Seek and save the lost?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by npetreley, May 25, 2004.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    Grammatically, when Jesus says in Luke 19:10 "for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost", it is understood to be the same as the more wordy, "seek the lost and save the lost".

    This raises the question (for me, at least), "Who are the lost?" I know most of us take it for granted that we're all lost until we're saved, but if that's what Jesus was thinking at the time, then wouldn't it have made more sense if Jesus simply said, "for the Son of Man came to save the lost"?
     
  2. CurtX

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    I believe that the word "seek" is in the passage to indicate that Jesus has a particular people in mind to redeem, which is the elect. It reveals divine focus and intent. Otherwise, Jesus would be attempting to save everyone, with limited success.
     
  3. npetreley

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    Doesn't that imply that the non-elect are not "the lost"? Obviously the non-elect are not saved, so they are "lost" in the way most people now use the term. But assuming you're right that Jesus is referring only to the elect, the un-elect are not being included in this group He calls "the lost".

    Isn't that kind of odd? Is there something about the rest of those people not included in "the lost" that separates them, other than the fact that they are not among the elect?
     
  4. Primitive Baptist

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    Read the whole context. Jesus is talking about His sheep (cf. Matthew 18:11-14). It is not His will that any of them perish (v. 14). That may shed more light on 2 Peter 3:9.
     
  5. Skandelon

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    That might be applicable to 2 Peter 3:9 but it doesn't work with a very similar passage in 1 Tim. 2:4.

    Plus, true Arminians, the ones who know what they are talking about, don't try to teach that Christ was intending to convert or "save" all the lost people while he was in the flesh. He was sent for the sheep of Israel, the remnant. He was sent to disciple the firstfruits of the faith and send them to all the world.

    Jesus obviously didn't want everyone to believe and be saved while he was on the earth. In fact, he hide his message in parables and told his disciples to keep things secret. Why? If indeed men are born unable to see, hear and believe why would Christ hide such things from them? He had a goal to accomplish in their unbelief--the cross. The people of that day had been given a spirit of stupor so they couldn't see and understand the things of Christ, but they weren't born that way as Total Depravity suggests. Their unbelief was needed to accomplish God's ultimate purpose. He bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

    Christ was here to seek a specific few and save them. Why? So that he could disciple them and they could in-turn take the message into all the world and make other disciples. Jesus individually chose who those apostles would be and I believe he effectually called them to himself. Does that prove he does the same for all of those who hear their message? No. Proof that God individually chooses and effectually calls his inspired messengers does not prove that he calls their audiences in the same manner. In fact, the opposite would seem to be the case because the messengers authority is in the sovereignty of his call. To assume that all who are saved were called in the same manner as the apostles only undermines the unique authority of the their calling.
     
  6. npetreley

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    I happen to agree with you, especially when one considers Luke 15, where the same form of the word "the lost" occurs (twice, if I recall correctly).

    Another parallel between the two passages is that in both cases Jesus is addressing the reason why He was visiting sinners.

    But that still raises the question: Who are those not included in "the lost"? Are they the righteous who do not need to be sought and saved? The unrighteous non-elect who are not going to be saved? Both?
     
  7. Primitive Baptist

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    Skandelon,

    So when did Jesus change His mind?
     
  8. Me2

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    the "lost" are the "vessels of wrath".

    Jesus came to predominantly save "his own" that the father had given him. (vessels of mercy) during this present age

    inturn the vessels of mercy are to save the vessels of wrath during the next age to come.

    Jesus came to earth to seek and save the vessels of wrath through the vessels of mercy given to him by his father..

    Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
     
  9. Rand

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    Skandelon: "Proof that God individually chooses and effectually calls his inspired messengers does not prove that he calls their audiences in the same manner. In fact, the opposite would seem to be the case because the messengers authority is in the sovereignty of his call. To assume that all who are saved were called in the same manner as the apostles only undermines the unique authority of the their calling."

    The Word of God:

    "According as he hath CHOSEN us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    Having PREDESTINATED us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Eph 1:4)

    "And we know that all things work together for good to THEM that love God, to THEM who are the CALLED according to his purpose.
    For WHOM he did foreknow, he also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    Moreover WHOM he did PREDESTINATE, THEM he also called: and WHOM he called, THEM he also JUSTIFIED: and WHOM he JUSTIFIED, THEM he also GLORIFIED." (Romans 8:29-30)

    "But ye are a CHOSEN generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;" (1 Peter 2:9)


    Rand: are the people being spoken of in these passages from the Word of God, only apostles? A simple look at the context makes it clear that it speaks of all of God's people (the elect). Looks to me like God saves all his children (apostle and non-apostle) the same way.
     
  10. Rand

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    To understand 1 Timothy 2:4, one must keep v.1-3 in mind:

    "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
    For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
    For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;"

    Is Paul charging Timothy to pray for every individual person in the World in verse 1? No. He is charging Timothy to pray for "all kinds" of men (kings, those who are in authority is the example Paul uses).

    Following this reasoning, Paul isn't saying that God wants to save all men in v.4; rather, He wants to save all kinds of men (jew, gentile, rich, poor, powerful, weak...etc...etc...).

    Now before someone replies to me with that nonsense phrase "all means all and that is all", consider that the same greek word for "all" in these passages is used in the same epistle, chapter 6 verse 10. Is the love of money truly the root of ALL EVIL? Did Satan fall for a love of money? Did David commit adultery for a love of money?

    I don't think so...

    Rand

    Christ Jesus died for me.
     
  11. Skandelon

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    He didn't. It was always apart of his plan to take the good news to the world, but it wasn't TIME until he had accomplished his purpose while here on earth.
     
  12. Skandelon

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    So, who is predestined? And what are they predestined to?

    Lovers of God or believers are predestined to be conformed the the image of Christ and to be adopted as His sons. Neither of those had been accomplished in Paul's life up to that point. He was still waiting with hope for what he, as a lover of God, had been predestined to. This says nothing about God predestining certain people to become believers, it only tells us what believers are predestined to become.

    Of course not. That is not what I said. What is true of believers is usually true of apostles but not everything that is true of the apostles is true of all believers, you would agree with that wouldn't you? You don't think we have the same authority and gifting they had, do you? In the same way, I don't believe our calling was quite the same. They are the "firstfruits" that the scripture speaks of and from the Jewish lineage, called for a divine purpose. Read Galatians and you will see that Paul refers to his unique calling and being set apart as reason for his apostolic authority, yet you would have us believe we are all "set apart from birth" in the same manner. That only undermines the uniqueness of his authority.

    It's so simple that the church has been split over the issue for hundreds of years. It seems to me that the context makes it clear that he is speaking about all of God's people (believers).

    Amen. Both are bought by the blood of Jesus! It's their calling that differs.
     
  13. npetreley

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    The text itself says those He foreknew, not those who love Him, are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Do those He foreknew love Him? Of course. But if you dissect this passage, you'll see everything hinges upon those He foreknew.

    28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

    Who loves God? Those who are called. Who are called?

    Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called;

    Whom did He predestine, and for what did He predestine them?

    29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    Whom did He foreknow? You are concluding that He foreknew those who would love Him, but this passage equates those who love Him with those who are called according to His purpose. And He calls those He predestined. And He predestined those He foreknew.

    So your conclusion is placed upon the text, not drawn from it.
     
  14. Skandelon

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    npetreley,

    I agree that it is those God foreknew that he predestined, but the question is what causes his foreknowledge of them. It could be argued that he foreknew them because they are those who believed and loved God and were glorified and spent eternity with him, which to God is the same as today. He knew them because of the results of their faith in response to his calling, justification and glorification.

    NOTE: I'm not arguing that God merely foresaw the faith of certain ones and predestined them accordingly. Instead, I'm arguing that God foreknew them because of their love/belief, which is what lead to their eternal glorification and ultimately God's intimate knowledge of them.
     
  15. npetreley

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    The latter assertion is a tautology. The word translated "foreknew" means "knew in advance" in terms of intimacy (as to know one's wife). To say that God foreknew them (proginosko) because of their love for Him (and obviously His love for them) is to say that God foreknew them because He foreknew them. As such, it adds nothing to the debate concerning free will or election.

    Scripture describes the cascading subset in the following order: foreknew -&gt; predestined -&gt; called -&gt; justified -&gt; glorified. Those He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Those He predestined to be conformed, He called. Those He called, He justifed. Those He justified, He glorified. Since "those who love Him" are "those called according to His purpose", this passage is quite clear in affirming election.
     
  16. Rand

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    AMEN npetreley !!!!

    I was going to reply pretty much what you put down. I'm going to abstain from more posts for awhile...pride becomes a problem for me when I get into lengthy debates.

    God Bless

    Rand

    Christ Jesus Died For Me
     
  17. Skandelon

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    At the risk complicating this further let's take this from another perspective:

    Think about the major issues Paul is dealing with during his day and even more specifically as he writes in Romans 8-11. I dare say that the soterilogical debate topic of the day was not Calvinism versus Arminianism, but it was Jews versus Gentiles. This was the fight Paul was fighting daily.

    Where the Gentiles being called by God? Had God determined them to be apart of his plan of redemption? Was God for them or against them? These are the questions Paul is addressing in this passage, not the questions we presume in our modern debate.

    Now, in that context it would be easy to understand how Paul might refer to all things working for good to those who love God, yes for both Jews and Gentiles who have been called. Yes, those God foreknew from the beginning of time would here the gospel truth, both from the Jews and the Gentiles, they (believers from BOTH the Jews and the Gentiles) were predestined to be conformed to Christ image as they were called, justified (through faith, which is understood) and glorified. This interpretation would explain why Paul goes on to show how Christ gave himself up for us all, both Jews and Gentiles and that if he is for us it doesn't matter if certain people don't believe our people (Gentiles) were chosen or not, "if God is for us who can be against us" afterall. This leads right into the discourse in Romans 9 in which he addresses the very issue of why Jews are not believing and Gentiles are as he wishes himself accused for the sake of his Jewish brethern. Then goes on to explain how God hasn't changed what he predetermined long ago by showing how men are justified through faith and not by being born to a certain family.
     

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