Donations for the month of November


We have received a total of $100 in donations towards our goal of $175.


Don't want to use PayPal? Go HERE


Search

Member Spotlight
Tom
Tom
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3,300
Joined: April 2001
Show All Member Profiles 
Forum Statistics
Forums30
Topics6,533
Posts50,706
Members921
Most Online373
Mar 5th, 2017
Top Posters(All Time)
Pilgrim 13,293
Tom 3,300
chestnutmare 2,862
J_Edwards 2,615
Wes 1,856
John_C 1,748
RJ_ 1,582
MarieP 1,578
gotribe 1,057
Top Posters(30 Days)
Tom 20
Pilgrim 16
John_C 2
Recent Posts
The Church of England Announcement
by Tom. Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:11 PM
Law and Grace
by Tom. Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:56 PM
Why I hate the left
by Pilgrim. Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:42 PM
What is a missionary work
by Pilgrim. Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:07 AM
Terrorist Attacks
by AJ Castellitto. Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:08 AM
Theonomy
by Pilgrim. Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:54 PM
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
#22089 - Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:57 PM Assurance of Salvation  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 421
li0scc0 Offline
Addict
li0scc0  Offline
Addict

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 421
South Dakota
Good day. Need your collective assistance here. Recently, a dear old friend, a Catholic, sent the below to me. What should be the appropriate "reply" for refutation?
Thanks in advance.

After a parish seminar I spoke with a young man, a Fundamentalist, who insisted that one can have an absolute assurance of salvation.

"All you need to do is to accept Christ as your personal Lord and Savior," he said. That acceptance will make you a "born-again Christian," with heaven guaranteed. Nothing you later might do, no sin you might commit, would exclude you from heaven.

I proposed to him a hypothetical situation.

"Let's say your pastor became a born-again Christian at age fifteen. He now is 75 and for sixty years has lived an exemplary Christian life. So far as anyone knows, and so far as he himself knows, he never, in those sixty years, has committed a serious sin.

"Today, while being in full possession of his faculties, he changes completely. He commits adultery, murders a stranger, robs a bank, deliberately runs over a cat with his car, shouts obscenities at passersby, and then commits suicide, cursing God as he dies unrepentant.

"My question to you," I said to the young man, "is this: Does your minister go to heaven or hell?"

"To hell, of course."

"How can that be, since he is a born-again Christian?"

"No, he isn't."

"Yes, he is, as I told you at the start."

"No, he can't be born-again."

"Hey, this is my hypothetical! I told you he was a born-again Christian."

"No born-again Christian would do those things."

"So you mean that he fooled everyone, including himself, for sixty years? You mean he was mistaken?"

"Of course. There's no other answer."

Then I had a small revelation.

"What you're saying is that you can't tell whether a man really is a born-again Christian until he's safely dead. It means you can't tell if you yourself are a real Christian. You might be fooling yourself, as the minister fooled himself. The conclusion is that you can't have the absolute assurance you'd like to have.

"In practice, if not in theory, you are perilously close to the Catholic understanding of salvation.

"The Catholic Church teaches that we can have a moral assurance of salvation but not an absolute assurance. We can be assured that we will go to heaven--if we remain in the state of grace. But we can have no assurance that we will persevere in such a state, much as we might want to at the moment.

"The Church teaches that since 'God wills the salvation of all men,' he gives each of us enough grace to be saved. Grace is a gift, and a gift is not forced upon the recipient. A gift can be accepted or rejected, and it can be rejected after once being accepted.

"The minister in my hypothetical once accepted grace and, on the last day of his life, rejected it, losing his salvation. He died grace-less and therefore disqualified for heaven."

Our discussion went on for a while. I brought up several verses that I have found useful when talking about the idea of an absolute assurance of salvation. I particularly like to use a trio of verses from Paul. (I give them here in the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition translation.)

In Romans 5:2 Paul writes that "we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God"--that is, we rejoice in our hope of going to heaven. This means salvation is something we hope for.

In Romans 8:24 he says, "For in this hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?" Hope concerns things that are possible but not certain, which is why the saints in heaven no longer have the virtue of hope. They don't need it. Having God, they already have everything, and there is nothing left for them to hope for.

In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul says, "I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." Even the apostle battled earthly temptations lest he succumb to them and lose heaven.

"Taken together," I said to the young man, "these verses show that Paul did not teach an absolute assurance of salvation. Quite the opposite. Who was more a born-again Christian than he? Which Christians of your acquaintance have been knocked off their feet while on the road to Damascus?

"If Paul didn't believe in an absolute assurance of salvation, why should we?"

#22090 - Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:28 AM Re: Assurance of Salvation [Re: li0scc0]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,057
gotribe Offline
Permanent Resident
gotribe  Offline

Permanent Resident

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,057
Chicagoland
Quote
What should be the appropriate "reply" for refutation?


If our assurance of salvation were dependent upon our own holiness then, of course, we would have no assurance at all. However, our assurance of salvation rests in the sinless life and the propitiary death of Christ and His perfections.

I wouldn't deal overmuch with the scenario provided. Rather, I'd start with the foundational truths of the Person and Work of Christ.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
#22091 - Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:38 PM Re: Assurance of Salvation [Re: gotribe]  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 421
li0scc0 Offline
Addict
li0scc0  Offline
Addict

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 421
South Dakota
The problem with rejecting the scenario provided is that it happens all the time. Lay-persons, preachers, theologians, etc. sometimes "lose their faith". Are we to say then they were never saved? If so (i.e. if we say they were never saved), then what assurance do we have? Because some people who are very sincere in their profession of the true faith (i.e. they aren't lying)do, in fact, stop believing.

#22092 - Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:07 PM Re: Assurance of Salvation [Re: li0scc0]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,293
Pilgrim Offline
Head Honcho
Pilgrim  Offline

Head Honcho

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,293
NH, USA
Quote
li0scc0 said:
The problem with rejecting the scenario provided is that it happens all the time. Lay-persons, preachers, theologians, etc. sometimes "lose their faith". Are we to say then they were never saved? If so (i.e. if we say they were never saved), then what assurance do we have? Because some people who are very sincere in their profession of the true faith (i.e. they aren't lying)do, in fact, stop believing.

At the risk of being too brief in my reply, let me suggest that we must distinguish between "objective" assurance, i.e., the guarantee that all those who God has predestined to eternal life in Christ shall receive it, and "subjective" assurance, i.e., the emotional and/or psychological experience an individual may or may not have concerning their own eternal security. The former is based upon the eternal decree and providence of Almighty God and thus it is irrevocable and infallible. The latter is based upon circumstance, although it may be mixed with one's perception of their professed faith. When a true believer sins, then it is only natural that a measure of assurance will be lost. One who owns a false profession may have a "pseudo-assurance" but it is baseless.

A true believer not only will persevere to the end, which consists of periods of "dryness and disobedience" and of "highs and obedience", but he/she is also preserved to the end because God's decree and predestination to eternal life includes ALL that is necessary to that end. Thus, when a person professes to be a believer but whose life is totally inconsistent with that profession in word and/or in deed, the basis for accepting that profession is naturally suspect. If one's words/deeds are not temporal, i.e., there is no genuine repentance for these things, then we as witnesses are justified in concluding that the profession was false. (Matt 7:16-20; Mk 4:1-20; Heb 6:4-6)

Lastly, it is impossible that a person can own "absolute" assurance, if by that one means that they can have infallible knowledge of their eternal destiny. For only God has that knowledge. But a true believer can have a "full" assurance, i.e., they can have little or no doubt that they are children of God in Christ.

For more on this, see here:

True and False Assurance, by Thomas Brooks

Kept by the Power of God, by William Romaine

The Assurance of Salvation, by William R. Crews

Faith and Assurance, by J.C. Ryle

Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter XVIII - Of Assurance of Grace and Salvation

In His Grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#22093 - Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:10 PM Re: Assurance of Salvation [Re: Pilgrim]  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 421
li0scc0 Offline
Addict
li0scc0  Offline
Addict

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 421
South Dakota
Thanks for your reply, appreciated. I will read (reread most of them!) those links. Again, thanks!
Would you then say that those who turn from the faith later were not ever really saved?

Last edited by li0scc0; Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:11 PM.
#22094 - Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:37 PM Re: Assurance of Salvation [Re: li0scc0]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,293
Pilgrim Offline
Head Honcho
Pilgrim  Offline

Head Honcho

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,293
NH, USA
Quote
li0scc0 said:
Would you then say that those who turn from the faith later were not ever really saved?

I suppose it would be prudent to first define the meaning of the phrase "turn from the faith". <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#22095 - Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:50 PM Re: Assurance of Salvation [Re: Pilgrim]  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 421
li0scc0 Offline
Addict
li0scc0  Offline
Addict

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 421
South Dakota
Sorry, by Those who turn from the faith, I mean those who were professing believers (whether lay-person, preacher, theologian, etc.) who then deny Christ, who deny the Christian faith, etc (perhaps they switch religions, perhaps they become atheist, etc.).

#22096 - Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:02 PM Re: Assurance of Salvation [Re: li0scc0]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,293
Pilgrim Offline
Head Honcho
Pilgrim  Offline

Head Honcho

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,293
NH, USA
Quote
li0scc0 said:
Sorry, by Those who turn from the faith, I mean those who were professing believers (whether lay-person, preacher, theologian, etc.) who then deny Christ, who deny the Christian faith, etc (perhaps they switch religions, perhaps they become atheist, etc.).

Thanks for the clarification.... I would have to say with that definition of the phrase, "turn from the faith", i.e., a denial of the essentials of the faith and I would include those who although profess the true faith, their lives are very much contrary to it, such individuals can be justifiably said to own a false profession. Again, it is impossible for any man to be able to know INFALLIBLY the eternal destiny of another; even themselves, for that knowledge belongs to God. However, God has revealed in His Word those things which do allow men to make reasonable judgments and even requires that they do make such judgments, as to the spiritual state of an individual while they are on earth. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#22097 - Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:13 PM Re: Assurance of Salvation [Re: Pilgrim]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,578
MarieP Offline
Permanent Resident
MarieP  Offline
Permanent Resident

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,578
Kentucky
Quote
1 John 2:19- "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us."


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#22098 - Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:43 AM Re: Assurance of Salvation [Re: gotribe]  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote
gotribe said:

If our assurance of salvation were dependent upon our own holiness then, of course, we would have no assurance at all. However, our assurance of salvation rests in the sinless life and the propitiary death of Christ and His perfections.


Yet, Pilgrim links to a whole series of articles that, for the most part, tell us to look for evidence of personal holiness for our assurance of salvation. Looking within ourselves for holiness produces doubt not certainty.

#22099 - Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:23 AM Re: Assurance of Salvation  
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
J_Edwards Offline
Needs to get a Life
J_Edwards  Offline
Needs to get a Life

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
USA
Quote
speratus said:
Quote
gotribe said:

If our assurance of salvation were dependent upon our own holiness then, of course, we would have no assurance at all. However, our assurance of salvation rests in the sinless life and the propitiary death of Christ and His perfections.


Yet, Pilgrim links to a whole series of articles that, for the most part, tell us to look for evidence of personal holiness for our assurance of salvation. Looking within ourselves for holiness produces doubt not certainty.

There is fruit where there is the root.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#22100 - Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:34 AM Re: Assurance of Salvation  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote

Luk 6:43-45 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Mat 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

(KJV)


Seens scriptural to me. Got anything besides blank ridicule? Some EXEGESIS stating otherwise?


God bless,

william

#22101 - Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:21 AM Re: Assurance of Salvation  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,057
gotribe Offline
Permanent Resident
gotribe  Offline

Permanent Resident

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,057
Chicagoland
speratus:

My response was to the question, "What should be the appropriate "reply" for refutation?"

If I were in that particular conversation, rather than be drawn into a debate over hypothetical cases of who is saved and who is not, I would approach it from the basis of the finished work of Christ. Others would do it differently.

I was not suggesting that there was no place in the life of believers for self examination. We are called to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. However, the foundation for assurance is in Christ and not our performance and until that is established, looking at ourselves and others is fruitless.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
#22102 - Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:25 PM Re: Assurance of Salvation [Re: gotribe]  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote
If I were in that particular conversation, rather than be drawn into a debate over hypothetical cases of who is saved and who is not, I would approach it from the basis of the finished work of Christ. Others would do it differently.


You needn't apologize for being right.

Quote
I was not suggesting that there was no place in the life of believers for self examination.


Self-examination is a good thing. By self-examination we learn how far from the mark of perfect holiness we are. We should never look for our assurance of salvation in the very thing that condemns us.

Quote
However, the foundation for assurance is in Christ and not our performance and until that is established, looking at ourselves and others is fruitless.


Right again! Only when we have despaired of our own efforts are we prepared to receive the grace of Christ.

#22103 - Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:50 PM Re: Assurance of Salvation  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,293
Pilgrim Offline
Head Honcho
Pilgrim  Offline

Head Honcho

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,293
NH, USA
Quote
speratus said:
Self-examination is a good thing. By self-examination we learn how far from the mark of perfect holiness we are. We should never look for our assurance of salvation in the very thing that condemns us.

Let's not fall off the other side of the precipice and deny the reality of the transforming and sanctifying work of God the Holy Spirit in the believer. It is only partially true that one should not look for full assurance through introspection. For it is equally true that justification, being declared righteous on the basis of an alien righteousness by faith alone is not by a faith that is alone. One who has been united to Christ will become a partaker of His divine nature; a new creature which shows forth the fruit of that justification. (Rom 6; Jas 2:26)

If upon self-examination one finds only death and no signs of life, then one has no warrant to believe that Christ's Spirit has imparted life to him. Those who are united to Christ, our justification and sanctification, will have been prior to that union, made alive and given a new nature which must and will be expressed in repentance; a change of life. (Matt 7:21; Lk 6:46; Jh 8:31; Eph 1:4; 2:10)

In His Grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 2 guests, and 94 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
drewk, patrice, Robert1962, Ron, billmcginnis
921 Registered Users
Shout Box
November
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
Today's Birthdays
johncalvinhall, ReformedStudent
Popular Topics(Views)
650,532 Gospel truth
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.053s Queries: 16 (0.003s) Memory: 2.7170 MB (Peak: 3.0305 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-11-19 03:11:06 UTC