The Enigmatic Mystery – Hypocrisy in Overdrive
Hypocrisy in Overdrive and the Enigmatic Mystery of Calvinism
Enigmatic Mystery #1
One of the most enigmatic mysteries surrounding the Reformed position (Calvinism) is that most of its champions contradict one another in overdrive most of the time. In his rebuttal of the many Christians’ criticism of John MacArthur’s infamous public statement that it’s OK to take the mark of the beast because Jesus will pardon and save you, Phil Johnson wrote the following in defense of his guru, John MacArthur.
Revelation 19:20 indicates that multitudes will take the mark of the Beast because they are deceived. Scripture does not say that they are thereby automatically hardened forever against repentance. That is not the point of the strong warnings.
This whole issue suddenly became a matter of intense controversy when it was mentioned on a provocative radio program. It’s certainly not worth all the ink that has been wasted and all the bandwidth that has been consumed by angry people demanding explanations and retractions.
This much should certainly be clear from the biblical text (and I think would be affirmed by all sides): Taking the mark of the Beast is high treason against Christ and will be judged by God accordingly. Meanwhile, the Lord is “good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon [Him]” (Psalm 86:5). (Read here). (Emphasis added).
Now, let’s juxtapose Phil Johnson’s above statement on John MacArthur ‘s YouTube video called “The Doctrine of Absolute Inability.” If man is so completely and utterly depraved and so absolutely incapable to call on God for his salvation, how on earth is he going to call on Him?
Oh I see. Firstly, only the elect are drawn to Him (John 6:44) while they are still in a complete state of inability and only then, after their absolute inability is miraculously changed into an ability, they call on Him.
Those who are going to take the mark of the beast will do so because they are completely and utterly unable to call on Jesus Christ and hence, also due to a complete and utter inability, call on the name of the Antichrist to save them from the wrath of God. Or, shall we rather say, calling on the Name of God is an absolute inability but calling on the name of Antichrist is an absolute ability (John 5:43).
What does this tell us? Well of course, it tells us that the elect who had been deceived to take the mark of the beast because they were absolutely unable to call on the Name of God for their salvation, will of necessity sovereignly and monergistically be saved simply because they are the elect and had been chosen unto salvation before the foundation of the world.
Unless, of course, the elect are absolutely unable to be deceived and thence take the mark of the beast for the sheer hell of it.
Therefore, the bottom line is this. If you are an elect, by all means take the mark of the beast. God won’t hold your absolute inability to call on Him against you. Why should He when He has already decided to save you before the foundation of the world? He is not in the least concerned about your prowess for deception (Matthew 24:4), a deception so heinous that you will be absolutely unable to resist it.
Why would the Bible emphatically declare “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev 12:11) when man is supposedly absolutely unable to do anything of spiritual value? However, if you are a reprobate non-elect, by all means take the mark of the beast because you have no hope in hell of ever being saved. You were doomed to destruction in hell way back before the foundation of the world.
Enigmatic Mystery #2
I suppose Calvinists can be forgiven when they contradict one another but to contradict their own reformed doctrines ensconced in TULIP is unforgivable. It proves that they cannot be trusted. Read the following excerpt from Phil Johnson’s rebuttal to the criticism of MacArthur’s infamous “Mark of the Beast Salvific Doctrine” and see if you can spot the contradiction. Phil Johnson wrote:
If someone listens to Pastor MacArthur’s reply and imagines he was saying it’s no great sin to receive the mark of the Beast, listen again; that grossly twists what he actually said. The question is not (as one writer suggests) “How Far Can You Go and Still Be Able to Repent?” The point John MacArthur was making is about the extremes to which God’s grace will reach in order to seek and save a sinner.
Since when does God’s grace need to reach to the extremes in order to seek and save sinners when his grace is IRRESISTIBLE? IRRESISTIBLE GRACE IS the uttermost extreme, Mr. Phil Johnson. There is nothing beyond, over and above irresistible grace. Not even God can go beyond the extreme of his irresistible grace. If the elect (the only ones saved and being saved) cannot resist God’s grace and SHALL be saved come hell or high water, why must God procrastinate and go to an extreme beyond irresistible grace to seek and to save them?
The only extreme God decided to go to in order to seek and save the elect was when He sovereignly decreed to save them way before the foundation of the world. It is called UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION, Mr. Johnson. Not even the elect themselves can thwart his sovereign decree to save them before the foundation of the world even if they wanted to. What can be more extreme than that, Mr. Phil Johnson? In fact Mr. Phil Johnson, Calvinism is already an extremist salvific doctrine, so extremely extreme that, according to Calvinists, you need to study Reformed Theology for many years before you can understand its extremities. Calvinists usually tell you “You just don’t understand Calvinism” in spite of your quoting John Calvin directly from his writings, along with quoting leading Calvinists of today.
Enigmatic Mystery #3
Phil Johnson wrote:
Several years ago in a live Q&A session, someone asked John MacArthur if taking the mark of the Beast during the Great Tribulation would be an unpardonable sin. His answer, in short, was no. Though there is a stern warning against taking the mark of the Beast in Revelation 14, the sin is not categorically said to be unpardonable. (That would contradict Matthew 12:31.) The point of the severe language in Revelation 14 is to make clear what an utterly reprehensible sin it will be to swear an oath of willful loyalty to Antichrist.
Someone posted John MacArthur’s reply to that question on YouTube with a melodramatic one-word title in all caps: “OUTRAGE.” Gossip-mongers on the Internet got hold of it, apparently, and within days someone wrote to our ministry saying, “I saw pastor John on a YouTube video saying the way to be saved in the Tribulation is to take the mark of the Beast.”
Mr. Johnson, you obviously don’t know what the difference is between a fair an unfair weight. Don’t fret, I will tell you.
A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 25:15-16).
You are being downright dishonest, Mr. Phil Johnson, when you wield two different weights in your assessment of John MacArthur’s discerning gift to criticize Roman Catholicism and the strange fire in Charismatic churches (I am neither a Charismatic nor Roman Catholic, lest you should think I am championing their beliefs) and the discerning gift of other Christians who are questioning MacArthur’s interpretation of Revelation 14:8-11.
When MacChy lambastes everything else that is not Calvinistic in nature he is a real hero but when others criticize his dastardly unbiblical statement in regard to the mark of the beast they are GOSSIP-MONGERS. Ravi Zacharias applies the very same tactic when Christians exhort him to repent of things he had said and prayed contrary to the Word of God (Read here and here). As you may have noticed, he calls those who criticize him “donkey fighters” and even calls upon one of the most aggressive haters of God (Mahatma Gandhi) to testify against those who in love and deep concern for him reprove and correct him (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Having said this, you are proving beyond any shadow of doubt that Calvinism is just as guilty of strange fire than the Charismatic and Pentecostal churches. You are in effect warning others not to touch God’s anointed because he (John MacArthur) is supposedly above reproach and when they dare to expose his apostasy they are branded GOSSIP-MONGERS. Allow me to remind you, Mr. Johnson, what the word gossip-monger means. The Merriam-Webtser dictionary and thesaurus defines the word as follows.
gos·sip·mon·ger noun : a person who enjoys talking about other people’s private lives : a person who spreads gossip. (Emphasis added).
If you can prove to me that the command to test all things in the light of God’s Word (1 John 4:1; 1 Corinthians 2:15) is gossip-mongery and that I and many others have attacked MacArthur’s private life, then I would be happy to concede that I am a gossip-monger par excellence. And that, Mr. Johnson, you yourself must admit is hogwash because Revelation 14:8-11 and MacArthur’s infamous statement that anyone can take the mark of the beast and still be saved is anything but a private matter. In fact, it is one of the most universally important matters that has ever reached the ears of mankind. You are in effect teaching people not to obey Jesus Christ who warned “Take heed that no man (including John MacArthur and Ravi Zacharias) deceive you (Matthew 24:4) and to disregard every single passage in Scripture that warns us to be vigilant and acutely aware of the devils devices to deceive Christians.
Enigmatic Mystery #4
In a desperate effort to prove that the taking of the mark of the beast is not the unpardonable sin, Phil Johnson writes as follows:
Jesus Himself said, “Any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven ” (Matthew 12:31, emphasis added). The one unpardonable sin was the sin of those who had seen His miracles with their own eyes; they knew He was the true Messiah; they were part of the generation to whom He was personally sent. And yet they attributed His powers to Satan.
That was unforgivable because it was such a hard-hearted, willful expression of utter rejection from fully enlightened hearts, who punctuated their rejection with an extreme blasphemy. Those Pharisees had stood in the presence of the living embodiment of all truth; they heard His words and saw His works. All the mysteries of Christ had been unveiled before their very eyes. And yet they spurned Him. There was nothing else that could be shown to them to enlighten them further. They were not deceived; they knew full well what they were doing. That’s why their sin was unpardonable (cf. 1 Timothy 1:13).
Phil Johnson says in effect that only those who had seen his misracles with their own eyes and the genereation to whom He was personally sent could commit the unpardonable sin. Those who had never seen his miracles with their own eyes and never seen Him doing them Himself because never stood in the presence of the living embodiment of all truth, cannot be accused of the unpardonable sin.
Let’s summarize his claim and see whether we can apply it to the mark of the beast. Johnson says:
- “The one unpardonable sin was the sin of those who had seen His miracles with their own eyes.”
- “They knew He was the true Messiah.”
- “They were part of the generation to whom He was personally sent.”
- “They attributed His powers to Satan.”
- “That was unforgivable because it was such a hard-hearted, willful expression of utter rejection from fully enlightened hearts, who punctuated their rejection with an extreme blasphemy. “
- “Those Pharisees had stood in the presence of the living embodiment of all truth.”
- “They were not deceived; they knew full well what they were doing.”
- “That’s why their sin was unpardonable.”
Let us now deal with these assertions one at a time.
1) The fact that 144 000 Jews are going to proclaim the Gospel throughout the entire world during the tribulation and perform Christ’s miracles in everyone’s sight, is ample proof that those who reject Christ’s miracles at the hands of his emissaries, and defiantly accept and receive Antichrist’s false miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9), will be committing the unpardonable sin.
Like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, the tribulation population will stand in the presence of God’s truth and witness the many miracles He is going to perform through his emissaries. In fact, the many and diverse judgments that are coming upon the world during the tribulation will be ample proof that God Himself is working miracles in their midst (Isaiah 26:9).
Despite these miracles and marvelous signs the majority of people are going to spurn God’s miracles and instead wholeheartedly, willingly and defiantly receive the false miracles Antichrist is going to perform.
That, Mr. Johnson, is the unpardonable sin. Why? Because Jesus said He performs miracles though the power of the Holy Spirit and those who attribute his miracles to Satan are guilty of the unpardonable sin. The tribulation Pharisees are going to sin even greater than the Pharisees in Jesus’ time. They are going to attribute miracles to Satan himself and actually believe that they are from God.
2) Phil Johnson suggests that the Pharisees in the tribulation period won’t have any knowledge of the true Messiah. Really???
What does Paul say about Johnson’s misapprehension?
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.(Romans 1:18-23).
I sincerely hope you noticed the words “into an image made like to corruptible man,” Mr. Phil Johnson. That is precisely what they are going to do in the tribulation.
The corruptible Antichrist is going to make a corruptible image of himself and place it in the most holy sanctuary of the newly built temple, and most of the tribulation dwellers are going to worship him.
Are they going to worship him because they have no knowledge of the true Messiah? Rubbish! Read Romans 1:18-23 again, please.
3) Johnson’s assertion that “they were part of the generation to whom He was personally sent” is most unfortunate. It suggests that Jesus was not sent personally to mankind as a whole but only to the Pharisees.
I can understand why he can make such an unfortunate statement because he and MacArthur believe that Jesus was only sent to and in behalf of the elect (Are they the Pharisees?).
4) Johnson’s own words “they attributed His powers to Satan” proves that the taking of the mark of the beast during the tribulation fits the unpardonable sin like a glove.
How does the reprehensible sin of taking the mark of the beast differ from the Pharisees’ unpardonable sin of attributing God’s miracles to Satan? There is no difference whatsoever.
In fact, the tribulation Pharisees’ unpardonable sin will be much worse than that of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time. They are going to attribute Christ-hood (Messiahship) to Satan himself.
They are going to accept his false miracles and worship his image placed in the most holy sanctuary of the newly rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. That WILL be the unforgivable sin because, to use Phil Johnson’s own words:
5) “it will be such a hard-hearted, willful expression of utter rejection from fully enlightened hearts (Romans 1:18-23), who will punctuate their rejection with an extreme blasphemy.”
6) Jesus Christ stood as the living embodiment of truth in the midst of his own disciples and yet there were many things they did not understand or believe about Him, not until He explained it to them.
That’s why Jesus said to them:
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:12-13).
The absence of the bodily presence of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Truth during the tribulation cannot be seen as an excuse to prove that the tribulation dwellers who take the mark of the beast cannot commit the unpardonable sin.
God’s Spirit of Truth will be in their midst to convince them of their heinous sin but they will resist Him to the very end.
Their rebellious resistance and their defiance to obey God and repent is nothing else than the unpardonable sin.That’s why John says in Revelation 16:
“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.
And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.” (Revelation 16:1-9).
Their persistent refusal to repent in the midst of God’s judgments is an affront to the Holy Spirit and that, Mr. Johnson, is head-on the unpardonable sin.
7) Phil Johnson claims that “the Pharisees were not deceived because they knew full well what they were doing.” Deception is not dependent on knowing or not knowing. God says
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”(Hosea 4:6).
Both Phil Johnson and John MacArthur know and acknowledge that the seven year tribulation is primarily and peculiarly the time of Jacob’s Trouble (the Jews) (Jeremiah 30:7).
Not a single Jew or Gentile in the tribulation will be able to say: “I did not know that the taking of the mark was an unforgivable sin because I was deceived.” Deception is the willful and deliberate acceptance of a false teacher’s lies.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. “(2 Timothy 4:3-4).
They will be deceived because they want to be deceived and not because they are going to be ignorant of deception.
8) Phil Johnson concludes his defense of John MacArthur with this statement “That’s why their sin (Pharisees’s sins in the time of Jesus) was unpardonable.”
To call it the unpardonable sin, according to Phil Johnson, Jesus must be bodily in your midst as God’s truth;
you must witness his miracles first hand and reject them; you must know Him as the true Messiah;
you must be part of the generation to whom Christ was personally sent; you must attribute his powers and miracles to Satan;
your enlightened heart must persistently and utterly reject Him with an extreme blasphemy; and you must be deceived and know full well what you are doing.
I have proved without a shadow of a doubt that the tribulation dwellers who are going to take the mark of the beast will be guilty of every single point Phil Johnson raised.
The only conclusion we can reach is that the taking of the mark of the beast is indeed the unpardonable sin. I urge Phil Johnson and John MacArthur to recant and repent of their evil and publicly confess that they are wrong.
I urge you, Mr. Phil Johnson, to stop your defense and your declaring innocent false teachers, for Paul of Tarsus said:
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
Prove to the Body of Christ that you are a genuine servant of Christ. Refute and repudiate John MacArthur in public for his apostasy.
It may cause you to lose your illustrious position in his church but what is better – to choose rather to be mistreated with the people of God like Moses or to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin? (Hebrews 11:25).
I wouldn’t want to stand in John MacArthur’s shoes in the Day of Judgment. He has and still is leading thousands astray. I assure you God doesn’t like that.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peters 2:1)
MacArthur may deny that He is denying the One who bought Him, but he is definitely denying what He says in Revelation 14. Denying his Word is tantamount to denying Him personally. There’s no difference.
Calvinism is so stupid. Thank you for showing so clearly that it is just made up by a man. I mean, it’s even named after a mere man. They are not Jesus’ disciples. They are John Calvin’s disciples.
The above discourse highlights such a need for the believer to be encouraged by the ability to discern.The ability to discern can only be present if The Holy Spirit is present and active in our lives.Jesus said “My sheep know me they hear my voice and follow me.”
It then becomes evident that the gentleman mentioned above do not hear the voice of the Lord as it is evident that they do not follow Him by rightly dividing the word and by applying its truth.People that follow and listen to them are also guilty of allowing them to continue in there ways of deception because that is what they want to hear .They want to hear that there is no punishment for bowing to the beast and accepting his mark(spirit.They convince themselves (are deluded into thinking) that this will be an escape on Judgment day.We know however the Lord has stated “no man will have an excuse”
What is the biblical basis for Calvinists to say that human beings are completely corrupted? Where?
They usually refer to verses such as “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) and “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” (Romans 3:11). Their problem,. however, is they they take it too far when they say man is absolutely unable to seek God. If that were true, God would never have invited sinners to seek Him with all their heart. “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
I cannot find in the Bible the idea that man cannot understand things. Only that man would not seek God (‘seek’ in the sense of being righteous as recorded in Romans 3:10-11, as parallel ideas; ‘seek’ is not the act to understand things) There exists not the most flimsy idea that man cannot understand God.
You know you should have Facebook like buttons on this site right.. lol
It would get so much more exposure that way… it give Satan a “hissy fit” as well as his followers and give us the opportunity to spread the truth even more 😉 (so give it some serious thought)
Being a OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved) believer I know I am marked with the mark of Christ as thus can never be unsaved. The same principal must apply to those who take the mark of the beast. They are marked for life. Its irreversible. John has never been a true studier of eschatology (end times) but this error he has made is very serious for those who will find themselves in end times. More and more false doctrine is being spewed out of peoples mouths but we are in the end times so hold fast as there is much more to come. Take care.
Of course there is no such thing as unsaving, but the Bible teaches that christians could be lost for various reasons, such as sinning to the point of no return, not continuing in the superior salvation of Jesus Christ such as his blood, his priesthood etc), preaching a gospel other than that from the Bible, etc.
You are contradicting yourself when you say “Of course there is no such thing as unsaving, but the Bible teaches that christians could be lost for various reasons . . .” Have you stopped sinning continuously? If you had, you have indeed managed to retain your salvation. Indeed, you have managed to do something for your salvation which is nothing but a works-salvation. Do you continuously do the will of the Lord and never sin unintentionally? If so, you don’t need Jesus to be your Saviour because He was the only One who continuously did his Father’s will every nanosecond. Saints cannot lose their salvation because those who are truly saved will never regret their salvation and turn their backs on God.
Those who regret their “salvation” and turn their backs on God were never saved in the first place. Their so-called salvation was a sham. Will you ever regret your salvation and turn your back on God?
Mine of the ‘works salvation’ is to be by faith, so that we could work out our salvation. What I understand about continuous sinning is that if a Christian sins continuously but not repent, then he would be judged by God. I did not mean we would not sin continuously.
For 2 Cor 7:10, the meaning of ‘not regret,’ I understand that ‘no regret’ in terms of salvation, and the salvation in terms of turning to correct road to maturity. This is not salvation in terms of our eternal destiny. And may I share my understanding of a division of 2 Cor 7:8-13:
A.– For ueven if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though vI did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. 9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but wbecause you were grieved into repenting.
B.– For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas yworldly grief produces death.
C.–11 For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. D.–12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one awho did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 Therefore bwe are comforted.
I could see a progression of ‘no regret’ in these four paragraphs as a whole. For the first, we see some regret and then ‘no regret’ on the part of Paul, then for the second, we see no regret on the part of the Corinthians,then the third, the more detailed of whatever counted as ‘no regret’ that could be found on the part of the Corinthians. Last of all is the fourth para.: but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 Therefore we are comforted. That is the climax of the paragraphs. The content of the ‘no regret’ I could see is then related to the attitude towards Paul’s company, as eagerness, indigation, alarm and longing, etc.
The bottom line is a truly saved saint cannot lose his/her salvation. The grief Paul wrote of in 2 Corinthians 7:8-13 is not the grief in 2 Corinthians 7:10. The word used here does not denote repentance in the sense in which that word is commonly understood, as if any wrong had been done. It is not the language of remorse. It can denote here nothing more than “that uneasiness which a good man feels, not from the consciousness of having done wrong, but from a tenderness for others, and a fear lest that which, prompted by duty, he had said, should have too strong an effect upon them.” It has nothing to do with remorse or grief that leads to salvation.
Of course, the grief of Paul was not that of grief encountered by the Corinthians. But I understand that by variation of words of ‘similar’ meaning, a progression of meaning could be developed and displayed in literary form, as artistic display allows. There was wrong or words spoken against Paul in the past on the part of the Corinthians. After receiving a letter from Paul, they became sorrowful, and then repented of their past response so ‘clearly’ (what eagerness to clear yourselves…proved yourselves innocent in the matter…) that they were then in salvation in the sense of this situation. By context the verse is understood. This section of Scriptures is not seen to relate to matters of eternal destiny.
The grief (pain) Paul experienced was not because the Corinthians had spoken ill of him in the past. The event that made his visit painful and prompted him to write a harsh letter to them centered around the sin of a certain man at Corinth who had an incestuous relationship with his stepmother. At first they failed to censure the man. When Paul reprimanded them for their passivity as a church to deal with the matter, they took the necessary steps to discipline the man. They purged the evil from among them (1 Corinthians 5:13). They were no longer dispassionate spectators of the wrongdoer, and Paul was concerned that they may become impassioned prosecutors in stead of compassionate brothers in Christ. In such a scenario the man would become overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. The man was penitent so Paul urged the church to forgive and comfort him. The church as a whole were to affirm their love for this fellow Christian and again admit him to their fellowship. Here we find a classic example of a person who had sinned grievously against God but did not lose his salvation.
Yes, you are correct in that the wrong was not what I said. There was lack of evidence however, of referring to that case as you said. My understanding is that anyone sinned grossly would not loose his salvation, except where stated in the Bible.
Where is it stated in Scripture that you can lose your salvation?
Though in the past I have spent much time to study of this subject, I feel I did not spend enough time to study this subject yet. In the mean time I understand that Christians would lose his salvation, at least, because
1) of any reason he is a wicked person (1 Corinthians 6:9)
a) not willing to repent of his sin
b) do not do the good instructed (Gal 6:8)
c) go on sinning because of God’ grace (Ro 6:23)
2) of not claiming salvation from Jesus Christ such as the provision as eternal high priest, as in all the warnings in the book of Hebrews,
3) he problaims the other gospel leading others away from God which Paul denounced (Gal 1:9) etc.
How can you make absolute statements like “a saint can lose his salvation” when you haven’t studied the subject yet?
1) 1 Corinthians 6:9: The context tells us that this has nothing to do with salvation or even losing your salvation. It concerns one believer taking another believer to court to settle their differences. Paul rebukes them and reminds them that they ought to know how to judge righteously in small matters because they are going to judge even angels. Verse 9 does not refer to believers but unbelievers before they became believers. You are ignoring the most important part of this section which is verse 11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Of course they could not have inherited the Kingdom of God whilst they were still unbelievers and doing all those horrible things. But now,, they are no longer unbelievers but believers who had been washed in Christ’s blood. There is no hint whatsoever in these verses that saints can lose their salvation.
a) Do you believe that saints who are truly saved are unwilling to ask for forgiveness for their sins? Was Paul unwilling to repent when he said:
Here Paul says he repented again and again and again of his sins and tried so very hard not to do them again but failed again and again and again. He was not unwilling to repent of his sins but could not help but sinning. What was the solution? You tell me!
b) Galatians 6:8. “Do not do the good instructed?” Really? Did you know that our best works are as filthy rags (menstrual rags)? (Isaiah 64:6). What this verse tells us that the saint can either sow to his flesh or to the Spirit. Note the words “reap eternal life.” It does not say “gain or receive eternal life.” If we were able to gain eternal through our good works, Jesus’s death on the cross would have been necessary. It simply means that saints who sow to the flesh will reap no harvest in the eternal life and those who sow to the Spirit will reap a great harvest. It ties in perfectly what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3,
c) “go on sinning because of God’s grace (Romans 6:23). As you may know, Paul is speaking to believers who like himself in Romans 7, had problems with overcoming sin. They too tried not to sin but quickly found out that they couldn’t. God’s unmerited grace was not an incentive top sin. They needed to grow beyond such a notion and that was to realize that they were already mortified to sin the moment they were baptized into the death of Jesus Christ. Paul said in effect: “A dead person cannot sin. Therefore, “reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (verse 11). It has nothing to do with losing your salvation but everything with how to overcome sin.
2) “of not claiming salvation from Jesus Christ such as the provision as eternal high priest, as in all the warnings in the book of Hebrews.” The book Hebrews, especially chapter 6, does not teach that a saint can lose his salvation. In fact, it teaches the ver opposite i.e. that it is impossible for a saint to lose his salvation.
3) “he problaims the other gospel leading others away from God which Paul denounced (Gal 1:9) etc.” Don’t you thing the teaching that a saint can lose his salvation is another Gospel, especially in the light of what Jesus says in John 10?
Well, nearly everyone do the same things. I am not writing a book or a dissertation, but just some views in a casual setting. I have studied the subject for a lot of time, just that I have not enough time to make a standard that meets mine. If I see an evidence in a place, I can tell other people of that piece of evidence. I do not need to prove it in other place that is contrary to that evidence, just like one to be expected to perform in a court.
1) The related section of the above verse is from 6:1-11, where 6:9 is a general principle applicable both to believers and unbelievers. The above section could be divided into two main sections, where the first one deals with saints as proper judges, and the second one, which starts at v7, deals with the ones that were judged. The climax of the second sections call for corrections of the behavior of the Corinthians on attacking their fellows, so v9-11. Just as calling for proper judges involves the idea that the judge to be wise (v5b-6) and the duty of the judge, which is the extension of the status of the wise judge (v1-5a), the calling of the corrections involves the idea that the one to be washed and justified (v11) and the ‘duty’ of that one, which is the extension of that status (v7-9). The force of the text is to urge them to be pure. I understand the Corinthians were not worrying about entering the Kingdom of God, so it is not seen in the text a solution to a problem that was not there.
a) I understand that the Paul case in a different category. There are Christians who are repentant and those who are unrepentant. They are different.
b) The section of the verse involved started from v6-10. The verse 8 which is under the section, by context, I understand, is to be interpreted by the meaning of that section. The section calls for good work in dealing with the people. The good work, of course, comes from the work of the Holy Spirit, as the section is within a larger section (ch 6) which deals with the law of the Holy Spirit. The wording for saying to reap eternal life is needed by the presence of analogy in the text.
The 5:21 warning is of the same nature to the point of warning in 1 Cor.
c) The section on Romans 6-8 deals with two kinds of sinning and two kinds of way of dealing with each. Ro 7:7 onwards deals with sinning experienced by Paul, the sins of which he did not want to do. The first section, I understand, deals with sins when Christians want to do them. And v 6:23 is the result of application for such first section, while v 8:17 is the result of application for that of second section.
2) Well, just opposite. I see that the book of Hebrews while writing for Christians, warns them of dangers along the way to heaven.
3) Well, I understand that Jesus was speaking to the people who oppose him. Jesus had just spoken against the blind Pharisees. So the setting is understood to be that Jesus was speaking against people like those Pharisees – neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
@Bibledriller, my Hubby did this article which I hope will enable for you to understand the OSAS position. May it help you to understand the word of God and may you study it yourself.
HOW TO LOSE YOUR SALVATION
THERE ARE NONE SO LOST AS THOSE WHO THINK THAT THEY ARE SAVED WHEN THEY ARE NOT.
There is one question that usually comes up when discussing grace and salvation; it is the question of “eternal security.”
Or as some put it; Once Saved Always Saved. OSAS.
In a nutshell…Salvation is by grace alone; through faith alone; in Christ alone; by the Word of God alone; to the glory of God alone.
A Definition of Eternal Security
Eternal security is the confidence that every born again believer has perfect, complete, eternal salvation in Jesus Christ. As soon as a sinner receives Christ, he possesses full, unending salvation.
To be in Christ is to have a secure position before God.
If one can be un-born again, can one be born again, again?
If one is saved, does that mean that one cannot be lost?
If one is lost, can one be re-born again?
If you can be born again, again; does Jesus have to die a second time for your sins?
If so, is there a limit to how many times you can lose your salvation?
Is it perhaps “Three strikes and you’re out?”
If salvation is a free gift of grace which you cannot earn, is the gift conditional?
If the gift is conditional, can it still be called a gift?
1John 5:10 – 13 “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Salvation is a “knowing.” We know! We cannot prove it in a laboratory experiment because it is a spiritual condition; but we are confident that we are saved.
John 6:37 – 40 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Although the Bible does not use the term “security” to describe the believer’s relationship in Christ, it leaves no doubt that the child of God is eternally safe in Christ. Eternal security refers only to those who are born again through believing, repentance and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.
It does not refer to those who are merely dabbling in the things of Christ, or are converted to a Christian lifestyle, but not to Christ. Those who permanently fall away have never been born again.
1John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
In light of the above verse I cannot believe anyone who says that they were once born again and have now become Mormon, Jehovah Witness or whatever.
If you are born again you will always be born again. God may have to remove you from this world in order to preserve you from yourself, but you remain saved by the Blood of Christ.
There is an interesting passage in the book of Revelation Rev 14:9 – 11 “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10) The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11) And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
From the above we can see that IF you are left behind after the Rapture and IF you take the mark of the Beast you are doomed forever.
(Perhaps the mark will alter human genetics, and the receiver of the mark will no longer be 100% human. Who knows?)
But the point is that the mark is a permanent fixture on the one who received the mark.
Let us explore this further. Satan always copies what God has done or is doing.
Often his copy is in reverse, but he does copy God in many areas, this being one of them. How?
The following are verses that refer to a seal of God.
John 6:27 “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”
2 Corinthians 1:22 “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
Ephesians 1:13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”
Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
Note that these verses seem to indicate a figurative seal, not a physical seal.
The following verses would seem to be a physical seal of some kind on the forehead.
Revelation 7:2, 3 “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”
Revelation 9:4 “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.”
What is the purpose of a seal? It is like a label. It tells all who would see the seal/label that this belongs to another. It is authoritative in that it is a legal and binding ownership.
A seal would convey the name, title and authority of the owner.
The principle of a seal is found throughout Scripture…
Daniel 6:15 – 17 “Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
16) Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
17) And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.”
So the seal of the King is a statement that his decree is not to be changed, not to be changed by anyone.
Romans 4:11 “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:”
Note that the sign of circumcision is also a seal of righteousness.
A sign and a seal are synonymous.
Ok, so why all the above mentioned? What has this to do with OSAS?
IF YOU CAN NO LONGER RECEIVE SALVATION ONCE YOU VOLUNTARILY
TAKE THE MARK OF THE BEAST;
YOU CANNOT LOSE YOUR SALVATION
ONCE YOU ARE BORN AGAIN AND SEALED BY GOD.
The one seal is a mirror image of the other and both are lawfully valid in the spirit realm.
IF you can lose your salvation, then Jesus lied when He said in John …
“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12)
Did Jesus lie when He said…? “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” (John 10:27 – 30)
If the answer is NO, then why would someone call Him a liar by contradicting the Word of God?
It is like saying “No Lord; it is not so. Are you not aware that we CAN lose the salvation you gave us?”
IF you indeed could lose your salvation, then God has far more to lose than you do.
He died on a cruel Cross in order to redeem you. This was done for you at no cost to you; all the cost was taken up by God Himself. If you can lose this gift, then it is God who loses way more than you ever could.
Consider the following verse “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
Come on guys, both Jesus and the Father have us firmly grasped in their hand.
Who could possibly separate us from the grip of both the Father and the Son?
So secure are we in Christ that not even WE are able to separate OURSELVES from our God.
Ephesians 4:30 tells us that believers are “sealed for the day of redemption.”
If believers did not have eternal security, the sealing could not truly be unto the day of redemption, but only to the day of sinning, apostasy, or disbelief.
The Scriptures tell us that we are SEALED.
What does that mean?
The Greek word “Arrahbon” is translated into English as “sealed,” or sometimes “guarantee.”
Arrahbon in Greek is a wedding ring. It is a guarantee of a future with the giver of the seal. Unlike today, in ancient times such a “promise “to marry was an absolute and sure guarantee that the giver of the Arrahbon was serious.
We see this in the story of Mary. She was betrothed to Joseph. This betrothal was as good as a marriage. So much so that when Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant with Jesus, he sought to quietly “divorce “her. It was like they were already married; so important and emphatic was the guarantee given at the betrothal.
John 3:15-16 tells us that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal life.”
If a person were to be promised eternal life, but then have it taken away, it was never “eternal” to begin with. If eternal security is not true, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.
The most powerful argument for eternal security is Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Our eternal security is based on God’s love for those whom He has redeemed. Our eternal security is purchased by Christ, promised by the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
If we are distracted by the nagging thought that maybe we are not going to make it, we will be rendered impotent. I cannot help but think that the idea of NOT having eternal security in Christ plays into the hands of the enemy. It would be a doctrine that I would promote if I were in his position.
IF SALVATION IS RETAINED BY WORKS – IT STANDS TO REASON
THAT SALVATION IS OBTAINED BY WORKS (which it is not)
WHICH OF YOUR SINS WERE YET FUTURE
WHEN JESUS HUNG ON THE CROSS?
Ephesians 1:13-14 is the clearest of many verses that address your question. It goes like this.
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
Paul expanded on this promise in 2 Cor. 1:21-22 to show how God Himself has taken responsibility for keeping us saved.
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
Together these verses show that at the first moment of belief, we were saved. Before we had done anything good to deserve it or anything bad to lose it, the Holy Spirit was sealed within us as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. Being sincere in our belief, we have met the single requirement for salvation (John 6:28-29) and God has marked us as His own, off limits to anyone else.
Therefore, sinning and failing to confess won’t cost us our salvation, because it has been guaranteed. But it will cause us to live a defeated spiritual life here on Earth. And while we’ll still be a child of God’s we won’t have enjoyed any kind of relationship with Him. We’ll miss out on tons of blessings here on Earth and some crowns when we get to heaven. But even if we receive no rewards at all, we won’t be relegated to some kind of 2nd or 3rd class salvation. We all get the same, because our salvation isn’t based on our behavior, it’s based on our belief (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).
And while it’s true that behavior such as you described may be a sign that a person was never saved in the first place, that isn’t ours to judge because we can’t know the motives of another person’s heart. That’s between the person and the Lord (1 Corinthians 4: 5).
If we believe we can lose our salvation because of our behavior then we have to believe the Lord’s death might have been sufficient to save us initially, but it’s not sufficient to keep us saved forever.
Since the Lord’s death is a constant and our behavior is a variable we would in fact become responsible for maintaining our own salvation. We would have to be very careful to make sure that our behavior was always good enough to keep us saved, even though it wasn’t good enough to save us in the first place. This violates a number of clear promises the Bible makes to the contrary. It would also allow all those who arrive in Heaven to say that they got there at least partially because of their own efforts, in spite of what Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9 about no one being able to boast.
So, does the Lord save us forever when we first ask, whether we believe it’s guaranteed or not? Or, knowing that we don’t believe it’s guaranteed, does He not save us at all? We know He can’t save us conditionally because of the promises of Ephesians 1:13-14 and 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, which say that our inheritance is guaranteed from the moment we believe.
In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus said everyone who asks receives, and in John 6:37 He said “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” which says to me that once we ask Him to save us, He will never “unsave” us.
So I would say that everyone who asks for salvation receives it and receives it forever no matter what they believe about eternal security, or (as is usually the case) even if they’ve never heard of it.
Aside from the fact that the doctrine of election is a violation of the character of God, there are two very clear statements in the Bible that prove conclusively that God did not create some to be saved and others to be lost.
In 1 Tim. 2:3-4 Paul said it’s good when we pray for others because God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
And from 2 Peter 3:10 we see that God doesn’t want any to perish but for everyone to come to repentance. Since God can’t contradict Himself, all statements on the nature of our salvation have to be consistent with these two.
Then you have Matthew 7:7-8 Where Jesus says everyone who asks receives,
John 3:16 that says Jesus died for the world so that whosoever believes will not perish,
John 6:28-29 that says belief in the one He sent is the only thing God requires of us, Romans 10:13 where Paul promised that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, and others.
Put these all together and it becomes clear that salvation is available to everyone who asks. Otherwise how could he send a strong delusion to deceive those who are perishing because they refused to love the truth and be saved (2 Thes. 2:10)?
You can break your communion with God but not your spiritual union with God.
It is God who united His Spirit with your spirit to make you a “born again” child of God. You had no part in this process.
If one truly believes and follows they are part of a living eternal organism called the body of Christ.
The believer lives under grace. This guarantees God’s ability to bring to a conclusion what we cannot. We were not saved by works, so we don’t undo our salvation by works. We cannot keep ourselves saved since we didn’t save ourselves in the first place.
We remain saved only by grace, by Gods power.
Salvation is a gift freely given apart from any human effort. It does not depend on our performance nor on a certain amount of obedience in having it be permanent in our life.
If you brought someone to faith in Christ and they asked how long will I be saved for? You say as long as you obey. How long can I obey? Who knows? Your eternal security is not pegged with your works but to Christ’s finished work on the cross.
Romans 8: 38-39 “For I am persuaded, 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.”
2 Corinthians 4: 8-9, 14 “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. . . Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you”.
Can I be sure that I’m really saved?
Most Christians have probably had moments of doubt about their salvation.
After all, we’ve all entertained thoughts and have committed acts that we knew were displeasing to God. We’ve all experienced that sense of remorse and sometimes questioned the reality of our salvation afterward.
Backsliding can no doubt cause such feelings to arise, and should hopefully move us to repentance.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
However, when it comes to the issue of eternal security, the Bible makes it absolutely clear that those who have been saved will never be lost.
Jesus emphatically pointed this out in the Gospel of John when, in reference to believers, He said in John 10:28, 29 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
Notice that two hands are involved here. “My Hand” and “My Fathers Hand.”
In this passage, Christ explicitly declared that no one who has received eternal life will ever lose it.
Now, if we have the Holy Spirit, can He leave us as He did in the Old Testament?
No! Holy Spirit will never leave a true believer. This is revealed in many different passages in the New Testament. For example, Romans 8:9 tells us, “…if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
This verse very clearly states that if someone does not have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, then that person is not saved. Therefore, if the Holy Spirit were to leave a believer, that person would have lost the saving relationship with Christ.
Another verse that speaks to the permanence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence in the life of believers is John 14:16. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever…”
How long is that? Forever!
Paul indicated that the Holy Spirit acts as the very seal of God’s ownership of the believer; He serves as the guarantee of our inheritance to come – namely, eternal life John 5:24; Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
1 John 5:13. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
In describing our inheritance the apostle Peter used some very powerful words – words like “imperishable,” “undefiled,” and “unfading” 1 Pet. 1:5. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
With these words He underscored the everlasting assurance believers have with respect to God’s gift of salvation.
Now I know what you’re asking: “What about the Christians who have completely abandoned their faith?” Well, judging by what we’re told in Scripture we can only conclude that they were never saved from the start.
You see, while “once saved, always saved” is true from God’s perspective, man only looks at the outward appearance and thus cannot always accurately assess who is really saved in the first place. The question therefore is not whether someone lost their salvation, but whether they had ever had it at all. As Romans chapter eight says, “…there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 38-29). He is the very source of our salvation.
And remember, eternal life that comes to the believer through faith in Christ is not life for two weeks, two months, or even two years; eternal life is everlasting life.
It begins at the moment of conversion and stretches on through the eons of time.
Lets tackle what is perhaps the single most troublesome verse relating to our security in Christ…
Hebrews 6: 4 – 6 “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, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 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.”
Verses 4 through 6 form one long sentence, modified by tenses of a series of participles.
The epistle to the Hebrews was to encourage them to embrace the grace of Christ as opposed to the keeping of the Torah and accepting salvation by faith.
The passage, therefore, presents an argument based on a false premise (that a true Christian can fall away) and follows it to its senseless conclusion (that Jesus would have to be sacrificed again and again).
The absurdity of the conclusion points up the impossibility of the original assumption. The writer of Hebrews is setting up a hypothetical statement: “IF a Christian were to fall away. . .” The point being made is that it would be impossible (IF a Christian falls away) to renew salvation. That’s because Christ died once for sin. Hebrews 9:28 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
This reasoning is called “reductio ad absurdum,” in which a premise is disproved by showing that it logically leads to an absurdity. It is “proof by contradiction.”
An example is the old adage “For whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell’
Here it means you have fallen away from grace as a principle, there’s a lot of ways to explain that. But basically what he’s saying is that if you live by law you have fallen from the principle of grace, whether you’re a regenerate or unregenerate.
Galatians 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
The word “fallen” here is the Greek word “Ekpipto” Ekpipto does not mean that you have lost the grace of God that was once yours; it means that you have “fallen off” the path of grace since you chose justification by the law instead of justification by grace.
Grace has law entitled in it, but the law has no grace.
If I go out and try to live my Christian life legalistically I’ve fallen from the grace principle, right? So he’s writing to believers and he’s saying if you’re going to live your life by law, having begun in the Spirit are you perfected by the flesh? If you’re going to start living by law you have fallen away from grace as a principle of living.
Aside from this, there is a complicated grammatical explanation from the Greek language.
A participle is a form of a verb that is used to form complex tenses, such as “was loving” and “has loved” in English, and may also be used as an adjective.
The string of participles that modify the adjective “impossible,” adunaton,
are described as leading to an impossibility of being renewed (or restored) to repentance (anakainizein eis metanoian). It identifies the first three of five qualifiers:
1) Once enlightened
2) Tasted the heavenly gift
3) Partakers of the Holy Ghost.
The two remaining qualifying participles:
3) Tasted the good word of God
4) Have seen miracles and signs (Heb 2:4)
“…world to come: aion : singular, (not plural: “ages,” or “world”)
specifically: the Messianic Age. They have understood the glory that
awaits Christ and his Metachoi in the coming Millennial Kingdom, but
they have turned their away to go back to the world. They are in the same position as the Exodus generation at Kadesh-Barnea, refusing to go forward to fight for their inheritance. (Numbers 13 & 14)
Desiring to sin?
Assurance of salvation gives us the security to serve God wholeheartedly without fear. It frees us to serve God with a grateful heart.
When the Golden Gate was being built in San Francisco, many men fell to their deaths from the bridge. Production was painfully slow because of the fear of falling.
A net was erected underneath the bridge to catch anyone who fell. Ten more men fell from the bridge but were caught by the net and thus were saved from certain death.
After the net was put in place, production went up 25% because the men felt free to give themselves wholly to the project without fear of falling to their death.
Eternal security is a powerful incentive to serve God wholeheartedly.
Some people say that Eternal Security is a dangerous doctrine because if you are secure in Christ it promoted passivity and lends itself to a license to sin. The thinking is that if I am secure anyway, I can sin all I desire and still be saved.
This is simply not true…Eternal security is not a license to sin all you desire, because your desire was taken care of at salvation. Salvation gives you a brand new desire.
Your “wants“ are no longer what they used to be.
One of the foremost ways Satan attacks Christians is by condemning them when they sin. He makes them question or doubt their salvation. Without the helmet of salvation on our minds are open to his doubts. We are to know what we believe so we cannot be persuaded into a lie.
How does one know that they are saved?
• First of all they will become acutely aware of their sin.
• They will love Christ and be looking forward to his return having the assurance of being in his kingdom.
• They will sense a struggle of doing what was once pleasurable and be repelled of it.
• They will no longer practice sin as a lifestyle.
• They will have a new found interest in the Bible. The Bible will “come alive” when they read it and they will desire to know what it says.
• They will want to share what they have with others.
• They will have a battle of the indwelling of sin with his new nature.
• They will have the power to say no to the sins that so easily trapped them before if they so choose.
• They have the witness of the Spirit, the Word is now understandable and He bears witness that it is the truth.
• They have the peace of God where before they were wrestling against Him.
• They now enjoy obeying Gods commands whereas before they detested them.
• Their attitude toward the world will change their affections will be redirected toward the things of God.
• They will also love the brethren, enjoying fellowship with them.
• They will provoke others to love and service unto the Lord.
• They will have a love for the Word which sets them apart from the world. (John.17:14-19)
• They will experience answered prayers for God’s will in their lives and in the life of others. (John.14 – 15: 7)
• They will have the ability to discern truth from error whereas before he had no guidelines. (1 John.2:27; Hebrews5:13-14)
• They believe in the essential doctrines of the faith and are willing to defend them when they are challenged.
God Bless you richly in Christ,
Thanks Vanessa. Excellent! Your hubby and I agree 100%. I wrote a series of five posts on the security of salvation.
Thank you Thomas. I will definitely read all of them. Might I ask if you are in SA. Thank you.
Yep, I have been living in South for the last 70 odd years.
Wow, ok so that makes you a young man. I had a feast day reading the articles and still busy with them. Thank you for taking the time in placing information on the site in order to help those of us who wish to know and lean more, (even if it means many fight and disagree) Its very time consuming for you but know its much appreciated.Thank goodness for the internet.The word says in the last days knowledge will increase, and by joe it sure has. Thank you.
Thank you so much for your appreciation. God is our Teacher. (John 16:13).
I understand where you are coming from. I was raised Baptist and a Calvinist at that. It was not until I understood the scriptures by reading them and CHOOSING to believe them that I was slowly set free from my teachers. Re-aligning your will to what the scriptures mean is extremely difficult. More like a war with your mind, which wants to sip over the scriptures.
You do not know the warnings in the New Testament and skip over or simply ignore them because “Surely these don’t apply to me. I am a Christian.” “Once saved always saved” right? Over and over the New Testament warns us about falling away, backsliding, sinning that keeps us from the Kingdom of God, etc.
Do you believe God changes? Malachi 3:6 “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
What does He say in Ezekiel 18:
24“BUT WHEN A RIGHTEOUS MAN TURNS AWAY FROM HIS RIGHTEOUS, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die.
25“YET YOU SAY, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right?
26“When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die.
27“AGAIN, WHEN A WICKED MAN TURNS AWAY FROM HIS WICKEDNESS WHICH HE HAS COMMITTED AND PRACTICES JUSTICE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS, HE WILL SAVE HIS LIFE. 28“Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
29“But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right?
THE new TESTAMENT IS THE REVEALING OF THE OLD.
When it comes to Calvinism (in which I grew up and taught) check out Jacob Prasch on YouTube as he exposes the lies in Calvinism along with it’s history of being similar to Islam.
>> When it comes to Calvinism (in which I grew up and taught) check out Jacob Prasch
So now you have moved to Methodism? Jacob Prasch is a Methodist (he follows the teaching of John Wesley -founder of Methodism and George Whitefield a Calvinism/Methodist) and speaks with a forked tongue. He does not disagree with Calvinism he proclaims that it’s ok and it’s ministers preach the truth. See here: Jacob Prasch – But By The Grace of God [those Calvinists] . . . Tell The Truth!
See all articles on Jacob Prasch here
>> “Once saved always saved” right? Over and over the New Testament warns us about falling away, backsliding, sinning that keeps us from the Kingdom of God, etc.
Please read all articles on Eternal Security and understand that when you are saved you are saved..
The reason I reference John’s teachings primarily when I’m trying to understand something in scripture more clearly is because he backs up everything he says with God’s word.
Hi Ariane. And so do the Roman Catholic Church, the Mormons, the Jehovah’s witnesses, and many other heretics back up everything they say with the Bible, with a slight twist. That’s precisely how the angel of light (Satan) works to deceive people.
You wrote in another comment.
If, and I emphasize the word “if,” you were willing to take the mark of the beast to save your children from starvation and even your own life, God would never have been your Father and you would never have been his daughter from the word go. And here is why.
At any rate, if you love your own flesh and blood more than Jesus, you cannot be his disciple.
I know of many mothers, who during the persecution in Russia, were given the ultimatum to either deny and renounce Jesus Christ or to see their children hacked to death before their eyes. Most of them chose not to deny Jesus Christ whom they loved more than their own children.
And this, I may add, is true Christianity, and not the kind John MacArthur proclaims where you may take the mark of the beast and still be saved. He is a liar and a malicious deceiver.