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Genesis 8:22 -
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

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POSSIBILITY VS. CERTAINTY
By Elder Bill Walden

There is a prevalent school of thought today that God has made eternal salvation a possibility for all mankind, and this is taught in many religions. A "possibility," almost without exception, presupposes a condition or conditions to be met and complied with. Some major denominations teach that some conditions can only be met through a series of reincarnation. Some teach that this is by degrees; many teach that when Christ died heaven became a possibility, and then set forth the condition to be performed in order to make the possibility certain. In order to be as accurate as possible in this statement, this is termed the arminian doctrine. Also, to be fair and accurate, the Arminian doctrine is a body of beliefs bound by the broken threads of "free-willism."

It is not unusual today to hear preachers who espouse this doctrine tell people, even at funeral services, "I'm going to give you the opportunity here and now to make sure you will go to heaven when you die," and at the expense of a grieving family, interrupt the service to ask people to respond to some condition, to only believe or to recite some word in the form of a prayer. All of which, of course, says that all the redemptive work of Christ was in vain unless man condescends to "let God save him." Thank God, there is a more sure way than that. The eternal salvation of God's people is not a mere possibility; their salvation is a certainty, their salvation is just as absolute as God is.

Matthew 28: 16-20: "then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

When the eleven disciples went away into Galilee into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. He charged them to go and teach all nations. As they were charged to go, they were to teach. Notice the sequence again: [1] teach, [2] baptize, and [3] continue to teach. Next the Lord was specific as to what they were to teach; teaching them, [whose whom they had taught and baptized previously] to observe all things He had commanded them.

We know that teaching requires us to be thorough and keep to the textbook, which in this case is the inspired word of God, the Bible. Since we are told that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, then we know they were to teach the doctrine of Christ, and to do this they must preach the word.

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2.

It is evident that many religious denominations have moved away from their own historical doctrines during this century. We have a number of documents and "church" handbooks, which verify this. The great thrust behind this effort was to avoid being identified with any regimen. "Believers fellowship" and "non-denominational" are some of their themes. Now, however, many of their leaders are lamenting this move saying their buildings are standing empty and there is great financial difficulty in maintaining their "church plant."

History, both inspired and secular, is replete with evidence that the Church of our Lord has always flown her banner and acknowledged the doctrine of her Lord. Luke said, "forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us"--Luke 1:1. Among the primitive church there are some things most surely believed. We; don't have to grope in darkness to find what those things were and are today.

Let us consider what He told the Apostles here about some of the things they were to teach; teach and baptize believers. The old heresy of baptismal regeneration is still just as much out of place today as it was when it came forth from the father of all lies. John 8:44, "...He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it." Mark 16:16 plainly states they were to baptize believers: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..." The people being taught must believe in order to be baptized. What must they believe? What about the person who believes in God, hopes that heaven will be his home some day, loves the Church, but his manner of life is casting shame upon the name of the Lord and would also bring shame upon the Church? What if he is living in a state of adultery, or what if he desires to continue to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers? ; [2 Corinthians 6:14] In light of the scripture, it is quite evident this person is not a fit subject or baptism and Church membership.

Teach and immerse; then the teaching must continue, teaching them to observe. This is a very interesting word--it embraces the meaning "keep an eye on, to guard." This is a military term as a guard detains one in custody. Surely His word has the dew of youth upon it. This is just as meaningful today as it was then; we also must keep our eyes on the things He has commanded.

In acts 20:27 Paul said, "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." All the counsel that God gave to Paul, he taught; he held nothing back. Part of the counsel he gives us is to take heed lest we become consumed of one another. Galatians 5:15. Though the enemies of the Lord are many, God forbid that we consume one another. Even in these dark times we are blessed with freedom of assembly and no one is physically storming our places of worship to bind us or forbidding us to teach these wonderful truths.

Glory is to be ascribed to God in the Church: "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen," [Ephesians 3:21]. Our teaching today will only be meaningful as it complies with His demands. No matter how unpopular with the world, it is not a reason for us to cease observing what He has commanded us to do. Many times the Church seems to be a stranger here, misunderstood by many, ridiculed by some.

She may view herself as a speckled bird, compared to the worldly organizations that boast of great accomplishments. She dares not boast of being instrumental in bringing one unregenerate sinner to Christ, much less bring one to heaven. she rests in the fact that her Husband not only trod the winepress alone, but He looked and there was none to help, and with His own arm He brought salvation. [Isaiah 63:3]. Her husband's assessment of her is quite different: "My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her..." [Song of Solomon 6:9].

"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen." [Jude 24-25]

Article from The Banner of Love


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