2 Peter 2:20-22

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Eladar, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. Eladar

    Eladar
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    For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire."

    Peter says that these people are like a sow who after being washed returns to wallowing in the mire.

    If these people were washed in the blood of Jesus and cleansed from all unrighteousness, then these people were at one point 'saved'.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    Where is this in the above quoted passage??
     
  3. TomVols

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    Once again, you're quoting a passage assuming it says something it doesn't. Prove from the passage that these are (1) saved people and (2) that these saved people lose their salvation and (3) this can be shown consistently from the whole counsel of God.
     
  4. Eladar

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    These people have come to know Jesus Christ. These people have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and started living their lives accordingly.

    We know this because Peter states that their lives change. They then stop leading a Christian life and fall back into way they used to live their lives:
    Why would their first state be worse than their first, if their state never changed?

    Jesus made a similar statement about a person who has a demon driven from his heart. Jesus stated that if the person didn't fill his heart with God, then the demon would return with fellow demons worse than the original demon.

    Jesus also says that it is the wise man who puts his teachings into practice. Jesus states that if one does not put the teachings into practice, one will fall when trials come.

    In any case, Peter states that their last state is worse than their original. If their state never changed to begin with, how could they be in a worse state after not being changed?

    Evidently there was a change for the better, only to change back, but only worse. There was a change in these people. Judging by their fruits, their original change was to accept Jesus Christ as Lord.

    [ March 05, 2002, 11:45 AM: Message edited by: Tuor ]
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    It is possible to come to a knowledge of the truth and not be saved. Their last state is worse than the first because they now have knowledge that they have rejected. This passage does not say that they were truly saved. In fact, the whole context of the passage is about false teachers who "deny the Lord who bought them" (v. 2). Be careful that you do not pull this out of context to try to prove a point that they passage does not make.

    Their original fruits gave evidence that they have been saved but their end showed the truth that they had not been truly saved. As Paul says, You have been reconciled if you continue (Col 1:22-24). These folks did not continue so it gives evidence that they had not been reconciled. Freedom from the entanglements of this world does not give indisputable proof of salvation. One need only witness the multitudes of alcholics and drug addicts who have been freed from addiction by something other than salvation.

    [ March 05, 2002, 12:10 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  6. Brutus

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    excellent post Pastor Larry!! Once again Tuor is grasping at straws and taking scripture to say what he wants it to say instead of taking it in the whole context.It's quite obvious that this passage has to do with false teachers.Again it raises the question:can you prove it? The problem lies with taking verses out of context.
     
  7. Eladar

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    My point exactly.

    We are not able to judge hearts. We aren't even able to judge our own hearts. How can we know our hearts are any different than others if we don't know what other's hearts are like? We have nothing to compare.

    The only way we can decide if we or anyone else is 'saved' or not is based on fruits. The only way we can decide if we are saved is by our fruits. This passage says that see fruits at the present doesn't necessarily indicate the final outcome for the person's life.

    It is impossible to decide a person's state of final salvation based on the fruits of today.

    This is the logical conclusion to what Pastor Larry pointed out the scripture is saying.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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  9. TomVols

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    Tuor,
    You misquoted Pastor Larry. Go back and view his entire statement in context.
     
  10. Eladar

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    Pastor Larry, I think we agree and disagree on the 'apparently saved' people.

    I believe you agree with me that there are people who are 'apparently saved', but really aren't. The point at which we diverge is the 'really saved'.

    Evidently you believe one can tell the difference between the 'apparently saved' and the 'really saved'. I don't believe it is possible. Yes, you can determine those who were not actually saved after they depart, but how long does it take for this to happen?

    Brutus,
    Actually it is quite obvious that the passage is talking about those who depart following the false teachers. Of course it could be talking about false teachers too, if they at one time apart of the church.

    Tom,

    Here is the direct quote I am commented on:
    I know this is not exactly what Larry said in his first paragraph, but it is what he said.

    [ March 05, 2002, 03:38 PM: Message edited by: Tuor ]
     
  11. Eladar

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    How do you make the distinction between people who know what Christianity is about, but never believed it at all and those who know what Christianity is about and for a time accepted it and tried to live accordingly, but in vain?
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Nope, I don't believe you can always tell the difference. Someone tried to take me to task on this in another thread for my "inconsistency" on this point with regards to assurance of salvation. Assurance can be had but it is not infallible assurance. That was a hard concept for some in this thread to handle but it is a valid one on the basis of Scripture. We can and should look at people's lives and disciple them according to what we see.

    I do not believe we need to go around questioning everyone. I think, as Scripture says, that you judge people by their fruits and you disciple them accordingly.
     
  13. Nelson

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    There is an inconsistency if what is meant is that their own personal salvation is certain and inviolable without any doubt whatsoever on their part and yet, at the same time, that certainty by which such a claim is made is fallible.

    For example, one can claim for certain that at the present moment they are saved but one cannot hold the same certainty beyond the present.

    If certainty is fallible, to whatever degree, large or minute, it is uncertainty; i.e. such certainty is "liable to be mistaken, deceived or erroneous" (Webster's New World Dictionary and Thesaurus).

    If such is the case, the idea of "eternal security" (as interpreted by the Reformed tradition) is a fiction.
     
  14. Brutus

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    Whether "they" in verse 20 refers to the teachers or their victims,both groups had available to them knowledge about Jesus Christ,which could produce liberty and life.But when that knowledge was rejected,their end was deeper corruption("again entangled in it and overcome")and presumably a more severe degree of punishment.Indeed,"they would have been better off never to have known the gospel,the way of righteousness,and the sacred(holy)commandment(i.e.,the apostolic message)than to have known the truth and have deliberately violated it."vs.22,Jews considered both dogs and pigs among the lowest of creatures(Mt.7:6) so Peter chose these animals to describe people who knew the truth and turned away from it.The first proverb,"a dog returns to it's vomit",is taken from Proverbs 26:11.The second proverb,"a sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud",was presumably commonly known by Jews in the first century.The undelying principle of both is the same:these apostates(whether false teachers,their victims or both)never were what they seemed to be and returned to what they had been all along.Dogs and pigs can be scrubbed but not kept clean,because it is in their very nature to return to unclean living.Such apostates are in a tighter bondage,they are farther from the truth,and they are deeper in spiritual filth than ever before.Believers today do well to heed Peter's warning against false teachers,to learn how to discern the truth for themselves,and to teach it to others.The false teachers will themselves meet destruction and others will be destroyed with them.But,Christians can wage spiritual warfare more effectively if they know their spiritual enemies,the techniques that heretics use,and the end result of their deception.
     
  15. Eladar

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    Exactly!

    That is the point that I've been trying to make. There are those who aren't what they seem to be. But these people aren't actors. These people actually believed they were Christians, and perhaps they still thought they were Christians.

    There are many people out there today who believe they are Christians, but by their fruits they reveal the fact that they aren't Christians at all.

    Brutus,

    How long does it take for a person to know if they are like these people who left? Will these people reveal their true heart in 6 months, a year, ten years????? How long?

    Larry,
    I believe you and I are very much in agreement on this issue, except on this point. I don't believe you can ever tell the difference, while you believe sometimes one can know the difference. I believe you can be fairly certain, but never definite.

    I don't look at it as questioning eternal salvation, I look at it as a type of life boat salvation.

    A life boat can pluck someone from the sea and the person would be said to be saved, but until the person reaches dry land, the final outcome is still in doubt. I just trust in the captain of this boat, God, who says that if we do what He says and trust in His truth, we will make it.

    By the way, I take it your position is not the traditional 'once saved always saved' position.

    [ March 06, 2002, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: Tuor ]
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    I never said assurance was "certain and inviolable." I have always qualified assurance with human fallibility. I have assurance of salvation. But that assurance is based on biblical standards for assurance: The promises of God to save those who call, the witness of the Spirit with my Spirit, and the promise of transformed thinking and living. Because I am fallible humanity, I may be mistaken. I have talked to people living in constant adulterous relationships who are unwilling to repent who claim to be sure of salvation. I have pointed out to them that on the basis of Scripture, they do not give evidence of salvation. Therefore, their assurance is worthless.

    Many people have been sure of many things and yet have been mistaken. Assurance is not the test of truth. Yet is not without merit.

    This is certainly true.

    This is totally unrelated since we are talking about assurance, not eternal security. The two are not the same. Assurance is my knowledge of my own eternal security. I may have assurance without eternal security; I may have eternal security without assurance. Eternal security is the objective truth of salvation. Assurance is the subjective experience of that truth in my life.

    [ March 06, 2002, 12:37 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  17. Eladar

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    Larry,

    Who has eternal security? Is this a concept for each individual or for a group(ie God's elect)?

    Biblical assurance is based on present fruits. At one point the people who Peter is writing about displayed fruits that would indicate that they should be assured of their salvation, yet given time, their true state would be revealed. But even those who are living in sin could possibly be of the elect. If they repent and get their hearts right with God before they die, then the Bible says that they will be saved.

    Assurance is only as accurate as the present fruits. Present assurance does not predict our future fruits.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    Eternal security belongs to the individual as well as the group. However, one may not always be aware of his eternal security. A person might question his salvation based on his "present fruits" as you call them; however, that does not necessarily make him unsaved. That doubt itself may be the work of the HOly Spirit in conviction of sin that is itself an evidence of salvation. I worry much more about the people who claim salvation while they are cavalier about their sin than those who struggle with sin and assurance. The struggle shows a sensitivity to sin that could very well be coming from the Spirit.

    As for the rest of your post, it was generally what I have been saying all along.
     
  19. Brutus

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    I believe that the most agonizing problem about assurance of salvation is not the problem of whether the objective facts of Christianity are true(God exists,Christ is God,Christ died for sinners,Christ rose from the dead,Christ saves forever all who believe,etc.)Those facts are the utterly crucial bedrock of our faith.But the really agonizing problem of assurance is whether we personally are saved by those facts.This boils down to whether we have saving faith.And what makes this agonizing,for many in the history of the church and today-is that there are people who think they have saving faith but don't.For example,in Mt.7:21-23.Jesus says,"not everyone who says to Me,Lord,Lord,will enter the kingdom of Heaven,but he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.Many will say to Me on that day,Lord,Lord,did we not prophesy in Your name,and in Your name cast out demons,and in your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them,I never knew you;depart from me,you who practice lawlessness."So the agonizing question for some is:do I really have saving faith?Is my faith real? Am I self-deceived?Now some well-intentioned people try to lessen the problem by making faith a mere decision to affirm certain truths,like the truths:Jesus is God and died for my sins.Some also try to assist assurance by denying that any kind of life-change is really necessary to demonstrate the reality of faith.So they find a way to make James 2:17 mean something other than what it seems to mean:"Even so faith,if it has no works,is dead."But these strategies to help assurance backfire.They deny some scripture;and even the minimal faith they preserve can be agonized over and doubted by the tormented soul.They don't solve the problem,and they loose truth.And,perhaps worst of all,they sometimes give assurance to people who should not have it.
     
  20. Eladar

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    Brutus,

    That is the exact problem I see. It is wrong to teach people that their fruits mean nothing and 'just Jesus'.

    Yes, Jesus is the one that saves, but it is based on a covenant. We must still uphold our end of the agreement. We must still live according to God's commands, we must still do God's will.

    Why we do it is just as important that we do it, but we still must do it.
     

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