Exposing The Presbyterian Church (Part 6)
By: Brian A. Yeager
We will be bringing our study of the Presbyterian Church to a close with this sixth article. As we have seen throughout this entire series of exposing denominationalism, the Scriptures will clearly expose the errors we shall discuss in this article. As I stated last week, we will use this article to expose the error of “Perseverance of the Saints”. So, let us get into our study.
Perseverance of the Saints Defined By The Presbyterians
We have all heard of the false doctrine of the impossibility of apostasy. We have seen many who hold this doctrine, which says that Christians cannot fall away and remain in that state. The influence of John Calvin’s teaching on this is certainly not limited to the Presbyterians. Therefore, we would do well to pay close attention to the wording below as we often find ourselves teaching folks out of this error. While the overall idea of perseverance of the saints is commonly taught among many denominations, each has their own little “twist”. The Presbyterians define their doctrine of “Perseverance of the Saints” like this:
“Of The Perseverance of the Saints.
I. They whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.
II. This perseverance of the saints depends, not upon their own free-will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ; the abiding of the Spirit and of the seed of God within them; and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.
III. Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevelancy of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their perseverance, fall into grievous sins; and for a time continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit; come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts; have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves”
(Click here for the source of this quote).
You Keep Yourself In The Love Of God!
We have already exposed the error of election in part three of our series of articles on the Presbyterian Church. Therefore, we shall proceed to the second and third points of the above quote. Who keeps themselves faithful? While we shall look at more than one Scripture, let’s consider one right now to get the “ball rolling”. Notice: “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21). You see, the Presbyterians like to twist God’s love into some force that keeps us from failing completely. However, as the inspired text quoted from Jude says, we must keep ourselves in the love of God. Our relationship with God depends on us. Notice: “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 11:23). Whether or not one continues in the word of God is entirely upon that individual (John 8:30-32, Acts 14:22, Romans 2:7, Colossians 1:23, and Revelation 2:10). We are expected to hold fast to the Lord (Hebrews 3:6; 4:14).
There is more to the love of God than just God’s part. Notice these Scriptures and consider them as a commentary on Jude 21: “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments… But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul… If ye love me, keep my commandments… He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me… As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love… And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it” (Exodus 20:6, Joshua 22:5, John 14:15, John 14:21-24, John 15:9-10, and II John 6).
We cannot depend upon God to do our work for us (cf. Galatians 6:9). God does not give us instructions just so that He can do them for us (Matthew 7:21, Luke 6:46, I Corinthians 15:58, and I John 2:17). It is up to each one of us to keep the word of God and maintain our relationship with Him (Luke 8:15, Luke 11:28, and Revelation 1:3). Jesus said: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:6). Therefore, we cannot only see our part in remaining faithful to God, but we also see that we are no longer in a relationship with Christ when we do not abide in Him (II John 9). Of course, this is when the Presbyterians argue that this is only a temporary break in one’s relationship with the Lord.
Can A Child Of God Completely Fall Away?
Let’s begin by saying that when a Christian does err, they can CHOOSE to make that right through confession of that sin to God and repentance (Psalms 32:5, Proverbs 28:13, I John 1:9, and Acts 8:13-24). Without the choice of repentance being made, the Christian that sins shall die in his/her sins (Luke 13:1-5, Acts 17:30, and Revelation 3:3). That apostate Christian cannot have eternal life in Heaven if they die in their sins (Romans 6:23 and James 1:13-15).
Did you notice, in the third point of the quote at the start of this article, that the Presbyterians will agree that a Christian can err. At the same time they twist the point of apostasy to teach that they will not permanently err. They said one could lose some measure of their graces (beats me as to what that means), but that such is a temporary condition. What a farce. Christians can permanently fall away. Yes, when I say fall away I mean they can fall and CHOOSE not to arise in the faith of Jesus Christ ever again. While there are many Scriptures we could use to prove this, we will consider TEN references of apostasy from the Scriptures, which disprove this false doctrine.
TEN Bible Reasons That Perseverance Of The Saints Is False!
1. “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).
2. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (I Corinthians 9:24-27).
3. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12).
4. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9).
5. “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you” (Galatians 3:1)?
6. “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace… Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Galatians 5:4; 7-9).
7. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1).
8. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13).
9. “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Hebrews 6:4-6).
10. “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, where with he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God… Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:26-31; 38).
If you’ve opened your Bible throughout any one of these articles exposing the Presbyterian Church you have seen they are not God’s people. Therefore, we shall conclude this series on this denomination, knowing there is much more that could have been said. Next, we will begin exposing the Seventh Day Adventists.
Volume 10 – Issue 25 - March 14th, 2010