How Do You Know?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Pastor_Bob, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    I have an honest question that has caused me many times to wonder. As far as I know, this is my first post in this Forum. I have been scanning the threads at times and found a common belief among Calvinists. This belief is represented in the following quote:
    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=35;t=000796;p=1#000003
    My question is this: "If a Calvinist is sure that he/she has been elected and has been chosen to receive God's grace, how can you say with certainty to his/her children that they too have been elected/chosen?
     
  2. Major B

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    The only degree of assurance a parent can have is for the children to profess faith in Christ and show evidence of the reality of that conversion in their lives.

    Despite what some "covenant theology" folks want to believe, God has only children, He has no grandchildren.
     
  3. russell55

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    I agree with Major B. We would know that are children are elect in the same way we know that anyone else is elect: we see the fruit of faith in their lives.
     
  4. Kiffin

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    I also agree with Major B. They can have the certainty when they have faith in Christ...the same as children of Arminians. [​IMG] The truth of Acts 2:39 is true to any who believe and they have the assurance of John 3:16 if they believe in Christ they have eternal life. All are invited and that is why we can invite all to come to Christ Rev. 22:17. We are never to speculate on who are what individuals are chosen but are to declare the Gospel to all. Predestination is part of the secret council of God and is a wonderfull doctrine that gives the believer assurance and joy of God's love for him or her.
     
  5. tyndale1946

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    So what you are saying is that you have to clarify you are saved before you are saved?... Do you have to believe to be saved or do you believe because you are saved?... Us PB's are very picky in this area of scripture... If Jesus Christ came into the world to save his people that the Father had given him... Will he not SAVE those that the Father gave him and none else... Chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world?

    Some of you brethren strain at a gnat and swallow a camel :eek: ... I never worry that God will not save all his children just like he said he would and he doesn't leave it in their hands... He gave it to Adam and Eve before and look what happened... Do you actually think he will put OUR ETERNAL SALVATION in our hands to keep or lose at will?... PB's know because we believe in the purpose and promises of Almighty God and ALL his children Jesus Christ died for will be in heaven with him!... We PB's let all you other brethren worry about who is not going to be there! :confused: ... Brother Glen :rolleyes:
     
  6. Pastor_Bob

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    Am I to understand that only when a child, or an adult, displays faith in Christ are they considered part of the "elect?" If that is the case, then I would have to disagree with your assertion that it is the same as the Arminians.

    I am neither Calvinist nor Arminian. I consider myself to be a "Biblicist" and just believe what the Bible clearly teaches in the matter of salvation. I consider my children, and those to whom I witness as part of the "whosoever will" that Jesus refers to in Revelation 22:17.

    As such, I don't have to worry whether or not my child will be "chosen to receive God's grace," because I believe Titus 2:11 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men," (KJV)

    The little word "all" is a very key word IMO. It is the Greek word "πασ" (pas) and means, "all, any, every, the whole." I can only interpret this to mean that all people are chosen to receive God's free gift of grace. Although it is offered, it still must be received by repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ on Calvary.

    If I have misrepresented the Calvinist belief, it is purely unintentional and without malicious intent.
     
  7. russell55

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    It is only after someone desplays faith that we can KNOW FOR CERTAIN that they are part of the elect. But we are to treat everyone as if they may be one of the elect. That's why the gospel call is given indiscriminately, that's why we are to gently and patiently instruct even those who are opposed to the truth, because God may yet grant them repentance..

    I believe that absolutely anyone (including all of my children and anyone who I witness to) who will can drink the water of life freely. And that's a message that should be given indiscriminately. But how can we know that they are part of the ones who will until they do?

    I don't worry about that either. If I worried about anything, it would be that one of my children might be one of the ones who rebelliously refuses to heed the call of the gospel.

    As to the verse from from Titus:

    Well, "pas" doesn't always mean "every single one of the whole". Sometimes it means "all types" or "all sorts". I think that in this particular context that's the way I would take it--older men, older women, young men, young women, children, slaves, etc. No particular type of person is excluded from the call to godliness.

    But I'm not sure this is really important in this conversation, because I too would agree that:

    The gracious gift of the gospel message is for everyone. Not everyone will respond positively, though. Calvinism is really an explanation of why some eventually respond positively, while others remain forever opposed.
     
  8. Kiffin

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    How is it? True, Arminians basically believe that one's choice of Christ as Savior makes them part of the elect (True many believe you can lose that salvation). In the end however both Calvinist or Arminians would state that someone who has faith in Christ is a Christian thus faith is the visible testimony of the elect.

    So, do I and most Calvinists. There is a general call to everyone. Calvinism has never denied "whosoever will". That is why we witness, give out tracts, send out missionaries.

    The Word "ALL" does not mean every individual. It means all people of all races, nations etc..There are millions, upon millions of individuals who have died since Paul wrote that scripture, who have never heard the name of Jesus or His salvation. So the grace of God that brings salvation has not appeared to every individual on earth (We would not need a Great Comission if that was so) but has been appeared to all nations,ethnic groups, regardless of social class, gender, age etc....The Church unlike Israel would not be limited to one nation but ALL. The Church is universal and transcends language barriers, nations, ethnicity.
     
  9. tyndale1946

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    So you have to repent to be saved?... Then would some understanding brother or sister please explain Romans 11:25-31?... Paying particular attention to verses 29 and 32!... Which says just the opposite!... Btw I am using the KJV!... Brother Glen :confused:
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    I don't think most of us would characterize it this way. "Election" cannot be known for sure since that is a secret decree of God. The evidences of election are belief and growth. 2 Peter 1 tells us to make our calling and election sure by pursuing spiritual growth. Election encompasses everything in view of salvation, including belief and santification and ultimately glorification.

    I think we all consider ourselves this. That is why the term "biblicist" is not very useful in these discussions. While many claim to be neither, the reality is that every one this side of open theism falls into one of these two broad categories. People often make the mistake of thinking that in order to be one or the other, they must agree with all the various teachings of the particular position. That is not true. The reality is that these names are broad terms for teh two basic positions. Everyone (except the open theist) is really in one camp or the other, depending on where you put the onus for salvation.

    [qutoe]I consider my children, and those to whom I witness as part of the "whosoever will" that Jesus refers to in Revelation 22:17. [/quote]I consider my whole neighborhood, in fact the whole world, as a part of this. I guess that makes me more evangelistic than you. :D Actually, this is a misunderstood argument against Calvinism. We Calvinists strongly believe that whosoever will may come. But we understand that the Bible teaches that man's will is turned against God so that he will not come. I usually point out that the arminians focus on the whosoever while the Calvinists focus on the will.

    All is always defined by the context in which it is found. If all people were chosen to receive God's free gift of grace, then all would be saved and that would be universalism. Yet we know that is not the case.

    In the bottom line, this discussion always boils down to who is in charge, God or man? The arminians believe that man is in charge of his own salvation and place the onus on him; the Calvinists believe that God is in charge of salvation and place the onus on him. That does not absolve man of the responsibility to believe and repent. It simply explains why he does. No arminian has even been able to answer that question from Scripture, IMO.
     
  11. Pastor_Bob

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    Verse 29 very simply and clearly teaches that God will never revoke the unmerited favors He bestows upon men. There is no change of mind in Him. It in no way implies that God's gift of salvation comes to us without repentance.

    Verse 32 is declaring the mercy of God. All are bound in sin and unbelief but God's mercy reaches to us all. The Jews were first favored by God, but fell away from Him; the Gentiles had also fallen away through neglecting the light of conscience within them, but afterwards heard the divine message and received salvation. But in all God's discipline of both Jews and Gentiles, His supreme purpose was to have mercy upon them.

    In answer to your question, "So you have to repent to be saved?" I would say a resounding "yes!" Consider the following verses:

    Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)

    It is repentance toward God because all sin is against God. A man cannot repent of his sin until he sees his sin in their relation to a holy God. It is sin's relation to God that makes it the terrible thing that it is. All sin is terrible because all sin is against God. That is why repentance is necessary and must be "toward God."

    When Jesus started His public ministry, His first message was "repent!" Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (KJV)

    When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, many were convicted of their sin and cried out, "What shall we do?" Peter's answer to them was "repent!" Acts 2:37,38

    Repentance is a necessary part of salvation. God Himself commands us to repent. Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: (KJV)

    Jesus Himself taught repentance. He said "repent or perish."
    Lu 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
    2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
    3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
    4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
    5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (KJV)

    Later in this chapter, Jesus began to upbraid these cities, not because of their sin, but because they refused to repent. Apart from genuine repentance there is no salvation.

    Based on these passages and others in the Word of God, I can only conclude that repentance is very necessary to salvation. To preach otherwise would be "easy believism."
     
  12. tyndale1946

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    I as a PB wouldn't have expected anything less from you brethren... One question according to Romans 9:11... Since repentence is a work would not that work negate the doctrine of election?... Since the children were not yet born or done any good or evil and God is the one that called?... Who prepared the children to hear?... Did they prepare themselves?... Since God prepares his children he also prepares them to hear or not hear the same as he open the eyes or blinds them as he sees fit. One repents because one is already of the elect not to become elect!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  13. Frogman

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    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  14. archie

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    Calvinism is a false doctrine. This is the truth. God did not choose some and not others. If a person was chosen and some not then Rom 10.13 is vain. People have a free choice to choose or reject salvation. God does know who will choose and who wont. But its a free choice to those who choose to except or to reject His gift.God is just to all. Rev 22.17
     
  15. tnelson

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    John 10:16
    And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice;

    This refers to Gentiles who will respond to His voice and become a part of the church. Notice that He [must bring, and they will hear].

    John 6:37
    All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,

    These are just some of the many verses that emphasizes the sovereign will of God in the selection of those who come to Him for salvation. The security of salvation rests in the sovereignty of God, for God is the guarantee that "all" He has chosen will come to Him for salvation.
    This is not a false doctrine. This Is TRUTH!

    mike
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    Bob,

    I hope you understand that our brother Glen is a primitive Baptist and that the views he is arguing are not what we calvinists believe. Don't get your views about Calvinism from him. We do believe repentance and belief are necessary for salvation. Glen and I and others have been through this many times before.
     
  17. Pastor_Bob

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    Larry,

    I admit that I do not know the different degrees of Calvinism. I guess the term "Calvinist" is a broad term that has been given to describe anyone who uses the words "predestination" or "election." Having the view that I do on the version issue, I know what it is like to be lumped into a broad sterotype.

    I have one question that would help me understand more clearly. This may require a separate thread, but here's the question:

    Is Covenant Theology and Preterism widley held by those who would call themselves Calvinists? I have had some experience with a few preachers that would hold to all three theological view points. I was curious if this was common or just a chance happening.
     
  18. tyndale1946

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    Thank you Pastor Larry for that... No Primitive Baptist are not Calvinist though we do adhere to some of the points of Calvinism but our interpretation of them is different. Primitive Baptist cringe if you call them a Calvinist.

    We believe in Spiritual Regeneration not Gospel Regeneration... The written Gospel is to feed sheep not to make any... Only God can make a sheep!

    We believe in two Salvation... Eternal and Timely or what is refered by us as temporal... Eternal is done by God alone and the sinner is passive and has no ability because of Total Depravity to save himself or even the desire to.

    Timely or Temporal refers to the benefits and joys of our Salvation while in the church. You can lose the joys and blessing of that Salvation if you are disobedient and contrary to what the scriptures teach. You can be excluded from the church but if you in heart felt repentance acknowledge your sins among your brethren you can be restored.

    We NEVER preach you can lose your Eternal Salvation... To those who are true Primitive Baptist you can NEVER fall from grace!... I know we have heard it... Well if I believed the way you do OSAS I would commit every sin in the book I would have my fill... Go ahead try it... We also believe in a living heaven on earth and a living hell... But go ahead try it but remember... IT IS A FEARFUL THING TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE LIVING GOD!

    We also believe that ALL the ELECT of God will be saved... They were Elected before the foundation of the world and given to Jesus Christ to save by the Father... He came to do the will of the Father and he accomplished the will that the Father sent him to do and will not lose a one!... They are secure in Jesus Christ from the saints of the Old Testament to the saints of the New Testament... There is nothing that can stand in the way of the Elect being saved not even themselves.

    We are also rebaptizers... You don't come from another Old Primitive Baptist or those that adhere to our same faith and practice we rebaptize... Even if you are a Baptist of another order... WE REBAPTIZE!

    All our ministers come from our ranks and are self taught through much study and prayer... We have none that graduate from seminaries or hold theological degrees or carry D.D. next to their names... Those are just a few views of the Primitive Baptist brethren and what they believe so you will know next time a person states they are a Primitive Baptist!... To call a Primitive Baptist Calvinist is a kin to calling a Baptist a Catholic... Pastor Bob and all you other brethren... Now you know!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  19. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    It generally is and Arminian is the broad term for those on the other side. That is why I say that everyone (except the open theists) is one or the other.

    It is common. In fact, most calvinists are covenantalists, though a variety of eschatologies (premill, postmill, amill, preterist, partial preterist). I have a died in teh wool traditional dispensationalist and some people tell me that calvinism is incompatible with that. My response is always that the same exegesis that made me a calvinist makes me a dispensationalist. I would have to be inconsistent in my exegesis and hermeneutic to be a Calvinist and a covenantalist. "Covenantalist" usually goes the full road of infant baptism, et al, while Calvinist usually just refers to doctrines about soteriology. In the bottom line, there is no reason why a dispensationalist cannot be a calvinist. There is every reason why he should be.
     

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