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theopenlife
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 Re: The elect

I wrote a long and detailed response, but then accidentally clicked the SI banner and all was lost!

At least I was edified.

Here's an article which may prove helpful.

[b]Does God love all people equally?[/b]

As is the case with many terms, the word 'love' has several different meanings as it relates to God's interaction with creatures. Perhaps the most plain definition is that Divine love is God's sovereign and sincere determination to do benevolently towards others [b]to the full extent that doing so agrees with His perfect wisdom and will[/b]. As we shall see, His wisdom and will do not predicate alike benevolence for all creatures. Let us look specifically at two categories, beginning with sinners.

In relation to sinners, the word love is used to describe His patient withholding of just curses. For example, we read that God loved the nation of Israel, and therefore held back judgments for a time. Bear in mind that Israel included many - if not mostly - reprobate idolaters. God patiently extended mercies to them, despite all the while having what is called hatred for them as well. God hates all workers of iniquity. [Psalm 5:5] His ways are not our ways.

We may better understand this apparent duality of Divine intentions by appreciating the relationship between sin, justice, and grace. No sinner deserves for God to withhold judgment and damnation. Not for one minute, one second. The just nature of God may at any time require the recompense of their wicked actions. However, God is innately good; therefore, according to the extent of grace He has determined to reveal in them, He not only preserves the earthly lives of these objects of His righteous anger but gives many blessings such as health, relationships, and pleasure. These gifts are given with unfeigned benevolence even to those who pervert and worship created things in place of their Creator.

No inconsistency of Divine character may be found in God's withdrawing of this kindness from any sinner. To assert otherwise would deny the basic fact that such long-suffering was graciously given in the first place. Sinners cannot make demands of God, nor is God motivated to do sinners kindly for any other reason that He sees fit to glorify His name through the revelation of His patience towards them. When God has finished with His gracious favors and mercies, and they have continued in willful rebellion, then His mode of self-glorification is changed to their destruction. They become eternal markers of holy justice, vessels of wrath fitted to damnation.

There is only one sense in which God's love towards sinners may be thought of as irrevocable and filial. This Fatherly type of love is reserved for the Elect only, as it was given to them from eternity by virtue of their [b]eternal adoption in Christ[/b]. From before time God elected certain sinners to be joint-heirs with Christ, not on virtue of their work but by His free grace. Again, their election was not based upon any foreseen work or faithfulness in them, nor was their choice arbitrarily random, but was made entirely in the good and secret wisdom of God.

It must be remembered that with regards to their sins, God once possessed a just hatred even of those sinners whom He elected, for God is no respecter of persons. But in respect of the death of Christ, the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, the Father's covenantal love for the Elect is eternal and proceeds their conversion in time. In other words, before all times God placed His eternal love upon sinners whom He hated justly.

What may be said of those whom the Father did not elect? God has wisely chosen instead to magnify His patience and generosity through His temporary merciful dealings and sincere pleadings, providences and deliverances of them. Alas, none of these wretched persons heed the strivings of God's Spirit to seek salvation by grace through faith in Christ, but willfully plunge onward in love of sin. Therefore they are concluded as objects of His wrath. When and as He determines, God removes these reprobates into judgment, never again to receive expressions of His gracious benevolence upon them.

In consideration of God's various forms and extents of graciousness towards His creatures, we may accept all God does as the most perfect design of His infinite wisdom. There could have been no alternate way, for had there been another, better way, He would certainly have done it. Let us be content to cover our mouths and say with Job, Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

 2009/9/1 15:17Profile
tjservant
Member



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

 Re: The elect

Quote:
Is it loving of God to not lead all men to be born again? Why would he harden the hearts of some so they are desinated to hell?



Exodus 7:3-4 says, “But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my people the Israelites.” It seems unjust for God to harden Pharaoh’s heart and then to punish Pharaoh and Egypt for what Pharaoh decided when his heart was hardened. Why would God harden Pharaoh’s heart just so He could judge Egypt more severely with additional plagues?

First, Pharaoh was not an innocent or godly man. He was a brutal dictator overseeing the terrible abuse and oppression of the Israelites, who likely numbered over 1.5 million people at that time. The Egyptian pharaohs had enslaved the Israelites for 400 years. A previous pharaoh—possibly even the pharaoh in question—ordered that male Israelite babies be killed at birth (Exodus 1:16). The pharaoh God hardened was an evil man, and the nation he ruled agreed with, or at least did not oppose, his evil actions.

Second, before the first few plagues, Pharaoh hardened his own heart against letting the Israelites go. “Pharaoh's heart became hard” (Exodus 7:13, 22; 8:19). “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:15). “But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:32). Pharaoh could have spared Egypt of all the plagues if he had not hardened his own heart. God was giving Pharaoh increasingly severe warnings of the judgment that was to come. Pharaoh chose to bring judgment on himself and on his nation by hardening his own heart against God’s commands.

As a result of Pharaoh’s hard-heartedness, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart even further, allowing for the last few plagues (Exodus 9:12; 10:20, 27). Pharaoh and Egypt had brought these judgments on themselves with 400 years of slavery and mass murder. Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Pharaoh and Egypt had horribly sinned against God, it would have been just if God had completely annihilated Egypt. Therefore, God’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart was not unjust, and His bringing additional plagues against Egypt was not unjust. The plagues, as terrible as they were, actually demonstrate God’s mercy in not completely destroying Egypt, which would have been a perfectly just penalty.

Romans 9:17-18 declares, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden.” From a human perspective, it seems wrong for God to harden a person and then punish the person He has hardened. Biblically speaking, however, we have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23), and the just penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). Therefore, God’s hardening and punishing a person is not unjust; it is actually merciful in comparison to what the person deserves [url=http://www.gotquestions.org/God-harden-Pharaoh-heart.html]Source[/url]


_________________
TJ

 2009/9/1 15:37Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7512
Mississippi

 Re:

Logic,

The issue here is God's sovereignty. He knew Pharaoh would never yield his life to him. So He used this rebellious person to accomplish his ends. Was God manipulating Pharaoh? Yes. God was in control. He knew the fellow would never repent so he used him to teach the Israelites some lessons about HIS own power and sovereignty.

And there are more lessons similar in the WORD which make no sense at all unless you understand something about the sovereignty of God. None of these things make sense at all unless you have surrendered your need to understand God's ways in life. And I promise you there will be plenty of incidents that make no sense at all and you wonder where God is in all this mix.

And do not forget Romans 8:28. It informs us that ALL things work together for good to those who love the Lord. Notice it says ALL, not some.

In God's economy nothing goes to waste. Don't ever forget that.

Sorry you cannot understand this...

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2009/9/1 17:16Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Mk 10:15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

Quote:
Does God love all people equally? As is the case with many terms, the word 'love' has several different meanings as it relates to God's interaction with creatures. Perhaps the most plain definition is that Divine love is God's sovereign and sincere determination to do benevolently towards others to the full extent that doing so agrees with His perfect wisdom and will. As we shall see, His wisdom and will do not predicate alike benevolence for all creatures. Let us look specifically at two categories, beginning with sinners.... etc...


Sometimes, or maybe I should say oftentimes, people overcomplicate things and discuss lengthily on things that are in essence quite simple and clear. People sometimes miss the grace of God by thinking too much, listening too much to themselves, and pondering too much on their prose.

The answer to the question: "Does God love all people equally?" is YES!

Jn 3:16 “For GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

This is something to embrace, and enjoy, and to trust in, as a child would accept a desirable gift from a loving Father.

No need for marathon discussions, I think. If pharaoh would not believe in God (God is omniscient), then God can and will use him as a prop to strengthen the faith of those who will believe --- and that goes for everyone else.

 2009/9/1 17:38Profile
agnostic
Member



Joined: 2009/8/29
Posts: 9


 Re:

Thanks for your replies, I guess I might just start by reading the new testament again.

Leo-Grace, it's not simple for me because things not making sense make me think that perhaps it's not true, or if it is, do I want to a God who would send nearly all of my family and friends to hell (none of them are christians). Plus I believe in evolution so I have to contend with which parts are literal which not etc.

Anyway I will keep reading for now!


 2009/9/1 19:42Profile
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re:

Quote:
ginnyrose wrote:
Logic,

The issue here is God's sovereignty.

[b]God's sovereignty:[/b] God has ultimate authority.
All creation is ultimatly accountable to Him.

How is it an issue of God's sovereignty?

Quote:
He knew Pharaoh would never yield his life to him. So He used this rebellious person to accomplish his ends.

Yes, God knew that Pharaoh would never yield, however, that does not discount the fact that God truly wanted Pharaoh to yield; and that Pharaoh was suposed to free Israel.

God's will was, as a fact that He wanted Pharaoh to free Israel.
You make it so God's will was that Pharaoh would not free Israel so He hardened Pharaoh's haert so that he wouldn't.

If Pharaoh really did what God wanted (not freeing Israel), that would be commendable.

Quote:
Was God manipulating Pharaoh? Yes.

[b]NO!!![/b]
God was judging Pharaoh as he was offended at Moses(God) to the point of hardening his heart.

God did not manipulate Pharaoh.
God was [b]trying[/b] to manipulate Pharaoh so that he would repent and free Israel, but he didn't and that is why he was being judged.

God uses judgement to turn people to Himself. It had the opposite affect on Pharaoh; even though God knew it would). However, God must judge sin.

Just like Nineveh. God used the news of His judgment to turn the people to repent.

Quote:
He knew the fellow would never repent so he used him to teach the Israelites some lessons about HIS own power and sovereignty.

The point is not about God knowing what will happen in advance.
The knowledg of the future does not change that fact of God's will for the freasent.
The point was that God commanded Pharaoh to do HIS one & only will (free Israel) and he rebeled.
Pharaoh was always suposed to obey Moses.
God did not have a secret will for Pharaoh not to obey and not free Israel.

As a fact that Pharaoh hardened his heart, God used that instead of his compliance to free Israel.
God used whatever Pharaoh gave Him, which was not God's will (command to free Israel).

If God's intention was to use pharaoh in order to make him see HIS power, and that God's name may resound in the entire earth. (Exod 9:16) no matter what happens (pharaoh obeying or not); who then can resist God's intention?

However, Pharaoh hardened his own heart, so God used that instead of his compliance to His command.
Pharaoh was always able to repent & was expected to; same goes for all of creation.

Quote:
And there are more lessons similar in the WORD which make no sense at all unless you understand something about the sovereignty of God.

I do understand the sovereignty of God.

However, you seem to be confused about the integrety of God, deceptive manipulation towards his creation.
What I mean about manipulative deception on God's account is that you say God commands one thing, but realy (secretly) wants another.
So as to command something and make it so that the one being commanded does not do the command but do HIS secret will.

This is what you are implying.

Quote:
None of these things make sense at all unless you have surrendered your need to understand God's ways in life.

If you can't make it sensable in reality, then don't proclaim it as truth; as your trying to do here.

Quote:
And I promise you there will be plenty of incidents that make no sense at all and you wonder where God is in all this mix.

After 25 or more yaers studying the Word of God, I have not found one thing that doesn't make sense, after I've studied it.

Quote:
Sorry you cannot understand this..

Nonsense never will make sense.

 2009/9/2 11:11Profile
chinky
Member



Joined: 2009/10/8
Posts: 1


 Re:

Hi i need help. Are you online?

 2009/10/8 3:00Profile
jimp
Member



Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


 Re:

hi asnostic, this is not the question you should ask if you really want answers to life. anyone who claims the full truth on this run from... the question is who is Jesus and is He who He claimed to be or weclaim He is.jimp i pray you find eternal life.

 2009/10/8 6:53Profile
TaylorOtwell
Member



Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re:

Logic,

I'm confused as to how your view makes sense "in reality".

In reality, God's eternal purpose was to save men through Christ. Certain events in history [b]have[/b] to happen for that to take place, and a lot of these events were sinful. It was God's will that they take place, yet God remains free from being the author of sin. Certain sinful actions (Judas' betrayal, Pilate's condemnation) caused Jesus to be crucified, yet Peter claims it was God's will for these things to happen.


_________________
Taylor Otwell

 2009/10/8 9:06Profile









 Re:

For the longest time I avoided the debate about Calvinism and Armenianism until I could no longer avoid it... then studied it from both sides.

Here is what I have discovered: The river of truth runs between two banks of extreme.

Therefore I now declare myself a Calvinistic Armenian... or an Armenianistic Calvinist.

I think we go around and around on something that will never get settled, will always be debated. Why?

If you're saved you're saved. Period.

Krispy

 2009/10/8 9:24





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