Difference Between Tasting and Drinking

Mick Stephenson mixpix 20:28, public domain

There are many who sit in the pews of churches that think they are saved, but in truth are not possessors of Jesus. These are the ones who are tasting what a true relationship with Jesus might be like, yet are not buying into or fully drinking the living water of the one true God. It will be a rude awakening for them when the Great Snatch happens. This isn’t about hidden sin. It is about uncertainty of salvation, and about no complete commitment with heart on a platter to God through Jesus His son.

There are those Christians who fully believe in Jesus and are not condemned, but who do not bend the knee to Jesus as LORD. They walk on the edge of darkness and not in the Spirit. They have little of the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-21), but are in truth still saved. How do we know? How can we separate the tares from the wheat? We cannot. God even holds back the angels from that task so that the wheat would not be destroyed (Matthew 13).

Keith Weller, USDA, public domain
Jesus said something in John 10:28-29. Nothing can snatch us from His hand nor from the Father's hand. Double emphasis. Extreme statement of fact. God stated emphatically that no one can undo His work. God says the same thing in the Old Testament, Isaiah 43:13 "...What my hand holds, none can snatch away; what I do, none can undo."

For me, this is so emphatic that I cannot even consider a reversal of God's work in making a new creature. I must look for the meaning of verses other than loss of salvation because God is all powerful and because God never breaks His word. 

In light of other verses...

I have understood James (James 5:19-20) and John (1 John 5:16) to be talking about these edge of the camp dwellers, and talking about their physical life here on earth. Here's why: Straying from the truth means exactly that... to wander away from truth and toward sin. To bring a brother back to the truth is to save his breath of life: Psuche (related to psuchō  breathe) translated soul that vital force that animates the physical body from Thanatos literally meaning death of the physical body which means life on earth is ended. And, God takes the physical life literally to keep more sins from being committed by that brother or sister. For me, this is a great example of the "sin unto death" that John talks about in 1 John 5:16. When a believer starts walking in deadly sin, that believer will be called home so as not to embarrass the Father, or to be a stumbling block to the saved or lost any longer, and there is no prayer for that kind of sin. Those are frightful words: No prayer for that kind of sin.

Hebrews 6

However, there are those people who do understand what it is like to be a member of a church, to have fellowship with Christians, and to bask in the ministry of the church, but who do not possess Jesus in their hearts. They may even think they are saved because they walked the aisle or were baptized as an infant. It just ain’t enough! 

Remember when the disciples complained to Jesus about the man that was casting out demons in the name of Christ but was not of us? And Jesus said, "He who is not against us is for us." This man was literally partaking of the Holy Spirit's power by invoking Jesus' name to cast out those demons even though he did not have the saving faith of the disciples and he had not been breathed upon by Jesus.

There were many who followed Jesus and who heard the Gospel and who were like the seeds sown on hard ground and in the thorns and briars. Some did not understand it at all and others heard and received it with joy but the cares of the world choked and stunted their growth. These did not have the saving faith of the seed that was sown on good soil. There were 5000 men who were fed by Jesus and chased after Him around the lake. Jesus looked at them and told them they were in love with the fact He had fed them, not in love with Him. They had tasted of the heavenly gift but had not bought it...they did not buy into what Jesus was teaching (John 6). These were enlightened by Jesus' teaching. But even Balaam's eyes were opened and still he went down into utter darkness. Jesus told them that day that the only work God required of them was to "believe in the One whom He has sent", but they could not "stomach" the fact that Jesus is the Bread of Heaven and that "he who... eats ... of Me shall continuously dwell in Me and I dwell in him."

These followers of Jesus
, 500 of them, had been 1. enlightened; 2. tasted the heavenly gifts; 3. were partakers of the Holy Spirit--the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit; 4. tasted the good word of God; 5. tasted the powers of the world to come. And they fell away in John 6, never again to come to repentance. 

There is a great deal more to being a believer than in the 5 things above. Two of which are as important as eternal life and that is being Justified and being Sanctified. There are numerous accounts and admonishings from Paul, Peter, James, and John concerning sin but none concerning true believers sinning causing loss of salvation because true believers may fall frequently and terribly but not fall out of the hand of God. That is impossible per God's own breathed promise. True believers cannot submerge in apostasy. We have Paul's reminder in 2 Timothy 2:11-13.

Being a partaker of the Holy Spirit is a far cry from being indwelled by the Holy Spirit.

Tasting the word of God is a far cry from being renewed and washed in the word of God.

Tasting the power of worlds to come is a far cry from being saved from the wrath of God.

How do we know if we are sitting beside a true believer or someone who merely tastes? The good ground drinks in the rain that God pours out on to it. The good ground bears much fruit 30, 60, or 100 fold, but the bad ground drinks in the rain and bears nothing but briars and thorns. The rain pours onto both good and bad ground. Only God searches the hearts of humankind and knows the deepest wells there. 

So we pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We take them at face value and love on them, guarding them, discipling them, and interceding for them. It is one thing that God created us to do and is how we can bring Him glory. 

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