[From April 11, 2006]
I wrote this in response to a topic on a MySpace group forum.
Thought I'd post it here, just in case. . .
I was raised Southern Baptist, not Calvinist, and our doctrine includes "once saved, always saved."
You asked for Scripture, not doctrine. I offer you Scripture and experience.
I don't know all the theological debates. I just know the Scripture I cling to for myself when the Whisperers try to tell me that finally, this time, I've gone too far, and God won't take me back:
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39, NIV
I'm an "anything else in all creation." Even I can't separate myself from Jesus and His love. Once I've entered into relationship with Him, I can't break it off.
I actually tried once. What He asked me to do was too hard, and I said, "No."
He let me stew. He let me flounder and try to live life on my own, as a "normal" person, without going to church or reading my Bible or praying. He let me try for awhile.
But He was always pursuing me. The further away I walked from Him, the closer He pulled Himself to me. He never left me. For five years, I tried to take a break from my relationship with Him. I look back now and see that He was always there, right beside me, waiting for me to get over myself and my hurt and stubbornness, and follow Him again.
If I had died during those five years, I have no doubt He would have taken me to Heaven and welcomed me with open arms. And in those five years, although I talked to Him infrequently and didn't listen for Him at all, He still knew me. He still called me by my name and said, "You belong to Me" (Isaiah 43:1).
Because of His Word, I am sure of my salvation--not temporary "if I continue to follow Him" salvation, but eternal "Jesus said 'It is finished' " salvation.
That's what I know and how I know it.