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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Accountability for Conscious Rejection of God's Mercy

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Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1925
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Quote:
I doubt that any of us would deny that God's decisions are "at times" based upon how men respond. God Himself declares that He is willing to change His mind from the destruction He has planned and instead give blessing and peace, if men will hear his words, humble their hearts, turn from their ungodliness and walk in His ways. And most certainly it is His grace to even give men this opportunity, but since He Himself has consistently acted this way, it should not trouble anyone that there are those who believe men's response determines God's response at times.

There are too many passages in scripture where this principle is so clearly stated that it leaves no doubt that God is willing to reconsider what He has declared and will indeed withhold either good or bad based upon the response of men.

Jeremiah 18 is one such passage where the Lord affirms His right to change His mind about whether a vessel will be unto one purpose or another and explains that this principle is true for any nation or kingdom.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! 7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.
11 “Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.

Some of the sincere people who believe that men's response to God's word will determine their fate with God appear to have been biblical writers.

It was while reading the bible that I became aware of this principle.

mak



Amen. At times, when it comes to the plethora of "conditional" promises made by God to man in Scripture, our sincere brethren appeal to two supposed wills of God. They say God has a "revealed" will and a "secret" will. They say that God's revealed will is that all sinners without exception should respond to Him in repentance and faith and that He takes no pleasure in the death of any wicked person. And they say that His secret will on the other hand is that only the elect respond in repentance and faith and that the rest be doomed and damned forever in hell, without hope neither in this life nor the next.

In other words, according to our sincere brethren, God has two wills which seem to contradict one another. They usually appeal to Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."

Yet that verse does not teach that God has two contradictory wills. It simply teaches that there are some things that God has not deemed fit to reveal to us, and that He has revealed certain things to us for our own good.

In other words, the fact that certain things of God remain mysteries does not mean there are any contradictions between those mysteries and God's "revealed" will in Scripture. If that were the case, we would not be able to really trust anything God says explicitly in His Word.

Imagine trying to apply that to anything else taught in Scripture. We'd have to always second-guess and say, "Is that really true or does God have a "secret" will which contradicts this seemingly explicit "revealed" will?"


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Oracio Sandoval

 2018/11/27 22:43Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1925
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

By the way, thanks Mak for the OP article and for the recommendation regarding esword and the Apostolic Polyglot Bible version. I went ahead and downloaded both. I've been using a few word study books as well as Blue Letter Bible (a free online tool) for that type of functionality, but it's cool to have something like that installed on my pc.


_________________
Oracio Sandoval

 2018/11/27 23:07Profile
CofG
Member



Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 139
Cambodia

 Re:

Brothers and Sisters,

I'm honestly not mocking anyone's intelligence or firmly and sincerely held beliefs. You are my brothers and sisters. I previously read the Bible with the same understanding as you do about this topic. All of you may be far above me in many spiritual respects. So, please hear this not as condescension but as an attempt to present what is being asserted in its simplest form. At the bottom of salvation according to this position, is this statement:

"God chose us because we first chose Him."

I know that those in the thread are well versed. Doesn't that sound strange to say as a simple proposition and matter of Scripture?


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Robert

 2018/11/28 3:19Profile
passerby
Member



Joined: 2008/8/13
Posts: 589


 Re:

It is obvious that some camps, hold that there are human beings that are destined by God for reprobation and damnation and nothing can be done about it.

To the other camps this a clear absurdity and a blasphemy to the character of God. Only wicked beings will let it happen.

How sure are the adherents of this doctrine that this is actually true without reasonable doubt, this is a very serious matter.

 2018/11/28 5:30Profile
makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 544
Texas

 Re:

Dear Brother,

Your "simplification" is in reality a distortion.

If you insist that every time faith is discussed, we must specify that God gave the faith, then you will be at odds with our Lord Jesus, His apostles, Paul, James, Jude, and the writer of Hebrews.

Their words and writings are filled with precise grammar that actually direct the reader's focus to the importance of the subject's participation in the action being described. This grammar has come to be known as "subject focused" verbs, also known as deponent, because they always appear in the form of the Greek Middle Voice. Any reader familiar with the original language would have known that the writer was underscoring the importance of the participation of the subject in the action being described.


You on the other hand, seem to be insisting that faith only be spoken of as God's gift to man. The writers of the New Testament did not share your concern. They deliberately chose grammar to direct their readers mind to the importance of the human response. They did this repeatedly and no one on this forum would accuse them of such a conclusion as you have put forth. They intentionally directed the reader to the importance of carefully hearing, considering and responding to the word of truth.


One such grammatical tool that they employed to do this was the Greek word δέχομαι. This is "subject focused" (deponent verb) that is defined in this way on Bible Hub:

1209 déxomai – properly, to receive in a welcoming (receptive) way. 1209 (déxomai) is used of people welcoming God (His offers), like receiving and sharing in His salvation (1 Thes 2:13) and thoughts (Eph 6:17).
1209/dexomai ("warmly receptive, welcoming") means receive with "ready reception what is offered" (Vine, Unger, White, NT, 7), i.e. "welcome with appropriate reception" (Thayer).
[The personal element is emphasized with 1209 (déxomai) which accounts for it always being in the Greek middle voice. This stresses the high level of self-involvement (interest) involved with the "welcoming-receiving." 1209 (déxomai) occurs 59 times in the NT.]

Throughout the Septuagint and the New Testament, this word is employed to convey exactly what the above description unbiasedly asserts.

Here are a few examples where its use underscores the dynamic element of the human response

II Thessalonians 2:9-12

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive (déxomai) the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Paul uses déxomai to focus our intention on why men are perishing. He intentionally directed the readers mind to consider that men did not receive, embrace, welcome the truth.


Matthew and Luke, (Jew and Gentile) used the same word in our Lord's instructions to the disciples when he sent them out to preach.

And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive (déxomai) you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!

I encourage you to study this out and ask yourself, if the writers of both Old and New Testament consistently used grammar that directed the reader's focus to the human response to God's initiative, then this focus is a
GOD BREATHED - inspiration.

mak



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Alan and Dina Martin

 2018/11/28 7:59Profile
Gloryandgrace
Member



Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 817
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:


Hi Mak: Well a couple of things.

You said..."Please know that I did not leave out what is innately understood"

Seriously Mak? I'm going to toss a little water on your sleepy head. Mak you are a razor-sharp student of the word, what you consider 'innate' is NOT innate to a great many others. What is old-hat and everyone-knows-this is not the level of everyone's knowledge that comes to this forum.
There are plenty like yourself who are equally razor-sharp in knowledge and articulation of their doctrinal position...but for the rest of us butter-knives you've left out a valuable part of the story.

The other is, I do so enjoy your greek insights, I really like it.

I don't think for a moment that I am at odds with Jesus or Paul, though obviously not an equal, I am their brother and a son-in-the-faith. I do not expect God's sovereignty is a necessary 'inclusion' with every statement where human responsibility is mentioned, nor would I expect the opposite.
It takes all the ingredients of God's divine plan clearly shown to give the student of scripture the best understanding of God's love toward his Son and his Church.

And because of your lack of consideration of God's sovereign workings, God gives me the opportunity to share that portion and for that I give thanks.

As to believing God has two contradictory wills, that would be a concoction for my dissenters, not my own views.

It takes little to no time at all to accept the fact that God knows who are going to be saved and who are not, so it does not matter in the slightest whether you are calvy or armin or none-of-the-above. Because as soon as you ascribe omniscience to God and God's declaration of only one way one truth and one life...all in Jesus; you have God knowingly commanding us to preach to people God knows will never come to him. Then for some reason the calvy gets the mud-slung at him for even mentioning the fact that God is only going to take what he will take...and he knows who they are.

I am saying all orthodox theological persuasions fall into this category and therefore all have this truth intrinsic to a coherent theology.

There are others who are heterodox and get slippery when it comes to hell and God's omniscience so they fall into an un-orthodox position that is not under consideration here.


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Marvin

 2018/11/28 9:45Profile
makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 544
Texas

 Re:

Thanks Marvin,

Actually you have stimulated me many times to consider the sovereignty of God. I have become aware that you will likely be there to make sure that His sovereignty will not be overlooked.

Thanks for the water and your contribution to this forum. Your own focus has been used to sharpen mine. There are two sides to most good knives.

I feel you and I come very close to meeting at the junction point.

mak


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Alan and Dina Martin

 2018/11/28 9:54Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1925
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Thought I'd share this pertinent A.W. Tozer quote:

"God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, ‘What doest thou?’ Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.” -from Tozer's book, The Knowledge of the Holy (Authentic Media, 2008), pp.144-145


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Oracio Sandoval

 2018/11/28 10:49Profile
Gloryandgrace
Member



Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 817
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:


Hi Oracio: you are another razor that frequents here, and that Tozer quote...well, you and I could have some real dialog with that one. I do love Tozer.

Im going to get my wheelbarrow full of books just in case you open a thread on that subject.

Either way...thanks for jumping in.


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Marvin

 2018/11/28 11:07Profile
Gloryandgrace
Member



Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 817
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:


Mak I think we are closer than it might appear.

Do you want to know an ugly truth?

It's tough to find a calvy that will go out and street witness with me, I turn to my armin brothers/sisters and they will go. Tell me what's wrong with that picture?

Anyway I make better friends with my dissenters than I do with my back-slapping calvies, I don't know why.
That's not true of everyone of course, but I wanted you and others to know my conflicts/discussions/debates with others do not hinder my appreciation for them.


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Marvin

 2018/11/28 11:35Profile





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