A Logic Bomb?

By definition, a logic bomb is a piece of programming code added to the software of an application or operating system that lies dormant until a predetermined period of time (i.e., a period of latency) or event occurs, triggering the code into action. Logic bombs typically are malicious in intent, acting in the same ways as a virus or Trojan horse, once activated.

I actually had to looked up the definition of a ‘logic bomb’ because the term came to mind when in a discussion concerning the purposes of the warning passages in scripture I was trying to explain the importance that words spoken by Jesus might impact the discussion. I wanted to find out if there was such a thing and how it would be defined.

The possible logic bomb:

Point 1 – Jesus said said those who believe in Him (his sheep) will never perish or face condemnation, having passed from death to life. (John 10:28 & John 5:34)

Point 2 – Any losing, forfeiting, throwing away, falling away, jumping out of the Father’s hand etc. means, by default, ‘perishing’.

Point 3 – None of the above ‘perishing’ examples will actually happen, because Jesus says they won’t.

Point 4 – All of the warning passages (which are all true), that seem to say a genuine believer could actually wake up in Hell (for one of the aforementioned subjects of Point 2) must serve another purpose in scripture.

Well, there was an event that triggered it – a discussion with my daughter and son-in-law that for the most part was batting warning scriptures and assurance scriptures back and forth. You can imagine how that was going. During the match, the fact that Jesus said, in plain words that have certain meanings “they (his sheep) shall ‘never perish’ ” exploded into my brain housing group. When that happened, all I could utter to continued warning passages tossed my way was “but didn’t Jesus say. . .?”

I guess you could say that there was a trigger and an explosion, but does that make it a logic bomb? Well, was it malicious in nature?

To me it certainly was not because I had been tossing the ‘assurance’ balls over the net. It might have been to my discussion opponent because it ‘maliciously’ attacked the operating system which asserts dogmatically that salvation, once possessed, could ever be reversed.

What it did do for me was settle the issue in my mind and heart. If Jesus meant what he said, the matter was closed and I never again would need to engage in length debate or animated discussions that don’t go very far. All I need to input into the data stream is “But didn’t Jesus say. . .they will never perish?” and let God take it from there.

So does it qualify as a logic bomb? You be the judge.

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7 responses to “A Logic Bomb?

  1. Great post. Though I disagree that there are none of those who at a point have been saved that shall perish, you have great confidence in your position. Your confidence in the sheer words of the gospel is commendable.

    I’ll post later at length why I can’t follow along your logic as I don’t have much time now.

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    • Thanks for the compliment, but My confidence isn’t the issue. There is a host of other passages that point to the fact that the God who saves us also protects us and I have probably used them all at one time or another. Perhaps the ‘logic bomb’ just put me at rest. I find it unassailable. I am eager to hear what yu have to say – really. If I hear something new I will probably be surprised. I suppose my next question might be “WHY do we fight with Jesus in the matter?”

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  2. It occurred to me that whenever I post here, normally I am disagreeing with you. That is unfair because ninety nine point nine percent, i agree with you. Anyways, I read almost everything you post, so all the times I didn’t reply could be taken as me saying “Amen, Amen”. I will try to post more when I agree with you so that I don’t continue to look antagonistic.

    We have debated this particular issue on this board before. It was how I came across your blog, when I tried to read about the perseverence of the saints. I remember I cited Ezekiel.18, Ezekiel 33, Romans.11 and John.15 as the scriptures why I disagree that there are non of those currently in the way of God who will fall off.
    I will use capitals for emphasis, and please don’t take it to mean that I am screaming or bitter.
    I will reiterate that when God swears by His life in Ezekiel.33, “As I live” (verse 11) saying in verse 13, “when I shall say to the righteous that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered…he shall die for it”.
    And John..15, Jesus says, “every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away”, and in verse 6 we see that the branches are cast into the fire.
    And Romans.11 uses the same type of language as John15. In verse 21, Paul writes, “take heed lest(God) also spare not you”.
    in all of these cases God talks to people currently in the way of God.
    This is where your logic bomb says, “but Jesus said…”. Promises unto eternal life are most precious. Your argument is that if Jesus said, “of those the Father gives me i will lose nothing”, or “And I give them eternal life and THEY SHALL NEVER DIE neither can anyone snatch them out of my hand”, then everything that may seem contradictory must mean something else. My objection is that these words of Jesus could as well mean something different from your interpretation.

    I have always taken the promise that He would not lose us, to be that as long as we persevere in faith in Him, we would be saved. All of the promises are to those who believe. So, your confidence and mine is well grounded if we say, “as long as my heart stays upon Christ I can not possible ever be lost”. But, if for any reason we become unbelieving, though no one really “snatched us out of His hand”, we were enticed, deceived, and had our hearts hardened against God, and we walked away from the Blessed estate. That is at least a possible meaning for the promises of Christ, and we see in Romans.11 that Paul is saying the same thing:
    verse 20, “because of unbelief they were cut off, and you stand by faith.” In verse 22 he says, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God,…toward thee goodness, if thou continue in goodness”: otherwise thou also shall be cut off”. The threat to be “cut off”, we must note, is to one currently experiencing the goodness of God, if they don’t continue therein.

    We see in Hebrews.3v12 Paul saying, “Take heed, BRETHREN lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
    I don’t think that that is an empty threat. Paul warns the brethren because it is possible that they may become unbelieving and depart from God.
    A few verses later in chapter 4 verse one, he says, “let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it”.
    So, as I argued before, the promises of eternal life are to those who persevere in believing; solid and true, but, if we cease to walk circumspectly, to watch and pray, to seek communion with Christ, to be double minded in the way of God, sin may well harden our hearts against God, and we may become unbelieving. There is no promise of eternal life to they who don’t continue to belief.
    As Jesus said, “but he who endures to the end shall be saved”. Not he who once walked the way of God, but they who walk in it even to the end.

    Like I argued before, the seed that fell in the thorns in the parable of Jesus seems to be one who believed, and Jesus says that the cares of this world caused the tender plant to wither, and we all know the seed does not get to eternal life.
    So, I believe that all of us will be saved, if we stay our hearts on Jesus and endure in our faith in Him, no matter what, but we ought to watch against the deceitfulness of sin, to constantly commune with God, to watch and pray, lest we stand the danger of being hardened and falling short of the rest already promised as we see in Hebrews.4:1.

    Lastly, I must say there are other scriptures which make me raise questions in my mind. If there are some who are appointed to eternal life (and the Bible is clear about election), how can they who were elected to eternal life fall off? I don’t know how they may fall off. And Jesus says there would the greater deceiver will deceive many, even the elect (if possible), suggesting that it is impossible for them to be deceived. It cause me to wonder, are there those who are elect to eternal life, and others who are not elect but come to eternal life? I could wonder about these things forever without coming to a firm conclusion, so I like to stop at 1.Corinthians.13, verse 9,” for we know in part…”, 12″For now we see through a glass, dimly, but then face to face,…then I shall know even as I am known”.
    We know enough to love Jesus and obey Him fully. There is all testimony that His promises will all come true. He sealed them with blood!!
    We have the Spirit of God in us to guarantee that we are His and all the promises ours”. But we don’t know everything as it is. We will know it fully then, when we have seen him as He is.
    Praise Jesus’ Name forever

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  3. I really should have read through my comments before posting them; so may grammatical errors. Also, English is only my second language (I come from Uganda, East Africa), so some of my statements may be difficult to understand, but overall I posted what I believe there.

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    • Good Morning (here) Ronald,
      I think your demonstrated use of the English language as ‘second’, is better than many who claim it as ‘first’!

      I suppose I need to start with something I just posted in a sort of follow-on blog:

      Jesus said: “..the one who endures to the end will be saved.” AND “I give them (my sheep) eternal life, and they will never perish”

      They are both true, as are all of the warning passages. My argument, if I have an intelligent one, rests on the definitions of ‘never’ and ‘perish’. I have had many long discussions resembling tennis matches in which there was an exchange of passages supporting contradictory views, but no real progress. We are talking of years here.

      The parable of the sower, seed, and soils has been interpreted as the soils all referring to genuine believers, only the ‘good’ soil being genuine believers, and well debated with solid support for each view. I believed for years that it was about believers. We tend to categorize these passages, but does the text categorize them? I think not. However we could probably place the first soil (hardened) as the lost, since there is no penetration of the seed, and the fourth, and good, soil as those who are saved since there is ‘fruit’. That leaves us with the ‘middle’ soils.

      One seminary professor (Bob Deffinbaugh, Dallas theological Seminary) explains them:

      The second soil—the shallow soil—represents those who positively (joyfully) respond to our Lord’s teaching, but only due to an inadequate grasp of its implications. These folks respond positively to the word because they think that it is a kind of “prosperity gospel,” a gospel which promises only good times, blessing, happiness, and bliss. The quickness of the response is an indication of their lack of depth, or their lack of perception as to what the gospel really means. And, let me quickly add, this is not due to our Lord’s misrepresentation of the gospel. It is the result of selective hearing, of hearing only the good and pleasant things, rather than hearing of the costs involved in discipleship, of which our Lord often spoke. A simple reading of the Sermon on the Mount will show how our Lord carefully represented the blessings and the costs of following Him.

      The third soil, the thorny soil, represents those who have a more complete grasp of the cost of discipleship, but who have never rid themselves of the “cares of this world.” Their concerns for money and for pleasure outgrow their seeking first the kingdom of God, and thus their priorities are reversed. It is not that the people represented by this thorny soil do not understand the costs of discipleship, but that they are not willing to pay the price. It is not lack of knowledge which causes them to err, but lack of commitment, lack of dedication.

      I have to admit that he has a couple of points, and he concludes by suggesting that discipleship might be in view more than our ‘categories’.

      Just thoughts.

      Back to the beginning of this response:

      Jesus said: “..the one who endures to the end will be saved.” AND “I give them (my sheep) eternal life, and they will never perish”

      If they are both true, I can only conclude that the sheep WILL endure, persevere, and overcome. The ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the WILL is another humbling tale.

      And thank you for the dialogue. I mean it!

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      • Good afternoon (here; I currently study in Japan). I read the follow-up post as well. Without presupposing perseverence, I cannot gather anything from Matthew.24:13 than an encouragement to hold on to the end. I don’t think Jesus said all that only to say the obvious that his sheep would endure anyways, but rather a clear warning about really perilous times with a real danger of falling away, yet the resounding assurance to those who endure. The assurance is not that the warned will endure, but that notwithstanding the danger, those who endure will be saved. Jesus words are not, “but you will endure unto salvation”, rather, they are, “but those who endure shall be saved”.

        I still think that the possibility of people falling away (which the Bible mentions often times) does not negate the promise, that “I will give eternal life and they shall never die, neither can anyone snatch them out of my hands.” John.10:27-29 were some of the verses I learnt in my first month of being a Christian. I didn’t think of them as the guarantee that one saved, would never turn back, but rather as that one saved, if they continued in the walk of faith could not be offset from the Blessed Estate. The promise is not negated by the possibility of falling. It holds true for all who continue to walk the walk of faith Christ. We can agree that there is absolutely none that perseveres in faith in Christ who will perish. if I may ask, will all who are in the faith continue to walk in faith? If your answer is “no”, then those who don’t continue to walk in faith have no assurance of eternal life.
        If your answer is “yes”, I ask, what have you to say about Hebrews.3:12, “Take heed brethren (now in the faith), lest there be in any of you (the brethren) an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God”? Verse 14 makes my point, “we are partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end”. That really does not say that all of us who are the brethren will hold fast, but rather, “if we hold fast to the end, we are partakers of Christ”. It comes across to me as an encouragement to hold fast, not as an assurance that by virtue of being of the brethren I will hold fast (as I suppose you would take it to mean).

        I also wonder what you have to say about Hebrews.6:4-6 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, …if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance…” Verse 8 compounds what Jesus says in John.15v6 of the branch that becomes unprofitable, “but that which bears thorns and briers is rejected,, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned”. Those enlightened, that have tested of the heavenly gift and been partakers of the Holy Ghost ARE Christians. If they endured in that they would be saved, but if they fall away, they will be burned in the fire.

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        • I think you are absolutely right about presuppositions. I also think you are correct in seeing in warning passages encouragement to endure. The words of Jesus and his promise concerning his sheep steps on presuppositions that true believers might perish. I think that if our perseverance depended on our own strength, many of would in fact fall away. If that is true, then the promise that we will never perish depends on God’s grace and power. Phil 2:13 tells us that he causes us to will and to do what pleases him – gives us a new set of desires. If that new set of desires is not in me, I might have a problem. Those who endure to the end will be saved and at the same time the sheep will never perish. If I am a sheep, and will never perish, there is a promise that I will endure, but by His power and strength, not mine.

          I believe that Hebrews 6 speaks to genuine believers and IF a genuine believer would apostatize, it would be impossible to return to a state of repentance. The promise of Jesus that the sheep will never perish still has to apply also. God speaking to us through warnings is like the Dad who warns his small child not to wander into the street in front of the house and at the same time will never let it actually happen.

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