| Re: |
Salvation is a gift from God, but we have a choice to reject the gift being offered(harden our hearts) or receive it(salvation). The question of why do some choose to receive and some reject, in my understanding lies in the what Jesus commands sinners to do in Mark 1:15
15and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.
Many are willing to believe, but few want to receive the other gift which goes hand in hand. That being the gift of repentance unto life. Just believing with no repentance is false. But when Jesus says to turn from our wicked ways, not the soul is insulted, thats the Gospel. The Gospel is insulting to our prideful hearts. So this is what keeps some from receiving Christ, they would rather live in darkness. Russ
| 2010/9/24 11:46||Profile|
| Re: |
Snuf,are you a calvanist? What you are trying to say is that the spirit(God)opens the eyes of some and not others.The God I serve does not select some for salvation and others not.This is not LOVE.Does my love for my fellow man tell me by scripture to select whom to love.Even if I had knowlege that you would never be saved I would still love you.Jesus himself said that we had to become like a child.I am sorry that I am not as mature as you,but mayby it would do you some good to remember where you came from.
| 2010/9/24 12:28||Profile|
| Re: |
Salvation is GOD'S gift; and it is by
HIS choosing and willing. Our part is
to receive the Offering and sacrifice
made by HIS Son, and receive HIS grace
and mercies !!
Martin G. Smith
| 2010/9/24 13:19||Profile|
| Re: |
Personally I feel, with this topic, we are trying to get into the mind of an eternal Being with our own finite minds and it simply can't be done.
I know I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world(Ephesians 1:4). I also know that there is nothing in me that makes me worthy of salvation (Romans 3:11, 7:18, Ephesians 2:8).
Where does God's sovereignty end and man's responsibility begin? That's the question that has been debated for centuries. If this thread is going to finally put the topic to bed then I'm truly honored to be posting on it, but I doubt it somewhat.
The truth is it is a mystery to us why we become believers. A wonderful miracle. And to know that it was in the mind of God before time began makes it even more wonderful. Let's just rest in it and leave the whys and wherefores with God. It all points to and glorifies our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Perhaps one day in rapturous glory beyond He may choose to enlighten us.
| 2010/9/24 13:41||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you davym, good to hear its a mystery to someone else to. I thank the Lord every day for my salvation. It breaks my heart to see so many not saved. I guess that is where my question comes from.
| 2010/9/24 14:24||Profile|
| Re: |
I understand your question.
I think to answer this question we have to go back to the beginning of creation.
God created a world without sin, and created the angles to serve, but one angel who was perfect in wisdom and beauty was blinded by that very fact, that he was perfect in wisdom and beauty. His very perfection blinded him to the fact that he was a created being and not the CREATOR. He wanted the honor that is due only to the Creator.
You know the story, read the account in Isiah and Ezekiel.
In turn he tempted man to fall in the same desire to get honor that does not belong to him and to BE LIKE GOD. Now we have a whole race that is corrupted by sin in nature and practice.
But God, in Christ has given us the chance to escape that nature and be empowered by God's own nature through the Holy Spirit.
To love God and surrender to Him is a choice as rebelling against Him was also a choice in the very beginning. All man has to do to be saved to to recognize the simple fact that he belongs a God because he was created by God, and is not entitled to anything including himself.
It is only rational. You would think that every one should figure that out with perfect ease, but sin is irrational and insane.
For he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
When we read the story of the fall of Satan we say: what was he thinking? How insane? But every time we sin, we are doing the same thing, we are declaring that we are our own god and we refuse to bow down to the God who made us.
So, to ask why some respond with surrender while others with rebellion requires also asking why did Satan fall and some angels followed him while the rest of the angels refused to do the same but continued to obey and honor God and know their rightful place, that they were created.
Thus says the Lord GOD, "You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 "You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared. 14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 "You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created, Until unrighteousness was found in you. 16 "By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, And you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane From the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the stones of fire. 17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, That they may see you." (Ezekiel 28:12-17)
In the fall , we have a created being assuming the place of his Creator. In redemption, we have the Creator taking on flesh. There is much to be gleaned from the mystery of what our Lord Jesus did for us, and that should make us bow the knee in adoration and worship of the God who loved us so much to do such an awesome and awful thing.
| 2010/9/24 14:35||Profile|
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UntoBabes, Thank you for your reply(with love). This is alot to chew on. Pray that the lord will give me wisdom and understanding.
| 2010/9/24 14:57||Profile|
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"It breaks my heart to see so many not saved"
This is a burden of the heart that all true believers possess. It's put within us by the Holy Spirit and is in fact an evidence of the New Birth.
I wish I could write something that would make it all make sense for you, but all I can do is share some thoughts which you may want to ponder.
I remember when I was newly converted I went out and tried to tell my friends about the Lord and about how excited I was. I felt I had found the answer to everything and had to share it. But I was so disappointed when I soon discovered they weren't as excited as me and, moreover, they were starting to think I'd lost my mind. But I just wanted them to be converted.
As time went on though and I began to grow a little in the Lord I realised that it was actually quite arrogant to assume that someone could be converted simply by my weak powers of persuasion. I mean, think about it, if we were capable of converting people just by talking to them, life would be impossible to live. We would become so guilt ridden for having a 5 minute snooze because we could have used that 5 minutes to convert somebody. No, that's not how it works. I must be led by the Spirit both in my own sanctification and in evangelism. It is God who does the work in and through me and it is Him who saves. He will not part with this. Not with DL Moody, Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon or anyone. It is God's prerogitive. The fact that he used us in any way is a wonderful honor.
Then comes the question of well why does God not save more people or even everyone? This is where we must be extremely careful. We're in danger of blasphemy by suggesting there is injustice with God. There cannot be. The seeming way out of this is to say well if man rejects the Gospel then it is man's choice, but this contradicts many scriptures and also would give us some sort of merit for choosing to accept the Gospel.
So, I just feel its a mystery best left with God. It's the same when we contemplate eternity. Again, think about it, no beginning.......no end...... it boggles the mind! So how can we expect to understand why we are chosen and others aren't? I just leave it with God knowing full well that there is no injustice, but only mercy and justice.
Ps untobabes thanks for your post. Very thought provoking.
| 2010/9/24 18:29||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
| Re: Mans will|
2 Cor 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. 2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
It is God who reveals the truth of the gospel to men's darkened minds. After that, men choose to believe or not. Men can't and won't choose before God reveals His truth. God takes the initiative here. Man cannot take credit for his own salvation. Man would never have chosen salvation if God had not first revealed the truth. God does not force His will on man but rather simply shines His light on man's conscience. To my mind, this is where Calvinism and Arminianism meet. God is sovereign AND man has a free will.(/quote)
Amen, well put. God is the initiator who offers salvation to all indiscriminately. Man is simply the responder who either receives or rejects the gracious offer of God.
Man indeed has a free will, meaning the power to choose to receive or reject the gospel. So ultimately some choose to receive God's gift of salvation and some don't based on their own choosing. And yet, before the foundation of the world God knew all of our choices and considered them when He chose us in Christ. So in a sense God first chose us before we were created. And in another sense God considered our choice before He chose us. He is not capricious in His work of redemption. He does not take any pleasure in the death of any wicked man or woman(Ezek.33:11), but rather that all may be saved(1Tim.2:4).
I think asking why some choose to be saved and some don't is sort of like asking why people choose different things in other areas of life. Humans are free agents. They can freely choose different things or paths of life. God has wired us this way and holds us accountable in the choices we make. Through the fall of Adam, man has become corrupt and depraved and on his way to hell, but through Christ, man can freely receive salvation. But I do agree that there are elements that remain mysteries in this issue of God's election and man's free will.
| 2010/9/24 18:59||Profile|
| Re: Mans will|
If God so loved the world and is not willing that any should perish, is the potter and is able to remold the stony heart & Christ died for all, then: who prayed for you, Who labored in the vineyard in which your branch lay barren, who entered into Christs sufferings, who forgave as Steven did, who wept carrying your sheaves. Doesn't the answer lie in us the so called elect. Maybe it is not that God is not able or willing but that we do not put our hand to the plow, dying to selves and trusting in his word and goodness and mercy for souls.
| 2010/9/25 0:03||Profile|