Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
This message, entitled “Not Eternal Perdition, but Dispensational Punishment,” is necessary that we might have a basic foundation in the Lord’s recovery. The term dispensational punishment is not likely to be found in other Christian books or messages, for it is a new term in the Lord’s recovery. This term is necessary because many Christians have confused the matter of dispensational punishment with eternal perdition. According to the New Testament, these are clearly two separate things, having nothing to do with one another. Eternal perdition is for unbelievers, whereas dispensational punishment is for believers. A great deal of trouble has been caused by mixing together these two things.
In today’s Christianity, there are two main schools of theology regarding salvation. One school says that salvation is eternal. According to this school, once we have been saved, we are saved eternally, regardless what we do after we are saved. Salvation can never be lost. The second school claims that if we are not careful after being saved, we might be lost again. Most of the so-called holiness churches belong to this school, believing that a person may be saved and lost again and again. Because their salvation goes up and down like an elevator, we may call this concept of salvation “elevator salvation.” Once, when I was less than thirty years of age, a preacher came to our town saying that we could be saved in the morning and lost again that night, and then by repenting and confessing our sins we could be saved again the next morning. When I heard about this, I boldly told the saints in that town that this was nonsense and that our God would never give us such a salvation.
Apparently those who preach and teach “elevator salvation” have some ground in the Bible; actually they do not. They are like those who see the letter C and, having poor eyesight, mistake it for a G. They make a big mistake in interpreting certain passages in the Bible. They use all the verses which speak of dispensational punishment to support their belief that a saved person can be lost again. Those who follow this school of theology never have any assurance. If, as far as salvation is concerned, they are up when they die, they will be saved forever. But if they are down, they will be lost eternally. What kind of gospel is this? It is terrible!
However, it is also wrong to teach that no matter what you do after you have been saved there will be no problem and you will continue to be saved. According to this teaching, as long as we have the assurance of being saved for eternity, it is all right. We need to be unloaded and drop the teaching of both these theological schools and see what the pure Word of God says concerning this matter.
God’s salvation is eternal. Once we have received it, it is secured eternally. This is proved by eleven things.
God’s eternal salvation is secured by the will of God. Ephesians 1:5 says that we have been predestinated according to God’s will, and John 6:39 tells us that the Father’s will is that none of those whom He has given the Son should be lost. This is the will of God concerning our salvation. God’s will is more steady and stable than a rock. Although heaven and earth may be removed, God’s will remains forever. It does not go up and down like an elevator.
God’s salvation is secured by the selection and calling of God. He has chosen us, selected us, before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). It is not we who selected Him but He who selected us (John 15:16), and His selection is not of our works but of Himself who calls (Rom. 9:11). He has not only predestinated us but also called us (Rom. 8:30), not according to our works but according to His own purpose (2 Tim. 1:9). His calling is irrevocable. He will never repent of it nor regret having called us. His selection and calling have nothing to do with our works; our works can never affect them, for they are unchangeable. Both God’s selection and calling, being initiated by Him, not by us, are the security of our salvation.
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