I will answer your question, but let me say from the outset God searches and knows the secrets of the heart. He also knows when we commit sins of weakness and sins of conscience. He knows us fully and knows those who are his sheep and those who are not.
But to your question, assuming this person has faithfully followed and trusted Jesus (is born again) and there is not a longer pattern of willful, rebellious sin in their life, then I do not believe this person is damned. Neither do I believe this person is in purgatory to be cleansed. They are forgiven–despite the momentary weakness of the flesh–and in the presence of Christ to await the resurrection of the body.
I would agree there is a prelude here, but the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem was not the end, but signaled the beginning.
There is a gap in time between what was expected in the first century found in Mt. 10 from what has actually panned out over time. But this gap is not mysterious however.
End Time theologians recognize it and validate it from scripture. At the destruction in Jerusalem of 70 A.D. verse 21 was not fulfilled. Brother did not deliver brother to death, and a father his child. And there is no record of they who endured to the end to saved. And surely they did not preach to all of the cities in Israel and the Son of Man did not actually come in a second coming. To the contrary. after 70 ad. the nation was dispersed into all of the world at least until 1948. But even now the prophecies of a national conversion have not yet come to pass and will not until the tribulation period. So, yes, Matthew 10 is a prelude in a sense, but the one statement: “he who endures to the end shall be saved,” is repeated in both Matthew 24 and Mark 13, where the subject matter is better developed and very clear that Christ was looking way beyond 70 AD. At least this is my humble opinion.
Yes, all true! but it is not a competed work. We have not yet seen what Mt. 24 promises. We have not yet seen the anti-Christ. So… we cannot say it is all finished now. It began in 70 ad. but will be completed at the coming of Christ.
Our spirits continue to exist, but the last vestiges of the sinful nature we inherited from Adam are finally extinguished with physical death.
I’m probably going too far with this analogy as well–Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what belongs to God. When we commit a sin against God, we ask him to forgive us because it is right and just. In the same way, when we wrong another person, we ask for their forgiveness because it is right and just. This is someone made in the image and likeness of God, and we have hurt them by our actions. In fact, Scripture indicates that an unwillingness to reconcile with those we have wronged can hinder our spiritual communion with God. If we love God, we also must love other people and that means admitting when we’ve hurt them and making amends. This is part of mortifying the flesh–letting go of the sin of pride and humbling ourselves. We will never reach Christian perfection if we cannot admit to others when we were wrong.
But God has already forgiven you and pardoned you. He has made you a new creation. Justified, regenerated, adopted and sanctified you by the blood of Christ. I’m still struggling to see how God is still keeping score. It’s like the promises made are incomplete, and Christ’s sacrifice was not enough.
I suppose to me it would not be fair. Yet, its probably not fair that I or you or any of us make it to heaven. No, we haven’t murdered anyone, but if his conversion was true and motivated by his love of God and hatred of sin (rather than fear of punishment) then he is in the presence of Christ. This is wonderful, but also sad. What a wasted, tragic life this man lived. Yet, though he left no enduring work, he himself was saved as through fire (1 Corinthians 3).
I don’t think anyone thinks God lets us sit in our filth for all eternity. The question is, should we build an entire theology just to explain how God makes us pure enough to enter heaven. I honestly don’t see the reason for this entire theology or for the elaborate institutional investment the Catholic Church has committed to it over the centuries. I’m just being honest, from an outsider’s perspective it is quite bizarre.
Ianman87, I just happened to come across your post with MT. Of course he will agree with you on this narrow point, because in essence it is the same view.
Wesleyan/Methodist/Pentecostal perspectives are considered to be post-protestant. I’m sure you are aware of that.
With all respect, I disagree with your statement here. Here’s why: Both Catholic and Arminian views to salvation turn the work of justification into a “process” rather than an act. In other words, God is in the process of justifying you. As long as you “endure to the end” of your natural life you will be eternally saved. This view is predominant in most so-called protestant Churches.
Much like a father with his young and foolish son trying to cross a busy highway, the father grabs ahold of his son’s hand to begin the journey across. But if the son refuses to hold his father’s hand, or even shakes loose from it to go back the other way, the father will let go and allow his son to NOT cross with him. And by doing so, the little guy gets hit five different ways.
In the OSAS view, as you guys put it, the father loves his son too much to allow foolishness to get in the way. He takes hold of his son’s hand and refuses to let go as they cross the “one-time” for all time, street to eternal life.
This shows the absolute faithfulness of the father towards his young and foolish son. Justification is an ACT which has eternal results. The sins of a man who accepted Christ now cross over to the scape-goat of another. Christ took all of your penalty on himself. Sin’s eternal penalty is forever quenched by His work. Another way of putting it: The death angel has now passed over you “one time” with eternal ramifications. see John 5:24 It is not as if the death angel after seeing the blood on the doorpost of your heart, must continue to pass over and over and over again. He passes over one time when he sees the blood. The death angel is never to be dealt with again. This is the good news!
As I understand it, sin is knowingly doing what is wrong or knowingly not doing what is right according to God’s rules; ie intentionally offending God. It does not matter whether it is a sin of conscience or of weakness. Sin is sin, regardless of how it is classified.
How long is momentary. In my scenerio I did not indicate the legth of time I berated my younger brother. Here is a road rage scenerio: Two friends (A and B) are riding in a pickup truck and they cut Mr C off in traffic. Mr C is enraged, catches up with them and punches the driver of the ruck (Mr A) into a milk shake. Mr. B, in defending his friend, pulls up a hammer from the truck and lets Mr. C have it between the ears, smashes his skull and Mr. C dies on the spot with no time to think about, or repent for his sin of anger, even if it is due to a momentary weakness. Mr. C has never done something like this before and did not anticipate such a thing will happen on his way back from a stressful day at the office. All this I consider momentary weakness. Lets assume that Mr C has been goody goody with Christ up till then. Are you still saying that Mr. C is forgiven and will go straight to heaven and will not suffer any consequence for the lack of control of his emotions.
Not sure what this means. We don’t go to heaven because we’re “goody goody.” We go to heaven because we are united to Christ by faith in his death and resurrection. Certainly, the heart changed by the love of Christ will be good and should display the Fruit of the Spirit.
I think the consequence is that Mr. C died and, perhaps, arrives to heaven somewhat less gloriously than he would have had he died in a more Christ-like manner. If, as you said, he never did anything like this before, it was clearly a thing of passion. His culpability is lessened by that fact alone. If he is justified by faith, I believe this extraordinary loss of control (of which he would have no doubt repented of had he had the time to do so) would not necessarily mean he was damned.
Arminians do believe justification is an act not a process. It is an act accomplished by grace through faith. However, if a person ceases to put their trust in God, they have forfeited the righteousness that is their’s by faith.
Well, do you believe we can be saved if we do not endure?
A better analogy is a son who wants his inheritance from his father so he can run off and do what ever he wants. The father gives him his portion of the inheritance and lets him freely choose his own path in life, and the son chooses poorly–a life of dissipation. Of course, the son squanders his inheritance and ends up feeding pigs to make a living. Coming to his senses, he realizes that he can live much better as a servant in his father’s house, and so the prodigal son chooses to return home and asks his father to forgive him. His father sees him a long way off and runs to him filled with love and compassion. He welcomes him back home, not as a servant but as a son, saying “My son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”
This analogy shows that God loves us enough to allow us to choose. Over and over in Scripture we are presented with the choice–choose life or choose death. Yes, those who choose death are foolish, but God wants us to choose. He wants us to love Him because we want to.
Sin is sin, and yet there are different degrees of sin. As a Catholic, I’m sure you are familiar with your own church’s distinctions between mortal sin and venial sin. All sin harms our fellowship with Christ, but there are some “sins that lead to death” or have greater affects on our spiritual health than others. Everyone truly born of God “does not keep on sinning” (1 John 5). There is a growth in grace that occurs in the life of the truly converted, and so we should expect those who profess faith in Christ to mature in their public witness as time goes on.
However, that still does not mean we will not suffer weaknesses and passions common to all human beings. While we strive for perfect love, we don’t attain it completely in this life and yet God, by his grace, helps us in our weakness. If we place our trust in God, we have to also realize that we can’t be perfect (in comparison to Him) but also that we don’t need to be because Christ is our perfection. We pray for forgiveness and live a life of repentance constantly trusting in Him to finish the work He began in us knowing that he is faithful to do it–even if we don’t manage to confess every single sin or subject all of our desires and passions to the mind of Christ. In the end, we place our hope in Christ not ourselves.
I think there is a false dichotomy here. Only people who are forgiven are eligible for the cleansing needed to enter heaven. People are still “muddy” when they die (most of us, anyway) and must be separated from the effects of passing through this world of sin.
We are dead to sin, and the life we now live is the life of Christ. That is while living with the lingering dominion of sin that is progressively being extinguished through the sanctifying grace of God working in our lives. Once we die, that is an end to whatever lingering influence sin has over us. Was it not Ambrose who said natural death is a remedy to sin, not a penalty for it?
Yes, once we pass from our mortal body, we are no longer susceptible to the frailties of it. But as much as Ambrose recognized that deliverance from the Body is freedom from sins of the flesh, the effects of the sin still must be cleansed before we can enter where nothing unclean can enter. The purging separates us from any attachment to sin, and from any effects of sin of which we may be unaware.
You are missing my point and actually affirming my position. I totally agree with what you say here. We make amends not just because it is right and just, but also because it helps to bring us to perfection.
Do you not see the contradiction in your statements? You admit we can not reach Christian perfection without admitting to others we were wrong. But when I went on to say that this perfection is part of the purging in Purgatory you said…
So which is it we do or don’t have to admit we were wrong. I’m sure you are going to say well once you die you don’t have to admit anymore, but where’s the justice in that?
Either our admitting we were wrong is important or it is not. I don’t see how it is just for God to expect us to clean up the broken glass in this life and not have to clean it up in the next. (Keeping in mind the only way we can clean up the broken glass in this life or in purgatory is because of God’s grace)
Not sure what this means? How is us admitting our faults after we die considered “keeping score” when I’m sure you would agree it isn’t before we die?
I’ve always struggled with this phrase. What does it mean? What promise are you referring to? Was there a time frame placed on Christ’s sacrifice? It seems like you are saying if Christ’s sacrifice still needs to be applied, to complete our perfection, after we die than His promise must be incomplete. The reason I ask this is what keeps the OSAS crowd from saying well if it’s not one and done then Christ’s sacrifice was not enough.
I might be off the mark but the people who claim we are clothed by Christ and God judges us based on Christ’s righteousness and ignores our filth sure seem to. It sure seems like they say we are incapable of being perfected and our only chance of getting to heaven is for God to let us in and ignore our filth.
Personally, I think I would rather know the truth than just say well it doesn’t really matter either way I’m sure you love Christ and he’ll do you a solid when you die.
In my opinion the reason is humility. We are to humble ourselves that we aren’t able to attain heaven on our own. We are to humble ourselves that nothing we do in this life can be enough to perfect us for gifts that await us in heaven. We are to humble ourselves that we are still unclean in this life and that heaven is so perfect that nothing unclean can enter heaven. Once we admit these facts with humility the only possible conclusion is the only way we can get to heaven is if Jesus finishes the cleansing after we die.
As for the elaborate, the teaching on Purgatory is actually pretty simple.
We ain’t perfect and need purified after death
It involves some sort of pain, whether that be the “fire” the love of Christ or the pain of truly seeing how our sins hurt others is not really defined.
We on earth can pray for those in Purgatory.
Other than those teaching everything else is pretty much theological ideas and opinions.
I appreciate your honesty and your responses.
I’m not here to beat you over the head into submission of Purgatory. Quite honestly it seems you believe we must be perfect to enter heaven and that Jesus finishes our purification when we die, which is what we call Purgatory. You just don’t want to call it that.
Sorry I’m not seeing your point? Whether there is a gap or not, whether Jesus is talking about the Temple or the end times how does this change His statement?
I’m not seeing your point here…
Why would Jesus tell the Apostles Hey guys you know what I have an important teaching for you that you would never be able to understand on your own. Whoever endures this persecution to the end of this time period will be saved from this persecution.
Seriously? The Apostles would be like um Jesus isn’t that a no brainer?
Even in Chapter 24, regardless of what the time frame is, Jesus is talking about Christians being led astray by false profits.
When I look at the context of the surrounding verses I see…
9 “Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name.
Jesus is talking to the Apostles here so they are the you. Since we agree this is a future event, as well, I would think the you here would also be their successors.
Verse 10 Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another.
The many here would be the ones taught the gospel by the Apostles, which would be Christians.
Verse 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
Since the Apostles and their successors would be persecuted the Many being led astray, the ones no longer following the Apostles and their successors, are once again the Christians.
12 And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.
I would actually interpret this verse to be Christians no longer following the law given by the Apostles. Probably some good examples of this would be some Christians no longer believe in the sanctity of marriage. Some no longer oppose abortion, divorce and remarriage, etc…
Maybe we are in the end times already?
13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Now we get to the verse in question. Taking into account the surrounding verses I see no reason to interpret this any different than I did in Chapter 10. The enduring is Christians not falling away from the teaching of the Apostles. The enduring is Christians not following false teachers. The enduring is not hating your neighbor. The enduring is not submitting to the lawlessness. In this context these Christians, that don’t do any of these things, will be saved.
It makes no sense for Jesus to waste His time saying the ones who can endure literal persecution will be literally saved from said persecution. He isn’t teaching us anything by giving us a statement that should be common sense.
Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you are trying to say but the way you interpret what Jesus is saying doesn’t really make sense to me.
Aww man. From your other post about the temporal consequence of sin, I thought you kinda understood it.
When I break Bob’s window, begging the Lord for forgiveness might forgive me of the sin, but Bob still has a broken window that I must do something about. So in penance, I need to restore Bob’s window.
Sometimes the penance isn’t so clear, so we do our prayers and charitable works - even though Christ has forgiven us the sin, we still have to “fix the window”.
If you owe a balance at life’s conclusion, you finish it off in purgatory.
Purgatory is about penance. Not soteriology. Separate ideas just like being forgiven for breaking the window and actually replacing the window are separate ideas.
I think this is a crucial point. The condition of being purified and made fit for heaven is motivated by God’s love, and accomplished by His grace. It is only applied to those whose sins have already been forgiven.
Yes, and all that prevented him from producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit is purified from him as well!
There is no need. This is a principle that we received from the Jews, as we did many of our understandings about God. As Jesus said, “salvation is from the Jews” and we receive a great amount of our faith through what He has revealed over the millenia.
Hey, from an insider perspective it does as well! I marvel at the activities rampant prior to Luther, where the Popes wanted to build St. Peter’s Basilica by “selling” indulgences. It seems that many of the faithful were misled by this practice.
But I think it has been a focus since the Reformation because significant parts of Reformation theology was developed in contradiction to it.
What does that mean?
This is not entirely accurate, as all who look at the process of sanctification being part and parcel of salvation acknowledge that it begins with a specific “act” that initially occurs.
What is meant by a “so called protestant Church”? is this related to being “post protestant”?
Yes, the apostles taught that this happens in Baptism, but the results are internal initially. The Apostles did not baptize anyone as a “public declaration” of their faith.
This is very Catholic sounding.
Except that some want to return to the fleshpots of Egypt, so that they fall from grace.
So you think there is a point at which, in this life, we can stop enduring and still be saved, because that initial justification is “eternal”. I know you get around the eternality of these passages by separating temporal “salvation” from eternal. A person who does not endure through this live will fail to inherit the Kingdom in this live, but will still be saved.