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Saved in 3 tenses?

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On 8/24/2018 at 2:22 PM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Sister Rose,

I do apologize for taking so long to answer this question.  So many responsibilities and commitments.  I have been somewhat overwhelmed lately.

Concerning Matthew 10:28.

First, it is contextually clear that throughout Matthew 10:5-42 our Lord Jesus Christ was speaking to his believing disciples, not to the lost multitudes.  Second, in Matthew 10:28 our Lord Jesus Christ did indeed speak about the soul, not simply concerning a person's life on this earth, but concerning a person's eternal destiny in the life to come.  However, as we consider the truth of Matthew 10:28, it is important for us to recognize precisely what our Lord did say, and thus also what he did not say, and thereby to discern what our Lord intended by that which He said.   

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."  

Herein our Lord did NOT pronounce a judgment upon unfaithful servants.  He did NOT say -- "Fear God lest he destroy both your soul and body in hell."  Our Lord Jesus Christ did NOT pronounce a judgment that God the Father will or even might destroy our soul and body in hell, if we are in some manner not faithful enough.  In fact, herein our Lord Jesus Christ did NOT specify any particular individuals whose soul and body God the Father might destroy in hell.  He did not say -- "Fear him which is able to destroy both YOUR soul and body in hell."  Our Lord Jesus Christ did NOT specifically apply this truth unto His believing disciples.

No, in Matthew 10:28 our Lord Jesus Christ did NOT pronounce a divine judgment.  Rather, in Matthew 10:28 our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed a divine ABILITY.  In fact, our Lord Jesus Christ revealed a contrast in ABILITIES, between the ability of human persecutors and the ability of the Lord our God.  Yes, in some cases the authority and ability of human persecutors and human government may extend even unto the judgment of death in this life.  They may indeed have the authority and ability of judgment to kill the body.  Yet their authority and ability of judgment can extend no further than this life.  It does not and cannot extend into the life of eternity.  In contrast, our Lord God's authority and ability of judgment extends also into the life of eternity both absolutely and eternally.  So then, when we find ourselves in a place wherein we must choose between these two authorities, we should choose to fear, respect, honor, and obey the greater (yeah, the Greatest) authority.  We should not choose to fear, respect, honor, and obey human authority in contradiction to our Lord God's authority.  Rather, we should choose to fear, respect, honor, and obey our Lord God's authority in contrast to human authority. 

This is our Lord Jesus Christ's exhortation in Matthew 10:28.  With this exhortation it is not His intention to fill us with fear that we might lose our eternal life and be cast into hell.  Rather, with this exhortation it is His intention to instruct and encourage us that we might remain faithful by choosing to fear, respect, honor, and obey God, rather than man.  When we are in the midst of oppression and persecution for our Lord's sake, even possibly unto the judgment of physical death, we will be greatly tempted to fear our human persecutors, and thus to compromise under the persecution.  However, our Lord Jesus Christ intends that we remember the greater and eternal authority of God our heavenly Father, and that we remember the limitations of human persecution.  

So then, is there any implication or Biblical teaching concerning those whose souls and bodies God the Father might destroy with the eternal judgment of hell?  Yes, there is.  In another context the specifically concerns the matter of persecution for our Lord's sake, 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 declares, "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day."

Indeed, 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 is a context concerning persecution for the Lord's sake, just as Matthew 10:16-42.  In 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 those whose soul and body "shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord" (in hell) are "them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."  It is NOT the believing disciples who might be judged with the destruction of their soul and body in hell.  Rather, it is the wicked persecutors who shall experience this divine judgment.  In fact, 2 Thessalonians 1:10 reveals that in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ's coming, He shall be glorified and admired "in ALL them that believe."  Believers are NOT judged with hell.  Believers enter into the glory of the Lord, so to ever be with the Lord.

With all of this in mind, we might understand the truth of Matthew 11:28 as follows -- "And fear not them [the wicked persecutors] which kill the [YOUR] body, but are not able to kill the [YOUR} soul: but rather fear him [God our heavenly Father] which is able to destroy both [THEIR - THE WICKED PERSECUTOR'S] soul and body in hell."  As such, Matthew 11:28 serves as an exhoration to instruct us unto the right choice in times of persecution, as well as an exhortation to encourage us that the Lord our God WILL vindicate our faithfulness and WILL judge our persecutors.  Their authority and ability of judgment may allow them to kill our bodies, but one day they MUST face the righteous judgment of the Lord our God, whose authority and ability of judgment is absolute and eternal, for how they treated His own.

It’s okay that, you’ve been busy! And I certainly have compassion for you being overwhelmed. I very much appreciate you taking your time to help me, in the midst of your other duties!! It’s very kind, of you! 

I really appreciate your answer on this! I think that how you presented the context of what Jesus was saying, makes sense! I suppose it would make more sense, since He’s trying to comfort the disciples. I always thought it’d be kind of strange for Him to threaten them with hell for disobedience, while they were afraid and needing reassurance. I think I get it, now! 

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I’m still finding the whole verb-tense thing, confusing. I brought it up when this thread was started, but I don’t think we got much into it. Why is “believeth” in john 3:16 in a continuous verb tense? I think that the stuff in John 6 about how we “eateth” and “drinketh” Jesus’s flesh and blood are in the same verb tense. And when it says we are “sealed” with His Spirit, it’s also in a continuous verb tense, i read. Like, none of this is yet, final or something. Is this correct information? That the words in those places in the Bible, are in a continuous verb tense? 

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The Bible says that we are saved (positionally in Christ; e.g., Rom.8:24), are being saved (brought through this world as believers through maintaining our faith which is "kept" by the power of God; e.g., 1 Cor.1:18; 1 Pet.1:5), and will be saved (finishing the course with faith intact and glorified; e.g., Rom.5:9-10; 1 Pet.1:9). It's all part and parcel of the same thing, but it is an important aspect of the question, especially these days with so many "once saved always saved no matter what I do or don't do" proponents about.

Edited by (Omega)

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To expound upon my previous post:

We are NOW saved: We are forgiven our trespasses and are made one with Jesus Christ. That is our "position", so to speak, but not our "experience" in the sense of what will obtain in eternity.  Now, we still know pain, sorrow, suffering, hurt, fatigue, hunger, unhappiness, sorrow  . . . and sin (along with its consequences).  When we are saved, we also are truly born again not only in a POSITIONAL sense (i.e., possessing an /eternal/ life which, while not yet being experienced, is absolutely secure and waiting to be revealed for us when Christ is revealed: 1 Pet. 1:5). There is a fundamental transformation which takes place at spiritual rebirth, that is, when a person is "born again", but it is just that: a spiritual transformation, not a physical one. The ability to sin is physical. It is part of the human body presently configured.  It is why human beings die (whereas Adam and Eve would have lived forever in their physical bodies had they never acquired the ability to sin by eating of the tree of "the knowledge of good and evil").  

We are being Sanctified: The best short explanation of this is from a man who had been an alcoholic prior to becoming a Christian.  When years later he was found to be suffering from cirrhosis he remarked: "God gave me a new heart, but He didn't give me a new liver". As believers, we still have mortal physical bodies infected with sin, and for that reason will eventually die (unless it be our lot to endure until the Lord's return). And of course, Christians still sin, although we shouldn't, and that is why we have need of God's forgiveness when we confess our sins (1 Jn. 1:9), which we would not again need if we were now sinless in body as well as in Christ. It is analogous to a slow running drain which is purged of all its accretions and now can flow fast and free. Our hearts are fleshly, not concrete. Believers can also let their plumbing get sluggish again. Only the truth of the Word, meditating on it, believing it, and applying it aggressively to our lives and without compromise keeps the water flowing freely through sanctification.  A better analogy is that of the the truth as light and our eye as the heart's window on the light of truth. Jesus tells us that if our eye is darkness, so will our body be; this means that to the extent that we have allowed hearts, the eyes of our spirits, to get clogged or hardened, to that extent we are not letting in the light of truth and are instead operating in darkness (Matt.6:22-23).

We will be Glorified: On that glorious future day our new, resurrection bodies will indeed be sinless -- and we will truly be immortal in every way.  As things stand now, however, we remain saved spirits in corrupt bodies; the two interface at the heart,and that is where we fight the battle of the Christian life, constantly facing the issue of truth. This is our "hope of glory" (Col. 1:27)until we arrive at the day of our redemption (i.e., the redemption of our bodies). We will be raise to *immortality* as we are resurrected (1 Corr. 15:50-58) on the day when we put on immortality.

God Bless!

Edited by (Omega)
Grammar and punctuation

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On 9/26/2018 at 9:21 PM, Roselove said:

I’m still finding the whole verb-tense thing, confusing. I brought it up when this thread was started, but I don’t think we got much into it. Why is “believeth” in john 3:16 in a continuous verb tense? I think that the stuff in John 6 about how we “eateth” and “drinketh” Jesus’s flesh and blood are in the same verb tense. And when it says we are “sealed” with His Spirit, it’s also in a continuous verb tense, i read. Like, none of this is yet, final or something. Is this correct information? That the words in those places in the Bible, are in a continuous verb tense? 

I apologize for skipping past your post, so I'll attempt to help you understand tenses in layman's terms. The word "sealed" is in the aorist passive indicative; and the Greek verb is "sphragizo" and we are sealed by the Spirit; He is our pledge of security. It's very dangerous for folks who don't know and really understand ancient Greek to draw conclusions based upon things like tense-aspect. English is different from Greek. That means that what an English translation may imply may not be what the Greek really means, especially if too much weight is put on an issue like this.  It is important, but it is a very involved grammatical issue wherein there is really not much substance when all is said and done. Greek, for example, does not have an aoristic present as English does so that any Greek verb form referring to the present may be either continuous OR aoristic. In John 3:16 we have a participle with a definite article -- common in Greek but unusual in English:  "the believing one"  or "the believer" or "the one who believes [in Me]". If we are believers, we believe in Christ.

Also, there is a false doctrine referred to as the hyper-Once-saved-always-saved position -- which is untrue, because it is possible for a false "believer" to apostatize (i.e., they were never saved to begin with (cf. 1 Jn. 2:19), that is, to entirely abandon faith in Christ. One third of false professors in Christ will do this during the Great Apostasy of the Tribulation (2 Thes. 2:3 ). Of course, "pins and needles salvation", the false doctrine that one little slip condemns the believer is also a dastardly lie. If we believe, we are believers; all believers are saved, but ONLY believers are saved: 

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)

God Bless!

Edited by (Omega)
Grammar and Paraphrasing

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