I just listened to this today and have a few comments. I believe a person can apostatize. I know I am not going to convince you in this format, but a few thoughts: When you began, you cited the law of non-contradiction, but you left out the qualifiers: “one cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time.” When you say that one cannot both be able to and be unable to lose one’s salvation, you have to make sure you are speaking in the same respect. I totally agree there is no sin so large that Christ’s blood does not cover it. But the believer still must believe. So, as far as losing ones salvation due to ones sin, I agree that that will not happen. However, a believer who ceases to believe is in the same position as one who never believed: he is an unbeliever, his sin is not covered.
One of the verses you cited was the one where Christ promises to acknowledge those who acknowledge Him, but the very next verse he promises to deny anyone who denies Him.
So is it possible for someone to stop believing? Numerous verses would seem to preclude it, but many others seem to affirm it. Different people reconcile the verses differently. My understanding from a reading of the scripture without pre-determined theological ideas is that verses warning one to persevere, abide, endure, hold fast, etc., speak clearly to a responsibility to continue in the faith.
I think the best analogy is that of the vine. As long as one remains in Christ he is like a branch attached to the vine and reaps all the benefits of being in the vine. “He who has the Son has life.” If one ceases to believe, he is not abiding and does not partake in the benefits of the vine, he is “cut off” and destined for the fire. Eternal life is in the Son (the vine) and I receive it as soon as I am grafted in. I have eternal life. But if I do not abide in the vine, I no longer have eternal life. Thus I can both have and not have eternal life (just not at the same time).
I feel those who believe in eternal security are all to quick to label contrary verses as “hypothetical” and to label every case of apostasy as “they never really believed in the first place”…not based on evidence, but on a commitment to a theological position.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I truly appreciate your podcast even though, like this note, it is not long enough to thoroughly cover a subject that theologians have debated through the ages. I believe you are doing a great work for God.
I appreciate your input, Didymus (or Thomas?), because I am sure that others out there have the same objection.
In response, I will read your post and respond to it in this coming Wednesday’s podcast (5/23/07). I have come up with about 20 points of contention to your argument, which I believe will absolve this difficulty. 20 is a bit much though, so I will do my best to whittle it down to 10-15.
Be sure to listen in if you get the chance!
God bless you, and to Him be the glory forever and ever!
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