[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Discussion with an Arminian

by Matthew

I had a discussion with an Arminian last evening after the evening service. I found out that he denied eternal security when he mentioned a British preacher, David Pawson, who preaches a monstrous false gospel of works righteousness.

I am always careful about getting into debates and I especially dislike getting emotionall involved in them. Earlier in the week I had debated somebody who was an Ultradispensationalist, a fan of EW Bullinger. That was tedious. However, the subject of eternal security is one I could not pass.

The man said he had always believed that a Christian could be lost. That was a bad sign. If that is the case, he is probably a lost man. Arminianism is a different gospel, make no mistake. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for a luxury apartment, you are not going to get a luxury apartment. If you believe in Christ for a conditional offer of eternal life, you will not get a conditional offer of eternal life. You will leave with nothing, as Anne Robinson says.

So unlike other debates I have with Christians over eschatology or ecclesiology, this was really serious. I kept the discussion going. I also made it clear that we were not simply talking about a minor doctrinal point. We were talking about two different gospels. Either one believed in the true gospel or a different gospel. Maybe that hurt the guy a bit, but I had to make clear the urgency of the issue. He took it well though.

I was quite pleased that I did not get ruffled. All these endless deebates in the blogsphere meant that I was ready for every single possible passage he might bring up. Even if he did not find my arguments convincing he saw that I had an answer for every passage on he could raise on the topic.

24 Comments:

  • Dear Matthew,
    I am glad the LORD has used the tedious debates here for the benefit of that man you spoke with last night. I will pray for you to have opportunity to talk to him further.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, July 02, 2007 3:56:00 AM  

  • Thanks.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, July 02, 2007 5:02:00 AM  

  • Hey Matthew,

    I love it that you are finding yourself prepared to discuss eternal security.

    There is a rift occuring in FG circles on the essential nature of the gospel.

    On one side, we have the Johannine text which states emphatically that Jesus' promise is not conditional life, but irrevocable eternal life.

    On the other side, we have those who believe that eternal life doesn't even have to be preached. That forgiveness of sins or justification can be preached in its place.

    But what I say, along with the Bible, that God will not justify or forgive a spiritually dead person.

    One needs to believe Christ for eternal life.

    "To be sure, "forgiveness" and "justification" are significant adjuncts of the salvation experience. But they are not its basic element. God does not forgive spirtually dead people. He does not justify spiritually dead people. It is the born again person, alive in Christ, whom God forgives and justifies. Although new birth, forgiveness and justification occur simultaneously at the moment of saving faith, the experience of regeneration is logicaly prior to the other two. It is to a new man with a anew life that God grants forgiveness of sins. It is to that same new man that he grants justification "from all things from which [he] could not be justified by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:39). At the moment of salvation, it is as though God saud ti te believer: "You are now alive with the very life of My Son, and so all your sins are forgiven and you stand perfectly righteous in My sight." (Emphasis his)

    Zane C. Hodges, "Did Paul Preach Eternal Life? Should We?"

    Kerugma, Inc.
    P.O. Box 870579
    Mesquite, Texas
    75187

    Write for Zane free newsletter or to purchase this booklet or his others.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, July 02, 2007 10:32:00 PM  

  • Antonio, I think part of the problem is Evangelical fixation with forensic and legal justification.

    I would prefer to move towards a more mystical view that combines the Brethren idea of justification in the risen Christ with the Eastern Orthodox idea of deification.

    We are justified when we have eternal life, that is when we participate in God's energy and we share in His holiness.

    We do not become rightous by receiving a new legal standing, though our legal standing before God does change, rather we become the righteouness of God in Christ, we participate in God's essential holiness.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, July 03, 2007 12:32:00 AM  

  • antonio,

    God will not justify or forgive a spiritually dead person? Then we are all lost.

    By Blogger jared, at Tuesday, July 03, 2007 10:39:00 AM  

  • Jared, please speak for yourself.

    God has planted within me the very life of His Son. On account of that eternal life, God, at the same moment He made me alive, gave me the adjunct blessings of justification and forgiveness.

    This may not be the case with you as proffered by your theology construct of choice.

    As MacArthur has stated on his radio program concerning Reformed theology's disastrous doctrine of the perseverance of the saints:

    "You may be a spiritual defector who hasn't defected yet!"

    You may be lost and not even know it!

    You may only have the temporary faith a fleeting life that has sprouted out of rocky soil, destined to die. In the end your faith may only prove to be evanescent and your profession of faith merely spurious.

    You must work for your ultimate entry into glory, for as Piper has said, "Our judgement and salvation... is always according to works" (John Piper Audio)

    God help you!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, July 03, 2007 11:03:00 AM  

  • antonio,

    Apparently you have to work for your ultimate glory too. No works, no rewards, right? No good deeds then no reigning with Christ, right? No golden crowns or cushy seats at the great table? At least you get the important thing right, that God makes you alive, forgives and justifies. It's a good thing God doesn't work according to our choices isn't it? Then we really would be lost.

    As a side note, I don't read or listen to MacArthur but if he says or teaches that salvation/justification is always by works then he isn't teaching Reformed theology.

    By Blogger jared, at Tuesday, July 03, 2007 1:49:00 PM  

  • Jared,

    Jesus Christ Himself had to work for His ultimate glory that consists of the joy of Firstborn status and Kingship. As a matter of fact, He is to be our example of reward meriting!

    Heb 12:1-2
    Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    NKJV

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, July 03, 2007 2:39:00 PM  

  • Furthermore, God makes us alive in response to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    1 Cor 1:21
    it pleased God... to save those who believe
    NKJV

    1 Tim 1:15-16
    15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
    NKJV

    Paul tells us that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" and that sinners are saved when they "believe on Him for eternal life."

    Faith precedes regeneration.

    Faith is the intermediate agency through which eternal life is received.

    Faith "is like the empty hand of a beggar receiving a gift". It is "pure receptivity".

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, July 03, 2007 2:53:00 PM  

  • antonio,

    So what you're saying is that God does, in fact, forgive and justify spiritually dead people. Afterall, they are spiritually dead when they exhibit their faith which God then favorably responds to, right? And God's response to these spiritually dead people who exhibit faith is to make them alive by forgiving them and justifiying them, right? Seems sort of round-about to say that God doesn't justify/forgive spiritually dead people but that He does accept their spiritually dead faith in order to make them alive so He can then justify/forgive them.

    However, I like the formulation of "pure receptivity" because faith, too, is a gift from God. Furthermore it is only His sheep who are given this gift. The image of a begger with open hands is a poor analogy. It assumes that the begger has opened his hands, has lifted them up in or with anticipation, and has (or will) grasp that which is placed in his hands. Pure receptivity can only be had by those who have no choice. God's involvement with the life of the believer begins long before he converts; indeed, it began before the foundation of the world. The biblical analogy of Shepherd/sheep works much better. From the very lips of the Savior it is said that flesh and blood cannot reveal the truth of the Son of God and that only the Father can reveal such truth (Matthew 16:16-17).

    Oh, and I know Jesus worked to receive His ultimate glory. He worked perfectly, obeyed perfectly, so that we would'nt have to; because we could't. Hebrews is very clear about the perfection of Jesus through obedience and suffering and how He obtained eternal salvation for those who believe.

    Let me ask you a few questions about your conception of eternal life, antonio:

    1. Do you believe that whoever believes in the Son has eternal life? (John 3:36)

    2. Do you believe that whoever drinks the water that Jesus gives will receive eternal life? (John 4:14)

    3. Do you believe that whoever hears the word of Jesus and believes in the God who sent Him has eternal life? (John 5:24)

    4. Do you work for food that endures to eternal life? (John 6:27)

    5. Do you believe that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life? (John 6:40)

    6. Do you believe that whoever eats Jesus' flesh and drinks His blood has eternal life? (John 6:54)

    7. Do you believe that Jesus gives eternal life? (John 10:28)

    8. Do you believe that whoever loves his life will lose it and that whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life? (John 12:25)

    9. Do you believe that the Father's command leads to eternal life? (John 12:50) What is the Father's command?

    10. Do you believe that the Father has granted Jesus authority over all people so that Jesus can give eternal life to all those who the Father has given Him? And do you believe that eternal life is knowing the Father, the only true God, and Jesus whom the Father has sent? (John 17:2-3)

    It would seem that if you are teaching a gospel in which only believing gets you eternal life, then you are not preaching the gospel according to John; which is to say, then, that you are not preaching the gospel according to Jesus.

    By Blogger jared, at Tuesday, July 03, 2007 8:52:00 PM  

  • I quoted Zane Hodges as stating:

    "Although new birth, forgiveness and justification occur simultaneously at the moment of saving faith, the experience of regeneration is logicaly prior to the other two. It is to a new man with a a new life that God grants forgiveness of sins. It is to that same new man that he grants justification"

    What don't you understand about it?

    Spiritually dead people are not made alive by forgiveness and justification. They are made alive by the impartation of the life of the Son of God, iow, by regeneration.

    Is faith now spiritually dead? Is not faith the constitutional ability of man who is created in the image and likeness of God? Do you not exercise faith every day? (Gen 1:27)

    Is not the work of the Holy Spirit to convict? (John 16:8)

    Is not the Word of God living and powerful, especially in the hands of the Holy Spirit? (Heb 4:12)

    Is not Jesus the True Light who gives light to every man coming into the world? (John 1:9)

    Doesn't Jesus draw all men unto Himself? (John (12:32)

    Faith is a gift from God? When you walked out this morning and felt the heat, and believed that it was hot outside, was the faith that you exerciced at that moment imposed upon you from God?

    Furthermore, the beggar analogy is a perfect correspondence to faith as pure receptivity.

    He is receiving that which he did not merit. His hands are purely a receptacle to that which is being provided for him FREE OF MERIT.

    His hands purely receive from Him who has made provision apart from the merit, payment, or worth of he who receives.

    God has been propitiated, my friend. Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins, and not ours only, but for the sins of the world. Sin, as a barrier between God and man has been removed. God, having His justice satisfied, is now free to confer acceptance upon any He chooses. In the counsel of His will, He has determined to accept all who simply trust in His Son for the gift of eternal life.

    Rom 4:16
    Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace,
    NKJV

    If faith is a work, then Romans 4:16 would contradict Romans 11:6:

    Rom 11:6
    6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works;
    NKJV

    Let us put them both together:

    Therefore, it is of faith that it might be according to grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works.

    “Faith holds out the hand and the sack and just lets the good be done to it. For God is the giver... , we are the receivers who receive the gift through faith that does nothing.” (Martin Luther)

    You state this:

    "Hebrews is very clear about the perfection of Jesus through obedience and suffering and how He obtained eternal salvation for those who believe."

    Re-read Hebrews my friend. The eternal salvation he is talking about is a co-heirship with Christ that is not based upon a simple act of faith, but is merited by a perseverance of faith, obedience, works, striving against sin, and other meritorious factors.

    Let us look at some reward passages:

    "If we endure, we shall reign with Him" (2 Tim 2:12)

    "And he who overcomes, and keeps my works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations -- 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vesels" (Rev 2:26-27)

    "To him who overcomes i will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Rev 3:21)

    "And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgement was given to them. And i saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years." (Rev 20:4)

    "Blessed and holy is he who as a portion [iow, inheritance] in the first resurrection... they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Rev 20:6)

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God" (Matt 5:3)

    "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt 5:5)

    "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:10)

    "You, yourselves act unrighteously and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?" (1 Cor 6:8-9)

    "Who is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you, that he will make him ruler over all his goods" (Matt 24:45-47)

    "Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities" (Luke 19:17)

    "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work" (Rev 22:12)

    "Do not fear little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide for yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no theif approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Luke 12:32-34)

    "Let your waist be girded, and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down [recline] to eat, and will come and serve them (Luke 12:35-37)

    "We are... joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." (Rom 8:17)

    I could go on, but I will end with this one:

    "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (1 Cor 9:24-27)

    Furthermore,

    I guess that in your theology, in order to get saved, since you believe that regeneration is imposed upon a believer and then chronologically subsequent faith is imposed on the regenerate one, taken in conjunction with your questions...

    You believe that God must:

    make us believe (jn 3:36)
    make us drink (jn 4:14)
    make us hear (jn 5:24)
    make us work (jn 6:27)
    make us look (jn 6:40)
    make us eat flesh (jn 6:54)
    make us drink blood (jn 6:54)
    impose upon us eternal life (jun 10:28)
    make us lose our life (jn 12:25)
    force us to obey His command (jn 12:50)
    hand us over as if in a slave trade to Christ (jn 6:39)
    force knowledge on us (jn 17:2)

    A quote from Zane Hodges will suffice to end this comment:

    Zane Hodges:
    ----------
    It is part of the creed of the theological determinist that unsaved man cannot really be called upon to believe the Gospel, since he has no capacity to do so at all. It follows, then, that faith must be a divinely imparted gift which man receives only as a part of his conversion.

    This idea is pretty clearly stated by Horton. Speaking of "union" with Christ, he writes:

    "Regeneration, or the new birth, is the commencement of this union. God brings this connection and baptism even before there is any sign of life—God 'made us alive . . . even when we were dead' (Eph 2:5). The first gift of this union is faith, the sole instrument through which we live and remain on this vine."

    This statement is theological quicksand to say the least. It is fraught with unbiblical implications.

    It is evident that Horton believes that faith is a consequence of regeneration, not regeneration the consequence of faith. It follows that an unsaved man could not possibly believe unless God first regenerates him. The non-elect, therefore, are faced with the horrible reality that God has chosen not to regenerate them and that, therefore, they cannot believe even if they want to.

    Yet biblically, the failure to believe is the basis of the condemnation of the unsaved, as John 3:17 declares:

    "He who believes is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God."

    The result of [Reformed] theology is that non-elect people are hopelessly bound for hell because God declines to regenerate them. Thus they are unable to believe.

    Yet they are condemned for that unbelief! The picture of God that emerges from this is a hideous distortion of His loving character and nature."

    (Zane Hodges, The New Puritanism)

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, July 03, 2007 11:19:00 PM  

  • Christ died for sinners. He took the barrier of sin out of the way. Why is there such elaborate testimony to how one receives eternal life, by faith in Christ, if this is impossible? There can be no good answers.

    With Paul, I say to sinners:

    "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!" (Acts 16:31)

    But the soteriology of a Calvinist goes like this:

    Lam 3:26
    It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
    For the salvation of the LORD.

    The majority of humanity will be waiting in vain. God is pleased to desroy them; the have been created to be damned.

    Yes, the reprobate will be waiting in vain.

    The Bible conclusively shows that unregenerate man seeks God. I see that noone is willing to pose any arguments against the plain and normal reading of Cornelius and the Bereans.

    Acts 10:1-3, 4
    There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius! ...Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God."

    Acts 17:10-12
    Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed.

    Acts 17:26-28
    And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth... so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

    Calvinsim denies any legitimate sense or urgency in the endeavors of soul winning or persuading men as to the gospel. Why do it when they are unable to hear and respond apart from sovereign regeneration and Irresistable Grace imposed? If one must be regenerated and then made to believe, then persuading someone as to the truth of the gospel really doesn't have a purpose in evangelism; preaching it seems pointless (men can't understand, are unable to hear and respond). There is no persuading or convincing the unregenerate sinner and it really would be a waste of time to do so.

    Calvinists should be content to give a short gospel message and see if God is going to do his trick and "effectually call" his elect.

    Why answer the questions of an unbeliever or seek to persuade them? They can't understand apart from imposed religion! Imagine, a Calvinist trying to persuade an unbeliever. Why would he act contrarily to his most sacred doctrines? What would provoke them to answer the questions of a dead man? Why would they seek to persuade one who does not have ears to hear? If God uses the gospel to effect regeneration in His elect, why do Calvinists waste their time in many extra words trying to convince others of the gospel in their presentations? These synergistic pleas are superfluous and their time could be better spent trying to find God imposing regeneration on His elect, rather than wasting time on the helpless and doomed reprobate!

    If after a very brief gospel message the person does not respond, well either 1) he is elect and God is not ready to effectually call him with His irresisitable grace imposition at this time or 2) he is unelect, reprobate, bound to glorify God by frying for eternity. Either way, persuasion is meaningless for it is falling on deaf, totally inable ears. Why don't they just go on to the next one to see if they are elect and if God is ready to effectually call them by irresistible grace imposed? Why do they wax eloquent, as if their synergistic pleas could be regarded? It is disingenuous!

    2 Cor 5:19-21
    God... has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
    Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    Imagine imploring and beseeching a deaf and blind person with your heartfelt speech. What use is it? This goes against all God given reason.

    The deductionistic doctrines of Traditionalism are not biblical. Their arguments with their many prooftexts are a hodge-podge of special pleading and illegitamate totality and identity transfers. Not one clear scripture bears them out. The Traditionalist first got his doctrine from his theological deduction, then looked to the scriptures for support. There is not a single, clear passage stating that the gospel message, that enjoins the whole world to believe on Christ for eternal life, cannot be believed by humanity apart from God's sovereign forceable imposition. Not ONE PASSAGE states such a thing!

    But passage after passage shows that not only do we see men being given the legitamate responsibility to believe, we see them seeking after God and being persuaded!

    How can God make someone responsible for that which he cannot do?

    That is like throwing an infant in the fires of Molech for not being able to change his own diaper.

    Paul expended himself for Christ doing exactly this: disputing and persuading in the attempt to win people to Christ. As soon as he was converted, Paul "confounded the Jews...at Damascus proving that this is very Christ..."(Acts 9:22). Everywhere he went Paul "disputed...in the synagogue...and in the market daily..." (Acts 17:17). The last chapter of Acts tells us that even under house arrest in Rome, Paul was still at it: "...there came many to him, ... to whom he expounded... persuading them concerning Jesus..." (Acts 28:23).

    1 Cor 9:16, 19-22
    ...woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!...
    For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law(not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

    The only way that a Traditionalist can emulate Paul here is to spurn the deadly flower of his theology.

    Rom 10:1
    Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, July 03, 2007 11:27:00 PM  

  • Matthew "The man said he had always believed that a Christian could be lost. That was a bad sign. If that is the case, he is probably a lost man."

    I guess I was lost all these years, until maybe last year, because I used to think I could lose my salvation? I don't believe that for a minute!

    By Blogger Dawn, at Wednesday, July 04, 2007 3:46:00 AM  

  • antonio,

    You are contradicting yourself. You say:

    Spiritually dead people are not made alive by forgiveness and justification. They are made alive by the impartation of the life of the Son of God, iow, by regeneration.

    Is faith now spiritually dead? Is not faith the constitutional ability of man who is created in the image and likeness of God? Do you not exercise faith every day? (Gen 1:27)


    If regeneration is what makes someone alive and faith is prior to regeneration, then the faith is spiritually dead. It's okay though, antonio, I understand that the way God truly works is contrary to your "man can do it" view of things. I completely understand why you would want to structure your theology so that man is capable of saving himself, that he really (and naturally) desires to be saved and that all we need to do is encourage him to believe.

    And Zane Hodge's conception of Calvinism/Reformed theology is pretty lacking. You quote hodges as saying:

    The result of [Reformed] theology is that non-elect people are hopelessly bound for hell because God declines to regenerate them. Thus they are unable to believe.

    Yet they are condemned for that unbelief! The picture of God that emerges from this is a hideous distortion of His loving character and nature."


    The non-elect are "hopelessly" bound to hell because they are goats, and not His sheep. They "stand condemned already because" they have "not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." Goats won't ever want to believe in Himm so it is quite a misnomer to say that the non-elect "can't believe even if they want to." Why else should they be condemned already? Jesus' own words to His disciples, people who supposedly believed Him and in Him:

    "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe" For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

    Not only this, but Jesus reveals: "Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?" And further, when some Jews had gathered around Him and asked Him if He was the Messiah, Jesus says "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."

    The "Traditionalist" doesn't need to spurn anything. He can go on emulating Paul with the knowledge that the Father's sheep will come to news of the Shepherd and that the goats will continue on in their disbelief for they stand condemned already because of their unbelief.

    By Blogger jared, at Wednesday, July 04, 2007 10:58:00 AM  

  • Dawn, I cannot read your mind so I cannot easily comment your conversion experience.

    It may be that at the moment of your conversion you were certain of going to heaven and then hours or days later you came to the conclusion that you might lose your salvation.

    Probably a lot of Christians when they are converted have no idea about losing their salvation, they just know that thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ, they are sure to go to heaven. Later they come to the conclusion that they may lose their salvation. A true believer may come to believe a false gospel.

    However, make no mistake, if a person has never had assurance of posessing eternal life, they are lost.

    It is not faith to believe that one is probably going to heaven.

    It is not faith to believe one has probably escaped hell.

    Faith is a confidence that Christ has given one eternal life.

    Our Lord said to Martha in John 11:

    "He that believeth on me shall live and he that liveth shall never die. Believest thou this?"

    The Arminian does not believe this. She believes that she may die.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, July 05, 2007 7:57:00 AM  

  • Matthew, I always believed that I had eternal life, but thought that I could lose it if I ever went back out into the world.

    Thanks for the explanation.

    By Blogger Dawn, at Wednesday, July 11, 2007 12:27:00 PM  

  • Dawn, those who believe they can lose their salvation (if they actually have it in the first place) will say they posess eternal life, but in fact they believe no such thing.

    If there is a possibility you are going to hell, you do not have eternal life, for by definition, eternal life lasts forever. You might be hoping to have eternal life or be expecting to have it, but it is only a contingent possibility.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, July 12, 2007 12:14:00 AM  

  • We'll have to agree to disagree.

    By Blogger Dawn, at Thursday, July 12, 2007 11:26:00 AM  

  • Wait a minute Matthew, I thought I understood what you were saying and I want to MAKE sure I actually do.

    Are you saying that if a person believes that they can obtain eternal life through Christ Jesus, but believe that they can lose their salvation that they are not really saved? Yes or no.

    By Blogger Dawn, at Thursday, July 12, 2007 11:38:00 AM  

  • Dawn, asking for only a yes or no on a theological question is rotten.

    If a person has always believed that they might lose their salvation they are not saved.

    However, a person who is saved may come to believe that they might lose their salvation.

    As I said, probalby most people when they are converted do not think that they might lose their salvation; all they know is that they are going to heaven. When Arminians preach the gospel, they often do not mention that they believe that salvation can be lost. That is why the fact that somebody believes that they might lose their salvation does not necessarilly mean they are not saved.

    Nevertheless, I repeat, if soembody has never been certain of having eternal life and has always thought they could lose their salvation they are lost.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, July 13, 2007 12:27:00 AM  

  • Interesting discussion.

    Mark (aka Tartanarmy)

    By Blogger Tartanarmy, at Saturday, July 14, 2007 2:47:00 AM  

  • Matthew, are you one who holds to the belief that Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are saved?

    By Blogger Dawn, at Sunday, July 15, 2007 12:02:00 AM  

  • No, they are not saved because they believe that their salvation depends upon continued faithfulness to God. They do not believe that a person can freely receive the gift of eternal life.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, July 15, 2007 6:24:00 AM  

  • Mark, thankyou for visiting.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, July 15, 2007 6:24:00 AM  

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