An expose' of Matthew 23:13

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by SovereignGrace, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace
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    "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[Matthew 23:13]

    Now, if you let this verse stand alone without further investigating how God deals with both His ppl and the reprobates, this verse would suggest that Pharisees, Saducees, Scribes, religious Jewish leaders, &c were blocking ppl who were truly seeking God from going to heaven. But let us delve deeper and investigate this.

    In John 6:37, Jesus stated thusly "All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." We can take great comfort in knowing that the calling of God is via an effectual means, Him drawing us unto Himself. So, if someone was truly seeking God and God allowed these religious leaders to successfully keep them from going through the portals of heaven, that would make God the cruelest being of all time. Yet, we know that God is not this way, and welcomes all who approach Him in true faith and repentance. As Jeremiah the prophet wrote You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.[Jeremiah 29:13] So anyone who is truly seeking God, they will find Him, as it is Him who was first at work changing their heart to be able to seek Him.

    The problem stems from ppl's wicked hearts. As unregenerate, they have zero desire to seek Him. Their mind is an enemy of God[Romans 8:7], their hearts do not desire to love Him, as anyone who loves God, this love is wrought within them by God.{1 John 4:7] God does not hold anyone back from coming to Him, as we can read But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."[Romans 10:21] Jesus is standing with his hands stretched out, but the problem is no one, of their own choosing, will willingly come to Him. This is why it was God who first chose us, and not vice versa. As Jesus told His disciples "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you."[John 15:17] No one seeks God.[Romans 3:11] That is why God first came looking for Adam after he sinned. Adam wanted nothing to do with Him, as he and Eve ran and hid in the bushes.[Genesis 3:8] That is why God sought out Abram who was a pagan living in a pagan country, whose pagan father made idols.[Genesis 12] That is why it was God who sought Moses out as he was hiding in the desert for 40 years after killing an Egyptian.[Exodus 3] That is why God sent Samuel to find David as he was tending to the flock.[1 Samuel 16] So the reoccurring theme of the bible is it is God who seeks the unregenerate out and effectually draws them to Himself.

    So, getting back to Matthew 23:13 to close this post out...If anyone truly seeks God, they will find Him. If ppl are trying to block them from entering, He will either send someone to help them, or remove the stumbling block, or both. I will close with this verse..."It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God. Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me."[John 6:45]
     
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  2. SovereignGrace

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    Also, ppl who were truly obeying what these religious leaders were listening to what they wanted to hear to begin with. Look at those who love to hear the Catholic priests, those who love the prosperity doctrine, these ppl are For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.[2 Timothy 4:3]

    God also uses ppl to send judgments upon them as well. Look at Hitler and what he did to the Jews during his time as Fuhrer. God used Pharoah to break His ppl from failing to believe in Him. He used Babylon, and especially Nebuchadnezzar to bring them back to Himself. So, I think it is safe to say that these religious leaders had them hoodwinked, and they loved what they were told, as well.
     
  3. SovereignGrace

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    I also think Matthew 23:13 hearkens back to He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'[Isaiah 6:9] These who were being bamboozled could not understand the truth if they were smacked in the face with it.
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    ROFLOL. Matthew 23:13 means what it says. Why deny the very words of Jesus?
    1) Draw does not mean God's tractor beam of irresistible grace. Strike one.

    2) Seeking God and finding God does not equate with being born anew under the New Covenant. Strike two. The people of Matthew 23:13 were seeking God effectively until blocked by false teachers.

    3) Then comes the assertion of total spiritual inability affecting all people all the time, which of course is demonstrated false by Matthew 23:13. Strike three.
     
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  5. SovereignGrace

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    I do that by reading your theology.

    I do not deny Jesus' words. Please quit saying that. Jesus also said He was the Door into the sheep pen in John 10. Yet, He does not have a door knob. John wrote in Revelation 1 that a sword came out of Jesus' mouth. In John 6 Jesus said "unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of man and drink of His blood, you have no life in you." What the bible says and means many times is not the same.

    What part of to 'literally drag off' is hard to grasp? The same word in John 6:44 is the same used when Peter drew the sword and cut a guy's ear off. The same word was used when they drug the net full of fish to the shore. It shows the drawing of God is effectual to the saving of a sinner.

    Okay...answer me this. Is there anyone who truly seeks God that will die lost?

    The sooner you study nekros the easier this will be for you to grasp.
     
  6. Van

    Van
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    1) Metaphorically draw means to attract, the allurement of charisma. God's draws us with lovingkindness.
    2) Is it possible that some of the people seeking God, will not be saved? Yes Romans 9:30-33
    3) The men of Matthew 23:13 were spiritually dead, yet were seeking God, thus total spiritual inability is mistaken doctrine.

    I can do this all day.
     
  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    The question is not what the English word 'draw' means; the question is what the Greek word helkuo means. That is why we need to compare it to the other usages in the NT. When we do that we find, as has been pointed out ad nauseam, that it means to bring irresistibly. But even in my trusty Oxford Concise Dictionary, I find that it means 'to attract,' 'to bring to oneself or to something.' Now if you attract someone, he comes to you. If he doesn't come, he's not attracted QED. So when the Lord Jesus says, "I will draw all [people] to Myself," if they don't come, He hasn't drawn them QED again. He also says, "The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." So if all people are being drawn to Christ, He promises that He will certainly not reject them, so they are all saved QED again. God certainly draws us with lovingkindness (or 'covenant mercies,' Heb. hesed), but that does not the drawing any less irresistible (Song of Solomon 1:2-4)

    But 'all' does not always mean every single person unless you believe that every single person in Judea and the region around the Jordan went out to John the Baptist and every single one of them was baptized by him (Matthew 3:5), which cannot be true because of Luke 7:30.
    Nothing in Romans 9:30-33 about seeking God. The Jews were seeking the law of righteousness and seeking it the wrong way; ie. not by seeking Christ (v.33). "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matthew 7:8). There is, of course, a qualification to this in Deuteronomy 4:29. '.....You will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.' Half-hearted seeking gets one nowhere (cf. James 1:6-8).
    Nothing in Matthew 23:13 that says that the men were spiritually dead, and if they were seeking God with all their heart and soul (see above) the scribes and Pharisees could not keep them away.
    I think everyone's aware of that. It's nothing to boast about. 'As a dog returns to its own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly' (Proverbs 26:11).
     
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  8. Van

    Van
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    Martin, we are not talking about the English word, but about the metaphoric usage of the Greek word. So you start of with a strawman argument to deflect.

    To be drawn with lovingkindness does not suggest in the least a tractor beam like the fictional irresistible grace. Even Martin Luther could grasp this truth, why do all the advocates for the nameless doctrine claim total spiritual inability when it comes to alternate biblical views?

    To be attracted to God does not require a wholehearted commitment to God. Scripture speaks of lip service Christians.

    Next, Jesus did not say He would not reject some of those drawn, that is just another fiction. He said that those given to Him He would not cast out. Please do not rewrite John 6:37 to conform to your view.

    No one said all in John 12:32 refers to everyone that ever lived. It refers to all the people who behold Him high and lifted up, i.e. dying for all mankind. The attraction or allurement stems from God's lovingkindness.

    Your view of Romans 9 is without merit. Again, folks, the commentaries agree, we do not attain the righteousness from God through works (obeying Mosaic Law) by through faith.

    According to Total Spiritual Inability there would be no one seeking after God, either by works or by faith.

    And then Martin, you once again deny Matthew 23:13 which teaches the men in the process of entering the kingdom of heaven were blocked. Please do not try to rewrite yet another verse.
     
  9. HankD

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    I agree with Van on this one. Jesus words are plain and simple and to the point.
    BTW who said those trying to enter the kingdom of heaven were not already redeemed.

    I don't know how to reconcile the apparent tension in this verse as if God's purpose was being thwarted by the unregenerate but it appears that way and so I accept what appears to be the impossible and say along with Jesus

    But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees.
    and consider it a warning with BAD consequences.

    And OBTW this rebuke is NOT addressed by me to ANYONE posting here.

    Thanks to all.
    HankD
     
  10. Van

    Van
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    Thanks HankD, we agree, the Bible means what it says, and if it seems to conflict with our presuppositions, rather than rewrite the bible, we should rewrite our presuppositions.

    If you are using the word "redeemed" to mean saved, the reason is no one could block God transferring an individual into the kingdom of His Son. Colossians 1:13. So what seems to be indicated is the men were establishing their faith in Christ when they were derailed.
     
  11. HankD

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    Yes, or something like that, now Jesus says "him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out".

    HankD
     
  12. Van

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    Absolutely, and thus only those that "arrive" in Christ are in view because you must be "in" Christ in order to be cast out. Therefore positional sanctification, God putting someone in Christ is in view, rather than someone mentally committing to faith toward Christ.
     
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  13. The Biblicist

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    No one wants to go to hell. Everyone wants eternal life and go to heaven. The problem is that none want eternal life God's way. The Pharisees did not preach the true gospel. What they preached made their converts "two more child of hell" then themselves as all who preach another gospel are accursed as much as those who embrace it. The consequence is that they really close the door of heaven when they preach another gospel. The consequence is that those desiring to enter heaven are prevented by embracing such a false gospel.

    Unfortunately, Van and others don't interpret this text in its context. If they did, they would find that the consequence of the gospel being preached by the scribes and Pharisees was an anti-christ gospel of justification by works and the absolute proof is that Jesus defines their converts as two fold more children of hell JUST LIKE THEMSELVES. But, who cares about context? Right?
     
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  14. Iconoclast

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    Agreed.....thank. you
     
  15. Van

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    Yet another advocate of the nameless doctrine changing the subject. Men were entering the kingdom of heaven. That means they were seeking God. They were not under the influence of irresistible grace because they were blocked.

    This statement is true, but does not conform to the nameless doctrine. The nameless doctrine says no one desires entering heaven because no one ever seeks God. And then it says those enabled by irresistible grace are compelled by the power of God and cannot be blocked. So Matthew 23:13 is a twofer.
     
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  16. HankD

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    Thanks for pointing that out Biblicist. I missed that in the context.

    HankD
     

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