Question:

Hey,

I just read a great article you had about the account of king Saul's death and how he commited suicide. But as I continued to read, you said he most likely went to hell because he murdered himself.

My question is: What do you make of these inspired words spoken by King David after the the young Amelekite who lied was slain? "Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions" (II Samuel 1:23).

Salvation comes to those who believe in the God of the Bible. Salvation didn't come by works of the law for Saul, and it's the same way today (Ephesians 2:8-9).


Answer:

David said they died in the same battle, so they died together. He did not state where they ultimate ended up after death.

Read Ephesians 2:10.

Quick response! I appreciate the prompt reply.

Ephesians 2:10 is one of my favorite verses. If you notice the first line in that verse "we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto (some bibles say "for") good works." This is speaking of the body of Christ (born again believers) and how in eternity past works were prepared for us to walk in. Does this mean we always walk in those works? Not at all. Believers still have a free will while in the flesh. When a person is saved they don't become robots and never sin (willfuly). It's up to us to allow Christ to work in our lives so that we do walk in those ordained works prepared before hand.

My friend, if you believe a man can lose eternal life, then by default you believe Christ's atonement wasn't for all sin. You would have to believe He only paid for your past sins (even though you weren't even born 2,000 years ago). All your sins were in the future when Christ suffered and died for them.

Hi!

I hope you do not mind, but I asked Jeffrey Hamilton if I could reply to your questions.

In the first note you stated, "Salvation comes to those who believe in the God of the Bible Salvation didn't come by works of the law for Saul, and it's the same way today (Ephesians 2:8-9)."

Let's consider how people were saved under the Old Law:

"But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked," declares the Lord GOD, "rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die" (Ezekiel 18:21-24).

I highlighted all the actions and consequences to help clarify God's view of salvation under the Old Covenant. Clearly one can lose his salvation as a result of his actions, or he could repent and be saved as a result of his actions.

You stated, "My friend, if you believe a man can lose eternal life, then by default you believe Christ's atonement wasn't for all sin. You would have to believe He only paid for your past sins (even though you weren't even born 2,000 years ago). All your sins were in the future when Christ suffered and died for them."

That is an interesting line of thought, but let us apply your line of reasoning to the conclusion. Since Christ died for all sin, are all going to heaven? "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).  We run into a dilemma. Even though Christ died for all, all won't be forgiven. Using your own line of reasoning then Christ did not die for all sin. We know that is false because it says, "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (I Timothy 2:3-6; see also Hebrews 2:9). Jesus did die for everyone; yet, one can reject the salvation being offered if it's due to ignorance or just plain disobedience to the gospel (II Thessalonians 1:8-9).

If there are conditions before one is saved, then it is reasonable to conclude that there can be conditions after one is saved to receive that same saving blood of Christ throughout your life. You openly admit there is a condition to be saved -- faith -- which proves you do not even believe your own argument. God made conditions on salvation, of which faith is one.

God has not changed in the New Testament concerning salvation. If anything, it is the same standard, if not stricter with Christians once we are saved.

"For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:26-31).

"If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us" (I John 1:8-10).

The word "If" creates a condition upon whether forgiveness is received. That condition in I John 1:9 is that we must ask for forgiveness to receive forgiveness. What is unique about the "if" in Hebrews 10:26 is that it literally says, Christ's blood will no longer atone for a person's sins, if he willingly defies God and refuses to repent. Your assumption that future sins are forgiven before they happen is false.

God has set down works (His works) that we must do while being saved -- to have forgiveness of sins. Jesus' blood can cover them all, but will we ask to be forgiven? When we fall, will we repent and follow the Lord to receive forgiveness for our sins? The choice is up to each person.

The same is said of Israel. God wanted to forgive them and have them repent, but they would not, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'" (Matthew 23:37-38).

Peter sums it all by saying: "And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God" (I Peter 1:17-21).

Have a wonderful day. I hope this helps with your study of God's word.

Peace, Love, Prayer
Alan Feaster

I want to disscus the scriptures you referenced because it seems you are not rightly dividing the Word in its proper context, such as Hebrews, which was written to believing Jews who were saved by believing the gospel, but some were still trying to implement the Law (which they were not under now), thus stepping on the blood that is the only sacrifice that cleansed them from all sin -- not animal sacrifice and burnt offerings. I also think you confuse physical death in Ezekiel with eternal burning in hell. You probably think that all the Isrealites who fell in the wilderness were not saved.

If Ezekiel 18 was talking about physical death, then God would not mention making a new heart and a new spirit. If the heart and the spirit were not dead, then why do they need a new one? We are talking about spiritual terms and not physical.

"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct," declares the Lord GOD. "Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live" (Ezekiel 18:30-32).

Who is it who will remember their sins no more: is it the nation, the individual or God himself? Only God can remove one's sins and remember them no more. Only through God can righteousness no longer be remembered because of sin.

"But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked," declares the Lord GOD, "rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die" (Ezekiel 18:21-24).

The breaking of law is considered sin (or iniquity). Christ did not break the law; therefore, he was sinless. "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness, You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin" (I John 3:4-5).

Those who practice lawlessness will go to hell. The same idea found in Ezekiel is also told by Jesus. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness'" (Matthew 7:21-23).

As for what you said about book of Hebrews, I could not understand what you wrote. You will need to rewrite your statement.

You still did not address the conditional "if" in regards to the forgiveness of sins in I John. 

Before we move on to any other subjects, you will need to address the issues by using God's Word and not your opinion offered without Scripture.

Alan Feaster