The Bible is God's message to all or only some?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by menageriekeeper, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    From Skandelon's thread on Romans 11:

    Forget the whole C/A arguement for the moment and lets talk about this.

    I realize that in the past I've heard stories where the unsaved person says the Bible is all confusing and too difficult to understand and the preacher tells him that he's been reading someone's mail, but I've never put that story into the light of:

    God's words are only for His people--meaning those who are saved (and remember I don't care how they got that way!).

    Now that I stop to think about it, the reason I have never connected the two is because John says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God". And if that be so and if God really "loved the world", then that Word must then be for the guidance of the world.

    So, how does one scripturally support the belief that the scriptures could only apply to the saved and then in light of that answer my next question:

    What does the belief that scripture only applies to the saved say for Christianity's view that if only the whole world would follow Biblical precepts we be in a better postion? If the Bible doesn't apply to the unsaved, why do we fight politically to force it on them?
     
  2. Skandelon

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    Is the Bible for the unsaved?

    No and Yes.

    No: I believe much of the scripture's teaching are meant for believers. Passages that teach about the church leadership, church discipline, and deep theological concepts are clearly written to the church and would be of little use to an unbeliever.

    Yes: The gospel, the message of reconciliation, is meant for "every creature."

    As Paul clearly states in 2 Cor:
    14 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation

    Even most Calvinists affirm the universal nature of the gospel's message. Only people like Pinoy, a PB, would deny something like this. There are WAY too many scriptures calling us to go to ALL PEOPLE and preach the gospel to think that God hasn't meant his gospel for all to hear.

    I hope that addresses your question. Thanks
     
  3. Cypress

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    One cannot support scripturally the premise in question one. Bear in mind that question two is asked only in light of scripture. God created man in His image and man has a pre-scriptural history( before having a literal,physical bible). All men have the knowledge of good and evil. Men as groups (nations, tribes,cultures,families...etc) and as individuals are at any time more or less good or evil and they know it. Scripture is able to show the failure of men living apart from God in sin and contrasts it with His intent for man in Christ. Expecting lost men to live less evilly is difficult if temporal as well as eternal constraints aren't in place. The bible is the best source to find both solutions.
     
  4. Theopolis

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    I find this to be a very interesting question ....

    I know the author to the Epistle of 1 John stated ................

    1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God

    That statement in and of itself would exclude non-believers as the intended audience.


    .
     
  5. Jon-Marc

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    So the words "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" are only FOR the saved? The lost can know they are lost and need to be saved ONLY through the hearing of the gospel.

    True, the rest of the scriptures are not meant for those who are spiritually deaf and blind, but they can only realize their need to be born again after hearing the word of God and then being convicted by the Holy spirit through those words. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17
     
    #5 Jon-Marc, Feb 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2010
  6. Amy.G

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    Why are Calvinists so obsessed with excluding people?
     
  7. Theopolis

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    You will have to ask a Calvinist.
    I can't answer for them.

    Why did the Jews want to exclude non-Jews?
     
  8. kyredneck

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    Pinoy's claim is not without scriptural merit:

    Romans:
    Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.....To all that are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I Corinthians:
    Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours:

    2 Corinthians:
    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints that are in the whole of Achaia:

    Galatians:
    Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead), and all the brethren that are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:

    Ephesians:
    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:

    Philippians:
    Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

    Colossians:
    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ that are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

    1 Thessalonians:
    Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

    2 Thessalonians:
    Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ;

    1 Timothy:
    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Saviour, and Christ Jesus our hope; unto Timothy, my true child in faith: Grace, mercy, peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

    2 Timothy:
    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Titus:
    Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God`s elect, and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,......to Titus, my true child after a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.

    Philemon:
    Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved and fellow-worker, and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house:

    Hebrews:
    .....Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling,.....

    James:
    James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion, greeting. Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations;

    1 Peter:
    Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

    2 Peter:
    Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and the Saviour Jesus Christ:

    1 John:
    These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God.

    2 John:
    The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not I only, but also all they that know the truth;

    3 John:
    The elder unto Gaius the beloved, whom I love in truth.

    Jude:
    Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:

    Revelations:
    1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John;
     
  9. menageriekeeper

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    Power. Access to God. Or at best, simply intolorable of change.

    But I'd hate to accuse the Calvinists of such unGodly beliefs.

    Amy brings up a new question though.

    Is this a belief held by Calvinists alone, or are there nonCals that believe the Bible is only for believers? Keep the answers in context! No debating any other point of C/A except as it relates to the OP.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    Based on your posts, I assumed you were a Calvinist.
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    I will try, altho it may prove impossible, not because I insist but because what I say will be based on what I believe, and how
    you react will be based on how you believe.

    The preacher was right. Allow me to share a little testimony.
    When I was first converted I walked forward because I wanted to read the free KJV New Testament that the church was giving
    away to those who will come forward and "receive Christ as Savior". I wasnt' interested in that, I still thought I was too much of a hardcore
    Marxist cadre fighting the dictatorship to believe in metaphysics, but I was curious about this Christ, and the dialectical inside
    me said find out about him in that book. Not that I've never read a Bible, but didn't pay too much attention to them and to the
    Person called Christ considering the way I was raised.
    Well, when I got home I started reading that NT and let me tell you that many phrases and words leapt out like they were
    bolded and raised, and with no one teaching me anything, no cross-referencing or anything, I knew then and there that
    notwithstanding what I was, and who I am at that point, or past, if Christ had come back at that point in time I will be among the
    many who will be where He is.
    I knew exactly what grace meant.
    Faith ?
    I had so little of it at that point, except what was necessary for me to trust Christ for my soul.
    Guilt ?
    Loads of it before then, there would have been none, but the church and the brethren I fell in made me feel less and less
    secure in my faith as time went on.

    Answering this would require a whole new forum of its own, and I am almost sure the meaning of the word "world" or the scope of what "world" means in relation to redemption and God's word, is one of the horses that have been beaten to a pulp in this board, and probably revived and beaten again.

    I think the more proper term would be "Christendom's" view.
    There are other Christians who do not share the same worldview (for lack of a better term).
    And that is a good question.
    The fact is that like any other worldview, if the Christian world view is adopted and promoted, it can better a corrupt world.
    First, the Bible has principles that may generally apply to any individual.
    For example, the principle of hard work, and the rewards of hard work.
    The lazy, slothful Christian cannot expect to be materially better than the hardworking unbeliever.
    Then there are the principles of treating other people fairly and honestly, of masters (bosses) treating their slaves (employees) well.
    Of children respecting their parents, and parents not giving their children occassion to be contemptous of them.
    However, we need to understand that what the Bible says is simply to live peaceably with others, it doesn't tell us to force this issue on human government.
    In fact, what it says is to obey and submit to the authorities, except if what they require is disobedience to God.
    I have provided Scripture (Romans 15:4 and 1Corinthians 10:10-11) that specifically says that whatsover things were written were written for OUR admonition (not the world's).
    This is one of the reasons I don't buy the idea of telling the world, for example, that abortion is wrong, on the basis of Scripture because the world doesn't care about Scripture, it doesn't understand Scripture, it has no love for God's word, or God's people, it is a fallen, already condemned world, rotten to the core, and the only reason God has not destroyed it so far is because He has people on this world. Think of what Jesus told the disciples: Ye are the salt of the earth.
    And of Abraham pleading with God on behalf of Lot: if you find one righteous man will you destroy the city ?
    And God's answer: for one righteous man, I will not.
    Now, that man, of course, is righteous because he is seen as righteous in Christ.
    Lot can hardly be a righteous man, by this world's standards, and by some in Christendom's, of what righteousness is.
    So I don't think we have to fight politically to enforce God's word and standards on this fallen world which is just awaiting the execution of judgment on it.
    This world is not God's kingdom, His people's hearts are His kingdom, which is why many Calvinists and Doctrine of Grace adherent say Christ is ruling now, and this is His millenium, when this millenium is over, and He is the One who says when it is over, this world shall be renewed.
    Everything corrupt about it will be removed, and replaced.
    Not the best answers right now, but I will continue on trying to provide answers.
    But I trust there are others on here, who have better answers.
     
    #11 pinoybaptist, Feb 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2010
  12. menageriekeeper

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    Okay, I can give on the point that certain books of the Bible pertain to the believer than the unsaved, BUT

    A good many of those references that you gave point strictly to those books only pertaining to believers belonging to certain churches. Using the same logic it appears you are using, and scripture only, why should we apply the teachings of those books to those who don't belong to the individual churches identified in the book? We do so through tradition, but is tradition enough if we are going to deny God's words to unbelievers (arguably the very group who needs them most)?
     
  13. Amy.G

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    I think the scriptures were primarily written to God's people, but for the benefit of all.

    I have heard of many people being saved through reading the scriptures. The gospel is clearly presented through all of the bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

    We lead people to Christ through the word of God. They can certainly be led to Christ through reading it for themselves.
     
  14. menageriekeeper

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    So what you are saying that scripture in the hand of an avowed Marxist led to his salvation?(and I don't care if your definition of salvation means that you simply hadn't been convinced of it yet) But you were reading words that didn't pertain to you(being at that point an unbeliever)? Do you see the contradiction that I see?

    As far as I personally am concerned, in the scope of the human experience, it doesn't matter if world means world or if it describes some group within it. We humans can't possibly know who will or won't be chosen and from that viewpoint should consider the scriptures as God's words to all. all=each and every individual human with access to the written word and encompasses those who don't by the revelation of creation itself

    I see no reason for any to have a different viewpoint. I'm so convinced of this that I really can't fathom why anyone would, hence the OP. I feel the need to understand the other side or at least hear the arguement.
     
  15. kyredneck

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    The bottom line; without the Spirit, the Book is just letters on paper.

    32 And they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures?
    45 Then opened he their mind, that they might understand the scriptures; Lu 24
     
  16. OldRegular

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    That is a ridiculous statement. Those who believe in the Doctrines of Grace exclude no one.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    Translation: Those who believe in the Doctrines of Grace exclude no one "of the elect."
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    Actually, no contradictions there. I was understanding the words because the Spirit enabled me to understand them, not because of some innate intelligence in me. Like kyredneck said, without the Spirit, the Bible is just another book.
    I have seen topnotch lawyers trying to make sense of Scripture and couldn't, and like I said, what I know now I learnt from sitting under the leadership of a countryboy preacher, who by his own admission, never got past the third grade.
    So, and again I have pointed out that it is impossible not to venture into the realm of C/A, the Spirit having quickened me (explaining my desire to know more about Jesus) He also instructed me on things I should learn at that point of His time.
    No contradictions.

    Up to this point I have no quarrel. No one knows who the elect are. No one was there when God wrote their names in the Lamb's Book of Life. The fact that cannot be denied is that God DOES HAVE His elect people and He is very partial to them, and this love, or partiality is from eternity past.

    Well, then, your question should be directed to the Lord. I did not give my personal opinion. I quoted Scripture, and if you feel you are offended by it, or perplexed by it, then I can go no further. I don't know if you even read the Scriptures I quoted, since many Baptists don't even bother to look up Scripture, and I don't mean that as a reflection on you, just an observation I have had for a long time.
    Well here are the Scriptures:

    Romans 15:4 (in context)
    We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written , The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

    1 Corinthians 10:1-11 (in context)

    1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant , how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them : and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased : for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted . 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written , The people sat down to eat and drink , and rose up to play . 8 Neither let us commit fornication , as some of them committed , and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted , and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye , as some of them also murmured , and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come .


    Like I said, it's not my personal viewpoint. I quoted Scripture, and your problem then passes from me, to the Spirit who had these Scriptures penned.
     
    #18 pinoybaptist, Feb 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2010
  19. pinoybaptist

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    In your post for discussion of Romans 11, you challenged me to find any post where you have treated anyone with disrespect and I said with 2000 posts I figure it shouldn't be hard to look for at least one post (or words to that effect).
    Well, it looks like I don't have to sift through 2000 posts.
    You just disrespected those who hold on to the Doctrine of Grace by implying that we are promoting exclusivity without Scriptural basis and have misrepresented what the Doctrine of Grace teaches.
    I guess that blows my desire to study Romans 11 with you out of the water.
    bye, skandelon, I guess Dr. Bob was right.
    you are what you are, and your own subtility will expose you.
    Dr. van Helsing rides on.
     
  20. Winman

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    The scriptures are for everyone, 100% of mankind.

    1 Tim 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

    Contrary to what some teach here, the scriptures teach that God wills that all men be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth. The only way any person can know the truth is through the written word of God, the scriptures. Yes, they can learn from preaching and personal testimony, but that too must be grounded on the written scriptures.

    Has anybody noticed how many times Jesus said, "it is written"? Jesus constantly answered those who opposed him from written scripture. Hopefully a few listened.

    Matt 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
    4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
    5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
    6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
    7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
    8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
    9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
    10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.


    Jesus trusted the accuracy of scripture and used it many times to refute and rebuke those in error. He used it to educate those who wanted to learn of God, he used it to lead men to salvation. Notice in vs. 6 that Satan tried to use the scriptures to tempt Jesus to sin, so we must always be on guard against men who try to do the same.

    2 Tim 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


    How can the scriptures make a person who is already saved wise unto salvation? So, the scriptures are there to teach those who want to know how to be saved, rebuke those evil and wicked men who oppose it, and to perfect those who already believe. The scriptures are for everyone.
     
    #20 Winman, Feb 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2010

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