Is there such thing as an Evil Christian? How does Salvation apply to such?

I know I’m touching on sensitive taboo question which many if not most are not willing to admit or in denial of a Christian, accepting Christ and Born Again along the way to be able to commit sacrilege, criminal and downright rebellion against God. Sound very similar to Judas, Demas, Solomon, Saul, Richard Huckle, modern day Bishops and Reverend (Please don’t say they were never Christian or pretended to be), etc… and yet some believe some maynot believe they have everlasting salvation without repentant.

The doctrine of Once Saved Always Saved is that the grace of God is sufficient for salvation and salvation comes from grace not works of righteousness “or wrongdoings”. The argument in such doctrine is that the heavenly reward is affected but not the soul.

My perspective has to do with 2 questions combed into one, does a Christian who is saved, born by the spirit would be able to commit heinous act that would result in him losing his salvation until he repent.

Even thou the question sound simple but the answer is not. Because regardless of what answer came out there are always bible verses that is against the answer provided and real life examples through history could easily prove the hypothesis wrong.

I would spare anyone from coming out with the answer with a certain school of thought and would appreciate someone to guide me to more reliable reading source of such relevant topic. Thank you for your time in reading this.

9 Likes

Hi @Kenny_Chen,

You posed a really tough question. I believe it is easier to prove God’s existence and the evidence for Christianity, than to prove the condition of the heart, and the heart of believer at that too.

Got Questions has a beautiful response to a similar question:

I struggle with this question a lot too, thus accumulating bits and pieces of answers during every struggle. Then one day the Holy Spirit gave me an AHA moment, culminating all the answers into a simple analogy for me by pointing to my own marriage. So, when someone (from my discipleship ministry) comes with a question along this line, I would use this analogy as well.

Marriage Analogy
Imagine you are wedded to a wonderful spouse and have the most beautiful of a loving relationship. This state of bliss is like when we receive Christ and restored the privilege to have an intimate loving relationship with Him. But the story is not done, you have to cultivate your relationship to sustain the intimacy. Most people can point to a parent who may not have divorced, but barely enduring a cold and stale relationship of 20-40 years. Anyway, intimacy is for another topic another time.

When You Love Her
My point here is when you love your spouse, you will not do things to hurt him/her that will steal his/her smile, even though the temptation to do so is very very real. You will exercise great self-control because you love him/her. Sometimes you fail, I did too, but you’ll feel bad and seek to reconcile. And my own wife has been so gracious to forgive me because she loves me a lot. Imagine a God who is love, and loves you with His endless capacity to do so.

When You DON’T Love Her
But the difference is, when I don’t love her, or decided to stop loving her (because agape-love is a decision and a verb right?), I would succumb to temptation that will hurt her, but instead of feeling bad, I’m unrepentant and continually chose to overindulge myself in my depravity. I may start with sneaking around in secret, and spiral into sinning blatantly with her full knowledge, and in my hardened heart and ego, I purposely go into a greater frenzy, even while my wife continues to convince me that she is willing to forgive and softly persuading me to come back

Turning Back
If I were to turn back at this point, she would gladly restore our relationship and forget all my past sins. In 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In fact, Got Question also has an article on this: https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-sin.html

Not Turning Back
But imagine if I’m unrepentant, and told her I don’t love her anymore (“decided not to” to be precise), and I want a divorce. She would relent and not allow a divorce, but then I forced my hands on her to push through the divorce with my ever hardening heart. I would spit on her, mock her, continues reveling in my sin, and finally out of true love, she lets me go.

A Loving God
Just as God loves us so much to respect our decision if we don’t want to be with God. He won’t force us against our will. But if we reciprocate His love, He will gladly restore our standing like the prodigal son, because no one can be too far out of reach from God’s love (Rom 8:39).

Heaven and Hell
I’m a believer in Hell is simply a place devoid of God, and Heaven is a place brimming with His presence. (whatever happens inside or what it holds within, that’s for another doctrinal debate) Sometimes, we assume wrongly that everyone wants to go and be with God for eternity(Heaven) and that no one wants to separate themselves from God (Hell), and that it is unfair for God to put people in hell.

A Fair God
No, if we understand what heaven and hell is, then God will put everyone exactly where they want to be, a place with their true love, or away from whom they hate. Just as it says in Gen 18:25b NKJV “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” No one can say they didn’t end up where they didn’t want to or don’t deserve to be there. If they are supposed to end up in Hell, then even if God were to have a last minute conversation with them, they will still reject God, like Stalin did, raising his fist one last time at God on his deathbed,as Ravi told it in his book “Can Man Live Without God”.

Bringing It Home
I guess I believe in a doctrine, where once saved forever saved, nothing we can do to earn it, not by works but by grace through faith. (Eph 2:8-9). There’s no offense bad enough we can commit that if we want to confess (in agreement with God that we are wrong and get right with Him as the 2nd Got Question article mentioned) that God cannot restore the relationship. But if we don’t want it (decide not to want it), God is too loving to force you to be in Heaven with Him for eternity. (It’s like forced into an unwanted non-divorce-able marriage to an obsessed individual you hate LOL)

Don’t get me wrong, knowing this doesn’t mean I stop struggling with this question in parallel to walking in my 11 year old marriage (barely a teenager LOL), continually finding myself working it out(just as Phi 2:12 working out your salvation) to cultivate its fruit that not only I but people around me can enjoy as well. (Psalm 1:3)

I hope you find this brief response helpful and quite cogent for you from all angles of perspective you may develop from your double-headed question. May God continue to shower His love and wisdom for you to better understand your personal struggles. Thanks for bringing this up. Please feel free to CMIIW.

Blessings in Christ,
Roy

8 Likes

@Kenny_Chen Great question :slight_smile: The Scriptures are clear that if we love God we obey God and that a Christian is someone who walks in the light; not in the darkness. I respect people on both sides of the eternal security question and I can understand both perspectives. However, I think we must be very careful to heed the consistent warnings throughout Scripture of the terrible danger of turning away from God once having tasted His goodness.

Again, I am not using these verses to support either side of this discussion. Rather, simply as a reminder that sin is never something we can take lightly. We are called to be holy as He is holy.

Christ grant you wisdom brother.

2 Peter 2:20-22- If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

Hebrews 6:4-8 - It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodnessof the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

3 Likes

I really love @RoySujanto analogy of the marriage. It is so true that coming to accept Christ is like being into a marriage. The bible actually uses such analogy of bride and the bridegroom. Thank you for such a perfect analogy and also thank you for the references, I will take time to see them.

I also like this Free Will statement.


Thank you @SeanO for the two passage. 2 Peter 2:20-22 really said it all. Hebrews 6:4-8 even goes to the extent of shaming Christ crucification over and over again every time those men repent. It is also true to be impossible to be brought back to repentance. Thank you for the link to extra discussion. I’m looking into it. It really goes back to the root of Calvinism vs Arminianism, Thank you very much brother for the guidance really appreciate it.

2 Likes

@Kenny_Chen Sure thing :slight_smile: I think the only thing I try to be careful about when referencing those warning passages it that anyone who truly feels repentant has not fallen from grace. Sometimes people can get worried when they hear strong warnings like that…

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

1 Like

How can you jump off of the Father’s hand? Why would you? How can you make the Holy Spirit leave – once you have been born from above? Did Jesus die for all of our sins, or not? Can a Christian sin after he has been saved? Of course or the scripture lies. We do both deliberate sin which is really bad, and unconscious sin which we aren’t even able to confess.

I personally have never encountered a Christian who murdered someone. But I have been angry enough at someone and wanted to slap them down. I said things I should not have. Then I gave it to God. Later I faced that same frustration, got less angry the next time. Sanctification is the process whereby God makes us more like Jesus. Is it possible to go back to our old life after we get saved? Of course, and many do. With no joy, no leading of the Spirit, and little connection to the truth. As far as doing evil, I think the Bible teaches that there are levels of reward. Will Jesus say to all of us, “well done thou good and faithful servant”? I don’t think so. But there will be some who get in by the skin of their teeth.

If salvation is dependent on us, we are sunk. It is God’s work and we either have the Holy Spirit who marks us as his own, or we don’t. But then remember that we are saved from something, to something. The to, I believe, is a relationship whereby we can moment by moment walk with the Spirit of Christ whose “yolk is easy and burden is light.”

The reward for the believer who lives for Christ, and the reward for the one who lives for other things has to be different, doesn’t it, i.e. the talents? That’s my sense of it, taking all the context of the word into account that I have experienced. Since even the faith by which I came to the Lord is a gift of his grace, how then is anything dependent on me except in response to him? We live from “faith to faith”. We grow as we walk and submit to him. Our works demonstrate our faith and are a result of the Spirit in us. Christians should not do bad things, evil, that which is counter to love – and there are consequences. But when we realize it we can repent, turn back to God, and let him enable us to overcome.

At least, that’s the way I see it. But I am old, what could I know.

A less-reluctant unworthy servant of Christ the Most High God.

2 Likes

Hello Kenny Chen

Salvation: Can It Be Lost?

Romans 3:25-26

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood —to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Absolutely everyone gets a clean slate, a fair & equal opportunity, a new beginning, once the decision is made to live Jesus’ Teachings. This new life requires dependence on God’s ability to deal with consequences arising from living as Jesus - good or bad consequences. This type of life is a life of faith, ie not being vengeful but being assured of God’s Justice.

1 John 2:24-25

As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life.

We now begin being constant & consistent in applying Jesus’ Teachings to ourselves & others who are fellow believers. Our expectations of believers should be much higher than unbelievers. When offences come we are to apply Matthew 18:15-35 & Luke 17:3 This creates the optimum environment in which to grow & mature in our practice of our faith.

1 John 1:8-10

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Regular confession, contrition & repentance keeps the mutual love aflame amongst believers. Consistent application of the Christian standards keeps the Church relatively free from contamination of sin, hypocrisy & derision from unbelievers. This minimises the repetition of sin.

1 John 3:6

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Sin gradually has less of a hold on us the more we live in fellowship & accountability with one another as believers. When we do sin, for none of us is perfect like Jesus, we have easy access to forgiveness through Jesus Christ who advocates on our behalf to God Our Father. Who better to express what it feels like to be human & tempted, than Jesus? Jesus justifies our misdemeanours & so we gain mercy & another chance to live Jesus’ way. We are not punished & our contrition & repentance are rewarded with a new beginning yet again. Besides mercy, we also get grace which empowers us to resist further temptation, weakening sin’s hold. Genuine sorrow & repentance is rewarded always with forgiveness. It’s a constant process & thankfully, God is patient. We are to imitate this process precisely in order to be consistent.

All these points contribute to willing worship of God - this being our ultimate purpose for existence, rewarded with eternal life with God. Salvation is not without strings attached. There are a lot of “ifs” in order to have it. The kicker is that it’s the ultimate equal opportunity scenario of all time. You can be early, late, rich, poor, cleaver, stupid, any colour, any race, male or female - everyone qualifies. You just have to CO-OPERATE WITH JESUS. You can lose your salvation:

1 John 3:10

This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love [live according to God’s commands John 14:24] their brother and sister [fellow believers].

I hope these references to scripture are helpful in understanding the simplicity of life as a believer & the availability of salvation & the way to be assured of never losing it.

1 Like

My first thoughts regarding an “Evil Christian” would be that it takes time to renew one’s mind after accepting the Lord. We are New Creatures but our Mind’s haven’t changed yet. The life-long goal of all of us should be to take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ. I would simply add that: Over the long-haul, if someone isn’t engaged in the process of being “transformed by the renewing of their mind” and outwardly is still acting ugly and/or evil, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t saved or not going to Heaven, (they may or may not be), it simply means that they are moving “really slow” or aren’t as serious as someone else may be.

1 Like

A great question indeed. For me, I think Peter is and example although not to the extreme. When Jesus told Peter that his answer (Jesus is the son of the living God) was revealed to him by His Father, I tend to think that Peter was close to God. But then Peter denied Jesus later before His crucifixion.

Also with the Lords Prayer, He taught His disciples to ask God’s forgiveness, which I thought they were walking alongside Jesus. And I think they recite the Lord’s Prayer all the time.

Malo

I don’t think you seem to understand the reality of redemption. It’s not your experience of the Redemption that saves you, but the reality of it. Salvation is of God. God has taking care of salvation. You cannot add to it by refraining from certain Behavior and you can’t take it away by actively engaging in a certain Behavior. It is never things done it is things believed. Either you believe in the Redemptive work of Jesus Christ which bought and paid for you or you don’t. It’s a simple as that. Your behavior has nothing to do with your salvation. You are either one of the elect before the foundations of the world we laid or you’re not. He hated Esau and loved Jacob before either one of them had done anything wrong. God has concluded that all will sin so that He might have mercy on them all. The one thing we experience through the Redemption is the Forgiveness of God true faith in Christ given by his grace. You are saved by grace through faith and that not of yourself. The faith you have to believe God is itself a gift. After receiving the gift the only thing you can do is offer your thanks. The Christian Life is marked with continually rejoicing, praying without ceasing, and giving thanks in everything… we should continually be in the habit of remembering the perfect atonement Jesus Christ has made, and focus on believing that and not in our Behavior. The great need for each of us is not to do things, but to believe things. Jesus was asked, “what are the works that we should do that we should work the works of God,” Jesus answered and said, "These are the works that the father would have you do, believe in the one He has sent. I will say it again, the great need is not to do things but believe things. To be disappointed in yourself is to have believed in yourself. Trust in the Lord, not your ability to follow Him. If you are truly a child of God, God will not allow you to sin beyond that which you can handle. If that’s true then you really can’t s8n the grace of God away. He’ll take you home if you can’t play nice with others. Just like my mother used to bring me in when I couldn’t play nice with the little boy next door. And no matter what I did I always remained her child. Even so much more it is with God when you are his child. He will only let you cross the line so far. God will kill the body to save the soul.