[color:red] While it is true, as the scriptures you cited “prove,” that some people were never written in the book of life [Rev 13:8; 17:8], I believe that it is easily understandable from Revelation 22:19 that other people were written in, but will have their names blotted out.

So, you believe in the reprobation of some, (thus, to some extent election) but also the free-choice of others. Uhmmm…sounds like someone is attempting to ride a fence to me [Linked Image]. Go back to my original post on the definition of the Book of Life and I think a clearer picture exists.

"Then I submit that you do not understand Reformed Doctrine. Man does have a will, it is not just a free as the Arminian thinks it is. Man makes decisions! They make decisions based on the knowledge they possess. Thus they can turn down a genuine offer. They reason they turn it down though is because they have not been changed by the Holy Spirit to see it (John 3:1-8). This man until he is changed by the Holy Spirit will not seek after God (Rom 3). He can not seek after God because he is dead in trespasses and sin (Eph 2). Thus as John 1:5 says 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."[color:red]Correct me if I am wrong, but the word 'opportunity' by itself indicates a possibility. Since no man can come to Christ unless God draws him, a person who is not drawn would have no opportunity to be saved at all. So how can you believe that an unsaved person can have a missed 'opportunity' to be saved and still believe in unconditional election?

First, I do not see the term [color:red]'opportunity' used? Maybe an illustration will help. Think of a man in a sound proof box and is completely shut off from the outside world. He can not see any light from outside. The box is completely sealed. He is in darkness. He is dead in trespasses and sin. He is blind, deaf, crippled in spiritual things.

Now all around that box is the light of God [a real offer], but the man in the box does not comprehend it, because he is “dead” inside of his box to everything outside of it and thus cannot see it. He is free to make decisions inside his box, but the Gospel is not in his box, thus he can not comprehend it. A genuine offer is made, but because of his sin he cannot see it (comprehend it). Thus Jesus says a man must be born again before he “sees” the Kingdom of God (John 3). Thus, before a person may be born again God must break through his box (election/calling) at which time comprehension of the Gospel become irresistible. (as all illustration it is limited, but brings to point that a real offer can be made and not be comprehended)

[color:red]I wrote: "Additionally, the author's whole argument: "People can go to church for years and hear the gospel over and over again, even be faithful church members, and never really make a commitment to Jesus Christ. That kind of person is addressed here."....Is clearly contradicted by vs 9, which says, 'But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation (literally: 'that you are holding fast salvation'), though we thus speak.'" And you wrote: "The word "But" refers to a different audience! This term shows a change of audience and a move towards a change from a message of warning to a message of encouragement. That the address is to believers is further confirmed by the expression of confidence that “better things” [not the same things] could be said of them (as compared to those who were being warned in the preceding verses)." [color:red] You misunderstood my statement. The author of the article you sent me was trying to prove that the 'different audience' you speak of (the same ones he addressed in vs 1-5) were not saved. I was trying to show the errors in his logic. The reason why it is significant that they were saved is because the warnings in vs 4-8 were given to them, thereby clearly showing that falling from the faith is possible.

I DID NOT mis-understand, for I am saying it IS A DIFFERENT AUDIENCE in vs 1-5 (unsaved ) then in vs 9 (saved), which is clearly shown in my post. I guess than we need to re-word Paul’s wording in Rom 8 by your definition to read :

Rom 8:3539 (Josh Translator Version JTV) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ, [only me myself]? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword [oh. no just myself]? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors [unless I mess up] through him that loved us. For I am persuaded [well for the most part that is], that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, [but I can separate myself by my works, though I was saved by grace].

Or would you rather translate Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling [as long as I work it all right for I alone am sovereign and not God], and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy [that is if only I work it all out right, for I alone am sovereign and not God],

I am sorry JoshT that just does not make sense. See I serve a Holy Sovereign God who controls all. He never left anything to chance. I do not believe Christ’s blood ever lost its power. Christ says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Here Jesus says that those who follow him, those who are his sheep, are given eternal life. He further says that “no one shall snatch them out of my hand” (v. 28). Now some have objected to this that even though no one else can take Christians out of Christ’s hand, we might remove ourselves from Christ’s hand. But that seems to be pedantic quibbling over words--does not “no one” also include the person who is in Christ’s hand [that is the Christian himself Josh!!]? Moreover, we know that our own hearts are far from trustworthy. Therefore if the possibility remained that we could remove ourself from Christ’s hand, the passage would hardly give the assurance that Jesus intends by it. But more importantly, the most forceful phrase in the passage is “they shall never perish” (v. 28). The Greek construction (ou me plus aorist subjunctive) is especially emphatic and might be translated more explicitly, “and they shall certainly not perish forever.” This emphasizes that those who are Jesus’ “sheep” and who follow him, and to whom he has given eternal life, shall never lose their salvation or be separated from Christ--they shall “never perish.”

There are several other passages that say those who believe have “eternal life.” One example is John 3:36: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (also John 5:24; 6:47; 10:28; 1 John 5:13). Now if this is truly eternal life that believers have, then it is life that lasts forever with God. It is a gift of God that comes with salvation (it is put in contrast to condemnation and eternal judgment in John 3:16-17, 36; 10:28). 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 then lose. But this objection does not seem to be convincing in view of the clear nuance of unending time involved in the adjective eternal (Gk. aionios “eternal, without end”). Certainly there is a special quality about this life, but the emphasis in the adjective eternal is on the fact that it is the opposite of death; it is the opposite of judgment and separation from God; it is life that goes on forever in the presence of God. And he who believes in the Son has this “eternal life” (John 3:36).

Evidence in Paul’s writings and the other New Testament epistles also indicates that those who are truly born again will persevere to the end. There remains “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1); therefore, it would be unjust for God to give any kind of eternal punishment to those who are Christians--no condemnation remains for them, for the entire penalty for their sins has been paid. Then in Romans 8:30, Paul emphasizes the clear connection between God’s eternal purposes in predestination and his working out of those purposes in life, together with his final realization of those purposes in “glorifying” or giving final resurrection bodies to those whom he has brought into union with Christ: “And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Here Paul sees the future event of glorification as such a certainty in God’s settled purpose that he can speak of it as if it were already accomplished (“he also glorified”). This is true of all those who are called and justified--that is, all those who truly become Christians. Another example of assurance that believers will persevere to the end is found in Paul’s statement to the Philippians: “I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). It is not true that God’s good work that began in them will continue and will be completed at the day Christ returns? Peter tells his readers that they are those “who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). The word guarded (Gk. phroureo) can mean both “kept from escaping” and “protected from attack,” and perhaps both kinds of guarding are intended here: God is preserving believers from escaping out of his kingdom, and he is protecting them from external attacks. Josh I believe in God Almighty the one that offers the gospel of eternal life. Any other gospel, is another gospel, and not worthy of consideration.

Reformed and Always Reforming,