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Watch 2022 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - The Truth About Once Saved - Part 1

Creflo Dollar - The Truth About Once Saved - Part 1

Creflo Dollar - The Truth About Once Saved - Part 1
TOPICS: Salvation

Let's go over to the book of Hebrews chapter 6, verses 4 through 6 in the NLT. Hebrews chapter 6, verses 4 through 6 in the NLT, and when we look at this, I want you to just, kind of, pay attention to what it says. Don't jump to conclusions 'cause there's a lot of surprises in this lesson tonight. Hebrews 6, verses 4 through 6. Let's read, he says, "For it is impossible to bring back to repentance", now, "repentance," remember, is a change of heart, change of mind, change of direction. The word "repent" literally means "to change the mind," okay? He says, "For it's impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened, those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come, and who then turn away from God".

So they've experienced all these things, but then they turn away from God. "It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance". You see, "By rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame". So, basically, he gives a list of five things, and he says here that if they stop believing and if they turn and reject Jesus Christ, then we've got a issue here. So I wanna make something clear at the very beginning of this teaching tonight. You can't sin your salvation away. That still remains the same. You can't sin your salvation away, but you can renounce it. You can't sin your salvation away, but you can renounce it.

Now, even, listen to this, rejecting your faith isn't easily done, but it is possible. I don't believe there are very many who fall away because this scripture is makin' it very difficult to do it. He's sayin' you've got to have all these things in place in order for you to really be able to do this and to walk away from mercy, and I don't believe many people fall away from God, but, you know, there still remains the thing that I want you to get that you can't sin your salvation away as some people think, but here's the question we're gonna deal with. Can you renounce it? Can you renounce it? Now, here's one thing we do know, before someone would ever renounce so great a salvation, before that can ever happen, let's look at some things that's gotta be in place. First of all, they would have to become hardened towards God. You've got to have your heart hardened towards God.

Look at Hebrews chapter 3, verse 13 and 14. Before this can happen, you've got to have your heart hardened towards God. Now, what does that mean, a "hardened heart"? Well, look at this in verse 13 and 14. He says, "You must warn each other every day, while it is still 'today,' so that none of you will be deceived by sin". And how does sin deceive you? "And hardened against God". So he says, somehow, someway, sin can get you to the point where you're hardened against God. And then, in verse 14, he says, "For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ". Okay, so renouncing your faith or, you know, renouncing God, it can't be done without a hardened heart. The heart's got to be hardened before you even can think about renouncing God.

So let's shift just for a moment, and let's talk about what it means to harden a heart, and I wanna be as direct as I possibly can. The way you harden your heart, your heart is hardened when you don't consider what God has said. The way your heart becomes hardened is by what you do not consider. Look at this in Mark 6:52, Saint Mark 6, chapter 6, verse 52. Your heart is hardened when you do not consider. Notice what he says here, "For they still didn't understand the significance of the miracles of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in". Okay, look at this in the King James, Mark 6:52. He says, "For they considered not the miracle of the loaves", that's when Jesus multiplied the fish and the bread. "They considered not the miracles of the loaves, for their heart was hardened".

So here, it defines a "hardened heart" by what you do not consider, by what you do not consider. Very plainly put, what you focus your attention on, you'll be sensitive to, but what you neglect, you'll be hardened to. What you focus your attention on, you will be sensitive to, but what you neglect, you'll be hardened to. So, if you focus your attention on the Word, like he asked us to do, then you're gonna be sensitive to that Word, but if you neglect to give attention to that Word, your heart's gonna become hardened to it. You see, a lot of people have neglected the things of God, and they paid attention to the things of the world. They've neglected the things of God, paid attention to the things of the world, now their heart has been hardened against God because they're not giving attention to God's Word. They're not giving attention to what God is saying.

I wonder how many people in the earth today have a heart that's hardened towards God? I know, a lot, but the bigger question is how many Christian people have had their heart hardened before God because they've neglected his Word? They're neglecting what he is saying, and what's happening is they are giving a lot of attention to the world and paying no attention at all to the things of God. Proverbs chapter 4, verse 20, warns us, and here's what he says, Proverbs 4:20 in the NLT. Proverbs 4:20, and he says, "My son, attend to my word". In the NLT, he says, "My child, pay attention to what I say. Pay attention to what I say. Give attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words". What is he tryin' to do here? He's tryin' to get us in a position where we can avoid having a hardened heart. Give attention to what God says.

Listen to what he says. Give attention to his Word, and you will find yourself in a position where the thing you give attention to the most... then that's what you're gonna be more sensitive to and what you're gonna be doing. But if there are Christian people that don't get in the Word, they don't give attention to what God says, they just wear a Christian T-shirt that says, "I'm saved," then most likely they are gonna be candidates for having a hardened heart where God is concerned. See, the hardness of heart, in its simplest sense, is relating more easily to the natural realm or world than to the supernatural realm. When your heart is hardened, you will relate more easily to the natural world, and it'll become, you know, kind of difficult for you to even pay attention to the supernatural world. In other words, we're more moved by what we see than anything. We should be moved by what God says, but we're moved more by what we see.

If you're moved more by what you see, that's an indication of a hardened heart. If you're more moved by what God says, then that's an indication that you're sensitive and pliable and ready to do what needs to be done. That's a serious thing, and only you can be honest about whether or not you're on the path to a hardened heart or on the path to having a heart that's sensitive to God. Don't tell me gettin' in the Word's not important. It's vitally important. It could be the difference between you having a sensitivity of heart or a hardened heart, and that's so very important because we should not be moved more by what we see, and, listen, we've seen that. We've seen that people are more moved by what they see, and they're not as moved by what God says. Tthey kind of brush that off, what God says. You're on your way to possessing a hardened heart and then try to figure out "How come this isn't workin'? How come that isn't working"?

It's because the heart has been hardened. So what you get even from what I preach is based on the condition of your heart. If you listen to me teach the Word of God from a hardened heart, and you've neglected the Word up until this point, and God knows why you came to church or Bible study, but if you're listening with a hardened heart, you're probably not gonna get much out of what I say at all, but if you're pliable and sensitive, and, you know, you hear what God's Word says, you get in God's Word, then your heart is gonna be in a great condition to be able to receive from him because you don't have a hardened heart. If you understand that, say, "Amen".

Now let's get into some things here. So you gotta have a hardened heart, and basically, the people that'll be most likely to be candidates for renouncing their faith are people who don't get in the Word, don't hear what God says. They're not interested in any of that. "It's boring, don't wanna have anything to do with that". Now, go to, first, Ephesians 1, verse 13, in the King James. Ephesians 1:13, in the King James. So although your spirit is unaffected by sin, your body and soul are affected by sin. Your spirit man is born again. You are a born-again Christian. Your spirit is unaffected by sin. Well, why's your spirit unaffected by sin?

Well, verse 13, says, "In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also after you believed", after you believed, see, you got born again. You got a new creation, and after you believed and got born again and got that new creation, the old man passed, the new man came in. You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. You were so sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise that the good can't get out, and the bad can't get in. You hear what I said? The good can't get out, the bad can't get in, and although your spirit is unaffected by sin, your body and your soul are affected by sin. Sin dulls your perception. Sin will dull your wisdom. Sin will dull your understanding of who you are in the spirit, and if you persist in sin far and long enough, you can come to a place where Satan will try his best to make you renounce your faith in Christ Jesus. If you understand that, say, "Amen".

Now, I'm gonna show you somethin' that's pretty interesting here because, when I teach on this, I think about "What about Paul"? And the question is asked, "But what about Paul when he blasphemed the Holy Spirit"? Well, first of all, I don't think a lot of Christian people even understand what that is. So let's go and clear that up real quick. Matthew chapter 12, and let's start at verse 31. Matthew 12:31 and 32. Is everybody followin' me? I'm not goin' too fast, right? You're up on what I'm sayin', right? A'ight. Matthew 12, and I'll slow up just a tad. Verse 31 and 32, all right, "So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven". That's kind of weird.

Did you see what he just did there? He said, "Every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven with the exception of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Ghost will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come". So I don't know about you, but I need to figure out this blasphemy stuff, and I definitely need to figure out what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? What does it mean to speak against the Holy Spirit? Because that sounds pretty serious. I mean, that sounds like, you know, "Dude, you know, speak against the Holy Ghost, and you will never be forgiven, either in the world or in the world to come".

Now, you know, something's gotta be up because that doesn't line up with our understanding of grace and who Jesus is, so context is king. That's the problem, a lot of times, in the church. People read one-liners, and they don't understand was that in the context for which that thing appeared. You've got to understand the context of a scripture. It is the context that the scripture is found in that will give you clarity and definition of what that scripture is. You don't just read the scripture and say, "Well, the Greek word means that, and the Greek", no, what's the context that it's found in? So let's back up a little. Matthew 12:22, let's read it in the King James. He says, "Then was brought unto him one possessed with the devil," a'ight? "He was possessed with the devil. He was blind, and he was dumb, and they were bringin' him to Jesus, and Jesus healed him, insomuch that the blind and the dumb both spake and saw". So he did this in front of everybody, blind, filled with the devil, dumb, and Jesus healed him.

Now watch this. Notice the response, "And all the people were amazed, and said, 'Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, 'This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.'" Now let me show you what happens here. So everybody's like, "This is awesome. This is great. Did you see what he did? He must be the son of David". Oh, yeah, and then the Pharisees showed up and say, "He didn't do this by the Spirit of God. He did this by Beelzebub the prince of the devils". The Pharisees was tryin' to say, "What you just saw is a work of the devils. This man is possessed with devils". He didn't believe, this is a key statement. He didn't believe that Jesus did this by the Holy Spirit. He had no belief in that and contradicted it and said, "This came by the devils".

Now watch Jesus deal with it. "And Jesus knew their thoughts" they didn't have to say nothin'. In fact, watch this, "And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or a house divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan cast out Satan,'" say now, "If you're callin' me Satan," "If Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself. How shall then his kingdom stand"? Next verse, "And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges". Watch this, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God," which is exactly what he did, "then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad".

Now watch carefully, "Wherefore I say unto you, 'All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.'" Now you just saw what the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost was, unbelief, unbelief. Now he says, "But the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men". Look at the next verse 32, "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him, but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, or neither in the world to come". So here's what he's saying, he said there's no way you can be forgiven if you decide to not believe. "If you don't believe, I can't do nothin' about it". See, "If you decide you don't believe, then what can I do? I can't forgive you 'cause you don't believe".

So he says, and that's so interesting, he says, "I'll forgive every person for every sin and every blasphemy except for this particular one, blasphemy against the Holy Ghost," which was demonstrated in the verses that preceded it as "We don't believe you did this by the Holy Ghost. We believe you did this by Beelzebub". And he said, "Well, ain't nothin' I can do then. Ain't nothin' I can do 'cause you have made it clear that you don't believe". Listen to this. This is radical. Jesus died and forgave us of every sin on the cross except for unbelief, 'cause when you don't believe, see, the criteria for the New Testament is believe, but if you don't believe, ain't nothin' about Jesus that's gon' work for you.

Now, if you turn around and say, "Oh, yeah, I believe," he says, "Well, we can take care of everything now," but until you get to that point of believing to live a life in, can you see what a hardened heart will do? To get you to the place where you don't believe, "I don't believe God. I don't believe Jesus. I don't believe nothin'. I don't believe nothin' y'all do. I don't believe nothin'". He said, "Well, I can't do nothin' for ya". That's blasphemy. Unbelief in the power of the Holy Spirit and the finished works of Jesus Christ.

Somebody says, "Okay, well, what about, we were talkin' about Paul". Let's deal with Paul. What about when Paul blasphemed? Well, let's look at that, 1 Timothy chapter 1:13 in the King James. 1 Timothy chapter 1 in verse 13 in the King James, "Who was before a blasphemer", let's go to verse 12, I'll just read into this. Get a little bit more. "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry," Paul says, "who was before". Paul was before "a blasphemer. Paul was, before, a persecutor. Paul was injurious". Watch this, Paul said, "but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief," so that wasn't counted against him, okay?

But you saw what happened? In the other scripture, it says...well, wait a minute. He operated in unbelief. "You said you'll never forgive him in this world or the world to come". Yeah, but you didn't factor in the mercy of God and the grace of God, and, plus he didn't qualify 'cause he did it ignorantly, and he did it in unbelief. In order to qualify, you've got to know what you're doing, and there can't be any ignorance involved, wow. In fact, look again in Ephesians chapter 4 in verse 30 in the King James. Ephesians 4:30, and then I'll bring this together for you. Now, here's what God's really concerned about today. He says, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God", so now we're talkin' about how does a person grieve the Holy Spirit of God? It's how you treat one another. What grieves God more than anything is when we treat one another in a bad way.

Notice this, he says, "Whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption, don't grieve the holy Spirit of God". Verse 31, 32, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice". Verse 32, "Be kind one to another, tenderhearted one to another, forgivin' one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you". What grieves the Holy Spirit is how we treat one another. When you walk around in unforgiveness against another person, that grieves the Holy Spirit. When you walk around in bitterness against another person, that grieves the Holy Spirit.

See, we're concerned about grievin' the Holy Spirit, you know, "Oh, praise the Lord, I grieved the Holy Spirit because I didn't start the ministry". No, you grieve the Holy Spirit when you were rude to that waitress at the restaurant. Yeah, you grieved the Holy Spirit when you're walkin' around in estrangement with people you love, and you won't forgive. You grieve the Holy Spirit when you endorse somebody else being dealt with in a wrong way. What grieves the Holy Spirit is how we treat one another, ladies and gentlemen. You can't go around here, talkin' in tongues and liftin' your hands up, dancin' in praise service, and then you treat people bad. That's what grieves the Holy Spirit, okay?

Now, let's put Hebrews 4, together here because you're saved by the grace of God. You agree with that? Like I care if you agree with it or not, you're saved by the grace of God. I would like for you to say heartily, "Yes, amen," but I won't change my sentence. Okay, you're saved by the grace of God, amen, yes. So sinful actions don't cause you to lose your salvation, okay? However, sin can harden your heart until you eventually come to a place where you renounce your faith in the Lord.
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