Evangelism

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by JSM17, May 30, 2009.

  1. JSM17

    JSM17
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    The Calvinist who preaches, teaches and witnesses the Gospel is in reality lying to most of the people who hear him and he's doing so in Jesus' name.

    It is a lie to tell a man that if he will believe in Jesus Christ that he shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10) while, at the same time, believing and teaching most cannot accept Christ.

    According to Calvinism, the unelected are not offered God's grace and most of the human race is doomed to hell. Technically and practically it is a lie to tell an unelected person he can be saved when he cannot.

    The Calvinist never gives any criteria for determining who is elected and who is not. The reason is clear; not even the Calvinist would go that far in their false teaching.

    Doctrinal error perverts God's truth and corrupts the very Gospel the Calvinist claims to believe.

    The questions the Calvinist must answer are these: How do you know someone is elected? On what basis do you make such a determination?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    I speak only for myself and not all Calvinists.

    We have a commission as believers. Jesus, in Mark 16:15 told us to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." It is not our responsibility to determine who are the elect and preach only to them. And we don't know how to do that, anyway.

    Jesus, in John 10:27: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."

    He had just explained in the previous verse why people who hear the gospel do not believe. "You do not believe because your are not of my sheep."

    He did not say, "you are not of my sheep because you don't believe." He said, "you don't believe because you're not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice..."

    We identify the elect as those who have repented of sin and confessed Christ as Lord. We cannot know before the fact.

    In addition, Paul tells us that it pleases God to save through the foolishness of preaching. (I Cor 1:21) Paul, further, in Romans 10, asks "how can one call on the Lord for salvation if he has not heard about him? And how can they hear without a preacher?"

    The believer's job is not to figure out who is elect or not. It is to preach the gospel. God will take care of the rest.

    A Calvinist is not lying nor insincere when he tells someone, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you'll be saved."
     
  3. Pastor David

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    This is a very misconstrued compliation of Reformed doctrine. I would simply suggest the author consider retracting this embrassing display of ignorance for his own sake and the sake of the church. It is not worthy of any more time than that.
     
  4. billwald

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    Agree with Pastor David.


    >The Calvinist never gives any criteria for determining who is elected and who is not.

    Neither did Calvin or the Bible. There is no test for the state of "being saved" except continuing good works. <G>
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Jas 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

    If all is predetermined as Calvinism claims, how can one be said to contribute in any way to something decided before we were ever born?
     
  6. JSM17

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    If God is going to work upon you apart from your will then what difference does it make what you say if anything.


    If man is elected to either be saved or left as a reprobate then speaking at all would make no difference.

    Should we pray for the lost? Pray that God hopfully chose them?

    It does not matter if you know the elect or not, the elect will be saved either way so set back and chill because God's worked it all out.

    What purpose does preaching have on those who do not have the freedom to choose what they hear and whether they will believe?
     
    #6 JSM17, May 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2009
  7. Tom Butler

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    I get rather amused by those who believe they have come up with original and unanswerable objections to Calvinism that nobody ever thought of before.

    So, one more time, here we go. I've numbered your questions to go with my answers:

    1. Again, we are to share the gospel because Jesus told us to. Peter, John, Paul, Philip and Stephen were great practitioners of the Great Commission. It is God who is in the electing and saving business, not us. We're commanded to preach, teach and witness.

    2. See answer #1

    3. We pray for the lost. We pray for God to save them. No need to pray that God will elect them. Not our job.

    4. See answer #1

    5. Actually the lost do choose. They choose to reject the gospel. They willingly say no. Hearing the gospel and rejecting leaves them without excuse.
     
  8. JSM17

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    We are glad at least that you are amused, but my intention is to understand the ideas that come with a strong calvinistic view of the bible and evangelism.

    The questions are not to stump but to understand the how one thing can be with the other.

    I understand what the bible says about evangelism, what I do not get is how some of man's ideas work with the commands of God to evangelize.

    Passages tell us that we must believe the word, yet some passages tell us that God has chosen us before the foundations of the world. Whereas if God chose you before the foundations of the world, then no matter what man does, including the one elected, he will be saved, because God will cause Him to be saved. This will lead some to teach that even faith is begotten only after God regenerates the man's heart to believe. This I would call Hyper-Calvinism.

    If you are hyper-Calvinistic then your evangelism changes because of your view on when and how God works his election process. These are some of the things that man has been debating for thousands of years. If they were so simple as they are for you then I guess it is a closed case.

    As I view Calvin's writtings I do not see Calvinism, as weird as that sounds.

    So then what part does man play in conversion, if none at all then how does that work with faith in scripture? Do I believe in Christ only because God makes me by working on my heart because he has elected me as in opposition to the one who He does not work on because He did not choose him? Is God showing partiality by saving the elect but passing over the reprobate? So we evangelize both these people not knowing whether God will work on their hearts; is there a need to persuade men as Paul did if God will save them no matter what you say? Or does God save them through his word long with man's ability to persuade? Perhaps God works on the man's heart through the preaching of the Gospel, maybe its a balance? But any time you interjct man's will or ability, you be called an "Arminianist" and somehow thwarting God's sovereignty.

    Some say God works on the heart so the man can understand what is being preached to him, some say that the word works on the heart to bring him to faith in Christ.

    Paul was told that God had many people in the city of Corinth. God knew that he had people in the city (many people). So he tells Paul to go into the city not shutting his mouth. This shows me that by the preaching of a man God draws men to Himself.

    But it always boils down for me to the point of how does man believe, or whether a man can even search for God. Those in Corinth belongs to God as He said, were those men searching for God as lost men yet elected to be saved, or did God work on them prior to the word being spoken?

    Paul said in Acts 17 that God placed all men in their places of dwelling so that they may grope for Him and perhaps find Him, because He is not far from each of them. If God only chose some to be saved then why does He desire for all men to be saved? Does the fact that all men will not be saved somehow show God as unable to save those who He wished to be saved? Does this then lead us to man's ability to choose? Then how does that line up with God's Sovereign power?
     
  9. annsni

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    That is the very reason for those who believe in the doctrine of grace to preach the Gospel to all the world. God can save anyone He wants in whatever way He wants but what an encouragement and blessing when we are a part of that. I find that each time I "lead someone to the Lord" (to use the common Christian vernacular), that my own spirit rejoices, renews my vow to the Lord and is encouraged to continue on in the Great Commission.
     
  10. annsni

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    Because by not saying anything, we are being disobedient. Don't you want to be obedient to the Lord's command and be a part of what's happening in the kingdom??


    If a person will be saved, they will be saved but it will be through someone else. Do you want to face Jesus on judgment day and have Him say "Why didn't YOU speak to him?" and have to answer "Well, I knew he'd come to know you anyway so it was just a waste of my time to speak to him."?

    Do you pray that someone will be healed? Do you pray that God will hopefully heal them?

    You are telling someone to disobey the Lord then. That is sinful, isn't it?

    God told us to do it. I do believe that there are those who will be saved through grace by God using our words and our lives to lead them to Him. Jesus could have healed the blind man by just His word but instead He used mud and the river to heal him. Why? Because that was His purpose.
     
  11. annsni

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    So you are saying that God is not sovereign? Because if God wills that all men are to be saved, yet they are not - and you feel it is because of man's free will, then man is stronger than God. That man's will trumps God's will. Is that the God you see in Scripture?
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    The scriptures are clear that God does not save independently of means.

    They are clear that he saves through the foolishness of preaching by human beings.

    They are clear that the lost are not saved independently of the gospel.

    Calvinists believe this. Some Hyper-Calvinists believe that God will save the elect whether they hear the gospel or not.

    Calvinists do not believe that God forces anyone to be saved, even if they don't want to. But he does enable them who are otherwise helpless.

    Calvinists do not believe that God will condemn anyone who comes in repentance and faith. Some critics like to throw out the straw man that God's chosen some people, and others will go to hell whether even if they believe.

    Calvinists do believe that regeneration precedes faith. But it is not Hyper-Calvinism.

    JSM17, I mistakenly assumed that some of your questions were actually arguments. You appear to be sincerely trying to resolve some difficult questions, but the tone suggested that they were rhetorical rather than truly seeking information. Hope my answers are helping.
     
  13. JSM17

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    I am trying to understand the connection with God's sovereignty and man's ability to choose.

    How it works with evangelism.

    I have my thoughts and ideas, but I am open to being wrong and since we are talking about God's work we are called to do, these things are to be taken seriously. I am not trying to say anything about God, but I understand some ideas imply certain things about God. Somehow because I believe that man can choose, I am saying that we are more powerful than God. Either God gave us the ability to choose or he didn't. I am trying to find the balance between God and man. I know that statement seems heretical to some, but I do not mean for it to be that way.
     
  14. annsni

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    The big argument some have said about the doctrine of grace, and you brought it up too, is that if God wills that none would perish, why do they perish? Well, if it's totally up to God, then He has a reason for it. If it's totally up to man, then God is not powerful enough to carry out His desires.
     
  15. Pastor David

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    JSM17 wrote, "I am trying to understand the connection with God's sovereignty and man's ability to choose...I am open to being wrong and since we are talking about God's work we are called to do, these things are to be taken seriously."

    There is something very odd going on here. You began this thread with a vehement attack on your fellow Christians. The suggestion that "Calvinist" are "in reality lying" to people is a very serious charge of sin.

    You continue attributing to them the sin of lying by stating,

    "It is a lie to tell a man that if he will believe in Jesus Christ that he shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10) while, at the same time, believing and teaching most cannot accept Christ."

    Then you move on once more, with a abhorrent misrepresentation of Calvinism in your accusations saying,

    "According to Calvinism, the unelected are not offered God's grace and most of the human race is doomed to hell. Technically and practically it is a lie to tell an unelected person he can be saved when he cannot."

    You accuse fellow Christians of "false teaching", distorting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and as those in "Doctrinal error [who] perverts God's truth and corrupts the very Gospel the Calvinist claims to believe."

    Now, a few post later, you want us to believe you're innocently and simply trying to "understand"? After your gross condenming of the brethren, you want others to believe you could be "wrong"? You're right about one thing, these things should be taken seriously, and the first things that should be taken seriously are your unfounded accusations of lying, the spirit in which you posted this, and your motives for sowing discord among believers.
     
  16. billwald

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    Every sane person will choose salvation if the issue is explained to him in terms that he can understand so the problem of the "world" boils down to two issues:

    1. Will God automatically condemn people who are not playing with a full deck?

    2. Will God automatically condemn people who have not been told in a format that they can understand?
     
  17. annsni

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    There are very many sane people who have heard the Gospel yet have chosen to ignore it. God tells us in Romans that all are without excuse so it doesn't matter if it's in the right "format" or not.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    This post shows an erroneous view of what the reformed believe
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    Incorrect, God can maintain the will (meaning desire) that all men should be saved and at the same time allow for men to reject HIm.
     
  20. JSM17

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    I find it very hard to follow the ideas of Calvinism only because it does not seek that Calvinist's argree with eacj other about Calvinism.

    So how can one have a good understanding of a doctrine that is seen in so many ways different from one another.

    Is there or can there be a balance between God's Sovereignty and man's will to choose.

    If wishes all men to be saved and yet all men will not be saved then what happened?

    To answer Annsni: No that is not the God I see in scripture, yet I am trying to understand how that all works.

    Revmitchell rejects that, but then if some men do reject God then was that not just God not working in them to bring them to faith. It has been said by others that those who are the "Natural" man cannot understand the things of God without God working in them. Or that no man seeks after God unless God moves Him to believe. If that is the case then if man rejects God it is either because God did not work on him or man does have a choice, but then what does that do to God's power?

    Irresistable Grace I believe it is called by some.
     

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