Perseverance of the Saints

A Critical Analysis of Perseverance of the Saints

“Perseverance of the Saints is a doctrine which states that the saints (those whom God has saved) will remain in God’s hand until they are glorified and brought to abide with Him in heaven. Romans 8:28-39 makes it clear that when a person truly has been regenerated by God, he will remain in God’s stead. The work of sanctification which God has brought about in His elect will continue until it reaches its fulfillment in eternal life (Phil. 1:6). Christ assures the elect that He will not lose them and that they will be glorified at the “last day” (John 6:39). The Calvinist stands upon the Word of God and trusts in Christ’s promise that He will perfectly fulfill the will of the Father in saving all the elect.”

This final aspect of the Calvinist’s salvific experience is based on the four previous tenets. God’s grace is extended to those who are unconditionally elected by God to salvation through the process of effectual calling and regeneration. Faith and repentance follow bringing the elect into fellowship with the Father. Once this process of regeneration has been completed, justification and adoption follow and then the process of sanctification begins, which seeks to give the new believer the mind of Christ. This process will continue until glorification is accomplished in eternity. Frame equates the Perseverance of the Saints with the Eternal Security of the Believer. Although he notes that the two do carry different nuances.

One of the Baptist distinctives can be seen in the phrase, the Eternal Security of the Believer. There is a marked difference in the two terms and they are not at all synonymous. For the Southern Baptist, the concept of the Eternal Security of the Believer assures the individual who has placed his faith in the promises of God and his trust in the claims of Christ that He (Christ) will hold onto him (the believer) forever. This is what Paul says in Romans 8:38: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus says of those He gives eternal life to, “they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” When an individual comes to Christ and is adopted into God’s forever family, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in his heart and becomes God’s guarantee of that individual’s hope in eternity.

The problem with the Calvinist position is that this assurance is not as well defined. Where Eternal Security rests on the promises of God, the Perseverance of the Saints really rests on the “persevering or performance” of the elect. The key to understanding this position is found in the persevering and not in the promise. For the Calvinist, the promise is seen in the persevering and if an individual does not persevere then he was not saved in the first place. Since a Calvinist cannot discern the will of God without the efficacious work of the Holy Spirit in his or her heart, there is always a question, “Is my life the work of the Holy Spirit or my own works of righteousness? Has God really saved me?” Since no one really knows what it means to be “regenerated” it can be argued that the only way to ultimately know for sure that one is even truly saved, is to actually persevere to the end and be welcomed into Glory by the Lord Himself. It can be argued that this doctrine does not provide any real security to the believer. There is always this “possibility” that an individual may not persevere to the end, indicating that he was never truly saved in the first place. Understand, the elect will; but no one really knows who is and who is not the elect until this life is over and the judgment is rendered. This is in effect what the Perseverance of the Saints really says.

It can be argued that the same thing is true for those holding onto the Eternal Security of the Believer. Ultimately, the true test of faith for both will be determined when the believer closes his eyes in this life and opens them in the life to come. However from a doctrinal standpoint, the fundamental difference in these two perspectives clearly rests on where ones faith is actually placed. For the Eternal Security position, faith rests in the promises of God whereas with the perseverance it rests in the persevering itself and holding on to the end.

The real difference in the two positions can be seen in the living out of the lives of those who make professions of faith and confess Jesus as Savior and Lord and are baptized and join churches and then turn away from that decision at a later date. Jesus warns his followers that there will be those who will call Him Lord but will not do what He has commanded them to do. He says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ “ The test of love all throughout the Bible is seen in the “keeping of God’s commandments.” This is true in the Old Testament as well as the New.

Here is where the Calvinists and non-Calvinists will run into serious differences. The emphasis for both can obviously be seen the importance of the ongoing process of sanctification as God seeks to give the new believer the mind of Christ. Non-Calvinists are accused of being too worldly and not emphasizing the importance of regenerate membership and “walking the walk” as opposed to just “talking the talk.” They will point to the “Billy Graham style of evangelism” that focuses on the use of manipulating methods to produce false professions of faith to bolster numbers and build successful ministries at the expense of “true salvific experiences.” It is this notion of “cheap grace” and a concept of “fire insurance for eternity” that gives eternal security a bad name among those who do not accept it. Although there may be ministers who are irresponsible in giving invitations and promoting solid Christian growth, there is no reason to discredit the method because some misuse it.

Calvinists are traditionally very critical of the use of public invitations and as a general rule, do not use them. There are two reasons that the Calvinists do not use public invitations. First of all, they are not seen as necessary. Since God’s will in election is sure and according to His divine plan and purpose, there is no need for an invitation. So, the general criticism is that those who do use them do so irresponsibly and this ineffective method encourages people to make false professions of faith, which adds unregenerate members to the rolls of churches and that is the general reason that most churches have members names on the roles that neither CIA, the FBI nor the IRS can find; much less the SBC.

Calvinists will also use this unregenerate aspect to exercise church discipline much more frequently than non-Calvinists do today. Judas is the most recognized example of this situation. He was chosen by Jesus just as the other disciples were. He was “one of the gang”; he appeared to be a believer; he was most certainly a follower of Jesus. When Jesus said that someone was going to betray Him, all of the disciples wondered if it was them; there was no apparent thought in any of their minds that it would be Judas. He went everywhere the others went with Jesus. He preached Jesus to the people. He worked alongside the other disciples. However, he did not persevere to the end; he betrayed Jesus and it was said that it would have been better for him had he never been born. The Pharisees and the religious rulers of Jesus’ day certainly praised God with their mouths and their tithes but not their hearts. The Israelites in general had a history of bouncing from obedience to disobedience and back again. There are a lot of people on church roles who are just like these are; hot one day and then cold the next. For the Calvinist, this separates the elect from the non-elect. Perseverance is not guaranteed to everyone; it is only guaranteed to the elect, to those who really trust Christ. As church members get involved in what the church considers “serious sin” for which they refuse to repent and rectify, some churches will ex-communicate or cast the offending member out of the church. Membership in the church was granted because of the outward confession and evidence of conversion but when that changes, membership and fellowship are withdrawn until repentance is again evident.

Ironically, Calvinists have been criticized of being no different than Arminians in this aspect of eternal security. While Arminians know they are saved, they have no assurance that they will keep their salvation. Calvinists know they cannot lose their salvation; they just have no real assurance that they are actually saved. It can be argued that both positions are really based on works and follow a James 2 mandate and that test is actually more important than Irresistible Grace and the efficacious calling in Unconditional Election. The true test of God’s sovereignty is not demonstrated in the call but in the perseverance. It might even be argued that perseverance is more important than regeneration in the salvific process, since it is the perseverance and not regeneration that actually determines one’s salvation.

Grateful to be in His Grip

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Bob

    The following is from the Baptist Faith and Message. It has been in the Baptist Faith and Message since it was first adopted in 1925. It clearly reveals a basic Calvinists belief on election and on the Perseverance of the saints. Baptists have used the phrase security of the believer but they should never use the term once saved always saved. This last phrase is nothing but a license to sin. But Southern Baptists have always accepted the idea of the perseverance of the saints.

    V. God’s Purpose of Grace

    Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

    All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

    Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.

    I might point out that in general Baptist Calvinists do us the invitation. And in general Baptist Calvinists have supported Billy Graham but with great reservation mainly because his crusades were ecumenical in nature. Baptist have never played well with others until recently. Outside of Billy Graham I have very grave reservations about mass evangelism, mainly because of experience, not because of theology.

    Reply

  2. Still persevering.

    My point is that it is Christ who perseveres and not the saint or the individual. It can be argued, that the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints places persevering ahead of regeneration and conversion because it is the persevering that validates the conversion. Without perseverance to the end, there is no regeneration in the beginning. To me, salvation is based on the person and work of the Lord Jesus and not based on man’s works. The believer’s security is for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-sufficiency of the believer.

    While I understand the issues of “free grace” and “fire insurance for eternity”, that criticism comes from the opponents of those who use the term, “once saved always saved” which I do not like nor use. We all know that the responsible use of the term is never as it is made out to be. I certainly prefer eternal security of the believer, which affirms Christ’s ability to keep to the uttermost those who are saved in the first place. My faith is firmly planted in Christ and His promise that He will keep all that the Father has given to Him. I am grateful that we are in that company. My hope is not in my ability to persevere but in His ability to hold on and to hold onto me. It is a fine line but in my estimation there is very little difference in the Arminian position of persevering and the Calvinist position. Both stress the responsibility of the Holy Spirit in the process and both equally point to the importance of “persevering to the end” in order to be saved. The Calvinist will accuse the Arminian of promoting a gospel of works for salvation while the Calvinist relies on the Holy Spirit to complete what irresistible grace began. To me, it is more a matter of semantics of who is actually placing more credence on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the “new born believer.” In the end, there is really very little difference in the two positions, as I see it.

    While it is imperative that I do persevere, my salvation is not dependent on my persevering; my salvation is dependent on what Christ did for me at Calvary and what He did for me, He will continue to do in me and through me in the living out of my life one day at a time. I realize that is what the doctrine of perseverance of saints says; however, the difference can be seen in the negative application of the principle. (That is what some have done with the phrase, once saved always saved.”) If someone does not persevere to the end, then they could not have been saved in the first place. Here is the problem; who determines who “perseveres to the end”? This is the argument that was going on in James’ day as people in the church were preaching Paul’s message of “free grace to all who would believe” and he said, wait a minute; God’s grace is no license to sin. it is not. He said, “Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” He is absolutely right. Works of faith point to the persevering. However, it is not up to ME to hold on and persevere. It is Christ who perseveres and who holds on to me to bring me to eternity.

    I have personally known of several instances where people did horrendous things and committed immorality and adultery and have stolen from others and publically humiliated their families and some even their church family. Pastors have determined that they were lost because of the error of their ways and they have been labeled as “unregenerate church members.” One pastor saw his congregation dwindle down to a handful of people, to conclude, “Well of all who have left, none were true Christians.” This simply is not Biblical.

    There is for sure a fine line in the Perseverance of the Savior and the Perseverance of the Saints, but I am sticking with the Savior on this one and not the saint. There is one thing that is certain, which I am sure you will agree; a saint I ain’t.

    Grateful to be in His Grip,

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    Reply

  3. “My point is that it is Christ who perseveres and not the saint or the individual. It can be argued, that the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints places persevering ahead of regeneration and conversion because it is the persevering that validates the conversion. Without perseverance to the end, there is no regeneration in the beginning. To me, salvation is based on the person and work of the Lord Jesus and not based on man’s works. The believer’s security is for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-sufficiency of the believer.”

    Then you agree with most Calvinists and with the Baptist Faith and Message. I have never seen any Calvinist claim that perseverance was the result of the work of the believers. The only people who believe what you wrote are Roman Catholics and most Arminians.

    I think you know what it means for folk who do not endure to the end. They play at the faith for a while and then drift away never to return. While I am not on the judging committee, it is in fact a biblical idea that they were never saved in the first place. This is exactly what John said: “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” (1Jo 2:19 NAU) Jesus talked about perseverance more than Paul did. I think it was the point of the parable of the 4 soils, only one produced fruit. If they were never of Christ, they cannot endure. I think there are a lot of cultural and emotional “Christians” who never really followed Jesus. The are converts to the idea of Jesus being God and Savior. But, they are not disciples who have placed their whole lives into the hands of Christ. And as you well know, we are called to make disciples, not converts. There are all kinds of abusers who misuse doctrine but that does not negate the doctrine.

    Only real saints produce fruit. And yes, you are a saint or you do not belong to Christ. You have the highest privilege of the universe in that you have been declared a son of God. God has declared it. And of course this is true of every single person who has come to faith in Christ.

    Now, what would you do if you did not have me to argue with from time to time?

    Reply

    • I agree for the most part with your comments… there are a lot of people who do ‘start out’ but fail to finish because they did not commit their hearts to the Lord as portrayed by the different types of soil. My point is more principled in that conversion is what determines our eternal destiny and not perseverance. It cannot be both. The whole concept of perseverance on MY part potentially negates the validity of conversion. I understand the argument that perseverance is what actually confirms conversion… but the problem that I have is with the conceptual side of looking at the perseverance as a gauge so to speak to “confirm conversion.”

      My sonship is based on what Christ did for me at Calvary… not what I do for Him as a son. Just like I cannot do anything to deserve my conversion or regeneration, whether it precedes or follows saving faith, neither can I do anything to keep what God has done for me and given to me. I am really surprised that the Calvinist position is so diametrically opposite itself in these two positions.

      Now, what would you do if you did not have me to argue with from time to time?

      God indeed is good.

      Grateful to be in His Grip,

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      Reply

  4. Concerning the above quote from the Baptist Faith and Message:

    All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

    This essentially stated “Once Saved Always Saved” which is otherwise known as Calvin’s “Perseverance of the Saints.” This is not only a mistaken belief, but it is also dangerous.

    Stepping through these statements one by one:

    All true believers endure to the end.

    1. Someone could truly believe, and set their hand to the plow, and turn back, and not be fit for the kingdom of God (see Luke 9:62).

    Luk 9:62 KJV
    (62) And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

    2. This exact circumstance is already addressed of those who are truly enlightened and partook of the Holy Ghost and fall away, alluding that their end is to be burned as thorns and briers.

    Heb 6:4-9 KJV
    (4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
    (5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    (6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
    (7) For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
    (8) But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
    (9) But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

    That seems like a pretty clear passage to me.

    3. Paul himself acknowledged that even after he had preached, he himself could become cast away.

    1Co 9:26-27 KJV
    (26) I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
    (27) But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

    4. This “Once Saved Always Saved” defies the obvious meaning Christ’s warning in Revelation:

    Rev 3:11-12 KJV
    (11) Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
    (12) Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

    5. The statement “All true believers endure to the end” could be justified if it was meant in the context of “True believers are defined as those who endure to the end.” In this sense the first statement is allowable, but the other statements that follow clarify that it was intended to go beyond this meaning.

    Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.

    6. This statement requires that the saints had no free will, or that God would be held hostage to those that he had granted his Spirit. Regardless, this is already contradicted by common sense and common scripture (see Hebrew 6:4-9 above.) Those that have tasted of the Holy Spirit and been renewed to repentance can fall away, and not come back.

    Believers may fall into sin … yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

    7. In another context, this statement could be accepted as true, if one were assuming an attitude of continued repentance of the believer.

    1Jn 1:9 KJV
    (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    This statement also clearly implies that if we do not confess our sins, neither will he forgive our sins or cleanse us from unrighteousness.

    It is one thing to speak from the position of hindsight (such as “They were never with us”) and quite another thing to deny that anyone could choose to reject God and suffer the consequences. Salvation is the end of our faith, not the beginning. The Holy Spirit is given in earnest of death being swallowed up of life (2 Cor 5:5) but as we have already seen, that Holy Spirit can be rejected, and taken away. If we do not repent, we shall not be cleansed.

    Psa 51:10-11 KJV
    (10) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
    (11) Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

    Eze 3:20-21 KJV
    (20) Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
    (21) Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

    In summary, God will not leave us or forsake us, but if we turn from him and will not repent, he will cast us away. The common understanding of “Eternal Security” places God as a hostage to his creation, and removes the importance and the incentive for those who think of themselves as “saved” to continue in repentance. Any sin that someone will not repent of will not be forgiven.

    The Calvinists will probably disagree, so let them keep “Eternal Security” and “Perseverance” for their own use. I think that the Bible language is plain enough already without having to create a bunch of theological terms and catch phrases. I think John already spoke well enough when he said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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  5. Andrew,

    Just like almost every other position that is debated with respect to the Bible, there are plenty of passages of scripture that are there to go around for everyone to support their own positions. My conviction is simply put. Jesus saved me and He will keep me.I did not deserve His marvelous mercy and His amazing grace in the first place but because He reached out to me and convicted me of my lost state and His love for me, I surrendered my heart to Him and He forgave me of my sin, past present and future and made me part of His forever family and one day I will close my eyes in this world, or hopefully look up and head up to glory in the rapture… and there I will be with the Lord FOREVER.

    One of the realities of being born again involves just that; a new life. When I got saved, I became an heir to God (which involves my eternal security) and a joint heir with Jesus (which also secures my eternal position) and the Holy Spirit took up residence in my heart and that is the seal of God’s guarantee of that eternal position in His family. The whole concept of redemption means that my sin debt was paid in full…

    Now… are there people who hear that and think, “hey… I am going to walk that isle and take that preachers hand and say a prayer; get my ticket punched and live the way I want to live… ” that may be the case… there may be others who mean well and have the best intentions in responding in a number of ways… all I know is… what God did for me and the patience He has demonstrated as I sought to try to balance my life by “doing my own thing and then trying to hold onto Him as well.”

    I can tell you that does not work! I think Solomon basically came to the same conclusion. Becoming a Christian is not a license to sin; “because I am saved and now I can do what I want to do.” That is the objection of anyone who disagrees with the concept. Apparently Paul ran into that same objection and he addressed the objection to the miracle of God’s grace… what shall we say… if Grace does much more abound… shall we just sin all the more? No… God’s grace is not an invitation to do what we want to do… but rather the ability to do what He wants us to do. The Holy Spirit works in our hearts to lead us and guide us and teach us that coming to the well of living water is really what life is all about.

    Do Christians fail to drink of that well? I did. When I was like the prodigal son and wandering away from God’s perfect plan for my life, did that mean that I did not belong to Him… I don’t think so for His promise to me was that He would NEVER leave nor forsake me… regardless of where I went or what I did… I was His and He was mine. It was that promise and assurance that made me realize that the things of the world would never satisfy… so what did I do… I asked God to forgive my sin (which is a constant thing for me) and He restored my joy… that is really all the father did for the prodigal… he was ALWAYS the father’s son that he loved… and nothing would ever change that.

    The problem with all this is our perspective and the conclusions we make concerning our perspective. It does not seem feasible to hold on to this concept of “salvation to the end” and making sure that my “works of righteousness” are enough to make it. That completely removes the need for repentance and conversion in the first place. It also makes salvation a matter of balance… meaning my good decisions somehow outweigh the bad and I passed the judgment and make it into heaven or my last decision or position with respect to my persevering allowed me to check into heaven. The problem with either position is really no different from the Calvinist position of limited atonement and unconditional election… because it is God who determines when our life is over… so… He takes us when we are either “in Him” or “not in Him” and that simply is not the case.

    Here is my final thought with respect to this whole argument on eternal security and persevering to the end etc… God owns EVERYTHING that He created… all belong to Him… with one exception… and that is your and my heart and devotion… and as I see life, that is why God created everything He created so that He might gain the only thing He does not have and the only thing He could not create… our willing devotion…

    The reward for my devotion to His Divine initiative is eternal life… today and forever. The joy of His presence in my heart is what makes life worth living and will sustain me for all eternity not because of who I am or anything that I have done to deserve Him… but because I have opened my heart to Him so that He could pour Himself into me. I say all the time… when I give God all that I am, He is able to give me all that He is and all that He has and that is always more than I could ever have dreamed of and it is always more than enough. He is indeed, my everything. His well of living water has proven to be everything that He promised it would be to me.

    Grateful to be in His Grip,

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    Reply

  6. There are problems with claiming that “Both sides have scripture.”

    1. God’s word cannot contradict, and “The scripture cannot be broken.”
    2. When such a claim is made, the scriptures should be searched and examined.

    In such a case, one should first establish which position bears the burden of proof. The base position should be established first from observation of the world around us, and then we should proceed with divine revelation. In this question, the burden of proof ought to lie with the Calvinist “Once Saved Always Saved” position (because it effectively denies free will.)

    After this, scriptures should be examined and compared. Coincidentally, I already happened to have “The Baptist Faith and Message” open in another tab when these first posts were put up. There is a list of supposed proof citations beneath the paragraph, but if you actually open them up they have nothing to do with the actual topic, or actually contradict them. For example, the second citation of Exodus 19:5 begins with the condition, “if ye will obey my voice indeed…”

    Your answer was “My conviction is simply put.” Your conviction may be genuine, but it can also be mistaken at the same time. We should be willing to turn to scripture instead of relying on feelings. This is why the Bereans where praised and called “more noble” because they “searched the scriptures daily to see if these things be so.”

    I agree with your statement:

    The problem with all this is our perspective and the conclusions we make concerning our perspective.

    It is possible to have arrived at the wrong (technically flawed) conclusion for right (pure) reasons, which is preferable to arriving at the right (technically correct) conclusion for the wrong (impure) reasons. For example, one could differ and be technically correct, but ultimately be in the wrong for reasons of the heart. With that said, I would address a couple supplementary points that you raised.

    You suggested:

    It does not seem feasible to hold on to this concept of “salvation to the end” and making sure that my “works of righteousness” are enough to make it.

    I am not sure what you mean by “salvation to the end” but Jesus does repeat that one must endure to the end to be saved, and warns that any one that turns back will not see the kingdom of God. This not only agrees with common sense, but it is also scriptural.

    However, the concept of “making sure my works of righteousness are enough to make it” was never suggested. This would only make sense within a Calvinist framework that thinks that repentance is a “work of righteousness.” Repentance and faith are practically interchangeable in this context. They are not “works” and they earn nothing. God responds to repentance and faith by his grace.

    You continued:

    The problem with either position is really no different from the Calvinist position of limited atonement and unconditional election… because it is God who determines when our life is over… so… He takes us when we are either “in Him” or “not in Him” and that simply is not the case.

    In this case, the problem is found in your perspective. It seems as if you are imagining a giant binary scorecard that either reads “saved” or “unsaved” that flips back and forth with the wind, as if the trick is to somehow die when the card is momentarily green instead of momentarily red.

    The other model you suggested as like a “chalkboard” scoring points of works good and evil. This is also equally flawed. If your model is wrong, the resulting perspective will seem absurd. I accept neither of these proposed models. Both of these models seem to imply that God is very short-sighted and easily deceived, and unable to discern the hearts of men.

    However, right now you are endorsing the fifth point of Calvinism, and in that sense you are at least a “1-point Calvinist.” I would like to understand why you hold your position, because I think that answering this question will help you understand it yourself. So, can you please tell me why you believe in “Once Saved Always Saved?”

    a) He that believes has his will sealed so he is unable to reject the Holy Spirit from thenceforth?
    b) God is unwilling or unable to remove his Holy Spirit from those that reject the Holy Spirit and choose to rebel?

    Either option would seem contrary to common sense (against nature) and there are scriptures that would address either of those suggested options as well. I think I might understand why there is a difference of understanding, focusing on one statement you made:

    You wrote:

    The reward for my devotion to His Divine initiative is eternal life… today and forever.

    No one (human) has eternal life today, at least not in the literal sense. One can be said to have “eternal life” in the sense of having the promise of eternal life, which is conditional upon renewed repentance. This is why the Holy Spirit is spoken of as being the earnest of eternal life. By definition, one does not receive an earnest of something that is already possessed.

    Eternal life is a gift that we receive that is put on at the last day, and it is the end of our faith, not the beginning thereof (1 Peter 1:9). That which has eternal life cannot die. You and I can still die, and we will remain subject to death until the resurrection to eternal life. If we were not still subject to death, we would have no need to be raised from the dead.

    Please consider this verse in context:

    Joh 11:25-26 KJV
    (25) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
    (26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

    The grammar makes all the difference. Jesus does not say that “he that believeth in me will not die” but “he that believeth in me shall never die.” Jesus speaks of the resurrection of the dead. One does not resurrect the living. They that believe in Jesus shall die, and shall be raised, and shall live for ever more and they shall never die.

    The important part of this is to remember that no one has yet received eternal life. Some have truly endured to the end, and God knows who belongs to him. If we are still living and breathing right now, we do have a heart and mind of our own.

    Giving this heart and mind to God is the right choice, but it should be noted that according to the scriptures, the same man that gives his heart to God and tastes of the good fruits of the Holy Spirit can also fall away and reject that Spirit. We cannot discern the heart and such things cannot be seen by our eyes, so we should heed the warning of scripture in this regard. It would make little sense for warnings like these to be given in vain (see scriptures already cited in previous post.)

    Please consider this: a driver of a car can choose to stay on the highway or to plummet off the cliff. He may have someone to help him if he becomes sleepy or if he hits a bump or if he makes an error, but it is a different case all together if he deliberately chooses to drive off the cliff.

    If the driver is willing to confess his fault, the helper is willing to forgive him his faults and save him. But if he rejects his helper and overrides its help, that sin cannot be forgiven and he will reap the natural consequences of his own actions. Few people choose to drive off cliffs, but in theory we all retain this freedom of will.

    I am not sure how exactly this will work when we have “been changed” in the resurrection (as spoken of by Job, Jesus, Paul, and John) or why we that would be born of spirit (which Jesus speaks of as a literal future event) would be unable to sin, but in the meantime we are still mortal and possess free will, and we are warned about turning back or becoming “castaway.”

    You voiced a final thought that I wholeheartedly agree with.

    Here is my final thought with respect to this whole argument on eternal security and persevering to the end etc… God owns EVERYTHING that He created… all belong to Him… with one exception… and that is your and my heart and devotion… and as I see life, that is why God created everything He created so that He might gain the only thing He does not have and the only thing He could not create… our willing devotion…

    I think that this final thought is more important than the rest of this discussion put together. No matter what we discuss here, I think we should remember to hold on to this.

    Reply

  7. Here is another thought that I had tonight concerning “the eternal security of the believer.” Please understand, I maintain this is NOT the same thing as the Calvinist’s doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. There is a BIG difference. If one’s salvation is based on HIS perseverance, then we are ALL in trouble. If on the other hand, our security is in Christ, then we are in GREAT hands because Jesus plainly said, red ink on white paper, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)

    Listen to this statement concerning the power of the Savior, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) Here is the thought that I had. When we are converted, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts. He is the seal or guarantee of our redemption. According to Jesus in John Chapter 10… God has given me eternal life and I shall never perish. Not only that, but I am in Jesus’ hand and I am also in God’s hand and no one is able to snatch tme out of their hands.

    Here is the senario as I see it. Either Jesus and God both individually and collectively are able to “keep me” or they are not. That means, the devil is either able to steal me away or he is not. If the devil could, I maintain he would. No questions asked. But since he hasn’t, it is not because he does not want to; it is because he can’t. Period.

    To make the assertion that the devil can snatch me out of God’s hands, is like saying our going to heaven is by the good graces of the devil because he decided not to snatch us out of God’s hands…. that is preposterous. If the devil cannot snatch us out, we are not going to wiggle out on our own either.

    The truth is, we are safe in the hands of our Savior and our Father and nothing or no one, not even the devil is able to snatch us away. If he can’t do it, it cannot be done! Somebody say, “Hallelujah!”

    Grateful to be in His Grip,

    ><>

    Reply

    • You said:

      If the devil cannot snatch us out, we are not going to wiggle out on our own either.

      How would you support that statement? It seems to me that in all of that reasoning, that God can do this, and the devil might do that, that you forgot about the actual person themselves.

      The Holy Spirit may be a guarantee, but if someone throws away that guarantee, what good has it done them? One may receive a seal, but if someone breaks that seal and discards it and treads it underfoot, what shall they receive?

      In all of that list of what cannot separate us from the love of God, it does not say that we cannot separate ourselves from the love of God. That is what all of those warnings I was mentioning earlier are about.

      1Th 5:19 KJV
      (19) Quench not the Spirit.

      Apparently, the Spirit can be quenched. Maybe the devil cannot quench that Spirit, but Paul isn’t speaking to the devil. It seems to me that he is speaking to Christian believers.

      I really do not understand the difference between your “Eternal Security” and Calvinist “Perseverance of the Saints.” Both of them seem to neutralize the believer, making it impossible for one to reject the Holy Spirit of his own free will, rendering all the biblical warnings against this as frivolous and unnecessary.

      Besides this, if you take careful note of what Jesus is actually saying in John 10:28

      Joh 10:28 KJV
      (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

      Jesus did not say “I already gave them eternal life” and he does not say “they will never perish.” Right now you possess the promise of eternal life which has not yet been received. This is why the Holy Spirit is spoken of as a seal, as an earnest, because it is sealing a thing that is not yet received.

      Eph 1:13-14 KJV
      (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
      (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

      It plainly states that this promise is the earnest, and that its redemption is not yet accomplished. This holy Spirit is a Spirit of promise. Take special note of the word “until.” Provided that we do not despise this Spirit and discard our seal of redemption, we have the promise of eternal life.

      It should be self-evident that we do not have eternal life right now. This is plainly proved because we all die. That which has eternal life does not die, nor does it need to be raised from the dead by an outside power.

      We can speak of Christ as his own exception, because he raised himself from the dead, having life in himself just as the Father had life in himself (John 2:19-21, John 5:26). We do not have life in ourselves, which is why the hour is coming when those in the graves will hear his voice and live (John 5:28). This time is described as none other than the resurrection of the dead. (John 5:29).

      Your closing thought was:

      The truth is, we are safe in the hands of our Savior and our Father and nothing or no one, not even the devil is able to snatch us away. If he can’t do it, it cannot be done!

      If the devil could snatch us away, he would. If he could have forced Jesus to bow down and worship him, he would done this also. That is why he asked Jesus to bow down before him of his own free will. That is why the devil works the way he does. He cannot snatch us away, but we could destroy ourselves if we choose to listen to him.

      It can be done. Without reusing scriptures I have already quoted, how should we read these?

      Rev 2:3-5 KJV
      (3) And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
      (4) Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
      (5) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

      Rev 2:14-16 KJV
      (14) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
      (15) So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
      (16) Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

      Rev 3:15-16, 19 KJV
      (15) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
      (16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
      (19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

      That doesn’t seem very compatible with “Eternal Security” to me. Jesus usually starts speaking with a praise, telling them what they have done right, and then warns them that if they do not repent of these latter sins that he will

      * “remove thy candlestick out of his place”
      * “fight against them with the sword of my mouth”
      * “spue thee out of my mouth”

      Lest those terms be considered vague, what about the warning given to Sardis?

      Rev 3:2-5 KJV
      (2) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
      (3) Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
      (4) Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
      (5) He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

      It sounds to me that those that he speaks to of the church of Sardis that will not repent will be blotted out of his book of life. He even speaks of “a few” which have not defiled their garments. I do not know how else this verse could be read. Therefore, it seems to me that we can separate ourselves from the love of God. Why would God give us all of these warnings in vain?

      Those were the words of Jesus. If we are not perfect, we should repent. That’s the simple solution Christ gives us. Presumably none of us are prefect. We must repent, or he shall come against us with the sword of his mouth and blot out our names from the book of life. All of these warnings were spoken to believers.

      God will keep us if we remain in him.

      I realize that this post is probably getting quite long, but more and more material keeps coming to my mind. I would close with this parable:

      Mat 24:46-51 KJV
      (46) Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
      (47) Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
      (48) But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
      (49) And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
      (50) The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
      (51) And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

      In the context of this parable, it speaks of a servant which acknowledges the same lord as the blessed servant, and he shall be dealt with as a hypocrite, and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. This does not sound like “Eternal Security” to me, at least not in any sense as I have heard the doctrine described.

      Eternal Security seems like a very dangerous doctrine, for if it were fully believed, it destroys the incentive for repentance and promises a False Security. It seems to me that if Satan cannot touch us directly himself, this is the tool that he would use to have us separate ourselves from God, that we might be blotted out of the his book life, cut asunder, and appointed a portion with the hypocrites.

      Reply

  8. You wrote, Eternal Security seems like a very dangerous doctrine, for if it were fully believed, it destroys the incentive for repentance and promises a False Security. It seems to me that if Satan cannot touch us directly himself, this is the tool that he would use to have us separate ourselves from God, that we might be blotted out of the his book life, cut asunder, and appointed a portion with the hypocrites.

    If I were a Calvinist, which I am NOT, I would say to you, “since you are the one who grabs onto God then you are right in that you can turn Him loose. So, given your pre-suppositions on salvation, you are being consistent with your own theological premise.” I believe in the sufficiency of Scripture and the promises of God and the power of the shed blood of Christ and the redemption that His blood provides to make me part of God’s forever family. Since I believe that it is Christ who takes hold of me, He will never let me go. The difference between me and a Calvinist, is while we actually believe the same thing there, the Calvinist says… Christ grabs hold of me… whether I want Him to or not… I believe He takes hold of me through faith and repentance and a receptive heart.

    I understand the concept that I need to live like a Christian. I am not advocating a “super natural fire insurance” policy. Just listen to your own concluding statement, that believing in eternal security “destroys the incentive for repentance and promises a false security.” That is absurd! The motivation for everything I do is because of what Christ has done for me not my fear of what He is going to do….

    I am going to say a couple more things and then I am out of this conversation… first of all… how many times does something have to be said for it to be true? Try this answer… ONCE.

    Jesus clearly said… I AM GIVING (present tense) as salvation is a process and I understand that process… I AM GIVING them eternal life… who is He giving eternal life to? those who believe… and they shall not perish. I understand that “believing is both present and continual so don’t bounce that at me… but the key to both of us… is in salvation’s inception or conversion… because that is our only hope of salvation in the first place. Once we believe in conversion, we are in that process of His “giving to us eternal life and we shall never perish.” his statement really makes no sense to me, if as you suggest, it is the final state that He is talking about.

    Your use of quenching the Holy Spirit is, as I see, it a word of warning to those who are not believing or who are lost… not to keep saying no to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit… because that sin is the only sin that the cross does not provide cover for… thus I say to the Calvinist… there goes your contention of irresistible grace… otherwise that word of warning would be futile.

    If you want to be saved today and lost tomorrow and depend on your own efforts to stay saved… that is your choice.

    A couple thoughts and I am finished. #1… you said that “We can speak of Christ as his own exception, because he raised himself from the dead, having life in himself just as the Father had life in himself (John 2:19-21, John 5:26). We do not have life in ourselves, which is why the hour is coming when those in the graves will hear his voice and live (John 5:28). This time is described as none other than the resurrection of the dead. (John 5:29).”

    I agree completely… I don’t have life in MYSELF… I am an heir to God and a joint heir with Jesus and I have the Holy Spirit in my heart… (which is really what determines who is and who is not a Christian in the first place.) When I open my heart in faith and repentance, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in my heart… my life is now in His hands… just like your parents DNA is in your body… I don’t care what happens to you… you can renounce them as your parents… you can be adopted a dozen times… and their DNA is still in your make up. Interestingly enough, read about Roman law concerning adoption and you will find out that once a roman father adopts a son, that son’s inheritance is guaranteed… by law… and even if the father goes bankrupt and looses everything he has… that sons inheritance is secure. an adopted son has a guarantee of his inheritance while a natural son does not. as a joint heir with Jesus, I am a recipient of everything that God has planned for His own Son, but I get mine first! Interesting isn’t it. No wonder the Bible speaks of being adopted into the family of God.

    My final thought on this whole matter is really a matter of perspective. I understand your theology is guarding against this notion of “false security in believing that I can do ANYTHING I want to do and thinking I am going to go to heaven.” You are right. That is a faulty belief. I do not advocate that either…. even though you may think I do. It is really not a good argument to criticize anyone’s position (in my opinion) by taking what you see as the “flip side of their position.” It is difficult enough (at least as I see it) to see the motivation and the foundation for what someone believes… according to what they SAY… as opposed to criticizing their position from a what they don’t say perspective… which to me is the basis of a LOT of arguments on the internet and in blogs in general… not to mention that most people do not actually rebut what you SAY… they just rattle on about their perspectives. I may be guilty of that but I do TRY to stick to what a person actually says…

    Here is what I believe… and please pay attention to what I said… THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE… not what anyone else that may hold onto or what anyone else thinks about what I believe…

    My faith is in CHRIST. My trust is in His promises… my definition of faith is believing that God is everything that He says He is and that He will do everything that He says He will do…. based on the second part of Hebrews 11:6.

    Since my faith is in Christ and His promises, my faith affects my decisions that in turn affect my actions. So.. in a sense, you and end up on the same road in that I believe in walking the walk and not just talking the talk. The difference in our perspectives, as I see it is simple.

    You want to make sure YOU hold on to Christ… and I have His promise that He is holding onto me. You are right in that Paul’s statement that mentioned things that could not separate us from the love of God, it did not say “our unbelief… ” but you forget something… he did say “NOTHING” shall separate us… so that settles it for me… not even my stubborn rebellious old nature can separate me from His love for me and His promise of eternal life to me. That stubborn will might lead to a premature death… but not to eternal death.

    I believe that everyone is in one of two categories… twice born who die once… or once born who die twice.

    The great thing in this whole conversation for me is that I believe in my heart that you are saved… so we will be able to discuss this in heaven one day and I will look forward to that.

    That is my story and I am sticking to it. be assured, I am as adamant at being faithful as you are… just from different perspectives… it is not that I CANNOT fall from grace, it is I WILL NOT fall because the Holy Spirit who is living in my heart will not allow that to happen.

    That is the basis for the Calvinist doctrine “perseverance of the saints” but they, like you argue the same thing, just from different perspectives as well… but in the end the person’s persevering is still paramount.

    I do not persevere to the end… in my eyes… it is Christ who perseveres and because He is mine and I am His, because He lives, so do I, both now and forever! (and so do you!!!!) Thannks for engaging!

    Good night… (actually it is 4AM… I got up and wrote this…) God bless…

    Grateful to be in His Glorious Grip!

    ><>

    Reply

  9. Point One: Are We Talking About the Same Scripture Here?

    You just said:

    You want to make sure YOU hold on to Christ… and I have His promise that He is holding onto me. You are right in that Paul’s statement that mentioned things that could not separate us from the love of God, it did not say “our unbelief… ” but you forget something… he did say “NOTHING” shall separate us… so that settles it for me… not even my stubborn rebellious old nature can separate me from His love for me and His promise of eternal life to me. That stubborn will might lead to a premature death… but not to eternal death.

    Since you have stated that you are basing your belief upon this specific scripture, even putting the word “nothing” in quotes to emphasize that you are depending on the literal words, are you sure you are remembering this correctly, and not actually reading in your own interpretation?

    This is the actual scripture:

    Rom 8:35-39 KJV
    (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
    (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
    (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
    (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
    (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    I cannot find the word “nothing” in this passage. I see a large list of things that shall not separate us, but even then the question that Paul asked was “who” shall separate us from the love of Christ, indicating that the answer to this question might actually be a person, and not a thing.

    If one were to speak of the love between a man and a woman, and the man was to assure his betrothed that no one would ever come between them, and that nothing nor any other creature would be able to separate her from his love, it would be well understood that the woman herself is the exception. This would not need to be stated. It is common sense.

    If the presence of the word “NOTHING” settled this for you, which verse contained this word? If the word “NOTHING” was not present, but you “settled” this on a word that was not there, what does that imply? Maybe this is not so settled?

    Point Two: A Brief Clarification

    I understand the concept that I need to live like a Christian. I am not advocating a “super natural fire insurance” policy. Just listen to your own concluding statement, that believing in eternal security “destroys the incentive for repentance and promises a false security.” That is absurd! The motivation for everything I do is because of what Christ has done for me not my fear of what He is going to do….

    If you were to take careful note of the words I chose, you might notice that I qualified my statement to a certain degree, with the phrase “if it were fully believed.” With the attitude that you assert here, you are not employing “Eternal Security” to its full extent.

    To borrow an analogy, the leader of a nation might have a full set of powers available under a Wartime Security Act. He may not choose to use all of those powers, but if those powers were to be fully employed, he could well become an inhuman monster destroying all individual liberties and freedoms upon which that country was founded. Just because that leader will not use those powers, or has not used them yet, does not change the implications of that Wartime Security Act.

    Other leaders might employ that doctrine to its fullest extent. The doctrine is not to be judged by one benevolent leader who chose not to use all of its powers. I do know people who do believe in “Eternal Security” to its fullest, and they act somewhat differently.

    A responsible legislature should never grant such a Wartime Security Act for which they are unprepared to endure all of its consequences if it were to be utilized to the fullest. Not every executive leader is as benevolent as the one before. You may not be employing the full implications of “Eternal Security” but there are others that do.

    Point Three: The Question of Exact Wording

    You also said:

    Jesus clearly said… I AM GIVING (present tense) as salvation is a process and I understand that process… I AM GIVING them eternal life… who is He giving eternal life to? those who believe… and they shall not perish.

    Since you are speaking of specific verb tenses, I need to point out that it doesn’t read like that:

    Joh 10:28 KJV
    (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    There is a marked difference between what is meant by “I give” and “I am giving.” If we are speaking seriously, let us carefully mark the words of the text.

    “I give unto them eternal life” can have the simple meaning of “I offer unto them eternal life.”

    Additionally, “they shall never perish” would only refer to when that eternal life is actually received and realized in flesh made incorruptible, in mortality swallowed by immortality, when death is changed to eternal life in the resurrection of the dead, when our change has come. This theme is constant throughout scripture, and in the meantime, we all still perish every day until Christ actually returns (see Psalm 44:22, Matthew 10:28, Romans 8:36, see also Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.)

    At the very least, you must admit that this scripture does not stand alone to support “Eternal Security” because there are other legitimate readings. We should never take one verse and insist that it must be read “our way” to support a doctrine against other scriptures.

    In this case, there are others scriptures. There are quite a few other scriptures, in fact.

    Point Five: What About Those Other Scriptures?

    I have quoted quite a few other scriptures already, and I do not know how you would answer these. Jesus gave some very specific warnings in Revelation to members of those churches. He does not seem to indicate that they were “never saved” or “never born again” or anything of the sort. There are warnings to servants that they do not turn and begin to beat their fellow servants.

    How do you explain all of these? They seem to indicate that perhaps your interpretation of John 10:28 might not be the intended meaning. Were all of these warnings in vain? Did Jesus forget about “Eternal Security” when he gave the words for this book?

    If one wanted to mince words and set the writers against each other, Paul simply says “I am persuaded” and Jesus comes right out and says that he will blot their names out of the book of life, he speaks of the servants that beat the fellow servants and says that he will cut them asunder and that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Hypothetically speaking, wouldn’t Jesus trump Paul?

    Or to try another tack, I will suggest your own standard:

    … first of all… how many times does something have to be said for it to be true? Try this answer… ONCE.

    How many times does Jesus need to warn us that if we do not endure to the end, if we will not repent, if we will not remain faithful, that we are not fit for the kingdom of God and that we will be appointed a portion with the hypocrites?

    When you suggested the “Once Said” standard the verse could be read more than one way while staying true to the exact words and grammar. I do not understand how these warnings could be read otherwise. “Blot out his name out of the book of life” is pretty specific and cannot be dismissed as merely “dying the first death.” Likewise, “weeping and gnashing of teeth” is a clear reference to the final judgment, and the “cutting asunder” is placed at the time when the Lord returns.

    I supplied a lot of these examples in my previous two posts. Would you please look at these very carefully? If Eternal Security is actually a false assurance, then it is not safe to preach. It is not safe to say that one could rebel and still be assured that they will receive eternal life in that final day, and be justified before God’s throne.

    Luk 9:23-26 KJV
    (23) And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
    (24) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
    (25) For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
    (26) For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

    1. Jesus does say that one must take up their cross daily. Not once, but daily.
    2. Jesus does say that we must lose our life for his sake. Those of us that are still alive have not yet lost their life. What if he actually meant those words in this literal sense?
    3. Jesus does say that a man can “lose himself” or be “cast away.” Although it does not specifically say that God will cast away a man, this is implied and supported in other scriptures.
    4. The warning against those who would be “ashamed of me and my words” does not hint at “Eternal Security.”

    Would you please review all of those scriptural warnings that I have already quoted in the previous two posts and attempt to apply the “Once Said” standards to those as well? I do support “Once Said, Always Said.”

    Point Six: One Point Calvinism

    You explained:

    The difference between me and a Calvinist, is while we actually believe the same thing there, the Calvinist says… Christ grabs hold of me… whether I want Him to or not… I believe He takes hold of me through faith and repentance and a receptive heart.

    It seems to me that the Calvinist would claim that God “gives” him (forces him against his will to have) faith and repentance and a receptive heart first, and then takes hold of him the same way. Considering that you say “we actually believe the same thing”, then this still seems like One-Point Calvinism to me, because it has the same effect.

    So my question is how do you resolve the issue of free will and rebellion. If you believe that Christ takes hold of you through faith and repentance and a receptive heart, what shall he do with those who turn from that faith, who crucify the Son of God afresh, that rebel and harden their heart?

    Heb 6:4-6 KJV
    (4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
    (5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    (6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    Possible Answers (please choose at least one)
    a) He shall grant them eternal life and glory in his presence for eternity
    b) He shall cut them asunder and appoint them their portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
    c) He shall blot out their name from the book of life
    d) Their end shall be worse then their beginning
    e) Those that believe once in Christ no longer have the free will or power to rebel
    f) Other (please explain)

    Here is a scripture that has escaped quotation so far:

    2Pe 2:20-21 KJV
    (20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
    (21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    What does “escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” mean? How can their latter end be worse than the beginning?

    If Eternal Security is true, then why are there all these warnings throughout the Bible that seem to affirm the contrary? If God will destroy the wicked that have never known the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, why would he tolerate rebellion from those that have no excuse, who have been made partakers of the Holy Ghost and fallen away? Why would all these warnings be present?

    I do not mind if you take some time to answer, but I hope you will try to answer.

    Reply

  10. You are correct and I am wrong. Romans 8:37-39

    “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NKJV

    However, these three verses certainly make for a good definition of nothing as far as I am concerned.. but that is my interpretation.

    You said,
    Jesus clearly said… I AM GIVING (present tense) as salvation is a process and I understand that process… I AM GIVING them eternal life… who is He giving eternal life to? those who believe… and they shall not perish.

    Since you are speaking of specific verb tenses, I need to point out that it doesn’t read like that:

    I was looking at the Greek text, not the KJV.

    As for other passages, the candlesticks are references to the churches… not individuals. I didn’t fell like commenting on all of them and I am confident that neither of us is going to convince the other of anything… hopefully the discussion will give others something to ponder!

    Keep up the good work!

    Grateful to be in His Grip,

    ><>

    Reply

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