Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Perseverance of False Professors

The Calvinistic doctrine of Perseverance teaches that all believers will endure to the end in good works and fruit bearing. The idea that they will persevere is because the Holy Spirit will enable or direct them to continued fruit in their lives. This teaching is coupled with the doctrine of election which states that God has chosen the individuals who will be saved from before the foundation of the world and none of them will be lost, neither will any others be added to their numbers.

Assuming this to be true, what does it matter whether or not someone professes Christ but is indeed a "false convert"? If they were meant to be elect their salvation will indeed be genuine while those who were predestined to be damned will remain in the delusion of a "spurious" profession.

Ray Comfort states that 90% of professions are false. That may be the case in California and other parts of the US, BUT is hardly the case in nations where the Church is severely persecuted and mocked. What possible reason would a person have to pretend to trust Christ if they would risk their life for doing so? Why would anyone give up the comforts of life and pleasure unless they realized that a greater threat than physical death was imminent?

IF these doctrines are indeed true as many affirm, then what is the issue with haggling over requirements for salvation? The elect will get saved - end of story.

IF the number of the elect is already fixed and unchangeable, how should we as Christians be living and what should be our priorities in life?

10 comments:

jazzycat said...

Jim,
IF these doctrines are indeed true as many affirm, then what is the issue with haggling over requirements for salvation? The elect will get saved - end of story.

The elect are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. They are not saved by belief in false gods or as one emergent pastor, who denies the atonement as a payment for the sins of the redeemed, said by being a follower in the way of Jesus and working for social justice. (this is an example of denying Christ that we discussed a post or so back) God has not only chosen the end but also the means. The means is for human beings to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth to all people.

IF the number of the elect is already fixed and unchangeable, how should we as Christians be living and what should be our priorities in life?

No different than if the elect were not fixed and unchangeable.

Jim said...

I think this is a prime example of how the doctrine of election can lead to a denial of the great commission.

The first time [William] Carey openly suggested the idea of foreign missionary work he was repulsed by a senior minister who said, "Young man, sit down. When God pleases to convert the heathen He will do it without your aid or mine."

Would God give us a greater compassion for souls and the lost than He Himself has? I think not. So why is it that I am burdened (albeit not enough as I ought) for the salvation of those who are destined for hell?

jazzycat said...

Jim,
I think this is a prime example of how the doctrine of election can lead to a denial of the great commission.

What is the "this" in this statement?

Jim said...

The "hyper" Calvinism of the senior minister that rebuked William Carey.

Only Look said...

Hey Jim,

I am reminded of the call of Jack Wyrtzen from Word of Life. He street preached and finally one day told a board of Plymouth Brethren that he was a member of that God was calling him to start what would later become the Word of Life ministry. One man stood up and strongly discouraged him while another stood up and said, "The wind blows where it listeth" and to let the call of God be on this mans life. So those old Calvy points can go this way and that. So is the answer truly blowing in the wind my friend:-)

Little joke....perhaps a tiny one.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Only Look said...

Bob Dylans songs?

Now those can be ambiguous...except for the "You gotta serve somebody" or "Saved".

Grace upon grace,

Brian

jazzycat said...

Jim,
Certainly the doctrine of election can lead to error just as other doctrines can lead to error. The fault of course is not in the doctrine but those who are in error. BTW, William Carey was a Calvinist and Calvinism is noted for evangelism and missionary support. Since Calvinist are aware that God may use them to reach those he will quicken and bring to faith, they have a strong desire to be faithful to that calling.

I appreciate very much the person that God used to do that for me. He was a person that unexpectedly appeared from my past to witness to me and give me book by D.James Kennedy (a Calvinist) entitled, "Why I Believe". The chapter on the New Birth really got my attention. This person came at a time of seeking on my part when the seeking was not going anywhere. I strongly believe that God's hand of providence was very much involved in my conversion. The only other explanation would be blind luck.

Only Look said...

Amen...I too am thankful to those who led me to the Lord. Primarily my parents and also those who encouraged me in a closer walk. It is good to be thankful for those who prayed for us and witnessed to us. What beautiful feet they have. What a blessing Dr Kennedys ministry has been to many of us as well.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Duane WATTS said...

Hi Jim!
A belated thanks for the question.
This is my question exactly!
If The Almighty Sovereign God has picked who will and who will not, what difference does it make what the right of entry is?
If God required the elect to flap their arms until they flew to a far location, and add some etc. including "sin no more" and "know that predestination is true", and HE makeS it happen for each of the elect. What difference? Why stop halfway between there and Free grace?
Why soli fide as "repent, commit your life, forsake all sin" instead of "just live a sinless existence and perfectly worship ME until you die. I will enable you." Which would be more honoring to the God of marionettes?
Why is it not intrinsic to the elect to KNOW that they are the elect. Why is it not intrinsic to the election to know that predestination is true?
How could God develop the whole of scripture giving the impression that WE are responsible for our sins? I have often quipped that predestination may be true, but if so, up until now God has predestined that I be blinded to that truth.
Does that make sense?
Nah!

Sincere questions from one who is eternally grateful that Jesus was lifted up so that all men may be drawn to him.
Drawn by HIS cross,
Saved by HIS grace,
through faith that is truly alone,
In Jesus Alone,

Your Brother,

Duane

Duane WATTS said...

Hi Again!
I apologize for the tone of my previous post. Now I am afraid, in the composing of my retraction, that the retraction will burn hotter than that first match.

Despite Bob Wilkin's mandate of certainty, I recognize myself as one who is always prone to error, as I am always prone to every other sin. Doubt, like being left handed is endemic. And so it is with trepidity that I oppose determinism, lest I be found to oppose God.
I described this God, as the "God of marionettes". This is wrong. Other than Pinoccio, puppets are not sentient beings. This God would be the God of multiplied billions of sentient human beings (unless only the elect are sentient, the remainder displaying a false sentience ;). Many of these feeling beings would be blessed (after a few years of this struggle) with eternal bliss. The remainder (that's maybe 4 to 4.8 billion of todays population?) would be decreed, without any recourse of their own whatsoever, to an eternity of blistering bubbling skin, constant blood curdling screams, or the inabiity to scream, and the smell of burning rotting human flesh. Their eyes would burn for their lust, their ears would burn with the cries of the people God decreed that they would hurt, and their hands and feet would burn of the things they touched that their feet carried them to, that they ought not to have touched. All the while they would know that the Just God did this after having started this cascade by decreeing that Adam would eat the forbidden fruit.
I might be more pursuadable if their end was annihilation.
Sorry, my God given compassion just can't buy it.
One more thing: How am I to one up God by loving my neighbor (with feeling), when I don't even know if God loves my neighbor.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood,
a beautiful day for a neighbor.
would you be mine?
COULD you be mine?

Peace and Love, in HIM

Duane