Just as Martin Luther was trying to correct the Catholic Church and not harm the same (with his 95 theses), I am not against the Wesleyan Church. I love the people there and God is using them mightily to spread the love of Jesus. The problem is, as I see it, that the security God describes in Scripture for the Christian, namely that we can know, for sure, that we can never be separated from Jesus no matter what we do, has been exchanged for the lie that we can never know for sure we are going to heaven (until we are in heaven) because we may “reject Christ” before we die and go to hell.
I started my relationship with Jesus by believing he is who he says he is and then learned I have eternal life:
13These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 John 5:13 (NASB95)
I believe that once I trusted Jesus, He took responsibility for me becoming like Him; from start to finish:
6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6 (NASB95)
When I first trusted Him He said He would be with me always, forever, unconditionally:
16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
John 14:16 (NASB95)
5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”
Hebrews 13:5 (NASB95)
He said, “No one” (and that includes me), can snatch me out of Jesus’ and the Father’s hand; He said, I will never perish; He said, I have eternal life:
27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
John 10:27–29 (NASB95)
Paul the Apostle says that neither the future (things to come) nor me (I am a created thing) can separate me from God’s love in Jesus:
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38–39 (NASB95)
The following verse shows that though we may grieve God (and rejecting Christ would grieve Him), he does not separate us from himself.
30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30 (NASB95)
Some verses appear to contradict the above verses. Below is an example. How does the previous scriptures affect our understanding of the following passage? How does the last statement, “for He cannot deny Himself” affect our interpretation?
11 It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:11–13 (NASB95)
Unfortunately, Wesleyan teaching gives Wesleyan Christians no basis for believing they are going to heaven. Rather, they are told IF they don’t “reject Christ” before they die they will go to heaven. Wesleyans never know for sure if they are going to spend eternity with Jesus until they are actually in heaven, because they don’t know for sure if they will ever reject Jesus while they are on earth.
I have peace and freedom and security knowing my future is based on Jesus’ character and ability to bring me to heaven with him, not on my feeble, inconsistent attempts not to reject Christ in my own strength.
You may ask, can I abuse that freedom to the point of license? Absolutely. And Jesus will chastise me even up to the point of physical death; because He loves me. But he will not leave me, he will not reject me. Even if I reject Him. Because He cannot reject Himself.
One Pastor asked me why someone can be a Christian for years and then leave their relationship with Jesus. He implied this proves that a Christian can “lose their salvation” or “reject Christ.” My answer is that they were never in a relationship with Jesus to begin with, it only appeared they were following Jesus.
This Pastor parodied my statement by use of a computer analogy, he said:
“That’s like saying, If I am entered and then deleted, I was never entered.”
However that is NOT what I am saying.
I am saying:
If I leave it is because I was never entered; I acted like I was entered; then I left because I was never entered.
Consider the following:
19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
1 John 2:19 (NASB95)
Jesus’ love is greater than all my sin, past, present and future.
Picture a child, throwing a tantrum because they didn’t get their own way from their father; saying, “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.” Their father still loves them. And their relationship is not based on the child’s perspective. It is based on the Father’s love, which is based on Jesus’ love when He suffered, died and was raised on the third day.