Thursday, January 6, 2011

Eternal Security Debate - Nick's 5 Questions for Vocab

Eternal Security Debate - Nick's 5 Questions for Vocab

1) To “persevere,” as I see it and based on how Scripture uses the term, means to endure various trials and sufferings without falling away (or get up when you fall) until you cross the "finish line." How can you believe in Perseverance when you believe the Christian is eternally Saved the moment they believe? In other words, if there is nothing that can harm the Christian in regards to the status of their salvation (the moment they first believe), how is the concept of Persevering logically valid?

2) In your Opening Essay, you said: “The Gospels attest to the preserving work of God in several places.” Since you didn’t really focus upon Matthew, Mark, or Luke, please list one passage from each of these Gospels that you believe most strongly teaches Eternal Security and explain why you believe those verses most strongly teach that.

3) In my Opening Essay I quoted Jesus saying: “If you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” in Matthew 6:12-15 along with its parallel in Mark 11:25. (Unfortunately, I misidentified the passage as Matthew 5 instead of Matthew 6, and Mark 10:25 instead of Mark 11:25, but you seem to have realized that given what I was speaking on.) The context of the passage I was speaking within was the Lord’s Prayer, especially the petition “forgive us our trespasses”.

The question is: do you believe the Lord’s Prayer is a prayer that is part of the (post-conversion) Christian’s regular prayer life and thought?
If No, then explain why the Lord’s Prayer (whether verbatim or simply it’s elements) has no place in Christian’s regular prayer life.
If Yes, then explain why the Christian must regularly ask for forgiveness from God when they engage in this or similar prayer.

4)  In commenting on my use of “If you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses,” you said in your Rebuttal:

Nick says that “if the believer won’t forgive others, God won’t forgive them.” The best way I have seen this summed up is like this: “Unforgiving means unforgiven.” This means that if a person is unforgiving then they themselves have not known forgiveness. I would also like Nick to tell us if he thinks he himself has perfectly forgiven all those in his life who have harmed him. Is it even possible for him to remember this accurately? Yes, we should be forgiving if we have been forgiven but we are kidding ourselves if we think we can forgive others in a way that meets God’s standard.

One of the most explicit passages that someone can be forgiven and yet turn to sin and be damned is Matthew 18:21-35. I mentioned Matthew 18:21-35 in my Opening Essay, but you didn’t comment upon it in your rebuttal. In light of your comment that a person who wont forgive means they were never originally forgiven: how do you explain the teaching of Matthew 18:23-35 (particularly verse 35) as well as your own admission Christians don’t always forgive?

5) Two important passages I quoted but didn’t see you comment upon were Luke 8:13 (“The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.”) and Matthew 24:12-13 (“Because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”) I want you to exegete these two passages (since the passages are similar enough), making sure to touch upon “believe for a while,” falling away, love growing cold, and “will be saved.”