Saturday, 1 June 2013

hai

HARRY IRONSIDE ON THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS


The significance of the quote lies in the fact that Ironside was not a professing Calvinist, hailing from the Open Brethren movement. But still, he stands faithfully for the 5th point of Calvinism, even if he wasn't happy with the term. However, his exposition of it as sound as that from any Calvinist pulpit. Although he had his obvious disagreements with some elements of their doctrine, it is evident that HAI was not at war with Calvinists. He alludes favourably to Calvinists in his writings and said of Calvin himself: But his influence throughout was on the side of righteousness and truth, and for this he will be remembered forever and shine as the stars eternally." (Except ye Repent - Page 67)

   "People say, “I see you believe in that old Baptist doctrine of ‘once in grace, always in grace.’” Or another says, “I understand you hold that old Presbyterian idea of ‘the final perseverance of the saints.’” I do not know why this should be called either Baptist or Presbyterian, only to the extent that Baptists and Presbyterians agree with the Book, and the Word of God clearly shows that once God takes us up in grace nothing can separate us from the love of Christ so that evidently the expression, “once in grace, always in grace,” is a perfectly correct one. But, on the other hand, I am not so enthusiastic about the other expression, “the perseverance of the saints.” I believe in it; I believe that all saints--all really belonging to God--will persevere to the end, for the Book tells me, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13), and if a man starts out and makes a profession but gives it all up, he will never be saved, because he was never born again to begin with, he was never truly changed by grace divine. On the other hand, the reason he endures to the end is not because of any particular perseverance of his own. What I believe in, and what the Word of God clearly teaches, is the perseverance of the Holy Spirit. When He begins a work, He never gives up until it is completed. That is our confidence." (Eternal Security of the Believer)
 Did Ironside misapply Matthew 24:13 in this instance? Let's turn to his commentary on Matthew and look up the same verse. We have the same pleasing results:


"The test of reality in any age is endurance. So it is now, and so it will be in the day of grief and sorrow that lies ahead of Christendom. “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” In order to fit these solemn words into the truth revealed elsewhere of the believer’s eternal security, it is not necessary to say that they apply solely to the tribulation period. It is true always that only those who endure shall be finally saved. But when one has been born of God and so received eternal life he will endure. “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). He who makes a profession of faith in Christ and then in the hour of testing repudiates it and goes back like a dog to his vomit or a sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire (2 Peter 2:20-22) gives evidence that he was never born of the Word and Spirit of God. Had such an one been a sheep belonging to the Good Shepherd, he would never have been attracted to the hog-wallow."

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