Arkiv | 2012/04/03

The seed on stony ground which produces LIFE – Mark 4:16

True believers can believe for a while and fall away  

”Fall away” is a translation from the Greek word ”skandalizo”. 

Mark 4:16-17 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who,  when they hear the word, immediately RECEIVE it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so ENDURE only FOR A TIME. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they STUMBLE (skandalizontai).

The Greek word translated as ”receive” is the same Greek word below, also translated as ”receive”.

John 1:12 But as many as RECEIVED Him, to them He gave the right to become ”children of God… 

John 13:20 Most certainly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send, receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me.” 

Rom 5:11 Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. 

1 Cor 2:12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God.

The stony ground hearers were children of God as they endured for a time. The Greek word translated as ”stumble” could also be translated as ”fall away”. How can the stony ground hearers fall away from something they were never in? We see that these people heard the word, received the word and endured for a time, so these were genuine converts who stumbled due to persecution. Also below verses talk about a ”falling away” based on ”skandalizo”. 

 Matthew 24:9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Matt. 5:29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Matt 26: 31Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. 33Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 34Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 35Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

1 Cor. 8:11And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

We can get confirmation from yet other verses that there will indeed be people who will end up in apostasy (apostasia) in the end of times:

2 Thess. 2:3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

1 Tim. 4:1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

The same parable is very similar in Luke and Matthew:

Luke 8:6And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

Luke 8:13They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while BELIEVE, and in time of temptation fall away.

Matt. 13: 20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Since the seed sprung up it shows it produced a plant (life) and we can read that the hearer believed for a while. Something can’t ”wither” unless it had life to start with. The word for BELIEVE is pisteuó and is also used in many other verses, such as these:

John 3:18  For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:36: One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys the Son won’t see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John 5:24 Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, ”I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

John 6:40 This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 7:38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, ”I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies.”

John 12: 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness.

John 14:12 Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father.

Annonser

Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith but he doesn’t choose who will be saved Hebr. 12:2

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebr. 12:2)

What does the expression ”author and finisher of our faith” really mean? It means that there is no other name given under heaven whereby men can be saved (Acts 4:12). He is ”the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End”. We can read ”Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” or ”let’s fix our eyes on Jesus” in another translation. That is a beautiful comparison with the brazen serpent in the desert, where the Israelites walked up to the serpent and LOOKED UP TO IT. They were not forced to  approach it and to behold it, but they used their own feet and their own free will to do it. What happens if we do NOT fix our eyes on Jesus? That would mean we have not fully abided in him, and then we will not bear fruit. This means we are risking our salvation.  Let’s view the rest of the context in the same chapter. The verse before lists a few things we ought to do in our race towards the goal:

Hebr. 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us

”Let us lay aside—the sin”. What happens if we choose to NOT adhere to this command and refuse to lay aside our sin? Will we be saved anyway? No, we must have our eyes fixed on Jesus and endure to the end. Read more about the IF:s:

Hebr. 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him—IF ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8But IF ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Despise not”? ”IF ye endure”?? What happens if we do despise Him and his chastening, and why are there IF’s involved if salvation is a done deal? Clearly there are conditions that are required for us to keep. We must abide in Christ and we are warned if we don’t.

Hebr.12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, LEST that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

”Lest”? Another warning!

Hebr. 12:4 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled

”Lest” and ”lest” again. We are warned that we must FOLLOW peace, and that we must have holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. We are too look diligently LEST any man fail of the GRACE of God, LEST any root of bitterness might spring up, etc. Sins would DEFILE us, and can defiled men see the Lord? No, we just read that holiness is required, and it does not say that we can hide behind the blood of Jesus and still be saved in our sins. We are not righteous unless we act righteously.

Hebr.12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For IF they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven

We are warned that we must not refuse him, for IF we do, and IF we turn away from him, we shall not escape. It’s all in our hands and God has made salvation possible for all of us.

If they shall fall away, to renew them again is impossible Hebr. 6:6

[If] they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame (Hebr. 6:6)

The people spoken of are christians. They:

  • have once been enlightened
  • have tasted of the heavenly gift
  • have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit
  • have tasted the good word of God
  • tasted the powers of the age to come

The whole context is:

Hebr. 6:4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 

The word IF is not in the Greek in verse 6!:

(IF) they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” 

Consider what Adam Clarke wrote about this and the aorist tense:

”And having fallen away” I can express my own mind on this translation nearly in the words of Dr. Macknight: ‘The participles who were enlightened, have tasted, and were made partakers, being aorists, are properly rendered by our translators in the past time; wherefore parapesontas, being an aorist, ought likewise to have been translated in the past time, ”HAVE fallen away”. Never­theless, our translators, following Beza*, who with­out any authority from ancient MSS. has inserted in his version the word ”if” have rendered this clause, IF they fall away, that this text might not appear to contradict the doctrine of the perse­verance of the saints. But as no translator should take upon him to add to or alter the Scriptures, for the sake of any favourite doctrine, I have trans­lated parapesontas in the past time, ”have fallen away” according to the true import of the word, as standing in connection with the other aorists in the preceding verses.

*) Theodore Beza was John Calvin’s successor 

Young’s literal translation reads: ”And having fallen away, again to renew them to reformation, having crucified gain to themselves the Son of God, and exposed to public shame” (v. 6).

(I can add that the word IF is not present in the common Swedish Bibles so I didn’t have to write all this stuff  about the added word IF when I wrote the equivalent post in Swedish.)

There are a couple of suggestions why the christians in Hebr. 6:6 could not be restored to salvation even though the rest of the Bible provides examples of people who have repented and were brought back to life (for example when Peter sinned by denying Jesus).

1) They might have ended up with a reprobate mind, as in Romans 1 

Rom. 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.—24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:—26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:—28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND, to do those things which are not convenient

The above concerns people who have no excuse for rejecting God since he has clearly been seen and understood by them through his creation. Because they refused to glorify God and instead pursued sin, God gave them over to a reprobate mind and then they were totally absorbed in their vain life styles and were totally lost. People can harden their hearts to the extent that there is no return.

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

If God no longer calls/draws people through the Holy Spirit, and no longer grants people repentance, then people will be for ever separated from God.

2) It could be the unpardonable sin that is spoken about

Those addressed were Hebrew Christians, who were tempted to return to Juda­ism.

Hebr. 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Mark 3:22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?—28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

Before being received again into the synagogue they would have to announce publicly that Jesus was not the Son of God; that His blood would not be able to save anyone; and that His miracles were done by the power of the devil. Before their con­version they had belonged to the nation which had crucified Christ; to return to the synagogue would be to crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame; it would be the awful sin of apostasy.

If one accepts this interpretation then he can better understand why those in Heb. 6:4-6 who fell away (parapesontas) could not be renewed by repentance unto salvation as they were enemies of God (10:29), but others, like Peter, who didn’t sin to that degree, could be renewed. The word in this verse translated fall away (parapesontas) is found only once in the NT and that is here!

Moreover, Peter and the other apostles fell away (skandalizo) (Mt. 26:31,33) and perhaps multitudes like them throughout the centuries, but it is not the same Greek wordJesus taught that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is directly related to saying that the Lord had an evil spirit by which he was driving out demons. Hence, a link seems to exist between eternal sin and openly insulting the Spirit of grace (Hebr. 10:29). This could possibly explain why the ones referred to in 6:6 could not be renewed unto salvation.

We already know from numerous examples in the Bible that a sinner CAN be renewed and cleansed from his sins, if he confesses his sins and repents, but no one can be forgiven for the unpardonable sin.

For whom the Lord loves he chastens Hebr. 12:6

Chastening does not always lead to repentance

It is clear from the Bible that chastening does not always equal repentance and improvement, but this is still the aim with the chastening. We are warned that we must hearken to the chastening and to not despise it. This is what the KJV says about ”chastening” and ”chasten”:

Deuteronomy 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:19Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place

Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

Proverbs 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 IF ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?—10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and REPENT.

AND

Deuteronomy 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

2 Samuel 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

Job 33:19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:

Psalm 6:1O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Psalm 38:1O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Psalm 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.

Psalm 73:14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

Psalm 94:12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

Psalm 118:18 The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.

Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

Daniel 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

Isaiah 26:16 LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.

1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

2 Corinthians 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; aschastened, and not killed

Augustine, the former gnostic, and his many heretical views

Augustine, a former gnostic, lived between 354 and 430 AD, and introduced the following heretical views into church and made them popular

1. Absolute predestination (God decides who will be saved/doomed)
2. Impossibility of falling away or apostasy (Eternal Security)
3. Man has no free will (monergism)
4. One cannot know if he/she is saved (since also those who are carnal minded might be saved)
5. God commands impossibilities (God requesting man to stop sinning which he cannot do)
6. The supreme authority of the Roman church
7. Purgatory
8. Prayers for the dead
9. The damnation of unbaptized infants and adults
10. Sex is sinful also within a marriage because depravity is inherited (hence the rise of monasteries)
11. Mary never committed sin, and we do well to worship her/pray to/through her
12. The gifts of healing, prophecy and tongues have ceased
13. Apocrypha is included in the Scriptures
14. Eucharist is necessary for salvation
15. Giving people the official ”saint” title

Unlike Pelagius, Augustine didn’t understand much Greek. The historian Neander observed that Augustine’s teaching ”contains the germ of the whole system of spiritual despotism, intolerance, and persecution, even to the court of the Inquisition”. He instigated bitter persecutions against the Bible-believing Donatists who were striving to maintain pure churches after the apostolic faith.

Augustine interpreted Bible prophecy allegorically; among other things teaching that the Catholic Church is the kingdom of God.

Augustine was one of the fathers of the heresy of infant baptism, claiming that unbaptized infants were lost, and calling all who rejected infant baptism ”infidels” and ”cursed”.

Augustine exalted church tradition above the Bible and said,”I should not believe the gospel unless I were moved to do so by the authority of the Catholic Church”. 

He was among the first who taught a-millennialism and that the nephilim were descendents of Cain instead of (as the Bible says) a mixture of angels and female human beings.

Augustine said:

“By Adam’s transgression, the freedom of’ the human will has been completely lost.”

“By the greatness of the first sin, we have lost the freewill to love God.”

“By subverting the rectitude in which he was created, he is followed with the punishment of not being able to do right” and “the freedom to abstain from sin has been lost as a punishment of sin.”

According to Wikipedia we can learn: 

He was contemporary with Jerome and Ambrosius. In his early years he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism. Although he later abandoned Neoplatonism some ideas are still visible in his early writings. After his conversion to Christianity, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and different perspectives. He believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, and he framed the concepts of original sin and just war.

When the Western Roman Empire was starting to disintegrate, Augustine developed the concept of the Catholic Church as a spiritual City of God (in a book with the same name). The Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion view him as an pre-eminent Doctor of the Church, and the patron of the Augustinian religious order. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of Reformation.   Much of Augustine’s later life was recorded by his friend Possidius, bishop of Calama (present-day Guelma, Algeria), in his Sancti Augustini Vita. Possidius admired Augustine as a man of powerful intellect and a stirring orator who took every opportunity to defend Christianity against its detractors. Reformed theologians such as Martin Luther and John Calvin would look back to him as their inspiration.

Compared with Augustine,  Pelagius was way more consistent with the Bible and shared the same Bible interpretation as the church fathers before him. (Read more about him in another blog post in the same Category.)

God is not willing that any should perish 1 Peter 3:9

2 pet. 3The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9)

In order to get around the notion that God would want all to be saved, Calvinists suggest that the pronoun us in the phrase ”to us-ward” refers to the elect only, since Peter’s greeting at the beginning of his epistle is addressed to the saints. However, most letters in the New Testament are addressed to saints and it does not follow that we can therefore interpret pronouns in such a restrictive way. Moreover, if Peter would be speaking only of those already saved, why all the warnings and why does Peter express his hope for that they should come to the knowledge of the truth? If Calvinism is right, the elect are by definition those who have already come to the knowledge of true salvation. It is clear that Peter believes that they have already come to the knowledge of the truth and that they must still be aware in order to not be led away on wicked ways and fall from their steadfastness.

2 Cor. 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

When it comes to verses such as Rom 3:23 where it says that ”all have sinned”, then Calvinists believe it literally means every single human being (apart from Jesus), but when it comes to verses such as 2 Cor. 5:14-15, where we can read ”–that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again”, then Calvinists choose to interpret ”all” as the elect only, just like they do with 2 Pet. 3:9 and whichever other verse that suggests that God really does not want anyone to perish.

Ez. 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

Ez. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Peter tells us that some people are willfully ignorant of God’s coming judgment, and they are scoffers who walk after their own lusts – something that definitely would be against God’s will.

2 Pet. 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

In v. 7 we can read that such people will perish when it is time for the judgment – due to their ungodliness (something against God’s will). Peter urges his readers to not be ignorant of such serious warnings, and he comments that some people twist the scriptures to their own destruction. (It does not seem they were chosen to be non-elect before the creation of the world, but they actually cause their own destruction just like the Bible says.)

2 Pet 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Note Paul’s statement about longsuffering in Romans 9:

Rom. 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

God is longsuffering with those who disbelieve, but some vessels are fitting themselves to destruction. Clay has a will of its own, but there is a proper place for clay that is eventually rendered totally useless and that is on the scrap heap. Clay can be marred in the potter’s hands (Jer. 18), and what potter wants his clay to be marred? If the potter would be the one causing his own clay to be destroyed, the word ”longsuffering” would be very much out-of-place. ”Longsuffering” rather indicates that the potter is very patient with the clay, and strongly desire for it to be useful in one way or the other. However, there are limits for how many attempts the potter can handle, and one day the clay will finally end up where it belongs – due to its own actions. It has caused its own destruction despite many chances to become something useful that could please his maker.

2 Tim. 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.21 If a man therefore PURGE HIMSELF FROM THESE, he shall be a vessel unto HONOUR, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Preachers might express themselves with the pronoun ”us” in their sermons before a group of Christians in a church, and still include a larger part of people other than those present in the church.

Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, IF we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. 

They went out from us, but they were not of us 1 John 2:19 – about ANTICHRISTS

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. (1 John 2:19)

It’s common to use the above verse as an attempt to support that true christians can never fall away from their faith. Since we can read about the people in this verse that they were ”not all of us” this is used as a blanket statement throughout scriptures for that those who seem to have fallen away were automatically then ”not all of us”. They fail to see the following:

1) The people spoken about were ”antichrists”, which the verse just before explains, and we are not told if they might have been this all along or when this started to happen. The text is silent about this. That they left might indicate why they didn’t fit in and why they were not ”all of us”.

2) This verse provides ONE case only with a rather unique situation with no indication that this rule applies each time people fall away and leave an assembly.

3) Only 5 verses later we can read about a CONDITIONAL eternal security in this verse:

24Let that therefore ABIDE in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. IF IF IF that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

Here we can read that it’s not so sure that what we have heard from the beginning will remain in us since we can read ”IF that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you”. What if we choose NOT to abide and what if the word does NOT remain in us? Are we still saved?

4) We can read other conditions and warnings from John in the very same chapter, and that it’s not self-evident that we will always choose to abide:

3And hereby we do know that we know him, IF IF IF we keep his commandments. 4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5But whoso KEEPETH his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.6He that saith he abidethin him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.10He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF GOD abideth for ever.26These things have I written unto you concerning them that SEDUCE you.28And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

5) Neither 1 John 2:19 or other verses in the Bible say anything close to ”if a person falls away and loses his faith then he wasn’t saved to begin with”.  This is something we must add to scriptures.

We can gather from this that unless we keep on abiding in Jesus and obey the commandments we are on a very shaky ground and we are not assured a place in the new Kingdom. I can add, that if it’s always true that a person who leaves his faith (and/or combines his faith with living in sin) was ”not truly of us” and ”not saved to begin with” then we will NEVER know who is saved or on the way to heaven in this life. Because if he later on in his life falls away, then we must at once assume that he was not saved earlier in his life eventhough he showed good fruit to go with his faith.