Is man judged for his fallenness or for his rejection of the word?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Calvinists are always arguing that we all deserve death and hell because of the fall and our inherited sin nature and therefore we have no right to even question their soteriological claims that God would condemn men who never were given the ability to respond in faith to God's solution, the powerful gospel message.

    But I have a question that I'm still studying through myself...

    Are men judged based because of their fallenness or are they judged for their response to the word?

    Jesus said, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." (John 12:48)

    It appears to me from this passage that men are condemned at judgement not for their inherited sin nature, but instead for their response to Christ's words.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. psr.2

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    John 3:18-19
    18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

    Never heard?
    Romans 1:
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.
    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    No excuse.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Amen. Thanks for providing more wood on the fire.

    Any other thoughts?
     
  4. Skandelon

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    I would love to hear from some Calvinists on this one.

    We are judged by the word that apparently some people can't hear. Does that create a problem?

    Any thoughts?
     
  5. Skandelon

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    I didn't think a Calvinist would touch this one...
     
  6. pinoybaptist

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    Since a Calvinist on the board has not replied, let me give my answer according to the Scriptures.

    The answer is, neither.

    The sins of the saved, the elect, have been judged in Christ, therefore, they are exempt from anymore judgment that leads to eternal consequences.

    The unsaved, the unelect, will be judged at the last day based on their works , not their fallen nature. Their fallen nature is the cause of their evil
    works, just as the new nature in the regenerate is the cause of his struggle between choosing that which is good (directed by the new man) or that which is evil (directed by the old man), and eventually choosing that which is good, although sometimes falling prey to the wiles of the old man.

    Here is God's word on what the basis of their judgment will be, notwithstanding your trolling via John 12:48.

    Five times, the phrase according to their works was used in the Scriptures. Nehemiah 6:14; Jeremiah 25:14; 2 Corinthians 11:15; Rev. 20:12, Rev. 20:13, and in all five times, the context was God's judgment upon evil works committed by men or certain men.

    Now let me ask you, what are the words that Christ says a man must receive, and what is the word that He says will judge men at the last day ? And will men receive these words without any aid from the Holy Spirit ? Are all men inherently able to receive Jesus' words and word ?
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    I will respond to this with the same answer I have given many times before. Man's rejection of the word is a part of his fallenness. Scripture makes clear in Rev 20 and 21, 2 Thess 1 and other places that man is judged because of his sinfulness. Unbelief is only one of those sins.

    This is not a new question. It is an old one [​IMG]
     
  8. Skandelon

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    First, Did I say it was a new question? I doubt there are any "new" questions in regard to this debate Larry. And surely with the many posts that you have under your belt you have answered all of them many, many times. But if that is the critera you have for responding then you probably need to stop responding all together. ;)

    Second, I didn't say that men weren't held responsible for all their sin. My point was that they are judged for their rejection of Christ and HIS word. In HIS word he instructs us in the passages you listed and others like them that there are sins that we shouldn't commit. People's rejection of Christ is the same as their rejection of HIS WORD, by which we will be judged.

    Calvinists always point to the fact that God judges people for their original sin nature thus God is "just" in condemning men from birth because of their fallen nature, which he would be. But as I have pointed out, scripture teaches men are not judged based upon that original sin nature but based upon their response to the WORD.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    Didn't your OP make a dichotomy between these two?

    I and others have pointed out that man is in fact judged based on his sinfulness which is the inevitable result of his sin nature. IT is not merely a matter of rejecting his word.
     
  10. Skandelon

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    PB,
    I agree that men are judged by their works, but as measured by what? The WORD. The word is the standard by which men's works are judged, therefore its men's acceptance or rejection of Christ's WORDS that detemines how they will be judged. If they heed Christ's words and believe and trust him in by repenting of their sin and following him, they will be saved. If they reject Christ and his word and continue in sin they will not. Its all based upon their acceptance or rejection of God's revelation of himself. Calvinists teach that men are unable to respond in faith to the word and that is not found in the text.
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    Skandelon said:

    Skandelon, with all due respects, while it is true that Total Depravity, on which the adherents of the Doctrines of Grace base their statement regarding man's inability to respond in faith to the gospel, is not found in the Bible, neither are the words Rapture and Missions and Missionaries and Sunday Schools and The Second Coming found in the Scriptures, yet, I am sure that you will challenge anyone who claims that these terms are not found in the Bible and therefore cannot be true.

    These are man-made theological terms that theologians have come up with to give a face to what they believe are doctrines being taught by the Bible on certain subjects, which doctrines are usually scattered all over the Bible, hence the instruction to 'study the Scriptures', 'search the Scriptures','comparing spiritual with spiritual', 'a line here, a line there, a precept here, a precept there'.

    Your thesis that man has the innate ability to respond in faith to the gospel, in which the implication is that there is 'some good' in man, and that is the 'good in man' that God honors, certainly does not stand if we look at everything that the Bible says about man.

    Let me quote here at this point a Primitive Baptist brother from another list:

     
  12. Skandelon

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    The concepts and premises for these things are supported in the scripture, the concept or premise for the idea that men cannot respond in faith to Christ's words is not in the scripture, neither by name or concept.

    I agree which is why I don't believe men are unable to respond in faith to the word.

    Men's inate ability to respond is never described as "good" by the scripture nor is it ever dismissed as being that which men could boast about. Men during that day boasted of their works which Paul held up in contention with faith. Personally, I believe that God is a rewarder of those who believe he exists and earnestly seek him. God rewards men's response of faith and he punishes mens response of rebellion, that entire concept falls apart when you make God completely in control of that response.

    I agree. Men ON THERE OWN cannot do good. God fortunately didn't leave us on our own here. He sent Christ, his words, his Spirit, the apostles and the scripture. Show me where we can't respond in faith to the power of God unto salvation. Romans 3 describes men inability WITHOUT GOD'S intervention. You need a verse that describes God's intervention not being enough to enable a response of faith. In other words, you need a verse that teaches that even God's means of the powerful gospel is not enough for salvation.


    No problem with these. We affirm the doctrine of Original Sin.


    Again, no problem with any of this.

    None of us were "of God". We were all "of the Devil" by nature and therefore cannot know God or his message unless they are revealed to us. Jesus wasn't fully revealing himself to the world at this time. He was hiding his message in parables (Matt. 13) and he was hardening them (John 12:39). It wasn't until LATER that he was going to allow the world to realize who he was. He explain this earlier in the same chapter when he said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will realize that I am he and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak what the Father taught me."

    "He that is of God heareth God’s words (he is speaking of himself because he is the only one who is "of God"): ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (this describes mankinds problem BEFORE God's solution which is given when Christ is raised up and before they have the revelation of the gospel message.)

    Nothing of the gospel is mentioned here. In fact, the "deep things of God" are refered to as pointed out in verse 10. Plus, look a few verse down and you will see that even the "brethern" there in Corinth couldn't recieve these things that Paul is speaking of here in this passage. How could it be that even "brethern" couldn't recieve the teachings of the gospel?

    Again, nothing about the gospel is mentioned in this passage. They couldn't believe Jesus because they were being hardened, they weren't apart of the first fold of sheep that Christ had to bring into the fold. God had only given the remnant from the Jewish nation to come and learn directly from the incarnate Word. The other fold was to come in through their message after the act of redemption (Christ being raised up) had been completed.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Yes he is judged FOR his sinfulness but by what standard? THE WORD and his response to it. It is merely about man's response to the word.

    After Adam all died and THEN was the WORD. Its response to that word that determines wether one will be saved or not. We are judged by the WORD and our response to it, not based upon Adam's sin. Christ off set the fall with his death and now our judgement is based upon our response to him, period. Read Romans 5 again.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    Well of course Skan ... but you are making incorrect distinctions. Man sins because he is disobedient to the word. His sins are what he is judged for. If he responded to the word, that issue would be taken care of. But he is not judged merely for not responding properly to the word. He is judged for his disobedience. IT sounds like you are trying to create an issue where there is none.

    Unregenerate man does not want to respond to the word. He is morally unable. He rejects it because he does not like it. That is total depravity.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    Larry,

    No, its the perfect distinction because its the one that Calvinists fail to make when attempting to distinguish between Arminian objections and the similiar objections that scripture actually addresses.

    When Arminians make the claim that Calvinism seems unfair or unjust the Calvinistic response is usually linked to orginial guilt due to the fall, right? But this distinction is showing that our judgement is not going to be based upon our fallen nature that we inherited from Adam, instead our judgement is based upon the WORD.

    In other words, its not by the fall that we are going to be condemned, its by the revelation of God. It is by what we clearly know and understand. The ultimate revelation is the WORD, and by that we are judged.

    You say that unregenrate men don't want to respond, which is true in a since. They remain unregenerate because they will not respond in faith and they will be condemned because they refused to obey, not because they were born unregenerate.

    You believe that they not only don't want to respond in faith, but in fact they CAN'T respond in faith, which is where your problem is, which is why you and other Calvinists try to gloss over by saying things like, "they are able but not willing." But based upon our defination you did affirm they are unwilling. They are unwilling to be willing and you teach they "no one is able to come to Jesus." That is UNABLE and you can't get around the implications of that in regard to justice.
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    Why do people fail to respond to the word? Because their minds are blinded because of original sin. That is why I say this is a distinction without a difference. In reality, there will be those who do not have the Word who are judged as sinners, Romans 1 tells us. But they do have the revelation of God and reject it. They are judged because of their sin.

    Why would I need to get around that? It is what Scripture teaches. They are unable ... morally unable ... they have no desire, no spiritual life, and until God gives it to them, they will continue willfully to sin and reject him. They do not want to do anything else.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    I agree that sin can blind people to the word. I just don't believe they are born blind and that the word CANNOT help them to overcome their blindness even once they have become blinded. In other words I don't believe men are born sooo blind that the powerful Holy Spirit wrought WORD can't cause them to see. It is the light to the darkness of the blind world. Men are blind due to ignorance and they are hardened in that blindness due to living in sin for a length of time. Notice that the scripture speaks of men becoming hardened and blinded, not being born as such. God gave them over to it, they were NOT born given over to it as TD suggests.

    Look at all the scripture says about the power of the Word or Scripture or the Gospel message. Are you honestly trying to tell me that the WORD alone is not powerful enough to overcome the natural condition of men's fallenness? Just because I don't believe it is effectual to everyone doesn't mean I don't believe it is powerful enough to give everyone what they NEED to make that choice.

    Those discussed in Romans 1 rejected it, yes. And they were GIVEN OVER by God. Notice they weren't born given over. God revealed himself to them in such a way that they were given the opportunity to respond in faith to that revelation as did Rahab or Lydia or Cornelious as examples. Most may have rejected God's revelation but I think it is clear from the testimony of scripture that some did respond to God's revelation in faith and that was credited to them as righteousness as it was for Abraham, I'm certain.

    In Romans, Paul is attempting to show that all groups of people, both Jews and Greeks are guilty before God in regard to their righteousness. The works of the Jews in regard to the Law given to them by God and the works of the Gentiles in regard to their conscience and natural revelation given to them by God wasn't enough, but now a righteousness from God, apart from the Law [or any other revelation] has been made known...which comes through faith to both Jews and Greeks. In fact, it has always been the means to righteousness eventhough it is just now being revealed in such a manner. So, Jews, such as Abraham, Rahab, Issac, etc were declared righteous not by their works of the law, but because of their faith. So too, it can be reasoned that the Greeks in the world, unknown to Paul, who had faith in God were declared righteous by that same standard. There revelation wasn't the law or the prophets but it was their conscience and the general revelation through nature. Cornelous feared God before he ever heard the gospel. Many believed upon God before they knew of Christ. Lydia is said to have worshipped God before she heard Paul's message. Those are not the actions of totally depraved men. Those are actions of those who did heed the warnings of God and who did respond in faith to His revelation.
     

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