Dear Susan,

"So now we are to believe that the Good Shepherd destroys his own sheep who willingly stray from him!"

Actually, it is God the Father Who cuts off the unfaithful and fruitless branches (John 15:2, 6, Romans 11:22) and destroys them.

I agree with what you are saying about God chastening and trying to bring back those who stray. Note that the shepherd in my story did the same to try to keep this ewe on the right side of the fence. Though God is merciful and patient, some feel it necessary to try to abuse His grace and love; I do not believe that such people will enter the kingdom of God.

"You seem to have forgotten that the sheep are his elect, and the goats are not. You are having to ignore quite a lot of scripture to continue to hold to your belief, but you seem to have no problem doing this at all."

I never said the sheep weren't His elect, and I don't see how that proves eternal security either way: for those who are God's are His to do with as He pleases.

"I believe that you are guilty before God of adding on to the Word of God and taking from the Word of God in your zeal to "prove" your false doctrine-- that you are responsible for keeping yourself saved."

In my defense, I call 2 Peter 1:5-11

"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

I do not believe that men can save themselves or be saved of their own power. But if we yield to God, unlike the man that Paul speaks of who lacks these things, He will faithfully work in us these things so that we will never fall.

Satan can quote scripture too, but Jesus replied "it is also written..." Just because I do not subscribe to your interpretation of the Bible does not mean that I have added or taken away from God's word, but simply that I have understood it in the context in which it was written.

"You have denied that you believe in a 'works salvation', but at the end of your days when you enter into God's presence, could you give all the glory to the God of your salvation, if you are indeed one of His elect? Whether you realize it or not, you are giving glory to another, yourself, because of your belief that it was your own enduring and your own obedience that has saved you!"

The glory goes to God, fulfilling my responsibilities and reasonable service to God are nothing to boast of. Just as in the verse you cited in Luke 17, enduring and obeying God don't make me anything special or merit my receiving glory. The fact that I have nothing to glory of concerning my remaining in Christ does not prove unconditional security, it simply proves that those who endure to the end don't deserve any credit for doing so, because they have simply done what they were commanded (and empowered) by God to do. Hence this is not a 'works salvation,' but conditional salvation.

"We will know that if Christ had not continually interceded for us and His Spirit had not given us His help, we would all have failed."

I agree. But some people resist His Spirit (Acts 7:51) and despise His grace (Hebrews 10:29). These will be damned.

Let me also say that you judge me wrongly. You make too many assumptions about what I believe and do from you Calvinist paradigms; and you judge me according to them, not the word of God. You accuse me of taking glory for myself when it goes to God alone. Have I ever stated that? And if not, how can you judge my heart? Your judgement is premature, illogical, and sinful. If people have absolutely nothing to do with obtaining salvation, then Acts 2:40 and 1 Timothy 4:16 are meaningless. Instead of throwing railing accusations which you can't back up at me, why don't you check my sources?

In Christ,