Arminian Today

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Teach People to Endure, Persevere, Remain Faithful, Continue in the Faith

The question of whether you hold to eternal security is not on the table in this post.  I myself hold to personal apostasy and believe the Scriptures are clear that apostasy is both real and to be avoided at all costs.  I believe the teachings of Jesus alone could be studied concerning the reality of personal apostasy but for now, this post is not about that.  It is not about conditional security.

My focus is on teaching people to endure (Matthew 24:13), to persevere (Romans 11:20-22), to remain faithful (Colossians 1:23), to continue in the faith (1 Corinthians 15:2).  I believe that we certainly should teach the people of God much about God’s love for us (Romans 5:8-9), the Lord’s work of intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25), or about the security we have through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1, 37-39).  I see nothing wrong with emphasizing the biblical truths of forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7) or the reality and assurance of our salvation in Christ (Romans 8:16).  I see nothing wrong with teaching passages such as Philippians 1:6 or Jude 24-25, about the keeping power of God given to us freely in Christ Jesus through saving faith.

But I would equally love to see the Church teaching the people of God to remain faithful to the Lord.  Even Paul, the true grace teacher, taught the disciples to remain faithful.  We read in Acts 14:22 (NASB), “Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.'” 

Notice that Paul taught these disciples in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch to remain faithful to the Lord, to endure, to remain steadfast even in the midst of persecution.  Paul didn’t avoid teaching people to persevere no matter what your view may be regarding eternal security.  He clearly taught the disciples to remain faithful.

Do we?  Do we exhort the saints of God to remain faithful to Him no matter what?  Do we remind them of His promises to over-comers in Revelation 2-3?  Do we teach them, that while God will keep them by His grace, that they should remain in faith?  We are saved by grace through faith and kept by grace through faith.  This should be our clear message.

In Paul’s last letter in the New Testament, 2 Timothy, we read over and over again of his desire to see Timothy and God’s people remain faithful to the Lord.  He tells Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord or him and to suffer for Christ (2 Timothy 1:8), to retain the standard of sound doctrine (2 Timothy 1:13), to guard through the Holy Spirit the treasure which has been entrusted to us (2 Timothy 1:14), to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1), to teach faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2), to suffer hardship as a soldier (2 Timothy 2:3-4), to compete as an athlete (2 Timothy 2:5), and to work hard like a farmer (2 Timothy 2:6).  To remember Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:8), to die with Him (2 Timothy 2:11), to endure (2 Timothy 2:12), to remember His faithfulness (2 Timothy 2:13), to avoid people who want to argue (2 Timothy 2:14) but instead study the Word of God faithfully (2 Timothy 2:15).  To avoid worldly and empty chatter and wicked men (2 Timothy 2:16-18).  To be sanctified and useful to the Master (2 Timothy 2:19-21) and to avoid ungodliness but pursuing righteousness (2 Timothy 2:22).  To remember how wicked people will become (2 Timothy 3:1-9) but follow Paul’s example and suffer for the kingdom (2 Timothy 3:10-13) and remain faithful to the Scriptures which are able to save us (2 Timothy 3:14-4:2) for the time will come when people will cast away sound doctrine for lies (2 Timothy 4:3-4) but Timothy is to be sober in all things, enduring hardship (2 Timothy 4:5).  Paul ends with his own testimony of faithfulness in the midst of apostasy (2 Timothy 4:6-22).  His point is clear: Timothy, be faithful to the Lord but remember the Lord is faithful to us!

My plea here is to just be like Paul.  Preach the great truth of God’s love for us but preach His hatred for sin and His call to holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16).  Preach that holiness is necessary for seeing the Lord (Matthew 5:8; Hebrews 12:14).  How are we to be holy?  By grace through faith.  How are we to remain faithful to Jesus?  By grace through faith.  How are we to endure while others turn away from Jesus and others blaspheme His name?  By grace through faith.  How are we to continue in the faith while sound doctrine is being cast aside for error, while people are living in open sin while claiming Christ?  By grace through faith.

What a mighty Savior we serve and He is able to help us as we cry out to Him!

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/05/2012 at 5:45 PM

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