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#46823 Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:35 AM
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In my frustrations with catholics and free-will protestants, I want to propose a scenario (and this is of course relating to election),

A child is raised by Muslim extremists. He is trained and indoctrinated to become a suicide bomber to the glory of Allah. (which is a scenario that is unfortunately all too common in this day & Age).

At 18 he blows himself up in the name of Allah. Did this individual ever have the grace necessary to exercise his own free-will to become a child of God?

Last edited by AC.; Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:36 AM.

The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #46824 Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:03 AM
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Being new to reformed doctrine I still am struggling to be totally convinced, although it seems to be pretty plain in scripture to me. Is it that we just accept it and use faith to know that although it seems unfair we know that God is good and merciful and loving therefore there are some keys to this issue He has chosen not to reveal to us, since it is not is job to justify Himself to us humans? Sorry for the run on...

rachel #46825 Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:21 AM
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Hi Rachel, why is it unfair?

Originally Posted by rachel
Being new to reformed doctrine I still am struggling to be totally convinced, although it seems to be pretty plain in scripture to me. Is it that we just accept it and use faith to know that although it seems unfair we know that God is good and merciful and loving therefore there are some keys to this issue He has chosen not to reveal to us, since it is not is job to justify Himself to us humans? Sorry for the run on...


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #46826 Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:31 AM
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ok- I have read enough on here to know that we all deserve hell and that if one is predestined it is from God's mercy to us, yet my carnal but never ending brain wants to know "if God knows the all the outcomes then why create man since most of them would be born helpless to stop themselves from hurling into hell?

rachel #46827 Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rachel
ok- I have read enough on here to know that we all deserve hell and that if one is predestined it is from God's mercy to us, yet my carnal but never ending brain wants to know "if God knows the all the outcomes then why create man since most of them would be born helpless to stop themselves from hurling into hell?

Paul says in Romans 9,

Quote
So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,

http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/qna/arbitrary.html

Rachel,

why aren't you offended that God does not override our free-will and spare us eternal torment for those who choose Hell.

Why does 'free-will' trump everything else? Like, it's ok to send John Doe to hell, but whatever you do don't take away his choice to go to hell....that is offensive!

Do you know anyone who proclaims, 'it is my goal to go to hell when I die.'? Who are these Einsteins who are making this choice.

I'm not trying to sound rude, I can tell you are trying to understand how these things can be so. I'm just demonstrating the obsurdity of free-will preaching, thanks!

The salvation of the righteous and condemnation of the reprobate is happening according to God's eternal decree and to His Glory and the good of the elect for Jesus' sake.

AC


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #46828 Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:26 AM
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I guess I didn't make myself clear. How can I have a free-will in the matter if I have a reprobate nature? I will naturally choose darkness over light right? I am not saying I believe in free-will it seems clear that is not what goes on in the salvation process. Of course no one would choose hell. My original question is this-"are there not some things that we cannot understand down here that we just have to chalk up to faith that God is all loving and all merciful. What seems unfathomable to my finite mind is fully justified in Gods infinite sight. If you are saying you totally understand it all, then you are so far ahead of me I doubt I could catch up. Not being sarcastic here. I am still too new to all of this to be a pro.

rachel #46830 Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rachel
My original question is this-"are there not some things that we cannot understand down here that we just have to chalk up to faith that God is all loving and all merciful. What seems unfathomable to my finite mind is fully justified in Gods infinite sight.

I agree with you. But God's love and mercy are only 2 of his attributes.

Many in the mainstream Christian community highlight these 2 attributes abouve all else. I think of Billy Graham, who simply proclaims 'God Loves You!' He has taken it to such an extreme that he believes people from other religions, as long as the are loyal to their own religion, will be saved, regardless of a rejection of Jesus Christ.

RC Sproul has a good book called the 'Holiness of God.' I think AW Pink and others also wrote books on God's attributes.

Peace to you Rachel!

AC



The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #46832 Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:01 PM
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Personally,

I hate sin in myself, I hate the sin I see in the world around me. We live in a society that hates God. Even many so-called christains want to accept God on their terms. Like he is some grandfathely type. People don't want God on His terms, they want the God they have concieved in their minds and hearts. Once we realize that we live in a fallen world and that we are worthy of death, we will cling to the hope that is Jesus Christ. That's what it means to be saved. If salvation was as simple as an alter call we wouldn't really need a Savior to begin with. We must stop saying, 'well how could a loving God....." and realize that we are part of the fallen condition that are at enmity with a Holy & Just God. That He is the potter and we are but the clay. Only then will we realize that God is Love & Mercy to the wretched & undeserving sinner who repents and believes.....

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.

Last edited by AC.; Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:04 PM.

The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #46834 Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:54 PM
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You are right. Great points. I will try to get the book by R.C.. I love this site as it helps to "deprogram" me from the mainstream casual christian religion.
I too hate my sin and my quickness to think of me, me, me. How awesome will it be in heaven to never have inner warfare going on, and to be free of "self"?
Thank you AC for your time and patience with a new but very hungry reformed christian

rachel #46835 Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:59 PM
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By ""self", I meant the self down here that is so critical of others, accepting of itself, looking out too many times for #1, and most of all not loving my God as He so richly deserves.

rachel #46837 Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rachel
ok- I have read enough on here to know that we all deserve hell and that if one is predestined it is from God's mercy to us, yet my carnal but never ending brain wants to know "if God knows the all the outcomes then why create man since most of them would be born helpless to stop themselves from hurling into hell?
Rachel,

Thanks for all the good questions you have opened up in this thread. I'll try and answer some of them as they appear in each of your replies instead of throwing them all together in one reply. I think it would be easier for you to follow along. grin

In your reply here you first introduce the doctrine of "Foreknowledge" but which is defined by non-Reformed individuals. That view defines foreknowledge as:

1) Prescience: knowing raw facts about someone or something.
2) Knowledge which is obtained through perception.
3) A commensurate action on the part of God based upon what is perceived.

The biblical response in brief and which contradicts this view is:

1) Foreknowledge can be knowledge of facts but it is also used as a synonym for "love", e.g., "For whom he did foreknow [forelove], he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son,..." (Rom 8:29).
2) IF God obtains knowledge of the acts of individuals through perceiving their choices, then de facto, Omniscience is abrogated, because this implies that God did not know what a person would do until after that choice was made. But the biblical doctrine teaches that God's foreknowledge is based not upon what might possibly happen (more on this in a second), but upon what will infallibly happen. And why will it infallibly come to pass because God ordains it. Put another way, God knows all things because He has determined [foreordained] all things. It makes no difference whether one asserts that God's perception of events is 'outside of time'. For the fact and insurmountable hurdle is that until an individual makes a choice, not even God can know what that choice and the consequences of it will be.
3) IF God acts subsequent to an individual's decision(s), then man becomes the sovereign and not God. Thus, Omnipotence is also eradicated. As soon as man is given the power of this fictitious idea of 'free-will', predestination is impossible. Anything God determines after the fact is in actuality "Post-destination", which is nowhere found in Scripture. wink

The second element you introduced in your reply is the question concerning the justice of God. It seems you are wanting to know since God knows all the outcomes why would God create helpless men who will end up in hell.

1) Again, God knows the 'outcome' of all things because He has determined all things (Isa 43:13; 44:7; 46:9,10; Ps 33:11; 135:6; Prov 19:21; 21:30; Dan 4:35).
2) Yes, men are 'helpless' for they possess a corruption of nature which determines all their thoughts, words and deeds. They are spiritually DEAD and thus by nature hate God and all that is good. This is everyone's just punishment which they received when the father of the human race disobeyed God. Adam was the Federal Head of the human race and thus whatever he did, we did (Rom 5:12-18). Additionally, not only does every man woman and child who is born into this world possess that inherited corruption of nature, they also have imputed to them the consequential guilt of Adam's sin. All men are thus guilty before God and worthy of damnation. Paul mentions both of these aspects of Original Sin in the second chapter of Ephesians:

Quote
Eph 2:1-3 (ASV) "1 And you [did he make alive,] when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins, 2 wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience; 3 among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest:--"
3) Lastly, why would God decree that the vast majority of the human race be born, live their entire lives in sinful rebellion against their Maker and finally be cast into eternal torment? A few simple answers come to mind: 1) To display His ineffable holiness and justice, and 2) to exemplify His infinite love, mercy and grace through the sending of the Son to atone for those whom He determined to receive salvation in Him, and 3) for His own glory.


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rachel #46839 Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rachel
I guess I didn't make myself clear. How can I have a free-will in the matter if I have a reprobate nature? I will naturally choose darkness over light right? I am not saying I believe in free-will it seems clear that is not what goes on in the salvation process.
yep Free-will is a fiction fabricated by sinful men whose sole desire is to become autonomous (cf. Gen 3:4.5).

Originally Posted by rachel
Of course no one would choose hell.
nope Oh, but they do choose hell. Okay, so they do not consciously say to themselves, methinks living in eternal torment sounds like a better alternative than living in eternal bliss with God. giggle But in essence, this is exactly what they do when they choose to live a life of sin and rebellion before God. When a person chooses to rob a bank, he/she doesn't say to himself, "Hmmm, I think being locked up in prison for 20 years is what I would really like to do." Of course not... BUT this is due partly because the person thinks that they can get away with the crime, the rewards of which are foremost in their mind. Likewise, the unregenerate choose to do what they love most; sin because the alternative of repenting all sin, confessing before their Maker that they are guilty as charged and are worthy of judgment. They do not believe that what they think, say and do will be used against them in the heavenly court because in reality, they deny the existence of God, i.e., the one true God of Scripture. They may believe in some 'god' of their own imagination, e.g., some 'god' who is all love and who will weigh all things and their self-perceived 'good deeds' will outweigh any bad they have done.


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rachel #46840 Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rachel
You are right. Great points. I will try to get the book by R.C.. I love this site as it helps to "deprogram" me from the mainstream casual christian religion.
I too hate my sin and my quickness to think of me, me, me. How awesome will it be in heaven to never have inner warfare going on, and to be free of "self"?
Thank you AC for your time and patience with a new but very hungry reformed christian

Think nothing of it, I consider myself blessed to share in these types of exchanges and desire that my actions may more heartily reflect my words!

To bring it back to scriptures please consider these words (from the Book of John) spoken by the Blessed Savior (and do realize that Jesus will welcome with open arms any and all who are overcome/pricked with the guilt of their sin unto repentance) -

'All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.'

'And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.'

'No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.'

'I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.'

'I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.'


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #46845 Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:36 PM
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you know when I first was introduced to this doctrine( on the radio actually) I was blown away with wonder and the thought could this be? You see my fear was always- ME! If I chose God couldn't I "unchoose " God? Such a terrifying thought! It haunted my every day. Now if HE chose me then I can rejoice in a way no free-will believing person ever can. Not that I want to run out and sin, quite the contrary. If He chose me I want more than ever to love and please Him every minute. This is all so extraordinary and revolutionary to me. I know I have seen many scriptures to support this view but listening for years to preaching denying this doctrine made me doubtany hopes of such a truth. If this is true and I am believing more and more it is- why would anyone fight such a wonderful thing. Why wouldn't every christian every where want to learn and believe something so wonderous?

rachel #46846 Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:08 PM
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'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'


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

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