What if I grew up a Christian but walked away and then later came back – am I saved?

The situation:

If I grew up as a Christian but as I grew older I started doing drugs, wanted nothing to do with God, didn’t think he was real etc… But then later in life I truly found him & committed my life fully to him. Am I going to heaven? I always thought yes but now I’m thinking wait, wouldn’t that be called blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, the one unforgivable sin?

 

My response:

Does it matter if you were saved as a child or as an adult? I don’t think so. What matters now is the condition of your heart before GOD right now.

If you were saved as a child, then either you lost your salvation when you turned away from God and regained it when you turned back to God as an adult, OR you lost fellowship with God but regained THAT fellowship when you turned back to God as an adult.

Another option is that if you were NOT saved as a child, but had an emotional experience that lasted only a short while and then died down (read the parable of the sower in Luke 8:4-15; Mt 13:3-23; Mk 4:2-20), to the point where you didn’t think God was real, and then you came to be saved as an adult.

I know that theologians have argued for centuries which scenario most accurately reflects what happens with us and what is in scripture.

I don’t think any of those scenarios are all that important when considering your question. What I think is important is that you are currently walking with God.

Personally, I know Christians sin and much of the NT was written to correct that (see 1 Corinthians 5 for example).

Also, people walk away from Christ and were never saved – 1 Jn 2:19.

And finally, the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15; Mt 13:3-23; Mk 4:2-20) shows us that many can appear saved but turn out not to be, while others show the fruit of being saved.

The real question is, “Does your life show fruit of salvation?”. Have you repented, turned to God through faith in Christ (Acts 26:20) and does your life reflect that love and obedience for God?  That will be your answer.

If you have repented, and now trust Christ as your Lord and Savior, where your life reflects love for God and others, then you are saved. If not, then you and God should do more talking.

You can not be Wiccan and Christian at the same time.

There are people who claim to be Christian, saying that they are Wiccan and have chosen the christian pantheon of gods.
They are sinfully mistaken.
God has said that anyone who practices diviation, sorcery, witchcraft, casts spells, or talks to the dead or is a medium or spiritist, or consults the dead is detestable to GOD.
Deuteronomy 18:9-13
9 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
The magical arts are acts of the sinful nature and anyone who practices them will not inherit the kingdom of GOD.
Galatians 5:19-21
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
There are false gods (demons who masquerade as gods and idols made from human hands) which we must leave behind when we come to Christ. There is only One True God.
Deuteronomy 32:16-17
“They made Him jealous with strange gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17 “They sacrificed to demons who were not God,
To gods whom they have not known,
New gods who came lately,
Whom your fathers did not dread.
Jeremiah 10:8-11
8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish In their discipline of delusion—their idol is wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; Violet and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skilled men. 10 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation. 11 Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
EVERYONE Must repent and turn away from false gods and idols and sin to God.
Acts 3:19
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord
Those who do come to faith in Christ will turn away from doing magic, conjuring demons, praying to false gods.
Acts 19:19
A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.
If you fail to stop following false gods, and if you fail to stop practicing magic, you WILL face the consequences of not following God through faith in Christ.

You can not follow a false god and the One True God at the same time

 

There are people who would like to believe that one can follow Christ AND some other god(s) – Like Buddist-Christian, or Wiccan-Christian, or whatever-Christian.
But that is not true – a confusion by some or just an out right lie by others. We must turn away from false gods and follow the One True God through faith in Christ expressed in obedience.
Obviously there are false gods – demons who masquerade as gods:
Deuteronomy 32:16-17
“They made Him jealous with strange gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17 “They sacrificed to demons who were not God,
To gods whom they have not known,
New gods who came lately,
Whom your fathers did not dread.
And then there are false gods which ar enothing more than a creation of mankind, like statues and such, made by man. There is only one true God.
Jeremiah 10:8-11
8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish In their discipline of delusion—their idol is wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; Violet and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skilled men. 10 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation. 11 Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
Anyone who denies the Son of God denies the Father.
1 John 2:22-23
 22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
We must not turn to idols, or mediums or spiritists.
Leviticus 19:4
Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19:31
‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.
Instead, we must have faith in God.
Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
We must repent and turn to God.
Luke 1:16
And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God.
When we do, our sins will be forgiven.
Acts 5:31
He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
We must humble ourselves to God and He will exalt us.
James 4:10
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Indeed, what we do will prosper (though perhaps not as we might believe), if we turn to God with all our heart and soul and obey God.
Deuteronomy 30:9-10
9 Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 10 if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.
This means we must turn away from sin and to God, and show our repenting and turning to God through faith in Christ by how we live.
Acts 3:26
For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”
Acts 26:20
but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance
We show our love for God by serving God.
1 Thessalonians 1:9
For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God
So to repeat – we can not follow God and anything else – not a demon posing as a god, and not an idol made of human hands. We must turn from sin and to God through faith in Christ, and we must show this in our lives by how we live.

There is only one true God – do you follow Him?

There is only one true God – do you follow Him? There are some who say muslims and Christians and Jews all follow the same god.

First we must recognize that there are false gods. There is only one true God.

Jeremiah 10:8-11
8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish In their discipline of delusion—their idol is wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; Violet and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skilled men. 10 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation. 11 Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
Anyone who denies the Son of God denies the Father.

God’s chosen people are those who trust God. Abraham believed God and it was counted as righteousness. All the nations will be blessed by the descendants of Abraham. Its is because of the faith of Abraham that Jews and Gentiles who trust God are counted as children of Abraham. But those without faith are not the chosen people. nd those who deny Jesus is the Son of God deny God the Father.

Genesis 15:4-6
5 And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Genesis 26:4
I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;

Romans 9:6-8
6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.” 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

Galatians 3:6-9
6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

1 John 2:22-23
22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

So no, Jews, Muslims, and Christians do not worship the same God – unless they trust in Christ as the Son of God, one person of the godhead.

Are ghosts real?

Generally speaking, when a man dies, he is dead.
Job 14:12

So a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.

 

To be dead is to be with the Lord. I take this to mean a believer will be found justified upon death while an unbeliever will be judged.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8

6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

Hebrews 9:27

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment

So… are there exceptions? Do ghosts of people hang around after death?

Recall that Moses and Elisha were with Christ at the transfiguration.
Matthew 17:1-3

 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.

 

We have to realize that people walked out of their tombs upon the death of Jesus.
Matthew 27:50-53

50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

Later, when Jesus was with the disciples, Jesus said he had flesh and bones, unlike a spirit. Notice, Jesus did not claim spirits didn’t exist, but that they did not have flesh and bones.

Luke 24:39

See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

Remember that Samuel was called up by a witch. There are many who believe this was a demon, but the text does not support that. The text shows she was surprised, indicating she might have been surprised she was actually able to call up a ghost, or Samuel might have told her something that made her realize it was King Saul (the one who threatened witches and mediums with death) that she was working for.

1 Samuel 28

Now it came about in those days that the Philistines gathered their armed camps for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Know assuredly that you will go out with me in the camp, you and your men.” 2 David said to Achish, “Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.” So Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had removed from the land those who were mediums and spiritists. 4 So the Philistines gathered together and came and camped in Shunem; and Saul gathered all Israel together and they camped in Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. 6 When Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by prophets. 7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at En-dor.”

8 Then Saul disguised himself by putting on other clothes, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night; and he said, “Conjure up for me, please, and bring up for me whom I shall name to you.” 9 But the woman said to him, “Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who are mediums and spiritists from the land. Why are you then laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?” 10 Saul vowed to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” 11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul.” 13 The king said to her, “Do not be afraid; but what do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up out of the earth.” 14 He said to her, “What is his form?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and did homage.

15 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” And Saul answered, “I am greatly distressed; for the Philistines are waging war against me, and God has departed from me and no longer answers me, either through prophets or by dreams; therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I should do.” 16 Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has departed from you and has become your adversary? 17 The Lord has done accordingly as He spoke through me; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David. 18 As you did not obey the Lord and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover the Lord will also give over Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines, therefore tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Indeed the Lord will give over the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines!”

20 Then Saul immediately fell full length upon the ground and was very afraid because of the words of Samuel; also there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day and all night. 21 The woman came to Saul and saw that he was terrified, and said to him, “Behold, your maidservant has obeyed you, and I have taken my life in my hand and have listened to your words which you spoke to me. 22 So now also, please listen to the voice of your maidservant, and let me set a piece of bread before you that you may eat and have strength when you go on your way.” 23 But he refused and said, “I will not eat.” However, his servants together with the woman urged him, and he listened to them. So he arose from the ground and sat on the bed. 24 The woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly slaughtered it; and she took flour, kneaded it and baked unleavened bread from it. 25 She brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they arose and went away that night.

God said to inquire of HIM, not use mediums and spiritists to consult the dead –
Isaiah 8:19

When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?

Speaking to the dead was considered to be evil.

Deuteronomy 18:9-13

9 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God.

We also have to realize that sometimes the word spirit is substituted for demon.

Matthew 8:16

When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.

Luke 8:29

For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.

Luke 9:42

While he was still approaching, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father.

Sometimes angel and spirit are known as different things.

Acts 23:8-9

8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”

So are angels and demons and spirits different? Do ghosts exist?

I think scripture sometimes uses spirits to mean demons. Other times they are used to mean different things. I know Samuel and Moses and Elisha all were manifested. I know that dead people came out of their graves/tombs and walked about when Jesus died. But I do not think that is the norm. I think that in most cases, any ghostly things we might see are in fact demons.

 

Regardless, we are to avoid demons and spirits. We are to turn to God, not the dead.

Do practicing FILL-IN-THE-BLANK who are “saved” go to heaven after they die?

I cant tell you the number of times I have read or heard a question that goes something along the lines of “Do practicing FILL-IN-THE-BLANK who are “saved” go to heaven after they die?”

Let’s fill in the blank:
Do practicing liars who are “saved” go to heaven after they die?
Do practicing murderers who are “saved” go to heaven after they die?
Do practicing adulterers who are “saved” go to heaven after they die?
Do practicing witches who are “saved” go to heaven after they die?
Do practicing homosexuals who are “saved” go to heaven after they die?

We MUST repent and show our repentance by our lives.
Acts 2:38

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The person who does not obey Christ, does not know Christ.
1 John 2:4

4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

Lying, sexual immorality, murder, and practicing magic are all sins and those who do them and do not stop and turn to God through faith in Christ will end up in the lake of fire. It doesnt matter the sin… If you dont stop, you have not repented of that sin and its more important to you than God. Those who practice unrighteousness will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:26-32

 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Revelation 21:8

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21

19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Is stopping easy? No. But its needed. Pray to God to help you leave the sin behind.

If you are in Christ, you will be changed.
2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

It is GOD who changes us.

Ezekiel 36:26

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Philippians 2:13

13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

We must ALL turn now from our sin and to God – repent, change! Trust Christ as LORD and as SAVIOR – not just as a get out of jail free card, but as the one who deserves our love and obedience. Sometimes it will be a matter of repeatedly repenting from a given sin – but we cant simply embrace our sins and say “God will forgive me.” We must turn from our sin and turn to God. God works in us to desire and to do as He wants.

We are NOT expected to be perfect, but to grow in our sanctification.

Romans 6:22
But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
Hebrews 12:14
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-7
1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
Living a life of sin shows we reject God, even if our words claim otherwise. We must turn from sin, to God, through faith in Christ as our Lord and Savior.

If you deny Christ, you are not worshipping God.

Anyone who is not trusting and obeying Christ may think they worship one or more gods, but they are mistaken.

If you deny Christ, then you deny God. If you do not abide in the teaching of Christ then you do not have God. Only Christians worship the One True God.

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

1 John 2:22-23

 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

1 John 5:19-21

19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, guaard yourselves from idols.

2 John 1:9

Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

 

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