Issues and Answers

Q & A About Salvation Assurance

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Philip Dunham


Series Code: IAA

Program Code: IAA000336

00:30 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn
00:31 and welcome again to Issues and Answers.
00:34 We are glad that you joined us
00:35 and we got a guest today that is so much fun
00:37 and I just love him, he is precious.
00:39 But you are going to want to get a pen and a paper,
00:43 sit down and take some notes on today's program.
00:46 I relay believe that, we are going to be
00:48 talking about the issues of Assurance of Salvation.
00:52 Can you have assurance?
00:54 Let me read to you a Bible scripture
00:55 that I love it comes from 1 John 5:11, 12
01:00 "This is the testimony, God gave us eternal life,
01:06 and this life is in his Son.
01:09 He who possesses the Son has that life
01:12 he who does not possess the Son of God
01:15 does not have that life."
01:17 Let me invite you to help me
01:20 to welcome Pastor Philip Dunham from Salem, Oregon.
01:24 He is returning.
01:25 Pastor Phil, we are so glad that you are back.
01:27 It's such a need privilege to be here with you, Shelley.
01:30 You are so fulfilled with the joy of the Lord
01:33 and something tells me that this is the topic
01:37 that you are--its not just something tells me,
01:40 I know this is a topic you are well qualified to speak on.
01:44 Let me ask you a question just to kick this off.
01:47 Do you believe that we have to be just
01:48 a sinless perfect saint to make it to heaven?
01:53 You know, there are lot of people
01:54 who believe that way
01:56 and it causes such consternation and such a heavy load.
02:01 Now first of all you have to define saint.
02:05 What is a saint?
02:07 Well, the dictionary says, a person of exceptional holiness
02:12 and something in terms of being canonized
02:16 and specifically set apart and designated as a saint.
02:21 But there is another dictionary definition it says,
02:25 a member of any of various Christian groups.
02:29 We know what, that's more inline
02:32 with Paul's definition of saint.
02:35 Because of the 61 times that the word saint
02:39 is used in the New Testament,
02:42 Paul uses it 39 of those 61 times.
02:47 And he would address people in different churches
02:51 to the saints in emphasis to the saints in incoherent.
02:56 If you read the Book of Corinthians Shelley,
03:01 you know, that they weren't "Saints"
03:04 because they had so many problems in so many divisions.
03:08 So no where in his usage of this term
03:13 does he refer to a fully perfected person.
03:18 You know, I would-- I have to say something.
03:20 It occurs to me, I'm talking about
03:22 how well qualified you are,
03:24 I'm so excited to dive into the topic
03:26 that I didn't give you a proper introduction
03:29 for those of you who-- our viewers
03:31 who may not have met you before.
03:34 You were a pastor for how many years?
03:37 Well, 40 years.
03:38 40 years you pastored in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
03:41 Yes. And then you have been retired for 18 years
03:45 but you had 14 interim pastors in those 18 years.
03:50 And you written two books one called 'Sure Salvation,'
03:53 the other 'Blinded by the Light.'
03:55 You have also, been speaking,
03:58 making yourself available to speak at camp meetings
04:01 and seminars and you are returning again to 3ABN
04:05 to talk about this very important topic.
04:08 And do you know what this is been, Shelley?
04:11 Well, what's that? Holy fun.
04:13 Oh, praise the Lord.
04:14 Such a privilege to be able to share. Well.
04:17 Because when we get blessed,
04:20 we want to pass on the blessings. Amen.
04:22 And we are so glad that you are here to share with us.
04:25 But so we defined in that Paul
04:29 and the Bible clearly makes it obvious
04:33 that if you're in Christ you are considered a saint
04:36 as far as God is concerned in that terminology.
04:39 Peter said we are all members of a royal priesthood. Yes.
04:43 But now many people think of saint
04:46 in the idea of sinlessness and perfection.
04:51 And certainly we know that there are scriptures
04:56 in the Bible where God says, "Be thou holy for I am holy."
05:00 Oh, yes.
05:02 But, so let's talk about this sinlessness and perfection.
05:06 Do we have to be just absolutely perfect
05:09 to make it to heaven?
05:11 Do you know, actually
05:15 the Book of Hebrews says, with out holiness.
05:18 No one will see the Lord. No one will see the Lord.
05:21 Yes. But let me refer to thief on the cross.
05:25 In a matter of moments he found what made it
05:30 possible for him to be in the kingdom.
05:33 So if you have to be perfect, he found it.
05:36 If you have to be holy, he found it.
05:39 Where did he find it?
05:41 In the one who was hanging on the cross next to him, Jesus.
05:46 Yes, and, you know, we want to be its so difficult
05:48 and I just wanted to ask for you to stay with us
05:52 through this 30 minutes.
05:53 It's a very difficult topic to just address,
05:56 we are gonna be kind a skimming over the top of it
05:59 to really do justice in 30 minutes.
06:02 But we always want to remember the balance of this.
06:06 When God says, "Be thou holy for I am holy"
06:09 He is serious about this.
06:10 He is a holy God and He wants us to be Holy.
06:13 But we talked last time, how it's God who works in us
06:17 to do this process of sanctification.
06:21 Yet, many times in the Bible we are told
06:24 that we are to make every effort of He empowers us.
06:29 That's where we find I think for me,
06:33 and let me ask you this question.
06:35 When you really learned the simplicity of salvation,
06:38 you could have the assurance of salvation.
06:41 Did that not give you more hope for the judgment?
06:45 Oh, yes, I should say because otherwise, you know,
06:51 the judgment has some heavy-duty connotations.
06:55 Yes. When you think of judgment,
06:58 court, verdict, summons, subpoena, ticket
07:06 that's called negative connotation.
07:09 And one time I was going to hold
07:15 the week of prayer at a Christian academy.
07:20 And on the way I was driving alone,
07:26 totally harmless, undefiled
07:29 and just doing everything correctly
07:32 but there were red and blue lights
07:34 flashing in the rare view mirror.
07:38 It was in the evening, it was getting dark
07:41 I had passed through a little town of one store
07:46 and I passed somebody in an interception
07:50 but it was just like a country road.
07:52 And the policeman was very nice
07:58 and he gave me a very nice ticket.
08:00 And so all of that week I had this summons ticket,
08:06 judge hanging over me.
08:09 And when I returned after the week
08:12 I had to stop in St. Helena to see the judge.
08:17 When I went to see him he said, what do you do, sir?
08:25 And I said, gope, I'm a pastor.
08:29 And he said, for what church?
08:32 And I said well, Seventh-day Adventist
08:35 and we were right close to Pacific Union College.
08:40 And he said do you know so and so?
08:43 Well, yes, I do. Well do you know so and so?
08:46 And I knew all of the so and so's that he mentioned to.
08:50 All for too it is for you?
08:51 Yes, it was very comforting.
08:54 And we talked and he said you know pastor,
08:58 I have never given a pastor a ticket yet.
09:02 And I'm not going to start today.
09:04 Oh, praise God.
09:06 But he said, I just have one thing
09:07 I want to tell you before you leave.
09:10 Go and sin no more.
09:13 A judge with a sense of humor.
09:15 Yes, that was really need and I want to tell you
09:17 I was under grace and I was thankful
09:21 that this is a picture of how God treats us.
09:26 So in essence what we were saying,
09:28 when we are talking about
09:29 assurance of salvation there is nothing.
09:32 We have to believe what the Bible tells us that,
09:34 "Salvation is by grace through faith."
09:36 That's Ephesians 2:8-10.
09:39 There is nothing that we can do,
09:41 no works that we can boast of that are gonna save us.
09:44 And as we read in 1 John 5:11, 12
09:48 that God says we can have-- this is His testimony,
09:52 if you have the son you have life.
09:55 So the hope of our judgment is first of all knowing
09:59 that Jesus is our advocate, that He is the judge,
10:02 that He is the one who died for us,
10:05 He is the one working in us
10:06 to live and to act according to His good pleasure.
10:10 Yet, what can we do?
10:13 We got this great hope but at the same time
10:16 its saying, "Without holiness no one will see the Lord."
10:18 Well, He is our holiness or sanctification,
10:20 Yes. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says.
10:23 But still what about living the cleansed life?
10:28 Because that is important.
10:30 Yes, and the Lord wants to us to do that
10:34 and when we accept Him, and when He lives in us
10:37 that's the life that we can live.
10:40 So, what you are saying is that when Christ is--
10:44 when you are abiding in Christ
10:45 and He is so abiding in you,
10:46 His power the power of His spirit,
10:48 Christ in his our hope of glory that's what changes us.
10:53 Amen. All right.
10:54 Yes, it is. I loved it when I heard somebody say one time
11:01 there I was going down the street,
11:04 walking down the street
11:05 just doing what comes spiritually.
11:09 And I really enjoyed that and the person--
11:12 Good point on words. In whom Christ abides.
11:16 He just goes around doing what comes spiritually.
11:19 That's good, that's good. Isn't that beautiful?
11:21 Instead of doing what comes naturally,
11:22 that was doing what comes spiritually.
11:25 How to live the cleanse life, Shelley?
11:28 Let me suggest something's to our viewers today.
11:33 Some very simple things.
11:35 Go by yourself ask the Holy Spirit
11:40 to reveal every sin that there might be in your life.
11:47 When he reveals it to you write it down.
11:53 Write it down on a piece of paper.
11:56 When you are through and the Holy Spirit
11:59 isn't reviling any other point
12:01 that might be outside of God's will
12:04 or outside of the plan of the scripture.
12:08 At that point you confess it.
12:11 And confession means agreeing with the Holy Spirit
12:16 that the thing he is pointed out,
12:18 yes, you are right I am wrong and purposing not do it again.
12:26 This is a part of the confession.
12:28 And then the next step is claiming 1 John 1:9. Amen.
12:34 "If we confess our sins,
12:36 he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins."
12:40 And I am so glad that doesn't stop there,
12:43 "And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
12:47 So if you have asked the Holy Spirit to reveal
12:52 plague spots in your character
12:55 and he has pointed them out he is the divine pointer outer.
13:01 And then I confessed and I have claimed 1 John 1:9
13:08 when somebody says, yes pastor,
13:10 but what about after that?
13:12 What if I do something wrong? What if I sin again?
13:16 Well, you know what you do, spiritual breathing.
13:21 Well, what's that?
13:23 Well, in breathing you exhale and you inhale.
13:27 Exhaling in the Christian walk
13:30 in the cleanse life is confession.
13:35 Inhaling is claiming 1 John 1:9. That's good.
13:41 So, you confess and you breathe
13:44 in the beautiful fragrance of 1 John 1:9.
13:49 And you know we always-- we normally think of--
13:52 or at least how I teach exhaling is prayer
13:55 and inhaling is the spirit of the word the spirit of God
14:01 and that's what you have just said.
14:02 You know, so-- Yeah.
14:04 Now, let me ask you this question
14:06 because when we are recognizing ourselves
14:11 that we cannot save ourself,
14:13 that we are totally depended upon God,
14:16 it takes that surrender that get to that point of surrendering.
14:20 I have been through the process
14:22 that you are talking about asking God.
14:24 Actually it came when I went back to college
14:27 at the age of 28 years old
14:29 and I was praying one night in my room,
14:31 and I was reading the Bible and I was--
14:34 I read where Jesus told the rich young ruler
14:38 why do you call me good?
14:40 Only God is good.
14:42 And I thought, well wait a minute.
14:44 Jesus is God, why would he say that?
14:46 And then he began to explain to me that He was,
14:51 I began to understand
14:52 that Jesus was testing this man's motivation.
14:55 But I said well, now Lord,
14:56 what do you mean that only God is good?
14:58 Everybody has always told me what a good girl I was.
15:01 And I said if I've not been good all my life
15:03 then I need You to show me.
15:06 Pastor Phil, that was 10 o'clock
15:10 in the evening when I began to pray that way.
15:13 I got down from the bed where I was reading,
15:15 I got on my knees and the Lord was revealing things to me.
15:18 Pretty soon I was on my face
15:20 before the Lord as He revealed just wrong motivations not--
15:25 I mean just things that sometimes
15:26 you do good works to make yourself
15:28 look good or something.
15:29 Yes, and they are tainted with self.
15:31 Yes and so from 10 o'clock in the morning to 6--
15:35 oh, 10 o'clock in the evening till 6 o'clock in the morning,
15:38 I think that was my time of true conversion
15:43 because the Lord showed me so much.
15:46 Now we don't want people to settle in
15:49 and just get hung up on mortifying the flesh,
15:53 it's you got have that co-execution.
15:55 Yes. Now, but once you get to that point
16:00 of accepting this assurance of salvation,
16:03 do you think that in any way some people suggest
16:06 that it will make you less likely to obey the Lord?
16:10 That less likely to keep His commandments
16:13 if you have that, do you agree with that?
16:15 There is some who feel that way
16:18 and there are fearfully that if you bath in the grace of God,
16:23 that some how you become proud
16:25 or that His word doesn't make any difference
16:28 or His love doesn't make any difference
16:31 or His will doesn't make any difference
16:33 because I'm saved and praise God and hallelujah
16:38 and I don't have to worry about lifestyle
16:41 or any of those things that too is a deception because if,
16:48 if I sin and I confess it and I ask for forgiveness
16:55 but I really like what I just did.
16:59 I really enjoy doing what I just did.
17:01 You enjoy this and didn't have godly joy. Right.
17:04 And what if, what if really like it
17:07 and I want to continue committing it
17:10 and confessing it and practicing the aggressive.
17:16 I don't think we will have forgiveness
17:18 because we can't live that way.
17:20 When we give ourselves to Him,
17:24 He changes our direction.
17:27 You know, you just said something
17:29 that really correct with me.
17:30 You can confess and not receive His forgiveness
17:34 and cleansing of all unrighteousness
17:35 because if you confess and think its just cheap grace,
17:39 I had it and it went out of me.
17:41 It's like Acts 5:31, 32 says that,
17:47 Jesus is the one who is at the right hand
17:49 at the throne of his Father, who gives forgiveness
17:52 and gives us repentance.
17:54 He grants us repentance.
17:56 When we receive His forgiveness
17:58 and this cleansing of unrighteousness,
18:00 it's by His power, He is turning us around
18:02 not to continue to repeat that.
18:04 Not that we will ever fall again
18:06 or stumble in that area
18:07 but that He takes that desire from us.
18:10 Would you agree? Yes, you definitetly.
18:12 And it would be presumption to say
18:15 that after I have confessed
18:17 and after I have asked for forgiveness
18:19 and thank the Lord for what He has given
18:21 it would be presumptuous to think that I can continue
18:25 living in the same old way.
18:28 Now so when someone says,
18:30 than that if you have assurance of salvation
18:32 then it may be you won't obey as well.
18:35 Would you just agree with the idea that Jesus said,
18:38 "If you love me you will obey my commandments."
18:41 Yes. And what 1 John 2:3, 4 says that,
18:45 anyone who says that they are abides in Christ
18:47 and keep not his commandments are liars.
18:49 Yes. So then understanding
18:53 and having assurance of salvation
18:54 that makes us more prone by love
18:59 to be motivated to do the right thing for God.
19:02 And you mentioned just the motivation, its love.
19:07 When I give myself to Him,
19:09 when I accept His forgiveness,
19:11 when I received His grace,
19:15 that doesn't give me a sinning license.
19:18 Exactly. It makes me--
19:20 because of my love to Him
19:22 and my appreciation of what He has done for me,
19:26 it makes me want to do His will, to be close to Him,
19:31 to please--we want to please those we love.
19:35 Amen, Amen. And that's the basis of the Christian life.
19:40 So, when Paul told Timothy he says that,
19:45 if we are faithless he is faithful
19:47 and some people take that
19:49 and they make it sound like well,
19:52 His grace is all I need. It's cheap grace.
19:56 It's kind of like, He is gonna be faithful to me
20:00 even when I'm faithless.
20:01 But that's not what the scripture says.
20:03 Because he goes on and he says, that if we deny Him,
20:06 He will also deny us. Yes.
20:08 And if we denying Him in our actions, if we--
20:11 I mean there is no such thing
20:13 as cheap grace do you believe?
20:15 You know, what I believe that's a terrible misnomer. Yes.
20:19 Because the only kind of grace there is, is amazing
20:24 and it's the most expensive grace in the universe.
20:29 So I know what people say
20:31 when they talk about cheap grace.
20:33 Its saying I'm saved and then living like the devil.
20:37 And those two don't go together.
20:41 Not at all because by grace
20:42 we are given the gift of Jesus Christ,
20:45 the gift to the Holy Spirit, the gift to His word. Amen.
20:48 So there is no end and the cost for that grace
20:52 is blood of Jesus Christ.
20:55 So there is nothing cheap about grace.
20:58 What, when we are looking at the assurance of salvation
21:03 we touched a little bit about sure salvation last time.
21:07 We are talking about assurance of salvation. Yes.
21:10 What are some of your favorite scriptures?
21:12 Do you have some scriptures on assurance of salvation
21:15 that you would like to share with us?
21:17 Because I do know that a lot of this
21:22 has to do with understanding
21:24 sanctification and justification.
21:26 So why don't you share some scriptures.
21:28 Yes, yes, well let me share few scriptures.
21:30 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them,
21:35 and they follow me and I give them eternal life,
21:40 and they shall never perish,
21:44 neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand."
21:48 That's so beautiful the only time
21:52 that we can be taken out of the hand of Jesus
21:55 is if we choose to leave Him.
21:58 Exactly, no one can take you away from Him
22:00 but He doesn't take your choice away.
22:02 You could still jump out.
22:04 But if we come and we keep coming
22:09 we are going to end up in the kingdom. Amen.
22:11 With God and Jesus forever and--
22:14 loved ones who have believed in Christ
22:17 and the whole family be saved and the angels
22:20 if we come and we keep coming.
22:23 Now what is the scripture reference for someone
22:25 who might be wanting to write that down?
22:27 Yes, John 10:27, 28 and John 17:3.
22:34 "This is eternal life, that they may know You,
22:38 the only true God, and Jesus Christ
22:42 whom You have sent."
22:44 And there are so many I love Ephesians 1:6.
22:49 "To the praise of the glory of his grace,
22:53 by which he has made us accepted in the beloved."
22:59 And Shelley, this is the only way
23:01 that any person on this planet can be accepted.
23:07 You get accepted in the beloved.
23:09 You don't get accepted because of what you are.
23:13 You get accepted because of what He is.
23:16 You don't get accepted because what you have done,
23:20 you get accepted because of what He has done.
23:23 There is no way to save ourself is what you are saying.
23:26 Now. Right. It's just we understand what He offers.
23:30 Let me ask you this though,
23:31 if we are looking at assurance of salvation.
23:34 We will comeback to few more promises
23:36 but it is important to live that cleanse life
23:40 because when Christ is in you, you are going to be cleansed
23:44 and so who does the work of sanctification,
23:47 lets look at that for just a moment
23:49 because that cleansing part of us,
23:52 He says, "He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
23:55 Well, that tells us right there that God is at work, isn't He?
23:58 Yes, He is. So talk to us about that sanctifying work.
24:04 Jesus said, "For their sakes I sanctify Myself,
24:09 that they also might be sanctified by the truth."
24:14 And then in 1 Thessalonians 5:23,
24:19 there is a verse that many believers
24:23 that I have known quote,
24:25 and it's kind of truthful in a way.
24:28 And they read it, "Now may the God of peace
24:31 himself sanctify you completely, may your whole spirit,
24:37 soul and body be preserved blameless
24:41 at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
24:44 And they stop there and don't read the next scripture.
24:46 They don't read the next scripture, Shelley. I know.
24:49 See we are of one mind now you see,
24:52 you know what the next scripture is.
24:53 I do. "He who calls you is faithful,
24:58 who also will do it."
25:00 Yes. He is the one who does the sanctifying.
25:03 Amen, one of my favorite,
25:05 that's one of my favorite passages of scripture.
25:07 Yes, I love it. Absolutely.
25:10 They rejoice in it.
25:11 And you know, Jesus said in John 17:17
25:14 "Sanctify them by" your word-- you know "your truth."
25:18 Your word is truth. Yes.
25:19 So, He sanctifies us through the word,
25:22 He sanctifies us through the Holy Sprit.
25:24 It's His work. Absolutely.
25:27 Yeah, my cooperation, His work.
25:31 My believing, His work.
25:34 Pastor Phil, when you first learned--
25:37 how old are you when you learned really
25:39 and understood the assurance of salvation?
25:43 Oh, dear, I was probably in my 40's early 40's.
25:47 I think same thing for me.
25:49 Is your experience been my like mine
25:51 that I found that it was easier to obey?
25:55 I had a heart to obey for the Lord
25:57 when I had assurance of salvation.
25:59 Oh, yes, you know what it means?
26:02 Rest, relief the burden loads off the back.
26:08 The praise comes, the rejoicing comes,
26:13 the peace comes, yes indeed.
26:18 So we look into this role and see polar opposites
26:21 people who think there is nothing that they need to do,
26:24 they don't cooperate with the Lord,
26:26 and they just take it thinking that grace is cheap
26:28 and they don't have to do anything, that's not true.
26:31 Then we see people over here
26:33 who think even though they saved,
26:35 they know they are saved by grace through faith.
26:37 They are still are trying to work their way to heaven.
26:39 That's not true, but we know that God has given us assurance.
26:43 You know, I can't believe our time is all gone again.
26:46 It went by way too fast.
26:49 But I want to thank you so much for being here
26:52 we come back again.
26:53 You are so welcome and it's a privilege to be here
26:55 and I will come back.
26:56 I will-- I just love you.
26:58 I hope your wife Evelyn,
27:00 if she understands this is the sisterly love in the Lord.
27:03 Yes. You know, we began today talking about 1 John 5:11, 12
27:10 where the Bible says that,
27:11 "This is the testimony, God gave us eternal life,
27:16 and this life is in his Son,
27:18 He who possesses the Son has that life,
27:20 he who does not possess the Son of God
27:23 does not have that life."
27:24 I want you to go back and read 1 John 5:10.
27:28 Because He is telling us in 1 John 5:10
27:31 that if we disregard this testimony
27:34 we are calling God a liar.
27:37 God want you to know,
27:39 you may have been in church all of your life
27:41 and you may still not have assurance of salvation.
27:45 God want you to know
27:46 that if you are in Christ, you are saved.
27:49 Thank you, so much for joining us
27:51 and I hope you'll be blessed by this program.


Revised 2014-12-17