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#37684 Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:26 AM
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I need some clarification on this subject. I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church and have mainly been Southern Baptist my whole life. For some reason I just can't get my heart to agree with the whole Predestination Theology. Is there a definitive verse or chapter in the Bible where It says that God chooses who goes to Heaven or Hell. I know it says that no man seeks after God. But it also says that "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" 2 Peter 3:9. Now that verse tells me that God wants and longs for ALL to come to repentance not just the ones he has chosen.

Ok now lets think logically, say I am an inventor and I have invented two wonderful machines that do similar things, lets just say one cleans my house and the other grooms my yard. Now do you think in your right mind that I would actually create one to fail? That I would say ok while the machine is cleaning my bathroom I want it to burst in to flames and burn all the way to dust. No! Of course not. The same goes for God. Why would God create human beings for ONE purpose and then send one half to Hell and the other half to Heaven? Why would he do that? Why wouldn't he give all of the humans time to repent and turn to Him so that they can live with him forever? Oh wait he is doing that 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that.

If the Predestination Theology is correct then that would me that if a friend and I both come to Biblical repentance and give our lives to God. And follow Christ's example and live for the glory of almighty God as the Bible tells us to. So far we have done EVERYTHING required of us to be "born again", so by the teachings of the Holy word of God we are destined for Glory (Heaven). But by the Predestination Theology I and my friend still have just as much chance of going to Hell then me did before we repented and put our faith in Jesus.

So basically it is my understanding that by the Predestination Theology there is salvation but no guarantee of it. So I can be Biblically saved and destined to go to Heaven but still go to Hell. Right?

I'm not trying to attack this theology I am just trying to figure it out. Because it seems to me that if our soul purpose on this Earth is to Glorify God and to strive to be like him so that we can spend eternity with him the Predestination Theology tells me that I will not know of my salvation until I die and it is not in my hands, so I can pretty much do what I want drink, do drugs, cheat on my wife, murder someone, rob a bank because I have no control over my salvation and God has chosen for me. So I can do all of those things and not change my ways and still end up in Heaven. Right?

Edited: Removed duplicated section.

Last edited by Pilgrim; Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:37 AM.
lacknothing #37685 Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:17 AM
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Welcome to the forum Uhmm, I believe all this is answered here, however,

Quote
lacknothing said,

I need some clarification on this subject. I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church and have mainly been Southern Baptist my whole life. For some reason I just can't get my heart to agree with the whole Predestination Theology. Is there a definitive verse or chapter in the Bible where It says that God chooses who goes to Heaven or Hell. I know it says that no man seeks after God. But it also says that "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" 2 Peter 3:9. Now that verse tells me that God wants and longs for ALL to come to repentance not just the ones he has chosen.
You have taken 2 Peter 3:9 out of its proper context which states Peter’s intended audience:

Quote
2 Peter 3:8-9 But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Peter was NOT making a “general” statement concerning “all” flesh, but rather a rather “limited” statement concerning the invisible church – the beloved.

Quote
lacknothing said,

Ok now lets think logically, say I am an inventor and I have invented two wonderful machines that do similar things, lets just say one cleans my house and the other grooms my yard. Now do you think in your right mind that I would actually create one to fail? That I would say ok while the machine is cleaning my bathroom I want it to burst in to flames and burn all the way to dust. No! Of course not. The same goes for God. Why would God create human beings for ONE purpose and then send one half to Hell and the other half to Heaven? Why would he do that? Why wouldn't he give all of the humans time to repent and turn to Him so that they can live with him forever? Oh wait he is doing that 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that.
Uhmm, God is not an inventor, He is the Creator. As Creator, He could have created a man that was incapable of falling -- but He didn't: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). Paul anticipated your question in Romans 9 when he states,

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Romans 9:20-23 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus? Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory,
Why you are still replying against the very word of God. As God, God has certain rights. Why do you object to God acting according to His holy nature?

Could it be, God desired us to more fully know Him and His love, holiness, and justice? If so, one could NEVER fully know God’s love, if He did not die for His elect, as the scripture states, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Thus, for the fullness and glory of God’s love to be fully manifested someone had to die. Oh, but death means sin must enter into the world. Therefore, sin must needs come into the world to accomplish God’s very purpose.

Was God clueless, or did He have an ordered plan? Paul writes, “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, … in whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will; to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ (Eph. 1:4-5, 11-12). If it were not for election/predestination then NONE could have been saved as God would have been obligated by His very nature to judge “all” (without exception) and send “all” to Hell. However, God, before creation, choose whom He willed so He could show forth His mercy, love, and grace on one hand and reveal His justice on the other.

Quote
lacknothing said,

If the Predestination Theology is correct then that would me that if a friend and I both come to Biblical repentance and give our lives to God. And follow Christ's example and live for the glory of almighty God as the Bible tells us to. So far we have done EVERYTHING required of us to be "born again", so by the teachings of the Holy word of God we are destined for Glory (Heaven). But by the Predestination Theology I and my friend still have just as much chance of going to Hell then me did before we repented and put our faith in Jesus.
Uhmm, lacknothing, lacks something. Paul says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). Who is the one that keeps His elect? This is why GRACE is so important. In “biblical” repentance, one does not save himself,

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Ephesians 2:8-9 for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory.

Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy.
As John says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). I am secure in that God: (1) began the work (John 15:16), (2) continues His work (Phil. 1:6), and (3) will accomplish His work (Rom. 8:33-39).

In actually, truly elected people have NO POSSIBILTY of Hell. God has spoken it, He will also bring it to pass; He has purposed it, and He will also do it" (Isa. 46:11). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1) and the only ones going to hell are, not the elect, but, those “who were before of old ordained to this condemnation” (Jude 1:4), as “he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Rom. 9:18), as He has “power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonor” (Rom. 9:21). Without the doctrine of predestination one could have no assurance at all, for then he must trust in himself alone – and we know the self always fails (Rom. 8:3, 5-7, etc.). If you read 1 John you will see that one indeed may have assurance of salvation. The elect are eternally secure and His elect may know this eternal truth. Of course, Paul sort of encourages us in the truth and seems rather sure when he says,

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Romans 8:33-39 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hopefully you will have this same sort of assurance?


Reformed and Always Reforming,
J_Edwards #37686 Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:43 AM
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I do have the same kind of assurance but it is through my repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. Not because I was chosen and didn't have a choice. I was drawn by the Holy Spirit to be saved by the Blood of Jesus but I still had a choice, a free will. Just as Adam had a free will to eat of the Tree of Life. So your saying that God chose for Adam to disobey him and eat of the Tree? He Chose for Adam to fail.

And actually God is an inventor, seeing how an inventor and a creator are pretty much one in the same. They both created (invent) something new.

I believe that God has the foreknowledge but I can't grasp why he would allow things to happen the way they do if our destiny is already lined out for us. Why would God allow suffering on Earth for his "Elect" if we are "untouchable" as you make them out to be?

Why would Jesus have to die? If God defines our destiny for us then why did Jesus have to die? If predestination is true then why did God give us Laws? Why? How do you explain things in the Bible like the requirement of blood shed for the forgiveness of sins? Why must there be blood shed for sins if God is just going to pick who goes?

Please give me your definition of the "Church", which is who Paul was talking to in pretty much all of his books.

Foreknowledge is true but I'm not sure about Predestination.

lacknothing #37687 Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:49 AM
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Quote
lacknothing said,
I do have the same kind of assurance but it is through my repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. Not because I was chosen and didn't have a choice. I was drawn by the Holy Spirit to be saved by the Blood of Jesus but I still had a choice, a free will. Just as Adam had a free will to eat of the Tree of Life. So your saying that God chose for Adam to disobey him and eat of the Tree? He Chose for Adam to fail.
How unfortunate for you: only “some kind” of assurance. Too bad that your assurance only lies in “your” repentance and faith. Does it ever falter? Does it ever slip? Whoops there goes that salvation. Oh, that you would have a faith and repentance that was grounded in the Word of God, in the death, life, and resurrection of Christ himself. If only it could be sure? But, at las its not since it is ONLY grounded in “your” faith and repentance – i.e. thus your very obedience. You still lack something, lacknothing. As Paul says, Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his (2 Tim. 2:19).

Even God does not have free will – i.e. He cannot not sin. Since humankind was created in the image of God you do NOT have free will. Before salvation, a person is dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1). Dead men don’t choose anything. A man, even God himself, will according to their very nature. Thus, regeneration (at God’s choosing) comes first to enable a person to accept Christ.

No, God did not choose Adam to disobey Him -- as to author sin, however He created Adam knowing that He would fall. Adam chose to sin. God is not the author of sin.

Quote
lacknothing said,

And actually God is an inventor, seeing how an inventor and a creator are pretty much one in the same. They both created (invent) something new.
Creating from nothing is different than inventing from something. Mankind may only create from something previously in existence. God is not bounded by such finite limitations.

Quote
lacknothing said,
I believe that God has the foreknowledge but I can't grasp why he would allow things to happen the way they do if our destiny is already lined out for us. Why would God allow suffering on Earth for his "Elect" if we are "untouchable" as you make them out to be?
Peter said, “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing” (1 Pet. 3:17). Of course, there is also the small matter of our own sin causing us pain -- the wages of sin is still death!! This doesn’t seem to be God’s fault. Then there is the fact that we do not live in a perfect world, but God made it perfect (Gen. 1:31) – oh ya, man messed that up too. And could it be that God allows suffering so we may increase our faith (without tribulation there would be no evidence of faith), increase our compassion for others, or be better able to encourage and help other hurting people (2 Cor. 1:3-5)? Why is it you see God’s methodology as so evil – “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Quote
lacknothing said,

Why would Jesus have to die? If God defines our destiny for us then why did Jesus have to die? If predestination is true then why did God give us Laws? Why? How do you explain things in the Bible like the requirement of blood shed for the forgiveness of sins? Why must there be blood shed for sins if God is just going to pick who goes?
You kind of answered your own question. Because without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Heb. 9:22). Jesus dies because this was God’s plan in eternity (Gen. 3:15; Rom. 5:12 ff). As Luke says, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). Do note here God’s predestination of His son (determinate counsel and foreknowledge) and yet how moral accountability (wicked hands) is still assigned to Jesus’ murderers.

God’s laws are an expression of His very nature and express how we may have communion and a relationship with the One who created us. They are part and parcel of His covenant with His chosen people.

What you fail to see is that God uses secondary causes in carrying out the totality of His will.

Quote
I. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[1] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[2] from the greatest even to the least,[3] by his most wise and holy providence,[4] according to his infallible foreknowledge,[5] and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,[6] to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[7]

1. Neh. 9:6; Psa. 145:14-16; Heb. 1:3
2. Dan. 4:34-35; Psa. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 34:1-41:34
3. Matt. 6:26-32; 10:29-31
4. Prov. 15:3; I Chr. 16:9; Psa. 104:24; 145;17
5. Acts 15:18; Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5
6. Eph. 1:11; Psa. 33:10-11
7. Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 917; Gen. 45:7; Psa. 145:7

II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly;[8] yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.[9]

8. Acts 2:23; see Isa. 14:24, 27
9. Gen 8:22; Jer. 31:35; Isa. 10:6,7; see Exod. 21:13 and Deut. 19:5; I Kings 22:28-34

III. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means,[10] yet is free to work without,[11] above,[12] and against them, at his pleasure.[13]

10. Acts 27:24, 31, 44; Isa. 55:10-11
11. Hosea 1:7; Matt. 4:4; Job 34:20
12. Rom. 4:19-21
13. II Kings 6:6; Dan. 3:27

IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;[14] and that not by a bare permission,[15] but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,[16] and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends;[17] yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.[18]

14. Isa. 45:7; Rom. 11:32-34; II Sam. 16:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; see II Sam. 24:1 and I Chr. 21:1; I Kings 22:22-23; I Chr. 10:4, 13-14
15. John 12:40; II Thess. 2:11
16. Psa. 76:10; II Kings 19:28
17. Gen. 50:20; Isa. 10:6-7,12-15 (particularly v.12)
18. James 1:13-14, 17; I John 2:16; Psa. 50:21

V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave, for a season, his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;[19] and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.[20]

19. II Chr. 32:25-26, 31; Deut. 8:2-3, 5; Luke 22:31-32; see II Sam. 24:1, 25
20. II Cor. 12:7-9; see Psa. 73:1-28; 77:1-12; Mark 14: 66-72; John 21:15-19

VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden,[21] from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;[22] but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,[23] and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin;[24] and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan,[25] whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.[26]

21. Rom. 1:24, 26, 28; 11:7-8
22. Deut. 29:4; Mark 4:11-12
23. Matt. 13:12; 25:29; see Acts 13:10-11
24. Gen. 4:4; II Kings 8:12-13; see Matt. 26:14-16
25. Psa. 109:6; Luke 22:3; II Thess. 2:10-12
26. Exod. 7:3, 8:15, 32; II Cor. 2:15-16; Isa. 6:9-10, 8:14; I Pet 2:7-8; Acts 28:26-27

VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.[27]

27. I Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8-9; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 4:28; Isa. 43:3-5, 14

Quote
lacknothing said,
Please give me your definition of the "Church", which is who Paul was talking to in pretty much all of his books.
The visible church and the invisible church differ. The visible church contains members that may or may not be saved and some general statements are made to them in Scripture. However, at other times Paul and others refer to the invisible church – the elect throughout all the ages. A proper understanding of a pericope’s context will reveal which church the author speaks about.

Quote
lacknothing said,

Foreknowledge is true but I'm not sure about Predestination.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> If God has foreknowledge of everything and does not change it is he not in fact predestining it?

I don't have anymore free time today, but I am sure someone is just waiting to raise the staff (Exod. 17). Enjoy <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
lacknothing #37688 Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:39 PM
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lacknothing said:
I believe that God has the foreknowledge but I can't grasp why he would allow things to happen the way they do if our destiny is already lined out for us. Why would God allow suffering on Earth for his "Elect" if we are "untouchable" as you make them out to be?...

Foreknowledge is true but I'm not sure about Predestination.

Friend,

Permit me to quote J.I Packer on the first of your paragraphs that I have listed:

...all these experiences are part of [God's] curriculum for us in the school of holiness, which is His spiritual gymnasium for our reshaping and rebuilding in the moral likeness of Jesus Christ.”

All things work together for good in our lives if we love God, but some of those things may not seem so good to us at the time. But suffering, etc. IS used by God in the development of our moral character, and the moral character of others as well.

And concerning what you wrote about foreknowledge being true: my question (and I do relate to you because I struggled with this for years) to you is this: how can God HAVE foreknowledge without predestination? If He is not totally sovereign and His will does not extend to every corner of the world, if one event occurs outside His will, how could He foreknow that event? And perhaps more importantly, if one event occurs outside His will, how could He be sovereign over all things?

Theo

lacknothing #37689 Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:02 PM
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lacknothing said:
I do have the same kind of assurance but it is through my repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. Not because I was chosen and didn't have a choice. I was drawn by the Holy Spirit to be saved by the Blood of Jesus but I still had a choice, a free will. Just as Adam had a free will to eat of the Tree of Life. So your saying that God chose for Adam to disobey him and eat of the Tree? He Chose for Adam to fail.
As J_Edwards pointed out to you, your assurance is rather frail and unfortunately tentative since it is grounded in you (with God's help?). I was going to respond to your first post which started this thread but here is going to work out fine I think. At this point I must say that your problem is NOT with the doctrine of Predestination, although undoubtedly you think it is. The problem you are having is rather with the biblical doctrine of "Total Depravity"; you only THINK it is with Predestination. And why have I come to that conclusion? Because you mention in several places including the statement above, this thing called "free-will" and how it was YOUR choice which evidently saved you and now is the basis of your assurance. You further expand on that by saying it was the Holy Spirit who drew you but: "I still had a choice, free will." And lastly, you then state that this ability to choose is the same as that which Adam possessed.

Okay.... let's work backward, using your last idea first. If/since you believe that you are no different than Adam in regard to your ability to choose, then of necessity you are saying that there was basically no significance difference between Adam before the Fall and Adam and his progeny, of which we all are, after the Fall. But Scripture would testify something entirely different. The Bible over and over again describes fallen mankind as being dead in trespasses and sins, incapable of seeking God, having a corrupt heart, where every imagination of the thoughts of his heart are only evil continually, whose understanding is darkened and whose hearts are hardened, et al. (Eph 2:1-3; Rom 3:11; Jer 17:9; Gen 6:5; 8:21; Eph 4:17, 18) All these descriptions of fallen mankind and myriad more are examples of that "death" which was promised to Adam should he chose to disobey God and eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 2:16, 17) Thus, from the very moment Adam ate of that "forbidden fruit", he died; he and all that came from him. (cf. Rom 5:12-18; 1Cor 15:21, 22)

What this means that man's very nature changed from being upright; i.e., desiring to love God and to do all that He commanded in loving obedience to being depraved, corrupt; i.e., desiring self and hating God and only able and thus willing to do that which is sinful. One can only do that which is according to one's nature. If one has a godly heart, then he will love God and desire to do good. If one has an evil heart, a corrupt nature, then he will hate God and desire to do evil. (cf. Matt 7:17, 18; 12:33-35). One cannot even desire to be made good never mind make himself good. This is what the Lord Christ taught Nicodemus, i.e., it is of necessity that you be born from above (again) before you can even see the kingdom of God. And how is this new birth brought about? According to the incarnate Christ it is by a secret (invisible) and sovereign work of the Holy Spirit, such as the movement of the wind of which no man knows from where it comes nor where it goes, but only seeing the effects of it after it has come.

So, the bottom line is that fallen men are hardly like Adam pre-Fall. They are all born spiritually dead and are thus totally incapable of even desiring God, never mind repenting and believing if given the choice. The are also born guilty before God and are under His just condemnation for their part in Adam's sin, who was the Federal Head of the human race, i.e., whatever Adam chose to do the result would affect all. Fallen men, sinners, are bound by their corrupt natures and are free to choose that which that corrupt nature dictates/allows, which is sin. (Jh 5:40; 6:44)) See also here: Free-will - A Slave.

Quote
lacknothing said:
I believe that God has the foreknowledge but I can't grasp why he would allow things to happen the way they do if our destiny is already lined out for us. Why would God allow suffering on Earth for his "Elect" if we are "untouchable" as you make them out to be?
I'll be very brief on this one since I think it can be answered by saying your definition of "foreknowledge" is not the one Scripture gives. Foreknowledge is decidedly NOT "a looking into the future to see what will occur". God's foreknowledge is most always used in Scripture to mean, "fore-loved", e.g., Rom 8:29. And foreknowledge follows foreordination (decree), not before it, e.g., Acts 2:23. God [fore]knows BECAUSE He has decreed whatsoever will come to pass. I can say I [fore]know I will be at such and such a place tomorrow because I have [pre]determined that it is what I plan to do. If I looked back upon my arrival at that place, I then cannot rightly call it [before]knowledge but [after]knowledge, of which you will not find in Scripture. For more, see here: The Foreknowledge of God.

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lacknothing said:
Why would Jesus have to die? If God defines our destiny for us then why did Jesus have to die? If predestination is true then why did God give us Laws? Why? How do you explain things in the Bible like the requirement of blood shed for the forgiveness of sins? Why must there be blood shed for sins if God is just going to pick who goes?
Whoa there big fella... too many questions. I'll deal with the first only here. God has ordained the means as well as the end of all things. Jesus had to die to pay for the penalty owed to those fallen in Adam. God's holy law had been transgressed and the penalty for that transgression was death. Thus, only through the shedding of blood is the remission of sins. God surely chose those who He desired to save for His own glory. But that salvation includes their forgiveness of sins through the payment of death and a perfect righteousness which comes by God's imputing Christ's righteousness to those who believe. Both are necessary; 1) eternal death and 2) perfect righteousness. In short, God simply can't pick someone and accept them as they are. He is of purer eyes to behold sin (Hab 1:13) and doesn't look the other way, as it were but rather He must exercise justice in punishing sinners for their rebellion and guilt.

Perhaps you might benefit from reading this little comparison too: Do You REALLY Believe that Salvation is by Grace Alone?

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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lacknothing #37690 Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:41 PM
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I need some clarification on this subject. I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church and have mainly been Southern Baptist my whole life. For some reason I just can't get my heart to agree with the whole Predestination Theology. Is there a definitive verse or chapter in the Bible where It says that God chooses who goes to Heaven or Hell. I know it says that no man seeks after God. But it also says that "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" 2 Peter 3:9. Now that verse tells me that God wants and longs for ALL to come to repentance not just the ones he has chosen.

Southern Baptists have been either Arminian or Calvinistic in their soteriology. Now when you speak of 'predestination theology' I'm assuming you mean calvinists view of predestination. The truth is Arminians believe in predestination, too. The difference is the basis upon which one is predestined unto salvation. For the Calvinist, of which I am one, predestination of peoples unto salvation has its basis on the will of God alone. For the Arminian it is based on some forseen faith in the believer, or foreknowledge. Your reference to 2 Peter 3:9 was adequately answered, so I won't repeat it.

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Ok now lets think logically, say I am an inventor and I have invented two wonderful machines that do similar things, lets just say one cleans my house and the other grooms my yard. Now do you think in your right mind that I would actually create one to fail? That I would say ok while the machine is cleaning my bathroom I want it to burst in to flames and burn all the way to dust. No! Of course not. The same goes for God. Why would God create human beings for ONE purpose and then send one half to Hell and the other half to Heaven? Why would he do that? Why wouldn't he give all of the humans time to repent and turn to Him so that they can live with him forever? Oh wait he is doing that 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that.

You've got your questions a bit backwards, or more accurately they are missing some other facts. It is true that all human beings were created for one ultimate purpose, ie. to glorify God. But it is important to remember that all human beings are sinners and deserve eternal damnation as payment for their willful rebellion against God. The fact that God chooses to save one guilty person over another guilty person doesn't make Him unjust. An example, a governor grants clemency to someone on death row. Is he/she then obligated to grant clemency to someone else on death row? Not at all. All human beings are on death row unless God chooses to remove them from that state.

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If the Predestination Theology is correct then that would me that if a friend and I both come to Biblical repentance and give our lives to God. And follow Christ's example and live for the glory of almighty God as the Bible tells us to. So far we have done EVERYTHING required of us to be "born again", so by the teachings of the Holy word of God we are destined for Glory (Heaven). But by the Predestination Theology I and my friend still have just as much chance of going to Hell then me did before we repented and put our faith in Jesus.

Your sentences are choppy here, but I think I get the gist of it. First of all, no one does anything to be born again. That is a completely God centered action. Regeneration is an act of God alone and precedes faith and repentance. The unregenerate heart will never ever turn to faith and repentance. It is not in his nature. The unregenerate freely choose to reject God each and every moment they remain unregenerate. They are not coerced by God into this choice. It's like a fish. A fish is free to choose to get out of the water and walk on dry land, but it is not in its nature to do so. It will freely choose every time to swim in the water. So it is with unregenerate man. They will always freely choose to rebel against their Creator and will not believe the gospel.

Also, if a person goes to hell, they never repented. Ever. Those who truly repent will always be saved because God promised salvation to all who repent and believed. Any that do repent and believe were predestined by God to do so. Every person predestined unto eternal life will be saved. Every person not predestined to eternal life will never truly repent or believe and will face eternal damnation for their sins. Predestination is a doctrine that does help assure me of my salvation.

Hope this helps a little.


Jimbo

Revelation 4:11
J_Edwards #37691 Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:41 PM
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Ok guys since my salvation is not as a concrete assurance as yours (so you say) Let me ask you a question:

Do you consider yourself to be a good person?

if so let's take a little test to see if that is true:

1)Have you ever told a lie?
2)Have you ever stolen something regardless of its value?
3)Have you ever commited adultry? (and by this I mean have you ever lusted)
4)Have you ever taken the Lord's name in vain?
5)Have you ever hated someone?

If you have answered yes to even one of these then you my friends cannot and will not go to Heaven, or shall I say you are not in the "elect" unless YOU REPENT and put YOUR FAITH in Jesus. If this is so then how can you go to Heaven then?

If you are apart of the "elect" and you have broken God's laws then you have to go to Hell. God has no other choice then to send you to Hell.

I know that you have answered yes to probably most of these and if you haven't then you have problems because only one man can answer no to all of these and that is Jesus. So how do you explain this?

lacknothing #37692 Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:26 PM
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Salvation is NOT by works. Jacob was elect, and yet both a liar and a thief. David was elect and an adulterer. Paul hated and consented to the death of Christians, but was elect. Even after their salvation, Paul and Peter argued (see the Jerusalem Council). John Mark, Barnabas, and Paul did not always get along (Acts 15). Then let us cap this off and say that there was still sin in the church (Corinth, the church in Revelation, the letters of Paul and others written to counter a false gospel, et. al.). Thus, your premise is false. NOTHING can keep the elect from heaven (Rom. 9:33-39; Phil. 1:6, etc.).

It is because of the decree of election that God could punish the sins of the elect in Christ upon the cross; otherwise He would have to judge our sin accordingly. If the election plan had not been in place then we ALL would have gone to Hell for God is HOLY and MUST JUDGE sin. In addition, Christ’s death does not make the salvation of the elect a mere possibly, but a genuine reality (Luke 2:11; 19:10; John 3:17; 6:39)! As Packer so eloquently puts it, “Christ did not win a hypothetical salvation for hypothetical believers, a mere possibility of salvation for any who might possibly believe, but a real salvation for His own chosen people. His precious blood really does "save us all;" the intended effects of His self-offering do in fact follow, just because the Cross was what it was. Its saving power does not depend on faith being added to it; its saving power is such that faith flows from it. The Cross secured the full salvation of all for whom Christ died. "God forbid," therefore, "that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." As Murray says, “The word of the angel to Joseph, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21) implies the certitude of salvation and not mere possibility.” And “when Paul says that "Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" (Eph. 5:25), he is alluding to Christ's sacrificial offering. But he also states the design: "that he might sanctify and cleanse it . . . that he might present it to himself a glorious church" (vss. 26, 27).”

1 Thessalonians 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

Back to work.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
lacknothing #37693 Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:45 PM
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We may be talking past one another on some points. Calvinists do affirm that we are saved by grace via faith and repentance. When we talk about the Elect, we are not bypassing that Christians (the Elect) do exercise faith and repent of our sins. Calvinists affirm that salvation is 100% grace, not 99.99... grace and 0.0000+ works. Ephesians 2:8-9 is a biggie with us.

It appears that you are separating The Elect with 'faith and repentance'. They cannot be separated.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
lacknothing #37694 Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:15 PM
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lacknothing said:
Ok guys since my salvation is not as a concrete assurance as yours (so you say) Let me ask you a question:

Do you consider yourself to be a good person?

if so let's take a little test to see if that is true:

1)Have you ever told a lie?
2)Have you ever stolen something regardless of its value?
3)Have you ever commited adultry? (and by this I mean have you ever lusted)
4)Have you ever taken the Lord's name in vain?
5)Have you ever hated someone?

If you have answered yes to even one of these then you my friends cannot and will not go to Heaven, or shall I say you are not in the "elect" unless YOU REPENT and put YOUR FAITH in Jesus. If this is so then how can you go to Heaven then?

If you are apart of the "elect" and you have broken God's laws then you have to go to Hell. God has no other choice then to send you to Hell.

I know that you have answered yes to probably most of these and if you haven't then you have problems because only one man can answer no to all of these and that is Jesus. So how do you explain this?

You are very Roman Catholic in your understanding of repentance/faith/pardon. According to your logic, the best time for you to die, as well with any RC is imediately after receiving absolution from the priest and saying your penance.

If you could be struck down in the moment you recite your last "Glory Be" This is the only way you can be assured of being with Christ.


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
lacknothing #37695 Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:18 PM
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If you have answered yes to even one of these then you my friends cannot and will not go to Heaven, or shall I say you are not in the "elect" unless YOU REPENT and put YOUR FAITH in Jesus. If this is so then how can you go to Heaven then?

If you are apart of the "elect" and you have broken God's laws then you have to go to Hell. God has no other choice then to send you to Hell.

I know that you have answered yes to probably most of these and if you haven't then you have problems because only one man can answer no to all of these and that is Jesus. So how do you explain this?

Elementary, my friend; the elect will believe and repent and be sanctified by God:

"When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48). "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified" (Rom. 8:29-30). "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6).


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
John_C #37696 Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:38 AM
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So in actuality "the elect" are people who have "chosen" to repent and put their faith in Jesus. Your just saying that God chose you to be "elect" but it still had to take some effort on your part to become "elect".

And to rebutt the Roman Catholic Guy no I don't believe that the best time for a person to die is following his repentance because if one tuely repents and puts his faith in Jesus he can live another Thousand years and still be saved.

So basically to be an "elect" you have to practice repentance and faith so their are some "works" involved.

lacknothing #37697 Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:02 AM
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lacknothing said:
...say I am an inventor and I have invented two wonderful machines that do similar things, lets just say one cleans my house and the other grooms my yard. Now do you think in your right mind that I would actually create one to fail?

I believe the analogy in Romans 9 of the Potter is more applicable than an "inventor." One creation (or device, if you will) serves a noble purpose - a wine goblet, or a device to groom the yard. Another serves a common purpose - a toilet, a garbage can. Both serve the inventor.

Fallen men deserve only God's justice. Those who receive His justice do so to the glory of His justice and holiness. Those who receive mercy receive it to the glory of His love and kindness. But both groups glorify God, serving His intended purpose for them.

Murder, we know, is against God's moral will. Ant we are told that from before time began God predetermineded the murder of His only begotten Son!

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this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death (Acts 2:23 NASB, emphasis mine).

Why would a God who opposes murder decree such a thing? Is it based entirely on "foreknowledge?"

Not exactly. It must be a choice, since God could have prevented it. Question:

If Almighty God foreknows that something terrible is about to happen, is there any chance that it won't?

If the answer is Yes, then either His foreknowledge is wrong or He is powerless to prevent the foreseen tragedy. Either way, that doesn't describe Almighty God! If the answer is No, then the tragedy must be His predetermined choice.

And if God chooses to show mercy to some and justice to the rest of fallen mankind, who are we to say to the Potter, "why have you made me this way?" The answer is, "for My glory." The choice of whether the clay is molded to the glory of His justice or to the glory of His mercy is up to the Potter, not the clay. Both uses serve the Potter's desire.

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lacknothing said: If the Predestination Theology is correct then that would me that if a friend and I both come to Biblical repentance and give our lives to God. And follow Christ's example and live for the glory of almighty God as the Bible tells us to. So far we have done EVERYTHING required of us to be "born again", so by the teachings of the Holy word of God we are destined for Glory (emphasis mine).

If a lump of clay has been fashioned into an ash tray, is there any way for it to become a wine goblet? Nope. It is what it's creator has made it to be.

Now I bolded something in the quote above which particularly strikes me. You suggested above that people can do something in order to be born again. What did you do in order to be born from your mother's womb? Did you have to qualify somehow? Was there some work you had to do or words you had to say or some faith on your part in order to qualify you for birth into this world? Of course not! Being born again is no different! The new birth is from Above, not from within. What helps me to see this alot more clearly is this little piece of news:

Regeneration (new birth) precedes conversion. It does not follow conversion. Why? Because "a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1st Corinthians 2:14)." Because we were dead in trespasses and sins - not sick, not weakened, but dead. The unregenerate can no more "do something to be born again" than the dead can do something to raise themselves to life. Another must act UPON the dead to revive them.

Here is the picture of predestination that I want you to have:

When I was a lad, I ran away from home. I was gone for a couple of days. My father sought me all over the city, driving down every street and calling my name.

He wasn't searching for just any boy who might want to come live in his home. He was looking for me. No one else would do. I was his beloved son.

We are "lost" until our Father calls us from death and regenerates our soul (the new birth), enabling us to come to Him. That is clearly a choice - not merely a "foreknown" happenstance.

-Robin

lacknothing #37698 Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:16 AM
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lacknothing said:
...you are not in the "elect" unless YOU REPENT and put YOUR FAITH in Jesus.

This is salvation by works! The work of repentance. And you wrote "YOUR" faith. The unregenerate have no faith. Nor do they have "free will." They are slaves to sin and not able to anything but sin.

Only Christians have free will. Because only Christians are able to not sin. We who have life from Above are free. We are no longer slaves to sin. Thus only we have free will. The unregenerate do not.

And faith, like the new birth, is the gift of God, not of works:

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Ephesians 2:8 says :

For by grace are ye saved by faith, and that ("that" referring to FAITH) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.

"YOUR faith?" HIS faith is the more appropriate term. Only those who have been given faith from Above can trust in Him. Only those who have been born again can even see the kingdom. Only those who have been freed from sin can choose to obey Christ.

-R

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