The Greatness of God's Mercy

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by icthus, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. icthus

    icthus
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    The Greatness of God’s Mercy, is found in the remarkable account of Jonah, which I suggest that all Calvinists read. For here they will find, that their theory that God only loves and cares for a certain “elect” people, is not based upon the Holy Word of God.

    We read in verse 2 of chapter 1, that God tells Jonah to “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." But, we all know that Jonah, being a Calvinist, was not too concerned with the salvation of these lost souls, as they were not part of the “elect”, and therefore he got on to a ship going in the opposite direction, to run away from God, as his duty to proclaim the Gospel to these people. God, we read, had other plans.

    We read in the beginning of the third chapter, that God again said to Jonah to go and preach to these wicked people. Jonah, as we can read in the story, went with a heavy heart. We are then told, “And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" (v.4). How did these people respond? We read on: “So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?” ( verses 5-9) How then did God respond to the peoples actions? We read on: “Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it” (v.10). Note: “God saw their works”.

    But, wait for it, remember that Jonah the Calvinist, was not having any of this, for we read, “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry” (4:1), and he complained to the Lord, “So he prayed to the LORD, and said, "Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm” (v.2). We then read of the plant that God prepared to protect Jonah from the sun, and the worm that God also prepared to destroy the same plant.(verses 6-9), and again this Calvinist complained to God for what He did. “But the LORD said, "You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night” (v10)

    But the verse that sums up the Greatness of the Mercy of God, is found in the final words that the Lord had for Jonah: “And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?" (v.11)

    Some facts

    1. God, in His abundant Mercy, asked Jonah to go to preach the Gospel of Salvation of these wicked people of Nineveh.
    2. Even though Jonah though he could run away and frustrate the plans of God for this great city, God nonetheless, through some extreme measures as we read of them in the whole book, ensured that this message of hope was finally brought to these hopeless people.
    3. We are told that the kind ordered all his subjects, “from the greatest to the least of them”, to repent before the Lord as a direct response to the preaching of Jonah. In the hope that God would see them and have mercy on them.
    4. We then read that this is exactly what God did do, “Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it”
    5. We then see God rebuke Jonah for his care for a plant that he had no control over its growth or destruction, and that he cared no for the salvation of these hopeless people.
    6. Finally, we read of how God had pity on this great city, where we are told that everyone, “from the greatest to the least of them” were saved.

    No one who is honest with themselves, can ever doubt the Greatness of the Mercy of God, when we read of the measures that God took to ensure the salvation of these wicked sinners. Does any assume that all of these were “elect”; or, do we read from these whole account in this great book, that God’s love for mankind in NOT LIMITED by our theological bias.

    Calvinist, how do you respond to God’s Great love and mercy for these sinners? Are you saying that after the Cross, that God has changed His view of Salvation?
     
  2. whatever

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    I praise His name for it.

    No. I am saying, for what feels like the 1,000th time, that you don't know what Calvinists believe. You prove it by asking questions like this one.
     
  3. russell55

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    Misrepresentation #1.
    Calvinists don't believe that God only loves and cares for a certain elect people.

    Misrepresentation #2
    Calvinist are very concerned with the salvation of lost souls.

    Misrepresentation #3
    Calvinists love it when God shows mercy to sinners, because they understand how much mercy they have been shown.

    I think it's wonderful whenever God spares someone from judgment.

    No.

    Is starting this thread a diversionary tactic to avoid admitting you've been backed into a corner on another one you started?
     
  4. icthus

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    Is starting this thread a diversionary tactic to avoid admitting you've been backed into a corner on another one you started?

    Like which one?

    You guys pretend that you believe that God loves and cares for everyone. Yet, when it come to texts such as John 3:16, you would have us believe that "world" does not refer to "everyone without exception". That "the whole world" of 1 John 2:2 only means the "elect".

    Quit playing games and start to deal with the real facts as found in Scripture. If you say that you are a Calvinist, then know what they believe, because they will tell you that God hates the non-elect, and will try to prove this heresy from passages like Romans 9:13, etc. Get your facts right and then come back.

    I have not got into any "corner" as you put it. Everything I post here I can fully back up and defend.
     
  5. whetstone

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    The story of Jonah is a triumph for calvinism actually. God had a plan for the people of Ninevah. He was obviously pretty certain they would repent because He went through so much trouble to get Jonah to go there. If Ninevah could have gotten saved without God's leading, why was Jonah necessary at all? God must have also been working in the hearts of the Ninevites to prepare them for the message from Jonah.

    Let's ponder this: God had elected every person in that city and Jonah wouldn't accept that. God ASSURED jonah that these people would be saved, but Jonah wanted to prevent God's will by his own selfish desires. Sounds to me that Jonah was more of a self-willed arminian to me. If he had been in submission to God's election in the first place he wouldn't have had such a hard time of it. Sure enough, God saved whom He had set out to save, and His will was accomplished. Surely an entire city coming to repentance is an act of God.

    To find Arminianism in this story is a thing of a baser sort. I shiver to think of how you must butcher other passages.
     
  6. icthus

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    Whetstone, what do you mean by: "He was obviously pretty certain they would repent" Did not God know for sure? Is it a guessing game for Him?

    You say, "The story of Jonah is a triumph for calvinism actually". Are you suggesting that the entire city was "elect" then? Wow, this has got to be a first and last. For NO record in history shows this, not even elsewhere in the entire Bible. Come on, get real!
     
  7. whetstone

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    I was being fecetious. Of course God knew for sure. That's why He told Jonah to go in the first place. What if Calvinism weren't true? God could have put Jonah in that fish only to have the entire city reject Him out of their free will!

    Of course they were elect. They got saved didn't they? Phil. 1:29 says our belief comes from God and Jonah says they had belief. Case closed.
     
  8. icthus

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    I was being fecetious. Of course God knew for sure. That's why He told Jonah to go in the first place. What if Calvinism weren't true? God could have put Jonah in that fish only to have the entire city reject Him out of their free will!

    Of course they were elect. They got saved didn't they? Phil. 1:29 says our belief comes from God and Jonah says they had belief. Case closed.
    </font>[/QUOTE]This is the Calvinistic "way out" otherwise they will have to admit that Jesus indeed died for the whole world without exception. You see the problem. You have made up your mind, and regardless of what the Scripture says, you will always have an answer, even what you say is completely against what Scripture teaches. The problem here is pride, you simply cannot admit that you are wrong. Even the Calvinist, Dr Edward J Young, is honest enough to admit that the book of Jonah has a "universalistic emphasis" (Introduction to the Old Testament, p.279)
     
  9. whetstone

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    Your accusations against me are just idle words. I refuse to answer a fool in his folly. God bless.
     
  10. icthus

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    Thats because you can't deal with facts!
     
  11. whetstone

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    i believe I've dealt with them in an adequate enough manner. I will step back now and allow other Calvinists to debate their side. Please offer me this courtesy of stepping out of a fruitless debate.
     
  12. icthus

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    Sure, when it gets too hot, chill out!
     
  13. whetstone

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    thank you.
     
  14. russell55

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    Like this one, where you made bold statements that the idea that regeneration leads to faith is unscriptural. Several times you've been asked to give scripture, then, that refutes it--to back up that bold statement. You haven't.

    You remember, right? The thread where you said that regeneration is the same thing as salvation, and you were asked to back up that bold statement, and you avoided that, too.

    If you're going to make the accusations, shouldn't you be backing them up BEFORE you too-doo-loo off to startanother brash thread with other brash statements?

    Last time I checked, I was believing it for real.

    Actually, I think that sending his son so that anyone believing will not perish is a loving act toward every single person. There is a means by which human beings can be saved if they believe.

    The fallen angels were not loved in that way.

    I think "the whole world" of 1 John 2:2 means "people throughout the whole world" but not "every single person throughout the whole world", because we know that not every single person is propitiated, since Paul tells us that propitiation is through faith in Christ's blood, and every single person does not have faith in Christ's blood.

    But that doesn't mean I don't believe God loves every single person.

    "Taint that the pot...."

    Know what? If YOU knew what Calvinists believe, then you'd recognize that I am on, and that what I've explained to you here IS Calvinism.

    Because there is a sense in which God does hate the non-elect. Even the elect, BTW, are objects of God's wrath up until the time God makes them alive together with Christ. The hatred God has for the non-elect doesn't negate his benevolence toward them. He wishes absolutely no one undue harm, and withholds his just wrath against them on a daily basis out of love for them.

    :rolleyes: What can I say? You might be more convincing here if you took your own advice.

    Good. Then I expect to see you over there backing up those two statements with scripture.
     
  15. icthus

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    Like this one, where you made bold statements that the idea that regeneration leads to faith is unscriptural. Several times you've been asked to give scripture, then, that refutes it--to back up that bold statement. You haven't.

    You remember, right? The thread where you said that regeneration is the same thing as salvation, and you were asked to back up that bold statement, and you avoided that, too.

    If you're going to make the accusations, shouldn't you be backing them up BEFORE you too-doo-loo off to startanother brash thread with other brash statements?

    Last time I checked, I was believing it for real.

    Actually, I think that sending his son so that anyone believing will not perish is a loving act toward every single person. There is a means by which human beings can be saved if they believe.

    The fallen angels were not loved in that way.

    I think "the whole world" of 1 John 2:2 means "people throughout the whole world" but not "every single person throughout the whole world", because we know that not every single person is propitiated, since Paul tells us that propitiation is through faith in Christ's blood, and every single person does not have faith in Christ's blood.

    But that doesn't mean I don't believe God loves every single person.

    "Taint that the pot...."

    Know what? If YOU knew what Calvinists believe, then you'd recognize that I am on, and that what I've explained to you here IS Calvinism.

    Because there is a sense in which God does hate the non-elect. Even the elect, BTW, are objects of God's wrath up until the time God makes them alive together with Christ. The hatred God has for the non-elect doesn't negate his benevolence toward them. He wishes absolutely no one undue harm, and withholds his just wrath against them on a daily basis out of love for them.

    :rolleyes: What can I say? You might be more convincing here if you took your own advice.

    Good. Then I expect to see you over there backing up those two statements with scripture.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Russell, Russell, when will you guys EVER get your facts right? You have clearly misquoted me. I said that the Calvinist hold that "Regeneration preceesd Faith", which in Biblical terms means, that a person is born-again BEFORE they have faith in Jesus Christ.
     
  16. russell55

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    Of course he does, and it doesn't involve being "honest enough", as if Calvinists don't believe the gospel call is universal. The call to repentence goes out to everyone. There were hints of it in the Old Testament--like in Jonah when God sends his message to a nation other than Israel--but it became more fully clear after Christ's death when the gospel was sent world-wide--to people of every tribe, language, people, and nation.

    You mistake your ability to blow smoke for ability to generate heat.

    It gets very tiring, you know, to keep correcting the same misrepresentations over and over. It would be nice, once in a blue moon, to be able to do some discussion of Calvinism as it actually is rather than always having to be correcting the same misunderstandings of what it is over and over and over and over. And all the correcting of misrepresentations DOES seem to be fruitless, because the exact same ones just keep coming, and coming, and coming, and coming.
     
  17. russell55

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    I wasn't quoting. I was summarizing.

    Yes, exactly. And you said that the idea that being born again (or regenerated) logically preceeds* faith is unscriptural. You've been asked to back that up.

    Why don't you go over there and do it? If you don't, I'm going to suspect you can't!

    *Logically preceeds, BTW, means to be a cause of, to bring about, etc.
     
  18. icthus

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    I wasn't quoting. I was summarizing.

    Yes, exactly. And you said that the idea that being born again (or regenerated) logically preceeds* faith is unscriptural. You've been asked to back that up.

    Why don't you go over there and do it? If you don't, I'm going to suspect you can't!

    *Logically preceeds, BTW, means to be a cause of, to bring about, etc.
    </font>[/QUOTE]You also have your own English definatios. "preceds" means in English, "to come or happen before something else" So, Calvinism still teaches that you are born again first, then you have faith!

    see here http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/sproul01.html
     
  19. russell55

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    I wasn't giving you a definition of "precedes". I was telling you the sort of preceding that it is. It precedes because it's a cause of it, and causes, by definition, precede their effects.

    Since Calvinists believe that being born again logically precedes faith, that give you two avenues for refuting that claim: You can either find scripture that says that faith comes before rebirth, or you can find scripture that says faith causes (or leads to or results in or brings about) rebirth.

    (If you need an example, it's a little like the relationship between a sprained ankle and the pain of the sprained ankle. The sprain is the cause of the pain, and in a real sense, the sprain comes before the pain, even though we percieve them as instantaneous.)

    Still waiting for you to back up your statement that regeneration causing faith is unbiblical. Can you?
     

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