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

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another gem from the Liver and Onions blog

I saved this from the comment ssection of that blog a while ago.

First there was a quote from John MacArthur Jr.....


“Who qualifies then, in our discussion, as an infant or a child who, dying, is saved--who dying, instantly goes to heaven? Who are we talking about? Answer: those who have not reached sufficient, mature understanding in order to comprehend convincingly the issues of law and grace, sin and salvation....... It's not an age; it is a condition. From child to child, it varies, and, as I said, you have to include in this those who grow up mentally disadvantaged, mentally disabled, mentally retarded so as never to be able to have a sufficient, mature understanding and a convincingly comprehensive grasp of law and grace and sin and salvation. This is not an age; this is a condition. That's who we're talking about: people in that condition where they cannot, in a mature way, understand and comprehend convincingly these issues.”
Then a comment from someone going by the handle "wingfooted." I just love this comment:

Strangely enough, I agree with the above. But those mentioned above are not saved because God is “sovereign” or because they are “the elect”, but because God is perfectly “just”. Also, we serve a loving God. However, MacArthur says these little ones are saved by grace because of their “condition”. Now how does that line up with “unconditional election”? And the WCF, which also noted, states..“Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.”
I find it odd that God sovereignly elects to save those who are “INCAPABLE of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word” because of one condition, but chooses to “pass by” and “reprobate” millions upon millions of people, who due to their total depravity, (another condition) are INCAPABLE of believing the gospel. Why does one person who can’t believe get saved and another who can’t believe gets “passed by” and “reprobated”?

I say: Really!!!!

91 Comments:

  • Amen, wingfooted. Good Post Rose!

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at 2/15/2008 12:00 PM  

  • Hi, Rose. This is indeed a good post.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 2/15/2008 12:14 PM  

  • I have considered this before - well put by Wingfooted. Thanks, Rose.

    By Blogger Missy, at 2/15/2008 12:24 PM  

  • I would love to hear a good answer to this question, besides "God is sovereign" which we all agree with.

    By Blogger Jim, at 2/15/2008 1:26 PM  

  • Blessings Rose!

    Obviously, this issue was raised when a member of a “Reformed” church lost their child to death during infancy. Since Calvinism teaches that God “unconditionally” elects some to salvation and passes by the rest, how did this parent know that their child was saved? Just how do Pastors and Ministers from within Reformed Theology comfort their members who lose their children in infancy? In an attempt to be able to comfort the heart broken parent, they turned to the Institutes...

    “Our children, before they are born, God declares that he adopts for his own when he promises that he will be a God to us, and to our seed after us. In this promise their salvation is included.” --Institutes, book 4, chapter 15, section 20

    Presbyterians refer to Loraine Boettner’s “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination” which says..

    “The Scriptures seem to teach plainly enough that the children of believers are saved; but they are silent or practically so in regard to those of the heathens.”

    The scriptures PLAINLY teach that children of believers are saved? Then this creates quite a dilemma. Because, since Noah was saved, he must be among the elect. And since Calvinism teaches that the children of the elect are saved a well, that would mean that his 3 boys were elect also. Now, since all of mankind can trace their roots to Noah, wouldn’t that lead to universalism?

    We could go further back and ask the same question in regards to Adam and Eve. If they are saved and among the elect, then wouldn’t that mean that Abel, Seth, and Cain were saved as well?

    Now comes John MacArthur, in a desperate attempt to provide another member with some comfort, who states that all infants dying infancy are saved because of “condition” that prohibits the child’s understanding of grace, law, and sin. Yet this same man believes and teaches that God “unconditionally” elects whom he will in regards to salvation. “Unconditionally” is defined by the Westminster Confession as follows..

    “without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, OR ANY OTHER THING IN THE CREATURE, AS CONDITIONS, OR CAUSES moving Him thereunto”

    But now MacArthur says that all infants dying in infancy are among the elect BECAUSE OF THIS CONDITION.

    So, according to Calvinism, crib death, deformities, and abortions are reserved only for God’s elect.

    Pathetic. And sad.

    Grace,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 2/15/2008 4:48 PM  

  • Yo! Wing,

    Not only does your scenario suggest universalism (and only Calvinism, by the way--of all evangelical theologies--could possibly spawn universalism) if we read it forward, but it suggests UNIVERSAL REPROBATION if we read it backwards.

    For instance, if David's son Absolom was lost, it would suggest David himself was lost and Jessie was lost and Obed was lost and Boaz was lost, etc. What reads forward also reads backwards!

    Calvinism is simply a BLANK when it comes to addressing serious soteriological issues.

    By Blogger tjp, at 2/15/2008 7:11 PM  

  • All,

    The quote Rose provided above comes from MacArthur’s “The Salvation of Babies Who Die”. The comments below come from his last paragraph....

    “So here's a final summary: all children who die before they reach the condition of accountability, by which they convincingly understand their sin and corruption and embrace the gospel by faith, are graciously saved eternally by God through the work of Jesus Christ, being elect by sovereign choice, innocent of willful sin, rebellion, and unbelief, by which works they would be justly condemned to eternal punishment. So, when an infant dies, he or she is elect to eternal salvation and eternal glory. So, dear one, if you have a little one that dies, rejoice! Count not your human loss; count your eternal gain. Count not that child as having lost, but having gained, having passed briefly through this life, untouched by the wicked world, only to enter into eternal glory and grace. The true sadness should be over those children of yours who live and reject the gospel. Don't sorrow over your children in heaven; sorrow over your children on earth, that they should come to Christ. This is your great responsibility, your great opportunity.”

    Now get this, MacArthur says the “true sadness should be over those children.... who live and reject the gospel”.

    But in Calvinism, salvation is based on God’s unconditional, sovereign choice. Not ours. The Lost don’t perish because they reject Christ, but rather the Lost are eternally damned because God rejected them. OUR choices have absolutely nothing to do with our destinies. According to Calvinism, the TRUE SADNESS should be for your children who God chose not to save. In Calvinism, we are no more elected to salvation because of our faith, then the Lost are reprobated and passed by because of their unbelief.

    No doubt this idea that “all babies dying in infancy are among the elect” had to be conjured up in a desperate attempt to provide members of Reformed Churches who lost little ones at a very young age with some kind of peace. At the same time, those like MacArthur were forced to fit it in with their theology. If salvation is “unconditional” then it is UNCONDITIONAL. To the Almighty, what possible difference could it make to him if the person died in the womb or after 108 healthy years on earth? His “choice” to save or reprobate was made from eternity past, all due to his good pleasure.

    The clear inconsistencies of Calvinism are insulting. Still, as frustrating as it can be, we must continue to show them grace. Most are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 2/15/2008 8:25 PM  

  • Hi Rose! Sorry I haven't commented in a long time - I have been very busy - and likely will continue to be for several more weeks, maybe even months.

    Jim said, I would love to hear a good answer to this question, besides "God is sovereign" which we all agree with.

    This is one of those issues that is typically reasoned from one's theology rather than according to what scripture does and does not say.

    We must ask of scripture, whom did Christ die for?

    Matthew tells us that Joseph was instructed to name the child "Jesus" because he was going to save "His People" from "their sin". That's a good place to start. [1] Jesus came to save His people, and [2] He came to save them from sin.

    Does everyone get saved from sin? No. Who gets saved from sin? Jesus' people get saved from their sin.

    Why does that matter? It matters because the first time the New Testament mentions salvation it mentions who gets saved, and from what they are saved (Matthew 1:21).

    In Matthew 9:13 and again in Luke 5:32 Jesus remarks that he did not come to call the righteous, but rather to call sinners to repentance. Whom did He call? He called sinners. To what did He call them? He called them to repentance.

    Here is where we have to decide how we are going to read scripture. We read in 1 King 8:46 and 2 Chronicles 6:36that "there is no one who does not sin." In Ecclesiastes 7:20 we read, "For there is not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin." And in the NT we read in Romans 3:9, 10 and 3:23that "all are under sin", "There is none righteous, no, not one", and "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Paul reiterates the same in Romans 11:32 and Galatians 3:22 where he says, "God has committed them all [i.e. both Jews and Gentiles] to disobedience" and that, "the Scripture has confined all under sin."

    It should be clear to all of us, that -everyone- sins from the first moment they are able to do so. But what may not be clear is whether these texts are saying that new born infants are born committing sin.

    James defines sin, perhaps most clearly in James 4:17, where he says, "to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." - so what about the one who does not know to do good? Can such a one sin?

    Whether sin is defined as rebellion against God, or defined as the breaking a commandment - what stillborn child has done either?

    Total Depravity teaches that we are all born into Adam's curse - that is, we are born separated from the Tree of Life and utterly unaware (personally) of God's presence. Adam and Eve were aware of God in the Garden, but when they were cast out they were cursed, separated from God, no longer aware of His presence, and driven from His garden where He had worked to provide food and shelter for them directly. Each babe that is born into this world inherits this vacuum - Adam's curse. Each babe is born into this world utterly separated from spiritual life.

    But through sin, death entered the world - so it isn't that we are born into a neutral world, but rather a world that is ruled by rebellion and governed spiritually by God's enemies. In short, every last one of us will sin the very first chance we get.

    Now the question is do we become culpable for our sin because we are cursed or do we become culpable for our sin when we sin?

    Scripture is very clear on this point - you shall not put to death the son for the sins of the fathers. A father's sin can have consequences that pollute generations of his children and grandchildren - his sin will certainly "visit" them - but they will never be judged/condemned for it.

    It is fair, I think, to say that no one is going to die for Adam's sin except Adam. We are all guilty of our own sin - at least those of us who have personally sinned - that is, who have known to do good, but failed to do it. Those of us who set God aside in order to pursue our own agenda are guilty of sin and rightly condemned - but is there really a time in a person's life when He doesn't know the difference between good and evil? If we are to believe scripture, we must reckon from Isaiah 7:16, where we read, "For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good..." - the Holy Spirit who inspired the prophet Isaiah seems to be telling us that there is indeed a time in a person's live before they know the difference between good and evil; and if so - do we insist, based upon the fact that all sin as soon as they are able - that all are guilty?

    Is that what the bible is telling us? That there is no innocent babes?

    I think a sober reading of scripture tells us that all people sin as soon as they know how - but that until they do, they are not yet sinners. I wouldn't call them righteous by any stretch, but I wouldn't call them condemned either. Christ said to let the little ones come to Him, for such is the kingdom of heaven, I think He wasn't being merely poetic or polite - I think He was being bang-on accurate, and so we sing, "Little ones to Him belong..."

    Which is all to say: that if Christ came to save sinners, and these little ones are not charged with sin - then Christ did not come to save them, for they do not need salvation, as they have never been condemned by their own sin.

    That kind of thinking runs contrary for most evangelicals - because their theology forces them to say "everyone is guilty" based upon the texts given above that plainly show that everyone sins.

    The question is whether the writers of scripture were saying that all people are born pre-condemned, or whether they were saying that all people are born inclined to sin such that all who are capable of comprehending the gospel message - require it.

    Now how does the doctrine of election plug into an understanding like that?

    I answer that question the same way I answer the standard, "what about all the sinners in other times and in other countries who never get to hear the gospel??? How come God doesn't 'elect' any of them?" - that is I point out that if these little ones who die in infancy or in childbirth or who through a lack of mental faculty are never able to distinguish between good and evil, never able to reject God personally - I say these are the elect of God. If an elect child is going to grow up in a place where He will never hear the gospel, God will not allow that one to know good from evil - but will take him home before he has the chance to damn himself.

    That's how I see it.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 2/15/2008 9:24 PM  

  • I would add only that one's soteriology is certainly going to affect one's overall theology, such that as a Calvinist MacArthur's take on this issue is going to come filtered through, not only his Calvinism, but also the remainder of his theology.

    Like most of us, MacArthur has sat down and asked himself how does this issue fit in with what I see the bible say about soteriology? The answer he gives informs us about how John MacArthur reasons, and perhaps it may even stand as a poster child for many who reason in a similar way - but it is wrong to imagine that all Calvinists reason the same way John MacArthur does.

    One need not embrace MacArthur's apology in this matter to wear the label "Calvinist". One becomes a Calvinist the moment they comprehend just how much help Lazarus had in his own revivification, or how much choice any of us had in being born the first time.

    Grace to you all.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 2/15/2008 9:42 PM  

  • Rose,
    John the Baptist leaped in his mother's womb for joy in the presence of the pre born Christ showing he was regenerated. Nothing is impossible for God. He can give faith to an infant even. That is why faith being a gift gives all glory to God and why we as Calvinists are not ashamed to say salvation is of the Lord.

    Whether all infants are elect or not, we are not told. We are not supposed to go beyond what is written. I think this is a very emotional topic for all of us. My mother lost four babies by miscarriages. I hope to see them in heaven one day. My parents and sisters are all unbelievers. I know David had hopes of seeing his baby again. Whatever the truth is about those babies, I know that the judge of all the earth will do right.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 2/15/2008 11:58 PM  

  • Daniel,

    You said:

    "Now the question is do we become culpable for our sin because we are cursed or do we become culpable for our sin when we sin?"

    You should already know that we were culpable for our sin and that is why we, mankind that is, were cursed. You seem to have some confusion about that with your 'either-or' proposition. And then you compound it with this next statement.

    "It is fair, I think, to say that no one is going to die for Adam's sin except Adam. We are all guilty of our own sin -"

    Actually, we can learn right here that many indeed did die for Adam's sin.

    Ro 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died,

    I don't get you. Is your mind running away with you? How can you hope to teach a proper understanding when you get these plain basics wrong? Please consider this. Or is my mind running away with me?

    By Blogger Todd, at 2/16/2008 12:28 AM  

  • Tod, thanks for the feedback.

    I too was confused by the way the traditional interpretation of Romans 5:12-21 played with such verses as Deuteronomy 24:16, "“Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin." or again 1 Kings 14:6 and 2 Chronicles 25:4, "“Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; but a person shall be put to death for his own sin.”".

    The language in these three passages is not ambiguous, but very unequivocable,... very clear. The son shall not be put to death for the sin of his father - that is, I cannot be condemned for the sin of my father, or any of my ancestors - including Adam.

    When I read Romans 5:12-21 I have to make a concious decision about what I am going to do with these "other" verses. Do I toss them out? Do I explain them away so that they lose all their original meaning? Do I tell myself that God has changed, or that the Spirit who inspired those first words on three separate occasions has now changed his stance? Or do I tell myself that perhaps there is room in what Paul is saying to understand the whole of it without compromise or contradiction?

    Naturally I go for the latter.

    First I remind myself of the greater context of the argument Paul is making. Paul has already shown (by this point) that men have always been justified by grace through faith - using Abraham as the perfect example. But Paul knows that this teaching engenders one response from those who have been trained that we are justified by works - Paul knows that they are going to say that if we are justified apart from the law, then what's to stop us from breaking the law? Or put another way, Paul knows that the greatest argument leveled against the gospel has been that it teaches you can sin all you want and still go to heaven because you are saved by faith and not by keeping the law.

    These verses from which you pull you proof are a preamble to the great point He is about to make - that Christians do -not- continue in sin as some argue, because they have been set free from sin.

    So what is Paul saying here that provides for the argument he is about to prove? He is going to take the reader through a logical thought process. If the law really does justify a person, one must conclude that failure to keep the law condemns right? Ah, says Paul, but look, men died condemned by sin long before Moses came along. Everyone from Adam to Moses died, the condemnation for their sin found them out. If they could be condemned for their sin before the law showed up - then it wasn't a failure to keep the law that was condemning them, but sin itself was condemning them, and if sin was condemning them, then the purpose of the law was not to justify, but to point out this condemnation. Paul explains elsewhere (Gal 3) that the law was added because of transgressions, that in fact the whole purpose of the law was demonstrate to men their own state of condemnation.

    In the immediate context of Romans 5:15, Paul is arguing that it is not foolishness to imagine that one man's death can bring grace and justification to many - he shows this by mentioning Adam - thorugh one man's action sin spread to all men - Paul's argument is that if it is not unreasonable to admit this, why would it be unreasonable to admit that Christ's single act can bring grace and justification?

    Paul pursues, expands upon and expounds the idea in the following verses saying that Christ's free gift, while similar to Adam's transgression in that its consequences are far reaching, is yet different from Adam's in that where Adam's sin bound all men under the same curse, yet Christ's actions produced a gift: justification, or said another way, while Adam's sin separated all of us from God, Christ's death brought reconciliation for as many as believe.

    To be sure, I was anticipating someone quoting verse 19 against what I had to say, "For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners" - these would give a stronger argument for your point (IMO) that verse 15. Yet because Paul is speaking in general terms at this point, that is, He is not articulating the truths he mentions in passing, but mentions them imprecisely - as though the reader is quite familiar with what he is saying, and he is merely reminding them of something they already know.

    Thus I can't, in good conscience, simply throw out what God has said three times elsewhere in favor of what God seems to be saying (if I take it that way) in another place.

    The point you make is that many did die for Adam's sin, and I want to be fair to that - I agree with you, that had Adam not brought sin into the world these would not have sinned and therefore died - but I believe I disagree with you in that you seem to be saying that they died for Adam's sin as though they had no sin of their own, and I would argue that they died for their own sin, though had Adam not brought sin into the world, they would not have. In that sense they died "because of" Adam's sin - in that Adam's sin opened the door to their own sin for which they died.

    I really do appreciate your comment, as I -know- that my understanding in this matter runs contrary to what most of us learn in Sunday school, and frankly I want to remain teachable in the matter. It isn't that I am ignorant of how most of us understand Romans 5, it is rather that I considered that understanding and find it doesn't fit well with the bigger picture. I could have my bigger picture messed up, so I am remaining open to instruction on the subject.

    Thanks again Tod.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 2/16/2008 6:56 AM  

  • One more thought to add to my original comment...

    Sorry for hogging the meta Rose!

    I was thinking about it this morning, and realized that a person who dies without committing any sin of their own (whether they be a child or a person who lacks the mental faculty to comprehend good and evil) must still be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Not that they have their own sin which needs to be forgiven, but rather that they are born into Adam's curse - born into a living, eternal separation from God - and even though they lack sin of their own to condemn them, they are still recipients of Adam's curse - still separated from God on its account.

    Even if Christ reconciles all men back to God who were ever separated from God by inheriting Adam's curse - yet all those who (in this life) knowingly sin for themselves must turn to Christ in faith to be saved not merely from the curse they inherit from Adam - which Christ came to redeem us -ALL- from - but also they must turn to Christ in faith to have Him redeem them from their own sin too.

    Those who have no sin of their own do not need to turn to Christ in faith for their own sin (they have none) - but they still need Christ to reconcile them to God - to undo the Adamic curse that is their inheritance. If Christ died to redeem all from sin - then these who are the recipients of Adam's curse, will also be the recipients of grace when Christ lifts that curse. They do not need the personal faith required to save them from their own sin - they need only the reconciliation merited by Christ's death.

    Which is to say, they still need Christ to reconcile them to God, but that this reconciliation, having no personal component, is not received by personal faith, but rather is given to them by the reconciliation of Adam's sin.

    If that clears up anything or not.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 2/16/2008 7:20 AM  

  • Sorry for stopping by here without saying hi Rose.

    By Blogger Todd, at 2/16/2008 8:44 AM  

  • Oh and Todd, sorry about missing off the second "d" in your name. I noticed it afterwards.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 2/16/2008 8:45 AM  

  • Thank you so much Rose for posting this. So clear & Biblical by our fine brother, Wing. I only knew one man in my life, a sad friend of my Grandfather's, who believed firmly that he was NOT of the elect & could NOT be saved. Sad indeed.
    But, in working with people in witnessing situations, I have dealt with a couple of people like this, when sharing the Gospel with them, they would reply that they were not of the elect & that it didn't matter in their case. Hair-pulling situation, of which, btw, I can't afford many!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 2/16/2008 8:53 AM  

  • It would seem to me that at some point you might see this in a postive light somehow Rose. Many Calvinists leave this in a vacuum and include the possibility that some infants may go to hell in an unregenerate state.

    Somtimes I think you all just have a personal prejudice against MacARthur...or maybe its a subliminal thing against anyones last name begining with the sound Mac as in McCain:-)

    Little joke. Hope you arent offended.

    Praise God that the witness of John the Baptist shows that God does have the power to regenerate infants.

    Grace upon grace,

    Brian

    By Blogger Only Look, at 2/16/2008 9:19 AM  

  • By the way Susan. I firmly believe that when David said "I will go to him" about his dead infant...he had a supreme knowledge of God and his word there was just as sound as one of His prophetic Psalms. God also abhored the fact of casting infants into the fires of Molech...so there is no way he is going to cast infants into the fires of hell as those under the influence of Satan did. AS he told Jeremiah. This was not in His heart. So this is one strong reason why I am not a full fledged 5 point Calvinist. There are many other scriptural witnesses that prove all "infants" and those not cognizant ...go to heaven for he preserves the simiple.

    Grace upon grace,

    Brian

    By Blogger Only Look, at 2/16/2008 9:26 AM  

  • Another thing Rose,

    I encourage you to be as patient with Calvinists as God is patient with the non-Calvinists as there is so much tough Scripture to wade through.

    Thankful that God is patient with me as well,

    Brian

    By Blogger Only Look, at 2/16/2008 9:27 AM  

  • Daniel,
    Mankind was condemned to death through the curse on account of Adam.

    I see these other verses you are wondering how to handle.

    Deuteronomy 24:16, "“Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin." or again 1 Kings 14:6 and 2 Chronicles 25:4, "“Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; but a person shall be put to death for his own sin.”".

    They seem to have caused you to go back and try and reinterpret the episode of the curse to bring the text of the two different places into harmony in your mind.

    The verses in Deut. and others that frame how 'the sins of the father's will not condemn the children' are given by God as His arrangement for and with Israel.

    The episode with Adam is God's arrangement with mankind during the time of Adam.

    And then finally God indeed visited the sins of all mankind on his Son.

    Doesn't all of that align pretty well?

    All of the verses from Paul that you cited seem to sum up the point that we have a sinful nature and are gulty of sin whether we are newborn or older and practiced in it. I don't think anyone is excused from it out of ignorance of sin. With the newborn and, God has a just plan that we are not exactly privy to. The caution here is to not develope such an overblown theology that it conflicts with basic truths, as you've done with the curse and it's bearing on Adam's decendents. Nor does that put our responsibility for our sin on Adam.

    Oh shoot, I just got my comment lost by Google. Thank goodness I'm learning to save them these days. I'll try and finish it up from here as I remember it.

    While the curse has not yet been lifted, God has provided a pathway through it in Jesus Christ for all men. In some cases in life there are many blanks left to be filled in as to how God works His gracious plan. Our's is not to fill them in nor to be afraid in Christ, to whom God has given all authority here on earth.

    When it comes to what God will do with very young children or even the feeble minded and so on, I find it comforting that God has not told us that He will condemn them and even given us the assurance that He will not. To any parent or loved one who frets about that sort of thing I would prescribe the pure assuring milk of the word, not some fancy complicated theology.

    Anyway, Daniel, thanks for being open to my feedback with regards to my other comments to you. I love in in the Lord brother.

    By Blogger Todd, at 2/16/2008 10:43 AM  

  • I'm following this discussion with great interest because the topic of the salvation of babies (and others in the same boat) is a tough one for me. I just don't know what I think about it. Scripture doesn't seem to speak to it either way. There are a few attempts to make it appear so, like David's quote, but David's words are ambiguous at best.

    So here's a thought... it is out there and I'm NOT saying I believe this, but... if you believe that all babies go to heaven, why then is abortion so wrong? If all babies go to heaven, but not all adults, then surely some of the babies that have been aborted would have grown up to reject Jesus and end up in hell (except perhaps in the Calvinist view that says that all babies that die were part of the elect?). Yet since they were aborted, they were rescued from that bad decision and are in heaven forever instead. Don't we think that going to hell for eternity is the worst possible thing that could ever happen? Then if killing a baby ensures that they avoid hell and go to heaven, then wouldn't that be the best thing we could do for them?

    I want to reiterate that this is NOT my view, but I am wondering what answers anyone here has for it.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 2/16/2008 10:55 AM  

  • Rachel,
    You bring up some interesting points.

    Here's an interesting article by Sinclair Ferguson.

    click here

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 2/16/2008 11:38 AM  

  • Rachel,

    Very good question.

    Now look at Proverb 6:16-19....

    “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

    The Lord hates “The shedding of innocent blood” and it is considered by Him, an abomination. So while the child that is aborted will end up in heaven, the one who commits the abortion has put themselves in a very difficult position. (And to make this even more despicable, Calvinism teaches that God is guiding the knife. PATHETIC)

    I do believe that all infants dying in infancy will spend eternity in the presence of our Lord and Saviour. Not because they are “elect”, but because God is perfectly JUST. We see in the book of Revelation that at the Great White Throne, the dead will be judged according to their works. What “work” will in infant be judged by? The scriptures say that those who perish do so “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” When did a infant ever “received not” or “refuse” the love of the truth?

    Overall, MacArthur’s explanation for children dying in infancy going to heaven was quite good. What hit me as being inconsistent was his thinking that they are saved because of a “condition”, when he himself believes that “election to salvation” is unconditional. No doubt his explanation was not well received in Calvin-Land. And to suggest that crib death, miscarriages, birth defects, and abortion is reserved only for God’s elect is unfortunate.

    But to answer your question directly, look what the apostle Paul says in Romans 3: 5-8....

    But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is deserved.

    We served a “just God and a Saviour”.

    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 2/16/2008 12:24 PM  

  • Rachel, abortion is wrong because God commands us not to murder.

    Murdering people is not wrong because people might go to hell. It is wrong because man is made in the image of God and therefore has intrinsic value.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/16/2008 12:35 PM  

  • Rose, are you feeling moralistic today?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/16/2008 12:35 PM  

  • I would say that God is just and they are the elect. Let the mind of God be...you are not He wingfoot:-)

    Let all of our arrogant presumptions be tossed into the flames as we are renewed day by day in Him. Be a child again.

    Hi Rose.

    By Blogger Only Look, at 2/16/2008 1:09 PM  

  • Todd, I appreciate your comments, and I think you and I would give similar advice those who find themselves concerned about where the little ones go (to heaven), and we would both point to scripture to show it. How we marry back into the remainder of our theology is where we might differ, but I am pleased that you have offered some advice for my consideration. Thank you sir.

    Dan
    <><

    By Blogger Daniel, at 2/16/2008 1:59 PM  

  • Rose, hi...

    Daniel:

    As always your answers are articulate and detailed. I would agree with the quote and your interpretation overall.

    I think where I agree with Wingfoot is the implication that only the elect die prematurely. Surely that would make God complicit in the act of a crime (such as abortion)which is contrary to His word and character.

    As some have mentioned God is just, and therefore we must trust Him in the areas where scripture is not entirely emphatic. Who are we to question His character and counsel?

    One question though; how is the Holy Spirit imputed to a person who does not express faith in Christ Jesus?

    By Blogger Jim, at 2/16/2008 2:47 PM  

  • I think you all should consider Karl Barth's approach on election.

    To say that we can come to scripture, naked, or without dogmatics informing our preunderstandings, is not a tenable position.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 2/16/2008 3:44 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Concerning infants Calvin's thought's might shed some light. Because of his view of the meaning of baptism, Calvin advocated the baptism of infants, even claiming that infant baptism rests “on such firm approbation of Scripture.” Ibid., p. 131 (IV.xv.10). In fact, those who opposed him on the subject were “frantic spirits” and “mad beasts.” Ibid., p. 1324, 1332-1333 (IV.xvi.1,IV.xvi.10). God will wreak vengeance upon any man who disdains to mark his child with the symbol of the covenant.” Ibid.,p. 1332 (IV .xvi.9). Although he rejected Augustine’s thesis that unbaptized children go to limbo, (Wendel, p. 328.) Calvin did say that “ infants are baptised into future repentance and faith, and even though these have not yet been formed in them, the seed of both lies hidden within them by secret working of the Spirit.” Calvin, Institutes, p. 1343 (IV . xvi. 20). (LMV)


    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/16/2008 4:45 PM  

  • Blasphemy, as taught by John Calvin, himself:

    “Those therefore whom God passes by he reprobates, and that for no other cause but because he is pleased to exclude them...” (Institutes, III, xxiii, 1)

    “...the divine will... is itself, and justly ought to be, the cause of all that exists ... God, whose pleasure it is to inflict punishment ... no other cause can be adduced... than the secret counsel of God...” (Institutes III, xxiii, 4)

    “If we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will. When God is said to visit in mercy or harden whom he will, men are reminded that they are not to seek for any cause beyond his will.” (Institutes, III, xxii, 11)

    “I... ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy unless it so seemed meet with God [sic]? ... The decree, I admit, is dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree... God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it.” (Institutes, III, xxiii, 7)

    “Paul teaches us that the ruin of the wicked is not only foreseen by the Lord, but also ordained by his counsel and his will... not only the destruction of the wicked is foreknown, but that the wicked themselves have been created for this very end -- that they may perish” (Commentaries Romans 9:18)

    “... he arranges all things by his sovereign counsel in such a way that individuals are born, who are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction...God ... arranges and disposes of them at his pleasure... all events take place by his sovereign appointment” (Institutes III, xxiii, 6)

    “...each has been created for one or other of these ends, [therefore] we say that he has been predestined to life or to death” (Institutes III, xxi, 5)

    ------------------------------

    Note how Calvin says this:
    “I... ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy unless it so seemed meet with God [sic]? ... The decree, I admit, is dreadful”

    Just imagine that if you are a mom or a dad and your child or children were not of the elect. They will suffer eternal death, for this state is without remedy, all because it “so seemed meet with God”. God made the sovereign and free choice, apart from any consideration of them whatsoever, to damn the non-elect (reprobate) and this because it pleases Him and will bring Him glory, says the Calvinist. Your unelect children would spend eternity in hell, not for their sin, not for their depravity, not because of the fall of Adam, but because

    “God at his own pleasure arranged it”
    “God, whose pleasure it is to inflict punishment”
    “God is pleased to exclude them”
    because they “have been created for this very end -- that they may perish”

    And don't go looking for any reason in and of your unelect children why they will perish, because:

    “When God is said to visit in mercy or harden whom he will, men are reminded that they are not to seek for any cause beyond his will”

    I surely feel sorry for Calvinists with children:

    On one hand, how horrible the thought that their children could have been reprobated, consigned to hell before the world began; that there is nothing that they can do about it. The preaching of the gospel, praying etc, all to no avail, because God has been pleased to damn these unelect children apart from anything that they have done or will do. This would cause me grief beyond measure: to think that God could have reprobated my children. That we will spend our eternities separate. Also to know there is nothing that I can do about it. My gospel pleas will fall on their God-hardened ears. My prayers lift up to God without any use. Jesus didn't even die for these, our unelect children! The horrible pain and agony of soul that a Calvinist must feel for his children who may or may not be elect.

    But on the other hand, they should be exeedingly joyous and glory in the fact that their unelect children will spend eternity in hell, for this will bring glory to God. God will be glorified for eternity for damning them, apart from anything that they have done or could do, because it was His sovereign and free choice to do so, apart from "any consideration of man whatsoever". This choice brings pleasure to God, in whose pleasure it will be to punish our unelect children, who at His pleasure arranged the damnation of our unelect children, who will be glorified by their destruction, because they have been created for this very end : that they may perish. So praise God and hallelujah for God's glory in damning countless, untold billions of people's children, who are damned without remedy, where we are to seek for no cause beyond His will and pleasure.

    I do not envy being a Calvinist, having children myself. For it is nowhere guaranteed that children of an elect parent will necessarily be elect themselves. With my view, I understand that my children can be prayed for and influenced by my relationship to them, and my faith displayed to them as I teach them. God wills that all men be saved and that includes my children. My preaching of Jesus and the gospel has a REAL life or death purpose to my children. They have the ability to believe unto salvation!

    By Blogger Antonio, at 2/16/2008 5:07 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    As I see it from Calvin's own mouth that Calvinism is a works-salvation from the baptising of your child so that supposibly they are a shoe-in all the way to having to endure in good works to the end if your elect.
    I believe Vance stated it well when he said:
    The stumbling block for the Calvinist is the simplicity of Salvattion, so upon rejecting this, a mysterious, arcane, incomprehensible, decree of God.

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/16/2008 7:05 PM  

  • Bobby,

    (Bobby:)"I think you all should consider Karl Barth's approach on election."

    "To say that we can come to scripture, naked, or without dogmatics informing our preunderstandings, is not a tenable position."


    I see....

    What does Karl Barth know about God's word that you don't know - or that I don't know?

    What advantage does he have in God's word that I don't have? Does he use a better bible than I do?

    Clearly, very few do, or maybe more accurately, very few 'have had the opportunity', to come to scripture without dogmatics already having shapen there preunderstandings.

    Where did this first 'dogmatic' who helped set all of this division into play come upon his misinformed understanding?. Or if that's a poor chracterization of the dynamic you had in mind, then...

    Don't you think God gives us the power of mind to overcome our preunderstandings and understand him as He intended for us to understand Him, in one accord?

    (or do I have to find a guy now, like you have, to articulate a proper understanding for me?)

    Thanks.

    By Blogger Todd, at 2/16/2008 7:32 PM  

  • Just so there's no misunderstanding where Cals have stood on baby-damning, here's a quote from Dr. William Twisse, a leading Calamite of his day and one who participated in crafting the WCF.

    "Many infants depart from this life in original sin, and consequently are condemned to eternal death on account of original sin alone: therefore, from the sole transgression of Adam, condemnation to eternal death has followed upon many infants." ( Vindiciae, i. 48.)

    It's clear from Twisse--and many, many others of his day and time--that Cals not only believed that non-elect babies were damned but that they were damned for original and not personal sin.

    The attempt to dismiss this fact by present-day Cals is one of the great bellylaughs of history.

    By Blogger tjp, at 2/17/2008 12:23 AM  

  • Where's Rose?

    Jim - I find (among Christians especially) a tendency to impose our own morality on God, such that we not only hold God to our own moral standard (however low or high that may be), but we go so far as to say that unless God is on board with our own moral standard He is by no means God.

    Which would be perfectly acceptable if man could be morally equal to God, but God is not a man, and unless one comprehends the magnitude of that difference one may well be inclined to presume that what is immoral for a man must likewise be immoral for God - as though we were on the same playing field.

    I will give an example that is pertinent to our discussion: "Thou shalt not murder."

    I explain this commandment to my little ones by asking them why it is wrong to take something that isn't yours (stealing). It is easier for children to see the "wrong" in taking something that does not belong to you. When that is understood, I ask them if it is stealing to take back something that is your own? With one accord they are able to comprehend that it is in fact not an act or immorality to return to yourself what is, and remains your own property.

    When this is a solid thing in their understanding, I then talk about "life". I then read them that passage in Job that tells us who owns the breath of life, "If he [i.e. God] should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
    all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.
    " (Job 34:14-15 [ESV]). We read the verse a few times, then I ask them who owns the breath of life? Their answer is pulled straight from the text - God owns it. I make it personal then - who owns the life that is in you? Did you generate it yourself? Can you have it by yourself is or God Himself sustaining it? Whose is it?

    We reason it out slowly - if the breath that God gives us belongs to us, it is ours and God cannot take it away or He is unjust - even if we offend Him - He has no right to take what is not His. But if (as the scriptures describe) God gives breaths into us not a life of our own independent from His own life, but breaths His own life into us - then if God takes that life back, it is not an act of cosmic theft, but rather of the returning of something that was never ours to begin with.

    Then we go to the ten commandments and examine why it is that we are not to murder? Because we do not have the right to take away a life that doesn't belong to us. You see, I want them to develop a right sense of morality, and so I am careful to instruct them in where we should be grounding our moral certainties. It is the most common thing in all the world to look at a standard of conduct such as the ten commandments, and say to keep this standard is moral, and to fail to keep it is immoral, without first determining where the morality comes from.

    By addressing the nature of the commandment we come to a more precise understanding of what is moral and what is not, and this precision gives us some discernment when it comes to issues about whether God's character is impugned by such and such.

    Yes, if I took a life it would be an immoral act, but to impose that upon God is to reason from man to God rather than from God to man, and it is a common error, when God takes a life - regardless of how innocent we imagine that life to be, it is no crime, it is the prerogative of God to return to Himself what is His.

    That aside, you ask, "how is the Holy Spirit imputed to a person who does not express faith in Christ Jesus?"

    I don't think you meant to use the word "imputed" here... When a believer receives the Holy Spirit, He is not received by imputation - it is not mere forensic thing that is put to our account, but rather we are indwelt by the third Person of the Trinity.


    Notwithstanding, I believe your question is just this: how does a baby get the Holy Spirit without faith? The follow-up question, of course, would be - if that (whatever was answered) is so, why then do not all babies get the Holy Spirit?

    In order to answer your question without having to fall into the trap of the follow-up question, I will have to answer your first question with some care.

    First, we need to make a distinction between justification and the New Covenant.

    The indwelling of the Holy Spirit has nothing whatsoever to do with justification or being saved.

    Shocked? Well, only if you confuse (i.e. blur together into one) the new covenant with being justified. The apostles were "saved" at Pentecost - they were believers saved by grace through faith - just in the same way that Abraham was saved. But they weren't born again until Pentecost.

    You see, being born again is something that is quite distinct from being saved - though in the dispensation of the new covenant, the two happen simultaneously. To be sure, experientially, this side of Pentecost, no person has ever been saved without being born again, nor has anyone ever been born again who was not saved. That is because the receiving of the Holy Spirit - the new birth - is part of the New Covenant and not the Old. The moment you exercise saving faith in Christ, you are baptized into the body of Christ (spiritually) by Christ Himself - you are placed into Christ and you receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a pledge of that covenant.

    But prior to the inauguration of the new covenant at Pentecost - men were still saved in the same way they are saved today - by grace through faith.

    At Pentecost the Spirit descended upon the apostles and those disciples who were with them, and in that moment the New Covenant was fulfilled. From that moment onward in order to be justified by faith, your faith had to include the full revelation of the deity of God - that is, a faith that recognized the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but denied the revealed divinity of Christ, was not faith, but unbelief, and no one is justified by a faith that is marked by unbelief.

    When Peter preached that famous sermon, those who were already in the faith - saved under the Old Covenant system, worked upon externally by the Holy Spirit - these same when they heard the gospel, received the truth about Jesus, and entered into the new covenant. Those who rejected Christ demonstrated that their faith was never genuine, for faith is faith in God, and not merely in the idea of God - and if Christ is God, saving faith will believe that, but false faith will not.

    Son on that day a multitude entered into the new covenant - a multitude who were already saved under the old covenant.

    We see a lot of remarkable things happening as Israel moves out from one covenant and into a new and better one, but we must remember that this is a unique time in history.

    Nevertheless, my digressions make this comment rather bloaty.

    Your question was how do babes receive the Holy Spirit by faith?

    My answer is, a right understanding of the new covenant separates the reception of the Holy Spirit from justification and makes this question moot.

    If that helps.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 2/17/2008 6:21 AM  

  • critical typo -

    I said, The apostles were "saved" at Pentecost - they were believers saved by grace through faith -

    That ought to read,

    The apostles weren't "saved" at Pentecost - they were believers saved by grace through faith -

    My apologies.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 2/17/2008 7:55 AM  

  • [Calvin did say that “ infants are baptised into future repentance and faith, and even though these have not yet been formed in them, the seed of both lies hidden within them by secret working of the Spirit.” Calvin, Institutes, p. 1343 (IV . xvi. 20). (LMV)]

    Alvin,
    Calvin held to some of the errors held by the RC church of his day. He and Luther both wrongly held to the perpetual virginity of Mary too. Calvin was not an apostle and was subject to error as all of us are. That is why we are not to be followers of men, but we need to test all doctrine against the scriptures and follow no man's teachings beyond what we are convinced is supported by Scripture.

    Your oft repeated fallacy is to assume that if someone is a Calvinist he agrees with everything Calvin wrote. Many reformed Christians are Baptists and we do not hold to infant baptism at all.


    If you and other non-Calvinists here have any interest in the truth of what Calvinists actually believe, the various reformed Confessions reflect the views of present Calvinists much more accurately.

    Spurgeon's version of the London Baptist Confession states that all infants dying in infancy as well as those who are mentally handicapped will be saved.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 2/17/2008 2:50 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    People were born again in the New Testament just as they were in the Old Testament by believing in God’s Messiah for their eternal well being. Saul is a case in point:

    1 Sam 9:27As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us.” And he went on. “But you stand here awhile, that I may announce to you the word of God.”

    1 Sam 10:66 Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.
    1 Sam 10:9-109 So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
    The Spirit came and went in the Old Testament, no one was sealed by the Spirit until Pentecost. The Spirit was given for service.
    1 sam 16:14But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul

    Luke 1:41
    And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
    John the baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to bring in the Christ. But John’s paradigm didn’t include suffering and a cross for Jesus. But was expecting a King to set up His Kingdom, when this did not come about John had doubts Jesus was the Christ, but Jesus reaffirmed him.

    Jesus would give the women at the well the living water right then if she would have know the gift of God and who it was that was speaking to her. The same living water was offered in the Old Testament, when a person partook of it they were born again.
    John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
    Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
    Isa 55:11 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
    Come to the waters;
    And you who have no money,
    Come, buy and eat.
    Yes, come, buy wine and milk
    Without money and without price.
    1 Cor 10:1-4 and all drank of that spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.


    Galatians 3:8
    And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”




    When the word saved is used in the Gospel of John it simply means to believe Jesus promise of life and one is eternally secure.
    John 3:17
    For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

    John 5:34
    Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.

    John 10:9
    I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
    When the word saved is used in Mark 16:16 it is used in the context of after Pentecost. Which carried more meaning then just the gift of eternal life but also the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    Mark 16:16
    He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

    The Salvation spoken of in Acts also includes being saved from that generation that had rejected their Messiah to have fellowship forgiveness they had to repent and be baptised then they were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. But in verse 37 when they said “what shall we do” showed they had believed the message of the Messiah and were born again as 1 John 5:1a declares “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God
    Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
    40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”

    Here the Holy Spirit is given for service, and fellowship forgiveness is granted to those who meet the conditions spoken of in Acts 2 repent and be baptized. Positional the moment one believes in any dispensation they are born again and have imputed righteousness, justification , forgiveness of sins. It was only for those ones who had rejected the preaching of John the Baptist and Jesus ministry before they would have fellowship forgiveness they had to repent and be baptized before the gift of the Holy Spirit would be granted.
    Holy Spirit for service
    John 20: 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

    Whoever desires, take of the water freely
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/17/2008 3:03 PM  

  • Blessings Susan,

    I don’t mean to come across as disagreeable, but simply seeking to understand.

    If all children dying in infancy are saved, and all those with mental disabilities are saved, how does this line up with “unconditional election” to salvation? Again, the Westminster Confession states it quite clearly...

    “without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, OR ANY OTHER THING IN THE CREATURE, AS CONDITIONS, OR CAUSES moving Him thereunto”.

    Wouldn’t mental retardation be considered a condition? Wouldn’t infant fatality be considered a condition?

    In Him,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 2/17/2008 3:54 PM  

  • Daniel:

    I will not confess to fully understand your point but I will agree that God's ways are just.

    God bless,
    Jim

    By Blogger Jim, at 2/17/2008 6:43 PM  

  • I was actually at Grace Community Church when Dr. MacArthur gave a sermon series on this issue - which was eventually published. It was the most in-depth, biblical treatment I have ever heard on the question. Whether or not a person judges that it is inconsistent with Calvinism, we must say it is biblical.

    Let us not forget Romans 9: God is the potter and we are the clay. We have NO RIGHT to tell God what is just and what is not.

    . . . and what about the basis for condemnation of the non-elect?

    Rom. 9:19 ¶ You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”
    Rom. 9:20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 2/18/2008 11:16 AM  

  • God teaches us what is just and unjust. We need not ask but simply model our understnading after it.

    A father does not hope to teach his child one way and then nullify his teaching by acting another. By doing so he would counterproductively frustrate his child.

    By Blogger Todd, at 2/18/2008 1:20 PM  

  • All,

    As I have already stated, I agree whole heartedly that “all infants are saved”. What I consider laughable is that we are to believe that crib death, birth defects, and abortions are reserved only for God’s elect.

    MacArthur believes and teaches that salvation is bases upon God’s “unconditional election”, then does an about-face and says that children who die infancy are saved BECAUSE of a CONDITION.

    Again, look at his words....

    “That's really not the question because we're not talking an age of accountability--get this in your mind--we're talking about a condition of accountability! Get the word “age” out of this discussion. We're talking about a condition of accountability, not an age. Who qualifies then, in our discussion, as an infant or a child who, dying, is saved--who dying, instantly goes to heaven? Who are we talking about? Answer: those who have not reached sufficient, mature understanding in order to comprehend convincingly the issues of law and grace, sin and salvation. It's not an age; it is a condition. That's who we're talking about: people in that condition where they cannot, in a mature way, understand and comprehend convincingly these issues. We're talking about those people.”

    This is a complete contradiction to the very gospel that MacArthur embraces. His gospel is one of “unconditional election” to salvation, but then says that all babies dying in infancy are saved because of a “condition”.

    Then in an attempt to save face, MacArthur says the following...

    “If you survey reformed Calvinistic literature over 450 years since Calvin, you'll find that the vast majority of all the writers believe that all infants who die are taken to heaven. Now, let me kind of expand on that for this is very, very important. You see, it's only pure, true, reformed soteriology --salvation-- only pure, true, reformed soteriology can account for the fact that fallen, sinful, guilty, depraved children who die with no spiritual merit, die with no religious merit, die with no moral merit of their own, can be welcomed by a holy God into eternal glory! Only pure, reformed theology can allow for that because only the purist theology believes that salvation is all by grace!”

    Now we are to believe that Calvinism is the only biblical theology because it alone teaches that salvation is all by grace. There are many godly men who aren’t Calvinists and yet fully understand that salvation is all of grace. To imply that “salvation is of the Lord” is unique only to Calvinism is arrogant and egotistical. And it’s a lie. However, the predestination of reprobate infants IS unique to Calvinism.

    For those interested in reading what the Calvinistic Divines really taught and believed about infants dying in infancy, please check out Brother Pennock’s Liver and Onions blog (Dortian Calvinists Affirm Infant Damnation). The quotes of infant damnation are countless and staggering.

    For any Calvinist, the question still stands...

    How can salvation be based upon God’s unconditional election and yet all babies dying in infancy be saved because of a condition?

    Grace,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 2/18/2008 6:18 PM  

  • I'm in the reformed camp, and I don't agree with MacArthur on this. I don't think there is enough Scriptural support to know for certain that all babies who die in infancy go to heaven.

    I trust that God is right in whatever He does. Does the thought of infants possibly NOT going to heaven trouble me? Certainly. It's unsettling, and I just don't 'get it.' But again, I must trust in the righteousness and goodness and mercy of God. Whatever He does IS right and good and just - even when/if it runs contrary to my own preconceived notions.

    As I was typing, I was reminded of this passage: Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Romans 11:33-34

    We don't have the mind of the Lord. Who are WE that we should counsel Him? We don't counsel Him.

    If babies indeed go to heaven, praise God! But if they don't, then I must praise God for that as well - resting in the fact that He is sovereign, and that His actions will bring about the glory of His Name.

    By Blogger Gayla, at 2/18/2008 8:27 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Even Spurgeon, in spite of his claim to being a staunch Calvinist, could not accept the teaching that regeneration came before faith in Christ through the gospel. Calvinists quote him when he supports them, but they ignore statements such as the following:

    If I am to presach faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate. Am I only to preach faith to those who have it? Absurd, indeed! Is not this waiting till the man is cured and then bringing him the medicine? This is preaching Christ to the righteous and not to sinners. (C.H. Spurgeon, "The Warrant of Faith" (Pilgrim Publications, 1978), 3. One -sermon booklet from 63-volume set.)
    Dave Hunt

    If you new the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/18/2008 10:14 PM  

  • Wingfoot? I am not a MacArthurite or a Zanite, but I do think this is a difficult subject to address. It is one no doubt, that he will catch the same flack from from his reformed brethren. To me this is a non issue to be attacking him on and it seems to be a bit unfair and it gives a glow that many of you just simply want him for lunch in the same way some of the Lordhippers want Hodges for lunch. It just seems that you are sharpening your knifes in wait for anything that comes to the table on this one. Thats my opinion. Debate him on the invitation of the gospel. I would agree with you there. He mixes discipleship up with the free offer of eternal life in an attempt to compensate for some of the directions some of the free gracers seem to take in so far as calling people away from the cross as the power of the gospel message. It is regrettable. That is all I am saying. I guess you all are always setting up thinktraps though. I dont know how useful it is. In my opinion on this one he seems to be working toward a good and believable position on a periphrial issue as well as a very tough issue to deal with.

    Grace upon grace,

    Brian

    Hi Rose

    By Blogger Only Look, at 2/18/2008 11:37 PM  

  • Gayla, if you think a child may go to hell, do you also think that children should be put in prison?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/19/2008 2:09 AM  

  • I hope you enjoy your freedom today, Rose.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/19/2008 2:10 AM  

  • Yes, Matthew. I am enjoying being fee.

    Daniel,
    So good to see you! I must say that when I saw your first comment in my email the other day I smiled. As I was opening it, I thought to myself, "I am probably not going to have time to read this..." fully expecting that it would be lengthy. I smiled again once it was opened because my expectations were right. :~) I am going to try to read through all this stuff today. Maybe I will have a thing or two to say about it... or maybe everything has already been said. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/19/2008 9:48 AM  

  • Free free free, Matthew, not fee.
    But I am afraid I can't escape my poor typing.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/19/2008 9:49 AM  

  • Hidy, Rose!

    Matthew: "Gayla, if you think a child may go to hell, do you also think that children should be put in prison?"

    I don't know, Matthew. As the discussion is about babies/infants/toddler types, I don't know that they're out breaking the law so much. There is a built-in age accountability in our man-made laws (in which we are to submit), and is it stands, infants & toddlers aren't subject to prison terms.

    My point above was though, that God (and God, alone) exacts perfect justice, perfect mercy and perfect grace. What He does - whether it be something that might cause me to bristle - IS right. His ways are right, not mine. His thoughts are perfect, untainted by a sinful nature, not mine.

    I'll just refer you back to the passages in Romans 9 and 11. We human beings tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought - in relation to the just, holy and righteous Creator and Owner of the universe.

    By Blogger Gayla, at 2/19/2008 4:02 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Gayla said:
    My point above was though, that God (and God, alone) exacts perfect justice, perfect mercy and perfect grace.

    A Clear Contrast
    Calvinism doesn't only present a feigned pleading and striving on the part of God with those who cannot possibly obey. In addition, it confronts us with the mystery of a God of infinite mercy and love who nevertheless doesn't love everyone and therefore lets multitudes perish whom He could save. In fact, Calvin himself declared that it is to God's glory that He fills hell with those whom He could save. This horrible doctrine also, Calvin admits, comes from Augustine:
    There is nothing inconsistant with this when we say, that God, according to the good pleasure of His will....elects those whom he chooses for sons, while he rejects and reprobates others. For fuller satisfaction...see Augustine Epist. 115, et ad Bonif., Lib. ii, cap.7....The Lord therefore may show favor to whom He will, because he is merciful; not show it to all, because He is a just Judge. Calvin, op. cit., III:xxiii, 10-11.

    On the contrary, not showing mercy at all could be explained as resulting from justice; but not showing mercy to all when all are equally guilty is a perversion of justice. Mercy can only be shown to the guilty on a righteous basis; and if not, then justice has been perverted. This fact poses a serious problem for Calvinism which John Piper in his major attempt to justify Calvinism's God fails to consider in it's entire 220 pages. In revealing His glory to Moses as "merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth," God declares that He "will by no means clear the guilty" (Exodus 34:6-7).

    God being both just and merciful, neither of these qualities can triumph over the other. God can only be merciful justly, not in spite of His justice. Thus God could only forgive sinners because the penalty for sin was fully paid, as Paul declares in Romans 3:19-31. And that the penalty for sin was fully paid for all, making it possible for God to justly and mercifully forgive all, and not just a special class of the elect, is declared repeatedly in Scripture, as we shall see.

    Taken at face value, the Bible's clear language would compel any reader to conclude that God loves all, that God is genuinely striving to convince wicked men to repent and to accept His offer of salvation, that men have the capability of responding when drawn by the Holy Spirit and convicted of their guilt and need, and that through all are drawn, some are convinced and willingly respond while others refuse.

    The Bible repeatedly presents a God who so loves the whole world that He sent His Son that "the world through him might be saved" (John 3:16; 1 John 4:14), who " will have all men to be saved" ( 1 Timothy 2:4) and who "is not willing that any should perish" ( 2 Peter 3:9). The Bible repeatedly presents Christ as the One "who gave himself a ransom for all" ( 1 Timothy 2:6), who is "the Saviour of all men,specially of those that believe" ( 1 Timothy 4:10), and Whose death provided a propitiation "for the sins of the whole world ( 1 John 2:2). Christ calls unto all who are spiritually thirsty, hungry, and weary of their sin's heavy load, "come unto me and I will give you rest," living water, the bread of life, eternal life. That invitation has touched the hearts of the thirsty, hungry, weary and heavy laden for two thousand years. Yet Calvinism atempts to make all such promises apply only to a select few.
    Dave Hunt "What Love Is This"

    If you new the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/20/2008 12:16 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I'm entering into the fray late once again. But I wanted to address something Alvin has said.

    Alvin said, "Calvinism doesn't only present a feigned pleading and striving on the part of God with those who cannot possibly obey. In addition, it confronts us with the mystery of a God of infinite mercy and love who nevertheless doesn't love everyone and therefore lets multitudes perish whom He could save."

    Does God ever give us a real world example of Him working in this way. Consider Exodus 11. God has just displayed His power to Pharaoh and the Egyptians in 9 different ways. And God tells Moses that He will bring one more plague on Egypt. And what was that plague?

    "About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 'Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been {before} and such as shall never be again."

    Is there any stipulation on how old the firstborn has to be before they die? Was God unjust in taking their lives?

    God gave the Israelites a way out, didn't He. If they followed what He told them to do, then the plague wouldn't fall on them.

    So God brings about this plague on Egypt, but there's a select group of people on which the plague wouldn't come. Of course, those people had a responsibility to perform the duties that God had told them.

    Here's the striking part to me. Way back in chapter 7, before any of the plagues had happened, God had already planned this out. From the very outset, God knew that He was going to take the life of every firstborn in the land of Egypt.

    "You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land. "But I will harden Pharaoh's heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. "When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments. "The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst."

    Yet, God tells Moses to tell Pharaoh to let His people go. Not just once, but ten times. Could God have accomplished it a different way? Sure, but He chose to do it this way. Did innocent people die? Depends how you define innocent. Did children die? Most likely. Children who didn't have a choice in the matter. Most likely. Was it by God's hand? Yes. Was God unjust for taking those lives? No.

    Understandably, you might argue that I'm drawing a parallel between the physical and the spiritual and that the Bible doesn't say that the same is true in the spiritual realm. But I do think that these stories are a snapshot of what God is like. And of how He works. And we see in this story God telling Moses to strive with Pharaoh, whom He knows will not relent. And then inflicts judgments on an entire nation, culminating in the deaths of many "innocent" children. And for what end...His glory.

    I'm not advocating that God sends infants to hell. But I am saying that if He does, He is just and He knows what He's doing.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Soldem, at 2/20/2008 9:35 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    Hi Ten Cent

    I believe the monkey is on your back Ten Cent, it was Calvin who looked into Scripture and saw the HORRIBLE DECREE OF GOD. The non-Calvinist look's and sees a balance between God’s justice and His love for everyone. One can simply look to the cross to see both in perfect harmony.

    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/20/2008 12:04 PM  

  • Gayla, if God's justice is perfect and that justice includes subjecting children to the highest penalty, it seems reasonable that children be put in prison.

    It seems logical that you should reject the principle of age accountability in human law.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/20/2008 1:30 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    Just so you know, I didn't say God doesn't love everyone. God can love someone yet send them to hell, can't He? But it's not the same love with which He loves those whom He has redeemed.

    Did He love the Egyptians and Pharaoh in the same way that He loved the Israelites? If so, why did He not redeem them as well as the Israelites? Why choose out a special people for Himself? Was it because the Israelites were such a prized bunch of people that He just had to have them for His own? That certainly proves NOT to be the case a few chapters after Egypt when they're in the wilderness.

    Certainly God loved the Egyptians, but that didn't stop Him from visiting ten devastating judgments on them. And it was God who hardened Pharaoh's heart after each judgment. It was God who arranged it so that Pharaoh wouldn't let His own people go. And it was God who took the life of Pharaoh's first born child.

    So did God love the Egyptians, Alvin? Did God love Pharaoh?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Soldem, at 2/20/2008 1:40 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Ten Cent, I had to go get my run in.
    You said:
    Why choose out a special people for Himself?

    I believe God chose the Nation Israel as an object of His love. They were elected for His blessings and service. They were to be a nation of Priest to the world. (Deut 7:6-9;
    Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

    This blessing would extend to ALL the nations.
    Gen 18: 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
    Gen 25: 23 And the LORD said to her:
    “Two nations are in your womb,
    Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
    One people shall be stronger than the other,
    And the older shall serve the younger.”
    Gen 26:44 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
    Concerning God's dealings with nations.
    As we know of course Nineveh did repent. Sodom could have had a different outcome also if they would have repented.
    Matt 12: 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

    Matt 11:23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
    Gen 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

    Jesus is patient not willing any should perish, and does not delight in the death of the wicked but would prefer they turn from their evil ways and live!




    God puts the choice before them!
    Jer 18:8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it. 11 “Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.”’”
    God’s Warning Rejected
    12 And they said, “That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart.”

    Ten Cent asked:
    So did God love the Egyptians, Alvin? Did God love Pharaoh?

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

    Ten Cent God loves everyone and proved it on the cross!

    Now a question for you.

    What kind of love was Paul’s love for his countrymen according to the flesh? And where did he get that kind of sacrificial love for the non-elect?
    Romans 9 :1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen[a] according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

    Jesus didn’t come to destroy man’s live, but He came to save them even those who rejected Him.

    Luke 9: 51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”[e]55 But He turned and rebuked them,[f] and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”[g] And they went to another village.

    Ten Cent do you know what spirit you are of?



    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/20/2008 5:17 PM  

  • Hi Rose and Alvin,

    Glad you could go for a run. I prefer to ride, but 7 degrees and 2 feet of snow make that difficult...maybe not for some, but it does for me. Spring will come again, I hope.

    Alvin, you said, "I believe God chose the Nation Israel as an object of His love."

    Thanks for engaging and answering my questions. And I agree with you, Israel was chosen as an object of God's love.

    So what about Egypt? You said that God loved the Egyptians, because He loves everyone. But did He love them in the same way that He loved His chosen nation Israel? Why inflict judgment on the Egyptians and not the Israelites?

    You see, here's the thing, the Egyptians had every opportunity to join the Israel nation. They could've converted to be an Israelite. But they would never have done it. Why? Because they're Egyptians and that's what they wanted to be.

    What's the difference between the Egyptians and the Israelites? The only real difference is that God chose the Israelites and He didn't choose the Egyptians. So God can choose one group of people over another, and purely because that's His will.

    Now for your question about Paul's love.
    "What kind of love was Paul’s love for his countrymen according to the flesh? And where did he get that kind of sacrificial love for the non-elect?"

    First, your question is flawed. Paul didn't have sacrificial love for just the non-elect. His love was for his countrymen. What you don't understand is that the non-non-calvinists aren't going around searching for the elect to tell them the gospel. They tell everyone and the elect respond.

    So Paul's love was like Christ's love which makes sense, since it was from Him to begin with.

    And your insinuation from Luke 9, that I don't know what manner of spirit I am of is misplaced. The difference between what James and John said and what I'm saying is vast. They wanted to command the fire to come down from heaven and consume the Samaritans. I'm saying that God will damn those whom He will damn. Let's leave it up to Him.

    You seem to think that you can dogmatically say that since God loves everyone and since He has reconciled the world then all infants who die will go to heaven. And I would agree that it seems logical that God wouldn't send an infant to hell. But I also don't see that reassurance explicit in scripture.

    I think if I had to choose an explanation, I would lean towards Daniel's from the comments above.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Soldem, at 2/21/2008 9:12 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Ten Cent
    Like I said Ten Cent the monkey is on your back because it was Calvin who looked into Scripture and saw what he called a horrible decree. And so you are defending that horrible decree. Let’s get right to the quick of it. Your more or less stating that because God is God, He can do whatever He wants to do, and love whomever He wants to love. Right? Right!
    Ten Cent you must first be reminded that God IS Love, maybe you forgot that small fact. And God as God cannot contradict His own nature. Or do you believe He can? There are things God cannot do, He cannot lie! He cannot tempt man with evil! God is Just and always does what is right, these are just basics. (1 John 1:5;4:8;James 1:13;James 2:8-9;Titus 1:2)

    I know analogies are lacking at times but let’s try to glean from one.

    You have heard the saying “I brought you into this world and I can take you out.”
    Ten Cent has twelve children and all twelve are guilty of a crime. They all stole out of Ten Cents purse, and all have been caught red handed.

    Caught in the act!
    Ten Cent: I have given you kids everything but yet you have stolen from the hand that feeds you. What am I going to do with you all?

    Twelve kids: Complete silence! “Because of course they are dead like rocks.”
    (Which of course means they are dead in their trespasses and sins). Guilty as charged!

    Ten Cent: You kids are all guilty and you all know it and that’s why your not saying anything! But because I love all you children and have always been just with you this is what I’m going to do! I’m going to forgive one of you and make the other eleven an example and pay to the full extent. I know this is a horrible decree especially for you eleven, but I brought you all into this world and I can take you all out.

    Child elect one: I feel real bad for all my brothers and sisters but they were guilty and got what they deserved! (His name is Calvin)

    Eleven Children: Why Dad, they’re just as guilty as we are? Why won’t you forgive us too? You could! (Their names all start with non)


    Ten Cent: You eleven children don’t understand it now, but this will make me look good in the end, but you know I love you! Don’t you? You all will just have to trust me on this one!

    Memorial: The whole family have all since died and are now standing at the Great White Throne and the books are about to be opened.

    Ten Cent: I Know, But I only did what you told me to do!

    Final Judge: Didn’t I tell you to forgive your enemies? Do you think I would have told you to do something that I wouldn’t have done?

    Ten Cent: I must have missed that part. Sorry, I see now that I completely miss judged you. Why did I ever listen to that Calvin guy? I should have known by all the heresies he believed that something was wrong.

    Eleven children:

    Question: Was Ten Cent just with all twelve of his children, or was it a perversion of justice? And would his eleven children have grounds to question his love and justice?


    Note: There is no escaping the fact that in Calvin’s entire Institutes of the Christian Religion there is not ONE mention of God’s love for the lost! Nor is that surprising in view of the fact that Calvin’s God has no love for the lost but can only love the elect. ( Calvin, op. Cit., II:xvi,3-4; II:xvii,2-5.) DH

    If you knew the LOVE of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/21/2008 12:42 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Ten Cent if you need anymore info on God's love my next analogy would be "Don't do as I do but do as I say." I'm sure you have heard that saying?
    Love your neighbor as yourself? I think all my neighbors are elect though! Who is my neighbor? Jesus would say your worst enemy!
    As you can see these are child like anaolgies anyone can understand them, just common sense. That’s how we have to come as children and that’s why Jesus has given us such child like simple verses like John 3:16 unless you’re a Calvinist then it’s not simple you have know Greek.

    If you knew the Love of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/21/2008 2:18 PM  

  • Alvin,

    You said, "Ten Cent you must first be reminded that God IS Love, maybe you forgot that small fact. And God as God cannot contradict His own nature. Or do you believe He can? There are things God cannot do, He cannot lie! He cannot tempt man with evil! God is Just and always does what is right, these are just basics."

    Maybe you aren't reading my comments or maybe I'm not explaining myself very well. Or maybe your thinking is so jaded by what you're clinging to that you can't step back and take an objective look.

    I have not denied that God loves everyone. Here's the crux of my contention with what you said originally that made a comment on.

    "In addition, it confronts us with the mystery of a God of infinite mercy and love who nevertheless doesn't love everyone and therefore lets multitudes perish whom He could save."

    You seem to be proposing that God would never send anyone to hell whom He loves. And then you say that God loves everyone. So then, wouldn't everyone be saved. No one would go to hell, right?

    I'm saying that God can love someone, yet still send them to hell. And for the very reasons that I quoted from your last comment above. "God is Just and always does what is right."

    You say that all a person must do is believe in Jesus and that person will have eternal life. And there's no other way to posses eternal life. But yet you make exception for an infant who dies without believing in Jesus for eternal life. Because God values life. Yet God will take life and does take life. There are people in hell right now, right?

    You said, "Ten Cent has twelve children and all twelve are guilty of a crime. They all stole out of Ten Cents purse, and all have been caught red handed."

    You go on to say that I then tell one of the twelve that they are free from the penalty of their crime and the other 11 must be punished even though they are pleading with me.

    It should read more like this. After I question them, one responds by saying "Yes, I'm guilty, please forgive me!" The others deny it outright or admit to it and say that they would do it again if they had the chance and try to run away.

    So I would willingly take the punishment for the one who plead for forgiveness. And I would plead for the others to turn to me so that they could be forgiven as well, even though I know that it would do no good. Even though I know they will refuse my offer. And they in turn, would receive the due penalty of their actions and it would cause me much grief to see their pain. But what was right and just was accomplished.

    Question: Do those who are in hell have a right to question the love and justice that God has shown to them?

    Romans 8:38,39
    "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    The love that matters, the love that means the difference between heaven and hell can only be found one place, in Christ Jesus.

    Sure, God loves everyone, but there's a different love for His children, those who are in His Son.

    Eph. 5:25
    "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her"

    Are you married Alvin? If so, do you love all women the same way you love your wife? If Christ loves the whole world the very same way. If there is no difference, then Paul's command here in Ephesians makes no sense. If I were to love my wife the way that you say that Christ loved the church, I would would be giving myself up for all women everywhere.

    Christ Jesus knows those who are His own, and none of them will be lost. Not even the infants. If that means all infants are His own, then God be praised! And if it doesn't, God be praised! Because the truth is that we don't know. The Bible doesn't make it clear. We can only draw conclusions from what we know about God and it would SEEM that it would be against God's nature to send an infant to hell. But we don't know that FOR SURE.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Soldem, at 2/21/2008 5:31 PM  

  • Hi Rose
    Ten Cent here is some of your double talk.

    And it was God who took the life of Pharaoh's first born child.

    So did God love the Egyptians, Alvin? Did God love Pharaoh?

    I have not denied that God loves everyone.

    I'm saying that God can love someone, yet still send them to hell.


    Ten Cent here again you show you don't understand what unconditional love is. Did the Good Samaritan show love to the person who was left beside the road, because of what the wounded man would do in return?
    Ten Cent here are your words, you would only willingly take the punishment for the ones who would plead for forgiveness. That is not unconditional love but conditional!
    You said:
    So I would willingly take the punishment for the one who plead for forgiveness. And I would plead for the others to turn to me so that they could be forgiven as well, even though I know that it would do no good. Even though I know they will refuse my offer. And they in turn, would receive the due penalty of their actions and it would cause me much grief to see their pain. But what was right and just was accomplished.
    Then Ten Cent you asked:
    Question: Do those who are in hell have a right to question the love and justice that God has shown to them?
    My answer: Yes!!! If what Calvinism teaches is true. The ones that go to hell were shown a perversion of what justice is. All were guilty but God showed favoritism by not giving them all the ability to believe but just chose to regenerate some. Thus His love was not enough for the ones He reprobated.
    But we know this is not the God of the Bible. Because He died on the cross for everyone, even for those who would reject His love. That is what unconditional love is!!! It's not based upon what one will do in return. And anyone of their free will can partake of the living water, that offer is a genuine offer to whoever desires Rev 22:17. Jesus said if He be lifted up He would DRAW ALL people!!!
    Ten Cent you don't know what unconditional love is! If you did you wouldn't have put a condition on your willingness to take the punishment.

    If you knew the LOVE of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/21/2008 11:20 PM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    There is a danger in giving false teachers a place to air their false teaching. Rose I know you know that what they teach is false as well as I do. Calvinism I think is atractive to intelectuals. It's systmatic in it's teaching and the intelectual mind is stimulated by this some think as the deeper things of God. The one good thing about letting them air their false teaching is that you make them articulate their belief as Ten Cent did up above and show where they don't really believe in a unconditional love. They put conditions on God's love they don't believe that God would really love someone He might be completely disapointed in. And as you know they believe the believer is generated so he can believe so he gets the whole "package plan" so it's expected that he will endure to the end. If he don't it's because he never really had real faith but spurious faith. We both know this to be again false.

    My Dad told my brother he was a wolf in sheeps clothing because he is a five point Calvinist. My brother made the statement that Calvinism is the gospel. At which my Dad strongly disagreed with. Certain circumstance lead to my Dad haing to live with my brother and his family. After years of hearing this false teaching it had it's bad effects. The last phone call I received from my Dad he made the statement that my brother was the greatest preacher in the world. I was a little suprised, he went from being a wolf in sheeps clothing to the worlds greatest preacher. Which shows there is a real danger in letting false teaching be aired without being checked. I know you came out and said you thanked God that He did not lead you to imbrace Calvinism. Rose you as I have healthy minds and are able to sift through the Calvinist lingo (code). It's kinda like Mormans they sound like they are saying the same thing but we know they are not. The one man that started actively teaching his churches about the TULIP did it in defense of Calvinist agressively coming in and not saying they were Calvinist and teaching their false teaching and causing all kinds of problems. I just felt I needed to bring this to your attention. I don't really have an answer to it, but just to stay on top of their false teaching and don't let them think they are belieiving in the same God. Because we know that as Calvin said himself it is a "Horrible decree of God" they really make God out to be a Monster.

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/22/2008 7:03 AM  

  • Alvin,

    I think we've gone down this road before. I'll walk it for a little longer.

    Alvin was keeping watch over six children and all six are guilty of a crime. They all stole out of Alvin's purse, and all have been caught red handed.

    Caught in the act!
    Alvin: I have given you kids everything but yet you have stolen from the hand that feeds you. What am I going to do with you all?

    First Kid: Who are you?

    Second Kid: I don't like you. In fact I hate you, and if given the chance, I not only would steal from you, I'd kill you.

    Third Kid: Oh, I know you, you're...you're that Alvin guy, yeah...the one that owns that house...I think I've heard about you before.

    Alvin: Don't you know there is a penalty for your actions.

    Fourth Kid: Yeah, but so what? You'll pay the penalty, right?

    Fifth kid: Yeah, and we promise, we won't do it again.

    Sixth Kid: I don't think you're my father. Are you sure you're my father?

    Alvin: Oh, you kids...always joking around. You must've not have meant to do what you were doing. I guess you didn't know that you couldn't steal from me and get away with it. That's OK. I'll take care of the whole thing.

    First Kid: I still don't know who you are and what you're talking about.

    Alvin: Just because you don't believe it, it doesn't change the fact that it's true.

    Second Kid: I don't want to you to take care of it, I can do it myself.

    Alvin: Too late! I've already done it.

    Memorial: The whole family have all since died and are now standing at the Great White Throne and the books are about to be opened.

    Final Judge: Didn’t I tell you bring back my children to me?

    Alvin: Yes, here they are.

    Six children: We hate you, we want nothing to do with you.

    Final Judge: Who are these kids? I don't know them.

    Alvin: Oh, I must've been mistaken. I thought anyone could come to heaven.

    Rev. 22:14,15
    "Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying."

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."

    Alvin, in your line of thinking, sin is no longer a problem that needs to be dealt with. Sanctification is no longer necessary. And the only difference between those in heaven and those in hell is that the ones in hell didn't believe. Belief is your condition. (And for the record, I believe in that condition) And you have no ability within your system to make provision for those who have not believed...the unborn, the infants, disabled. Maybe it's time you step back and take an objective look at what you believe and why you believe it.

    And those who are in hell (within your line of thinking) would be just in crying out to God, "why didn't you give me more time to believe, more people to tell me about you. You had the power to convince me, yet you failed."

    I'll leave you with this, "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."

    And ask you to look back over your last two comments and see if they hold up to this standard of love.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Soldem, at 2/22/2008 9:28 AM  

  • Alvin,

    Your criticisms of Calvinism fall seriously short. I am not a 5-point Calvinist, and I disagree with Calvinists on some issues. However, all I ever see from you is name-calling, threatening, and emotional "argument from outrage".

    Most people don't wake up one day and decide Calvinism is right. It doesn't appeal to our emotions. I have found that most people are Calvinists because they truly believe the Bible teaches it. That's a pretty good reason to believe something, don't you think? Therefore, instead of going on about how mean Calvinism is, it would behoove you to show that it is in fact unbiblical. Don't just quote John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2. Deal with the passages that lend themselves more to Calvinism. Explain for us what exactly Paul was teaching in Romans 9. Tell us what Paul was saying in Ephesians 1. Share your interpretation of John 6:44 and John 10:25-29. Our feelings don't affect the truth of a matter.

    So rather than giving us "bleeding-heart" arguments for your position, we could take you more seriously if you interacted with the actual texts beyond telling us that God loves everyone (which we all believe anyway).

    By Blogger Rachel, at 2/22/2008 12:32 PM  

  • Jesus said of these “And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand” (John 10:28). We can take comfort in knowing that our God’s plan is always perfect, He always does what is right and just, and His love and mercy are infinite and everlasting.

    The bible does not give us an answer on this subject, I know it can be a painful subject for some to discuss. All I know is my God is a merciful God and I have faith in what ever His plan and purpose is.

    Cristina

    By Blogger Baptist Girl, at 2/22/2008 5:10 PM  

  • Good Evening Rose
    Rachel

    Even when a text has been explained to you as Romans 8:1you want to say the last part of that verse should not be in the Bible. Then when someone else besides me (Jon)comes to your site and explaines the verse much better then I did, you don't even interact with them but act as though it was not even there. Concerning the other verses you have put down, you choose to interpret the clear scriptures as John 3:16 by the more unclear scriptures. And then when a verse like John 3:16 in your reasoning does not work with a verse like Romans 9:13 you change the meaning of John 3:16 to mean not the world but just the elect. Rachel if you believed the child like verses for what they clearly say you would wait for the Holy Spirit to bring clarity to the more difficult scriptures. Romans 9 clearly is showing Jews they are not born into God's family by physical birth which they thougth they were. And it's also making clear that man cannot save Himself but it is of God, and we know by clear other scriptures that God in fact desires ALL men to be saved. Your backwards in your study of God's word! I spent much time with you on 2 Cor 5:19 but again you want to play the word game and make "world" mean elect instead of just taking the verse for what it says.
    Here are some more of the Calvinist word games: In John 6:44 the one that is lifted up in the context is the one coming John 6:35,37,40. And if you would take a verse like John 12:32 that Jesus is drawing ALL people which is another child like verse clear to understand. But no the Calvinist wants to play a game by saying there is an effectual and a non-effectual call or a sincere call and a un-sincere call. John 10:25-29 notice the progression: they hear then they follow then they are given eternal life. The Calvinist believes just the opposite they are regenerated (eternal life) then they are able to hear and to follow. I have also interacted with you on 1 John 2:2 just taking the verse for what it says, but if I have understood you right you want to do the old word game there. Clearly the verse says Jesus IS the propitiation for not only believers but for the WHOLE WORLD. Again you reject the clear meaning there and want to inject "potentialy" the propitiation for the whole world. But the verse clearly states IS.....IS.....IS.....the propitiation in the same way He is for the believer He is for the WHOLE WORLD!!! Concerning Eph 1 shows that the one that has believed was chosen for blessings and service. Calvinist tend to lump predestination and foreknowledge, and salvation all together. But just because God foreknows everything does not mean He caused everything. We get the order right in Romans 8:28 called according to His purpose (service,blessing) who He foreknew (what did He foreknow about them? They would obey His call by believing His invitation). Everyone who believes will be conformed to His image in the end. That does not mean that they will win the race that is set before them because Paul didn't even know that he would.
    Rachel I have dicussed these things already with you, but I do not state these things now to make like I got every thing figurd out because I don't. I will be learing for all eternity! But what I do say is a person does not have to know Greek to understand a child like verse and that's where I started as a child taking Jesus at His word in a verse like John 3:16 which Calvinism has to change the meaning of.




    Rachel you said:
    Most people don't wake up one day and decide Calvinism is right. It doesn't appeal to our emotions.
    Rachel the first point of Calvinism is total deprvity (inability) and the second point is unconditional election. Regeneration precedes faith, so according to that yes you do just wake up one day because you were dead like a rock then wall-la "I can see and hear and believe." I believe you did state somewhere that you were a four point Calvinist, as I take as just being a confused Calvinist that doesn't understand all five points are the logical out come and grew from the same bad soil.

    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/22/2008 10:22 PM  

  • Hi Rose/and All
    That God would impose "necessity of sinning" upon man, then condemn him for sinning, cannot be called just by any semantic maneuver. Yet this is exactly what Calvin taught and defended:

    The reprobate would excuse their sins by alleging that they are unable to escape the necessity of sinning, epecially because a necessity of this nature is laid upon them by the ordination of God. We deny that they can thus be validly excused...every evil which they bear is inflicted by the most just judgment of God. Ibid.

    The heartlessness which Calvin attributes to God is appalling. Surely, as Wesley argues, to punish for failure to do what is impossible to do, or for doing what one is forced to do, is the opposite of justice. If that were not bad enough, that God would predestine man to sin so that He would have someone to judge is abhorrent even to the ungodly because it is so offensive to the conscience God has given all mankind. Calvin attributes evil to God, then calls it just because God is just: "everything which he [God] wills must be held to be righteous by the mere fact of his willing it." (Op. cit., III:XXIII,2.)

    But Calvin hasn't shown us from Scripture that God wills and does what he ascribes to Him. Indeed, the many clear statements that God has "no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live" (Ezekiel 33:11) and that He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9) contradict Calvin's repeated assertions that it pleases God to damn so many. (Op. cit., III:XXIII,1,2,4,etc) DH "What Love Is This"

    If you knew the Love of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/22/2008 10:24 PM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    Hi Rachel
    Re-reading your post I see were starting to come around to of seeing things a little bit. Your saying your not completely a five-point Calvinist. I'll try to give you some more facts to cling to. I guess it's kinda like a marriage we need to work on knocking off a few of your rough edges now. I'll try to post some more this evening, I have to work today.

    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/23/2008 6:58 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    You know not ONE of the five points of Calvinism is found in the Bible, the words that is (Total depravity-unconditional election-limited atonement-irrissistible grace-perseverance of the saints). They are are all man made. I know I've been hit by different ones who have told me that eternal security is not in the Bible. But we know the evidence of it is all through the Bible. On the five points of Calvinism they must be proven, so the burden of proof is on them. And you don't find the single words like total or irrissistible or limited anywhere in the Bible these are all just made up words by mans system of thinking. And we know much of Calvin's thinking came from Augustine who was really messed up. It's hard to see how these men got the one things right when they had so much wrong. But many will swallow a lot of it, but I know we can know there just isn't something right at all about all of this. I think Satan loves this system because it is so against every thing we know about God and the conscience He has given us.

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/23/2008 7:14 AM  

  • Tell me elvin, the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible, do you not believe in that? I am not a Calvinist but I do believe in the Doctines of Grace, it is throughout the entire Bible.

    What I can not understand is how ANYONE can believe that God needs our help to save us? He needs our permission, unbelievable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/23/2008 7:31 AM  

  • Alvin,

    It is highly ironic, you accusing me of ignoring points. Highly ironic.

    You have so many errors in your last post to me, you are quite confused on not only my position, but many Scriptures. I don't have time to correct all of the problems in your post.

    Beyond that, I wasn't wanting to engage you in each of those Scriptures. I was simply saying that you spend 99% of your Calvinism discussions name-calling, threatening, and arguing from outrage, when none of those things determine the truth or falsehood of a position. Your position would be much more believable if you would spend more time interacting with Scripture, proving your position and disproving Calvinism.

    And you haven't helped me come around to see anything. I've never been a 5-point Calvinist, nothing said here has changed that. I've never ever believed in Limited Atonement, it is NOT a necessary logical deduction. I also don't believe that regeneration preceeds faith, never have. And, I've mentioned here several times that I'm more of a Molinist anyway. You continue in your bad habits of characterizing my position when you don't really even understand it.

    These things and more are why I choose to significantly limit my interaction with you. My previous comment to you was not intended as an exchange, but simply an exhortation for you to engage in honest theological debate over the passages in question, rather than constant emotional "argument from outrage".

    By Blogger Rachel, at 2/23/2008 11:37 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    Hi Rachel, thank you for your kind exhortation I will take it to heart.

    Here is something I read last night, that you might ponder on.
    Hi Rose

    The Apostle James points out the hypocrisy of saying to someone who is "naked, and destitute of daily food...be ye warmed and filled" and then failing to meet his need (James 2:15-16). The God who inspired James to write those words, however, according to Calvinism, tells a lost and perishing world, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," but neglects to elect the perishing to the salvation He seemingly offers. Such a God sees those who are worse than physically naked and destitute and, far more serious than failing to meet their temporal needs, He fails to rescue the perishing from an eternal hell even though He could in His omnipotence and overeignty do so. Is this really the God of the Bible, or a God that Calvin borrowed from Augustine? DH "What Love Is This"

    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/24/2008 6:28 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Moreover, in all of Calvin's talk about God's sovereignty and justice, Calvin takes no account of God's other attributes such as His love and mercy, nor does he explain how the latter can be reconciled to his theory. Not ONE place in the nearly 1,300 pages of his Institutes does Calvin expound upon God's love for mankind or attempt to explain how God who IS love could take pleasure in damning billions whom He could save if He so desired. (alvin said:PEOPLE WAKE UP!!! THE GOD WHO IS LOVE TAKING PLEASURE IN DAMNING PEOPLE. DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?) Here is the great question which the very conscience God has implanted in all mankind finds so troubling----but Calvin NEVER addresses it!
    Biblically God's sovereignty is exercised only in perfect unity with His total character. He is not a despotic sovereign. His sovereignty is enforced in harmony with His love, grace, mercy, kindness, justice and truth--but Calvin has almost nothing to say about these attributes because they cannot be reconciled with his theory.
    It is only reasonable to ask why God, who "is love," lacks the love and compassion to save all whom He could save and instead predestines billions to eternal torment. Calvin repeatedly hides his lack of an answer behind the word "mystery." But asserting that the reason for this predestination of some to salvation and others to damnation is hidden in the mystery of God's will offers no reason at all. Pleading "mystery" cannot cover up the horror of this doctrine. Yet that is the best Calvin can do, along with appealing to Augustine's authority.

    He pleads:

    Let us not be ashamed to be ignorant in a matter in which ignorance is learning. Rather let us willingly abstain from the search after knowledge, to which it is both foolish as well as perilous, and even fatal to aspire. (Op. cit., III:xxi,2.)

    How sinful it is to insist on knowing the causes of the divine will, since it is itself, and justly ought to be, the cause of all that exists....God, whose pleasure it is to inflict punishment on fools and transgressors...no other cause can be adduced...than the secret counsel of God....Ignorance of things which we are not able, or which it is not lawful to know, is learning, while the desire to know them is a species of madness. (Op. cit., III:xxiii,4,8.)

    Pleading "mystery" and exalting ignorance is contray to God's Word, which tells us that we must "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason..." (1 Peter 3:15). Yet Calvin said it was wrong to seek a reason. Morover, he called it "blessed ignorance" not to know. That won't do!

    The ONLY Greek word translated "mystery" is musterion. It is NEVER used as Calvin used it to denote a secret not to be revealed. Rather, it always refers to knowledge which is being revealed--sometimes to all mankind but most often only to those who belong to Christ and are led of the Spirit. For example: "I would not...that ye should be ignorant of this mystery..." (Romans 11:25); "I shew you a mystery..." 1 Corinthians 15:51); "made known unto me the mystery..." (Ephesians 3:3); "Even the mystery which hath been hid...but now is made manifest..." (Colossians 1:26); "I will tell thee the mystery..." (Revelation 17:7), etc. The word is NEVER used as Calvin uses it in relation to salvation, predestination, or sovereignty, and certainly not concerning some being saved and others damned. Calvin simply invented a concept that is unknown in Scripture in order to cover up a repulsive doctrine which lies at the very heart of his teaching. DH "What Love Is This"


    For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. (Romans 11:32)
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/24/2008 6:31 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi anonymous, is that your first or last name? Yes I do believe in the Trinity. But if you follow my line of thought I was keeping with the two-word thing.

    anony said:
    What I can not understand is how ANYONE can believe that God needs our help to save us? He needs our permission, unbelievable.

    Last time I checked my Bible our part was to receive Him, we do that by believing. Anony God doesn't just zap us with His gift and then force His love on us.

    Anonymous here is just a sample:

    John 1:7
    This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
    John 1:12
    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
    John 2:11
    This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.
    John 2:22
    Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
    John 3:15
    that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    John 3:18
    “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    John 3:36
    He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
    John 4:39
    [ The Savior of the World ] And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”
    John 4:39
    [ The Savior of the World ] And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”
    John 5:24
    [ Life and Judgment Are Through the Son ] “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
    Anony here we have ones who don't believe:
    John 5:38
    But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.
    So Anony one can believe or not believe...wow that sounds like we got to make a choice?
    Here is some more who believe:
    John 11:25
    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
    John 11:26
    And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
    John 11:27
    She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

    One wonders, too, how Paul's simple "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31) has become so complicated. And how would proving that man cannot believe (if that were the case) encourage him to believe the gospel?

    When it comes to salvation, it is essential to realize that there are three additional things which God cannot do. First of all, He cannot forgive sin without the penalty being paid. In the Garden the night before the cross, Christ cried out in agony, "O my Father, if it possible, let this cup pass from me..." (Matthew 26:39). Surely if it had been possible to provide salvation without Christ paying the penalty demanded by His justice, the Father would have allowed Him to escape the cross. We know, therefore, that it was not possible for God to save man any other way.
    Secondly, God cannot force a gift upon anyone. Finally, He cannot force anyone to love Him or to accept His love. Force would pervert the transaction. It is at this point that we see why man must have a free will. By the very nature of giving and receiving, and loving and receiving love, man must have the power to choose freely, as God has sovereignly ordained. The reception of God's gift of salvation and of God's love (all in and through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins) can only be by a free choice.
    Dave Hunt "What Love Is This"

    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/24/2008 6:32 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Ten Cent

    Ten Cent I might have been a little hard on you but I like a good honest debate, and I was trying to nail you down. In one statement to me you are clearly insinuating that God didn't love the Egyptians and Pharaoh and then later you are saying God does love them sorta kinda maybe?
    Ten Cent said:
    And it was God who took the life of Pharaoh's first born child.

    So did God love the Egyptians, Alvin? Did God love Pharaoh?

    I have not denied that God loves everyone.

    I'm saying that God can love someone, yet still send them to hell.


    Ten Cent you would NEVER convince me of God's love for the Calvinist reprobates! As the name of Dave Hunt's book "What Love Is This" a love that would create Billions of people for hell and according to Calvin were ordained to sin! This god is a figment of the Calvinist imagination, because the God of the Bible is a God that IS LOVE!

    Here Ten Cent I was giving you an example of "unconditional love" the Good Samaritan. Trying to show you that unconditional love does not look to see what it will get in return. But sees the need and responds without ones self in mind. That's what Jesus did on the cross, He is the Spiritual Good Samaritan. He paid for the sins of the world, that's everyone even though He knew most would reject Him. No one in Hell will be able to say "Jesus didn't love me" because the cross proves that He did unconditionally.
    Ten Cent, below you said:

    So I would willingly take the punishment for the one who plead for forgiveness. And I would plead for the others to turn to me so that they could be forgiven as well, even though I know that it would do no good. Even though I know they will refuse my offer. And they in turn, would receive the due penalty of their actions and it would cause me much grief to see their pain. But what was right and just was accomplished.

    Ten Cent, Jesus willingly took the punishment of the sins of the WHOLE WORLD without ANY conditions!!!

    The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
    And He Himself IS the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:2
    And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. Col 1:20
    To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:19

    Sin as sin is never mentioned at the Great White Throne, that's because it was ALL paid for! All left for man to do is believe in Jesus for eternal life AND HIS NAME WILL BE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF lIFE.


    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/24/2008 7:08 AM  

  • I have come to this discussion really late, but have wanted an answer to this from someone.

    Regarding the "do all babies who die go to heaven". Of course I certainly hope they do, and God is just and His plans for eternity will be just, but - we have all heard on the news of parents who have killed their children for this very reason - to assure themselves their children would be in heaven (even if they went to hell for murder themselves).
    Because of this, I wonder...

    This scripture always comes to my mind regarding this issue. Could someone - or two, explain to me this passage: 1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

    This could be read that children are viewed by God as 'whatever the parents (parent) are' - holy or not. Somehow it makes sense to me. What age is accountability? Seems to me if God set an age - something that important would be clear in scripture.

    I tried to read all the thread, but could have missed this in the comments (I didn't have all day to read... LOL

    Eunice
    (who must sign up for a Blogger account soon...)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/24/2008 11:22 AM  

  • Alvin explain this scripture then....SALVATION IS OF THE LORD

    GOD CHOSE YOU (in the beginning) -

    Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

    2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

    Titus 1:1-2 1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

    2Tim 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

    Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

    Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

    Deuteronomy 10:14-15 14 "Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. 15 "The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day.





    YOU DIDN'T CHOOSE GOD, GOD CHOSE YOU -

    Exodus 6:7 ‘I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I [am] the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

    Deut 7:6 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth.

    John 1:12-13 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

    John 17:1-2 1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 "as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.

    John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

    Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

    Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    1Pet 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

    Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

    Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all [things] for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

    Romans 9:11-13 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, "The older shall serve the younger." 13 As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated."

    Romans 11:5-7 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

    Psa 33:12 Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the LORD; [and] the people [whom] he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

    Psa 65:4 Blessed [is the man whom] thou choosest, and causest to approach [unto thee, that] he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, [even] of thy holy temple.

    Psalms 106:4-5 4 Remember me, O LORD, with the favor You have toward Your people; Oh, visit me with Your salvation, 5 That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones, That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, That I may glory with Your inheritance.

    Mat 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whomsoever the Son will reveal [him].

    Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few [are] chosen.

    Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

    1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

    Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

    1 Peter 1:1-2 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

    Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.

    Rom 9:16 So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

    Ephesians 1:11-12 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

    2Tim 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    1 Corinthians 1:27-29 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.

    Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

    Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

    Acts 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

    John 10:2-3 2 "But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

    Romans 11:1-11 1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 "LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life"? 4 But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
    7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: "God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day." 9 And David says: "Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. 10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, and bow down their back always."
    11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.





    GOD DRAWS YOU TO HIM -

    John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

    John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

    John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

    John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    Rom 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

    Romans 11:7-8 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: "God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day."

    Psa 65:4 Blessed [is the man whom] thou choosest, and causest to approach [unto thee, that] he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, [even] of thy holy temple.

    Jer 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, [saying], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

    Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

    1 Corinthians 3:6-7 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

    Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.





    PEOPLE DON'T SEEK GOD - The Voice Behind Thee
    by Charles Spurgeon

    Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

    John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

    Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

    Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.

    Psalms 10:4 The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek [God]; God [is] in none of his thoughts.

    Psalms 14:2-3 2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.

    Psalms 119:155 Salvation [is] far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes.

    Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

    Isa 64:7 And [there is] none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

    Isa 65:1 I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name.

    Hos 7:10 And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this.

    Rom 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

    Matthew 18:12-14 12 "What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 "And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 "Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.





    LIMITED ATONEMENT, JESUS DIDN'T DIE FOR EVERYONE -

    Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

    Mark 4:10-12 10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 "so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’"

    Matthew 7:13-14 13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

    John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
    (Christ died for His sheep, not the goats.)

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

    Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

    Romans 9:15-18 15 For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion." 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

    Romans 8:32-34 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

    Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

    2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, (14) to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

    1Pet 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

    John 12:37-40 37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?" 39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them."

    John 10:24-29 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, "How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

    John 10:14-16 14 "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 "As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

    John 17:1-11,20,24-26 1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 "as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
    6 "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 "Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
    9 "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 "And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
    20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
    24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

    1John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world..
    ("world" is defined) -
    John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
    John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
    1Jo 5:19 [And] we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.





    WE'RE BORN WITH A SIN NATURE -

    Psa 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

    Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

    Jer 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
    Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.

    Romans 8:7-8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (8) So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

    Isaiah 59:1-4 1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. 4 No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.

    John 3:5-7 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

    Ecc 9:3 This [is] an evil among all [things] that are done under the sun, that [there is] one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness [is] in their heart while they live, and after that [they go] to the dead.

    Isaiah 48:8 Surely you did not hear, Surely you did not know; Surely from long ago your ear was not opened. For I knew that you would deal very treacherously, And were called a transgressor from the womb.

    Genesis 5:3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
    1 Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
    {Notice that Gen.5:3 says "in his own likeness, after his image". This image is Adam's post-fall, sin-tainted image. This post-fall image is a blurred image of God; not the same image that Adam was created with (2 Cor. 3:18). Thus, like Seth, the rest of us are born with this sin nature as a result of the fall of Adam.}

    Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
    Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.





    NONE ARE RIGHTEOUS WITHOUT CHRIST -

    Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.

    Ecc 7:20 For [there is] not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

    Jer 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

    Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    Mark 7:21-23 21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 "All these evil things come from within and defile a man."

    John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

    Ephesians 2:1-3 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
    Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
    {Even the Elect are under the wrath of God, until they become saved.}

    1John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

    Romans 8:7-8 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

    Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things [are] pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving [is] nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

    2Chr 6:36 If they sin against thee, (for [there is] no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before [their] enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near;

    Psa 143:2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

    Pro 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

    Jas 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body.
    Jas 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.





    IT'S GOD WORKING IN YOU -

    Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

    Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

    Psalms 37:23 The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

    Psa 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

    Proverbs 20:24 Man's goings [are] of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

    Isaiah 26:12-13 12 LORD, You will establish peace for us, For You have also done all our works in us. 13 O LORD our God, masters besides You Have had dominion over us; But by You only we make mention of Your name.

    Isaiah 46:3-4 3 "Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb: 4 Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

    Ezekiel 36:26-27 26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

    Php 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

    John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    Luke 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished from their sight.

    1Cor 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

    1Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

    2Cor 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God;

    Hebrews 13:20-21 20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

    Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    1Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

    2 Timothy 2:25-26 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

    Pro 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

    Jer 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? [then] may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

    Matthew 7:16-18 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

    1Cor 4:7 For who made you better than your brother? or what have you that has not been given to you? but if it has been given to you, what cause have you for pride, as if it had not been given to you?

    Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:





    ONLY A REMNANT WILL BE SAVED -

    Matthew 7:13-14 13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

    Rom 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

    Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

    Ezekiel 14:22-23 22 "Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, all that I have brought upon it. 23 "And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done in it," says the Lord GOD.

    Titus 2:11-14 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

    Mic 7:18 Who [is] a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth [in] mercy.

    Zephaniah 3:12-13 12 I will leave in your midst A meek and humble people, And they shall trust in the name of the LORD. 13 The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness And speak no lies, Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, And no one shall make them afraid."

    Luke 13:22-30 22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
    23 Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them, 24 "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 "When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 "then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 "But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. 29 "They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 "And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last."





    YOU CAN'T LOSE YOUR SALVATION -

    John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
    John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    John 10:27-28 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

    John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
    John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

    Romans 8:38-39 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    2 Corinthians 1:21-22 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us [is] God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

    Ephesians 1:13-14 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

    Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

    Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
    {In this verse the indication of past salvation is present reality. The converse would clearly be, "For we have NOT become partakers of Christ if we FAIL TO hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.}

    Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

    1 Peter 1:3-5 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

    Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

    Jer 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

    Isa 54:10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

    Matthew 18:12-14 12 "What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 "And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 "Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

    John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

    Romans 5:8-10 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

    Rom 8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    Romans 8:29-30 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

    1 Corinthians 1:7-9 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Colossians 3:3-4 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

    1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

    2Tim 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us].
    Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

    Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

    1John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
    1John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, [even] eternal life.

    1 John 5:4,11-13,20 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith.
    11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
    20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

    Jude 1:24-25 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

    2Tim 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

    Rom 11:29 Because God's selection and his mercies may not be changed.

    Hebrews 6:17-19 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,





    GOD IS SOVEREIGN

    1 Chronicles 29:10-12 10 Therefore David blessed the LORD before all the assembly; and David said: "Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all.

    Genesis 50:20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
    [ This verse shows that God's plan & purpose will NOT be changed, despite man's attempt at doing so. Though man tries to change things for his own sinful purposes, God's will & purpose will ALWAYS prevail. ]

    Psa 115:3 But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

    Psa 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, [that] did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

    Isaiah 14:24,27 The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, "Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
    27 For the LORD of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?"

    Isaiah 46:9-11 9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.

    Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.

    Jer 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, [and] there is nothing too hard for thee:

    Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

    Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.





    FAITH & REPENTANCE ARE DIVINE GIFTS -

    Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

    Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard [us]: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

    Acts 18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:

    Php 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

    2 Timothy 2:25-26 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

    Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

    Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

    Galatians 1:15-16 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,

    2Pet 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

    1Cor 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ [from another]? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive [it], why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received [it]?

    1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.





    SECRETS OF THE KINGDOM ARE MADE KNOWN TO THE ELECT -

    1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

    Matthew 11:25-27 25 At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. 26 "Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 27 "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

    Luke10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

    Matthew 13:10-11,16 10 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" 11 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
    16 "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;

    Luke 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

    Luke 24:44-45 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." (45) And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

    John 6:37,44-45,64-65 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
    44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 "It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
    64 "But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."

    1Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

    Ephesians 1:17-19 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

    Acts 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

    Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/24/2008 3:36 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    anonymous

    In Him you also trusted,after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. (Eph 1:13)

    If you knew the Love of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/24/2008 10:05 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Anonymous

    It only took one verse to show your folly!

    In Him you also trusted,after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. (Eph 1:13)

    One has to hear first before they can believe, then they are saved just as this verse shows.

    Any one can pluck a bunch of scriptures out of their context from the Bible.

    Like I said earlier the monkey is on the Calvinst’s back to prove Calvin’s horrible decree from God. Calvin is the one who called it a horrible decree from God. The contradictions are obvious people are called to believe something they can’t believe. It’s like one man has said “it’s like a man stuck at the bottom of a well, and the man above lowering a rope 30ft above the man’s head and telling him to grab the rope…’Come on grab the rope.’ For one thing there is no way the man can reach the rope. But yet the man above keeps pleading with him to grab the rope. This not only shows the man above’s insincerity in trying to save the man but is simply taunting him in telling him to grab the rope when he knows he cant. That is what the Calvinist makes God out to be insincere. That is the Calvinist message, the Calvinist is offering the gospel to a dying world knowing that the majority of humanity cannot believe but yet are told to believe.
    If there is a scripture you want to discuss in particular that’s fine but I do not have the time to correct all your plucked verses from the Bible. The monkey is on your back anonymous to prove the Calvinist contradictions and insincerity of the command to believe.

    If you knew the love of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/25/2008 12:09 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Calvinist in general:
    If you’re a Calvinist but you say your just 4 point or a 3 point or a 2 point or a 1 point but you still claim the name of Calvinism. I see you as just a confused Calvinist. Calvin didn’t even believe that faith was a gift in Eph 2:8 but the gift was Salvation. So I see by that a lot of confusion between Calvinist. And one would say I’m of Apolo’s, I’m of Paul, I’m of Calvin, I’m of Molinist and Calvin. But by claiming that name Calvinism you are embracing a horrible decree from God but only in the mind of Calvin and Calvinist!

    If you knew the Love of God
    alvin (gone running)

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/25/2008 12:39 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    You said: "a love that would create Billions of people for hell and according to Calvin were ordained to sin! This god is a figment of the Calvinist imagination, because the God of the Bible is a God that IS LOVE!"

    Maybe we should clarify one thing before we continue this discussion. I'm not defending Calvin or Calvinism. I am, however, defending what God reveals about Himself through His word. That being said, I would say that you're phrasing is wrong. God didn't create people for hell. People are culpable for their own transgressions.

    Col 1:16
    "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him."

    We have been created for HIM. That is everyone's purpose in life.

    You said: "Ten Cent, Jesus willingly took the punishment of the sins of the WHOLE WORLD without ANY conditions!!!"

    And it appears to me that your saying that people are no longer culpable for their sins because Jesus took the punishment for them, for the whole world. So there is no punishment for sins?

    John 5:24
    "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

    What's the judgment about? Well, it must have something to do with death because Christ says that the believer has eternal life and has passed out of DEATH and into life. And it also tells me that if I don't believe, I will come into judgment.

    2 Peter 3:7
    "But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."

    So the day of judgment and ungodly men are connected.

    Rev. 21:8
    "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

    Where do all these "ungodly men" go? What is the judgment that is rendered on them? It's the second death, right? Is the second death just for those who didn't believe, or is it for other sinners as well?

    Romans 6:23
    "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    So the payment for sin is DEATH. But you said that Jesus took the punishment (payment) of the sins of the whole world. But wait, what about those ungodly men, or what about the cowardly, abominable, murders, etc..? They're experiencing the second death, aren't they? Rev. 21 doesn't just say that the unbeliever's part is the second death, it lists out other types of people as well.

    So I say that SIN is the problem. A problem that is only resolved for those who are IN CHRIST.

    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, just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.""

    What does faith in Him result in? It's credited as righteousness. And then we are blessed because the Lord will not take into account our sin. So what about the one who doesn't believe? Does his sin matter? Yes, evidently, God will take his sin into account, but the believer does not come into judgement (John 5).

    You said: "He paid for the sins of the world, that's everyone even though He knew most would reject Him."

    So first of all, if He paid for everyone's sins, believers and unbelievers, then no one would suffer the penalty of sin, because it would be paid for, right?. And what is the penalty of sin -- death. So you have everyone receiving eternal life.

    Second, here's where you're speaking out of both sides of your mouth. You say He knew most would reject Him. Yet, you have Him offering and desiring for everyone to get saved. (Which I agree, He does offer and desire for everyone to be saved.) So then, either He doesn't yet know who will receive Him and who will reject Him, or He's offering salvation to someone whom He knows will not receive Him. Which is exactly what you accuse me of.

    Rev 19:15-18
    "From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, "Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.""

    So does Christ love His enemies? Yes, of course. That's what I meant when I was talking about the Egyptians. God loves them. Does God love those whom He will strike down with the sharp sword? Yes, He loves them, and He's a just God and a holy God. Love does not outweigh His other attributes. His glory will not be pressed down because of His love. It's all one package. Sin cannot be in His presence. That's why SIN is the problem. And why faith in Him is so vital. Otherwise, our part is in the lake of fire, which is the second death.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Soldem, at 2/25/2008 1:40 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    You said: "It’s like one man has said “it’s like a man stuck at the bottom of a well, and the man above lowering a rope 30ft above the man’s head and telling him to grab the rope…’Come on grab the rope.’ For one thing there is no way the man can reach the rope. But yet the man above keeps pleading with him to grab the rope. This not only shows the man above’s insincerity in trying to save the man but is simply taunting him in telling him to grab the rope when he knows he cant."

    Which proves you still don't understand. It's not that the rope is too short. The rope is plenty long enough, strong enough and there's enough power to pull the man out of the whole. And once he's out of the whole, the One who pulled him out will wash him up and give him new clothes to wear and allow him to live in His palace. But he refuses it. He will not take the rope. He doesn't believe. He won't believe.

    With your view, it's more like you're offering the man a rope, but he's not in a hole. He has no need of a rope. That's confusing. Of course you'd refuse it, there's no need for it.

    You said: "One has to hear first before they can believe, then they are saved just as this verse shows."

    So now the monkey is on your back (as you say) to prove that God gives eternal life to infant who dies or the proverbial man in the jungle who never has the opportunity to hear before he dies.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Soldem, at 2/25/2008 1:53 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Ten Cent the monkey will NEVER be on my back because I'm not the one who said they looked into the word of God and saw a HORRIBLE DECREE OF GOD, that was your fearless leader Calvin.
    As I have stated the non-Calvinist looks into the word of God and see's perfect harmony between God's love and His justice. And the evidence of that is the CROSS where Jesus died for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD! And His call for all to come take of the water of life is sincere.
    All sin has been paid for, the sin of unbelief is what keeps a person from receiving eternal life. But there is no sin that will condemn the lost person to hell as Rev 20:15 makes clear, it's lack of life.
    So any baby that dies their sin is not an issue, and they did not have the oppurtunity to reject eternal life. The great white throne is a judgment of works. It will prove that no one can be saved by their works. So the last book to be consulted is the Book of Life which will show their name was not there, it is them who are cast into the lake of fire. The babies or the mentally handicaped will not even be at this judgment because they have NO works. As far as the persons in other countries who never hear the gospel it is said in Rom 1 they are without excuse because God has made Himself known through creation. That reminds me of a young boy who lived in China and told his story. His parents would bring him to this statue they would worship every week. One day the boy looking at the statue which was dirty and worn, thought to himself "I don't believe this statue is God, but I believe God is out their somewhere as he looked up to the stars." A missionary later came to him with the gospel. The young boy told the missionary that he had already believed in the God of creation but only now did he know His name was Jesus Christ. If this boy would have died before the missionary would have come, he would have only been accountible for what he did know.

    If you knew the Love of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/25/2008 2:35 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Ten Cent this seems to be the right side of your mouth:

    Ten Cent said:
    I'm entering into the fray late once again. But I wanted to address something Alvin has said.

    Alvin said, "Calvinism doesn't only present a feigned pleading and striving on the part of God with those who cannot possibly obey. In addition, it confronts us with the mystery of a God of infinite mercy and love who nevertheless doesn't love everyone and therefore lets multitudes perish whom He could save."

    And Ten Cent this must be the left side of your mouth?

    Ten Cent said:
    Maybe we should clarify one thing before we continue this discussion. I'm not defending Calvin or Calvinism.

    Ten Cent you were at first defending Calvinism now your saying your not? I'm not easily confussed but your doing a good job.
    So that I know what I'm dealing with are you a Calvinist? And if so are you a 5 pointer consistant or a really confussed 1 pointer?

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/25/2008 2:59 PM  

  • Well Alvin,

    I see that you aren't reading or understanding what I write, so our discussion can no longer be fruitful. This is my last comment in this discussion.

    You said: "But there is no sin that will condemn the lost person to hell as Rev 20:15 makes clear, it's lack of life."

    What is "lack of life" if it is not death, which is the punishment for sin?

    Romans 5:12
    "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned"

    SIN is the problem. Death (lack of life) came into the world through sin. And all sinned, which means all died (lack of life).

    Romans 5:
    "The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification."

    Where did the judgment arise from? The one TRANSGRESSION (sin) resulting in what? CONDEMNATION. What's the flip side of the condemnation? The free gift, resulting in justification (life).

    The lack of life is nothing more than being dead in SIN. The resolution to the problem, life, is found in Christ through faith.

    May we both grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Soldem, at 2/25/2008 3:47 PM  

  • Ten Cent,

    Good luck discussing the "all sin has been paid for" issue with Alvin. I have brought up several problematic areas for this belief of his, but he has ignored almost all of them. He's been presented with many, many reasons why this particular belief is unbiblical. Yet he closes his eyes and continues to hold to it. But hey, maybe you'll find the right words that will open his eyes.

    Alvin, the contempt that you have shown toward me, Colin, Ten Cent, and various others on these blogs is simply unnecessary. We have all been extremely longsuffering with you, yet you continue to throw out accusations and threats.

    I almost feel like I'm being baited here, so as a result I'll post once more on this then let it go. I just don't have the time to constantly correct all your errors.

    You said,

    "If you’re a Calvinist but you say your just 4 point or a 3 point or a 2 point or a 1 point but you still claim the name of Calvinism ... And one would say I’m of Apolo’s, I’m of Paul, I’m of Calvin, I’m of Molinist and Calvin. But by claiming that name Calvinism..."

    I'm not claiming the name of anyone but Jesus. I only use the label "4-point Calvinist" or "Molinist" to help people know what I believe on that topic (which, btw, have you even bothered to try to figure out what Molinism actually is?). It's much easier than going around writing out my complete personal views every time I want to comment on the subject. Your attempt to slap Paul's rebuke of the Corinthians onto me/us is incorrect and out of line. Unfortunately it is just par for the course with you.

    So I'm not a "confused" Calvinist. That is laughable, especially considering that Calvin himself never explicitly taught the "L" of Limited Atonement. I'm not interested in "Calvinism", I'm interested in what the Bible teaches. I've never read the Institutes and don't plan to. I've studied the Bible for myself, and also have read what people with various and opposing views have to say about it. I've considered all the arguments and have come to a conclusion. I discovered that that conclusion matched up pretty well with 4-point Calvinism. Then I read about Molinism and started studying about it, and it seemed to match my views even better.

    So I call myself a Molinist, but I'm not claiming the name of Molina, or Craig, or Plantinga. It's this simple: I found a label that my beliefs were very close to, so I adopted that label for myself. That's all there is to it. I can think of at least one thing (probably more) that I disagree with with every human teacher that I would agree with on most things. Can you say the same for yourself, particularly regarding Zane Hodges? If not, then maybe we should start calling you a "Hodgesist" ...


    ... nah, that doesn't roll of the tongue very well.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 2/25/2008 4:20 PM  

  • Ten Cent,

    We cross-posted. Sorry to see you leaving off the discussion, but as I said above, you are not the first to experience the same difficulties. Thanks though for sharing your thoughts, you made some excellent points.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 2/25/2008 4:27 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Rachel, No thanks on the "Hodgesist" although He is a very godly humble man. But I'll let you be called by mens names.
    I see you as simply a confused Calvinist. You show you don’t really understand Calvinism. The five points are consistent with one another. Total depravity in the Calvinist mind is your dead like a rock so God must choose the ones He is going to save and reprobate the rest that’s Unconditional election. Then why in the world would He die for ones He created for reprobation, that’s limited atonement. And since they are dead like a rock He must do everything, make them come to Him and love Him, that’s irresistible grace. Then you don’t think He would do everything else and not make sure they persevere in good works, that’s perseverance of the saints. See they all flow perfectly together, which makes you like a robot. So your just an inconsistent Calvinist. I have no desire to be known by some man other then Jesus Christ. Calvin had people put to death for heresy, not believing in infant baptism. He was known as the Protestant Pope who believed in using force, which reminds me of the Muslims. Calvin didn’t believe in the literal Millennium reign of Christ, that’s why he was ruling Geneva with a rod of iron under the law. He was paid by the State and the Sate carried out the sentences for His iron fist ruling. He had control over what they ate and the way they combed their hair. And I have already posted the evidence that Calvin believed in Limited Atonement and taught it. Strong is the one who brought that into question, but Calvin’s own writings proved he believed it. Calvin was a consistent Calvinist. Why anyone would want to align themselves with Calvin’s name is beyond me, and of course in all this he was lead by the spirit. He also said that Augustine was with him in his writings. And we know that Augustine was a devot Catholic who believed in the sacraments of the Catholic church.


    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/25/2008 7:17 PM  

  • Hi Rose
    Ten Cent you asked:


    What is "lack of life" if it is not death, which is the punishment for sin?

    Answer: lack of life means they rejected God’s gift of eternal life which means their names are not found in the Book of life. Everyone dies, but only those who are not found in the Book of Life experience the second death. Man’s main problem is NOT sin but death. Jesus suffered death on the cross for everyone! That’s why in the gospel of John the issue is “eternal life” which can be taken freely. Sin is no longer an issue that separates man from God because God was reconciling the world in Christ NOT counting their sins against them, what they now need is Jesus gift of life.

    You said:
    SIN is the problem. Death (lack of life) came into the world through sin. And all sinned, which means all died (lack of life).

    I said: Just as sin is not mentioned in Genesis 3:3,4 but death, that is the main problem man is separated from God who is life Gen 3:24.
    In the gospel of John the main issue is “eternal life” man needs life. Sin is no longer separating man from Jesus who is eternal life but anyone can come and take of the water freely.
    To reiterate what I have said the issue between God and man is NOT sin but death, separation from God. Jesus took the sin of the world upon Himself and by doing so made reconciliation for the world so that they can partake of the Tree of Life FREELY!!! Which is good news for ALL people!
    Conclusion this is why sin, as sin is not mentioned ONE time at the Great White Throne, because eternal life IS the issue. And this is also why sin is not mentioned in Genesis 3 because death is the main issue, which is separation from God.
    Sin not mentioned in Rev 20:11-15 Sin not mentioned in Genesis 3 but death 2 Cor 5:19 Jesus has made reconciliation possible making the way to God open
    Luke 23:45 the veil of the temple was torn in two. This signified the way was made open to God through Christ.


    May we both grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/26/2008 12:00 AM  

  • All,

    This will be my final input into this subject of MacArthur’s statement above. It appears this discussion has deteriorated and taken on another form. That’s unfortunate. But returning back to the original subject matter....

    Anyone can see the clear contradiction here and this should leave every Calvinist scratching their heads. And to suggest that crib death, birth defects, and abortions are reserved only for God’s elect is ridiculous. Are we to assume that every boy in Bethlehem and its vicinity, 2 years and under, that were killed by the order of King Herod were all “elect”? Brothers and sisters in Christ.....wake up.

    Then when MacArthur claimed that only Reformed Theology could make such a statement about all infants dying in infancy going to heaven because only Reformed Theology taught that salvation was all of grace, I could only shake my head in disbelief. My studies in Calvinism clearly showed differently. When I read MacArthur’s words, I could only think “The poor guy. Bless his heart.”

    My heart goes out to MacArthur on this. No doubt many from the “Reformed” camp will want his head. And ironically, 400 years ago they would have gladly taken it. Obviously, members of his congregation had lost little ones and were looking for comfort in regards to their child’s spiritual condition. Could you image being a Calvinist Preacher and someone asking you to oversee the little child’s funeral? Since, according to Calvinism, God unconditionally saves who he wants to save and passes by the rest, what are the odds that the baby was elect? And since the baby died before he could demonstrate the faith necessary to prove he was elect, how does the Calvinist Preacher know the child’s eternal destiny? What does he say?

    But MacArthur’s explanation opens another “can of worms”. Wouldn’t this “condition” that he refers to apply to every soul that ever lived? Was there not a time when ALL OF US experienced this “condition”? Wouldn’t this mean that at one time, we were all “elect”, but then once we surpass, or out live, this “condition”, some are “elect” and others not?

    Or could it be that maybe....JUST MAYBE, election has absolutely nothing to do with salvation? I ask all Calvinists to at least consider this.

    In Him,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 2/27/2008 10:25 AM  

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