You Wrote: The fact that believers will experience glorification does not preclude conditions on this statement. God's promises are not without conditions; Acts 2:21 says that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This must of course be understood in the context of the rest of scripture, for not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" shall enter His kingdom. So the fact that we are to be glorified does not negate the condition of persevering in the faith (1 Corinthians 15:1-2) and continuing in the grace of God (Acts 13:43); so this passage does not really prove or disprove eternal security.
I beg to differ. Actually there is no clearer text in all Scripture that proves eternal security, based on [color:red]GOD’s immutable PURPOSE of Conformity to Christ of his Elect. Those whom He justified, These He also Glorified. That means that God has Glorified (aorist(past) tense) those whom HE justified. And we know from Scripture (1 Cor 15:51,52, 54, 1 Thess 4:17, Phil 3:21, Rom 8:29, Eph 5:27) that Glorification means “The attainment of the goal to which the elect of God were predestined in the eternal purpose of the Father and it involves the consummation of the redemption secured and procured by the vicarious work of Christ…the instantaneous change that will take place for the whole company of the redeemed when Christ will come again the second time without sin unto salvation”, as stated by John Murray. Clearly that has not occurred yet, however, it is certain to come. See in the passage it is stated that it IS [color:red]GOD”S purpose that the elect be conformed to the image of God’s son (29). CAN GOD”S PREDESTINATING PURPOSES FAIL???? OF COURSE NOT. We have all shown many scriptures that state that God’s purpose will stand. God is sovereign. The reason why Paul declares it in the aorist is because it is certain. This backs up the idea that in verse 28 that God is working the for the good, for who those He has called…to the purpose of conforming them to the image of Christ. Surely the context bears that glorification is nothing less than conformity to Christ’s image. IT IS GOD”S PLAN. As far as the Scriptures are concerned, IT IS AS GOOD AS DONE. The elect will persevere (this is shown throughout Scripture, which many passsages have been pointed out to you numerous times, in whole threads, but they can be re-iterated if desired). God has planned the END and the MEANS. So your points about persevering do not even begin to overthrow the explicit teaching that Paul ends with after he states [color:red]“What then shall we say to this??? GOD IS FOR US…..NOR ANY CREATED THING, shall be able to separate us from the love of God..” ( see below for more on this). Oh yes, Not every one who says LORD, LORD will enter..for it is shown that there are plenty of goats in the visible church along with the sheep, through the parables & illustration in the gospels. [color:red]BY the way, I’ve yet to find anything on this earth that is NOT CREATED. One of the problems that people have is understanding “the rest of the scripture” and not differentiating between saving faith and dead faith, sheep & goats, invisible & visible church and false professions.
You wrote: Also, the fact that nothing can separate us from God does not mean that we cannot walk away
See that’s where we differ. You like to use the word PLAIN and not to explain way scriptures. WELL HERE IS A PLAIN AND SIMPLE ANTIDOTE for your response above: THEY WENT out from US , but they WERE Not of US; [color:red]for IF [I repeat empathically IF] they had been of US, they WOULD HAVE remained with US; BUT they WENT OUT, in order [note the cause] that it might be SHOWN THAT THEY WERE NOT Of us. (1 John 2:19). I know I have quoted this before, but it has yet to be answered (see below). So we must ask John why is this?? Why is that the “US” remain true. Just as you yourself stated, They are born again and as the result, they LOVE GOD and BELIEVE in God (1 John 5:1). Note that the GREEK tense of the word, believe in Joh 5:1 is a present participle (which represents a continuous action). Why do true believers continue to Love and believe and not apostate? [color:red]BECAUSE HIS[GOD's] SEED ABIDES in HIM…NO ONE WHO IS BORN OF GOD PRATICIES SIN” (1 John 1:9 ). You can’t get any clearer than that. What is falling away?? isn't that a lifestyle of sinning?? The very point of the Scripture that God's SEED is the main reason why they don't practice a lifestyle of sinning. Thus, I reject your response which, in my view, has not answered the "BECAUSE" of the text. I WILL REPEAT AGAIN: GOD'S (The Father, The Son, & Holy Spirit) PURPOSE CANNOT FAIL. HE HAS PURPOSED HIS ELECT (v34) TO BE CONFROMED TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST.
Also, I have been meaning to ask this question, “Does ‘Eternal Life’ mean “Eternal” or “temporal”??? Jesus’ sheep “HAVE” eternal life.
You wrote: The statement that God will complete us in Christ is a conditional statement. For while God is not unfaithful to change us from glory to glory, He does not force this change, but requires that one be a willing vessel. 2 Peter 1:5-11 shows that it is possible for a man not be yielded to God so that the Holy Spirit can work the fruits thereof in him. So yes, God does labor faithfully to complete a good work in us, but He will not do so with a hardened heart. But if we open our ears to Him, then we too can have confidence as Paul did in the Philippians, that God will complete His work in us.
See, in Believers, it is GOD who is “AT WORK IN US, [color:red]both to WILL and TO WORK FOR HIS GOOD PLEASURE. Believers have “Saving Faith” and saving faith means that they are trusting in God continually, (not just intellectually but as a lifestyle), although not perfectly. Those of true, good ‘soil’ as shown in Jesus Parable of Matthew 13:3-9,19-23 are those who Hear (present participle = continuous hearing) and understand (present participle), who indeed bears fruit. My point is that the true believer continues to bear fruit; his new nature was created to bear fruit & do good works (Eph 2:10). His new nature gives him a desire to do these works [although not perfectly, due to the flesh, the devil, and the world]. Man acts according to his desires/motives. See Pilgrim for great discussion on the will of man. In the Covenant of Grace it is stated “A NEW HEART also will I give you [note recreation/change of the desires is not FORCING]…And I WILL put MY spirit within you, and CAUSE [note this] YOU to WALK in MY STATUES, and YE SHALL KEEP my JUDGMENTS, and do them.” That only confirms what Eph 1 , Romans 8, 9, John 6, John 10, John 17 explicitly state, (mind you, you will not find stronger language in all Scripture of Christ praying for His people). As was the case with Peter, Christ is praying for His people and thus they persevere. The Holy Spirit effectually works in the lives of the believers. Yes, at times we falter and disobey. But that’s when we, AS SONS, are scourged for our good (Heb 12). We loose fellowship, NOT SONSHIP. Ultimately, God’s plan will stand and Christ LOOSES NONE of whom the Father has given Him. By the way, God can work in any heart that He wants to for HIS OWN purpose. Do not the Proverbs state that everyone’s heart is in God’s hand and turns as He wills it. [color:red]The statement of Phil 1:6 is not conditional (you are imposing your theology onto the text)..it is basically a parallel of Romans 8:28-30. That is.. What God starts in believer, He finishes, because it HIS PLAN. Your comments lead to the conclusion that God is somehow unable to complete HIS PLANS and PURPOSES.
Praise be ALONE to the GOD of all Glory and GRACE. Brother in Christ, Carlos (oh by the way, I hope to find some time on Monday or Tuesday to answer your "perseverance" response).
"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)
Dear Brother JoshT,<br><br>Here's a follow-up that I forgot to expand upon . . . When I asked the question "who would Object?", I was speaking in terms of it as an unfair objection being raised against the Arminian view of election (verse 14). Hopefully this will clarify that one statement that I made.<br><br>Carlos
"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)
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 : http://www.desiringgod.org/library/topics/doctrines_grace/2wills.html " target="_blank">http:// http://www.desiringgod.org/library/topics/doctrines_grace/2wills.html . <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." <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 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)
Here is a restatemnt on on the last point regarding HEb 10, I meant to say: <br><br>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 NOThave have faith and fall away and Those who have faith and keep their souls. <br><br>Somehow, the word NOT got removed when I copied my document into the post. Sorry for the Confusion<br><br><br>Carlos<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)
Josh<br><br>You have sited a few times that John 6:37 does not prove that someone can't resist the Holy Spirit’s drawing.<br>I must beg to differ with you, the words "shall/will come to Me" clearly indicate that they will come to Christ.<br><br>You also said:" I have seen this in effect too many times from my Baptist friends. I have made it a goal to disprove the concept of eternal security. Though it is not quite the same thing, unconditional election is closely related. I do not do this for my health, but to warn others of the dangers this doctrine poses."<br><br>I sort of understand where you are coming from in this. For I have argued against some who claim to be Calvinists, but who are also antinominian(sp?).<br>But the regulars on the Highway and most Baptists (like my self) are not antinominian(sp?).<br><br><br><br>
Dear Carlos,<br>You gave Josh T many excellent answers. I am afraid that he has left the forum for now. I sent him a PM over a week ago with A PRIMER ON THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION<br>by Rev. DeLacy A. Andrews Jr. that I posted a while back, but he has never read it, so I believe that he has left. Perhaps he will return to check this thread and consider again what you have patiently and faithfully presented to him.<br>Susan
I don't see how Revelation 13:8 and 17:8 prove me wrong. It is my guess that you are trying to prove that those whose names are not in the Lamb's book of life were never there to begin with. While it is true, as the scriptures you cited prove, that some people were never written in the book of life, I believe that it is easily understandable from Revelation 22:19 that other people were written in, but will have their names blotted out.
IRT: "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."
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?
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)."
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.
IRT: "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.
IRT: "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.
IRT: "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.
IRT: "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.
IRT: "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?
Dear Prestor John,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Oh I see you determined the translation, ahh well why didn't you say so in the first place."<br><br>That's why I said "the meaning of 'separate' in this passage," not "the literal denotation of 'separate'."<br><br>IRT:<br>"God gives us those commands because we still carry our flesh around until our final redemption. So as we are being sanctified we must constantly put to death our "old man" and those are our reminders not because we can lose our salvation."<br><br>Those commands are not just reminders, but often include consequences for those who disobey them.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Again if you think those are something we do to keep it then you are referring to a works based salvation no matter how you protest to the contrary."<br><br>Not really. You assume that anything believed or heard by a man is considered 'works.' The scripture teaches no such concept (it distinguishes stronly between faith and works). But if you believe that it is unbiblical to think that there is something that a man can do to be saved, then I suggest you read Acts 2:40 and 1 Timothy 4:16.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Dear Prestor John,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Your condition is that there must be response before they can be sheep. I say that they Bible doesn't state that just that they are sheep and they hear Christ's call. Their status as sheep (ie: elect even if unregenerate) is first and foremost. That they respond is secondary. They were first sheep, they belong to Christ because the Father gave them to Him. Then they respond not the other way around."<br><br>Your position is simply based on a Calvinist presupposition. You are effectively begging the question, for you simply assume that your belief on being one of Christ's sheep is correct because you accept Calvinism. The scripture does not say that one is one of Christ's sheep before he or she is saved, you simply read that into the passage with no supporting evidence.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"If you think Christ's sheep include people that are yet to be saved, then it would be logical to conclude that no one who has ever been in a cult could ever be saved, for they have heeded the voice of another, and therefore cannot be of Christ's sheep."<br><br>Then you wrote:<br>"So now God is impotent to save? Well we like sheep all went our own way remember that verse?? All of us before the effective call of the Gospel, the voice of Christ, heeded another voice, our own, as well as others. But when Christ called us out we came because we are His, and no other. Your logic, if it can be termed that, is in fact illogical."<br><br>So then your own logic turns against you, for if what you said is true (All of us before the effective call of the Gospel, the voice of Christ, heeded another voice, our own...), then it proves my point, because Christ's sheep do not follow another's voice. I did not say that Christ was impotent to save, that is simply the end result of your logic when compared to scripture.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh<br>
Dear Susan,<br><br>No, I haven't left the forum. Over the past two weeks, I have been busy with a tough field exercise that the Army has been putting me through, my finals for my course, and moving back to my home state (I am currently en route). I have read your posts and shall respond to them when I can.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
JoshT - if you are in the military...bless you and your service to the Country. If not....never mind....you're just another Arminian quack. <br><br>You wrote:<br><br>[color:blue] ...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.</font color=blue><br><br>"Conditional Salvation"? <br><br>So, salvation is NOT of the Lord as Jonah wrote...it's actually of Him [color:red]AND</font color=red> us? <br><br>I must be synergism since God can't save ANYONE without their cooperation. <br><br>The bottom line is that we bring SOMETHING to the equation? Namely our will/effort/decision....i.e., WORKS! <br><br>In direct contrast to:<br><br>Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that [color:red]willeth</font color=red>, nor of him that [color:red]runneth</font color=red>, but of God that sheweth mercy. <br><br>How can you not see this?<br><br>By Grace Alone, <br>
JoshT: you wrote:<br><br>[color:blue]You assume that anything believed or heard by a man is considered 'works.' The scripture teaches no such concept (it distinguishes stronly between faith and works). </font color=blue><br><br>The Bible also teaches that the works AS WELL AS the exercise of our wills (which you erroneously equate with 'faith') are NOT formal causes of our salvation....<br><br>Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that [color:red]willeth</font color=red>, nor of him that [color:red]runneth</font color=red>, but of God that sheweth mercy. <br><br>It's God's mercy/grace that SAVES. <br><br>Nobody can work hard enough to earn God's favor ... no one can want/will it enough either. <br><br>In Him,
Josh,<br>Glad you are back again. You might be interested in what I posted on the "What's the point?" thread about our sermon Sunday. Our pastor used an illustration for his sermon from an experience he had as a soldier. <br>If you check your control panel, you will see that there is a personal message I sent you (unless it has been deleted by now). Let me know if it is gone, and I will send it again.<br>Susan
[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 . Go back to my original post on the definition of the Book of Life and I think a clearer picture exists.
[color:blue]IRT: "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.