106 Comments

Paul Washer answers a young man’s question about election.

106 comments on “Paul Washer answers a young man’s question about election.

  1. Did the wrong video get attached here?

  2. Great video…I often wonder about those who insist they have free will as opposed to those who understand the doctrine of total depravity; the bible does not contradict so both views cannot be right. Only one view is truly correct according to the scriptures, that being man is dead in sin, dead to the things of God and he hates God. How does someone who hates God all of a sudden one day choose Jesus? Paul Washer does a beautiful job explaining why he can’t.
    I recently had a discussion with a professing believer who says she believes we have free will to choose, she could provide no accurate verse to back it up, she only believes this because that is what she’s been taught. Bible illiteracy is rampant in this country, may God have mercy.

    Thanks for posting this!

    Lyn

  3. Thank God for faithful men like brother Washer!

    In Christ
    CD

  4. There is a sign on a church by our house that reads something to the effect of “You can do it, but only with help.” I thought that I would like to put under the sign “No you can’t. John 6:44″

  5. Great video!

    I too have seen bad church signs right here in my tiny home town in north Georgia: “Try Jesus, if you don’t like Him the devil will always take you back.”

  6. I understand this response will never be posted. But I want you to know that I think you worship an evil god. You do not worship the creator of the universe. You are deluded. You have placed the bible above God. I look forward to the day when you are held accountable for turning a loving god into a monster. I pity you.

  7. Hello Mark,
    It is ironic you should post an accusation such as you have, I was reading Jonathan Edward’s ‘sinners in the hands of an angry God’ again and marvel at today’s ignorance of the wickedness of man as well as the holiness, righteousness, and justice of God. Do you understand God must judge wickedness because of His holiness and righteousness? Do you understand that the Bible is God’s truth?

    Hear the word of the Lord, “the wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies”- Ps.58:3
    As for the doctrine of election, God Himself teaches this in Eph.1:4; 2 Thess.2:13; James 2:5; 1 Peter 2:4, 9; Rev.17:14 as well as Romans 8:29-30 & Romans 9:11-24.

    You see Mark, your problem is not with anyone here, your problem is with God Himself, who declares all men to be wicked and vile. God is NOT obligated to save anyone, for all have sinned and fall short of His glory. Because preaching in America is nothing more than ear tickling motivational speeches and professing Christians do not study the bible or historical Christianity, biblical illiteracy is rampant and truth is suppressed. Sin, hell, wrath and judgment are either glossed over or not mentioned at all, false converts leave church buildings Sunday mornings feeling ‘good’ about the message, the music, and the fellowship; the conscience was not pricked, thus, sin lay dormant in the bosom of the sinner; he leaves the service with the same besetting sins he entered with. Most American ‘Christians’ do not know God, their ‘god’ is one they have fashioned in their own minds, and he looks just like them! However, that is not the God of the bible.

  8. I think it was Spurgeon who said that all men are born arminians.

    God opened my eyes a couple years ago to the Doctrine of Grace. Paul Washer does an incredible job (in just 8 minutes) of perfectly explaining the loving Doctrine of Election.

    Praise God that He decided to save some when He could have let all mankind walk off the cliff into hell.

    SDG

    Dawg

  9. Mark,

    More thoughtful Arminians than yourself have tackled this subject, and disagree with you. Do take the time to try to learn a little something from them, and also please consider spending some time in self-critical reflection before you fire off such a non-sensical, drive-by comment.

    In Christ,
    CD

  10. It is so hard to listen to Washer teach falseness.

    We are not all born totally depraved. Nowhere does it say that in the Bible. Even IF we were all born totally depraved—that does NOT mean we cannot believe on Jesus and obey.
    Calvinists teach that all are totally depraved. However, the word of God in Matthew 18:3 Jesus says to become like little children. He would not tell us to do this if children were truly born totally depraved.

    In Luke 8:15 we read “… these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”
    If total depravity is true, then there is no such thing as “good and honest” hearts.

    That we are dead in our sins—that does NOT mean we cannot believe in and obey God! In the Old Testament, many people believed in God, yet they could not stop sinning—that is why we all need a Savior!

    Calvinists say we get the Holy Spirit first to believe. That is not biblical!
    The Bible does not say God regenerates us to believe. The Bible says we believe then we have life!

    John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

    We do not receive the Holy Spirit first for regeneration—we obey THEN we receive the Holy Spirit! Read Acts 5:30-32. “…the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Also, read John 14:21.

    Please study more the word of God and do not fall for the strange teaching of Calvinism.

  11. Hi AMG,

    The Bible doesn’t use the words “all are born totally depraved”, but it clearly teaches the truth from which this doctrine is drawn. The natural man is spiritually dead, and God raises them to newness of life through a spiritual re-birth (regeneration), making them new creatures in Christ. The spiritually dead are unable to come to Christ, because being dead they are insensible to the things of God. Something has to happen to bring them to life. In their natural fallen state, in Adam, all men are spiritually dead, but in their re-birth they are made alive in Christ Jesus, by the grace of God the Father. Read John 6:37-40, 44, 65 to learn who can and will come to Christ, and who can’t and won’t come to Him.

    Eph. 2:8-9 teaches that saving faith in Christ is the gracious gift of God. Jesus isn’t merely a potential Savior, He actually saves all those for whom He shed His blood, the elect Whom God in His infinite sovereignty chose for salvation before the foundations of the world, not for any good that He saw was or could ever be in them, but from His boundless oceans of mercy, grace, pity and love to the eternal praise of His glory.

    Praise Him!

    In Christ,
    CD

  12. Hello CD,
    The Bible does not use the words “all are born totally depraved,” nor is it implied. Again, even if we were born totally depraved, that does not mean we cannot believe in God. The Bible says faith comes from hearing the word of God. The Bible does not say faith comes when the Holy Spirit causes it in you. That is a manufactured doctrine, and not the word of God.

    Even a spiritually dead person can love those who love them; even a spiritually dead person can do good to others, see Luke 6:32-33. Even a spiritually dead person can listen to their Master. Someone talked you into the lie of Calvinism.

    The Bible tells us who do not come to God and why, and it is not for the reasons Calvin gives. Please read my post Why People Don’t Believe. The god of this world, the devil, blinds people because they love darkness instead of the light; see 1 Corinthians 4:4, and John 3:16. The Bible does NOT say God created people unable to believe (total depravity). The Bible does NOT say they do not believe because God did not give them His Spirit to make them believe. The Bible says they do not believe because they love darkness INSTEAD of light. We all have a choice.

    You reference John 6:37-40. These scriptures are about how there are people who seek God, but now these people have to come to Jesus to get to God—God gives those who belong to Him to Jesus. You see, Calvin has misled you to believe these scriptures mean something they do not.

    You also bring up John 6:44. God draws all of us, but not all respond (Acts 7:51; Romans 10:21; Isaiah 65:2; Isaiah 65:11-12; Isaiah 1:2; and, Isaiah 30:9), that is what the scriptures say.

    You reference John 6:65. How do you suppose this proves Calvinism? God knows our hearts, and God makes a judgment on who He saves (see Acts 15:7-8). We have to obey and believe. Throughout the whole Bible, Jesus tells us what we have to do to for Him to save us. Remember also, that many of the Jews were hardened. Do you understand about many of the Jews being hardened? The Jews were hardened for unbelief and so that the Gentiles could be grafted in. If Jews were hardened, then this proves we are not born with the inability to believe! Why does God have to harden anybody—IF THEY WERE BORN NOT BEING ABLE TO BELIEVE ANYWAY?

    You reference Ephesians 2:8-9. Those scriptures do not prove Calvinism. Grace is the gift spoken of, not faith. Jesus shed His blood for all men, all who will come to Him. So many scriptures tell us “all men.” I would love to share them with you if you are interested.

  13. AMG,

    You have not read Ephesians 2:1,5, ‘and you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins’; even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye saved)’. The word dead comes from the Greek word nekros and means metaph.
    a) spiritually dead
    1) destitute of a life that recognises and is devoted to God, because given up to trespasses and sins
    2) inactive as respects doing right
    b) destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative
    From blueletterbible.org

    Can you explain how a dead person can respond to the things of God? According to God’s word, not John Calvin, we are all dead to the things of God until He quickens us.

    From A.W.Pink…Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952)

    The doctrine of total depravity is a very humbling one. It is not that man leans to one side and needs propping up, nor that he is merely ignorant and requires instructing, nor that he is run down and calls for a tonic; but rather that he is undone, lost, spiritually dead. Consequently, he is “without strength,” thoroughly incapable of bettering himself; he is exposed to the wrath of God, and unable to perform a single work which can find acceptance with Him. Almost every page of the Bible bears witness to this truth. The whole scheme of redemption takes it for granted. The plan of salvation taught in the Scriptures could have no place on any other supposition. The impossibility of any man’s gaining the approbation of God by works of his own appears plainly in the case of the rich young ruler who came to Christ. Judged by human standards, he was a model of virtue and religious attainments. Yet, like all others who trust in self-efforts, he was ignorant of the spirituality and strictness of God’s law; when Christ put him to the test his fair expectations were blown to the winds and “he went away sorrowful” (Matt. 19:22).
    It is therefore a most unpalatable doctrine. It cannot be otherwise, for the unregenerate love to hear of the greatness, the dignity, the nobility of man. The natural man thinks highly of himself and appreciates only that which is flattering. Nothing pleases him more than to listen to that which extols human nature and lauds the state of mankind, even though it be in terms which not only repudiate the teaching of God’s Word but are flatly contradicted by common observation and universal experience. And there are many who pander to him by their lavish praises of the excellency of civilization and the steady progress of the race. Hence, to have the lie given to the popular theory of evolution is highly displeasing to its deluded votaries. Nevertheless, the duty of God’s servants is to stain the pride of all that man glories in, to strip him of his stolen plumes, to lay him low in the dust before God. However repugnant such teaching is, God’s emissary must faithfully discharge his duty “whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear” (Ezek. 3:11). (excerpted from The Total Depravity of Man, A.W. Pink)

  14. Hi AMG,

    I don’t believe the truths of Scripture that I shared with you because of John Calvin, I believe the truth of Scripture because the One true and living God of the Bible graciously saved me and gave me a new heart. I love Him because He first loved me. You might consider reading Ezekiel 36:26-27 for an O.T. reference to the New Covenant. Jeremiah 31 is also a good read. Only God can change a sinner’s heart.

    You said: Jesus shed His blood for all men, all who will come to Him. Exactly. Not one drop of His blood is wasted, rather it is fully effectual to save to the uttermost all those who will come to Him, and all those for whom He shed His blood will come to Him, as He teaches in John 6. He won’t lose even one of His sheep. What a faithful Shepherd, what a mighty Savior!

    Praise the Lord!

    In Christ,
    CD

  15. Unworthy1,
    All of what Ephesians 2:1-5 is about is that we did NOT have to WORK for God to save us. You have believed in a manufactured doctrine. Again, these scriptures in Ephesians are about how we did not have to work before God saved us. You believe in another doctrine that just is not there.

    What about all the scriptures I gave that dismisses being born totally depraved? I gave scriptures explaining how even sinners can love and do good. Why do you continue to write as if those scriptures are not there? Why so closed off to the truth? I can hardly believe that you can read the scriptures I gave, then turn around and state how a dead person cannot do anything good.

  16. CD,
    I do not believe you. You had to of had that false Calvin doctrine explained to you.

  17. AMG,

    A couple of parting thoughts for you to consider.

    i.) Often the accusation is made that those who hold to the Biblical doctrines of grace make God into a sort of capricious “monster” and malign His gracious and loving character by believing that some men are elected to salvation, and some men are passed over (i.e. not elect). The logic that follows is that this makes God unfair because those who are non-elect never had a chance. They had no choice, so how could they be held accountable? The easy answer here is that men don’t really want a “fair” God, instead they need a gracious God. A fair God would give every man what he deserves, which is eternal damnation in hell for his sin and rebellion. We need a gracious God who is willing to save some men mercifully, instead of damning all men justly. In Romans 9 the Apostle Paul answers the anticipated charge against God’s choice to save some. In fact it’s very loving and gracious of God to save anyone. The question isn’t “Why would God send men to hell?”, because we all deserve that; the real question is “Why would God allow any man into heaven?”, and the answer is unmerited grace.

    ii.) As a corollary to item i.) above, as I mentioned it’s often argued that it isn’t fair for God to condemn men to hell who “never had a chance” to accept the Gospel due to spiritual inability. God would be unfair, it’s argued, if all men weren’t equally able to accept or reject His offer of salvation in Christ.

    A couple of problems emerge, however, when we think this through in the light of the whole counsel of God as it’s found in the Scriptures. First we have the O.T. example of Israel, and its attendant sacrificial system. God created the nation of Israel, and He covenanted with her and her alone among the nations of the earth. God also instituted the sacrificial system which foreshadowed the coming of Christ, and which “atoned” (in a sense) for the sins of the individual Israelite, and of the nation when the High Priest entered once per year into the Holy Place. None of Israel’s covenants with God applied to the other nations, and none of the sacrifices were efficacious for the other nations, only for the Jews, and those God-fearing Gentiles who attached themselves to the nation as prescribed in the law of Moses. Was God being unfair during this period when all the heathen nations scattered around the planet were living and dying worshipping rocks and trees and the sun, moon, and stars, and being justly cast into hell after death for their failure to trust in His promises and follow after Him? No.

    Second the libertarian free-will position suffers from the same “problem” that is imputed to those who hold to the Biblical doctrines of grace. It’s objected that Christ’s atonement was “limited” or “efficient” only for the elect, as opposed to being equally applied to all men indiscriminately. But both sides agree that the atonement is “limited” in the sense that it is only efficacious for those who believe (John 3:16). Both sides agree that “whoever believes” will be saved. Both sides believe that Christ’s blood is only efficient and effective for salvation for those who actually believe. Those who don’t believe are condemned. This is the witness of Scripture.

    So when we back up into eternity past, we can see that God fully foreknew all those who would come to Christ, in time, and those who would not. So even from your perspective we must conclude that God created those who would not believe, even though He foreknew they would not believe. He created them knowing they would deny Christ and be cast into hellfire forever. He could have chosen not to create them, knowing such a terrible fate awaited them, but He did so anyway. The end result is the same in both systems. Those whom He foreknew would come to Him will, and those whom He foreknew would not come to Him won’t. Whether we make election contingent upon the choice of God, or the choice of man, we find the same result in the end. Some will come to God, and some won’t. Since God knows all things, He knew before He created the universe exactly who would and who would not come to Christ. If God knows something, it is true and it will come to pass because God doesn’t know false truth. Because He is God, and His knowledge is perfect, He can’t know something true, and it not come to pass. Events can’t occur in any manner other than God knows them. This is because He does all His holy will, and none can stay His hand.

    As finite humans we don’t know who will or won’t come to God, so we preach the gospel to all men indiscriminately knowing that some, those He foreknew, will respond to His call (the elect).

    God bless,
    CD

  18. AMG,
    This one verse along proves you wrong, from 2 thess.2:13″But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” . You refuse to believe His word and base your interpretation on your opinion instead of studying His word and historical Christianity. Sadly, you close your ears and mind and simply scream ‘Calvinism!’ You call God a liar when you refuse to believe verses like what I just gave, you will not watch any of the videos Coram recently posted because you do not believe what the Bible teaches about your own depravity and wickedness. None of the scriptures you gave prove man’s depravity is a myth; God’s word does not contradict. It is only when sinful men refuse to hear truth that error sets in. Another verse that speaks of the incurable sick condition of the mind is Jeremiah 17:9 ‘the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?’ Deceitful means trickery, desperately wicked means incurable, sick. You have a problem that you cannot fix, according to God’s word. May He grant you ears to hear and a mind to understand His truth.
    I do not believe you can understand the doctrine of election unless you comprehend the doctrine of total depravity…your own absolute wickedness and utter unworthiness, your bondage to sin and dead state in which all men remain in until grace enters in.

  19. CD,
    I did not say anything about anyone being a monster. Calvinists make God responsible for the sin of the world, and that just is not so. People are responsible for their own sins. The world’s sin is unbelief in Jesus. If God made all people unable to ever believe— ever, then how can it be the world’s sin? Read what Jesus says in John 16:8, 9, this scripture explains to us that the world’s sin is unbelief in Jesus. John 16:8, 9 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; [end scriptures] That alone should be enough to make a Calvinist seriously question their beliefs.
    In the Old Testament times, which Jewish people belonged to God? ALL the Jews belonged to God! The Jews were God’s chosen—the whole nation of Jewish people. They were ALL a people set apart to God, through works. Now God’s people are those who have faith in His Son. ALL have the chance. You believe God only regenerates some and not others for reasons that neither you nor any Calvinist can explain, you and all Calvinists are left with that stumped unknowingness. You all deny the deeper things of God, as revealed to us even from the scriptures because you have detoured from the truth.
    God created people knowing that they would be cast into hellfire forever. Though it was given them a choice. You cannot possibly compare that to God creating people who CAN NEVER believe, and then only save some for no known reason.
    You said, “He could have chosen not to create them, knowing such a terrible fate awaited them, but He did so anyway. The end result is the same in both systems.”
    No way is it not the same. Keep studying and praying about it, maybe you will see the truth.

  20. AMG, your last comment has been removed. It is best to stop this now before it festers into something worse.

  21. Yes, moral creatures are responsible for their own sins. God created Lucifer knowing he would become the devil, and He created man knowing He would fall. God is sovereign and nothing can happen apart from His holy will. Evil and sin are not out of God’s control. God works all things to the good of those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose (the elect).

    And because men are responsible for their sins, and have no way of ever repaying God for their sin debt, they are in desperate need of a Savior. God graciously and mercifully gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. All believers are God’s children, the sheep of His pasture, and God’s sheep will all be gathered into His fold and saved to the uttermost, not one will be lost. Jesus isn’t only a potential Savior, He’s an actual Savior. Salvation is all of grace, and all of the Lord.

    Even if, ad arguendo, we allowed that all the Jews belonged to God (i.e. were all true believers and saved) – which of course is false as demonstrated by the Pharisees and Saducees just to name a couple of examples – then we still have all the heathen nations throughout Israel’s history perishing and going to hell outside the covenant community, without God and without hope in the world. Therefore we see that even if we granted that all Israel were saved, all those outside Israel – whom God created knowing they would never be saved – are all burning in hell right now, even though they never had a chance for any other outcome. Is that unfair of God? No. Human beings are His creatures and He can dispose of them however He sees fit. He’s the Creator, we’re mere creatures – rebellious, sinful creatures at that.

    Ponder this:

    The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:

    1. All the sins of all men.
    2. All the sins of some men, or
    3. Some of the sins of all men.

    In which case it may be said:

    1. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so, none are saved.
    2. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth.
    3. But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?

    You answer, “Because of their unbelief.”

    I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!”

    Please continue to visit here AMG, and do try to be a bit more gracious. Remember you’re a guest here.

    In Christ,
    CD

  22. CD,
    You said, “Yes, moral creatures are responsible for their own sins. God created Lucifer knowing he would become the devil, and He created man knowing He would fall. God is sovereign and nothing can happen apart from His holy will. Evil and sin are not out of God’s control. God works all things to the good of those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose (the elect).”

    My reply: The world’s sin is unbelief in Jesus! John 16:8, 9 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;

    You said, “And because men are responsible for their sins, and have no way of ever repaying God for their sin debt, they are in desperate need of a Savior. God graciously and mercifully gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. All believers are God’s children, the sheep of His pasture, and God’s sheep will all be gathered into His fold and saved to the uttermost, not one will be lost. Jesus isn’t only a potential Savior, He’s an actual Savior. Salvation is all of grace, and all of the Lord. “

    My reply: Yet you believe God’s children are unbelieving, unwilling, and not wanting! That is not biblical.

    You said, “Even if, ad arguendo, we allowed that all the Jews belonged to God (i.e. were all true believers and saved) – which of course is false as demonstrated by the Pharisees and Saducees just to name a couple of examples – then we still have all the heathen nations throughout Israel’s history perishing and going to hell outside the covenant community, without God and without hope in the world.”

    My reply: Works kept the Jews a people to God, but now God’s people are those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament times, God left sins unpunished. Romans 3:25
    God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—

    You said, “Therefore we see that even if we granted that all Israel were saved, all those outside Israel – whom God created knowing they would never be saved – are all burning in hell right now, even though they never had a chance for any other outcome. Is that unfair of God? No. “

    My reply: I did not say all Jews were Israel. I also did not say all Jews in the Old Testament were believers and saved. I said God’s people were the Jews. Now about your statement that “all burning in hell right now, even though they never had a chance for any other outcome…” that statement is false. For after Jesus died on the cross, Jesus preached to those who were dead, he preached to the spirits in prison, the spirits of those who had died and disobeyed long ago (see 1 Peter 3:18-19, and 1 Peter 4:5-6).

    You said, “I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!”

    My reply: We have to believe. We have to believe. That is God’s word.

    You said, “Please continue to visit here AMG, and do try to be a bit more gracious. Remember you’re a guest here.”

    My reply: Someone on your blog deleted a reply of mine… At least answer my reply, even if you want to delete what I say. Unworthy1 should treat your guests better.

  23. AMG, my deletion of your reply was to stop this before it got out of hand; your responses were bordering close to breaking rules of engagement. I am not trying to be disrespectful or rude, I am trying to head off any verbal slander or harsh and hateful speech.
    You are welcome here, but respect and bridling the tongue is first and foremost.
    I have already responded to your posts and feel our exchange was fruitless and escalating towards hatefulness. It is time to end this debate friend.

  24. AMG,

    I don’t think you’re tracking with your own argument. The question isn’t about the necessity of believing, the question is about who will believe, and why. If Christ paid for the sin of unbelief on the cross for all men equally, indiscriminately, and alike, then why are some men punished in hell for a sin (unbelief) that Christ has already atoned for?

    In Christ,
    CD

  25. CD,
    I think Unworthy1 has been deleting my replies, so I will only discuss further with you.
    I am not losing site of this discussion. That is a false assumption from you. The question is about believing. Calvinists claim that we cannot believe on our own. There is no such thing in the scriptures since it is a manufactured belief. The Bible tells whom and why people do not believe, and it is not why Calvinists say. Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world, but to have saving grace, one must believe. That is scripture. That is the word of God.

  26. AMG,

    My understanding of the doctrines of grace seem to be different than your understanding. I stand within the normal, Biblical understanding that men who place their trust in Christ do in fact “believe on their own”. Those who place their trust in Christ give evidence of God’s prior working in them by His Spirit (regeneration), which is the miraculous new-birth granted to them (believers; the elect) by God alone (monergism). In other words I believe in Christ “on my own” in the sense that my faith is God’s gift to me (Eph. 2:8-9), and the object of my saving faith, Jesus Christ, is truly apprehended by that faith. Therefore it’s clear that my faith in Christ isn’t God’s faith in Christ on my behalf as if God believed in God for me, it’s really my faith, but it came from outside of me as a gracious gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9).

    Saving faith wasn’t inherent in me in some sort of seed form just needing activation, with me ultimately at the control switch deciding whether or not to activate it. I didn’t want Christ. I hated God. I was a rebel sinner. My will was in bondage to sin so that in my natural state, in Adam, all I could choose in each and every case was for sin, and against God.

    But God gave me a new heart (Ezek. 36:26-27) through regeneration (2 Cor. 5:17) by the hearing of the Gospel (Rom. 10:17), and saved me by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the praise and glory of God alone (Eph. 2:8-9) as He purposed to do before the foundations of the world (Rom. 8:29-30). So the determining factor in my salvation wasn’t (and isn’t) me or my action, it was (and is) God (Phil 2:13). The only thing I “contributed” to my salvation was my desperate sinfulness, and need for a Savior.

    But I’m still left wondering, if Jesus paid for all of the sins of the whole world then why doesn’t everyone go to heaven? If all the sins of all men have been atoned for by Christ, then there is no sin remaining to punish in hell since it would be unjust of God to punish both Christ, and those for whom He died for the exact same sins, and of course God is not unjust.

    From your perspective why do you think Jesus atoned for all the sins of all people, and suffered the terrible punishment of God for those sins, only to see many of them slip into hell and also be punished for eternity by God for the selfsame sins Jesus already paid for through His suffering and death on the cross? Doesn’t it strike you as a bit strange that Jesus paid the full price to atone for the sins of all people alike, everywhere, declaring the work finished, but then God turns around and punishes many of those same people in hell forever for whom Jesus already paid their full sin debt? What love is this?

    Again, if you say it’s because of their unbelief, did Jesus not atone for that sin as well? If He left one sin unatoned for (unbelief), then we’re all in really big trouble because we have no way to atone for that one remaining unatoned for sin. The Biblical answer is that Christ paid for all the sins of all the elect, whom the Father draws and gives to Him, including their sin of unbelief, and therefore He infallibly brings about their salvation in time, by grace, through faith in Christ, their sins being fully paid for on the cross by the suffering and death of Christ on their behalf and in their place, and the benefits of His glorious atonement being applied to them in God’s timing.

    Also many wicked people were already in torments in hell before Christ went to the cross, so did He also pay for the sins of those in hell while He was on the cross? If so, surely they should have been released, and it seems strange to me that they would spend any time in hell at all if Christ was going to redeem them at a yet future point. If not, then Christ didn’t atone for all the sins of all people indiscriminately after all, which is in line with the Biblical view.

    Obviously sinful men must believe to be saved; specifically they must trust in Person of Jesus Christ. Prior to the cross the saints believed in the Savior to come, and after the cross the saints believe in the Savior Who came and will come again, the Lord Jesus Christ. The necessity of belief (faith in Christ) isn’t under discussion at all. We’re in full agreement on this point.

    The question under discussion is who will believe and why, and the Bible gives the answer: all those whom the Father draws to the Son will come to Him, unfailingly, and Jesus testifies that He will raise all of them up on the last day. Not one will be lost. What a mighty Savior! Since we don’t know who will believe or not from our finite human perspective we preach to Gospel to all men in full confidence that some (the elect) will absolutely be saved. This is a great encouragement to evangelism. It’s not the messenger, but the message that has the power, for the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

    One last observation.

    Based on your interpretation of 1 Pet. 3:18; in the hours, days, weeks and years after Christ preached to the spirits in prison – which you assert speaks of a “second chance” for the souls of the departed to accept the Gospel (presumably for everyone who lived and died prior to Christ’s First Advent); then hell obviously would have begun filling up again almost immediately as men and women from the various heathen nations from around the world continued dying without any knowledge of Christ, Israel, the OT, or the God of the Bible. In your view is it unfair that they didn’t get a chance to repent after death like the others? Or do you think Christ makes follow-up visits to hell to offer second chances after death? What if someone changed their mind after He left the first time? Is it unfair that condemned souls don’t get a third, or fourth chance after death to change their minds?

    Finally, in your last response you seemed to take the position that God simply didn’t punish sin at all prior to Christ; that He simply overlooked it, and you tossed out a prooftext. How does your view square with God’s revealed character of absolute justice and holiness that demands punishment for sin? As James said, one who breaks the law at one point is guilty of all. And Cain was pronounced guilty of murder even before the law was formally codified and given to Moses, making it clear that God’s moral standards are eternal and universal. Is it your position that Christ fully atoned for everyone’s sins who has ever lived on earth during its entire history from Adam and Eve, all the way to the last person who will ever live prior to the creation of the New Heavens and New Earth?

    In Christ,
    CD

  27. CD,
    You said, “Finally, in your last response you seemed to take the position that God simply didn’t punish sin at all prior to Christ; that He simply overlooked it, and you tossed out a prooftext. How does your view square with God’s revealed character of absolute justice and holiness that
    demands punishment for sin? As James said, one who breaks the law at one point is guilty of all. And Cain was pronounced guilty of murder even before the law was formally codified and given to Moses, making it clear that God’s moral standards are eternal and universal. Is it your position that Christ fully atoned for everyone’s sins who has ever lived on earth during its entire history from Adam and Eve, all the way to the last person who will ever live prior to the creation of the New Heavens and New Earth?”

    My reply: I have only quoted scripture to you.

    CD,
    You said, “One last observation. Based on your interpretation of 1 Pet. 3:18; in the hours, days, weeks and years after Christ preached to the spirits in prison – which you assert speaks of a “second chance” for the souls of the departed to accept the Gospel (presumably for everyone who lived and died prior to Christ’s First Advent); then hell obviously would have begun filling up again almost immediately as men and women from the various heathen nations from around the
    world continued dying without any knowledge of Christ, Israel, the OT, or the God of the Bible. In your view is it unfair that they didn’t get a chance to repent after death like the others? Or do you think Christ makes follow-up visits to hell to offer second chances after death? What if someone changed their mind after He left the first time? Is it unfair that condemned souls don’t get a third, or fourth chance after death to change their minds?”

    My reply: I have only quoted scripture to you.

    CD,
    You said, “My understanding of the doctrines of grace seem to be different than your understanding. I stand within the normal, Biblical understanding that men who place their trust in Christ do in fact “believe on their own”. Those who place their trust in Christ give evidence of God’s prior working in them by His Spirit (regeneration), which is the miraculous new-birth granted to them (believers; the elect) by God alone (monergism).”

    My reply: Calvinists believe and teach that no man can believe on their own without first having the Holy Spirit. Are you saying you do not have that belief?

    CD,
    Nowhere in the scriptures does God say humans cannot believe on their own.
    The scriptures do tell us that we do not get the Holy Spirit until after we obey and believe.

    CD,
    You said: “Saving faith wasn’t inherent in me in some sort of seed form just needing activation, with me ultimately at the control switch deciding whether or not to activate it. I didn’t want Christ. I hated God. I was a rebel sinner. My will was in bondage to sin so that in my natural state, in Adam, all I could choose in each and every case was for sin, and against God.”

    My reply: What you say here is not the word of God. It just is not the word of God. Show me in the Bible where it says what you say here about not wanting Christ and that you hated God, yet you were saved in that state of mind.

    CD,
    You said: “But I’m still left wondering, if Jesus paid for all of the sins of the whole world then why doesn’t everyone go to heaven? If all the sins of all men have been atoned for by Christ, then there is no sin remaining to punish in hell since it would be unjust of God to punish both Christ, and those for whom He died for the exact same sins, and of course God is not unjust.”

    My reply: We cannot continue to sin. Did you forget about that? Those in Christ do not continue to sin. If we find ourselves in sin, then we repent. Where do you get that we have to do nothing?

  28. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.(John 6:44 ESV)

    Humans beings cannot believe on their own.

  29. Shane,
    Did you read my response to another poster about God drawing us to Him? In case you did not read what I posted about this before, I will explain again. Whenever a person hears someone speak the gospel, or whenever someone reads God’s word, that is God drawing him or her to Him. However, people can resist. I gave many scriptures showing this.
    Please show scripture that says people cannot believe on their own. There is no such scripture. What you say is not the word of God you speak a manufactured doctrine.

  30. AMG said: My reply: I have only quoted scripture to you.

    Quoting Scripture is easy, but prooftexts don’t suffice to prove your assertions, rather to prove a positive case you must do the spadework of exegesis. You came here with a positive case to set forth, but so far you’ve not demonstrated that you’re willing or able to do so. You just assume your position and then chastise others for not agreeing with you. That’s really easy, and since you feel at liberty to approach Scripture in that manner here, so do I. I simply assert that I have plenty of prooftexts that prove my position. But that’s not a very satisfying exchange, is it?

    AMG asked: My reply: Calvinists believe and teach that no man can believe on their own without first having the Holy Spirit. Are you saying you do not have that belief?

    The wording of your question seems a bit ambiguous, but I think answered your inquiry within the very section you quoted when I stated: “Those who place their trust in Christ give evidence of God’s prior working in them by His Spirit (regeneration), which is the miraculous new-birth granted to them (believers; the elect) by God alone (monergism)”. All those who believe in Christ give evidence of the prior work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. I’ve never met anyone who professed to be Christian who believed otherwise. Obviously no one comes to the Son without the Father’s prior drawing of them, as Jesus teaches in John 6.

    AMG said: Nowhere in the scriptures does God say humans cannot believe on their own.

    Have you not read where it is written: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44)

    AMG said: The scriptures do tell us that we do not get the Holy Spirit until after we obey and believe.

    Chapter and verse, please? My reading of Scripture is that the obedience and belief of the saints is the result and evidence of the work of God’s Spirit in us (grace), not something we obtain from Him, or attain to, by our own efforts (works). The Gospel message is “Live and do this” (grace), the message of the Law is “Do this and live” (works). I think you have things exactly backwards, friend.

    AMG said: My reply: What you say here is not the word of God. It just is not the word of God. Show me in the Bible where it says what you say here about not wanting Christ and that you hated God, yet you were saved in that state of mind.

    You’re only partially correct here. First, of course, my personal testimony is not the Word of God, it’s simply the truth of a man set free from slavery to sin by Christ. The Lord is my Redeemer. He redeemed me from my slavery to sin and death through His life, suffering, death, and resurrection and the Spirit graciously and mercifully applied His work to my life. He gave me a new heart; He took away my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:26-27); He made me a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Secondly however, as has been previously pointed out, faith is the gift of God, by grace, lest any man should boast. That’s the whole point of Eph. 2:8-9. Boasting isn’t just discouraged, or downplayed, it’s excluded. Salvation is of the Lord.

    AMG said: My reply: We cannot continue to sin. Did you forget about that? Those in Christ do not continue to sin. If we find ourselves in sin, then we repent. Where do you get that we have to do nothing?

    You’re missing the point again. I’m asking why, if as you assert, Jesus paid for all the sins of the whole world why everyone doesn’t go to heaven? Your answer is, “Because of sin!” But if Jesus paid for and atoned for all the sins of all men for all time by His suffering and death on the cross, as you seem to believe, then why is any sin imputed to any man? What sin remains? If Christ paid for it all, then why isn’t it all forgiven? You know, cast as far away as the East is from the West? Isn’t Chist’s atonement fully sufficient for all sin? Obviously, the rational and Biblical answer is that Christ’s atonement is efficient for all those who believe (the elect), for whom He shed His blood and paid for their sins, taking them to the grave in His body. Those who don’t believe don’t have their sins forgiven because their sins were never atoned for by Christ in the first place, and they will justly suffer God’s righteous anger and furious wrath in damnation in hell forever for their cosmic rebellion against the infinite Creator and Judge of the universe.

    And yes, believers are commanded and empowered by the Spirit of God within them to flee from sin, and we are grieved when we sin, and with contrite and repentant hearts we humbly go to our Father in Christ’s name seeking His forgiveness trusting in God’s faithfulness to complete the work He’s begun in us (our sanctification and final glorification), and trusting in our mighty Savior’s heavenly intercession, and comforting promise to never leave nor forsake us, even to the end of the age.

    In Christ,
    CD

  31. CDE said: Quoting Scripture is easy, but prooftexts don’t suffice to prove your assertions, rather to prove a positive case you must do the spadework of exegesis. You came here with a positive case to set forth, but so far you’ve not demonstrated that you’re willing or able to do so. You just assume your position and then chastise others for not agreeing with you. That’s really easy, and since you feel at liberty to approach Scripture in that manner here, so do I. I simply assert that I have plenty of prooftexts that prove my position. But that’s not a very satisfying exchange, is it?

    My reply: A young child can read and understand scripture! Your talk about prooftexts, spadework, exegesis, etc. is foolishness to God.

  32. AMG, Hello. I’m late to this discussion, however I scanned through what has already been discussed and am surprised to see how vehemently opposed to the Doctrines of Grace you are. It is certainly your right to believe something else, but calling the Doctrines of Grace a lie is pretty bold and offensive really. I won’t use the term “Calvinism” because I personally believe only part of what Calvin taught. However, I am 100% in support of total depravity, irresistible grace, unconditional election, limited atonement, and perseverance of the saints. I came out of a free will teaching and believe and came to understand God’s sovereignty and the doctrine of election and predestination because the Bible states it as true.

    I don’t know how anyone could read Romans 1-9, Ephesians 1&2, John 6 and others without seeing the obvious point that God predestined those to be adopted as children of God. It is very clear and very simple. But even still I don’t know your faith, situation, or who you are in any way so I won’t make any judgements as such…that would be foolish. In my life though, once I was digging into the methods of systematic theology and looking at the threads of doctrine that stretch through all of scripture I could no longer deny these truths.

    I take great exception to the idea that there has to be a smoking gun verse that says, “oh, and btw…you can’t believe on your own…God has to give you faith before you can believe in him.” Its not that simple. One verse doesn’t constitute truth and it often times will just be taken out of context and used for your advantage. Again, I point to Romans 1-9, Ephesians 1-2, John 6 as examples…these consist of many many many verses together and when dealt with good hermeneutics, context, etc it is undeniable.

    One passage that must be deal with: Romans 3:9-12
    9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

    Paul is talking about if Jews are better off because they are righteous due to the law and he says NO! None are good, none seek God. None seek God. How could anyone believe in God if they don’t seek him? This verse is very powerful in the context of Romans 1-9 showing that A) None seek God, B) None are righteous, none do good (total depravity).

    As mentioned before, Ephesians 2:3-8
    “3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,…”

    This passage is massive in the context of Eph 1-2…dealing with how the believer is predestined to adoption as a son and we were ALL in sin and flesh and sons of disobedience (totally depraved)…And in verse 8, Faith is a gift from God.

    It is so simple. You don’t have to agree with it, but contrary to what you claim, it is in the Bible throughout as a major theme to which many passages and books are connected with.

    I mean no offense or insult in these comments. This is a massive and important issue that must be thoughtfully discussed. Maybe we need to just start with Ephesians chapter 1 to set the stage for what the global purpose and unfolding of God’s redemptive plan is.

  33. CD said: Chapter and verse, please? My reading of Scripture is that the obedience and belief of the saints is the result and evidence of the work of God’s Spirit in us (grace), not something we obtain from Him, or attain to, by our own efforts (works). The Gospel message is “Live and do this” (grace), the message of the Law is “Do this and live” (works). I think you have things exactly backwards, friend.

    My reply: I have given you chapters and verses. I will give them to you again. We do not get the Holy Spirit until we obey and believe. People can receive the Holy Spirit after they hear and believe the message, to those who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 10:44; Acts 11:14; and, Acts 19:2). I see from the scriptures that we can receive the Holy Spirit after we repent and are baptized (Acts 2:38). ). If we love Jesus and obey his teaching, God and Jesus will love us and they will come to make their home with us (John 14:23). Those who obey God receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32). I just gave you five scriptures showing that we get the Holy Spirit after we obey and believe. Are you going to believe the truth now? Are you going to keep saying we get the Holy Spirit then we believe? Furthermore, is believing a work to you? Believing is like drinking water! If believing is a work…then it is the work God requires! See John 6:28-29; and 1 Corinthians 12:13.
    -
    Abidingthroughgrace,
    You said: I mean no offense or insult in these comments. This is a massive and important issue that must be thoughtfully discussed. Maybe we need to just start with Ephesians chapter 1 to set the stage for what the global purpose and unfolding of God’s redemptive plan is.

    You said: Paul is talking about if Jews are better off because they are righteous due to the law and he says NO! None are good, none seek God. None seek God. How could anyone believe in God if they don’t seek him? This verse is very powerful in the context of Romans 1-9 showing that A) None seek God, B) None are righteous, none do good (total depravity).”

    My reply: None seek God—that is why God sent us a Savior! There is no such thing in the word of God as total depravity. Did you read anything I have already posted about this? Jesus tells us to become like little children. Matthew 18:3 (Jesus says to become like little children.) He would not tell us to do this if children were truly born totally depraved. Luke 8:15 “… these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.” (If total depravity is true, then there is no such thing as “good and honest” hearts.) Are you ready to give up your false doctrines yet?

    My reply: I always discuss God’s word thoughtfully. I would love to discuss Ephesians with you. I have discussed Ephesians already, and have even had some of what I posted deleted by someone.

  34. AMG, We are going to need to deal with some very basic interpretation problems. Am I ready to give up false doctrines? Come on now…you need to get these passages interpreted correctly first before you can make such a baseless claim. Let’s take this slowly since you have been jumping from topic to topic.

    Issue #1 – Mat 18:3
    This passage is dealing with the Disciples wanting to have glory, as they ask “who will be the greatest?” Jesus brings a child over and contrasts the PRIDE, ARROGANCE, and SELF-ABSORBED nature of the disciples. The children by comparison are HUMBLE. This passage has nothing to do with salvation and the condition of man in his original sin. It is purely regarding pride vs. humility. Those who have pride will not inherit the kingdom…those who are trying to be first, be glorified, be great – they are not saved thus they will not inherit the kingdom. Those, however, like the children who are HUMBLE, servants, the last…those will be the greatest in the kingdom.

    As I mentioned before, we must carefully deal with context and not just fling random misused passages around. This reduces credibility for your argument.

    Issue #2 – Luke 8:15
    Again, you’ve misused this passage. Jesus gives us the parable of the sower and the seeds in Luke 8:4-8. The Disciples didn’t understand and they asked Jesus what he meant. He stated that they were to know the secrets, so he explains. 3 of the soils that receive the seed will not believe (hmmm…how does God know this unless he controls it…it seems awfully precise) and only 1 will believe – those who are the good soil. What is the “good soil”? How can there be a soil that is “Bad” and doesn’t “receive the seed” and a soil that is “good” and receives the seed? This is because of Ephesians 1. Those who are predestined to adoption as sons through Christ will hear and believe. This is the “Good Soil”. The Good Soil is predestined to believe. Those who believe will hold it with a “honest and good heart”. If you say those who are honest and good heart will believe, then you’ve missed the point. They who believe will hold it in a honest and good heart – because they are Redeemed! Transformed! (i.e. Ephesians 1) Plus, Paul says that they bear fruit…well this can’t be the non-believer because non-believers DON’T BEAR FRUIT…they are in the flesh still, dead in their trespasses and cannot bear fruit with patience…these things only come with the Holy Spirit to believers (Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, Galatians 5).

    So, both of these passages that you have provided mean nothing towards the fact that men have original sin and are sinful, depraved, and destined to Hell from birth. You need to deal with these passages:

    Romans 3:12: “12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

    Romans 3:22-23: “22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

    Psalm 51:5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

    Luke 18:19: “19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone”

    Ephesians 2:1-3: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

    Mark 7:21-23: “21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

    There are many more that deal with the truth that man’s natural state is wicked. He is an enemy to God, hates God, doesn’t believe in God and is depraved. These are just a few passages that point directly at these. None are good. None seek God. Evil comes from the heart of the unbeliever. All have sinned. All have fallen short.

  35. Abidingthroughgrace,
    You said: There are many more that deal with the truth that man’s natural state is wicked. He is an enemy to God, hates God, doesn’t believe in God and is depraved.

    My reply: You Calvinists repeat that same brainwashed statement over again. That is not God’s word. For you continually to say that we hate God, yet become His children in this state of heart is just flat out false.

    Abiding said: Issue #1 – Mat 18:3
    This passage is dealing with the Disciples wanting to have glory, as they ask “who will be the greatest?” Jesus brings a child over and contrasts the PRIDE, ARROGANCE, and SELF-ABSORBED nature of the disciples. The children by comparison are HUMBLE. This passage has nothing to do with salvation and the condition of man in his original sin. It is purely regarding pride vs. humility.

    My reply: Ha….The truth stands. I guess little children are not completely and totally dead and depraved, or else how can they be humble.

    Abiding says: As I mentioned before, we must carefully deal with context and not just fling random misused passages around. This reduces credibility for your argument.

    My reply: You need to read more about the little children. It could help you.

    Abiding says: Issue #2 – Luke 8:15 Again, you’ve misused this passage. Jesus gives us the parable of the sower and the seeds in Luke 8:4-8. The Disciples didn’t understand and they asked Jesus what he meant. He stated that they were to know the secrets, so he explains.

    My reply: So you want me to pretend that I do not understand the scriptures of the parable of the seeds. lol

    Abiding says: 3 of the soils that receive the seed will not believe (hmmm…how does God know this unless he controls it…it seems awfully precise) and only 1 will believe – those who are the good soil.

    My reply: Verse 11, Jesus says the devil takes away what was in their hearts. Calvinists say people are born unable to believe. Which is it, God’s word, or Calvin’s words? Did the devil take away what was in their heart, or were they born with the inability to believe? I believe God’s word, and not Calvin’s.

    Abiding says: What is the “good soil”? How can there be a soil that is “Bad” and doesn’t “receive the seed” and a soil that is “good” and receives the seed? This is because of Ephesians 1. Those who are predestined to adoption as sons through Christ will hear and believe. This is the “Good Soil”. The Good Soil is predestined to believe. Those who believe will hold it with a “honest and good heart”. If you say those who are honest and good heart will believe, then you’ve missed the point. They who believe will hold it in a honest and good heart – because they are Redeemed! Transformed! (i.e. Ephesians 1) Plus, Paul says that they bear fruit…well this can’t be the non-believer because non-believers DON’T BEAR FRUIT…they are in the flesh still, dead in their trespasses and cannot bear fruit with patience…these things only come with the Holy Spirit to believers (Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, Galatians 5).

    My reply: Lol…Does Calvin know you are putting a little twist to his twist? Calvinists believe that the Holy Spirit causes men to believe, it just does not say that here. Stop adding to God’s word.

    Even the demons know that there is One God!

    Abiding quotes: Romans 3:12: “12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

    My reply: That is why we need a Savior. We have a Savior, Jesus Christ. That scripture does NOT say we cannot believe. Stop adding to God’s word.

    Abiding quotes: Romans 3:22-23: “22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

    My reply: ALL fall short. Yet Calvinists wants everyone to believe that God chooses some for no known reason. The Bible tells us why God chooses some and not others!
    Abiding quotes: Psalm 51:5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

    My reply: You want to see what you have been tricked into seeing. Nowhere does it say that we are unable to believe.

    Abiding quotes: Luke 18:19: “19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone”

    My reply: Again, where does it say we cannot believe on our own? It does not say that, anywhere.

    Abiding quotes: Ephesians 2:1-3: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

    My reply: Where does this say we cannot believe? You have been deceived.

    Abiding quotes: Mark 7:21-23: “21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

    My reply: Where does it say we cannot believe? It does not.

    In this next passage, read how many times Jesus says “whoever.”

    John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. WHOEVER believes in him is not condemned, but WHOEVER does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s only begotten Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But WHOEVER lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

    “Whoever” is whoever. This is plain and simple. Calvinists deny and twist the scriptures.

    1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

    Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. This scripture shows that Jesus saves any who come to him in belief; it is a choice of all men, if they only would not love darkness instead of the light.

    God wants all men saved. Read how many times scripture says “all men.”

    John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that ALL MEN through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11He came unto his own,
    and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    1 Timothy2:3-4 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants ALL MEN to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.

    Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to ALL MEN..

    1 Timothy 4:10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL MEN, and especially of those who believe.

    These scriptures right there should stop any one from ever misunderstanding and believing Calvinism ever again. How much plainer language does it have to be? “Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.”

    Remember, Calvinists say not all men.

  36. AMG,

    You are sounding foolish…not because you disagree with total depravity or other tenants of the Doctrines of Grace…but because you think you can hold a discussion by just calling everyone brainwashed and that we believe false doctrines. Your answers are meaningless and petty at this point and your arguments hold no substance by continuing to say we are wrong and you are right. You pay no attention to the arguments brought to you. I see no love, kindness, or patience in your comments…which are simply fruit of the spirit. I am beginning to wonder about what you actually believe and where you get your information.

    You need to stop associating me and the others with John Calvin in your insulting belittling way. It is self-righteous and in accurate. We do not align to any man above Christ and the written Word of God. Period.

    Out of love and the hope of you actually ever beginning some level of discussion rather than insults, I’m going to try this again.

    I have dealt very simply and thoroughly with you misinterpretations of Mat 18, Luke 8 above. I pray that you will consider that section again. You as hating “Calvinism” – and obviously any whom hold to the Doctrines of Grace don’t understand the passages I sent you to deal with are related to the Biblical Doctrine of man being born in sin, man hating God, and man being dead in his trespasses and unable to believe in God without God revealing himself to the man through the gift of faith.

    You must deal with these scriptures in how the relate to TOTAL DEPRAVITY, and not that man can’t believe. To explain that man can’t believe on his own you have to deal with depravity, irresistible grace, and election…not just 1 verse. I explained this already above. Please read the reply’s with some intent of understanding rather than speeding to your keyboard to say I’m brainwashed.

    You need to exegete from scripture (i.e. teach from the passage and the context the meaning of these passages) in relation to TOTAL DEPRAVITY (not that the passage explains belief…this is about total depravity)

    Romans 3:12: “12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

    Romans 3:22-23: “22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

    Psalm 51:5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

    Luke 18:19: “19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone”

    Ephesians 2:1-3: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

    Mark 7:21-23: “21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

    In conclusion…These passages clearly show that man is sinful and wicked in his nature = total depravity = dead in our sins before being born again. There are many many more. If you can teach from these passages in relation to these things then I’ll listen carefully to what you have to say. If you fling insults and return to calling me brainwashed then I won’t waste my time with this discussion. In addition if you can’t show love and gentleness and kindness to those who you believe are misguided, then you need to check yourself and see if you have any fruit of the Spirit.

    Faithfully,
    -atg

  37. Can a leopard change its spots or an Ethiopian their skin color? No they can’t.
    Neither can a dead sinner exercise saving faith. Neither would a dead sinner want to exercise saving faith. No one seeks after God. The dead sinner doesn’t understand spiritual matters.

  38. CD,
    It sounds as if you are trying to get out of Calvinism. So, does God draw us to Him, or does God regenerate us first by giving us the Holy Spirit? Drawing us to Him is not giving us the Holy Spirit first to make us believe. That is a false Calvin doctrine and not the word of God.

    -

    Abiding said, “You are sounding foolish…not because you disagree with total depravity or other tenants of the Doctrines of Grace…but because you think you can hold a discussion by just calling everyone brainwashed and that we believe false doctrines. Your answers are meaningless and petty at this point and your arguments hold no substance by continuing to say we are wrong and you are right. You pay no attention to the arguments brought to you. I see no love, kindness, or patience in your comments…which are simply fruit of the spirit. I am beginning to wonder about what you actually believe and where you get your information.”

    My reply: You do know that you are being a hypocrite now. I do not debate people who want to put me down personally in such a way. You are falsely judging me. I am not ignoring your arguments. Furthermore, you have proven the typical Calvin response, which is you do not think God’s word is understandable and wiser than man’s is.

    -

    Shane,
    You are trying to make a point using the flesh to explain the spiritual. The flesh and the spiritual are different. No one seeks after God, but God has BROUGHT A SAVIOR TO US. Furthermore, the dead sinner does not understand spiritual matters, however, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge the Lord, and he will make your path straight.

  39. AMG,

    Final warning on the un-Christlike attitude and personal attacks – you won’t receive another.

    In Him,
    CD

  40. AMG – you have proven my point. You are unwilling or unable to discuss the scriptures provided directly in response to your disagreement with the depravity of man. You have simply come in here, insulted us, called us names, and told us all your ideas without directly dealing with scripture. I call you out regarding you unloving, fruitless responses and now your feelings are hurt. You have falsely judged us from word one and you leave with another groundless insult.

    If you plan join in these discussions you need to focus on scripture (and not your own views), not be overwhelmed with your hatred towards “calvinistic” views and those who hold them, and find the ability to show love towards your fellow brothers. I would be happy to discussion any topic with you if you follow these simple Christlike charities.

    I pray for you in love as my brother that you will find truth in these discussions and that God’s grace would overwhelm you and bless you greatly. May HE alone be your all in all.

    your servant,
    -atg

  41. John3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.KJV

    Yep, a savior did come and depraved evil man had rather kill Him than love Him.

  42. Reality is fixed. Even God is bound by his own nature (for example, it is impossible for God to lie–see Hebrews 6:18). Whether or not you believe man is born totally depraved (which I do), it is clear that all men have sinned (see Romans 3:23); and all who sin, die spiritually (see Romans 5:12). This means that mankind, by nature, is sinful. Just as God is bound to his nature (goodness), we are bound to ours (evil).

    Therefore it is impossible for man–in his natural state–to choose God, because they very essence of evil is a hatred for God. That is why in Revelation 16:11, they refused to repent even when covered with boils and sores. It is just as impossible for men to repent and accept Christ as it is for the devil.

    Because of this fixed reality, without election, everyone–every human being who has ever sinned–would reject God and seal their fate in hell fire forever. This is why the doctrine of election is one of the most beautiful, loving, mind-boggling doctrines imaginable: God in his infinite love, grace, and mercy chose to at least save some by giving them new natures to repent and believe him.

    Because of the fixed reality of mankind’s evil nature, God has only three options:

    1.) Save no one
    2.) Save everyone
    3.) Save some

    Because God is love, option 1 is eliminated. That leaves us with options 2 and 3. We know the Bible says not all are saved, so option 2 is eliminated. That only leaves us with option 3. This is reality. This is the way it is. And what an amazing, glorious, awe-inspiring reality it is!

    Thank you, Jesus, for saving us.

    Amen

  43. Justin,

    That is a fantastic comment. Well done and thank you.

  44. There is no such thing as total depravity. No such scripture that says we cannot believe. You believe in manufactured doctrines. I choose God’s Word.

  45. 1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

    Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. This scripture shows that Jesus saves any who come to him in belief; it is a choice of all men, if they only would not love darkness instead of the light.

    God wants all men saved. Read how many times scripture says “all men.”

    John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that ALL MEN through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    1 Timothy2:3-4 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants ALL MEN to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.

    Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to ALL MEN.

    1 Timothy 4:10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL MEN, and especially of those who believe.

    That scripture right there should stop any one from ever misunderstanding and believing Calvinism ever again. How much plainer language does it have to be? “Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.”

    Remember, Calvinists say not all men.

  46. AMG – have you not read the first three chapters of Romans? Early in chapter 3, the Apostle sums up his arguments that both Jew and Gentile are without hope, quoting from the Psalms: What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:9-12 (ESV)

    Ephesians tells us we are all dead in sin. These two passages, individually or together – with the whole testimony of Scripture – makes plain the Truth that no one can do good apart from Christ. How, then, can one who is unrighteous and dead in sin can believe?

    How can John 3:18 be true if everyone is able to believe? Why is John 3 necessary if anyone can believe by act of his will?

    You, sir, know not the Scriptures.

  47. AMG,

    You said no Scripture says we cannot believe. I agree with you. No Scripture says we cannot believe. But Scripture DOES say we cannot believe ON OUR OWN.

    John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

  48. AMG – it’s easy to make the Arminian arguments you do when you pay NO attention to the context from which you ripped those “all men” verses. That is not Bible interpretation – that’s wooden reading without comprehension.

  49. Justin,
    There is not scripture that says we cannot believe on our own. God drawing us does NOT mean God is making us believe. Nor does it mean that we receive the Holy Spirit to make us believe. I have given you scripture that says we OBEY THEN we receive the Holy Spirit. Why do you not acknowledge the word of God?

    Manfred,

    I am not Arminian. Calvinists are just like Catholics, when it comes to thinking that the scriptures are not understandable. We do not have to be wise, or educated, or study exegesis, or Greek and Hebrew to understand the word of God. “All men” is all men. Who has confused you so badly?

    Do you really think that I have not read the first three chapters of Romans? I will say it again, no one seeks God, and so God came to us. Can you grasp that? God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, being dead in our sins does not mean we cannot believe—it means we need a Savior! Stop believing things taught by men. If God does not say it, then do not believe it.

  50. AMG – you are Arminian whether you admit it or not. Your self-help theology bears his name and that of the heretic Pelagious. “”All men” is all men” – wow! I am unable to stand in the face of such withering exegesis of the Scripture!

    The cult of Rome declares nobody outside their elite club can understand the Bible. Christians know that any person born by the Spirit of God – who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God – can understand the Scripture well enough to know central Truths of the faith. Such as salvation by grace, via faith that is given to us as a gift from God.

    So “all men” verses must be looked at in the context of the book in which they appear. Who was the book written to? What is the purpose of the book? Only a fool thinks “all” means every man who every lived without any restrictions. In Acts 17:6 did the Apostles actually turn the world upside down? Your “reasoning” of the “all men” passages would force to say so.

  51. AMG,

    Just so I understand what you’re saying, you’re saying we CAN come unto Jesus WITHOUT the Father drawing us? If yes, you flatly contradict John 6:44.

    If no, you are now conceding the depravity of man. If no man can come unless the Father draw him, then man–on his own–cannot come to Jesus. In order to come, the Father must draw him.

    It’s fine if you believe this, as I am not arguing that right now. I am arguing for the depravity of man, which is the only thing you have argued against in my posts. John 6:44 forces you to concede the depravity of man.

    If you reject my argument that John 6:44 forces you to concede the depravity of man, please offer an alternative–an alternative to depravity, that is–that explains this inability of man to “come” unto Jesus.

    Thanks

  52. Manfred,
    I am not Arminian. You can say it a hundred times; it just does not make it so. As for the scriptures that say “all men,” those scriptures nullify Calvinism completely. Trust God’s word.

    Read Acts 15:7-8, we learn that God showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them.

    God did not first give them the Holy Spirit to regenerate them! God accepted them and showed that He accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them.

    Acts 8:14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

    They believed first! The Holy Spirit had NOT YET COME UPON ANY OF THEM: THEY SIMPLY BEEN BAPTIZED INTO THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. THEN PETER AND JOHN PLACED THEIR HANDS ON THEM, AND THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT. This is all AFTER they ACCEPTED the word of God!

    Righteousness Through Faith
    Romans 3:21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

    In Romans 3:21, we see that those who want to obey God—now is made known a way—faith in Jesus Christ. The way has been MADE KNOWN. Not some secret a select few get to know about, in some mysterious way. The way has been MADE KNOWN.

    Justin,
    You do not understand right. Reread what I wrote. God drawing us DOES NOT mean we cannot believe on our own. Does God drawing us to Him mean we receive the Holy Spirit to cause us to believe? No. Drawing us is not making us believe by giving us the Holy Spirit.

    You said, “It’s fine if you believe this, as I am not arguing that right now. I am arguing for the depravity of man, which is the only thing you have argued against in my posts. John 6:44 forces you to concede the depravity of man.”

    My reply: There is no such scripture saying total depravity. There is no such scripture saying we cannot believe without the Holy Spirit making us believe. I had been longing for something more in life, and this longing made me thirsty for something more. When I learned that Jesus says all who are thirsty come to me…then I was drawn. God was drawing me to Him. If I am not thirsty and am content with my sinful life, then I would resist God drawing me. I hope that helps you understand better.

  53. AMG,

    I don’t know how many times and how many different ways we can say this so that you will accept the Word of God. Jesus Himself testifies that NO ONE (universal) CAN (universal inability) come come to Him (universally no one can come to Christ) UNLESS (a qualifier to the foregoing universal inability) the Father DRAWS him (to come to Christ), AND (a conjunction universally joining those who are drawn to Christ by the Father) He (Christ) will raise him (universally applicable to those who are drawn to Christ by the Father) on the last day. ALL those who the Father draws to Christ WILL come to Him, AND they will be raised by Him on the last day – it’s a package deal. You don’t have men drawn to Christ who don’t come to Him. Nor do you have men drawn to Christ, and who come to him, but who are not raised on the last day, nor do you have men raised by Christ on the last day who did not come to Him, or who weren’t drawn to Him by the Father. This passage is an unbroken continuum of action on the part of the Triune One true and living God resulting in certain men being raised by Christ on the last day, those who are drawn to Him by the Father.

    Your comments here continue to demonstrate that you are simply not tracking with this discussion at all. I can’t tell if you’re unable, or unwilling, but you’re clearly not grasping the crux of the discussion. No one is saying men don’t need to believe in Christ. No one is saying that God “forces” people to believe against their wills. Instead we’re pointing you to the Scriptures that testify that God graciously gives men new hearts (regeneration) which allows them to freely choose Christ instead of always and everywhere rejecting Him which is the natural (fallen) state of man, being dead in trespasses and sin, and slaves to the lust of the flesh who abide under the wrath and curse of God.

    I have given you scripture that says we OBEY THEN we receive the Holy Spirit. Why do you not acknowledge the word of God?

    No you haven’t. The Scriptures testify that obedience is evidence of the prior working of the Spirit of God changing the heart of man from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. You have the effect as the cause. Men don’t gain justification from God through obedience, this is works-righteousness, Christian salvation is all of grace. This is the good news of the Gospel. The Law says “Do this and live!”, the Gospel says, “Live and do this!”

    Thus far you’ve simply asserted that your various prooftexts support your preconceived man-centered system, but they don’t. In fact, you have salvation exactly backwards. You have God responding to man instead of man responding to God. You have man as the final determiner and arbiter of salvation, bringing about his own new birth instead of God being the final determiner and arbiter of salvation.

    You have endowed sinful, fallen men with the ultimate, final decision making power in bringing about their own born-again conversion.

    You have made man sovereign over God.

    Man calls the shots and God watches helplessly, hoping for the best, but being eternally disappointed that He couldn’t actually accomplish salvation for all men after all…He just couldn’t actually do all His holy will, He’s repeatedly thwarted by sinful man’s sovereignty. God would really have liked a different outcome, but alas…all those hapless people for whom Christ died nevertheless constantly slip into an eternity in hell; hour after hour, day after day, year after year, century after century. All Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, atoning for all the sins of all men everywhere for all time, yet still countless multitudes go to hell to suffer for eternity for the exact same sins that Christ already atoned for; resulting in a double-payment for sin. Christ suffered and paid for it all, and then sinner suffers and pays for it again. Cosmic double-jeapordy. It’s like a tragic re-write of a beloved hymn: “What can take away my sin? Nothing!”

    Your system can’t account for Christ paying for the sins of all men alike, and all men not going to heaven because it’s an impossibility. If Christ paid the price for all sin, then all sin is atoned for and we have universalism – everybody’s going to heaven. But in fact all the sins of the elect were fully atoned for by Christ, and full redemption was accomplished for them by His perfect life, perfect suffering, perfect death, and perfect resurrection on behalf of all the saints of all time. All that remains is for that redemption to be applied, in time, to those for whom Christ died, the elect. And this is exactly what the Scriptures teach. God predestined His elect saints for redemption, whose names were written in the Lamb’s book of life from before the foundation of the world, and all those individuals are infallibly saved by the Person and work of Christ alone as His redemption is applied to them in time by the Holy Spirit. The pre-cross saints believed in the Savior to come, and the post-cross saints look back to the Savior Who came, and Who promises to come again and gather all His people together; hallelujah, what a Savior!

    The Father elects, the Son redeems the elect, and the Spirit applies the work of the Son to the elect. This is why Jesus can truly say: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” This is also why we have such great encouragement and boldness in our witnessing because we know that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and all those whom He has predestined in eternity past will hear the truth, and the truth will set them free. We don’t know who the elect are, so we preach the Gospel to everyone indiscriminately, knowing His sheep will hear His voice and follow Him by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the praise and glory of God alone. Salvation is of the Lord.

    Two quick questions: i.) Do you claim to be a born-again Christian? ii.) If so, did you bring about your new birth, or did God? (*Hint: read the account of Jesus and Nicodemus*)

    AMG said: My reply: There is no such scripture saying total depravity. There’s also no Scripture saying “Trinity” or “Bible”.

    In Christ,
    CD

  54. CD said, “There’s also no Scripture saying “Trinity” or “Bible”.’

    My reply: Bible means “Book.” In addition, I do not use the word “Trinity.” That word is not in the Bible.

    People are not as likely to read long replies. I would rather that you had left my replies alone.

  55. AMG,

    Actually you’re spamming the place up pretty badly, so I’m doing you a favor by cleaning up your multiple posts. Standard housekeeping stuff around here, sorry – take it up with Management.

    Also I find it curious that you claim not to use the word “Trinity”, presumably because it’s “not in the Bible”. Do you believe that the One true and living God of the Holy Bible exists in three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? Thanks for the definition of “Bible”, but I already knew that. “Trinity” is theological shorthand for “Tri-unity”.

    In Him,
    CD

  56. AMG,

    So God draws everyone? And only those who have this “hunger” you speak of, will come? First, where does this “hunger” come from? Second, why are some “hungry” while others are not? If God doesn’t enable this “hunger”, who does? Some inherent goodness in the sinner? If so, you are conceding to the Palagian heresy. If not, you are leaving it to random chance. Are souls like dice that God “rolls”? If so, even the lot’s decision is from the Lord.

    Playing the “free will” card here doesn’t rescue you from this dilemma, either, unless you are saying you arbitrarily made a decision to become hungry. But that doesn’t make any sense.

    More Scripture on depravity:

    1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

    John 12:40 HE has blinded their eyes and HE hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.

    2 Corinthians 4:3-4 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

    In each Scripture I presented, we see the natural man is blind to the light of the Gospel and the things of God. This is what it means to be dead in sin. It means to be enslaved to sin:

    John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

    This is why Jesus said those who are dead, that HEAR the Son, will live:

    John 5:25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

    How can the dead hear? They must first be made alive! It is the same with those dead in sin, which is why Jesus said the hour NOW IS.

    Justin

  57. Justin quoted: John 12:40 HE has blinded their eyes and HE hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.

    My reply: If they were incapable of believing on their own—then why did God have to harden them? Calvinism goes against the word of God. I am finished here.

  58. My reply: If they were incapable of believing on their own—then why did God have to harden them? Calvinism goes against the word of God. I am finished here.

    It’s called “judicial blindness”. It’s an act whereby God confirms a rebellious sinner in his unbelief. We see the classic example in the O.T. with Pharoah. Total Depravity doesn’t mean every human being acts as evil and wickedly as they possibly could, it merely means that sin has totally corrupted every area of fallen man’s life; mind and spirit as the Scriptures testify. There is no “neutral ground” within fallen man that retains some kernel or nugget of righteousness that just needs to be nurtured and fanned into a flame of holiness. Fallen man is a helpless slave to sin and must be rescued by a Savior and Kinsman-Redeemer.

    When Jesus called Lazarus forth did dead Lazarus obey and come forth to live, or did dead Lazarus live and come forth in obedience?

    In Christ,
    CD

  59. AMG – I’m really courious about your salvation story. Will you share your testimony with us, please?

  60. Yes, I would love to hear AMG’s salvation story too -

  61. Okay Abiding and Wayne, why do you want to hear my testimony. I would love to tell it to you. Seriously, I would love to tell you. Do you want to try to prove Calvinism through it?

  62. AMG,

    I don’t need to prove the Doctrines of Grace since it has been so thoroughly proven here already. :) (just a friendly joke)

    I actually have honorable and loving intentions, which may be a surprise to you. I want to know more about who you are and your influences to understand where you are coming from. I’m curious and want to know more. That is it.

  63. Hi Abiding,
    I like what you say here, minus the joke (joking). Thank you for asking about my testimony. I have recently started writing about it. This might sound strange, but I am very protective of it. However, I will post it sometime soon. I would too like to read more about you…do you have a testimony that I could read?

  64. AMG, yes I have a testimony written out that I sent in with my seminary application. I’ll share that with you. Let me know when you have yours ready. I’ll be right here.

  65. Sounds good, abiding, and thanks again.

    I must tell you all, I have revised my Calvinism post. I am very excited to share with you scriptures that Calvinists use for their beliefs. Please read my post named Calvinism. Please when you read it, do not skim over the scriptures, as you might miss something you have not noticed before.

  66. Abidingthroughgrace,
    Are you at a seminary right now? If not, what seminaries are you applying for? You can email me.

  67. Slimjim…I need your email. I can’t find it or don’t know how.

    AMG – you say the verses that “Calvinists” use…did you study Pro-calvinst writings to gain this info? Guys such as MacArthur, RC Sproul, Spurgeon, or numerous others to gather these verses?

  68. Abiding, I was a Calvinist for a short time. Would you mind reading my post?

  69. I’ll read it, but I have a feeling I already know what you have to say since you have had so much to say here. I was a free-will Armenian type for about 10 years and came to the Doctrines of Grace through reading scripture 4 years ago…so we have the opposite story.

    Give me the link and I’ll read it…but I’m not in the mood to hear how much of an idiot I am for believing such and such and how deceived I am by the so and so false doctrine. That hasn’t been very effective here.

  70. Abiding,
    Most Calvinists were Arminian first. I know that you have not heard before all that I wrote, since I have read many different answers from non-Calvinists. Just click on my name, it should take you to my page, and then click on my Calvinism post. I try not to be too critical for those who do believe in Calvinism. If you read my post and tell me what I could have left out because it was more hurtful than helpful, I would remove it.

  71. AMG,

    Ok, I read your post on Calvinism. I have 2 comments to begin with: 1) you have misrepresented Calvinism in many places in your post. 2) You have used many scriptures out of context (context = the original intent of the author to the original hearers as understood in the language and culture to which it was written) and incorrectly (applied passages that don’t fit) to make your points against calvinism.

    You say above that you discuss the verses that Calvinists use for our beliefs…but I didn’t see that anywhere in the post. What I saw was that you listed many verses to make your point, with very little or no discussion on the text…just a list of scriptures doesn’t always tell the story. I was hoping to see that you would make attempts to discuss and refute the Calvinist proof texts, but instead you only misrepresent a Calvinist doctrinal position and then list proof texts (often out of context) to show why that doctrinal position is false.

    So, I’m not sure how to continue…I’d like to go paragraph by paragraph in your post and explain why I think you have misrepresented Calvinist views and where the scriptures are used out of context. However, based on previous discussions here, I’m not sensing that you will be willing to listen and I don’t feel at this point that it would be profitable to make the effort.

    faithfully,
    -atg

  72. Abiding,
    Everything you say about my post is false. Keep your beliefs then. God bless and goodbye.

  73. atg,

    BINGO!

    In Christ,
    CD

  74. AMG – Please consider this for a moment. I am a serious, hardcore, traditionalist, 5-point Calvinist in the tradition of CH Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, John Murray, etc. This is the doctrine I hold to. I have been studying this doctrine at a high level for about 4 years now and attend a calvinist reformed seminary…

    So, all I’m saying is this: You are writing a post claiming (vehemently, i might add) that what I believe, my core doctrine, the faith to which I have plunged my life into is FALSE. Ok, I’m cool with that…let’s talk about that. However, what you describe in your post as Calvinist beliefs is not accurate to the true, faithful, 5-point, Spurgeon style Calvinist. You are not describing what I believe in general. you have a couple items accurate, but the majority of what you have described isn’t accurate and I don’t agree with the doctrines you describe.

    Don’t you think that this matters? Don’t you think that if you are going to attack Calvinists you should have a more accurate understanding of what we believe? That’s all I’m saying.

    Regarding the scriptures, disagree on the context and application all you want, because that is what will separate doctrinal positions in the first place. But don’t say I’m believing a false doctrine when you don’t understand all of what I believe.

    Finally, brother, out of love and caring for you hear me on this. You reaction of: “Everything you say about my post is false. Keep your beliefs then.” Sounds like, “I know you are but what am I!” and “I’m rubber and your glue!” It sounds like playground fighting frustration and does not sound like a faithful follower of Christ who is humble, teachable, patient, etc. If we believe a false doctrine and you care about our hearts i would expect you to be earnest and patient and long suffering in explaining for the fate of our souls hang in the balance and following a false doctrine. Instead, your reaction (again now for the 2nd time) has been one of only wanting to be right and when you encounter real resistance you run off.

    I pray that you would be softhearted enough to be challenged in our beliefs as much as you wish to challenge others.

    -atg

  75. Wow!

    This might deserve a special blog post all of its own. AMG (or someone who has the ability to edit AMG’s blog) actually modified one of my comments and completely changed the wording, making it say something completely different than I originally typed. This is the sort of argumentation one gets from a person who is so steeped in their personal traditions that they simply can’t stand the truth, and when they are unable to deal with the truth they change it to fit their own personal preferences. Here is the modifed quote as it’s currently found on AMG’s blog:

    AMG,

    I did read your article and reached precisely the same conclusion as atg, you know what you’re talking about. It’s actually very sad to see a professing Christian misrepresent easily refutable claims so blithely, as the Calvinists do, and then staunchly and proudly refuse any and all correction given.

    If you really want Calvinists to know the truth, and to understand what God’s Word has to say on the topics under discussion then you should refer them to all your posts on your blog; yet even though Calvinists simply keep repeating them as though they’ve not been answered.

    I wish Calvinists would take your advice when you say “If you find while you are loving God that you had been believing something false, just stop believing the falseness, thank God that you have been shown the truth, and move on. Continue to grow in the Truth.”

    CD

    And here’s what I originally typed before the comment was held in moderation, and subsequently modified before being posted:

    AMG,

    I did read your article and reached precisely the same conclusion as atg, you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s actually very sad to see a professing Christian misrepresent easily refutable claims so blithely, and then staunchly and proudly refuse any and all correction given.

    If you really want your readers to know the truth, and to understand what God’s Word has to say on the topics under discussion then you should refer them to this discussion at DefCon where all your stock arguments against Calvinism were utterly demolished; even though you simply keep repeating them as though they’ve not been answered.

    I wish you would take your own advice when you say “If you find while you are loving God that you had been believing something false, just stop believing the falseness, thank God that you have been shown the truth, and move on. Continue to grow in the Truth.”

    In Christ,
    CD

    This my friends is what you’re dealing with in AMG at the so-called “christiandefenseofthetruth” blog; someone who can’t deal with the truth, and actually stoops to the low of changing reader’s comments in order to make them into a lie that agrees with AMG’s position – which is exactly the way AMG treats the Scriptures. How ironic and sad…

    In Him,
    CD

  76. CD and Defcon friends…ditto. AMG has edited my response on his blog as well to change the words to make them in his favor.

    AMG, regardless of his doctrinal beliefs, has turned out to be immature and a clown. I’m deeply disappointed that this person has a forum on his blog to proclaim his hate for calvinists. What a shame. Anyone who would purposefully change the words to our responses to him…which he asked for us to provide after reading his post on his blog…isn’t welcome amongst the DefCon discussions on real issues.

  77. CD: I checked my comment on AMG’s blog, and saw you had commented also (partially in response to my comment, or so it appeared). When I re-checked, it appeared your comment had been dishonestly edited and made to say the opposite of what you originally wrote. I didn’t want to get caught in the crossfire of a Calvinism argument. I just had an honest question for AMG on his blog. I suppose he could now go back and edit my comments there to say who knows what, so I now regret commenting there in the first place.

    I guess I should thank Defcon, too, for always accurately publishing my comments even when they were not in agreement with the content of the post.

  78. How disheartening that someone would actually change your words…. :( If he *is* a Christian, he will see the error of his ways and repent…there is no integrity in dishonesty.

  79. Yes MA,

    My comment to you was perverted by AMG, and it looks like the first sentence in your comment was modified to say You state: “God wants all men saved. Read how many times scripture says ‘all men.’” If memory serves correctly your original comment didn’t say that.

    Here is the edited version of my response to you that currently appears there:

    In other words, AMG, Calvinists do not believe all that the Bible teaches about God and man, instead of allowing God’s Holy Word to speak for itself. Calvinists are cherry-picking prooftexts that support one’s own personal man-centered point of view.

    CD

    And here is the original:

    In other words, MA, Calvinists believe all that the Bible teaches about God and man, allowing God’s Holy Word to speak for itself instead of cherry-picking prooftexts that support one’s own personal man-centered point of view.

    In Christ,
    CD

    I couldn’t help noticing in both edits AMG removes my closing “In Christ”. Interesting. Oh well, on a bright note no one reads that blog anyway, so the slight will go largely unnoticed. In the big scheme of things twisting my words to mean things they never intended to say isn’t terribly important, but twisting God’s Word as AMG does to further a man-exalting theology is a different matter altogether.

    In Him,
    CD

  80. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
    (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)

    A zero amount of integrity proven by changing peoples comments and a constant refusal of truth makes me wonder.

  81. Now our pal, AMG is saying on his bloggig that we have no integrity…we don’t after he has edited our text. He is dishonest, has no integrity, and is now leading other readers in a lie regarding what we wrote.

    CD if you have time I think you should make a feature post exposing this guys methods and dishonesty.

  82. ACK!!! he changed my words as well!!! I told him that his behavior was disappointing and asked if he had any integrity. I was hoping he would feel conviction from that….but I am not sure that he does know Christ. I will pray for him.

  83. AMG:

    Do not lie. Do not deceive one another. (Leviticus 19:11)

    No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.
    (Psalm 101:7)
    The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. (Proverbs 12:22)
    You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors. (Psalm 5:6)
    Better to be poor than a liar. (Proverbs 19:22)
    He whose tongue is deceitful falls into trouble.
    (Proverbs 17:20)
    O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? (Jeremiah 5:3)
    Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. (Proverbs 12:19)
    An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
    (Proverbs 24:26)
    The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked bring shame and disgrace. (Proverbs 13:5)
    The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
    (Proverbs 11:3)
    I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law.
    (Psalm 119:163)
    A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. (Proverbs 26:28)
    Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning. (Jeremiah 9:5)
    You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. (Psalm 52:3)
    Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbor.
    (Proverbs 25:18)
    Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” (Proverbs 26:18-19)
    Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. (Ephesians 4:25)
    You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Deuteronomy 5:20)
    Keep falsehood and lies far from me. (Proverbs 30:7-8)
    Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law. (Psalm 119:29)
    Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. (Psalm 34:12-13)
    For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:37)

    I’m sorry that I am off topic….I am just frustrated that a “brother in christ” would lie and change our words.

  84. I think a simple banning would be best in this case. AMG doesn’t have an actual platform, and a post at DefCon with a link would serve only to put an otherwise unread blog on the map.

    In Him,
    CD

  85. CD, I also agree that AMG has more than overstepped his boundaries and his welcome at this website with his lies and deceit and personal attacks against the truth of God’s Word. A permanent ban is an acceptable option at this point.

  86. It is one thing to have a debate…but it’s another thing if one’s defense has to involve lies and purposely twisting someone else’s word…that is ungodly.

  87. AMG – I hope you are still getting these replies. I won’t post on your blog since you change our words by editing our text in your favor. However, I want to respond to your post today…

    You, Mr. AMG, are interpreting Romans 7:13-25 incorrectly. This seems to be a common problem with your hatred of Calvinist doctrine. You misinterpret passages to make your point against Calvinism. You could make your point against Calvinist doctrine without misinterpreting if you took the time to learn what the Doctrine actually teaches rather than this strange hybrid you have created. You’ve missed the boat again big time with Romans 7. This is Paul speaking as a christian, not as an unbeliever. The passage you refer to is Paul post-salvation, not pre-salvation…thus your point falls flat and there is no credibility in your argument.

    I’m sorry to continue to correct you regarding these misinterpretations, but it is vital that scripture is accurately explained.

    fully dependent on the grace of God,
    -abidingthroughgrace

  88. AMG, please come and comment here where we can interact. I won’t comment on your blog since you have proven to be not trustworthy and dishonest by changing my words.

    Romans 7 is Paul talking about the christian faith after he was saved…this is a very simple issue. Please look at verse 9 (below) – “I was once alive apart from the law”…past tense because something changed – he was saved. also in verse 9 – “and I died” past tense. I’m not sure how you can possible deal with that as him talking pre-salvation. He was dead in his sins by the law. Also in verse 11 – “it killed me,” past tense talking of before he was saved. Verses 13…more of the same. “it was sin producing death in me,” again past tense. He is writing as a man saved reflecting on the sin that lives in him. You are proposing by your comments on this passage that we don’t sin once saved? Are you really thinking through what you are saying? You have built a straw man against total depravity and missed it on this passage.

    Continuing on…Verse 14 – he is of the flesh and he sins…he does the things he doesn’t want to do. Paul is troubled and broken hearted in the sins of his flesh that he can’t escape. But, he wants to do well, which comes from the Holy Spirit in him. Before he was saved he didn’t desire to do right, he desired to follow the law and yet he was killing men. This is not pre-saved Paul, but post-saved Paul. Verse 18 – “nothing good dwells in me” Amen! Amen! Amen! we are so much in need of a savior. Verse 22 – “I delight in the law of God”…SAVED. We are all in a battle against sin. Our flesh is so sinful and we are all so wretched (as in verse 24) and in desperate need of Christ. You seem to think that you are now perfected and sinless since you say this can’t be a saved man talking. You need to come face to face with your sinfulness and repent since your flesh is still full of sin (as is mine). Wretched man that I am! I echo Paul’s call! Who will deliver me from this body of death – our sinful flesh that will be perfected in the resurrection. And praise God for verse 25, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ!”

    My recommendation is that you should spend more time reviewing context and looking at the chapters and the books as a whole rather than cherry picking verses out of context. as an honest suggestion, read a book on Hermeneutics, like Louis Berkhof or Bernard Ramm’s Hermeneutics books that deal with language, context, figures of speech, and general rules of interpretation of the Word of God. If you are proclaiming to teach the Word of God you’ll be held at a higher standard and should take extreme care in how you interpret and how you teach.

    Romans 7:9-20 (ESV)
    9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin

    Dependent on Christ to deliver me from this body of death!!
    -atg

  89. Brad,
    I have removed your comment because you bring no biblical basis for your stance and resort to childish tactics in defense of your opinion; if you want your comment approved, then you need to bring something biblical to the table.

    I do hope you will re-work your response with God’s word woven throughout.

  90. Brother Washer seems to believe that salvation can only work in one of two ways.
    1st. Sinful men are compelled to believe and thereby saved. or
    2nd Totally depraved man somehow find a way to believe in God.
    Since he believes the 2nd method to be impossible, the obvious answer for him is the 1st.
    The problem with his analysis is that neither is how the process of salvation occurs.
    Please read this article on the doctrine of election which explains the process of salvation and much more:
    http://www.youmustbesaved.com/preview_052.htm
    God Bless!

  91. Abel – that page you linked to is an unbiblically supportable Arminian bit of man pleasing theology. His “flag” for his argument is John 3:16, which he does not understand. He takes it at face value and misses its meaning. Please check out the link below before deciding that page you cited is correct.

    A great, 13 minute video here: http://defendingcontending.com/2011/08/27/whosoever-will/

    Another video, 20 minutes long, that focuses only on the Greek phrase behind the English “whosoever believes”: http://defendingcontending.com/2009/05/18/who-is-the-whosoever-of-john-316/

    May you understand the Truth of God’s Word, for the glory of His name.

  92. The important part of John 3:16, as far as election is concerned, is not so much “whosoever believes”, but the first part of the verse. “For God so loved the WORLD…” This part of the verse explains exactly why and for who God “gave His one and only Son” to die on the cross and that is all of mankind without exception. It also says, “whosoever believes” not “whosoever is compelled to believe”. Theses two phrases mean two totally different things and they are not interchangeable. In order for the doctrine of election to be true, God must compel man to believe, if not, then man has a choice, which the doctrine of election argues against.

    It always amazes me how the defenders of the doctrine of election continue to argue that Jesus only died for “the elect” and yet, when presenting the Gospel, for some reason, they never want to share, what would seem to be a very critical part of how Salvation works, with the lost. I have never heard a single defender of election boldly, and proudly proclaim this most beautiful of doctrines to the lost, “Jesus died only for the elect!” Why not?

    What I always see and hear is the defenders of election presenting the Gospel to people with no knowledge of the Bible or election, as if it applies to everyone without exception when in reality, they believe it is not. Is this really being honest or forthcoming? If I was a lost person and I asked a defender of election if Jesus died specifically for me, the only honest, direct answer that could be given is, “I don’t know, maybe.” Not exactly a powerful message of “good news.”

    God Bless!
    Abel

  93. Abel, You must read more and from other sources to properly understand that verse. IF you had watched the videos I provided links to on another thread, you would understand that verse – perhaps. English is not the language of the Scriptures and we cannot take the English translations at face value. The word, “so”, comes from a Greek word that cannot be an adjective, it is an adverb and can only be an adverb. This means that John 3:16 means “For God loved the world in this way, that He gave His only Son …” It does not mean that God loved the world (the entire world, with no exception) soooooo much that He couldn’t help but want to save every man, woman, and child.

    If you were the only person on the earth, God alone would know if Christ died for you. Same as if you were 1 in 6 billion. Dead in sin and trespass, Eph chapter 2 – I don’t see how anyone can get past THAT. Or John 1:12 – 13: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” These verses shed light on John 3:16 – no man can save himself.

    If God chooses only some, and Holy Spirit only indwells some, why would Christ have died for all? This puts the persons of the Trinity at odds with one another, something the Bible says cannot be so. Therefore, Christ must have died only for those chosen by His Father and redeemed and sealed by the Holy Spirit – in this they are unified.

  94. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. – 1 John 2:15

    Oopsie! Given Abel’s stock Arminian interpretation of John 3:16, and applying it consistently yields a serious contradiction. Is this a reason for an existential crisis of faith, or is this a reason to pause and re-consider said interpretation in the light of the whole counsel of God?

    The Biblical response to Abel’s hypothetical witnessing encounter is found right there in John 3:16, Christ is the Savior of all those who believe. And since we are fully persuaded that Jesus Christ is an actual Savior in contradistinction to being merely a potential Savior we are free to preach the Gospel message liberally to all with the full knowledge that all His sheep will hear His voice and follow Him. We don’t know who the elect are so we boldly beseech all men alike to be reconciled with God with fear and trembling, and with the understanding that the power doesn’t lie in the persuasiveness of our words or in our presentation, but with our great God and Savior who will not lose even one of His own.

    There’s nothing wrong with the Sower nor the seed, the problem is with the ground.

    In Christ,
    CD

  95. Abel, I seriously believe in Election, as my previous posts here suggest. I can tell you this as well…I can look at any person and tell them that God loves them, Jesus died for them and they can be saved if they believe. Every single person. Even as a 5 point Calvinist I am very confident in saying this because there has never been a person in the history of the world that has honestly called out to God for salvation who hasn’t been saved. Logically, it follows. If faith is a gift from God (Eph 2) and we are regenerated before we repent (Eph 1 & Rom 8) through God’s predestined soveriegn choice, then any person who BELIEVES is someone who has been GIVEN faith by God and therefore is saved by God. So, if this random person says, I don’t believe in God, religion is stupid, I don’t have to convince him, I don’t have to worry about saying anything wrong, I can simply say, God loves you and wishes you would not perish and if you repent and believe you will be saved. Either way, it is in God’s hands, not mine…and I have great confidence and peace in this. I believe it is also what we see Paul and the other apostles doing: Repent and follow the Lord. Some do and some don’t. The problem with Free Will thought is that it is always a sales pitch. I’m not making a sales pitch and there is no reason to say, Jesus died for the elect. I would, however, say to anyone that Jesus died for His children. We are not convincing people, but we are faithfully telling the Gospel story and God’s Children will respond according to His timing, His plan, His counsel…not yours. We aren’t salesman, we are ambassadors. We aren’t sales man, we are citizens of Heaven here to proclaim the name of the Lord.

    Also, there is a common misconception about “God so loved the world…” A better rendering of the Greek would be “God loved the word in this manner, He gave is only Son.” Plus the definition of “world” (kosmos in the greek) has 9 different definitions and John uses the word Kosmos in John over 50 times I believe…and not 1 of the 9 definitions of the Greek word Kosmos means “every single person on the Earth”. These are vital distinctions that are lost in the attempt to disprove the Biblical doctrine of Election.

    Faithfully abiding in Christ’s love,
    -atg

  96. atg – you err in being confident that you can say God love anyone, whereas Scripture makes clear that He has hated some folk and He is ANGRY with sinners all day long. Agreed – everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved – but we have to understand what it means to call upon the Lord and who can do that. Only those who have been called by God, not those who call upon a god of their imagination.

  97. Manfred, of course. All who are called believe and all who believe are called. Basic logic then says that no one who has ever truly called on the name of the Lord through true faith hasn’t been saved. Therefore, I have peace and confidence in NOT needing to determine who is or isnt elect. Those who remain in opposition to Christ will recieve the wrath they deserve.

  98. atg – Amen and let all the blood-bought saints of the living God rejoice at the unmerited favor He has bestowed upon us!

  99. We have verses that clearly state God hates certain individuals (Psalm 11:5 for example). We have no verses that clearly state God loves every single human being who ever lived, lives, or will live. Why then do we continue to insist that God loves everyone?

  100. Spot on target, Justin. Men tend to believe they love fallen man more than God and project that onto God, portraying Him as loving everybody – even if they claim He saves only some. This leaves people that God loves under His wrath for eternity. Can’t make those ends come together.

  101. The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference. God loves and hates. He is not indifferent.

  102. Justin asks: “Why then do we continue to insist that God loves everyone?”

    That’s easy, it’s because we’re just sooooo loveable! Right? I love me a lot, so God must REALLY love me a lot. After all, He’s like a waaaaaay better version of me, right?

    No? HATER!!!

    :0)

    In Him,
    CD

  103. I have a question: In Gen 6:5 It says that “God saw…” it is in a past tense “saw” does it really means that it includes human being after the flood? thank you

  104. R-Jay, thanks for stopping by. I am afraid that I am not sure what you are trying to ask. Would you mind rephrasing your question or the concern you may have with the post?

  105. R-Jay, God is in time as we creatures are. He made all things, including time and space. He sees all things at once, unlike us time-bound creatures who see only what’s near us. Keep in mind that the Bible often uses anthropomorphisms to describe God, not because He has the characteristics of a man, but that we cannot comprehend Him as He is.

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