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Re: Predestination [Re: jaf] #37729
Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:21 AM
Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:21 AM
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Robin Offline
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I believe that Pilgrim was spot on with his first response in this thread: That the objection to predestination is much more about the doctrine of total depravity than of election.

A dead person cannot "hear" nor "open the door" nor "call 9-1-1." Another must revive him first, enabling him to hear and respond with repentance and faith.

But we simply don't want to believe that the natural man is dead in sin, a slave to sin, and helpless to anything about it. He must first be raised, freed, and enabled. Then he will inevitably hear the inward call, choose to follow a new Master, and able to obey with faith provided by his new Master.

The truth about the nature of unregenerate Man is so ugly that we don't want to accept it - let alone actually include this information in our witnessing. How offensive to tell someone that he or she is rotten to the core and captive to corruption! Nobody wants to hear that. And certainly no self-respecting, upstanding citizen is going to stand for that - let alone accept and embrace it. What do we expect people to do when they hear such a horrific evaluation of their desperate condition? Actually agree with it? Ha! It would take a miracle.

Exactly right. That miracle we call Regeneration, or the New Birth. Without it, the gospel is foolishness.

Re: Predestination [Re: lacknothing] #37730
Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:47 PM
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lacknothing,

I misquoted you in my last post. I'm sorry, I should have said "I paraphrase", Please accept my apology. jaf

Re: Predestination [Re: J_Edwards] #37731
Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:33 PM
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Lacknothing

As has already been stated, Rev.3:20 is not about salvation.
Funny thing is, I learned that years ago from a sermon I heard years ago at an Arminian Church.

Tom

Re: Predestination [Re: Jimbo] #37732
Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:13 PM
Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:13 PM
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Clint Offline
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I am neither armeniast or reformed so I feel I have a place to speak here.. I understand where lacknothing is comeing from. Seeing as how I am not a reformed christian. I too struggle with the idea of election yet for an entirely different reason.. Foreknowledge if you look it up in the webster dictionary says...."to know beforehand"..
So based on our English dictionary, we could assume that God knew beforehand what would happen and who would be taken to Heaven... The question I have with the elect is with this word Forknew/forknowledge.. God could not be God without knowing all things, if He was.... Well I wouldnt want to follow Him.. But did he choose us just because we were every 33 person he created? If I understand the process of the elect, God did not choose me over someone else for any specific reason, it was just because? Anyway, or did He choose us because He knew that when we lived, we would be willing to live for Him? I may define my words a little bit different than most, but is choice a work?? It definitely an action but are all actions works? Is repentance a work? Maybe someone here can offer some definitions for me?

Re: Predestination [Re: Clint] #37733
Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:08 AM
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The basis of God's choice is a complete mystery to us. The only "hints" we have from Scripture is that the elect are

Quote
not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish to shame the wise, the weak to shame the strong, and the base, and the despised God has chosen; the nobodies that He nullify the somebodies, so that no man may boast before God (1st Corinthians 1:26-28, paraphrased).


And we know from Scripture that their number is greater than the number of stars (because He said so to Abraham) in the sky and grains of sand on every beach. Yet from among the fallen race of Adam, only a fraction. We also know that His choice was not based on any foreseen faithfulness or obedience in those elected, since they could not have been faithful or obedient until and unless He first acted [/i]upon[/i] them, giving them the ability to believe and to obey.

Would Saul of Tarsus have turned out differently if God had not interrupted him, blinded him, and "forcibly" turned him around? Not likely. And why doesn't God strike everybody blind if that's what it takes to turn them around? What about Saul's "free will?" Saul wouldn't have chosen to become one of the people he had been hunting down to imprison. No, God first acted upon Saul of Tarsus - by a sovereign choice rather than "foreseen" righteousness on Paul's part.

The only faithfulness and obedience forming the basis of our salvation is Christ's obedience and faithfulness, not ours!

We are the foolish, the weak, the base, the despised, the nobodies. God has not chosen those best qualified for Christianity, but those least deserving. And if God can transform us lowlifes into the image of His own Son, then He is certainly powerful to save everyone He wants to save, despite themselves. Those who are left to His justice rather than His mercy do not receive justice rather than mercy because God failed somehow to accomplish what He wanted. He is not thwarted by puny human willfulness.

Those who receive His mercy do not qualify for it in any way at any time. They do not cooperate and get rewarded for it. They are acted upon by a God who rerscues them from sin, gives them a new supernatural nature that is uniquely free to believe and obey the gospel.

Re: Predestination [Re: Clint] #37734
Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:48 AM
Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:48 AM
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Machaira Offline
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Quote
C.M.H said:
I too struggle with the idea of election yet for an entirely different reason.. Foreknowledge if you look it up in the webster dictionary says...."to know beforehand"..


When we're talikng about salvation, "foreknowledge" cannot mean that God knows you will choose Him if given the opportunity. Here's what God would see if he looked down the corridor of time to see what you would do if left to yourself:

Quote

Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.


If we look at a verse such as Romans 8:29 we are taught that God "foreknows" the individuals whom He predestines to salvation, not facts about them or their actions, (although that is true as well.)

Quote

Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.


In other words, God's "knowledge" of an "elect" individual is actually God's "love unto salvation." We have an example of this here:

Quote

Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'


It certainly can't be said that Christ didn't know about these individuals, because surely He did. He didn't "know" them in the sense that He never "loved" them unto salvation. BTW, the words "foreknow" and "know" are cognates of the same Greek word. When it cames to salvation God's "foreknowledge" is God's love for His elect from before the foundation of the world.

Quote

Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.


Jim

Jud 1:3 . . . contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

Re: Predestination [Re: Robin] #37735
Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:34 AM
Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:34 AM
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Clint Offline
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Again I say that maybe my questions were not asked correctly... When I say that God COULD have foreseen my act of obedience I did not mean it to sound like I chose God because I just went looking for Him.. I would have still been under the guidelines that He would use a vessel(another Christian or maybe even a non-Christian) to bring His love and desire of my life to my attention.. And it would be my REACTION to this that God would have foreseen. He still acted first and it was in my Reaction that He found favor with me.. As in my thread "Gods Character".. I am saying that telling me God did not or does not know my every action or reaction is like telling me that He is not all mighty.. Who are we to say He did not know my Reaction?

Re: Predestination [Re: Clint] #37736
Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:08 AM
Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:08 AM
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Hi C.M.H,

Your questions are certainly clear and reasonable. I think I just need to fine tune my previous answer a bit.

If God were to present Himself to you without first "working in you" (regeneration/born again), you would never accept Him.

Quote
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Tit 3:5 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 . . .

Php 2:12 . . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
Php 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Act 16:14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

Act 18:27 (speaking of Apollos) . . . When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed . . .


Even faith and repentance are given to the elect by God's grace This was true even in the Old Testament.

Quote
Deu 29:4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

Deu 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Act 11:18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life."

Php 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake . . .

2Ti 2:24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
2Ti 2:25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth . . .


I think if we're willing to let Scripture speak to us, we can see that it is God's work alone to open our hearts, give us eyes to see and ears to hear, faith to believe and even repentance. Since it is God who grants these things *monergistically, none of them can be seen as a good work on our part. I hope this helps.

*Monergism in Christian theology is the theory that the Holy Spirit alone can act to bring about the conversion of people. - Wikipedia


Jim

Jud 1:3 . . . contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

Re: Predestination [Re: Machaira] #37737
Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:30 AM
Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:30 AM
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Clint Offline
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I understand """Php 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake""" A little bit differently.. It appears as if you, OR I, have taken the scripture backwards... I read this and it appears to me as though the author was saying that what was granted to me was the SUFFERING for Him. In essence what I felt this passage to say was that I already believed in Him BUT for HIS NAMES SAKE I would [b]ALSO suffer.. My suffering would be for His names sake.. Does that make sense? Again, I have never been taught the proper order that sentences in Greek and Hebrew were organized yet I know Spanish is organized differently and I may be taking something out of place?? I have some other scriptures that I would like to ask about but I am sort of absent minded and can not recall right off the top of my head what they are and my notebook is downstairs and its midnight here and therefore do not wish to go looking for it.. However, I do have a simple question.. I hope its simple anyway.... Assuming that the reformed theology is correct, why are there still commands to us in the Bible?? If God is really in control of each action of my heart, mind, and soul... Would He not "make" me love my neighbors as myself?? Would He not make each one of His people show the same love to others as we were shown? For one of the scriptures I do remember is 1 John 3:16-24 16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. There are commands given here that we should lay our lives down just as His was laid down for us. For if we cannot find compassion and pity for our brothers, how can God be in us? I know non-christians who find pity on others.. They will help those in need not looking for a reward and not looking for recognition but because they understand that there is another human being in need and they have the means to help.. Is this not the same thing spoken of in 1 John?? If they have the love for others that is spoken of, could they not experience the love of God?? Maybe down the road these people will turn to Christ, maybe not. But it seems that I know more people than not who would give money, clothes, food, and their time and effort to help others because they feel compassion towards them than I do people that would not.. And not all of these people are Christian.

Re: Predestination [Re: Clint] #37738
Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:00 AM
Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:00 AM
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Quote
C.M.H said:
I understand """Php 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake""" A little bit differently.. It appears as if you, OR I, have taken the scripture backwards... I read this and it appears to me as though the author was saying that what was granted to me was the SUFFERING for Him. In essence what I felt this passage to say was that I already believed in Him BUT for HIS NAMES SAKE I would ALSO suffer.. My suffering would be for His names sake.. Does that make sense? Again, I have never been taught the proper order that sentences in Greek and Hebrew were organized yet I know Spanish is organized differently and I may be taking something out of place??


Here is Youngs Literal Translation which follows the Greek very closely. Pay close attention to the words "not only" and "but also." You will see that "granted" refers to both "believe" and "suffer."

Phi 1:29 because to you it was granted, on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also on behalf of him to suffer . . .


Quote
C.M.H said:
Assuming that the reformed theology is correct, why are there still commands to us in the Bible?? If God is really in control of each action of my heart, mind, and soul... Would He not "make" me love my neighbors as myself??


While it is true that there are Biblical examples of God's intervention directly into the heart of man, (the hardening of pharoah's heart for instance), generally speaking, God's elect are not forced to do anything. A good passage to keep in mind in this regard is -

Phi 2:12 work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
Phi 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

God works in us in our struggle against sin, but He doesn't force us to do everything right.


Quote
C.M.H said:
There are commands given here that we should lay our lives down just as His was laid down for us. For if we cannot find compassion and pity for our brothers, how can God be in us? I know non-christians who find pity on others.. They will help those in need not looking for a reward and not looking for recognition but because they understand that there is another human being in need and they have the means to help.. Is this not the same thing spoken of in 1 John?? If they have the love for others that is spoken of, could they not experience the love of God??

Maybe down the road these people will turn to Christ, maybe not. But it seems that I know more people than not who would give money, clothes, food, and their time and effort to help others because they feel compassion towards them than I do people that would not.. And not all of these people are Christian.


There are many unregenerate people who do good things, but this won't help them if they reject God's provision for salvation. Do they believe in Christ or do they reject Him?

I would like to expand on all of this a little more but I have to get to work. Just let me know if what I've said thus far is helpful or not.


Jim

Jud 1:3 . . . contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

Re: Predestination [Re: Clint] #37739
Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:34 AM
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Quote
C.M.H said:
I am neither armeniast or reformed so I feel I have a place to speak here.. I understand where lacknothing is comeing from. Seeing as how I am not a reformed christian. I too struggle with the idea of election yet for an entirely different reason.. Foreknowledge if you look it up in the webster dictionary says...."to know beforehand"..

1. If you are neither an Arminian or a Calvinist, then you of necessity remove yourself outside the the general definition of biblical Christianity at worst or indefensibly inconsistent and illogical.

2. To come to a proper and accurate definition of 'foreknowledge', one doesn't consult Webster's Dictionary but rather one uses "The Analogy of Faith"; i.e., comparing Scripture with Scripture, respecting context (near and far), etc. Arthur W. Pink has probably the best example of using the analogy of faith, allowing Scripture to interpret itself in his well-known article: Foreknowledge.

In its most basic form, 'foreknowledge'; God knows beforehand, exists because He has foreordained all things. God knows because He has determined what shall be. If this were not so then there would be existence of matter and events which exist apart from Him and His eternal counsel, making God subject to those things; i.e., God would have need to gain knowledge of things or events which He previously was not aware of. The result of such a view would be, of course, that God would not be Omniscient, an essential attribute of deity. I don't think you want to go there. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: Predestination [Re: Machaira] #37740
Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:49 PM
Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:49 PM
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Everything I read here is helpful.. So I do appreciate it all. I still have so many questions though.. However, my only feeling is that much of what I am told here seems so round-a-bout.. I read questions from myself and other posters on this forum and all of the answers to them say xyz but for xyz you have to agree with your(reformed) views.. I really do wish I could remember in where in Hebrews I read it.. But I had many questions with some of the content in Hebrews..

There are many unregenerate people who do good things, but this won't help them if they reject God's provision for salvation. Do they believe in Christ or do they reject Him?

With your quote from above.. you still sound as if those people have the choice to accept or decline His grace.. Just an FYI...

Re: Predestination [Re: Clint] #37741
Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:30 AM
Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:30 AM
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CHM

Can you exegete a Scripture verse for me that I believe should help you somewhat on this matter?
In John 6:37, what is Jesus getting at? Pay close attention to both the context and the rest of the chapter.

Tom

Re: Predestination [Re: Tom] #37742
Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:20 PM
Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:20 PM
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Clint Offline
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I ask very intrigued here, what do you see this as saying? I try to come to scripture from an unbiased perspective so that I may not see it and jump to OH MEN HAVE FREE WILL!! or visa versa, OH HOW WE WERE ALL CHOSEN!!! type of attitude and I see a little of both in this set of scripture.. I downloaded VIA e-sword the LITERAL TRANSLATION and so that is what I am reading, (in hopes of not getting a poor translation)..

Starting in verse 37 of John 6 I would see a reformed view.. Who ever the FATHER GIVES will come and in no way be cast out.. I see that much so I would assume that is what you meant for me to get? and then into verse 38 I see that Jesus is saying that he came out of heaven NOT FOR HIS WILL but for the will of HIS FATHER whom sent Him. and then He continues to say that the will of the Father is that all He was given will not be lost but raised up on the last day..

So far I see a reformed theme here.. God is giving Christ the people, and of these people NONE shall be lost and in fact the will of God is not only to keep from losing any, but to raise them up.. Verse 40 is kinda where I start to see the other side, (I would never call myself or my view of Armenian true Armenian because I do not believe that I could or anyone could lose there salvation)... Between verse 40 and 43 Jesus is talking to the crowd at His home town and they ask in a very con deciding way, is this not the same boy who grew up here who now tells us He is God?? They are mocking Him.

Yet verse 44 gets thick.. No one is able to come to Christ unless God draws them, and they will be raised on the last day. Verse 45 however quotes Isa. 54:13 saying ,"It has been written in the Prophets, They "shall" all "be taught of God." So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me;

So EVERYONE will be taught OF God but not all will learn from Him or in other words, believe in Him. I see that much as well.. Yet it still sounds like they were all given equal opportunity. They were all taught OF God and therefore were able to believe or not to believe..

Because I am not real familiar with this book, I was a little lost through some of the next verses but I understand the connection made to Numbers 20ish.. About the Land that was promised being seen, and then denied because 10 of the 12 scouts said it couldn't be done and so they wandered the wilderness eating mana for 40 years.. I caught that.. But I was lost with some other stuff.. Beyond the point, back to where I sort of find understanding..

Verse 64.. But there are some of you who are not believing. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were, the ones not believing, and who was the one betraying Him. And he said, "Because of this, I have told you that no one is able to come to Me except it is given to him from My Father."

Here it seems as if Jesus said Because He knew from the beginning who was going to betray or believe, that He told them that no one was able to come to Him except that which was given by the Father.

Towards the end it seems as if there was a more equal choice for everyone who was taught OF God, and because there was a foreknowledge of who would believe or betray, that Gods choice was made.. I understand that Calvinists definition of foreknew or knew is different than most.. And I feel that from this definition comes the affirmation of my belief.. Foreknow or Know in the Bible refers to the knowing of a person and not "actions" so to speak, yet if you know someone, do you not also know their actions? I have a 2 year old sister that I know.. I love her and interact with her, and I could tell you her actions in certain situations BECAUSE I know her.. I could not walk down the street to a random house, look at their 2 year old child and tell them what their kid would do in ANY situation because I DO NOT know that child.. Am I wrong in this assumption??

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" />

Re: Predestination [Re: Clint] #37743
Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:53 AM
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C.M.H said:
"It has been written in the Prophets, They "shall" all "be taught of God." So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me;

So EVERYONE will be taught OF God but not all will learn from Him or in other words, believe in Him. I see that much as well.. Yet it still sounds like they were all given equal opportunity. They were all taught OF God and therefore were able to believe or not to believe..


Good morning C.M.H,

I can see by your use of "caps" that you make a classic Arminian mistake regarding the extent of words like "everyone" and "all." Please don't think I'm trying to insult you, I just don't know a softer way to say it.

This mistake leads to a contradiction. For example, Jesus says, "everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me." Notice, there is nothing "tenative" about what Jesus pronounces. He doesn't say that those who hear and learn from the Father might come. No, He says that those who hear and learn from the Father come.

You conclude, "So EVERYONE will be taught OF God but not all will learn from Him or in other words, believe in Him." I hope you can see the contradiction between what Jesus actually says and your concluding remark.

Lastly, words such as "everyone" and "all" are always qualified or limited by the context in which they are found. You rightly pointed out that Jesus is quoting Isaiah 54:13.

Isa 54:13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

If you compare Isaiah 53:1 with Galatians 4:26,27 you will find that God is speaking the words of Isa. 53:13 to true believers represented as "Jerusalem from above." The phrase "all your children" in Isa. 53:13 refers to "heavenly" Jerusalem, not everyone in the world universally.


Quote
C.M.H said:Verse 64.. But there are some of you who are not believing. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were, the ones not believing, and who was the one betraying Him. And he said, "Because of this, I have told you that no one is able to come to Me except it is given to him from My Father."

Here it seems as if Jesus said Because He knew from the beginning who was going to betray or believe, that He told them that no one was able to come to Him except that which was given by the Father.

Towards the end it seems as if there was a more equal choice for everyone who was taught OF God, and because there was a foreknowledge of who would believe or betray, that Gods choice was made..


Again, the problem with the Arminian concept of "foreknowledge," which is really "prescience," is easy to see. We've seen so far in John 6 that it is impossible for anyone to come to Christ unless they are "drawn" by God, "taught" by God and "given" the ability to come by God. So, if we assume, for a moment, the Arminian view of "foreknowledge," what exactly did God see when He looked down the corridor of time?

Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.

The Arminian view of "foreknowledge" creates a glaring and irreconcilable contradiction. Based on Scripture, the only thing God sees when He looks down the corridor of time is that no one would come to Him if left to their own devices.

Have a good day.


Jim

Jud 1:3 . . . contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

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