David Obeid

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Reply to Nader

Dear Nader,

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to help you in your search for the truth.  The complete text of your questions is below, and, for the record, so is the very brief exchange we had on Facebook Messenger last night.  I include this for the sake of others who might read this and wonder why the responses I give are limited to strictly only interpreting the passages you ask about, and not responding to the wider question about Calvin’s version of the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints.

After your request that I inbox you if I was willing to answer your questions, the following took place in Facebook Messenger.  The only edits made are to clearly point out who said what by preceding my comments with “David says” and your comments with “Nader says”:

David says: Hi Nader, I'm happy to try to answer your questions. Please feel free to respond with them.

Nader says: Question 1 I got from Matt Slick who is the founder of CARM.org

Question 2 is from A.W. Pinks analysis of John 10:27-29
Question 3 is something I came up with myself


That's the file.
I appreciate your offering to help out with this smile emoticon

David says: Question 1 is pretty simple. We aren't Christ, and so our failures aren't his.
Question 2 has lots of parts. Do you want each one addressed individually?

Nader says: however you see best to disprove it
Your aim is to convince me that these verses don't teach the Perseverance of the Saints
that's why I posted the status

David says: And I take it it isn't sufficient to show that such an interpretation contradicts other Scriptures, you only want the reply to limit itself to an exegesis of these passages alone?

Nader says: yes as if we start quoting other passages that don't directly relate to this then we will start discussing the multiple interpretations of those other passages which will probably just span out to a pointless debate
would you agree?
David says: Not at all, but I'm happy to accommodate your restrictions. Is it ok with you if I reply tomorrow? Getting kids to bed now.

Nader says: yes that's ok. Take your time
I'm not so much looking for a debate but I do want to read your interpretations of these as I've never seen anyone explain these 3 questions
you can refer to other passages when you see necessary
but please try keep it specifically aimed at answering the questions if you can

David says: No, I'll do it your way, so there's no saying I didn't later 😊

Talk tomorrow.

Nader says: Sounds good

Chat conversation end
Type a message...
Now, on to your questions. My responses will be preceded by “David Obeid’s comment” and will be concluded by “End of comment”

Questions for Those Who Believe a Christian can ‘Lose their Salvation’

Question 1
In John 8:29, we can clearly see that Jesus always does the will of the Father. So if Jesus always does the will of the Father and the will of the Father is that Jesus lose none and also raise all those to glory who had been given to Him by the Father (John 6:39), then salvation cannot be lost. Otherwise, Jesus sinned by failing to do the will of the Father. Remember, it is the will of the Father that Jesus lose none, not that Christians don't lose their own salvation of their "own free will." Again, if someone loses his salvation, then Jesus failed to do the will of the Father because it would mean He has lost some and that He will also fail to raise up to glory those who have been given to Him by the Father. This just cannot be.

John 8:29,
"And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I ALWAYS do the things that are     pleasing to Him." 
John 6:39,
"And this is the WILL OF HIM who sent Me, that of ALL that he has given me I LOSE NOTHING, but raise it up on the last day."

David Obeid’s comment:

This is not a question.  Please re-word this for me as a question and I will answer it.

End of comment.


Question 2
What would your interpretation be in refuting the following 7 reasons as to why John 10:27-29 teaches that no True Christian will ever fall way?
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them ETERNAL LIFE; and they shall NEVER PERISH, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." – (John 10:27-29)
No stronger passage in all the Word of God can be found guaranteeing the absolute security of every child of God. Note the SEVEN STRANDS in the rope which binds them to God.

David Obeid’s comment:

I note that this question claims to be the ultimate trump card in this discussion.  Once a response is given showing that they do not teach the Calvinist position, may I assume that you are of good will enough to either renounce the position without recourse to other passages, or are you merely using hyperbole to make a point?

End of comment.

FIRST, they are Christ’s sheep, and it is the duty of the shepherd to care for each of his flock! To suggest that any of Christ’s sheep may be lost is to blaspheme the Shepherd Himself.

David Obeid’s comment:

I note that the passage makes no mention of how it is that the sheep come to be Christ’s.  The passage does, however, identify a particular action that the sheep themselves do.  They follow.  It is true that as long as they follow they do not perish, but there is nothing in the passage that says that they will always follow.  The questioner wants this to be there and so merely reads it in to the passage.  The passage itself, on the other hand, makes no such guarantee.  It therefore fails to teach that no true Christian will ever fall away. 

We are down to 6 strands.

End of comment.


SECOND, it is said "They follow" Christ, and no exceptions are made; the Lord does not say they ought to, but declares they do. If then the sheep "follow" Christ they must reach Heaven, for that is where the Shepherd is gone!

David Obeid’s comment:

As I said in showing that the first strand fails, the passage identifies this action of following as being on the part of the sheep (not the shepherd).  The word “follow” is from the Greek word akolouthousin and is a plural form of the verb.  It is an action of the follower, not the shepherd.  It is a cognate of the word “followed” in John 6:2, and that didn’t end in a way that exactly supports the imposed reading here.  The following isn’t forced on the sheep as the interpretation given here implies.   The passage itself, on the other hand, makes no such guarantee.  It therefore fails to teach that no true Christian will ever fall away. 

We are down to 5 strands.

End of comment.

THIRD, to the sheep is imparted "eternal life": to speak of eternal life ending is a contradiction in terms.

David Obeid’s comment:

You should realise that there is only one eternal life, not a plurality of eternal lives.  This is why the passage speaks about giving “zoe” (“life” in the singular).  We know that the human soul does not cease to exist at death, it either goes to heaven (where it lives eternally) or hell (where it lives eternally).  Thus the promise of “eternal life” only makes sense if it means a share in Christ’s own life.  There are other passages of Scripture that make this irrefutably clear, but I will avoid them in keeping with your wish to only limit myself to the passage at hand.  So, given that the life Christ promises is a share in His own, our entering/receiving it is akin to our entering/receiving the sunshine.  There’s only one sun that shines on us, and it doesn’t stop shining.  But we can move out of the sunshine into the shade, just like we can move out of eternal life and become lost again.  Just like I said in my last comment, there is nothing in the passage that says that they will always remain in Christ.  The questioner wants this to be there and so merely reads it in to the passage.  The passage itself, on the other hand, makes no such guarantee.  It therefore fails to teach that no true Christian will ever fall away. 

We are down to 4 strands.

End of comment.


FOURTH, this eternal life is "given" to them: they did nothing to merit it, consequently they can do nothing to demerit it.

David Obeid’s comment:

I note, as I pointed out above, that it is that the sheep that follow.  That’s doing something.  The questioner wants this not to be there and so merely reads it out of the passage.  The passage itself, on the other hand, does include it.  It therefore fails to teach that no true Christian will ever fall away. 

We are down to 3 strands.

End of comment.


FIFTH, the Lord Himself declares that His sheep "shall never perish," consequently the man who declares that it is possible for a child of God to go to Hell makes God a liar.

David Obeid’s comment:

Our Lord also declares Himself that the job of the sheep is to follow and makes o guarantee in this passage that they will.  It is true that as long as they follow they do not perish, but there is nothing in the passage that says that they will always follow.  The questioner wants this to be there and so merely reads it in to the passage.  The passage itself, on the other hand, makes no such guarantee (and hence the questioner puts a promise on God’s lips that aren’t in the passage, materially taking the name of the Lord in vain).  It therefore fails to teach that no true Christian will ever fall away. 

We are down to 2 strands.

End of comment.


SIXTH, from the SHEPHERD’S "hand" none is able to pluck them, hence the Devil is unable to encompass the destruction of a single one of them.

David Obeid’s comment:

I note that the passage makes no mention of any restriction on the sheep not to depart, and as I have pointed out above, puts the onus on them to follow.  The questioner wants this idea to be there and so merely reads it in to the passage.  The passage itself, on the other hand, makes no such guarantee.  It therefore fails to teach that no true Christian will ever fall away. 

We are down to 1 strands.

End of comment.

SEVENTH, above them is the FATHER’S "hand," hence it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to jump out of the hand of Christ even if they tried to. It has been well said that if one soul who trusted in Christ should be missing in Heaven, there would be one vacant seat there, one crown unused, one harp unstrung; and this would grieve all Heaven and proclaim a disappointed God.

David Obeid’s comment:

It’s ridiculously clear to me why you wanted the rest of Scripture left out of this, it is literally dripping with examples of fallen away faithful.  But it suffices to say this passage is utterly silent on sheep not acting, and explicitly says that they do act.  The passage identifies a particular action that the sheep themselves do.  They follow.  It is true that as long as they follow they do not perish, but there is nothing in the passage that says that they will always follow.  The questioner wants this to be there and so merely reads it in to the passage.  The passage itself, on the other hand, makes no such guarantee.  It therefore fails to teach that no true Christian will ever fall away. 

We are down to 0 strands.

End of comment.


Question 3
Romans 8:28-30
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also CALLED; those he called, he also JUSTIFIED; those he justified, he also GLORIFIED.”

Since Romans 8:28-30 is explicitly clear that those whom God ‘Predestined’ he also ‘Called’, and those whom he called He ‘Justified’, and those whom he justified he inevitably ‘Glorified’, how can one fall away? This is a perfect chain where everyone who is predestined is called, justified and glorified. This predestination was done from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-12). Even if we were to accept the Arminian view and say this predestination was according to Gods looking into the future and seeing who would believe, you would only do away with Unconditional Election. Perseverance of the Saints would remain because the only ones whom God Calls are those whom he foreknew would believe in him unto salvation (According to the Arminian View) as all who are called are justified and inevitably glorified.
Why would God call and justify someone he knows will turn away in the future? Why would God give Salvation to someone whom he knows will give it away sometime later in his life?

David Obeid’s comment:

Adam.

End of comment.



These are my three questions. I have an open mind and ask this in all sincerity. If you can give me reasonable answers for these three questions then I will change my mind. May the Lord enlighten all of our eyes to the truth.
God Bless J

David Obeid’s comment:

Are you prepared to answer question when all this is done?

End of comment.




David Obeid

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