Saving souls

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Vince, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Vince

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    I read through Spurgeon's 'A Defense of Calvinism' and followed it with his series on soul winning and I came to a point of confusion.

    He begins to talk about how some preach salvation by grace to the saved, but when speaking to a lost person they preach global acceptance. I can agree that lying about what you believe in order to get attendance++; is very wrong, but it raised a question in my mind.

    What is the Calvinist salvation message?

    I'm studying Calvinism at the moment and while I'm definitely not an Arminian, niether do I fancy myself a Calvinist. That said, this isn't a challenge, but a request for information.

    Vince~
     
  2. russell55

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    Repent and believe.
     
  3. Vince

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    Is this done with the understanding that this is the defining moment of their life, where their election or lack thereof is made manifest?

    Vince~
     
  4. russell55

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    I am not sure I understand your question, but I'm going to try to answer it anyway, and if I miss the boat, you can let me know.

    This is done with the understanding that anyone who is being inwardly drawn by the Holy Spirit will respond positively to the gospel call to repent and believe.

    And yes, this is a defining moment of their life. No one is tjustified until they believe, so until this moment (the moment of faith" they remain "children of God's wrath".
     
  5. Vince

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    You're answer was much along the lines of what I was looking for, thanks.

    I'm trying to get the big picture on Calvinism here, so I stand to ask a lot of questions, especially on fine details, so please bear with me.

    Ok, my understanding of the Calvinist evangelical process is this:
    Preach the Gospel, repent and believe. The elect among the listeners will be regenerated by the Holy Spirit and begin thier journey as a 'Child of God'. The unelect will simply harden their hearts and move on.

    If that's correct I'd like to go a little deeper into what exactly is happening in both elect and unelect circumstances.
    The elect person has been chosen by God for salvation and simply needed to hear the Gospel to be regenerated.
    The unelect person cannot be regenerated. (here's where things get fuzzy for me again) Is it that he hardens his heart and resents God / just doesn't buy it, or is it possible for an unelect to seek God in his heart and not be regenerated because he/she is simply not elect?

    Vince~
     
  6. Yelsew

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    Repent and believe. </font>[/QUOTE]Is this the actual order of things?

    So man must do something in order to have salvation?

    Repent from what?

    Believe in what?
     
  7. er1001

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    :confused: Here i go putting in my little two cents worth.
    Before i accepted the LORD as my savior,I didn't know anythig about either calvinism or Armenianism. My wife wittnessed to me and after a year or so i went forward at church one night and trusted the Lord.Almost immediately both the above camps tackled me with their opposing teachings.I had no doubts until i got involved in that mess.It has been my experience that the who-so-ever crowd seem to lead the way winning the lost then they are swept up by elect,irresistable grace crowd who discourage soul winning.
    I feel both the above sides of the debate are extreme and there is a middle road the Lord intends us to travel. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Vince

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    Thanks for the testimony er1001. [​IMG]
    I didn't hear anything about Calvinism or Arminianism for quite a long time after I was saved, but now I'm moved to research it.
    Spurgeon speaks out against the practice of discouraging soul saving or being dishonest at first then preaching the elect afterward, but his explanation left me with many questions, thus we find ourselves here.

    Vince~
     
  9. Yelsew

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    ER1001 and Vince,
    The Christian life is not found in either the Calvinist or the Arminian camps. And in my opinion, both should be avoided in order to please God.

    The truth remains where it has always been, in the Holy Word of God, and not in the writings of men who themselves are trying to understand.

    Both Camps teach salvation, but distort it to their own understanding.

    Both camps teach the christian life, but distort it to their own understanding.

    So, let the reader be aware!
     
  10. Vince

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    Yelsew, I'm not Arminian or Calvinist but I want to be informed just the same. I hold the Word of God as the final authority and typically stay away from commentaries and the like, but in this instance there has been a lot of confusion about what Calvinists actually believe. I'm here to clarify that so I can line it up with scripture and draw my own conclusions without misrepresentation of any kind.
    Let's keep this on topic please.

    Vince~
     
  11. russell55

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    Vince,

    I will respond to your post when I can get to it. I have too many irons in the fire at the moment. You ask good questions...
     
  12. Ransom

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    Vince said:

    Ok, my understanding of the Calvinist evangelical process is this:
    Preach the Gospel, repent and believe.


    So far, so good.

    The elect among the listeners will be regenerated by the Holy Spirit and begin thier journey as a 'Child of God'.

    Broadly speaking, yes.

    However, you appear to be assuming that every person gets that one chance to settle the matter once and for all, whereas you probably know from experience that there are some stubborn people who come to faith after a lengthy and persistent process.

    Let's just say that at some time in their life, this will happen to every elect person - they will hear the Gospel, God will open their hearts to receive the message by faith, and they will become a child of God.

    The unelect will simply harden their hearts and move on.

    Again basically yes, assuming the same assumption. The "unelect" will never truly accept the Gospel (if they did, that would prove they were elect). They continue in their sins and face the judgment when they die.

    The elect person has been chosen by God for salvation and simply needed to hear the Gospel to be regenerated.

    No need to make it more complicated than that for now. Basically, yes.

    The unelect person cannot be regenerated.

    Will not. God has mercy on whom he wills, and hardens whom he wills (cf. Rom. 9:18). Neither is beyond his ability; it is a matter of God's free choice.

    (here's where things get fuzzy for me again) Is it that he hardens his heart and resents God / just doesn't buy it, or is it possible for an unelect to seek God in his heart and not be regenerated because he/she is simply not elect?

    There is no God-seeker (Rom. 3:11). The natural man is an enemy of God and it is impossible for him to please God (8:7-8); how, then, could he act against his nature and seek his enemy? If any man sincerely seeks after God (and not merely some sort of "spirituality" or emotional/psychological crutch), then it is God himself who gave him that desire.

    God is a merciful and gracious God; he is not some malicious and self-contradictory monster who draws people to himself begging forgiveness, and then denies them what they seek. On the contrary, Jesus said, "All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out" (John 6:37), and Paul agreed, saying, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame" (Rom. 10:11).
     
  13. Yelsew

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    The topic is "saving souls", this is a calvinist/arminian debate forum. My post was on topic!
     
  14. Yelsew

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    Ransom, it seems you've missed the target with a few of the scriptures you posted.
    There is no God-seeker among the Jews, Romans 3:11 is targeted, and about the Jews. Begin the context with Romans 3:1-11 and you will see that Paul is talking about the Jews and their condition. So to use this verse as you have is to misuse the scripture.
    Once again Context is everything
    If you are speaking of Romans 8:7,8, then you must include the context from Romans 8:1 which sets the stage for 7,8. The scene is this: for those who (free will choice) set their mind..., etc. BUT! for those who (free will choice) set their live according to the Spirit..., You see your use of Romans 8:7,8 to prove that man is naturally an enemy of God is outrageously wrong! God leaves it up to our free will choice, we are not puppets on strings. Besides, if you think about it, how can mortal man be an enemy to Eternal God? Who wins in combat? It has to be the last one standing, and man has a time limit on him of not to exceed 120 years. And, "Man, you can reach so high, so wide, so low, you can have so much power and no more, you must sleep so long after so many hours of combat, You can use only the weapons you can make, etc. God has no limits on him...So, who wins? It ain't man, he's not a suitable enemy to God.
    To which I must ask, Who provides the Grace whereby ALL man are covered by it? Who is able to read, and "hear" the word of God? Who is prevented from believing in God? Who cannot repent?

    Jesus tells us
    Let me say it this way. "If you use the brain I gave you, ask and it will be given you..." (free will to ask, seek, and knock, not predestined to do so). The word everyone means "any or all out of every". Jesus is addressing members of God the Father's ELECT, the Jews. But, he does not limit his remarks by identifying who he was making the remarks to, so we can only surmise that they were all Jews. He was telling them that All of the Fathers elect that The Father gives to Him shall be accepted. Therefore we must accept his words on the value of the words alone, and "everyone" means just that, any or all of every who asks receives, any and all of every who searches finds, and any and all who knock will have the door opened to them. But alas, not all do ask, seek, or knock, so those who don't will not be satisfied.

    Jesus tells us
    Again, Jesus uses the word "everyone" the meaning remains unchanged. Those out of everyone who believe are not condemned, but those out of everyone who do not believe are condemned by their unbelief.
    Here, Jesus was speaking to one man, Nicodemus, so why didn't Jesus use the personal pronoun, "you", meaning Nicodemus? If he was targeting his audience John 3:16 would go like this "For God so loved you Nicodemus, that He gave his only begotten son, ME, so that if you, Nicodemus, believe in ME you shall have everlasting life." and verse 18 would read like this. "If you believe in Me Nicodemus, you shall not be judged, but if you do not believe in me, you are judged already by your not believing."
     
  15. Ransom

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    I originally had a longer answer prepared for Yelsew, but for one very important reason I deleted it. Yelsew said:

    If you are speaking of Romans 8:7,8, then you must include the context from Romans 8:1 which sets the stage for 7,8. The scene is this: for those who (free will choice) set their mind..., etc. BUT! for those who (free will choice) set their live according to the Spirit..., You see your use of Romans 8:7,8 to prove that man is naturally an enemy of God is outrageously wrong!

    and later,

    Jesus tells us
    Let me say it this way. "If you use the brain I gave you, ask and it will be given you..." (free will to ask, seek, and knock, not predestined to do so).


    Tell me: Are you able to make your argument without adding to Scripture? In the former passage you added "free will choice" twice; here, you explicitly added "if you use your brain" to Jesus' words.

    I spend enough time debating with people over what Jesus and Paul actually did say, that I need not waste my time with someone who attributes to them the inventions of his own mind. Good day.
     
  16. Yelsew

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    Good Answer Ransom,
    However, I did not ADD to the scripture. You see I posted the scripture directly as it is written in the bible, then stated the obvious by putting with the scripture that which is implied by not supplied.

    So if you are going to critize me do not criticize me for "adding to scripture" because I gave the scripture as it is then made my commentary on what was posted. I did not change the Holy Bible, you still have yours just as you took it out of the box. By the way, do you underline or highlight you copy of the bible? If you do, you are adding to the scriptures.
     
  17. Ransom

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    Yelsew said:

    However, I did not ADD to the scripture.

    Reading your post proves otherwise.

    By the way, do you underline or highlight you copy of the bible? If you do, you are adding to the scriptures.

    Oh, come on.
     
  18. er1001

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    [​IMG] Vince your intentions seem genuine and good,however a word of advice;the bible is written so a child can find God and His salvation plan,at the same time scholars are confounded.These unwinnable debates seem to pop up after folks are saved ,sealed and glorybound,too bad,long ways from the great commission I think.Just some thoughts from up north. [​IMG]
     
  19. Yelsew

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    Yes, if you underline of highlight you are drawing attention to one part of scripture giving it greater emphasis than that which is not so emphasized.
     
  20. dianetavegia

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    Ridiculous Wesley! When I underline scripture, I also will write a word or two in my margin so I can quickly find the scripture I might be searching for. NOT adding to the importance, but aiding in Bible Study or sharing of scripture!

    Diane
     

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