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election & pre-destination

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by Stevie, Jan 10, 2002.

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  1. Stevie

    Stevie New Member

    After reading the "blotted out" thread, I started to think again of the very difficult question of election. I am reffering particularly to the passage in Romans 8, although there are many others!

    If, as Paul say's in Ephesians 3v4, that we were chosen before the foundation of the world, who is the "whosoever" in gospel verses like John 3v16?

    Also see 1Peter 1v2.

    Doubtless many of you have heard or had this debate before, so I won't go into any detail as to what my position and thoughts are, as I would like to hear what other people have tosay on this first.

    Any ideas?
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Randy

    Randy New Member

    This is the only position I've found to be theologically consistent throughout the Bible. The difficutly people find in this is the immediate assumption, on their behalf, that God has "chosen" and "predestined" people to everlasting punishment, which is certainly not the case. Although the "offer" of salvation is indeed sincere and made to all, it is also abundantly clear that without this "Divine intervention" on man's behalf, man, in his innate sinful nature, lacks both the will and the ability to have even the smallest effect in his redemption to God.

    A most excellent way to begin this discussion is to pose the following question:

    "For whom did Jesus die?"

    There are only four possible answers:

    1) All of the sins of all of the people.
    2) Some of the sins of all of the people.
    3) Some of the sins of some of the people.
    4) All of the sins of some of the people.

    Keep in mind as you ponder this that "unbelief" is also a "sin," and either Jesus died for that sin as well as others, or most certainly, all people (i.e., all individuals, not just all "types" of people) are lost.

    Therefore, if #1 is true, all are saved.
    Number 2 would leave all individuals lost.
    Number 3 would leave all individuals lost.
    Number 4 is the only answer which "fits" with Biblical teachings.

    I wish I could remember who first posed this. Seems to me it was one of the old Puritan preachers. If I find out, I'll give credit where credit is due. (Trust me: It's been a very long time since I've had discussions like this with anyone.)
  3. MizDoulos

    MizDoulos <font color=6c2dc7><b>Justified by grace through f

    <i><b>. . . The difficutly people find in this is the immediate assumption, on their behalf, that God has "chosen" and "predestined" people to everlasting punishment, which is certainly not the case . . .</i></b>

    Welcome to the forum, Randy!

    It's funny but I've heard the opposite of your statement: Why did God choose only certain people for salvation? The implication being that He loves some more than others. So, those He loved more, He saved.

    We could look at this issue another way. Why did God choose to save any at all? Since we're all sinners (Rom. 3:10,11), He could have just condemned us all to Hell and that would have been the end of that. But since He is a loving and merciful God, He sent His Son Jesus to redeem those that belong to Him. And my understanding is that Jesus' death was sufficient to cover the sins of all mankind. But, we know that some will die as unbelievers.

    You mentioned the Puritans at the end of your post. The Puritans and the Reformers turned my understanding of knowing God from mono sound to digital surround sound! They were one of the greatest influences in my spiritual life besides Arthur Pink, John Mac Arthur Jr., and J.I. Packer of modern times. I thank God for all of them!

    In Christ,

  4. rkbo

    rkbo Member

    I thought Jesus died for all sins for all people but it is only imputed to them that accept this. Am I missing something.
    Heb 10:10
    10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    I might be wrong about this because I see that this could mean that once for all is talking about the completeness of the thing.
  5. MizDoulos

    MizDoulos <font color=6c2dc7><b>Justified by grace through f

    <i><b>I thought Jesus died for all sins for all people but it is only imputed to them that accept this. Am I missing something.</i></b>

    Rkbo, if I understand you correctly, what you've said is right. Christ's death was sufficient or adequte for the purpose of saving every human on earth. In other words, if Father God chose to save every person from Adam to the last man to live on earth, Christ's death would have covered them all. But as we know, not everyone will be saved.

    I hope I'm communicating this clearly.
  6. rkbo

    rkbo Member

    I thought about this a little further and
    John 12:32
    32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

    Heb 2:9
    9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

    I Jn 2:2
    2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    I'm thinking that he did die for every person and every sin. Mzdoulos are we on the same track? Seems we are but I would like Randy to throw in here and see if he has some light to shed.

    Randy your answer of "all the sins for some of the people" may be the realization of his death but these verses indicate that his death was in essence a big enough thing to hand all people. So I guess you could say that some of the enormity of his sacrifice is going to waste.
  7. Hervey

    Hervey Member

    Some good thoughts so far. I will try and make a post tomorrow on this subject. Too late tonight :)

    Love IN Christ - Hervey
  8. Hervey

    Hervey Member

    Good Morning all:

    Nothing like a good nights sleep <grin>


    Christiains whoes names are in the "Lamb's book of life" were chosen from before the foundations of the world, as you pointed out. But God is no respector of persons. In other words, God would not just save only Christians, but the opportunity for the whole world to be saved.

    Christians were "predestined" according to the will of God - Ephesians 1:11. This "will of God" , also made known unto us the "Mystery of his will" - verses 7 - 9.

    We were also "ordained" from "before" the world - I Cor. 2:7

    We were ordained to be "ambassador's" for Christ - II Corinth. 5:20. WE were pre-ordained to reconcile the world back unto God, through Christ.

    Words like "whosoever" in John 3:16 means just that, "whosever". Salvation was freely given unto the whole world. You will notice in reading the Word, that "free will" still plays an important role in one's salvation.

    Love IN Christ - Hervey
  9. Mandy

    Mandy Well-Known Member

    God is willing that none should perish.

    1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

    Jesus dies for the sins of all, but that doesn't make everyone saved. It makes it possible for anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord to be saved. Jesus' death on the cross was sufficient to save everyone, but we must choose this day whom we will serve.
  10. Randy

    Randy New Member

    With passages such as John 3:16, it's easy to see why people are reluctant to give serious consideration to the doctrines of election and predestination. It is best, therefore, to begin with two things agreed upon by all Christians:

    1) The Bible is the unfolding drama of man's redemption to God,
    2) The Gospel is the "good news" that this redemption was for both Jew and Gentile.

    Now, with just those two cornerstones of the Christian faith firmly in mind, consider again the exchange between Jesus and Nicodemus. Remember that Jesus came with the "good news," the gospel, and he was speaking to a "...ruler of the Jews." Try to put yourself in the place of Nicodemus and imagine being told that "...God so loved the world...that whoever believes...." The immediate impact of that statement would be that redemption was no longer exclusive to Jews, but that Gentiles were also included. I.E., "whoever" does not mean "each and every individual," but rather that redemption was now for "whoever," Jew AND Gentile.

    This type of language and usage is found throughout the Bible. And, for what it's worth, it's called a "synecdoche," which means merely "a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole, or the whole for the part." Quick example of how we "all" do this: You've just come home from church and someone asks, "How was church today?" You might say something like, "It was great. Everybody was there." You mean, of course, that there were "lots" of people there, but certainly not each and every person in the world.

    Romans 2:10 is just one example of this usage: "...to every man...," then, as if by way of explanation, "...to the Jew first and also to the Greek...."

    Again, in Romans 3:9, and following, Paul is making reference to the Old Testament scriptures. "As it is written, 'There is none righteous...There is none who understands...," and so forth. In verse 9, he prefaces his quotation with "that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;....":

    Last example: Revelation 13:16--"He causes 'all'...to be given a mark...," but the 'all' means "...the small and the great, and the rich and the poor...," etc., not "each and every."

    It's important to keep this usage in mind. If not, it's easy to find oneself defending one passage, or text, as "literal," but insisting another is not. For example, in Revelations, one passage talks about "all" who refuse the mark of the beast are put to death (Rev. 13:15), and subsequently "...the rest were killed..." who DO accept the mark are killed at the Second Coming (Rev. 19:20-21). With just two passages, the notion of anyone being left, alive, to enter a literal Millenium, is gone.
  11. Randy

    Randy New Member

    Hi Pat, and everyone else....
    Thanks for the welcome. I wasn't being rude, just thinking about my last post and forgot the most important thing, which was to acknowledge y'all's kindness. (Yeah, I know. "Y'all". Been in VA forever, and it's just one of the few "southernisms" I positively refuse to give up.)
    Again, many thanks.
    As I mentioned elsewhere, it's been longer than I like to admit since I've participated in discussions like this (way long story!). I do have to say that the "tones" of the posts betray a really good and decent bunch of folks. How wonderfully refreshing.
  12. MizDoulos

    MizDoulos <font color=6c2dc7><b>Justified by grace through f

    Oh, yes, Randy, know what you mean 'bout using the word "y'all." I use it myself on occassion --- I'm from southern California. (hehe!)

    I agree with you that this forum consists of a fine group of people, right from the top (Erwin and moderators) down to the members! And, this is one of the best designed web sites I've seen. We're fortunate to have a nice Christian forum to gather and fellowship.

    Keep posting and God bless.
  13. Randy

    Randy New Member

    Perhaps another way to consider this is:

    The atonement is limited either in:

    Extent: It was not intended for all, or

    Effectiveness: It did not secure the salvation of any.

    Thus, the question becomes: Did Jesus die to make salvation only "possible," or to actually "save" people?

    (Southern California, eh, MizD? Well, I'm guessing you didn't awaken to frost this morning, right?)
  14. Apologist

    Apologist 2 Tim. 2:24-26

    This is one of the most difficult questions to answer in all of scripture. I have heard John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, and my pastor who went to seminary with John MacArthur all speak on this subject and they all agree that scripture teaches that God elects some and that He uses our freewill also. It seems irreconcilable but as God says in Isaiah 55:8: “&#65279;For &#65279;&#65279;My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,&#65279;” says the Lord."

    God Bless
  15. MizDoulos

    MizDoulos <font color=6c2dc7><b>Justified by grace through f

    Apologist, you are correct about John Mac Arthur, Jr.'s teaching about the subject. I take it that you mean "jr" because his dad is also a pastor in Oregon, if I'm not mistaken. At least he used to be.

    Pastor John is one of the best expositors of the Word today, IMO. We had the priviledge of sitting under his teaching at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley for over 16 years until we moved to another county. We treasure those years of learning and miss his teaching so much. It's as though you were attending seminary 101, except a lot easier! God gave him the skill of communicating complex theology in a way that all can easily understand without compromising the the meaning of Scripture.

    Chuck Swindoll is another excellent teacher. His teaching is very practical and a good compliment to Pastor John. They both teach a comprehensive understanding of the Bible which is so needed.
  16. rkbo

    rkbo Member

    1 Cor 1:27-29
    27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
    28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
    29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

    I wonder if we overthink this predestination and election thing. There will no doubt come a place where we hit the fog. But maybe we are confusing the fact that God knows the beginning from the end and he can elect those he already knew would come to him. He also predestins those in a sense that he knows there destination and to him it is certain from before creation.
  17. Caedmon

    Caedmon kawaii Supporter

    I think of it this way. If every person that ever lived were to be saved, then Jesus would still have the ability to save all of them. I guess the thing that people miss is that all that are saved, the ones that "call upon the name of the Lord", must have the Divine intervention of God to bring them to this point. If they do not, then they cannot be saved, because no one can save himself, nor does he have the desire, ie, total depravity. Just my thoughts.... does that make any sense Randy?
  18. VeraciousMaven

    VeraciousMaven Jesus Saves!

    My two cents ...

    God knows everything. God knows WHO is going to heaven. But God does not FORCE those who arn't going to heaven to go to hell. We still have free will; God knowing our fate doesn't change how we choose it.

    That's one man's opinion.
  19. MizDoulos

    MizDoulos <font color=6c2dc7><b>Justified by grace through f

    Hi, Randy:

    Did not see your question in post #13 . . . sorry 'bout that. Actually, I haven't seen any frost in the mornings as yet. Yesterday, the temperature was up in the high 70's! It's not going to last long, though. Yeah, I live about an hour's drive south of LA in south Orange County.

    Pertaining to your question:
    <i><b>Thus, the question becomes: Did Jesus die to make salvation only "possible," or to actually "save" people?</i></b>

    IMO, Jesus' death made it possible for all sinners to be saved. Salvation requires God's calling the sinner to repentence and the response of that sinner to be forgiven.

    If Christ's death actually saved people, then everyone would be saved. However, we know that's not true.

    <font color="ff4500"><b>And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.</font></b>
    (Heb 9:15)

    I've been praying for my mother's salvation for over 20 years. There are times I wished Christ's death would have saved all.

    God bless.

  20. Randy

    Randy New Member

    Mornin', HumbleJoe....

    Yes, that ol' "total depravity" rears it's ugly head.

    I especially like John 6 since it shows Jesus dealing with "the mulititudes," then the "Jews," and then his "disciples." He told the mulititudes "All that the Father give me shall come to me." To the Jews, He said, "No one CAN come to me UNLESS the Father who sent Me draws him...." And to his disciples, He said the same thing: "...no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father." Interesting, too, is that after he said this to his disciples, "...many of the disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him any more."

    One's "belief," one's "faith" is the evidence of one's redemption, NOT a part of redemption. To the Jews, who were seeking to kill Him, he said, "...you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent." (John 5: 38). I.E., their "disbelief" was the "proof" of their "not having." He had told them previously, "...he who hears My word, and believes...has eternal life,..." (v 24). The having of "eternal life" PRECEEDS the "believing."

    It's like saying "He who votes is eighteen or older." The condition of "being" 18, or older, precedes the "act" of voting. Likewise, he who HAS eternal life is he who "hears" and "believes."
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