Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Conversation with a Calvinist... final

Thanks for your response. I agree that the Bible doesn't say that Jacob was chosen for salvation, and Esau, damnation. I was negligent in explaining the purpose of my reference to the sovereign choice of Jacob: it was to emphasize God's sovereignty.

The gift in Eph. 2:8 is salvation? But, if one generates from within oneself saving faith, then salvation must be a REWARD for believing. Were you able to "believe in thine heart that God raised [Jesus] from the dead" (Romans 10:9)? I wasn't able to. God had to give me my faith. Those who believe from within themselves have reason to feel proud when they get to heaven. I won't, however.

Why did you believe and the lost person not believe? Was there something within you, something that made you seek out God unto eternal life that is lacking in the lost person?

You seem to denigrate individualism. There is no "corporate" salvation. Each sinner must come by himself to the Lord, alone!

"...and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:48)  Are these just a special case that we cannot apply to any others?

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you..." (John 15:16). In what way did Jesus choose you (you seem to have chosen Him first)?

Noah was not chosen because he was better than others nor because he "believed" God. "But Noah found GRACE in the eyes of the Lord." (Gen. 6:8).

Be careful that you are not counted among: "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Romans 10:3).

Yes, the gift of God of Ephesians 2:8-9 is salvation, i.e., eternal life. For by grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves.  The subject of the sentence is not faith, but saved/salvation!

I am not saying that one generates from within themselves saving faith. Faith in and of itself is simply believing someone else's word! The only thing that matters is the trustworthiness of the person speaking.  Mankind—even lost mankind—makes faith decisions everyday...and the bible testifies to this fact!

1 John 5:9
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

So we see here that John tells his readers that one can receive the witness of men and God—that's faith!

For example, when we board an airplane, we trust the word of the pilot when he says that he will fly us to a destination safely. None of us sits in our seats worried about whether or not we will get there.  Why? Because we trust/have faith in what he says. Why? He has a reason to get us there safely—he would die also if he did not right? So we believe in our hearts that the pilot will keep his word! That's faith!

So when it comes to saving faith in God's Word, we believe what He says! He says that Christ died for our sins, he was buried and He rose again the 3rd day! If/when we believe this (take God at His Word) have faith in it, God saves us that moment for all eternity!

God gives us a witness about what His Son did for us on the Cross and we chose to either believe it or not!

1 Corinthians 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 10:14
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Here our Apostle Paul says that after hearing the gospel preached, a person has the capacity to believe (or not believe).

God is not choosing some to salvation and others to damnation. They chose not to believe and Satan uses their unbelief to keep them spiritually blinded—not God!

2 Corinthians 4:4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

God gave all men free will, and it is that freewill capacity that God gave all men that allows us to make the choice to believe or not.

Calvinists always bring up how God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, yet not one of them ever read the actual passage from Exodus where God gave Pharaoh the choice to believe Him or not!

Exodus 10
3 And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.

Here God gives him the choice, all he had to do was use his freewill ("wilt" means willingness), and humble himself before God Word! If Pharaoh would have humbled himself, and let the people go (and not have gone after them later as well), he would not have died!

I have dealt with Calvinists for years about freewill/volition and I have never had not even one of them deal with these verses! Seventeen times in scripture the term "freewill" is used—here are three:

Leviticus 22
18 Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering;

Leviticus 22:21, 23
And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.

Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.

The term "his own will" is used numerous times also:

Leviticus 1:3; 19:5, 22:19
If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.

And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.

Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.

So explain these verses to me!

In fact, Calvinists think that God pre-ordained everything.  If they would study it out for themselves, they would see that is not true! Here are a couple of verses that say that the people did things that did not even come into God's mind!

Jeremiah 19:5; 32:35
They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind.

And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

So how can mankind do things that never even came into God's mind? Please explain that!

Eternal life/salvation is the gift of God!

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of god is eternal life [not faith] through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

See, you have done what most Calvinists do—you did not quote the entire verse, nor did you read it carefully. Notice that He chose them to bring forth fruit, not to be saved! How do we know this? Because in John 15 He is talking to His 12 Apostles, including Judas, the one who betrayed Him and died in his sins and went to hell. So if the choosing was the issue for salvation, why did not Judas get saved?

Genesis 6:8
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD

Again, you do what Calvinists do...you do not study God's Word rightly divided (2 Tim 2:15), nor do you compare scripture with scripture (1 Corinthians 2:12)!   (This is God’s prescribed system of studying His Word, as opposed to man’s numerous contrived, ineffective, systems of picking and choosing verses, ripping them from their context. All the which have resulted in christendom’s confusion as we see it today. This is in sharp contrast to the Lord’s promise to bring understanding, if we study His Word, His way!)

Look at God's commentary about Noah in Hebrews.

Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

So Noah did believe God—which you claimed that he did not! So you must do more studying of your bible—and do it God’s Way!

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

I did an entire study on this verse, you can go to my website and listen because it would take longer to explain this one as I go through many verses!

In summation, God has given men freewill to choose to believe him or not! Total depravity is not the inability to believe! It has to do with mankind's moral inability to be right with God, not their ability to choose to believe His Word! If that was true God would not give us the option of believing at all!

Luke 8:15
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, [and chooses to] keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Here is a lost person who has an honest and good heart, and chooses (kept it) to believe God's Word!

Deuteronomy 30:19
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Thanks for writing; I will be eagerly awaiting your answer explaining the verses I just gave you.

Hopefully this helps! 

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

P.S.  God has something to say about ignorance

1 Corinthians 14:38
But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

 …it’s man's choice to remain ignorant. 

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