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24 July, 2008 By Rev. Ted Pike

The Bible teaches that God’s covenant with the forefather of the Jews, Abraham, can never be annulled. His promised blessings, including Jewish ownership and occupation of Palestine, could be granted today— if Abraham's descendants obey God as Abraham did. Tragically, they don’t. Rebellious Jews have no right to covenant blessings promised only to the obedient. 1

But in contrast to the Bible, most contemporary evangelicals say Christ-rejecting Jews enjoy unconditional status as “God’s chosen people.” They believe such Jews can own and occupy Palestine — whether they obey or not. Jews thus have rights to God's blessings not because they obey like faithful Abraham but because of their genetics.

Similarly, most evangelicals believe sin in the believer's life is covered because of a "born-again" covenant they make with God—a covenant that now gives them unconditional "eternal security" even as they continue to occassionally sin.

This brief article will examine the ancient lie that God unconditionally blesses and approves of certain people—a lie that wreaks havoc with His law.


History of Rebellion

As we retrace the long history of rebellion to God, we notice striking similarities: rebels think they can sin without losing their security. Lucifer was first to make this choice.

Described by Scripture as the most exalted and favored angel, Lucifer thought his place of favor could not be threatened by his rebellion. He probably felt that if he failed to kill or dethrone God, he and his followers could occupy one part of heaven and God and His angels the other. The Almighty showed what He thought of Satan's notion of "unconditional security:" He threw Lucifer and the rebellious angels out of heaven. Today, they are demons who infest and dominate earth.

Like Satan, Adam and Eve thought they had unconditional privileges. After all, like Lucifer, they were "special" - God's firstborn humans! Believing rebellion would not deprive them of their place in the earthly paradise, Eden , they ate the forbidden fruit. God also cast them out, cursing the earth because of them.

In the 16th century, Reformation leader John Calvin developed an idea very much like that of Satan and Adam. Calvinism says that if a person is once soundly converted then he can't be lost, regardless of subsequent sin. Calvin's 18th and 19th century followers said that when sinners repent and accept Christ's gift of salvation they are unconditionally "adopted" as "heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ." (Rom. 8:17 ) As “God’s elect,” they are "eternally secure" no matter what they do. The great majority of evangelicals believe this today.

Actually, the New Testament says repeatedly that Christians can lose their salvation. Just as God expelled Satan from heaven and Adam and Eve from paradise, so He will expel from His kingdom those who become His children through faith and then fall away into sin.

2 Peter 2:20-21 says:

For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them, and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment… 2

Unfortunately, countless Calvinist Christians who deeply love and trust the Lord believe that some manifestations of their humanity (irritability, sexual thoughts, seeming lack of Christian love or good works, etc.) are sin. Such Christians find comfort in Calvinism's assurance that even if they "sin" their souls are not in jeopardy.

Yet sin is not just a thought, human instinct, or passing emotion. It is rebellion to the known, Biblucally defined will of God. James 4:7 says "…to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin." Sin is a choice to defy God's authority. Such an act of spiritual lawlessness is serious enough to confine us to hell forever.

The Bible does teach eternal security. But it's only on God's terms. Scripture says we must forsake all known rebellion and daily look to Christ in simple childlike trust, obeying Him to the best of our ability. As long as we live by faith, we are eternally secure. Jesus promised, "The one who comes [in simple trust] to Me I will certainly not cast out." (John 6:37) Galatians 5:16 says if you "walk by the Spirit…you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." When we obediently trust Christ's mercy, we cannot displease God or be lost. But we must continue in that obedient faith, or we will lose our salvation. This is the simple gospel.

For millennia, such authentic Christianity has been largely forgotten by a church whose theologians have invented other assurances of God's favor -- assurances people like much more than being told to trust and obey daily!


Israel Today: No Obedience Required

Evangelicals of the 20th century have been steeped in Calvinist promises that they don't have to continuously trust God to be saved. This belief led naturally to unconditional approval of the Zionist movement and later of Israel . Most evangelicals believe that the Jews, like themselves, are chosen by God regardless of how they sin. Most believe the Jews inherited unconditional rights of blessing and favor from God through the Abrahamic covenant. Nothing Jews do can abridge those privileges.

But this idea is flatly contradicted by the Old Testament's clearest warnings that God's covenant promise to bless Israel is strictly conditioned on obedience. Deuteronomy 7:9,12 says God "keeps His covenant…with those who love Him and keep His commandments." Verse 12 says that only " because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them" will "the Lord your God keep with you His Covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers."

Jews who do not obey God are stripped of covenant blessings, as were Satan, Adam and Eve, and backslidden Christians. Such Jews are denied national occupation of the land of promise. (The Bible prophesies a remnant of Jews will repent at Christ's second coming and reoccupy the land under divine approval.) 3 (See, Bible Prophecy Made Simple)

Today, the vast majority of evangelicals and Christian Zionists repeat a primordial lie: that God makes unconditional covenants with men. This lie says God blesses and rewards certain favored people even when they openly disobey Him. There is no more diabolical lie and heresy.

Do you wonder why there are so many hypocrites in evangelical churches? Are you baffled about why unending discord and terrorism has rent the Middle East since Jews reoccupied it nearly a century ago?

There is no mystery.

Systems that beget hypocrisy and discord are founded not on the level solid rock of truth, which brings freedom and peace, but on the treacherous quicksand of a lie.


Endnotes:

  1. Scriptures teaching that God's covenant with Israel is accessed only by obedience include: Gen. 18:1,9; Ex. 19:5; Deut. 7:9-15, 11:13-15, 15:4-5, 19:8-9, 28:1-68, 30:9-20; Josh. 24:19-20; I Sam. 2:30, 12:14-15, 12:20-25; I Chron. 28:9; II Chron 15:2; I Kings 6:12-13, 9:4-9, 11:38; II Kings 21:8; Is. 58:9-14, 65:11-12; Jer. 17:24-25, 18:7-10, 22:4-5, 26:3-6; Zech 3:7.

  2. Scriptures teaching God’s conditional terms of salvation include: Rom. 11:20,22; 1 Cor. 6:9,10; 15:1,2; Heb. 6:4-8, 10:26,39; Gal. 5:21; 6:7; Eph. 5:5; I John 2:29; 3:6; 2 John 1:8, I Tim. 1:19; 4:16; II Tim. 2:11; II Pet. 2:20,21; Rev. 3:5, 11, 21.

  3. Scriptures teaching God’s requirement of obedience for Jews to occupy or reoccupy Palestine include: Lev. 26, Num. 32:15, Deut. 1:37, 28:21, 25, 37,41, 58-64, 29:28; I Sam. 12:20-25; I Kings 8:46-53; II Kings 18:11,12, 21:8; II Chron. 7:17-22, 30:9; Neh. 1:8-9; Jer. 4:1-4, 7:5-7, 12:16-17, 13:22, 15:19, 22:4-5, 29:13; Hosea 9:15; Amos 4:1-2; Zech. 7:11-14.

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