Sought After God

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by PreachTony, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. PreachTony

    PreachTony
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    **Disclaimer: I'm placing this thread here in the Calvinism/Arminianism Debate thread, though if the mods feel another forum is a better place, I will understand if it is moved.**

    The first of the Five Points of Calvinism, as we all know, is Total Depravity. Some, though I'm not sure how many on this board, claim that Total Depravity renders man completely incapable of seeking after God. Now, we can of course argue the true extent of Total Depravity; whether it applies only to repentance and salvation, or if it applies to all aspects of man failing to seek God.

    My personal experience with Calvinists has tended toward the latter, as many of the Calvinists I've spoken to in person claim that man is so depraved he cannot possibly seek after God in any aspect of his life. (NOTE: When I say "personal experience with Calvinists, I mean to say those Calvinists with whom I've spoken in person.) I'm curious what the Calvinists and non-Calvinists here think concerning the ability to seek God. I know this will probably open the door to snippiness and terseness, but I do ask that we respectfully talk about this topic, if possible.

    I know many supports of Calvinism turn to Romans 3:10-12 to prove Total Depravity:
    But all the way back in the time of David, we see the psalmist writing the following:
    This scripture reveals a man capable of seeking after God, and crying out to God.

    Jumping forward to the Gospels, we see a very specific episode found in all four Gospels.
    In each of these gospel stories, we see a woman who made the choice to seek after Jesus for healing, believing that Jesus could heal her. The understanding that I have of Total Depravity, per the information gleaned from speaking to Calvinists, would render this woman incapable of deciding within herself to seek after Jesus. Total Depravity would stop the psalmist from seeking after God, and crying out to God.

    But then we see Paul standing atop Mars' Hill in Athens, in the Areopagus, referring to the various altars and inscriptions all around him, and he launched into a sermon about the UNKNOWN GOD. In speaking to a crowd that was, in all likelihood, non-Jewish and non-Christian, Paul said the following:
    If man is completely incapable of seeking after God, then why would Paul, seemingly preaching in the Spirit, say that men should "seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from" them?

    Again, I'm curious what you guys think about this topic. I would like to keep this thread civil. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. JamesL

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    In fairness, David was a believer when he sought God. And he sought deliverance from fear, and rescue from his enemies. Not conversion.

    And the woman sought a physical healing, not conversion

    But Acts 17, you have a point. Paul was on an evangelistic mission, speaking to men who were very religious, even having an altar to an unknown God.
     
  3. savedbymercy

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    None by Nature Seeks God !

    Rom 3:11

    11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

    So with that as an established fact of scripture, how do we explain portions of scripture that seem to indicate that men do seek after the True God ?

    Its really quite simple, those who actually do seek after the True God are not in nature, they have been born again, that is the driving impulse in them that seeks after the True God !

    Man by nature has minds that are enmity against God, not seeking for Him Rom 8:7

    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    All mens minds by nature are carnal and so its enmity AGAINST GOD !
     
  4. convicted1

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    Look at it like this, Brother Tony. I went to a wake last week. I got there kinda early and there was a big crowd. After the service, I was speaking to a wonderful married couple who belonged to a local FWB church. The wake was at a funeral home about 50-55 miles from my house. It was a Godly and goodly talk. They made mention that the crowd shrank about the time services started.

    That's what I tell people all the time. Those people left of their own accord, no one forced them to leave. Unless God intercedes on their behalf, they get 'the heck outta dodge' every time...
     
  5. convicted1

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    In the Acts 17 passage, Paul stated 'In Him we live, move and have our being'...that's not referring to the lost. In verse 30, God has commanded 'all men everywhere to repent'. Seeing repentance is a gift of God, and His gifts and calling are without repentance, then how does this jive with all peoples, even those who died never knowing Jesus existed, how can they repent?
     
  6. savedbymercy

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    That Command is also not to the Lost ! Its restricted to the saved, born again men everywhere, Paul was just Preaching Repentance in Christ's Name as the Apostles had been commissioned Lk 24:46-47

    46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

    47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations[everywhere], beginning at Jerusalem.

    The Only Ones commanded to repent are the ones having remission of sins, who are already Justified before God because of Christ's Death and Resurrection Rom 4:25

    25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    The Command[To Repent] is for those whom the Resurrection of Christ evidenced their Justification !

    Now I hope you understand what I am stating here !
     
  7. convicted1

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    That's what I said, just not in so many words. :confused:
     
  8. BobRyan

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    While that is true - how do you know that their "ability to seek after God" is not a supernatural result of God "convicting the WORLD of sin and righteousness and judgment" John 16 and God "drawing all men unto Him" John 12:32??

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. savedbymercy

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    Ok ! I added my comments, i hope that is ok ?
     
  10. convicted1

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    Saw'right....

    Why all the (!!!)?
     
  11. savedbymercy

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    It is Supernatural, the New Birth ! The World is the Church, its not the Lost World, its the Saved World !

    You cannot change the fact that those by nature do not seek God Rom 3:11

    11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

    Now if its Supernatural, then thats different, it goes beyond the natural ! The very word supernatural means:

    of, pertaining to, or caused by forces separate from or superior to what are considered natural laws.

    Now are you suggesting that even if God Supernaturally Draws men to Christ, that they still dont come to Him ? Yes or No !
     
  12. BobRyan

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    All 3 actions are supernatural. Your error is that you "assume" God cannot do the first two supernatural events without also having to cause the New Birth.

    It is an assumption on your part that has never been demonstrated to be true - in fact the scriptures listed about God drawing lost prove your assumption to be flawed.

    Just not in the actual Bible.

    Agreed - the drawing of ALL -- is beyond the natural.

    "He came to HIS OWN and HIS OWN received Him not" John 1:11

    The answer in the actual Bible is obviously yes.
     
  13. savedbymercy

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    br

    Now you lying on me !

    Thats just blasphemy, to suggest man can resist the Supernatural Power of God, you are actually claiming that the natural power of man is more powerful than the Suprnatural Power of God, again Blasphemy !

    Where does that verse say that the natural power of man is more powerful than the Supernatural Power of God ? Your statement is Blasphemous ! In fact, I have nothing else to say to such a Blasphemous person like yourself !
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    Paul is letting them know God is everywhere present, they are responsible to seek Him, judgment is coming.
    Jesus commented on mans ability , and mans willingness to come-

    44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
    38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate
     
  15. savedbymercy

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    Paul is not speaking of the natural man to seek after God. Paul knows that the carnal natural man is emnity towards God Rom 8:7

    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    Therefore Pauls appeal is to the Spiritually minded by New Birth ! In fact its to the Offspring of God Acts 17:28-29

    28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

    29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

    Now carnal men in the flesh are not the Offspring of God !
     
  16. PreachTony

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    If man is completely powerless to resist the Spirit of God, then why was the scripture given to us that says "Quench not the Spirit"?
     
  17. PreachTony

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    Fair points, Brother Icon, but as we've discussed before, that very scripture (Matthew 23) carried with it the implication that men had the choice to come to God, but they were not willing to. The Bible shows us examples of men coming to God, even though the world around them was filled with depravity and villainy.
     
  18. Sapper Woody

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    My own testimony goes completely contrary to Calvinism, in my opinion, and is why I can never subscribe to it.



    I was lost and on my way to hell. Yet i thought I was ok. I grew up in church, and knew all the verses about salvation and repentance. I had just never applied it to my own life. I felt the conviction of the HS everytime a sermon on hell was preached. But my pride was in the way.



    I served in my church. I sang in the choir, I had a bus route, I went soul winning. I led dozens of people to the Lord; all while lost myself. Finally, one service I'd had enough running, and accepted Christ as my savior. He didn't force Himself on me. He had patience to keep drawing me until I came to Him.
     
  19. OldRegular

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    Why did Jesus Christ keep drawing you? You obviously were resisting/rebelling! Why doesn't He draw ALL as He drew you? That is the question!
     
  20. Sapper Woody

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    I believe He does. At one point in every person's life, there will be a chance to get saved, where He draws them. If they refuse too long, He doesn't draw anymore; hence "no man can come unless he is drawn" (paraphrase). A person can't just decide to be saved. There has to be a drawing. But all men will get drawn. It doesn't mean only some can get saved. It means that you can't just decide to at anytime.



    Where it gets hairy is those who never hear the gospel. I believe that God, in His foreknowledge, knows who would respond positively, and makes sure that those people get a chance.



    But, to use your words, I resisted Him. For almost 18 years. So, there goes irresistible grace. I tried to please Him as a lost man, and understood salvation for years, but pride kept me from accepting Him. So there goes total inability.
     

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