Is Predestination Biblical?

I was asked to serve at a small Baptist church near the property in SE Oklahoma my wife and I bought some years with hopes of moving to in 2015. So this opportunity to shepherd a small flock provided the impetus for us to move a year ahead of schedule. I had traveled up to this church once on a general call to preach, having been recommended by the local Baptist association. I preached twice that day and was quickly invited back to “preach in view of a call”. I drove the 400 miles to do that on July 6, preaching from Hebrews 1:1-4 (telling them I would preach through that book if called) and had a meeting with the members of the church that evening.

I was asked if I believed in “once saved always saved” and I explained the believer’s security such that “easy believism” was not an option. The same lady asked me if I would be willing to have little children bring trinkets to me during the service so I could relate the trinket to Scripture. I told her the service was for the worship of God, not the entertainment of children.

I asked them what they thought the main function of the pastor was and was encouraged to hear several say “pray, study, preach”. I asked them what the main function of the church was on the Lord’s Day and was encouraged to hear several say “worship the Lord in song, hear the Word preached.”  That provides a foundation upon which to build.

I was also asked if I believed in predestination and confessed that I had no choice because it is clearly taught in Revelation, Romans 8 and Ephesians. I was encouraged when that answer was met with a few “Amens!” Some questions about programs and Sunday School – I pressed on them the need to engage parents and to help young people grow into adults; so I would accept some “age appropriate” Sunday School for small children, but by 12 they need to be with adults – because we see this in Scripture and we see the need in our culture.

I was asked to step outside. About 5 minutes later, I was asked back in and told that they wanted to call me as their pastor. The terms were acceptable. We made provision to sell our house in Houston, bought a trailer to live in for a season and I moved on up on Aug 6, with my dear wife following in a couple of weeks. I preached several sermons (available here: http://gowenbaptist.blogspot.com/) and they had a very nice welcome dinner for us on Aug 24 and then the deacons told me they could not tolerate my preaching that included predestination, so they asked me to step down on Aug 31. They corralled the members the next day and then told me on Wed evening the whole church voted for me to leave.

The deacons would not answer questions about their view that altar calls are necessary nor would they be willing to reconsider their view on predestination if I showed them clear passages of Scripture that declare it. They are free-will people, have been all their lives and they have no interest in growing in grace and knowledge of Christ. I told them that if I had known they held to free-will theology, I would never have come to serve there. That being said, they have been very nice and generous and have offered to help us move our trailer off their property.

I am heart-broken over this, but unashamed of the messages I delivered while there – all 4 week’s worth. I put together a list of  Scripture passages touching on this topic, see below. No man can come to the Father unless He draw him. How can free-will in a sinful creature claim credit for choosing to be saved? The lack of willingness to ponder Scripture and let that be a guide flies in the face of Christianity and denies the authority, sufficiency, necessity, and clarity of Scripture that I preached on while there.

On Predestination:

John 1:11-13 (ESV) 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 3:6-8 (ESV) 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 10:25-30 (ESV) 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

John 15:15-17 (ESV) 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Ephesians 1:3-6 (ESV) 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:11-14 (ESV) 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Revelation 13:5-8 (ESV) 5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

Revelation 17:6-8 (ESV) 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly. 7 But the angel said to me, “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

On man’s inability:

Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV) 1 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.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

1 John 5:11-12 (ESV) 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

God saves, not man:

John 6:36-40 (ESV) 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

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

Titus 3:4-7 (ESV) 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Romans 9:14-18 (ESV) 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

43 thoughts on “Is Predestination Biblical?

  1. Dear brother:
    I have read and exchanged comments with you for years and I know your doctrine is solid! I’m virtually speechless!
    You will indeed be in my prayers continually! Keep all of us posted!
    God’s best to you and your wife,
    Rev-

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  2. Thank you, my brother, for your kind words and prayers. Christ is our refuge and I am thankful for being able to have preached to these people, even if only for a short time. May the Lord open their eyes and ears to the truth, rather than running to Billy Graham or Paige Patterson as if those men are their magisterium.

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  3. Thanks, Levi. I told these people none of us has perfect theology and that we would have differences in the way we view issues. When this becomes apparent, we must sit down and honestly discuss the issue in light of Scripture. All agreed. I did ask the deacons to explain why they see the altar call as important as I don’t find it in Scripture. No response. And nobody at all came to me with questions or confrontations about what I had preached, until a deacon researched some of the people I quoted and discovered they were Calvinist! Plus he hated my quotation from Rev 13:8 – it does not mean what it clearly says, in his mind.

    Again – two of the deacons have been very helpful and friendly. I am thankful to our God for their brotherhood. But Lord have mercy on these people for having such a high view of man a low view of almighty God.

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  4. I have seen it before around here about exactly as you described. One of the churches had about 35 people and split over it now they are both gone. It’s a shame. Anyway, we know God didn’t want you there but it’s still tough. I’m not against Arminians because we all start out this way, but it’s hard for me to see how so many (the majority probably) remain this way if they only read their Bibles. It’s not even logical to think that God is God if He isn’t sovereign. Lord bless you!!

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  5. I watched Dr. Steve Lawson preach at the 2014 G3 Conference and told how he had been run out of two churches in a similar fashion. Apparently those people didn’t appreciate his preaching either. Be encouraged brother and don’t forget to shake the dust off as you leave that town. It will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah.

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  6. I don’t think Stuart feels so badly against them, Kevinjandt, that he would invoke the shaking of the dust from his sandals against them. I think he has a more loving spirit than that.

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  7. Thanks, Haydn. I plan on writing a letter to the church, praying the deacons will read it. I love these folks and want to encourage them to READ the Bible and not follow man.

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  8. This is just jaw droppingly bad form for a congregation. Even if they were right in their doctrine, they knew they had issues with your teaching, and called you and didn’t drop the hammer until you had rearranged your life for this call.

    I never cease to be amazed at the behavior of Christians toward other Christians. Good congregations get led astray by bad pastors and bad congregations grind up and spit out good preachers with impunity.

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  9. my apologies, I’ve probably jumped the gun a bit in my statement. I hope they will consider good Pastor’s that sincerely care about the flock are hide to find. blessings to you all.

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  10. They are off the reservation, believing in the mythical free-will of man to choose to believe in the Lord Jesus. Infected by Billy Graham’s pelagian views and Paige Patterson’s anti-Calvinist distortions of a mad-man.

    I will send the deacons a letter, gently encouraging them to seek God’s wisdom, not expecting them to read it.

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  11. Manfred/Stuart, your unpleasant experience strikes a chord with me. I am distressed for the way your tenure came to an end, yet it is not surprising because I experienced the same response. Let me share with you my story.
    In 2001 I was called to succeed an American missionary as the next pastor of an independent Baptist church in Singapore. Right from the beginning and throughout my ministry there, I preached expositions through books of the Bible with special series on certain subject matters in the Sunday evening service.
    As time went on, I became confronted with the doctrines of grace, and like any person with default Arminian views on human free will and the “fairness” of God to give us a choice in our salvation, it took me about two years of quiet wrestling and struggles before I became convinced from Scripture that the doctrines of grace are biblical.
    The people of the church had also been taught Landmark doctrines that the true church is the local Baptist church and that there is no universal church, and they were exposed to KJV-only views. I had a similar background as I came from another Baptist church started by a BBFI (Bible Baptist Fellowship International) missionary.
    In time, I was able to teach the error of these views, though without convincing all in the congregation that the universal church is a spiritual body, and that a translation is a translation. Then came the time when a question popped during a Sunday School lesson about free will. When I told my adult class that there is no free will as the Arminians understand it, I experienced the mood change of Laban toward Jacob, “And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and behold, it was not toward him as before.” (Genesis 31:2).
    It took about nine months for me to have Bible study with the more vocal members (those who had the most questions, and the most protests) until the deacons told me they had come to a conclusion: I was teaching error. I duly tendered my resignation and left the church on May 1, 2011.
    Prior to my resignation, the previous pastor accused me of lacking integrity because he said I taught doctrines contrary to the New Hampshire Statement of Faith (which is the statement of the church), not knowing that this statement is a Calvinist statement, albeit in a milder form. Then the pastor of the church from which I came from launched into a series of anti-Calvinist sermons, with a strong Dave Hunt attack-dog approach.
    So my family and I could not return to attend our old church.
    But thank God some members sought me out over the doctrines of grace, and since October 2011 as the pastor of the newly-formed Amazing Grace Baptist Church (a name chosen with great deliberation), we have absolute freedom to preach the wonderful doctrines of grace. But this is not to say that we speak of these doctrines in every service; it is only when the passage requires it.
    Manfred, I am sorry to say that just like with my old church where I served for 10 years, it will be to the loss of the people in that Oklahoma church. They have chosen to reject the doctrines because we are all Arminians by inclination, and they have refused to be confronted by hard biblical truths.
    My thought and prayers are with you. God bless you and your wife.

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  12. I have found it helpful to explain the two views of free will, compatibilist and libertarian, before explaining election. It will have little effect on scriptural obscurantists but it opens the thinking of others.
    I tried to think how a church full of Calvinist would react to an adamant freewiller pastor. we might debate him until he was convinced or resigned. Hopefully we would never hire such a one in the first place.

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  13. I witnessed something similar, but a bit more serious, in a church a few years ago. The people and the elders they’d elected turned against the pastor they’d called, who faithfully preached the Bible. And they couldn’t fault his preaching, so the went after his character. There was some ugly and dishonest conduct on the part of the elders and congregation, and to this day it has not been adequately dealt with, just politically smoothed over. Because of that I left that church as well.

    It is good to see, sir, that you stand for the truth. And though its sad that there are those who refuse what the Bible so plainly declares, it will unfortunately happen. It is good that we have a refuge and hope in Jesus Christ so that we can we can endure.

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  14. As I read these posts, I am remided of something I have heard on Dr. James White’s Dividing Line/Radio Free Geneva webcasts. Those who will not recognize that they have traditions will become slaves of their traditions.

    These people in churches refusing to let the Father, Son and Holy Spirit speak through His Word, and reading into the text so that it means just what they want it to, they are sadly the slaves of their traditions (which they will even deny that they have, as Dave Hunt did in debate with Dr. White that they even have any traditions).

    Only a recognition that our practices that become cherished traditions over time can harm our understanding of the Bible if we don’t recognize by the Bible that they are not the Bible, even though they came about as a faithful attempt to obey the Bible.

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  15. Finnegan,

    We must study the doctrine of security in order to have a proper understanding of passages which touch on that topic from either side. There are passages that CAN be interpreted as meaning Christians are able to lose their standing as a child of God; having been bought at the price of the blood of Christ, men MAY do something that causes them to slip from His hand.

    One the one side, we have Jesus telling us that this CANNOT happen: John 10:27-30 (ESV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

    Here, Jesus claims to be God and to hold His sheep securely. If we faithless, he is faithful, because He can disannul Himself, or disown His work. (2 Tim 2:13).

    And we must not overlook this passage: John 6:35-40 (ESV) Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

    In light of God’s testimony about His faithfulness in keeping those He bought with HIs blood from losing their inheritance, how should we look at 2 Thess 2:3 and 1 Tim 4:1? Does it make sense that Paul is contradicting his Lord?

    2 Thessalonians 2:3 (ESV) Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. This sheds a better light on this passage than the KJV, which says “a falling away.” Yes, rebellion shall come – unregenerate man is at war with God and will grow increasingly unashamed and rebellious. Since YHWH has said none of His sheep will be lost, we can say with certainty that the rebellious people in this passage are goats.

    1 Timothy 4:1-5 (ESV) Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

    Who are these who “depart from the faith?” One of two things must be true. Either; a.) their faith was not a saving faith, but the selfish faith that every man has. Therefore, they are easily led astray by various teaching that the Roman Catholic Church has made their practice. Or, b.) this departure is not the loss of sonship, but the loss of intimacy with God when one of His children wander off the narrow path of His will. Since we know that all Christians sin (some struggle with it, others dance with it), it is possible for one to depart from the faith and then return, when the Holy Spirit convicts us and YHWH grants us repentance.

    The bottom line of all interpretation of Scripture is to exalt the person and work of Christ Jesus to the glory of the Father. If man can overturn the will of God in the saving of souls, by which His Son bled and suffered His wrath for us, then man is sovereign over the most important aspect of life and God is a bystander.

    I highly recommend this book if one wants to truly understand what is commonly called Calvinism: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002A4MIF4

    Don’t stop asking questions, my brother. We sharpent one another by so doing.

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  16. Finny;

    Have you considered the parable of the soils with regards to salvation? Perhaps while I elucidate on Adam and the woman, you could elucidate on your understanding of the parable? From there we can then each respond to the other elucidations!

    Thanks!

    Mickey

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  17. I’m not of Calvin nor Arminius for that matter. Rather I say, to the extent that anyone accurately teaches the Word, great. I have a long history of commenting here and you are the first to think of me as a Calvinist!

    Yes, Adam and the woman had perfect free will. It was in no way corrupted, that is until it was due to their sinful decisions. After the fall, they were incapable of making sound free will decisions. In fact no fallen man is. Even we who are born again by the Spirit, while being able to use our free will to make decisions most often choose for our flesh and against the Spirit.

    Jesus, as our example, but being so much more, lived His entire life here on earth by, “Not My will but Your Will be done Father.” This is why we are to deny ourselves and pick up our crosses daily. This is why Paul said he dies daily. Why? Because he woke up every morning as that old man Saul!

    With regards to the soils, have you considered that which had life and then died? Why? Because according to scripture it had no root in itself. It wasn’t rooted in Christ Jesus! These are they that have made a free will decision for a jesus who might do for them, not those that follow Him for Who He is. Think of those that cried Hosannah on Monday and crucify Him on Friday. Further think of the 95+% of jesus Inc. franchises who preach a jesus who loves you and wants to do for you. A jesus who waits longingly for a man to make a decision for him before he can do anything. Can a man who just died of a heart attack get up and walk over to a defib. machine and raise himself to life? No! No more than a dead man (not sick) bring Spiritual Life to himself.

    I submit to you that my free will, Manfred’s free will, and your free will are the most corrupt part of our being. For the free will of a spiritually dead man to make a flesh free decision it would have to have avoided the fall, and yet Jesus clearly teaches that this is not possible.

    With regards to the seed. It has no power in and of itself, for scripture says God gives the increase.

    Do yourself a favor. Do a bible search on the phrase “free will” and then on things like fore known, chosen, predestined, elect etc and then see what the bible says regarding each of these things, then draw your conclusions based upon the preponderance of scripture. Then lastly gather every verse you can find on the potential of losing your salvation.

    This is what I did, and due to the fact that my daily prayer is, “Lord, show me your Truth and I will conform to Your Truth regardless of the cost to me.” Thus the study brought me to the point of, “Not my free will Lord, but your Sovereign Will be done here on earth as it is in heaven, starting in me.” Now my daily prayer is, “Order my steps Lord and I will walk them regardless of the cost to me.”

    I encourage you and all men to do these studies, seeking His Truth, and throwing off the traditions of men that make His Word of no effect.

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  18. I also do not like to call myself a Calvinist – for I am not his disciple. I heartily agree with the theology known as Calvin’s 5 points, which he did not write.

    Regarding man’s alleged free will, this is what I read recently:

    If man is free to resist, God is not free to act, for He is bound by man’s freedom. If God is to be free to act, man must be bound by the will of God. … But in a fallen world, God’s grace must be irresistible or man’s will can remain forever opposed to God, and the will of the creature overrides the will of the Creator. (Arthur C. Custance, The Sovereignty of Grace)

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  19. Finnegan – no problem with discussing things here, in line with the original posts. Get the book on the doctrines of grace I recommended and let’s talk.

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  20. Finnegan – I’ve NEVER said I heartily agree with the TULIP. In fact, I think most of the terms in that acrostic are less than optimum. I said I heartily agree with the theology expressed in the Calvinistic doctrine of salvation.

    Are you comparing the book on the doctrines of grace that I recommended to literature produced by the JWs? If so, you are daft. If not, send me your snail mail address and I will send you a FREE digital library that examines these issues, as well as mucho on Christian history. Email me at sbrogden at gmail dot com.

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  21. Finny. I’m incoherent? Did you read what you wrote to me?

    By the way. I gave you bible terms from the Word of God that there about 150 times in scripture. There are 6 times that free will is mentioned in scripture also. And none of those 6 makes your point.

    Those 150 verses in scripture, when read together do however make Manfred’s point. But you wouldn’t know since you won’t go look t them, nor will you look at the 6 free will’s that don’t make your point either.

    But hey! You’ve got your free will to choose to believe whatever you want, and I am going to follow His Will now and leave you alone…

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  22. Finnegan, what I said then is the same as what I’ve since – “I heartily agree with the theology known as Calvin’s 5 points, which he did not write.” The TULIP was not known until the early 19th century and I’ve written in the book I am working on as to why it is an unfortunate acrostic.

    I’ve read enough garbage written by Dave Hunt over the years to know his view on soteriology is demonic, as it puts man in the driver’s seat of saving himself.

    The book I recommended does have a bias to it, as does everything humans write, as you noted. As does the digital library I am willing to send you – it’s a large collection of books and other documents examining Baptist doctrines, church history, and theological issues, including soteriology.

    WordPress puts some comments into moderation without rhyme or reason. Right now, no comments from you are in moderation or spam.

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  23. Thanks, Finnegan. Nobody that I know understands what prompts WordPress to categorize comments as spam or as needing moderation. Some are easy to see (outrageous this or that claims) but most are normal traffic that end up there – including some comments from authors on this site 🙂

    A man who claims free-will is one who saves himself. It is YHWH who saves, nothing from man contributes to it.

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  24. Finnegan – I read something in that book on the doctrines of grace the other that applies: An older brother was asked to give his testimony and he told how God called him, raised him from the dead, gave him a new heart, new birth, and set his feet on the Rock. Afterwards a legalistic fellow told him, “I think you missed something in your testimony – the part where you did your part.” The older man replied, “Oh yes! I did forget that part. I ran away until He caught me and then I gave Him my sin.”

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  25. Finnegan – the problem with truly communicating with you is your practice of pulling one passage out without regard to what the balance of Scripture says on the topic. The Bible is clear in that only those who have been given ears to hear (the Spirit of God working) can on “hear” the gospel and then confess, etc. If you think Romans 10:9 tells us anyone can do those things, as opposed to only those whom YHWH has raised from the dead, then you are welcome to go your way; I think no amount of discussion would be beneficial to either of us.

    To answer your question, How does a man appropriate that salvation? Just as Lazarus appropriated his first resurrection – by the effective call from God. NO man has within his natural self the willingness or ability to grab hold of salvation. God enables the sinner as He calls him to new life, gifting him the faith to accept the grace that causes a response from a grateful soul.

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  26. Finnegan – your lengthy responses in “moderation jail” will stay there until you answer these questions put to you: How do you reconcile your interpretation of Hebrews 10 and 2 Peter 2 with John 6 and John 10? Secondly, what is your definition of “reformed election” and how does it differ with your view of election?

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  27. Finnegan,

    The verses in John 6 are the ones I posted in the article Strike that. I was distracted by another issue I was pondering.

    John 6:39-40; 44 & 45 & 65; John 10:26-30. These testify to the faithfulness of God to secure, save, and keep all those chosen to new life.

    Reconcile these passages with those you cited that you claim support your view that a child of God can lose his standing as such.

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  28. You keep throwing out verses you think allow a redeemed person do to hell. You have not answered my question: How do you reconcile your belief with those verses in John 6 & 10 I referenced?

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  29. Here is a simple study in contrast that should give anyone with eyes to see the clear understanding that God has placed within His Word. Now when studying these scriptures, The Holy Spirit should bear witness to our spirit that which is His Truth. These scriptures do not hinge upon the understanding of theologians’…dead or alive. God’s Word is the only book we read with the singular question on our minds of, “What is your Truth Lord?” Every other book we read with the idea, “What is in it for me?”

    It is natural of men to initially come to the conclusion that they had a part in their salvation. I know I did, and most folks I have talked to as well. Then you add a few verses that seem to confirm this thought, yet as we mature in Christ Jesus, and get a clearer picture of Who He IS and then who we are, and this primarily due to the Holy Spirit revealing the full counsel of God, via the scriptures below, for example, we come to the realization that our ways are not His Way.

    Is this a saved verses unsaved issue? Perhaps not, and yet perhaps so. The fact is He will complete the Work He began in us, when we are His. The reality however is that there is a Narrow Road and a broad road. One leads to Life the other to outer darkness…

    http://biblehub.com/concordance/f/free-will.htm

    http://biblehub.net/search100.php?q=predestined

    http://biblehub.com/concordance/p/pre-destined.

    htmhttp://biblehub.com/concordance/e/elect.htm

    http://biblehub.com/concordance/c/chosen.htm

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  30. Finnegan – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: God alone who He has chosen and He has commanded us to proclaim the gospel to all people, among whom His elect will respond in faith. I will not answer for MacArthur. That His chosen ones WILL be saved is a foregone conclusion – read Romans 8:30 – past tense. He has condescended to include us in working out His redemptive plan by spreading His gospel, sowing the seed so the husbandman Who has prepared the soil will reap His reward.

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  31. Finnegan

    The passage you refer to does not promote free will. That verse was given to the nation Israel, a nation that already professed belief in God but had gone a whoring. Joshua is NOT telling them to ‘choose’ to be saved, he is calling them back to serve the God they profess to already believe in. Context is everything when studying the bible; you are resorting to a method called cherry picking – plucking verses out of context to make them ‘fit’ your free will theology – a theology birthed from Charles Finney and not supported by Scripture. I already pointed out in my post on another thread man cannot choose to be saved- God elects, God saves.

    Your continual arguments and attacks on Manfred are growing weary, you simply cannot prove man has a ‘free will’ to help save himself. May God grant you the truth concerning the doctrine of soteriology.

    Lyn

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  32. Fiin – You have yet to reconcile your position that a redeemed child of God can lose his standing with YHWH and be lost with the passages I referred to you. Until you do so, I will not pay any more attention to your diatribes.

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  33. Jesus said to His disciples, YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME, I chose you. So did Jesus CHANGE they way He works with everyone else or did He lie to His disciples??

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  34. That one’s tough, Miller. Let me ponder that a while. Hmmmmm. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (vs 44) The Greek word behind “draws” conveys the notion of dragging. The gracious act of the Holy Spirit giving life to that which was dead is overwhelming; it’s irresistible, just as when Jesus commanded Lazarus, by name, to come out of the tomb. The man, who had been dead four days, responded to the call of Christ, and rose up and came out of the grave; alive again. No one can come to the Father of his personal volition; all are useless and dead in sin. No one can refuse the call of the Father; though he may seek refuge in the belly of a big fish. God’s will shall be accomplished in this grand redemptive plan of His; Christ Jesus will have His full reward for the suffering He faced on their account.

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