Question for Calvinists

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by JIMNSC, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. JIMNSC

    JIMNSC
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    I desire to better understand what you all hold to be true concerning the following:

    - How do you know “you” personally are one of the elect?
    - If you are sure you are one of the elect, how/when did you learn you were?
    - If you are among a mixed flock (saved/unsaved) does the pastor preach trying to win those lost souls? Would it be beneficial to them if they are not the elect?

    Thanks in advance to any of you who respond. I just want to know more about your beliefs. I am thoroughly confused on Calvinism, and I understand there are even varying degrees of that.

    I’d like to make one comment in addition to posing my questions, if you please. I think God might be pleased that so many people discuss or even differ on Biblical things during the course of discussion; however, I think he might be a little disappointed that many of these discussions appear to be divisive at times. It’d be nice to see the posters give some evidence of loving their brothers/sisters as themselves (this includes myself).

    I really was not sure where to post this being a SB with neither Arminian nor Calvinist leanings nor am I instigating debate. Thanks again.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Good questions, Jim. As a Calvinist, I will respond.

    By the work of God in my life, giving me understanding and bringing me to faith and repentance through his kindness. The growth of Christian graces in my life has made my calling and election sure (2 Peter 1).

    I was about 6 at the time, at a service on a Sunday night when the pastor preached the gospel. After church, I talked with my mother and asked Christ to save me.

    Being the pastor, I do preach to win lost souls. I call people to repentance and faith on a weekly basis, both publicly and personally. The effect of the gospel on the non-elect is to harden their hearts, in accordance with what Jesus says in the parable of the sower.
     
  3. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    What Pastor Larry said.
     
  4. donnA

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    How does a calvinist know when they were saved.
    Now mind you I still haven't made up my mind on this,still looking into it. So I'm asking to debate, just have a few things cleared up for me, and I'm too chicken to go down to the C&A forum.
     
  5. Rev. G

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    2 Peter 1:5-11 - But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is short-sighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble, for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    This corresponds with 1 John. See, for example:
    1:8-10
    2:3-5; 15-17; 29
    3:3; 10; 14; 17; 22; 24
    4:7; 20
    5:1-3
    5:13, 20

    &gt; These texts must be applied to one's life. Is the evidence there? If so, then praise God! If not, then ask for grace and forgiveness!

    Every sermon should contain both the Law and the Gospel. The Law and the Gospel have application to both the converted and to the lost. A preacher should always be aware that there will always be "tares" among the "wheat" - and that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation for those that believe. So, yes, one does seek to win souls in such a setting (every single week).

    The preaching of God's Word may be beneficial to the "non-elect" in the sense that if they apply biblical principles to their lives they may see some temporary reward. For example, a lost man who applies the principles of integrity, honesty, etc., in his business dealings will be "rewarded" accordingly. However, the same Word which cuts to the hearts of some hardens the hearts of others. The same sun which melts the ice also bakes the mud. God's Word NEVER goes out without having the effect He desires (Isaiah 55:11). It NEVER returns void.

    I think if you will meditate upon Isaiah 55:11 it will cause your mind to do some "stretching exercises." I've heard some folks quote this verse, and then lament that God's Word doesn't take effect in the lives of the lost. :mad:

    The reason I can do the work of evangelism confidently and boldly is because I believe in God's sovereignty - evidenced strongly in Is. 55:11. No, not everyone will believe, but God's Word will have the effect HE desires and some WILL be brought to faith in Christ!
    [​IMG]
    Rev. G
     
  6. Rev. G

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    That may be wisdom rather than cowardice. [​IMG]
    It can be awfully rough down there. :(
    So, hopefully some good discussion will take place right here and some questions can be answered. [​IMG]

    Rev. G
     
  7. JIMNSC

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    Katie - You might not have to go anywhere. Now that you've requested debate, I predict you may at least get a question or two right here. [​IMG]

    I just wasn't to try to start one myself - I won't debate something I know so little about and besides, the big guns around here stay loaded. [​IMG]
     
  8. russell55

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    I'm not sure I understand the question. Do you mean how does a Calvinist know the timing of their salvation? Or how does a Calvinist know that they are saved?

    A Calvinist believes they are saved through faith, so it is when they believe that they are saved. God has elected people to salvation before the beginning of time, but even the elect remain under God's wrath just like everyone else, right up until the time God brings them to faith and that faith is counted to them for righteousness.

    Pastor Larry answered the question of how we know we are saved--we know we believe and we see the fruits of that faith.
     
  9. russell55

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    I have to answer this because my experience is almost exactly the same as Pastor Larry's, only I was 5 and it was Sunday morning. I was standing up in the very back pew, and the sermon was on Christ's death and what it did, and I was spellbound. It was as if a light went on in my head and I thought, "Aha! So that's how it is, and that's what I need!" So Sunday afternoon I kept bringing up the sermon to my parents until finally they clued in to the possibility that I wanted to respond to it.

    This is HOW I know I am elect--I believed. The only way anyone can know they are elect is because they have faith.

    WHEN did I know I was elect? When I understood what election was, and that no one believes apart from God's election, which would have been when I was at least 20 or so.
     
  10. JIMNSC

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    That's interesting Russell. The reason I asked those questions was due to a post by an individual (don't even remember the subject) which stated words to this affect, "If I am saved, I'm saved, but if I'm damned, I'm damned."

    That confused me and I was hoping for him and all other Calvinists that they didn't go through life never really knowing they were part of the elect. As you can see, I have received some nice, informative replies that have convinced me that the post I saw was only one individual's opinion.
    [​IMG] Thanks folks.
     
  11. Rev. G

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    This individual departed from "Calvinism" and went into fatalism / hyper-Calvinism. :(

    Rev. G
     
  12. Jim1999

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    There is a good reason why some moderators leave a thread on a seeming wrong forum. You folks have proved that this is the way to go. Thank you to everyone for not making it a debate, but rather sticking to the question at hand and we all benefit. The Lord be praised.

    Cheers,

    Jim,
    Moderator
     
  13. Aaron

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    - How do you know “you” personally are one of the elect?

    Very simple. The Holy Spirit said, "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

    I have called upon His name. Therefore I am one of the elect.
     
  14. DHK

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    Because, I "believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and was saved." (Acts 16:31).
    -
    "He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son hath not life." I became one of the elect when I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ when I was saved.
    -
    Only God knows the elect. Paul wrote and preached to the Corinthian church which was composed both of believers and unbelievers. Some of them did not even believe in the resurrection of Christ. And so he writes in 1Cor.15:1,
    15:1 "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you,"
    --The word "declare" means to inform, impress upon. Paul wanted to impress upon the hearts of the Corinthian believers the Gospel which he later explains. He wanted each one of them (saved and unsaved) to be very clear on this doctrine. He wanted it "burned in" their hearts, so to speak. That's what's behind the word "declare." There were unsaved in the church also. Paul wanted to make sure they understood the gospel and became part of the elect. "The Lord knows them that are His."
    DHK
     
  15. RaptureReady

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    One question. What about John 3:16. "WORLD"
     
  16. Rev. G

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    One question. Two replies:

    1) John 3:16? What's that? "Calvinists" have never read that verse. :rolleyes:

    2) "Calvinists" believe John 3:16 in its entirety. It declares that God, because of His great love for the world, sent His Son, and that whoever believes upon Him will be saved. :eek: You believe that too, don't you?

    Rev. G
     
  17. TomMann

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    What about John 17:9. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
    KJV

    I am one of the elect for the same reason that anyone who is saved is saved, because the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
    If I were not of the elect the Gospel would be foolishness.

    I personally became aware/assured of my salvation thru his revelation at the age of 43. Until then I might say I was hoping for it, maybe even counting on it. It is a wonderful knowledge to know beyond doubt that you are of the elect despite past, present, or future failings.

    I do not hold that the Gospel is an invitation. I believe it is a declaration. A declaration of what God has done. Those who believe are saved with an everlasting salvation. And yes, I believe that this Gospel is to be preached (declared) at every opportunity.
     
  18. Hardsheller

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    Don't want to beat a dead horse but felt like this needed to be said.

    I was saved long time before I knew the word Calvinism and an even longer time before I realized I was one.
     
  19. TheTravelingMinstrel

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    Well, i'm a calvinist, and yes, i can answer the questions in pretty much the same way.

    How do I know?
    Because I believed

    Homebound,
    Please stick to the questions he asked.
     
  20. Bible Student

    Bible Student
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    I hope this is on topic, Would you all say then that you consider all who have "believed" on the Lord Jesus Christ and do not believe they are calvinist, are and just do not know it?

    Richard [​IMG]
     

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