|by Ralph Cox
We must face up to some facts in life. One is of eternal importance. Here is a fact to consider: No matter how much a doctrine appears to be true; if it is not true-it is wrong. In the Old Testament the word Shibboleth was the life saving word whereas Sibboleth was almost right but it was totally wrong and fatal.
I have read of a certain building, a court house that all the rain that falls on it on one side of the roof goes into the Great Lakes and on the other side the rain falls into the Mississippi and flows down to the Gulf and on into the Atlantic. It was stated there is a minute point on the roof cap that determines the raindrops destiny. So with religion there is a minute fractional point of division in truth and falsehoods. The raindrops cannot determine their course but mankind has a mind with capability to decide between right and wrong. That dividing line always come up to all men.
Frank W. Boreham, a writer of bygone years, tells me of an artist, John Constable, who believed in painting things as they are. Artists before him and in his time declared the artist must paint things as people would like them to be, and steadfastly insisted it was the office of art to paint idealistically and not actual. Constable said a plain no to this nonsense. Frank Boreham commented that truth triumphed as it must always and Constable was triumphant and famous for his true-to-life paintings.
So it is with religion which is a natural part of man with a choice to choose Jesus Christ and live a Christ-like life. Being Christ like is not a vain dream of once you start you can't lose it no matter how you live. The Gnostics of Paul's day declared Jesus could not be divine because He was in a human body composed of matter and all matter is evil.
They considered themselves to be above others in knowledge and their aloof attitude was wrong because Jesus, the divine painter, painted life as it really is and told us to enter in at the straight gate. Living impure lives and doing evil acts of lying, committing adultery, wearing unclean dress and using unclean speech is not copying Christ. Once saved always saved (OSAS)
groups say if you lose it you never had it; yet they do not tell the sinner they don't have but do have it even if at age five they confessed Christ. Here is where the great sin lies with a twist of giving mercy to the unrepentant sinners of the worst sort who never go to church but are left on the church rolls.
I have never heard of OSAS telling them they don't have it but instead implying they may stray but they will always come back because there is no way they can be plucked from the Father's hand. I reply how can you stray and come back if you are still in your Father's hand all the time? This is a paradoxical absurdity. Can you lie, cheat, and commit sins that Paul declared you cannot inherit the kingdom of God if you do them. I Corn. 6:9,10.
Paul painted life as it really is. They paint it the way they want it to look. Apostle John said if you Know Him you will keep His commandments and if you do not you are a liar. OSAS do not want to see that abideth, keepeth and believeth are continual and you cannot break away as many times as you will and still be an abiding child. Who are the true painters? The Apostle John and all the Apostles or the OSAS proclaimers?
John Argicola, a 15th Century teacher taught antinomianism (anti = against; nomas = law) and maintained that Christians are free from moral law by virtue of the grace set forth in the gospels hence all breaking of God's laws has no effect on your salvation. Today OSAS proponents adhere to the false concept that if you break God's laws you are still saved and declare at funerals that the sinner who never did have it in the first place still has salvation and entered into heaven.
What do false teachers think the epistles were written for if not for teaching righteous living and remaining true after one finds Christ?
OSAS quote John 10:27-29. They stress: "I give them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my Father's hand." But they do not stress verse 27: "My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me." (And notice verse 5 says, "and a stranger they will not follow.")
If a man follows a strange woman as some false teachers say including John R. Rice who said God would take you to heaven if you are with a strange woman. Did Jesus go there? Was that person following Jesus? Hold it, take a look at that and ask: Do I see Jesus approving and going along with leading people into sins? That is blasphemy. Jesus was a friend of sinners but He converted the publicans to right living by His invitation: "Follow me."
Paint the picture as Jesus taught. John Constable painted an English landscape in a drizzling rain. It was so real that the keeper of the Art Academy gazed upon it and got so lost in the painting and caught up in its wonderment; and to the astonishment of onlookers, he suddenly opened his umbrella.
Would to God OSAS teachers would declare the truth: If you get saved and stay saved you are always saved; if you go back into sin you are not saved because salvation means deliverance from sin and you must possess it to have it.
Taking verses out of context and picking bits and pieces or changing requirements by shifting words and timing of action will never let one prove the OSAS heresy. No man plucks another out if that person leaves voluntarily. It's a battlefield and we must fight (not entertain ourselves with sins too many to mention) to win and receive a crown of righteousness. Jesus said "no man is able" and Paul asks Who? (See Romans 8:31-39) and is persuaded that nothing can keep us from finding God however we must seek, knock and ask.
Moses was told (Ex. 32:33), "And the Lord said unto Moses, whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out." It is God who does the blotting. We have Moses, the prophets and the apostles and each message is whosoever. We were born to serve God, follow, obey, repent and believe, but the action and the endurance is up to us. We have the invitation. Our acceptance to hear and to follow is voluntarily.
We are to endure as a good soldier, but it is worth it and the reward is out of this world but also there is a penalty for refusing so great an offer and not giving thanks for the price Jesus paid with His own blood deserves punishment but still the choice is ours. (I wouldn't be in the shoes of OSAS for the whole world). Repentance is not impossible for anyone. Trials make life seem impossible and hard to understand; yet we know the shepherd seeks for the sheep, but if we remain away from the fold and refuse to stay in the fold then we will be lost forever by our own choice of preferring sin above the joys of living for God.
Paul was afraid of becoming a cast away. How did he get rid of that fear? Not by saying oh, well once I was saved I have no need to get blue over these things, but by fighting a good fight and keeping the faith.
Artists finally saw that John Constable's choice to paint real life was the right way to paint. Brother Daniel Corner has put together a useful book against the error of Balaam and Jezebel and the Nicolaitanes and Satan's lie when he raised his hissing head in Eden's bonnie garden and said, "Hath God said?" but I say "Thou shalt not surely die." Who painted the correct picture? John Argicola and his followers, John Calvin and all the rest who so to speak refuse to paint Cromwell with "warts and all" or water down things to the point where faithfulness is not required until death.
© John Mark Ministries
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