Dear Carlos,<br><br>To briefly clarify the passages you cited,<br><br>- John 15 could only apply to believers, for no one could be cut off from what they were never in. At the same time, it must refer to actually abiding in Christ (and not just an outward show), else how could abiding in the vine help us bear fruit if it is mere outward show?<br><br>- John 8:31, is not a guarantee that all true believers will abide. It simply states that those who abide are Christ's disciples. It does not say that those who were abiding but do not abide presently were never disciples, it simply implies that they are not disciples now. Judas was a disciple, but since he did not abide in Christ, he fell from that position. So a believer is a disciple so long as he abides in Christ.<br><br>- Hebrews 3:6 & 14, 2 John 9, and Revelation 2:26 all simply state the condition of perseverance, they do not guarantee that every believer will meet it.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Jesus bring the illustration of the vine, vinedresser and branches so that 'you so that My joy may be in you, and that your (14) joy may be made full.' If this is talking about 'loosing oneís salvation', please demonstrate it to me."<br><br>Certainly, Jesus said that if a branch did not abide in Him, it would be cut off, gathered, and burned (vs 6). I don't think it can be illustrated clearer than that.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Rev 22, as been stated by Pilgrim and others, does not support your position."<br><br>I have seen no credible evidence of that. Indeed, I have shown why their arguments violate the context of scripture and present impossible scenarios.<br><br>IRT:<br>"If you read Romans 9-11 in its context, I don't think that conclusion can be made that 'one can loose their salvation'. The whole point of Romans 9-11 to explain the sorrow and argument stated in Romans 9:1-6..that is 'For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel'."<br><br>While the point of Romans 11 is that Israel has fallen, and that not all of Israel's people are truly children of Abraham; a plain fact of scripture is also stated here. Namely, that we should not boast against Israel, for if God did not spare them, He doesn't have to spare us either. So we should be aware of how good and how harsh God is, for He was severe to the apostate majority of Israel, and good to those of us who believed in Him -- If we continue in His goodness, otherwise He will cut us off just as He did to those who did not believe. So while the main point is that much of Israel has fallen from God's grace, the point is also made that we could fall in the same way if we do not remain in God's goodness.<br><br>Concerning Hebrews 6, I have read many a far-fetched explanation for this passage. But the thing that they can't get past is that it says, "it is impossible to renew them again to repentance." For why would God grant people repentance (Acts 11:18) without saving them? And why would they need to be renewed if it were not true saving repentance?<br><br>IRT:<br>"In addition, Warnings, in scripture I believe, is another means that God uses to preserve his people."<br><br>I agree, but I do not believe that God gives warnings against what cannot occur. But if you think He does give those warnings for the sole purpose of causing believers to be more cautious, then why would you teach that what is warned against cannot occur? Wouldn't that go against the purpose of God making those warnings?<br><br>IRT:<br>"'This is the Fatherís WILL which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath Given me I should LOSE NOTHING'.(John 6:39) . Jesus says that it is the fatherís will. Can Christ Fail at the Job He was given to Do?"<br><br>The thing that you are not taking into account is that God's will being fulfilled is also partially contingent on His people. For instance, it is God's will that His people abstain from fornication (1 Thessalonians 4:3), and yet some do anyway. So if a believer falls into sexual sin, did God then fail to perform His will? It is not a failure on God's part, but on ours. In the same way, if a sheep strays from Christ and refuses to return, even though it is contrary to God's will, it is not Christ's failure for losing it, but the sheeps failure to follow the shepherd.<br><br>IRT:<br>"A true believer is one of Christís Sheep. A sheep has a Shepard as you know. In this Case, it is Jesus Christ. For one to say that one of Christís Sheep can become a Goat, is in essence, teaching that Christ can fail at being the 'Chief' Shepherd."<br><br>But it isn't. I happen to know a thing or two about sheep; a good shepherd will watch for the sheep and give his life for the sheep, but sometimes sheep stray willingly. I read an account once of a man who was an excellent shepherd, and expert at protecting his sheep, but he had one ornery ewe that kept trying to find "greener pastures" (literally), every time he turned around. The sheep ended up straying from the flock and wriggling through the fence at every opportunity, and would often happily eat of dead grass and drink of polluted water just because it was on the other side of the fence (also literally). This was a big problem for the shepherd, and he tried everything to get her to stop, but he drew the line when her lambs began to pick up the same bad habits. With much grief, he took his hunting knife an killed the ewe. So while a shepherd can guard his sheep, he cannot keep them from straying if they are determined to do so. In the same way, while Christ guards His flock against the wickedness of the world, and gives us warnings and conviction to keep us from straying, there is nothing in the scripture to indicate that He will force us to remain with Him if we are determined to go our own way.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Jesus is a perfect savior; HE cannot fail to save His sheep. Thatís why John 10 states' 27MY sheep LISTEN to my voice; I know them, and they FOLLOW me. 28I give them ETERNAL life, and they shall NEVER perish; NO one can snatch them out of my hand. Jesus' Sheep Will never perish. This is stated with the double negative in the Greek to emphasize never Ďeverí, denying the possibility. Why is this?"<br><br>As I indicated in my last paragraph, Christ will not forcefully keep a sheep that wilfully strays. His sheep listen to His voice and follow Him, but if a sheep stops listening to Him, then it is certain that it will no longer be one of His sheep. "Never perish" is a conditional statement, contingent on remaining one of Christ's sheep. For Christ's sheep never will perish, but if one who strays will not return to Him, it is no longer His sheep. The fact that no one can pluck one out of Christ's hand or the Father's hand simply underscores what I wrote elsewhere: No one can forcefully tear a believer away from God. The word for "snatch" here (harpazo), indicates seizure by force.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Both Jesus and Father are preserving the sheep. He prays for his people(Romans (8:34), John 17. Do sheep wander? Yes. See Peter. However, note that Jesus prayer for him (Luk 22:32). Thatís why peter was kept and did not fall away permanently."<br><br>I agree that both the Father and Son work to preserve the flock. Peter was preserved by God's grace, and restored by God. I also believe that God will extend this kindness to all of His children, but this is no guarantee that every one who goes astray will always return (see Luke 13:6-9). 2 Peter chapter 2 speaks of false teachers who have been bought by God (vs 1), and yet have forsaken the right way and gone astray (just as some sheep do, vs 15). But it does not indicate that there is redemption for them, but indicates that their final destination is hell (vs 17). They obviously despised God's patience and grace, and did not give heed to His warnings. Hebrews 10:29 says,<br><br>"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 (i.e. 'insulted') the Spirit of grace?"<br><br>This indicates that it is possible for one who has even been sanctified by Christ's blood to stray and not repent to the point that he despises Christ's blood and insults the Holy Spirit. Though he was once sanctified, I can not see such a person as being saved any longer.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Contrast true disciples (sheep) with that of those apostates in 1 John 2:19. For John goes on to say in 1 John 3:9-10.. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, BECAUSE God's SEED REMAINS in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God."<br><br>1 John tells of many ways to discern a believer from an unbeliever, but does not address fully the issue of falling away. There is a third possibility not addressed here (but it is in other areas of scripture), which is one who has been born of God in the past, but has not kept the word of God in his heart.<br><br>"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." (Hebrews 2:1)<br><br>If you don't believe that such a class of people exists, then I would point to the book of Galatians. Notice that the people that Paul writes to had been "known of God," and yet were wilfully sinning against Him by returning to the bondage which He had called them out of (Galatians 4:9). If they were known of God, then His word must have been in them at one time; and yet they still continued to sin against Him. My only conclusion is that they had let the word slip from their hearts as Paul warned against in Hebrews 2.<br><br>IRT:<br>"A true Christian cannot alienate his inheritance in Heaven, for the deeds concerning this inheritance are written and sealed, and part possession is given the believer even in this life (Jer 32:40). 'I will put My fear in their hearts [present gracious possession] that they SHALL NOT DEPART FROM Me'"<br><br>I disagree. Though we do have a portion of our inheritance now, a warning to not be like Esau appears in Hebrews,<br><br>"...Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." (Hebrews 12:16-17) <br><br>Oh yes, and Jeremiah 32:40 is speaking of Israel proper at the time when they shall be saved (read the context). This extends into the millenium and into the new heavens and earth which God will create. This is actually what will happen when Israel and all the other true children of Abraham (aka 'the gentile Christians') will be glorified with God. He will take away our old sin nature and make us completely sinless just as Christ was. This is not a present possession (not in full anyway), but God haste the day when it is.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh