Saturday, October 11, 2008

Free will/Predestination/limited atonement.. etc.

hey guys,

Finally, here is another post. IF anyone still comes on here, I hope you will enjoy it.

Well, last Thursday in Worldviews, my classmates and I had a discussion about free will. Those of you who debated with me on TPS last year probably know what I believe. But, I thought that I would post this on here with my supporting verses and belief on this topic.

First, I want to quote my classmate, Chris, and other debating opponents on what most Arminians and free-will-ers believe: "It is unjust that God would send some people to hell and others to heaven without giving them a chance. God is a just God, and he would never go against His Character." Alright. Here we go.

I want to point out that the only just thing is for all of us to go to hell. But, God, in his infinite mercy, has chosen some for his people. It is unjust that any of us go to heaven, since we do not deserve it at all. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Most people think that predestination and limited atonement is not Biblical. The first passage I want to post is a long one, but it explains it thoroughly.

Romans 9:14-23: 14What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—

It says it right there: God has predestined some for vessels of his wrath (hell and judgement) and some for vessels of mercy (salvation and heaven). How is that not clear?

According to those who agree with free will, we are able to accept or reject salvation. Well, look at this passage.

Romans 11:7-10: 7What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8as it is written,

"God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that would not see
and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day."

9And David says,

"Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
10let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and bend their backs forever."

Did these people harden their own hearts? No. God actually MADE THEM not understand ("God gave them a spirit of stupor").

Read Romans 9:17: 27And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved

Hmm... A remnant? Ok, what if every single Israelite decided (with their free-will) to repent and wanted to be saved. Would you say that this verse is incorrect?

Ok, you may ask, "Why would God inflict wrath and punishment on somebody HE predestined to sin?" Ok, logical question here. Look at the Bible's answer.

Romans 3:5-8: 5But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? ( I speak in a human way.) 6By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

The answer's very clear.

Another thing people say is that we have to accept the gift of salvation in order to be saved. Well, look at this passage.

Psalms 14:1-3: 1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.
2The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.

3They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.

Nobody can save themselves. Nobody "understands" or "seeks after God". There is no "little good part" in our souls that will make us choose to follow God.

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

Our salvation is "not of our own doing". Why? So that no one can boast in saving themselves.

So, how are we saved? Check out these two passages.

Romans 8:14: 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Romans 8:29-30: 29For 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. 30And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

It's as simple as that.

Many people have used the verses that say "Christ died for all," and have told me that that means that we now have the choice to accept the gift of salvation or not. I have to confess that i am not quite sure how to interpret those verses, but I do know that if Christ died for all, then all would be ransomed, and therefore, everyone would be saved.

Thanks for makin' it through all that. I hope you enjoyed it. I may be off on a couple of points there, but this is where I am so far.



EDIT: I believe that EVERYONE is invited to partake in salvation. But, those that do become saved are a work of God and are only saved by the grace of God, through HIS leading and calling.

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