Please don’t take this the wrong way.
I really don’t understand the obsession so many believers have with judging the eternal salvation of others. I see it among both Arminian and Calvinist believers, but probably worse among Calvinists.
Look – the foundation of God stands sure having this seal, the Lord knows them that are His. Period. The context of that verse deals with men who taught heresy. Even The Apostle Peter wouldn’t pass such a judgment on Simon Magus when he encountered him in Acts 8. He called on him to repent, and used words such as “perhaps” and “perceive” when describing his state. He simply did not know who was or was not elect. Who would have guessed Saul of Tarsus was chosen of God? And yet in God’s time, God regenerated Saul and made a preacher out of him. Further, many people are swept away in terrible errors. It happens. Until glorification, when we know as we are known, embracing an error is possible.
Of course, Jesus would indeed tell men they were of their father the devil. He would also tell men they were not of His sheep. But you and I aren’t Jesus. We have no certainty as to who will or will not be in Heaven. I have news for you, even if a child of God is a member of a heretical cult, the foundation of God stands sure. All that the Father gave Him shall come to Him (John 6). We need to get out of the “peanut gallery” and off our “high horses” as believers.
I’ll close this admonition with a recommended passage. Please consider the parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew 13. In that parable, Jesus tells of a man who planted a field of wheat, but an enemy sowed tares among the wheat. The man’s servants asked their master if they should attempt to uproot the tares, but the master forbid them, saying they would end up hurting the wheat in their attempt to rid the field of the tares. How does this apply to us? The wheat represents God’s people; the tares represent the wicked. This parable serves to tell us that 1) it isn’t our business and 2) God knows what He’s doing.
Let’s repent of this obsession. As Jesus told the disciples in Luke 9, “ye know not what spirit ye are of.”
Originally published May 2017