arminian question

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by paul hadik, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. paul hadik

    paul hadik
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    I have heard it said too often that if Calvinism is true there is no reason for a Christian to witness as God will save His elect anyway.
    Let's turn it around.
    If people must make a personal decision for or against Christ and I as a Christian for whatever reason do not witness, am I being instrumental in people remaining lost?
    (in other words...does God NEED my help?)
     
  2. trueliberty

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    Short answer-yes

    Bible proof includes the warning about the watchmen who did not warn those around him (Ezekiel 3:17-21, 33:6-9) and the message of Romans 10:14-17 and 1 Corinthians 1:21 which shows the necessity of preaching the word in witness. People do not get saved in a vacuum. They need a gospel tract, a burdened neighbor or friend or relative or soul-winner, a TV or radio evangelistic program--some way in which they can be in contact with the message of the Gospel.
    So, yes you would be instrumental in people remaining lost. The issue of God needing us is a different matter. No, God doesn't NEED us, he's sovereign and could save everyone in an instant. But he's chosen you and me to be the vehicle whereby a sinner gets saved. Hey, God chose---HOW ABOUT THAT!

    Seems like some "Calvinists" around here don't like the way God's CHOSEN to do things
    Maybe they have an Arminian streak to them after all [​IMG]
     
  3. JHA

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    trueliberty: The only responsibility we carry is that of obeying the command to spread the gospel. We plant seeds. God the Holy Spirit quickens to life according to God the Fathers election of those that will be saved.

    As Christ clearly stated..."All that the Father gives Me will come to Me..." (John 6:37) You see, the obsolute nature of that claim is based firmly in God's sovereignty. Since it is ALL of Him, he can proclaim that of "all He has given Me I should lose nothing..." (John 6:39) We are instruments indeed, but toward God's determined end.

    Christ was very clear about those who would come to him....

    "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

    "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." (John 6:65)


    Let us share with joy and enthusiasm the Good News with all and watch in wonder as "...the Lord add(s) to the church daily those who (are) being saved." (Acts 2:47)

    [ December 03, 2002, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: Barnabas ]
     
  4. trueliberty

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    and always compare John 6:44 with John 12:32

    John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    John 12:32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men unto me."

    As plain as day, we see that the Lord draws all people unto himself (John 1:9) Since that's the case, the answer to John 6:44 is that ALL can come to Jesus. Obviously, since not all DO come, they reject the Holy Spirit's witness to them and show that the doctrine of Irresistible Grace is not biblical.
     
  5. EPH 1:4

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    If ALL men is ALL without exception, then ALL will be born again! See you and ALL in heaven!
     
  6. Chris Temple

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    trueliberty: The problem here is your universal use of ALL necesitates universal salvation. Christ does nto say all can come to him; he says just the opposite. NO ONE can come to him unless the Father draws him. ALL does not mean ALL men universally, but All types of men, the elect out of the world.

    Jesus explains this clearly in John 6:61-65 (ESV)
    But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? [62] Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? [63] It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. [64] But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) [65] And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."

    Only those whom the Father has chosen can believe and be saved.

    [ December 03, 2002, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: Barnabas ]
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by trueliberty:
    and always compare John 6:44 with John 12:32<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually, John 6:44 must be compared with John 6:65 "He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."

    No one comes unless the Father has enabled him and all that the Father enables comes. It therefore precludes the possibility of any being effectually drawn and yet not coming.

    On John 12:32 Morris says,

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>"Draw" is used elsewhere in this Gospel to bring out the truth that people do not naturally come to Christ. It is only as God works in one's soul and draws one that one can come to Christ ... "All men" is something of a problem, for in fact not every person is drawn to Christ, and this Gospel envisabes the possibility that some will be not be. We must accordingly take the expression to mean that all those who come to CHrist are there because they have been drawn. Jesus is not affimring that the whole owrld will be saved; he is affirming that all who are saved are saved in this way. He is speaking of a universal rather than a narrowly noationalist religion. The death of Jesus would mean the end of particularism. By virtue of that death "all men" and not the Jews alone would be drawn. And they would be drawn only by virtue of that death.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Furthermore, "men" is not in the text per se. It is "pantas;" the "what" is not specified. Here is means all kinds of people, such as men from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation (Rev 5:9). It does not refer to all men without distinction.

    This is where the issue of Analogia Scriptura becomes so important. Scripture must be interpreted in light of Scripture because there can be no contradiction in the revelation of the one God.
     
  8. trueliberty

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    from Chris Temple "your universal use of ALL necessitates universal salvation"
    Actually it means a universal opportunity to be saved-read John 1:9. It would only necessitate universal salvation if these were the only scriptures on the subject, which of course is not the case.

    Acts 17:30-31a "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; BUT NOW commandeth ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained..."
    What about the word "all" here? Does it not say God commands all people to repent? (giving a basis for the righteous judgment of God)


    2 Peter 3:9b "..not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (also 1 Timothy 2:4)
    There's that blasted word again :rolleyes:
    Does it not say God's desired will is that all would repent?

    Luke 3:6 "all flesh shall see the salvation of God" (I believe that means all humans--what say you?)
    Titus 2:11 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men"
    Luke 2:10 (just in time for Christmas)

    [​IMG] "Fear not: for , behold., I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people"
    Well, well, well---let's see. All flesh, all men, all people---do you possibly just maybe God might just be saying ---------umm---------ALL? :eek:

    and the big verses here
    Romans 5:18 "Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came UPON ALL MEN unto justification of life"
    To deny that this free gift is not meant for all, but only for the elect--is to deny that Adam's sin affects everyone. You can't say you weren't born with a sinful nature, so you can't say that everyone wasn't born with an opportunity to believe the Gospel and to trust in Christ.

    Isaiah 53:6 "ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned EVERY ONE to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us ALL"
    Similar comparison--ALL are depraved, under Adam's sin---therefore---all are under the promise of the atonement if they believe.
    In other words, to deny that the atonement of Christ is universal is to deny that the sinful nature of all mankind inherited from Adam is universal.


    1 God commands all to repent
    2. God desires all to repent
    3. the message of repentance is given to all
    4 the message of repentance is meant for all
    5. provision has been made for all

    and guess what---God chose to do it that way--because he's sovereign
    And if Revelation 22:17 is true-that "whosoever will" may come then this atonement must be for all. and getting back to the original question by Paul Hadik, all have a responsibility to tell all they can.

    Now if some people are not drawn by the Holy Spirit, and if the atonement isn't for some people, then these folks (the non-elect) must commit the sin of unbelief. Yet God commands them to repent!! God then would demand from them an impossibility, and God would be party to their sin. God's holy so that simply can't be!

    Pity all the poor Sunday school kids who read the words "Christ died for all" or similar statements and actually think it means all :(
     
  9. S. Baptist

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by trueliberty:
    from Chris Temple "your universal use of ALL necessitates universal salvation"
    Actually it means a universal opportunity to be saved-read John 1:9. It would only necessitate universal salvation if these were the only scriptures on the subject, which of course is not the case.

    :(
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also

    for the sins of the whole world.

    Calvinist like to quote the verse that no one comes to God except God calls them, but they forget the "many are called, few are chosen".

    Under "predestination", we have a "sadistical God" tempting some men with a "salvation" he has no intentions of giving them.

    Why else would God "call them" if he didn't "predestinate" to save them????

    Is this the "same god" who "loved the world", the "Whole world", ??? John 3:16

    As long as men have "free will", most will not chose to let the "Spirit" led and guide.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by S. Baptist:
    1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No one here denies this. The question you must wrestle with is how is Christ the propitiation for our sins in the same way that he is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world? Is it actual or it is only possible?

    If it is actual, then "world" cannot mean all men without distinction. If it is possible, then it is not a propitiation; it is only a potential for propitiation. A propitiation is an atoning sacrifice that satisfies the wrath of God. However, it is clear that Christ did not propitiate the sins of the whole world because some still die and go to hell.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Under "predestination", we have a "sadistical God" tempting some men with a "salvation" he has no intentions of giving them.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    God is not sadistical; the God of predestination is a God of love and grace. In predestination, God saves those who would otherwise go to hell to be separated from him for all eternity in eternal conscious torment. Were it not for God's predestination then none would be saved because there is none who seeks God and no who understands; none who does good (Rom 3); there is no one in the flesh who is able to please God (Rom 8); their minds are blinded so that they cannot see the truth (2 Cor 4); they are all turned out of the way (Isa 53); they are all dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2).

    If your conception of God were accurate, then no one would be saved because these simple biblical statements are true.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>As long as men have "free will", most will not chose to let the "Spirit" led and guide.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually you mispoke. As long as man has free will, NONE will chose to let the Spirit lead and guide. That free will of man always operates according to the sinful nature and enmity that he has with God. Until God does something to intervene, all choices will be made against God.

    [ December 15, 2001: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  11. trueliberty

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    originally posted by Pastor Larry: "....a God of love and grace. In predestination,God saves those who would otherwise go to hell..."

    Yes, but why doesn't he then save all? In effect you limit the extent of God's love and thwart the potential reach of God's grace. His love and grace are unlimited. How is God's love and grace shown in not saving(or electing) the others?

    "However, it is clear that Christ did not propitate the sin of the whole world because some still die and go to hell"
    It is clear I didn't buy that Christmas present for you because you never took it and used it, etc.
    But of course I bought it. The issue of your acceptance or rejection of it does not change the fact that I bought it for you.

    I Timothy 4:10 "...we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."
    He purchased salvation for all. Only some will believe. Hell was originally prepared for the devil and his angels--it is only because many spurn the propitiation offered that these will join them there.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by trueliberty:
    Yes, but why doesn't he then save all? In effect you limit the extent of God's love and thwart the potential reach of God's grace. His love and grace are unlimited. How is God's love and grace shown in not saving(or electing) the others?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    To me the question is, Why did he save any? He didn't save all because in his eternal wisdom and pursuit of his glory he decided not to. How is God's grace shown in not saving others? I don't know that the purpose of not saving others is to show his grace. I have never seen that as a purpose. I have not limited the love of God nor thwarted the potential reach of his grace. God has chosen to do what he has does because it is in accordance with his eternal plan. His grace has no "potential" reach; it is all actual.

    [/quote]"However, it is clear that Christ did not propitate the sin of the whole world because some still die and go to hell"
    It is clear I didn't buy that Christmas present for you because you never took it and used it, etc. But of course I bought it. The issue of your acceptance or rejection of it does not change the fact that I bought it for you.
    [/quote]

    Bad analogy because of the meaning of propitiation. Propitiate (hilaskomas) is to appease, not to make appease possible. Christ, in his atonement, appeased the wrath of God. Yet you must explain how a wrath that has been appeased is still poured out on unbelievers. To say that Christ propitiated the wrath for all sinners without distinction would be to make God an unjust judge, for he would punish Christ for the sins of the world and then turn and punish unbeleivers for the same sin. He would, in effect, receive a double payment (if such a thing can be comprehended in an infinite price) for the same sin. To me, God is not unjust so as to punish Christ for my sin and then turn to punish me for my sin.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>He purchased salvation for all. Only some will believe. Hell was originally prepared for the devil and his angels--it is only because many spurn the propitiation offered that these will join them there.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think 1 Tim 2:4 must be understood as a sufficient/efficient salvation. Christ was sufficient for the sins of all men without distinction; He is efficient only for those who believe. The ones that believe are those who have been chosen by God.

    I think ultimately, there is a tension which we cannot comprehend with our finite minds. My position is not the one I have always held. It is the result of coming to Scripture and realizing what it said. I can't explain all the "whys and wherefores" about it, but I have to accept what Scripture says.
     
  13. Eladar

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by paul hadik:
    I have heard it said too often that if Calvinism is true there is no reason for a Christian to witness as God will save His elect anyway.
    Let's turn it around.
    If people must make a personal decision for or against Christ and I as a Christian for whatever reason do not witness, am I being instrumental in people remaining lost?
    (in other words...does God NEED my help?)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    We are all God's instuments, some to do His will, others to rebel. If we reject to do God's will, then we are in rebellion.

    This topic reminds me of the parable of the man with two sons. One son says yes I will do as you ask and the other says no, but only the one who said no actually went out and did the work.

    We are all God's instruments, and we don't get to define which one we are by our words.
     
  14. paul hadik

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    true liberty:

    I appreciate your emphasis on obeying God's command to witness.
    Calvinists feel the same way.
    I just have this uneasy feeling that a can of worms is open on the floor somewhere in the arminian thought. I become essential to the plan of salvation as a witnesser. Where there is no witness then the idea of fairness arises (a non-issue to the Calvinist).
    I become a necessary partner for the Holy Spirit so to speak as opposed to an instrument of the Spirit.
    (this then opens the door to all sorts of abuses used to get decisions made which is another topic that I don't accuse you of True Liberty...)
    anyway, again, appreciate your emphasis on obedience to the command to witness. My original question came as a frustration to the idea that many don't believe Calvinists share in this emphasis.
    paul
     
  15. trueliberty

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    Paul, I appreciate your appreciation ;)

    Looking at Romans 1:20 I have to conclude there is no such thing as "no witness" else the verse would never give a final verdict of people having "no excuse" I do understand general revelation in itself doesn't save (Psalm 19:7a compared with the earlier verses) but it leads one to be able to acquire the special revelation directly or indirectly from a preacher or witness if they accept and open themselves up to the message of general revelation (Psalm 50:23)
    Also see the Ethiopian eunuch story in Acts 8:31--he needed someone to explain the story and if Philip had disobeyed the call of God to go to Gaza then this man might have never been saved.

    originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    "I think I Timothy 2:4 must be understood as a sufficient/efficient salvation. Christ was sufficient for the sins of all men without distinction; he is efficient only for those who believe"
    I'm assuming you mean 1 Timothy 4:10. You are 100% correct.

    "To say that Christ propitiated the wrath for all sinners without distinction would be to make God an unjust judge...."
    So which is it? How can God be sufficient for the sins of all men without distinction, yet not propitiate the wrath for all sinners without distinction? What then is your definition of sufficiency? You got me confused. :confused:
     
  16. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by trueliberty:
    So which is it? How can God be sufficient for the sins of all men without distinction, yet not propitiate the wrath for all sinners without distinction? What then is your definition of sufficiency? You got me confused. :confused:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Obviously, Christ did not make propitiation (satisfy God's wrath) for all sinners, or else all sinners would be saved. The death of Christ was sufficient for all meaning that if Christ died for one person only, or for every creature which ever lived or ever will live, his death would cover their sins. It was efficient only for the elect because the elect were atoned for at Calvary.

    Galatians 2:19-21 (ESV) For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. [20] It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life 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 nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

    1. Has the nonelect been crucified with Christ?
    2. Do the nonelect now live by faith in the Son of God?

    Col 2. 13-14 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

    1. Has the nonelect been made alive with Christ?
    2. Has the nonelect had all trespasses forgiven?
    3. Has the nonelect had the handwriting of requirements against them wiped out?
    4. Has the nonelect had his sins nailed to the cross?

    Isa 53:4-6;10-12 (ESV) Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. [5] But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. [6] All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    [10] Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. [11] Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. [12] Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

    It is truly the general atonist who limits the atonement of Christ, for he says the death of Christ was not efficient unless one believes in it and acquires its forgiveness. In that case, for all who never believe, Christ died in vain.

    [ December 18, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by trueliberty:
    PL:"To say that Christ propitiated the wrath for all sinners without distinction would be to make God an unjust judge...." TL:So which is it? How can God be sufficient for the sins of all men without distinction, yet not propitiate the wrath for all sinners without distinction? What then is your definition of sufficiency? You got me confused. :confused:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I misspoke; forgive me. The point is this: God would be unjust to punish Christ for the sins of unbelievers and then turn and punish the unbelievers for the same sins. It was an issue of efficiency, not sufficiency. God can be sufficient for all without distinction; but he cannot propitiate all without distinction and still send people to hell.

    Propitiation is an actuality -- an appeasing of the wrath. It does not seem to envision a possibility or a provision waiting to be accepted.

    [ December 18, 2001: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  18. Robert J Hutton

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    Warm Christian greetings!

    The question has been posed by a brother viz. Why do we witness if Calvinism is true? May I point out that I am an Evangelist with the Open Air Mission in England. I regularly go out on the streets of Canterbury and othet places to give out tracts etc. My firm belief in God's sovereign election actually inspires me to go out with the Gospel. If God really has a people then evangelism cannot fail - every single one of God's elect will be saved, not one will be lost. Acts 13 v 48 (second part) is an encouragement to me.
     
  19. ChristianCynic

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robert J Hutton:
    ... My firm belief in God's sovereign election actually inspires me to go out with the Gospel. If God really has a people then evangelism cannot fail - every single one of God's elect will be saved, not one will be lost. Acts 13 v 48 (second part) is an encouragement to me.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I suppose it is a good thing you choose to view it that way, though you could look at from the other point that your evangelism cannot succeed for the greater number who are not the "elect." Maybe passing out tracts does get word to a greater quantity of people, and thus to a greater portion of the "elect," and less time is wasted on the non-elect.
     
  20. Robert J Hutton

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    Reply to "Christian cynic"-

    The parable of the sower (Mark Chapter 4)states that some of the seed fell by the wayside, on stony ground or among thorns. Only a part fell on good ground. I look upon tracts as the seed being scattered. If I did not believe in sovereign election I would get discouraged due to the hardness of people's hearts. Unconverted people are spiritually dead (cf Eph 2 v1 ) and, just as a physically dead man cannot make himself alive, so a spritually dead person cannot make himself a Christian - it is a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the elect. To be Born Again literally means to be born "from above".
     

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