How Does The Assemblies Of God Respond To Reformed Argument For Eternal Security
The Assemblies of God happily acknowledges the common ground they have with other Christians, including those who hold to Reformed theology. The denomination states,
It is important to recognize that both Reformed and Arminian groups, especially in their moderate expressions, are fully Christian. Holding a high view of Scripture, both affirm that humankind is in need of salvation, that God alone can provide salvation, and that Christ is Gods provision for our need. In fact, members of both groups are usually together in evangelism and discipleship, though differing on certain points of theology.
In 2015, the General Presbytery of the Assemblies of God adopted a position paper on Reformed theology, which in part addressed the rising popularity of the Calvinist belief system. The paper is a response to the main tenets of Reformed theology and why the Assemblies of God disagrees with them.
Does God force people into a relationship with him? The essence of their argument is that just as God doesnt force people into a relationship with him, he also doesnt force them to stay in one. God has given people the freedom to leave him if they choose, though they will suffer consequences, even eternal ones, as a result.
Therefore, God doesnt jeopardize peoples eternal security, but an individual can jeopardize their own. The paper continues,
What Is The Connection Between Faith And Hope
On these grounds, faith is the result of current belief systems as shaped by experience, whereas hope is the product of desiring a future state of affairs. And while the two are intimately connected, is the best expression of the relationship between faith and hope. One cannot have hope without faith.
Verses Against Eternal Security
Christians who think believers can lose their salvation have found several verses that say believers can fall away:
“Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”
“You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ you have fallen away from grace.”
“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”
People who do not hold to eternal security cite other verses warning Christians to persevere in their faith:
“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
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But Here Is My Stance Bible Speaks About Tattoos I Will Explain To You My Thought To You On The Subject Using The Word Of God
People have different reasons for having tattoos, some print it to mark a favorite place, memorable person in their lives, special event that happened in their lives, and so on.
Does the Bible speak about tattoos? I believe that Bible speaks about tattoos, but what does it say about it? It is the mark of the beast? Does it hinder people from Heaven? If you have it, can you make Heaven?
What Does The Bible Say About Hope And Faith
Bible Verses about Hope But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest You are my refuge and my shield I have put my hope
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Why Is God Called Eternal
They thought of God as eternal, in the sense that he is timeless or atemporal. His eternal nature is thought of as being everlasting rather than timeless. He never came into existence and he will never go out of existence but he exists within time. Proponents of each of these positions attribute eternality to God.
What Does The Bible Say About Security Of The Believer
Lets define security of the believer. The true believer in Jesus Christ is forever kept safe from condemnation before God, no matter what he or she may do or experience. In Jude 24 we are told God is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the present of his glory with exceeding joy.
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Verses In Favor Of Eternal Security
One of the most compelling arguments for eternal security is based on when eternal life begins. If it begins as soon as a person accepts Christ as Savior in this life, by its very definition, eternal means “forever”:
“My sheep listen to my voice I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all no one can snatch them out of my Fathers hand. I and the Father are one.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Gods grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”
A third argument is that Christ continues to act as our Mediator before God in heaven:
“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”
A fourth argument is that the Holy Spirit will always finish what he started in bringing the believer to salvation:
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
My Conversion With A Tattoos Guy
I remember one time I was out soul winning, I met a young man with tattoos all over his body, and I went to talk to him about salvation. Throughout the conversation, I never one time talk about the tattoos on him, and after the discussion, he trusted Christ, but he couldnt hide his feeling, and he asked me, so what do you think about my printing on my body? Dont you see the tattoos are all over my body, and you still decided to talk to me. He continues, many pastors have told me that I am doomed, and I cannot go to Heaven because of the tattoos on my body.
I explained to me what my stance is on the issue of tattoos, and how the Bible speaks about tattoos. I believe that tattoos are sinful thing to print on your body. Let me say this having tattoos on your body is not the mark of the beast because the mark of the beast goes on the forehead or in the hands. And also the mark of the beast is not until the time of the tribulation
Revelations 13:16-17 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelations 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
Jesus Christ Died For All Of Our Sins: Past Present And Future
The Bible tells us that Jesus is constantly interceding for us before God. Among other things, this means that when we sin, he tells God, Yep, I died for that one too. And that one. And that one. And, yes, that one too.
But some people who reject eternal security teach that he only died for the sins that were prior to us believing in Jesus. So if we committed a thousand sins, and then believed in Jesus for eternal life, Jesus died for all of those 1000 sins. But we better be careful, because if we sin again, Jesus will take eternal life away from us. But does this make any sense? When Christ died for our sin, how many of them were future to him? All of them. When Christ died for our sins, he died for all of our sins. The timing of our sin is irrelevant from Christs perspective.
Look at it another way. 2000 years ago, Christ died on the cross for all of your sins. 2000 years later, you are born, you grow up, you hear the Gospel message, and you believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life. You believe that He paid the entire penalty for your sin. Because of your belief in Jesus, God justifies you He declares you not guilty. He gives you eternal life. But then a few hours, or days later, you sin. You lie to your spouse. You gossip. You get drunk. If that sin causes you to become guilty again, then that is a sin that Jesus did not die for. And if he did not die for it, then there is no hope for you.
Willful Sin After Salvation And Eternal Security
Youve raised a great and tricky question. It touches on the mysterious relationship between Gods sovereignty and human free will, and it involves a lot of other theological issues as well.
Christians from different faith traditions dont always agree about the best way to answer these questions, so Focus on the Family tends to steer clear of the discussion . Still, were glad to offer a few thoughts that we hope will address your concerns.
But first, our most important suggestion is that you get help from someone in person. Look for a mature believer you can talk with honestly a pastor, church elder, or qualified Christian counselor. If youre dealing with some kind of addiction, you might not be able to overcome it without psychological or medical treatment.
Would you let us be a starting point? Our licensed or pastoral counselors would be glad to talk with you in more detail. They can also give you a list of qualified professionals in your area.
In the meantime, heres a basic biblical and theological perspective.
Gods Grace Is So Great It Removes All Of Our Sin From Us
This ultimately is what it all boils down to the grace of God. A persons position on eternal security is ultimately determined by their view of Gods grace. Do we deserve it or not? Is it earned or not? Is it limited or not? Is it infinite or not? If we dont deserve Gods grace, then we cant do anything to earn it. And if we dont do anything to earn it, we can do anything to keep it. And if cant do anything to keep it, then we come full circle and discover that all we can do is trust and rely on God to keep us in His family. And that is exactly what Gods grace does. Paul explains to us in Romans 5 that if God, by His grace, can save us while we were yet sinners, it is a simple thing for Him to keep us when we are justified and righteous in His eyes .
What Is Conditional Eternal Security
The conditional preservation of the saints, or commonly conditional security, is the Arminian Christian belief that believers are kept safe by God in their saving relationship with him upon the condition of a persevering faith in Christ.
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Why Teach On Eternal Security
That is why a topical study like this one is so important. I want to give you my beliefs about the issue of eternal security, and why I believe what I do. Then, beginning next week, we will look at several passages that I believe support my position, and following that we will look at several passages that seem to contradict it. We will not look at many passages in this lesson, but will save them for later. Currently I have about ten passages to look at so far.
In this message, I just want to introduce you to the position I hold on eternal security and why I hold it. I know that there are many in the church who hold different beliefs than those I hold to. If you discover that you are one who disagrees with me, the worst thing you can do is leave the church. That will accomplish nothing. You see, one of us is wrong. And if I am wrong, I want to know it. If you are wrong, I hope you want to know it. Nobody wants to believe error. But the only way we will learn is if you stay. You can teach me and I can teach you as we trust the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth.
So why should we teach about eternal security if it is such a divisive issue? Well, first of all, because it is such a divisive issue. God wants Christians to be unified, not divided. And second, because none of us want to believe error. We can only come to unity as we talk about this issue with one another in love.
All Christians Wrestle With Sin
Every Christian in the world wrestles with sin every single day of his or her life. Even the apostle Paul complained, For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate .
None of us is conformed to the image of Christ overnight. Sanctification is a moment-by-moment challenge. Its a process that wont be complete until we leave this world and see the Lord face to face. Until then, our responsibility is to trust God and walk with His Spirit .
Because of the sin nature that dwells within us, theres a very real sense in which we often sin against our own wills . In other words, every sin is willful sin. If it werent, we wouldnt be responsible and if were not responsible for our own actions, sin cant be sin at all. As James says, Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death .
So if every sin is willful sin, it doesnt make sense to say that willful sin causes us to lose our salvation. What hope would there be for any of us?! No the apostle John assures us of something quite different and encouraging:
Again, its a day-by-day, moment-by-moment process.
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The Bible Is Clear: Eternal Security Is A Manmade Doctrine
The notion of once saved, always saved is false and presumptuous. Mortal sin is possible even for believers.
Eternal security is the Protestant notion that, once having attained salvation, a Christian can never possibly lose it, no matter what they do. This is a false and unbiblical doctrine.
Catholics, Orthodox and many strains of Protestants, on the other hand, believe that its possible for a regenerate, justified Christian to reject God and his teachings and fall away .
Catholics also believe in a strong notion of moral assurance of salvation, meaning that if we examine ourselves and make sure we are free of all mortal sin, that we are in good graces with God and would be saved and go to heaven if we died at that moment.
In this article , I present much biblical data that refutes eternal security and upholds Catholic teaching on justification and salvation.
Romans 11:22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but Gods kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness otherwise you too will be cut off.
St. Paul is talking primarily about groups and communal salvation, so to speak, so this is a relatively weak argument against the eternal security of individuals. That said, its still, nonetheless, the same general notion that groups can possess salvation and then lose it .
Everlasting Life Is Everlasting
I do not see how people who believe that we can lose eternal life can speak of it as everlasting or eternal life. Earl Radmacher likes to say that if everlasting life can be lost, it has the wrong name. It should be called temporary life, or life until you sin. But God calls it eternal life and everlasting life. And everlasting life is just that it is everlasting. Those who reject eternal security say that it is everlasting as long as we obey. We have eternal life if we continue to believe. But that is not everlasting life. This brings us to my fourth conviction about eternal security.
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