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Re: [biblicalapologetics] Asking forgivness of sins

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  • Jeff Koenig
    [ ]I think the zap terminology accuratelyi communicates the truth of the calvinist doctrine of irresistible grace. God just decides for his own reasons whom
    Message 1 of 43 , Sep 13, 2004
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      [>]I think the "zap" terminology accuratelyi communicates the truth of the calvinist doctrine of irresistible grace.  God just decides for his own reasons whom to save, he sends Christ to die for them alone, and then he zaps them, causing them to believe and persevere to the end.  The others have no possible chance of being saved, since they were not chosen, and Christ didn't die for them.  But to add insult to injury, the gospel is phrased in terms that appear to offer such hopeless sinners a way of escape, when in fact they have no hope whatsoever of being saved.[<]
       
      John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me *will* come to Me,.."
      John 6:44 "No one *can come* to Me unless the Father...draws him.."
       
      The "giving" precedes the "coming".  The "coming" is only possible by God's effectual calling.  Not all men come to Christ, therefore I conclude that the number intended to be saved is limited to the number of individuals "called/drawn."  Rom 8 seems to reflect this.  vs 29 "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined....vs 30 "Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also _called_.."
       
       
      Re John 6:37.  The Father "giving" people to the Son.  Presumably it happens "before" creation.  On the Arminian view, God know who will believe the gospel and "gives" those to the Son (something like electing them for salvation).  All "those" will ultimately come to the Son.  No because of irresistible grace.  But rather they were "given" because they would "come."  From a temporal standpoint, the giving occurs "before" the coming (in that the giving happens when God exists alone, without a universe or time).  But from the standpoint of the logical order of God's decrees, his "giving" believers to the Son follows his knowing that they would respond to God's drawing and believe in the Son.
       
      When you say the "coming" is only possible by God's effectual calling, clearly you are importing doctrines that are not expressly taught in the passage under examination.  There is really nothing in 6:37 that supports the Calvinist position.  It does talk about the Father giving some to the Son, who ultimately come to him, but it says nothing about the basis for the giving (i.e., based on a raw choice as opposed to knowing that they would believe).
       
      John 6:44 is similar.  In fact, in my view, it supports the Arminian position.  The father draws all men to Christ.  But some resist the drawing.  Those who respond are saved.  They could never have come on their own (dead in sins).  But by grace he makes it possible for them to come to the Son and be saved.  You can import your view that the drawing is an effectual call only for the elect.  But the verse does not teach that.  Verse 65 is quite similar.
       
      You say the number "intended to be saved is limited to the nubmer of individuals called/drawn."  This is not required by the John verses.  What if God draws all, but some resist his drawing while others respond.  Then those who respond and are saved can't say they did it on their own (since it was God who drew them and enabled them to respond).  And those who resisted cannot blame anyone but themselves, since God drew them and made it possible for them to believe, but they refused.
       
      Peter says that God does not wish any to perish.  It makes sense, then, for him to draw them all to himself, but not irresistibly.  He wishes them to repent, and makes it possible for them to do so (by grace), but ultimately, the individual must choose between life and death.
       
      Then it comes down to Rom 8:29-30.  Here we seems to be speaking of logical order, at least with regard to the "foreknowing" and "predestining."  These would both happen before time/creation.  Technically, it is not really foreknowledge, since there is no before and after without creation and time.  It is knowledge from eternity about things in time (people).  The other steps happen in time, being called, justified and glorified.  But the information about the foreknowing and predestining is quite sparce.  We are not told anything abou the foreknowing except that it is of persons.  He forknew them.  We are not told what that means.  We are not told what it was about them that God's attention was focused on.  One possibility is that he foreknew that they would believe in Christ, but this is not expressly stated. 
       
      Roman 8:29-30 does not say taht the number intended to be saved is limited to those who are drawn and effectually called.  It just says that certain people were known to God from eternity.  Then it says that these people were "predestined to become conformed to the image of his son."  This seems to be something that must happen; God has determined that it will happen.  But we are not told that the ones foreknown and predestined are once that God simply chose by his raw will, without regard to whether they would believe in Christ.  Again, you are importing your notion of sovereign election into the verse.  Having done that, you reason that those foreknown/predestinated are "called," justified and glorified.  To you, that seems to support you view that only the elect are "called."  But the verse does not teach that.  You are smuggling your presuppositions in to the first two steps, assuming that the ones foreknown and predestinated are the ones sovereignly elected (the rest being passed over), and that only these are "called" and justified.  Moreover, the "effective" call idea is imposed on the "called" step, but does not come out of the verse. 
       
      In sum, this passage fits fine with the Arminian view, and proves nothing.  If he foreknew all people before creation, he knew everthing about them, what they would do in any given circumstances, what they would actually do in the circumstances that would actually happen, whether they would respond to God's drawing and come to Christ or reject him, etc.  The ones spoken of here are evidently not all men but those who would trust in Christ (and not depart from him).  He foreknew them, and predestined them to be conformed to the image of Christ.  Then, in time, he called them to Christ.  But this does not say anything about whether the others would be called or drawn in some sense (those whom God knew would ultimately reject Christ).  Romans 8:29-30 does not preclude them being called or drawn in some sense as well (though obviously not irresistibly, since they ultimate reject Christ).  In any event, the ones under consideration are called, justified (once they believe in time) and glorified (in due course).
       
      This sequence for those whom God "foreknew" does not prove the number intended to be saved is limited to those drawn and effectually called.  I doubt there is such a thing as "effectual calling" whereby God calls a sinner to himself and irresistibly caused him to believe.  He draws sinners to himelf, enables them to respond.  Some will respond.  Those are foreknown, predestinated, called, etc.  This passage says nothing at all about what happens to the others.  For all this passage knows, they are drawn to Christ and "called" to believe in him as well, but resist, thus never being justified or glorified.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, September 10, 2004 5:55 PM
      Subject: Re: [biblicalapologetics] Asking forgivness of sins

      Hi,
       
      [>]My view is that God gives sinners the grace to accept the gospel.  With that grace, the sinner is able to believe, or not.  God does not just regenerate them (resulting in belief).  Rather, he draws them, and enables them, but leaves the ultimate choice up to the individual.  If he trusts in Christ, God will regenerate him, forgive him, etc.  If not, then his blood is on his own hands.[<]
       
      I agree with all of the above with the exception of "leave the ultimate choice up to the individual."  See below.
       
      [>]I think the "zap" terminology accuratelyi communicates the truth of the calvinist doctrine of irresistible grace.  God just decides for his own reasons whom to save, he sends Christ to die for them alone, and then he zaps them, causing them to believe and persevere to the end.  The others have no possible chance of being saved, since they were not chosen, and Christ didn't die for them.  But to add insult to injury, the gospel is phrased in terms that appear to offer such hopeless sinners a way of escape, when in fact they have no hope whatsoever of being saved.[<]
       
      John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me *will* come to Me,.."
      John 6:44 "No one *can come* to Me unless the Father...draws him.."
       
      The "giving" precedes the "coming".  The "coming" is only possible by God's effectual calling.  Not all men come to Christ, therefore I conclude that the number intended to be saved is limited to the number of individuals "called/drawn."  Rom 8 seems to reflect this.  vs 29 "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined....vs 30 "Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also _called_.."
       
      This doesn't seem to be a _free_ choice to the individual as I see it.  I believe it is a choice, but not one that a person can make on their _own_.  If it was, why does it require the calling of God?  And when God draws them, they _will_ make it (come to Christ). This isn't simply "'draw' = 'preaching'" as Christ says in John 6:36 "But I said to you that you have _seen Me_ and yet do not believe."  Thereafter He gives the explanation, as I see it, as to *why* they do not believe.   
       
      [>]If God wants to wake up backslidden believers, he can do so in any number of ways (e.g., a convicting sermon, a pang of guilt, a godly example).  But why should he choose instead to warn them about a danger that is not real (the danger of falling away from Christ and perishing in hell).  If the apostles (and the author of Hebrews if he wasn't an apostle himself) warned about that danger, it was a real danger.  I think it would be wrong for them to have used such scare tactics to wake up believers who could not possibly fall away and be lost.[<]
       
      I believe that "falling away" passages are open to interpretation.  I will admit that I have the same question you ask.  But I will also say that I have believe there are an equal amount if not a greater number of questions from an Arminian standpoint (as I try to look at this issue from both sides).  I would say that Brent's response was pretty much on the money.
       
      [>]the doctrine of perseverence (whatever label is used) has the same meaning -- that a true believer cannot be lost -- and the same potential negative impact on morals.  obviously, there are many godly calvinists, but this is one problem with their doctrine.  ultimately, though, the test is whether the doctrine is biblical.  if it is, then we should hold it, even if it might lead some to think they can take advantage.[<]
       
      However, the true believer wouldn't necessarily *want* to "take advantage" of this.  That's the problem I see with "OSAS" is that many *do* take advantage of it often to extremes (thereby giving an indication of their salvific standing).  That's why I like to differentiate between 'perseverence of the saints' and 'OSAS'.  Although a true Christian *can* fall into sin, he *will* always return in repentance.  Have you noticed that when you became a Christian you developed, by God's grace, a *disposition* against commiting sin?  I'll bet you have.  That is, you no longer *want* to sin like you used to!  So, there is no negative impact on morals because the true Christian is undergoing a regenerative process that keeps him/her from _desiring_ sin. 
       
      [>]I don't suggest we are kept "by works."  Rather, that if we turn away from Christ and stop believing, then we are not saved.[<]
       
      I agree.
       
      [>]The believer need only abide in Christ (continue believing) to be saved in the end.[<]
       
      I agree.
       
      [>]The question is whether it is possible for him to not "abide/remain."  Query also why Jesus would warn us to "abide" (and add warnings about being cut off and thrown into the fire) in John 15 when it is impossible for believers not to abide/persever.[<]
       
      In John 15, Jesus says that without Him we could do nothing (i.e., on our own).  He also says that those who abide in Him *will* produce "fruit".  We need Him to produce fruit and if we abide in Him we *will* produce this fruit.  So my question is, how can one "abide in" Christ and *not* produce fruit so as to be cut off and cast into the fire when Christ said that the one in Him *will* (not "may") produce fruit?  I believe Jesus is speaking of false professors and/or those who are not Christians _by heart_ ("Sunday Christians" and the like).  Seperating the tares from the wheat.  The sheep from the goats.  James White has a piece on this that you may want to refer to if you haven't already.  I'm also willing to listen to other views because I admit that my thoughts on this passage may be wrong. 
       
      God bless,
      Jeremiah
       
       
       

       
       

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    • Jeff Koenig
      that would be a common figure of speech, the container for the contents, similar to using the term White House to refer to the people inside who run the
      Message 43 of 43 , Oct 9, 2004
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        that would be a common figure of speech, the container for the contents, similar to using the term "White House" to refer to the people inside who run the government.
         
        but, in this context it may refer also to the end of death altogether.
         
        in Rev. 20.13 John says that "death and hades gave up the dead which were in them."  So we know that John knows how to refer distinctly to the people who dwell there, as opposed to the place itself.
         
        then, in 20.13 is says that they were "judged."  but it does not say anyone is sent to the lake of fire.
         
        then in 20.14, he says that "death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire."
         
        then in 20:15, he say, "if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." 
         
        so, 20.14 "could" be a figure of speech meaning that the people in "death and Hades" were thrown into the lake of fire.  But in the very next verse (15) John expressly says that these same people are "thrown" into the lake of fire.
         
        overall, I tend to think that death and Hades being cast in, along with the people, may refer to the end of death in general, not solely to the inhabitants being cast into the lake of fire.  for one thing, there is no more death from this point forward, so there would be no one to go into "hades" or 'death."  (See rev. 21.4, "there shall no longer be any death.")
        -----Original Message-----
        From: supergohanlee [mailto:supergohanlee@...]
        Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2004 12:13 AM
        To: biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [biblicalapologetics] Re: Asking forgivness of sins


        I think the passage (Rev 20:14) means that the people who are already
        in Hades as well as the unsaved people at the time of judgment will
        be cast into the lake of fire.  So the "death and Hades" referes to
        the people, rather than the place being eliminated.




        --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Koenig"
        <jkoenig@s...> wrote:
        > Asking forgivness of sinsthe word translated "hell" in KJV is
        hades, not gehenna.
        >
        > KJV Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of
        fire. This is the second death.
        >
        >
        > NAS Revelation 20:14 And death and Hades were thrown into the lake
        of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
        >
        >
        > Just means that the realm of the dead (hades) is cast into the lake
        of fire.  But it is not clear exactly what that means, or what it
        means for "death" to be cast into the lake of fire.  Maybe the idea
        is that after there is no more death, no more hades.  It makes more
        sense to people or angels/demons to be cast into the lake of fire
        than things like "death" or places like "hades."  When people are
        cast in, I take that literally.  When hades/death is cast in, I think
        the meaning might be figurative.
        >




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