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Does God desire everyone to be saved?

Discussion in 'Confessional, Covenantal, Creedal - Presbyterian' started by zoidar, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. God desires everyone to be saved, but He only elects some for salvation.

    3 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. God doesn't desire everyone to be saved, therefore He only elects some for salvation.

    5 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Other (explain)

    4 vote(s)
    26.7%
  4. If you aren't a reformed Christian, please vote here.

    3 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What would you say is the right teaching concerning this?
     
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  2. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    If God desired to save all, he would. Period.

    "Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases." - Psalm 115:3
     
  3. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    Do you desire that all criminals would become law-abiding citizens? Yet you know they won't.
    TD:)
     
  4. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The components of the poll are too limiting and require a person to vote either they believe in unconditional election or not. That's why I voted "other" because I don't believe the first two.

    The Scripture says, "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance". So that deals with the question of whether God wants everyone to be saved. He has given the invitation to all as in John 3:16, which says "whosoever believes in Him shall have eternal life". If God invites all, then all who come to Him will be saved. This means that unconditional election, where God elects some and not others actually conflicts with the two Scripture quotes I gave. The Scripture invitation is for all who will come, and is not selective. If it is selective, then a person, including you me, can come to Him, and He could say, "Sorry. You are not elected, so you cannot be saved." If that was so, then John is lying when he says that "whosoever believes in Christ will be saved", when he should have said, "Only those who are selected by election will be saved".
     
  5. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    This is posted in the Confessional Presbyterian Forum...
     
  6. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I happen to be an elder of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. Also, I am not debating with anyone, but am merely stating what I see in the Bible concerning God invitation for those who come to Christ to be saved.
     
  7. royal priest

    royal priest debtor to grace

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    God's desire and His purpose or decree are not necessarily synonymous. For instance, compare Jesus' words in Matthew 23:37 with John's testimony in John 12:39-40.
    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!"
    John 12:39-40
    Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
    “He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their heart,
    lest they see with their eyes,
    and understand with their heart, and turn,
    and I would heal them.”

    The same with the command that we pray for all men because of God's desire that all men be saved and yet Jesus' prayer: "I do not ask on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those You have given Me; for they are Yours." John 17:9.
    When failing to comprehend such dichotomies, it is satisfying for me to know that the infinitely wise God cannot possess any true conflict of interest within Himself.
     
  8. Lazarus Short

    Lazarus Short Well-Known Member

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    My belief is that God is willing to save all, and that is why He says He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. I wrestled for a long time with the "able" part, but eventually realized that of course He is able, for He is God. Simple, really, for as He told Job, nothing is too difficult for Him.
     
  9. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    God desires everyone to be saved, but forces no one. He wants those that seek Him, in faith.

    But we read that God resists the proud (!)...and gives Grace to the humble!

    6 For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
    but the haughty he knows from afar.

    34 Toward the scorners he is scornful,
    but to the humble he gives favor.

    23 One's pride will bring him low,
    but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

    12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;

    6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

    5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”


    Psalm 138:6; Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 29:23; Matthew 23:12; Luke 1:52; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5
     
  10. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    Are you a confessional, covenantal, and creedal Presbyterian? Not all Presbyterians are the same.
     
  11. Christ is Lord

    Christ is Lord Well-Known Member

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    Can we put this option in the poll: "God desires everyone to be saved."?
     
  12. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    God is impassible, so his desiring is not the same as our desiring. He cannot be moved by the creature, nor can he be changed in himself by the created order, because he is immutable. If his will is one with himself, so is his so called "desire," it is perfect and has no potential to be (or not to be). He cannot even begin to desire.

    We must also understand that God uses human analogy to explain to men how he operates.

    It is inconsistent to say God desires something that doesn't achieve anything. His operating in men's hearts shows his "desire" for them to be saved. His non-operation in men's hearts show his absence of "desire." To say humanly speaking.
     
  13. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I don't really know. The church I go to is the middle one of three Presbyterian churches in our region. In the suburb to the North of us is one which is very Reformed Calvinist, and the one to the south of us is Charismatic. When we decided to build our church, we decided to be "middle of the road" between the two, although remaining evangelical. I guess we are closer to the Baptist type of service than the formal Presbyterian. We have quite a transdenominational group of folk who come to our church because we don't discriminate on the basis of theology, race or culture. We want to see ourselves as more of a community church where people who don't see themselves as "dyed in the wool" Presbyterians, but enjoy our church and the way we conduct our services.
     
  14. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I would be more likely to add: "God's election is confirmed by the person believing the gospel and receiving Christ." That would give more wide-ranging options to choose from and probably receive more votes overall.
     
  15. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I should have made it clear I was looking for the view of reformed Christians. That's why I posted it in this forum. You who are Presbyterians, what is the common view among you?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  16. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    FYI, not all Presbyterians hold the type of Reformed position you're thinking of. But it's reasonable to ask how the traditional Reformed deal with this passage.

    Calvin believes it refers to all types of people. But he point that this passage isn't about election. "But I say nothing on that subject, because it has nothing to do with this passage; for the Apostle simply means, that there is no people and no rank in the world that is excluded from salvation; because God wishes that the gospel should be proclaimed to all without exception."
     
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  17. public hermit

    public hermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm a fan of Calvin, but his interpretation seems too easy. It is beneficial for him to read it that way given his overall position.

    I read 2 Peter 3:9 as stating two truths about God's will.

    1. God desires that no one is to perish.
    and
    2. God desires that everyone is to come to repentence.

    I hold both statements to be true. I don't see them as incompatible, on the face of it. If those two statements are incompatible, then some assertion must be added to make it seem so, such as: It cannot be true that all come to repentance.

    If we add the third assertion then the first two now seem incompatible. In that case, I would argue that this particular passage is just one more reason to be a compatibilist.
     
  18. SeamusDelion

    SeamusDelion Member

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    The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (3:9)

    Peter’s support for the second coming culminated in an appeal to the character of God. The thrust of his argument is this: The reason Christ’s return is not immediate is because God is patient with sinners. Any waiting is attributable only to God’s gracious longsuffering. It is not that He is indifferent, powerless, or distracted. Instead, it is just the opposite. Because He is merciful and forbearing, He delays so that elect sinners might come to repentance (1 Peter 3:20; cf. Matt. 4:17; 9:13; Mark 6:12; Luke 15:10; Rom. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:25; Rev. 2:5).
    Despite the ridicule of the scoffers, the Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness. Slow (bradunō) means “delayed,” or “late,” implying the idea of “loitering.” None of that applies to God; His seeming slowness is not due to lack of ability, forgetfulness, or apathy. In fulfilling His promise, God is working everything precisely according to His perfect plan and schedule (cf. 2 Sam. 22:31; Ps. 111:5, 7–8; Isa. 25:1; Jer. 33:14; 2 Cor. 1:20). That same principle applied to Christ’s first coming: “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law” (Gal. 4:4).
    Patient translates a form of the verb makrothumeō. It is a compound word combimbining “large” with “great anger.” Peter used it here to show that God has a vast capacity for storing up anger and wrath before it spills over in judgment (cf. Ex. 34:6; Joel 2:13; Matt. 18:23–27; Rom. 2:4; 9:22). While that judgment is inescapable and deadly, God’s merciful patience beforehand gives the chosen the opportunity for reconciliation and salvation (see 3:15). His wrath toward the individual sinner is immediately appeased whenever that person repents and believes the gospel (cf. Luke 15:7, 10; Acts 13:47–48).
    You refers both to Peter’s immediate readers and any who will ever come to faith in Jesus Christ (cf. John 10:16). Some have argued that you implies the salvation of all people. But the immediate context and comments about “the destruction of ungodly men” (v. 7) clearly limits the you to believers. The letter is addressed to “those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.… He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature” (1:1b, 4a; emphasis added). From then on, the use of you is directed at believers (2:1–3; 3:2). The you of 3:1 are “beloved.” The words of verse 8, “do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved” (emphasis added), again link the you to the beloved. The you with whom the Lord is patient are therefore the same beloved ones He waits to bring to repentance.
    Those who perish—“utterly destroyed” in eternal hell—suffer damnation because they are dead in their sins and refuse God’s offer of salvation in Christ. At the same time, it is clear from Scripture that the Father takes no delight in the death of the lost: “ ‘For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,’ declares the Lord God. ‘Therefore, repent and live’ ” (Ezek. 18:32; cf. Jer. 13:17; Matt. 23:37). In fact, God actually offers salvation to all (cf. Isa. 45:21–22; 55:1; Matt. 11:28; John 3:16; Acts 17:30; 1 Tim. 2:3–4; Rev. 22:17).
    Scripture clearly states that God thoroughly hates sin (Deut. 25:16; 1 Kings 14:22; Pss. 5:4–6; 45:7; Prov. 6:16–19; 15:9; Hab. 1:13) and therefore its potential consequences for every person, including eternal punishment in hell. Yet, in order to display His own glory in wrath, God chose to save some and not to save others. As the apostle Paul explained:

    So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. (Rom. 9:16–18; cf. Josh. 11:20; John 1:13; 6:37, 44; Rom. 11:7)

    The context indicates that any and all are limited to the elect—namely all those whom the Lord has chosen and will call to Himself. Put another way, Christ will not come back until every person whom God has chosen is saved. By using the term you (a reference to Peter’s believing readers), the apostle limits any and all to the realm of elect human beings.
    Of course, once all of the elect are accounted for, God’s patience will run out. Having given the world as much time as He has sovereignly determined, God will pour out His wrath upon the earth. While His patience currently holds back His judgment, the time of grace that mankind now enjoys, however long it seems by human standards, will not last forever (cf. Gen. 6:3).


    "Wishing"
    βούλομαι, 2 pers. sing. βούλει Lk. 22:42 (Attic for βούλῃ, cf. W. § 13, 2 a.; B. 42 (37)); impf. ἐβουλόμην (Attic [(cf. Veitch), yet commonly] ἠβουλόμην); 1 aor. ἐβουλήθην (Mt. 1:19) and ἠβουλήθην (2 Jn. 12 R G; but al. ἐβουλήθ. cf. [WH. App. p. 162]; W. § 12, 1 c.; B. 33 (29)); Sept. for אָבָה, חָפֵץ; [fr. Hom. down]; to will, wish; and
    1. commonly, to will deliberately, have a purpose, be minded: foll. by an inf., Mk. 15:15; Acts 5:28, 33 (L WH Tr txt. for R G T ἐβουλεύοντο); 12:4; 15:37 (L T Tr WH for R ἐβουλεύσατο); 18:27; 19:30; 22:30; 23:28; 27:43; 28:18; 2 Co. 1:15; Heb. 6:17; 2 Jn. 12; 3 Jn. 10 (τοὺς βουλομένους sc. ἐπιδέχεσθαι τοὺς ἀδελφούς); Jude 5; Jas. 1:18 (βουληθεὶς ἀπεκύησεν ἡμᾶς of his own free will he brought us forth, with which will it ill accords to say, as some do, that they are tempted to sin by God). with an acc. of the obj. τοῦτο, 2 Co. 1:17 (L T Tr WH for R βουλευόμενος); foll. by an acc. with inf. 2 Pet. 3:9. of the will electing or choosing between two or more things, answering to the Lat. placet mihi: Mt. 1:19 (cf. ἐνθυμεῖσθαι, 20); 11:27 [not L mrg.]; Lk. 10:22; 22:42; Acts 25:20; [1 Co. 12:11]; Jas. 3:4; 4:4; foll. by the subj. βούλεσθε, ὑμῖν ἀπολύσω; is it your will I should release unto you? (cf. W. § 41 a. 4 b.; B. § 139, 2), Jn. 18:39. of the will prescribing, foll. by an acc. with inf.: Phil. 1:12 (γινώσκειν ὑμᾶς βούλομαι I would have you know, know ye); 1 Tim. 2:8; 5:14; Tit. 3:8.
    2. of willing as an affection, to desire: foll. by an inf., 1 Tim. 6:9 (οἱ βουλόμενοι πλουτεῖν); Acts 17:20; 18:15; ἐβουλόμην (on this use of the impf. see B. 217 (187) sq.; [cf. W. 283 (266); Bp. Lghtft. on Philem. 13]), Acts 25:22; Philem. 13. On the difference between βούλομαι and οέλω, see θέλω, fin.*


    Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 105). New York: Harper & Brothers.
     
  19. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Isn't it wonderful and good and helpful to learn also one thing we know about how God chooses whom to aid --
    Psalm 138:6; Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 29:23; Matthew 23:12; Luke 1:52; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5

    See? I think so long as some are seeking Him with humble attitudes then the door may be kept open. Always there have been some seeking Him. On some future day when no one does, it would be a dark day, and perhaps that would mean the time has come, but it would not be easy for us to ever guess what is happening in that way with billions around the world.

    Nice compilations! I really enjoy for this seeing all the verses together, and getting those wonderful messages again and again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  20. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    And welcome to Christian Forums!


     
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