"19 Reasons " Refuted (3)

Larry Ray Hafley
Russellville, Alabama

"15, Christ, Will Finish That Which He Hlas Begun"

"He who began the work must finish it. (Phil: 1:6). He cannot fail. If a Christian can be lost again, then Christ is unable to complete that which he started.: Is anything too hard for God?"

Reply: Christ will complete His work. That is not questioned, but will the Christian complete his? That is the thing in doubt. "God began and God will consummate it.... but not without their cooperation and partnership" (Comments on Phil. 1:6 by the Baptist Scholar, A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures In The New Testament, Vol. IV, p. 436), Paul's confidence in the Philippians was based on their former faithfulness (Phil. 1:7). They must continue to "work out" their own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). Christ will not fail, but they may (Lk. 22:32), so Paul exhorts them to continue (Phil. 3:13.- 14; 4:1). Christ is faithful, but "if we deny him, he also will deny us" (2 Tim. 2:12).

Nothing. is too hard for God. God is not "unable to complete that which he started." However, His sovereign will imposes conditions. Jesus came "to seek and save the lost.@ Did He save all the lost? He came to do so, but He did not save all He sought. Does this mean "Christ is unable to complete that which He started?" No, but if the fact that a Christian can fall means Christ is, "unable to complete that which He started," then the fact that Jesus came to save but did not save all the lost means He is "unable to complete that which He started." It is a poor rule that will not work both ways.

"16. He Is Able To Keep"

"He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against (or until) that day@ (2 Tim. 1:12). He is able to keep one from falling (Jude 24). I am not expected to keep myself, for I am not able. He cannot only keep me, but also keeps that which I have committed unto Him until the day of redemption is complete."

Reply: God is indeed able to keep one from falling. God will not fail in His part (2 Tim. 1:12; Jude 24). However, this does not prove that a child of God may not fail (Lk. 22:32). Some may have their faith, overthrown (2 Tim. 2:18). Paul's assurance was based on two things: (1) God's faithfulness; (2) His own faithfulness- "I have fought ... finished ... kept . . . henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness" (2 Tim. 4:6-8). Jude 24 assures us again of God's ability and faithfulness, but it is addressed to those who have been told to "'keep yourselves in the love of God' (Jude 21). But even if a man does not keep himself, he is saved anyway, says Baptist doctrine.

Mr. Schroeder says, "I am not expected to keep myself, for I am not able." With God, one must keep himself. Compare Schroeder's statement with the word of God. (1) "Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it" (Lk. 11:28). (2) "If a man keep my word, he shall never see death" (Jn. 8:51). (3) "We know him, if we keep his commandments" (1 Jn. 2-3). (4) "Keep that which is committed to thy trust" (1 Tim. 6:20). (5) "Keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 21).

"17. Preserved Forever"

"All His saints are preserved forever. They are preserved in Christ (Jude 1; Ps. 31:23)."

Reply: "O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer" (Ps. 31:23). One. must "love the Lord," be "faithful," and be a "proud doer." This is the one whom the Lord preserves and rewards. But a man may cease to love God (1 Jn. 2:15; 2 Tim. 4:10). A man may cease to be faithful (1 Tim. 1:5, 6; 2 Tim. 2:18). He may cease to do good (2 Pet. 2:2-22). What then?

Yes, saints "are preserved in Christ" (Jude 1). Where? "In Christ." However, some do not abide in Christ-"If a man abide not in me" (Jn. 15:6). One is preserved forever "in Christ," but some do not abide in Christ. Baptist doctrine says one is preserved whether or not he continues to love the Lord, whether or not he remains faithful and does good, or whether or not he abides in Christ. But no such promise is made in the Bible. Paul wrote to the "saints" in Colosse. Mr. Schroeder says they are unconditionally "preserved forever." Why then did Paul say to these saints, "Beware lest any man spoil you" (Col. 2:8)? Mr. Schroeder says they cannot be spoiled, but Paul says they can. According to Col. 2-8, Mr. Schroeder's doctrine has gone sour and "spoiled" on him.

"18. Salvation Is A Gift"

"The gif t of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord' (Rom. 6:23). Do we earn a gift? If so, it is not a gift. One receives a gift, he cannot work for it or earn it. One receives Christ (John 1:12; 1 John 5:12). One does not merit salvation. If he does nothing to receive it, is it possible to do anything to lose it?"

Reply: A gift may have conditions attached to the reception of it and still not be earned. It is strange that Dr. Schroeder could see "the gift" given in Rom. 6:23, but could not see the condition just six verses above. "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine that was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Rom. 6:17, 18). No one earns a gift, but gifts must be accepted. So it is with the gift of "eternal life." Schroeder quotes John 1:12, "But to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." What is wrong with "Pastor" Schroeder? One of the very verses he cites to prove one "does nothing" to receive Christ is the very verse that shows one does something! Note, "as many as received him." That is doing something.

We must "come" to Christ (Jn. 5:40). We must "receive" Christ (Jn. 1:12; Col. 2:6). We must believe (Jn. 8:24). We must repent (Acts 2:38; 17:30). We must be baptized (Acts 2:37, 38; 9:6; 22:16). Still, eternal life is a gift; we do not merit it (Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8, 9). To say we "do nothing to receive it" is to contradict the word of God. "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" (Matt. 7:21). Jesus is "the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Heb. 5:8, 9).

Mr. Schroeder's premise is lost. We "do" something to receive eternal life, so it must be possible to do something to lose it, but Baptist doctrine does not so teach. One can hate his brother; he can lie, steal, cheat, commit murder and still go to heaven, for he can do "nothing" to lose salvation. This is too strong, you say. Someone is probably thinking, "No sincere Baptist believes that." Read the following: "We (Baptists) take the position that a Christian's sins do not damn his soul.... all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger.... the way a man lives has nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul" (Sam Morris, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Stamford, Texas, in a tract entitled, "Do A Christian's Sins DAMN His Soul?").

"19. Christ's Work For Me"

"He made peace for me (Col. 1:20; Eph. 2:15). Surely this peace is eternal peace. He forever put away my sins (Heb. 9:26). It is, therefore, inconsistent to think that He will bring them up before me again. He bore my sins, past, present and future (1 Pet. 2:24). If Christ atoned for my sins, past, present and future, are there any for me to bear.?@

Reply: Christ died for the sins of the world (1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Jn. 4:14). So, the sinner and unbeliever may say, "Christ died to forever put away my sins (Heb. 9:26). It is, therefore, inconsistent to think that He will bring them up before me again. He bore my sins, past, present and future (1 Pet. 2:24). If Christ atoned for my sins, past, present and future; are there any for me to bear?" Mr. Schroeder meets himself coming back. It would be interesting to hear him answer the unbeliever who would argue on the above premise. So, Mr. Schroeder's argument proves unconditional and universal salvation as well as it "proves" his position.

Finally, if Schroeder's conclusion is correct, if there are no sins "for me to bear"; what sins are there for me to confess and forsake? Think about it. If Christ bore my sins to the extent that He will never "bring them up," if he atoned for all my "past, present and future" sins, "It is, therefore, inconsistent to think that" I will have to confess or forsake any "past, present and future" sins. John says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jn. 1:9). Why would John say this if "Christ atoned for my sins, past, present and future?" Why would John say this if there are no sins "for me to bear'?" Evidently, John did not believe what Baptists believe.

(End of Series)

Truth Magazine, XVIII:41, p. 12-13
August 22, 1974