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Sunday, October 4, 2015

THE WILTED PETAL (PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS)   BY STEVE FINNELL


The fifth petal of John Calvin's TULIP is P-Perseverance of the Saints. Calvin believed that once a person becomes a Christian they can never lose their salvation regardless of how sinful a lifestyle they live. The following are twenty two reasons why the P of John Calvin's TULIP can end up in a wilted state. One wilted petal causes the whole flower to wilt.

1. Hebrews 6:4-8.......4...have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit....6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance....

No eternal security found here.

2. Matthew 24 :9-13.....10 At that time many will fall away....13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

No once in grace always in grace found here.

3. Galatians 6:7-9 ....8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.......

Does reap corruption mean Christians can never be lost? I do not think so.

4. 1 Corinthians 9:27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

The apostle Paul stated that it was possible that he could be lost. He did not believe in perseverance of the saints.

5. Hebrews 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.

There are conditions to remaining in Christ. 

6. John 15:1-6.....6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

Dried and burned is not exactly a ringing endorsement for John Calvin's perseverance of the saints.

7. 2 Timothy 2:16-18 .....18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.

Hymenaeus and Philetus knew the truth; but went astray. They obviously did not get the "once in grace always in grace" memo.

8. Galatians 4:1-4......You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified  by law; you have fallen from grace.

You cannot be severed from Christ if you were never a Christian.

9. Romans 12-13 So then, brethren, we are under obligation , not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh---13 for if you live according to to flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Why would the apostle Paul warn the Christians in Rome that they would die if they lived according to the flesh if it was impossible for them to be lost?

10. Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarned you , that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Why would the apostle Paul warn the Christians at Galatia that they had the possibility of not inheriting the kingdom of God if "once in grace always in grace" was a Scriptural concept? The deeds of the flesh that have not been, repented of, can keep Christians from inheriting the kingdom of God.

11. 1 Corinthians 10:8-13 .......Therefore let him who thinks he stand take heed that he does not fall........

God provides men a way to escape temptation, however, He does not force men to take advantage of that way.

12. Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Christians can cease to believe and fall away.

13. 2 Peter 1:5-11 .....10 ....for as long as you practice these things you will never stumble; 11 For in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

It is possible to stumble.

14. 2 Peter 3:14-17.....17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried way by error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,

Christians can fall from grace.

15. Revelation 2:5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you first did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place---unless you repent.

People can fall and they need to repent.

16. Hebrews 4:1-11......11 Therefore let us be diligent to inter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

Christians can fall because of disobedience. God does not force obedience.

17. Revelation 3:1-5 .....5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments, and I will not erase his name from the book of life....

The names of some Christians will be erased.

18. 2 Peter 3:20-22 For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first........

How could the last state be worse for them if they have eternal security?

19. Mark 4:16:17 ....17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately fall away.

You cannot fall from a position you were never in. They were saved and then fell.

20. Hebrews 10:26-27 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgement and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.

Can Christians continue in an unrepentant  lifestyle of sin and still be saved?

21. Matthew 10:22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

Those who not not endure to the end will not be saved. No such thing as once saved always saved.

22. 1 Timothy 4:1-5 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith......

The Holy Spirit says some will fall from the faith. John Calvin says once men are saved they can never be lost. WHO DO YOU TRUST?

 It takes a skilled professional and a willing student to believe in John Calvin's "PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS."

(All Scripture from: NEW AMERICAN STAND BIBLE)

  

16 comments:

  1. God is a very loving, long suffering Father, but we have to be foolish to wilfully ignore His warnings.

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  2. John 6:37-40: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

    So, do we believe Jesus or you? He says he doesn't lose any that believe in him.

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    1. Greetings Jim Kerr.
      How do you define "believe"? After all even the demons believe. The verse you quote is a true but general statement and is in no way definitive. Every group that claims to follow Jesus uses this verse, from Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses etc. John 6:37-40 can not be used to make null and void the many scriptures used in this post.

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    2. Hi David, I define believing in Jesus as "one who comes to [Him]," and "one who has been given to Him" and "one who beholds the Son and believes in Him." I'm happy with the BDAG definition of πιστεύω. And, yes, John 6:37-40 makes null and void the poor exegesis of the many scriptures used in this post.

      How do you define πιστεύω?

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    3. Greetings Jim Kerr.
      Pitting one verse against another is fine as long as they are of the same subject.. The 22 verses used in this post are examples of warnings to believers of the dangers of back sliding. They are clear and to the point. Your use of John 6:37-40 to negate these warnings is an example of reading too much into a verse. John 6:37-40 is a rather general statement of how the Father and Son work together to ensure that all the followers of Jesus will inherit eternal life. It is poor exegesis to read into these three verses the notion that once we truly believe in Jesus that we are guaranteed a "stay out of hell free card" and that the many warnings of apostasy do not apply to Christians.

      Your definition of "believe" is odd and seems to conflict with every dictionary I could find. Also your use of the word itself in your definition is improper and implies a self-serving understanding of the word. As for your BDAG comment, I could not find a reference to that type of understanding.of the word. How I define "pisteuo" is moot, since I am not a Greek scholar. But the word is universally translated in English as "belief", so my answer is also.
      Finally, it is very telling that you would offer such a general verse as John 6:37-40 in response to such a thorough argument. Clearly the 22 verses presented by the author show that salvation is guaranteed to the prepared, watchful and faithful and not to those who may have truly accepted but have fallen away from the grace that was freely given to them.


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    4. Greetings.

      I suspect that most people who believe in the notion of "once saved, always saved" accept it more because they want it to be true and not because of any Biblical argument. The idea that God will overlook any and all thoughts, mindsets and behaviors that a Christian may have is quite appealing but not justified by scripture.

      The idea of "salvation by faith only" falls in this same category. The thought that we can inherit the Kingdom of God simply by believing in Jesus is absurd and certainly is not taught in the Bible. The whole Bible is full of examples of people receiving the gifts of God after obeying. Such as, the blind man at the Pool of Siloam gaining his sight only after obeying the command to wash. If he would have waited for his healing he would have died blind.The washing was not an attempt to merit the healing just common sense obedience, nothing more. So it is with salvation, we are told to knock and the door will be opened. How foolish is it to simply stand at the door and refuse to knock, afraid that the knocking would be seen as a work.

      Again, "once saved, always saved" and "salvation by faith only" are appealing to this generation but they are false concepts. Anyone teaching these ideas will always find a willing audience but once an elementary understanding of scripture is applied, the weakness of the argument is exposed. The carnal man, wishing to sleep at night, believes these lies but the spirit-filled man knows better.

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  3. David, you say that "the 22 verses used in this post are examples of warnings to believers of the dangers of back sliding. They are clear and to the point." That is simply not true. For example, Mark 4:17 is talking about those who appear to believe, but have not genuinely believed. That is why they cannot endure persecution--that's what having "no root in themselves" means.

    I agree that only those who will endure to the Day of the Lord will be saved, but it is God who gives us the power to endure through the Holy Spirit. Hence Phil 1:3-6:

    I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

    The one who began the work and will bring it to completion is God. Those who don't endure, who fall away, we're never genuine believers. Hence 1 John 29: "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us."

    As to my definition of pisteuo (to believe), did you really not notice that I was using the words of John 6:37-40 to define it? BDAG says it means: "to consider something to be true and therefore worthy of one’s trust, believe . That's what I believe it means.

    You're synergistic take on Salvation is odd to me. Do you belong to a denomination that teaches it as a doctrine or are you an unaffiliated Christian?

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    1. Greetings Jim Kerr.
      You are fighting the obvious. If the 22 verses in this post are not about back sliding, what are they about? If the 22 verses are not for Christians, who are they meant for? Your use of Mark 4;17 is typical of someone reading too much into a verse. I could find no Bible that translates this verse in such a way as you have suggested. Not even a paraphrased version. The Bible clearly states that those of the rocky and thorny soil did accept or receive with "joy" the message but backed away from their faith for one reason or another. There is no mention of them not genuinely believing.as you have stated. Just as in Romans 15:13, when Paul desired that the Romans be filled with "joy" by trusting in Jesus so did the different soils all accept and believe with "joy".

      Your use of Phil. 1:3-6 is not a proof text of "once saved, always saved" but simply Paul expressing a heart felt thank you to the Philippians for their hard work, faithfulness and obedience. Paul is in no way telling them that they are somehow guaranteed a place in heaven no matter what the future may hold.

      Your use of 1 John 2:19 is a straw man and has no bearing on this topic. The verse speaks of the Antichrist and a warning to Christians to remember what they were taught and not follow the lie. This verse does not prove "once saved, always saved".

      I did notice your use of John 6:37-40 to define the meaning of believe and found it quirky at best. This does not free you from giving a proper answer to the question. Never the less, the demons believe and hence believing can not be the sole issue when salvation is at stake

      Finally I am a member of the church of Christ, hence I am not part of a denomination. Guessing from your words, I would suspect you are a Southern Baptist.

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    2. Ah, "Church of Christ," right, got it. Ignore my previous posts....

      Hey, how do you square the non-baptised-but-still-paradise-heading thief on the cross with your interpretation of Mark 16:16? Was he not saved?


      (FYI, I'm neither Southern Baptist nor American.)

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    3. Greetings Jim Kerr.

      Not sure what to make of your first sentence, maybe you can explain later.

      On your question about the thief on the cross, first let me say that this is typical of a certain mindset. Every example or mention of conversion in the book of Acts, all ten of them include baptism. There are no examples of anyone being converted after the ascension of Jesus without baptism. I write this for a reason.

      You can learn a lot about a person by how they approach a subject. A person with a open heart and mind will seek to understand a issue by looking at all the available information, digesting it, weeding out what does not apply and then come to a reasonable conclusion. (Isaiah 1:18) The opposite is the person who is looking for a way to support their view on the subject, regardless of the information presented. They look for ways to poke holes in God's Great Commission by finding loopholes that do not apply. I suspect you are in the camp of the latter.

      Now on to your question, what about the unbaptized thief on the cross. First it must be understood that to label him "unbaptized" is an assumption. There is no reference about his past other then he was a thief. It is possible that he was among the masses that came to be baptized by John the Baptist and his disciples for repentance and the remission of sins (Mark 1:4). He could have been baptized by the apostles during the 3 years that Jesus preached the good news. These of course are assumptions but so is the notion that he was unbaptized. But if someone wants to stake their salvation on an assumption and for the sake of argument lets assume he was never baptized.

      The promise between Jesus and the thief was a personal one and can not be claimed by anyone other then the person it was meant for. God has made many promises to individuals and it would be bad logic to think that anyone could put themselves into a promise not meant for them. Abraham, Hannah, David, Solomon Gideon, Peter, Paul, etc.were all made promises by God but these can not be applied to the world at large. So is it with the thief's promise. How telling it is that one would invoke such a passage as this when the Bible is full of straight forward promises such as Acts 2 that apply to us all. The notion reeks of a lawyer looking for a loophole.

      Also the case of the thief does not apply to us, the promise was made before the Great Commission. We who are alive today are to follow the will of God in the Bible and not blindly grasp at a promise meant for someone else. We are to, among other things, believe that Jesus was risen from the dead (Romans 10:9), something that the thief could not do. Also, even if Jesus wanted Pilate to be with Him in Paradise, so be it, it is not for me to second guess God but to present the Gospel in a clear and honest way. So yes, he was saved. If God wants to make exceptions, who am I to say no. But who stakes their future on exceptions.
      .
      King Hezekiah asked for healing and God promised him fifteen more years of life.(2nd Kings 20). Would you tell a dying person to put their hopes in this promise? Of course not, that would be absurd and so is your question.

      On you not being a Southern Baptist, congratulations but you sound like one. On you not being an American, I am sorry.

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    4. David, you can also tell a lot about a person who can't control himself enough to answer a simple question directly without denigrating the question and the person asking it; someone who instead answers a whole lot of other questions that weren't asked with an ill-disciplined rant that is replete with presupposition, paranoid suspicion, mysticism, special pleading, hypocrisy and ethnocentric arrogance. You're not a very discerning person, David, and you're every bit as obstinate, blind and inflexibly dogmatic as the Southern Baptists that haunt your imagination. I'm sure you think you're not a heretic in a cult, "congratulations but you sound like one."

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    5. Whoa Jim ,,,,,relax.

      What did I write that would cause this rant? I have sincerely answered your questions with what I thought were solid Biblical references and straight forward comments. I have, in return, disregarded your lack of responses to my questions as well as your not so subtle mocking of my church.

      You have labeled me as: out of control, ill disciplined, paranoid, a hypocrite, arrogant, racist, blind, dogmatic etc. Why? What did I write in my 5 posts that would have caused such anger. Why would you label me a heretic in a cult. I don't know you personally, but from your picture you seem to be old enough to answer me back with a more reasonable response.

      My words may be rather direct to you but this article is about a very serious subject and if you are this thinned skinned, I suggest you stay on the porch. I really would like for you to respond and let me know what parts of what I wrote that upset you so. I will respond back with a apology, if warranted. I take nothing you wrote personally and hold no ill will toward you. Your line about Southern Baptist haunting my imagination was rather funny.

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  4. David, David, David. Nice try. First rant, then when called on it, feign innocence and reverse the accusation onto the accuser. "That guy I mocked and called a liar and don't believe is a Christian even though I know nothing about him is so mean and angry...!" Classic.

    I wasn't angry or upset, David, I just realised that you were defending your "coc" traditions and answering phantom accusers, rather than "sincerely anser[ing my] question."

    Your "church" is the bad fruit of two very confused egomaniacs (the Campbells) who, ironically enough, were never baptised according to your own beliefs (yeah, yeah, I know, your "church of christ" isn't THAT "church of christ". Sure.). And neither were the Lord's disciples, for that matter (it is a "coc" doctrine that there has to be an explicit verse of Scripture to determine whether a thing is so and nowhere does it say the disciples were baptised; which, btw, makes all your speculation about the thief "heretical," too.). Just like the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, SDA, Christian Scientists, Pentecostals and other assorted cults to arise in the 19th century, it appears that the "coc" imagine the immoral and biblically illiterate character of your group's founders is irrelevant today. So much for the Lord's words about bad trees and good fruit...

    I'm sorry to hear you didn't take anything I wrote to you personally, David, because I was being as direct as I could. But it's to be expected, because I already determined that you are not a discerning person--unless of course you're lying....

    David, I implore you as a brother to repent of your teaching for doctrine these traditions of (evil) men, the superstitious belief in the magic power of water and the idiosyncratic, English-only interpretations of Scripture. The Apostle Paul says he wasn't sent by the Lord to Baptise, but to preach the Gospel...lest the cross is emptied of its power (1 Cor 1:17). Belief in the death and resurrection of Christ is what saves (that's the "power of the cross of Christ), not being dipped in water by another member of the "coc" (only). And you can't believe unless God opens your eyes.

    So, may God remove the scales from your eyes and bless you with discernment.


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    1. Greetings Jim Kerr.

      Well so much for a reasonable exchange of ideas. Are you like this with every person you meet of a different faith or just the church of Christ? It seems your demeanor changed when I answered your question about the church that I attend. Lets play nice and pretend that you don't know what church I attend.

      What is is your rebuttal to my comments on your thief on the cross question? Also, what is your view on who the 22 verses, apply to, if not Christians and if they are not about back sliding, what is there purpose?

      Also, what do you mean by "English-only interpretations of Scripture"?

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  5. David Smith, greetings.

    I'm not playing.

    Can't you see that the idea behind the words "every person you meet of a different faith" precludes the possibility of "a reasonable exchange of ideas" between you and me? You've already shown how you "reasonably" deal with contrary interpretation; I don't need 22 more lessons.

    And, btw, it's deceitful to tactfully feign ignorance of plain English.

    Once again, brother, repent of the division you perpetuate in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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    1. Greetings Jim Kerr.

      Since you only want to stick your fingers in your ears and tell me to repent and since I have no desire to bad mouth a long dead John Calvin, I will wish you a sincere good-bye. So from all of us members of the mystic, cultic, and heretical church of Christ, we salute you (Romans 16:16).

      P.S. I suggest you stop asking people what church they attend, you don't seem to take kindly to many.

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