Can the Gospel be proclaimed and the Holy Spirit not work?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    If you wrote a book and it was read by someone who disagreed with what you wrote, would that mean the book wasn't your work?

    If the gospel, which was wrought by the Holy Spirit, is rejected by it's hearers should we conclude that it's being proclaimed isn't a work of the Holy Spirit?

    Is man's suppression of the truth due to the Holy Spirit's inactivity? Or has God provide what is necessary for all men to clearly see and understand thus making them truly 'without excuse' for their unbelief?
     
  2. Skandelon

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    Any responses? I'm attempting to find out the mind set which leads some to conclude that the gospel, a gracious work of the Spirit, could be proclaimed and rejected and then deemed as NOT being a gracious work of the Spirit on the basis that it was rejected.
     
  3. Iconoclast

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    The gospel...[good news} is only good news to the sheep.
    Not knowing who the sheep are before they confess Christ.God uses us to proclaim to all men everywhere that Jesus has died to save sinners.

    The message is good news is a great promise to the sheep of the joy and certainty of eternal life......but a goat is promised only this if they remain in their rejection...



    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

    36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

    37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

    38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

    39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.


    The same promise has two different outcomes...like here -

    19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

    20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel;
    and it was a cloud and darkness to them,

    but it gave light by night to these:


    so that the one came not near the other all the night.


    That is why Jesus taught about the necessity of regeneration to have saving faith,and repentance at conversion....

    5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.



    here is another example;

    15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

    16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

    17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

    Unless and until God opened his eyes to the spiritual realm....who could look all day ...but never see ....not because he did not have physical eyesight....but SPIRITUAL GOD GIVEN SIGHT>>>>


    Hope this was helpful to you in your quest for knowledge of these things:wavey:
     
    #3 Iconoclast, Oct 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2013
  4. prophet

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    The Gospel can fall on deaf ears, the Biblical examples are numerous. My spirit shall not always strive with man. Some can reject the Gospel every time they hear it. Some will have faith in the Word of God when they first hear it. The Spirit is always present in the spoken Word, 'my words are spirit'. At some point, I guess He won't argue His point anymore, in a hardened ear.
     
  5. robt.k.fall

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    Who says the preaching of the Gospel will bring immediate visible results?

    Keep in mind:

    To carry the farming example slightly further, a given preacher may be breaking up fallow ground to enable another to plant.
     
  6. Protestant

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    Oh, no......Please do not fall into the 'unbiblical illustration' trap as did another well-meaning board member.

    The Gospel and Jesus Christ are the truth of God which Christians preach to set forth the acceptable and approved way of salvation. But because God and His Words are spirit, they can only be discerned by the Spirit. I know for a fact that 1 Cor. 2 has been quoted on this board innumerable times, yet the entire chapter falls on deaf Arminian ears. First Thessalonians 1 reiterates the truth of effectual calling.

    "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

    3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

    4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

    6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.

    God does not provide what is necessary (i.e., the new birth by the Spirit) to all men by which they may clearly see and understand. Nor is He compelled to do so. He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy. Mercy is owed to no one. Justice is owed to everyone. "Will not the Lord of all the earth do right?"

    "25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

    26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight." (Matt. 11:25-26)

    ------

    "10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

    11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

    ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
    And seeing you will see and not perceive;
    15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
    Their ears are hard of hearing,
    And their eyes they have closed,
    Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
    Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
    So that I should[a] heal them.’
    16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it." (Matt. 13:10-16)

    It is the Lord alone who gives ears to hear, as well as a new heart to believe. He purposely, graciously gives to the Elect that which He purposely, judicially denies the Reprobate.

    "Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."
     
  7. Skandelon

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    Deaf by whose design? Is the gospel just not powerful enough of an appeal to enable a response, or is man born unable to willingly respond due to God's decree to seal all men over to a totally depraved nature due to Adam's sin?

    I agree totally, thus when the gospel is preached no one should say, "the spirit didn't work," or "didn't enable a response." Instead they should say, the man suppressed the truth freely and is responsible because he was actually response-able.
     
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  8. Skandelon

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    No one.

    :confused:
     
  9. Skandelon

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    It is called an analogy, and it is often used in discussion to make a point. Why avoid addressing that point?

    Your proof text has been answered and properly explained in its context at least as many times as it has been quoted. No one here disagrees that the 'deep things of the spirit of God' (vs 10) have to be explained to us by the spirit of God, we disagree as to means and effectuality of this work of discernment, thus quoting this verse over and over again actually doesn't address our point of contention. It only serves to validate a point already established and agreed upon while ignoring the relevant point of our discussion.

    Sounds like the perfect excuse for unbelievers to me...something Paul denies. Why do you give unbelievers an excuse like that for their unbelief? Why do you blame God for their rejection of his appeals?

    Rom 10:21 But concerning Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."

    I suppose its God's fault for these people's unwillingness to come when God appealed for them to come? He just didn't hold out His hands long enough to provide them what was necessary, I guess. Don't give them that scapegoat! You think way too highly of unbelievers.

    Paul says the EXACT opposite in Romans 1 and concludes that is the very reason they stand without excuse.

    Who is God hardening in these passages? Romans 11 explains that God is hardening/blinding/cutting off Israel but the gospel is now being sent to the Gentiles (Acts 28:28), as he is grafting them in. So, being hardened is not a condition from birth but a judicial act of God by which he accomplished redemption for the world. He was temporarily blinding the wise and learned (Israel) while bringing in the weak and uneducated (Gentiles). And above it even says that he has to use parables 'lest they believe.' How can that be if they aren't chosen and regenerated? How can speaking in parables prevent these people from coming to faith if what you believe is true?
     
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  10. prophet

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    I agree that every man has the response-ability to believe. Repentance realizes there is a disparity between me and God.
    Belief decides that He is able and willing to and has provided for the reconciliation, and moves one's weight entirely onto Him, literally standing on the truss, or Foundation, or rock.
    I think the mention of the word convict(ed), only occuring 1 time (AV), in the scriptures, and NOT referring to the work of the Holy Ghost, but rather men's conscience, is significant.
     
  11. salzer mtn

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    How can a sinner suppress the truth when he cannot understand the truth. The natural man recieveth not the things of the Spirit of God, 1 Cor 2:14. Let me guess, your next question will be, if he can't understand the truth, then he is not responsible. My response would be, He is responsible to seek God in prayer for God to enlighten him, He is responsible to set under the gospel and listen, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
     
  12. Skandelon

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    EXACTLY MY POINT!!!

    It's the Calvinistic doctrine which insists man cannot understand truth, but Paul teaches us otherwise in Romans 1:

    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    Why does Paul conclude they are 'without excuse?' Because they CAN see and UNDERSTAND what may be known about God, his invisible qualities: eternal power and divine nature. Yet, you want to give mankind that excuse back by insisting they are born unable to understand God's truth. Why would you want to give unbelievers an excuse like that?

    That's not what it says. It says man can't understand 'deep spiritual things of God' or 'the meat of the word' without the help of the spirit. Even the 'brethren' at Corinth are said not to be able to receive these things in the following verses. God IS making truth known through the apostles, like Paul writing this very letter to the church in Corinth. The HS inspired them to write truth so as to discern these deep things of God for us. So, there is NO EXCUSE for those who experience God's revelation through nature because they have clearly seen and understood it and there is equally no excuse for those who hear the inspired gospel truth because they have clearly seen and understood it too.

    Paul would conclude that he has an excuse for rejecting truth if he can't understand it...see above. Plus, being responsible means being 'able to respond,' yet your doctrine teaches men are born unable to respond unless first regenerated. You can't rightly call someone responsible if he is not response-abled.
     
  13. Iconoclast

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    The sinner is a truth suppressor.Rather that submitting to whatever the light of creation and conscience offers ...he twists it SNIP.....The result is that he cannot welcome it, he is at emnity to it.
     
    #13 Iconoclast, Oct 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2013

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