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Featured Acts 17 and Total Inability

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by atpollard, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Since you brought the topic up, I thought I would respond. Others may (and probably will) correct me, but I came to TU*IP from scripture long before I learned the words "Calvinism" or "Arminiamism" and this is MY PERSONAL Scriptural understanding:

    • The passive desire of God is for all men to do what they were created for ... to worship God, serve God and be in fellowship with God.
    • Towards this end, the universe testifies to man of God. The word of God calls all men to repentance. The GOSPEL is proclaimed to all men.
    • The reaction of all men is the same:
      • [Genesis 3:8-10 NASB95] 8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" 10 He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself."
      • [John 3:19-20 NASB95] 19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
    • Therefore, it was necessary for God to actively save a people for himself.
      • [Romans 8:28-30 NASB95] 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to [His] purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
      • [Ephesians 2:4-5 NASB95] 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
      • [John 6:43-45 NASB95] 43 Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 "It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
      • [John 10:25-30 NASB95] 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me. 26 "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given [them] to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father's hand. 30 "I and the Father are one."
    The INABILITY is not God preventing people from doing what He commands, it is the unwillingness of sinful people to approach God without the irresistible draw of the Father to call them home to the arms of the Son.
     
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  2. Scott Downey

    Scott Downey Well-Known Member

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    Adam and Eve knew they had been bad in disobeying what God had said. So imagine your own self in the same place. You would want to hide yourself.
    At least then you still have a sense of shame, some in this world lose that.
    People can still experience similar feelings today, they do something wrong at work, and they want to hide it from the boss.
    Unless God reaches out to change men's hearts, they wont come to Him because their deeds are evil. Evil hearts wont believe in Christ. It is one reason Calvinism says you must be born again regenerated first, otherwise you wont believe.

    Luke 5
    4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

    5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

    9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

    John 3
    18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
     
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  3. Dball65

    Dball65 Member

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    So we should interpret the word all in Acts 17 to sometimes refer only to all the elect.
    Like the angel bringing tidings of good news and great joy to all people who are elect.
    And world does not mean world in that it is also exclusive.
    For God so loved the world...
    But wait maybe loved does not mean loved.
    So once again all does not always mean all.:confused:
    And so on and so on.
    Maybe the unwashed masses need a Bible translation which includes (elect) where appropriate. :Thumbsup
     
  4. Scott Downey

    Scott Downey Well-Known Member

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    God commands all men to repent and believe.
    But of course why not, all here means all mankind all over the earth, Paul is saying Jesus is not a local God of the Jewish religion only, Paul
    brings that point out in his comment on the 'to the unknown god inscription' on an altar.

    22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:

    TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

    Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you

    And about love and God, God says Jacob he loved and Esau He hated.
    God does hate some and loves some, God does not love all, unless you want to disagree with scripture.

    God so loved the world, does not mean God loves every person in the world. Just that His love extends beyond the land of the Jews to some gentiles.

    Romans 9:23-25
    New King James Version


    23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    25 As He says also in Hosea:

    “I will call them My people, who were not My people,
    And her beloved, who was not beloved.”


    The above is only for the vessels of mercy, not for the vessels of wrath, as it says 'MY PEOPLE'
    and unbelievers are not his people. His people get saved because He loves them.

    Matthew 1:21
    And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

    Obviously, logically the unsaved are not his people whom He loves.

    Hebrews 12:6
    For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
     
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  5. Dball65

    Dball65 Member

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    QUOTE Scott Downey, "And about love and God, God says Jacob he loved and Esau He hated.
    God does hate some and loves some, God does not love all, unless you want to disagree with scripture."

    "God so loved the world, does not mean God loves every person in the world. Just that His love extends beyond the land of the Jews to some gentiles."

    Now there is a terrible decree.

    I am in awe of this statement.
     
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  6. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Your rejection of scripture and inability to respond to even the simplest post with anything but empty trolling is duly noted.
     
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  7. Dball65

    Dball65 Member

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    @atpollard
    Your haste to anger is duly noted. John 3:16 is why I cannot accept all of tulip. Mr. Downey's assessment of God's Love was astonishing to me. Do you adhere to this idea? I will try to choose my words more carefully. I have read and heard many different takes on Romans 9, Genesis 25 and Malachi 1. God foreknew Esau's choices and pharaoh's. There is a time allotted for repentance. Maybe the elect are special servants of God who are the under shepherds of His sheep. I believe the sin's of world were on Jesus during the agony of Gethsemane, the scourging, the long walk to Golgotha and as He died on the cross. He has risen from the dead and ascended to the Father's right hand as our intercessor. All fell in Adam and all can rise through the man Christ Jesus.

    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    For those who will jump on us-ward
    Acts 17:26-31

    26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

    27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
    (Romans 10)

    28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

    29 For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

    30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

    31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

    I do not reject scripture but do reject Mr. Downey's description of God's Love toward mankind.
     
  8. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Less "anger" and more annoyance at being incorrectly told what I believe by people who will refuse to listen when corrected on what we Reformed actually DO believe. You do not need to accept what we claim as TRUE, but you should at least give us the benefit of the doubt that we believe what we claim to believe.

    Two thoughts:
    1. For what little it might be worth, I am soft on LIMITED ATONEMENT myself. It makes logical sense and has some scriptural support, but is far less cut and dry a scriptural truth than the other doctrines. For example, from Genesis to Revelation the truth that God calls out to all, and mankind chooses rebellion, and God reserves for Himself a few is repeated over and over. God calls those that are His. Mankind does not generally seek God out. Adam hid; Cain rejected the warning; God called Abram; God called Samuel; God chose David; mankind rejoices over the death of the two witnesses in Revelation.
    2. John 3:16 does not stand alone. Read the rest of John 3 along with it. You will find most of TULIP in those verses.

    What I believe is stated in Post #1.

    You appear to reject the scripture from Romans 9:13 and Malachi 1:3 that Mr Downey quoted.
    Did God hate Esau according to scripture?

    [PS. I left out the Scripture portions of your post because they each deserve a proper response of their own and this was just a quick, general response.]
     
  9. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    I am a bit confused how Acts 17 refutes the "us-ward" of 2 Peter 3.
    All of 2 Peter (including 2 Peter 3:9) is directed towards the SAINTS (those saved, the body of Christ, the Church), so 2 Peter 2:9 fits perfectly with the narrative of Ephesians 2:1-10 in explaining why God has delayed the return of Christ and His day of Judgement of the world. A quick reminder of the view from God's perspective:

    [Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB95]
    1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.​

    So when the Lord "is long suffering to us-ward" (2 Peter 3:9), He is long suffering of the future saints "dead in your trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1), living "in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind" (Ephesians 2:3), and who are "by nature children of wrath, even as the rest" (Ephesians 2:3). God is long suffering in those days before He makes "us alive" (Ephesians 2:5), bestows his "gift" of saved by grace through faith, not of ourselves (Ephesians 2:8) and makes us "His workmanship" (Ephesians 2:10).

    2 Peter 3:9 speaks of a God that would not lose any by returning before He had made them alive, given His gift and made them His workmanship. This would include those yet to be born when Peter penned those words (you and I). Within the greater context of 2 Peter, this speaks of "any" of God's people (future saints) and "all" of God's people (future Saints).

    With respect to Acts 17: 22-31, I agree with all of it!

    [Acts 17:22-31 NASB95]
    22 So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 "For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all [people] life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one [man] every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined [their] appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.' 29 "Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all [people] everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."​

    I rejoice in the fact that God has purchased for Himself men "from every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). However, that does not change the fact that "goats" are not "sheep" and "tares" are not "wheat" and the Potter prepared "vessels of mercy" and "vessels of wrath".

    [Rev 5:9-10 NASB95] 9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood [men] from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 "You have made them [to be] a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."​
     
  10. Dball65

    Dball65 Member

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    @atpollard
    Read my post on the issue of Esau and pharaoh.
    Maybe the elect are special servants of God who are the under shepherds of His sheep. Maybe the passage is about Israel and the elect are the remnant.
    As for the rest of John 3 how do they know their deeds are evil? I have been told since childhood that the world being lost is the fault of lazy Christians. I believe the answer is found in this passage. I believe John 3 to be essential in evangelizing. It begins with a rich ruler seeking God and ends with a bug eating prophet in the desert who has known God since before birth.

    John 3
    19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
    Why not stop at hate the light?
    Maybe their conscious is not yet seared with a hot iron?

    Romans 1
    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    They did not like retain suggest they knew better. And there is space given (long suffering) for repentance.
    Wait they were like that before the foundation of the world right?
    God made them as vessels of destruction?
    Potters always plan for a massive reject rate?
    Seek the Lord while He may be found! Repent while there is time!

    Matthew 23:37
    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
    They chose not to?

    By the way my quick general responses as a New member was deemed trolling by a Well known member.
    IMHO the titles seem to be greetings in the marketplace which can also be an annoyance.
     
    #10 Dball65, Mar 10, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  11. Dball65

    Dball65 Member

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    Acts 17
    Paul uses the words us and we referring to his audience on the subject of mankind which included those who responded to the word and those who mocked.
     
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  12. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Discard Romans 9 if it pleases you and just focus on Malachi 1. It is clear that God is capable of, and willing to hate some. That was the only point that I was making from scripture. Who God chooses to love or hate is His business and not my place to second guess.
     
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  13. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that it is "kosher" to use the audience that Paul was addressing in Acts 2 to redefine who Peter was writing to in 2 Peter 3.
     
  14. Dball65

    Dball65 Member

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    Malachi 1 was written after Genesis 25. God chose Jacob over Esau to be the father of His chosen. Does the word hate here refer to Esau"s sin and that of his heritage Edom?

    What about this use of the word hate?
    Luke 14
    26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple."
    Seems to be "loves more" maybe.
    I do not believe God hates most of mankind. He hates their sin and unwillingness to humbly repent.

    Matthew 23:37
    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
    They chose not to?

    Act 17 and 2 Peter 3
    The connection is the word us.
    Okay, discard 2 Peter 3 as suggested regarding Romans 9 and focus on Paul's audience in Acts 17. Both us and we are used referring to mankind.
     
  15. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Malachi 1 is clear. You can reject what it says, but that is between you and God.
    The beauty of monergism is that God does the changing of hearts and minds and 100% of the saving ... I just need to be faithful to point people to the answer.

    ... "I can explain it to you, but I cannot believe it for you."

    Hyperbole (exaggeration for dramatic purposes). It is a literary tool like the verses about cutting off your hand and plucking out your eye. The point is not "self mutilation" or violating the commandment to "Honor your parents", raher the intent is to shock to draw attention to how important the issue being discussed is.

    As an aside, the word in Malachi is in Hebrew and the word in Luke is in Greek, so they are not the exact same word and may have subtle differences in meaning.

    Fine if we were debating the truth of all five points of TULIP (in which case I would suggest that we discuss them one at a time rather than jumping around), but irrelevant to the meaning of "hate" or "us".

    "US" means the speaker and the audience in both cases. In ACTS 17, "US" is the speaker (Paul) and the unsaved Greek pagans in the Agora that he is making a speech to. In 2 PETER 3, "US" is the writer (Peter) and the saints in the church that are reading the letter.

    Yes, it is the same word ... "US".
    No, the two groups referred to as "US" ... (Paul and pagan unbelievers) vs (Peter and the church members) ... are most certainly not equivalent groups. "All of pagan worshiping mankind" (Acts 17) is not the same as the "people from every nation, tribe and tongue that will worship god in Heaven" (2 Peter 3 & Rev 5)
     
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  16. Dball65

    Dball65 Member

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    Did not some of the audience accept the message.
    Acts 17
    34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

    As to jumping around and covering the 5 points no need to cover all here.
    I believe the scriptures you brought up were addressed.
    Please reciprocate.

    Enlighten us as to the meaning Matthew 23:37
    Jesus would have gathered them however ________?
     
  17. Dball65

    Dball65 Member

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    Found John Gill's comments that it was it was the human will of Jesus rather than the divine will speaking. Although the word often was used which would suggest plural or many times through history. So when He was with the Father in eternity He was expressing human will at those times also? I will keep looking.

    Not finding much from MacArthur or Sproil so far.
     
    #17 Dball65, Mar 10, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  18. Dball65

    Dball65 Member

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  19. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
    6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. "
    ( Psalms 5:5-6 ).

    Perhaps hate does not really mean "hate", and "abhor" does not really mean the same as "hate"?
    Maybe, instead of reading it and "hitting the high points", believers should be carefully weighing His every word against all the rest;
    Maybe we should read it like the book of letters that it is, instead of in "verses".

    I myself did that for years, until recently.
    I encourage all of my brothers and sisters to do the same.
    I agree with Mr. Downey about this subject.

    If God loved each and every man, woman and child that ever lived, why is He going to cast most of us into eternal torment in His wrath?
    For sins that His Son has already paid for?

    No.
    There's far more to the Bible than John 3:16 all by itself seems to be saying, Dball.

    Psalms 5:5-6 and Psalms 11:5 are both in there as well.
    Do they also mean exactly what they are saying?
     
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  20. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    In Acts of the Apostles 17:22-31, I see that Paul is speaking to everyone on Mars Hill;
    and his audience is the same as who he is speaking about here:

    " and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
    27 that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
    28 for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
    29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
    30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
    31 because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead."
    ( Acts of the Apostles 17:26-31 ).

    I've highlighted where I see him speaking to everyone there, and what he said applies to all of them.
    As a race, God is not far from every one of us.
    We are the offspring of God.
    We should seek after Him, if haply we might feel after him and find Him.
    He commands all men to repent.

    According to other places in His word, why do people repent and seek Him, while others do not?
    Here's one:

    John 3:19-21.
    Agreed.

    But that in no way cancels out what the Lord has revealed to the churches in Romans 1:18-32, Romans 3:10-18, John 3:19-20 and many others.
    We as men are completely unwilling to approach the Lord on His terms because it would require that we give up our sin.

    That's what makes being born again so very necessary.:)
     
    #20 Dave G, Mar 10, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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