Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Careful Words?

Can we look anyone – any man, woman or child - in the face and tell them, “Jesus Christ loves you and died for you.”? Can we go on to explain the awfulness of separation from God and the wonderful thing that Christ has done to remedy this problem for mankind? Can we tell anyone, without doubts, that He has done this for them? The bad news is that sin has caused mankind to be separated from God or “dead in sins.” The good news is that Christ has taken sin out of the way and that anyone in mankind can receive life from Christ because Christ holds the keys to death, having triumphed over it.

Now if we were to imagine that Christ only did this for a certain, select group of “elect” - people that were chosen before the foundation of the world – if we understood that these were the only ones on His mind as He suffered and died, we could not honestly look into the face of any man, woman or child and tell them that Christ had done this for him/her, because the fact is, we would have no way of knowing if he/she was one of these “elect.”

Having talked to many of them who hold to this limited work of God, we know how they deal with this. These don’t use the words “Jesus Christ died for you.” These do not personalize the gospel in that way. These say “Jesus Christ died for sinners.” Or “Jesus Christ died for those who will believe.” (These are confident that they will not be pressed into answering the “next” question – “Yes, but did He die for ME?”)

So by saying “sinners” or “those who will believe” – these carefully, and in an unspoken way, limit the scope of those for whom Christ died, without coming out and saying so. IOW, “sinners” in this presentation means “some sinners” and “those who will believe” is an end-run around the scope of the provision, but is rather a reference to those who appropriate the provision.

I find this all to be a bit crafty. If one holds to the “glorious truth” of the doctrine of eternal predestination and election of individuals to faith, why not just tell people that?

It might sound something like this, unless I am mistaken:
“God has chosen to save a small number of people before they were ever born. He did x, y and z to accomplish this. He may give you the gift of faith and works to prove that you are one of them. Won’t you trust Him today?”

That would seem to be more of the honest gospel invitation of those who hold that the saving work of God is limited to a preterdermined and limited group who are unconditionally elected. Or does someone have a better one?

78 Comments:

  • I think I agree.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/06/2007 2:52 PM  

  • Rose,

    You and I have talked at length about this. I like your questions in this post. I too struggle with understanding the D.O.G. viewpoint. The idea of "some sinners" vs. "all sinners" I think is addressed in Romans.

    Romans 5:18 "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men."

    I think that Calvinists would ALL agree that .....one trespass was condemnation for ALL men.... but how does the definition of "all" (which is the Greek word "Pa") change definitions in the same sentence and same context .....one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for ALL men."? How can ALL mean every last person when speaking about sin and total depravity, but then later, ALL means "some" or "all kinds" when speaking about justification. Is this a case of interpreting scripture by looking through the lens of your theology?This one puzzles me.

    I know there are more learned souls than I who read and comment on your blog. I would love to hear their thoughts.

    PS...sorry for the long comment.

    By Anonymous KS, at 11/06/2007 3:06 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Challenging. Very challenging.

    Hi KS
    I may not fit your qualifications for being, "more learned", but I have a real problem with the "L" because of verses you have brought up here, if we Calvinists wish to maintain intellectual and personal integrity we must admit that the all is all therefore the "L" must fall.

    One brother put it this way, "Jesus died, even for those who are in Hell right now."

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 11/06/2007 3:53 PM  

  • Thanks John,

    But how does a Calvinist separate Unconditional Election from Limited Atonement. How can all mean all thus knocking off the "L" but not the Unconditional Election which also teaches that all does not mean all....just the chosen?

    Still Pondering....

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 11/06/2007 4:24 PM  

  • Rose,

    At one place in your post you asked, "Yes, but did He die for ME?" Now THAT's the sixty-four thousand dollar, to be sure.

    Oddly enough, Cals offer a man-centered and subjective answer(if you believe, then He did), but Scripture gives a God-centered and objective answer (yes, Christ died for you whether you believe or not).

    The authority of Scripture trumps the existential foolishness of Calvinism any day.

    By Blogger tjp, at 11/06/2007 6:42 PM  

  • I find this all to be a bit crafty. If one holds to the “glorious truth” of the doctrine of eternal predestination and election of individuals to faith, why not just tell people that?

    Good morning, Rose!

    What if Calvinists did as you say they should? Just give the sinners we are seeking to evangelise a good dose of eternal predestination and election and nothing else! Would this satisfy our detractors on your side of your fence? Surely, we do no wrong when we preach the following aspect of the atonement:

    1) The merit or worth of the atonement of Christ is infinite. It has the capacity to redeem the whole world and even hell itself if it were the will of God that it should be so.

    2) Christ actually secured atonement for all those for whom He died His atoning death. No hypothetical atonement for hypothetical sinners. If He shall see the travail of His soul and be satisfied (Isaiah 53:11) then He must be satisfied that He achieved all that he set out to do. If you want to have Him entirely satisfied that His death only accomplished (perhaps) a fraction or half (or whatever) of what He set out to do…then be prepared to speak about a Saviour who takes satisfaction in frustrated purposes and failed missions. If He only died to make salvation possible, but not actually purpose save anyone in particular through it, then you are looking at a Christ plus situation as the basis of redemption. In this non Calvinist-though-Evangelical case, His death-plus-my-faith = the basis of my salvation.

    3) Christ's death did not merely secure the redemption of His people, but also the means whereby this redemption is totally guaranteed to effect those for whom it was offered. In other words, faith and repentance etc., all flow from the Cross to the elect sinner and so make the Cross work effectual to the elect sinner.

    4) The free offer of the gospel - the preaching of the gospel to every last sinner - stands on the basis of the infinite worth of the Cross. (First point above) If Calvinists limited the worth of the atonement, then we could not honestly offer Christ to every man, elect or otherwise. (NB: At no time do Calvinists claim to know who the unsaved elect are.) The gospel promise is therefore for every last sinner. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) There will be those in hell to whom Christ in the infinite worth of His atonement was offered - there, because they rejected an infinitely worthy atonement.

    5) To say that Christ died for Judas who is in Hell greatly detracts from the worth of Christ's atonement, for (according to the ineffectual atonement folk) Christ actually shed His blood to make definite atonement for, wash away, cleanse, pardon, forgive, justify, forget etc., the sins of Judas Iscariot and yet Judas is in Hell suffering in what can only now be viewed as a twisted justice for those very same sins for which Christ supposedly paid the price. The Calvinist is spared the threat of the discerning sinner asking the obvious question: If the blood of Christ, having accomplished all these things for Judas failed, why then should it then effectually avail for me? When he hears that it is his faith that makes the difference to the atonement (NB again: The Calvinist does not deny the need of faith in the sinner to be saved) he may take comfort in the thought that it is his faith plus Christ's work that forms the foundation of the forgiveness of sins. Howls of protest or not, here really is room for the sinner whose faith practically rescues the atonement to boast. In this non Calvinist scheme, faith does not flow from the finished work of Christ, but is the vital ingredient to give it substance and save it from failure. The Calvinist avoids the "Poor Jesus" syndrome that requires sinners to render Him something to get His lacks-something-work-of-atonement up and over the brow of the hill.

    Regards :-)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/07/2007 5:01 AM  

  • DF,
    Those are very careful words. :~) "I think I agree." hehe

    KS,
    Welcome to RR! How nice to see you there. That is not a very long comment, no apology necessary. I agree - I think it is confusing. Logically, the TULIP seems to lead to the "L". Then again, who needs logic? I think if we ditch the L, then the rest seems unecessary at best, especially since the scriptural veracity of it is so questionable and debatable.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    J. Wendell,
    Thanks for your thoughts too! I really appreciate them... and you!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/07/2007 12:21 PM  

  • TJP,
    Thank you for your visit. I agree - the answer is sort of not really an answer. Thank you for your contribution.

    Goodnighsafehome (Colin Maxwell),
    Thank you for your visit. Welcome back!
    I have many thoughts about your comment. I am busy at the moment, but will come back to it in a bit. see ya :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/07/2007 12:23 PM  

  • Hidy-ho, Rose. How are you?

    ks: "I think that Calvinists would ALL agree that .....one trespass was condemnation for ALL men.... but how does the definition of "all" (which is the Greek word "Pa") change definitions in the same sentence and same context .....one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for ALL men."? How can ALL mean every last person when speaking about sin and total depravity, but then later, ALL means "some" or "all kinds" when speaking about justification...."

    ks, does all mean every last person on the face of the earth when, for example, a speaker addresses a convention by saying, "I'm happy to see all of you here today."?

    Context is vital - as it is to most things. "All" is a quantifier, which of course indicates the quantity of 'whatever', so the context in which it is used is necessary.

    By Blogger Gayla, at 11/07/2007 4:13 PM  

  • Gayla,

    Thanks for your input. I think that "all" in the Romans 5;18 context means everyone, every last person. I agree that "all" is a quantifier, and the quantity here is 100%. Most Calvinists would apply the 100% definition of all to "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". 100% of mankind is totally depraved.

    So, does Christ's one act of righteousness bring life for 100% of men? I think the context is clear, but that does not fit the Unconditional Election position.

    I am thinking and pondering these things....I am not dogmatically defending them. I am very open to other understandings and will "ponder" them as well. :)

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 11/07/2007 4:46 PM  

  • Crafty indeed.....

    Good Post!

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at 11/08/2007 11:50 AM  

  • Colin Maxwell,
    you say:
    1) The merit or worth of the atonement of Christ is infinite. It has the capacity to redeem the whole world and even hell itself if it were the will of God that it should be so.

    if it were the will of God ... well, do we know what the will of God is in relation to this subject?

    Hebrews 2:8Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

    Does that not mean every man? I assume women and children are included? You know I could cite many other verses like this.

    OK, so you seem to think that if someone is in hell it is because his sins were not paid for. I have come to see that this is not the case. He will be in hell because he does not have God's life. What happened at the fall of man? Sin and death. Christ has taken care of the sin. Spiritual death is now the only problem. Christ, holding the keys to death because of His accomplished work, can offer a way out of death - or "eternal life".

    The Calvinist avoids the "Poor Jesus" syndrome that requires sinners to render Him something to get His lacks-something-work-of-atonement up and over the brow of the hill.

    See, there is no "poor Jesus" problem here. He is Lord of all. He has put SIN down. Not some sin, but all sin. Now He freely offers life. He can do that because he is Lord of all... He triumphed over sin and death. If He choses to apply this to those who believe, who are you to question Him?

    Sin has been removed as a barrier between God and man - the curtain in the holy of holies was rent in two. Now men can freely go in, but only through Him... in His life-giving ressurection power.

    regards. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/09/2007 11:56 AM  

  • Gayla,
    Thanks for visiting and interacting with KS (my freind from church).

    Jon Lee - what an honor to have you read my blog! Thanks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/09/2007 11:57 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I hope you don't mind me budging into your conversation with Goodnight, but I read your comment to him and it didn't sit right with me.

    You said, "OK, so you seem to think that if someone is in hell it is because his sins were not paid for. I have come to see that this is not the case. He will be in hell because he does not have God's life. What happened at the fall of man? Sin and death. Christ has taken care of the sin. Spiritual death is now the only problem. Christ, holding the keys to death because of His accomplished work, can offer a way out of death - or "eternal life"."

    and

    "Sin has been removed as a barrier between God and man - the curtain in the holy of holies was rent in two. Now men can freely go in, but only through Him... in His life-giving ressurection power."


    I read that and I thought, if sin has been removed, why is it such an issue in the Bible? So in John 16:8, why didn't Jesus say that the Holy Spirit would convict the world concerning unbelief instead of sin? Or why does Paul think it's important to address the fact that faith is credited as righteousness in Romans 4:5? And in Romans 4:8, why is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account blessed? Why isn't it the man who believes?

    And what about forgiveness? Why would forgiveness be important if sin wasn't the issue? Peter said that all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." (Acts 10:43) and Paul says, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace." (Eph. 1:7)

    And what about righteousness? Isn't righteousness important? Paul thinks so. He says, "But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe..."

    Having our sin dealt with, forgiven and God's righteousness given to us is a major part of our salvation. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying. It's my main problem with Antonio's approach. It is true that one who believes in Christ receives eternal life, but it's equally true that we receive forgiveness of sins and His righteousness. With out those things, heaven wouldn't be heaven and our life here on earth wouldn't be abundant.

    It's because Christ has taken care of sin for me through faith in Him that I have life and not death. If he had taken care of my sin before I believed, as you suggest, then I wouldn't face death (the wages of sin). The two go hand in hand.

    I realize I didn't address your post, exactly. Maybe I'll do that in a while. This is a good discussion, gets me thinking. Thanks.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 11/09/2007 1:16 PM  

  • Hi Rose, I hope your cold is abating. Dabney once wrote that man could no more save himself than he could walk on the moon. A good 19th Century statement! Maybe he should've said that he could no more save himself than he could cure the common cold. A thought which still holds good in our supposedly brilliant 21st Century.

    1) Where do we learn of the will of God? As revealed in the Bible. We know that the whole world or hell won't be actually redeemed, because the world and those in hell are in bondage and you cannot remain in bondage and be redeemed at one and the same time.

    2) There is no grammatical reason why "every man" cannot be taken as "every kind of man". Neither is a Scriptural reason why it should mean "every man without exception". Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and EVERY MAN presseth into it. Surely, you are not saying that every man without exception presse (d/s) into the Kingdom of God?

    3) I can't run either with this somewhat modern idea (!) which 10c has taken you up on about there being no sin to reckon with since it was all taken away by Christ. Christ warned the people that many of them would die in their sins (John 8:21) and that it was this that kept them out of where He was. Furthermore, He warned the Pharisees that their sin remained (John 9:41) and that on the basis of their unbelief. Furthermore (again) the wrath of God which is poured out on the children of disobedience comes for the sake of their fornication, uncleanness etc., (Colossians 3:5-6) I notice our mutual friend, JV McGee commenting on the parallel verse in Ephesians 5:6 writes: "In view of the fact that the wrath of God will be poured out on the regenerate because of these sins, it follows that the child of God cannot participate in them without incurring the displeasure and judgement of God." Romans 1:18 likewise declares: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Your view is rather novel and without Scriptural support as the quoted references prove.

    4) An atonement that totally depends on the decision of man to make it effectual is still a dependable and therefore weak atonement. It takes my faith to give it the power it needs. Whereas, I would claim that my faith flows from the power of the Cross and but receives this powerful and definite atonement and applies its immediate benefits to my guilty soul.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/09/2007 2:00 PM  

  • Goodnight and Ten Cent,
    OK, all rhetoric aside, this is not a modern idea.

    2 Cor. 5:
    18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

    John seems to state the problem quite simply:
    1 John 5:12
    He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.


    Isaiah seems to think that Christ took away ALL SIN.

    Isaiah 53: 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

    I see your point in bringing up the Scriptures that you have, though. There must be some explanation that works. I am open to finding a better way of stating this than I have. I do not find yours/Calvinism to be this.

    Perhaps it is a matter of sin being dealt with -for all- at the cross but the curse (wages) of sin - which is death - remains. Maybe that is how I would like to say it.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/09/2007 2:26 PM  

  • You can't say that at the moment of faith, your sins are suddenly placed on the cross. I suppose that is why we get the predestination thinking going. But then even that has a problem ... if your sins being placed in the cross accomplished salvation and faith is not required to appropriate the provision (as Colin asserts), why does Ephesians 2 say that the saints had been "children of wrath" before faith?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/09/2007 2:31 PM  

  • Rose:

    It is not accurate to write that "faith is not required to appropriate the provision (as Colin asserts)," Sure, the propiation needs to be appropiated, which (as we both know) is by faith alone. I did write in my first posting: (NB again: The Calvinist does not deny the need of faith in the sinner to be saved)

    What I am asserting is that the atonement itself was/is effectual in its own right and by itself. Maybe I am not making myself clear here. The point is that we come to faith in a definite atonement that actually clears those, for whom it was offered, of all guilt. The traditional, old time, non Calvinist cannot claim this unless he slips into Universalism. Therefore he introduces the requirement of man's faith to give the atonement the cutting edge it requires, hence my continual charge.

    P/s It would be nice to know which commentators from whatever school from a past age held to your view? Men go to hell because of their various sins and not just the sin of unbelief.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/09/2007 3:16 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said, "Perhaps it is a matter of sin being dealt with -for all- at the cross but the curse (wages) of sin - which is death - remains. Maybe that is how I would like to say it."

    I still maintain that you can't separate sin from it's wages. If sin is dealt with, if the payment of sin has been made then why would the wages remain?

    You quoted 2 Cor. 5:18-20. But if I were to use your logic, it says Christ was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, yet they were imploring them to be reconciled to God. How does that compute? If the whole world is already reconciled, why do they implore people to be reconciled? Are there some who aren't reconciled yet?

    Let's look at Romans 6:20-23
    "For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    So was everybody (all men) slaves to sin and now they are free? Because if that's the case, then the logical conclusion is universal salvation because in verse 22 Paul says that the outcome, the benefit we derive from this freedom from sin is eternal life. Then he contrasts the result of sin and the free gift of God - death and eternal life respectively.

    You quoted Isaiah 53:6. Your understanding would have to be that "us" means the whole world. Consider Hebrews 9:28, "so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." Why didn't author say to bear the sins of the "whole world"? Maybe He didn't bear the sins of the whole world? Or "many" has to mean "everybody".

    And I wouldn't agree that faith is not required to appropriate the provision. I think we're under wrath until we believe. I believe Romans 8 addresses this as well as the Eph passage that you referenced. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." That says to me that there is condemnation for those who are not in Christ Jesus, and before I believed I was not in Christ Jesus, therefore condemned and under God's wrath.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 11/09/2007 3:36 PM  

  • Rose - forgive me for ignoring entirely the meta, as I am simply responding to the post.

    This will be a long and involved comment, so anyone reading it, I ask that you resist the urge to skim it. ;-) I won't be offended if people don't interact with my comment, but I can't say the same if someone skims over what I have to say then makes a comment that immediately betrays their ignorance of my point.

    I will begin by voicing a curiosity.

    Noah built the ark to God's specification, a specification that included only enough living room for Noah, his wife, and his three sons, their wives, and only as many stalls and stores for as animals God had chosen beforehand to save.

    It almost goes without saying, but the salvation of Noah and his family is an antitype, that is, it pictures our salvation -in- Christ.

    We all agree here that we are saved by grace through faith (even if we may disagree about where the distinction between dead faith and saving faith lies). No one here I think would argue that we are not born from above (or born again if you prefer) in the moment that we are saved. John the Baptist spoke of the moment of salvation in this way - he said that one was coming (Christ) who would baptize, "en" the Holy Spirit (c.f. Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16). We should note that while the preposition "en" with the dative is showing a stationary relationship that is typically translated "in" or "into" yet in these passages it is often translated as "with" or "by". I think the reason for that is because we tend not to transliterate rather than translate the word for baptize. The word for baptize of course means to put one thing inside another - such as putting a submerging entirely a cucumber into brine or a putting a body entirely into a crypt or grave such that the thing that was baptized was entirely within the thing it was baptized into. These are not random examples, but literary examples of how the word was used in first century Palestine. So John the baptist technically said that while he was putting people into water, one was coming who would put them -into- the Holy Spirit and fire. It makes for a more flowing English translation if we choose to transliterate baptize, and so we read baptize "by" or baptize "with" the Holy Spirit, but if we translate this way, I think something of the original intent is lost. Understanding this give one some insight as they come to texts like Romans 6 where we see the same language: we were put into Christ, and that it is through this -union- that we are set free from sin, since it is through this union that we were with Christ on Calvary, that is, it is through this union that we pass through judgment -in- Christ.

    Here is where we see the antitype of the ark portraying the coming Christ. Just as Noah and his family were placed into the Ark by God, and passed through the judgment that was going on outside the ark, so too everyone who was ever saved was placed into Christ so that even as God's judgment fell all around them (that is, on Christ), yet they being in Christ passed through that judgment and were saved.

    Now, getting back to my curiosity: given that I regard this antitype as instructional, and correct, I am asking myself what Noah's preaching during that time must have looked like?

    We recall that Noah was a preacher of righteousness, and with a description like we expect that it is no strained presumption to conclude that during the 100 years or so years of building the ark Noah would have been engaged (at some time at least) in actually calling others to turn to God in faith. Yet Noah was building an ark that had been designed by God to have only enough room for Noah, his family, the animals, and their supplies. God hadn't delivered designs for an ark big enough for everyone in the world at the time - yet Noah preached righteousness to those around him.

    Now we come to the source of my curiosity. Why didn't God instruct Noah to build the ark big enough for everyone?

    1 John 4:19 teaches us that the -reason- we love God is not because we are naturally affectionate people, or because it seemed wise in our eyes to love God, or because we saw that God was lovable and chose to love him - rather the reason that we love God at all is -because- He first loved us. That is what the Spirit says through John. Yet we must be fair - if we insist that God loves everyone so that all are given an equal chance, we must conclude that everyone loves God since we love God because of this love with which he first loved us. Yet we do not see that. Therefore we must conclude that universal love - the love that God loves the world with - is not the same love that causes us to love God, or everyone in the world would love God. We must conclude, I believe, that the love with which God loves everyone is universally ignored by all, that it is -not- the same love that God pours out into believer's hearts through the Holy Spirit, but is rather a general love that is -not- poured into believer's hearts, but is rather a universal love poured out upon all of us, but not producing a reciprocated love in us.

    You see, as a Calvinist, I have no problem with God loving the whole world. But I am careful what I mean when I say that. I know many Calvinists limit the love of God to the elect, and I would limit the love that scripture describes as poured out by God and into the hearts of believers through the Holy Spirit - that love I would definitely limit to believers, for it cannot soberly be said that God pours this love into the hearts of non-believers, for surely those who do not love God are anathema (1 Corinthians 16:22). Yet to qualify what I mean when I say I have no problem with God loving every last person in the world, I mean that God loves them one and all - but that this love by no means reciprocates affection, nor does it call anyone to God. It is simply a statement of the character of God - God =is= love, and to imagine God as not loving someone is alien to any right understanding of scripture.

    It is because God loved everyone in Noah's days that he gave them 100 or so years to turn to God in faith when Noah was preaching the gospel to them beforehand - that if they would turn from their wickedness and embrace God in faith they would be saved - but not one of them was interested in God. Noah himself, had not God intervened by grace, would have continued rejecting God, and would have perished along with everyone else, but God showed Noah and his family grace, and drew Noah to himself - causing Noah to believe, and then to be sanctified. Not unlike God does today - drawing believers to Christ according to His own counsel and will, and not according to man's counsel or will. No man is saved because they willed themselves to be saved, or ran in the right way but they are saved because God showed them mercy in drawing them to the Son first through a conviction of God's righteousness, and a conviction of their own sin - then by granting them faith to believe God for salvation, just as he did (no doubt) for Noah.

    When I share the gospel, I don't tell them that Christ died for them. The bible doesn't say that, why should I? The bible says that Jesus died for sinners - and if they are a sinner, I let them know they qualify, but I don't tell them that Jesus died for them, because that would be like Noah preaching to the antediluvian host that he was building the ark for everyone. Do you see how wrong that is? Noah could well say that He had was building an ark and that God was absolutely going to save every single person upon the earth that turned to God in faith - and Noah would not be lying. Noah could plead with these people in tears and passion and it would not be acting - if any single one of them would turn they would certainly be on that ark - and I don't doubt that Noah did just that. "You see this ark? I am building it because God is going to judge the world, and anyone who isn't in that ark is going to be judged. Turn therefore from your sin and extend faith in God and I promise you God will see that you are put into that ark when His wrath comes!" But it would be quite another thing for Noah to say, "God loves you and has made a place for you on the ark I am building so that you can be saved from his wrath."

    The subtlety may be lost, I am not sure, but let me know if this makes sense to you. As a Calvinist I am perfectly free to offer the gospel this way:

    "God has decreed that every sin shall be punished by an eternity in hell. If you have ever lied, you can know today for certain what your eternal destiny is - at least according to the bible. You are condemned as a sinner, and you will certainly go to judgment the moment you die, and having committed just one sin, you will certainly be condemned and sentenced to hell where you are going to spend eternity away from God whom you presently want nothing to do with anyway.

    Yet even though you are condemned, God hasn't taken your life away and dragged you off to judgment, not because you don't deserve it, you most certainly do, but rather because God is full of grace and loves you, and because he loves you and is full of grace, He is giving you every day from now until the moment you die to change your standing before him from condemned to righteous - that is, because God loves you, you have this day and all that follow it in your life to do something about your present condemnation.

    Your sin must be punished. It cannot be canceled out by doing good, nor can it be overlooked. God -must- punish your sin, and He must punish it to the fullest. But thankfully God has provided a way for you to be saved. It isn't by suddenly becoming good, because God says that you can no more become suddenly good than a leopard can change his own spots. You might try and be good, but the bible says that whatever good you produce is not merely insufficient, but because it is motivated by a desire to coerce God into pardoning your sin, it is in fact an unclean thing itself - a rag so filthy that if you tried to wipe yourself clean with it, it would actually only make you -more- dirty. There is no "good" thing that you can do to undo your sin, and God would by no means continue to be a righteous God if he simply overlooked your sin. God must punish it, or He is not a righteous God.

    You might ask, if I cannot cancel out my sin, and God cannot overlook it - how then can I be saved?

    Well, because God cannot cancel out your sin, you must die. But in order to save you from this death God did a magnificent thing: He sent His own Son to earth, to be born as a human being named Jesus Christ, Who lived His entirely life without sinning specifically for this one purpose: to offer Himself to God for our salvation.

    Our sin required our death, so Jesus offered himself to God, but not Himself only - on the cross Christ took into Himself all who would turn away from their sin and turn away from every other way of trying to appease God, and instead trust that God would save as many as would turn to God and put their faith, not in doing good works, but in God to save them - as many as are willing to believe that God will save them from their sin - these were united spiritually with Christ on the cross so that when Christ died, they died. God's justice was satisfied because sin was fully punished on Calvary. But because Christ was innocent, God could not justly allow him to stay dead - so God raised Christ, and because we were inseparably united to Christ, God raised us too, in Christ.

    In this way God could justly condemn us and raise us from the dead - but the cost was profound - it cost Christ His life, but it stands as a stark testimony to how far God is willing to go to save you, if you are willing to be saved.

    So you have before you the gospel - believe that you are a condemned sinner in need of salvation, and believe that you can by no means save yourself or avoid your damnation - believe that there is no other name under heaven by which you can be saved - for if you are not in the ark when the rain comes down - you will most certainly die. Choose therefore whether or not you will spurn God's love - will you trust Christ to save you from sin and be saved, or will you continue to embrace your sin and die.

    You don't get saved by saying the 'right' prayer, or by doing the right stuff - you get saved by Jesus Christ if you turn to Him in faith. So I encourage you, turn to Christ in faith.
    "

    That would be a quick gospel presentation. Note that I don't at any time say that Christ died for you - I say Christ died for sinners, and if you see yourself as condemned and in need of salvation, and turn to Christ - He ==will== save you.

    I believe that with all my heart. Only those who were in Christ on Calvary will be saved - no others. But I have no idea who these people are. So I dare not lie and say that Christ took everyone to the cross with himself, that is, I dare not suggest that Christ died for everyone - rather I would say that what scripture says: that Jesus died for every sinner who places his trust in God to save him from his sin and from God's wrath. It might sound the same, but it doesn't suppose (or require) that Jesus died for everyone - the offer is made to all, and rejected by all so that unless God shows a person mercy, they will by no means believe. But we have no idea whom God will show this mercy to, so when we make the offer we make it earnestly and honestly - God -WILL- save you -IF- you trust in Him. We could even tell the sinner that there is no way that they will be able to change their own spots - they cannot make themselves believe it - they must turn to God and beg him to grant them that belief, and even in this we would do no harm to the gospel. But if we tell people that Jesus died for people who will never get to heaven, I believe we mangle the gospel, and make Jesus into a failure.

    I don't mind being corrected if I am wrong.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 11/09/2007 4:23 PM  

  • Daniel,
    Thank you for your comment. As usual, you were very well spoken... and polite as ever. (and verbose, hehe)
    Now, I do not claim to have all the answers to this. I do have a couple of questions for you, though. How do you know that there was not room on the ark for those with whom Noah came into contact? I am sure you have a scriptural reason for saying this, but I am ignorant of it.
    Let me just start with that question. Thank you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/10/2007 1:10 PM  

  • Colin,
    Your position confuses me a little. You say on one side that faith is required to make salvation a reality, yet on the other hand you decry the idea of faith making salvation a reality.

    I see how you do it, though. You do it by redefining the nature of "faith." Your definition of faith is not faith as most people would recognize the word.

    Most people would say that "faith" is trusting in that which is not proven or seen.

    Colin, you have this definition whereby faith becomes something that is known in the heart of the recipient of the gift of faith. In your schematic, faith is KNOWLEDGE of God's truth, not trust. I think you have fundamentally changed the nature of faith when you claim it is a gift of God. Now don't get me wrong - I am sure that God does everything to bring us to faith - there are all the signs that Christ did to prove who He was... there is the HS here in the world revelaing God's truth, there is the church testifying to God's truth and power. Yet, when it comes down to it, faith is our receiving that which God has done.

    If we back this thing up - way back - and say that salvation is receiving the gift of faith, then you would think we would see more people asking for the gift of faith on the pages of the Bible. Wouldn't we see the apostles imploring people to ask for faith?

    If faith is the gift, then instead of asking "What must I do to be saved?" one should ask "What must I do to have faith?"

    It is, however, an interesting way of relieving the unbeliever from his repsonsibilty to believe and receive. If he cannot believe, then he is not responsible for his unbelief. If he is an unbeliever, it is because he has not been given the gift of faith. This is not his fault. I suppose my younger brother would like to hear that. He does not believe the true gospel because God has not given him that gift.

    I see a lot of problem with your approach and this is just one of them. But I do like you and appreciate our exchanges. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/10/2007 1:36 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I accept that I might not have been so clear on what I'm getting at in these exchanges. What I am trying to say is that the atonement of Christ actually secures salvation for all whom it was intended for i.e. the elect. It does not merely make salvation possible for every sinner without exception, but actually saves those whose sins it atones for. The sinner is required to believe - put the full weight of his soul upon - this finished work of Christ in order to appropriate it to his own soul i.e. bring its benefits to him. The difference between this and your perception of the atonement is that it has the in built capacity to save nobody at all. In my perception of the atonement, the sinner's saving faith and repentance etc., all flows from the effectiveness of the Cross. It is the spring of my conversion to God. In your doctrine, the effectiveness of the Cross flows from the sinner's faith and repentance. To sum up: In my doctrine: If it were not for the atonement, I would not have faith. However, in your doctrine: If you did not have faith, you would not have atonement for it is your faith that energises the atonement and saves it from being a lost cause - as it proves to be (if your doctrine is right) if it made actual atonement for Judas Iscariot and every other lost inhabitant of hell.

    Saving faith is built on knowledge - it does not replace it. Therefore Paul said, "I know whom I have believed" (2 Timothy 1:12) Saving faith is not a blind faith.

    Why ask for the gift of faith when we can ask for the gift of salvation? Faith is but the means and salvation is the end to which faith is the means.

    There is nothing (outside the blood of Jesus) that relieves the sinner of the guilt of his unbelief. I preach the full responsibility of man to come to Christ and haven't indicated any other in these pages. Man's inability to believe without the power of the Holy Spirit is self inflicted. There is no Divine hand pushing the sinner down and preventing him from coming to Christ. The sinner is blinded by his own sin and stubbornness etc., If God leaves him to love the darkness rather than the light, then the sinner cannot complain and neither should we. We should just be thankful that we were not abandoned to our own desires. Your younger brother (seeing you introduce the subject) will not come to Christ that He might have life (John 5:40) If he died (God forbid!) in that state of unbelief, then (like Israel) he has destroyed himself (Hosea 13:9) and in the Day of Judgement, his mouth will be stopped (Romans 3:19)

    P/s I like you too :-)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/10/2007 2:48 PM  

  • Hi Rose! you asked, How do you know that there was not room on the ark for those with whom Noah came into contact?

    In Genesis 6:18 God specifically lists off who will be in the Ark - Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives, and the animals.

    But let's pretend that this was insufficent. We are not without reason, so let's apply ourselves to it from the other side as well.

    If Mark Driscoll can bring a church from a handful to thousands in five years, surely Noah could do the same right? I don't think it is unreasonable, especially given the lifetime of the antideluvian host to expect a congregation of thousands, or even tens or hundreds of thousands in an hundred years of preaching righteousness... right?

    If Noah made only a single convert each year, and each convert made only one other convert each year thereafter, in the first year there would be only Noah's family - 8 people, in the 2nd year 9 people (8+1), the 3rd it would be 9 + 2 = 11, in the 4th it would be 11 + 4 = 15, in the 5th 15 + 8 = 23, in the 6th, 23 + 16 = 39, in the 7th 39 + 32 = 71, in the 8th 71 + 64 = 135, in the 9th 135 + 128 = 263, and in the 10th 263 + 256 = 519, in the 11th 519 + 512 = 1031, in the 12th 1031 + 1024 = 2055, in the 13th 2055 + 2048 = 4103, in the 14th 4103 + 4096 = 8199, in the 15th 8199 + 8192 = 16,391, in the 16th year 16391 + 16384 = 32,775, in the 17th 32775 + 32768 = 65,543, in the 18th year, 131,079, in the 19th 262,161, and after only twenty years we see the possible number of converts - even at this very modest rate, rise to over half a million people.

    I think reason therefore tells me that there was not room for even a twenty year estimate - let alone the thirty year 268,435,456, or the forty year 137,438,953,472.

    My presumption of course is that in an hundred years, Noah had more than enough time to see every last person on the planet converted, and if spare bedrooms were left in the ark for all the "possible" converts, the ark would have to a little bigger than 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high! If there were only people on the ark (no animals or food, or even walls and floors) and everyone was piled in like sardines, and if we could bust legs and stuff so that each individual could be packed as tightly as possible, the average person would only take up a few cubic feet - say, three cubic feet. That leaves only enough space for about 1.5 million people, though if they were packed that tight, the ark would sink.

    Even without doing the math, who would seriously suggest or even remotely imagine that God made provision on the ark for every living person on the earth at that time? To be fair, and to keep comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges - that is the only consistent way to look at your question - how do I know that there wasn't room, must because how do I know that there wasn't room enough on the ark for every living person, for if you concede to ask how do I know there wasn't room for merely a half dozen extra people - the question is moot. You are arguing not that Christ died for those who are saved and perhaps a half dozen who aren't - but rather that Christ died for all - and so we must keep the picture consistent.

    So even if scripture didn't imply that there was only as much room as needed for those few who were named to be passengers beforehand - yet I would still know that the ark didn't have any spare bedrooms, and I would know that in the same way I know that no one has ever taken a bow and with it shot an arrow into (and hit) the sun. Yes, someone might aim, and yes someone might shoot and perhaps as the arrow sails away into the blinding light we may lose site of it and someone might insist that it actually reached the sun, and if we never find the arrow these same may well claim this as "proof" enough that the arrow found its mark, and even demand that anyone who holds a contrary opinion must provide "evidence" to bolster the claim, but there comes a point it is no longer a noble desire for truth that provokes us to seek the proof of another's position, but rather it is an unconscious maneuver on our part to avoid (or at least delay) any scrutiny of our own opinions, which might well suffer if we examine them too closely.

    The point here is, as I see it, is that it is inconsistent to ask on the one hand if there was not some little extra room if in fact we are going to argue that a position on the ark was guarenteed by man's choice and not God's for if it was dependant on man's choice, and all men had the "possibility" - then the only proper question to ask is how do I know that the ark wasn't big enough to house all the men on the earth at that time.

    I don't mean that to come off as hole-poking either. That is, I am not trying to avoid answering your question, as I think I answered it well enough, but rather I am saying that it seems to me a very illogical and inconsistent question to ask given your well stated presumptions that Christ died for "all men".

    I could be totally misreading your question however, so I am not trying to be obtuse, nor am I trying to make light of your question - I am just confused by it a little, as it seems inconsistent, or demonstrates that I am not understanding you correctly. Let me know where I am missing the point. ;-)

    By Blogger Daniel, at 11/10/2007 9:29 PM  

  • Hi Rose, I like yourself are still searching and learning. Here are some things that came to mind.
    Question asked:
    I read that and I thought, if sin has been removed, why is it such an issue in the Bible?
    Just because God was reconciling the world unto Himself not counting there sins against them, people still need to be reconciled to God. And if they don’t think that they are a sinner they need to know. The Jews thought that everyone else were sinners but not them. And even though God has taken care of all sin on the cross doesn’t mean that God doesn’t still hate sin. And sin is still an issue even with the saved they can experience God’s wrath (temporal judgment).
    John 1:29 Behold the Lamb of God who TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD. Remember John the Baptist is a prophet and is stating a fact yet to come at that time.

    Question asked:
    So in John 16:8, why didn't Jesus say that the Holy Spirit would convict the world concerning unbelief instead of sin?
    We are to preach the message of reconciliation, and tell people they need to be reconciled to God. The good news is all their sins have been paid for by Jesus so there is no longer any barrier, now all they need is life. And this Jesus offers freely.

    Question asked:
    So in John 16:8, why didn't Jesus say that the Holy Spirit would convict the world concerning unbelief instead of sin?
    Jesus answers why in the next verse: John 16:9 of sin, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN ME.
    The world doesn’t believe that Jesus paid it all. They don’t believe that eternal life is a gift. The cross shows the love of God for the world. Unconditional love, meaning even if they don’t believe, Jesus still paid for their sin. If Jesus would have just paid for the sins of the elect there would be no provision for the world and it would be an empty message. This would put Jesus in the same category as the Priest and the Levite that passed the wounded dying man by, when He could have made provision. Jesus is the Spiritual Good Samaritan and has provided for every dying sinners need. People sin because they are born sinners and that is what sinners do, sin! They are helpless and God knows it. What better message to tell a dying sinner then that Jesus has provided for his sin at the cross and offers him the free gift of eternal life. And you know your not lying to him, the provision HAS been made!

    Question asked:
    Or why does Paul think it's important to address the fact that faith is credited as righteousness in Romans 4:5?
    Just because Jesus has paid for the sins of the world doesn’t mean that everyone is automatically made righteous. The righteousness of God is only given when one believes in Jesus for eternal life. What Jesus blood did for us is make propitiation for our sins. He has satisfied God’s righteous demand for sin. So there is no longer judicial condemnation for sin. But this does not mean that sinners are automatically justified, because justification is a gift only received by faith. And this does not mean that sinners are automatically forgiven. Forgiveness is personal not a judicial matter. A judge does not forgive but either finds one guilty or innocent. Forgiveness is granted when one believes in Jesus for eternal life. Also forgiveness is not a free gift but something that is granted. You can go to John 20:23 the only time forgiveness is mentioned in the Gospel of John and is not free gift language but conditional language. The Apostles are shown putting this in to effect in Acts 2:38 (repent and be baptized) before they would be forgiven and receive the gift of the Spirit. They were born again in verse 37 when they said “what shall we do” concerning Jesus being the Christ. Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God (1 John 5:1). But now we receive all these at the moment of faith (eternal life, justification,Holy Spirit, forgivness).
    Sinners in hell will not be forgiven but this is not the reason for their condemnation. Their eternal condemnation is because they do not have life (Rev 20:15). In fact sin is not mentioned once at the Great White Throne. Their works are but not sin as sin. They will receive a fair hearing, some think their works should have outweighed they’re bad. But notice there condemnation is not even because of their works but another book is opened The book of Life. Their condemnation is because they don’t have life! (Rev 20:11-15)

    Question asked:
    And in Romans 4:8, why is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account blessed? Why isn't it the man who believes?
    This does not contradict 2 Cor 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the WORLD to Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES TO THEM
    Romans 4:8 is speaking of the man that is blessed and is forgiven.

    Concerning wages! The law of reaping and sowing doesn't stop just because one is saved. As long as we are in this body we can sow to the flesh and reap corruption. This will have to do with our rewards at the bema, the wood, hay, stubble will be burned up. But when we see Him face to face the law of reaping and sowing will end. But for the unbeliever that law will never end. They will be reaping eternal corruption where the worm does not die, because they are a sinner when they die and they are a sinner when they go to hell.
    You could call this a natural law.

    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/10/2007 10:38 PM  

  • Good morning Rose,

    Alvin, Those who have their part in the lake of fire are indicted as "the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars," who "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8) No one doubts that the drunkard etc., incurs a temporal wrath from God on this earth, but to limit any references to the wrath of God for this sin (or any other sin) as being temporal only is to go against Scripture. The sinner does not have life because of unbelief (John 3:18/3:36/5:40 etc.,) This unbelief is a sin (John 16:8) hence it is duly punished in hell if the sinner dies in that state of unbelief. According to those who deny Particular Redemption, this sin was paid for in full at the Cross when Christ made a full, definite and total atonement for it, washing it away, cleansing it, pardoned and forgave it etc., and yet, alone it seems of all other sins, it is this one that is brought up to damn the sinner to repay the price that (according to the non Particular Redemption view) has already been paid in full.

    You rightly mention that the soul of the damned sinner continues to sin in hell. The Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31 continued to argue against what he was told. There is no Holy Spirit in Hell to restrain the sinner or mercy to prevent him from further staining his soul. He sins on and on and on ad infinitum and each sin brings the fresh wrath of an angry God upon his wretched head. (Frightening) Here's a good question: Did Christ die with the intention of forgiving those sins which are thus committed in hell? If so, is there a chance that the wicked in hell can know pardon for these sins which (if Christ made an atonement and propitiation for) are being committed every day? If any none Particular Redemptionist would like to answer this - feel free.

    Regards to all.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/11/2007 4:08 AM  

  • I dont believe that Noah tried to convert anyone.

    Most of the population were angel-human hybrids who were destined to be wiped out.

    The demons are probably the disembodied spirits of those folks who will never be saved.

    Noah was a preacher of righteousness, but he probably brought a message of judgement not salvation.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/11/2007 4:37 AM  

  • Rose, are you feeling sci-fi today?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/11/2007 4:38 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    I did not mean to suggest that unbelievers will go on sinning in hell by this statement
    >They will be reaping eternal corruption where the worm does not die, because they are a sinner when they die and they are a sinner when they go to hell.<
    By this statement I meant to say their state is unchanged. The believer is capable of sowing to the flesh or sowing to the Spirit. But at death the law of sowing and reaping ceases for the believer. But for the unbeliever the results of his sowing goes on and on. At death he is still reaping what he has sown in life,eternal corruption.
    Concerning the sin of unbelief. All sin was paid for on the cross, the sin of unbelief is what keeps the unbeliever from getting life.
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/11/2007 5:03 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    Have you ever heard an illustration like this?

    A man is spending his last days on death row. Suddenly the warden appears and shows him a piece of paper. The paper is a full pardon from the Governor. After the man looks it over "he says' "I dont want it!" Then he hands it back to the warden. The illustration ends with the execution of the condemned man.
    Whats wrong with this story?
    Well to begin with there is no way a state would execute a pardoned man. The prisoner would be unceremoniously ushered out of his cell, at least eventually depending on legal technicalities. Yet users of such illustrations think it is a good one if human beings reject the pardon that Jesus Christ bought for them by His death on the cross they will go to hell and pay for their sins. Can this be true? No it cannot!

    The illustration that I shared with you cannot be correct! Why? Because it denies the reality of the propitiation that the Lord Jesus Christ made on the cross. Before I go any further let me confront an objection. Someone might argue this way: The propitiation that Christ made on the cross is real. It is fully adequate for all men. However it is only effective if men believe it. This view leads to a new illustration. A man deposits a billion dollars in the bank. Any debtor can come and draw freely on the account. It is sufficient to meet his needs. If he doesn't draw on it the account does not pay for his sin, he has to pay for it. What's wrong with this story? The same thing as before. It denies the reality the propitiation that Jesus made on the cross. Nothing has really been paid for. I submit to you today that such illustrations fly into the face of the word of God. Listen to the words of the Apostle John written in 1 John 2:2 referring to Jesus Christ. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, not for ours only but for the whole world.
    Did you hear anything in 1 John 2:2 of Christ being potentially the propitiation for the sins of the world? Neither did I. The Apostle flatly states that Jesus IS, IS THE PROPITIATION FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD! He is that, not that He can be, or potentially is. But He simply IS! Notice also that this truth is parallel to the truth that He is the propitiation for OUR sins. In what ever sense He is the propitiation for OUR sins, He is also the propitiation for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD. Very simply put the propitiation work of our Lord Jesus Christ is universally effective. That is true whether anyone believes it or not. On the cross my friend Jesus has paid for every sin that ever will be committed by any person who has ever lived on the face of the earth. If you ask me that is magnificent and over whelming.


    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/11/2007 5:22 AM  

  • Alvin, you write: Very simply put the propitiation work of our Lord Jesus Christ is universally effective. That is true whether anyone believes it or not. On the cross my friend Jesus has paid for every sin that ever will be committed by any person who has ever lived on the face of the earth. If you ask me that is magnificent and over whelming.

    Therefore (if this is true)the sin of unbelief has also be dealt with in full - propitiated, cleansed away, pardoned etc., and cannot be the cause of any man's damnation, no more than adultery or murder etc., When we speak about the sinner being dead and needing life, he is dead in sin, but according to your effectual atonement teaching(I do not disagree with the idea of effectual atonement) the sins that hold him in his spiritual death have been effectually dealt with and therefore (sooner or later) will not be able to maintain their power of him. This means, if you run with a universal atonement in the accepted sense (i.e. non particular) ultimately everyone will be saved. You are right about an effectual atonement, but if you do not rein it in to those who will be saved, (as said) you will end up in Universalism. The other alternative is to lapse back into the ineffectual hit and miss atonement that is totally dependent upon the whim of the sinner to give it unction.

    Alvin: Does the soul stop sinning in hell?

    Matthew: I cannot run with your view of the lost in Genesis 6, although if you are right, it robs the non Particular Redemptionists of their argument about the Ark. It seems strange to think that only Noah's family were the non Demonic/human hybrides at the time or at least were in the vast minority.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/11/2007 5:39 AM  

  • Goodnightsafehome

    Scripture is clear that ALL SIN has been paid for. That means even the sin of unbelief. That is what keeps people from having life. The condemnation comes to those who's name is not written in the book of life.
    I did not say that ALL SIN was FORGIVEN, that is a personal issue.
    Draw your own conclusions.
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/11/2007 5:52 AM  

  • Matthew said, "I dont believe that Noah tried to convert anyone."

    When David speaks of preaching righteousness to sinners in Psalm 51 he says it this way: "Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You."

    I am certain Matthew that even your gospel teaches that we do not obtain righteousness by works, but rather by faith - and I presume you regard this same gospel as eternal (c.f. Rev 14:6), that is, that we under the New Covenant are saved in the same manner as Abraham was under the Old Covenant - that is, that we are saved by grace through faith, for just as righteousness was accounted to Abraham, not by works, but by faith - so too I fully expect you to see that anyone who is preaching genuine righteousness, cannot do so without preaching the faith in God by which that righteousness is attributed to man - that is, without preaching the gospel.

    Am I misunderstanding your understanding of the gospel, or am I simply ignorant and in my simplicity I cannot see how you have separated righteousness from the gospel? Perhaps you believe that Noah was not preaching genuine righteousness (the kind that is accounted to us by faith), but rather the "filthy rag" works based righteousness by which we attempt to please God by doing good?

    I admit, I am at a loss to understand you on this point.

    Matthew said, "Most of the population were angel-human hybrids who were destined to be wiped out."

    While scripture mentions that there were Nephilim in Noah's time it by no means asserts that they made up the majority. Likewise your assertion presumes that angelic beings have gender, which is a very light-weight assertion. Were this not enough, the lifespan of the average person being on average 900 years or so, most of Noah's ancestors were still alive when he was born - they must have been as genetically pure as Noah, and these same continued to have children after Noah, children who would have been as gentically pure as Noah, and not only Noah's ancestors, but also the anscestors of his wife, and the anscestors of each of his son's wives. If I go back and look at how many offspring my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather had, it gets pretty big - I mean even with the average human lifespan of 80 years or so, I need only look to my own family - we are five children, my mother is one of eleven, such that my grandmother and grandfather have had some 79 descendants - that is just three generations in less than an hundred years. Every person in Noah's ancestry was living hundreds of years, and we have no reason to imagine that they stopped producing children after only a few years - nor do we have any reason to imagine that they began to abstain from marital relations - so that even looking at Noah's own family, we should conclude that there was a multitude upon the earth that was at least as genetically pure as Noah. Even if we allow for the idea that "sons of God" means "angelic beings" and we say that the Nephilim were these same beings - it is statistically far more likely that they were in the minority than the majority - though I concede that even though the statistics favor such a position it is still as vaporous as your own, meaning, scripture doesn't say one way or the other.

    Matthew said, "The demons are probably the disembodied spirits of those folks who will never be saved."

    Scripture refers to Satan as a dragon in John's book of revelation, and says that when he fell to earth his tail drew one third of the stars of heaven to earth with him. Few people venture to interpret these stars as anything other than angels because John has already in the same book used the imagery of stars to indicate angelic beings (c.f. Rev 1:10). That is, most people conclude that since the angels who followed Satan have been cast down to earth and are therefore amongst us and presumably against us - we need not invent any other spirits and call them demons, but rather we can call those spirits whom we know to be there, and know to be against us - these we call demons; that is, the fallen angels.

    Not that such an understanding of demons is necessary to anything I said here.

    I appreciate your willingness to engage me on this Matthew. I see that if one regards "preaching righteousness" as actually meaning "preaching condemnation for unrighteousness and that without recourse or hope of cure" then one is somewhat freer to dismiss some of what I have laid out.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 11/11/2007 7:21 AM  

  • Alvin, You write: The condemnation comes to those who's name is not written in the book of life.


    1) Is it a sin not to have your name written in the book of life? If not, why does this omission lead to condemnation? If so, then surely this sin has likewise been dealt with at the Cross and should not hinder the sinner more than any other sin which the blood of the Cross has propitiated in full.

    2) Without hectoring you, but I would appreciate if you share with us your views on the soul continually sinning in hell and whether or not the blood of Jesus was shed in atonement for those sins. Or does the soul stop sinning in hell, even though there is no sanctifying Spirit of God or mercy shown there?

    I accept that you did not say that all sin is forgiven, but you do have it atoned for and propitiated for in full (do you not?) and you rightly disallow the badly lacking illustrations of the prisoner refusing release etc.,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/11/2007 7:47 AM  

  • Wow, this is hard to keep up with, being the busy woman that I am. (not that I am making excuses, but it is the reality...)

    Ten Cent,
    I forgot to answer you yesterday.

    If sin is dealt with, if the payment of sin has been made then why would the wages remain?

    The way I see it is that death is the result of sin, it is the consequence. You have the sin propitiated at the cross, but the consequence remains. Because of sin, we die.

    Did the cross make all those babies who wee born after it to be sinless? Of course not. Better yet, look at it your way - did the cross even make all those elect babies born after it to be sinless? No.

    We all have a sinful nature and the result of that nature (and our own sinful acts) is death. Now Christ has taken sin out of the way and offers the remedy to the result of our having been in sin. He offers life.

    This is something I am working through in my own studoes now.

    Alvin,
    I thank you for your thoughts and I greatly appreciate you interacting here. I know with your wife's situation you are under a tremendous burden right now. Thank you for joining in. I will pray for you and your wife in her illness and mental struggle. God bless.

    Daniel and Colin,
    I will be back later to answer your comments - I have a crying baby and an 11 year old who wants a ride to his friend's house. see ya. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/11/2007 3:31 PM  

  • Daniel, God's judgement is righteous.

    If Noah preached a message of God's righteous condemnation of the wicked, that would be a message of God's righteousness.

    2 Peter 2:5 refers to Noah as a preacher of righteousness in the context of God not sparing the old world.

    In the previous verse, Peter refers to God not sparing the angels that sinned.

    There was no mercy for those angels, likewise there was no mercy for the sinners of Noah's generation.

    There is not a shred of evidence in Scripture for the popular notion that Noah encouraged people to seek refuge in the Ark.

    God commanded Noah to build an ark for himself, his wife, his sons his sons' wives. And the animals, of course.

    He was not given any command to resecue the perishing of His day.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/11/2007 3:40 PM  

  • Are you feeling merciless, Rose?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/11/2007 3:41 PM  

  • rose,thanks for the "food for thought"...


    in Christ,

    Angela

    By Anonymous Angela, at 11/11/2007 8:49 PM  

  • Matthew said, "If Noah preached a message of God's righteous condemnation of the wicked, that would be a message of God's righteousness."

    You believe Noah preached condemnation for over an hundred years, and never once preached mercy and forgiveness? Well, I guess that is your prerogative. but there is not one shred of evidence to support your hypothesis in scripture, though that in itself isn't anything I am concerned about given that it is (after all is said and done) just your stated opinion as asked - yet the character of God itself should suffice to dismiss it, for God's righteousness is not without mercy as you portray Noah's preaching to be.

    2 Peter 2:5 refers to Noah as a preacher of righteousness in the context of God not sparing the old world.

    The context, as I read it is that the false converts who had crept into the church and were not vying to teach were presenting themselves as righteous, but showing themselves in deed to be unrighteous - and the admonition is that just as God punished the unrighteous angels, and those who were unrighteous in the time of Noah, so too these who think you can call yourself a Christian but deny God in failing to live a life of repentance - these too are condemned unless they repent and get "really" saved - but the coin is turned in the context, and you seem to have missed that - that even in the time of Noah God was saving the righteous - Noah and his family.

    I hope you will see that the text speaks of God's condemnation of the unrighteous as the precursor to saying God will certainly save the righteous. That is, the context is not merely about condemnation, but mentions condemnation as the waiting end for those who pretend to be Christians, those who are not righteous, those who are not saved. That is, when the context talks about those who were not spared, it does so to contrast those who are.

    Which is just to say your quoting only part of the context to me has given me cause to examine it all, and doing so has convinced me all the more of my own opinion. I thank you for that.

    God commanded Noah to build an ark for himself, his wife, his sons his sons' wives. And the animals, of course.

    He was not given any command to resecue the perishing of His day.


    The deacon Phillip (the evangelist), was never given any command to rescue the perishing of His day. He was given the responsibility to look after the physical needs of the widows and orphans of the Jerusalem church. Yet because righteousness doens't come from ourselves but from the Spirit of God - and because Phillip was being acted upon by the Spirit of God - he witnessed to the Ethiopian eunuch and the eunuch was saved.

    My point is that demanding that scripture give such an articulated command to act in accord with the character of God (which is not merely righteous, but merciful) is quite a saddle to put on the horse, if you get my meaning. Though I certainly respect your inclination to ignore that.

    Thanks again for the time you have spent to bring these things to my attention.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 11/12/2007 9:56 AM  

  • Matthew,
    No, I am not feeling sci-fi or merciless. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/12/2007 10:17 AM  

  • I am feeling a little judgemental, though.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/12/2007 10:24 AM  

  • I do find it interesting, based on where this conversation started, that YOU are arguing for the fact that Noah was not encouraged by God to preach mercy to everyone and DANIEL is arguing that God had encouraged Noah to preach mercy to everyone.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/12/2007 10:26 AM  

  • I do find it interesting, based on where this conversation started, that YOU are arguing for the fact that Noah was not encouraged by God to preach mercy to everyone and DANIEL is arguing that God had encouraged Noah to preach mercy to everyone.

    Ah! The bliss of Free Offer Calvinism :-)

    But it may be asked why he calls Noah the preacher of righteousness.Some understand that he was the preacher of the righteousness of God,inasmuch as Scripture commends God's righteousness, because he defends
    his own and restores them, when dead, to life. But I rather think that he is called the preacher of righteousness, because he labored to restore a degenerated world to a sound mind, and this not only by his teaching and godly exhortations, but also by his anxious toil in building the ark for the term of a hundred and twenty years. (Calvin on 2 Peter 2:5)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/12/2007 10:40 AM  

  • Daniel,
    I was not being disingenuous asking about whether you knew that there was not room. I am sorry of it came across that way.

    I am having a little trouble with this tangent to be honest with you. I know you put a lot of thought into your first post here and I appreciate reading what you have to say. I do think that reading a lot into the extent of the atemnenet based on the size of the ark is a problem. We have left direct teaching on the work and the accomplishments of Christ and have gotten into something possibly irrelevant. That is not to say that all you have to say is arrelevant, I don't mean that. I gotta go but will be back in a while to ask you a thing or two.

    and you too, Colin.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/12/2007 10:46 AM  

  • Daniel,
    To get back to your original comment:
    When I share the gospel, I don't tell them that Christ died for them. The bible doesn't say that, why should I?

    So look at this passage:

    1 John 5:6 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believes not the record that God gave of his Son.

    what is the record?

    1Jo 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

    Now, if we want to talk about making Christ a failure, we musn't overlook making God a liar. This says that if you do not believe God's record, you have made Him a liar.

    I suppose the word "us" needs to be defined. If the verse means "us" as in those who are currently believers in the Son, then the verse makes no sense.

    It would be like this:
    he that believeth not God (unbeliever) hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to [believers] eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

    Now if "us" means all people, then it makes sense why not believing this would be calling God a liar.

    he that believeth not God (unbeliever) hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to (mankind) eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

    What could a non-believer believe that would make God a liar? That God has not provided for his own eternal life in Christ. It wouldn't be a concern what that unbeliever thought about some other group that he was not a part of, would it?

    He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

    So if he believes that God's work is limited, he makes God a liar, because God has said that eternal life is found in His Son. If he believes that Christ has not provided for himself, he has made God a liar. And by thus making a God a liar, the unbeliever does not have life.

    There is no room here for a limited provision.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/12/2007 1:23 PM  

  • Daniel,

    Only those who were in Christ on Calvary will be saved - no others. But I have no idea who these people are.

    Only in Christ are we elect. In Christ is the key. We are chosen "in Christ" as Ephesians says over and over again. However, we are not placed into Christ until faith.
    ____________

    The Lord laid on Christ the iniquity of all sinners.

    6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

    "All" in the first part of that verse means all - all people (not just some) have gone astray and turned to their own way, and the Lord has laid on Christ the iniquity of them all.

    But if we tell people that Jesus died for people who will never get to heaven, I believe we mangle the gospel, and make Jesus into a failure.

    Christ has taken the keys of hell and death by his death on the cross for "sin" (not some "sins", but "sin" in its entirety). To say that He has done a partial work in regard to sin also runs the risk of attributing failure to Him.

    God bless.
    Can you bring one thing at a time to comment on next time, Daniel? I am so limited, not like Christ! :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/12/2007 1:40 PM  

  • Rose, If I may but into your conversation with Daniel:

    The work of Christ has an infinite value and is unlimited in that regard. Hence Spurgeon (who openly identified himself as a Particular Redemptionist)could say: "I know there are some who think it necessary to their system of theology to limit the merit of the blood of Jesus: if my theological system needed such limitation, I would cast it to the winds.

    When Calvinists preach the gospel, they preach it to the "whosoever" on the basis of its infinite merit. When unbelievers who die are condemned, they are judged for loving their sins and the darkness rather than the light. Had they fled to the Cross, there was room enough for them there and would not have been refused. But they chose otherwise and therefore reap what they themselves in their sin and folly had sown.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/12/2007 1:41 PM  

  • Colin,
    Yes, the cross has infinite value and has accomplished infinitely the putting down of sin, the full realization of which we have yet to see!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/12/2007 2:06 PM  

  • Rose: What are your thoughts on the soul of the lost still sinning in hell? Or does the soul stop sinning in hell, even though there is no sanctifying Spirit of God or mercy shown there? Working on the thought that the soul of the wicked keeps on rebelling against God even in hell (which is obviously a sin) are those sins also taken away and expiated? I say they are not.

    Hey, I appreciate the time you are taking over this discussion. It is good close reasoning and very enjoyable.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/12/2007 2:43 PM  

  • Colin,
    I think Alvin answered you very well about the sin of unbelief. Of course it was taken by Christ on the cross, because He became sin. It prevents the unbeliever from receiving eternal life in the same way it prevents a person without a hand from petting a dog.


    Your other question:
    The consequence for their sin is everlasting torment and death... and sin.
    Sin is even part of the consequence.

    But... Christ became sin on the cross, this I know... and so do you, because the Bible says it.

    Hey, since we are asking questions about hell, is Christ Lord of hell?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/12/2007 3:17 PM  

  • Rose: Yes, Jesus Christ us "Lord of all" and even Satan himself and the inhabitants of hell will bow the knee and confess that He is Lord.

    If you don't mind me saying so, there seems to be a skirting round this question of mine: Does the soul of the wicked dead keep on sinning in hell? If so, (for the question is only a stepping stone) were these continous sins atoned for at the Cross, even though [i] there is no intention of God to forgive them and subsequently [ii] no sent Evangelist sent to preach their pardon?

    I say: [i] Yes, the soul does continue to sin in hell and will do so for eternity, thus ever increasing its debt against God without any hope of relief.

    [ii] No, Christ did not make any atonement for these sins at all, and thus the sin remains - unatoned for and unpardoned.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/12/2007 3:36 PM  

  • Colin, yes I suppose it it is safe to say that the soul keeps sinning in hell.

    The Bible says that Christ died for the sins of the whole world, not the whole hell, not the fallen angels, so I suppose you can say that Christ did not die for these sins.

    Yet, the Bible says that Christ became sin, so I don't want to be dogmatic about it, logic notwithstanding.

    Fair enough?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/12/2007 3:49 PM  

  • Sorry to keep at you on this one, Rose, (especially with a posting every 30 minutes or so) but it would be foolishness to quit now.

    If Christ did not make an atonement for the post death sins of those who are and always will be sinning in hell, then the following is obviously true:

    1) Christ did not die in atonement for all the sins of all men. This is limited atonement, but not quiteto the extent of Calvinism, yet limited nevertheless concerning men.

    2) He did not even die for the vast majority of the sins of all men, for the sinning soul in hell has all eternity to keep at it, whereas the sinning soul on earth has but a little time - almost nothing by comparison.

    If the sticking point here that keeps logic at bay is 2 Corinthians 5:21, then the phrase: made Him to be sin for us must be defined in a way that is consistent with the rest of Scripture. We know that Christ did not become sin in the abstract, for that cannot be done, just as we do not become righteousness in the abstract. He did not become a sinner, for He could not sin. What He did become was the representative of those sinners for whom He died i.e. those for whom all their sins were actually laid upon Him and to whom all His righteousness was actually imputed i.e. those who eventually make it to heaven a.k.a. the elect of God.

    I really appreciate you taking all this time to answer my probing questions. You can perhaps see where I am coming from on this matter.

    It's heading for bed time here, so this will be my last post tonight. (Don't let that discourage you from replying though) I've enjoyed these exchanges with you.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/12/2007 4:41 PM  

  • Rose, my apologies. I know how difficult it is to answer comments that make more points than can be answered in timely way. I do appreciate your taking the time to examine my comments even given the tiring nature of the task.

    Rather than clutter your meta, and because I really am stretched thin timewise, I will resist the very carnal urge to answer every detail, and instead let my opinion simply stand as stated. My original comment was only intended to show that Calvinism does not demand a disingenuous offer of the gospel - but rather demands a biblical offer of the gospel - an offer that can be given with as much (or more) earnestness and sincerity as anything a non-calvinist can serve up.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 11/12/2007 4:47 PM  

  • I use to do street ministry and some of the kids would talk about having a big party in hell. I told them to go home and turn their stove on high and then jump up on it and see if they still felt like having a party.
    All in hell will know they missed the love of God for ever. They won't be able to say "Jesus didn't really die for me anyway" The Rich man new that his family could be saved if they believed, and that is what he was begging Abraham to do so they wouldn't have to come to that place. They aren't haveing a big party in hell but they are experincing eternal corruption where the worm does not die.
    Anything else you are simple speculating!
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/12/2007 7:24 PM  

  • Wow, what a post. Ok I am going to bring up a point, or thought I have not seen or heard discussed.

    Why do most people assume that when God's judgement falls on a population, that they are all going to hell? Do you believe that on the whole world, only Noah and his family believed? God's wrath falls upon believers for sin often especially if unrepentant. I wonder how many believers were slaughtered by the Jews because of their Sin? How many believers died in Jericho? Rahab was saved (physically) because of her "actions". Noah was saved because he found Grace in God's sight, and I think it was because he tried to live righteously.

    I think that the people of Noah's time knew what they were doing, and were choosing to live the life of sin they were doing. Perhaps the daughters of men were willingly seeking after the fallen angels even? (believers seeking after the fallen angels?)

    Perhaps like Hebrews talks about, they sinned past the point of no return, and God chose to give them their wages.

    I think that we will see some of them in heaven some day. What evidence do I have? Probably speculation, but it seems easier then believing that the out of the worlds population only hundreds of years (over a thousand?) after the fall, there were probably people who had talked with Adam and Eve still alive or at the least knew people who had. Unless you believe people loose salvation, or that Adam and Eve's children and grandchildren none believed in the redeemer?

    What evidence is there that there were not? That requires the belief that "True" believers don't continue in Sin, a notion I disagree with. Anyway, food for thought IMO.

    I will wait for someone to point out that everyone slain the flood by God are in hell. :) because there may be a passage I am not aware of.

    Ninevah might have believers to... They sure believed in the God of Isreal. :)

    Grace and Truth

    Trent

    By Blogger Trent, at 11/12/2007 9:54 PM  

  • Alvin: I think the word that you are looking for is deduction rather than speculation. No one said that the souls in hell enjoy their sin, but that they cease sinning without the restraining (and gracious) power of God and the sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit is very hard to swallow! In the one passage that gives us a prolonged insight into the terrible world to come for the wicked dead, we have the Rich Man contradicting and arguing with Father Abraham. "Nay!…" Is this a sin or is it not?

    Good morning, Rose!

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/13/2007 2:43 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said:
    Did the cross make all those babies who wee born after it to be sinless? Of course not. Better yet, look at it your way - did the cross even make all those elect babies born after it to be sinless? No.

    We're not talking about being sinless, as if the cross makes all people or all who believe not sin anymore. We're talking about what Christ's death accomplished. On one hand, you would say that Christ's death satisfied the debt of sin for the whole world, everybody, past/present/future. On the other hand, I would say that Christ's death satisfied the debt of sin for those who believe in Him. As a believer, I still sin. The difference is that I have forgiveness for those sins, whereas the unbeliever does not.

    Consider Romans 4:5-8
    "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. 8 "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.""

    What does Paul say about the one who believes in Christ? He says his faith is credited as righteousness. Which is all fine and good, but then Paul goes on to further explain what that means. It's just like what David said about the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works -- Blessed are those whose lawless deeds (sins) have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT. That tells me that for the one who does not believe, his sin will be taken into account. His sin is not covered. On the day of reckoning, when Christ judges all the peoples of the earth, Christ won't send that person to hell for just for not believing, He will send him to hell because his sins are not covered. His lawless deeds have not been forgiven.

    You said:
    We all have a sinful nature and the result of that nature (and our own sinful acts) is death. Now Christ has taken sin out of the way and offers the remedy to the result of our having been in sin. He offers life.

    Frankly, Rose, this sounds like double talk to me. Something that Calvinists are often accused of. If the result of sin is death (and it is). And if Christ has taken sin out of the way, then is not the result (death) taken away too? I don't understand you're line of thought here.

    Consider 1 Cor. 15:54-57
    "54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

    The sting of sin is death. If Christ's death has taken sin out of the way, what did it take out of the way if it was not death? I think you rightly say that He offers life, but I don't know what His death accomplished is was not the payment for sin. And if it was the payment for sin, it was not for all people.

    I, like everyone else who is commenting, am running out of time. So I'll leave my comments where they stand. I will say this, we can have unity. We can agree on at least two things. Christ died for sinners, and gives life to those who believe in Him.

    Thanks again for the discussion. Good things to think through.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 11/13/2007 8:23 AM  

  • Goodnightsafehome said:
    "Nay!…" Is this a sin or is it not?


    1. Sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4b
    2. Sin is not imputed when there is no law. Romans 5:12
    3. The law has domioion over a man as long as he lives. Romans 7:16

    Conclusion: after the second death sin is no longer applicable!

    Thought on the Rich Man: IMO the Rich Man in hell new the truth. If Calvinism was true he wouldn't have even asked Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family because "If their the elect they will be saved anyway and if their not they couldn't believe if they wanted to."
    Mourning Rose

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/13/2007 10:25 AM  

  • Alvin: Three questions about the damned sinner.
    [i] If he is no longer the law of God, then is he beyond the rule/authority of God altogether?
    [ii] Will you explicitly state that the soul in its state of damnation exists in hell without sinning?
    [iii] If so, is every thought and word of that soul in hell a pure word and thought etc.,?

    You write: Thought on the Rich Man: IMO the Rich Man in hell knew the truth. If Calvinism was true he wouldn't have even asked Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family because "If they are the elect, they will be saved anyway and if they are not, they couldn't believe if they wanted to." Can you produce any quote from any recognised Calvinist anywhere who believes or teaches that people who want to believe cannot do so? Can you produce any quote from any recognised Calvinist anywhere who believes or teaches that he elect are saved anyway without means. It is not inconsistent with Calvinism to require anyone to be evangelised - God ordains the means as well as the end.

    Unless you can produce such quotes, I'm afraid that your last paragraph, quoted here, barely rises above a couple of cheap shot, void of any seriousness. (This criticism is not intended to be aggressive in any way.)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/13/2007 10:48 AM  

  • Correction: The first quetion above should read:

    If he is no longer under the law of God, then is he beyond the rule/authority of God altogether?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/13/2007 11:44 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I think Daniel did a good job. An excellent comment. Jesus did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance, so he is definately hitting the target. God did not identify himself with those who felt they had no need of repentance and were trusting in their Self-Righteousnes to get them a good standing before God.

    John mentioned a brother saying this >One brother put it this way, "Jesus died, even for those who are in Hell right now."<

    If you guys agree with that statement then I am going to have to respectively part ways with some of your theology. At some point the Sheep need to be seperated from the goats and if there is still some kind of application of Christs death to those in whom his wrath burns against and in whom he hates because they were unwilling to see that they were sinners in need of repentance then we are taking a pearl of great value and tossing it to the swine. This is unsettles me when I find comments like that. As much as I respect you and John...I cannot go as far as that. It is imperitive that we see the point Daniel is making. There is a line God draws, but as long as there is breath in your lungs and you do indeed see yourself as a sinner in need of God's free love gift then you can recieve the Saviour. All who are thirsty make come and drink freely, but those who have no thirst...why do we talk of Christ loving and dying for them when they are suffering the wrath of God. Of course we know had they opened their eyes to the light of the gospel and believed then they would have had the same opportunity, but to bypass the need and assuring a person who is trusting in their righteousness and wants to receive them in their impenitent state and even lead them into somehow believing that even if they go to hell one day, God still loves them and died for them is to me misleading. While any man walks this earth and sees himself in need of a saviour he is given a wide open door, but to the one unwilling, then we do we make these attempts to lead them into believing they are all right?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/13/2007 4:54 PM  

  • Brian,
    No it is not to lead them into thinking they are alright. John is simply recognizing that what the Bible says is true. John the Baptist put it just right: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

    If men put no faith in Him, they will die, but it does not change the fact of His great sacrifice.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/13/2007 5:09 PM  

  • Colin Maxwell,
    Why are you hung up on this thing about people still sinning in hell? :~) They are confirmed in their wickedness. Why don't you tell me Scritpurally where it says that Christ did not die for the sins of the world but only for the elect?


    _______________________

    You know what I see in this thread of comments? Those who believe in a limited work when referring to the cross - for a limited number of people - do not seem to have Scripture to back up their specific claim, so we get a lot of rabbit trails. Just my estimation of the situation. :~)
    Your friendly blog administrator

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/13/2007 5:29 PM  

  • Thanks for your thoughts, Trent!
    Thanks for visiting RR. I had never thought about that option before! God bless. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/13/2007 5:31 PM  

  • Ten Cent,
    Your comments are really making me think. Thank you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/13/2007 5:32 PM  

  • Hey Rose,

    No. I definately still see that as incorrect. Those in hell are no longer a part of this world and they have joined in legion with the Devil and His angels and are become one with them. The world needs to understand that unless they repent of this understanding that God loves even the evil who hate him and never refuse to accept him, but with shaken fist reject him then they will not perish with the Devil and His angels. These people have trampled the Son of the living God under their feet and like the other theif on the cross mock Him as they enter into hell gnashing their teeth and weeping. They have spit on the beloved sacrifice of Christ and do not want it. It is wrong to say that Christ still loves them and died for them as they suffer the indignation and eternal wrath of an eternal living God. There is no sacrifice to cover that. It is far too late and misleading to allow men to think that they must have a right to Gods love in that state. Men must see that they are not good men recieving judgment from a bad God, but bad men receiving justice from a good God and it is then that they will understand how incredibly undeserved His love is. Daniels approach is a very good and loving and careful approach. It was Jesus Himself that said he came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. But the wonderful news is...if we stop arguing with Gods justice and accept that we deserve it then like you and John have...we can receive the free gift of God.

    You all take care.

    Resting firmly in His love grip,

    Bhedr

    By Blogger Only Look, at 11/13/2007 8:51 PM  

  • I never have said that God still loves those in hell, Brian. Thank you for clarifying that point. I nor John mean to say that. I don't think anyone here meant to say that.

    Thank you for your visits. You take care.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/13/2007 9:41 PM  

  • Goodnight

    I will leave you with these verses to ponder.

    John 1:29

    29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WHOLE WORLD!

    2 Corinthians 5:19

    19 that is, that God was in Christ RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESSPASSES TO THEM, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

    1 Timothy 2:5,6

    5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself A RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time,

    1 John 2:2

    2 And He Himself IS the propitiation for our sins, AND NOT FOR OUR ONLY BUT FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.

    Luke 2:10

    Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to ALL PEOPLE. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

    The Good Samaritan Luke 10

    30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[j] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
    37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
    Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

    Romans 11:32

    32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, THAT HE MIGHT HAVE MERCY ON ALL.

    1 John 4:8

    He who does not love does not know God, for GOD IS LOVE.

    Humanity is just like this man stripped of his clothes, wounded and half dead. Humans that were created in God's image have been stripped by sin and have been left by it dead and without hope.


    Is God like the good Samaritan who sees lost mans helplessness and hopelessness and has mercy on him. Lavishly meeting all of mans needs like this Samaritan did (bandaged his wounds,pouring oil and wine,sat him on his own animal,took him to an inn,whatever more you spend I will pay).

    Or is God like the Calvinist would have you believe, that He is like the Priest and Levite who sees the helplessness of humanity and chooses to pass by leaving the majority of humans to an eternal lake of fire. Knowing that God could have made provision for the sins of the whole world but simply chose not to.

    I believe that God is the Spiritual Good Samaritan and just like the good Samaritan when seeing the need has compassion and shows mercy by making provision lavishly.





    No one deserves mercy, but God is a God of mercy and has made provision for everyone! Isn't that just like our Great God and Savior!!!



    Happy Thankgiving

    Justice is getting what you deserve--Mercy is not getting what you deserve--Grace is getting what you don't deserve.

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/14/2007 2:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    Our argument for Christ's atonement limited only in its intention, but not is merit or worth is founded on the nature of the said atonement. It actually atones for and secures the redemption of all for whom it was intended and this is limited to those who are actually in hell. Therefore, the Scripture declares that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5:25) and those verses (with which we are both familiar) where it declares that it is for many etc., Like "every man" (see above and Luke 16:16) "all" etc., does not necessarily mean "every" or "all" without exception, but all or every man without distinction.

    The alternative view, which you are advocating, has Christ making atonement for sins which are not pardoned at all. You have the great injustice of God exacting the same price for the same sins twice. When pushed, you admitted that He did not die for those sins which the damned in hell continue to commit, which means (and I agree with you) that all the sins of all men were not laid on Christ. I quote: The Bible says that Christ died for the sins of the whole world, not the whole hell, not the fallen angels, so I suppose you can say that Christ did not die for these sins. The argument here is so forceful that Alvin, with all due respects, cannot bring himself to say that the wicked dead continue to sin. This means that their conscious thoughts must be pure thoughts which is absurd. These are not rabbit trails as you seek to dismiss them. You desire to advocate an atonement for sinful men that has no limitations at all, but all I have done is expose the folly of this thought and faithfulness to Scripture demands that we rein in the atonement of Christ to a certain group of sins, and certainly not to every sin ever committed.

    I really must run. I have a train to catch in about an hour and still some other arrangements to see to.

    I have enjoyed debating this matter with you all, Alvin included. The important thing (as Daniel, I think, pointed out) is that we all hold forth Christ as the only Saviour and bid men to look and live. And, by God's grace, they do! they do and they will! they will!

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/14/2007 4:17 AM  

  • Colin,
    You desire to advocate an atonement for sinful men that has no limitations at all

    Actually, that isn't true.
    I would place on it a limit of intent. Salvation is by grace through faith. It was not His intent to immediately make everyone heaven-bound when he died - or else we would have universalism. IOW, the fact that Christ died does not cure the sinner's problem. I must look to Christ and place my faith in Him and because of that death and ressurection, I am welcome to do this. So in that respect, I would say that its intent was limited - the intent being to rend the curtain - to open the way for sinners to God's presence, to God's life through faith in Jesus.

    I limit the intent to His removing sin as a barrier - you limit the completeness of that removal to a select group.

    You don't limit the intent because I have read you say that it actually secures their salvation. I think you have a problem with that because you also say that the sinner has to have faith in it. So either it is secured without faith, or one must have faith and therefore it was not secure before he had faith in it.

    ...but I know the "reasoning" that gets around this problem. :~)

    regards.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/14/2007 9:00 AM  

  • Goodnight

    I must share something with you. I'm on nightshift now so I do most of my running in the dark. But while I was out running it just popped into my mind "even alvin" and it made me chuckle! In these hard days I've been going through I really need a few chuckles. And for that I thank you.

    And to all you who were praying for Sheelagh. I thank God and I thank you all for your prayers "she's back home" thank you
    In the Love of Christ alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/15/2007 2:00 AM  

  • Alvin,
    Goodnight said "alvin included" not "even Alvin"

    there must be some shade of difference between the meanings of those two sayings. hmmmm....now I have more to ponder.

    hehe ;~)

    I am glad that your wife is home now - continue to look up!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/15/2007 10:05 AM  

  • Rose replies to me: You don't limit the intent because I have read you say that it actually secures their salvation. I think you have a problem with that because you also say that the sinner has to have faith in it. So either it is secured without faith, or one must have faith and therefore it was not secure before he had faith in it.

    Calvinists limit the intent of the atonement in the sense that the intention was not to atone for the sins of all men, but for the sins only of the elect. (This is why it is referred to a "Limited Atonement") However, as you rightly point out, Calvinists do not limit the atonement to merely providing the opportunity to do something, but that it actually secures all that it set out to do i.e. bring many sons to glory.

    It is true to say that Calvinists believe that the atonement makes the salvation of the elect certain. It makes certain the means of salvation i.e. the faith of the elect and the end of that faith i.e. the salvation of their souls. It takes the elect sinner the whole way, infallibly securing both his faith and his redemption. In this sense it is a fuller atonement than the non Calvinist one (as it appears to me)guarantees the faith of none and (in theory anyway) might have been rejected every last sinner ever born with no one saved.

    I do not propose to make other replies on this thread as it is now over a week old and I have engaged you on other threads/blogs.

    Thanks for your time.

    P/s Forgive me for giggling too, Alvin, when you said that you do most of your running in the dark. I know what you mean, though :-)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/15/2007 12:29 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Thanks Rose. Then you and John do agree that he does hate the wicked who burn forever in hell?

    That is good. As long as there is breath there is time for anyone to come to the Saviour. Good deal. I am glad to see you agree that there is a point of no return where Gods wrath comes in finality and eternally. It is a horrible thing, but it must be for our God to be just as well as justifier.

    By Blogger Only Look, at 11/15/2007 8:09 PM  

  • Hi Rose
    Some thoughts on wrath.
    Lamentations 3:33 For He does not afflict willingly, Nor grieve the children of men.
    Even though God is angered by man's sin and even though He rightly afflicts wrath upon them He does not enjoy it. He would prefer they repent.
    Think of the sin that makes you angrier than any other sin. Maybe it's theft or murder or adultery or homosexuality or something else. But remember one thing God loves these sinners as individuals. His wrath is not immediate in individual cases and in every case God would be glad to withhold wrath if there is genuine repentance. A whole city found this out one time its name was Nineveh. If you and I are going to be people of grace our attitude toward sinners should be a real improvement on Jonah's. James and John once asked Jesus about a Samaritan village, Quote "Lord do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them like Elijah? Jesus replied you do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy mens lives but to save them (lUKE 9:54-56).
    Hopefully we know what spirit we are of.
    Gleanings from Zane Hodges
    God's wrath is is a temporary expression of His anger.
    The final judgment is not about God's wrath but God's judgment.
    If I go down to the court house to have my case heard, and the judge sitting on the diam there has his face flushed with anger and his eyes are flashing I may question whether I'm going to get a fair hearing. Really anger and wrath have no place in the final judgment and there are no passages of scripture that I know of that relate wrath to the final judgment.
    So would the lake of fire be an expression of anger or judgment? Judgment! So God's wrath does end? Yes! God does not hold His anger forever that is one of the teachings of scripture. God's anger is controlled and time bound.

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/16/2007 2:31 AM  

  • Rose/Alvin,

    Forgive my re-entry into this blog (my excuse being that it is, in effect, a different subject).

    At times, we all wisely preface our remarks (as Alvin have done) with the phrase "there are no passages of scripture that I know of…". Perhaps the verse that you have missed that relates wrath to the final judgment.
    is Romans 2: 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; God holds all His attributes in perfect harmony, hence if His eyes are said to flash with angers etc., it is not at the expense of His holiness and justice etc., like your very human judge in the court.

    Plenty more could be said, but I’ll plump for the short post.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/16/2007 4:00 AM  

  • The wrath spoken of in Romans 2:5 is the same wrath that is being now revealed from heaven in Romans 1:18. There is a inclusio in 2:5 that show that it is one unit of thought. An inclusio is a stylistic device that picks up a word or a phrase or an idea from the beginning of a unit and repeats it as a structural marker that the unit is complete. The double use of the word “wrath” in 2:5 is the first time since 1:18 that it is explicitly used. The reading of 2:5 clearly recalls the material of 1:18. The word revelation the verb is used in 1:18 the noun in 2:5. This means in Paul’s mind 1:18 to 2:5 is a single unit of thought.
    When Paul is telling the moralist (O MAN)that he is storing up wrath in the day of wrath he is not talking about the eschatological future, he is talking about right here and now.
    Notice also in 2:5 that it states not “for the day of wrath” but “in the day of wrath which the moralist was in at that time. At 2:6 there is a break in thought, there should be a period after 2:5 (Majority Text).
    Romans 2:1 addresses the Moralist (O MAN) who thinks he is ok! Romans 1:28-32 is a catalog of vises that God has allowed to man to descend and sink into.
    The Moralist might say: I know husbands that lie to their wives. That’s wrong I would never do that. However the Moralist lies to his friends, he lies to his fellow workers, he lies to the authorities.
    The Moralist might say: Adultery is everywhere and it is wrong but the same person indulges in envy and greed, or hatred.
    Even the Moralist Paul is saying falls under the sweeping indictment of chapter one he cannot escape God’s wrath. There is a way he can avoid God’s wrath it is stated in 2:4 repentance.

    Blessings alvin
    Mouring Rose!!

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/16/2007 7:29 AM  

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