Larry Ray Hafley
The sign in front of the Baytown Baker Rd. Baptist Church said: "Those who
walk with the Lord always reach their destination."
We agree that all "who walk with the Lord will always reach their
destination." Scripture teaches it. "He that followeth me shall not walk in
darkness, but shall have the light of life" (Jn. 8:12). "But if we walk in the
light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood
of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 Jn. 1:7).
But here is the difference between Baptist doctrine and Bible dogma, the
difference between Calvinism and Christ: Baptist doctrine says a child of God
who ceases to walk with Christ will be saved. Here we part company. While it is
true that we will reach heaven when we walk with the Lord, it is not true that
we will do so when we refuse to walk with him. The man who walks "uprightly" is
the man who "walks securely (Cf. Prov. 10:9, NASB). The man who walks apart from
the Lord does not walk "securely." He will not "reach his destination."
Is it possible to quit walking with the Lord? "From that time many of his
disciples went back, and walked no more with him (Jn. 6:66). Some of his
children whom he had delivered out of Egypt, "kept not the covenant of God, and
refused to walk in his law" (Psa. 78:10). "I will therefore put you in
remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the
people out of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not" (Jude 5). He
"destroyed them" that "refused to walk in his law."
The "blessed" man "is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly"
(Psa. 1:1). However, if he turns back and walks in the counsel of the ungodly,
he "shall not stand....he shall perish" (Psa. 1:5, 6).
There is "no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not
after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1, 4). One will not be condemned
if he walks with the Lord. However, no such promise is made to those who turn
back and walk "no more with him." Baptist doctrine says one will be saved in
heaven even if he turns back, refuses to "walk with the Lord," lives "after the
flesh," and walks "in the counsel of the ungodly." Again, this is where we part
company with the Baptists.
Baptist friend, do you agree with the quote at the beginning of this article?
We agree with it. What about the man who goes back and walks no more with the
Lord (Jn. 6:66)? Will he "reach his destination"? If you say he will not, you
deny your doctrine of "once saved, always saved." If you say he will reach his
destination, you state more than the quotation and Scripture promises (Jn.
15:4-6; 2 Tim. 2:12; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).