SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : General Topics : Need to be enlightened

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page )


If we wish to discuss the biblical doctrine of the sovereignty of God. Then let us do so respectfully without getting into theological positions. I think that's why the guidelines were established to prevent us from turning out into an all theological debate. And as Awakened said confusing younger believers.

So brothers do we agree that the lost need to be reached???


 2016/2/23 12:23

Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


As a side-note:

It is popular among Christians to distinguish between essential doctrines and non-essential doctrines.

This might be "useful" in some contexts. However, the Bible never makes such a division. On the contrary, Jesus says that the Spirit of Truth will lead His people into *all* truth (John 16:13).

As of yet, we don't have unity on some doctrinal issues e.g. Calvinist-Arminian debate. I must say that while past discussions on the topic can be heated, I've found some of them to be helpful. Let us bear in mind that it is not necessary for a consensus to be reached for a discussion to be useful. It is also unfair to dismiss all past discussions to be 'fruitless', when some were thoughtfully crafted.

Going back to my earlier point, the discussion about God's sovereignty and man's responsibility is not a "non-essential" topic. It is interwoven with how you understand your identity in Christ and live it out, and also the extent to which you trust God. All biblical truth is inextricably interwoven, and cannot be chopped into "essential" and "non-essential" doctrines. Poor doctrine, even in so-called "non-essential" matters, always leads to poor living.

Yes, having wrong ideas about God's sovereignty would not affect your salvation. But it would affect your faith journey, including how you manifest the life of Jesus in your daily walk.

I speak from personal experience - having begun as a hot-head Arminian, I had to learn the sovereignty of God through very difficult circumstance (note: I'm not a Calvinist). The goodness and grace He has shown to me is beyond anything I could have conceived - I feel like Joseph!

 2016/2/23 12:23Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37518
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11



Brethren are speaking of what is written in the guidelines here:

8. DIVISIONS AND QUARRELLING - Having a healthy discussion on a topic, doctrine or important issue is allowed on SermonIndex. But if the subject discussion becomes heated and there is quarrelling it would be better to agree with your brother publicly in what you can and and hold to what you believe against him privately. This calls for great maturity and wisdom in speaking in humility. It is better to agree with a brother that you are Christians and not divide over non-essentials. Let us go forward with meekness towards each other and having in mind the larger picture of the entire body of Christ. "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." (1 Corinthians 1:10). We have found that discussions pertaining to politics, conspiracy theories, calvinism/arminianism and others just produce strife and not the fruits of the Spirit so we ask saints not to start these discussion threads on SermonIndex.

We are not against calvinist brethren but ask that extremes in doctrines not be debated and that we would all encourage one another to James 1:22 OBEY the Word of God and be Disciples.

There are extremes on both sides of these doctrines and extreme men who took things too far. There is also alot of bad fruit of arguing over these things so that is why we do not encourage it at all on SermonIndex in the discussion forums.

As one brother pointed out it is not wrong nor unfruitful to speak of elements of God's Sovereignty and we 100% agree with this.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2016/2/23 12:27Profile

Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


Thanks Greg for the clarification.


So brothers do we agree that the lost need to be reached???

The lost does need to be reached. I think the best way to do that is to ask God to teach us how to put on the new man.

It concerns me that many people don't get practical help in church community. The fact is that there are many with depression, guilt, addiction, etc. who cannot find the help they need in many churches. Until we learn to feed on the Bread of Life ourselves, we are not in a position to minister to these people.

I also know of people who drop out of church because they did not feel that God was real to them, nor did they see God being real in the lives of others. Authentic relationships are not always easy to develop in church community either.

My point is that saving the lost is not just about preaching the word verbally (and hoping they make a decision to trust Jesus) - it is very much tied to our putting on the new man. That, in turn, is tied to our understanding of God's sovereignty and the finished work on the cross (also check out John 13:35).

 2016/2/23 12:39Profile

Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1436
Dothan, Alabama


Brother Yuehan wrote:
"The lost does need to be reached. I think the best way to do that is to ask God to teach us how to put on the new man."

Amen to that!!!

And I share your concerns about people offering something (the gospel) they themselves don't have/aren't walking worthy of...


 2016/2/23 14:00Profile

 Roger Olson sums things up very well

"Above all I want to make clear that I admire and respect my Calvinist friends and colleagues. We disagree strongly about some points of theology, but I hold them in high esteem for their commitment to the authority of God’s Word and their obvious love for Jesus Christ and his church as well as for evangelism.

However, I do not admire or respect John Calvin. I have been told that he should not be held responsible for the burning of the heretic Servetus because, after all, he warned the Spanish doctor and theologian not to come to Geneva and he urged the city council to behead him rather than burn him. And, after all, Calvin was a child of his times and everyone was doing the same. Nevertheless, I still struggle with placing a man complicit in murder on a pedestal.

Furthermore, I find Calvin’s doctrine of God repulsive. It elevates God’s sovereignty over his love, leaving God’s reputation in question. What I mean is that Calvin’s all-determining, predestining deity is at best morally ambiguous and at worst morally repugnant.

Much to the chagrin of some contemporary Calvinists, Calvin clearly taught that God foreordained the fall and rendered it certain. (Institutes of the Christian Religion III:XXIII.8) He also affirmed double predestination (III:XXI.5) and displayed callous disregard for the reprobate who he admitted God compelled to obedience (disobedience). (I:XVIII.2) Calvin distinguished between two modes of God’s will-what later Calvinists have called God’s decretive and preceptive wills. (III:XXIV.17) God decrees that the sinner shall sin while at the same time commanding him not to sin and condemning him for doing what he was determined by God to do. To Calvin this all lies in the secret purposes of God into which we should not peer too deeply, but it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of anyone who regards God as above all love.

John Wesley commented on the Calvinists’ claim that God loves even the reprobate in some way. As one contemporary Calvinist put it, “God loves all people in some ways but only some people in all ways.” Wesley said that this is a love such as makes the blood run cold.

Calvin’s successor in Geneva, Theodore Beza, commented that those who find themselves suffering in the flames of hell for eternity can at least take comfort in the fact that they are there for the greater glory of God. To paraphrase Wesley, that is a glory such as sends chills down the spine. God foreordains some of his own creatures, created in his own image, to eternal hell for his own glory? Calvin may not have put it quite that bluntly, but many Calvinists have and it is a necessary extrapolation of the inner logic of consistent Calvinism. (Institutes III:XXII.11)

I have been heavily criticized by some of my Calvinist friends for saying that my biggest problem with Calvinism (by which I mean consistent divine determinism) is that it makes it difficult for me to tell the difference between God and the devil. (I am not saying Calvinists worship the devil!)

For me nothing about the Christian worldview is more important than regarding God and the devil as absolute competitors in this universe and its tragic history. God is good and desires the good of every creature. As church father Irenaeus said “The glory of God is man fully alive.” The devil is bad and desires harm for every creature. To view the devil as God’s instrument makes a mockery of the entire biblical narrative."

Roger E. Olson
Professor of Theology
George W. Truett Theological Seminary
Baylor University

 2016/2/23 19:02

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5587

 Re: Roger Olson sums things up very well

bear wrote:

"If we wish to discuss the biblical doctrine of the sovereignty of God. Then let us do so respectfully without getting into theological positions."

That would be nice Bear but also impossible.

It would be like trying to discuss American politics without discussing the ideals of the democratic and republican parties.


 2016/2/23 19:05Profile


Brothers if we were in a death camp somewhere in the not too distant future. Would we be having this conversation?


 2016/2/23 19:51


And all the respect to those who hold to the sovereignty of God in election as regard salvation. I find that many of the leaders of this movement are not aware other reality of persecution coming up on the church in America.

Perhaps Paul Washer is one of the few who sees the reality of persecution coming up on the American church. But other leaders that I will not mention their names do not see the reality of persecution. Or they refused to acknowledge that reality.

It is far easier to debate theology. Then to embrace the demands of the cross.

Simply my thoughts.


 2016/2/23 19:54


Another question that comes to mind. What relevance does the sovereignty of God in salvation have to revival. Again far easier to debate the sovereignty of God. Then to call out for a moving of God's Spirit across the nation.

But then maybe those in the sovereignty of God movement. Do not believe that God predestined revival.

Simly my thoughts.


 2016/2/23 19:56

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy