Which came first the chicken or the egg? — the post or the question? The Chicken Of course, and as to the question or post — it does not matter.
I follow Michael, not because he and I agree about our predestination, but because we see things very differently. When I read his post, The Clarion Call, I had to ask the question I did using the First Timothy passage because of the scriptures that I know to be in opposition. His answer came quickly, so it must have been in the works.
If you read the charge given by Paul to Timothy you may scratch your head depending on how you view eternal security.
Some literalists can’t take this passage as it is stated, I will get to a further explanation. But some non literalists such as Michael have no problem with this passage, because they can write 1000 to 2000 words telling us what this means without ever hitting on the words used by Paul to Timothy or any thing connected in the surrounding verses — Not even once. Now this same non literalist will use any passage that he can find containing the word predestined or predestination or chosen, and he will use it verbatim with no need on his part or ours to try to understand it in light of the many contradicting statements of scripture that his very literal understanding clashes with.
This passage listed in my question, in fact, is one such scripture.
The Dispensational literalist, who believes that since the founding of the church by Christ, man cannot do anything to remove himself from His position in Christ once he is saved, will normally just place any scripture which opposes his thinking into a different dispensation. Or, other times you will hear him say concerning the man who has expressed himself as a believer but later walks away, that he was never saved in the beginning. Actually I have no problem with that explanation, because it is not how a man starts but how he finishes that matters.
Paul even alludes to this in some of his statements concerning the believers walk, including his own. But the verse here in question needs to be thought about beyond Michael’s 2000 word distraction. Don’t get me wrong what Michael has to say in his post may all be important to any preacher in God’s ministry, but none of it speaks to this verse in 1 Timothy. Let’s look at the verse:
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16 NASB
Pay close attention to yourself [concentrate on your personal development] and to your teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16 AMP
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
1 Timothy 4:16 AKJV
So what is Paul telling Timothy? Timothy, your own walk and your teaching (your (Doctrine) are so important. You must continue in the doctrine and truth that you were given. Preserve/continue in these truths, for if you don’t or if you do it will mean or effect your own salvation and also those who hear your (either) true or false teaching.
Is there really any other meaning that one can glean from this scripture? Following are the things Paul warns and admonishes Timothy concerning before he speaks this verse to him:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. (In other words — Timothy you learned it right, now don’t blow it). These things command and teach. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 1 Timothy 4:1,6,11,13-15 AKJV
So after these things he says:
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16
Why would he bring salvation into this verse? Certainly not as an afterthought, but because: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
He is saying your teaching Timothy must be truth, otherwise you too are subject to doctrines of Devils.
May God bless you as you ponder these things.