THIS IS COPIED FROM AN EMAIL EXCHANGE I HAD WITH A PASTOR WHO HAS A STRONG WORKS ORIENTATION WITHOUT ETERNAL SECURITY (IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT ANY OF THESE TERMS ARE, PLEASE GOOGLE THEM). WHAT IS BELOW IS MY RESPONSE TO HIM. THE TOPIC OF THIS EMAIL EXCHANGE WAS WHETHER THERE IS ANY “WORKS” ELEMENT TO THE TRUE GOSPEL OR IF IT’S PURE GRACE. THE TOPIC I’M WRITINGON BELOW WAS THE EXTREME PEACE AND JOY PURE GRACE BELIEVERS EXPERIENCE AND WORKS BELIEVERS DON’T. I’VE BEEN BOTH.
Frank – I may have something to learn. I’ve never heard or read of any person who had a theology where they could lose their eternity GUSH about how incredibly wonderful their life is, peace beyond understanding, set free by the Truth, the Abundant Life, a “light yoke” . I arrived at this conclusion after going to many churches through the last 35 years, reading scores of books, watching thousands of sermons on TV and listening to multiple thousands on the radio, etc. If there are people without a belief in eternal security who are as happy as I’ve described, I have never talk to them. People who believe as you do just don’t talk about how much joy they are experiencing. Actually, they are usually very burdened, although they do try to hide it because you can’t really mope around. I know because I was sad and wanted to mope for my first 30 years after conversion before I understood how pure and beautiful is the Grace of God. People with a works element in their theology almost always talk about what they have to do to be a better Christian than they are currently. I also know this (that “works” Christians tend to lack joy) because almost all of my Christian friends over the years have had an element of a works-view. And I would say that, as a group, that was a sad group of people. In our intimate private conversations, we would not talk about how beautiful life is with God. Instead we would talk about our problems and how we could do more things “right” and fewer things “wrong”. But we all put on a happy face in public, as we all tend to do.
If, for example, you would go to a Joseph Prince video (a Pure Grace teacher) and read the comments made by people who watched it and believe it, you will see that these comments are qualitatively ENTIRELY different (on the level of joy) than those that follow sermons/videos by those who believe our eternity can be at risk. The joy in these comments is literally palpable. I’ve never in my life read comments by such a happy crowd of people. And, as you know, joy and peace are Fruits of the Spirit that you can’t produce yourself.