Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Once Saved, Always Saved" and Three Cups of Tea: Cup 1

David Bates
David Bates, on his blog Restless Pilgrim, has written a three-part analysis of "Once Saved, Always Saved," the Protestant notion that "the elect" can never lose their salvation. He gave me permission to cross-post here.  (By the way, if you're wondering about all the references to tea, he is a Brit living in the US.) Without further ado, here's part one:


I recently had some comments on my Once Saved, Always Saved post by a chap called MackQuigley. In that post I presented several passages as evidence that it is possible to lose one’s salvation. Mack disagreed with my article and said that I had misapplied these passages and that they did not, in fact, support my case.
In his final comment, Mack went through each of the passages I quoted and gave a brief summary of his own interpretation in an attempt to prove that it is not possible to lose one’s salvation. Since he graciously took the time to explain his position and challenged my post in a charitable manner, I would like to return the favour and offer a reply.
I’m going to break up my response into a few different posts, collecting together the passages where Mack used similar argumentation to disqualify the texts. For each passage, I’m going to quote the Scripture under examination, append Mack’s comments and finally offer my own rebuttal.
There are quite a few Scripture passages to address here –  seven in total – so this’ll take a little bit of time. It’s probably a good idea to put on the kettle and brew up a nice cup of tea before we continue…
tea

Text #1: 1 John 5:16-17

Scripture

If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death”

Mack’s Comments

[This] sin is the fleshly sins of Christian[s], some of which are serious enough to result in early physical death (1 Corinthians 5:5). The soul remains saved, this passage does not send any Christians to hell.

My Response

Mack asserts here that the “death” referred to by John is a physical death and not a spiritual one. Obviously, I disagree with this assessment…
The life and death of St. John
I would like to draw Mack’s attention to some verses which appear earlier in St. John’s epistle:
Exhibit A: “…we have passed out of death into life  - 1 John 3:14
Is the “death” of which John speaks here physical or spiritual? Clearly, it’s the latter.
Exhibit B: “…God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son – 1 John 5:11
Is the “life” here physical or spiritual? Again, it’s clear that it is spiritual; the Beloved Disciple is describing supernatural life which comes through Christ.
Exhibit C: ”He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life” - 1 John 5:12
St. John again explains that Jesus grants us supernatural life, but he then goes on to say that a person without Son “has not life”. What’s another way of saying “has not life”? That’s easy, “has death”. Those without the Son are spiritually dead.
Given this context, when John speaks about “death” in the main passage under consideration, it’s far more likely that he is referring to a spiritual reality rather than a physical one.
I could say more in favour of the traditional Catholic interpretation of this passage, but I would like to instead consider this passage from Mack’s perspective and see if his interpretation holds water.
Sin, smiting & salvation
Let’s assume that the text is, in fact, talking about a physical death. Does this interpretation really strengthen Mack’s case?
Following Mack’s interpretation, the person being described here has committed a sin worthy of physical death! The actions of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:9-10) spring to mind. The person in question has angered God so much that He smites him! Would we really expect such a person to be immediately whisked into God’s glorious presence in Paradise? If I commit a grievous sin I’m rewarded with the beatific vision? Honestly, that seems rather counterintuitive to me,…
Making sense of life
I would also assert that, if we assume that John is talking about physical death, the passage quickly becomes unintelligible. To demonstrate this, allow me to re-render the first part of the verse, adding the qualifying word“physical” in the places where I think Mack assumes this meaning:
If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to physical death, he should pray and God will give him physical life
Does this sentence make any sense? Clearly not. With the inclusion of this additional word, John is now describing the situation where a Christian has committed a sin but has not died. John says that the recipients of his letter should pray for this man…but why?
Assuming Mack’s interpretation, John tells his readers that if they pray God will “give him physical life”. What on earth can that mean? I mean, it has already been established that the man is still physically alive because his sin was not too serious! What then, is this “life” which God would give him? It surely has to refer to spiritual“life” and, if the “life” is spiritual, why would one assume that the “death” mentioned is non-spiritual?
So once saved, always saved? I’m afraid it doesn’t sound like it to me…

Text #2: 2 Peter 2:20-22

Scripture

“If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.  Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud

Mack’s Comments

[Peter] says they “escaped the pollutions of the world” which is an external filth, not an internal one. These people evidently adopted religion but were always unsaved because they never trusted Christ: they remained pigs and dogs, and their true nature won out eventually. But the saved person is a new creature: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 1 Cor. 5:17.

My Comments

I have to admit I’m rather confused by Mack’s comments here as they seem to completely fly in the face of this passage. Additionally, Mack begins with what seems to me to be a rather odd suggestion…
The muddy pearl
Mack asserts that the “pollutions of the world” are external, not internal and that the one has no consequence on the other. Quite frankly, what is being described here sounds more to me like Libertine Gnosticism than Christianity. Does he really think that being polluted by the world has no internal consequences? I have thirty-three years of life experience which begs to differ!
Also, consider these words of St. James:
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. – James 4:4
What happens to the enemies of God? Will they be saved?
Recaptured slaves
As I indicated above, Mack makes a lot of assertions in his response which I can’t see grounded anywhere in the text. For example, he asserts that the people here never trusted Christ”. What in the passage leads him to conclude this? In fact, St. Peter says the complete opposite, saying they [knew] our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” and “the way of righteousness”!
Although they once knew Christ, the passage goes on to say that they became “again entangled” and decided to turn their backs on the sacred command. Mack asserts that they were always entangled, but if that were the case, why does St. Peter say that they became entangled “again”? How does that make sense? Also, is it possible to “turn [your] back” on something without ever having first embraced it?
St. Peter then quotes two proverbs, one about a dog which “returns” to its vomit, and another about a sow which“goes back” to the mud. Again, is it possible to return or go back to something which you have never left? Of course not!
For example, if I were locked up in jail and was rescued by my friends but subsequently recaptured, did I never actually leave the prison? Of course I did! I escaped…but I was recaptured. Likewise, St. Peter is saying that these people have been recaptured by sin. Earlier in his epistle, he gives us a clue as to how this will happen:
“…there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled” – 2 Peter 2:1-2
So, to conclude, St. Peter at no point says that “they never trusted Christ”. In fact, he doesn’t get even get close to saying this. His language and all the imagery he uses communicates that these people previously tasted the Heavenly gift but have subsequently spat it out.
So once saved, always saved? I’m afraid it doesn’t sound like it to me…
I’ll examine more of Mack’s responses in the next post.
The article OSAS & Three Cups of Tea (Cup 1) first appeared on RestlessPilgrim.net

81 comments:

  1. "[This] sin is the fleshly sins of Christian[s], some of which are serious enough to result in early physical death "

    And which sins are these? Which sins can we see that lead to an early physical death? Remember that we are instructed that we do not need to pray for such a man, so we have to be able to tell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is one of which I'm aware, but I don't think Mack would agree with it. It is the receiving of the Holy Eucharist in an unworthy manner.

      1 Corinthians 11:28-30
      King James Version (KJV)
      28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

      29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

      30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

      Note that this is a simultaneous spiritual "damnation" and physical illness and death (i.e. sleep).

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
    2. Do people who receive Communion unworthily habitually die young?

      Delete
    3. 1. I believe the Scripture. How do you read it?
      2. How would you put it to the test? Do you know anyone who habitually receives communion unworthily and is neither weak nor sickly nor fallen asleep (i.e. passed away or died)?
      3. The verse doesn't say anything about "dying young". It says that they are weak and sickly and "many sleep". Sleep is a euphemism for death. But it does not say they have to be young to suffer these repercussions of receiving unworthily.



      Delete
    4. Then it is moot. Because the thing I was discussing was the claim made, and challenged in this post, about dying young.

      Delete
    5. Good. However, you used the word, "early". That doesn't necessarily mean, "young". Even an elderly person can die "early". Nor does the verse say anything about a "young" death.

      In addition, you seem to have taken my comment as somehow challenging yours. Whereas, I explicitly stated that I offered it as a supplemental reason why Mack Quigley was wrong. In other words, I offered it to mean that Mack was wrong whether a sin could produce physical death or not. Because the only sins that, according to Scripture, can produce physical death are sins against the Eucharist. And that could not be true if the Eucharist were a mere symbol, as I'm sure Mack believes.

      Why you are behaving as though I have challenged your post is baffling.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
    6. De Maria,

      I think that St. Paul is talking about spiritual sickness and death in 1 Corinthians 11, as elsewhere. He says that “many of you … sleep” (1 Cor. 11:30). If he means that physically, then he would seemingly be exhorting some dead Corinthians. I think it makes more sense to read that as him exhorting spiritually-dead Corinthians.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
    7. Its possible. But the RSV puts it thus:

      1 Corinthians 11:30 (RSV)
      30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

      The NAB footnote does not seem to specify spiritual death:
      * [11:29–32] Judgment: there is a series of wordplays in these verses that would be awkward to translate literally into English; it includes all the references to judgment (krima, 1 Cor 11:29, 34; krinō, 1 Cor 11:31, 32) discernment (diakrinō, 1 Cor 11:29, 31), and condemnation (katakrinō, 1 Cor 11:32). The judgment is concretely described as the illness, infirmity, and death that have visited the community. These are signs that the power of Jesus’ death is not yet completely recognized and experienced. Yet even the judgment incurred is an expression of God’s concern; it is a medicinal measure meant to rescue us from condemnation with God’s enemies.

      St. Chrysostom also seems to indicate real death:
      1 Corinthians 11:30

      For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep.

      Here he no longer brings his examples from others as he did in the case of the idol-sacrifices, relating the ancient histories and the chastisements in the wilderness, but from the Corinthians themselves; which also made the discourse apt to strike them more keenly. For whereas he was saying, he eats judgment to himself, and, he is guilty; that he might not seem to speak mere words, he points to deeds also and calls themselves to witness; a kind of thing which comes home to men more than threatening, by showing that the threat has issued in some real fact. He was not however content with these things alone, but from these he also introduced and confirmed the argument concerning hell-fire, terrifying them in both ways; and solving an inquiry which is handled everywhere. I mean, since many question one with another, whence arise the untimely deaths, whence the long diseases of men; he tells them that these unexpected events are many of them conditional upon certain sins. What then? They who are in continual health, say you, and come to a green old age, do they not sin? Nay, who dared say this? How then, say you, do they not suffer punishment? Because there they shall suffer a severer one. But we, if we would, neither here nor there need suffer it.

      So, I think I'm in good company. But, as far as I'm aware, your interpretation does not contradict the teaching of the Church.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
  2. There is an interesting argument that some Protestants make, which is that those that appear to come to faith and later fall away were never truly saved in the first place. Mack hints at this position when he says, "These people evidently adopted religion but were always unsaved because they never trusted Christ" It is hard to hold this view because everyone and everything becomes suspect of true faith or internal faith. I may not be able to fully articulate at this time the reasons why this position is false, but this kind of faith leads to paranoia and weakens the bonds in the body of Christ. No one can ever trust a brother or sister in Christ because they may have only "adopted religion" but "never trusted Christ."

    Thankfully, it is not up to me who is saved, who only adopts religion, and who truly trusts in Christ! Praise God that it is in his hands and not mine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no help in avoiding "once saved, always saved" there. The tares and the wheat will grow together until harvest.

      We all have our crosses to bear. Jesus's disciples proved to be not all worthy of his trust, though their failures differed.

      Delete
    2. I grew up with the OSAS mentality, and was indeed confused by the idea of certainty on the one hand, yet complete uncertainty on the other as people I'd known for years would later go down and "realize" they'd never been saved. And yes, it led to paranoia. It seems rather contradictory, really.

      Delete
    3. Good response, Rev.,

      I've also heard Catholics make a similar error when they say of erring Catholics, "He's not truly Catholic!" As though being Catholic somehow assures that a person will not sin. But being Catholic does not preserve anyone from sin. Not even the Pope. Receiving the Sacraments does not assure anyone of salvation.

      The Church and the Sacraments are helps which God has provided to give us sustenance and strength to persevere to the end and receive the promise. But the Church does not teach that anyone, short of receiving a personal assurance by divine revelation, is absolutely assured of salvation.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
    4. Rev. Hans,

      I agree. The notion that everyone who falls away was just faking being Christian the whole time isn’t just implausible. It seems like it leads to an unhelpful resentment towards ex-Christians, at least in some cases. After all, if OSAS is true, then ex-Christians aren’t just confused. They’re apparently con artists who (for no apparent reason) faked being Christian for years on end. We’re called to seek out the wandering sheep and bring them back, not simply write them off in such a dismissive way.*

      I.X.,

      Joe

      *Of course, this does not characterize all Christians who hold to OSAS. Some of them are great about reaching out to fallen away members.

      Delete
    5. Those who "fall away", never were on in the beginning. I see so many who talk about God and live for the world. It is important for all to realize, there are 2 parts to a human = a body and a soul. If we live for the world, we are pleasing our body but our soul with suffer condemnation because of it. We must live in the world, not for it and always live according to what will be best for our soul and it's ultimate place in a forever.

      Delete
    6. "Those who "fall away", never were on in the beginning"

      This is repeatedly and explicitly denied in Scripture, because Paul is always warning Christians not to actually fall away. If this were true, he would have been warning them to get in on it.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for explaining to everyone my strange obsession with tea :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course. I would like to point out that this wasn’t even your first tea-related post this week. Also, I fixed the formatting on this post, and added a rough approximation of your visage.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
  4. I didn't recognize him without the cup of tea in his hand.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pilgrim,

    Thank you for a thorough and thoughtful response to my perhaps overly abbreviated comments on your OSAS article.

    The one thing I tried to emphasize is that you can't tackle this subject piecemeal; the new birth is part of a complex supernatural procedure that operates on the soul, spirit, and body. And the complexity deepens as one delves into the diversity of how salvation is expressed in other ages - past and future - amongst those who are "saved" but not in the Bride of Christ.

    But for now we know that the new birth comes by faith (Acts 16:31 KJV) and is a supernatural spiritual change accomplished by God (John 1:12-13 KJV) in the inner man (Col 2:12 KJV; 1 Cor. 6:17 KJV) - which includes a sealing by Holy Ghost, the guaranteed deposit of the Holy Ghost, being made one with Christ, adopted by God, imputed righteousness of God, eternal life, etc - as the first stage of a gestation process culminating in full salvation when the Christian gets a new body at Christ's return (1 John 3:2 KJV; Romans 8:23 KJV). Salvation starts at conception (1 Peter 1:23 KJV; 1 John 5:1 KJV) and God is not the abortionist of his own child (Romans 8:15 KJV; Ephesians 1:5 KJV). What God has begun, he completes (2 Timothy 1:12 KJV; Jude 1:24 KJV; Romans 8:38-39 KJV).

    So the mechanics of the new birth and the certainty of predestination make "once saved always saved" the rule for New Testament Church-age salvation for the Bride of Christ. To say otherwise is to blasphemously accuse the blessed Trinity of committing abortion, suicide, divorce, theft, lying, fraud, mutilation, waste, breach of contract, injustice, incompetence, abandonment, and betrayal.

    The proposition that born-again Christian would go to hell is never stated anywhere in the Bible.

    Any verses which appear to say so are distinguished because:

    (1) Their wording is wrong since they come from translations other than the Authorized Version;
    (2) They speak of a Christian losing his heavenly awards, role in Christian ministry, daily fellowship with God, or physical life;
    (3) They warn a local church group to avoid institutional apostasy;
    (4) They warn a church group containing unsaved attendees;
    (5) They are doctrines in effect prior to the crucifixion (the OT and gospels) and apply to salvation under the Old Testament law;
    (6) They may be New Testament (Hebrews, James, Revelation) but they apply doctrinally to people (after the Bride of Christ has been completed) during the tribulation or the millennium or in eternity who are "saved" in a somewhat different manner than the Church is today.

    So there is no way to satisfactorily address the apparent discrepancies that you have raised without going through the very lengthy study it would take to covering all of these issues in great detail.

    - Mack

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ROFLOL.

      Look, look, he's appealing to the Sacred Tradition!!! He's just doing in the wrong place.

      Tell us why the Authorized Version is authoritative. Who authorized it? What made him and his translators infallible?

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. >To say otherwise is to blasphemously accuse the blessed Trinity of committing abortion, suicide, divorce...

      I disagree.

      Firstly, I know of no historical precedent for this belief prior to the 16th Century, which means you're accusing Christians for the majority of Christian history of blaspheming the Trinity. Who is more likely to be wrong? You or 1,500 years of Christians?

      Now, you may not regard the Church Fathers as authoritative, but surely that has to give you serious pause for thought before you start throwing the "blasphemy" word around?

      Secondly, as I pointed out in my original post, just because salvation is a gift, it doesn't mean that the gift can't be later rejected.

      Delete
    4. >But for now we know that the new birth comes...

      Your explanation here doesn't deal with the passages which we were discussing. The reason I asked you to provide an exegesis of one of the passages I presented was so I could see how it is that you deal with Scripture which sounds like it contradicts your doctrine.

      Now, rather than providing an explanation for a single passage, you provided explanations for all of them, which was great, thanks. However, over the course of my three posts I believe that I've successfully rebutted those explanations. Can you speak directly to my responses?


      >So there is no way to satisfactorily address the apparent discrepancies that you have raised without going through the very lengthy study it would take to covering all of these issues in great detail.

      Whatever happened to the plain meaning of Scripture? You can bring up other things as and when you feel they're necessary, but I would appreciate a response to my analysis.

      Delete
  6. > (1) Their wording is wrong since they come from translations other than the Authorized Version;

    If you feel that the translation of a particular verse clouds something, please feel free to quote the KJV and explain how it is a more faithful translation.

    (The original quotations were in the NIV but I personally use the RSV)

    ReplyDelete
  7. >(2) They speak of a Christian losing his heavenly awards, role in Christian ministry, daily fellowship with God, or physical life;

    I believe my responses refuted this assertion. Please point out where I'm wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  8. > (3) They warn a local church group to avoid institutional apostasy;

    ...which obviously has consequences for the individuals who are part of that group. In my response I spent some time discussing this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. >(4) They warn a church group containing unsaved attendees;

    ...I also addressed this...

    ReplyDelete
  10. >(5) They are doctrines in effect prior to the crucifixion (the OT and gospels) and apply to salvation under the Old Testament law;

    Okay, so it looked like my guess was correct - you believe in a kind of "Middle Testament". I am really horrified by this belief. Perhaps you could write a response on that post explaining why you believe a substantial portion of the New Testament had an expiration date of just a few years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pilgrim,

      No, the "middle testament" theory postulates allegedly missing books connecting the Old and New testaments. That is incorrect.

      But perhaps some iteration of that idea views the gospels as an evolution of doctrine, a transition between the new and old testament. That idea is closer to true. Yet it is erroneous to call them "middle testaments" because a testament requires the death of the testator, "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator." Hebrews 9:16 KJV. The gospels are included in the New Testament because each one records that event.

      Slow revelation of the new testament is unveiled in advance during Christ's ministry before his death. Legally Christ conducted his ministry under the OT law (Galatians 4:4-5 KJV; Romans 15:8 KJV) and Joe's earlier article alleging Christ broke the letter of the law is erroneous.
      http://catholicdefense.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/does-real-presence-violate-old.html

      The terms of New Testament salvation are progressively understood as Acts transpires, and it is St. Paul who Christ chooses to deliver the church-era gospel of individual salvation for all men, by grace apart from the law: "But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." Acts 15:11 KJV. Thus Paul's epistles are the bedrock of Church doctrines for today.

      By the time John wrote his gospel, Paul's gospel message was well understood by all the church, and therefore John's gospel is the one reliable for Christian doctrine. And that is the reason why John 15:6 KJV needs to be read carefully by Christian, and so it says "men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" - men do it, not angels. The passage is about Christians who "bringeth forth much fruit" John 15:5, and the destruction of the ministry of those who don't at the hands of men - but not at God's hands (John 10:28-29 KJV).

      It is not Christian doctrine to think Matthew 5,6,7 or Matthew 24 are methods to get saved. Those passages are good spiritual homilies that Christians can learn from, but they say nothing about trusting Christ's death for sinners as the means to be saved. Similarly, Revelation 22:14 may be a good explanation of how people in eternity obtain food for everlasting life by doing works, but Christians already have eternal life and don't need to eat any special food to maintain it.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    2. Out of all the comments I made I'm surprised this is the one you chose to respond to. I discuss this strange idea of "Paul beating Jesus" further in my final post which dealt with the passage where you brought up this novel concept. The post will probably be up here in the next few days. We can talk about this more then.

      You also start talking about passages not referred to in this article. I'd ask that you please address the analysis of the passages one by one, otherwise we'll just keep bouncing back and forth.

      However, I would like to point out a couple of things:


      > it is St. Paul who Christ chooses to deliver the church-era gospel of individual salvation for all men, by grace apart from the law

      You say this, but was it Paul who first brought the Gentiles into the Church? No, it was Peter! The quotation you provided (Acts 15:11) even comes from the lips of Peter!


      > Thus Paul's epistles are the bedrock of Church doctrines for today.

      Not the words of the "New Law" given by Christ? Doesn't that seem...a bit wrong?


      > ...therefore John's gospel is the one reliable for Christian doctrine

      Hang on, are you even subdividing the Gospels, raising John's Gospel above that of the senoptics?!


      >It is not Christian doctrine to think Matthew 5,6,7 or Matthew 24 are methods to get saved.... Similarly, Revelation 22:14...

      Do you see how much baggage you bring to these passages? You're coming with preconceived notions of doctrine and then impose those meanings upon the texts, rather than letting the texts speak for themselves.

      Delete
    3. "It is not Christian doctrine to think Matthew 5,6,7 or Matthew 24 are methods to get saved."

      Repent before it is too late. "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness,"

      And that is from Paul, so by your own standards you indulge in discarding that which God has appointed to be written.

      Unsurprising. Trying to toss out Scripture you don't like is the root of the Reformation. But still sin. And demonstrating you have no faith in God, since you do not trust what He inspired.

      Delete
  11. >(6) They may be New Testament (Hebrews, James, Revelation) but they apply doctrinally to people (after the Bride of Christ has been completed) during the tribulation or the millennium or in eternity who are "saved" in a somewhat different manner than the Church is today.

    Again, you could take the opportunity on that post to explain why it is you hold this conviction and why it has taken until comparatively recently for Christians to hold to this belief.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mack said to Pilgrim,

    mackquigleyJune 28, 2013 at 12:55 PM
    Pilgrim,

    Thank you for a thorough and thoughtful response to my perhaps overly abbreviated comments on your OSAS article.

    The one thing I tried to emphasize is that you can't tackle this subject piecemeal;


    Why not? Is that a rule that is found somewhere in Scripture? Or is it just a rule you made up?

    the new birth is part of a complex supernatural procedure that operates on the soul, spirit, and body. And the complexity deepens as one delves into the diversity of how salvation is expressed in other ages - past and future - amongst those who are "saved" but not in the Bride of Christ.

    In the Bride of Christ? You mean, in the Church? I didn't know that you considered the Church as a vehicle of salvation?

    But for now we know that the new birth comes by faith (Acts 16:31 KJV)

    But not by faith alone (James 2:24 KJV). In fact, if you read further in Acts 16, you will find that St. Paul baptized the jailer and his household (Acts 16:32-33 KJV). Which corresponds to the Jesus Teaching in Mark 16:16 KJV. Those who believe must be baptized in order to be saved. And it is in Baptism that one is regenerated a new creature (Rom 6:4).

    and is a supernatural spiritual change accomplished by God (John 1:12-13 KJV) in the inner man (Col 2:12 KJV; 1 Cor. 6:17 KJV) - which includes a sealing by Holy Ghost, the guaranteed deposit of the Holy Ghost, being made one with Christ, adopted by God,

    Amen! All this is accomplished in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.

    imputed righteousness of God,

    Please provide the reference from Scripture.

    eternal life, etc - as the first stage of a gestation process culminating in full salvation when the Christian gets a new body at Christ's return (1 John 3:2 KJV; Romans 8:23 KJV). Salvation starts at conception (1 Peter 1:23 KJV; 1 John 5:1 KJV) and God is not the abortionist of his own child (Romans 8:15 KJV; Ephesians 1:5 KJV). What God has begun, he completes (2 Timothy 1:12 KJV; Jude 1:24 KJV; Romans 8:38-39 KJV).

    Which one of those verses do you read as saying that God will prevent one from falling? Here is one that says the opposite:

    1 Corinthians 10
    King James Version (KJV)
    1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

    This is a group that was saved. Yet, although they were saved, God was not happy with many of them, because they lusted for evil things.

    And they lost their salvation.

    cont'd

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mack also said:
      So the mechanics of the new birth and the certainty of predestination make "once saved always saved" the rule for New Testament Church-age salvation for the Bride of Christ.

      That doesn't appear to be so. Because St. Paul uses the condemnation of the saved Israelites who lusted for evil as an example and warning to the new Gentile Christians to whom he is speaking:

      11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

      If absolute assurance were the new rule for the New Testament, St. Paul would not need to warn new Christians that they might fall from grace.

      To say otherwise is to blasphemously accuse the blessed Trinity of committing abortion, suicide, divorce, theft, lying, fraud, mutilation, waste, breach of contract, injustice, incompetence, abandonment, and betrayal.

      How so? The Trinity is giving us every avenue to be saved. Whereas, it is the ones who abandon the Trinity who condemn themselves in so doing.

      The proposition that born-again Christian would go to hell is never stated anywhere in the Bible.

      Yes it is:
      Matthew 7:21-23
      King James Version (KJV)
      21 Not 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. 22 Many 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

      Any verses which appear to say so are distinguished because:

      (1) Their wording is wrong since they come from translations other than the Authorized Version;


      That is not true. I am reading from the authorized version.

      (2) They speak of a Christian losing his heavenly awards, role in Christian ministry, daily fellowship with God, or physical life;

      If the Scripture is so speaking, then the Scripture is true, by definition it is the Word of God.

      (3) They warn a local church group to avoid institutional apostasy;

      True. Groups of individuals can fall from grace together. That, in itself, also contradicts absolute assurance of salvation.

      (4) They warn a church group containing unsaved attendees;

      True. They warn a church containing unsaved members that even the saved members can fall away.

      (5) They are doctrines in effect prior to the crucifixion (the OT and gospels) and apply to salvation under the Old Testament law;

      They use those as an example that God still acts the same today, tomorrow and always. If you fall away, you will be punished.

      (6) They may be New Testament (Hebrews, James, Revelation) but they apply doctrinally to people (after the Bride of Christ has been completed) during the tribulation or the millennium or in eternity who are "saved" in a somewhat different manner than the Church is today.

      ??? There are people in the New Testament who are saved differently from other people in the New Testament? Show me from Scripture.

      So there is no way to satisfactorily address the apparent discrepancies that you have raised without going through the very lengthy study it would take to covering all of these issues in great detail.

      You can't address any of Pilgrim's rebuttals because he has thoroughly debunked and disproved everything you have said. And this response of yours is full of your unsupported opinions and made up doctrines which have no part in the Word of God.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
    2. De Maria,

      Is God an abortionist? If human infants are precious, then how much more precious are the spiritual sons of God that God begets by our faith in the Jesus Christ and receipt of the new birth? If earthy infanticide is bad, how much worse God murdering his heavenly children? What a dirty trick for God to ask Christ to make the ultimate sacrifice and die to beget children ... and then that this of God your imagination would be fickle and irritated and kill his own children bought at such a price! Is God a beast?! A mad gorilla?! What kind of callous and brutal monster to imagine God to be?!? It's so outrageously asinine, the implications are blasphemously ludicrous and insane. It's a slander of the worst sort, dragging the character of the most Holy God into the lowest gutter. Wake up!

      Enough nonsense, pay attention to the verses I quoted. Stop playing games. Outgrow your milk teeth and learn to chew meat. The revelation of God's universal plan from eternity to eternity is for those willing to study the Bible carefully:

      "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little ... But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."
      Isaiah 28:9~13 KJV.

      Notice God hid it here and there throughout the Bible to make it tiresome and a weariness to the person with no heart to learn it. Why can't you figure these things out? There is nothing wrong with God or his word, it must be you that has the problem. Check your heart. Be like me, admit your stupid and need God's illumination. But your a wise one, and not stupid, and that's why can't figure anything out! (1 Corinthians 3:18 KJV).

      Paul told Timothy: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV.

      That "rightly dividing" means not everything in the Bible has the same doctrinal application to everybody in every group in every time period. God has dealings with diverse people over different time periods with different sets instructions. The universal rule is to do what God says you must do. Right now that means to believe on Jesus Christ by the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV). That is not the same thing preached in Revelation 14:7 KJV. Why are they different? Because the time is different. Nor was it the same "gospel" preached to the Israelites in the Old Testament (Hebrews 4:2 KJV).

      When Christ told the man with palsy his sins were forgiven, that man knew nothing of Christ's coming death, burial, and resurrection (Matthew 9:2 KJV). Even the disciples didn't yet know (Mark 9:31-32 KJV). These are matters transpiring under the Old Testament law.

      When Numbers 23:19 says "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man," does this disprove Christ's divinity? According to the Jews it does - but they fail to recognize that Numbers 23 is written about 1,500 before the incarnation. Of course God was not a man in 1500 BC - but he was in 33 AD! God doesn't lie (Romans 3:4 KJV) and he doesn't change (Hebrews 13:8 KJV) - but his ways of dealing with people change (Jeremiah 31:22 KJV) and how he is known changes ("but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them." Exodus 6:3).

      It takes many hours to explain eternal security properly, as I have briefly outlined above, and, to be frank, until you stop urpping back up your baby milk you are in no position to begin eating a sirloin steak.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    3. mackquigleyJune 29, 2013 at 6:29 AM
      De Maria,

      Is God an abortionist?


      Only an unregenerate mind would conceive of putting God together with abortion. Do you not realize that God giveth and God taketh away? If He wills that a child die in the womb, who are you to question His will?

      Only human beings can be abortionists because they who take the life of a child in the womb are doing it without regard to the will of God for that child. Whether God wills for that child to grow up and die of old age or whether God wills that child never see the light of day is not their choice to make.

      God has the right to take a child back to Himself from the womb. Men have no right to end anyone's life prematurely, unless it be through the due process of law through the agents God has set in authority over us:
      Romans 13:3-5 KJV
      3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

      If human infants are precious,

      Without question, they are precious.

      then how much more precious are the spiritual sons of God that God begets by our faith in the Jesus Christ and receipt of the new birth?

      They are not more or less precious in the eyes of God. Do you not realize that the Kingdom of heaven is made up of such as the innocent infants who have never sinned? Have you ever read the Scriptures you claim to know?
      Luke 18:16 KJV
      But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

      If earthy infanticide is bad, how much worse God murdering his heavenly children?

      1. That's ridiculous! How do you put the word abortionist or murderer with reference to God? God is sovereign over all life. God gives life and God takes life from whomever and whenever. It is impossible for God to murder or abort anyone's life since He is the one who assigns the length of everyone's life:
      (Luke 12:20 KJV).

      2. Yours is a loaded question designed to imply that we are making God a murderer when in fact, it is you who are twisting the Word of God to your own destruction.

      3. The Word of God is clear. One must persevere in good works in order to be saved. Those who do not, will not be saved. Whether Christian or Jew or Gentile. God is not a respecter of persons (Rom 2:6-11 KJV).

      cont'd

      Delete
    4. Mack also said:
      What a dirty trick for God to ask Christ to make the ultimate sacrifice and die to beget children ... and then that this of God your imagination would be fickle and irritated and kill his own children bought at such a price! Is God a beast?! A mad gorilla?! What kind of callous and brutal monster to imagine God to be?!? It's so outrageously asinine, the implications are blasphemously ludicrous and insane. It's a slander of the worst sort, dragging the character of the most Holy God into the lowest gutter. Wake up!

      1. It is you who has called God those sacrilegious names. Not me.
      2. As for me, I see the justice of God who gives to all according to what they have done in this world. Claims of faith hold no sway with Him. God expects us to act like men. (Revelation 22:12-15 KJV)

      Enough nonsense, pay attention to the verses I quoted.

      I did. You misused the words of God and imbued them with your lies.

      Stop playing games. Outgrow your milk teeth and learn to chew meat. The revelation of God's universal plan from eternity to eternity is for those willing to study the Bible carefully:

      "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little ... But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."
      Isaiah 28:9~13 KJV.


      You should take that advice yourself. I'll let the readers decide between you and I, which one of us understands the Bible.

      Notice God hid it here and there throughout the Bible to make it tiresome and a weariness to the person with no heart to learn it. Why can't you figure these things out?

      It is you having trouble. I follow the Teaching of the Church which is the basis of the Scripture. If you understood and obeyed the Word of God, you would also obey and accept the Teaching of the Church:
      Hebrews 13:7 KJV
      7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

      But, in fact, you are too proud to ever accept any but your own teachings even though they contradict the Word of God:
      1 Peter 5:5….God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

      There is nothing wrong with God or his word, it must be you that has the problem.

      I never said there was anything wrong with God or His word. It is YOU with the problem.

      Check your heart. Be like me, admit your stupid and need God's illumination. But your a wise one, and not stupid, and that's why can't figure anything out! (1 Corinthians 3:18 KJV).

      I have checked my heart and submit to the Teaching of the Scripture which says,
      Hebrews 13:17
      King James Version (KJV)
      17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

      But you are too high and mighty to submit to the authority of the men whom God has placed over your soul. Therefore, you twist the word of God to your own destruction.

      Paul told Timothy: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV.

      I suggest you take that advice.

      cont'd

      Delete
    5. Mack also said:
      That "rightly dividing" means not everything in the Bible has the same doctrinal application to everybody in every group in every time period.

      You're reading a great deal into those two words. Where is that explicitly taught in the Scripture? I want to see it.

      God has dealings with diverse people over different time periods with different sets instructions. The universal rule is to do what God says you must do. Right now that means to believe on Jesus Christ by the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV). That is not the same thing preached in Revelation 14:7 KJV. Why are they different? Because the time is different. Nor was it the same "gospel" preached to the Israelites in the Old Testament (Hebrews 4:2 KJV).

      Really? The Gospel preached in the Epistles of St. Paul is different than the Gospel preached in Revelations? But I can see that you are again twisting the Scriptures. Because none of those say that everyone receives a different Gospel. And the only one which even deals with the topic is the last and it says precisely the opposite of what you claim:

      Hebrews 4:2 (KJV 1900)
      2 For unto us was the gospel preached, AS WELL AS UNTO THEM: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

      When Christ told the man with palsy his sins were forgiven, that man knew nothing of Christ's coming death, burial, and resurrection (Matthew 9:2 KJV). Even the disciples didn't yet know (Mark 9:31-32 KJV). These are matters transpiring under the Old Testament law.

      Don't you realize that Jesus Christ spoke with the authority of God? Or don't you believe that Jesus is God? It doesn't matter what the man with palsy understood or knew. It doesn't matter what the disciples knew. Jesus Christ healed this man and forgave him his sins in order to show the world that He is the Son of God and has authority on earth to do both (Matt 9:2-6 KJV).

      When Numbers 23:19 says "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man," does this disprove Christ's divinity?

      Who said that Christ isn't divine? I didn't. So are you trying to prove Christ's divinity to yourself?

      According to the Jews it does - but they fail to recognize that Numbers 23 is written about 1,500 before the incarnation. Of course God was not a man in 1500 BC - but he was in 33 AD! God doesn't lie (Romans 3:4 KJV) and he doesn't change (Hebrews 13:8 KJV) - but his ways of dealing with people change (Jeremiah 31:22 KJV) and how he is known changes ("but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them." Exodus 6:3).

      Again, you fail to understand the Scripture. God did not change. God is not affected by time or space. God lives in the ever present now.

      It is we who change. It is we who perceive change. But the Jews, whether they know it or not, and all who are saved, are saved by the incarnation and crucifixion of Christ.

      Furthermore, God is not a respecter of persons in the Old or New Testament. That means that God loves the righteous, those who obey His word, whether they be Jew or Gentile. And God despises the wicked, those who disobey His word, whether they be Jew or Gentile.

      It takes many hours to explain eternal security properly, as I have briefly outlined above, and, to be frank, until you stop urpping back up your baby milk you are in no position to begin eating a sirloin steak.

      So says the self proclaimed Scripture scholar. However, if you were to humbly submit your teachings to the scrutiny of the Church, you would quickly be informed of the morass of errors which you proclaim.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      Delete
  13. I'm heading to a friend's birthday party shortly, but I thought I'd check in. Mack, I'll respond to the comments that you've given so far sometime tomorrow or Monday, but in the meantime can you respond to my actual article concerning 1 John and 2 Peter? As far as I can see you haven't actually commented on my any of my analysis...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pilgrim,

      Start by running through the list to make sure the passage is dealing with individual Christians. In 1 John 5:16 KJV it says "a brother" so the answer is "yes." Now the question is whether the passage says anything about this brother's soul being sent to hell? It does not. It only says "There is a sin unto death". We have plenty of passages in the New Testament demonstrating that despite having a saved soul, the Christian's body remain essentially unsaved until Christ appears, and therefore any sinning Christian can be punished by incurring an early physical death due to sin: please read, Acts 5:5 KJV; Romans 8:13 KJV; 1 Corinthians 5:5 KJV; 1 Corinthians 11:30 KJV; 1 Timothy 1:20 KJV; and 1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV.

      And since we also know a saved soul has eternal life (1 John 5:13 KJV; Romans 6:23 KJV; John 17:3 KJV), it is easy to see that the "death" in 1 John 5:13 KJV is speaking of is physical only. After all, in the sense of God's holiness there is actually no differentiation in sin causing spiritual death ("For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10 KJV, and "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23 KJV). That's why John says, "All unrighteousness is sin" 1 John 5:17 KJV. Yet in the temporal sense, some sins are much more benign than others, "there is a sin not unto death." ibid.

      So the passage is saying we can intercede for our erring brothers, particularly when they sin against us, and pray for God's grace so that they don't get whacked by God as he chastises them in this life. Our prayers don't effect their souls one way or the other. But John indicated that this sort of thing is not going to be effective for serious sins, we can't ask God to simply overlook a Christian who is engaged in fornication or adultery or other major sin. God will whack them with chastisement anyhow, and bring them to an early grave.

      A man with AIDS can certainly get saved, but he's going to die physically for his ghastly sins because they were very evil, thus unto death. On the other hand, some regular old selfish jerk who gets saved may be completely forgiven common everyday garden-variety sins and still be granted a long physical life simply because his sins were not so heinous. Both men equally needed their souls to be saved, but physically the consequences of the unsaved life are much worse than the other.

      And likewise, if these two men had both gotten truly saved in their youth, and then wandered later into their respective lives of sin, and then later came back into fellowship, prayers for the recovery of health for the one might never succeed, whereas for the other they likely will. Yet all the while a saved soul remains a saved soul since it is born-again and safely hidden in Christ away from this world, no matter what the current state the physical body is in or extent of mental defilement.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    2. > So the passage is saying we can intercede for our erring brothers, particularly when they sin against us...

      Where does the passage say that?


      >and pray for God's grace so that they don't get whacked by God as he chastises them in this life

      I assume by "whacked", you mean killed...but that doesn't make sense of John's passage! If the sin is serious then they're going to die!


      >...we can't ask God to simply overlook a Christian who is engaged in fornication or adultery or other major sin. God will whack them with chastisement anyhow, and bring them to an early grave.

      So you're saying they'll still be saved? So do you then think that people who "will not inherit the Kingdom" will also be saved? 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

      Delete
    3. Pilgrim,

      The passage (1 John 5:16 KJV) probably applies, as I said, "particularly when they sin against us," because it says we personally witness it and because John indicates there exists some grounds upon which God is obliged to go easy against that sinning brother on the basis of our prayer. That would apparently be the case if we are the very person who was sinned against (Acts 7:60 KJV; Luke 23:34 KJV; John 20:23 KJV; 2 Timothy 1:18 KJV).

      If such de-minimus sins of interpersonal relationships among brethern are always forgiven by us voluntarily of each other, and we pray to God to forgive each other, then, even if we ourselves fail to always recognize the sins or acknowledge them to God (1 John 1:9 KJV), yet the devil will lack the opportunity to successfully condemn any one of us concerning these sins (see, 2 Corinthians 2:10-11), and thereby ruin our daily fellowship with God and hinder our prayers (1 Peter 3:7 KJV).

      But just because we forgive somebody doesn't mean God is obligated to forgive him for his sins when they are major sins "unto death" - for those sorts of things our prayers alone wont work, the Christian himself is going to have to self-confess and get right or get chastised (see, 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 KJV).

      As for the other passage you mention, the next verse states "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV. We are on good terms with God the Father because we have been washed, sanctified, and justified by the other 2 members of the Trinity, which means it is in reliance upon their work that we are assured a sure salvation, not in reliance upon our own steadfastness.

      Neither that passage, nor Galatians 5:21 KJV, which says, " they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God," equate loss of inheritance with going to hell. In Colossians 3:24 KJV it says, "Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." That shows that level of inheritance has to do with rewards, which Christians will receive in differing amounts according to their earthly service (2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV; 2 John 1:8 KJV; 2 Peter 1:11 KJV). To have no such inheritance means entering heaven at the bottom level, but having a saved soul nonetheless (1 Corinthians 3:15 KJV).

      - Mack.

      Delete
    4. 1 Cor 6:9-10 speaks of not inheriting THE KINGDOM...it doesn't mention anything about rewards.

      So, just to be clear, we can "not inherit the kingdom" and still be saved? Doesn't this seem very counter-intuitive to you?

      If you assume this passage isn't talking about salvation, do you conclude that there will share Heaven with those who remain "immoral, ...idolaters, ...homosexuals, ...thieves..." etc?

      Delete
    5. Pilgrim,

      Colossians 3:24 KJV says, "Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." This shows what inheriting means, it is the goods, rights, privileges that can be ours because we are in Christ - yet these kingdom "extras" are distributed on a reward basis to those who greatly work and live for Christ in this life: "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Romans 8:17.

      Hence the expression, "no cross, no crown" - i.e., the heavenly rewards go to those who daily pick up their cross in life to follow Christ. But that's not a recipe for salvation. It is how a man who is already saved by Christ's free grace thereafter earns heavenly rewards.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    6. The trouble is the text doesn't talk about kingdom "extras" (ironically, that's a word you added). It talks about inheriting the Kingdom.

      Delete
  14. I've just read through the comments again and I would just like to reiterate my request for Mack to address my analysis of the passages in this post. I'd like this discussion to remain focused.

    To help direct the conversation, these are the main questions I'd appreciate it if he answered:

    1. Why am I wrong in asserting that 1 John refers to spiritual death? Where is my logic incorrect?

    2. Why does Peter use words like "again" in 2 Peter? Is it possible to return to a place from which you have never left?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pilgrim,

      The first thing to always ask is whether the passage is talking about individual Christians. As I already explained, we know that pigs and dogs are not sheep, so the answer for 2 Peter 2:20-22 KJV is "NO".

      Read the entire passage that comes before - and the parralle passage in Jude - and it is quite clear that Peter is talking about damned souls who never got saved, yet they become false teachers among the sheep and lead people into apostate religion. I think we are seeing it clearly in our day - Catholic and Protestant leaders who kiss the Koran, ordain sodomites and lesbians, preach licentiousness, suck up millions of dollars preaching false gospels, and so forth. These are unsaved hypocrites posing as pious religious leaders.

      Todd Bentley, for example, reformed his sinful life of criminality and addiction to became a popular Charismatic preacher in Florida. On the surface he seems to have "escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" but he is a heretic who preaches a false gospel, communes with demonic angels, causes scandal, and leads people astray into his Christianized occultism. But many Christians are naive and tricked by such charlatans (and especially so when they wear a robe and put a mitre on their head).

      He overcame some addictions, but so do a lot of unsaved people. Salvation isn't an emotional experience of getting "high" on Jesus, which is all that Charismatic altar calls usually amount to. Now he's now in the grip of more wicked demons who use him for religious deception and enrich him. It would have been far better for Bentley to have died of a drub overdose long before he deceived millions by undertaking a preaching career.

      Thus, "the latter end is worse with them than the beginning". These are pigs and dogs, and their true nature wins out. They are not sheep. Similar things could be said of many alleged Roman Catholic religious superstars (Padre Pio, Mother Theresa, John Paul 2, etc).

      So the passage has nothing to do with individual saved Christians going to hell because that is impossible.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    2. > it is quite clear that Peter is talking about damned souls who never got saved

      Did you read my response? All the language of the passage describes people who had previously embraced the faith, who had previously escaped the world and who have now turned their backs on the faith and returned to the world. I don't see how you can read this text otherwise.


      > On the surface he seems to have "escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" but he is a heretic who preaches a false gospel,

      The problem is that Peter doesn't say what you say. At no point does he doubt their initial conversion. If Peter had written the passage as you're describing it, he would have said the following:

      "It looked as if they had escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but they never did. They remained entangled in it. They never knew the way of righteousness and never embraced the divine command. Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog remains with its vomit and never leaves it,” and, “A sow wallows in the mud and is never cleaned’”


      > So the passage has nothing to do with individual saved Christians going to hell because that is impossible.

      ...and this is the problem. You come to this passage with that affirmation and don't allow the text speak for itself and to disabuse you of this doctrine.

      Delete
    3. Pilgrim,

      No, it is quite clear that Peter limits those professors or false religion to an outward change only, escaping outward "pollution" only (2 Peter 2:20 KJV), but not escaping inner "corruption" (2 Peter 2:12 KJV) - so he never calls them saved, and makes it certain for us that they were always lost by referring to them as pigs and dogs.

      Believe it or not, there are religious people who you meet at your church every Sunday morning who are no more saved than a plate of bacon. Some of them are the nicest, sweetest, most syrupy, and pious little piggies on the planet. But they are unregenerate, having never ever experienced the new birth.

      Peter calls them "natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed" 2 Peter 2:12 KJV, but Peter calls Christians "sheep" (1 Peter 2:25 KJV).

      So you fail to read carefully which you must do in order to understand such difficult passages.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    4. Nonsense. In your very citation, it says that they had escaped, and then became entangled again. Neither one says a thing about inner or outer.

      Believe it or not, you too may by your obstinate refusal to believe Holy Writ be among "natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed".

      Delete
    5. > Peter limits those professors or false religion to an outward change only,

      Okay, let's see what evidence you have to support this theory...

      > ...escaping outward "pollution" only (2 Peter 2:20 KJV), but not escaping inner "corruption" (2 Peter 2:12 KJV)

      Is your whole argument based on the fact that Peter refers to "pollutions OF THE WORLD"?


      > he never calls them saved

      The word isn't used, but an escape which doesn't get you out of prison is a pretty useless escape. I don't understand how you can gloss over words such as "again", "turn your back", "return" and "again". They all indicate that there had been a change and that a reversion was taking place.


      > and makes it certain for us that they were always lost by referring to them as pigs and dogs.

      He quotes two proverbs about them RETURNING to the filth. How can you return to your house if you never leave?

      Delete
    6. #3 Tying up loose ends:

      De Maria also misused Mark 16:16 KJV ("He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.") which says belief leads to salvation, but does NOT say that lack of baptism leads to damnation. If I say, "you must get in the train and sit down to get to New York, but if you don't get in the train you won't get there" then the necessity is getting into the train, rather than sitting down, and if you stand the whole way you will still make it regardless.

      And DeMaria asked for a verse that says Christians are kept from falling - here's one: "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 KJV.

      DeMaria also quotes Matthew 7:21-23 KJV to allege some Christians go to hell, but nobody in Matthew 7 is a Christian since Christ says to them "I never knew you" which would be a lie (cf. Gal. 4:9 KJV).

      One differing "plan of salvation" is described in Ezekiel 18 and 33, which relies 100% on works and faith together, and says absolutely nothing about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We are not presently under that scheme, we must believe the gospel Paul preached (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV; Galatians 1:8-9 KJV). Yet, later, after the church age has ended, a new "everlasting gospel" shows up during the tribulation: "...I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth... Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Revelation 14:6-7 KJV. Nothing is said in that gospel about receiving the new birth by trusting Christ alone by faith alone since the church age has at that point ended and these people are in a different category.

      Demaria alleges that Hebrews 4:2 KJV means that the "gospel" preached to the Jews leaving Egypt had the same content as the gospel preached to Christians - as if the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ - which even the twelve disciples didn't understand until after it happened (John 20:9 KJV) - was known in 1500 BC! Patently absurd! Gospel is a generic term that means God's message, and men in every time period have obligations to follow God's message directed to them. The Bible as a whole summarizes all of it, and the messages fit together, but that doesn't mean the messages are all identical.

      Pilgrim then keeps making the mistake of thinking "kingdom" means salvation, and that losing inheritance equates to going to hell. If you lose rewards it does not mean you go to hell, as I already quoted "Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive THE REWARD OF THE INHERITANCE: for ye serve the Lord Christ." Col. 3:24. So bad Christians lose rewards as a penalty for their life of sin, they do not lose their souls in hell.

      Marycatelli and Pilgrim both keep ignoring the fact that Peter is talking about pigs and dogs, not sheep; and that just because people get cleaned up on the surface, doesn't mean they got born-again on the inside. This is VERY troubling because if you don't understand this then you are lost yourselves - you have an entirely wrong concept of salvation. You think it is just reform of life, leaving a polluted area and cleaning up your style of living, instead of a supernatural new life in the inside, an incorruptible new man born-again by the work of the Holy Ghost through faith in the gospel.

      Delete
    7. #4 Tying up loose ends:

      Pilgrim goes on to assert that John only uses life/death as exclusively spiritual, which is incorrect. 1 John 3:16 KJV says we are to lay down our lives for one another, which doesn't mean we are to sacrifice our salvation. And Christ isn't just the author of spiritual life, but of all life, including physical now, and immortal to come.

      And anyone wishing to assert that 1 John 5:16 KJV pertains to spiritual life/death will have to explain the sins that lead to spiritual life, which ones are they? The Bible says sin is death - Romans 6:23 KJV; and James says, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10 KJV.

      So the only way to make this "spiritual death" interpretation work is by noting that there is only one sin that causes spiritual death, which is the failure to believe on Christ: "Of sin, because they believe not on me;" John 16:9 KJV. That is the only sin because if you trust Christ all other sins are forgiven. And thus 1 John 5:16 KJV would mean that you can intercede for anybody's sins except you can't intercede for them to be forgiven if they have rejected Christ - that sin being the one unforgivable sin that leads to death.

      Of course, this shows that either way, OSAS remains the only way to understand the passage.

      Is there anything left I failed to address?

      - Mack

      Delete
    8. Sins what lead to spiritual life? What are you talking about?

      Delete
    9. ". We are not presently under that scheme, we must believe the gospel Paul preached"

      You keep regurgitating this as a way to avoid the gospel that Paul preached, namely all Scripture is for the Christian, not the selected bits you like.

      Delete
  15. Again, in an effort to keep the discussion focused on the Scripture passages at hand, here are some questions I'd appreciate Mack to address:


    1 JOHN 5:16-17

    1. In 1 John 3:14, do "life" and "death" refer to spiritual realities or physical ones?

    2. In 1 John 5:11, does "life" refer to a spiritual reality or a physical one?

    3. In 1 John 5:12, do the phrases "has life" and "has not life" refer to spiritual realities or physical ones?

    4. In 1 John 5:16, is the "life" which God grants as a result of the prayer either spiritual or physical? If it's spiritual, why would you then suppose that the "death" referred to would be physical?

    5. Does it seem intuitive to you that someone whom God has smited to immediately go to Heaven?


    2 PETER 2:20-22

    1. Are you asserting that sinning with my body has no internal consequence to my soul?

    2. Is it possible to do something "again" without having done it before? Is it possible to "turn your back" on something you've never embraced? Is it possible to "return" or "go back" to something you've never left?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pilgrim,

      1 John 3:14 KJV says we have passed from death to life, which obviously is spiritual since John isn't writing to people who were ever physically dead, and this is a clear statement on eternal security of the believer.

      I'm not confused by 1 John 5:16 KJV, but apparently you would require that John re-write his epistle so it is less ambiguous what sort of death he is talking about because you are ignoring the body, soul, spirit differences that are crucial for understanding what salvation means. How many times does John have to say Christians don't die spiritually for you to understand that when he does mention a Christian dying that he must be referring to physical death only? It is not up to John to clear up your misconceptions simply because you aren't following his argument carefully, he only has to write exactly as the Holy Ghost moved him to write.

      As for the soul, it is saved, full stop. That is not antinomianism, and only a lazy unthinking Bible ignoramus would claim it is. A Christian remains under the law in body and subject to broken fellowship in the spirit. And he has lost rewards and embarrassment to look forward to at the Judgement Seat of Christ if he lives a sinful life. But he doesn't ever go to hell no matter what he does once the soul is saved. That is the extent of his immunity, a saved soul, but he is not scot free from consequences for sin.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    2. >1 John 3:14 KJV says we have passed from death to life,

      Okay, so you assert that 1 John 3:14 KJV is spiritual. You skipped over 1 John 5:11, and 1 John 5:12, but I'm going to assume that you'd assert those too refer to spiritual death and spiritual life.


      > apparently you would require that John re-write his epistle so it is less ambiguous what sort of death he is talking about because you are ignoring the body, soul, spirit differences that are crucial for understanding what salvation means

      Nope, I don't think it's ambiguous. I think the context makes it clear. John has consistently been speaking about spiritual life and spiritual death. Therefore, without something to indicate that he has changed tack, I'm going to assume he's still talking about spiritual death in verse 16.


      >How many times does John have to say Christians don't die spiritually for you to understand that when he does mention a Christian dying that he must be referring to physical death only?

      Erm...did you see the questions I presented? I refer to three previous verses within the same document where he speaks of spiritual life and spiritual death.


      > As for the soul, it is saved, full stop.

      Again, rather than focusing on what the passage says, you're simply asserting your preconceived notions.


      > only a lazy unthinking Bible ignoramus would claim it is

      You have just insulted the entire first 1500 years of Christians, as well as the vast majority of Christians since the Reformation.

      Delete
    3. Here are the questions you still need to address:

      1 JOHN 5:16-17

      2. In 1 John 5:11, does "life" refer to a spiritual reality or a physical one?

      3. In 1 John 5:12, do the phrases "has life" and "has not life" refer to spiritual realities or physical ones?

      4. In 1 John 5:16, is the "life" which God grants as a result of the prayer either spiritual or physical? If it's spiritual, why would you then suppose that the "death" referred to would be physical?

      5. Does it seem intuitive to you that someone whom God has smited to immediately go to Heaven?


      2 PETER 2:20-22

      1. Are you asserting that sinning with my body has no internal consequence to my soul?

      2. Is it possible to do something "again" without having done it before? Is it possible to "turn your back" on something you've never embraced? Is it possible to "return" or "go back" to something you've never left?

      Delete
    4. Pilgrim,

      testing 123 ... the "spam catcher" is evidently blocking my posts ... three of them have disappeared so far.

      - Mack

      Delete
    5. #1 Tying up loose ends:

      Marycatelli challenged what sins lead to early death, and DeMaria correctly gave one example 1 Corinthians 11:28-30 KJV (sleeping meaning death - see John 11:11 KJV). Another is 1 Corinthians 5:5 KJV, the fornicator/adulterer in the church. Another would be Acts 5:5 KJV, the ones who lied about how much money they gave. James 5:15 KJV also associates sins with sicknesses. Christ often forgave people's sins prior to healing them - e.g., Matthew 9:2-6 KJV.

      Susan Miller and Dark Hans bring up the false OSAS idea of Calvinism, which is that the "elect" can only know it by their perfect lives, which paradoxically means absolutely no assurance of salvation. Calvinists actually believe in "perseverance" of saints rather than "permanence" of salvation. The correct view is that the saved man believes Christ by his own free will and gets saved, receiving the new birth that is immortal. Knowing if you are saved is not a matter of measuring your holiness, but simply a matter of recalling whether you had trusted Christ to save you are not.

      Joe brings up "ex-christians" and I suspect some of them are in fact still saved, but that most of them never appropriately trusted Christ because their complaints demonstrate their frustrations and bitterness against God who has placed unreasonable demands upon them and in religious leaders who left them feeling guilty and disillusioned. Such people obviously were led to believe the holiness and religious leaders where the means to salvation, which is false.

      marycatelli questioned the veracity and authority of the King James Bible, which doesn't detract from it, but rather only shows her own infidelity. The Book proves itself and those that believe in it will not be put to shame.

      Pilgrim asked, "Who is more likely to be wrong? You or 1,500 years of Christians?" as if the Bible can't just speak for itself at the present time to each of us directly. My opinions are less than worthless, but if I'm quoting the Bible then there no authority on earth any higher and you have to heed it.

      Pilgrim also claimed that a free gift can later be rejected, by the recipient, but the Bible says, "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." Romans 11:29 KJV. If you get a free tattoo you can't just wish it away later no matter how much you regret it.

      Pilgrim also alleged that he has rebutted OSAS simply by raising a few doubtful passages, as if a few ambiguous verses (that I have nevertheless distinguished) would suffice to overthrow Paul's extensive explanations of how the new birth operates and why it is permanent. The burden is on the one questioning the immortality of the new birth to prove why "eternal life" doesn't mean eternal life.

      Pilgrim and Marycatelli both get upset at rightly dividing (2 Timothy 2:15), as if it meant tossing out parts of the Bible. This is incorrect. It is about studying the Bible the way God wrote it and not making an unholy mess by slamming disparate things together where they do not belong (Deut. 22:5 KJV; 2 Chronicles 26:18 KJV).

      Delete
    6. #2 Tying up loose ends:

      The supremacy of Paul's epistles to define Church doctrine, it in no way slights the words of Christ nor anything else written in the entire Bible. The point is simply this: since Paul writes under the direction of the Holy Ghost directly to us, our first obligation is to listen to him. By "us" I mean the body of Christ, i.e., us saved people alive on earth during the present Church-age prior to the tribulation. We are the ones who have OSAS because we are put into Christ by the new birth - but other people in other time periods are going to be saved, but not to that extent. God's royal household consists of a King (Christ), his bride (the Church), his concubines (tribulation saints), his mother (OT saints), his servants (Jews), his subjects (the gentile nations). See the royal wedding of Psalm 45. Of course, these are allegorical, yet they define differing status and roles - the same way modern government have people in different branches of government and serving in different agencies and so forth.

      So Pilgrim claims I'm "raising" John's gospel, which is not true, I'm simply pointing out that Christ ordained that John would live long enough to see the entire revelation of New Testament doctrine, knowing everything that Paul preached, and that this informed his gospel account, thus it is consistent with Church-age doctrines. John is a type of the church since he is the beloved apostle. His account is more specific to Christians than the others which have more doctrines for the other groups. This is not "baggage" but all things that the Bible itself says (eg., the transition from Matthew 1:1 KJV which is Jewish, to John 20:31 KJV, which is Christian).

      De Maria asked for the verses regarding how Christians have imputed righteousness and no imputed sin: "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works ... Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." Romans 4:6-8 KJV.

      Delete
    7. #3 Tying up loose ends:

      De Maria also misused Mark 16:16 KJV ("He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.") which says belief leads to salvation, but does NOT say that lack of baptism leads to damnation. If I say, "you must get in the train and sit down to get to New York, but if you don't get in the train you won't get there" then the necessity is getting into the train, rather than sitting down, and if you stand the whole way you will still make it regardless.

      And DeMaria asked for a verse that says Christians are kept from falling - here's one: "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 KJV.

      DeMaria also quotes Matthew 7:21-23 KJV to allege some Christians go to hell, but nobody in Matthew 7 is a Christian since Christ says to them "I never knew you" which would be a lie (cf. Gal. 4:9 KJV).

      One differing "plan of salvation" is described in Ezekiel 18 and 33, which relies 100% on works and faith together, and says absolutely nothing about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We are not presently under that scheme, we must believe the gospel Paul preached (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV; Galatians 1:8-9 KJV). Yet, later, after the church age has ended, a new "everlasting gospel" shows up during the tribulation: "...I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth... Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Revelation 14:6-7 KJV. Nothing is said in that gospel about receiving the new birth by trusting Christ alone by faith alone since the church age has at that point ended and these people are in a different category.

      Demaria alleges that Hebrews 4:2 KJV means that the "gospel" preached to the Jews leaving Egypt had the same content as the gospel preached to Christians - as if the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ - which even the twelve disciples didn't understand until after it happened (John 20:9 KJV) - was known in 1500 BC! Patently absurd! Gospel is a generic term that means God's message, and men in every time period have obligations to follow God's message directed to them. The Bible as a whole summarizes all of it, and the messages fit together, but that doesn't mean the messages are all identical.

      Pilgrim then keeps making the mistake of thinking "kingdom" means salvation, and that losing inheritance equates to going to hell. If you lose rewards it does not mean you go to hell, as I already quoted "Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive THE REWARD OF THE INHERITANCE: for ye serve the Lord Christ." Col. 3:24. So bad Christians lose rewards as a penalty for their life of sin, they do not lose their souls in hell.

      Marycatelli and Pilgrim both keep ignoring the fact that Peter is talking about pigs and dogs, not sheep; and that just because people get cleaned up on the surface, doesn't mean they got born-again on the inside. This is VERY troubling because if you don't understand this then you are lost yourselves - you have an entirely wrong concept of salvation. You think it is just reform of life, leaving a polluted area and cleaning up your style of living, instead of a supernatural new life in the inside, an incorruptible new man born-again by the work of the Holy Ghost through faith in the gospel.

      Delete
    8. #4 Tying up loose ends:

      Pilgrim goes on to assert that John only uses life/death as exclusively spiritual, which is incorrect. 1 John 3:16 KJV says we are to lay down our lives for one another, which doesn't mean we are to sacrifice our salvation. And Christ isn't just the author of spiritual life, but of all life, including physical now, and immortal to come.

      And anyone wishing to assert that 1 John 5:16 KJV pertains to spiritual life/death will have to explain the sins that lead to spiritual life, which ones are they? The Bible says sin is death - Romans 6:23 KJV; and James says, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10 KJV.

      So the only way to make this "spiritual death" interpretation work is by noting that there is only one sin that causes spiritual death, which is the failure to believe on Christ: "Of sin, because they believe not on me;" John 16:9 KJV. That is the only sin because if you trust Christ all other sins are forgiven. And thus 1 John 5:16 KJV would mean that you can intercede for anybody's sins except you can't intercede for them to be forgiven if they have rejected Christ - that sin being the one unforgivable sin that leads to death.

      Of course, this shows that either way, OSAS remains the only way to understand the passage.

      Is there anything left I failed to address?

      - Mack

      Delete
    9. From this comment I'm going to assume that you do agree that 1 John 5:11 and 1 John 5:12 all refer to spiritual realities. Okay, so if the verses immediately preceding 1 John 5:16 refer to spiritual realities, why would we assume that he would suddenly start talking about physical life and death?

      But what about the verse itself? As I asked in the article, what is the "life" which God grants as result of the intercession? We know it can't be physical life because the person hasn't died and they're not going to die because their sin wasn't too serious. So, it has to be spiritual life. If he speaks of spiritual life in verse 16, why would we assume that the death of which he speaks is physical?


      > And anyone wishing to assert that 1 John 5:16 KJV pertains to spiritual life/death will have to explain the sins that lead to spiritual life, which ones are they? ...

      Sins don't lead to spiritual life. I'm afraid I don't really follow the rest of what you say here.

      Delete
    10. Pilgrim,

      The verse says there is a sin NOT leading to death: which sins don't lead to spiritual death?

      - Mack.

      Delete
    11. Why, venial ones, of course.

      Delete
    12. Except, of course, in your eyes, all sins are venial and do not lead to spiritual death because you hold to OSAS.

      Delete
    13. marycatelli,

      The verse says nothing about "venial" sins and you gave no example.

      The Bible says all sin results in death - Romans 6:23 KJV; and James says, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10 KJV.

      And you don't understand your own religion because so-called "mortal" sins - like skipping Mass on Sunday (!!!) - are forgiveable through Rome's religious rituals of eating a wafer, confessing to a priest, and doing penance.

      So you can't explain the verse.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    14. Har-har-har. It speaks of venial sins, I just gave them their name -- namely the sins that, if you see committed, you should pray for the sinner.

      Nor does it say that they are not forgivable,but that you need not pray for the sinner. Jesus said that only blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable -- except, of course, you do not think what Jesus said matters because He's not Paul. Do you think that you can blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and still be saved?

      Delete
  16. >Pilgrim asked, "Who is more likely to be wrong? You or 1,500 years of Christians?" as if the Bible can't just speak for itself at the present time to each of us directly. My opinions are less than worthless, but if I'm quoting the Bible then there no authority on earth any higher and you have to heed it.

    You say this as though the Bible never needs to be interpreted. I'm just asking what the likelihood is that you've uncovered a mistake made by the vast majority of Christians in history.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Here are the questions which I don't think have been addressed yet:

    1. You also didn't answer my question: Does it seem intuitive to you that someone whom God has smited to immediately go to Heaven?

    2. Are you asserting that sinning with my body has no internal consequence to my soul?

    3. Is it possible to do something "again" without having done it before? Is it possible to "turn your back" on something you've never embraced? Is it possible to "return" or "go back" to something you've never left?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pilgrim,

      You ask, "Does it seem intuitive to you that someone whom God has smited to immediately go to Heaven?" and I'd say of course. Who ever dies without being smitten in the flesh?

      You ask, "Are you asserting that sinning with my body has no internal consequence to my soul?" but you should ask, "If my soul is saved, and I die in sin thereafter, will my soul go to hell?" -- that is the issue with OSAS. The answer is no, your soul is saved. As for "internal consequence" there are all sorts of consequences, both now and in eternity. You can basically lose everything BUT your soul (joy, reputation, family, health, sanity, lost rewards in heaven - and suffer pain, chastisement, humiliation, nakedness, and rebuke).

      You assert that returning to sinful life necessarily means the person had left the sinful life, but I never contested that. Many people leave sinful lives by undertaking various reforms. A lost man goes to hell no matter how much he reforms his life, even if he embraces religion as the system to do it. He remains dead. It boils down to one sin that damns a man, the sin of omission: "Of sin, because they believe not on me;" John 16:9 KJV. So eliminating a thousand sins from your life, but not undertaking to believe on Christ for salvation, means you still go to hell.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    2. yes, you have contested that. If you remain dead, you were never alive, and therefore never left the sinful life.

      Delete
    3. >You ask, "Does it seem intuitive to you that someone whom God has smited to immediately go to Heaven?" and I'd say of course. Who ever dies without being smitten in the flesh?

      I think there's a little bit of a difference between "your time being up" and doing a sin so terrible that it incurs the wrath of God so that he kills you on the spot.


      >You assert that returning to sinful life necessarily means the person had left the sinful life, but I never contested that.

      I would suggest that you have by your interpretation of 2 PETER 2:20-22. The passage says that these people had been freed from the world and known the way of righteousness...only to return to their previous state.

      Delete
    4. Pilgrim & Marycateli,

      You asked whether the person left the mud and returned to the mud - and I agree he did both. But he never got saved on the inside.

      If a man wallows in the mud he lost his mind, but he is still a man. But the sow returns to the mud because it is her nature. If a man eats vomit he has lost his mind, but he is still a man. But the dog eats vomit because it is his nature.

      Do you know what the "sure mercies of David" are?

      They are mentioned in Isaiah 55:3 KJV and Acts 13:34 KJV as applying to Christ.

      It alludes to the promises given David in 2 Samuel 7:14-16 KJV, "I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever." It applies to David's seed, who is Christ per 1 Chronicles 17:11-13 KJV, "I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:"

      The son of David who was raised up was Christ, and the "sure mercies of David" apply to us who are born in Christ such that we may be chastised by men, but God's certain "sure" mercy will never be taken away from us because our souls are permanently saved.

      Thus God answered Psalm 51:11 KJV for us affirmatively, the Christian has God's "sure mercies" and the Holy Spirit is never taken away from him.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    5. >You asked whether the person left the mud and returned to the mud - and I agree he did both. But he never got saved on the inside.

      What exactly did change then? It's not talking about literal mud. What happened when these people escaped the entanglement of the world? What happens to someone when they "know the way of righteousness"?


      >They are mentioned in Isaiah 55:3 KJV and Acts 13:34 KJV as applying to Christ.

      I have to admit I'm utterly confused as to how you use the Bible and what you regard as applying to life in the New Covenant. I've asked it before but I never really got an answer: can you point to anyone in Christian history who approached the books of the Bible in the same way as yourself?

      Delete
    6. Pilgrim,

      What possible excuse do you have for being utterly confused when Paul in Acts 13:34 says that the "sure mercies of David" apply to Jesus Christ?

      Why would anybody have to research "sure mercies of David" in for 2 minuets what it says in 'Christian history' - and what do you mean what? the bloody crusades? Constantine's worship of Sol Invictus? the inquisition? Bloody Mary? the Borga family and pope Joan? what is "Christian history" that judges the Bible? is it Ustashi war-criminal Cardinal Stepinac? or Padre "acid-hands" Pio? Rather dubious and flaky thing, this 'christian history', to hold as an authority over the Bible, don't you think?

      Whenever you have rival authorities (i.e., Bible + anything else), you have to have a judge to decide between the two. That's why the Roman priesthood never lets the Bible be supreme - they always put a 2nd authority so they can enthrone themselves as the final say-so, making themselves the gods over the Bible.

      - Mack.

      Delete
    7. Pilgrim,

      You write, What exactly did change then? It's not talking about literal mud. What happened when these people escaped the entanglement of the world? What happens to someone when they "know the way of righteousness"?

      Nobody is saved by knowing facts, you are saved by believing, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10 KJV.

      Nor are you saved instantly by a supernatural new birth that makes an entirely new creation: " Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV.

      But if you clean up your life by reforms, without ever getting the new birth, then you are in danger of arriving at a worse state than the one you started in:

      "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first." Luke 11:24-26 KJV.

      The man never got saved, he just lost a few of his demons and cleaned up his life. If a person doesn't experience the new birth inside by faith in the gospel, their profession of religion and holy works are all worthless. Knowing the way of righteousness (man's righteousness) is not the same as knowing the person who imparts to you his imputed righteous by the new birth (giving you God's righteousness - 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV).

      - Mack.

      Delete
    8. Typo: You ARE saved instantaneously by the new birth.

      Delete
    9. All I asked was who else in history chopped up the Bible in the same way as yourself... A couple of names will do. If your hermeneutic is as obvious as you say it is that shouldn't be hard, should it?

      Delete