faithfulserver

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Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« on: August 04, 2013, 10:33:14 pm »
What is the view of Reasonable Faith, i.e. William Lane Craig, about salvation for eternity; in other words, after a person is born-again does Craig and the proponents of this site believe eternal life (initial salvation, new birth, regeneration of the spirit) can be lost?

I know the Roman Catholics, Wesley, lots of other denominations and probably the vast majority of Christendom believe that a person who is saved can lose salvation and still go to Hell.

I believe just as person can only be born of the flesh once, they can only be born-again once and have eternal life once. In other words, a person can't be born-again, lose salvation, gain it back, then lose it again, etc. God simply would not save that person in the first place if salvation could be lost, i.e. salvation by works lest anyone should boast.



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False Entity

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2013, 10:57:32 pm »
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.

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faithfulserver

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2013, 11:55:46 pm »
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.
I understand that is your view, but the question put forth, What view of Reasonable Faith and William Lane Craig?

How do you reconcile your view with Eph. 2.9 "not of works lest anyone should boast" and those born-again "they shall never perish" (John 10.28)?

Since salvation is not of works and you claim you are not saved now then you were never saved at 8 either, nor is age 8 anywhere near the age of accountability for genuine authentic conversion. I would put that free choice somewhere in the teens.

Could it be said that you had a faith in a faith and a false Christ that could be lost so it was not the faith that could never be lost in the one true Jesus?

Are you contradicting yourself when you said "if one is TRULY saved, that it is impossible to lose it" and "It isn't always a one-time thing. You must commit and maintain this relationship with God until death, which can be hard" work?







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False Entity

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 01:39:54 pm »
I can't answer for the people of RF or for WLC, these are merely the forums where general people talk about things.

I don't think that reconciling is needed. I believe that if someone is truly saved, that it cannot be lost; one is saved by grace.

Notice that when I said I was "saved", I put quotations around it. You are right, I was not truly saved, I just assumed I was for the wrong reasons, and was not able to think for myself.

I was not saved, however I and everyone around me thought I was. In reality, I only accepted Christ because I had the fear of Hell drilled into me by my family.

Had I died at age 8, I believe God would have been just and let me get a "free-ride" so to speak, because I could not be held accountable at such a young age.

When one is truly saved, I believe it cannot be lost. Why would it be lost? If one is so faithful I hardly see how they could ever doubt or go against God. But your every day Christian may not be truly saved, but they may think that they are, like I did in the past.

If one is very unsure of God, yet remains faithful, I still believe that they are saved, even though they might have doubts.

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Stephen

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2013, 02:08:41 pm »
From Craig's "Defenders" podcasts:

This question would be: what about a person who claims to have been a Christian – claims that he has tasted the Holy Spirit and known God – and then walks away from it and apostatizes and throws Christ out of his life? There are really two views about this. The one view is that he wasn’t really regenerate in the first place. He wasn’t really born again – he just had an emotional experience or went forward at an altar call, but he never really had that inner witness of the Holy Spirit. The other view would be that that person really was a regenerate Christian, he knew the Holy Spirit, but because of sin in his life he hardened his heart against the Holy Spirit and finally cast Jesus Christ out of his life and committed apostasy. This is what the author of the book of Hebrews warns about in chapters 6 and 10 – about those who have tasted the goodness of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit and the age to come, and then they commit apostasy. On that view they have lost their salvation. They have thrown Christ out of their life.

If you were to ask me what do I think – I tend to believe the latter. I think that if you take these warnings in Hebrews seriously, it suggests that a person, a born-again Christian, can commit apostasy and throw Christ out of his life and lose salvation. That is why I said earlier that the witness of the Holy Spirit isn’t indubitable, it is not irresistible, we can grieve the Holy Spirit through sin, we can quench the Holy Spirit by refusing to submit our lives to him, and, I think, ultimately, the Scripture teaches that you can cast the Holy Spirit out of your life by committing apostasy and renouncing Jesus Christ. The Scripture has very stern warnings about that. But again, I want to repeat, one’s views on the question of “eternal security” or “perseverance of the saints” doesn’t affect whether or not [belief in] the God of the Bible is properly basic. Whichever view you take, you can still maintain on the basis of the witness of the Holy Spirit that someone who has the witness of the Holy Spirit and attends to it can know with confidence that Christianity is true because the Holy Spirit gives him assurance that it is true.


Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/transcript/s4-28#ixzz2b7hsyVrM

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faithfulserver

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2013, 08:05:49 pm »
Craig is wrong about Heb. 6 and 10. Someone who comes close to the door of salvation but doesn't enter in was never born-again to begin with. It would have been better they never knew Jesus similar to what is said in 2 Pet. 2.21. This interpretation reconciles with John 10.28 which says a person born-again "they shall never perish." Perhaps Craig blocks this passage out of his awareness.

Can a person be born-again, again, and again? I think that makes God look foolish if it were true that He doesn't have the foresight or power to know whom to give His life too (open theism). Plus, it violates initial salvation not by works lest anyone should boast. Craig boasts in his flesh to be able to remove it or keep it in his own strength.

A person who gives their life to Christ receives the Jesus who keeps, knowing and accepting we can't keep it ourselves. Otherwise, one is filled with the pride of life.

Grieving the Holy Spirit should not be construed as losing the Holy Spirit. That's over-assuming. The Holy Spirit still indwells the believer, but the believer is behaving carnally. As Paul said, there are both carnal and spiritual Christians which shall be rewarded. The Holy Spirit is irresistible only in the sense that He keeps His elect because this is Whom His elect gave their life to, that is, to be kept.

If you worship a false Christ of salvation by works, you wouldn't be saved. When you come before the Great White Throne you won't repent, and in the New City and New Earth there is no sin.

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Stephen

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 08:05:09 am »
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?

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Imperfect SBG

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2013, 09:36:48 am »
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.

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faithfulserver

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 05:27:42 pm »
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.
When someone backslides, falling away, they don't fall away all the way.

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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.
Having this knowledge, coming to the door, yet not entering in to be saved is most problematic.

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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.
You have made it problematic because by your account those who you claim lose salvation in actuality were never saved to begin because they were never "truly in Christ" you said. The Bible says be "not doubletongued" (1 Tim. 3.8). The choice to receive Christ to kept is a real free choice.

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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?
You have been given free will to accept the God who keeps and never lets His own fall away. You are given your whole life to repent and believe in Christ to be regenerated; the question is if you have really done so to be kept from then on. God doesn't look foolish that man sins or is selfish after being saved because we are told to bear our cross daily. We have our whole life to overcometh, but what matters is we have the right starting point if truly once saved always saved. Those who don't, don't have that assurance. God never coerces your obedience.

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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?
Choosing salvation over death is not by work but in your own strength to keep it is by work to boast of. God's sovereignty to keep His elect always is truly great. God does not ask us to pray, repent and do missionary work to keep saved. That's the faith of other religions of the world. God selects before the foundation of the world, foreknowing our free choice, why then does it offend you that good works should follow the new birth? Life, indeed, would be an elaborate farce if you could engage in work to lose salvation when no work could satisfy God to receive eternal life.

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faithfulserver

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2013, 05:42:09 pm »
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.'
Obey is accepting the gospel, not works.

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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.'
This kingdom is the millennial kingdom reign to reign as kings and priests (Rev. 20.4-6) for overcomer believers. Non-overcomer believers don't receive this reward of Rev. 2.26,27.

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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.'
Good works follow the new birth by the work of the cross, consecration and power of the Spirit indwelling. A consequence of being a carnal Christian is not being first raptured or returning with Christ to reign during the millennial kingdom.

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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."'
Amen. It does not say if you do not, you will go to Hell for a Christian already has eternal life. Just as you can be born physically only once, you can be born-again no more than once. You worship a false Christ otherwise.

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John 14:15

'If you love me, you will obey what I command.'
If you are in Christ the Holy Spirit will draw you to obey so don't resist.

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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.'
There is a propensity for the saved to do God's will when before they could not.

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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...'
Good works flow from the new birth, but the good works themselves don't give initial salvation, nor can they lose eternal life.

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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.
This free gift of salvation is given to those who search God out with all their heart and soul. Sadly, many refuse His gift.

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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.

The first command to obey, not a work, is to accept what Jesus did on the cross. The Bible draws the distinction between works and faith; they are not the same. Distinguish between accepting His love and a Christian who once saved can backslide and be unloving at times, not without consequence, though does not lose eternal life.

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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.
You could not only question their salvation, but you should also consider they are saved, but are simply backsliding. The Bible allows for this - this is a constant warning throughout Scripture. And even discusses the consequence which are rewards, both the reward of being first raptured and the reward of returning with Christ to reign on earth 1000 years. Non-overcomer believers lose this reward. 1000 years is a long time to miss out on this blessing before the New City and New Earth commence.

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Stephen

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2013, 07:38:05 pm »
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?

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faithfulserver

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2013, 07:57:57 pm »
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.
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.

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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?
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.

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Are all people elected?  Has God opened the way for all to share in his eternal goodness?
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.

The implication of all this, of course, is many who believe they accept Christ of initial salvation by works are in actuality worshiping a false Christ.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 08:00:27 pm by faithfulserver »

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Stephen

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2013, 08:06:46 pm »
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.

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.

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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.


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.

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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.

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?

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faithfulserver

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2013, 08:23:58 pm »
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.
The loss of rewards such as reigning with Christ 1000 years as was already said. Freely choosing Christ is not works, for faith and works are contrasted; rather, it is in keeping oneself saved by their works which is the lie. No man has such strength or the ability to entirely depend on God so a man who claims he does is already deceived. No amount of dependence on God from one's self can keep oneself saved. What you can do to be saved is give your life to the Jesus who keeps and never lets go. Only then will you be born-again.

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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.
A 'manner of speaking' is not what you truly believe? How confusing. Satan is the author of confusion. So the problem remains you can't say a person was never really saved who was born-again otherwise being born-again is meaningless.

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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?
He has accepted those whom He foreknew, but they have not accepted Him until they have actually done so.

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False Entity

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Re: Can a Person who is Born-Again Lose Salvation?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2013, 10:41:13 pm »
If God elected those that freely chose to follow him, then they are not elected. For there to be a select few that are elected, there cannot be salvation open to all.