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Last week, we sought to address a couple of passages that are often difficult for some to reconcile with the doctrine of eternal security. What may seem at first glance to be in the favor of the conditionalists (that is, Christians who believe that true saints can later lose their salvation) upon closer examination of the context of the passages in question and understanding the clear teaching of Scripture of true vs. false conversion, show they are not.

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The doctrine of eternal security, which teaches that the salvation of believers is forever guaranteed by our Savior and great High Priest Jesus Christ, is a glorious doctrine that gives believers assurance of their faith in Christ and their eternal inheritance. Yet tragically, it is a doctrine that many well-meaning Christians question or deny, and instead teach that people can experience genuine conversion but later fall away from the faith and lose their salvation, a view sometimes referred to as conditional security. Unsurprisingly, both sides of this ongoing debate within the church claim to have their fair share of proof-texts that justify their positions, so we will be taking a closer look at a couple of passages that appear to teach conditional security in order to better understand them and to provide meaningful responses that will hopefully strengthen your faith and assurance. As we will see, some of these passages can be a bit challenging at first glance, thus it becomes important to always remember to interpret unclear texts with clear ones.

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Have you ever read the nativity story in Luke chapter two and thought, “How convenient that there was a census at the exactly right time that Mary and Joseph needed to go to Bethlehem, so Jesus could be born there?” As a kid, I can even remember people telling the story as if Mary and Joseph made it just in time to give birth to Jesus! Census, Bethlehem, baby. Was it really that easy? How difficult and trying was this experience for this young couple? How did God work in the lives of Mary and Joseph to get them from Nazareth to Bethlehem? My goal in writing this blog will be to explore the events leading up to the birth of Jesus in an attempt to see how God worked in the lives of Mary and Joseph on the road to Bethlehem. In order to do so, I will try to fill in the Biblical account with some details while also acknowledging that they are by no means conclusively facts.