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The Value of Evangelism in Reformed Theology

TibiasDad

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no I wasn't disfellowshipped .my,sister ,I believe still attends the kingdom hall
That is interesting, even since you have become a believer in Christ the Watchtower hasn’t disfellowshiped you? That’s very interesting! Do you interact with your family or with anyone that was part of your Kingdom Hall?

Doug
 

jasonc

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That is interesting, even since you have become a believer in Christ the Watchtower hasn’t disfellowshiped you? That’s very interesting! Do you interact with your family or with anyone that was part of your Kingdom Hall?

Doug
only my sister and not often
 

wondering

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Good a foundation to work from. I know Hospes was trying to get one from you so he could use said foundation to develop his questions. He is very capable and entertaining to read. I hope he continues his questioning.
Aside: Hope your hubby is feeling better.

Hospes is a good guy. I've known him for a few years now. Sometimes he doesn't accept the reformed explanation of words/ideas/theology, so he confuses me at times.

Thanks for your prayers BTW. We sure can use them.

You should join in the conversation...it might clear up things a bit.
As you know, anyone can join in.
I did have one 2 part question regarding the above statement.
  1. How are those who never heard the gospel saved
  2. Concerning those who die in child birth, that are aborted or still born ... How do they "choose God or reject God". If they don't 'choose God or reject God", is their eternal state determined solely by God.


Here's my statement to which you're referring:
"Yes. Every person on earth has the ability to choose God or reject God. Or to choose God's salvation in Christ, as you put it."

And here are the answers to your 2 questions:

1. Those that have never heard the gospel are saved the same way men have been saved throughout time and before Jesus was ever
incarnated. It's the way Paul explains it in
Romans 1:20
20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.


God has made Himself known to man throughout time and even to this day.
Those that do not hear the gospel are still saved by the gospel....
1 John 2:2
2and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.


Jesus died for everyone that is depending on God for their salvation.
God can be understood by seeing what He has made...and thus each one of us can have no excuse,
just as Romans 1 states.

If a person knows about Jesus but rejects Him --- then there is no hope for them because they have rejected the very God Paul speaks of in Romans.

2. Babies that die will receive the mercy of God.
We are born with the sin nature, but have not yet sinned. We are only responsible for our own sins and not the sins of others, including our parents or even of Adam and Eve. Their fall was passed on to us but their sin was not IMPUTED to us. A person is not responsible for their own sins until the reach the age of accountability...a different age for each person.
Well, I will let Hospes continue. Maybe when he's done. I would have a lot of questions.



Not true. I could answer, but I will let Hospes continue. I am trying to watch from the sidelines.

Join in !
Fear is not an attribute of God from a reformed view point.

Agreed.
On the contrary... reformed doctrine believes God ordains ALL things.
Arminian Viewpoint
God sovereignly makes some of his decisions dependent upon the decisions of creatures. God takes the risk that his desires may be thwarted. Thus what God decided to create, he cannot guarantee that everything will go precisely the way he would like. God has sovereignly decided to make his election to salvation dependent upon human response to divine grace. (my insight: God has sovereignly decided in some circumstances to make man sovereign )

WCF on sovereignty:
God, from all eternity, did—by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will—freely and unchangeably ordain whatever comes to pass. Yet he ordered all things in such a way that he is not the author of sin, nor does he force his creatures to act against their wills; neither is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

God has pre-determined everything that happens. The future is as certain to Him as the past. All things happen according to the will of God. When did God give this blueprint for history? “From all eternity.” Before anything happened He decided everything that would happen. He wrote history before time. What guided His choices? “His own will.” But that will needs to be defined. His will is tied to His character. The ingredient of His will are His wisdom and His holiness. He made his determination freely, meaning, without any influence outside of His own character and will. This decree is unchangeable, meaning that it is not altered or tweaked by anything that happens in time.
There's too much above and I have to leave right now.
Just quick:
God's decision does not depend on anyone.
God does not take any risks --- what HE wants is what would happen.
Every chrisitian denomination believes God is sovereign. It cannot be otherwise.
What do you think sovereign means??

Man is not sovereign in general--
Kings are sovereign.

If the WCF is right about God determining everything and predestinating everything...
this would make God the creator of sin and would remove all responsibility from man.

If His will is tied to His character,,,then we have to define His character.
What would you say the main characteristics of His character are?

How about:
LOVE
MERCY
JUSTICE

Where is the LOVE if HE decides who goes to hell based on nothing a person could do or not do?
Where is the mercy if He offers His love to some but not to the whole world?
Where is the justice when persons do NOT receive what they deserve?

Plenty of scripture for the above, but have no time now.
 

Fastfredy0

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@Hospes is a good guy. I've known him for a few years now. Sometimes he doesn't accept the reformed explanation of words/ideas/theology, so he confuses me at times.
Hmm, I'd be curious to hear where he parts with reform theology. I myself only depart (as best I can recall) when it comes to covenant doctrine. I am on the fence. I also on the fence about the destiny of those who haven't reached age of accountability.

"Yes. Every person on earth has the ability to choose God or reject God. Or to choose God's salvation in Christ, as you put it."
Well, I believe they are all 'toast' (go to hell) ... but leaving that aside (https://www.gotquestions.org/never-heard.html ) .... I have a follow up question pertaining to the theme of this tread "What is the Value of Evangelism in Reformed Theology". I will turn the tables, my question to you is, "What is the value of Evangelism in Arminian Theology".

Before answering, consider the following:
1) We will assume you are correct, that those the have not heard the gospel and reach age of accountability can be saved.
My questions are:
  1. What do they do to be saved?
  2. How does the percentage of those that have never heard the gospel and are saved compare to the percentage of those who have heard the gospel and are saved?
  3. If the percent in question '2' shows more people are saved that never heard the gospel than are saved that have heard the gospel, then evangelism results in a greater number of people in hell from an Arminian perspective. If that be the case (maybe it's not), then how does an Arminian justify evangelism? (I suppose an Arminian can make the same claim as a reformed person and say results are secondary to obeying God, but from a human standpoint, why bother if the goal of evangelism is to see more people saved. Granted, maybe more people saved after hearing gospel than would have been otherwise. But, it would be important to know.
  4. Now, we will get to a more convoluted scenario.
    1. Assume a missionary finds someone that is saved without hearing the gospel. Should that missionary present the gospel to that saved person? I ask this because the recipient of the gospel who is saved may not believe the gospel and thus lose his salvation.
    2. That raises another question. The guy that was saved without hearing the gospel is saved for whatever reason you provided in question #1. Said person does not believe the gospel when it is presented to him. So now you have a person saved by method you outlined in question #1; yet, not saved per the gospel. How does that work?
Man is not sovereign in general--
Agreed, but Arminian's make each man (save 'age of accountability') sovereign in that they control God in regards to Him saving them or not and other decisions and their consequences; that being the crux of most of this discussion.

If the WCF is right about God determining everything and predestinating everything...
this would make God the creator of sin and would remove all responsibility from man.
The WCF specifically states God is not the author of sin. Both sides cannot answering the question "where did Evil come from"? Both sides say God "allows" sin. Therefore, since neither side knows where sin came from, both agree God "allows" it and both say God holds man sinned and is responsible.

Where is the LOVE if HE decides who goes to hell based on nothing a person could do or not do?
Preface: All of God's moral attributes are HOLY (Moral Perfection, Transcendence, Separate from Evil and Common). God's love is holy. Love hates moral evil and cannot be unlinked from righteousness. "If he have any esteem for his own perfections, he must needs have an implacable aversion to all that is so repugnant to him, that would, if it were possible, destroy him, and is a point directed, not only against his glory, but against his life. If he did not hate it, he would hate himself: for since righteousness is his image, and sin would deface his image; if he did not love his image, and loathe what is against his image, he would loathe himself, he would be an enemy to his own nature. " Stephen Charnock
Where is the mercy if He offers His love to some but not to the whole world?
So, by one man sin entered into the world all died... so by love of Christ many are saved. Yet, He is under no obligation to save all for then mercy would be by rule/obligation and not mercy.

Where is the justice when persons do NOT receive what they deserve?
Agreed, God provides justice for all. To the elect He is just by providing a sacrificial lamb and the righteousness of Christ to cover their injustices ... to the non-elect He is just in sending them to hell for all have sinned and come short ...

Hope hubby is getting better .. hope it is not too serious.

 

TibiasDad

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. I have a follow up question pertaining to the theme of this tread "What is the Value of Evangelism in Reformed Theology". I will turn the tables, my question to you is, "What is the value of Evangelism in Arminian Theology".

Before answering, consider the following:
1) We will assume you are correct, that those the have not heard the gospel and reach age of accountability can be saved.
My questions are:
  1. What do they do to be saved?
  2. How does the percentage of those that have never heard the gospel and are saved compare to the percentage of those who have heard the gospel and are saved?
  3. If the percent in question '2' shows more people are saved that never heard the gospel than are saved that have heard the gospel, then evangelism results in a greater number of people in hell from an Arminian perspective. If that be the case (maybe it's not), then how does an Arminian justify evangelism? (I suppose an Arminian can make the same claim as a reformed person and say results are secondary to obeying God, but from a human standpoint, why bother if the goal of evangelism is to see more people saved. Granted, maybe more people saved after hearing gospel than would have been otherwise. But, it would be important to know.

Considering that this is my thread and my question, I suppose I should be the first to respond...

  • What do they do to be saved?
They do the same thing all have done and must do, they believe in Christ!

  • How does the percentage of those that have never heard the gospel and are saved compare to the percentage of those who have heard the gospel and are saved?
Rom 10:13....“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?

Those who have not heard the gospel cannot be saved. Thus, there is no % of those who have not heard and yet are saved! 100% of those saved have heard the gospel in one way or another.

  • If the percent in question '2' shows more people are saved that never heard the gospel than are saved that have heard the gospel, then evangelism results in a greater number of people in hell from an Arminian perspective. If that be the case (maybe it's not), then how does an Arminian justify evangelism? (I suppose an Arminian can make the same claim as a reformed person and say results are secondary to obeying God, but from a human standpoint, why bother if the goal of evangelism is to see more people saved. Granted, maybe more people saved after hearing gospel than would have been otherwise. But, it would be important to know.
This question is precluded by the negation of its foundation, namely, question 2!


Doug
 

TibiasDad

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Agreed, but Arminian's make each man (save 'age of accountability') sovereign in that they control God in regards to Him saving them or not and other decisions and their consequences; that being the crux of most of this discussion.
The question, however, is who determined that man would have such sovereignty? The answer....(drum roll please)...God's sovereignty! God determined that man would be the determining factor.

Doug
 

Fastfredy0

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Those who have not heard the gospel cannot be saved. Thus, there is no % of those who have not heard and yet are saved! 100% of those saved have heard the gospel in one way or another.
Agreed.
But the question was directed to wondering who indicated she believed otherwise.
"Yes. Every person on earth has the ability to choose God or reject God. Or to choose God's salvation in Christ, as you put it."

Thus, there is no % of those who have not heard and yet are saved! 100% of those saved have heard the gospel in one way or another.
Agreed again. (Technically, it is not "no percentage"; rather, 0%)
This question is precluded by the negation of its foundation, namely, question 2!
Agreed (I think you mean question #1 for which the premise is "people who have not heard the gospel can be saved".) Agreed, since the premise is not accepted, the subsequent questions are meaningless. But, wondering believes people who have not heard the gospel can be saved, so for her the questions are relevant. (assuming she and I didn't miscommunicate/misunderstand our ideas)


_____________________________________
Definition of Libertarian Free Will: To make choices spontaneously, that is that the choices we make are in no wise conditioned by or determined by any prior prejudice, inclination, or disposition.

I can ask you a question: Do you believe the once you are saved you can't lose your salvation in which case I ask why did God take away your 'free will' to change your mind?

or .... if you believe a saved person can change his mind and no longer believe, I ask ...
  1. how many times can he change his mind? If not many times (70 x 7), then why did God take away his 'free will' and why is he still responsible if his "libertarian free will" was taken away?
  2. Given the hypothetical that one was born in 2000 and God, looks into the future and sees that one would believe salvifically 2020. (something like "for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day) ... but God decides (or if you want a "free will" determinant, a mass killer decides) that you die in 2019 ... how does that work, was the guy just unlucky? Was his "libertarian free will" overridden by the mass murder (or God)? How does one have "libertarian free will" when it could be controlled by another man who has a conflicting "libertarian free will".
Finally, when one goes to hell or heaven ... I assume we both believe your not leaving. Has "libertarian free will" been abolished and "determinism" now rules? Are those in heaven no longer free to love God; rather, forced to?

Aside: When I see you image I always think you look like the commentator on fox news, Jonah Goldberg
 

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Fastfredy0

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The question, however, is who determined that man would have such sovereignty? The answer....(drum roll please)...God's sovereignty! God determined that man would be the determining factor.

Doug
Agreed, under the Libertarian Free Will model, ... drum roll please ... a sovereign God gave control of who God would adopt as His children to man. Man in this area is sovereign over and controls to a certain extent, God. Another consequence being that a majority of those that God loved as much as his adopted sons and daughters are in hell.


Arminian Viewpoint
God can sovereignly choose to make some of his decisions dependent upon the decisions of creatures. God takes the risk that his desires may be thwarted in some cases—we may not do what God desires. Hence, given the type of world God decided to create, he cannot guarantee that everything will go precisely the way he would like. God has sovereignly decided to make his election to salvation dependent upon human response to divine grace. Unknown Author
 

TibiasDad

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Agreed, under the Libertarian Free Will model, ... drum roll please ... a sovereign God gave control of who God would adopt as His children to man. Man in this area is sovereign over and controls to a certain extent, God. Another consequence being that a majority of those that God loved as much as his adopted sons and daughters are in hell.


Arminian Viewpoint
God can sovereignly choose to make some of his decisions dependent upon the decisions of creatures. God takes the risk that his desires may be thwarted in some cases—we may not do what God desires. Hence, given the type of world God decided to create, he cannot guarantee that everything will go precisely the way he would like. God has sovereignly decided to make his election to salvation dependent upon human response to divine grace. Unknown Author

No, Man is, to a certain extent, in control of man, and the a
earthly realm put under his care. God is not part of that realm!

God says, whoever believes will be saved! Man chooses to believe if what God says is true!


Doug
 

TibiasDad

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But, @wondering believes people who have not heard the gospel can be saved, so for her the questions are relevant. (assuming she and I didn't miscommunicate/misunderstand our ideas)

I don't think that is what wondering means by "Yes. Every person on earth has the ability to choose God or reject God. Or to choose God's salvation in Christ, as you put it."


Doug
 

Fastfredy0

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I don't think that is what wondering means by "Yes. Every person on earth has the ability to choose God or reject God. Or to choose God's salvation in Christ, as you put it."
Maybe you're right. I heard others use Romans 1 to prove one can be saved without the gospel. *Stunned my the first time I heard it ... lol*

But, if you can't be saved without hearing the gospel and God determines (at least to some extent, I would say completely) who hears the gospel ( Acts 16:6), then God in some cases determines who is saved or not saved which fits nicely with my understanding of God choosing who is saved. I assume you agree that God determines who is and who is not saved in these circumstances and God determines who is and is not saved in regards to the age of accountability.
I also assume since so many people die before the age of accountability (abortions, miscarriages, mentally incompetant, early death, ... ), that you agree that the majority of people in heaven are there because God was the only determining factor. (unless you think there are a lot more people in heaven from hearing the gospel than those that got in via the 'age of accountability' or because is was the "libertarian free will" decision of another (example: "libertarian free will" decision of mother to abort child so her "libertarian free will" caused fetis to be 'saved'.
 
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