For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (1 Cor. 3:11-15)Christian life. The quality of each man's work will be revealed at the Judgment by the fire which will test it. If his building materials survive the testing fires, he will receive a reward. If they are burned up, he will suffer the loss. He himself will be saved but only as one escaping through the flames. What that passage does NOT say is:
He represents believers who have no time for the things of Christ, who live their lives for themselves (Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure, 1990 ed., p. 120) .... in God's estimation, nothing he has lived for has counted (ibid., p. 121) .... This passage is so powerful because we are presented with a Christian who at no point in his entire life bore any eternal fruit. And yet his salvation is never jeopardized (ibid., p. 121).At a different time Charles Stanley refers to the same passage and gets more specific:
One of the messages in this series has to do with those sins we commit as believers. What is God going to do? What are we going to lose in the Judgment, and there is gonna be loss in the Judgment, let there be no question about that. You can't sin and live like the devil down here and get by with it, even as a believer. The Bible says you will lose your reward, but you'll be saved so as by fire. You won't lose your salvation, but there is a whole lot to lose, brother, by sinful living.In other words, Stanley thinks that passage says one can go to the ultimate extreme and live like the devil and not lose his salvation. Imagine that! That means the most vile and wicked acts ever committed by a person previously saved will only cause loss of rewards, which is consistent with his false doctrine. The truth is: Anyone who lives like that and doesn't repent (and get forgiven) will be thrown into the fires of hell in the end. He surely will not enter God's kingdom, as the devil wants us to believe.
The person who hasn't even one good work (all of his works are burned up) is still 'saved; yet so as by fire' (1 Cor.3:15).(Please see The Believer's Conditional Security for documentation.) Their teachings are understood by their listeners to mean you can even live in sin and you will only lose rewards. This is what one proponent wrote to us:
If you choose to live in sin you will be saved, yet so as through fire. Read 1 Cor. 3 That's why it's important to understand the doctrine of the reward of the believer.How is it possible these eternal security teachers can teach the way they do, which is a clear and definite contradiction to other Scriptures on this same subject? James 2 repeatedly states a saving faith will have good works with it. If the good works are lacking, such is not a saving faith. Charles Stanley, Dave Hunt, Chuck Missler, Norman Geisler and many others have read into 1 Cor. 3:15 something that is not there, but which they want to believe in to help support their license for immorality.
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God (1 Cor. 4:5).God is interested in the motive behind the things we do, as well as the acts.
Jesus gave specific examples of acts of righteousness, such as praying, fasting and giving to the poor. All of these are to be done in secret and not so that the doer will be honored by men here. If done in the right way, his acts of righteousness will yield a reward. NOTE: It is not wicked sinful acts which cause loss of rewards! Instead, it is righteous acts done to be honored by men here and now. (The danger of wicked acts is that they will cause spiritual death (Rom. 8:13; James 5:19,20; Lk. 15:24,32; etc.) That simple truth annihilates the eternal security interpretation of 1 Cor. 3:11-15 and at the same time destroys one of their strongest proof texts. Remember Mt. 6:1-20 regarding how rewards are lost.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (1 Cor. 3:16,17, NKJV)The mythical god presented by the eternal security teachers could never destroy any Christian, who defiles his holy temple through the sins listed in 1 Cor. 6:9,10.
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