U/C Unconditional election vs. Conditional election

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Slave2SinNoMore

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I found a good essay about this:

Predestination and Eternal Security
The once-saved-always-saved issue is a hot topic of debate in today’s church. On one side, people can make a profession of faith and then have a false sense of security even though they have no relationship with Jesus Christ at all. On the Calvinist side, people have the attitude that if God wants it done, He will do it or make me do it. I once counseled a man who was trying to justify his pornography habit. He stated that he didn't think that he was accountable for his addiction. If God wanted him to change, God would change him. Until that time, he was free to sin at every urge that God permitted to tempt him. I have also heard many people say that God will send people to the church if He wants them to be saved. All we have to do is look around to see if this is true. The churches that thrive outside their four walls are reaching people and are on fire when they come together each week. Churches that only minister to themselves and those 'God sends' have little impact on the culture around them and are often cold inside the walls of the church. Jesus taught that we are to go into the highways and hedges to find those who will come. Go out into the all world. Mark 16:15 says the great commission is to go out and reach the world, not wait for God to send the world to us. A church hiding behind the walls is in disobedience and by default, limits God’s blessing that He longs to invest in them. Numbers does not indicate spiritual maturity. I know large churches that are cold as ice and small ministries that are on fire and impacting the world for Christ.



Calvinism

The most popular doctrine of predestination is Calvinism. Calvinism takes its name from John Calvin who wrote 5 points

Total Depravity of Man – all are born sinners

Unconditional Election – God has already chosen who will go to Heaven and Hell

Limited Atonement – Jesus died only to redeem those who were pre-chosen

Irresistible Grace – Man is saved by the will of God without choice

Perseverance of the Saints – Those predestined cannot be lost



I will state up front that I do not believe in Calvinism. One proof against it is its fruit. Jesus said that we would know teaching by the fruit. Generally speaking, Calvinist churches are only reaching people who are already believers. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but as a whole, evangelism is not a part of this movement. The believers they reach become like-minded and if they were outreach minded, they abandon the idea. I was once under a pastor who was a Calvinist. We built a church in a heavily populated unchurched community and it was an ideal location. The members present when the church was built were the same members present 8 years later. I have a friend who still attends. They are the same today as they were 20 years ago. Where is the fruit? Where are the changed lives, the spiritual growth and the disciples who should now be disciplers? The whole purpose of the church is to reach the lost, then equip and encourage people for their personal ministries. True discipleship produces more discipleship. In other words, I should be equipping people to become teachers, preachers and ministers who will go out and reproduce themselves. A minister is anyone who is following God's call and doing what He has equipped them to do. Each person should grow to the point where they are not dependent on someone teaching them. We still are commanded to come together, but growth is limited if we are only growing in church.



God’s Foreknowledge

Look at the passage most Calvinist’s use:

Romans 8

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.



What is the focus of this passage? It is to conform to the image of Christ. We are predestined to conform to His image. This passage tells us that every Christian is included in this destiny God has ordained. However, we don’t see every Christian conforming to Christ. Under the Calvinist viewpoint, this would be a false statement in my opinion. Who didn’t God foreknow? Even the unbeliever was foreknown. God foretold of the sinners who would try and crucify Jesus. God foreknew the wicked kings of Israel. God foreknew the wicked kings that would defeat Israel in judgment. God foreknew the wicked people that would inhabit the Promised Land sworn to Abraham. If you look back to the promise, God said that the people would be taken captive for 400 years and would inherit the land once the sins of the people God would judge was complete. In other words, God foreknew the people and what choice they would make. In Revelation, God foreknew the wicked leaders and the people who would reject and accept Him during the Great Tribulation and He gave a glimpse in His prophecy.



What this passage in Romans is telling us is that God has planned our lives before hand. He has given us everything we need to conform to the image of Jesus Christ. Look at Psalm 139:

16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand

God knew me before I existed and He fashioned me in the womb to fit perfectly in the plan He has for my life. He has also laid out His plan for my life and given me everything I need to finish this life complete and stand before Him in victory when this life is over. Therefore, there is no excuse for a Christian failing to become what God intended. If we fall short of the promise, it is because we have refused God’s ways and have instead followed our ways. Predestination does not nullify free will. If there is no free will, there can’t be love. I can’t obey nor disobey if I have no choice. I can program my computer to say, “I love you” every time it boots up. What pleasure would that give me? Why would God program us to be forced to love Him? It is not love if there is not a choice to not love God. We are predestined to conform to His image – which we were originally created to reflect – but we have a choice to conform to the world instead.


Keep the context in focus

It is always important to keep the whole revelation of God’s word in focus. Scripture enlightens scripture. Every error finds its roots in the fact that one passage is given greater weight than other scriptures. When someone zeros in on a passage and ignores passages that are contradictory to their conclusion, error is the result. It is not the passage that is in contradiction, but the conclusion being drawn when a passage is taken out of context of the rest of scripture. I believe the Calvinist debate falls into this trap. If you only look at the passages that use the word ‘predestined’, then you can easily draw the conclusion of Calvinism. However, when you examine these passages in light of the entire Bible, a complete picture begins to emerge. Anytime someone has to explain away passages that disagree, they are on dangerous ground. Instead, we should look at the whole picture and see where this passage fits in light of the rest of scripture. Calvinism has to get past passages that point to freewill. Predestination and freewill are not in conflict if sound biblical interpretation is applied. These passages compliment each other to give us a complete picture.



(more in next post)
 
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Slave2SinNoMore

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Eternal Security

The second part of the of this study will examine the question of eternal security. I was raised to believe ‘once-saved-always-saved’, but a few years back I began to question this doctrine. I read well articulated arguments against it and I began to lean toward the possibility that salvation is volatile. Over the last two years I have studied and returned to my roots, but with a different perspective. I believe the bible is clear on this topic if you look at the entire revelation of scripture.



Can we call salvation eternal life if it is only a temporary state that we must hold on to? Even more so, can we call it grace if it is dependent on us? The first principle of salvation that the apostle Paul hammered down is that salvation is not by works, but by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ. It is not based on works that we do to earn grace, nor is it what we do to keep grace. Grace is grace, before and after we are born into God’s kingdom. God doesn’t change the rules once we are saved. Even our faith has been measured to us so that we could believe if we want a relationship with God. Romans 12 explains:

3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.



The only time ‘I’ comes into the picture is when I choose not to love God. My spirit longs for God and only my will to love the world over God can prevent my relationship with Him. I was created to love God. Ecclesiastes tells us that God placed eternity in our hearts. By design, my spirit desires eternity, but by choice I can choose the world over God. So contrary to common opinion, my efforts don’t come into play unless I reject God. Yielding to the Holy Spirit’s conviction is a surrender, only resisting is an effort of work. Therefore, works are not a part of the picture unless I am working against God’s Spirit. I have nothing to boast of, God has done it all. God created me to love Him, He placed eternity within me, and He gave me enough faith to believe on Jesus Christ. Salvation is effortless. Rejection is the effort. If I had to chose to maintain my salvation, then the effort would be mine and then there would be something to boast about. Ephesians 2 says:

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.



If remaining saved was my effort, then this passage would be voided. If I can boast that I maintain my salvation, then where is grace? Some argue that we are saved by grace but maintain through works or some type of effort, but this is contrary to the word of God.



Keeping the Law?

Philippians 1:6 tells us that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it. After salvation, nothing changes. It is grace that saves us, grace that works within us, and grace that leads us home. People who depend on works may not call it ‘the law’, but those who say certain efforts must be made to maintain salvation are actually teaching that our righteousness comes from the law – or keeping certain rules to please God. Even in the Old Testament, the saints were not saved by the law. They were saved by faith in God’s provision of salvation – which is Jesus Christ. The Old Testament saints kept the law given to them out of faith in what God would one day reveal in Jesus Christ. The law pointed to the cross. Now Jesus has been revealed and He is their Redeemer as well as ours. It has never been the faith in the law that justified the saints. The true believers had faith in God and their faith was evident by keeping the law. They didn’t trust in their works, but in God. This is no different today. If someone says they are saved by grace and then maintained by rules, they nullify the work of Christ. Look at Galatians 2 and 5:

2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

21 "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."



Galatians 5

4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.



We are warned not to turn from grace and to the law or we have fallen from grace. In other words, we are not walking in the grace of God, but are walking according to our own righteousness – which God does not acknowledge. My righteousness means nothing to God. In fact, God said in Isaiah 64:6 that my works of righteousness are filthy rags in God’s sight. In Isaiah 61:10, we are told that we become righteous because God covers us with the robe of His righteousness. This agrees with 2 Corinthians 5:21

21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

We are not righteous, we inherit God’s righteousness. What can we do to become as righteous as God? Nothing. When we try, we end up as rags described in Isaiah 64:6.



Always saved?

The problem with the ‘always saved’ doctrine is that many people who think they are saved really are not. This is what led me back to the doctrine of eternal security. Every time we see people abandoning the faith in scripture, we are told that they were not believers. 1 John 2 addresses this. In verse 19, John says,

“they went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us”.



When a Christian falls away, God draws them back. We live in a deceptive world. However, we have the promise that those who are His will hear his voice. People are deceived for two reasons. One is ignorance, the other is choice. When someone is deceived because they did not know the truth, they will hear God’s call when the truth is taught. When someone chooses the lie over the truth, they will not return unless they recognize the worthlessness of their choice. Many people make professions of faith out of a desire for gain. They want to escape hell. They want to inherit heaven. They want to unload the guilt they are carrying. When someone unloads a heavy burden, they can feel an emotional high and will be excited about church. But when the emotions fade, if they have not truly surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ, they begin to drift away because they are not truly His. Salvation has many promises, but ultimately the choice of grace is a desire for God. There must be a choice of laying down our life and surrendering to Christ. Most people in the church want Jesus to be their Savior, but not Lord. These people have not really surrendered. The evidence is that they will be drawn by the world and they will follow their master. Their allegiance has always been in the world and they will eventually return to their allegiance. Sometimes they remain in the church, but they also remain very worldly.



Evidence for Salvation

The evidence of salvation is found in 1 John 2:

3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.



This is where the law and grace divide the sheep from the goats. Those who try to justify themselves, will have the never ending burden of trying to measure up to God’s standard. Frustration, insecurity and bitterness are constant struggles. We can’t measure up to this standard demanded by the law. How can I walk like Christ? How can I conform to His image? Humanly speaking, this is impossible. Those who try to maintain this standard are walking outside of grace and will never have the peace of a loving relationship with God. Even their good deeds are sin in God’s eyes. Good deeds with selfish motives are not good deeds. Trying to make myself righteous is not only selfish, but it is rooted in pride. God said I can’t make myself righteous. If I think I can override God’s word, then by default, I am sinful in my motives.



However, the person who loves God will conform to Christ because that is what he or she desires. I am not pursuing my works, I am pursuing my relationship with God. He then shapes me into His own image and gives me the grace to walk as He walks. The only effort on my part is keeping myself unspotted from the world. I draw near to Christ and a hunger to be like Him is born. I begin to thirst for His word and grow in maturity. It all boils down to desire. If I desire the world but want heaven, I have missed what makes heaven what it is. Heaven is not a vacation resort in the sky. Heaven is an eternal kingdom centered around a loving relationship with God. People who want heaven but not a relationship with God, don’t really want heaven. A relationship with God requires that I die to myself and live for Him. Look at Hebrews 12

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

29 For our God is a consuming fire.



Many want a kingdom made to suit them. However, the true believer rejoices in the promise of a kingdom centered around God and find pleasure in serving Him. If I resent serving God now when I have a choice, why would I desire a place where my only option is to serve God? Works are the evidence that I have truly made a transfer of citizenship. I serve God now because I love God and I am honored to be used in building His kingdom. Someone who does not love God and has no pleasure in serving God should examine their lives to see if they truly belong to Him. Those who fall from the faith have lost faith in their god, not our God. They may call their god the God of the Bible, but they have made Him into their image instead of conforming to His image. They may believe in Jesus, but they have never surrendered to Him. Someone who belongs to God will not turn away without a longing to return again. I have heard people say, “If someone was a Christian and becomes an atheist, do they lose their salvation?” Look at 1 John 3

9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.



Can a child of God turn from the faith? No, not according to the scripture. Someone religious can. Someone who calls themselves a Christian can. But someone who has the Holy Spirit living within them cannot abandon the faith – at least not for long. People can get discouraged and quit, but the Spirit within them will burden them until they come home. Look now at 2 Timothy 2

11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.

12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.



They key to this passage is ‘if we died with Him’. Those who abandon the faith have never died to self. The questionable portion is verse 12, ‘He will also deny us’. There are two possibilities here. One is to ask what He is denying from us? Is it salvation? I don’t believe it is because scripture follows by saying that He remains faithful to the faithless who have died with Him. Remember Peter denied Jesus 3 times and was restored and became the rock of the church. I personally believe verse 12 is a ‘side bar’ comment. If we deny Him by refusing to make Him Lord, He will deny us when we call Him Lord. If we compare scripture to scripture we see another piece to this mystery in Matthew 7:

21 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'

23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'



They called Him ‘Lord’, but denied Jesus of His rightful place as Lord. When they stood before Him, He denied them as His own. In spite of their works, they were called ‘you who practice lawlessness’ and were judged as unbelievers.



When we look at the entire revelation of scripture, we see security is a promise. When we lose faith, He remains faithful. However, He will not allow us to go back to being as someone unredeemed because His seed, the Holy Spirit remains within us. Yes, I do believe in eternal security. The real question is ‘who are the redeemed?’ The evidence of salvation is that we are conforming to the image of Christ. The evidence that we don’t belong to Him is that we depart. In the middle are those whose hearts are in the world, but practice religion without a heart for God. Those are the lukewarm who feel secure, but God stated that He will spew them out of His mouth. The prodigal will depart from the church, but his or her heart belongs to God and they will return. So in the end, only God knows where a person is spiritually. From the outside, we cannot judge someone’s salvation. We can judge their actions and words, but ultimately only God knows the heart. We can only examine our own lives and judge ourselves by the truth of scripture. Each of us must surrender or choose the world. The two cannot be married.



Eddie Snipes

Exchanged Life Outreach

http://www.exchangedlife.com
 
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Ben johnson

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It is not love if there is not a choice to not love God. We are predestined to conform to His image - which we were originally created to reflect - but we have a choice to conform to the world instead.
Very good...

When someone zeros in on a passage and ignores passages that are contradictory to their conclusion, error is the result. Calvinism has to get past passages that point to freewill. Predestination and freewill are not in conflict if sound biblical interpretation is applied. These passages compliment each other to give us a complete picture.
Excellent...

If remaining saved was my effort, then this passage would be voided. If I can boast that I maintain my salvation, then where is grace?
Good...

Philippians 1:6 tells us that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it. After salvation, nothing changes. It is grace that saves us, grace that works within us, and grace that leads us home.
Very close. It IS grace that saves us, but not grace ALONE. It is grace, through faith. The question remains, does THIS faith come from God, or from us?

The true believers had faith in God and their faith was evident by keeping the law.
Very good...

We are warned not to turn from grace and to the law or we have fallen from grace. In other words, we are not walking in the grace of God, but are walking according to our own righteousness - which God does not acknowledge. We are not righteous, we inherit God's righteousness. What can we do to become as righteous as God? Nothing. When we try, we end up as rags described in Isaiah 64:6.
Excellent...

In 1Jn2:19, "they went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us".
This was addressed to specific "antichrists among you", Gnostics and unbelievers. It is a single incident. It does not stretch to mean, "ALL that go out from you were never OF you". Please consider the possibility that John was addressing, "some that go out FROM you, who WERE OF you" in 2:1:8-9…

There must be a choice of laying down our life and surrendering to Christ. Most people in the church want Jesus to be their Savior, but not Lord.
Beyond excellent---AWESOME...

However, the person who loves God will conform to Christ because that is what he or she desires. I am not pursuing my works, I am pursuing my relationship with God. He then shapes me into His own image and gives me the grace to walk as He walks. The only effort on my part is keeping myself unspotted from the world. I draw near to Christ and a hunger to be like Him is born. I begin to thirst for His word and grow in maturity. It all boils down to desire. If I desire the world but want heaven, I have missed what makes heaven what it is. Heaven is not a vacation resort in the sky. Heaven is an eternal kingdom centered around a loving relationship with God. People who want heaven but not a relationship with God, don't really want heaven. A relationship with God requires that I die to myself and live for Him...
Perfectly stated. Best I have ever read... (Only one word I would change---but that at the end of this post)

Those who fall from the faith have lost faith in their god, not our God. They may call their god the God of the Bible, but they have made Him into their image instead of conforming to His image.
This begins to become shaky. THEIR God is the same as OUR God---if their faith is the same kind as ours (2Pet1:1). The words, "FAITH", and "BELIEF", are interchangeable in the Scripture. And the term, "Receive Jesus". And "Born Again". If they believe, if they have faith, if they are born again, if they surrender, then they are saved right along with us...

Can a child of God turn from the faith? No, not according to the scripture. Someone religious can. Someone who calls themselves a Christian can.
I respectfully disagree. Eph4:30 says, "Do not GRIEVE the Holy Spirit, by whom you were sealed FOR ("unto", not "until") the day of redemption". It seems, in my learning, that one who IS "filled with the Holy Spirit", certainly CAN "grieve Him".

They key to this passage is 'if we died with Him'. Those who abandon the faith have never died to self. The questionable portion is verse 12, 'He will also deny us'. There are two possibilities here. One is to ask what He is denying from us? Is it salvation? I don't believe it is because scripture follows by saying that He remains faithful to the faithless who have died with Him.
You seem to contradict yourself. First you say that "we walk not in our own righteousness, but in God's". You affirm that "we walk by faith (not by sight)" (2Cor5:7), and then you turn and say that "it is possible to be FAITHLESSLY-SAVED. I think, in context, the passage presents a "THESIS/ANTI-THESIS". The thesis being, "If we died with Him, we shall live; if we endure, we shall reign". And then, the anti-thesis: "BUT if we deny Him He will deny us, and we will NOT reign" (see Matt10:32-33); and, if we ARE faithless, we will perish---and even though we perish, yet HE remains faithful." How can we reign with Him if we are faithless??? We cannot. HIS gift is irrevocable (Rm11:29), because He is ETERNALLY FAITHFUL (Heb13:5); but an irrevocable gift can still be rejected, which does not negate the faithfulness of the giver…

(I also believe those in Matt7, were never saved…)

When we look at the entire revelation of scripture, we see security is a promise.
It IS a promise. BUT---is it not a CONDITIONAL promise? Consider: "Although you were formerly alienated and hostile… yet He has now reconciled you …through death, in order to present you holy and blameless and beyond reproach---IF INDEED YOU CONTINUE in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and NOT BE MOVED AWAY from the HOPE of the gospel…" What (or who) is THE HOPE OF THE GOSPEL? It is JESUS! 1Tim1:1 This (Col1:22-23) is only one of MANY passages that presents our salvation as being VERY conditional…

The theme behind your very excellent post, is that salvation is IN CHRIST. Which is the sole thing for which I have been contending all along. You believe that "those who are not NOW "in Christ", were NEVER "in Christ". I do not believe this is supported Scripturally. Please go back one page in this thread, page 16, and post #152. I do not see how it is possible to paint the "again entangled" of 2Pet2:20-22, as "never-saved". The description of their "position-in-Christ" is word-for-word of the description of US-SAVED in 2Pet chapter 1. They are "TRULY-ESCAPED-by-the-CORRECT-KNOWLEDGE-of-the-LORD-&-SAVIOR-JESUS". How can those same words mean "TRUE-SAVED" in chapter 1, and "NEVER-REALLY-SAVED" in chapter 2?

You said the word, "RELATIONSHIP", several times in regard to our perspective towards God. I submit, the word describing our salvation, is "FELLOWSHIP" (this is the "one word I would change"). If He is our LORD, if we have DIED with Him, then our perspective is much deeper than "relationship". "The eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us (JESUS!), what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness we lie and the truth is not in us". 1Jn1

In your post, you expose yourself to be a believer in "LORDSHIP SALVATION". You and I share the exact same, VERY Scriptural, belief. "If you confess Jesus as LORD, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved". If He is our LORD, then we are in fellowship with Him. Identically the same. There is NO "faithlessness" allowed here---either we are "IN HIM", or we are NOT. If He is LORD, we are NOT FAITHLESS. If we are faithless, HE IS NOT OUR LORD.

The only question remains, "If Jesus IS someone's LORD, can something happen to make them FORSAKE salvation?" And the answer must be taken from Scripture. We have seen the example in 2Pet of those who are called by the SAME EXACT WORDS as we-the-saved, but they "are deceived", they are "again entangled in the defilements of the world and overcome".

We read of "brethren, if any of YOU" in Jms5:19 really, really, falling-from-salvation.

We read the admonishment in Heb10, of one who WAS sanctified by Jesus' blood, but has "trampled underfoot the Son of God", and now "continues sinning willfully". He further admonishes us to "not throw away our confidence" (which is JESUS, vs10:19, EXACTLY as Col1:23 does!), and encourages us as "those who do not shrink back to destruction".

James, clearly writing to believers, says: "Blessed is he who perseveres under trial; for once he has passed, he will receive the crown of life… Let no one say 'I am tempted of God'; …but each is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death". How can this be clearer? He-who-perseveres and passes the tests, receives the crown of life; but he who gives in to his lust and temptation, DIES.

Paul seems to be addressing REAL BELIEVERS in 1Tim4:1. Hebrews' writer too in 3:12-14.

Earlier, you said: When someone zeros in on a passage and ignores passages that are contradictory to their conclusion…
These passages are contradictory to "unconditional eternal security". In the previous thread, I asked to "change-tack"---for this reason. Either we are "OSAS"---and there are contradictions, or we are "OSNAS" and there are no contradictions…

You see, it is the very NATURE of our SALVATION that DEMANDS our freedom-to-fall. As you eloquently said, "God wants us to LOVE Him; which He cannot DEMAND". So, it is not by WORKS that we stay saved, it is not by CLINGING TO SALVATION that we remain so---no, it is most basic---we remain saved by remaining in HIM! BY faith/belief/abiding-in-Him.

"KEEP YOURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus to eternal life…" We are "eternally secure in Him"---on the condition of IN-HIM… (Jude1:21)

Salvation is LORDSHIP---IN CHRIST. And if we abide/persevere/endure IN HIM, we remain saved. If we do NOT, then we remain not…

:)
 
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mjwhite

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Dear Slavenomore,
He said:
I accept your apology.


Thanks.

He said:
>What is your Biblical backing for this? The context in which this verse resides doesn’t support this view.

quote:
In my post 103, I answered you. Hereit is:
I Timothy 2:4
"Who desires all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth".

Again, you rip the verse out on context and assign your own meaning to it.. Paul is not making a statement of what God wills for every single human that ever lived.

quote:
Many have gone and died and went to hell already. Does God now will them to be saved?
God willed/desired them to be saved before they died. They chose not to be saved.


My reply.

How could they choose to be saved? By strict obedience to the law? By never sinning, or by not treating others as they would want to be treated? No human outside of God in the flesh Jesus Christ has been able to do that.

They didn’t have the gospel. They didn’t have any promises from God. They weren’t part of God’s chosen people. Just how do you propose they could’ve chosen to be saved? Not everyone grows up in America hearing the gospel. Billions grow up in China and India where the gospel is barely reaching a few of these communities. Your position doesn’t seem to me to be grounded in reality.


Slavenomore said:
quote:
If God willed that Judas be saved why did He write the Scripture that Judas [as the son of perdition] must be lost? See John 17:13.


>I don’t see what John 17:13 has to do with anything. It says:
“And now I am coming to you. I have told them many things while I was with them so they would be filled with my joy.


me.
I put the wrong reference down.

quote:
And while you are in John 17, read the prayer in context. Read how Jesus is NOT praying for the world in general [and specifically says that], but rather is only praying for believers. John 17:6-21.


>That’s right…in that prayer, Jesus is praying for those who currently believe in him and those who will later. He specifically says “I am not praying for the world”. But he is not saying “I have never prayed for the world, and I never will again”. He is saying “This prayer is for those who believe in me”. And why was this prayer just for those who believe in him? Because he is asking God to strengthen them and protect them and take care of them. It’s like when a Father prays specifically for the Lord to protect his own children. He knows them and loves them, and that’s why he asks God specifically to protect them. Does that mean that man doesn’t want God to protect other people’s children, also? No, not at all.


You are missing the big picture. For your position to be false, I only need show ONE person where God didn’t desire his salvation. The Scripture that was fulfilled was written before Judas was born. The Scripture must be fulfilled therefore Judas must be lost. [John 17:12]

Likewise, in these verses, Jesus is thanking the Father that He has lost none of those that have been given to Him. Many more then were not given to Jesus. How does God desire their salvation? Unless they were given to Jesus, they couldn’t be His. Without being His, they can’t enter heaven. Does Jesus pray for ALL of these others? No, only on those who might believe later. These also will be given to Jesus.

Jesus is the highest form of revelation of God to the world. Jesus is the express image of God and that does not mean in looks, but in personage. Therefore if Jesus prays not for some, it is because they are not and never will be God’s. Matthew 11 tells us that salvation is through the God’s choice of revealing the Son and hence the God. 1st Cor. 2 tells us that this revelation is by the Spirit as God chooses.. Jesus tells us in John 6 that all that God draws will be saved, and in John 10 that not all are of the Great Shepherd’s flock. That ONLY those of His flock will hear His voice and follow Him.

Slavenomore.
Also, it specifically says that God desires for all men to be saved. Does God change? The word tells us he does not, so that must mean that from beginning of time, God desires that all men will be saved, and that even to this day God desires that all men will be saved.
quote:
The question is: Does the ALL in 1Tim 2:4 mean everybody who ever will live or not.


>The answer is “Yes”. That’s what it says, and that’s what it means.



Me.
That is a circular question. We are debating the meaning of the word ‘all’. You want to interp that as meaning every person who ever lives, and I disagree. From before the creation of the world, God knew that millions would go to hell and NOT be saved, yet God made the world anyhow, knowing these would be damned. So how is it He could desire their salvation?




















You
quote:
If God wants all people who ever lived to be saved then why does He:
Reveal this truth to some and not others? Mat 13, Mat 11, ICor 2 among other verses.


>Jesus was not hiding truth from sincere seekers, because those who were receptive to spiritual truth understood the illustrations. To others they were only stories without meaning. This allowed Jesus to give spiritual food to those who hungered for it while preventing his enemies from trapping him sooner than they might otherwise have done.


me.
So you admit that Jesus was hiding the truth from some. How can they be saved without the truth?

Why are some people sincere seekers and others not receptive to spiritual truth? Could it be that some are drawn to God and others are not? [John 6:44] Hmmm.

Could it be that the Spirit only opens the eyes of some and not others? [1Cor 2:10-14]


You.
[/I]We are responsible to use well what we have. When people reject Jesus, their hardness of heart drives away or renders useless even the little understanding they had. [/I]

me.
Two things.
1st. Not everyone in hell has even heard of Jesus much less rejected Him. Everyone is God’s enemy and has a hard heart towards Him until the Spirit softens it up. One cannot boast that hey got saved and someone else went to Hell because their heart was softer and the other’s harder. It may be true, but they cannot boast in it BECAUSE God softened their heart, not themselves. If God wanted the other’s softer, He would have softened it as well. If a softer heart towards God was needed to be saved and God declined to soften that heart, it can hardly be said that God desired that person’s salvation.

2nd. Salvation is not about being responsible. We need salvation because we are irresponsible subjects of a holy God. Even after we are saved, we are irresponsible and purposefully sin. If being responsible was then a criteria for getting saved, those in heaven could boast over those in Hell. And why, but because they were more responsible than those hell people. We are to boast only in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. And not because we could boast in other things but choose not to, BUT because it is the only thing we truly CAN boast in! God saved us through the righteousness of Christ via the cross. He did not save us for these reasons which you and others have promoted:

He did not save us because…
We are more responsible.
We love sin less.
We are more spiritually receptive.
We are smarter.
We love God more.
Or any other reason outside of this:
HE SAVED US BECAUSE HE LOVES US AND SENT JESUS TO DIE FOR US.

Those he doesn’t save, well, He doesn’t love. Would you send your child to hell? Would you create a world where your loved ones went to Hell and before you made it, you knew they would? Either would God.





You.
quote:
If God wants all people who ever lived to be saved, then why does He not draw them ALL to Himself? John 6.


Are you referring to verse 44? If so, that verse says:

For people can’t come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them from the dead.

And it’s true. People won’t come to Jesus unless the Father draws them. That’s the witness of the Holy Spirit. But there are 2 things the passage does not say:

1)That the Father doesn’t attempt to draw everyone
2)That everyone the Father attempts to draw will come to Jesus


Me.
Again you fail to see the big picture. God chooses whom to reveal spiritual truth too. Matthew 11, 1Cor 2., Matthew 13. Not all are chosen. No where does it say that God attempts to draw every person who ever lived to Jesus. One, that is unrealistic. Many had already died and were in Hell. Many millions more would never even hear of Jesus must less would have an attempt to be drawn to Him. So since it is unrealistic to conclude that God actually will draw every one who lived or lives to Jesus, [your point one above], so then it is immaterial if He might fail in His attempt to draw them [your point two].

That He might fail is not scriptural anyhow.
Besides, what do you think this ‘drawing’ consists of? What makes you think that one has to cognitively agree, or disagree to it? And why couldn’t God actually draw anyone He wanted to Christ? Since some, as you seem to be saying, are beyond the power of God to draw them to Christ, what does that say about those who are drawn? Isn’t it saying that those drawn are in some way better, or more open to God? If so then the difference between heaven and hell is the spiritual receptivity of some over others. If so then those in heaven have reason to boast before God, because they could be drawn but the hell bounders were so much harder of heart. Phooey!
The difference between heaven and hell is God’s love. You are no better then a hell bound person except that God has saved you and has not saved them. Do you disagree?

You
In fact, a few verse down, in verse 51, is another verse that supports the idea that Christ was offered for everyone:

“I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live.”


Me.
You changed the word from ‘Anyone’ to ‘everyone’. People don’t do things without reasons. No one chooses to eat of the Living Bread just because they can choose. We choose with reasons. These reasons we choose Christ are based on truth. This truth is heard through the Gospel, and revealed as true by the work of the Spirit. Some think the gospel foolishness [1st Cor. 1:18] and cannot be expected to submit their life to Christ based on what they believe is foolishness. As long as they think the gospel, foolishness, they won’t eat of the bread of life.

Now God knows all this before He created the world. He knew that these people would never be saved despite His best efforts [according to your tenets]. Yet he went ahead and made the world anyhow, and still desired their salvation all the while knowing they would never and could never be saved. Your version of God seems inconsistent. He makes a world where He knows somw will never be saved and yet still desires their salvation. It doesn’t wash.

end part 1
 
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mjwhite

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All,

part 2


You.

quote:
If mercy and grace are freely given by God, AND we cannot earn our salvation but are dependent upun that mercy and grace, why doesn't God extend that mercy and grace to everyone who ever lived? Why does He save some and not others?
end part 1
mike

>The reason some are saved and others are not is not because God doesn’t offer them the opportunity. God offers the gift to everyone. People have free will and choose themselves whether to accept God’s gift or not. Perfect proof of the idea that people have free will and can decide for themselves whether to accept Christ is Revelation 3:20:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with him, and he with me.”

Notice the word “knock”. Christ doesn’t knock down the door…he doesn’t force anyone to accept him. we have to make the decision to open the door of our hearts to him.


me.
How do you know God offers the gift to everyone? How does He offer salvation through faith in Jesus to those who never hear of Jesus? How does He offer that gift to those who, as you say, are unable to be drawn by the Father? He says those that have ears let them hear. He doesn’t mean physical ears, but spiritually attuned ears. Ears of the heart, ears that are tuned by the Holy Spirit. Those that hear and understand the truth of the gospel are saved. Those that do not understand are lost. The words of the cross are to them that are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved, they are the power of God.

Only those with Spirit-tuned ears hear the knock of Christ. These do open the door and are saved.


You.
quote:
Why does He have mercy on some and harden others? Romans 8


>Where does it say that in Romans 8? I read the chapter twice, and just don’t see it.


My bad. Romans 9:18

You.
quote:
Do you think you earn God's mercy by faith? Why are we to boast only in the Cross of Christ?


>No, that is not earned. It is a free gift.


Correct. And free gifts are given without conditions. God’s love is also given without conditions. Salvation is given without conditions. Part of salvation, the love of God as shown by the gift of God, salvation is faith. For without faith there can be no gift of salvation, and since you agree that faith is not meritorious, then it must be part of the whole gift package.






You
quote:
Is the difference between heaven and hell the cross or not?


>yes, and the empty tomb.


me.
Then why do you make it how ‘spiritually receptive’ people are? Or how ‘hungry’ they are? Or how they able to be drawn by God while others can’t be?


You.
quote:
If not, what did Jesus do to save you that He didn't do for those in hell? Nothing? Then how is it He saved you?


>He died for all. That is his gift. I am saved because I accepted his gift. Others are not saved because they didn’t accept it. Go back to Rev 3:20, and look at the word “knock”.


me.
Hellooooo? Not all ever hear of the gift. How can it be for them? And God knew that before He sent Jesus to die. So He couldn’t have intended this gift for them. Neither could He then desire their salvation through their belief in One that He knew they would never even hear of.

You
quote:
If by His foreknowledge, God knew who would be saved and who would never be saved, and still went ahead and made the world, how does He desire the known-to-Him-to-be-lost-forever saved?


>God desires everyone to be saved. He knows that some will reject him, but that is not a choice he makes. They make that choice. We are not robots, programmed to eternal life or damnation.


me
That isn’t what I believe. And that doesn’t answer my point. He made the world KNOWING that they would go to hell. How can he also desire their salvation seeing how He made them KNOWING they couldn’t get saved? KNOWING they, many who did hear, would think the gospel foolishness? KNOWING that, in your words somewhat, He would be unable to draw some? Yet He made them KNOWING that they were doomed, and you think He desired their salvation. It seems your version of God has lost touch with reality.

You.
quote:
And if God desired all to be saved, why does Jesus limit His prayer to just the elect? john 17


>I’ve answered this one above, so I’ll just paste the info here again. Jesus is praying for those who currently believe in him and those who will later. He specifically says “I am not praying for the world”. But he is not saying “I have never prayed for the world, and I never will again”. He is saying “This prayer is for those who believe in me”. And why was this prayer just for those who believe in him? Because he is asking God to strengthen them and protect them and take care of them. It’s like when a Father prays specifically for the Lord to protect his own children. He knows them and loves them, and that’s why he asks God specifically to protect them. Does that mean that man doesn’t want God to protect other people’s children, also? No, not at all.


me.
Whose children are the others? If God’s children are those who believe, then the rest must be Satan’s! See John 8:41-47 and Matthew 13:24-38. Only God’s children will be saved [because they are God’s], so why would Jesus ever pray for the rest?

You.
quote:
Finally, the verse itself, 1Tim 2:4 cannot mean that God desires every man who ever lived to be saved. It is implied in that verse that these men are alive or yet to live. So therefore unless you wish to include those dead and in hell already, you have to put restrictions on the word ALL yourself. So we see that the verse is not meant to mean what you desire it to mean but something different.


>But, while the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write the letter to Timothy, who had been sent to help lead the church at Ephesus, it was also intended as an example for all generations. The Holy Spirit didn’t intend it to be written only for that occasion. To use your logic, that it only applies to people of that time, you could also say that nothing in the book of 1 Tim is for any of us who didn’t live at that time. Therefore, we wouldn’t have to uphold 1 Tim 1:19, which says “Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep your conscience clear” , or 1 Tim 3:8, which says “In the same way, deacons must be people who are respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers and must not be greedy for money”, or 1 Tim 3:12, which says “A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well", and so on and so on and so on...


me.
No that is NOT what I am saying Slavenomore. The implications of what I said is not what you are inferring. First of all in direct contradiction to what you derived: “To use your logic, that it only applies to people of that time” –I said this: It is implied in that verse that these men are alive or yet to live . So you simply misread me there.

You.

quote:
Also, in the context of the verse, ALL men doesn't and shouldn't be read as every-man-who-ever-lived-or-will-live. The verses previous to this make that clear. Paul didn't expect his readers to actually pray for every individual, whether in a position of power, or not. But if you decide to interpret ALL MEN to mean every individual, that is what you think you should be doing. And not only doing, as in when you get the time, but as verse 1 tells us, FIRST OF ALL. When you get done praying individually for every single soul alive [individually] do you think millions more will be born? It is an impossible task.


>Right, it is an impossible task to pray for everyone by name. First off, you don’t know every individual’s name. Secondly, even if you did, you couldn’t possibly do it. However, you can pray “Lord, I pray that every man on earth would become saved”. That does the job just as well.


me.
It doesn’t do anything, since it is quite obvious if that was the prayer, it wasn’t answered and never will be. If Paul prayed that prayer, God did not answer it, since plenty have gone to hell since then. Why would Paul want you to pray a prayer that God would/could not answer?

Likewise, Paul was an educated man who knew there were many people who had never heard the gospel and who would never hear it before they died. So obviously he didn’t mean what you are saying. He was speaking generally, not every human specific.

You.
quote:
Since Paul is only speaking generally about all men,


>Still I say that is an assumption on your part – it is how you interpret that scripture. But you haven’t given me anything to make me believe in your interpretation.


me.
And I think you are not dealing with my objections to your position. You haven’t bothered to explain why God made these people knowing that they would perish but yet still desired their salvation. You haven’t explained anything about the millions who never the gospel, but your answers assume all men hear it, which they don’t.
Deal with my objections.

You

quote:
The only way you can hold the line is to give up both the foreknowledge of God, and the truth that salvation is by faith in Christ. God made the world KNOWING many would be damned by Him [His foreknowledge] so it is inconsistent of Him to also desire their salvation knowing all the while that there is no way they would ever get saved. Likewise, God KNEW that million upon millions would never hear the gospel. He made the world anyhow. If faith in Jesus is needed for salvation, then He KNEW these millions, probably billions would never truly hear the gospel and die in their sins.


>It is not inconsistent. Just because he knows they will not be saved doesn’t mean he doesn’t want them to. His love is what makes him want them to be saved. Their free will is what allows them to choose not to be. God didn’t make that choice for them. Do you know that not all men will be saved? Yes. But does that mean you don’t want them to be saved? Be careful, because If you say you don’t want all men to be saved, you are saying that you want some to go to hell.


me.
Excuse me. But that is so illogical. He made the world KNOWING they would go to Hell and yet somehow loves them? Just because I believe God made the world KNOWING some would go to hell doesn’t mean I want any to go to hell. I am not their judge, but a fallen creature same as they. I deserve hell as much as they do. But our free will choosing of God does not rule out God’s choosing of us. But I certainly affirm this:

That the difference between heaven and hell is God’s love as demonstrated by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The gift of Jesus and His death is the gift of salvation and it is only for those who believe. He was sent here for them alone to save them alone and He will save everyone one of them for God does not fail.

You.
quote:
Your choice.
Read the Word and decide which is more important to you. God's foreknowledge and salvation by faith in Christ OR your interpretation of ALL MEN in 1Tim 2.


>Hey, my belief goes perfectly with 1 Tim 2:4. 1 Tim 2:4 undeniably states that is God’s desire that all mean be saved. It is you who must decide which is more important to you.


Your belief insists that the interpretation of the word ‘all’ means every-person-who ever-lived,-lives,-or-will-live. That is not a proper reading of 1Tim 2:4, much less a perfect one. Scripture pulled out of context and used without taking into account not only the other verses around it, but the rest of that book, the other writings of that writer, and the rest of the Bible are liable to bad interpretations. Before you boast of perfection, deal with each of my arguments.

In His love,
mike
 
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mjwhite

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Dear Slavenomore,

Those are good questions. I think they deserve attention.

It seems to me you think God overrules our free will because He elects some of us to salvation. This is not true. Predestination [Calvinist style] does not rule out free will at all.

Think of all the prophecies God made concerning Christ. They all will come true do you not agree? Yet in order for each of them to become true they are dependent on people doing different actions, sometimes very specific actions. Do you think God overrules free will in order to make what He has foretold come about?

Alternatively, do you think God simply looks into the future and like a tarot card reader simply ‘sees’ what is going to happen?

God is active in the world, and the future will be the way He determines. Let us look at an example. Read Acts 4 :24-28. Did the rulers, the Gentiles and the Jews act freely when they tortured and crucified Jesus? Yet the Word tells us that did everything God’s will and power had predetermined would happen.

Therefore God’s predeterminations and our free will carrying out of them are compatible. We are not forced to do what He predestines. I will try and explain how that is possible as I answer your 3 posts on the subject.

You
I have a question. Maybe this has been covered yet, but maybe not.

If God makes the decision for us, what's the point of missionaries? Why do so many go to dangerous places and get killed?


Me.
God chooses us and then persuades us to choose Him. He doesn’t force us. God will save people from every tribe nation and peoples with the Gospel, hence the need for missionaries.

You[I[
If God goes so far as to cause a person to choose him or deny him, why doesn't he just go ahead and zap that decision into their hearts - program them like robots before birth- so that people won't have to face hardship and death to get the truth to them? It would certainly be easier that way. [/I]

Me
Because God doesn’t want robots. He wants us to understand the heartache of sin and rebellion so we can understand His goodness. Adam had all of God’s goodness but didn’t know why he should not have sinned. So he did.
You
People who say God makes that decision for us, you might as well be saying we are programmed robots. It's the same thing, really.


Me
No one gets saved without making that decision for him or herself. Like the rulers and Jews and the gentiles freely chose to crucify Jesus in accordance to God’s will.


Your next post, an answer to humblejoe.
#157
quote:
Originally posted by humblejoe

Because God commands it. (Matthew 28:19)
No it's not. Robots can't love.

Because God commands it doesn't it address the root of my question, so I will rephrase the question:

Why does God command missionaries to go to other countries to witness to people, when he could just as easily "zap" the knowledge of Himself into their hearts, since he's already going to go so far as to force them to accept him?


Me.
God doesn’t force anyone. If you review my arguments you will see I believe that the Holy Spirit reveals the trustworthiness of the Gospel to these peoples hearts. But that is not all God does. Think of the parable of the 4 soils. The farmer works only one type of soil and expects fruit from that soil only. He works the hearts of those He loves so that at the right time they will produce fruit unto salvation. The barriers we have between us and God are brought down and the excuses we have to deny Him are belayed. In the end we see life and death clearly and we know that in God alone is life. We are pricked in our hearts because we see what sinners we are before God yet see His love for us as demonstrated by Jesus dying for us that we are eventually persuaded that we would be better off with God then without Him.

If a sales man came to your door and persuaded you to buy what you really hadn’t wanted or thought you needed, would you say he made you buy it against your will? God persuades us to accept that which we originally did not want or think we needed but which we now realize we do want and need, so we gratefully accept His free gift. No forcing involved.

You
If God makes a decision for you whether you will choose him or not, he is programming that decision into you. If he makes that decision for you, then the love you feel for him isn't your decision, either. So that is also programmed. Programmed decision + programmed love = robot.


Me
But He isn’t programming anything into you. Why do you love God? We love God because He first loved us. [1st John 4:19] We love God because He loved us and showed us that love by Calvary. We only know Calvary is true by the witness of the Holy Spirit. The world thinks Calvary foolishness [1st Cor. 1:18], but we know it is the power of God for salvation. Love is a powerful motivator.


Your third response.[/]
#160


If God programs a man to make the decision to accept Christ, why wouldn't he have instead programmed the man to decide never to sin? Then the man would be sinless and Christ would not have had to suffer and die.
[/I]

me.
I already answered this but to a different question. God doesn’t program us, but convinces us to trust Him. Likewise God allows sin so we will not be robots. As we see the hurt and pain and suffering caused by sin, we can then see the love and peace God brings. Seeing that and understanding we were made for Him and that He truly loves us is WHY we freely choose to serve and love Him back. We know we can trust Him hence we do. His love then is the basis for our trust [read: faith].

In Him,
mike
 
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Slave2SinNoMore

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Originally posted by mjwhite
Before you boast of perfection, deal with each of my arguments.
In His love,
mike
Mike,
I have already dealt with your arguments, and will go even further after you answer my next question:

Where, exactly where, have I boasted of perfection?

Are you offended by my screen name, "Slave 2 Sin No More"? If so, that is not a boast, for every single Christian is a slave to sin no more. The power that sin held in our lives was broken at the cross, and anyone who receives Christ has that freedom and that victory. I am not refrring to the physical acts that my flesh may or may not commit. I am referring to the fact that the sin nature in a Christian is dead dead dead.
 
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mjwhite

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Dear all,

Ben's post said this:

"For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to be conformed to the image of His Son..." Rm8:29

"Foreknew"---"proginosko", know-before
"Predestined"---"proorizo", predestinate, decide beforehand

Those whom God foreknew, He predestined them to be Christlike. [/I]

me.
Ben that is only one verse that speaks about predestination. Surely you don’t build a doctrine on one verse do you?

Second, you posted the Arminianist doctrine of predestination that said something different than this and said you agreed with that. Is the Arminianist doctrine of predestination wrong?

Ephesians 1:4-5 says that we were chosen from before the foundation of the world to be holy and we were predestined to be adopted as children of God. Verse 11 says that we were chosen in Him and predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity to His will.

Now if God foreknew us and predestined us to be Christ-like, wouldn’t that also include our salvation? Read the verse in context.

"For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to be conformed to the image of His Son... that He might be the FIRSTBORN of many brethren. MOREOVER whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them he also justified; and whom He also justified, them He glorified. What can we say then to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son but delivered him up for us all, how shall He not freely give us all things?"

The ‘us all’ in these verses are those who whom He predestined, called, justified, glorified, and for those whom Jesus died.

You.
"I ...entreat you to walk in the manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, with all diligence to preerve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. ...There is one body... but some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some teachers, for the equipping of the saints, to the building up of the body of Christ (US), until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature man, to the measure and stature of the fulness of CHrist; so we are no longer to be children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming ("See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." Col2:8); but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ..." Eph4

"Those whom He FOREKNEW, He predestined to be CHRISTLIKE". Two choices here:
•He predestined our salvation
•He knew-before, and founded upon our belief He predestined us to grow into Christ

BOTH cannot be true, only one is Scriptural---which one???


Me
Hobson’s choice huh?

NOT QUITE. There is no reason why both cannot be true. Your logic is flawed, your conclusions erroneous. As other pertinent Scriptures shows, He did predestine both our adoption as God’s children and our Christ-likeness.

Besides you fail to understand foreknowledge. God sees not only what choice we will make but everything. Again I ask you are you denying the Arminian doctrine of predestination, the one you posted in this thread and subsequently approved, or are you saying they have it wrong? That’s a real choice, will you respond?



You
quote:
I understand why you want to change course slightly. But that is not a slight change.
But it is completely and totally, relevant. If it is GOD who elects us to salvation, then what of those in 2Pet2? Choose:

•They were NEVER-REALLY-SAVED-in-the-FIRST-PLACE (in their hearts remained pigs and dogs)
•They WERE saved, but were NOT God's elect, so they FELL from salvation
•They WERE saved, but never really FELL---even in their "entangled-state" God is still faithful, and they may "suffer loss as their works are burned up" but they absolutely WILL walk the streets of Heaven...
•This was a DIFFERENT DISPENSATION and does not apply to us...
•They were truly saved, and fell from salvation

Which? Choose one. Only five choices, no #6. This ties directly with "predestined-election"---if you cannot choose one, or will not choose one, then your position is compromised, your credibility damaged...




Me.
C’mon Ben! You don’t answer every post, does that mean your position is compromised and your credibility damaged? That is such cow manure. Why are you stooping to such a low level?

Explain to me why this ties directly with the Arminianist position of predestination? Arminianists believe a person can be saved and then turn away. So it seems that an Arminianists can believe in predestination and believe any of the above depending on how he interps other Scriptures. So show me the relevance and knock off the threats.

In Him,
mike
 
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mjwhite

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Dear all,

From Ben’s post.

quote:
Originally posted by humblejoe
If I had to select one, I would choose "They were NEVER-REALLY-SAVED-in-the-FIRST-PLACE".

And to reiterate, Romans 8:29 of the New American Standard Bible version, as I stated above, groups and includes "foreknew" and "predestined" together through the word "also".
Thank you for your honest answer, HumbleJoe. I don't find "also predestined" to be contrary to "He predestined them to be Christ-like on the PREMISE of THEIR faith/belief/surrender-to-Him". In Rom8:30, he continues: "Those whom He predestined (to be Christlike, not to salvation), He also called, those He also justified, those He also glorified". ("also" is "kai"--- and, also, even, both, then, so, likewise...) Now, it is valid to contend that "He calls EVERYONE (Pas Anthropos the WORLD)", verifiable with Scripture. And that He provides justification to PAS ANTHROPOS ALL MEN THE WORLD (Rm5:18), but there is the obvious underlying premise that man is only justifed and glorified if he believes (which is to say, "receives Jesus---as Savior and Lord). So the CALL is to ALL MEN, the JUSTIFICATION is to ALL MEN, the GLORIFICATION is to ALL MEN. But everywhere in Scripture is the conditional, "for all who believe". And THEY-WHO-BELIEVE, grow to CHRISTLIKENESS, because of the NATURE of THAT SAVING BELIEF. I find no contradiction...


Me.
First, It is NOT obvious or valid that He calls all men, and second, it is an outright falsity to say that He provides justification to every man who ever lives especially based on Romans 5:18. It simply doesn’t say that He PROVIDES justification, But that the result of the cross was justification that BRINGS life to all men. Now that life is eternal life. Do all men have it? No. So who has it? Only those that believe. Therefore as the Scriptures plainly tells us, justification is only by faith. God has not provided justification except by faith. Not all men believe so therefore not all men have justification. That verse does not prove your premise that Christ died for all. Simply asserting it does doesn’t prove that it does. It is a flaw in your philosophy.

Third, you simply choose to insert your doctrine into the verse at your subjective desire instead of letting the verse speak for itself. And yet you boast that you desire to follow the Word. Shame. Shame.

You.[I[
Remember the end of the parable, is "For MANY are CALLED, but FEW are CHOSEN". The chosen, are they who received Him... [/I]

‘Called’ or ‘call’ doesn’t always mean exactly the same thing. Different writers use the same words to express different thoughts. Even in English we do the same. What does ‘board’ mean? Is there more than one possible inference? Likewise we need to examine the Scripture in context to understand how each word is used. The parable speaks of an outward call, similar to the spoken Gospel. Salvation comes by more than that, but also by an inward call from the Spirit. It is the former the parable is inferring, the latter, Paul is speaking about.

Even so, your logic fails to hold up. “For those He predestined, He called.” Now those He predestined, as you say, are those predestined to be Christ-like. And you go on to say that refers only to those that believe. Quite right. But then this verse is saying that those predestined are called. It is NOT saying everyone is called. Nor it is saying everyone is justified. But those predestined are called, and those called are justified, and those justified are glorified. There is no room to arbritarily enter your own philosophy.

You[/I]
Now, I wasn't really getting anywhere in debating the other Scriptures about "election". They seem clear to me, but they seem equally clear otherwise to OSAS people like Mike. So I wished to change tack, and discuss passages such as 2Pet2. If we read in 2Pet1, he (Peter) offers: "To those who have received a faith as the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ; grace and peace be multiplied to you in the TRUE KNOWLEDGE (epignosis) of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust". THe wod for "escape" is "apophuego". We who are saved (of the same faith as Peter's), are "escaped the corruption in the world, through the TRUE KNOWLEDGED of the Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST".

Me.
You failed to answer my questions or address my points Ben. When you can’t give an answer do you simply ignore decent and pertinent questions about the possible inconsistencies in your position? It seems so.

mike
 
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Slave2SinNoMore

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Originally posted by Slave2SinNoMore

Mike,
I have already dealt with your arguments, and will go even further after you answer my next question:

Where, exactly where, have I boasted of perfection?

mjwhite,
I see now where you think I boasted of perfection...it was because I said "my interpretaion fits perfectly", or something like that. All I was doing at that point was responding to you, who first claimed that your interpretation was right (without any Biblical backing, I might add). I find it funny that you accused me of "boasting of perfection", when you were the one who claimed that your interpretation of the verse was definitely right first! (read below)

You said:
Your choice.
Read the Word and decide which is more important to you. God's foreknowledge and salvation by faith in Christ OR your interpretation of ALL MEN in 1Tim 2.
 
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mjwhite

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Dear all,

Slavenomore posted two long posts on Arminianism and Calvinism.
I will not quote all of it, so please refer to the original posting for context. my comments are italized which is opposite of my normal procedure


Predestination and Eternal Security
The once-saved-always-saved issue is a hot topic of debate in today’s church. On one side, people can make a profession of faith and then have a false sense of security even though they have no relationship with Jesus Christ at all. On the Calvinist side, people have the attitude that if God wants it done, He will do it or make me do it.
That is an unfair characterization. On both sides people can make false professions of faith. There are many missionaries and church workers who are Calvinists. Though there are some with that attitude

I once counseled a man who was trying to justify his pornography habit. He stated that he didn't think that he was accountable for his addiction. If God wanted him to change, God would change him. Until that time, he was free to sin at every urge that God permitted to tempt him. I have also heard many people say that God will send people to the church if He wants them to be saved. All we have to do is look around to see if this is true. The churches that thrive outside their four walls are reaching people and are on fire when they come together each week. Churches that only minister to themselves and those 'God sends' have little impact on the culture around them and are often cold inside the walls of the church. Jesus taught that we are to go into the highways and hedges to find those who will come.
Again this is wrong. Southern Baptists are Calvinistic and have the largest Protestant denomination in America and the most missionaries. So we see this writer is either misinformed or biased.

Calvinism

The most popular doctrine of predestination is Calvinism. Calvinism takes its name from John Calvin who wrote 5 points Calvin did not write the 5 points. It was done after he had died at the Council of Dort in response to the 5 points of the Remonstrants who were the followers [after a fashion] of Joseph Arminius from which Arminians get their name.

Total Depravity of Man – all are born sinners

Unconditional Election – God has already chosen who will go to Heaven and Hell

Limited Atonement – Jesus died only to redeem those who were pre-chosen

Irresistible Grace – Man is saved by the will of God without choice This is not true. No where do the Calvinists say man has no choice. Rather we say man freely chooses God after God has chosen us.

Perseverance of the Saints – Those predestined cannot be lost



I will state up front that I do not believe in Calvinism. One proof against it is its fruit. Jesus said that we would know teaching by the fruit. Generally speaking, Calvinist churches are only reaching people who are already believers.

I appreciate the author’s honesty here but not his knowledge. Most of the Southern Baptists were born again in their buildings or at their revivals. Southern Baptists, again the largest of Protestant denominations is evangelistic.
Obviously there are exceptions to this, but as a whole, evangelism is not a part of this movement. The believers they reach become like-minded and if they were outreach minded, they abandon the idea. I was once under a pastor who was a Calvinist. We built a church in a heavily populated unchurched community and it was an ideal location. The members present when the church was built were the same members present 8 years later. I have a friend who still attends. They are the same today as they were 20 years ago. Where is the fruit I understand his perception but it is limited. There certainly are churches who fail to do much outreach on both sides. But it is wrong to characterize a whole movement based on a limited perception.


God’s Foreknowledge

Look at the passage most Calvinist’s use:

Romans 8

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.



What is the focus of this passage? It is to conform to the image of Christ. We are predestined to conform to His image. This passage tells us that every Christian is included in this destiny God has ordained. However, we don’t see every Christian conforming to Christ. Under the Calvinist viewpoint, this would be a false statement in my opinion. Who didn’t God foreknow? Even the unbeliever was foreknown. God foretold of the sinners who would try and crucify Jesus. God foreknew the wicked kings of Israel. God foreknew the wicked kings that would defeat Israel in judgment. God foreknew the wicked people that would inhabit the Promised Land sworn to Abraham. If you look back to the promise, God said that the people would be taken captive for 400 years and would inherit the land once the sins of the people God would judge was complete. In other words, God foreknew the people and what choice they would make. In Revelation, God foreknew the wicked leaders and the people who would reject and accept Him during the Great Tribulation and He gave a glimpse in His prophecy.
And yet even with all this foreknowledge, God sent Jesus into the world KNOWING only some would benefit the others not. How then was Jesus sent for those who would not benefit, and the corollary, how does His sending demonstrate God’s love for those who HE KNEW would not benefit? No Arminianists or unlimited atonement person has given an answer.



What this passage in Romans is telling us is that God has planned our lives before hand. He has given us everything we need to conform to the image of Jesus Christ. Look at Psalm 139:


God knew me before I existed and He fashioned me in the womb to fit perfectly in the plan He has for my life. He has also laid out His plan for my life and given me everything I need to finish this life complete and stand before Him in victory when this life is over. Therefore, there is no excuse for a Christian failing to become what God intended. If we fall short of the promise, it is because we have refused God’s ways and have instead followed our ways. Predestination does not nullify free will. If there is no free will, there can’t be love. I can’t obey nor disobey if I have no choice. I can program my computer to say, “I love you” every time it boots up. What pleasure would that give me? Why would God program us to be forced to love Him? It is not love if there is not a choice to not love God. We are predestined to conform to His image – which we were originally created to reflect – but we have a choice to conform to the world instead.

He again does not understand Calvinism. There is no problem with predestination and free will as even this writer later affirms. If so, then why does he mischaracterize his opponents? To win an argument, but not to be truthful.

It is always important to keep the whole revelation of God’s word in focus. Scripture enlightens scripture. Calvinism has to get past passages that point to freewill. Predestination and freewill are not in conflict if sound biblical interpretation is applied. These passages compliment each other to give us a complete picture.
Here he allows that predestination and free will are compatible. BUT he assumes that Calvinists don’t believe in free will. He then is swatting at a shadow instead of addressing the real difference between the two belief systems.

From here the author goes on to discuss eternal security, never bothering to understand calvinism except from his limited perspective.
Later I might address that, time permitting. It is not about election and kinda off topic. Meanwhile I ask that those who disagree with me, please address my points and answer my questions.
It is obvious that one can disagree with me and still be OSAS [Slavenomore for example as well as the author of the above article]. So it seems to me that OSAS and election can be addressed seperately.
 
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mjwhite

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Dear Slavenomore,

you said,
quote:
Originally posted by Slave2SinNoMore

Mike,
I have already dealt with your arguments, and will go even further after you answer my next question:

Where, exactly where, have I boasted of perfection?



mjwhite,
I see now where you think I boasted of perfection...it was because I said "my interpretaion fits perfectly", or something like that. All I was doing at that point was responding to you, who first claimed that your interpretation was right (without any Biblical backing, I might add). I find it funny that you accused me of "boasting of perfection", when you were the one who claimed that your interpretation of the verse was definitely right first! (read below)

You said:
Your choice.
Read the Word and decide which is more important to you. God's foreknowledge and salvation by faith in Christ OR your interpretation of ALL MEN in 1Tim 2.

my reply.

My problem with your boasting has no direct connection to this dialogue, but unfortunately my words lead you to think otherwise. So I apologize for that.

I was thinking of one thing and not putting all my thoughts together.

Read back over the rests of my posts to you where i remark about boasting. You will see that I zero in on ANYTHING that stands between faalen man and salvation that is not Christ and the cross, or at least not of God's doing.

So whether one wants to insist that we turn to God because we love sin less or because we are more spiritually receptive or whatever and FAILS to give the glory to God because of their difference, I stand against that For what do we have that we have not recieved? So why do we boast in ourselves as having a part of being our savor. But that is what we do when try and attribute any part of our salvation to ourselves and not wholly to God.

Whenever we answer the question: WHY do we choose God? with other than His love, we are wrong. God is the Savior and He saves those He loves. All of them.

in that Love,
mike
 
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Ben johnson

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Ben that is only one verse that speaks about predestination. Surely you don’t build a doctrine on one verse do you?
OK, Mike---show me one verse that supports "predestined-election". The "Eph1" passage comes closest; but it clearly says, "He freely bestowed (the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace) on us in the beloved (JESUS!) Now, I am contending that "salvation is available to ALL, on the premise that the person CHOOSES to BELIEVE". In Eph1:13: "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, ...having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge (down-payment) of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession (because of Him CHOOSING us, or because of us BECOMING ADOPTED THROUGH OUR RECEIVING OF HIM???), to the praise of His glory." Hmmmm---"After LISTENING, having BELIEVED". And in Rom10 it says, "Faith comes from hearing". So then, faith-to-salvation/belief (faith-&-belief interchangeable), very much seems to come from the PERSON. As Rm10:10 plainly states: "For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvaiton". Please show me the verse that says "God saves men BEFORE THEY BELIEVE", or "God CAUSES belief-to-salvation", or "God INSTALLS faith/belief-to-salvation"?

"This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having becomes callous, have given themselves over to sentualit and every kind of impurity and greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him; in reference to your former life, lay aside the old man, which is being corupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and be renuewd in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. ...Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ aso loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God. But do not let immorality or any impuity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among the saints; there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man or idolater has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, DO NOT BE PARTAKERS WITH THEM; for you formerly walked in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord---walk as children of light trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness ut instead expose them... Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil. So do not be foolish but understand what the will of God is..."
This is quoted from Eph4 and 5. Tell me---where in this is the "absence of free will"? Where is the "predestined-election"? "Do not be immoral or impure, because if you ARE, you will have no part in the inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God"! "Let NO ONE DECIEVE YOU, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience!" (see Col2:8---if we ARE deceived to unbelief, are we STILL SAVED???) Sounds pretty clear to me...

First, It is NOT obvious or valid that He calls all men, and second, it is an outright falsity to say that He provides justification to every man who ever lives especially based on Romans 5:18. Romans 5:18 alone is sufficient to contend for "salvation to all men". If ADAM brought death to PAS-ANTHROPOS-ALL-MEN-THE-WORLD, and Jesus brought justification to PAS-ANTHROPOS-ALL-MEN-THE-WORLD (we should not have to say, "On the CONDITION they repent-and-receive-Him/believe"---everyone THERE understood that condition, everyone HERE does too), is it honest to contend that Adam caused ALL to fall and Jesus causes SOME to repent (and "BLOWS-OFF" the rest)? Rm5:18 is sufficient alone---but it is far from alone (see 1Jn2:2, one of many more verses that say "salvation is available to ALL MEN)... It simply doesn’t say that He PROVIDES justification, But that the result of the cross was justification that BRINGS life to all men. Now that life is eternal life. Do all men have it? No. So who has it? Only those that believe. ExACTLY that... Therefore as the Scriptures plainly tells us, justification is only by faith. God has not provided justification except by faith. Not all men believe so therefore not all men have justification. That verse does not prove your premise that Christ died for all. Yes it does. He died for ALL, and ALL WHO BELIEVE are justified BY/THROUGH/BECAUSE-OF Him. All who RECEIVE Him, by their own faith... Simply asserting it does doesn’t prove that it does. It is a flaw in your philosophy. If my philosophy is "flawed", then so is the rest of Scripture. The last post of mine was very powerful, and detailed verses that simply cannot accomodate "OSAS"---yet you will not deal with them. Why? Because, respectfully, you cannot...

You failed to answer my questions or address my points Ben.I have answered all of your questions. It seems you do not accept the answers. If you feel I have NOT answered, then have patience with me and ask them again...

In posts like #152 & 164 I have demonstrated Scriptural positions that are irrefutable. For one to remain in "OSAS" (specifically, "predestined-election"), one must accept the premise that in 2Tim2, Paul asserts there is such a thing as UNFAITHFUL SAVED. Because of the nature of salvation, IE "LORDSHIP", if one is unfaithful, then Jesus is not his Lord. I demonstrated that the same-exact-words are used in 2Pet1 and in 2 to describe SAVED PEOPLE. Those in 2 BECOME UNSAVED. If you wish a verse that speaks of "being turned from the holy commandment delivered to them", that would be it. We have a problem---either there IS "OSAS", and also there are contradictions, or there is "OSNAS", and no contradictions. These contradictions are what force us to examine the purity of our doctrine. Were those in 2Pet2, never saved? Not according to the wording. Did they never fall? Not according to the wording. If some other understanding can be made, EXCEPT the "truly-saved-FELL", please tell me...

I gave five choices of interpretation possible for 2Pet2:20-22. We discussed the "they-were-never-saved" choice, how it contradicts the exact-same-words used in chapter 1. If someone persists in "OSAS", he/she must choose one of the five interpretations. Which?
 
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Slave2SinNoMore

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mjwhite,
My desire to sin less was not the reason i was drawn to Christ. I was drawn to Christ because teh Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin and drew me to Christ, so I do not boast about myself at all. I am forever grateful to God that he loves me. Nothing I have done could ever get me into Heaven.

However, I did make the choice to accept his gift or deny it. I chose to accept it.

You earlier stated that God doesn't force the decision on us. Well, either he forces it on us or we choose it. Which is it?

Choosing to accept a gift doesn't make God any less sovereign or any less the reason I am saved. If somebody offered you a million dollars, and you accepted it, what did you do to earn it? Nothing. It is totally because of the grace and love of the person who offered it to you.
 
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mjwhite

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In reply to slavenomore,

who said:
My desire to sin less was not the reason i was drawn to Christ.


Yes I know, others did though [Ben].

He continues.
I was drawn to Christ because teh Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin and drew me to Christ, so I do not boast about myself at all. I am forever grateful to God that he loves me. Nothing I have done could ever get me into Heaven.

However, I did make the choice to accept his gift or deny it. I chose to accept it.


I understand and agree with all of that. But WHY some make the choice to accept the gift and others [if others] reject the gift is the difference between your position and mine.

So WHY did you accept the gift?
WHY do you think others in your shoes would reject the gift?

him.
You earlier stated that God doesn't force the decision on us. Well, either he forces it on us or we choose it. Which is it?

We choose it. The difference between heaven and hell is that we are loved by God and those who do not choose to trust Him are not loved by God. We [who choose the gift and likewise surrender ourselves to Him] do so because we have confidence in the Lord. The others do not.

We have confidence because we know in our hearts God loves us so much He sent Jesus to die for our sins. Hence God's love combined with the opening of our heart to it by sure knowledge leads us to willfully choose to surrender ourselves to Him.

Likewise those who think the gospel foolishness [1st Cor 1:18] can't be expected to have confidence in the Lord and surrender their lives to Him, hence they perish.

him.
Choosing to accept a gift doesn't make God any less sovereign or any less the reason I am saved. If somebody offered you a million dollars, and you accepted it, what did you do to earn it? Nothing. It is totally because of the grace and love of the person who offered it to you.


I am not disputing that. I am simply pointing out that many die who...
*a* never hear of the offer
*b* hear the offer but think it foolishness
*c* and God knew before creation and before sending Jesus that that these would never be saved.

So that leaves me with a conclusion that:
*d* God didn't provide a way for these to be saved.
..........since..
*d1* He knew some would never hear the good news.
*d2* He knew some would hear but think it foolishness.
*d3* He knew He would only justify those who had faith in Jesus

*e* And since His love is predicated on the cross {Rom 5:8]
*e1* He knew these would never believe and
*e* He knew therefore the cross could never be of any benefit to these.

Then God couldn't have loved those He wasn't planning on saving [Everyone who doesn't believe].

And all of that reasoning is based on the Arminianist doctrine of predestination that Ben posted. In fact if you believe God has foreknowledge, then this argument will stand. Only if you wish to limit God will this argument [based on Arminianist doctrine] need not be adopted.

Any questions?

mike
 
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mjwhite

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Dear all.

Ben writes:

OK, Mike---show me one verse that supports "predestined-election". The "Eph1" passage comes closest; but it clearly says, "He freely bestowed (the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace) on us in the beloved (JESUS!) Now, I am contending that "salvation is available to ALL, on the premise that the person CHOOSES to BELIEVE".


My reply.
Well I think that is where your problem lies. That premise does support your conclusion.

Over and over I have asked you and others several things pertaining to that specific premise-conclusion and you all never answer.

First of all,
Straight off the bat, the Gospel NEVER has been available to all. That exception alone invalidates your conclusion. Now you go to Romans 1 and say God has made Himself known to all men. But that is not talking about the Gospel. You know the Scripture in Romans 10, where it says how can they hear without someone to preach it to them. Many simply never hear the Gospel and therefore cannot believe.

Since they don’t hear the Gospel, they can’t even choose to believe. Therefore salvation IS NOT available to all. You may sit at a table and be all scholarly with me about that, but most people don’t need to have traveled to India or China to know that millions dying each day have never heard the Gospel. There are a BILLION people in BOTH China and India. Millions of them die each day. Many of those never heard the truth about Jesus, It is incredible to me that you keep saying all they have to do is to choose to believe. It seems that it is just a theoretical argument to you devoid of the stuff that makes up reality. Maybe not, but please explain why you ignore this point I keep raising.

Second,
I have continued to explain that just hearing about Jesus doesn’t mean you actually know the truth about Him. Oh, one may know what ‘those Christians’ say, but that is a far cry from knowing the Gospel as truth. I have given Scriptural evidence to support that. Today we witness of a man who lived almost 2000 years ago, but what about the witness of God’s own Son? Did all the people who heard Jesus know the truth about Him? No, as we saw in the verses that surrounded Peter’s testimony as to Jesus being the Son of God, the Messiah. Peter reports that many think Jesus is Elijah, or John the Baptist, or one of the prophets. They think He is a holy man of God [as the Muslims think today] but they did not know the truth even then as He was personally there. Even today many [like the Muslims] think He is a holy man of God, but not God in the flesh. Why should they submit heir lives to just another holy man, when they have their own?

Again the position you take is lacking in reality. Have you ever got to know other peoples who were not raised Christian? They grow up believing Jesus a holy man, and you think the first time they hear the Gospel they all now know the truth? Incredible to say the least.

Now if the Scriptures blatantly argued for your premises [that all hear and all know the truth of the Gospel and choose not to believe] then there wouldn’t be a debate. But the Scriptures blatantly argue AGAINST those premises. They claim the truth IS hidden from some BY God. That God chooses whom to reveal it to. So you try and use the Bible to support a conclusion whose major premises are not true and stand against the reality in which we live. You have zeal without knowledge my friend.


Ben.
In Eph1:13: "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, ...having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge (down-payment) of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession (because of Him CHOOSING us, or because of us BECOMING ADOPTED THROUGH OUR RECEIVING OF HIM???), to the praise of His glory." Hmmmm---"After LISTENING, having BELIEVED". And in Rom10 it says, "Faith comes from hearing". So then, faith-to-salvation/belief (faith-&-belief interchangeable), very much seems to come from the PERSON. As Rm10:10 plainly states: "For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvaiton". Please show me the verse that says "God saves men BEFORE THEY BELIEVE", or "God CAUSES belief-to-salvation", or "God INSTALLS faith/belief-to-salvation"?


Me.
Straw man argument Ben, I never said God saves men before they believe, or installs faith. You are not going to get a lot of Calvinist junk from me. I learned what I know from the Word before I knew what Calvinism preached. The faith we have, or the confidence we have in God so as to trust Him and be saved comes from the sure knowledge He gives us. That revelation of Himself to us is limited to those who believe, or will believe. We know the gospel to be the power of God unto salvation while those that are perishing think it foolishness. [1st Cor 1:18]


Ben.
"This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having becomes callous, have given themselves over to sentualit and every kind of impurity and greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him; in reference to your former life, lay aside the old man, which is being corupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and be renuewd in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. ...Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ aso loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.


Mike
Again Ben you bring up the same points over and over again. AND when I respond to them to show you your error, you get quiet, until you bring it back up. Every time you bring this up Ben, my answer will be the same. Why don’t you deal with my answer?

Here it is again!

The last time you brought up ‘hardness of heart’ you referred to a passage in Ezekiel 11: 17-21.
There I explained to you that the reason they no longer had a stony heart towards God is because he softened it. And that we all have hard hearts against God until he softens them.

Here in Ephesians the same thought surfaces. We once walked as the gentiles walked, with ignorance to the truth and with hardness in our hearts toward God. But now we are not ignorant [like they still are] because God has revealed the truth about Himself and our need of Him to us. We know NOW that Christ loves us for the Spirit has taught us spiritual truths that otherwise the natural man cannot accept. [we were once ‘natural’ men.]

These verses show
*a* the natural man is ignorant of the truth of the Gospel [as I have been saying]
*b* we were once like them in hardness of heart.
*c* But now we know that Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, so we should be imitators of Him.

These verses support me fully and in the very points where I disagree with you.

Ben’s scripture continues.
But do not let immorality or any impuity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among the saints; there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man or idolater has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, DO NOT BE PARTAKERS WITH THEM; for you formerly walked in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord---walk as children of light trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness ut instead expose them... Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil. So do not be foolish but understand what the will of God is..." This is quoted from Eph4 and 5. Tell me---where in this is the "absence of free will"? Where is the "predestined-election"?


Mike.
Ben there is no absence of free will in my position. I have never stated there was. That is a tired old horse why don’t you get off of it?

Secondly, did I say the whole book of Ephesians talked about the predestined-elect? Where are you coming from, left field?

BUT these verses certainly support my beliefs. For instance- for you formerly walked in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord---walk as children of light trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. This is telling us that we were once in darkness and unable to see the light. Read 2nd Cor. 3:16-17 and 2nd Cor 4: 3-6 to see how we who were once blinded came to see. God shown His light on us!
Do you really expect those still blinded by Satan to trust Jesus? Yeah, right! First God has to open the eyes of their heart.

Ben.
"Do not be immoral or impure, because if you ARE, you will have no part in the inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God"! "Let NO ONE DECIEVE YOU, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience!" (see Col2:8---if we ARE deceived to unbelief, are we STILL SAVED???) Sounds pretty clear to me...


me.
This has nothing to do with who the elect is but is a OSAS argument. Ben can argue that with someone else [possibly even me] on another thread. Why won’t he deal with the issue we have before us?

Ben continues.
First, It is NOT obvious or valid that He calls all men, and second, it is an outright falsity to say that He provides justification to every man who ever lives especially based on Romans 5:18. Romans 5:18 alone is sufficient to contend for "salvation to all men". If ADAM brought death to PAS-ANTHROPOS-ALL-MEN-THE-WORLD, and Jesus brought justification to PAS-ANTHROPOS-ALL-MEN-THE-WORLD (we should not have to say, "On the CONDITION they repent-and-receive-Him/believe"---everyone THERE understood that condition, everyone HERE does too), is it honest to contend that Adam caused ALL to fall and Jesus causes SOME to repent (and "BLOWS-OFF" the rest)? Rm5:18 is sufficient alone---but it is far from alone (see 1Jn2:2, one of many more verses that say "salvation is available to ALL MEN)... It simply doesn’t say that He PROVIDES justification, But that the result of the cross was justification that BRINGS life to all men. Now that life is eternal life. Do all men have it? No. So who has it? Only those that believe. ExACTLY that... Therefore as the Scriptures plainly tells us, justification is only by faith. God has not provided justification except by faith. Not all men believe so therefore not all men have justification. That verse does not prove your premise that Christ died for all. Yes it does. He died for ALL, and ALL WHO BELIEVE are justified BY/THROUGH/BECAUSE-OF Him. All who RECEIVE Him, by their own faith... Simply asserting it does doesn’t prove that it does. It is a flaw in your philosophy. If my philosophy is "flawed", then so is the rest of Scripture. The last post of mine was very powerful, and detailed verses that simply cannot accomodate "OSAS"---yet you will not deal with them. Why? Because, respectfully, you cannot...


Me.
I am not debating OSAS Ben. As I have told you over and over again, Slavenomore is OSAS and he is also debating me on this subject of the elect. You want to turn it into another debate. Don’t be rude. Start another thread.

Assertions are fine Ben and I guess you are allowed to blow your own trumpet but what you say is weak and without much logic. Here again you simply make assertions that are illogical. Just because you think that ‘all’ means every-person-who-ever-lived, doesn’t mean it does. Get over it.



Ben
You failed to answer my questions or address my points Ben.I have answered all of your questions. It seems you do not accept the answers. If you feel I have NOT answered, then have patience with me and ask them again...


Me.
Every post Ben, you fail to answer all my questions. Some posts you ignore all together. And then when you do answer them, and I follow up, you become silent again. Scroll back and see.

Do you believe in foreknowledge and if so what does it consist of? 3rd time asked

The rest of your post is off subject and I deleted it. I have told you this is NOT a debate about OSAS versus OSNAS since both Slavenomore and I believe in OSAS and we are debating the ELECT. Arminianists believe that God predestines those He sees by His foreknowledge of them choosing Him and call s those people the Elect. That is what Ben posted. Who these people are and how they came to be the elect is what this discussion is about. Some people believe that these people can lose their salvation, others don’t; BUT that is a different debate.

In Him,
Mike
 
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mjwhite

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Dear All,

I inadverntently left this reply to Ben's last post.

Ben writes,
quote:
Ben that is only one verse that speaks about predestination. Surely you don’t build a doctrine on one verse do you?
OK, Mike---show me one verse that supports "predestined-election". The "Eph1" passage comes closest; but it clearly says, "He freely bestowed (the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace) on us in the beloved (JESUS!)


my reply.
Ephesians 1 speaks abot predestination in two places. ben quoted the Scripture but stopped short.

"...just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him. In love having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will to the praise of His glory of His grace by which he made us accepted in the Beloved." Eph 1:4-6

This tells us several things:

*a* we were chosen before the foundation of the world
to be holy and without blame

*b* we have been predestined to be His children via adoption

*c* The reason was according to the good pleasure of His will

*d* so as to bring praise and glory to Him and His graciousness

*e* this grace by which He made us accepted in Jesus

Now since we are filthy sinners, how did God decide to cleanse those whom He had chosen before hand should be clean? He decided to send Jesus into the world to cleanse His future children, those He had chosen from before the world began.

Did he know who we would be? Answer: does he have foreknowledge? If so then YES. If no, then how could He predict the future, or prophecy or claim He knew the beginning from the end?

Are we saved by anything special we do or are? NO. We are saved by His grace and we are to boast ONLY in that grace. That grace is the difference between Heaven and Hell.

Why do people deserve Hell?
They chooses to sin and violate what they know is right.
Do we still sin? YES.

Do we, then, still deserve Hell? YES.

WHY then do we say we are going to Heaven? Because we trust God and His Word to justify us even despite our unfaithfulness.

Are we free then to sin? YES.

huh? Do we have free will? YES
Do we choose to sin? YES

Do we sin? YES

So we are free to sin? YES

We are NOT saved because we are sinless, or obedient or responsible.

We are saved BY GRACE ALONE, according to the good pleasure of Him and to the praise of His glorious grace.

Should we sin then? NO
Why not? We who are dead to sin [since Jesus died for all of our sins] should not subject ourselves to it.

Why not? Because we love God and want to pleasing to Him.

But alas our love is immature and we allow the things of the world to lead us into sin. We are unfaithful to Him, sometimes more than once a day. We sometimes allow ourselves to listen to false words and be led away from God. But He is faithful. The reason He saves us is not because we lived up to His image, but to the praise of His glorious grace.

It is precisely because we cannot do anything to merit heaven that God gets glory for saving us unfaithful ones.
Are any of you out there faithful? Never sin? No? I thought so.
Join with me in praising His glorious grace that has saved us. Bring all the gloty and honor to our Father who has adopted us from before the foundations of the world and made a way that we might be holy before Him despite our sinning.
 
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Ben johnson

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It seems that it is just a theoretical argument to you devoid of the stuff that makes up reality. Maybe not, but please explain why you ignore this point I keep raising.
I have answered it before---but you are not ready to receive it. You assume that a man must hear the Gospel to acknowledge the reality of God. According to Romans 1, the creative-force-of-God (which is JESUS), is observable through what has been made. Why do you think he boldly writes, "They are therefore without excuse"? They have no excuse, because He is revealed, in some measure, to all men...

In Rom2, Paul writes: "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law, nevertheless demonstrate the Law written in their hearts, they become a law unto themselves". And their conscience will alternately accuse and defend them (on the day of judgment). If they are condemned (for not HEARING the GOSPEL), then the defense is of no accord. But Jesus, being now "the fulfillment of the Law", can be in their hearts. You see, we serve a real, sentient, omnipotent-omniscient-omipresent God. As the Old testament proclaims, "He who seeks Me will find Me, when He seeks with all his heart".

The premise behind "unconditional election" is that God calls some but not all. Those whom He calls WILL BE SAVED. Those whom He DOESN'T call, WILL NEVER BE SAVED.
They claim the truth IS hidden from some BY God. That God chooses whom to reveal it to.
I never said God saves men before they believe, or installs faith. You are not going to get a lot of Calvinist junk from me. I learned what I know from the Word before I knew what Calvinism preached. The faith we have, or the confidence we have in God so as to trust Him and be saved comes from the sure knowledge He gives us. That revelation of Himself to us is limited to those who believe, or will believe.
Choose one, only one. The RED quote says that God installs knowledge/faith/belief towards salvation, in keeping with "predestined-election". The GREEN quote says "man believes/has-faith FROM HIS OWN HEART". You must choose ONE, holding to BOTH is contradictory...
There I explained to you that the reason they no longer had a stony heart towards God is because he softened it.
And I explained to YOU that He DID soften their hearts, AFTER THEY TURNED TO THEM. But "those whose hearts go after abominations and destestable things He will bring their actions down upon their heads". If He had SOFTENED their hearts unilaterally, there would BE no "going-after-abominations". You cannot deny the Scriptures because you do not like what they say...

OH---maybe only those Israelites whom He did NOT predestined went after abominable things? Try that on any Hebrew scholar and see if it flies...
Ben there is no absence of free will in my position. I have never stated there was. That is a tired old horse why don’t you get off of it?
Of COURSE there is asbsence of free will! God is revealed to SOME but not ALL! And only those whom He CHOSED, are SAVED! There is no CHOICE by MEN, only choice by GOD Why do you persist in saying, "There is free will"---when the very nature of predestination is, well, PREDESTINATION!!!!!
Every post Ben, you fail to answer all my questions. Some posts you ignore all together. And then when you do answer them, and I follow up, you become silent again. Scroll back and see.
I have difficulty following you, Mike. I find your points disjointed and broken. That is why I repeatedly ask for you to clearly state them again. I do not have this problem with other posters...
Do you believe in foreknowledge and if so what does it consist of? 3rd time asked
And asnwered, again and again. God knows all things, past and present. Foreknowledge is not fore-ordained. For God to be JUST, the ONLY option is for Jesus to have died for ALL, and each man (or woman) bears his own responsibility for believing, or not. There is no justice if it is GOD'S decision on who goes to Heaven or Hell. The damned must be so because of their own choice. Justice demands, "there to be no excuse".
The rest of your post is off subject and I deleted it. I have told you this is NOT a debate about OSAS versus OSNAS since both Slavenomore and I believe in OSAS and we are debating the ELECT.
Of COURSE you deleted it. Because you could not DEAL with it. If GOD ELECTS, then there CANNOT be ANY TRULY-SAVED who become UNSAVED. Yet I explained in great detail, how SOME of the ELECT, BECAME UNELECT. Incontrivertibly in the Scripture. Which completely destroys the premise of "predestined-election".
Arminianists believe that God predestines those He sees by His foreknowledge of them choosing Him and call s those people the Elect.
No, Mike---not it at all. The only PREDESTINATION that is IN the Bible, is for BELIEVERS to become CHRISTLIKE. Which is FOUNDED upon their belief/faith/surrender.

BECAUSE OF OUR RECEIVING HIM AS LORD HE MATURES US TOWARDS THE IMAGE OF CHRIST

All of it, every bit of it, is founded upon our belief.

...just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world
JESUS was purposed before the foundation of the world, what "whosoever believeth should not perish but have eternal life". We are CHOSEN IN HIM when we BELIEVE. THIS was the "choosing us in Him before the foundation". WE were not predestined from the foundation...

we have been predestined to be His children via adoption
Have you never read Jn1:12? That ADOPTION is CONDITIONED upon our willing BELIEF! To BELIEVE IN HIM, is to RECEIVE HIM. To be BORN AGAIN. To ABIDE IN HIM. To FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM. Which part of this do you not understand?

The reason was according to the good pleasure of His will
Which, according to ALL of Scripture, His GOOD WILL was JESUS---that ALL WHO BELIEVE, inherit HEAVEN It is His WILL that salvation be CONDITIONAL on our BELIEF...
We are saved BY GRACE ALONE, according to the good pleasure of Him and to the praise of His glorious grace.
Wrong. We are NOT saved by grace alone. NOWHERE does it say we are saved by grace alone.

WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH OUR OWN FAITH

"For with the heart man BELIEVES..." Not "GOD INSTALLS BELIEF/FAITH", it says the heart BELIEVES. Why do you not believe Paul?

Mike, with all respect, I do not know if future discourse with you will do any good. Your heart is not open to the Scriptures. Whatever you cannot refute, you delete. You respond in ways that are fractured, not answering direct questions, then accusing me of doing just that. Is there any praise or worship in these discussions? Is there any building or edifying?

I persist in these kinds of discussions, because in my spirit burns a great passion---to encourage my brothers and sisters towards the TRUE GOSPEL, that we ALL may grow into Christ. I have not all of the answers---but I have a lot of them. THose I have, HE HAS GIVEN ME. The Word backs me in my understanding.

It would pain me immensely to even THINK that I sew dissention or damage anyone else's walk. That would grieve me to no end. That is not my purpose.

I am not one to "bail"---but my heart is weary; I see no future in discussion. I present clear truths, give you the opportunity to either prove or disprove me, with Scripture. But neither happens.

I have great hope for you, Mike. I really, really believe that your heart DOES long for God's presence. I will pray for you with all my strength that you will grown into Him, that all Scriptural and Spiritual truths will be made real to you. The same as I pray for myself.

God bless you, Mike...
 
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