"no one seeks God"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Helen, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    Psalms 14 and 53 (which are almost identical) are used consistently by those who subscribe to Calvinism/Reformed doctrine to say that no one seeks God and therefore no one is saved until God 'unhardens' their hearts and allows them to want Him.

    But that is NOT what either Psalm is saying. Looking at 14:

    It starts with reference to 'the fool'

    The fool says in his heart,
    "There is no God."


    It is this person, the fool, who is corrupt and whose ways are vile. It is this person who is called one of the 'sons of men', of which none understand and none seek God. Of course one is not going to seek what one denies exists!

    It is the fools who have turned aside (from what? -- the truth they know -- ref. Romans 1), and fools of whom it is said, there is no one good, not even one.

    The Psalm continues

    Will evildoers never learn --
    those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the Lord?


    These evildoers, these fools are NOT "His people." There is a distinction there. Therefore, at the least, the Jews are not being called fools and evildoers here. The implication is also that anyone who does not claim there is no God also does not qualify for a fool and evildoer here.

    Later we read

    You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.

    So, at least for the purposes of this Psalm, the poor are also not counted among these fools and evildoers.

    In other words, of those it is said that they do not seek God, they are defined rather specifically and this does NOT apply to the entire human race.

    By way of contrast, let's look at some other Bible passages:

    Psalm 9:9-10 -- "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."

    If Calvinism is correct, then ALL the oppressed are chosen for heaven!

    Psalm 22:26 -- "The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the Lord will praise him..."

    so SOME clearly seek the Lord...

    from Psalm 34 -- I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
    ...Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
    ...The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.


    Psalm 40:16 -- But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;

    Psalm 69:32 -- The poor will see and be glad -- you who seek God, may your hearts live!

    Psalm 70:4 -- But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;

    Psalm 105:3-4 -- Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
    Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.


    Psalm 119:2 -- Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.

    Proverbs 28:5 -- Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.

    Isaiah 55:6-7 -- Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
    Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.
    Let him turn to the Lord and he will have mercy on him,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.


    Jeremiah 29:13 -- You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

    Acts 17:26-27 -- From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

    Hebrews 11:6 -- And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

    So let's first of all put Psalm 14 and 53 in context with themselves, and, secondly, recognize that all men are told to seek God, and that some -- and maybe many -- do. This is what the Bible says. Not all men are fools who say there is no God!
     
  2. Salamander

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    Too general and with no distinction.

    The fool says there is no God in his heart; that does not make him a fool eternally either. At some point in time, many have declared there is not God, only to later repent of that foolish notion and be saved. The real fool would be one who shakes his fist in the face of God and making the foolish statement.

    I agree AGAINST the dogma of calvinism/ God is not a tyrant forcing men into hell against their conscious decision to trust in God and His Supreme Sacrifice.

    Calvisim is nothing more than the attempt to bring the Counsels of God down into the realm of man's reason, thus God would be the liar if this were true since He declares His thoughts higher than ours (unattainable) His ways are past finding out ( cannot fathom the depths of His wisdom) His ways are not our ways ( the perplexity of all mankind in being human and God is Divine)

    I have found the calvinist to have reached into the aspect of thought and come to a dead end, of which there are no "dead ends" with God, only Living without end.
     
  3. canadyjd

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    Helen

    There is a doctrine of "progressive revelation". God has continually revealed Himself, in ever more explicit ways, culminating in Jesus Christ as the ultimate revelation of God.

    That those Psalms meant, at the time they were written, the things you have said, is most likely true.

    But Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us in Romans 3 that those words do, in fact, refer to the entire human race. Everyone stands condemned before God; the Jews according to the Law, the Gentiles, according to their rejection of God's general revelation. Everyone has turned away and none seek God.

    Salamander

    You are ignorant of the beliefs of "calvinists" if you think they believe God is forcing people into hell against their will. But it would be a "dead end" and a waste of breath to try to convince you otherwise...so...

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  4. Helen

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    So Paul disagrees in Romans with what he himself says in Acts, which I quoted above?

    I hardly think so!
     
  5. StraightAndNarrow

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    I think everyone here would agree that everyone who has not accepted Christ as their Savior "stands condemned before God". But Christ is the answer!

    Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
     
  6. canadyjd

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    Helen

    Paul agrees with himself. Acts 17 gives a description of God's sovereignty/general provision for all of mankind. This is the general revelation of Romans 1. They all rejected Him. Paul is in Athens, home of a multitude of pagan temples devoted to the gods of Greek Mythology and the pagan "philosophies".

    If you read a lttle farther in Acts 17, you would have seen Paul also speaks of the judgement of God coming in the person of Jesus Christ. This also agrees with what he wrote in Romans. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven. Why? None seek after God. All have gone astray.

    StraightandNarrow

    In the Rev. 3 passage, Christ is speaking to one of His churches. Presumably, they are already believers, but are blinded by their wealth. It is not a verse calling unbelievers to salvation, it is a verse calling believers to repentence for their arrogance.

    Context is a very important.

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  7. Helen

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    If NONE seek God, then all those other passages in the Bible are lies or just plain wrong.
     
  8. OldRegular

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    John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
     
  9. Helen

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    That was specifically to the disciples, and the Bible tells us how He chose them.
     
  10. OldRegular

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    Aren't you a disciple? I thought all "true believers" were supposed to be disciples.
     
  11. Helen

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    THOSE disciples...He is specifically talking to them at that time. This discourse of Christ gives all of us information, but it was addressed specifically to the Eleven. You will find, between verses 19 and 20 of chapter 17, the end of this discourse, that Jesus changes focus and prays specifically for those who are not 'them alone.' It is that 'them' whom He has been speaking to specifically in the last discourse.
     
  12. OldRegular

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    The Apostle Paul tells us:

    Romans 3;10-13
    10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
    13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:


    Was the Apostle Paul misleading us?
     
  13. Helen

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    I already answer that a few posts above, OR,

    edit: here is the quote:
    Acts 17:26-27 -- From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
     
  14. bjonson

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    Helen,

    Show me a place in scripture where someone "chooses" salvation in Christ without the influence of the Holy Spirit FIRST working in them.

    I can show plenty of places where the Bible says we are slaves to sin and are unable (that's right, "able") to do anything that pleases the Lord. Only when we are regenerated can we even see the kingdom of God.
     
  15. Helen

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    We may not be able to do anything that pleases God before regeneration, but we can want to.

    It is impossible to tell you that the Holy Spirit has or has not worked in a person's life at any given point. But I think you will see in the quotes above that we are commanded and encouraged and urged to seek the Lord. Who is being urged besides those who are not yet believers/followers?

    Please note in Romans 1 that the anger of God is being poured out on those who SUPPRESS the truth...

    You cannot suppress something you have not already become aware of.

    And even a non-believer, an unregenerate, can appreciate the truth and want more of it. Or he can suppress it, choosing to go the other way. Everyone has that choice. And that choice is what will make all the difference. Those who want the truth and seek it, are seeking God, whether or not they know it, for Jesus reminded us that He is the Truth and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. When a person seeks the truth, the Father will lead him to the Son.

    But truth, in one way or another, is available to all men, and so is their choice about what to do with it.
     
  16. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Look particularly at verse 11.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  17. Helen

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    Psalm 14 doesn't have a verse 11. Neither does Psalm 53.

    However verse 11 of Acts 3 is part of the quote from both of those Psalms. This refers to the fools who say there is no God.

    Verse 11 of Acts 17, which is the only other book being talked about here, is that which states the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they searched the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul was saying was true.
     
  18. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Helen,

    I am sorry for the confusion. What I posted above is a hyperlink to an article I wrote on another passage which deals with the issue of those who seek God. You need to click on it and read it.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  19. HankD

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    Not necessarilty. The meaning here is probably that none seek after God on their own.

    There is this passage in John:

    John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

    Because we will not seek God on our own in our flesh, the Holy Spirit has in every age been given to bring enlightenment as to our need of God.

    In Genesis there is this:

    Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

    On the other hand we have this just before 6:5

    Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

    So, from the beginning man has desparately sinned and apparently did also "strive" with God in the conviction/reproval of sin through the Spirit.

    This IMO is a common grace gift of God to all men of all ages, to enlighten them through the Holy Spirit in conviction of sin according to the knowledge and understanding of each age.

    I also see "choice" in the Scripture and conclude that God (being God), can free the will of even the unregenerate (gasp!) when conviction has born its fruit and offer the sinner a choice.

    Now, does God know the choice the individual will make?

    Yes, but there is an operative phrase in the Scripture "to fulfill all righteousness" and "to shut every mouth" no sinner will be able to say "you didn't give me a choice or the ability to choose".

    Beyond that I personally choose not to venture (apart from the Scripture below) or subscribe to any theology with a man's name attached to it (other than Scripture through the apostles via the inspiration of the Spirit).

    Everything else is covered by the following:

    Genesis 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

    HankD
     
  20. OldRegular

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    edit: here is the quote:
    Acts 17:26-27 -- From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Even Scofield had enough sense to realize that you have to "rightly divide the word of truth".
     

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