The Assault on Christ's Eternal
Salvation (Pt. 6)

By William Handschumacher

A Special Rock of Offence Commentary


This is Part 6 of a six-part Bible study.
The other parts of this study are available

Part 1 ------- Part 2 ------- Part 3
Part 4 ------- Part 5


Final Comments

At this point, some may ask the
question; "How can anyone who
claims to be a Christian oppose
Christ's eternal redemption - as
stated by the guest on this
television program in our
previous example?"

To answer this question, we must do a brief review of church history. We feel this review is necessary in some of our studies - simply because so many Christians are not aware of where some of the more popular doctrines found within Christendom actually come from.

The New Testament - specifically the Gospel acccounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - is filled with various confrontations between the false religious doctrine of the Scribes and Pharisees ... and the teachings of Jesus Christ. These confrontaions were so intense that, on several occasions, the religious leaders in question tried to kill Jesus. And, as most everyone knows ... they later succeeded by convincing Pontus Pilate to execute Jesus by Roman crucifixion - a most horrible way to die. These encounters are placed in Scripture to help all readers understand that an ongoing covert spiritual war exists within Christendom between two religious programs, where each use Scripture in its defense. However, one program (and those who embrace its teachings) use Scripture "out-of-context" (or by ignoring context) to undermine and discredit the redemptive program Jesus came to establish. The problem is ... that a vast majority of Christians are never taught how to properly discern the context of the Bible.

Contrary to the opinion of some - this war didn't end after Jesus was resurrected and returned to heaven. The deceptive doctrine taught by Christ's enemies (Both Jesus and Saint Paul exposed these enemies as "ministers of the devil") was rewritten and renamed to make it look and sound "Christian".

Saint Paul spoke about this
group in the following way:

"But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his (the devil's) ministers also transform themselves into the ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." (2 Corinthians 11:12-15)

Jesus confronted them by saying...

"...If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." (John 8:42-45)

As we stated earlier, this doctrine is first introduced in Acts chapter 15 through a group of ministers referred to as "believing Pharisees". They demanded that Paul change his gospel message of Grace to include circumcision and obedience to Old Testament Law - which is an act that invalidates the Grace by which we are saved. This forced the entire apostolic leadership of the early church to meet in Jerusalem to consider the matter - and is often referred to by theologians as ...

"The First Jerusalem
Apostolic Council"

The council was headed by James; our Lord's half-brother. After a lengthy discussion, they condemned the teaching of these "believing Pharisees" and reaffirmed Paul's gospel message of "salvation by Grace through faith in Christ - apart from works". The council wrote their decision in a letter (also recorded in Acts chapter 15), which was sent to all the churches warning them of the false anti-grace teaching of these "believing Pharisees".

The letter begins by saying...

The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,

To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:


Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised and keep the law"--to whom we gave no such commandment--it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, the council's decision did not put an end to the problem.

These "believing Pharisees" rejected the council's ruling and proceeded to spread their anti-grace teachings everywhere Paul started a church. In an effort to expose and stop the error (actually a heresy), Paul wrote his "Epistle to the Galatians". Yet, the doctrine continued to advance throughout the church over time. Around the fourth century, various tenants of this rejected doctrine was revised and incorporated into the early Catholic Church by Augustine of Hippo. Approximately 1200 years later, it found its way into the Protestant Reformation through John Calvin, who was a devout disciple of Augustine. From there it was incorporated into many mainline Protestant denominations that embrace the doctrine of John Calvin ... along with its countless off-shoots and variants too numerous to discuss here.

Since we're looking at a time period of over 1400 years (or nearly 2000 years if we extend it to the present day), it is obvious that a powerful spiritual entity wanted to preserve and advance this heretical doctrine within the Church ... and it wasn't God.

Under the deceptive label of "Historical Christianity and fundamental Christian truth" the root doctrine of the believing Pharisees from Acts chapter 15, now existing in countless different variants and offshoots, is alive and well in the modern Christian Church on both the Catholic and Protestant sides of the isle. But, we should also remember that this same doctrine was condemned by the early church leadership - and by Saint Paul because it attempts to discredit - and then replace - the Grace-based redemptive program of Jesus Christ.

What does all of this mean?

A popular historical theology that
originally started in the first
century--now operates throughout
much of the church (but thankfully
not all). This doctrine actually
opposes and even denies "the new
and living way of Christ" (or the
New Covenant) initiated at the

Concerning this threat, Paul
warns ...

"For many walk, of whom I have
told you often, and now tell
you even weeping, that they
are the enemies of the cross
of Christ: whose end is
destruction, whose god is their
belly, and whose glory is in
their shame--who set their
mind on earthly things."
(Philippians 3:18-19)


"I marvel that you are turning
away so soon from him who called
you in the grace of Christ, to
a different gospel, which is not
another; but there are some who
trouble you and want to pervert
the gospel of Christ. But even
if we, or an angel from heaven,
preach any other gospel to you
than what we have preached to
you, let him be accursed."
(Galatians 1:6-8)

When we hear these accusations
against the eternal salvation
of Jesus Christ (or what the
critics often call OSAS and
"Easy Believism") is coming
from this Pharisaical doctrine
(or one of its many modern-day
denominational off-shoots) that
was condemned by the early church
leadership in Acts chapter 15.
But, despite this Scriptural
warning--it continues to dominate
much of the Christian Church

Due to the complexity and wide-spread influence of this problem, we will not attempt to address it any further in this limited study - except to provide a link to other sources (listed below) that may be of interest to our readers.

The Spiritual Revolution of Jesus Christ

John Calvin vs Martin Luther

We hope you find this information
helpful in your relationship with
our Lord Jesus Christ.


This is Part 6 of a six-part Bible study.
The other parts of this study are available

Part 1 ------- Part 2 ------- Part 3
Part 4 ------- Part 5


Return To Home Page
Return To Basics of Salvation Page


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