Go . But They Will say No .

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rippon, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    In these continuing debates between Calvinism and Arminianism one thing that crops up is the non-Calvinistic contention that there would be no point to preach since God has already settled the matter before the world was created . We Calvinists ( following Scripture ) tell the other party that we are commanded to do so . That doesn't satisfy the Arminian . But we must heed the words from the mouth of Jesus and do what the Great Commision says . I do believe that the Bible clearly teaches , with no eqivocation , that there must be a universal proclamation of the law/gospel . And I also affirm that His saving power rests only on those whom He has predestinated before the creation of the world . Too many of you are sounding like the objectors that Paul had in mind in Romans 9 .

    How do you guys ( these days "guys" is inclusive of women ) deal with Jeremiah 7:27 ?

    When you tell them all this they will not listen to you ; when you call to them , they will not answer .

    Or how would you handle the the Lord's charge to Ezekiel in 3:4-9 ?

    He then said to me , " Son of man , go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them . You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language , but to the house of Israel -- not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language you cannot understand . Surely if I had sent you to them , they would have listened to you . But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me , for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate . But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are . I will make your forehead like the hardest stone , harder than flint . Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them , though they are a rebellious house .


    Would you try to reason it all out and say "What's the point ? Why go when you have given me that depressing report ? I can't reconcile this tension in my mind ? "
     
  2. genesis12

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    Who inspired the referenced scriptures? Who wrote them down? To whom did he write them? In what context were they written?

    When you clearly answer each of those questions, you clearly know what to do with the passages cited.
     
  3. tinytim

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    I'm not a Calvinist, but you left one out in the OP...
    Isaiah... chapter 6.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    Tiny Tim, thanks.

    Isaiah 6 is probably the most powerful passage that Rippon might cite for his position. To paraphrase, God told Isaiah to preach to Israel, told him what to preach, and then told him, "but they won't listen."

    Then the remarkable passage--your preaching, in fact will blind their eyes so they can't see it, stop up their ears so they can't hear, and callous their hearts so they won't understand and turn and be healed.

    John, in 12:39-40

    V. 39 "For this reason they could not believe.
    v 40 Explains why they couldn't believe, as John quotes Isaiah 6 and attributes the blinding of eyes and deadening of hearts to the Lord Himself, for the specific purpose of clouding their understanding.

    genesis12 calls for interpretation in context. To be sure, Isaiah was preaching to the Jews, but John applied the passage to Jews of his day, and specifically applied it to salvation.

    Now, John 12:37 makes this more interesting.
    "Even after Jesus had done all these signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.

    John goes on to say that their unwillingness was a fulfillment of Isaiah 53 (Who has believed our report?) Then explains further: They would not believe because they could not believe.

    The implications of these passages are enormous.
     
  5. canadyjd

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    Rippon

    I might try to see it from another perspective. What is the motivation for proclaimation? Is it simple obedience to the command of Matt 28? Is it enough to simply preach and proclaim the gospel? Is it enough to state the facts of the doctrines of Grace? One complaint I have heard is that Calvinism tends toward a dry orthodoxy. Sometimes I think there may be truth to that.

    I don't mean is it enough for those who hear us. Is it enough for us? Do we grieve for them if they fail to respond? Is our first response, "time to shake the dust from our feet" or "don't cast the pearls before the swine"? Jeremiah wept for those who rejected his preaching. Isaiah as well.

    Do we weep for someone who rejects Jesus and remains enslaved to sin, even if they "could not believe"? Do we pray ernestly for those who are the worst of sinners? Does it really bother us if someone rejects, or is it too easy to say, "they must not be one of the 'elect' because the Spirit didn't convict them of the truth"?

    Our motivations should be those of our Lord, and He lamented over sinners. He had perfect patience with the worst of sinners. He desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. We should live as though that is a real possibility.

    BTW, please don't take any of what I said to be personally directed toward you; it is not.
    peace to you:wavey:
     
  6. npetreley

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    And there's something wrong with that? On the contrary, I think man errs the most when he starts to think he can "sell" the Gospel better than just preaching the truth. And that happens ALL the time. Anyone heard of Rick Warren?

    Maybe there's truth to it in some cases. It doesn't make the principles of Calvinism any less true. And if a free-willer can get more people to come to the altar, that doesn't make salvation by free-will choice true. (Nor does it mean those people are saved just because they responded to an altar call.)

    Would that help? I recall a time when I was in a taxi with another person who was simply beside herself with worry and anger because we were going to get somewhere late. I told her, "You worry real hard and get really angry, okay? And I'll sit here and relax. Let's see who gets there first."

    I do grieve over some people who are lost, and I think it would be a good sign if I grieved over more people. But I grieve over whom I grieve, and I don't over whom I don't. If God gives me a heart to grieve more, then I will. When the day comes when I try to grieve just for the sake of feeling like I am a more compassionate Christian, I'll have crossed over into the zone of meaningless hypocrisy.
     
  7. canadyjd

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    I think it would be a good sign to grieve for the lost more. It would mean, I think, we were being conformed to the image of our Lord. I find it unlikely any Christian would be called a hypocrite for having too much compassion, but this is a strange world.
    peace to you:wavey:
     
  8. webdog

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    Does the word Omniscience ring a bell? God doesn't command us to preach the Gospel for the sole purpose of having us obey it, but to sincerely spread the Good News to the lost. Calvinists will use the excuse "we go because we are commanded...that's it". That is not the heart God wants us to have when we do "go". We are to have the mind of Christ. Did Christ only preach...and lament over Jerusalem because "He was commanded to"? No way. He has a genuine love for ALL, as we are to.
     
  9. npetreley

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    I'm not talking about being a hypocrite for having too much compassion. I'm saying I would be a hypocrite if I actively tried to grieve more in order to feel more Christ-like. The goal would be to FEEL more Christ-like, not to BE more Christ-like.

    I can't make myself grieve. Either God gives me a heart to grieve, or not. I can pray that He will make me more compassionate, and I do. But I can't make myself more compassionate by trying to grieve more over the lost.

    By the way, God does answer these kinds of prayers. There was a time when I couldn't care less about Israel. I believe I was moved by the Spirit to pray for a heart for Israel, and almost overnight I suddenly had a compassion for Israel and the Jews and I still pray that God will use me in some way to minister to them. But this desire didn't come from within me by trying to grieve more. God granted it to me.
     
  10. canadyjd

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    OK

    peace to you:praying:
     

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