WE CAN LOSE FELLOWSHIP, BUT NOT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
This is a statement that is used to describe a persons security of salvation, based upon the family relationship we have with God.
First and foremost, we must expose that not only this statement, but the whole concept involved is unscriptural garbage! There is not a single place in Scripture that states that our relationship to God cannot be changed. I am thankful for that, for there was a time when I was an enemy of God; I was not in a relationship with God. Because these things can be changed, there is hope for those that are unbelievers now, that they too can become the children of God!
This concept is used to allow people to sin and still be saved. They can harm their close "fellowship" with God, but they can never harm their family "relationship" with Him! This may sound rational to some, but it contradicts the clear teaching of the Bible! First, most will admit that a change of nature is possible in an unbeliever. One can be a child of the devil, believe on Christ, then be transformed into a child of God! We admit that being a "child of the devil" is not permanent because one can change. So why is it such a leap of the intellect to say that a child of God cannot abandon their faith and become a child of the devil? "in this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." (1 John 3:10). My friend, If relationship cannot be changed, then no one can ever be saved! For we were all born children of the devil, and we cannot change that relationship! Right? God forbid! Let us rid ourselves of such foolish logic and believe the Bible! It is possible to change relationship. That is Scriptural, and that is the hope of the Gospel.
The singular passage that can be appealed to in this matter must be examined. It is 1 John 1:7, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Now, I must admit that I am amazed that those that have argued that fellowship can be lost, and not relationship have appealed to this verse; I can only conclude that they have never actually read it!
Let's look at its conditions. We are told that "IF" we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship, one with another. Now, what "IF" we don't? The obvious reversal of this verse would read, "If we don't walk in the light, as He is in the light, we don't have fellowship one with another." John states clearly in 1:5-6, "This is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." What is agreed upon by all is, we cannot be living in darkness and continue to be in light at the same time. We cannot be in darkness, and be in fellowship with God who is light. But what about relationship? The one thing that keeps someone from becoming a child of God in the first place is sin. That is the barrier to being in relationship with God. The problem of sin must be resolved in order to be in relationship with God.
Now, let's look at our conditional passage again, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Please notice that not only fellowship is at stake if we walk in darkness, but that the present tense cleansing from our sins is also conditioned upon this walking in the light. If we walk in darkness, we lose not only our fellowship with God, but with that, we also lose that cleansing from sin! If we do not have cleansing for our sin, then we are separated from God- which is relationship!
We cannot separate fellowship from relationship. They are inexorably connected to each other. We are either in the light or we are in darkness; we are either in relationship with God or we are not; we are either a child of God or we are a child of the devil. We cannot be both! "He that committeth sin is of the devil... in this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." (1 John 3: 8, 10).
There is no fuzzy state of existence in the middle where one is a believer and an unbeliever at the same time. There is not any such state in which one is out of fellowship and still in relationship at the same time. We either have fellowship and the cleansing of Christ's blood, or we do not have fellowship and the cleansing from our sins. Those that are out of fellowship are out of relationship with God also. They are still in their sins. The only hope is the remedy that John follows up with. "IF we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9).
This unbiblical concept that one can exist in a middle state and still be a child of God is the plea of the uncommitted. It is an appeal to lower the bar of God's truth in order to grant salvation benefits to the unregenerate! We cannot twist the Scripture so that it encompasses those that no longer want fellowship with God, yet desire all of the benefits of being in relationship with God. It is not love to give false assurance and fellowship to those that that are perishing in their sins. A call to repent and believe is the Scriptural response.
Let's believe the Bible and leave these theological fairytales behind us!
The Eight Pillars of Eternal Security