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Foreordained?

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by Reformationist, Aug 15, 2002.

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  1. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    I have seen, and been engaged in, numerous discussions regarding the extent to which God foreordains the inter-workings of His creation, to include their salvation.

    I would like to hear your opinions about the following truths and how they relate to God's sovereign control of His creation:

    1. God is the Creator of all things created.

    2. God is omniscient.

    3. God knew when He created certain individuals that they would never come to repentance yet He created them anyway.

    I am confused about the position that God does not foreordain the salvation of all who are saved. For those of you who subscribe to that position, please explain how God can desire, as we desire something to come to pass, for all people to come to repentance, while knowing ahead of time that some won't.

    I believe most of the confusion stems from the word "desire," and how we interpret that from a human perspective of desire. "Desire" is a very strong word. Before answering consider your own desires. For example, if you desire a scoop of ice cream what is it that stops you from making that desire a reality? Lack of available ice cream? A greater desire for something else? See, even in our limited capacity, humans seek to accomplish that which is our greatest desire. In fact, it is always those limitations that we cannot overcome that keep us from obtaining those desires. The point is, we will always act according to our greatest desire at that moment. So how is that relevent to God? What stops God's desires from coming to fruition? How much more is He who is the most powerful thing in existance able to bring about His desires? What is it that God cannot overcome? The "free will" of man? If yes is your answer then you are saying that the will of man is greater than the Will of God. If you believe it's just that God chooses to not overcome the will of man then would you still contend that it is God's desire that all people be saved? And, if the only thing keeping God from bringing all people to repentance, and thus salvation, is His own choice to not overcome man's will, is man's will really "free?"

    Thanks for your comments. :)

    God bless.
     
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  2. eldermike

    eldermike Pray Supporter

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    1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

    I believe you are correct in your pointing to the word "desire" as the root of this understanding. Just as the scripture above tells us, God desires that we live a righteous life. But do we? It is a choice I believe.

    Great question. I have some ideas on the subject but they are Calvin/Baptist/Luther/Mike ideas.

    I stoped wresteling with this issue..I simply don't know.

    Glad to be forgiven.

    Blessings
     
  3. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    I agree that it is definitely a choice.  It is a choice, however, that we will make according to the nature we have been given by God.  As far as us living a righteous life, no, we definitely don't do that, and God knew that we wouldn't.  He saved us knowing that we would continue to sin as long as we are in these broken vessels.  It was, in fact, the very reason why He left in us the ability to continue to sin, because even through our failures our faith grows.  God left that ability there to produce in us obedience.  We had to have resistance to learn to overcome.  We had to personally fail (sin) to learn compassion for others when they fail (sin).  But for the grace of God there go I.  Only when we acknowledge that it is only by God's continual grace that we don't do the exact same things which we might expose in others will we be adequately prepared to deal with things in faith, with a motive of brotherly love.

    Mike, do you think it's possible that a lot of the confusion stems from man's inability to adequately explain the thoughts of God?  It's very simple to me.  If God truly desires something to come to pass, it does.  If it doesn't come to pass, it wasn't God's desire.  Rather, the word "desire" was man's way of expressing something Divine in human terms.

    God bless.
     
  4. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    Can human desire be the same as to desire the things of God?  "Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (Ps 37:4) How does a human delight himself in the Lord?  Can we say that by doing the will of God we are seeking to delight oneself in the things of God?  I believe by doing the will of God, He will give us the desires of our hearts as long as those things are within His will and not ours.  At the same time God gives every human being a free will to make his own decisions.  How does God create within us the desire to fellowship with Him?  I think you would agree, through His Son.  Did God force His Son on us?  Does God force His will on us? I believe God desires our fellowship with Him by exhibiting life as it ought to be and may be and thus inspiring us to nobler conduct; by showing the hideous results of estrangement and enmity and by producing penitence and aspiration; by creating a consciousness of God's forgiveness and loving concern; and by prompting us, day by day, to higher thinking and more courageous living.  I don't believe the bible teaches that God pre-determined, the identity of the saved, but the character of the saved. . Calvinistic predestination means that the future is already determined (predestined). The implication is that it doesn't matter what you do, it has already happened. You have no free will. I don't believe Calvin's view is the biblical view. 
     
  5. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    All this is great franklin but I didn't ask anything about Calvinistic predestination.  I also didn't ask if "human desire be the same as to desire the things of God."  What I asked was what does it mean, to you that hold God desires all men to be saved, that though He desires it, it doesn't happen.

    Try to stick to the topic at hand.

    Thanks and God bless. 
     
  6. Received

    Received True love waits in haunted attics

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    I still think predestination and how we view free will are in sense involved in a huge paradox. You cannot know eternal reality by definition, not because we are unable or prohibited, but because we cannot, as eternity is beyond our realm.

    I also still hold that what God decrees may be different than what he desires. Any man who doubts must recall the belt incident with his father, as he told you these strange but now understandable words "this will hurt me more than it will hurt you". God does desire all men to be saved, and He did send His Son as a sacrifice that finds atonement only to those who accept it, but all men will not be saved. That is where predestination finds its shine, and also where it finds its mystery.

    blessings,

    John
     
  7. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Monkey Boy

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    This is all true.  Just thought I would break it up some so it would not be confusing.  Okay so on to the rest.




    Well I see the term "desire" to mean that He would like for it to come to pass but that He is not forcing it to come to pass. That is He is not forcing it in a determinist kind of way. That God let's some free actions to take place even though He is sovereign over all of them.  

    Now I look at His will as what will come to pass.  Unless we speak about His moral will but maybe to be consistent I should call it His moral desire for us.  I will at least in this post.

     I believe that when He said "Let there be light" that that is a little different than when He allows (the best word I can think of but does not do justice to what I am saying)  some of us to be saved.  For that when He allows some to be saved He still desires all to be saved but He has set up conditions for not all to be saved.  But when He said "Let there be light" then all that He willed and desired came to pass. Maybe it is again like a parent who desires that her son will allways behave but then makes rules that make it sure that her child at one time or another will not obey.  Her making the rules is her will. 

    Now God could of overridden our will completely and forced everyone to be saved but the Bible says that He works by having us choose. (whether that is in a Calvinist way or Arminian is not important here) But my point is that He could of made us complete puupets but He did not do that.  So God could of designed the world in anyway He chose but I believe that humans coming to God on the terms of free choice was a stronger desire than all of us being saved.


    Here is some verses that I think how God's desire for all to be saved even though His will is that some will not.


    Luke 13:34-35
    34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, {the city} that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen {gathers} her brood under her wings, and you would not {have it!}
    35 "Behold, your house is left to you {desolate;} and I say to you, you will not see Me until {the time} comes when you say, "BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!"'
    (NAU)

    2 Pet 3:9
    9 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.
    (NAU)


    God could make these things just occur and He deisred for both to occur but He had greater desires and that was to have free choice.  So it does not delight God to send some to hell but He will do it because He desires justice and free choice more than making us puppets but having us all be saved.  Or making the terms for salvation nonexistent (universalism) thus eliminating any consequence of our choice. 




    Using these definitions of desire I would say that God desires to give us a choice more than making it so that all will be saved. So using the terms in this way I would say that God's greatest desire is not for all to be saved.  His greatest desires lie elsewhere.  For instance He wanted a creature who would love Him freely.  He wanted a creature that can honsetly love Him.  So God chose not to save everyone.   



    Okay I think you know my coments here but I will give them to you anyway. 

    1. God is sovereign nothing stops what He wills (my wording) or what He truly desires (your wording)  That is nothing stops what He deisres except things that HE DESIRES MORE.  Man's will can't overcome God's will. Even when God gives us a choice it is His will or desire that gives us a choice to display our will or desire.  He is still sovereign over our will for we can only choose how He allows us to choose. 

    2. man's will is not free.  God grants us a free gift of overcoming our total depravity. (Again how that is done is not important here) So that we can choose but that makes it so our will is not free.

    Also God limits our choices in many ways.  He defines the rules. He limits our time to choose.  What kind of circumstances we are in which will affect our desire for him.  And in many other ways. 

    So since we do not have the power within ourselves to choose God and that He limits what we can choose then I say that God grants us Free choice but we do not have freewill. 

    And i agree with you Reformanist that much of the confusion and fighting can be elliminated if we all meant the same thing by using the same terms.  just think of all the cults that would be gone if we were more consistent about our terms as Christians.  But that is another topic.

    Blackhawk

    *** Sorry for not many verses but tonight is my wife's birthday and I have to go party.  But I wanted to post now since I find it interesting. ***
     
  8. LouisBooth

    LouisBooth Well-Known Member

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    YOu see a door and it says enter you open it walk in and close it and turn around and it says destined to be inside. :)
     
  9. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    hmmm.... I thought I was within the topic and I thought I did give you some kind of an answer that is related to your topic in this statement: I believe God desires our fellowship with Him by exhibiting life as it ought to be and may be and thus inspiring us to nobler conduct; by showing the hideous results of estrangement and enmity and by producing penitence and aspiration; by creating a consciousness of God's forgiveness and loving concern; and by prompting us, day by day, to higher thinking and more courageous living. 

    So therefore, I'll add to that and I hope I am within the boundaries of your topic.... men do not get saved because that is the choice they make according to their own free will. Sorry to upset you by bringing up Calvinism but it appears that is what I see you implying in your post.  I'm not sure if I am giving you the exact answer you are looking for and if you think I am still not within the boundaries of your topic, I will make certain not to comment in this thread again. 

    peace brother.....
     
  10. eldermike

    eldermike Pray Supporter

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    Amen Brother! This is how we get ourselves all bound up in chains. We take concepts that we will never understand and make them fit into our limited understanding of how things work. It like putting God in a box.
    I am sure of one thing. Several ideas took root and grew in our minds and one day several of them, if not all of them will go up in smoke. God is God.

    Blessings
     
  11. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

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    2 Pet 3: 9. “God is not slow respecting his promise [of the coming day of reckoning], as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.” If God already foreknew and foreordained millenniums in advance precisely which individuals would receive eternal salvation and which individuals would receive eternal destruction, it may well be asked how meaningful such ‘patience’ of God could be and how genuine his desire could be that ‘all attain to repentance.’ The inspired apostle John wrote that “God is love,” and the apostle Paul states that love “hopes all things.” (1Jo 4:8; 1Co 13:4, 7) It is in harmony with this outstanding, divine quality that God should exercise a genuinely open, kindly attitude toward all persons, he being desirous of their gaining salvation, until they prove themselves unworthy, beyond hope. (Compare 2Pe 3:9; Heb 6:4-12.) And so, the apostle Paul speaks of “the kindly quality of God [that] is trying to lead you to repentance.”—Ro 2:4-6.

    Also if, by God’s foreknowledge, the opportunity to receive the benefits of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice were already irrevocably sealed off from some, perhaps for millions of individuals, even before their birth, so that such ones could never prove worthy, it could not truly be said that the sacrifice was made available to all men. (2Co 5:14, 15; 1Ti 2:5, 6; Heb 2:9) The impartiality of God is clearly no mere figure of speech. “In every nation the man that fears [God] and works righteousness is acceptable to him.” (Ac 10:34, 35; De 10:17; Ro 2:11) The option is actually and genuinely open to all men “to seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us.” (Ac 17:26, 27) There is no empty hope or hollow promise set forth, therefore, in the divine exhortation at the end of the book of Revelation inviting: “Let anyone hearing say: ‘Come!’ And let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.”—Re 22:17.

    As a merciful God, he exercises patience because “he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.” (2Pe 3:9) God is desirous of doing good toward all, he prefers this (compare Isa 30:18, 19), he finds ‘no delight in the death of the wicked,’ and “not out of his own heart has he afflicted or does he grieve the sons of men,” as in the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. (Eze 33:11; La 3:31-33) It is the hardheartedness of persons, their obstinacy and refusal to respond to his graciousness and mercifulness, that obliges him to take a different course toward them, causes his mercies to be “shut off” from flowing toward them. Ps 77:9; Jer 13:10, 14; Isa 13:9; Ro 2:4-11.

    God even regrets and changes his mind on occasions
    God’s prophet Jonah, in the ninth century B.C.E., declared impending doom for Nineveh because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. However, since the people, including the king, repented, God spared the city. (Jon 1:1, 2; 3:2, 5-10)
     
  12. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

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    Dear Ligh-bearer,

    Who is the 'you' Peter was writing to in this verse: 2 Pet 3: 9. “God is not slow respecting his promise [of the coming day of reckoning], as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.”

    Could the 'you' be the lost children of the house of Israel to whom Peter is writing? Could the 'all' then be all of God's lost sheep? Could this verse not be speaking of God's desire for everybody who ever lived?

    Let me put it this way, which would be better, to not ever be born or to be born and suffer ever in Hell? God knowing who would be saved and who would not still created a world in which millions upon millions would go to hell and HE knew it and created it anyway. How does He love these He knew would go to hell? By offering His Son, a gift he knew they would turn down? I believe he only loves those he saves.

    And speaking of love, Blackhawk said this,

    Using these definitions of desire I would say that God desires to give us a choice more than making it so that all will be saved. So using the terms in this way I would say that God's greatest desire is not for all to be saved. His greatest desires lie elsewhere. For instance He wanted a creature who would love Him freely. He wanted a creature that can honsetly love Him. So God chose not to save everyone.

    But why do we love God? If it is only because he first loves us, then why doesn't everybody love Him? Then maybe he only loves some. The reason He chose not to save everyone is because he doesn't love everyone.

    The proof of His love is in what He does for those he loves. The greatest love that Jesus could have for us was laying down His life for us. But does that save us? If He laid it down for everybody, and that saved us, all would be saved. Since all are not saved, EITHER that wasn't enough to save us, or He doeasn't love those not saved [and in Hell].
     
  13. OldShepherd

    OldShepherd Zaqunraah

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    These statements contradict the Word of God spoken by Jesus Himself! It appears that when the Bible doesn't agree with your Theology you reinterpret the Bible.

    Here is John 3:16 rewritten as I understand MJWhite to be reinterpreting it.

    John 3:16
    God doesn’t love everyone! For God so loved only those he saved, that he gave his only begotten Son, that only those he saved believeth in him [and] should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    17 For God sent not his Son unto ”only those he saved” to condemn ”only those he saved”; but that ”only those he saved” through him might be saved.

    But Jesus did not say that! Jesus said,

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    Here is the definition of the Greek word translated “whosoever”, in John 3:16,

    3956 paV pas pas

    including all the forms of declension; TDNT - 5:886,795; adj
    AV - all 748, all things 170, every 117, all men 41, whosoever 31, everyone 28, whole 12, all manner of 11, every man 11, no + 3756 9, every thing 7, any 7, whatsoever 6, whosoever + 3739 + 302 3, always + 1223 3, daily + 2250 2, any thing 2, no + 3361 2, not tr 7, misc 26; 1243


    For about the last 3 years I have been teaching through the N.T., verse by verse. Just coincidentally today I was teaching on Rom 8:29,30. These are Calvinists favorite “proof texts”. Pretty clear aren’t they, along with the other two “predestinate”, “proof texts” verses, Eph 1:4,5, 11?

    Rom 8:29
    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    1 Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained <4309> before the world unto our glory:

    Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

    Ac 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

    1 Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:


    And so on and so forth, etc., etc. etc. Now at this point I’m supposed to jump in with my counter texts, e.g. 2 Pet 3:9, 1 Ti 2:4 Titus 2:11, Eze 18:23, Eze 18:32, Eze 33:11, etc., etc.

    2 Pe 3:9
    The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    And then we go round and round, back and forth, verse against verse and you not seeing or understanding a word I write. Here is another favorite Calvinist proof text,

    Jer 13:23
    Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

    That is also pretty clear cut. God is saying that whatever man is, he is predestined to be and cannot change it. The only problem is that is not what God is saying. He is not talking to all of mankind but His people Israel and Judah and is very clearly telling His people the punishment He is causing to come upon them because of their sinfulness.

    To whom is God speaking in Deut 7:7?

    De 7:7
    The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

    Answer,

    Deu 7:4
    Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

    Is there anything in Deut 7 which states or implies that God was speaking to "only those he saved? “Well, yes, but my “proof text” says thus and so, etc., etc.,” Let us look at the context of the leopard/spots verse. God had told Jeremiah to bury a belt or girdle by the river Euphrates and return later to retrieve it. When Jeremiah retrieved the belt is was rotten, good for nothing and God said,

    Jer 13:11
    For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I [God] caused (predestined) to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.

    God loved His people, Israel and Judah. God caused, i.e. predestined, His people, all of His people, to cleave to Him, God, like a belt cleaves to a man’s waist. God predestined His people, all of His people, to be a name, and be a praise, and be a glory for God, but they would not listen to God!

    I do not see any way possible for this passage to be twisted, to mean that God was talking to “only those he saved.”
     
  14. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Monkey Boy

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    I find nothing in the Bible that shows that God does not love anyone.&nbsp; Even though He will condem someone to hell I do not think that shows that He does not love that person.&nbsp; There are too many verses that show that God loves all.&nbsp; That He is love itself.&nbsp; If He is love than how can He not love one of His creations.&nbsp;

    I see it like what we have to do with people sometimes.&nbsp; We might love a criminal but we also want to be just and we know that we must punish wickedness.&nbsp; Knowing that God is just I see it as God although loving all still punishes some for the sins that they have committed because they have not place their faith in Him.

    There are many verses I could cite for this including:

    (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9, Romans 8:38-39)
     
  15. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    Let me clarify the biblical meaning of love.&nbsp; To do so, let me first amplify what it is not.&nbsp; Love is not a feeling.&nbsp; Love is not a warm fuzzy.&nbsp; Love is not what most, as humans, call&nbsp;love.

    Love is an action.&nbsp; Love is giving the recipient what they most need with no consideration of self.&nbsp; For God, loving His children is extending to them His grace.&nbsp; Giving His elect His love means that He gives them exactly what they need to be conformed to the image of His Son.

    It is also important to make the distinction between our misconception of hate and the truth of biblical hate.&nbsp; When we think of hate we think in terms of action.&nbsp; If we hate someone we will do something to them.&nbsp; Even if that somthing is as unnoticeable as "thinking bad thoughts," our hate involves action.&nbsp; Biblical hate, on the other hand, is not proactive.&nbsp; It is merely not acting in love.&nbsp; It is the opposite of love.

    Let's use your example:

    The first thing we need to acknowledge is that we are not the judge.&nbsp; Our calling is to be the light that exposes unrighteousness, not condemn it.&nbsp; We may institute a human version of punishment.&nbsp; But, this is only temporal.&nbsp; Suppose this criminal is our child.&nbsp; Our desire for them to face the consequences of their actions should be predicated by a motive of love and a desire that their relationship with Christ be restored, though it may be unpleasant for them and us.&nbsp; Even so, our actions are done with a desire to bring about reconciliation.&nbsp; If done with that motive, our actions are love.&nbsp; In the same instance, if we withhold that loving action, maybe because we care more for ourselves and do not desire to bear the uncomfortableness of confrontation even if that confrontation will teach our child about forgiveness and responsibility and bring to light, to our child, the sinfulness of their actions, thus changing them, our actions are not about loving others as we love ourselves.&nbsp; They are purely about us, and thus, sinful.

    Again, God's love oftentimes takes on different look than what we, in our fallenness, assume that love is.&nbsp; We think of love as a peaceful feeling.&nbsp; Feeling "oh so spiritual."&nbsp; Feeling "God's loving embrace."&nbsp; We don't consider it a sign of God's love that He has brought a confrontational person in our lives.&nbsp; More often than not we think it unfair, or undeserved.&nbsp; The truth is, God uses every single person that He brings into our lives to show us our sinfulness.&nbsp; Why?&nbsp; Because He loves us.&nbsp; How in the world are we ever to learn the magnitude of the debt we were forgiven of if we are not regularly called upon to forgive the indebtedness of others?&nbsp; It's all explained in the parable of the unforgiving debtor(Matt 18:21-35).

    God bless.
     
  16. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

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    About 30 years after Jesus’ death, Peter wrote his first letter, addressing it to his brothers in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, areas that now make up central, northern, and western Turkey. (1 Peter 1:1) Jews, some of whom may have become Christians at Pentecost 33 C.E., were no doubt included among those to whom Peter wrote. (Acts 2:1, 7-9) Many were Gentiles who were undergoing fiery trials at the hands of opposers. (1 Peter 1:6, 7; 2:12, 19, 20; 3:13-17; 4:12-14) So Peter wrote to these brothers to encourage them. His aim was to help them receive “the end of [their] faith, the salvation of [their] souls.” Thus, in his parting admonition, he urged: “Take your stand against [the Devil], solid in the faith.”—1 Peter 1:9; 5:8-10.

    Later, Peter wrote a second letter to these Christians. (2 Peter 3:1) Why? Because an even greater threat existed. Immoral individuals would try to promote their defiling conduct among believers and would mislead some! (2 Peter 2:1-3) Moreover, Peter warned of ridiculers. He had written in his first letter that “the end of all things has drawn close,” and now some were apparently scoffing at such an idea. (1 Peter 4:7; 2 Peter 3:3, 4)
     
  17. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    Let me get this straight.&nbsp; You think that when Peter said that God was "patient with you because He does not desire any to be destroyed" he was intimating that God is sitting around waiting patiently for people to repent that He knows aren't going to repent?&nbsp; Who is this god that you so readily apply human, finite characterizations to? :scratch: God knows who is going to come to repentance.&nbsp; In fact, He knew before He created them.&nbsp; In fact, He knew because He created them for that purpose.&nbsp; God is not sitting around waiting patiently for people who aren't going to repent and that's not what Peter was telling the people.&nbsp; Peter was telling the people that the apparent delay of divine judgment is a sign of God's forbearance and mercy toward the believers in their midsts who have been confused and misled by the false teachers.&nbsp; As much as you seem ready to overlook it, you must note the scope of "all" is qualified by the the word "us."&nbsp; The repentance in view, for the sake of which God delays judgment, is that of God's people rather than the world at large.&nbsp; God is not willing that any of His elect should perish.

    Take a look at John 6:39:

    This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of ALL HE HAS GIVEN ME I SHOULD LOSE NOTHING, but should raise it up at the last day.

    Hmmm...is Jesus saying everyone, or is He saying all that the Father has given Him?&nbsp; Hmmm...why make a distinction on who will be raised up at the last day if it's going to be everyone?&nbsp; Wait a minute?!!!&nbsp; How is it that God's children come to Jesus'?&nbsp; Strange...I don't see anything about the man that wills.&nbsp; In fact, I don't see anything said there about man at all, except that he is given.&nbsp; They come to Jesus because the Father gives them to Jesus, not because they, of their own free will&nbsp;"choose" to come to Jesus.&nbsp; Maybe God seeks the counsel of man before giving him to the Son.&nbsp; Let's see what the Word says:

    Ephesians 1:11,12
    In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being&nbsp;PREDESTINED according to the purpose of Him who works all things ACCORDING TO THE COUNSEL OF HIS WILL,<SUP> </SUP>that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

    Before anyone misinterprets, "we who first trusted in Christ" is not a timeframe reference to God's intervention.&nbsp; It is in reference to believing Jews of Paul's day.&nbsp; In other words, those believers God had appointed unto salvation first.

    Let's look further:

    Romans 11:34
    "For who has known the mind of the LORD?
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Or who has become His counselor?"

    Now, again, before someone misinterprets scripture let me clarify two verses before the above passage:

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

    All DOES NOT mean everyone.&nbsp; Obviously the Lord does not have mercy on everyone.&nbsp; "All" is a reference to mercy being granted to Jew and Gentile alike, not that every Jew and every Gentile will be saved, which we know is an obvious fallacy.

    I advise you to put a little more emphasis on God's sovereign, immutable plan of redemption wherein He promises that He will bring His predestined children to salvation exactly as He promised and will not lose anyone that He has purposed to save.

    God bless.

    &nbsp;
     
  18. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    +19
    Jehovahs Witness
    To understand the matter of foreknowledge and foreordination as relating to God, certain factors necessarily must be recognized.

    First, God’s ability to foreknow and foreordain is clearly stated in the Bible. God himself sets forth as proof of his Godship this ability to foreknow and foreordain events of salvation and deliverance, as well as acts of judgment and punishment, and then to bring such events to fulfillment. His chosen people are witnesses of these facts. (Isa 44:6-9; 48:3-8) Such divine foreknowledge and foreordination form the basis for all true prophecy. (Isa 42:9; Jer 50:45; Am 3:7, 8) God challenges the nations opposing his people to furnish proof of the godship they claim for their mighty ones and their idol-gods, calling on them to do so by foretelling similar acts of salvation or judgment and then bringing them to pass. Their impotence in this respect demonstrates their idols to be ‘mere wind and unreality.’—Isa 41:1-10, 21-29; 43:9-15; 45:20, 21.

    A second factor to be considered is the free moral agency of God’s intelligent creatures. The Scriptures show that God extends to such creatures the privilege and responsibility of free choice, of exercising free moral agency (De 30:19, 20; Jos 24:15), thereby making them accountable for their acts. (Ge 2:16, 17; 3:11-19; Ro 14:10-12; Heb 4:13) They are thus not mere automatons, or robots. Man could not truly have been created in “God’s image” if he were not a free moral agent. (Ge 1:26, 27) Logically, there should be no conflict between God’s foreknowledge (as well as his foreordaining) and the free moral agency of his intelligent creatures.

    A third factor that must be considered, one sometimes overlooked, is that of God’s moral standards and qualities, including his justice, honesty, impartiality, love, mercy, and kindness. Any understanding of God’s use of the powers of foreknowledge and foreordination must therefore harmonize with not only some of these factors but with all of them. Clearly, whatever God foreknows must inevitably come to pass, so that God is able to call “things that are not as though they were.”—Ro 4:17.

    The question then arises: Is his exercise of foreknowledge infinite, without limit? Does he foresee and foreknow all future actions of all his creatures, spirit and human? And does he foreordain such actions or even predestinate what shall be the final destiny of all his creatures, even doing so before they have come into existence?

    Or, is God’s exercise of foreknowledge selective and discretionary, so that whatever he chooses to foresee and foreknow, he does, but what he does not choose to foresee or foreknow, he does not? And, instead of preceding their existence, does God’s determination of his creatures’ eternal destiny await his judgment of their course of life and of their proved attitude under test? The answers to these questions must necessarily come from the Scriptures themselves and the information they provide concerning God’s actions and dealings with his creatures, including what has been revealed through his Son, Christ Jesus. 1Co 2:16.

    The view that God’s exercise of his foreknowledge is infinite and that he does foreordain the course and destiny of all individuals is clearly not scriptural. Its advocates including apparently yourself reason that God’s divinity and perfection require that he be omniscient (all-knowing), not only respecting the past and present but also regarding the future. According to this concept, for him not to foreknow all matters in their minutest detail would evidence imperfection. Examples such as the case of Isaac’s twin sons, Esau and Jacob, are presented as evidence of God’s foreordaining creatures before their birth (Ro 9:10-13); and texts such as Ephesians 1:4, 5 are cited as evidence that God foreknew and foreordained the future of all his creatures even before the start of creation.

    To be correct, this view would, of course, have to harmonize with all the factors previously mentioned, including the Scriptural presentation of God’s qualities, standards, and purposes, as well as his righteous ways in dealing with his creatures. (Re 15:3, 4) We may properly consider, then, the implications of such a predestinarian view.

    This concept would mean that, prior to creating angels or man, God exercised his powers of foreknowledge and foresaw and foreknew all that would result from such creation, including the rebellion of one of his spirit sons, the subsequent rebellion of the first human pair in Eden (Ge 3:1-6; Joh 8:44), and all the bad consequences of such rebellion down to and beyond this present day. This would necessarily mean that all the wickedness that history has recorded (the crime and immorality, oppression and resultant suffering, lying and hypocrisy, false worship and idolatry) once existed, before creation’s beginning, only in the mind of God, in the form of his foreknowledge of the future in all of its minutest details.

    If the Creator of mankind had indeed exercised his power to foreknow all that history has seen since man’s creation, then the full weight of all the wickedness thereafter resulting was deliberately set in motion by God when he spoke the words: “Let us make man.” (Ge 1:26) These facts bring into question the reasonableness and consistency of the predestinarian concept; particularly so, since the disciple James shows that disorder and other vile things do not originate from God’s heavenly presence but are “earthly, animal, demonic” in source. Jas 3:14-18.
     
  19. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    +19
    Jehovahs Witness
    CONTINUED:

    The argument that God’s not foreknowing all future events and circumstances in full detail would evidence imperfection on his part is, in reality, an arbitrary view of perfection. Perfection, correctly defined, does not demand such an absolute, all-embracing extension, inasmuch as the perfection of anything actually depends upon its measuring up completely to the standards of excellence set by one qualified to judge its merits. Ultimately, God’s own will and good pleasure, not human opinions or concepts, are the deciding factors as to whether anything is perfect. De 32:4; 2Sa 22:31; Isa 46:10.

    To illustrate this, God’s almightiness is undeniably perfect and is infinite in capacity. (1Ch 29:11, 12; Job 36:22; 37:23) Yet his perfection in strength does not require him to use his power to the full extent of his omnipotence in any or in all cases. Clearly he has not done so; if he had, not merely certain ancient cities and some nations would have been destroyed, but the earth and all in it would have been obliterated long ago by God’s executions of judgment, accompanied by mighty expressions of disapproval and wrath, as at the Flood and on other occasions. (Ge 6:5-8; 19:23-25, 29; compare Ex 9:13-16; Jer 30:23, 24.) God’s exercise of his might is therefore not simply an unleashing of limitless power but is constantly governed by his purpose and, where merited, tempered by his mercy. Ne 9:31; Ps 78:38, 39; Jer 30:11; La 3:22; Eze 20:17.

    Similarly, if, in certain respects, God chooses to exercise his infinite ability of foreknowledge in a selective way and to the degree that pleases him, then assuredly no human or angel can rightly say: “What are you doing?” (Job 9:12; Isa 45:9; Da 4:35) It is therefore not a question of ability, what God can foresee, foreknow, and foreordain, for “with God all things are possible.” (Mt 19:26) The question is what God sees fit to foresee, foreknow, and foreordain, for “everything that he delighted to do he has done.”—Ps 115:3.

    The alternative to predestinarianism, the selective or discretionary exercise of God’s powers of foreknowledge, would have to harmonize with God’s own righteous standards and be consistent with what he reveals of himself in his Word. In contrast with the theory of predestinarianism, a number of texts point to an examination by God of a situation then current and a decision made on the basis of such examination.

    And so, at Genesis 11:5-8 God is described as directing his attention earthward, surveying the situation at Babel, and, at that time, determining the action to be taken to break up the unrighteous project there. After wickedness developed at Sodom and Gomorrah, God advised Abraham of his decision to investigate (by means of his angels) to “see whether they act altogether according to the outcry over it that has come to me, and, if not, I can get to know it.” (Ge 18:20-22; 19:1) God spoke of ‘becoming acquainted with Abraham,’ and after Abraham went to the point of attempting to sacrifice Isaac, God said, “For now I do know that you are God-fearing in that you have not withheld your son, your only one, from me.”—Ge 18:19; 22:11, 12; compare Ne 9:7, 8; Ga 4:9.

    Selective foreknowledge means that God could choose not to foreknow indiscriminately all the future acts of his creatures. This would mean that, rather than all history from creation onward being a mere rerun of what had already been foreseen and foreordained, God could with all sincerity set before the first human pair the prospect of everlasting life in an earth free from wickedness. His instructions to his first human son and daughter to act as his perfect and sinless agents in filling the earth with their offspring and making it a paradise, as well as exercising control over the animal creation, could thus be expressed as the grant of a truly loving privilege and as his genuine desire toward them—not merely as the giving of a commission that, on their part, was foredoomed to failure. God’s arranging for a test by means of “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad” and his creation of “the tree of life” in the garden of Eden also would not be meaningless or cynical acts, made so by his foreknowing that the human pair would sin and never be able to eat of “the tree of life.”—Ge 1:28; 2:7-9, 15-17; 3:22-24.

    To offer something very desirable to another person on conditions known beforehand to be unreachable is recognized as both hypocritical and cruel. The prospect of everlasting life is presented in God’s Word as a goal for all persons, one possible to attain. After urging his listeners to ‘keep on asking and seeking’ good things from God, Jesus pointed out that a father does not give a stone or a serpent to his child that asks for bread or a fish. Showing his Father’s view of disappointing the legitimate hopes of a person, Jesus then said: “Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will your Father who is in the heavens give good things to those asking him?”—Mt 7:7-11.


    And so, the invitations and opportunities to receive benefits and everlasting blessings set before all men by God are bona fide. (Mt 21:22; Jas 1:5, 6) He can in all sincerity urge men to ‘turn back from transgression and keep living,’ as he did with the people of Israel. (Eze 18:23, 30-32; compare Jer 29:11, 12.) Logically, he could not do this if he foreknew that they were individually destined to die in wickedness. (Compare Ac 17:30, 31; 1Ti 2:3, 4.) As God told Israel: “Nor said I to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek me simply for nothing, you people.’ I am The LORD, speaking what is righteous, telling what is upright. . . . Turn to me and be saved, all you at the ends of the earth.”—Isa 45:19-22.

    In a similar vein, the apostle Peter writes: “God is not slow respecting his promise [of the coming day of reckoning], as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.” (2Pe 3:9) If God already foreknew and foreordained millenniums in advance precisely which individuals would receive eternal salvation and which individuals would receive eternal destruction, it may well be asked how meaningful such ‘patience’ of God could be and how genuine his desire could be that ‘all attain to repentance.’ The inspired apostle John wrote that “God is love,” and the apostle Paul states that love “hopes all things.” (1Jo 4:8; 1Co 13:4, 7) It is in harmony with this outstanding, divine quality that God should exercise a genuinely open, kindly attitude toward all persons, he being desirous of their gaining salvation, until they prove themselves unworthy, beyond hope. (Compare 2Pe 3:9; Heb 6:4-12.) So, the apostle Paul speaks of “the kindly quality of God [that] is trying to lead you to repentance.”—Ro 2:4-6.


    Finally if, by God’s foreknowledge, the opportunity to receive the benefits of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice were already irrevocably sealed off from some, possibly millions of individuals, even before they were born, so that such&nbsp;individuals could never prove worthy, it could not truly be said that the&nbsp;sacrifice was made available to all men. (2Co 5:14, 15; 1Ti 2:5, 6; Heb 2:9) The impartiality of God is clearly not just a figure of speech. “In every nation the man that fears [God] and works righteousness is acceptable to him.” (Ac 10:34, 35; De 10:17; Ro 2:11) The option is actually and genuinely available to all men “to seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us.” (Ac 17:26, 27)&nbsp;This is not an&nbsp;empty hope or hollow promise put forth, therefore, in the divine exhortation at the end of the book of Revelation makinfg the&nbsp;invitation: “Let anyone hearing say: ‘Come!’ And let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.”—Re 22:17.
     
  20. JM

    JM pre·des·ti·nar·i·an Supporter

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