Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 08) - Mat 7:21; Mat 10:22Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace 4. Mat 7:21 A. Is this verse teaching that eternal salvation is dependent on our works (doing the will of the Father)? B. Eternal salvation is by grace, not of works (see section II,7,A) (2Ti 1:9; Tit 3:5; Rom 9:11; Rom 11:5-6). C. The condition set forth in this verse of "doing the will of my Father" is evidential, not causal. i. Faith is the evidence, not the cause of eternal salvation (Joh 5:24; 1Jo 5:1). ii. Faith is proven by works (Jam 2:17-18). iii. We are shown to be righteous by our faith and works (Jam 2:21-25) (see section II,9,C). iv. Those who love Jesus keep His commandments (Joh 14:15). v. Those who love God do so because God loved them first (1Jo 4:19). vi. Therefore those who do the will of God show that they are loved of God and are saved by His grace. vii. Those that merely call Jesus Lord (say it) and don't do what He says are liars (Luk 6:46; 1Jo 2:3-5). D. Rather than trusting in the grace of God on judgment day, these people will point to their own miraculous works and trust in them (Mat 7:22-23). i. Devils can do miraculous works (Rev 16:14) and also believe in one God (Jam 2:19). ii. The people who trust in their own works on judgment day are not God's sheep who were foreknown by election (1Pe 1:2; Joh 10:27-28); they were rather never known by Jesus (Mat 7:23). iii. They will be judged by their works and sent to the lake of fire with the miracle-working devils they were imitating (Mat 25:41; Rev 20:11-15). E. The Lord knows them that are His and for a child of God to know that he is God's, he had better depart from iniquity (do the will of the Father) (2Ti 2:19). 5. Mat 10:22 A. Was Jesus telling His disciples that the ticket to eternal life is to endure hatred and persecution until the end? Obviously not for several reasons: i. Jesus was speaking to the apostles (Mat 10:1-5) who (except for Judas Iscariot) already had eternal life (Mat 4:18-22 c/w Mat 19:27-29). ii. The verse, or the context, says nothing about eternal life. iii. The salvation spoken of is conditioned upon works (enduring to the end) and therefore cannot be eternal salvation (2Ti 1:9) (see section II,7,A,i). B. So what was Jesus saying the apostles would be saved from if they endured to the end? i. First of all, what were they exhorted to endure to the end of? ii. They would be delivered up to councils and scourged in synagogues (Mat 10:17). iii. They would be brought before governors and kings (Mat 10:18). iv. A time would come when siblings, parents, and children would deliver each other up to be put to death (Mat 10:21). v. The time that Jesus warned them of was the destruction of Jerusalem (Mat 24:1-3 c/w Mat 24:9-15 c/w Mar 13:11-14 c/w Luk 21:17-20). vi. They would have to endure persecution which would culminate in the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. vii. They were to do so by fleeing from one city to another when they were persecuted (Mat 10:23). viii. "Note, In case of imminent peril, the disciples of Christ may and must secure themselves by flight, when God, in his providence, opens to them a door of escape. He that flies may fight again. It is no inglorious thing for Christ's soldiers to quit their ground, provided they do not quit their colours: they may go out of the way of danger, though they must not go out of the way of duty." (Matthew Henry). ix. When they saw Jerusalem compassed with armies, that was their sign to head for the hills to escape the destruction (Luk 21:20-21). x. If they endured until the end and heeded Jesus' warnings, they would be saved from death and suffering that would befall the unbelieving Jews (Luk 21:22-24). xi. They would not have gone over the cities of Israel "till the Son of man to be come" (Mat 10:23). a. Jesus was not speaking of His second coming, but of His coming in judgment to destroy the Jews who received Him not (Mat 22:1-7). b. This happened in 70AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem which was within the lifetimes of the apostles to whom He was speaking. C. In a more general sense, those who endure persecution until the end of their lives show the evidence that they are saved eternally. i. They who continue in patience have eternal life (Rom 2:7). a. Patient adj. - 1. a. Bearing or enduring (pain, affliction, trouble, or evil of any kind) with composure, without discontent or complaint; having the quality or capacity of so bearing; exercising or possessing patience. b. Continuance - Continuing in, or going on with, an action or course of conduct; perseverance, persistence. ii. Those who continue in faith show the evidence that God hath reconciled them (Col 1:21-23). iii. We have evidence that we are partakers of Christ if we continue faithful to the end (Heb 3:14). iv. We have full assurance of our hope if we continue in faith and patience until the end (Heb 6:11-12). v. Those who endure temptation will receive a crown of life (Jam 1:12; Rev 2:10). vi. They who overcome will eat of the tree of life (Rev 2:7). vii. The preceding verses are not setting forth conditions to get eternal life, but rather evidence that a person has it. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace