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Re: That doesn't address the issue [Re: Pilgrim] #741
Wed Jun 26, 2002 11:44 AM
Wed Jun 26, 2002 11:44 AM

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Dear Pilgrim,

Yes, I am familiar with Augustine and his doctrine, I also know of the Essenes and their similar beliefs. I think we crossed our wires here a bit. My only point was that one not need be a Calvinist to be a Protestant. I tried to prove this because you said, "Protestantism" IS Calvinism to one degree or another." And so I thought you were trying to back up the idea that I was not really a Protestant if I wasn't a Calvinist. For this to be true, it would imply that all Protestants were Calvinists (which is of course not true). That Calvinism was dominant at the start of the Reformation, you are correct and I will not contest that. But just as many of the creeds contained ideas and truths that pre-dated the Reformation by a thousand years, the creeds themselves were products of the Reformation. So yes, I do believe that Calvinism proper was an offshoot of Protestantism, even though some of the ideas in Calvinism probably pre-dated the incarnation of Christ. I'll leave it at that.

Concerning Revelation 22:19, you wrote:
"It is speaking of those who would remove parts of the inspired text (Revelation) for whatever reason. In doing so, they show that they had no part in the book of life, nor of the holy city, but contrariwise, they are false prophets, enemies of God, etc."

But my point is that they could not have their part "taken away" (lit. to take from, take away, remove, to cut off) if they had no part in the first place. Read it for what it says, it does not say, "And if any man take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, it shall be manifest that he does not have a part in the book of life, the holy city..." It says "God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city..."


In Christ,
Josh

Re: Consider this Josh #742
Wed Jun 26, 2002 12:20 PM
Wed Jun 26, 2002 12:20 PM

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Dear Susan,

Yes, I have in fact studied the Bible through looking for what it has to say on the subject. I don't rely on just one verse to back me up, I simply use it here primarily because it is probably the clearest and least refutable passage concerning falling away.

You may wonder how I can reconcile MY beliefs with the passages you brought up. Glad you asked.

John 15 - I agree.

"He doesn't say he used to know them and then they were lost, he says he never knew them."

He says MANY will say to me in that day. Just because there are a bunch of people who never were saved trying to convince Jesus that they were does not mean that there will be no people who actually were saved and now are not. In Hebrews 6:4-6, Paul actually describes some who already did fall away.

1 John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us."

Upon closer examination, the meaning of this verse becomes clear. What is the meaning of the word "manifest?" It of course means to make plain or visible. People departing from Christ is not visually recognizable, but people leaving the body of Christ is. So these went out from among the body of Christ that it might be manifest that they were never truly a part of it. This does not imply that one who truly is a part of Christ's body cannot turn away from Him and be lost.

You wrote:
Jesus promises he will never leave us or forsake us.

But recall that God's promises are conditional. Consider those to whom He originally spoke those words:

Deuteronomy 4:31 "For the LORD thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them."

But He also said,

Deu 31:16-17 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.
Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?"

So God's promise not to leave or forsake us is conditional, for He certainly will forsake us if we forsake Him. As 2 Chronicles 15:2 puts it,

"And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you."

You wrote:
"He has the power to keep us safe to the end."

I agree. But I believe that we must continue to abide in Christ for Him to keep us. The scripture says that we are kept by the power of God through faith (1 Peter 1:5), but that faith can be made "shipwreck" (1 Timothy 1:19).

John 14:16, yes the Spirit was given to the followers of Christ to abide with them forever. But this promise is also conditional. Remember King Saul, who grieved God so much that the Holy Spirit departed from him (1 Samuel 16:14).

You wrote:
"What kind of Savior can you offer people if He is unable to keep you till the end?"

While I do believe that our power to stand comes from Christ, I also believe that man also has a responsibility in accepting Christ and abiding in Him, I see no scripture to the contrary.

God wrote:
Isaiah 49:15
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. 49:16
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

But He also wrote:
"As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence." (Jeremiah 22:24)

I am very happy to hear about the woman you mentioned. My wife's great-grandmother was much the same way (except that she had been a Christian her whole life). Good questions though. I hope that even if you don't agree with me, you can at least understand why I believe the way I do.


In Christ,
Josh

Re: Resisting God #743
Wed Jun 26, 2002 12:25 PM
Wed Jun 26, 2002 12:25 PM
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Josh - as for 'stiffnecke people'... you must remember Christ's own words for WHY they were stiffnecked and resisted God/Christ....<br><br> Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. <br>[color:blue] 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. </font color=blue><br> 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: <br><br>They are not His sheep because they refuse to believe in the first instance...NO....they refuse/can't believe PRECISELY BECAUSE they are goats...and not His sheep.<br><br>blessings,

Re: Consider this Josh #744
Wed Jun 26, 2002 2:56 PM
Wed Jun 26, 2002 2:56 PM

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Josh,
Thanks for the answers. I think part of your confusion is that you are making no distinction between the Old and New Testaments.
In reply to:

John 14:16, yes the Spirit was given to the followers of Christ to abide with them forever. But this promise is also conditional. Remember King Saul, who grieved God so much that the Holy Spirit departed from him (1 Samuel 16:14).



The Holy Spirit could be taken from a person in the Old Testament, but that is not possible now. You are right that Saul did have the Holy Spirit leave him. In the OT, the Holy Spirit could come to someone in a temporary way. Balaam was a false prophet, yet spoke by the Holy Spirit. All accounts of "believing" in the New Testament are not the same as accounts of saving faith. Even devils believe and tremble. That may be a subject for another thread.

You are right to discern that not everyone who claims to be a Christian is one. You are wrong in your belief that a person, once washed in the blood of the Lamb and made a new creature in Christ , who has been transformed from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of Light could ever be lost.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Many people do fall away, but if they had been true believers, they could not.
1 John 5:13 says "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may[color:red] know that you have eternal life."

And from John 17:6 "I have manifested Your name to the men [color:red]whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9[color:red] I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.

11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name.[color:red] Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.


2 Timothy 1:12 says "12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day."
As Laz pointed out there are[color:red] two categories, the sheep and the goats. There is not a third category--the goats who used to be sheep. It doesn't make sense for God to transform a person into the Kingdom of Light and then for them to be lost again into the Kingdom of Darkness because they have fallen away. Wouldn't that make Jesus a liar in his High Priestly prayer?
In reply to:

You wrote:
"He has the power to keep us safe to the end."

I agree. But I believe that we must continue to abide in Christ for Him to keep us. The scripture says that we are kept by the power of God through faith (1 Peter 1:5), but that faith can be made "shipwreck" (1 Timothy 1:19).



I agree with you, but I would say that it doesn't depend on our ability to abide. We will abide because He is holding onto us, not the other way around. We will want to abide because we are His own. I disagree that the faith that was made shipwreck was a true saving faith.
Susan


Re: Consider this Josh #745
Wed Jun 26, 2002 10:57 PM
Wed Jun 26, 2002 10:57 PM

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AMEN! That's telling him. Give him a little more of the eye salve there Susan so he might be able to see clearly. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Re 3:18<br>I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou <br>mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, <br>and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint <br>thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>

In reply... [Re: J_Edwards] #746
Thu Jun 27, 2002 3:49 PM
Thu Jun 27, 2002 3:49 PM

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Dear Joe,<br><br>Revelation 22:19 very clearly proves that a person who is one of the elect can have their part taken from the holy city, and hence the book of life. I have read responses to my statement about this verse, but none of them were valid.<br>As I indicated before, not only the tree of life, but the holy city is mentioned as being taken away here.<br><br>Your statement about Lucifer was interesting, but simply conjecture. It could also be that God foresaw Lucifer's rebellion and predestined Christ to die because of that. My whole point in asking that was to respond to your unfounded accusation that "God was only God sometimes" according to what I believe. Because He is sovereign, God retains the right to not use His power as well.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"For that matter, why don't all Christians abstain from fornication?----could it be because ahhhhhh, because they are sinners or maybe not Christians at all? But, He still reveals His sovereignty in chastising those whom He loves--not the others...."<br><br>I am talking about real Christians. I don't think that you could effectively argue the case that no believer has ever committed fornication. Yet the scripture says it is God's will that we abstain from it, not be chastised for it; though He will do that if we go against His will. But the mere fact that some Christians have fornicated before is manifest evidence that God sometimes does not exercise direct control over all of His creation, and that some have defied His will (to their peril I might add). Where is it written that God has to exercise full control at all times?<br><br>That was an interesting article, but it provided no real evidence that being born again happens before being saved. The closest he came was quoting John 3:5, "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (the implication being one had to be born again before he was saved). Matthew 5:20 makes it clear that we must be righteous to enter the kingdom of God. As is clearly spelled out in scripture, righteousness is by faith upon all who believe in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22). So comparing these two, I really can't say that I see a difference between being saved and being born again. I'll leave it at that.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh

Merits vs. Conditions [Re: carlos] #747
Thu Jun 27, 2002 3:54 PM
Thu Jun 27, 2002 3:54 PM

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Dear Brother Carlos,

For starters, my view of election is not based on merit. How can you call faith a merit when it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8)? All I did was accept the faith that God provided. There is nothing meritorious or noteworthy about that, Jesus said in Luke 17:10, "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: We have done that which was our duty to do." So likewise, a man who hears God is doing nothing great or spectacular, he is simply fulfilling the condition that God requires. The big problem with most Calvinist theology is that EVERYTHING a man thinks and believes is considered work. This is not a biblical view. Take faith for instance: How many times is faith contrasted to works? Is hearing God a work? If hearing is a work, I'm earning money the hard way (Yes sir!!). Look in scripture and see if any of these things are classified as works. I can tell you now that there is no scripture backing up the idea that there are no conditions to God's grace. So my position in no way implies that we elect God, it simply implies that there are conditions which are the basis of God's election.

Forknowledge: Foreknowledge can be used in either sense. It can also mean to simply have knowledge of (see Acts 2:23). But I never stated that it could not be in the sense you spoke of as well. It makes no difference. Just because one has been known by God does not preclude them from judgement if they fall away from Him. Galatians 4:9 clearly illustrates that some who were known by God were turning from Him and back to the law. They were "fallen from grace" to quote the apostle. And just because a person is "glorified" as spoken of in Romans, does not preclude them from falling just as the then glorious Lucifer did; also note that we who are alive have not yet attained to the resurrection (Philippians 3:12), and are not yet in our final, eternal, glorious state. And no, God is not mistaken in His foreknowledge; for even if He knows that one may fall away after he or she receives Him, He may still give him or her a chance for the sake of His promises (such as to give of the water of life freely). I won't try to explain His reasons for doing so, just as I'm sure you can't give me a pattern or method about how you think God elects people. I am not God, and I don't think I'll ever quite figure out His ways before leaving this shell. This is simply the idea that scriptural evidence supports. Several scriptures in particular indicate the possibility of losing one's salvation (Romans 11:22, John 15, Revelation 22:19), while others speak of those who already have (Hebrews 6:4-6, Galatians 5), and others indicate the ability in man to reject God's calling (such as Luke 13:34). I simply try to understand what the book says, not explain it away.

As to Dabney's argument:
"This leads to the crowning argument. This Saul was by nature "dead in trespasses and in sins" (Eph. ii. 1), and, therefore, would never have in him any faith or repentance to be foreseen, except as the result of God's purpose to put them in him. But the effect cannot be the cause of its own cause. The cart cannot pull the horse; why, it is the horse that pulls the cart."

Of course God can see the future in the context of His intervention in human affairs; it just wouldn't be the future without Him. He foresaw what would happen when He confronted Saul on the road to Damascus, not just Saul as a human independent of God. That's kind of a silly argument actually.


Thank you for your reply, though I disagree with you on some points, your reasoning skills are excellent.


In Christ,
Josh

Re: In reply... #748
Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:04 PM
Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:04 PM
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Well Josh it is indeed unfortunate that you have decided to stay where you are in your faith. But, that is consistent with Scripture. Until the Holy Spirit shows you the truth you will never be set free to understand it.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: In reply... #749
Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:47 PM
Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:47 PM
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Josh,<br><br> If you have time, I suggest you go to this link because it has fairly short explanations some of the questions you pose with a lot of scriptures which are written out.<br><br>http://www.antithesis.com/conversations/easychairs.html<br><br>It is a good read.<br><br>Ehud<br><br>

Re: Election.... #750
Fri Jun 28, 2002 8:23 AM
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Hi Josht,<br>I too respect you, but however I still believe you err in the matter of election and perseverance. I shall make the reply in 3 titles...”Election“ , “Glorification” and “Perserverance”. <br><br>I am not goint to say much about on your view of ‘Election based on forseen faith’( ehud and pilgrim have provided excellent responses to them). I do want to say few things. In fact, to teach your view of Election is to indeed "EXPLAIN AWAY" the scriputres, such a Ephe 1:3-14, Romans 8:28-9:23. See, The election is spoken as a according to God's purpose and Plan. You have to ‘read into the text’ to come up with your position. My point was that God's ELection is not based on anything man does, whether it is works or the act of faith( receiving & resting in Christ and His righeoutsness..) in Jesus. See Ehud’s points. You said there are conditions to God’s Election. WHERE IN THE SCRIPTURE?You can’t get around Eph 1:3-14, nor Romans 8:28-9:23, and many other texts. Election precedes Belief. See Acts 13:48. Belief Does not precede Election, as we have been pointing out to you.<br><br>I shall respond to your other points on Glorification & perseverance” in a few. <br>


"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
Re: perseverance #751
Fri Jun 28, 2002 10:07 AM
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Josh T,<br><br>You Wrote: " <br>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br>This is simply the idea that scriptural evidence supports. Several scriptures in particular indicate the possibility of losing one's salvation (Romans 11:22, John 15, Revelation 22:19), while others speak of those who already have (Hebrews 6:4-6, Galatians 5), and others indicate the ability in man to reject God's calling (such as Luke 13:34). I simply try to understand what the book says, not explain it away. " <br>******<br>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br><br><br><br>John 15 does not support your idea of one can loose one’s salvation. In fact John 8:31, states that "IF" you continue[abide] in my word, then you are my disciples..." Christ’s disciples Will persevere. All true believers endure to the End. The same is the theme of Heb 3:6,14, 2 John 1:9. Rev 2:26 . Jesus bring the illustration of the vine, vinedresser and branches so that “you so that My joy may be in you, and that your (14) joy may be made full.” If this is talking about “loosing one’s salvation”, please demonstrate it to me. Rev 22, as been stated by Pilgrim and others, does not support your position. The same claim can be made for Romans 11. If you read Romans 9-11 in its context, I don't think that conclusion can be made that 'one can loose their salvation'. The whole point of Romans 9-11 to explain the sorrow and argument stated in Romans 9:1-6..that is “ For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel”. Hebrews does not support your view either. See Hebrews 3:6, 14 for description of God’s household and those of share in Christ. See Wayne Gruden for an excellent EXEGESIS of the Hebrew warning passages. “Perseverance is the mark true faith, of real disciples,” says DA Carson. In addition, Warnings, in scripture I believe, is another means that God uses to preserve his people. <br><br>A true believer is one of Christ’s Sheep. A sheep has a Shepard as you know. In this Case, it is Jesus Christ. For one to say that one of Christ’s Sheep can become a Goat, is in essence, teaching that Christ can fail at being the “Chief” Shepherd. Jesus Christ is the Perfect Savior, the perfect Shepard. He has been entrusted to care for the sheep. The whole of John 10 speaks of Jesus Care for His Sheep, how He lays His life down for the Sheep. Why? “This is the Father’s WILL which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath Given me I should LOSE NOTHING”.(John 6:39) . Jesus says that it is the father’s will. Can Christ Fail at the Job He was given to Do? John 8:29 state “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." That’s why you see the concern and love of Jesus in his Prayer for his people in John 17. Jesus is a perfect savior; HE cannot fail to save His sheep. That’s why John 10 states” 27MY sheep LISTEN to my voice; I know them, and they FOLLOW me. 28I give them ETERNAL life, and they shall NEVER perish; NO one can snatch them out of my hand. Jesus' Sheep Will never perish. This is stated with the double negative in the Greek to emphasize never ‘ever’, denying the possibility. Why is this? <br>“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[4] ; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30” Both Jesus and Father are preserving the sheep. He prays for his people( Romans ( 8:34) , John 17. Do sheep wander? Yes. See Peter. However, note that Jesus prayer for him (Luk 22:32). That’s why peter was kept and did not fall away permanently.<br><br>Contrast true disciples( sheep) with that of those apostates in 1 John 2: 19. For John goes on to say in 1 John 3:9-10.. 9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, BECAUSE God's SEED REMAINS in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This too has been pointed by SWW in earlier response.<br><br><br>“A true Christian cannot alienate his inheritance in Heaven, for the deeds concerning this inheritance are written and sealed, and part possession is given the believer even in this life (Jer 32:40). "I will put My fear in their hearts [present gracious possession] that they SHALL NOT DEPART FROM Me" [perseverance to glorification]. “ said Christopher Ness.<br><br>I would highly recommend you DA Carson’s commentary on the book of John. It would explain some of your misunderstanding on the flow and context of the book of John. <br>


"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
Re: Merits vs. Conditions #752
Fri Jun 28, 2002 11:21 AM
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Dear Brother Josht<br><br>-- YOU wrote <br>----------------------------------------------------------<br>And just because a person is "glorified" as spoken of in Romans, does not preclude them from falling just as the then glorious Lucifer did; also note that we who are alive have not yet attained to the resurrection (Philippians 3:12), and are not yet in our final, eternal, glorious state. And no, God is not mistaken in His foreknowledge; for even if He knows that one may fall away after he or she receives Him, He may still give him or her a chance for the sake of His promises (such as to give of the water of life freely).<br>--------------------------------<br><br><br>Yes, believers are not glorified yet. It is future. However, Romans 8:28-30, makes a bold statement that God pronounces those Whom... He predestined...He Glorified. No in the sense that they are yet, but shall be. See Romans 8:29-30, Goes from God’s actions in eternity past (Foreknew, Predestination), to actions in time( Calling, Justifiaction), to a future action(Glorification). True believers will see their glorification. Romans 8:29 begins with “FOR”. This is an indication of the reason behind the previous statement(s). Thus, Roms 29-30 is the basis of why Romans 8:28 can says all things work together for “GOOD” to those who love God, who have been CALLED ACCORDING to HIS PURPOSE... So I ask, is ‘falling away ‘a good thing’ to those who have been called???? If that is case, I see no force or the logic behind the statement that Paul ends with in the 8th chapter, that NOTHING in ALL of creation can SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD. Does not a Christian’s life begin with regeneration & conversion. Is this not a work of God? Does not Phil 1:6 says that “that HE[GOD] who BEGAN a GOOD work in you WILL carry it on to COMPLETION UNTIL the day of Christ Jesus. God’s plan is not spoke in terms of “Chance”. God’s plan is definite. The believers are sealed for the day of redemption and have the Holy Spirit as His arrabon ( downpayment), “guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession ( eph 1:14)” <br><br> Also I disagree with your comparison of Lucifer’, and the believers Glorificatino in Heaven. I believe that a saint in heaven will be unable to sin. Instead the believers in heaven are like Christ.. for the scriptures state that they are “predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son( Romans 8)” and “shall be like Him[Christ]” (John 3:3).<br><br>God Bless, and pray that we all may continue to learn from one another.<br><br>brother In Christ,<br>Carlos


"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
Clarification [Re: Paul_S] #753
Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:53 PM
Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:53 PM

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Dear Paul,<br><br>That was kind of a loaded question, kind of like "have you stopped beating your wife yet?". I believe what I believe not because of how good it makes me feel, but because it is what I read in God's word.<br><br>As to my "irreconcilably contradictory statements," let me clarify if I have been a bit vague:<br><br>I said:<br>"I too believe that no one can stop God from doing what He is determined to do"<br><br>and<br><br>"I personally believe from the context of these passages that God does want to draw us to His grace"<br><br>Then you wrote:<br>"In other words "God wants to draw us to Himself, but He is not determined to bring it to pass"<br><br>When I say determined (in that context anyway), I mean that God is determined to do it no matter what. Some examples of this are the second coming of Christ and God's judgement of the nations (nothing can stop those). The Bible never indicates that God is determined to irresistably draw anyone to Him, He does wish to draw people to Himself, and He no doubt could do it irresistably if that were His will, but this is not indicated in scripture.<br><br>The Saviour that I serve is the one revealed in the Bible, and He can save all who will hear Him. He does not need my help, I need His grace. He recreated me by His grace, but He also requires that I continue in it (Acts 13:43). God made an oath to all that are His heirs, but this oath is only to those who are heirs of the promise by faith (Romans 4:13). <br><br>In response to:<br>"Do we have two different Gospels here?"<br><br>No. All of the basic beliefs that a man must hold to be saved are contained within Calvinism, Arminianism, and whatever it is called that I believe. There is also no heretical teaching, and it is generally accepted among these groups that the other is not heretical, simply incorrect.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh

Re: You misunderstand my position brother [Re: Wes] #754
Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:54 PM
Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:54 PM

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Dear Wes,<br><br>A "works righteousness?" I don't understand, please elaborate. But yes, I do believe that man has the ability to either accept or reject Jesus Christ. I do not believe that a man can come to God of his own free will, unless God draws him first. <br><br>Concerning Revelation 22:19, no one has yet given me a valid or convincing rebuttal, the responses given me were easily refuted and shown to be unworkable.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"This whole concept that you have of a god who puts names in a book and later erases them subject to their sinful will is totally off base. I find it silly! As I try to picture in my mind this god your describe, who observes mankind and takes notes. Determining one day that someone should be in the book of life and the next day taking them out based on their ability to do what is right."<br><br>First off, I never wrote that God adds names to the book of life. I don't know if He does onr not. Secondly, our remaining in the book of life is not contingent on our ability to do what is right, but on faith in Jesus Christ. I'm sorry if you find my conclusions silly. But consider how I feel: I find it a little difficult to believe in a God that sees billions of people who will be born, all with an identical nature and all of them identical with respect as to how they would react to His life-changing power, and then He just goes and picks some. How? Did He shake them up in a giant bag and then just bestow His grace on whichever ones He randomly picked out? I know that is not what you believe, but you see what kind of sense that makes to me. On the other hand, if it were what the Bible indicated, I would have no trouble believing it at all; I don't have to understand it fully to believe it as long as God's word says it. So despite a few things within my beliefs that I don't fully understand myself, I believe what I have stated because it is what is indicated in scripture.<br><br>You wrote:"What you fail to realize is what God does in salvation. You keep talking about man resisting God, defying God, disobeying God, without realizing that the man of God doesn't do anything in any way that adds to or takes away from his salvation." <br><br>I disagree. There is plenty that one can do to affect one's salvation. Read Acts 2:40 (save yourselves from this wicked generation), Hebrews 4:11 (let us labor to enter into His rest), and 2 Peter 1:5-10 to read how to make your calling and election sure. Let me emphasize, I do not believe in salvation by works, merit, or keeping of the law. But there are conditions which God has placed upon us if we are to receive (and retain) this precious gift.<br><br>You also mention John 10:27-30. You might also try Romans 8:38-39, they both make the same point: God gives the believer security so that nothing in this world can force us away from the love of Christ. There is nothing in either of these passages or the whole of scripture that indicates that one cannot willfully walk away from God. The action indicated in such words as "pluck" or "separate" or "snatch" in these passages is "to take by force." It gives me great comfort to know that nothing can force me away from God. But these say nothing about walking away willingly. In fact the scripture says much about those who have fallen away (read the beginning of Hebrews 6).<br><br>To your question: "...who's sovereign you or God?" God. But even though it is God who works in us, He has also delegated to each of us some degree of responsibility for our souls. 2 Timothy 1:13-14 says, "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Chist Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." So God gives us strength by the Holy Spirit to hold fast to Him. For we are new creations who share in the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4)! And we are commanded to hold on to the things which we have heard and not let them slip (Hebrews 1:2). And if we do these things we shall never fall (2 Peter 1:10), and then we too can be confident that God's work will be completed in us (Philippians 1:6).<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh

Re: Characteristics of sheep #755
Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:56 PM
Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:56 PM

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Dear Prestor John,<br><br><br>I never said Simeon and Anna were not of the elect, I indicated that they were Christ's sheep even before they knew who He was, because they were hearers of God's voice.<br><br>I did not even understand the sentence: "For some reason you seem to think that election applies only to those who have been identified. When in reality it applies to all of God's chosen. Anna and Simeon being one of them." I don't think I know what you think that I'm thinking.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"As to your lack of sight, well that is the crux of the matter isn't it? You fail to see what is clearly taught in scripture. Pilgrim, Joe, Paul, all have pointed out why your statements are incorrect but you just can't see them. Ergo your spiritual astigmatism causes you to proclaim you see clearly when you have need of that eye salve that cures."<br><br>Rest assured if I did see what you are saying, I would be hallucinating-- for there has not yet been a reply to my challenge that holds any water. If you don't believe me, read my rebuttals. <br><br><br>In Christ, <br>Josh<br><br>P.S. I actually have tried to rent "The Day the Earth Stood Still" from my local Blockbuster, but they don't carry it. They must have needed the extra space for two more copies of "Road Trip." Sheesh.<br><br>

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