All About GOD

All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

Alright Brothers and Sisters,

You've had respite from the debate on this matter long enough. As they used to say in Rome, " Let the games begin." (Again).

 

If you want to start posting your favorite verses supporting your position again, go ahead. Were you ever able to sway the other camp with your Biblical points? Are there verses that each person thinks will convince the other of the final answers? Do Bible references of each camp seem to set the story straight? Is the issue still at a stand-off?

Let me offer a different approach:

I think that both beliefs (Calvinism - Arminism)  ARE CORRECT.

Now, before you move your mouse, please hear me out.

I think the Holy Spirit pointed this Biblical explanation to me, because I'm sure not smart enough to have noticed it myself.

 

To start with, we see Jesus preaching to the dead in 1 Peter 4:6.

Compare Acts 26:23 with Peter's verse. And bring in Matthew 27:52. So, we see godly souls who have been "waiting" for Jesus to come free them from their "way station".

 

Please go to Luke 16:19-31.

This is the only story that Jesus told that characters were identified with names - Lazarus, Abraham. Also, according to "The Companion Bible" quoting from John Lightfoot"s writings, this was not one of Jesus' parables, because He was lashing out at the Pharisees for their intentional changing of the Law.

It seems this Abraham"s Bosom (Paradise) and Hades had a great chasm separating the good souls and the wicked souls.

And, at that time, Paradise and Hades were both in the bowels of the earth (compare Samuel "coming up" in 1 Samuel 28:13-15).

 

Obviously, all godly people who died before Jesus' redemptive work at Calvary had to be CHOSEN by God, because He knew their hearts. Compare Luke 16:22.

Jesus preached to those saintly souls in the time between Cruxifiction Friday and Resurrection Sunday because God knew their hearts, and they were destined to eternity with Jesus.

 

Jesus moved Paradise (Abraham's Bosom) from "down" to "up" in Ephesians 4:8-10, where I believe it is now. Compare 2 Corinthians 12:4.

 

I'm going to stop for now because of time and space. To be continued..........................

What do you think so far?

 

Grace and peace. 

 

 

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Replies to This Discussion

 

It is my conviction that God has fore-knowledge of how people are going to live their lives by their own choice.

Compare Acts 4:27-28,"For truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst annoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, (28) to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestinated to occur,".       I interpret this to say that God knew the "no-goodneks" before they were born, and  chose them to play the villans in the crucifixion story.

 

So, if God knows that a person is going to be a believer, even before they're born, He chooses them as His child.

Now here's where the sticky part comes in: this person still comes to the Lord by personal choice. And it's kinda like God

looking down and saying "I told you so".

 

I can share this testimony of my own life. Born and baptized as an infant in a large denominational church. Grew up knowing ABOUT Jesus, but not actually KNOWING Him as my Lord and Savior.

Later, as an adult, wanting to please my Christian wife, I answered the invitation at church, and was baptized by immersion. I came up out of the water........ and felt no difference. I felt no difference for several years, continuing to smoke, drink, and carry on with my old life. I definitely wasn't born again. 

BUT, then, and I really don't know how, when, or what for, the Holy Spirit got ahold of my heart, and I changed. Oh yes, I changed , and was finally born again.

For the last 25 years or so, I've had Jesus in my heart, with no fear of ever going back.............

 

So, my explanation is that God knew my life before being born, and I felt CHOSEN when I shed my old life and finally turned to Him.

"For many are called; but few are chosen". 

 

Grace and Peace.

 

Richard,

First of all, you are a man of God. Secondly, I came to the conclusion from my own personal experiences that if God didn't do it for me, it would never have gotten done. Others may be full of energy and out there just working themselves right into the arms of God. I lean very strongly towards the Calvinistic side. I guess I feel I need this kind of help. However, I grew up in a very strong Armenian environment. I tired of constantly hearing that about all the things I needed to do to stay good with God. I decided I would leave the Armenian circles and join with the Calvinistic ones. What I found was a group of people that had grown up believing in Calvinism but the belief did not arise from serious Bible study or experience. I was very passionate about my beliefs but I found the ones I was fellow shipping with did not have the same passion. I was very disappointed. Now, I am a Calvinist that worships with the Armenians. 

Maybe it is God acting on His foreknowledge but I must admit that I believe it goes much further than that. Knowing and learning more about people over the years, I have come to the conclusion that if God doesn't do it all, we're all lost.

Yet, I do believe that we are expected to live to the understanding He has given us. Knowing He did it all doesn't lessen my responsibility but seemingly appears to increase it. Most disagree with me and my understanding of salvation. I may be wrong on some of my assumptions but completely convinced that He has saved me completely.

My experience growing up in a very strong Armenian environment may have necessitated my understanding. At that time I was convinced that I would never make it to heaven no matter how much work I did. I was convinced I would miss the rapture. God miraculously delivered me from all that condemnation through His Word. Now, life is much better but still a challenge.

Richard, I am a genuine Calvinist but would never allow that to interfere with my relationships with others. It would be a very lonely world for me if I only had fellowship with fellow Calvinists. They are not too many of those creatures out there.

I have to be very careful on AAG. I will sometimes insist that God did it all for us and find that I am being offensive to some.

A good area to study is the Sabbath. I have entered into a Sabbath rest that many don't seem to have found. The Sabbath is one of my favorite studies and I am not talking a legalistic stoppage of work on Saturday. The Sabbath I have entered has nothing to do with a certain day of the week. My Sabbath lasts all week, all month, all year and for the rest of my life. I will never ever do another work to earn anything from God. Why? I already have it all. Well, I had better shut up and go back into my shell. :_)

hahaha Roy, Roy, Roy hahaha

 

>>Richard, I am a genuine Calvinist but would never allow that to interfere with my relationships with others. It would be a very lonely world for me if I only had fellowship with fellow Calvinists. They are not too many of those creatures out there.

 

You are not alone beloved. I am a Reformed Charistmatic. Sounds like we are on the same boat my brother.

 

Yep, I tried the Reformed Church but it was too dead for me. I grew up in a different culture. The belief is beautiful but the worship was certainly non-Charismatic. If you are a Reformed Charismatic, I think you are one of a few.

Rich,

 

>>It is my conviction that God has fore-knowledge of how people are going to live their lives by their own choice.

 

There is no dispute here, God is all knowing.

 

>>So, if God knows that a person is going to be a believer, even before they're born, He chooses them as His child.

 

Scripture NEVER, EVER, not one verse in all of scripture to back up that assumption. Not one beloved. I challenge you (in love hahaha) to show me one. In scripture we find the opposite. God chooses according to his good pleasure.

 

>>Now here's where the sticky part comes in: this person still comes to the Lord by personal choice. And it's kinda like God looking down and saying "I told you so".

 

No one disputes that we come to Christ by personal choice; the dispute is why we come to Christ by personal choice. What happen or rather what enabled us to make that choice? Free will, no way. Most Christians (not saying you) don't have the faintness idea what free will means or is and the ones that think they do hold to a Very pagan view of it. I chose Christ, but what enable me to make such a choice, when I was in a dead state.

 

>>I can share this testimony of my own life. Born and baptized as an infant in a large denominational church. Grew up knowing ABOUT Jesus, but not actually KNOWING Him as my Lord and Savior.

Later, as an adult, wanting to please my Christian wife, I answered the invitation at church, and was baptized by immersion. I came up out of the water........ and felt no difference. I felt no difference for several years, continuing to smoke, drink, and carry on with my old life. I definitely wasn't born again. 

 

Your own testimony goes against your theology. Your will was to accept Christ so you could please your wife, but nothing happen, why? Cause your will, wills nothing unto salvation; it is by grace and grace alone.

 

>>BUT, then, and I really don't know how, when, or what for, the Holy Spirit got ahold of my heart, and I changed. Oh yes, I changed , and was finally born again.

 

Rich, my brother, your experience aligns perfectly with the doctrines of Grace. God regenerated you. God saved you. He called you, your actions didn't do anything, and they didn't change you. God when it pleased him to save you saved you.

Galatians 1 >>


New International Version 1984

 


15But when God, who set me apart from birtha and called me by his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,

 

>>So, my explanation is that God knew my life before being born, and I felt CHOSEN when I shed my old life and finally turned to Him.

 

God knows everything and everyone. He created everything that exists, except evil. You turn to him, because He chose you before the foundations of the world.

Richard,

I didn't respond earlier because I don't know what either of these words mean. However, I read your testimony and it was great.

 

My side is reading the Bible and asking for understanding of what it means. I want to study what you had to say in your original post and try to get back to you.

Blessings,

Rita

O. K., Rita,

 

I'm sorry, I should have explained myself more clearly.

 

Basically, there are Christians who believe John Calvin (born in the 1600's) who profess that God predestines persons who willl come to Him through Jesus Christ , and be saved for eternity. No choice involved.

 

The other camp (Arminism) believes that people have free choice, and whosoever will come to Christ and be saved.

 

That's telling it pretty simply, and there's more to the debate that's been going on for 100's of years, I think.

And I sincerely hope I don't offend anybody from either school of thought.

 

Thank you for your kind words, Rita.

 

Grace and Peace.

Rich

 

>>Basically, there are Christians who believe John Calvin (born in the 1600's) who profess that God predestines persons who willl come to Him through Jesus Christ , and be saved for eternity. No choice involved.

 

Calvin is not the originator of his teachings. He was a student of the bible and a student of the person who is consider the greatest theologian of all time, outside of the bible writers, of course; Augustine. Reformed theologians and Calvinist do believe that we choose Christ, but we only chose Christ once God has opened our heart, regenerated us.

 

 

>>The other camp (Arminism) believes that people have free choice, and whosoever will come to Christ and be saved.

 

Jacob Arminius inclined to the teachings of the heretic Pelagius, who was refuted by Augustine.

 

I know you know my responses are in love, but for the benefit of all the other readers, I am reminding us here, that all my post do not seek to fight, but to open healthy and loving discussion.

 

Richard, 

Predestination is something that I don't normally speculate on, because.....we can predestine nothing. However, I know that God predestines us but that doesn't exclude our free will.  God predestined me to be a Christian because He saw me from the beginning. He say me choose Christ as a child and He saw me turn back to Christ as an adult. He knows my entire life and every mistake I've made and every sin I've committed. HE watched me grow up. He sees me at 66, making my own choices and still erring in many things I do. He knows my heart for God. He's had His hand on me each step of the way, even while I was sinning. I knew He was with me, even then, when I was walking away from Him.

In my life now, I know I sin, but God knows that I'm trying not to sin...I'm trying to do things His way...but my free will (carnal self) still gets in the way.

I'm not sure how I feel about the death of a physical body. I know God doesn't give us disease or cause accidents. We do that ourselves with the help of Satan and his minions. I believe in healing, the laying on of hands. I'm unsure how to pray for a person that is ill or injured, so basically I speak health and wellness to any who are ill. In both the old and new testaments in says "by His stripes you were healed". I don't think this is just spiritual, but physical as well. If we say it is only spiritual, we are saying that His stripes are healing in His spiritual world but not in this physical world. I don't believe that.

The Bible explains all this to us but we don't want to believe some of the things that it says. We can't wrap our minds around God so we think there must be an error written there, or we are misunderstanding.

Hope thsi is something of what you wanted.

Blessings,

Rita

Rita,

 

>>God predestined me to be a Christian because He saw me from the beginning. He say me choose Christ as a child and He saw me turn back to Christ as an adult.

 

Show me one verse that backs up your belief. God predestine those He chose unto salvation apart from anything that they would do according to the bible and strictly according to his will and good pleasure, not due to his foreknowledge of our actions.

 

Jeremiah 1:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ”

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

 

Scripture never teaches anywhere that God chose us do to his knowledge of our future actions.

 

Romans 9

11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad —in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”[d] 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”[e]

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 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.”

16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

Ephesians 1:

he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

 

>>In my life now, I know I sin, but God knows that I'm trying not to sin...I'm trying to do things His way...but my free will (carnal self) still gets in the way.

 

What is free will Rita. Is your free will stronger than God? Is your free will - Free? Was your free will free to choose God when you were lost in trespasses and sins? Was not your will only to do evil? Even those "good things" we did, when we were in enmity with Christ were sin, for all things done not of faith are sin, all the motives of the lost heart are evil when compare to the perfect law of God and his holiness. As a born again believer, as a regenerated child of God, now you have been set free from sin and are now you can do what pleases God. Your will is no longer in bondage as long as you abide in Christ. Your will as everything in this universe belongs to God and it cannot do anything apart from what God permits it to do.

Thank God. When I think about these things I almost become lifeless. My whole body goes limp thinking even for a moment it was up to me. I know not everyone believes this and it just may be that for some, it is okay. For me, I need to know it was God that saved me by His grace. At age 27, I was very close to a nervous breakdown. I was weeping uncontrollably. Then, the truth of Scripture broke through. I, for the first time in my life, realized that God really did love me. I have not been the same since.

Greetings Brother Raul and Sister Rita,

 

I really appreciate your comments in response to my posts.And want to carry on a dialogue on this.

 

But.........right now, I'm beat. We're leaving in the morning on an eight-day out-of-state trip visiting family and friends.

I'll holler when we get back and we can get on with it.

Looking forward to our discussion.

 

Grace and Peace.

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