Dear Brother Josht,<br>This is a very, very long response, but I felt the need to clarify a few things. <br>You wrote <br><hr width="85%"><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><hr width="85%"><br><br>Actually, the explanations we have are not far-fetched at all. Rather, they account for the whole context. Interesting you would use the words “they can’t get past..”. For the whole of arminian theology is based doing just that: doing gymnastics on many passages the teach explicit statements about perseverance of the saints, unconditional election based on God’s immutable decree, etc. Let’s look at the whole context:<br><br>4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,<br>5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,<br>6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.<br>7 [color:red] For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:<br>8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.<br>9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.</font color=red><br><br>Verses 7-10 make the point that those who fall way(verse 6) are covenant breakers, who are in the church, NOT those who are saved. If your idea that everyone in the church is a “Christian”, then I agree with you that those “Christians” can and do fall away. However, not everyone in the church is a genuine Christian, that is those who are born again of God. Both Christians and non-Christians can experience those things listed in Verses 4-5; it may or may NOT describe a Christian. Verses 7 and 8, which starts with ‘for’(because) to indicate the relationship with the previous 4 verses, make a clear distinction that there are 2 kinds of people in the church that heard the word of God and have the experiences listed in v4-5[ alluded as ‘rain’ in the verse]. One ‘earth’ bears [continually (present particle)] useful ‘herbs’ and these receive a “blessing”, and another ‘earth’, having drunk rain, produces Thorns and briers[ continually] and they are burned. [color:red]This illustration represents 2 classes of church folk: One that bears fruit and One that bears NO FRUIT. This is theme is nothing new. It’s repeatedly shown throughout the Gospels, like in Matthew 13 on the parable of the soil or Luke 8 on the parable of the sower, Mark 4, and John 15</font color=red>. Just because one is in the church or covenant and experiences many influences of the Holy Spirit and do works in the name of Christ, It does not follow that they are saved[ see Matthew 7 on the “I never knew you” crowd, or Judas, or Magus in acts]. Thus, I agree wholeheartedly with FF Bruce when He states, “<br> In these verses he is not questioning the perseverance of the saints; we might say that rather he is insisting that those who persevere are the true saints…those who have shared the covenant privileges of the people of God, and then deliberately renounce them, are the most difficult persons of all to reclaim to faith . <br> As as Joe, stated in another post, the author then turns from “they” to “You” as He speaks of “better things” , “things that accompany salvation” to indicate that now He is referring to genuine Christians. Notonly that, but verses 13-20 are one of best passages in all of the scriptures for the true Christian; It states that God’s purposes are immutable and Christ is the “Anchor” of their soul. Now, regarding repentance. The scripture do not state that God gave them a ‘repentance unto life’ in ver 4-6. Esau and Judas were never saved and they sought or had repentance that was not “accompanied by saving faith”. Esau sought a change of mind [metanoia,repentance] concerning the sale of his birthright not salvation. Even that was not genuine as is shown in Heb 12. BTW, God had passed over Esau in election from all eternity(romans 9). Also, the false teachers in 2 peter 2:20-22 for a moment had a change of mind . It is one thing to repent over the benefits lost or being sorrowful of one’s sins and another thing to cling and trust in Christ. In addition, repentance can indicate an “OUTWARD confession of faith, sealed by an outward sign and pledge of that confession”( John Owen in “Apostacy from the Gospel”). Repentance of wrong doing or loss of benefits or a profession does not necessarily imply saving faith in Christ. As Wayne Grudem states “.. not all repentance includes a inward, heartfelt repentance toward God that accompanies saving faith”. Furthermore, being restored again does NOT imply that they had ‘repentance unto life’ to begin with. That’s a huge logical leap. In conclusion, this passage(verse 4-6) is speaking to someone like Judas or those in Matthew 7:22 and not to a born of God Christian. What this passage, along with 2 peter 2, or 2 tim 4:10, etc., teach is that there are such things as temporary, spurious faith which is not true saving faith in Christ at all. These are not face value scriptures that “ teach believers can loose their salvation”. If you want a face value scripture for apostasy go to 1 John 2:19 and that demonstrates only the false professors fall away. <br>In response to my statements regarding John 6:39, You wrote:<br><hr width="85%"><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><hr width="85%"><br>Actually, I’m not failing to taking into account God’s perceptive will ( such as the commandments, etc). It is clear from that passage(john 6:37-40), plus Romans 8, Romans 9, John 17, Eph 1, etc, that God’s choosing believers from the foundation of world is according to his own counsel & will [in these passages it implies a decretive will]. Many theologians, at least Calvinist, use the distinctions of God’s preceptive and Decretive will, of which I believe pilgrim has already stated, but I am going to continue a little on it for my discussion. For example here is a good description on the distinctions of God’s will by John piper’s from his excellent article “Are There Two Wills in God?” which can be found at : " target="_blank">http:// . <br>John piper states “It implies that God decrees one state of affairs while also willing and teaching that a different state of affairs should come to pass. This distinction in the way God wills has been expressed in various ways throughout the centuries. It is not a new contrivance. For example, theologians have spoken of sovereign will and moral will, efficient will and permissive will, secret will and revealed will, will of decree and will of command, decretive will and preceptive will, voluntas signi (will of sign) and voluntas beneplaciti (will of good pleasure), etc. . After showing this distinction very clearly using the death of Christ as an example, Piper states “[color:black]Therefore we know it was not the "will of God" that Judas and Pilate and Herod and the Gentile soldiers and the Jewish crowds disobey the moral law of God by sinning in delivering Jesus up to be crucified. But we also know that it was the will of God that this come to pass. Therefore we know that God in some sense wills what he does not will in another sense. I. Howard Marshall's statement is confirmed by the death of Jesus: "We must certainly distinguish between what God would like to see happen and what he actually does will to happen."</font color=black>. For further discussion, please read the rest of the article. Nothing can thwart the decretive will of God. But back to discussion At hand. I quoted piper for the distinction of God’s will for this reason, that in John 6:37, Jesus said [color:red] 37ALL that the Father GIVES me will come to me..</font color=red>. The very point of this passage, others in john 6, and previous ones that I mentioned earlier is that believers have been chosen by God according to his will; it is God’s redemptive plan from all eternity[eph 1:4,11]. As Jesus later stated in John 17-6: “I have revealed you to those whom YOU GAVE me out of the world. They WERE yours; you GAVE them to me and they have OBEYED your word. [color:red] Thus, it is stated that it is the Father’s will All that He has given Christ from All eternity be raised up on the last day. As John Murray once posed the question” Are we to entertain even the remotest suspicion that the WILL of the Father will be defeated? Jesus here[john 6:38-40] assures us that it will NOT( Redemption Accomplished and Applied, pg 158)</font color=red>.” God does not fail to accomplish his redemptive purpose. That is why I have stated that Christ will not fail to bring HIS SHEEP to eternal glorification. I disagree with your statement “if a sheep strays from Christ and refuses to return…”. For the Christ Sheep “…FOLLOW him because they KNOW his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a strangers voice (John 10:4)". As AW. Pink stated “It is not possible to deceive the elect (Matthew 24:24).” Christ Sheep will not refuse to Come him. Jesus said “I KNOW my sheep and my sheep KNOW me-- JUST as the Father knows me and I know the Father. Jesus and His Sheep have such an intimate relationship that He even gives a comparison to that of Him and The Father. Imagine that! 2 Tim 2:19 “..God's SOLID foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord KNOWS those who are HIS," . And in verse 27 it is stated,” [color:red]27MY SHEEP</font color=red> LISTEN to my voice; I know them, and they FOLLOW me.. . So your statement about Christ sheep “refusing” to come back to him holds no weight, and that objection comes from, I believe, the arminian’s misconceptions about the will of man. In any case, Christ’s Sheep Love the voice of their Great Sheperd…they know him…and they follow Him. There is no need For Christ to “force” his sheep. His Sheep Love Him. At times when they do stray and get lost, Christ goes and finds them. SWW has added good responses regarding this idea. The arminian objection that goes something like this, “well those passages don’t say anything about a sheep not jumping out the The lord hands” , misses the very point of the passages. Ultimately Jesus sheep “follow him” and they do persevere because Jesus and The Father are preserving them. The picture of the passage is not the sheep holding on the God’s hands, rather it is God’s hand that is holding the sheep. You wrote “but if a sheep stops listening to Him, then it is certain that it will no longer be one of His sheep. Never perishis a conditional statement, contingent on remaining one of Christ's sheep.” I will repeat one final time. Christ Sheep will ultimately follow him and listen to him. Please read the scriptures as they are stated. NO, ‘never perish’ is not a conditional statement. It’s an explicit statement in the emphatic language regarding Jesus’ Sheep. Verse 27 begins with the “MY” sheep. What about Jesus’ Sheep? “They listen and follow His Voice”. His sheep do not stop listening to him and follow another’ voice in the final analysis( verse 10:5). The flow of the sentence is pretty clear to me. True believers have a new heart that CAUSES them to walk in the statues of God. As Francis Turretin stated” For what would it help to be guarded from external enemies if danger always hung over from internal enemies? Believers ought to fear not only from others, but more especially from themselves. The Shepard who promised to guard and keep the sheep absolutely will not discharge his duty if he permits them to wander and perish; but he ought to take care not only that they be not taken away from him by deceit and violence, but that they be not removed by disease or fault, or withdraw themselves from the fold by inborn simplicity and wander into devious paths...Nay He is the SAVIOR of his body, he cannot suffer any of them to perish who were given to him by the Father, but he guards them by his grace, continually dwelling in them and strengthening more and more the bond of union so that it can never be broken.”. Jesus sheep “will never perish” !!!!. Jesus’ Sheep was given to Christ by the Father to be raised on the last Day. . Furthermore, as Dr. Paul Enns states, “[color:red]The Son Has REMOVED the Wrath of God from the believer(Romans 3:25)</font color=red>, Justified the believer( rom 5:1), and sanctified the believer ( 1 cor 1:2)…PRAYS for the believer to be with him (john 17:24)…continues to be their ADVOCATE at the God’s bar of Justice( 1 john 2:1)…and He continues to MAKE intercession as the believer’s High Priest ( Heb 7:25). If a believer could be lost it would imply Christ is ineffective in His work as the believers’ Mediator. “ Thus , your statement “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” Still does remove the fact your position makes Christ’s prayers for His Sheep Ineffective if ‘His sheep were to be lost’. Christ’s prayers ineffective? How foolish of a thought!!! Additionally, as Dr. Robert L. Reymond, stated, “[color:red] This means that if the Son should fail either initially to save all whom the Father gives him or finally to consummate their Salvation in the Eschaton by raising them up from death to glory, he will have violated his Father’s will for him. This we may be sure he will never do</font color=red>( A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, page 783). <br>Thus I think, John Calvin correctly states( regarding John 6:39-40): “And this is the will of the Father. He now testifies, that this is the design of the Father, that believers may find salvation secured in Christ….that He[Christ] is not the GUARDIAN of our salvation for a single day, or for a few days, BUT that HE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT TO THE END, so that he will conduct us, as it were, from the commencement to the termination of our course; and therefore he mentions the last resurrection…. The Father had committed to him the protection of our salvation.” In conclusion, Believers ,the elect, “[color:red]..have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of IMPERISHABLE….</font color=red>"(1 Peter 1:23 ). I know some of these points have only been re-statement from other posts and in this one, but I believe they still have not been understood nor answered. <br><br><br>You wrote:<br><hr width="85%"><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><hr width="85%"><br><br>Actually let me clarify them for you. I’ll start with Hebrews 3:6, 14, 2 John 9 etc. Let’s look at Heb 3:6 “ And we ARE His HOUSE IF we hold fast Our confidence and pride our hope.” And Heb 3:14 “ We HAVE become partakers in Christ, if we hold fast our assurance..”. “ Opposite to your statements, the point of these passages is that those who are saved “are those who continue in faith to the end of their lives, those who persevere in their allegiance in Christ”. Perseverance in faith proves that you became a partaker in Christ, a member of God’s household. The opposite being that if one does not persevere in faith, they were never a partaker in Christ( 1 john 2:19). The other passages reiterate the same point. <br><br>Regarding John 8:31..Yes Judas was a disciple, but never a “True disciple”. He was a disciple on the outside. However, Jesus stated that He was a ”devil” a “Son of perdition”. Judas was never saved. A believer permanently abides in Christ. He bears fruit and is pruned so that He continues to bear more fruit. That is a true disciple. Fake or counterfeit disciples, like those in John 6, will fall out. As John Murray stated “The Lord setup a criterion by which true disciple might be distinguished, and that criterion is continuance in Jesus word “.<br><br>John 15, states that those who were cut off, just like the ground analogy in Heb 6:7-8, bear NO FRUIT. These are not believers. Rather, those that have saving faith yield fruit and are pruned to bear more fruit. Just like that Heb 6 analogy, there a two type of branches stated here. Those that are cut are not mentioned in the text as bearing ANY fruit at all. “Throughout Jesus’ parables a branch or plant or tree that is without fruit is abnormal, defective, and does NOT indicate SPIRITUAL LIFE ( James white).” That is what is “clear” about that passage. <br><br>In response to my statement about 1 john 3:9 You wrote:<br><hr width="85%"><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><hr width="85%"><br>Sorry but John does indeed address the issue of falling away in 1 John 2:19,more clearly than anywhere else seen, I might add and even states the reason why of those that remain. Furthermore, believers are born of “an imperishable seed”. And stating Heb 2:1 doesn’t prove much. See my earlier responses to Heb 3, Heb 6 for more. <br><br>You wrote <br><hr width="85%"><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><hr width="85%"><br>First thing, Just because something was said in the Old testament concerning Israel, it does not preclude it being applied to believers in the New Testament. For instance, Christ, Himself, applies the prophecy of Israle being ‘taught of God’ to the elect in John 6. That Jeremiah verse along with the verses, below, state that God would devote himself to create a faithful people. <br><br>Deut 30:6<br> And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.<br><br>Jeremiah24<br>7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.<br><br>Ezek 11:19-20<br>19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:<br>20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.<br><br>Eze 36:26-27<br>26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and MOVE you to FOLLOW my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.<br><br><br>Contrary to your statements,” These great promises from the Old Testament describe a work of God that changes a heart of stone into a heart of flesh and cause people to know, love and obey God, “ stated by John Piper. Some of this is alluded to in John 3, and it is clear stated in Heb 8 as part of new covenant. Heb 8: 10-13 “<br><br> I will put my laws in their minds <br> and write them on their hearts. <br> I will be their God, <br> and they will be my people. <br> 11No longer will a man teach his neighbor, <br> or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' <br> because they will all know me, <br> from the least of them to the greatest. <br> 12For I will forgive their wickedness <br> and will remember their sins no more."[3] <br>13By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.<br><br> Thus, you comments really doesn’t change my original point on perseverance. As John Gill states “Whereas it is further objected, that "this text only contains a promise, that when the Jewish nation shall be converted at the close of the world, they should never fall off any more from being his people, as they had done before." This is so far from militating against the doctrine of the saints’ final perseverance, that it serves to confirm it; since, when the Jews shall be converted, they shall not fall away, but "all Israel shall be saved;" so all God’s elect, being converted, whether among Jews or Gentiles, shall certainly persevere to the end, and be saved; seeing they are converted by the same grace, and kept by the same power, as the Jews then will be...” . The saints follow God because of the new heart(spirit) within them. <br><br> <br>You wrote concerning Rev 22<br><hr width="85%"><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><hr width="85%"><br>I disagree. You responses have not shown that their arguments violate the context. Rather it is you, who has been violating the hermeneutics of scripture and denying explicit teaching throughout the scriptures. For instance, It is clearly stated that “nothing in all creation” will separate the elect from the immutable, eternal love of God in Christ. Yet in vain, you have been running around mis-interpreting scripture to deny that which is abundantly and explicitly taught. I wonder How one can ever believe that God’s immutable purposes(Heb 6) can fail. As Thomas Watson said “God' s decree is the very pillar and basis on which the saints' perseverance depends. That decree ties the knot of adoption so fast, that neither sin, death, nor hell, can break it asunder." Brother JoshT, open your eyes. <br>You wrote<br><hr width="85%"><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><hr width="85%"><br>Well lets examine that in light of scripture. “ [color:black]Paul, even though God had ASSURED him on the occasion of the impending shipwreck recorded in Acts 27 that “there shall be NO LOSS of life among you, but only of the ship”[27:22,24,34], YET WARNED the centurion and the soldiers that that unless the sailors who were trying to escape in the lifeboat remained in the ship, they who remained in the ship could not be saved [27:31]. Even though Paul was assured of their ‘salvation’, he knew too that the MEANS[ JoshT, you keep missing this point] of their salvation was for all to remain on board the ship. Thus, HE ISSUED HIS WARNING, and IT HAD THE DESIRED EFFECT-‘ the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat, and let if fall away’ and in the due course ‘they all were brought safely to land[27:44]’. The Calvinist takes seriously the fact that God ordains not the only the end but also the MEANS to the end, and one of the means to his final salvation is the Christian’s perseverance in the faith to the end. The Calvinist clearly perceives that one of the ways whereby God effect this means of perseverance in the elect is to warn them of consequences of their not persevering to the end,</font color=black>’” says Dr. Robert L. Reymond in the New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, page 787. I let Dr Reymond speak because I couldn’t have said it any better. Want more examples?? I pray that you would understand the point that God has planned the end and the means by which the end will come to pass( 2 the 2:12-14, 1 peter 1:1-5,etc). I end with a statement from G.C berkouwer as quoted by Dr. Reymond. “Faith itself can do nothing else than listen to those admonitions and so travel the road of abiding in him”. <br>Your wrote “<br><hr width="85%"><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><hr width="85%"><br>I’m sorry to say this, but you badly misuse 2 peter 2. The point of 2 peter 2 passages is that those addressed are “False teachers” or as later described “A Dog[noticed the nature never changed or regenerated] returns to It’s own vomit, and “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire” (2 pet 2:22). These were never believers. I cringe at how you compared the false teachers with Believers(sheep) that wander. Let’s clear what ‘bought’ here means . As John Gill correctly stated “The word buying regards temporal deliverance, and particularly the redemption of the people of Israel out of Egypt; who are therefore called the people the Lord had purchased. The phrase is borrowed from Deuteronomy 32:6; Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy Father that hath BOUGHT thee? Hath he not made thee and established thee? Nor is this the only place the apostle Peter refers to in this chapter; (see vv. 12, 13, compared with Deuteronomy 32:5). Now the persons the apostle writes to, were Jews, the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithyna, a people who, in all ages, valued, themselves upon, and boasted mightily of their being the bought, purchased people of the Lord; wherefore Peter makes use of this phrase much in the same manner as Moses had done before him, to aggravate the ingratitude and impiety of these false teachers among the Jews; that they should deny, if not in words, at least in works, that mighty Jehovah, who had of old redeemed their fathers out of Egypt, with a stretched out arm, and, in successive ages, had distinguished them with peculiar favors; being ungodly men, turning the grace, the doctrine of the grace of God, into lasciviousness Hence,…Nothing can be concluded from this passage in favor of Christ’s dying for them that perish; since neither Christ, nor the death of Christ, nor redemption by his blood, are here once mentioned, nor in the least intended. Nor can these words be thought to be a proof and instance of the final and total apostasy of real saints, since there is not anything said of these false teachers, which gives any reason to believe that they were true believers in Christ, or ever had the grace of the Spirit wrought in their souls.” <br>As I have mentioned earlier regarding Heb 6, Heb 10, which is a parallel passage, states that these are covenant breakers(church members) “who deliberately keep on sinning”; they are not the elect, not true believers. For the rest of your points, I have rebutted them pretty well in the rest of this document. If desired I can go through this text verse by verse as I did with Heb 6. For “We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those WHO HAVE FAITH and keep THEIR SOULS (Heb 10:39). From these such sayings, as others mentioned earlier, it is evident that the Writer of the Hebrews interprets these “hard passages” Himself. There are only two classes of people. Those who do have have faith and fall away and Those who have faith and keep their souls. And for you statement on luke 13:6, please earlier statements dealing with those don’t bear ANY FRUIT. <br><br>I’ll end here. I could address your “wrenching” of the Galatians passage just like the killing of 2 peter 2.. But I’ve written plenty enough for now and don’t have any more time as of right now. I will do so in the next round . I like the way you imposed the "Willfully Sinning" staement in your response. <br><br>I end this with a quote from the great reformer, Francis turretin( 1623-1687), [color:red]“God…is never without the appropriate means to accomplish what he intends”</font color=red><br><br>And one from Job: <br><br>Job 23:13. [color:red]“The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?”</font color=red><br><br><br>Amen! Amen!<br><br>Brother in Christ,<br>Carlos<br><br>Ps. You need to [Linked Image] your old systems and believe the scriptures for what they say!<br><br>

"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)