Doctrinal

21 09 2007

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Dear JLRCM,

I would like to know what you believe concerning the security of salvation.  Can a Christian lose his salvation after believing in Christ? Or, is salvation a permanent (or eternal) thing which once received cannot be lost?

KC

  

Dear KC

The question of the security of salvation has been here for hundreds of years.  There are two main schools of thought in this regard.  Calvinism, which believes that “once saved always saved” and Arminianism which teaches that salvation can, in some circumstances, be lost.  Both of these schools of thought have their own strong proponents among famous Christian preachers and leaders.  We believe that the issue cannot be totally settled because both views have strong support from the Bible.  

There are many churches that teach that once you have “accepted Jesus Christ” then no matter what you do you will never lose your salvation.  This has resulted in careless Christian living among so many.   On the other hand, the doctrine that teaches a salvation that can be lost has produced condemned or paranoid believers.   We believe that both, in this regard, are not correct interpretation of biblical salvation.

Our stand on the matter is this: we believe that a Christian can “fall from grace” (Galatians 5:4) when he turns away from Christ (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26ff) or when he fails to “stand firm until the end” (Matthew 24:13).  We believe that “free will” was operational in the reception of salvation and also in its loss.  It is not sin that causes Christians to lose their salvation, but their attitude toward God and Christ.   A reverting back to unbelief is one such case.  A Christian, for example, who forsakes Christ and becomes a Buddhist or Muslim is lost to Christ.

Space is not enough to answer your question adeqautely.  You may request our article entitled Can A Christian Lose His Salvation After Believing in Christ?  Thank you.

JLRCM 

    

Dear JLRCM,

I’m glad we have this board…

I’ve been meaning to ask this question but due to lack of time, I couldn’t.  Anyway, there has been this very recent ‘doctrine’ by Pastor Prince which is actually subscribed to by some Christians i know.  It goes like this:  I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS.

Is this statement correct? I forgot what Bible verse they took that from.  I’ll try to look for it later.  I need to know if this is correct…

Thank you.

GBC

  

Dear GBC,

The verse you are referring to is found in 2 Corinthians 5:21:  “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 

First, let us consider the context of this verse.  If you read the previous verses, you will find out that Paul here (as the writer of this epistle) was urging people to be reconciled to God.  Verse 21 is the height, so to speak, of his argument.   

Now let us consider the text. God made Jesus to be sin, not a sinner, but sin, that is, a sin-offering, a sacrifice for sin.  By the sacrifice of Christ we who had no righteousness (Romans 3:10) were made righteous in God, that is, we were given the righteousness of God in Christ.  Simply put, we were made right with God. 

The Good News Bible translation may help shed more light upon this text:  “Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God.” 

Although we are not aware nor have we heard the context by which “Pastor Prince” (we do not know him) used this verse, what we can say at this point is that the verse is found in the Bible.   How people interpret it makes all the difference though.  For us there is no other way to understand this except what we have already stated above. 

JLRCM 

    

Dear JLRCM,

What is “Purgatory”?  Does it really exist?  Should I believe in it?  Thanks.

EC

Dear EC,

According to Catholic doctrine purgatory is a place of cleansing prior to acceptance into heaven of those who die in a state of venial (not mortal) sin.  The idea comes from the understanding that no sin will ever be permitted into heaven.  And since, nobody dies perfect, even Christians, and since not all who die die in a state of mortal sin, so it follows that there must be another place besides hell where the dead are kept for a time of cleansing after which they are permitted entrance into heaven. 

Since the Bible is our basis for teaching the truth, we refer you to Matthew 7:13,14 as one of the foundations of my answer to your question.  In these verses we find that there are only two after-death destinies for man: heaven (life) or hell (death).  There is no mention in the Bible of a third destination for mankind such as a “purgatory.”  It would be safe for us and for everyone else, for that matter, to trust what the Bible teaches.

We believe that purgatory is a false doctrinal belief for the following reasons:

1.  Neither the Lord Jesus Chirst nor the first disciples taught the doctrine of purgatory or any kind of doctrine that in any way resembled it.  Purgatory is a middle-age development in a church where Traditions and the writings of church leaders have taken precedence over the Bible.

2.  Purgatory, as a “place of cleansing” denies the power of the blood of Christ.   The Bible tells us that the only thing that makes us acceptable to God is the shed blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:22; 10:19; 1 Peter 1:18,19).   

3.  Purgatory diminishes the saving power of Jesus Christ.    The logic is simple.   If Jesus is sufficient, there is no need for a purgatory.  If you desire a more comprehensive treatment of your question,  you can request our FREE literature on PURGATORY via electronic mail.  Email your request to jlrcm@yahoo.com.  

Yours in Christ,

JLRCM

     

Dear JLRCM,

I would like to know why you do not baptize little children.  Thank you.

BJC

    

Dear BJC,

To be baptized in water is a decision that is made by anyone who wants to be a disciple of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19).  That decision is PERSONAL – it cannot be made for him by someone else (Acts 2:38).  In our church we do not baptize children because they are too young to understand and make that decision for themselves.  We dedicate children instead (just as they did in Bible times).  To dedicate children must be the parent’s decision.

Our greatest example is Jesus Christ.  The Lord was dedicated by his parents when he was a little boy (Luke 2:22) but he went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John when he was thirty years old (Luke 3:23).

JLRCM

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