How does this shake out? Do we have free will, or don't we?
It certainly seems that we do. We are indeed free to sin, or not, as we will.
So how does the sovereignty of God fitin here? Taken to the extreme, those with free will can thwart God's plan? If true, then the Almighty is not omnipotent, and not God.
I truly seek an answer on this. I have theories, but I will hold my peace for the opinions of those wiser than I.
I believe in free will, but then maybe I am predestined to
In the past I liked to say that I chose God.
As I've studied, I've come to understand that He chose me.
It's very humbling. And liberating.
BTW, my introduction to Calvinism was the book "A Journey In Grace", the author's name is Belcher. The book is the story of a seminary student who is confronted with various opinions on Calvinism and he sets out to critically examine the five points of TULIP.
As a novel it's not on par with Tom Clancy, but it laid out the basics of Calvinist doctrine in an easy to understand way.
It's worth checking out.
This is an interesting question.
First of all, I view the purpose of this life as a test. We are here to be tested to see if we will accept the Lord and follow Him. To see if we can live by faith. Inherent in this belief is a principle of agency.
Our choice to follow the Savior is our own. Many have been raised in Christian homes who have chosen to rebel against what they were taught. Others have been raised in "Godless" lands but have come to accept Jesus as they have learned of Him.
But what about conversion itself. Does it happen all at once, or is a person's conversion/testimony something that is strengthened or weakened one day at a time based on our own actions? I believe the latter.
There have been times in my life when I was good about doing those things that strengthen me spiritually: prayer, scripture study, serving my God and fellow man, etc. Other periods of my life I have been lazy about doing those things. I have felt the difference in me spiritually. Sometimes my spirit literally feels sick from lack of spiritual nurishment.
I need Jesus's grace during all times of my life, but when I don't do those things I know I should, such as repentence and obedience, I am depriving myself of that grace I need so much.
Are people foreordained to callings here on this earth? Absolutely. Every prophet that has ever served the Lord was foreordained. Every man who receives the priesthood was foreordained. Etc.
However, a person may be foreordained but reject the calling he/she was called to do. David and Solomon were foreordained, but both fell due to gross disobedience.
In Matthew 22 we read of how "many are called, but few are chosen." If you read the accompanying parable, it is clear that people are bidden but that the choice is their own to respond. So who desides if we are "chosen"? The answer is that we do, you and I, by our own daily conscious decisions to follow the Savior.
In my seminary studies we have gone over Calvinisim. I have a problem with the Limited Atonement part of it all.
Sorry, but Jesus died for all of us. Even the islamic terrorist chopping heads off of people...As crazy as it sounds, it is true. And limited atonement would mean that Jesus Christ did not die for all of us.
This is the problem with Calvinism. It is internally consistent, but if one part falls, the whole thing goes.
Total Depravity means that man cannot do anything right and that God must act miraculously on him to even get him to believe.
Unconditional Election means that since man can do nothing right/good he can do nothing to influence God's selection of who will believe and who will then be saved. There are NO conditions for salvation.
Limited Atonement means that if God chooses some and rejects others unconditionally then Christ's death is not, in effect or practically for all but only for the elect.
Irresistable Grace means that if God acts miraculously on a person to believe there is nothing they can do to stop it. They will be saved.
Perseverance of the Saints means that once God miraculously acts on a person to believe there is nothing they can do later to change it.
Most people balk at Limited Atonement. BUT, notice that Limited Atonement is the logical conclusion based on Total Depravity and Unconditional Election. If Limited Atonement is incorrect then Total Depravity and/or Unconditional Election MUST be incorrect.
Jesus absoluteley died for all of us. Whether or not the grace provided by His atonement is applied to us depends on our accepting Him and repenting of our sins.
I have a question that is relevant with this discussion.
What is the purpose of life? Why are we even here?
If Calvinism is correct, and we are predestined for Heaven or Hell, then what are we here for?
If eternal salvation (or eternal damnation) was pre-chosen for specific individuals the day they came into this world, why bother living this life?
To flippantly say that 'Jesus Christ died for Adolph Hitler' is such an absurdity, that it cannot be countenced.
Jesus Christ died for all men, some of whom in their lives will be judged 'not worthy' to be a joint heir with Christ.
Adolph Hitler could have obtained forgiveness of sins...and have partaken of the Kingdom of Heaven...right up until the time when he pressed the Walther up against his temple and pulled the trigger.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15
But, being an Omniscient God, the Heavenly Father knew beforehand who would serve Him and who would not.
If you could travel in a time machine to the Seventh Day of Creation and inquire of God whether or not you would be a member of His Kingdom in the Next World, He could certainly have given you the answer.
But you can't.
Yet, His answer, 'Yea' or 'Nay', is Eternal, and has always been there, and will always be there.
Some one of Christ's Disciples was destined to betray Him...according to the Scriptures....just as certainly as some Virgin was destined to bring forth Him Who was to rule the Nations.
And Judas Iscariot was always that Disciple, always that man, who would betray Christ....from his cradle.
Neither he, nor his parents, nor anyone else knew it...but God.
We don't know whether our lives will end in peace and safety or upon the gallows.
But we have to live as if, whether in a bed surrounded by family, or upon the gallows surrounded by an angry mob, we will hear those beautiful words....'Well done, thou good and faithful servant....'...some Bright and Shining Morning Without End.
Isn't that sufficient?
It is for me.
Why ask why?
You are here.
You are in a race.
You will either finish the race, or not.
Whether you know His Purpose for this race is immaterial and irrelevant.
But we are told, and we believe, that He is Our Father and that He loves us dearly, dearly enough that He suffered the Humiliation and Death of the Cross on our behalf...and that is sufficient for those who love Him.
In your reply you answer part of my question. Yes, it was rhetorical to some extent.
You say that we are in a race, one that we finish or not. Yet you avoid defining what that race is and suggest that it isn't important to know.
Considering that the race is for our eternal salvation, I consider it darn important to know. What I need to do in this life is equally important to know, considering the stakes. Otherwise we're all rudderless, being blown about with every gust of wind.
The purpose of life is to love. Biblically, we are to love God and keep his commandments but if we really love God we will love our fellow man as well.
We ARE predestinated. And we all share the same predestination. Our destination is to be conformed to the image of his son (Rom 8:29). Just like someone who heads out on a trip with a destination in mind, they may or may not make it depending on the choices they make. The same is true with our predestination to grow Christ in us. Whether we reach our destination is entirely up to us — that is our free will.
You've got "predestination" and "foreordination" mixed up. You're saying "predestined" when you mean "foreordained". Predestination doesn't leave room for free will.
No, I'm referring to Rom 8:29
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Maybe the Calvinist view of predestination doesn't allow for free will but real life sure does. If I'm told to go to the store to pick up milk for the Misses, the dairy isle at the grocery is my destination. I'm predestinated to go to the store. But that doesn't mean I will. I might get destracted and go to the titty bar and forget all about the milk. My free will trumped my predestination. The scriptures say we're predestinated to be conformed to the image of his son. That's our destination. It's a PRE destination because we haven't made it there yet. It's entirely up to us whether we make it or not.
The Bible says that God is love.
Love,, by its very nature, requires choice. If God made us robots, and all of our actions and choices were predetermined, then we are incapable of love.
Jesus CHOSE to go the the cross and lay down his life for sinners. He proved his love for us.
And every individual has a choice about whether or not they will receive Jesus Christ as their personal saviour.
God IS love, and he deals with us on that basis. Choice IS required.
And God's will is not always done. Why? Because he is love. BUT... although a love relationship between two persons is dependent on their choices, WRATH is not.
Those who reject God's mercy, love and grace will have no choice. They WILL receive his wrath instead.
You first need to understand just what the will is. Is it sovereign or servant? Does your will persuade your choices arbitrarily? Or are your choices influenced by something.
If we make choices without influence, then why would one prefer water over a handful of sand when we are thirsty? If our will were truly free, then what would it matter if one choice were made over another? The choice was free.
Now I know you understand our choices are influenced in some way. It’s obvious for sure. But why do we make the choices we make?
Are we robots with no choice in the matters of things? Certainly not. Our choices are not limited by anyone other than ourselves. When we say that our will is not free, we are not saying that we are robots with no minds and ability to choose for ourselves. It’s obvious that we can make decisions and choose to our likings. We are not scripted idiots just playing a part in someone’s play.
Now if that is the case, and we make our own decisions, then why do we say that our will is not free? Because our will is servant to our likes. You probably agree. You chose water over sand when you thirst, because that’s what you prefer. Especially in that instance.
So is our will free? We come to the conclusion that the will is not arbitrary and wild, yet is servant to our desires. We come to the conclusion that we are not restricted by anyone in the choices we make and are not mindless robots. We both agree on those two things I am sure.
But since we make the choices ourselves without any scripted influence. Can we call it free since it is not restrained by anyone other than ourselves? The answer is still no. That is what we say the will is not free. It is servant. As a sinner your will is servant to your nature, or your preferences. As a sinner your preferences are to reject God and His calling. Yes you are free to make the decision and choices you want, but they are still servant to your sinful nature.
We are here for Gods Glory. Why else?
This may get long. I actually started this back when you started a thread about this subject a while back. (Warning, poor greammar ahead and improper use of paragraphs etc... please bear with me)
Basically both sides teach a limited atonement.
Ok I will try to stay on topic as much as possible here. Please remember I am not saying anyone has to see it this way and I hope folks do not attack each other over opposing views on this. I actually wanted to make this longer because so many have been taught error for so long its no longer a simple thing as it should be. Probably 99% of Christianity tries to interject some of mans so called sovereignty into their system. Its quite the opposite in truth.
If you consider yourself a Christian please pray before reading further. Pray that God protect you from evil, heresy and deadly error. Pray that God reveal Himself in all His glory, even if that means you have to be humbled. Pray that no mater what comes in all things, that its Gods will that be glorified always.
This thread brought up a topic I am somewhat passionate about. Like I said before I am not saying one has to agree with it at all, I just want to present a viewpoint that one may not have considered before.
I feel this is an important subject since it deals directly with the work of Christ and the results of that work. I feel it should be every Christians desire to study what the scriptures teach about the atoning work of Christ.
The main problem addressed in this thread is a valid concern. Ziti rejects the doctrine of a “limited” atonement. I feel much rejection (not saying this is his reason) is because of the misunderstanding of the work “limited”. I think it would be a better term if one used , definite, particular, or best of all, effectual atonement. Sure those names mess up the t.u.l.i.p. acrostic but that don’t matter much. I have found that people have strong reactions to some words in everyday life.
On one hand some believe Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect and actually secured salvation for them. His death was substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in place of the elect. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation. This is called limited atonement or definite atonement,
On the other hand some believe Christ’s redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved, but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone. Though Christ died for all men and for everyman, only those who believe on Him are saved. His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condition they believe, but id did not actually put away any ones sins. Christ’s work is only effective if man chooses to accept it. This is referred to unlimited atonement or possible atonement.
Another reason the term “limited” atonement is not really helpful is because in reality both groups “limit” the atonement. If Christ’s death secured salvation as one group teaches, and it was also for every man as the other teaches then we would have to conclude that all men are saved. Both groups will deny universal salvation as heresy. Both accept the biblical teaching that some people are not save. So both groups see some limitation of what Jesus atoning work accomplished.
Either the extent of the atonement is limited: Jesus made full atonement for some. Or the value of the atonement is limited; Jesus made possible atonement for all. The crucial question is this: Did Jesus Christ die to save sinners? or to make salvation possible? What does scripture actually say? The bible never says that Jesus died to make people “savable”. You don’t see bumper stickers that say “Jesus makes one savable” or “Jesus saves by making people savable” No you don’t hear those claims though a great many actually teach it. You will never hear folks proclaim “Jesus needs you” when if fact they need Jesus.
No you will hear none of that because deep down they know its different. Scripture says quite different. It very clearly states that Jesus died to save sinners, not merely make them “savable” (Rom 5:10; Gal 3:13). In Matthew 18:11 Jesus declares that “the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” He died to SAVE, not just make salvation possible. If the mainstream version and most accepted version of the atonement were true, we would not really have unlimited atonement but rather “possible” atonement, which is no atonement at all really. There are two choices:
1. Jesus saves
2. Jesus makes salvation possible.
Scripture teaches #1. Not #2
Now that raises the question, “If Jesus merely makes salvation possible, what makes salvation actual?” Some say that a persons faith makes it actual.
Is faith the decisive work? Unlimited or “possible” atonement changes salvation into a cooperative effort between God and man. Jesus did His part on the cross by making us savable. Now we do our part by believing. On the surface it may sound right but we need to remember where our faith comes from. Many teach what makes our salvation actual is our faith, rather than the objective work of Jesus Christ applied to us by the Holy Spirit. That is not biblical but another sugar coated version of works based salvation. See, many think the faith they have was borne out of themselves. What is biblical and what “seem” right are two different things. Man is not saved by his own faith. He is saved by God through faith, and even that faith is the gift of God (Eph 2:8) I personally think that any doctrine that teaches that Jesus did all He could in His part in salvation but man has to do what Jesus left undone is blatantly unbiblical and should need no refutation.
If one follows this to its conclusion, then he is left with either universalism or self salvation. If on one hand Jesus’ death actually secured redemption and He died for all men, then all men must be redeemed. I feel most here would condemn such as heresy. On the other hand , Jesus died for all men and all men are not saved, then Jesus death was not effectual. He did not actually redeem anyone on the cross. He did not save. “:He merely made salvation possible.” That would mean that man must make salvation actual through his own faith. Man must save himself.
The doctrine of unlimited or possible atonement is a doctrine of no atonement at all in actuality. Either Jesus saves and His death actually atones, or the work is left undone and there is no salvation. Scripture is very clear that man is DEAD in sins, not merely sick with sin. Now if man is like scripture says, dead with sin, at enmity with God, haters of God, then who is salvation possible? What does Scripture say of the nature of man?
They are spiritually dead (Gen 2:16-17; Rom 5:12; Eph 2-13; Col 2:13.)The bible tells us repeatedly that their hearts are utterly wicked and that they are blind to spiritual things (Gen 6:5; 8:21; Eccl 9:3; Jer17:9; Mark 7:21-23; John 3:19; Rom 8:7-8; 1Cor 2:14; Eph 4:17-19; 5:8;Titus 1:15).
It only gets more unflattering. We are also told in Scripture that they are slaves to sin, and children of the devil (John 8:34,44; Rom6:20; Eph 2:1-2; 2Tim 2:25-26; Titus 3:3; 1John 3:10; 5:19)
Is anyone excluded from thus assessment (this is what mans heart hates) (1Kings 8:46; 2Chron 6:36; Job15:14-16; Pss 130:3; 143:2; Prov 20:9; Eccl 7:20,29; Isa 53:5; 64:6;Rom 3:9-12, 23; James 3:2,8; 1John 1:8,10)
Is man capable of choosing God from his sin enslaved will? Certainly not. This lies the heart of the matter. Man hates the fact that God is sovereign. Many Christian denominations are filled with the pride of man that just will not let go of human pride. Man wants to be able to say he has a say, that he retains the power to trump God.
The difference between a sinner in Hell and a sinner saved is Gods grace. Many desire the ability to boast that they are different because of something they did. They refuse to admit their salvation was ALL of God. Had it not been for God, they would still be unbelieving and headed for the pit.
Chose God? Thank Him. If He had not gave you life when you were spiritually dead, you would remain a slave of sin. You did not choose God, He chose you and nothing you did caused Him to choose you. If you responded to his commands, it was ONLY because He had given you life you hear them. H already saved you and you have Him to thank. Cast off that crown and give Him the glory. Your human heart will fight you and resist the urge to admit that had it not been for Gods Sovereign choice in electing you unto salvation, you would be on the pit. If you Has truly chosen you according to His good will and pleasure, not anything we done. Then you will desire to obey, you will WANT to obey. Your will has been freed from the chains of sin and thus are free to serve God.
I beg of you. Right now realize that God is in control and that you woe it all to Him. ALL. He gave us commands and what we needed to do to be saved. If you responded properly it was because God already enabled you and freed you from bondage. Admit it. Give God all the glory. You did not deserve it, You did not cause it. The ONLY difference between you and the damned is Gods grace.
This was you-
"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which
you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the
prince of the power of air, the spirit who now works in the sons of
disobedience, among whom we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts
of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and
were by nature children of wrath, just as the others." Ephesians 2:1-3
So then, why are some saved and others are not? How could have I made a faithful decision to trust in Jesus when it is obvious that no trust ever existed in me? Could scripture be wrong? Is it about somebody else? NO it says we were “just as the others”.
"For by grace you have been saved because of faith, that is of
yourselves: it is your gift to God."
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that is not of
yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
All here would be on the same ground condemning the first quote. And
rightly so, for Scripture teaches no such thing but unfortunately many believe it.
Scripture teaches us the we had no faith toward God. “just as the others”. So where does faith come from? Thanks be to God for giving His children the tools and ability to come to Him. CAst off that crown and give God ALL the glory in your salvation he did not look down and see if you would choose Him and base His decision upon that. -- ref Psalm 53:2-3 and Psalm 14:2-3
Cast off that crown and give it all to God. It won’t be easy. You will find yourself wrestling with it but its quite liberating to be finally free from the pride of our hearts.
Just pray that God reveal His true glory to you. You will feel like Job in a way.When Gods ultimate Sovereignty is revealed to you, you will declare just as he said
or as Isiah
Remember of any man you can pick out of the bible and consider them the most righteous of humans can be, these two were humbled big time when they saw God reveal His Sovereignty. Perpare yourself to be humbled. You will fight the truth but see that fight against it as the prideful sin that it is. You WILL wrestle with it, I have as did many others. Its not easy to let go like that but it is truly liberating. I cannot describe it. Praying that God will reveal His true nature to you.
Not saying you have to agree with this but I offer it anyway. Before you click make sure and pray. Seriously, this stuff is too important not to. Pray hard for Gods guidance in the truth and preserve you from error.
Romans 9 and Predestination
Originally Posted By Shane333:
The imagery of a race was not mine, but one who was devinely inspired to so call it - St. Paul.
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
And again in 2 Timothy....
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy
As did the Writer of Hebrews....
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:1-3
That is ALL we need to know.
What do you consider the Holy Scriptures to be, but the sole guide to our Faith and Practice?
You may be 'rudderless', but there are those of us who look to Jesus as the Captain of our souls!
I've read the article you've linked and two reactions come immediately to mind. The first is that anyone who accuses God of an unrighteous judgement is guilty of blasphemy. There is no evil or darkness in God and the scriptures tell us he hates an unjust balance. The second reaction is that the story of Jacob and Essau tells us a whole lot more about Christ and Lucifer than it does about predestination.
Clearly, though, you have thought about this issue a lot and it's very important to you. I seriously doubt that anything I or anyone else says on the subject of predestination will sway you. So rather than turn the conversation into a pissing match I'll simply defer and conceed that you hold your own views.
FWIW, my view is that our God is a loving God who trusts us and knows that the only way evil can be judged out of the world is by man making choices. If God wanted to wave a magic wand and force his will on us he would have eliminated sin and evil long ago — the problem is, evil would come right back in just like it did after the flood. The God I worship is a righteous God. He knows that the only way evil can be eliminated is that it must be judged — not by him, but by his creation.
He gave Adam the task of judging evil and he failed. He gave Jesus the task of judging evil and he succeeded. Jesus set the judgement line and became our forerunner. Because of what he did we have the power to judge evil in our OWN lives. Predestination vs. choice? THe ONLY thing that's true and just and right, my friend is CHOICE. Our choice, our free will, is the tool that God will use to clean up the world.
Again, that's my view. You clearly have a different view and a different understanding of God.
Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
I can't believe I'm going to say this about a criley post:
Seriously, I had you pegged as a Calvinist from some of your other posts. Do you just accept perseverance of the saints by itself?
God's wrath is not lightning bolts out of the sky. God's wrath is that he allows us to have the consequences of our choices. The wages of sin is death and those who choose evil receive their reward. It's just spiritual physics and it's all about choice. This is just part of what makes God a righteous God.
Arminians call me a Calvinist and Calvinists call me an Arminian.
I do not agree with "perseverance of the saints," (Note who is doing the persevering.)
Saved souls ARE kept by the power of God, however.
No, God's wrath goes beyond physical death. It even goes beyond spiritual death.
Spending eternity in a place prepared for the devil and his angels... where there is outer darkness, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, where there is no peace, no joy, no happiness, no laughter, no contentment.
The rich man was tormented in the flames of hell.
No soul is 'saved' until it is judged by God.
That Judgment does NOT occur in this world.
If anyone believes that they are 'saved' and they then can do nothing that would imperil their salvation, they are no different than the self-righteous Pharisees in the Days of Christ who mistakenly thought that they were 'saved' merely because they were the 'Children of Abraham.'
That is the 'leaven of the Pharisees' that Jesus Christ Himself warned us against...that simply be being a Pharisee...or a Believer....you could do as you wished...and still be 'saved.'
If God 'spared not the natural branches'....then He will not spare us...unless we continue in His Goodness.
Oh boy . . . we could have quite a conversation about hell. But we should probably save that for another time/another thread . . .
I will offer you this, though. The story of Lazarus and the rich man is a parable. The rich man pictures the Jews. It was they who faired sumptuously and had Abraham as their father. It was they who were separated by a gulf of disbelief to Jesus' teachings. The reference to hell in that story doesn't refer to a firey hole in the ground. It refers to the torment that comes from being disobedient to God's word (which is pictured by fire in the scriptures).
It is not a parable.
Luke 16:19 ¶ There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Both men are "certain."
Lazarus is NAMED. The man who went to hell is not names. He is "unknown."
As in "I never knew you."
People who don't want to believe what the Bible clearly teaches call it a "parable."
I'll stick with the Bible.
Ro 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
2Co 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Re 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
Know why religious people don't agree with what the Bible says?
It goes against their religion.
Really? In the world that you live in do these things happen all the time? People in hell lift up their eyes and see into heaven? A drop of water on the tongue cools the flames of hell? Or are these things just symbolic? Which part of the story is symbolic and which is real? Who decides?
Geez, buddy, read the story in context. Four verses earlier Jesus says "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it." It's a parable about the gentiles (the beggar) getting into God's kingdom. Remember the woman who said the dogs eat the crumbs from the master's table? Notice any similarity? Stop taking everything literally and seek understanding.
Then please do.
What a strange group of Scriptures to try and make an argument that we are 'saved', while others 'perish', while still in this present World!
Is there any man in this present World capable NOW of 'perishing'???
Nope, while there is still Light, every living man may come to know and believe in Christ.
By the same token, every living man who NOW knows and believes in Christ can likewise experience a 'change of heart' and fall away.
We have seen it throughout the history of the Church...beginning, I suppose, with Ananias, who, with Sapphira, his wife, were members of the Church...as we read in Acts, Chapter 5....
Now, tell me, were Ananias and Sapphira 'saved'?
I mean, when they gave up the ghost, were they ushered into Paradise?
Then they weren't really 'saved', right?
That's how such questions are invaribly answered by those who believe, 'Once saved, always saved.'
When we see someone whom we had all thought was 'saved', slip and fall in a very obvious way, y'all's response is always, 'They were never really saved.'
So, I suppose that y'all should change your motto to 'Once really saved, always really saved.'
The Bible is the sole source for my Faith.
But I choose not to pick and choose among Its verses and to place strange and new-fangled slants on the Doctrines and Beliefs that have sustained His Church throught the Ages.
So, now, tell us, 'If God spared not the natural branches, why would He spare thee?'
I haven't seen your answer...if you have one.
Actually when Calvinists use the phrase "perseverance of the saints" they mean that the Saints persevere because God preserves them. Calvinists don't believe that we have the freedom to accept Christ or reject Him to begin with. They certainly do not believe that the Saints persevere on their own. In Calvinism the focus is TOTALY on God and His sovereignty.
Calvinists feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about your position.
There are several groups that deny free will.
Calvinistic Christianity is one. Materialistic determinism is another.
The reality though is that neither one of these groups lives like they are determined.
If everything we are going to do is already predetermined by either God (Calvinism) or biological and enviornmental factors (materialistic determinism) then we don't really make choices we just are.
But notice how much of our life is spent (at least acting like we are) making choices.
Why on earth would (I'm assuming) most of the people on this board be willing to fight and die so that they and their loved ones have the freedom to live as they choose or worship as they choose if no one really chooses anyway?
Why on earth are we having this discussion if we really believe that people cannot choose? We see some pretty impassioned arguments trying to persuade others to their point of view. Persuasion by definition requires a presumption of the ability to choose.
Why do we try and convert people to our viewpoint? Why do we get angry at others behavior if they don't have any choice in the matter? There is no room for righteous indignation if everyone is simply a product of God's will for their life or chance molecular and chemical reactions.
But the reality is that Calvinists will still try to evangelize and materialistic determinists still get ticked if you steal their stuff.
The reality is that whether we have free will or not, we certainly live as if we do and expect others to live as if they do.
My first post in this thread was meant as a joke, but it has an element of truth to it. I believe in free will, but maybe I'm predestined to. The fact is that I believe in free will. If I truly chose this believe then that is evidence that supports my belief. If I did not choose this belief and I don't have a choice about this belief, could the rest of you please kindly leave me alone about it?
How do Calvinists square predestination with these two scriptural accounts of God not anticipating the actions of man:
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 ¶ And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
If God knows our choices why would he be grieved or repent that he made man? Wasn't man's choice to do evil continuously part of his plan? Wasn't it factored in? Why doesn't it say that God, seeing man did what he knew man woud do, decided to punish man?
3 And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.
4 Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;
5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
If we are predestined to make the choices we make how is it possible that this choice never entered God's mind?
So God didn't know beforehand that Man would Fall?
So, 'the Lamb Slain From the Foundation of the World' was going to be slain anyway, no matter what choice Man would make?
That's simply the mind of man trying to comprehend the Incomprehensible Mind Of God.
I very much agree with your second example. As for your first example about God repenting, I think there is a very high probability that there is a translation error in the scripture some time back.
I have assurance of my salvation. My name is written in the Lamb's book of life and I have been sealed by the Holy Spirit for that Day.
Being confident in my salvation does not equate to being able to do as I wish. That's a twisting to the concept.
That's the key right there - His goodness. I don't depend on my own righteousness. That would indeed be a false hope.
Originally Posted By Brohawk:
I take it you are not the 'natural branch' or the 'wild branch' that St. Paul spoke about in Romans, but the 'irremovable branch', that St. Paul didn't speak about...at all.
Why can't you do as you wish?
Shouldn't someone sealed in such a manner as you claim, never even have a wish to do anything other than His Will?
There is a concept here being 'twisted', but not by me.
Then answer the question that arises by St. Paul's words...
IF God spared not the 'natural branches', why would he spare you?
And that is St. Paul speaking to folks who, according to your views, should be just as certain of their salvation as you are.
And yet St. Paul wasn't certain of them being spared, at all.
Hmmm. So, again, answer the question.
I'm not going to get wrapped around the axle debating you.
I've done it before and you have conveniently ignored scripture I've posted while selectively emphasizing that which supported your opinion. It's hard to have a discussion with someone who is stuck on transmit.
I am abundantly confident that I will one day be praising God before His throne.
I hope you make it.
A very simple question was asked....and as yet remains unanswered....
No one else does that, I imagine.
I'm still on 'receive' and nothing is being transmitted.
As I said before, that is wonderful! Marvelous! Splendid!
I share your hope that I do, as well.
I'm just a 'wild branch' who has been grafted onto the True Vine.
Does that mean you think God knew all along that the world was going to get so messed up he would have to bring a flood to destroy it? That was part of his plan?
Did God plan for Adam to fall?
You say it is a parable because it is most convenient for you.
It is not a parable, as the context makes perfectly clear.
Leave the Bible alone and it is CERTAIN example of two men.
Don't like that fact? Then just make it meet your requirements.
Calvinists didn't have anything to do with it... at least if you go by their theology
But perhaps there is some truth in that. God might have made them name it accurately.
But in any event, it IS simple English. Perseverance of the saints. That means that the SAINTS are the ones who persevere.
And that is Lordship salvation, by the way.
It is man-made theology.
Do a Google search on the parables of Jesus and see how often Lazarus and the rich man is included. This ain't some great revelation here brother. It's a widely held and conventional view . . .
So what? The world is full of people who would rather correct the Bible than believe it.
You just said a mouth full.
True, those people do exist but I don't think Bladeswticher is one of 'em.
I disagree pretty strongly with Bladeswitcher on some issues, but I don't think he is trying to "correct the Bible." I think he is trying to "handle accurately the word of truth (2 Timothy 4:15)" like the rest of us.
Of course, you've also said that I was trying to "correct the Bible" so . . .
Thanks brother . . .
When Jesus spoke in parables, he gave the meaning to his disciples.
This account of Lazarus and the rich man was no parable.
It was a specific account of two CERTAIN men.
Now you were saying what about context?