PREDESTINATION & FREEWILL
The Bible describes two powerful and seemingly contradictory truths, predestination and free will. Theologians like Augustine of Hippo (354-430) and John Calvin (1509-1564) of Geneva are the best known proponents of the sovereignty of God in salvation. This view is often referred to as Calvinism or as the Reformed Faith. Jacob Arminius, (1560-1609) a Dutch theologian, and John Wesley (1703-1791) are the two best known promoters of a view of free will that accommodates man being able to say no to God’s drawing to salvation. This view is called Arminianism. Each view maintains that man is totally incapable of coming to God with out God’s initiating and prevenient Grace.
The Reformed position maintains that God’s elects individuals to salvation before there was ever a creation or a Fall. This view holds that the elect find the message of salvation irresistible. The term monergism is applied to this experience where God unaided by human permission turns a man’s heart to belief and finally leads to regeneration. Once a person comes to true faith they can never permanently fall away, their salvation is secure.
The Arminian position is better described as synergism where man cooperates with the drawing of God’s Spirit upon the heart and can resist God’s offer of salvation. It is possible for a person to abandon the faith and apostatize, losing salvation.
NEO House Church Network does not require either position as a prerequisite for fellowship or as a test of orthodoxy. Our teaching does reflect the Reformed view but rarely do we use the language of “eternal security” or “once saved, always saved”. It has been our experience that easy-believism and false conversion give an unjustified assurance of salvation to people who make a profession of faith but have never truly repented of sin or of self-righteousness. Truly saved people conform their life to Jesus Christ, follow Him into water baptism and a life of faithful discipleship. False conversion mimics Christian morality and church attendance but has no passion for God or truly yielded obedience. Transformation may take time but it comes with true salvation. The truly elect persevere to the end.