Free Will Baptist- an important question

Yesterday I sat down with a pastor from a free will baptist church and had a chance to talk some theology with him.  From what I have heard, Free Will Baptists believe that a person can lose their salvation, so this was an excellent opportunity to learn something different from what I believe. Below is a shortened version of the conversation.

When we got around to the subject, I started with a more fundamental question… “Do you believe that a person is justified when they come to Christ? Are their sins forgiven, past, present and future?”

And he answered, “Yes, I believe a person is totally justified. The death of Christ was sufficient for ALL sin.”

Then I asked, “Do you believe that someone can lose their salvation, and if they can, tell me how that happens?”

He replied, “I believe that a person can backslide to the point that God cuts him off.  And after a person has lost their salvation, they cannot be brought back into a saving relationship with God.”

So I then asked him the big question, “If a person has to maintain a minimum level of personal righteousness to stay in God’s grace, how is that not works righteousness?”

To that he answered, “You bring up a valid concern, but I cannot explain, from a theological standpoint, how these two fit together. There are some things in the Bible that you and I will not be able to fully understand. The Trinity is an example, I will never fully understand the nature of the Trinity. You cannot work your way to heaven, but I do believe that the Bible does teach that someone can lose their salvation, and I have known people that I believed had the fruit of salvation in their lives that walked away from God.”

I do understand his point, but to say that someone can be justified of all their sins and then say they can lose their salvation because of their sin is a contradiction. So what about those people who seeming have the fruit that comes with salvation? There IS another  explanation that does not violate the doctrine of justification.

There are verses in the Bible that indicate a person saved by God, will be kept by God. This doctrine is known as “the perseverance of the saints”. If God is the author of our faith, He will be the finisher of our faith (Heb 7:25).  He is able to keep them from falling and present them faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24).

So what about those verses that seem to talk about people falling away from the faith?

These are people who look righeous on the outside but their heart has never been converted. They go through the motions, sometimes with passion and conviction, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones. The inside of the cup is still dirty. These are the Ted Haggards and Ray Boltz of the world.

These people are called hypocrytes, pretenders. And if you know someone who you would have sworn was a Christian,  and they walk away from God, then they were never saved to begin with. When someone is saved by God, they are a new creature with a new heart and new desires. If they go back to the world, then their heart was always with the world.

I think this is what the apostle John meant when he said , “They went out from us, but they were not really of us, for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” (1 Jn 2:19)

–Danny

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Published in: on January 18, 2009 at 2:35 pm  Comments (5)  

Do you know what decisional generation is?

In my last post, I included a video that highlighted a major problem with modern Christianity. In the video, a woman instructed children to “make a decision” to become a Christian and then led them through a prayer so that Jesus would be their best friend.  This is called “decisional regeneration” and is very popular… and very dangerous.

If a person decides that they want to become a Christian, most pastors will lead that person in a short prayer and then will pronouce them saved. I have heard pastors say things like, “everyone that asks Jesus into their heart will be saved”, but there-in lies the problem. Salvation is not yours to bestow on yourself.  The Bible clearly states that salvation belongs to God alone.  I think the problem is that WE like to be in control.  When the decision is OURS to make, why do we need to have faith in God?

When someone repents and puts their life in Jesus’ hands, trusting that what God promised, He is able to do– THAT is faith.  Remember that Jesus said that many would call Him Lord, Lord, but He will cast them into Hell on the day of judgement.  I believe that too many are trusting in the decsion they made instead of looking at their lives to see if they are bearing godly fruit.

The video embeded below is kinda long, 9 mins, but watch the first couple of minutes and see why simply making a decision to become a Christian does not save you.

No man comes to Jesus unless the Father draws him. (John 6:44)

–Danny

Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 10:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Children are SOOO easy to get decisions from!

Whew! I have had a busy Christmas, and it has been awhile since I have posted. I think this post is perfect for opening up the new year.

Did you happen to read the article I wrote on Children and Salvation? Well, I was looking around the Wretched Radio site and found this video that is posted below.

Next I want to post on a critical issue that was brought up in this video that is called “Decisional Regeneration” and the implications of this popular theology.  I want you think about something before my next post, does salvation belong to God, or do men have the power to save themselves?

–Danny

Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 12:18 am  Comments (1)