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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Horses From the Same Corral, continued
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (II Peter 2:20,21)
The passage (I John 3:6,7) goes on to say that whoever walks in sin is of the devil.
There are many such passages in the Scriptures, but as any lawyer will tell you, you only need one strong fact to build a case. To those who believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, I John 3:6,7 is prima facie evidence that the individual who continues to sin has neither seen Christ nor known Christ.
As for the rest of the people, those who cannot accept I John 3:6,7 at face value, I just don't feel like arguing the obvious.
If we continue to walk in sin we have never seen or known Jesus Christ. Period.
"But (and this is always asked) can we still be saved?"
To me this is an utterly asinine, ignorant, reprehensible question. (I must remember to be gentle with God's people.)
I think when people ask this, they are keeping a door open in case they decide to sin. Why else would they ask it?
Maybe they are insecure and are afraid they will sin even though they don't want to. Maybe this is what is going on. Let me ask you, can you live the Christian life for the next five minutes without falling into sin? Of course you can. Well then, live life five minutes at a time and you'll be just fine.
If you should stumble, confess your sin to God. He is faithful and righteous to forgive your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Then get back up on your feet and fight on. Don't be discouraged. Don't quit. And whatever you do, don't buy into the Evangelical delusion that God doesn't see your sin or is not concerned about it.
I am not trying to heap condemnation on some poor soul who is beset with doubt. I am warning the believers concerning the arrogant, unscriptural position so prevalent among us Evangelicals stating that no matter how we behave we will never experience the judgment of God.
If you are living in Jesus, serving Him, being born again, becoming a new creation, why are you asking me if you can still be lost? Are you just looking for trouble? Do you intend to go back into sin, back into the vomit of the world? Friend, what is with you to ask such a question?
But what about Calvinism? Yes, what about it? John Calvin was a Swiss Protestant, born in France. A good man by all accounts. But John Calvin was not God! Neither was the Dutchman, Jacobus Arminius.
Calvin saw, like the rest of us, in a clouded mirror. His theology is not perfect. In fact, if you will pardon the expression, Calvinism appears to me to be lopsided if his followers are faithfully portraying his doctrine.
The Bible speaks of the sovereignty of God in the plan of redemption. The Bible speaks with equal force of the necessity of our responding in an appropriate manner and that whoever chooses to do so may be saved. Every aspect of salvation is an opportunity. Whenever we view it as other than this we create confusion.
George MacDonald in his wisdom advises, "If you want to be a member of the elect then act like one."
To sit in church, as did Harriet Beecher Stowe, waiting for tears to come so you know you are one of the elect, is not scriptural. You will find no such teaching in the Book of Acts. This is to be saved by emotion rather than an act of will. There is no "choose ye this day" here.
To adopt one of these positions (Calvinism or Arminianism) at the expense of the other is to bring one's self into deception. We have both extremes in our day, and that is just what they are—extremes! They are philosophies advanced by outstanding Christian teachers but are not perfect.
Isn't it amazing how much light the Bible throws on commentaries?
To be continued.