DR. TOM SCHREINER
The Bible is filled with strong, even severe, warning passages. They play a crucial role in our lives, yet they are too often ignored in our preaching, teaching, and counseling. How do we employ those passages (e.g. Hebrews 6) in our pastoral ministries? These excellent lectures were delivered at the Spurgeon Fellowship on the Western Seminary Campus in Oregon on 11-09-10.
Dr. Schreiner explains that the warnings in Hebrews are addressing people who are genuine Christians, not those who were not real Christians to start with. The warnings are severe, but, he points out, the severity is not about struggling with some generic sin but about about falling away from Christ and placing our whole trust on Him. It is about apostasy - going back to the law or the sacrifices in the OT instead of Christ. And what could be more severe then falling away from Christ? Having indwelling sin isn't falling away. The warning is, do not turn from Him back (who is your only hope), that is, back to the shadows. That is the definition of what is ts to insult the Grace of God. It is the true professors in Christ who need to hear these warnings, says Schreiner, for this is one of the means God uses to cause his people to persevere.
I very much liked what Schreiner said in his lecture and agree with most of his conclusions but there was one statement I would take issue with. He said that those who believe you can lose salvation are still within the bounds of orthodoxy and not heretics. On the contrary, I believe I can demonstrate that the warning passages in Hebrews are actually directed at this VERY HERESY. How? Because those who believe they can lose their salvation because of some sin do not believe Jesus is sufficient to save to the uttermost. Therefore they are not trusting in Christ alone but are relying partly on their performance. They believe there is something they do can influence their justification. In other words, those who believe they can loose salvation believe Jesus is not enough. Like Roman Catholics they believe their works contribute to their justification. Many Arminians believe one cannot lose salvation, but I would argue that other Arminians who believe you can lose salvation are not trusting in Christ alone, the very thing the warnings in Hebrews are directed at. Do not leave Christ and trust in the Law or sacrifices. Solus Christus