For All you Calvinists, and otherwise

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by preacher4truth, Dec 11, 2010.

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  1. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    I am newer in Reformed beliefs. So I pose these questions to all of you who have been down the road with this:

    Jesus says that we come to Him because the Father draws us to Him, and states that no man can come to Him unless this takes place. John 6:44.

    I take it that this is referring to salvation.

    Can a person approach Jesus Christ, to be saved, and in turn, be rejected, because God had not drawn them? Does this happen?

    Or, is it just a fact that whomever comes to Christ to be saved, came to Him because he or she was drawn to Him to do so, even though they may not know what this all meant, or maybe really never felt this drawing, only that they were lost and wanted to be saved?

    So, could some people have believed on Him to eternal life, attend church, show fruits of a Christian, and yet be lost in their sins, because they approached God for salvation, uninvited?

    I know it sounds confusing, but this is a legitimate question, and I am new to trying to understand Calvinist teachings.

    Any good studies on this that could be suggested would be greatly appreciated.

    - Thanks
     
  2. The Archangel

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    This is not a confusing question at all. In fact, it is a very good question.

    We do believe that God draws people to Himself (His elect). This is necessary because we are "dead in our trespasses and sins" and we are "by nature children of wrath." So, we have a heart problem. As I've told our congregation many times: God is not upset only with your sinful actions...He is upset at who you are. An action-change does nothing because our sinful actions are just a symptom of a cold, dead heart that desires only evil continually (Genesis 6). So, part of that drawing process is what is referred to as "Regeneration," the giving of a new heart.

    Why do we need this new heart? Because in our natural state we do not seek after God (Romans 3). But, we are commanded to "Seek the Lord while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6). This apparent contradiction is solved by God giving a new heart and that regenerated person seeking God, because he or she is no longer in their natural "dead" state.

    So, your understanding of John 6:44 is showing this, in a nutshell.

    But, your more pointed question about can someone seek God and be rejected by God because God never drew that person is answered simply: No.

    There are many people who are basically seeking God on their own terms--seeking a god of their own imaginations. One of the things that is very evident in all of Scripture is that one must take God on His terms and it is an all-or-nothing proposition. One cannot affirm that God is a loving God and because of that say that He will save all (regardless of whether they believe in Christ or not). To say that people will not go to hell for their sins is to not believe in the God of the Bible. So, many will "Seek" but is their seeking a true seeking? Do they come to God as He is, not as they wish He'd be?

    Assuming that someone is coming to God on His terms, then that is a fruit of the work that God has already done to draw them to Himself.

    I think many people are drawn to God (on His own terms) and they do not understand what is going on. I think this pattern may fit quite a number of Old Testament heroes--like Abram, Moses, etc. They were drawn by God and responded to Him in faith, not knowing all of what was happening or what would happen. At least, they didn't know all the details.

    But, no...people are not rejected because they were "uninvited." In reformed thought this is a bit of a "square circle," a square and a circle being two mutually exclusive geometric shapes. If someone genuinely seeks God (again, not seeking a god of their own imagination) and they show the fruits of repentance and faith, that is evidence that God has drawn them.

    Many people who attend church and seem to show fruits are lost and they will be lost to hell. But, it is not because they were "uninvited." It is because they were self-deceived, worshiping a god of their own imagination.

    I hope that helps...and I'm sure others will love to pick this apart (C'est la vie).

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Many people who attend church and seem to show fruits are lost and they will be lost to hell. But, it is not because they were "uninvited." It is because they were self-deceived, worshiping a god of their own imagination.

    I hope that helps...and I'm sure others will love to pick this apart (C'est la vie).


    Yes....of course. The lost! Election is humbling. Thankfully it also encourages our love for God. Thank you Archangel.
     
  4. psalms109:31

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    Key to 44 is these verses

    John 6:
    45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[Isaiah 54:13] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.

    Luke 10:21
    At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.


    Following a crowd doesn't mean you are drawn to Jesus, and they will be found out.

    To those who leave this is said about them

    1 John 2:

    Warnings Against Denying the Son
    18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

    20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.[Some manuscripts and you know all things] 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

    24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.


    Jesus will not lose one He has been given.
     
    #4 psalms109:31, Dec 11, 2010
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  5. CF1

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    Here are CD's I listened to in the car during my commute that I would recommend. They are very detailed explanations of many difficult points. There is a time for Q&A at the end for those who disagree. Those who disagree are encouraged to ask tough questions. I enjoyed learning from this more than dry boring books that take a long time to read. Piper's style of preaching on these CDs is sometimes strong and victorious, othertimes humble and very human, re-phrasing himself when he says a word wrong, not perfectly polished to the point of sounding like a marketing spiel but someone trying to help others see the fine nuances, pulling out all the difficult objections and confusions that exist about the words chosen by both views.

    TULIP: The Pursuit of God’s Glory in Salvation - 10 CDs by John Piper in 1998


    I balanced this with several other books and views on a "balanced" approach that is neither 5-point Calvinist nor pure Arminianism. It seems there are few pure Arminians in Baptist churches. Purist Arminians seem to be found in Methodist and Wesleyan churches.

    If you are busy like me the above audio CDs are a good way to learn while commuting. If you have time to sit in front of a TV, there is also a DVD set that was produced in 2009, which is available online for free here if you like to watch on your computer, but in this version I think Piper sometimes appears weary and fatigued, sometimes coughing and fighting off a cold in the DVD series. Maybe that was God's way of sovereignly keeping him humble, as he should be when handling these incredible truths of the Glory of the Godhead. The DVDs have more marketing in them with a fancy backdrop behind the stage. I guess some people would complain if that wasn't there.

    What surprised me is that many times (not always) differences in views come down to "how you say things" or semantics. I was surprised to learn how many things all sides really agree on, but they don't like to use the same semantics to say it. However, these semantics sometimes shape people's thinking and result in "real" differences in views as well.

    I think studying attributes of God is very valuable! It results in more worship and praise and evangelism for the Glory of the Lord!
     
    #5 CF1, Dec 11, 2010
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  6. preacher4truth

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    So in other words, all that genuinely come to God, do so realizing they are lost, and need to be saved, not perfectly, but in this way? I think this is what it is. I know when we went to church, we went because we were convicted that we needed to do so, and that we needed to make certain we were saved, and that we realized Christ died on the Cross to save us. I remember reading the Bible, and great conviction coming on me. It spoke of MY sins whenever I read it, I knew I was a sinner. I also read an, if all things, Chick tract, "This Was your Life: I think, and knew Jesus was the Savior and that I wanted to make sure I was saved. It was very convicting, believe it or not. We both went forward at a Baptist Church, and told them we wanted to be saved right then and there. The message wasn't even about this, all I thought of the whole entire time during the message is I wanted to make sure I was saved. We were baptized same service. We stayed faithful. God called us to ministry so we went to school.

    I really appreciate your words and helping me understand this. I came to seek out Calvins teachings, after its being swept under the rug so often. It really has glorified God to me, in the way it presents Him, and His Sovereignty. It has exalted Him much more in seeing Him in this light, especially after belonging to IFB churches, with some of the very narrow, shallow sermons, and little to no exposition. I see no other theolgical viewpoint that lifts His name up as this does.

    Thanks for your post. It did help alot.
     
  7. preacher4truth

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    CF1, thanks for your advice. I will take a look at those CD's. I have watched part of Piper where he was sick. The things he said were very good. Thanks for your post and links, it was very helpful.
     
  8. CF1

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  9. zrs6v4

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    No. It is helpful to read 6:35- the rest of the chapter then read John 10 also.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Q. Is unregenerate man capable of "doing anything right" in the sight of God?
    A. Rom 3:10

    Q. Is unregnerate man capable of "understanding" spiritual truth?
    A. Rom 3:11a

    Q. Is unregenerate man capable of "seeking God"?
    A. Rom 3:11b

    Q. Is unregenerate man capable of "following the way of God"?
    A. Rom 3:12a

    Q. Is unregenerate man capable of "doing anything of value"?
    A. Rom 3:12b

    Q. Is unregenerate man capable of "doing even any little good thing"?
    A. Rom 3:12c

    God made clear the horrendous condition of man apart from the secret, unseen work of His holy Spirit that changes the very nature/core being of a man. On his own, without this radical change, man will NEVER come, call, seek, want, will, pray, believe, accept, etc. Never.

    And, of course, this puts salvation 100% of God's grace and 0% of Bob since obviously I'm by nature a child of wrath and need regeneration alone.
     
  11. moral necessity

    moral necessity
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    Absolutely not! Jesus says, "All who come to me, I will in no wise cast out" (Jn.6:37). If God compels you to come, he does so with full intent and desire to save you entirely. Such people should take courage, and not allow Satan to use their theology against them.

    Blessings!
     
    #11 moral necessity, Dec 11, 2010
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  12. Robert Snow

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    I would gladly post the Scriptures that show the gross error of hyper-Calvinism, but the ones who hold to this doctrine will not listen. They have seen them many times before. This is an impasse that cannot be spanned.

    I will continue to stand against this error, but to continually argue the points here is pointless.
     
  13. CF1

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    It's important to do your own research before evaluating what all the different views means. The CDs I mentioned above by Piper do a pretty good job of describing in detail all of the many meanings and interpretations on the various points. That's a good starting point from which a person can begin to form conclusions.
     
  14. Havensdad

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    Um, Hyper-Calvinism is just Calvinism with an anti-evangelistic bent. I do not know of any Hyper Calvinists on this board.
     
  15. glfredrick

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    I agree...

    I often do wonder at those who seem ready to war against a theological view of God where God is utterly sovereign and saves purely by His grace though. It seems as if there is still some aspect of rebellion involved in the desire to keep our own human actions at the crux of the salvation experience. Not trying to pick a fight, but for me, that is where the rubber meets the road. God is either the King that I bow to or I am. From what I can see in the Word, He really doesn't deal well with those who attempt to stand against Him, even if for the best of intentions.
     
  16. Robert Snow

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    I have been under the impression that the Primitive Baptist church is hyper-Calvinistic in doctrine. Although I have never been in one of these churches, I have been members of both IFB and SBC (which I currently attend) and this is what many of these pastors have told me.
     
  17. Havensdad

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    Some Primitive Baptists are Hyper Calvinist. It just depends on their view on public evangelism.
     
  18. quantumfaith

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    FYI

    Peter Toon
    Peter Toon states that Hyper-Calvinism "made no distinction between the secret and revealed will of God, and tried to deduce the duty of men from what it taught concerning the secret, eternal decrees of God. This led to the notion that grace must only be offered to those for whom it was intended." [4]

    Curt Daniel
    Curt Daniel defines Hyper-Calvinism as "...that school of supralapsarian Five Point Calvinism which so stresses the sovereignty of God by overemphasizing the secret over the revealed will and eternity over time, that it minimizes the responsibility of Man, notably with respect to the denial of the word ‘offer’ in relation to the preaching of the Gospel of a finished and limited atonement, thus undermining the universal duty of sinners to believe savingly with assurance that the Lord Jesus Christ died for them."... it is the rejection of the word offer in connection with evangelism for supposedly Calvinistic reasons... the only real and tangible thing which differentiates the Hyper from the High-Calvinist is the word offer." [5]

    Iain Murray
    "Hyper-Calvinism in its attempt to square all truth with God's purpose to save the elect, denies that there is a universal command to repent and believe, and asserts that we have only warrant to invite to Christ those who are conscious of a sense of sin and need. In other words, it is those who have been spiritually quickened to seek a Saviour and not those who are in the death of unbelief and indifference, to whom the exhortations of the Gospel must be addressed. In this way a scheme was devised for restricting the Gospel to those who there is reason to suppose are elect." [6]

    Phil Johnson
    "A hyper-Calvinist is someone who either: Denies that the gospel call applies to all who hear, OR Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR Denies that the gospel makes any “offer” of Christ, salvation, or mercy to the non-elect (or denies that the offer of divine mercy is free and universal), OR Denies that there is such a thing as “common grace,” OR Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect." [7]

    David Engelsma
    "Hyper-Calvinism is the denial that God in the preaching of the gospel calls everyone who hears the preaching to repent and believe. It is the denial that the church should call everyone in the preaching. It is the denial that the unregenerated have a duty to repent and believe. It manifests itself in the practice of the preacher’s addressing the call of the gospel, "repent and believe on Christ crucified," only to those in his audience who show signs of regeneration and, thereby, of election, namely, some conviction of sin and some interest in salvation." [8]
     
  19. Tom Butler

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    Hyper-Calvinism holds that one may be saved independently of hearing the gospel. That's why it's anti-Missionary. H-C believes that God is going to save his elect whether they ever hear the gospel or not.
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    Not exactly. H-C and C are at odds. Calvinists, as most evangelicals, believe God has chosen to save people through the "foolishness of preaching."

    William Carey, the first "modern missionary" was a Calvinist.

    So was C. H. Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers.

    No one would ever mistake them for Hyper-Calvinists.
     
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