You challenged the whole structure of Calvinism based on one Scripture:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
I replied in summary with a Scriptural interpretation of Rev 22:19 as follows:
[color:blue] Verse 19 is sometimes misunderstood as teaching loss of salvation, but in fact, it teaches loss of reward (I Cor 3:15 with I Cor 9:27). This can be reasoned through: if one has eternal life, then one surely will not need eternally to eat the fruit of the tree of life in order to maintain eternal life, or 'maintain’ and 'eternal’ are mutually exclusive terms.
Furthermore, there is both the 'water of life’ and the 'tree of life’ (22:1–2), and this debarment is from the tree only. It seems best, therefore, to understand that the tree of life represents the benefits, or rewards, of eternal life—the enhanced quality of eternal life which is an element of reward. Likewise, as we saints inherit a part in the holy city (21:7), the heretic forfeits this inheritance.
YOU ANSWERED [color:red]Though your response to my post was well versed, I pointed out in my reply that not only the tree of life, but the holy city would also be taken away if a man violated this final warning in scripture. Please note: There is no in-between, you are either living in New Jerusalem together with God (as all who overcome do -- Revelation 3:12), or burning in Gehenna outside. :
And you defended your philosophy (Joshism) with
Revelation 22:15 "For without [the city] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."
Once again your interpretation is flawed. [color:blue]Of course you never responded to the tree of life illustration????
As far as the phrase [color:red]take away his part it simply means that he had no part in the first place. Look again at those men in 2 Pet 2:1 and the like??? These men had no REWARD or INHERITANCE in the first place......look at Dabney below for further as it concerns Christians.....
Additionally you state [color:red] as all who overcome do -- Revelation 3:12, but I ask to look at the context of Rev 3:21. Do you understand the meaning of the term Christian? You stated that Perseverance of the Saints is overthrown elsewhere in your posts. But, do you really understand the context of Rev 3:21 (your scriptural defense???)?:
As John concluded the letter to the faithful church at Philadelphia, Christ promised four eternal blessings to the one who overcomes (another name for a Christian; 1 John 5:5 [smile).
The first promise is that Christ will make him a pillar in the temple of God, and he will not go out from it anymore. A pillar represents stability, permanence, and immovability. Pillars can also represent honor; in pagan temples they were often carved in such a way as to honor a particular deity. The marvelous promise Christ makes to believers is that they will have an eternal place of honor in the temple of God (heaven). To people used to fleeing their city because of earthquakes and enemies, the promise that they will not go out from heaven was understood as security in eternal glory.
Christ’s second promise to the one who overcomes is that He will write on him the name of His God. That depicts ownership, signifying that all true Christians belong to God. It also speaks of the intimate personal relationship we have with Him forever.
Third, Christ promises to write on believers the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. Christians have eternal citizenship in heaven’s so-called capital city, the new Jerusalem. That is yet another promise of security, safety, and glory.
Finally, Christ promises believers His new name. Christ’s name represents the fullness of His person. In heaven, believers will “see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2), and whatever we may have known of Him will pale in the reality in which we will then see Him. The new name by which we will be privileged to call Him will reflect that glorious revelation of His person. The exhortation He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches closes all seven letters. And of course ONLY those whose hearing has been spiritually changed to be enabled to hear will be able to listen and comprehend.
Josh have you listened? Josh have you comprehended? This tells us allot about you!
Please read what Dabney had to say about your topic:
It is objected that this election cannot be immutably efficacious, because we read in Scripture of saints who are warned against forfeiting it; of others who felt a wholesome fear of doing so; and of God’s threats that He would on occasion of certain sins blot their names from His book of life, etc. Rom. 14:15; 1 Cor. 9:27; Ps. 69:28; Rev. 22:19; 2 Pet. 1:10. As to the last passage, to make sure our election, is most manifestly spoken only with reference to the believer’s own apprehension of it, and comfort from it; not as to the reality of God’s secret purpose.
This is fully borne out by the means indicated—diligence in holy living. Such fruits being the [color:blue]consequence, and not the cause of God’s grace to us, it would simply be preposterous to propose to ensure or strengthen His secret purpose of grace, by their productions. All they can do is to strengthen our own apprehension that such a purpose exists. When the persecuted Psalmist prays, Ps. 69:28, that God would “blot his enemies out of the book of the living,” it by no means seems clear that anything more is imprecated than their removal from this life. But grant the other meaning, as we do, in Rev. 22:19, the obvious explanation is that God speaks of them according to their seeming and profession. The language is adapted ad hominem . It is not intended to decide whether God has a secret immutable purpose of love or not, as to them, whether they were ever elected and effectually called indeed, and may yet be lost; but it only states the practical truth, that wickedness would forfeit that position in God’s grace, which they professed to have. Several of the other passages are in part explained by the fact that the Christians addressed had not yet attained a comfortable assurance that they were elected. Hence they might most consistently feel all these wholesome fears, lest the partial and uncertain hope they entertained might turn out spurious. But the most general and thorough answer which covers all these cases is this: Granting that God has a secret purpose infallibly to save a given soul, that purpose embraces means as fully as ends; and those means are such as suit a rational free agent, including all reasonable appeals to hope and fear, prospect of danger, and such like reasonable motives. [color:blue]Now, that an elect man may fall totally, is naturally possible, considering him in his own powers; hence, when God plies this soul with fears of falling it is by no means any proof that God intends to permit him to fall, in His secret purpose. Those fears may be the very means designed by God to keep him from it.
Robert L. Dabney, Topical Lectures on Scripture, Index Created by Christian Classics Foundation., electronic ed. based on the Banner of Truth 1985 ed. (Simpsonville SC: Christian Classics Foundation, 1996).
JoshT,<br><br>I can see by your reply that you don't know much about Calvinism and have some very serious misunderstandings about it as well. I also recognize that you are suggesting that man has a free will even after the fall. How do you deal with texts that deny this? <br><br>Jeremiah 17:9<br>"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?" <br> <br>John 5:42<br>"But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you."<br><br>John 6:44<br>"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."<br><br>John 15:4, 5<br>"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."<br><br>Romans 7:18, 23, 24<br>"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find."<br><br>"But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" <br><br>Romans 8:7, 8<br>"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God." <br><br>I Corinthians 2:14<br>"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."<br><br>II Corinthians 7:1<br>"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." <br><br>Ephesians 2:1-3<br>"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others."<br><br>Ephesians 4:18<br>"...having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;"<br><br>II Timothy 3:2-4<br>"For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God," <br><br>Titus 1:15<br>"To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled."<br><br>Hebrews 11:6<br>"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." <br><br>Pelagians, Arminians, and Modernists deny total depravity. Since you are arguing from that position the above body of Scripture must take on a whole different interpretation than when Adam sinned death came upon all men. <br><br>Wes<br><br>
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Dear Joe,<br>I don't quite understand how I did not respond to your tree of life illustration. I simply said that the holy city was also mentioned as being taken away. This by itself makes my case. I fail to see how "take away his part" means "never had a part in the first place." This violates the simple denotation of this passage. You make bold assertations that I must take John 6 in its most literal sense (which I do), why can't you say the same here? Concerning Revelation 3:21, this does make a statement of security, but it does refers to when we will enter New Jerusalem, not the present time. Recall also that all overcomers will eat of the tree of life (Revelation 2:7), thus if one performed the act mentioned in 22:19, it would be an obvious indicator that he was no longer an overcomer.<br><br>And yes, I am well aware that Christ has full ownership of believers. We are also sealed by the Holy Spirit, which guarantees security from any power in the world that might try to drag us away from Christ (see Romans 8:38-39). This does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God. If this did happen, that person would be cut off from by God the Father (John 15), for He is sovereign and has the right to do so with what is His.<br><br>And yes, Christ promises believers His new name. And? He also promises us eternal life, but the promises only apply to those who do not fall away. As I stated before, the fact that a person can have their part in the tree of life taken away proves that it is possible for a believer to fall away and not be classed as "he who overcomes." This promise would not apply to them.<br><br>In response to Dabney's:<br>"As to the last passage, to make sure our election, is most manifestly spoken only with reference to the believer’s own apprehension of it, and comfort from it; not as to the reality of God’s secret purpose."<br><br>and<br><br>"Granting that God has a secret purpose infallibly to save a given soul, that purpose embraces means as fully as ends; and those means are such as suit a rational free agent, including all reasonable appeals to hope and fear, prospect of danger, and such like reasonable motives. Now, that an elect man may fall totally, is naturally possible, considering him in his own powers; hence, when God plies this soul with fears of falling it is by no means any proof that God intends to permit him to fall, in His secret purpose. Those fears may be the very means designed by God to keep him from it."<br><br>This is baloney. God does not make idle threats, false testimonies, or give warnings against things which cannot occur. Since this is a testimony from Jesus Christ Himself, rather than explain it away, I will take Him at His word. Dabney's error is also apparent in light of 1 John 4:16-18 "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." <br><br>How can a God of love that casts out fear promote fear in those He loves? Dalbey's reasoning is simple grasping at straws, but God's word stands firm: He means what He says.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Dear Paul,<br><br>Concerning the verses you cited, I too believe that no one can stop God from doing what He is determined to do. But no scripture states that it is God's will to irresistably draw men to Himself. It is apparent from scripture that God does draw men, but He does not exercise His ability to bend the will in doing so. Consider the verse I quoted:<br><br>Acts 7:51, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." <br><br>You might argue that they could not permanently resist the Holy Ghost, but who was being spoken to? The High Priest and the rest of the Jewish council were very hard hearted men who resisted God, and like most of the Jewish leaders, died in their sin. Also note that their fathers died while resisting the Holy Ghost, if it were not so, the Pharisees/Saducees/ect... would not be their fathers' children.<br><br>Mat 23:30-31 "...And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets."<br><br>So we have some scriptural examples of men finally resisting the Holy Spirit. I personally believe from the context of these passages that God does want to draw us to His grace, but from what I can derive here, I also believe that He does not irresistably draw us. If you still believe that man has absolutely no autonomy in being saved, then I suggest you read my post on what it means to "save yourselves."<br><br>You wrote:<br>"Two last questions, Josh. Do you take comfort in your opinion that you can resist (sense Two=thwart) God's eternal purposes? How does that knowledge help you in your life with Christ?"<br><br>1Corinthians 10:12 "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."<br><br>I have seen this in effect too many times from my Baptist friends. I have made it a goal to disprove the concept of eternal security. Though it is not quite the same thing, unconditional election is closely related. I do not do this for my health, but to warn others of the dangers this doctrine poses.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Dear Prestor John,<br><br>Mixed my metaphors?<br>You write:<br>"Sheep which are a metaphor for the elect come to Christ because His call is effective. The sheep come no matter what their state because they are His (as all elect are) and must come."<br><br>But I see no evidence as to why your explanation is accurate and mine is not. Mine seems to make a bit more sense considering the context. As to your second question, two notable examples are Simeon and Anna.<br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh<br><br>"Yeah I said the words, maybe not every little bitty syllable. But basically I said 'em."
Since ReformedSbc has already responded to the first few of your sentences, I will deal with your eisogesis of 1 peter 1:2.
Your interpretation of 1 peter 1:2, in my view, is not correct. By the way, just to mention in passing, your view of election is not based on Grace, rather it is merit, in this case your faith. Contrast your position with 2 1 Tim 1:9, which states we are called "not according to our works but According to His Own purpose and grace". In addition, your position implies that it is not God Electing Anyone. Rather it is people Electing him. Ephesians and 1 Peter, as I will show below, state that God’s election is initiated in Himself and because of His own Will.
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, IN ACCORDANCE with HIS pleasure and WILL.....In him we were also CHOSEN, having been predestined ACCORDING to the PLAN of him who works out everything in conformity with the PURPOSE of HIS will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory(1:5, 11). . OH, yes God does foresee our faith and everything else that occurs in whole of creation and time. Since God is infinite, omniscient, eternal, etc, then it is easily implied that he knows all, and scripture provides plenty of evidence, unless of course one subscribes to the ridiculous position of “open-theism”. That, however, is NOT the point of the passage in Ephesians nor in 1 Peter and other passages the speaking regarding Election. The text of 1 Peter 1:2 says the Object of the Foreknowledge is the ‘Elect’ for the purpose of Obedience and Sprinkling of the blood Of Jesus Christ, through the means of Sanctification. What does it mean that God Foreknows the Elect “The chosen ones”? What does foreknowledge “prognosis (noun), proginosko (verb)” mean or better yet, how is it used the Biblical context? Well let’s look at the biblical data. The noun & verb forms of Foreknowledge are used of God as the subject 5 times in the New Testament, including the passage mentioned by you. They are 1 peter:2, 20, Romans 8:29, Acts 2:23, and Romans 11:2. We will look at some of these passages in a few, but first let’s look at the use of the word itself.
I submit to you that the word ‘foreknown’ or ‘known’ does not simply include the idea of a general knowledge as grammatical definition denotes, but of an intimate commitment or relationship. The word “fore” is just before time (Jer 1:5-6 is a great illustration of being intimately known before time ). We will look at this in the New Testament and Old Testament passages regarding those words. One of the easiest examples of this is Matthew 7:15-23:
15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I NEVER KNEW [ginosko] you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
The point of Verse 23 is not that Jesus did not know of them, rather He did not have an intimate relationship with them. If that is not the meaning of the text I know not what it is. See the reverse In John 10, where It speaks of Jesus ‘knowing’ of His sheep. Thus, ‘knowing’ denotes more that just a mere intellectual knowledge. Not convinced yet? Well let’s do a closer analysis.
That New testament Greek word ginosko and its associated words is equivalent to that of the Hebrew word yada. One Theologian states:
“This Hebrew term refers to knowing with experience or intimacy. For example, it is used of sexual union (Genesis 4:1, 19:8); of personal acquaintance (Genesis 29:5; Exodus 1:8);..and of knowing the true God (1 Samuel 2:12 - 3:7; Jeremiah 3:22).....In Matthew 1:25, the statement "he kept her a virgin" is literally "he knew her not" (eginosken). Moreover, in Philippians 3:10, the Apostle states his foremost desire, "that I may know Him" (gnomai). The reference in Romans 11:2 also has the meaning of the Hebrew yada: "God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?" (NASB)
I believe the context is clear in that ‘Foreknew’ here means more than forethought. In this context, ‘foreknew’ almost synonymous with ‘forelove’ ( as some theologians prefer to say).
Let’s look at another text that speaks of God’s Knowing of the people of Israel that demonstrates that this is more than mere knowledge.
Amos 3:1-2 states : Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, 2 You only have I KNOWN [yada] of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
Some translations ( such NIV) even render yada as ‘Chosen’ in this text. The passage definitely expresses experience or relationship between God and Israel, more than just mere knowledge. Why did God ‘known’ Israel above all the families of the earth. I submit Deut 7:6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has CHOSEN you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. 7 The Lord DID NOT SET HIS AFFECTION on you and CHOOSE you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was BECAUSE the Lord LOVED you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt (Deut 7:6-8)
There are many more passages in the old testament that proves the point that ‘know’ is not just mere knowledge. But I will now turn back to the specific passage of dispute.
1 PETER 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
JoshT, The text states that this Election is in according with God’s Foreknowledge. I have been looking through over and over again, I still can’t see you can come up that God Foresees one’s faith and then based on that He Elects Them. Rather If were are consistent the rest of the scriptures, old and new testament, then Foreknowledge is actually based on a committed that God has made to the Elect , That is, He made a free choice to love them and Elect before time. I like how one theologian put it : “He knew us from eternity past with a sovereign and distinguishing delight.”
Let’s look at another passage in the same book. 1 Peter 1:19-21 "19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was FOREORDAINED [proginosko] before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."
1 Peter 1:20 attributes God’s foreknowledge to the mission of Christ. Cook comments: God not only knew ahead of time that Christ would be the Lamb (a concept that is self-evident and tautological), He determined it. No other interpretation of [foreknowledge] makes sense ...
JoshT, How is that you can ascribe to a foreknowledge that means that God know who will respond to him and Thus elect him, etc. and then hold to view that Christian Can loose their Salvation. According to Rom 8:28-30, Those He did foreknow, God declares them also as “glorified”.
Romans 78:28-30 “29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
So I ask, Is God mistaken in his foreknowledge according to your system if subscribe to the fact that one can “loose their salvation”
However, believe that this text does not support the Arminian view of Foreknowledge. Rather this text is focusing on God’s doing, not the response of the believer. That is, It is God who Foreknows (foreloving), Predestines, Calls, Justifies, & glorifies. To read "whom He did foreknow would repent and believe" is nothing more than Eisogesis.
So I ask , JoshT, please shown me from the scriptures that God chooses based on the fact that He foresees people’s “Faith”. By the way, this view in my eyes is incompatible with the description of the natural in scripture. I like the way RL Dabney puts its:
This leads to the crowning argument. This Saul was by nature "dead in trespasses and in sins" (Eph. ii. 1), and, therefore, would never have in him any faith or repentance to be foreseen, except as the result of God's purpose to put them in him. But the effect cannot be the cause of its own cause. The cart cannot pull the horse; why, it is the horse that pulls the cart.”
Praise Be to God who made us live so in we can in turn can forsake our old lifestyle and sins and cling to Christ, our Lord & Savior.
Brother in Christ, Carlos
"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
Dear Wesley,<br>thank you for your reply. Good case, but you are beating a dead horse. I do not believe that man has the power of his own free will to come to God (I'm not exactly an Arminian either). The scriptures you cited are clear evidence of that.<br>I do believe in free will in a sense, I do believe that when a man is drawn and convicted by God, he must humble himself before God and accept His Son's sacrifice before he can be saved. But I by no means believe that a man can just "choose to be saved." If you want to know more of what I believe, then check out my letter on what it means to "save yourselves."<br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Dear Susan,<br><br>Yes, I believe that the law has been annulled, not by destruction but by Christ fulfilling it as you cited.<br> <br>Ephesians 2:14-16 "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby..." <br><br>So I do believe it is possible for God to blot out His own writing if He so chooses. As to your second question:<br>"Doesn't it cause you difficulty to think that God wrote down the name of the apostate in the Book of Life, and then later after seeing he is an apostate, he has to take his name from the book? Since the unsaved are spiritually dead, they cannot have their names in the Book of Life. Doesn't this cause problems with believing in God's omniscience?"<br><br>Not really. I don't know what you believe Revelation 22:19 means, but it is obvious that it is possible to have one's part taken from the holy city. Even if you don't believe that means losing one's salvation (I contend it does), I would then ask: Why would God give a reward or inheritance to someone that He knew would lose it? If He only puts names in the book of life that He knows He will never blot out, then why doesn't He give parts of New Jerusalem only to those He knows will keep them? <br><br>I could venture a few guesses, but the fact of the matter is, I don't know why. I simple believe it because it is written in God's word. Does that make any sense? It does to me anyway.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Going from back to front, I'm having trouble interpreting your response to what I thought was a simple "yes or no" question about your taking comfort in your opinion of man's will being the sole ground and ultimate cause of eternal security (a fair statement, no? since you deny that God will override any man's will in this matter). I THINK (though you did not use these words) you are saying, "Yes", that DOES give you comfort and purpose in life, since it gives you...a rationale for refuting those who hold to the opposite view. Am I near the mark?
Far more importantly, since these posts are, after all, about the nature of God rather than your personal motivations, I must point out that you made two irreconcilably contradictory statements in your reply.
First you stated: [color:red]I too believe that no one can stop God from doing what He is determined to do
But later you say: [color:red]I personally believe from the context of these passages that God does want to draw us to His grace
In other words "God wants to draw us to Himself, but He is not determined to bring it to pass"!
Is it possible, Josh, that you have fashioned such an impotent, pathetic "savior" because you do not realize the depth of your necessity for [color:blue]a Savior who is determined, and mighty, and able, to SAVE? who [color:red]was appalled that there was no one to intervene, so His own arm worked salvation for Him?
Maybe you are convinced that God needs a little help from you to help Him achieve His heart's desire--which seems to be your deciding to stay with Him forever.
I know that I need a Savior who truly saves the ungodly, wicked, dead, wounded, sick, blind, deaf, lost, rebellious, foul, weak and ignorant, showing me mercy when I deserve only wrath, graciously giving me all things in His beloved Son, and who has bound Himself with an inviolable oath to accomplish this, to the praise of His glory and grace.
YOU SAID: [color:red]I don't quite understand how I did not respond to your tree of life illustration. I simply said that the holy city was also mentioned as being taken away. This by itself makes my case. I fail to see how "take away his part" means "never had a part in the first place." This violates the simple denotation of this passage. You make bold assertations that I must take John 6 in its most literal sense (which I do), why can't you say the same here? Concerning Revelation 3:21, this does make a statement of security, but it does refers to when we will enter New Jerusalem, not the present time. Recall also that all overcomers will eat of the tree of life (Revelation 2:7), thus if one performed the act mentioned in 22:19, it would be an obvious indicator that he was no longer an overcomer.
Josh you are the one that is grasping at straws, ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Even here you did not respond you just switch the argument as you always do. You avoid the truth and embrace error as shown by your constant return to it.
Now to ease your understanding look back over what I said. If you THINK this verse has reference to the SAVED then look at Dabney’s illustration I gave in the other post (which of course you failed to understand, as John 3 say you will not [color:blue]see until….), but if you think it is to the UNSAVED then they “never had a part in the first place—.” This last statement was to show you that the verse in question could NOT be speaking about lost people (as you seemed to see from your own analysis of it). Thus, since it CANNOT be in reference to the lost person, but the saved alone, and since the saved can not be lost, Dabney’s explanation is clear as it gets. Sorry I did not make this clearer for you in the original post.
YOU SAID: [color:red]And yes, I am well aware that Christ has full ownership of believers. We are also sealed by the Holy Spirit, which guarantees security from any power in the world that might try to drag us away from Christ (see Romans 8:38-39). This does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God. If this did happen, that person would be cut off from by God the Father (John 15), for He is sovereign and has the right to do so with what is His.
So again you assert man’s free-will above God’s sovereignty. Josh you speak from both sides of your mouth…..you say God [color:red] guarantees security from any power in the world that might try to drag us away from Christ (see Romans 8:38-39) and then in the same breath say [color:red] this does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God . Now the last time I checked I am of this world and any powers I use here (including my will) are used here in this world, but since as YOU SAY no power on earth may drag me away, thus once saved how could I ever be lost, since NO POWER on earth can drag me away???? Your own argument defeats you.
YOU SAID: [color:red]And yes, Christ promises believers His new name. And? He also promises us eternal life, but the promises only apply to those who do not fall away. As I stated before, the fact that a person can have their part in the tree of life taken away proves that it is possible for a believer to fall away and not be classed as "he who overcomes." This promise would not apply to them.
So now you have God changing His mind, changing our names, changing our eternal state, changing His elective plans which are perfect and which were there before the foundation of the world. You know you DENY so many of God’s attributes it is no wonder you deny Him as Lord as well, for how could you believe in a God that apparently in your theology is constantly unable to make a decision that will stick…….Joshism only works if God is a puppet (for you say WE and not God’s grace see to it that we overcome) and even then a string may break and everything will get changed again
[color:red] This is baloney. Arminianism at its best, the only theology you throw out is—baloney? You make your case very weak indeed!
You need to re-read what Dabney said—he did not speak as you say [color:red] God does not make idle threats, false testimonies, or give warnings against things which cannot occur, but rather imposes those said fears so they may be [color:blue]the very means designed by God to keep us from the sin in question. And again you exalt one of God’s attributes above another, for God is also a judge. Josh GOD IS MORE THAN LOVE! He is more than the sum total of all His attributes. He is the I AM! He does not change and will not change. He will not exalt one attribute of His above another though at times we may see one attribute more fully than at other times.
You need to take the advice of the Book of Revelation: Take God's warnings seriously!
(I'm not exactly an Arminian either). "I do believe in free will in a sense..."
As I read your remarks on this thread it seems clear to me and others that you are promoting a works righteousness. You definition of "free will" is really not different from an Arminian. You put a lot of emphasis on man's responsibility and his control over his eternally destiny.
In reply to:
Why would God give a reward or inheritance to someone that He knew would lose it? If He only puts names in the book of life that He knows He will never blot out, then why doesn't He give parts of New Jerusalem only to those He knows will keep them?
Does He indeed give someone a reward or inheritance and then they loose it? I think Pilgrim and others have pointed out that your interpretation of this verse is incorrect. This whole concept that you have of a god who puts names in a book and later erases them subject to their sinful will is totally off base. I find it silly! As I try to picture in my mind this god your describe, who observes mankind and takes notes. Determining one day that someone should be in the book of life and the next day taking them out based on their ability to do what is right.
If this were true... no one would ever get to heaven and the book of life would be empty. What you fail to realize is what God does in salvation. You keep talking about man resisting God, defying God, disobeying God, without realizing that the man of God doesn't do anything in any way that adds to or takes away from his salvation.
He who has begun a good work in you will also complete it (Phil 1:6). "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one."(John 10:27-30) It doesn't depend on our ability to hold on to Him but His ablity to hold onto us. Now my question for you is who's sovereign you or God?
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Neither did Calvin. If knowing the five points of the Synod of Dort (1619) is necessary to being a Calvinist, then John Calvin wasn't a Calvinist!
Luther did, however believe wholeheartedly in the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation. To most people that qualifies as "Calvinism", Check out Luther's "The Bondage of the Will" if you don't believe me. I find interesting his discussion of "the light of grace" and "the light of glory" with regard to our inability to understand God's sovereignty and human responsibility.
To sum up, Loraine Boettner said better than I ever could:
It was Calvin who wrought out this system of theological though with such logical clearness and emphasis that it has ever since borne his name. He did not, of course, originate the system but only set forth what appeared to him to shine forth so clearly from the pages of Holy Scripture. Augustine had taught the essentials of the system a thousand years before Calvin was born, and the whole body of the leaders of the Reformation movement taught the same.
From "The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination" (pp. 3-4)
Josh, I suppose that you are trying to prove you can lose your salvation because you have seen something that to you proved this was true. Is this the case?
As others have already stated, Christians are the ones who bear fruit for Christ. John 15:15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Some people will claim to be Christians, but the Lord will say he never knew them. He doesn't say he used to know them and then they were lost, he says he never knew them.
The Holy Spirit was given to believers to abide with them forever. John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you [color:red]forever-- That was Jesus' promise to his disciples and to all Christians. If they do not have the Holy Spirit, they are not His. He promises the Holy Spirit will be with them forever.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for[color:red] if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that[color:red] none of them were of us.
I am thinking that your problems are because of your definition of a Christian. Jesus promises he will never leave us or forsake us. He has the power to keep us safe to the end.
Josh, I believe that you need to look at more than one verse to see what the Bible is really saying about this issue. What kind of Savior can you offer people if He is unable to keep you till the end? Isaiah 49:15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. 49:16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.
I have seen an elderly lady who became a Christian about the same time as I did who later was afflicted with alzheimers. How wonderful to know that she was safe in the Lord's hand even when she didn't know her own family! Susan
Please exegete/interpret in DETAIL Eph 1:4-13 and John 1:12, 13, for if Dabney and the rest of us are wrong, you must have a biblical interpretation of these that will further prove your point, or else we can determine your Revelation interpretation is incorrect????
[color:red]But I see no evidence as to why your explanation is accurate and mine is not. Mine seems to make a bit more sense considering the context. As to your second question, two notable examples are Simeon and Anna.
Sorry, last first, how were Anna and Simeon not of the elect? And thus Christ's sheep? For some reason you seem to think that election applies only to those who have been identified. When in reality it applies to all of God's chosen. Anna and Simeon being one of them.
As to your lack of sight, well that is the crux of the matter isn't it? You fail to see what is clearly taught in scripture. Pilgrim, Joe, Paul, all have pointed out why your statements are incorrect but you just can't see them. Ergo your spiritual astigmatism causes you to proclaim you see clearly when you have need of that eye salve that cures.
On an personal note: the quote was from the original, and while I like a good Bruce Campbell flick as much as the next man, you really ought to see the one where Patricia O' Neal and Michael Rennie made it famous.