Is Predestination Biblical?

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Is predestination biblical? Now before I continue allow me to define what I mean by predestination: Predestination is the theological understanding that Gods sovereignty, in order to be truly such, demands that every aspect of history - whether good or evil - is ordained by God and that all things happen according to His will and nothing happens unless He wills it. According to this view free-will is non-existent. All things happen, not because we freely chose them, but because God caused them to happen. Thus, a rape takes place because God willed it. A murder, an adulterous affair, and even the Connecticut school shooting of recent weeks happened precisely because God willed it to happen. In short, nothing happens unless God wills it, therefore everything that happens is Gods will. Even those who go to heaven go because God chose them to go and those who spend eternity in Hell go because God chose for them to go and there is nothing that can change His sovereign choice.
Rather than present arguments relative to this topic I will simply post a series of Bible texts that clearly refute this doctrine of predestination as defined above (though some of the texts will have notes). I invite you to read these texts prayerfully  study them in their context, and ask God to show you His truth.

Enjoy!


Hosea 8:4 “They set up kings but not by me.” 


Jeremiah 19:5 “they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind.” 


Jeremiah 32:5 “And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” 


Isaiah 7:9 [God tells Israel] “Unless your faith is firm I cannot make you stand firm.” 


Isaiah 30:1 God says, “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin"


Micah 2:9 - You drive the women of my people from their pleasant homes. You take away my blessing from their children forever.


Micah 5:15 - I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me.”


Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve...” 


Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life...”


Ezekiel 1:15 "But I am very angry with the other nations that are now enjoying peace and security. I was only a little angry with my people, but the nations inflicted harm on them far beyond my intentions."


Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” [According to Jesus, Gods will is being done in heaven and we are to pray that it be done here, thus implying that it’s not being done here.]


Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” [According to this text it was Gods will that Jerusalem (The people of Israel/Judah) would come to Him but they weren't willing to come. In other words, their will to not come overruled Gods will that they do come.]


Luke 7:30 “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.” 


John 5:39-40 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”


Revelation 22:18 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Comments

  1. Calvinist

    Calvinist you picked the wrong flower
    Where in Hell did you get the L
    Limited atonement your limited God
    That's one Tulip I ain't gonna smell

    Calvinist what is up with you
    Was the I too irresistible not to include
    Grace that cannot be rejected
    Is not Grace but intrude

    Calvinist what did you go and do
    Picking scriptures just to suit you
    To make them fit into your flower
    A Gospel without any power

    Calvinist your man made doctrine
    Is totally depraved helping men to sin
    I could never pick it and believe
    In a dying tulip that does deceive

    Calvinist are you unconditionally elected
    But you could also be the one rejected
    If you must persevere unto the end
    To really truly know Christ is your friend

    Calvinist did Christ die for you
    How can you know this is absolutely true
    If for some he did not die
    Where's your hope then hear me cry

    Calvinist think this one through
    Take time out this you must do
    Persevere for a little while
    Kill the Tulip and now smile

    Calvinist you give satan a little loop
    You'll end up eating Esau's thick soup
    Selling your birthright for this lie
    Never sure you're the Apple of his eye.

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  2. Hi Marcos.
    As you know that I am not a Calvinist or an Arminianist, although some may call me a Calvinist, perhaps because I believe in election and the sovereignty of our Lord.
    A wise Arminian brother once said to me, "but Paul there is not such a thing as a CALMINIAN".
    However, I beg to differ.

    As it is with all believers we all believe those Scriptures you have quoted in your post, Arminians, Calvinists and Calminians alike. The difference is in our understanding of those passages and the plan of God in His creation.

    In the beginning there was only God the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing else, He was in the beginning and everything which came after was created by Him, through Him and For Him, whether powers or principalities or domains in heaven and on earth or under the earth, EVERYTHING was made by the Lord Jesus and nothing came into being apart from Him.
    To me that simply means that He is SOVEREIGN.
    He made all things for His good pleasure.
    Whether some of us understand that or not makes no difference to the Lord.
    Kind regard
    Paul

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  3. A Calminian? That's a fresh one! lol.

    I fully agree with your comment above brother Paul. I believe that God is indeed sovereign and that He made all things for His good pleasure. What I am trying to demonstrate in this post as that while God is sovereign that doesn't mean that He controls every centimeter of human choices and history. There is a difference between being sovereign and being a dictator.

    Great to hear form you again!

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  4. Well brother, a Calminian supposed to be a cross between a Calvinist and an Arminianist, a little bit of both :-)

    The Lord being a sovereign dictator, is a despot. And a despot is a person who has all power and authority, who does what he wills and does not seek counsel or instruction from anyone.
    Isn't that a picture of our Lord and God Jesus Christ?
    In (Acts 4:24) the word SOVEREIGN is translated from the word despot.
    If the Lord doesn't control everything, then who does?
    In the Scriptures it seems that the Lord Jesus doesn't control everything, because He has created man with a will or a free will so to speak.
    Tell me, what can a free will do?
    Can a free will cause you to be famous, handsome, rich, all powerful, healthy, wise etc. ?

    Marcos, I tried to 'WILL' all that plus more, but it didn't work. :-)
    Or perhaps a free will to sin or not to sin? Also no success.
    Or a free will to go to heaven or hell?
    Marcos, there would be not one who would choose or 'will' to go to hell, yes I have said NOT ONE !
    What about a free will to have eternal life or damnation? You know the answer to that.

    It was the Lord who told Adam to sin (Gen. 2:17) "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
    Did Adam's free will make a difference? I think not!

    What about Judas Iscariot, did he have a free will not to betray the Lord? Answer; certainly NOT!
    Judas said with his free will, "surely not I Lord?" (Mat. 26:25) then the Lord told him 'go and betray Me'. (John 13:27).

    Only the devil believes that he has a free will (Isa. 14:12-14) he said five times that he has a free will, and look at the response from the Lord (Isa. 14:15)!
    The Arminians never understood that.

    'Free Will', is two very short words, and don't you think that it would have been taught in the Apostles teachings?
    You may ask me, does a person have a free will to choose whether to eat bananas or tomatoes? Whether to obey or not to obey the Lord?
    The answer is yes certainly he has a free will to do so, but he doesn't have a free will to have a new life, to be born again.
    A man is NOT born again by his free will or the will of the flesh, but only by the will of God, whose will is the only will which is truly free.
    Every man has a will but that will is not free but under the control of his master, either the Lord Jesus Christ or Satan, and by their deeds we know who their master is.
    Paul

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    Replies
    1. My good friend! I am happy to once again have a friendly dialogue with you. However, these days I have very little time so how about we do it this way: I respond, you respond, then I respond again, and then you have the last word and we leave it there. Is that cool with you? I hope so. To my response:

      “The Lord being a sovereign dictator, is a despot. And a despot is a person who has all power and authority, who does what he wills and does not seek counsel or instruction from anyone. “

      In case you didn’t know, a despot simply defines a person in absolute power. It can imply a dictator but does not have to. You can have absolute power without being a dictator. The Lord Jesus Christ is never painted as a dictator. The text in Acts 4:24 is part of a much larger story of Peter and John going before the Sanhedrin to defend their faith. Peter told them that Jesus was “the stone you builders rejected.” In other words, Israel had rejected Jesus as a nation. This matches what Jesus said in Luke 7:30, “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.” So when the Christians gathered to pray they referred to God as sovereign while simultaneously understanding that he was not a dictator who created a robotic universe in which everything happened exactly as he willed it to happen. To the NT Christians God could be Sovereign without being a dictator. In addition, all of the texts I have shared above show beyond a shadow of a doubt that God does not control everything. He says that Israel did things that didn’t even come into his mind. In other words, he never thought of asking them to do such a thing and yet they did it anyhow. Unless you can wordsmith your way out of these texts they show that God is Sovereign but not a dictator. Calvin (or was it Augustine?) was great at “word smithing” himself out of clear Bible texts. For example, he said that in Luke 7:30 the Pharisees actually performed the will of God because it was Gods will that they reject His will.

      However, that’s not what the text says. It simply says they rejected his will, plain and simple.

      Now allow me to clarify what may be a misunderstanding. God is in control. God does plan things ahead of time and bring them to pass. We see that in prophecy all the time. God is not caught by surprise nor does anything slip through his fingers. However, this does not mean that the whole of human history is planned out from the beginning. There is a balance to be found there.

      Also when talking about free will we have to avoid the fallacy of symmetry and the fallacy of analogy. By this I mean that we cannot use natural law to describe the way spiritual/moral choices work. I did not choose to be born male, but it would be a fallacy of analogy and symmetry to suggest that in the same way I cannot choose to be born again. Analogies are only helpful when they help us understand spiritual truths but they should never mold them.

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    2. A good illustration to understand your point of view is this one: You say God told Adam to sin, as well as Judas. I suppose this also means that Satan and the rest of mankind sinned because God willed it to happen. Now suppose I enter your home. You are there with your parents. I kill both of them in cold blood and walk out. In court the judge asks you to testify against me. According to your theology this would be pointless because not only did I kill your parents but it was God who ordained that I should do it before I was even born. Therefore both God and I should be on trial. However, you will most likely testify against me and be angry that I would do such a thing and yet turn around and praise God for his goodness even though he was the one who caused it to happen. You see the self-refuting problem this causes? If I am angry at the gunman from the Colorado movie theater massacre then I should be angry at God for willing such a thing to happen. However, I don’t have to be angry at God because he neither willed it nor wanted it to happen. In Ezekiel 1:15 God says, "But I am very angry with the other nations that are now enjoying peace and security. I was only a little angry with my people, but the nations inflicted harm on them far beyond my intentions." God did will for those nations to attack Israel, but he didn’t will for them to go as far as they did. That was their choice. God is saying, “You went too far and now I am going to punish you.” That’s fair and just. But for God to say, “You did exactly as I willed and now I am going to punish you” is cruel, sadistic, and outrageous.

      “It was the Lord who told Adam to sin (Gen. 2:17) "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
      The Lord didn’t tell Adam to sin. The Lord warned him of the consequences. He told him not to do it and then he said, “in the day that you eat” so and so will happen. If I warn my son to not touch the hot iron and then tell him “in the day that you touch it you will burn your hand” I am not telling him to do it.

      “What about Judas Iscariot, did he have a free will not to betray the Lord? Answer; certainly NOT! Judas said with his free will, "surely not I Lord?" (Mat. 26:25) then the Lord told him 'go and betray Me'. (John 13:27).”

      Judas was lying plain and simple. He wasn’t suggesting he wouldn’t do it. He had already been conspiring with the Pharisees at this point. Jesus didn’t say “go and betray me” he said, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” There is a big difference there. Jesus is telling Judas to do what he had already planned to do.

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    3. “Only the devil believes that he has a free will (Isa. 14:12-14) he said five times that he has a free will, and look at the response from the Lord (Isa. 14:15)!”
      This text doesn’t deny that Satan has a free will, it actually proves it! He said “I will” do so and so. He wanted to take over Gods throne and he exercised his will to do so but he was not powerful enough. This text does not say that God caused him to rebel against his will and then he defeated him. It simply says that Satan tried and failed. Free will doesn’t mean things will always go your way, all it means is that you have the power to choose which path you will take.

      “Every man has a will but that will is not free but under the control of his master, either the Lord Jesus Christ or Satan, and by their deeds we know who their master is.”
      Here is where you and I fully agree. Now allow me to use three analogies to help explain where we differentiate.
      A man is in a prison cell. Jesus is standing outside of the cell. The man decides to go to Jesus out of his own free will and proceeds to do whatever he can to escape the cell. He tries to pick the lock, break the bars, and unhook the hinges to the cell all in an attempt to get to Jesus. This is legalism. It is the doctrine of absolute free will that was taught by men like Pelagius.
      A man is in a prison cell. Jesus is standing outside of the cell. The man has no interest in Jesus. Jesus opens the cell, swings the door open, and pulls the man out even though he doesn’t want out. This is “predestination” as taught by Calvin.

      A man is in a prison cell. Jesus is standing outside of the cell. The man has no interest in Jesus. Jesus opens the cell, swings the door open, and invites the man to come out. The Father then draws the man through the Holy Spirit. The man sees how much God loves him and his heart is moved. The man then chooses to accept the invitation of Jesus. Together they walk out of the cell. This is the doctrine of “prevenient grace.”

      I believe that prevenient grace is the most biblical understanding of salvation. We are neither free to choose Jesus for ourselves nor are we forced to choose Jesus. It is when God calls us that we can then respond. The act of responding is not a meritorious act. It is simply agreeing to the terms of the covenant set forth by God himself with no input of our own. As sister Brenda quoted below, “no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them”

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    4. My biggest contention with predestination is that it results in legalism. You say how? Allow me to explain.

      We are saved by Gods sovereign choice. How do we know we are saved? By our love for Jesus=regenerated life. This is the evidence that we have been saved. Pretty simple huh? It would be except for one problem: apostates. What do we say about those who had all of the evidence of love for Jesus and yet turn their backs on him? They had all of the evidence of a born again Christian and yet they apostatized. Well, according to a Calvinist they were never really born again. So how do I know if I am “really” born again? By your love for Jesus. But the apostate had loved Jesus too! For 30 years he was in the church and spoke ardently about his love for Jesus and lived a life that reflected his love to others and you say he was never really born again because he turned his back on Christ, so how do I know I won’t either?

      When I asked you about your assurance of salvation you said, “If I would be a son of the devil, then the Lord Jesus would not have caused me to be born again or would have put His Spirit into me." But this is not true because there are many who have a genuine rebirth and then apostatize. You continue:

      "The lost are haters of God and lovers of pleasures and lovers of self, they are always in enmity against us who love the Lord Jesus Christ with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Believing in "God" is no evidence of being children of God, since even the demons believe and tremble. So the evidence is the new birth (born again) for the believers themselves, and for the others, whether they love the Lord Jesus Christ and anyone who does not love the Lord Jesus Christ is not born of God”

      So now we have a problem. How do you know if you are one of the elect? The new birth which results in a love for Jesus that fuels good works. But the reprobate can have a genuine but temporary conversion experience in which they too have a love for Jesus and good works. So how do I know if my conversion is the temporary reprobate one or if I am really one of the elect? The favored Puritan answer was: "Consistent performance of righteous works over a lifetime." So the only person who can have assurance in this system is the old man on his death bed who hasn’t apostatized. The rest of us are left to worry whether or not we are truly elect or are simply experiencing a temporary conversion that may last for about 30-40 years before we apostatize and return to our hatred of God. It is a saved by grace, assurance by works theology which amounts to legalism (a classic trademark of Puritan lifestyle).

      This theology resulted in major psychological and spiritual problems for the Puritans, and rightly so! It is unbiblical and irrational.

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  5. I always find this scripture from John ch. 6 v. 44 very thought inspiring. 'No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them'.

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  6. Yes Marcos that's cool with me.

    Gen2:17 you said,"If I warn my son to not touch the hot iron and then tell him 'in the day that you touch it you will burn your hand' I am not telling him to do it,"
    Brother, you are mistaken, your actions speak louder than words.
    You know as much as I do, that your son doesn't know what it is to get burned, therefore he will touch it no matter what you say.
    The problem is with you! You really wanted your son to touch the iron so that he gets burnt and for that reason you put the iron there. We all know your motive and you need to be honest and admit it and don't excuse yourself for what you did, you didn't need to leave such a dangerous iron out.
    You are the unrighteous father and the Lord Jesus is the righteous Father, you cannot heal your son but the Lord Jesus can heal your son and even resurrect him from the dead.

    Judas Iscariot,(John 13:27) "Jesus TOLD him" what you are about to do, do quickly.

    And NO! Calvin did not preach predestination like your analogy, it's actually far from that.

    'Prevenient grace', An Arminian brother told me about Prevenient grace, although it's not in the Bible, he called it a grace that comes before the grace, I call it a 'CONVENIENT GRACE'.

    Apostates; I can see that really troubles you.
    I don't have a problem with apostates who masquerade themselves as servants of righteousness but really are sons of the devil. Their so called evidence will not remain, they went from us because they were not of us.
    The biggest problem is that most churches preach a false gospel, a gospel of works. Each church-denomination has their own 'pet- works' of what the unsaved must DO to be saved, ranging from, water baptism, sinners prayer, repent, ask Jesus into your heart, believe a specific doctrine, confess certain Bible statements and keep the Sabbath and the list goes on and on.

    You said, "The biggest contention with predestination is that it results in legalism?"
    I don't think so.

    You said, "We are saved by Gods sovereign choice."
    What does that mean?
    Unless you explain it, it is only a statement with no meaning.
    Do you mean that the Lord Jesus chooses to give eternal life to some and not to others randomly?
    Some kind of a Calvinistic (U) unconditional election?

    Well brother, sooner or later you need to deal with those questions, preferably sooner, or it will undermine your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    That's what happened to your church member who left the church after 30 years.

    I know that I am the elect and so should you!

    Puritans answer was incorrect. Remember that you need to believe the doctrines of the Apostles and not the Puritans.

    Tell me, Is a man born again by what he does?
    If it does depend on what a man does, then he is born again by WORKS and not by grace.
    Please listen carefully, if a man's new birth depends on anything of that person, then he is not born again by grace.
    Brother, you need to divide grace from works.
    Ok, I'll say it again in a different way, if a man does absolutely nothing, can he be saved??
    Paul

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  7. Hi Paul! Great to hear from you! Now before I reply I wanted to ask for your prayers. I am currently in the planning stages of moving back to Australia (Perth) so please pray for us that all will go well! I miss Australia a lot, and my wife (a Perth girl) is dying to go back (especially because of the beaches :D)!
    Now to my response.

    About the son and my iron. Point number one: It was an illustration, any illustration can be dissected because illustrations are not perfect (example: David uses an illustration when he says: “Wash me and I will be whiter than snow” to which someone can reply, “but snow melts!”) Does this mean that Gods washing melts too? Of course not! So let’s not get too picky with illustrations, lol. Point number two: With all due respect Paul, I find your logic very questionable. To suggest that I left the iron out on purpose and told my son not to touch it with the intention that he would is not only irrational but sick. Such a parent should be put into prison! I wouldn’t just leave the iron out on purpose so that he does get burned, I would only warn him so that when I am using it he won’t touch it. Of course, his curiosity will most likely get the best of him, but that doesn’t mean I made him do it nor does it mean I wanted him to.

    God did not tell them to eat the fruit my friend. Just read the text. Don’t make the text say what it is not saying, just read it and let it tell you what it is saying. It’s really common sense. God told them not to eat it and they chose to eat it. Period. To suggest that God caused sin to enter the world so that He could show us how good he is (A classic Calvinistic theory) is like a parent who abuses their child only to show them how loving they are. Would you beat your son with a stick so that later on you can hug him and show him how comforting you are? I hope not.

    “Judas Iscariot,(John 13:27) "Jesus TOLD him" what you are about to do, do quickly.”

    Of course he did, but he didn’t make him do it. There’s a world of difference here. Once again, you are reading into the text something that isn’t there.

    “'Prevenient grace', An Arminian brother told me about Prevenient grace, although it's not in the Bible, he called it a grace that comes before the grace, I call it a 'CONVENIENT GRACE'.”

    About prevenient grace. I must be clear that I do not embrace all of the implications of prevenient grace. When I use the term I am simply referring to the regenerating grace of God which comes to us before faith. We would never, in and of ourselves, look for God. So God initiates the search. He comes to us and He calls to us. His calling is the only thing that awakens our desire for him. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (John 6:44) That drawing is what I call prevenient grace. The Bible also says that “it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance.” (Rom 2:4). His kindness comes before my repenting. This pattern is repeated all throughout scripture. God always initiates the search and man is free to respond. Man never initiates the search. That is paganism and legalism.

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  8. Apostates:

    I don’t have a problem with Apostates either. It is predestination that has the problem. How does a sincere believer in Jesus, filled with love for God and good works, apostatize? Clearly he must have had (according to Calvinism) a temporary conversion. He was a son of the devil whom god temporarily converted for some strange reason unbeknownst to us and then he went out again. But how do you know that you yourself are not some temporary conversion? How can you be 100% sure that you are of the elect? There are many, like you, who have confidently defended their election and yet have strayed back into the world. So how do you know you won’t? What If God has chosen that you would have a temporary conversion for about 50 years and at the end you would be lost again? There is a problem here the only way to avoid it as a believer in predestination is to ignore it.

    Now allow me to share with you a brief Greek word study I did titled, “Can we be saved against without the exercise of the will?”

    σωζω (save)“And it shall be, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'” (Act 2:21 NAS)

    According to this text, those who are σωζω are those who call on the name of Jesus. Thus, it is evident from this text alone that the exercise of the will plays a role in salvation. “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;” (Rom 10:9 NAS) Again, two acts of the will are mentioned. Confession and belief. To confess and belief are acts of the will. “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1Ti 4:16 NAS)

    The act of being σωζω includes a non-meritorious act of the will. Likewise, the act of remaining in the σωζω experience also involves a non-meritorious act of the will.
    σωτηρια (salvation) for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:10 NAS) According to this text, σωτηρια is the result of a man both believing and confessing.

    For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10 NAS)
    Repentance, according to this text, is a gift of God. God places repentance within the heart of man. However, it is still up to the man whether or not he will repent for repentance is not forced.

    So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; (Philippians 2:12 NAS)

    The phrase “work out your own salvation” does not mean that salvation is up to us, but that it is up to us whether or not God does His saving work in us. Thus it is evident that salvation, while free for the taking, must still be taken.

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  9. Your mistake is this brother Paul. You erroneously believe that the act of the will is works. Not so. The New Covenant was made by God. He set the terms for it. There is absolutely no merit in choosing to comply with those terms. Suppose I am drowning and a rescue boat pulls up. The rescuer throws out a lifeline and says “grab on!” so I do. Can I go home and tell my family how I saved myself by grabbing the lifeline? Not at all. My ability to grab is worthless if the lifeline is not there. Likewise, my faith is worthless, absolutely worthless to gain me salvation. What gains me salvation is that the Lord provided a lifeline for me to grab. Without that lifeline my faith would do nothing for me! It is only because the Lord provided a lifeline that I can be saved and there is no merit in me complying with the condition (grab the line). Taking hold of the line is me saying “I trust you God!” It is not me saying, “God look at how awesome I am! Now take me to heaven because I deserve it!”

    There is a huge difference between the works of the law and the exercise of the will. The NT never once rejects the exercise of the will, but it always rejects the works of the law as a basis for salvation.

    Well brother Paul, this is my final response. I now open the floor to you to have the final word. Once again, it has been a pleasure.

    Your friend, Marcos.

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  10. Hi Marcos! Yes Australia is the best place to live, we say "one day beautiful, perfect the next."
    I'm sure you will like it here, the people are great, except the present government is unthinkable bad, but I think it will change at the next election in September. It will take some time till you have established some close friends and get to know the Australian way, after that it's great.

    I was born in Switzerland Europe of Swiss parents, migrated to Australia and married to an Aussie-girl and lived happily ever after here in Down-Under.

    Response to your comment.
    Yes brother I know that it was an illustration, in fact the whole Bible is full of illustrations and Gen. 2:17 is also an illustration. It is not a matter of reading the text as you have said, I think we both are old enough to read the text, it is one thing to read the text and another to understand the text. The Ethiopian Eunuch also could read the text, but could not understand it. (Gen. 2:17) The Lord Jesus said, "You must not eat from the tree etc.", I really hope that you don't think that the Lord Jesus is speaking of literal 'eating' and from a tree as literal 'tree'?? If you do, then you have a serious problem and I don't know what to say.

    In your and the Lord's illustration of Genesis you both put the obstacle there, there, you as the father supposed to know the consequence of your action.
    The Lord purposely put the tree in the garden (Gen. 2:9) so that Adam would die, if He didn't wanted His son to die, He could have removed the tree from the garden. And NO! He didn't want to teach Adam a lesson.
    Yes brother, my logic is a lot different from yours.

    Concerning Judas; (John 6:70) Why do you defend a devil? The verse Brenda quoted (John 6:44) clarifies election.

    Apostates;
    Marcos, I'm not a Calvinist, I don't believe in temporary conversions as they do.

    I believe that a person is DEAD! And you cannot convert dead people.
    Dead people first need to be born again and then they are a brand new man (spiritually), this is what they themselves can not do. After they are alive in Christ, only their soul ( which is their thinking, sensing, feeling, tasting, hearing, seeing, doing etc.)which needs to be converted and adjusted to the Spirit in them, this is what they can do by their will.

    The problem with all Arminianists is that they always bypass the new birth and think that they can convert the the natural man to a Spiritual man by their free will, for that reason many of their congregations are still dead in their sins and trespasses but trying hard to adjust to the Law and the requirements of the Lord. In their attempt to do so, they miserably fail and after a while they walk away from the Lord just as you have said.

    Your Greek word study and the analogy is simply not true.
    The 'WILL' is always meritorious! Everything which happens after the will is contributed to the will and therefore is meritorious.

    If your survival depended on you grabbing the lifeline, then you are saved by that merit, and that merit is called WORKS. I don't think that you really believe that a person is DEAD in their sins and trespasses.
    The Lord Jesus would NEVER EVER throw a lifeline to a dead (drowned) person because He knows just as I do, that dead people can't grab lifelines, it would be hard enough for a living person to do so.

    The Lord Jesus lept into the raging waters and dragged His dead son to the shore and breathed into him a new life, born again, that's the way Jesus saved all His children who died in Adam.

    Brother, once you can see the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ, then you will throw all that Arminian rubbish into the rubbish bin just as I have done.
    Lots of brotherly kindness
    Paul

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  11. HI Paul,

    Thanks for your response! Although much more could be said I promised you the last word and am too busy to take it much further.

    As always let us remember that although we can have theological differences there is certainly one thing we agree on - Jesus is our Lord and Savior. When you and I walk into the Kingdom of God we will do so with the full realization that we are there only by the grace of God. I often think of the song "I Can Only Imagine" and wonder what it will be like when I finally see Jesus.

    Blessings!
    Marcos

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  13. In response to the ignorant post & the foolish Lazarus Currie -

    Jesus said, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.' and Paul teaches in Romans 6 that we are all slaves to sin; why? because we are conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5); thus we are under bondage to sin, serving the will of sin. Ask the question: 'Does a slave have any free will of his own'? Answer: absolutely not - his will is to do the will of his master; and sin is our master; that is why we all cannot stop sinning. But when we are saved by Christ, we then become slaves to righteousness; meaning slaves to another master; doing the works of righteousness and no more for sin - This is clear and evident throughout Romans 6; what this means is that as humans, we have no free will - God may have asked us to choose, but our choice is to do always that which is 'sin'; God wants to demonstrate something to us, to show us that even given a choice to choose Him, we will not, for we love sin and we serve sin; that is why we are held accountable. We are not given free will, but only a choice; a choice in which we MUST make. Assume that we refuse to make any choice, and exercise our free will, to not make any choices God sets before us, what happens then? We go to hell. What happened to our free will? Free will implies a power to choose to do whatever and not have any negative occurrence or punishment based upon our free willed decision.

    Marco, your initial posting makes it sounds like God cannot ordain anything; or that God ordains half and lets man do the other half - which is? Either God is in full control or man is - why would God interject here and there and let man run the course of history at other times?

    God's Sovereignty involves God allowing man to do what it is that is in his nature; that is to say, God will let man go to do what man wants to do; but that does not mean God is not sovereign; in fact it means God is so sovereign, that we are able to do what we do ONLY because He has allowed us to do so.

    Proverbs 19:21 says, “There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”

    Prov. 14:6 says that God is the creator of both good and evil. And Isaiah 45:7 says, "I form the light and create darkness".

    Forget not also that God said, "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." (Isa 46:9-11) -- This emphatically means all things have been ordained by God and what ever God wishes to be done shall be done, on earth as it is in heaven. When Jesus made that prayer, it means all his will shall be done.

    Ask yourself why would God commissioned Isaiah to go and preach a message whereby it would make those who hear of it NOT repent but rather die in their sins? (Isaiah 610)

    Ask yourself why did God commit all man unto unbelief as in Romans 11:32??

    You cannot put God in a box and pick and chose verses to support your one sided Armenian heresy - you need to consider all the other scriptures which is a direct contradiction of all the verses you have picked out and find a way to reconcile them, otherwise you have a contradicting bible before you. Failure to reconcile these scriptures leaves one in a mind state as that of an Armenian.

    -- Peter.
    Acts 13:48 -- "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."

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  14. Marcos, all your comments are man-centered -- why would God do that to man.... consider:

    A question many would ask then, why would God make such a creation and condemn them? It’s not fair for them. But why not ask, why would God make such a creation, and subject himself under their care when he became incarnate, place himself into his creation, have them ridicule and destroy him, put himself on the cross and slaughter him? Why would God make such a creation and place himself in the midst of it to die such an agonizing death?

    I highly encourage you read Revelation 4:11 and meditate upon that verse – you shall know that all things were and are created for His purpose and His glory, not for themselves.

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  15. Hello Peter!

    Thank you so much for your comment. Unfortunately I am so ridiculously busy with school these days that I have absolutely no time to engage in a dialogue. These issues are deep and take time to sort through, Unfortunately I do not have that time right now.

    If you read the above article along with my discussion with brother Paul and also my blog post "Do You Qualify for Salvation?" Along with the conversation I had with brother Paul there as well you will get a clearer picture of where I stand.

    I fully agree with your statement, "You cannot put God in a box and pick and chose verses to support your one sided Armenian heresy - you need to consider all the other scriptures which is a direct contradiction of all the verses you have picked out and find a way to reconcile them, otherwise you have a contradicting bible before you. Failure to reconcile these scriptures leaves one in a mind state as that of an Armenian. "

    I am not an Armenian. I find myself somewhere in between Armenian theology and Calvinism and consider myself to be more of a Wesleyan-Armenian than anything else. At the end of the day the labels are misleading because I simply intend to follow scripture. We cannot quote pro-Armenian verses and ignore those that seem pro-Calvinism. Likewise I suggest we cannot quote pro-Calvinism verses and ignore those that seem pro-Armenian like the ones I quoted in my article above. My purpose in this article was not to throw Calvinism under the bus entirely but to show that there is a Armenian tension in scripture as well. The truth I believe, is somewhere in the middle.

    Again, I simply don't have the time right now to debate these issues but thank you for sharing your thoughts here. We may not always agree but it is always a pleasure to connect with those who love Jesus.

    Blessings,
    Marcos

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  16. A simple question for you to consider Marcos, and perhaps you can work your way down the creation and history of man:

    Did God know before creating the angels that Lucifer and the third would turn on Him? Did God know that Adam and Eve would disobey Him? Did God know that the nations would revolt against Him and worship Satan?

    The answer to all of such questions is "yes". Yes God knew. How did He know? Did He know because He looked down the future and saw how things played out? Or did He know because He has declared the end from the beginning? (Isaiah 46:10)

    God created all things; it is impossible for God to create man and say to Himself, "lets see what this man is capable of doing or see what decisions he will make" - for God knows all things. Since He created us, He knows what we would do, not leave Himself blinded in a way that He does not know what we are capable of nor of the choices we would make; this means that God created us to be what we are; for to say God created a creation and does not know what the creation is capable of doing or choosing, is to say God is not omniscient.

    That said, since He created us as such, and was not taken by surprise all the betrayals, even from the angels, then it is obvious that He has ordained for all things and declared for all things to come to pass. Thus He is sovereign.

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    1. Hello HisServant! Sorry it has taken me so ridiculously long to reply. I got your comment sometime ago, intended to respond, and then completely forgot.

      On any note, you ask a good question. I think the best answer is one that takes all of the evidence into account, not just some. For example, you quoted Isaiah 46:10. The word declare literally means to tell. That is all. The Hebrew word nagad means to tell or to make known, not to preordain. However, the rest of the text makes it clear that God does preordain the future. So in this context God is making known something he has declared to happen already. The context of the verse however, is not universal but local. God has preordained certain events to happen in the history of Israel, not every event. Jeremiah is a perfect example: “they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind.” Jeremiah 19:5. According to God, the rebellion of Israel is something that did not come into his mind meaning, he never desired for them to do such a thing. If you read the list of verses in the post above you will see many instances in which it is perfectly clear that something happened in history that God did not preordain. Thus, the complete Biblical picture is not absolute predestination, nor is it absolute free will. Both are at play. There are certain events that God predestines and others which he does not. The most important event which God never preordains is personal/ individual salvation.

      It is also important to realize that God knowing the future is not the same as God planning the future. It is clear from scripture that God is omniscient but that does not mean that he preordains for all these things to happen. In short, omniscience does not necessitate preordination. It is possible for God to know the future without having ordained that future to take place.

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