Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven

Why did evil enter the world?

Why do we need to be saved by Jesus?

What must I do to be saved?

What now?

Am I saved after praying the sinner's prayer?

Some christians are taught that we are saved after professing belief in Jesus. However, we contend that merely mental assent that Jesus is Lord not enough but believers also must take action to repent by surrendering their lives to Jesus and turning their whole heart from their sinful past unto God. In Acts 2:37 the Jews asked Peter what they had to do to be saved and he responded by saying they had to repent and believe. By repenting, we make our hearts the good earth by which we can bear fruit thirty fold, sixty fold and a hundred fold (see the parable of the sower). After we do so we can receive the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) who is able to seal us (Eph 1:13) like an engagement ring seals a bride until when Jesus receives us on the day of redemption, provided that we live according to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8).

What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

Proponents of free grace theology say that after we 'believe' in Jesus we immediately receive eternal life and our salvation is assured and cannot be lost. Many in this group will never admit that grace can be used as a license to sin (Romans 6) but they will say that there's no lifestyle of sin we can live or nothing we can do to "lose our salvation" which in effect communicates that God's grace can be used as a license to sin. Free grace proponents contend that asking for forgiveness of sins is only necessary to clear our conscience so that we can fellowship with God. However we show in the verses below that this teaching contradicts vast portions of scripture concerning salvation and repentance. How we live our life does matter, though it's not a matter of works but of whether our faith is real, if we have really given our heart to Jesus and if we believe according to the biblical understanding of belief.

The Greek word for believe used in the New Testament is pisteou which is actually closer to the word trust or commiting yourself to something. When we trust in God we have conviction that he will deliver on his promises despite outward circumstances, this leads to us obeying him out of love and faithfulness because his word never fails (Joshua 21:45, Isaiah 55:11). The apostle John uses the word believe synonymously with obedience in the Gospel of John. For example, John 3:36 says "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." This is why Jesus says in Luke 11:28 "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!". We can then see that believing into Jesus means that we also trust him enough to obey him.

Some Christians use John 3:16 to justify that we receive eternal life the moment we believe. This famous verse says those who believe in Jesus should not perish but have eternal life. However the Greek word translated to believe here is pisteoudon which is the present continuous tense of pisteou. Read in English it deceptively appears that you only need to believe once to inherit eternal life, however the more accurate translation is that we should continuously remain trusting and commiting ourselves into Jesus in order to inherit eternal life. (There's two schools of thoughts on this: God's grace enables us to persevere in pisteou until we die which is what Calvinists believe, or man has to exercise free will to remain in pisteou which is what Arminian adhere to. There are many scriptures that support both positions so we choose not to insist on one position or the other. Perhaps both are true in God's world which is based in eternity and not bound by time.)

Furthermore many bible translations say we have to "believe" in Jesus to obtain eternal life. However the Greek word eis used for the word "in" is better translated as "into". In other words we have to believe "into" (eis) Jesus. In the book of Numbers, many of the Israelites went only as far as intellectual acknowledgment that Jehovah was God, but they failed to "believe" their way into the good land which was their promised inheritance. Similarly many Christians "believe" Jesus exists as the son of God, but have they "believed" their way into Christ? Galatians 5:24 says those who belong to Christ has crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. How many Christians today are living in envy, strife, jealousy, selfish-ambition, bitterness and unforgiveness and haven't trusted that God can deliver them from the passions of their flesh? We have to go further and trust in God to deliver us from the power of sin just as Joshua trusted in God to conquer the giants in the good land.

Salvation by Faith through Grace

We are saved by faith through grace alone (Ephesians 2:8). However when we truly have faith in God, our trust in Him will enable us to walk by faith in works he's called us to do. Martin Luther once said we are saved by faith alone but faith is never alone. The apostle Paul who famously stated that we are justified by faith alone, immediately continues in the following verses in Ephesians 2:10 to state that we were created for good works and that we should walk in them. James 2:17 clarifies this further by stating that faith apart from works is dead. Imagine a husband who says he loves his wife but ignores her needs, does the husband really love the wife? In the same way if we have no works, that's evidence that our faith is not real and hence we are not actually saved (James 2:14).

If merely acknowledging the Lord is not enough for salvation (Matthew 7:22, Luke 6:46), what then is the grace of God? God's grace is that He is able to change us through his Holy Spirit by which Jesus lives in us to work out our salvation (Romans 5:10). Grace is not enough to forgive an unrepentant life. If we continue to sin deliberately Hebrews 10:26-27 states that we still face hell whether or not we consider ourselves to be believers. Many other scripture confirms this. For example, Apostle Paul begins Roman 6 by stating that grace is not a license to sin and warns that practice of sin even amongst believers leads to spiritual death (the absence of eternal life which is hell or outer darkness), whereas practicing righteousness, leads to holiness which leads to eternal life (verse 22).

That said, we don't live righteously out of our own self-effort because apart from God we can do nothing (John 15:5). But by being united with Jesus in his death, we die to sin (Romans 6). After this death which is what baptism represents, we open our hearts to Jesus so that he can live through us by the Holy Spirit. The bible says as long as we living according to the Spirit, we are not under condemnation (Romans 8).

Faith, Works and Weddings

Another way to look at faith versus works is through the lens of what happens before a wedding. In the New Testament, the church is referred to as the bride of Jesus who is our bridegroom (Eph. 5:25-27). Jesus often related to his followers in the context of a traditional Jewish wedding, where the bridegroom had to purchase the bride with a price or the mohar. He accomplished this by paying the bride price for our salvation with his life thereby granting us a gift we did not deserve (Romans 6:23). This is what the apostle Paul meant when he said we're not saved by works because there is nothing we can add to pay for the mohar. The debt has already been paid, it is finished (John 19:30). We now belong to him and are set apart for his return (1 Cor 6:20). However, before the bridegroom Jesus comes to receive us, the bride is expected to remain faithful to the bridegroom (Matthew 25:11-13). We can do this by giving our heart fully to Jesus which results in a life of obedience (John 14:23).

Persisting in faithfuness is important. After the bridegroom pays the bride price to fulfill the marriage covenant or the ketubah, the bride and groom would drink a cup of wine to seal their covenant. The bridegroom would then depart for his father's house to prepare a room for the bride; as Jesus described he would do in John 14:3. After they were apart, the bride and groom would continue to drink a cup of wine regularly in remembrance of their faithfulness to each other. So when we take communion, it's a statement not just of remembrance, but of our promised faithfulness to Jesus our bridegroom.

Is our salvation assured after saying we "believe" in Jesus? You be the judge.

Jesus taught that man should not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). The apostle Paul says in Acts 20:27 that he did not shrink back from preaching the whole counsel of God. It's important to hear God's word in its entirety. Many of the promises in the bible that free grace teachers rely on are interpreted out of context and have not been balanced with verses that clearly show how our own free will can prevent God's work of salvation in us.

Below are verses proponents of free grace either ignore or explain away with elaborate theology and eisigesis. Jesus teaches us to be as wise as serpents but innocent as doves for good reason (Matthew 10:16). Paul warned Timothy that in the last days many would not endure sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3). Jesus also warned many false teachers would come in his name and decieve many (Matthew 24:11).

Ask Father God, who Jesus says is our one and only Teacher (Matthew 23:8) and the Holy Spirit whom he sent, to reveal the truth to you (John 16:12). Jesus promises eternal life to the sheep who hear his voice and follow him in John 10. This promise only applies to those who can hear his voice above all the other 'christian' voices, teachers, books and commentaries in the world.

If you were taught free grace theology in church, remember that the bible likens the word of God to a two-edged sword that is able to cut through the heart (Hebrews 4:12). This cutting can be painful because the word of God is powerful in its own right even without interpretation but it's what we need to stay on the narrow path which leads to life when we go astray (Matthew 7, John 15).

In Hosea 4:6 God tells Israel "My people are destroyed because they do not know me" because the Israelites thought they could worship foreign gods and still be okay with Jehovah. Perhaps this applies well to many Christians today who believe they can give their hearts to the world and still stand right before God.

Verses below are taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise specified.

Holiness is required

Hebrews 10:26-27

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Galatians 5:19-21

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:3-5

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 John 3:8

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Hebrews 12:14

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:9

But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.

Colossians 2:5-6

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

Obedience is required

John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Matthew 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.

Romans 6:16

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Revelation 22:14

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Perseverance is required

Matthew 10:33

but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 24:13

But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Ezekiel 18:24

But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die.

Hebrews 3:14

For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

2 Peter 2:20-22

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

If it would have better for them not to have recieved the gospel, they are probably not ending up in heaven.

Hebrews 6:4-8

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

Living by the Holy Spirit is required

John 15:6

If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

Romans 8:1 (KJV)

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:13

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Galatians 6:8

The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Forgiving everyone is required

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Colossians 3:13

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Not loving the world is required

James 4:4

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

1 John 2:15

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Luke 14:34-35

Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Taking the cross is required

Galatians 5:24

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Deducing by the logic of if A => B, then not B => not A, we can infer that those who have not "crucified the flesh" do not belong to Christ Jesus.

Luke 17:33

Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.

Matthew 10:38

And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Believing in vain is possible

1 Corinthians 15:2

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Luke 12:46 (NIV)

The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

The Greek word rendered 'unbelievers' is apistoj. Some translations say unfaithful however apistoj unequivocally means heathen or unbeliever (see here). He was once a servant of the Lord but he meets the same fate as those who never even acknowledged the Lord.

Matthew 13:20-21

As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.

Galatians 5:1-2

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.

Philippians 2:16

holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
What does Paul mean by "I did not run in vain or labor in vain"? Perhaps it was because he was worried many in the churches would forfeit their salvation!

Genuine repentance is required

Matthew 3:7-9

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

Acts 2:37-38

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 26:19-21

“Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.

Philippians 2:12

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

Luke 13:3

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Ezekiel 18:21-23

“But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

Few are saved

Luke 13:24

Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

Matthew 7:13-14

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

1 Peter 4:18

And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

Your name can be removed from the book of life

Psalms 69:27-28

Add iniquity unto their iniquity; And let them not come into thy righteousness, Let them be blotted out of the book of life, And not be written with the righteous.

Exodus 32:33

And the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book." If one dies without forgiveness of their sins their name vanishes out of the record book of life.

Revelation 3:5

"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." We overcome by our faith which is exhibited by faithfulness.

Deducing the opposite: If you believe but don't overcome, the implication is your name can be blotted out of the book of life.

Avoid these at all costs

Revelation 22:19

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Mark 3:29

but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.

Revelation 14:9-11

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.

Our calling and election must be confirmed

2 Peter 1:5-11

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Sound impossible? We can't do it alone!

The disciples once asked Jesus "Who then can be saved?" (Luke 18:26) because the standard that Jesus set in his preaching made salvation seem impossible. Coming to know that we can't save ourselves is a good thing. We are utterly dependent on God for our salvation. In fact the Hebrew name for Jesus, Yeshua means God is our salvation! The only thing God requires is that we make the choice from our heart to turn away from all the idols of the world and the desires of our flesh unto Him. Psalms 37:4 says that God will give us the desires of our heart, so if we desire God, we will obtain him. He is a God that respects our free will and is faithful to work out our salvation for us and through us after we choose Him over everything else. He does this by making his home in our heart through the Holy Spirit when we obey God and love him with all of our heart (John 14:23)

Mark 9:24-25

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”. And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

The father makes the choice from his heart to believe. But he realizes as hard as he wants to believe, his faith is still lacking and he is utterly dependent on God's grace to help him. Jesus faithfully responds to the desire from his heart by casting out the unclean spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:16

But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.

John 15:5

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Matthew 19:26

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

John 14:23

Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."

Romans 5:10

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

We are saved by God living through us which happens when we love God and obey His word (John 14:23). If you follow the first commandment by loving the Lord God with all your heart, soul and mind (Luke 10:27), you will be able to overcome because everything else will follow through Christ living in you (Colossians 1:27).

What about the verses that suggest we can be saved regardless of living in sin?

1 Corinthians 5:5

you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

Many point to this verse as a guarantee of salvation even for those who are living in sin such as this Corinthian believer who had relations with his step-mother. However, when this verse is read carefully we realize that it's not a guarantee but a warning! Using straightforward deduction, if the Corinthians do not abide by Paul's instruction here, this believer's spirit may not be saved. Paul is telling the Corinthians to excommunicate this sinner and let the world have it's way with him so he will be brought to repentance, in the same way that the prodigal son came to repent in Luke 15.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

This verse isn't a promise of salvation as much as it is an expression of God's love. The Greek grammar the apostle John used for the verb believe is in the present continuous tense. Read in English, it deceptively appears as if christians need only believe once when it should be read "continually believe".

The Greek verb translated to "should" for the phrase "should not perish" in the ESV and KJV is often rendered as "would" or "shall" in other translations such as NIV. "should" implies probability and necessity whereas "would" and "shall" are guarantees. Which one is the correct translation? Dr. Marion, a scholar in Greek languages gives a thorough argument why the correct translation is "should" here:

"Should" is frequently a part of the translation of the tense of the verb mello which means to be about to do something. The uses of should and would correspond to those of shall and will. In our text the word "should" is in the subjunctive mood which expresses doubt or a wish or condition contrary to fact. Examples: "I wish I were a lawyer," or, "If I were you, I should go." Moreover, in John 3:16 Jesus used the word "not" which negates the force of "should." The original reads: me apoletai alla - me apoletai alla, (rendered "should not perish," KJV). In the Greek this phrase is second aorist, middle subjective, intransitive, of apollumi, meaning to destroy. Hence the believer should not be destroyed, but have life eternal, the exact opposite of what will happen to the unbeliever.

Earlier we saw that the verb "should" conveys a doubt, a wish or condition contrary to fact, Thus in John 3:16, the believer may or may not exercise his right as a believer. He has a choice to believe and obey the gospel or else to simply acknowledge the Lord (believe in Him as a person) and die lost. (Acts 26:27; James 2:19; John 12:42; cf. John 1:11-12; 20:31).

1 Corinthians 3:15

If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Many also point to this verse as a guarantee of salvation. Catholics and kingdom exclusion teachers such as Watchman Nee and southern Baptists use this verse to support their doctrine of purgatory or a temporary period of discipline in outer darkness for unfaithful believers.

We agree this verse confirms that we are saved by grace and not works. Paul is trying to convey that if someone has truly repented but has no good works he will still be saved. One example is the thief on the cross next to Jesus in Luke 23:43. Because of this believer's sinful past, God must burn up his works so that he can forget them. This verse isn't saying the believer will be burned, but that the works are so that he may be saved.

Perhaps knowing that many would twist this concession to mean more than it should, Paul proceeds to warn in the next verses "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (KJV)" so that believers would understand that salvation still requires holiness. If we say we believe but don't repent and instead defile our hearts through practicing sin, God will still cast us into hell.

The concept of purgatorial suffering in outer darkness preceding entrance into the kingdom of heaven simply isn't found in the bible. Hebrews 9:27 makes it clear that our only chance to repent is in this life and not after we die. Outer darkness rather than being temporary is for eternity given the finality of the Lord's words in Matthew 7 and echoed again in Luke 13 "Depart from me you workers of lawlessness, I never knew you!". We only have one shot and it's in this life!

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is a wonderful promise God gives us that we should all hold on to. However this verse poignantly leaves out 'us' or own free will. Nothing can separate us from the love of God except ourselves! Read in context of the passage, Paul is saying don't relate the circumstances around you to God's love. We may be in the worst tribulation or calamity, but God is always there with us as he was with Job, even when we don't see him or sense him.

John 10:29

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Again, a wonderful promise. No one will snatch us away. However nothing in this verse indicates that God will stop us from jumping out of His hand. But even if we do jump out of the Father's hand, God as our good Shepherd is faithful to search us out and return us to the fold (Matthew 18). But it's up to us to hear his voice and follow him back. Unlike demons who inhabit people against their will, God will never violate our free will by forcing himself on us, yet He is faithful even when we are unfaithful (2 Timothy 2:13). Free grace doctrine may not be biblical, but God is still abounding in grace and mercy giving us far more than we deserve.



Dr. Michael Brown gives a clear exposition on true grace versus false grace on Sid Roth:

David Pawson gives a thorough gentlemanly debunking of free grace and sovereign grace:

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