Archive for November, 2018

What Must A Saved Person Do To Be Lost Again?

November 28, 2018

I had a preacher (who believes Once Saved Always Saved) ask me recently, if a saved person can lose his salvation, what must he do to be lost again? I suggested to him the following passages which directly answer his question …

Heb 3:1,12,14 “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus … Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God … For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end”

· so if a holy brother, one who has partaken of the heavenly calling, develops an evil heart of unbelief and departs from God, he is no longer a partaker of Christ

Rev 3:5 “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.”

· so one whose name is in the book of life (a saved person), who does not overcome (temptation and/or persecution), his name will be blotted out of the book of life – meaning he goes from saved to lost

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

· so a Christian who tries to be justified by the old testament law falls from grace

II Pet 2:20-22 “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”

· so a person who has escaped the sins of the world thru the knowledge of Christ, is entangled back again into the sins of the world, it will be worse for him than if he had never been saved to start with

James 5:19-20 “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, & 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.”

· so a brother in Christ who errs from the truth and is not converted back, his soul will die

I Cor 9:27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

· so if Paul didn’t keep his body under subjection he would become a castaway/reprobate (“rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation” – Random House)

I Tim 5:12 “Having condemnation, because they have cast off their first faith.”

· so if a Christian casts off his faith, he is condemned

II Pet 1:5-11 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

· so if a Christian (one purged from his sins) does not add what we call the Christian graces, he falls and loses out on the everlasting kingdom

Heb 10:26-27 “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

· so if a Christian sins willfully he has a judgment of fiery indignation to look forward to

II Chron 15:2 “… The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.”

· so if an old testament saint forsook God, God would forsake him

John 15:2,6 “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. … If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

· so if one in Christ does not bear fruit / does not abide in Christ, he is taken away, cast forth, and cast into the fire

Is Suicide The Unpardonable Sin?

November 21, 2018

Several weeks ago a caller to my Bible Crossfire radio program asked if suicide was the unpardonable sin. The answer is that there is only one unpardonable sin and suicide is not it. Matt 12:31-32 describes for us the unpardonable sin. It reads “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” So the only unpardonable sin is blaspheming against the Holy Ghost. Any other sin can be forgiven as long as it is repented of.

I guess the caller was asking the question because how could one repent of suicide since he is dead? That is a good point. But suppose a person shot himself but did not die immediately. Suppose they didn’t die from the wound until two days later. That would give them two days to repent of the sin and be forgiven. In every case in the Bible, repentance was always necessary in order to receive forgiveness for a sin. In Luke 13:3 Jesus said “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” But if one is willing to repent, any sin (except the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost) can be forgiven.

Even murder can be forgiven. Passages like Rev 21:8 show that those who commit murder will be lost. It reads “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” But suppose a murderer changes his ways and becomes a Christian? Acts 2:38 says if he repents he will be forgiven. That text says “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.” So a murderer who repents of his sin and is baptized receives the remission of sins. That would include one who commits suicide but has time to repent.

Even homosexuals can be forgiven. Passages like I Cor 6:9-10 show that homosexuals will be lost. It says “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NKJV) But what if a homosexual wants to become a Christian and be forgiven? He can, if he is willing to repent. Verse 11 confirms this when it says “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” So those homosexuals who were willing to change were forgiven.

Even adulterers can be forgiven. Passages like Matt 19:9 show that those who divorce for any reason other than fornication and remarry enter into an adulterous marriage. Jesus said there “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” But suppose a Christian who has gotten into an unscriptural marriage wants to be forgiven. He can, if he is willing to repent. Acts 8:22 confirms this when it says “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” What would repentance mean in this case? It certainly doesn’t mean he can continue to commit adultery with his new wife. Just like repenting of murder means a person must stop murdering people, repenting of adultery means he must stop his adulterous acts, so he must terminate the adulterous marriage. Mark 6:17-18 illustrates this truth as it says “For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.” According to secular history, Herod and Herodias had divorced their spouses and now they were married to each other. John the Baptist (speaking for God) obviously expected Herod to get out of the unscriptural marriage, as he told him “It is not lawful for thee to have her” in Matt 14:4.

So even sins like murder/suicide, homosexuality, and adulterous marriage can be forgiven, if one is willing to repent, that is, stop the sin. The only sin that can’t be forgiven (no matter what) is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. But if one dies before he repents of suicide, or if one dies before he repents of homosexual acts, or if one dies while still in an unscriptural marriage, they will be lost – because they have not repented of and received forgiveness for those sins.

Is The Phrase “One Baptism” In Eph 4:5 Meant To Rule Out Holy Spirit Baptism?

November 15, 2018

In exhorting Christians to keep the “unity of the Spirit,” Ephesians 4:4-6 lists seven ones, including the subject of this article “one baptism.” Some teach this declaration rules out “Holy Spirit baptism” as being in operation any longer, but I am thinking this is a false argument for the truth.

Paul’s argument in this section is that Christians should and can have unity because there is only “one body” and “one Lord” and “one hope” and so forth, the point being they are part of the same body (church) and serve the same Lord (Jesus) and have the same hope (salvation in heaven). Similarly, Paul’s point on “one baptism” is not to contrast water baptism with other types of baptisms, but to say that every Christian’s water baptism was the same / has the same result. Paul’s point is the same as he made in I Cor 1:10,12-13.  Even though they were baptized by different people (I Cor 1:12-13), at different times, and perhaps at different places, John Doe’s baptism is the same as Jane Doe’s baptism – it was “in the name of the Lord” (Acts 19:5) “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38) and it placed one “into Christ” (Gal 3:27). Every Christian’s baptism is the same as every other Christians’ baptism and therefore Christians are united in their baptism. Christians can be one because all their baptisms are one and the same.

The point of Eph 4:5 is not to disallow other types of legitimate immersions – like Holy Spirit baptism, the baptism of suffering, or even taking a bath or going swimming. There has never been more than one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, or one God the Father, and there has never been more than one baptism in the sense Paul is talking about here.

Furthermore, understanding Holy Spirit baptism to refer to the direct miraculous measure of the Holy Spirit, then I Cor 13:8ff teaches Holy Spirit baptism does not happen anymore.  That is the correct way to show the miraculous gifts have ceased, not with Eph 4:5.

Preaching For The Money

November 7, 2018

The Bible speaks of those who “do the Lord’s work” for the money. Micah 3:11 reads “The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us.” Rom 16:18 also describes such when it says “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”

How do we tell who is preaching for the money or for other carnal reasons? Those preaching for the money won’t warn their audiences of what they (their live audiences) are doing wrong Gal 4:16, Ezek 3:18, Acts 20:31. Instead they will consistently choose subjects that their audiences already agree with, are already practicing, etc. – in short, they avoid stepping on toes.

For example, it is easy to preach against Baptist doctrine when there are no Baptists in the audience.  But it might be hard to preach on fasting (Matt 6:16-18) when many Christians in the audience don’t practice fasting in their lives, or hard to preach “swear not at all” (Matt 5:33-34) when many Christians in the audience believe it is okay to swear in the courtroom.  Many other such examples exist, but those two issues should suffice to make the point.

We do need to encourage, motivate, and review with our audiences, but none of that will matter if audience members are in sin, and because we don’t warn them, they are eternally lost. Encouraging them serves little purpose in that case.

Furthermore, Christian audiences tend to dislike those who teach the truths needed by the audience at hand. We see this from a passage like II Tim 4:3-4 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth ….” Limestone Prison Chaplain James Williams said on 11-3-2018 “They pay me so they can control me.” No doubt some congregations likewise pay their regular preacher so they can control him.

I King 22:8 describes a man (Micaiah) who would not allow himself to be controlled in such a way – “And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.” Luke 6:26 teaches such men will generally not be well received by the churches – “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

Subjective Interpretations Of Feelings And Experiences by Dennis Abernathy

November 1, 2018

II Tim 3:16-17 shows the Bible should be our complete guide in religion. Gen 37:32-35 illustrates how our feelings are not reliable. Read the following article with that in mind. Pat

Did you hear the story of a farmer who decided to quit farming and become a preacher? When asked why he made such a decision, the farmer said: “God called me to preach.” When asked how God called him to preach, he said he saw clouds in the sky one day that looked like the letters G, P and C. He interpreted the clouds to mean “Go Preach Christ.” When asked how he knew those letters didn’t stand for “Go Plow Corn,” the farmer was speechless. This illustrates the problem of basing religious beliefs on subjective interpretations of feelings and experiences. You still have to assume what the feelings mean.

A young Mormon elder once told me to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon was from God. When asked how I should expect God to answer, he said: “I asked God if the Book of Mormon was true and I got a warm feeling.” He had no answer when I asked him how he knew a warm feeling meant “Yes it is,” instead of “No it isn’t?”

Concerning religion and the salvation of our souls, we need something more definite than subjective interpretations of vague feelings of clouds in the sky. Thank God, we have that in the Scriptures. When we read the Scriptures we can understand and know precisely what God is telling us to do. So, my friend, don’t look to vague feelings or mysteriously interpreted experiences to know God’s will. Look to the Scriptures! Think on these things.