Whoever Goes On Believing, Goes on having Eternal Life…

This is an excerpt from my book, “Born From Above: a commentary on John 3″- available at

The third chapter of John allows us to overhear a conversation between Nicodemus, the chief rabbi of Israel, and Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was not trained in the rec- ognized rabbinic schools, but He was approved of God by signs and wonders as well as by the irrefutable doctrine He taught. Nicodemus came to Him, and spoke for other leading rabbis when he acknowledged that Jesus had come from God.

The topic? The New Birth, as the entry into the long-awaited Kingdom of God. Here at this point in the discussion, at John 3:16, Jesus is teaching Nicodemus, (and us) how it is that God could righteously give we sinners a new birth.

God so loved the world that He gave His monogenes. His only unique Son, as a sin offering. God made a righteous way to grant new life to unrighteous men and women, Jesus paid the price for us.

John 3:16 is a much beloved verse of the Bible, perhaps the single most translated prose ever written. But its very familiarity sometimes has the effect on people that they assume that they already know it. But the Bible is alive and there is always more light, and helpful enrichment in every verse of scripture.

For example, consider the phrase “whosoever believes in Him”. As in the story of the brass serpent lifted up on the pole, anyone who looks up in faith to the “only begotten Son” hanging on the tree will not perish but have everlasting life, (be born again).

Salvation is not just for a particular group, but Jesus died for all. Anyone who hears the gospel and looks believingly unto Jesus shall receive the gift of the new birth, which is also called eternal life.

David Pawson, the man I mentioned earlier who wrote an insightful book about John 3:164 makes the point that the word believes is in the present continu- ous tense. The Greek language has more tenses than the English language. (I am no Greek scholar, mind you, but I can read the work of others).

The present continuous tense doesn’t often translate into the English, because we don’t have one. For example, in Jesus’ teaching on prayer, Luke 11:9-10 quotes Him as saying:

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seekand ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)

Those verbs are also in the present continuous tense, they literally say, “Ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on finding, knock and keep on knocking, for everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives . . .” Knowing the Greek tense clears up a lot of misunderstandings in scripture. Another example is from 1 John 2:15, which says,

Love not the World nor the things of the world, if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him . . .”

Because the word love (agape) is in the present continuous tense, it could just as easily read, “Don’t go on loving the world, nor go on loving the things of the world . . .”

Going back to our
text in John 3:16, we see that the word believes, is also in the present continuous tense. It could just as well be understood to say,

For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, so that whosoever goes on believing in Him, might not perish but have everlasting life.

So also the Word ‘Have’ is in the same tense. “…shall go on having eternal life”.

Interestingly, Pawson points out that the love God loved the world with, is in the aorist tense, which means that He did it once–For God (once) thus loved the world.

When did God love the world? When Jesus died on the cross. The act of God in love for this fallen rebellious world is a once and for all event, it will never be repeated, nor would it ever have to. God loved the world once, and for all time, in the offering of the cross.

God doesn’t have a broad and ongoing relationship with the world, approving of this good aspect, but disapproving of that bad one, yet ever hoping for improve- ment.

The Holy God has announced that as of the cross, the world is under judgment, the sentence is passed and His attitude towards it is utterly unrelenting, the world is doomed.

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:31-32)

But “once” and with perfect and ongoing effect, God loved the world . . . by giving sinful men a way out of their dilemma, through the cross of Jesus.

Back to the text again, Pawson pointed out that the word believes is present continuous tense. We are to go on believing in Jesus that we might ever have “eternal life”.

There are many who are so confused about this that they claim that a person could so backslide that they renounce Jesus entirely and die in their sins, but they suppose that they will be allowed into heaven, because at one point, somewhere along the line, they “believed in Jesus unto salvation”.

This false doctrine flies in the face of much of scripture however, for example;

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister. (Colossians 1:21-23)

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

True, all that Jesus requires of those of us who come to Him for salvation, is that we believe in Him, remaining in faith in His work on the cross and as our High Priest.

But faith isn’t static, it is an ongoing dependency, an abiding in Jesus, a constant feeding on His finished work, His person, eating and drinking His words. This is the only true personal relationship with God.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:1-4)

4 David Pawson, Is John 3:16 the Gospel? Terra Nova publications.

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52 Responses to Whoever Goes On Believing, Goes on having Eternal Life…

  1. Josie says:

    I attended Catholic school for all my education. We were not allowed to read the Bible. As a new believer in Jesus’s work on the cross for my sinfulness, I didn’t begin to read my Bible until 19 years old. I didn’t have any preconceived teaching from protestant teachings. The Bible it self seems clear to be saying what you and David P have said. I was stunned when I first heard “once saved always saved.” It really doesn’t say that anywhere in the Bible. Thank you for taking the time to address this deadly false teaching…

  2. April Elliott says:

    Hello Pastor Bill, we want to purchase your book but the International link is not working and I have sent an email through contact us but no one responds? Sorry, please forgive me, I know this is not the media for this, I just know you do see these messages. Thank You April

  3. Deemar says:

    Amen!
    If it is not a “work” to “believe” in the first place, then it is also NOT a work to continue in that belief/faith unto our final salvation.

    Wouldn’t the enemy just love for us to believe that “continuance” is not necessary?

  4. April Elliott says:

    Mending the nets
    Making war in the Heavenlies
    Born from above

    3526 Mclean Sawmill Road
    Malakwa, B.C.
    V0E 2J0
    Canada

    Thank You so much and please have someone contact me for payment.
    April

  5. standingfirm says:

    Yes, couldn’t have said it any better. A ongoing dependency!!! Leaning on the everlasting arms. Amen.

    MARANATHA!!!

  6. Tim says:

    Part of the problem with this issue is having a wrong idea of how salvation is obtained, and what salvation actually is.

    Which of the following statements is more true from a biblical perspective?

    1) Salvation is gained through a one time action/decision (such as saying the sinner’s prayer)

    2) Salvation is gained through an ongoing faith in Jesus.

    Many supporters of OSAS seem to lean to something like statement 1), and conclude that the saying of a sinner’s prayer, or responding to an altar call, or a similar one-off decision is sufficient to secure salvation for eternity, no matter what a person may do after that decision has been made.

    However, the bible does not describe salvation, or the means to salvation in those terms.

    We also have to consider what we are being saved FROM and what we are being saved FOR, and how that relates to how we can be sure our salvation is (and remains) secure.

  7. anne says:

    Bill, are you a Calvinist? I did research on this David Pawson a Calvinist. He is post trib, believes that tongues is proof of the baptism of the Spirit and he believes we have to “preserve” our faith, and in Lordship Salvation. He also calls for and end of the division between Charismatic & Evangelical Christians over Spirit baptism & Charismatic gifts. I believe you added to the gospel Bill. John 3:16 says, “whosoever believes”. Though 1 Corinthians 15:3b-4. is not mentioned it says, “… Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Dave Hunt wrote in his book T.U.L.P. and the Bible said of “P” (Perseverance of the Saints) pg. 169. “Biblical assurance of salvation does not depend upon ones performance, but upon its promise that whosoever believes in Him receives the free & unconditional gift of eternal life”. Where is repentance in John 3:16, or 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. I was saved while reading John 3. I asked the Lord to help me be born again (John 3:3), I believed John 3:16, the moment I believed I received the Holy Spirit. Once I was born again and I started learning scripture and realized my evil sin nature the repenting began, and continues (1 John 1:6-9). The moment I believed I was forgiven for ALL my sins past present and future. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Pawson

    • Tim says:

      David Pawson is not a Calvinist. He has taught on the errors of Calvinism.

      Yes he is post-trib, which to me is the biblical view of end times. I came to that view through personal bible study after previously believing in pre-trib (because that had been the way I was taught).
      After coming to a post-trib view myself, Pawson’s teaching on the subject was a wonderful confirmation to me that I hadn’t gone on some kind of weird solitary journey.

      However one’s view on the timing of the tribulation and “the rapture” are a separate issue and do not determine the validity or otherwise of teachings on other topics..

      And as for tongues being “proof of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he believes tongues is AN example of evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit but does not promote that all who are baptised in the Holy Spirit will speak in tongues.

      Bill did not add to the gospel. John 3:16, in the original Greek language means exactly as Bill said. the word “believes” is in a Greek tense signifying an ongoing, continuous belief, not a single, one time expression of belief.

      As for the application of John 3:16 – as wonderful as that promise is, it is only a tiny fraction of the bible and cannot and should not be made into the whole gospel. That single verse is has its own immediate context, and also the much wider context of the WHOLE of scripture. That verse can not be applied in ways that ignore that wider context.

      • anne says:

        My concern is this: The Gospel is suppose to be simple enough a child can understand. As a “believer” it is a given that I believed and my faith is based on that fact. The moment I put my faith or trust in and believed the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) I was born again. I am continually saved, permanently. I cannot be unborn again, no way. The seemed inference of “perseverance” or the “P” in Calvin’s T.U.L.I.P. is what concerned me greatly. If I believed the gospel today, had doubts tomorrow, or Satan sent a cult member to me to drive me into apostasy can I go back to the beginning asking God to save me again? NO, I can’t (Hebrews 6:4). But I can repent 1 John 1:7-9. It says plainly in John 3:16, “That God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but has everlasting life.” Why does scripture not say, “whosoever keeps believing in Him will have eternal life”? It doesn’t say that, so now are we adding or taking away? Rev. 22:18. Here is Strong’s on this issue: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4100&t=KJV

      • anne says:

        No, I’m not a Calvinist but I do believe in eternal security, to a Calvinist the buzz word is “election”, to a non Calvinist the buzz word is “free will”. This explains it well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5Xsf55OB2A

    • Tim says:

      The seemed inference of “perseverance” or the “P” in Calvin’s T.U.L.I.P. is what concerned me greatly

      Anne, the Perseverance that is part of Calvinist belief seems to be more or less what you believe. It insists that a genuine believer WILL persevere in the faith and can not lose their salvation. According to Calvinist doctrine it is GOD who makes a believer persevere, making then unable to fall away.

      Why does scripture not say, “whosoever keeps believing in Him will have eternal life”?

      But it DOES say that in the Greek manuscripts, as Bill said above.
      Even in the English here’s a hint of that meaning in the use of the word “believes” rather than “believed”.

      Believes indicates something current and not something done in the past.

      • anne says:

        In the ‘Present tense”: It does not say the future act, or acts: it says, “Some phrases might be rendered as past tense in English will often occur in the present tense in Greek these are termed “historical presents”, “and such occurrences dramatize the event described as if the reader were there watching the even occur…some English translators render such historical presents in English past tense, while others remain in the present.” Voice: “Active”, example: “the boy hit the ball, the boy performs the action” Mood: Participle “The Greek participle corresponds for the most part to the English participle, reflecting “ing” or “ed” being suffixed to the basic verb form. The participle can be used like either a verb or a non in English, and thus is often termed a “verbal noun.”. My point is this: The difference between the first moment a person believed, accepted as true the gospel of God (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). The Present tense is not a future act. It’s the initial point at which a person believed. In the commentaries I have read “ing” is not used as Bill used it in which he said “whosoever goes on believing”. Point 1 for me is: Of course a true born believer is a believer and does go on believing whether we think he does or not. Point 2 for me is: It seemed as though he was saying that “going on believing is possible NOT to happen” In other wards a person is born again the moment, second he believed and was born again, and that cannot be changed, no way. So, as of observing other believers we cannot judge their hearts, and people are doing that. My good friend said to me, “you will be surprised who you see in heaven”. In other wards you might have judged that man sitting at the bar stood as going to hell. The books of 1 and 2 Corinthians explain everything quite well. Just sayin~ https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?topic=VT0000260

      • Tim says:

        Anne said:

        The Present tense is not a future act. It’s the initial point at which a person believed.

        No Anne, the present tense refers to now (the present) – it’s not referring to a point in the past.
        As long as someone continues believing now, in the present moment, they have nothing to worry about their future belief.

        But no one should put their trust in what they did in the past if that past act or decision is not being maintained today.

    • billrandles says:

      Anne I just discvered your inquiry. Thanks for your feedback on this article, I believe getting people to think and talk about these things is a good thing. In answer to your question, “No I am not a Calvinist”. I fnd TULIP repugnant, and especially “Limited Atonement”. the idea that Jesus did not de for everybody. I hopethis helps, Pas Bill

      On Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 8:36 AM Pastor Bill Randles Blog wrote:

      >

  8. rlvan says:

    I think the problem lies in our definition of what it is to believe. From my understanding, to the Hebrews, to believe is to do. In other words, I don’t believe it is going to rain unless I bring and umbrella. In Greek thought, to believe is to know and express verbal understanding but again, to the Hebrews action was involved. I honestly think that is why Paul used the “continuous active” form. A teacher who has a great knowledge of Second Temple Judaism, Dr. Randall Smith, used this example on his blog:

    “Jean Francois Gravelet, also known as “The Great Blondin,” was the first tightrope walker to appear at Niagara Falls. On June 30, 1859 the rope was fully in position to cross the falls. It was five o’clock in the afternoon and Blondin started the trip that was to make history. As he began his ascent toward the Canadian shore, he paused, steadied the balancing pole and suddenly executed a back somersault. Never content merely to repeat his last performance, Blondin crossed his rope on a bicycle, walked blindfolded, pushed a wheelbarrow, cooked an omelet in the centre and made the trip with his hands and feet manacled. And then, he announced that on August 19 he would cross the gorge carrying his manager, Harry Colcord, on his back. (Source: http://www. niagarainfo.com/historic.htm)

    Harry Colcord demonstrated what we are referring to as “Biblical belief.” He didn’t just have the faith to know that Blondin could make the trip; he acted on that faith in allowing it to change HIS future.”

    Akin to faith is the Biblical word “BELIEVE” (επιστευσεν from pisteuo: to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), to entrust. Belief is only truly seen in change (as James notes). It is “the convincing of the mind and heart that leads to a willful surrender to the conditions of that truth accepted.” When Abraham believed that God would send him a son — he built a nursery. The belief was not complete until the actions accompanied the faith confirmed the change in authority over the life of the man of faith.”

    I think that is why we see that we must believe so many times in the Bible but the problem is in our definition of belief.

    This is a wonderful series, thanks Pas Bill and to all of the posters. I learn so much from all of you!

  9. A strong take away “faith is not static”
    How often from some have I heard….”He got saved as a young man, but he isn’t living for Christ now”…..if you are not living for Christ, who are you living for, then?…..We need to stay IN the faith period.

  10. stan says:

    If one would read chapter 10 of Hebrews with no preconcieved doctrine,but rather let the scripture speak,when you come to the last verse it is plain to see.Hebrews is a letter fighting for the souls of believers,jewish and gentile,we are all now one in Christ.Presecution of these believers is fierce and the temptation is to go back to the law,but the letter states to do so is to go into perdition.I believe it plainly exhorts us to keep believing not to stop no matter the earthly cost,even to the death of the body.Galatians same fight,what does it mean to fall from grace?If I fall from grace am I still being saved?What is the power of this osas doctrine?Did Paul teach it?What is Paul teaching the church in Philippians 3? 2nd Corinthians chapter 11, what are Pauls sufferings about,is it not for care of all the churches,why would Paul continue to care for the churches?The passions of my flesh war against my soul daily,the love of this world continues to invite me back but God has given me the victory in Jesus.I must choose that victory daily in denying myself ,picking up my cross and following Jesus,and exhorting others also to do the same.osas has never enter my mind,but rather to lay hold on eternal life now given me,not to neglet such a great salvation,but rather to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling with other believers who are of the same mind Philippians 3:17-21. Love and God bless

  11. Katie Wildes says:

    Pastor Randles,

    You say you are no Greek scholar but you can read the work of others, so I am sending along someone else’s work on this exact subject for you to consider…………..credit is at the bottom.

    Only Believers Go to Heaven In support of their contention that justification and sanctification are inextricably related, Experimental Predestinarians often point to the passages in which we are told that “whoever believes in Him” (John 3:16) will have eternal life. They say this implies that a person who has believed in the past and then has stopped believing will not go to heaven because only “believers” go to heaven. Yes, we may well doubt the salvation of any person who has believed in Christ in the past and then, for some reason, no longer believes. Furthermore, such an individual, even if he is regenerate, can have no assurance of his salvation because faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and if he no longer believes the things hoped for, he no longer has faith or assurance. As will be demonstrated in chapter 32, it is possible for a born-again person to fall away from the faith and cease believing. He is called a carnal Christian and will be subject to severe divine discipline. If final apostasy is not possible, then the warnings are empty of meaning, as will be discussed in a later chapter. However, Experimental Predestinarians are often impressed with the fact that in many of these verses the present tense of the verb “to believe” is used or the participle is an articular present participle meaning “the one who believes.” The fact that these verbs are in the present tense, they say, implies that Jesus meant that “whoever continues to believe” has everlasting life.

    Thus, the simple offer of the gospel on the basis of faith has become, for Experimental Predestinarians, something entirely different. When Jesus said, “Whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life,” the Experimental Predestinarians say His true meaning was “whoever believes in Him and continues to believe in Him up to the point of physical death and who also manifests evidence of having truly believed by practical works of holiness and has persevered to the end of life has everlasting life.” The woman at the well, and even Nicodemus, the teacher of Israel himself, would have been perplexed. The argument from the articular present participle is simply wrong. It is sometimes true that a durative/ progressive aspect is associated with the present tense. However, the aspect can be overridden by a host of other factors (lexical meaning, limited verbal choices, context, etc.) and is usually non-existent or nearly so in the articular participle. The adherents of perseverance are reading into the term “believe” the meaning “believe at a point of time and continue to believe up to the point of physical death.” This is not only foreign to normal Greek usage but to English usage as well. We might say, “Whoever believes that Rockefeller is a philanthropist will receive a million dollars.” At the point in time a person believes this, he is a millionaire. However, if ten years later, he ceases to believe, he is still in possession of the million dollars. Similarly, if a man has believed in Christ, he is regenerate and in possession of eternal life, even if he ceases to believe in God in the future. The verses that promise heaven on the condition of belief simply do not logically imply that the real condition is that you continue in belief up to the end of life.

    The notion that the present tense requires the sense “he who continually and habitually believes has everlasting life” is not supported by Greek grammar.For example, Moulton and Turner comment, “Thus in Greek, one seldom knows apart from the context whether the present indicative means, I walk or I am walking.” Often the present has a punctiliar meaning. Moulton and Turner call attention to the fact that the personal present articular participle “the one who believes” is often used “where we would expect aorist.” When used that way, they say “Action (time or variety) is irrelevant and the participle has become a proper name.” Wallace illustrates from Matthew, “Thus, for example, in Matthew 5:28, ‘everyone who looks at a woman’ with lust in his heart does not mean ‘continually looking’ or ‘habitually looking,’ any more than four verses later ‘everyone who divorces his wife’ means ‘repeatedly divorces!’” Perhaps 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come,” is relevant here. The intent is to describe deliverance from the tribulation wrath. He is not saying that Jesus is the One who continually delivers us from the tribulation wrath. A deliverance once accomplished does not need to be habitually repeated. In his discussion of the articular present participle Moulton makes a similar point. This form has in fact, he says, become a noun and is not a verb at all. For example, “the destroyer of the temple” of Matthew 27:40 is not “the one who continually destroys the temple.” John the Baptist is called ho baptizōn, “the baptizer” (Mark 6: 14, 24), not the one who continually baptizes people. Similarly, Robertson observes, “The participle with the article sometimes loses much of its verbal force.” Summary While it is horrible to contemplate, possible apostasy and cessation of belief is a very real danger set before the readers of the New Testament, particularly in the book of Hebrews. Though it is possible that a person who professes belief once and then rejects the faith is not a Christian, it is also possible that he is genuinely born again. Saving faith is “the act of a single moment whereby all the benefits of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection suddenly become the irrevocable possession of the individual, per se, despite any and all eventualities.” If a person is born again, what he forfeits when he “falls away” is not his eternal destiny but his opportunity to reign with Christ’s Metochoi in the coming kingdom. “And he who overcomes and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations” (Revelation 2: 26).

    Dillow, Joseph C. (2014-06-14). Final Destiny: The Future Reign of The Servant Kings Revised Edition (p. 389). Grace Theology Press. Kindle Edition.

    > On Sep 7, 2019, at 1:56 PM, Pastor Bill Randles Blog wrote: > >

    • anne says:

      Katie, exactly! This blog has bothered me since I read it first. Could not sleep last night over it either, and woke up still disturbed. Great post!

      • KT says:

        I have been following the blog for some time and have not found too much that I would disagree with Pastor Randles, until the post on Damnable Heresies and the posts following that. I happen to be reading a book by Joseph Dillow called the Reign of the Servant Kings, A study of Eternal Security and the Final Significance of Man. ( I posted above an excerpt from it) You can purchase the Kindle edition or get a hard copy on Amazon. The book is the result of years of study and anyone really wanting to do an in-depth study of OSAS and the other ideas out there comparatively I would definitely recommend this book. I will also repost some links for you that I think are helpful and anyone else who would like to check them out.

        https://www.simplybelief.com/2017/03/20/sd1/
        http://www.gracelife.org/resources/articles/?id=14
        https://faithalone.org/shop/books/a-free-grace-primer/

        Some helpful links to help define the discussion……………….at the first site there is a study and it is stated very well, salvation is by faith it cannot be earned, returned, or lost but by contrast discipleship is by works it is either rejected, neglected, or maintained. KT

      • KT says:

        Anne, you might find blessing at this site and these sermons

        If you want to listen to some really good sermons, with scripture in CONTEXT, go to link below, if link does not work

        search for Sermon Audio, when open search for Open Door Baptist Church, Pastor Ken Stodola, search for the series Life of Messiah, to start at beginning of series “Sort By” Oldest

        it will start with the sermon called Division In Christ……………..

        https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=9231920112403

    • stan says:

      My Bible tells me in Revelation 2:11 he that overcomes will not be hurt of the second death, it also tells me in Revelation 3:5 if I overcome I will be clothed with white raiment and my name wont be blotted out of the book of life,the exhortation by Jesus to overcome is given to the seven churches with reward and loss ,not only to rule with Him.My question is what happens to those that dont overcome,for example those in the church of Smyrna who dont remain faithful unto death will they recieve the crown of life,and they that dont overcome, will they be hurt of the second death,and Revelation 20:14-15 tells of the second death.Jesus is telling the churches to repent and overcome. This osas teaching is so dangerous to me,l mean I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m born again 5/19/2004 a Wed eve. baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days after.I am tempted by the passions of my flesh , enticed by evil desires that remain in me,learning to fight and overcome through the knowledge of the finished work of Christ on the cross.If I am understanding correctly according to osas,I could divorce my wife go back to the bar and the life of drunkenness and fornication and still inherit eternal life,but just couldnt rule with Christ in the Kingdom?Is this what your proclaiming?I could go back to the world and live my life and persue my dreams and still inherit etternal life? Is this what the scripture teaches?

      • nng nng says:

        Stan an overcomer is a born again believer pure and simple. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5) answer by continued reading in 1 John is a born again believer (John 3:3). In the 7 churches the overcomers are the ones that are born again. Rev. 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21. Jesus said we must be born again. Many churches have members but not many are truly born again because they are not trusting in the gospel. They are trusting in their baptism, church attendance, obeying the commandments, or going to church (cold ones) pretending.

      • anne says:

        Stan, If you go to 1 John 5:4 it says, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” An overcomer is a born again Christian (John 3). In the letters to the churches the overcomers (Rev. 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, :26, 3:15, 3:12, 3:21) are the ones who are born again by believing the gospel, the finished work of Christ on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) in our place for there is nothing we can do but believe. In today’s churches there are many in attendance but that are not born again. In the church of Laodicea a picture of our day the ones sitting in the church pews are either cold (not saved) luke warm (think they are Christians), hot (born again). J. Vernon McGee says this of 1 John 5:4 “What is it that overcomes the world? It is our faith. It is faith that saves us, and it is faith that keeps us. We are saved by faith; we walk by faith. We are born children of God by faith in Jesus Christ, and faith is the only way in which you and I will be able to overcome this world around us.” Worry not about those who are not living by your standards because you know there are unsaved people in church, and people who claim to be Christians but have not been born again. Those are the ones we need to witness too. How to be saved? Have they ever asked? Or did they just assume because they thought they were the elect, or because they were told they were a Christian after they got baptized or the attend church, but don’t even know what the gospel is. Most churches today are not preaching the gospel. See strong’s here:https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4102&t=KJV An overcomer is not someone who is working. An overcomer is someone who is saved by grace through faith. Eph. 2:8-9. Though there are Christians who claim to be born again who have not been taught how to walk like it, how could they? Is there churches out there discipling them and teaching them doctrine? Very, very few. In 1 Corinthians 5 & 6, Paul tells us what to do. Blessings~

      • stan says:

        I will continue to contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints and recieve the teaching of the Apostles and not men.Jude tells me to earnestly contend for the faith,you can use all your greek and hebrew and the teachers you proscribe to,it is the simple that shall be saved that obey the Word and are doers of the Word by faith through grace.Jude plainly teaches there are those who left there first estate,those who live ungodly, I am told to build myself up in the faith and to keep myself in the love of God.False teachers of false doctrine are everywhere,ministers of the evil one ,as Paul said to the Elders of Ephesis ” for know this,that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you,not sparing the flock.Also of your own selves shall men arise,speaking perverse things ,to draw away disciples after them.Peter writes ” While they promise them liberty ,they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome,of the same is he brought in bondage.For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,they are again entangled therin ,and overcome,the latter end is worse with them than the beginning” Paul writes to Timothy “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly,that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,giving heed to seducing spirits,and doctrines of devils;” Paul also writes in 1st Timothy “let the women learn in silence with all subjection.But I suffer not a woman to teach,nor to usurp authority over the man,but to be in silence” 1st Samuel 15:22-23 ” to obey is better than sacrifice” Let God be true and every man a liar.I will tend to what God has given me , and continue to strive and press towards the mark of the high calling,and pray that I will always love His appearing and to watch and pray always that I will be counted worthy to stand before the Son of Man. I will teach and exhort others also. This will be my last post and visit to a blog,Love and God bless.

      • KT says:

        https://www.simplybelief.com/2017/03/20/sd1/

        The link above might help you with your conundrum…….

      • Tim says:

        This osas teaching is so dangerous to me

        Couple that teaching to the idea that all you have to do to be saved is say “the sinner’s prayer”, or respond to an altar call and you’ll be saved, and you have something even more dangerous.

        It results in a very cheap idea of salvation that has no resemblance to anything in scripture.

      • Tim says:

        Anne said:

        If you go to 1 John 5:4 it says, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” An overcomer is a born again Christian (John 3).

        I think your last statement in that quote is faulty.

        You have things the wrong way around.
        It would be more correct to say a born again Christian is an overcomer.

        Identifying as a born again Christian, or the fact that someone said a sinner’s prayer at some time in their past, does not make them an overcomer or a born again Christian.

        Overcoming will be the evident fruit of a living faith in Jesus.

        Your 1 John 5 verse indicates that if someone who is born of God WILL overcome the world. There will be ongoing evidence in their life. There is a demonstrated victory over the world, as an outcome of their faith.

      • Tim says:

        nng nng said:

        Stan an overcomer is a born again believer pure and simple

        As I pointed out in a similar reply to Anne.
        Your statement is the wrong way around.

        The reality is that a born again believer will be an overcomer.
        At first glance there might not seem to be a difference between the two – but there is a significant and important difference.

        My correction to your statement indicates that overcoming is the very real evidence that identifies someone as a believer, it’s not just a label that can be attached to someone who personally identifies as a born again Christian.

  12. standingfirm says:

    One thing that Brother Dave Hunt had said, truly resonated with me. He stated “TRUST AND OBEY FOR THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.” Blessings.

    MARANATHA!!!

  13. B B says:

    I think this answers the question I came to your blog with: When a pastor “who loved the Lord” takes his own life after a long “battle with depression”, are we to comfort ourselves with the thought that he is now at rest in heaven with Jesus? Or did he just enter eternity in one giant act of unbelief?? It’s too terrible to say perhaps. But I worry about the church at large and her ability to keep the faith if such a provision is made for so called Christian husbands and fathers to fall so deeply into despair that they kill themselves and leave their flocks and families scarred by their tragic death, and yet retain faith in God??

    Thoughts, Pastor Bill?
    Thank you.

    • billrandles says:

      I don’t think anyone of us had any basis for proclaiming that a. Suicide has
      Gone to heaven at all. In such a case we can only
      Point to the character of God as merciful and Holy and who takes everything into account in judgment. Suicide is a deep and serious sin.

      • anne says:

        A sin, which has been forgiven the moment he believed the gospel and was born again, past present and future!. I disciple a lady. When she was first born again, she was Catholic 2 years ago I would ask her, now you sinned today by doing this or that, are you going to heaven now? She would say no. It’s been 2 years, I ask her now, if you did not get a chance to repent (1 John 1:7-9) of a sin you did today are you going to heaven? She said YES she would go to heaven. That was the correct answer.

    • billrandles says:

      Thanks BB. My thoughts on the pastor who committed suicide, I do not believe that entering eternity that way has hopeful prospects. the last act of his life on earth was one of murder. We worship a God who takes everything ito account, but no one should take any encouragment in suicide of anyone.

  14. Tim says:

    Anne said:

    “In the ‘Present tense”: It does not say the future act”

    The Greek tense used can be described as the present continuous tense.
    Even in using the present tense it indicates something ongoing and not something we did in the past.

    Where we are now is always the present.
    We tend to take the present with us – the present does not go backwards.

    We need to believe NOW and continue to believe NOW – it’s of no value to have believed THEN if we stop believing at some time.
    If we continue to believe NOW, then the future will be taken care of.

  15. anne says:

    K.T. AMEN! That is what I have been trying to get at although badly. You can’t loose your received by you free gift of salvation when you believed the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4), though you could lose rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). I believe Stan was confusing being an overcomer (born again) with works (contending for the faith) Ephesians 2:10. Like I was trying to say, there are many born again people who have not been discipled by a good Bible teaching church, which I cannot find either. Though I go to Bible Study weekly. And the title of this blog, “Whoever goes on believing goes on having eternal life” Is not correct, and false. Blessings~

    • Tim says:

      “Whoever goes on believing goes on having eternal life” Is not correct, and false.

      So in other words someone can stop believing and still have eternal life?

      • anne says:

        Tim you quoted the verse incorrectly making your assumption incorrect as Bill Randles used his preferred Greek Scholar and never going to another. I look at more than one person if you don’t then your just following a cult leader. All the English Bible’s I have read “Whosoever believeth”, or “believes”. And even if they put believing which they did not it does not mean what the U.K. so called Greek expert said it means. You are adding to the scriptures when you say “Whosoever goes on believing goes on having eternal life”. That is flat out heresy! I won’t argue the point anymore because you are stuck. Read all of John 3 in context, comparing scripture with scripture. If Christ did not die for ALL YOUR SINS past present and future, then you have another jesus, and maybe another type of purgatory that does not exist. Because the moment I believed the gospel I was washed clean, and even my future sins are all washed clean. In 1 John 1:7-9 It’s all about FELLOWSHIP. Ponder that

      • Deemar says:

        Wouldn’t the enemy just love for us to believe that…

        WHY would all of the admonitions and warnings be included in letters “to believers” if it were not possible for us to turn-back unto destruction.

        Even setting aside John 3:16…
        SO MANY other examples that others have included in their blogs.

        ***What is the danger (if we are wrong) of believing that we must choose to remain/abide in Jesus? VS. what is the danger (if others here are wrong) of believing that they are incapable of turning away from Jesus?

        Think about that question, everyone.

        The Light has no fellowship with Darkness… the darkness can not comprehend it, and prefers its evil deeds. We must choose to love, follow, and remain in The Light.

        Amen

      • Tim says:

        Anne said:

        All the English Bible’s I have read “Whosoever believeth”, or “believes”.

        Yes, that’s what they all say. They do NOT say whosoever believed [past tense]. It is whosesoever believes [PRESENT tense].

        The present is ongoing. The present as I type this is 8:17am on !3th September 2019 (AEST). By the time I finished typing this comment the clock had moved on to 8.23am.

        It is not sufficient that I believed in Jesus at 8:17am if that belief isn’t continued through to 8:23 am and onwards.
        Like wise, it’s not enough for me to believe in Jesus back in 1973 when I first responded to the gospel, if I don’t believe in Him today.

        If I thought a decision made 46 years ago is more important than the consequences of my beliefs and actions today, then I would be seriously deluded.

      • Tim says:

        Anne said:

        I look at more than one person if you don’t then your just following a cult leader.

        Actually I don’t look to any one person or any number of persons – I prefer to base my understanding on scripture, and the whole of scripture, not favoured proof texts.

        And I avoid reading the bible through the lens of study notes or commentaries in study bibles.
        I would advise that any reference materials need to be kept clearly separate from the biblical text to prevent any confusion. Too often people think they read something in their bible, when in fact they read it in the study notes within their bible.

        But saying that doesn’t mean that I don’t value what bible teachers say; but I don’t start with the teaching and read scripture through the lens of a teaching.
        I prefer to start with the bible itself. It’s much easier to understand than we often think, and it becomes easier as we become more familiar with it (that takes time of course), especially as we become familiar with MORE of it – instead of just favoured sections.

        Over the years I’ve found that things I’d been taught as a young believer were at best questionable. It can be unnerving to find yourself questioning things that had been learned from people who were trusted, but when we find there’s something questionable, it always has to be scripture that we should follow and not a favoured teacher or teaching.

        Another thing I have found is that the Holy Spirit is very efficient in correcting wrong beliefs, as long as we are genuinely desiring the truth.
        Every time I think I’ve discovered something new or different in scripture – something that challenges what I previously believed, in time I’ve always had those things corrected or confirmed in some way, often through interaction with other believers.

        An essential lesson I have learned in my years as a Christian is that I won’t know or understand everything as quickly as I would like.
        In reading scripture, when something seems difficult to understand, we need to be patient. There can be too much temptation to seek answers elsewhere before we are ready for them. Doing that can make us susceptible to false teachings, which can be made to sound convincing and attractive.

        There are parts of scripture we won’t understand until we’ve first become familiar with other parts of scripture. There are foundations of understanding that need to be built first.
        I see an analogy in the way we get to understand mathematics. We have no hope of understanding algebra if we haven’t first learned basic, foundational arithmetic. Likewise, our ability to understand parts of scripture will be limited if we haven’t built a foundational knowledge of the broad scope of scripture.

  16. KT says:

    just testing to see if I am kept in continuous moderation of my posts

  17. Carlo Benitez says:

    Dear Pastor Bill,September marks many memorable dates in my life. 10 years of feeding L.I.F.E. to children. Loving, Inspiring, Food for nourishment, Educating them. That what I mean when I say Feeding LIFE. At the same time it’s also our 10th year of nurturing and discipling the church here in Zamboanga City.September 7 Daisy celebrated her birthday and September13 this year is our 29th year of being couple and partners in the Lord’s work.And who can forget the September 9, 2013 Zamboanga attack leaving hundreds homeless and many fatherless. And while the siege is still in progress, the worst flood in the city I ever experience happended.Along these years the journey was not always smooth and easy. Battles have to be fought. Faith has been tried countless times Perseverance has been put to test to its maximum level. And God has shown himself strong and faithful as he leads us from faith to faith, from strength to greater strength and from glory to glory. And by His amazing grace we can boldly declare we will make the difference by Loving God and touching lives. To God be all the honor and glory.1 Thessalonians 5:18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.Sharing this story with you, is a joy to me knowing that through the years you are there as our prayer partner.I know you too have many stories to tell. And in all stories we tell we say TO GOD BE THE GLORY! GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!Much love,Carlo Benitez Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    • billrandles says:

      Happy happy anniversary my dear friend, yu and you dear wife are an inspiration to us here at BIG. I am sorry I have not come back yet, so many things going on here as well, but know that we pray for you, and are very very proud to know and love you. If I remember correctly it was a September that you and I spent time together in your beautiful country. Keep up the good fight my brother, the end s in sight, Pas Bill

  18. KT says:

    Jack Cottrell Hopes He Will Keep Believing

    Jack Cottrell is an Arminian theologian. If you want to read a serious Arminian, start with him.
    Cottrell wrote a summary of his beliefs—a short systematic theology—called His Truth: Scriptural Truths About Basic Doctrines. The last chapter is on assurance.

    At the beginning of the chapter, he identified two prominent errors regarding assurance.
    The first was the doctrine of “once saved, always saved,” by which he meant the Calvinistic doctrine of the perseverance of the elect. Cottrell got that subject very wrong (see here).
    The second was to deny that assurance is possible.
    He called it the “trying hard, never sure” position. Cottrell affirms that assurance is possible. But how?
    You could call his view the “I hope I keep believing” position.
    Cottrell knows that assurance is based on faith in Christ for salvation, not on works:
    “our assurance of salvation is not conditioned upon works. As we have already seen, we are justified by faith apart from works measured by law (Rom 3:28). Knowing that we are justified by faith is the real key to assurance…To put it another way, our sense of assurance derives from knowing we are justified by the blood of Christ, not from our having achieved a certain level of sanctification” (His Truth, 115).
    That is mostly right.
    Genuine assurance is tied to believing in God’s promise of eternal life (or the equivalent concept, such as justification).
    Cottrell almost got it right here.
    Almost.
    But he made a fatal error. What is it? He changed the condition of justification.
    When Paul explained how you are justified, he used Abraham as his example (Rom 4:1-2). The patriarch was justified when he believed God’s promise. He was reckoned righteous that very night, in a moment of faith. Not the next day, or the next month, or the next year. He was justified that night.
    Likewise, you, too, are justified in a moment of faith. Whenever you believed in Jesus for eternal life, that is when you received it.
    Justification does not require two minutes of faith, or two hours, or two years, or two decades, let alone a lifetime of continuous believing. It takes a split-second (see here and here).

    But not according to Cottrell.
    He thinks salvation depends on a lifetime of faith:
    “To be justified by faith means that this peace and freedom are not conditioned on how good we are (i.e., works), but on our continuing trust in the all-sufficient blood of Christ” (In Him, 115, emphasis added).
    For Cottrell justification is provisional, not permanent, and the condition of justification is a lifetime of faith, not a moment of faith. Consequently, he thinks you can lose your justification salvation if you stop believing:
    “As long as we freely continue to trust God’s gracious promises, He will keep us in His grace. If we cease to trust, then by our own decision we cut ourselves off from Him” (His Truth, 114).
    But if salvation depends on persevering in faith until the end of your life, doesn’t that create uncertainty? Cottrell recognizes you can never be sure that you’ll persevere:
    “As long as we have sincere faith in God’s promises in Jesus Christ, we can be sure of our present relationship with God. But there is always the possibility that sometime in the future we may lose our faith and fall from grace (Gal 5:4). We assume, though, that every sincere Christian will do his very best to maintain his trust in Jesus Christ” (His Truth, 114-115).
    Since you can’t know if you’ll persevere in faith until the end of your life, you can’t be sure of your salvation. You can hope. You can wish. You can think it’s probable. But you can’t have assurance. There will always be a doubt, a question, an element of uncertainty.
    So, if Cottrell’s answer is not a real solution, how can you have assurance?
    It’s simple. Believe Jesus’ promise of eternal life.
    For example, you can think of assurance as a syllogism (see here and here).

    Premise 1: Whoever believes in Jesus has everlasting life (John 6:47).
    Premise 2: I believe in Jesus.
    Conclusion: Therefore, I have everlasting life.
    That’s it.
    If you believe that conclusion—i.e., “I have everlasting life”—you have genuine assurance. You believe you “have” everlasting life as a present possession. And since it is everlasting, you believe you cannot lose it. If you believe you can lose it, you have not yet believed in Jesus for what He promised (see here). Go back to the first premise, read it over until you believe it.
    Cottrell hopes he will keep believing. I hope he will start believing.

    original article at

    https://faithalone.org/blog/jack-cottrell-hopes-he-will-keep-believing/

  19. Tim says:

    KT, you need to put aside your theological resources and spend some time allowing the scriptures to be your ONLY guide to the gospel.

    It is so easy to rely on and be swayed by teachers that have a message that appeals to us personally.

    I’ve been there and done that. It took a severe spiritual crisis to help me realise how much my understand of scripture had been based on what favoured teachers said scripture meant, instead of what scripture actually said.

  20. Sue Ackerman says:

    Thank you, Pastor Bill for bringing up this topic! I live in the Baptist Bible Belt of the South, and constantly bump into the OSAS doctrine. I finally copied and pasted four pages of scriptures that contradict OSAS. I give them out every chance I get. If anyone wants them I will gladly email them to you. Just give me your email address. Here is mine. Susanlackerman@gmail.com

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