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#38980 Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:56 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
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Clint Offline OP
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A friend of mine and I were talking about this and we can not figure it out.. We ask because this situation is real and true to my friends life.

His grandfather is/was an ordained pastor for a church for about 25 years. After he decided to retire from ministry for reasons related to health, (he was diagnosed with 2 cancers, ((lung and liver)) he and his wife moved to Colorado for treatment. The church he left fell apart after he left because they never found another pastor who could lead them properly. (I understand this scenario as my friends grandfather was able to keep peace with all the members young and old.. There was a great age divider and no other pastor knew how to handle the pressures that come with the 2 age group extremes) anyway, most of the church families that he left blame him for what happened.. They blame him because there were treatments here in Az he could have gone to and still pastored the church or at least have been around to help. (He argues that he left because if a pastor retires his pastoral position from a church, he should not stay a member of that church because it imposes on the new pastor).. Anyway.. Long story short, his grandfather was healed.. His lunger cancer was caught in time for radiation treatments to kill it, and he had a liver transplant and some other treatments.. Since he has healed he has not returned to any church in any manner. Not as a guest, not a member, nothing.. We are trying to figure out if his grandfather is even saved.. According to our understanding of reformed theology, IF he is an elect, he should be persevering and not walking away.. However, his grandmother (who is not reformed, more of a "free grace") says that she is not worried because she knows he is saved and will one day turn around again..

My question is this.. In reformed theology is is possible for an elect to walk away from their faith for any length of time? Is it possible that my friends grandfather is going to heaven but is just in a "slum". I do not know how to console my friend. I cant tell him that everything is okay and that his grandfather will be in heaven or will turn back around or not..

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It doesn't sound like he has walked away from Christ, only that church. And perhaps rightfully so, since they blame him for their own inability (read: unwillingness), in spite of claiming Christ as Lord, to get along with one another.

But to answer your question, yes it is indeed possible for even the very elect to rebel for a season. Sometimes it may even be necessary as a reminder to them of how far and how fast even the "best Christian" can fall without complete childlike humility and dependence on God. But God does not allow the truly elect to remain in such a place of rebellion. He chastens those He loves, bringing them back to their place of joyful surrender and peace.

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Clint Offline OP
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How long is a "season"? You say that it IS possible for even the elect to fall away for a "season", but I am not sure exactly what that means. My friends grandfather has been away from church now for almost 8 years. While he still does his own personal bible study, he will not go to a church. I know that as Christians we are expected to do both..

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Clint,

You can read about the perseverance of the saints in the Canons of Dordt right here on the Highway!In particular, see the fifth head of the doctrine. Best is to read everything. Make a hard copy!

Johan

Last edited by Johan; Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:57 PM.
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My question is this.. In reformed theology is is possible for an elect to walk away from their faith for any length of time? Is it possible that my friends grandfather is going to heaven but is just in a "slum". I do not know how to console my friend. I cant tell him that everything is okay and that his grandfather will be in heaven or will turn back around or not..

Read also the Westminster Confession of 1646 Chapter 11 Article 5


Submitted in the name of Him which hath redeemed the elect, Eric Wells,Protestant Laird of Glencairn
Clint #38985 Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:28 AM
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Plebeian
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Why would your friend need consoling, what doctrine would comfort him? He should be happy that his grandpa recovered, and that I understand is already a miracle from God. Why would equate his grandpa's salvation with his pastorate, it is not something that is earned. Remind your friend that what his grandpa need is his encouragement and love and not for him to ask of now. Just an opinion but may your friend found true comfort from the Great Comforter


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