I recently reviewed an article, written by someone who referred to himself as a “Jesus follower, getting back to my faith”. Surprisingly, he choose to use John 10:28-29 as Scriptural proof-text, supporting a rejection of the church. Those verses read…
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 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.”
This is one of the most significant and often quoted verses in Scripture and for good reason. It speaks to the view that, once saved, always saved. Whether you accept that theology or not, the verse has nothing to do with church membership, other than to confirm that when believers reject God’s clear commands, He still loves us and, through His Son, has paid for our sins at the cross.
Christians are forgiven, even for the sin of rejecting the church as God’s ordained institution.
Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Matthew 18:20 – For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Matthew 16:18 – And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
One must accept the fact that the church is made up of sinners. Lone-Ranger Christians can smugly think that they no longer have to deal with those who don’t fit their views. No challenges, no fellowship, no accountability, no group worship, no balanced thought, all fit conveniently into a myopic worldview. That is the very definition of deconstructionism. Based on John 10:28-29, and many other verses, God does not reject those who disagree with His commands. However, that fact does not give us a license to do things our way rather than His.
Romans 6:1-2 – What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Finally, and perhaps even more significantly we need to pass our theology through the lens of the whole context of Scripture and be discerning readers when confronted with interpretations that clearly conflict with traditional Biblical principles. God is unchanging regardless of how mankind wishes to reinterpret Him based on current cultural preferences. Further, the one command that God will not ignore in His desire to love each of us is the requirement that we accept His Son as our Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9).
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