The point is that it is a prophetic prediction divinely decreed that states that those accepting the mark of the beast, worshiping the anti-christ and his image will not repent and has no direct relation to the moot question of a hypothetical possibility if or not they could be saved; the text predicts they will not be.
This is fully consistent with the thrust of The Book of Revelation's teaching on a post Parousia world where men will not repent even in the face of apocalyptic cataclysm (eg. Revelation 9:21). The notion that unregenerate people who are worshiping the Antichrist, and have taken his mark, can come to a saving faith in Jesus after the age of grace is closed, when God is again dealing with unbelieving Israel and the Jews (2/3 of whom, will perish), after The Holy Spirit is no longer restraining evil and the powers of Satan, nor is|He convicting the lost of their sin, as per John 16:8, is nothing short of hideous.
How will Antichrist worshipers who have sold their soul in exchange for the mark be saved without the conviction of The Holy Spirit when the plain text of Revelation 9 states unambiguously that they won't?
Of all of the pathetic rubbish John MacArthur has peddled recently this is the most ludicrous of his nonsensical propositions and the most dangerous.
He has not been able to address the text of Revelation 14: 9-11 in context (which as you may notice he has not done or even exegetically attempted to, because he cannot). Neither can he find a co-text dealing with the same issue of the fate of those accepting the mark supporting John MacArthur's case (such as Revelation 20:4 or Revelation 13: 16-17). So not being able to exegetically support John MacArthur's position with the text in context and not having an argument from a co-text (a passage addressing the same issue) he manufactures a tangent. He then uses the tangent to shift the argument away from the text, con-text and co-text into an argument about what the unpardonable sin is.
Whether the sin of worshiping the Antichrist and taking the mark is unpardonable or not, is not even germane to the context because the text prophetically predicts those doing this, will not repent. If they can repent is superfluous; the text says they won't. He is behaving like a sleazy politician (which as with the Sanhedrin is all a theocrat really is). He is changing the subject to get off the hook by introducing a tangent narrative diverting the focus away from what the passage read in context and light of its co-texts actually says. Crooked lawyers play the same diversionary games with juries when they are hired to represent a guilty client. Read Matthew 23; things have not changed much.
Not to become too personal, but I am forced to wonder if Mr Johnson's loyalty is to his job and hence to John MacArthur or to Jesus based on God's Word.
John MacArthur has indeed become what Jesus quoting Isaiah castigated the John MacArthur"s of His day for doing in Matthew 15: 3-9; nullifying the plain and unambiguous teachings of God with the invented teachings of men.
Here are the facts:
* John Mac Arthur does this with his cessationist pneumatology. The New Testament directly commands tongues and prophecy are not to be forbidden (1 Corinthians 14:39, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20, 1 Timothy 4:14). John Mac Arthur teaches the contrary.
By the twisted false authority of the invented doctrines of men that in effect say a different dispensation exists now than existed in the Apostolic church (the same false teaching that is the basis of Bullinger and of hyper dispensationalism, John MacArthur nullifies what is plainly commanded in God's Word. By separating 1 Corinthians 13 from 1 Corinthians 1:7 John. Mac Arthur twists Corinthians out of context to represent the lie that the perfect is the New Testament canon rather than the Parousia. In fact, if the perfect has already come neither do we need faith or hope? We only need love. He is as ridiculous on one extreme as the hyper charismatic lunatics and ultra-Pentecostals he campaigns against.
He calls those false teachers deceivers yet features the infant sprinkling architect of the Y2K fiasco R.C. Sproul at his silly conference. I never even heard Hinn or Copeland say something as absurd as someone can take the mark of the beast, worship the Antichrist and still go to heaven. It takes a John MacArthur to be that nuts.
* John Mac Arthur similarly nullifies the plain teaching of The New Testament that God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4) and that Jesus is the Saviour of all men, especially believers (1 Timothy 4:10), substituting what God's Word states with the Calvinistic belief that God creates some people in order to torture them forever in hell; a place Jesus said was created not for men but for Satan and his angels. John MacArthur achieves this with his humanistic philosophy of Calvinism that is in effect philosophically a pseudo Christianisation of Islamic Insha"Allah (everything that happens is God's perfect will). Mr MacArthur of course ignores that this is the reason for ugly and violent history of Calvin's Taliban police state in Geneva to the English Puritan Calvinists and Scottish Presbyterian Calvinists slaughtering each other in the Name of Jesus Christ under the spiritual advice of John Owen, the greatest Reformed theologian. When have charismatics ever done anything that sick and depraved? In his hypocritical revisionism, John MacArthur ignores the shameful history of injustice perpetrated in the Name of Christ by Calvinism from the apartheid of the Dutch Reformed Church, the pro slavery of the Southern Baptists, and the plantation period in Ireland by the Reformed Presbyterians. When did Pentecostals ever hang and burn defenceless old women on the basis of subjective uncorroborated spectral evidence as his Calvinists did in England under Cromwell and in Salem? Yet this religious hypocrite holds up the Reformed heritage as some kind of convoluted ideal which in his distorted mind equates to the true Christian ideal. Its murderous history of debauchery indicts it.
Yes, there are indeed far too many crazy Charismatic, but even they are not nearly as crazy as the blood thirsty religious despots John MacArthur holds up as his Calvinistic heroes.
For a man who supposedly regards himself as learned John MacArthur appears too ignorant to understand that as a Baptist in the 16th century, he and his naive followers would not have even been regarded as Reformed but as an Ana Baptist sect (as would any not holding to infant baptism, Patristic authority, and Erastianism) and he would have been persecuted by the Calvinists. He protests the ignorance of charismatics and Pentecostals while he reduces himself to the behaviour of a revisionist moron (not that I am calling him a moron, but he insists on portraying himself that way, and as a religious hypocrite on top it).
What John MacArthur does in pneumatology with cessationism, what he does in soteriology with Calvinism, he now does in eschatology. Like the Sanhedrin - he nullifies direct literal teachings in The Word of God with the inventions of men. This is John MacArthur. That is what he is, and that is all he is. Please tell him and Phil Johnson that I said so.
Hitler and Stalin claimed to be on opposite poles of the ideological spectrum. But in the end they were six of one and half dozen of the other. So are John MacArthur & Benny Hinn.
Take your pick. I choose neither. The Word of God tells me to keep away from both of them.
In all likelihood, nothing anyone can say to Jacob Prasch would ever change his mind. He"s not moved by the biblical argument—even the words of Jesus plainly stating that every kind of sin and blasphemy (except one) is forgivable.
For some reason, Mr. Prasch seems to have an agenda to treat the whole matter as a partisan dispute between Calvinists an Arminians. That"s a ridiculous argument, because the point under dispute has nothing whatsoever to do with any doctrine on which Calvinists and Arminians disagree. Prasch simply dismissed the biblical argument rather than dealing with it, and he doubled down on the insults and fulminations. There"s really nothing to discuss if he is unwilling to answer the biblical point.
So if your goal is to convince him, I think you are going to be disappointed. Consider this: All of us agree that anyone who takes the mark of the beast and remains unrepentant will be damned eternally. The question of whether someone who has the mark of the beast might repent or not is entirely hypothetical anyway. The way Mr. Prasch has reacted to a point of disagreement about a hypothetical situation really says all you need to know about his discernment (and lack thereof). Bear in mind that the statement he objects to was an incidental off-the-cuff answer that was given in an informal Q&A session years ago; it"s not a major article of faith for anyone on our side of the issue. Nor is it a question that ever would have arisen in the first place if someone hadn"t raised it as a hypothetical. It"s simply not a point that warrants all the angst and ill-will and personal animosity Mr. Prasch has purposely and relentlessly tried to stir up.
And you have to ask yourself why he would do that.
-- Phil Johnson