Monday, July 25, 2016

A man can lose his salvation

De Maria October 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM
Hi Christopher Lake,
You said:
I am a former Catholic convert (from agnosticism). Do you know that the majority of the original Protestant Reformers (and those, like me, who follow in their footsteps today, such as Presbyterians and Reformed Baptists) did not hold to the articulation of “Once Saved, Always Saved” found here, but rather to the “Perserverance of the Saints,” which is a very different doctrine?
I didn’t know that.
It is true that genuine Christians will lead lives which are characterized by a hunger for holiness. If a person claims to be a Christian, trusting in Christ for his/her salvation, yet that person is not fighting sin and doing good works, he/she is quite likely not a genuine Christian.
That sounds reasonable.
Scripture states clearly that only the person who endures *to the end* (in faith) will be saved.
That is the Catholic Teaching.
However, Scripture also claims (of the converted person, the Christian) that “He (God) who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6, ESV) According to this verse, God began the good work in us through bringing us to conversion, and He will complete the good work in us that He began. He leaves no person who has been born again in such a state that the person can somehow become “un-born again.” This being said, God will complete His good work in us through our *perseverance* in the faith– which He Himself *ensures.*
Your stated assumption is that God “leaves no person who has been born again in such a state that the person can somehow become “un-born again.”
But this contradicts Heb 6:4 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, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
St. Peter addresses this error more pointedly:
2 Peter 2:20-22
King James Version (KJV)
20 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. 21 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. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Therefore, it seems to me that your assumption that God saves all who are born again, is false, when compared to Scripture.
Again, from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (2:12-13) We persevere in the faith– all *true* Christians do. We do so though, because God works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. This is the Reformed, *Biblical* doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints (all Christians being called “saints” in the Bible, not just those who have been canonized).
1. All Christians are saints, that is Catholic Teaching. Have you ever heard of the communion of saints? That means that the saints on earth communicate with the saints in heaven.
2. The Reformed doctrine of the Perseverence of the Saints, is that precisely, a reformed innovation of the Gospel of Christ. In the Gospel of Christ, many who receive the Word fall away. God does not continue to work in them because they refuse to cooperate with God’s will:
Matthew 7:21-23
King James Version (KJV)
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Two last verses which show that for those who have been truly converted, they *will* persevere in the faith, *and* their salvation can also never be lost:
Let’s unpack those verses in context and in order.
“For those whom He foreknew
\Whom did He foreknow? He is God, so that means He foreknew everyone.
He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,
That would be all mankind, wouldn’t it:
Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.
That just says that God made us in order that we might become brothers of Christ:
Romans 8:15
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
For those whom He predestined He also called,
I believe Catholics and Protestants agree that God calls everyone with no exception.
1 Timothy 2:4
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
and those whom He called He also justified,
Here, the unspoken assumption must be that those who were called and obeyed:
Hebrews 5:9
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
For many are called, as the Scripture says:
Matthew 20:16
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
and those whom He justified He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30, ESV)
Again, the assumption is that the justified did not turn away.
John 15:2-6
King James Version (KJV)
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
And these are the elect.
Matthew 24:31
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Those who remain. They who have persevered to the end and did not fall:
2 Peter 1:10
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
In the second verse here, anyone who is predestined and called is also justified and glorified. There is no category left for people who were predestined, called, and justified, but who later lost their salvation.
Only if you read the Scripture without correlating to the rest of Scripture. If you allow two verses to contradict themselves, then that is what you get, two contradicting Scriptures. Scripture teaches that men can fall away from the faith. Therefore it is impossible that Scripture also teaches that men do not fall away from the faith.
1 Timothy 1:19
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
If a person has been predestined, called, and justified by God, this verse states that he/she *will* be glorified. Again, this will not happen without the person’s perseverance in the faith to the end, but the perseverance is once which is empowered and ensured by God (Philippians 1:62:12-13).
That is reasonable if you are looking at it from the end. From the perspective of who is in heaven. Without God, they would not have persevered. That is Catholic Teaching.
But if you are looking at it from an earthly perspective and your understanding, as you seem to have explained earlier, is that everyone who is called will be justified and everyone justified will be glorified, you are wrong. It contradicts Catholic Teaching and the teaching of Scripture which Heb 6:6-10 and 2 Pet 2:20-22 clearly show.
This is what Protestant Reformed Christians believe. The “Once Saved, Always Saved” easy-believism without obedience to God is a relatively recent invention and is *not* faithful to the Protestant Reformation.
Depending upon what you mean above, it is either right or wrong. That which is right is in accordance with Catholic Teaching. That which is wrong is not.
Christopher Lake October 17, 2009 at 5:46 AMTypo– I meant to write, in in the last section of my comment that “this (glorification) will not happen without the person’s perseverance in the faith to the end, but the perseverance is *one* (rather than “once”– the typo to which I referred) which is empowered and ensured by God. I would love to read your reply to my (admittedly lengthy) comment! Take care and be blessed!
I don’t think the typo makes a difference in your meaning or my reply. I hope that you come back and read this reply and that it is helpful to you.
May you also be blessed exceedingly,
De Maria

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