It is true a faithful Christian presently possesses “eternal life.” That is indisputably proven by passages like John 5:24, 6:47, 6:54, I John 5:11-13, John 3:36 (“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”), and I John 3:15 (“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him“). But that fact doesn’t prove the doctrine of “Once Saved Always Saved.” Illustration: In the very beginning Adam and Eve possessed eternal physical life, but they lost it when they sinned. Likewise God can give someone eternal life and then they can forfeit it (Isaiah 59:2). It is possible to possess something (in this case, spiritual life) that lasts forever, but not to possess it forever. For example, I own a mortgage that is to last 30 years, but I would be glad to sell it to you for a fair price – then I wouldn’t possess it anymore. See how the loan lasts 30 years, but I don’t necessarily possess it for 30 years? Similarly God gives us eternal life (as opposed to physical, temporary life) when we become His disciple (John 5:24), but that doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t lose that spiritual life due to our sin (Romans 6:23). The Bible most certainly does teach we can “fall from grace” (Galatians 5:4, II Peter 2:20-22, etc.).
Archive for May, 2015
About the “Inquisition,” Catholic authorities admit: “The civil authorities … were enjoined by the popes, under pain of excommunication to execute the legal sentences that condemned impenitent heretics to the stake. … It was first authorized by Innocent IV in his Bull ‘In Order to Exterminate’ of 15 May, 1252 … confirmed by Alexander IV on 30 Nov, 1259, and by Clement IV on 3 Nov, 1265 (p.32) … renewed … by [other] popes … Nicholas IV, Boniface VIII, and others” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8, page 34).
This should remind us of Hitler and the Holocaust (except the Inquisition lasted for over 600 years), and flies in the face of Jesus’ New Testament teaching in passages like John 18:36: My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight …
Notice further what a prominent Presbyterian says about the Inquisition: “The Inquisition was one of the great blights in the history of Christianity. No other institution in the history of the Christian Church was so horrible, so unjust, so … un-Christian. When it was finally brought to a halt in 1834, thousands of lives had been lost, and tens of thousands of lives ruined through imprisonment and confiscation of property. Whole populations were driven from their homelands, and the Roman Church had earned a blight against its name that still resonates to this day.” (Robert C. Jones, http://www.sundayschoolcourses.com/inq/inquisition.pdf)
Another telling quote about the wrongs of the Inquisition from a leading Catholic apologist is: “One should not seek to justify them, but to explain them and, most importantly, to explain how they could have been associated with a divinely established Church and how, from their existence, it is not proper to conclude that the Church of Rome is not the Church of Christ.” (Catholicism And Fundamentalism, page 300, Karl Keating, founder of “Catholic Answers”)
I agree 100% with Mr. Keating. The horribleness of the Inquisition should lead us to conclude the Catholic Church is not God’s church that we read about in the Bible.
The Catholic Church claims the Bible is not really understandable and that is why we need the Catholic Church and its Pope and clergy to interpret it for us correctly. But notice the following passages which show the Bible is understandable as written …
Ephesians 3:3-4 – How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery … as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge …
Matthew 13:23 – the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it
II Corinthians 1:13 – For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand … (NASV)
Why then do some people not understand God’s word? That is explained by verses like the following …
Matthew 13:15 – For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted …
It is strange we can’t understand the Bible even though we agree the author is the Almighty God, but we can understand the Pope who is only a man. The Catholics must not think much of God’s ability to communicate.
Why are there so many different interpretations of the Bible? These passages reveal why:
· II Thessalonians 2:10: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
· Matthew 13:15: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted …
To illustrate, I Corinthians 14:34-35 reads: Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. (see also I Timothy 2:11-12). Yet women are allowed to preach from the pulpits of probably 90% of congregations in the USA.
Is I Cor 14:34-35 hard to interpret, or is the problem a lack of love of the truth on the part of many of its readers?
The Catholic Church claims I Tim 3:15 (“the church … the pillar and ground of the truth”) proves the church is another source of religious authority on the same level as the word of God. It is true the church is “the pillar and ground of the truth,” but pillars and ground support / hold up something, in this case the truth. Pillars and ground are not the same as the truth they hold up. So the church is NOT the truth, neither the source of the truth, but the duty of the church (the saved people) is to support / uphold and teach the truth.
The word of God is the sole source of the truth according to John 17:17 (“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”). And the Bible gives us ALL the truth according to II Tim 3:16-17 (“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”).
If the Bible gives us everything we need to be spiritually perfect (complete), and provides us unto all good works, then the Bible is all we need when it comes to religious authority. We go by the Bible and the Bible alone.