1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Free Grace theology?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Timtoolman, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. James_Newman

    James_Newman New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,013
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was free grace long before I was millennial exclusion.
     
  2. Free Gracer

    Free Gracer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was thinking about posting my two cents about the "outer darkness" but there are two people who wrote about it who do a great job in presenting it.

    Just note that parabolic language is just that: parabolic language. They are stories using physical language to describe spiritual truths. The correspondences are not physical to physical but physical to spiritual. Keep that in mind anytime that you are reading parables.

    James Newman, I respect your position and I consider Joey Faust a Free Grace brother. I do agreeably disagree with M.E. I am happy and glad to call you a Free Grace brother as well. Blessings and grace to you.

    Here are the two EXCELLENT articles on the outer darkness.

    Don't fret if some things just rub you the wrong way. Free Grace theology has a lot of background information that really helps in digesting this information. In other words, this topic is a more meatier topic that is built much simpler and basic tenets of Free Grace theology.

    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1992i/Sapaugh.html
    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1992b/Huber.htm


    This is the index of all scholarly online journal articles, with a wide range of topics that may be quite interesting to you:

    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/index.html


    This is a Scripture passage index of short newsletter articles that are extremely helpful. Have you had some trouble with specific verses?

    Start here:
    http://www.faithalone.org/news/passage.html

    Happy reading!

    Antonio
     
  3. Free Gracer

    Free Gracer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    With all due respect, I do not. Yet I share your emphasis and attention to:

    1) salvation absolutely free by grace through faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life
    2) accountability doctrine and consequences at the Bema of Christ (the judgement seat)

    Antonio
     
  4. James_Newman

    James_Newman New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I can amen to that! [​IMG]
     
  5. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are confusing free grace with Free Grace theology. Free Grace theology is a modern system of beliefs and interpretations of the Bible that are absolutely heretical and which were popularized several years ago by Zane Hodges and a very small handful of others in the Grace Evangelical Society, the most notable of which are probably Joseph Dillow and Bob Wilkin’s. This is not a discussion of whether or not works are necessary for salvation—that is an entirely different subject, but a very complex and difficult subject because it has to do with distinguishing between works of the Law and good works, a distinction which in most passages in the Bible is easy to make, but there are passages in the Bible where the distinction is subject to debate. It is also a difficult subject because it has to do with distinguishing justification from salvation. This present discussion is a discussion of the theology of Zane Hodges and the Grace Evangelical Society and the ultra-radical Joey Faust. Free Grace theology is also known as Millennial Exclusion theology and Millennial Punishment theology.

    For a brief introduction to this heresy, read the article at,

    http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/inherit.htm

    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Hi Craig,

    Actually that MiddleTown Bible Church site is a pretty good site. The author of that article does not like Zane's approach to inheritance in some instances. But actually that site is pretty much a free grace theology web site, is it not? I know it's not strictly "free-grace," but it's close.

    I just wanted to point out that this author has an issue with how certain parables are handled which refer to "weeping and gnashing" of teeth, and certain FGers do not agree with Zane's handling of such texts, as well.

    Do you object to FG theology in general, or to just this aspect of their theology... that they interpret some texts as threatening punishment at the BHMA seat instead of the possible loss of eternal life?

    Wanted to clear that up. Now, think I'll sit back and watch the fireworks. :D Just curious... you going to do the "the Greek present tense is continuous in aspect" routine? Should be interesting.

    FA
     
  6. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    And the Jews were most definitely looking forward to the kingdom. I don't imagine they realized that the 1000-year reign of Christ was just that - 1000 years. But His disciples continually asked to sit at His right hand and for position in the kingdom.

    Sure, the details were not as clear as we see with the NT, but they were looking for the kingdom more than we do today. Most Christians seem to look at it as some pie-in-the-sky kind of thing today. They don't realize that in many aspects, it'll be fairly similar to what we're experiencing today, in many ways. (Of course, we won't have this body of death to occupy us. :D )

    FA
     
  7. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    Faith alone wrote,

    Free Grace theology radically contradicts the Biblical message beginning with it basic premises of what grace is and that it is free. Their aberrant theology requires that they mutilate, distort, and jostle the Scriptures to force them to line up with their beliefs. The historical outcome of this has been some absolutely ludicrous interpretations of some of the kingdom passages in the New Testament. The spiritual outcome of this has been a substantial debasement of Christ and His Gospel.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    Faith alone wrote,

    The Jews were looking for an entirely different kingdom than the kingdom preached by Christ. And the kingdom preached by Christ was an entirely different kingdom than the millennial kingdom of Revelation 20.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Free Gracer

    Free Gracer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Craig, are you even a Baptist!?

    I am. I go to a Southern Baptist Church. Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA. Your doctrine does not sound like Baptist doctrine...
     
  10. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Jews were looking for an entirely different kingdom than the kingdom preached by Christ. And the kingdom preached by Christ was an entirely different kingdom than the millennial kingdom of Revelation 20.

    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Craig,

    Thx. Can you elaborate on this - backing it up with scripture? I just read the gospels in a straightforward, natural manner, and I see the disciples looking forward to reigning with Christ in His kingdom. Why shouldn't I assume that this is the same as the kingdom of the OT scriptures, and wouldn't they have assumerd this?

    I know this is really off-topic, but it is relevant to how FG approaches scripture.

    Thx,

    FA
     
  11. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    Free Grace theology radically contradicts the Biblical message beginning with it basic premises of what grace is and that it is free. Their aberrant theology requires that they mutilate, distort, and jostle the Scriptures to force them to line up with their beliefs. The historical outcome of this has been some absolutely ludicrous interpretations of some of the kingdom passages in the New Testament. The spiritual outcome of this has been a substantial debasement of Christ and His Gospel.

    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Craig,

    I appreciate this info. Are you saying then that grace is not "free," or not free in the manner that FG theology teaches? I am familiar with FG theology, and do not see this distortion you speak of. Of course all theology bases need to compare scripture with scripture and interpret the less clear in the light of that which is clear... but that is not distortion but merely maintaining a consistent, Bible-based theology.

    Just trying to understand your take on this. I've noticed that some have become frustrated with your blasts at FG soteriology that seem to be more name-calling than fair-treatment. Seems like you've had some bad experiences in this area. (But I guess since as bapmom said FG theology is often called "cheap grace," they get used to it.)

    You quoted from MiddleTown Bible Church:
    I agree with their assesment in the 2nd bold portion above. FG theology does distinguish between those who are faithful and those who are not.

    But the first portion is somewhat open-ended and certainly does not speak of something which all FGers embrace. We would need to define those italicized parts above. (The other I did not italicize are universally accepted by FGers.) But what does it mean to:

    Depart from the faith...

    deny Christ totally...

    abandon Christianity...

    I guess it comes down to "are people really saved when they trust in the death of Christ on the cross alone, or do they need to do more? ...can they lose this position in Christ? I think that it is important to define these distinctions, because many Christians say that they believe that we are saved by only believing in Christ, yet would say that those who trusted in Christ yet abandoned Christianity or denied Christ were not saved.

    It appears that you believe that you can lose your position as saved in Christ. No Baptist does believe this... or I guess I should say, not many. (Eternal security is one of the universal tenets of Baptist theology.) Are you a member of a Baptist church? Just curious... seems strange.

    Of course, Reformed believers would not embrace those italicized above because they would say that they have not been truly regenerated or genuinely believed or else they would never go to that extent.

    Then also there is, as you mentioned earlier (I believe it was you) those who embrace "free grace" in their soteriology (not reformed) that is not "Free grace theology." That seems to fit many Baptists.

    In Christ,

    FA
     
  12. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    Could someone please explain what is meant by "millenial exclusion?" Is this saying that those who are not faithful, when evaluated at the BHMA seat, will not be resurrected for the millenial kingdom period of Christ? I don't know any FGer who holds to this, including Zane, Wilkin, Ryrie and Dillow, so that can't be it.

    Is this saying that all missed opportunities or failure to be rewarded due to unfaithfulness at the BHMA seat lasts only for the kingdom period? Many FGers hold to that, though not all. (Wilkin and Zane do not.)

    In Christ,

    FA
     
  13. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do not believe in Millennial Exclusion, and the theology of it is not equated with Free Grace theology, although Joey Faust believes in many tenets of Free Grace theology.

    I would love to explain for you what the majority of Free Grace advocates believe about "outer darkness". Let me get some time tonight.

    But let it be said that the Millennial Exclusion doctrines are a minority position in Free Grace theology and do not represent the majority.

    Antonio
    </font>[/QUOTE]Ah, so here it is - millenial exclusion. Yes, I agree. This is certainly accepted by few FGers. None that I know of. Name all the big names - none of them hold to it:

    Zane Hodges (gotta start there, of course)
    Charles Ryrie
    Earl Radmacher
    Bob Wilkin
    Dave Anderson
    Jody Dillow
    Dave Hart
    Lewis Sperry Chafer (It really started here)
    Charlie Bing
    Charles (or Andy) Stanley

    OK, I'm not positive about Bing, Chafer, Stanley or Hart, but I've never heard them teach or hint in that direction. And Hodges, Dillow and Radmacher are the core members.

    Is this an interpretation of the outer darkness by some? ... complete exclusion from the kingdom? I've only heard it taught as missing out on the banquet period, which some say lasts as long as the tribulation period at most.

    And these are parables, and as FGer has said, we have to keep in mind that they are allegorical ways of expressing theology ideas, and were not intended to be taken literally. That's how I view the "outer darkness" concepts.

    Appreciate if anyone could explain how those who hold to such a teaching substantiate it.

    Also, though many FGers hold to the Byzantine textual tradition, I don't know any who are personally KJOers. Ugh. Can't argue with them - they're not open to reason. (I hope I haven't offended anyone, but that's been my experience. Just not worth the effort.) I prefer the Alexandrian text. I do not mean this as a blast on the KJ or NKJ Bibles.

    But KJO "theology" (if you could call it that) is definitely not in the mainstream of FG theology.

    FA
     
  14. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    James,

    Nice points. However, I agree with FGer in disagreeing with you on Millennial Exclusion being the logical conclusion of Free Grace. There are many passages which speak of "entering" the kingdom and others which refer to "inheriting" the kingdom. This is the distinction that most FGers make regarding the kingdom, not that those who are not obedient will not enter at all. Craig's view of Free Grace theology does not match what at least 90% say in this area. Typically a distinction is made, such as in Romans 8:16, 17 between being heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. I think it is difficult to support that if one is not faithful he will not inherit at all.

    Many FGers say that people will get in "by the skin of their teeth," but there is some basic inheritance for all. For example, will not all have a new resurrected body? Are we not all sons of God? Will not all receive victory over sin and
    live with God in His presence? (1 John 3:1-3 - "we shall see Him as He is.")

    Jody Dillow makes a nice distinction on this in his book, Reign of the Servant Kings.

    Of course, anyone who does not believe in eternal security would object to either stance.

    FA
     
  15. James_Newman

    James_Newman New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,013
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wish I had more time to discuss this today. I usually don't do much more at work than answer telephones, but today I have to go install some new equipment at a clients property. Perhaps I will have more time later, but for now I will have to keep it short... if I can [​IMG]

    I havent read Dillows book, I probably should, but I have been acquainted with the idea that there will be those in the kingdom who do not reign, that somehow 'enter' the kingdom but do not 'inherit'. This sounds great, and I would rather believe that than that a believer could be cast out of the kingdom for a thousand years. Only trouble is I cannot find this disinheritted kingdom inhabitant in the bible. Do you have an example that you can show me?

    If we look at the Old Testament type of Israel, who were the ones that entered the promised land but did not inherit? Even Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land after he lost his cool. In the New Testament, we find 'entering' the kingdom has conditions, just like inheriting.

    Matthew 7:21
    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    As believers in free grace, we certainly wouldn't apply this verse to our eternal salvation. The condition for entering the kingdom is doing the will of the Father.
     
  16. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hope things went well today James.

    Jesus was often asked by His disciples if they could sit at His right or left hand in the kingdom. Jesus did not correct them for this desire. We should all desire to receive crowns and other recognition for faithfulness. There are 8 texts in the Nt referring to receiving crowns:

    It is clear that we could lose our crowns. Crowns have to do with sharing the glory of God. A crown is something which we can boast about, as seen above. We cannot boast about receiving eternal life. That's a gift. This was written to Christians.

    And note that I did not say that some can enter the kingdom and yet not inherit. I said that there was additional inheritance - which could be earned by faithfulness. There will be some, in fact many, who enter the kingdom and are not rewarded as much as others who were more faithful.

    In Hebrews, these are referred to as METAXOI.

    Now regarding Matthew 7:21, it says that only those who do the will of His Father will enter the kingdom - that refers to gaining eternal life. The will of His Father is that we believe the gospel. That is what needs to be done IOT enter the kingdom.

    Inheriting the kingdom is a different matter:

    Notice that those who are immoral as believers will not inherit the kingdom. Of course, there is some inheritance for all believers, but to be joint-heirs of Christ, we must show the fruit of the Spirit as having matured in our lives. We must crucify the flesh. Now we do not gain eternal life (justification) by doing that. We are born again by faith alone. But we can gain additional inheritance through faithfulness.

    FA
     
  17. James_Newman

    James_Newman New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,013
    Likes Received:
    0
    You believe Matthew 7:21 is talking about our eternal salvation? I think Craigbythesea would agree with you. However, I don't think you can get free grace salvation out of the context if that is your interpretation. Where in any of the sermon on the mount does Jesus even mention believing on Him? The sermon is for believers, to tell them how they may enter into the kingdom. If we are going to say that 7:21 is eternal salvation, then you must see that Jesus is saying we must work to obtain it.

    Matthew 7:18-27
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
    24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
    25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
    26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
    27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.


    If you are going to apply verse 21 to eternal salvation, then you must say that those in verse 22 are not saved. This leads us right back to the original issue of how is a man saved? The people in verse 22 are 'workers of iniquity' and are to be compared with the tree in verse 19 that is hewn down and cast into the fire, and with the foolish man in 26 that built his house upon the sand. The tree is not hewn down for unbelief, it is hewn down because it doesn't bring forth good fruit. The man likened to building his house on sand is not so because he doesn't believe, but because he hears the sayings of the Lord and does them not. The man who built his house on a rock, he hears the sayings and does them. What sayings is Jesus talking about? He has been preaching them for 3 chapters.

    Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

    Matthew 5:27-28
    27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
    28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    Matthew 5:38-39
    38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
    39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

    Matthew 6:14-15
    14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
    15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

    Matthew 7:12
    12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

    These of course are just a few, but none of this is dealing with how to be saved in eternity, rather with how to obtain the reward of the kingdom. The Lord is not speaking to unbelievers, He is speaking to His disciples.

    Matthew 5:1-2
    1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
    2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
     
  18. Benjamin

    Benjamin Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    7,302
    Likes Received:
    771
    Faith:
    Baptist
    If you are going to apply verse 21 to eternal salvation, then you must say that those in verse 22 are not saved.

    I agree with many of your comments in part, but I see it in a different way thinking the importance must be put on obeying Christ for love of Him-not fear of missing out of the kingdom because of “our” works. I think those in verse 22 were not saved; He never knew them they were still operating in the belief that “their” good works could get them in.

    This leads us right back to the original issue of how is a man saved?

    By belief in Jesus that He paid for our sins in full and nothing we can do will get us into heaven unless we are born again in and only by that belief-faith will you not frustrate the Grace of God. We obey for love not fear. (Romans 8:15) Being joint heirs with Christ we suffer with Him and through love of what He has done for us we obey God.

    The people in verse 22 are 'workers of iniquity' and are to be compared with the tree in verse 19 that is hewn down and cast into the fire, and with the foolish man in 26 that built his house upon the sand.

    Those that are spoke of work in violation of the law (iniquity) are not saved, could not be, they would not even be under the law if they were. Every tree that doesn’t bring forth good fruit is abiding in the wrong tree, having roots not in the good ground, not rooted in Jesus blood fully, love in Him and by Him all good fruit comes. Only by abiding in Him (born again) are you His and that comes by fully believing-having faith in the blood of that Lamb as sufficient, with out being born again you can do nothing righteous (John 15:5) The foolish man thinks his works are his own building materials for his house, he might as well build that house on sand because it will not stand; any good works are from Jesus and for Jesus, any other way and they are hewn down.

    The tree is not hewn down for unbelief, it is hewn down because it doesn't bring forth good fruit.

    If the tree is hewn down for not bringing forth good fruit it is not abiding in Jesus and the reason for that is because of unbelief to begin with, the full conviction that the One we love above all came to pay for these sins, If there was belief and rebirth the Holy Spirit will produce good fruit and/but there is no line to be drawn as we are not perfect, but He is perfect and through Him only we are made perfect. For one to believe they could draw a line that another could not cross and still be saved would show unbelief that the sacrifice of THE Lamb was sufficient.

    The man likened to building his house on sand is not so because he doesn't believe, but because he hears the sayings of the Lord and does them not. The man who built his house on a rock, he hears the sayings and does them.

    Sort of, the house is on the sand because he believes not that the price has been paid in full and is not being lead by the Spirit because of his love, the only way to be righteous. Hearing the sayings would tell me that ONLY through Him can these things be done and that is building your house on a rock.

    What sayings is Jesus talking about? He has been preaching them for 3 chapters.

    Compare that to this:

    (Gal 2:16) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    (Gal 2:17) But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

    (Gal 2:18) For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

    (Gal 2:19) For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

    (Gal 2:20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

    (Gal 2:21) I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

    I think we should obey by living in love-appreciation for Him and trust in Him fully to guide us as we ask through the Spirit to be more righteous and be comforted in our belief by our faith alone that His sacrifice is sufficient alone.
     
  19. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks James,

    Actually, the grace view on this text is usually what I shared earlier. Here's Bob Wilkin on it from his newsletter:

    Now you said that if the text is talking about gaining eternal life then it says that we gain EL by works. But that's not how I read it.

    Jesus said that many will say (not "all") that they did certain good works, which He enumerates. But you see, we do not gain eternal life, we do not enter the kingdom, by doing good works. Jesus is pointing out their mistake there. He is arguing that doing those good works does not reconcile us with God. Notice vs. 23, "Depart from Me, I never knew you." Notice that He did not say, "Depart from Me, I don't know you," but "Depart from Me, I never knew you."

    The point is that these people thought that they could gain entrance into the kingdom by doing good works, and Jesus said that the only access is by doing the will of the Father - by believing in Him. You see, whatever "doing His will" was, one thing we know, it was NOT doing any kind of good works. The point of this parable was to make it clear that we cannot get there on our own efforts and that good works were ineffective. Wilkin pointed out John 6:29 that the work of God was to believe in Him. He said of those who were relying on good deeds to get into the kingdom that He never knew them.

    Eternal life is a relationship. (John 17:3)

    So then, I agree: those in vs. 22 are not saved. Actually, to be more accurate, they were never saved.

    CYL,

    FA
     
  20. James_Newman

    James_Newman New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry I haven't responded in a while, we had a death in the family over the weekend. There are a couple of things that come immediately to mind when I read your response.

    First, as a free grace believer, why do you believe that the man in verse 22 is not a saved believer? If the men cry out 'Lord, Lord' and do these works in His name, would that not indicate that they do believe in Jesus Christ? I don't understand the idea of an unbeliever doing anything in Jesus' name. How does someone like Wilkin who seems to be advocating what I would call 'easy believism' (hey, I believe that too, I just don't have a better term for it [​IMG] ) account for these men not being saved? Wilkin seems to believe that there is no looking at a man's works to tell if he is saved or not, but somehow the fact that these men DO have some works indicates that they do not believe?

    Another thing that doesn't make sense is this:

    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    What is 'that day' that He is speaking of? There is the judgment seat of Christ, which occurs before or at the beginning of the millennial kingdom, and there is the great white throne which takes place a thousand years later. No unbeliever is going to appear before the judgment seat of Christ, but rather would be resurrected for judgment after the kingdom at the great white throne. So why should we not take the literal kingdom into account when interpretting statements like 'enter into the kingdom'?

    Also, you mention Christ's words, 'Depart from me, I never knew you.' This statement needs to be interpretted in light of scripture. There are different types of 'know' and they must be rightly divided. In the absolute sense, of course Christ knows every man on the planet. He is God, and God will judge every man according to his works. He must know us if He knows every idle word that comes out of our mouths. Then I suppose there is a knowing in the sense that one believes on Christ, and becomes a child of God positionally. But I doubt that is what He is referring to in this passage. Again, the entire sermon on the mount is dealing with works, nowhere mentioning believing on Him. What does 1John say about knowing the Lord?

    1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

    So there is a sense of knowing which requires that the believer be obedient. This is not the absolute sense, and cannot mean a positionally saved type of knowing, or else this positional sense of 'knowing' would be contingent upon works. This would be contrary to the free grace position. This must mean the type of 'knowing' that comes from fellowship with the Lord, walking in the light of His word daily.

    1 John 1:6-7
    6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
    7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    But you mention that He says 'never knew you', not I don't know you. I think that John says basically the same thing in this epistle:
    1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

    So knowing Him is not the result of believing on Him and obtaining the promise of eternal life, but of fellowshipping with Him, by keeping His commandments and suffering with Him. This is what Paul was speaking of in Phillipians 3:

    Philippians 3:10-11
    10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
    11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

    What say ye?

    In Christ,
    James
     
Loading...