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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Is the Christian Salvation Conditional?, #3
I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. (Jude 1:5)
"Having saved the people . . . afterward destroyed them."
Does this biblical type apply to Christians? If not, why did Jude take the trouble to put us "in remembrance"? Would not an unbiased reader conclude the Word of God is warning us that we must endure to the end if we would accomplish the will of God in our life?
The errors being set forth today do not have to do with subtle points of theology, the domain of professors and scholars. They are errors concerning the basic facts of our redemption.
The second item is found in the footnotes that comment on Hebrews 6:4-8. The footnotes contend that this passage is not referring to Christians who have neglected their salvation (which is one of the main exhortations of the Book of Hebrews—2:3) but to religious professors of faith in Christ who never have possessed eternal life. They have been Christians in outward show only.
From what could such hypocrites (according to the writer of the footnotes) "fall away," seeing they never had possessed salvation?
Here are the scriptural statements describing the "religious professors" whose experience, according to the footnotes, went no deeper than the external trappings of religious forms:
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (Hebrews 6:4,5)
Let us examine carefully the criteria the writer of the footnotes must take into account when determining that these believers never have possessed eternal life but have been professors of religion whose Christianity consisted only of an outward show of formalities:
"Were once enlightened."
"Have tasted of the heavenly gift."
"Were made partakers of the Holy Ghost."
"Have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come."
These are the facts the commentator must consider when making his judgment that these backsliders never have possessed eternal life but have been Christians in external appearance only.
We would ask: What criteria does our commentator employ when deciding who is a genuine Christian? Is it some form of works? If it is righteous behavior that identifies a true believer, then our argument in the present article is shown to have merit.
Or is it a period of time? If so, how long must an individual partake of the Holy Spirit and taste the Word of God before he no longer is a mere professor?
If the criteria given in this passage are not an indication of true salvation, how, then, can any of us know if he is saved?
Why cannot an able scholar, as well as the devout readers of this edition, perceive the obvious discrepancy here? Is it because the framework of understanding Christians currently are employing will not permit the Word of God to mean what it says?
To be continued.