by Mike Benson
There are several passages which teach the possibility of apostasy (e.g., that a Christian can lose his soul). Here is but one from James 5:19,-20.
Let’s study it carefully:
“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth…”
Whom does James address when he says, “Brethren, if anyone among YOU…?” Among whom?
Brethren, n. “Fellow members, kinsmen, fellow citizens” 1/
According to this verse, is it possible for a brother to wander from the truth?
Wander, v. “Stray away, become lost” 2/
How is it possible to wander from the truth unless a person has first been IN the truth? Is it possible to wander from a position one has never attained?
“…And someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way…”
How is it possible to turn back to a saved state if you’ve never wandered from it in the first place?
If a brother who wanders from the truth is not in a lost condition, then why should a spiritual brother (Galatians 6:1) attempt to turn him back? Why attempt to turn an erring brother back to the truth if his soul is not in jeopardy?
“…Will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
According to this verse, what is a brother’s spiritual condition before he is turned from the error of his way (cf. Hebrews 10:26-27)?
What did James say about a brother’s spiritual condition after he is turned from the error of his way?
If a brother who wanders from the truth is not in spiritual peril, then HOW could James say that when he is turned back from the error of his way that his soul is saved from death?
In the context of these two verses, what kind of death does James refer to–physical or spiritual?
How can an erring brother’s soul be saved from eternal death if it was never in danger of death in the first place?
Why would an erring brother’s sins need to be covered (cf. Romans 4:6-8) if it is impossible for him to so sin as to be lost?
How does persistent, “unrepented of” sin affect a person’s relationship to God (cf. Isaiah 59:1-2)?
1/ Webster’s Dictionary
by Mike Benson