Can we know who is non-elect?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    If certain men are predestined to be saved, then the obvious question arises, "why preach the gospel to all men?"

    The standard Calvinist answer to this question is: we preach the gospel to all men because only God knows who is elect and non-elect. I have even heard the trite statement by a few Calvinist preachers that, "I preach like an Arminian."

    When we look at the Bible, we find that those who preached the gospel indeed did know who was elect and non-elect and so stated.

    Jesus, for example, told the unbelieving Jews in John chapter 10 that they were not His sheep and proved it by the fact that they didn't believe. On this basis we may justly conclude that every unbeliever is non-elect.

    In Acts 13 when Paul preached at Antioch in Pisidia, he told those who rejected his message that they had judged themselves "unworthy of eternal life."

    Later, when Paul was imprisoned in Rome and held discussions with the Jews of that city, he told those who didn't believe that they were among those spoken of by Isaiah when he said,

    "Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand, and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive."

    These passage show again that we can indetify the non-elect, namely all who do not believe.

    Again, Peter says,

    "Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation."

    Here the elect are clearly identified as the believers and the non-elect as the unbelievers.

    The adversity these facts create for the Calvinist position is too obvious to need any further elaboration.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    The question remains Mark what is the purpose of the written gospel... To make sheep or feed sheep?... Brother Glen :confused:
     
  3. npetreley

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    There are other reasons, but even if there weren't we should share the gospel out of obedience.

    Jesus also recoginzed demons in the demon-possessed immediately and addressed them specifically instead of the person who was possessed. I don't know if that knowledge is available to us except by special gifts, but the average Christian doesn't have it. I have a feeling that's the same with knowing who are the elect.

    I also note this verse in Acts 13

    Acts 13
    48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

    Notice that it doesn't say, "All who believed were then appointed for eternal life." It says "all who were appointed for eternal life, believed." In other words, there was a mixed crowd. Some were appointed for eternal life. Some were not. The ones who were appointed for eternal life (the elect) believed the message they heard. The others, the non-elect, did not believe it.

    I'm afraid I don't see your point. Even if I knew who the elect were and who those were that were not the elect, I wouldn't refuse to share the gospel. It would be disobedient. And what alternative is there? "Hey, you non-elect, line up on the left, 'cause I'm going to ignore you -- you elect, line up on the right, because I'm going to preach the gospel to you..." ;)

    [ October 24, 2002, 09:20 AM: Message edited by: npetreley ]
     
  4. Abiyah

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    Sure--we can determine the nonelect:
    anyone who does not agree with ME ME ME!!

    8o)
     
  5. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    npetreley,

    The basis upon which Jesus declared certain Jews not to be among His sheep was the fact that they did not believe on him. That proves that all unbelievers are not sheep. He also asserted that all His sheep hear his voice. Therefore, any man who does not believe on Christ is non-elect.

    You said,

    "The ones who were appointed for eternal life (the elect) believed the message they heard. The others, the non-elect, did not believe it."

    Which proves my above point. All unbelievers are non-elect. In both of these instances those who were "sheep" and "ordained to eternal life" before they believed on Jesus were Old Testament believers who already believed in Christ but had not yet heard that Jesus was that very Christ. In other words, they were already believers, already saved, and therefore already elect. The thing which they "believed" on this occasion was that Christ had come in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

    But we never find the Bible talking about an unbeliever who is elect. That is my whole point here. Anyone who does not beleive the gospel is non-elect - not a sheep. Therefore, the whole idea of a person being elected before they become a believer is foreign to the Scripture and therefore Calvinism falls.

    Mark Osgatharp

    [ October 24, 2002, 10:43 AM: Message edited by: Mark Osgatharp ]
     
  6. npetreley

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    You lost me here. When Jesus says His sheep hear His voice but others do not, surely that tells you that certain people are the elect (His sheep) and certain people are not elect (not His sheep)?

    Are you simply saying that we never hear of unbelievers becoming saved? Are you forgetting Saul/Paul? Or are you requiring the Bible to specifically identify people are currently unbelievers who are still among the elect? If so, here you go:

    I suspect that your argument simply rests on the order of events, whether belief precedes election or vice versa. But the order is irrelevant in foreknowledge, predestination and election.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    Except for 2 tim 2:10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. -- Notice how PAUL admits the existence of the elect who are, as yet without salvation.

    And 2 Thess 2:13 13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. -- Notice again how the choosing was from the beginning and the faith in the truth comes later.

    Consider JOhn 10:16 -- Remember you said that the Sheep are the ones who hear his voice. HERE CHRist says he has some sheep that he must go get and they will (future) believe.

    There are some other passages this case can be made from but it should be clear that there are elect who have not yet believed.
     
  8. Frogman

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    I heard a preacher say once he wasn't sure who were among the elect, however, he did know who were not elected...when doing neighborhood visits, he was confident the non-elect were represented by those who have vicious dogs chained to their doorposts.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  9. Eric B

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    It appears that the "elect" of 2Tim. are not unbelievers, but believers Timothy was being instructed in the care of. The following verses then discuss endurance. "Salvation" is often mentioned in it's future aspect, (actually, finally entering the Kingdom of Heaven) and this leads to the issue of "enduring to the end to be saved", which is a whole other debate. Still it shows this is talking about those already saved.
     
  10. ForumChaplain

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    To make sheep. To lead people to salvation. To equip the saints for the spreading The Gospel, the word of God unto salvation.
     
  11. ForumChaplain

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    Are we not a depraved people. Your comments are sad but true.
     
  12. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    npetreley and Pastor Larry,

    There were, before Christ came into the world, many children of God scattered throughout the world. Caiaphas spoke of these when he prophesied that Christ would die for the people and John comments,

    "that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad."

    The passages which speak of sheep or elect or those ordained to eternal life who had not yet "believed" does not mean they were unbelievers. These passages speak of men who were believers in the coming Christ who had not yet heard and therefore not yet believed that Jesus was that Christ. As these people heard the news that Christ had come they "believed" - which does not mean they "became believers" but that they "believed" the news that Christ had come in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

    The Jews who did not accept Jesus as the Christ proved that they were not true believers in God or in Christ. That is exactly what Jesus is speaking about in John chapter 10 when He says,

    "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep."

    This verse will not fit Calvinism, for Calvinism says there are some sheep who are unbelievers; yet Jesus said that these men, by not believing on Him, proved they were not sheep. If Calvinism be true, then according to this passage no unbeliever could ever become a believer because all unbelievers are not sheep.

    All the true believers in Israel believed on Jesus when they heard that He was the Christ. They were already believers in God and His Christ, just as all the saints from the beginning of the world had been. The thing which they came to believe is that Jesus was the Christ. Jesus spoke of these when He said,

    "To him [Messiah] the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out."

    While here on earth Jesus came to call out the true sheep in Israel from among the goats. There is nothing in the passage that says a goat cannot become a sheep. The passage simply says that all who were sheep believed on Jesus when they heard about him. Jesus went on, on the same occasion, to invite the goats to believe on Him. He said,

    "But if I do [the works of the Father], though ye believe not me, believe the works; that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him."

    Mind you, these were the same people who Jesus just told they were not His sheep because they did not believe on Him. Therefore these scriptures lend no aid to Calvinism, indeed, they work against Calvinism.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  13. russell55

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    Do you realize that you turned the statement by Jesus around and made it say exactly the opposite of what Jesus actually said?

    It is because thay are not sheep that they don't believe, not that they are not his sheep because they don't believe. Read the statement by Jesus carefully:

    "...you do not believe, because because you are not of my sheep."

    Being a sheep is the cause of believing rather than believing being the cause of being a sheep.

    [ October 24, 2002, 11:01 PM: Message edited by: russell55 ]
     
  14. Yelsew

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    To answer the Topic question, YES, if you can read the contents of the Lambs book of Life!

    Otherwise, it is not for us to know!
     
  15. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Do you realize that you turned the statement by Jesus around and made it say exactly the opposite of what Jesus actually said?

    It is because thay are not sheep that they don't believe, not that they are not his sheep because they don't believe. Read the statement by Jesus carefully:

    "...you do not believe, because because you are not of my sheep."

    Being a sheep is the cause of believing rather than believing being the cause of being a sheep.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Russel,

    You are correct, but not in the way you thinkg. The fact that the people were sheep is what caused them to believe. But you still fail to understand who these people were or what it is they "believed."

    The whole issue in John chapter 10 was whether or not Jesus was the Messiah. There were certain Jews who were already sheep and because they were already sheep the believed on Jesus when He came. This does not mean they "became believers" because they were sheep. It means they believed that Jesus was their long awaited Messiah because they were already sheep - that is to say already people who had faith in God and His Messiah.

    The Jews who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah proved they were not sheep - that is to say, proved they were unbelievers, though they professed to be believers. But to these same unbelievers Jesus commanded,

    "believe."

    The fact that they were not sheep didn't prohibit them from believing. Had they repented and believed they would have been added to the sheepfold.

    Mark Ogatharp

    [ October 24, 2002, 11:23 PM: Message edited by: Mark Osgatharp ]
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    Except you missed one teeny tiny point: Salvation is contrasted with the glory to come. Salvation is certainly future and when it is, it is the glory that is to come, or the eternal glory. Here, Paul is talking about salvation and with it eternal glory. Therefore, the context answers your contention in the negative.
     
  17. Eric B

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    I don't think so. Salvation is not contrasted with the glory to come, but in this future sense, the glory accompanies it. The Bible often uses parallelism like this, so it doesn't mean two separate events.
     
  18. Robert J Hutton

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    Warm Christian greetings!

    Spurgeon was once told he should only preach to the elect; his reply - "paint a red cross on them and then I'll do that!".

    We do not know who the elect are but, in obedience to Christ's command, we go out and preach Him to all. We can then have absolute confidence that every single one of God's elect will, not may, but will be saved.

    Kind regards

    Robert J Hutton
     

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