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Featured Infant Death and Salvation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Darrell C, Jul 6, 2016.

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Do Babies/Young Children/Mentally Impaired go to Hell?

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  1. 1. No

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  2. 2. Yes

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  1. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    I agree with all of this, but, it doesn't really address the issue. We could not, in my view, address the aborted infant as "wicked" thus judged for their wickedness by God. We do see that the sin of Adam has it's consequences on all conceived/born, but, do we not also see that because God is just in His judgment, that He will righteously judge sin?

    And truly we seek to set emotion and personal conviction to the side and just examine the issue from Scripture.


    And this is one of the primary points to examine: has God elected all infants that die? Or, would we view the death of the non-elect as infants as a consequence of sin which does not change the status of the non-elect?

    I take the position that God judges justly, and judges sin according to it's severity, and the severity of punishment is according to the sin itself. This would place infants into a category where, though they are separated from God and need that condition remedied through Christ, we still see no sin of their own which could be judged, and we do not see the same pattern for men who are born, meaning, they are judged according to their response to the revelation provided them.

    I give Paul's statements in Romans as a basis for my own view, that they will benefit from the grace of God in judgment:



    Romans 1:18-21

    King James Version (KJV)


    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.




    Romans 2:11-16

    King James Version (KJV)


    11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

    12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another)

    16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.



    And while we would not negate the possibility, and probability of God's interaction with the babe in the womb, we still have two different scenarios to deal with: the infant/child that may have the internal witness and knowledge of God, but has not had opportunity to respond with their own actions, and those who grow up and respond according to the separated nature they are conceived/born with.

    The question is...does that make any difference?


    This speaks to those who have been born and grown up. And, we also have the distinction of the revelation in view, which is the Gospel of Christ (as opposed to revelation provided to men in prior Ages, i.e., the Law). The proof-text of John 6, for example, deals primarily with the Incarnation and this Chapter distinguishes between the provision of the Law and the Provision of Christ. Manna sustained physical life, whereas the True Bread provides eternal life. Neither would have been relevant to the infant that died.

    Now here is a question that I think gets us to the heart of the issue: if we allow that God ministers to the unborn child, and that the child receives revelation, understands it, and is saved through that ministry, is this while the child is yet alive? Or, is the quickening that takes place made a reality after they physically perish?

    And I will withhold further comment until you address that issue.


    I am a little pressed for time this morning so will just post this from the reference given:


    Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling

    3._____ Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
    ( John 3:3, 5, 6; John 3:8 )

    4._____ Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved; be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess.
    ( Matthew 22:14; Matthew 13:20, 21; Hebrews 6:4, 5; John 6:44, 45, 65; 1 John 2:24, 25; Acts 4:12; John 4:22; John 17:3 )

    I actually agree with both points, yet we have a couple issues that could be discussed.

    First, we still need to address whether there are non-elect infants that go into eternal separation.

    Second, do we see in point 3 a clear statement that salvation is accomplished by the Spirit separate from the Word of God, the "Ministry of the Word," which we see is normative in salvation for those who are born and grow up.

    Third, when does regeneration take place? Every proof-text given refers to the revealed Gospel of this Age. So we can say we have two groups of infants that die in the womb, those in past Ages, and those in this Age. Those who take the position that men have always been regenerated by God prior to Pentecost may not see this distinction, but, the proof-texts above are specific to the Gospel of Christ Post-Cross, so they do not distinguish between the perfection of the Old Testament Saint, and this becomes a non-issue for them. However, we still have to answer the question, when does regeneration take place?


    And I will leave those points for discussion. Thanks for the response.


    God bless.
     
  2. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    Just wanted to comment on this. This is an issue that I think deserves examination, because I would agree that there is a general calling given to all men, first by internal witness, secondly through those evidences God gives within the Creation, and finally through direct revelation. But I do not take a position that there is an "ineffectual calling" in the sense that God desires for one to be saved and despite His best efforts it is to no avail. I think we see more a pattern of God calling and this is effectual 100%, even when those called kick at the goads (Jonah, for example, which gives a picture of God's will imposed on an unwilling hearer, which from my own position has to be distinguished from a salvific experience, it is just an example of someone rebelling against God's will and that rebellion being over-ridden).

    I think the distinction made, "the Ministry of the Word," which looks to the temporal aspect of the conveyance of the Gospel, could very well have the aspect of "ineffectual." It is not until the Spirit of God ministers directly in the heart in relationship to the Word being preached that we step into the realm of effectual calling, in my view.


    God bless.
     
  3. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    This is my feeling as well. I trust God enough to trust His decisions in all matters - even the lives of my children both alive and dead. I lost two babies and I trust their souls to God. They are now right where they should be, wherever that is.
     
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  4. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    I quoted TCassidy in my post #8 as I didn't have anything else to add.
     
  5. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I believe Spurgeon hit it just right on this subject.
     
  6. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Yes I love Spurgeon's Sermons and writings and am going thru The Treasury Of David now... After reading the link you posted which the whole was very good I gleaned this portion out I thought was interesting... Brother Glen

    II. This brings me now to note THE REASONS WHY WE THUS THINK INFANTS ARE SAVED.
    [​IMG]First, we ground our conviction very much upon the goodness of the nature of God. We say that the opposite doctrine that some infants perish and are lost, is altogether repugnant to the idea which we have of Him whose name is love. If we had a God, whose name was Moloch, if God were an arbitrary tyrant, without benevolence or grace, we could suppose some infants being cast into hell; but our God, who heareth the young ravens when they cry, certainly will find no delight in the shrieks and cries of infants cast away from his presence. We read of him that he is so tender, that he careth for oxen, that he would not have the mouth of the ox muzzled, that treadeth out the corn. Nay, he careth for the bird upon the nest, and would not have the mother bird killed while sitting upon its nest with its little ones. He made ordinances and commands even for irrational creatures. He finds food for the most loathsome animal, nor does he neglect the worm any more than the angel, and shall we believe with such universal goodness as this, that he would cast away the infant soul I say it would he clear contrary to all that we have ever read or ever believed of Him, that our faith would stagger before a revelation which should display a fact so singularly exceptional to the tenor of his other deeds. We have learned humbly to submit our judgments to his will, and we dare not criticise or accuse the Lord of All; we believe him to be just, let him do as he may, and? Therefore, whatever he might reveal we would accept; but he never has, and I think he never will require of us so desperate a stretch of faith as to see goodness in the eternal misery of an infinite cast into hell. You remember when Jonah—petulant, quick-tempered Jonah—would have Nineveh perish God gave it as the reason why Nineveh should not be destroyed, that there were in it more than six score thousand infants,—persons, he said, who knew not their right hand from their left. If he spared Nineveh that their mortal life might be spared, think you that their immortal souls shall be needlessly cast away! I only put it to your own reason. It is not a case where we need much argument. Would your God cast away an infant? If yours could, I am happy to say he is not the God that I adore.
     
  7. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    "Darrell C,
    I think it does.

    as you say, that is your view...I am not bound by it....all are sinners at conception.

    yes we do
    yes we do, but it is at this point that men want to think for God as if He needed help....even Spurgeon did this without biblical warrant.

    No....most deal from pure emotion on this.....

    Not for me DC..... I just trust God 100% on this.....

    There will be no non elect persons in Heaven at all.

    This is your thought, not mine. I leave it to God.
    ,

    I see no clear expression of this in scripture addressing this topic.

    your speculation.....we do not see as God does.

    each sin is judged.....even among those who have no special revelation
    the sins of the Amorites are not yet full!
     
  8. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    I think he expressed some general truths about God that we can affirm, but he doesn't really present something that we can think about in regards to the issue. Its just kind of...fluff, in my opinion.

    I think the grieving parents deserve a little more than that, because most will reconcile their grief with the truth that God is good, and will make provision for babies.

    I think we can see in Scripture a pattern set forth by God Himself that gives us a more definitive understanding of why God will make provision for babies.

    Mankind stands above animals, for example, and the fact that God may provide food for the most detestable beast is irrelevant. Two entirely different issues. That God does not want to see a mother bird die in the nest...? It happens. Doesn't impact God's dealings with men.

    Short on time this morning, so will not post examples from the statement of Spurgeon. That is contrary to the purpose of the OP, which is to see the understanding of the members, not the understanding of those which influences their understanding. So I have the understanding of Spurgeon, but I do not have the understanding of some of the members, or the Biblical Basis for that understanding. Its easy to adopt the understanding of another, and that is probably typical for many believers.

    God bless.
     
  9. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    And that's okay. If the matter is settled for you, great.

    And that is one of the issues I would like to discuss.

    What is your Biblical Basis for the idea that all are sinners at conception?

    Secondly, if this is the case, then how is it that the Elect that die as infants...are saved?

    And I will set this by itself because this is one of the key issues of the OP.

    And I will also, to make sure I am not misunderstood, declare my own position: men are not born with sin as though it is a disease, they are born separated from God which is the reason why, when they reach an age of comprehension...they sin. Also to clarify, I am not speaking about the extrabiblical "age of accountability," because I believe this is various among men, and is dependent on their experience. For example, a child growing up in a war torn country can be a murderer by the age of eight, whereas another eight year old, who has never been exposed to very much, can be bereft of knowledge which might bring about a guilt for such intent.


    Continued...
     
  10. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    But I don't think we view it the same way. I see Adam as casting the entire human race into separation from God, and that is man's primary problem. Because of this, he will inevitably sin.

    I use to take the position that men were "born with sin," as though this was a genetic trait passed down through the Ages.

    You can share your own view.


    But here's the thing, Iconoclast...God has given us His Word so we can know what He thinks. While it is true that men take differing views as to what that is on any given issue, wouldn't you agree that we can conclude on most issues based on what He has given us, His Word?

    I don't see this particular issue as any different. We should be able to conclude dogmatically in regards to man's condition in the womb.


    But that is not what I hope to do in this thread. I hope to examine the relevant Scripture and the Biblical basis for the differing views.


    Continued...
     
  11. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    If its "not for you," why are you participating?

    I too trust God on this, as well as His Word, which I think gives us definitive basis for our understanding.


    That's a given. Not any different than saying "There will not be anyone lost in the Eternal State. The question is...

    ...are infants saved by the grace of God despite the fact that in their physical lives they never came to know Christ through the Gospel?

    If so...why?

    If not, or, if it is believed that some among infants that die are non-elect and go into eternal separation...why?

    What is the Biblical Basis for either view?

    And I will throw in that after physical death we are dealing with the spirit of that child, not an embryo, not an infant in early development, so technically I don't think we would view the non-elect infant that dies as going into eternal separation in the physical form they had while alive here on earth, so it doesn't have to be a concept of an infant being cast into the Lake of Fire.

    And just to clarify, I am not saying this is reasonable, because I go back to my view that God judges sin based on man's response to the revelation that has shown that person it is sin, whether this is the internal witness God provides for all men, or direct revelation such as we see when God speaks directly to men, to men through Prophets, or through His Word (accompanied by the ministry of the Spirit, which makes it so that they have no excuse (and the internal witness, just to clarify, is a work of the Spirit as well, though it does not equate to eternal indwelling, but the ministry seen throughout Scripture in regards to the revelation of truth by God to man)).

    Continued...
     
  12. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    So you think that this...

    I take the position that God judges justly, and judges sin according to it's severity, and the severity of punishment is according to the sin itself.

    ...is not a valid statement?


    I said...

    This would place infants into a category where, though they are separated from God and need that condition remedied through Christ



    You do not view infants as separated from God?


    So what sin would you lay to the charge of the infant?

    Or is it a matter that you feel all are charged with Adam's sin, and that is the sin they "have." Lot of people take this position, which is one of the issues I hope to examine.

    But I do not see it as speculation, because we have been given enough that we can draw a conclusion. I have seen some speculation in regards to the infant recently that warrants a closer look, hence the thread itself. And for the record, I am challenging my own views as well as those of others.


    What sin? What sin is laid to the charge of the embryo? The two month old infant? The six month old?

    That's just one of the questions.


    Sure, in a general application of the term, but, the Amorite, just as the Fourth Generation, did, has come and gone, lol.


    God bless.
     
  13. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Darrell C,
    .
    I think leaving the issue in God's hands settles it for everyone.

    I see that you do, but I might not be the most helpful person to discuss it with as I see it as clear cut.

    What is your Biblical Basis for the idea that all are sinners at conception?

    All elect sinners are saved the same way. There might be different means employed by God but the same salvation is the result. I see in scripture God dealing with all of His sheep,young or old, rich or poor by means of the Covenant of Redemption being fully accomplished in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    The blood that propitiates the wrath of God is applied as a covering to the elect children;

    11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one:

    for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

    12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

    13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

    14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

    15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

    Your ideas are very similar up to a point. You go on though to speculate as many will, trying to re-think or come up with your own unique take on some of the issues......That is what I meant when I said I am not following you down those theological trails.... you are welcome to do what you need to, but I find in viewing your responses;
    [some might consider them long, sort of like some puritan writings where they take two pages to say what one paragraph might have said}
    Continued...[/QUOTE]
    But as I was saying....you state several ideas that many might agree with,but then you assume every reader is following you and then you seemed a bit startled to find you get a reaction....just an observation.
     
  14. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Darrell C,
    I answered to the OP. I offer clarification on that. When the discussion goes off....sometimes I do not feel the need to follow.
    .
    Well yes....what we are given as revealed truths are for us....
    29 The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

    When anyone overthinks these things...it leads to confusion.



    Any sinner saved....is saved by God's mercy from womb to tomb.

    The ordinary way God saves is the Spirit using the word. How God deals with the persons who cannot communicate in normal ways is between Him and that individual person.. consider what is called Ezkiels infant;
    Ezekiel 16King James Version (KJV)

    16 Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

    2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,

    3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.

    4 And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.

    5 None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.

    6 And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.

    7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.

    8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.

    9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.


    God is preaching to Jerusalem and in the first part of this portion of scripture we get a "possible" indication of what might take place with elect infants who die in infancy...I say that because that is not the point of this message to Israel..[nevertheless you might find it a helpful section to consider}
    I offer it, but I am not going to write a book on it if you see what I am saying.

    All sinned and were condemned in Adam as our federal head, our representative....psalm 51, psalm 58 speak to our condition. All non elect beings will go into second death justly.
    You can take your pick of many verses, but jn 14:6 will work here. Anyone not found ...IN CHRIST.....is not going to heaven. That is why a correct Covenant understanding is essential to understand truth...

    correct...so this is why I do not speculate and in my initial response to you I said....we do not know or think as god does, he reveals some things to us, not everything...I am not certain what His infinite knowledge and wisdom will do, I just trust 100% that it will be consistent with His Holy , righteous character.
     
  15. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Darrell C

    It is your statement. like I posted to you...I am not bound by your concepts-
    agreed
    there are degrees of punishment
    I do not know all the factors that God takes into consideration. I know those he reveals, I do not know what is not revealed. You are trying[ I do not think on purpose, but trying to speak of God as if he was one of us...He is not;
    In reproving the wicked God reveals this;
    15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

    16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

    17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.

    18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.

    19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

    20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.

    21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

    22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

    23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

    This is another example....all sinners are separated from God...DEAD in Sin. not just infants. I said unless a person views the Covenant nature of redemption, they will not solve the puzzle......

    your wording is vague and nebulous here.....[and need that condition remedied through Christ] YOU IN YOUR IDEA SEEM TO LIMIT THE INFANT TO A CONDITION
    ,that sounds like a slight illness,,, like they have poison ivy rash, and need calamine lotion to fix the condition. So I do not go there with you, and yet you ask if Infants are not separated.......they are dead in sin, separated from the life of God, unless God has mercy on them.

    Let me say it very clearly.....{in a fantasy world news flash} a hidden scroll is discovered, [this is not going to happen].....but the scroll says'''
    thus saith the Lord...I will have mercy on millions who die in the womb, but not all.
    words to this effect are found...it is proven to be scripture....
    I would trust is God and His wisdom that is was needful ,and righteous as no darkness is in Him.... Would you trust Him?? Spurgeon seems to suggest he could not worship God if this was so, if I understand him correctly. In his sermon he speaks of a god who is a tyrant which we know is not the biblical God...so I give him some slack,and he is not here to answer me back.
    I am not the infants judge, God is. So you would need to speak to Him about that. I know for sure that baby sinned and died in Adam.

    It is not a matter of how I feel but what scripture says....
    Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation

    14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

    I think it is speculation...
    this is speculation for several reasons.....
    you do not know if God has indeed elected all infants dying in infancy.....if he has the question is pointless
    if he has not....it is still pointless because one sin is enough to condemn a person to second death,and all sinned in adam at one point in time , rom 3;23

    .
    The point of mentioning that verse is that God is conscious of every sin of every person, even among non covenant nations

    ]
     
  16. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist Well-Known Member

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    Why re-invent the wheel?

    Brother, did you even read the sermon? I don't much "debate" those who call themselves believers in Christ. I think it can be quite dishonoring to Jesus. However, this subject is an important one and sometimes is used against the Gospel.

    Spurgeon begins by showing compassion to parents who have lost their children. I think this shows the great compassion any pastor should have. He is even mindful to those who may not have had such an experience affect them. So, I think the whole sermon is geared to be a comfort to parents who have lost.

    I think Spuregon, more soundly than any message I have head on the matter (and there aren't many), addresses this issue:

    "Perhaps you will say, "What reasons have we for believing that it is well with the child?" Before I enter upon that I would make one observation. It has been wickedly, lyingly, and slanderously said of Calvinists, that we believe that some little children perish. Those who make the accusation know that their charge is false. I cannot even dare to hope, though I would wish to do so, that they ignorantly misrepresent us."

    The sermon then following the lines:

    "First, then, this morning, I shall endeavor to explain the way in which we believed infants are saved; secondly, give reasons for do believing; and then, thirdly, seek to bring out a practical use of the subject."

    That is pretty comprehensive on a subject that the Scripture is scant.

    "On what ground, then, do we believe the child to be saved? We believe it to be as lost on the rest of mankind, and as truly condemned by the sentence which said, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." It is saved because it is elect."

    Read the whole sermon and you will see...when you have time of course. :)
     
  17. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Here we go again. Christ is the Door. No one enters but through Him.

    And He is no respecter of persons.
     
  18. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    Perhaps you could place this statement in a context of the OP, and share your own views on what you have found Scripture to teach on the subject?


    God bless.
     
  19. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    Do we leave what a sound Gospel message is to be in God's hands? Is it okay for believers to present an "I don't know exactly what Scripture teaches regarding the Gospel of Christ, so I will just leave it in His hands...?"

    But again, if this is your perspective, why are you interacting in this thread? Why not just sit back and shake your head at the absurdity of those who want to discuss this and examine what we can conclude from Scripture?


    Not sure how you could not understand my position, even if it has been limited thus far, that others might present their own:


    Now, so far you have missed the position I actually take, so now, having clarified that, will you admit that perhaps your response is from a perspective that is missing an important understanding?


    Continued...
     
  20. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    Now, the question here is, do I address these posts in detail, and be rebuked for loooonnnnggggg posts, or, do I cherry pick what is actually relevant, and be rebuked for "not answering" my antagonists, or, do I addresss each point in detail and be rebuked for parsing and using "dishonest debate tactics", or, do I do it in block form and be rebuked for not asnwering my antagonists?

    Well, darned if I do, darned if I don't, lol, so...

    ...I will stick with my typical responsive methods.


    God bless.
     
    #40 Darrell C, Jul 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
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