I WILL UPDATE THIS POST WITH MY RANDOM THOUGHTS PERTAINING TO FREE WILL< THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD, PREDESTINATION AND THE WORSHIP OF WILL AND HUMAN POTENTIAL, WHICH EVEN MOST BAPTIST UNKNOWINGLY PARTICIPATE IN>
Disclaimer: I believe there are good, God serving christians, who are not of this persuasion. By this i mean the many independent baptists, who are made by the grace of God willing to selflessly serve the Lord and not conform to the world and the flesh. However, i believe this doctrine is very important for the advancement of the gospel, correct understanding of the person and power of God, and for the security and reasonable service of the christian. I will attempt to shed light on the more difficult passages, which appear to speak unlimited atonement, whereas they don't.
One of the common criticisms of free-willers against "calvinists" is that God wouldn't command people to believe and repent if they are unable to. Yet the nation of Israel were given the decalogue and they were never capable to fulfill it, because it is unfulfillable by flesh, (they couldnt perform the ceremonial law perfectly, even). So God can command or condemn at his will, like everything else.
Next one: "the doctrine of election causes pride". I answer thus: Then Jesus put a stumblingblock and led his disciples into pride when he said "I have chosen you" (John 15)
But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
The doctrine of election doesn't cause pride, but HUMILITY. Why? Because if you are chosen from the sea of worthless creatures, you are a "earthen vessel" and "taken from the flocks" or was "without Christ", "a cattle driver" and so forth, you have nothing to boast, as God has "chosen things which are not, to bring to nought things that are". The purpose of God of making the scum of the earth the cream of heaven is revealed in the entire scriptures. Many of the prophets were completely unaware of God's plan for them and took no pride in being CHOSEN for their great and monumental missions. That earthen vessel carries something that far surpasses it's own value, so in this juxtaposition it can find no source of pride. The riches, power, wisdom of Christ are always underlined as opposed to our feebleness, worthlessness and ignorance.
4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
The sentences of the election of saints are never appendaged with clauses such as "because you were *****". One of the main works of God in an elect individual is to convince him of his sin, in which there is no place of pride. Paul exalts God's mercy when talking about his election. The elect are those on the highways, who enter, because the "worthies" (religious and eminent persons, the jews etc) are just as unworthy.
For the sake of comparison, look at it this way. Which of the following two person will receive ovations and praise: The one who answers a million dollar question OR the one who wins the lottery? Making the right choice (if it was possible) with what you believe, I would say that is so, so much harder than a million dollar question. You might say "but its not the same as one requires faith and the other reason" . Yet you cannot arrive at a decision without a thought process, or can you ..... shoot in the dark? Can you say "i believe in this proposition just like that" or "because it sounds better". But if it does sound better, why so few embrace it??? There are so many problems with free-willism, its incredible, in the end it always goes in the way of biblical anthropology (the make up of man in the bible). Whereas winning the lottery..... well..... we all know how people envy those farmers, store clerks, pensioners etc who win without any effort. Because they have received something they dont deserve. And we?
SEVENTH AND EIGHT 04-05.01.2016
Historical documents of the Waldenses proving at least some of them were predestinarian.
4. We believe that there is one Holy Church, which is the congregation
of all the elect and faithful, which were from the beginning of the
world, and shall be to the end thereof — of which our Lord Jesus
Christ is the head, which is governed by his word, and guided by the
Holy Ghost: In which all good Christians ought to remain, for it prays
for all incessantly, and the word thereof is agreeable to God, without
which no one can be saved.
-- Waldense confession of faith is extracted from “Mendes Francois,” by Charles du Moulin;
II. All that have been, or shall be saved, were elected by God before all
III. They who are saved cannot miss of salvation.
IV. Whosoever maintaineth free-will, wholly denieth predestination.
and the Grace of God.
--RULES OF FAITH AND PRACTICE ADOPTED BY ALL THE
WALDENSES, WHO MET IN ONE ASSEMBLY AT ANGROGNE,
SEPTEMBER 12, 1535. (after contact with reformers)
3. HERE EVERY ONE MAY BE REPROVED, WHO SAYS, THAT
GOD DID NOT MAKE MAN TO ALLOW HIM TO PERISH.
May it please that Lord, who formed the world, that we may be of
the number of his elect, to dwell with him in his court for ever!
-The Noble Leycon
MIN. What is that which thou believest concerning the holy church?
ANSW. I say that the church is considered two manner of ways, the one
substantially, and the other ministerially. As it is considered substantially,
by the holy catholic church is meant all the elect of God, from the
beginning of the world to the end, by the grace of God through the merit of
Christ, gathered together by the Holy Spirit, and foreordained to eternal
life; the number and names of whom are known to him who has ejected
them: and in this church remain none who are reprobate. But the church as
it is considered according to the truth of the ministry, is the company of
the ministers of Christ, together with the people committed to their
Charge, using the ministry by faith hope and charity
-Catechism of the ancient Waldenses, for the instruction of their youth
Lindanus, a Roman Catholic bishop of the see of Ghent, who
wrote in defense of the tenets of the Church of Rome, about the
year 1560, represents John Calvin as the inheritor of the doctrine
of the Waldenses.Mezeray, the learned historiographer of France, in his Abridgment
of Chronology, speaking of the Waldensos, says, “They held
nearly the same opinions as those who are now called Calvinists.”
Gualter, a Jesuitical monk, in his chronological tables, drew up a
catalogue, consisting of seven and twenty particulars, in which he
shows that the principles of the Waldensos, and those of the
Calvinists, coincided with each other.
Eckius reproached Luther, that he had only renewed the heresiesof the Waldenses and Albigenses, of Wickliff and of John Huss, which had been long ago condemned. Bellarmine asserts, that the identical belief which was publicly taught and professed in the vallies of Piedmont, in the year 890, and onwards, was the very same which is at this day professed and
owned by the Reformed Churches.
Genebrard, a Benedictine monk, born in 1537, in the third book of
his Chronicles, calls the doctrine of Claude and his followers, in rejecting the traditions of Rome, Calvinistic doctrines; and denominates the Waldenses, Calvinists.
HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT CHRISTIANS - J P Perrin
(warning, there is some controversy against baptists in the book, and the view that the waldenses were paedobaptist is held, but Perrin's sources THEMSELVES say that infant baptism is the work of antichrist)
PDF LINK FOR THE BOOK:
Yet another problem with the free-will gospel, or i should rather say, the grace-less gospel, is that it removes the perception of a just and hell-binding God. If your gospel presentation includes statements such as "God doesn't want anyone to perish" or "God is waiting for ALL sinners to come to Him" you have effectively de-personalised God from his eternal justice. You create a schizophrenic God, who wants everyone to be saved, yet hell exists for some reason. And the carnal mind must latch on the "positive" aspect of God, discarding his judging role, and construes a God that doesn't punish severely, a Saviour from nothingness.... because God doesn't throw in hell, God doesn't want people to go to hell, God doesn't dispense wrath due to sin (but only unbelief), you can ALWAYS go to heaven or hell. (contrary to the tenor of Luke 16) in short such salvation is very acceptable to the carnal mind, because it is a salvation from nothingness, a non-threat, it is just a whim of the carnal mind to grab something appealing to the senses, a Christ, who is a do-all boy, a genie whom you control anytime you want.
On the other hand, if you say that God ACTUALLY WANTS SOME people to go to hell and SOME (FEW) to go to heaven, WELL IF I HEARD THAT ID BETTER MAKE SURE IM WITH THE SECOND CROWD!!! The door is small, therefore, go fast and find it!!!
I presume there is no better way to pluck men out of the SAVING hand of God, than to preach this YOU CAN DO IT NOW nonsense. If you are saving yourself, throwing yourself in hell, there is no need to rush, you have all the time of the world as you are omnipotent. But i'd say, to preach correctly , you need to unroll the plan of God for the wicked and the righteous, the total and unbroken power of God over life and will on earth, beginning to end of world and of life. And that includes the power of God over the circumstances of your salvation. The passover wasn't available all year round, Jesus wasn't on earth for more than a few years. David said "if you (if you have the ears) hear His voice, don't harden your hearts" and it is not talking about making a decision in your lifetime, later in hebrews we read "Esau sought him with tears and did not find place for repentance". Therefore you are not warned about postponing to death, but to the point where you will not be able to believe, even if you tried to and you will sink in despair and die. So urgency is due to God's plan.And to reject Christ when he is presented to you clearly, you are on the road of reprobation as you have blasphemed the Holy Ghost.
To present man as a modern Adam is horrible error, as man's constitution changed for the worse from the garden. There is, in fact, no worse example of a free creature than Adam, because he sinned in the presence of God himself. Do you dare to say you would have made the correct "choice"? Adam had some deficiency or lack of conformity before his sin, otherwise he would have stuck to God. That is the reason the second Adam creates second adams, who cannot be deceived, the first adams will ALWAYS be deceived, considering their father was deceived before the FALL!!! (1 John 5:18). Like father like sons. How much more will the sons surpass their father in disobedience on the rotten earth with the devil and his host among them. It is Christ's power to break the snare of sin and the devil to release the minds and consciences to God. In other words to undo the works of the devil in men. How idiotic is to throw all this out in the garbage bin with a simple claim to freedom of choice? Where is Christ, where is the Devil? Are they your left hand and your right? Are they your children, with whom you decide the outcome of their struggle?
Setting that aside with such appeal to reason and human will, you are flattering and enticing sinners to believe they are the ones who "set aside" their sins, it is not Christ who covers the sin, but the sinner who "gives up" his sin through the power of his will, another condensed form of the gospel of works. If this argument is proposed to free-willers they will immediately deny that they ascribe something positive in the fallen creature, but they will never provide a consistent definition of free will, except that it is..... free.
Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the author and finisher of our faith. This phraseology denotes eternity, Christ is something that goes beyond the creation (as He is God) yet the free-willers fail to see how his perpetuity isn't his mercy and love's perpetuity. God's mercy and love to his elect entails their entire lives before conversion - in the material ordering of events, stirring of emotions and bending of human will towards HIS will and continues after rebirth in the support of their faith and purity, through the intercession of the faithful Christ , to the very end (Eph 1:4-5)..The Israelites were in God's positive will even before they were in the testicles of Jacob. He didn't simply drop his law and prophets on their heads as he suddenly decides to include them in his will. Not just their lives of faith. When Christ says to John "I am the first and the last" this is his immediate comfort for the chosen for the kingdom, that their sins are forgiven - beginning to end, that their faith is secure- from the giving to the reclaiming to heaven, that God's plan is good for those who are within his eternal love. But baptists choose to clip off God's positive will before salvation (which is by them claimed initiated by the person!) and make God a follower, not a leader.
One of the better references for the particular love/atonement of John 3:16 is Deutoronomy 10
15 Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.
Psalm 16:3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
Continuing with "little flock". The catholics have massive problems with such verses. They anticipate world dominion. If God has provided free will for all, then sooner or later all would be COMPELLED (either by human reason or force...) to enter the church. The standard methods of changing one's mind would be sufficient.But human eloquence or threatening without or intermingled with the gospel produces false converts - hypocrites or self-deluded slaves. The flock of Christ is drawn by His "cords of love" alone, without human interference.. Not that His love is little, but it is applied to a select few.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
In fact, if you believe in free will in divine matters, then you should also believe that conversion is a matter of persuasion or intellectual conviction..... Yet the carnal mind is enmity to God and the greatest orators and preachers have left millions unsaved after their sermons.People have attended churches for decades dying in disbelief, even if hearing the gospel almost daily and being begged by their relatives to reconsider.If free will is the entry point of faith, what makes the believing different from the others? Some kind of hidden"common sense"? What makes you more reasonable than your philosopher or logician or mathematician friend. What makes you more understanding than your linguist or psychologist neighbour? What exactly makes you more special? And what makes the "decision" of accepting Christ different than any other decision? I have heard baptist pastors preaching that the faith of Christ is just like any other human conviction, following a deliberation. What blasphemy! True preachers of the gospel can attest that the conversion and repentance is not a decision but a miraculous change (sometimes even against the perceived/professed will of the person, which wonderfully, unexpectedly, without any prior thought, without season (time), is conformed to the will of God), as it was with my wife, who literally broke down in tears, infused with the power of the Holy Ghost. What makes you more special? All who believe have received the faith from above and should not boast of a whimsical "decision".(1 Cor 4:7) He chose us.
One point of contention between the free willers and predestinarians is the scope of election. The scripture is clear on this matter. The elect WILL BE FEW. Therefore, if God was supposed to want the salvation of all and would have left men with the means to at least approximate that wish, the saved would at some point be a majority or at least a sizeable minority. This also fits with the free-willistic interpretation of 2 Peter 3:9, where they interpret the desire of God as the desire for the salvation of the entire human race.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Here, however the patience and longsuffering is towards US., the elect, as with Paul
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
The patience of God is manifest only towards those who he has foreseen and preordained. We are to exhibit the same patience with respect to His coming, as there might be many more generations of elect to be born after us and gathered.
Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
However, with the progress of generations comes the increase in tares and chaff, so that more people go to hell with each generation. If God was patient &c towards the unbelieving, he would have sent more means of grace and would have saved a lot more in proportion to the unbelieving. God and Noah waited for the ark to be built, that period was used for the condemnation of the world, not for its salvation (Heb 11:7; Rev 11:5). The two witnesses give rain where God wants (speak the words of grace and convert souls; Heb 6:7), and breathe fire on the rest (Heb 6:8), which symbolically means condemnation to hell (one are baptized in water&holy spirit, the other in fire Mat 3:11,12).(The reprobates have a timer on their own - to fulfill their sins and the sins of their fathers (The works of unrighteousness from their like-minded predecessors) (Ps 92:7; Genesi 15:1; Rev 14:15)
Now would be convenient to explain the dual role of the gospel, but i leave that for another time.
To be continued.....
Let me get this straight. Jesus died for EVERYONE IN THE WORLD, but only EXPLICITLY prays for those whom the Father had given, and for those who will believe? This further proves that he died for those of the world, who will believe, either with him or with the apostles and their disciples, and not for the totality of human beings in the world.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me;
Why do so many "evangelicals" hate "calvinists"?. Precisely because they are not saved. They maintain free will, because "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." It is scary for the flesh to be in the hands of God (under the positive or negative will). Therefore for the unsaved sinner it is appeasing to have an "open door" of denying Christ, when he isn't desired or of accepting him at a later time, when the body is worn down for sin. Because they don't want to "hear his voice" and want to postpone, like constantine and others. However that is not possible. Otherwise everyone could live ungodly and only accept christ at his deathbed. God is not mocked. The passover was to be eaten on the same night. The Holy Spirit visited the world in the appointed time, to produce the fruit of salvation, Christ. So it visits and saves the sinner in an appointed time. It is not for us to choose the time of our salvation.
Thanks for Avles' comment to direct my mind to an important fact about the blood covenant.
"northern baptists/waldenses were free-willers and the southern/albigenses were predestinarians"
Very interesting, thank you for your info, this add further spiritual fuel for the struggle against the wiles of Satan, and his machinations to hide the martyrdom of Bogomils and others, the elect of God. They are scared of it because those martyrs speaks well of predestination. If you let the neighbor to slain you it means you are fully aware you are an elect, and of predestination.
This is the key here. The elect of God know they are the sheep for the slaughter and accept it. They accept the slaughter of Christ as a Saviour/Righteous man for their sin and accept their own slaughter as his blood-kin. Whereas the persecutors accept the slaughter of Christ as an evil-doer and the slaughter of the righteous as his associates.
And the persecutors of the righteous WERE NEVER included in the covenant of blood, as that covenant is offered only on behalf of the RIGHTEOUS(BY GOD). Abel's FATLING SACRIFICE WAS NEITHER FROM, NOR FOR CAIN. The PASSOVER was NEITHER FROM, NOR FOR THE EGYPTIANS.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
what John 3:16 says.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Free willers and baptists usually say that "whosoever" means that Jesus died for all and so "anyone" can be saved. However this verse says that whosoever believeth (i.e. ALL THAT BELIEVE, ANYONE of the believing) will be saved.
It doesn't say "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that noone should perish"
That doesnt mean we shouldnt preach the gospel, but that many people will not get saved, because God will not grant them faith and repentance. This verse actually teaches election and predestination, not an offer for all. Jesus died for the believing of all nations (the world).
I have never read Calvin's books. I have read Gill's commentaries and a few other books on different subjects, but never a "systematic theology", only brief expositions of passages. Folks, its (un)common spiritual sense.
A copy of my comment towards a baptist minister preaching against the doctrine of predestination
Pastor, the jews also clinged to jesus through their choice, to which Jesus was aware when He said:
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
Thereby destroying their "free choice" hubris.
You don't need the greek to have common sense:
Which is come unto you, as it is IN ALL THE WORLD; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD,
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached IN THE WHOLE WORLD, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
The entire world was not evangelized in the first two decades after Jesus' death and we don't mention the woman in our modern missions worldwide. (Therefore the word world (cosmos) doesn't always signify the entire world, and actually it is almost never used in the sense. The context of Jesus dying for the World reveals that the meaning is not that he died for all people born, but that he saves not only jews, who think they are special, but gentiles from all provinces of the roman empire - THE *FIRST* WORLD KNOWN AT THAT TIME. He gave his life not only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but of the children abroad, the sheep of the other fold, the branches to be grafted etc., which of course leads a man to believe he has his own BEYOND THAT REALM., which should be gathered. What God was telling the jews was "Jesus died not only for israel, but for the NATIONS of the world. This completely destroys the notion that limited atonement makes people anti-missionary minded . The correct exegesis of the "dying for the world" make a case for missionary effort, SINCE CHRIST HAS ELECT IN THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD TO BE GATHERED; FROM EVERY KNEE, TONGUE, NATION, TRIBE. REVELATION 5:9)
Millions and millions are in hell, never having heard the gospel. Did they get the same "chance", pastor?
Also, you claim God loves everyone. Yet we are commanded to
1 John 3:18 ..............love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
If God loves the unbelieving the same way he does the CHOSEN, then he is a hypocrite, because he doesn't love them in deed (in reality).
If God is
Why doesn't he save everyone?
Ah, but you will say "He wants to leave it up to them".
So he leaves it up to them, when they are enslaved to sin, which they senselessly indulge in, captive by the devil, blind and dead in sins, ignorant of the life of God? Do you leave your kid to decide what's best for him? You would surely agree that leaving a kid to himself spells disaster. God doesn't discipline us into salvation, but creates a loving and obedient NEW creature in us, that is not only capable, but willing of faith, repentance etc.
Pastor, the God you describe is weak, unloving and indecisive.
The God of the bible brings power unto salvation, opens hearts and grants faith and repentance. The God of the bible's love for HIS BRIDE is larger than the world, let alone my puny human brain and its mental faculties.
The God of the bible worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
He doesn't wait or hope man "receives him".
He knows whats inside man.
An undeserving sinner, saved not by choice, but by the powerful grace of God.