Archive for April, 2010

Once Saved Always Saved vs. James 5:19-20

April 28, 2010

James 5:19-20 reads "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

This passage is written to brethren, that is, Christians. It presents the possibility that one brother might err from the truth. If he does, other brethren are to try to convert him back. If they are successful, they save his soul from (spiritual) death. If they don’t win him back, the implication is that his soul is not saved from death. So according to this passage, it is possible for a Christian to sin so as to lose his soul.

That’s pretty simple. God said it, so we should believe it.

Will Sprinkling/Pouring Suffice For Water Baptism? by Carrol Sutton

April 26, 2010

As we continue our examination of some things that are often taught or preached that can not proven by the Scriptures, let us now consider the following.

9. "Water baptism may be ad-ministered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the head of the subject." The 1989 Manual of the Church of the Nazarene says: "Bap-tism may be administered by sprinkling, pouring or immersion, according to the choice of the applicant."(P. 36.)

REPLY: Although the Catholic Church and a number of Protestant Churches practice sprinkling and pouring water on the head of the subject for baptism, no one is able to prove by the Scriptures that it pleases God. There are a number of things wrong with the idea that "sprinkling and/or pouring constitutes Scriptural baptism". Here are some of them.

1. It is assumed, asserted and practiced without any authority whatsoever to do so from God! It is based completely on the wisdom of men. Read and consider such passages as: Jer. 10:23; Isaiah 55:8-9; Psa. 94:11; 1 Cor. 1:18-20, 27-29; 3:20, etc.

2. There is no example in the NT of sprinkling or pouring water as baptism!

3. There in no statement in the NT that such would be acceptable to God for baptism!

4. There is no command in the NT for either pouring or sprinkling for baptism!

5. There is no necessary implication that sprinkling or pouring was ever authorized or practiced as baptism with the approval of Jesus Christ!

NOTE: There is simply no authority in the NT for the practice of sprinkling or pouring and calling it water baptism!

6. Pouring or sprinkling cannot be practiced by faith! (See Heb. 11:6; Rom. 10:17; 1:17, etc)

7. Sprinkling or pouring cannot be done in the name of the Lord Jesus. (See Col. 3:17).

8. Scriptural baptism is a burial in water and a rising up out it. (See Rom. 6:4 & Col. 2:11-12). It is an im-mersion that requires "much water" (see John 3:23). Also see Acts 8:38-39.

No, it cannot be proven by the Scriptures that either sprinkling or pouring is Scriptural water baptism.

God’s Sovereignty And Free Will by Chris Donahue

April 24, 2010

Calvinists generally have a view that God sees (or has orchestrated) a singular future, i.e. God orchestrated that you would pick a Dr. Pepper versus a Mountain Dew for your lunch drink on Oct 10, 2014. This is basically their “Sovereignty of God” position, and reflects the “Domino Construct” viewpoint of God’s creation; All occurrences, events, happenings are like a row of dominos set up and started in motion by God. From the Calvinist viewpoint, God’s sovereignty is in conflict with the idea that man has free will, thusly they side with God’s sovereignty, and discard man’s free will.

From the non-Calvinist viewpoint, man’s free will is a product of God’s sovereignty. The support for this is found following:

If God knows or orchestrated a singular future, then it makes no sense for him to be sorry (grieved) that he made mankind:

Gen 6:5-6 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

God orchestrating a singular future is in conflict with the verse that God does not tempt anyone:

James 1:13 (NIV) When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

If God knows or orchestrated a singular future then there is no need for God to decide:

Exodus 33:4-6 (NIV) When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. For the LORD had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.'” So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.

Exodus 33:4-6 (NASV) When the people heard this sad word, they went into mourning, and none of them put on his ornaments. For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the sons of Israel, ‘You are an obstinate people; should I go up in your midst for one moment, I would destroy you. Now therefore, put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what I shall do with you.'”

If God knows or orchestrated a singular future, why is God waiting or patient?:

Nehemiah 9:29-31 (NIV) You warned them to return to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, by which a man will live if he obeys them. Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples. But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

1 Peter 3:20 (NIV) who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

If God knows or orchestrated a singular future, why is their rejoicing in heaven when one lost sinner is saved?

Luke 15:7 (NIV) I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

All of these point logically that God’s will is to give his creation free will to set the future, thusly God knows all possible futures, and if he wanted could “set in concrete” or “lock down” one singular future but the Bible shows he allows mankind to plot the course of the future (with parameters and limits of course). E.g. mankind cannot destroy the earth until God wants it to be destroyed.

The question at the forefront, in the non-Calvinist versus Calvinist debate, is not about what God knows or does not know, it is simply this: did God by his sovereignty set up a construct in which He (God) orchestrates a man’s salvation (and vis-à-vis a man’s reprobation), or did God by his sovereignty set up a construct in which Man can *decide* (free will) his salvation destiny *influenced* by God’s orchestrations?

Does God Force All Truly Born Again People To Live Right ?

April 22, 2010

In trying to reply to all the verses that clearly prove "once saved always saved" is false, many (but not all) will suggest that if a person falls away, that proves he was never saved to begin with. In other words, he becomes a robot. He couldn’t quit serving God even if he wanted to. But let’s examine just a few of the passages to prove this theory false.

Is Heb 3:1,12 talking about true believers, or are unbelievers holy brethren and partakers of the heavenly calling?

Is Rev 3:5 talking about true believers, or did God write the names of lost people into the book of life?

Is I Cor 8:11 talking about true believers, or did Christ die for unbelievers?

Is Rom 14:15,23 talking about true believers, or did Christ die for unbelievers?

Is II Peter 2:1 talking about true believers, or did the Lord buy untrue believers?

(the above three questions work especially well with Calvinists)

Is II Peter 2:20-22 talking about true believers, or do unbelievers escape the sins of the world through the knowledge of Christ?

Was James inspired when he called people brethren in James 5:19-20, or was he wrong and therefore the Bible is not inerrant?

Once Saved Always Saved versus I Corinthians 9:27

April 20, 2010

I Corinthians 9:25-27 reads “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. … But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I … should be a castaway.”

Here Paul is saying he strives/runs to obtain an “incorruptible crown.” That’s heaven, right? (see Revelation 2:10 … and I will give thee a crown of life)

But Paul goes on to say that if he didn’t keep his body under subjection, if he didn’t control the fleshly desires, he would become a “castaway.”

Castaway from what? The “incorruptible crown” → heaven obviously.

The Greek word translated “castaway” in I Corinthians 9:27 is translated “reprobate” 6 out of 8 times in the New Testament – II Cor 13:5, Rom 1:28, II Tim 3:8, Tit 1:16, etc. (“rejected” is the other translation).

“reprobate” is defined by Random House as “rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation”

So Paul (as a Christian) recognized the possibility that even he could be lost.

And if it was possible for perhaps the greatest gospel preacher in history to lose his salvation, then it’s certainly possible for any Christian today to lose his/her salvation.

Preaching Jesus And Him Crucified by Carroll Sutton

April 18, 2010

What does it mean to preach Jesus and Him crucified? Many who claim to be preaching Christ do not know what it means.

It means to preach that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God!Many people rely upon and trust in the wisdom of this world. However, this is done in vain. Paul declared: "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the tough of the wise, that they are vain.. Therefore let no man glory in men…" (1 Cor. 3:19-21). "The world by [its] wisdom knew not God." (1 Cor. 1:21). "…The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." (1 Cor. 1:18-19). God hath made "foolish the wisdom of this world."

The wisdom of the world (whe-ther of "the Jews" or "the Greeks" will cause people to reject Christ because the preaching of "Christ crucified" is "unto the Jews a stumbling block, and, unto the Greeks foolishness." We are thankful that there are a few "Jews" and a few "Greeks" who reject the wisdom of the world and accept the gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation! (See 1 Cor. 1:24 & Rom. 1:16).

The wisdom of the world will lead people into error and prompt the preaching of false doctrines. It will prompt many people to obey false doctrines while believing them to be the truth of Christ. There were some who professed to be wise, but they became fools (Rom. 1:22)! The Scriptures are able to make sinners wise unto salvation. (See 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Psa. 19:7).

The wisdom of the world will cause people to reject certain statements or even commandments of the Lord because they are considered "foolish" or "weak" or "base", or are they "things which are despised" or they are "things which are not". Here are a few examples:

(1) Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) QUESTION: Why would any honest person deny that Jesus is the only way to heaven?

(2) Jesus said: "…and there shall be one fold and one shepherd." (John 10:16) QUESTION: Why would any sincere person say there is more than "one fold and one shepherd"?

(3) Jesus said: "…it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve." (Mt. 4:10) QUESTION: Why would any God-fearing person say that "it doesn’t matter what God you worship"?

(4) Jesus said: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) QUESTION: Why would any honest person con-tend that "it does not matter how you worship God"?

(5) Jesus said: "…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15-16) QUESTION: Why would any sincere person contend that "baptism is not essential to salvation?"

(6) Peter said: "…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." (Acts 2:38) QUESTION: Why would any God-fearing person say that "baptism is not for the remission of sins?"

(7) Paul said: "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Gal. 3:26-27) QUESTION: Why would any honest person deny that in order to become children of God "by faith" that sinners must be "baptized into Christ?"

(8) Paul said: "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Eph. 4:4-6) QUESTION: Why would any sincere person contend that there is more than one God, one Lord, one Holy Spirit, one Faith, one Body, one Baptism and one Hope?

(9) Jesus said: "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall mar-ry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." (Mt. 19:9) QUESTION: Why would any God-fearing person contend that a person can put away (divorce) his wife for any other reason (than fornication) and marry another without committing adultery?

OBSERVATION: The above ex-amples are illustrations of God choosing "the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and… the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised…and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." (1 Cor. 1:27-29)

The above examples are also illustrations of men following "worldly wisdom", that is, "fleshly wisdom." (See 2 Cor. 1:12). It is that wisdom which originated with men. It "is earthly, sensual, devilish." It causes "confusion and every evil work." (See James 3:13-16) In contrast with this, "the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy" according to James 3:17.

FURTHER NOTE: Only those who are willing to follow God’s wisdom are willing to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified and/or to follow the preaching and teaching of Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

It means to preach that we are begotten through the gospel! There can be no new birth un-less there is a begetting. Many people contend that "a direct, miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit" does the begetting in the heart of the sinner to enable him to "be born again." Others claim that that one must have an "experience with the Lord" or "go to an old-fashioned altar and pray" until one has been saved (or born again).

However, the apostle Paul said: "…for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel." (1 Cor. 4:15) The reason he did this was because "the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Rom. 1:16; also see Acts 11:14 & Jas. 1:21). In James 1:18 (speaking of the Father) we read: "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth…"

We learn from Heb. 4:12 that "the word of God is quick and powerful…" We must have faith in order to please God and thus to be born again. Faith comes by hearing the word of God! (See Heb. 11:6; Rom. 10:17).

Peter said: "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth…Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God…" (1 Pet. 1:22-23).

“Once Saved Always Saved” versus Galatians 5:4

April 14, 2010

Many religionists say it is impossible for a Christian to “fall from grace” (lose his salvation). That is strange considering the fact there is a Bible verse that uses that exact terminology teaching it is possible.

Galatians 5:4 reads “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”

First, this verse has to be talking about Christians:

  • you can’t fall from a tree (grace) that you weren’t in to start with
  • the verse is written “unto the churches of Galatia” (1:2), “brethren” (1:11, 3:15, 4:12, 31, 5:11, 13, 6:1, 18), “children of God” (3:26), adopted “sons” of God who had received the Holy Spirit (4:5-6)

Second, “fallen from grace” in Galatians 5:4 refers to losing our personal salvation. Galatians 5:2 reads “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.” You can’t be saved spiritually if Christ profits you nothing, can you? No, the only way you can be saved is if the death of Christ profits you.

Conclusion: Christians who seek to be justified by the Old Testament law are fallen from grace. That shows it is very possible. And that’s why the Bible warns us many times to guard against it.

“Once Saved Always Saved” versus Revelation 3:5

April 12, 2010

Revelation 3:5 reads “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

How could the doctrine of “once saved always saved” be true if the above verse is true?

The same book shows that a person’s name is not written into the “Book Of Life” unless he is saved:

  • 20:15 whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire
  • 21:27 no one will “enter into it (heaven) any thing that defileth, neither … worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Revelation 3:5 then necessarily implies that if a saved person does not overcome (temptation, persecution, etc.), if he does not remain faithful, then his name will be erased from the book of life, meaning he will no longer be in a saved relationship with God.

Other Bible passages teach the same thing about the book of life. When the Israelites made the golden calf while Moses was on the mount receiving the 10 commandments, God said in Exodus 32:33: Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Only the names of the saved are in the “book of life” to start with. And if it is possible to get your name blotted / taken out of the book of life, then it is clear that it is possible for a saved person to lose his salvation.

The doctrine that a Christian cannot “fall from grace” is just plain untrue.

Did Jesus Inherit Original Sin ?

April 10, 2010

The consequences of the inherited sin/depravity theory would be that Jesus inherited sin/depravity, because He was a man. But contrary to that, Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus was “without sin.”

Notice that Jesus:

• had the same flesh and blood as us – Hebrews 2:14a “… as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he (Jesus) also himself likewise took part of the same”

• was made like us – Hebrews 2:17a “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren”

· was “tempted like as we are” – Hebrews 4:15

Jesus did not inherit sin or depravity, and since he is like us (we are like him), then neither do we !

Once Saved Always Saved versus Hebrews 3:12

April 8, 2010

How could "Once Saved Always Saved" be true if Hebrews 3:12 is true? It reads "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God."

First, Heb 3:12 is talking about a brother, and most definitely a saved brother in Christ, because verse 1 describes the same as "holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling." This cannot be describing an unsaved person no matter how much some want it to do so. It just cannot – unsaved people are not holy and have not partaken of the heavenly calling, not in any sense.

Second, Heb 3:12 presents the possibility that such a brother could develop an evil heart of unbelief. This can’t mean the former believer is still saved. He has changed to unbelief and John 3:36 says "he that believeth not the Son shall not see life."

Third, Heb 3:12 teaches the former believer has departed from God. You can’t depart from God unless you were with him to start with, can you? So the clear implication is that a person was with God (saved) and then left God (lost).

Ask yourself this question – if God wanted to teach that a Christian can fall from grace, how could he have said it any clearer than he did in Heb 3:12?