One may ask me, How can you say the Doctrines of Grace, known as TULIP, steal the peace given by God? What follows is a look at one of the letters in TULIP and how it steals God’s peace.
Let us start with the real tricky one. The P stands for perseverance of the Christian. This teaching says that once one is saved he or she will never lose this salvation. Wow! Cool!
However, what is said about those who confess Jesus as Saviour for years only to become offended and denounce the faith? The answer is usually that he or she did not really believe unto salvation. The proof text used to support this idea is the following:
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
(1 John 2:19 ESV)
Okay, brother John, that is plain enough. They were not really Christians, so there! But wait a minute. How do I know I am really a Christian? How does this apply to me? Perhaps somewhere down the road I too will denounce the faith. How can I know that I am really saved?
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.
(1 John 2:18 ESV)
In the near context of this passage, we can see it is a specific group to which St John refers. These are not people who wanted Jesus until the heat was turned up; nor were they offended at poor treatment by other believers. These were false to begin with, each one knew they were false, and these people were there for the purpose of turning people away from Jesus. Later we see those were denying that Jesus was the Christ and not at all seeking to worship him and serve their neighbour. They had come to steal, kill and destroy others.
Instead of trusting in the P it would be much better to trust the strong promises of God. Through baptism, preaching of the word and the Body and Blood of our Lord we are saved and preserved. This preservation comes from outside ourselves and is based upon clear teaching of the scripture not man’s logic.
Trust this good news and live in its peace. Amen. †