It isn't always a one-time thing. You must commit and maintain this relationship with God until death, which can be hard.I was "saved" at age 8, yet have since lost my faith and remain a skeptic as of now. However, I believe that if one is TRULY saved, that it is impossible to lose it. I would say most Christians haven't experienced a true rebirth.Just my two cents.
A few issues then:1) To whom then is Paul/the wuthor of Hebrews, addressing when warning of falling away? It seems clear to me that he is addressing feloow believers, warning them not to fall away, and not those whom have already chosen to be outside of God's saving grace.
2) Taking in context, 2 Peter 2:20-21 says "For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them (emphasis mine)."It here again, seems clear to me Peter is dicussing those whom have truly known Christ and were accepting of his sacrifice for them, but subsequently denied him by submitting to the ways of the world. So if anything, this seems to affirm Craig's case.
3) John 10:28 need not be problematic, for indeed those who are truly in Christ will not fall away; no powers can possibly interupt or revoke this gift of God upon one making the conscious choice to accept it.
4) If we have been given free will, why can we not always return to our Father's house, whereupon he will most certainly rejoice in our return (Prodigal Son)? Are we only given one chance at repentance, given on this logic our mere sinning continually even under the care of salvation, makes God "look foolish?" Should he not also have the power to direct stop or prevent us from doing so? Why doesn't he then?
5) Why think choosing salvation over death is by work? If God has given us free will, I see no issue here nor any compromise of God's sovereignty. After all, God asks us as well commands us to do a great many things such to affect change, such as pray, repent, and do missionary work- why have us do these things if God already has selected before creation those whom will be saved? Is our life then, just an elaborate farce?
John 3:36 'Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.'
Matthew 7:21'Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.'
2 John 1:6'And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.'
Luke 10:27'He answered: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind" ; and "love your neighbor as yourself."'
John 14:15'If you love me, you will obey what I command.'
John 14:23-24'Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.'
2 John 5:2-3'This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands...'
Salvation is a free gift, to be sure. Christ's sacrifice ensured our opportunity to seek life in heaven someday, and without His perfect sacrifice, there would be no hope for such a life with Him and the Father in heaven.
However, I believe the Word makes clear the fact that love is an action. 2 John 5:2-3 defines love as obeying God's commands. The adverse is true, I believe - to disobey His commands is to not love Him. ***NOTE*** - I am not saying every time you disobey the Lord you do not love Him. However, continuously disobeying with an unrepentant heart is a very dangerous place to be.
I guess the bottom line would be that if one were once 'saved', but did not obey God's commands, I would question the sincerity of one's salvation.
What issue is backsliding then if it is nevertheless not possible to lose one's salvation? I would grant that backsliding does not necessarily mean one falls all the way, but nor does that imply it not being still possible either, it seems to me.
Perhaps it is true as well that those who "lose salvation" never truly had it to begin with, but again, who are Paul and Peter addressing when warning of this potential to fall away? For if those that are elect cannot possibly fall, aren't then these warnings, along with acts of prayer, witnessing, and repentance, all superfluous?
Are all people elected? Has God opened the way for all to share in his eternal goodness?
Backsliding has consequences as was said loss of rewards. Go to John 10.28 to see someone who is born-again, that is, accepting Christ as Lord and Savior atoning for sins on the cross "they shall never perish". Therefore William Lane Craig has a false idea in his head that salvation is by works like all other religions but distinctly is not Christian.
That is entirely illogical and self-contradictory to say someone who was saved lost salvation but never truly had it to begin with. You are either saved or not saved. You cannot be both saved and never saved. Warnings to overcometh are unto rewards for believers, not to keep oneself from being unsaved. Salvation is not by works lest anyone should boast.
Not all people are elected. God elects those whom He foreknew their free choice to accept Him. God has opened the way for all to share in his eternal goodness if they accept His saving grace.
Loss of what rewards? I also fail to see how, if we have been sovereignly given free will, that acceptance of God's gift is in any way "salvation by works." No one that believes this thinks salvation is possible without utter dependence upon God's good grace and mercy upon us.
Yes I understand that, as it was just a manner of speaking (note the quotes). But you didn't address the real relevant questions there.
Then I don't understand- what power does God's presumably subsequent act of election have, if those with free will have already accepted him and his grace? What does it actually do under this scenario?