Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
The last excerpt from a letter to Jill,
a sister who had fallen away from the faith and become a Baptist.
XV. . .“Of the Perseverance of the Saints . . . We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors....”
Comment:This is incredibly subtle. Can you see through this cleverly worded statement? Do your teachers really think that only those who are saved in the end were ever truly born again? Surely you know that some of God’s children, born of the Spirit, will be “given their portion with the unbelievers” (Jesus said that). Jesus was serious when he said that the kingdom of God on earth [the body of Christ] is made up of both foolish and wise believers.
Jill! The men who wrote this Article are unwittingly telling you that they do not know when a person is born again, saying instead that you must wait till the Final Judgment to find out who really belonged to God at all. And if that is so (Jill, think!), by what authority do these same ministers tell people that they are “saved”? If no one knows who is born again until we see who is saved in the end, then on what basis do they tell repentant sinners that they are born of the Spirit?
The “grand mark” which distinguishes those who have received God’s Spirit and those who have not is the sign of the covenant that was foretold by David, Isaiah, Zephaniah, and others: speaking in tongues. The men who wrote these Articles of Faith for the Central Baptist Church do not esteem this holy experience as they should, most likely because they themselves do not have it. Jill, it is very likely that your ministers, the men who are teaching you about God, do not even belong to Him.
One final note, and I am finished. In your last letter to me, you implied that your pastor was a “prophet”. Please don’t say that. A man who teaches such things about the way of Jesus as he teaches should not be called a prophet. I know what you probably have heard about “prophecy”. My professors at the seminary I attended tried to persuade us of the same thing. Their definition of prophesying was “proclaiming”. But that is only a definition of prophecy that Christian scholars have invented to cover up the fact that they have no power with God to really prophesy. They will tell you that “prophesying” is “forth-telling” not “foretelling”. That is not true. It is a doctrine that comes from a lack of power and faith in God.
That is all I have to say. If you ever have a question about anything that I am doing or teaching, I hope that I will be at that time as eager to respond as I am now.