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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Hell: did Jesus die for those burning..?

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philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
RonB wrote; The phrase ‘in thine heart’ is usually indicative of thought or intention rather than its execution. I am not sure that it ever got beyond the ‘I will’ stage;

Keith wrote: I agree, it does seem there wasn't any kind of open "rebellion" or mounting of arms or some such all-too-carnal-sounding event in Heaven. "Rebellion", essentially, begins "in the heart" of the rebel, it's just usually the case that the king doesn't notice it until there's an army on the other hill flying strange colors. In God's case, He knew of the "rebellion" immediately (and, indeed, He knew it would happen beforehand, but Satan was not morally responsible for a choice he had not yet made, right?), so the whole business could have been dealt with rather promptly.


[b] Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? [/b] This is one of the Bible’s earliest questions. Abraham expresses his feeling that God’s behaviour must be righteous. He also expresses the feeling that God’s righteous behaviour might be expected to make some kind of sense to his creatures. There is a basic expectation here of ‘rightful expectations’. Surely this is a gift of God. Any man who says of any action of any other man, “it is wrong”, has admitted the moral dimension.

I see that Paul too is anxious to see that God’s reputation is not maligned. It will not satisfy Paul that God justifies, God must also be Just. [b] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Rom 3:26 KJV)[/b] Justice, as the old saying goes, must be just and must be seen to be just.

I have no doubt that God permitted Satan to sin. To say that God is thereby, in some sense, the author of sin doesn’t make sense to me. I might as well say that as God is the source of all life He is responsible for this next press of a typewriter key. God empowers, and His empowering is the real thing and not just theatre. He put a power into the hands of Satan, the power to choose this or that. To predetermine the choice is to cancel the concept of putting power into the hands of another. This is what, in management speak, they sometimes call ‘blameability’ as distinct from ‘responsibility’. If you give power without authority you have blameability. If you give power and the genuine authority to use that power you have true delegation. God gave to Satan the true authority to use the powers that God had given. Satan’s first recorded words, chronologically, can be found in Isaiah 14:13. They are ‘I will’; this is the hallmark of a being conscious of himself and his own identity. In his conscious of himself as a unique identity he clearly recognises himself to be separate from all other ‘selves’. It is also the consciousness that the being has power to choose.

Behind this choice must lie the power to imagine, to postulate this course of action or another. The consideration of different possible courses of action is not sin. The existence of ‘others’ makes the possibility of their being ‘other’ courses of action with ‘other’ objectives. My choice is not morally better than your choice per se. It is when I cease to regard the ‘other’ as God that the possibility of sin arises. I can choose to set my choice against what I know to be God’s choice. The possibility is not sin. I don’t think even the thinking about is necessarily sin. To contemplate the fact that God has created me with the power of independent choice is a cause for worship. No finite God would have dared do such a thing. It is when a knowingly choose my course of action against God’s that sin was born. Are angels holy or only innocent? Innocence is no virtue, but holiness is. There can be no holiness without genuine power to choose, nor sin without genuine power to choose.

If all this was scripted beforehand I begin to feel as though I am watching theatre. The whole feel of that passage of scripture is that Satan was making his choices. That’s the feel of Genesis 3 too. There is nothing that God cannot know and nothing that God cannot do; omniscience and omnipotence. So the events that we read must have been, at least, permitted. However when God resolves to do something in a certain way, He ties His own hands, so to speak. Let me illustrate. [b] Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zec 9:9 KJV)[/b] from the moment that God had declared this He was honour bound to fulfil it; He had tied His own hands. The effect of this is seen in, what is to me, one of the most extraordinary verses in the book; [b] And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that [u]the Lord hath need[/u] of him; and straightway he will send him hither. (Mar 11:3 KJV)[/b]

The Lord hath need!!! Only because He had determined to do is this way. When God has determined to do things is certain way He cannot arbitrarily ‘change the rules’ when things get tough.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways.

O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
A second Adam to the fight
And to the rescue came.

O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
Which did in Adam fail,
Should strive afresh against the foe,
Should strive and should prevail.

And that a higher gift than grace
Should flesh and blood refine,
God’s Presence and His very Self,
And Essence all divine.

O generous love! that He, Who smote,
In Man for man the foe,
The double agony in Man
For man should undergo.

And in the garden secretly,
And on the Cross on high,
Should teach His brethren, and inspire
To suffer and to die.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways.

Adam and Christ; these were choices, free choices.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/12/17 11:16Profile
RobertW
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
But as much as we are able we have to keep making a distinction between a man and his doctrine.



Yes. I will definately be more careful. I appreciate the admonishion. :-) I need more of those.

God Bless,

-Robert


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2004/12/17 11:21Profile
RobertW
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
To contemplate the fact that God has created me with the power of independent choice is a cause for worship. No finite God would have dared do such a thing



Quote:
The Lord hath need!!! Only because He had determined to do is this way. When God has determined to do things is certain way He cannot arbitrarily ‘change the rules’ when things get tough.



That makes the Pentecostal shout in me come out! GLORY to God!


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2004/12/17 11:27Profile
KeithLaMothe
Member



Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


 Re:

As usual, you've produced more than I can respond to right at the moment (got to think about it more), but I came across a quote from a conversation between a Calvinist and a person seeking answers (Douglas Wilson, before he was Reformed, in fact) that is very interesting in light of Ron's earlier comments on Romans 8:28 and thereabouts:

(It's from a book, but this is part of a publicly available preview: http://www.canonpress.org/pages/html%20pgs/easy/elect.html )

"What about Romans 8?"
"That passage does tell us the object of God's foreknowledge. The object of His foreknowledge is not history, or choices, seen apart from His sovereign government. The object of His foreknowledge here is persons. Those whom He foreknew, He predestined."
"I agree that is what is says. But what does foreknowledge mean then?"
"The Greek word here in Romans is proginosko. The prefix pro means before, while the word ginosko has two meanings; one means to know, while the other means to approve. One of the meanings of this compound verb is to approve beforehand. Now if you put that understanding into the Romans 8 passage, how does it read?"
"For whom he approved beforehand, He also predestined to be conformed. . ." I broke off. "I see! Predestination here is not to `becoming a Christian,' but to `becoming Christ-like' at the resurrection."
Martin smiled. "Exactly. Those on whom God set His electing love, He predestined to a final conformity to the image of Christ. And Paul follows this wonderful chain of redemption right to the end in verse 30."
I looked at the passage again. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

 2004/12/17 16:39Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Predestination here is not to `becoming a Christian,' but to `becoming Christ-like' at the resurrection."
Martin smiled. "Exactly. Those on whom God set His electing love, He predestined to a final conformity to the image of Christ. And Paul follows this wonderful chain of redemption right to the end in verse 30."
I looked at the passage again. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.


I like this, it's gone into my notebook. I have just done an 'article' on Receiving Christ and mentioned there the use of ginOskO in JOhn 1:10 making much this point about ginOskO being used in the sense of 'recognise', I never thought of linking it through with proginOskO.

er which side were you on again? :-D


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Ron Bailey

 2004/12/17 17:16Profile
KeithLaMothe
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Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


 Re:

The side of trying to figure out what to make of this Book :-)

Just to make sure I didn't miscommunicate: That quote was from a Calvinist, my point in bringing it up was to show that there is wide agreement to your interpretation of the "predestination" in Romans 8:28 being unto sanctification rather than regeneration and/or justification.

 2004/12/17 17:48Profile
KeithLaMothe
Member



Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


 Re:

Another quote from Wilson, I find his writing often quite helpful and often quite humorous (and often at the same time):

"It is easy for modern Christians to think of Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli standing around a cauldron at the beginning of some reformational Macbeth, coming up with the doctrines of predestination and depravity. The lightening flashes, the murky brew belches a loathsome smell, and one can readily tell by the pricking of his thumbs that it is time to try to find another church" (Angels in the Architecture, p. 73)

No particular driving point behind bringing up, except that I found it amusing, and perhaps that it describes a phenomena I think is rather widespread: the out-of-hand (without examination) rejection of the "Doctrines of Grace". Thankfully, I've found that here it's more often a rejection after a detailed examination.

 2004/12/17 18:27Profile
Delboy
Member



Joined: 2004/2/8
Posts: 199
Worthing UK

 Re:

I am sure many like me are reading the steady progress of this informative and lively ;-) thread.
Kieth i have just begun to read the snippit from the bookyou posted thanks
Robert, I loved the cupcake illustration thanks and the ever slipping TULIP
without wantring to distract you guys from the current progression, would you like to comment further on your views on the TULIP of Calvin? :-)


_________________
derek Eyre

 2004/12/18 7:41Profile
RobertW
Member



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

 Re:

Hi Delboy,

My views really can't be placed into a framework. I am probably best described as Dutch Reformed, but I was raised in a type of Oberlin Theology. Oberlin soteriology (the study of salvation) comes from C.G Finney and is very very strict. I have seen people go insane for fear of their salvation. I have an article on it here called [url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=1978]Why I Teach Balance[/url]. Dutch Reform is basically Arminianism, but I must be quick to point out that I believe all of salvation is God's grace, but that His grace is over all. That means I do not believe that man is so depraved (the "T" of tulip) that he cannot respond to God's grace when it appears unto him/her. Moreover, the finality of "T" is that man is not accountable for man's actions- God is. If man is wired in such a way as not to be able to respond to grace he has a good argument at the White Throne Judgment. This is not the case.

The "U" is unconditional election. I hold to the belief that the emphasis of Paul and the Apostles for bringing up election or predestination is to show the Gentiles that they were not an 'afterthought' of God. They were not 'plan B' in case the Jews rejected Christ. It was God's plan to save the Gentiles from eternity in Christ. The context of the New Testament was different from now, but we must understand that the Jews believed they were 'chosen' or elected by virtue of birth right. This, he demonstrates thoroughly, was not the case. The just shall live by faith.

The "L" is limited atonement. I do not believe this at all. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. it only adds to the guilt of a sinner to trod under foot the blood of Christ, etc.

The "I" is irristable grace. This means that God comes with irristable force to turn a sinner to salvation. I believe the Spirit of Grace can and is resisted by man as He is the agent of God's grace.

The "P" as it was formerly known is "perseverance of the Saints". It now means in modern Eternal Security circles " unconditional preservation." There are too many passages in Scripture that warn us against apostacy to ascribe to this. Do a study of the Greek word adokimos and you will find it to be quite sobering. I do believe that men do not easily fall from grace. God is able to make them stand, etc. The sons always return to the Father's house in my opinion. There may be some anomalies to this; but I works good enough for me. I DO NOT walk around in fear of being lost. Many of my family has done so (so it seemed) as they were quite Oberlin in their beliefs. I know God loves me and desires to save me from sin. I do not teach fear, I teach examination of onesself to see if they are in the faith. LOVE is the only lasting thing that will carry you in your Christian walk. But as I often say, when the love of God runs out and you feel your love for God slipping, the fear of God had better kick in.

I hope that helps.

God Bless,

-Robert


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2004/12/18 12:31Profile
Delboy
Member



Joined: 2004/2/8
Posts: 199
Worthing UK

 Re:

Thanks Robert :-) there's plenty to read about.


_________________
derek Eyre

 2004/12/18 20:30Profile





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