jay dont u have a problem that he used judas like that? i do..andy
I admit, it is hard. It is hard to imagine Judas not having any chance at salvation and being condemned to damnation even before he was born.
I think I know what you are going through because I have experienced it before, in my case it was, "What is the purpose of prayer? Why pray for someone if God will just do whatever he wants to do anyway?"
However, God does tell us to pray. He does not say, "Pray if you want to." He says, "Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Isaiah 55:8-9 says,
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
It is hard to understand, but we must realize that we are not God. God is a lot smarter than us and knows a lot more than we do. Also, going back to Romans 9, who are we to talk back to God?
As some other brothers have mentioned, it is not our job to completely understand everything about God...we are called to believe in his son Jesus Christ and make disciples of all nations.
In summary, it is good that you have questions. We all do. No person on this earth has a complete grasp of the soverenty and holiness of God, but we have faith that he is who is says he is...a God who is love. 1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16.
| 2006/1/30 15:45||Profile|
To be honest I think it's foolish to charge God with being "unfair." He is not unfair but that is somewhat beside the point. He is the one who gave you a mind to think that something is "unfair." [u]If[/u] (which He is not) God was unfair, what good would it do to rebel against Him or call Him names. He is going to judge everyone of us. Who, before standing in court, throws paperwads at the judge? No one who is in their right mind.
I think when we try to blaim or accuse God of things it might possibly be pride or us not wanting to take responsibility.
| 2006/1/30 15:54||Profile|
Rom 9:20 .... O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay[?].....
| 2006/1/30 15:56||Profile|
hi i guess i'm seeing this differently to you guys..my veiw is if God as seen it then ur going to do it right? who are you not to do what God as seen..how can it truely be freewill when ur doing what's already know ur do? it might be a kind of free will here on earth but its limited..does a actor have free will when he follows a script?..Gods Shakespeare and ur Laurence Oliver only difference is we dont know it..andy
Andy, you are a Calvinist who struggles with being a Calvinist. Not a bad thing at all. (Well, depends on who you ask. lol)
Let me share with you were I am in my Calvinist walk:
I grew up believing in complete Free-Will of man. I am a person who makes my own choices and I can chose to follow Christ or choose to reject him, but it all pointed back to ME and MY choice.
Recently, I started reading Romans 9 and through the preaching of a Calvinist preacher on the radio, God opened my eyes to predesination and election.
Also, this verse in John 6 has been stuck in my mind recently:
44"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Now, if I can understand your problem, you are bothered by the fact that God might not "draw" everyone to Jesus (for example: Judas). By draw I mean, bring conviction of sins. Is this correct? If not, let me know...I am just trying to understand where you are coming from.
My response to that is that God does not have to draw anyone to Jesus. We are all sinners who deserve to be punished for our sins. In fact, it is proof of God's amazing mercy and grace that any of us are forgiven for our sins!
Let us never pray, "God give me what I deserve." Let us always pray, "God have mercy on me!"
| 2006/1/30 16:11||Profile|
hi just to be clear i am 39 saved at 15 i had read nicky cruz book but ive more or less backslidden from day 1..i think when u have no assurances of salvation u tend to ponder stuff maybe even get bitter..as far as being a calvinist i'm of two minds about that..when i did go to church its was a charismatic church,i also have a great interest in people like david wilkerson and recently jacob prasch books sermons etc,but also a great admiration for people like m.l.jones so that puts me in either camp right?lol
ps "Now, if I can understand your problem, you are bothered by the fact that God might not "draw" everyone to Jesus (for example: Judas). By draw I mean, bring conviction of sins. Is this correct? If not, let me know...I am just trying to understand where you are coming from.| yes iam bothered
| 2006/1/30 16:34|
jay u say "My response to that is that God does not have to draw anyone to Jesus. We are all sinners who deserve to be punished for our sins. In fact, it is proof of God's amazing mercy and grace that any of us are forgiven for our sins!
Let us never pray, "God give me what I deserve." Let us always pray, "God have mercy on me!""
that worries me more lol..thats like everything is stacked and if were lucky were picked if not tough.. that makes me think God why did u even bother to create all this.. wouldnt the ones not chosen be better off if u hadnt even bothered?
i see now my problems is with the stage not the actor or the playwrite
| 2006/1/30 16:51|
The most important thing for you is your relationship with God. If you have a desire to know God and live for him then you have assurance that he has called you and loves you very much.
I see it this way,
There are two people: Jim and John.
Jim and John both are sinners who live for themselves and have no desire for God. They both live however they wish.
One day, Jim and John are driving in a car. John the passenger turns on the radio to listen to music but while he is finding a station, he hears a preacher talking about salvation.
John is quick to turn to another station but Jim stops him. Jim listens to the preacher talk about Heaven, Hell, salvation, faith and Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world. Jim really starts to wonder what all this is about and seeks more information. John on the other hand, is just wondering what happened to his friend Jim. "Come on Jim." he says, "You know that stuff isn't real."
But Jim isn't so sure anymore.
Now, this story is just an example of how some people hear the gospel message and respond...while others hear the exact same message and do not.
I believe that God draws some people to him and does not draw others. Why? Only God knows that. I am sure that the reason provided is not suffient for you, but I believe it. As I mentioned before, God's ways are higher than ours. His understanding is greater than ours. The bible clearly says that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
I would encourage you to ask God yourself during some quiet prayer time. Pour out your heart to him and ask him all these questions. The bible says that if you draw near to God he will draw near to you.
I pray that this has helped in any way.
| 2006/1/30 16:53||Profile|
| Re: Freedom|
Sorry this is so long, but I've got to admit that I agree with Josh here. The there comes a point that you have to just accept that God is God. The way He made this whole deal is acceptance first, understanding later.
Consider also, that the whole point to life is relationship with Him, which is expressed through love for others. Choice exists, but for most of us, it needs a little redefining. Choice is about willing participation in God's plan.
A big poblem with modern evangelism, is that it's tainted the statement "God has a plan for your life." Modern evangelism has painted that to imply the importance of the believer, as in "God needs you to get His work done". The emphasis is always on "[b]His[/b] plan". It's a matter of, "Here's what's happening. You're either in or out."
Consider the following hypothetical situation. God chooses for Person A to reevive the church, and for Person B to display His judgement on a nation:
Person A grows up in a satanist family. He spends his lifetime manipulating people for power, and causing enemies to bicker until they've destroyed each other. He makes it his personal project to descredit the pastor of the local church, ruining every marriage and disbanding the church along the way. He joins the church, quickly rising to leadership, due to his "supernatural abilities" and spreads ever subtle heresies and successfully seduces the married women with subtle flattery, realising that their husbands have been starved of affection.
His efforts lead to a church split. Half of those who leave are the result of the pastor buying into the man's lies, half again the result of hurts caused by lives lived in accordance to the teachings, while of those who remain, all but two are loving it, utterly besmitten by this seducer. The two that remain see the lies, and that leads them into their Bible, to search for truth (it's amazing how decption is one of the best catalysts for seeking the truth).
The two begin to warn others, only to be heckled, and accused of being "devisive". As they warn, they discover each other, and begin to meet to pray. Then the unthinkable happens, the seducer is arrested by the Spirit of God in a "Damascus road" type experience. He repents and confesses to the pastor, and then dies in a car crash on his way home.
The pastor now begins to meet with the "two" and as they study and pray together, truth begins to come forth in his preaching, as he weighs truth, long neglected. May are saved, and the church grows to ten times it's previous size, however not all in the same place, but several other churches are planted, mostly on the foreign field.
Person B, on the other hand, grows up in a God fearing family. Early on in his life an angel appears to him, revealing God's purpose for him. The thought of this fears him, and so he seeks the counsel of other believers. He receives conflicting advice from different "christians", eventually settling on the angel being satan coming as an "angel of light" to deceive him. After all, God is a loving God, and any God who would judge a nation isn't loving in his book.
Like many, the existance of God is successfully disproven in college, but still this strange vision from his youth haunts him. He decides to go on to become a peace activist. He goes to Africa and deciding to follow "Christ's example" he helps orphans by improving living conditions and providing education.
One student shows promise, and so he takes him under his wing, ensuring that he takes up a peaceful ethic and doesn't fall for the notion of a "vengeful God", like his parents. The child grows and the kind man dies. However, with his death, aid to the childs village diminshes, and the children begin to starve again.
The child is now a man, and he finds refuge in a Jihad training camp, where he is converted to Islam, and takes a special hatred to the "American who gave him false hope"'s nation. He moves to America, and begins a terrorist cell, which spwans and multiplies, until their are cells in every major city.
Within a few years, there are dirty bombs going off everywhere, and the nation is left saking themselves, "Why has God forsaken us?"
The question is, which one deserves hell? The Person A or Person B? The answer is simple, both. However, which one will be in heaven? One would assume only the first.
Though the first dedicated his life to cruelty and distruction, and the second to benevolence, the first led to many being saved from hell, while the second led to many deaths. However, in the end, God had his way, regardless of the participant's actions.
The first man entered into heaven in shame, while the second entered hell in glory.
Sin is simply misused freedom. God judges the heart, based upon our works, in the light of his word. Judas had already rebeled against God several times in his life, by stealing money, and judging Christ's actions and motives. I believe that if he hadn't, he would have "dipped the sop" with tears in his eyes, as he knowingly fulfilled God's intended plan for his life.
Salvation merely brings us into a right relationship with God. His plan for us never changes, it's now simply about whether [b]we[/b] fulfill it, or [b]He[/b] fulfils it through us. Never forget, salvation is never about us anyway.:-)
| 2006/1/30 16:56||Profile|
Please consider reading Romans 8 and 9 and take these questions to God in prayer. The Holy Spirit will guide you in all truth.
P.S. I can tell that God is really trying to show you something important, be strong in your faith. Humble yourself before God and he will lift you up.
| 2006/1/30 16:58||Profile|
Your problem is right in the title of your thread.
You're the one who going to choose Calvinism or not. That again, is your "choice".
If you want to believe "if we're lucky we're picked" ... that's your choice .... and all I hear is "your problem with God".
No, your problem is you're choosing to have a problem with God by choosing to believe in Election and Predestination. (No offense intended - honestly)
I put it as simpley as I could in my last post ... but you'll take it or leave it ... again, "choice".
That's why the first Commandment from Deuteronomy on is, "Love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul and strength".
That's the first choice, after getting SAVED.
God's "Foreknowledge" of what 'choices' you "will" make, have nothing whatsoever to do with what choices you "do" make.
Love is the bottom line of all that God is and has done.
He IS Love. He created us Because of love - to love us and to have that Love relationship with Him.
His commands are because of His Loving protection of us and others.
God IS Love, and all else is a by-product of that and without His Love in us, we cannot be saved. That is His goal in us, to make us like Him.
You choose the belief system that fits your own 'desires'. Bottomline.
But He loves you.
| 2006/1/30 17:03|