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Arminians: What happened to gentiles before the time of Christ?

Discussion in 'Soteriology DEBATE' started by abacabb3, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    Ok, true, but the elect are also these persons in Romans 8

    33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?

    It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns?

    It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.


    The elect who believe are the called out ones from the world.
    They believe because they are elect, they are not elect because they believe.

    v30
    30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified

     

  2. God wants ALL men to be saved.

    However, he allows us to choose to follow him or reject his free gift of grace.

    A man reaps what he sows:

    Gal 6
    7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

    Rom 11
    2 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
     
  3. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    The following to me was really not a response:

    "You would need an explicit assertion that those who never hear would be without access to salvation. If we follow your logic, then a Gentile might be damned because they died a nano second the wrong side of this supposed 'watershed'."

    I do have such an assertion. Paul specifically says that "WHomever calls on the name of the Lord is saved." THen, he follows up with, "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?"

    The first rhetorical question expressed an obvious urgency...they won't call on the name of the Lord and be saved if they don't believe...then he says they won't believe in Him whom they have no heard. Then, he says they cannot hear without a preacher!

    This is pretty cut and dry stuff. How else can I possibly interpret this?
     
  4. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    1. Explain to me what ROm 10:12-14 is actually talking about.

    2. Why is the bold there?

    Thanks!
     
  5. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    I appreciate the explanation here.

    The former is incorrect, because you are offering a reasoning that Paul himself does not give.

    Paul did get converted in this fashion. God Himself showed him the Gospel. He heard the Gospel being preached and persecuted it. Paul didn't get hit with a lightening bolt and learn things that he never heard about before in an instant.
     
  6. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Did Paul say this includes everyone that was ever conceived? No. Is there anything in the context that would support the idea Paul is talking about everyone that was ever conceived? No.

    You cannot “preach” to unborn children can you?

    As I have shown there are other verses that suggest Gentiles were treated differently: Ro. 2: 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them

    and

    Ro. 5: 13 sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

    and

    Acts17: 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent,


    Yes, it would reading it your way:

    Ro. 2: 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them

    and

    Ro. 5: 13 sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

    and

    Acts17: 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent,


    You have no problem with a father intentionally saving only a few children in a burning building when it would be just as safe and easy for the father to save all his children in the building and the father intentionally did not want to safe all his children? Would he be the example, you would want to have everyone emulate?

    That father would be in big trouble with any court in the land.



    We are following for the most part in the Old Testament individuals and to some extent the nation around these individuals. We are not following other nations but do get some glimpses like with Jonah and the city of Nineveh, so did God make himself known to the people in Nineveh?
     
  7. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    There is a deeper understanding many miss about Paul's conversion.
    Paul tells us he is an example for all that will believe in Jesus for eternal life.

    The depth of this is revelation, hearing from God, it is God who teaches by the Holy Spirit His truths. God uses people to preach the message, and those who have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying are the ones who get saved.

    Notice Paul uses the example of a 'pattern', Paul's conversion is as an example of all those who will be saved. God just uses different ways but all His people hear God speak.

    ' as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life'

    It is the same thing Peter experiences when He tells Jesus that Jesus is God's Christ, and Jesus tells Peter that God the Father has revealed that to Peter.

    Paul tells us that believers are going to believe because God speaks to them and changes them and also that God is patient with His elect, not wishing that any of His beloved elect perish but that all the beloved elect come to repentance.


     
  8. Romans 10 says nothing about who will not be saved.

    The bolded part indicates that some non believers can be saved.
     
  9. janxharris

    janxharris Veteran

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    If you are suggesting that Acts 9 (Saul's conversion) could never have occurred if it had not been the case that Paul had previously heard the gospel from men, then you would appear to be limiting God's power.
     
  10. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    I am giving very serious thought about this, and neither of us should be trying to out argue one another with "gotcha!" moments, but we should be glorifying God and honestly approaching His Scriptures with gratitude that He makes them available to us and respect.

    That being said, my belief is that your point here is not addressing what we actually see in Scripture. No one disputes that God can make children of Abraham out of stones if He wanted to. However, He doesn't...He has ordained it for men to be worked out through biological processes.

    When I read the Scripture, I don't see that God by necessity needs our faith, prayer, repentance, or good works either. But, God desires these from men anyhow and finds them pleasing in His sight.

    So, your reasoning here may or may not work on a theoretical level, but it does not confront what the Scripture actually says. We know from Scripture that Paul knew who Jesus was and all He needed was confirmation that Christ is actually God to be driven to repentance. This does not contradict Paul's own teaching on the absolute necessity of preaching, as even Christ Himself told us to preach the Gospel to all men.

    We have to be very careful if our exegesis leads us to abandon the centrality of Christ and the great opportunity we have in preaching and glorifying His name. When I read Romans 10:12-14 and what it plainly states and when i read the rest of Scripture and see no other way to be saved other than faith in God, I don't think the honest observer is offered any other possibilities as to how He can be saved apart from faith in Christ. And, as Paul astutely pointed out, how can we place our faith in God if we never heard about Him?
     
  11. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    I would appreciate an explanation of what it is talking about, because Rom 10:12-14 appears to me clearly conveying that we must call upon God to be saved and that we can't apart from preaching.

    The bolded part says "especially believers," so it is not talking about non-believers. I wonder do you think that 1 Tim 2:15 ("Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.") means that giving birth to children is a saving act or Psalm 36:6 means that animals go to heaven like men ("Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep;you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.")

    I am not some great religious authority, but I hope you can realize from me quoting these things that when 1 Tim 4:10 talks about God being the Savior for all men, that it isn't saying "God saves all men, especially saving the believers." It is conveying that Christ is the savior for all people, but especially for believers, because only by faith does Christ's atonement apply to them.
     
  12. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    I must respectfully disagree. Paul appears to be purposely employing language that would apply to all men universally. In verse 12 he writes "there is no distinction between Jew and Greek." This is a way of saying "this applies to everyone."

    When he writes "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved" in v. 13, there is a positive assertion. Those who call on the name of God are saved. There is no room within such a statement to read into it and see that there is some other way to be saved other than believing in God.

    Then, in v. 14 makes it clear: "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?"

    The question is posed as a problem. Paul is essentially asking, "How can they be saved if they don't believe in Him?" It is a rhetorical question with an easy answer: "they can't." He then follows this up with, "How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?" This verifies that "they ca't," but that "they won't" apart from preaching.

    I really don't see how else we can interpret this. Unless such an interpretation clearly contradicts another part of Scripture, I feel that we are compelled to read Romans 10:12-14 at face value and apply its understanding to other parts of Scripture, because I don't think it contradicts any of it.

    That is a difficult verse, but what does Paul follow up with in Rom 3 "There is no one righteous, not one, there is none that seek God." So ROm 2:15 isn't explaining to us an alternative way to be saved, it explains how men are morally accountable apart from the Law. They do both good and bad, but violating God's Law or owne's own conscience just once is equivalent to committing cosmic treason against God. Apart from this understanding, I don't think we appreciate how sinful all of us are and how much all of us need God's grace.

    This is where context is key. In Romans 10:12-14, you address that we should look at context. However, the context does not lead us to different explanation than my own. But, how about Romans 5:13? The very sentence before states, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." So, one thing we do know is if all men sinned from the time of Adam, Romans 5:13 is not saying that we are not sinners apart from the Law.

    What Paul is referring to is a much more difficult concept that he returns to in Chapter 7, which is how "through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful" (Rom 7:13). The Law increased the offense of sin, but it is not that sin didn't already exist. In Rom 5:14 it states, "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam." Sin in the likeness of Adam refers to those breaking commandments God has given. So, we can sin like Adam when we knowingly break one of God's commandments, but we can also sin when we do something wrong where there is no specific commandment to address it.

    Much of this is a topic for another discussion. However, how can I be confident that my exegesis is right and yours is wrong? I do think internal consistency plays a large role in revealing who is right on this one. I can believe all these different verses and my interpretations don't require me to disregard a verse or make it say something it does not say. IN fact, the dots all connect.

    However, if we cherry pick a few verses out of the Bible and come up with an exegesis that there are two ways to be saved, one by works if we don't know any better and another by faith in Christ, we just torn the whole Bible into shreds and we have to avoid such a reading, as it forces us to completely disregard clear statements to the contrary. Ultimately, we would be forced to be intellectually dishonest if we were to hold to the inerrancy of Scripture, but find that certain verses that don't fit how we see things just can't be true.


    Granted, there are specific situations where God shows His mercy on gentiles, but what you posit is that there are stories of God's grace to the gentiles that are not recorded in the Scripture and that these gentiles are saved somehow. However, based on Scripture, how can we come to this conclusion? We have no indication of this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  13. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Paul is writing to mature adult Jews and Gentile Christians, so yes it would apply to mature adult Jews and Gentiles.
    You have to be a mature adult to “call on the name of the Lord”, so Paul is not telling what immature people can do.
    Again you have to be mature enough to call and believe, so those that are not mature enough would not be told to do something impossible.
    This does not address at all: those that do not need salvation, because they are in the same safe condition Adam and Eve were in before they sinned.

    I have no problem reading what a mature adult should do and understanding it, the problem is what about all those through no fault of their own never had a chance to hear. Those that were mature enough to hear and understand the message and where given the message needed to respond to the message.

    I agree we do tend to underestimate the significance of sin, but do we also underestimate Godly type Love?

    Do you think God’s Love is great enough to help those that are willing to accept God’s help?

    Sinful man does not have Godly type Love and thus can do nothing of “value”(1 Cor. 13: 1-4), but can he just wimp out, surrender to his enemy (God [who is still his enemy when he surrenders]), give up and accept God’s Love?


    I think we would agree “’all’ does not have to mean every human that was ever conceived”, so could it be referring to mature adults?

    Physical death is the result Adam and Eve first sinning since the system of fulfilling man’s earthly objective without sinning and in the Garden did not work.




    I do not dismiss any verses but do explain them in light of all other verses.

    To help me understand the meaning is an understanding of the objective of man and God, since everything would be objective driven.



    I am in no way suggesting anyone could be “saved” by works that is a straw man.


    Gentiles would have been saved the same way Jews were saved, by God’s grace/mercy/Charity/Love/Forgiveness.

    Why would there be only: “specific situations where God shows His mercy on gentiles…”?

    Yes we have only a few situations given in scripture, but why would they be every situation God showed mercy of the gentiles and not just examples of God showing mercy on the Gentiles?

    Is God inconsistent and/or arbitrary?

    It is great to have some examples of God showing mercy on the gentiles, but the Old Testament is following individuals and the nation of Israel, so we do not need to know about the gentiles.
     
  14. Romans 10 does not speak of those who will not be saved.

    1 Tim 4 says that he is the savior of ALL men, especially believers.

    You are adding many words to scripture that aren't there in your effort to make it agree with your dogma.
     
  15. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    Again, I ask politely that you explain what that section of Romans 10 is actually talking about. Further, show me how your explanation of Romans 5:13 does not contradict the clear teaching of Romans 5:12. I am not here to defend dogmas. I am asking you to show me from the Scripture what these verse can otherwise mean.
     
  16. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    Let's try hard to maintain a positive dialogue.
    You are adding the word "mature," but that aside being that everyone on Earth fro all time was either a Jew or a gentile, then you would agree that Romans 10:12-14 does apply to all Jews and Gentiles?

    Again, I think you are adding to the Scripture, but children aside, are full grown men that never heard about Christ not "mature" to you?

    Who is in a "safe" condition that Adam and Ever supposedly were?

    To be honest, such a position is in my mind clearly heresy and contradicts the preponderance of Scripture, but let me put my opinions aside and ask you this: What benefit is there to knowing about Christ? It seems to me by preaching His name we make people now liable for their sins by your theology, so instead of bringing a blessing we bring a curse.

    Seriously reconsider your thoughts about this, as it would totally undo the Great Commission and the whole Christian religion.

    If everyone on Earth who has ever lived, apart from Christ, has sinned against God and deserves damnation, isn't it a great act of unimaginable love if anyone is given mercy at all?

    God's love is so great, it is great enough to help those not willing to accept His help. That once was me.

    I don't understand the question.

    I don't agree with your age of accountability idea, because it is not part of Paul's reasoning in Romans 5 or 10.

    Please tell me what Romans 10:12-14 actually means and if you take something other than the explain explanation, show from the context of the chapter or other Scripture how it means something different, please.

    What is he saved from if he is saved from if he does not know Christ?

    How do we get forgiveness?

    Because Gentiles who did not know the name of God could not call upon His name and be saved.

    God tells the Israelites that they are His special people. he chose them out of all the people's of the Earth. DO you think it is unfair that God would love His chosen people more?
     
  17. Romans 10 tells us that if we call on Jesus he will save us, nothing else.

    I don't know what you are talking about with regard to Romans 5. Could you ask a more specific question.
     
  18. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    What is the proper answer to Paul's question: "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?"
     
  19. They won't.


    Are you saying that all those who never heard of Jesus go to hell, even if they cooperated with God's grace as they understood it?
     
  20. janxharris

    janxharris Veteran

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    If men cannot exercise faith without being regenerated by God first, then there is nothing to be pleased about. Tell me what exactly could God be pleased about? Pleased that what was going to happen, happened? Unless something was overcome, then there can be no celebration.

    Actually, it confirms that God does speak to men which can result in conversion, and this occurred in the OT to non-Israelites.
     
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