Josh,<br><br>First of all I want to apologize to you for the remarks I made in my previous reply. I didn’t mean to sound so condescending. I think you are sincere in what you believe even though I disagree with your conclusions. I should not be so humored by your thoughts. It’s just that your argument is so contrary to what the Bible teaches about perserverance. Your idea that a man who is truely born again spiritually would actually walk away from God and His grace blows my mind. How can one have any confidence in their salvation when it depends on themselves? You just can’t build sound doctrine by interpreting one or two verses that disagree with a larger body of Scripture. <br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>A "works righteousness?" I don't understand, please elaborate. But yes, I do believe that man has the ability to either accept or reject Jesus Christ. I do not believe that a man can come to God of his own free will, unless God draws him first.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>The distinction here is that I believe that I am saved by grace alone and you are stating that you believe that we are saved by grace and works. For example your "acceptance" as you define it is something that God waits for you to do. You elaborated on this in the following paragraph as well...<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>"There is plenty that one can do to affect one's salvation. Read Acts 2:40 (save yourselves from this wicked generation), Hebrews 4:11 (let us labor to enter into His rest), and 2 Peter 1:5-10 to read how to make your calling and election sure. Let me emphasize, I do not believe in salvation by works, merit, or keeping of the law. But there are conditions which God has placed upon us if we are to receive (and retain) this precious gift"<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>These conditions as you describe them are what I would call works. If you were to describe them as the result of salvation rather than a condition to be saved I might be inclined to agree with you.<br><br>There are many passages that teach that those who are truly born again, who are genuinely Christians, will continue in the Christian life until death and will then go to be with Christ in heaven. In John 6:38-40 Jesus says, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."<br><br>It seems clear that everyone who truly believes in Christ will remain a Christian up to the day of final resurrection into the blessed life in the presence of God. As verse 39 states He should lose nothing of all that the Father has given Him. <br><br>Arminians have objected that “eternal life” is simply a quality of life, a type of life in relationship with God, which one can have for a time and lose it. The Hebrews 6 passage that you’ve chosen is one of those that Arminians use as a proof that believers can lose their salvation. But I don't believe that the person described there is a true believer. It's a sober warning and one that has been interpreted in different ways. But I don't believe a true Christian can lose their salvation. I think this Hebrews passage is describing an apostate. They appeared to be a Christian by their profession and participating in the life of the church but the fact that they fell away shows that their faith wasn't genuine and had no roots. <br><br>I know that Christ is all in all. Man is nothing: he has a free will to go to hell, but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him to will and do His pleasure. Oh the excellency of the doctrine of election and of the saints' final perserverance! I am persuaded, till a man comes to believe and feel these important truths, he cannot come out of himself, but when convinced of these and assured of their application to his own heart, he walks by faith indeed.<br><br>Wes

Last edited by Wesley; Sat Jun 29, 2002 8:34 AM.

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts