Why is God patient with sinners in regard to their salvation?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    A question for Calvinists:

    Why does the Bible talk about God's patience and longsuffering in regard to salvation? Within the Calvinistic system, what is God waiting on? If he is the one who effectually calls isn't He just waiting on Himself to do the work?

    How do you reconcile that with His being patient and longsuffering with us? If it is truly "all of God" what exaclty is He waiting on?

    And a follow-up to that is why does God "hold out his hands" to rebellious people as if he is pleading with them to come to him as seen in several verses throughout the text (ie Matt. 23:37; Romans 10:21 etc) if He is the one who makes the decision on whether or not they are going to come?

    In other words, why continually call people with an ineffectual call when you know they can't respond to it and when your real plan is to call your people with an effectual call anyway? I just don't get that!

    Thanks for any explainations you can offer.
     
  2. Hardsheller

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    Matt 23:37, Romans 10:21 - The sin of mankind and the sins of men have never erased God's love and desire toward all mankind in general and toward Israel in particular.

    In the Matthew verse - Jesus is speaking with a Pastor's heart. It grieved his spirit to see the spiritual condition of Jerusalem. But He cannot pronounce them to be holy and he cannot pronounce them to be saved without repentence on their part.
    His Divine Will knows they will not repent - His human will wishes it were otherwise.


    In the Romans verse it is imperative that the whole passage surrounding this verse is taken into consideration, for when Paul gets to 11:5 he speaks of a remnant out of Israel chosen by grace.

    God's longsuffering and patience has to do with His overall plan of the redemption for the Elect of all the ages.

    His plan of Redemption includes human agents. That's what the Church is for. He issues his effectual call through the proclamation of the Gospel through His Churches.

    His "Waiting and Patience and Longsuffering" is not just centered on the eventual effectual call of the elect of which only He knows the timing and the individuals, it is also essential to the maturing of the saints for the Kingdom's work to which they have been called.

    This question is like asking the Prime Question - Why did God create us in the first place when He knew we would sin and rebel against Him?

    I'm not sure we can ever completely understand the Why of it all.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    God is waiting on the appointed time of their salvation. Election took place in eternity past (before the foundation fo the world -- Eph 1:4; 2 Thess 2:13). But the salvation can only take place in the life fo the individual according to God's plan. God is working in human history to accomplish what he wants. I don't understand why he does it the way he does. But he is God ... I am not ... :D

    As for holding out hands to rebellious people, the answer could be severalfold:
    1. Among the rebellious people are the elect. When the general call goes out, it is non-distinctive -- that is it goes to all.
    2. Their response is their own. They are not forced to reject. They do that of their own free will. At any time they desire, they can turn to God.
    3. Their response increases their punishment and judgment. The point of the parables was that exacty point ... to increase judgment on them.

    In the end, our finite minds cannot comprehend it all. We all live with tensions and things we can't explain. You are comfortable living with some, we with others.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    I agree that there are "tensions" with both systems, just as I'm sure there are tensions with the truth if it were fully known to us all being that we are finite creatures.

    However, even the answers you both present here would be sufficient if the scriptures were speaking in general national terms. He is patient with the group as a whole for the sake of the elect, right? I could live with that explaination, eventhough there are obvious tensions with it.

    But there is a BIG problem. You guys insist on interpreting such passages as Romans 9 individually, as God individually elects some people and individually hardens others, but then you have to shift to God speaking about national groups when he mentions being longsuffering and patient with them, because it wouldn't make since for God to be patient with an individual who had been elected by God. Think of that. God elects Larry and holds out his hands to him waiting and longing for his salvation which He is in complete control over? That just makes no sense.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    B
    Rom 9 refers to individual election.

    Why? I think it makes perfect sense. God is not imposing his naked will. He is working through the events of human history, just as he has always done. He intended to make Abraham a great nation but waited more than 25 years to even give him a son. Why? Because it is what he wanted to do.

    You are insisting that God do what makes sense to you. I disagree with that. God can do what ever he wants. And that appears to be working the salvation of the elect in time.
     
  6. Skandelon

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    No, I'm merely pointing out the clear and most reasonable rendering of the text as it stands before its systemitized to death by Calvinists.

    The clear understanding as it stands is that God is wanting and even longing to save Israel but they are unwilling. He is patient with them, not wanting them to perish, continually holding his hands out to a rebellious and obstanate people. That just doesn't jive well with the Calvinistic picture of God. Why would God wait for a man to change his mind when God knows that He Himself is the only one who can change it? Why would God long and outwardly beg for them to repent when He knows that only He Himself can cause that to happen? At best it seems disingenuine of God to pretend to call people to do that which he knows they cannot do.

    Oh, and please don't throw up the Law again. We all know that the law was given for a purpose. To show men their need for Him. So what is the purpose of God's longing a begging rebellious men to repent?

    Some of you say its to highten their punishment, but where does scripture say this? And what is greater than an eternal hell? Come on? That doesn't seem like a God who loves and longs for the salvation of a nation, that is a God who wants to condemn them further by mockingly pleading for their return. That is not the God revealed in the scripture and I think that is apparent to most believers which is why they rebell against this dogma so earnestly.
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    Skandelon said:
    Perhaps because God was not really addressing Israel the flesh, or national Israel as we call it ? Perhaps because God really was speaking to those who will be born part of spiritual Israel, and through His Word, is telling them of His patience for them ? After all, didn't Paul said that "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope".
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    Or, maybe, these verses will be part of that book God is going to open up at the last day to show that no man is able to argue with Him ? That He is indeed a patient God, but man in his depravity would not come to Him on His terms unless He works in them to do and to will His good pleasure ?

    Now, let me ask you:

    Why did Jesus wash Judas' feet despite His knowledge of who Judas was and what he was about to do against Him ?
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    I disagree that study of God's word would lead you to that conclusion.

    Because there are some elect who will respond. The non-elect do not want to respond. God holds out a genuine offer. He has no pleasure in their death. He is not actively seeking their destruction. He is letting them do what they want.

    I would remind you again that what "seems" to you is not the test of truth. We must accept God's word for what it says.


    As I have already said, to bring about the salvation of the elect.

    Most believe with good reason that there are degrees of punishment in hell.

    I completely disagree with your conclusion. God is a God of love. He does mock people (psa 2).

    It actually is the God revealed in Scripture. I think people rebel against because they set up their own minds as the standard for what they will believe. You constantly talk about your own mind, what "seems" to be right, what you think, etc. I cannnot accept that as truth. I believe that God has revealed himself in Scripture and called us to submit to that revelation. The God revealed in Scripture is supreme and sovereign, in control of all things. That is the God of the calvinist.
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    God is more than clear as to why the Lord is patient toward the sinner. The answer is found in II Peter 3:9-10. All sinners will have to face and experience the Day of the Lord. Judgment is a sure, future event. [Revelation 20:11-15]

    Because of the attributes of the Divine Justice, Love and Mercy, God has sovereignly designed His plan to offer salvation to all sinners. [I Timothy 2:6 & I John 2:2] Those who believe become His elect, and those who reject Him remain in their sins. [John 5:24]

    There are perhaps many things that God cannot do. Two of them are that He cannot sin, nor can He force someone to become elect who does not want to bow to His sovereignty. [John 5:40 & Acts 7:51 for starters]
     
  11. BrotherJoe

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    Brother Ray:

    RAY BERRIAN SAID: There are perhaps many things that God cannot do. Two of them are that He cannot sin, nor can He force someone to become elect who does not want to bow to His sovereignty. [John 5:40 & Acts 7:51 for starters]

    ME (BROTHER JOE): Brother Ray,I agree with you that God cannot sin.

    But to say that, "nor can He force someone to become elect who does not want to bow to His sovereignty" is absurd. Why? "If God's sovereignty is restricted by man's freedom, then God is not sovereign; man is sovereign." (Sproul, Chosen By God) God's will is not subordinate to mans will,it must be the other way around for God to be God. However, in the Arminiasm plan of salvation God's will certainly is dependent on mans will in order to save their souls-what kind of a God is this?

    Here are the verses you gave in your attempt to prove that God cannot change ones will. "40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." (John 5:40) This verse says NOTHING about what God cannot do, does it? However, it DOES state what unregenerated men on their own will NOT do. Same with your other verse, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." (Acts 7:51) This is the nature of unregenerated man-totally depraved to the gospel call. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness... (1 Cor 1:18)"
    All who currently dont have the Holy Ghost are perishing present tense.

    Saved by grace,

    Brother Joe
     
  12. Skandelon

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    But that is exactly what He would be doing by calling men to salvation in order to incriminate them further. You can whitewash it however you want, its still mocking and its not consistant with the God of scripture.

    I notice that in your answers you merely assume that the scripture supports your thoughts and ideas, but I actually quote scripture such as Romans 10:21 and Matt. 23:37, to support my claims about God as Ray has done in the last post. You don't even bother. You just presume that you are describing the God of the scripture and we are to believe it because you THINK its so. The scripture can be made to say whatever you want it to say if you twist it enough, as I think you have done.

    The clear rendering of the text has been shown and the fact that most believers reject your understanding of the text is even more proof that it not the clear rendering of the text. To come to your conclusions one needs a Calvinistic commentary next to his Bible.
     
  13. massdak

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    But that is exactly what He would be doing by calling men to salvation in order to incriminate them further. You can whitewash it however you want, its still mocking and its not consistant with the God of scripture.

    I notice that in your answers you merely assume that the scripture supports your thoughts and ideas, but I actually quote scripture such as Romans 10:21 and Matt. 23:37, to support my claims about God as Ray has done in the last post. You don't even bother. You just presume that you are describing the God of the scripture and we are to believe it because you THINK its so. The scripture can be made to say whatever you want it to say if you twist it enough, as I think you have done.

    The clear rendering of the text has been shown and the fact that most believers reject your understanding of the text is even more proof that it not the clear rendering of the text. To come to your conclusions one needs a Calvinistic commentary next to his Bible.
    </font>[/QUOTE]then you must believe that God is unjust because many do not ever hear the gospel and they all die in their sins.
    they have no chance to believe either does those who reject what they hear, yet those who God opens thier ears to hear and hearts to understand are saved
     
  14. Skandelon

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    We don't know that. The scripture doesn't answer that question specifically. You are speculating.

    That is not what Romans 1 teaches about the natural man. Romans 1 seems to teach that they knew everything they needed to know yet still refused to acknowledge God as God and therefore are condemned without excuse. By taking away men's "chance" to believe you give them back their excuses.
     
  15. BrotherJoe

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    Brother Ray:

    Good day and God bless.

    BROTHER RAY BERRIAN SAID: Because of the attributes of the Divine Justice, Love and Mercy, God has sovereignly designed His plan to offer salvation to all sinners. [I Timothy 2:6 & I John 2:2] Those who believe become His elect, and those who reject Him remain in their sins. [John 5:24]

    ME (BROTHER JOE): Brother Ray, if you dont mind me asking, why did you recognize your desperate need for Christ, but your neighbor may not have?

    Saved by grace,

    Brother Joe
     
  16. BrotherJoe

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    Brother Skandelon,

    Good day. I have a question and would like an "Arminian" spin on it. What in your opinion causes a sinner to be hardened to the gospel?

    Thanks for your reply.


    Your Brother In Christ (albeit on the other side of the doctrinal spectrum),

    Brother Joe
     
  17. Skandelon

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    I hope it is ok that I started a new thread to answer your question Joe. [​IMG]

    I just didn't want it to get bogged down under a different topic...
     
  18. massdak

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    We don't know that. The scripture doesn't answer that question specifically. You are speculating.

    That is not what Romans 1 teaches about the natural man. Romans 1 seems to teach that they knew everything they needed to know yet still refused to acknowledge God as God and therefore are condemned without excuse. By taking away men's "chance" to believe you give them back their excuses.
    </font>[/QUOTE]read acts 4-12
     
  19. Skandelon

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    I just completed the book of Acts last week and I just scanned through it again but I'm not sure which part of it is relevant to our discussion. Could you be more specific? Thanks.
     
  20. massdak

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    you are saying that a person can be saved outside of Christ, unless you believe in a separate revelation
     

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