Bible Discussion Thread

  • Steve
    Calvinism - Pre-destined

    Any thoughts?
  • The Truth Shall Set You Free - in Reply
    Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

    Matthew 13:36-43

    36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

    It does seem "pre-destination" has a good case. That being said, there was a time when I was an unbeliever/did not know the truth. It is my belief that those who belong to God will be given the revelation of the truth, that Jesus Christ is The Son of God, no matter what at some point in their lives. Whether that revelation be given at the midpoint of someones life, or on their deathbed as the thief on the cross.
  • Chris - in Reply
    Hi Steve. I see merits from both sides of the Calvin/Arminius coin, so the discussion could be very long even if dealing with the one point of Unconditional/Conditional Election. To state briefly the premise of each position:

    a. Calvin: God's Choice of certain people to receive salvation before the foundation of the world, rested solely on His Own Sovereign Will. It was not based on any forseen response or obedience on their part. He chooses the sinner to be saved and not the sinner's choice of Christ.

    b. Arminius: God's Choice of certain people to receive salvation before the foundation of the world, rested solely on His Foreseeing that they would respond to His Call. Election therefore, was determined by what man would do when presented with the Gospel. So salvation is given by the sinner's choice for Christ and not God's choice of the sinner.

    If I were to agree wholly with the Calvin view, then it seems that there are many (very many) people brought into the world that simply have no hope of ever getting saved, even if the Gospel is presented & the challenge given.

    On the other hand, the Arminius position appears to give too much responsibility to the sinner to decide whether he solely chooses to accept the salvation offered or not, without God having any part in it. This seems to leave out the work of the Holy Spirit when the Gospel is given out; the Spirit, when He comes, "will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" ( John 16:8).

    Therefore, my understanding on this aspect is: It is ultimately God's Sovereign Will that determines those who receive His Salvation (Calvin), but I don't agree that His Will has no part to play in the believers' responsibility (Arminius). If the Lord, "is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" ( 2 Peter 3:9), I understand this to mean that God wants all to be saved, but not all will be saved by their own choice - and God knows who they are.
  • Anonymous - in Reply
    Hi Chris,

    Thank you very much for your insightful knowledge of Calvinism and Arminius doctrine.

    Especially, for not giving a definitive praise to one or the other.

    I was searching scripture, and wondering why some are so adamant for one or the other;

    When scripture seems to lay it out so clearly, that God is sovereign and His words will come to pass to fulfill His prophecy and purpose, partly, through predestination of some;

    I also believe, He can touch us and speak to us in various ways to guide us to Him, and gave us free will to accept or reject His word.

    I agree with your explanation and It gives me more confidence in my learning,

    As you know the following verse...

    Acts 8:30b,31a - Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?

    Thank you and hope to have more conversations.

  • Anonymous - in Reply
    Apparently, using my phone to send comments doesn't recognize my real name when I sign in. Apologies.

  • Anonymous - in Reply
    Thanks Steve. I think it boils down to on what (irrefutable) facts about God's Character & Purposes that we are convinced about & resting on. We can then have an opinion, even a belief, and it shouldn't be 'a one or the other' decision. Unfortunately, many areas of life, including politics, compels us to hold tenaciously to one or the other to gain acceptance with others.

    With God, it should be irrefutable that He is Omniscient, Merciful, & desirous that all sinners be saved & joined to Him. Therefore, I don't believe that either Calvin or Arminius correctly embraced the full Character of God in this matter of Election. But that's just my understanding with the light that I have on it. May the Lord reveal much more to you brother and to each one of us, to the end that we might love & serve Him better.

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