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All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

There is way too much useless confusion about these two schools of theology that have more in common than not.

These discussions will be done in an effort to clear up some misunderstanding so we can equip ourselves correctly.

I will give the basics and go a little deep into each system. Roger Olson has written a wonderful book detailing common misconceptions Calvinist hold about Arminians and there are many books also showing how Arminians misunderstand Reformed Theology.

Feel free to jump in.

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I am not teaching here, nor am I looking for a fight, I just dislike to see Calvinist and Arminians duke it out when they have not even spen the time to analyze the doctrines they oppose in detail, at times not even superficialy. My only goal here is to inform the body of Christ that both schools have pleanty of scripture to back up their beliefs and only the true seeker of the truth has enough wisdom from above to discerned between the two what parts are right and which ones are not.

I have been a member of the Pentecostal church for 16 years but I LOVE MY FAMILY IN CHRIST AND I KNOW CHRIST IS COMING BACK FOR HIS CHURCH NOT DENOMINATIONS OR THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT.

I embrace both schools and take the good and leave the bad aside. I have no problem making such statements, since my loyalty is to my Lord and His word primarely. I LOVE YOU FAMILY and hope this discussions edify you.
THIS IS A CORRECT REPRESENTATION OF WHAT THE REFORMERS/CALVINIST BELIEVE.
I WILL DO THE ARMINIAN NEXT.

Romans 8:29-30 and Roms 9. These two chapters contains the Apostle Paul’s treatment in the doctrine of predestination/election. One of the most difficult and controversial doctrines in the History of the church.

This doctrine of course intermingles with God’s Sovereignty and men’s Free will. I PRAY GOD HELPS US NOT TO BE INSULTING BUT MAY WE EXERCISE CHARITY, THESE ARE SOME OF THE MOST DIFFICULT DOCTRINES I HAVE ENCOUNTER IN SCRIPTURE TO UNDERSTAND AND I AM IN THE COMPANY OF MOST IN SAYING THAT I MAY NEVER UNDERSTAND them FULLY WHILE ON THIS BOBY AND THAT IS OK, BUT I AM SURELY GOING TO GIVE IT MY BEST EFFORT BY THE SPIRIT’S HELP.

As an apologist I am called to learned the other views of a certain doctrine better than those teaching it, at least that is my personal goal and conviction, but I do understand that many find that a futile exercise. The difference between my approach and I believe most apologist is that I remain open during my research to learn. If something I am studying aligns better with the bible as a whole, I incorporated into my bank of info. Not saying in my previous statement that is what all of us should do, simply saying: is how I study, unless I know something to be in error 100%. God calls us to different purposes within the same body.

In Romans 8:29-30 we have what is known as the Ordo Salutis (the order of salvation.) Not a complete order, but some of it. This is also known as the golden chain. It seeks to answer the question, “In what ways are the various aspects of salvation ordered. ”In Romans 8:28 we have one of the most famous verses in scripture and in order to keep this in context we need to ask how is God able to make all things work together for good? Well in order for God to work all things together for good He must be in control of all things (Sovereignty). Also Paul is making that claim in Rom. 8:28 because he is trying to comfort the Christians that suffer the war of the flesh and the Spirit, as well as all sorts of trials and even persecution. He is comforting them by teaching them that they need not loose their head because God is in control of all things. That is comforting. Satan and God are not doing anything outside Gods perfect or permissive will. This is the context in which this doctrine is brought up in. God’s sovereignty must extend over all things in order for Him to be able to work all things for good according to His purposes.
The doctrine of predestination is clearly contained in the bible and all honest theologians must adhere to it. Both Arminian and Calvinist theology agree that Predestination is biblical, how it is taught differs. What is the correct doctrine of predestination, Gods sovereignty and man’s free will?
The Evangelical churches today believe in the most popular and widely accepted view of predestination, that is the Prescient view, which holds that predestination is totally dependant on Gods foreknowledge of our actions and decisions. This doctrine is widely accepted because it makes sense, it give us a just God. There is nothing unjust about God saving us according to His foreknowledge of our actions and decisions, it makes perfect sense and both man and God have an active part in the order of Salvation. So many of the difficulties that come up in the other different ways of interpreting these passages disappeared. Semi-Pelagius (a title which not all Arminians feel comfortable with) teach that Gods grace can be resisted by fallen men.
Arminians say that nothing can be more obvious than, that the ground for predestination is foreknowledge as seen here in the Ordo Salutis. This is the view I have held for 15 years, but is now, as I am culminating my studies in the different views held by the Reformed theologians, being challenge in ways that I am not apt to repudiate fully and are truly giving me a lot to considered.
Many are called, but few are chosen. Here is what reformed theology teaches according to what I know, hear and read them saying:
God can not predestine people He does not know, so the fact that the golden chain starts with foreknowledge does not prove anything either way.

Romans 8:29-30 (New International Version)
29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
The structure of the literature here comes in the form of what is known as elliptical literature, which means that there are words that are not contain in the ellipsis, but the literary structure demands they be supplied. Was Paul saying ALL who are Called or SOME who are called?

What Paul is saying is that those who are foreknown regardless of how they are being foreknowledge are also predestined, and all of those who are in the category of being predestine are also called, and all of those who are in the category of being called are also justified, and all of those who are in the category of being justified are also Glorified. Some who are justified do not fail to be glorified but everyone who is justified will have the consummation of their called in glorification. The Element at this point that needs our attention here is the element of Calling. What kind of calling is in view here? There are two types of callings that I can see in the bible. The out ward called of the Gospel, which we do when we preach, but that outward called is rejected most of the time, so what calling is in view here? Many are called but few are chosen Jesus says, so it is obvious that the outward called can and is resisted in many occasions. But if Paul is saying all who are called are justified then he could not be talking about the outward called, can he? So he must be talking about the other called I see in scripture. What is called the initial effectual called of God or it is also called at times the irresistible called of God, which is a term I dislike because even that calling can be resisted by man and God overcomes our resistance to his grace, I rather use the classical term, the effectual called. Is the called that brings about the Effect that God sovereignty desires and decrees. Going back to creation we see that God does not give an out ward calling to creation and then waits to see if creation listens (of course, natural creation does not have free will as we do), but rather He gives the command an imperative is spoken and effectually and irresistibly the light begins to shine. When Lazarus was resurrected he is brought back to life by the called of Jesus, he had no choice but to come back to his dead body which Jesus made a life in a command, which can not be denied. So in the golden chain which call is in view is the first question that rises. Since all who are called are justified and at the end Glorified it must referred to the inward called, which is linked at one side by justification and on the other side by predestination.
If it If Paul doesn’t mean all and we go back and say some who are called are justified and some who are justified are Glorified, we have huge problems. How can God called some and justify them and not finish what He started. Some who are called are justified and some will be glorified. It just doesn’t sound like the biblical God.

Romans 9:10-13 (New International Version)
10Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger."[a] 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."[b]

14What 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."[c] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."[d]

Why would Paul state the above statement if in fact God’s basis for election/calling would be grounded on His foreknowledge of our future actions or decisions? The Apostle would be confussing God’s people at this point, but as scripture teaches everywhere else, it is not by works but by Grace. God’s choice of Jacob over Esau had nothing to do with God’s foreknowledge of their performance, which is underscore when the Apostle says “. 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
It's so obvious that the spirit of truth is one. I had not attended any theology school but I study the Bible every day to make sure I'm able to defend God's word when the need arises. It is of no doubt a clear thing that Mr. David and I belong to the same category, even though the Body is one but we Christians did not see what happened during the time of the apostles as example. When Paul addressed Corinthians telling them the gospel is one: no one should say he is of this, or of that but we are all of Christ. I find it difficult to attend theology class because I fear I might get influenced with wrong doctrines. I came from a country where the gospel is used to make money instead of spreading the truth, so I have never considered going to a theology class as I believe the word of Jesus and it's working for me (Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come...KJV) I strongly believe in this, even though I visit many websites to learn more about written words of other believers, I always allow the spirit to judge the words I receive and accept. But my visiting this site has given me a clear idea of why theology is important, but nevertheless, I thank God for someone like David who takes his time to discuss topics like this not from a personal point of view (from all empirical and biblical observations) but according to the words of the Bible.


Now to draw back to the topic about the believe of predestination, I will like to add to what David had taught. Christ told his disciples that those that comes to him are drawn to him by God (John 6:44) and supporting it with the below verses, you will see that our salvation depends totally on God's decision and not our will to choose what we want.

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (Please take note of the words "chosen, ordained and "your fruit should remain")KJV

Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (also take note of chosen)KJV

Ac 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. (Here God was talking about Saul who later became Paul)

From all the above verses, you will notice that predestination is not a matter of our will but God's will. The scripture tell us that he had predestined us from the foundations of the world; we should not try to explain this with human wisdom. The statement tarries with the case of Jacob whom was chosen from the belly, that of King David, and even John de Baptist.

The case of Prophet Samuel is another example. Many people will say it was because Samuel's mother vowed to God that she would dedicate her son to God forever that made Samuel a Prophet and also he could have decided not to be a true servant of God. God predestined Samuel from the beginning. The case of Jeremiah is also another example, he was suppose to continue his duty as a priest but he could not help but to speak what he was told to speak by God. The case of Jonah is not an exception, everyone agrees that Jonah rejected God's order but God did not give up on him because it was his destiny to proclaim the word of God to the people of Nineveh. If you ask me, I'll say Jonah was forced to accept to deliver the message to the people of Nineveh because he totally rejected the instruction and was heading his own way when suddenly God arrested him in the belly of a mighty wale (It’s like going through torture in police custody to confess against your will). Everyone will agree with me that it wasn't Jonah's will to preach to the people of Nineveh.

I have done a lot of research on people that choose God and found out that they easily backslide. Many were allured by the wonderful teachings of some pastors and so they fall in love with the pastor's teaching instead of God. David's statement about inner call is absolutely right. My case is a clear example. I did not choose God, He choose me. I did not know why but now I know. As I speak, I am currently in my place of assignment (Asia). No pastor sent me here, the Spirit himself sent me and he positioned me in the exact place I'm to start from according to His will. God took me through series of trials and tests which he confirmed with Psalm 66. He gave me the verse to explain why I had to go through all those trials and sufferings. It was training for my assignment. There was a time in my life when I almost killed myself, but that was when he reminded me of how he called me when I was 12.

Thinking of all the disappointments I had seen in life and how my mates had left me, I was about to commit suicide when he sent a preacher to me. (I still believe that person was an Angel) because this preacher did not preach any message in this public bus I entered, he simply went straight to the point "there is someone here who wants to kill himself because of what he had gone thought and because he thinks there is no need to continue living life, you may have visited many witch doctors and many places for solutions but I tell you that your solution is and only is in Jesus". After he made this statement, he immediately came down from the bus and went his way. Then the main conversion started inside of me. Who else could this young man be talking to? I asked myself, could there be someone else in this vehicle who is thinking of what I'm thinking of doing (Suicide)? Then I made up my mind to follow Christ. Even though I did make up my mind, I was still heavily in sin. In this state I was, I found out that I receive revelations about things that were to come. I see things before they happen in my environment. This took my memory back to when i was between 10 and 12 years, at this time I see dead ghosts in my father's house walking at night when people are already asleep. I was just a child who did not know what the gift of the eyes was but was only concerned about the harm these dead people will do to me. But in all my thoughts, they always mind their businesses. It was as if they don't see me but I see them. A time came when I went to the priest of the Church I attended (St. Paul Catholic Church) at that time and he blessed some water for me and they became holy water. When it was night, I sprinkle some of it around my room and use some of it to wash my face so that I don't see them again. But when the hour comes, I still see them walk here and there in my father's house. Because of this, I lived my entire teenage life with the fear of these dead people. Whenever there is a funeral close to my house, I get scared because I think I would see their ghosts but it was not so. I only saw them in my father's house. When I remembered all the experiences I have had which of course are bad ones, I had no other reason within me to further resist God. Because I used to tell him that He should allow my will be done in my life instead of his will. When I thought of all these things and how broken hearted I was, I submitted to him in all truth and prayed for His will to be done in my life. Since then, my life went through a total revolution. It was as if I started from when I was 12 years old, because that was where I missed the line of His plan.
This is just a little tip of my story, whenever I think of the assignment He had given me, I sometimes wonder how I can handle the task because there are many people out there who are highly spiritually filled that could have been better for the task but I don't have the power to question what He had said from the beginning, I'm simply following my destiny.

Another testimony is the case of a muslim friend. When I was still in my home country (Nigeria) I used to see the muslim boy in virtually all the revelations I receive. He was always with me everywhere I went in my ministration. When I got here, there comes a muslim guy whom I have looked deep into his heart and concluded he would be a good shepherd. He keeps drawing close to me; I showed the people in my environment a good example of a Christian, not the hypocrite one. He saw all the characters of a Christian in me. I did not preach to him in any way, but I was kind to all of them (Please note that I'm not trying to elevate myself, I simply want to share a testimony of the Spirit). This boy came to me one day in class and told me he had a Bible. I was shocked and I asked him what are you doing with it? He said he was studying it. He told me to explain some things to him and I did, and shared with him some of my experiences and how I arrived in Malaysia. Having taught him that day, he told me everything was contradicting. I replied him and said “it's because the Spirit which is the root of the word is not in him. You only read with your head, which is why you can never find the truth in the holy Book”. Then he asked me what I thought about the muslim religion and I told him I don’t have anything against any religion but according to my believe Christ is the only way. He explained the Koran to me and as he was speaking, I saw many bugs and many things that were against man’s concept of serving God i.e. a muslim must not convert to any other religion. I had my questions but I saw him as someone whom the Lord had chosen for himself. Then he asked me if I had seen anything about him, I replied, no. He said I should pray about him and let him know what the Lord says, I replied I will but I cannot tell when the Lord will speak because He speaks when He wills. So I came home and behold I entered a very strong prayer for his sake. I told God I would not preach to the boy to become a Christian, I can only explain Christianity to him; if he wills then he will choose himself. Then I prayed that He should show the boy who he is because I knew he did not come to me by mistake. Some two weeks later, the boy asked me in class if I had seen anything about him, I replied, no. And he told me he had a dream about him and me. Then I said can I hear it? He replied, why not? He told me the dream and it went this way…. I was driving in a vehicle on a straight road and you sat close to me and we got to a place where two Malaysian men (like policemen) were seated at our back. They were giving me advice on how to live and not get into trouble. “They said I should clap my hands twice whenever I notice any danger of getting into trouble”. He said that was all he could remember. I told him I understood the meaning of the dream but I was not going to tell him now. I told him to continue reading the Koran and follow the laws at it is, and that he’ll get more dreams about the two of us. I promised to give him the explanation of the dreams when the time comes. When he told me this dream, I knew God has started working on his salvation but the picture has to be clearer to him before I can hit the nail on the head. He is very important in my ministry here in Malaysia and so he needs the conversion of the spirit himself (i.e. the way I was converted) so that no wind can blow him off. When his heart is fully broken, I’ll give him the explanation of his dreams and give him the option of confession of Christ which he cannot reject because the conversion had been done in his heart.
I do not believe in the many that are called but the few that are chosen which is why I spend time to convert this muslim guy because his salvation is an access card to many other muslims in Malaysia: the guy is a shepherd product.

If you look at the case of this guy, he is a chosen one just as we all are which is why he keeps finding himself drawing closer to me. I have never thought of anyone to be pure and humble the way this young man is. All he needs to be saved is confession of the Lordship of Jesus. His moral life had been taken care of by God himself.

I shall share the final testimony when God has fully converted him and i will from time to time introduce muslim converts to this network.

When I look deep into my heart, I sometime think of why I cannot do certain things but others can. But the answer is obvious, I was not meant to do them because for my kind of person/destiny, those things are not included.
This is what I believe… God has predestined me from the beginning and my will cannot change that because I was someone that fought for my will but I did not get the chance to do them because they did not work out.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)....This is a clear example.
Thank God for choosing us, I pray that He chooses others that we all may enjoy his unending love.
Please pray for the muslims, God is interested in them also.

God bless you all in Jesus Name...AMEN
Thank you so much Louis for taking the time to share. You should make it a blog so others can give praise to God about His work in your life. We have lots of things in common, but mainly a Love for God' and His truth, which sets us free.

Amen, God is interested in the Muslins. May He blessed His ministry throught you.
What a wonderful testimony of God's grace.
Amen...
The plain sense of scripture here teaches that Gods election of Jacob over Esau is totally outside their actions and decision, there is no possible way around it as it’s seen here from these verses and I am not sure I can do justice to the truth by saying that these passages are not about the election of individuals, but of Nations, which even if true, Nations are made up of individuals, so it comes back to individuals. One individual was elect and the other was not.
As an apologist I learned the doctrines of those teaching error so I can tell them why their understanding is not aligned with scripture. I do my best to anticipate the questions they may raised as well through our debate, so before they even get a chance to come at me with their questions I already asked and answered them. I even include harder questions to questioned the validity of my own argument, than the ones they were familiar with and of course answered them. So I take a way their ammunition since I have study there error better than them and I know my own stands. Teachers called to defend the faith often do this, Paul is doing it here and 1 Cor. 15 “the resurrection chapter” is a master piece of that approach. Here he is anticipating the huge question that the doctrine of Gods election raises!!!

14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! (may it never be).

This question is not raised if predestination is based on foreknowledge; there is nothing unjust about that, it makes sense. Paul however expects his readers and listeners (as experience has taught him when teaching this doctrine) that the number one argument raised with God’s election of His creature is: THAT IS UNJUST! Paul just told us that God soveringly chose Jacob over Esau and then stops and asks: what do you think about that? Is it unjust? And he comes back as strongest possible and states NOT AT ALL! MAY IT NEVER BE! The one objection that the view that Gods’ election is based on foreknowledge does not have to deal with, is the question of Gods’ Justice, so why would Paul raised the question? It seems to me as I read chapter 8 and 9 that Paul is teaching the sovereign unconditional election, about which the response is always, that is not fair. God answers by saying “I will have mercy on who I Will have mercy and I will have compassion on who I will have compassion.

So why would God choose you and not another- does that mean that God chooses to justify and glorify those He calls and others He chooses or creates and predestines them for hell? Some call that stand Hyper-Calvinism, which in my opinion is an insult to Calvin, because is actually anti-Calvenism. He never believed that or thought that. No one can quote him saying that, I may be wrong but I have not found any of his writings proclaiming that. Just as things are attributed to Arminius and are lies, that is the case with Calvin as well. There is nothing unjust by God choosing some for his grace and not others. God is not choosing anyone for hell; he is not making anyone evil. He is simply giving some Grace and others Justice. In other words since all of humanity is guilty of sin and not one of us do good, we were all heading to hell. God steps in the picture and gives those He calls grace and saves them despite themselves. And the ones that are not chosen get justice; the payment of sin is death. Now is God unjust by doing that? May it never be, is it equality, no! is certainly is not equal and hence the problem, but is not unjust. He chooses those that get grace and the others do not get it. We have come to believe specially as Americans that we all deserve God’s Grace, that God should give everyone His mercy. Equal rights to every one or else the system or God is unjust. God’s answer to us is hard to swallow but He does not stop from expressing it. One person gets grace the other gets justice, is that unfair, NO!!! In the case of the elect, God soveignly intrudes into their hearts and creates faith, but on the rest of mankind he does not create evil in their hearts, He simply leaves them to themselves according to His holy purposes.
"I will have mercy on who I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."[c] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
The fact that God chooses through His calling does not involved God in an unjust transaction. God is perfect and good. It is His prerogative as the creator and a possessor of a perfect will and perfect knowledge what He does with His creation. Paul continues and states
19One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" (a deadly blow for those among us that believe that God can not overcome our will, who can resist is! Scripture teaches ) 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory.
Why does God choose us before we desire or do anything? 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand:
The credit of our entire redemption goes to God, God is showing his supremacy. God does not have to save anyone from His wrath, but He chooses to give some grace, this sounds unjust in the surface, but is not. It’s fair, the others get justice. No one receives injustice. God choice is made looking at us as a fallen human race. If God gave all of us justice, then we will all perish, but He chooses to give some Grace. We say that is not fair, no, what it is not , is equal. God is not obligated to give grace or mercy both are actions that we do not deserve and unmerited by us. If God allowed all of us to do our evil desires as lost and blind people and would all go to hell, is God unjust then/ No – we get what we deserve. Our so called Free will is only free to sin before the Spirit quickens it. When Nicodemus asked Jesus how a man is born again in John 3, Jesus states 5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You[c] must be born again.' 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." Jesus does not tell Nicodemus pray this way or is according to your will and decision but leaves us to ask, what in the world is He talking about - 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." What He is telling Nic is, look being born again is not up to you, but up to the Spirit that goes and comes as He pleases.
So election depends on human choice? Paul says here it doesn’t.
What does it mean that God hated Esau? Well remember when David says I hated my enemies with a perfect hatred, well there is a holy hatred, which means the absence of divine favor.
So how do we explained here that God harden Pharaoh’s heart, doesn’t that mean that God created evil in Pharos’s heart, no!, as we all know the Holy Spirit restrains the world from being as evil as it can be. When the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth after the church is rapture, it will be horrible. God can harden the heart by one of two ways. By going into the heart of man and creating evil or by simply removing the restraining power of the Holy Spirit, which is what I believe the bible means when it speaks of God hardening the heart. He as it’s stated in Romans give them up to their lustful ways; He is passing judgment over them and will allow them to be as evil as they desire to be according to His perfect and good purposes. God has the power to make any of us do what He wants, but God is not evil or the doer of such. All men are fallen, all men are wicked but some receive justice and others received grace.

So why would God asked us to evangelized, well just like in prayer, even though He knows what we need before we asked, He has established the means in which the called are chosen. He has decreed the means as from the beginning. Why are we called to run the race to the end and what does it mean to persevere in the faith, I see God preserving us more than anything. He who began a good work in us will finish it until the end. Philippians. 1 John says “those who went out from us were never of us”, Jesus said that “this people honor Him with their lips but their hearts are far from me.” He also says in Matthew “ Not everyone that says Lord, Lord…I never knew you, depart from me workers of iniquity.” Jesus prays that those that the father gave Him not one of them be lost and He is talking about all of us not just the Apostles. The enduring that we partake on is by Gods grace in our life. A Christian can dive into the sickest sins and yet remain a Christian, Am I saying go and sin, may it never be, just stating what I see in scripture, but please do not ignored the humongous consequences of sin in the believers life. We loose so much, a right relationship with God, his anointing to teach and preach; we loose joy and forfeit the peace that goes beyond human understanding among many other things. We see David committing murder and adultery. We see Peter committing the worst of sins - he denied the Lord, none of the sins we commit can be more serious as Peter’s publicly betraying the Lord, even after being warned. He committed treason.
Jesus had told Peter, Simon Satan would have you and swift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, so that WHEN YOU TURN (not if you turn from your sin, but when you turn) YOU STRENGHEN THE BROTHERS. True Christians can have radical falls, but never total falls. Christians can be so caught up in sin that they are excommunicated as we see in 1 Cor. 5. But that is done in hopes that the brother/sister repents and returns. Can we say that someone that publicly denies God/Jesus has lost His salvation, no because we do not know the heart. If we would have met Peter during his denial of the Lord, we would all call him a lost soul or say he lost his salvation or never had it. The Holy Spirit raises us from the dead to eternal life. He does not only initiate our salvation, but He seals us and we are given the earnest of the Spirit. We posses the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us as a down payment and we are sealed in the beloved for all time. Jesus is interceding/mediating for us daily. When Judas sin, Jesus said at the table go and do… when He spoke to Peter about his coming fall, He told Peter - I HAVE PRAYED FOR YOU.

You guys are the most important people in the world - you preach the gospel and you and I are after the truth. I do not want to be the blind leading the blind or the one mistaken in my message, so bear with me as I continue to seek understanding. John 6:44 NO ONE CAN COME TO ME UNLESS THE FATHER WHO SENT ME DRAWS HIM TO ME… All other religions in the world differ from Christianity because the foundation of all false religions claimed that man can do something to be saved, but true Christianity teaches is by grace alone. There is no part of men that is not affected by sin and not one seeks God or does good and there is nothing in us that can please God for entrance into heaven or to established relationship with God.

God has foreordained everything that has happened or will ever happen. If anything happens outside the ordination of God, than that means that Gods sovereignty is not total. All I mean by Gods decreed is that God is aware of it. God allows evil to happen, He is not applauding it or causing it but He is aware of it.

How do we refute these teachings that seem to make a lot of sense scripturally? i know this is long and some of you have insisted in making our post shorter, but i have done my best to summarize volumes of info. Be bless beloved.
Hello sister Deb,

Would you care to share with us your understanding of Free will sis? Let me see if i understand your question correctly. Are you familiar with Calvinism and agree with it or do you think the bible does not teach it?

I thank you for your comment and look forward to edifying one another in the Lorve of our Lord but just want to be certain i am understanding your questions correctly.

Be blessed
Arminianism-Free-Will or Human Ability

Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables sinners to repent and believe, but He does not interfere with man's freedom. Each person possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. Man's freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; (aided by the Holy Spirit) his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature. The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God's Spirit and be regenerated or resist God's grace and perish. The lost sinner needs the Spirit's assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man's act and precedes the new birth. Faith is the sinner's gift to God; it is man's contribution to salvation.

Calvinism-Total Inability or Total Depravity

Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not - indeed he cannot - choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ - it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation - it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.

David N. Steele and Curtis Thomas, are Baptist ministers in Little Rock, Arkansas. Their contrast of the Five Points of Calvinism with the Five Points of Arminianism is one of the clearest and most concise
Arminianism-Conditional Election

God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call. He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the gospel. Election therefore was determined by or conditioned upon what man would do. The faith which God foresaw and upon which He based His choice was not given to the sinner by God (it was not created by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit) but resulted solely from man's will. It was left entirely up to man as to who would believe and therefore as to who would be elected unto salvation. God chose those whom He knew would, of their own free will, choose Christ. Thus the sinner's choice of Christ, not God's choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

Calvinism- Unconditional Election

God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response of obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.
Arminianism-Universal Redemption or General Atonement
Christ's redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone. Although Christ died for all men and for every man, only those who believe on Him are saved. His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condition that they believe, but it did not actually put away anyone's sins. Christ's redemption becomes effective only if man chooses to accept it.

David N. Steele and Curtis Thomas, are Baptist ministers in Little Rock, Arkansas. Their contrast of the Five Points of Calvinism with the Five Points of Arminianism is one of the clearest and most concise

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