by Jerry Shugart
Pastor Finck says that "Jude gives the human responsibility of the Kingdom saint: 'Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life' (Vs. 2 ). Again, how different this is from the teaching committed to Paul for the Body of Christ. Paul does not say, 'keep yourselves in the love of God'; No, he writes that nothing "shall be able to separate us from the love of God...' (Rom. 8:38, 39)" (Ibid., p.19).
Jude is not speaking of the love that God has for Christians but instead the love which the Christian has for God. That is why Paul speaks of the Lord directing the Christian's heart into loving God:
"And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ " (2 Thess.3:5).
The words "looking for the mercy" unto eternal life is in regard to the "looking for that blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). This is the rapture, which will be the consummating evidence of His mercy, when Christians will put on bodies just like the glorious body of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude makes it plain that all Christians are "preserved in Jesus Christ" (Jude 1), just as Paul says that he is "preserved unto the heavenly kingdom": "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom" (2 Tim.4:18).
Pastor Finck writes,"In the Revelation, John records the words of Christ to be written to the angel of the church in Sardis, "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not BLOT HIS NAME OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels" (Rev. 3:5). The clear implication is that those who do not "overcome" will have their name blotted out of the book of life" (Ibid., p.48).
Yes, those who overcome will NOT be blotted out of the book of life. The Apostle Johm tells us exactly how one "overcomes":
"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God...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 Jn.5:1,4,5).
When the Jew believed that it is Jesus Who is the Christ, the Son of God, then his "faith" overcometh the world. His name would not be blotted out of the book of life.
Pastor Finck says that "The attempt to ascribe Eternal Security to Old Testament saints has led to some real problems of interpretation for those who try to explain certain passages. For example, Ezekiel 18:24, 'But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? ALL HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT HE RATH DONE SHALL NOT BE MENTIONED- in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and IN HIS SIN THAT HE HATH SINNED, IN THEM SHALL HE DIE' " (Ibid., pp.45-46).
Finck understands that these verses are speaking about "a physical punishment", writing that "we would agree that under the law, a physical punishment is in view, but it also states that the individual would die 'IN HIS SIN' (vs. 24). Will a person who dies 'in his sin' be saved? We hardly think so!" (Ibid., p.45-46).
The Apostle Paul makes it plain that even Christians are subject to a "physical punishment", even "physical death". But that does not mean that they lose their salvation. Finck understands this, writing that "Another illustration of one who is saved, yet is not in submission to the Lordship of Christ, is found two chapters later. 'It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife' (I Cor. 5: 1)...Paul, who recognized him as a 'brother' (see vs. 11), instructed the church 'To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, THAT THE SPIRIT MAY BE SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus' (I Cor. 5:5)" (Ibid., p.35).
Finck also says that "Continuing in sin as a believer can lead to physical death (I Cor. 5:5; 11:29,30); but obeying God leads to practical sanctification, or personal righteousness" (Ibid., p.39).
If the Jew was saved but yet continued in sin then his action could indeed lead to physical death, but yet he would not lose his salvation. Finck asks, "Will a person who dies 'in his sin' be saved?"
It is obvious that the man who was living in sin with his father's wife did not have that sin forgiven, or else he would not have been put to death for that sin. But yet even Finck realizes that he will still remain eternally saved.
At this time we should consider the words of Pastor Stam when he wrote: "DON'T FOLLOW THE CROWD...Do not fear to be in the minority, for with regard to some of the most important and vital truths the majority, even among God's people, has often been wrong " (Stam, The Controversy,[Berean Bible Society, 1963, Second Printing], p.129).