MP3: Traveling Down the Rapture Road in 2 Peter, Lesson 4
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Continue traveling down the Rapture Road with Nathan Jones and Vic Batista in this verse-by-verse study of the incredibly prophetic book of 2 Peter! You can start at the beginning with Part 1 or listen in to The Truth Will Set You Free podcast (above).
The Elect and Salvation
Vic Batista: We’re going to address the topic of election because the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 2 is warning us about false prophets and false teachers. He leads with verse 1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”
There’s a big debate between Calvinism and Arminianism. Some wonder if it could be argued that stout advocates on both sides are taking scriptures out of context and so are thus teaching false doctrines. Personally, I hold to Calvinism as my view, though I reject some of the points in Calvinism’s TULIP. I follow some amazing Calvinist teachers who are prominent and well respected, but then there are some really good Arminianist teachers as well. So, how do we reconcile this? Do we simply wear our “Calvin goggles” when reading Arminianist materials so as not to throw out the baby with the bathwater?
Much of this debate revolves around the doctrine of soteriology, meaning salvation. People debate whether individuals can lose their salvation or not.
As a Calvary Chapel pastor, I believe in what is called human responsibility. Look at John 15 where Jesus calls us to abide in Him, therefore, as long as you are doing that, I don’t believe that you can lose your salvation. But, I do believe that there is human responsibility. I don’t believe like some people teach, that if you accept Jesus then that’s it, you are fine and you’re in, and you are going to Heaven. No, I also see humans needing to take responsibility for maintaining their abiding in Christ. Yes, you accepted Jesus, and I believe that you are saved by grace through faith and that you cannot lose your salvation. But, I also believe that there needs to be spiritual fruit produced in a believer’s life in order to show one is abiding.
So, I don’t believe that just by accepting Christ and reciting a prayer that you are in. I believe that the Bible teaches a little bit of both God’s grace and human responsibility. So, that is our take here at Calvary Chapel and that is also my personal way of understanding soteriology.
Nathan Jones: I believe that both men — Calvin and Arminius — were working out their salvation with fear and trembling, as the Bible instructs. Both men came up with systems of theology that attempt to explain the relationship between God’s sovereignty and mankind’s responsibility in the matter of salvation.
Many of the earliest churches in the United States were founded on John Calvin’s system of theology. Both men were men, and sinners just like the rest of us, and so through their fallen yet redeemed state were attempting to understand God better. Therefore, I would say neither Calvin’s teachings nor Arminius’ teachings were complete. I find both of their conclusions concerning salvation to be somewhat lacking. For example, Arminius took freewill way too far, and I think Calvin got rid of free will altogether and ended up creating Hyper-Calvinism where nobody has a choice in their own salvation. Neither of those systems can be entirely correct.
I believe both of these men were not intentionally looking to distort the Word of God. And so, both men were not out looking to intentionally deceive people. Both men were trying to understand God’s so great salvation. We can learn a lot from what they contemplated and build upon it.
Salvation has always been about faith, so whether it is Jew or Greek, slave or free, anyone who had the saving faith in God’s eyes is considered elect. So, I think the best definition I’ve ever heard concerning being chosen or predestination or election comes from Pastor Joe Focht of Calvary Chapel Philadelphia. He taught, “If you are saved then you were predestined and so are one of the elect.” What he meant was that if you are saved, then you are one of the elect, and not visa-versa. I think that sums up election best.Nathan Jones: #Salvation has always been about #faith, so whether it is Jew or Greek, slave or free, anyone who had the saving faith in God's eyes is considered elect. Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: When it comes to the topic of election, predestination, and once saved always saved, Christians should agree to disagree. We just need to do so gently and kindly.
So, while the Apostle Peter was clearly warning Christians about actual false teachers and false prophets, we must make allowances for all of the good Christian teachers out there who due to our human limited understanding do not have all of the answers. We should not necessarily jump to calling these brethren false teachers and false prophets. They are not purposefully out looking to directly deceive people, but rather were working out their so great salvation, as are we all.
In the fifteenth part of our faith journey down the Rapture Road through the book of 2 Peter, we’ll cover what Peter teaches us concerning how to differentiate between real and false teachers.