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John146
May 1st 2009, 06:17 PM
It was suggested by a poster in another thread that God only extends His grace towards the elect and not to anyone else. This was in a discussion regarding whether or not salvation is an offer to all or just given to a few (not offered). Here is the passage I'm speaking about:

Heb 6
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

I know this passage is usually brought up in the OSAS vs. NOSAS debates. Please note that is NOT my purpose for bringing it up in this thread. My question regarding this passage is this: is it reasonable to think that "those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" but later fall away were never extended or offered grace? Even if they were never saved, is it reasonable to say they never had salvation offered to them? I think the answer is clearly no, but I wanted to see what others thought.

I think this passage is strong evidence for the belief that God offers salvation to everyone but not everyone accepts it and they instead willfully reject it. Not everyone puts their complete faith and trust in Christ. Some believe at first but then fall away. They were given an opportunity to be saved but in the end decided to reject it and they fell away.

It's only reasonable to think that God offers salvation to everyone since He desires everyone to be saved (1 Tim 2:3-6). I think those who think God extends/offers His grace only to the elect would have a hard time explaining how those who fall away never had God's grace extended to them.

RabbiKnife
May 1st 2009, 06:24 PM
No, the argument that grace was never given and experienced by these people is not reasonable. I concur with your analysis.

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 06:41 PM
It was suggested by a poster in another thread that God only extends His grace towards the elect and not to anyone else. This was in a discussion regarding whether or not salvation is an offer to all or just given to a few (not offered). Here is the passage I'm speaking about:

Heb 6
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

I know this passage is usually brought up in the OSAS vs. NOSAS debates. Please note that is NOT my purpose for bringing it up in this thread. My question regarding this passage is this: is it reasonable to think that "those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" but later fall away were never extended or offered grace? Even if they were never saved, is it reasonable to say they never had salvation offered to them? I think the answer is clearly no, but I wanted to see what others thought.

Hi Eric,

Here is the point of contention we have with this passage of Scripture. I don't believe the passage says that those who have been born again (made partakers of the Holy Ghost) can fall away. I believe the writer when he says "it is impossible" for born again Christians to fall away. Why? Because Christ will not become the sacrificial offering a second time, but if they could fall away He would have too, otherwise there would be no salvation for them. This presents a real problem because it would mean that there is a sin for which there is no forgiveness, but Scripture clearly tells us that all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto man, but blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Now we can argue all day long about whether or not rejecting Christ after salvation is this blasphemy. I will argue no it is not, and that the blasphemy Christ speaks of was very specific and cannot be committed by one who has been born again.

Mt 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.



I think this passage is strong evidence for the belief that God offers salvation to everyone but not everyone accepts it and they instead willfully reject it. Not everyone puts their complete faith and trust in Christ. Some believe at first but then fall away. They were given an opportunity to be saved but in the end decided to reject it and they fell away.

Eric, unless a man is born again he/she cannot know or enter the Kingdom of God. How do you reconcile this with your opinion? Do you know of one verse of Scripture where Christ says He offers eternal/everlasting life to all who believe? The cross represents much more than an offer to save His people. Christ actually, really accomplished salvation for those He came to save.



It's only reasonable to think that God offers salvation to everyone since He desires everyone to be saved (1 Tim 2:3-6). I think those who think God extends/offers His grace only to the elect would have a hard time explaining how those who fall away never had God's grace extended to them.

The gospel of our Lord commands all men to repent and believe the gospel. This is a command that requires obedience, and it is offered to all mankind. It is through this gospel that God will GIVE salvation to all who believe. But not all men will believe because not all men receive faith through the hearing. In 1Tim when Paul writes "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth", he is speaking of those in the context. Prayer and supplication is to be made even for powers and authorities because even kings and all in authority can be counted among His predestined elect people.

1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Many Blessings,
RW

Bandit
May 1st 2009, 06:55 PM
...
I know this passage is usually brought up in the OSAS vs. NOSAS debates. Please note that is NOT my purpose for bringing it up in this thread...

I think this passage is strong evidence for the belief that God offers salvation to everyone but not everyone accepts it and they instead willfully reject it. Not everyone puts their complete faith and trust in Christ. Some believe at first but then fall away. They were given an opportunity to be saved but in the end decided to reject it and they fell away.

It's only reasonable to think that God offers salvation to everyone since He desires everyone to be saved (1 Tim 2:3-6). I think those who think God extends/offers His grace only to the elect would have a hard time explaining how those who fall away never had God's grace extended to them.


So, your intention is to try to hold this discussion along strickly Arminian/calvinist lines? Good luck with that. The OSAS discussion comes right out of the Arminian/calvinist conflict.

John146
May 1st 2009, 07:12 PM
So, your intention is to try to hold this discussion along strickly Arminian/calvinist lines? Good luck with that. The OSAS discussion comes right out of the Arminian/calvinist conflict.Thanks for your support. :rolleyes: I made it clear that it is not my intention to discuss the OSAS vs. NOSAS in this thread, so I would hope people can be decent enough to honor that and discuss the actual issue I brought up instead.

John146
May 1st 2009, 07:19 PM
Hi Eric,

Here is the point of contention we have with this passage of Scripture. I don't believe the passage says that those who have been born again (made partakers of the Holy Ghost) can fall away.No, that is not our contention. Please read my post again. Did I not say that my purpose for bringing up the passage was not because of the OSAS vs. NOSAS issue? Can you please respond to the actual points I made instead of thinking I started another OSAS vs. NOSAS thread?


I believe the writer when he says "it is impossible" for born again Christians to fall away. Why? Because Christ will not become the sacrificial offering a second time, but if they could fall away He would have too, otherwise there would be no salvation for them. This presents a real problem because it would mean that there is a sin for which there is no forgiveness, but Scripture clearly tells us that all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto man, but blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Now we can argue all day long about whether or not rejecting Christ after salvation is this blasphemy. I will argue no it is not, and that the blasphemy Christ speaks of was very specific and cannot be committed by one who has been born again. Did you read my post? The purpose of bringing up Hebrews 6:4-6 was NOT for the purpose of trying to say that someone can lose their salvation. Can you understand that or do I need to spell it out even further for you? ;)


Eric, unless a man is born again he/she cannot know or enter the Kingdom of God. How do you reconcile this with your opinion? Do you know of one verse of Scripture where Christ says He offers eternal/everlasting life to all who believe? The cross represents much more than an offer to save His people. Christ actually, really accomplished salvation for those He came to save. I have pointed out passages several times to you before. Matthew 22:1-14 is one. But for right now, I'd just like to discuss Hebrews 6:4-6, if you don't mind.


The gospel of our Lord commands all men to repent and believe the gospel. This is a command that requires obedience, and it is offered to all mankind. It is through this gospel that God will GIVE salvation to all who believe. But not all men will believe because not all men receive faith through the hearing. In 1Tim when Paul writes "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth", he is speaking of those in the context. Prayer and supplication is to be made even for powers and authorities because even kings and all in authority can be counted among His predestined elect people.

1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Many Blessings,
RWNot once in your entire post did you address the actual issue I brought up in my post. I am asking you specifically if those "who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" and later fall away were ever extended the grace of God. Yes or no? Please just answer this question instead of going on tangents.

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 07:25 PM
Thanks for your support. :rolleyes: I made it clear that it is not my intention to discuss the OSAS vs. NOSAS in this thread, so I would hope people can be decent enough to honor that and discuss the actual issue I brought up instead.

Eric,

It is not my intention to make this OSAS vs. NOSAS. Try to understand, I am saying that using Heb 6 to make your point will not help you with me. Because I read Heb 6 as saying, "It is not possible for those who are born again to fall away." This passage is speaking of those who have been saved by grace through faith that is not their own, but the gift of God. How do you expect me to respond to your opinion that this passage suggests that all are extended or offered grace? Clearly to me, being made partakers of the Holy Spirit means they have received God's saving grace. But does this passage prove that every man is offered saving grace? Sorry, I don't see the connection.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 07:30 PM
Not once in your entire post did you address the actual issue I brought up in my post. I am asking you specifically if those "who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" and later fall away were ever extended the grace of God. Yes or no? Please just answer this question instead of going on tangents.

Yes they received God's saving grace! Not an offer a free gift GIVEN. The FACT that they are born again of the Spirit is why the writer tells us it is impossible for them to fall away. Not OSAS vs. NOSAS

Many Blessings,
RW

RabbiKnife
May 1st 2009, 07:30 PM
The problem is that you are ignoring the word "IF" in verse 6.

Your interpretation completely ignores the warning in verse 6...Without the "if" and the reality of their falling away, there is nothing of which to be warned.

John146
May 1st 2009, 07:33 PM
Eric,

It is not my intention to make this OSAS vs. NOSAS. Try to understand, I am saying that using Heb 6 to make your point will not help you with me. Because I read Heb 6 as saying, "It is not possible for those who are born again to fall away."But it says regarding the ones who may or may not be born again "if they shall fall away". That implies that they could fall away.

You are reading it as if it says "It is impossible for those who are born again to fall away", but that is not what it says. Assuming it's speaking of people who are born again then it's saying that if people who are born again fall away then it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance. That little word "if", which you seem to be missing, implies that it's possible for them to fall away.

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 07:37 PM
The problem is that you are ignoring the word "IF" in verse 6.

Your interpretation completely ignores the warning in verse 6...Without the "if" and the reality of their falling away, there is nothing of which to be warned.

Rabbi,

This is NOT the direction Eric wishes this thread to go. The topic seeks to determine whether or not God's saving grace is extended unto every man, or only to His elect. My understanding of Scripture tells me saving grace is GIVEN, not offered, to His predestined elect, and none others. The contention, as I understand it...is grace offered or given? If offered then salvation is dependent upon fallen man to make the right free will choice. If given to His elect, salvation is of the Lord alone!

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
May 1st 2009, 07:38 PM
Yes they received God's saving grace! Not an offer a free gift GIVEN. The FACT that they are born again of the Spirit is why the writer tells us it is impossible for them to fall away. Not OSAS vs. NOSAS

Many Blessings,
RWI was under the impression that you thought any people who were once enlightened but later fall away were not believers but now I see that you're saying they are believers but can't fall away. So, thanks for clarifying that.

RabbiKnife
May 1st 2009, 07:40 PM
If the issue is whether grace if "offered" or "given," then this passage is absolutely silent on the issue.

John146
May 1st 2009, 07:46 PM
Rabbi,

This is NOT the direction Eric wishes this thread to go.Yes it is! Please read what I'm about to say very carefully. Whether or not the ones who were once enlightened are born again or not does not matter in terms of the point I'm making. Do you understand so far? Regardless of whether they are born again or not the passage implies that they potentially could fall away. So, the question I'm asking is, if they do fall away, can it reasonably be said that they were never extended grace? Now, if they are born again the answer is obvious (no). But even if they were not born again, would the answer not still obviously be no?

You seem to be under the impression that no one, saved or not, can fall away. Is that true? If so, you should know that scripture clearly says otherwise.

2 Thess 2
3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

So, what I'm asking about here is whether or not those who fall away were ever extended grace or not? Yes or no?

John146
May 1st 2009, 07:53 PM
If the issue is whether grace if "offered" or "given," then this passage is absolutely silent on the issue.I'm trying to show that it's not silent on the issue. Is it possible to be "once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" without also having been offered grace even if they later fall away?

I brought this up in the first place because I thought that Roger believed that the passage was speaking of people who get a taste of the gospel but are never born again and then fall away. I know there are people who read it that way and yet still think that God's grace is only extended to the elect. Which means that they think the ones who were once enlightened, etc. and fall away were never extended or offered grace and salvation.

But my point about those who fall away having been offered grace still stands, even to Roger. He would say that they were not offered grace because he says that only the elect are given grace while it is withheld from everyone else. I'm trying to determine whether or not he believes that those who fall away from the faith were ever offered grace.

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 07:57 PM
But it says regarding the ones who may or may not be born again "if they shall fall away". That implies that they could fall away.

You are reading it as if it says "It is impossible for those who are born again to fall away", but that is not what it says. Assuming it's speaking of people who are born again then it's saying that if people who are born again fall away then it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance. That little word "if", which you seem to be missing, implies that it's possible for them to fall away.

Eric,

I tried to keep this on topic, but you are now raising the same question rabbi has. People who are born again are secure in the arms of our Lord. The passage is telling us "impossible [unable, could not do] for born again Christians, "if" they fall away to be saved." If they could fall away that means there is a sin we could commit for which there is never forgiveness. How do you reconcile that with what I have already shown you; i.e. every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven man, except blasphemy against the HS?

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible [unable, could not do] for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

You have yourself to blame if this is turned into a debate over OSAS vs NOSAS.

Many Blessings,
RW

RabbiKnife
May 1st 2009, 08:00 PM
Roger's theology tells him that these persons never had grace extended or given to them in spite of the fact that the passage clearly teaches that these persons were partakers of the Holy Spirit.

Nothing much more can be said.

John146
May 1st 2009, 08:10 PM
Eric,

I tried to keep this on topic, but you are now raising the same question rabbi has. People who are born again are secure in the arms of our Lord. The passage is telling us "impossible [unable, could not do] for born again Christians, "if" they fall away to be saved." If they could fall away that means there is a sin we could commit for which there is never forgiveness. How do you reconcile that with what I have already shown you; i.e. every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven man, except blasphemy against the HS?

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible [unable, could not do] for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

You have yourself to blame if this is turned into a debate over OSAS vs NOSAS.

Many Blessings,
RWLOL. No, I don't have myself to blame for anything. I haven't turned it into a OSAS vs. NOSAS debate at all. I made the intended purpose of this thread clear from the beginning. You are ignoring the word "if" in that passage, which implies that they can fall away, whether it's speaking of born again believers or not. Scripture clearly says that people can and do fall away, so my question to you then is whether those who fall away (whether they were born again or not) were ever extended grace. Yes or no? Can you answer that question or not? It seems like you are avoiding it.

John146
May 1st 2009, 08:11 PM
Roger's theology tells him that these persons never had grace extended or given to them in spite of the fact that the passage clearly teaches that these persons were partakers of the Holy Spirit.That's what I thought but he's saying he believes they are born again but can't fall away despite the fact that it says "if they shall fall away...".

RabbiKnife
May 1st 2009, 08:13 PM
That's what I thought but he's saying he believes they are born again but can't fall away despite the fact that it says "if they shall fall away...".

Now, don't go getting the Bible involved in our discussions about theology....

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 08:15 PM
Yes it is! Please read what I'm about to say very carefully. Whether or not the ones who were once enlightened are born again or not does not matter in terms of the point I'm making. Do you understand so far? Regardless of whether they are born again or not the passage implies that they potentially could fall away.

The passage implies no such thing. In fact it says the exact opposite..those who are born again cannot fall away. Impossible!



So, the question I'm asking is, if they do fall away, can it reasonably be said that they were never extended grace?

They cannot fall away, so how can it be reasonably argued they were never extended grace?



Now, if they are born again the answer is obvious (no). But even if they were not born again, would the answer not still obviously be no?

They were born again! You make a false assumption, and then want me to give an answer to something I do not believe?



You seem to be under the impression that no one, saved or not, can fall away. Is that true?

Now you've really lost me. How can some one not saved fall away?



If so, you should know that scripture clearly says otherwise.

2 Thess 2
3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

And you believe this verse proves that falling away from salvation? Why could this not be those who went out from us, but they were not of us (1Jo 2:19)?



1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

What is "the faith" they have departed from? Saving faith? How can that be? They followed the doctrines of devils, therefore the faith they had was not saving faith received by grace.



So, what I'm asking about here is whether or not those who fall away were ever extended grace or not? Yes or no?

If you have received saving grace the answer is that you cannot fall away from saving grace. I cannot answer the question yes or no as you would like me to, because those who have been born again by grace through faith that is not their own but the gift of God cannot fall away.

Many Blessings,
RW

RabbiKnife
May 1st 2009, 08:18 PM
Which being interpreteth, meaneth,

"I will not answer your question because if I do honestly it will refute my theolgoy. Therefore, I will not address the subjective "if" in Hebrews 6:6 but will continue to say "the Emporer has a lovely new suit."

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 08:18 PM
Roger's theology tells him that these persons never had grace extended or given to them in spite of the fact that the passage clearly teaches that these persons were partakers of the Holy Spirit.

Nothing much more can be said.

I don't mean to be rude rabbi :kiss:but frankly you don't know what you're talking about. You have not defined my theology at all!

Many Blessings,
RW

Bandit
May 1st 2009, 08:19 PM
So, your intention is to try to hold this discussion along strickly Arminian/calvinist lines? Good luck with that. The OSAS discussion comes right out of the Arminian/calvinist conflict.


Hey, John146, I stand by what I said, "Good luck with that." ;)

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 08:22 PM
LOL. No, I don't have myself to blame for anything. I haven't turned it into a OSAS vs. NOSAS debate at all. I made the intended purpose of this thread clear from the beginning. You are ignoring the word "if" in that passage, which implies that they can fall away, whether it's speaking of born again believers or not. Scripture clearly says that people can and do fall away, so my question to you then is whether those who fall away (whether they were born again or not) were ever extended grace. Yes or no? Can you answer that question or not? It seems like you are avoiding it.

Really Eric, how many times do I have to say this. I cannot answer yes or no to an opinion I do not agree with. Born again Christians CANNOT fall away and lose their salvation. If Scripture clealy says that people can and do fall away, losing their salvation well I've yet to find it.

Many Blessings,
RW

RabbiKnife
May 1st 2009, 08:24 PM
Really Eric, how many times do I have to say this. I cannot answer yes or no to an opinion I do not agree with. Born again Christians CANNOT fall away and lose their salvation. If Scripture clealy says that people can and do fall away, losing their salvation well I've yet to find it.

Many Blessings,
RW

Hebrews 6:4-6 is pretty clear.

divaD
May 1st 2009, 08:31 PM
Here is the point of contention we have with this passage of Scripture. I don't believe the passage says that those who have been born again (made partakers of the Holy Ghost) can fall away. I believe the writer when he says "it is impossible" for born again Christians to fall away. Why? Because Christ will not become the sacrificial offering a second time, but if they could fall away He would have too, otherwise there would be no salvation for them. This presents a real problem because it would mean that there is a sin for which there is no forgiveness, but Scripture clearly tells us that all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto man, but blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Now we can argue all day long about whether or not rejecting Christ after salvation is this blasphemy. I will argue no it is not, and that the blasphemy Christ speaks of was very specific and cannot be committed by one who has been born again.







Hebrews 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned


Roger, this verse is part of the context of that passage. Where does it fit in here, since the context thus far makes no mention of bad fruit according to how you're interpreting it, etc?





Certainly we can see that verse 7 and 8 below makes the distinction between good fruit and bad fruit, right? Logically then, verse 8 would have to be linked to verses 4-6. If not, then where else does it fit in this context?

But anyway, this would then mean that God's grace was extended to even someone capable of falling away, and to someone who is unable to return, since the passage tells us that it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance if they fall away; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.


Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 08:35 PM
Albert Barnes notes on the New Testament:

it seems to me that it refers to true Christians; that the object is to keep them from apostasy; and that it teaches that, if they should apostatize, it would be impossible to renew them again, or to save them. That it refers to true Christians will be apparent from these considerations:--

(1.) Such is the sense which would strike the great mass of readers. Unless there were some theory to defend, the great body of readers of the New Testament would consider the expression here used as describing true Christians.

(2.) The connexion demands such an interpretation. The apostle was addressing Christians. He was endeavouring to keep them from apostasy. The object was not to keep those who were awakened and enlightened from apostasy, but it was to preserve those who were already in the Church of Christ from going back to perdition. The kind of exhortation appropriate to those who were awakened and convicted, but who were not truly converted, would be to become converted; not to warn them of the danger of falling away. Besides, the apostle would not have said of such persons that they could not be converted and saved. [But of sincere Christians it might be said, with the utmost propriety, that they could not be renewed again, and be saved, if they should fall away--because they rejected the only plan of salvation after they had tried it, and renounced the only scheme of redemption after they had tasted its benefits. If that plea could not save them, what could? If they neglected that, by what Other means could they be brought to God?

(3.) This interpretation accords, as I suppose, with the exact meaning of the phrases which the apostle uses. An examination of those phrases will show that he refers to those who are sincere believers. The phrase "it is impossible," obviously and properly denotes absolute impossibility. It has been contended, by Storr and others, that it denotes only great difficulty.

But the meaning which would at first strike all readers would be, that the thing could not be done; that it was not merely very difficult, but absolutely impracticable. The word--adunaton--occurs only in the New Testament in the following places, in all which it denotes that the thing could not be done. Mt 19:26; Mr 10:27: "With men this is impossible;" that is, men could not save one who was rich; implying that the thing was wholly beyond human power. Lu 18:27: "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God"---referring to the same case. Ac 14:8 "A man of Lystra, impotent in his feet;" that is, who was wholly unable to walk. Ro 8:3: "For what the law could not do;" what was absolutely impossible for the law to accomplish; that is, to save men. Heb 6:18: "In which it was impossible for God to lie." Heb 10:4: "It is not possible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take away sin." And Heb 11:6: "Without faith it is impossible to please God."--In all of these instances denoting absolute impossibility. These passages show that it is not merely a great difficulty to which the apostle refers, but that he meant to say that the thing was wholly impracticable; that it could not be done. And if this be the meaning, then it proves that if those referred to should fall away, they could never be renewed; their case was hopeless, and they must perish:--that is, if a true Christian should apostatize, or fall from grace, he never could be renewed again, and could not be saved. Paul did not teach that he might fall away and be renewed again as often as he pleased. He had other views of the grace of God than this; and he meant to teach, that if a man should once cast off true religion, his case was hopeless, and he must perish: and by this solemn consideration--the only one that would be effectual in such a case--he meant to guard them against the danger of apostasy.

For those who were once enlightened. The phrase "to be enlightened" is one that is often used in the Scriptures, and may be applied either to one whose understanding has been enlightened to discern his duty, though he is not converted, (comp. Cmt. on Joh 1:9;) or, more commonly, to one who is truly converted. Cmt. on Eph 1:18. It does not of necessity refer to true Christians, though it cannot be denied that it more obviously suggests the idea that the heart is truly changed, and that it is more commonly used in that sense. Comp. Ps 19:8. Light, in the Scriptures, is the emblem of knowledge, holiness, and happiness; and there is no impropriety here in understanding it in accordance with the more decisive phrases which follow, as referring to true Christians.

And have tasted. To taste of a thing means, according to the usage in the Scriptures, to experience, or to understand it. The expression is derived from the fact, that the taste is one of the means by which we ascertain the nature or quality of an object. Comp. Mt 16:28; Joh 8:51; Heb 2:9. The proper idea here is, that they had experienced the heavenly gift, or had learned its nature.

The heavenly gift. The gift from heaven, or which pertains to heaven. Cmt. on Joh 4:10. The express!on properly means, some favour or gift which has descended from heaven; and may refer to any of the benefits which God has conferred on man in the work of redemption. It might include the plan of salvation; the forgiveness of sins; the enlightening, renewing, and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, or any one of the graces which that spirit imparts. The use of the article, however,--" the heavenly gift,"--limits it to something special, as being conferred directly from heaven; and the connexion would seem to demand that we understand it of some peculiar favour which could be conferred only on the children of God. It is an expression which may be applied to sincere Christians; it is at least doubtful whether it can with propriety be applied to any other.

And were made partakers of the Holy Ghost. Partakers of the influences of the Holy Ghost--for it is only in this sense that we can partake of the Holy Spirit. We partake of food when we share it with others; we partake of pleasure when we enjoy it with others; we partake of spoils in war when they are divided between us and others. So we partake of the influences of the Holy Spirit when we share these influences conferred on his people.

This is not language which can properly be applied to any one but a true Christian; and though it is true that an unpardoned sinner may be enlightened and awakened by the Holy Spirit, yet the language here used is not such as would be likely to be employed to describe his state. It is too clearly expressive of those influences which renew and sanctify the soul. It is as elevated language as can be used to describe the joy of the Christian, and is undoubtedly used in that sense here. If it is not, it would be difficult to find any language which would properly express the condition of a renewed heart. Grotius, Bloomfield, and some others, understood this or the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. But this is not necessary, and does not accord well with the general description here, which evidently pertains to the mass of those whom the apostle addressed.

{b} "impossible" Mt 5:13; 12:31-32; Joh 15:6; Heb 10:26; 2Pe 2:20-21; 1Jo 5:16

RabbiKnife
May 1st 2009, 08:53 PM
I don't get it, because Barnes does not agree with you, Roger.

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 08:57 PM
Albert Barnes commentary on the New Testament:

Heb 6:6
Verse 6. If they shall fall away. Literally, "and having fallen away." "There is no if in the Greek in this place--' having fallen away.'" Dr. J. P. Wilson. It is not an affirmation that any had actually fallen away, or that, in fact, they would do it; but the statement is, that on the supposition that they had fallen away, it would be impossible to renew them again. It is the same as supposing a case which, in fact, might never occur:--as if we should say, "had a man fallen down a precipice, it would be impossible to save him;" or, "had the child fallen into the stream, he would certainly have been drowned." But though this literally means "having fallen away," yet the sense, in the connexion in which it stands, is not improperly expressed by our common translation. The Syriac has given a version Which is remarkable, not as a correct translation, but as showing what was the prevailing belief in the time in which it was made, (probably the first or second century,) in regard to the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. "For it is impossible that they who have been baptized, and who have tasted the gift which is from heaven, and have received the spirit of holiness, and have tasted the good word of God, and the power of the coming age, should again sin, so that they should be renewed again to repentance, and again crucify the Son of God, and put him to ignominy." The word rendered "fall away" means, properly, "to fall near by any one;" "to fall in with, or meet;" and thus to fall aside from, to swerve or deviate from; and here means undoubtedly to apostatize from, and implies an entire renunciation of Christianity, or a going back to a state of Judaism, heathenism, or sin. The Greek word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is material to remark here, that the apostle does not say that any true Christian ever had fallen away. He makes a statement of what would occur on the supposition that such a thing should happen -but a statement may be made of what would occur on the supposition that a certain thing should take place, and yet it be morally certain that the event never would happen. It would be easy to suppose what would happen if the ocean should overflow a continent, or if the sun should cease to rise, and still there be entire certainty that such an event never would occur.

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 09:02 PM
I don't get it, because Barnes does not agree with you, Roger.

Really? Are you sure? Show me where, but please don't quote him out of context.

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
May 1st 2009, 09:04 PM
The passage implies no such thing. In fact it says the exact opposite..those who are born again cannot fall away. Impossible!"If they shall fall away" = impossible? Your definition of the word "if" must be quite different from mine. :rolleyes:


They cannot fall away, so how can it be reasonably argued they were never extended grace?I'm asking about those who do fall away. Forget Hebrews 6:4-6 for a minute and just think in terms of those who do fall away. Scripture clearly speaks of people falling away, so I would hope we don't need to debate that. What do you think it means for one to fall away and are the ones who do fall away never extended grace?


What is "the faith" they have departed from? Saving faith? How can that be? They followed the doctrines of devils, therefore the faith they had was not saving faith received by grace. What do they depart from then, Roger?

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 09:15 PM
"If they shall fall away" = impossible? Your definition of the word "if" must be quite different from mine. :rolleyes:

I'm asking about those who do fall away. Forget Hebrews 6:4-6 for a minute and just think in terms of those who do fall away. Scripture clearly speaks of people falling away, so I would hope we don't need to debate that. What do you think it means for one to fall away and are the ones who do fall away never extended grace?

What do they depart from then, Roger?

Eric,

Both Scripture and history show us that many profess to be born again and fall away, proving they never had been saved by grace through faith. Had they received grace? No they did not, for the one who is saved by grace through faith is saved (past), is being saved (present) and will be saved (future). Those who receive saving grace do NOT fall away!

What do they depart from? They depart from Christians, they depart from the church, they depart from the Word, they depart from the benefits and blessings God bestows upon His covenant body. But those who have been saved by grace through faith that is not their own but the gift of grace NEVER lose their salvation.

Many Blessings,
RW

RabbiKnife
May 1st 2009, 09:18 PM
Barnes contradicts himself.

The greek is not even subjective. It is clear that those that have partaken of the Holy Spirit and have fallen away cannot be renewed to repentance.

You have to bring another meaning to the text to get there.

John146
May 1st 2009, 09:23 PM
Eric,

Both Scripture and history show us that many profess to be born again and fall away, proving they never had been saved by grace through faith. Had they received grace? No they did not, for the one who is saved by grace through faith is saved (past), is being saved (present) and will be saved (future). Those who receive saving grace do NOT fall away!

What do they depart from? They depart from Christians, they depart from the church, they depart from the Word, they depart from the benefits and blessings God bestows upon His covenant body. But those who have been saved by grace through faith that is not their own but the gift of grace NEVER lose their salvation.

Many Blessings,
RWWhat you continue to deny is that Hebrews 6:4-6 says that it's possible for those "who were once enlightened..." to fall away. You act as if the statement "IF they shall fall away" is not there. Why? I know why, but I'll keep that to myself.

John146
May 1st 2009, 09:32 PM
Eric,

Both Scripture and history show us that many profess to be born again and fall away, proving they never had been saved by grace through faith. Had they received grace? No they did not, for the one who is saved by grace through faith is saved (past), is being saved (present) and will be saved (future). Those who receive saving grace do NOT fall away!It is implied in Hebrews 6:4-6 that "those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" can fall away. Is the statement "If they shall fall away" not in your Bible, Roger? If it's not possible for "those who were once enlightened" to fall away then why is that even mentioned at all?



What do they depart from? They depart from Christians, they depart from the church, they depart from the Word, they depart from the benefits and blessings God bestows upon His covenant body. But those who have been saved by grace through faith that is not their own but the gift of grace NEVER lose their salvation. Do you believe the following passage is speaking of such people that depart:

Matthew 13
20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

I would say it is. So are those who receive "the seed into stony places" not extended God's grace? As it says, they receive it at first with joy.

RogerW
May 1st 2009, 10:46 PM
Do you believe the following passage is speaking of such people that depart:

Matthew 13
20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

I would say it is. So are those who receive "the seed into stony places" not extended God's grace? As it says, they receive it at first with joy.

How could they have received saving grace since tribulation and persecution kept them from enduring? Trial, tribulation, persecution is not the cause of falling away for the one who has received saving grace. It is the 'stuff' that helps us to grow.

Ro 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations [persecution, anguish, trouble] also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Ro 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
Ro 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Ro 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Mt 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Ac 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

1Pe 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

Many Blessings,
RW

Butch5
May 2nd 2009, 01:03 AM
It was suggested by a poster in another thread that God only extends His grace towards the elect and not to anyone else. This was in a discussion regarding whether or not salvation is an offer to all or just given to a few (not offered). Here is the passage I'm speaking about:

Heb 6
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

I know this passage is usually brought up in the OSAS vs. NOSAS debates. Please note that is NOT my purpose for bringing it up in this thread. My question regarding this passage is this: is it reasonable to think that "those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" but later fall away were never extended or offered grace? Even if they were never saved, is it reasonable to say they never had salvation offered to them? I think the answer is clearly no, but I wanted to see what others thought.

I think this passage is strong evidence for the belief that God offers salvation to everyone but not everyone accepts it and they instead willfully reject it. Not everyone puts their complete faith and trust in Christ. Some believe at first but then fall away. They were given an opportunity to be saved but in the end decided to reject it and they fell away.

It's only reasonable to think that God offers salvation to everyone since He desires everyone to be saved (1 Tim 2:3-6). I think those who think God extends/offers His grace only to the elect would have a hard time explaining how those who fall away never had God's grace extended to them.


Good post John.

Butch5
May 2nd 2009, 01:09 AM
Hi Eric,

Here is the point of contention we have with this passage of Scripture. I don't believe the passage says that those who have been born again (made partakers of the Holy Ghost) can fall away. I believe the writer when he says "it is impossible" for born again Christians to fall away.
RW

Roger, could you please show me which Scripture you are referring to in the part I bolded, as there is no Scripture that says it is impossible for a born again Christian to fall away.

BroRog
May 2nd 2009, 01:55 AM
It was suggested by a poster in another thread that God only extends His grace towards the elect and not to anyone else. This was in a discussion regarding whether or not salvation is an offer to all or just given to a few (not offered). Here is the passage I'm speaking about:

Heb 6
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

I know this passage is usually brought up in the OSAS vs. NOSAS debates. Please note that is NOT my purpose for bringing it up in this thread. My question regarding this passage is this: is it reasonable to think that "those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" but later fall away were never extended or offered grace? Even if they were never saved, is it reasonable to say they never had salvation offered to them? I think the answer is clearly no, but I wanted to see what others thought.

I think this passage is strong evidence for the belief that God offers salvation to everyone but not everyone accepts it and they instead willfully reject it. Not everyone puts their complete faith and trust in Christ. Some believe at first but then fall away. They were given an opportunity to be saved but in the end decided to reject it and they fell away.

It's only reasonable to think that God offers salvation to everyone since He desires everyone to be saved (1 Tim 2:3-6). I think those who think God extends/offers His grace only to the elect would have a hard time explaining how those who fall away never had God's grace extended to them.

My answer is this. I don't think Paul was trying to say anything one way or the other about election or grace. Here is why.

Paul has a tenancy to write run on sentences with a lot of information in them, and I believe this is a case in point. I think he has one main idea in this section and several side points to make also. I believe his main point stands out if we temporarily remove the middle part like this.


For it is impossible . . . to renew them again unto repentance . . . [those that] crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

What was it like to believe in Jesus back then? A believer back then had to accept the fact that God allowed the Messiah to be put on a cross by the Romans. For a Jew living at that time (and even today), that's a hard pill to swallow. So then, if a Hebrew person comes to church, hears the story, completes a thorough examination of all the facts, and then says, "nah, he wasn't the one." Then it's impossible for that person to find salvation because by rejecting Jesus, he puts Jesus back on the cross and leaves him there in open shame.

It's impossible, not because he isn't one of God's elect, but it's impossible because there will never be another Messiah. The Hebrew person that rejects Jesus is thinking that there will be another messiah to come along that won't die on a cross and be humiliated. But Paul's point is to say there will never be another Messiah. Jesus was it.

In my opinion, its always possible for a man to change his mind and say, "Yes, Jesus is the one. I was wrong and the Bible is right. I'm sorry I ever doubted it." It's never impossible for a man to repent. It's simply impossible for him to find another messiah.

bagofseed
May 2nd 2009, 02:34 AM
Rabbi,

This is NOT the direction Eric wishes this thread to go. The topic seeks to determine whether or not God's saving grace is extended unto every man, or only to His elect. My understanding of Scripture tells me saving grace is GIVEN, not offered, to His predestined elect, and none others. The contention, as I understand it...is grace offered or given? If offered then salvation is dependent upon fallen man to make the right free will choice. If given to His elect, salvation is of the Lord alone!

Many Blessings,
RW
I believe it is both offered and given.

Did not Jesus die for all, for the whole world?
Who so ever will may come.

WHo came?
All turned away away from the light. because they loved the darkness because their deeds where evil.

Those who eventual did come into the light was to expose that their coming was wrought in (a work of) God.
So God chose some for Himself.

Many may come into the church, but few willing come forward to be exposed, to have the light shine on their sins for all to see.

RogerW
May 2nd 2009, 03:14 AM
I believe it is both offered and given.

Did not Jesus die for all, for the whole world?
Who so ever will may come.

WHo came?
All turned away away from the light. because they loved the darkness because their deeds where evil.

Those who eventual did come into the light was to expose that their coming was wrought in (a work of) God.
So God chose some for Himself.

Many may come into the church, but few willing come forward to be exposed, to have the light shine on their sins for all to see.

Greetings Bagofseed,

I believe the gospel call is offered unto all men, and through the call Christ will GIVE salvation to all who believe. And as you have said many will come to church through the call but only those who receive faith through hearing the gospel will turn to Christ for life.

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
May 2nd 2009, 05:02 AM
How could they have received saving grace since tribulation and persecution kept them from enduring?I wasn't talking about receiving saving grace. I'm talking about God extending His grace towards them and giving them an opportunity to be saved.

Why do those who at first receive the gospel with joy later fall away due to persecution and tribulation? Because that's what God predestined for them to do or because God made it so that they weren't capable of doing anything else? No! It is their choice to not be willing to suffer for Christ. The gospel sounded good to them at first but not enough to where they are willing to suffer for it. One has to choose whether they are willing to pick up their cross and follow Christ at no matter what cost it may be. If one is not willing to do that then they cannot be His disciple. That is a choice that people must make.

Your doctrine removes any responsibility from man and turns man into a robot or puppet. Without responsibility there's no point in having a day of judgment.

John146
May 2nd 2009, 05:05 AM
Greetings Bagofseed,

I believe the gospel call is offered unto all men, and through the call Christ will GIVE salvation to all who believe. And as you have said many will come to church through the call but only those who receive faith through hearing the gospel will turn to Christ for life.

Many Blessings,
RWWhy is the gospel call offered to all people if not all people can respond to it with faith? That makes no sense at all.

RogerW
May 2nd 2009, 11:53 PM
Why is the gospel call offered to all people if not all people can respond to it with faith? That makes no sense at all.

Because "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" 1Co 1:21. Yet God does not tell us who will believe, He simply tells us "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations" Mt 28:19. It is through preaching the Word that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" Ro 10:17. Therefore the gospel call is offered to all people, and all who receive the gift of faith by grace will believe unto eternal life. Does that make sense?

Many Blessings,
RW

Butch5
May 3rd 2009, 12:23 AM
Eric,

Both Scripture and history show us that many profess to be born again and fall away, proving they never had been saved by grace through faith. Had they received grace? No they did not, for the one who is saved by grace through faith is saved (past), is being saved (present) and will be saved (future). Those who receive saving grace do NOT fall away!

RW

Roger,

How do we know who truly has saving grace?

Bandit
May 3rd 2009, 01:29 AM
Roger,

How do we know who truly has saving grace?


I think Revelation says something about some kind of identifying mark.

BroRog
May 3rd 2009, 04:02 PM
Roger,

How do we know who truly has saving grace?

The testing of our faith brings perseverance. Perseverance brings attestedness. And attestedness leads to hope. And our hope will not disappoint.

Romans 5.

John146
May 3rd 2009, 06:28 PM
Because "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" 1Co 1:21. Yet God does not tell us who will believe, He simply tells us "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations" Mt 28:19. It is through preaching the Word that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" Ro 10:17. Therefore the gospel call is offered to all people, and all who receive the gift of faith by grace will believe unto eternal life. Does that make sense?

Many Blessings,
RWNo, it makes no sense whatsoever. Matthew 22:1-14 indicates the the gospel is offered to all and a person rejects it because they willfully refuse to accept the offer rather than not being able to accept it.

1And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
2The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

Notice it says "they would not come". Later, in verse 14, Jesus says that many are called, but few are chosen. You mistakenly believe that only those who are chosen are offered grace and salvation but, for whatever reason, miss the fact that the ones who are not chosen willfully refused the offer. It isn't that they could not, it was that "they would not".

God desires for all to be saved. You somehow think that despite this He would not make a way for all to have the opportunity to be saved. Those two concepts are contradictory. If God truly desires all to be saved, as He does, then it only makes sense that He'd give all the opportunity to be saved, which He does. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) and came to call sinners (all have sinned) to repentance.

RogerW
May 3rd 2009, 07:50 PM
No, it makes no sense whatsoever. Matthew 22:1-14 indicates the the gospel is offered to all and a person rejects it because they willfully refuse to accept the offer rather than not being able to accept it.

1And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
2The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

Notice it says "they would not come". Later, in verse 14, Jesus says that many are called, but few are chosen. You mistakenly believe that only those who are chosen are offered grace and salvation but, for whatever reason, miss the fact that the ones who are not chosen willfully refused the offer. It isn't that they could not, it was that "they would not".

God desires for all to be saved. You somehow think that despite this He would not make a way for all to have the opportunity to be saved. Those two concepts are contradictory. If God truly desires all to be saved, as He does, then it only makes sense that He'd give all the opportunity to be saved, which He does. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) and came to call sinners (all have sinned) to repentance.

Eric,

You fight against the Scripture! Of course they would not come, no spiritually dead man will come, how can he until he is made spiritually alive.

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
May 3rd 2009, 08:18 PM
Eric,

You fight against the Scripture!Hardly. I accept that it says they would not (were not willing to embracei it) rather than that they could not (were not able to embrace it). You say they could not in the first place. If that's the case why doesn't the parable say "they could not" rather than "they would not"? I believe you are the one fighting with scripture and you are showing a lack of understanding of the parable from Matthew 22:1-14. The fact that they were invited means God extended His grace towards them but they would not accept it.


Of course they would not come, no spiritually dead man will come, how can he until he is made spiritually alive.Scripture never says that. Jesus called spiritually dead men to repentance. In Isaiah 55:6-7 spiritually dead men are told to seek the Lord, call upon Him and forsake their wickedness while He may be found and while He is near.

DeafPosttrib
May 3rd 2009, 10:36 PM
RogerW,

in 2 Peter 3:9 telling us clear, it says: "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 come to repentance."

It shows us that God's Will that all people over the world come to repent for salvation. God doesn't want all people over the world go to hell.

But, God doesn't force all people come to repent for salvation. The sad fact is, most people are in hell, because they reject the gospel, and not want to repent of sins and to believe on Jesus. They want go on their own ways. Don't blam God for most people are in hell than in heaven. Because of their freewill decision with choices.

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

BroRog
May 4th 2009, 02:04 AM
God desires for all to be saved. You somehow think that despite this He would not make a way for all to have the opportunity to be saved. Those two concepts are contradictory. If God truly desires all to be saved, as He does, then it only makes sense that He'd give all the opportunity to be saved, which He does. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) and came to call sinners (all have sinned) to repentance.


DeafPosttrib

Rogerw, in 2 Peter 3:9 telling us clear, it says: "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 come to repentance."

It shows us that God's Will that all people over the world come to repent for salvation. God doesn't want all people over the world go to hell.

But, God doesn't force all people come to repent for salvation. The sad fact is, most people are in hell, because they reject the gospel, and not want to repent of sins and to believe on Jesus. They want go on their own ways. Don't blam God for most people are in hell than in heaven. Because of their freewill decision with choices.

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

In fairness, I need to point out that God's desire that all be saved is not an argument in favor or against either position because it's compatible with either position.

God desires that all be saved. This is a fact. However, not all ARE saved; this is another fact. The difference between the two views is how to explain the fact that although God desires that all be saved, some aren't.

Some will argue that God does not get his desire that all be saved due to the fact that his stronger desire to give human beings a free choice takes precedence over his desire that all be saved. This concept, of course, assumes that God's desire to save all has potency. Otherwise, it wouldn't really matter what God desired, if he couldn't actually do anything about it. The assumption is that God could, if he wanted to, save all human beings, but he simply chooses not to do that.

Others will argue that a man's faith and perseverance, are in and of themselves an aspect of salvation. In this view, God desire to save all men indicates how he feels about mankind, but not his will for each human being. Those whom he chooses to actually save, he gives faith and regeneration.

In either view, God's desire to save all men has potency because he could save them all if he wanted to do that. For some, God would need to violate human will in order to accomplish this; and for others, God simply feels love and desire for all human beings but sets about to save those whom he wants to save.

John146
May 4th 2009, 02:45 PM
In fairness, I need to point out that God's desire that all be saved is not an argument in favor or against either position because it's compatible with either position.

God desires that all be saved. This is a fact. However, not all ARE saved; this is another fact. The difference between the two views is how to explain the fact that although God desires that all be saved, some aren't.

Some will argue that God does not get his desire that all be saved due to the fact that his stronger desire to give human beings a free choice takes precedence over his desire that all be saved. This concept, of course, assumes that God's desire to save all has potency. Otherwise, it wouldn't really matter what God desired, if he couldn't actually do anything about it. The assumption is that God could, if he wanted to, save all human beings, but he simply chooses not to do that.

Others will argue that a man's faith and perseverance, are in and of themselves an aspect of salvation. In this view, God desire to save all men indicates how he feels about mankind, but not his will for each human being. Those whom he chooses to actually save, he gives faith and regeneration.

In either view, God's desire to save all men has potency because he could save them all if he wanted to do that. For some, God would need to violate human will in order to accomplish this; and for others, God simply feels love and desire for all human beings but sets about to save those whom he wants to save.IMO, there is no logic in what you are saying here. How can you think that He truly desires for all to be saved when you also think that He doesn't even give those who are damned any opportunity to be saved? What kind of desire is that? That would makes His desires pointless and meaningless and would mean He is powerless to do anything towards making His desires possible.

Is he going to tell people on the day of judgment, "I wanted you to be saved but I decided to not give you any opportunity to be saved. I guess my desire was not very strong at all, eh? Too bad for you. Into the lake of fire you go.".

BroRog
May 4th 2009, 03:03 PM
IMO, there is no logic in what you are saying here. How can you think that He truly desires for all to be saved when you also think that He doesn't even give those who are damned any opportunity to be saved?

As I said the logic of your view has the same difficulty. Granting that God wants all to be saved, and in fact, not all are saved, we need an explanation for why God does not get what he wants. In your view, God has more than one desire. Not only does God desire that all be saved, he also desires that all men make a free choice. His second desire trumps the first.


What kind of desire is that? That would makes His desires pointless and meaningless and would mean He is powerless to do anything towards making His desires possible.

Again, both sides have the same problem. Since God does not get what he desires from all men, but must bow to the will of mankind, letting this desire go unfulfilled in many cases, does that make his desire meaningless?

On the contrary, If God chooses whom he will save and he successfully saves each one he intends to save, this demonstrates his great power. But if he desires that all men be saved, but only chooses to save some, does that make his desire meaningless?


Is he going to tell people on the day of judgment, "I wanted you to be saved but I decided to not give you any opportunity to be saved. I guess my desire was not very strong at all, eh? Too bad for you. Into the lake of fire you go.".

I understand. But the same thing could be said from within the Arminian camp. "I wanted to save you, but alas, I had no power over evil such that I could change your heart or mind."

John146
May 4th 2009, 03:24 PM
As I said the logic of your view has the same difficulty. Granting that God wants all to be saved, and in fact, not all are saved, we need an explanation for why God does not get what he wants.Free will is the answer. While He wants all to be saved He doesn't want to force anyone to believe in Him. He's not a puppet master pulling the strings of His puppets.


In your view, God has more than one desire. Not only does God desire that all be saved, he also desires that all men make a free choice. His second desire trumps the first. You're not distinguishing between God's desires and His will. God desires for all to be saved. But it's not a case of Him desiring for all to make a free choice. He made it so that all would have to make a free choice.


Again, both sides have the same problem. Since God does not get what he desires from all men, but must bow to the will of mankind, letting this desire go unfulfilled in many cases, does that make his desire meaningless? No, because He would have done something about His desire. In the case of salvation, what He did about His desire is He sent His only begotten Son to die for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.


On the contrary, If God chooses whom he will save and he successfully saves each one he intends to save, this demonstrates his great power.It would also demonstrate that He is a partial God even though scripture teaches otherwise.


But if he desires that all men be saved, but only chooses to save some, does that make his desire meaningless?Not at all. Since He did something to make His desire possible how could it be meaningless? If He did not have the desire then no one would have the opportunity to be saved.


I understand. But the same thing could be said from within the Arminian camp. "I wanted to save you, but alas, I had no power over evil such that I could change your heart or mind."Not really. Instead, He can say, "I gave you the opportunity to be saved by sending My Son to die as a sacrifice for your sins. I made sure you heard the gospel. I spoke to your hearts and minds regarding your need to repent of your sins. Yet you still refused to repent and believe. Because of that you are sentenced to eternity in the lake of fire.".

Your view takes all responsibility for people being cast into the lake of fire away from man and onto God, instead. Scripture says that people are condemned for not believing in Christ (John 3:18). You say that the ones who don't believe never had the ability to believe because God didn't give them saving faith. That means the reason they are condemned is because God wanted them to be and did not want them to believe. In effect they would be punished for not doing something that they had no ability to do. Please explain how that makes any sense. It would be like you or me being punished for not flying despite not being given the ability to fly.

Partaker of Christ
May 4th 2009, 03:26 PM
Which being interpreteth, meaneth,

"I will not answer your question because if I do honestly it will refute my theolgoy. Therefore, I will not address the subjective "if" in Hebrews 6:6 but will continue to say "the Emporer has a lovely new suit."

It seems that there is no 'if'

Hebrews 6:6 (http://biblos.com/hebrews/6-6.htm) καὶ παραπεσόντας πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν, ἀνασταυροῦντας ἑαυτοῖς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ παραδειγματίζοντας.
and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify the Son of God for themselves again, and put him to open shame.
Verb: Aorist Active Participle Accusative Plural Masculine

BroRog
May 4th 2009, 10:57 PM
Free will is the answer. While He wants all to be saved He doesn't want to force anyone to believe in Him. He's not a puppet master pulling the strings of His puppets.

I agree. God doesn't force anyone. But since a fraction of human beings don't chose salvation, then God is not getting what he desires if he desires that all should be saved.


You're not distinguishing between God's desires and His will. God desires for all to be saved. But it's not a case of Him desiring for all to make a free choice. He made it so that all would have to make a free choice.

Okay, but couldn't the Calvinist make the same distinction between God's desires and God's will?


No, [his desire is not meaningless] because He would have done something about His desire. In the case of salvation, what He did about His desire is He sent His only begotten Son to die for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.

Working within our new definitions, allow me to repeat back to you what you seem to be saying. Is it your view that it's God's "wish" that all come to salvation and that he has provided a means by which a man might make a freewill choice to accept those means? But God does not "decree" or "ordain" a man's salvation?


It would also demonstrate that He is a partial God even though scripture teaches otherwise.

Doesn't partiality or favoritism presuppose the existence of two parties the one finding God's favor and the other not? I believe Calvinists teach that God's election happens prior to the existence of the two parties and that election is a matter of creation, not a matter choosing between two people who already exist.


Not at all. Since He did something to make His desire possible how could it be meaningless? If He did not have the desire then no one would have the opportunity to be saved.

I'm still unclear how this is different that what a Calvinist would say. If I understand your point, you seem to be saying that God's desire is meaningful because he did something about it, i.e. he sent his son to die for our sins. But I believe Calvinists would also say that God sent his son to die for the sins of the elect.


Not really. Instead, He can say, "I gave you the opportunity to be saved by sending My Son to die as a sacrifice for your sins. I made sure you heard the gospel. I spoke to your hearts and minds regarding your need to repent of your sins. Yet you still refused to repent and believe. Because of that you are sentenced to eternity in the lake of fire.".


Okay, so let's go back to 2Peter 3:9. In that verse, we are suggesting together that Peter is expressing God's "wish" but not his "will", the difference being that God doesn't always get what he wishes to have, but his will is always done. It's his wish (not his will) that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. Not only this, but he has provided the means by which his "wish" (not his will) might be satisfied if only men and woman would avail themselves of his provision.

So then, isn't it true that we are saying that man's will is stronger than God's "wish"? Aren't we saying that the unrepentant man is able to thwart the "wish" of God?


Your view takes all responsibility for people being cast into the lake of fire away from man and onto God, instead.


Actually, I didn't know we were talking about my personal view. The fact is, my personal view is much more strange than the Calvinist view. I suspect that if you found the Calvinist view to be illogical, you would find my view to be so far out there that you would call the men from the funny farm. :) For now, I simply wanted to contrast two views, neither of which I personally hold, with respect to the passage from 2Peter.

But I understand your point about man's moral responsibility. This is a common rebuttal of the Calvinist view, i.e. that election removes man's responsibility. And as this seems to be a separate issue from the passage in 2Peter, I shouldn't spend too much time on it here.

I believe the Calvinist argument would center on the fact that salvation isn't deserved, but granted as an act of God's grace. And so, even if God has ordained whom to save, this does not negate the fact that the others are getting what they deserved. As it pertains to grace, none of us get what we deserve and so the issue of man's responsibility is moot at that point.


Scripture says that people are condemned for not believing in Christ (John 3:18). You say that the ones who don't believe never had the ability to believe because God didn't give them saving faith.

I think that is roughly true of the Calvinist view, though they would put it differently and place the emphasis in another spot.

I believe the Scriptures teach that condemnation is man's hopeless condition, either from birth or from the age of accountability. And so, a man's rejection of Christ can't make his hopeless condition any more hopeless.

Now, if Johnathan Edwards is typical of Calvinists, he argues that a man's choice must arise from his own personal preferences, and motivations in order for him to claim his choice as his. He decides, then, that a man's personal preferences and motivations are an aspect of who God made him to be. That is, we have freedom to chose what we want, but what we want follows from who we are, and God determines who we are.

So then, I suppose Edwards might answer your objection in those terms. In his view, a man is certainly capable of choosing whatever he wants. He has the ability to choose one way or the other. But since his choices follow from his motivations and since his motivations follow from who he is, then God has determined that the man will reject salvation as a free choice, which follows from his own motivations -- motivations that God gave him.

Edwards also agrees with your analysis. He also employs our inability to fly in his analogy as I recall. But his answer is that all men have the ability to answer 'yes' to the call. But they don't answer 'yes' because they don't want to answer 'yes', which follows from their own personality, preferences, desires, wishes, etc. all of which are aspects of our humanity that God gives us in the course of creating us.

Paul the apostle answers this in Romans 9, where he argues that it is not unjust for God to create an evil man and then judge him for his evil actions.


That means the reason they are condemned is because God wanted them to be and did not want them to believe. In effect they would be punished for not doing something that they had no ability to do. Please explain how that makes any sense. It would be like you or me being punished for not flying despite not being given the ability to fly.

I don't think Calvinists conceive of it this way. It isn't as if there will be a bunch of folks who will stand at the judgment saying, "I wanted to believe but you wouldn't let me." Everyone who wants to be there will be there.

RabbiKnife
May 5th 2009, 02:45 PM
It seems that there is no 'if'

Hebrews 6:6 (http://biblos.com/hebrews/6-6.htm) καὶ παραπεσόντας πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν, ἀνασταυροῦντας ἑαυτοῖς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ παραδειγματίζοντας.
and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify the Son of God for themselves again, and put him to open shame.
Verb: Aorist Active Participle Accusative Plural Masculine

You are correct. When I made the post, I was working from memory and had not pulled up the Greek to take a look.

The lack of the subjective "if" is even stronger evidence that these believers had indeed experienced grace and the Holy Spirit and had indeed already fallen away, not a possibility, but a reality.

John146
May 5th 2009, 05:08 PM
I agree. God doesn't force anyone. But since a fraction of human beings don't chose salvation, then God is not getting what he desires if he desires that all should be saved. That's right. Is that hard for you to accept? Here are other examples of God not getting what He desired, at least not completely:

Matthew 23
37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?


Okay, but couldn't the Calvinist make the same distinction between God's desires and God's will? How so?


Working within our new definitions, allow me to repeat back to you what you seem to be saying. Is it your view that it's God's "wish" that all come to salvation and that he has provided a means by which a man might make a freewill choice to accept those means? But God does not "decree" or "ordain" a man's salvation? That's right.


Doesn't partiality or favoritism presuppose the existence of two parties the one finding God's favor and the other not? I believe Calvinists teach that God's election happens prior to the existence of the two parties and that election is a matter of creation, not a matter choosing between two people who already exist. So what is the following verse talking about then:

1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

What does it mean for the Father to judge according to every man's work without respect of persons? To me it means He judges everyone by the same standard. How could that be the case if some are given faith while the rest are not?


I'm still unclear how this is different that what a Calvinist would say. If I understand your point, you seem to be saying that God's desire is meaningful because he did something about it, i.e. he sent his son to die for our sins. But I believe Calvinists would also say that God sent his son to die for the sins of the elect.The difference, obviously, is that the Calvinist view implies that He desired only some to be saved rather than all. In other words, in that view He only does something about His desire for some, but not all.


Okay, so let's go back to 2Peter 3:9. In that verse, we are suggesting together that Peter is expressing God's "wish" but not his "will", the difference being that God doesn't always get what he wishes to have, but his will is always done. It's his wish (not his will) that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. Not only this, but he has provided the means by which his "wish" (not his will) might be satisfied if only men and woman would avail themselves of his provision.

So then, isn't it true that we are saying that man's will is stronger than God's "wish"? Aren't we saying that the unrepentant man is able to thwart the "wish" of God?I don't think it should really be a matter of determining which is stronger. It's really a matter of determining whether it was God's will to give man the responsibility to choose or not. But to answer your question, yes, man's will can thwart God's "wish". Scripture clearly teaches that, as I showed earlier. Think of Noah's day. Do you think it was God's desire for only 8 people in the world to be saved at that time?


Actually, I didn't know we were talking about my personal view. The fact is, my personal view is much more strange than the Calvinist view. I suspect that if you found the Calvinist view to be illogical, you would find my view to be so far out there that you would call the men from the funny farm. :) For now, I simply wanted to contrast two views, neither of which I personally hold, with respect to the passage from 2Peter. I'm talking to you and not John Calvin or anyone else. Tell me what you believe and we can discuss it along with the other two views.



But I understand your point about man's moral responsibility. This is a common rebuttal of the Calvinist view, i.e. that election removes man's responsibility. And as this seems to be a separate issue from the passage in 2Peter, I shouldn't spend too much time on it here.

I believe the Calvinist argument would center on the fact that salvation isn't deserved, but granted as an act of God's grace.But I also do not believe that salvation is deserved but God, who loves the world and is rich in mercy, chose to send His Son to die for our sins, anyway, so that we would have the opportunity to be saved.


And so, even if God has ordained whom to save, this does not negate the fact that the others are getting what they deserved.It would negate the fact that God desires all to be saved. It would mean that He actually only desired some to be saved because He would have done nothing at all about His desire for those who are not saved.


As it pertains to grace, none of us get what we deserve and so the issue of man's responsibility is moot at that point. But scripture speaks about man's responsibility throughout. Our responsibility to repent and believe the gospel. You can't just say man's responsibility is moot when you have declarations and commands regarding the need for man to repent and believe in order to be saved throughout scripture. Why bother telling people they need to repent and believe and why bother with spending a lot of time persuading people to believe, as Paul did, if man is not responsible for anything?


I think that is roughly true of the Calvinist view, though they would put it differently and place the emphasis in another spot.

I believe the Scriptures teach that condemnation is man's hopeless condition, either from birth or from the age of accountability. And so, a man's rejection of Christ can't make his hopeless condition any more hopeless.But does scripture not say that the reason for someone being condemned is because of not believing in Christ (John 3:18)?


Now, if Johnathan Edwards is typical of Calvinists, he argues that a man's choice must arise from his own personal preferences, and motivations in order for him to claim his choice as his. He decides, then, that a man's personal preferences and motivations are an aspect of who God made him to be. That is, we have freedom to chose what we want, but what we want follows from who we are, and God determines who we are.

So then, I suppose Edwards might answer your objection in those terms.I'd prefer he answer my objection with scripture.


In his view, a man is certainly capable of choosing whatever he wants. He has the ability to choose one way or the other. But since his choices follow from his motivations and since his motivations follow from who he is, then God has determined that the man will reject salvation as a free choice, which follows from his own motivations -- motivations that God gave him.And where does scripture teach this? I know that man has a natural tendency towards evil but where does it say that man, if left to his own choice, would reject salvation even if it is plainly preached to him?


Edwards also agrees with your analysis. He also employs our inability to fly in his analogy as I recall. But his answer is that all men have the ability to answer 'yes' to the call. But they don't answer 'yes' because they don't want to answer 'yes', which follows from their own personality, preferences, desires, wishes, etc. all of which are aspects of our humanity that God gives us in the course of creating us.If that was the case then this would mean that God purposely creates people in such a way that they will rebel against Him and not repent and turn to Him for salvation. Why in the world would God do that?! If that is how it works then why did God grieve over having made mankind because of their extreme level of wickedness in Noah's day? It seems it would make more sense that it would have pleased Him rather than grieved Him if they were doing exactly what He created them to do and being exactly who He created them to be. But God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and wants them to repent before they die (Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 33:11).


Paul the apostle answers this in Romans 9, where he argues that it is not unjust for God to create an evil man and then judge him for his evil actions.Is that really what it teaches? I don't believe so. Show me where it says that God created an evil man just for the purpose of performing evil actions that He would later judge that man for.


I don't think Calvinists conceive of it this way. It isn't as if there will be a bunch of folks who will stand at the judgment saying, "I wanted to believe but you wouldn't let me." Everyone who wants to be there will be there.But you are saying that they will want to be there because God created them to be people who would want to be there. This places the responsibility for them being there on God and makes God out to be less than the loving, compassionate, merciful and longsuffering God that He is.

BroRog
May 5th 2009, 08:47 PM
That's right. Is that hard for you to accept?

No, not at all. :)


How so?

I believe Calvinists could make the same distinction between God's desires and God's will. The Calvinist position, with regard to salvation, is that God has preordained the elect and guarantees the perseverance of the saints. Given our categories here, I believe this would fall under the category of God's will.

Now, if God desires that all men be saved, and yet all men aren't saved, then Peter is expressing God's wish, not God's will. And since Peter is expressing God's wish and not his will, then Calvinism isn't in conflict with Peter's statement. They would simply say something like, "while Peter expresses God's wish that all be saved, it is God's will that all the elect get saved.

And so it would seem that Peter's statement that God desires all to be saved, does not conflict with either camp. Those who say that God ordains salvation, and those who say he doesn't, both agree that what God desires isn't always what God ordains.


So what is the following verse talking about then:

1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

What does it mean for the Father to judge according to every man's work without respect of persons? To me it means He judges everyone by the same standard. How could that be the case if some are given faith while the rest are not?

Good question. Without getting too far afield with a tangent side trip into the works vs. faith forest, let's just assume that God is looking for works that demonstrate faith and so the ultimate criteria of this judging is whether or not a person has demonstrated faith in God.

Those who believe God ordains salvation for the elect, and those who don't believe God ordains salvation at all, both agree that the saved person will demonstrate works of faith in the course of the Christian walk (with the possible exception of some OSAS folks.) And so, each camp will say that God is judging by the same standard.


The difference, obviously, is that the Calvinist view implies that He desired only some to be saved rather than all. In other words, in that view He only does something about His desire for some, but not all.

I don't think this is an implication of the Calvinist view. According to our distinction between God's desire and God's will, the Calvinist would say that it is God's desire that all be saved, but he ordains salvation for the elect according to his will.

I agree with you that the Calvinist will say that God worked effectively for the elect only. I believe the doctrine of Limited atonement teaches this. In the end, though, it comes out the same.

Those who do not accept the doctrine that salvation is ordained, suggest the frightening possibility that the fires of hell will contain people who wanted salvation and were kept from it because God wouldn't let them make a free will choice to be in heaven. They forget though, another tenet of Calvinist teaching, which identifies the will of each individual as something that God creates. Therefore, hell will not contain anyone who wanted salvation because God would not create a will that wanted salvation outside the elect. We can choose what we want, but we can't choose to be who we are.


I don't think it should really be a matter of determining which is stronger.

I raised the issue of God's strength, i.e. his potency, because the issue of man's freedom and man's responsibility speaks to man's nature, which raises the question of God's nature as it pertains to salvation. Whenever the subject comes around to God's desire in contrast to man's will, we must be careful not to suggest that God is a lesser God because Man has the ability to thwart the will of God, even if God himself has decided to grant man some semblance of autonomous choice.


I'm talking to you and not John Calvin or anyone else. Tell me what you believe and we can discuss it along with the other two views.


It's too far out there, as I said. I believe the Bible puts more emphasis on God's transcendent nature than we do but our modern society is not used to thinking in those terms. I have tried to explain this view, using analogies from everyday life, but I get no where. Really. I've tried.


But I also do not believe that salvation is deserved but God, who loves the world and is rich in mercy, chose to send His Son to die for our sins, anyway, so that we would have the opportunity to be saved.


You seem to be saying that both God and man participate in salvation. God, for his part, has provided both the means and the opportunity for man to accept his offer. Man, for his part, must accept God's offer on God's terms. If that is what you are saying, then the question comes, why does a man reject such a great offer? We could go down the list: was he too ignorant?, unwise?, distracted?, what?

I would think that caution is advisable here. If we say that a man was too foolish, or too stubborn, or didn't have a high enough IQ, aren't we saying that a man's nature determines his salvation? What determines or causes a man to have the requisite good and right heart? If a man chooses salvation because he is wise, intelligent, and good-hearted, how did he get that way in the first place?


But scripture speaks about man's responsibility throughout. Our responsibility to repent and believe the gospel. You can't just say man's responsibility is moot when you have declarations and commands regarding the need for man to repent and believe in order to be saved throughout scripture. Why bother telling people they need to repent and believe and why bother with spending a lot of time persuading people to believe, as Paul did, if man is not responsible for anything?

Again, that's another good question.

Jesus touches on this issue when he talks about the unforgivable sin. We believe that he was talking about unbelief. The only immoral act that will never be forgiven is the immoral act of unbelief.

But even here we must be careful to avoid saying that belief in Jesus as Lord is meritorious. The Calvinist would say that belief in Jesus is not meritorious because even belief itself is a gift of God's grace.

What would be your answer to this question?


I'd prefer he answer my objection with scripture.


I think we all would. It's a difficult but not impossible challenge. :)


And where does scripture teach this? I know that man has a natural tendency towards evil but where does it say that man, if left to his own choice, would reject salvation even if it is plainly preached to him?


Here is where I part company with the Calvinists. I don't agree that man's natural state makes it impossible for him to choose salvation. I do, however, believe that God determines who we are on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise how could John say,

"All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."

God is responsible for my being, for who I am as a person. God has created all that has come into being, which includes each of us individually.


If that was the case then this would mean that God purposely creates people in such a way that they will rebel against Him and not repent and turn to Him for salvation. Why in the world would God do that?!


Paul gives the reason as God's will to demonstrate his wrath.


If that is how it works then why did God grieve over having made mankind because of their extreme level of wickedness in Noah's day?

I don't know. I don't have that passage figured out yet.


It seems it would make more sense that it would have pleased Him rather than grieved Him if they were doing exactly what He created them to do and being exactly who He created them to be.

What if he created them that way in order to grieve over them?


Is that really what it teaches? I don't believe so. Show me where it says that God created an evil man just for the purpose of performing evil actions that He would later judge that man for.

Romans 9:22

John146
May 5th 2009, 09:56 PM
I believe Calvinists could make the same distinction between God's desires and God's will. The Calvinist position, with regard to salvation, is that God has preordained the elect and guarantees the perseverance of the saints. Given our categories here, I believe this would fall under the category of God's will.

Now, if God desires that all men be saved, and yet all men aren't saved, then Peter is expressing God's wish, not God's will. And since Peter is expressing God's wish and not his will, then Calvinism isn't in conflict with Peter's statement. They would simply say something like, "while Peter expresses God's wish that all be saved, it is God's will that all the elect get saved.

And so it would seem that Peter's statement that God desires all to be saved, does not conflict with either camp. Those who say that God ordains salvation, and those who say he doesn't, both agree that what God desires isn't always what God ordains. I don't believe God ever does something that conflicts with His desires. I believe that if He desires something then at the very least He's going to make a way for the opportunity for His desires to be met. The Calvinist view has Him desiring all to be saved but not doing anything to even make it possible for all to be saved and instead He saves some while withholding salvation from the rest. How can we say He desired the ones who are damned to be saved when He never even gave them the opportunity to be saved? That's not how I would define desire.


Good question. Without getting too far afield with a tangent side trip into the works vs. faith forest, let's just assume that God is looking for works that demonstrate faith and so the ultimate criteria of this judging is whether or not a person has demonstrated faith in God. I agree with that. So, does it not say that God judges all by the same standard since He is not a respecter of persons? If He gives saving faith to some and withholds it from the rest it can't be true that He judges all by the same standard, which according to scripture is ultimately dependent on whether one believed in Christ or not (John 3:16-18, John 3:36, etc.).


Those who believe God ordains salvation for the elect, and those who don't believe God ordains salvation at all, both agree that the saved person will demonstrate works of faith in the course of the Christian walk (with the possible exception of some OSAS folks.) And so, each camp will say that God is judging by the same standard. Not true, as I just explained above. How can you say that God would judge someone He gave saving faith to the same way He would judge someone that He did not give saving faith to?


I don't think this is an implication of the Calvinist view. According to our distinction between God's desire and God's will, the Calvinist would say that it is God's desire that all be saved, but he ordains salvation for the elect according to his will. Why? Does this mean that when He desires something it doesn't really matter and He's not too interested in doing anything about it?


I agree with you that the Calvinist will say that God worked effectively for the elect only. I believe the doctrine of Limited atonement teaches this. In the end, though, it comes out the same.Hardly.


Those who do not accept the doctrine that salvation is ordained, suggest the frightening possibility that the fires of hell will contain people who wanted salvation and were kept from it because God wouldn't let them make a free will choice to be in heaven.I disagree. If someone wants salvation and is genuinely seeking the truth they will find it.


They forget though, another tenet of Calvinist teaching, which identifies the will of each individual as something that God creates. Therefore, hell will not contain anyone who wanted salvation because God would not create a will that wanted salvation outside the elect. We can choose what we want, but we can't choose to be who we are.So, those who end up in the lake of fire are there because God wanted them to be there. Isn't that what you're saying? How could that be when God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and wants them to repent before they die (Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 33:11, 2 Peter 3:9)?

BTW, this discussion is a bit confusing because I can't tell when you're speaking from your own POV or from the Calvinist POV. Am I correct in saying that you are not a Calvinist but have Calvinist leanings? I'd really prefer if you just spoke from your own POV because I already know what Calvinists believe.


I raised the issue of God's strength, i.e. his potency, because the issue of man's freedom and man's responsibility speaks to man's nature, which raises the question of God's nature as it pertains to salvation. Whenever the subject comes around to God's desire in contrast to man's will, we must be careful not to suggest that God is a lesser God because Man has the ability to thwart the will of God, even if God himself has decided to grant man some semblance of autonomous choice.I never said man can thwart the will of God. He can thwart the desires of God as I showed you. Was God's desire not thwarted in the following passage:

37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.



Is God's desire not thwarted when He desires people to repent but instead they refuse to repent and die in their wickedness?



It's too far out there, as I said. I believe the Bible puts more emphasis on God's transcendent nature than we do but our modern society is not used to thinking in those terms. I have tried to explain this view, using analogies from everyday life, but I get no where. Really. I've tried. Fair enough. If you think you're not able to get your point across where people can understand your view then there's no need to take the time.


You seem to be saying that both God and man participate in salvation.That's correct. I'm sure you're familiar with verses like John 3:16. You know the part about whosoever believing having eternal life? Well, without whoseover believing would anyone have eternal life? Scripture says we have to believe in our hearts and call upon the name of the Lord in order to be saved. Seems pretty obvious that man participates in salvation. Not in making it possible, but in fulfilling God's conditions that He set for salvation.


God, for his part, has provided both the means and the opportunity for man to accept his offer. Man, for his part, must accept God's offer on God's terms. If that is what you are saying, then the question comes, why does a man reject such a great offer? We could go down the list: was he too ignorant?, unwise?, distracted?, what?This is what scripture says:

John 3
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.




I would think that caution is advisable here. If we say that a man was too foolish, or too stubborn, or didn't have a high enough IQ, aren't we saying that a man's nature determines his salvation?Scripture says nothing about one's level of intelligence or anything like that having anything to do with their ability to repent and believe the gospel.


What determines or causes a man to have the requisite good and right heart? If a man chooses salvation because he is wise, intelligent, and good-hearted, how did he get that way in the first place?Scripture never says that one's intelligence has anything to do with it. One must believe in their heart (Romans 10:9-10).


Again, that's another good question.

Jesus touches on this issue when he talks about the unforgivable sin. We believe that he was talking about unbelief. The only immoral act that will never be forgiven is the immoral act of unbelief. This probably should be a topic for another thread, but I will just say that I believe the unforgivable sin, which is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, is directly related to attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan instead.

Unbelief can be forgiven.

Romans 11
20Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

An unbeliever who ends up in the lake of fire does not have any of their sins forgiven, including their unbelief. Ultimately, they are condemned for not believing in Christ, but none of their sins are forgiven because they did not repent and put their faith in Christ. One cannot have their sins forgiven apart from repentance and faith in Christ.


But even here we must be careful to avoid saying that belief in Jesus as Lord is meritorious. The Calvinist would say that belief in Jesus is not meritorious because even belief itself is a gift of God's grace.

What would be your answer to this question?I don't see a question so I assume you are asking me to comment regarding whether or not belief in Jesus as Lord is meritorious if one has to choose to believe? If that's what you're asking then I would refer you to the parable of Luke 18:9-14 and then tell me, if the publican chose to repent and believe, whether or not he would have considered his repentance and faith meritorious. I certainly don't think so. Repenting and believing in Christ goes hand in hand with humbling ourselves and acknowledging that we can't save ourselves and that we are lost sinners in need of a Lord and Savior, who is Jesus Christ. If that is the attitude of one's heart then they clearly do not view their faith as being meritorious but rather submitting to God and obeying God's commands regarding salvation.


Here is where I part company with the Calvinists. I don't agree that man's natural state makes it impossible for him to choose salvation. I do, however, believe that God determines who we are on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise how could John say,

"All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."

God is responsible for my being, for who I am as a person. God has created all that has come into being, which includes each of us individually.Yes, this is true, but I don't believe that God purposely creates people with only an ability to choose one way or with a strong tendency to choose one particular way.


Paul gives the reason as God's will to demonstrate his wrath.That was God's purpose for what happened after he had already becamse the Pharaoh but that doesn't mean that was God's purpose for him from birth. Pharaoh hardend his own heart before God did.


I don't know. I don't have that passage figured out yet.

What if he created them that way in order to grieve over them?Then that would make no sense to me. Why would He have done that? More importantly, there is no scripture that suggests such a thing.

Bandit
May 5th 2009, 10:04 PM
Originally Posted by Butch5 http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=2062294#post2062294)
Roger,

How do we know who truly has saving grace?


I think Revelation says something about some kind of identifying mark.


I still vote for the mark of the beast!

BroRog
May 6th 2009, 06:34 AM
The Calvinist view has Him desiring all to be saved but not doing anything to even make it possible for all to be saved and instead He saves some while withholding salvation from the rest. How can we say He desired the ones who are damned to be saved when He never even gave them the opportunity to be saved? That's not how I would define desire.

I thought we were making a distinction between "will" and "desire." If God desires that all be saved, and some don't become saved because they choose not to be saved, then God is not getting what he desires even though he has provided both the means and opportunity. Aren't we using the term "desire" to indicate how God feels about it as opposed to his decree that all men will be saved?


I agree with that. So, does it not say that God judges all by the same standard since He is not a respecter of persons? If He gives saving faith to some and withholds it from the rest it can't be true that He judges all by the same standard, which according to scripture is ultimately dependent on whether one believed in Christ or not (John 3:16-18, John 3:36, etc.).There is a difference, in my opinion, between who we are and how we got that way. God is judging who we are based on our deeds. The fact that he made us who we are is a different question.

I don't picture this as if a crowd of people is standing before God while he hands out saving faith to some rather than others. This scenario would be partiality. But the picture Paul paints is God at work creating people -- each one individually. In this case, he is acting as their creator, which is not an act of partiality but an act of creation.


Not true, as I just explained above. How can you say that God would judge someone He gave saving faith to the same way He would judge someone that He did not give saving faith to?As I suggested above, God's criteria for judgment is whether or not a person believed Jesus to be the Messiah, which is a complete separate issue from how that person got saving faith in the first place.

In Romans 9, Paul gives us the example of a potter who is making a pot and he argues that it wouldn't make sense for the pot to ask "why did you make me this way?" In the judgment, a man might object to being sent to hell on the basis that God made him worthy of hell, but Paul argues that the judgment isn't "how" a man got to be the way he is, but whether he believed or not. How else was the man going to be the way he is if God didn't make him that way?


Why? Does this mean that when He desires something it doesn't really matter and He's not too interested in doing anything about it?I believe the Calvinist would say that God prioritizes his desires the same way we do. For instance, it might be the case that I wish to go to the movies tonight with my friends. But tomorrow I have a physics test and I also wish to pass my test so that I might graduate from college. And so, though I wish to have both, I choose to stay home and study rather than go to the movie with my friends. I desire both, but I choose one over the other. The fact that I choose to study rather than go to the movies doesn't mean I didn't want to go to the movies.


So, those who end up in the lake of fire are there because God wanted them to be there. Isn't that what you're saying? How could that be when God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and wants them to repent before they die (Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 33:11, 2 Peter 3:9)?Again, it's a matter of priorities.


Am I correct in saying that you are not a Calvinist but have Calvinist leanings? I'd really prefer if you just spoke from your own POV because I already know what Calvinists believe.
I am not a Calvinist. I'm giving the Calvinist POV for the sake of discussion. For the record, I believe that unless I can argue for the other side, I don't really understand the other side.


I never said man can thwart the will of God. He can thwart the desires of God as I showed you. Was God's desire not thwarted in the following passage:

37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. I suppose so. How do you explain the fact that his desire was thwarted?


Fair enough. If you think you're not able to get your point across where people can understand your view then there's no need to take the time.Let's just say that I believe in a determinism that is closer to Calvin than Arminius.


That's correct. I'm sure you're familiar with verses like John 3:16. You know the part about whosoever believing having eternal life? Well, without whoseover believing would anyone have eternal life? Scripture says we have to believe in our hearts and call upon the name of the Lord in order to be saved. Seems pretty obvious that man participates in salvation. Not in making it possible, but in fulfilling God's conditions that He set for salvation.I understand. It's a question of why some do and others don't.


Scripture says nothing about one's level of intelligence or anything like that having anything to do with their ability to repent and believe the gospel. Scripture never says that one's intelligence has anything to do with it. One must believe in their heart (Romans 10:9-10).I guess the fundamental question, which might focus my point better, is this. Granting that when men have a good and honest heart, they are constitutionally capable of deciding in favor of salvation on God's terms, did the man supply this good heart on his own, or from where did this good heart come? God or man?


I don't see a question so I assume you are asking me to comment regarding whether or not belief in Jesus as Lord is meritorious if one has to choose to believe? If that's what you're asking then I would refer you to the parable of Luke 18:9-14 and then tell me, if the publican chose to repent and believe, whether or not he would have considered his repentance and faith meritorious. I certainly don't think so. Repenting and believing in Christ goes hand in hand with humbling ourselves and acknowledging that we can't save ourselves and that we are lost sinners in need of a Lord and Savior, who is Jesus Christ. If that is the attitude of one's heart then they clearly do not view their faith as being meritorious but rather submitting to God and obeying God's commands regarding salvation.Okay, I like your answer. But we didn't get to the heart of my concern so may I ask it this way? Would you say that the person who believes has done something commendable, where as the person who refuses to believe is deserving of strong disapproval? If we say that the believer cooperates with God in his salvation, bringing something of himself to the table, i.e. his good heart for instance. Is the believer not worthy of praise?


Yes, this is true, but I don't believe that God purposely creates people with only an ability to choose one way or with a strong tendency to choose one particular way.Okay.


That was God's purpose for what happened after he had already became the Pharaoh but that doesn't mean that was God's purpose for him from birth. Pharaoh hardened his own heart before God did.What do you make of verse 18?

So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Doesn't this sound as if God is doing the hardening?
Then that would make no sense to me. Why would He have done that? More importantly, there is no scripture that suggests such a thing.I don't expect we would find a verse that explicitly says that exact thing. As Bible students, you and I are trying to fit all the pieces together to find the coherent whole picture. At this point we are trying to sort through the difference between God's will and God's desire because certain verses seem to imply that God doesn't always get his what he wants.

BTW, thanks for the discussion. :) I appreciate it.

John146
May 6th 2009, 06:42 PM
In Romans 9, Paul gives us the example of a potter who is making a pot and he argues that it wouldn't make sense for the pot to ask "why did you make me this way?" In the judgment, a man might object to being sent to hell on the basis that God made him worthy of hell, but Paul argues that the judgment isn't "how" a man got to be the way he is, but whether he believed or not. How else was the man going to be the way he is if God didn't make him that way?I don't see that Romans 9 is making the point that people are saved or not based on the way God makes them. I think you are reading something into it that isn't there. We could devote a whole thread to that one chapter so I'm not going to go any further into that here.


I believe the Calvinist would say that God prioritizes his desires the same way we do. For instance, it might be the case that I wish to go to the movies tonight with my friends. But tomorrow I have a physics test and I also wish to pass my test so that I might graduate from college. And so, though I wish to have both, I choose to stay home and study rather than go to the movie with my friends. I desire both, but I choose one over the other. The fact that I choose to study rather than go to the movies doesn't mean I didn't want to go to the movies. Wouldn't it be a contradiction to both desire all to be saved and to also desire to only save some? I believe it would be. Also, why would God even desire for all to be saved at all if His first priority was to save some? Again, I see that as a contradiction.


I suppose so. How do you explain the fact that his desire was thwarted? Because I believe He also has the desire to not be like a puppet master with us as his puppets. How can we love Him with all our heart, soul and mind if we are like puppets? Can puppets love?


Let's just say that I believe in a determinism that is closer to Calvin than Arminius.

I understand. It's a question of why some do and others don't.

I guess the fundamental question, which might focus my point better, is this. Granting that when men have a good and honest heart, they are constitutionally capable of deciding in favor of salvation on God's terms, did the man supply this good heart on his own, or from where did this good heart come? God or man? No one is good so I think you are looking at this from a faulty premise. It's not the case of a good heart as much as it's a case of an open heart and mind to the truth of the gospel as opposed to someone who has hardened their own heart and closed their eyes to the truth. So, how does one have a soft heart that is open to the truth rather than a hardened heart? I believe that it depends on the choices that we make. People have a choice to either be open to the truth or to close their eyes to it.

Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they shouldsee with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.


Okay, I like your answer. But we didn't get to the heart of my concern so may I ask it this way? Would you say that the person who believes has done something commendable, where as the person who refuses to believe is deserving of strong disapproval?Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Abraham believed God and his faith was counted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3). In God's eyes, our faith is commendable. But the reality is that no one is good and we are all sinners so for us to commend ourselves for our faith would mean that we are forgetting that we are also lost sinners without God's grace and the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and His resurrection. It's okay for God to be pleased with our faith but it's not okay if we try to boast of our faith.


If we say that the believer cooperates with God in his salvation, bringing something of himself to the table, i.e. his good heart for instance. Is the believer not worthy of praise?Not worthy of praising himself or herself, but, like I said, from God's perspective the person's faith is pleasing to Him.


Okay.

What do you make of verse 18?

So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Doesn't this sound as if God is doing the hardening?I don't expect we would find a verse that explicitly says that exact thing. As Bible students, you and I are trying to fit all the pieces together to find the coherent whole picture. At this point we are trying to sort through the difference between God's will and God's desire because certain verses seem to imply that God doesn't always get his what he wants.Does God harden someone from birth or does He harden someone after they have already hardened themselves? I think we can find our answer to that in passages like Romans 1:18-32 and 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12. I believe the answer is that God hardens those who have already hardened themselves. What do you think, especially in light of what we read in the passages I mentioned?


BTW, thanks for the discussion. :) I appreciate it.I appreciate it, too. This is the kind of discussion I enjoy, free of name calling and insults. :)

BroRog
May 7th 2009, 12:50 AM
Wouldn't it be a contradiction to both desire all to be saved and to also desire to only save some? I believe it would be. Also, why would God even desire for all to be saved at all if His first priority was to save some? Again, I see that as a contradiction.

Yes, it would be a contradiction stated that way. But it wouldn't be a contradiction for us to say that God desires that all be saved, but it's his will that some do and some don't. If we maintain our distinction then it's not a contradiction, I don't think.


Because I believe He also has the desire to not be like a puppet master with us as his puppets. How can we love Him with all our heart, soul and mind if we are like puppets? Can puppets love?I agree. We are not puppets. But in order to preserve God's potency, we run into a conflict if we maintain that God gave up his autonomy so that human beings could have autonomy. Somehow we need to maintain human free will, and God's determinism at the same time.


No one is good so I think you are looking at this from a faulty premise. It's not the case of a good heart as much as it's a case of an open heart and mind to the truth of the gospel as opposed to someone who has hardened their own heart and closed their eyes to the truth.I believe we agree on your point that no one is good. But I was taking my terminology from Jesus' parable of the sower in which he says that the one who perseveres in faith is the one with a good and honest heart. (Luke 8:15) The idea that it is God who hardens the hearts comes from Romans 9:18.


So, how does one have a soft heart that is open to the truth rather than a hardened heart? I believe that it depends on the choices that we make. People have a choice to either be open to the truth or to close their eyes to it.

Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.I guess this is where we differ. Where as you think we have a choice whether our heart is hard or not, I don't think we can do anything about our heart condition.

What do you think of verses like this one from Ezekiel?

And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Ezekiel 11:19-20

Doesn't this sound like God is doing "spiritual" surgery?


It's okay for God to be pleased with our faith but it's not okay if we try to boast of our faith.

Not worthy of praising himself or herself, but, like I said, from God's perspective the person's faith is pleasing to Him.
What do you make of the idea that even our faith is a gift of God? Or do you not agree with that perspective?


Does God harden someone from birth or does He harden someone after they have already hardened themselves? I think we can find our answer to that in passages like Romans 1:18-32 and 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12. I believe the answer is that God hardens those who have already hardened themselves. What do you think, especially in light of what we read in the passages I mentioned?Now I am speaking from my own perspective. I believe it's both. I believe we harden our own hearts and God hardens our hearts at the same time.

Warning! This is where it starts getting weird.

The analogy I like to use is a novel, which has similarities to what God does in people. Just as an author dictates how the story will go, what the characters will say, and how they behave and the choices they make, I believe God does the same thing with us. From the standpoint of God's creative will, he stands as a transcendent being over all his creation determining everything that happens even down the the movement of a dolphins flipper. But from our standpoint, we make free choices which follow from who we are: our preferences, wishes, desires, outlook, values, and etc.

Okay, end of weirdness.



And so, the Bible hints at both, sometimes in the same passage. For instance, Jesus says that Peter will deny him three times before the rooster crows. We know that Peter always maintained his free will choice to prove Jesus wrong. But he didn't prove Jesus wrong; he denied Jesus three times just as Jesus said. Peter made three free choices and could have chosen otherwise at any time, but he didn't.

Speaking of Peter, he (Peter) points out another case in which man's freedom and God's determinism are both displayed in a single event. As he was preaching his sermon to the men of Israel, he says,

Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know-- this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

In this passage Peter declares 1) Jesus was delivered over to the authorities according to a predetermined plan, and 2) and men, making free choices nailed Jesus to a cross. God's determinism was working simultaneously with man's free choices. In one sense, God ordained that Jesus should be nailed to the cross. These events were unalterably prearranged from the very beginning. But in another sense, just as true and just as real, these men of Israel freely chose to nail Jesus to a cross.

And this tension between God's determinism and man's freedom is all through the Bible as I see it. Both are true at the same time.

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