Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Covenant Theology and Removing Israel

Dr. Couch, why do the covenant guys try to get rid of the nation of Israel in God's plans?

ANSWER:  I'm not saying they are demon possessed but it is a satanic ploy to deny God's future workings with the Jewish people. And, the covenant guys clearly do not use plain, normal interpretation of the Scriptures when they study the Bible. To them, the church is "Israel." How can they do that?

   The Lord says "The remnant of Jacob (Israel) will be among the nations, among many peoples. ... the remnant of Jacob will be among many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on vegetation (Micah 5:7-8). And "You will give truth to Jacob and unchanging love to Abraham, which You did swear to our forefathers from the days of old" (7:20). The Lord is not finished with Israel. His promises do not change! He has already begun to bring the Jews from around the world back to the Holy Land! We are living in the period of a great miracle. God is winding down His work with the Gentiles and the church and beginning to restore His work with His earthly people.

   You need my book TO THE JEWS FIRST ... People reading it find it a fascinating book! Thanks for asking.

   -- Dr. Mal Couch (Mar., 10)

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Dr. Couch, it seems to me that the five points of Calvinism, particularly the belief in limited atonement, cannot be proven scripturally. What do you say?

ANSWER:  You are absolutely correct. In the presentation of the five points by those who hold that view, the advocates have the least to say about limited atonement because they cannot prove this as scriptural. It is a long story as to why they even came up with that view, which I won't take the time here to go into.

   The other four points are certainly defensible by the Word of God, but limited atonement just won't fly!

   The Bible clearly teaches absolute salvation by predestination, and it teaches total depravity, and eternal security, but not the limited atonement view. Salvation is offered to all, but because of depravity, none will by themselves come to Christ. Thus, sovereign election kicks in and those to be saved are brought to Him. There are so many verses that make this clear I don't have space here to present all of them. Just one: "As many as had been appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48b). "Appointed" is the Greek word "tasso" as a Perfect Passive Participle. "The ones who have been brought to this point of an appointment, a position," they believed.

   Here are some verses that I think go against "limited atonement":

  Christ "is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the whole world" (1 John 2:2).

   "Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4).

   "Who gave Himself a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:6).

   "But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared" (Titus 3:4).

   "Not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).

   Even the false prophets "denying the Master who bought them" (2 Pet. 2:1).

   "The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men" (Titus 2:11).

   Remember, no one can come to Christ without His drawing him. "There is none who seeks after God" within himself (Rom. 3:11)! Salvation is a sovereign work of God. Though the door is open for all, none will come by themselves! Thus no one can say, "You kept me from coming to You!"

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Losing Salvation

Dr. Couch, some use Luke 8:13 to try to prove that one can lose their salvation after once believing. What do you say? And would this not contradict Hebrews 3:14?

ANSWER:  The passage is not really about those who today believe in Christ, in the usual reference to the body of Christ, though there are some parallels that are possible. Christ is giving parables about the Jews who are considering "the Kingdom of God," which is about the coming of the millennial reign of Christ (v. 10). Satan did indeed work on the believing Jews as to whether Christ was coming to establish His Davidic reign at that time. The Jews, many of them, went back and forth in accepting and/or rejecting Him, and then in denying Him as the promised Messiah.

   In verse 13 the parable speaks about the seed falling on rocky ground, and "they believe for a while, and in time of temptation [they] fall away." The expression "fall away" is our word "to apostatize" and that is always about those who have an appearance of faith but then reject the truth. It is in the Present Tense in Greek. They were "continually falling away" from the facts about the Kingdom of God. They were doing this because of the Satanic temptation. And the word implies that when things got tough they gave up what they seemed to be holding on to. According to the Greek Lexicon, the word is used to describe temptation brought on by "outward [or external] circumstances." Their belief was a form of temporary acceptance but not an internal embracing of the fact that Christ was the son of David and the promised King! Hebrews 3:12-14 does fit to some degree. It speaks about the "falling away" of the Jews (v. 12) and about the "hardening of the deceitfulness of sin" (v. 13). It ends by saying that the Jews would become partakers of Christ "if they held fast the beginning of their assurance firm until the end" (v. 14). And that is a perfect description of the Jews who heard about Christ's death, and the fact of who He was, and yet did not go all the way to embrace Him as their Savior and Lord who was promised in the OT.

   Thanks for asking. And I hope this helps.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Location of Gehenna

Dr. Couch, Revelation 14:10 seems to tell us something about the location of Gehenna. And too, it speaks of Christ and the holy angels seeing the torment of the beast, with the smoke of that torment going up forever and ever (v. 11). How could this be? The beast and unbelievers are not in the New Jerusalem in eternity. Is there something in the Greek text that would clarify this? – Reader from England

ANSWER:  No, not really. The torment of the beast is repeated in almost the same language in 20:10. "The devil ... was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

   I think your problem is looking at this issue with a limitation of space. Because Christ and the holy angels witness this torment and wrath coming upon the beast does not mean that the lake of fire is in the New Jerusalem. Christ and the angels can witness this happening because, after all, Christ created all things, even the eternal lake of fire for "the devil and his angels," and of course according to Revelation, this is also the place of confinement of the beast.

   Jesus can know all things, and He can see all things which He created. But this does not mean that this place is where the believers will be for eternity. We might all have to admit we do not know the exact location of the lake of fire, but this does not create an interpretative problem. Revelation 14:10 does not contradict 2 Thessalonians 1:9 that reads: the lost "will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." Christ can still witness the wrath of God and the torment that falls upon the beast, and the lost, for the period of eternity.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Monday, March 22, 2010


Dr. Couch, what about those who say they see ghosts? They say they see their loved ones who have passed away. Is it because they are so emotionally drained? But the Bible seems to say that the lost and the saved are in other places. What do you say?

ANSWER:  For a specific purpose God allowed the spirit of Samuel to come to speak with Saul. Saul had gone to a medium in Endor in order to have her raise Samuel to speak with him. (1 Sam. 28:7-25). The Lord allowed Samuel to come forth. This shocked the medium witch because before, she probably had brought forth evil spirits, but now, Samuel actually comes and speaks with Saul. Only God could cause that to take place. This was an extremely rare occasion in Scripture!

   Before the dispensation of the church we find the righteous beggar Lazarus, after death, comforted in repose with father Abraham (Luke 16:19-31). But the unrighteous rich man "was in torment, and [he] saw Abraham far away" (v. 23). He cried out in pain because of the punishment he was undergoing. While this story takes place before the period of the church age, the principle would be the same even today, though with some differences. In almost all normal circumstances, the saved are "with the Lord" ("absent from the body, present with the Lord" [1 Cor. 5:8]) and the lost are in a place of confinement and punishment. Christ said "the lost are cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48).

   Thanks for asking.
   -- Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Egypt and Assyria Blessed by Israel

Dr. Couch, it looks as if Egypt and Assyria are blessed by Israel in the kingdom. Is this correct?

ANSWER:  Yes, indeed! Isaiah 19:16-25 tells us that Israel will become a terror to Egypt, and that would only be in the messianic Kingdom. The Egyptians will shrink like women (v. 16), because of the purpose of the Lord against them. Five Egyptian cities will be speaking Hebrew (the Canaan language) and will swear allegiance "to the Lord of Hosts" (v. 17). The Egyptians will build an altar to the Lord in Egypt "and a pillar to the Lord near its border" (v. 19).

   The Lord will make Himself known to the Egyptians and they will even make sacrifice and worship God, "and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it" (v. 21). The Lord will heal the Egyptians and He will respond to them and will heal them (v. 22). And, "In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria" (v. 23). Finally, the Lord will say: "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands and Israel My inheritance" (v. 25).

   This has never happened before so we are waiting for it to take place, and that would only be during the time of the Kingdom reign of Christ! The Lord will also judge the people of present day Jordan but then, He will bless them and they will know Him—again, at the time of the Kingdom. Only dispensationalists can spot the timing of this event, and that would be the one thousand year reign of the Messiah! We sometimes forget that many peoples of earth will come to the Lord at that time. The Kingdom will be a great moment of conversion for many Gentile nations. It will be a blessed time in world history.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Old Man

Dr. Couch, some people say we no longer have the old man working on us because he has been crucified when we trusted in Christ. What does the Bible say?

ANSWER:  Romans 6:6-7 gives to us clarification. While it is true that the old self ("the old man," anthropos) has been crucified (our Position), we still must "consider" or "calculate" ("logizomai," Aorist Infinitive) ourselves to be dead to sin (v. 11). That is, in the "Experience" of the Christian life, we must reckon ourselves to be dead to sin. We must consider the fact that the old man has been judged, though he can still influence us in our Christian experience.

   Notice how Paul uses the Greek tenses. Old man crucified (Aorist T., v. 6), ("we should not be slaves to sin" Present T., v. 6), "He has died to sin" (Aorist T., v. 7),
"We have died with Christ" (Aorist T., v. 8). The old man has to do with Adam. Kroll writes: "We are free now to live in Christ as we once lived in Adam." "The death of our Lord completely removed the guilt and penalty of our sin." The old man has not been eradicated, his influence is still around, though Positionally, the old man has been judged.

   To consider ourselves to be dead to sin "is the first principle in the process of our sanctification," Kroll writes. Christians will still struggle with the influence of the old man. That is what Romans 7 is all about. Paul says, "If I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me" (v. 20).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Physical Idols

Dr. Couch, why do people need a physical idol to worship in order to be immoral, such as Israel with the golden calf?

ANSWER:  There is something about the human mind that needs an object to see. This brings about a visualization of that which is opposite from God who is Spirit, and cannot be seen. To the carnal (fleshly) mind this is a kind of advancement for someone who must see their god. Christ is God in the flesh but we, in a sense, do not need to "see" God. Yet, we can visualize His mercy and grace when we look at Christ. We are able to identify His graciousness when we observe Jesus "in action." We note how He relates to people, thinks of their needs and relates to their pains and sorrows as God.

    John the apostle puts it this way: "No man has seen God a any time, the only born God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him" (John 1:18). The word "explained" is "exeeomai" in Greek. The word means to "exegete" or to "lead forth." Thus, Christ "interprets, explains, describes" God be being in the flesh.

   By the way, there is a textual issue in this verse, and I do not want to get too far afield in explaining the passage. But the better Greek manuscripts say "the only born (begotten) God" rather than "the only born (begotten) Son. "God" is in the better readings. In other words, Christ is the only God who has revealed Himself in flesh and was born among men!

   The word "ekon" can be a good word. It is used to mean "image." Christ is 'the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15). And "the image of God" (2 Cor. 4:4). Concerning believers, Paul writes: "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old man and with its evil practices, and have put on the new man who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image (ekon) of the One who created him" (Col. 3:9-10).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

(Mar., 10)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Olivet Discourse and the Fall of Jerusalem

Dr. Couch, is the Luke 21:5-36 passage the Olivet Discourse that we find in Matthew and Mark? Dr. Fruchtenbaum seems to think that the Luke narration of Christ's words is to the apostles before the fall of Jerusalem. What do you think?

ANSWER:  I would have to see Dr. Fruchtenbaum's statement in order to confirm what you are saying. I now have the Olivet Discourse figured out. All three Gospels are talking about the events before, and with, the fall of the temple in 70 AD. But also, of course, they are about the end times when the antichrist comes.

   Luke is somewhat difficult to get a hold of, but I've found the secret of how these passages work. The Luke narration starts out with the issue of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. We know that clearly from 21:5-6. "There will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down." But then it speaks about the tribulation days in verses 7-11. "There will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines ..."

   But then, there is the shift to the discussion back to 70 AD in verse 12, which reads:
"But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, ..." The key is BEFORE ALL THESE THINGS! The 70 AD passage then ends with verse 24, and the issue of the future wrath of God, the tribulation.

   Verse 25 starts with "AND THERE WILL BE SIGNS in sun and moon and stars ..." Here, Christ returns to His discussion of the events of the far-future and the tribulation! We know this is so because of verse 32: "This generation will not pass away until all things take place." This clearly has to do with the tribulation. The generation that enters the tribulation will still be around, unless they are martyred, at the end of that time of wrath.

   The key to what Christ is doing, speaking about far-future events, and the 70 AD events, is made clear with verse 12: "But before all these things ..." By the way, this 70 AD section speaks of the "vengeance" in verse 22. And that vengeance is upon the generation that comes after Christ up to 70 AD. They are the ones who denied the Lord and face a vengeance because of that rejection.

   You need my commentary on Luke.

   Hope this helps.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Contradiction Regarding Teachers

Dr. Couch, James says that not many should become teachers while the book of Hebrews says that the Jews should be teachers by now. Is there a contradiction?

ANSWER:  No, not really. The point James is making is that one should be careful in becoming a teacher of the Word of God because, if one cannot live up to what he is teaching, there is a more "stricter judgment" (James 3:1). We all stumble spiritually, he says (v. 2a) but if one does not, then "he is a perfect (mature) man" (v. 2b). By now, the author of Hebrews argues, you Jews should be teachers, but instead, you are not advancing and growing in your faith because someone presently needs to teach you "the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food" (Heb. 5:12).

   Baker, in our NT commentary series, points out that "the teacher's tongue is a more fertile area of offense." If the teacher is not careful he can manipulate Scripture and people as well. James is not precluding the role of a teacher but simply pointing out that the position can be abused. The stricter judgment can come upon the teacher because he is more responsible. To control the tongue is to control sin in the life, Baker notes.

   There are actually two distinct contexts in these two books. One must always be watching out for the context or one can miss the point the author is making.

   You had a good question. Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

(Mar., 10)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pharisees and Sadducees in Unity

Dr. Couch, how did the Pharisees and the Sadducees work together to get rid of Christ? They were at such opposite ends of the doctrinal spectrum, what brought them together?

ANSWER:  The Sadducees were the liberal party among the Jews. They had control of the "theology" of the temple area. They did not believe in inspiration of Scripture, hell, miracles, angels, etc. The Pharisees were the conservatives who held to the orthodox doctrines of the Word of God. However, their problem was they were legalistic and self-righteous, and they believed in salvation by works.

   John 11:45-53 gives us a lot of insight as to how and why both parties came together in regard to Jesus.

   The Pharisees and the chief priests called a council together. I would take it that this was an illegal council to discuss how to get rid of Christ. This council included Sadducees. They asked themselves "What are we doing?" (v. 47). Or, why are we just going about passive and doing nothing in regard to Jesus! They then agreed that He was performing miracles or signs (v. 47b). They did not deny what He was doing, and they realized that His works were drawing off the people to follow Him.

   Verse 48 is important. They said, "If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." They realized that they would lose their authority and that the Romans would come and take over and depose them from their positions of leadership.

   But the high priest Caiaphas comes to a right understanding that what was happening was from God. He said "Do you not know that it is expedient that one would die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish." He is referring to the prophecy about the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, predicted in Isaiah 53:8. The Messiah would be a Substitute for sinners! (v. 51). And, he is implying that Christ appears to be that one!

   Christ would die not only for the Jews living in the Holy Land but for others living everywhere—"scattered abroad" (v. 52). John the apostle add "So from that day on they planned together to kill Him" (v. 53). 

   Here are some key verses about the coming together of the Pharisees (P) and the Sadducees (S): "They came together to the baptism of John the Baptist" (Matt. 3:7). "The P and the S came up, and testing Him ..." (16:1). Christ said, "Watch out for the leaven of the P and the S" (v. 6). "Beware of the teaching of the P and the S" (v. 12).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

(Mar., 10)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"It is Finished" and "It is Done"

Dr. Couch, what is the difference in Christ's words "It is finished" and "It is done"?

ANSWER:  Glad you asked. "It is finished" was said by the Lord as He gave up His own spirit on the cross. The Greek is "teleo" and is found in John 19:30. It is a Perfect Passive Indicative. Translated: "It was begun in the past and brought up to that moment on the cross, and is now completed, finished!" Christ's sacrifice was completed and His sacrifice for the lost is finalized. Nicoll has a slightly different twist on this and writes:

   "The cry 'It is finished' was not the gasp of a worn-out life, but the deliberate utterance of a clear consciousness that His work was finished, and all God's purpose accomplished, that all had now been done that could be done to make God known to men, and to identify Him with men."

   Some see a loose connection with Matthew 5:17-19 and 24:35. Christ said that He came not to abolish the Law but to "fulfill" it (Matt. 5:17), and heaven and earth would not pass away until "all is accomplished" (v. 18). This verse 18 fits directly with Revelation 21:6.

   With the establishment of the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation 21:6, we see Christ saying "It is done." This is at the very end of history as we know it, and, the beginning of eternity. All of history is completed and we go into the eternal state. "It is done" is a Perfect Active Indicative of "ginomai." What is common with John 19:30 is the Perfect Tense in Greek. The Perfect starts the action in the past and comes up to the present. Christ is saying that a Plan was put forward and is now completed as eternity begins! "It was begun in the past and has come up to completion with the beginning of the new heaven and the new earth!" "Ginomai" carries the idea of "It has come about, taken place, finally arrived, has been attained." There is more finality with this word in that all of history has been wrapped up and finalized. With the Perfect Tense in both "teleo" and with "ginomai" we see a process that has finally been completed. The task is over. God has finalized His Plan around His Son!

   A little lesson in Greek: "With the Perfect Tense, action is viewed as a finished product. ... It implies a process as having reached its consummation and existing in a finished state. ... It is best to assume that there is a reason for the Perfect Tense wherever it occurs." – Dana & Mantey

   In Revelation 21, all is completed, and eternity has started!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Moses' Shining Face

Dr. Couch, the first time Moses went up on the mountain and received the Law from God, the Bible does not mention his face shining from seeing the Lord. But the second time he went up, it says in Exodus 34:29-35 that his face shone from speaking with Him. What is the difference?

ANSWER:  Moses broke the first set of Law tablets because of the sin of the people in the valley when he came down from the mountain. He went back up and was given a second set of tablets. Then it says "the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with the Lord" (Exod. 34:29). Aaron and the people "were afraid to come near him" (v. 30). Because of their fear Moses had to put a covering over his face to calm their hearts.

   One good explanation comes from Unger who writes that the first giving of the Law was totally legal, while the second giving was "mixed with divine grace and glory." This seems to be demonstrated in Exodus 33:5-11, for it says that when Moses appeared before the people, as shown with the pillar of cloud descending, they all stood "and worshipped, each at the entrance of his tent" (v. 10). At least for awhile, they had learned their lesson about the holiness of their God. These chapters were "learning" chapters about who their Lord was. In their encounter with Moses and God, Aaron reminded the Lord that the people "are prone to evil" (32:22).

   God's people must recognize the Lord's judgment and His grace. There is not the one without the other. As sinners, we are due judgment, but Christ went to the cross to provide grace. "Don't mess with the Lord, as Israel did!" Where would we be without His grace and mercy?

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

(Mar., 10)

Friday, March 5, 2010


Dr. Couch, what is the impeccability of Christ all about?

ANSWER:  Christ did not sin nor could He do so. In prophecy, the Messiah is called the Holy One (Psa. 16:10). And in Isaiah 53:9, He had "done no violence, nor was their deceit in His mouth." He is also called "the Righteous One" (v. 11).

   Peter reminded the Jews that they participated in Christ's death. He called the Lord "the Holy and Righteous One" (Acts 3:14). The apostle Paul said that God the Father "made Him to be sin, He who knew no sin" so that we could become through Him "the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). The writer of Hebrews adds that Christ had "been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). And, He was "a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens" (7:26). Finally, Peter adds that there was no deceit in His mouth, quoting Isaiah 53:9, and "while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Pet. 2:22-23). Christ is called the Just One (Acts 7:52; 1 John 2:1) and the "King of Righteousness" (Heb. 7:2).

   None of this can be said of any other religious prophet or Teacher. He is sinless because He is "the Word who was God" (John 1:1). The "was" is Past Tense, meaning that He always existed as God forever in the past. There has never been a time that He was not God!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Dr. Couch, I am a 65 year old Southern Baptist and I am so disappointed with my church that I don't know what to do. My pastor is terribly boring, and all of the church leaders are Masons. I don't want to attend church because of how far it has drifted. And, what about the Freemasons?

ANSWER:  The Masons are not Christian. At certain levels in the Masons one does not have to be a Christian. Any "religion" will do because they want to be known as "religious" or "spiritual." And they are not. My father was a Mason for years and was unsaved. When he accepted the Lord, at 65, he dropped his Mason connections and did not want to have a Masonic funeral. I don't know why but many Southern Baptists are Masons. I guess no one teaches against it in the Southern Baptist circles.

   The problem with churches today is that few in the leadership know what the purpose of "church" is. The purpose is to teach the Word of God so that the people may grow up, mature in Christ. Most pastors are ill equipped and are not trained to teach the Scriptures. They think they are but their education is woefully lacking. Most SB think their denomination is the cat's meow but this is not so. I taught for several years in one of the top Southern Baptist Universities. The Bible faculty was so inadequate they asked my wife, who was taking a Bible course, to explain the book of Revelation because the teacher, who had a doctorate in a SB school said, "I just don't know anything about that book!"

   If you can find a true Bible teaching church you need to change. But unfortunately, you probably will not because they are shrinking in numbers all across America.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Can Christians Lose Their Salvation?

Dr. Couch, 1 John 3:7, 8, and 9 sounds like a Christian can lose his salvation. I believe in eternal security but what about these verses? How do you answer?

ANSWER:  The verses read: "The one who 'practices' righteousness is righteous, just as [Christ] is righteous" (v. 7), and, "The one who 'practices' sin is of the devil" (v. 8), and finally, "No one who is born of God 'practices' sin" (v. 9).

   The key is the grammatical construction of the Greek word "practice" which is "poieo." The word means "to do, practice, work." In verses 7, 8 "poieo" is in the Present Participle form, and in verse 9, it is simply a Present Indicative. The idea is that the one who is continually, daily, going about sinning, and even bragging or flaunting his sin, doing it with boldness every day, is not born again. Nor has he ever been! With the Present Participle, the verb is united with the noun, meaning "The one who is going about each day boldly practicing (maybe a specific sin) and continually enjoying doing so, this one is not born again."

   For an example, let's take the sin of homosexuality. This person is saying by his actions, attitudes, and proclamation, "I'm going to continue to practice daily my sin, I am not going to repent, nor am I ashamed, and I am not planning to drop that sin or to give it to Christ for forgiveness!" "It is mine and I am proud of it and have no plans to walk away from it."

   I think it works this way: A gross sinner comes to Christ and says 'I accept Him as my Savior,' except in reference to the sin that I am continually practicing, that I love, and plan to keep! I give Him all my sins except this one that I relish and I am not repentant of it. So, Christ died for my sins except this one that I plan to keep and to practice daily!"

   In my opinion that is what John the apostle has in mind. Most people understand when they come to the Lord as their Savior that they are confessing all their sins. That is the essence of being born again. Being born again implies that Christ died for all of our sins, not just a few of them! We cannot be selective, otherwise, we are playing games with Christ's sacrifice on the cross!

   A person who is born again cannot lose his salvation. He is in heaven already in God's mind. On this see Romans 8:29-30, Ephesians 1:3-14. and 2:6. This last verse reads: "[God has] raised us with Him, and seated us with Him in THE HEAVENLIES in Christ Jesus." We are already in heaven and we cannot be jerked out of glory. We are there forever!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Jews Losing Their Salvation on the Day of Atonement

Dr. Couch, I have heard some say if the Jews do not pray for twenty-four hours on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32) they may lose their salvation. What do you say?

ANSWER:  That is an extreme view and one that is out of order even in the OT. The way of salvation for the Jews is given in Genesis 15:6: "The [Abraham] believed in the Lord and He reckoned it to him as righteousness." The Bible is written from a common sense viewpoint. By believing all that the Lord had said to Abraham constituted salvation for him. That belief was "accounted, reckoned, applied" to him for righteousness. In other words, God saw him as Positionally righteousness. This is what happens to us with God seeing us as righteous as Himself, and as righteous as His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. "Common sense" is part of good hermeneutics and interpretation. The Bible is not wild and woolly in its approach to reality!

   In Leviticus 23:27 this Day is called "the Day of atonement," or (Capher), the Day of Covering. The sins of the Jews were covered for another year. Christ does not atone for us. And where the KJV uses the word "atonement" it is wrong, and that is why I don't use that "old" version. Christ's death was a one-for-all act whereby God is finished with our sins. We read in Hebrews 9:12: "He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained ETERNAL REDEMPTION." And, Christ "is a mediator of a new covenant, ... by which we receive the promise of the ETERNAL INHERITANCE" (v. 15).

   Back to the issue of the Jews and the OT: In Leviticus 23 the Jews were to humble themselves and do no work or they would be cut off from their people. This is not an issue of loss of salvation but they could die physically, for God "will destroy them from among [their] people" (v. 30).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Mar., 10)