THE 
"UNCONDITIONAL SECURITY" 
DEBATE 
BY BRO. MARK BULLEN 
 
 
"There are many who ask for the truth, but few who like to hear it."  ~ Hans Denck  
 
 
NOTE:   I was raised with the false teaching of "unconditional eternal security",  I heard it in colleges, and preached it for a while.  I argued for their side plenty before God graciously opened my eyes to my error.  If you wish to take issue with something said, please do.  You can use the e-mail address on the "Meet our Ministers" page.  If you have questions, please ask.  This page will most likely grow with time, so check back often.  This section will not cover all that is already covered in the pamphlets/articles already posted; but there will be much overlap.  May God bless all who seek truth with a humble and teachable heart. 
 
Important Sermons on the subject of salvation: 
 
See our Sermon Index and study the Roman's series 
 
The following two links are pamphlets dealing with the unconditional security heresy: 
 
The following links are articles to deal more thoroughly with certain pillars of the unconditional security error. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
12. Evils of Antinomianism  by A.W Tozer & Adam Clarke 
 
13.  Is there a difference between "Calvinism" and "hyper-Calvinism"?   When you begin to corner a Calvinist, they hide behind their denial of hyper-Calvinism; but there is no real difference.  The next time someone claims there is a difference ask them this question: 
  • According to a Calvinist,  What did God NOT predestinate? 
  • According to a hyper-Calvinist, What did God NOT predestinate?      
  • The answer to both is the same, "Nothing". 
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    ANSWERS 
     
    1. IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS CHRIST IMPUTED TO A MAN THE MOMENT HE BELIEVES, SO GOD NEVER AGAIN SEES HIM AS SINFUL? 
     
     Your theology book will tell you that the pardon of sins is not enough, but you also need a "positive" righteousness to enter heaven, and that this is supplied by the righteousness of Jesus Christ being imputed to you.  So we have God demanding the Blood of Christ to cover every trespass, then the righteousness of Jesus as a double atonement?  No, the Bible clearly teaches that the pardoning of sin is the SAME as the imputation of righteousness - Listen carefully to the verse below: 
        Romans 4:6,7  "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." 
     
       Could anything be clearer? The imputation of righteousness is the non-imputation of sins.  The apostle Paul believed that the cleansing of the record was the same as imputing righteousness without works.  This is the same in our legal system.  If I receive a full pardon, then I am treated as though I had obeyed the law, when in fact I had not.  When my criminal record is erased, then it declares that I have not trespassed.  Jesus' blood cleanses from sin, which leaves me free from trespasses committed, which declares that I kept the law - when, in fact, I didn't.  This is gospel justification from Genesis to Revelation.  When we repent, our past sins are forgiven, then as we walk in the light we have - obeying the truth we know - our daily shortcomings are cleansed:  1. Ignorant sin is automatically cleansed as we strive to obey what we know; and 2. Known sins are cleansed as we repent and confess to our High Priest who makes intercession for us.  This is clearly taught in I John 1:7,9 
     
     But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. ... If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
     
       Romans 4 teaches that faith is imputed for righteousness.  When one repents and turns to Christ as Lord and Saviour, His past record of sin is cleansed by the blood, his present faith is counted to him for righteousness; and as long as he walks in the light (John 1:7), his continuous faith is continually imputed to him for righteousness and his sins (ignorant and repented of) are continually cleansed. This faith that is imputed to us for righteousness by grace is a living, obeying faith called the “obedience of faith” (Romans 16:26), called the “righteousness of faith” (Romans 4), called “steps of faith” also in Romans 4 and we could go on, but suffice it to say it is not a “one act” of faith that perpetually justifies or just a mental assent — it is a submission and obedience due to a living faith in God — Heb. 11:6.  It is seen in the wicked forsaking his way and thoughts, and returning to the LORD’s ways and thoughts (Isa. 55:6,7 also Isa. 1:18,19) 
         Nowhere does it say that Jesus’ personal righteous deeds are imputed to us.  Jesus’ personal righteousness is still on his record.  God will never see me doing or saying what Jesus did or said.  His life was not vicarious — His death was.  His blood washes our past sins away as we repent and walk in the light (I Jn 1:7,9), which leaves our record clean, which declares us to have never trespassed, which is the imputation of righteousness when we have not done all that was right — This is GRACE. 
         “But if Christ owed personal obedience to the moral law, then his obedience could do no more than justify himself.  It can never be imputed to us.  He was bound for himself to love God with all his heart, and soul, and mind, and strength, and his neighbor as himself.  He did no more than this.  He could do no more.  It was naturally impossible, then, for him to obey in our behalf…Although Christ owed perfect obedience to the moral law for himself, and could not therefore obey as our substitute, yet since he perfectly obeyed, he owed no suffering to the law or to the Divine government on his own account.  He could therefore suffer for us…with his stripes we are healed…”  Charles Finney (I hope you have proper respect for this man and the next ones quoted) 
         Adam Clarke comments of Heb. 5:9 "In this verse," says Dr. Macknight, "three things are clearly stated:  1. That obedience to Christ is equally necessary to salvation with believing on him.  2. That he was made perfect as a high priest by offering himself a sacrifice for sin, Heb 8:3.      3. That, by the merit of that sacrifice, he hath obtained pardon and eternal life for them who obey him."  He tasted death for every man; but he is the author and cause of eternal salvation only to them who obey him.  It is not merely believers, but obedient believers, that shall be finally saved.  Therefore this text is an absolute, unimpeachable evidence, that it is not the imputed obedience of Christ that saves any man.  Christ has bought men by his blood; and by the infinite merit of his death he has purchased for them an endless glory; but, in order to be prepared for it, the sinner must, through that grace which God withholds from no man, repent, turn from sin, believe on Jesus as being a sufficient ransom and sacrifice for his soul, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, be a worker together with him, walk in conformity to the Divine will through this Divine aid, and continue faithful unto death, through him, out of whose fulness he may receive grace upon grace.” 
        Just because the Bible states that we are saved by Jesus' obedience or righteousness, it doesn't mean His righteousness is imputed to us.  You can be saved by the skill of the doctor, but that doesn't mean the doctor's skill is imputed to you.  You can be saved by the bravory of the life-guard, but that doesn't impute the bravery to you.  We are saved because Jesus was righteous and obeyed His Father unto death to make atonement for us.  He overcame where Adam failed, and was a pure spotless lamb to die for us, otherwise He could not have atoned for my sins.  In this way I am saved by His righteousness.  When He washes my sins away, which declares me to have never transgressed, He is saving me, and providing me with a righteous and clean record before God. Therefore my righteous standing is provided by Him, but it is not His righteousness imputed to me.  I could never claim to be as righteous as Jesus, nor would any angels make such a claim, nor could God ever see me or angels as such. 
    Read Romans 4 again: 
         The “worketh” only refers to working to atone for my own sins (be justified or have a righteous standing) through some religious system (here in Romans — the Law of Moses).  The one who can atone for his own sins receives the reward (not salvation) as a debt (not grace) - because God cannot condemn a clean record.  This man’s entrance into heaven would be justice (debt), not grace.  Paul says of this situation in Gal. 2:21 that if it were possible to gain a righteous record (atone for our sins) before God through keeping Moses’ Law, then Christ died in vain — THIS AND ONLY THIS IS LEGALISM AND SALVATION BY WORKS.  Salvation by works is described in the Bible as that which finds atonement another way so that Christ’s death was in vain.       
         Romans 4:3 says “it” (Abraham’s belief) was counted to him for righteousness; 4:5 says “his faith is counted for righteousness”; 4:9 says, “faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness”; 4:11 speaks of the “righteousness of faith”; 4:12 says that those of the circumcision (Law-keeping Jews) who ALSO walk in the STEPS (PLURAL) of Abraham’s faith will have this righteousness imputed to them also by grace; 4:13 declares that God’s promised inheritance to his people was not through the keeping of Moses’ Law, but through the “righteousness of faith” ---NOWHERE DOES IT SAY JESUS’ RIGHTEOUSNESS IS IMPUTED TO ABRAHAM BECAUSE HE HAD A ONE-TIME BELIEF BEFORE HIS BAPTISM; BUT THAT ABRAHAM’S OWN OBEDIENT AND STRIVING FAITH WAS IMPUTED TO HIM FOR PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS BY GRACE — THIS BEING LEGAL BECAUSE OF THE ATONEMENT AND PRIESTHOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. 
         “IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT AS HE IS IN THE LIGHT, WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP ONE WITH ANOTHER, AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH (continuously) US FROM ALL SIN” I JN. 1:7  Walking in the light is the condition!  “Walking in the light” is synonymous with the “obedience of faith”, “righteousness of faith”, “walking in the Spirit”, “following Christ”, “abiding in Christ”, “living by faith”, etc.  Walking in the light makes us eligible for the unmerited favor of God in applying the atoning blood of Jesus Christ to us continually as we strive to obey and abide in Christ’s narrow way.  Grace is unmerited (unearned); but not unconditional — making it unconditional turns it into lasciviousness.  Any teaching that says my present performance does not affect my spiritual position is antinomian Gnosticism. 
         “IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS, AND CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS”  Day by day or High Priest is applying his atonement to those who come (continually) to him that he might save them to the uttermost — all the way to the end (Heb. 7:25).  Just as a Jew had to be in good standing and in obedience to Moses’ Law to be eligible for the sin offerings and day of atonement, so we must be abiding in Christ’s Law (doctrine and practice) to be eligible for his atonement’s continual application to us.  I Jn. 1:7 is all too clear — as is the following: 
         “Let that therefore abide (remain) in you, which ye have heard from the beginning.  IF that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.  And this is the promise that he hath promised us (if we continue), even eternal life.”  I Jn. 2:24-25 
         “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well doing (sowing to the Spirit): for in due season we shall reap (eternal life), if we faint not.”  Gal. 6:7-9   BE NOT DECEIVED.  You must continue to sow to the Spirit (walk in the light, etc.), or you will not reap life everlasting. 
         Romans 4:6-8 is teaching this very principle.  David speaks of God imputing righteousness (clean record) to one who had not fulfilled his duty to God’s moral law in order to earn this righteous standing by saying, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered (atoned for).  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin (the blessed man is the man walking in the light — by faith).  God cleansing my record is the opposite of imputing my sins to me.  God cleansing my record automatically imputes innocence or righteousness to me, there is no need to add Jesus’ good works to my record. It is obvious in Paul's mind that "imputation of righteousness" is equal to "forgiveness of sins" if you read what he actually says, " Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.   Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."  
     
    THE IMPUTATION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE NON-IMPUTATION OF SINS BECAUSE THEY ARE WASHED AWAY BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.  THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS AND NOTHING MORE. 
     
    Don't try and make the "imputation of righteousness" something different than what Paul made it. 
         James 2 refutes those who have turned God’s grace into lasciviousness, and shows that faith must work or it is dead.  If Abraham had not offered Isaac, he would have been charged with unbelief and unfaithfulness — this could not have been imputed to him for righteousness.  Faith does not work to atone for sin apart from Christ, but faith works a righteous obedience to God, a striving to enter in at the straight gate, an overcoming, an enduring, a holding fast, -- and when God sees this, he says, “That man believes me” — This repentant faith is what God demands from fallen man before they can partake of His saving grace, be forgiven, and be justified — counted righteous by grace.  Without this faith it is impossible to please God, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek God.  Without the diligent seeking of God in hope of the promised reward, THERE IS NO TRUE FAITH, but a dangerous presumption. 
         God said of Abraham, the “father of faith”, “Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws” (Gen. 26:5 — God’s description of Abraham’s faith).  He could say that Abraham “believed” because when God spoke, Abraham obeyed — This is what God calls faith — This is what God graciously imputes to us for righteousness because of the atonement of Jesus Christ — therefore He can be just and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus.   
         The principle of a continual obedient faith being imputed continually to our record for righteousness by God’s grace through the priesthood of Jesus Christ is the only true gospel salvation.  We are not under Moses’ Law, but we are under the Law of Christ, the Lordship and Kingdom of Christ, and the Priesthood of Christ — there is plenty of obedience required in all this, and if one does not submit and strive, he doesn’t believe. 
         “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” - NOW LISTEN TO PAUL VERY CAREFULLY AS HE RESPONDS TO GOD’S PROMISE - “HAVING (PRESENT CONTINUOUS) THESE PROMISES (CONDITIONAL PROMISES CONCERNING OUR SALVATION AND RELATIONSHIP TO GOD), DEARLY BELOVED, LET US CLEANSE OURSELVES FROM ALL FILTHINESS OF THE FLESH AND SPIRIT, PERFECTING HOLINESS IN THE FEAR OF GOD.”  II Cor. 6:17-7:1 
         The unconditional security doctrine is not a non-issue; but the core of Satan’s last day’s deception.  Satan doesn’t mind so much you making a good start, as long as you don’t finish your race.  Antinomian doctrine is the Devil’s masterpiece to destroy the obligation and responsibility of man to “continue in the faith”, “overcome”, “endure to the end”, etc. etc.  This false teaching that destroys the fear of the Lord has also destroyed the church’s purity and testimony to the world — It has produced an apostate harlot to distract attention from the bride of Christ. Paul makes it clear in I Cor. 9:23-10:12; Heb. 3:6,12-14 and the whole book and with virtually the whole New Testament that making a good start of faith must be followed by a faithful and finished race of faith so that we “die in faith”, or we will be appointed our portion with the unbelievers.   
    Related Sermons: 
     
     
     
     
     
    2. IS THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST ONLY FOR BELIEVERS? 
     
     The Judgment Seat of Christ is not just for believers.  I make this an issue, because being raised and schooled in the Fundamental Baptist churches I was given the impression that the judgment seat of Christ held no fear for those who had "prayed the prayer"; that it was only for rewards; and that there was another judgment for the lost.  The truth is that our salvation is not complete and sure until we hear those words, "Well done...enter thou in...".  There are many who are confident of entering in that will hear the terrible words, "I never knew you, depart from me..." There are those unfaithful servants who will hear,  "appoint him his portion with the unbelievers".  Those who study hard for a test and feel confident they made a good grade have assurance of such; but the receiving of that final grade is the crowning moment of their hope.  Those who tried to "wing it" sit nervously wondering if they made the grade -- this is a foolish gamble when it comes to your eternity.  Receiving Christ is only a start - you must then have a living obeying faith proved by your conduct so that He will receive you. 
     
    Consider that the only judgment seat there will be is the judgment seat of Christ — If you believe the following verses: 
    · “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son…Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”           Jn 5:22 & 28-29 
    · See Matt. 25:30-46  Jesus’ judgment of the nations, separating the sheep from the goats.  Jesus is judging both saved and lost. 
    · Acts 17:30,31 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."   God will judge through Jesus Christ. 
    · Romans 2:5-16 “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God…In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”  NOTICE WHO WILL BE JUDGED AND FOR WHAT!  IT IS ONE OR THE OTHER -- BOTH ARE JUDGED BY JESUS CHRIST IN THAT DAY. 
    · Romans 14:10-12 “…for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 
    · II Cor. 5:9-11 “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;”   Was Paul laboring to be accepted?   See Phil. 3:11, I COR. 9:23-10:12; 2 TIM. 2:12 
    · II Tim. 4:1 “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;”  Compare Acts 10:42 - Jesus was ordained of God to be judge of the quick and the dead.   
    · I Peter 4:7  “Wherein they (the lost) think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”  
    · Revelation 22:12-14, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”   
    Acts 3:19 "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;  20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began".  This indicates that the ultimate blotting out of our sins will be on Judgment Day.  This is confirmed by the fact that in that day we will be crowned with righteousness or justification, given white robes, etc. Our final and complete word of acceptance, "Enter thou in" will be at this time, and Paul was laboring to be accepted in that day.  When Paul knew he had finished his course, kept the faith, and fought a good fight, he rejoiced in the confidence that there was a crown of righteousness or justification laid up for him for that day. 
    The conclusion?  God will judge all men by Jesus Christ at “that day”.  ONLY THOSE WITH OBEDIENT FAITH WILL BE SAVED.  It seems from Jude 14,15; I Cor. 15, and Rev. 19&20 that the "day" of judgment will be more than a 24 hr day, but a time of judgment when Christ shall put down all rebellion and finally deliver up to God the Father a conquered kingdom.  It seems that the saints, who were faithful to Christ till death will be involved in the judgment as "examples" and "judges" -- their own judgment being primarily for rewards and condemnation of the ungodly by comparison with them.  There are many questions that cannot be dogmatically answered now, but one thing is for sure:  We must not be presumptuous, but pass the time of our sojouring here in fear and faithfulness that we might be found worthy. 
     
    3. DOES 1 COR. 3 TEACH THAT CHRISTIANS WHO LIVED IN DISOBEDIENCE TO CHRIST WILL BE SAVED, BUT JUST LOSE HEAVENLY REWARDS? 
     
     I Corinthians 3:8-15 does not support the antinomian case.  Look closely and keep it all in context: 
    Vs. 9  We (preachers) are labourers…ye (the people) are God’s building or temple (Eph. 2:19-22 & I Peter 2:5)...   See I Corinthians taught online 
    ...This context doesn’t change through the passage.  A Preacher may preach Christ, yet allow personal disfunctions, poor character, pride, lack of study, etc. to cause him to give a poor example, make poor decisions, not keep his home is proper order, etc.  His work for Christ in the church will be tried — His preaching, living, personal sacrifice, purity of message, influence on the people, converts, etc. will be tested to determine his reward.  This man was working to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ.  He was not just a church member living in disobedience to Christ; but was activily serving Christ in the ministry -- he had a living faith, but was not as careful, educated, or wise as he should have been.  "Let every man (teacher) take heed how he buildeth" on the foundation of Jesus Christ.  He was not preaching a false gospel or living in rebellion to Christ, or he couldn’t be said to work on the foundation of Jesus Christ; but cursed (Gal. 1:8).  
        BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MAN WHOSE TEACHING AND LIVING DEFILES THE TEMPLE OF GOD - destroys or changes the foundation?   I COR. 3:15 STATES: “KNOW YE NOT THAT YE (the church) ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD, AND THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLETH IN YOU?  IF ANY MAN DEFILE THE TEMPLE OF GOD, HIM SHALL GOD DESTROY; FOR THE TEMPLE OF GOD IS HOLY, WHICH TEMPLE YE ARE.”   The man whom God considers to be defiling God’s building or temple is destroyed!! 
     
    If a Captian or General doesn't diligently and sufficiently educate and train his troops, he will suffer more casualties, but will not be kicked out of the army.  However, a soldier who refused to obey or fight, will be kicked out of the army.   
     
     
    4. Does the Bible clearly say that one definitely pardoned or born again can be definitely lost or lose their pardon? 
     
     YES.  The Bible teaches that one "in Christ" can be later rejected and damned. 
     
  • ROMANS 11:17-22  "And if some of the branches (individual Christ rejecting Jews) be broken off, and thou (individual believing Gentile), being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them (Believing Jews - Church), and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."  Consider that "graffed in" means you are "in Christ"; "in the covenant"; and this is done by God - this is reconciliation, regeneration, pardon, justification, etc.  This believing Gentile must continue humbly walking in the light, abiding in Christ, lest he be cut off by proudly presuming upon God's grace, rather than walking in the fear of the Lord.  This is not speaking of "national Israel" and "national Gentiles" as some contend.  Since when did God cut off every Jew or graffed in every Gentile?  This refers to "branches" (plural) that fell due to rejecting Christ, but could be received again by accepting Christ.  This refers to Gentiles who were accepted due to faith in Christ; but could again be rejected due to pride and not continuing in the grace of God. 
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  • Matthew 18:35  "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."  If one considers carefully what happened here, you cannot miss the clear warning that pardon can be revoked. 
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  • 2 Peter 2:20-21 "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."  The obvious import is that "If they had not been entangled and overcome, they would have been saved".  Since they were entangled again and overcome, they are WORSE than if they hadn't heard.  They would have been saved, had they continued in obedience to Christ and overcome the world, flesh, and devil; but since they didn't, they are worse off than if they had never heard!! 
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  • 1 Cor. 9:23-12 "And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."  Paul's message is more than clear that in order to be partaker of the gospel salvation, we must continue in the fight and overcome, lest we be overcome.  They all started with the same thing, but not all finished the course. 
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  • Hebrews 3:6-14  is another of many that say we must continue to be saved - It is not a warning to "make sure we really got it"; but a warning to "hold fast what we have".  If what we have is not the "real thing"; then to "hold it fast" is bad advice.  But if we must hold fast what we have to be "partakers of Christ" ultimately, then what we have can be lost.  This is stressed over and over in this book. 
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  • 2 Timothy 2:12 Paul is writing to Timothy, saying, "If we deny him, he also will deny us" 
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  • James 5:19 gives admonition that if a "brother" errs FROM the faith, and another brother converts him back, he has saved a soul from death. 
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  • I John 2:24-25 are written to believers warning them to continue in the doctrine of Christ - saying, "Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning.  If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.  And this is the promise that he hath promised us (if we continue), even eternal life" 
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  • John 15:1-10 is very clear to the unbiased mind 
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  • Revelation 2 &3 :  Here we have Jesus speaking to believers and warning them to overcome, lest they be rejected.  
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  • These are only a beginning of many passages that confirm what these state outright.  I'll list a few more for your own study: II Chron. 15:2; I Chron. 28:9; Matt. 24:13; Luke 8:13; Romans 8:13; Luke 12:46; Gal. 6:7-9; I Peter 4:18-19; 2 Peter 1:9-11; Heb. 6:1-15; 10:26-29; 12:1-25; I Tim. 4:16; Romans 14:15 & I Cor. 8:11, etc. 
  •  
     
    5.   When one is justified, is it "just if I'd never sinned" or "Better than if I had not been accused" as some antinomians say? 
     
     NO.  They are confusing "forensic" or "legal" justification with "gospel" justification. 
     
  • Forensic Justification:  "A declaration of actual innocence and freedom from blame"  This is being justified by the court - all evidence is brought forth, and I am proved to be innocent and guiltless by the evidence presented.  The Law doesn't condemn me, because I didn't trespass. 
  •             --This is what the Bible calls "justified by the deeds of the law", or "salvation by works",   which brings the "reward" as a "debt", not by grace (Rom. 4).  This is justice, not grace.  This is  justification based on actual innocence.  The Antinomian believes in this type of  justification, but then claims it is because Jesus' obedience is put on my record -  something which is nowhere taught in the Bible - See our answer on this subject. 
       
  • Gospel Justification:  "Pardon and acceptance of a repentant criminal.  Accepted and treated as if I were righteous, based on pardon and not actual innocence.  Another has suffered in my place, presented a sufficient sin offering to appease God's wrath, and has taken responsibility for my rehabilitation.  This other person is Jesus Christ, whose present priestly administration is designed to provide probationary oversight and rehabilitation (sanctification) for pardoned criminals.  As long as I remain under Christ's jurisdiction (abiding in Christ) by submissive obedient faith (free-willed choice), my shortcomings are continually cleansed by Christ's priesthood (I John 1:7). This is "faith imputed for righteousness" as taught in Romans 4 (see  Romans' Series - "Romans3-4" ) 
  •  
    "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin... If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:7,9 
     
    "But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."  Heb. 7:24,25 
     
         Gospel Justification admits the penalty was deserved, but sets it aside as long as I remain under the jurisdiction and protection of the one who atoned for my sins and stands as my priestly advocate.  If I rebel against my probation officer, then I fall back under the condemnation of the court.   
     
    Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 
    And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. I John 2:24,25 
     
    Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. Romans 11:22 
     
    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned...  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.  John 15:5,6 & 10   
      
    Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.   For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;  Heb. 3:12-14 
     
    Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Heb. 5:7-9 
     
    NOTE:  Both Forensic and Gospel justification demand my continued obedience - the first demands perfect obedience or gives condemnation (salvation by works); the second (salvation by grace) demands striving faith with provisions of atonement and help -- if I will just continue to walk in the light, I am safe and secure until I die "in Christ" with sure hope of eternal life in Christ. 
    Many more passages and related doctrines could be brought in to prove this point, but what is presented is enough for the humble and honest believer.  Consider that in Matt. 18:21-35 Jesus teaches that God will revoke forgiveness that a man already received - He falls back under the condemnation of the court, because of not continuing in obedience to Christ's teaching.  If you have any questions on this subject, please ask. 
     
    6. Can it be proven beyond doubt that Abraham's faith, that which was imputed to him for righteousness, and upon which his salvation rested, was not only one act that perpetually justified or just intellectual "trusting", but rather continuous obeying faith? 
     
     YES.   
         -- First, look at how God's Word speaks of Abraham's faith: 
  •  Gen. 26:5 "Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." 
  • Heb. 11:8-17    "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.   By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.  Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son," 
  • Romans 4:12 "...father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham..." 
  • Paul describes this same faith as the "obedience of faith" in Romans 16:25,26, "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ...made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
  • Paul says God's righteousness is revealed through the Gospel from "faith to faith", i.e. "steps of obedience" -- one step to faith to another step of faith. 
  •  
    -- Second, see how the Holy Spirit speaks of the fulfillment of the verse, "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness": 
  • It was originally written when Abraham was well into his journey of faith in Gen. 15:6 concerning his faith when he was about 84 or 85. 
  • The Holy Spirit speaks of his faith beginning at least 10 years earlier in Heb. 11:8. 
  • The Holy Spirit speaks of the Scripture being fulfilled concerning three different steps of faith in Abraham's life -- When he was about 84 or 85 in Gen. 15:6 
  •             --When he was about 100 years old in Romans 4:19-22  "And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness." 
               --When he was about 125 years old in James 2:21-23 "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:" 
     
         --Abraham's Faith was continuous "steps", and continually being imputed for righteousness as he continued "faithful" --Gal. 3:6-9 , " Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." 
     
          --Third,  See the plain statements of Paul in Hebrews 6:11-15, "And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
          --If Abraham had not patiently endured in faith - "steps of faith" - from "faith to faith" - until he "died in faith" - HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL ABRAHAM NOR HAVE INHERITED THE PROMISES. 
    "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;"  HEB. 3:12-14 
     
    8 DOES THE BIBLE TEACH THAT GOD PREDESTINED EVERYTHING? 
       --The Bible seems to teach that God predestined and foreordained a format or program, but not man's thoughts and choices within these predestined peremiters.  Therefore this would be a general predestination, but not a specific predestination.  How much God foreknows in detail we cannot now know.  Note the following passage where Paul sums up this thought quite clearly:   
     
  • Acts 17:22-31  " 22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.  
  • 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.  
    24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 
    25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 
    26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 
    27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 
    28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 
    29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. 
    30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 
    31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.  
     
  • VITAL POINTS TO NOTICE FROM THIS PASSAGE:  
  •        --In the context we are speaking of "all men", not just the "elect". 
             --What is predestined is the boundaries of their activity - the "times" or different ages and events in the general program of the earth's life span. 
             --The predestined purpose was for "all" men to seek the Lord, if "haply" or "perhaps" they might feel after Him and find Him.  This reveals that God placed men with freedom to choose, seek, and find God within these preset boundaries, and watched to see what they would do, hoping they would seek him.  EVERY TIME the Bible says that God was "displeased", "angry", "disappointed" etc. at man's behavior reveals that He did not predestine this behavior, and makes us question in what way He foresaw it, if He did. 
             --Vss. 30 and 31 reveal that God has overlooked some ignorance in some men concerning false concepts of God, but now, since Jesus has come and made a clear revelation, God commands "all men everywhere" to repent.  This further supports the fact that God did not predestine man's thoughts and actions or choices -- otherwise He would not be "winking" at their ignorance, because it would have been His own doing as much as their knowledge was.  Also these verses reveal God commanding men to repent and follow His way, which would be mockery if they could not, or if God had to do it for them.  Next, we see God is going to judge all men according to their response to His commands, which proves man's ability and freedom to choose.  This passage alone disproves Calvinistic unconditional predestination and election; total depravity and inability; irresistable grace; and unconditional security. 
  • There are hundreds of verses in the Bible that indicate clearly that what we do makes a difference in how things, at least in our life, will turn out.  Every verse about prayer; every command to obey; every warning of disobedience; the parables of Jesus and teachings about the broad road, and the narrow road; the principles of "sowing and reaping" etc. etc.  
  • There are many verses that indicate that somehow God didn't foresee exactly what would happen in every situation. In fact, every passage that speaks of God being displeased, disappointed, changing His mind or being angry seems to indicate this.  Every passage that speaks of God being patient, longsuffering, gracious, or even compassionate seems to indicate this.  I didn't write these verses, God did; so evidently He expected us to infer the obvious from them: 
  • -- Ge 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  
    --Gen. 6: 3 ¶ And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 
    4 ¶ There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 
    5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  
    6 ¶ And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 
    7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.  
    8 ¶ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 
    9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.  
    10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 
    11 ¶ The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 
    12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 
    13 ¶ And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.  
     
    -- 2Ch 32:31 Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.  
  • Are we to believe God's own testimony? 
  •  
    --Jer. 17:10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. 
  • Why would God have to search and try, if He predestined it all. 
  •  
    --Isa. 1: 2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 
    3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 
    4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.  
    --Isa. 5:1- Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:  
    2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.  
    3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 
    4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? 
    5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:  
    6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 
    7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.  
  • Did God predestine what these people are doing here?  It seems He had different plans, and is upset over their use of free-will.  This scenario is repeated hundreds of times in Scripture. 
  •  
    --Isa. 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 
    17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.  
    18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 
    19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 
    20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. 
    Does God's actions depend on what man does?  Does man's actions determine what God does? 
     
    --Ez. 18:20-  21 ¶ But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 
    22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. 
    23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? 
    24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. 
    25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? 
    26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. 
    27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 
    28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 
    29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? 
    30 ¶ Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.  
    31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 
    32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.  
  • This clearly reveals God's anger and, shall we say, frustration with man's rebellion and wrong use of free-will?  Could this be true if all were predestined? 
  •  
    --Luke 19:41  And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 
    --Luke 13:34  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! 
  • Would Jesus' speech be honest and acceptable if He predestined all of it?  This clearly displays that Christ had a desire that would have been fulfilled in their behalf, but they ruined it.  This clearly reveals Christ's disappointment due to man's obstinate free will. 
  •  
    -- Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. 
     
    -- Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 
     
    --Luke 12:47  And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 
        *Is it possible to go contrary to the will of God?   
     
    --I Cor. 10:1-5   Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;  And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 
       *For God to be displeased, it would seem He desired something different. 
     
    -- Jer 19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: 
     
    -- Jer 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. 
     
      **How could God predestine the actions of these people, and then tell them that this abomination had not "come into His mind" - i.e. It didn't originate with HIM? 
     
    --Read the parables - The Great Supper, The Sower (Luke 8); and all the New Testament commands and promises.  Need I continue?  There is more evidence than I can give here. 
     
     
    What does God know? 
    -- Ge 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  
    -- Gen 6 " And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made  
    -- Ge 18:21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.  
    -- Ge 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.  
    -- Ex 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.  
    -- De 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.  
    -- I Sam 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.  
    -- 1Sa 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.  
    -- Ps 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. Why?  
    -- Ps 53:2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.  
    -- Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.  
    -- Jer 19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:  
    -- Jer 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.  
    -- 2Ch 32:31 Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.  
    There is mystery that is beyond us in the Godhead concerning His very nature and existence – surely we cannot know all He knows or dream of coming close.  
    People should not argue on subjects which they cannot prove one way or another from the Word – If there are verses that SEEM to imply things – leave it there and ask God someday.