I hope to bring this forth as gently as I can, yet declaring Gods truth in order to expose heresy. I do not study Calvin, nor any other mortal man. I study Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the inspired 1611 Kings James version, which testifies of Him.
The disciples of Calvin preach of the perseverance of the saints. Scripture records the word only one time, in Ephesians chapter 6 verse 18." Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; " Paul is teaching us that we are to put on the whole armour of God, your loins girt with truth,the breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation,and the sword of Spirit, which is the word of God. He is teaching the called of God, the faithful saints, the New Testament church, how to walk in the world of darkness and withstand the wiles of the devil. We are to pray, we are to watch with all perseverance and supplication. Strongs concordance defines the word perseverance as persistence. Jesus said that men ought always to pray,and not to faint( Luke 18:1 ). First Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 17 Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. We are to persistently pray in the Spirit that we may stand against the wiles of the devil, that we may have peace in the darkness of this sin cursed world.
We do not have perseverance in our work. We were dead in sin. when God quickens us in the new birth we are a new creature in Christ Jesus, yet we are still sinners. As long as we dwell in this body we are sinners. The hope, in Christ, of the resurrection of the body is that the body which was sown in corruption will be raised in incorruption.we are sin until we die, or the Lord returns and changes this vile body into the likeness of His glorious body. Our perseverance is to have peace with God and live Godly lives in this present life , in this world.
The word preservation itself is not in scripture, but preserve, preserved, preserver, preservest, and preserveth is in scripture together for a total of 54 times. I cannot possibly cover all of them in a weeks preaching, much less an article. Research them and study them in prayer for yourself, you will profit from it. The base of the words meaning, again from Strongs Concordance, in Hebrew and Greek is to keep, to hedge about, to guard, to hold fast, to protect, to reserve, to regard, to wait for. Most certainly we see the work of God, in Jesus Christ, in the definition. The election of grace in the three person God Head, the choice of God and the work of God in creating His children, in saving His children, In atoning and redeeming His children and resurrecting His children to eternal glory with Him.
In Job chapter 7 verse 20, Job calls unto God as the preserver of men. Job, a sinner by his own word, declares that God in His power is the only preserver of men. We know that only Gods elect are preserved, the Calvinist will acknowledge this. We know that the nonelect inherit eternal damnation.
Psalm 97 verse 10, the psalmist declares that He, being God, preserveth the souls of His saints; Only God can do this work, only the son of God who died on calvarys tree, and was raised up for their justification. This is eternal, but also timely because He delivereth out of the hand of the wicked. There is no wickedness nor sin in eternal glory, so this must be timely.
Preserved in Jesus Christ, Jude verse 1 for a proof text. Only in Gods Son, there is no other way.
The Calvinist will say that after God saves us then the rest is up to us. Brethren if God has saved us eternally, then what is there eternally that is left, what is the rest which has to be done? This is foolishness, Jesus declared in the victory on the cross " It is finished" ( John 19:30 ). He completed the work God the father gave Him to do. Eternal salvation was bought and paid for, we are preserved in it. It is Gods work. We do have a work but it is in this world of time in that we live in obedience to God giving all glory to Him who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling unto Him.
The Calvinist teaches that if one who claims to be a Christian, but falls away and dies in his sins is hell bound because he never was in grace. The majority of Gods children will never come into a church house nor hear and heed the gospel. They are not his disciples, his students, his followers in this timely world, If they are of His elect then they will stand in the resurrection and inherit eternal glory. If Christ died for them then they will be there. His blood was not shed in vain, not one drop was wasted.
His disciples do follow Him, if one strays away and of necessity and non repentance must be excluded from the church, he will stand with Christ Jesus in eternal glory.
Satan appears as a messenger of light, there are hereticts , certain men ordained to this condemnation, and others who profess to be " Christain ". I will agree that there are some who are not the elect, and also some who are blind, misguided, and whose hearts lust after the things of the world who are of the eternal elect. I do not know who they are, but God does. All of Gods elect will be with Him in glory.
The Calvinist teaches that if one who claims to be a Christain dies in his sins without repenting then he never was God's. Once again, our existence in this body is sin. True repentance is of God. It is not saying "I am sorry please forgive me Lord," It is the Spirit of God working within you which causes you to turn from sin, to hate sin and seek the living God in glory. The thief on the cross is a perfect example.
God knows his own! We do not persevere in our faith, which is a gift, a fruit of the Spirit, the work of God. We are preserved in Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of God. We walk in faith brethren, but it is not ours, it is Gods. It is His faith in His Son which is given to us through His Son. Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8 " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God: " Verse 9 " Not of works, lest any man should boast". Verse 10 " For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them ".
We must be ever so careful what is taught to Gods children. When the devil beguiled Eve he changed only one word, thou shalt not surely die. Scripture teaches, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today , and forever.It is perfect, it is sufficient, it cannot be changed, ( Hebrews 13:8 ).
Would to God that the children of God would pray and search the scripture daily, that we might all be sound in scripture and stand against this and other heresy.
Please pray for your pastor, pray for all of the men who God calls to preach the gospel and care for His sheep and little lambs. Please pray for Zion. Please pray for me.
Elder Vaughn Winslett