Here is where your theology (and any who believe salvation can be lost) goes right in the ditch. THIS is one of the dividing lines between saving faith, and every other kind of faith. ANY who preach that salvation can be lost are false teachers, period!
Hi Joe. The ditch is in the Greek grammar of your two verses. Both words "believe and believeth" are present active participles that should be translated as "continously believing". Many don't continue to believe.GOD in His Foreknowledge knew those that were His = those that would remain "faithful unto the end". Those are they that He calls His "elect" - by His foreknowledge of them that abide in the Vine or not be cut off from the olive tree.Far too many verses that have been posted and can be that prove out that a person can "fall away" of their own freewill.John Jefferson Davis wrote an article titled: "The Perseverance of the Saints: A History of the Doctrine" (June 1991) (Journal of Evangelical Theological) Three things make this article of great value. First, it was written by a well-known and highly respected Calvinist theologian. Second, it covers the key people and church groups on the topic. Third, it demonstrates that "once saved, always saved" or unconditional eternal security was not a doctrine that was taught by the ancient church, nor for that manner, by any well-known theologian before John Calvin. This doctrine is, in fact, completely foreign in the history of Christianity. While the first extensive discussion of the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is found in Augustine's Treatise on the Gift of Perseverance, written around A. D. 429, Augustine believed it was possible to experience the justifying grace of God and yet not persevere to the end. Augustine did believe God's elect would certainly persevere to the end, but he denied that a person could know they were in the elect and he also warned it was possible to be justified but not among the elect.What's wrong with this picture? Is this where "blaming GOD" began? You betcha!Quote Augustine: "It is [to be wondered at], and indeed most [bewildering], that God does not bestow perseverance on certain of His sons, whom He has regenerated in Christ, and to whom He has given faith, hope and love . . . (De Corrept. et Gratia, cap. 8)" (Works, 1:740). Calvin, following Augustine, made a similar statement:.."And this is the only reason why some persevere to the end, and others, after beginning their course, fall away. Perseverance is the gift of God, which he does not lavish promiscuously on all, but imparts to whom he pleases. If it is asked how the difference arises -- why some steadily persevere, and others prove deficient in steadfastness -- we can give no other reason than that the Lord, by his mighty power, strengthens and sustains the former, so that they perish not, while he does not furnish the same assistance to the latter, but leaves them to be monuments of instability" (Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2008), 2:5.3.).In other words, as Robert Shank had noted, a person may accept Christ, "believe" with all of their heart, only to find that they were not one of His "Elect" [Reformed definition] because GOD will not bless them with perseverance - so it's GOD's doing that they "fall away" after He had His Apostles write several warnings that we should remain faithful. Apparently Augustine and Calvin didn't feel that those who stayed a "prodigal" was enabled to remain a son.
My thoughts...it is a matter of a sound profession of faith....from the outside many seem to walk away, fall away or whatever term we decide to use...but reality is, were they ever saved? With the watering down of much essential doctrine, we have been faced with a big mess. We have people who follow the religion of moral influence rather than coming to a sound profession of faith in Jesus Christ! We have many who refuse to accept the importance of sound theology and in essence preach heresy....leading to still born, inoculated false converts. Sure on the outside they may appear to be saved, they may speak the language but there has never been regeneration....and so, days, weeks or even years pass and they walk away. (THIS is not to say we struggle and battle). I again appreciate all the time many have taken to reply but I will rely on scripture when it comes to this topic...I will not post them all here because we all know them and know the ones we would use to debate them.....Yet - to close I will say this. If you are saved, you certainly did not save yourself...your life is not your own and Christ paid for you...you are HIS, and if you are a bond servant, there is no walking away!
JIG you wrote"Hi Joe. The ditch is in the Greek grammar of your two verses. Both words "believe and believeth" are present active participles that should be translated as "continously believing". Many don't continue to believe."Amen!. I've been reading your posts, you're sound like a Arminian of classical leaning. Russ
Hi Russ. I'm not quite sure if I'd call myself "Arminian". I try very hard to just stay with Scripture only but do like the term "biblicist". I love the fact that His Word can answer any question we come up with, if we search it out with an open-uninfluenced mind and are willing to do the needed study of the languages and cross-referencing etc.He has been so very faithful to provide in His written Word, all that we'll ever need to get His thoughts straight and our relationship with Him straight as well. Glory to GOD!---Since my concern also involves what some of us see as "the last days" and the "falling away" that was prophesied I did start a thread last year that maybe I should find and finish any of these type posts on that thread. I'll pray about it but in the meantime - these from the Revelation, plus, have been on my heart as well, if I may -"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." Matt 10:22"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Matt 24:13"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Mark 13:13"Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. Revelation 2:5. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Revelation 2:7. "...be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Revelation 2:10. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." Revelation 2:11. "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." Revelation 3:5. "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Revelation 3:11. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Revelation 3:21. "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." Revelation 21:7. "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12. "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14.
hi Jesus is God, when you present the good news to folks do you tell them that Jesus died on calvarys tree for them but that is not enough...now it is up to you to endure to the end on your own...what sin is it that is greater then His blood that cancels your salvation... for if it is sin that does it has to be the first one...i do not unerstand this position for if God promises eternal zoe...what can you do to cancel this promise? He already won the victory over sin and death for you...i do understand that your sins will find you out and those sins of the flesh will be paid for on this earth in the flesh.we overcome by His blood and the word of our testimony and that is why i am continueing to plead that His blood is enough... this is the word of my testimony ..and i love not my life for i have reckoned myself dead unto sin ... i am already dead so how can i loose.jimp
Hi Jimp let me try to answer your question with a question. What is the purpose of the warning passages in scripture if they're not real in the first place(which would make them lies)?Russ
Again, it is all about Scripture and interpretation of those Scriptures. No one can deny that to us humans, it reads as if both are correct.Which leads me to understand that the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!
Hi Jim. Well, Brother Russ asks a very good question.Jim, I see coming to Christ no differently as I see a Marriage relationship.You asked about how I would "present the good news to folks" and that is exactly how I would present Him, as One Whom they must consider if they were willing to "count the cost" of all that this potential Husband to Be has left written for us in the New Testament first. Counting the cost is essential before anyone would be coming to Him for salvation in order for them to understand what and to Whom they are commiting "their life" to. At some point, they'd come to understand about the 5 wise virgins and the 5 foolish virgins.They'd learn what the verse means when it says, "Why call Me, LORD, LORD ....."They'd understand what being "faithful unto the end" means.We shouldn't just lead anyone to "Christ" without discipling them. The New Testament is complete with all they or we will ever need to know about what is involved in a true "relationship" with a Holy GOD. It's complete and the 'whole' of it should be known as quickly as possible.That's all I give new converts - the New Testament and I feel responsible to be sure to let them know that they are responsible to it. To every Word that is written. It's the Pre-Nuptual Agreement and Marriage Contract in one, if you will.LORD Bless!