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Hi guys, been a while :)

Just been pondering this question from a Christian (NT) perspective lately since I've been on a Jehovah's Witness (JW) forum. Basically, the JWs believe in "earning" salvation (i.e. "be good or else!"), whereas this is highly contended by most of mainstream Christianity. Many Christians believe in "once saved always saved", but there are a few who believe salvation is a result of righteous living. I understand things relatively well from the Urantia book's perspective (i.e. reassurance and confidence in your salvation), but it gets a bit complicated when you break it down. Some scriptures and urantia book quotes for perspective:

(146:3.7) "He who enters the kingdom has eternal life already — he shall never perish."

(John 3:15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

(187:4.1) And then Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say to you today, you shall sometime be with me in Paradise.”

(Luke 23:43) Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise."

There is no mincing of words here, and Jesus doesn't seem to be only talking about salvation from the flesh (from one life to the next), but rather, ETERNAL salvation (adjuster fusion?). This seems to back up Christianity's view of "once saved always saved". Here's the sticking point for me - salvation ultimately is a free will CHOICE. How can Jesus assuredly tell anything that they WILL choose eternal life? If Jesus could infallibly predict this, how can a person have free will?

Secondly, if we are to have absolute confidence in our own salvation as children of God, how can we be 100% sure of it if there's a possibility that later on WE may reject God's will? Ultimately, one moments choosing to do God's will does not equate with CONSISTENT choice to do God's will. Therefore, eternal salvation is not predictable based upon any point in time - it can change...


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"Perseverance of the saints, as well as the corollary—though distinct—doctrine known as "Once Saved, Always Saved", is a Calvinist teaching that asserts that once persons are truly "born of God", or "regenerated" nothing in heaven or earth "shall be able to separate (them) from the love of God" (Romans 8:39)." This line from Wikipedia addresses the argument in Christianity regarding "once saved always saved."

Fusion is the short answer. Ask any Mighty Messenger, any Finaliter. Your question seems to be; "Is there a point at which my free will can not choose to remove me from my path to salvation?" Fusion is the point at which you have been determined to have made the final irrevocable choice to proceed spiritually. Short of that you still have the choice. Salvation is not something we buy like an insurance policy that guarantees our eternal reality, it is the recognition of our willingness to pursue the path God has established as evidenced by our consistent and persistent choosing to do the Father's will. It is the act of faith, repeatedly until it is determined by God that we have made the choice final.

A.W. Tozer a Christian preacher from Chicago and Toronto in the mid 1900s said very astutely, "There is no error of doctrine that does not stem from a wrong concept of God." Those, like Calvin, who attempt to hold God accountable to the statements of Paul in the Bible are in error from the beginning. We cannot analyze our way into truth by studying these erroneous doctrines. But it does require real faith to step beyond them.


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One more thing. You ask about what Jesus meant when he said "today you will be with me in Paradise" and such things. Please, please, remember to listen to ALL of Jesus' pronouncements regarding these issues, not merely the one line statements he said to individuals. He said many times, "oh ye of little faith, how long shall I be with you" regarding the shortsightedness of his listeners. He spent a literal lifetime in 3 or so years trying to get us to see the big picture here, not pick at issues that we don't think make sense.

In every case, regarding our misunderstandings, we have to submit them to the Father for his approval or disapproval. We do that by humbly deciding to allow his spirit to reveal to us through real insight from above the truth or lack thereof of our thinking. By these small steps we grow. In most of these cases in my experience God has wanted me to realize greater faith while I wanted to gain greater understanding. My greatest problems of growth are always that standoff between my desire to know him and his desire to have me exercise faith without having the question I am at issue with answered. The result is every time I loose the argument I win spiritually. As the book says, we learn Godly things when we love them.

I guess the most concise way of saying all this is that when dealing with these issues of faith, we do not truly learn them in our heads until we experience them in our hearts.

Jim


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If the question is can we enter the kingdom, accept salvation, and then lose it again, then the answer is perhaps, although I believe it is difficult to lose salvation here on earth -- this is a confused world. Some people can make that decision while here on earth... others live such uninspired and unrewarding lives that they have no concept of what life really is about. The mansion worlds are remedial -- they're there to give us the opportunity to experience life up to the point where it's opportune to make an informed decision.

Possibly someone can enter the kingdom here and then through continued bad decisions lose that gift -- the mansion worlds are there as a safety net. In a sense, Lucifer was in the kingdom but through self-glorification and bad thinking he lost that gift; we can do the same.

Once you're in the kingdom your decisions should be based on that choice; reverting back to decisions based on a worldly point of view are indications that you weren't really in the kingdom in the first place.

Larry


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Thank you very much for your comments!

In my own mind, I cannot imagine ever turning against God - it is not something I personally think about. I understand fully the concept of salvation as it pertains to God's love, there is no fear on my part at all (I understand the corrections and "allowances" we are given). I guess my question really is that of ***ourselves***; can we be sure of our continual loyalty to God's will? How exactly do we explain salvation to others? Of course I understand the erroneous nature of doctrines in the bible, which is why I quoted them from the urantia book too. It seems that Jesus made promises about a person's eternal salvation (fusion) in both books. If not, please can someone explain the actual context...

The only thing I can think of that would explain this is maybe we mortals (as apposed to other personalities) are more predictable in our choices/outcomes? We were created for the very purpose of knowing God and becoming like Him, therefore, when we come to this realization (wanting to do the will of God) there is nothing but the intended journey ahead of us? There is nothing really that can stand in our way because we are merely following the path laid out for us. If Jesus ***assured*** the man (who by faith chose God's way) that he WOULD sometime be with him in paradise (attain fusion) then he obviously had good reason for this confidence. There is no way of taking this out of context is there? Either Jesus was just reassuring the man by coloring the truth a little bit, or he told the absolute truth with no reading between the lines.

In fact, to say to people "well actually, strictly speaking (as is observable in the real world) you MIGHT not have eternal life" is actually watering down the good news of the kingdom. You are actually making them somewhat insecure as a child of God. Even if you explain it in terms of your free will, there is a very unsettling feel about it. Even if you explain that we are expected to grow (bear fruitage) and that a final choice of iniquity (i.e. Lucifer) would result in death, it makes a person feel uneasy and lacking in confidence in what Jesus assured. How can one have confidence in eternal salvation when others who initially made the choice to side with God turned against it later on? You cannot reason it away by saying that they weren't really in the kingdom in the first place because to enter it only takes a grain of faith, and Lucifer was once in it.

You could go that step further (along the lines of Jesus assuring us) that the brotherhood (kingdom message) is weakened by putting our salvation in doubt in any way. It is obvious that Jesus wanted to instill confidence in believers because he referred to them as his brothers/sisters...even children of God! Now this may seem very obvious to Urantia book readers since this is the overriding theme, but it's easy to over-look exactly what this entails. Strictly speaking, being a "son of God" = fusion. Yet, we can still be called "children of God" before that time (40:5.1). If we, the lowest beings, are called "God's children" before the time of fusion, this is instilling confidence in our final destiny of fusion is it not? To put this in doubt is to actually weaken our faith! Maybe there is an unspoken reality of the whole situation - we should preach salvation with absolute confidence, although deep down we understand that due to free will we could turn against our decision later on (before fusion)?


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this may or may not account for why Jesus said what he said...but it's worth pondering.

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118:1.2 The personality of the mortal creature may eternalize by self-identification with the indwelling spirit through the technique of choosing to do the will of the Father. Such a consecration of will is tantamount to the realization of eternity-reality of purpose. This means that the purpose of the creature has become fixed with regard to the succession of moments; stated otherwise, that the succession of moments will witness no change in creature purpose. A million or a billion moments makes no difference. Number has ceased to have meaning with regard to the creature’s purpose. Thus does creature choice plus God’s choice eventuate in the eternal realities of the never-ending union of the spirit of God and the nature of man in the everlasting service of the children of God and of their Paradise Father.

118:1.10 On the absolute and eternal level, potential reality is just as meaningful as actual reality. Only on the finite level and to time-bound creatures does there appear to be such a vast difference. To God, as absolute, an ascending mortal who has made the eternal decision is already a Paradise finaliter. But the Universal Father, through the indwelling Thought Adjuster, is not thus limited in awareness but can also know of, and participate in, every temporal struggle with the problems of the creature ascent from animallike to Godlike levels of existence.


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Makalu wrote:
this may or may not account for why Jesus said what he said...but it's worth pondering.

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118:1.2 The personality of the mortal creature may eternalize by self-identification with the indwelling spirit through the technique of choosing to do the will of the Father. Such a consecration of will is tantamount to the realization of eternity-reality of purpose. This means that the purpose of the creature has become fixed with regard to the succession of moments; stated otherwise, that the succession of moments will witness no change in creature purpose. A million or a billion moments makes no difference. Number has ceased to have meaning with regard to the creature’s purpose. Thus does creature choice plus God’s choice eventuate in the eternal realities of the never-ending union of the spirit of God and the nature of man in the everlasting service of the children of God and of their Paradise Father.

118:1.10 On the absolute and eternal level, potential reality is just as meaningful as actual reality. Only on the finite level and to time-bound creatures does there appear to be such a vast difference. To God, as absolute, an ascending mortal who has made the eternal decision is already a Paradise finaliter. But the Universal Father, through the indwelling Thought Adjuster, is not thus limited in awareness but can also know of, and participate in, every temporal struggle with the problems of the creature ascent from animallike to Godlike levels of existence.



That helps a lot thanks!


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Back to this subject again, been a while :)

Does anyone not see the contradictions here:

146_3_7....He who enters the kingdom has eternal life already—he shall never perish. But much of this you will the better understand when I shall have returned to the Father and you are able to view your present experiences in retrospect.

Versus this:

176:3.3....When you have by faith once established yourself as a son of God, nothing else matters as regards the surety of survival. But make no mistake! this survival faith is a living faith, and it increasingly manifests the fruits of that divine spirit which first inspired it in the human heart. That you have once accepted sonship in the heavenly kingdom will not save you in the face of the knowing and persistent rejection of those truths which have to do with the progressive spiritual fruit-bearing of the sons of God in the flesh. You who have been with me in the Father's business on earth can even now desert the kingdom if you find that you love not the way of the Father's service for mankind.

...and these two:

166:3.7...But at any time prior to mortal death this same material and human will is empowered to rescind such a choice and to reject survival. Even after survival the ascending mortal still retains this prerogative of choosing to reject eternal life; at any time before fusion with the Adjuster the evolving and ascending creature can choose to forsake the will of the Paradise Father.

33:7.4....This has no reference to natural death as it obtains on Urantia, but if the question of the right of continued existence, life eternal, comes up for adjudication, it must be referred to the tribunals of Orvonton, and if decided adversely to the individual, all sentences of extinction are carried out upon the orders, and through the agencies, of the rulers of the supergovernment.

====================

How can anyone be assured of everlasting life that is NOT everlasting because there's potential to reject it and therefore be exterminated? How could Jesus say assuredly that the thief "would someday be with him in paradise" when in all possibility he could reject life at some point between resurrection and fusion?

Again, this is not a personal issue with me, it's just a technicality I can't get my head around when explaining "salvation" to others. It's almost as complicated as trying to explain free will lol. How can we assure people that their choice to do the will of the Father will be an everlasting one? It's like we're teaching TWO types of salvation - a temporary one from flesh, and the eternal one of spirit (the long term view).


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BrotherP I struggled with this question for years as well. Now all I want to say is the question is the wrong question. The question assumes something that isn't real. First it assumes Jesus' death on the cross was a payment in full for a debt. It assumes that God has a decision to make in the process; i.e.,"the debt is paid, the fact that you accepted that and 'believed' makes you saved". He does not say that! There was no debt to pay. His offer of salvation was already made from the beginning. Salvation is for everybody, always has been and always will be. We can join the fun any time we choose. PERIOD! The only way to not make that happen is to CHOOSE not too! You might counter with "Jim, does that mean everybody is saved?" Now we get to the nitty gritty. Choosing means deliberately aligning ones self consciousness with the guidance of one's thought adjuster. In this process we learn to receive God's forgiveness and by doing actually learn to align our thoughts with his. Because that seems to be such a mystery to most of us, that decision is rather hard to nail down in others. So, grace requires us to assume the positive when considering others as we learn to practice the process of growing Godward with and for our selves and our brothers.

Jesus asked two things of us. Love God. Love our fellows. Not once, not twice but always and forever. Do that and do that and do that until we have eliminated the option to not do that from our character.

Christianity has confused this with some kind of singular action on our part and made it kind of like joining a club or something. Christianity's idea of salvation is not real. "Once saved always saved" is an unnecessary mental conflict. Salvation is a way of living not a single action. It is a continuous decision to love God and love your brothers.


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To be Saved or Salvation Is By FAITH

Yet ALL Have the Final Choice to Choose.


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Our Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith.

155:6.17 Now, mistake not, my Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith.

And That
{ALL} will creatures are to experience one true opportunity to make one undoubted, self-conscious, and final choice.''

ALL Get A Final Choice To Choose .
Thats the Gift of Freewill Choice and Mercy.

IT IS Really That Simple .

112:5.9 This does not mean that human beings are to enjoy a second opportunity in the face of the rejection of a first, not at all. But it does signify that ALL will creatures are to experience one true opportunity to make one undoubted, self-conscious, and final choice. The sovereign Judges of the universes will not deprive any being of personality status who has not finally and fully made the eternal choice; the soul of man must and will be given full and ample opportunity to reveal its true intent and real purpose.


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How right you are Coop. But even Christianity says that FAITH is the path to salvation. What I was trying to point out to BrotherP is that Christianity MEANS faith that Jesus died for their sins and the rest of what they believe. The question he asked, "Once saved always saved? Is there such a thing?" assumes facts not in evidence. It assumes that the theology of atonement is valid. Once saved always saved is irrelevant to faith sons of the Father. Faith equals Salvation. We are not trying to "earn" salvation, "be guaranteed salvation", "qualify for salvation" or any other conditional response. We LOVE our Father. He LOVES us. That is salvation.
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140:1.5 “Your message to the world shall be: Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and in finding these, all other things essential to eternal survival shall be secured therewith. And now would I make it plain to you that this kingdom of my Father will not come with an outward show of power or with unseemly demonstration. You are not to go hence in the proclamation of the kingdom, saying, ‘it is here’ or ‘it is there,’ for this kingdom of which you preach is God within you.

Jim


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I Understand and agree My Brother .

AMEN


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BrotherP

Once again I read your questions and I have to ask, are you saying that some will postulate that they will loose their salvation and slip and fall away accidentally? Are you suggesting that the process is without the assistance of the Thought Adjuster, the Guardian Seraphim, the Cherubim and Sanobim, the Spirit of Truth, the Universe Mother Spirit (Holy Spirit), the Midwayers, and the myriads of creatures throughout the universes that are all anxious to assist each of us in our quest and committed to making us successful in that? What an amazing team!!!!

I think we can be assured that no body, as it were, slips on a banana peal and falls out of salvation. On this planet we have to decide to be as selfish as we can be and refuse to listen to the "still small voice" in our heart. It has to be deliberate. And I am sure it is a serious and life determining decision to refuse God when we are on the Mansion Worlds.

Think of this. If a man loves his wife does he sit in fear that someday he might change his mind and divorce her? Not if he really loves her! He deliberately does that which makes the love stronger and more enduring. Love has that quality about it. We are designed to seek it with all our hearts.

If I have not answered or touched on the intent of your question please let me know.

Thanks,

Jim


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Well said Jim...and all. While one may choose to enter the kingdom, one may also choose to leave it...this is the nature of absolute free will for each and all. What has God to do with such choosing? Or such a result. Sin contains the seed of its own destruction. The "good news" is any who will may enter...and we are given plenty of time here and "over yonder" to grow in spirit and wisdom. Consider the mercy credits:

(314.4) 28:6.5 2. The Memory of Mercy. These are the actual, full and replete, living records of the mercy which has been extended to individuals and races by the tender ministrations of the instrumentalities of the Infinite Spirit in the mission of adapting the justice of righteousness to the status of the realms, as disclosed by the portrayals of the Significance of Origins. The Memory of Mercy discloses the moral debt of the children of mercy — their spiritual liabilities — to be set down against their assets of the saving provision established by the Sons of God. In revealing the Father’s pre-existent mercy, the Sons of God establish the necessary credit to insure the survival of all. And then, in accordance with the findings of the Significance of Origins, a mercy credit is established for the survival of each rational creature, a credit of lavish proportions and one of sufficient grace to insure the survival of every soul who really desires divine citizenship.

(314.5) 28:6.6 The Memory of Mercy is a living trial balance, a current statement of your account with the supernatural forces of the realms. These are the living records of mercy ministration which are read into the testimony of the courts of Uversa when each individual’s right to unending life comes up for adjudication, when “thrones are cast up and the Ancients of Days are seated. The broadcasts of Uversa issue and come forth from before them; thousands upon thousands minister to them, and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before them. The judgment is set, and the books are opened.” And the books which are opened on such a momentous occasion are the living records of the tertiary seconaphim of the superuniverses. The formal records are on file to corroborate the testimony of the Memories of Mercy if they are required.

(314.6) 28:6.7 The Memory of Mercy must show that the saving credit established by the Sons of God has been fully and faithfully paid out in the loving ministry of the patient personalities of the Third Source and Center. But when mercy is exhausted, when the “memory” thereof testifies to its depletion, then does justice prevail and righteousness decree. For mercy is not to be thrust upon those who despise it; mercy is not a gift to be trampled under foot by the persistent rebels of time. Nevertheless, though mercy is thus precious and dearly bestowed, your individual drawing credits are always far in excess of your ability to exhaust the reserve if you are sincere of purpose and honest of heart.

Me here: we may not "act" our way into heaven or eternity, our heart and hope is measured for the "flicker".

(1733.5) 155:6.17 Now, mistake not, my Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith. He takes note of the physical and superstitious emotions of the primitive man. And with those honest but fearful souls whose faith is so weak that it amounts to little more than an intellectual conformity to a passive attitude of assent to religions of authority, the Father is ever alert to honor and foster even all such feeble attempts to reach out for him. But you who have been called out of darkness into the light are expected to believe with a whole heart; your faith shall dominate the combined attitudes of body, mind, and spirit.

Me here: the more we "know" or are given, it is true that the more is expected of us. Loyalty and love are important to spirit growth. Every choice brings us closer or turns us away from the light and path. But we can stray far without fear for the light always shines and the pilot always whispers.

And we are not to "save" anyone....for all are safe. We are to win souls "to" the kingdom by our own light and attractive nature as children of God and ambassadors to the kingdom. The greatest tool for saving souls is the use of fear. A damnable exercise. Fear is the great poison and greatest obstacle to sublime confidence in eternity and God's plan for all. Fear not....and for pity's sake do not cause fear in any other.

8)


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