Preview of the Soteriology 101 Podcast

This podcast addresses soteriology and specifically takes on the Calvinistic interpretation of the scriptures.

In the first episode, I introduce the subject of Soteriology and its significance and then I tell a little of my own story about becoming a staunch five point Calvinist while in College and Seminary only later to leave Calvinism after being influenced by authors such as AW Tozer and CS Lewis.  I unpack the biblical, logical, and theological reasons for leaving behind a soteriological system I very much loved.  While I still have a HUGE respect for Calvinistic scholars such as John Piper, John MacArthur, RC Sproul and others who helped to shape me in my formative years, I’ve come to seriously question their interpretive methods of the scripture on this particular subject.  I agree with 90% of what they teach and appreciate the needed emphasis on the Glory of God and the call back to in depth theological study.Podcast Logo - Soteriology 101

In the second episode, I discuss the distinction between depravity and the Calvinistic concept of “Total Inability.”  It is one thing to teach lost mankind cannot save himself, its another to suggest he can’t even respond to God’s appeal to be saved.

Does responding to God’s appeal to be reconciled EARN or MERIT your salvation?  Did the Prodigal son merit the reception of his father on the basis that he chose to return home for help?  Does asking someone for forgiveness merit being forgiven?

Calvinists have equated the choice to respond to God’s gospel appeal with a meritorious work that somehow earns salvation.  This idea is not supported biblically.  A meritorious work of the law is man’s effort to earn his own righteousness, while repentance is admitting you cannot earn it and need help.  God, because He is gracious (and for that reason alone), chooses to impute Christ’s righteousness to whosoever repents in faith.  Repentance merits nothing.

In short, I believe Calvinists have mistakenly presumed that man’s inability to attain righteousness by law through works supports their premise that man is equally unable to attain righteousness by grace through faith in the imputed righteousness of Christ.

In the third episode, I answer some accusations about Pelagianism, the belief that man is not born tainted by original sin and is able to earn salvation by good works.  I also explain why I don’t like the term “Prevenient Grace,” since it seems redundant to make up a new theological word when the biblical word “gospel” is more than sufficient. We then dive into to some texts which speak of God’s desire to see all come to repentance (2 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9, Ez. 18:30-32).  We briefly address a few more anticipated Calvinistic rebuttals.

I answer the accusation that we hold too high a view of man.  Which is worse?  The man who rebels who was born hated by God and unable to do otherwise, or the man who rebels who is born loved by God and provided all that he needed?  Clearly, the latter is far worse than the former, thus Calvinists actually hold to a “higher” view of man than we do.

In the fourth episode, we discuss the most referenced Calvinistic proof texts used to support the concept of Total Inability.

Romans 8:6-8: Calvinists use passages talking about the law of righteousness (i.e. no one can be righteous by the law) and apply it to Righteousness by faith (i.e. no one can have faith because that would make them righteous according to the law). It doesn’t follow. Proving that men are born unable to become righteous by law is NOT proof that men are born unable to become righteous by faith.

1 Corinthians 2:14: Paul is addressing carnal believers in 1 Cor. 2 and 3.  These believers were so fleshly they were unable to accept the “deep things of God” (vs 10). He is not addressing the inability of the unsaved to believe the gospel truth when it’s discerned for us by someone being inspired by the Spirit, as Paul himself is doing while writing this letter to this carnal church.

Ability is implied in the appeal to repent. Ability is implied in the expectation to believe.  Ability is implied in the fact that we’re punished for not believing or repenting. Thus, it’s incumbent upon Calvinists to show this implied ability is not present.  And before someone points to man’s inability to obey the law, keep in mind that we aren’t held to account for our inability to obey the law, were held to account for our unbelief.  Lawbreakers are in both heaven and hell, the difference is UNBELIEF. Plus, the law wasn’t given for the purpose for us to be able to fully obey it. It was given for the purpose of revealing the very truth that Calvinists believe we can’t see, hear or really understand.  The law is the tutor sent to help us see our need for a savior (something Calvinists teach cannot happen unless one is first born again, thus man has to be reborn before he can even learn the lesson the law was sent to teach regarding our need for savior. We have to essentially be saved in order to even recognize our need for the savior? Really?)   Suggesting that our inability to fully obey the law somehow proves we are equally unable to admit we can’t obey the law is unfounded.

Beyond the implications of the scriptures, I provide several passages that explicitly indicate our natural abilities to see, hear, understand and repent:

Acts 28:24-28: Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet: 26 ” ‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” 27 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”

This passage, which is quoted from the OT several times in the NT, explains that the Jews hearts had GROWN calloused. THEY WEREN’T BORN CALLOUSED. It also clearly explains their abilities had they not become hardened. “OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE.” He even goes on to contrast the Gentiles who “WILL LISTEN.”

So, not only do Calvinists need to deal with the implications of the passages such as John 3:16 that calls whosoever to come/believe, but they must deal with the explicit passages such as this that clearly reveal man’s ability from birth to see, hear, understand and turn to God for healing.

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13 thoughts on “Preview of the Soteriology 101 Podcast

  1. ” Did the Prodigal son merit the reception of his father on the basis that he chose to return home for help?”

    the story of the prodigal son is about God’s forgiveness and his little to nothing to do with salvation and how it works.

    ” Does asking someone for forgiveness merit being forgiven?”

    the point the calvinist makes is that you will never ask as your nature is broken. a huge part of doing something righteous, seeking God and doing good that is described in psalm 14 is to recognize your sin before a holy God, confess your sin, turn away from sin, and put your faith in Jesus Christ. unless you are given a new nature from God apart from the nature you were given through adam, you will not do this.

    “Calvinists have equated the choice to respond to God’s gospel appeal with a meritorious work that somehow earns salvation. This idea is not supported biblically. A meritorious work of the law is man’s effort to earn his own righteousness, while repentance is admitting you cannot earn it and need help. God, because He is gracious (and for that reason alone), chooses to impute Christ’s righteousness to whosoever repents in faith. Repentance merits nothing.”

    but actually, what the calvinist argues against is that there is something in fallen man independent from God that would allow them to repent and turn to God. now you may say that God has enabled everyone to respond but this leaves you with the question of why one responds while the other does not? they both have the full ability to choose eternal life over eternal death. why is the vast majority of people choosing eternal death when they have fully heard, understand, and are fully enabled by God to make the right choice? you say its a mystery, i say that God’s Word gives us the answer and therefore it’s not a mystery(psalm 51:3, psalms 58:5, romans 5, romans 8:7-8).

    as far as repentance meriting nothing, in the same way God promised that those who honor their father and mother will have long life on the earth, he promised that those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. God cannot lie(titus 1:2, heb 6:18), therefore, for God to turn down a fully repentant sinner would mean that He deliberately broke a promise that He made. a God that cannot lie keeps all of His promises every single time.

    “In short, I believe Calvinists have mistakenly presumed that man’s inability to attain righteousness by law through works supports their premise that man is equally unable to attain righteousness by grace through faith in the imputed righteousness of Christ.”

    again, repenting and turning to God is a good, righteous, God seeking act that man in his fallen state cannot do apart from an act of God in changing their nature(2 cor 5:17-18).

    ” I also explain why I don’t like the term “Prevenient Grace,” since it seems redundant to make up a new theological word when the biblical word “gospel” is more than sufficient.”

    after reading several of your blog post it would seam that you are saying that if anyone hears the gospel then it follows that they are given the ability at that time to respond positively to it. i think this would go against what the bible says in that such a message is foolishness to those who are perishing(1 cor 1:18-24, 2 cor 4:3-4, 2 cor 2:14-16). the gospel is indeed the power of God unto salvation for those who have been set part for salvation but to those who are set apart for destruction the gospel is sent for the purpose of indictment(john 15:18-25). therefore, the gospel is always effective in accomplishing it’s purpose in bringing the vessels of honor to repentance and faith and leaving vessels of dishonor with no excuse.

    “We then dive into to some texts which speak of God’s desire to see all come to repentance (2 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9, Ez. 18:30-32). ”

    i think you meant 1 tim 2:4 here. this is talking about all kinds of men. this verse is to be looked at in light of rev 5:9 where Jesus has saved people from everywhere. there will not be a group of people where God does not have some of them come to Him, this includes people in high positions as 1 tim 2:4 says. we should pray for the repentance of our leaders as well as God has not excluded these people from salvation but will gather His people from all over.

    in 2 peter 3:9, pauls says “but is patient toward you”. who is “you” in this passage? he’s talking to specific people, not everyone. the context says he’s talking to the people of God, the beloved…the elect. God is going to bring them all in. the elect are not saved at birth but rather they are destined to come to salvation within their life before they were ever born. the event of salvation will happen when it happens, but it will indeed take place in the life of the one chosen by God to be in Christ from the foundation of the world.

    ezekiel 18:30-32 is God giving His prescriptive will to israel that they are to repent and turn to God. that’s really all it is. even His comment that he doesn’t desire the death of the wicked is more of His prescriptive will. God’s prescriptive will and decreative will are two different things. God’s prescriptive will can indeed be resisted, His decreative will cannot possibly be resisted.

    “I answer the accusation that we hold too high a view of man. Which is worse? The man who rebels who was born hated by God and unable to do otherwise, or the man who rebels who is born loved by God and provided all that he needed? Clearly, the latter is far worse than the former, thus Calvinists actually hold to a “higher” view of man than we do.”

    i guess i’m not seeing how your reasoning leads to the conclusion….?

    when we talk about synergists having a higher view of man we are speaking of How they believe that there is something in man independent of God that enables them to respond positively to God’s call of repentance. reading your posts it seems you don’t actually believe that but rather you believe that God has given people the ability to repent and turn to God simply by them hearing the gospel. i would disagree with this as there is practically a 999 to 1 ratio of people who do hear the gospel and do not repent and turn to God and psalm 51:3 psalm 58:3 and romans 5 explain why that is.

    “Romans 8:6-8: Calvinists use passages talking about the law of righteousness (i.e. no one can be righteous by the law) and apply it to Righteousness by faith (i.e. no one can have faith because that would make them righteous according to the law). It doesn’t follow. Proving that men are born unable to become righteous by law is NOT proof that men are born unable to become righteous by faith.”

    actually that passage says that those who are in the flesh are hostile towards God, don’t have the desire or ability to follow God’s law, and cannot please God.

    having faith in Jesus pleases God
    those in the flesh cannot please God
    those in the flesh cannot put their faith in Jesus.

    how can someone who is hostile toward God put their faith in Jesus?

    that passage is not even addressing judicial guilt but rather its contrasting our spiritual condition according whether we have God’s spirit in us or not. you can see this by reading on through verse 11.

    “1 Corinthians 2:14: Paul is addressing carnal believers in 1 Cor. 2 and 3. These believers were so fleshly they were unable to accept the “deep things of God” (vs 10). He is not addressing the inability of the unsaved to believe the gospel truth when it’s discerned for us by someone being inspired by the Spirit, as Paul himself is doing while writing this letter to this carnal church.”

    Paul makes a factual statement about the condition of those not indwelled by the Spirit of God that is similar to what he says in romans 8:6-8. he is indeed addressing inability of those who do not have the spirit to discern truth. they will neither except truth and are not able to understand it.

    “Ability is implied in the appeal to repent. Ability is implied in the expectation to believe. Ability is implied in the fact that we’re punished for not believing or repenting. Thus, it’s incumbent upon Calvinists to show this implied ability is not present. ”

    again, the call to repent is God’s prescriptive will to His creatures that can and will be resisted. His eternal decree before the world was on who will and will not respond positively to that call cannot be resisted and is set in stone.

    “And before someone points to man’s inability to obey the law, keep in mind that we aren’t held to account for our inability to obey the law, were held to account for our unbelief. Lawbreakers are in both heaven and hell, the difference is UNBELIEF.”

    actually we are held to not obeying God’s law. putting our faith in Christ and turning away from our sin is what obeying God’s law is for the the new covenant church. let’s be mindful of Jesus’ own word in matthew 5:17-20. the law hasnt gone anywhere, only it’s fulfillment has changed. in Christ we fulfill the ceremonial elements of the the law( col 2:16-17) and by the Spirit of God that comes from the Father and the Son we adhere to the moral elements of the law, which is why we’re told not to don’t steal or kill, or commit adultery, and detest things such as bestiality, incest, and homsexuality. all things that are forbidden in the holiness code of the mosaic law. the person who does not have the Spirit of God dwelling in them will not and cannot obey these things and will continue to live their life contrary to the law of God.

    it is true, however, that no one obeys the law of God perfectly. sanctification is a process. a process that one who is not saved and indwelled by the Spirit of God will ever even start.

    ” Plus, the law wasn’t given for the purpose for us to be able to fully obey it. It was given for the purpose of revealing the very truth that Calvinists believe we can’t see, hear or really understand. The law is the tutor sent to help us see our need for a savior (something Calvinists teach cannot happen unless one is first born again, thus man has to be reborn before he can even learn the lesson the law was sent to teach regarding our need for savior. We have to essentially be saved in order to even recognize our need for the savior? Really?) Suggesting that our inability to fully obey the law somehow proves we are equally unable to admit we can’t obey the law is unfounded.”

    what the “calvinist”(i really don’t like this term to be honest) believes is that you must be born again to realize that you are a sinner before a holy God, are worthy of and deserving of eternal hell, need a savior, realize that Jesus Christ is the only savior there is, put your faith in that savior, and begin the process of living your life as this savior lived His. yes mr flowers, you indeed need to be born again to do this and only by doing this can anyone be saved.

    “Acts 28:24-28: Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet: 26 ” ‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” 27 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”

    This passage, which is quoted from the OT several times in the NT, explains that the Jews hearts had GROWN calloused. THEY WEREN’T BORN CALLOUSED. It also clearly explains their abilities had they not become hardened. “OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE.” He even goes on to contrast the Gentiles who “WILL LISTEN.””

    yes, they became calloused, and if you look at psalm 51:3, psalm 58:5 and romans 5 we read how and why that happened.

    “So, not only do Calvinists need to deal with the implications of the passages such as John 3:16 that calls whosoever to come/believe…..”

    been there, done that, got the T-shirt, decoder ring, and the coffee mugs. john 3:16 is for those who will believe. the question is how does one come to believe? ephesians 2:8-10 tells us how.

    i hope you had a blessed Lord’s Day!

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    1. Hi Yudo –

      How would you factor in the condition of Cornelius into your theology before he heard the message that Peter preached? Acts 11:14 indicates that he wasn’t yet saved, but 10:34-35 indicates that he was seeking and being drawn. Had he been “regenerated” a few months earlier? And are you saying that a person is born again but do not they actually become a child of God until sometimes months later?

      You said – “now you may say that God has enabled everyone to respond but this leaves you with the question of why one responds while the other does not? they both have the full ability to choose eternal life over eternal death. why is the vast majority of people choosing eternal death when they have fully heard, understand, and are fully enabled by God to make the right choice?” But aren’t you, Yudo, enabled now to do God’s prescriptive will and yet you sometimes reject it? Does it make any sense that you should ever reject the will of the God who loved you and paid for your sins?

      You also may want to check out the use of the word “all” six times in 1Tim 2:1-6 and recognize that it is being used in its normal inclusive way, and Paul gives no indication in the context of any distributive use.

      In 2Pet 3:9, see how the indefinite pronoun in the beginning of the verse “some” fits with the same use of it in latter part “any”. God has not planned for those who are mocking His return (3:4) to perish but for all of them to come to an opportunity of repentance.

      Yes, a man, using only natural observation (1Cor 2:14), will not welcome things from God’s Spirit or even recognize that they must be spiritually discerned. But thank God that He promises to enlighten, convict and draw everyone, (Jn 1:9, 16:7-8, 12:32) which gives them the enablement to recognize their need and the opportunity to be saved. But they must not harden their heart when they hear His voice! (Heb 3:7-8) The enablement is not something you can stuff into your pocket for later.

      This warning in Hebrews 3:7-8, I have found, is almost impossible to answer with Calvinist thinking. Non elect should not even hear God’s voice, and the elect should not even harden their hearts when they hear it. But understanding that God’s call is universal and effectual for a bona-fide, but resistible, opportunity for salvation makes the most normal sense of this warning (as with all the warnings in Hebrews). I hope this helps you some, Yudo!

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      1. “How would you factor in the condition of Cornelius into your theology before he heard the message that Peter preached? Acts 11:14 indicates that he wasn’t yet saved, but 10:34-35 indicates that he was seeking and being drawn. Had he been “regenerated” a few months earlier? And are you saying that a person is born again but do not they actually become a child of God until sometimes months later?”

        the person who is truly born again is already a child of God. the sequence in which this is played out in time is a different matter from God choosing them for salvation from the beginning.

        “You said – “now you may say that God has enabled everyone to respond but this leaves you with the question of why one responds while the other does not? they both have the full ability to choose eternal life over eternal death. why is the vast majority of people choosing eternal death when they have fully heard, understand, and are fully enabled by God to make the right choice?” But aren’t you, Yudo, enabled now to do God’s prescriptive will and yet you sometimes reject it? Does it make any sense that you should ever reject the will of the God who loved you and paid for your sins?”

        you have made this same mistake several times in your responses on this blog in confusing the event of salvation with the process of sanctification. see romans 7:14-25.

        kids aren’t born grown. they have to grow up and mature.

        “You also may want to check out the use of the word “all” six times in 1Tim 2:1-6 and recognize that it is being used in its normal inclusive way, and Paul gives no indication in the context of any distributive use.”

        you reject universalism, therefore all in this passage can’t mean every single human being. if God is the ransom for every single person then hitlter, stalin, and jeffery dahmer are in heaven with the LORD right now. you don’t believe that(do you?). you would have to conclude it if you are consistent with your position on this passage.

        the all in this passage is to be interpreted in light of revelation 5:9. it also says in this very passage what the all means in verse 2. paul wants people to pray even for their leaders. all means all kinds and all walks of life and paul doesn’t want his hearers to exclude certain classes of people in their prayers.

        “In 2Pet 3:9, see how the indefinite pronoun in the beginning of the verse “some” fits with the same use of it in latter part “any”. God has not planned for those who are mocking His return (3:4) to perish but for all of them to come to an opportunity of repentance.”

        again, you reject universalism. so “all” here can’t mean every single human being. you through in the word “opportunity”. why did you insert that?

        God’s promise is to His people. God is patient with His people and will not have any of them perish but come to repentance. hearkens back to john 6 where Jesus says He will lose none that the Father has given Him.

        “Yes, a man, using only natural observation (1Cor 2:14), will not welcome things from God’s Spirit or even recognize that they must be spiritually discerned. But thank God that He promises to enlighten, convict and draw everyone, (Jn 1:9, 16:7-8, 12:32) which gives them the enablement to recognize their need and the opportunity to be saved. But they must not harden their heart when they hear His voice! (Heb 3:7-8) ”

        you keep using those verses, but they don’t mean what you think they mean.

        john 1:9 merely says that Jesus is the light of truth. some will come to that light while others will flee like roaches. Jesus doesn’t stop being the light of the world because people reject him.

        john 16:7-8, king herod was convicted and he cut off JBs head. the pharisees were convicted by the Light and they responded with death threats. i guess i’m not seeing where you’re going with this.

        john 12:32 like 1 tim 2:1-6 should be interpreted in light of revelation 5:9. people, from all social, economical, and cultrural groups will be drawn to Christ. may i remind you again that you reject universalism? if the drawing is similar to the drawing of john 6 then you have to be a universalist.

        “This warning in Hebrews 3:7-8, I have found, is almost impossible to answer with Calvinist thinking. Non elect should not even hear God’s voice, and the elect should not even harden their hearts when they hear it. But understanding that God’s call is universal and effectual for a bona-fide, but resistible, opportunity for salvation makes the most normal sense of this warning (as with all the warnings in Hebrews).”

        funny, i’ve answered it several times on this blog

        all the israelites heard God speaking to the congregation of israel when God was leading them out of egypt. they heard God’s giving of the law through the prophets. what the non-elect can’t do is obey the commands from God and will choose to reject them.

        as far as the elect not being able to harden their hearts, the time that God chooses to save those he has chosen within time is up to God. an elect person can reject the gospel and one point in time but will accept it eventually. the non-elect will never accept the truth.

        and again, this verse is God giving his prescriptive will for mankind to repent and turn to God. some will do it, some won’t.

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      2. Hi Yudo, I will acknowledge that you superficially tried to answer my questions to maintain your loyalty to Calvinism. The idea that a person is a child of God before regeneration is not sustainable in Scripture or logic. Was Cornelius a child of God before he was saved when he heard Peter? All is universal in both 1Tim 2:4 and 2Pet 3:9, but those passages are not teaching universal salvation, but universal provision and opportunity according to God’s desire and plan. The same is true in the natural reading of the verses in John, and thus man is made by God response able and responsible.

        As for Hebrew 3:7-8 the context can not be for both elect and non-elect in Calvinistic thinking. The verse is about truly hearing God’s voice, not just superficially hearing it. If they are truly hearing God’s voice then the warning is unnecessary for the elect since they will not delay. And of course the non-elect, in Calvinistic thinking cannot truly hear God’s voice, so the warning would not be a true obligation for them in God’s prescriptive will. Yet the command in this book of Hebrews was for those who were going to leave their profession of faith and prove they were not truly saved even though they had been enlightened (Heb 6:4).

        Perhaps adding Acts 17:30 might help – “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.” God is universally calling and enabling people to hear that call to repentance. I hope this helps.

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  2. Mr. wagner,

    “The idea that a person is a child of God before regeneration is not sustainable in Scripture or logic.”

    which is why i never made such a claim. can you show me where i did?

    “All is universal in both 1Tim 2:4 and 2Pet 3:9, but those passages are not teaching universal salvation, but universal provision and opportunity according to God’s desire and plan. The same is true in the natural reading of the verses in John, and thus man is made by God response able and responsible.”

    the only thing that can be considered universal is God’s command for all to repent and turn to Him. your claim that all are made able to respond is an assertion that neither you or Mr. flowers have substantiated. acts 17:30 doesn’t help in that it only says that God commands all to repent. it speaks nothing of enablement.

    “As for Hebrew 3:7-8 the context can not be for both elect and non-elect in Calvinistic thinking. The verse is about truly hearing God’s voice, not just superficially hearing it. If they are truly hearing God’s voice then the warning is unnecessary for the elect since they will not delay. And of course the non-elect, in Calvinistic thinking cannot truly hear God’s voice, so the warning would not be a true obligation for them in God’s prescriptive will. Yet the command in this book of Hebrews was for those who were going to leave their profession of faith and prove they were not truly saved even though they had been enlightened (Heb 6:4).”

    the command was to the visible church/physical israel. heb 3:16 makes this clear. all of the NT epistles are given to a mixed audience of elect and non-elect in the church. the nation of israel was comprised of those who were truly israel(elect) and those who were not truly israel(non-elect). they were all given the commands to repent and turn to God. you can’t rebel against a command you never heard. everyone “superficially” heard God’s voice because he spoke to everyone. it’s the Spirit of God in the elect that caused them to actually obey.

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    1. Hi Yudo, So you believe regeneration does make someone a child of God, but before they are actually saved, is that right then?

      I am assuming that you are willing to believe the Scripture wherever the evidence in it will lead, and that you are not afraid to stand alone with the clear meaning of Scripture against popular tradition. But you only superficially responded to the grammatical information that I supplied from 1Tim 2:1-6 and 2Pet 3:9. Why? I agree that God’s command to repent is universal, but these passage do not talk about that command. Are you willing to deal with them more deeply?

      You also did not deal with the main issue to Heb 3:7-8. I agree that this warning (command) is for all in Israel, both saved and not yet saved, but professing salvation (since that is the emphasis of the whole book). But you haven’t answered the main question – Why would God give a warning (command) to “harden not your heart” to someone who can’t harden it and also to someone who can’t help but harden it? Sounds like a ridiculous command under those circumstances. I don’t think God plays such games of insincerity! I hope this helps.

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  3. hello Mr. Wagner

    “So you believe regeneration does make someone a child of God, but before they are actually saved, is that right then?”

    regeneration is what makes one a child of God and is the means of salvation. cornelious was saved just as abraham was saved even before knowing about Christ. they both obeyed God. peter’s message merely pointed to the object of cornelious’ faith and the author of his salvation.

    ” But you only superficially responded to the grammatical information that I supplied from 1Tim 2:1-6 and 2Pet 3:9. Why?”

    you need to be more clear on what you mean by “superficial”. were my answers not to your personal liking or were they in error? if the latter, can you explain why?

    i stand by my answers. the “alls” in 1 tim 2:1-6 should be interpreted in light of revelation 5:9. paul urging that we not exclude a certain class of people in our prayers for repentance, namely in this verse, those who are of the civil magistrate.

    i don’t see where you are going in talking about the word “some” and “any” in this verse. the alleged slacking of God’s promise and the longsuffering is being directed to the word “us”. “us” is referring to those who are elect. God is not willing for any of the “us” to perish but that all the “us” should come to repentance. to think that the “us” is every single person is to affirm universalism, which you reject. coming to repentance is being saved, which is why it’s contrasted with perishing.

    you don’t really have much of an argument from either of these passages until you can substantiate that these verses prove enablement. john 6 does talk about enablement but that is from God and is only for the elect AKA those who will be raised up on the last day. those who are drawn are those are raised up. if every single person is drawn, then every single person is raised up. this is, again, universalism which you reject.

    it seems that the argument for enablement comes from believing that if God commands someone to do something they have to have the ability to obey. this is more humanistic reasoning than biblical reasoning. the gospel serves a twofold purpose.

    1. to bring in those who are elect
    2. to indict those who are non elect
    (1cor 1:18, 2cor 2:15-16)

    both will respond accordingly to the message of the gospel.

    “I agree that this warning (command) is for all in Israel, both saved and not yet saved”

    can you elaborate more on what you are implying by “saved and not yet saved”?

    “Why would God give a warning (command) to “harden not your heart” to someone who can’t harden it and also to someone who can’t help but harden it? Sounds like a ridiculous command under those circumstances.”

    a few errors being made here.

    you have erroneously conflated God’s decreative will with His prescriptive will.

    you’re not understanding the condescension of God as a being who has full knowledge of all actions and events in the past, present, and future to His creatures who have very limited knowledge of these things.

    as i explained just previously that verse, like the gospel message itself, serves a twofold purpose of bringing in the elect and indicting the non-elect. there are no games being played. God is fulfilling His purpose to the satisfaction of His own glory. romans 9:14-21 confirms this.

    again, all the objections to these things boil down to people just saying “God can’t do that, it’s not fair”! dare we attempt to counsel God? dare we tell Him how He is to glorify Himself?(isaiah 40:13-14)

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    1. Yudo, you should have recognized from the beginning of this discussion, if you had looked up the references, that God told Cornelius to go Peter who would tell him the “words by which” he “will be saved” (Acts 11:13-14). So, he couldn’t have been saved before he heard that message, nor regenerated, nor a child of God.

      I think it is an unsafe hermeneutic to interpret the meaning of “all” from an outside passage and not from the local context. The prayer for “all” men in 1Tim 2:1 is universal, even if categories are then mentioned. This local context is clear enough on its own. There is no doubt that in the end (Rev. 5:9), the Lord will have successfully brought together the saved out of every tribe and language, but that verse does not prove that everyone else from those tribes did not have a legitimate opportunity to accept the grace that could lead them to salvation.

      You are correct that the “us” in 2Peter 3:9 relates to the “some” and “any” in that verse, but the “some” directly related to the unsaved scoffers in the beginning of the chapter. The “any” directly relates to the “all” enabled to repent in this verse (cf. Acts 17:30). Peter uses the generic use of the first person to identify himself with the subjects of this context, which includes saved and unsaved, much like the author did in Hebrews (cf. Heb 10:26).

      Calvinists have continually tried to prove too much from passages to support their theology. They do so in John 6:44, the verse you alluded to. It says – “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Logic only allows the promise of resurrection be associated dogmatically only with the first variable “coming”. The “drawing” is necessary to “coming”, but the verse does not teach that it is only offered to a few, which would be contrary to (12:32), nor does the verse say that “drawing” is the only prerequisite to “coming”. The context also mentions also the prerequisite of “believing” (vss. 40, 47).

      It is not humanistic reasoning to take God’s commands, invitations, pleadings and expressions of desire for salvation for all the wicked as anyone normally would take them. No one would think – “Oh, He really doesn’t mean me… He just wants to indict me for rejecting something that was not intended for me anyway!”

      You asked if I can “elaborate more on what [I am] implying by ‘saved and not yet saved.’” If you read all of Hebrews, you will see what I mean. There are five warning passages in that book, like 3:7-8, because some of the professing Jewish Christians had not yet entered into salvation and were in jeopardy of “falling away” from any opportunity to ever get saved.

      You said that I “have erroneously conflated God’s decretive will with His prescriptive will.” I hope you are not suggesting that God is double minded in what He wills! Or are you trying to say that you understand His decretive will, and that His prescriptive will does not fairly represent it, and even sounds opposite to the normal reader of the Bible?

      Yes, “God is fulfilling His purpose to the satisfaction of His own glory.” And “Romans 9:14-21 confirms this.” It confirms that He is in charge and working like a potter, but not according to predetermined plan of all things, like the Calvinist thinks. See Jeremiah 18:1-11, the passage to which Paul was alluding about the Potter’s Freedom to keep planning and changing His plans according to His free will. And He freely wills to show mercy to all (Rom. 11:32) to give them all a bona-fide opportunity for salvation. But if they reject it, He is free and just to harden them, and to use them to provoke others to accept freely His mercy.

      Yudo, I am praying for you, that you will be open to let the truth of Scripture be the final authority in your life, and not man-made tradition that twists away its normal meaning in context. More glory comes to our Great God when our theology matches His revelation of Himself in Scripture as one who demonstrates His mercy on all, sending His own Son to be the payment for all the sins of the world! Praise His Name!

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      1. “Yudo, you should have recognized from the beginning of this discussion, if you had looked up the references, that God told Cornelius to go Peter who would tell him the “words by which” he “will be saved” (Acts 11:13-14). So, he couldn’t have been saved before he heard that message, nor regenerated, nor a child of God.”

        i’ve read them sir, those same words that cornelius heard that saved him were the same words that caused the people to throw peter in prison. the fact that cornelius heard those words and responded positively is proof of his regeneration. abraham never heard those words, yet he was saved. same with david and elijah. would you argue that these latter three men were not saved because they never heard that message?

        “I think it is an unsafe hermeneutic to interpret the meaning of “all” from an outside passage and not from the local context. The prayer for “all” men in 1Tim 2:1 is universal, even if categories are then mentioned. This local context is clear enough on its own. There is no doubt that in the end (Rev. 5:9), the Lord will have successfully brought together the saved out of every tribe and language, but that verse does not prove that everyone else from those tribes did not have a legitimate opportunity to accept the grace that could lead them to salvation.”

        as i explained already. paul is urging people to not exclude certain classes of people in their prayers. revelations 5:9 shows Christ did save people from all classes. should we pray for every single person? sure. we don’t know who the elect are. but if you want to say that God wants to save every single person out there than you’re stuck with a God who can’t accomplish what he desires to do in that he puts out the very same power and effort to save every person and fails to save even most people. are you okay with that?

        “You are correct that the “us” in 2Peter 3:9 relates to the “some” and “any” in that verse, but the “some” directly related to the unsaved scoffers in the beginning of the chapter. The “any” directly relates to the “all” enabled to repent in this verse (cf. Acts 17:30). Peter uses the generic use of the first person to identify himself with the subjects of this context, which includes saved and unsaved, much like the author did in Hebrews (cf. Heb 10:26).”

        why do you tell me to not interpret passages using outside passages than proceed to do that very thing?

        the “any” is referring to the “us”. God is patient with those who are His elect. God will bring all of them to repentance at some point in their lives. before that time comes, they will be in their sins like everyone else. that’s pretty much how paul was before his conversion. God was patient with him. also the verse does not say that all are enabled but rather that all will come repentance, meaning they will all be saved. you reject universalism, so such an interpretation doesn’t play.

        “Calvinists have continually tried to prove too much from passages to support their theology. They do so in John 6:44, the verse you alluded to. It says – “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Logic only allows the promise of resurrection be associated dogmatically only with the first variable “coming”. The “drawing” is necessary to “coming”, but the verse does not teach that it is only offered to a few, which would be contrary to (12:32), nor does the verse say that “drawing” is the only prerequisite to “coming”. The context also mentions also the prerequisite of “believing” (vss. 40, 47).”

        it doesn’t have to say it’s only offered to a few. if the drawing being done in this verse is happening to everyone. then everyone will be raised up on the last day. being raised up on the last day is being saved, which means every single person will be saved. that’s universalism sir, which you reject. that interpretation doesn’t play. 12:32 is to be interpreted in light of revalation 5:9(and please don’t tell me not to interpret scripture with other scripture because you just attempted to do the same thing….again!).

        believing is part of being drawn. all that the Father will give to the Son to be raised will also believe. it doesn’t follow that people to come to the Son and not be believers. you would need to show that those who are being drawn and given to the Son don’t believe or vise versa.

        “It is not humanistic reasoning to take God’s commands, invitations, pleadings and expressions of desire for salvation for all the wicked as anyone normally would take them. No one would think – “Oh, He really doesn’t mean me… He just wants to indict me for rejecting something that was not intended for me anyway!””

        this response seems much more emotional than biblical or even logical. as i’ve explained numerous times. God speaks to finite beings with limited knowledge of past present and future in condescending language. He chose not speak in omniscient language to His creatures. whats is the proof of this? the proof is the logical impossibility of the contrary.

        if God honestly and truly were desiring and putting out every single effort within His omnipotent power to save every single person, we’re left with a God who is not powerful enough to even save most people as most people hate God despite all of God’s efforts to the contrary. it also makes man more powerful than God in that the will of God cannot overcome the will of man. doesn’t matter what God does to save, man will successfully resist him. Jesus will not save His people from their sins as the angel said in matthew 1:21, but he’ll give it the old college try. it also makes revelation 5:9 only a possibility and not a certainty as expressed in the verse. how do we know that people from every tribe tongue, people, and nation will be saved? it’s very possible that everyone from most tribe will resist Christ.

        “You asked if I can “elaborate more on what [I am] implying by ‘saved and not yet saved.’” If you read all of Hebrews, you will see what I mean. There are five warning passages in that book, like 3:7-8, because some of the professing Jewish Christians had not yet entered into salvation and were in jeopardy of “falling away” from any opportunity to ever get saved.”

        right, if there are warning passages in scripture than unconditional election can’t be true. this doesn’t prove your point at all. it only shows what i have been saying in that God is using these passages to spur on his elect to greater sanctification and to indict the non-elect of their sin and rebellion against God. i actually knew what you were saying but i wanted to make sure i read you right. you keep asserting the opportunity thing with no proof of it other than there being warning passages. there’s needs to to be more proof.

        “Yes, “God is fulfilling His purpose to the satisfaction of His own glory.” And “Romans 9:14-21 confirms this.” It confirms that He is in charge and working like a potter, but not according to predetermined plan of all things, like the Calvinist thinks. See Jeremiah 18:1-11, the passage to which Paul was alluding about the Potter’s Freedom to keep planning and changing His plans according to His free will. And He freely wills to show mercy to all (Rom. 11:32) to give them all a bona-fide opportunity for salvation. But if they reject it, He is free and just to harden them, and to use them to provoke others to accept freely His mercy.”

        that’s not the passage paul was alluding to at all. he simply used a similar anology to make a point that has nothing to do with the point God was making in jeremiah 18:1-11. you have assumed that because the same anology is used that the same point is being made. not the case. jeremiah 18 is talking about God’s mercy and judgement while romans 9 speaks of God using creatures for His own purposes whether for honor(glory) or dishonor(destruction).

        glory = salvation
        destruction = damnation

        it has nothing to do with evangelism. i asked Mr. flowers to show from the text that this passages in romans 9 is about evenaglism. i haven’t gotten an answer yet.

        ” More glory comes to our Great God when our theology matches His revelation of Himself in Scripture as one who demonstrates His mercy on all, sending His own Son to be the payment for all the sins of the world!”

        you claim to reject universalism yet you make statements that confirm universalism. are you just not paying attention to what you are saying? if God is going to have mercy on everyone and payed for everyone’s sins then this means that everyone is saved…right? logically that has to be the case.

        you’ll respond by saying “they have to have faith in Christ to be saved”. why would they need to do that? all their sins have been forgiven. it’s a sin to not have faith Christ, but christ paid for all sins, so they should be saved regardless.

        did christ pay for all sins or not?

        Like

      2. Hi Yudo – Are you trying to ignore on purpose my question about Cornelius? Was he regenerated then heard the message then saved? Abraham, Elijah, and David all heard and believed before being saved (cf. Gen 15:6)
        So “all” in praying for “all men” in 1Tim 2:1 is universal in meaning, as is all the “all’s” in this context. God desires all to be saved of their free will. He paid the sufficient price for everyone (John 2:2), and He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked who freely reject His invitation. I am ok with that. I honor Him for His justice and love.

        You asked – “Why do you tell me to not interpret passages using outside passages than proceed to do that very thing?” Fair question! Ignore the outside references. There is a textual issue, and the evidence appears to point to “you” being more appropriate than “us” in this verse, which makes sense, since Peter seems to use “us” in this book primarily for himself among the apostles (3:2). The book is definitely not a gospel, but is written to professing believers. Peter wants to make sure they all are truly saved and encourages them to make sure that they are (1:10). The “any” and the “some” and the “all” of “you” in 3:9 is not pointing to an already elect-before-creation-crowd. Such a crowd is not even mentioned in this book!

        You’ll need to get someone who knows the rules of logic, I think, to help you with John 6:44. Coming is conditioned by drawing. Drawing includes receivable/resistible enlightenment and conviction which God gives to everyone (John 1:9, 16:7-8). Anyone can have the experience of drawing and reject it. The verse does not say, “Every one drawn comes” which it would have to say for everyone drawn to be promised to be resurrected. It’s logic!

        You said – “You would need to show that those who are being drawn and given to the Son don’t believe or vise versa.” How do you deal with John 2:23-25, 17:11-12, and of course the warnings of Hebrews 6:4, 10:26-30?

        As far God using “condescending language”, are you saying that you are explaining how God’s sovereignty and salvation work better than God could actually do in the Scriptures? Are you clarifying what He was evidently unable to make clear? Universal invitations, commands, and statements of fact do not need explaining away to help get God off the hook… they just need to be believed and obeyed!

        You said – “if God honestly and truly was desiring and putting out every single effort within His omnipotent power to save every single person, we’re left with a God who is not powerful enough to even save most people.” This is a false disjunctive syllogism. God’s desire is for all to be saved. He never planned for any to perish but that all would have an opportunity of repentance. But He also shared His image with mankind, which includes a portion of His sovereignty and freedom. Man’s sin led God to confirm all equally under disobedience so that He could have mercy on all (Rom 11:32). In that mercy, through enlightenment and conviction God gives each an Adam like opportunity to freely accept or reject His grace. He is warned not to harden his heart, for the call will not be continuously heard. God has planned to keep calling, drawing, convicting until there is someone from every tribe and tongue, and then the end will come. I hope that helps explains what I think is a normal reading of what Scripture reveals.

        Concerning the warning passages you said – “that God is using these passages to spur on his elect to greater sanctification and to indict the non-elect of their sin and rebellion against God.” My God does not use lies to spur sanctification or unjust statements to indict. To warn of being not able to enter God’s rest is a lie that will never be true for the saved. And that warning is unjust as a statement of indictment, because the unsaved (non-elect) will never even understand that the warning was for them!

        You said Romans 9 “has nothing to do with evangelism.” Are you suggesting that in Paul’s illustrating God’s sovereignty concerning specific choices made to reject or harden was not to demonstrate God’s concern for the salvation of the world, both Jew and Gentile? I think Flowers makes a great point in showing that the chapter starts with an apostolic example of the heart of God for all Israel’s salvation. I think Flowers should also have pointed to verse 17 – “that My Name may be declared throughout all the earth.” Sounds like Israel’s noble purpose was evangelism to me! Chapters 10 and 11 confirm it!

        The chapter is for those Gentiles who might be wondering will God fulfill His promises concerning being one of the elect in the body of Christ, since God’s election seems to have failed concerning Israel at first glance. That is why Paul takes the time to discuss the two types of election and the universal desire He has to show mercy to all (11:32).

        You said – “You claim to reject universalism yet you make statements that confirm universalism. Are you just not paying attention to what you are saying?” Maybe I am not being clear. Enabling mercy does not guarantee salvation. God has mercy on all He has made (Ps 145:8)! Acts 17:26-27 teaches clearly that God ordained the world for the purpose of men to seek Him and to have the possibility to touch and to find Him. That is universal enabling mercy, but it does not guarantee salvation.

        You are correct that rejection of salvation, though paid for, still brings damnation. God fulfills His promise, because payment does not force removal of the penalty, that only comes with acceptance by faith.

        Like

  4. Mr. Wagner

    “Are you trying to ignore on purpose my question about Cornelius? Was he regenerated then heard the message then saved? Abraham, Elijah, and David all heard and believed before being saved (cf. Gen 15:6)”

    cornelius was regenerated because he responded positively to the message he heard which is a part of salvation. same with abraham. the faith he had came from God(eph 2:8-10). cornelius and abraham were God’s workmenship, not their own(eze 11:19-20) these are things God did. none of these men regenerated themselves.

    “So “all” in praying for “all men” in 1Tim 2:1 is universal in meaning,”

    “You’ll need to get someone who knows the rules of logic, I think, to help you with John 6:44. Coming is conditioned by drawing. Drawing includes receivable/resistible enlightenment and conviction which God gives to everyone (John 1:9, 16:7-8). Anyone can have the experience of drawing and reject it. The verse does not say, “Every one drawn comes” which it would have to say for everyone drawn to be promised to be resurrected. It’s logic!”

    you said “drawing includes resistible enlightenment and conviction”. where do you see that in john 6? where does it say in john 6 that those who are drawn will not come to Christ to be raised? are you saying that giving of the Father to the Son in verse 37 is different from the drawing of the Father to come to the son in verse 44? what about verse 45 that says all who learn from the Father come to me. is the learning from the Father in 45 different from the drawing in 44?

    you keep erroneously using john 1:9 and john 16:8

    1:9 is declaring Jesus as the light in a world of darkness. the truth for mankind, the way to salvation for mankind(acts 4:12). it says nothing about enablement.
    16:8 is talking about conviction, not enablement. the pharisees and scribes were convicted of sin and they saught to kill Jesus, not follow Him.

    ” “You would need to show that those who are being drawn and given to the Son don’t believe or vise versa.” How do you deal with John 2:23-25, 17:11-12, and of course the warnings of Hebrews 6:4, 10:26-30?”

    quite simple sir, they didn’t have saving faith, they just had a lot of head knowledge and outward appearance. basically they are matthew 7:21-23 posterboys. judas was basically what those passages describe. 1 john 2:18-19 has something to say to the state of these people.

    no,

    the “all” in verse 1 refers to all types and kinds of men which is clarified in verse 2. again, paul doesn’t want people to exclude certain classes of people in their prayers.

    my statement which was separate from what’s being said by paul in 1 tim 2 is that we should pray for every single person because we don’t know who the elect are.

    so yes, he’s the savior of all men and WILL save his people from their sins( matthw 1:21 and has redeemed people to God by His blood from every tribe tongue, people and nation(rev 5:8).

    ““Why do you tell me to not interpret passages using outside passages than proceed to do that very thing?” Fair question! Ignore the outside references. There is a textual issue, and the evidence appears to point to “you” being more appropriate than “us” in this verse, which makes sense, since Peter seems to use “us” in this book primarily for himself among the apostles (3:2). The book is definitely not a gospel, but is written to professing believers. Peter wants to make sure they all are truly saved and encourages them to make sure that they are (1:10). The “any” and the “some” and the “all” of “you” in 3:9 is not pointing to an already elect-before-creation-crowd. Such a crowd is not even mentioned in this book”

    the problem is that not “any” of those “us” or “you” are going to perish but come to repentance.

    perish = damnation
    come to repentance = salvation.

    so yeah, they are mention by logical conclusion from the text.

    “As far God using “condescending language”, are you saying that you are explaining how God’s sovereignty and salvation work better than God could actually do in the Scriptures? Are you clarifying what He was evidently unable to make clear? Universal invitations, commands, and statements of fact do not need explaining away to help get God off the hook… they just need to be believed and obeyed!”

    rather i’m harmonizing the scriptures so that we don’t interpret them in a way that denies God’s attributes. if god didn’t know if abraham would obey Him and had to come up with a test to find out then he’s no longer omniscient. if God desires that all come to repentance and most of them don’t then He is not omnipotent as all His efforts are useless unless man makes an autonomous choice to believe.

    God’s will and power to save is totally muted by man’s autonomous choice. God can’t save, He can only try.

    “This is a false disjunctive syllogism. God’s desire is for all to be saved. He never planned for any to perish but that all would have an opportunity of repentance. But He also shared His image with mankind, which includes a portion of His sovereignty and freedom. Man’s sin led God to confirm all equally under disobedience so that He could have mercy on all (Rom 11:32). In that mercy, through enlightenment and conviction God gives each an Adam like opportunity to freely accept or reject His grace. He is warned not to harden his heart, for the call will not be continuously heard. God has planned to keep calling, drawing, convicting until there is someone from every tribe and tongue, and then the end will come. I hope that helps explains what I think is a normal reading of what Scripture reveals.”

    a lot of question begging here.

    an omnipotent and omniscient God didn’t plan on things going so badly against what he wanted to do?

    where in scripture does it say man has a portion of God’s sovereignty and freedom? explain what you mean by that?

    you haven’t established Libertarian/contra-casual/autonomous free will from scripture to make claims such as ” God gives each an Adam like opportunity to freely accept or reject His grace.” all your attempts have been countered by me and others on this blog.

    since whether or not anyone gets saved is ultimately dependent on man’s decision to repent and not God’s power to save. there is no guarantee whatsoever that God will save people from every tribe and tongue. God cannot assure that will happen under the circumstances.

    “My God does not use lies to spur sanctification or unjust statements to indict. To warn of being not able to enter God’s rest is a lie that will never be true for the saved. And that warning is unjust as a statement of indictment, because the unsaved (non-elect) will never even understand that the warning was for them!”

    …canard

    “Are you suggesting that in Paul’s illustrating God’s sovereignty concerning specific choices made to reject or harden was not to demonstrate God’s concern for the salvation of the world, both Jew and Gentile? I think Flowers makes a great point in showing that the chapter starts with an apostolic example of the heart of God for all Israel’s salvation. I think Flowers should also have pointed to verse 17 – “that My Name may be declared throughout all the earth.” Sounds like Israel’s noble purpose was evangelism to me! Chapters 10 and 11 confirm it!”

    it was for God to glorify Himself in the way he saw fit in choosing what His vessels would be used for. same thing with verse 17. that was about God glorifying Himself and making His name known through pharaoh, not about the propagation of the gospel message.

    “The chapter is for those Gentiles who might be wondering will God fulfill His promises concerning being one of the elect in the body of Christ, since God’s election seems to have failed concerning Israel at first glance. That is why Paul takes the time to discuss the two types of election and the universal desire He has to show mercy to all (11:32).”

    God will show mercy to all israel, but not all who are israel are actually israel and verse 6 states. Mr. flowers attampts to read Evangelical mission into this, but the text doesnt substantiate such a claim. basically verse 6 is saying not all who were blood israel are spiritual israelites. it’s not all of the outward jews that will be saved but all of the inward jews that will be saved.

    “Enabling mercy does not guarantee salvation. God has mercy on all He has made (Ps 145:8)! Acts 17:26-27 teaches clearly that God ordained the world for the purpose of men to seek Him and to have the possibility to touch and to find Him. That is universal enabling mercy, but it does not guarantee salvation.”

    all psalm 145 says is that God shows mercy to everyone.what that means isn’t specified. to assume that means enablement is merely an assumption the text doesn’t confirm. it’s certainly merciful for God to allow a wicked man to live, not to mention live a pretty nice life and gaining much of ther world(only to lose his soul in the end).

    acts 17:25-26 is more of God’s prescriptive will. the purpose for man’s existence is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. interesting how how this verse says that God has determined man’s preappointed times.

    “You are correct that rejection of salvation, though paid for, still brings damnation. God fulfills His promise, because payment does not force removal of the penalty, that only comes with acceptance by faith”

    if the debt is payed the debt is payed. if all debt is payed and rejection of salvation is part of that debt, than it’s been covered. acceptance by faith is not required. either that, or that was never part of the debt and christ’s blood did not pay for all sin.

    i hope your day has been well sir.

    Like

    1. Hi Yudo – I hope your day has been well also! Mine has been a pleasure, except for my favorite baseball team losing. I wish their win had been predetermined! 🙂 I also wish and will pray that the Lord will illuminate your understanding in these matters based on the normal, contextual, grammatical reading of His Word. You are welcome to have the last word. I won’t respond unless you ask a question.

      When I said – “My God does not use lies to spur sanctification or unjust statements to indict. To warn of being not able to enter God’s rest is a lie that will never be true for the saved. And that warning is unjust as a statement of indictment, because the unsaved (non-elect) will never even understand that the warning was for them!” Your answer – “…canard” is not a response if no evidence is used. Are you really saying that God warning a believer with an impossible threat is not a lie? Are you really saying that a warning given to someone who cannot even hear it justifies damning that person?

      And when I said – “God fulfills His promise, because payment does not force removal of the penalty, that only comes with acceptance by faith” … Did you really think you were addressing that statement? You would agree that the payment made is not the same as the payment applied. But I am surprised you do not think the Scripture clearly teaches that acceptance by faith is not required! (cf. Rom 10:10, Heb 11:6)

      Like

      1. hello again Mr. Wagner, i hope the day finds you well.

        sorry about your team not winning. It is the Lord’s will.

        ““My God does not use lies to spur sanctification or unjust statements to indict. To warn of being not able to enter God’s rest is a lie that will never be true for the saved. And that warning is unjust as a statement of indictment, because the unsaved (non-elect) will never even understand that the warning was for them!” Your answer – “”

        doing something abnormal and taking a page from Christopher hitchens.

        “claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”

        you didn’t really present evidence as to why God is a lier and unjust for telling israel to not harden their hearts. you just said He was. i also don’t understand why you insist that the non-elect of israel didn’t hear what God said. they heard it, they just didn’t heed the warning\ to not harden their heart.

        “And when I said – “God fulfills His promise, because payment does not force removal of the penalty, that only comes with acceptance by faith” … Did you really think you were addressing that statement? You would agree that the payment made is not the same as the payment applied. But I am surprised you do not think the Scripture clearly teaches that acceptance by faith is not required! (cf. Rom 10:10, Heb 11:6)”

        that’s fine. my point still stands that Jesus didn’t pay for all sin because not putting your faith in Christ is a sin.

        in our system, faith comes from God and is the means God uses to save His elect people. we humbly thank the Lord for His mercy on us knowing there is nothing good in us or from us that can save us outside of the power of God in drawing His elect to Himself.

        enjoy the rest of your day sir and thank you for the exchange.

        Like

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