Friday, February 26, 2010

Sometimes the Tail Just Wags the Dog

About 10 years ago there was a movie entitled “Wag The Dog.” It was a political movie with the premise that some wars are created by politicians instead of some unforeseen event. When we speak of “the tail wagging the dog” in terms of things spiritual we mean that someone has taken a preconceived conclusion and then “forced” it upon the biblical text. Theologians call this eisegesis. When this happens, mans will prevails and the Word of God becomes subservient. Of course, it is impossible for us to actually manipulate the Scripture, but many people try and THINK they have succeeded. Unfortunately, these poor souls will discover on the Day of Judgment that they were, in reality, among the tares and not among the wheat. God’s thrashing floor will separate all evil from all good on that great and terrible day. In regards to judgment day, some have attempted to get the “tail to wag the dog,” theologically speaking that is.

One of the most disastrous false doctrines of all time is the “dog wagging” doctrine known as “once-saved-always-saved.” The doctrine dates back to the time of John Calvin who asserted that once a person was saved, he could never lose that salvation…no matter what. This doctrine has led to much false confidence in one’s salvation. It has also led many to live quite the hellish existence while thinking they are on their way to heaven. A byproduct of this false doctrine is the false security that Judgment Day is for non-Christians only, making the so-called “elect” exempt from such a judgment. “IF” once-saved-always-saved is a true doctrine, such an exemption would have to, by default, be given by God to every soul ever claiming to be a Christian. On the other hand, “IF” one can lose their salvation, judgment then, indeed, is for all, Christian and non-Christian alike. God has indeed “given us all things pertaining to life and godliness” (II Peter 1:3) and so the Holy Spirit inspired Jude to write an entire book warning of apostasy. Apostasy is the willful renouncement of the truth of God once believed, practiced and embraced. Such a willful renouncement certainly will result in eternal damnation… unless repentance and confession of such sin takes place prior to one’s death. Those who embrace the false doctrine of once-saved-always-saved, must confront the fact that there are those in open rebellion to the Will of God, all the while “claiming” to be “Christian,” attending “worship services” and living any way they wish. When confronted with these facts, they simply say, “Well, they weren’t really saved in the first place!” Really? Can one fall from grace or is such a fall impossible? Jude has the answer.

Jude, while warning the congregation of the dangers of apostasy, gives three examples of SAVED souls who willingly gave up their salvation. (Jude 1:5-7) They did so when they rebelled by choice.

I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Here are Jude’s three examples just cited:

1. The Israelites in the Desert – SAVED out of Egypt – chose rebellion and destruction AFTER they were saved.
2. The Angels in Heaven – Left their own habitation and chose judgment AFTER they POSSESSED heaven.
3. The People of Sodom and Gomorrah – Sodom and Gomorrah (and the cities around them) chose destruction AFTER they gave themselves over to fornication. They refused to repent after the pleading of righteous (II Peter 2:7) Lot.

Jude’s examples have very certain and poignant ramifications. “IF” once-saved-always-saved is indeed a true doctrine then:

1. The Israelites in the Desert were NOT saved after all!
2. The Angels in Heaven were NEVER THERE to start with!
3. The account of the destruction of the cities of the plain is nothing more than a FABLE, A FAIRY TALE, AN ALLEGORY AND A STORY!

Jude wrote by inspiration, the examples of apostasy AFTER salvation are true and the doctrine of once-saved-always-saved is a false and dangerous doctrine. We ALL can fall from grace (Galatians 5:1-6) and we ALL must “give an account” on that great and dreadful day for “all the deeds of the flesh whether they be good or evil.” (II Corinthians 5:9-11)

Russ McCullough
Charlotte, NC

Copyright, 2010. All Rights Reserved. MCN: C41EE-4LXKB-BQRSY

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