Did Ravi Zacharias Persevere in the Faith or not?

TibiasDad

Well-known member
Why would Ravi need to Repent to his family to go to Heaven, when 'against you God, and you alone have I done this Evil in your sight'?

He didn't just sin against God because he committed adultery, lied to his family and his followers and essentially stole money from his supporters to finance his sinful behaviors. If you bring a gift to the altar, but know you've offended your brother, leave the gift on the altar and go and reconcile with your brother and then return to the altar. (see Matt 5:23-24)

Doug
 

TibiasDad

Well-known member
No reason to. No one knows who is saved and who isn't except for God. I can learn from Ravi though.

Ill repeat myself again, if Ravi was given grace, he WILL be in heaven, no matter what he did near the end of his life.
Then if you hold this Calvinistic position, then the evidence of such egregious and ongoing sin is evidence that he was never given true grace but only evanescent grace that mimics true grace. What we do matters, not meritoriously, but as an evidentiary expression of the work of the Spirit and the reality of true belief!

1John 3:7Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10This 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 their brother and sister.

John's words, in my humble opinion, preclude your assessment!

Doug
 

eternomade

Well-known member
Then if you hold this Calvinistic position, then the evidence of such egregious and ongoing sin is evidence that he was never given true grace but only evanescent grace that mimics true grace. What we do matters, not meritoriously, but as an evidentiary expression of the work of the Spirit and the reality of true belief!
Thank you for replying.

I chose my words carefully. I am talking about true grace. I used the word "If". I do not know if Ravi is in heaven or hell. God knows.
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
He didn't just sin against God because he committed adultery, lied to his family and his followers and essentially stole money from his supporters to finance his sinful behaviors. If you bring a gift to the altar, but know you've offended your brother, leave the gift on the altar and go and reconcile with your brother and then return to the altar. (see Matt 5:23-24)

Doug
But in Christianity, we don't have to make it right with people, but make it right with God. Zachaeus made it right with people, but that never Justified him. King David didn't make it right with People by abdicating his Throne, as we would expect our President to do; but he Repented to God Alone. This Thread may have not originally been about this, but it's important. If David had Repented to the people, would Solomon have taken the Throne; or one greater than a Solomon? Would David had begotten Nathan, of whom Mary is in the Line of David? Sure, let's make it right when we can. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), Jesus often magnified the Law in order to show how hard it is to keep. Is the requirement to Repent to everyone, in order to enter Heaven, a matter of Legalism? Should Repentance to Man belong to the Gospel?
 
Last edited:

eternomade

Well-known member
But in Christianity, we don't have to make it right with people, but make it right with God. Zachaeus made it right with people, but that never Justified him. King David didn't make it right with People by abdicating his Throne, but Repented to God Alone. This Thread may have not originally been about this, but it's important. If David had Repented to the people, would Solomon have been born; or one greater than a Solomon? Would David had begotten Nathan, of whom Mary is in the Line of David? Sure, let's make it right when we can. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus often magnified the Law in order to show how hard it is to keep. Is the requirement to Repent to everyone, in order to enter Heaven, a matter of Legalism?
I believe this might be a debate among the Reformed or Calvinists regarding Lordship Salvation and Sovereign Free Grace.
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
I didn't think about that, thanks...
Well, I think the Thread has given us all a lot of things to think about. Since I'm a notorious Middle-Man who has to pick a side on everything, we should like both sides even though we lean toward one. Lordship Salvation could be too close to a Works-Righteousness if bad Works can truly disqualify the "Unconditional" Elect, but Reformed as you say, could lead to Antinomianism. The truth is somewhere in the 'Middle'...

John 5:24 has to be true for All or for none; IE the Law of Excluded Middle...
 
Last edited:

York

Active member
So what about a professing Christian who died and we discovered was a serial killer for a decade plus prior to his death.
What about YOU is more interesting, given your attempted focus on sin-severity as the dividing line.

You are a professing Christian. What if we discovered (via a mind reading app-history) you engaged in lustful thoughts on a habitual level...

Is he going to heaven too ?

..would you be going to heaven. If so, why so?
 

York

Active member
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1Co 15:10 NKJ)

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:12-13 NKJ)

Grace is God's part, receiving and allowing grace to work is our part. I will be saved by a combinations of works of faith combined with what only Jesus can merit for me. It is not the amount or degree of my sins that prevent my salvation, but my refusal to let the Holy Spirit work inside my heart.

There's two errors, two ditches on either side of the road:

1. Anything I have to do MUST be legalistic works because I do it. <-- Wrong. This is passivity.
2. Everything I do that I think earns or perfects my self-generated righteousness. <-- Wrong. This is self-righteousness.

This harmonizes the Bible's tension between grace and works. There is something essential I can't do: that is, atone for my sins and empower myself. There is something essential I must do: not refuse the Spirit's working within me.

Why am I going to heaven?

Because I repented of my sins and placed my trust in a Savior.
Because I made my calling and election sure that was granted to me as a gift.
Because I strengthened what remained and made my deeds complete in the sight of my God.
Because I returned to my first love and kept God's word and not denied his name with little strength.
Because I bought oil and stored up treasures in heaven and await the master like a thief in the night.
Because I abide in God's Word and he abides in me.
Because I endure to the end as I allow Christ to live in me.
Because God's grace towards me was not in vain, and I hardened not my heart.
Because I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me.
Because I humbled myself greatly in the fear of God as he intervened in my life.
Because I hungered and thirsted for righteousness, and I was filled.
Because I sought first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things were added unto me.
Because I paid more serious attention to the things I have heard and not turned away from the holy commandment.

None of these things are meritorious works, earning salvation, achieving goodness, attaining self-righteousness, or paying for heaven, because every single thing I did and that was done in me, was Christ's working and not mine, that I cannot refuse and still call him Lord; and it is not based on the perfection of my efforts, but instead the object of my faith, as he works in my life. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

We cannot refuse the grace of God working in us and go to heaven; calling that salvation by works is a deception of Satan himself to allow us to feel safe in sin.
My question has to do with the apparent judgement as to extent of sin. You sin and for the purposes of discussion we will suppose that sexual sin. Just not, in the world's eyes, as serious as Ravi's sexual sin.

But yours is habitual just as his was habitual.

Now, what I want to know is this. Where do you get to supposing that Ravi's sin is worse that your sin?

2nd question: a what point are you assured of your salvation, if your salvation/retention of salvation is dependent on what you do? You talk of refusal to comply or be led by grace etc. Whether or not you call this a work or a tension or a ditch, the fact remains: no assurance because you cannot be sure?
 

TibiasDad

Well-known member
My question has to do with the apparent judgement as to extent of sin. You sin and for the purposes of discussion we will suppose that sexual sin. Just not, in the world's eyes, as serious as Ravi's sexual sin.

But yours is habitual just as his was habitual.

Now, what I want to know is this. Where do you get to supposing that Ravi's sin is worse that your sin?
What makes you suppose he is making a difference between the two scenarios? If I were doing what Ravi was allegedly doing, I would expect to be condemned. His sin and my sin are the same. If I were found to be a thief or a liar or if I was lying about business matters to others in a continuous and unapologetic manner then I


2nd question: a what point are you assured of your salvation, if your salvation/retention of salvation is dependent on what you do? You talk of refusal to comply or be led by grace etc. Whether or not you call this a work or a tension or a ditch, the fact remains: no assurance because you cannot be sure?

True believers repent of any sin of which they are convicted by the Holy Spirit, and true believers will follow the leading of the Spirit and “put to death” those sins.

Doug
 

York

Active member
What makes you suppose he is making a difference between the two scenarios? If I were doing what Ravi was allegedly doing, I would expect to be condemned. His sin and my sin are the same. If I were found to be a thief or a liar or if I was lying about business matters to others in a continuous and unapologetic manner then I
You're an American, right? Now America is an empire and puts enormous effort into making sure its desires are met.

This occurs at a cost to many other countries citizens.

Resources are pillaged, elected governments overturned, assassinations, destruction of eco systems, etc.

Now: your life and lifestyle relies upon such rape and pillage. If you buy cheap petrol for a gas guzzling car you do so because that petrol was wrested at someone elses expense. That gas guzzler contributes its fair share to global warming.

Now, you either don't give one thought to this. Or if you do, you excuse yourself in some way. So, how does this work: your engagement in deliberate stealing which involves blood trickling down onto your own hands? How does your sin not condemn you.

Might I suggest it is only be relativising it away?

True believers repent of any sin of which they are convicted by the Holy Spirit, and true believers will follow the leading of the Spirit and “put to death” those sins.

Doug

So how do you repent of the very lifestyle that relies on others suffering to sustain?
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
There's something I might add here.

Even if I were to suppose that no sin could ever forfeit my salvation I would still fear God and reverence him just for his discipline as a loving Father and a consuming fire.

Not that I'd ever in a million lifetimes accept a big a lie as Eternal Security.
The Lie is to say God hasn't given us Eternal Life...
 

TibiasDad

Well-known member
You're an American, right? Now America is an empire and puts enormous effort into making sure its desires are met.

This occurs at a cost to many other countries citizens.

Resources are pillaged, elected governments overturned, assassinations, destruction of eco systems, etc.

Now: your life and lifestyle relies upon such rape and pillage. If you buy cheap petrol for a gas guzzling car you do so because that petrol was wrested at someone elses expense. That gas guzzler contributes its fair share to global warming.

Now, you either don't give one thought to this. Or if you do, you excuse yourself in some way. So, how does this work: your engagement in deliberate stealing which involves blood trickling down onto your own hands? How does your sin not condemn you.

Might I suggest it is only be relativising it away?



So how do you repent of the very lifestyle that relies on others suffering to sustain?
I cannot be accountable for the actions of my Government, nor do I have any personal power beyond my vote and voice to establish the policies of that Government.

You asked about one’s personal sin in contrast to Ravi’s alleged actions, and I said that I would think myself condemned in the same way as I would consider Ravi condemned if he really did this.

You example 1) does not correlate with the example of Ravi or anyone’s personal actions, comparing corporate actions with personal and 2) assumes political infractions not in evidence.

Doug
 

York

Active member
I cannot be accountable for the actions of my Government, nor do I have any personal power beyond my vote and voice to establish the policies of that Government.

Let's say, for example, that you drive a 2.5 litre car that gets 20 miles to the gallon. And that you drive that car because "gas" is as cheap as it is. And gas is as cheap as it is because the US government ensures, through war and installation of US facing "governments" that it shall be that cheap.

American Super Consumptive Lifestyle is built on the back of what your government does. And that's true, even if you aren't the most consuming of the consumers. I reject you're only having a vote. You can also not partake in the fruit of your government. But you inevitably do - because that's just your society and you'll measure yourself against it. What use you're being "not so bad" if your socieity is a bloated, war-mongering one?

Now I don't want to go hard. I'm a Westerner so enjoy the same kind of "riches at another expense" that you do (although the US does tend to max things out in this regard. Like, Supersize Me...)

The point is that your sin is so deeply embedded you don't even realise it. We are utterly corrupt and being saved doesn't deal with that corruption. Its changes status. And there are things we wouldn't countenance doing once saved. But don't kid yourself - you ain't really working all that hard on your sin. Not if you live in the West and partake of all the West has to offer.


You asked about one’s personal sin in contrast to Ravi’s alleged actions, and I said that I would think myself condemned in the same way as I would consider Ravi condemned if he really did this.

I suppose I'm dealing in relativity. Or perceived relativity. I'm suggesting that you have blood on your hands. I mean, real, direct sweat blood on your hands. You just don't appreciate it at this point s'all.
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
Let's say, for example, that you drive a 2.5 litre car that gets 20 miles to the gallon. And that you drive that car because "gas" is as cheap as it is. And gas is as cheap as it is because the US government ensures, through war and installation of US facing "governments" that it shall be that cheap.

American Super Consumptive Lifestyle is built on the back of what your government does. And that's true, even if you aren't the most consuming of the consumers. I reject you're only having a vote. You can also not partake in the fruit of your government. But you inevitably do - because that's just your society and you'll measure yourself against it. What use you're being "not so bad" if your socieity is a bloated, war-mongering one?

Now I don't want to go hard. I'm a Westerner so enjoy the same kind of "riches at another expense" that you do (although the US does tend to max things out in this regard. Like, Supersize Me...)

The point is that your sin is so deeply embedded you don't even realise it. We are utterly corrupt and being saved doesn't deal with that corruption. Its changes status. And there are things we wouldn't countenance doing once saved. But don't kid yourself - you ain't really working all that hard on your sin. Not if you live in the West and partake of all the West has to offer.




I suppose I'm dealing in relativity. Or perceived relativity. I'm suggesting that you have blood on your hands. I mean, real, direct sweat blood on your hands. You just don't appreciate it at this point s'all.
Another way I factor into discovering if I have Unrepentant Sin or not is the Principle of the Stronger and Weaker Brothers. If I think something is Sinful, it's Sinful for me. Let's say that Civic is the Stronger Brother and your Argument doesn't phase him at all; but to you it's a Sinful thing; what then? It could truly be the Case that the American Lifestyle is not a Sin for Civic...
 
Last edited:

York

Active member
The Holy Spirit is the One who gives us assurance, not arguments on a forum, or a Bible teacher, or a theological book, or a detailed argument.

Indeed. The very first words (of the comparative few spoken to me) by God were "everything is going to be okay". Now, I was putting my motorcycle helmet on at that point and understood "everything is going to be okay" NOT to mean that I wouldn't crash my motorcycle that morning or I wouldn't get cancer, or I wouldn't suffer in my life. Everything meant "everything". My going to Hell for my sin would entirely confound that.

I sin. I sin habitually. I've cursed God from the highest and low and everything in between because he wouldn't (or couldn't? or shouldn't?) wave his magic wand and release me from my own particular "thorn in the flesh".No, I don't sin as Ravi does but that's a matter of man-made "extent". There are some who would find my habitual sin appalling in their eyes.
"He who turned you over committed the greater sin." Jesus talked about certain sins like unforgiveness and blaspheming the Holy Spirit as a greater kind of sin.

I think Jesus talks of types: the lost and the found. The lost drill down into sin, the found struggle with sin. On the surface, the two can look the same but inside different things are going on.

I was recently dismissed from my job. A political stitch up was the headline event. But by way of dismissal-mechanism, one of my reports, whose ain't in the greatest mental-state was utilised.

Initially, the betrayal affected me - I'd really put this guy first in many ways .. but in doing so exposed myself to a knife in the back. A few weeks on from the dismissal and I really, really bear him no ill will. I think more of his poor mental state and kind of hope the company won't, in a few months, screw him over. It could have a bad effect on him.

I think that's a product of me being a Christian. I really do. The normal thing would be to hold a grudge, to want to get back etc. But it kind of all fell away given the truth of the matter: a boss who wanted rid + using a guy who can be manipulated.

I think Christians, despite their ongoing sinning, are somehow and in someways, held captive to Christ. He infuses them .. but not in every walk of their life and not at all time of their life. I can, on the one hand, forgive a fellow employee who I trusted .. but who ultimately stuck a knife in my back leading to the loss of my job.

And on the way out the gate from being dismissed from that job, cast a lustful stare up the body of a 16 year old girl in a short skirt crossing the crosswalk on the exit from my work.

Jesus talked in lost/found language. He contrasted the two since that was his mission. The found still sin.

I believe that every time I BREATHE I sin enough to go to hell.

Kind of extreme. But I know what you mean.
You can't accuse me ever of not thinking I sin: I don't believe in sinless perfection. But there is a requirement in the Bible of meeting a certain level of grace, otherwise the concept of "resisting" grace or grace being in "vain" is literally nonsensical.

I told you something of my Christian Start. "Everything is going to be okay"

Now, it either was or it wasn't. I have sinned abominably since salvation. I mean sexual sin of the abominable kind.

Since I can't disbelieve God's very opening sentence to me, I must find a place for scripture that seemingly contradicts what he said to me the very first day I was saved.

It's as simple as that: I cannot be told by God that "everything is going to be okay" if it turns out everything is not going to be okay.
Some people go even further than "Free Grace" advocates, by claiming that saying any kind of prayer for salvation is works salvation.

The way I see it (as an aside)? A rubber duck run over by a truck squeaks. Although the rubber duck squeaked, it wasn't a work by the rubber duck (us). It was a work of the truck (God}. So: we can pray (squeak like a duck), without it being a work of ours.
That would mean you have to be automaticaly saved before you even do anything at all and after that literally nothing you do ultimately matters in regards to your salvation!

Per above, I don't think we "do" anything. Rather, our surrender is "pressed" out of us by the circumstances of our being defeated. We "do" nothing. The NT is replete with examples: the sick, the lame, the hanging on a cross, the fathers of dying children, the despised traitorous tax collectors .. they didn't do anything. Rather they were driven to Christ by their desperate circumstances.

And we are still desperate.

Warnings are completely meaningless unless you heavily re-intrepet them as being decorative instead of literal. Only the devil could even dream up such confusion.

I dunno. God did seem to set people up with an impossible ask. "If you do everything I command of you today...". That is in the Old Testament and from Jesus own lips...

That "impossible ask" seems to have been designed to bring people to the conclusion that they couldn't obey the impossible ask. In other words: they couldn't work their way to God.

So I wouldn't be too quick to interpret "warnings" as warnings of loss of salvation. God can work obliquely...


I am, like I say, holding God to the very first words he spoke to me.
If we were to take what seems to be your logic, which is, "If I find it hard to discern the difference of exactly where a sin unto death and a sin not unto death is, then that eliminates the possibility of there ever being a difference, because I won't have a way of knowing the difference." Our not knowing or not feeling assured does not change or speak to the truth that a line or boundary somewhere exists.

No. But it eliminates assurance. You simply cannot be assured of salvation if your salvation hinges on unknowns. Simple as...


I'm not saying every Christian addicted to porn is going to go to hell. I don't believe that. But I do believe there is a line of sin somewhere

..and I want to examine this. This "somewhere" and the basis for establishing it. Let's look at that...
. Only the Holy Spirit knows where that line is, and only he NEEDS to know. There is no profit or use in throwing away all sense of danger and reverence at the expense of Biblical warnings just for the comfort of feeling safe.

You are vague in your line setting. You say I throw away warning passages. I say you throw away assurance passages. There is no assurance in your theology...none at all.

Does that not trouble you?
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Heb 6:11-12 NKJ)

I find myself, in my own life torn between two extremes ultimately. On the one hand, it doesn't matter what I do, I will never be lost. On the other hand, I am a child of God, this behaviour is completely unbecoming, straight from the arsehole of satan.

I dance between the two. Not giving a fig, because I cannot be lost. And giving a fig because, per Paul, "do you not know what you now are..??"

The logic and profundity of what I know I now am is as much as tension as is the knowledge that I cannot be again lost.

It's a narrow path. A race.
And this is not an isolated passage. There are hundreds like that, and the few verses used for some kind of Eternal Security are far less clear and certainly don't make a very clear effort to convey the idea of "unconditional."
But you cannot but be left with a: "I do not know where the boundary is, therefore I will work.." I appreciate the putridness of my position: the apparent licence to sin as we please (which Paul deals with so simply and profoundly "What?? Do you not know....??"

But yours is equally putrid: no assurance??

Which is the more elegant? Which bends the mind more? Which stands more opposite to the sense that it "ought be this way".

I would argue that once born never lost is the most profound. A salvation by any kind of works at all, is a salvation by works....

I know what the Holy Spirit witnesses to in the Bible, and I won't gamble my soul on a sloppy feel-good theology that a bunch of big books and people with degrees or snake oil salesman teachers want to sell me.

See above. It's the maddest kind of leap. Into a salvation without works. The very first question raised by such an idea is the idea you effectively promote: our sin matters no more and we can now sin as we please. The answer to that is like a still, small voice, the voice of God...

"Do you not know what you now are??"

If anything was to restrain us born againers from sin is this: "do you not know what I have done for you?"


You pause, looking up from the sin you are engaging in and take a look at the blood which drips from the cross. Take a look, more importantly, at the motivation for that blood: love absolute. And your sin wilts. Well, sometimes it wilts...
 
Top