Disgruntled employees always have bad things to say about an employer; the same goes for those who are not biblically informed. The following is a website that speaks as disgruntled members of the Lord’s church. It is my intention to incorporate the remarks (in full) and reply to them. Let me encourage you to do your own study on these matters.
It is asserted that about 20% of the churches (church of Christ) teaching the following.
- You cannever be sureyou are saved.
This is never stated out loud from the pulpit. However Bible stories of people being struck dead are told so many times from the pulpit that the message comes across loud and clear. Every time a passage about the security of salvation is read in a Bible class, the teacher is quick to counter it with verses like: “Make every effort to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” The statement is made repeatedly that Baptists are so sure they are saved that they use grace as a license to sin.
Consider also the frequent words of warning that Paul gives regarding over confidence toward salvation. 1 Corinthians 10:12 states “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 says “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” —Kevin Cauley, Berryville church of Christ, Arkansas
One of us taught at a rural Church of Christ for 18 months. Each sermon Sunday morning and Sunday evening was on the security of our salvation. After 18 months a 70 year old woman was asked, “Do you believe you’re definitely going to heaven?” “No,” she replied, “but I feel a lot more secure than when you first arrived.” A few months later her husband died of cancer. She was worried that he wouldn’t go to heaven because he died smoking cigarettes. He had tried many times to quit, but never did. *
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” –I John 5:13
19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” –Hebrews 6
One preacher explained “Not Under Law, But Under Grace” (Romans 6:14) in this way:
“‘`For you are not under law” is an ellipsis (“Gram. Omission of one or more words, obviously understood, but necessary to make the expression grammatically complete,” Webster. …”For you are not under law only, but also under grace”).
This preacher cannot imagine a forgiveness from God that puts us under grace and not under law.
Another example comes from a preacher who wrote an article entitled: Will Those Under Grace Have To Give an Account? His answer is “yes.”
RT – Can you know you are saved? It seems like a silly question when the Scripture actually speaks to the issue. In 1 John 5:13, the answer is clear. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (ESV). The above remarks are NOT my experience with any congregation my family regularly attended. That is not to say some within the church did not feel secure, but I have NEVER heard a preacher or elder say anything to the contrary of 1 John 5:13. Why would they? If one has doubt, the problem is not Scripture or the Lord, but only the person who identifies himself as a saint working through his (her) personal struggles. To somehow suggest that incorporating 1 Corinthians 10:12 or 2 Corinthians 13:5 into a conversation or sermon whereby one is encouraged to think about the insecurity of their personal salvation is to miss the point of the Scripture, context and personal application.
What was Paul’s point in the two passages referenced by the web article?
In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul’s point was to warn the saints that if they were not mindful of the experience the Israelites had in their wilderness wanderings, then they would fail to hear and heed the Lord’s warnings. This is made abundantly clear via the context of the first 11 verses. Thus, no matter the struggle one has in life, when one trust in the Lord, then the Lord will bring that person through the trials because He has made a way for them. Does this sound like “doubting one’s salvation”? No. It only sounds like an exhortation to saints to trust in the Lord, not in self.
In 2 Corinthians 13, Paul’s larger point (chapters 10 through 13) was in relation to their being false teachers and the all-too-willingness of the Corinthians saints receiving them. Some were questioning Paul’s authority and credentials; so, when Paul comes again, he was going to present himself with that which some desired. In the course of these remarks, he called upon them to take spiritual inventory of their walk with Christ. Does this sound like Paul is calling into doubt one’s salvation? Only if the one who was given a warning fail to heed that warning, a warning that comes from God.
On the other hand, if one trusts in the Lord, then the inventory taken will make clear where he (or she) stands (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:13).
Are the saints under “law” or under “grace”? Let the New Testament speak for itself.
“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25)
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2)
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Back to the question, are the saints under “law” or under “grace”? Only allowing the Scripture to speaks for itself, what would you say? (Be sure to read the context wherein those passages are located.)
Will those under “grace” have to give an account? Again, let the New Testament speak for itself.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
It is clear that while some may teach that one can’t be sure of their salvation, those who teach it or believe it are biblically mistaken. Similar to those who post this without contextual evidence of the assertions and accusations.