Christian Forums

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

  • Christian Forum aspires to be an online community where Christians can come together in fellowship with the purpose to encourage, inspire and build up our faith in Christ Jesus. John 13:34-35
  • Focus on the Family

    Strengthening families through biblical principles.

    Focus on the Family addresses the use of biblical principles in parenting and marriage to strengthen the family.

  • Guest, Join Papa Zoom today for some uplifting biblical encouragement! --> Daily Verses

Predestination and Calvinism

brother Paul

Member
Christian
Yes
Messages
1,359
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
I see no conflict if God "elects" according to His foreknowing (1 Peter 1:2)! He is omniscience you know....

Let's look at Cain...

Genesis 4 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why are you angry, and why is your countenance fallen?If you do well, will you not also be accepted? But if you do not do well, sin lies at the door.

Right here in the first book we see the Lord God speaking to Cain. Cain knew the Lord. The Lord speaks to him personally and audibly and Cain hears Him.

Cain had offered an insufficient offering (no blood = no atonement) but the Lord does not condemn Cain at this point, but rather by grace He comes to him and offers him a chance to go and do well (by grace is the offer made, God owes him nothing) and He tells Cain if he does go and do it right he will also be accepted. In love ,He even warns Cain saying IF you do not do well sin lies at the door.

Obviously the Lord initiating by His grace gave the man a choice either to do or not to do. He tells him of the reward for doing right and the consequence of doing wrong. But Cain like his father Adam chooses to disregard the word of God and does what he has determined in his own heart (Genesis 3:5) to his own demise.

Now understand, God knew full well what Cain would choose and what he would do, but the choice had to be his so that he would be without excuse in God’s judgment of him. God did not make him make the wrong choice. For if He had, then the offer was a lie and an erroneous untrustworthy promise (but God is not a man that He should lie, neither does He tempt any man).

The same pattern is displayed all through the scriptures. One of the points of Job is that Job is righteous (of faith) not because God manipulatively makes him so but that on His own Job believed God and staggered not at His sure word of promise. Satan’s attacks to bring him down would have been meaningless futility had Job just been a puppet not able to NOT remain faithful.

Is this not correct? Grace is always the cause of Salvation and being or getting saved is always in the hands and decision of God but He knows the hearts and minds and every choice and action and all the subsequent results of all those choices and actions and when God initiates by grace and enlightens us to His will we must and can do as He suggests or reject Him....so all that receive Him He gives the right to become the children God ('the right or power to become' precludes that before receiving we are not).

He knocks at the door, and whosoever opens the door to Him, He comes in and dines with them...
 

Sinthesis

Member
From
Computer Room
Christian
Yes
Messages
5,188
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Predestination applies to roles, not individuals. An individual's freewill is what they use to choose the role they will fulfill in God's plan. Some roles are good, some are evil, but they all are necessary for the greater good. Someone was going to betray Jesus. It did not have to be Judas, but Judas chose that role for himself, while Jesus knew he would, and Jesus let him, because God's redemptive plan for humanity needed it done.
 

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Why WOULDN'T man choose God with his free will?

because ever since partaking of the fruit of the wrong tree (Genesis 3:5) man loves to be lord of his own life like a god deciding good and evil for their self in disregard for what God has said...each one loves to lord it over each situation and others...the man loves to rule over the woman, each group loves to lord it over the others, each party, each nation...and so it has been since the fall. So it is not that he is incapable but unwilling. He can receive or reject so that man is without excuse.

It is not even that God enables some and not others as an act of His will (though perhaps on occasion here or there for His just purpose). For God to make some people receive Christ and others to not receive Him still makes God a grand puppet master and thus responsible for each persons choice (thus He becomes the Tempter who caused the tempted to be tempted in just that way in which they and fail....and it would be He who makes them fail....God forbid!). God then becomes the author of sin and the cause of all sinner's sinning, even though the Bible says the Devil introduced sin, sickness, and death and that God tempts no man...

No! Everything is not God's will...God wills that all men everywhere repent yet most will never do so....He does not will them to in the sense of an irresistable will nor will them to resist the move of the Spirit in their midst (Acts 7:51) but "prefers" they repent and will help them do so when they strive (forgiving their failed efforts till they succeed) but they reject Him and all He would do and worship the creature above the creator
AMEN AND HALLELUJAH!

You even included the following:
It is not even that God enables some and not others as an act of His will (though perhaps on occasion here or there for His just purpose).

(which goes to the old Pharoah question some like to bring up).

:clap:nod:salute
 

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
The issue boils down to whether God -- who made provision for the salvation of all men -- would turn around and choose (predestine) some for Heaven and others for Hell.
I agree Malachi.

It seems this simple to me too.

What kind of a God would create man, and then create hell so He could send some there???

What kind of LOVE is that???

The bible should be seen as a complete and whole idea as to God's relationship to man, and cannot be picked apart verse by verse as some would like to do and argue endlessly as to:

GOD'S LOVE FOR MAN!!

Wondering
 

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
I see no conflict if God "elects" according to His foreknowing (1 Peter 1:2)! He is omniscience you know....

Let's look at Cain...

Genesis 4 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why are you angry, and why is your countenance fallen?If you do well, will you not also be accepted? But if you do not do well, sin lies at the door.

Right here in the first book we see the Lord God speaking to Cain. Cain knew the Lord. The Lord speaks to him personally and audibly and Cain hears Him.

Cain had offered an insufficient offering (no blood = no atonement) but the Lord does not condemn Cain at this point, but rather by grace He comes to him and offers him a chance to go and do well (by grace is the offer made, God owes him nothing) and He tells Cain if he does go and do it right he will also be accepted. In love ,He even warns Cain saying IF you do not do well sin lies at the door.

Obviously the Lord initiating by His grace gave the man a choice either to do or not to do. He tells him of the reward for doing right and the consequence of doing wrong. But Cain like his father Adam chooses to disregard the word of God and does what he has determined in his own heart (Genesis 3:5) to his own demise.

Now understand, God knew full well what Cain would choose and what he would do, but the choice had to be his so that he would be without excuse in God’s judgment of him. God did not make him make the wrong choice. For if He had, then the offer was a lie and an erroneous untrustworthy promise (but God is not a man that He should lie, neither does He tempt any man).

The same pattern is displayed all through the scriptures. One of the points of Job is that Job is righteous (of faith) not because God manipulatively makes him so but that on His own Job believed God and staggered not at His sure word of promise. Satan’s attacks to bring him down would have been meaningless futility had Job just been a puppet not able to NOT remain faithful.

Is this not correct? Grace is always the cause of Salvation and being or getting saved is always in the hands and decision of God but He knows the hearts and minds and every choice and action and all the subsequent results of all those choices and actions and when God initiates by grace and enlightens us to His will we must and can do as He suggests or reject Him....so all that receive Him He gives the right to become the children God ('the right or power to become' precludes that before receiving we are not).

He knocks at the door, and whosoever opens the door to Him, He comes in and dines with them...
Revelation 3:20
John 3:16

It's necessary to argue about this?

Again, terrific post!

Wondering
 

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Predestination applies to roles, not individuals. An individual's freewill is what they use to choose the role they will fulfill in God's plan. Some roles are good, some are evil, but they all are necessary for the greater good. Someone was going to betray Jesus. It did not have to be Judas, but Judas chose that role for himself, while Jesus knew he would, and Jesus let him, because God's redemptive plan for humanity needed it done.
"like"

Also, we ARE predestined.
Predestined to be holy and blameless.
(Ephesians 1:4-5)

NOT to end up in hell because GOD so wills it.

Great explanation re Judas!

Wondering
 

K2CHRIST

Supporter
Messages
1,430
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
The issue boils down to whether God -- who made provision for the salvation of all men -- would turn around and choose (predestine) some for Heaven and others for Hell.

I understand the thinking, but I don't think 'predestination' means 'choose', like you have it above.

I think predestination is a result of God knowing what His creation would do. He made something with the ability to choose and He must have known that some, even certain ones, would choose to rebel against Him. God choose to give free will and the free will gave those He made the ability to choose their faith. So even though God knew what they would choose, men do the choosing.

Thus, God knowing what men would choose is not exactly the same thing as God choosing, though I realize it almost seems as if it is. I suppose God could have not given freewill, but then do we have life or an advanced computer? I suppose God could have given men something that resembled free will yet always resulted in salvation, but is that truly free will?

So I don't see it as two sides in which one person believes in predestination and the other believes in free will. I believe in God who planned, knows, and watches over what He created, and He planned, knows, and watches over men who can choose because He gave them free will.

As far as me; I believe my thinking lines up with a Charismatic Christianity, but I don't have a problem with John Calvin. Sometimes I wonder about Calvinists yet not all. I have a book on John Calvin and in the forward Iain H. Murray writes, "our example need to be the best argument that belief in divine sovereignty does not weaken evangelistic preaching", and also "there is some justification for the idea that Calvinistic belief hinders evangelistic passion. He also quotes John Calvin as writing "He (Christ) is ready to give himself, provided that they are only willing to believe."

I don't have a problem with what John Calvin wrote, but I sometimes have a problem with predestination being applied to mean we don't have a will to believe, so that it hinders evangelistic passion. It seems that both Iain H Murray (a writer about Calvin) and John Calvin himself don't always agree with others that might call themselves Calvinist. I am for the idea of people using their will to believe in Jesus Christ, and encouraging them to do so. Apparently John Calvin and some Calvinist are also for that same thing.

So again, I don't believe the problem is with predestination and free will, but the application of them which sometimes results in seeing two sides instead of seeing one God.
 

Cygnus

Member
Gender
Male
Messages
2,982
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Cygnus,
I love Brother Paul's answer too. It's simple and proves the point.

My acceptance of Jesus is based on:

1) Deciding whether or not God exists
2) Understanding that He has something to do with our lives
3) Accepting that satan also exists
4) knowing that I will then have to decide with which of the two I wish to side.

I'm not sure what you mean by life's experiences.

Wondering

The question is, why do you accept your 4 points above? What allows to to make that mental decesion and decide? Was it something a college professor said or didn't say? Was it where you grew up?
Your free-will decision is based upon what you experienced in life. What if you expericened differently?
 

Cygnus

Member
Gender
Male
Messages
2,982
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Cygnus,
How did we get from John 15 to John 6?
I said John 15 was speaking to the apostles.
Could we finish with that first?
Are you saying Jesus WASN'T speaking to the Apostles??

W

Are you saying if Jesus was speaking ONLY to the Apostles? None of John 15 was meant for us?
John 6 was support for the scriptural claims God chooses us we don't choose Him....or was John 6 also meant for the Apostles ears only?
 

Cygnus

Member
Gender
Male
Messages
2,982
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
The issue boils down to whether God -- who made provision for the salvation of all men -- would turn around and choose (predestine) some for Heaven and others for Hell.

Is it not true that ALL people who have lived, are living or will live deserve Hell?
 

Cygnus

Member
Gender
Male
Messages
2,982
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
I understand the thinking, but I don't think 'predestination' means 'choose', like you have it above.

I think predestination is a result of God knowing what His creation would do. He made something with the ability to choose and He must have known that some, even certain ones, would choose to rebel against Him. God choose to give free will and the free will gave those He made the ability to choose their faith. So even though God knew what they would choose, men do the choosing.

Thus, God knowing what men would choose is not exactly the same thing as God choosing, though I realize it almost seems as if it is. I suppose God could have not given freewill, but then do we have life or an advanced computer? I suppose God could have given men something that resembled free will yet always resulted in salvation, but is that truly free will?

So I don't see it as two sides in which one person believes in predestination and the other believes in free will. I believe in God who planned, knows, and watches over what He created, and He planned, knows, and watches over men who can choose because He gave them free will.

As far as me; I believe my thinking lines up with a Charismatic Christianity, but I don't have a problem with John Calvin. Sometimes I wonder about Calvinists yet not all. I have a book on John Calvin and in the forward Iain H. Murray writes, "our example need to be the best argument that belief in divine sovereignty does not weaken evangelistic preaching", and also "there is some justification for the idea that Calvinistic belief hinders evangelistic passion. He also quotes John Calvin as writing "He (Christ) is ready to give himself, provided that they are only willing to believe."

I don't have a problem with what John Calvin wrote, but I sometimes have a problem with predestination being applied to mean we don't have a will to believe, so that it hinders evangelistic passion. It seems that both Iain H Murray (a writer about Calvin) and John Calvin himself don't always agree with others that might call themselves Calvinist. I am for the idea of people using their will to believe in Jesus Christ, and encouraging them to do so. Apparently John Calvin and some Calvinist are also for that same thing.

So again, I don't believe the problem is with predestination and free will, but the application of them which sometimes results in seeing two sides instead of seeing one God.

I would love to hear why some people choose Christ while others don't.

People make it sound like "happenstance". If you were fortunate enough to hear an evangelist one day and except jesus...your in...BUT, if you went to the ball game and missed the preaching and didn't accept Jesus....there's a different ending.
 

Cygnus

Member
Gender
Male
Messages
2,982
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Why WOULDN'T man choose God with his free will?

because ever since partaking of the fruit of the wrong tree (Genesis 3:5) man loves to be lord of his own life like a god deciding good and evil for their self in disregard for what God has said...each one loves to lord it over each situation and others...the man loves to rule over the woman, each group loves to lord it over the others, each party, each nation...and so it has been since the fall. So it is not that he is incapable but unwilling. He can receive or reject so that man is without excuse.

It is not even that God enables some and not others as an act of His will (though perhaps on occasion here or there for His just purpose). For God to make some people receive Christ and others to not receive Him still makes God a grand puppet master and thus responsible for each persons choice (thus He becomes the Tempter who caused the tempted to be tempted in just that way in which they and fail....and it would be He who makes them fail....God forbid!). God then becomes the author of sin and the cause of all sinner's sinning, even though the Bible says the Devil introduced sin, sickness, and death and that God tempts no man...

No! Everything is not God's will...God wills that all men everywhere repent yet most will never do so....He does not will them to in the sense of an irresistable will nor will them to resist the move of the Spirit in their midst (Acts 7:51) but "prefers" they repent and will help them do so when they strive (forgiving their failed efforts till they succeed) but they reject Him and all He would do and worship the creature above the creator

I don't think you answered the question. When I first saw your post I thought...good...someone answered the question. But your post never expressed the reason why mankind with their fallen nature would accept Jesus.

If an individual chooses Jesus...what is the decision based upon?
 

Cygnus

Member
Gender
Male
Messages
2,982
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
AMEN AND HALLELUJAH!

You even included the following:
It is not even that God enables some and not others as an act of His will (though perhaps on occasion here or there for His just purpose).

(which goes to the old Pharoah question some like to bring up).

:clap:nod:salute

If God doesn't enable us to believe...how do you get around the following verse?

John 6:65
Then Jesus said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has granted it to him."
 

brother Paul

Member
Christian
Yes
Messages
1,359
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
I don't think you answered the question. When I first saw your post I thought...good...someone answered the question. But your post never expressed the reason why mankind with their fallen nature would accept Jesus.

If an individual chooses Jesus...what is the decision based upon?

Really good question Cygnus and I think it is based on misunderstanding what I was saying. WHen God speaks to the spirit of a person (totally by grace for God owes no sinner anything) people can then either listen or reject. Those that listen (Faith comes by hearing and Hearing by the word) and realize they need a Savior will seek God's remedy (and they do so in all kinds of forms and religions and philosophies) but those who are sincere (God looks at the heart, the motive) the Father will reveal the Son (the Christ). Their searching in religions and philosophies and all their self efforts contribute nothing but their heart attitude (humility and contrition) gets God's attention. He wants ALL to be saved but some will never admit they are sinners in need of Him, some will never listen, and so on, because they are all the god they need (In their opinion). They like being boss and getting all the glory for themselves they are inconsiderrate of their effect on others, unthankful, self oriented, pleasure seekers (not only physical but what ever strokes their delusion of self lordship). Real acceptance of Jesus and His work does not come because some preacher in a moment of guilt or ecstasy persuades us of some magical formula (like a particular prayer or getting baptized though these help if the heart is right) but because the Father reveals it to us. Flesh and blood may be used by Him in the process but are never what saves....ONLY GOD saves.

The final revelation (you ARE the Christ, the Son) is given only to those who do not reject but are willing to receive....they KNOW they are sinners and worthy of Hell and they seek His remedy (inadequate tio the goal as it is) but when initiated, if we turn to Him He WILL turn to us,,,not because He has to or is manipulated to but because He wants to because sinner or not He loves us.
 
Last edited:

Malachi

Member
Messages
2,232
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Predestination applies to roles, not individuals.
When you study the context in which the term *predestination* is used, it is always in relation to the ultimate perfection of the saints, never to election for salvation.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom 8:29).
 

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
The question is, why do you accept your 4 points above? What allows to to make that mental decesion and decide? Was it something a college professor said or didn't say? Was it where you grew up?
Your free-will decision is based upon what you experienced in life. What if you expericened differently?
Whatever experience we have, that's what God will judge us on. God is a just God and He'll decide our fate in a just manner that we can trust.

I went to church as a child. I heard about God.
At some point you have to decide whether or not you wish to serve Him.
Sometimes it could be a personal encounter; as was my case. Knowing about Him, I prayed to Him.
If a personal encounter never happens, you could still, with your will, decide to follow God.

Seems easy Cygnus. Don't make it complicated.
Romans 10:17-20
Romans 10:17

Wondering
 

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Are you saying if Jesus was speaking ONLY to the Apostles? None of John 15 was meant for us?
John 6 was support for the scriptural claims God chooses us we don't choose Him....or was John 6 also meant for the Apostles ears only?
Yes. In John 15 Jesus was speaking SPECIFICALLY to the apostles, as evidenced by John 15:27, which I have already posted explaining that the Apostles had been with Jesus for over 3 years, and we were not with Him during His earthly ministry.

Jesus meant for the Apostles to do a very specific work. I know that you know that Apostle means "sent" - they were sent to set up the church, to preach the gospel (the good news), to baptize and make "all nations" know of the work of the Christ.

EVERYTHING Jesus said could also pertain to everyone- but not all things. For instance, we COULD be called to witness and share the word of God. The Apostles were COMMANDED to do this.

Wondering
 

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
When you study the context in which the term *predestination* is used, it is always in relation to the ultimate perfection of the saints, never to election for salvation.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom 8:29).
Malachi,
The early church Fathers were very diligent in studying the concept of predestination since the word does appear in the N.T.

What you say above is how they understood predestination to be applied.

I find this to be very interesting and have posted this before, but some like the idea of ONE MAN deciding what predestination REALLY IS because I guess Calvin knew so much more than the original church Fathers.
This is the height of egoism and belief in one's own interpretation of scripture.

If we want to believe Calvin, then maybe we should also believe the Book of Mormon and the Quran and the bible as interpreted by Mr. Rutherford (and Russel's traditions) to make up the Jehovah Witnesses.

Jehovah Witnesses can easily explain to you how Jesus is not God but the Son of God.

SO, are we to adhere to what the original Apostles, those who knew them and early Father's believed, or are we to have our heads turned by every individual who comes along to teach new things? (Rhetorical, of course).

Let us not be led astray
2 Corinthians 11:3-4


Just to say that I agree with you.

Wondering
 

WIP

Staff member
Moderator
From
Central Minnesota, USA
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
11,783
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Is THIS the God you wish to serve and have made sacrifices for?
If we didn't have free will then this would be a moot point for we wouldn't have a choice in the matter. OTOH God is the potter and who are we to conditionally choose God?
 

JLB

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life
Staff member
Administrator
From
Texas
Gender
Male
Messages
27,662
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
When I read the bible I see God choosing us and then giving us to Jesus....not us choosing Jesus.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6

He chose us in Him...that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

He chose those who chose Christ, which being in His foreknowledge before the foundation of the world.


JLB

 
Top