Perseverance of the Saints

They Profess to Know God: Do They Know Him? (Part 1)

Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

The Disciple-Maker’s Challenge

Everyone who seeks to make disciples in obedience to Jesus Christ faces the same difficulty:

We all try to discern whether or not those we lead to profess Jesus Christ have genuinely believed.

None of us wants to give an unbeliever false hope of salvation if they have not yet repented and placed their faith in Jesus. And so, we all face frustration.

Christians try to deal with this problem different ways. Some decide to take every profession of faith at face value. This is especially true if the new believer knows how to answer basic Gospel content questions. Those who deal with the problem this way usually baptize those that profess Jesus as Savior right away. If you question them, they will point to the book of Acts and respond, “We just trust the Lord with the true results.”

Others, genuinely concerned about false professions, seek to be more careful and discerning. They do not give new believers in Christ assurance of salvation until after they have studied the Bible for a while, come to church, have completed a certain number of lessons, or a certain length of time has passed.

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The Perseverance of the Saints

No. 872. Delivered by C. H. Spurgeon on Sunday Morning, May 23rd, 1869 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”—Philippians 1:6

The dangers which attend the spiritual life are of the most appalling character. The life of a Christian is a series of miracles. See a spark living in mid ocean, see a stone hanging in the air, see health blooming in a leper colony, and the snow-white swan among rivers of filth, and you behold an image of the Christian life. The new nature is kept alive between the jaws of death, preserved by the power of God from instant destruction; by no power less than divine could its existence be continued. When the instructed Christian sees his surroundings, he finds himself to be like a defenseless dove flying to her nest, while against her tens of thousands of arrows are leveled. The Christian life is like that dove’s anxious flight, as it threads its way between the death-bearing shafts of the enemy, and by constant miracle escapes unhurt. The enlightened Christian sees himself to be like a traveler, standing on the narrow summit of a lofty ridge; on the right hand and on the left are gulfs unfathomable, yawning for his destruction; if it were not that by divine grace his feet are made like hinds’ feet, so that he is able to stand upon his high places, he would long before this have fallen to his eternal destruction.

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Can Names Be Blotted out of the Book of Life?

By Carl Johnson

Revelation 3:5 records this promise: “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” One portion of the verse bothers some people; it is “I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.” Some infer from this statement that names can be blotted out of the Book of Life. The verse does not say that names will be blotted out of the Book of Life. In fact, it says just the opposite: “I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.”

Of course, this statement implies the possibility of having one’s name blotted out. J. A. Seiss in his book Letters to the Seven Churches stated,

There is a Celestial roll-book of all those who name the name of Jesus. But it depends on the persevering fidelity of the individual whether his name is to continue on that roll or to be blotted out.1

Dr. John F. Walvoord answered Seiss’s conclusion by writing,

To make the continuance of our salvation depend upon works, however, is gross failure to comprehend that salvation is by grace alone. IF it depended upon the believer’s perseverance, the name would not have been written there in the first place.2

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“God can no more fail to keep us than he can lie, or die, or live without loving.”

"As he draws the letter to a close, he leaves them with a benediction: Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Th 5.23)." - Olinger

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From the Archives: Thoughts On Eternal Security

From Faith Pulpit, Spring 2016. Used by permission.

It has been twenty-four years since the topic of eternal security was last addressed in the Faith Pulpit. In the February 1992 issue Dr. Myron Houghton presented the four major views on security and then explained how Romans 8:28–30 supports eternal security. In this issue Dr. Alan Cole, professor of Bible and theology at Faith Baptist Bible College, extends the discussion by presenting additional evidence to support the view that genuine believers cannot lose their salvation.

I appreciate the article Dr. Myron Houghton wrote in 1992 about eternal security, and I completely agree with his position. The article provides valuable help to Christians regarding this important issue. Since Dr. Houghton’s article examined Romans 8:28–30, I want to explore several other passages that support eternal security.

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Perseverance and Hebrews 6: The Midrash Solution

Detail from "The Spies Return from Canaan," Gerard Jollain (1670)

(Hebrews 6:3-9 with Numbers 13-14)

Introduction

In the United States, many people who had at one time professed allegiance to Jesus Christ have turned away from their previous commitment. We refer to a person who once knowingly professed the faith — but has since renounced it — as an “apostate” (from the Greek, “one who stands away” from what he once professed). Theologically, how do we account for apostates?

Most of us would agree that people who deny Christ (whether they once professed Him or not) are lost. But what route did these apostates take to earn this “lost” label? Do genuine believers always persevere in their faith? Is our assurance of salvation merely tentative — subject to revision? Bible-believing Christians are divided over this issue. For many, the text of Hebrews 6:3-9 is a deciding factor, and there are certainly a number of interpretative routes we could take.

An Important Perspective

I would like to demonstrate that interpreting this passage from a Midrash perspective clarifies the controversy. By Midrash, I mean that the writer to the Hebrews is intentionally and consciously drawing principles from Old Testament texts, in this instance Numbers 13:1-14:45. He applies the principles of this text to a current (somewhat parallel) problem within the Hebrew congregation, the result being Hebrews 6:3-9.

Since most Jews had memorized the entire Torah and were fluent in the rest of Old Testament, I would argue that the original readers of Hebrews understood this clearly.

2484 reads

Thoughts On Eternal Security

From Faith Pulpit, Spring 2016. Used by permission.

It has been twenty-four years since the topic of eternal security was last addressed in the Faith Pulpit. In the February 1992 issue Dr. Myron Houghton presented the four major views on security and then explained how Romans 8:28–30 supports eternal security. In this issue Dr. Alan Cole, professor of Bible and theology at Faith Baptist Bible College, extends the discussion by presenting additional evidence to support the view that genuine believers cannot lose their salvation.

I appreciate the article Dr. Myron Houghton wrote in 1992 about eternal security, and I completely agree with his position. The article provides valuable help to Christians regarding this important issue. Since Dr. Houghton’s article examined Romans 8:28–30, I want to explore several other passages that support eternal security.

24287 reads

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