Never Really Saved to Begin With?

This post attempts to put the Calvinistic “never really saved to begin with” view of apostasy to the test when reading select passages relevant to the topic of apostasy.  The results speak for themselves.

“I am the vine, you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. [proving that he was never in Christ to begin with, making it impossible to 'remain' in Him or be 'cut off' from Him] Jn. 15:3-6

“You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.’  Granted.  But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith.  Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.” [which would prove that you were never standing by faith to begin with, and that you were never grafted into the olive tree that you were cut off from?] Rom. 11:19-21

“Therefore dear friends…be on your guard so that you may not be carried away [from unbelief?] by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.” [proving that you never were secure to begin with] 2 Pet. 3:17, 18

Matt. 18:21-35, [when the debt was credited back to the unmerciful servant's account, it proved that he had never really been forgiven of the debt to begin with].

“Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died” [thereby proving that Christ really never died for him, and that he was never really your brother].  Rom. 14:15

“Now brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you.  Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”  [Oops!  Paul should have said, "Otherwise, you never really believed in the first place"]  1 Cor. 15:1

“Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root.  They believe for a while, but in time of testing they fall away.”  [and prove that they never really believed in the first place] Luke 8:13

“…fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience.  Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith [proving that they never had any faith to shipwreck] 1 Tim. 1:18, 19

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits” [proving that they never had any faith to abandon in the first place]. 1 Tim. 4:1

“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith [proving he never had any] and is worse than an unbeliever.” [which is strange because he was always an unbeliever.  How can an unbeliever be worse than an unbeliever?]  1 Tim. 5:8

“As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list.  For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ [proving they never had any dedication to Christ], they want to marry.  Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge [thereby proving they never made any pledge to begin with]…Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan [proving only that they never stopped following Satan in the first place].  1 Tim. 5:11, 12, 15

“They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and destroy the faith of some [proving that they never had any faith to be destroyed].”  2 Tim. 2:17, 18

As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain [proving that you had never really received God's grace in the first place].  2 Cor. 6:2

“You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated [severed] from Christ [proving you have been severed from One you were never in union with in the first place]; you have fallen away from grace [proving you were never in the grace from which you fell?] Gal. 5:4

“If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome [which would apparently prove that they never really escaped the corruption of the world in the first place and weren't really ‘again' entangled in it since they were always entangled in it], they are worse off at the end than they were in the beginning.”  2 Pet. 2:20

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16 Responses

  1. [...] 16, 2008 by Rachael Ben (Kangaroodort) of Arminian Perspectives has put up a great post here showing how those who claim that all who fall away were ‘never saved to begin with’ [...]

  2. Hee hee. Sounds kind of strange to me…

  3. Really good stuff. I posted a link here. It looks like the previous comment is actually a trackback. Do you have a trackback address that I’m not finding on the page? Just wondering.

  4. Keith,

    The pingbacks are automatically generated. I can turn them off or on but I am not sure where the link might be. I will look into it. Thanks for the link.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  5. Hey Ben! That pingback is from me. You can see the page I linked to yours by clicking the tab up top that the name is usually displayed on. The tab that displays: “Never Really Saved to Begin With? « Women Studying the Scriptures”, is the tab you would click to find the page that I linked to yours. Pingbacks are like normal comments; you can delete them if you find them annoying. Sometimes I link to my own stuff and don’t want to get a pinkback for that, so in that case I just delete it.

    I hope that helps explain the pingback system a little more.
    God bless.
    Rachael

  6. Rachael,

    I think I understand pingbacks alright and I did realize it was from you. What I don’t understand is why one wasn’t generated by Keith when he linked here. Is it because he is not using wordpress?

    God Bless and thanks for the link,

    Ben

  7. Good stuff.

  8. This is GREAT stuff. I’ll be linking to this particular post on Tuesday when I re-engage this topic.

  9. [...] to Begin With? (Part 2) Posted on November 5, 2008 by kangaroodort You can view Part 1 here. Calvinists, who deny that salvation can ever be lost, reason on the subject in a marvelous way.  [...]

  10. Thanks ever so much for these posts, I’ve been reading quite a few today. I’d never spotted that 2Peter 3:17 verse before. So we can have a secure position, but we could also fall from it. I guess that is what I believed, even without knowing that particular verse.
    Adrian

  11. Adrian,

    Yes, I believe that is correct. Believers are secure in Christ, but if someone turns away from God in unbelief, they are no longer “in Christ”. Other translations have “steadfastness” instead of “secure position”. That also brings into the focus the idea that one can be steadfast in faith, and yet not remain so (e.g. be “carried away by the error of unprincipled men”). But you certainly can’t “fall” from a “steadfastness” you never had.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  12. [...] For that to be true, some revisions need to be made to Scripture. Here are some of the revisions that need to be made in order to maintain the ‘they were never saved to begin with’ argument [from Arminian Perspectives]: [...]

  13. Hey,

    Nice post! Would I have permission to post a slightly edited version on my site (http://basictheology.wordpress.com/)?

    With kind regards

  14. Tim,

    Absolutely.

  15. Thanks Ben!

  16. It is quite possible that someone who claims to have been a Christian at some point, was not really one at all. Being a Christian is not some religious rite or joining a church, it’s not saying “the sinner’s prayer” none of these things saves a person. So, what is it then? Being a Christians is nothing more or less than a full and sole trust in Jesus for one’s truth, and salvation. Someone who said a prayer when they were in Sunday school at age 14 or whatever was ONLY saved, IF that prayer involved repentance, and if that repentance resulted in a changed mind and heart, and actions to an extent. An apostate is someone who has truly repented, and has trusted fully in Jesus and who then fully and without remorse or regret rejected Him, and is now living apart from His influence in their lives. People sitting around wondering “oh my God… am I an apostate” clearly do not know the word of God well at all. The Bible says “WHOSOEVER believes” not whosoever used to believe, so anyone whose faith is in Jesus has not committed apostasy.

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