Dear Lazarus,

As I stated previously, I would believe Calvinist doctrine if it were supported by the scriptures, regardless of my feelings on the subject; I simply don't see any support for it. The fact that God is no respecter of persons actually goes against the Calvinist theory of election. You seem to think that not being a respecter of persons means that God does not judge based on the conditions that I have stated previously. But being no respecter of persons means that one does not let who a person is or what position that person holds affect their judgement, but instead judges righteously and objectively according to God's word (Leviticus 19:15, Deuteronomy 1:17, 16:19, Proverbs 23:24). So in other words, God judges righteously according to a man's thoughts and intents, and not according to who they are; therefore, even one who had been one of His at one time may fall into condemnation, for it is written, "The Lord will judge His people" (Hebrews 10:30).

"Also consider this with respect to anything taking us out of God's hands.

You say that NOTHING can take us out of God's hands, EXCEPT ourselves.

First, you've added a gross assumption to the clear and emphatic teaching of the text. I covered ALL THE BASES...nothing means nothing."


"God says NOTHING...but NOTHING can separate us from the love (and saving adoption) of God. The sheep are NOT fooled. They are not suckered. They are not cheated out of their inheritance. They do not reject their one and only Love....and if one in 100 'tried'...the Good Shepherd would bring them back."

First of all, the word for "pluck" or "snatch" in John 10 implies taking by force.

Secondly, I believe that the context of the Romans 8 dictates that it also means that nothing can force a believer out of God's hand. But if you want to get technical, then I would also point out that it is not a believer that separates himself from the Vine, but God the Father separates a branch if it does not meet the condition of abiding in Christ.

"I am the true Vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away...If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." (John 15:1-2, 6)

So if a believer does not abide in Christ, it is the the Father (not himself) who will cut Him off from the Son. God the Father is not a "created thing" as is mentioned in Romans 8. The way that a man can walk away from God is by not abiding in the Vine.

It's funny that you should mention being suckered or cheated out of inheritance. Because Paul warns,

"...Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." (Hebrews 12:16-17)

So we are warned by Esau's example not to be "suckered" out of our eternal reward.

Lastly, while Christ does go and seek His sheep that stray, there is nothing in the scripture that indicates that He will forcibly return them. In fact, it says of some,

"...there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (2 Peter 2:1)

"Second, if someone is born again, a new creature, justified, adopted by God, filled with the Spirit, etc....then SOMETHING, yes, SOMETHING must have been introduced into the equation to make a person CHANGE THEIR MIND/HEART/NATURE. So, can that mind changing 'something' be logic? Can that mind changing 'something' be temptation? Can it be regret? A better argument? Love of money? Sin? What can draws us from God. No, what's strong enough to PRY us out of an all-mighty God's hands? "

As I have already made clear, nothing can "pry" us away from God. But the sin nature that is still in us can be our downfall if we do not take control of it by the Spirit of God. So a believer can be not forced, but simply lured away if he does not keep his focus on God.

"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling..." (1 Timothy 1:5-6)

So while Christ cares for and protects His sheep, and even goes after those who stray; even so, some refuse to return to Him and go their own way to destruction.

In Christ,