God, That's not fair!

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Ian Major, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear Folks

    From my experience, most who object to God’s sovereignty in salvation do so, not from studying the Bible, but from instinctive presuppositions we held as unbelievers. Our ideas of ‘fairness’ that we correctly apply to man are transferred to our idea of how God should behave. This was how I thought as a new believer. This is what coloured my reading of the Scriptures for some time. But eventually as I studied the Scriptures I began to have problems.

    Let me say to my brothers and sisters who hold to the sovereignty of man’s free-will, that it is a dangerous place to be. Your ‘defence’ of the fairness of God will break down under scrutiny of the Word – and you will be forced to either:
    1. Stop thinking about it, just repeat the old phrases.
    2. Re-interpret several of the key doctrines of Scripture, to accommodate Freewillism.
    3. Abandon the faith altogether, on the basis that Scripture reveals a God whom you cannot respect.

    I hope you are at none of these stages, and are open to be persuaded by the Word. But I have encountered all of these in my time.

    Type 1 is common among believers. It is a trap we all can fall into about any doctrine. Self-examination and prayer is the cure.

    Type 2 folk are in immediate danger of apostasy, if not already gone. An example of such is Clark Pinnock. He moved from being a Calvinist, to Arminianism, to Open Theism. When we are offended by God’s absolute sovereignty, our pursuit of free-willism cannot be satisfied by denying unconditional election, irresistible grace, etc. It must take us to where God is a hostage to our sovereign will. God is not allowed to intervene in our affairs in anyway to affect our choice. Pinnock and Open Theism see God unable to know all the future, because our wills may change it. Of course, not all are as far gone as Pinnock – but I’ve encountered brethren who argue for a second chance for the dead – so that we all have an equal opportunity to believe. Never mind the Scripture that reveals judgement as the follow-on from death. Others are driven to Annihilationism in their defence of God’s fairness. They just cannot conceive their God being so unjust as to punish man eternally.

    Type 3 is the logical end of free-willism. The thinking anti-Calvinist will eventually conclude that the God revealed in the Bible is a dictator, therefore the Scriptures are merely the words of men, and God – if He exists – is unknowable. I debated on-line with such a man, one who also once held to Calvinism but eventually ran a web-site devoted to atheism. All on the basis of man’s objection to God’s sovereignty.

    Does God have to meet human standards of fairness or is He far above our judgement? With Job I think we all should say,

    "I know that You can do everything,
    And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
    You asked, "Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?'
    Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
    Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
    Listen, please, and let me speak;
    You said, "I will question you, and you shall answer Me.'


    "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
    But now my eye sees You.
    Therefore I abhor myself,
    And repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:2-6

    In Him

    Ian
     
  2. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ian,

    Let me ask you a question:

    Do you believe God has desired to save men who never were saved?
     
  3. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Ian, You are, simply stated, wrong!
     
  4. ILUVLIGHT

    ILUVLIGHT
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Hi Ian Major;
    Did God give up His sovereignity when He created Adam?. I don't believe He did.Adam certainly had a choice he could obey God or disobey. What I don't understand about this sovereignity issue is what makes people think that God can't do what He wants without giving up His sovereginity, to allow man a choice.
    Just as God doesn't loose His sovereignity when He gives us grace and saves us from our sins. It doesn't mean He can't change His mind does it? If He can't change His mind. Then I would say that he has lost His sovereignity.
    Just some thoughts;
    May God Bless;
    Mike
     
  5. Brian Bosse

    Brian Bosse
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Everyone,

    I think Ian has touched on a very important point. What I got out of Ian’s post is the power of the philosophical commitments we bring to the Bible. Most of us never even consider them. We assume them, are comfortable with them, and don’t realize we are looking through a lens by which we interpret the world, or in this case the Bible.

    I assume we would all agree that Scripture is the final authority, and as such should be the philosophical basis upon which we interpret everything. That is to say, the presuppositions we adopt should come from scripture, or at least conform to scripture. Any ideas that we hold contrary to scripture should be abandoned.

    So, with that in mind, I propose we consider the following philosophical presupposition…

    Ability determines obligation.

    This assumption was at the root of the Pelagian controversy. Pelagius was offended by Augustine’s prayer, “Father command what Thou desirest, and grant what Thou commandest.” At the root of this prayer is the idea that God holds us accountable for things that we are not able to do. Pelagius assumed that if God commands us to do something, then implicit within that command is the assertion that we are able to do it. Historically, the church sided with Augustine, but did not remain consistent.

    My question is this: Is this philosophical assumption biblical?

    Sincerely,

    Brian
     
  6. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brian,

    This is an interesting question.

    I believe that the bible supports the idea that whatever God demands of people He gives them the ability to accomplish it. It may not be through the means we would like or choose, but nevertheless he always seems to provide the means.

    Romans 1 seems to support the idea that man is without excuse during judgement because he is able to "clearly see" and "understand" the divine attributes of God. By removing that ability we grant mankind the perfect excuse.

    Blessings.
     
  7. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skandelon

    You said 'Ian,
    Let me ask you a question:
    Do you believe God has desired to save men who never were saved?'

    Yes. Some Calvinists do not, as they can't get their heads around the concept that God can have two wills. I don't see the problem. I wrote to a brother recently,
    'Is not God
    free to desire something that He choses not to acquire?
    If I as a man can desire something I chose not to acquire, why should God
    have less freedom? For instance, A man desires his son to complete his
    homework before going out to play. He avoids it but until now Dad has
    insisted. Tonight, Dad's going to let him have his rebellious way and then
    find out what it's like to either do the work when he's exhausted or
    tomorrow morning face the music from his teacher. Dad still desired his son
    to do the homework early, but preferred to set that desire aside in order to
    discipline his son through consequences.
    Or, An employer desires that his employees attend for the full shift they
    are paid for. He has found that if he leaves the plant gates open many
    leave early. Since finding this out he has kept the gates closed till the
    shift ends. But today he is going to leave them open. He still desires all
    his employees to do their full shift, but today anyone found to have left
    early will be fired. He wants to weed out the shirkers. Both these
    examples show two wills at work without loss of logic.
    Likewise, God can desire the repentance of everyman, but for His own good
    reasons choose to give such repentance only to the elect.'

    In Him

    Ian
     
  8. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    ILUVLIGHT said,
    'Did God give up His sovereignity when He created Adam?. I don't believe He did.Adam certainly had a choice he could obey God or disobey. What I don't understand about this sovereignity issue is what makes people think that God can't do what He wants without giving up His sovereginity, to allow man a choice.
    Just as God doesn't loose His sovereignity when He gives us grace and saves us from our sins. It doesn't mean He can't change His mind does it? If He can't change His mind. Then I would say that he has lost His sovereignity.
    Just some thoughts;'

    Hi, Mike. Weighty thoughts. First, let me deal with the implications of man having a sovereign free-will. (BTW, I use that term because Calvinists DO believe in man's free-will, only we hold that it is bound to his nature. If his nature remains as he was born, then he will never choose to follow god. If his nature is changed, ie. he is given a new heart, then he will always choose to follow God).

    If man's will is sovereignly free, then God has no control as to how history develops. Instead of being able to speak of 'saving His people from their sins', no one might have believed. The best that could be said about God and salvation is that He is just a reporter of the way chance works out.

    The 'great number that no man could number' might just as well have been none at all, or a measily few. Like wise with the angels. All might have fell. In fact, what is to stop that happening some time in eternity?

    But Scripture reveals a God who determines who is to be saved and who is to be left in their hatred and rebellion against Him. He even chooses that many more of one sort of man will be saved than another. It is His to choose, for He is the potter, we the clay.

    Secondly, the idea that God can change His mind must be qualified. It is certainly true from man's perspective - God 'repented' of His creation of man in Genesis - but on the eternal level, God
    never needs to change His mind. He makes no mistakes and nothing takes Him by surprise. We depend on Him not changing His mind about loving us.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  9. ILUVLIGHT

    ILUVLIGHT
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Hi Ian; [​IMG]
    I really don't understand your view of Sovereignty. The way I perceive it is that God's sovereignty is ruled by consequence in the sense that if you rebel, you will be treated as such. If you do as recommended and do what is advised as in the Bible then you are rewarded. If God in His supreme sovereignty dictates every single action taken by man then there is nothing left to chance. Every possible scenario has already been planned out and will happen no matter what. This I'm aware is predestination. The problem is that when everything is planned and nothing is left for chance then purpose seems to evaporate.

    I believe that our God is so powerful that, He doesn't have to leave anything to chance but even if He did He would still know exactly how everything turn out. Success doesn't have to be according to plan of every tiny detail. God can be sovereign and allow man a choice. He allowed Adam a choice between eternal life and death. As far as I know there is nothing in the Word that says that God took that Choice back from man Choice is inheritable.

    For instance Mary choose that good part that would not be taken from her. What good part do you think she was in need of? Couldn't it have been Christ as her Savior.

    Luk 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

    Men and women are shown in scripture to make choices for life.
    Here are few scriptures that clearly show this.

    Psa 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.
    Psa 119:173 Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
    Pro 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
    Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
    It seems that you don't feel that Salvation is attractive at all. That man is incapable of loving something or someone so much that he would never leave it. Some men certainly love sin that much and they could just as easily Love Jesus
    There is a chance that could happen we don't know, God does, but because He knows doesn't mean that it was planned.Or that His sovereignty is effected.

    When Christ returns is when he returns and those who have accepted him are those who have made there election sure.
    2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
    When men ask Silas and Paul what they must do to be saved, they replied in act 16:31.
    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
    They didn't say that first you have to be regenerated so you can understand God's word or do anything else but Believe. I've been told in the past this is works for Salvation. Out of all the works talked about in the Bible, faith is not one of them. We are saved by Grace through faith. Faith is the reason we are given Grace.
    May God Bless you;
    Mike
     
  10. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ian,

    Thanks, as a former Calvinist I too believed the "two wills" doctrine as you have described. I was just making sure I understood where you stood before I went any further.

    Now, you said these were my only options:
    1. Stop thinking about it, just repeat the old phrases. You will see that I'm willing to think and my phrases are not any older than Calvinists phrases are.
    2. Re-interpret several of the key doctrines of Scripture, to accommodate Freewillism. Or interpret scripture properly within their context
    3. Abandon the faith altogether, on the basis that Scripture reveals a God whom you cannot respect.Why would scripture ever reveal a God whom believers would not respect. The fact is Calvinism's God is not respectable to most believers and that in itself is a good reason to question its validity. I think you will see that the Calvinistic proof texts have very reasonable interpretations from the Arminian perspective and I dare say you probably have never really dealt with them. If you were like me you probably are more accustom to dealing with Arminians who don't even know why they are Arminian and only have the ability to quote John 3:16 as their defense. I admit when surrounded by these types of people Calvinism seems quite convincing, I challenge you to deal with the real issues.
     
  11. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike

    You said, 'The problem is that when everything is planned and nothing is left for chance then purpose seems to evaporate.'

    [IM]The purpose is His glory and the happiness of His people. This is achieved.


    You also said, 'God can be sovereign and allow man a choice. He allowed Adam a choice between eternal life and death. As far as I know there is nothing in the Word that says that God took that Choice back from man Choice is inheritable.'

    [IM]Calvinists do believe in man having a choice. But the choice he makes is determined by his heart. An fallen heart will always freely reject God. A new heart will always accept Him. We are not in Adam's position prior to the Fall; we either have a wicked heart or a new heart.


    'It seems that you don't feel that Salvation is attractive at all. That man is incapable of loving something or someone so much that he would never leave it. Some men certainly love sin that much and they could just as easily Love Jesus'

    [IM]Salvation is always beautiful to the one to whom God has given a new heart. But it is repugnant to the unregenerate. Certainly some unregenerate love the idea of an insurance policy against hell, the fellowship of the saints, whatever, and 'when they hear, receive the word with joy' but 'these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.' Luke 8:13. The wicked hate God when it comes right down to it. They 'will not have this man to rule over us'.


    'There is a chance that [angels rebelling at some future date]could happen we don't know, God does, but because He knows doesn't mean that it was planned.Or that His sovereignty is effected.'

    [IM]Of course His sovereignty is effected! His creatures could have Him running around in circles for eternity. If men or angels have the final veto on their eternal state, God could just as easily been left on His own for eternity.

    'When men ask Silas and Paul what they must do to be saved, they replied in act 16:31.
    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
    They didn't say that first you have to be regenerated so you can understand God's word or do anything else but Believe....Faith is the reason we are given Grace.'

    [IM]The apostles did not have to describe the secret operations that accompany salvation - they just brought God's command to the sinner. It was the Holy Spirit who conducted His secret work. Just like in Lydia's case, 'The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.' Acts 16:41. The Lord changes the heart, then we believe. Grace is the reason we are given faith.

    In His Love

    Ian
     
  12. AllOfGrace

    AllOfGrace
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    ILUVLIGHT,

    You said "I really don't understand your view of Sovereignty ... If God in His supreme sovereignty dictates every single action taken by man then there is nothing left to chance ... The problem is that when everything is planned and nothing is left for chance then purpose seems to evaporate."

    (I edited that for space. I think the meaning is still there.)

    Consider this in the light of Psalm 76:10 — "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain."

    God's sovereignty is complete. He will allow man to do evil when it is within His plan, and will restrain man from evil when it is not within His plan.

    Let me use and example — if PersonA comes to hit you with a baseball bat, that is his wrath. There is no potential for good there. PersonA is clearly to blame. You would not blame Ian Major for it.

    If Ian Major stops PersonA (which I assume he would), then Ian Major has restrained that wrath. Wouldn't you still say that PersonA is responsible for his action, even though Ian Major stopped him?

    It is the same way with God. When we sin, we have no defense because it is from our own will (bound by a depraved nature) and God merely allowed us to do that which we desired.

    Similarly, if God stops us, the credit goes to Him, not us. That is what Sovereignty means to me — any sin I commit is my own fault, but nothing good is to my credit. God either allows me to do what my heart, with its spiritually dead depraved nature, desires — or He restrains it.

    In the end this leaves three things:
    •I still have responsibility.
    •Anything good is not my credit, it is God's.
    •All things still happen according to His plan.
     
  13. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skandelon

    You said,'Now, you said these were my only options:
    1. Stop thinking about it, just repeat the old phrases. You will see that I'm willing to think and my phrases are not any older than Calvinists phrases are.

    [IM] Mmm - we'll see. [​IMG]

    '2. Re-interpret several of the key doctrines of Scripture, to accommodate Freewillism. Or interpret scripture properly within their context

    [IM] I wasn't referring to merely interpreting the disputed texts on election, etc., but rather the texts that teach, for example, conscious eternal punishment, sins being punished in hell, no second chance after death. I have seen free-willers reject all these in their attempt to make God 'fair' in man's eyes. May I ask as to your position on these? Is God 'fair' to consign to eternal punishment men who do not repent and believe? If Christ bore every man's sins on His own body on the tree, will God punish a man for those same sins in eternity? Will God give every man an equal opportunity to repent and believe, including all who never heard the gospel in this life?

    '3. Abandon the faith altogether, on the basis that Scripture reveals a God whom you cannot respect. Why would scripture ever reveal a God whom believers would not respect. The fact is Calvinism's God is not respectable to most believers and that in itself is a good reason to question its validity.

    [IM] When the Scripture reveals a God who, for example,
    1.creates man and angels, knowing that a vast number of them will suffer eternally in hell.
    2.treats Job in such a fearful way - kills his family, removes his possessions, wrecks his health, all to prove a point to Satan.
    3.allows suffering when He has the power to stop it.
    THEN the thinking man either rebels and rejects such a God or gladly submits to His sovereignty, knowing that He knows best and always does what is right even if we do not understand His ways.

    ' I think you will see that the Calvinistic proof texts have very reasonable interpretations from the Arminian perspective and I dare say you probably have never really dealt with them... I challenge you to deal with the real issues.

    [IM] Yes, many of the texts can bear either interpretation, if taken without comparing Scripture with Scripture. It is making them all reconcile that easily destroys the Arminian case.
    If you care to set up some texts that appear to conflict, let's see which interpretation most easily reconciles them. On another thread I raised 1 Cor. 1:26-29 with you. This appears to speak of God's sovereign election. Perhaps you can suggest a text that appears to assert conditional election and we will start on that. Or even if you just give an Arminian interpretation of 1 Cor.1:26-29, I'll respond.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  14. ILUVLIGHT

    ILUVLIGHT
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Hi Ian;
    You'll have to forgive me Ian, I just don't believe that there is any glory in puppets on a string. I wish I could put that in better terms, but it's how I see what Calvinism is.
    In My Humble Opinion, I do not believe man has a new heart until he believes. It is our natural heart that first must be humbled and repentant. It is through faith that we obtain Grace. with out faith there is no grace to be saved by.
    With respect to you Ian, I cannot agree with this. It is mans conscience that is convicted by the Holy Spirit when man hears the gospel it is the Spirit that comes from with in God's word and speaks to a mans conscience and convicts him of his sins. I was convicted many times before I surrendered. I knew long before I accepted Christ that He was real. I knew He is the Savior and I believed it, but I just would not accept it. I rebelled for quite awhile. I wrestled with the idea of weather or not I should surrender, mostly I was thinking of all that fun I would be giving up. My desire to accept him was because I wanted my life to be better than it was and I knew that Christ was the answer and He is.
    It's true that He first choose me I don't deny this but I also choose Him. That new heart didn't come until I surrendered to Him.

    To be regenerated is to be made a new person. It is to be born again.
    Somehow God created us for more than to just give us life. We all have a purpose in life, both here on earth, and in Heaven afterwards. The prospect of living in bliss with Christ is at first very appealing, that is until someone comes along and says all we will doing is singing holy holy holy for eternity. Singing praises is not all we will be doing. There will be new challenges with out challenge things grow stagnant rather quickly IMO.

    I can't say what God's purpose is for all of man kind in eternity is, but sometimes I speculate. That it must be challenge that keeps life interesting. I'd believe that God likes challenge as well. You have to admit that man is certainly a challenge.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike
     
  15. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    It would be beneficial to see Calvinism for what it actually is.


    How can a natural heart, blinded and turned against God be humbled?

    With respect to you Ian, I cannot agree with this.</font>[/QUOTE]Scripture tells us that the "word of the cross" is foolishness to those who are perishing. Doesn't Scripture agree with Ian, and not with you?
     
  16. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've heard arguements for annilationism (sp?) and even universalism and as appealing as they might be I don't see any real support for them. The strongest arguement I've heard for that is that when God spoke about the punishment being eternal He meant in its effect, not necessarly its duration and that since God is omnipresent that the only true way to seperate one from him was to annilate him. I can see that possibly being true, but I don't think its supported strong enough by the scripture. That's one of those that we may have to wait and see to be certain (as is with some other issues discussed here as well).

    By His choice or theirs?

    That is where the debate begins. Is their eternal judgement of damnation based upon there decision to rebell despite God's repeated efforts as recorded in the text to gather them under his wings, or is their plight due to a predetermined plan of God, who only pretends to want to save them while choosing to never allow them the ability to be saved.
    I dealt with this in the other post with Russell55. If you can view it there I would appreciate it.

    I would like to deal with John 6 with you. Let's start by you answering a simple question:

    Why can't Jesus' audience in John 6 come to him?
     
  17. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike [ILUVLIGHT], you said,' In My Humble Opinion, I do not believe man has a new heart until he believes. It is our natural heart that first must be humbled and repentant. It is through faith that we obtain Grace. with out faith there is no grace to be saved by...That new heart didn't come until I surrendered to Him.'

    I know that sounds sensible to our natural reasoning - but God said, 'I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.' Jer.31:33.
    And in Ezek.36:26,27, 'I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.'

    And Acts 16:14,'Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.'

    Sinners need a new heart. They are commanded to get it. But they are unable to do so, to change their evil natures, without the Lord doing it for them. The OC people of God lived under the command 'Do this and live', but they could not because they were evil. So God promised Israel would one day obey Him, because He would change their evil hearts. Every Christian once had an evil heart, and no matter how much gospel we heard - or even how convinced we were that it was true, we did not believe until God gave us a heart of flesh to replace our stoney heart. Then we gladly believed and submitted to His yoke.


    'To be regenerated is to be made a new person. It is to be born again.'

    We agree on that, my brother.

    'I can't say what God's purpose is for all of man kind in eternity is, but sometimes I speculate. That it must be challenge that keeps life interesting. I'd believe that God likes challenge as well. You have to admit that man is certainly a challenge.'

    Any challenge to God is rebellion, and God doesn't like sin one bit. Eternity is going to be wonderful for us because His will shall be perfectly manifested.

    Every Blessing to you too, Mike.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  18. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ian, I responded to your post above but I wanted to comment on this as well.

    God also commanded us, believers, to not allow our hearts to grow hardened as if it is possible once are hearts are made new that they could become hard. How does that fit?
     
  19. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had written, 'When the Scripture reveals a God who, for example,
    1.creates man and angels, knowing that a vast number of them will suffer eternally in hell.'

    Skandelon said, 'By His choice or theirs? That is where the debate begins. Is their eternal judgement of damnation based upon there decision to rebell despite God's repeated efforts as recorded in the text to gather them under his wings, or is their plight due to a predetermined plan of God, who only pretends to want to save them while choosing to never allow them the ability to be saved.'

    No, the objection of the atheist, on the basis of the fairness of God, exists regardless of the culpability of man. It asks why a God who knows the outcome would create a world in which millions will suffer eternally. It asks us if we would do such a thing, and if not, then neither would any God who is just and merciful.

    I dealt with this in the other post with Russell55. If you can view it [1 Cor. 1:26-29] there I would appreciate it.

    You did not answer my objections in that post. Let's air it again after we deal with the John texts.

    I would like to deal with John 6 with you. Let's start by you answering a simple question:[/BWhy can't Jesus' audience in John 6 come to him?

    All the verses below are from John 6.
    37All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
    44No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    45It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
    65And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."

    Verse 44 and 65 speak expressly about those who cannot come; verses 37 and 45 about those who will.

    Verse 44 tells us that they cannot come unless the Father draws them. Verse 65 says they cannot come
    unless it has been granted to them by His father.

    All these verses speak of the certainty of the salvation of all the Father has given to Christ.

    Unconditional election (not 'those who come will be given to Christ', but 'All that the Father gives Me will come to Me').

    Irrestible grace ( 'WILL come').

    Perseverance of the saints ('I will raise him up at the last day.').

    Why do you think Jesus' audience can't come to Him?

    And from a subsequent post, 'God also commanded us, believers, to not allow our hearts to grow hardened as if it is possible once are hearts are made new that they could become hard. How does that fit?'

    I can only think of one use of the term 'harden' in relation to Christians, that is the times it is used in Hebrews. It is there given as a warning against apostasy. For those Jewish hearers to have returned to Judaism after God had so clearly revealed Christ to them, would have been apostasy. As Heb.6:4-8 makes clear, no repentance from that is possible. The warning then is not to real believers, those who had faith, but to those who had enlightenment but as yet no true faith. Just like their ancestors coming from Egypt. The warning is given to all the professing church, but it refers only to the insincere amongst them. Warnings are a means God uses to keep His people
    eternally secure. He ordains the end - 'I will raise him up at the last day' - and also the means, 'Examine yourselves', etc.

    Hard hearts seems to me a very specific condition - of the lost.

    Cold hearts, lukewarm hearts, that is something we believers must content with.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  20. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skandelon said, 'Brian, This is an interesting question. I believe that the bible supports the idea that whatever God demands of people He gives them the ability to accomplish it. It may not be through the means we would like or choose, but nevertheless he always seems to provide the means. Romans 1 seems to support the idea that man is without excuse during judgement because he is able to "clearly see" and "understand" the divine attributes of God. By removing that ability we grant mankind the perfect excuse.'

    Brian's question is indeed fundamental to the discussion of God's fairness in man's eyes. But I'm ignorant of any Scripture that 'supports the idea that whatever God demands of people He gives them the ability to accomplish it'. Romans 1 says nothing of man's ability to love God, just that man is without excuse because HE KNOWS HE OUGHT TO.

    Knowing we ought to is not the same as being able to. Did any man (aside from One) ever love and glorify God as he ought? What, not one? Out of all those billions over all those centuries! Surely if they all had been able, one or two might have made it?

    But God wants us to know the total inability of the human heart to love Him, so He chose a nation out of all the nations of the earth and revealed Himself to them. He delivered them from oppression and gave them His holy Law. 'Do this and live', He said. Did even one of them do it? No, God made it manifest that our fall in Adam left us enemies of God in our hearts, forever unwilling to love and serve Him. Jew and Gentile condemned and hopeless. ABILITY DOES NOT DETERMINE OBLIGATION.

    In Him

    Ian
     

Share This Page

Loading...