right to mention other ministries just because you can’t get them to see it your way. I look to these men as elders in Christ, and I’m certainly not going to say anything about them knowing their sound doctrine. I know the two you mentioned very well, and if they had the wisdom to censor your comments or not continue answering the same thing over and over again, there is a good reason.

      We cannot rely on feelings or experiences as assurance we are saved, because feelings come and go as well as experiences. But it’s been explained to you several ways. Thank God for the things He gives us, but if we looked to that, poor brother Paul would have been wondering why he was in prison, or had to be hidden and let down a wall, or why God had not taken his physical infirmity away, and why he was stoned to death (almost). Or why he still had evil present within his body. But Paul trusted God and His Word, which he tells us was written ahead of time for our comfort (Rom 15:4). So THAT is where we look for assurance, not feelings, blessings or experiences.

      God daily loads us with benefits, however, He also makes the rain to fall on the good and evil alike. So if I have blessings in this lifetime, I still can’t look to them to somehow give me assurance or proof that I’m saved. Because when I went through hard times I’d also be looking to see if that was proof I was not. And I’ve had a lot of hard times.

      We have one trustworthy source for assurance, and that is the written Word of God, His Word is truth. And it was written down so that we might know that we have life. It did not say, and you will have ‘this’ experience, or ‘this blessing’ so that you might know that you have life. We know because of God’s testimony of His Son (1 John 5:9-13).

      But dear friend, you’ve been told that over and over again that we cannot look to those experiences as ‘tangible evidence’, instead we need to trust in what God says in His Word.

      Heaven forbid, if King David looked to those experiences for proof, he’d have been afraid all the time based on what happened in life both good and bad.

      I can’t get in a long protracted conversation about the same thing, I just do not have time in my life. If you want to ask something different, I will answer if it’s not the same thing.

      Otherwise, please trust His Word and get to know it more and more each day. (Prov 22:17-21). In Christ, Holly

    • Other than that answer Brad, I would prefer you provide Scripture that shows we WILL have ‘tangible evidence’ of our salvation.

      If not, you are relying on your truth and not what is written.

    • Brad I still rather you get the answer from the source of the book yourself. He is humble, but he is busy, so if you don’t get an answer right away then be patient. But I don’t want to go into it here. Thank you for respecting that.

      • Brad, I’m not making comments come and go. ALL comments await moderation until I approve them and sometimes don’t get here awhile. But I did already say I didn’t want to go into it here and thanked you in advance for respecting that. I don’t intend to continue along that line, I hope you will understand.

  • On my end the comments were appearing in “awaiting moderation” status and then disappearing altogether, then they would come back and so on. I don’t know why I saw that. I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions about you because of it.

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