Did Jesus say that He lost none that believe on Him?

Is the reprobate Christian still in God's grip-_00000In my circles I know a lady that is aware I do not believe that scripture teaches the Calvinist doctrine.  To be honest I don’t think she is a full Calvinist either, but this person puts her faith in the once saved, always saved doctrine.  She said something along the lines, I just put my hope in what Jesus said in the book of John, He lost none that were given Him. So when Jesus says in John …those that thou gavest me I have kept , and none of them is lost… was He speaking of those person who have and will put their trust in Him as savior?  Or was Jesus speaking about something else? Continue reading

Calvinism and 20 Years of Incest

unhappy faceRecently a pillar of one of the local churches where I live was arrested for incest involving his two daughters.  A year before this came out of the closet, I along with two other men had a conversation with this man about salvation. The explosion that took place during this conversation was witnessed by everyone, since I was in a local place (not church) of believers. Continue reading

Accountability to what gospel?

What gospel are we as believers accountable to?  Are we accountable to a gospel that teaches we, as those on the narrow path, are forever in God’s grace and are bound to forever be in the presence of Christ?  Which is not a teaching of Christ, for Christ Himself said that not all who have left the wide path will find themselves going through the narrow gate.  In fact, Christ tells those on the narrow path to make every effort to make it through the narrow gate.  Of course the words “strive” or “make every effort” will throw many into confusions or fits, because our salvation is not of any effort of our own. 

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.[1]

Now I am with those who say our salvation has nothing to with us.  But only in this sense, God has done what we could not do to provide a way of salvation for mankind. Continue reading

Disarming Calvinism (part five)

I have stated that Calvinism teaches that God is ultimately committed to His chosen people, the children of the promise, which gives support to the doctrine of irresistible grace and once saved always saved.  This commitment and support for His people is nonnegotiable with God and that God will not violate this.

I will demonstrate from the New Testament that God is not dedicated to His people as taught by the Calvinist.  That He is dedicated to something that is greater than His people.  Although this following statement is very explosive and nuclear in proportion to the other topics in this series, I will demonstrate that His commitment to His people is conditional and will disarm the notion birthed in Calvinism, that God is unconditionally committed to His people. 

If you have not followed these series of post on Disarming Calvinism, I would recommend you go back and read them in order for the Biblical support of what I will only summarize here. 

We have learned that our New Testament teaches that Abraham has received a seal of the righteousness that God gave him, a mark in his flesh.  Circumcision is this seal of imputed righteousness that was given to Abraham and all his descendants.  Our New Testament teaches that we gentiles, now through Christ, get to share in the imputed righteousness that was given to Abraham by becoming his spiritual offspring,

Even though they were elected as a people through Abrahams calling and even though they were in a covenant of imputed righteousness many never entered their rest.  As scripture says not all who are Jews are Jews.

A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.[1]

Knowing through our past study of scripture that God has imputed the whole nation of Israel His righteousness through His covenant, to what does God obligate Himself?  Does He obligate Himself to His chosen people under the covenant of imputed righteousness or does He obligate Himself to something even more important?  It is not His chosen people that He has obligated Himself to, it is His WORD.

In Calvinism they like to teach that God is obligated to His people over and above all other things.  They even go as far as to teach that we can be faithless, which goes against all other teachings in scripture but God will be faithful to us because He can not disown Himself.  Teaching we belong to Him and even is a reprobate state, even in a lukewarm condition He can not disown us.  They have read but not understood what is written.

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.[2]

The people of the covenant of righteousness who walked away from the imputed righteousness came to understand what is meant by God remaining faithful to Himself.  They learned He will not disown Himself, He will not disown the Living Word.  He will do exactly as He said He would when we do not live out our lives in faith and obedience.

“‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant.[3]

Was it not the Lord who gave Moses the blessings and the curses?  Was it not the people of God’s election choice to do good or to do harm?  Wasn’t it the people of the covenant of imputed righteousness that had a choice before them that day?  And did not God tell them He will do to them as His word says, whether for good or for harm?  Well He did harm to them as they deserved.  It wasn’t His people who were imputed His righteousness that He was ultimately committed to, it is His WORD.  He did exactly as He said He would.

When God in His word says He will disown us if we disown Him, we cast that aside and pervert His intent to do as His word says.  Even the very words we just cast aside.  It is true the Lord has spoken to us in these in the past though His prophets and now through His Son.  Jesus’ teaching is full of warnings to believers to not be disobedient, faithless, lazy, backslidden, overtaken by this world, yet the Calvinist say God will not disown me.  Sorry Calvinist, as God declares in His WORD He will do as He has declared. 

One day not only the Calvinist whose rest is solely on in eternal security, but the disobedient, wicked, lazy, unrighteous servants of other denominations and theologies will be overtaken by the words of God that He has spoken to us, just it did the covenant people of His election.

But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your forefathers? “Then they repented and said, ‘The LORD Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.'”[4]

[1] Romans 2:28-29

[2] 2 Timothy 2:11-13

[3] Ezekiel 16:59

[4] Zechariah 1:6

Disarming Calvinism (part four)

I have promised that I will disarm the teaching of Calvin which is once a man is saved there is no going back.  Once He has been freely justified by the grace of imputed righteousness, he is forever a child of the promise.  He has ceased from being the child of the natural birth and has become the child of the chosen of God.

I will demonstrate from our New Testament that a man can be chosen as a people of God and of the promise and fall away into damnation.  I will demonstrate how this disarms Calvinism’s doctrine of once saved (imputed righteousness though Christ) always saved.

If you have been following my post on Disarming Calvinism you would have learned that our New Testament teaches that Abraham has received a seal of the righteousness that God gave him, a mark in his flesh.  Circumcision is this seal of imputed righteousness that was given to Abraham and all his descendants.  Our New Testament teaches that we gentiles, now through Christ, get to share in the imputed righteousness that was given to Abraham by becoming his spiritual offspring,

We see demonstrated through the people of covenant of imputed righteousness that they exercised their free will not to receive God’s unmerited favor of this credited righteousness.  The people of Israel with the seal of the righteousness that comes from God exercised their free will not before this imputed righteousness but after.  They as individual have chosen to walk in the faith of their father Abraham or forsake God or possible error in the opposite direction and seek righteousness through the Law.

The history of Israel is a testimony of a people who have been imputed righteousness by God, which is no different than what we have in Christ today as gentiles.  Like them we have to decide if we will be a people of faith in the grace God has given or will we fall away into faithlessness and sin. 

The Calvinist do have one thing correct and this is when they say God is the one who elects.  Our election does not depend upon our choosing God, but on Him choosing us.  But in saying this they do not understand.  Our election doesn’t mean we have been elected to become eternally secure.  Our election is God’s choice to let us participate in His grace of imputed righteousness, which we have the free will to either do or not to do.  Exactly like we see in the people of Israel. 

Just as God chose Abraham and his descendants to impute His grace as a light and testimony to the world, now He has chosen all mankind and imputed to us all unmerited favor.  For who else could it be said of, they have become the savior of the world?  Who else has taken away the sins of the world? 

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world![1]

Jesus Himself says that He is the one who gives His life for the sins of the world, not for only that portion that fits the doctrine of Calvin.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”[2]

Speaking of Israel, Paul says their rejection of God is not reconciliation for only those who fit the Calvinistic view of election, but the reconciliation of the world.

For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?[3]

Let us be happy to quote:

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:[4]

But let us quote also the rest of what was taught by Paul.  That we as believers have been reconciled but not unlike the rest of the world, but like the rest of the world.  Only we get the ministry of reconciliation that gets to preach this good news of reconciliation.  For God has reconciled the world to Himself.  Why else does Christ need to die once for the sin of all mankind?  Because the sins of the world have been paid for and mankind is reconciled to Himself.

that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.[5]

Christ paid for all of our sins and we have all been imputed grace.  All of us believer and those who will not receive of live by the grace of God have been imputed this righteousness.  The question is who will live by faith and obedience. 

Theology says we participate in election and receive imputed righteousness when we do.  As true believers who have imputed righteousness we can never loose this.  We can never become a person who is elected and shares in imputed grace and then slip away into damnation.

But scripture teaches and shows we as a people are elected by God’s choosing and are imputed righteousness before we choose to obey or disobey.  We as the world have been elected and chosen to have our sins removed from us and to be reconciled to God.  Now we chose to have faith or be faithless.  We like the people of Israel, that we are grafted into when we by faith accept this reconcilation, have free will to be a people of faith and of righteousness or not.  If this is not so then God is unjust in punishing His people whom He imputed righteousness through His covenant.  He is an unjust God because many of Israel were “once saved and always saved” according to the doctrine of imputed righteousness.

But as it is God is not unjust.  He is proven right when He judges.  So today as believers we need to be a people who understand we have nothing over the people of Israel or the imputed righteousness that they shared in.  We have nothing over the “lost” for they too have been imputed righteousness by the sacrifice of Christ who is the savior of the world.  We only get the benefit of it because we like Abraham believe God who has made the promise.  And the lost can share in this same good news when they too come to faith in the promise of God.

We only share in it through Christ.  Knowing there is not more than one flavor of imputed righteousness from God, let us not follow the way of those who were disobedient and faithless, only to become as if they were not circumcised.  As the New Testament teaches, let us freely choose by our own will in God’s election to be circumcised of heart.  Or we will be a people who have been elected by God, share in the imputed righteousness given to Abraham and still die in our sins because we did live in the faith and obedience of our father Abraham.

[1] John 1:29

[2] John 6:51

[3] Romans 11:5

[4] 2 Corinthians 5:18

[5] 2 Corinthians 5:19

Christian warm fuzzies

Warm Fuzzies

We in Christendom love to give ourselves the warm fuzzies from scripture.  We not only do this for the sake of ourselves, but we do it for all our brothers and sisters in the Lord too.  We run around comforting ourselves that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?[1]

We incorrectly understand this scripture as we do the other one we are so famous for quoting. 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.[2]

How dare I put in disrepute two of the cornerstones of our great comfort, which have become the twin pillars of our complacency with our Lord. 

First of all let us agree that every sect of Christendom, and I use that term lightly, comforts themselves with these scriptures, the Catholic, Mormon, Witnesses, Baptist, Evangelical, Holy Ghost People, etc.  So either we are convinced all these sects are heaven bound and our own particular faith is not the only correct way of understanding scripture, which would strip us of all authority to preach exclusively our particular doctrine.  Or we have to conclude not everyone who believes in these verses and is well accustomed to putting their hope in them is not a benefactor of them.

So which is it for you? 

Now I know that of course in our circumstances we would naturally say of ourselves that we are the ones who benefit from the love of God, that we can not be separated from.

Do you believe that in the beginning God?  Do you believe that our God is unchanging?  Do you believe that He is the same yesterday, today and forever?  Well let us look at what was said from the beginning.

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children–with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.[3]

We have this testimony from scripture concerning God’s love.  His everlasting love is not with every man, only those who fear and obey Him.  This everlasting love is what Paul talks about in Romans.  Those verses of comfort are only applicable to those who fear and obey God.

Then I said: “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands,[4]

What we have is God’s covenant of love with us and He determines the conditions of His love through His covenant to us.  Are we to dare pervert what God has established with us just so we can give all, obedient and disobedient believers comfort, in one big melting pot since we refuse to believe the disobedient believer is outside of this covenant of love?

Why do we refuse to believe that this covenant of love has conditions?  We must continue who heartedly in His way in order to have His everlasting love shine upon us.

He said: “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth–you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.[5]

I know, I know all of this is Old Testament and doesn’t apply anymore.  We are under a new covenant.  Tell me, when did God ever announce to the prophets that He would extend His covenant of everlasting love to the disobedient who does not serve the Lord whole heartedly?

Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.[6]

Well if this be the case, show me from the Old Testament how God will let the disobedient sit with Him on His thrown.  Show me from the Law and the Prophets where God has place the disobedient converted sinner on the same standing as the obedient converted sinner?  If not from the Old Testament, how about the New Testament?

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.[7]

Who is it that is part of God’s covenant of love?  It is not those who claim to be His , but those who obey faithfully Him.

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.[8]

They deny God not by their belief, not by their faith, not by their hope in comforting scriptures, but by their disobedient actions.

[1] Romans 8:35

[2] Romans 8:38-39

[3] Psalms 103:17-18

[4] Nehemiah 1:5

[5] 2 Chronicles 6:14

[6] Amos 3:7

[7]Ephesians 5:6

[8] Titus 1:6

Can we believe in God in vain?

There is a wonderful comfort in scripture that we are justified before God based on absolutely nothing that results from our effort, but all on the effort of God.  We are justified based on our believing the promises of God to us, through the work of Jesus Christ.

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.[1]

But does this simply mean we can confess a belief in God or is there more?  Is this justification by faith to all men who confess a belief in God or is it more than just a mental recognition of Christ and His sacrifice for us?  In many circles of Christianity it is preached at the end of sermons, that a person can know for certain right now they will go to heaven if they confess Jesus is Lord.  Then with a simple confession they are pronounced saved and on their way to heaven.  But does scripture support this type of conversion practiced by many in the church?

There are examples of faith that do not lead to salvation.  There are even examples of true praise and worship to the one living God that comes from those who do not walk in the hope of salvation held out in the gospel.  For instance we can believe all we want in the one true God, but what more do we do with this information the demons do?

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?[2]

Do we believe it is possible for a “believer” to have a belief in God but it still only leads them to death?  Or is all belief in God valid before God?  I would venture to say there is only one belief in God that is valid and any other belief in God is not valid.  We are taught we need to remain in what we have been taught in the whole of scripture concerning our gospel, or our faith in what we do believe concerning God is in vain.

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.[3]

So what is it that happens to men when they do not remain in what they are taught in the whole of scripture concerning our gospel?  Well we still praise and worship the Lord don’t we.  We feel free to do this because we think our belief in Him has saved us.  We also honor the Lord God and say all kinds of honoring things about Him and what He has done for us and will do for other people, don’t we?  But in doing these things, if we do not remain in what we have presented to us in scripture but have somehow turned to the teachings of men, do we have a faith that saves?  Here is a verse that adequately describes a people of God who have not remained in what was taught concerning our gospel as we find in scripture.

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.[4]

So what is left when a people of God who confess a belief in the Lord and His work on the cross yet, do not stay in what was preached?  What more do they have over the demonic realm?  What is left for these people to become?  Scripture teaches they will have what looks like godliness in their lives which would be assumed by many as a testimony of the faith they have.  Yet they will not have the power of God in their lives.  They will have become an empty shell of a form of godliness like the religious leaders of Jesus day, but it will powerless to save them.  They will have had a faith and the activities of a lifetime that lead only to despair and all of this they do in the name of faith in God.

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.[5]

How does one keep from ever learning about God, yet never come to the saving knowledge of the truth?  Is it more study?  Is it more learning?  It is found in letting the power of God go from head knowledge to a knowledge that transforms us a people and makes us new creations in Christ Jesus.  Now that is the trick isn’t it?  Letting the power of God remake us in His image and rid us of all sins that so easily entangles us.  At least at this point we would be doing more with our faith than simply believing as do the demons.  Or we could go on living in our sins and look like we are godly in our belief and service to God yet deny in our lives the power of God to change us.

Simply put, to have saving faith, we need to live in belief of the gospel given to us in the whole of scripture and the power of this gospel to transform our lives or we will have believed in vain.

[1] Romans 3:28

[2] James 2:19-20

[3] 1 Corinthians 15:2

[4] Matthew 15:8-9

[5] 2 Timothy 3:5-7