The Once Saved Always Saved Debate

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Dr. Brown debates Rev. Bill Lowery on the question of whether a believer can lose his salvation. Is it possible for a true believer to ever fall away? Can someone still claim to be “saved” if they have denied the Lord and now walk in unrepentant sin? Or does that mean the person was never saved in the first place? Join the debate today!

 

Hour 1:

 

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Thank God for salvation. The free gift of salvation. It changes us radically, from darkness to light, from sin to holiness, and from Satan’s kingdom to God’s kingdom!

Hour 2:

 

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: The love of God is so wonderful and our Holy God so awesome, that all the days of our lives we should live with gratitude and thanksgiving to Him. We should say, “Lord I want to walk worthy!”

 

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Blameless On That Day: Holiness and Love

VOR ARTICLE BY DAVID HARWOOD

Justified believers are urged to pursue holiness. We are promised that the pure in heart shall see God. (Matthew 5:8) We are warned that without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14) In the hope of seeing Him as He is we are exhorted to purify […]

How Saved Are We? by Dr. Brown:  This unsettling book challenges us to ask ourselves what kind of born-again experience we have had if it calls for almost no personal sacrifice, produces virtually no separation from the world, and breeds practically no hatred of sin.

 


How to Be Led By The Spirit! [mp3 series]

213 Comments
  1. I think there is a false dichotomy in this discussion. Dr. Brown asked a trick question probably without even knowing it. The question is:

    “What happens if a saved person living in sin, dies in his sinful rejection of God?”

    The reason why the problem is in the question is because God would never allow a saved person to die in their sin, so the question is invalid. It’s like asking “Can God create a rock so big He can’t lift it?” Scripture says “He who has begun a good work in you WILL PERFORM IT UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST.” It is impossible to escape Sanctification. Impossible. I’m sorry, you can’t fall away from grace by dying in your sin, because it is impossible for a Christian to die in their sin. A prodigal son will always return to the father.

  2. Adam,you may have been misinformed.

    Unike Michael,I do believe POTS strengthens hands to sin ; in the case of the so-called ‘Magisterial Reformers’ to the point they thought they could ask the Magistrate to harm people. That’s quite a ‘license to sin’ is it not ? (Did you find such a strategy in the Book of Acts ? Can you imagine what Paul would have said,if Barnabus has suggested such a method.)

    I have a man steeped in Calvinism in my town ; after reading Leonard Verduin’s book a few years back,he said he had hitherto been led to believe different things. You seem to have been fed similar information. This man also said he did not wish to read that book again,and has persisted in Calvinism.

    Let me give you two quotes from Leonard Verduin’s TREMENDOUS book,and then simply direct you to it on Amazon. I then hope you will buy the book,read it objectively,and think very carefully above Matthew 12:33-37. (There is an enormous amount of fallible material about the narrow Way being written every year ; best to limit oneself to those who loved their enemies.)

    Check out these quotes :

    They [the leaders of the ‘Magisterial Reformation’ – the men behind POTS] constantly urged the magistrate to draw the blood of the opposition’ (Chapter 1).

    ‘The burning of Servetus….was a deed for which Calvin must be held largely responsible….He [Calvin] maneuvered it from start to finish’ (Chapter 1).

    http://www.amazon.com/Reformers-Their-Stepchildren-Dissent-Nonconformity/dp/157978934X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342174504&sr=1-1&keywords=leonard+verduin

    Do get the book Adam,be informed.

    Adam,may you walk with Messiah Jesus in white,and be instrumental in helping many others walk with Him too.

  3. Ray,
    My firstborn son, though born with CP, was given a tremendous mantle of impartation fresh out of the (then new) Toronto Blessing when he was fifteen; but there was part of him that always wanted the world also. Apparently, from loneliness, he made a pact with satan with a friend who was supposed to be helping him; or else fear was the open door that allowed the demonic entry that began to steal his mind when he was 17 1/2. Satan is a dirty dog who won’t play fair; yet this License deal needs to be explored much further than it has (assuming you still believe in Deliverance). But GOD has continued to show grace to him in astonishing ways, even while the battle rages. How much longer? Don’t know; just giving my report.
    My daughter was trained to be a ‘Mary’ (Magdalene)-type intercessor, but has backslidden some the past couple of years, being removed from the intensity that fed her from the outside, without training her to persevere from the inside. She had a dream a few days ago that hopefully scared and shocked her back to her commitment to her family and her Bridegroom. No matter how good company we keep, our vows to GOD are personal; we stand before our Judge alone. “The (reverence) of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom”.
    In Him, Ron M.

  4. Garry (Ref. #51),

    Just for clarification sake, you said,

    ” It is impossible to escape Sanctification. Impossible. I’m sorry, you can’t fall away from grace by dying in your sin, because it is impossible for a Christian to die in their sin.”

    It appears that your position runs against the warnings that Paul cited to several churches, in that he warned present followers of Christ of the danger of eternal judgment if they were to turn back into a lifestyle of disobedience. Please note the following:

    “For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and G-d. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of G-d comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…” (Ephesians 5:5-8).

    This statement runs in complete contrast to your position and would make this warning completely out of place and would have no purpose at all, since it would be impossible for a (former) Christian to die in their sin. Paul was consistent in delivering this warning throughout the churches as noted in the following: Colossians 3:4-7, and Galatians 5:19-21.

    How do you reconcile such passages in regards to your above statement?

    Shalom,
    Brian

  5. Mark Phillips wrote:

    Adam,may you walk with Messiah Jesus in white,and be instrumental in helping many others walk with Him too.

    Mark, May I ask why it is that an unregenerate man wants people to walk with Jesus?

    The apostle John writes in 1 John 4:7-12:

    Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

    According to this, the unregenerate love neither God nor the brethren.

    Also, you have not addressed the point that Adam and I have both made: You are using attempting to use a logical fallacy to disprove Perseverance of the Saints. If the Scriptures arte the word of God, and God cannot lie, and the Scriptures teach POTS, then it is true; regardless of how many people you can point to who held to this doctrine who were sinful men.

    This goes for every doctrine that Christian hold. Establish your point from Scripture. And appeals to this or that theologian or book is not the same thing.

  6. Salvatore, I am not sure what Mark means by unregenerate, so I can’t really comment on that. But I agree with your statements about establishing a point from Scripture. But while you say that if the Scriptures teach POTS, then it is true, you have not attempted to establish that it does. I and others have listed numerous Scriptures that we believe seem to indicate that it does not and in fact seems to teach against it. (Specifically posts of mine are # 16 and 17 and some posts by others are # 14 and 46) Again, I agree with you that we must establish our points from Scripture. If we cannot do that than an appeal to any other source is of little effect.

  7. I don’t think it wise to believe one is not in need of any kind of salvation simply because God has been working within them to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    God may do wonderful things through his people, yet this doesn’t necessarily mean that such a one is not in need of repentance.

    Though God is faithful to continue his good work within us, I believe we also need to be faithful in order to attain unto our final salvation.

    Now it’s God and his grace that provides that opportunity for salvation, but I don’t believe he leaves us out of it. I believe we all have a part to play in our being saved.

    So what of those who will say that they did many wonderful things in the Lord’s name, and yet he will deny them, saying he never knew them? (Matt 7:23)

    Did they say they did those works but were lying to the Lord, or did they indeed do those works by him but denied him later on and fell away into evil?

  8. Gary David Andreano,
    Your belief that “God wouldn’t let a believer die in their sin” is a theoretical one — you cannot say for certain that God wouldn’t let a believer die in sin, because of the way life and death work (i.e.: you’re not on the other side, when people “pass on”; and you aren’t standing on God’s Word — I don’t think, at least — in believing God wouldn’t let believers die in sin).

  9. Jeremiah argued alone against the OSAS position; the royal prophets were all convinced that Father GOD would never forsake His Bride Judah. After all, hadn’t He forgiven them at least 470 (70X7) times? But Hosea shows that even after the divorce of Israel, GOD was willing to take them back.
    How does this relate to Jesus and the Church? 1) GOD NEVER CHANGES. 2) Jesus is GOD (Three-in-One). In like manner, John in Revelation shows us that perhaps the majority of the established church will fall away and become the whore of Babel (Babylon; this is subject to interpretation); and again a Remnant will remain of the Faithful Tribe Together with the Faithful Church (key word: ZION). Though a bit controversial, this gives a clear warning of Salvation as a Personal Marriage Covenant rather than latching onto tradition.
    In Him, Ron M.

  10. Adam (Ref. #60),

    I’m a bit surprised at your response, especially in thinking that I want to have a discussion of Calvinism with you on this thread. I would take it that you did not carefully read my last posting to you (Ref. #46), from which I said in the opening paragraph:

    “However, I would be glad to have this discussion with you in depth, at another time, and on a different thread.”

    You actually identified yourself as a Calvinist, and decided to exegete Titus 2:11, and its context utilizing that classic approach. It actually was not the verse or focus at hand; notwithstanding, you used seven (7) paragraphs to exegete that passage and only one (1) for that which I asked of you; hence, I thought it necessary to stay on topic.

    As far as your exegesis of James 5:19-20, if you want to leave it there, then I am fine with it, and take careful note of your response (Ref. #37).

    Again, as it may have been a slight oversight on your part, I would ask if you would re-read my previous post directed towards you, as noted above, to address the last paragraph, and its context.

    Shalom,
    Brian

  11. PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS: Since it is God’s purpose in election and the Lord Jesus Christ’s purpose in his death, to forgive the sins of the elect and unite them with Himself, those who are saved are given the power, through the Holy Spirit, to remain saved forever. It is impossible for one whom Christ has bought, the Father has called, and the Holy Spirit has sealed to ever be lost again. Christians do sin and must confess that sin to the Father. They have an advocate (one to plead their case), Christ Jesus, who is constantly making intercession for them to the Father, and obtaining forgiveness for every sin (I John :1). They are forgiven by God’s grace. Should Christians continue sinning that grace may increase? The lives of some would seem to indicate that is what they believe. The Apostle Paul compares it to the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:20-21 and Romans 6 tells us that if one is truly raised from being dead in sins to the newness of life in Christ, we are no longer bound (compelled without escape) to sin. The unsaved are bound to sin and will sin continuously. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” II Corinthians 5:21. Although the saved will commit sins, while they are still in their fleshly bodies, they are no longer bound to sin; Christ has made it possible for them to become the righteousness of God and escape sin. The saved are instructed throughout the Bible to flee from sin and not let sin reign in them. Those who are saved will grow to hate sin and will grow to be more like Christ. For some, it is a very slow process of trials, prayer, and study. For others, it is a very rapid process. Nonetheless, the saved will be made like Christ, being completed at His return. There are some who may appear to be Christians, but are fooling others, and possibly themselves. These will eventually fall away. When a saved person sins, God chastens him through guilty feelings, and the results of that sin. He will quickly become a very miserable person. If he still does not repent, the brethren are to discipline him and if he still persists…. God may take his life, rather than let him continue walking in sin, harming himself, others, and bringing a bad reproach on God’s name (Ezekiel 18:24). Those who are not saved, but are pretending, may for awhile seem to walk in righteousness, but will soon be made manifest that they are not of God. The dog will return to its vomit, the pig to its wallow! Does not say the sheep will transform back to a dog or pig! It seems that many in this thread have little confidence in the Lords power to complete that which HE ALONE STARTED! Faith verse Unbelief is the issue………not sin…….HE TOOK THAT(sin) ALL AWAY 2000 yeas ago….what don’t you,all understand about that! HEB 4:1……Let us therefore fear, lest, a PRONISE being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
    Hbr 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it].
    Hbr 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were FINISHED from the foundation of the world.
    Hbr 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
    Hbr 4:5 And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest.
    Hbr 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: (not disobedience)
    Hbr 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
    Hbr 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
    Hbr 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
    Hbr 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own WORKS, as God [did] from his.
    Hbr 4:11 ¶ Let us labour therefore to enter into that REST, lest any man fall after the same example of UNBELIEF.
    Have you entered into His rest……..or because of unbelief…..are you still striving to stay true, do good works, crucify your PRIDE, self-righteousness…FEARFUL OF being dis-qualitifed…..you will say…I have perfect peace ..BECAUSE…..look I don’t habitually sin….oh so God will let you in on that basics….but the BIGGIE sin is failing to believe the PROMISE VERSE 1 When God finished on the 7 day…..it was finished….God does not dwell in time…His plan was complete before He created the first Rae of light..even Jesus was (in God eyes) crucified BEFORE the foundations of the world were laid….all the names of the elect were written in the Lambs book of life….never to be erased……because we ARE the overcomes BECAUSE HE IS IN US and that makes us MORE that conquers…who is he that over comes the world..but he that believes on the Name of the Son of God…..You’all better come off that spirit of unbelief!!!!!!!! ‘ Fear unbelief..not resting in His finished work and Promise….Quit mixing the covenants! You can not have it both ways! Saved by works ala.. Pawson,..Pelagiamus, ..Finney,.. Wesley….or saved by Grace
    …Jesus!

  12. William, it is absolute nonsense to put men like John Wesley or David Pawson in the “Pelagius” camp, much worse to say that they (or I) preached “saved by works”! With statements like that, it’s hard to take a single word you’re saying here seriously. But at least it underscores the unbiblical radicality of your position.

  13. Wesley said: Rom 11:22 Else shalt thou – Also, who now “standest by faith,” be both totally and finally cut off.

    So, he also saw this serious admonition extending to the individuals and not only to the collective.

    Years ago I read the commentary of a famous Nazarene who opened up the Arminian perspective on all of this verse by verse. Since I had been raised in a Presbyterian church it was all new to me, and of course before I received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost (PNEUMA HAGIOS), I had little to zero interest in spiritual things anyway.

    In the early days after college (where I was saved) I loved nothing better than to visit Bible bookstores, where I would browse and purchase books. I seemed to notice that almost all the stores were heavy on Calvinist theology with nothing on an Arminian persepctive. I wanted to study something about Arminianism but literally coul not find anything.

    The once-saved doctrine was ubiquitous…but after having received my own spirit Baptism–and being cognizant of my own weaknesses–I just could not get it to “click” with my spirit and the Word of God overall.

    Once-saved-always-saved will pave the way for Pelagianism and modern day manifestations such as seen in the Metropolital church, and others.

    To me it is parallel to Darwinism in its appeal and the complex theological/critical opus which has been ingeniously built upon it.

    But, like Darwinism, it is a relatively recent development near the end of this Dispensation and that historical perspective alone calls us to caution.

    Individual cases of lost loved ones are of course difficult in any event for any of us to deal with or even bring a word of judgment about. There is no doubt that OSAS makes preaching funerals less distressing for those who believe it. This of course, if the deceased is not truly saved, brings a false sense of security to the family and friends and can itself further entrap them in a church which preaches this as a foundational doctrine.

  14. William, first off, I want to thank you for focusing on Scriptures. I believe it is important to focus on what Scripture says as opposed to what this or that person says or as opposed to starting from some theological construct.

    I agree with everything in your first sentence. But just because someone has been given the power to remain saved forever does not mean that they cannot choose to do otherwise. I don’t believe Scripture backs up your second sentence and that is why I disagree with it. You mentioned about the forgiveness of sin available to us in 1 John 1. But you must notice that the forgiveness mentioned is based on certain clauses. Look at the clauses in verses 7 and 9 that start out with “if”. These clauses clearly make the point that what comes after the clauses are conditional upon the clauses being met. So we can’t say that they are unconditional or that it is impossible for us not to hold up our part of the bargain.

    I furthermore agree with a lot of the things you say after presenting that verse. But I believe you are taking some of those things a little too far and in doing so you are expressing ideas that the Scripture does not back up.

    For instance, I wholeheartedly agree with you when you say that if one is truly raised from being dead in sins to the newness of life in Christ, we are no longer bound (compelled without escape) to sin.” But just because we are no longer compelled without escape to sin, does not mean that we cannot make the choice not only to sin but to sin habitually and unrepentantly and walk away from the newness of life that has been given to us.

    You also say that “Nonetheless, the saved will be made like Christ, being completed at His return.” And I believe that to be true. Again, though, I believe that is conditional upon us continuing to abide in the vine as it says in John 15. It clearly indicates in verse 6 that it is possible to not continue to abide in the vine. Verse 7 contains another clause that starts out with an “if”.

    You also say “There are some who may appear to be Christians, but are fooling others, and possibly themselves. These will eventually fall away.” And I would again, agree wholeheartedly with what you said. But the fact that there are some who claim to be Christians but, in fact, had no real root, does not mean that there are not others who DID have a real root who also have not fallen away. We can clearly see that it is the case that those with a real root can also fall away. For an example from Scripture, we can look at the parable of the sower.

    In the Parable of the Sower in Matt 13 we can notice that the seed that fell on the rocky soil did not take root. From the outward appearance it would seem that the seed was working as it sprouted up. But there was no real root. We can see the same is true of the ones you were speaking of. But there is yet another kind of soil that is described that does not continue. Notice that the seed sown among thorns is not described by Scripture to not take root as it does for the seed that fell on the rocky soil. Rather, the seed sown among thorns is said to have “become unfruitful” (verse 22). That means that it was producing fruit at first. The Word of God (the seed) (which we can see from John 1 that Jesus is the Word of God) can’t be producing fruit unless it (or He) has taken root and it can’t have taken root if the person was not a Christian in the first place. Luke 8:14 (a parallel passage) said that the seed sown among thorns, “bring no fruit to maturity”. Again, this implies that the seed was starting to produce fruit in the first place. So I believe this tells us that someone who has let the Word of God take root in their lives and is beginning to produce Godly fruit, can let the cares of this world choke it out.

    You also say, “When a saved person sins, God chastens him through guilty feelings, and the results of that sin. He will quickly become a very miserable person.” I would agree that is true. But that doesn’t always mean that the person will repent. You also acknowledge that in your next statement. “If he still does not repent, the brethren are to discipline him and if he still persists…. God may take his life, rather than let him continue walking in sin, harming himself, others, and bringing a bad reproach on God’s name (Ezekiel 18:24).” I would also agree that someone can die as the result of unrepentant sin and that in some cases it can be a judgment from God. But that particular verse neither confirms nor denies that the person has lost their salvation. I believe there are other verses that do indicate that a saved person can lose their salvation.

    You say that “The dog will return to its vomit, the pig to its wallow! Does not say the sheep will transform back to a dog or pig!” When you speak about sheep, I am assuming you are referring to John 10. But we can see in verse 27 that it says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” So if a sheep no longer does these things, then, based on this verse, they are no longer His sheep.

    You say, “It seems that many in this thread have little confidence in the Lords power to complete that which HE ALONE STARTED!” But I think you are misunderstanding. We don’t have little confidence in the Lord’s power. But we believe that, based on Scripture that the Lord has allowed things to happen that He did have the power to stop because He has allowed for us to make choices that go against His will. It does not make Him any less powerful because He has chosen not to use His power to do certain things.

    An example of this can be found by the fact that Scripture indicates that God is “not willing that any should perish”(2 Pet 3:9; 1 Tim 2:4; Ezek 33:11). Yet because He has allowed that to happen does not mean that He is not powerful enough to stop it but rather that He has given us the ability to do things that are in violation of what He wants us to do.

  15. To continue: I agree with the first part of your statement when you say “Faith verse Unbelief is the issue………not sin…….HE TOOK THAT(sin) ALL AWAY 2000 yeas ago” But I would say that unbelief is the very root cause of sin. Satan tries to get us to sin by getting us to stop having faith in God; that He is who He says He is, that He does what He says He will do and that He truly loves us and wants the best for us. So since one leads to the other, I cannot agree with the second part of the statement. While He gave us the power to overcome sin, He did not take away our ability to sin or to become again ensnared in sin.That is why the warnings throughout Scripture(such as those in Hebrews 4 that warn about coming up short of God’s promise of rest) are found in Scripture. You don’t warn someone about something they can’t do.

    I also don’t understand your comments when you say “Quit mixing the covenants! You can not have it both ways! Saved by works ala.. Pawson,..Pelagiamus, ..Finney,.. Wesley….or saved by Grace” I don’t understand this, both due to reasons expressed by Dr. Brown and also due to the fact that you seem to be saying there are covenants of God that are works based. That is simply not the case.

  16. William, based on your comments, is it possible that you are a false convert who will one day fall away? Or is possible that sinful habits in your life indicate that you are a false convert who has never truly experienced what it means to be dead to sin and alive to God? I’m just trying to understand the implications of some of your statements.

  17. Does ‘election’ imply judgment? Calvinists would argue from this ‘secure grace’ position; yet Jesus of Nazareth specifically warned us not to judge. Paul modified this a bit, to make room for bishops and deacons to maintain order, as his ex-Pharisee position that the Law had been surpassed (and there is some shifting in position, as with Timothy) left him with some difficult circumstances in the early Gentile congregations. Do we agree on this?
    The modern phrase I am familiar with is “fruit-inspection”; but this waters down the Calvinist beginnings of the US quite a bit (Mass. Bay Puritans v the Thanksgiving Pilgrims, eg). I know I deal in general concepts; just trying to define the boundaries. Finney strayed close to the ‘works’ ditch; but there are many modern preachers who have come close to the ‘cheap grace’ ditch, if not fallen in. Calvinists can be severe on others (‘savages’) while giving too much license to themselves; this is an important discussion concerning leadership.
    In Him, Ron M.

  18. Oh.. slow of hearts to believe all that is written……..Is salvation a gift from God? Of course it is. The faith that believes in Christ is itself also a gift from God, as well as the changed heart that makes us willing to receive Him? James 1:17,18 tell us: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. OF HIS OWN WILL begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” “A man can receive NOTHING, except it be given him from heaven.” Is God the PRIME CAUSE of ALL things? Has He named every star and planet…can a sparrow fall to the ground without His knowledge…..did He (as some believe) wind the creation up, set it in motion and now reacts to man and man’s independent actions? Really……You seem to think that the Lord Jesus Christ is like a politician hoping for your vote. He presents His case, argues His good points and leaves it up to you to make the final decision as to whether you will “accept or reject” His offer. Is this a biblical perspective or just the result of the natural, humanistic mind of man? I too once believed that I had made up my own mind…. and cast my vote for Jesus; that is, until God began to open up His words to me and show me the truth about ….Who chose whom and why I had received Christ. Why not LOOK at some scriptures; In John 1:11-13 we read: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of(the will of) God.” Why do some not receive Him and others do receive Him? T The answer is found in many passages. John3:27… John the Baptist tells us: “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven”. (quoted above) We can receive only what is given to us. Jesus said: “Therefore said I unto you, that NO man can come unto me, except it were (before the foundation of the world) given unto him of my Father” John 6:65. Some have used Romans 5:17 to support their idea that we must choose to accept what Christ offers us. It says: “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one: much more they which RECEIVE abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” This verse is speaking about receiving the grace of God. Let’s compare this verse with another that likewise speaks of the grace of God and tells us WHEN, in the plan of God, this grace was given. In 2 Timothy 1:9, 10 we read “God who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and GRACE, WHICH WAS GIVEN US(us who? the whole world or the elect?) in Christ Jesus BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” This same truth is revealed by comparing two verses that speak of our adoption as sons of God. In Galatians 4 we read that when the fulness of time was come God sent forth his Son, “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might RECIEVE the ADOPTION of sons” Galatians 4:5. Yet in Ephesians 1:5 we read that we were “predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” Again, it is clear that we can only receive that to which we were predestined and was given us by God our Father. And Mike quickly cut me off (in fact that was pretty much the program) When I brought up the FACT that a child adopted into a Jewish family…could NEVER BE CUT OFF….a natural child which was rebellious could be turned over to the elders, taken out side the wall and be put to death ie. cut off….and so it was… Jesus the natural Son… put to death for….. the adopted sons sins who will never be cut off! It is hard for me to believe Mike doesn’t understand the whole type of the sacrificial Lamb……the Lamb had to be PERFECT not the one who brought the lamb….he was sinful thats why he had to bring the lamb…Laid his hand on the lambs head and the lamb became his …SUBSTITUTE….he went away Justified….problem it was only good for a year….HOW enter Jesus….THE PERFECT LAMB OF GOD….and what did he do? ANSWER ME THAT? Heb 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;Hbr 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put (what does that mean) away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hbr 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:(sinners the Great White Throne….believers The judgment seat of Christ) Hbr 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;(not all, the elect) and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Heb10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
    Hbr 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
    Hbr 10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
    Hbr 10:14 For by one offering he hath PERFECTED FOR EVER them that are sanctified. (We are not on probation as you teach)
    Hbr 10:15 [Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
    Hbr 10:16 This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
    Hbr 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (After one is drawn, offered the Gift, is given faith to receive…God has promised to remember no more their sins)
    Hbr 10:18 Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.
    Hbr 10:19 ¶ Having THEREFORE, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
    Hbr 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; Yes I know well the last of the chapter…..you will read it thru the lens of the law…….but those with the revelation of grace will know that the writer is warning these jewish believers who are undergoing sever temptation to return to the temple worship and customs to avoid persecution..if they sinned willfully (went back because of unbelief) history tells us that those that recanted were made to stand over a slaughtered hog , spit on the hogs blood and say in front of witness …I spit on the blood of Christ….there of course is no more sacrifice!…. again I submit…IF one can lose ones salvation because of post conversion sin….then you , myself, all that I know will be lost…for none of us are without sin…..of course you could try and define….how much sin one MUST sin to be disqualified…..you will say any sin that is not confessed and forsaken……then I ask what if the confession is insincere….failing to come forth before death….what about the sins others see you are clearly guilty of (as well as God) but like the Pharisees you don’t SEE them yourself…are they still not sins! Your theology leaves you in a heap of trouble…unless you want to proclaim your own righteousness and sinlessness….which is probably the BIGGEST SIN OF ALL! For me and my household…..we are going with the LAMB.blessed LAMB!

  19. I wonder why Paul wrote this if OSAS is fact?, Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, (work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.)and again he wrote. Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, (that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.)

    Peace Love Joy

  20. I wonder why Paul wrote this if OSAS is fact?, Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, (work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.)and again he wrote. Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, (that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.)

    Peace Love Joy

  21. William,
    it seems you are contending that we have nothing to do with our own salvation- I’m not talking about ‘works’- I’m talking about repenting, turning to Jesus, and declaring Him Savior and Lord. If some are ‘predestined’ to this and others are condemned to damnation before they are born, which is a Calvinist stance, then the ‘elect’ have a right to go around with their noses in the air not caring about anyone except themselves- and I have seen this plenty of times. I contend that this is odious in GOD’s eye. What about, “GOD is not willing that any should perish?”
    In Him, Ron M.

  22. Ken,
    Not that I agree, but they will say (without any Biblical precedent) that such “warnings” are merely a “means” to keep the saints persevering – that any warning issued to believers against falling away from the faith (along the lines of the Romans 11:17-23 one: believers can be, after being graft in, cut off in the same manner as the Jews were FOR UNBELIEF, which is a statement Paul is making that it is a 100% certainty that believers CAN fall into unbelief) is just a “means” to keep the “truly saved” “perseverant”. In reality, not a single Calvinist I’ve met has been able to answer this question.

    Think about it: if the way they interpret Romans 9 is correct (i.e.: if grace – indeed, the WORD OF GRACE, by which sinners are saved; made saints – was/is “irresistible”), then Paul is contradicting himself in warning (clearly) believers (yes, even “true” believers – who’ve been “grafted in” through faith) of the POSSIBILITY of falling away!!!!

    Romans 11:17-23
    17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

    22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

  23. Dan1el, So true..Its sad how satan’s theology, (do as thou wilt) can and is deceiving many. I guess thats the path to life is narrow and few fine it.

  24. Just a reminder, folks, that when you interact with Bill Lowery — which I welcome, and I welcome his comments here as well — you are not dealing with a standard Calvinist. His views are quite extreme when it comes to the biblical calling to live a holy life, and where his views are not extreme, his rhetoric is. Just FYI (or, a reminder).

  25. The Pharisees were so secure in their position that they missed the meaning of Yeshua Messiah’s ministry on earth completely- which is why He called them “snakes and vipers”. You can’t stereotype ‘Calvinists’ any more than any other group; we need to be ‘secure’ in our faith!
    The danger lies in an Ahab spirit of selfish exploitation; some of the ‘barons’ of wealth you find in American history books who shaped our modern era, and the ruthless pursuit of money at the expense of anyone and everyone. If we want to genuinely repent for the ‘sins of our nation’, this must be taken into account; for this gives License to the witchcraft of Jezebel; the spiritual forces fueling our present political debate. I have been cursed physically (disassociation, slander) for bringing this up:
    I am glad that the Church has been disentangled from Republican money that has made it the tail and not the head. We must stand above bribes to declare a righteous verdict.
    In Him, Ron M.

  26. Ken,
    Not sure Calvinists classify as “do as thou wilt”ers – I’ve met Calvinists full of the Lord; I just don’t agree with what they believe (at least, not *part of it).

  27. Dan1el, wasn’t for Calvinist, but people who say they are saved or know the Lord but continue in a life of sin justifying it by an OSAS doctrine not producing fruit no life changed loving there sin more then there G_d being deceived believing a lie and being condemned there by.

    Peace Love Joy

  28. When i first starting blogging on these sites in Oct. last year, Jabez called my comments ‘cryptic’ because i wouldn’t go into detail. This isn’t pointed at Dr. Brown or anyone blogging here; yet associations in the body of Christ of like-minded believers can run deep for anyone who has been given a voice to speak (or write). It isn’t so much important who I am talking about, as what has happened in the last couple of decades or even last couple of centuries as to how Protestant Christianity has (hopefully) matured to find us at the place we are now. These open discussions I consider a Victory for the ‘sheep’; let us be diligent to keep these gates open.
    In Him, Ron M.

  29. William, there are parts of your last comment that simply don’t make any logical sense. You quote John the Baptist (a man who spent his life preaching repentance, by the way) where he says in John 3:27 “John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” Then you seem to spend the next portion of your comment trying to explain how a man really can’t execute the action of receiving. That doesn’t seem to add up.

    I really can’t picture God in a Godfather voice saying, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” A gift, by its very definition is something that can either be accepted or refused.

    You are also correct when you say that faith is given as a gift from God. Scripture backs that up in Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”. So we see that this faith is given to “every man”. Yet obviously, as with salvation itself, this is also a gift that can be rejected.

    If we do receive that gift, we can’t take credit for that. I have used the following illustration in an earlier post. The whole world is being swept down the river of sin, the waters sweeping all humanity ever closer to the waterfall of eternal judgment. No matter how desperately we grasp at the banks of this river, we are incapable of pulling ourselves out of the deadly current that pulls us closer toward destruction. Yet we have an all-powerful rescuer. His name is Jesus. Unlike a human being with limited capabilities, our rescuer is able (and I believe Scripture indicates He is willing; John 1:7; John12:32; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, John 3:16-17, John 12:47) to rescue every single person being swept down the river of sin. (In contrast with the view of limited atonement.) Yet He allows each person to decide whether they will accept His help to pull them out or whether they will resist and continue to be dragged down the river. We have no goodness, no faith, no knowledge on our own that enables us to be saved (Psa 130:3; Isa 64:6; Matt. 19:25-26; Rom 3:9-12). Yet He gives to everyone what is needed to either accept or reject Him (Rom 1:19; Titus 2:11). He calls out to everyone, offering to rescue them; but allows for a human to have free will.

    Now does the one who accepts the outstretched hand by grasping hold of it save themselves? Is it according to their own works that they are saved? In the most extreme literal sense, the argument can be made that they were saved because they grasped hold of the outstretched hand. But who would really make that claim? That person had two choices, accept the help that was offered to them or continue down the path of destruction. Yet if they grasped the outstretched hand of the rescuer, they could do nothing but surrender to his help as he pulled them out. They could have no leverage against the slippery slope of the riverbank even after they take hold of the rescuer’s hand. They are totally dependent upon him to pull them out. It was through no work of their own that they were saved, but only by accepting the work of another.

    I also have no problems with what is said in James 1:17 and 18. I agree that if it was not in God’s will for us to be born again, it wouldn’t happen. But again, we see from Scripture that God is “not willing that any should perish”, (2 Pet 3:9; 1 Tim 2:4; Ezek 33:11. So it is God’s will for everyone to be born again.

    So while it becomes evident that God allows certain things that are not within His will, that does not mean that I am a deist as you seem to imply by your comments. I don’t believe that God wound “the creation up, set it in motion and now reacts to man and man’s independent actions.” I believe God is very much active in creation and in the affairs of men. Just because he allows men to make decisions on certain things does not mean that He has totally left creation up to man’s thoughts and whims.

    You seem to imply that 2 Timothy 1:9, 10 that a choice to accept Christ would be considered works. But the verse does not say that and Romans 4:4-5 shows directly the opposite.

    And since you put it out as a topic, I feel free to address why I believe Dr. Brown interrupted you on the program. You or Dr. Brown can feel free to clarify, but it seemed to me that Dr. Brown was asking you specific questions about specific Scriptures and you were not answering those questions but were instead trying to go into extra-Biblical support for your position. The Jewish culture may have practiced certain customs in adoption as you were expressing. But it really did not prove your position or answer Dr. Brown’s specific questions that dealt with specific Scripture passages.

    As for Hebrews 10 and the historical context you give of the latter part of the chapter, I would say that such an instance as you described would definitely apply to the passage but would not be the only example that could be applied to it. Because the passage does not mention one sin and say that it is that sin as opposed to all others that is being discussed. So we can’t add to the Scripture by saying that is all that is being discussed.

    As far as your questions about how much sin can keep you from Heaven and what if you don’t see your sin and questions along those lines, I would simply say this. When God saved us, He came to live inside of us. We have Him communicating with us and in us. God knows our hearts even better than we do. It is He that will answer those questions in the final day. But we are assured that if we ask, seek, and knock that we will not be disappointed. Yes I will fall short and miss the mark. But I don’t have to worry about whether or not I will cross the line; because as long as I am truly seeking Him (and He will be the final judge about that) I will not cross that line. I am responsible to heed His calling and prompting and if I am dealing with sin when it is pointed out to me, even if I mess up at times, I will not fall short of the goal. Yet in all this, I have no room to boast, because it is not me but Christ in me that allows me to overcome sin.

    We can take comfort in that, but we must never dismiss nor minimize the warning and rebuking throughout Scripture by speakers such as Jesus and Paul to deal with sin and warn others about sin lest we fall short of the goal.

  30. Something that comes to mind is Matt 6:22,23, and the surrounding verses.

    There are so many warnings from the scripture just as Jesus taught in the gospels.

    Once Jesus saves a soul, would to God that soul should always know that he is willing to save. Yet, we should fear knowing of his judgment, for what of the soul that has so rejected the instruction of his maker, having been in covenant with him?

    What if the way he has treated God should come back to him?

    Proverbs 1:28-31 comes to mind…So many warnings. The warnings of God are meant to keep his people safe, far from the ways of destruction and foolishness.

    There’s a warning from Hebrews that comes to mind also as well as something the apostle Paul said.

    I find those things much better to build on than some theological position on salvation that is so near to falling into destruction.

    I’m reminded again of the recurring dream a friend of mine told me of about a church that was built on the edge of a cliff with the rotting foundation. (Proverbs 2:16-18)

  31. re: Marriage Covenant: GOD who made us will never cheat on us, but knows that we are fully capable of cheating on Him. This goes way beyond naughty kids; it is Life-threatening, “jealousy cruel as the grave”. We honor the Son; who knows the Father’s Love?
    No wonder the current battleground is over Marriage: kill the babies, no harm; debase the meaning of covenant procreation; who cares? But Jezebel was not thrown off her tower first; Ahab died protecting his interests (those who suppose they are king of the mountain sometimes deserve their strange final act); and his seventy sons also died (a gruesome record worth noting, but hard for me to place in a modern perspective, except perhaps as the ‘Arab spring’.) Does GOD still work on our behalf? Do we sit back and say, ‘Go for it’; or give it our 100% in battle?
    In Him, Ron M.

  32. I’m sorry my friends…in all due respect…your logic not to mention your interpretation of scripture is so skewed as to be commercial!…….Jonathan Rom 12:3 plainly says “to every man that is among YOU”..Paul was addressing a specify group of people…and the VERY context is to warn (everyone that is among you) NOT to think more highly of then selfs because they for no known reason have been given the gift of faith (a common them of Paul’s teaching to the elect, “why do you boast yourselves among your selves…what do you have that you did not receive?)…If Paul is stating a fact that all men get faith….how or why ….the word from Paul to… “not to think more highly of themselves?? Have you never asked yourself…WHY ME LORD?” IF..Christ had suffered and died for everyone who will ever be born, why would He die for those who have no possibility of ever being saved?… Only those whom God has chosen will be saved, which is seen in the scriptures dealing with election. If Christ died for everyone, why did He not pray for everyone? He prayed only for those whom the Father had given him. Jn 17… It would make absolutely no sense for Christ to die for those who cannot be saved. If he did, then on their account, his death would have failed to accomplish its purpose. Christ never fails, only those elected by God can be saved, since it is He who draws, makes alive, gives the faith which is the hand that simply receives eternal life, and clearly not everyone will be given this life. (we are not being swept donm a river drowning needing some one to give us a hand out or even lift us out as WE hold on……we are DEAD , DEAD AS Lazasures in the tomb…stinking , me for 23 years….until because I was one of those choosen before the foundation of the world, God arranaged circumanstances..to expose me to the voice of Christ, which called me out and INTO LIFE………..and if I could sit you down , and were you to tell me the truth…you and every saved soul will have the same story….how Jesus came to you, He the good Shepard, looking for HIS lost sheep…if you are His sheep HE WILL GET HIS sheep. AND never lose him! That my friend is our GOD!…….Now, that said.(they (the elect) overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of there testimony)(and that will ALL be how Jesus saved me, you ALL BY HIMSELF…NO BOASTING ALLOWED)… If Christ died for those who are not given to Him by the Father (John 17:9), then His death was not sufficient to save them. If our salvation is contingent upon our faith and acceptance, then His death is insufficient in itself and we would be saved by grace through our faith and our work of believing and accepting Christ.(allowing for us to boast) Eph. 2:8-9 establishes that neither the grace, nor faith is ours, but a gift of God. A gift is something that for some time one does not have, then it is given to that one, without the expectation of any kind of payment from the one who receives the gift, else it would not be a gift, but a purchase. It cannot be earned through any act. Hebrews 9:15 declares, “Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are CALLED may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.”

    According to this text who does Jesus”death redeem?

    Answer: The called.

    Christ’s work on the cross achieved all of the Divine purposes for it. The intent of the design was not merely to try to save all, but when all was said and done, the plan could fail for many because of that stubborn thing called “free will,” with the Savior sad for all eternity because many He died for received no benefit for all His labor. No, He died a satisfied Savior, giving Himself for His friends, for His sheep, for His people, for His Church, and fully accomplished the work of redemption for all in this number.

    All who are particularists (who believe that not everyone will be saved – that some people will in fact spend eternity in hell, which I assume you believe that as well ie. SOME will be in hell) so you also believe in some type of limitation to the atonement of Christ. The Arminian limits the atonement’s power, for it only becomes effectual through man’s cooperation; the Reformed person limits its extent, only redeems the elect….which John in Revelation said was a “GREAT company no man could number…for all the world…ever tribe tongue, nation, island, etc!” Now in closing just a couple of quotes from Charles Spurgeon who Dave Wilkerson called the greatest preacher of the 18th century;

    As C. H. Spurgeon said, “The doctrine of Holy Scripture is this, that inasmuch as man could not keep God’s law, having fallen in Adam, Christ came and fulfilled the law on the behalf of his people; and that inasmuch as man had already broken the divine law and incurred the penalty of the wrath of God, Christ came and suffered in the room, place, and stead of his elect ones, that so by his enduring the full vials of wrath, they might be emptied out and not a drop might ever fall upon the heads of his blood-bought people.” (Sermon 310 – “Christ our Substitute – New Park Street, Southwark)

    Elsewhere he preached, “I had rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than an universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of man be joined with it.” (Sermon number 173 – Metropolitan Pulpit 4:121)

    In another sermon, Spurgeon said, “Once again, if it were Christ’s intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own evidence that there is a lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit must be cast some of the very persons, who according to that theory, were bought with His blood. That seems to me a thousand times more frightful than any of those horrors, which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of particular redemption.” (C. H. Spurgeon – Sermon 204 – New Park Street Pulpit 4:553)

    This doctrine of the particular redemption or definite atonement of Christ, speaks of God’s design in the atonement, and who it was God was intending to save when Christ went to the cross. Christ died as a substitute who bore the full weight of God’s wrath on behalf of His people, paying the penalty for their sin. Christ intended to save His sheep and actually secured everything necessary for their salvation. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation.

  33. William, quite an opening line: “I’m sorry my friends…in all due respect…your logic not to mention your interpretation of scripture is so skewed as to be commercial!” I’m sure it will generate some equally pointed rebuttals. And I imagine that you’re aware that some of the great Calvinists didn’t believe in “limited atonement” (or, “particular redemption”). But I’ll leave that to others who’ll be interacting with you.

  34. Mark 4:12…….That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and [their] sins should be forgiven them.

  35. Just checking in here,not from my home computer.

    This thread is active,which is good to see,for I do.O not believe we are dealing with a side issue ; neither do I believe OSAS and POTS are unrelated (perhaps one might call them first cousins – having the same grandfather – Augustine). Both OSAS and.s POTS stem from a one-dimensional view on salvation,compared to the three-tense view in Holy Scripture.

    I believe POTS comes from a mixture of things : in particular,Augustine’s distorted understanding of election and predestination ; PLUS,the “Reformers’ ” unfamiliarity a scriptural reception of the Holy Spirit Himself and His nine gifts. Those two factors in particular have led to the license that is POTS. (They were trinitarian in creed,but binitarian in practice.)

    What do you think Paul would say to you,if you tried to tell him his team member Demas may never have been really saved ? For one thing,I believe Paul would have pointed to any GENUINE gifts of the Holy Spirit given to Demas.

    Today (for example),OSAS strengthens some believers to begin an affair with their neighbor ; 500 years ago,POTS strengthened the hands and loosened the tongues of the ‘Reformers’ – they thought they could have people harmed or even put to death.

    Predestination is not the problem,predestination is scriptursl ; the problem is Augustine’s distorted understanding of it ; indeed,an understanding with strenghthened his own hands for the use of coercion. Five hundred years ago,many sat in the Reformers’ pews by COERCION,today,many sit there by CUSTOM. (How repulsive do you think Paul would find the COERCIVE methods of Augustine and the Reformers ?)

    What is needed in America and Britain is truly trinitarian CONVERSION.

    For a very meaty book on scriptural predestination,see Roger and Paul’s MAGNUM OPUS :

    http://www.amazon.com/Strategy-Human-History-Roger-Forster/dp/1579102735/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342606758&sr=1-1&keywords=forster+human+history

    For a MAGNUM OPUS on truly trinitarian evangelism,see David Pawson’s most important book :

    http://www.amazon.com/Normal-Christian-Birth-Believers-Proper/dp/0340489723/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342606843&sr=1-1&keywords=pawson+birth

    Those two books go a long way to vaccinating against both OSAS and POTS.

  36. Please, Pawson’s 4 step plan to salvation..”NEVER tell anyone you are saved” for NO one knows… until waking up on the other side IF perchance you make it in……then and ONLY then can one say “I am saved” pawson What do you think Paul… “I KNOW in WHOM I have believed and am persuaded ” would say?… Pawson teaches legalistic salvation..repentance, faith, water baptism, and speaking in tongues as evidence of Holy Spirit baptism…..all four being NECESSARY …..for one starting the journey to salvation! Straight out of the UPC text book! So I guess you boys just woke up one sunny morning and said to yourself…self I believe I WILL get my self saved today….and so you said… Jesus come into my heart and save me (right NOW) and He obeyed you and came in your heart… and now (in your mind) by being obedient enough, repenting of misdeeds quick enough… HE must stay there…and IF (God forbid) you don’t fall into some trap the devil IS setting for you down the road, you might get in ….as Pawsons, Wesley, Finney, Armenia, Pelagius, taught!… Really?……. To believe that the ALMIGHTY commenced to create the Universe and salvation’s PLAN….without a plan….defies logic….tell me could Abraham have chose himself to be the father of faith, Moses COULD have turned aside from the burning bush, Jonah COULD have gotten away from God……. IF only he had tried a little harder…. Paul COULD have told Jesus on the road to Damascus…thanks but no thanks……UN APPREHEND ME!….. I mean I could go on and on…but you get the point (don’t you) Rom8:28-39 “all things work together for the good to THEM who ARE the CALLED according to HIS PURPOSE……well read to the end of the chap. in YOU chose!………… How could God fulfill prophecies IF HE does not know the beginning to the end….and have complete CONTROL over ALL His creation…including man! Yes Man makes his plans….BUT GOD ….directs his steps! Again tell me HOW YOU GOT SAVED (oh sorry.. you are not saved until you preform to some undefinable level of holiness/obedience, to the very end)….how sad for you!…. I can start listing (if I had the time) all the commandments of Jesus you are transgressing right now (just one for staters) have you SOLD ALL THAT YOU POSSES and given it to the poor? Do you have a bank account, savings? (Wesley said “lay not up treasures on earth is as much a command of the Lord as… do not committing adultery, for the same Lord gave them both)..Do you have 2 pairs of shoes” 2 suits of clothes? Does Mike’s “church” assemble together with ALL the believers in his local, do they all speak the same thing in one accord… as IS commanded?.. Does he even want too? Have you gone into all the world to preach the Gospel? Do you in disobedience…think about what you will eat/drink/ be clothed with? ………….Don’t get me going, I preached these…… almost totally ignored laws/commands of Jesus for years….not one in a thousand take the hard sayings of Jesus seriously…thats how I know there is GRACE… or most would be in hell already….you all ARE practical calvinist… you just don’t want to admit it! Trusting in ones’ own supposed righteousness (even a tiny little its-bitsy) is NOT a good idea! Law leads to …despair….or blind self-righteousness…fact! GOOD NEWS…..He loves you in spite of your wrong theology and WILL bring correction IF you are HIS sheep…..when faced with death and meeting the Holy of Holiest….I don’t believe you will be waving…ONE filthy RAG of anything you have touched nor will you dare offer your good works to HIM for acceptance!..(though some will)………. Wesley on his death bed confessed to friends “I preached and sought with all my heart…the second blessing (entire sanctification) my whole life….and yet NEVER entered into it myself!” He (Wesley)..went out crying to the ONE who has POWER to save…….. for MERCY andGRACE! Got a feeling thats the way you all will go as well! Grace and Peace (only possible if our faith is in His faithfulness and grace) be multiplied to you in Christ Jesus!

  37. HEB 3
    6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are,(( if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.))
    7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,

    ” TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
    8 DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME,
    AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,
    9 WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me,
    AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS.
    10 “ THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION,
    AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART,
    AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;
    11 AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
    ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’”
    12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
    13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
    14 For we have become partakers of Christ,(( if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end ))

    ROMANS 11
    17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them partook of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
    18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
    19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
    20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
    21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee
    22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness;
    ((( otherwise you also will be cut off.)))

    2 PETER 3
    17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked,((( fall from your own stedfastness )))

    COLOSSIANS 1
    22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach
    23 ((( if indeed you continue in the faith ))) firmly established and steadfast,((( and not moved away ))) from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed

    REV 3
    4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
    5 ((( He who overcomes ))) will thus be clothed in white garments; and ((( I will not erase ))) his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

  38. William Lowery,
    Your proof for some of your arguments went like this…

    “…or most would be in hell already…”

    I’m not too sure you want to use that as if it upheld or substantiated your argument: most ARE going to hell – as Jesus, Himself said in Luke 13:23,24; and, really, ALL the Scriptures say the same thing: most people ARE going to fall under the wrath of an Almighty God.

    In Noah’s day: 8 souls, in the entire world, were saved.
    In the generation of Israelites entering the Promised Land: 2.
    Many other illustrations speak of a “remnant” saved.
    This is just the way it falls out – no way around it.
    Even in Jesus’s Parable of the Sower: 3 of 4 people receive the Gospel Message; then, only 1 of 3 actually bears fruit with the Word – the other two fall away from the faith after being initially saved through “receiving the Word” [Lk 8:12].

    Luke 8:12
    12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

    Therefore, the other grounds that received the Word of Grace WERE SAVED AT FIRST, but eventually fell away from the faith, and also lost that salvation which accompanies the obedience to the Word of Grace, bearing fruit (“all branches that do not bear fruit are cut off” [John 15:2-7]).

  39. I agree with you William, that Paul was speaking to a specific group of people. That is only logical, isn’t it? Can you tell me of a single instance where Paul was not speaking to a specific group of people? And I would also agree that there is certain language in parts of Romans 12 that limit certain things he says to believers. (i.e. in verse 1 “brethern” and in verse 3 “to every man that is among you”). But if there is no limiting language than we should not limit it.

    In verse 3,the “every man that is among you” applies to the admonition “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think”. But the measure of faith that is given is not qualified just by those he was speaking to. Rather it was said that “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith”. You can qualify that specifically to those there, but the Scripture itself makes no such qualifier.

    To add to that point, we must say that Scripture must agree with Scripture. I would ask for any Scipture that specifically states that God does not extend faith to certain people. If the Scripture does not say it, then you can’t make a dogmatic position or doctrine about it.

    So William, correct me if I am wrong, but what you are saying is that there is a mesure of faith required to believe in God (which I believe) and that God sends those who do not believe in God to eternal punishment (which I believe). But you also believe that God does not extend a measure of faith to everyone (which I do not believe).

    Are we able to be saved without God’s help? Does God require us to be saved or else we are judged? Can a just God punish those who are not saved if He has not given everyone the ability to be saved? If God gives a requirement that is impossible to meet and then executes punishment on those who fail, is He a just God?

    Put another way, if a father tells his teenage son to “Go to your room and change your clothes or you will be punished” it would seem to be a reasonable and just command. But if that father gave his newborn son the same command, would that father be just? If that father did punish his newborn son for not changing his clothes, would child protective services take custody of the child?

    If God has not offered a measure of faith to everyone in the entire world, would He be just to judge those to whom He has not offered this measure of faith? Without it being offered do we have any more power to meet God’s requirements than that newborn son did to meet his father’s requirements?

    Notice after the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, it says in verse 29 and 30, “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Notice that even the servant who was cast into outer darkness was given something. God does not withhold from anyone the ability to be saved and then punish them for it. That is the definition of child abuse!

    And the prayer of John 17 is not a prayer of salvation. Notice what is says in verse 6. He says that “they have kept thy word”. No one who is unsaved can do that. He was praying for those who were already saved. And verse 20 goes on to say “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word”. So this prayer is also prayed for those who were not yet saved but would later be saved. Since this is not a prayer of salvation, it makes sense that it is only directed toward those who already were or would in the future be saved. This does not prove your point in any way. The only thing keeping someone from being included in the prayer (according to verse 20) is that they do not believe. Belief is a choice. If it is not, then why are you arguing with me? If Scripture tells a person to believe but you say that when that person does believe something that they are not in control of it at all, then could it be that the beliefs I am expressing are impressed upon me by God and I have no control over what I believe?

    And while the unsaved are dead in sin, it does not mean that they cannot respond to God because God has provided that ability to respond to the unbeliever. Just look at the parable of the sower. Only the last type of ground was saved in the end. Yet there were a couple ground types that responded to the seed (the Word of God) that was provided to them.

    You say, “A gift is something that for some time one does not have, then it is given to that one, without the expectation of any kind of payment from the one who receives the gift, else it would not be a gift, but a purchase” and I agree with the whole statement, interpreted logically. But you have an illogical interpretation of that statement. If my grandmother gave me a gift for my birthday, I could graciously accept that gift and thank her for it. Or I could be a real jerk and say that I don’t want it and refuse to accept it. Yet if I do accept that gift, it is not a purchase. Jesus has given us a gift. Yet we have to accept that gift. How do we do that? Here is what the Scripture says on the subject. Acts 16: 30-31, “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 2:37-38, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

    You say “The Arminian limits the atonement’s power, for it only becomes effectual through man’s cooperation”. Yet it is not I that limits the atonement’s power. It is these above Scriptures that show that the atonement can have no power unless it is applied. Those in Egypt at Passover could have had their lamb but not applied the blood to the doorpost. They still would have died. We must abide by the requirement of Scripture pertaining the atonement in order for the atonement’s power to be in effect. It is not I that limit the power of the atonement but God through His word. Just as meekness is not weakness but rather power that is self-limited, so the atonement is not week because it is self-limited. I didn’t make the limits. God did.

    God is not willing that any should perish. Scripture tells us this. Yet God has clearly limited that will in favor of allowing for a creation that loves Him not because they have no power not to. But because they genuinely and freely love Him because of who He is and what He has done for us.

  40. I am always frustrated when Calvinists say…

    “…so, are you saying you think God isn’t **powerful** enough to save?”

    Since when has God ever been a God of mindless force?

    God’s strength is applied only to a specific direction; just like you don’t press the accelerator in your car, unless you’re facing in the right direction.

    God’s WORD – which presents a conditional salvation, dependent on human response – cannot fail.
    Has God ever in Scripture given anything unconditionally?
    No; His Word is and has always been…

    “IF you do this thing, then I will respond in like kind”;
    “IF you do this other thing, then I will do this other thing”

    God’s WORD (forget about His “Strength” – His Strength is applied to FULFILLING HIS WORD; not to blindly fulfilling your dogma) cannot return void; it will accomplish what it is sent out to do – that “Word” is a Word that always accomplishes what it is sent to do not because it is or ever was an unconditional one-way street; but, because it dispenses rewards/consequences DEPENDENT UPON ACTIONS.

    Jesus, the Word, is coming to repay men according to their DEEDS [Rv] – just as God always has done (“the same yesterday, today and forever”), is doing, and always will do.

    Again, the question “is God not strong enough to save”, for all its sense, might as well be applied to all the other hardships in life:
    Is God strong enough to cure all people of diseases?
    Is God strong enough to clothe all people?
    Is God strong enough to feed all people?
    ad infinitum

  41. Although Im in complete agreement with Mike on this subject I do think Bill was trying to make the point by asking Mike if he ever sinned, that where is the line of demarcation ??
    In other words what sins and how much disqualifies you and @ what point does God let go of you ??
    And I dont think you answered that Mike……

    The answer for me personanlly and biblically is that at some point God may actually give you ( or a nation )over to your/its sin and that is a really scarey proposition but I think the warnings are clearly throughout the bible.
    I would also say that point is probably different for different individuals & nations depending on a lot of different circumstances.
    Ananias and Sapphira are clear examples of this to me.
    Its also a point I dont want to find out for myself
    This subject really parallels the whole fear or love God debate. Maybe its both.
    “Perfect love cast out fear” but in this fallen state do any of us I repeat any of us have “PERFECT” love toward God or anyone else. I think not.So a descent dose of fear probably helps us all to stay in check……..my 2 cents

  42. The song goes, “I love Your presence” (not presents). Faith is evidence and assurance, yes; but we’re all in the same boat; if we knew who was predestined to heaven or hell, we would already be in heaven; and we aren’t; so to presume to know (the pre-judicial ‘verdict’) is beyond presumptious; it is sin, putting ourselves on the same level as GOD. On the one hand, we need to know our preservation as saints of the Most High; on the other, judging anyone else puts us in extreme danger of GOD’s wrath.
    So how do leaders, for we need leaders, administer GOD’s Truth to the congregation? Very carefully, in fear and trembling; knowing that if we make severe mistakes, we will be held accountable. Why should we not talk about this?
    All the prophets, including Jesus of Nazareth as perceived by the multitude, sometimes had to resort to hyperbole to get the blind & deaf’s attention. So for me to tell ANYONE that Jesus didn’t die for them because He already knows they are going to hell stinks so bad that the whole carcass needs to be thrown into outer darkness.
    Similarly, concerning ‘cheap grace’, I am greatly concerned that Satan has nearly made my children’s generation into a bunch of hollow, empty shells who must go to their religious pimps for their weekly high; and the chief charge here is idolatry of leadership. You make some great claims, William, and I am not against most of what you say concerning our personal relationship to GOD; but I think your exclusion theology is vile.
    In Him, Ron M.

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