Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Perseverance or Regenerated Antichrists?

Much has been written of late on the subject of the perseverance of the saints, a truth upheld by the London Confession and condoned without “footnoting” by those who assembled at Fulton, Kentucky in 1900. There are very clear verses in scripture which testify to this truth, and these passages trump any logical reasoning on the part of the objector.

I would like in this posting though to really press the issue by demonstrating a most terrible consequence of not believing this doctrine. In no other bible passage of which I’m aware is the question of the saints’ perseverance set in such a context where the espousal of preservation without perseverance would lead to an absolutely horrific conclusion, one which would cause the Christian community to shudder.

1 John 2:18-20 states:

”Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 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. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.”

The Apostle here tells us that there were some who continued with them for a season, though at some point ceased their fellowship. And mark this. They are described in no casual language, but are said to be antichrists! Now at this point the Hardshell mind must make a critical decision, and that is to either 1) affirm the perseverance of the saints with those who “went out” being imposters or 2) admit to the existence of regenerated antichrists who were preserved but did not persevere!

Antichrists. Part of the redeemed family of God? Antichrists. New creatures in Christ? I wonder what the general Christian community feels about such a notion; that is, if they are able to pick their jaw off the floor. The typical Hardshell who opposes perseverance would want to assert at this point that John is distinguishing the regenerate elect who continue in the faith from those among them who do not. To his relief, though, the cliché could be said of them both: “They were already saved eternally.” That such is not the case, though, is proven by the fact that John contrasts those who continued not with those who had an unction from the Holy Ghost (v.20). The former had no such unction, meaning they were not regenerated. Now unless the Holy Spirit has imparted an unction only to those elect who persevere but not to those who don’t, or if there are “two kinds” of unctions (an oft-used Hardshell argumentation) it is clear that those who went out from the apostles were not born again.

In this passage it is either perseverance being taught or regenerated antichrists under consideration. The question is which one.

What say ye?

1 comment:

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Kevin:

In my view I find that the Hardshells of today will have no problem confessing that many who are antichrist are "regenerated." Do they not say that many heathen idolaters are born again? These heathen idolaters are clearly antichrist.

I too find this an abominable teaching that any Christian would affirm that there are many people who are antichrists but who are nevertheless born again.

Good posting!