Jammer (ABQJammer) said...
It's that last point, Conditional Perseverance, that I have trouble with on the Wesleyan-Arminian side. The Scriptures tell us that we are "sealed" with the Holy Spirit, as the "guarantee" of our salvation, so you would HAVE to believe that WE have the "power" and "capability" to "break" that "seal" on the believer's life, making US stronger and more powerful than the Holy Spirit. This is what I have a problem following or believing, because then the Holy Spirit is NOT "God", anymore, and certainly NOT "all powerful" or "omnipotent".
It says all of that, yes.
But it also has many CONDITIONAL statements about "IF we endure to the end".
And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:10-13)
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. (Hebrews 3:12-14)
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11 The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us;13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful--for he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy2:10-13)
And Hebrews 6 makes it very clear that true Apostasy IS possible:
For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
This is one of the verses that eventually undermined my belief in Calvinism. Calvinists, of course, have a RESPONSE to this verse, but not even the great Reformed Theologian, RC Sproul, whose writings first "converted" me to Calvinism years ago, has a very convincing explanation for this verse.
This verse makes it very clear that IT IS POSSIBLE for someone who was TRULY SAVED to fall away from his salvation. But, once that salvation is lost, IT CAN NEVER BE REGAINED! Therefore it is NOT like some Arminians suppose, where you lose your salvation every time you fall into sin and you have to get "resaved" (I heard many such "testimonies" in my years in the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement). Rather, sin draws us away from our "first love", and our "love grows cold" and "our hearts are hardened against God" by sin until we finally choose to WALK AWAY from our salvation and abandon our inheritance as Children of God. Sin can bring us to the point where we might choose to become Apostates. We do not lose our salvation simply because we sinned. But sin draws us away from God until we get to the point where we might be tempted to abandon our faith and walk away from our salvation. But if we ever DO get to that point, we can never come back...we won't WANT to come back. Our hearts will become hardened and cold towards God and we cannot and would not return again to repentance.
That is true Apostasy. So long as we can still hear the call and convicting voice of the Holy Spirit drawing us to repentance, we have not yet reached this point. But if we do finally choose to repudiate our faith, that voice falls silent. Our hearts can no longer hear his call or feel his conviction. We no longer WANT to hear his voice.
I believe that true Apostasy is POSSIBLE, but not EASY...and not common. But it will become more and more common as we get to the End of Days.
I have known some people whom I think may have truly become Apostates. But I do not know that for sure...only God knows.
The Scriptures say it IS possible to do this.