[color:"blue"]I don't understand your position that God cannot be sovereign and still allow us to forfeit our salvation. He doesn't lose any of his supreme, permanent authority by allowing believers the option of turning away from Him.
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The problem with the semi-Pelagian and Arminian view is that what God does throughout eternity is determined not by His own eternal, immutable council, but by whatsoever the creature decides to do. Looking at this a bit deeper, it isn't just a matter of salvation but all things inclusively. As you surely realize, that history is dependent and determined (looking at it from the horizontal [human] perspective) upon prior actions and events. Let's consider the following illustration. If a man one hundred years ago decided to commit suicide, then all those who might have come from his loins would be non-existent. Even the smallest action of a man has an effect on what follows after him, not excluding the choices others would be faced with.
Bringing this to the issue at hand; God can only "know" what will happen in the future IF what He allegedly foresaw (Arminian "foreknowledge" aka "prescience", i.e., the availability of knowable raw data/facts <----- misnomer as will be shown below.) actually takes place. The caveat to this entire view is that it elevates the "free-will" of man (i.e., the ability to choose contrary to his nature, which even God is unable to do) to the loftiest place. Thus, it is impossible for God to actually "know" what will take place at any given time since the creature is able to change his/her mind within any given set of circumstances; he/she being able to choose that which is contrary to nature. Therefore, God can only know after the fact (an actuality) and this makes the creature the "sovereign" and not God, Who is bound by the creatures decisions.
One contemporary speaker once described this view by God likening God to a thermometer, which only records the ambient temperature and man as a thermostat, which actually controls the temperature.
The Scriptures, however, everywhere speak of God as the Sovereign Ruler and Creator of the universe. It is HE Who has determined all things according to His will (determinate council, good pleasure, etc.). See Ps. 33:11; 135:6; Prov 19:21; 21:30; Isa 11:1-16; 41:6; 43:13; 46:9, 10; Dan 4:35; Acts 4:27, 28; 13:48; Rom 11:33-36; Eph 1:9-11; Heb 6:17; Rev 19:6; et al An no one can change what He has foreordained.
Lastly, determinism is at the very foundation of biblical prophesy. God, through His appointed prophets, spoke in time past of what would come to pass; authoritatively and infallibly. Unless God was sovereign in both power and authority and by His providence determined and controlled ALL THINGS the likelihood that anything which was prophesied as taking place in the future would take place would be nil. For all it would take to prevent a prophesy from occurring would be the "free-will" decision of one single man.
[color:"blue"]What??? I totally disagree! According to Romans 10:9, if he has trusted in Christ and believes in His resurrection, he'll be saved.
What is "trusting in Christ"? Is this "trusting" (faith) a total abandoning of oneself, even in one's determination to endure to the end, and trusting Christ ALONE for both the remission of sins and the righteousness of Him so as to be reconciled to God? OR, is this "trusting" shared with the recitation of some formula, e.g., "Jesus, please come into my heart"? and with one's determination and success in enduring to the end?
What say the Scriptures?
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
Ephesians 2:8-10 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:"
1 Thessalonians 5:24 "Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it]."
2 Timothy 1:8-9 "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, . . ."
Here's a telling quote from that article which I think sums it up nicely:<br><br>[color:blue]"God is a protector of human freedom and never he violates them."</font color=blue><br><br>This is the pretext...the rest of the article tries to support this "prime directive". <br><br>In order to avoid violating any free wills...He needs to be put down to size...<br><br>[color:blue]"As time proceeds, God changed his plan dynamically so that he could accomplish his plan of redemption of the cosmos." </font color=blue><br><br>Oh really? So there IS a shadow of turning afterall.... <br><br>And finally...<br><br>[color:blue]"Instead God left it for each individual to find his own way back. He left apologetics and evidences and not proofs. God left only road signs so that children will by their own volition will be able to return home. That makes a great God."</font color=blue><br><br>No thanks, not interested in any cheap imitations, please. <br><br>I think I'll just keep the Almighty God I currently worship. <br>
If Josh "confesses with his mouth "Jesus is Lord", and believes in his heart that God raised Him from the dead, he will be saved." I believe that the term "believe" as it is used here infers "a total abandoning of oneself and trusting Christ ALONE for both the remission of sins and the righteousness of Him so as to be reconciled to God."<br><br>You'll notice that I removed "even in one's determination to endure to the end" from your quote, as I don't see where that's a requirement of salvation. Especially given that fact that there's a great deal of Scripture that says or seems to imply that very position. <br><br>He may very well be wrong in his belief regarding predestination, but he's still saved.
Laz,<br><br>thanks for the summary. You saved me time from reading another foolish article and banging my head against the wall . <br><br>If God let "every individual to find find his own way back" , He would wait an eternity and not ONE would find "his own way back".<br><br>Laz, I also will stick to my bible and worship the God of scriptures.<br><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)
[color:"blue"]You'll notice that I removed "even in one's determination to endure to the end" from your quote, as I don't see where that's a requirement of salvation. Especially given that fact that there's a great deal of Scripture that says or seems to imply that very position.
He may very well be wrong in his belief regarding predestination, but he's still saved.
We must be aware that Romans 10:9 is not to be seen in isolation from the rest of Holy Writ. "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, . . ." is not some magic formula which if recited saves an individual. Knowledge of the person of Christ and what He has accomplished, one's sinful condition, being under the wrath and judgment of God, repentance from sin, etc., etc., is essential to a saving "Confession" and "Belief".
Thus I say again, that the "abandoning of oneself" is part and parcel to true saving faith. So that if one is in any way relying upon "self", whether that be one's "decision for Christ" or "enduring to the end", then the "abandoning" is not genuine but fleshly and salvation is not owned. Any embracing of a "sharing with God" unto salvation is synergism, i.e., faith+works=salvation and indisputable not of GRACE alone.
Your wanting to grant without reservation to JoshT or anyone else without being privy to what the person REALLY believes in their heart is thus unwarranted. What IS true is that anyone who is trusting in ANYTHING other than Christ alone (Solus Christus) by faith alone (Sola Fide) and believes that they are saved is self-deceived and yet dead in their sins and destined to eternal damnation. The salvation of God, which is taught in His infallible Word (Sola Scriptura) is by Grace alone (Sola Gratia) and thus to the Gloria of God alone (Soli Deo Gloria).
Joe,<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:"blue"]In Josh T case I see something different than just Arminianism though. I see him believing and defending a righteousness which is by his works. I<br>see him "speaking" and "talking" of grace, but believing in his works. Since he believes this, how may he really be saved?</font><p><hr></blockquote><p><br>OK, you have me there. I can see that his view is really no different than CathApol who also is trusting in works for his salvation.<br>Susan <br>
Josh,<br>First a ribbon for the longest thread I have seen on this forum.<br>This is from C. H. Spurgeon's sermon on 2 Peter 1: 1-4 called Faith and Life <br>How would you answer these questions? <br>Susan<br><blockquote>[*]Are we conscious that we have been operated upon by the Holy Spirit?</li><br>[*]Is there a vital principle in us which was not there originally?</li><br>[*]Do we know today the folly of carnal confidence?</li><br>[*]Have we a hope that we have been enabled through divine grace to cast away all our own righteousness and every dependence, and are we now, whether we sink or swim, resting entirely upon the Person, the righteousness, the blood, the intercession, the precious merit of our Lord Jesus Christ?</li><br><br>If not, we have cause enough to tremble; but if we have, the while the apostle writes, "Unto them that have obtained like precious faith," he writes to us, and across the interval of centuries his benediction comes as full and fresh as ever , "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you." </blockquote><br>
Dear Carlos,<br><br>IRT: (speaking of Hebrews 6)<br>"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...This illustration represents 2 classes of church folk: One that bears fruit and One that bears NO FRUIT."<br><br>That is really kind of overdrawing the analogy. But if you insist on technicalities, it never says that they bore no fruit, it simply indicates that they began to bear bad fruit.<br><br>IRT:<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."<br><br>Actually, the literal translation is not "things that accompany salvation," but "that you are holding fast salvation," to distinguish them from those who did not hold fast their salvation and fell away.<br><br>IRT:<br>"It states that God’s purposes are immutable and Christ is the 'Anchor' of their soul."<br><br>Christ is an anchor against any storm of life that may try to tear a believer away from Him, but ships can cast their anchors, just as a man can wilfully depart from God.<br><br>IRT:<br>"The scripture do not state that God gave them a ‘repentance unto life’ in ver 4-6."<br><br>It does not need to state it exactly the way you insist it must be stated to mean that they were granted true repentance. Tell me, is Paul then lamenting that they could not be renewed to fake repentance, and if so, why should one be renewed to that?<br><br>IRT:<br>"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."<br><br>But it does not say that they had repentance, as is clearly stated of those mentioned in Hebrews 6.<br><br>"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. "<br><br>I don't see where that is written, I also cannot see how an unbeliever can escape the corruption of the world by knowing Jesus Christ (vs 20-22).<br><br>IRT:<br>"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'."<br><br>Why would it be impossible to renew a person to a mere outward confession of faith? Many apostates do that all the time.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Furthermore, being restored again does NOT imply that they had ‘repentance unto life’ to begin with. That’s a huge logical leap."<br><br>If you define putting 2 and 2 together as a 'huge' leap. You cannot be restored to what you never had, and it would be futile for scripture to discuss them being restored to something that they did not need to be restored to.<br> <br>IRT:<br>"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><br>I didn't even need to look at the reference. I have already prepared (or post-pared if you follow Pilgrim's logic) to respond to that argument. It states that if those who departed from them were truly believers, they would have stayed in fellowship with the body of Christ. But instead, they departed that it might be made plain that they were never of them. But of course, the presence of some fake believers does not preclude the presence of those who truly believed, were saved, and then fell away.<br><br>IRT:<br>"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...Nothing can thwart the decretive will of God."<br><br>I do not believe God wanted Judas to fall away, or that He wanted men to fall into sin at all for that matter (for He is not the author of sin, nor does He delight in evil). He simply knew that they would come to pass. I do not believe that God has two wills, though I do believe that part of God's will is conditional, and part of it is not. So also, I believe that He can use those who defy the conditional part of His will to bring the unconditional part of His will to pass (such as in the case of the crucifixion). If you do not believe that there is a conditional part to God's will, I suggest you read Luke 13:34.<br><br>IRT:<br>"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...God does not fail to accomplish his redemptive purpose."<br><br>As I made clear above, part of God's will is conditional and contingent upon man. It is so because God wills it to be so --is that not within His divine right? So many things including salvation and the things described in John chapter 6 are conditional.<br><br>IRT:<br>"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)"<br><br>This of course is contingent on remaining one of Christ's sheep. Just as one can be a 'cursed child,' (2 Peter 2) so they can be a 'lost sheep' if they wilfully stray from Christ.<br><br>IRT:<br>"'The Lord KNOWS those who are HIS,' . And in verse 27 it is stated,' 27MY SHEEP 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."<br><br>My objection holds much weight. For if sheep can stray, as you youself also acknowledge, then it makes sense that they can refuse to return. The scripture does not say that Christ forces His sheep to return, it says He seeks after them, to read the former is erroneous. Yes, the sheep do love the Shepherd, but iniquity can cause love (agapeo) to grow cold (Matthew 24:12).<br><br>IRT:<br>"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."<br><br>Negative, it clarifies the passages, for they are stating that nothing can force a believer away from his Saviour, not that we cannot leave. It is true that we as believers need the power of God to preserve us, but it is also true that some can reject His help and apostize. BTW, this picture is also one of sheep that follow their Shepherd, not just the Shepherd guarding them.<br><br>IRT:<br>"I will repeat one final time. Christ Sheep will ultimately follow him and listen to him. Please read the scriptures as they are stated."<br><br>They clearly state that some will depart from the faith (not 'a faith' 1 Timothy 4:1). It doesn't get much clearer.<br><br>IRT:<br>"NO, ‘never perish’ is not a conditional statement. It’s an explicit statement in the emphatic language regarding Jesus’ Sheep."<br><br>Use as many caps as you like. If some sheep can fail to follow Him (stray), and violate this description of the sheep (John 10:4), then the same can obviously also violate the description of "shall never perish." If you think that this description of sheep includes no exceptions, one would be forced to conclude that you believe that sheep can never stray.<br><br>IRT:<br>"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."<br><br>If following Christ were not at least partially within the power of believers, then why do any stray at all? Wasn't the work of God perfect? So then why do some stray? The only choices we are left with are:<br><br>1. God gave us a new heart, but it isn't enough to keep us from going our own way<br><br>2. God gave us a new heart, it is enough to keep us from going astray, but it requires that we crucify our old man and walk in the Spirit<br><br>Only the latter finds scriptural support. Where did you get 'final analysis' from? Shouldn't you read the scriptures as they are stated?<br><br>IRT:<br>"If a believer could be lost it would imply Christ is ineffective in His work as the believers’ Mediator."<br><br>How? Jesus is the Mediator of those who obey, not those who cast off their first faith (1 Timothy 5:12). It is therefore not the failure of Christ, but of man.<br><br>IRT:<br>"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!!!"<br><br>Not everything that Christ prayed came to pass, God did not take from His hand the cup that He was to drink. The prayers of the righteous avail much, but God only heeds them so far. Though the prophets prayed fervently for apostate Israel, God would not heed their prayers after Israel fully rejected Him. So while God does heed the prayer of His Son and guard His flock as well, a sheep who fully rejects Him will be cast out and destroyed. If you still have trouble believing what I say, consider this: Christ also prayed for the unity of all believers (John 17:22-23), yet the body of Christ is hardly 'perfect in one' yet. This does not make the prayer of Christ ineffective, it simply proves that man can resist God's will.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Dr. Robert L. Reymond, stated, “ 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..."<br><br>Incorrect. As I proved earlier, falling away is the fault of the sheep, not the Shepherd. So it is man's failure to fulfill God's will, not Christ's. But following that string of logic, is it then failure on God's part if a Christian does not walk in good works (it was ordained by God after all -- Ephesians 2:10)?<br><br>IRT:<br>"Believers ,the elect, '..have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of IMPERISHABLE'."(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>The seed does not perish, only the ground which fails to bear fruit. I have thoroughly understood and rebutted a vast majority of those points (and I'm typing up the rest).<br><br>IRT:<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.'"<br><br>My reading is literal. You simply beg the question by reading the passages as you want them to be interpreted, not the way they are written; you are switching cause and effect with no supporting evidence.<br><br>IRT:<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."<br><br>He was also called 'a familiar friend' (Psalm 41:9), and was present when Jesus said 'your names are written in heaven;' Psalm 69:28 also makes it clear that his name was blotted from the book of life.<br><br>IRT:<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>It does not say that they never bore fruit, it is conditional on them not bearing (present tense) fruit, you are reading quite a bit into these passages. The disciples did bear fruit, as they were already pruned (vs 3), yet Jesus still says "If you abide in Me..." The presence of an 'if' makes it obvious that there was a possibility of not abiding in Him, else He would have said, "Since you abide in Me..."<br><br>IRT:<br>"And stating Heb 2:1 doesn’t prove much. See my earlier responses to Heb 3, Heb 6 for more."<br><br>It proves very much, first, it warns against letting the things we have heard drift away; and second, it is addressed to believers, showing that it is possible for even the saved to neglect salvation.<br><br>IRT:<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...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..."<br><br>And just because a thing is said in the Old Testament does not necessarily mean that it does apply to Gentiles. To use a verse whose context clearly describes Israel in the future to prove eternal security for gentiles now is at best grasping for straws.<br><br>IRT:<br>"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..."<br><br>Now THAT is a logical leap. Applying the future eternal state of Israel to believers now. I too believe that no one will fall away in Christ's eternal kingdom, same for Jews and Gentiles. That says nothing of what happens now.<br><br>IRT:<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.<br><br>As I have already established, the meaning of 'separate' in the context of that passage is to 'force away.' But, if you want to be technical, it is not even man's will that cuts him off from the vine of Christ, but God the Father who cuts branches off for not abiding (see John 15). And as I pointed out, some things concerning God's will are conditional -- I find that much easier to believe than believing that God has two conflicting wills.<br><br>IRT: (concerning futile warnings)<br>"Well lets examine that in light of scripture. 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]’."<br><br>I think you missed the point. God assured them that there would be no loss of life, but added the condition that they not leave the ship. This is no different than God promising to bless and multiply the children of Israel, but then adding that He would curse and make them weak if they departed from Him (I can supply numerous references). A simple conditional statement, which, unlike the people in the ship, Israel violated.<br><br>IRT:<br>"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,’"<br><br>If God's purpose is to use this warning to persuade believers to abide in Him, am I not enforcing God's purpose by warning others to heed it and believe it? Would it not be fighting God's purpose to tell others that there is no need to worry, for that could not really happen to them?<br><br>IRT:<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."<br><br>The fact that they are compared to a dog or pig means nothing with respect to their past identity. It never says that they were never regenerated, it simply speaks of their present state, that is, they have become a worse creature than they were before they were saved. They were regenerated and then degenerated.<br><br>IRT:<br>"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><br>Again, incorrect. The scripture makes it clear that when Israel turned away from God, they were no longer His, for He sold them to their enemies (Deuteronomy 32:30). He goes as far as to say "Ye are not My people, and I will not be your God" (Hosea 1:9). That covenant is long gone and ready to vanish. Since the people who were bought by God initially are long dead, the only people who are bought by God now are those who were bought by the blood of Jesus. If all of Israel (even the unsaved) were bought by Him presently, then there would be no need to redeem them; as I also pointed out, I find it inconceivable that a non-believer can escape the corruption of the world by knowing Jesus Christ. So this passage must be speaking of former believers. Additionally, there is no indication in Peter's letter that these apostate teachers will be comprised entirely of Jews.<br><br>IRT:<br>"There are only two classes of people. Those who do NOT have have faith and fall away and Those who have faith and keep their souls."<br><br>Again, there is no evidence for this. Galatians 4 and 5 prove the opposite.<br><br>IRT:<br>"And for you statement on luke 13:6, please earlier statements dealing with those don’t bear ANY FRUIT."<br><br>It does not say it never bore fruit, it said it hadn't borne fruit for 3 years.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Job 23:13. 'The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?'"<br><br>And what if the Lord of hosts hath purposed that we be able to make the decision to accept or reject Him? I think He has (see Deuteronomy 30:15).<br><br>IRT:<br>"Ps. You need to your old systems and believe the scriptures for what they say!"<br><br>Ah yes...scriptures like Revelation 22:19, Galatians 5:4, Hebrews 10:29...<br><br>IRT:<br>"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"<br><br>I suppose that's why you have God making fake warnings and unbelievers that have had their lives transformed by Jesus Christ. I simply believe what the whole context of scripture says, not what some want to believe a few passages say.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Dear Wes,<br><br>IRT:<br>"John 3:3<br>Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'"<br><br>This issue has been brought up before. It is also written that our righteousness must exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees before we enter the kingdom of heaven. Now it cannot be argued that we must be righteous before we are saved, so I must conclude that the "kingdom of heaven" in these contexts refers to the eternal kingdom where believers will reign with Christ. Hence being born again is not a requirement to be saved (for it is actually being saved), but a requirement for one to live with Christ in His kingdom throughout eternity.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Dear Tom,<br><br>IRT:<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 are confusing being drawn and being given. One is not given to Christ until they soften their hearts and hear God when God draws them, but one can resist the pull of the Holy Spirit as is made plain in Acts 7:51, "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you."<br><br>So it is evident that one can fully and finally resist God's call, just as much of Israel has and still does.<br><br>Let me also say that despite our disagreements on more minor issues, one thing I do respect about most reformed believers is that you are not antinomian, but recognize the truth that a life changed by Christ will manifest itself in how we live. The down side is that even though many Baptists (among other denominations) do not officially profess antinomian theology, they do profess it in their lifestyles. I have had many acquaintances who go to Baptist churches that proudly proclaim that "faith without works is dead;" but the members (with some notable exceptions) tend to fall back on 'eternal security' when they are backsliding. I am not saying that you or your church subscribe to this hypocrisy, nor am I saying that believing as I do will make you immune to falling; I simply seek to remove a potential stumbling block.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Dear Pilgrim,<br><br>IRT: (concerning Acts 7:51)<br>"The Holy Ghost was not directly resisted, i.e., He did not come to these individuals personally and try to persuaded them to repent and believe the gospel. What the text is clearly saying is that the Prophets who were sent by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel were resisted, even violently. Stephen goes on to show that not only did his listeners' forefathers persecute the prophets, even kill them, but they too were likewise guilty of an even more heinous crime for they crucified the Christ of whom the prophets spoke."<br><br>The fact that the Holy Ghost was resisted by rejecting the prophets does not negate the fact that He was fully, finally, and personally resisted. Often, God's call is communicated through the voice of a man, though it is still God who speaks. When Ananias and Sapphira lied to Peter in Acts chapter 5, did it indicate that they just lied to the representatives of the Holy Spirit? Nay, Peter said that they did not lie to men, but to God. In Matthew 10:40, Jesus said, "He that receives you receives Me, and he that receives Me receives Him that sent me." If it is true that one who receives the gospel message from an evangelist is receiving Christ, and therefore receiving the Father, it also follows that if a person rejects him who speaks by the Holy Spirit, he rejects not man, but God. This is why it is said that they resisted the Holy Spirit, not just His representatives --unless you believe that Ananias and his wife simply lied to men.<br><br>It is true that it is impossible to resist God's will concerning certain matters --I mean, no one is going to stop the second coming of Christ no matter what they do-- but the scriptures indicate that it is possible to resist His calling (both outward and inward). Consider the question I posed to Mikewine, in Luke 10:13, Jesus said that if the miracles He had done in Chorazin and Bethsaida had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented. Now if no amount of signs or miracles will convince a person whom God has not drawn, then we must conclude that God did even draw Tyre and Sidon, else they would not have repented as Jesus said. The truth is that God did draw them by the power of the Holy Ghost, they simply rejected Him. Another strong proof that men can resist God's will is in Luke 13:34, where Jesus weeps because despite His longing that Jerusalem receive the word of God and be gathered to Him, they are unwilling to come.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Dear Paul,<br><br>Am I a member of a local church...yes, I have been my entire life. But my situation is a bit odd because I am in the process of moving to another state to finish college, and have not found a church there yet. So I will answer your questions according to the church I have been attending. The church I have been attending is non-denominational/full gospel. I have never believed in or been a member of a church that believes in unconditional security, so I have never believed such; but most of the teaching I have received dealt little to none at all with the issue of predestination, as most modern non-Calvinist churches leave this subject alone. I am not one to blindly accept or reject a doctrine just because a pastor told me so. So I carefully studied the concept, ideas, scripture references, and arguments behind both sides of the eternal security issue, and do fully believe the idea of 'once saved, always saved' to be incorrect.<br><br> But to argue the point of eternal security does little good with Calvinists if one does not understand election and predestination, because the perseverance of the saints doctrine hinges heavily upon unconditional election; so several years ago, I began to study Calvinist doctrine as well and draw my own conclusions about the same. I hope that answers your questions.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
So Josh, <br>You essentially believe that Jesus can fail in accomplishing the salvation he promises to his people? <br>Are you saying that Jesus lied, or was in error, when he told the people in Capernaum that, "all that the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)? One interesting textual note about that passage. The original language has two negatives, so that when Jesus states, "I will by no means cast out," the language of John's gospel is emphatically stating an impossibility. In other words, Jesus is so sure of what he will accomplish with the father giving his people to him, that they could never be cast out. <br><br>In my opinion, you need to stop reading the Bible with humanistic and Greek philosophical glasses, and just let it state what it states. (Of course I am assuming you will be reading it with the proper hermenuetical rules in place!)<br>Just curious as to your thoughts.<br><br>Freddy b
"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns