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Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by The Archangel, Jun 20, 2014.
So... It is better to start a new thread....
 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”  And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”  He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,  Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?”  Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”  But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”  Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Matthew 19:16-30 ESV)
 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”  And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”  And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”  And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God!  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”  Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.”  Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,  who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:17-31 ESV)
 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’”  And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.”  When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.  Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!  For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?”  But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”  And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.”  And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,  who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Luke 18:18-30 ESV)
This is an important discussion to have in dealing with election. Why? Because, ultimately, how one finishes his or her race is much more important than how one starts the race.
Here are the facts:
1. The Rich Young Ruler comes to Christ, knowing he is lacking something which disqualifies him from eternal life. He's seeking eternal life, but something within him tells him he doesn't have it.
2. He keeps some of the law. I say "some" here because there are select Commandments Jesus questions him on, he affirms his fidelity to them, and Jesus doesn't dispute the so-called man-ward Commandments.
3. Jesus commands him to 1.) sell all he has and give to the poor and 2.) follow Him.
4. The Rich Young Ruler departs from the company of Christ. The text says he does so sorrowfully, disheartened, and sad.
5. The reason the Rich Young Ruler departs the company of Christ is because, the text says, he was very wealthy and, obviously, not willing to give up his "great possessions" to give to the poor or follow Christ.
6. The commentary by Christ to His disciples after the encounter tells of the difficulty of the rich entering the Kingdom.
7. Included in the commentary by Christ is the idea that one must leave everything--including wealth and possessions--to follow Him, expecting to have subsequent treasure in heaven.
The above facts are referenced in all of the accounts...
Several things become clear:
1. Keeping the commandments the man had affirmed was not enough. Jesus says, "One thing you still lack." So, at this point, the man does not have eternal life.
2. The Rich Young Ruler's issue is his wealth. The text is quite plain on this. He was unwilling to divest himself of everything in order to follow Christ.
Quite simply, the man treasured his possessions more than he treasured Christ. Today, as in Jesus' day, there were many things that were stumbling blocks to people following Christ. Today, perhaps, it's one's sexuality that he or she is unwilling to "sacrifice." Nevertheless, regardless of the issue, anything that comes between us treasuring Christ above all is an object of our idolatry.
3. Riches often prove to be a stumbling block to entering the Kingdom. Jesus' own commentary references this.
But, we must be cautious here because we know from other passages of Scripture that wealth, in and of itself, does not automatically disqualify someone from salvation. We are told, after all, that it is the LOVE of money, not money itself, that is the problem.
4. Jesus tests the man on the "one thing he's still lacking." The test is related to that man on a personal level--his great wealth. And, the man fails the test. He cannot part with his possessions to have Christ. So, while the man does, apparently, keep some of the Commandments, he does not keep them all. He may get the man-ward Commandments right, but he's failing on the God-ward ones, most notably the one stating "You shall have no other gods before me."
In the words of the parable, he has found the treasure in the field, but he treasures his own wealth more than the treasure in the field and, therefore, does not sell everything he has to possess it.
5. In the subsequent commentary, Jesus' and his disciples discuss the disciples having left everything for Christ. While leaving everything doesn't guarantee salvation (becuase Judas was likely in this group), not being willing to sacrifice all to follow Christ guarantees that you won't be saved. He is either Lord of all or not lord at all.
He does come to Christ, yes. But, as Jesus Himself says, "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven." So, coming and kneeling are simply outside actions that do not speak to his heart condition. His rejection of Christ speaks exponentially louder than his coming and kneeling.
Based on context alone, Edersheim, as you've referenced him, gets this dead wrong.
It is true that we do not know this man's ultimate destiny. Did he repent later? We don't know. However, with Nicodemus, we do know. He was changed. There is NO evidence in the text to support the notion that the Rich Young Man was a believer at the encounter with Christ or any time after.
Unfortunately, you're assuming election on the man's simply appearing before Christ. Again, some of those who call Jesus "Lord" will not enter the Kingdom. So, simply coming is not proof of either belief or election.
Pink is making an assumption based on something that is not textual. We are not told of this man's destiny. But, the facts at hand do demonstrate his rejection of Christ at this instant (in sharp contrast to Nicodemus, I might add). Pink is simply wrong to make an assumption here as the text makes no more mention of this person.
When we consider--especially--the discussion between Jesus and his disciples that follows this encounter, it is quite easy to see that this man is not a believer and that he would rather have his possessions than Christ.
You nailed it.
I really should be doing something else.
It escapes me on how you're deriving this point to be made from the text. Maybe you'll explain it more clearly to me.
As you see them.
Yes. Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Yes. Those that have felt the sting of the fiery serpent fear that they are going to perish.
He's not 'saved' yet. He has not entered into the kingdom. He does not have the clean conscience or the joy or the peace which is the kingdom of God. His hunger and thirst for righteousness has not yet been filled.
As I pointed out to Rippon on the other thread:
I guess you're not making the connection between....:
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor thy father and mother.
20 And he said unto him, Teacher, all these things have I observed from my youth. Mk 10
8 Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: love therefore is the fulfilment of the law. Ro 13
Christ and Paul both are actually reiterating the summary of the law contained within the Rabbinism of the day:
“…Rabbinism is never weary of quoting as one of the characteristic sayings of its greatest teacher, Hillel (who, of course, lived before this time), that he had summed up the Law, in briefest compass, in these words: ‘What is hateful to thee, that do not to another. This is the whole Law; the rest is only its explanation…..” Life & Times - Edersheim
IF this young man did indeed have this law fulfilling agape in his heart, it was not flesh and blood that put it there.
AFTER the young man asks, "What lack I yet?" Christ says, 'if you would be perfect sell all and follow me'.
As opposed to wroth and vengeful.
No doubt he was not expecting this at all. I've no doubt the Good Shepherd was giving His little lamb exactly what he needed at this point in his journey. Another point Edersheim brings out:
“We need scarcely here recall the almost extravagant language in which Rabbinism describes the miseries of poverty; Many sayings might here be quoted. It was worse than all the plagues of Egypt put together (Babha B. 116 a); than all other miseries (Betsah 32 b); the worst affliction that could befall a man (Shem. R. 31).] we can understand his feelings without that.....Rabbinism had never asked this; if it demanded almsgiving, it was in odious boastfulness; To make a merit of giving up riches for Christ is, surely, the Satanic caricature of the meaning of His teaching.] while it was declared even unlawful to give away all one's possessions [a Arach. viii.4.], at most, only a fifth of them might be dedicated. [b Kethub. 50 a.]”
In other words, this young man not only loved his riches, but he had been taught all his life that it was unlawful to give all his riches away.
With the qualifier, "With men it is impossible, but not with God: for all things are possible with God."
And if one does not leave everything to follow Him, what does that mean to you? That that one is non elect?
The facts as you choose to see them.
As I said before, I choose not to judge the young man harshly.
True or false AA:
One must first be born again from above before one can be saved.
True or false AA:
Christ's atonement covers the sin of idolatry.
Why did the rich young ruler come to Jesus seeking eternal life. Had he been quickened according to Calvinism, or was he seeking God in his fallen unregenerate state, something Calvinism claims does not happen?
Why did the rich young ruler go away sorry he had been unable to fully commit to Christ, if in his fallen state 100% of the time he thought of God as an enemy.
How can the Calvinists fix this story, so it does not disprove fundamental assertions of Calvinism. Why he was regenerate, and although he walked away in the passage, later, and never mentioned in the Bible, he received his second dose of Somewhat resistible grace and was saved.
And so it goes, yet another passage that does not mean what it says.
I believe that was exactly Archangel's original point on the other thread. That the non elect can and do desire salvation.
I hold that the young man was a lost sheep, AA holds that he was a goat.
The view that unregenerates can and do seek God declares the T of the TULIP to be null and void, turning it into Limited Spiritual Ability, rather than Total Spiritual Inability. I am of course also an advocate of limited spiritual ability. Unfortunately, once you pull the T out of the Tulip, it collapses like a house of cards.
Is this what you are saying?:
.....not being willing to sacrifice all to follow Christ guarantees that you won't obtain eternal life. He is either Lord of all or not lord at all......
Is this the view of 'Lordship Salvation'?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
HE DID NOT SAY:
Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest inherit eternal life, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
Which was a response to "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered that in order to be perfect or complete you must do these things. Of those things he had not done all and because he walked away he never did do all. Therefore he was not perfect or complete.
Suggesting that the rich young ruler was regenerate is odd, this is the first I have ever hear that claim, and it is unorthodox.
No, it was a response to "All these things have I observed: what lack I yet?"
"If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me."
1) brought to its end, finished
2) wanting nothing necessary to completeness
4) that which is perfect
4a) consummate human integrity and virtue
4b) of men
4b1) full grown, adult, of full age, mature
So Rev, what about you? Did you sell all that you had and give it to the poor to obtain eternal life? Or was eternal life a free gift?
And all of it is part of the original question which is the premise of the whole conversation.
Have you? are you not a regenerate believer? do you not hold to the idea he said that to a regenerate believer? Have you obeyed that command to regenerate believers as you understand it?
No, it's not. Christ answered the original question in full, "If thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments".
"All these things have I observed: what lack I yet?"
"If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me."
You're incoherent here. Rephrase.
When one is born from above is when they "get saved!"
One cannot be regenerated and yet not saved, that is not what Bible teaches!
regeneration brings about faith in jesus, but that all happens at same time, all part of the 'salvation package!"
ONLY when the effectual grace of the death of Christ is applied towards one in that sin, and that happens ONLY thru receiving jesus thru faith!
Sinners will come unto God, its just that the God they are coming towards is One they made up, NOT the One of the Bible!
mankind is religious by nature, as creation itself tells all of us a greater being exists, but that by itself saves no one, nor has them coming to the real God!