Conversation worth noting

No matter how I look at it, it looks the same, Christ died for all men.

I have been having a conversation that I think is worth noting.  It is from my irishanglican who is a friendly antagonist of mine.  We were discussing Calvinism point of view that only a select are chosen to be saved.  I will give his address to me first then my reply.  I would like to know if you think there is more evidence for my friends position or for mine and why?

This is from the blog New Creation Person

From irishanglican,

  • Dave,

God has as He said: “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” (Rom. 11: 32) So God does see all men as “sinful” both Jew and Gentile, but His mercy is only shown to “all” those whom He alone has chosen for Himself (note Acts 13: 48). Only those “appointed to eternal life believed.” This is what we call in theology as Sub/Post or Infralapsarian, God chooses to save an “election of grace”, after the Fall of man. For not “all” men are going to be saved! And only those are “saved” that are chosen and “elect” by God, from both Jews and Gentiles…”there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.” (Rom. 11:5, note verse 6 also in this context & argument!)

This was my response,

  • Irishanglican,

Thank you for the reply and not a quote. It means a lot to me.

I whole heartedly agree with you that we are bound to disobedience, sinful nature if you will, so we can be shown God’s mercy. Again scripture shows us the desire of God’s heart towards us in that we can participate in His incomparable riches of His grace for His good pleasure alone.

(Eph 2:6-7 NIV) And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

So I say, amen brother.

I agree again, whole heartedly that not all men will be saved. In fact many on the narrow path will not be saved. Those who remain on the wide path are doomed already, but many on the narrow path are doomed to0. It is not good enough to be on the path, we have to enter the narrow door.

(Luke 13:24 NIV) “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

It is the blanket of grace that we don’t see eye to eye on. Is it a blanket that covers all mankind or is it only a few that it covers? Another way to ask it, is the blanket determined only by those who cover themselves or is it what it is, no matter who does or doesn’t cover themselves with His grace?

Your first verse quoted says that God has handed us all over to disobedience so that He may show mercy. This we agree on. But is it to all or only those who, through free will or not, receive it. Your Bible and mine says that He may show mercy to all.

God has done as He said: “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” (Rom. 11: 32)

We know that all are bound to sin no matter who we are and were and when we lived. I think we agree this is universal to all mankind. So how are we to assume that God wanting to show mercy to the same “all” in the same sentence is anything but a universal concept?

I know you know or know somebody that knows Greek. Is the word “all” as in disobedience the same Greek word for ‘all” as in God showing us mercy? Or is the better translation from the Greek to be the word elect, chosen, remnant?

This is why I advocate what is in plain language. All means “all” which does not contradict God reconciling the world (all) to Himself.

(Col 1:19-20 NIV) For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

The scripture you used is consistent with another verse that speaks of the universality of sin through one man Adam. It also speaks of the justification to “all men” through the new Adam who is Christ. Two universalities in one concept and one sentence. Or is something hidden in the Greek?

(Rom 5:18 NIV) Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

We have the confirmation that God justifies all men and brings life to all men again when scripture says, in plain language, that God through Christ reconciled the world to Himself, not counting men’s sins against them.

(2 Cor 5:19 NIV) that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

This is why I believe Christ is the savior of the world, that He died for the sins of the world, that He took upon Himself the sins of the entire world.

To me the question isn’t the blanket of His grace for plain language says it is for all men. What needs to be understood is God’s election.

What do you think, is there an example we have in scripture of God’s election?

(Rom 9:4-5 NIV) the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

As an honest question to you, what example do they serve to us in election, since we are grafted into them and not they into us?

Thanks for the great conversation.

glasseyedave

So what do you think?  Did Jesus die for the sins of all men or only a few?  No matter how I look at it I see that He died for all mankind.

Disarming Calvinism (part six)

Calvinism teaches that there are those people that God has not sent His Son to die for.  Their doctrine actually teaches that God has chosen men to die in there sins because God did not send His Son for them and they call this election and predestination.  Why do they do this?  Because nothing that God does would be less than 100% realized.  So if Christ died for all mankind, and not all receive Him then His efforts are not 100% realized.

In “Disarming Calvinism (part six)” I will demonstrate that God has not chosen some men for glory and some men hell.  I will disarm the Calvinistic idea that suppresses the compassion of God who does not wish for any man to die his sins.  Calvinism is wrong when it teaches that only some men are elected for salvation and others are not.

This is the end of my six part series on Disarming Calvinism.  To understand the biblical basis for my summation please read the entire post in order to follow the scriptural evidence I lay before you.

Some how Calvinist think they show the greatness of God by teaching that God in His great mercy has elected to only save some of mankind, knowing that none of mankind is worthy to be saved.  Therefore He displays His great benevolence in predestining some of us to be saved.

Calvinist also think they show the greatness of God by teaching that nothing that God puts an effort to is done in vain.  That it follows that Christ would not die for someone who would never come to a saving knowledge of Him.  That He is so mighty and we being without free will can not resist Him or His will for us.  Those who do not come to accept Him as savior were never predestined to receive God’s grace.  These people who die in their sins never had Jesus die for their sins, have their sins forgiven nor imputed righteousness.  And this is how Calvinist think they show the greatness of His benevolence, His mercy and His love.

Well I glasseyedave, the upstart that I am, believe that there is a better way to show these attributes of God’s character and this from a truly Biblical perspective.  That is to say in the perspective of The Gospel According to the Gospel.

God shows us plainly in scripture that He from the time of Abraham had selected one man and his descendants to show Himself to and to be their God and they to be His people.  To consummate this unique relationship with His creation, God imputed to Abraham and his descendants His righteousness with the sign of this covenant and righteousness being circumcision.  So the entire nation of Israel was elected, predestined and imputed righteousness to be a light unto the gentiles and a vessel that God would reveal Himself to the world.

Now in these last days, God has chosen His Son to be the vessel of His wrath to take away the sins of the world.  Through Christ we gentiles get to participate in the blessings given to Abraham.  We through our savior get to participate in the righteousness imputed to Abraham and his descendants as we become the spiritual children of Abraham.

But just as the biological children of Abraham did not receive by faith their imputed righteousness and sought it through obedience to the Law, they rejected the righteousness of God.  They further rejected His righteousness when they sought out other gods.  But what we see is God giving unmerited favor to a whole nation of His people with only a remnant to be saved.  Now this goes completely against the Calvinist idea of free will, election and predestination.  For the people of election after being imputed righteousness had a choice to live for God or reject Him.  Moses gave them a choice of blessings or cursings.  God predestined the nation of Israel to receive the covenant of imputed righteousness which many if not most rejected.  So we learn from scripture that predestination is not a shoe in.  Nor is election and having your sins wiped away by covenant as if they never were.

Now fast forward to the New Testament were Calvinism teaches contrary to the example of the people of Israel that we have not bettered, but have been grafted into though Christ.  They to the contrary of what is taught us in the New Testament believe that only those who will make it to heaven are imputed righteousness, have been predestined and called by God’s election.  But we have nothing on what God gave his servant Abraham or His descendants.  So how can we teach that our relationship with God is different than theirs?  Remember we are the ones grafted into the root not the root to us. 

Just as God chose Abraham and his descendants to impute His grace as a light and testimony to the world, now He has chosen all mankind and imputed to us all unmerited favor.  For who else could it be said of, they have become the savior of the world?  Who else has taken away the sins of the world? 

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world![1]

Jesus Himself says that He is the one who gives His life for the sins of the world, not for only that portion that fits the doctrine of Calvin.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”[2]

Speaking of Israel, Paul says their rejection of God is not reconciliation for only those who fit the Calvinistic view of election, but the reconciliation of the world.

For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?[3]

Let us be happy to quote:

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:[4]

But let us quote also the rest of what was taught by Paul.  That we as believers have been reconciled but not unlike the rest of the world, but like the rest of the world.  Only we get the ministry of reconciliation that gets to preach this good news of reconciliation.  For God has reconciled the world to Himself.  Why else does Christ need to die once for the sin of all mankind?  Because the sins of the world have been paid for and mankind is reconciled to Himself.

that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.[5]

Christ paid for all of our sins and we have all been imputed grace.  All of us believer and those who will not receive or live by the grace of God have been imputed this righteousness.  The question is who will live by faith and obedience. 

So we actually find that God demonstrates His character better by dying for all mankind.  Predestining all of mankind, through Christ, to be reconciled to God through imputed righteousness.  His calling is for every man, woman and child.  For He is not willing that any should be lost.

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.  In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.[6]

It is not that God dies only for those who receive Him, His love is so great for us that He dies for us even when we hate him so much as to despise what He has done.  His love for us is so great that He has predestined the whole world to be reconciled to Himself and now He is calling us, He is calling you.


[1] John 1:29

[2] John 6:51

[3] Romans 11:5

[4] 2 Corinthians 5:18

[5] 2 Corinthians 5:19

[6] Matthew 18:12-14

Hell is for children

God has predestines some men to be objects of His grace and others as objects of His wrath.  This disturbs people both in the church and outside of the church.  But who are we to tell God what He can and cannot do?

What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath–prepared for destruction?  What 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–[1]

Face it, there is nothing you can do if you are predestined to be the objects of God’s wrath.  Nor is there anything that can be done if you are objects of His grace.

It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.[2]

It doesn’t matter what objections people throw out about this reality, it is our reality.  How dare you complain or talk back to God about His wisdom and His choices in this matter. 

But 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?'”[3]

If you are one of the ones not predestined to grace, I hate to break it to you, you are going to hell.  Don’t sweat it though, nobody can resist His will.

One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?”[4]

God has made His children in His likeness and He has predestined most of us, His children, for hell.  Sorry, many called, few chosen!  Can’t help it that you may not be predestined for His grace.  See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya!

For those of you who are not predestined for grace, God has made a place for you to go.  So be on your way.  Now the rest of us can worship.

♫Jesus loves those predestined for grace this I know ♪ for the Bible tells me so.  ♫  Don’t you just love singing songs interpreted by church doctrine?

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.[5]

Not Him again.  He never agrees with church doctrine!  If I go with what He says then everybody gets mad at me for not following church doctrine, church fathers and church counsels.

Just when I agreed with church doctrine, I will go back out on a limb for what Christ says.  Hell was not made for the creation made in His image.  It wasn’t for His children but for the devil and his angles.

The very idea that God has predestined most of humanity for hell and only a few for His grace is not scriptural.  If God predestined men to hell, he couldn’t have made hell for the devil and his angels.  He would have had to make it for those He predestined to be objects of His wrath too.  Which would be most of humanity.

Why does the church imply those who are objects of God’s wrath are those predestined by God for hell?  Scripture doesn’t teach this.  God has prepared destruction for those under his wrath.  We are all under His wrath without repentance and the work of Christ in our lives.  Destruction is prepared for all of us that were under His wrath, until we became Disciples of Christ.  If destruction wasn’t prepared for us too, if we were predestined for grace only, then what were we saved from?  How can we escape hell, if we were never endanger of hell, because God predestined us to grace.  Scripture doesn’t say, “bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—predestined for destruction,” does it?  No it doesn’t, but I am wrong for not believing it reads this way.

What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath–prepared for destruction?[6]

Why is it that Paul taught there are those whose destruction is prepared for them?  He taught the wrath of God is coming to men who suppress the truth, even though God has revealed Himself to all men.  God has made plain to every man through creation His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature so that all men are without excuse.  The destruction prepared for those who suppress the truth will surely come, but not because God predestined them to destruction, but because they are guilty all on their own.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.[7]

Well what about Pharaoh, some would ask.

For 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.”[8]

Pharaoh is no different than those who suppress the truth which is revealed to them by God through creation.  Even in Paul’s doctrine Pharaoh is without excuse.  So as Paul taught, all men who have rejected the truth of what God has revealed to them of His nature, are objects of His wrath, just as we were at one time objects of His wrath.

What is so hard to accept in Paul’s doctrine that everyman is without excuse who remains under God’s wrath?  So now rejecting the truth, God has hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that Pharaoh will not relent after the first couple of plagues.  But will endure until God’s power is displayed to the fullest extent of His will.  Just as Paul taught God would give over men to a depraved mind (hardened heart) so he gave Pharaoh over to this depraved mind as well. 

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.[9]

Not because He was predestined to hell, but because he has destruction prepared for him though his own rejection of the truth.  Pharaoh too is without excuse.

So is God unjust in hardening the heart of Pharaoh that was already guilty of exchanging the truth for a lie?  No not at all.

What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all![10]

Is Pharaoh the recipient of a predestination of destruction?  Not at all.  He is without excuse for it was his own foolish heart that he darkened by rejecting God.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.[11]

Let us no longer believe that God has predestined any man to hell.  He has predestined everyman to grace, but we are the fools who darken our own hearts, because we exchange the truth for a lie.  Yes there is election and yes there is calling, for many are called but few are chosen.  Those few who understand it is by grace and not works that God’s purpose in our election stands.

Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad–in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls–she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”[12]


[1] Romans 9:22-23

[2] Romans 9:16

[3] Romans 9:20

[4] Romans 9:19

[5] Matthew 25:41

[6] Romans 9:22

[7] Romans 1:18-23

[8] Romans 9:17

[9] Romans 1:28

[10] Romans 9:14

[11] Romans 1:21

[12] Romans 9:11-12

What! The Pope was right after all?

I have been having a conversation with a fellow believer on line about our salvation.  Of course I contend we have a hope of salvation and are still to be recipients of it when Christ returns.  He advocates that once a person believes, they become saved.  Meaning saved, being saved and being saved from the wrath of God.  He explains there is nothing to be done under heaven that can make that person unsaved, such as all good Calvinist would say.  This of course is no surprise.

What shocked and confounded me was the capitulation of a reformist to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.  I was told that if I wanted to know the true meaning of the words that were in question, that I had to study the ancient languages.  I was encouraged to study the works of theologians who had a firm grasp of the languages and doctrines of scripture.

So here it goes:

Cry out loud oh Tyndale from your gave!  Convulse with much sorrow oh Wycliffe from your resting spot!  Stir in anguish of soul oh Luther from the place of which you were laid!  For your dreams are dead,  Behold the reformer of today instruct the common man of his error at taking scripture at face value.  The reformer had taken thy dream, of the Bible in the common languages of man, so a man may know and study God’s word for himself, and has now declared we can not know what was meant unless we study the ancient languages. 

Just as the Catholic Church declared to those reformists, no man can understand God’s word outside of the original languages and without the instruction of learned scholars to explain doctrine.  So the reformist of today now study the ancient languages and give insight to what apparently is not on the page in front of our faces, saying if one wants to really know what God’s word says, he must not rely on what is written in his Bible.  He must study the doctrine of other men that know ancient languages. 

We the reformist have changed one Pope for a new Pope.  We have changed one master for another.  Once again the common man is told he can not possible be correct in his doctrine, unless it is agrees with those learned men of theology who can explain a better way not found in the plain text.

Tyndale, you have failed.  Wycliffe you have failed.  Luther you have failed.  Because the admission of the reformist is, the real meaning is lost in our most accurate modern translations. 

You have heard it said:

(1 John 2:27 NIV)  As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.

But we say:

Truly no man can know God unless another man teaches him.