Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More

With every passing minute I become more and more convinced that God, in fact, did not determine that I would be saved beforehand. I become more and more convinced that I have a free-will, able to choose or reject the Christ that died for me. With every verse I read and prayer I pray, God shows me more and more of His glory inside the very verses that go against everything the Calvinist will preach.

Am I, then, saying I am absolutely right? Nope.
Am I, then, saying that I'm pretty sure I now know what I believe? Yes.



I've heard again and again that Calvinists have more scriptural backup for what they believe. Does that, then, mean that they're right? Just because they have more verses? That'd be next to silly because simply one verse, one word of God can prove a point made. If one side has five verses to prove a point, and another side has six, does the one with give automatically win? Is that the way this works? I don't believe so, and I'm certain that's not biblical. So what verses DO I have to backup what I believe?


Joshua 24:15

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”


Matthew 11:28

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.


John 7:37
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.


Acts 2:38
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


Acts 17:30
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,


Revelation 22:17
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.


1 John 2:2
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.


1 John 4:14
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.


1 Timothy 4:10-11

For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. These things command and teach.

***I want to go over this one later, because it's got a whole slew of stuff that needs to be elaborated***


Hebrews 2:9
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.


2 Peter 2:1
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.



2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.


1 Timothy 2:3-6
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,


Romans 11:32
For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.


Titus 2:11
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men


John 3:16-18
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.


Hebrew 2:9
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.


John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!


Romans 5:18
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

***This is another one I'd like to piece apart later on***


2 Corinthians 5:14-15

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again


Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.


Isaiah 53:6
All
we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.


John 12:47
And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.


John 4:42
Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”



James 4:8
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

***Another one I'll talk on***


Romans 3:23-24
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,





See, we got scripture too!

Let's pick some apart, shall we?





1 Timothy 4:10-11
For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. These things command and teach.


Savior to all men, especially of those who believe. This would actually probably be a good argument for Calvinism...it saying 'especially of those who believe.' But what I'm seeing here is the difference between a salvation for the world and a sacrifice for the world. They are two different things. Christ died for the entire world, not the elect (because HAD it of been the elect, He woulda told us so instead of the opposite). He died for all men everywhere, that anyone might come to repentance and receive salvation. Yet not everybody receives and therefore, the being "savior of the world" only extends so far for these people as simply meaning a sacrifice for them, rather than instant salvation already established. The sacrifice is always there, from the moment we are born. The salvation doesn't come into play until we receive it for ourselves. Just wanted to clarify that.






Romans 5:18
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

I find this very very very interesting. Well, I find two things interesting;

1) Through one man's offense, judgement came to all men, resulting in condemnation. No Calvinist can deny, and will actually even support the fact that by Adam, sin entered the world and we immediately became a people engulfed in sin from birth. That's simple christian teaching. So, by one man, judgement came to all. Not just some. Not just a few. Not just many. Sin came to all. In the exact same sentence, the exact same word "all" is used in reference to the free offer of salvation. So if in the first half of the sentence, the word 'all' is in reference to the entire world and everyone in it, why would we assume that the second half only refers to the elect? Beside the fact that it doesn't say or even imply elect. In fact, if the word 'all' in reference to salvation meant elect, then it would make the entire sentence pointless and poorly written, because the point was to give a picture of how sin can enter through one man yet be taken away by another.

2) Free gift. I like that. It doesn't say predestined obligation. It doesn't say forceful salvation. It says free gift. A gift is something given out of love. You don't have to receive it. Yet with Doctrines of Grace, we're told that our salvation is an obligation, something we take no part in deciding, and has already been decided for us. It's not a gift, according to Calvinists, it's a forced obligation. Yet that is opposite of what scripture is telling us.





James 4:8
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.


This completely refutes and makes void the claims of the Calvinists that we are incapable of coming to God pre-salvation. It plainly tells us to draw near to God and THEN He will draw near to us. Not the other way around. It also tells sinners to cleanse their hands and purify their hearts. According to the Calvinist, a person cannot do this and is completely incapable of it apart from God. Yet James is not telling them to ask God to cleanse their hearts and purify their minds, but is telling them to do it themselves.






***Some more side notes I've been thinking on***


***According to Calvinistic beliefs...God created sin and created men to sin and turn from Him completely. Follow me here. If God, deciding at the beginning of time who He would save and bring into His glory and did not give man a free-will, then He has created a gigantic, fictional drama in the death of His son for absolutely no reason but for entertainment. According to the scriptures, Christ had to die. Why did He have to die? Because the sin of man needed to be taken away. Yet the sin of man was only the result of God Himself making those men sin, because He predestined them to hell anyway BECAUSE of the sin that THEY could not help but be predestined to be engulfed in. God put them in that sin, because He decided beforehand that He would do it. So check this out;

God creates the world and decides to make people. He wants to make a whole bunch of them, yet doesn't want all of them to be with them in Heaven. So He decides that some will sin, do bad things, and turn away from Him, not giving them any sort of a choice. And He decides that some will sin for a little while, and then come to know Him. But what He's going to do is send His only Son down to earth to suffer and bleed and undergo agony and pain for hours and hours unto death just to 'save' the people that God already decided He wanted in Heaven with Him anyway. And then He's going to condemn all of the others that decided not to "accept the sacrifice" to hell even though He decided to condemn them from the foundations of the world and they had absolutely no hope of ever receiving salvation. He punished them for how He made them.

Does that sound like the loving, gentle, caring and compassionate God that we have been saved and redeemed by? Does that sound like the God the Bible teaches on? The just and righteous one?

No, it sounds like a monstrous, evil being that creates vain events for His own selfish pleasures.

I don't serve a God like that.***




*** If there is no free will, then we do not choose sin. Calvinists will tell you that pre-salvation we love our sin. The Bible will tell you that too. But Calvinists will also tell you that we have no free-will and that God created us either to sin or to come to Him...no changing what He's already 'predestined'. Well, then that means that we do not choose our sin because God has already chosen it for us. And if we do not choose our sin, we cannot love it, because we're forced into it. Basically, God entraps us in our sin.

That is the 100% complete opposite of the character of Father. The more I come to realize this stuff, the more I come to realize that I serve a completely different God than that of a Calvinistic belief.***




***If every man is predestined, and His eternity is already decided, then I should never again pray for my lost friends and family members, nor should I evangelize and "make disciples of all nations." There's no point, of course, outside of the simple "evangelize because God told us to" that Calvinists will give. What in the world is the point of evangelism if we will never persuade men or God outside of their already determined fate? That's nothing more than vain work. And the God I read about in my Bible is a God that is a hater of vain works and wastes of time. Yet the one command He gives us is vain, if Calvinism is correct. I should not have a heart for the lost, and I should never hope to see my friends and family members come to God and glorify Him.

I want to clarify something. I was recently told that my heart for the lost is that of a humanistic standpoint and view. That my evangelism and desire to see people saved is man-centered and man-glorifying. And as much as I truly truly love this person, and I know he means no harm, it breaks my heart more than I can even put into words in this blog. Because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the ONLY reason I could EVER have a heart to see people saved is because FATHER HIMSELF puts that desire in me. I could spend my time hanging out with friends or not making a fool of myself telling people about heaven and hell and spiritual things they don't believe in. I don't have to evangelize if I don't want to. But God asks me to, and I know that it pleases Him for me to go out and fulfill the great commission. Therefore I do it. I do as Christ commanded me, so that more will be brought into His Kingdom and He will receive so much more glory and honor, though not as much as He nearly deserves. My only purpose for telling people about Jesus Christ is because I know that Father hurts when people turn from Him. Father has a broken heart for those that sin against Him and do not accept His offer. So He uses people like me to go out and spread His good news to all people so that they might come to Him and glorify Him. I don't do it to gratify my own self. I don't do it to make other people happy or for the simple fact that they'll have a good eternity. I do it because I don't want to see these people burn in hell because FATHER doesn't want to see these people burn in hell. I seek to have the heart of Father when I witness, and His heart is to see no man perish. Nobody deserves Heaven, and all deserve Hell. Yet Christ GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR THE WORLD THAT THE WORLD THROUGH HIM MIGHT BE SAVED and He wants EVERY EAR to hear that, that as many will listen will come to Him and take that free gift He so willingly offers. Therefore, it is the desire of God that all men come to Him, and I want to please my Father the best I possibly can, therefore I follow His command to make disciples that He may be glorified and I will be pleasing in the sight of my precious Lord.

I see no man-centeredness in what I just typed. And what I just typed, I really typed with a broken heart that someone would even perceive that my purpose for telling people about Jesus is anything but to glorify the Father.***




I thought this last tidbit was interesting;

In a book written by Dave Hunt, he explains a little rearranging of the Bible that Calvinists have done to support their claims. Following is a quote by Dave Hunt referring to all the changes that are made;

“… the Calvinist has boldly changed ‘world’ to mean ‘elect’ in no fewer than twenty scriptures. He has changed ‘whosoever’ and ‘all’ into ‘elect’ at least sixteen times each. In addition, the phrase ‘every man’ has been turned into ‘elect’ six times and ‘everyone’ into ‘elect’ three times. In every instance where these changes have been made there is nothing in the text to justify ‘elect’ as the meaning of the word for which it must be substituted.The change has been made for one reason only: to accommodate Calvinism!”


It's sad that those times that Calvinists will claim 'elect' into a sentence, there is absolutely no basis in the surrounding text to do so. They simply cannot take scripture as it is, but must change something insanely big and prominent as "the world" to mean something small and irrelevant as "elect". When you have to change or twist scripture to make a point, that should be your first clue that your point is completely false.


I probably have more, and I'll post it if I do.
But for now, that's it.

12 comments:

Joelseph said...

Uuuuh, so much to talk about. There's no way I'm gonna take all of what you said point by point. That would take a ridiculous amount of time that I don't have right now.

But two things. Really think about what you mean any time you say He's paid for all sin. People are dying and going to hell. Why? Because their sin isn't paid for.

Another thing, pay attention to who any of the epistles are actually addressing. Look at the beginning. Almost always the writer is explicitly addressing believers. 1 Peter is written to God's elect. Ephesians is written to the saints at Ephesus. Almost all others are explicitly addressing the church or the people who have believed.

I have more I'd like to say. I'd rather the phone.

Joseph said...
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Joseph said...
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Joseph said...

I should be asleep right now...but I enjoy this a lot.

And you weren't kidding when you said you had a lot of notes.

I would like to state that there are three men (now dead) that I greatly admire. John and Charles Wesley, and Leonard Ravenhill, were Wesleyan Holiness (Arminianism.) John Wesley and Leonard Ravenhill have some of the most amazing sermons I have ever read/heard. And Charles Wesley has written some of the beautiful hymns I have ever heard/read (and oddly enough have the Doctrines of Grace running through them...)

I'm not interested in dehumanizing Arminians, seeing as how they can have a passion for God and people. I don't care to make it an "us vs. them", it's not supposed to be that way.

However, there are still big misunderstandings, straw men, and caricatures in your posts.

At the way things are going now, we're not really getting anywhere. I put up scripture, you put scripture, and one of us is misinterpreting somewhere or not looking at what the whole of scripture says. You think that's me, I think that's you. :)

Now, concerning what Joel said about the humanism thing. It's not humanistic to want see/pray/desire for men to be saved. Not at all. But if the primary reason is not to the glory of God, then it is humanistic.

I have spent hours on my face in tears with a heart torn b/c of unsaved people. Some I have seen saved. Others I have seen no fruit.

I have also been put on my face b/c God was not worshiped as He should be worshiped. B/c I couldn't live in a way that glorified God as Christ did. That there were places on this earth that did not glorify God as He should be worshiped. And I've experienced serious heart break, but the sorrow of the lost, over my sin, over God not being glorified is unlike anything I have ever felt. Something within the very core of who I am in immense pain and sorrow. I don't say this for myself, but to get a point across. That b/c I'm a Calvinist, doesn't mean I'm heartless.

A question.

What is more tragic:

Men going to hell

Or

God not being glorified as He should be

I already know what you're answer is. You know the correct answer, but you also know the answer your heart first gave.

Something else...you make mention (a lot) of Calvinists said "this" or "that." All that I said I referenced with scripture.

I need you to please explain these verses to me. I can make much sense of your verses from a Sovereign Grace point of view, but the verses I cited for Radical Depravity cannot be explained from an Arminian POV.

At least I don't think so. So, I'm asking you. You don't even have to explain all of them. Just these three main passages.

Joh 6:36-40
"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out."

At some point, God the Father gave to His Son certain persons. And those persons He gave, Christ said "WILL come to Me." That means, nothing will prevent it from happening. Now, the "Will" is future tense, meaning the giving of the person took place before anyone was actually saved. Including Adam. The logic follows that, those who don't come did so because they were not given to Christ.


"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

Now, this shows that all that are given, will be kept, and raised up on the last day. They won't lose their salvation. One (an Arminian) cannot believe that they chose God...and after that God somehow keeps them by His power. That's inconsistent, rather, they chose God, and continue to choose God for the rest of their life. God cannot override free-will in salvation, but He can somehow override free-will in sanctification and glorification? Of course not. So, you can lose your salvation.

Yet this text is clear...those that are given...WILL come...and they WILL be raised up on the last day. They WILL make it to the end.

Something else to note. You can NEVER be sure of your salvation, not until you actually make it. Here's why, the text states that all who believe WILL HAVE eternal life. Guaranteed. If you ever choose not to believe anymore (which is very possible b/c you must constantly be choosing God) then at any point in time you stop believing, it can be said that you never actually believed at all. The only way to know if you ever truly believed in the first place is to actually make it into heaven.

Something else to note, scripture always states the stipulation for salvation is a one time event of believing. You do it once. That's it. Not, believe now, and choose to believe for the rest of your life otherwise you fail.

Joh 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

This also is very clear. NO ONE can come, UNLESS the Father DRAWS Him. This means that, whoever comes, was drawn, and anyone that is not drawn can't come. It is impossible for man to come to God unless the Father draws Him. But the sentence is not done, for Christ says "and I will raise Him up on the last day" for the third time, indicating a point. He's talking about the same group of people.

And, those who WILL be raised up on the last day, are the ones who WILL come, because they are the ones who Father drew. And they are the ones who the Father drew b/c they are the ones whom He gave to His Son before Adam (or the foundation of the world.)

Now, we should note something else. All of this is the will of God, His desire. And in fact, He makes it happen. So, God desires to not give all to His Son, to not draw all men to His Son, to not save all men, and, to not keep all men unto that day.

This seems to contradict His desire to see everyone saved. Or...it means that God has "two wills" in a sense. I believe the latter.

Also note, even though men CANNOT come, His desire overrides their inability to do so. We know earlier in this same book, in John 3:19 that men loved the darkness rather than the light. They preferred evil over the Christ. So again, not only can they not come, but they don't want to come to Him. Yet God overcomes their will, by drawing those He has given to His Son.

Now, you might say to me, God gave them to His Son because He knew who would believe. And that would be a valid point, b/c these passages don't necessarily address that. That would also be your only objection.

So we continue on in the Gospel of John, to ch 10 verse 14.

"I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,
even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep."

Now, here Christ is talking about His sheep. And He knows His sheep, in what way? He compares it to the intimate relationship He has with His Father. That kind of ‘know’. The same kind referenced in Matt 7, where He states, "Depart from Me you workers of lawlessness, for I never knew you." If you remember, Romans 8:29 says "Those whom he foreknew" the same Greek word I is used there, in Matt, and John, which is ginosko. It means to know the "person" intimately. And in Romans, Paul says the same thing as Jesus said in John 6. Those whom he knew, He predestined, He called, justified, and glorified. All of it past tense, one of the reasons being, if foreknown, then you will be glorified. You WILL make it.

Also, those in Matt. don't enter because Christ NEVER KNEW them, there was no foreknow, because there was NEVER a time when He knew them intimately. This seems to be in complete opposition to God knowing and loving everyone equally. Again, the main reason they did not enter the kingdom of heaven was b/c He NEVER knew them. The secondary reason is b/c they were workers of lawlessness. Sinners.

Now, this means that all those not foreknown do NOT enter for that reason. They are not foreknown.

However, you can still object with, He foreknew those whom would believe. So we continue on.

V. 25 "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me.
"But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."

So, this says that those who end up in hell fail to believe b/c they are not His sheep. Yet you state that God chose those whom would believe. That directly contradicts what scripture is saying. Those whom are the sheep believe. Those whom are not the sheep do not believe. God couldn’t choose those whom would believe b/c the only way they can believe is if they are already His sheep. Those that are His sheep believed, and they believed b/c they are His sheep already. They did not become His sheep b/c they believed.

Now, note also, THEY FOLLOW Him. They do it. I've never neglected that you follow God, or that you didn't repent or ask God to save you. I said you did do all those things. But only b/c the Father knew you, gave you to Christ, drew you, and then you believed. Your will is there. I don't deny that.

But He had to change your will first.

Another verse in John, 1:12-13.
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

They received Him. They did it. Not doubt about it. They did it. They believed in His name. They did it. But they were not born of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. God gave them the new birth, then they did it.

It honestly is very clear. More verses in John say the same thing,

John 8:47 "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."

Within these verses looked at, we have all the Doctrines of Grace, including Definite Atonement. Now I ask you please, to not just list verses, address these. And if you can tell what Christ actually meant (if it wasn't what I believe He meant), then you have shown the Doctrines of Grace to be a farce. Empty and worthless.

Joseph said...

Some questions and thoughts to ponder for you. You also believe in Limited Atonement. For Christ's sacrifice doesn't actually effectually save anyone. It doesn't have any power on it's own. The spark-plug is man's decision, His will. You believe the death of Christ is limited in the fact that it can't actually save anyone by itself. It needs help. It needs the aid of men.

Loraine Boettner said it first:
"Let there be no misunderstanding at this point. The Arminian limits the atonement as certainly as does the Calvinist. The Calvinist limits the extent of it in that he says it does not apply to all persons (although as has already been shown, he believes that it is efficacious for the salvation of the large proportion of the human race); while the Arminian limits the power of it, for he says that in itself it does not actually save anybody. The Calvinist limits it quantitatively, but not qualitatively; the Arminian limits it qualitatively, but not quantitatively. For the Calvinist it is like a narrow bridge which goes all the way across the stream; for the Arminian it is like a great wide bridge which goes only half-way across...."

Something else, Dr. J. Kenneth Grider, an Arminian said something very important. He stated that Christ did not actually die for anyone's sins. He just suffered for them. He did die, but not for sins. Here is why He said this. Your belief is that Christ died on the Cross for all the sins of all men. Not a single sin was left out. They were all payed for once and for all. That's why He said, "It is finished."

Now, before Christ was born, there were people who had been in hell for quite some time. Suffering for their sins, the wrath of God upon them, and pain and misery that we can only imagine, that our life here now can only give us shadows of. They were already paying for them and will pay. Yet Christ goes and dies again for them? He bears eternal wrath and suffering again?

The God who is Just and always does what is right punishes His Son whom He loves more than anything, again for sins that are being payed for, and will be payed for?

Not only the past, but the future. Christ died for all sins of all men that would come after Him. Yet there will be multitudes suffering in hell forever even though their sins were payed for. You wouldn't dare say that Christ's sacrifice isn't enough. Then why are those people in hell? Did He not pay for them? Did He not purchase them with His own blood?

Your only response is that they are in hell b/c of unbelief. They did not accept Him. Yet...Christ died for ALL sins. Including unbelief. Which means they should not be in hell. They should be in Heaven, if in fact God is just and fair.

The only other way around this is Dr. Grider's way. To deny scripture entirely and say that Christ did not die for sins, He did not make a payment for them, He did not purchase anyone, He just suffered for them. But not enough.

Something else to note, if Christ did intend to obtain pardon for sin, reconciliation with God for all and every one that believes, would it makes sense to see to it that they would also all hear the Gospel? God would "hold out towards them all in pretense the most intense love imaginable, beyond all compare and illustration,-as His love of sending His Son is set forth to be - and yet never let them know of any such thing, but in the end to damn them for not believing it?"

Is this becoming of the goodness and wisdom of God? To die for all, and yet not let all know? Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. They cannot believe unless they hear. And they have not all heard.

What sense does it make for a man to pay the pardon of one hundred prisoners, and then never inform them that they have been bought? Or to pay a ransom for some knowing that they would never come to the knowledge of having their ransom paid?

How is God wise in that? How is He good in doing such?

Kristi said...

I should be asleep right now...but I enjoy this a lot.

And you weren't kidding when you said you had a lot of notes.

I would like to state that there are three men (now dead) that I greatly admire. John and Charles Wesley, and Leonard Ravenhill, were Wesleyan Holiness (Arminianism.) John Wesley and Leonard Ravenhill have some of the most amazing sermons I have ever read/heard. And Charles Wesley has written some of the beautiful hymns I have ever heard/read (and oddly enough have the Doctrines of Grace running through them...)

I'm not interested in dehumanizing Arminians, seeing as how they can have a passion for God and people. I don't care to make it an "us vs. them", it's not supposed to be that way.

Note, I don't believe fully what the arminians will preach. I don't believe your salvation can be lost. I hate titles. I hate them. I'm a Christian, and that's about the only title I give myself. I devote myself to GOD'S Word and teachings, not those of man. Because man is fallible.


However, there are still big misunderstandings, straw men, and caricatures in your posts.

At the way things are going now, we're not really getting anywhere. I put up scripture, you put scripture, and one of us is misinterpreting somewhere or not looking at what the whole of scripture says. You think that's me, I think that's you. :)
Well, what I'd like you to explain is why in numerous scriptures you refute the fact that 'all men' or 'the world' is stated and would rather change that to read 'the elect'. That is a distortion and flat out change in scripture. Not simply a misunderstanding.



Now, concerning what Joel said about the humanism thing. It's not humanistic to want see/pray/desire for men to be saved. Not at all. But if the primary reason is not to the glory of God, then it is humanistic.
But, it's not having the heart of God if you're desiring for everyone to be saved. Because that's not what God desires, apparently. Therefore, would not it be sin?

I have spent hours on my face in tears with a heart torn b/c of unsaved people. Some I have seen saved. Others I have seen no fruit.
Because, according to you, God created them to go to hell.


I have also been put on my face b/c God was not worshiped as He should be worshiped. B/c I couldn't live in a way that glorified God as Christ did. That there were places on this earth that did not glorify God as He should be worshiped. And I've experienced serious heart break, but the sorrow of the lost, over my sin, over God not being glorified is unlike anything I have ever felt. Something within the very core of who I am in immense pain and sorrow. I don't say this for myself, but to get a point across. That b/c I'm a Calvinist, doesn't mean I'm heartless.
I know you're not heartless. But through your beliefs, you make God out to be so....at least towards the people He chose to burn for eternity.


A question.

What is more tragic:

Men going to hell

Or

God not being glorified as He should be

I already know what you're answer is. You know the correct answer, but you also know the answer your heart first gave.
Of course my heart first gave men going to hell. Why? Because the heart of Father feels that too. He isn't sitting up there all the time thinking "Everybody glorify me and forget about all those people going to hell. I don't care about them anyway." He's up there, with a broken heart, thinking "I gave my life for these people, and they reject me. I gave up everything for them to come to know me and never be separated from me." The two things go hand in hand. It glorifies the Father that people come to know Him and don't suffer hell. If God chose for people to go to hell, then trying to see Him glorified through people 'getting saved' would be pointless...and there would be no "Him getting glory" in it because the people that do come to Him were forced into it anyway.


Something else...you make mention (a lot) of Calvinists said "this" or "that." All that I said I referenced with scripture.

Yes, but you add a lot of this's and thats onto your scripture.

I need you to please explain these verses to me. I can make much sense of your verses from a Sovereign Grace point of view, but the verses I cited for Radical Depravity cannot be explained from an Arminian POV.

At least I don't think so. So, I'm asking you. You don't even have to explain all of them. Just these three main passages.

Joh 6:36-40
"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out."

At some point, God the Father gave to His Son certain persons. And those persons He gave, Christ said "WILL come to Me." That means, nothing will prevent it from happening. Now, the "Will" is future tense, meaning the giving of the person took place before anyone was actually saved. Including Adam. The logic follows that, those who don't come did so because they were not given to Christ.

John 7:37 - "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink."
Let HIM come to ME. Not let God bring him to me. But let him, on his own, come to me. Obviously there's somthing to be said as these verses seem to contradict one another. So the only answer would be a further study of God's word everywhere else to understand exactly what's going on here, and what the verses are referring to.
My only explination that I could give would be this; Father does draw us in. It's not completely on our own that we come before God, broken over sin, and receive salvation. God has to call us to Him, which He will probably do numerous times in a person's life. But it's that persons choice to respond or not. God calls us in, and therefore brings us to Christ if we willingly accept. And when we're at the foot of the cross, brought in the by the loving arms of Father, that is when we can truly repent and receive grace.



"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

Now, this shows that all that are given, will be kept, and raised up on the last day. They won't lose their salvation. One (an Arminian) cannot believe that they chose God...and after that God somehow keeps them by His power. That's inconsistent, rather, they chose God, and continue to choose God for the rest of their life. God cannot override free-will in salvation, but He can somehow override free-will in sanctification and glorification? Of course not. So, you can lose your salvation.
No, you've got the wrong viewpoint here. God gives us the free-will to choose Him. That's apparent in scripture. However, when we come to Christ, truly repentant of our former lifestyle, we become bondservants of Christ, and He keeps us in His love. Of course we'll sin and of course we'll mess up...but an atonement always remains. I believe, and i cannot really back this up biblically, but I can experientially...that if we truly come to Christ and repent, receiving grace, our lives will never be the same, they will be changed forever, and we can never REALLY stop believing in the one who saved us. Even if we stray, there will still always be that conviction, and that burning in our hearts, knowing the one who saved us. When I was 13 years old, after I had already been saved...I strayed BIG TIME. I hung out with the wrong people. I was depressed. I developed eating disorders, popped pills, cut myself. I was messed up, and never sought God. Does that, then, mean i lost my salvation? Nope. It means I backslid, which the Bible DOES talk about. But The Bible also tells us that nothing can seperate us from the love of God in us. In that time period, I also began to look into the wiccan beliefs. I started studying it, wanting to know more and be a part of it. I knew that in order to do that, I had to stop believing in the God that had saved me years prior. So I would go to church, and try to block out what they were saying. I would tell myself in my head "there is no god, he's not real". But in the deepest parts of my heart, I knew He was still there, and convinction was stronger than ever. Within a couple of weeks I left behind the desire to become wiccan and got back to a point where Father was my God. Because I had the Holy Spirit inside me, I could never leave the God I knew and loved.

I really just went off on that one. haha



Yet this text is clear...those that are given...WILL come...and they WILL be raised up on the last day. They WILL make it to the end.
You're right. Again, remember...I don't believe you can lose your salvation. Ever.




Something else to note. You can NEVER be sure of your salvation, not until you actually make it. Here's why, the text states that all who believe WILL HAVE eternal life. Guaranteed. If you ever choose not to believe anymore (which is very possible b/c you must constantly be choosing God) then at any point in time you stop believing, it can be said that you never actually believed at all. The only way to know if you ever truly believed in the first place is to actually make it into heaven.
That's not supported in scripture anywhere that I know of. You CAN know you are saved and you CAN live a life pleasing to Christ in that comfort. There is SO much I can say on this, but I won't go into it, because it's pretty elementary. I don't mean to be rude or discredit you, but I've never heard a statement so ridiculous as "you cannot know you are saved." That's just sad. I know I'm saved because I know the sacrifice that was given for me. I know I accepted it. I know I experience my Father working in my life daily, speaking to me, blessing me, comforting me, and using me. That, in itself, shows me I am saved and under God's grace, and that I will see Him face to face in a day to come.



Something else to note, scripture always states the stipulation for salvation is a one time event of believing. You do it once. That's it. Not, believe now, and choose to believe for the rest of your life otherwise you fail.

Joh 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

This also is very clear. NO ONE can come, UNLESS the Father DRAWS Him. This means that, whoever comes, was drawn, and anyone that is not drawn can't come. It is impossible for man to come to God unless the Father draws Him. But the sentence is not done, for Christ says "and I will raise Him up on the last day" for the third time, indicating a point. He's talking about the same group of people.
I've already gone over this.


And, those who WILL be raised up on the last day, are the ones who WILL come, because they are the ones who Father drew. And they are the ones who the Father drew b/c they are the ones whom He gave to His Son before Adam (or the foundation of the world.)
You were doing great until you added to scripture that "those are the ones he gave his son before adam".


Now, we should note something else. All of this is the will of God, His desire. And in fact, He makes it happen. So, God desires to not give all to His Son, to not draw all men to His Son, to not save all men, and, to not keep all men unto that day.

This seems to contradict His desire to see everyone saved. Or...it means that God has "two wills" in a sense. I believe the latter.
so tell me where the Bible tells us that God has two wills....the more you write, the more I see you added things to scripture that aren't even there...Why can't you take it as it is written?
And again...Why in the world would God desire to make people for the sole purpose of burning in eternity. Does that not contradict the very character of God? Let's say a woman decided she would start getting pregnant just so she could have abortions...would you not say that was morally wrong? And if that were morally wrong, then God creating men just to burn would be morally wrong, which would contradict the fact that God is the epitome of good morals, and therefore contradict God Himself alltogether.



Also note, even though men CANNOT come, His desire overrides their inability to do so. We know earlier in this same book, in John 3:19 that men loved the darkness rather than the light. They preferred evil over the Christ. So again, not only can they not come, but they don't want to come to Him. Yet God overcomes their will, by drawing those He has given to His Son.
Okay, here we go again. You're adding to scripture things that are not there. It says that men loved darkness rather than light. NOT that men were inable to come to the light because they loved their darkness. There is absolutely NO connection to those two things there, only you placing what you believe in between the words in the scriptures.


Now, you might say to me, God gave them to His Son because He knew who would believe. And that would be a valid point, b/c these passages don't necessarily address that. That would also be your only objection.
Sure.


So we continue on in the Gospel of John, to ch 10 verse 14.

"I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,
even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep."

Now, here Christ is talking about His sheep. And He knows His sheep, in what way? He compares it to the intimate relationship He has with His Father. That kind of ‘know’. The same kind referenced in Matt 7, where He states, "Depart from Me you workers of lawlessness, for I never knew you." If you remember, Romans 8:29 says "Those whom he foreknew" the same Greek word I is used there, in Matt, and John, which is ginosko. It means to know the "person" intimately. And in Romans, Paul says the same thing as Jesus said in John 6. Those whom he knew, He predestined, He called, justified, and glorified. All of it past tense, one of the reasons being, if foreknown, then you will be glorified. You WILL make it.
Yeah I'll be honest and say I don't have an answer for this one


Also, those in Matt. don't enter because Christ NEVER KNEW them, there was no foreknow, because there was NEVER a time when He knew them intimately. This seems to be in complete opposition to God knowing and loving everyone equally. Again, the main reason they did not enter the kingdom of heaven was b/c He NEVER knew them. The secondary reason is b/c they were workers of lawlessness. Sinners.
right, He never knew them intimately. Not that He never knew their eternal destination. Again, there is no connection to a calvinist belief. God could know someone's fate without knowing them intimately.


Now, this means that all those not foreknown do NOT enter for that reason. They are not foreknown.

However, you can still object with, He foreknew those whom would believe. So we continue on.

V. 25 "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me.
"But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."

So, this says that those who end up in hell fail to believe b/c they are not His sheep. Yet you state that God chose those whom would believe. That directly contradicts what scripture is saying. Those whom are the sheep believe. Those whom are not the sheep do not believe. God couldn’t choose those whom would believe b/c the only way they can believe is if they are already His sheep. Those that are His sheep believed, and they believed b/c they are His sheep already. They did not become His sheep b/c they believed.
Or that they become a part of His sheep once they come to salvation. I never saw the word "already" in the text of scripture you provided.


Now, note also, THEY FOLLOW Him. They do it. I've never neglected that you follow God, or that you didn't repent or ask God to save you. I said you did do all those things. But only b/c the Father knew you, gave you to Christ, drew you, and then you believed. Your will is there. I don't deny that.

But He had to change your will first.

I believe that God drew me close to Him, revealing to me His perfect, Holy light, which broke my heart over my sin, drawing me closer to God (which then makes God draw close to us) and bringing me to salvation.


Another verse in John, 1:12-13.
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

They received Him. They did it. Not doubt about it. They did it. They believed in His name. They did it. But they were not born of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. God gave them the new birth, then they did it.

uhh yeah you kind of just proved my point for me. It doesn't SAY that God gave them the will to accept Him. Here's the problem, Joe, with every verse you add words and meanings that aren't there in the first place. You have a really hard time taking scripture as it is, right as it says. I don't have to, with ANY of the scripture I provided, expand beyond what it simply says. You, on the other hand, are adding small things here and there to fit your beliefs. It says that THEY received GOD.


It honestly is very clear. More verses in John say the same thing,

John 8:47 "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."

He...who is of God....hears the words of God. You can't hear God...when you are not of Him. Where does this show any sort of a calvinist belief? It's teaching what I've already know. I don't believe that we can hear and understand the will of God in our lives before we come to Him. But I do believe that we ca respond to a calling from Him pre-salvation, that will lead us TO salvation.

Within these verses looked at, we have all the Doctrines of Grace, including Definite Atonement. Now I ask you please, to not just list verses, address these. And if you can tell what Christ actually meant (if it wasn't what I believe He meant), then you have shown the Doctrines of Grace to be a farce. Empty and worthless.

Kristi said...

Some questions and thoughts to ponder for you. You also believe in Limited Atonement. For Christ's sacrifice doesn't actually effectually save anyone. It doesn't have any power on it's own. The spark-plug is man's decision, His will. You believe the death of Christ is limited in the fact that it can't actually save anyone by itself. It needs help. It needs the aid of men.
It doesn't need help. But in order for it to come into effect in a person's life, they must accept what Christ is offering. He did die so that the people He already determined to live, would live. That would make His dying pointless and NOT out of love. The purpose of the cross was to display the love that God has for men. It's not love for men if those men are already determined to live anyway. They might as well be saved from birth. What does the blood, then, mean?


Loraine Boettner said it first:
"Let there be no misunderstanding at this point. The Arminian limits the atonement as certainly as does the Calvinist. The Calvinist limits the extent of it in that he says it does not apply to all persons (although as has already been shown, he believes that it is efficacious for the salvation of the large proportion of the human race); while the Arminian limits the power of it, for he says that in itself it does not actually save anybody. The Calvinist limits it quantitatively, but not qualitatively; the Arminian limits it qualitatively, but not quantitatively. For the Calvinist it is like a narrow bridge which goes all the way across the stream; for the Arminian it is like a great wide bridge which goes only half-way across...."

Something else, Dr. J. Kenneth Grider, an Arminian said something very important. He stated that Christ did not actually die for anyone's sins. He just suffered for them. He did die, but not for sins. Here is why He said this. Your belief is that Christ died on the Cross for all the sins of all men. Not a single sin was left out. They were all payed for once and for all. That's why He said, "It is finished."
He paid the price for sins, and then extends that sacrifice to every man willing to accept it. The blood has all the power in the world to save a soul.....if that soul so chooses. That's what makes the blood so wonderful. That Christ died EVEN for the ones that would reject Him. He died to show that He loved them too, not just the ones that He "chose".
2 Peter 2:1
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them,and bring on themselves swift destruction.




Now, before Christ was born, there were people who had been in hell for quite some time. Suffering for their sins, the wrath of God upon them, and pain and misery that we can only imagine, that our life here now can only give us shadows of. They were already paying for them and will pay. Yet Christ goes and dies again for them? He bears eternal wrath and suffering again?
Actually, that is unscriptural. The Bible does not tell us that, in our sin, when we die, we immediately go to burning in eternity. The lake of fire doesn't even come into play until the last days when God triumphs over satan and casts him into the lake of fire for eternity. The Bible talks about a place that people would go after they died. I believe, as do some others, though not entirely scriptural I will admit, that people before Christ went to some sort of a...holding...place....and Christ, in the three days He was dead, preached to them, offering them His blood. It's a far stretch, and I know that there is SOME scripture to back it up....but not entirely. So I won't bank on that.


The God who is Just and always does what is right punishes His Son whom He loves more than anything, again for sins that are being payed for, and will be payed for?
The God who is just and always does what is right punishes His Son whom He loves more than anything, again for people that are already determined to be saved and live with God anyway?



Not only the past, but the future. Christ died for all sins of all men that would come after Him. Yet there will be multitudes suffering in hell forever even though their sins were payed for. You wouldn't dare say that Christ's sacrifice isn't enough. Then why are those people in hell? Did He not pay for them? Did He not purchase them with His own blood?

He died for them, not paid for them.


Your only response is that they are in hell b/c of unbelief. They did not accept Him. Yet...Christ died for ALL sins. Including unbelief. Which means they should not be in hell. They should be in Heaven, if in fact God is just and fair.

nope.


The only other way around this is Dr. Grider's way. To deny scripture entirely and say that Christ did not die for sins, He did not make a payment for them, He did not purchase anyone, He just suffered for them. But not enough.

nope again

Something else to note, if Christ did intend to obtain pardon for sin, reconciliation with God for all and every one that believes, would it makes sense to see to it that they would also all hear the Gospel? God would "hold out towards them all in pretense the most intense love imaginable, beyond all compare and illustration,-as His love of sending His Son is set forth to be - and yet never let them know of any such thing, but in the end to damn them for not believing it?"
And your idea that God destined people FOR hell is not contradicting of the love of God either?


Is this becoming of the goodness and wisdom of God? To die for all, and yet not let all know? Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. They cannot believe unless they hear. And they have not all heard.

Is this the goodness of God? To create people ONLY so they could burn for all of eternity and suffer for a destiny that God chose for them in the first place. Your defense on this is weak. Very weak.

What sense does it make for a man to pay the pardon of one hundred prisoners, and then never inform them that they have been bought? Or to pay a ransom for some knowing that they would never come to the knowledge of having their ransom paid?

What sense does it make to create people and send some to hell just because you want to? And then state that it isn't your will that any perish, yet your very desire and will IS that they would perish and you basically lied in your word? Yeah, that's basically God according to your beliefs.

How is God wise in that? How is He good in doing such?
How is God wise in not willing that any man perish yet creating man TO perish? How is He good in doing such?


You want to stay so stuck on the sovreignty of God, and then when you pull the love card, you really miss what's unloving about your beliefs in the first place. If your beliefs are correct, God is hateful, cruel, cold-hearted, hypocritical, and double-minded. EVERYthing the Bible states that He is not.

Joelseph said...

I could be wrong but I would submit that the main reason you're opposed is that you hate the idea of God creating people that He knows will go to hell, which has been the driving force of your study against it. Again, could be wrong.

Try to honestly read Romans 9:22-23 (without inserting anything, as you accuse Joe of doing).

What can you say? What can anyone say to that?

Also, you hate the idea of God telling us to go evangelize when he already knows who will and will not accept since this would seem like useless work. Well, I'd ask you to read what God told Moses, and plug it in to modern-day evangelism.

And the LORD said to Moses "When you go back to Egpyt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the mircales that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. Exodus 4:21

Do you have the same attitude Moses had? God explicitly told him to go and do something that was not going to have any effect at all. Seems like useless work does it not?

Moses willingly obeyed.

Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord and when God asked 'Who shall we send?' Isaiah excitedly said "SEND ME!"

His sovereignty should be enough.

Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph said...

Thank you for taking the time for responding to everything.
Now, you’re accusing of putting lots of things into scripture that aren’t there. However, these statements are found no where in scripture.

“God gave men free-will.” “There is a trinity.” “Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully Man.” “God gave free-will to man cause love that is forced is not love at all.”

No, they’re not found anywhere in the Bible. Nothing even remotely close to them are found, yet you and others still come to these conclusions right? Of course. How so?

Through the use of logic and inference.
A=B, and B=C, therefore A=C. Deductive reasoning. Two premises are given, and a conclusion necessarily follows.

Another one:
The sun has risen everyday for the past 6000 years. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume the sun will rise tomorrow. We don’t know for sure the sun will rise cause it’s a future event, however there is nothing wrong with taking the odds. This is called inductive reasoning.

We use both when interpreting scripture. It’s what I use when I interpret scripture, and what you use. According to your argument, “already” is not found in the verse, therefore my interpretation is wrong. Well, in that case, “free-will” is found no-where is scripture, therefore your entire system of belief is wrong. See the flaw?

We are allowed to use logic and inference as long as the reasoning is sound and the argument valid.
Note, I don't believe fully what the arminians will preach. I don't believe your salvation can be lost. I hate titles. I hate them. I'm a Christian, and that's about the only title I give myself. I devote myself to GOD'S Word and teachings, not those of man. Because man is fallible.
Fair enough, the only problem is that you’re not being consistent with your belief. I believe that some are chosen to be saved, and not all. I also believe that only those who are chosen will be saved. And those whom God justifies, He glorifies.

Therefore, those that are chosen cannot lose their salvation.
However, for you to believe that you can’t lose your salvation means you’re inconsistent. You’re contradicting yourself, you’re picking and choosing what you like best. If God allows man 100% free choice in salvation, then there is no guarantee that man can be assured of salvation (from an Arminain perspective) b/c God still must allow 100% choice. If the person wants to turn away, it’s their right. Yet you know that to be wrong, within your heart of hearts, you know that to be wrong. Why? Cause for one reason there is a change in nature. They have been born of God.

However, Arminianism takes free-will as of the utmost importance, it is the deciding factor. To suggest that God can keep you against your will (which is what the new nature is) is wrong, cause God cannot over-ride free-will. You can believe in both free-will as you define it, and eternal security, but you’re just picking and choosing.

[[[[However, there are still big misunderstandings, straw men, and caricatures in your posts.

At the way things are going now, we're not really getting anywhere. I put up scripture, you put scripture, and one of us is misinterpreting somewhere or not looking at what the whole of scripture says. You think that's me, I think that's you. :)

Well, what I'd like you to explain is why in numerous scriptures you refute the fact that 'all men' or 'the world' is stated and would rather change that to read 'the elect'. That is a distortion and flat out change in scripture. Not simply a misunderstanding.
]]]]

We haven’t got to this yet. And you got that from Dave Hunt. He is the master of straw men and caricatures of opposing positions so that he can tear them down more easily. His understanding of Calvinism is about as knowledgeable as my understanding of the female mind :), and why they do what they do sometimes.


[[[[Now, concerning what Joel said about the humanism thing. It's not humanistic to want see/pray/desire for men to be saved. Not at all. But if the primary reason is not to the glory of God, then it is humanistic.

But, it's not having the heart of God if you're desiring for everyone to be saved. Because that's not what God desires, apparently. Therefore, would not it be sin? ]]]]

I never said that. Don’t know of anyone else that says that. I openly agree with 1 Tim. 2:4. I also wish that all men be saved. It hurts me now knowing people and friends that are not saved, and I desire that God would save them. But I desire more that God would be glorified.

[[[[I have spent hours on my face in tears with a heart torn b/c of unsaved people. Some I have seen saved. Others I have seen no fruit.

Because, according to you, God created them to go to hell.]]]]

Prov. 16:4 – The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of judgment.

Amos 3:6 – Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has done it?

Act 4:27-28 For of a truth against thy holy servant Jesus, whom you have anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever your hand and your counsel determined before to be done.

1 Peter 2:8 "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

Rom 9:21-22 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:48 “…and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”


Not “they believed therefore were appointed to eternal life.” The opposite.

[[[[I have also been put on my face b/c God was not worshiped as He should be worshiped. B/c I couldn't live in a way that glorified God as Christ did. That there were places on this earth that did not glorify God as He should be worshiped. And I've experienced serious heart break, but the sorrow of the lost, over my sin, over God not being glorified is unlike anything I have ever felt. Something within the very core of who I am in immense pain and sorrow. I don't say this for myself, but to get a point across. That b/c I'm a Calvinist, doesn't mean I'm heartless.

I know you're not heartless. But through your beliefs, you make God out to be so....at least towards the people He chose to burn for eternity. ]]]]

I do not deny though that He does love them. For He is love. He loves them more I can I know. But understand, those in hell are not sorry. They want to be there.

Some more verses for consideration:

Psalm 5:5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all those who do iniquity.

Pro 6:16 – There are the six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.


These are talking about people. Actual people. The hands, eyes, are a literary device, it’s like saying, the “person who has these eyes, this tongue” etc. I’m not forcing anything into it. This has also been the interpretation from church history.

[[[[A question.

What is more tragic:

Men going to hell

Or

God not being glorified as He should be

I already know what you're answer is. You know the correct answer, but you also know the answer your heart first gave.

Of course my heart first gave men going to hell. Why? Because the heart of Father feels that too. He isn't sitting up there all the time thinking "Everybody glorify me and forget about all those people going to hell. I don't care about them anyway." He's up there, with a broken heart, thinking "I gave my life for these people, and they reject me. I gave up everything for them to come to know me and never be separated from me." The two things go hand in hand. It glorifies the Father that people come to know Him and don't suffer hell. If God chose for people to go to hell, then trying to see Him glorified through people 'getting saved' would be pointless...and there would be no "Him getting glory" in it because the people that do come to Him were forced into it anyway.]]]]

This is what I’m talking about when I say straw-man and caricature. I don’t claim this either. And it is a horrible way to look at it.


[[[[Joh 6:36-40
"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out."


At some point, God the Father gave to His Son certain persons. And those persons He gave, Christ said "WILL come to Me." That means, nothing will prevent it from happening. Now, the "Will" is future tense, meaning the giving of the person took place before anyone was actually saved. Including Adam. The logic follows that, those who don't come did so because they were not given to Christ.

John 7:37 - "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink."
Let HIM come to ME. Not let God bring him to me. But let him, on his own, come to me. Obviously there's somthing to be said as these verses seem to contradict one another. So the only answer would be a further study of God's word everywhere else to understand exactly what's going on here, and what the verses are referring to.
My only explination that I could give would be this; Father does draw us in. It's not completely on our own that we come before God, broken over sin, and receive salvation. God has to call us to Him, which He will probably do numerous times in a person's life. But it's that persons choice to respond or not. God calls us in, and therefore brings us to Christ if we willingly accept. And when we're at the foot of the cross, brought in the by the loving arms of Father, that is when we can truly repent and receive grace.
]]]]

You have completely disregarded what this text said. Ignored it. They WILL come. WILL. WILL.

Now, concerning John 7:37, none thirst. None seek after God remember? You didn’t thirst until God showed you right? Why did He show you? Cause He knew He you would come? No. Because you were appointed. B/c you were given to Christ.

I agree that we need to look at the entirety of scripture. Our verses should not contradict. And they don't. Either, those that you offer can be explained in light of mine, or mine can be explained with yours in context also. I would argue that those I offer are far more difficult to interpret in any other way that I propose. Yours however can be interpreted with my verses in context.


[[[["For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."


No, you've got the wrong viewpoint here. God gives us the free-will to choose Him. That's apparent in scripture. However, when we come to Christ, truly repentant of our former lifestyle, we become bondservants of Christ, and He keeps us in His love.

Bondservants? Slaves? We become slaves of God? Of Christ? When has a slave done anything other than what his master wanted him to do? Are we slaves with unbridled free-will? As in salvation? No.

Of course we'll sin and of course we'll mess up...but an atonement always remains. I believe, and i cannot really back this up biblically, but I can experientially...that if we truly come to Christ and repent, receiving grace, our lives will never be the same, they will be changed forever, and we can never REALLY stop believing in the one who saved us. Even if we stray, there will still always be that conviction, and that burning in our hearts, knowing the one who saved us. When I was 13 years old, after I had already been saved...I strayed BIG TIME. I hung out with the wrong people. I was depressed. I developed eating disorders, popped pills, cut myself. I was messed up, and never sought God. Does that, then, mean i lost my salvation? Nope. It means I backslid, which the Bible DOES talk about. But The Bible also tells us that nothing can seperate us from the love of God in us. In that time period, I also began to look into the wiccan beliefs. I started studying it, wanting to know more and be a part of it. I knew that in order to do that, I had to stop believing in the God that had saved me years prior. So I would go to church, and try to block out what they were saying. I would tell myself in my head "there is no god, he's not real". But in the deepest parts of my heart, I knew He was still there, and convinction was stronger than ever. Within a couple of weeks I left behind the desire to become wiccan and got back to a point where Father was my God. Because I had the Holy Spirit inside me, I could never leave the God I knew and loved.

I really just went off on that one. Haha
]]]]

I agree with you 100%. Once saved, we are kept by the power of God. If you would like one day, I can help you back this up biblically. I don’t mean to ignore your story, I find it very intriguing and wonderful (cause of the outcome.)

[[[Yet this text is clear...those that are given...WILL come...and they WILL be raised up on the last day. They WILL make it to the end.

You're right. Again, remember...I don't believe you can lose your salvation. Ever.]]]]

Now, you agree with the “WILL’s” in this verse, but in the preceding verses ignore them. They mean the same thing.

[[[[Something else to note, scripture always states the stipulation for salvation is a one time event of believing. You do it once. That's it. Not, believe now, and choose to believe for the rest of your life otherwise you fail.

Joh 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

This also is very clear. NO ONE can come, UNLESS the Father DRAWS Him. This means that, whoever comes, was drawn, and anyone that is not drawn can't come. It is impossible for man to come to God unless the Father draws Him. But the sentence is not done, for Christ says "and I will raise Him up on the last day" for the third time, indicating a point. He's talking about the same group of people.

I've already gone over this.]]]]

You stated that God draws all men, and then they choose whether to accept Him. The problem is that this verse says that those who are drawn by the Father will be raised up on the last day by the Son. Which means they WILL come. You state all are drawn, not all choose God. The Bible says all that are drawn will be raised up on the last day. The inference drawn from this is that they will have to be saved before they can be raised up on the last day. Yes, them being saved is not in the verse, but it is a perfectly safe use of deductive reasoning.

[[[[And, those who WILL be raised up on the last day, are the ones who WILL come, because they are the ones who Father drew. And they are the ones who the Father drew b/c they are the ones whom He gave to His Son before Adam (or the foundation of the world.)
You were doing great until you added to scripture that "those are the ones he gave his son before adam". ]]]]

The Adam thing is also an inference. If all were chosen before, then it must have happened before Adam b/c he was saved. I’m just using logic, that’s it. Not forcing things into the text that don’t belong.

[[[[Now, we should note something else. All of this is the will of God, His desire. And in fact, He makes it happen. So, God desires to not give all to His Son, to not draw all men to His Son, to not save all men, and, to not keep all men unto that day.

This seems to contradict His desire to see everyone saved. Or...it means that God has "two wills" in a sense. I believe the latter.

so tell me where the Bible tells us that God has two wills....the more you write, the more I see you added things to scripture that aren't even there...Why can't you take it as it is written?
And again...Why in the world would God desire to make people for the sole purpose of burning in eternity. Does that not contradict the very character of God? Let's say a woman decided she would start getting pregnant just so she could have abortions...would you not say that was morally wrong? And if that were morally wrong, then God creating men just to burn would be morally wrong, which would contradict the fact that God is the epitome of good morals, and therefore contradict God Himself alltogether.
]]]]

The abortion analogy doesn’t work cause the baby doesn’t hate the mother with everything that is in them, and the mother hasn’t shown grace upon grace upon the child. None whatsoever. In fact the mother hates the child.
If God is love how can God hate? That would seem to contradict the very character of God. Yet scripture attests to both. Both.
And no, God creating men to burn would not be morally wrong.

That statement presupposes that God can do something wrong. If He did in fact create men to be doomed (as the verses I used have shown) it wouldn’t be wrong. He’s God. He is the standard for morality. He doesn’t answer to some higher standard, He is the standard. Whatever He does is perfect and right. To suppose b/c something might be wrong to us therefore its wrong for God is ridiculous.

I know men who think a good God wouldn’t send anyone to hell at all. If He is love why did He even make a hell? Why not just put them out of existence, He’s powerful enough. Why not just place them in a ‘holding place’, where there is neither suffering nor pleasure? Or just not let them into heaven, where the ultimate pleasure is, isn’t the punishment enough? Those questions can soon follow the one you just asked. In fact, they logically follow also. And I know that you’re not going to question the reality of hell.

[[[[Also note, even though men CANNOT come, His desire overrides their inability to do so. We know earlier in this same book, in John 3:19 that men loved the darkness rather than the light. They preferred evil over the Christ. So again, not only can they not come, but they don't want to come to Him. Yet God overcomes their will, by drawing those He has given to His Son.

Okay, here we go again. You're adding to scripture things that are not there. It says that men loved darkness rather than light. NOT that men were inable to come to the light because they loved their darkness. There is absolutely NO connection to those two things there, only you placing what you believe in between the words in the scriptures.
]]]]

I’m not adding anything. I just didn’t post the rest of the verses. Verse 20 says: For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been wrought in God.”

They come to the light why? Cause they choose too? No. So that it may be clearly seen that his works (his coming to God and doing what is true) is wrought (made, put together, created) in God. Created in God.

[[[[So we continue on in the Gospel of John, to ch 10 verse 14.

"I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,
even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep."

Now, here Christ is talking about His sheep. And He knows His sheep, in what way? He compares it to the intimate relationship He has with His Father. That kind of ‘know’. The same kind referenced in Matt 7, where He states, "Depart from Me you workers of lawlessness, for I never knew you." If you remember, Romans 8:29 says "Those whom he foreknew" the same Greek word I is used there, in Matt, and John, which is ginosko. It means to know the "person" intimately. And in Romans, Paul says the same thing as Jesus said in John 6. Those whom he knew, He predestined, He called, justified, and glorified. All of it past tense, one of the reasons being, if foreknown, then you will be glorified. You WILL make it.

Yeah I'll be honest and say I don't have an answer for this one]]]]

If you don’t have an answer, then you’re a Calvinist. Welcome to the family :)

[[[[Also, those in Matt. don't enter because Christ NEVER KNEW them, there was no foreknow, because there was NEVER a time when He knew them intimately. This seems to be in complete opposition to God knowing and loving everyone equally. Again, the main reason they did not enter the kingdom of heaven was b/c He NEVER knew them. The secondary reason is b/c they were workers of lawlessness. Sinners.

right, He never knew them intimately. Not that He never knew their eternal destination. Again, there is no connection to a calvinist belief. God could know someone's fate without knowing them intimately. ]]]]

And why didn’t God know them intimately? What’s the reasoning? Not b/c they would choose them or not, that’s been established. So how did He decide whom He would know (and choose, and call, and justify, and glorify)?

Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of His glorious grace

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,


[[[Now, this means that all those not foreknown do NOT enter for that reason. They are not foreknown.

However, you can still object with, He foreknew those whom would believe. So we continue on.

V. 25 "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me.
"But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."

So, this says that those who end up in hell fail to believe b/c they are not His sheep. Yet you state that God chose those whom would believe. That directly contradicts what scripture is saying. Those whom are the sheep believe. Those whom are not the sheep do not believe. God couldn’t choose those whom would believe b/c the only way they can believe is if they are already His sheep. Those that are His sheep believed, and they believed b/c they are His sheep already. They did not become His sheep b/c they believed.

Or that they become a part of His sheep once they come to salvation. I never saw the word "already" in the text of scripture you provided.]]]

As I stated earlier, inferences and logic. An example:
“All men are mortal. Socrates is a man.” I can infer that Socrates is mortal. It doesn’t say so, but it’s obvious that’s a true statement given my premises.

I did the same for the word “already.” Those that are not His sheep do not believe. They don’t become His sheep b/c they believe, they believe b/c they are His sheep. That’s what it says. If you interpret as you proposed, then that is putting things into the verse that should not be there.

[[[Now, note also, THEY FOLLOW Him. They do it. I've never neglected that you follow God, or that you didn't repent or ask God to save you. I said you did do all those things. But only b/c the Father knew you, gave you to Christ, drew you, and then you believed. Your will is there. I don't deny that.

But He had to change your will first.

I believe that God drew me close to Him, revealing to me His perfect, Holy light, which broke my heart over my sin, drawing me closer to God (which then makes God draw close to us) and bringing me to salvation.

Another verse in John, 1:12-13.
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

They received Him. They did it. Not doubt about it. They did it. They believed in His name. They did it. But they were not born of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. God gave them the new birth, then they did it.

uhh yeah you kind of just proved my point for me. It doesn't SAY that God gave them the will to accept Him. Here's the problem, Joe, with every verse you add words and meanings that aren't there in the first place. You have a really hard time taking scripture as it is, right as it says. I don't have to, with ANY of the scripture I provided, expand beyond what it simply says. You, on the other hand, are adding small things here and there to fit your beliefs. It says that THEY received GOD. ]]]

The did it b/c they were born of God. That’s why they did it. John 15, this verse, John 8, Ezekiel 36, John 6 and John 10 all say it. They come cause He has done a work in them first.

[[[It honestly is very clear. More verses in John say the same thing,

John 8:47 "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."

He...who is of God....hears the words of God. You can't hear God...when you are not of Him. Where does this show any sort of a calvinist belief? It's teaching what I've already know. I don't believe that we can hear and understand the will of God in our lives before we come to Him. But I do believe that we ca respond to a calling from Him pre-salvation, that will lead us TO salvation. ]]]

And I’m saying the reason we can respond to a calling from Him pre-salvation is b/c we have been born of God before-hand, b/c He has regenerated our hearts before we repent (Ezek. 36:24, look at the order of things), b/c He we are His sheep, b/c He foreknew us, b/c He chose us. That’s why we respond.

A spiritually dead man CANNOT respond to a call from the Holy Spirit. A heart of stone cannot act like it’s alive. All those in the flesh cannot please God, in fact they are not willing to do so. Pleasing would be to respond to His call. The context of the Romans 8 is comparing those are saved, and those who are not. Not those who are saved and walk in the flesh time to time.

Joseph said...

Something else I want to ask.

Let's say man has 100% unbridled, untampered, un touched free-will. And with this free-will they either choose or deny God.

The question is then asked, what is the difference between the one who chose God, and the one who didn't?

Why did you choose God instead of not?

You might answer, "Because God showed me His Holiness, and I saw my sin and repented and asked God to save me."

Then I ask, well does God do that for everyone equally? Does He show everyone the same amount of His Holiness? If yes, then we are back to the beginning, why did you choose Him?

If the answer is no, that He doesn't show everyone the same amount of His Holiness, at least enough for them to come to Him, then is that not in an off handed way choosing them? He is the deciding factor in their salvation. Not man.

Something else you might object with. "I just chose cause of the way I was made." Then could God not have made everyone with the disposition to choose Him? Or did He make everone also with the same amount of disposition of choosing Him? If everyone has equal disposition, then we're still stuck with the question of, why did you choose? And why does the majority of the world not choose?

Again, if God creates some people with the disposition to choose Him, then He infact "rigs" the odds, and then the question arises, why not created everyone with the disposition/attitude to choose Him?

The same goes for revealing His Holiness, it must be equal for all, or it is "rigged." The same question could be asked for the time and place all humans exist in.

Now, b/c the 'free-will' is unbridled and untouched, there is nothing that determines whether a person chooses or not. So, seeing as you chose, you could have just as easily not chose, cause the only thing that determined for you was...your own choice.

No matter how you cut it, either God did "rig" the odds, or man chose fully on his own.

So, any one who ends up in heaven can honestly claim they are there b/c they chose all on their own. God had no part, no place in their choosing, yes, He drew them, but He drew everyone equally. Everyone had an equal chance to be saved. So, they can rightly claim, they are in heaven b/c Christ died for them, but also b/c they chose God all by themselves.

Now, there is a major fundamental problem with this. It goes against scripture.

1 Cor. 1:28 "...so that no human being might boast in the presence of God."

Eph. 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."


If someone can claim to have obtained salvation by way of their own choice, they can boast. Yet, no one may boast before God. No one. And no one will, b/c they have been saved by grace through faith, and the faith is not your own doing (not by your own power) but it is a gift of God.

God grants faith. And seeing as how not everyone beleives, then it must mean that not all are granted faith.