I will share what this topic is for me...from my pre-conception existence pov:
First I see election and the gospel as promises to us before we made our true free will choice to accept HIS will for our lives or to go off on our own way against HIS warnings. All the verses about our election and Christ's being chosen before the foundation of the world
refer to this pre-earthly creation experience.
Election was offered as a free gift to all who bowed to HIS purpose and will, and the gospel gift of salvation was offered as the fulfillment of election if any elect should fall into sin after becoming elect. These gifts were offered before anyone chose or sinned or did any good works.
So, can any elect be lost forever? NO, or GOD fails in HIS promise.
The problem is not with the system but with the fact that on earth we now have sinful fallen elect and the non-elect living together. Some of the non-elect live under the mark of Cain, the trappings of false Christianity and satanic religion. This causes discrepancy when verses meant for one group are taken to apply to the other group. As well, the non-elect are here to teach us about the suffering so sin and their relentless pursuit of and addition to evil so that we may become holy, that is ready to bring the judgment day upon them, as per the parable of the wheat and the tares.
It is a fact that many verses in scripture on any topic are open to a vast multitude of interpretations which seem contradictory. This is done so that we must seek the leading of the Holy Spirit in all things - the realtionship with GOD is more important than our scholarship. Every so often GOD does a sweeping out of HIS church, a cleansing of the temple as it were, by suddenly revealing a "right turn" in scriptural interpretation. This separates those who follow HIM out from the merely religious in the chuch who do not know the leading of the Holy Spirit but have learned to fake it very well. When the righteous follow the spirit, it can leave those religious like the Pharisees and Saducces to quibble over which false doctrine is the best....but Christ has left the building.
It is like the parable of the sower: Mark 4:3-9
And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
This is the description of those with the mark of Cain for whom the warnings about falling away from grace apply. They are not under the promise of election but they infest the church and often control it. But so they do not give up on false hope and turn against the church in terrorist rampage, they are treated in scripture as if election had no force and they can rest secure.
So I believe, 'Once Elect, Always Saved' to coin a phrase and leave the intricacies of personal salvation here on earth to GOD and the leading of HIS Holy Spirit.
Peace to all, Ted
Edited by ttruscott, 09 May 2012 - 04:06 PM.