Can God actually change His mind?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by whetstone, May 21, 2005.

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Can God actually change His mind?

  1. Yes, God can or has ACTUALLY changed His eternal decrees based on temporal happenings

    84.2%
  2. No, God has never changed His eternal plan- but sometimes appears to change in the temporal perspect

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. I'm not sure.

    15.8%
  4. My opinion isn't up here and I'll post it below.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. whetstone

    whetstone
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    There are accounts of God 'repenting' of certain actions (such as with the rebellious times of Noah or the destruction of Ninevah), but is He actually changing His eternal decrees? Does God only appear to change His mind in the temporal perspective, or does He ACTUALLY change His mind? Vote.
     
  2. whetstone

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    By the way- this poll relates to the C/A debate because the Arminian perspective presents a God that CAN change His eternal decrees based on temporal circumstances, while the Calvinistic perspective presents a God that works His decrees independantly of temporal circumstances.
     
  3. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    There is the case of Nineveh. It was God's declared intent to destroy Nineveh ... unless the inhabitants repent from their ways. There is no reason to suspect that he was bluffing. They did repent, God relented and did not destroy them.

    Then there is Sodom and Gomorrah! God declared he would destroy them, even with Abraham's "dealings" God was ready to relent if the agreed to condition prevailed. It did not, hense there is no more Sodom and Gomorrah, However, God did save Lot and his daughters who obeyed him and did not look back to "their home" as it was being destroyed.

    Then there is the Flood in which God gave the people over 100 years to repent. They did not He destroyed them all ... All, that is, save for Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. Would the flood have occured if the people repented? Probably not, even if they had repented at the last hour, God would not have flooded the earth!

    Then there are the captivities of the Israelites. If they had repented from their sins, God would not have allowed their captivities! But alas, they did not repent, and on more than one occasion, they went into bondage.

    So, does God change his mind? It depends on your perspective. From God's perspective, No he does not change, he set the conditions. If the condition was met, he did not mete out the consequence of it not being met. No change of mind.

    Since nearly everything in God's plan of salvation for man is contingent upon what was established before the foundation of the world. It seems there is no changing in God! If Adam had not sinned, God would not have established the death penalty. Adam did sin, now all of his heirs are under the death penalty. God gave us his only begotten son to die in payment of that death penalty, henceforth, no man remains under the death penalty for sin, but still faces the second death due to lack of faith. This applies to all mankind who has ever lived, is living, and that will live this natural life.

    Did God change his mind? I don't think so, because man's salvation from death was planned before the first man was made!

    God has promised everlasting life to whosoever believeth in His Son, Jesus. Is there the remotest possibility of God changing his mind and closing that door? Again, I don't think so, there is no precedent that God does change his mind.
     
  4. icthus

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    This is my position which I have also posted elsewhere:

    I do not think that God does "change His mind" about anything.

    When, for example it says in the passage in Exodus, "So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people" The Hebrew "nacham" has the meaning, "to sigh, breathe strongly, to pity, feel sorry for". It should be noted, that verse 35 says, "and the Lord plagued the people, because of the calf which aaron made". So God did punish them after all.

    Scripture tells us that "God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent" (Numbers 23:19)

    There is no doubt, as we can see from the passage in Exodus, that God in His plans, (which are not always known to us in Scripture), would have more than one "option" of what He would do. It is clear from Exodus 32:10, that God wanted to "consume" (wipe out) those who had sinned against Him, and out of Moses make a great nation. However, after Moses pleaded with Him, God, stayed His hand from this. But nonetheless punished them with "plague" later on.

    Likewise in Jonah. There is no doubt from the very outset, that God intended to save the people of Nineveh, for He sent Jonah to preach the Good News of Salvation. When they did hear the Gospel, they all repented from the greatest to the least, and cried out to the God of Mercy, if perhaps He might pardon them. God's plan was to destroy them if they did not repent. But, also part of His plan was to forgive and save them if they repented at tbe warning that Jonah preached to them.

    I see everything that God does, is part of His overall plan, which we see sometimes from only one angle. God has laid down certain conditions, which, if they are met, He will honour, and if they are rejected, then He will do exactly what is needed. This is the same in Salvation. The Gospel is for everyone without exception. Those who repent and believe the Gospel, will be saved. Those who choose to reject God's way, must indeed face the wrath of God.
     
  5. Ben W

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    Yes God can do whatever He wishes to do, he is outside of what we consider temporal.
     
  6. BobRyan

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    God tells us to think of Him as changing His mind (see Genesis 6). Even though we know that God does not change - He tells us that this Genesis 6 view is the most accurate way for a finite being to think of what He is doing.

    We can believe it -

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. icthus

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    Hi Rob, I see no evidence in Genesis 6 to show that the Lord changed His mind about anything. Were do you find this? Verse 6? It does not say this from the Hebrew. Does not a "change of mind" mean that a mistake of some kind was in view?
     
  8. BobRyan

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    God says that He "repents" that he has made mankind.

    Notice how this is the OPPOSITE of what God says about this very same fact in Genesis 1 --

    There is no way to get the sense of approval of GEnesis 1 from Gen 6.

    There is no way to get the "sorrow" and determination to TURN and to destroy what was created from Genesis 1.

    This is clearly and obviously a case of God changing His view of mankind from ALL things being very good to now being sorry that He had created mankind.

    Not simply saying "I am sorry that it has come to this". The subject for "creating" is in the Genesis 6 text - in Hebrew.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Having said that - I don't mean that God did not always know this fact of the flood. But God is deliberately presenting the scenario in the text so that we would view Him as changing His mind because of the evil of mankind.

    If we view Him like that "even While knowing that He knows all things in advance and does not change" - we have the most accurate view of God -- and this is why HE chooses to present it this way.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. whetstone

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    we have 3 voters who believe that we (temporal beings) can change the decrees of timeless deity. Would any of these be willing to take a crack at explaining how this is possible? i'm very interested in learning why you hold this position.
     
  11. Wes Outwest

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    You have actually changed the question, so I will go back to the original post and respond to it, and not to your altered question.

    In the beginning, God established that the sins of man bring death. About 2000 years ago, God changed all that by giving us His Son Jesus to atone for SIN, a temporal event that eternally altered God's decree that Sin brings death. This Act of God changed God's decree regarding sin and death from "obedience to the LAW" to "FAITH in The Christ". That's not only good news, that's Great news.

    Doesn't man still die for his sins? NO! he dies for lacking faith in God and especially in the Divine Christ!

    All sin has been atoned, and is therefore not charged against the sinner, even the sin of the "non-elect"! You preachers can stop preaching that sin brings death because it doesn't. that which has been atoned, paid for, paid in full, compensated for, transfered from, etc., is no longer effective against the one for whom it was paid, and sin is what was paid for. So the sinner, and we are all sinners, have had our sin atoned for by Jesus who atoned for the sin of the world, therefore the world is no longer under the death penalty for sin! Through faith, We are in the world, but not of the world.

    Does that mean we can sin with impunity? Paul says, "God forbid". Those who continue to sin remain in jeopardy because a sinful life results in a lack of faith in God to keep you. The more you sin the less you faith! The more you faith the less you sin! It remains however that whomever is cast into the lake of fire was done so because of lack of faith, and not for sin.
     
  12. whetstone

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    :( Jam 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. :(

    :( Rom 6:23a For the wages of sin [is] death; :(

    :( Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: :(

    You have some very anti-Biblical theology Wes. :eek:
     
  13. Wes Outwest

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    Then do tell us all exactly what atonement for the sin of the world means to you!
     
  14. Wes Outwest

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    I Said,
    You said, :( Rom 6:23a For the wages of sin [is] death; :( </font>[/QUOTE]PAUL Says,
    It is really amazing that you would overlook Paul's punch line in favor of believing that all remain under the death penalty!
     
  15. Wes Outwest

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    James is teaching the principle that I have clearly stated on this BBS several times over the past couple of years, and that is that this: In spite of the fact that ALL sins are atoned, if anyone continues to sin, or as James says it, "conceives and gives birth to sin, and the sin is repeated oft enough so that it grows to fullness," that sin WILL displace ones Faith such that one can lose faith altogether. It is the lack of, or loss of faith that causes one to die, and not the sin!
     
  16. Wes Outwest

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    WHETSTONE,
    Adam and Jesus Christ
    Do you get it? We are no longer under the death penalty because Jesus Atonement for sin, set us free!
    And WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE! THANK YOU JESUS!
     
  17. whetstone

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    Wes, you posted 4 times in a row. Do i sense desperation when confronted with scriptures that BLATANTLY contradict what you just said? I will answer one question because scripture has already deconstructed your other arguments.

    It means atonement for the sins of all nations, kindreds and tongues. The Jewish understanding of 'the world' (kosmos). You will have a hard time finding lots of NT passages where 'world' is implying 'all people of all time.' If you saw the word 'world' the same way the writers of the NT saw it- you wouldn't have such an unbiblical position.
     
  18. Wes Outwest

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    Then what do you think Paul and James are saying when they compare Adam and Jesus? When Adam sinned, there were only two living humans "in the world", when Jesus died for sin, you must agree that there were many more than two living humans in the world, but it is was sin that Jesus died to atone, not this sin that Adam committed which was disobedience of God, but virtually ALL sin regardless of the category you put it in.

    Since Jesus died to atone for sin, and all have sinned, then the sin of all has been atoned! Can't you see that? No where in scripture does it say the sin of "some" has been atoned, scripture declares the sin of "many" vs the sin of "two", has been atoned.

    I don't believe you have a leg to stand on when you attempt to tell us "the jewish understanding of....". The text, translated by many thousands of translators over many centuries of time, remains the same. It hasn't changed, so we indeed must have the "jewish understanding", or the Holy Spirit would indeed have caused the text to changed by the God-ordained translators, to match that "jewish understanding"! You simply cannot float that leaky boat.
     
  19. rc

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    First of all Wes, you yourself said "scripture declares the sin of "many".... guess what? ... That means less than all also !! "many" isn't "all"... deal with it. Secondly Whetty is correct on the Jewish understanding, unfortunately you think because the translators where literal in their translations that the word "means" what it says... All the old translators know the "understanding" of the text. You can easily go to Robertson's or STRONG'S and you will find it MEANS nations, tribes, tongues... because Paul in his time, with his culture and heritage used the word that meant that, and that word it "World" verses "us" the Jews.
     
  20. Wes Outwest

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    Is the world not made up of Nations?
    Is the world not made up of tribes?
    Is the world not made up of tongues?

    Where does the WORD of GOD say that Jesus' atonement for sin was for only "A nation", "A tribe", or "A tongue"? Yes, Jesus came to his own....But we know the rest of the story. He did not come to atone for the Jews, he came to atone for SIN, not for people. Sin is what destroys people, not the other way around. It is SIN that Jesus dealt with, the sin of the world, of every nation, every tribe and every tongue. Yes it is a difficult concept to understand, but it is the only biblical concept for atonement!
     

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