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Doctrine in dialogue format
From the Pastor's Pulpit
"Thank you for having me Mr Dispassion."
"And with me on my left is Pastor Variant VanGuard representing the opposing view. Thank you for joining us Pastor VanGuard."
"My pleasure to be here Mr Dispassion."
"Gentlemen, as I understand it there is no disagreement between you as to the validity of grace being the factor that produces salvation, but rather your conflict is in regard to whether a person should make an effort to contribute to the grace offered the born again Christian. Do you wish to elaborate on this point Pastor Archaic?"
"Indeed I would Mr Dispassion. The Bible is abundantly clear on the issue of grace as the all and all of salvation. When Jesus said, it is finished, He meant, it is finished. There is nothing more you or I can do. And if we try to add to what Jesus has done, we devalue His finished work and doom ourselves to hell for calling Him a liar."
"Thank you Pastor Archaic. And now for your views Pastor VanGuard."
"Yes, thank you Mr. Dispassion. I'm afraid that Pastor Archaic is working with only half a truth, and this to his hurt. When Jesus said, it is finished, He was referring to His work, not ours. If we consider that Jesus said in the garden of Gethsemane just a few hours prior to this that He had already completed the work He was sent to do, and we see that at the end of Revelation He again said it is done, it must surely give one cause to rethink Jesus' meaning on the cross. In John 14:12 Jesus also said that what He has done, the believer will do this, and more, including die for the Word. Jesus' death was not an end, but a beginning of His, and our ministry. The Apostles proved this by following in Jesus footsteps all the way to the cross. We are to do the same. Consider that in John 5:17 the Pharisees wanted to stone Jesus because He was working on the Sabbath. But He told them that the Father works, and because of this He works. Aren't we supposed to follow the example of Jesus? Then Jesus told his disciples in John 20:21 that as He was sent by the Father, so send I you. And what was it the Father sent Jesus to do? Whatever that is, we are to do the same. I believe, Pastor Archaic, that you are lumping together everyone who works into one ball of wax, and rejecting the entire concept. Indeed there are many who believe that their salvation depends on their performance and that Jesus' death has little or no part in it. But there are those of us who realize that work is something we do because Jesus died on the cross, and there is nothing we can do toward our own salvation short of the cross."
"Thank you Pastor VanGuard. Any rebuttal Pastor Archaic?"
"Certainly I have Mr Dispassion. I don't believe Pastor VanGuard is familiar with John 10:28 which states: 'And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.' If no one can pluck the Christian out of God's hand, then one can assume that such a person, once saved, is eternally saved. Also we have Philippines 1:6 that states: 'Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.' Then add to this Romans 8:33 to 38 and I believe the evidence is quite conclusive that nothing must be added to the finished work of Jesus on the cross."
"Thank you Pastor Archaic. And once again to you Pastor VanGuard."
"Thank you Mr Dispassion. And thank you for your enlightening observations Pastor Archaic. I think however that you have missed certain points given in the very Scriptures you use as evidence of your claim of eternal salvation. One such point is the verse before your first example. You somehow missed that Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice. The reference is to the sheep that hear His voice. His sheep follow Him. Following requires work Pastor Archaic, not just sitting in the pews of your church on Sunday morning. We believe in following the Lamb wherever He goes. It takes no faith to believe in doing nothing. But to sacrifice requires faith that what one sacrifices for actually exists. Here you fail Pastor Archaic. You assume, and give to assume, that all who belong to your church and who have performed your rituals are saved and are born again. In this you provide a bottom line that says no matter what you do wrong you can't lose your salvation. So you end up with a church full of couch potatoes and you wonder why you can't get them to move. I don't mean to sound as if I'm questioning your own salvation Pastor Archaic, I'm not in the position to do such a thing, even though you feel it needful to challenge mine. God will decide this issue when all is said and done. But I would strongly suggest to you Pastor Archaic, that you re-evaluate just who the Bible is written to, and check in your concordance and investigate the word 'works' and see how many times it is used, and how strongly, then compare them to your vague few verses that allow your congregates to sleep in their pews. I would also suggest Pastor Archaic, that you research the concepts of law, and compare them to works. They are not at all the same, even though somehow the churches have made them appear as one. When I go to work Pastor Archaic, I am not going to law. And when I stand before the court of law, I must leave my work to do so. They are not the same."
"Thank you Pastor VanGuard. And do you have a final rebuttal before we conclude this week's program Pastor Archaic?"
"I don't believe so Mr Dispassion. I'll stand pat with what I have already stated. The truth will out, as Pastor VanGuard so readily stated. And I'm afraid that with all his eloquent words, he will, at that time, find himself holding the short end of the stick, and his followers standing right along side him."
"Thank you again for joining us gentlemen. This is Candor Dispassion bidding you all a good night, and hoping you will tune in to the Pastor's Pulpit next week."
6Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Phil 1:)
33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:)
4I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17:)
30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:)
5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Rev 21:)
24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. (Mat 16:)
12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Rev 20:)
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