I think I understand what you are saying here:
In all the conditional passages usually quoted by those who believe that genuine believers can perish the application is in reference to the Kingdom and not Eternal.
If I understand correctly you are saying that all of the conditional passages are not talking about Heaven and Hell but about the entrance into the millennial kingdom. Please correct me if I am misunderstanding you here. What I would like to do then is look at a few conditional passages and see if they can be made to substantiate that viewpoint.
I am sure you agree that this is a conditional passage.
Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
Rom 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
Rom 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
Rom 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
Rom 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Rom 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, [i][b]if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.[/b][/i]
I believe there are a few points that should be considered about this passage.
The broken off branches represent the Jews.
The Jews who rejected Christ incurred God's wrath.
In fact Jesus told the Jews of his day that if you believe not that I am he, then you shall die in your sins.
What I am getting at is in the first case of the branches being broken off in this passage it is in fact talking about heaven and hell and not the millennial kingdom. The unrepentent Jew of Jesus day went to hell.
The new grafted in branches represent Christians.
I don't feel that I am trying to stretch or twist anything here by saying that Paul was saying that Christians who will not continue in the goodness of Christ will ultimately face the same severity that the Jews experienced.
Rom 11:22b If thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
Earlier in Romans Paul states the same thought another way.
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die.
And here it is again.
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
I also note in Gal. 6:8 that corruption is contrasted against everlasting life. Thats to say in this verse corruption has no part in everlasting life.
I think it is true that the first part of the Romans passage is in fact talking about hell and is proven by the fate of the unrepentent Jew of Jesus day who suffered being broken off. It is also reasonable to believe that the part of the passage concerning Christians being cut off is referring to hell. I would have to say that saying "cut off" and "ye shall die" refers to missing a millennial kingdom but not going to hell sounds incorrect.
All for now.
| 2005/12/2 4:20||Profile|
If I understand correctly you are saying that all of the conditional passages are not talking about Heaven and Hell but about the entrance into the millenial kingdom.
Scripture doesnt even come close to saying this. I believe that it is a heresy.
However, Scripture does speak of Israel as having had the blessing, the guiding light, the Holy Spirit, the Word
.. etc etc . and yet, when trials came into their newly formed nation, they refused to trust God. They were the original branch called Gods Chosen, but in the end, they did not overcome , and were therefore no longer Gods special branch. They were cut off.
Israel is our warning. We too can become assured in our position, for we too have had the word, the blessings, lots of Bibles, Christian writers (like Ravenhill, etc) the freedom to preach the word. All of that that can make us feel like a Christian nation , or Christian denomination, or Christians community, but that is not an eternal position. Earthly kingdoms are not eternal kingdoms. We cannot assume that our position within Christian community also gives us an eternal position with God.
they fell away because they were religious counterfeits.
No one considers themselves counterfeits. Especially us. After all, we are here, right? discussing the deep truths of Scripture. We might just be trusting that all our theological wisdom is an indication that we are genuine. However, in the face of trials our words may turn to wood, hay, and stubble in the fire. Our knowledge and enlightenment alone will not hold us up. That alone is not what gives us perseverance. This reality should shake us up now before that final shaking!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature, and COMPLETE, not lacking anything. James 1:2
| 2005/12/2 7:23||Profile|
| Re: A message for Graftedbranch|
I believe I should hold my peace and let others have an opportunity to explore and comment. I don't feel it is my calling to express my views and try to "straighten" everyone else out according to my views.
It is obvious to me that I have too many words.
Dont go away yet, Graftedbranch!
It is not entirely bad to share a lot. I say, if only more professing Christians would take time and process their beliefs and express some thoughts.
At the same time, as you say, many Christians who have been saying and thinking a lot need to enter into a time of silent reflection. When were busy talking, we cant be listening too.
I sense that the Spirit is giving you a little nudge, and your conscience is being sensitive. Perhaps he is calling you to a time of reflection. Keep in mind that no words from the past need to be wasted. Consider them training ground. Why not go back over the thread, as lengthy as it is, and this time look at it all through different eyes reflective eyes, listening eyes. We can discover a lot about ourselves from our own words, and the responses of others. Ask the Spirit to reveal new realities to you. Perhaps apply the mirror imagery used in James. (Something we are all called to do)
My minister said; When you write you are very vulnerable Writing is a risky process, but a way to grow. I can relate. At first I think I am expressing some great words of enlightenment, then later when I look back, I think, Yikes! I wrote that??? I think God uses my writing to take me down a few notches.
Quote: As you see, I somewhat challenge this thought in my previous post.
Debating can be profitable if it is in the Spirit and in a good way recognizing that we all live to our Master and to Him alone we will give an account.
Graftedbranch, I look forward to hearing what God is doing in your life.
God bless you,
| 2005/12/2 7:52||Profile|
Can't resist, got to respond.
If I understand correctly you are saying that all of the conditional passages are not talking about Heaven and Hell but about the entrance into the millenial kingdom. Please correct me if I am misunderstanding you here. What I would like to do then is look at a few conditional passages and see if they can be made to substantiate that viewpoint.
First, regarding "heaven and hell' if you pick up your Bible and turn to the end of it, the last two chapers of the Bible which deal with the final state of the beleivers, what do you find? Heaven? NO. You find the New Jeruselem in the New Earth. And the New Jeruselem is the Bride of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb according to John. And the New Jeruselem decends out of heaven from God to the New Earth as it's "eternal resting place".
Just prior to these last two chapters in Revelation 20, we have the Mellinial Kingdom. It is the earthly reign of Christ for 1000 years and the fulfillment of all the OT prophecies concering the Messiah and the Throne of David.
As to "conditional passages relating to the Kingdom, the parables are called "the parables of the Kingdom". They refer to the Kingdom. However in most of us, when we read this we read into it "heaven". The Parables of the Kingdom are not about "going to heaven" but about the comming Kingdom. It is the "Kingdom of the Heavens" that is the Kingdom who'se origins are the heavens. IT is of the heavens, not in the heavens.
The Diciples came to Jesus and said, "grant us to sit on your right hand and on your left when you come in your Kingdom. Which Kingdom are they speaking of? Of which Kingdom do we speak when we pray, "Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?"
This prayer is not, God, recieve me into heaven, but "Thy Kingdom come".
IN Fact, the gospel Christ preached was the "gospel of the Kingdom"
The Kingdom was a central element of the teaching of Christ.
This is not "heresy" this is the Bible.
The cataloge of scriptures you list all are from Romans's 11 and have nothing to do with those who are regenerated through faith in Christ and Have His Life. They are dealing with Isreal as a people vs the Gentiles. In Fact they are "cut off" as a people because they refused to recive Christ. (He came to Is own and His own did not recieve Him, but as many as recieved Him to them He give the power to become the sons of God...
Only those who 'recieve Him, become sons of God. And sons of God can't perish because they have the Life of God. God does not cut off those who "recieve Him" and who become "Son's of God. God cuts off a people who do not recive Him. And who refuse to become Sons of God.
And if the Gentiles turn from Christ, they too as a people would be cut off. But just as today there are many believing Jews though the Jews "as a people" have been cut off, so then also the many believieng Gentiles would not be cut off.
| 2005/12/2 8:31||Profile|
| Re: Set your sights on eternal things|
Response to GB
I do not wish to debate the issue of a temporal intermediate existence - be it a temporal state of further penance in a spiritual realm, or a temporal state of bliss on our present earth.
Eternal life (in some way) is mentioned in every book of the NT except Philemon and 3 John, so I dont wish to see that overshadowed that by something that is disputable, obscure, and temporal.
The two-edged sword of Gods word always divides in the right places:
Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. Phil. 3:20
Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.Col. 3;3
This seems like good criteria to help us discern if we are truly saved or one of the many who are deceived.
2 Cor. 4:17
for us an eternal glory that far outweighs
2 Cor. 5:1
an eternal house in heaven
1 Tim. 6:12 Take hold of the eternal life
.resting on the hope of eternal life
Phil. 3:14 God has called me heavenward
1 Thes. 4:17 We will be with the Lord forever.
May God point our focus toward eternal things. (
another outcome of trials, deepening faith, and perseverance)
By the way, Graftedbranch, I look forward to your response to my post addressed personally to you. Diane
PS I once did a word study on Kingdom of God/Kingdom of Heaven and ended with somewhat different outcome than you. It is a fascinating subject.
| 2005/12/2 11:24||Profile|
Eternal life (in some way) is mentioned in every book of the NT except Philemon and 3 John, so I dont wish to see that overshadowed that by something that is disputable, obscure, and temporal.
Eschatology, the kingdom, the sequence of events. The present age vs. the comming age, Eternal Life, The Judgement Seat of Christ, etc. indeed are somewhat complex subjects and to gain an understanding of them requries much prayerful study of Scripture over a long period of time.
They are certianly not obscurities. They are recurrant themes in the bible, spoken of frequently by our Lord, preached among men, and taught among the churches as is evident in the epistles and even Paul says, "remember when I was among you I spoke of these things".
Even the mysterous book of Revelation was not given to us to make us all debate and remain unelightened, but it is written for us to apprehend, enjoy and recieve Light and truth from it.
We just need to be open to the Lord when we come to the bible to gain by His enlightening a workable knowlege of scripture that we might handle accurately the Word of Truth and cut it strait. It is large and broad and encompasses the whole of human History and Gods' economy in dealing with men.
| 2005/12/2 17:29||Profile|
Brother Phillip wrote:
"They did not fall away from Salvation which is of the Father, but they fell away because they were religious counterfeits."
A. W. Tozer would label this statement as mental gymnatics. God does not create religious counterfeits through the workings of His Spirit. Man has the choice to obey or not.
| 2005/12/2 17:35||Profile|
Brother GB wrote:
"In all the conditional passages usually quoted by those who believe that genuine believers can perish.."
By what means does God use to create a genuine believer?
| 2005/12/2 17:44||Profile|
Hebrews 6:6-9 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. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
When the seed is planted by the Owner of the field and good seed is planted in one field and bad seed in another field. How do you know the good field from the bad field? The only way I know is to wait. The good field will bring forth fruit and the bad field will bring forth thorns and weeds. We then can see the fruit and know which is the Good Field, "and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:" "But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned."
" But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak." As man looks at the fields and says he can loose his salvation because of his actions and choices. Who is the Farmer? Of Course it is God. That is why we have the parable of the wheat and the tares. When the farm hands ask if they should pull up all the tares and burn them, God the Farmer says, When I harvest I know the wheat and I know the tares, leave them until I come so you won't pull up the good wheat with the tares.
Man cannot know the heart of a man whether he is wheat or tares, but God Knows. That is why when Jesus was with Israel, men could reject Him and immediately those that rejected Him as King could be well seen. This is the Kingdom on this earth reference of Mathew, Mark and Luke.
The Born again are not of this earth, we are a heavenly people Born Of God and have no choice in our salvation, only because we believed does God Put the Good Incorruptable Seed in Us and we will produce good fruit. We are a field purchased by God, and the Price was beyond value as we see it. The Price was Jesus Christ The only Begotten Son of God. We were bought and paid for and planted with Good Seed, that Seed is the: 1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. We cannot loose Salvation, we cannot loose something that was never ours in the First Place. Ephesians 2:7-10 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. This True son of God cannot loose being save by Grace, and by even the Faith of the Son of God. Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Phl 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
How can the Faith of Jesus Christ be Lost?
In Christ: Phillip
| 2005/12/2 20:25||Profile|
| Re: Once Saved Always Saved|
I insert this here because I believe that these two subjects (Faith/Works and Osas) are intertwined. The whole notion that nothing can be done for or against ones salvation is religious foolishness and helps to form the basis for Osas. This article simulates a discussion between a Methodist minister and an Anglican minister. The Anglican minister doesn't quite buy into all that the reformation has to offer. I believe some of the points here are well made. We might do well to allow some of our pet doctrines to be challenged where they may very well oppose the word of God.
[u][b]Excerpts from article by William Law - Published 1760[/b][/u]
Methodist. Let me here ask you, in the elegant words of a last most amiable divine, "Must the efficacy of Christ's obedience be enforced by the accession of our works, maimed and worm-eaten things?"
Churchman. There may, for aught I know, be elegance enough in these words, but truth and sense is quite wanting. For what have our good works to do with the efficacy of Christ's obedience, either as to the lessening, or increasing of it; or how has his obedience anything more added to it by our good works, than it has anything taken from it by the evil works of those who crucified him? What careful doer of good works, ever said or thought after this manner? "I strive to obey thy will, O God, that thereby Christ's obedience may be made more perfect, than it was in him. I lift up my eyes and heart towards heaven, that Christ's sitting there at thy right hand, may be more powerful than it is in itself."
On the other hand, what a wise man of faith would he be, who should abstain from prayer, &c., least he should seem by such worm-eaten petitions, to be adding something to Christ's all-sufficient intercession in heaven. Again, fancy another man of faith alone, saying thus, "I cannot have any care about denying myself, taking up my daily cross and following thee. I cannot do these things, as helping forward my salvation, because that would be no better, than presuming to help thee to be a more full and sufficient savior, than thou art in thyself, and without my works."
Can anything be more absurd, or irreligious than this? And yet all of it is manifestly contained in the elegant words of your friend. If we walk as Christ walked, and do the works of Christ, we shall on that account be rewarded with him. This is the same good doctrine, as when the apostle saith, "If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him." Here you see our own sufferings are not only required, but made the ground of our reigning with our suffering savior. But what man, not intoxicated with the elegance of words, would call, or look upon this, as adding our maimed, worm-eaten sufferings, to make the sufferings of Christ, greater and more valuable than they are in themselves? As silly a thought, as to say, that our following of Christ, is helping him to be the Son of God.
[i][b]Our blessed Lord keeps our eye continually upon good works, or things that we ourselves are to do. "Strive," says he, "to enter in at the strait gate; Ask, and ye shall receive; Seek, and ye shall find; Knock, and it shall be opened unto you." He does not say, all is already gained, received, found, and opened, by what he has done and suffered.[/b][/i] Now if this striving, asking, knocking, &c., were but maimed, worm-eaten things, surely it had been better to forbid, than to command them. Or if he had said to his disciples, that this striving and seeking were such maimed, worm-eaten things, surely he had said as much against them, and with the same intention of turning them from them, as when he bid them "beware of the leaven of the Pharisees," and compared their goodness to whited sepulchers, full of stench, corruption, and dead men's bones.
Methodist. If you do not like my friend's expression, take the same truth in other words of some most excellent divines. Thus says one, "Nothing is required in order to our participation of Christ and his benefits; there is no clogging qualification, no worth to be possessed, no duty to be performed, in order to our full participation of Christ and all his riches"; for all which he gives this solid reason, because, "It is not a matter of bargain, nor the subject of sale, but a deed of gift, the gift of righteousness; and gifts we all know, are not to be purchased, but received."
Churchman. As wild and extravagant words as ever met together, as may thus be fully shown. Christ said to his disciples, "I am the way, the truth, and the life"; and that they might more fully understand the true meaning of that, he said also, "Strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth to life." Now, what Christ here saith of the strait gate and narrow way, is strictly so much said of himself, and how he is the savior of the world; for the way and gate could not lead to life, if they meant anything else but Christ himself. Now Christ and his benefits, considered as the blessed strait gate, and narrow way to life, provided by God, is wholly and solely the free grace and gift of God; here was no bargain, or sale of anything; nothing was done on man's part to obtain it, and that for this very good reason, because Christ was thus given by God before the foundation of the world, and again, before there was a man born of a woman.
See then the miserable delusion of your doctors, who, from this scripture-truth, that God has freely, and out of mere mercy to the fallen state of man, provided, and given a blessed narrow way, and strait gate to eternal life, thence conclude, that no pains, or trouble of striving to get into this narrow way, and through this strait gate, need be taken, (N.B.) because, without any pains of our own, he freely gave it to all mankind; though there could be no blessedness in the gift, but because blessed are they, who with all their powers, works, and endeavors of spirit, soul, and body, strive to walk in this narrow way, and pass through this strait gate. Is not all this as gross a delusion, and in as full contrariety to the nature of the thing, as to conclude, that because God has freely prepared and given us a cup of salvation, therefore there is no need that we should drink it; or think that our own drinking it, need not be added to make his free cup of salvation a benefit to us.
Now, gross as all this is, it is the strong foundation- absurdity, on which alone, your great divines build all their rhetorical flourishes of a salvation that is wholly the gift of God, without any works of man belonging to it. For they have not a word to say against salvation-works, but that works did not produce God's first free gift of a savior to us; and therefore, works can no more belong to this free gift of a savior, after he is given, than they did before he was given to us; being too systematically blind to see, that as a strait gate and narrow way were only given to us, that we might do that which we could not do before they were given, or as the cup of salvation is only given, that we may drink that, which we could not drink before it was given, so Christ was only and solely given for the sake of salvation- works, which we could not do, till in him and by him we became new creatures, created again unto good works.
See again what another of your excellent divines saith; "Do not think by any preparatory works, to make yourselves worthy of Christ." What is this but saying, do not believe Christ when he is speaking of worthiness and unworthiness, when he says, "He that taketh not his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that loveth father and mother more than me, is not worthy of me." Do not believe St. Paul, when he exhorteth the Thessalonians, "to walk worthy of God, who hath called them to his kingdom and glory." Again, have a care of these words of Christ, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand"; for you may easily be thereby led to think, that repentance-works have some kind of worthy preparation in them, to make you fit for the kingdom of God.
And now let me tell you, that two or three old heresies joined together, would not more abuse and contradict the gospel, than your three doctrines, (1.) of faith without works. (2.) Of a righteousness of Christ only outwardly imputed to us. (3.) Of absolute election and reprobation. These are the scandal and reproach of the reformation, wherever they are found, and have nothing to support them, but that implicit adherence, and systematic obstinacy, which keeps Romish scholars steady to a Trent-creed.
| 2005/12/2 21:41||Profile|