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Any Bible scholar seeing this title will probably want to ask, “You are definitely a Calvinist, right?” “No, I’m not,” will prompt him to do a second asking, “So, to what theological school do you belong?” and concluding with, “for we know you are either of Arminianism or Calvinism when it comes to preservation of salvation.” Curiosity will goad him to ask to know of the third school of thought lurking there in my heart. It is true that even if there is a middle point view of thought it lies between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries theories of John Calvin and James Arminius. The truth is that I am not a Calvinist and I am definitely not in support of Arminius’ ‘fall from grace’ theory. “Are you in support of ‘preservation of salvation’?” My answer of, “Yes” will see the guy retorting, “Aha, you are a Calvinist, didn’t I say that?” “I am a man of the Bible, from where Calvin got his theory. Agreeing with Calvin does not necessarily make me one of his students and or followers.”

The Church is so polarized when it comes the ultimate end of the saint of Jesus Christ who from his heart did perform the ritual of John 3:3. Too bad my own people cannot see the express scripting of the holy writ as pertaining to the eventual culmination of a one who is truly born again. Calvin tends to be too strict with the presentation of his theories but so, in some way, is the express word of God: strict to the point. Only this one (preservation of the saints) of the five points of Calvinism I agree with, all because, the Bible says he is correct. Arminianistic ‘conditional preservation’ which leads to apostasy needs to be looked into, scripturally. The Remonstrant of 1610 cited verses of the Bible to buttress their stand on the possibility to fail to make it to heaven even after having been truly born again! Let me start with Luke 13:24, which has ‘strive’ and ‘enter’ as the key words. ‘Strive’ is the Greek word  agonizomai (ag-o-nid’-zom-ai), which means: ‘1. to struggle 2. (literally) to compete for a prize i.e. in a gymnastic games 3. (figuratively) to contend with an adversary 4. (genitive case) to endeavor to accomplish something or entrance into any condition.’ The word ‘enter’ is eiserchomai (eis-er’-khom-ai) ‘to enter {literally or figuratively}, arise, come (in, into), enter in(-to), go in (through).’ These two words tell the Lord’s hearers to be ready to struggle to take the first difficult step into the kingdom. ‘Enter’, in this context, implies a condition of not having been in the kingdom. So, how does it fit into apostasy of the believer? If you will confer with Matthew 7:13-14, the key words will be ‘enter’, in verse 13 and ‘find’ in verse 14. The word ‘enter’ is the same ‘eiserchomai as above. The word ‘find’ is heurisko (hyoo-ris’-ko): ‘to find {literally or figuratively}, find, get, obtain, perceive, see.’ The next words are found in Colossians 1:29.

As a Christian you are expected to be working for the furtherance of the gospel. This work is not what guarantees heaven but it enables you to stand as an awardee of gold, silver or other prize(s). 1Corrinthians 3:9, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” Verse 12, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;” verse 14, “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” Verse 15, “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” This verse establishes the fact of security of soteriological stance. The expression ‘suffer loss’ is zemioo (dzay-mee-oh’-o): ‘to injure (reflexively or passively) to experience detriment’ [which comes from zemia (dzay-mee’-ah): ‘detriment;’ and, [probably akin to the base of damazo (dam-ad’-zo): ‘to tame, curb, restrain (through the idea of violence)].’ Zemioo in this context is about the loss of a higher hierarchy in heaven and not about the loss of salvation as verse 15 attests to with ‘but he himself shall be saved.’ Salvation is a free gift, but this reward comes on account of what you did with the gospel. It debunks Catholic purgatory stand, which teaches that the priest must pray constantly for your heavenly prosperity (at a pecuniary price!). Now, let us go back to Colossians 1:29, “Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” The, ‘I also labour’ should be, ‘I labour also’ simply because, ‘also’ is not in relation to ‘him’ i.e. the lubrication of his salvation to enable him to go to heaven. The ‘also’ relates to what he (Paul) goes through on account of his converts. The Greek rendition should be, ‘I not only proclaim Christ, but I labour in agony of conflict that I go through for you (converts).’ This is attested to by, ‘For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;’ of chapter 2:1. The word striving, agonizomai: ‘to enter into a contest, to struggle, to accomplish something’ is the same as ‘labouring fervently’ in Col.4:12, meaning ‘agonizing, strivings as in the agony of contest,’ just as we have of Christ in Luke 22:44, ‘an agony’ which is agonia (a struggle for victory, anguish); or was Christ also striving to make it to heaven seeing that the habiliment of man He found Himself in was about to take Him to hell, for good? 1Thessalonians 2:2 has ‘contention’ as: agon {ag-one (an assembly met to see games, any struggle or contest, battle)}, which is the same word used in Colossians 2:1. In Genesis 32:24, the word wrestled, abaq (aw-bak), means ‘wrestle, grapple, bedust.’ Was Jacob striving for heaven’s gate? Why would the scripture teach, “Christ in you, the hope of glory,’ in Col.1:27? His death opened the way to a glorious heaven, Mark 15:37-38. The appropriation of the rite contained in Romans 10:9, 10, which places Christ, the hope of glory, in your spirit person, which guarantees heaven, is what the creed of the Remonstrant does not see.

The word, ‘continue,’ meno, as found in 1Timothy 2:15, meaning: (to remain in a given place or a state of expectancy) is another bone of insecurity contention. Contextually (for Bible readers rarely focus on the context), the Christian woman is seen appositionally to Eve of Genesis 3 by whom the woman received the childbirth curse. ‘Notwithstanding’ is from the Greek word de -deh- meaning: {(adversative or continuative) ‘but, moreover, and}. ‘Notwithstanding that childbirth’, (judgmentally, should kill and destroy her), ‘if’ {ean (eh-an) a conditional particle: ‘in case that, provided’} ‘they’ (whole female sex) ‘continue’ (be found at the judgment to have continued) ‘in faith and charity’ (the essential way to salvation), ‘they shall be saved’. Faith is in relation to God, charity to the fellow human and sobriety to one’s self. What saves the cursed man is the faith in the finished work of Christ. After the rebirth man is expected to be found doing stuffs to prove his spiritual rebirth. As the woman, notwithstanding, so in 1Corinthians 3:15, ‘He……shall be saved,’ yet so as by (through, in, i.e. amid) fire (in spite of the fiery ordeal which he has, necessarily, to pass through, – he shall be saved). When you are led by John 3:3 to perform Romans 10:9-10 you get instantly and eternally saved (a gift). If after salvation you keep doing good things required of a Christian you will receive a reward, and this is what the Bible teaches!

Arminianists employ ‘fall away’ to drive their point on perseverance home. In Luke 8:13, the key words are: rock {petra (which is not a pebble or many of them) it means a boulder or a hilly stone}, root (rhiza: a sprout, a downward shoot of a plant) and of course, ‘fall away’ {aphistemi is from apo (separate) and histemi (to stand) so, aphistemi means ‘to desert, withdraw, to remove, instigate to revolt.’ A boulder is an impervious mass so, how can a one with such a heart which cannot grow a channel-root (another serious impediment) of taking soil nutrient, for plant growth, not ‘fall away’? Without root it can neither stand for long nor get food to enhance proper nutritious life. God’s word is the food. This one (in Jesus’ parable) on the rock has no proper understanding of what he had heard. He was not established in the word, in fact, he had not made up his mind to follow Jesus. He is simply not born again. Another ‘falling away’ is in 2Thessalonians 2:3. The ‘falling away’ here, apostasia (ap-os-tas-ee-ah) (from which the English get ‘apostasy’) means: ‘apostasy, the state of defection from the truth.’ This human state of absolute decadence will manifest, eschatologically, only after the rapture, when the Antichrist will become the undisputed lord of the earth and his religion of Satanism will be the order of the day. A preview of coming attraction of which you see projected by Hollywood and the global music industry and of course, fashion, as directed by the zeitgeist. By that time Christians, God’s people, will be in heaven. Raptured! The man of Luke 9:62 is an irresolute disciple ‘looking’ (i.e. having his gaze) ‘back’ (comes from two Greek words: eis – ice – meaning: ‘into, unto, towards)’ and opiso ‘(behind, to the back)’. In ploughing you must be focused. His focus is on his home, which is always the aboriginal seat of idolatry, governed by a familiar spirit. This is one of the reasons God told Abram to get out of his aboriginal land of Ur. The guy of Luke was still tied to the influence of the familiar spirits and their dictates. He had not striven or entered even if he had found.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” is in Galatians 5:4 where ‘fallen’ is ekpipto (ek-pip’-to): ‘to drop away; (specially) be driven out of one’s course; (figuratively) to lose, become inefficient.’ By clinging to the law, you lose the kingdom brought to mankind by ‘the grace of God that appeared to all men,’ Titus 2:11. When He appeared He brought salvation, which the law could not offer. When you use the law in an augmentation attempt to see you through grace you insult the finished work of the cross, behaving like the proverbial putting a new cloth on an old one (Matthew 9:16), which is an oddity. Every dispensation has its rules. That of the law required a human participatory effort while the extant grace dispensation is fully paid for; there is nowhere you can get the very blood of divine Jesus to apply on your sinful nature; your ignorant attempt will only end up polluting God’s work! Verses 5 & 6 explain further. In Hebrews 6:4-6, we have ‘fall away’, which has been grossly misinterpreted. In verse four is the word ‘enlightened’ which is: photizo (fo-tid’-zo) ‘to shed rays, i.e. to shine; (transitively) to brighten up {literally or figuratively}; enlighten, illuminate, (bring to, give) light, make to see.’ Many people (Paul is teaching) have received the illumination of the Word, which is true, and who have ‘tasted’ the Word (food, from heaven). The word ‘tasted’ is geuomai (ghyoo’-om-ai) ‘to taste; (by implication) to eat; (figuratively) to experience (good or ill).’ What they had was a taste (preview of coming kingdom attraction). They experienced miraculous events. The problem is that they did not do the needful (John 3:3). If they had done what Romans 10:8-10 required, they would not parapipto. The words ‘fall away’ of the sixth verse is the Greek word, parapipto (par-ap-ip’-to) ‘to fall aside; (figuratively) to apostatize.’ Apostasy takes place because they were not born again. A born again person is absolutely owned by God, who paid fully for his soul. There was also a case of being ‘reconciled’ (katallasso – to change mutually) in Romans 5:10, which says that the life of the sinner who got born again went through a mutual exchange with that of Jesus. This verse goes on to intimate us with another thing Jesus did, there was ‘atonement’ which the Greek calls: katallage (kat-al-lag-ay’) ‘an exchange; (figuratively) an adjustment, reconciliation; (specially) restoration to the divine favor.’ They did not, after being photizo and having geuomai, get katallasso and enter into the spiritual katallage. Yes, they were ‘partakers’ (metochos (met’-okh-os) adj. participant; (as noun) a sharer; (by implication) an associate; fellow, partaker, partner),’ and like Judas Iscariot, they did not believe in Him with whom we all have to do. There is ‘renew’ in verse six which is anakainizo (renovate, restore, renew), which becomes impossible for dying without being regenerated.

I will advise that you begin to read from verse 26 of 1Corinthians 9:27, “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.” The idiom ‘keep under’, hupopiazo (hoop-o-pee-ad’-zo) ‘to hit under the eye (buffet or disable an antagonist as a pugilist); (figuratively) to tease or annoy (into compliance), subdue (one’s passions).’ Next is ‘bring into subjection,’ doulagogeo (dou-lag-ogue-eh’-o) ‘to be a slave-driver; claim as one’s slave i.e. with severity subject to stern and rigid discipline; to bring into subjection; (figuratively) to subdue.’ Paul is seen in this verse telling his Corinthian converts that he always flogged and punched himself black and blue to subdue his carnal person to comply with the required moral rules that will enable him to remain in the race –for the coveted prize. Then we have ‘castaway’, adokimos (ad-ok’-ee-mos) adj. ‘unapproved, i.e. rejected; (by implication) worthless {literally or morally}.’ Adokimos comes from ‘a’ (a negative ‘not’) and ‘dokimos (dok’-ee-mos) adj. ‘(properly) acceptable (current after assayal), i.e. approved, (it is used of coins).’ Paul, as the Apostle, is also the umpire in this spiritual race, unlike the Olympic race where the umpire stands away to raise either a white or red flag. The red flag says ‘adokimos,’ signifying an unapproved assay for that event: adokimos means no crown but it does not disqualify your participation in the overall contest. ‘Castaway’, as you can see in this context, is not an exclusion from the tournament hence (in scriptural context) heaven.

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My name is H.O. Ojewale. I was born in 17th March, 1955, in the then Gold Coast, now Ghana, Greater Accra. My parents are Nigerians. I am married with three wonderful children.


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