Friday, April 09, 2010

A Dilemma For Those Who Doubt Eternal Security

How is it that those who would say that sinners are damned by no more than one sin (no matter how “small” that sin may be) and who also say that one can lose one’s salvation—how is it that they can possibly believe that anyone is saved? If one sin is sufficient to damn a previously innocent person, is it not equally sufficient to damn the Christian who commits a sin? And who among us does not sin every moment of our lives by not granting God the honor, glory, and worship He is due in our thoughts, words, and deeds, by not loving our neighbor as ourselves, and by not living perfect lives?

20 comments:

  1. Great point!

    It seems that what people who hold to such a view do is minimize sin. As if God just overlooks this “small” sin or the “white” lies that a believer commits, but damns the unbeliever for the same offence.

    To me this is why you have such foolish teaching as perfection. All the advocates of perfection do is carry the implications to there logical conclusions.

    Now some get around this by saying that the only sin that would bring loss of salvation is unbelief, but then that would mean that Christ did not pay for all of their sins. There is a sin which Christ did not atone for to which they must propitiate God themselves. So in essence they save themselves by their work.

    Some dress it up as if they are only protecting God and His righteousness, but I dare say God does not need us to protect Him or His righteousness.

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  2. For many, a person does not lose his or her salvation due to sin but for no longer trusting Christ for salvation -- for no longer believing in the Lord (a la Bart Erhman). For many, the security issue is about "abiding" in Christ, not about sin, per se.

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  3. WWB,

    Is not believing in Christ a sin? And how does one "abide" in Christ? Are these two separate and distinct things or one and the same?

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  4. Birch said:
    ---
    For many, the security issue is about "abiding" in Christ, not about sin, per se.
    ---

    Then I could go out and sin as much as I could, as long as I still "abide" in Christ, and be saved.

    But since it's obvious that sinning as much as we can is inconsistent with "abiding" in Christ, then we can't go that route. But in the case of the unbeliever, any sin at all is inconsistent with "abiding" in Christ. So, uh, wouldn't even one sin by the Christian likewise be inconsistent with "abiding" in Christ?

    Or does your faith in Christ give you 500 free sins before you have to worry about damnation? I mean, how does this all work?

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  5. Pike asked: If one sin is sufficient to damn a previously innocent person . . .

    Who is "innocent"?

    is it not equally sufficient to damn the Christian who commits a sin?

    "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins . . ." (1 John 1:9).

    Things are not adding up. A person is justified by faith (Rom. 5:1). I am merely stating that "committing sin," as you wrote (is it not equally sufficient to damn the Christian who commits a sin?), not all those who believe in the loss of salvation say that it is because of sin. Others say that it is due to rejection of faith in Christ.

    I'm merely stating other views, not trying to defend one or the other.

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  6. I actually agree with this post. I do believe in "once saved, always saved." The Bible says that he who believes in his heart and confessed with his mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord will be saved. Not might be saved, provided that he does not later reject Christ. No. WILL be saved.

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  7. WWB,

    …not all those who believe in the loss of salvation say that it is because of sin. Others say that it is due to rejection of faith in Christ.

    I must be ignorant on this because I thought that rejection of faith in Christ is a sin???

    I would like to know if rejection of faith in Christ is not a sin, then what is it?

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  8. Mitch,

    I think such an Arminian would probably just say "Well, yes, it is a sin, but it's the only one that causes us to lose our salvation."

    William Lane Craig thinks we can lose our salvation, but that you have to be a major apostate in order for that to happen. So, and I think he has stated this specifically, a Bart Erhman or a Dan Barker qualifies, for example.

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  9. John,

    That is what I thought as well.

    I'm sure all the minor apostates are breathing a little easier. lol

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  10. Mitch,

    Yes, unbelief is a sin. Sorry, I forgot to respond to your question. My sole point was that, while Wesleyans (for example) think that sin can cause a person to lose his salvation, many Arminians think that it is unbelief (or a rejection of Christ post-belief) which causes a person to lose his salvation. That was my sole point.

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  11. WWB,

    So Wesleyans belief sin in general will cause one to lose salvation and the Arminian believes only unbelief causes loss of salvation.

    I'd hate to be a Wesleyan, but they are Arminian correct?

    Could you tell me why the distiction? I mean why does the Arminian think only unblief and the Wesleyan think any sin, are there scriptural reasons or tradition that plays a role?

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  12. Mitch,

    Because Scripture insists that a person is justified by faith (Rom. 5:1). For the one "in Christ," when he sins, he may be forgiven by confession (1 John 1:9). But if that believer turned from his faith, he cannot be justified.

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  13. Oh, and Wesleyans focus on the passages of Scripture which indicate that the believer will not go on living in sin. If he does, he will lose his salvation.

    The Arminian's focus is on union with Christ by grace through faith. If that union is severed through unbelief, then his salvation is forfeited.

    At least, this is the conclusion I've reached from reading various Wesleyan and Arminian authors.

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  14. Seems to me that Birch is giving Christians a license to sin. You can sin as much as you want as long as you have faith too.

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  15. Peter,

    Once again, I was merely stating what some Wesleyans and some Arminians believe. I am not giving anyone license to do anything. But we see clearly what you're attempting to accomplish by such a comment.

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  16. Birch,

    Why would I want to point out that (some) Arminians would say that one who has faith wouldn't sin as much as he could because continuous willful sinning is proof one doesn't actually have faith, but yet those same Arminians would say that such a person would, despite having real faith, be able to sin in a far worse manner by rejecting Christ completely?

    I mean, I can't possibly see why that would be relevant here.

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  17. And who among us does not sin every moment of our lives by not granting God the honor, glory, and worship He is due in our thoughts, words, and deeds, by not loving our neighbor as ourselves, and by not living perfect lives?

    Seems to me that Pike is giving Christians a license to sin. You can sin as much as you want as long as you have faith too.

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  18. Seems to me that the idea that trusting in Eternal Security wouldn't make one any more sinful than if one feared one could lose his salvation, right Birch?

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