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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Predestination

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tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Magnus wrote:

Quote:
The problem with the Eph. text is that we still count it as containing the inerrant word of God.



Could you please explain?


_________________
TJ

 2007/4/22 18:10Profile
Mangan
Member



Joined: 2007/4/19
Posts: 161
Sweden (Northern Europe)

 Re:

TJ! The problem is not the Word of God but the reality of predestination which exists, if the word of God is true (which I myself believe).

Magnus ;-)


_________________
Magnus Nordlund

 2007/4/22 18:17Profile
intrcssr83
Member



Joined: 2005/10/28
Posts: 246
Logan City, Queensland, Australia

 Re:

Quote:

CJaKfOrEsT wrote:
But, you may ask, does that mean that we don't need to preach, because His elect will be saved anyway? Well, my response to you would be that if you are only preaching the gospel in order to "rescue lost souls", then you have missed the point. Preach in order to obey your King. It is not our job to "save the lost" but only to "warn of judgement" and "point to Jesus". This is His "chosen means". God alone saves souls. The point isn't that "sinners don't go to hell" but that "many sons be brought to glory".



Reminds me of a story R.C. Sproul once told about a time in seminary when his professor brought up the Election vs Evangelism issue:

Quote:

I remember, in this regard, a most discomforting experience I had while I was a
seminary student. And I was in a seminar studying Jonathan Edwards’ work The
Freedom of the Will. And I believe there were twenty-two of us in that class, and the
professor had us arranged in a semi-circle in front of his desk. And he enjoyed the
Socratic method of teaching. He called it dia-lecture; he lectured, we died, because he
would constantly grill us and put us on the spot and ask us difficult questions.

On this one day he said to us “All right, gentlemen, if it is true, that God, from all eternity, has chosen to save certain people and not others, then why should we be visibly involved in the task of evangelism?”

Now I breathed a great sigh of relief because I happened to be sitting at the extreme right-hand side of the semi-circle of students and he started to ask the students on the extreme left-hand side and his custom would be to go right down the line, so I knew that there would be twenty-one people who would get to wrestle with the question before he would ever get to me; and I was delighted that I had that safety cushion. And so he started with the first student.

He said: “Mr. So-and-so, if the doctrine of divine election is true, why should we be involved in evangelism?”

The student candid replied “Professor, I don’t know! I’ve always wondered about that myself.”

He went to the next fellow in the line: “What do you think?”

That fellow shrugged his shoulders and said, “Beats me.” All of a sudden, it was getting more and more scary as he went down the line, asking each student, and each one of them could not provide an earthly answer.

Finally, the finger pointed at me. Now, I have to this, I hope you don’t take it wrong: there were certain times in seminary when my fellow students looked to me to bail them out in these theory, difficult things; they assigned to me the role that Plato had assigned to Socrates in The Dialogues when all of these questions would be raised, everybody would give their answer and in the end Socrates would sort it all out, so I was feeling more and more pressure as the professor came closer to me and finally descended on me asking “Alright Mr. Sproul, if God ordains from all of eternity certain people to be saved, why should we be engaged in evangelism?”

I was really nervous and said rather meekly, “well professor, I know this isn’t what
you’re looking for, it’s not a big reason, but one reason after all for why we should still be involved in evangelism is, well…” and I stammered and stuttered “…y’know God does command us to do it, doesn’t he?”

The professor went ballistic.

He started to play with me and mock me – in a nice way of course - and he said “Yes, Mr. Sproul, and what could possibly be a [i]smaller[/i] thing than that! That the Lord God almighty who is omnipotent who reigns should command you to do [i]something[/i] or [i]anything[/i]. Or that the Lord who shed his blood for your sins should command [i]you[/i] to take some credibility to the task because he did you soul and you may want to top your hat to him in this enterprise…”

And he went on, and on and on and I just felt smaller and smaller.

But he said, “Of course! That’s a reason enough for the church to be involved in evangelism!”



It's funny, last Thursday for a small-group discussion, the topic I was given was the relationship between Isaac, Jacob and Esau. It was prophesied that Jacob would receive the Lord's blessing, yet look at how this was achieved:

[i]1When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, "My son"; and he answered, "Here I am." 2He said, "Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, 4and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die."

5Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, 7'Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the LORD before I die.' 8Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. 9Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. 10And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies." 11But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing." 13His mother said to him, "Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me."

14So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. 15Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

18So he went in to his father and said, "My father." And he said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?" 19Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me." 20But Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?" He answered, "Because the LORD your God granted me success." 21Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not." 22So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." 23And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands. So he blessed him. 24He said, "Are you really my son Esau?" He answered, "I am." 25Then he said, "Bring it near to me, that I may eat of my son's game and bless you." So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.

26Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come near and kiss me, my son." 27So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said,

"See, the smell of my son
is as the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed!
28May God give you of the dew of heaven
and of the fatness of the earth
and plenty of grain and wine.
29Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may your mother's sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
and blessed be everyone who blesses you!"

30As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, "Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that you may bless me." 32His father Isaac said to him, "Who are you?" He answered, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau." 33Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, "Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed." 34As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me, even me also, O my father!" 35But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing." 36Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing." Then he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?" 37Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?" 38Esau said to his father, "Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father." And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

39Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:

"Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be,
and away from the dew of heaven on high.
40By your sword you shall live,
and you shall serve your brother;
but when you grow restless
you shall break his yoke from your neck."[/i]
[b]Genesis 27:1-40 (English Standard Version)[/b]

I have to admit that while I personally lean more towards the 5-points of Calvinism (though not necessarily Calvin's taching in of itself as I haven't read much of his own works), this passage left me stumped regarding just how God's will is achieved.

One of the guys in the group said "Doesn't it say in Romans 'Jacob I loved, Esau I hated'?"
I had the group turn to [b]Romans 9:10-18[/b]:
[i]10And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call-- 12she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

14What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.[/i]

At that point, another person asked me "...but Ben, doesn't God love everyone?"
I asked for a minute to think it through. "...Well, God is also Holy and Just; he hates sin. John 3:18 says [i]'whoever believes not is condemned already'[/i]. We are born as objects of wrath, yet through Christ we become subjects of mercy. By default, God would be more than just to hate us because we are desrving of his contempt. God is under absolutely no obligation to love anyone. If he loves us, it's purely because [i]he[/i] chooses to."
Another person asked: "So how do we know if we're loved or hated by God?"
I simply replied: "You're saved aren't you?"



_________________
Benjamin Valentine

 2007/4/22 19:50Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
The problem with the Eph. text is that we still count it as containing the inerrant word of God.



Yes and the first question we have to ask ourselves is who was this God breathed text written to. Deuteronomy is inspired, but I have to learn how it applies to me today and where it fits in the overall scheme of things.

Quote:
Still the problem is that there are a lot of people who is not in Christ and a lot who never will be.



This is true but God has already determined how predestination comes about. It is up to us to rightly decide how we respond to the light we are given.

Rom 9:7

Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

This relates to my earlier point. The Jews believed that because they were Abraham's seed that they all were going to heaven no matter what.

Rom 9:8

That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Who are the children of the promise? What is the promise? [u]Who[/u] is the Promise? It is the promise made to Abraham of the people of God's ultimate deliverance from Sin and Satan- symbolized in the deliverance of the Children of Israel from the hand of Pharaoh (a type of Satan) and Egypt (a type of Sin). Joshua is the same as 'Jesus'- Joshua was a 'type' of Jesus. But clearly Joshua did not lead the people out of the power of Satan and Sin and into the power of God.

Acts 13:18-23
And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.

19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.

20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.

21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.

22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

23 [u]Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:[/u]
KJV

Jesus is the 'who' of the Promise and [i]deliverance[/i] from Sin and Satan is the 'what'. The final and ultimate expression of the Promise is the hope of the resurrection. It will be at the resurrection that it will be made known who are in Christ and who are not. Some will go to the resurrection of life and others to the resurrection of damnation. This is the 'promise' for which Paul was accused of the Jews (Acts 26:6).

Paul was telling us in Romans that the 'promise' was not given by birth right. Folk were not born in the full expression of the promise. It had to be manifest in the individual regardless of their being Abraham's seed or not. Actually Abraham's 'true' seed are those who are the heirs to the righteousness of God by faith. They simply 'believe God' and it is imputed to them for righteousness.

Rom 4:16

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

God here establishes who the 'seed' are. This is the same as saying the 'elect'. The seed are those who trust God with all their eggs in one basket. 100% trust in Him for their salvation; i.e. their part and portion of the promise.

Rom 9:7-9

Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, [u]In Isaac shall thy seed be called.[/u]

8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are [u]not[/u] the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.

The children of the flesh are those who believe they are saved by the Covenant at Sinai. This covenant is called 'Hagar' in Galatians. It came first just like Ishmael. It was not the promise- the New Covenant is.

Gal 4:24-29

These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written:

"Be glad, O barren woman,
who bears no children;
break forth and cry aloud,
you who have no labor pains;
because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband."

[u]Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.[/u] (from New International Version)

God called and you responded in faith. Not that you were born and already the children of the promise- for that would negate the call [i]and[/i] the response. Does God have the right to establish this as His method of delivering on His promise? Depends on your perspective. If you believed God 'owed' you the promise based upon something you believe He said, but that you actually misunderstood you would likely say "yes there is unrighteousness with God!" But is there?

Rom 9:9-11
For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.

10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;

11(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

God is now refining again who is going to continue to represent the 'type' of the Seed (Elect). Paul lets us know it is not going to be a decision based on how 'good' or 'bad' the person is- but strictly an act of God's grace and mercy. This is a prelude to Ephesians 2:8. It is not your right to be the Elect by birthright and it is not your right for being a 'good' person. It is strictly God's goodness in every case.

Rom 9:15-16

For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

We will come to see that God used people as types and shadows also in a way to warn us about hardening our hearts. This is mentioned twice in Hebrews; "TODAY if you will hear His voice- harden not your hearts." Hardening of the heart is the result of resisting the Holy Ghost and His influence upon it. Our part is making God unwelcome and not liking to retain Him in our knowledge. God hardens our hearts when He removes that influence, as Romans 1 and 2 tells us He 'gave them over' to a depraved mind. Some he allows to exist in this state longer than others and even wax exceedingly hardened. Why? To accomplish His purpose. This is God's sovereign perogative. It's His mercy that we are not consumed in the first place so if He through His longsuffering facilitates the rebellion of the vessels of wrath - it is for His purpose and not for us to question. Some would complain that God wanted Pharoah to do what He did and that in reality Pharoah was doing God's will- therefor God should not find fault. But this attitude fails to realize that Pharaoh was what He was and God uses vessels of wrath for His purposes- including Satan and His demons. He uses them in their rebellion.

Rom 9:17-18

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

We already said who gets 'hardened' and why. This is not an arbitrary decision on God's part- but His response to our response to Him. What about showing mercy? Does God just randomly select people to show mercy to? He has already told us who gets mercy:

Eph 2:4-5

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Now we see who it is that God will show mercy to whom he will show mercy. It is those who are saved by Grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). Not of works and not of birthright. Is that fair? Again, it depends on which side of the 'seed' factor you fall into. If you are The Seed by grace through faith- you are excited and praise God- but if you expect God to fulfill a promise He never made by saving you just because you were born a Jew- you may well want to contend with God or stone the messenger or both.

The results?

Rom 9:25-26

As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

The issue of election has never been about the 'who' but the 'how'. God has given us the criteria for who the Seed (elect) are. God sovereignly established the process by which man is saved and we cannot resist it. The Seed are those who are 'In Christ' whether they are Jew or Gentile. This is God's purpose in election and the means by which He brought it about.





















_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2007/4/23 0:54Profile









 Re:

I'm not good with discussing predestination. Mainly because I havent spent a lot of time studying it. I know what I believe, I just havent formulated it well into my understanding in order to communicate it.

However, below is a link to a 3 part teaching on Calvinism (predestination) that I think puts out there what I believe. I think it would be interesting if y'all would give this series a listen and let us all know what you think.

Here's the link (this is one of my favorite preachers... I'd say I agree w/him 95% of the time)...

http://www.jamesknox.com/sermons/bibleschoolclasses/bibleschoolclasses.shtml

Krispy

 2007/4/23 8:37
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

I think we need to define some terms before we continue:
Election - the sovereign act of God by which He chooses certain people to receive grace. This grace does not depend upon anything good or bad a person has done, is doing, or will do.
Predestination - the determination of God made before the world began concerning who would be adopted as sons, be conformed to the image of Christ that is based according to the counsel of God's will alone.
Calling - The divine calling of God in which He summons the person in darkness and dead in sins to life eternal through Jesus. According to Romans 8:30 this calling always results in justification. This calling is given through the gospel preaching and teaching but is not given by men, but by the Holy Spirit.


RobertW wrote:

Quote:
So teaching on predesdination when seen rightly are not so much as many have supposed; they were necessary teaching in a time that we cannot relate to.



I disagree, we are not discussing something like 'headcoverings' we are discussing God's election. This is a topic that we can and should relate to.

Quote:
The issue of election has never been about the 'who' but the 'how'. God has given us the criteria for who the Seed (elect) are. God sovereignly established the process by which man is saved and we cannot resist it. The Seed are those who are 'In Christ' whether they are Jew or Gentile. This is God's purpose in election and the means by which He brought it about.



Robert, thank you for taking the time to clearly state your belief on predestination. You used a lot of words to state, 'You choose God before God chooses you.' This is what I gather from your posts.

We choose God before He chooses us sounds nice, but is it biblical?

You said that the issue of election has never been about the 'who' but the 'how'. It is true that God has clearly stated for us all the method in which salvation comes (by Grace through Faith), but if election is simply the 'how' and not the 'who' then scripture is wrong and misleading.

For example, Let's say I have a twin brother. Both of us have the same parents, same education, same friends, practically idential in every way. Neither one of us grew up in church but one of our friends invited both of us to a revival. We both hear the same message and at the end of the service, my brother walks forward, convicted of his sins and has faith in Jesus. Now, I think he has lost his mind and I am unconvinced about this Jesus fellow.

Now, according to your defition of election: Who was elected and why? Obviously my brother is elected, but let's look at the why a moment. My brother was elected because he did something that I didn't. Therefore the only difference between myself and my brother is something good that he did, which was believing in Jesus. This example can and does happen, but the truth of the situation is that God called my brother to repentance and not me. In other words, while we both heard the gospel preached (external by man) only my brother heard the diving calling (internal by the Spirit) which always results in justification.

But what does the scripture say about election? Romans 9:11, "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;"

Election occurs before a person is even born and it includes actual persons being elected before they are even born. Another example is in Romans 8:29, "For 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."

Election is more than a 'how' it is a 'whom', For whom He did foreknow.

 2007/4/23 9:52Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Robert, thank you for taking the time to clearly state your belief on predestination. You used a lot of words to state, 'You choose God before God chooses you.' This is what I gather from your posts.



We respond to God as He calls. God chose the method by which He would save man.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2007/4/23 10:00Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
We choose God before He chooses us sounds nice, but is it biblical?



God chose to call and we chose to answer. We respond to the contact He initiates. I am not saving we went looking for God and found Him. I am saying He called and we answer. Our answer determines whether or not we will be in Christ or not.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2007/4/23 10:03Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
You said that the issue of election has never been about the 'who' but the 'how'. It is true that God has clearly stated for us all the method in which salvation comes (by Grace through Faith), but if election is simply the 'how' and not the 'who' then scripture is wrong and misleading.



It would be more clear for me to say it is about 'how' the 'who' are the Seed (the elect). Not by works and not by birthright. It is by the Promise. The Promise is clearly revealed through various types and shadows in the Old Testament. The finality of that this side of eternity is the resurrection.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2007/4/23 10:05Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
This example can and does happen, but the truth of the situation is that God called my brother to repentance and not me. In other words, while we both heard the gospel preached (external by man) only my brother heard the diving calling (internal by the Spirit) which always results in justification.



If this is true the preacher is telling lies by suggesting that [i]whosoever will[/i] can come and drink of the waters of life freely. The call to 'come' is made of none effect by this tradition. It is an insincere call to preach the Gospel to a people who have no way of responding. If one responded and the other did not it is because the one hardened his heart and the other did not. Hebrews warns us twice to respond when we hear. While it is said TODAY if you will hear His voice harden not your hearts. There is a clear choice here involved if words have any meaning.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2007/4/23 10:10Profile





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