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Summary: Is the claim, "Once Saved, Always Saved" accuate, this sermon investigates this topic and answers this question

CAN WE FALL?

Text: Acts 8:1-24

INTRODUCTION:

1. Many groups today believe in the doctrine that once you are saved, you are always saved.

2. In other words, they do not believe that a person can become lost once they have acquired salvation.

3. We answered the question, “Can you be separated from the love of God?” in Sunday morning bible class a few weeks ago.

4. The basic answer is no, but you can be separated from his saving mercy.

5. We will look at some Old Testament examples and see how the idea of losing a chosen status carries over into the New Testament.

TRANSITION: Let us begin in the Old Testament

I. Genesis chapters 37-48

A. Joseph has a dream about his brothers bowing down to him.

1. This makes them mad

2. 37:18-20, they were mad enough to kill him

3. Reuben convinced them to throw him into a pit instead.

B. A camel caravan passed by.

1. The caravan contained some Midianite traders.

2. The brothers sold Joseph into slavery to them.

C. Joseph is now a slave.

1. The brothers were separated from him.

2. Joseph was no longer active in the family unit.

3. Was he still part of the family? Technically yes

4. He was not able to work with them.

5. He could not interact with them.

D. The family begins to suffer.

1. 7 years of abundance came

2. It was followed by 7 years of famine

E. Jacob’s family is greatly touched by the famine.

1. 42:1-2 Jacob says, “Why are you looking at each other, go get some grain from Egypt so we do not starve to death.”

2. The boys are then further tried by Joseph.

3. He accuses them of being spies.

4. Reuben puts some of it together in 42:22. He said, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Now this reckoning has come to us.”

F. To make a long story short, Joseph was reunited to his family. He was lost to them, and then he was found.

II. Other Old Testament examples

A. We see the first “big apostasy” on record in Exodus 32:1.

1. Moses took a long time in receiving in receiving the 10 commandments.

2. The people grew impatient.

3. Aaron said, “Let’s make us a god out of our jewelry.”

4. The people worshipped a golden calf made of earrings.

5. They were punished by 40 years wandering and wondering in the wilderness.

B. Deuteronomy 13:12-13

1. If the inhabitants of the Lord’s cities leave to serve other gods.

2. Strike them dead with the edge of the sword.

3. Make the entire city a burnt offering to the Lord.

C. Nehemiah 9:26

1. “But they became disobedient to you and rebelled against you, and cast your law behind their backs, and killed your prophets who admonished them so that they might return to you, and they committed great blasphemies.”

2. This lament shows how time and time again Israel leaves God and returns.

3. Ezra has read the law that had been lost, to them and they were weeping and mourning at their condition. (See chapter 8 for more on this story.)

4. They had lost God. They realized that they had lost him. They desperately wanted him back.

III. Post Egypt and pre-Roman occupation, the Jews had three major occupations as a result of their disobedience.

A. The Babylon from 605-539 B. C.

B. The Persians from 539-331

C. The Greeks from 331-167

1. Greeks were exceptionally hard on the Jews.

2. They tried to do away with Semitic differences between the Jews and Greeks. (Of course, they wanted to do away with Jewish culture, not Greek.)

3. Antiochus IV Epiphanies was a Seleucid Greek

a. He is the reason for Hanukkah

b. He offered a sow on the altar.

c. For the Maccabeans, this was the last straw. They lead a revolt against the Greeks.

d. 2 years later, December 14, 165 B. C., they reclaimed the temple in Jerusalem and dedicated a new altar.

e. They had only enough oil for 1 day and their lamp burned 8 days.

D. After the Greeks, the Romans ruled them until 138 A. D.

E. The first apostasy ever by the way was in Genesis 3.

1. Man was in God’s grace and care.

2. He fell from it.

3. He has been trying to return to it since.

4. See apostasy means a falling away from God, any falling away from God, not just everyone, anyone.

TRANSITION: OK, that’s the Old Testament, how about the New Testament?

IV. Acts 8:4-24

A. Philip is preaching Christ in Samaria.

1. He is casting out spirits.

2. He is healing the lame.

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