It is worse than I thought.
David James’s pretribulationism is incredibly incoherent and the man cannot be reasoned with in just normal discourse. That is unfortunate because as Christians we are called to have Christ-like discussions, which also includes representing the other side accurately and fairly.
David James also holds to a false Gospel, thinking that true believers can commit idolatry by taking the mark of the beast and not lose their salvation. If he understood the Spirit-empowered Gospel of God’s grace never allowing his elect to apostatize, he would understand that no genuine believer would commit this unforgivable act of idolatry. But more on this in another post. In personal email correspondence he writes:
“I don’t think that born again believers will take the mark, and if they do (and perhaps some may do so out of ignorance – or the Lord may take their life so they don’t), but either way I do not believe they will lose their salvation. I hold to eternal security – no exceptions.” 12-17-19
This is a dangerous lie from the pit of hell, no pun intended, and it directly contradicts the unequivocal Word of God:
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Rev 14:9–12)
It further renders the warning in the last verse meaningless. If they can still be saved by taking the mark, then why this warning?
David James’ combination of his tradition of pretribulationism and his non-Lordship view of salvation results in a mess and consequently sends the false and dangerous message that believers can take the mark of the beast and continue to be saved.
I plan on writing a more extensive response to David James. I am using his view as a springboard to respond to what seems to be a growing belief among pretribulationists, that there are exceptions to taking the mark and yet remain saved.
Satan wants the church to believe this lie—for obvious reasons.
In the meantime, I have written on this at least two other times here:
How Far Can You Go and Still Be Able to Repent? A Plea to John MacArthur
The Mark of the Beast Will Be Used for RELIGIOUS Blacklisting. . .