EMISSARY^7 (G²)

COMMISIONED by CHRIST 4 SHARING HIS LIFE/KEEPING IT REAL ADMIST THE LIES (II Cor. 5:17-21))

CALVINISM: A Study on the FLAWS INVOLVED IN A PROMINENT SYSTEM OF BELIEF THAT MANY PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE…. (Part 3)

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on November 9, 2007

I pray that the articles/study I posted have blessed someone out there……if nothing else, I pray that they stir up people to think/reconsider some things on what the Word of GOD says.

There are many other things that could be said on the subject, but above all else, what matters is whether or not you’re STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD FOR YOURSELF & MAKING CLEAR THAT YOU’RE LIVING FOR HIM. Because at the end of the day, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO ANSWER TO HIM ON WHETHER OR NOT YOU SOUGHT HIM OUT.

For more resources on the issue that people can study, consider these links:

 

 


http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/search-results/?keywords=Calvinism&show_res
ults=N%253B
 
 
    http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/studies/divine-election/
 
    This site has EXCELLENT materials on the issue of Ariminsm verses Calvinism.
The author himself is Calvinistic, but he does GOOD job of also explaining both
sides of the issue very graciously/humbly……..& it is also one of the most
insightful WEBSITES I’ve discovered/learned from.
 
    Another good one to investigate on your own would be this one:
 
 
    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=3160
 
 
 
    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=3161
 
 
 
 
    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=4040
 
 
    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=218
 
 
http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=3293
 
 
http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&safe=active&client=pub-5916974983069861&chann
el=6250499698&cof=FORID%3A1%3BGL%3A1%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.bible.org%2Fassets%2
Fimages%2Fmain_headl5.gif%3BLH%3A50%3BLW%3A235%3BLBGC%3A000000%3BLC%3A%230000ff%
3BVLC%3A%23663399%3BGFNT%3A%230000ff%3BGIMP%3A%230000ff%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3B&dom
ains=www.bible.org&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&q=Free+Will&btnG=Search&sitesearc
h=www.bible.org
 
 
http://www.google.com/custom?domains=www.bible.org&q=Sovereignty&sa=Search+Site&sitesearch=www.bible.org&client=pub-5916974983069861&forid=1&channel=6250499698&
ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&safe=active&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%2
3336699%3BVLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BLBGC%3A000000%3BALC%3A0000
FF%3BLC%3A0000FF%3BT%3A000000%3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BLH%3A50%3BLW%3A2
35%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.bible.org%2Fassets%2Fimages%2Fmain_headl5.gif%3BS%3Aht
tp%3A%2F%2F%3BFORID%3A1&hl=en
 
http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&safe=active&client=pub-5916974983069861&chann
el=6250499698&cof=FORID%3A1%3BGL%3A1%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.bible.org%2Fassets%2
Fimages%2Fmain_headl5.gif%3BLH%3A50%3BLW%3A235%3BLBGC%3A000000%3BLC%3A%230000ff%
3BVLC%3A%23663399%3BGFNT%3A%230000ff%3BGIMP%3A%230000ff%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3B&dom
ains=www.bible.org&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&q=Permissive+Will&btnG=Search&sit
esearch=www.bible.org



Also, consider researching the views from author “Joshua Harris” (who wrote “Sexisn’t the Problem (Lust Is)”, “I kissed Dating Goodbye” & other books…….hehas some excellent sermons on the subject:     It’s entitled “Sovereign Grace”, & it should look exactly like the one foundhere:     .09.2005             C. J. Mahaney        Sovereign Grace    Ephesians 1:3-14                Listen Online                Download (11.7 MB)     http://www.covlife.org/sermons/archives/     Also, there’s also places like “CARM” & the discussion boards on “Arimisimverses Calvinism” they have there (www.carm.org ), though you have to registerto get involved in them. But should you choose to do so, the debates shouldprove helpful.     Again, these are some of the best ones I know of…..




 There are many points I believe in regarding Calvinism…..&likewise, many points I believe regarding Arminism.  Where I differ withCalvinism, however, is on the way it’s often presented, which seems to be HyperCalvinism:   As another wisely said, “The hyper Calvinist emphasizes the sovereignty of Godto such an extent that man’s human responsibility is denied.  In actuality,hyper Calvinism is a rejection of historic Calvinist thought.  Hyper-Calvinismdenies the gospel call applies to all, and/or denies that faith is the duty ofevery sinner, and/or denies the gospel offer to the non-elect, and/or deniesthat the offer of divine mercy is free and universal, and/or denies that thereis such a thing as “common grace,” and/or denies that God has any sort of lovefor the non-elect.  Calvinists do not agree with the hyper-Calvinists.” ( http://www.carm.org/list/calvinism.htm , http://www.google.com/custom?cx=002091026965129875032%3Aqzd8_jbxk4a&q=Calvinism&sa=Search+CARM&cof=AH%3Aleft%3BCX%3ACARM%3BDIV%3A%23cccccc%3BFORID%3A0%3BGFNT%3A%23666666%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Egoogle%2Ecom%2Fcoop%2Fimages%2Fgoogle_custom_search_sm%2Egif%3BLH%3A55%3BLP%3A1%3B&adkw=AELymgWXC44_hfNT7a206ECFiWYbCppqpXTWsITIocA4XZQklLvz7nk9XIw2t2lEnMwhYl9rtsH9F0MhNaVjnjhIsE7m2EBiGmHBdalnR6Ruix3vGN9jJI6Iyij0POoQcorjNgNw_mKXZMkrbw-miW53RtSO2Dwrm_fdTX6YQk2mVo4pjYM1uHH_OyzSvWkdMnpO6R9zx-5KomcKMbjMdCgpD7Gqs4jjUg&client=google-coop-np &   http://www.carm.org/questions_doctrine.htm,  )




 

 

Regardless of where you come to stand, I’m PRAY PEOPLE realize that there
are strong points on both sides of the issue……and that we’re to be gracious
to those not believing as we do.

When it’s apparent that we have differences of opinion, we should be humbled
since the reality of our sinfulness/limited nature as Christians to fully
understand God’s word is shown.

Rather than maintaining an attitude of pride where one side condemns the
other, being more gracious is a must, acknowledging the possibility of the other
being right, even though we don’t think so……..& admiting that our
sinfulness is the problem, and not the other’s lack of judgment. As the Word
says,

Rom. 14:1-5,

“Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing
judgment on his opinions. 2 One man has faith that he may eat all things, but he
who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 Let not him who eats regard with contempt
him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for
God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own
master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him
stand. 5 One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike.
Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind.”

Paul allows us to have differences of opinions on various issues, 4 his
goal was to have unity in the body of Christ and at the same time to allow for
differences on debatable issues. The same is true for today, and I pray you keep
this in mind while researching.

Also,

Proverbs 18:3

13 He who answers before listening—
that is his folly and his shame

Proverbs 18:15

15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge;
the ears of the wise seek it out.

Proverbs 18:17

17 The first to present his case seems right,
till another comes forward and questions him.

Pray that these principles of wisdom CONTINUE to guide you as you’re
seeking answers

. As the Word makes clear, our making sound decisions
involves (1) getting the facts before answering, (2) Being open to new ideas,
and (3) making sure you hear both sides of the story before juudging. All three
principles center around seeking additional information……and though this is
difficult/overwhelming work , the only alternative is
prejudice—judging/condeming & being boastful before getting all the facts

Regarding my own personal stance on the issue of Calvinism, I’d have to say that one of my greatest issues is whether or not a person can be DECIEVED & how much emphasis God’s Word places on Responsibility (and for more on what I’m trying to describe, go here to see my stance, as it is what I have been trained to see):

http://www.libertychurch.org/scripture_studies/covenant.pdf

http://www.libertychurch.org/scripture_studies/rescued_bible_study.pdf

From what I can see in the Word,

Romans 1:18-32

God’s Wrath Against Mankind
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For 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.
21For 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. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28Furthermore, 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. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Seems that the passage is discussing who are those who suffer God’s Wrath (we could probably assume that this would apply to those who do not supposedly attain salvation since they’ll suffer God’s judgment as well without help).

Why is God angry at sinful people? Because they’ve substituted the truth about him with a fantasy of their own imagination (1:25). They’ve stiffled the truth God naturally reveals to all people in order to believe anything that supports their own self-centered life styles.

God cannot tolerate sin because his nature is morally perfect and he cannot ignore or condone such willful behavior.

God wants to remove the sin and restore the sinner—and he’s more than able, so long as the sinner is willing to submit to the Lord and not “stubbornly distort or reject the truth.”

To those who persist in sinning after being clearly exposed/to the Truth He has clearlly revealed…..both in how He has revealed what He’s like in and through his creation, and also in the fact that no one can claim by their own efforts or merit to be good in God’s sight but through how He has revealed Himself in Christ (Romans 1:18, Romans 2 and through Romans 3)………..It is to them that the Anger of God Falls….

These people had no excuses for not believing God, though the opportunity was clearly made available to them.

They chose to reject God and God allowed them to do it….and He didn’t stop them from making choices against His Will.

Romans 1:28

28Furthermore, 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.

For those against OSAS, this would seem to offer them a valid point….It doesn’t seem logical to say that you can give up something that never belonged to you or that you never had to begin with…..

God’s Spirit will not contend with a person forever……The Word does warn that those who persist (not accidently, but willfully) in sin risk Him withdrawing Himself and leaving a person to be destroyed by whatever evil ‘they’ve chosen…

And if God even decided to eventually give those “choosing to be deaf” up to destruction, could it not be possible that perhaps God—as full of mercy and grace as He is–still encounters some individuals so /sold on sin that they become hardened to the point of being beyond His reach?

2 Timothy 2:11-13

11Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
IF WE DISOWN HIM,
HE WILL ALSO DISOWN US;
13if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

The quote was probably an early Christian hymn or confession that described how God was faithful to his children and although we may suffer great hardships here, God promises that someday we will live eternally with him…..believers will live in Christ’s kingdom and will share in the adminstration of that kingdom, and this truth is what comforted Paul as he went through suffering and death

It seems that the purpose behind his statement was to call for courage and endurance, even martyrdom, in the service of the Lord….and that even when believers had the opportunity to turn away from Him they should never give into doing so seeing that we have a wonderful future with him…..kinda like what Jesus made clear to
when he challenged people to strive to walk on His path and never turn from doing so

Matthew 7:13-14

The Narrow and Wide Gates
13″Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Luke 13:22-30

The Narrow Door
22Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, 24″Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

26″Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

27″But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

28″There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last

Obviously, we can’t say save ourselves–there’s no way we can work our ways into God’s favor….the only effort possible for us to put up “to enter the narrow door” is earnestly desire to know Christ and living in faith/gratitude for all He’s done…..Our self reliance is futile, and all we can do is throw ourselves on God’s mercy and Grace.

And Jesus is faithful….He will stay by our side even when we’ve endured so much that we have no faith left….we may be faithless at times, but Jesus is faithful to His promise to be with us “to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)

Nonetheless, Although it is true that Christ remains faithful to His promises and will never disown himself when our faith in Him fails, it seems that here in II Timothy 2:11-13 the statement refers to His faithfulness in carrying out the warning that He will disown us in the presence of the Father “if we [willfully and knowledgeably] deny Him” in the midst of peril or scorn.

If we disown Christ (ex. In hoping that no one will think we’re Christians, deciding not to speak up for what’s right, being silent about our relationship with God, blending into society, accepting our culture’s non Christian values, etc)…..how can be wrong to expect that Jesus will not disown us in return?……

Acknowledgement of Christ on Earth results in acknowledgement by Him in Heaven, but there is no reason to suppose that the reverse isn’t true.

Luke 12:4-10

4″I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies[a]? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

8″I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. 9But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. 10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

I believe that once we’re saved, then the Holy Spirit will guide us in everything we do – if we let him. However, I also believe that man is always free to choose what he does even if this means going against the teachings of the Bible or the guidance of the Holy Spirit [see my Bible study on free will].

Mk 13:13

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

– Although someone has accepted God’s offered salvation, we’re warned that some people will turn away from God to save themselves from persecution.

Lk 8:13

Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.

– If someone believes the word, they’re led to the acceptance of the fact of salvation and will be saved. As in Mk 13:13, they later turn away from that truth and salvation to save themselves.

Jn 15:6

If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

– When we’re saved it’s said we’re in Christ and he in us [paraphrase]. Here, Jesus says it’s possible for us to leave him. The second part of the quote is an illustration of Hell.

Gal 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

– Part 1 says that people who have come to Christ are separated from him because they come to believe it’s by actions/works that they can be saved. They lose faith in the truth of God’s word. Part 2 says that these people are told they’re no longer under grace. Since God’s grace is the only way to salvation, they’ve lost their salvation.

Philippianians 2:12 . . . continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

– This relates to free will. If we’re at first free to choose the way to salvation, then we can also freely choose to later reject that salvation. Although some will say the Holy Spirit will keep us there, we can always, by free will, not follow that lead.

1 Tim 1:19 . . . holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.

– A person can only reject their faith if they had faith to begin with. This is shown in 1 Tim 1:16 where it says that those described in 1:19 have believed in Jesus and received salvation. Once the faith is rejected, salvation goes with it. A ship that sinks loses all people and possessions on board.

Hebrews 6:4-6 As it is impossible for those who have been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

– Some have argued that those who fall away weren’t really saved in the first place. When someone is saved, the Holy Spirit is sent to them as a guide. Verse 4 clearly states that the people referred to have received the Holy Spirit. Verse 6 just as clearly states that they’ve fallen away and rejected Jesus, God, and the truth of God’s word and thus the accompanying
salvation.

** This is the clearest statement that makes it obvious that “once saved, always saved” is a great heresy of the modern church. By so teaching people the doctrine of eternal security, a great danger arises. People will come to think they can do anything and still be saved, which isn’t the case.

2 Peter 2:20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were in the beginning.

– Knowing our Lord is knowing the truth of his saving us and accepting the offered salvation. Being again overcome by the corruption of the world is to renounce Christ and reject salvation.

Jude 4 For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

– This letter from Jude was written because of his concern for other people’s salvation. He’s warning others not to follow false teachers. This warning would only be necessary if those he wrote to were saved and that salvation could be lost.

One of the arguments of the once saved, always saved camp states that our name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life the day we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior; however, I say it was written there long before that day we received salvation.

You may be asking how that’s possible. Think about God’s foreknowledge. If God knows our every action before we’re even born, then it can be seen that he knew from eternity who or who wouldn’t be saved. If a person accepts the offered gift of salvation and continues to follow that path, then their name has always been in the Book of Life.

Conversely, if God foreknew that a person would accept Jesus as their savior and then later renounce God, then that person’s name would never have been recorded in that book.

There’s great danger in teaching the doctrine of once saved, always saved. Least of all is the fact that people may see that as a license to do as they wish. The biggest danger, however, would come from people not being prepared.

Once taught that salvation can’t be lost, generally explained by saying that the Holy Spirit will keep you from turning away, people aren’t ready for the attacks from outside. They won’t understand that by free will we can choose either to follow the Holy Spirit or to be led by our own feelings, wants, and needs.

The Bible fully explains that salvation can be lost. The most clearly stated message is in Heb 6:4-6.

Something else noteworthy to consider:

Matthew 7
Judging Others
1″Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Luke 6:37

Do Not Judge

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

I’ve always been under the impression that the way I treat others determines the way I’ll often be treated in return and, to a degree, how even the Lord responds to me.

As a Christian, I can’t earn my salvation but through Christ, and I have the Lord’s Mercy/Forgiveness available so that there’ll never be one sin in my life where Christ’s Blood cannot cleanse.

Still, when Jesus said this, He wasn’t simply talking to a crowd of unbelievers alone; he was talking to believers and unbelievers alike. There doesn’t seem to be anything in the surrounding context that seems to indicate this is solely for unbelievers or that it applies only to when before you placed your faith in Christ…….

I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem that one can fully hold to “Once Saved, Always Saved” in light of how Jesus clearly said that forgivenss, though attainable, is only given to me by the Lord if I also choose to forgive….and ya can’t make it to Heaven without it, can ya?

Regardless of what side of the fence you’re on, here’s my best shot to harmonize the two:

Matthew 6:12: The Lord’s Prayer

12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:14-16

14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Mark 11:25

25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”[a]

There seems to be something of a law of forgiveness that Christ taught throughout the Gospels, and a strong warning that Jesus gives: If I refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive us. The reason why is because choosing not to forgive others means that “we are denying our common ground as sinners in need of God’s forgiveness”….

If I’m asking/believing for God to forgive my sin and simply believing that forgivenes is automatic apart from what I do, but never ask myself “Have I forgiven the people who wronged me?, something is off….

Does that mean that God’s forgiveness of sin is the direct result of our forgiving others? Not necessarily…

James 2:12-13

“12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!”

God does not forgive us because we forgive others, but soley because of His Great Mercy. To do otherwise would limit God’s sovereign grace to anything less than a amazing gift we could only humbly accept with gratitude/joy….something you could buy and pay back God for, but have to live with the fear that you’d always not have enough to keep it (Ephesians 2:1-10)

Still, if we withhold forgiveness from others after having recieved it ourselves, we show that we don’t or appreciate God’s Mercy toward us….(Ephesians 4:31-32)….and we set ourselves “outside and above Christ’s law of love.”

As we come understand the mercy of God, we’ll desire to be like Him, and pass on the forgiveness we’ve recieved from Him to others….just as Christ was willing to forgive even those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34)

To do otherwise would be to mock the Charachter of God…and God has still made clear in His Word that He’ll not allow this:

Matthew 18:21-35
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[f]

23″Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[g] was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26″The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28″But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[h] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29″His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

30″But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32″Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35″This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Another thing worth considering:

****John 3:16-18******

16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.[b]

Romans 6:19-23

19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
23For the wages of sin is death, but THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE IN[a] CHRIST JESUS OUR LORS.

Ephesians 1:3-14

Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[a] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he[b] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
11In him we were also chosen,[c] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 2:1-7

Ephesians 2
Made Alive in Christ
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

****Ephesians 2:8-10******

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

When someone gives a gift, the reason why it’s often so special is because it’s given apart from any effort/merit on the recievers’s part and without the reciever’s prior knowledge (like a surpirse………

A gift cannot be purchased by the recipient., for it would’nt be a gift if they could earn it or asked “How much do I owe you” instead of feeling gratitude and simply recieving it by saying “Thanks You”………

But a gift also would’nt be as meaningful if the reciever didn’t have the opportunity to turn it down when offered, for to do otherwise would be like imposing what I worked hard for and demanding/expecting that the reciever’s going to have to recieve it anyway…..

The same could be said of the AMAZING Gift of Our salvation, I guess…..

How often do Christians feel obligated to earn eternal life, “pay God back” and try to work their way to Him, “even after they have been given the gift of salvation”, when our attitudes should be one of simple gratitude/praise and joy since our salvation and even our faith are “gifts”…..Eternal Life is a Gift from God

And yet how many others Christians fail to fully grasp the High Cost/Value of the gift of God’s salvation because they don’t realize that it would’nt be much of a gift to treasure if you could’nt ever turn it down…..What would the cost/meaning be to the Lord being “grieved”/concerned for His gfts if His gifts couldn’t be rejected still? Wouldn’t the value of a indisposable gift decrease?

To even phrase a question “Can a believer lose His or Her Salvation” would be seem to be, at best, off to start since you could only “lose” something within your power or that you already owned/possessed (like losing your car keys or something else)…..

And we know that the opportunity to be saved came about only through the umerited grace of God rather than by “our effort, ability, intelligent choice, or any act of service on our part”, and prior to my knowledge of Him……it’s not at all something of my own doing but everything of His Mercy (Titus 3:5)

To say that a Christian has the opportunity to “Renounce”, however, would seem to make more sense with all the Scriptures both sides give for their stance…..it would even seem to renconcile the question of “How eternal is eternal life if you could lose it”

If you have the choice to renounce my salvation, does that mean that eternal life is a lie? Not necessirialy…..

The Eternal Aspect still stays in effect regarding my choices since I NEVER BEGAN/FINISHED THE PRODUCT, AND THEREFORE LACK THE CONTEXT OF EVER LOSING IT ON ACCIDENT OR SOMETHING (Thank God, cause we’d all be hopeless)…To Him be the Credit!

I can exclude myself from ever experiencing it, however, when I DELIBERATELY DISREGARD BELIEVING CHRIST (note: In context, Jesus’s regards to unbelievers were those who reject/ignore him completely, not those with momentary doubts…John 3:18-19)…..

If I fail to believe in Christ (i.e. more than intellectual aggreement/confession or adherance to a set of teachings, and moreso a life submitted in TOTAL TRUST/RELIANCE IN HIM AS IN CHARGE OF OUR PRESENT PLANS AND ETERNAL DESTINY), then to our credit be Eternal Damnation…..

Without HIS choice, we would have no choice to make (John 15:16), and personally, when I realize that Jesus made the first choice—to love and die for us and invite us to live with Him forever despite how we deserve otherwise (Romans 5:1-11)—-and that I get to make the next choice of either accepting or following Him…..that does nothing more but encourage me more to stand in awe of Him and Do as He asks…….That’s the Way His Mercy Was intended (Psalm 130:1-4)

Hope I renconciled the Mystery of God’s Sovereignty with Man’s Choice……

That’s all I got for now……..

But to leave you with some wise words, consider what this gentleman had to say:

reover, as anothr wisely stated,

which view is right, Calvinism or Arminianism, or is there perhaps a more balanced view (between these two extremes) which is more accurate? After studying some strong arguments in favor of Calvinism, I asked the Lord to lead me to any strong arguments against Calvinism if Calvinism is not correct. That same day, I came across the following two articles which I believe effectively argue against Calvinism. Without trying to endorse everything that these authors say, here are some articles for your consideration:

As these articles demonstrate, all five points of Calvinism are flawed.

Does this mean that Arminianism is the correct doctrine? Not necessarily. Some people make the assumption that if a person is not a Calvinist then he must be an Arminian or a Pelagian (a person who believes that humans have the natural capacity to seek God), but this is a false assumption. Calvinism can be refuted from Scripture without having to believe in Arminianism or Pelagianism, as the above two articles demonstrate.

One thing that we need to keep in mind is that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts:

“”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

This means that sometimes we will encounter truths in the Bible which are clearly taught but which seem contradictory to our fallible human minds. For example, the Bible clearly teaches that there is one God who exists in three Persons (see my article called Do Christians Believe in Three Gods?), but our minds cannot grasp how this is possible. Consider that I am one person who is both a father and a son, but the “father” part of me cannot separate itself from the “son” part of me. They cannot talk to each other and interact with each other as separate individuals. Yet my article (above) shows that God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit can interact with each other as separate individuals, even though they are one God. This type of seeming contradiction is referred to as “truths in tension” (try doing a Web search for “truths in tension” and you’ll see how this expression is used by theologians). Here’s another example of “truths in tension.” The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is fully God (see my article above), yet the Bible also clearly teaches that when Jesus came to earth He was fully human (He was born as a baby, He grew to manhood, He walked, He talked, He ate, He drank, He grew weary, He slept, He cried, He bled, He died, and so on). If we say that Jesus is half man and half God then we are diminishing His divinity by 50%, which the Bible does not support. Somehow Jesus is 100% God and He is 100% human, both at the same time. Even though our minds have trouble understanding how this is possible, these facts are clearly taught in Scripture and so these are two truths which are held in tension.

I believe that this idea of “truth in tension” also applies to predestination. Calvinists use passages like John 6:44 (“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”) in order to show that each person’s salvation is initiated by God, and I believe that the Calvinists are quite correct on this point. Arminians, on the other hand, point to other passages which show that God commands each person to believe in Jesus as a free will choice (see the two articles on Calvinism listed above), and I believe that the Arminians are quite correct on this point. The Bible teaches both of these things, even though they might sound contradictory to our limited human minds. Mankind is fallen and would never choose to believe in Jesus unless God first initiates it, but after God begins drawing us to Jesus He allows us to exercise our free will in whether or not to choose to believe in Jesus.

Conclusion

What I see in Scripture is that a person’s salvation depends on God (as Calvinists claim) and the person’s salvation depends on his free will decision (as Arminians claim). These truths are both taught in Scripture, and they are held in tension with each other just as the two truths that Jesus is 100% God and 100% human are both taught in Scripture and are held in tension with each other. Whether or not we can grasp these “contradictory” truths is not the issue, the issue boils down to the fact that these “contradictory” truths are clearly taught in Scripture. God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts! (Isaiah 55:8-9).

http://www.layhands.com/Calvinism.htm

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