It was Sunday afternoon and I was looking forward to a full hour of sitting on my porch swing. Isn’t it beautiful? I think it is beautiful.
It is a gift from my sweet man of 17 years. It is where I sit with my coffee. Where I wrestle like Jacob did with his God. It is where I snuggle with these squishies of mine. Where I eat gelato and chocolate.
This particular afternoon, I was in the middle of my first few bites of mint chip gelato and my phone was making its way down through my Amazon playlist. Somewhere around the song “In Christ Alone”, a big blue van pulls into my yard.
I set down my gelato and walked off the porch to greet them. A tract was handed to me and I was asked if I was saved and how I knew I was saved. Nobody asks me that without joy springing up within me! Although my first thought is that they are going to pick apart what I say.
Our conversation continued and I was asked about the issue of eternal security. I replied what I believed to the best of my ability – that a person can fall away from the faith. Then the man began to share with me how he believed differently.
Now my interest was piqued. And my gelato was melting in the heat . . .
I love to study the Word and hear discussions on why we believe what we do. Why do we love our enemies? Why do we cover our heads? Why do we stand firmly on the believer’s baptism? Don’t just tell me your theory . . . but walk with me through the hard things of Scripture and living this Christian life. Show me from the Word of the One I love most.
I was beginning to enjoy this conversation for it was giving me a chance to hear directly from those who believe in eternal security just what they have to say about it – what verses they use and logic they apply. It wasn’t in an article, or a well-thought out speaking session. However, I knew from the way he flipped through his verses so quickly, that this was one of the topics he had come specifically ready to argue.
Unbeknownst to me, my gelato had now tipped over and was dripping nicely on my new porch swing.
But he had gotten my brain churning, so I asked him the question about a verse in Revelation. I would love to say I was able to quote it to him, including the reference . . . but who am I kidding? Bible memorization is something I need to work on.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Revelation 3:5
It wasn’t long until my handsome husband saw what was transpiring in the front yard, and stepped out to help me. Good man, that one.
Later that afternoon, I did one of my favorite things – I texted my dad about verses he has studied to defend why we believe a person can fall away from the faith. In our conversation, he recommended the book “If Ye Continue” by Guy Duty. You can only purchase these as used books – it was published in 1966. Here is a review on Amazon as to why it has been tightly controlled:
Guy Duty went out on a limb when he wrote If Ye Continue, firing one of the most colossal broadsides at Calvinistic Predestination and unconditional salvation the world has ever seen. For this reason even the publisher, Bethany House, a publisher not normally afraid to undertake the release of blunt and unpopular messages, felt compelled by the tide of popular Christian opinion to suppress this book. It has never been re-released and its publication rights have been tightly controlled since 1966. For all these reasons it has become the most well-known and the most legendary defense of Arminianism ever written. Comprehensive in its breath; covering the Augustinian roots of Calvinism and the contradictory arguments of its most intractable defenders; with its invaluable appendix, the “Eight Rules of Interpretation”; tracing the conditional aspects of salvation from Genesis through Revelation; employing logic, sound hermeneutics and clear diction; If Ye Continue is the perfect cure for the confusion wrought by the extreme Calvinists in their irrational defense of the “once saved, always saved” predestination view of salvation, a view Calvin himself admitted was a “horrible doctrine.” If its a doctrine that gives some a vain hope while convincing others of their permanent unworthiness for salvation then it is more than just a “horrible doctrine,” it is virtually diabolic. Free will means any sinner can be saved and no rebel can be forced into heaven by predestination. I write this review not to force others to embrace Arminianism but rather to convince people to read the contents of this book. Its too important to pass by and too good to be left forgotten by Christendom. Find it on-line and purchase it before there are no more left in circulation!
I hope to read that book this winter. As I have mentioned before, I have been going slowly through Dave Hunt’s book on the history and errors of Calvinism. However, would you know that I found out Dave Hunt himself believes in eternal security? Who knew.
There is another website I aim to peruse sometime soon on this subject – Holy Bible Prophecy.org. Here is a link to all articles regarding this topic: http://www.holybibleprophecy.org/?s=eternal+security. I especially recommend the article “Cases of Christians Who Fell Away“.
In the meantime, I cannot say that I have yet found a more simple, profound statement against eternal security than this quote from John Wesley:
“Calvinists, who deny that salvation can ever be lost, reason on the subject in a marvelous way. They tell us, that no virgin’s lamp can go out; no promising harvest be choked with thorns; no branch in Christ can ever be cut off from unfruitfulness; no pardon can ever be forfeited, and no name blotted out of God’s book! They insist that no salt can ever lose its savor; nobody can ever “receive the grace of God in vain”; “bury his talents”; “neglect such great salvation”; trifle away “a day of grace”; “look back” after putting his hand to the gospel plow. Nobody can “grieve the Spirit” till He is “quenched,” and strives no more, nor “deny the Lord that bought them”; nor “bring upon themselves swift destruction.” Nobody, or body of believers, can ever get so lukewarm that Jesus will spew them out of His mouth.
They use reams of paper to argue that if one ever got lost he was never found. John 17:12; that if one falls, he never stood. Rom. 11:16-22 and Heb. 6:4-6; if one was ever “cast forth,” he was never in, and “if one ever withered,” he was never green. John 15:1-6; and that “if any man draws back,” it proves that he never had anything to draw back from. Heb. 10:38,39; that if one ever “falls away into spiritual darkness,” he was never enlightened. Heb 6:4-6; that if you “again get entangled in the pollutions of the world,” it shows that you never escaped. 2 Pet 2:20; that if you “put salvation away” you never had it to put away, and if you make shipwreck of faith, there was no ship of faith there!! In short they say: If you get it, you can’t lose it; and if you lose it you never had it. May God save us from accepting a doctrine, that must be defended by such fallacious reasoning!”
May God bless you.
P.S. You are welcome to leave a comment, but I will not debate this issue in the comments. You may instead shoot me an email via our contact page. Thank you!