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Featured God's choice above ours: Concerning Heaven

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Mark Quayle, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    To me, everything I have found out about God seems very specific --even the things we want to consider as general, such as his attention to all things, his omnipresence, perhaps even his love, his choice of a whole nation (as opposed) to individuals within that nation (or so it may seem, at first), his application of individuals as members of the Body of Christ, or Bride of Christ-- all these in further study turn out to be VERY specific.

    He has certain of us that he calls the Elect, upon whom he has placed unmerited favor, for his own purposes --this we know-- but we should know more than that, if we have the desire to understand more. He has told us that those he has chosen he will not lose. As I have studied I have become convinced, not just by plain logic but by many passages in Scripture (and by the whole of Scripture), that God has no backup plan, and that he has names written down in his Book, of the people that he will indeed bring to completion as members of his bride. (Yet, even then he has a name for each of us that is only between him and that individual.)


    I was for a while a cabinet maker. My preferred wood for cabinet fronts was birch, or if the customer could afford it, something more beautiful, but always something that was not boring. I would try to find pieces that, whether gnarly or straight, with grain and color that would blend or match the pieces that they would meet, so that the whole job was pleasing to the eye, and congruous.

    But suppose for a moment: If I was capable of growing my own trees and had the intimate knowledge of each molecule within them to design them --even damage them if it pleased me to do so-- in order to produce exactly each stick of wood I wanted, and could perfectly dress and finish them, and apply them to my masterpiece, and in this way to build my entire house, why would I not do so? And why would I not want to show off this beautiful place?

    Even more to the point, if there was someone who was so beloved to me that I wanted her to live in my house with me, would I not be consumingly motivated to build it?

    I have become convinced that the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21 is indeed not just dressed as a bride, but is The Bride of Christ --us, the Elect. The only thing that gives me pause about it is not that it doesn't fit our brains well, but that it isn't standard evangelical doctrine, and, well, also that it is something I came up with and so can't trust entirely. (I am pretty sure that anything we can conceive of concerning eternity and God is barely a bump on the log.) The place he is building is us, the Bride of Christ. (Again, I admit I could be wrong. But whatever the case is, the things that brought me to this conclusion remain true --that he is VERY specific in doing to us and in us as he pleases, for his own very good reasons.)

    So here's where I'm going in this thread: Not only is it very satisfying to see that God is doing something very precise and perfect, and something beyond our understanding, and that he is doing it for his own sake, and that he is doing it for us, and in us, but that it is ONLY us he is doing this in --not saying he isn't specific concerning his use of every individual, even the lost-- that is to say, he has no replacements for any of those he has chosen. There is no pool of possibles that he chooses, from --no, he has made each of us for exactly what he has in mind for us.

    AND HE WILL COMPLETE WHAT HE HAS BEGUN
     
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  2. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    So what kept God from doing this for all people?
    If a rescuer could just as easily and safely safe everyone, but knowingly only saved a few, what would you think of such a rescuer?
     
  3. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We can count on it that the Creator would not create for the purpose of being unjust. It is logically self-defeating for First Cause to make some for the purpose of destruction alone. He will be precise and thorough in his justice. If they do not deserve unjust punishment, you can well believe they will not receive it. The judge of all the earth will do what is right. If he made some to be destroyed, it is to display his power and purity and justice and glory. "To make known his wrath and his power", in the words of Scripture (see Romans 9:22).

    This is not a tame God. He built this for himself.
     
  4. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    God is perfectly just (treat everyone equally in the things that really matter) and perfectly gracious (Loving everyone with a Godly type Love).

    It would not be, just, fair or Loving to judge one person guilty without providing them with the same needed stuff that allows another person to be found innocent of the same crime.

    You bring up Ro. 9 which needs the full context to understand:

    Paul uses two teaching methods throughout Romans even secular philosophy classes will use Romans as the best example of these methods. Paul does an excellent job of building one premise on the previous premises to develop his final conclusions. Paul uses an ancient form of rhetoric known as diatribe (imaginary debate) asking questions and most of the time giving a strong “By no means” and then goes on to explain “why not”. Paul’s method goes beyond just a general diatribe and follows closely to the diatribes used in the individual laments in the Psalms and throughout the Old Testament, which the Jewish Christians would have known extensively. These “questions or comments” are given by an “imaginary” student making it more a dialog with the readers (students) and not just a “sermon”.

    The main topic repeated extensively in Romans is the division in the Christian house churches in Rome between the Jews and Gentile Christians. You can just look up how many times Jews and gentiles are referred to see this as a huge issue.



    The main question (a diatribe question) in Romans 9 Paul addresses is God being fair or just Rms. 9: 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!



    This will take some explaining, since just prior in Romans 9, Paul went over some history of God’s dealings with the Israelites that sounds very “unjust” like “loving Jacob and hating Esau” before they were born, but remember in all of Paul’s diatribes he begins before, just after or before and just after with strong support for the wrong answer (this makes it more of a debate and giving the opposition the first shot as done in all diatribes).



    Who in Rome would be having a “problem” with God choosing to work with Isaac and Jacob instead of Ishmael and Esau? Would the Jewish Christian have a problem with this or would it be the Gentile Christians?



    If God treaded you as privileged and special would you have a problem or would you have a problem if you were treated seemingly as common and others were treated with honor for no apparent reason?



    This is the issue and Paul will explain over the rest of Romans 9-11.



    Paul is specific with the issue Rms. 9: 19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?”



    The Jews were created in a special honorable position that would bring forth the Messiah and everyone else was common in comparison (the Gentiles).



    How do we know Paul is specifically addressing the Jew/Gentile issue? Rms. 9: 30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.



    Paul is showing from the position of being made “common” vessels by God the Gentiles had an advantage over the born Israelites (vessels of honor) that had the Law, since the Law became a stumbling stone to them. They both needed faith to rely on God’s Love to forgive them.



    Without going into the details of Romans 9-11 we conclude with this diatribe question: Romans 11: 11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!



    The common vessels (gentiles) and the vessels of honor (Jews) are equal individually in what is really significant when it comes to salvation, so God is not being unjust or unfair with either group.



    If there is still a question about who is being addressed in this section of Rms. 9-11, Paul tells us: Rms. 11: 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.

    Rm 9: 22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?

    This verse is not saying all the “vessels” created for a “common purpose” were created for destruction (they were not made from the start by the Potter “clay pigeons”). Everything that leaves the potter’s shop is of great quality. Those vessels for destruction can come from either the common group or the honor group, but God is being patient with them that will eventually be destroyed. The vessels God does develop great wrath against, will be readied for destruction, but how did they become worthy of destruction since they left the potter’s shop with his mark on them? Any vessel (honorable or common) that becomes damaged is not worthy of the potters signature and He would want it destroyed.

    To understand this as Common vessels and special vessels look at the same idea using the same Greek words of Paul in 2 Tim 2: 20. There Paul even points out the common can become the honored vessel.

    That is a short explanation, since you really need to study all of Romans especially chapters 9, 10 and 11. Also please look at individual laments in the Psalms and diatribes in general, I really cut those short.

    So, God “built” something selfishly for Himself?

    Starting with God is Love (the epitome of Love), which means God is totally unselfish and is not doing stuff for His own sake, but is doing everything for the sake of man which is also God’s desire and might be referred to as His sake.

    God would be doing or allowing everything to help humans who are just willing to accept His help to fulfill their earthly objective.

    So, God allows evil to happen to help humans, but God also allowed Christ to go to the cross to help humans.

    There is really nothing you (a created being) can “do” to help the Creator, but you can allow of your own free will God to help you, which is God’s desire, since God is a huge giver of gifts.

    Man’s objective is found in the God given Mission statement of: Loving God (and secondly Loving others) with all your heart, soul, mind and energy. In order to fulfill that mission man must first obtain Godly type Love which will make man like God Himself in that man will Love like God Loves. Would becoming like God Himself not be the greatest gift we could get?

    The objective is not to never ever sin, but to obtain this Godly type Love is the first of man’s objective.

    There are just something even an all-powerful Creator cannot do (there are things impossible to do), the big inability for us is to be created with instinctive (programmed) Godly type Love, since Godly type Love is not instinctive. Godly type love has to be the result of a free will decision by the being, to make it the person’s Love apart from God. In other words: If the Love was in a human from the human’s creation it would be a robotic type love and not a Godly type Love. Also if God “forces” this Love on a person (Kind a like a shotgun wedding with God holding the shotgun) it would not be “loving” on God’s part and the love forced on the person would not be Godly type love. This Love has to be the result of a free will moral choice with real likely alternatives (for humans those alternatives include the perceived pleasures of sin for a season.)



    This Love is way beyond anything humans could develop, obtain, learn, earn, pay back or ever deserve, so it must be the result of a gift that is accepted or rejected (a free will choice).

    This “Love” is much more than just an emotional feeling; it is God Himself (God is Love). If you see this Love you see God.

    All mature adults do stuff that hurts others (this is called sin) these transgressions weigh on them burden them to the point the individual seeks relief (at least early on before they allow their hearts to be hardened). Lots of “alternatives” can be tried for relief, but the only true relief comes from God with forgiveness (this forgiveness is pure charity [grace/mercy/Love]). The correct humble acceptance of this Forgiveness (Charity) automatically will result in Love (we are taught by Jesus (Luke 7: 36-50) and our own experience “…he that is forgiven much will Love much…”). Sin is thus made hugely significant, so there will be an unbelievable huge debt to be forgiven of and thus result in an unbelievable huge “Love” (Godly type Love).

    In order to be forgiven of sin you must first sin, so sin is necessary but not desired.

    This messed up world is actually the very best place for willing mature adult individuals to see, receive, give, experience, accept and know Godly type Love. All these tragedies provide opportunities for Love, but that does not mean we go around causing opportunities, since we are to be ceasing these opportunities (there are plenty of opportunities) to show/experience Love.

    You do not have to believe the Adam and Eve story is true to get lots of good messages from it. Most people go through a time in which they ask: “How could a Loving God allow such a thing”, which means “why does God not start us all out in a Garden type situation without, needy people, limited resources, death, and questions about His existence?”

    What we can do is thank Adam and Eve for showing us and them that what we might consider the ideal situation is a lousy situation for man to fulfill his earthly objective. Adam and Eve as our very best all human representatives did not fulfill the objective while sinless in the Garden and really could not. The situation after sinning outside the Garden did provide a way to fulfill the objective.

    I and it seems other have to have opportunities at our doorstep to respond with Love, if I would just cease the opportunities at some distance there might be few opportunities (tragedies) needed for me, so if you want to blame someone for all these tragedies blame me for not ceasing more earlier.

    Hell does nothing for the people going to hell, but that was their choice since they kept refusing to accept God’s help (forgiveness, Love, grace, mercy, charity) to the point they will never humbly accept. Hell does help some willing individuals to not put off their acceptance of God’s help.
     
  5. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is your definition of love, and I would agree when it is applied to humans, but when it is God, our definitions no longer work. He is not like us. An old reformer said something to the effect that God does not love because love is a good thing to do or be. Love is what it is, because God is love.

    The same can be seen with such things as "pride" and "jealousy". No, bling. God indeed does what he does for his own sake. (I am not saying he doesn't also do it for the sake of those he has chosen, but the individual believer is not of the same caliber as God himself.)


    Fwiw, none are innocent. Nor, for that matter, are our crimes quite the same, since our hearts aren't. Fair would be we all should die, and pay eternally for our infinite crimes, but God has provided a way out for those he chose. He did not ask anyone who that would be. He did not look to foresee, and through foresight make his decision, but forecaused our repentance and faith. He did not give everyone equal chance"
    I am not unfamiliar with Romans and the type of teaching
    I'm having a bit of trouble understanding you here, I hope, because if I understand you right, you are trying to make God fit your definitions. He doesn't work that way. He decides with or to or in whom he will do what he will do, and he doesn't need our definitions to be true in doing so.


    How is that logical? WHY must it be the result of a gift that is accepted or rejected (a free will choice). I do not deny it is accepted or rejected, but can you show me how we, of our own free will, can do anything, were it not for God? No, bling. God changes us, gives us the gift of faith, makes us receptacles of his Grace. And yes, our will is entirely involved, but it is Him, not us, that makes it happen.
     
  6. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Jesus defines Godly type Love in everything he said and did, so who did Jesus not Love and where did he show lacking Love?

    If you know Jesus you know God.


    God is proud of Christ and jealous over all of us, but how does that decrease His Love?
    There does come a time in every hell bound individual, when God has done all he can do to help them fulfill their earthly objective, yet they will never and there is nothing more God can do for them. These individuals take on a lessor objective of help others to fulfill their objective, which means they can be examples of what you do not want to become and what you do not want to happen to you. God uses them like He uses satan.


    No, God has provided a way out for everyone, since all are invited. Where does it say: God only provides a way for some unwilling few?

    What you describe is the issue: “He did not give everyone equal chance”? Some might never have the opportunity to fulfill their earthly objective, like new born or the mentally handicapped, but they will still go to heaven to be cared for like Lazarus.

    God fits being just like Christ in the things that matter, if God himself came to earth?


    I did not say: “Godly type Love is logical”, because it is not “logical” to Love someone without ever getting any positive results from it. Godly type Love has to be the result of a free will choice, since it cannot come about any other way. If it was implanted in you (instinctive to you) it would be robotic type love and if God forced it on you it would be like a shotgun wedding with God holding the shotgun and that would not transfer the Love to us nor would it be Loving on God’s part. Jesus explained how we can get it: “…He who is forgiven much Loves much…”. If you believe and accept God’s forgiveness of a huge unbelievable debt created by your sins, you will automatically receive an unbelievable huge Love (Godly type Love).

    I never said: God does not help. God is doing or allows everything possible to help all those who can still possibly accept His help, this everything includes: Christ going to the cross, satan roaming the earth, death, hell, tragedies of all kinds, and even allows us to sin.
     
  7. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Really? He is just a rescuer? The "drowning" in your parallel have no consciousness they are drowning. In fact, you propose throwing out a lifeline, not to drowning, but to already drowned. DEAD. No, they need born again.

    Can you support this human philosophy from Scripture? "God has done all he can???"
    "provided a way", meaning what? Is the offer given to all --yes. Is the offer valid in every instance --yes; but they will reject it. Is the offer received --no. Why not?

    Did Christ die "for" all? In a sense, yes --but were everyone's sins paid for? No. Are you saying Christ paid everyone's sins, yet somehow they end up paying for their sins after all?
    Huh? Christ IS God. Where did I even reference this?
    I didn't say you said...... I give up. You change what I say into something completely else.

    I want to know why FREE WILL CHOICE is the only way Godly type Love can be, in a human. I reject that completely, if FREE WILL CHOICE means God is "hands-off" in the human's choosing. --To the contrary, Godly type Love by or in a human, can ONLY be if God is doing it in them.


    Finally, you keep talking about fulfilling one's earthly objective, or otherwise apparently having a different earthly purpose from their heavenly purpose. This life is not for this life.
     
  8. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    I asked you a question about rescuers, but you did not answer?

    I did not say “drowning” they can all be passed out on the floor in a slow burning house.

    Does your understanding of God’s Love and power allow God to just as easily and safely rebirth everyone as just a few?
    God is the epitome of Love and such great Love would do everything possible to help others.

    God appears to be heavily involved in all humans to the point of knowing the hairs on their head.

    God takes better care of us than birds.

    God allowed His only son to be tortured, humiliated and murdered for totally undeserving me, something no one else would do, so what more could He do?

    I read scripture and study what is happening yesterday and today, thus seeing how everything works to help those who are just willing to accept God’s help in fulfilling their earthly objective. I just do not see how God could do more.
    This gets again into the huge topic of atonement.

    This particular issue includes Christ’s teaching in Matt. 18 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

    22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

    23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

    26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

    28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

    29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

    30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

    32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

    35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

    This is a tuff unexplainable parable for Calvinist teachers (never heard them explain it). It is the follow-up answer to the unstated follow-up question (How can I keep from being taken advantage of by my brother?).

    Did the king (representing God) do his part perfectly: providing unconditional undeserving 100% forgiveness to the wicked servant?

    The bigger question is: Did the wicked servant humbly accept the pure charity of the king as pure charity, because it does not say that and in fact his request was for more time to pay it back (which he would know was totally impossible)? Did he leave the king thinking he talked the master out of paying him back at this time?

    If forgiveness like Love is a transaction and not just one-sided than the master forgave, but the fact the servant did not accept the forgiving as pure charity, forgiveness itself did not take place. The reason we know forgiveness did not take place is because the wicked servant did not leave with a huge Love and we know “…he who is forgiven much Loves much…” and this servant did not show any Love toward the king’s other servants. Also, at the end the servant still had the debt to pay in full, so it had not been forgiven.

    Christ emphasis: “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

    Did God forgive all those involved in torturing, humiliating and murdering Christ, since Christ asked Him to? I would say God, of course, did His part in forgiving like the king in the parable, but not everyone at the cross accepted God’s forgiveness as pure charity, so forgiveness did not take place for them.

    God is wanting, willing and does forgive everyone, like the king in the parable, but not everyone is willing to humble accept His forgiveness as it was given (as pure charity) so forgiveness does not take place until we accept His forgiveness as charity.

    In this parable there is nothing about someone paying the debt owed and obviously if the king forgave the debt 100% there was nothing to be paid (the king does not pay Himself)?

    If God forgives your sins 100% and you accept that forgiveness, why is there something to be paid? Where in scripture does it use such logic?

    Does Christ going to the cross help some to humbly accept God’s 100% forgiveness as pure undeserved charity?

    There is a ransom payment being offered, but who is the undeserving kidnapper accepting or rejecting the payment?

    You can actually take any Biblical command and say: “This is man’s objective and have Biblical support for that conclusion (the Bible says this is what we are to do!) I think you would agree: all these command are subordinate to the commands: “Love God (and secondly others) with all your heart, soul, mind, and energy.” The first issue with fulfilling that command is the fact: we (including Adam and Eve) do not start out with such an all consuming Godly type Love, so how do we obtain such a love?

    There are just something even an all-powerful Creator cannot do (there are things impossible to do), like God cannot make another Christ since Christ is not a created being. The big inability for us is to be created with instinctive (programmed) Godly type Love, since Godly type Love is not instinctive. Godly type love has to be the result of a free will decision by the being, to make it the person’s Love apart from God. In other words: If the Love was in a human from the human’s creation it would be a robotic type love and not a Godly type Love. Also if God “forces” this Love on a person (Kind a like a shotgun wedding with God holding the shotgun) it would not be “loving” on God’s part and the love forced on the person would not be Godly type love. This Love has to be the result of a free will moral choice with real likely alternatives (for humans those alternatives include the perceived pleasures of sin for a season.)

    This Love is way beyond anything humans could develop, obtain, learn, earn, pay back or ever deserve, so it must be the result of a gift that is accepted or rejected (a free will choice).

    This “Love” is much more than just an emotional feeling; it is God Himself (God is Love). If you see this Love you see God.

    All mature adults do stuff that hurts others (this is called sin) these transgressions weigh on them burden them to the point the individual seeks relief (at least early on before they allow their hearts to be hardened). Lots of “alternatives” can be tried for relief, but the only true relief comes from God with forgiveness (this forgiveness is pure charity [grace/mercy/Love]). The correct humble acceptance of this Forgiveness (Charity) automatically will result in Love (we are taught by Jesus (Luke 7: 36-50) and our own experience “…he that is forgiven much will Love much…”). Sin is thus made hugely significant, so there will be an unbelievable huge debt to be forgiven of and thus result in an unbelievable huge “Love” (Godly type Love).

    We are not making some honorable choice to accept God’s forgiveness, since sin burdens us and we just want undeserved relief from our pain and burden.

    In order to be forgiven of sin you must first sin, so sin is necessary, but not desired.

    This messed up world is actually the very best place for willing mature adult individuals to see, receive, give, experience, accept and know Godly type Love. All these tragedies provide opportunities for Love, but that does not mean we go around causing opportunities, since we are to be ceasing these opportunities (there are plenty of opportunities) to show/experience Love.
     
  9. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The most important question we can in order to answer this is; why did God create the universe and those who live in it?

    The short answer is; He created all for his glory. And apart from sin we cannot know God. Sin reveals his glorious mercy. Also his justice and wrath. But it also reveals his unconditional love when he absorbs his own wrath in the the place of those whom he hates on the cross. Not because of a speck of good in them. But because he IS love. And does what only love can do in the situation......
     
  10. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    Blessings to you brother Mark in Christ Jesus. May God bless us and lead us both to the full understanding of His Word. God’s calling is to everyone, not only to His elect, hence “for many are called but few are chosen”. When you read the parable surrounding the context of that statement you will see that many were called to the wedding feast but this man was rejected because of his attire. He was not dressed appropriately to enter even despite his being invited to participate.

    You said that the scriptures say that those God has chosen He will not lose. I suspect this is a paraphrase of John 6:37-39?

    “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”
    ‭‭John‬ ‭6:37-39‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    A few things that we should consider in these verses. The word comes or cometh used in verse 37 is translated from the Greek word érchomai which is only used in the present and imperfect tense meaning that those who are presently and continuously coming to Christ, He will certainly not cast out. So this doesn’t mean that all who ever came to Him will not be cast out. In John 15:2 and John 15:6 Jesus says

    “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

    The Greek word translated to “takes away” means to cut off or remove anything that is attached to something.

    If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.”
    ‭‭John‬ ‭15:2, 6‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    By these two verses we can see that branches who are in Christ will be cut off for not bearing fruit and branches who do not remain in Christ are cast away to wither then cast into the fire to be burned. This is evidence that not all who come to Christ will not be cast out.

    Now in John 6:39 Jesus says it is the will of The Father that He should lose none. The Greek word translated to “will” does not always mean something that God has declared to be so but can also mean something that God desires. 1 Timothy 2:4 also uses the same word but in the verb form.

    “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
    ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    I’m sure your not a universalist so I’m confident that you can see that while God may desire for all to be saved that doesn’t necessarily mean they will and the same goes for all whom come to Christ. The Father’s desire is to lose none.

    God’s election is based on His foreknowledge of who would abide in Christ and endure to the end.

    “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”
    ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:1-2‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    Peter also taught that all are welcome to God and that He does not show partiality.

    “Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.”
    ‭‭Acts‬ ‭10:34-35‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    Paul also taught the same.

    “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:4-11‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    Im at work and can’t continue right now brother. I hope you will consider these implications. Have a very blessed day.
     
  11. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Your question presumed a false scenario. God is no suddenly alerted bystander.
     
  12. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Of course, if he planned to do so. He did not plan to do so. And he has the right to do as he pleases with his creation, without any hint of wrongdoing or unfairness. We are all guilty, until he has mercy on whomever he chooses to have mercy.
     
  13. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Paraphrase? I suppose so, of that reference, and several others.
     
  14. 1Reformedman

    1Reformedman Active Member

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    I wouldn't be so arrogant as to think I have the right to judge what God does according to the whole counsel of his will. God isn't obligated to save anyone. If God saves just one person he has been merciful and gracious to that one who didn't deserve it. If he saves one million and the rest perish He's been merciful to that one million when none of them deserved it.
     
  15. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I began, as I have done in other responses, to quote you one paragraph or so at a time, but unlike before, each time the page only began with the last quote.

    So I will try to deal with the whole thing the best I can, amidst interruptions and dinner.

    First, thank you for your kind words.

    I follow what you are saying, concerning "comes" or "cometh". These are like the example you provided of the man rejected from the wedding feast. It is also like the word, "called", some here use to mean the non-elect are called just as the elect are. But there is a difference: the way one is called is effectual, the other is not, the way one comes is through Christ, the other does not; there are those who "accept" Christ, quite apart from regeneration, expecting the supposed mechanics of their concept of the gospel to be enacted, but there are others whom God chooses who are regenerated by the Spirit within, made receptacles of the Gospel, being made one with Christ --these are the redeemed, the elect, dressed in the righteousness of Christ, called for a particular purpose.

    For the sake of time, I will not supply specific rebuttals concerning each reference you give. I hope that you can see that much of what you reference here can be taken to describe these self-willed "believers", who are not regenerated, not given salvific faith.

    The words, "in me", in John 15 may seem to mean only one thing, and I suppose you could rightfully go with that, but it could just as easily mean those who attend to the precepts of Christianity --perhaps even those who reap some of the benefits and powers that are results of such submission or compliance (perhaps Hebrews 6:4,5 can refer to this?)-- as it does to the elect. God knows there are plenty of us fooling ourselves.

    ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:4, the desire that all be saved can rationally be taken to mean many things --not simply the desire that God always turns into accomplishment. Exactly how can a human define the word, "wants", when it applies to the Omnipotent Creator? (A note: this is a huge subject within the Doctrine of God, concerning the Doctrine of Sin, and concerning his love for his creation, that mostly goes un-dealt with in Christian circles. God feels many things for which he delays (from our pov) action. Only one thing hurts God --sin-- and he is the one who planned for it --so how does his desire apply there?)

    I agree, but not with your conclusion, that God calls everyone, in a sense, and that he chooses some that he rejects, but these are not elect. Meanwhile, once again, the elect he does call, and those he chooses in that sense, he will not lose.

    “Besides this there is a special call which, for the most part, God bestows on believers only, when by the internal illumination of the Spirit he causes the word preached to take deep root in their hearts. Sometimes, however, he communicates it also to those whom he enlightens only for a time, and whom afterwards, in just punishment for their ingratitude, he abandons and smites with greater blindness (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Kindle Edition, Location 18132).

    But then, you say, "God’s election is based on His foreknowledge of who would abide in Christ and endure to the end." (You don't mention there by what means, by the way, the elect abide in Christ and endure to the end.) Your words there seem to me to be your logical conclusion drawn from whatever use you make of scriptures and precepts when applied to your assumptions.

    One may assume that since the Bible mentions decisions and choices, and integrity of decision and steadfastness and so on, that it assumes free will. But that is not entirely logical. Many many places the Bible mentions the character and acts of a person have been taken by immediate reference to mean the decisions produce the supposed results mentioned. My mother's favorite was probably John 3:16, since it gives in 18 a nice rhetorical balance: If one does not believe, he is condemned because he does not believe. So, if one believes, he is saved --"well, ok, it is only implied that it is because he believes, but it fits"-- , and because it also says "whosoever" and because it never mentions regeneration as a logical precursor to belief in that passage. The fact the one not believing is condemned already must not fit the rhetorical balance, (must not have an implied parallel for the one believing).

    I don't know if I said it in my post --but for the time inventor, God-- it makes sense that he foreknows because he forecauses. What's more, the Biblical sense of "know" can be a lot more intimate, (and no, not only as in sex) than our usual English use of it. 1 Peter 1:2 in some versions makes it sound like foreknowledge accompanies the choosing, others say the election is "through" the foreknowledge. Either way still admits to the fact that God's foreknowledge is not merely what we envision as humans. God is not like us.

    The Open Theists love to think that God is subject to the unknown, since the future hasn't happened yet. You seem to me to think the other way around, but on the same assumption that God is subject to the future --not the director, the controller, (or as I like to think of it, the creator) of the future.

    I don't make much of the human power of choice, as I don't care to glorify man, but I do admit to it --in fact, quite happily so-- since it is subject to God's action. In fact, it is hardly worth mentioning if God is not the strength and essence of it. Again, without him we can do nothing.
     
  16. 1Reformedman

    1Reformedman Active Member

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    You stated, in pertinent part:
    "[t]here are those who "accept" Christ, quite apart from regeneration, expecting the supposed mechanics of their concept of the gospel to be enacted, but there are others whom God chooses who are regenerated by the Spirit within, made receptacles of the Gospel, being made one with Christ --these are the redeemed, the elect, dressed in the righteousness of Christ, called for a particular purpose.

    Sorry, no one "accepts" Jesus Christ apart from regeneration and the reason that is biblically accurate is because a lost one cannot ever please God so it destroys the idea that one can accept Jesus apart from first having been regenerated. All who come to believe and RECEIVE (not accept)Christ have been born again. God chose who he was going to save. He did that choosing in heaven before the foundation of the world began and he did that choosing one way and one way only: He did so according to the whole counsel of his will, not the will of man.
     
  17. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Agreed. That is why I put "accepts" in quotes. It is a made-up concept, by which man [thinks he] retains his self-determination. The setting of the natural man against God is amazing --and stupid. Yet, God is patient, as even some of those who think that way DO indeed belong in the Body of Christ, are regenerated, and don't even know how it happened. I count myself among them, or rather, as having been among them, but thank God he let me see my sinfulness and inability to even live for him, apart from him. How much more patient and loving and tender can he have been??!!! I don't understand how he can put up with such self-importance on the part of his creation!

    He absolutely owes us NOTHING.
     
  18. 1Reformedman

    1Reformedman Active Member

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    Absolutely. It is 100% true God commands people to obey, but its also 100% true it is ONLY He who supplies all the grace that is absolutely needed in order for one to be able to do so. God commanding obedience (what we ought to do, an indicative) does not mean a person can do this apart from His grace. God must set the lost one free (not a freed-will, per se) from the innate love of sin and the accompanying natural hostility to God if they have any hope of moving toward Him. Left to ourselves, we, as a fallen creature, are too proud to let go of our self-complacency and self-righteousness and so never will nor can we rightly understand our woeful, guilty, and lost condition, unless God grants it. I so pray more will see the richness of God's love, mercy, and justice in his choosing us and not looking to us as the deciding factor in His blessing his children with his undeserved free gift of salvation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  19. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    The rescuer I described did a terrible thing by not rescuing everyone when he could just as easily and safely done it and you like all of us would think he was horrible and we would have nothing to do with such a beast.

    So, is the reason you do not answer, because it does fit your description of God and if it does not how doesn’t it?
     
  20. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    God limits His own “rights” by saying “He is not misleading”, He is “Love” and presents the definition of “Love” in all that Christ did and said. He is totally “just” and defines unjust and just in scripture and with Christ. He is merciful, charitable, kind, gracious, patient, jealous over us, and has wrath toward those who continue to refuse His help to the point they will never change.

    I see all God’s actions as being merciful, fair and just, but you seem to be saying God does not show mercy on some people?

    It is not “just” to be only merciful to some and not all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
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