Image control and public relations or people made in the image of God? God doesn’t need image control or to manage his own public relations. I just don’t like using that business/marketing terminology to God! It is not true of God!
Once Saved, Always Saved?: A Study in Perseverance and Inheritance by David Pawson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This 1996 book explores the “once saved, always saved” doctrine. The general belief of once saved always saved is that when someone believes in Jesus, they can be assured of going to heaven and not hell. They cannot lose their salvation even if they lose their faith. Author of the book David Pawson says many evangelicals accept this view, but within that there is a spectrum of belief.
Pawson explains in the book that once saved always saved (from hell) has its roots in the patristic period but is not what the early church taught. The focus there was more on salvation from sin.
From the early church, to the church fathers, through the Middle Ages, and into the church reformation, to the revivals of the 18th century, Pawson has obviously plied careful research skills to provide an historical overview of the topic. As well, there are philosophical points of interest and practical concerns related to the topic, and two appendices. The last appendix is about the disciple Judas, who betrayed Jesus. Through all this, Pawson makes comments and critiques.
Pawson builds a clear and convincing case against once saved always saved. It is as if an objective and clear mind considered the biblical evidence, as it is, to come to his conclusion. He does provide a most logical, sound thesis and makes weak the arguments for once saved always saved.
He writes thoughtfully and readably, dispels myths and pet sayings, and relates the topic back to himself. A weakness against his case may be that the author has said elsewhere that he fears going to hell (in Explaining End Times), but this may not be a weakness, either. He makes a sobering point that Jesus’ teaching about hell was originally addressed to believers.
However, teaching about hell in modern times has often been directed at non-Christians.
The original, apostolic outreach message was “Repent, believe and be baptized” and not hell, fire, and brimstone nor “once saved, always saved”, explains Pawson.
It is explained in the book well why putting one’s faith in Jesus is a continuing, ongoing thing which means not giving up and being holy because “without holiness no one will see Lord”. This is rather than assuming I’ll be all right and flag the faith.
David Pawson was a prominent Bible teacher and author of numerous books unpacking themes in the Bible and the contemporary evangelical church. He taught many church leaders in his itinerant ministry.
The author of the book suspects that only serous Bible students will see the book through to the end, but this in no way diminishes his case, a case which is rock solid. Once Saved, Always Saved? A Study in Perseverance and Inheritance comes highly recommended.
168 pages, Published 1996, Publisher Hodder and Stoughton.
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Memory lane: Circa, 2017. Judson Press sent me a copy of the winter issue of The Secret Place which has one of my devotions in it. Yet, whatever the season, be it winter or summer, I’m pleased my article’s there, winter or summer. But it will be read in the North American winter. Why do I attract the North American winter? Surprise!
Although I wrote the following in 2017 — ‘the Christian writing I started five years ago is complete for this period of my writing and there is nothing new to pursue in terms of Christian articles and those types of writings’ — why did I get published several times in that genre since?
Questions coming someone’s way. Why do you believe you have the truth about things since you believe in God? A pertinent question today when so many voices and opinions abound, but also ones that claim the truth. Is there one singular truth arising from faith in God? Why do people get upset if someone claims that? How would you know the truth? isn’t that arrogant? And when one says, God said it, I believe it, that settles it, why does that statement go rejected by those who hear it, unless you believe? Good questions, almost unanswerable, as there is a logic to it. If one said they held the truth, why should others believe that truth? Shouldn’t they be held to account for imposing their will on others?
I will answer this in terms of my faith which says there is no policy or manifesto to come on board, no one manipulating someone to believe their way. A political or ideological institution may not bring truth that is believed, and lived, with utter conviction.
But Jesus gives his truth freely to those who receive him. His ‘life’ inspires his truth in hearts even to the point of living his truth in their lives, such as to love thy neighbor. Those who have this blessing, should be humble indeed.