Dear Paul,

Your twisting of words and context to find a "contradiction" truly shows what sort of case you build. The phrase, "He can save all who will hear Him. He does not need my help, I need His grace" is only contradictory if you accept the false premise that you have in your reasoning. You reason:

1. God's desire is to be with us
2. I (Josh) think that being with Him is conditional
Therefore, God needs our help to achieve His desire

The first premise is only partially correct, for while God does desire that men be saved, He also desires that they do so willingly.

My reasoning is:

1. God's desire is to be with those who will comply with His will (Matthew 7:21)
2. I cannot comply with God's will on my own (Romans 8:7)
Therefore I need His grace

My view is not contingent on God's being unable to do anything, for God could force me to comply if He so chose. I simply believe that God does not choose to override our wills. It is not a question of God's sovereignty, but of His methods.

"Of course, He must continue to be a little anxious until you "cross the finish line"."

Negative. God already knows the outcome of my Christian life. This does not preclude free will, God simply knows what choices I will make.

"Actually, what is to prevent you from rejecting Him in heaven, Josh? Will He override your will there?"

No. But I will be finally perfected in Him, my sin nature being taken from me and His divine nature totally permeating me forever. While I am a partaker in His nature right now, my old sin nature also remains, which makes it possible for me to rebel against Him.

"This is what is coming across from your posts, Josh. Your distortion of the entire panoply of redemption, that God will save His people, reminds me most of several conversations with local Jehovah's Witnesses, each of whom admitted that, in the final analysis, their security was directly contingent upon their performance. Which of course, in their denial of their own wretched, fallen condition, they somehow hoped they would be able to achieve."

It is true that my condition WAS wretched and fallen, but now that God has redeemed me, I am a new creature in Him, a partaker of His divine nature, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. So while there is no way a fallen man may live "good enough" to inherit eternal life, I am no longer a fallen man. Even so, my salvation is not contingent on "good performance," but on hearing and following Jesus through the Holy Spirit -- good works will naturally follow.

I need no comfort besides that which I already have, because my Saviour truly does save and has sent His Spirit into my heart. I don't live in constant terror of hell, I simply know that if I turn from Christ, I will be damned. I reject Calvinism on scriptural grounds; if it were plainly taught in the Bible, I would believe it. But I refuse to believe in a system of theology that is totally unsupported in scripture.

In Christ,