By Faith

For the last couple of days I have been talking with someone about predestination and how only those who have been chosen will be saved. Instead of just writing a comment I thought it might be good if I posted on the subject and address this persons position. If I misrepresent your position comment and tell me.

First, this person said, "He offered the gift of life and salvation to everyone (or you might say He chose all of us)." I believe it is offered to all, but only the elect (those who God has chosen to save) will be saved.

This person then said, "(Romans 6:23) He offers it to us, and then it is up to us whether we except or not. He puts the ball in our court, per say. God gives us the choice to choose between Him and Satan, just as we have a choice to choose between doing right and wrong. When Jesus said, in John 3:16, “For God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life”, do you think He would have said “whoever believes” if it was not their decision alone (Same thing in Romans 10:9-10 & 13)?" God give everyone a general call to repent and believe; but the elect recieve a effectual calling which cannot be denied!

John Piper says this, "Finally, believing (Faith) is a work of God, not mere human initiative.
This does not nullify what we have said already—that believing is a human act of the mind agreeing with truth and a human act of the heart being satisfied with Christ. That is true. But the Bible teaches that the human mind is blind to spiritual truth; and the human heart is hard to spiritual pleasures. So how shall anyone be saved?

The answer of Jesus is given in John 6:44, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." In John 6:37 he says, "All the Father gives to me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out." In John 6:65 he says, "No one can come to me unless it has been granted him from the Father." (Cross references. 1:12–13; 8:47; 10:26; 18:37.)

Here are other verses that show that we do not have the will to chose Christ: Romans 8:7-8, Job 14:4, Jeremiah 13:23, and 2 Corinthians 3:5. Eph 2:8 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God least anyone should boast." Great verse! God gives us faith! It's not even ours!

Please, if there are any questions and I will try to address them.

All For His Son's Glory!
-Kole

P.S. Kade passed the US History II Clep test today!

6 comments:

Penn Tomassetti September 23, 2008 at 6:57 PM  

Kole,
This can be a hard one for people to come to terms with when learning to understand the Bible. It was for me. One thing that really helps is the verse you quoted from Ephesians 2:8-9. I like to point out that it says, "and this is not from yourselves." So when people are trying to understand, I like to point to the part that says, "it is the gift of God, and that not of yourselves." So we see that faith and salvation are the gift of God. It's not of us, but of God. All of Grace!

God bless, and thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.

Katie September 23, 2008 at 8:31 PM  

Kole,
about the address thing, I didn't have it until I talked to Madison about it and then I got it. So, I didn't have it when we talked.

TanyaBeth S September 24, 2008 at 3:54 PM  

Thanks for the post, Kole. I appreciate you taking this seriously and thoughtfully. I believe that you did represent my beliefs correctly. I would clarify though, that when I say that God ‘puts the ball in our court’, I do not mean that it is completely up to us to get saved. It is only completely up to us to accept God’s gift of salvation(offered to all).
One thing you said was “God give everyone a general call to repent and believe; but the elect receive an effectual calling which cannot be denied!” So, are you saying that people cannot help it whether they get saved or not? Where is the glory of God in that?! Where is His mercy, and grace, and loving kindness? Where is our responsibility to humble ourselves and repent?
I emphatically agree with Ephesians 2:8. I am not saying in any way that we have to earn our salvation. However, this verse says plainly that grace is a gift of God. The only thing we have to do is accept that gift. However, some do not accept it.
In researching this, and trying to see a little more clearly where you are coming from, I found some interesting things on the internet. These are from only one website. You can read the entire article here: http://people.cis.ksu.edu/~bbp9857/calvinism.html I would say though, that I do not completely agree with everything Mr. Perry says, so I only took selections of it. That part, I wholeheartedly believe. Some of these may not be relevant to you if you do not hold to the five pillars of Calvinism; however, I seem to remember someone posting on that a while ago. I put my own words in [brackets].


No matter how hard man tries, his actions alone cannot get him into heaven; God is the only one who has control. However, I believe that God will save those whose hearts are totally dedicated to Him, thus granting some influence to man. After all, God is just.

If God has already elected those who are going to heaven, then why evangelize, seek to be saved, or even follow God's path?
• If God predestined everything, then there is no use in praying for your friends or family.

Basically, God has already predestined the events and no appealing to God will likely change his mind- it has already been predestined and cannot be changed.
If man is totally incapable of good, then man cannot truly be remorseful or repentant.
• If man is totally incapable of good, then man cannot be faulted for his sins.
• If God predestined everything, then why eternally condemn the non-elect? After all, it is not their fault… they were predestined to be damned!
(never mind that little verse that says "whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life") [ also 2 peter 3:9 “…He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”]
Jesus died for everyone, not just the elect.
You might point out verses such as John 10:11, Acts 20:28, and John 15:13-14, which states that Jesus died for his friends. However, Jesus promptly then states that we are his friends if we obey his commands. Clearly, though, Jesus died for everyone. Verses describe Jesus as the savior of the world, the savior of all men, and etc. Specifically, 1 John 2:2, which states that "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." [Also 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” And 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
“For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

Yes, God is omnipotent and omniscient. He knows what will happen before it will happen. But foreknowledge does not imply predestination. Our problem is that we cannot fathom time the way God knows it. We see time as a constant stream from point A to point B. This is why we cannot fathom that there is no beginning to God and no end to God. God is infinity. God is 1/X as X approaches 0 (hopefully from the positive direction!). God understands time; he is all things at all times. God simply is.
( selections quoted By Mr. Ben Perry)
Some other verses would also be Galatians 2:20-21, Mark 3:28, John 1:7-9, John 12:32, Romans 5:18, Romans 11:32, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, 1 Timothy 4:10, Acts 17:30, Romans 1:16, Titus 2:11, Hebrews 5:7-9 and so many more that I did not have time to find.
I don’t mean in any way to bash your beliefs or to criticize you for having them. I also do not mean to be argumentative. (If you think I am, just to tell me to shut up and I will.) I have prayed about this, and hope it makes sense.
Prayerfully,
TanyaBeth S

Anonymous September 24, 2008 at 5:26 PM  

Kole, I know this is kind of off topic, but are you in a worldview lit. class? I seem to remember you, but I'm not sure as we have only met once.

Thanks!

-Lauren

Life Savior September 25, 2008 at 8:42 PM  

Tanyabeth: If you do not want to read this whole thing at lest read this intro. Ephesians 1:4 says, "..even as he chose us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him." That shows God's Predestination. Read Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8 to see that there were some who were not chosen to be saved. Romans 9:16 says "So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." The good deeds that you will do tomorrow were planned out by God before the foundation of the would according to Ephesians 2:10. It says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God PREPARED before-hand, that we should walk in them." Romans 9:11-13 says, "11though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." That's the intro and all you need to read, but I encourage you to read on. Thanks.

You said, "So, are you saying that people cannot help it whether they get saved or not? Where is the glory of God in that?! Where is His mercy, and grace, and loving kindness? Where is our responsibility to humble ourselves and repent?"

From your view you say that it would be unjust for Christ to chose some, and leave others to their own devices as in Romans 1: 24, 26, and 28. Does God have to save anyone?! And if it's unjust for God to send some to Hell why is he going to do it? Why doesn't he just save everyone if that would bring him the most glory?

As for the responsibility to humble ourselves and repent, I would never do such a thing on my own!! I am the most corrupt thing on this planet!! I reek of sin! The problem is that no one wants God!

You also said about Ephesians 2:8, "However, this verse says plainly that grace is a gift of God. The only thing we have to do is accept that gift. However, some do not accept it." We cannot accept it according to Romans 8:7-8 and Jeremiah 13:23, just two verses that I have on the subject.

You said, “If God has already elected those who are going to heaven, then why evangelize, seek to be saved, or even follow God's path?" We don't know who God has chosen to save and therefore must share the gospel with everyone.

You said, "If God predestined everything, then there is no use in praying for your friends or family.
Basically, God has already predestined the events and no appealing to God will likely change his mind- it has already been predestined and cannot be changed." Maybe your praying was predestined. To believe that God has not chosen his elect is totally un-biblical! Read these verses: Psalm 33:12, Psalm 106:5, Haggai 2:23, Matthew 22:14 1 Peter 1:1-2, at least Romans 8:28-30, 1 Thess 5:9, and 1 Peter 2:8-9. Your thought is just human reasoning, not biblical evidence.

You said, "If man is totally incapable of good, then man cannot truly be remorseful or repentant." On our own we cannot. You assume that God is not bringing us to our knees and breaking us.

You said, "If God predestined everything, then why eternally condemn the non-elect? After all, it is not their fault… they were predestined to be damned! (Never mind that little verse that says "whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life") [also 2 peter 3:9 “…He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”]" No one believes in him on their own and would never unless God moved them. Is it unjust for God to punish some and grant others forgiveness? Again, read Romans 1:24, 26, and 28. God gave them over to themselves.

You said, "Jesus died for everyone, not just the elect.
You might point out verses such as John 10:11, Acts 20:28, and John 15:13-14, which states that Jesus died for his friends. However, Jesus promptly then states that we are his friends if we obey his commands. Clearly, though, Jesus died for everyone. Verses describe Jesus as the savior of the world, the savior of all men, and etc. Specifically, 1 John 2:2, which states that "He is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." [Also 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” And 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
“For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

Piper says this about 1 John 2:2, "John does not mean that all God's wrath against the sins of every person in the world has been propitiated, because then every person in the world would be saved.”He who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him" (John 3:36). The wrath of God is propitiated only for those who obey the Son of God. (Cf. Romans 3:25.)

What John means can best be seen when we compare the closest parallel to this verse in his writings, namely, John 11:52. Caiaphas predicts the death of Jesus like this: "He prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad." Or as Jesus says in John 10:15–16, "I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold; I must bring them also."

In other words there are children of God, or sheep, scattered through the whole world. As John says in Revelation 5:9, Christ was slain and by his blood didst ransom men for God from every tongue and tribe and people and nation." He did not ransom everybody. He gave his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). He did not propitiate the wrath of God against everybody. But he laid down his life for the sheep. They are scattered throughout the world in every tongue and tribe and people and nation." About 1 Peter 3:18 you should finish the verse, it says "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;" As far as I remember the unsaved are still in the flesh, and have not been made alive in the spirit. 2 Cor 5: 14-15 says, "14For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf" I don't see unbelievers being controlled by the love of Christ.

To your ending comment I would say to you, read there verses I gave you earlier about predestination. (Psalm 33:12, Psalm 106:5, Haggai 2:23, Matthew 22:14 1 Peter 1:1-2, Romans 8:28-30, 1 Thess 5:9, and 1 Peter 2:8-9). If you do not read anything else read this verse, because it alone disproves your position: Ephesians 1:4. And just for good measure read Revelation 13:8 and Revelation17:8. Thanks

Lauren, If you are talking of the homeschool group, I am taking grammar second hour in the room next to the worldview class.

All For His Son's Glory!
-Kole

Anonymous September 30, 2008 at 4:24 PM  

I would recommend the book "Will the Real Heretics Please Stand up" by David W. Bercot. It is a look at today's church in the light of the early one, and why they believed what they did. Justin Martyr, Clement, Archelaus, and Methodius all believed in free will. It gives a full expanation why, explaining the verses that seem to prove predestination with quotes from the church leaders themselves.
The pagan Gnostic teachers were the first to believe in predestination, not the church, and were considered heretics by the believers.
This is a must read for anyone that has ever wondered how the early church was so succesful, and for everyone else too :) It also speaks about today's issues: media, abortion, divorce, views on salvation, culture, prosperity, and much more.

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