You should really educate yourself by reading some works by scholars.

The below conversation is in reference to Eternal security is clearly taught in many places in the Bible

This gentleman sent me two e-mails in a matter of minutes, so I have used them both here because they both were in response to my first message, referenced above.

In the final analysis, what it really comes down to is the issue of whether or not a particular person is or was truly saved in the first place. Those who are true believers do persevere. Those who are true believers do not fall away. Those who are true believers cannot be snatched out of Christ's hand and would not want to be so treated in the first place. Those who are truly saved, do have the resultant fruit and accompanying good works in their lives, demonstrating that they are, indeed, truly saved.

As concerns reading the Bible for what it says, Vs what someone else says, we should do both... We should read it ourselves and then also read the commentaries produced by those who do have the many, many years of theological and linguistic training to be able to properly interpret from the original languages. We should check the credentials of those who we are reading and cross check what they say Vs other similarly qualified scholars and the Bible itself.

"When the plain sense makes common sense, don't seek another sense because that's nonsense." (Dr. Norman Geisler –Dallas Theological Seminary Lecture Notes - 1980)

"When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense, but take every word at its primary, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context clearly indicate otherwise." (Dr. David L. Cooper)

And, the plain, main teaching of the Bible, in numerous, clear passages is the doctrine of the eternal security of the believer. We continue in the faith because we are saved.

In closing, I leave you with some attached information for your review and consideration. And, as a side note, I don't claim to be a major league scholar, but I do have 30 master's level credit hours in theology from a major conservative seminary under my belt. I did study hermeneutics in depth and also took a year of seminary level NT Greek. Additionally, I took courses in soteriology, eschatology, theology proper, etc.

This was the close of the one message. I wanted to quote from the message above to show how important this man says it is to take Scripture literally. (By the way I agree with him on that point.) Below is the other message. In this one he quoted my statements and then commented on them. I have also commented on his comments. (The first paragraph is also from the original message referenced above.)

My own personal research, reading and study of the Bible and the works produced by theologians like John McArthur, John Waalvoord, Hadden Robinson, Norman Geisler, Charles Ryrie, Craig Blaising, John Hannah, Ravi Zaccarius, J. I. Packer, D. L. Moody, J. Dwight Pentecost and many others has led me to believe firmly in the doctrine of eternal security. As concerns Bible doctrine, the main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things. Eternal security is clearly taught in many places.

My response is in Green:

I am afraid I can't agree with you or the people you listed. I go by what the Bible says, not what people say it says. Let me give you just a couple of examples. Read them for what they say, not what someone else says they say:

(John 15:6 NIV) If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

If we 'remain' in Him.

The NASB is a more accurate rendering- "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned". This passage does not refer to the issue of eternal security. Rather, it addresses the issue of the quality of the believer's works. Abiding in Christ is a contingent experience and has to do with communion and fellowship, not with losing one's salvation. Even if a believer is chastised to the point of physical death, they do not lose their salvation. The believer's unfruitful works will be burned at the judgement seat of Christ, though he himself will be saved (1 Cor. 3:11-15). Again, this is not a clear, direct passage that addresses eternal security and should not be used to support the Arminian position. Also, Scripture never contradicts Scripture, so if an unclear passage appears to do so, we always defer to the clear, numerous passages.

My response to that comment:

What happened to taking Scripture literally? How can you say that the description of "thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" does not have anything to do with the believer's security? This is what bothers me most about OSAS. I am always told I am not looking at what the passage really says, yet OSAS teaches interpretations that fit their doctrine even when the clear meaning of the passage does not support it. They always fall back on the idea that it can't mean what it says, because that would make eternal security false.

Let me also address your use of 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. I hear this passage used all the time in an attempt to say that a person's works will be burned up but they will be saved, however, as you say that is bad hermeneutics. You are very much into other scholars works, so let me tell you what both Adam Clarke and Matthew Henry have to say about that passage in their commentaries on the New Testament. I will not quote them here, but I will quote them at the end of this page. They both say that what is being referred to in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 are leaders. Leaders who build on the foundation of Christ. Paul says he laid the foundation which is Christ and if any man (preacher/teacher) builds on it, they will either use good teaching or bad teachings and in the end those teaches will be judged by fire. If their teachings were solid (made of gold, silver, etc...) those teaching will endure, but if they were poor teachings (hay, straw, etc...) those will burned up and all their work will be lost. They will be saved, because they did build on the right foundation (meaning they were true believers) but what they taught will be worthless.

As you are fond of saying, this passage does NOT address the issue of the eternal security of the believer!!!

Link to the commentaries of Adam Clarke and Matthew Henry:

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(Galatians 5:2-4 NIV) [2] Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. [3] Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. [4] You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

"Fallen away from grace" so it must be possible.

This passage merely teaches that some of the Jewish non-believers preferred to be circumcised and stay under obligation to obey the law as opposed to becoming saved by believing in Christ and accepting the way of grace as the only basis for justification. So, if they reject Christ, they have fallen from the offered grace, not having received it in faith.

My reply:

So you add the word 'offered' to show that they have not been saved? Is that taking the passage literally? No, it isn't. Your explanation might make sense if not for the very first verse in this chapter, the verse just preceding these passage!

(Galatians 5:1 NIV) [1] It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Paul says "Christ has set us free" not just him or others. Then he tells them to stand firm and not to let themselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Then the very next sentence is the passage I quoted and you claim is addressed to non-believers. You know I am not a scholar, I don't have even one credit hour of theology, much less master level credits, but I can read and understand what God's word says. This is directed at Jewish believers and Paul is plainly telling them that if they (after being saved) go back and try to be justified by the law then Christ will be of no value to them. I am just an ex-street cop, but I know what words mean when I read them. You tell me to take things literally but you twist things around so protect your doctrine!

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(Matthew 13:41-42 NIV) [41] The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. [42] They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

If a so called Christian is doing evil, why would this not apply to them? Why would this passage not apply to someone who teaches that you can sin with immunity after being saved? Now if you read Tony Evans book, he claims that the place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth is in heaven!!

This passage is from a parable (not a good basis for establishing a doctrinal position) about the wheat (true believers) and the tares (non-believers). At the end of the age, the reapers (angels) separate the two and the tares are cast into the place reserved for the unbelieving. I seriously doubt that your interpretation is what Dr. Evans intended.

My reply:

You are only half right about this. The passage that I quoted is the explanation Jesus gave to the disciples about the parable. So are you telling me that I can't take literally what Jesus said the parable was about? Let me quote just a verse to show you what I mean:

(Matthew 13:36 NIV) [36] Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."

As you can see Jesus told the parable before verse 36. In verse 36 the disciples as Him to explain it and the passage I quoted was part of that explanation. So I ask again, is it wrong to take the explanation to a parable and stand on it? You say it is only unbeliever who are cast into the fire, but that is not what Jesus said, He said all that do evil. That was my point. Now as to what Dr. Evans said and what he meant. Let me quote from his book Totally Saved. (quotes from the book are in purple)

A third consequence of spiritual failure is disinheritance in the coming kingdom of heaven. Jesus said in Matthew 8:12 that the sons of the kingdom are cast in outer darkness at the start of the kingdom banquet. That is, they were not admitted to the banquet to enjoy this thousand-year party called the kingdom. They're still saved people, but they are the ones whose works burned up at the judgment seat of Christ and so they have nothing to present to Him from their time on earth. Their judgment is to be put outside, not of heaven, but of the kingdom banquet.

Jesus said this judgment would cause "weeping and gnashing of teeth." This isn't the suffering of hell, but the anguish of those how miss the greatest party of all time and eternity. (Totally Saved page 230)

Now Dr. Evans is not speaking about the same passage, but he clearly states that the place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth is in heaven. He even goes so far as to say that is where the outer darkness is.

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(James 1:13-15 NIV) [13] When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; [14] but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. [15] Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

James was speaking of believers, yet he says that when sin is full-grown it gives birth to death.

James is speaking to believers who know they have eternal life (definition of eternal is never ending for any reason). Death is always some type of separation in Scripture. It is not loss of salvation. In this case, it is temporary loss of fellowship and communion with God until the sins are confessed and cleansing is received (1 John 1:9). Then, the separation is healed and fellowship is restored.

My reply:

This is the kind of twisting and squirming I am getting used to when I talk to proponents of OSAS. Let me explain what I mean. First I am told that I am wrong when I claim that when we are saved our past sins, those that we have confessed are forgiven. OSAS teaches that at the moment of salvation all our sins are forgiven, past, present and future. To make the point the OSAS proponents often make the statement that all our sins were future when Christ died. Never once has anyone shown me in Scripture where it says all our sins past, present and future have been forgiven, but I am told that is what it means.

I am told that a Christian does not need to confess his sins to be forgiven of them, because they are already forgiven. But yet like you they will tell me that 1 John 1:9 means that a Christian needs to confess their sins so that they can stay in 'relationship' and 'fellowship', or 'communion' with God. I have a couple problems with that idea. Let me start by quoting the passage from 1 John:

(1 John 1:9 NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

It says He will 'forgive' us. How can we be forgiven for something for which we have already been forgiven for? Again I ask where is this 'literal' interpretation of Scripture you keep talking about? My next problem with this idea is contain in another passage:

(Hebrews 10:17 NIV) [17] Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."

When God forgives, He says He will not remember our sins again. So why does a Christian who has already been forgiven need to confess and be forgiven again for something that God says He won't remember? It makes no sense. 1 John 1:9 only makes sense if you apply it to salvation. Not that a sin or any number of sins can separate us from God, but that our failure to follow Him and failure to confess and keep up our relationship will lead to our apostasy, which will cause us to fall from our secure position.

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(1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NIV) [9] Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders [10] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Who was this letter written to? It was the 'church' in Corinth. Doesn't that make you wonder why Paul mentioned this?

Yes, and then Paul says, "And such were some of you;..." past tense. Paul was simply warning true believers against moral laxity. It says nothing about losing ones eternal security. Again, you have chosen a verse out of context, that does not even concern the subject and tried to prove your point. Bad hermeneutics again.

My reply:

I will agree that the next verse mentions what you said. That some of them were these things. So what? Are you trying to say that because Paul made that statement that he is not warning them that if they go back and become like that again they are lost? Give me a break. Why warn them about moral laxity if it is not important.

So if I have a friend who is an adulterer and he confesses his sins and becomes a Christian, it would not be appropriate for me, if I see that he is leaning towards sin again, to warn him that adulterers won't make it to heaven? It would be inappropriate only if it were not true. It is true or Paul would not have said it. To me this is another example of you interpreting a passage through the lens of your doctrine instead of literally.

Let me quote one more passage that says much the same thing:

(Revelation 21:6-8 NIV) [6] He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. [7] He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. [8] But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

This is Jesus speaking and He says that those kind of people will end up in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Now you can claim that He did not mean Christians, but all He says is those who are these things. Notice that He includes 'the unbelieving' so would it not make sense that some of these people could be believing? Otherwise, why not just say all unbelievers will go to hell?

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(1 Corinthians 15:2 NIV) By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Again this passage is from the letter to the 'church' in Corinth. Common sense tells us that you can't hold firmly to something unless you believed it in the first place. How can a person believe in vain and still go to heaven?

If the resurrection of Christ were not true, they would have believed in vain. But since it is true, they have not believed in vain, and once again, as true believers, do hold firmly to the word that was preached to them. Those who turn away simply prove they were never saved in the first place.

My reply:

You continually claim that I need to take things for what they plainly mean and yet you change the clear meaning of all the passages I quote. How can you say that this means 'if the resurrection of Christ were not true'? What sense does that make? Why would Paul waste time even writing that in a letter to a church? It clearly says that if they hold firmly to the gospel (the good news of Jesus Christ) they will be saved, and otherwise (meaning if they don't hold firmly) they will be lost. Maybe this is why Jesus said we must be like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Maybe too much 'education' in theology clouds the mind so that you can no longer tell what God's word really says.

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(James 5:19-20 NIV) [19] My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, [20] remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

If one of you "should wander from the truth" then he goes on to call this brother who wandered from the truth a sinner and says the person who brings them back will save them from death.

The reference is evidently to believers and the death or separation is physical death which sin may cause (even for true believers at times- the most severe chastisement) (1 Cor 11:30).

My reply:

It bothers me when we claim that Christians are still sinners. That is what we were, but we are no longer, we are new creations. Yet because you need to defend OSAS you claim that sinners are just Christians who are out of fellowship with Christ. Then you use this passage to support your view. Let me quote it:

(1 Corinthians 11:30 NIV) That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

It might sound like you are right, but you should have mentioned the verses just before this verse. Here they are:

(1 Corinthians 11:27-29 NIV) [27] Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. [28] A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. [29] For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

Paul was talking about a specific problem and that was their eating and drinking the Lord's supper in an unworthy manner. That does not disprove your contention, but it sure does not prove it either.

I have a question for you or any OSAS proponent. I get a lot of "Christians" writing me who are contemplating suicide. They are miserable. Many of them blame God because He does not seem to care that they are at the end of their ropes. They tell me that they have begged, sometimes for years, for God to take them home, but He has not done so. Now, you tell me that God punishes Christians who are too sinful by ultimately taking them home. My question is this; does that describe a loving God to you? Would it be loving for God to take home the scum bag sinners and leave those who are suffering and trying to live for Him here to suffer longer? I am not trying to say that He does not have the right to do that, I am asking if that would show the love that He clearly proclaims throughout His word?

I don't think it does. Most if not all of the people who write me are not following Christ and that is their problem. It is not God's fault that they are miserable. But that is only half the story, how can we view being taken home to heaven as punishment? That is what you are claiming. That God punishes the really bad sinning Christians by welcoming them to heaven sooner. I guess of course unless they are made to sit in a dark corner somewhere and weep and gnash their teeth!!

New section of the original message:

There are many more passages which say the same things. Look at the parables that Jesus told, they almost all deal with salvation. Look at the parable of the Prodigal son. People will claim that we are sons, adopted into God's family, and therefore can never walk away. Yet Jesus told the parable of the Prodigal son, who when he returned the father had this to say:

(Luke 15:32 NIV) But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.

That seems pretty clear to me, when the son walked away he was dead and lost but when he came back, then and only then, was he again alive and found.

He walked away because he was already dead (separated).

Better rendered in the NASB- "But we had to be merry and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead (separated by sin) and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found." Again, you are trying to use a parable to prove a point- a basic hermeneutical mistake. This passage says nothing about eternal security. It is not clear whether or not the son even believed or not, prior to his departure. Again, an unclear verse to use for the purpose you seek to put it to.

Parables usually have one main teaching point and are not intended to be passages that are used to establish clear doctrinal positions on any particular subject. They are usually illustrative by nature and used to supplement actual passages that clearly teach certain doctrines. The main things are the plain things.

My reply:

You attached about 5 documents to your message and asked me to read them. I did, and you know what I found? I found one of them using this very parable as a good example of the doctrine of eternal security. This is an article you sent me by a man named Dan Keaton. I must admit I don't know him or even anything about him, but I take it you think he is an excellent scholar or you would not have sent me his paper. He disagrees with your idea that the son was already dead (separated). Let me quote from it:

The parable of the prodigal son is a good example of eternal security. The son forsook his father, but he did not stop being his son. Once you are a child, you are always a child. You can change your family name. You can emancipate yourself from your family. But you are still your father's child. Nothing you can do will ever change that.

You seem to have missed my point to start with. I made the point that people say that because we are adopted into God's family when we are saved it is impossible for us to ever walk away or come back under judgment. My point was that this was a son and he walked away and while away he was considered dead and lost, and only when he returned was he again alive and found. Am I wrong for using parables as you say? Maybe, but I don't think so and at least one of your experts agrees with me, even if he uses it in a different way. Please be consistent! Or did you not read what you send me to read?

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Oh you can find these all 'explained' away by those teachers you mentioned, but that reminds me of the Catholic church. "You can't understand God's word, so let me tell you what it means." Read God's word for what it says.

This is a really flakey bit of logic, or lack thereof, on your part. It is wise and prudent to seek godly counsel (read the book of Proverbs) and then to compare with what the Scriptures clearly teach (again, I emphasize clearly). The great preachers/teachers of the faith over the years can be checked out. Those who have the education, training, experience, and clearly stated doctrinal beliefs, can be trusted to help educate and train the body of Christ, indeed, that is the function of a preacher/teacher (read the new testament).

My reply:

I would just point back to a couple of your expert teachers. Tony Evans who teaches that outer darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth are in heaven. Also Dan Keaton who used a parable even though you tell me it is wrong to do so. You take the verses I quoted and tell me that they mean something different then what they plainly say. If I don't need you or anyone else to tell me what these passages mean then why are you? Why can't I take them for what they say?

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You say there are clear teachings of eternal security in the Bible, I would agree with you, as long as the person is a believer, and remains a believer. One of the arguments I hear all the time is that eternal life can't be eternal if you can have it today and not tomorrow. I disagree, it depends on what happened to it.

Eternal life depends on God, not on us. Once we believe and receive Christ as Savior, He and the Holy Spirit finish the work and no man (not even yourself) can snatch you out of His hand. Our eternal security depends on Christ, not on us and Jesus never loses any of His sheep. Simply put, believers do not fall away and permanently seek out and exist in an unending state of practical sin and depravity as a total life style.

My reply:

I hate to keep bringing other OSAS teachers into this, but you are the one who says we should look at what other 'men' say. So here in purple are a couple of comments by other OSAS teachers:

Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy. (Eternal Security: Can You be Sure? by Charles Stanley (1990) page 93)

Sometimes it's hard to tell the saints from the "ain'ts" because some lost people live exemplary lives, while genuine believers can be capable of some really heinous behavior. (Tony Evans in his book Totally Saved page 189)

So I say that I don't care what your experts say and you chastise me because a wise man will care, and then you tell me one thing yet some of these wise OSAS teachers teach just the opposite of what you said. Who am I to believe? I will continue to believe what the Bible teaches!

Let me give you what I know is a very poor example, but yet one which I think illustrates the point. Let's say that I give you a car. I give it to you free and clear. I tell you that it is totally yours, no one can take it away from you. Nothing at all can happen that would make the car not yours anymore, because it has been paid for and is free and clear. It is a gift and I will never talk it back or allow anyone else to take it from you.

Okay you have the picture? Now lets say that you drive that car for a few years and you decide you want a different car. You take the car down and trade it in on a new car. Now my question is this; was this a truly free gift that could never be taken away from you? Or is the fact that you traded the car in evidence that I lied and it was not truly yours to start with?

That is the argument people use for eternal life. If you decide that you no longer what to serve God and you walk away, it does not matter because eternal life means it can never be given up. Sorry that does not make sense to me. And many passages of Scripture bare this out.

You are right, it is a very poor and illogical analogy. The gift is given by Jesus Christ and He maintains each true believer in the state of eternal security. No true believer would (even if it were possible) chose to turn in his salvation and walk away.

My reply:

My point was that OSAS teaches that eternal life can't be had today and not tomorrow or it would not be eternal. This has nothing to do (at least at this basic level) with whose responsibility it is, I was just making a point about the fact that you can have something which is eternal and just because you give it away. You say that no true believer would ever chose to turn in his salvation and walk away. I would agree with you if that true believer continues in the faith, but if not then there will come a point when that believer will do just that. It is called apostasy.

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You named a lot of teachers and said you have read their writings and they have convinced you, but you then go on and say that you believe that the so called carnal Christians are not really saved. I think you better go back and read some of those teachers writings again, because that is exactly what at least half of them teach - that a person who is living like a sinner is a carnal Christians and it does not matter because their eternal security is taken care of. That flies in the face of Scripture. Some of which I have already quoted. And this one:

(Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV) [26] If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, [27] but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Again, this passage refers to those who knew about the truth (even the demons know the truth about Jesus), but who turned away and did not embrace the truth and become possessors of eternal life by placing their faith in Christ.

Again, you have failed to perceive the point. True believers do sin every day. But, they do not yield and fall into permanent life styles of sin. They do not directly reject their saviour and all He stands for. There are a lot of "carnal Christians" who are mere professors of the faith. There are others (who someone like you might call carnal) who have backslidden for a time, but who are indeed true possessors of eternal life. Of course, only God knows our hearts for sure. Also, if you claim there are passages that say a true believer can fall away and lose his or her salvation, those very same passages also teach that it is impossible to ever repent and regain that salvation! Quite a dilemna for the Arminians!

My reply:

It bothers me to hear OSAS teachers claim that Christians sin everyday as if those Christians are still slaves to sin. I am pretty sure you get this idea from 1 John 1 where John makes the statement that if we claim we are without sin we are lying. But does that really mean that Christians sin daily? Not if you match that passage up with other passages of Scripture. Here are a couple examples:

(Romans 6:16-18 NIV) [16] Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? [17] But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. [18] You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

That passage shows that we can be slaves of righteousness and not slaves to sin. To say that a Christian sins every day is to say that there is something wrong with that person's relationship with God and their walk.

(James 1:13-15 NIV) [13] When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; [14] but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. [15] Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

We are tempted by our own evil desires. That means we have the ability to not sin if we follow God, because the old man is dead and we are new creations.

(Mark 9:42-48 NIV) [42] "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. [43] If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [45] And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. [47] And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, [48] where "'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"

I quoted this passage to show how seriously Jesus took sin. He is obviously speaking to believers sins not sinning will not get a non-believer into heaven. Only faith in Jesus Christ will get you to heaven. So that being the case, He is showing just how serious sin is in the life of a believer. To preach that we all sin every day is to minimize the idea of living a holy life. This is false teaching and is dangerous. Will a Chrisian sin? Yes, we all stumble and fall occasionally, but we have real problem if we are sining every day. We are commanded to live holy lives.

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(1 John 2:3-6 NIV) [3] We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. [4] The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. [5] But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: [6] Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

This passage refers to lifestyle, not individual actions or particular sins. Those who reject God and continuously disobey His Word, demonstrate that they do not know Him and that they never were saved in the first place. True believers do obey His Word, but occassionally sin or backslide. 1 John 1:9 tells believers what to do when this happens. The Holy Spirit convicts us when we sin and brings it to our awareness. Then, we can confess, be cleansed and have our fellowship with the Lord restored.

I would just refer again to the OSAS teachers who claim that a sinner no matter how bad will go to heaven if he place faith in Jesus Christ at any one moment in time. You even say we sin daily. I would call sinning daily a lifestyle.

New section of the original message:

I thank you for writing and expressing your opinion, but I will continue to follow what the Bible clearly teaches. I will tell you that I am always a little bothered as to why a Christian would have such a problem accepting the idea that they must continue in the faith to be saved. We don't have a problem telling sinners that they can't get into heaven unless the place their faith in Jesus Christ, but so many seem to have a problem believing that we must live for Christ. Look at verse 6 above, "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." Seems pretty clear to me. I am just as secure in my salvation as anyone who preaches OSAS. As long as I place my faith in Jesus Christ He will be with me and help me, it is only if I 'choose' to walk away that I need to worry.

The real issue for Arminians such as yourself is that you just never know for sure if you are saved or not. How much sin constitutes falling away? All of your sins were future when Christ died and paid the price for all of them. So, which sins are you being damned for if you once believed in Christ? Also, it is the Arminians who take the casual approach to sin. If they do sin/fall away, they can just go forward and get saved again! That makes a mockery of Christ's once for all sacrifice on the cross. And, since you brought up the Roman Catholics earlier, this is what they do. They resacrifice Christ everytime they say mass! And, they just never know if they are saved or not.

I admit I am insulted by this. I have assurance of my salvation. As long as I want to follow Chirst, He will hold me and keep me, but if I want to follow the world and reject His free gift of salvation He will allow me to do that too. I don't classify myself as an Arminian and I don't believe a Christian can lose his salvation, I just believe that if you quit placing faith in Jesus Christ, for whatever reason, you forfiet your salvation. It might be because you love sin more than Christ, it might be because you no longer believe He is who He said He was, whatever the reason, if you want to walk away He will allow you. Sin does not cause you to walk away, unless of course it is the desire to sin which causes you to walk away.

The difference between my assurance and yours seems negligible. You claim that I can't be sure I am going to heaven because I believe I can later choose to reject Christ. You say that if you or anyone else ever does walk away then they were never really saved to start with. So by your own view, you can't be sure you are saved until you look back on your life and see that you did not walk away. That is sad. We can both know we are saved and eternally secure, as long as we want to be and continue in the faith.

Do I need to resacrifice Christ to come back if I wander away? No, not unless as the Bible says, I leave and try to be justified in some other way, or out right reject His sacrifice, which is different than just walking away from the faith.

As regards free will, you have limited free will. God is sovereign, and you can not do anything without His permission. Prior to salvation, you certainly have very, very limited free will and are actually held captive by Satan and his world system. After salvation, you are a "slave of Christ" and still only have limited free will. You would do well to begin your theological studies with theology proper and the study of the attributes of God. Following that, take a course in hermeneutics. Perhaps that will help.

How can you say this and at the same time claim that Christians sin daily? If we do not have free will to choose to sin or not to sin, then we are not responsible for our actions. I would agree with you that as sinners we are slaves to sin and therefore can't help but sin, because our very desires are sinful, but if we are slaves to Christ as you say, and again I agree, then how can you say we sin every day? This is inconsistent. I understand why you would make a statement like that. You need it so that there is no question that a Christian can't choose to reject Christ after they are saved. The trouble is that is not biblical.

Below are the quotes from the commentaries of both Matthew Henry and Adam Clarke in reference to 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3
VERSES 11-15

Here the apostle informs us what foundation he had laid at the bottom of all his labours among them-even Jesus Christ, the chief corner-stone, Eph. 2:20. Upon this foundation all the faithful ministers of Christ build. Upon this rock all the Christians found their hopes. Those that build their hopes of heaven on any other foundation build upon the sand. Other foundation can no man lay besides what is laid-even Jesus Christ.

It is in Christ only that God is reconciling a sinful world to himself, 2 Cor. 5:19. But of those that hold the foundation, and embrace the general doctrine of Christ's being the mediator between God and man, there are two sorts:-

I. Some build upon this foundation gold, silver, and precious stones (v. 12), namely, those who receive and propagate the pure truths of the gospel, who hold nothing but the truth as it is in Jesus, and preach nothing else. This is building well upon a good foundation, making all of apiece, when ministers not only depend upon Christ as the great prophet of the church, and take him for their guide and infallible teacher, but receive and spread the doctrines he taught, in their purity, without any corrupt mixtures, without adding or diminishing.

II. Others build wood, hay, and stubble, on this foundation; that is, though they adhere to the foundation, they depart from the mind of Christ in many particulars, substitute their own fancies and inventions in the room of his doctrines and institutions, and build upon the good foundation what will not abide the test when the day of trial shall come, and the fire must make it manifest, as wood, hay, and stubble, will not bear the trial by fire, but must be consumed in it. There is a time coming when a discovery will be made of what men have built on this foundation: Every man's work shall be made manifest, shall be laid open to view, to his own view and that of others. Some may, in the simplicity of their hearts, build wood and stubble on the good foundation, and know not, all the while, what they have been doing; but in the day of the Lord their own conduct shall appear to them in its proper light. Every man's work shall be made manifest to himself, and made manifest to others, both those that have been misled by him and those that have escaped his errors.

Now we may be mistaken in ourselves and others; but there is a day coming that will cure all our mistakes, and show us ourselves, and show us our actions in the true light, without covering or disguise: For the day shall declare it (that is, every man's work), because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is, v. 13. The day shall declare and make it manifest, the last day, the great day of trial; see ch. 4:5.

Though some understand it of the time when the Jewish nation was destroyed and their constitution thereby abolished, when the superstructure which judaizing teachers would have raised on the Christian foundation was manifested to be no better than hay and stubble, that would not bear the trial. The expression carries in it a plain allusion to the refiner's art, in which the fire separates and distinguishes the dross from the gold and silver; as it also will silver and gold and precious stones, that will endure the fire, from wood and hay and stubble, that will be consumed in it.

Note, There is a day coming that will as nicely distinguish one man from another, and one man's work from another's, as the fire distinguishes gold from dross, or metal that will bear the fire from other materials that will be consumed in it. In that day, 1. Some men's works will abide the trial-will be found standard. It will appear that they not only held the foundation, but that they built regularly and well upon it-that they laid on proper materials, and in due form and order. The foundation and the superstructure were all of a piece. The foundation-truths, and those that had a manifest connection with them, were taught together. It may not be so easy to discern this connection now, nor know what works will abide the trial then; but that day will make a full discovery. And such a builder shall not, cannot fail of a reward. He will have praise and honour in that day, and eternal recompence after it.

Note, Fidelity in the ministers of Christ will meet with a full and ample reward in a future life. Those who spread true and pure religion in all the branches of it, and whose work will abide in the great day, shall receive a reward. And, Lord, how great! how much exceeding their deserts! 2. There are others whose works shall be burnt (v. 15), whose corrupt opinions and doctrines, or vain inventions and usages in the worship of God, shall be discovered, disowned, and rejected, in that day-shall be first manifested to be corrupt, and then disapproved of God and rejected.

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3:13

The day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire-There is much difference of opinion relative to the meaning of the terms in this and the two following verses. That the apostle refers to the approaching destruction of Jerusalem I think very probable; and when this is considered, all the terms and metaphors will appear clear and consistent.

The day is the time of punishment coming on this disobedient and rebellious people. And this day being revealed by fire, points out the extreme rigour, and totally destructive nature, of that judgment.
And the fire shall try every man's work-If the apostle refers to the Judaizing teachers and their insinuations that the law, especially circumcision, was of eternal obligation; then the day of fire-the time of vengeance, which was at hand, would sufficiently disprove such assertions; as, in the judgment of God, the whole temple service should be destroyed; and the people, who fondly presumed on their permanence and stability, should be dispossessed of their land and scattered over the face of the whole earth. The difference of the Christian and Jewish systems should then be seen: the latter should be destroyed in that fiery day, and the former prevail more than ever.

1 Corinthians 3:14

If any man's work abide-Perhaps there is here an allusion to the purifying of different sorts of vessels under the law. All that could stand the fire were to be purified by the fire; and those which could not resist the action of the fire were to be purified by water, Numbers 31:23. The gold, silver, and precious stones, could stand the fire; but the wood, hay, and stubble, must be necessarily consumed. So, in that great and terrible day of the Lord, all false doctrine, as well as the system that was to pass away, should be made sufficiently manifest; and God would then show that the Gospel, and that alone, was that system of doctrine which he should bless and protect, and none other.

He shall receive a reward-He has not only preached the truth, but he has labored in the word and doctrine. And the reward is to be according to the labor. See on 1 Corinthians 3:8 (note).

1 Corinthians 3:15

If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss-If he have preached the necessity of incorporating the law with the Gospel, or proclaimed as a doctrine of God any thing which did not proceed from heaven, he shall suffer loss-all his time and labor will be found to be uselessly employed and spent. Some refer the loss to the work, not to the man; and understand the passage thus: If any man's work be burned, IT shall suffer loss-much shall be taken away from it; nothing shall he left but the measure of truth and uprightness which it may have contained.

But he himself shall be saved-If he have sincerely and conscientiously believed what he preached, and yet preached what was wrong, not through malice or opposition to the Gospel, but through mere ignorance, he shall be saved; God in his mercy will pass by his errors; and he shall not suffer punishment because he was mistaken. Yet, as in most erroneous teachings there is generally a portion of wilful and obstinate ignorance, the salvation of such erroneous teachers is very rare; and is expressed here, yet so as by fire, i.e. with great difficulty; a mere escape; a hair's breadth deliverance; he shall be like a brand plucked out of the fire.

The apostle obviously refers to the case of a man, who, having builded a house, and begun to dwell in it, the house happens to be set on fire, and he has warning of it just in time to escape with his life, losing at the same time his house, his goods, his labor, and almost his own life. So he who, while he holds the doctrine of Christ crucified as the only foundation on which a soul can rest its hopes of salvation, builds at the same time, on that foundation, Antinomianism, or any other erroneous or destructive doctrine, he shall lose all his labor, and his own soul scarcely escape everlasting perdition; nor even this unless sheer ignorance and inveterate prejudice, connected with much sincerity, be found in his case.

Notice that they both referred to leaders as the people Paul was talking about and not the eternal security of the believer.

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