Can the Non-Elect Come Under Conviction?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Tom Butler, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    My beloved new bride and I were discussing the subject of Holy Spirit Conviction and she asked the question, "Can a person who is not elect come under conviction?

    Her point in asking the question was, if God knows who will reject Him, what's the point in bringing them under conviction in the first place?

    She was asking the question from the point of view of someone who is not a full five-point Calvinist.

    The Calvinist answer would logically be no. But shouldn't the non-Calvinist answer also be no?

    Yet, many of us know of people who seemed to be obviously under great conviction (pew gripping, etc.) who to our knowledge never came to faith in Christ. Were they truly under Holy Spirit conviction or some sort of emotional reaction to a sermon or invitation?

    Release the hounds!

    Tom B.
     
  2. Me4Him

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    Can a person on this planet "NOT SEE" the "light" that comes from the "SUN"??

    Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:

    The only way for a person not to see the "Light of the world", be it the SUN or JESUS, is too either "Close their eyes" or be "Blind",

    Jesus can "open" the "blinded eyes", but he can't/won't open the "Closed eyes".

    The "SUN" is the "symbol" for Jesus in the scriptures, both began "lighting the world" in the "FOURTH DAY", and the truth of the "Natural light" bears witness to the truth of the "Spiritual light".

    On "WHOM" has the "Sun/Son NOT shined"???

    Mt 24:14 And this gospel (light) of the kingdom shall be preached (shined) in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Frenchy

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    Unconditional Election is the doctrine which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel. God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation (Romans 9:15,21). He has done this act before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4-8). This doctrine does not rule out, however, man's responsibility to believe in the redeeming work of God the Son (John 3:16-18). Scripture presents a tension between God's sovereignty in salvation, and man's responsibility to believe which it does not try to resolve. Both are true -- to deny man's responsibility is to affirm an unbiblical hyper-Calvinism; to deny God's sovereignty is to affirm an unbiblical Arminianism.

    This i believe to be true
    It is called a mystery, a Paradox one which MAN will never figure out or understand, no matter how hard they try. so why bother?
     
  4. Me4Him

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    I agree, that's why I'm not either a 100% Calvinist/Arminian.

    God didn't "predestinate" any of the evil but "works around it" to accomplish his Goals.

    Esau wasn't predestined to sin, but God's foreknowledge of his sin was why he was rejected and the "next" chosen to finish God's goal, but even if the next had refused, he too would have been rejected.

    And that the way it is in the world today, the world is selling their right to a "Spiritual Birth" through Jesus for the material things of the world to satisfy the "hunger of the flesh".

    But I guess that's a lesson a little to "Deep" for either side.



    Lu 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    Folks, so far I have not had an answer to my OP. This is not a debate over Calvinism. This is a straightforward question. Can a non-elect person come under conviction by the Holy Spirit?

    Tom B.
     
  6. standingfirminChrist

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    Jesus said in John 3, 'And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.'

    That being said, my answer to your question Tom, is a sound 'Yes, they can.'

    The Bible says He will draw, He is drawing. All men. The problem is, many reject the drawing. Many shake off the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.

    In my 8 years of pastoring, I have seen men shake, I have seen men grip the back of the pews so hare their knuckles were white. I have seen men cry tears, and yet many would walk out of the service without accepting Christ, without coming back. I have seen some return after a few weeks and say that God convicted their hearts that night but they were not ready to submit, not ready to give up their worldly pleasures.
     
  7. Brother James

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    I think Hebrews 6 may be describing such a person.
     
  8. Calvibaptist

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    I think many are brought under conviction by their own conscience. God has put eternity into our hearts. Many recognize that they are missing something and they must answer to a higher power. The Holy Spirit also convicts the world concerning sin. Not getting into a Calvinist debate here, but we would say that this only increases their guilt when they reject this conviction.

    That being said, conviction is not enough to save.
     
  9. J.D.

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    Thanks Calvi, and also I don't want this to turn into a CvA debate, although I love them. Nevertheless, let me add a defense of C on this issue, and make it clear that yes, the non-elect are AFFECTED by the word, but not EFFECTED. The word does indeed influence the non-elect, but by and by the non-elect will reject the word in spite of its influence.

    Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

    So the goodness of God leads them to repentance, but they do not fully arrive at the destination, for they ultimately "despise" the riches of His goodness.
     
  10. StraightAndNarrow

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    If someone is TOTALLY DEPRAVED how can they be affected at all?

    Personally, I agree with Me4Him. I think both election and free will are involved in salvation. I don't understand it but both are supported by the Bible.
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    So far, the yeses have it. I'm surprised that there has been a no yet.
    StandingfirminChrist equated drawing with conviction.
    CalviBaptist said for one to reject Christ in the face of the Holy Spirit's conviction is to increase his guilt.
    Brother James thinks Hebrews 6, which speaks of "tasting the heavenly gift" and backing away from God's grace may speak of conviction and its rejection.


    Any other opinions on the question, If God already knows (or already has decided) whom He will save, why bother with convicting the others?

    Thanks for all the comments so far.

    Tom B.
     
  12. standingfirminChrist

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    I agree, Tom...

    Why is there a need for anyone to be convicted if God has not predestined them to receive the Holy Spirit and the Gift of Eternal Life in Christ Jesus?
     
  13. IveyLeaguer

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    To the OP question, I'm so tired it boggles the mind. But I guess I'd say "whosoever will" will come under conviction, at a minimum.

    Well said.

    The other day I thought the best way to describe my position is '90% Calvinist'. I don't know but highly suspect 100 years ago, or even 30 years ago, I would have simply been a 'calvinist'.
     
  14. EdSutton

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    I coulda' swore I just read these exact words somewhere else! Verbatim, no less!

    " Even complete to failing to capitalize an "i"! And unnecessarily and improperly capitalize a "P"!" - Language Cop

    "GOOD NIGHT!, Language Cop! That is NOT a suggestion!!!"
    Ed
     
  15. DeeJay

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    It seems all men are born with a moral law. What some call conscious. C.S. Lewis speaks of this in Mear Christianity, and he makes alot of scense even if he is not all right (lets not start this again either).

    It seems that God has put this moral law in each man as a way to draw everybody to him. This also matches the first chapter of Romans where it says no man has an excuse. This seems to go agaist the doctrine of only Gods favorites being choosen.

    Also as SFiC witnessed people can come under conviction because of this inbeded moral law, and the Holy Spirit calling them but fight against it and not accept Christ.

    On a personal note I think I have decided where I stand on the calvi Vs armin debate.

    I believe all men are drawn to Christ by the Father who created each of us with a moral law imbeded. I also believe that the Holy Spirit woos everybody . I beleve that most will reject Christ and be lost. I beleve that God could force them to beleve but chooses not to because only the free choice to trust Him brings Him glory. Forced belief brings Him no glory only shows his power.

    So somebody please slap a label on me because I dont fit into the calvi camp and I dont think I fit into the arminian camp. And I dont know what to call myself in the debate. ;)
     
  16. pinoybaptist

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    The answer is no. Christ came for His own, and only for His own. His blood was shed for His own, and only for His own. The Holy Spirit comes to reprove the world of sin, and this world is the world of the elect.

    The non-elect person has a consciousness of right and wrong, and his conscience may oftentimes weigh heavily on him, but he lacks the conviction of the Holy Spirit to change his mind and attitude about sin.

    He calls sin a 'mistake', a 'lack of judgment', an 'immoral' act, but, he will never call it outright sin, or refer to himself as sinner, or be convinced that he is a sinner.

    He may have a desire to 'reform', but not 'repent'. He may even acknowledge he is hellbound, and care nothing for it, or think he will be able to avoid that trajectory by altering his course himself.
     
  17. Faith alone

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    StandingfirminChrist in his 1st post on this thread is dead on, IMO.

    Now I am not a Calvinist, nor am I Arminian. I usually classify myself as a moderate Calvinist, though 5-pointers would question that. I consider my position to be at least as close to what John Calvin believed, since modern Calvinism, from the time of the Synod of Dort in 1618 (in which Reformed theologians completely rejected Arminianism and persecuted them until the late 18th century), has taken a much more harsh and extreme view of free will than either Calvin or Luther took.

    So I realize that 5-pointers won't agree, but I understood Calvin to teach that the non-elect can come under conviction, but just that they would not respond in faith.

    Now Calvinism today does not accept this of course, basing it on John 6:44 and reasoning that anyone convicted will be drawn and anyone drawn will come and all who come will believe and be saved (and raised up-resurrected). I do not agree with the logic there though.

    John 6:44 says that all who have come were drawn. It does not say that all who are drawn will come. That is what Dr. Dixon did his doctorate on - the tendency of exegetes to take something beyond what they can logically and legitimately assume. Here's an example of what I am saying:

    http://members.aol.com/dixonps/Negative_Inference_Fallacies.html

    Jesus said that unless the Father drew someone to Himself that he could not come to him. Hence, what can we assume? That some are drawn/enticed to come to Him by the Father. Now what else is clear here? It is clear that those who have come to Christ He will raise up on the last day. So we can assume that everyone who comes to Jesus will be raised up. We can also assume that everyone who comes to Jesus was drawn by the Father. But we cannot assume that everyone who is drawn to Jesus WILL come to Him. The text does not say that. Dr. Paul Dixon wrote a dissertation on taking NT statements to be saying more than was intended logically, and I believe that this applies here.

    Now the contrapositive of a statement always works. The inverse and converse cannot be assumed, which is what one must do to assume that all who are drawn come.

    I think that is the key to this question. Arminians and those in-between Reformed theology and Arminianism, where most Baptists in this forum stand, take a position that those who are not elect yet are drawn by the cross of Christ (John 12:32). Those who are not chosen will not respond in faith... the Bible does not say that they are not drawn.

    Please just ignore my comments regarding modern Calvinism and John Calvin if you do not agree. It was not my intent to start a discussion on that.

    FA
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    The reason I discouraged debate over Calvinsm and Arminianism in this thread is that both views believe in election. They just differ on the ground--Calvinists, the eternal decree of God, Arminians, foreseen faith. Either way, the destiny if the non-elect is fixed. If fixed, then what is the point of Holy Spirit conviction for them? One answer given is to increase their guilt.

    Now I grant that God may do as He wills in this matter, and it's not necessary that I understand it. I'm appealing to logic, and God, of course, is not bound by my imperfect view of what is logical.

    Is my logic flawed? Have I stated correctly the Arminian and Calvinists views of election? What have I overlooked? Is there a biblical case for conviction of the non-elect, and against it?

    Thanks folks, my wife is enjoying this.

    Tom (And Janice)
     
  19. mima

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    Perhaps instead of predetermined "election" we might want to consider "rejection" by foreknowledge. This view gives room for man's "free will" to be honored and exercised. I believe the answer to your question is yes, all can come under conviction and it is our obligation to put in as many as possible under conviction by delivering the message that the Holy Spirit will work with.
    Because the I am predominantly involved in open air witnessing my views about this may different from others. I sometimes take a lot of talking too, at other times I've taken open cussings. Now I've never seen or heard of this happening in churches but on the street, at the county fair, at a roadside rest stop you will encounter such things because of your witness(message) why so? Because you're placing the hearer under conviction.
     
  20. Calvibaptist

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    The problem is that, today, those who would be considered Arminians even deny election. They don't deny that the word election is in the Bible. They deny that it is election to salvation. They will say it is election of believers to be holy and without blame. It is election of believers to be adopted. It is election of believers to be conformed to the image of His Son.

    To the modern Arminian, it is not election of who would be saved, it is election of what would happen to those who believe. They misunderstand that the direct object of the word elect or predestined is always a person or persons. The direct object is NEVER the resulting purpose clause. The following clause always gives the purpose for why God elected the person or persons.

    And that is only the groups that even talk about election. Most ignore election and predestination altogether or just say that it is unbiblical and needs to be rejected.
     

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