So what about the Rich Young Ruler?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Paul of Eugene, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    OK Calvinist brothers, I have a question for you about this passage.

    Mark 10:17-22 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

    And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

    Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
    KJV


    I have a sneaking suspiscion that some of the differences between us non-calvinists and the calvanistic persuasion are in definitions and word usage only! So could some staunch Calvanist please address how, in Calvanistic terms, you choose to deal with the fact that this rich young ruler was (a) beloved by Jesus and yet (b) allowed to reject God. Wouldn't Jesus choose to elect the one He loves? I'm hoping to gain some insight into Calvanistic thinking by your replies to this post - thank you in advance.
     
  2. russell55

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    No one has ever called me "staunch" before!

    There is a sense in which God loves every single person, but He does not love every single person with a saving sort of love.

    Here is a question from that passage for you: Jesus says that only God is good. How can a good choice originate in someone who is not good? If only God is good, doesn't a good choice have to have its origin in God?
     
  3. Yelsew

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    1. What a foolish statement Russell55, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten, that whosoever believeth in him.... Your statement says, "For God so loved the elect that he gave his only begotten son, that he makes the elect believe in him..." Give us a break!

    Yes, God is the only existence that is Good. But that doesn't keep his created man from choosing to be good through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Why do you insist that good choices come only from God? There is nothing in scripture that makes that declaration! Man can do nothing to save himself, but man can believe and make the deliberate choice to confess Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah and thereby be saved!

    The rich young man exhibited greed, he had everything one could want, but Jesus was offering something he did not have, so he sought out Jesus to find out how to get eternal life. Upon discovering that he, and he alone, would have to give up his wealth and probably his status in society, he chose to keep what he had, thus losing that which he did not have.
     
  4. russell55

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    No, my statement doesn't say that. One of the ways God shows his benevolent love to all mankind is by making a genuine offer of salvation to all. Providing a means by which anyone who believes can be saved is a loving act toward all mankind.

    I do believe, however, that God loves His people with a special love, so that "even when we were dead in sin (just like everyone else), he gave us life and seated us with Christ in the heavenly realms--all because we are one with Jesus Christ--so that God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of His favor and kindness, as shown in all he has done for us....'

    Because I agree with the statement you made above. The good choice to follow Christ comes from through the work of the Spirit--it originates in the work of the only one who is good.
     
  5. Dualhunter

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    I'm not a Calvinist but this Calvinist definition of Total Depravity answers your question:

    Man is extensively sinful and hence cannot be called good. However man is not necessarily intensively sinful and so he can do good things, his sin prevents him from being declared good by God because no matter how many good things man does, the taint of his sin is still there. So while man who is dead in sin cannot save himself because his sin prevents him from ever being good enough (i.e. perfectly good, worthy of being declared good), he can accept what God has done to pay for man's sin and thus be declared good by God because of God's mercy and grace.
     
  6. npetreley

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    Do you know if the rich young ruler was among the elect? If so, do you have the rest of his biography and therefore know for a fact that God never enabled him to overcome his dependence upon his wealth? Jesus said it was extremely hard for the rich, He didn't say it was impossible or wouldn't happen.
     
  7. russell55

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    No, it doesn't answer my question. Total depravity being extensive rather than intensive does not mean that we can do anything truly good of ourselves. It simply means that we are not all as evil as we could be.

    Extensive depravity means that every part of us is tainted by evil, therefore anything that originates in any part of us is also tainted by evil, and therfore not truly good.
     
  8. russell55

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    Good point. One rejection is not proof that someone is not elect. The only proof that someone is not elect is if they die without faith.

    In fact, He says with God it is possible.
     
  9. Yelsew

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    Russell55,
    Salvation comes to those who believe. "Faith (belief) cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". It can be argued that the Holy Spirit causes one to believe, but I rather think it is knowledge (awareness) of truth that causes one to believe, and the Holy Spirit is the witness to that truth to the one who hears (accepts) the Word.

    Rejection of the witness of the Holy Spirit, prevents the truth from being revealed, leaving the one exposed to the Word incapable of believing (accepting) the truth and thereby being saved. The human must make the choice to believe, the Holy Spirit does not force belief upon us!
     
  10. russell55

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    If it is knowledge of the truth that CAUSES (your word) one to believe, and that knowledge comes via the witness of the Holy Spirit, then belief does not ORIGINATE in sinful man, but rather originates from the work of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that the faith is not our own faith, only that our own faith does not originate within us, but rather originates with the work of the third person of the only One who is good.

    [ November 08, 2002, 09:34 PM: Message edited by: russell55 ]
     
  11. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    OK we're starting to get some insights here. We don't see yet the full life of this man. Is it the concensus of the Calvanists here that the Rich Young Ruler, being loved by Christ, must inevevitably at some point of his life been irresistably drawn to salvation in Christ? Or is it rather the consensus that he might be loved but still left undrawn to eternal life? And if that is possible, would that imply Jesus met people in the days of His flesh he did not love? For example, did He not love Judas?
    Thank you brothers for bearing with my questions.
     
  12. Rev. G

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    God has not only a decretive will (will of decree; hidden will; whatever He purposes will come to pass) and a will of disposition. Through Ezekiel God declares He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Jesus loved the Rich Young Ruler.

    May we weep over not only people, but cities! May we love as Jesus loved, not in word only, but in deed and truth.

    Rev. G
     
  13. Yelsew

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    That is not what I said Russell55, and you know it. Knowledge is what persuades and/or dissuades our beliefs. Witnesses to knowledge, affirm our belief.
    Let me say this. Secular things that you place your trust in, and you do trust many secular things, do not receive your trust because some supernatural power caused you to trust. You trust based on knowledge and not supernatural intervention. Why is faith in God different? You indicate that one cannot have faith in God unless God is the one who instills that faith. I agree that long term faith in God requires the Holy Spirit's intervention, but you must first come to the point where you can be influenced by the Holy spirit and that takes knowledge. Knowledge derived from the Word of God.
     
  14. npetreley

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    It is the concensus of this one believer in election that we don't know anything except what's written about this fellow and that it's pointless to speculate. I learn a lesson from this passage about the seduction and deceitfulness of wealth and worldy things. IMO, that's what it's about.
     
  15. npetreley

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    Here's one reason:

    The natural man knows that when he works for a week he gets a paycheck, thus he develops faith in that natural cause and effect. But -- without the enabling power of God -- he's about as likely to develop faith in God from reading the Bible as he is to develop faith in hobbits from reading Lord of the Rings.

    Knowledge of the Word has no effect without the enabling power of God (see above quote from 1 Cor 2).
     
  16. Yelsew

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    NO! The rich young man came to Jesus to obtain that which he did not already have, he was greedy, did not understand what Christ was offering him. When told what he had to do to be ready to receive what Christ was offering he went away sadly because he had much, and no means of comparison to what what was being offered. I do not believe that he was drawn to Jesus for any other reason. Thus the scripture is true that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.
    He was drawn by that which he did not have, in order to obtain it as he did any of his other valuables. Does God's love extent to ones such as this? Absolutely, it grieves God's heart that man, any man, refuses to give up that which he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose.
     
  17. Yelsew

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    Wrong! I knew nothing of the Spirit until I gained knowledge from the word and became willing to have the spirit reveal the rest of the truth to me, through my belief.
     
  18. npetreley

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    Wrong! I knew nothing of the Spirit until I gained knowledge from the word and became willing to have the spirit reveal the rest of the truth to me, through my belief.</font>[/QUOTE]I'm not sure what more I can say. Perhaps now that you know of the Spirit, you can ask the Spirit to explain to you what 1 Corinthians 2:14 means. ;)
     
  19. russell55

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    It is possible that the rich young ruler might be drawn at some point, and it is also possible that he might not. We just don't know.

    Christ had a real love for all those He came in contact with--although He had a special love for those who were His sheep.
     
  20. russell55

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    Wrong! The full assurance (or belief) that the gospel is true comes from the Holy Spirit.

    We know that God loves you dear brothers and sisters, and that He chose you to be his own people, because when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words, but with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true.... (1 Thes. 1:4,5)

    Belief comes not through the word alone, but when the word meets the revealing work of the Holy Spirit.
     

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