Brother Beebe, we request your views on the point, viz., that if any are lost, is it their own fault?
It appears to us that the question involved is somewhat speculative, and belongs to that class of “endless genealogies and foolish questions about the law,” which the apostle has warned us to avoid. I Timothy 1:4 & Titus 3:9. It is enough for us to know that all mankind have sinned in the transgression in the garden of Eden, and that a righteous judgment from that moment has passed upon all to condemnation, that from the hour sin entered the world, judgment and death passed upon all the posterity of Adam, none of whom were then born, and for aught we know, millions of them are not yet born.
If by the word fault, those who use the term, mean sin, then the Scriptures settle the question; for by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, and that many includes all men, or all who were in Adam, it will be readily conceded that it is for our sins that we are judged and condemned. But when the word is used generally by Arminians, we understand them to mean that all sinners who are guilty and condemned already, can, if they please, evade the righteous sentence which is upon them, escape the punishment, close in with certain supposed overtures of mercy, and if they do not avail themselves of the power they have, it will be because they wilfully neglect to do so. This theory is flagrant infidelity, for it directly contradicts the Scriptures of truth, which positively declare that salvation from sin and wrath is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God who showeth mercy; and that salvation is of the Lord, and not of works, but of grace. We are not held in fault for what we have not done, and could not do, but for what we have done, in sinning against God; and we are told in the word of “cursed children who cannot cease from sin.”
When those who profess to be Baptists use the words, “If any are lost it is their own fault,” we naturally understand them to use the words in the sense in which they are used by Arminians and other infidels, of whom the apostle predicted, “Thou wilt say unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?” Romans 9:19. And we should beware of them. Men are condemned and damned for their sins, and not for their lack of ability to atone for their guilt.
May 1, 1869.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 7
Pages 418 – 419