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Please explain if no one is predestined

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by Old Lady, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    No. What leads you to think that everyone has identical hearts?
     
  2. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Gladly.

    Salvation begins with faith in Christ, that moment when a person understands who Jesus Christ is and what He did for them personally, and believes it. Another way to express saving faith is entrusting your soul to Jesus Christ for salvation.

    According to John 5:24 and 6:47, the gift of eternal life is possessed by all who believe. Since there are no verses that indicate any "probationary period" or delayed reception of the gift, that means the gift is given the moment one believes in Christ for salvation.

    According to John 10:28, on the basis of being given eternal life, that person shall never perish.

    I hope this helps clarify.
     
  3. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    I cannot “proof” from scripture lots of stuff like all people drink water and need sleep. Trust (having faith) seems to be natural. Scripture talks a lot about stop trusting in armies, your money, your nation, your personal good deeds, your gods, your walls, and so on. It also tells us to trust in God and someday every knee shall bow to him (seeking God’s help since nothing else is left to trust in). To suggest a mature responsible adult has no power to trust in something means he/she does not have any other God (food, sex, power, money, etc.), yet the scripture would suggest all mature responsible adults have their god or gods.
     
  4. Old Lady

    Old Lady ...yet not I, but the grace of God that is with me Supporter

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    The Bible has all answers. Trusting God doesn't happen until you are released from the power of Satan.
     
  5. Old Lady

    Old Lady ...yet not I, but the grace of God that is with me Supporter

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    You say that the heart generates faith. In that scenario, the hearts must be equal if the opportunity is equal.
     
  6. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    God gives faith to some, saving them, and leaves the rest to their just condemnation.
     
  7. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    I don't come to that conclusion. I'm not sure what is meant by "equal hearts". Does everyone have equal intellects?

    Because of Romans 1:19-20, no one has any excuse for not recognizing God as Creator and being thankful to Him.

    19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
    20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    There are some very intelligent scientists who strongly reject God's existence. So it's not a matter of IQ. It almost appears that those with lower IQ's are more likely to believe in God.

    Those who reject the existence of God generally have issues (biases) that lead to negative feelings toward God.

    Also, I didn't say that the heart "generates" faith. The action of believing isn't comparable to generating something.

    Believing is thinking. I don't consider thinking to be generating thoughts. I have thoughts. I don't generate them. Energy is generated from power plants.

    Some may consider thoughts to be generated, but I think more concretely. Thoughts are not literal entities. Thoughts are ideas expressed. They come and go. They can change. They can't be held in the hand. They are immaterial, as is the soul.

    Saving faith (believing in Jesus Christ) involves the idea (thoughts) that Jesus Christ IS the Son of God, He IS Deity, He DID die on the cross for mankind, and He gives eternal life to those who entrust their souls to Him for salvation.

    Anyone capable of understanding these facts is free to accept them as true, or reject them as false. It's not about ability. It's about motivation. Back to Rom 1, and v.21 - "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."

    So we see that those who reject the existence of God KNEW GOD. But they chose to not glorify Him or give thanks to Him. And then Paul lists the reasons.
     
  8. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Rom 10:10 tells us that we believe from the heart. So, which verse tells us that God causes our hearts to believe?

    Or, more generally, which verse tells us that regeneration precedes faith in Christ?
     
  9. BCsenior

    BCsenior Still an evangelist

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    Yes, this is the classic "election" scenario.

    There are countless NT verses which say that ...
    man is absolutely unable to believe in the gospel,
    which is utter "foolishness" to those who are perishing.
    They do not choose to see it as foolishness ...
    they just simply cannot help but see it as foolishness!

    However, it is just possible that God gives everyone a
    free-will choice/chance by putting up a temporary wall,
    blocking all hindrances ... while they are given a
    one-time(?) opportunity to repent and choose Jesus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  10. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Actually, there are no verses that say that man is unable to believe the gospel.

    Rather, Acts says, twice, that men refuse to believe the gospel, and Revelation says, thrice, that people refuse to repent.

    Now, in order to be able to refuse to do something, means that person is capable of doing something.

    It makes no sense whatsoever to claim to refuse to do something if the person is incapable of doing it.

    Every human being has the opportunity to understand and believe the gospel. It's not a one-time thing. Romans 1:19,20 indicates that because God has revealed Himself and His divine attributes to everyone, no one has any excuse for not glorifying Him and giving Him thanks.

    Speaking about "election", it is only about being chosen for service. There isn't any verse in the Bible regarding the word group for election that indicates that anyone is chosen without condition for salvation.

    However, the Bible is full of verses that specific the single condition for salvation, which is believing in Jesus Christ.
     
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  11. Butch5

    Butch5 Newbie Supporter

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    Their brain
     
  12. Marvin Knox

    Marvin Knox Senior Veteran

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    God is the author and finisher of our faith. It is a gift from God lest any man or woman should boast. Not everyone is given that gift. Only those given to the Son by the Father receive the is given the gift.

    When Peter confessed Jesus as Lord - the Lord said that flesh and blood did not reveal it to him but the Father in Heaven.

    No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. It is obvious from the scriptures that not everyone is given the Holy Spirit. People don't like the implications of that. Some here will try to refute this notion. But, when the dust settles, it will remain the simple scripture truth none the less.
     
  13. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Hi Marvin!

    1 Cor 1:21 tells us who God gives salvation. Those who believe. Faith is a noun. Our faith is what is believed. Yes, God has given us what to believe, for sure.

    But the Calvinist notion that God is the cause of our act of believing cannot be substantiated from Scripture.

    Man believes from his heart, not because God makes him believe. Rom 10:10.

    Yes, God does reveal. Otherwise, no one could know what God wants man to believe.

    But the Bible says twice in Acts that men "refused to believe" and 3 times in Revelation that men "refused to repent". So man IS free to believe or refuse.

    The Bible tells us clearly who is given the Holy Spirit.
    2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?
    5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?

    The clear truth is that God created humanity with an intellect with which to understand what God has revealed about Himself and what He wants humanity to know. Rom 1;19-20.

    With this intellect, some believe what God has revealed and others have refused to believe.

    Not difficult at all.

    What is not found in Scripture is that God chooses who will believe, which is the foundation for the Calvinist (and erroneous) doctrine of election.
     
  14. Marvin Knox

    Marvin Knox Senior Veteran

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    [Staff edit].

    Of course men believe from their hearts. God opens their hearts.

    “One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying.” Acts 16:14

    “And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 16:17

    God gives some men new hearts through which they believe. No “Calvinist” teaches that God “makes men believe”, as you charge. Nor do I.
    Of course men are free to believe or refuse (relatively free of course). No one has said otherwise.

    But the fact from scripture is that men do not and cannot believe without God’s special grace in opening their heart (giving them a new heart).
    Receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit and being sealed for eternity by Him is received because of faith.

    No one has said otherwise.

    Faith is exercised by those with new hearts.
    Of course. That’s why humanity is without excuse. They are condemned because they will not believe.
    Yes it is. No one can come to the Son unless drawn by the Father. God draws them by opening the hearts of certain people and not others.
    Not at all.:)

    I've limited time for this thread.

    I'm sure we both know what the other will say by now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2019
  15. straykat

    straykat Well-Known Member

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    One can believe in predestination, and one's own humility at the same. We can simply acknowledge the basic truth and move on. It's not God's providence that should be in question, but man who should be in question of ever truly figuring this out (similar to the details of the Trinity, for example. It's beyond us). God is only known through revelation, and his revelation in scripture has only shown predestination to be implicitly true. He didn't give us an explicit, systematic viewpoint of it or how it works with the human will.

    Calvin was an arrogant rationalist who held his intellect in highest regard (high enough to try to "dissect" God), no different than other scholastic theologians whom he criticized - such as Aquinas on the Roman side. Like all of them, he believed this was within the bounds of his fallen human intellect. But fortunately for Aquinas, he apparently was blessed enough to have a vision that crushed his ego to the very day he died. "I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw." I wish the same had happened to Calvin, because his followers take his views as holy writ.
     
  16. Concord1968

    Concord1968 LCMS Lutheran

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    Actually, poster Dave L is a Calvinist and he says just that. Come to think of it, a number of Calvinists on this forum have said that believers only believe because God has given them that belief. They have no choice in the matter.

    @Dave L am I correct in this Dave?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  17. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    [Staff edit].

    Is your view that opening the heart is tantamount to causing belief?

    But revealing truth in no way guarantees the result of believing the truth. Just ask any school teacher.

    Don't you see the issue? If God regenerates some, in order for them to believe, then certainly He is the cause of belief in those He has so chosen. No different than "making men believe".

    Reformed theology believes that regeneration is necessary in for a person to believe, and that the result of regeneration WILL BE belief.

    How is that different from God making men believe?

    I think you are missing the point. One is not really free to believe if God has to first regenerate them so they will believe. That should be obvious.

    Nope. Please share any verse that actually says that regeneration precedes faith in Christ.

    Then I will prove the opposite, from Scripture.

    Yes.

    I will wait for any verse that says that regeneration precedes believing. Unless the Bible says it, it is just an opinion, an assumption.

    Back to square 1. If one can only believe IF they have been regenerated by God, then they HAVE AN EXCUSE.

    At the Great White Throne Judgment, the unbeliever will have the legitimate defense that God didn't choose for him to believe, therefore he couldn't believe apart from that new heart that Calvin talked about.

    Of course man would have an excuse if Calvinism were true.

    But since man has no excuse, Calvinism cannot be true.

    Please read the very next verse, because it explains v.44.

    John 6:44-45
    44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
    45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.

    In v.45 we see that everyone will be "taught by God". Hm. Taught what, exactly? Well, Rom 1:19-20 tells us clearly.

    19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
    20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    This is what God has taught all men. His eternal power and divine nature. Everyone has SEEN THEM.

    So, what happens when the students aren't paying any attention?

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
    22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
    23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals or reptiles.

    As a result of being so taught, they have no excuse for not glorifying Him as God nor giving thanks to Him for being God.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2019
  18. Marvin Knox

    Marvin Knox Senior Veteran

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    Anti Calvinists often charge that God "makes" people choose this or that. But that is not what Calvinists teach or believe.

    Giving one an ability to believe and making one believe are not the same thing.

    You said :
    That is not true.

    People make their own choice to believe out of the ability they possess.

    Their new inclination may be to do right - just as their old inclination was to do wrong. But that does not speak to "forcing" anyone to do right or wrong.
     
  19. Concord1968

    Concord1968 LCMS Lutheran

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    I said nothing of anti-Calvinists. So obviously you didn't read my post.
     
  20. Marvin Knox

    Marvin Knox Senior Veteran

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    NO.
    Jesus clearly told us that all those given to the Son by the Father are drawn to the Son by the Father and that they will come to the Son. Jesus said it was guaranteed and I believe what Jesus said.
    Men are created in the image of God and are able to make intelligent choices. God does not take that ability away simply by giving them a nature which however strongly tends toward making the right choice.

    God leads men by His Spirit in many ways to do various things. But that is not to say that He "makes" men do certain things.
    Adam (or anyone else) was free to choose right or free to choose wrong.

    God gave Adam the ability to sin. But He did not "make" Adam sin.

    By the way - Calvinist routinely say that, for the natural man, "freedom to believe" is only relative. You should read some Luther on that. You probably have.

    Anti Calvinist often make charges about "robots" and "computers" or "make" or "force" when speaking about these things. They should make sure that they say that , as they are able see things, Calvinist beliefs "amount to these things". But in order for these charge not to be straw men that must be stipulated and it is usually not.
    1st - please define what you believe "regeneration" means concisely and in what context you are using it.
    Marvin said: Receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit and being sealed for eternity by Him is received because of faith.
    Do you believe that Calvinists teach that the Holy Spirit opening of the heart of a man or woman is the same as permanently indwelling and sealing them? If so you are wrong.
    See my request above. Define regeneration concisely. Are you assuming that either Calvinists or I think that permanent indwelling and sealing by the Holy Spirit are done before believing? If so you are wrong about that.
    Men are without excuse for their sin as we are clearly told. You seem to think that God is somehow to be faulted or that it is not fair of God that man was placed under a curse after the fall and that the wrath of God is being revealed in this present age through the abandonment of sinners to more sin - including the sin of unbelief. You need to revisit the first part of Romans on that.

    All men receive sufficient illumination of truth so that they are without excuse.

    God's giving some men more illumination (as He did for a sinner like Paul on the road to Damascus and a sinner like me on my bed in Sandy, Oregon) isn't unfair as you charge.

    It is simply why we call it amazing grace. Apparently you think that all children of wrath and enemies of God are deserving of such special grace. You are wrong about that.

    I would have thought that you'd have this salvation by grace part down by now.:)

    As I alluded to earlier - I'll have to limit the time I will give to my replies to long posts like yours.

    Yours will likely be the last word here.

    But I will say that you need to say more clearly that "it seems to me that Calvinist beliefs amount to" rather than simply say what they are. You, like so many others here, misrepresent their beliefs.

    God knows you misunderstand mine.

     
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