Perseverance of the Saints

31 days big

Apostasy. It’s kind of a scary word. The abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief. Someone previously thought to be in Christ, believed to be a saint, walking away. Falling away, step by tiny step. Saying goodbye.

Ugh. It’s not fun to think about. We know people do “commit apostasy,” sometimes. Sounds so formal. It hurts. But doesn’t the Bible promise us eternal life? So why was that person’s “eternal life” only 6 months? A year? a decade? What about “eternal”?

There are a ton – a TON – of ideas all mashed up in apostasy. There’s sanctification and the eternal nature of salvation, false Christians and still more predestination. We’ll chat about perseverance of the saints today, the P in the Calvinist TULIP. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the Armenian idea of Conditional Security

The Calvinist stance on apostasy, called “Perseverance of the Saints”  is based in the fact that whoever believes believes in Him has eternal life. He promises that they will not perish, and cannot be snatched away. Indeed, what should separate us from the love of Christ?

So, Calvinists argue, those who are saved, are saved. If you are a member of the elect, you will show fruit. The saved are created for good works. The elect are justified and sanctified, and it will show.

If, according to the Calvinists, someone walks away from the church, they were always destined to do so. They were not elect, they were merely in church – like the Pharisees. After all, not everyone who claims to call upon the Lord will enter heaven. If you are a member of the elect, Calvinists posit, you will walk as such for most of your life.

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

John 3:14-16 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold[a] and will inherit eternal life

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John 5:24  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Matthew 7:18-20 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me,[a] is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

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Published in: on October 25, 2013 at 9:33 am  Comments (1)  

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