[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, October 22, 2007

Arminianism is antichrist

by Matthew

This seems harsh, but it is undeniably the truth.

1 John 2
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.


The characteristic of the antichrist is that he denies the Father and the Son. This is what Arminianism does.

In John 11, our Lord asked Matha:

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?


Note her reply:

27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.


Martha identifies the title 'Son of God' with what our Lord just affirmed about Himself. If one denies this truth, then one has denied the Son.

The Arminians do not believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. They believe that a person can believe and yet go to hell. They do not affirm that 'he that liveth and believeth shall never die.'

They also deny the Father. For our Lord also said in John 3:

16 ¶ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


This reveals the saving purpose of the Father. He sent His Son into the world that whoever believes on Him might have eternal life. But the Arminian does not accept this. The Arminian holds that although God sent His Son into the world, not all who believe on Him will escape hell. They deny that whoever believes on the Son has everlasting life.

Therefore I am not afraid to say that Arminianism or Wesleyanism is antichrist.

112 Comments:

  • Our Rules?

    We must at all times show Christian character even with those with whom we vehemently oppose


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    No name calling or backhanded insulting
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    No ad hominem attacks
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    No theological cuss-words

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, October 22, 2007 10:56:00 AM  

  • Is there a larger theological cuss word than "antichrist"?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, October 22, 2007 11:01:00 AM  

  • where is the documentation for what you allege?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, October 22, 2007 11:13:00 AM  

  • Anonymous, so if the Antichrist or the False Prophet, as he is called in the book of Revelation, should appear, am I not to identify him as such?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, October 22, 2007 11:42:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    This is some pretty strong language here. I think it is safe to say that you feel very passionately about this. I would say that your premise is right.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, October 23, 2007 7:50:00 AM  

  • I am glad you can see my premise, Rose.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, October 23, 2007 7:53:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    Have you identified him (them)?

    It would appear that John was referring to apostate Christians in the 1st century who began to evolve all sorts of differing ideas about who Christ was. What relationship do you infer between those who denied Christ in the 1st century with those Christians today who do in fact acknowledge him as the Savior, the Son of God, and the guarantor and grantor of eternal life. Many Christians today are in a search for the truth. True, there are internecine squabbles and theological differences, but those that disagree with your interpretation of scripture, based on an honest and intense study and search for the truth, are not the antichrist(s). Why don't you reserve that moniker for people who really deny the Christ; Islam, Judiasm, athiests, secular humanists, etc?

    By Blogger Chris, at Tuesday, October 23, 2007 10:18:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    Air-tight and spot-on

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, October 23, 2007 4:44:00 PM  

  • Matthew to be sure I understand your proposition; If a man is persuaded that one who lives and believes in Jesus as Christ, the Son of God, will live forever but is equally convinced that one who lives but no longer believes will not live forever then is he antichrist?

    By Blogger Kc, at Tuesday, October 23, 2007 7:35:00 PM  

  • Antonio, I thought you might agree.

    As I cannot recall you labelling any system as antichrsit, I guess that means that I am a much meaner and nastier blogger than you!

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 2:32:00 AM  

  • Kc
    "If a man is persuaded that one who lives and believes in Jesus as Christ, the Son of God, will live forever but is equally convinced that one who lives but no longer believes will not live forever then is he antichrist?"

    Look at what our Lord said-

    'He that believeth on me shall live'

    and of this person he says

    'he that liveth and believeth shall never die.'

    If you believe you live and if you live, you shall never die.

    If you hold that a person can live and then later die, they have denied what our Lord said here.

    Faith in Christ as Son of God is the appropriation of an eternally justified state. If one denies the eternal nature of this salvation, one believes in a fundamentally different kind of salvation and is a denial of the work of our Lord as Christ.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 2:37:00 AM  

  • Chris

    It is nice to see you.

    "It would appear that John was referring to apostate Christians in the 1st century who began to evolve all sorts of differing ideas about who Christ was."

    I would not deny that. However, Christ is an office, the office of one who has done or will do something. To deny this office is to deny the Christ.

    "Why don't you reserve that moniker for people who really deny the Christ; Islam, Judiasm, athiests, secular humanists, etc?"

    Do you not consider those people to be honest seekers after the truth?

    And if these people may be antichrist and yet honest, seekers after the truth, why not persons who profess to be Christians and who sincerely believe they have interpreted the Bible correctly?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 2:41:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    I will try to make my question clearer.

    You said:

    ”If you believe you live and if you live, you shall never die.

    If you hold that a person can live and then later die, they have denied what our Lord said here.”


    It would seem that from this same verse someone could also say:

    “To live forever you must believe.

    If you hold that a person can believe and then later not believe and still live forever, then you have denied what our Lord said here?”


    Would the man who says thus be antichrist?

    Many blessings to you as well dear brother.

    By Blogger Kc, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 3:43:00 AM  

  • I do not see that, Kc.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 4:17:00 AM  

  • "I would not deny that. However, Christ is an office, the office of one who has done or will do something. To deny this office is to deny the Christ."

    I have noiced that you and Antonio say His titles "the Christ" and "Son of God" do not mean Deity.

    Isn't denying His title "the Christ" to deny Him His position? Isn't that Anti-Christ thinking?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 6:28:00 AM  

  • I affirm that the Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. I believe that the eternal Son is consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

    I have not denied the Son in any sense, though I do affirm that the term 'Christ' is an human office, as is the term Son of God.

    The redemtive work of Christ had to be carried out by an human being, hence the necessity of the incarnation.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 6:37:00 AM  

  • Matthew, it would appear from reading Gonzalez' "History of Christianity" that the visible church was represented only in the Eastern Orthodox or the Roman Catholic church. The "True church" was indistinguishable from these; And that being before the time of the Reformation. Then, after the Reformation, the true church emerges into plain sight, whether after Luther, Calvin or Zwingli; all predestinarian. Only after the Remonstrants did the varying degrees of non-Calvinism appear.

    All this to say is that there are two polar opposites (Calvinism and Arminianism) and much in between. How one determines the rightness of the "in between" positions seems hard to me. Not so with the opposites themselves.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 7:32:00 AM  

  • Mark, do you think a Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox person can be a true believer? If not, why not?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 7:36:00 AM  

  • Matthew, after watching bobby grow work through this on his blog, as well as being aware that White and Swan can't seem to finally silence Armstrong and Sippo, well...

    Then I must consider that the people that led me to Christ were themselves led to Christ by a Catholic.

    I believe that a person is saved by faith alone in Christ alone. But I am aware that many Catholics, themselves knowledgeable, make that same claim and that we protestants mis-portray what it is that they believe. I was raised Catholic. Sorry, the particular church I attended left me with impression that good works save. Wrong! Hence I am no longer Catholic.

    The EO and RCC of that era before the Reformation was anything but Christian. There is no evidence of the life of God the Holy Spirit there.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 7:50:00 AM  

  • The title and term "The Christ" has many legitimate connections and associations. For the Epistle and Gospel writer John, the only soteric import of that title is that the Christ guarantees eternal life to all who simply believe in Him for it. Thus, to deny what gives the title "the Christ" its specific soteriological import is to be "antichrist".

    Anyone who currently does not believe that Jesus guarantees one's eternal destiny through a simple punctilliar act of faith in Jesus alone is denying "the Christ"'s soteriological significance.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:28:00 AM  

  • Because this thinking pits Christian against Christian, of any and all stripes. Can't you see the absurdity of it?

    We have a world openly hostile to Christ's message and redemptive work and you train your cross hairs on Christians (honest seekers of truth) who do not believe exactly as you do. I believe this to be in direct opposition to the scriptural edict at John 13:34-35

    34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

    The world looks at the internal squabbles of Christianity (our world united in Christ to the glory of God) and they point to it and say, "See, how can it be the truth, when they can't even agree with each other?"

    This is not a fine witness.

    By Blogger Chris, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:33:00 AM  

  • "Anyone who currently does not believe that Jesus guarantees one's eternal destiny through a simple punctilliar act of faith..."

    That would be me, Antonio. That means I preach a false gospel. So how about you remove me from this blog's blogroll. Please and thank you.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:55:00 AM  

  • Mark,

    are you saying that "Faith alone in Christ alone" is insufficient? If so, yes, then you preach a false gospel. But seeing that this is the mantra of Reformed theology, to which I was under the impression you were a small part, I suppose that I hastily came to the conclusion that you believe that one is eternally secure the very moment they come to faith in Jesus as their Savior.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 11:13:00 AM  

  • Are you forbidding me to access and post on your blog? If that is the case, I will remove the blog link. But if I am welcome to visit and comment on your blog, I will opt to leave it there, as this is the link I use to reach your blog.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 11:14:00 AM  

  • Actually, Antonio, my sitemeter says you always come from Moorhead's blog. So, remove it from here, please.

    By grace through faith *alone*.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 11:18:00 AM  

  • Chris, while it is painful to accept, if these men are persuaded that to believe contrary to this proposition is to be antichrist then it is unfair to expect them to perceive those that do as fellow Christians. My hope is that in clearly understanding our respective positions either they will come to see these who disagree as brethren or they will help correct me of my error.

    Antonio welcome back!

    Brother even though we’ve discussed this previously I hope you’ll allow me to continue to examine your understanding on this. I mean no disrespect.

    If a man would understand the soteric import of the title of Christ as being that the Christ guarantees eternal life to all who simply believe in Him for it yet would believe that eternal life begins with physical death and that one must maintain that understanding and belief to the point of death in order to inherit eternal life then would you consider him antichrist?

    By Blogger Kc, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 11:43:00 AM  

  • Mark,

    I access your blog through this blog. If it is a requirement that one be theologically on the same page to put a link to someone else's blog, well then, there would not be so many links floating around.

    I see no reason to remove your blog link, as you have not given me any good reason to do so, other than that we disagree in theology.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 12:02:00 PM  

  • Casey,

    Thanks for the welcome back. I really, super, appreciate your prayers! It was an awesome time.

    Pertaining to your question: it is an impossible hypothetical.

    Both are mutually exclusive.

    I cannot believe that Jesus is the Christ in its specific, Johannine, soteric sense, and at the same time understand that eternal life is not presently mine (and/or can be lost).

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 12:03:00 PM  

  • Antonio it’s a great privilege to be able to pray for you all and again I praise God for the wonderful report. I will continue to remember you all in this effort and especially those you left behind.

    Returning to the topic here I know it’s no secret we disagree on this point and I pray God will allow us to continue in this as long as necessary to resolve it between us.

    While you know we agree that eternal life begins with the spirit birth can you help me to find where this understanding is made manifest in the writings of John?

    By Blogger Kc, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 1:12:00 PM  

  • Hey Casey,

    We can determine from the writings of John that eternal life is the present possession of the believer in Jesus. These two verses should suffice: John 5:24 and John 6:47.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 4:57:00 PM  

  • Hello Matthew,

    I gather that the basis of your charges against "Arminianism" is because it rejects the doctrine of Eternal Security. However, Arminianism, according to the Remonstrants who initially opposed Calvinism, were specifically actually neutral on the matter of the issue of Eternal Security.

    Here is a link to "What is Arminianism:

    http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/Arminianism.html

    Here is your charge: "The Arminian holds that although God sent His Son into the world, not all who believe on Him will escape hell."

    However, Arminians believe that there is security in Christ, such that if you believe in Jesus, you are not going to Hell. So do you mind elaborating a little bit further?

    Thanks,

    Richard Coords
    www.ExaminingCalvinism.com

    By Blogger www.examiningcalvinism.com, at Wednesday, October 24, 2007 7:27:00 PM  

  • Antonio before I continue I find it best to once more clearly state that my examination in this is only of your understanding. While I do disagree with you and Matthew, I would hope that no one could construe from my arguments that I question the motives, intent, character or capabilities of either you or Matthew. I consider them all beyond reproach. Furthermore; I consider you both my brothers in the Lord, my better in all things, my teachers in many things and a shinning example to me in your zeal and devotion to our Lord. My only hope for you is a more harmonious relationship with others. ;-)

    With respect to the verses you offered I find that, although they clearly state that eternal life is granted to those who believe in Christ Jesus, taken alone they give no clear indication that eternal life begins the moment we believe. At best one might conclude from these that eternal life is contingent on belief in Jesus Christ. This being the case, again taken alone, these verses could as easily be used as proof text when arguing against the doctrine of eternal security. The man who is convinced that eternal life begins at death can easily argue that since the apostate does not believe he therefore cannot “inherit” eternal life.

    While it grieves my heart to consider the agony of these who doubt, I cannot consider their hope in Christ any less than my own or my hope any better than theirs. We are both persuaded that salvation, in every sense, is only available through faith in Jesus Christ and we differ only in our understanding of when and/or how it is given.

    By Blogger Kc, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 1:02:00 AM  

  • Chris, Christianity without completed salvation in Christ is not Christianity at all.

    I appreciate and heartily approve of some of the teachings of your own fellowship, but I cannot consider it to be Christian.

    Likewise, while I can appreciate even more some of the teaching of those more orthodox professing Christians who reject 'once saved, always saved' I cannot consider their theology to be truly Christian, even if the individuals have found saving faith in Christ before their departure into apostasy.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 2:09:00 AM  

  • Richardm thankyou for your visit and comment.

    I am well aware that Arminius and his early followers were undecided on the issue of eternal security.

    I do think the term 'Arminianism' is somewhat unhelpful.

    "However, Arminians believe that there is security in Christ, such that if you believe in Jesus, you are not going to Hell. So do you mind elaborating a little bit further?"

    Arminians hold that a person may forfeit her salvation if she ceases to believe.

    Some also hold that salvation may be forfeited as a result of sins.

    I suspect most Arminians would define faith in such a way that includes works of discpleship, thus making commitment to Christ a condition of entering heaven.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 2:25:00 AM  

  • I have yet to be convinced that "the Christ" and "the Son of God" mean only and exclusively "He who guarantees eternal life."

    If "saviour from sin" is implied in one or both of these titles (which I think it is) then someone who does not have a perfect understanding of the eternality of that salvation may still lay hold of it.

    That being said, I understand Matthew's premise and find this post's presentation of that premise to be the most convincing of this postion of his and Antonio's to date.

    However, I am not convinced that Arminians are not saved. We all know that people can have contrary doctrines and yet both be saved.

    I do understand that the believer must trust in Christ FOR something [and that not being a pastrami sandwich, Antonio ;~)]. However, I think a case can be made that it is not always necessarily trusting in Christ for *eternal life* but it may be trusting him for forgiveness of sins, which can be a more nebulous thing. Are these to be turned away? I think not. God's Grace is magnanimous.

    Plus, I think Casey brings up some good points about misunderstandings about when that eternal life begins, misunderstandings that the trustor may have.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 5:42:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    Neither Antonio nor myself would view those terms exclusively as 'guarantor of eternal life', but this is aspect is fundamental when it comes to justification.

    "However, I am not convinced that Arminians are not saved. We all know that people can have contrary doctrines and yet both be saved."

    What?

    One can believe contrary doctrines and still be saved?

    Rose, this is a fundamental denial of everything you have previously argued on the subject of saving faith.

    I know you have shifted your arguments a few times over the content of saving faith, but the most part you have been arguing that a person cannot believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as guarantor of eternal life while denying His deity as such a combination of views would be contradictory.

    Now you are saying that you CAN believe inconsistent things.

    Rose, I am getting lost following your statements on saving faith.

    But you are still my favorite blogger and a dearly love and care about you.

    May God bless you and your family.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 6:04:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    You say that people can believe contradictory things and be saved. You believe that someone can believe a non-eternal being can grant them eternal life.

    I am considering the possibiblity that someone may not realize the eternality of that life or the security of it and may rather trust Christ for immediate forgiveness of sins or something along those lines.

    Is this really so inconsistent?

    Besides, my use of the word "contradictory" was in reference to two people believing contradictory things (one believes one thing, the other another... and both are saved.)

    I do love you, brother Matthew. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 6:24:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    Faith in Christ for immediate forgiveness of sins is not saving faith.

    Saving faith is appropriation of the gift of God, which is eternal life.

    If I believe in a conditional gift of life, I am not believing in Christ for what He offers to me.

    If I believe in Christ for a holiday in Thailand, I will not get a holiday in Thailand (unless the Lord in His sovereign wisdom were pleased to grant me that out of His uncovenanted mercies).

    Likewise if I believe in Christ for a conditional gift of life, I will not get one, because the Lord Jesus Christ never offered such a thing. As Anne Robinson says on the Weakest Link, I will 'leave with nothing.'

    If a person believes that she can go to hell, she does not believe in Christ. For:

    1) She has denied the gift that His office presents and guarantees.

    2) She has denied the sufficency of Christ's work as part of that office.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 6:32:00 AM  

  • Hello Matthew,

    You wrote: "I suspect most Arminians would define faith in such a way that includes works of discpleship, thus making commitment to Christ a condition of entering heaven."

    Romans 4:5: "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness."

    As an Arminian, I would characterize saving "faith" (Rom 10:9) as that which results in the Holy Spirit sealing us in Christ (Eph 1:13), as a Born Again, New Creation. I'm persuaded by Adrian Rogers' argument that "birth" implies finality, such that once a person is physically born, you cannot be un-born, and similarly, I gather that once a person is born again, spiritually speaking, he cannot be made un-spiritually born again, because that would require that a person who is dead to the Law, now become alive to the Law, once again, and furthermore, that it would require that a person who is in Christ, become in Adam once again. But, I can hardly fault the Conditional Security Arminians for insisting that only believers are redeemed, rather than unbelieving apostates who fall away. There is sufficient evidence on both sides, to keep me from speaking dogmatically (like calling some antichrist), and I would invite your commentary on Heb 10:26 and Heb 10:29, just for my edification. I'm going through a book by a Puritan Arminian, John Goodwin, Redemption Redeemed, who makes some strong points concerning those two verses.

    Thanks,
    Richard

    By Blogger www.examiningcalvinism.com, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 7:38:00 AM  

  • Matthew I think something is still missing in my understanding of your position. All of us consider that the gift of life is conditional upon faith in Christ, right? If so, then would it be so contradictory for someone to believe that to fail to persevere in that faith is to fail to receive the gift? If you say that the person that fails in their faith never really believed then I could understand your position as being consistent. Is that your contention?

    By Blogger Kc, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 7:54:00 AM  

  • I think it would be easier to just be a predeterminist and say that all of the elect will be saved no matter what. Then I wouldn't have to worry about all these details.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:52:00 AM  

  • I find Antonio's use of the word Punctilliar interesting. The word itself exists nowhere in the bible. The concept itself is completely foreign to the whole notion of Covenant. A covenant is an agreement between two parties to "do" something. God has done his part, now what is our part?

    The theology being preached here is "point in time" faith. Its dangerous. If there was one book in the bible (John)perhaps you could have this view, but their are 66 books written by 40 different authors, all inspired by God. There are quite a few more messages about what faith is in the remaining books. The bible stories are a testament to endurance, and certainly not punctilliar. Would the endurance of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Job ever be characterized by the word "punctilliar"? Is this a concept that the bible encourages?

    Casey makes a great point about the point at which eternal life begins. It certainly is a concept that has greater consistency throughout scripture, incorporating all that God has given us (2 Tim 3:16) instead of only some of what he's given us.

    By Blogger Chris, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 9:01:00 AM  

  • Casey,

    John 5:24 states emphatically that the one presently believing has at that very self-same moment everlasting life. Furthermore it states that in the past they have ALREADY passed from death into life. You cannot use the basic principles of communicative interpretation and come to any other conclusion. The one who believes in Jesus HAS ALREADY PASSED FROM DEATH into LIFE and has as a PRESENT POSSESSION: Eternal life.

    "...has everlasting life... [and] has passed from death into life". (John 5:24).

    The question is, Casey, what does John consider true about the believer in Christ? Answer: he has everlasting life having already passed from death into life.

    Judge with impartial judgement on these verses. The verdict is in. For John, eternal life is a present possession gained the very moment of purposeful faith in Christ.

    That a verse can be taken a certain way when it is torn out of its context is one thing. John 5:24 is clear.

    I don't know what to think of this. You see, the way that leads to life is very narrow and few are found there. Is it that we wish to be lulled to complaceny as we consider those who trample the promises of Christ into a doctrine of their own making as saved people who are merely ignorant of peripheral knowledge?

    Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie… Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

    According to Jesus, who is God in the flesh and cannot lie, the one who has simply believed in Him for the gift of eternal life (all taken from the Gospel of John):
    1. shall not perish
    2. has eternal life
    3. is not condemned
    4. has everlasting life
    5. will never thirst
    6. will never hunger
    7. shall not come into judgment
    8. has already passed from death into life
    9. will never be cast out
    10. will never be lost
    11. will be raised up at the last day
    12. will be saved
    13. shall never perish
    14. is held eternally in Jesus and the Father’s hands
    15. cannot be snatched out of Jesus’ hands
    16. cannot be snatched out of the Father’s hands
    17. though he may physically die, he will live eternally
    18. shall never die (the most emphatic construction: double negative – no, not ever, never! even into eternity, see Greek!)

    The promise of Christ is the present possession of eternal life that can never be lost. If one is not trusting in Christ for eternal redemption that cannot be lost, he has failed to be persuaded of what Christ promises.

    Saving faith is being fully persuaded, convinced, that what God through Christ has offered (present possession of eternal life that cannot be lost) God indeed performs (see Romans 4:20-21).

    If one doubts that he presently have eternal life and/or doubts that he is secure in that life, he has yet to be fully persuaded that what God has offered He indeed performs.

    Is it sad that many who call themselves Christians have yet to enter the narrow gate? Yes. Be not lulled to complacency for those who trample on the promises of Christ. This may sound harsh and hard to be agreeable. But I am convinced that those born again people who deem those who deny Christ's genuine offer and promise as saved will give an account for their complacency and optimism.

    Everywhere throughout the gospel of John it teaches that one receives everlasting life the moment they believe in Christ for it. One need only read the book with one's eyes open. It is only those who wilfully harden themselves to the simple affirmations of Christ that are left unpersuaded.

    John and Jesus are emphatically clear.

    Your brother,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 11:58:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    I wrote this:

    The title and term "The Christ" has many legitimate connections and associations. For the Epistle and Gospel writer John, the only soteric import of that title is that the Christ guarantees eternal life to all who simply believe in Him for it. Thus, to deny what gives the title "the Christ" its specific soteriological import is to be "antichrist".

    Yet you wrote this:

    I have yet to be convinced that "the Christ" and "the Son of God" mean only and exclusively "He who guarantees eternal life."

    Rose, no one states that those titles exclusively mean that. I thought I made that clear when I stated:

    "The title and term "The Christ" has many legitimate connections and associations.

    I believe that there are many legitimate connections, considerations, and associations with the titles "Son of God" and "the Christ".

    Are there not Catholics and other "Christians" who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and are not saved?

    Of course! Why, though?

    They have not believed the specific, Johannine, soteriological sense of those titles: That as the Christ, Jesus guarantees and imparts the present possession of eternal life that can never be lost.

    There are many things that we may legitimately attribute to the messianic titles "Son of God" and "the Christ". But for the gospel writer John, only one specific import is soteric, as is discussed in the above paragraph.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 12:04:00 PM  

  • So, if I were to warn Christians that if they were to commit some particular sin scripture lists, that they would be cast out of the kingdom of God, would that be effectively teaching antichrist doctrine?

    By Blogger J.C. Thibodaux, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 12:42:00 PM  

  • Antonio,
    Yes, I see you made that clear that there were many legitimate connections and associations with those terms. Thank you :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 1:37:00 PM  

  • j.c.,

    in all honesty:

    yes

    It would be a mockery to Jesus Christ's once and for all sacrifice for sins.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 3:51:00 PM  

  • So if by some chance Revelation 22:19 says,

    "...and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

    is the Bible then also teaching antichrist doctrine?

    By Blogger J.C. Thibodaux, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 5:59:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    I think the distinction is a bit confusing on my end. Please forgive my misunderstanding. You are making faith in Christ and having Christ and having eternal life as basically believing in the promise of "eternal security" unless I am misunderstanding this seems different than having Christ. It is true that we have passed from death to life and are saved at the moment of faith in Christ. It is very true having Christ is believing that Christ is better than the whole world and that having Christ. It is so true that we are believing the promise of Christ.

    The truth is those things are all true, but we must make sure we center saving faith upon Christ alone. I am not certain I understand saving faith as "believing eternal security".

    As my pastor said back in 2003. "If you do not seek God because you believe him to be supremely valuable, then you are a hypocrite. To seek God for any reason other than his own glory as Creator, Lord and Savior is to be hypocrite. It is the reason that the health and wealth gospel is not simply a deficient view of the gospel but actually "another gospel" and will lead people to
    hell. They are telling people to seek God in order to become healthy and wealthy. There is even a way of presenting the gospel as the solution to your sin problem, so you can be forgiven and escape hell which is misleading. Christ died to bring us to God, not just so we can escape hell. As you well know, Satan doesn't want to go to hell and he'd love to go to heaven if God weren't there. "

    Well anyway let me know more information if you can tell me what I am missing.

    Philippians 3:7-11
    "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead"

    By Blogger Shawn, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 7:33:00 PM  

  • J.C.,

    if you teach that this verse means that Jesus is a liar, then yes, you are teaching anti-christ doctrine. If you teach that this verse means that you can lose your salvation, then you make Jesus a liar, and are anti-christ.

    Furthermore, both:

    1) the oldest manuscripts
    and
    2) the majority of existing manuscripts

    use the word "eulou" (tree) and not "biblou" (book). In other words, one's inheritance or portion (Greek "meros"), will be taken from the tree of life.

    The corrupt TR is the only modern version of the Greek New Testament that has that reading.

    You really must form your analogy of faith from the clear passages of Scripture and interpret the more ambiguous scriptures with your analogy of faith.

    It is a shame, that after reading these:

    Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie… Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

    According to Jesus, who is God in the flesh and cannot lie, the one who has simply believed in Him for the gift of eternal life (all taken from the Gospel of John):
    1. shall not perish
    2. has eternal life
    3. is not condemned
    4. has everlasting life
    5. will never thirst
    6. will never hunger
    7. shall not come into judgment
    8. has already passed from death into life
    9. will never be cast out
    10. will never be lost
    11. will be raised up at the last day
    12. will be saved
    13. shall never perish
    14. is held eternally in Jesus and the Father’s hands
    15. cannot be snatched out of Jesus’ hands
    16. cannot be snatched out of the Father’s hands
    17. though he may physically die, he will live eternally
    18. shall never die (the most emphatic construction: double negative – no, not ever, never! even into eternity, see Greek!)

    You will continue to be stubborn and believe that other passages say that you can lose eternal life, even in the light of the fact that Jesus' testimony is clear, and in light of the fact that there are better interpretations of those passages taking the context into consideration.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 9:41:00 PM  

  • Shawn,

    Saving faith is believing what Jesus promises to the believer in Him. It is believing Jesus Christ in His promise. It is trusting Christ for something.

    What does Jesus promise? What is His promise? What are we trusting Him for?

    Jesus promises: eternal life that cannot be lost

    Jesus' promise: the believer in Him will not perish but has eternal life

    We are trusting Him for: irrevocable eternal life

    Eternal security is not something I am slipping into saving faith. Eternal security is the promise of Christ's saving message. It is exactly what we are to believe Him for. If one has never believed that he is eternally secure, he has yet to believe in Christ in a saving way.

    "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him might still perish, but at least has eternal life for the time being." (Jn 3:16)

    Is this a saving understanding of this verse?

    "And I give them eternal life, and they might still perish; and someone might snatch them out of My hand." (Jn 10:28)

    Is a hope-so confidence about living forever with Christ good enough?

    Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." (Jn 4:10)

    Does it really matter if you know what the gift is?

    Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; and whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him might thirst again; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life, well maybe." (John 4:13-14)

    Could it really be said that the woman believed Jesus if she reinterpreted His words in this manner?

    Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (Jn 11:25-26)

    Does it really make any difference if you “believe this” (Christ's guarnatees)? Can you believe Jesus or believe in Jesus in the manner He describes without believing “this”? And what is “this,” but that the believer is guaranteed life?

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, October 25, 2007 9:52:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    I know these discussions can be tiresome and frustrating and I appreciate your willingness to continue with me in this. I am fully persuaded of your motives and I trust you are of mine as well.

    With respect to the doctrine of eternal security I was had at John 3:16 and you know we agree in our understanding of what it means to have eternal life. I would also commend you for your admonition to us all that we should believe all of Christ’ words. My only concern here is that this issue is not a matter of faith or belief in Christ’ word and promises but a matter of understanding them.

    While I know, that given our understanding, it would seem that John 5:24 clearly establishes the doctrine of eternal security but can you not see how that without our understanding this verse alone makes no guarantee that we could not just as easily pass from life to death were the Lord to command it? To understand that He would not do so and has not done so would require a much better understanding of what life in Christ means and the full doctrine of eternal security. The man who would hold that an apostate is in danger of hell has not rejected Christ promises for he holds them all to be true. He has only yet to fully understand them but still he clearly holds that eternal life is contingent on faith in Christ alone. Please remember that Abraham believed God without understanding how or when He would accomplish His promise and still he was counted as righteous.

    Brother I have avoided our contention regarding the content of saving faith because, at present, I have nothing new with which to persuade you. I have attempted to argue this point solely from your perspective, as I understand it. If my arguments have failed to make you reconsider that those mentioned may well be your brethren then I will withdraw for now and pray that God would bless as needed that we might resolve both these matters in His time and in accordance with His will. Regardless, my love and prayers for you remain.

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, October 26, 2007 1:22:00 AM  

  • J.C., even if the reference to Book of Life were included in that verse, it would not prove your point, anyway.

    I see nothing in Scripture about believers in the present dispensation being judged on the basis of their names being in the Book of Life.

    When the rapture occurs, those in Christ will be caught up. We are not told they may be left behind if their names are absent from the Book of Life.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, October 26, 2007 1:41:00 AM  

  • Chris

    "The theology being preached here is "point in time" faith. Its dangerous. If there was one book in the bible (John)perhaps you could have this view, but their are 66 books written by 40 different authors, all inspired by God."

    There are 66 books, but there is omly one book which we are told has the purpose (among other purposes) of showing a person how to obtain eternal life.

    If we want to know how to obtain eternal life, we turn to that part of Scripture that tells us how to receive it.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, October 26, 2007 1:43:00 AM  

  • I can't get this discussion out of my mind.
    I do have trouble with this/content of saving faith. It seems Antonio and Matthew have not much requirement as to knowledge of the person who guarantees the gift that we are to have faith FOR, not how or why he is able to offer it. Yet, you both are very concerned over the details of the gift and the convert gets that part.

    I do see your premise. I have a hard time disagreeing with it.

    but... I also think that those who may be ingnorant about the details of that which they receive from Christ will not be excluded. I may be brought into account for this mistake, but I hope the Lord will have mercy.

    Antonio brings up the RC. Antonio, right - the difference for me, is that the RC never really *trusts* Christ for anything - not life, not eternal destiny, not forgiveness, not acceptance with the Father, nothing.

    All I am saying is that someone may be a little uniniformed about what they are receving from Christ, but may be placing themselves into His trust anyways.

    I hope that can make some measure of sense to you; it does to me.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, October 26, 2007 6:50:00 AM  

  • Cute attempt at elephant hurling Antonio, but the promises Christ made are only for those who by faith and patience inherit them (Hebrews 6:12), for Christ also said,
    * If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matt 6:15)
    * But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. (Matt 10:33)
    * If we do not abide in Him, God the Father will cut us off from Him. (John 15:6)
    * It's better to be maimed and enter into eternal life by escaping sin than live in sin and be cast into hell fire. (Mark 9:47)
    * Those who live in immorality will not enter the kingdom of God. (Matthew 7:21)
    * Those who hate others and won't help them will be cast into hell. (Matt 25:41-46)
    * Those who endure to the end are the ones who will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)

    The promises Jesus made are for His sheep, who have not only believed, but know His voice and follow Him (John 10:27), if someone ceases to follow Christ, such promises are of no avail to him. Your flood of evidence is utterly contextually bankrupt, making your attempt to use God's promises to make His accompanying warnings of no effect a sign of true stubbornness.

    Oh, and Antonio and DF, I was primarily making reference to the use of the term 'holy city' in Revelation 22, for that is where all the redeemed will be with Christ (Isaiah 51:11). When Christ comes, those who are saved will always be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17), Christ will dwell in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:3), so if one has his part in the holy city taken as Revelation 22:19 clearly warns against, one is not with Christ in eternity, and therefore not among the redeemed. I believe that's checkmate.

    By Blogger J.C. Thibodaux, at Friday, October 26, 2007 7:02:00 AM  

  • I am certain, though, that if a person has always believed that he has to prove himself to God, he has certainly not really ever trusted Christ at all, and therefore, he has never had that faith or trust which accesses the grace by which we stand.

    Maybe that is what you are getting at, Matthew.

    KC, would you agree with that statement?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, October 26, 2007 7:48:00 AM  

  • JC,

    'Has his part' may refer to privilege rather than physical presence.

    Besides, our Lord fills heaven and earth. In the eternal state, the presence of God will be manifest throughout the cosmos.

    It is quite possible that believers may be 'with Christ' without being in the same room, building or even city as His physical body.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    It is quite possible that

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, October 26, 2007 7:59:00 AM  

  • Rose

    "I am certain, though, that if a person has always believed that he has to prove himself to God, he has certainly not really ever trusted Christ at all, and therefore, he has never had that faith or trust which accesses the grace by which we stand."

    I would think a person who denies eternal security cannot avoid coming into that category.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, October 26, 2007 8:01:00 AM  

  • Richard,

    Your comments here are very welcome.

    Hebrews 10
    26 ¶ For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    This passage warns of serious consequences for disobediance.

    These can include chastening, physical death, loss of eschatoligical rewards and ultimately loss of inheritance in the kingdom (being denied a share in the privilege of ruling with Christ).

    There is nothing in the passage to indicate that hell is a possiblity for a believer.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, October 26, 2007 8:06:00 AM  

  • Wrong again DF, we enjoy Christ's presence in our hearts now, but when we He returns, we will be with Him physically, as cited in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. You're also missing from the context of the book what a part in the holy city entails, for being saved from hell (Rev 2:11), not being blotted out of the book of life (Rev 3:5), the tree of life (Rev 2:7), and presence with Christ in New Jerusalem (Rev 3:12) are all part of the reward given to those who overcome by the word of their testimony and the blood of the Lamb. Looks like the very book that speaks the most about the antichrist shows plainly that conditional security is not antichristian at all.

    By Blogger J.C. Thibodaux, at Friday, October 26, 2007 8:25:00 AM  

  • Rose I will be honest and say that I don’t believe we can know who has or has not trusted in Christ. I am positive we can’t know by watching them and I’m doubtful we can know based on their profession either way. If I claim I am able to know based on my own understanding then according to the scripture I have deceived myself for the grace of God surpasses all understanding.

    I will say that if we could be just in judging the eternal destiny of another that those who do as you’ve said would certainly fall suspect but the ones we are examining here are far from doing that. They fully acknowledge that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ but believe that their faith must persist. Is that really so different from those who insist that only persevering faith is saving faith?

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, October 26, 2007 8:44:00 AM  

  • Casey,
    It is not so different at all! I agree. Note I said if he believes "he has to prove himself to God"

    BTW, I am not proposing to judge a specific person, goodness no.
    I am really talking about judging this 'content of faith'. Only each individual knows whether or not they have trusted Christ or not and what for. amen.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, October 26, 2007 9:27:00 AM  

  • Rose, Matthew, Antonio,

    At Matthew 24 we read Jesus' words:

    9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

    Hear Jesus is talking about the end times in in verse 10 he states that "many will turn away from the faith" but then at verse 13 comes the council his servants were looking for. He says, "13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

    From Jesus we hear, "he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

    So we know that the statement in John that you quoted is true, but we also know that this statement in Matthew is also true. How do we as imperfect humans reconcile these two statements. I believe that we must examine what belief in the atoning sacrifice of our Lord and Savior means. We does it mean to believe? Is it passive assent? Or does it require something else? In order for those two statements from Jesus to be true, then the word "believe" cannot be passive, it must require action. If nothing else it requires "standing firm".

    At verse 14 though we see a command couched in a prophecy. Here we get a sense of what Christians must "do", in order for God's purpose to be fullfilled. The Gospel must be preached to every corner of the world, and then the end will come. The word "must" is a command to the faithful to do what? We have to share the good news of the coming Kingdom.

    So, my view about these things is that by God's grace we are saved, we are granted eternal life, by a belief in the ransom sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the God portion of the convenant. The us portion of the covenant, keeping in mind that a covenant is a contract, and both sides have responsibilities, involves us manifesting God's undeserved kindness, out of a profound sense of gratitude and love, by being actively involved in proclaiming the Kingdom.

    Verses 10 and 13 of Matthew 24 complete the picture for me. All scripture is inspired, Matthew as well as John. Jesus requires that we stand firm to the end in order to be saved, whether its to the end of our lives or to the end of this age. And in order for the end to come, the good news must be preached. This is our commission as Christians.

    By Blogger Chris, at Friday, October 26, 2007 11:11:00 AM  

  • Well stated Chris. All of Christ's words are equally true and authoritative, not just the ones in a specific book or set of passages. So a clear promise of eternal life does not contradict a clear exposition as to who will finally receive it.

    By Blogger J.C. Thibodaux, at Friday, October 26, 2007 2:51:00 PM  

  • Hi Chris, you said:
    >This is the God portion of the convenant.
    >The us portion of the covenant, keeping in mind that a covenant is a contract,
    >and both sides have responsibilities

    Chris speaking of covenants:
    Jeremiah 34:18 And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two AND PASSED between its parts
    Chris in the Abrahamic Covenant you have God putting Abram in a deep sleep (Genesis 15:12) and God is the only One who passes between the parts (Genesis 15:17). Which shows ALL the promises are on God’s part. This is what is called an unconditional covenant.
    Gen

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, October 26, 2007 6:14:00 PM  

  • OK, Alvin, notwithstanding that the scripture you site talks about men transgressing the covanent, or in other words, failed to hold up their end of the contract, but that is not my larger point. Please help me to understand this scripture at Matthew 24 where we read that Jesus makes salvation conditional upon something. Please frame this for me from the Free Grace perspective.

    "13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

    By Blogger Chris, at Friday, October 26, 2007 11:27:00 PM  

  • Chris, the word saved means a lot of different things in the Bible.

    In that context it means deliverance from the perils coming upon the earth and ultimately receiving a position of privilege in the kingdom.

    The Arminian must prove that it means 'saved from hell' and you must prove that it means 'saved from anihilation.'

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 2:06:00 AM  

  • J.C.

    Actually, the book of Revelation does not even mention the word Antichrist.

    It is necessary for you to show that the denial of those rewards equals being sent to hell.

    I do not see that being with Christ needs to be seen in spatial terms.

    In heaven there will be millions upon millions of resurrected saints.

    They will all be with Christ, but they will surely not all been in His company all the time.

    They will experience His presence in a way far removed from that which the believer experiences today, though not necessarilly in the sense of immediate physical presence.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 2:10:00 AM  

  • Hi Chris
    I agree with Matthew. Saved their means the saving of the life. If they endure to the end they will go into the Millennium in their physical bodies. "The end" is the end of the age, the end of the tribulation (24:3end of the age 24:6the end is not yet24:13he who endures to the end shall be saved24:14and then the end will come. Notice 24:20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the SABBATH.
    Chris why would Jesus say that? The Church isn't under the law to keep the Sabbath! Jesus isn't talking to the Church there, because the Church is gone from the earth then. Jesus is talking to that generation of believers. The temple will be rebuilt and they will be keeping the law. It's talking about a different dispensation when Jesus is dealing with the nation Israel.
    Chris here are some examples of the use of the word “save.”
    Notice in John 3:16,17 that perish is parallel to condemn and everlasting life is parallel meaning to be saved.
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not PERISH but have EVERLASTING LIFE.
    For God did not send His Son into the world to CONDEMN the world but the world through Him might be SAVED.
    Jesus uses the word “saved” in the Gospel of John only three times (John 3:17;5:34;10:9). Being saved in the Gospel of John is by simply believing Jesus promise of eternal life.
    Now look at Mark 16:16 Jesus said: He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.
    So here to be saved is not only to believe but also to be baptized. But notice Jesus puts the emphasis on believe rather then baptized, because it’s the one who does not believe that is condemned.
    Now notice James 5:19,20 it’s talking about a brother, other words a believer. And save their means the saving of the life.
    Brethren if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from DEATH and cover a multitude of sins.
    Chris I hope this helps,,,,blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 3:16:00 AM  

  • Alvin, Matthew, this is Jesus talking at Matt 24. Jesus was unconcerned with physical death. His Kingdom was not of this world. Why would you think that his use of the term "saved" has anything to do with physical death?

    By Blogger Chris, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 9:37:00 AM  

  • "Brethren if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from DEATH and cover a multitude of sins."

    Alvin, you seem to think that this passage asserts a salvation from physical death. Turning someone back to the truth does not save them from a physical death. Man cannot save man from physical death. It is talking about a spiritual death and a loss of eternal life.

    Why is there council to turn a sinner from the error of his ways? Why is there council here in James for a sinner to repent? To escape physical death. We know that we cannot escape physical death, unless we make it through the tribulation. But this passage is written for all believers, not just those that happen to believe in the time of the end of this age.

    It simply is not reasonable to assert that this passage is talking about anything other than a spiritual death and a loss of eternal life to the brother, a fellow believer, who left the fold. If eternal life were not in the balance, would there be council to return this brother to the fold?

    By Blogger Chris, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 9:55:00 AM  

  • Hi Chris
    I earlier showed you where the Abrahamic covenant was an unconditional covenant. All the promises were on God's side. But you just put that off by saying "but that is not my larger point.
    Chris you said earlier that:
    >The us portion of the covenant, keeping in mind that a covenant is a contract, and both sides have responsibilities,
    Chris by showing you the unconditional Abrahamic covenant that all the promises was on God's part proves that your assumption on both sides have responsibilities was wrong. But you just skimmed by that.
    I think you just want to argue and are not open to truth at all!
    So I leave you to draw your own conclusions! I believe in a free gift. One drink and you will never thirst! You’re going to get awful thirsty with your belief, because you have to keep drinking and drinking!
    alvin

    Gen 15:12 Now when the sun was going down, a DEEP SLEEP fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness.
    vs.17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.

    Notice Chris Abram didn't pass between the pieces, no promises on his part. That's how the gift can be completely free!

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 3:10:00 PM  

  • Chris, don't read Matthew 24 in a vacuum. You quote Matthew 24:13 without looking at what is said about the conditions during the tribulation and the saving of the flesh in 24:22.

    22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

    This enduring to the end of the Tribulation to be saved is an obvious reference to physical life in light of 24:7-22. If those days aren't shortened, no FLESH would be saved from famines, pestilence, earthquakes, betrayal, murderer, false prophets and love waxing cold (24:7-12). But because those days are shortened, some flesh will be "saved."

    The gift of eternal life involves no contract. A gift is a gift Chris. One drink of the water of life that Jesus gives, and you will never thirst again (John 4:14), in distinction to earthly water, which must be drank over and over to sustain life (John 4:13). Read John 4:13-14 closely. If you can lose your eternal life, then Jesus lied about never being thirsty again after one drink.

    Remember Hebrews 10:10-14 Chris? I told you to read 10:10-18 before 10:26-31.

    10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

    12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

    13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

    14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    By Blogger Danny, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 4:08:00 PM  

  • Chris, there is also 1 Thessalonians 5:5-10. Note carefully the Greek words for watch and sleep.

    5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

    6Therefore let us not sleep (katheudo), as do others; but let us watch (gregoreo) and be sober.

    7For they that sleep (katheudo) sleep (katheudo) in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

    8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

    9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

    10Who died for us, that, whether we wake (gregoreo) or sleep (katheudo), we should live together with him.

    OK Chris. The word gregoreo is used in both verses 6 and 10, translated watch in verse 6 and wake in verse 10. Gregoreo, which means to watch, is translated as watch 21 times in the KJV, and 1 Thess 5:10 is the only place it is translated as "wake". This is highly misleading. And the word gregoreo never, ever means "to be alive". The word for sleep, katheudo, is also used in verses 6,7, and 10. This is different from the Greek word for sleep (koimao) used in 1 Thess 4 to describe dead believers.

    Paul's point is clear. Whether believers are morally watching, as they should be, or sleeping like the unbelieving children of darkness (v. 5-7), they will still live with Jesus (v. 10). Gregoreo is connected with being sober in verse 6. Katheudo is connected with drunkenness in verse 7. Whether believers gregoreo or katheudo, they will live together with Jesus. Why? Because Jesus died for us. Go back to Hebrews 10:10-14 Chris. For by one offering, He has forever perfected those that are sanctified. That's why sleeping like an unbeliever won't stop a believer from living with Jesus.

    The difference is that those who watch will reign with Jesus (2 Timothy 2:12a), while those sleep will be denied the privilege of ruling with Him (2 Timothy 2:12b).

    2 Timothy 2:11-13:

    11It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

    12If we suffer we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

    13If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    This is an ABBA chiasmus Chris. Verses 11 and 13 are connected. Think of them as A. The middle two clauses in verse 12 are connected. Think of them as B. Those who have died with Christ will live with Him (v. 11), even if they become faithless (v. 13). Those who suffer (same word as endure from Matthew 24:13) will reign, while those who deny Him will be denied the privilege of ruling. Being denied is the oppposite of ruling. Believers can be denied the privilege of ruling, but they can't be denied entrance into the Kingdom, because God can't deny His own unconditional promises, otherwise He would be denying Himself. If God denies you the reward of rulership, He isn't denying Himself. Rulership is based on your works. But God can't deny a believer entrance, because entrance is free, and if He went back on His word, He would be denying Himself.

    Plus Chris, notice that even in 2 Timothy 2:11-12, there is a difference between living with Jesus and reigning with Jesus. Those who have died with Him (by believing in Him for ETERNAL life), will live with him, whether they watch or sleep (1 Thessalonians 5:10). But those who ENDURE, your favorite word, will reign with Him. Already we see a difference between living with Jesus and reigning with Jesus.

    By Blogger Danny, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 4:44:00 PM  

  • [Rose said:I think it would be easier to just be a predeterminist and say that all of the elect will be saved no matter what. Then I wouldn't have to worry about all these details.]

    Amen Rose!

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 6:02:00 PM  

  • Chris, let me expand more on the usage of gregoreo. The word appears in the NT 23 times. Like I said before, the KJV translators translated it 21 times as "watch". They translated it as "wake" only in 1 Thess 5:10. I forgot to mention that 1 Peter 5:8 translates it as "vigilant". So, 21 times the KJV translates it as "watch", 1 time as "vigilant" and 1 time as "wake".

    The good news is that there are Bible translations that still translate it as watch or alert in 1 Thess 5:10.

    The Darby Translation reads:

    10who has died for us, that whether we may be watching or sleep, we may live together with him.

    The New English Translation (NET) gets it right:

    He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him

    Even the German Luther Bibel of 1545 gets it right:

    10der für uns alle gestorben ist, auf daß, wir wachen (watch) oder schlafen, wir zugleich mit ihm leben sollen.

    Even the Catholic Latin Vulgate gets it right:

    qui mortuus est pro nobis ut sive vigilemus (vigilant) sive dormiamus (sleeping) simul cum illo vivamus

    Watching, again is connected with being sober in 1 Thess 5:6. Katheudo, or sleep, is connected with drunkenness in 5:6-7. Both words appear again in 5:10. The Cross of Christ is sufficient. Whether morally watching or sleeping, those who have believed in Jesus for eternal life will live with Him.

    Remember, the word used for sleep in 1 Thess 4 to refer to dead believers is koimao, NOT katheudo. Katheudo may have only been used once for death, in Matthew 9:24, and even there, it is highly questionable that it means death. Jesus says, "she's not dead. She is sleeping" (katheudo). And gregoreo NEVER means "to be alive".

    Do you honestly think that the meaning of the words would change from 1 Thessalonians 5:6-7 to verse 10? The question answers itself: NO.

    Also, though most translations translate it as "awake" in 5:10, at least some of them are consistent and translate it as "keep awake and be sober" in 5:6 as well(Weymouth, RSV, NRSV, etc.)

    By Blogger Danny, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 6:11:00 PM  

  • DF,

    "Actually, the book of Revelation does not even mention the word Antichrist."

    Actually, he's called 'the Beast.' What's your point?


    "It is necessary for you to show that the denial of those rewards equals being sent to hell."

    As is clearly shown in Rev 3:5, having one's name remain in the book of life is one of the rewards given to those who overcome, and in 20:15 it is written,

    "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

    If you wish to show that this applies to only a specific dispensation or group rather than all who appear before the great white throne of judgment, then please demonstrate it from scripture.


    "In heaven there will be millions upon millions of resurrected saints."

    Well duh. Haven't you read the dimensions yet?


    "I do not see that being with Christ needs to be seen in spatial terms."

    and

    "They will experience His presence in a way far removed from that which the believer experiences today, though not necessarilly in the sense of immediate physical presence."

    What part of 'gathering together unto Him' (2 Thessalonians 2:1) are you not getting? You believe John, then try believing what he wrote:

    "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2-3)


    You are clearly trying to evade the issue. The saints will dwell with Christ through eternity in New Jerusalem, those within it are saved, those not given access to it are not. Inventing bizarre and unscriptural fairly tales about saints not allowed into New Jerusalem for the sake of defending a contextually deficient doctrine is nothing short of intellectual dishonesty.

    "Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Revelation 22:14-15)

    By Blogger J.C. Thibodaux, at Saturday, October 27, 2007 7:34:00 PM  

  • JC

    "As is clearly shown in Rev 3:5, having one's name remain in the book of life is one of the rewards given to those who overcome"

    That text need not be taken as a warning that the non-overcomer will have his name blotted out.

    Rev 3
    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.

    What we have here is a contrast between what will be done (confess his name before the Father) with what will not be done (blot out his name).

    It may simply be that this is empasising that the overcomer will be exalted and praised before the Father. This need not necessarilly be taken as a threat of the name being removed.

    But even if it does, that would not prove the non-overcomer goes to hell.

    The judgment of the Great White Throne is a judgment of those dead who are not raised until after the rapture.

    There is no indication that anybody is saved through this judgment.

    Believers in this dispensation are judged before Christ after the rapture. They are given their reward and need no further judgment.

    The question of whether their names are written in the book of life is never raised as a question against them.

    "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2-3)

    Is our Lord's physical body in every single one of these mansions at the same time?

    Obviously not, for His human nature remains human.

    It is impossible that our Lord can be physically with every single saint at the same time, yet they will ever be with the Lord.

    They will know His presence, His divine omnipotent nature.

    Beware falling into the trap of either Nestorianism or Monophysitism.

    To be with Christ's divine nature is to be with His person, as much as to be physically present with His human body.

    His human and divine nature are forever united as one.

    Can you point to a single Scripture that indicates that every resurrected Christian will be in the New Jerusalem?

    They may be.

    We cannot rule out the possibility that the warning of Revelation 22 is a warning against losing privilege within the city, rather than loss of inhabitation of the city.

    Do not forget that the readers of the New Testament would have been quite familiar with the difference between citizens and inhabitants of cities (women, slaves, foreigners, subjects).

    You accuse me of being unscriptural, yet you have not produced a single verse of Scripture that proves that a born-again person can go to hell.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, October 28, 2007 9:36:00 AM  

  • I believe J. C. Ryle's view is the correct one on assurance.

    Quote:
    2. A believer may never arrive at this assured hope, and yet be saved.

    I would not desire to make one contrite heart sad that God has not made sad, or to discourage one fainting child of God, or to leave the impression that men have no part or lot in Christ, except they feel assurance.

    A person may have saving faith in Christ and yet never enjoy an assured hope, such as the apostle Paul enjoyed. To believe and have a glimmering hope of acceptance is one thing; to have "joy and peace" in our believing, and abound in hope, is quite another. All God’s children have faith; not all have assurance. I think this ought never to be forgotten.

    I know some great and good men have held a different opinion. I believe that many excellent ministers of the gospel, at whose feet I would gladly sit, do not allow the distinction I have stated. But I desire to call no man master. I dread as much as anyone the idea of healing the wounds of conscience slightly; but I should think any other view than that I have given a most uncomfortable gospel to preach, and one very likely to keep souls back a long time from the gate of life.

    I do not shrink from saying that by grace a man may have sufficient faith to flee to Christ—sufficient faith really to lay hold on Him, really to trust in Him, really to be a child of God, really to be saved and yet to his last day be never free from much anxiety, doubt and fear.

    "A letter," says an old writer, "may be written, which is not sealed; so grace may be written in the heart, yet the Spirit may not set the seal of assurance to it."

    A child may be born heir to a great fortune and yet never be aware of his riches, may live childish, die childish, and never know the greatness of his possessions. And so also a man may be a babe in Christ’s family, think as a babe, speak as a babe and, though saved, never enjoy a lively hope or know the real privileges of his inheritance.

    Let no man mistake my meaning when I dwell strongly on the reality, privilege and importance of assurance. Do not do me the injustice to say, I teach that none are saved except such as can say with Paul, "I know and am persuaded . . . there is a crown laid up for me." I do not say so. I teach nothing of the kind.

    Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ a man must have, beyond all question, if he is to be saved. I know no other way of access to the Father. I see no intimation of mercy, excepting through Christ. A man must feel his sins and lost estate, must come to Jesus for pardon and salvation, must rest his hope on Him, and on Him alone. But if he only has faith to do this, however weak and feeble that faith may be, I will engage, from Scripture warrants, he shall not miss heaven.

    Never, never let us curtail the freeness of the glorious gospel or clip its fair proportions. Never let us make the gate more straight and the way more narrow than pride and the love of sin have made it already. The Lord Jesus is very pitiful and of tender mercy. He does not regard the quantity of faith, but the quality: He does not measure its degree, but its truth. He will not break any bruised reed, nor quench any smoking flax. He will never let it be said that any perished at the foot of the cross. "Him that comes to Me," He says, "I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

    Yes! Though a man’s faith be no bigger than a grain of mustard seed, if it only brings him to Christ, and enables him to touch the hem of His garment, he shall be saved—saved as surely as the oldest saint in paradise, saved as completely and eternally as Peter or John or Paul. There are degrees in our sanctification. In our justification there are none. What is written is written and shall never fail: "Whoever believes on Him," not whoever has a strong and mighty faith, "Whoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed" (Rom. 10:11).

    But all this time, be it remembered, the poor believing soul may have no full assurance of his pardon and acceptance with God. He may be troubled with fear upon fear and doubt upon doubt. He may have many an inward question and many an anxiety, many a struggle and many a misgiving, clouds and darkness, storm and tempest to the very end.

    Bare simple faith in Christ shall save a man, though he may never attain to assurance; but will it bring him to heaven with strong and abounding consolations? I will concede that it shall land him safe in harbor; but I will not concede that he will enter that harbor in full sail, confident and rejoicing. I would not be surprised if he reaches his desired haven weather–beaten and tempest–tossed, scarcely realizing his own safety, until he opens his eyes in glory.

    An inquirer into religion would find more understanding if he made these simple distinctions between faith and assurance. It is all too easy to confuse the two. Faith, let us remember, is the root, and assurance is the flower. Doubtless you can never have the flower without the root; but it is no less certain you may have the root and not the flower.

    Faith is that poor trembling woman who came behind Jesus in the press and touched the hem of His garment (Mark 5:25). Assurance is Stephen standing calmly in the midst of his murderers and saying, "I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:56).

    Faith is the penitent thief, crying, "Lord, remember me" (Luke 23:42). Assurance is Job, sitting in the dust, covered with sores, and saying, "I know that my Redeemer lives" (Job 19:25). "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (Job 13:15).

    Faith is Peter’s drowning cry, as he began to sink: "Lord, save me!" (Matt. 14:30.) Assurance is that same Peter declaring before the council in after times, "This is the stone which was set at nothing of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:11, 12).

    Faith is the anxious, trembling voice: "Lord, I believe: help You mine unbelief" (Mark 9:24). Assurance is the confident challenge: "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? Who is he who condemns?" (Rom. 8:33, 34). Faith is Saul praying in the house of Judas at Damascus, sorrowful, blind and alone (Acts 9:11). Assurance is Paul, the aged prisoner, looking calmly into the grave, and saying, "I know whom I have believed. There is a crown laid up for me" (2 Tim. 1:12; 4:8).

    Faith is life. How great the blessing! Who can describe or realize the gulf between life and death? "A living dog is better than a dead lion" (Eccl. 9:4). And yet life may be weak, sickly, unhealthy, painful, trying, anxious, weary, burdensome, joyless, smileless to the very end. Assurance is more than life. It is health, strength, power, vigor, activity, energy, manliness, beauty.

    It is not a question of "saved or not saved" that lies before us, but of "privilege or no privilege." It is not a question of peace or no peace, but of great peace or little peace. It is not a question between the wanderers of this world and the school of Christ: it is one that belongs only to the school: it is between the first form and the last.

    He who has faith does well. Happy should I be if I thought all readers of this message had it. Blessed, thrice blessed, are those who believe! They are safe. They are washed. They are justified. They are beyond the power of hell. Satan, with all his malice, shall never pluck them out of Christ’s hand. But he who has assurance does far better—sees more, feels more, knows more, enjoys more, has more days like those spoken of in Deuteronomy, even "the days of heaven upon the earth" (Deut. 11:21).

    Whole chapter from His book Holiness
    http://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/
    assurance.htm

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at Sunday, October 28, 2007 11:30:00 AM  

  • Va-Susan, does a person trust in the completed work of our Lord Jesus Christ if she thinks she might go to hell?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, October 28, 2007 11:32:00 AM  

  • Hey Matthew,

    Rev 3:5 contains what is known as:

    litotes

    (LI-tuh-teez)

    It is a figure of speach, whereby a positive is emphasized by its negation.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Sunday, October 28, 2007 1:27:00 PM  

  • Antonio, yes I read what Bob Wilkin says on that. His arguments are good.

    But contrary to what has been said above, I do not think it would make any difference if removal of the believer's name were a possibility.

    God Bless

    Matt

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, October 28, 2007 1:30:00 PM  

  • DF,

    "That text need not be taken as a warning that the non-overcomer will have his name blotted out.

    What we have here is a contrast between what will be done (confess his name before the Father) with what will not be done (blot out his name)."


    Yeah, I'm sure Christ actually meant that He would not blot out any names at all, that's obviously why He promises this specifically to those who overcome.


    "It may simply be that this is empasising that the overcomer will be exalted and praised before the Father. This need not necessarilly be taken as a threat of the name being removed."

    And it may mean that those who do not endure are not confessed, but disowned by Him (2 Timothy 2:12) and cast into hell. Such a possibility being plainly demonstrated, by what reasonable means do you call conditional security 'antichrist'?


    "The judgment of the Great White Throne is a judgment of those dead who are not raised until after the rapture. There is no indication that anybody is saved through this judgment."

    Which is irrelevant, since the names of all who are saved are written in heaven (Luke 10:20, Philippians 4:3). If one's name is not written, he has no part in the holy city or among the redeemed.


    "Can you point to a single Scripture that indicates that every resurrected Christian will be in the New Jerusalem?"

    That implication isn't hard to see in scripture,

    "But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." Galatians 4:26

    "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:13-16

    "And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God..." Revelation 21:10-11

    Indeed, if New Jerusalem above is the mother of all redeemed, if it is the heavenly country we by faith seek after, and it is (by virtue of its inhabitants) the bride of Christ, then how can it not be equated with eternal life with Christ?


    "We cannot rule out the possibility that the warning of Revelation 22 is a warning against losing privilege within the city, rather than loss of inhabitation of the city."

    Oh boy, another gem of wisdom from the kings of contextual reading. Let's see, is it talking about entrance, or just privelege of some sort?

    "Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:14)

    Our grand inquisitor of antichrists needs to do his homework before he presents his charges.


    "Is our Lord's physical body in every single one of these mansions at the same time? Obviously not, for His human nature remains human. It is impossible that our Lord can be physically with every single saint at the same time, yet they will ever be with the Lord."

    Of course, with huge impassible gates and walls between them separating that which defiles and that which is holy (Revelation 21:27) throughout eternity, at least by your logic. Despite your best attempts to weasel out of it, it's still checkmate.


    "You accuse me of being unscriptural, yet you have not produced a single verse of Scripture that proves that a born-again person can go to hell."

    You accuse anyone who believes as I do of being antichrist, yet can't contextually square the single scripture I've presented in my defense with your theology, much less deal with the other gaping holes in it. All you can do is waffle and manufacture fantastical excuses. But please, keep trying, the more you do, the more obvious it becomes that the silliness you're pushing and the insidious accusations you throw at other Christians are lacking in even the most basic logic and scholarship. But if you still can't see where the case for conditional security arises, then tell me: Can one who was born again hate another Christian and simultaneously have eternal life in Christ?

    By Blogger J.C. Thibodaux, at Sunday, October 28, 2007 2:10:00 PM  

  • [Va-Susan, does a person trust in the completed work of our Lord Jesus Christ if she thinks she might go to hell?]

    Matthew,

    Some people are morbidly introspective due to depression or perhaps because of Satanic attacks and could think the worst about themselves when God accepts them. Bunyan is a good example of this. He only had a thread of faith. He believed he had committeed the unpardonable sin, that there was no hope for him, and that God had rejected him when in fact He was dearly loved by God.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at Sunday, October 28, 2007 4:52:00 PM  

  • Va-Susan, that is not really an answer to my question.

    Person A thinks that she may go to hell.

    Does she trust in Christ's completed work?

    Presumably she either believes that:

    1) Christ is unable to save her.

    2) Christ is unwilling to save her.

    3) She is not good enough to be saved.#

    Do you really believe that these possibilities are compatible with faith in the completed work of Christ for salvation.

    She may think that Christ's work on the cross is very good. That is not trust in Him.

    She may think that Christ is able to save some people. But that is not trusting her own eternal destiny to Christ.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, October 29, 2007 1:40:00 AM  

  • Danny, Alvin, Matt;

    I fear for the plain meaning of words.

    It is best to not rely upon your own understandings. We must try to get God’s thinking on these matters.

    There are scores of stories in the bible that inextricably link belief with action. What do the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Lot’s wife all have in common? Their actions were in conflict with their belief. There is no question that they believed in God. But their belief was not demonstrated by their actions. We know what happened to them.

    The link between faith and works cannot be over-stated. The need for perseverance in faith, not “punctilliar” faith is assiduously attested to in scripture. James states it very explicitly at verse 12 of the 1st Chapter.

    12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

    So it is very important that we be doers of the word and not merely hearers of it. (James 1:22).

    It is contended in your ministry that faith alone in Jesus alone leads to eternal life. This I believe is only partially correct, misleading, and not what Jesus himself was teaching us. Prior to issuing a warning, characteristically Jesus gives us illustrations. In Matthew we have the parables of the Ten Virgins and the parable of the Talents. In each parable we see a lack of faith as demonstrated by inaction. The faith of the 5 virgins and the man with one talent was not made manifest in their works.

    But after the parables, we have words of warning from Jesus and he is very explicit. There will be a separating work, sheep from goats. It is no coincidence that this warning comes on the heals of the two parables. In each parable we see people whose faith led them to action and reward, and people whose lack of faith was demonstrated by their lack of action and their corresponding penalty. Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan? The action of the priest and the Levite (men of professed faith) passed on the other side of the road. Their action, despite their belief, condemned them, while the actions of the Good Samaritan were worthy of our Lords praise. Jesus was asked, "Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?", and after the parable, Jesus’ response was “Go and do likewise”.

    Go and do likewise.

    Jesus is clear. Faith alone is not enough. Faith is only saving faith when it is combined with action. Not action to save you, but action because you are saved.
    Matt, you have stated that no verse has been presented that would indicate a believer can go to hell. At Matthew 25: 41-46 we read:
    41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
    44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
    45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
    46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
    Note the use of the word “Lord” when these people pleaded their case. They were believers who did nothing to help. Their actions were in conflict with their faith. Faith alone did not save them. They are like the priest and the Levite who passed on the other side of the road. They are like the man who buried his talent, and they are going away to eternal punishment.
    So then I conclude with this verse, also in Matthew 24

    45"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.

    The faithful slave is doing what his master told him to do. He is not merely believing, he is also doing. Again action is called for, action that perfects our faith.

    By Blogger Chris, at Monday, October 29, 2007 9:51:00 AM  

  • Chris, if faith always resulted in action it would hardly have been necessary for James to tell us that faith without works is dead.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, October 30, 2007 4:00:00 AM  

  • Yes but Jesus was concerned with right action, action that embodies your faith. The priest and the Levite passed on the other side of the road, an action counter to their professed faith.

    By Blogger Chris, at Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:59:00 AM  

  • Faith without works is bad.

    We all agree about that.

    Next question?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, October 30, 2007 9:01:00 AM  

  • Ouch! Surly today. Did you have your tea?

    By Blogger Chris, at Tuesday, October 30, 2007 9:39:00 AM  

  • How do you know I am being surly, Chris? Can you hear the tone of my voice?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 31, 2007 1:51:00 AM  

  • Maybe it's down to the fact that my photo is not smiling.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 31, 2007 1:52:00 AM  

  • Well, I suspect you think I'm obtuse and not open to the truth and, I detect a dismissive tone in your "next question?" response.

    Your avatar may have something to do with it, I admit.

    By Blogger Chris, at Wednesday, October 31, 2007 8:52:00 AM  

  • Is it your belief that professing your faith, or rather, having faith in the ransom sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, at a point in time, is saving faith; that no concept of endurance in that faith, as taught and encouraged in scripture, has any bearing on the offer of eternal life; that one "punctilliar" profession of faith is sufficient, and that should you, through the course of your walk, stray, it is of no consequence, that the only penalty for such straying is the level of rewards in heaven.

    If so, who was Jesus referring to in his sheep/goat scenario in Matthew?

    By Blogger Chris, at Wednesday, October 31, 2007 9:08:00 AM  

  • Sorry, my punctuation is off. The paragraph should have question marks. Please assume I am asking you questions, not making statements.

    By Blogger Chris, at Wednesday, October 31, 2007 9:09:00 AM  

  • [They are like the man who buried his talent, and they are going away to eternal punishment.]

    Chris,
    Wow, you believe in eternal punishment!

    Matthew,
    Someone on our forum once said that these Lordship/FG debates end up pitting James against Paul. At the bottom of it differences in our views of the law. The reformed view is that the law convicts us of sin and leads us to Christ and can never save us, but after salvation, it shows us how to please God as a rule of life. Jesus summed up the moral law as loving God and our neighbor.
    We all still sin, but a true believer cannot continue to live a life of rebellion. He is convicted by the Holy Spirit when he sins and made miserable until he is brought back to an obedient walk by God's loving discipline. The Corinthians who abused the Lord's supper were even brought to an early death.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at Wednesday, October 31, 2007 9:54:00 AM  

  • Va-Susan,

    "Someone on our forum once said that these Lordship/FG debates end up pitting James against Paul."

    I do not see that. It is rather a question of how we interpret James.

    It is certainly the case that consistent Free Gracers take an unusual view of James chapter 2. But we do have a huge amount to say about the epistle of James, if people will take care to listen to us.

    Of course, some less consistent Free Gracers take a view of James chapter 2 that is largely the same as that of Lordship Salvationists.

    "Jesus summed up the moral law as loving God and our neighbor."

    The problem is how one separates the moral law from the rest of the law. The idea of the moral law as distinct from the ceremonial law is not a biblical concept. In Galatians, Paul treats the moral and ceremonial aspects of the law as one entity.

    "He is convicted by the Holy Spirit when he sins and made miserable until he is brought back to an obedient walk by God's loving discipline. The Corinthians who abused the Lord's supper were even brought to an early death."

    Susan, I am delighted that you say this.

    There are two sides to Free Grace theology. On the one hand, we stress the free offer of grace. On the other hand, we stress the accountability of believers to the Lord. We feel that both Arminians and Calvinists place insufficent stress on both chastening and eternal rewards.

    In debates on Lordship Salvation/ FG, in my experience Calvinists do have a tendency to play down chastening, the sin unto death and rewards.

    You seem to accept that a believer may die prematurely as a result of God's judgement on sin. I am glad you do. However, I rather wonder how that fits in with your theology of perserverance. If a believer dies because of God's judgment, it hardly seems like that believer has overcome, does it? Or am I missing something?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 31, 2007 2:40:00 PM  

  • Chris,

    "that the only penalty for such straying is the level of rewards in heaven."

    Well, in the short term there is also chastening. God disciplines those whom He loves. And if that fails there is untimely death. I know that might not seem like such a bad thing if one is going to heaven, but it is God's way of limiting the damage we do to His honour. And it means the end of further opportunity to serve God and earn rewards.

    You talk as though rewards are only a small matter.

    I would argue that they are a big thing. It is God's purpose to create a celestial aristocracy. A new race of semi-divine people who will exercise government over creation.

    At this point, I will say that the Jehovah's Witnesses are onto something in recognising the glorious position of those who rule with Christ.

    I disagree with the idea of only 144,000 going to heaven and I would argue some will be in heaven who are denied these awesome privileges. But the Watchtower have a point in recognising different levels of privilege in the eschaton.

    The Sheep and the Goats.

    In my view, this is a judgment of those who survive Armageddon.

    This group will not include Christians as they will have been raptured or resurrected between 2 or 3 years before this point. The other people on this blog would disagree with me and say that the rapture occurs seven years before Armageddon, but you can't win all the time.

    The Sheep may include people who are not yet believers (which may indicate their surprise- they have obviously not read Matthew 25), however, they will have manifested their repentance and sorrow for sin in their conduct towards believers and the Jews.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 31, 2007 2:50:00 PM  

  • [You seem to accept that a believer may die prematurely as a result of God's judgement on sin. I am glad you do. However, I rather wonder how that fits in with your theology of perserverance. If a believer dies because of God's judgment, it hardly seems like that believer has overcome, does it? Or am I missing something?]


    Matthew,
    My theology of perseverance does not deny that some Christians can and do backslide.

    It may be that in the case of the Corinthians, the chastening by God in sending illnesses that led to some of their deaths was the means He used to bring them back to faithfulness.
    -------------------
    1 Corinthians 11:27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. [7] 31 But if we judged [8] ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined [9] so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

    [7] 11:30 Greek have fallen asleep (as in 15:6, 20)
    [8] 11:31 Or discerned
    [9] 11:32 Or when we are judged we are being disciplined by the Lord
    ----------------------------
    Someone once pointed out to me that this word used for death or sleep can only apply to a believer.

    Here's what the London Baptist Confession (held to by Reformed Baptists) says on Perseverance:
    ----------------------
    LBCF — Chapter XVII: Of the Perseverance of the Saints

    1. Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, whence he still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality; and though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them, yet he is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraven upon the palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity.

    2. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father, upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ and union with him, the oath of God, the abiding of his Spirit, and the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

    3. And though they may, through the temptation of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins, and for a time continue therein, whereby they incur God's displeasure and grieve his Holy Spirit, come to have their graces and comforts impaired, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded, hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves, yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.

    ~Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at Wednesday, October 31, 2007 5:44:00 PM  

  • Susan, I do think it is great that you acknowledge this.

    However, a believer who falls asleep, as the Corinthian believers did- at what point does she do this:

    "yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end?"

    Falling asleep seem rather permanent in its effects.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, November 01, 2007 2:16:00 AM  

  • Hey dyspraxic fundie,

    You might want to try using a napkin next time you eat a cream puff :)

    BTW, When John speaks of antichrists in 1 John, he is speaking of those who believe that they can live in sin and still maintain a relationship with the Lord. They were teaching that one can sin with spiritual immunity. This is the false teaching that John is primarily concerned with correcting in this epistle.

    Do you not realize that you are teaching the same thing as the antichrists with your warped view of grace?

    You say you are unashamed of grace, but from what I have read, it seems you are unashamed of antinomianism.

    By Blogger kangeroodort, at Thursday, November 01, 2007 12:26:00 PM  

  • Kangeroodort,

    I am not sure exactly what a 'creampuff' is and whether they eat such things here in the UK.

    With regard to false teachers in 1 John, it is possible that they may have been promoting some sort of antinomianism. Exactly what errors John was dealing with is an excellent subject for scholarly discussion.

    I would highly recommend Zane Hodges' commentary on the Johannine epistles.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, November 01, 2007 12:54:00 PM  

  • Hello Matthew,

    Sorry it has taken me awhile to get back to you on this.

    The passage in 1 Cor 11 shows God bringing temporal judgments on believers for this purpose-- that they would not be condemned with the world. God's purpose in visiting these sinning saints with illness was to chasten them so they could be restored. Are you saying that God’s purposes in sending this chastening had failed in their case if they died from the illness? The text makes it clear that if they had not judged themselves they would have perished with the unbelieving world, which would be evidence that they were never Christ’s to begin with. But since we know that the word used for death is ‘sleep’, which only applies to a believer who dies, we can make the safe assumption that these believers who died from that illness are in heaven now with Christ. They must have judged themselves or else they would have been condemned with the world as the text says and perished without hope.
    The LBC says: yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.
    This portion of the LBC must be making a reference to the Hebrews 6 passage below.
    -----------------------
    Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
    -------------------------
    The point the confession makes is that unlike these apostates, the true believers are granted repentance and faith by God who is able to keep them in a state of grace. Not all who profess faith in Christ actually possess it, but God knows who His sheep are. There are those who appear to be outwardly religious, but they do not have a renewed heart and the Holy Spirit does not indwell them. They are dead spiritually even though they had lived among God’s people and had taken part in baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They lacked true faith, fell away from the faith they once professed and were eventually damned. They had even enjoyed some degree of light from the Holy Spirit, but not unto salvation.

    I’m not sure I would agree that the “sin unto death” John speaks of is the same situation as the one spoken of in the 1 Corinthians 11 passage. The illnesses seem to be the judgment in 1 Corinthians, not the death itself, since the ones who were chastened are said to be sleeping. In 1 Jn 5:16,17 Simon Kistemaker believes that “the sin unto death” refers to an unbeliever and that this death is a spiritual one for someone who has rejected Jesus as the Christ, has left the Christian community, and has no love for the brothers like the apostates mentioned in Hebrews 6 and 10.

    If a person who professes to be a Christian never returns to the Lord after living in rebellion, we have much reason to doubt that they ever had true saving faith.

    God keeps every true Christian till the end and no one can take us out of His hand.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at Saturday, November 03, 2007 7:48:00 PM  

  • Va-Susan, both the sickness and the death are identified as resulting from sin in 1 Cor 11.

    I am not denying that such persons are in heaven. They certainly are genuine believers.

    However, the fact that their sin resulted in their death does seem to indicate that they had no opporunity of repentance in their lifetime.

    Had they turned from the sin, they would surely have not died.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, November 04, 2007 7:48:00 AM  

  • [Had they turned from the sin, they would surely have not died.]
    Matthew,
    We all sin and we all die! But the true Christian's death is not a spiritual death, but only a physical one.
    -----
    31 But [b]if we judged [8] ourselves truly,[/b] we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined [9] so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

    The "if" means something here. These people must have judged themselves or else they would have been condemned with the world and the word "sleep" would not rightly apply to them.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at Sunday, November 04, 2007 10:26:00 AM  

  • Susan

    29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

    30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

    Were these believers sick because they had judged themselves?

    Or were they sick because God had judged them?

    What is the reason for these believers being sick?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, November 05, 2007 4:13:00 AM  

  • [Were these believers sick because they had judged themselves?]

    Hi Matthew,
    No, they were sick because they had sinned by eating the Lord's Supper unworthily, and the Lord had sent the judgment of sickness on them.
    When they judged themselves they agreed with God that they had sinned and deserved condemnation. They acknowledged their sin, sought God's forgiveness, and received pardon. If they had not repented the text makes it clear that they would have perished with the world.

    [Or were they sick because God had judged them?]

    They were sick because God judged them but the judgment in their case was temporal and was a chastening which was effectually used by God to bring them to repentance.

    [What is the reason for these believers being sick?]

    They were sick because they had come to the table with irreverance and without examining themselves. They had not discerned the body and blood of the Lord during the Lord's Supper but treated the Lord's Supper as a common meal. They also showed contempt toward the poor in their assembly by not waiting for them before they ate and had not shared their food with them. Some had even gotten drunk.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at Monday, November 05, 2007 7:25:00 PM  

  • Thankyou, Susan.

    29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

    30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

    So would you also agree that they fell asleep for the same reason?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, November 06, 2007 12:27:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    Here is what I disagree with you on.

    [However, the fact that their sin resulted in their death does seem to indicate that they had no opporunity of repentance in their lifetime.

    Had they turned from the sin, they would surely have not died.]

    I think this is a false conclusion.
    A convicted murderer may truly repent but still have to face their execution. To be forgiven does not necessarily mean that God will give us long lives or not take us home early.

    I am not denying that the deaths mentioned in the passage were connected to the severity of the sin. What I am denying is your conclusion that this means they did not repent. People can repent on their death beds. Perhaps it took an illness so severe and God having to "turn up the heat" to bring them to their senses.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at Tuesday, November 06, 2007 6:06:00 PM  

  • Susan, I think you may be right in asserting the possibility of their repentance before death.

    However, I do think James 5 indicates that repentance can avert premature death:

    19 ¶ Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

    20 let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

    You probably take the more common view that this refers to converting an unbelieving person, but I think the context in the epistle James indicates that this refers to the sins of a believer.

    I won't argue the point. But I would urge you to re-read James and consider that interpretation.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, November 07, 2007 12:39:00 AM  

  • [You probably take the more common view that this refers to converting an unbelieving person, but I think the context in the epistle James indicates that this refers to the sins of a believer.]

    Matthew,
    Thanks for your response. I don't see any problem with the sinner James mentions being a backslider instead of a convert. We are to reach out to and warn those who are straying in hopes that they will repent and return to a faithful walk.

    Sorry not to answer you sooner. I have been having login problems here and have been unable to post for several days, but now it seems to be working fine again.

    By Blogger Susan, at Friday, November 09, 2007 8:17:00 PM  

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