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The age ol' question about God - FW vs P

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#1
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Free will vs Predestination :26:

 

1.  Does scripture contradict itself by saying we have free will to salvation, yet does God choose who shall be saved. 2. If God chooses his people, and if man is spiritually corrupt because of sin, then WHY also write scriptures of repentance. 3. Are these scriptures of repentance speaking for ALL people or the one's he predestined. 4. Since Romans 1:20 already says God is in creation and they are without excuse then why does the Christian need to spread the gospel. 5. Couldn't Christians just avoid all that persecution by trusting in Romans 1:20 and predestination. 6. Why would a loving God predestine a few people to heaven and the rest to hell. 7. Isn't predestination the opposite of free will. 8. Is it safe to say we cannot know the mind of God and just lean on faith alone. 9. The christian asks "if predestination is truth then why me, why have I been chosen??" Blessings, David. Let us pray for discernment. :mgkey:

 

Matt 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

 

Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

vs

 

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

 

Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

 

Matt 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”



#2
shiloh357

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Free will vs Predestination :26:

 

1.  Does scripture contradict itself by saying we have free will to salvation, yet does God choose who shall be saved. 2. If God chooses his people, and if man is spiritually corrupt because of sin, then WHY also write scriptures of repentance. 3. Are these scriptures of repentance speaking for ALL people or the one's he predestined. 4. Since Romans 1:20 already says God is in creation and they are without excuse then why does the Christian need to spread the gospel. 5. Couldn't Christians just avoid all that persecution by trusting in Romans 1:20 and predestination. 6. Why would a loving God predestine a few people to heaven and the rest to hell. 7. Isn't predestination the opposite of free will. 8. Is it safe to say we cannot know the mind of God and just lean on faith alone. 9. The christian asks "if predestination is truth then why me, why have I been chosen??" Blessings, David. Let us pray for discernment. :mgkey:

 

Matt 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

 

Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

vs

 

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

 

Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

 

Matt 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The Bible doesn't say that God chooses who will or will not be saved.  

 

The biblcial doctrine of predestination pertains to what God has predestined believers to become AFTER they are saved; it doesn't say that God predestines some to be saved and others to be lost.

 

Romans 9 is not about salvation.   It focuses on the sovereignty of God in tersm of God's sovereign choice to use people for a particular purpose.  Paul, in Romans 9 is defending God's justness in causing a partial blindness to come upon the Jews so that Jesus would be rejected and the promise of salvation could be fulfilled.  Paul uses the example of Pharoah through whom God used to show His power.  

 

God did not create Pharoah simply to destroy him. God does not create people to send them to hell.  There are incompetent and sloppy theologians who take that heretical view of God.   But the notion that God creates some people to send to hell violates the biblical revelation of God's nature and character.

 

Predistination in the NT is always about service not salvation.  The Bible does not take the extremist position that every event is willed by God.  There are hyper sovereignty people who think that every action, good or bad, sinful or righteous, is willed by God, but that is an unbalanced and extreme view of God that the Bible doesn't support.  IT is not rooted in the Bible at all. 

 

The free will vs. sovereignty debate often gets very contentious because it asking the wrong question from the outset and this leads to confusion and endless debate.   The question is usually about whether or not God gives us the freewill to choose to believe the Gospel.  But that is the wrong question.   The correct question is, "what is the relationship of my choices in life, good or bad, to the sovereign will of God over my and direction it is headed?



#3
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The biblcial doctrine of predestination pertains to what God has predestined believers to become AFTER they are saved; it doesn't say that God predestines some to be saved and others to be lost.

 

I like what you're saying here. It's still pretty radical to me, so I'm hoping it'll sink in. Are you saying that whenever they mention the words predestined, elect or chosen, they are talking about how the born again christian is predestined to conform into the image of Christ, as in there is nothing that can stop this transformation? Even willful sin??..thus Romans 8:39? If so this is great news for the believer. Are you also saying that nonbelievers can still surprise God when coming to faith, disregarding his omniscience? Or am I taking the word omniscience out of context? I guess your post makes sense, as much sense as fellow christians praying for their family members to be saved. I've also been into dvd (Amazing Grace: The History & Theology of Calvinism by Eric Holmberg.. Shalom. - DRS81
 



#4
shiloh357

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Are you saying that whenever they mention the words predestined, elect or chosen, they are talking about how the born again christian is predestined to conform into the image of Christ, as in there is nothing that can stop this transformation? Even willful sin??..thus Romans 8:39? If so this is great news for the believer.

 

Yes and you are right. It is good news for the believer.

 

The Bible says we are predestined:

1.  To be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29)

2.  For adoption  (Eph. 1:5)

3. To be to the praise of His glory (Eph. 1:11-12)

 

People see the words, "elect" and "chosen"  and they take them to mean that believers are selected out of the world, prior to salvation, to be saved.   But that is not how the Bible is using either of those terms.    God calls us His elect.  That is our title when we get saved.   We are not the elect prior to salvation. 

 

We are the elect because we are saved.  Let me draw an analogy.   Jesus is called the "Firstborn of all creation."   Jesus was not "born."  He always existed.  "Firstborn" is a title, not a reference to having been born.  It refers to status in relation to the created order.   It is the same way with the term "elect."   The minute you say "yes" to Jesus, you become "chosen" or "elect."   That is the title you wear as a child of God.

 

I am predstined as the elect of God.  I was not predestined to become the elect of God.   God didn't make salvation accessible to a "chosen few."   One reason I know this is that salvation is pre-figured all over the Old Testament.   There is NO foreshadowing, no types or shadows nothing in the Old Testament prophecies about salvation that indicates that salvation is limited to select group of people.

 

It is important to understand that the five points of Calvinism are a theological teaching, not a biblical teaching. They cannot be found in the Bible.  Calviinism is named after the man, John Calvin who first taught it.  The teaching of predestination promoted by Calvinism is not the doctrine of predestination that occurs in the New Testament.

 

 

 

Are you also saying that nonbelievers can still surprise God when coming to faith, disregarding his omniscience?

 

No.

 

Or am I taking the word omniscience out of context?

 

Omniscience means that God knows all things, past, present, and future.   So there is nothing that takes God by surprise.



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People see the words, "elect" and "chosen"  and they take them to mean that believers are selected out of the world, prior to salvation, to be saved.   But that is not how the Bible is using either of those terms.    God calls us His elect.  That is our title when we get saved.   We are not the elect prior to salvation.

 

So it's safe to say not to combine God's omniscience to the words predestine/elect/chosen? Two different topics, two different stories? Now that we have OP cleared up, I have a question. Doesn't God's omniscience in fact (does) select people out of this world prior, or am I again using omniscience out of context. TY for bringing revelation to thread. Blessings.



#6
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People see the words, "elect" and "chosen"  and they take them to mean that believers are selected out of the world, prior to salvation, to be saved.   But that is not how the Bible is using either of those terms.    God calls us His elect.  That is our title when we get saved.   We are not the elect prior to salvation.

 

So it's safe to say not to combine God's omniscience to the words predestine/elect/chosen? Two different topics, two different stories? Now that we have OP cleared up, I have a question. Doesn't God's omniscience in fact (does) select people out of this world prior, or am I again using omniscience out of context. TY for bringing revelation to thread. Blessings.

 

God's foreknowledge of who will be saved does not amount to God choosing who will be saved. God being omnscient, knows who will or will not be saved, but knowing the future and shaping the future are two different things.



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God being omnscient, knows who will or will not be saved, but knowing the future and shaping the future are two different things.

 

what do u mean, knowing and shaping.

 

 

if God knows who will be saved, then why pray, preach and spread gospel, as example.



#8
shiloh357

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God being omnscient, knows who will or will not be saved, but knowing the future and shaping the future are two different things.

 

what do u mean, knowing and shaping.

 

 

 

 

There is a difference between knowing what will happen and making it happen.  You can know the future, but that is different than making things happen a certain way.

 

if God knows who will be saved, then why pray, preach and spread gospel, as example.

 

Because God tells us to.   It is precisely because of the fact that  God knows the future that we should trust Him and obey Him to pray  and preach.



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There is a difference between knowing what will happen and making it happen.  You can know the future, but that is different than making things happen a certain way.

 

How is it different. If you know the future, aren't you already shaping it before it happens, thus God's omnipotence? If you know the future then you already know what's gonna happen.



#10
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There is a difference between knowing what will happen and making it happen.  You can know the future, but that is different than making things happen a certain way.

 

How is it different. If you know the future, aren't you already shaping it before it happens, thus God's omnipotence? If you know the future then you already know what's gonna happen.

 

 

Just for fun, let's say I know the outcome of this year's superbowl.    I am not out there on the field making the plays happen a certain way to force the outcome to favor the team I know will win.  I simply know the outcome and can sit back and amaze my friends with my supernatural foresight.

 

I am not shaping the outcome, am I?    

 

God knew how Pharoah would react to the plagues.   But God didn't force Pharoah to respond as he did. 

 

Would God be a just God if he caused you to sin and then judged you for sinning??    What happen is that people will get the idea that God makes things happen a certain way right down to every choice we make and the Bible doesn't present God's sovereignty or omnipotence that way.   It makes God responsible for sin and that is simply untenable and frankly, heretical.



#11
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Free will vs Predestination :26:

 

1.  Does scripture contradict itself by saying we have free will to salvation, yet does God choose who shall be saved. 2. If God chooses his people, and if man is spiritually corrupt because of sin, then WHY also write scriptures of repentance. 3. Are these scriptures of repentance speaking for ALL people or the one's he predestined. 4. Since Romans 1:20 already says God is in creation and they are without excuse then why does the Christian need to spread the gospel. 5. Couldn't Christians just avoid all that persecution by trusting in Romans 1:20 and predestination. 6. Why would a loving God predestine a few people to heaven and the rest to hell. 7. Isn't predestination the opposite of free will. 8. Is it safe to say we cannot know the mind of God and just lean on faith alone. 9. The christian asks "if predestination is truth then why me, why have I been chosen??" Blessings, David. Let us pray for discernment. :mgkey:

 

Matt 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

 

Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

vs

 

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

 

Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

 

Matt 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The Bible doesn't say that God chooses who will or will not be saved.  

 

The biblcial doctrine of predestination pertains to what God has predestined believers to become AFTER they are saved; it doesn't say that God predestines some to be saved and others to be lost.

 

Romans 9 is not about salvation.   It focuses on the sovereignty of God in tersm of God's sovereign choice to use people for a particular purpose.  Paul, in Romans 9 is defending God's justness in causing a partial blindness to come upon the Jews so that Jesus would be rejected and the promise of salvation could be fulfilled.  Paul uses the example of Pharoah through whom God used to show His power.  

 

God did not create Pharoah simply to destroy him. God does not create people to send them to hell.  There are incompetent and sloppy theologians who take that heretical view of God.   But the notion that God creates some people to send to hell violates the biblical revelation of God's nature and character.

 

Predistination in the NT is always about service not salvation.  The Bible does not take the extremist position that every event is willed by God.  There are hyper sovereignty people who think that every action, good or bad, sinful or righteous, is willed by God, but that is an unbalanced and extreme view of God that the Bible doesn't support.  IT is not rooted in the Bible at all. 

 

The free will vs. sovereignty debate often gets very contentious because it asking the wrong question from the outset and this leads to confusion and endless debate.   The question is usually about whether or not God gives us the freewill to choose to believe the Gospel.  But that is the wrong question.   The correct question is, "what is the relationship of my choices in life, good or bad, to the sovereign will of God over my and direction it is headed?

 

Excellent exegesis of the Ro 9-11!!!  So often abused and misused.



#12
ConnorLiamBrown

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Free will vs Predestination :26:

 

1.  Does scripture contradict itself by saying we have free will to salvation, yet does God choose who shall be saved. 2. If God chooses his people, and if man is spiritually corrupt because of sin, then WHY also write scriptures of repentance. 3. Are these scriptures of repentance speaking for ALL people or the one's he predestined. 4. Since Romans 1:20 already says God is in creation and they are without excuse then why does the Christian need to spread the gospel. 5. Couldn't Christians just avoid all that persecution by trusting in Romans 1:20 and predestination. 6. Why would a loving God predestine a few people to heaven and the rest to hell. 7. Isn't predestination the opposite of free will. 8. Is it safe to say we cannot know the mind of God and just lean on faith alone. 9. The christian asks "if predestination is truth then why me, why have I been chosen??" Blessings, David. Let us pray for discernment. :mgkey:

 

Matt 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

 

Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

vs

 

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

 

Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

 

Matt 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The Bible doesn't say that God chooses who will or will not be saved.  

 

The biblcial doctrine of predestination pertains to what God has predestined believers to become AFTER they are saved; it doesn't say that God predestines some to be saved and others to be lost.

 

Romans 9 is not about salvation.   It focuses on the sovereignty of God in tersm of God's sovereign choice to use people for a particular purpose.  Paul, in Romans 9 is defending God's justness in causing a partial blindness to come upon the Jews so that Jesus would be rejected and the promise of salvation could be fulfilled.  Paul uses the example of Pharoah through whom God used to show His power.  

 

God did not create Pharoah simply to destroy him. God does not create people to send them to hell.  There are incompetent and sloppy theologians who take that heretical view of God.   But the notion that God creates some people to send to hell violates the biblical revelation of God's nature and character.

 

Predistination in the NT is always about service not salvation.  The Bible does not take the extremist position that every event is willed by God.  There are hyper sovereignty people who think that every action, good or bad, sinful or righteous, is willed by God, but that is an unbalanced and extreme view of God that the Bible doesn't support.  IT is not rooted in the Bible at all. 

 

The free will vs. sovereignty debate often gets very contentious because it asking the wrong question from the outset and this leads to confusion and endless debate.   The question is usually about whether or not God gives us the freewill to choose to believe the Gospel.  But that is the wrong question.   The correct question is, "what is the relationship of my choices in life, good or bad, to the sovereign will of God over my and direction it is headed?

 

Excellent exegesis of the Ro 9-11!!!  So often abused and misused.

 

I agree completely with Shiloh's point about Ro 9-11.  If we are to say that passage supports predestination, then I contend it supports what might be called "historical" predestination, and not "ultimate/salvific".  In other words, Paul is dealing the perplexing issue that more Gentiles are coming to Christ than Jews.  But Jews are the elected people of God!!!  His main contention is that God is free to elect Gentiles to do the work once assigned Jews--to be a light in a dark world (or service in Shiloh's terms).

 

I turn away from the exegetical problem to a philosophic one:

 

One of the chief verses among early theologians (starting I think with Origen) that played a part in the freewill discussion is in Exodus, where it says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart.  This troubles us:  how can Pharaoh be held responsible for enslaving the Hebrews if he had no choice?  

 

I think the question involves what philosophers call a category mistake....I'll try and explain briefly...

 

I do not know how to exegete that text; but I am sure of one thing...I am sure that Pharaoh did not have an initial benevolent impulse to free the Hebrews; then, God, violating his freewill, began to force that impulse in the opposite direction.  The idea of enslaving the Hebrews was quite congenial to Pharaoh from start to finish.  The psychological situation was not one in which he felt inclined to free them, then felt a foreign power (like a possession) in his psyche, moving against this inclination....against this he strains with all his mental will to be gracious...he wants to be benevolent!!................. but this opposite power is too much......

 

and finally, his heart is hardened.  He denies Moses' request.

 

That is nonsense; psychologically impossible as a contradiction is impossible. 

 

The category mistake (but then I am never quite sure what philosophers mean by that) comes in when we ask, "Can God violate freewill?"  In ordinary usage the phrase "violation of freewill" typically involves 3 elements, and I will use as my illustration an abduction. There is Person A who wants money and therefore wants the body of Person B in the car; there is Person B who wants freedom, and therefore desires his body NOT be in teh back of the car.  Both wills are concerned with a 3rd thing: namely Person B's body.

 

But in this question we have removed that 3rd entity: we are talking about One UNCREATED Will operating upon, and DIRECTLY upon, a created will.  And nothing in our categories of thinking will enable us to comprehend this situation.  It consitutes the mysterious frontier where the Infinite and the finite interact.  It is profoundly unknowable.



#13
ConnorLiamBrown

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God being omnscient, knows who will or will not be saved, but knowing the future and shaping the future are two different things.

 

what do u mean, knowing and shaping.

 

 

if God knows who will be saved, then why pray, preach and spread gospel, as example.

 

You are getting into deep philosophical waters...

 

To say that God knows who WILL be saved places God in a dimension of time. God at point 0, looking ahead through point 1 to point one billion. This is pardonable because, being creatures in time, we have no other language; but it is dangerous because we will be led to take our language too literally.

 

God is not temporally bound.  Thus the question, though common, becomes incomprehensible once we understand certain characteristics of God: all talk of God looking back or looking forward are pardonable concessions to our own finite perspective; but ultimately misleading.

 

Thus your question: "IF God (who by definition no verbal tense of past, present, or future, can be used) knows who will (oops, there is a verbal tense).........

 

 

The Bible is less concerned with systematic theology or philosophic theology.  It is interested in telling the story of how God saved a fallen creation.  Thus its authors are less (or not at all) concerned with employing philosophically technical language.  For to know about God is not the same as knowing God; nor to be known by God.  The latter of which is surely the most important.  So we find language used of God that is temporarily conditioned; even anthropomorphic (God was sorry he had created the earth).

 

 

 

clb

 

Oh, both Augustine and Boethius' consolation of philosophy were very helpful to me in this problem.



#14
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God knew how Pharoah would react to the plagues.   But God didn't force Pharoah to respond as he did. 

 

What happen is that people will get the idea that God makes things happen a certain way right down to every choice we make and the Bible doesn't present God's sovereignty or omnipotence that way.

 

But isn't God's omnipotence in John 6:44, the Father which draws them in (is that force?).

Why didn't God draw Pharoah into salvation if God knew he was destined for hell. (Example: God could of tried harder)

How does the Bible present God's omnipotence.



#15
shiloh357

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God knew how Pharoah would react to the plagues.   But God didn't force Pharoah to respond as he did. 

 

What happen is that people will get the idea that God makes things happen a certain way right down to every choice we make and the Bible doesn't present God's sovereignty or omnipotence that way.

 

But isn't God's omnipotence in John 6:44, the Father which draws them in (is that force?).

Why didn't God draw Pharoah into salvation if God knew he was destined for hell. (Example: God could of tried harder)

How does the Bible present God's omnipotence.

 

God didn't draw Pharoah into salvation.  God used Pharoah's hardness to reveal His own power.   Pharoah, in egyptian eyes was a god.  God "raised" Pharoah up in the sense that God incited Pharoah's pride forcing Pharoah to excerise his power against God and continue to rebel.  God, in the tenth and final plague, broke Pharoah.

 

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. Joh 6:44

 

 

It simply means that no one left to their own will turn to God. No one is going to repent of thier own human will.  It doesn't mean that God only calls those who He knows will be saved.

 

He even calls to those He knows will die in their rejection of Him. They will never be able to accuse God of being unjust in not giving them ample opportunity to believe the Gospel.   I can imagine that such a person will stand before the Lord and he/she will be remind of every opportunity he/she had to believe.  Every attempt by God to call him/her to salvation will be replayed and they will be reminded of his/her stubborn rejection of Him.  Thus proving that the consequence of hell will not be due to any injustice against him/her.



#16
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Free will vs Predestination :26:

 

1.  Does scripture contradict itself by saying we have free will to salvation, yet does God choose who shall be saved. 2. If God chooses his people, and if man is spiritually corrupt because of sin, then WHY also write scriptures of repentance. 3. Are these scriptures of repentance speaking for ALL people or the one's he predestined. 4. Since Romans 1:20 already says God is in creation and they are without excuse then why does the Christian need to spread the gospel. 5. Couldn't Christians just avoid all that persecution by trusting in Romans 1:20 and predestination. 6. Why would a loving God predestine a few people to heaven and the rest to hell. 7. Isn't predestination the opposite of free will. 8. Is it safe to say we cannot know the mind of God and just lean on faith alone. 9. The christian asks "if predestination is truth then why me, why have I been chosen??" Blessings, David. Let us pray for discernment. :mgkey:

 

Matt 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

 

Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

vs

 

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

 

Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

 

Matt 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

God doesn't predestine who will believe. Predestine simply means to predetermine and the context must determine what it is that has been predetermined. Romans 8 Is not about God choosing who will be saved. It's about what God has predetermined for those who love Him. Romans 8:29-30 is Paul's statement of encouragement explaining what God has predestined for those in verse 28 who are those who love God. Actually, in this section of Romans Paul is addressing the Jewish believers and tells them that God had predetermined that those who love Him will be justified, glorified. In this passage those who love God are actually OT saints such as David, Moses, Joshua, etc.  



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I agree. :mgcheerful:



#18
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Even though I have pretty much become a Calvinist (hate the label) over the last year or so after studying Romans, I have also pretty much come to think of it in different terms, sort of like this:

God is omniscient, know all things, including the future.

So, even before creation, He knew all who would be saved, and all who would be lost.

If God were to speak those thoughts out, we would call that prophecy, and we know all prophecies of God, come true.

So, if God knew that Omegaman was going to acknowledge Jesus in 1979, then that is what was going to happen. Nothing that Omegaman could do of fail to do of his free will, can change what God foreknew. Of course, it can be argued that God knew that Omegaman would use his free will to choose God, but even if that is the case, it remains that Omegaman was predestined to choose, since God had foreseen it. Is that sort of free will really free will? My path was set long before I was born and able to choose anything.

I do not really see what difference it makes, except to our flesh which desires to have an active part in our salvation - pride I think, the basis of so much sin, or perhaps to the lazy, who do not want to evangelize and can use election as an excuse not to do so.

Whether God actually chose certain people in eternity (which I think the bible teaches) or only presented an opportunity for people to choose for themselves autonomously seems irrelevant since it seems obvious, based on God's foreknowledge, that we have a destiny that will be fulfilled. Seems like the mechanics of how it occurs are just intellectual semantics.

Question to the OP, since you knew it is an age old question, were you expecting to see any answers presented that have not been presented in the last several hundred years, or even already here in the forums?

#19
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Question to the OP, since you knew it is an age old question, were you expecting to see any answers presented that have not been presented in the last several hundred years, or even already here in the forums?

 

Good question, well.... I wasn't aware that when the bible says predestined/chosen/elect..they're actually talking about AFTER salvation. shiloh357 got me up to date. I learned something new.



#20
Butch5

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Even though I have pretty much become a Calvinist (hate the label) over the last year or so after studying Romans, I have also pretty much come to think of it in different terms, sort of like this:

God is omniscient, know all things, including the future.

So, even before creation, He knew all who would be saved, and all who would be lost.

If God were to speak those thoughts out, we would call that prophecy, and we know all prophecies of God, come true.

So, if God knew that Omegaman was going to acknowledge Jesus in 1979, then that is what was going to happen. Nothing that Omegaman could do of fail to do of his free will, can change what God foreknew. Of course, it can be argued that God knew that Omegaman would use his free will to choose God, but even if that is the case, it remains that Omegaman was predestined to choose, since God had foreseen it. Is that sort of free will really free will? My path was set long before I was born and able to choose anything.

I do not really see what difference it makes, except to our flesh which desires to have an active part in our salvation - pride I think, the basis of so much sin, or perhaps to the lazy, who do not want to evangelize and can use election as an excuse not to do so.

Whether God actually chose certain people in eternity (which I think the bible teaches) or only presented an opportunity for people to choose for themselves autonomously seems irrelevant since it seems obvious, based on God's foreknowledge, that we have a destiny that will be fulfilled. Seems like the mechanics of how it occurs are just intellectual semantics.

Question to the OP, since you knew it is an age old question, were you expecting to see any answers presented that have not been presented in the last several hundred years, or even already here in the forums?

You're using circular reasoning. One can't be predestined to be saved and have free will in salvation. Since you're studied Romans have you considered that most of the passages that Calvinism uses to support it's doctrines are actually addressing the Jewish believers in Rome and are talking about how God is using the Jewish people to fulfill His promises?






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