ARE ARMINIAN GOING TO HEAVEN?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by 7-Kids, May 9, 2003.

  1. 7-Kids

    7-Kids
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    I did not use this term because I wanted to particularly nag those who might call themselves Arminians, or those who are called Arminians by others.

    Those well versed in the theological battles that existed in church history know that the original five points of Jacobus Arminius are normally not what is believed by the average person who is labeled "Arminian" by Calvinists. I used the title merely as an attention-getter, because as you read you will not find a point by point contrast of Calvinism, and Arminianism.
    Because catch-all labels can put a person in a camp with which he cannot fully agree, we have come up with the ludicrous labels "Two point Calvinists" or "Three and a half point Calvinists."

    If we were to content ourselves with a fundamentalism consisting of five salient points, would we countenance a "One and a half point Fundamentalist"?

    I, personally, try to resist those labels because those labels are loaded with different content for different people. And people love to slap a label on you and then everybody defines that label in a different way. So, I really run from those labels.

    That is all to say we are not going to dwell on terms; rather, we will try to adhere to biblical principles, and probably are going to answer the simple question, "Can someone who disagrees with me on theology or practice still be a Christian?"
    Possibly our most difficult task will be to partition the heart from the head. We will have to dismiss some prevalent myths.

    Some believe that "Faith cometh by hearing" has reference to the ears. We see two very similar Greek words among those used for "hearing." The first is akoe (which is used in Romans 10:17a, quoted above) and the second akouo. The latter is the primary verb and simply means to hear, that is, to use your ears. The "hearing" by which faith comes is not the organ of hearing, but the thing heard.

    We often misquote Romans 10:17 - we say "Faith comes by hearing the word of God." This is not correct. The Bible says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
    In other words, Faith comes by that which is heard, and that which is heard comes from the Word of God.

    The hearing of which the Bible speaks is not speaking of physical ears, for faith comes from hearing, and it is in the heart that man has faith (believes) (Romans 10:9,10)

    It is in the heart that the work of salvation is done, and this is manifested by the outward confession. However, we must be careful lest we trust an outward confession that has not had a work done in the heart.

    It is a disgrace to have rotten theology. We are clearly commanded to study to show ourselves approved unto God. One great hazard is that today we have so many Bible teachers on radio and television, and so many books with clever titles in written or video form that many Christians never study. More unfortunately, their study is often limited to what a man has convinced them is true, that there is no open mindedness at all.
    For example, we will take two positions on biblical election. One Christian says that God has unconditionally elected certain ones to Heaven, and another says that it was God's foreknowledge that allowed Him to know to elect only those who would respond to the Gospel.
    Can both of these be Christians?

    Two men believe in the eternal security of the believer. One believes that those who don't believe this truth must be lost; the other believes there are some Christians who don't embrace this truth. Can both of these be Christians?

    And how about the man who doesn't believe in eternal security?

    And what about the man who believes in eternal security but was never regenerated?

    Or what about the man who doesn't fully understand it, but believes that something must happen when the child is baptized?

    How about the man who keeps the Sabbath? Or even believes that Sabbath-keeping is necessary for salvation? Can he be saved?

    The answer is that all of the above are saved IF a work of regeneration has been wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit.

    Now it is good to go through all things we believe and discern if they are scriptural. But I can assure you some Christians who do not believe in eternal security think that they have scriptural proof.

    Everything depends on what message the person has responded to.

    If the person, in his heart, hears and responds to the message of the true Gospel, he is saved. If, after he is saved, a man tells him he must be baptized in order to be really saved, he is still saved. No incorrect post-salvation theology can do away with the work of Christ.

    If a person responds to a message that tells him he must believe and be baptized in order to be saved, the Holy Spirit didn't tell him that, so he is not saved.

    If a person responds to the Spirit's message and is saved, and then is told by a man that he must keep the Sabbath in order to be saved, he is still saved.

    But if the message was "believe and keep the Sabbath," he is not saved, simply because the Holy Spirit does not say, "Believe and keep the Sabbath for salvation."

    That is one reason why we must be sure we preach the pure Gospel. If our message is anything more than grace alone, we can still get people to respond to that message. Most people would like to have the opportunity to do something, even if it is just walk the aisle or be baptized.
    To sum it up:

    We know the Holy Spirit will only witness to the true message of the Gospel.

    If the Holy Spirit has done His work in the heart and the person responds to the message He has given, the person will be eternally saved.
    If the work is truly done, it is an infinite work, and no incorrect theology can undo it (Ecclesiastes 3:14).

    If the message received is Christ + anything, it was not given by the Holy Spirit. It may have been given by a loud preacher, but, as Charles Spurgeon said, "Nonsense does not improve by being bellowed."

    The true work of salvation is interior, and although there will be outward manifestations of it, no one can say (as was often said of Mother Teresa ), she must have been saved because she manifested the fruit of the Spirit. Nor can one know for certain that one is not saved because of a moral lapse

    The Bible sums it up beautifully, "The Lord knoweth them that are His."
     
  2. superdave

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    The Bible speaks about God's knowledge of the elect in the Biblical concept of an intimate relationship. Your last statement really sums it up. Those whom he did forknow, he also predestinated, not just to salvation from Hell, but to a holy and abundant life! (a quote from the SDAV2003)

    Yes, Some Armenians will be dragged kicking and screaming into heaven by the Sovereign will of God, whether they like it or not! :D
     
  3. Harald

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    Romans 10:17 does not say that "hearing" comes by the written word of God. Sadly most versions would have it that way. A literal rendering of the Textus Receptus will challenge the view of most professing believers on Rom. 10:17.

    "So then THE faith {cometh} from hearing, and THE hearing by means of (a) living word from God"

    Comments: First, there is a definite article in front of pistis - "the faith". "The faith" here refers to a God-given ability to receive spiritual things, such as never enter the hearts of unregenerated persons (1Cor. 2:6-16). 2ndly, "the faith" comes "from hearing" - ex akoês. Meaning that the spiritual ability to receive spiritual things from Christ's Spirit comes from a God-given hearing ear, a spiritual ear of a spiritually circumcised heart. 3rdly, "the hearing" (ear) comes by means of God uttering a word (hrêmatos) by His very own divine voice, which echoes in the unseen and spiritual realm. Christ the Lord Himself said by the voice of the Son of God shall dead ones be made alive (John 5:25).

    Thus, "faith" here is not some notional belief in the written testimony of the Gospel of the Bible. "Hearing" is not hearing with the outward ears. The "word" is not the written word, the Bible, which is referred to as logos, not hrêma.

    The starter of the topic otherwise brought some thoughtworthy points. I believe that an accurate theology does not save a man, but a man saved by the grace of Christ will be accurate in his theology. He may for various reasons be off on some point(s) at some time in his profession. But as a general statement I believe it biblical to say that persevering in heresy/heresies is an evidence of not having the anointing which is of God, i.e. the Spirit of Christ Jesus. Many people are deceived in that they think they are "born again" while at the same time they go on maintaining heretical beliefs and notions. Like as to Jezebel of old was granted space to repent, likewise today is granted space to repent, not necessarily grace to repent. And where space to repent is granted, and no repentance from heretical beliefs and practices are to be seen, there is reason to assume the unpenitent one does not have God, 2John 9. These are solemn things to think about, and sadly in these days they are rarely brought up.


    Harald
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Arminians hold to a disgusting and demeaning doctrinal view of Grace and the Person and work of my Savior. I am 100% opposed to it as a terrible error that has infected christianity.

    That sweet non-judgmental spirit aside, I believe that God's elect are eternally secure and bound for heaven, despite aberrant theology.

    Dr. Roland McCune, a mentor of mine and professor at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary (a premier ifb school), was raised in a lose-your-salvation church. He shared with us that for 20+ years after he was saved, he believed he would lose it .. pray .. sin and lose it .. pray .. sin and lose it .. well, you know the sad sad routine of the fruit of arminian and semi-pelagian thought.

    I asked him, "Were you REALLY saved when you thought you had to work to keep it? Was that REAL saving faith or works?"

    He answered (paraphrasing) "I was saved as a boy and never lost it. I was confused doctrinally and it caused me to lose the joy of my salvation and live in fear, but my eternal destiny was never in doubt from GOD's position!"

    That helped me realize that arminians might really BE SAVED and my brothers/sisters in Christ. Confused, worried about losing salvation (which is terribly sad), but heaven-bound!
     
  5. John3v36

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    David was a perfect example.
    he never lost his salvation even when he murdered and committed adultery.
     
  6. ezrider

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    Rom.10:13;for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
     
  7. Artimaeus

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    I have never heard anyone even hint at the notion that Rom 10:17 meant that a person had to actually HEAR the gospel. That would automatically leave out the deaf (a group BTW that I seem to be rapidly becoming a member of :( ).

    As far as Eternal Security is concerned, there is no doctrine that I am more convinced of than this. Can a person be saved and not hold to it? Yes, but, my confidence in their salvation will be perportional to their distance away from it.

    I never can remeber how many points I am toward being a calvinst or arminian. It has never been of the slighest importance in my 30+ years of being a Christian and only on a very rare occasion has it even been the slighest bit interesting. I do know that I am not a full one of either and I have to be reminded what those points are every time they are discussed. (Guess which forum I have hardly ever been to. :D )
     
  8. Dan Todd

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    Quote from six kids
    The Lord not only knows who are His - He chose who are His - Ephesians 1:4 - According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

    Quote from John3v36
    David understood eternal security - He did not ask God to restore his salvation - He prayed that God would (Ps 51:12) Restore unto me the JOY of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. [emphasis mine]

    Excellent thread! [​IMG]
     
  9. Mark Osgatharp

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    Who am I to tell an Arminian that he is going to heaven when he admits he doesn't even know himself?

    Here is a follow up question: Can a man who thinks he didn't have to do anything to be saved be saved? Is such a man not trusting in election rather than in Christ?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  10. Tim too

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    I don't want to throw this into a Calvinism/Arminian debate, but as far as talking about which is more damaging to the church and damning more people to hell, the overall historical winner is Calvinism.

    Here are my points.

    1. First Calvinism clearly proposes that some are damned to Hell by no choice of their own, but by our loving (???) Heavenly Father. You are told to love your neighbor as yourself, honor your father and your mother, and even love your enemy so God can cast some of them into hell just because He chose to. This is like getting your kid a dog with the intention of killing it after he comes to love it. This doesn't square with the Biblical view of the love or mercy of God.

    2. Who really knows if you are truly one of the "elect"? You will recognize them by their fruits you may say, but maybe someone just works and works for the Lord and still isn't one of the elect. I just came for an extremely evangelistic church. This church taught that cursed Calvinistic doctrine of OSAS, yet members were constantly being saved and baptized again. Many of these were dedicated and faithful in service and attendance to the church. Where is the assurance that you are one of the elect?

    3. If Calvinism is wrong think of how many people have closed their eyes in this world only to open them in Hell because they believed that it did not matter how their relationship with the Father was as long as they said the sinner's prayer.

    Here is a verse to think about.

    Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:10-11 NIV

    If election is a done deal and could not be lost Peter did not know about it. [​IMG]

    There have been, are, and will be apostate Christians and there is a false church to welcome them in, make them feel good about their sin and lack of relationship with God and ever so gently deceive them into the pits of Hell. Some of these apostates will be our family.

    Study it out in the Word of God apart from the commentaries before it is too late for someone you love.

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  11. superdave

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    I have never heard a person who believes in election talk about election to hell. If you view the Calvinist position logically, all men are damned to hell, The mercy and grace of God allows some to be saved from the certain destination of all sinners, The only people I have heard espouse this philosophy you speak of are people who want to slander the position of those who believe in election, besides, election is clearly taught in scripture, why argue, doesn't mean finite human brains have to be able to understand the details for it to be truth!

    Very good point, I have not had the same experience as you with OSAS, and Scripture teaches election to Holy Living, so you should see fruit, but there are many cases I have seen where it becomes obvious that some people were working for works sake, sad, but it happens. Salvation has nothing to do with those things, neither does Calvinism teach it to be so.

    If arminianism is wrong think of how many people have closed their eyes in Hell because they believe that it did not matter how their relationship with the Father was as long as they said the sinner's prayer. I guess I don't see what that emotional drivel has to do with the issue at hand. Those who God's elects will not be in Hell, period, I don't have to worry about that, I just have to fulfill my mission of getting the message out, not worry about who will be in Hell, I have to assume that everyone will be if I don't tell them

    The verse still refers to election, again Peter could not determine who were the elect, and had to assume that some of them may have been relying on a false conversion, or a works based justification

    More emotionalism, that doesn't align with Scripture. Purely from a Doctrinal perspective or a Theological framework perspective, God will save the Elect, with or without me!

    From a practical outlook, and taking the whole mission that God has for my life, I have been commanded to fulfill the great commission. I cannot know who God will move to accept

    So yes, some arminians will be in heaven
     
  12. Abiyah

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    Does theological error necessarily guarantee one
    a place in Hell?

    I was reared in holiness-Arminianism, which was
    a really whacked-out doctrine. Regardless, I
    prayed for salvation with sincerity, for the first
    time, in 1963. Because of lack of good teaching
    and doctrine, I requested salvation many times
    after that, the most notable times being in 1971
    and 1984.

    I was thinking about this yesterday, and it occurred
    to me, for the first time, that I have actually been a
    believer since 1963 -- 40 years ago in July. What
    a shock! The Arminianism I was taught indeed
    stole the joy of much of those 40 years from me;
    regardless, I would say that all that time, I was,
    indeed, His.
     
  13. NarrowWay

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    Personally, I think the more appropriate question is, "How many Calvinists will go to Heaven having not accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior?" The Bible clearly states that in order to be saved someone must "believe on Him," and pick up their cross and follow him. Those who espouse the correctness of "cheap grace" will find themselves standing in front of my Lord saying "Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?" The Calvimist notion of doing nothing because that furthers God's Sovereinty will be found to be sorely wanting at the Judgement.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    THAT, my brother, is a classic. Kinda puts the whole Calvin/Arminian debate into focus!
     
  15. NarrowWay

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    Personally, I thought the second question was far more incisive:

    Here is a follow up question: Can a man who thinks he didn't have to do anything to be saved be saved? Is such a man not trusting in election rather than in Christ?
     
  16. Tim too

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    According to the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics - http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/

    “Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the Gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.”

    If God has chosen to offer salvation to some and not to others, has He not condemned them to Hell by refusing to offer salvation to them based upon no choice of their own but by His chosing? Some of these non-elect will be our family, friends, neighbors and even enemies that God tells us to love. How is this empty emotionalism? Calvinism is Biblically flawed and logically flawed. How in the world are we supposed to love a God who condemns those He commands us to love to Hell without any opportunity for salvation? How are we supposed to rejoice in Heaven while our mom or children burn in torment in Hell because they weren’t one of the elect?


    Let’s compare the two as if they were both wrong and see why I believe this is DEFINITELY an emotional issue.

    Suppose Calvinism is wrong, then belief of the perseverance of the saints is also wrong too. Many people walk into our churches, are convicted of sin and brought to repentance and a saving relationship with Christ only to later fall into sin and forsake this saving covenant relationship. These people believe that they are the elect and that they are always saved no matter what they do. These people die and go to Hell.

    VS.

    Arminianism is wrong. The belief that one must persevere in this relationship with Christ or lose their salvation is wrong. If you are an Arminian or a Calvinist it does matter so long as you are one of the elect. The elect are still the elect no matter what they believe so they are going to be saved anyway.

    Which seems more realistic? Which seems like Pie in the Sky Theology? Which seems more dangerous to ignore?


    Here, is what I as an Arminian believe. We have assurance of our salvation as much as we do not break the covenant relationship that God established for us through His Son Jesus Christ. I do not believe that one sin will cause me to fall from Grace. I do believe that if I spurn God’s Grace and forsake this saving covenant relationship God will cast me away. It is called Apostasy and it is predicted for the last days.

    The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 1 Timothy 4:1 NIV

    It is an emotional issue.

    In the Love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  17. superdave

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    It is still very important to note that Calvinism does not teach that men are elected to hell, it teaches that God has chosen to save some from the certain condemnation deserved by all. It is a big difference at least to me. It aligns with God's character just fine as far as I'm concerned, since people going to hell, are simply getting the punishment that fits the crime so to speak. Can I explain how God chooses, no, but the nature of his character and attirbutes determines that he must, even if it wasn't clearly taught in scripture.



    Our difference in views on Apostacy is more semantic than anything. But I think it is clear that there are many in our churches today, as predicted by Paul, that are professors of faith, but who "went out from us, because they were not of us" They clearly were never true possessors of true saving faith, and hence never "lost" their salvation, but never were truely saved in the first place. Honestly, a Calvinistic view of salvation if taught and viewed properly should encourage one to really evaluate their life and "make their calling and election sure" since there is a black and white side to the issue, you don't go back and forth from sinful practices to getting re-saved, a sinful pattern of behaviour might just indicate that you are not a true possessor of saving faith, a much more frieghtening prospect than, "oh, I need to get saved again"

    IMHO
     
  18. preacher

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    If I can have no choice in salvation than how or why would I make my calling & election sure? The way you speak I would either be save or condemed to hell, no matter what I say or pray.
     
  19. Dr. Bob

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    Ah, you've missed the responsibility of man. You HAVE a choice, but sadly, without the regenerating work of the Spirit giving you a new nature, your old nature always chooses WRONG.

    It is God's immense mercy that ANYONE is chosen. Without that, we all of our own free choice, go straight to hell.
     
  20. preacher

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    So then the Spirit regenerates all, its just that not all choose Christ after this?
     

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