Salvation for the hostile witness

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by glfredrick, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    My new topic involves a discussion regarding salvation for the hostile individual. Can and does God move in the hearts of those who are hostile to Him, and if so, can we name biblical precedent?

    Also, what of ministries to those hostile to the gospel? Should we proceed, even though they avow a hatred or inability to "choose Christ"? And, will our efforts be successful or not?

    As a word of background, I have now added biblical recovery counseling for individuals who were ritualistically abused to my ministry, and in so doing, I am often (like 100% of the time) confronted by an individual hostile to God, God's Word, God's people, and even in most cases, acts of kindness.

    How does God work in this situation? Especially those of you enamored by "choice." I'd like to hear your take on this.
     
  2. Skandelon

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    I suspect SOME might tell you not to cast you pearls before swine and move on.

    I, on the other hand, would say that while persistence in the face of rebellion may serve only to harden one in their rebellion, we can still have a great impact through loving our enemies and praying for them. Like Paul who expresses his unceasing love for those who appear to be in utter rebellion to the gospel (Rom 9:1-5), we too should 'become all things to all men in order to win some.'

    Enamored? Maybe it comes across that way to those being confronted for holding onto a dogma that appears to dismiss the biblical teachings regarding human choice and free will? I suppose some might refer to you as being enamored by predestination? Would that be fair?
     
  3. Skandelon

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    BTW, I do know of many who have come to know Christ later in life after much rebellion and hostility to God. Don't give up on them!

    Your approach may need to change along the way, but there is no reason to give up.
     
  4. glfredrick

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    That is not an acceptable response in this case...

    Let's just say that "some" have been won, and persistence has not played a part, nor has "convincing" anyone played a roll, especially when dealing with individuals who have MPD (multiple personality disorder), which one should one convince?

    I'm not interested at all about your personal philosophy in this situation, but rather how you would approach the issue. This isn't about you and I and our doctrines, it is about how one deals with the hostile individual when it comes to sharing the gospel.




    It is because I've found many who turn tail and run -- indeed taking up the position of "not casting pearls before swine" that I ask the question. Is God not capable of bring salvation to those who are avowed enemies or even to those who are utterly hostile to the gospel and all that surrounds it because of various life issues?

    Seems a giant waste to not minister to those folks.
     
  5. Skandelon

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    :thumbs: I agree!

    I'm not sure I understand the question. Sorry.

    I understand. So, if this is the case, in the future you might not want to call us "enamored with choice," but maybe instead, "those who are non-Calvinistic" or something a bit less caustic? Cool? :)

    Absolutely. However, this is not so cut and dry when dealing with those who are mentally ill. I do believe God is more merciful than we can even fathom, so whatever love and mercy you feel in your heart for these folks pales in comparison to His.

    :thumbs::thumbs: I couldn't agree more and your compassion for them is a true fruit of the Spirit's work within you. Continue to follow your heart as you minister to the "least of these" and the blessing and joy will far outweigh the cost. I think He will direct you when its time to "move on" as the Spirit will "release" you and give you a peace in "letting them go" at the right time (so to speak). That has been my experience in working with troubled teens for the last 18 years. It is dirty work but the reward is well worth the effort.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Are you asking how to minister to the unregenerate? Give me some clarification here?
     
  7. freeatlast

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    My new topic involves a discussion regarding salvation for the hostile individual. Can and does God move in the hearts of those who are hostile to Him, and if so, can we name biblical precedent?

    I started to say Paul but that is incorrect as he was not against God.
    The demonic at the gadarenes.

    Also, what of ministries to those hostile to the gospel? Should we proceed, even though they avow a hatred or inability to "choose Christ"? And, will our efforts be successful or not?

    Yes and yes sometimes

    As a word of background, I have now added biblical recovery counseling for individuals who were ritualistically abused to my ministry, and in so doing, I am often (like 100% of the time) confronted by an individual hostile to God, God's Word, God's people, and even in most cases, acts of kindness.

    How does God work in this situation? Especially those of you enamored by "choice." I'd like to hear your take on this.

    The patients of God wins the heart and some repent from volition.
     
  8. quantumfaith

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    I have personally often spent time on blogs populated by atheists and agnostics in an effort to discuss God and metaphysics with a wide range of attitudes. Some were extremely virulent and violent toward spiritual truths and matters. Some enjoyed and respected the conversation as well as the give and take. I do not know, probably will not, if any have sought more knowledge and wisdom. I can only say that I made a feeble attempt at planting a seed of curiosity and leave the rest to God and perhaps who ever might impact their lives and world view.
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    All men are hostile to God...some show it more outwardly,some mask it with religion. The more hostile the better. Salvation is of the Lord,and so we can be confident that as we are faithful to present the full range of truth,God will use it how he see's fit.
    Sometimes we are used to bring salvation...and sometimes we are called to seal the fate of a a reprobate....we cannot be sure as the results belong to God.
    Our responsibilty is to be faithful to the souls that come our way.Evidentialist apologetic methods are ineffectual for the most part.
    Scripture used correctly yields the most benefit....coupled with a genuine concern for the persons soul.
     
  10. Skandelon

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    While I agree with the concept of original sin, I'm not sure this is necessarily accurate.

    What about a child who grows up in church, as is my testimony? I never remember being "hostile toward God" or his truths. My children likewise are certainly sinners and in need of a Savior but I don't sense hostility toward God in their lives.

    Can you explain this apparent contradiction?
     
  11. glfredrick

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    Yes, and more... While we all deal with typical unregenerate people, I am also dealing with a person(s) with MPD who have multiple unregenerate personalities, and who are definitely hostile to the gospel and to a gospel witness.

    Yet, I have seen God work, transforming lives, healing the MPD issue by integrating the personalities back into a whole by regeneration of the individual parts (which are as distinct in their identities within the individual as if they were completely different people).

    One scriptural example that comes to mind is Christ with the Gadarenes demoniac. Certainly a hostile episode.
     
  12. Iconoclast

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    Yes I can.
    I did in my first post;
    Some take part in outward religion that can mask the true God. When confronted with the true and living God and His word, they become skandelized and fight against Him and His word.

    The rebellion that had been masked...now seeps out.

    They then say things like;

    my god would never send anyone to hell
    my god gives everyone a fair chance
    my god loves sodomites just as much as heteros
    my god has done all that he can,now it is up to you
    my god waits to see who will choose him
    my god does not [pre-select, or elect anyone]


    They have invented a god who does what they want him to do...rather than own the True and Living God,who does exactly what pleases Him.

    They are fine and happy until they are confronted with all the truth of the biblical God.

    I have heard and seen people who do this! They say God did not really destroy the world with a flood.

    The apparent contradiction is just that...apparent....

    For discussion sake.....if the God of the bible is exactly as described by Calvinist teachers gleaning from revealed truth......there are many here who have already said that that God would be a "monster"...or "darkness"

    Some have said they would and could not worship such a God.

    See how easily the rebellion could come out from religious people now???:thumbs:

    Many ask many questions....but do not really want the answer;);)
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Ok, suppose it is a Calvinistic family that a kid is raised in and he grows up believing in all the things you just said. Must their be a time in which he is also "hostile" toward God?

    And I think you post is deplorable as it suggests non-Calvinistic religion is rebellion while your religious perspective isn't, but I'll ignore that aspect for the sake of this point.
     
  14. glfredrick

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    The core truth -- stripped of all Calvinistic or Arminian (or otherwise) theological slant -- is that we are all rebellious toward God. That is a given, both from example and from the sure Word.

    Back to the topic.

    How can God work if the individual is hostile?

    Noting that I have SEEN God work, I ask the question. How can this be?

    How does one deal with Jesus, who approaches a demoniac and where He takes utter control, casts out the demon, and gives life to the man formerly possessed? How is it that that same man, who mere minutes before was cursing God and man, and begging Christ to not approach him, is now a willing and faithful servant?

    Or, what of my own (several) experiences, both personal, when I was converted to Christ while hostile to God, or in my work since my salvation, where I often confront persons who are hostile to the gospel and to God and the things of God like His Word, and yet, under God's power they become believers?

    Seems rather out of character and, frankly, impossible in the normal way that many of us see this issue. What happens to the will of the human (or demon!) in these cases?
     
  15. Iconoclast

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    Yes.....the same is true of a child in a calvinistic home.Unless God has saved that child from the womb....at some point a hostility or emnity exists.

    As far as this second observation.....
    Let's take a look at that for a second or two.....
    I posted;
    For discussions sake...if

    Now it is true that I personally think the truth is very much in this direction.There are many reasons for this that can be looked at and considered on a case by case basis.

    I posted and said IF....as I do not know and cannot know everyones heart motive.
    Both "systems" are not equal and it is not just a matter of preference.

    The small list of what can be described as rebellious statements can be added to. I believe anyone making statements of this nature better slow down and make certain where they are making a stand.

    At the judgement it is not going to help a person who makes up a God who does is not the one described in scripture.
    There are people who were religious who invented a dead god, an idol...and verse8 describes them as as dead as the idol they made.

    I would like to think that is the not the case of anyone on the BB.
    There are some posts that to me...are as you say ,deplorable as intentionally or in ignorance set them selves against the real ,biblical Jesus

    There are areas of theology where there exist differences among us....end times, baptism,church order,....these are important but not as important as the person and work of The Lord Jesus Christ.

    Recently a person was banned here for constantly questioning Jesus Divine attributes. To do this is to theologically touch the third rail...spiritually.

    My concern is that others in their disputing of theological points do so in a learning posture...and not to disparage the living God..like in Korah's rebellion.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    How do you define hostility, because my 8 year old daughter has never once outwardly expressed any hostility toward God. Could it be that the gospel being presented to her early, that she was saved before she grew "hostile?"

    The word enmity doesn't carry near the same connotation in my view, so I'll just caulk it up to a semantical difference and allow the author of the OP to redirect things back to the topic at hand.
     
  17. Iconoclast

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    It could very well be that God having saved your daughter at an early age has in mercy spared her from open outbreaks of rebellion.

    What i am trying to address is the very real concern that sometimes because we cannot see the heart rebellion in each sinner....we can be fooled by an outward conformity to external rules.

    Many children/young people...even adults can come outwardly to sit and assemble.....and yet be inwardly twisted and rebellious,ie, how many young people grow up make a profession, then drift away after high school never to be seen again! or adults who sit for years then get offended by truth later on.
     
  18. preacher4truth

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    Plainly the Scriptures teach we are in our lost state hostile toward God. Hostile is "being an enemy of God", for if we aren't for Him we are against Him, Matthew 12:30, and we are not for Him in our lost state.

    Any ideology contrary to such holds a deficient view of lost man, an inadequate view of the holiness of God, and that He is "wholly other", and also holds a distorted view of ones self contrary to the Biblical portrait of man in a lost state. Romans 3:10-18; Romans 8:7,8; Ephesians, Colossians 1:21 &c.

    That is how God pictures us, enemies, hostile, regardless if one seems to paint a prettier picture of ones lost state and just can't see it for himself.

    Thus it is not really how we see ourselves that ultimately matters, it is how God sees us, and only He can rightly see us and describe us, for He alone is perfect in righteousness and Holy. Any other view is erroneous and a failure to uphold Gods standard and His Word faithfully in this aspect.

    - Peace
     
    #18 preacher4truth, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2011
  19. Skandelon

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    I agree. All good points!
     
  20. glfredrick

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    I am actually trying to put some distance between the THEORY of how this all works to the actuality of how it works.

    We seem to have two camps here, one of which says that man must accept Christ, and in order for that to happen, that one must be other than hostile toward God. The other camp, the one I am inquiring about, says that God can convert the heart of the hostile individual by some means other than their immediate assent.

    In the case of that hostile individual, how does the conversion happen?
     

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