Will vs Desire

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by NetChaplain, May 9, 2015.

  1. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain
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    God “desires all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1Tim 2:4), for He is “not desiring that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Pet 3:9). Is God’s will being done in all? Yes! Is God’s desires being done by all? No. Thus His will and desire are being done only in the believer. Though God’s desire is that nobody perishes, His will is that those who “have done evil” are to inherit “the resurrection of damnation,” and those who “have done good” are to inherit “the resurrection of life” (John 5:29).

    “It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phl 2:13). This is a work that every individual believer undergoes. Wherefore, if this “work” be not externally evident, it reveals the absence not only of the Father’s work within, but also that of the presence of the Spirit within, in “bearing witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom 8:16).
     
  2. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Would it not be reasonable to say that the desire of the natural man is to rebel against the will of God?

    And would this not be the determining factor in regards to damnation? Rejecting the will of God?


    God bless.
     
  3. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain
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    You make a valid comment, but I believe it depends on how each understand the meaning of "will" in this context.

    Thus, in my understanding to your question I would answer, "yes, man rebells against God's will concerning the damnation of the unbeliever.
     
  4. Robert William

    Robert William
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    God genuinely desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Yet in “the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11), He chose only the elect “out of the world” (John 17:6), and passed over the rest, leaving them to the damning consequences of their sin (cf.. Rom. 1:18–32). The culpability for their damnation rests entirely on them because of their sin and rejection of God. God is not to blame for their unbelief.
    Since God desires all men to be saved, we are not required to ascertain that a person is elect before praying for that person’s salvation. God alone knows who all the elect are (2 Tim. 2:19). We may pray on behalf of all men with full assurance that such prayers are good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. After all, “the Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in loving-kindness. The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works” (Ps. 145:8–9).
    Apodektos (acceptable), is from apodechomai, which means “to receive gladly,” “to accept with satisfaction,” or “to heartily welcome.” The Lord eagerly accepts prayer for the lost because it is consistent with His desire for their salvation.
    Such prayer is also consistent with His nature as Savior. The phrase God our Savior appears five other times in the Pastoral Epistles (1:1; 4:10; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4), as well as in Jude 25. God is not only creator, sustainer, king, and judge, but also savior. His saving character is manifested through His Son, Jesus Christ (2:5–6; 2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 1:4; 2:13; 3:6). God is the “Savior of all men” in a temporal sense, but “especially of believers” in an eternal sense (1 Tim. 4:10b).
    That truth of God’s saving nature is also taught in the Old Testament (cf.. 2 Sam. 22:3; Ps. 106:21; Isa. 43:3, 11). The idea that the God of the Old Testament is a vengeful, wrathful ogre mollified by the gentle, loving, New Testament Christ is not at all accurate.
    When God desires all men to be saved, He is being consistent with who He is. In Isaiah 45:22 God said, “Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 55:1 invites “every one who thirsts” to “come to the waters” of salvation. Again, in Ezekiel 18:23, 32 God states very clearly that He does not desire that the wicked should perish, but that they would sincerely repent (cf.. Ezek. 33:11). In the New Testament, Peter writes, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
    No true biblical theology can teach that God takes pleasure in the damnation of the wicked. Yet though it does not please Him, God will receive glory even in the damnation of unbelievers (cf.. Rom. 9:22–23). How His electing grace and predestined purpose can stand beside His love for the world and desire that the gospel be preached to all people, still holding them responsible for their own rejection and condemnation, is a mystery of the divine mind. The Scriptures teach God’s love for the world, His displeasure in judging sinners, His desire for all to hear the gospel and be saved. They also teach that every sinner is incapable yet responsible to believe and will be damned if he does not. Crowning the Scripture’s teaching on this matter is the great truth that God has elected who will believe and saved them before the world began. What mystery!

    Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (Rom. 11:33–36)



    MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (pp. 68–69). Chicago: Moody Press.
     
  5. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain
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    Hi RW - Thanks for the reply and information. Myself, I am still in the comprehension that man has the choice of believing or not believing (Deu 30:19), otherwise it would intend that God does not desire all to be saved, which would conflict with the Scripture references in the article.

    This is why the conflictions exist between Calvinism and Arminianism.
     
  6. Darrell C

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    The solution seems simple enough: natural man has no ability within himself to understand the spiritual things of God. This Scripture attests to. As Christ taught the disciples, He sent the Comforter for the specific purpose of enlightening men to the Gospel that they might be saved:


    John 16:7-9

    King James Version (KJV)

    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

    8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

    9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;



    Scripture maintains the staunch Calvinist view that man has no ability, and it maintains something similar to an original teaching of the Arminian view of man's part in choosing. Both views, however, fail to actually incorporate into the equation that it is God that empowers man that he might "believe."

    The only "free will" a man will ever exercise in regards to salvation is to reject Christ:


    Hebrews 10:29

    King James Version (KJV)

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?



    While God has always ministered in the hearts of men, the distinguishing difference between the Ministry of the Comforter and His ministry prior to Pentecost was the message itself. Men rejected God's will in the past...


    Acts 7:51

    King James Version (KJV)

    51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.



    We see the content of that which they rejected then...


    Acts 7:52-53

    King James Version (KJV)

    52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

    53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.



    ...whereas the Gospel of Christ was not revealed unto them, which is why those rejecting "Moses Law," the First Covenant, will not be punished as severely as those rejecting the New Covenant.

    One passage concerning the Mystery of the Gospel and I'm done:


    Romans 16:24-26

    King James Version (KJV)

    24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

    25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

    26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:



    Okay, two passages, lol:


    1 Corinthians 2:6-10

    King James Version (KJV)

    6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

    7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

    8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

    9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

    10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.



    Going back to the Calv/Arm dispute, again, understanding that (1) salvation in Christ did not begin until Pentecost and (2) that the Ministry of the Holy Spirit has always been the source of enlightenment for men, that they might have faith in the revealed Word of God (which has always been the requirement and acted on in obedience) settles rather easily the confusion that arises in trying to determine whether man "believes of his own free will."

    I would suggest that there is a connotation of will involved on our part, but, it is rather a yielding to the will of God. It is when that is rejected that we see true free will in man exercised.

    And by the way, just wanted to say I applaud your efforts, my friend. You are one of the true Forum Missionaries who has been faithful and diligent on many forums, and if there is ever anything I can do for you, just let me know.


    God bless.
     
  7. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother NetChaplain,

    The Greek word for "will" used is Philippians 2:13 that you quoted above is "theló" and according to the definition of it in Strong's Greek Concordance it means, "will, wish, desire" See http://biblehub.com/greek/2309.htm Thus, it is seen the word "will" and "desire" mean the same thing. To prove this, the word "desiring" that you quoted in 2 Peter 3:9 is translated "willing in the King James Version. It says, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Now the question remains, if God "wills" that not "any" perish, why are not all humans saved? The reason is because the "any" means any of the elect. Peter states in the first verse of 2 Peter 1 that he is writing specifically "to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ". In other words he is writing to children of God. In 2 Peter 3:9 it says he is longsuffering "toward us" (the elect), "not willing that any should perish...".

    This interpretation of this verse in 2 Peter 3:9 is consistent with other verses such as John 6:37 when Jesus says, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me". Obviously the "all" here doesn't mean all men, but rather "all of the elect. Jesus reiterates this again in John 6:39, "39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day" Jesus came to save "His people" and the Bible states he "shall" do it (not might if they accept me), " and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21).

    Ephesians 1:11 says God, " worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:", thus God's will of getting his elect saved is not dependent upon man's will, but rather his own. It is apparent that God did not predestinate all human beings to heaven as it is written "The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." (Proverbs 16:4), and Jude talks of wicked men who " crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men". Further before being born yet, we read of both Jacob and Esau God said, "11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." (Romans 9:11 and 13).

    You are correct in stating God's will is always done as it says "...he worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" (Ephesians 1:11)

    God bless,

    Brother Joe
     
    #7 BrotherJoseph, May 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2015
  8. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother NetChaplain,

    The two times the word "will" is used in the New Testament in regards to being born again, it explicitly states it is not of a man's will. "12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13) and again Paul tells us "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy" (Romans 9:16).

    The new birth is compared to a new creation, a resurrection, an adoption, and a birth. Did Adam play a role in God creating him? Of course not! Did Lazarus play a role in his resurrection? Nobody would assert that either. In adoption, do the parents choose the child or the child the parents? Did you will or play a role in your physical birth? By comparing the new birth to these things it is obvious it is not of a man's will, but of God, further scripture makes it clear it comes about by God sovereignly quickening a sinner who is spiritually dead before becoming born again with is Holy Spirit, thus making him born again without the use of means (including the gospel). It is similar to the wind that you cannot tell from where it came or where it goes.
    "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;" (Ephesians 2:1)
    "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)" (Ephesians 2:5)
    "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:13)
    "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)

    God bless,

    Brother Joe
     
  9. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain
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    Thanks for the compliment, and much of what you've shared shows discernment.

    Attempting to determine why God would or wouldn't "draw" one to salvation seems to be unanswered in Scripture. I believe one must be drawn by God to be saved (John 6:44), and that everyone He draws "comes" to salvation (6:47).

    My speculation is that since He knows who will accept or reject, He only draws those whom He knows will accept. I believe mankind has been called to salvation, but He knows only few will accept it (Mat 7:13, 14).

    The alternative is that of conceiving that man has no choice concerning the reception of salvation, which would imply that God, for His own unrevealed purpose does not choose to save an individual, which would appear to be to that of disregarding the individual's concern.

    I believe there is no reason to consider that man has no choice concerning the reception of salvation, esp. when the generality of Scripture seems to strongly support the "man's choice" concept. This is still mostly speculation to me, and thankfully the issue is nonessential!

    God's blessings to your Family, and God be blessed!
     
  10. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    It is well earned, my friend, you are very faithful in what you do. I wish there were more like you. At this time I can only name three individuals that I know of who have ministries in Forum Missions that are as dedicated as yours. Every forum I go to...you are usually there.


    I believe it is a discernment that the Lord has provided for all of His children, through obedience to the command for us to learn and observe that which Christ has commanded.


    Without question one must be drawn of God.

    And I believe God will give every man opportunity to be saved:


    John 12:32

    King James Version (KJV)

    32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.



    Where we would disagree is that all that are drawn are saved.

    Consider:


    John 12:37-41

    King James Version (KJV)

    37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

    38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

    39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

    40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

    41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.



    Those condemned by Isaiah will not stand before God and levy a charge of not knowing His will.

    They had received God's will prior to being hardened. It is their rejection that leads to this, it is not God's doing. His will was that they would be obedient and that is why He gave the Word which they rejected.

    So too with the world, the Comforter will convict of sin (unbelief being the cause stated), righteousness (not just Christ's righteousness but our lack of it), and judgment (the consequences of unbelief and the sin which is the result, and if you think about it, the fear of Hell is definitely a motivator).

    And those who reject the Gospel and the efforts of God through the Ministry of the Comforter will also stand before God without excuse.


    That there is a many/few principle taught in Scripture is certainly true, however, making Election exclusively about God's foreknowledge implies something we know is not true: that there was something we could, or would do which justified our being saved.

    That is just not the case. God does not save us because He knows we will respond favorably to the Gospel, He saves us because there is nothing we could or can do to merit salvation.

    If it was based on a positive response...then that suggests an innate ability which Scripture denies.


    In his natural condition man has no choice to do anything but sin. God does not "choose" for people to be eternally separated, men make that choice within the framework of what the old school preachers called the "wooing" of the Holy Spirit, or in other words, that Ministry the Comforter is now performing in the world today. The only difference in this ministry is the message itself.

    Consider:


    2 Timothy 3:7-8

    King James Version (KJV)

    7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.



    Here's one I wonder if you have considered in the context of this discussion:


    2 Peter 2:20-21


    King James Version (KJV)

    20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

    21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.



    These false teachers are said to have received the knowledge of the truth, and that it would have been better had they not known the way of righteousness than having known...turned away from it.

    The Old Testament example, the parallel (then, false prophets, now, false teachers, c.f. v.1) is seen here:


    15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;




    I agree, there is a choice involved, which conflicts with a standard Calvinistic view. But we don't go to the other extreme, as the Arminian, and impose an ability within natural man that isn't there.

    Like I said, it really is an simple as understanding God enlightens the natural man that he might be in the position to understand, believe, and in faith respond to that which the Holy Spirit impresses on his heart. The Convicting Ministry of the Holy Spirit is the answer.


    Much appreciated, my friend, much appreciated.


    God bless.
     
  11. PreachTony

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    I still don't get it. Only God can cause someone to repent, yet He does not do this, yet He still blames them for not repenting. It's not a good sign when you have to change the definition of words in order to make your theology work...

    Why do you have to pray for anyone's salvation? If they are Elect, then they cannot lose their election and therefore will be saved no matter what anyone does. If they are non-Elect, then they can in no wise gain Election, therefore they are damned to torment from birth.

    In the verse you quoted, who is the "all" the psalmist was speaking of?

    So God eagerly accepts pray from the lost, even though He has no intention to save many, if not most, of the lost?

    I agree with your statement about God as depicted in the OT being mollified by the revealed nature of Christ in the NT as not being accurate.

    How do you reconcile the notion the God desires all men to repent and be saved with the expressed ideology of your camp that God must move men to be save, and that it is God alone who does all the acting in salvation? I do not see how one can say God wants all men to be saved and then say that God has to first move man to repent. God issues several invitations in the scriptures. He even commands all men to repent. Yet they can't unless He makes them.

    Once again, if you don't believe in Predestination/Election then you don't believe the truth.
     
  12. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain
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    I agree, this is the giving of the Lord Jesus to the world, even though God knows the generality of mankind will not choose Him, it's still their choice. I believe one would be left to seemingly unfairness if they had no choice (opportunity).

    He did it all for the sake of those He knew would choose Him. We know "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents," thus how much more joy over more that do, which is obviously worth it to God?

    Thanks again Brother for your encouraging replies and comments.

    God blessings to your Family, and God be blessed!
     
  13. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    The contradiction that arises when we ignore that Christ is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world, and try to maintain that only the Select, rather than the Elect are saved, is this establishes (1) that God is a respecter of persons, (2) His decision to save is not based on grace and mercy, but upon something we accomplished, and (3) that God is willing that at least some, which if we keep Scripture consistent would actually be many...should perish.

    And we know that if our view brings Scripture into conflict we have to find out where we went astray, lol

    God bless.
     

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