God hardened their hearts

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    Joshua 11:19-20

    Did these nations have the free will to choose peace, or did God cuase them to wage war in Israel? Discuss.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  2. Helen

    Helen
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    I think Bible can explain Bible here, Joseph. At any rate, let's give it a try.

    If we go back, generations before, to Abraham's time, we see something God told Abraham in Genesis 15:16. First He tells Abraham of the coming enslavement by another people, and then that God will bring them out, laden with riches. Then, in verse 16, God says this: "In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."

    What does 'its full measure' mean? I would suggest that, taking a lesson from Sodom and Gormorrah, there were still some righteous men left in that culture/place. Thus, until there were no more righteous men left, that place would not be destroyed. Why not just move the righteous men out and destroy the place?

    Perhaps because with enough, even though very few, righteous men still there, people still were being presented with a choice in life about God, His Promise of a Redeemer, and just the truth about Him? At least grant it as a possibility.

    Remember Romans 1 where God's wrath is poured out on those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. Again, you cannot suppress something if you are not aware of it to begin with.

    In Ephesians 4:17-19, we read something about the hardening of hearts from Paul:
    So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality, so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

    First of all, they must have had sensitivity, or they could not have lost it. Secondly, we see that their ignorance is the effect of the cause of the hardened heart. Ignorance was not the cause. That's interesting...But then we also see that they gave themselves over to sensuality, etc.

    So who hardens the heart?

    Let's go to Hebrews. In chapter three, we read some interesting things. In verse 7, the writer quotes the Holy Spirit as saying
    "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert."

    And a little further on, in verse 12, we read, "See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."

    It seems, then, that a person is responsible for the hardening of his own heart. It also seems that we can help stop the hardening of others' hearts by our encouragement in the Lord.

    If we go back to Romans 1, we see that those who persist in evil eventually are given the lie and they end up degenerating into all sorts of evil. So God certainly finishes the job! But it seems that each of us is responsible for the softness or hardness of our own hearts even before we are born again.

    God told Moses that He would harden Pharaoh's heart. And yet we see in the first plagues that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. And then it was too late. God finished the job, just as He indicated to Moses would happen.

    As an aside here, this is exactly why I really doubt that there are many deathbed conversions. People travel the path they have chosen and that path, if the person has chosen sin, results in a hardened heart, and a hardened heart is finally, in the end, agreed to by God and He finishes the job. I do think that deathbed conversions would most often be more like that of my dad, who had been looking for the truth his entire life and stood up for what he knew of it. And God was totally faithful and led him to Christ at the end.

    To summarize the point I believe the Bible is making, though, it's sort of "Seek and you shall find" or "You get what you ask for."

    The cultures that were finally conquered by the Israelites when they took over the Promised Land had been allowed by God to progress to the point of no return where their sin was concerned, and then He finished the job, hardening them completely.

    At least that is the pattern the Bible seems to suggest in what I referred to above.
     
  3. Benjamin

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    I think the Hivites who where included in the long war and said of beforehand that they would be driven out had the free will to change the circumstances and therefore made peace instead of being utterly destroyed.


    (Jos 3:9) And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.

    (Jos 3:10) And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites , and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.


    The Hivites were named to be utterly destroyed. But things changed. Free will?

    (Deu 20:17) But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely , the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites , and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:
     
  4. johnp.

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    Hello Joseph Botwinick. :cool:

    Only God is Sovereign so free will does not exist.

    God causes all things as He works out His purposes with us. I believe that sovereignty resides in choice, there can only be One that chooses what is and what isn't.

    Ex 4:21 ...But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

    God has been good to Egypt and they have benefitted from having a softened heart towards Israel.

    Benjamin's (Deu 20:17) But thou shalt utterly destroy them... Is more of a command than a prediction isn't it?

    john.
     
  5. Benjamin

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    Joseph, Benjamin has a clear "prediction" from God that didn't happen either if you need it.


    In 1Sam 23 David obviously had the free will to change the circumstances as God cannot lie. Yes, God is Sovereign and He is also Truth; I think this passage shows God allows circumstances to change by free will through His sovereignty.


    (1Sa 23:10) Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.

    (1Sa 23:11) Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the LORD said, He will come down.

    (1Sa 23:12) Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will deliver thee up.

    (1Sa 23:13) Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbore to go forth.

    1Sa 23:14) And David abode in the wilderness in strongholds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.
     
  6. StraightAndNarrow

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    Personally, I believe in free will but I also believe that God can choose to intervene in the world's affairs at any time. That's what He did in this case.
     
  7. johnp.

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    Hello StraightAndNarrow.

    How then can we have free will? If He permits or allows us the freedom to choose then that choice is not free but under restraint. If He can interfer at any time and overrule our choice then free will is not free is it?

    john.
     
  8. Helen

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    the choice, or want, is always free. The doing part is always under restraint!
     
  9. johnp.

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    Hello Helen.

    So we can want whatever we want but God always decides whether our choices come to pass? Pharaoh and Esau might disagree with you. :cool:

    Your verse, Eph 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts, is explained by Isaiah when he said, "For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: JN 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them."" JN 12:39-40.

    'due to the hardening of their hearts' He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts.

    Would you say that if a man wanted to do the will of God then God would not restrain him?

    john.
     
  10. Benjamin

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    God can harden their hearts by simply withholding His love.

    God wants the reciprocation of our love without force. I don’t think God’s knowledge is a kind of active force but an infallible truth. Unless one is prepared to say God actively forces or chooses one to sin we should believe God doesn’t force one to love either, He gives His love and we freely reciprocate it or choose not to.
     
  11. Helen

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    If you read my first post on this topic here, you will find I responded to your question already.
     
  12. johnp.

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    Hello Benjamin.

    I don't really know what you mean by 'withholding His love'. If one withholds love from another that is hate isnt it? Love never fails and a withholding of it would make love fail?

    Then can you explain why refusing said reciprocation ends in punishment please? :cool:
    The command is to love the Lord our God with our whole being, it is not a request. Love me or go to Hell is a strange way of not using force isn't it?

    Eph 1:11 ...according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will...

    God's foreknowledge is based on what He intends to do so I would disagree with you I think.

    I am prepared to say such a thing. :cool:

    1KI 22:23 "So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you."

    2SA 16:11 David then said to Abishai and all his officials, "My son, who is of my own flesh, is trying to take my life. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the LORD has told him to.

    When God told Moses, "...But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go." (Ex 4:21) He was actively causing Pharaoh to act against direct commands from God and not only that but He punished him for it as well.

    God works in the will of man to accomplish His will. I was blind and disobedient and He is correcting my fault. Man was made to be at one with their Maker and if He restores some to that place I would see that beneficial to me whether force is needed or not. I think it is. Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? Rom 9:21. Yes or no? :cool:

    Rom 8:7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

    Does God help a man to see Him. Romans 8:7 says man cannot submit to Him?

    john.
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    Wal, let's see if I can contribute a thought or two. The term irresistible grace conjures up the image of God dragging somebody into the kingdom who's fighting and kicking and screaming all the way. What the Holy Spirit does is to do a miraculous work on a rebellious heart, giving us a new nature. It is that regenerated heart, along with a mind illuminated and spiritual eyes opened by the HS that now sees sin as God does and hates it as God does. He sees Christ and His finished work as his only hope and turns to Him in repentance and confesses his trust in God and in Jesus as Lord. By the way, the repentence exercised is also a gift from God, and so is their saving faith. At no point in all this is God's grace resisted. In fact it is freely and enthusiastically embraced.
    Ah, you say, Stephen preached that the forefathers of the Jews had always resisted the Holy Spirit. Yep, they did the same thing we will all do apart from from the Holy Spirit's regenerating work in us.
    I've also seen those folks seemingly under conviction grip the pew. Or was it resistance to persuasive oratory from the preacher? Either way, conviction is not regeneration.
    Finally, I'll raise the same question here that was raised elsewhere on this board. If God will not violate a man's will, what point is there in praying for anybody's salvation?
    Tom Butler
     
  14. Benjamin

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    :confused: Thought most Calvinist would get this one.

    God is Love, does He hate the man He created?

    God made man in His image, does man fail?

    A foolish choice.

    (Pro 26:3) A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.

    So love can be commanded? Not sure how that works…
    Does breaking a command send you to hell? Define “whole being”


    Define love, and show where it is forced for salvation.

    Then please explain why would God who is only good intended His creation to fall to sin, then manifest His love to the creation (the cross) instead of playing it absolutely safe by not giving us free will?

    He would/could revert to a Calvinist form of salvation but seems God knows good triumphs over evil and chose to freely win the hearts of those in rebellion like the scriptures say, the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.

    :eek: Omnibenevolent, (Psa 18:30) As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

    If we can not choose to sin, how can it be counted against us and who is it counted against? God??? :confused:

    Amazing thing how the Lord ALLOWED that spirit to do this?

    Was this a sin?

    Not sin:

    (Jam 3:17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.


    Lets look some more at Romans [​IMG]

    Can’t God demonstrate His wrath and reveal His power (for purposes of reciprocating love) and be extremely patient with the objects made for destruction and those made for mercy and both be saved? Who are you to talk back? Romans 9:20

    (Rom 9:23) Can't he also reveal his glorious riches to the objects of his mercy that he has prepared ahead of time for glory-

    YES
    He did in Jesus Christ:
    This is the message of faith that we proclaim:

    (Rom 10:9) If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Note: You is used 4 times in this verse. You'll be surprised by how much "you" there is in a book that supposedly says that we do nothing.

    (Rom 10:10) For a person believes with his heart and is justified, and a person declares with his mouth and is saved.

    Who is everyone…Hmm?

    (Rom 10:11) For the Scripture says, " Everyone who believes in him will not be ashamed."

    (Rom 10:13) For " everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    What does Paul say about someone who thinks God made Him special? ;)

    (Rom 12:3) For by the grace given to me I ask every one of you not to think of yourself more highly than you should think, rather to think of yourself with sober judgment on the measure of faith that God has assigned each of you.

    In context it says those under the control of the flesh can not please God. Why? He doesn't want His creation living by the flesh.


    (Rom 8:5) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

    (Rom 8:6) To set our minds on the flesh leads to death, but to set our minds on the Spirit leads to life and peace.

    Compare John 15
     
  15. johnp.

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    Hello Benjamin.

    Dt 30:16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

    Love is a decision not a feeling. Do as He says or face the punishment for not doing what He says. He will send those who do not love Him to Hell where they will spend the rest of forever in torment. What love are you talking about?

    Do you accept that?

    You sure about that? Rev 19:15 ...He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

    Since Christ died for my sins how can I go to Hell?

    Dt 6:5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

    john.
     
  16. johnp.

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    Hello Tom nice to meet you.

    No point. :cool:

    john.
     
  17. Helen

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    There goes THAT part of the Bible!

    "Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved."
    Romans 10:1
     
  18. webdog

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    Johnp, glad to see you back spreading God's hate of the majority of mankind :rolleyes:
     
  19. johnp.

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    Explain it then Helen. If God does not interfer with man's will what is the point of praying to God for the salvation of anyone?

    If God will not violate a man's will, what point is there in praying for anybody's salvation? (Tom)

    I know the bible encourages us to pray for family, friends and enemies, it is not from our point of view wrong to expect God to control their wills. :cool: That's why we pray, "Lord save my loved ones."

    Not the majority. Thanks for the welcome. It must be nice to be missed. :cool: What of you webdog, how do you pray for your nearest and dearest? Is it love to neglect to pray for them or do you do it on the quiet? :cool: You do pray for them don't you.

    john.
     
  20. webdog

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    I ask God to supply the opportunity and the strength to witness to them. I also pray that God continues to draw them to the truth.
    If by "on the quiet" you mean silently...yes. I don't announce it to the neighborhood. I do ask those in my church to pray for them.
     

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