<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]It (Hebrews 4:1) does not indicate that Christ can fail, but that man can. Paul is speaking not to those who have not true faith, but who have truly believed (vs 3), and warning them not to fall short of entering His rest just as those in the wilderness did, vs 11 also restates this warning.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Josh, you did not even address my assertion. I am not arguing that men do not fail, but I pointed out that Hebrews 4:2 states that these individuals did not have true faith to begin with. You start with the assumption that they were saved; I let the text tell me that they were not saved at all to explain why they come short of the promise. The warnings are legitimate, but those with genuine faith will heed them and not fall away. Those who do fall away demonstrate they are disobedient and were not saved at all. Why is that not a legitimate understanding of the passage?<br><br>Moreover, you do not even take into consideration the whole analogy of the OT Exodus the author is employing back up in the verses at the end of Hebrews 3. It is obvious from what is being written here, that there were many delivered from Egypt at the Exodus, but they did not have true faith in the God that delivered them, and thus they did not enter the promise of rest. How exactly would you understand Hebrews 4:1,11 in light of what is established before beginning in Hebrews 3:16 and following? <br><br>I asked Josh:<br><br><ul>"First off, you approach my specific question about this text (as well as this entire debate) with the the theological presupposition that men must act in cooperation with God in order to be saved, or they will loose their salvation. It is a deplorable presupposition, but a presupposition none the less."[/LIST]<br><br>Josh offers an invitation<br><br><span style="background-color:yellow;">I invite you to disprove it Biblically.</span><br><br>I will be happy to take up your invitation. First, would you say that your position would be something like, God did his part to provide salvation to men through Christ, but now it is up to men to avail themselves of this salvation? Thus any appropriation of salvation must come by the faith of the sinner, correct? But the Bible is clear that man has no ability to exercise this saving faith. In fact, as I have already demonstrated to our old heretic friend Jacques last month, Ephesians 2:8,9 states emphatically that the faith to believe the gospel is a part of that grace that God gives. With out the gift of faith given to the sinner, he can never cooperate with God's plan of salvation. <br>Furthermore, Paul writes in Romans 8:6-8 that those not in the spirit (non-christians) are considered "carnal" or "fleshly." They can not do anything to please the Lord, and are in fact, enemies of God. The phrase "nor indeed can be" in 8:7 is translated from the words oude gar dunatai which literally means indeed powerless. According to Paul's words here, the sinner does not have it in his ability to cooperate in any fashion with God's plan of salvation, because he lacks the spiritual "power" to be obedient; he is unable to please God in a spiritual manner. <br>Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 2:14 say the same thing. Natural men do not have the spirit of God, and are thus rendered powerless to understand spiritual things. Paul uses dunamus here in this verse as well, and it means the same thing he stated in Romans 8:7. The gospel is a spiritual message. It is impossible for a sinner to cooperate with God by obeying the commands of that spiritual message, because they have no ability to do so. It is only by God's illuminating grace that a natural man has the power to believe. <br>The really burden of proof, however, is for you Josh, to show us, from the text of scripture, why you believe men have the ability to cooperate with God in salvation.<br><br>In actuality, the real issue is how bad you think sin impacts a person. It is obvious from your statements, that you do not think sin is that big a deal in hurting man. It has not killed man, just gimped him up some with a broken leg or something. Thus, I would imagine with all the passages outlining the destructive nature sin has on all men, you either think Paul was exaggerating, or you water down what he is saying. <br><br>I asked Josh<br><ul>"Next, you have an improper reading of scripture. What on earth does a discussion about salvation to the mass of people who thronged Jesus in Capernaum as recorded in John 6, have to do with an intimate conversation between Jesus and his 11 remaining apostles as recorded in John 15?"[/LIST]<br><br>Josh responds<br>It is the same truth about the same subject spoken by the same Man. Romans 11 also confirms this teaching.<br><br>Really? Are there any principles of hermenuetics you utilize when you study the Bible? Could you show me how this two passages are even remotely similar? And on top of that how does Romans 11 confirm your understanding of these two unrelated passages? I look forward to your response.<br> <br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]There is also no mention of election or predestination in John 3:16, am I to assume that such a doctrine is not taught in the Bible? A verse that does not state a condition does not negate a verse that does.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>I acutally wrote out a lenghthy exegetical essay about John 3:16 which I can email as an attachment to you if you wish, or to anyone else for that matter. You are correct in pointing out that it is not mentioning election or predestination, but the one thing you fail to take notice from this passage is that it emphatically establishes that those who believe can not loose their salvation. The text literally states that the believing ones will not perish. The purpose of God giving the son was so that those believing will not perish. There is a grammatical hina clause in this verse, and the hina clause expresses purposeful results. The aim of the action in the main verb. It explains why X does Y. This hina clause, along with the phrase "should not perish" establishes the fact that there is no loss of this eternal life. The result of the father giving the son was that every believing one will never, without a doubt, perish. There is no way you can get around the force of the grammar in this passage Josh. Unless of course you do what the JWs do, and physically change the text. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]No, you are reading more into it than is written. John 15 and Romans 11 clearly state that those who do not abide will be cast out. If not abiding is an impossibility, then why are there so many warnings in the scripture against it, or warnings like Revelation 22:19?</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>First off, I think several othes who have been posting to you have offered up their understanding of these various texts. The issue is that you do not like their interpretation, but it is your burden to show us why we are wrong with that interpretation. Several of these folks offered up some solid exegesis, but you do not interact with that exegesis. Below, I will send you to a link that will give you an extensive understanding of John 15 and the article will show you why Jesus is not teaching conditional security. <br><br>As for the warning passages, like Rev. 22:19 (which, by the way, I answered in my last post several weeks ago, but you gave a rather, pathetic non-answer, see below), there is no debate about the warning passages. Everyone will agree they are in the Bible. The debate comes down to how we understand them. I believe the warning passages weed out false believers from true ones. Your position has no room for the fact that there are many individuals claiming they are Christians, but in actuality, they are not truly saved. That is because they have no genuine evidence of spiritual fruit in their lives. Why exactly do you not consider this possibility? The truly saved will heed the warning passages, not because they are fearful of loosing their salvation, but because they love their Lord, and they do not want to dishonor him. That is perseverance. True Christians persevere. They struggle with sin, they confess it, they pursue godliness. Fake believers wallow in self pity, don't take sin serious, and don't care to be godly. They attend church on a minimial level, if at all, and live their life the way they please, and not under the Lordship of Christ. They could care less about those warning passages. That is what John summed up in his epistle that they went out from us, because they were not of us (1 John 2:19). These people were not Christian to begin with. If they had been, their would had been perseverance on their part. <br><br>Fred offered up a couple of thoughs about Josh's proof texts:<br><br><span style="background-color:yellow;">Yes, Josh, you did point those passages out, but you fail to realize those passages do not prove what you want them to prove."</span><br><br>and<br><br><span style="background-color:yellow;">"Josh, all of these passages, as well as the many other 'so-called' problem passages you keep raising are easily answered if you would read the text properly. Now reading the text involves more than reading the Bible with your conditional security glass in place."</span><br><br>Josh responded <span style="background-color:yellow;">Show me how they do not prove it [b]AND Then answer them conclusively.[/b]</span><br><br>Like I stated above, those you have been interacting with here, have offered you some fairly solid interpretations of these problem passages, as well as showed you why you are wrong about your position. You choose to ignore it. I will give you a link to an extensive article on John 15. My hope is that you will be a Berean, read the article, and see if these things be true. <br>http://aomin.org/John15.html<br><br><br>fred stated<br><ul>"You need to consider context, grammar in the original language, the point of the book and so on if you wish to handle properly the word of God, or as Paul told Timothy 'rightly dividing' the word of God."[/LIST]<br><br>Josh replied<br><span style="background-color:yellow;">I do, thank you.</span><br><br>Huh? you have yet to show us that you have any competence in handling the word of God. You are pulling verses out of context, cross-referencing unrelated passages, and not even considering the original language. <br><br>Fred pointed out<br><ul>"Regarding Rev. 22:19, perhaps you can explain to me why you think this is a reference to loosing salvation? Is it because of John using the phrase 'book of life?' How exactly does the addition of plagues mentioned in verse 18 play into your understanding of one loosing his salvation? If I am looking at this passage the way you do, it seems like only plagues are added to the person who adds to the things in the book. Nothing is taken away. So, could the person who only adds to the book of prophecy still maintain his salvation, yet with the addition of plagues?"[/LIST]<br><br>And Josh's stunning reply<br><span style="background-color:yellow;">I would think that taking away is a worse transgression than adding, but to answer your question, possibly, but I don't think I would like to find out the hard way.</span><br><br>Why should I even bother responding? This is basically a non-answer. Come on Josh, you're a student in electrical engineering. You can do better than that. You replied further that "taking away or adding to this prophecy" is to be understood as taking away from the Revelation specifically. But the transgression to get your part taken away from the book of life is defined as just that, adding to or taking away from the prophecy of the Revelation. So, if we use your logic, as long as a person doesn't add or take away from the Revelation, their salvation is secure. Would that not be accurate to say? To answer your question once again, "why does God give us this warning?" To weed out false professors from true possessors. The true believers will never do this. <br><br><br>In response to my thoughts on Galatians 5:4, Josh stated:<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]"Christ will profit you nothing" (vs 2) "You have become a stranger to Christ" (vs 4). Consider this, the scripture says that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, it also says that if any man has not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His; so it follows that all who are Christ's have His Holy Spirit and are free. How then can you think that those who turn again and put themselves in bondage are Christ's? And besides, if one has let go of grace, how can he be under it any longer?</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Again, you totally miss Paul's thoughts here. He is speaking about the influence of false doctrine. Someone was spreading false leaven among the Galatian church (5:9). This is another area where you seem to have no room in your system. You do not see that Christians can come under the influence of errant doctrine, yet still be saved. Thus, in your system, if an immature believer happens to come under the influence of false teaching, he looses his salvation? Did Peter loose his salvation when he came under the influence of the Judaizers as Paul relates in Galatians 2? <br>Moreover, if Paul is saying the Galatians lost their salvation, what does he mean when he writes in 5:10 that he has confidence in them that they will have no other mind? It seems like to me that Paul is contradicting your beliefs, because he had confidence in their assurance and that there is no loosing one's salvation being taught here.<br><br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Certainly: Several quotes show that they are not only false teachers, but apostates from the Christian faith. Vs 1 indicates that they will deny the Lord that bought them, and vs 14 calls them accursed children. The character they are shown to have does not prove that they never had any change in their lives, but that they have fallen away from what is right "forsaken the right way and gone astray." And my original argument, one cannot escape the pollutions of the world unless one has partaken of the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4)</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>I would encourage you to check out Gary Long's article listed under the home page on this passage. At any rate, Peter distinguishes between false teachers and the people in verse 1. These false prophets were present among the people of Israel, and will be present in the church. They were not first of the people and became false teachers; they have always been false teachers who came in among the people. That is what Peter means when he says they secretly bring in heresies. This is something from the outside being brought it. Nothing in Peter's description of these false teachers suggests that they were partakers of the divine nature of Christ. They were corrupt from the beginning. <br><br><br>By the way, you haven't answered my question about Dan Corner of Evangelical Outreach. Are you a fan of his?<br><br>Fred<br>

"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns