Debunking Unconditional Eternal Security: Hebrews 10:39

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by vooks, Feb 25, 2016.

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  1. vooks

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    I would prefer to believe in Unconditional Eternal Security. And I have no idea why anyone would not want to believe it. Once I put saving faith in Jesus Christ, nothing can change my eternal destiny. I can return to a life of wickedness,die in unrepentance,and I will still be saved in the end. I can even renounce my faith,die in unbelief and still enter God's kingdom. The only loss is I would have some significantly lesser heavenly rewards or no rewards at all, but heaven I am not missing for nothing.

    Then of course there is Calvinist classic conundrum where God is solely charged with preserving the Elect right up to their destination. The apostates, those who fall away from their faith and salvation were never saved in the first place, they just thought they were, and they fooled everyone in the process including themselves! Their falling away prove that their conversion was spurious for the truly saved. The Elect will finally fall away.

    I can understand why this latter view is repulsive; it teaches eternal INsecurity, for we have no right to call nobody Elect today lest tomorrow they depart form faith and manifest their true colors. So instead of calling the dropouts fakes while everyone can be one the next second, let's keep them in.

    Again, as I said, I think this is cool and I can't see how anyone would not want to believe it. The only reason I reject the doctrine is because I believe the Word of God is clearly against it.

    I wish to examine a relatively common text used by proponents of this attractive theory in the book of Hebrews;

    Hebrews 10:39 (KJV)
    But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul
    .

    The argument derived from this is, the writer of Hebrews acknowledges existence of some who fall away and consequently perish, but by 'we are not' he excludes his Christian subjects from this.

    Conclusion?
    Believers can't or will not draw back, and those who draw back can't possibly be true believers
     
  2. vooks

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    Just about every portion that confounds a doctrine is said to be quoted out of context. The important thing therefore is not to claim 'out of context', but to prove the 'right context'

    For our subject verse, let's read the last 8 verses before together with it

    Hebrews 10:32-39(KJV)
    But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. 34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul
    .

    We will go through the verses with some commentary after each set to set the context.

    Secondly, we will appeal to logic and demonstrate that the conclusions of the eternal security proponents from the subject verse are illogical.
     
  3. vooks

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    V32-34 (KJV) But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. 34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

    V32. The subjects at some point were illuminated and thereafter they endured ' a great fight of affliction'. They were enlightened. Please note the same word is used in Hebrews 6:4 another scripture I will explore, and it has been argued that the phrase captures anything but a saving experience. It is said to be a mere exposure to the saving truth but without necessarily accepting and believing it.

    I would insist that there and more importantly here, this illumination/enlightening is salvation, for why would the subjects of v32-34 endure affliction on the basis of mere exposure to the gospel/word of truth?

    V33 they were reproached personally and also for their association with others undergoing reproaches

    V34 tells us they suffered asset seizure. When we read of Christians being dispersed from Jerusalem in Acts 8, they obviously left their houses and land behind. As happens in strife and displacement, forcible seizures are a common feature.And finally, they suffered all this because they had convictions they have a better inheritance in heaven. These are believers!

    So illumination and enlightenment is not merely exposure to the truth but a synonym of conversion experience.

    They had passed one test, and are being called to endure another one. They are reminded of their past success to strengthen their resolve so they do not draw back from the faith...more of this later
     
  4. vooks

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    V35-36 (KJV) Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

    V35. Note the exhortation is not to gain confidence(believing and being converted) but to keep the confidence they already possess. This means the Writer believes their faith to be genuine. This faith had been tested/proven by a former bout of persecution,but they should not live in the past. Instead,they must continue to press on amidst present adversities to gain the promise of salvation.The genuineness of their faith is never questioned, it's all about if it will last, and this is the main theme of the epistle.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    This is an extreme view of eternal security and is not held by very many people.
     
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  6. vooks

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    And finally we get to the climax of his point

    V37-39 (KJV) For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (KJV) But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

    In these three verses, the Writer quotes and/ paraphrases some portions of OT. There is more to be had from the LXX source of the quotes but I will not belabor the points on this post.

    V37 is an additional incentive to maintain their faith namely, Jesus is coming and He will not tarry. It's been thousands of years since these words were penned and yet.....in hindsight, I'd rather this state of preparedness regardless of the signs of times. This is not misguided, alertness is always preferable.

    V38 'the just shall live by faith'. This phrase finds its echo in Pauline epistles(Romans 1:17,Galatians 3:11). Please note it is God who calls him just, justifies/makes him righteous by faith.

    'but if any man draw back'.
    I'm not the one to discard a translation since it does not communicate as I wish, but let us note the 'any man' is interpolation. This explains why in most translations,the reading is, 'if he draws back'.
    See the various rendering of the verse;
    https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Hebrews 10:38

    The he who draws back is one and the same with the Just. 'He(the just) lives by faith and if he draws back,my soul has no pleasure in him'.

    If any of the justified-by-faith draws back....the Lord no longer takes pleasure in him. Why so? Because without faith it is impossible to please God- Hebrews 11:6.

    Once again, the one drawing back is not some reprobate who rejects the Word upon hearing it but a true believer, previously identified as 'just' who turns away from something he had embraced.

    V39. What happens to the one who draws back? Perdition.
    The Writer is expressing confidence that his subjects have not abandoned their faith. But is this some infallible confidence that they will persevere?

    Such confidence, you won't find not even under classic Calvinism. No man can give this confidence over another, and this is the whole point of the warnings.

    Why would the Writer urge them not to cast away their faith in v35 if he is certain they can't cast it away in v39?

    The Writer is hopeful that these Justified subjects won't draw back, but he is no certain. The warnings, once again, and the encouragements just before v39, are based on his uncertainty.
     
  7. vooks

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    @
    @Revmitchell,
    Permit me to ask which version of eternal security in your opinion is the commonest among those who cling to this theory? Or the one that is not 'extreme'...or better, your own view;)

    God bless
     
    #7 vooks, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  8. Revmitchell

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    The doctrine, of which you speak, that is clearly found in scripture is that those who truly have a heart for God will follow him.

    John 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

    Our Salvation is not kept by our works but by God's grace and it is reserved for our future redemption.

    1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
    1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
    1Pe 1:5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

    Those who walk away from the faith are those who have claimed to be of the faith but were never truly part of the Kingdom of God.

    1Jn_2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

    Those who are truly saved will persevere to the end.

    Mat_10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.




     
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  9. vooks

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    If I may quickly remind us of the two slightly differing theories of unconditional eternal security, the first one maintains that even in apostasy, even after renouncing your faith, your eternity is sealed. But in this verse, the one drawing back, 'draw back unto PERDITION'. This obviously proves their theory wrong because the one drawing back here perishes!

    The classic Calvinists on the other hand readily hold that some will draw back, but maintain these were not believers to begin with. But as we have seen, the one who draws back is the same who is justified by faith. There is no way a false believer can be justified by faith, as this would be like deceiving God.

    What these two groups do on this verse that threatens their theories is interesting; they reject the natural reading of v38 and separate the Just who lives by faith from the one who draws back. Next, they insist the one drawing back can't possibly have been justified. With this done, they set themselves firmly with the Justified who live by faith and believe to the salvation of the soul. The poor 'rejector' can go burn to hell for all they care.

    Once again, of what use is this beautiful encouragement to hang on to faith, to believers who can never lose their faith seeing they were 'sanctified once for all and perfected forever'?

    Note the consequences of losing or departing from faith is not losing some heavenly rewards but PERDITION
     
    #9 vooks, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  10. vooks

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    @Revmitchell,
    All these are beautiful verses and I can't see any of them supporting unconditional eternal security. I prefer approaching each scripture at a time and examining it in its original context instead of ambushing me with tons of them the result of which is shallowness.

    Pick any and walk me through how it serves your belief. But for purposes of this thread, let's stick to Hebrews 10. Feel free to critique and correct any misrepresentation you come across in my posts on the subject
     
  11. vooks

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    Let's look at afew verses in Hebrews 10:

    Hebrews 10:22-24 (KJV)
    Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works
    :

    The Writer immerses himself in his counsel, he identifies with the subjects hence,
    'Let us', 'our'....

    Next, let us:) look at the explosive text;
    Hebrews 10:26 (KJV)
    For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins
    ,

    Once again the author includes himself this time among this hypothetical group which persists in sin after conversion

    And finally
    Hebrews 10:39 (KJV)
    But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul
    .

    Here he includes himself among those who never draw back.

    This means the Writer is not speaking of two groups of people, believers and unbelievers but the same group AS HIMSELF.

    This is rather obvious don't you think?
    Not so with Eternal Security theorists! They insist the 'we' of v26 are unbelievers because a believer can't possibly be any what the verse is describing. This means the inspired Writer identifies himself with unbelieversFrown

    But this begs the question, why would a 'truly born again' believer identify with hypothetical apostates seeing it is impossible for a 'truly born again' man to apostasize ( according to classic Calvinism), or why would a 'truly born again' believer heading to heaven identify himself with apostate objects of wrath yet apostasy can't reverse eternal destiny of the believer( according to moderate Calvinists)?

    These are the absurdities of splitting the 'we' of v26 into.

    When it comes to v39, there is total unanimity that the 'we' there can't be nothing but believers. This is a tad obvious given the generous and optimistic nature of the verse:)

    PS
    While the inspired writers severally identify themselves with subjects,they never identify themselves with sinners EXCEPT from a shared past
     
  12. Darrell C

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    Shouldn't this thread be retitled to "Debunking the Truth of Scripture?"

    God bless.
     
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  13. vooks

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    You know @Darrell C, there is nothing new under the sunBiggrin

    Acts 6:10-11 (KJV)
    And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. 11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God
    .
     
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  14. Revmitchell

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    First, I ambushed no one. The use of that word could not be more inappropriate and untrue. It may help you to look up the meaning of that word and practice its usage before using it again.

    Second, building a doctrine on one single passage of scripture is very poor hermeneutics. In fact, that would be the exact example of shallowness.

    I used several passages of scripture but I did not use "tons" of scripture. That is hyperbole at best and again it is an inappropriate claim as what I did was not only proper hermeneutics but the only solid way to build a case for any doctrine.

    Now I listed, in proper hermeneutical fashion, several passages of scripture and gave a clear explanation on how they fit into this topic. You are welcome to ignore them but you cannot legitimately and with credibility show my post was shallow or ambushing.

    As far as the Hebrews passage you will have to show me how that verse is not talking about those who are in this group of Hebrews but have not yet given themselves to the faith completely. We live in a day and age where we think we have to get someone to make an immediate decision or lose them forever. This was not the case with the folks in Hebrews or even the first century. Often discipleship and long periods of study were prerequisites in the minds of early Christians.

    It is in error to assume that because someone is among believer in the church it means that everyone is saved. It does not mean that now and it did not mean that then.
     
  15. Internet Theologian

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    I understand why nobody would want to believe your view and that is because it is unbiblical. However many do believe your view.

    There is the first hint of your error...what you've done, not what Christ has wrought.

    If you could you would and it will show what you truly are, and it's not a sheep. If you did it would mean you were a dog, a hog, unsaved, and not washed, 1 Cor. 6:19ff; 2 Peter 2:22; 1 John 2:19.

    2 John tells a different story - you didn't abide in the teachings, and you don't have God.

    You are steeped in the heresies of Free Grace Theology as that false system teaches just what you are teaching. You've simply described someone that would be thoroughly deceived into believing they are saved.
     
  16. Darrell C

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    Sure there is:


    Hebrews 8:8

    King James Version (KJV)


    8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:


    This is new since Solomon wrote his thoughts down.

    The New Covenant. A couple thousand years old and still...

    ...New.


    God bless.
     
  17. vooks

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    nobody is building no doctrine on a single verse, we are just examining the proof texts commonly used to justify a theory in DETAIL. Most are not used to indepth examination of scriptures so I understand your concerns.

    if you have ANYTHING. against my commentary on Hebrews 10:39 and the verses preceding it, raise them up
     
  18. vooks

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    BiggrinO O

    There is no bigger nonsense than claiming that those who abandon their faith were never in faith in the first place. This simply implies that NOBODY presently can claim to be in faith for whereas they may be in faith,tomorrow they may depart from faith!

    Allow me to ask you a simple question. Are you Elect? Is there any possibility for you to renounce your faith?

    and finally,if the Elect cant possibly renounce their faith because God enables them to persevere,can we say the warnings against apostasy are irrelevant for them?

    In fact,are they relevant for anybody? There are two kinds of people; those whose faith God keeps to the end,and those whose faith He does not keep to the end. Warning the latter against an inevitable outcome is pretty useless as much as warning the former against an impossible outcome. The Calvinism God is a Divine Comedian
     
    #18 vooks, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
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  19. vooks

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    You have absolutely NOTHING on my commentary on Hebrews 10:39 and the 8 verses preceding it.

    You can spam,digress,engage all the sideshows but I've done my job,communicated the truth.

    God bless
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    Ok well my original post debunked the op. Your response was quite frankly rather sophomoric and actually showed the "shallow" understanding you have of hermeneutics, scripture as a whole, and particularly the Hebrews passage. I have made an attempt to show you where you have erred. Your response has exposed you on this issue.
     
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