A Culture of Counterfeit Christians

Have you ever run over a dead skunk in the road?  I have, during a heat wave.  The smell got into my tires and permeated our garage for days!  I’ll go out on a limb and say that no one takes pleasure in the highly offensive smell of skunk spray, dead or alive.

My point in bringing this up is that to God the stench of sin is far worse than skunk.  For an example of just how much the Lord hates sin, grab a cup of coffee and read First and Second Kings.  But given our penchant for wanting everything now, here’s a snippet from 1 Kings 16 to illustrate how God dealt with one of Israel’s most ruthless kings:

Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat.  (1 Kings 16:1-4)

God had already destroyed Jeroboam for his flagrant sins, yet Baasha repeated the same mistakes.  God rebuked the Israelites for their sinful ways and vowed to punish them.

Fast forward to 2017.  According to a recent Pew Research survey, seven in ten Americans identify as Christians.  If this is accurate then how is it that so many professing Christians behave pretty much the same way as the pagans did when Baasha was king?

Scripture teaches that Christians are to have a biblical foundation and that the Christian’s behavior should be Christlike.  Yet many who say they’re followers of Jesus wallow in sin!

Admittedly, when someone’s new to the faith it takes a while for the fruit to become ripe.  In other words, reaching maturity is a process. Sanctification, as the Bible calls it, doesn’t happen overnight.  There comes a time, though, when the vine brings forth fruit.  However, when a fruit tree remains barren year after year, one can’t help but wonder if the tree was pollinated.

One of my favorite pastimes is discussing (debating, dissecting) the Bible with brothers and sisters in Christ.  So it troubles me when I strike up a conversation with a long time believer who knows very little about the Bible.

Most Christians have heard the verse, “Sanctify [set apart for a holy use] them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17  Through reading and studying God’s Word, believers will learn about Christ, with their goal being to become more like Him. Moreover, they’ll grow in their faith and receive divine guidance on how to live their lives.

To have a close relationship with a person we must get to know them.  So the obvious course of action is to ask probing questions.  We’ve got to dig below the surface to uncover the intimate details of his/her life.  If we’re not interested in a meaningful relationship, we won’t probe!

Because our Father in heaven loves His children, His desire is to be in relationship with each one of us – to pull His beloved into a bear hug!  Those who sincerely wish to be in relationship with the Father must dig deep into the scriptures, because that’s the one and only place to learn about God and His ways. “What we believe about God,” said A. W. Tozier, “is the most important thing about us.”

Getting To Know YOU, Getting To Know All About YOU

Nothing should stand in the way of spending a few minutes each day with the King of kings and Lord of lords.  While we sit at His feet we can thank Him for our many blessings; we can pour out our hearts to Him and even make requests, trusting that the answers to our prayers will come.  Sitting at His feet, our hurts will be healed and our joy restored.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Countless Christians admit to not reading their bibles regularly, they hardly ever pray, rarely attend church, they’re not in a Bible study nor do they study on their own.  Moreover, meeting with other believers isn’t a priority.

Getting back to my point—sin.  The Bible says Christians are not to tolerate blatant sin.  Furthermore, we must stop sinning.  Take for example sexual sin.  In this day and age, many professing Christians ignore the fact that one of the gravest sins we commit is sexual sin.  Having sexual relations outside of marriage (the biblical understanding of marriage is the union of a man and woman) goes against the clear teaching of Scripture.

In dealing with sexual taboos, C. S. Lewis pulls no punches:

Our warped natures, the devils who tempt us, and all the contemporary propaganda for lust, combine to make us feel that the desires we are resisting are so ‘natural,’ so ‘healthy,’ and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them. Poster after poster, film after film, novel after novel, associate the idea of sexual indulgence with the ideas of health, normality, youth, frankness, and good humour. Now this association is a lie. Like all powerful lies, it is based on a truth …that sex in itself (apart from the excesses and obsessions that have grown round it) is ‘normal’ and ‘healthy,’ and all the rest of it. The lie consists in the suggestion that any sexual act to which you are tempted at the moment is also healthy and normal.  Now this, on any conceivable view, and quite apart from Christianity, leads to impotence, disease, jealousies, lies, concealment, and everything that is the reverse of health, good humour, and frankness. For any happiness, even in this world, quite a lot of restraint is going to be necessary; so the claim made by every desire, when it is strong, to be healthy and reasonable, counts for nothing. Every sane and civilized man must have some set of principles by which he chooses to reject some of his desires and to permit others. One man does this on Christian principles, another on hygienic principles, another on sociological principles. The real conflict is not between Christianity and ‘nature,’ but between Christian principles and other principles in the control of ‘nature,’ for ‘nature’ (in the sense of natural desire) will have to be controlled anyway, unless you are going to ruin your whole life. (Excerpt from Book III, Chapter 5, of Mere Christianity)

There’s no getting around it.  Sex without holy matrimony is a sin, so “quite a lot of restraint is going to be necessary” if one wishes to be God-honoring and obedient.

Just Follow Jesus

Our Lord spoke plainly when He said, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”  John 12:26   And, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15  Jesus wasn’t just addressing the apostles; what He stated was meant for all those who have placed their faith in Him!

Jesus also gave this warning:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1-2).

For clarification, Jesus Christ is the vine and the fruitful branches are Christians who, through a personal relationship with Him, will bear much fruit.  The unfruitful branches are the people who make a superficial commitment and bear little or no fruit.  The Father will prune the vine and discard the fruitless branches.

Those who professes Christ and behave like heathens may find themselves lopped off the vine – and not because God is mean and intolerant.  On the contrary.   God is long suffering, not willing that any should perish.

Holy Smokes!

Authentic Christians understand that God loves us…that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins…that His crucifixion was the ultimate act of love.  What many believers fail to understand, though, is that the Creator is holy.  Christians, of all people, should understand that we serve a holy God.  So let’s go to Isaiah 6:1-7 for a glimpse of the prophet’s vision of God:

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:  “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” 

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

Bible expositor Matthew Henry describes Isaiah’s vision:

The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim, and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his throne. This vision is explained, John 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ’s glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God’s temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God’s temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means burners; they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God’s commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. (Source)

I’ll close with a warning to those who profess Christ and act like the devil.  In his book The Holiness of God, Dr. R.C. Sproul explains that every single sin a person commits is a capital offense.  “Sin is cosmic treason,” says Dr. Sproul. “Sin is treason against a pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself.”

Resources:

Book: The Holiness of God By R.C. Sproul

Book: Know What You Believe: A Practical Discussion of the Fundamentals of the Christian Faith By Paul E. Little

Copyright 2014 by Marsha West.  Revised March, 2017.

 

 

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77 Responses to A Culture of Counterfeit Christians

  1. Manny1962 March 6, 2017 at 7:21 pm #

    What people don’t realize is that in the last days before The Lord’s return it won’t be an irreligious world, it’s going to be a very “religious” and “spiritual” world, signs and wonders will convince the agnostics and the atheists while Churchianity will be convinced without a shadow of a doubt that the antichrist is the return of Jesus, meanwhile the false prophet will be displaying signs and wonders too, completing the great apostasy.

  2. Denise Rittler March 7, 2017 at 10:57 am #

    Excellent and timely article for today. I agree with Manny’s comment also, that people seem to be getting “more spiritual” and many Christians I know are into the “presence” that they feel when they worship…but I can’t help but wonder whether that presence is really God or not, as historically Christians were not known to be able to “summon” God through any technique such as repetitious music, y’know?

    It seems like even the secular world is becoming more spiritually aware, but if they don’t have Christ they are still in darkness. There will be a one world religion, probably under the Roman Catholic umbrella, which now is embracing Islam and saying Allah is the same God we worship! No he is not. Counterfeit! And they always say “Allah had no son”. I guess the Pope doesn’t know that…

    • Manny1962 March 7, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

      Hi Denise,

      I would say the pope knows exactly what he is saying and knows that allah is not Yahweh. He knows exactly what he’s doing! Wickedness knows no bounds.

      I see ecumenism picking up pace, it is my estimate 90% of what calls itself christianity is apostate. Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and the rest of the protestant wolves are headed straight to Rome. Truly a one world religion as foretold.

  3. rascott247 March 7, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    I have no doubt that there is “counterfeit christianity” but it is a counterfeit gospel that makes people’s profession to be Christian untrue. It is not failure to abide and bear fruit that makes one counterfeit. There are Christians i.e. people who have at one time came to understand their need for salvation and believed in Jesus Christ as Savoir through His sacrificial work on the cross only to later be tossed by every wind of doctrine contrary to scripture (even “counterfeit christianity”). But they are in Christ if they ever believed the Gospel. They failed to live their life in Christ and bear fruit. Their failure will not cause God to fail in raising them on the last day (John 6:37-39). They became faithless but He is faithful (2 Tim 2:11-15). Christians do fail some permanently.

    John 15 should be read in the context of chapters 13-16. In ch15 the topic is abiding to bear fruit not believing to receive eternal life. The disciples (who are being addressed) are believers (except Judas as we are told John 13:10-11) they have eternal life. Jesus is not telling the 11 that if they fail to bear fruit they are “counterfeit” and subject to the second death. They are on the Vine by means of spiritual birth by believing in Christ for life. They (believers) can be fruitful or unfruitful. They (believers) are accountable and subject to discipline. Abiding is necessary to being fruitful and avoiding divine discipline. Only those on the Vine can abide and failure to abide results in unproductiveness towards abundant life (John 10:10) here and now as well forfeiture of being partakers in Christ very own inheritance (Jn 13:8, Rom 8:16-17).

    Again, I have no doubt that counterfeit christianty is on the rise, I see it every day. I see some I know to be believers get swallowed up in counterfeit christianty. The only way to get Christians who have failed to abide to abide again is to build up their faith with more content from Gods’ word. To conflate fruit with receiving the gift of eternal life is counterproductive and unbiblical.

    PS John 15:6 concerns those who were on the Vine (Christians) and failed to abide, withered and face trial in this life. It is not about perishing in eternal hellfire.

  4. nannette March 7, 2017 at 11:52 am #

    Here is an excellent article on the subject by Sandy Simpson. I’m a landscaper and I totally got it. http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/Bradford%20Pear%20Christianity.html Blessings!

    • Maggie March 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

      Great example from nature. Thank you for sharing the article, Nannette.

      • nannette March 7, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

        Thank you Maggie, I love sharing. Don’t have many to share with who understand our times. Blessings!

  5. Manny1962 March 7, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

    Good article Nannette! A perfect example of Churchianity!

  6. Q March 7, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

    Not much of a Sproul fan but can agree with some of this. Sometimes you have a professing Christian like Jacquelyn from the previous article comments thread who come across as living in total peace and try to convince others against the bible so they can experience this same peace, joy, etc., and you don’t see their blatant sin (like sexual sin) but then their mask slips and you see bitterness or unforgiveness… usually towards someone in their past and you realize they are not producing fruit from the Spirit but from their feelings.

    Their sins are not always apparent.

    • rascott247 March 7, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

      Right Q. What Jacquelyn is pushing is not Christianity but an aspirin gospel. There is no difference in what she says than someone who says “accept Vishnu he loves you and will make it all better”. Subjective feelings take the place of the objective testimony found in scripture which declares Christ crucified for sins as satisfaction to the Father and salvation by grace through faith. Whether she has ever placed her trust in the Christ of scripture I do not know but she is not now preaching the Christ of scripture.

      • Maggie March 7, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

        These verses come to mind regarding the rejection of the Bible and the true gospel:

        1 Corin. 1:18-25
        1 Corin. 2:14

  7. Maggie March 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

    1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 1 Corinthians 2:14

  8. lyn March 7, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

    1 Timothy 4:1 states “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” That is exactly what we are seeing everywhere, Jacquelyn is an example of this. They want their ears tickled and their emotions played upon, but no one dare prick their heart with sound teaching! They deny the Christ of the bible and make up a ‘god’ that looks just like them. They are comfortable with their view of salvation, even though they are not truly saved. You cannot tell them any different, for they haven’t ears to hear.
    The danger of following false teachings and rejecting the Bible is that God will turn such a one over to the strong delusion.

    • rascott247 March 8, 2017 at 9:41 am #

      How can one depart from somewhere they have never been or something they never had? To depart from the faith means one must have had the faith. The world does not have the faith; we are not physically born with the faith so we cannot depart from it until we have it. Jacquelyn may well be an example of what Paul is describing in 1Timothy 4:1 but in order for that to be the case she would have had to been “truly saved” because that’s who Paul is talking about—“the flock”.

      Timothy is in Ephesus (1Tim 1:3) the same church that Paul addressed in Acts 20 where he warned “after my departure savage wolves will come in among you” (wolves from the outside) “not sparing the flock” meaning the sheep (“truly” saved) are vulnerable to what Paul is warning of. “Also from among yourselves” (from within among the sheep) “men will rise up, speaking perverse things”.

      There are outside influences and influences from within the Body that can lead one to depart or stray from the faith but for this to happen one must have had faith to depart or stray from.

      Jesus said —John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” That’s what it takes to pass from death to life—faith. But we remain on earth for the purpose of producing fruit for the Lord which can only be accomplished by living the life He has given us in accordance with His word. The gift offers opportunity for reward. —Acts 20:31-32. “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

      He remains faithful even when we stray or depart 2Tim 2:11-15.

      • lyn March 8, 2017 at 8:09 pm #

        Rascott,

        To clarify…

        “Some shall depart from the faith – The Greek word here – ἀποστήσονται apostēsontai – is that from which we have derived the word “apostatize,” and would be properly so rendered here. The meaning is, that they would “apostatize” from the belief of the truths of the gospel. It does not mean that, as individuals, they would have been true Christians; but that there would be a departure from the great doctrines which constitute the Christian faith. The ways in which they would do this are immediately specified, showing what the apostle meant here by departing from the faith. They would give heed to seducing spirits, to the doctrines of devils, etc. The use of the word “some,” here τινες tines – does not imply that the number would be small. The meaning is, that “certain persons” would thus depart, or that “there would be” an apostasy of the kind here mentioned, in the last days. From the parallel passage in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, it would seem that this was to be an extensive apostasy.” – A Barnes

        Paul is not insinuating they had true saving faith to begin with. These are the ones who verbally profess Christ with their mouths but their hearts are far from him. Their profession is not genuine, their ‘faith’ is not rooted in Christ alone.

        • rascott247 March 9, 2017 at 7:01 am #

          Lyn

          The word is properly rendered as depart. Rendering the word “apostatize” does not clear things up because apostatize means depart. Your interpretation is through the lens of TULIP which puts qualifiers on faith such as “true” “saving” and “spurious”. The concept of “false” faith is foreign to scripture. It is found in creeds but not in scripture. Faith can be “little”, “great” even “dead” but the faith does not cease being the faith.

          That those who depart had the faith is categorically stated. I have never departed from Russia because I have never been there. I have never departed earth’s atmosphere because I have always remained in earth’s atmosphere. There is only one faith and we are justified by grace through that faith. Perseverance of the saints gives license to fruit inspection for justification and then we get all kinds of nonsense sayings like “faith alone saves but faith that saves is never alone” —totally a theological construct which has Paul telling believers to beware of something that cannot possibly happen to them or else saying that unbelievers are going to “unbelieve” more.

          What is believed is either true or false. Faith in truth is real faith. Faith in that which is false is real faith. “The faith” spoken of in scripture always means in what is true.

          • Lyn March 9, 2017 at 10:42 am #

            “Your interpretation is through the lens of TULIP which puts qualifiers on faith such as “true” “saving” and “spurious”. The concept of “false” faith is foreign to scripture.”
            So, you are interpreting the text to mean true, born again believers? If so, what do you do with “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28

            Or this, -“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 1:24

            Who is Paul referring to in 1 Timothy 4:1 when he says ‘some’? Who are the ‘some’ that will apostasize? It cannot be true, born from above believers, for that would make other texts of the bible such as the ones I quoted to be lies.

          • Marinus L March 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

            rascott I’m an old man, but I just recently got interested into the doctrines of Grace. Let me clarify it a better way, which I know is the truth, it is God that led me to the doctrines of Grace. By seeing God’s Word through the lens of TULIP, it gave me a much better understanding of the Bible. I believe that there is a faith that saves, and there is a faith that does not save.
            Some people will say that faith precedes Regeneration,( the free willers will say this.) this is the type of faith that does not save, because this is a faith produced by the human mind.
            And their are people, and I am one of them, that say that Regenaration precedes faith, this type of faith is given from God. Eph. 2:8,9 is talking about this type of faith. And only believers can receive this gift.

          • rascott247 March 15, 2017 at 10:40 am #

            Marinus
            Here is what C.H. Spurgeon (a 5 pointer himself) said of regeneration preceding faith— “If I am to preach the faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate. Am I only to preach faith to those who have it? Absurd, indeed! Is not this waiting till the man is cured and then bringing him the medicine? This is preaching Christ to the righteous and not to sinners” — from The Warrant of Faith.

            How can you be sure that God has gifted you with faith and you have not been fooled into taking “false” faith as ‘”authentic” faith? You cannot. Therefore you have to wait until you persevere. This leads consistent 5 pointers to balk at claiming assurance that they have indeed been regenerated. R.C. Sproul asked for prayer that a pastor of many decades persevere while on his death bed to prove that he was indeed saved. Add to this the belief that an unregenerate man cannot understand aspect one of the gospel apart from first being regenerated and you have a circle of doubt. I often wondered how these eminent doubters of their salvation could ever be considered “teachers” of God’s word considering they aren’t sure if they are regenerate and not a “corpse”. I also wonder how persistent doubt could ever be considered faith.

            I’ll pass on the “doctrines of grace”.

          • berlorac March 15, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

            Marinus, the doctrines of grace are Biblical truth, but be careful not to fall into the trap of the “extreme” Calvinist/Reformed position of “regeneration before faith.”

            Faith is a gift from God that must be given before a man can be regenerated. You can still believe the doctrines of faith without believing that regeneration precedes faith.

          • Marinus L March 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

            berlorac. Thank for the reply. I followed many of your comments, and I agree with most of them. But on this point I’m not in agreement with you.
            If one says Faith precedes Regeneration then how is that possible when the bible says in
            1 Cor.2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
            Then my question is where does that faith come from. My only answer will be it is produced by himself. It is not God’s gift. It’s not Saving Faith.

          • berlorac March 15, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

            Hey Marinus,

            You said, [It is not God’s gift. It’s not Saving Faith.]

            Why not? It is only the saving faith as the gift of God that allows a man to believe the Gospel. It is the believing of the Gospel that results in regeneration.

            Look at all of the commands to “believe and live.” It is not “live and then believe.”

            To be fair, I see the gift of faith and regeneration to be simultaneous. Near as I can see, faith and regeneration are so attached one to the other that we really can’t set one as antecedent; but if we had to choose one, it most certainly can’t be regeneration. If that were the case, there would be no real meaning to the gift of faith for salvation. In other words, if one is already regenerated (which, of course, is the new birth by definition, meaning that one is saved), then why would there be any need of a subsequent gift of faith for salvation?

          • Marinus L March 15, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

            Please re-read my previous comment. The reason that the natural man did not receive the saving faith from God is because he is as described in 1 Cor.2:14 he does not accept the things of the Spirit of God and the natural man can not understand spiritual things.

            If you believe that faith precedes regeneration, I have a question for you, Where does that faith come from.

          • berlorac March 15, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

            Marinus, the natural man cannot understand the spiritual things of God because he has not received the gift of faith, but the man to whom faith is applied can now understand the Gospel and respond. Remember, saving faith is a gift from God; thus, we see the natural man as one who has not received this gift of faith and so cannot understand the spiritual things.

            As soon as the natural man receives the gift of faith, his eyes are opened, his ears are unstopped, and his heart is softened; this is regeneration. Like I said, this saving faith and regeneration are simultaneous and both are operations of God, not man.

          • Marinus L March 16, 2017 at 10:46 am #

            berlorac. You said,” As soon as the natural man receives the gift of faith, his eyes are opened, his ears are unstopped, and his heart is softened, this is regeneration (( Right on, this is what I said, Regeneration first, then man has the ability to understand and believe, what timeframe, seconds, minutes??
            But the point is Regeneration first, without this, man will not be able to understand and believe. 1 Cor. 2:14

            BUT before all the things that I mentioned, can take place. Is if you are one of God’s elect. And this will ruffle some feathers. 2 Thess. 2:13b,14. …God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth (14) It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            A few words from a Reformed pastor.
            Faith comes as a result of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. He quickens our hearts to believe. Apart from the new birth, there can be no true faith. Therefore, faith, tough it manifests itself in action, comes as a result of God’s work in us. God grants us faith and that faith is evidenced by our walking in the good works that God has prepared beforehand for us to walk in.

            We have a Sovereign God, give Him all the Glory, it belongs to Him.

          • Denise Rittler March 16, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

            The bible says in Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith comes by hearing God’s Word. It doesn’t happen “first” BEFORE hearing the Word, that is impossible.
            1 Corinthians 1:21 “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
            Believe what? The Word!
            James 1:21 “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls”.
            ONLY the WORD is able to save your soul. I know Jesus is the Word, but without the Word you cannot know Him, and thus cannot be saved. If Got “elects” people to salvation, how come He never elects people who’ve never heard the gospel? Do you believe God deliberately keeps the bible from them? Is that loving?

            Consider this. There is a man who is a great scientist and is able to create tiny human like beings. Imagine he makes them so they cannot die. He makes 100 of them, and takes 10 out and gives them the best of everything, loving them and providing their needs and just pouring out a great amount of kindness and forgiveness on them. The other 90, which he created also, he decides to torture forever, offering no forgiveness, no love, only to toss into his furnace after a while knowing they cannot die and enjoys watching them suffer forever, without ever even giving them a chance. It’s just for his pleasure. Does that sound loving to you? God is love.(1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16) He is light and in Him is no darkness at all.(1 John 1:5).

            Now I realize many true Christians call themselves “Calvinists” or “Reformed” and they are really saved, but I just don’t believe God would deliberately fashion and form “fearfully and wonderfully made” human beings just to throw them into a lake of fire for eternity. I agree with almost all that Spurgeon wrote (though I’ve not read his entire library of course) but disagree with his “Defense of Calvinism” because in it he alludes to believing MOST people are saved. Jesus said “Wide is the gate that leads to destruction and many go there, narrow is the gate that leads to life and FEW find it”. So Spurgeon is going against Jesus. When he writes (In Defense of Calvinism)”The Father’s love
            is not for a few only, but for an exceeding great c
            ompany. “A great multitude, which no man
            could number,” will be found in Heaven. A man can r
            eckon up to very high figures; set to work
            your Newtons, your mightiest calculators, and they
            can count great numbers, but God and God
            alone can tell the multitude of His redeemed. I bel
            ieve there will be more in Heaven than in hell. ”

            Here is the link to that http://www.chapellibrary.org/files/6713/7643/3188/doc2.pdf It is on page 6 (of eleven).

          • Marinus L March 16, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

            Denise. I don’t see the God of the Bible the way you described, as a mean unjust God.
            It is you that described Him that way. And I don’t see my God as an unjust sinner scientist that cannot be compared to an Almighty God. I see my God as a Savior and Just God.

            Now I want you to imagine, there is a mass of humanity that are already condemned to hell before they were even born, thanks to Adam’s disobedience. But there is a problem here, but not for God. Because He promised His Son a Bride, what did God do, He out of that humanity He choose randomly, not the way they look, or on anything they did, He choose them randomly. But now you will say are they not sinners just like the rest in that mass. Yes. And we know that God will not let any sin unpunished. Here is where His Son steps in by saying, Father I will pay their sin debt in full, which He did on the Cross. And just because God choose you it does not mean that you are automatically saved, you still have to accept His Son as your Savior. And anybody that is chosen will accept Jesus’ offer of salvation, they will not reject Him. There is not one Christian today that will say I made a mistake by accepting Jesus as my Savior. But there are many unbelievers that will have no part of Jesus. Don’t worry God knows what He is doing.
            And to the ones that don’t believe the doctrine of election, be careful what you are saying. It is better for you to say, I don’t understand what this doctrine teaches, then to say I don’t believe it. Because this doctrine is in the Bible, and you don’t want to call God a liar. So is the doctrines of Grace derived from God’s Word. If you don’t understand it fine, ask God to give you wisdom, and I’m sure he will help you.
            But don’t say you don’t believe it. This means that you understand it, but you reject it.

            Give God all the Glory, it belongs all to Him!!

          • Marinus L March 17, 2017 at 10:44 am #

            Denise Ritter. How can you say that Spurgeon is going against Jesu. It seems to me that you misunderstand Matt.7:13,14 completely. Spurgeon is correct when he says, many will go to destruction and few will find life. Jesus said in Matt. 7:13 Enter ye in the strait gate for wide is the gate, and broad is the way , that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at.
            When Jesus was saying in verse 13a Enter ye in the strait gate. He was referring to the gate as described in verse 14were it says , Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it.
            According to Jesus, there will be FEW that find life and MANY will find destruction.
            And not only that, it is not easy to find life.

            On another occasion Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem, one of the man that traveled with Him, asked Him,” Lord, are their few that be saved? Jesus answered in
            Luke 13:24 STRIVE (struggle, fight, agonize) to enter in at the strait gate, For many I say to you, will seek to enter in and shall not be able.
            And those many will eventually hear Jesus say,”I know you not whence you are.”

            It saddens me to say, that there are many in churches today that will say,” Lord, Lord, open up unto us. And Jesus will answer and say,” I know you not whence you are.”

            These were Jesus’s words and they were bone chilling to me. If this doesn’t wake you up, nothing will. It woke me up. My pastor never preached like that. All I heard Jesus loves and more love,love,love. I do believe that Jesus loves me, He loves me so much that He wants me to be with Him. He loves me, but He hates sin.
            The pastor makes it sound like it is an easy road,” Do you want to get saved, just walk the isle and say these words,” That is easy-believism.
            Finally I went on line to find men that teach the whole Word. Many I stopped listening to, because their was something missing in what they were saying. Then I came across solid bible teachers, that include in their teachings,” the doctrines of Grace.”
            And all this is the result of other things that happened in life.
            But I realized that I was not truly saved,” Thank you Lord, I was lost, but now You found me, isn’t He a Perfect Savior, He did exactly what He promised His Father He would do and find His lost sheep. Thank you Lord, all the Glory belongs to You.

          • berlorac March 15, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

            Ah, Marinus, I think I see where you’re getting hung up. Are you stuck on the word “receive”? Here in 1 Corinthians 2:14, it is ‘dechomai,’ which means accept or apprehend, not to be confused with the reception of a gift.

            If the natural man cannot receive a gift from God, then no one could ever be saved, for eternal life is a gift as well (Romans 6:23).

            Rather, the natural man cannot apprehend the spiritual things because he is unregenerate. The spiritual things of God are apprehended by faith only among the regenerate.

          • berlorac March 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

            Denise, the natural man cannot understand the Gospel (2 Corinthians 2:14). The gift of faith must work together with regeneration so that the heart can receive the Word.

            Salvation is supernatural. God uses the Gospel (Romans 1:16) in conjunction with His Spirit, the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and regeneration. All of these things happen together in the new birth and all of these things are from, and of, God, not man.

          • berlorac March 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

            1 Corinthians 2:14, but 2 Corinthians 2:14 is awesome, too.

        • SusanJ March 9, 2017 at 9:55 am #

          The greek word in 1 Tim 4:1 is – From Strongs – ἀφίστημι aphístēmi, af-is’-tay-mee; to remove, i.e. (actively) instigate to revolt; usually (reflexively) to desist, desert, etc.:—depart, draw (fall) away, refrain, withdraw self.

          Maybe Lyn you are thinking of 2 Thess 2:3 where there is one of two NT mentions and it is ‘apostasia’?

        • Denise Rittler March 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

          I totally agree with Lyn on this.
          Jesus was clear when he said “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no man can snatch them out of my hand” John 10:29

          Consider that he tells those who did great deeds in His name “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me.” Matthew 7:21 & 23.

          He said He NEVER KNEW THEM, not “I once knew you but then you left and now I don’t know you anymore”. Many of these professing “Christians” are not true believers because they follow MEN. Jesus doesn’t know them!

          • rascott247 March 9, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

            Maybe you miss understood my comment, maybe not, but let me clarify. I believe both passages you quoted. The ones the Father gives are those who believe, they become His sheep because they hear His voice. I am in no way suggesting that those who depart are snatched out of the Father’s hand. I am saying that they failed to abide, communion in Christ but they are eternally in union with Christ. If you think believers cannot be deceived or fail to persevere in good works then I ask why so many passages warning of being deceived and failing to finish the race. The gift is not a reward. Only those who receive the gift of life through faith can run the race for the prize. Departing is not equal to loosing eternal life.

            If you still disagree that’s fine I just wanted to make sure you understand I am not saying that anyone is snatched from the Father’s hand.

          • lyn March 9, 2017 at 5:07 pm #

            Hi Denise

            Excellent scriptural support for eternal security and for those who claim Christ and eventually fall away. A departure from the faith doesn’t mean they can deny sound biblical doctrine and still enter God’s kingdom. If one departs from the faith, how is it they can still have eternal life? Again, the key to understanding the text is to know that the ‘faith’ they depart from is of their own doing, their professions. Just like the ones who say ‘Lord Lord’, claiming Christ and yet, Christ tells them to depart, he never knew them. How can that be? They claim to know Him, and yet, He makes it clear they are not of His flock.

            The right understanding of how God saves a sinner opens up passages like 1 Timothy 4:1.

            Nice comment Denise

  9. lyn March 9, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

    Rascott,

    Those who fall away into apostasy are the counterfeits – they were never born again. They are not the elect of God, so their verbal profession doesn’t carry them into eternity. Nowhere in 1 tim. 4:1 does it imply these were true born again believers, or that they still maintain eternal salvation, even though they apostatize from doctrinal truth.

    There is similar teachings in the sowing of the seed on various types of soil – ” The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” Matthew 13:20,21
    These claim to ‘hear the word’ and ‘receive it’, yet, they fall away. It doesn’t say they are saved, it is implying the same concept found in 1 Timothy 4:1 – these professors of Christ were never possessors of Him.

    “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28

    Or this, -“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 1:24

    Notice, ‘keep you from falling’ – God will not allow His elect to fall away/depart from true, saving faith.

    Yes, I do believe in the doctrines of grace, and yes, I do believe in eternal security…because the bible teaches it. I am saved and will endure to the end not by my own accord, but by Him who holds fast to His sheep. I won’t change your mind and you certainly will never change mine.

  10. rascott247 March 9, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    I was not attempting to change Lyn’s mind she says she won’t and I am not under the illusion that I have that power but I would like to address the 4 soils. I would say it is correct that the falling away in Matt 13 & Luke 8 is indeed the same as 1Tim 4. That they are the same does not prove that those who depart were never saved. That presupposes that those who fall away in the parable did not believe. That’s
    circular reasoning and ignores that the departure is from “the faith” and that the seed in 3 of 4 soils regenerates–spring to life. It presupposes that regeneration means fruit must be produced. I’ll point to John 13-16 again to argue that some branches that were on the Vine do not bear fruit and wither none the less they were on the Vine. Abiding is necessary to bear fruit believing is necessary to receive the gift of eternal life. Abiding is rewarded in time and for eternity. Eternal life is a gift if it were a reward- payment we make God our debtor (Rom 4:4).

    Now about the soils: In only the first soil is the seed said to be removed and this by Satan. Only the last soil is said to bear fruit and to varying degrees. Now I wonder why Jesus would tell of 3 different kinds of unbelievers (who receive the word meaning they had ears to hear) and only 1 kind of believer. Why would Jesus tell of the seed springing to life in 2 of the unbelievers. To me the whole of scripture seems to lump unbelievers into one category i.e. in unbelief, dead, yet I see all kinds of believers with all kinds of fruit and all kinds of warts including Simon Magnus who is said to have believed in Acts 8:13. But it is argued from presupposition that he did not “really believe”. The text says he did. Talk about not taking God’s word to mean what it says.

    Lyn can reply if she wishes she is not on my “pay no mind list” that would be silly. But this reply is not addressed to her for I think she has said her piece. I just wanted to say that identifying both falling aways as the same (of course they are the same) does nothing to prove that those who do depart were never saved to begin with.

    • Denise Rittler March 10, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

      This is for everyone. On the parable of the sower and the seed. Accepting the seed does not mean you are “saved”. Jesus said the “Seed is the Word”. The seed is not salvation. Many people hear the gospel and accept that it is true. They get excited, walk down an aisle and say a prayer. They confess Jesus. Then something happens that causes them to go back to their old life as if nothing had happened. I’ve heard a lot of preachers say “You mus accept Jesus”, but the Bible says we need to “receive”, not just “accept as truth” believe, the “IMPLANTED WORD”.

      James 1:21 “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls”. In the cases of the three seeds that the earth did not “receive”, there was nothing wrong with the seed (Word) it is the same seed as the one that was implanted. It’s the condition of the soil, the heart needs to be ready and John 6:44 Jesus said “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.”

      There should be a big change in a person’s heart when they truly receive the implanted Word, which is able to save their soul! They may still struggle in some areas, but overall they will change their lives in a big way. Justification is instant, but sancitfication is a process. Again, it’s done by the Word! John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” So as time goes by the person will learn more about the will of God through the Word, and thus be better able to overcome sin, by knowing God better and wanting more and more to please Him. You cannot lose your salvation, which is justification by faith that Jesus came, suffered and died for your sins and rose again on the third day.
      Romans 4:25 reads ” [Jesus] was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification”. Despite our usual understanding that the cross alone is responsible for our forgiveness, Paul is elsewhere very clear. “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). We share in the justification of Jesus. Because of his right standing with God, his people are made righteous too. So salvation is by believing and receiving the implanted Word, in which we read how He suffered and died for our sins, then was raised from the dead, so we can be raised also from the dead to everlasting life. Regardless of where we are in the sanctification process, our salvation is a done deal.

      • rascott247 March 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

        The parable says that 3 of the 4 soils “received” the word which means they believed. There is no such thing as false belief. What is believed is either true of false but to believe something you think is false is impossible. The word was implanted in 3 of the 4 soils and the word is truth and received as truth. It was not received as false.

        Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

        Receive the word= believed.

        John 5:24

  11. lyn March 9, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

    . I just wanted to say that identifying both falling aways as the same (of course they are the same) does nothing to prove that those who do depart were never saved to begin with. – This I will address by repeating what was stated earlier – “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 1:24

    Notice, ‘keep you from falling’ – God will not allow His elect to fall away/depart from true, saving faith.

    Take note of the Greek word for falling – aptaistos: without stumbling. From John Gill, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling,…. The people of God are liable to falling into temptation, into sin, into errors and mistakes, from an exercise of grace, or from a degree of steadfastness in Gospel truths, and even into a final and total apostasy, were it not for divine power; and they are not able to keep themselves. Adam, in his state of innocence, could not keep himself from falling; nor could the angels, many of whom fell, and the rest are preserved by the grace of God; wherefore, much less can imperfect sinful men keep themselves, they want both skill and power to do it; nor can any, short of Christ, keep them, and it is his work and office to preserve them; they were given to him with this view, and he undertook to do it; and sensible sinners commit themselves to him, as being appointed for that purpose; and this is a work Christ has been, and is, employed in, and he is every way qualified for it: he is “able” to do it, for he is the mighty God, the Creator and upholder of all things; and as Mediator, he has all power in heaven and in earth; instances of persons kept by him prove it; and there is such evidence of it, that believers may be, and are persuaded of it: and he is as willing as he is able; it is his Father’s will he should keep them, and in that he delights; and as he has undertook to keep them, he is accountable for them; besides, he has an interest in them, and the greatest love and affection for them; to which may be added, that the glory of the Father, Son, and Spirit, in man’s salvation, depends on the keeping of them: and what he keeps them from is, from falling by temptations, not from being tempted by Satan, but from sinking under his temptations, and from being devoured by him; and from falling by sin, not from the being or commission of sin, but from the dominion of it, and from the falling into it, so as to perish by it; and from falling into damnable heresies; and from the true grace of God, and into final impenitence, unbelief, and total apostasy. Instead of “you”, the Alexandrian copy reads “us”, and some copies “them”. ~ J. Gill

    As for Simon ‘believing’, it seems you are convinced that a verbal profession is all that is necessary for salvation. What did Peter say to Simon? “For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” He also said this in verse 21, “for thy heart is not right in the sight of God” What does the bible say about the heart? Jeremiah 17:9 states it is deceitful and desperately wicked. God promises to take away the stony heart and give a heart of flesh to those He saves {see Ez. 36:26}. This is why sinners must be drawn by God, and born from above by His power.
    Simon’s heart was still ‘stony’ and he was still in bondage to sin. Yet, Christ says this of those He saves, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
    The new birth is not rightly understood by many, mere verbal professions are chalked up as ‘proof’ one is saved. This accursed gospel is sending many down the broad road, thinking themselves saved based on a profession.

    The doctrine of soteriology is lost on many and replaced with the false teachings of heretics like Charles Finney and Jacobus Arminius. Many do not know the influence the Jesuits had with Arminius in infiltrating Protestant churches with the accursed gospel of free will. Micheal Bunker wrote about it in a book ‘a swarm of locusts’, the first two chapters are a very interesting read.https://elijah1757.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/swarms_of_locusts.pdf

    • rascott247 March 9, 2017 at 10:47 pm #

      Again my argument is not that God is unable to keep us from stumbling or falling because He is. But even Gill admits Christians stumble. Does anyone claim Christians cannot stumble? Ever hear of a stumbling block? So Jude 24 does mean Christians won’t stumble anymore than it means they won’t fall away. It means God is able to keep us from doing so. Jude is warning believers not to stumble or fall into unbelief. I affirm again and again the believers eternal security. I am not Arminian and I despise Finney. That’s a common charge from Calvinists

      Another common charge is that I equate belief with profession. Belief is being persuaded that something is true. Profession is saying you believe something even if you don’t. Simon was not said to be a professor but a believer just like the rest who heard Philip preach Christ. Peter did not say that Simon was still in bondage to sin he said he was band together , joined with sin. To think a believer especially a new believer can not be wrapped up in sin foolish. Simon isn’t even said to have received the HS yet so he was technically an OT saint. I can think of plenty of OT saints banded in sin with heart not right with God. Lott Solomon Aaron .

      ” Simon’s heart was still ‘stony’ and he was still in bondage to sin”–verse please. It is only through theological construct that believe turns to profession, joined in sin becomes bondage to sin, heart not right with God to stony heart. You are correct the doctrine of soteriology is lost on many even some who hold to a one created in the 17th century.

      • lyn March 9, 2017 at 11:00 pm #

        Yes, Christians stumble into sin. Or they may be swept up in some false teachings, BUT that does not mean they fall away from the saving faith they’ve been gifted by God with.

        As for Simon’s heart, I already gave you the verse – from my prior comment, What did Peter say to Simon? “For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” He also said this in verse 21, “for thy heart is not right in the sight of God”
        Here’s Acts 8 – …20But Peter replied, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21You have no part or share in our ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22Repent, therefore, of your wickedness, and pray to the Lord. Perhaps He will forgive you for the intent of your heart. 23For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and captive to iniquity.”
        24Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me, so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

        Neither part – You have no “portion” of the grace of God; that is, you are destitute of it altogether. This word commonly denotes the “part” of an inheritance which falls to one when it is divided.
        Nor lot – This word means properly a portion which “falls” to one when an estate, or when spoil in war is divided into portions, according to the number of those who are to be partakers, and the part of each one is determined by “lot.” The two words denote “emphatically” that he was in no sense a partaker of the favor of God.

        In this matter – Greek: in this “word”; that is, thing. That which is referred to here is the religion of Christ. Simon was not a Christian. It is remarkable that Peter judged him so soon, and when he had seen but “one” act of his. But it was an act which satisfied him that he was a stranger to religion. One act may sometimes bring out the “whole character”; it may evince the “governing” motives; it may show traits of character utterly “inconsistent” with true religion; and then it is as certain a criterion as any long series of acts.

        Thy heart – Your “affections,” or “governing motives”; your principle of conduct. Comp, 2 Kings 10:15. You love gold and popularity, and not the gospel for what it is. There is no evidence here that Peter saw this in a miraculous manner, or by any supernatural influence. It was apparent and plain that Simon was not influenced by the pure, disinterested motives of the gospel, but by the love of power and of the world.

        In the sight of God – That is, God sees or judges that your heart is not sincere and pure. No external profession is acceptable without the heart. Reader, is your heart right with God? Are your motives pure; and does “God” see there the exercise of holy, sincere, and benevolent affections toward him? God “knows” the motives; and with unerring certainty he will judge, and with unerring justice he will fix our doom according to the affections of the heart. – A. Barnes

        • lyn March 9, 2017 at 11:13 pm #

          You state “Peter did not say that Simon was still in bondage to sin he said he was band together , joined with sin.” Isn’t that the same as being in bondage to it?! This is from the NAS exhaustive concordance – bond (1), bond of unity (1), bondage. The Greek word for bondage is sundesmos, which comes from ‘sundeo’, meaning ‘ I bind together; pass: I am bound together with, as of prisoners in chains– properly, to bind (closely) together, like prisoners are in jail.’ source – http://biblehub.com/greek/4887.htm and http://biblehub.com/greek/4886.htm
          To be in bondage to sin is to be chained to it.

  12. lyn March 9, 2017 at 11:14 pm #

    You state “Peter did not say that Simon was still in bondage to sin he said he was band together , joined with sin.” Isn’t that the same as being in bondage to it?! This is from the NAS exhaustive concordance – bond (1), bond of unity (1), bondage. The Greek word for bondage is sundesmos, which comes from ‘sundeo’, meaning ‘ I bind together; pass: I am bound together with, as of prisoners in chains– properly, to bind (closely) together, like prisoners are in jail.’ source – http://biblehub.com/greek/4886.htm
    To be in bondage to sin is to be chained to it.

    • rascott247 March 9, 2017 at 11:19 pm #

      Equivication! Jude 24 says God is able to keep us from stumbling period. You read that as He will keep us from falling. Then you read it as we can stumble in sin but…not another kind of stumbling.

      Again Acts 8 says Simon believed! Jesus said whoever believes on me has everlasting life. When one believes they move from a judicial relationship (being judged) to a familial relationship and like all families our heart is not always right with our fathers.

      Peter was not condemning Simon to perish in hell. Peter had the keys to the kingdom but he is not God. Peter is saying that Simon has no part in the laying on of hands he is not saying he has no part in God’s grace. That is straight up read into not out of the text.

      Lyn I like you a lot but I’ll stick to the text in context.

      One can be joined in sin without being a slave to it. Believers are not slaves to sin and we are not to live as if we still are but can do so even if we are not bound to. Unbelievers are bound to sin.

      • lyn March 10, 2017 at 5:22 pm #

        Rascott,

        All that I stated was backed with scripture. I don’t agree with how you perceive the texts presented and you disagree with what I’ve presented. It may be due to the fact that you disagree with the doctrines of grace, therefore, you cannot perceive 1 Timothy 4:1 as being about false converts.

        With all that said, I will not carry this any further. I did take note of your ‘I like you a lot’ comment as well as the ’17th century’ comment. Whether that was sarcasm or sincere is irrelevant. I will say this, I care not who likes me. I only care to rightly divide His precious truth. If that is offensive or perceived as error, so be it. I thoroughly disagree with your views on soteriology and on Simon being ‘saved’. I also disagree on your take on 1 Timothy 4:1. That has NO bearing on whether I ‘like’ a person or not. It does prompt me to pray for both myself and others…that we would all be extremely careful in handling the precious word of God.

        May the Lord be our Teacher and our Guide, and may we always remember to love one another, rebuke when necessary, and walk humbly with our God. I know I am in need of a deeper humility in my own life.

        • rascott247 March 10, 2017 at 6:11 pm #

          “Backed with scripture” is not the same as backed by scripture, backed by commentaries is not equal to backed by scripture. I don’t disagree with the doctrine of grace I disagree that TULIP is equal to the doctrine of grace. The TULIP lens makes you see those who depart the faith as not having “authentic” faith; it’s not in the text. I reject that scripture knows of any such concept because it’s nonsense to have faith without belief and the faith is in Christ as preached in scripture. To depart means to have been there. God’s word is not illogical. He does not say that unbelievers have ever been “in the faith”.

          Can you provide one example from scripture, without begging the question, e.g. using the 4 soils to prove perseverance is required of “authentic” faith, or the “no part or portion” refers to grace of God, can you show me one passage in context that categorically states or implies that “false” faith exists and therefore that “false” faith does not result in justification and receiving life?

          I’ll save you a little time; James 2 will not do because just as a body without spirit is dead it does not cease being an authentic body so too faith that is dead is still authentic faith. When we see the word saved I think it is imperative to ask save whom from what and which phase of salvation is being spoken of i.e. positional, experiential etc.

          Lyn this is not trivial to me and I can see that you are dedicated to “the doctrines of grace” to the point you can’t see how (I don’t think you are giving me a fair shot by thinking through what I say) I could object to the equivocation used to defend TULIP. Believe me I am contending for the faith and not brow beating you. I think you are well aware how long a conversation like this can go so if we do not (and we won’t) complete it here perhaps in future encounters more text can be dealt with.

          Lyn I think you are very dedicated to the Lord. But try as I might I cannot accept TULIP because I don’t see it in scripture.

  13. lyn March 10, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

    Lyn I think you are very dedicated to the Lord. But try as I might I cannot accept TULIP because I don’t see it in scripture. – this should help http://www.fivesolas.com/tulipscriptures.htm

    “can you show me one passage in context that categorically states or implies that “false” faith exists and therefore that “false” faith does not result in justification and receiving life?”
    21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    There’s really no need to continue on, I did answer a couple of your questions, but unless God opens your understanding like He has mine, you will not see the glory of the doctrines of grace. You may have the last response if you so desire.

    • rascott247 March 10, 2017 at 8:28 pm #

      Seems to me Matt 7:21 neither says nor implies anything of faith or belief in Christ’s work but of their own works. Those people thought they were “doing good”. If it said “Not everyone who believed in Me shall enter the Kingdom” the you are on to something. Works, reliance on works, does not save, faith, which is believing in Christ’s work saves once and for all time.

      God opens our understanding through His word not in a cryptic way. TULIP is not there as far as I can see. One has to bring TULIP to the text i.e. certain definitions of “dead” “draw” “election” etc. I don’t find scripture’s definition to be TULIP’s definitions.

      TULIP really was a 5 point construct to counter point by point the 5 point Remonstrative which I also reject as proof texting. I noticed that the site you linked gave only those two positions (both 17th century) and of course concluded that the TULIP position was the scriptural. Oh well.

      Lyn I do like and respect you but I did not mean that you should count that as something worth anything. I was not being sarcastic.

      • Denise Rittler March 11, 2017 at 10:26 am #

        Both predestination and free will are taught in scriptures. In order to call yourself “Calvinist” OR “Armenian” you must reject the double witness of Scripture that says we don’t think like God does (He is smarter than mankind) and therefore cannot understand all His ways.

        Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

        Romans 11:33 “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”

        What part of “PAST FINDING OUT” did Calvin not get? True faith is believing the bible whether you understand it or not, just trusting God that it’s all true. Many scriptures support free will and even more support election, the weight of scripture is on election. But that doesn’t mean we can discard the others, such as “God is willing that none should perish but that all should come to repentance”. 2 Peter 3:9

        You must just trust God, believe both, and imagine a parallel line that at some point comes together in a way that we just cannot see because we are not God.

        Back to topic. 1 John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

        Whether the word “receive” is used in the parable of the sower, clearly the seed was not implanted in three cases, and implantation is what saves, not simply liking or catching the seed or believing without meekness. It must be implanted for salvation. James 1:21 ” receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls”.

        • rascott247 March 11, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

          Denise

          Who is the “us” in 1 John? I dare say that the “us” is the “we” in 1 John 1:1-5 i.e. the Apostles. They (false apostles) went out from us (real apostles) because they (false apostles) were not of us (real apostles). John is not speaking of true believers not persevering.

          • berlorac March 11, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

            RS, I think you just made lyn’s point. These are not real believers who are leaving in 1 John. They were false professors of the faith. Christians will never leave the faith. The Holy Spirit takes us from glory to glory. We are being conformed to the image of Christ. Therefore, when we see those who profess Christ who then leave the faith, they must not have been “of us” in the first place. It’s like Judas Iscariot. The 11 had no idea he was a devil from the beginning. He looked like them and apparently had some fruit and profession of faith, but he was never of them. He eventually went out from them.

          • rascott247 March 11, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

            No I don’t think I did B. let me clarify. The “we” and “us” in 1 John are true Apostles. It was they who saw with their eyes and handled with their hands the life that was manifested. Not all believers have done that. The “you” are the ones John wrote to (and by application believers). The “they” are false apostles bringing false apostolistic teaching claiming to “know” Christ. John is saying this is how you know Christ i.e. is through us Apostles. They went out from us is not saying that believers cannot depart from the faith. Again I ask how can an unbeliever depart from the faith? And where do you find “false” belief”?

            Can you show me where Judas is said to be a believer? He was a literal disciple which means follower, he literally followed Jesus He could say Lord, Lord did I not do this and that but he did not believe in Christ for life. Following is not equal to believing in Him for life. You are assuming what you are trying to prove.

            Hebrews 3:12-13 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

            If that passage is written to unbelievers it makes no sense. (I could add many more passages)

            Glory to glory is beginning and end. You are assuming the middle.

          • rascott247 March 11, 2017 at 7:16 pm #

            BTW I am not saying that the false apostles were ever believers. I see no reason to assume that they were. But John was warning believers of their gnostic teachings for a reason

            1 John 5:16-17 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

            James 1:14-16 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

          • berlorac March 11, 2017 at 9:06 pm #

            [Can you show me where Judas is said to be a believer?… Following is not equal to believing in Him for life.]

            Right, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Profession of belief is not necessarily unto life. Thus, one can depart from “the faith.” You’re looking “the faith” as faith unto salvation and I’m looking at the phrase “the faith” as Christianity (as a set of proclamations put forth by God). The false apostles of which John (and you) speak in 1 John knew “the faith,” but they didn’t have faith. You’ll see this phrase “the faith” in Galatians 3:23 where the article is used. Paul here uses “the faith” to signify Christianity.

            Therefore, many can and will depart from the faith. Many have walked, knowing the tenets of “the faith” without having faith unto salvation. These are those who depart and go out from us because they were never of us.

          • rascott247 March 11, 2017 at 10:14 pm #

            We may be be looking at the phrase differently but I don’t think that is our disconnect. The false teachers in 1 John never had the set of proclamations put forth by God. That is John’s point.They denied Christ in the flesh. They proclaimed antichrist teachings. John is not saying that they are false believers he is saying they have the wrong Christ. They left the Apostles not the faith because they were not of the Apostles or the faith.

            Judas knew Jesus in the flesh. He followed Jesus in the flesh. Do not equate disciple with believer or disciple with professor. Judas may have been religious and his religiousness may have fooled the 11 but I asked for a verse stating the Judas was in the faith. Judas never departed the faith.

            Walking, knowing the tenants is not being in the faith. The faith is not religion it is counter to religion. Faith is unto salvation. If we can’t get that clear then Lord Help us.
            2 Timothy 2:11-13 This is a faithful saying:
            For if we died with Him,
            We shall also live with Him. If we endure,
            We shall also reign with Him.
            If we deny Him,
            He also will deny us. If we are faithless,
            He remains faithful;
            He cannot deny Himself.

            If we, Paul and Timothy all believers are faithless
            ἀπιστέω apisteō; from 571; to be unbelieving, i.e. (transitively) disbelieve, or (by implication) disobey: — believe not. AV (7) – believe not 7; to betray a trust, be unfaithful to have no belief, disbelieve

            It must be possible or it’s a waste of Paul’s time to teach it.

            It’s always great to see you again B.

          • Denise Rittler March 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

            I’m sorry I didn’t mean to cause division. I was just pointing out how these two false views of salvation, whether it is predestined or through free will, have caused division and so the devil loves them! Not every Calvinist or Arminian, just the teachings that distract people from doing what God wants them to do.

            I still contend that if you are saved, you cannot lose your salvation regardless of what sin you commit. In the Corinthian church, there was a man having incest, which was looked down upon even among unbelievers. Because everyone there was taking it so lightly, Paul exorted them to not allow this man to be in the church, that they were to hand him over to Satan for the “destruction of his flesh” so that he could be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. So if you can commit incest and still be saved, I don’t see what sin (including murder) could take that away. You see, Jesus already paid for our sins on the cross, once for all. God would have to be an unjust Judge to charge a person for a crime that’s already been paid for. But He is fair and just and righteous, so will not take a sin Jesus paid for with His blood and send a believer (yes, believers can commit sin) to hell for that same sin.

            1 Corinthians 5: 1-5 “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

            For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

          • rascott247 March 13, 2017 at 10:39 am #

            Denise
            No need to be sorry I agree with what you have written. We are not divided. I affirm eternal security through faith alone in Christ alone regardless of any sins we sinners commit post coming to faith, including falling away from the faith through deception or prolonged carnality. It is the exact point I was trying to get across.

            To tell one of these brothers or sisters that they never “really believed” based on their behavior will not lead them back to the faith because they will constantly be using their behavior as the basis of whether they have faith to begin with. That is faith in faith not faith in Christ.

            When I read Jesus’ conversation with Martha in John 11 I don’t see Jesus doubting Martha when she says “Yes Lord I believe”. Did Jesus suppose she was a false professor or a “true” believer? And why did He ask such a question if Martha was in no position to know whether she “really” believed until she persevered in faith to the end? We know what and when we believe. It is the content that is either true or false but believing something you don’t belief is impossible.

            Amy and Marsha have been doing a series about people coming out of the NAR. Those people believed what the NAR teaches at least for awhile. Are we to say that their belief was false? No! What they believed is false. Their belief was real. We say “I used to believe” this or that all the time. And scripture says it can happen to Christians.

          • berlorac March 13, 2017 at 11:48 am #

            Hey RS, I noticed that you added the word “in” — “in the faith.” But that’s not what I was saying. “The faith” is Christianity. To be “in the faith” is to be justified and placed in the Body of Christ, from which no one will be lost.

            “The faith” is objective. To “have faith” is subjective, experiential. When Paul speaks of “the faith” in Galatians 3:23, he is referring to Christianity, not to being justified.

            But before the faith (Christianity) came, we Jews were under the Law. The Law was our (the Jews’) tutor until Christ (and it is until, not unto).

            Many men have known the doctrines of Christianity, “the faith,” but this does not necessarily place them “in the faith.” Therefore, many men have known the truth (the faith) but ultimately rejected it. They were never IN the faith.

            As to 1 John 2:19, you read that as only false apostles, but not so. Read verse 18, where John addresses all of his children and says that “we know that it is the last hour.” He isn’t saying that only the apostles know that it is the last hour, but all believers know. Then, verse 19: They (antichrists) went out from us (believers) but they were not of us (believers). If they had been of us (believers), they would have continued with us (believers)…They all are not of us.

            1 John dealing with Gnosticism. It wasn’t only some of the false apostles who were gnostics. He is calling all gnostics ‘antichrists’ and says they were never “of us.” These guys knew the truth but rejected it. They had been a part of the assembly (like Judas) but ultimately left because they were never believers. They became manifest only after they went out, not unlike Judas. Judas knew the truth as much as anyone, but he went out from them, making it manifest that he was never of them. He departed from the faith because he was never IN the faith.

          • berlorac March 13, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

            RS, you say [Glory to glory is beginning and end. You are assuming the middle.] Nah, no assumption on my part.

            Let’s render the passage literally from 2 Corinthians 3.

            “And we all [believers], while with face unveiled we behold in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are ourselves transformed continually [present tense] into the same likeness; and the glory which shines upon us is reflected by us, even as it proceeds from the Lord the Spirit.”

            “From glory” refers to the beginning of the transformation. That’s the “glory which shines upon us.” “To glory” is the effect. That’s the reflection of the glory which shines upon us.

            In the passage, Paul refers to Moses putting a veil over his face. This was to hide from the people the fading glory. Now, the opposite is true. With unveiled faces we reveal the glory and it’s not fading, it’s reflected.

            Yes, the ultimate glory comes at the Rapture when our transformation is complete. But it is the Holy Spirit who takes us from the inception of the glory and transforms us continually. And the work which He has begun in us, He will complete. He continually works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. Present tense continual. Do we still sin? Yes, but He will preserve His saints, bringing them from glory unto glory continually.

            The 1 Corinthians 5 man is an outstanding example of what God does in those who are believers. God granted him repentance and restored him.

          • rascott247 March 13, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

            Yes I added the “in”. One cannot depart from where one has not been (in). You seem to think that scripture is describing unbelievers as having a part in faith even in a superficial way. I don’t. Unbelievers do not know the truth they suppress the truth (Rom 1). Paul is referring to content of faith (progressive revelation) he is not saying that unbelievers can depart from the faith.

            The false apostles came from us to you (readers) but were not of us or they would still be fellowshipping with us Apostles. They departed from us to prove they were not of us (Apostles). Judas departed from the disciples. You are adding the “believers” to “us” and in context 1 John 1:1-5 defines the “us” and the “you”. When John says if “we” confess our sin he is referring to the Apostles. When John says if “we” say we walk in fellowship he means the Apostles. There is application to the readers but not all
            application is to all believers. 1Jn 1:20 does not extent to all believers.

            Regardless of our takes on 1 John 2 and Gal 3 I have provided scripture that clearly indicates that believers can become unbelieving Perhaps you are wanting to call institutions i.e. marriage, gender roles, family, work etc. as knowing the doctrines of Christianity. I do not.

          • rascott247 March 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

            B you are assuming that believers cannot be deceived or fall away from the faith and will continue to progress in faith. I have shown you verses that say otherwise. At the rapture we will all be in different conditions towards the conforming to the image of Christ. The conforming will be completed regardless of stage completed on earth. That is what I meant by “you are assuming the middle” will be as you say and not as scripture tells us.

          • rascott247 March 13, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

            B
            This conversation is becoming eerily similar to one we had on another board about 18 months ago. At that time it was a stumbling block to you and caused you to have hard feeling towards me so I am going to pass on further replies to you concerning this topic. I prefer not to break fellowship over these comments.

          • berlorac March 13, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

            RS, I never said a believer could not be deceived. A believer can be deceived and stumble. And yes, I assume that a believer will progress in faith (albeit not perfectly and some are weak in faith!). But you seem to assume that a believer can do nothing but be an antichrist and then be glorified at the end.

            You quote 2 Timothy 2:11-13, but you’re not comparing what Paul writes here with other Scriptures that directly bear on these couplets.

            The positive for the believer: If we died with Him, we shall live with Him; if we endure, we shall reign. All believers suffer and endure; some suffer more than others, but we are all members one of another. The Body operates as one under the Head; thus, we all suffer (1 Corinthians 12:26).

            The negative warning: If we deny Him, He will deny us. If we are faithless (apistoumen – continual), He remains faithful. In what way?

            If we deny Him, He will deny us — Matthew 10:33
            If we continually believe not — compare the “believe with your heart and confess with your mouth” of Romans 10:9-10. Salvation is contingent on believing and confessing. And now, in 2 Timothy, he says those who confess not, He will not confess; those who continually believe not cannot annul His faithfulness. In what way?

            He remains faithful, just as Paul said in Romans 3:3-4

            The oracles of God were entrusted to the Jews. But what if some Jews were faithless to that trust? Shall their faithlessness annul the faithfulness of God in fulfilling those oracles? NO. Then, let God be true, though every man a liar: That You might be justified in Your words, and might prevail when You are judged by sinful man as to your justice and Your ways.

            God is always faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. He is faithful to mete out the punishment due the unbeliever and faithful to bring believers from glory to glory. The Scripture tells us that He is faithful to the believer to keep him steadfast and away from evil (2 Thessalonians 3:3). He will be faithful to be just as the Judge at the Bema, and He will be faithful to be just as the Judge at the Great White Throne. He cannot deny, nor be unfaithful to His word.

          • berlorac March 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

            Hey RS, no breakage of fellowship on my part. I find your view of this particular doctrine to be disturbing, if I may use that word. But, unlike previously, there will be no hard feelings. I have a better handle on where you’re coming from now. I still disagree immensely, but God used that previous exchange to grow me in terms of my response.

          • rascott247 March 13, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

            B
            You have mis-understood that I am saying a believer can do nothing but “be antichrist and be glorified in the end”. To come to faith (believe) they have not been antichrist at that point. They were unbelieving and now believing. Nobody can do anything to be justified or glorified except believe on Christ for life. No work! No front load or back load! Now once we are justified (glory) we are to yield to the Spirit not quench the Spirit. We are instructed to abide in Christ and Jesus and John would not instruct us to do so if it were automatic. The branch that fails to abide withers and faces severe trial (not hell). The branch was on the Vine. Unbelievers are not said to be on the Vine. God can and will renew us but only as we turn back to Him. Some will not. To tell a believer who has fallen into a unbelieving state that they never believed to begin with does not lead them back to Christ but farther into “do I really believe this time? ” and then they look to their works for assurance and not Christ.

            James 1:14-15 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.—During this process in which desire conceives and gives birth to sin and sin grows to maturity until finally bringing forth death, during that process is that believer being continually conformed to the image of Christ?

            When you say “all believers suffer and endure” you are assuming what you are trying to prove. 2 Tim 2:11-13 is a chiastic structure.
            A) For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.
            B) If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.
            B) If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
            A) If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

            If we (Paul and Timothy) deny Him what? Endurance! He will deny us (Paul and Timothy) what? Reign! He remains faithful to Himself (Body of Christ).

            B our difference is that I see reward separate from the gift. I see “work out your own salvation” as a Bema Seat issue. I see heirs and co-heirs in Roman 8. I see suffering for Christ as different then all Christian’s suffering. The view that we can tell “true” Christians by how they live is as offensive to me as my views are to you.

            B I leave this conversation now but not in anger.

        • rascott247 March 11, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

          Denise

          Isn’t Romans 11:33-36 such a wonder passage? Gives me chills. But I would not say scripture has a “double witness”. God is sovereign and man being created in His image has volition but man cannot will the outcome of his choices. The reason I reject both Calvinism and Arminianism is that I think that both systems view almost every passage as dealing with justification Phase 1 salvation.

          James is speaking of a future salvation he is not speaking of justification. James was addressing believers (James1:18). Was Paul justified (saved) when he wrote Philippians? I think so. Yet he was hoping to be saved (Phil 1:19). Was Paul writing to believers? I think so (Phil 1:5). Did he want them to work out their salvation? Yes (Phil 2:12). Do works play any part in justification? No (Rom 4:5, Eph 2:8-9, Titus 3:5). I was justified (saved) the moment I believed on Christ for eternal life. I am now being saved by the implanted word as I receive it with meekness and I will be saved in the future when given my glorified body. Salvation has 3 phases.

          Believers can and do fail in phase 2. Arminians says those that fail lose justification and Calvinists say that those who fail never had justification. I see that believers can fail but God never does (2Tim 2:11-13).

          2 Peter 3:17-18 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
          To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

        • Marinus L March 13, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

          Denise I have one question. Without any doubt, who saved you?

  14. Manny1962 March 11, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    Hello Denise,

    Perhaps God in His unknowable wisdom wrote it that way on purpose? I see your point and it’s making sense, there are aspects that we just don’t understand, perhaps it was written in such a way to make sure man’s pride didn’t get in the way? I don’t follow neither Calvin not Arminius, after all they didn’t write scripture, they set forth interpretations that have divided many throughout the centuries. God is not a God of confusion, so I believe both camps have certain aspects correct and incorrect.

    • Denise Rittler March 11, 2017 at 11:23 am #

      Hi Manny,

      Yes I do think God wrote it that way on purpose. He hates division and wanted to prevent it, but men are so proud they just ignore these scriptures and think they “know it all”, or act like they do. I’m sure nothing makes the devil happier than seeing Christians wasting precious time arguing over what I think is a secondary issue to salvation. Instead of wasting so much time they could be out witnessing for Jesus or feeding the poor, helping people in need both physically and spiritually.

      • Maggie March 11, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

        Denise,
        We can discuss and debate doctrine without making it a point of division. We can learn from each other if done respectfully. Iron sharpens iron.

        To me, this has been a worthwhile discussion, even if no agreement was reached.

      • Marinus L March 13, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

        Denise Ritter, That same God that gave us the doctrines of grace, wrote this in
        2Tim.3:16. ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

        I know that certain pastors, ( calvary chapel )believe that doctrines divide the Body of Christ, so they illuminate the teachings of the doctrines of Grace.

  15. Marinus L March 13, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Denise Ritter. Sorry I meant eliminate.

    • Lyn March 15, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

      Marinus

      I appreciate your comments. The doctrines of grace are shunned by those who cherry pick their bibles, which is regretful. How grateful are we to rightly understand what God has done in saving and keeping His elect?!?!

      • Marinus L March 15, 2017 at 11:51 pm #

        Thank you Lyn. I have been following your comments also, and it has helped me a lot.
        Like I mentioned, I’m an old man and new in the doctrines of grace, I still have a lot to learn. But God is great for giving me the understanding sofar what He allowed me to know. Good to see you on here, keep it up.

        • lyn March 16, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

          Marinus,

          You may enjoy reading this article from A.W. Pink – https://www.gracegems.org/Pink/narrow_way.htm

          For those who deny the doctrine of election, read 2 Thessalonians 2:13- But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
          That is just one of many verses that speak of God electing sinners unto salvation. To think that some haven’t heard the gospel and therefore, God is not just in condemning them – read Romans 1. God has left His ‘mark’ in His creation. All are without excuse.

          The problem is that most think God has to save all, otherwise, it just isn’t fair! In reality, the fact that He would save any is profound. Again, the doctrines of grace are marvelous when rightly understood and embraced. It lowers one in the dust to see how helpless and hopeless the sinner is, and magnifies how gracious and merciful our God is.

          Here is an excellent teaching that takes you into the greek grammatical construction of Eph. 2:8-9 and God’s gift of faith – https://youtu.be/o3dodm97SY4

          • Marinus L March 17, 2017 at 10:53 am #

            Thank you Lyn for the information. This will be helpful to me. I still have much to learn and I’m open for advise. Thanks again

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