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In much depression #12950
Wed Mar 24, 2004 6:25 PM
Wed Mar 24, 2004 6:25 PM

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What do you folks think about the "apostacy" scriptures?:

Hebrews 10:26
Hebrews 6
2 Peter 2:20

I am in much despair and depression regarding these scriptures. I was once wholly committed to and motivated by the Saviour Jesus; I knew eternal life to be mine. But then for selfish reasons, I neglected my personal relationship with Christ to pursue a questionable sexual lifestyle with my wife in my marriage (no adultry). Although I attempted to merge two lifestyles together, I made a conscious descision to pursue sexual enchancement in my marriage as apposed to seeking God. Although I did not fall away from the faith, I backslid and avoided reading the Bible and being with other Christians during a four month period. I hardened my heart and took joy and delight in earthly pleasures as apposed to my relationship with Jesus Christ. After four months of this behavior, I repented and began to seek God again. I had a desperate feeling that there was something wrong because of what I had done; I began to wonder if I had fallen away. I was studying the Bible and read Hebrews 10:26 and it terrified me; at the time I was convinced that I had "sinned willfully after having knowledge of the truth" and had nothing to look forward to but the "fiery expectation". Its been about 1.5 months of anxiety, depression, and sometimes utter despair/panic as I try to seek God and realize His forgiveness. I've done much studying on these scriptures with fellow believers and commentaries.

Please pray for me.

Re: In much depression #12951
Wed Mar 24, 2004 11:49 PM
Wed Mar 24, 2004 11:49 PM
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Friend,

Calvin writes about Hebrews 6:4-6:

In short, the Apostle warns us, that repentance is not at the will of man, but that it is given by God to those only who have not wholly fallen away from the faith. It is a warning very necessary to us, lest by often delaying until tomorrow, we should alienate ourselves more and more from God. The ungodly indeed deceive themselves by such sayings as this, -- that it will be sufficient for them to repent of their wicked life at their last breath. But when they come to die, the dire torments of conscience which they suffer, prove to them that the conversion of man is not an ordinary work. As then the Lord promises pardon to none but to those who repent of their iniquity, it is no wonder that they perish who either through despair or contempt, rush on in their obstinacy into destruction. But when any one rises up again after falling, we may hence conclude that he had not been guilty of defection, however grievously he may have sinned.
(my emphasis)


Note that last sentence. If David could be forgiven of his sins of adultery and murder, it would seem to me that you are not beyond the reach of God's grace. But may the Lord grant you a truly contrite heart, and a right spirit within you.

In Christ

Theo

Re: In much depression [Re: Theo] #12952
Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:58 AM
Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:58 AM
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'If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness (1John 1:8-9).

I see no qualification in these verses. All sin is venial, save only blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This is the sin against which the Hebrew Christians were warned. They were contemplating leaving the Faith and returning to the Pharisaic Judaism out of which they had come, hence, 'denying the Lord that bought them' (2Peter 2:1; cf. vs 21-22).

Cheer up, man! Take your sins to the Lord, confess them and leave them behind you, in every sense of the words.

Steve


Itinerant Preacher & Bible Teacher in Merrie England.
1689er.
Blogging at
http://marprelate.wordpress.com
Seek His Peace--Ryle quote #12953
Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:36 AM
Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:36 AM

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highway_user,
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" /> Welcome to the Highway! We just discussed the Hebrews passages last night at our Bible Study. I am convinced that these people were never true believers and are like Judas and King Saul who had many privileges, and lived among God's people, were even influenced by the Holy Spirit but were not God's elect. Baalam prophesied by the Spirit of God, but was a false prophet.
If you see the filthiness of your sin, there is hope for you! Take comfort, the Lord came for us vile sinners, not for the righteous!

Quote
from Ryle's Old Paths.
"You want peace! Then seek it without delay from Him who alone is able to give it,--Christ Jesus the Lord. Go to Him in humble prayer, and ask Him to fulfil His own promises and look graciously on your soul. Tell Him you have read His compassionate invitation to the "laboring and heavy laden". Tell Him that this is the plight of your soul, and implore Him to give you rest. Do this, and do it without delay. You must speak to the physician and open your whole case to Him. Christ Himself can alone satisfy the soul. p.234
Seek Christ, and wait for nothing. Wait not till you feel you have repented enough. Wait not till your knowledge is increased. Wait not till you have been sufficiently humbled because of your sins. Wait not till you have no ravelled tangle of doubts and darkness and unbelief all over your heart. Seek Christ just as you are. You will never be better by keeping away from Him. From the bottom of your heart I subscribe to old Traill's opinion, "It is impossible that people should believe in Christ too soon." Alas, it is not humility, but pride and ignorance that make so many anxious souls hang back from closing with Jesus. They forget that the more sick a man is, the more need he has of a physician.The more bad a man feels his heart, the more readily and speedily ought he to flee to Christ.
Seek Christ and do not fancy that you must sit still. Let not Satan tempt you to suppose that you must wait in a state of passive inaction, and not strive to lay hold upon Jesus...
Let me, in the next place, offer some encouragement to those who have good reason to hope they have peace with God, but are troubled by doubts and fears. You have doubts and fears! But what do you expect? What would you have? Your soul is married to a body full of weakness, passions, and infirmities. You live in a world that lies in wickedness, a world in which the great majority do not love Christ. You are constantly liable to the temptations of the . That busy enemy, if he cannot shut you out of heaven, will try hard to make your journey uncomfortable. Surely all these things ought to be considered.
I say to every believer, that so far from being surprised that you have doubts and fears, I should suspect the reality of your peace if you had none. I think little of that grace which is accompanied by no inward conflict.
Beware that you do not help Satan by becoming an unjust accuser of yourself, and an unbeliever in the reality of God's work of grace. Let doubts and fears drive you to the throne of grace, stir you up to more prayer, send you more frequently to Christ. But do not let doubts and fears rob you of your peace. Believe me, you must be content to go to heaven as a sinner saved by grace. And you must not be surprised to find daily proof that you really are a sinner so long as you live.
It must never be forgotten that a believer's sense of his own justification and acceptance with God admits of many degrees and variations. At one time it may be bright and clear; at another dull and dim. At one time it may be high and full, like the flood tide; at another low, like the ebb. Our justification is a fixed, changeless, immovable thing. But our sense of justification is liable to many changes.p. 236


This article is excellent as well.

http://www.the-highway.com/Physician.html

Re: In much depression #12954
Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:26 PM
Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:26 PM

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Dear Highway_user,

I have a number of sermons on two of these passages that we have posted on the internet in Real Audio format. IMO, the subject of Hebrews 6 actually begins earlier (5:12ff). You can start at this link and then listen to as many of the sermons that you think will be helpful. IMO, it is the job of the Holy Spirit to grant assurance, so I'm not prepared to say that you should not have any doubts about your salvation. But I will say that the doubts should lead you back to the cross of Christ.

Re: In much depression #12955
Thu Mar 25, 2004 2:35 PM
Thu Mar 25, 2004 2:35 PM

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Thanks [everyone] for your encouragement and help. I know alot of the modern interpretations of the "apostacy" scriptures refer to the terrible, brash, hateful rejection to Christ as apposed to a "backslider" or even more subtle rejection.

But here is the real kicker, the thing that continually fuels my despair:

John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress

Christian is at Interpreter's house. Interpreter is showing metaphorical scenes. One of them is about a hopeless man in a cage, please read after first paragraph:
Here

Please help me with this as it seems to be Bunyan's interpretation of the "apostacy" scriptures.

Note: Modern versions of Pilgrim's Progress call the man HOPELESS.

Re: In much depression #12956
Thu Mar 25, 2004 4:21 PM
Thu Mar 25, 2004 4:21 PM

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Dear Highway User:

First, like others, I wouldn't take lightly your situation, and I second the view of Richard who told you that only the Holy Spirit can assure you that you are not the man in the iron cage. I respect Bunyan's teachings greatly and wouldn't take lightly the warning he has given here.

Also, it is difficult, and indeed inappropriate, to give all the details in a format like this, and due to the exceeding wickedness of our hearts we usually don't see all of the details clearly at a time like this, that is, while you are in the midst of trying to recover from a grevious sin. Thus, to cover all the aspects in detail is impossible on a discussion board.

Having said all of that I would gently but firmly direct your attention to a few things:

1) Satan is real. He has real power and does use it, and temptation to sexual sins is one of his favorite tools. You are not the first to fall for this temptation, witness David, who not only committed sexual sin but covered it with lying and murder.

2) Therefore, if the Hebrew passage always meant sinning against light which David clearly had, or if it meant that sexual sin was always doing dispite to the Spirit of Grace, then David would be guilty of this and therefore not a true believer. Thus, the Bunyan illustration does not necessarily apply, based on the little we know about your situation. All these things are given for our instruction.

3) Granted, David had much evidence in his life of a true conversion. His evidence was what all the Puritans spoke of as true evidence, BOTH the inward witness of the Spirit and the outward witness of a life of fruitfulness. If you lack these things then you will find it difficult, if not impossible to find solace until you do. God is not going to wave a majic wand over your situation, much as we would like Him to.

No doubt David, inspite of Satans attempts to cloud his mind at the time of his fall into these grevious sins, and there is considerable scriptural evidence to support this, Ps 38 for one, but no doubt David had many evidences he could look back on to convince him that he was a partaker of grace. Even so, as I read the Psalms, he had to do what all sinners must do, and will indeed do if they are true children, and that is "call upon the Lord" until He hears and answers you.

4)IMO, this is really the only way, along with repentance and good fruit, you will ever have the answer to your question. Notice the the man in the cage said that the Lord had denied him repentance. You do not know this until you have sought that repentance night and day and given Him no rest. Satan and your own fallen nature will keep you in a perpetual cycle of doubt and carnal reasoning about this which will ultimately drive you to distraction, not to mention keep you from the Biblical answer, repentance and prayer.

5)If you read carefully what words Bunyan used in his description of the situation you will find that the man in the cage said that he failed "to watch and pray". In our day and age, when indwelling sin and the evil one are taken so lightly, these words are passed over lightly. But Bunyan, who was quite close to his brother in the Lord John Owen, meant something very specific by those words. You can find an extremely readable and practical exposition of what those words mean and how to apply them to your life in a little book called "What Every Christian Needs to Know".

It is a modern readable condensation of Owens two works on Sin and Temptation. I have used the book and apart from the Bible have found it to be one of the best answers to the situation in which you find yourself. I highly encourage you to purchase it and study it closely and to put it into practice. If you do this you will have the answer to your question before long. There is a brief write up on the little book here:

http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?58

The book can be purchase here:

http://www.trinitybookservice.org/6247x.html

It is my sincere desire and prayer that you find these things helpful. As one who speaks from experience, if you will avail yourself of Owen's wisdom and put it into practice, I believe you will find that it not only answers your question, but will put you on a road, called the Highway of Holiness, on which you will find victory over these sins, and find "joy and peace in believing".

Conversely, I must also be honest with you and say if you will not do this, then you have the answer to your question already, for the man in the cage sought not holiness nor the peace of God which accompanies it.

In Him,

Gerry

Re: In much depression #12957
Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:20 PM
Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:20 PM

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Dear Highway_user,

Remember that the interpretation of the man in the iron cage is his own interpretation. And when we are farthest from the Lord, isn't that just our interpretation of our own state? But I would encourage you to look to Christ, his righteousness and not to your own. The more you look to your own righteousness, the more reason you will have to be discouraged and depressed. But the more you look to the grace of Jesus and his righteousness -- believing that God has imputed it to you by his grace -- the more reason you will have to be encouraged and strengthened by his Holy Spirit. Praise God.

I mentioned the man in the iron cage at some point in the sermon series I commended to you earlier -- may have mentioned him more than once.

Re: In much depression #12958
Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:52 PM
Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:52 PM
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Washington State - USA
Bladestunner316 Offline
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hey bro,
Gods all powerful your soul is in his hands if he wills he will see you through <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

blade


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