Eternal Security: Is Baptist Pastor Charles Stanley Right?

by Steve Ray on February 11, 2014


ETERNAL SECURITY
(Once Saved-Always Saved):

Analyzing a Sermon by Baptist Pastor,
Charles Stanley

By Steve Ray

Hello Protestant Friend:

Even though I have watched his show off and on over the months, I had no intention of watching Charles Stanley on television last night. It was just that I was tired after getting home and was getting some iced tea to drink and flipped on the TV and—there he was as big as life. His Bible was dramatically floating up and down with pages flapping as he paced in front of the audience.

I understand, as I learned the same speaking style as a Bible teacher. It is something pastors learn in Bible school. Delivery is crucial. His style or manner is similar to Kenneth Copeland’s but not quite as dramatic and certainly without Copeland’s arrogance. He caught my interest tonight because his topic was judgment for the sinner and Eternal Security for the believer………

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

G-one April 8, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Dear Brod Steve Ray, Good day, Peace I would Like to ask a permission to upload your articles in our blog. Could we upload your apologetics and other articles that can help Pilipino people in apologetics study? Thank you very much. Best Regards, G-one Paisones

STEVE RAY HERE:  You are free to use them as long as you give proper credit and my web address. May God bless the material.

Phillip M. Evans April 28, 2008 at 4:13 PM

Greetings Steve, Dr. Charles Stanley is correct to teach that we are saved by grace through faith apart from works, and that all the saved have eternal security. Several of the Bible passages in your article I have addressed in my new book, "Eternal Security Proved!" I hope you continue to search the Scriptures and come to know the truth therein. Take care, Phil

STEVE RAY HERE: Sorry Phil, but Stanley is not correct. The novelty of "eternal security" can only be proved if one wears thick Baptist glasses and cuts numerous passages out of the Bible. The heresy of eternal security is basically a 19th century British/American mutation that has NEVER been held or even dreamed of by earlier Christians. Sorry to disagree, but eternal security is nonsense, dangerous, and unbiblical. Those who hold to this "doctrine" usually approach it as a contest that says something like this: "I have more verses that allegedly support me than you have to support you," forgetting that all of Scripture is inspired, not just the verses that "once saved-always saved" proponents absolutize.

"yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions." (Colossians 1:22-24, NASB95)

Becky Elisher June 28, 2008 at 1:49 AM

"If indeed" is the same thing as saying "and you will if" you have the faith firmly established and steadfast…..the question is not whether or not one will continue in the faith, but whether or not the faith was ever firmly established in the first place. It is an oxymoron to say that eternal life can end……it is like saying unlimited funds can run out if you spend too much. Once eternal life has been given, it goes without saying that it lasts forever.

STEVE RAY HERE: What you propose is Funamentalist tradition pure and simple. It is certainly not biblical nor in line with the constant teaching of the Church from the first centuries. Your position was never dreamed of until recent centuries and is a novel position not even held by most Protestants.

"If indeed" is translated in the King James version as simply "if'. I don't know where you learned English, but "if" is NOT the same thing as "and you will if". This is a classic example of how people add words to the Bible to make it fit their unbiblical fundamentalist Protestant doctrince.

Everyone has "eternal life" in the sense of living forever–either in heaven or hell. But Eternal Life in heaven with God is a gift that can be taken away or given away.  Sin brings death and separates us from God. If we refuse to take up our cross or if we deny him before men, he will deny us before his Father even if you think you are once saved, aways saved — which is itself invented Protestant terminology. 

Terry July 19, 2008 at 2:22 AM

Hi Steve, we are really saved by the Lord Jesus alone – not the Lord Jesus plus are own works . However if a person has faith then good works will be present. Please consider the following passage and my bried comment.

Romans 5:6 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

What Paul is saying is that if God did the greater that is – saved us when we were powerless while we were ungodly sinners and his enemies then how much more shall we be saved now we are his children and part of His family. Having become a child of God, having been Adopted by Him, having been joined to Christ and transferred into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son do you think its possible that one day He could disown you, kick you out of his family and transfer you back to the kingdom of darkness. It was unthinkable for Paul.

Every blessing Terry

Sharon Wilkens October 26, 2008 at 11:54 PM

Perhaps we should forget all of this theology in house fighting and concentrate on being followers of Jesus and reaching out to the lost. I have always assumed that is what we are supposed to be doing. I am hearing Christians spending all of their time on “making my point and being right”, and now our country is in big trouble. We need to be on our knees in prayer asking forhelp and forgiveness and healing for our land and for us as Christians.

STEVE RAY HERE:
Couldn’t agree with you more about joining forces. However, it is both-and. We must work together and work out our differences. We cannot ignore differences in “religion” which divide us and dismay our Lord. He wanted us to be one and being one should continue to occupy our efforts. So, discussing differences and debating the issues are just as important and what you propose. Thanks for caring and for writing.

Tim Keith December 22, 2008 at 3:06 PM

So called Eternal Security is a response to protestant
reformation tradition, with derived from Calvinism.
Stanley’s views are actually more from a seminary
professor called Zane Hodges, who is recently
deceased. Eternal Security is not historical evangelicalism
in origin, but it does address the human need for
certainty. Post modernism often wars with the quest
for certain things, which the church should address
by proclaiming the truth in the Bible.

I am not going to debate catholic traditional vs the
tradition of the emerging church. Southern baptists
will claim their teaching came from John the Baptist,
Catholics will reference the church fathers. Nothing
will be resolved by tradition. The southern baptist
tradition was formerly known as ‘once saved, always
saved’. Southern baptists are not alone in deemphasizing
the Bible, the sacraments and the means of grace. Many in
the Catholic church are also dabbling in the so called
Emerging Church, trends which a tradition based sect is
especially vulnerable. As society changes, so does the
meaning of many traditions.

STEVE RAY HERE: Thanks Tim. Much of what you say I agree with. However, for Baptists to claim a historical continuity back to John the Baptist is absurd and denounced by Baptist scholars (see my article Trail of Blood in my Resources sections). For Catholics to refer back to the Fathers is not only correct but there is a clearly established historical continuity. Some “traditions” change with society, but the capital T Traditions of the Church can be traced back to the Fathers and is in fact what our doctrine is founded on along with Scripture.

Tim Keith December 22, 2008 at 9:48 PM

Stanley is fairly mild compared to his son, Andrew, who has
become a leader in the so called Emergent Church. The
elder Stanley does not strive to innovate, most of what he
touts is in books by the likes of Zane Hodges. The elder
Stanley packages his philosophy as conservative baptist,
whereas the son doesn’t want to fit any labels at all. The son
goes out of his way to go where no man has gone by
swallowing all of the latest fads. The father is just plain
wrong, the son is radically wrong. People who follow the
elder will, if they are diligent, learn from the Bible and
what has been consistently taught in the past, what the
truth is. The son works to avoid any association with
dogma or doctrine, but as he is not a good speaker, you
are not likely to hear of Andy Stanley.

I am not going to argue ‘T’ vs tradition, that’s like arguing
whether Babe Ruth would have been a stronger player if
he’d been in better shape. Lots of theological flab is packaged
as tradition. I myself can do without the big ‘T’ or the little ‘T’.
I wanted to say that Stanley’s philosophy is not historical Baptist
doctrine, but I think you know that. The Emerging Church is
going to be a real problem. The six degree of separation
idea is that we’re each only six persons away from anyone on
Earth, tradition is like that too, something old, something new,
something borrowed, something blue. I’d rather not be a
friend of a friend of a friend as a means to say I actually knew
the Apostles Peter or Paul, when I really don’t know them except
through the words in the Bible.

STEVE RAY HERE: Thanks for your continued comments. I was a Baptist who used to love Stanley and listen to all his talks on tape in my car. I realized that Baptists follow tradition too, not the Bible alone. I had my Baptist tradition which was like a pair of sunglasses that influenced the way I saw the world. No one is without tradition — just some are from God and others not. Paul said to follow his traditions (1 Cor 11:2, 2 Thes 2:15, 3:6). Even the Bible is the written part of a larger tradition and it was tradition that gave the criteria for the books received into the canon.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Stanley and those like him. As the world changes these groups tend to change along with it and it will be interested to see what the emergent Church does. I know many are going back to the first centuries to search for their roots.

Tim Keith December 23, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Eternal Security is an attempt to bridge the chasm from the
temporary soulishness of man to the eternal spirit of Christ.
All souls die, the beauty, intelligence, craft and deeds of
the mind and the body will perish, to be resurrected in
Christ, for the believer. For the unbeliever there is a
resurrection of the soul to death everlasting, but no hope
beyond the grave.

How does a choice made for the grace of God in the perishing
soul of a man become in union with the eternal glory of God?
Eternity has no on-ramp, eternity has no beginning or
ending. How can a choice made in the ephemeral life of
the soul of a man become eternal ? I believe that philosophically
no answer can be derived apart from inspired scripture.

We eat today to preserve the body, we must eat again
tomorrow. A christian will hunger for Christ, to be united
in his body, they will seek Christ through the word of
God and the sacraments. The hunger for Christ will be
the daily passion for the believer. When this is not the way
of a man there can be no hope that the person is actually
a believer. We must seek refuge in Christ, and his body,
the Church, from the weary days of our short life on Earth.
That we feel weary from sin draws us back to the hope that
we find refuge only in Christ’s body, which is why the
sacrament of the communion meal is important, but often
neglected by evangelicals.

Southern Baptists believed in Landmarkianism, which is
a hope for an ancient tradition. “Do no remove the ancient
landmarks”. Possibly this longing came from Europe where
ancient stone walls defined the boundaries of a man’s
property? In the south there were no ancient landmarks,
new traditions were created. Many who became southern
baptists were Irish who had been lapsed Catholics. Today
the south is heavily Irish, but scantly Catholic, although this
is changing as migration changes the demographics.

Baptist tradition claimed an oral tradition from the founding
of the church, which remained pure as the church fell into
the control of Popes and unbiblical traditions. For how could
Christ have allowed his true church to perish? The tradition
says a small remnant persisted through generations of
persecutions to become open after the 16th century. Most
landmark tradition baptists did not recognize the administration
of the sacraments outside the local congregation. Therefore
as baptism and communion meal were restricted to the
members of the local church, it was therefore not a universal
faith. This is largely why Landmarkianism has fallen from
favor with southern Baptists.

The reformed soteriology is more like the classic tale of
the swan that realizes that its poor creature is not a duck.
But not in seeing its own image, but in seeing Christ through
hearing the words of Christ. Eyes and ears are opened by
Christ alone, not by tradition. As the eternal wisdom of
God decreed this to be so, Christ is the door and path to
eternity. The baptist that believes that somehow God kept
the church vital through the dark ages, should see that a
tradition of ‘eternal security’ is not what perserved the church,
but it was Christ alone who decreed this to be so for those
who believe, outside of time. This is a mystery, until time is
no more, then we will understand well enough. We will
for ever be more fully comprehending the unfathomable
grace of God, which was decreed from eternity. It was
not because of our choice to believe, but the choice of God,
who never changes his eternal purpose, which is that we
should not merely believe, but be in union with the Son of
God. Not merely from now on, it was done outside of time.
Eternity has no beginning or ending, if we are secure in
Christ, then we were secure in Christ from eternity. As
long as we have a soul that is perishing, we can not
fully comprehend eternity.

I don’t think that ‘tradition’ chose the canon, but the
rules by which the canon was chosen are also used
when determining the authorship and validity of
documents today, eg the documents should not
contradict, and so forth. Fact is, most of the ‘tradition’
which selected the canon was in no wise Catholic,
but of the 66 books, most were from Jewish ‘tradition’,
if this be the guide. Those who argue for Catholic tradition
might as well argue for Jewish tradition surrounding
these books, which is also extensive.

STEVE RAY HERE:

I disagree with much of what you say but have limited time. Maybe someone else will respond. Of course it is Jewish tradition that helped inform the Church in the selection of the canon. Tradition itself did not determine the canon, tradition was utilized by the bishops of the Catholic Church who did choose, or rather, recognized the canon. The Jews denounced the gospels, yet the Church rejected their “tradition” and included the gospels anyway. Much more to say but I have little time. I will allow this to be accepted as a comment.

Tim Keith December 24, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Instead of the word ‘tradition’ I am comfortable with ‘church
history’. I can follow the history of the development of ideas
about Christ. The aspect of Catholic tradition that is
uncomfortable to me is a ratcheting of one layer upon another,
with a claim that it’s now all infallible. Many evangelical
traditions also do this, ideas get locked into stone.
The southern baptists believed that somehow they were
not even protestant, they sought a mystical history with
no documentation at all, eschewing all things Catholic with
no regard for actual church history. Other evangelicals
do not throw out the entire scheme, they cannot. For example,
the contemporary evangelical proof of Christ’s divinity as rooted
in the virgin birth is a 20th century reaction to protestant liberalism,
for this they have been grateful to Catholics as they have much
in common here. Some like John Calvin believed that the Virgin
Mary as the Theotokos, remained a perpetual virgin, even John
Wesley of the Methodists believed this. Thus, the simple views
of popular televangelists is not echoed by many of the most
influential thinkers of the protestant “traditions”. You’d likely
find elements in historical protestant thought much more open
to Catholic church ideas than you may suspect.

STEVE RAY HERE: Catholics see Church history and tradition as related but differing entities, just as we view Scripture and Church History as related but different as well. Tradition is the actual revelation of of God. As Paul said, “Hold fast to the tradition.” He revealed new things to the world and considered it Tradition — some which was written and some only spoken. I agree with what you say about Evangelicals having a tradition as well but it is a traditiion with a small “t” which is quite different from what we hold.

Tim Keith January 8, 2009 at 2:07 AM

Salvation must be both “eternal” and also “secure”, otherwise
the saints in Heaven might somehow fall away again and
perish. Some evangelicals see this topic as one of so called
‘free will’, but a choice that’s like a tattoo. Once you make the
choice, they perceive that you now have salvation forever,
because of the power of your will. Others see that this kind of
immutable salvation could not be the result of a human
choice, but only God could do that. Usually the ‘Eternal
Security’ variety is of the “tattoo” orientation, believing
salvation is something that you decide once – anchored
in a point in time as a ‘decision’, but for unexplained reasons,
a decision which then can’t be revoked by a later choice
of that person.

The other view of evangelicals is it is more like a birthmark.
It’s what you get when you’re born into God’s family , which
has been called regeneration, which is not the result of the
will of a human parent, and therefore secure because God’s
will is immutable. The philosophy based upon human free will
always leaves open the possibility that the saints will fall
away, or it is argued that God would have to make them a
so called ‘robot’ as the human will is supposedly sacred and
can not be violated by God, so it is said.

The Eternal Security brand strives to have it both ways,
to preserve human free will, but to make God into one
who accepts the ratcheting choice of a man, preserving the
one time highest choice of a man, but never allowing the
person to back off from that one time wise choice, even if
they later live as seeming to hate Christ and his Church.

Barbara October 16, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Tim,

The whole parable of the sower speaks to the fact that salvation can be lost:
“And some [seed] fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.”

Some say that a person who falls away was never saved. But Jesus’ response to the questions from his disciples would indicate otherwise:
“The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”

He specifically states that the Word was sown in their hearts, and was received with gladness, and that the cares of the world choke the Word. Sorry, but I don’t see that as qualifying as not receiving salvation. Salvation was received, but then forsaken.

The reason that the saints in heaven could never fall away is because they have the beatific vision, and their wills are thus in accord with the will of God. In heaven we won’t merely be sinless, but we will no longer have a desire to sin.

If you want to discuss this further, feel free to join us on Steves message board: http://forums.catholic-convert.com/
You can lurk before registering if you like.

Christopher Lake October 17, 2009 at 5:39 AM

STEVE RAY HERE. I AGREE AND DISAGREE WITH THOUGHTS IN THIS COMMENT. I DON’T HAVE TIME TO DISSECT IT BUT POST IT FOR DISCUSSION.

Hi, Steve,

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? 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. Scripture states clearly that only the person who endures *to the end* (in faith) will be saved.

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.*

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).

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: “For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. For those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30, ESV) 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. 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 1:6. 2:12-13). 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.

Christopher Lake October 17, 2009 at 5:46 AM

Typo– 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!

Chris Hankins November 7, 2009 at 6:36 PM

I soul-searching right now. If my family knew I was looking at the Catholic Church, I would be disowned. Isn’t that terrible?

I was raised in the Church of Christ (very fundamentalist and cult-like), married into a Pentecostal Church (still recovering from that experience), and moved on to a Southern Baptist Church, where I was far more comfortable but vehemently disagreed with “Once Saved, Always Saved” and the Rapture. Ironically, Steve mentioned both of those in this article!

That being said, Charles Stanley is a good, faithful, God-fearing man. I feel that he believes with his whole heart that what he teaches is right and scriptural. There is no empirical evidence to indicate that he has any malice or criminal intent to mislead, unlike Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, or Joyce Meyer, who are narcissistic in the extreme and delusional. Despite my good feelings for Pastor Stanley, I think Steve’s article is dead-on right. I learned much from it and will continue to peruse this website for more information about the Catholic Church. Thank you for allowing me to post this comment and I appreciate the fine article.

Steve Ray November 8, 2009 at 9:48 AM

We were also disowned by family and friends but family came back around whereas the friends did not. My younger brother and his family were Church of Christ and they are now happy Catholics. I believe Rev. Stanley is a man of integrity too and that he sincerely believes what he teaches but he is still wrong. Glad you liked the article and glad you are here. May God bless and lead you.

Michael December 16, 2009 at 1:27 AM

Thank you for your thought provoking comments, they were quite in inspiring. I especially was inspired by Christopher Lake’s comments.

Great stuff…keep up the good work.

God bless you
Michael

Doug Bell April 12, 2010 at 11:26 PM

As one who was surrounded by police and F.B.I. agents at First Baptist Atlanta (with my two year old daughter wrapped around my leg), publicly frisked and told I would be put in jail if I came again to First Baptist Atlanta, because I told Dr. Stanley’s assistant that I wanted to see him recant of his book, allow me to give my understanding of the subject. All of those who are truly saved cannot forfeit their salvation because it is ultimately from God’s sovereign gracious work in his elect. However, perseverance until the end is a fruit of salvation, so although one can have a real assurance because of the testimony of the Holy Spirit, one does not have absolute perfect knowledge of their election anymore than one has absolute perfect anything in this life. Therefore the Bible admonishes to have a healthy fear of “falling away” from the faith unto eternal damnation. Though not a Catholic, I am in agreement with the council of Trent in saying that one should be declared “anethema” if they say otherwise. I pray that more dialogue would continue in hopes that the church would honor the prayer of the Lord Jesus for unity among His people. Not only do I find Dr. Stanley’s blatant misinterpretations of scripture (which stems from Zane Hodges) deceiving to many souls, I believe it also hinders Catholics and protestants on the other side of the spectrum from being open to consider the balanced eternal security view.

Doug Bell

David J. Buzulak May 8, 2010 at 3:38 PM

You would think that if you wrote an 800 page book on how you can lose your salvation you would at least read the bible!
Has anyone read the book of 1 Corinthians? I mean c’mon guys if your gonna convince me that I could lose my salvation you would least have to put the hammer to 1 Corinthians. Convince me I shouldn’t read it because it pertains to people in… East Peoria…not a good book because it’s …bad…or something like that.

WHY did Paul write the letter to the Corinthians? (I used to have fun with Charismaniacs and ask them the model church in the bible. And normally they would pick the Corinthian church!) Paul wrote to the Corinthians because of gross immorality. Check it out:

1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

Needless to say that the members of the Corinthian church were a mess. BUT, did he call them unsaved? Did he show them the must be born again, again? Did Paul say, “you lost it!”

Nope, not at all.

Paul called them carnal (4 times) verses 1, 3, 4:

1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

Check out that last phrase: “even unto babes in Christ.”

He said about the Corinthians:

sanctified (1:2; 6:11)

ye are washed, justified (6:11)

coming behind in no gift (1:7)

grace and peace unto you (1:3)

always thank God on your behalf (1:4)

enriched by him (1:5)

the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you (1:6)

shall also confirm you unto the end (1:8)

that you may be blameless (1:8)

brethren (1:10, 11, 26; 2:1; 3:1; 4:6; 6:5, 6:8; 7:24, 7:29; 8:12; 9:5; 10:1; 11:2, 11:33; 12:1; 14:6…)

beloved sons (4:14)

ye are wise in Christ (4:10)

ye are honourable (4:10)

ye are strong (4:10)

Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us (4:8)

ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s (3:23)

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building (3:9)

If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (3:15)

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (3:16, 17; 6:19)

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (2:5)

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; (2;12)

Sounds like they are saved to me.

He also said this:

1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Again, notice what he didn’t say. He didn’t say: “you lost it”.

But, you say, what about:

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Doesn’t this mean you MAY be saved???

Yes, that is what it says (notice it doesn’t say “maybe”), but what does it mean? The word “may” has several meanings, check out Webster’s 1828 dictionary. In this verse the word “may” may be used either way. Which way is “may” used?

From Webster’s 1828, under the word “may”:

2. To have physical power; to be able.

Make the most of life you may.

3. To have moral power; to have liberty, leave, license or permission; to be permitted; to be allowed. A man may do what the laws permit. He may do what is not against decency, propriety or good manners. We may not violate the laws, or the rules of good breeding. I told the servant he might be absent.

Thou mayest be no longer steward. Luke 16.

Also, let’s not turn the bible on it’s head and prove to the contrary. Since God doesn’t lie, and He doesn’t contradict himself, please do not turn this verse into a lie. God plainly states that once a person believes unto salvation he is eternally secure.

Let’s take the case of Lot. Did he sin? Wasn’t it wicked sin? Lot offered his daughters to the Sodomites to do with what they wanted. But God considered Lot and his family saved-they were called righteous. God calls Lot “righteous, just, and godly” in 2 Peter. Why? Just to prove to you that you can’t sin your salvation away. You can’t outsin the grace that keeps you saved-Romans 5. That is why Lot is mentioned in 2 Peter the way he is. That is why NO, I repeat NOT ONE conditional preacher will answer my questions regarding Lot. It kills their pet doctrine. If a bible verse contradicts your doctrinal teaching-get rid of your doctrine.

Brother Cloud notes:

“Discipline rightly administered by a New Testament church is accompanied by God’s power (1Co 5:4; Mt 18:17-19). Those under church discipline are given over to Satan’s power to bring them to their senses and restore them to Christ and the church. Note that discipline does not affect salvation. To be put out of the church is not to be put out of Christ. The discipline will confirm salvation. If the one being disciplined is saved, he will respond and prove his salvation (Heb 6:9,11; 10:38-39). To say, on the other hand, that church discipline produces salvation or perfects salvation, is strictly contrary to hundreds of plain Scriptures (Tit 3:5-8).”

Also note:

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Sooo…if there was ever one that seemed to have “lost it”, wouldn’t Lot be the perfect case? Absolutely. The Corinthians would be another case to prove that you could lose your salvation. But as we see God calls them sanctified and so on.

Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

Michael July 3, 2010 at 5:53 PM

.WHAT YOU MUST DO TO BE SAVED

Best of all, the promise of eternal life is a gift, freely offered to us by God (CCC 1727).

The Catholic Church teaches what the apostles taught and what the Bible teaches: We are saved by grace alone, but not by faith alone (which is what “Bible Christians” teach; see James. 2:24).

When we come to God and are justified (that is, enter a right relationship with God), nothing preceding justification, whether faith or good works, earns grace.

But then God plants his love in our hearts, and we should live out our faith by doing acts of love (Galatians 6:2).

Even though only God’s grace enables us to love others, these acts of love please him, and he promises to reward them with eternal life (Romans 2:6–7, Galatians 6:6–10).

Thus good works are meritorious. When we first come to God in faith, we have nothing in our hands to offer him.

Then he gives us grace to obey his commandments in love, and he rewards us with salvation when we offer these acts of love back to him (Romans 2:6–11, Galatians 6:6–10, Matthew 25:34–40).

15 Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.

16 Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5: 15-16)

Jesus said it is not enough to have faith in him; we also must obey his commandments. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do the things I command?” (Luke 6:46, Matthew 7:21–23, 19:16–21).

We do not “earn” our salvation through good works (Ephesians 2:8–9, Romans 9:16), but our faith in Christ puts us in a special grace-filled relationship with God so that our obedience and love, combined with our faith, will be rewarded with eternal life (Romans 2:7, Galatians 6:8–9).

Paul said, “God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work” (Philippians 2:13).

John explained that “the way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3–4, 3:19–24, 5:3–4).

Since no gift can be forced on the recipient—gifts always can be rejected—even after we become justified, we can throw away the gift of salvation.

We throw it away through grave (mortal) sin (John 15:5–6, Romans 11:22–23, 1 Corinthians 15:1–2; CCC 1854–1863). Paul tells us, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Read his letters and see how often Paul warned Christians against sin! He would not have felt compelled to do so if their sins could not exclude them from heaven (see, for example, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, Galatians 5:19–21).

Paul reminded the Christians in Rome that God “will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life for those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness” (Romans 2:6–8).

Sins are nothing but evil works (CCC 1849–1850). We can avoid sins by habitually performing good works.

Every saint has known that the best way to keep free from sins is to embrace regular prayer, the sacraments (the Eucharist first of all), and charitable acts.

Dolores Pierre October 25, 2010 at 2:03 PM

I never heard of Stephen Ray before. Doesn’t he have anything else to do except criticize Dr. Stanley and ridicule Baptists in general? I doubt if Dr. Stanley will take the time to stoop to Ray’s tactics. Mr. Ray should spend some of his “writing” time explaining the plan of salvation and less on attacks on other Christians.

STEVE RAY HERE: FRANKLY DOLORES, STANLEY COULD NOT RESPOND ADEQUATELY. I HAVE MUCH TO DO AND LITTLE TIME TO RESPOND TO FALSE TEACHERS LIKE STANLEY, BUT BECAUSE SO MANY ARE FOLLOWING HIM, IT IS WORTH WHILE TO EXPOSE HIS FALSE TEACHING. I SPEND MUCH TIME TEACHING ABOUT SALVATION AND THAT IS WHY I CONFRONT FALSE TEACHING.

IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW BETTER, WHY NOT DEFEND THE TEACHINGS OF STANLEY. I SEE YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO, BUT ONLY ACCUSED ME WITHOUT GIVING ANY BIBLICAL OR THEOLOGICAL DEFENSE OF STANLEY’S POSITION. HIS BAPTIST MAN-MADE TRADITION DECEIVES MANY PEOPLE.

Dolores Pierre October 25, 2010 at 2:30 PM

You are a very bitter man. I will pray for you.

The Sarge September 23, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Dolores Pierre: Is that the best you can do in defending Stanley’s teachings? Your response comes across as tacet admission that you cannot defend them.

Leo Kuku June 14, 2012 at 8:32 PM

I cant believe that some people actually hold that they would go to heaven no matter what. Come on guys, why did God not save us by faith alone? I mean he came down, suffered and died so that we can relax over coffee and at the last day enter heaven? Show me your faith and I will by my works show you that I am a man of faith. Jam2, for God’s grace bears fruuts of Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest is love(works) (not faith) And it is not God forcing you to work but it is you responding willingly to God’s grace and DOING his will at all cost.
David yes, I have read 1Cor9,27 and it says David be careful lest you fail. You see God cannot be fooled. You can deceive church members about your spiritual life but God who searches the heart will judge you accordingly. Have you not read the judgement warnings in the gospels? It is not about calling yourself born again but DOING the will of God, Mt25, 31-46.
Have you not heard about typology at all? How did God relate to his people in the first covenant? Do not deceive yourselves. God did not come to die so that we may not die, but he died because the death of a million people would not have given us the life with which to enter heaven. So Christ died to OPEN the gate for us but we have to WORK OUT our salvation, Ph2,12. That is now our efforts IN CHRIST can count.
Many will be suprised on the last day for sure

John September 1, 2012 at 8:44 PM

STEVE RAY HERE: I have read a more precise and accurated stated summation of Fundamentalist, Protest Unbiblical Tradition in a long time. This is classic. It is also wrong on so many counts that I leave it posted for educational purposes. Have believed this position once, as our friend here John does now, I am grateful to God for discovering the Catholic Church.

By the way, Jesus did not leave us a book. He left us 12 men, the original magisterium of his Church. The booke of the Bible were not collected into 73 books of the Bible until the end of the 4th century!

JOHN WRITES: All we have and were given by god through the apostiles were the 66 books of the bible. The catholics added their pound of baloney including the pope, mary, pergatory, holy water, mass, etc. The protestants reformed what they felt necessary based on the bible, and came up with many different loafs of their baloney. I believe you are correct in criticizing the flawed use of the sinners prayer.
The truth exists in the bible. Jesus died for the elect. His sacrifice washed away and washes away our sin. Jesus is our ( the truly saved) mercy seat. God’s righteousness is imputed to us. His holy spirit guides us and sanctifies us. His blood covers our sin. The only clue we have of our redemption is our changed heart, that seeks to honor his stated will and glorifies his name. Work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Until called home to heaven, wrestle with our old man and repent when we fall short.

God bless
John

De Maria October 26, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Hi Terry,

I was blissfully reading through Ray’s website when I ran across this comment, to which apparently, no one responded. Soooo…here’s my attempt.

You said,

Terry July 19, 2008 at 2:22 AM
Hi Steve, we are really saved by the Lord Jesus alone – not the Lord Jesus plus are own works .

That’s a false dichotomy Terry. Have you not read in Scripture?

Terry July 19, 2008 at 2:22 AM
Hi Steve, we are really saved by the Lord Jesus alone – not the Lord Jesus plus are own works . However if a person has faith then good works will be present. Please consider the following passage and my bried comment.

Romans 5:6 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

What Paul is saying is that if God did the greater that is – saved us when we were powerless while we were ungodly sinners and his enemies then how much more shall we be saved now we are his children and part of His family. Having become a child of God, having been Adopted by Him, having been joined to Christ and transferred into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son do you think its possible that one day He could disown you, kick you out of his family and transfer you back to the kingdom of darkness. It was unthinkable for Paul.

Every blessing Terry

Philippians 2:11-13
King James Version (KJV)
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The works which we do in obedience to Christ for our salvation are in fact God’s work through us.

However if a person has faith then good works will be present.

That is the Catholic Teaching.

Please consider the following passage and my bried comment.

Romans 5:6 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

When we were powerless means when we were without grace.
Christ died for the ungodly means that Christ died for all men. Ungodly means mortal.

7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

Christ died not just for the good but also for the wicked, that they might be repent and turn to God:
Matthew 9:13
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

And this, through no work of our own. This is the salvation apart from works to which St. Paul so frequently refers. Christ died for us because it was in the eternal plan of God. Christ died as an example that we should follow in His steps:
1 Peter 2:21
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Christ died that we would take up our Cross and also be saved:
Romans 8:17
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

But this is no teaching about faith alone. It is by the grace of God that Jesus came to this earth, the only begotten Son of God, to die on the Cross that we might have life. Without any effort on our part. In fact, He came because so many men were not making any effort to do the good works of God and He provided the example they needed in order to turn to the Father and be saved.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

We-means the Baptized believers in Christ.
Justified by His blood-means justified in the Sacraments of Christ.
Saved from God’s wrath through Him-means by obedience to His Commands:
John 14:21-23
King James Version (KJV)
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

When we were God’s enemies means when we were living in the flesh, sinning without repentance:
Romans 6:16-17
King James Version (KJV)
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

What Paul is saying is that if God did the greater that is – saved us when we were powerless while we were ungodly sinners and his enemies then how much more shall we be saved now we are his children and part of His family.

St. Paul is taking poetic license. God does not save unrepentant sinners. God saves REPENTANT SINNERS. God saves the righteous. God saves those who have kept His Commandments:
Romans 2:1-7
King James Version (KJV)
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Having become a child of God,

First you must be Baptized. Prior to that you must have accepted the grace of conversion, which is the gift of faith (Rom 4:16), turned to God and begun to seek Him (Rom 5:2, Heb 11:6). And then, seeking Him, studied to show yourself approved (2 Tim 2:15). And then, having learned God’s will, repented of your sins and begun to do the works which God prepared from the beginning (Eph 2:8-10, Acts 26:20)
the Ten Commandments. And then, request Baptism from the Church believing that God can do that which He promised (Mark 16:16, Acts 22:16). Then one becomes a child of God having been washed and renewed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism (Titus 3:5).

having been Adopted by Him, having been joined to Christ and transferred into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son do you think its possible that one day He could disown you, kick you out of his family and transfer you back to the kingdom of darkness. It was unthinkable for Paul.

Which Paul? Certainly not the one who wrote the New Testament Epistles:
Hebrews 10:25-31
King James Version (KJV)
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

2 Corinthians 5:10-12
King James Version (KJV)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

Every blessing Terry

And to you,

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria October 26, 2012 at 11:57 PM

Oops! I don’t know what happened on that one. Somehow I embedded two messages and it reads incoherently. Here’s another attempt.

Hi Terry,

I was blissfully reading through Ray’s website when I ran across this comment, to which apparently, no one responded. Soooo…here’s my attempt.

You said,

Terry July 19, 2008 at 2:22 AM
Hi Steve, we are really saved by the Lord Jesus alone – not the Lord Jesus plus are own works .

That’s a false dichotomy Terry. Have you not read in Scripture?

Philippians 2:11-13
King James Version (KJV)
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The works which we do in obedience to Christ for our salvation are in fact God’s work through us.

However if a person has faith then good works will be present.

That is the Catholic Teaching.

Please consider the following passage and my bried comment.

Romans 5:6 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

When we were powerless means when we were without grace.
Christ died for the ungodly means that Christ died for all men. Ungodly means mortal.

7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

Christ died not just for the good but also for the wicked, that they might be repent and turn to God:
Matthew 9:13
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

And this, through no work of our own. This is the salvation apart from works to which St. Paul so frequently refers. Christ died for us because it was in the eternal plan of God. Christ died as an example that we should follow in His steps:
1 Peter 2:21
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Christ died that we would take up our Cross and also be saved:
Romans 8:17
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

But this is no teaching about faith alone. It is by the grace of God that Jesus came to this earth, the only begotten Son of God, to die on the Cross that we might have life. Without any effort on our part. In fact, He came because so many men were not making any effort to do the good works of God and He provided the example they needed in order to turn to the Father and be saved.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

We-means the Baptized believers in Christ.
Justified by His blood-means justified in the Sacraments of Christ.
Saved from God’s wrath through Him-means by obedience to His Commands:
John 14:21-23
King James Version (KJV)
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

When we were God’s enemies means when we were living in the flesh, sinning without repentance:
Romans 6:16-17
King James Version (KJV)
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

What Paul is saying is that if God did the greater that is – saved us when we were powerless while we were ungodly sinners and his enemies then how much more shall we be saved now we are his children and part of His family.

St. Paul is taking poetic license. God does not save unrepentant sinners. God saves REPENTANT SINNERS. God saves the righteous. God saves those who have kept His Commandments:
Romans 2:1-7
King James Version (KJV)
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Having become a child of God,

First you must be Baptized. Prior to that you must have accepted the grace of conversion, which is the gift of faith (Rom 4:16), turned to God and begun to seek Him (Rom 5:2, Heb 11:6). And then, seeking Him, studied to show yourself approved (2 Tim 2:15). And then, having learned God’s will, repented of your sins and begun to do the works which God prepared from the beginning (Eph 2:8-10, Acts 26:20)
the Ten Commandments. And then, request Baptism from the Church believing that God can do that which He promised (Mark 16:16, Acts 22:16). Then one becomes a child of God having been washed and renewed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism (Titus 3:5).

having been Adopted by Him, having been joined to Christ and transferred into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son do you think its possible that one day He could disown you, kick you out of his family and transfer you back to the kingdom of darkness. It was unthinkable for Paul.

Which Paul? Certainly not the one who wrote the New Testament Epistles:
Hebrews 10:25-31
King James Version (KJV)
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

2 Corinthians 5:10-12
King James Version (KJV)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

Every blessing Terry

And to you,

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria October 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Hi Steve,

You said to Sharon:
STEVE RAY HERE: Couldn’t agree with you more about joining forces. However, it is both-and. We must work together and work out our differences. We cannot ignore differences in “religion” which divide us and dismay our Lord. He wanted us to be one and being one should continue to occupy our efforts. So, discussing differences and debating the issues are just as important and what you propose. Thanks for caring and for writing.

I agree with 99% of what you said. But I don’t agree with this statement:
So, discussing differences and debating the issues are just as important and what you propose.

I can’t really articulate my reasons, but here are the Scriptures upon which I stand:
1 Corinthians 7:19
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

Galatians 5:6
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Revelation 22:14
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

In my opinion, the most important thing to God is that we keep His Commandments. Those Christians who keep His Commandments will be saved in this life by virtue of the Sacraments and in the age to come by virtue of the righteous judgement of God.

Those non-Catholics who keep His Commandments will be saved in the age to come by virtue of the righteous judgement of God.

Those who do not keep His Commandments will not be saved. For God, actions speak louder than words. Speaking and teaching is great, but don’t neglect to do the good works which God commands.

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria October 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM

Hi Christopher Lake,

You said:

Hi, Steve,

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 1:6. 2:12-13).

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 AM
Typo– 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

De Maria October 27, 2012 at 1:41 AM

Hi John,

You said:
All we have and were given by god through the apostiles were the 66 books of the bible.

Actually, the Bible consists of 73 books. God has given you a spiritual message in the number of the books in your canon.

Six is the number of imperfection and evil. That is why the number of the Beast is 666. That is also why the number of your canon has 66 books. God is telling you that your Bible is incomplete.

Whereas in Scripture the number 7 is the number which signifies covenant and the number 3 is the number which signifies God. The Catholic, 73 book Bible is the Covenant with God.

The catholics added their pound of baloney including the pope, Matt 16:18-19
mary, Luke 1:28; 48
pergatory,1 Cor 3:15
holy water, Num 5:17
mass, Heb 10:25-31
etc. The protestants reformed what they felt necessary based on the bible,

In contradiction of the Bible. Take for instance the doctrine of faith alone. It directly contradicts Scripture:
James 2:24
King James Version (KJV)
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

and came up with many different loafs of their baloney. I believe you are correct in criticizing the flawed use of the sinners prayer.

I agree with that statement.

The truth exists in the bible.

True. And the Bible says the following about the Church:
1 Timothy 3:15
King James Version (KJV)
15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Ephesians 3:10
King James Version (KJV)
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Jesus died for the elect.
Christ died for all mankind:
Romans 5:6-8
King James Version (KJV)
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

His sacrifice washed away and washes away our sin.

His Sacrament of Baptism does that:
Acts 22:16
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

If His Sacrifice washed away all sin, then even the wicked would be saved. But that is not the case.

Jesus is our ( the truly saved) mercy seat.

True.

God’s righteousness is imputed to us.

Where is that in Scripture? Those who have proven themselves righteous by keeping the Commandments are judged or accounted righteous by God. His Grace is then infused upon the righteous man.

His holy spirit guides us and sanctifies us.

If we but listen.

His blood covers our sin.

If we repent.

The only clue we have of our redemption is our changed heart, that seeks to honor his stated will and glorifies his name.

And the works which are the result of our faith.

Work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Until called home to heaven, wrestle with our old man and repent when we fall short.

And approach the font of grace with confidence, the Sacrament of penance by which the Baptized receive the grace of forgiveness for the sins of which they have repented.

God bless
John

And you,

Sincerely,

De Maria

Gary January 20, 2014 at 7:14 PM

The Back-Slidden Baptist’s Salvation Check List

Just as there are many orthodox Christians, including Lutherans, who, to their eternal damnation, rely on their infant Baptism as their “Get-into-heaven Free Card” as admission into heaven, I believe that there are many Baptists and evangelicals who rely on their one time “Decision for Christ” as their automatic ticket into heaven.

Just to be clear, I am sure that there are many, many Baptists and evangelicals who are much better Christians than I am. As Paul, I am the first among sinners. But I believe that the teaching of Decision Theology accompanied with the horrific teaching of “Once Saved, Always Saved”, has damned just as many Baptists and evangelicals to hell as “Once Baptized, Always Saved” has damned many poorly catechized orthodox Christians.

I was taught growing up fundamentalist Baptist that a born-again Christian who stops going to church, reading the Bible, praying, etc. is a “back-slider”. He has back-slidden into sin.

So let’s review the “Back-Slidden” Baptist’s and (Baptistic) Evangelical’s Salvation Check-list:

1. Have I attended church in the last twenty years: No.
2. Have I partaken of the Lord’s Supper in the last twenty years: No.
3. Have I read my Bible in the last twenty years: No.
4. Have I prayed (other than, “Lord please help me win the Powerball!”) in the last twenty years? No.
5. Have I shared the Gospel with a non-believer in the last twenty years. No.
6. Did I pray the Sinner’s Prayer twenty-one years ago in a Baptist altar call. Yes.

Conclusion: SAVED!

Now, if you present this to a Baptist or evangelical of the Baptist persuasion, he or she will say that the person above was never saved. That is why we do not see any “fruit of the Spirit”.

They have a much harder time, however, using that explanation when the “back-slider” is a prominent conservative Baptist or evangelical pastor or evangelist who has “won many souls to Christ” and has preached great moving sermons for years. “How could the person who led me to Christ have been a non-believer??” Situations such as these really rattle these “Once Saved, Always Saved” Christians.

Gary
Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals
an orthodox Lutheran blog

donna m cole February 19, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Dear Steve,
Thank you so much for this article. I was raised Catholic , was in the Assemblies Of God Church for
30 years and I am now returning to my Catholic faith. It is a long story. I have a new testimony. I will be printing some of your material to give out to my family and friends. The Lord is drawing me, no pulling me back an I thank him for it. I will have a lot of work ahead of me. I went to mass last Sunday.
I feel so clean inside. May the Lord Bless You. I live in Upstate New York near Syracuse. I am a young 62year old. I am excited about what the Lord will have me do as I get more grounded back in my faith.
Thank you again . Ms. Donna M Cole

Steve Finnell July 26, 2014 at 6:21 AM

FAULTY HERMENEUTICS BY STEVE FINNELL

Hermeneutics is the science of interpretation of the Scriptures. What are the causes of faulty hermeneutics? Things that contribute to faulty hermeneutics are proof-texting, lack of prayerful study, pride, exalting men as infallible teachers, man made tradition doctrinal influences, self-imposed ignorance and dishonesty.

FAULTY HERMENEUTICS dictates that Jesus was a sinner!

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Does this prove that Jesus was a sinner? Absolutely not.

Hebrews 4:14-15 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet is without sin.

Jesus was not guilty of sin.—-PROPER HERMENEUTICS IS THE ANSWER.

FAULTY HERMENEUTICS dictates that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elijah.

Matthew 11:14 And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.

Does that Scripture prove that John the Baptist was Elijah reincarnated? No, it does not.

John 1:19-23 This is the testimony of John….21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.”…
Luke 1:5-17…It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah….

FAULTY HERMENEUTIC dictates that men are saved by simply believing that Jesus is the Son of God.

Acts 16:31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.

Does Acts 16:31 prove that men are save by faith only. No, it does not.

The Scriptures teach that Faith John 3:16, Repentance Acts 3:16, Confession Romans 10:9,10 and Water Baptism Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21 are all essential in order to be saved.

John the Baptist was not the reincarnation of Elijah.—–PROPER HERMENEUTICS IS THE ANSWER.

FAULTY HERMENEUTICS dictates that Jesus was God the Father.

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Would this Scripture prove that Jesus is God the Father? No, it would not.

Mark 13:31-32 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32 But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father alone.

Jesus will not know the end of time until God the Father tells Him. Jesus is not God the Father.

1 Corinthians 15:20-28….23 who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father…..28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

Is Jesus God? Yes, Jesus is God, but Jesus is not God the Father.—–PROPER HERMENEUTICS IS THE ANSWER.

FAULTY HERMENEUTICS dictates that men can be saved without being baptized because the thief on the cross was saved without being immersed in water. Can men today be saved without baptism. No, they cannot.

Luke 23:39-43 ….42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Was the thief saved? Yes, the thief was saved, however, the thief was saved before the New Covenant was in force. Under the New Covenant men have to be baptized in water in order to have their sins forgiven.

Hebrews 9:16-17 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be a death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.

The New Covenant, the New Testament, the New Agreement was only in effect after the death of Jesus. When Jesus was alive He forgave men of their sins for various and sundry reasons; the thief was one of those He forgave.

The terms of pardon under the New Covenant are :
FAITH (John 3:16)
REPENTANCE (Acts 2:38)
CONFESSION (Romans 10:9-10)
BAPTISM (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16)

Can men today be saved like the thief on the cross? No.—PROPER HERMENEUTICS IS THE ANSWER.

FAULTY HERMENEUTICS=30,000 different denominations and religious groups all claiming the absolute truth? PROPER HERMENEUTICS IS THE ANSWER!

(All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com

QA September 15, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Good Morning,

I just wanted to write to say while I found your article intriguing I also found your tone to be pretty disrespectful. I am a Baptist and currently dating a Catholic. I have spent much of my life listening to Charles Stanley and have learned a lot of my early formative teaching from his sermons. I am happy to read criticism of various doctrinal differences between the Catholic and Protestant faiths. However, what I do not like is when people like yourself (even with what I believe are the best of intentions) make very sarcastic, snarky and cutting comments about the faith of your fellow Christians. I think the doctrine of eternal security is rooted in Scripture but I do agree that at time Stanley fails to take the step of first explaining that Justification by faith (The Sinner’s Prayer) is the first step, but what must follow is Sanctification (i.e. discipleship throughout the Christian walk). One informative book I have found on this is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship”. I appreciate and quite frankly sympathize with Bonhoeffer’s (and I think the Catholic’s churches worry) that cheap grace will lead Christians to believe that they can pray once and then live as sinners. I think this is a debate we all must have, but please do it with respect. Thank you otherwise for your thought-provoking comments.

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