The issue on the table had to do with backsliding. A believer wrote:
And that is Gospel Truth!
About four centuries ago, the Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius rejected the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and formed a doctrinal system of conditional election and emphasizing human free will and God's grace. The five points of the Arminian Remonstrance are:
I submit that to accept points 4 and 5 above is to deny the promises of Christ and to label Almighty God as an Indian-giver.
I imagine that most who read here are familiar with Ephesians 2:8,9; and would agree that we are saved by grace through faith—not works.
What happens when one is truly saved? Is salvation a permanent—an eternal—condition? Or is it an ephemeral state that, like a lamp, can be turned on and off?
Those who subscribe to Arminian theology, and some others, would argue that salvation lasts only as long as one conforms to certain conditions, many of which had their origins in the minds of men rather than God. Failing to meet those conditions—backsliding, if you will—can result in the loss of salvation.
The Lord God Almighty informs, in the inspired writing of the Apostle Paul, that those who are redeemed by Christ are freed from bondage to worldly things. He also tells us that Christ came to redeem sinners in order that we might become adopted sons of God the Father. Finally, in the passage quoted below, we see that the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit has been sent into our hearts, where He calls out to God as “Abba,” or "Daddy.”
Do you see? Those who are redeemed by Christ’s substitutionary atoning sacrifice no longer are servants; but are sons and heirs of God. If this be true, and I believe with all my heart that it is; is it reasonable to believe that God will revoke one’s adoption and disinherit him?
If it were possible for one to lose his salvation would not it require that God un-adopt and disinherit him? Assuming that could happen—and I do not believe that it could—the result would have the effect of denying the eternal significance of Christ’s finished work at the cross. It would deny the power of the righteousness of God. And it would demand that the new creature be converted back to those old things that we are told pass away. The Apostle wrote, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
In addition to the foregoing, the Holy Spirit would necessarily be required to abandon His place in the hearts of those who had been redeemed by the blood of Christ. How could the Third Person of the Trinity remain in the heart of someone who has lost his salvation due to a failure to conform to the requirements of legalism? Thus, the Seal and Earnest of our inheritance would be broken; as would the redemptive work of each of the Three Persons of the Godhead.
The words of John 3:16 are proclaimed just about everywhere. And why not? The words express God’s love of mankind and the possibility of salvation. But how many times have you seen that verse proclaimed in context? The passage informs that those who believe in Christ will not perish—that they will have eternal life. Read a bit farther and we come upon less pleasing words; that those who do not believe are condemned.
Why did God send His Son? “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Is it possible to believe in Christ even though one is labeled a backslider because he does not regularly attend worship services? If it is not possible, what hope do shut-ins have? Is a person a backslider if he cannot or will not tithe a tenth of an income that barely enables him to care for his family? Is it possible to believe in Christ though one does not tithe? If it is not, why did Jesus call attention to the Widow’s Mites? (Mark 12:41-44)
If it were possible that one might lose his salvation, then the Lord is a liar and His words are not trustworthy. Did Jesus not tell us that these words were worthy of trust by prefacing the following statement with the words verily, verily?
Who is qualified to define what constitutes backsliding? How many failures is a saint permitted before he is identified as a backslider? Who is qualified to brand another with that label?. Who is so righteous that he might consider unworthy those who do not come up to his standards? It appears to me that we are referring to modern day Pharisees who, in their self-righteousness, take it upon themselves to condemn those who fail to meet the standards they have established. The Apostle John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, informs:
If it is possible to lose one’s salvation, can we believe that God is faithful and just; that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness? Or are these simply empty words?
If God is a liar, then these assurances of Jesus Christ are valueless:
I can speak for no other, but as for me; I choose to rest in the promises of Christ.
|Home | Christian Living | Catholic Stuff | PTG Forum|