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Every twenty-first century believer should read this series because of its eternally significant topics. This series has to do with distinguishing biblical truths from today's denominational, man-made doctrines, grace and faith as they pertain to our eternal security, as well as, biblical prophecy--the study of Eschatology and the future of the church--all of which have eternal ramifications. For instance, how would you answer this question from a family member, spouse, acquaintance or friend, whom for years, we have been praying for their salvation, and in answer to our prayers, they have recently started reading the Bible and seeking the Lord?
Let’s say that he/she has come to you and I with a question about, what seem to be, three biblical contradictions regarding salvation. Here is the first: Why does the Bible seemingly contradict itself about our justification with regards to the law and the “works” of the law? Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2:16 and Gal. 5:4 specifically tell us that no one is justified by the “works or deeds of the law.”
Yet, Jesus, the Apostle Paul and James, among others, turn right around (even within the same book of Romans) and seemingly teach the opposite:
Romans 2:13: for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law WILL be justified;
Rom 3:31: Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
Matt. 5:17-20: "do not think that I came to destroy the law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
James 2:24: You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Please stop here and consider how would we answer our loved one in such a way as to make all of these verses true and all of Scripture true?
This is just one of the many paradoxes we will address in this series, which is written for mature believers who desire to know how to rightly divide the Word of God without having to fearfully cling to every traditional belief taught to us (through denominational doctrines) simply because we are culturally conditioned not trust our own discernment of the Bible.
Our loved one now emphasizes his/her confusion by the fact that the Holy Spirit has given us yet another related enigma to resolve. He explains by reading these Scriptures to us:
Rom. 11:22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
1 Peter 3:17-18 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.
Heb. 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience.
In confusion, our loved one protests, “Yesterday, I heard a preacher on TV teaching that we have eternal security. How could we be "cut off" or "fall from" our secure position if we possess eternal security? The Preacher said the Apostle Paul guarantees our eternal security in Romans 8:37?"
Rom. 8:37-39: Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Question: How can we explain these two paradoxes to our loved one who is counting on us for answers so he/she can feel comfortable fully embracing Christianity? How do we explain Peter and Paul's warnings about potentially losing our salvation, after just reading what Paul wrote about our eternal security in Romans 8:37-39, and still make every other verse in the Bible true?
As if that were not enough of a challenge, our loved one now says he/she is also perplexed as to why the Holy Spirit introduces a third paradox into this mix: In most of the Epistles to the churches, the Apostles begin each letter with a greeting, comforting each church in her eternal security, but very quickly, each Apostle soon begins warning the very same audience, the Brethren, he just previously comforted, that they could potentially find themselves in spiritual danger!
As a side note, and as we will later disprove, there are two popularly taught explanations for this paradox as well, one which boasts these warnings were not intended for the brethren, and the other discredits those who lose their salvation as being people who were never saved in the first place. But once again, both of these explanations directly conflict with other passages of Scripture and therefore cannot be trusted.
1 Cor. 5:12: For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person."
This is a very important clue: since Paul just told us that he does not judge those outside the church, we can rest assured that these warnings from the Apostles were not written to the pagans, but they were positively written to the Saints, the Holy brethren of these churches!
So, how do we now resolve all three of these mysteries for our loved one, while, at the same time, maintaining the integrity of God’s Word: to interpret all of the many related passages in such a way as to make all of Scripture throughout the entire Bible true? What would you tell him or her?
I contend that most of us have not been taught everything we need to know about our salvation. Many twenty-first century readers of this book, who have only been taught perspectives from doctrinally based churches (such as I was taught in the Baptist denomination), may be presented with a surprising, but encouraging, revelation regarding their own eternal security!
These books on biblical discipleship, knowledge and understanding are intended to bless you enormously, and it is my prayer that it will have a positive, Kingdom impact on your life. If you read carefully and stay with me until the end, I am confident that you’ll discover this “white-water” excursion will provide you with several “Aha" moments--important mile markers within your spiritual journey!