Assurance (3)!

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

Those who oppose the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints point to concrete examples of final apostasy in the Bible. They point to Hymenaeus and Philetus, “who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some” (2Timothy 2:17-18), and of Demas, who loved this present world (2Timothy 4:10). While the apostle Peter speaks of false teachers, “who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them” (2Peter 2:1). But with respect to these examples, it should be enough to remind ourselves of the words the apostle John, “they went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not al of us” (1John 2:19). It is quite possible, of course, that one belong to the manifestation of the church in the world, without having the grace of the Lord Jesus in his heart. The fact is that there is always carnal seed in the church on earth. And when they apostatise from the faith they once confessed, they cannot be pointed out as illustrations of the falling away of the true believers. Their apostasy is merely external. They never were living members of the body of Christ.

(© James R Hamilton)
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