How can the elect be saved?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Eladar, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. Eladar

    Eladar
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    Since God preordained that some would have salvation and some would not. The elect's salvation has been assured from the beginning of time.

    How could those who God chose from the beginning ever be saved?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    Because he is God. He is in the heavens ... he does whatever he pleases (Ps 115:3; 135:6).
     
  3. Eladar

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    So, are you trying to say that the elect have the choice to reject God and are therefore in need of being saved?
     
  4. Ray Berrian

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    Pastor Larry,

    God cannot do whatever he wants to do. His justice and righteousness will not allow Him to commit any kind of sin. He cannot be partial because this would violate several of His attributes.

    He cannot violate a persons will to resist His offer of salvation. Note [Acts 7:51 & Matt. 23:37] In this passage in Matthew Jesus deepest desire was for the Jews to accept Him as their true Messiah but they refused His offer and gift of grace. '. . . and ye would not!' indicates the will of man was overriding the best intention of our Lord. Another verse says, 'And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.' [John 5:40]. Again, man is responsible for his or her salvation. No decrees in Jesus thinking here.

    "Ray"

    Jesus cannot eject anyone who comes to Him. [John 6:37] 'All that the Father giveth to Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'
     
  5. Chick Daniels

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    Ray,

    Jesus told his disciples, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. God does show partiality. He extends grace to some, but passes over others. If we all got what we deserved, we would all be in hell forever. Just as Jesus showed partiality to the 12 disciples, God in the OT showed partiality and chose the nation of Israel over more "impressive" nations. Those that God saves will not resist. Also, look at your verse from John 6 more carefully, it says "All that the Father giveth me shall come." The Father gives, therefore, they come. They will not be cast out, because the Father has elected them to come. What a beautifully Calvinst verse!
     
  6. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ray Berrian:
    Pastor Larry,

    God cannot do whatever he wants to do. His justice and righteousness will not allow Him to commit any kind of sin.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is often stated erroneously as above, to mean that since God does not sin, he cannot do just anything. What is actually true is that nothing God does is sin, because he is God, and all that he does is righteous and holy.
    So God can command us not to kill, and he can kill men, women and children, but it is not sin. he is holy and righteous in doign so. He can command man not to lie, but God can send a lying spirit to confuse men, and he is not guitly of sin, for God is holy and righteous.

    God can and does, anything he pleases, because he is God. As God, he elects those whom he will save, and passes over those who he will not save.

    Psalms 115:3 Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ray Berrian:
    God cannot do whatever he wants to do. His justice and righteousness will not allow Him to commit any kind of sin. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I didn't say he could sin. A particular question was asked and you took my answer out of context. However, your point with reference to God disproves your point with reference to man. You rightly deny that God can act freely outside of his nature. Yet you assert that man can act freely outside of his nature. This demonstrates your inconsistency.
     
  8. Ray Berrian

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    Chick Daniels,

    Apparently, most often when a Calvinist reads the word, ‘chosen' that person says, humm, ‘election.' This shows a predisposition of being taught under Calvinistic ministry and thinking. If you read John 15:16 contextually, you will see that this has nothing to do with eternal salvation. The disciples were elected to salvation at the Marriage of Cana recorded in John 2:11. I know in the mind of God they were elected before the foundation of the world. This is also true. But in the time realm it was affected at the marriage of Cana.

    Your reference to election to salvation is ill founded. In John 15 and 16:5 Christ is not thinking of saving His apostolate, He is preparing them for His death and glorification in Heaven. His concern is that these apostles will preach and teach after His glorification at the Father's right hand above.

    Jesus did not save them, ordain them and make them fruit-bearers all in John 15:16. He is telling His well taught apostolate that their fruit will remain because He has ordained them for this ministry. In fact, He says, ‘ . . . I have chosen you . . . ‘ for this responsible mission of taking the Gospel to the various parts of the world.

    It is true that God chose Israel as His own people, the people of God. Here we agree at this point. God did not autocratically, ordain the rest of the nations to Hell, as you infer. No where in Scripture do we find God shutting off of people with reference to His salvation. Ruth the Moabites [Ruth 1:16] was engrafted into the Israelite nation and people, as was Rahab. [Joshua chapters 2-6; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25]. Jericho was a typical Canaanite kinglet. Both of these women one from pagan Moab and Rahab from godless Jericho were saved, elected, and included in the notable lineage leading to our Savior's birth. [Matt. 1:5--both Rahab and Ruth]. Pharaoh was an eye witness to the miracles/plagues that Moses ministered. He had perhaps the greatest opportunity to believe in the Lord Jehovah, but he would not give up his own religion and political power.

    Some people, wrongfully think, that the Holy Spirit was not active during the O.T. times. Not too many generations from the creation of Adam and Eve, we find Noah preaching to the lost world. Apparently, while he was building the ark he was trying to evangelize his world. Notice in Genesis 6:3 Almighty God warns people that He---the Holy Spirit will not always pursue after human beings in calling them to repentance and belief in Him. The Lord always has a witness to His reality and a message to offer those who are lost.

    Chick said, ‘Those God saves will not resist.' Basically, I agree with you. They may resist for a while but those who get saved will not resist in putting the Lord out of their lives. But, now we must also say, that those who do resist, remain the non-elect. These verses and others certify that Irresistible Grace is another misfire of Calvinism. [Note John 5:40 & Acts 7:51].

    John 6:37 says, ‘All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.' The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit from the distant eternity past knew and has always known the number of the elect and the lost. Those who truly believe in Jesus are counted among the elect. Those who neglect and or reject Christ are those who will step out of this life into the regions of the damned. All those who the Father gives to the Son will be forever saved. And then Jesus says, ‘ . . . and him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.' Every Calvinist on this board tells us that the sinner is dead as a ‘door nail' and can't come to the Lord. Presumably, either the Lord is correct or the Calvinist is accurate. To be on the safe side I will confederate with the Lord.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Ray Berrian, Th.D.
     
  9. tyndale1946

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    How can the elect be saved? Lets see God does the election according to his sovereign will not according to any goodness in Man. There is something else I forgot to mention, your vote doesn't count!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  10. Monergist

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:



    Psalms 115:3 Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think that just about covers it.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Chick Daniels

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    Ray said, <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Apparently, most often when a Calvinist reads the word, ‘chosen' that person says, humm, ‘election.' This shows a predisposition of being taught under Calvinistic ministry and thinking. If you read John 15:16 contextually, you will see that this has nothing to do with eternal salvation. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And yet Ray, if you go back and look at what I said, you will notice that whenever someone critical of Calvinism sees a Calvinist interacting with the word "chosen" he thinks that the Calvinist is arguing about soteriological election. I was using that verse about Jesus chosing the disciples to respond to your statement that God doesn't show partiality. Furthermore, I would like you to spell out which divine attribute God violates when he shows partiality.

    I did go on to talk about irrisistable grace, and I am confused by your comments, you seemed to say that you basically agree with it, but then indicate that it is a misfire. Grace doesn't operate in a vacuum. When God dispenses it upon one whom He elected, it will be successful and not be resisted. Those God passed over never have the opportunity to resist God's effectual grace, because they are non-elect. Sure, they scoff at the gospel (general call), but they are not resisting effectual grace (effectual call).

    Again, regarding the deadness of natural man, those that Jesus said come to Him that are not cast out are clearly those that the Father has given him. They could not have come to Christ, unless the Father had given them.

    Thanks for your lengthy reply,

    Chick [​IMG]
     
  12. Chick Daniels

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    Also, Ray,

    Do I detect that you hold to the prescience view of foreknowledge?
     
  13. Ray Berrian

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    Chick Daniels,

    I would like you to spell out which Divine attributes God violates when He shows impartiality.

    God's Justice Man's Justice
    Job 8:3 Psalm 119:121
    Job 37:23 Psalm 89:14 Proverbs 21:3
    Isaiah 9:7 Ecclesiastes 5:8
    Isaiah 58:2 Isaiah 56:1
    Jeremiah 23:5 Isaiah 59:4
    Jeremiah 50:7 Isaiah 59:14
    Ezekiel 45:9 Jeremiah 22:15
    Jeremiah 31:23



    God justice is impeccable or without flaw. In Strong's Concordance under Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary p. 98 middle column number 6664 the word for justice is [tsedeq] {tsehdek} meaning right, equity, or even. Once we determine that God is God of impartiality then we will have no problem believing that salvation is, in fact, open to everyone to receive. This Hebrew word is used in Job 8:3 where His word says, ‘Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? Today we might say, "Does the Almighty distort fairness?" Almost all of these above verses uses the Hebrew word, [tsedeq] meaning equity.

    God tells us that He is God of impeccable, integrity and justice. Moreover, He demands justice from His people, in many diverse ways under the Old Covenant, as delineated in the above right column. Obviously, he requires that we saints since the Cross also become people of fairness. So to say that He can elect the majority to the regions of the damned and save only His elect, we have referenced the true God as being partial. Yes, it is true that the majority will be lost and only the minority saved, yet no one should suggest that God autocratically does this to His human beings. This is to prejudice the very nature and Being of our God.

    The attribute of God's goodness prevents Him from choosing the non-elect to Hell. The sinner having a volition and will allows/demands God to turn people into Hell especially after hearing the saving message of Jesus Christ and rejecting His tender call to believe.

    The Apostle Paul tells us ‘ . . . that the riches of His goodness His forbearance and patience leads thee to repentance.' The goodness of God is referred to twice in this one verse. Often Calvinists say, that man is as ‘dead as a door nail' and cannot turn to God. That expression of faith is contradicted in this verse found in Romans 2:4. In the case of some sinners seeing the patience and goodness of the Lord actually moves them to receive the saving benefits of the Cross. The Greek word for ‘goodness' is [chrestotes] {khray-stot-ace}. The word means according to Strong, p. 78 --Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, ‘excellence in character or demeanor, gentleness, good, kindness.'

    Since you will agree, that we bear the Image of God in us, especially as Christians, we can think no less of God Who is the Embodiment of the true and faultless Image of the Living God. A dwarfed view of the justice and goodness of God can never be tolerated in Christian theology. Preaching about the impartiality of God pleases Him; teaching about God Who is prejudiced toward the majority, quenches the Holy Spirit.

    There may be other attributes that are violated by trying to say that God can be partial and yet remain God.

    The Effectual Call is a contrivance by Calvinists in trying to plaster-up the holes in their theological walls. The Effectual Call is the sincere call to His elect; the General Call is the less serious one that He communicates to the eternally lost children of humankind. Does anyone see the fraud in these kinds of theological thoughts?

    Do I detect you hold to the prescience view of foreknowledge?

    All of God's predestination with reference to the saved and lost has been known forever by the Triune Godhead. All of his election has been ministered through His foreknowledge. Notice: [Romans 11:2; Romans 8:29; Acts 2:23; I Peter 1:2; I Peter 1:20].

    God remaining God of justice and goodness allows all human beings in this ‘time-space framework' to determine their final destination. If we do not witness and preach the Gospel they will not have the opportunity to ‘touch the hem of His garment and be saved. The Holy Spirit has drawn people to Himself probably even before Genesis 6:3 where He says, ‘My Spirit shall not always strive with man . . . ' While Noah was preaching the Holy Spirit was calling men and women to repentance. You know the rest of the story.

    My best regards,

    Ray
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    I think your argument about justice is illfounded. First, his justice is satisfied in that some will pay for their own sins and some will have their sins paid for by Christ. God's justice is a serious problem for in that you believe Christ paid for everyone's sin but that some will have to pay for their own anyway. God would be guilty of exacting two penalties (Christ's and the sinner's) for the same sin. You do not seem genuinely concerned with God's justice or you would recognize this problem.

    God's justice is satisfied at the cross. God's partiality is a bigger issue here yet you have painted it wrongly. If God chose those who chose him, he would be being partial for he would be choosing based on reason's inherent in man. In election, God chooses completely without partiality. The dumb have the same chance as the smart; the rich the same as the poor, the modern in the age of communication the same as the ancient in the days of hand copied papyri. It is your position that must answer the charge of partiality.

    BTW, if you have a true ThD, why are you citing Hebrew definitions out of Strong's?? That is very suspect.

    [ February 12, 2002: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  15. tnelson

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    Ray

    The way I understand your post, you are saying God has provided a way for salvation for everyone but He leaves it up to man to make a choice.

    Eph 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, (2) in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, (3) among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath , just as the others.
    God makes us alive
    We were dead in trespasses and sins
    We once walked according to the worlds ways and according to Satans ways, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
    We also once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind
    By nature we were children of wrath, just as the others.

    I do not believe people are dead as a door nail. They are alive and make choices. But these choices are made according to the prince of the power of the air (SATAN). This is the nature of an unregenerated person. This is the will of an unregenerated person because they are in darkness. The unregenerated person has no power over Satan. Remember, we walked according to the course of this world and were spiritually dead.

    Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

    I love how verse 4 starts out But God, He is rich in mercy, He loved me before I loved Him, and He made me alive. Salvation is for God's glory. Man can take no credit for it. It is all of God.
     
  16. Nelson

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>by Larry In election, God chooses completely without partiality. The dumb have the same chance as the smart; the rich the same as the poor...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    1. Allow me to explain, as I understand it, the Calvinistic/Reformed reform position in plain language.

    Generally speaking, not all men have the same opportunity to receive salvation since Christ did not intend to save all but only a certain few. As John 3:16 can be paraphrased: For God so loved only the elect (while all others he hates) that he gave his only begotten Son for only the elect. Therefore, whosoever from only and all of the elect that inevitably believes (which is actually all of them excluding none) in Him shall definitely not perish but have and never lose eternal life. For God did not send his Son to the elect to condemn the elect but that the elect and only the elect, (not "might" but) would definitely and without fail receive salvation through Him.

    In other words, if there are two poor persons, one named Joe and the other Moe, and Joe is the elect but Moe is not then, though they are both poor, Joe is assured of salvation but Moe doesn't stand a chance. The choice to send Joe to heaven and Moe to hell was decided before the foundation of the world on the basis of God's own mysterious and inflexible reason for doing it and not on anything inherent within either person.

    Now, Joe can witness to Moe and tell him that Jesus loves him and died on the Cross for him and desires him to be saved but it is all, in reality, a fiction - Joe is unconsciously speaking falsely because God had predetermined to pass over him, to deny him saving grace, to keep him in his sinful condition, and to continue His hatred towards him by sending him to hell forever.

    However, according to the Reformed tradition, God is not unjust because He is in heaven and does what He pleases.

    Though one may accuse such "plain language" as being sarcastic (which is not my intention), nevertheless, it correctly reflects the essence of the Reformed position. If anything stated above is incorrect, please advise and quote the exact phrase where the error is made.

    2. Directly in reference to Larry's quote, one dumb person will have the same chance as the rich person but only if both are elect. The rich person, if not elect, will have no chance when compared to the dumb person who is elect. Neither the one who is dum nor the one who is rich will have any chance whatsoever if neither are elect.

    Note: Acts 10:34,35 - "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons; But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." See also, Rom. 2:10f; Eph. 6:8f; Col 3:24f.

    Peter states that God's judgement is without favoritism to anyone but based upon the persons attitude and actions towards Him, which is quite contrary to Larry's position. God is impartial in that each person's work is judged by one standard without being swayed or induced from judgement away from that standard as a result of what that person does.

    With respect to grace, all are judged on the basis of their faith and faithfulness to the one standard: the Cross of Christ.

    See:

    [ February 13, 2002: Message edited by: Nelson ]
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    Nelson,

    You have not fairly characterized the position but I wont' answer line by line. I will make only a few comments.

    First your rewording of John 3:16 is inadequate. It is true that whosoever believes will have eternal life. No Calvinist denies that and no amount of your arguing will make us deny that.

    Second, as to rich/poor, smart/dumb, etc., surely you must admit that humanly speaking, one class has an advantage over another. The smart is surely better disposed to salvation simply becuase he can understand the issues better. The rich have greater access to learning, books, nicer churches, better speakers, etc. They have an inherent advantage that way. Consider the modern man vs. the ancient. The modern man has a far greater advantage becuase of mass communication, ease of travel for missionaries. Simply put, God who controls who is born where and when would be partial to the modern, the smart, and the rich if indeed salvation was all of man. This point is specifically refuted in 1 Cor 1:18ff. God does not show partiality to people just because they were born at a better time or into a better family or with more intelligence. Before God, everyone is on the same plane. If a smart person was saved because they realized their need while a less intelligent person was not saved because they could not realize their need, then God would be respecting intelligence. If a modern man in the jungles of Brazil was saved because the ease of modern travel sent a missionary while an ancient man was unsaved simply because no missionary could get there, then God would be a respecter of persons. Yet as you say, God does not respect persons. God does not respect the smart or the rich. He saves according to his sovereign grace and wisdom.

    You are right that all are judged with respect to their faith and their relationship to the cross of Christ.

    What you still are unwilling to see is that man is dead. He will not come to God unless God first gives him the ability to come. It is quite clear in Scritpure that some do not come because the Father has not given it to them to come (John 6:64-65). Our theology must be driven by Scripture, not by what our minds conceive as fair or unfair.
     
  18. Eladar

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Second, as to rich/poor, smart/dumb, etc., surely you must admit that humanly speaking, one class has an advantage over another. The smart is surely better disposed to salvation simply becuase he can understand the issues better. The rich have greater access to learning, books, nicer churches, better speakers, etc. They have an inherent advantage that way. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>It has been my observation that the rich are easily led astray by the alure of riches. Jesus said that it very difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. The intellegent often place their 'reason' over God's truth. I don't believe intellegence or wealth give one a greater advantage when it comes to salvation, I would argue quite the opposite.

    ***I know this is off subject, but just wanted to respond***
     
  19. Nelson

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>You have not fairly characterized the position but I wont' answer line by line. I will make only a few comments.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Since no refutation is submitted, Larry's statement that I have not “fairly characterized the position” is moot.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>First your rewording of John 3:16 is inadequate. It is true that whosoever believes will have eternal life. No Calvinist denies that and no amount of your arguing will make us deny that.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I did include the place of faith, if that is where Larry deems my paraphrase inadequate. In my paraphrase faith was not denied. My paraphrase reads, “Therefore, whosoever from only and all of the elect that inevitably believes…in Him shall definitely not perish…”

    If it is true that the Reformed position is only the elect believe, then my paraphrase is adequate and the Reformed position is, thus far, contrary to Larry’s above assertion, “fairly characterized.”

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Second, as to rich/poor, smart/dumb, etc…He saves according to his sovereign grace and wisdom. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>With all that Larry stated, nothing outside the point I have made concerning the Reformed position has been said. The idea that “The choice to send Joe to heaven and Moe to hell was decided before the foundation of the world on the basis of God's own mysterious and inflexible reason for doing it and not on anything inherent within either person,” agrees with Larry’s stated position above.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>You are right that all are judged with respect to their faith and their relationship to the cross of Christ.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Contrary to any perceived agreement between Larry and I on this particular point, according to the Reformed position, neither the Cross nor man’s faith are the deciding factor for who is saved and who is not. Therefore, all are “judged”, not with direct reference to the Cross or faith, but with direct reference to election, that is, “Are you the elect,” and not “Do you believe in the Cross?” This is the bottom line.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>What you still are unwilling to see is that man is dead. He will not come to God unless God first gives him the ability to come. It is quite clear in Scripture that some do not come because the Father has not given it to them to come (John 6:64-65).

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>That man is “dead” to God is true and that some do not come to Christ because God disallows it is true but not as interpreted by the Reformed position.In accordance to the Reformed position, the fundamental reason why some do not come to Christ is because, for some mysterious reason, God did not elect them and that is the bottom line.

    The Cross and faith are irrelevant except as means used. Therefore, the paraphrase, “God did not send his Son to the elect to condemn the elect but that the elect and only the elect, (not "might" but) would definitely and without fail receive salvation through Him,” adequately reflects Reformed teaching.

    [ February 13, 2002: Message edited by: Nelson ]
     
  20. Nelson

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>by Larry:...as to rich/poor, smart/dumb, etc., surely you must admit that humanly speaking, one class has an advantage over another...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>by Tuor: It has been my observation that the rich are easily led astray by the allure of riches. Jesus said that it very difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. The intellegent often place their 'reason' over God's truth. I don't believe intellegence or wealth give one a greater advantage when it comes to salvation, I would argue quite the opposite.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Good point. I agree.
     

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