Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Marsha's Musings: What Do We Do With "Biblical Contradictions"? (Hebrews 10:26, 27 NKJV)

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26, 27 NKJV)

Here is another passage that is similar to this: 

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. -2 Peter 2:20
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. -2 Peter 2:21
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. -2 Peter 2:22

What are we to make of these?  Are these teaching that after we are saved we can lose our salvation?  If so, then it contradicts this:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  -John 10:28
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  -John 10:29

We know that the Bible does not contradict itself.  God would not contradict Himself.  So how are we to reconcile this?

First we have to look at the context.  If we read further down in the Hebrews passage we come to the last verse which says,

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39 NKJV)

In this context, then, it appears that the author of Hebrews was making a hypothetical statement.  He wasn't saying that born again believers whom God has saved can be lost.  He was just saying in effect, "What if it were possible? What would that mean?"  It is obvious in verse 39 that he doesn't believe those whom he had just posed the "what if" question about would turn back and lose their salvation.

So what about the 2 Peter passage?  I'm inclined to believe that those the Apostle Paul is talking about in that passage were those who joined with the believers for a time, gained knowledge of Jesus Christ and salvation and maybe even appeared to others to have been saved by their actions, but they really weren't as evidenced by the fact that they turned away.  They had the knowledge and they knew how to act, but they did not believe.  

Jesus says that those the Father has given Him, no man can pluck out of His hand. We can't pluck ourselves out of His hand!  

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