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bible4life
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Joined: 2009/1/21
Posts: 1558
Locport, Illinois

 early church fathers on lost of salvation

Does anyone know any of the church fathers who didn't believe you can lose your salvation and believed onto the same level as calvinism that we our elected? What is the reason many of the church fathers believed you could lose your salvation, was it a laclk of the opportunity to study the scriptures like we can today or what?


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John Beechy

 2009/1/30 19:21Profile
wayneman
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Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 454
Michigan

 Re: early church fathers on lost of salvation

Augustine believed in eternal security, AKA "the perseverance of the saints."

The doctrine that Christians can lose their salvation is based on three Scriptures: "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." Heb. 6:4-6

"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrific for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries." Heb. 10:26-27

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them if they had not known the way of righteousness, than, after they had known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." II Pet. 2:20-21

These passages used to terrify me, because I was baptized and made a profession of faith, and got off to a pretty good start as a young disciple, and then backslid. Of course, interpretations of these verses vary widely, because they have to be weighed against the promises:

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I shall in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which has sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." John 6:37-39

"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." John 10:28-29


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Wayne Kraus

 2009/1/31 0:10Profile
theopenlife
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Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 Re:

The notion that few of the early believers held to perseverance of the saints is a myth.

I recommend Steve Lawson's audio series, "A Long Line of Godly Men," which is freely available here:

http://www.newreformationministries.org/audio/mens-seminary/

And is also in book form as "Foundations in Grace."

He provides passages from many of the Fathers which confirms a widespread belief in the doctrines commonly called Calvinistic, and others whose convictions were at least muddled, holding to both sides at once.

But in the end, there have been far more Roman Catholics than believers in salvation through faith alone. Are we to commend the multitude over the scriptures? And should we appeal to antiquity? There were more heretics than apostles even in Paul's day.

There have always been more students confused than correct on almost every point of biblical interest. The very fact that something is accepted by the religious majority gives pause to reconsider its verity, as does anything that comes naturally to the mind of man, such as human self-determination and decisive control in salvation.

Blessings in Christ's grace.

 2009/1/31 0:26Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4476


 Re:

Hi Wayne...

Quote:
The doctrine that Christians can lose their salvation is based on three Scriptures:

Two things: First, I wouldn't call this a "doctrine." It is certainly a set of beliefs held by some, but I would hardly call it an conclusive or decisive belief. Secondly, I wouldn't say that this notion is simply based upon THREE verses. I am persuaded that a person can run ahead (and away) from their faith in Christ (by falling back in love with this world)...but it isn't based upon the three verses that you quoted.

:-(


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Christopher

 2009/1/31 0:51Profile
hmmhmm
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Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
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 Re:

Many of the early church fathers believed it was possible to be saved and then eternally end up lost.

I am speaking about the early church before augustine. From many of the writings we can see they did not hold the doctrine eternal security.

I can post quotes and excerpt for you later when i find the time to do so.

Id recommend you read David Bercots book "will the real herectic please stand up" as it deals with many of the issues in todays church and compares what we believe and how we live to the early church what they believed and how they lived.


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CHRISTIAN

 2009/1/31 3:01Profile
hmmhmm
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Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
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 Re: early church fathers on lost of salvation

There are many more quotes and passages then these i have posted, some i think explain more clearly what they believed, but it is very important to remember this is not scripture, you should not interpret scripture from what another man says or wrote. Let the Holy Spirit teach you himself from Gods word. But these quotes show what [b]some[/b] of the early church fathers believed.

Its also good to be careful, we often select quotes that are a few sentences short from a mans lifelong writings and say this is what they believed.

But so often it is a journey, and i today dont hold the same beliefs i did when i first started this journey, and i think when my journey draws close to meet my Lord i probably changed some of the beliefs i hold today.

So for most justice its good you read the church fathers for yourself. Then you will see they are filled with comfort for believers, full of warnings to the believers. And to me a very balanced and scriptural way of teaching saved by faith and works as the same coin but two sides to that coin, Gods sovereignty and mans free will as another coin. And they do it so that it seem not to be contradictory to the other, just my observation.

Also i find quoting dangerous, since i have found numerous cults quote some old writer and different cults go of on that doctrine with the support of some quotes, we can do the same with our favorite authors and get imbalanced in our understanding of scripture that is in perfect balance.

I personally believe it is possible to once know Christ, tasted his goodness and mercies and yet leave him and go back to the world self, and sin.

I base this on scripture not these mens teachings, but i also believe for those who want to be saved, want to follow Christ will never be lost, God is mighty to keep us and has promised he will finish the work he started.

Claim the promises of God and work out your salvation with fear and trembling. If you want to read about the other side so to speak, there are many writers from the reformed period and puritans that can bless you with their understanding and how they look upon eternal security.

But as i said, the best way is to read scripture and ask the spirit to show you.

God bless you



Clement of Rome

Seeing, therefore, that we are the portion of the Holy One, let us do all those things which pertain to holiness, avoiding all evil-speaking, all abominable and impure embraces, together with all drunkenness, seeking after change,(3) all abominable lusts, detestable adultery, and execrable pride. "For God," saith [the Scripture], "resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble."(4) Let us cleave, then, to those to whom grace has been given by God. LET US CLOTHE OURSELVES WITH CONCORD AND HUMILITY, EVER EXERCISING SELF-CONTROL, STANDING FAR OFF FROM ALL WHISPERING AND EVIL-SPEAKING, BEING JUSTIFIED BY OUR WORKS, AND NOT OUR WORDS. For [the Scripture] saith, "He that speaketh much, shall also hear much in answer. And does he that is ready in speech deem himself righteous? Blessed is he that is born of woman, who liveth but a short time: be not given to much speaking."(5) Let our praise be in God, and not of ourselves; for God hateth those that commend themselves. Let testimony to our good deeds be borne by others, as it was in the case of our righteous forefathers. Boldness, and arrogance, and audacity belong to those that are accursed of God; but moderation, humility, and meekness to such as are blessed by Him.



Ignatius

Do ye beloved, be careful to be subject to the bishop, and the presbyters and the deacons. For he that is subject to these is obedient to Christ, who has appointed them; but he that he is disobedient to these is disobedient to Christ Jesus. And "he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him."(ANF, vol. 1, p. 51)


Seeing then, all things have an end, there is set before us life upon our observance of God's precepts, but death as the result of disobedience, and every one, according to the choice he makes, shall go to his own place, let us flee from death, and make choice of life. The truly devout man is the right kind of coin, stamped by God himself. The ungodly man, again, is false coin, unlawful, spurious, counterfeit, wrought not by God, but by the devil. I do not mean to say that there are two different human natures, but that there is one humanity, sometimes belonging to God, and sometimes to the devil. If any one is truly religious, he is a man of God; but if he is irreligious, he is a man of the devil, made such, not by nature, but by his own choice. The unbelieving bear the image of the prince of wickedness. The believing possess the image of their Prince, God the Father, and Jesus Christ, through whom, if we are not in readiness to die for the truth into his passion, his life is not in us. (ANF, vol. 1, p. 61)

Justin Martyr

And we have learned that those only are deified who have lived near to God in holiness and virtue; and we believe that those who live wickedly and do not repent are punished in everlasting fire. (ANF, vol. 1, p. 170)

Each man goes to everlasting punishment or salvation according to the value of his actions. For if all men knew this, no one would choose wickedness even for a little, knowing that he goes to the everlasting punishment of fire. but would by all means restrain himself and adorn himself with virtue, that he might obtain the good gifts of God, and escape the punishments(ANF, vol. 1, p. 166). The First Apology of Justin - chapter 16 For not those who make profession, but those who do the works, shall be saved, according to his word: "not everyone who saith to me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. By their works ye shall know them and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast in to the fire. (Mt. 7:17-21)" (ANF, vol. 1, p. 177)

Cyprian

The Lord denounces [Christian evildoers], and says, 'Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and in Your name have cast out devils, and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity' [Matt. 7:21-23]. There is need of righteousness, that one may deserve well of God the Judge; we must obey His precepts and warnings, that our merits may receive their reward (ANF, vol. 5, p. 426).

Origen

The Saviour also saying, "I say unto you, Resist not evil;"[9] and, "Whoever shall be angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment;"[10] and, "Whosoever shall look upon a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart;"[12] and in issuing certain other commands,--conveys no other meaning than this, that it is in our own power to observe what is commanded. And therefore we are rightly rendered liable to condemnation if we transgress those commandments which we are able to keep. And hence He Himself also declares: "Every one who hears my words, and doeth them, I will show to whom he is like: he is like a wise man who built his house upon a rock," etc.[1] So also the declaration: "Whoso heareth these things, and doeth them not, is like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand," etc.[3] Even the words addressed to those who are on His right hand, "Come unto Me, all ye blessed of My Father," etc.; "for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink,"[5] manifestly show that it depended upon themselves, that either these should be deserving of praise for doing what was commanded and receiving what was promised, or those deserving of censure who either heard or received the contrary, and to whom it was said, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire (Mt. 25:34, etc.)" Let us observe also, that the Apostle Paul addresses us as having power over our own will, and as possessing in ourselves the causes either of our salvation or of our ruin: "Dost thou despise the riches of His goodness, and of His patience, and of His long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But, according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou art treasuring up for thyself wrath on the day of judgment and of the revelation of the just judgment of God, who will render to every one according to his work: to those who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and immortality, eternal life;[8] while to those who are contentious, and believe not the truth, but who believe iniquity, anger, indignation, tribulation, and distress, on every soul of man that worketh evil, on the Jew first, and (afterwards) on the Greek; but glory, and honour, and peace to every one that doeth good, to the Jew first, and (afterwards) to the Greek."[11] You will find also innumerable other passages in holy Scripture, which manifestly show that we possess freedom of will. Otherwise there would be a contrariety in commandments being given us, by observing which we may be saved, or by transgressing which we may be condemned, if the power of keeping them were not implanted in us (ANF, Vol. 4, p. 306).


Whether it is possible for the apostle to contradict himself? And if this cannot be imagined of an apostle, how shall he appear, according to them, to be just in blaming those who committed fornication in Corinth, or those who sinned, and did not repent of their unchastity, and fornication, and uncleanness, which they had committed? How, also, does he greatly praise those who acted rightly, like the house of Onesiphorus, saying, "The Lord give mercy to the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: but, when he had come to Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day."[5] Now it is not consistent with apostolic gravity to blame him who is worthy of blame, i.e., who has sinned, and greatly to praise him who is deserving of praise for his good works; and again, as if it were in no one's power to do any good or evil, to say that it was the Creator's doing that every one should act virtuously or wickedly, seeing He makes one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour. And how can he add that statement, "We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one of us may receive in his body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad? "[6] For what reward of good will be conferred on him who could not commit evil, being formed by the Creator to that very end? or what punishment will deservedly be inflicted on him who was unable to do good in consequence of the creative act of his Maker?[1] Then, again, how is not this opposed to that other declaration elsewhere, that "in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, prepared unto every good work."[4] He, accordingly, who purges himself, is made a vessel unto honour, while he who has disdained to cleanse himself from his impurity is made a vessel unto dishonour. From such declarations, in my opinion, the cause of our actions can in no degree be referred to the Creator. For God the Creator makes a certain vessel unto honour, and other vessels to dishonour; but that vessel which has cleansed itself from all impurity He makes a vessel unto honour, while that which has stained itself with the filth of vice He makes a vessel unto dishonour. The conclusion from which, accordingly, is this, that the cause of each one's actions is a pre-existing one; and then every one, according to his deserts, is made by God either a vessel unto honour or dishonour. Therefore every individual vessel has furnished to its Creator out of itself the causes and occasions of its being formed by Him to be either a vessel unto honour or one unto dishonour(ANF, Vol. 4, p. 324).



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CHRISTIAN

 2009/1/31 7:14Profile
TaylorOtwell
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Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re:

I'll just be brief, read John 6:37. There is your church father quote. Also, I would ask anyone to please explain how Jesus was a complete failure at fulfilling the Father's will that he should lose none of those given to him by the Father. Away with such blasphemous ideas.


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Taylor Otwell

 2009/1/31 8:59Profile
wayneman
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Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 454
Michigan

 Re:

Quote:

ccchhhrrriiisss wrote:
Hi Wayne...
Quote:
The doctrine that Christians can lose their salvation is based on three Scriptures:

Two things: First, I wouldn't call this a "doctrine." It is certainly a set of beliefs held by some, but I would hardly call it an conclusive or decisive belief. Secondly, I wouldn't say that this notion is simply based upon THREE verses. I am persuaded that a person can run ahead (and away) from their faith in Christ (by falling back in love with this world)...but it isn't based upon the three verses that you quoted.

:-(



Hi Chris,

Doctrine means "teaching," so it's fair to say the teaching that a believer can become reprobate qualifies as a doctrine. It's also fair to say that the doctrine of reprobation is based on these three passages, but that's not to suggest that proponents of this doctrine are simply isolating and stringing verses together out of context to support their position. On the contrary, these passages seem to state explicitly that it is possible to lose one's salvation. The bottom line is "no man can come to me except my Father in heaven draws him." If we have once walked with God, then backslid, then return to Christ in repentance, it is the Father who has drawn us back, and "he who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out." Backsliders who seek repentance don't need to fear that the Lord will slam the door in their faces (take it from one who knows!).

I am of the opinion (and this is liable to any amount of correction) that Perseverance vs. Reprobation is, like Election vs. Freewill, a paradox that we'll never fully understand this side of eternity.


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Wayne Kraus

 2009/1/31 9:31Profile
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re:

Quote:

TaylorOtwell wrote:
I'll just be brief, read John 6:37. There is your church father quote. Also, I would ask anyone to please explain how Jesus was a complete failure at fulfilling the Father's will that he should lose none of those given to him by the Father. Away with such blasphemous ideas.





Dear brother ,

I personally believe he can not lose anyone who dont want to be lost, I do believe one can leave Christ for love of the world, love for sin or self more then they want Christ after they have been converted, putting back on the old man.

Indeed your passage of scripture speaks great comfort for such people who want to be saved and its clear. But Christ also said much other things and lets have the entirety of scripture in our minds.

Joh 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.




the word IF in verse 6 is very important one, seeing onbe can abide in Christ, and IF someone stops that they will be cast into the fire.


Let us see what Christ said in all the gospels, indeed he said many other things that can give great comfort to a believer in that no one, not even satan himself can take away anything from us, unless we allow him to do so.

I wouldent go so far as calling it blasphemy, then the same could be said to those who hold to eternal security based on many other verses in scripture.


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CHRISTIAN

 2009/1/31 12:04Profile
HomeFree89
Member



Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 797
Indiana

 Re:

Quote:
Away with such blasphemous ideas.



Brother,

I would ask you, in the name of Christ, not to say such things. It truly grieves my spirit. There is no need for saying that other true Christians' beliefs are blasphemous. I know you feel very strongly that Calvinism is truth, but there are those who disagree and are still apart of orthodox Christianity. :-)


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Jordan

 2009/1/31 12:28Profile





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