Why I left the Mennonite Church Part 2
If you grew up Mennonite you most likely believed that your salvation could be lost any time you sinned. From that view some have matured as I had to the idea that Christ doesn’t cut us off every time we sin because it is His righteousness imputed to us, but rather if we embark on a life of continual sin we will lose our salvation. I have since moved past that view to understanding Scripture in its entirety that a Christian is sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. I would like to show you why the Bible says a Christian will never embark on the Life of continual sin. One day I realized that if I believe one thing to be true then something else must also by logic and necessity be true.
Let me explain, if I believe that I can lose my salvation by having too much unconfessed sin in my life if I indeed believe that God’s grace covers me up to a point and then does not cover any more then what else must I accept as true? If I believe that to be true then of necessity I also believe that by living a faithful life I am maintaining my salvation. Think about it if one departs from what one knows to be correct and becomes unsaved in the process then what was keeping you saved? Your life style is the answer! How can we keep something like salvation when we could not earn it in the first place? If it was up to me to keep something so precious and something that we couldn’t create would we not all surely loose it? We must understand that our bent is away from God not toward God. There must be some supernatural power that keeps us saved in Christ! “Not of works lest any man should boast”. You see many Bible verses like that one point to the fact that yes it can’t be earned but neither can it be maintained by works. The Bible tells us that works prove our faith. That faith produces works. Not the other way around. Charles Spurgeon said it this way “we must believe that the author of our faith is also the preserver of it.” It all comes down to the Gospel being man centered or God centered. If I can lose my salvation then I am saying that the way I live maintains or keeps my salvation. This obviously cannot be correct. Scripture never contradicts scripture!
Allow me to show you scripture. As Mennonites our view is so twisted on this and our glasses so tainted it is hard to see the truth of the Gospel shine clearly through. One thing we must understand is the good news of eternal life is based on God’s justice and faithfulness in keeping His promises (1 John 1:9). Eternal life means just what it sounds like that it is Eternal! And those who possess it cannot die. Is that what scripture says? I believe so. It is eternal because the very life of Jesus is imparted to Christians and Jesus can never die again. (Romans6:9-10) He is able to save those who come through him and save them eternally forever because he defeated death. When we as a repentant sinner have faith in God’s promises and believe Jesus has done all that is necessary for salvation, we have assurance. God promises that believers will not come into judgment because Jesus bore our sins and judgment on that cross. Catholics believe and teach “If anyone says that he will for certain with an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance even to the end…let him be anathema” canon 16 Trent. If you and I were only saved till our next serious sin Christ’s work of redemption would only be temporal, but God says that it is eternal (Hebrews 5:9). Whenever man is involved in attaining and or persevering or maintain his salvation there can never be assurance. However if you and I believe the objective truth of the gospel, we will be more certain of living eternally in heaven than of living one more day on earth.
AS I mentioned I believe the very nature of the phrase eternal life means that it is eternal. And that it cannot be terminated lost or revoked. Can one die spiritually after receiving eternal life? Consider these verses.
John 5:24King James Version (KJV)
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Romans 11:29King James Version (KJV)
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Or you could say irrevocable. In other words a gift is a gift one does not take a gift back because the gift is undeserved in the first place and does not depend on one’s performance.
1 John 5:11-12King James Version (KJV)
11 And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Romans 8:1King James Version (KJV)
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
To walk after the spirit is to be saved to walk after the flesh is to be unsaved in this context. This verse points us to the fact that the believer has Christ’s righteousness imputed to him and the righteousness is why there is no condemnation. The lack of condemnation is not because of our faithfulness but Christs faithfulness. A true Christian is walking after the spirit the very nature of being saved is to walk after the spirit.
One aspect I like is that Jesus is now interceding for us. It is because of this intercession that we have security.
1 John 2:1King James Version (KJV)
2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Hebrews 7:25King James Version (KJV)
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
The fact that we are saved to the uttermost or forever is because he forever intercedes for us. Jesus prayed for peters faith that night that Peter denied our Lord. He said Satan wants to sift you like wheat. Yet Peter was not conquered of Satan. Was it Peter’s strength that kept him? No it was Christ intersession even though peter denied Christs three times He did not lose His salvation. The power of Jesus Christ Kept Him safely despite His failings.
God does not count the sins of Christians against them or take away our salvation. All sins past present future are forgiven. I challenge anybody to give me an example of somebody losing their salvation in the Bible?
I can point to David Moses Abraham Peter. As examples of men who either lived in sin for a while or sinned grievously yet not for one moment did they ever lose their salvation? They were saved and as such were punished and brought back to the fold. Just like the Shepard who leaves the 99 sheep to get the one sheep who was straying he does not let them become eternally lost. Because once again our righteousness is not our own but from God.
Romans 4:8King James Version (KJV)
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Hebrews 12:6-8King James Version (KJV)
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
We see rather that a Christian who commits sin is punished as a child of God because we are His sons. And His sons will remain.
These next verses and their concepts are so powerful.
We need to understand the concept that the gift of eternal life is secured not on my faithfulness but on the faithfulness and promises of Christ Alone! This is a very important concept to understand because at the heart of this issue is a wrong understanding about salvation and justification. It is a carry-over Mennonites brought with them from the Catholic Church.
John 10:28-30King James Version (KJV)
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30 I and my Father are one.
There is no asterisk here with a statement “unless one chooses to pluck yourself out of the father’s hand.” What part of they shall never perish do we not understand? O to take God’s word at its word. I would like the reader to understand why the Bible does not support the fact that a Christian can or would ever pluck himself out of the Father’s hand. Notice the reason we can’t be plucked out is because the Father is greater than all. Yes also greater than us. We need to understand that since the father is greater than us it means also that the Father is greater than the desire to pluck ourselves out or to go astray he has given us a new heart!
Romans 8:30King James Version (KJV)
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Notice the chain here those who are saved are glorified in heaven. Once again no asterisk saying except for those saved ones who fell away.
The Bible even says that our good works are ordained that we should walk in them. Our life as a Christian is one of supernatural power and influence.
Jude 24King James Version (KJV)
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
This benediction so often used to end a church service yet so often not understood or believed. This goes well with the verses about not being tempted above what we are able. Christ in his intersession makes sure nothing comes our way that would take our salvation from us. Christians sin yes but fall eternally?
1 Peter 1:3-5King James Version (KJV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
And I love these verses they say that we are begotten unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. These verses say our inheritance is incorruptible that it fadeth not away! It is reserved in heaven for us!
That we are kept by what? Our self-maintenance of our salvation? No! But by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time!
O how powerful those verses are… we are kept as was Peter by the power of God till that last day till his return! I am secure in His power not my efforts!
This was a real eye opener for me when I saw that the Mennonite system denies the power of the Cross. These verses say that we are kept by the power of God through faith. I’ve heard many messages stating that the purpose for church standards is to keep us on the safe side of losing our salvation. That the standards are necessary to help maintain biblical doctrine. Brothers and Sisters if this is true then you are not saved! Take these verses at their words! O praise the Lord my inheritance is incorruptible, yes even by my sin! It fadeth not away and we are kept through faith unto salvation! Praise the Lord!
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36 But I said unto you, that ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
What we see in these verses
1. No one who comes shall be cast out!
2. Nobody comes unless the father gives us! Very similar to the verse about no one comes expect the father draw Him.
3. Jesus came to do his father will
4. This is the fathers will that all that are given (or believe) will not be lost but will be raised up at the last day! (Glorified)
5. Verse 39 and 40 repeat the same thing twice! Driving it home! Notice the Promise “I will raise him up at the last day”.
This is very similar to Romans 8:30 that I mentioned earlier. “Those He justified He also Glorified” the promised end result of being justified is glorification.
We have a promise that if we have been saved, transformed and regenerated He (Christ) will raise us up at the last day!
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6
Here we see that Paul was confident that the Work Christ begun in the lives of the Christians at Philippi would be performed till Christ returned. Once again no asterisk unless you choose to take yourselves out of the fathers hands. You will notice that warnings in scripture are about non-believers rejecting the gospel. And the warnings to Christians are about deception but never is it indicated that one’s salvation would be lost, but rather we would be chastened and restored to fellowship with Christ and His church. Excommunication is for the purpose of saving the persons soul (notice excommunication is always to be done only to a non-believer a false convert) never is there any indication given that those people were saved in the first place. Also the Word work in Philippians 1:6 is the same word work used in Geneses he worked six days and rested the seventh. The same power that created the universe is the power at work in us to sanctify us and keep us and glorify us... What power!
Ephesians 4:30 says.
“And grieve not the holy spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
In this verse we see that as Christians we are to be sensitive to the Holy spirits leading. And it says we are sealed onto the day of redemption.
To grieve the Holy Spirit is not to lose ones salvation! It follows up by saying we are sealed unto Christ’s return.
The idea of a Believer being sealed is in the Bible again and again. “We are not our own” “We are bought with a price” etc. the idea is that Christians have Jesus interceding for them are kept by GOD’S POWER and not their own. This makes our life as a believer a supernatural event.
Christ has promised to deliver us to the Father in Glory one day and he will insure that we arrive there.
John 10 says that true sheep will not follow the voice of a false teacher. Why is that? Because these sheep were called by name they were put in the fold and the Shepard Jesus Christ Guards the door of the fold.
The thieves (false teachers) climb up the wall to kill steal and destroy. But who can they kill or steal? Since this very passage says true sheep will not follow the false teacher. False teachers who teach damnable heresy can only deceive those who are not saved. This is where the idea of wheat and tares comes in. Jesus disciples asked him once why don’t we just take the tares out now? And Jesus answered and said at the last day the wheat and tares will be separated at but let them be together for now. So in the fold claiming to be part of the fold are also false converts and false teachers these are those who are deceive and are deceived and ultimately will leave or “fall away”. Some would say look they lost their salvation no that is not the case John says this about those false converts and false teachers.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 1 John 2:19
In : Warnings Given
Tags: eternal security legalism mennonite