07 April 2006

Just curious ...

by Frank Turk

I've been having a little knock-down drag-out at my blog over Limited Atonement, and I have been thinking about it intently. Now I have a question, which I would like to pose to the readers of TeamPyro:

Does any person who ought to be condemned to hell escape because God is somehow not concerned or involved enough about sending them to hell that they escape his wrath? For example, is it possible that, in the final account, Judas will be judged by God worthy of hell but will escape God's wrath and spend eternity in heaven with the saints?

Talk amongst yourselves.

95 comments:

Stephen_Baker said...

Short answer: No. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?

Steve Sensenig said...

Opposite answer on the basis of the same reasoning: Yes, it's possible because God can handle this however He wants to. If He somehow has ordained that Judas will escape the eternal punishment in Hell through some method that He has chosen not to reveal to us, yet which would somehow remain consistent with what He has revealed to us (which admittedly, human logic seems to prevent), then it would be right, and He would be glorified.

How's that for a very run-on sentence?!?! ;)

In other words, He is God. I'll let Him do His job however He deems best to do it!

steve :)

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Steve, at least you admit that "human logic seems to prevent" your view.

Mike Y said...

No. I disagree with with the last comment. Sure God is God and what he ordains is good. But God must remain morally consistent with his character. Arbitrarily contradicting himself on a subjective basis would violate this notion.

If God can decide in such a fashion to pardon Judas outside of faith and imputed righteousness, then he could opt the other way to deploy wrath on the most heinous of sinners who, otherwise, finds grace and mercy through faith.

Anyway, just my 2 cents. Feel free to disagree.

DJP said...

There's a danger in taking our eyes from the Bible and abstracting from concepts we hold about God, independently of His own direct statements. As to Judas, no, there is no hope for him. He is one of the three specific individuals we know will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire (John 6:70; 17:12).

God can indeed do anything He wants; and He will never want to do anything contrary to His stated word, since it is impossible for Him to lie.

Carla said...

In a word: NO.

Susan said...

My husband pointed out this Scripture to me related to other blog discussions in which I was involved this past week. It seems appropriate here.
In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, from Luke 16, specifically verse 26, Jesus quotes Abraham as saying "And besides all this between us [in heaven] and you [in hell] there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us." (NKJV)
This confirmed for me that the folks destined for hell stay there. There is no "get out of hell free" card.

donsands said...

"The Son of man goes as it is written of Him: woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born." Matt 26:24

Never being born is serious.

BugBlaster said...

So if I've understood, your question is...
Can someone be one of the limited elect and therefore fully atoned for by Christ's death and resurrection, and can they subject to irresistable grace, yet not aware of it? It would be hard to persevere in such a case. It would sort of be TUL, with an asterisked I thrown in, and no P in sight.

Unless as Steve is saying, you are asking if there is the possibility of a separate salvific scheme that is consistent with God's nature and that we are not privy to... I'm with Dan, in that I'm not interested in that discussion. Falls under the category of vain debate.

But Frank, your innocent questions are never quite what they seem, are they? ;)

DJP said...

But Frank, your innocent questions are never quite what they seem, are they? ;)

Word.

Gummby said...

Dan, I'd even go a step farther (or is it further--HS moms, help me out here).

God is serious about sin, and serious about punishing it. How serious? Well, He sent His Son to die for it. If He's that serious about sin, then consistency in His character would mean that all sin will be punished, either by Jesus (through his death on the cross) or by the sinners themselves.

Not to drag the debate from Frank's blog over here, but that's why I'm so convinced about limited atonement. God does punish sin, but is he so unjust as to punish both His Son and the sinner for the same sins? My answer is no, hence atonement must be limited.

But even if you don't buy Limited Atonement, the point still stands. God hates sin (we can see how much by His actions to punish it). He would never (in Frank's hypothetical) be unconcerned or uninvolved to enough to just let it go unpunished. (BTW, if He could have been that unconcerned, there wouldn't have been a need for Jesus to die, would there?)

Buggy: anyone who thinks Frank asks innocent questions obviously didn't participate in his last media survey?

marc said...

Judas Iscariot in heaven - Maybe
Judas Priest in heaven - No Way!

Steve Sensenig said...

Unless as Steve is saying, you are asking if there is the possibility of a separate salvific scheme that is consistent with God's nature and that we are not privy to

And that is exactly what I was saying. Others here have predictably reacted in a knee-jerk fashion to what I wrote.

My point about human logic was precisely to say that I don't see any way possible from what God has revealed that Judas could be redeemed. But there is a point where it becomes arrogant for us to say, "I know how it all works because I understand the mind of God."

Mike, I said absolutely nothing about God "arbitrarily contradicting Himself on a subjective basis."

BugBlaster said...

Three thoughts, then back to work for the day:
1. Romans 10:10-18 tells us God is NEVER unconcerned and uninterested in punishing sin.

2. John 14:6 tells us there is no other way than the way he's revealed to us in his word: Jesus Christ.

3. Thinking that Frank is innocent is the sign of someone who doesn't know him very well.

Kim said...

Gummby:

I'll answer the "further/farther" question since there is no way I'm touching Frank's question. I can look stupid without his help :-)

The word "farther" relates to distance. It is a comparitive word, meaning "at a greater distance." The word "further" on the other hand, means "more" or "additional" or "to a greater extent" which is what I think how you were using it.

My gut reaction is to agree with Carla, 'cause if we're wrong, she said it first (hee hee).

donsands said...

Is this a similar question: If Any one stood at the gates of heaven, and God said, "Why should I allow you in"? What would be the right answer?


The only right answer, I would think, would be; "You shouldn't". I don't deserve to come into Your presence.

Perhaps this is a rabbit trail. I'm not sure.

candyinsierras said...

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Sccripture might be fulfilled.

Seems clear to me.

Steve Sensenig said...

It's interesting that Candy brought this up because I was just thinking about this on my drive in to the University (and since my first two students have cancelled, I now have time to come back and check on this!)

That verse that Candy quoted certainly does make it seem definite that Judas, in particular, has no other hope of redemption. So, I may have to retract my earlier hypothetical! :)

The thought that was coming to me, though, was that Jesus says that none of the ones the Father gave Him (isn't this often used in Calvinism to refer to the elect?) were lost, except for Judas.

Does this statement by Jesus mean that Judas was given to Him by the Father and yet still ended up being lost (by his own rejection of Jesus)??

James Spurgeon said...

Let me translate the first paragraph of Frank's post:

[I've been playing with matches over on my own blog lately and we've got this big forest fire going with a lot of people getting really hot and bothered about it, some even scorched and burned, so I was scratching my head and thinking to myself, What better place to spread this fire to than the Pyromaniacs blog?

As for the question Frank asks . . .

God describes his judgment as "swift."

2 Peter 2:1 (KJV)
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

God is also said not to be slack concerning his promises. Has he not promised judgment for all sinners outside of Christ?

Romans 2:8-9 (KJV)
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, [9] Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

As for Steve Sensenig, I like his smile, but I agree with Dan's assessment of his first comment.

;>)

rebecca said...

My point about human logic was precisely to say that I don't see any way possible from what God has revealed that Judas could be redeemed. But there is a point where it becomes arrogant for us to say, "I know how it all works because I understand the mind of God."

But while we can't understand the mind of God--after all, our minds are only finite pea brains--we can know some things about him because he has chosen to reveal some of himself and his works to us. And one thing he's told us about himself is that he is always righteous (or just). When God says in Romans 3 that because he is righteous (or just), passing over sin required the public display of Christ as the means of propitiation, and that otherwise he could not have righteously (or justly) forgiven sin, we can understand that to mean that the death of Christ is required in every case in which God does not express his wrath against sin.

And we know this not because we understand the mind of God, but because he has explained this part of himself to us.

centuri0n said...

Just to fuel controversy, it would be interesting to know why everyone except Steve thinks God is able to make sure that people He judges are going to hell will actually make it there and not get off one train station before the lake of fire.

For Steve: you have somehow misread my question. I am not asking "does God judge anyone worthy of Hell?" I am asking whether or not God, when he makes this judgement, is able to make sure it sticks. And if so, how or why?

BugBlaster said...

Strange question, Frank.

The answer that is not as flippant as it sounds is because he's God and we are His creatures. He is able to prevent any unfinished business from falling through the cracks. If someone were able to outmuscle and outsmart the omnipotent and omniscient God and somehow jump off the figurative train one station early, they still wouldn't be homefree, because you can't hide from omnipresent God.

Whatcha lookin for? prooftexts?

rebecca said...

I am asking whether or not God, when he makes this judgement, is able to make sure it sticks. And if so, how or why?

Yes, me makes sure it sticks. Why? Because he works all things according to the counsel of his will. Any judgment he makes is part of the all things within the counsel of his will that he works according to. I don't see room in that for a judgment of God falling by the wayside and not being accomplished.

donsands said...

The Lord Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth, and the Father has committed all judgement to Him.
He will seperate the sheep from the goats. Those who have been written in the Book of Life will inherit His father's kingdom, and those who are not will be judged for their sins, and the angels shall take them to their eternal inevitable fate.

Steve Sensenig said...

Frank wrote: For Steve: you have somehow misread my question.

First of all, Frank, I wouldn't want to disappoint you since you think I'm the master of misreading what you write! ;) hehe

Secondly, I have to say that I'm more confused than ever as to what it is you're trying to ask, what it is you're hoping to hear, and in what sick sort of way you're gonna twist it all around in the end!! LOL

I think I'm just gonna sit back and read this thread without trying to figure it out anymore!

Oh, by the way, with regard to Rebecca who thought that her position wasn't arrogant, but then wrote:

Yes, me makes sure it sticks. (emphasis mine)

Well, I'll just let that speak for itself!! Who'd have thought God was posting here under the name "Rebecca"!! (And yes, Rebecca, I know it's a typo -- I just couldn't resist pointing it out!) :)

steve :)

Darlene said...

I'm agreeing with Kim and Carla.
(good one Kim !) :)

Aaron said...

centuri0n:

We receive what God has revealed, and He has told us that whatever He purposes, He brings to pass:

Isa 46:8 "Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors,
Isa 46:9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,
Isa 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'
Isa 46:11 calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.


We also know that He has declared that unless we are united with Christ, we will not receive eternal life:

Joh 6:43 Jesus answered them, "Do not grumble among yourselves.
Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
Joh 6:45 It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me--
Joh 6:46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.
Joh 6:47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
Joh 6:48 I am the bread of life.
Joh 6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
Joh 6:50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
Joh 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
Joh 6:52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Joh 6:53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.


And furthermore:

Joh 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

And finally:

Pro 11:21 Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.

Mat 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


From these verses and others, I think we can confidently assert that God has declared the following:

1. Wickedness is always punished
2. Sin is punished by death
3. In the case of sinners, punishment is eternal
4. In the case of the pure, spotless Lamb, death atones for the sins of the Elect
5. Since the unrepentant are not atoned for by the Lamb, God's wrath remains on them
6. God does not forgo punishment except in the case of the atonement by the Lamb
7. Therefore, since God makes good on His word, no one for whom atonement is not made by the Lamb will escape eternal punishment.

centuri0n said...

Buggy:

As usual, the short answer is the best answer.

I'm wondering is anyone agrees with you ...

centuri0n said...

Aaron:

I like your answer. Stick around.

:-)

centuri0n said...

And where's the clown button for Sensenig?

D-8<

Mike Ratliff said...

"Does any person who ought to be condemned to hell escape because God is somehow not concerned or involved enough about sending them to hell that they escape his wrath? For example, is it possible that, in the final account, Judas will be judged by God worthy of hell but will escape God's wrath and spend eternity in heaven with the saints?"

First question: No.
Second question No.

Why? God is just and perfect. He will never violate His justice for anyone whose sins are not covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. They have not had Christ's Righteousness imputed to them so in God's eyes their sin, their unrigheousness is right out there in plain sight.

How's that?

thedodester said...

How do we know nobody escapes through the cracks?

Since God upholds all things by the Word of His power then it follows that He maintains hell, the lake of fire and those who are in in them eternally. He doesn't just put the condemned in a closet, throw away the key and forget about them. It is eternal punishment. There is no break in the chain of custody for the reprobate either on the way to the lake of fire or after he is in it. He is maintained there purposefully and eternally by God. That's eternal wrath.

In Rev 14:9-12 there is a glimpse of the active participation of God in eternal punishment. The beast and his worshipers are tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb - and the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever.

In eternity, God is eternally expressing His active wrath upon all who are not in Christ, just as, for Christ's sake, He eternally expresses His active love to all those who are found in Christ.

This is so fearful a prospect that verse 12 refers to it as a call to the saints to persevere. In other words the fear of this horror is one means God uses to keep the saints pressing onward.

Blessings

irish calvinist said...

The answer is rooted in the eternal character of God...all of his attributes are eternal. And for this discussion, specifically his righteousness:

Psalm 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.

God cannot but punish sin. Hence the eternality of hell...(not as if reprobates in hell would ever actually fully satisfy divine wrath)...

So could God not punish anyone who is not covered in the righteousness of Christ...no way!!

For it is only in Christ that God can be seen as loving/just/holy/forgiving/holy at the same time (Rom.3.21-27).

John 3:36 36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

For it is only in Christ that an eternal sacrifice could be brought to the Father and therby propitiate his wrath (Heb. 9.11-14).

Sorry if this is long--but i'm preaching in Hebrews this weekend and this was a match...

great discussion~

centuri0n said...

I think a couple of people have brushed up against the right answer, but let's keep something in mind: God punishes sin because He is just. But the reason nobody escapes his punishment which he is actively and justly carrying out is not that He is just: it is because ...

... well, I'm not giving up the beans yet. This isn't a government secret or anything, but I'm enjoying the comments.

irish calvinist said...

all right centuri0n..the quick answer is because God is a loving God.

He will not give his glory to another (Is. 42.8) he is jealously pursuing his own exaltation and nothing, no one will impede the continual self-exaltation of God.

So because God is the ultimate object of his own LOVE he will not allow anyone to fall through the cracks.

Mike Ratliff said...

Holy!

Mike Ratliff said...

God is Holy. He is seperate from all unrighteousness. It is His active Holiness that keeps the unrightous from His presence.

Gummby said...

...still having no clue where Cent is going with this, the intrepid sidekick responds...

Because He's God. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. He is the God above all other gods, not like Dagon, who fell flat on his face before the ark, or Baal, who couldn't protect his altar from Gideon or his prophets from their confrontation with Elijah.

craig said...

G'day Guys,

Why go and evangelise, if limited atonement is all it is cracked up to be?

After all, if God has chosen them to be saved, they will whether they hear the gospel or not?

Or what happens to thos God chose to be saved before the creation of the world, but no one goes and talks to them...in a state of disobedience...

Will God still bring them to salvation of are they condemned?

Blessings craig b

Gummby said...

Craig: just curious--do you ever do anything besides argue with people on their blogs?

irish calvinist said...

Hi Craig-

why go and evangelize?
1) Because Jesus commands his followers to (Matt. 28.19-20)
2) Because the gospel is the means of salvation (Rom. 10.17; 1 Cor. 1.18ff)
3) Because God is glorified as his gospel is proclaimed, even when rejected (2 Cor. 2.14-17)

God will bring the gospel to the elect.

Remember also that Jesus actually accomplished redemption upon the cross. He didn't just make folks redeemable, he accomplished redemption (Heb. 9.12b)when he propitiated Divine wrath...then God applies this redemption (that Christ accomplished) in a point in time.

Limited or Definite Atonement does not hinder evangelism, rather it fuels it!

Acts 13.48; 18:9-10

Susan said...

My mother just sent me the following in an email (thank God she doesn't believe it). Since it's relevant to this discussion, I thought I'd post it as a comment:
"Did you see in the news the bit about Judas perhaps not being a traitor after all of Jesus. A scroll from the "Book of Jacob" has re-appeared. In it is a statement that Jesus asked Judas to betray him (to fulfill the OT prophesy). Jesus told him that his name would be villified for generations to come throughout the ages, but that He, Jesus, had a special place for him in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Personally, I think it all supports what's coming down the pike with the Dan Brown novel (The Da Vinci Code) being made into a movie. We're in for a lot of confusion in this country (and others) from folks who don't read their Bibles.

craig said...

G'day Matt,

Actually I will question something I don't like or believe in, but no I don't always argue with peopl on their blogs.

Seems to me you would rather it be a groupf of people backslapping each other for believing the right things, rather than discuss the issues.

The other thing I don't understand, is why is it that people will pray for their own children and loved ones if God has already chosen who will be saved.

If you truly believe in limited atonement and predestination, don't pray for the lost. God has already decided,and oyur prayers will have no effect anyway.

Blessings craig b

donsands said...

Craig,

A Scripture verse came to mind as i read you thoughts.

"Therefore He [God] has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?'" Rom. 9:18-19

I had to study this chapter of the Bible for a while, (actually the last part of chapter 8 as well), before I came to see it for what i believe it says to us.
He is the Potter and I the clay.

I love to pray to the Lord, and ask him to have mercy on my grandsons, and that they would grow to be worshippers of Christ our lord, and I believe the lord may answer my prayer, but that is His sovereign choice to answer it, or not.

Election, limited atonement, predestination, and total depravity are deep and rich teachings that we do need to struggle with. I did, and still do; though I am Reformed in my faith.

Carla said...

Wow. I came back to read the discussion and find Kim and Darlene have made me the fall guy (thanks girls, no chips for you! lol) then everyone else using the same verses I would have used to back my position.

My work here is done. I'll let Frank take it from here.

Love Always,
A TR Mean Sidekick in Training.
:o)

TxSkypilot said...

I don't think anyone has mentioned Acts 1:24-25:

And they prayed and said, "You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place."

We see here both God's sovereignty and Judas exercising his free will (bound by his depraved mind) to transgress. God is not culpable for Judas' sin. He freely chose to betray Christ. As a result he went "to his own place."

For Judas to slip through the cracks of God's justice, would first be a denial of this Scripture and a denial of His sovereign power to act in accordance with His divine justice.

As a sinner Judas like all sinners was "condemned already" (Jn.3:18). Yet, Judas had the greatest witness of the gospel that any unbeliever has ever received. He spent over three years personally with the Son of God and yet refused His grace.

The Bible teaches that while hell is indeed horrible for all who go there, it will be more horrible for those who known more of God and yet reject Him (cf. Mt.11:20-24). Judas knew Jesus personally. How could anyone in hell receive more severe punishment Judas?

God's justice will not allow any sinner to escape eternal punishment, Judas' sin is so great, it could never be overlooked.

SJ Camp said...

Frank: Really good this discussion.

You wrote: Does any person who ought to be condemned to hell escape because God is somehow not concerned or involved enough about sending them to hell that they escape his wrath?

No. (I liked Carla's response so much I had to quote her). God is not a Deist. He is intimately involved with all His creatures whether as objects of mercy or objects of His wrath.

You wrote: "For example, is it possible that, in the final account, Judas will be judged by God worthy of hell but will escape God's wrath and spend eternity in heaven with the saints?"

Again, no. We are all judged by God worthy of hell (Roms. 3:19-19, 23); we only escape through His sovereign electing love and grace (Eph. 1:4-14). As the son of perdition, Judas was not elect.

1. It is because God cannot lie; is sovereign over all of His creatures; and even in His wrath He is glorified, because He is just and remains faithful when we are unfaithful.

2. Rom. 9:18 ¶ So then, He shows mercy to whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills. Rom. 9:19 ¶ You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” Rom. 9:20 But who are you—anyonea who talks back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” Rom. 9:21 Or has the potter no right over His clay,a to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor?
Rom. 9:22 And what if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath ready for destruction? Rom. 9:23 And |what if| He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory—
Rom. 9:24 on us whom He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

Campi
2 Cor. 4:5-7

centuri0n said...

OK: before I nod off tonight...

Personally, I evangelize because the news is good and people ought to hear it; Jesus said we should not keep a lamp under a basket but on a table so it lights up the whole house. It is part of being a disciple to spread the Gospel -- including the parts like the fact that people who are judged by their works are going to go to hell.

So limited atonement is part of the Gospel -- you know: Christ died for "us", and when Paul said "us" he didn't mean "us sinners" or "us humans" but "us believers".

In that, I think a lot of folks are missing the point of my question: I am not questioning whether God will act to punish the wicked in the final account. I know he will.

The question is whether anyone will be able to, so to speak, grab the baliff's gun and shoot his way out of the courthouse and make a mad escape after the sentence is passed.

In human justice, this happens. In God's justice system it will never happen. Does it make anyone who doesn't believe in limited atonement wonder why the condemned cannot escape their fate but the rest are in a somewhat more-precarious situation in that in this life apparently some of them will not meet the glorius fate God apparently wants them to have?

That's what the unlimited atonement theories all have in common: a great measure of uncertainty regarding the fate of those God intends to save. Apparently God is going to punish all the reprobate, save many of those he intends to save, but some of those he would have liked to save are going to get punished instead.

Nobody would bother to say that God saves all he intends to save, punishes many of the reprobate, but some of those whom he would have liked to pounish will wind up saved instead. The incongruity of that thinking is obvious: it makes God a bit of a Barney Fife. Why doesn't the view that God won't save everyone he set out to save -- a doctrine which is expressed in Scripture as an encouragement for the believer -- fail the same sniff test?

centuri0n said...

Yeah. That last sentence should read:

Why doesn't the view that God won't save everyone he set out to save -- when Scripture teaches limited atonement as an encouragement for the believer -- fail the same sniff test?

Good Night.

craig said...

G'day guys,

The passage mentioned before was in regards to advice in choosing a replacement Apostle.

Goys if you really believe in Predestination and in Limited Atonement, those parents among you, "do you pray for your children to be saved? and if so WHY?"

All the non parents, do you pray for your family and friends to be saved, and if so - WHY?

If God has already chosen who he will save before the beginning of creation, then your prayers will have absolutely no chance of being answered, and you have no true hope of asking in belief that God will answer your prayers.

I challenge every parent of children, if you really believe this doctrine, start walking in it, and stop praying for your children to be saved.

Blessings craig b

CraigS said...

Craig: just curious--do you ever do anything besides argue with people on their blogs?
Don't mix us up - I certainly have a strong belief in predestination (though not limited atonement). And I have argued the point ad nauseum with my mate, CraigB.

Libbie said...

Mr Turk,

You do that turn-an-argument-on-it's-head thing so effectively.

Craig,

Means. It's all about means. the biblical doctrine of predestination is not fatalism. It is entirely biblically inconsistent to sit back and say 'well, I shan't pray for anyones salvation or preach, because God will save them anyway'.

No-one who believes in predestination believes that God saves in a lucky dip sort of way while we lie around eating crisps.
The Means God has ordained is preaching the gospel, and fervent prayer fits in there too.
If scripture said we were saved by God mystically dropping spiritual jellybeans into our souls and no-one notices, you'd have a point.
But the rather amazing fact is that God has ordained us to be the means of His will being done. Doesn't mean we're not entirely dependent on Him. In fact, it rather presupposes it.

donsands said...

craig,

If we could go back to my earlier post, I would love to know how you interpret Romans 9:18-19.

If you'd rather not that's cool.

David said...

Back to the fray. And yes Frank, I will get back to you on your blog. It has been a busy couple of days. you should understand.

Frank, and any one else who cares to pile on.

If a person does not agree with Calvin's version of limited atonment, are you then automatically a universalist?

Ergo, if someone believes that God did indeed send his Son for whole world, but limited Salvation to those who believe, must be a universalist because they disagree with Calvin's version of limited atonement?

A yes or no answer is fine. We can continue the whole Calvin is wrong arguement on Franks Blog (just trying to drive up your hit stats Frank)

Chris Freeland said...

Frank,

I was just looking at your sig... did you do something different with your hair?

James Spurgeon said...

craig, do you believe God has appointed the day of your death? Certianly you do. You don't think it's is random do you?

Well, then, why bother to eat? You're going to live a certain amount of time whether you eat or not, aren't you? I mean, God has already determined it. For that matter, why bother breathing?

Just about as silly as what you're arguing.

chamblee54 said...

While I would be reasonable in thinking that this question is regarding Judas Iscariot, I was wondering about the band Judas Priest.
Others have spoken about the jesus kisser, but I have a thought about the band.
They are going to HELL.
And what kind of music would a (lame) heavy metal band listen to for eternity?
The spell check suggestion for Iscariot is escargot.

Susan said...

I agree with Chris. I noticed Frank's new hair style right away. I don't think it will be all the rage, however. Unless it comes with a free happy meal.

Rick Potter said...

Frank said: “For example, is it possible that, in the final account, Judas will be judged by God worthy of hell but will escape God's wrath and spend eternity in heaven with the saints?”

Sounds like a marriage of Heaven and Hell to me. Hypothetically, we would be assuming that somehow God could allow one to escape his wrath and somehow make it in to Heaven. This would entail Judas being passed over in regeneration, justification, sanctification and finally glorification – if indeed God had deemed him worthy of hell (which he has). So, again hypothetically, Judas has made it into heaven without all the benefits aforementioned. In that case, heaven would be a worse hell for Judas. He would be in the presence of all who did deserve to be there (through the blood of Christ) but having escaped God’s wrath, he would still be bound by his conscience.

HCSB Rom. 13:5
5 Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience.

Judas would not have the pledge of a good conscience toward God (1 Pet. 3:21)
There could not be purity in his life – even in heaven – because of the testimony of his conscience. (Titus 1:5)

Our conscience would testify that our goal would have been reached. His would constantly testify against him:
HCSB 1 Tim 1:5 - Now the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

Heaven would be a worse hell for Judas because he would see all those being constantly being blessed by the presence of God. At least in Hell he could look over at someone who was suffering with him and because of his nature take pleasure (if you can call it that) in the fact that he was not alone. I don’t see how Judas could love anyone in Heaven. No, he would even hate himself there.

Rick

Aaron said...

Craig:

You keep asking, in effect, "Do you pray for the salvation of your children, and if so, WHY, since God has already made the decision? Why preach?"

The question is answered by these things:

One, we are instructed to pray for others.
Two, God has ordained not only the result, but also the method by which He brings it about. That method is the preaching of the Word:

Rom 10:13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Rom 10:14 But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
Rom 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"


So, though God has ordained in advance who will receive the Word, the process by which they receive it is always through the preaching of the Word, spoken or written. So, the question, "Why preach, since God will save whoever He wants" misses the point-- God has ordained that He saves them through the preaching of the Word.

Three, we are commanded to preach the Gospel. We are given the opportunity to be the instruments through which God works. True, if I don't preach the Word to someone that God has predestined to glory, someone else will, but I will have been disobedient, will have missed the opportunity to be a part of God's glorious plan of redemption, and will have shown my disdain for my fellow man.

Four, we pray for the lost because we love them. Although my daughter may not go to heaven, I do not know that because I don't know the hidden mind of God, and my prayer is an expression of the hope that she will be on that roll.

Five, I ought to question you regarding prayer for another's salvation. Do you not pray that God will turn that person's heart? In systems apart from Calvinism and Luther's monergism, it doesn't make sense to ask God to change a person's heart, or to bring them to salvation, since that's precisely what such systems oppose in the thought of Calvin and Luther. If salvation is ultimately in the hands of the individual, and it is wrong for God to alter the will of a sinner, then why would you pray that God do anything to influence that person? Aren't you asking God to "manipulate" that person's destiny?

The point is that we, Calvinists, have a reason to pray for God to change the heart of another for the same reason we have warrant to pray for anything: God has commanded that we pray to Him. See here:

Joh 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
Joh 14:13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Joh 14:14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
Joh 14:15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Joh 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
Joh 14:17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.


And here:

Joh 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
Joh 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Joh 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
Joh 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
Joh 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.


(C.H. Spurgeon has a great sermon on this text called "The Secret of Power in Prayer"). And here:

1Jo 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
1Jo 5:15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.


The point is that God is pleased to hear the prayers of His people, and is happy to do what is best for them. If God has already planned to save my daughter, does this mean that my prayer is not really answered, when I pray for her deliverance? Of course not!

CraigS said...

CraigB,

As I've said before, I honestly don't know why Arminians pray for their children's salvation. After all, it is a "free will" decision on the part of your children. So why pray to God? What can he do without overriding their "free-will"?

To my mind, it makes perfect sense for a Calvinist to pray for someones salvation. You always get caught up on the timing of the stuff. But God makes his plans in eternity, and He hears our prayers from eternity.

Perhaps where I differ from other "calvinists" is that I really believe our prayers make a difference to the saving of souls - for the reasons I outlined above.

Calvin somewhat emphasised prayer as something that changed us rather than something that affected God's plans (Institutes 3.20.3). I agree that prayer changes us for the better, but I also believe, strongly, that our prayers really do make a difference as well.

James says "you do not have because you do not ask." There are things that we will not get if we don't pray for them. Our prayers make a difference.

But none of this is contradicted by a sovereign God. In fact, it *requires* a sovereign God. The God I believe in is the absolute monarch of this world. Therefore it makes sense to pray for Him - because He has the power to answer prayer.

Regardless, the Bible clearly teaches that God is sovereign and also that He answers our prayers. I don't see a contradiction there, but even if that is distasteful to our Reason, faith would still oblige us to affirm both truths.

craig said...

G'day all.

Arminians don't deny the work God does is changing a persons heart, and indeed as an arminian I can pray for the lost, with full expectatiopn knowing God will answer that prayer.

And so we pray, fully expecting God to do so, knowing he will so. Yet for the Predestinist, you can't have any hope that God will answer your prayer.

How can you truly pray with assurance that God will answer your prayer for your sons and daughters.

BLessings craig b

CraigS said...

CraigB, mate I am confused. Do you believe God changes people's hearts so they can become Christians? Sounds like Calvinism to me...

How can you truly pray with assurance that God will answer your prayer for your sons and daughters.

Well, I explained as best I can in the two posts above why we can pray with assurance. Thats about all I can do.

craig said...

G'day Craig S

What I have said is not Calvinism.

Calvinism says that God has already determined before the creation of the world who will be, and will not be saved and that is that.

This is what the essence of Predestination is all about.

So if God has done this, then no amount of you, me or anyone else praying will cause God to answer those prayers.

The only thing that might happen is that you just might pray for someone God already decided to get saved before you were born.
But while that could be said is a case of God answering your prayers, that is not how the scriptures talk of prayer.

Again I say, if you truly believe that God has chosen who will be saved before the creation of the world, and at the same time who will be condemned, then your prayers are truly a waste of time and you need to stop praying for your children to be saved.

Blessings craig b

CraigS said...

So if God has done this, then no amount of you, me or anyone else praying will cause God to answer those prayers.

Thats just not true CraigB, and I explained why above. The problem is that you speak as if God is bound by time like we are.

God makes his plans in eternity and He also hears our prayers in eternity. So the prayer I pray tomorrow God has already been taken into account in God's immutable plan.

Or let me put it another way. You (and other Arminians) say that God "foreknows" who is going to "have faith", and chooses them. Well, if God can "foreknow" faith, why can't he "foreknow" our prayers?

I can honestly say that the "calvinistic" scheme makes perfect sense to me, and fits scripture and experience beautifully.

The Arminian scheme honestly makes no sense to me at all.

Anyway, I've explained my beliefs as clearly as I can - and we have argued about this 100 times before. I suppose we will have to agree to disagree.

However, I would like to see your answer to the fellow who asked you about Romans 9.

craig said...

Hmmm what does all the other good 5 pointers think about Craig S theory.

Does God who is beyond time take into account our prayers and therefore chooses who will be saved before the creation of the world.

As too Romans - in the context Paul is talking about the hardening of Israel, not individuals.

BLessings craig b

James Spurgeon said...

craigs said, Perhaps where I differ from other "calvinists" is that I really believe our prayers make a difference to the saving of souls - for the reasons I outlined above.

You don't differ from me in that assertion. In fact, I think if your children go to hell and you didn't warn them and you didn't pray earnestly for their souls, then their blood will be on your hands.

James Spurgeon said...

craig said, Calvinism says that God has already determined before the creation of the world who will be, and will not be saved and that is that.

So does Arminianism.

donsands said...

craig,

Romans 9 is saying that God hardened Israel, not individuals?

I fail to understand this. Could you elaborate on your thinking?

Daniel said...

Dear Phil,

That appended signature graphic is soooooo over the top! You have such a great sense of humor!

Rick Potter said...

Don (donsands),
Might I recommend an excellent book? I read John Piper's excellent book "The Justification of God" which deals with Romans 9:1-23. This book has opened my eyes not a little.

Rick

Gummby said...

Craig (B) said: If God has already chosen who he will save before the beginning of creation, then your prayers will have absolutely no chance of being answered, and you have no true hope of asking in belief that God will answer your prayers.

That's just bosh. You're using logic and your obvious loathing of the concept of Limited Atonement to ignore Scripture, which Calvinists don't do.

What you've quoted is not Calvinism on predestination, it's actually determinism (or perhaps fatalism), where everything is predetermined and there's no point in doing anything. Others have pointed out the absurdity of doing nothing, so I won't spend much time here.

But I'll take it a step further (thank you Kim) by saying that you've got it backwards: it isn't Calvinists that are theologically inconsistent by praying for the lost; it's Arminians.

You said: Arminians don't deny the work God does is changing a persons heart, and indeed as an arminian I can pray for the lost, with full expectatiopn knowing God will answer that prayer.

I would point out, though, that the thoughtfully consistent Arminian might actually come to the opposite conclusion--not bothering to pray for the lost. Why? Well, if God grants men's free will the final decision-making authority (thereby making man's free-will ultimately sovereign), what's the point in praying to God? He's already done all He can--the rest is up to men. You might as well quit wasting your time praying to God, and instead focus on convincing men by every means possible why they should come into the kingdom.

For the biblical Arminian, however, this becomes problematic, as he tries to wrestle through not only passages on election & predestination, but also the methods employed to share the gospel. For instance, if men must be convinced, why doesn't Paul come to the Corinithians with lofty speech or words of eloquent wisdom, instead preferring the foolishness of the gospel?

For Steve S., blueDan, and others who were a part of the discussion on Frank's blog, Craig B's example of logic is what we all try to avoid--that is, taking the logic of the situation and then ignoring parts of Scripture. (Yes, Dan, I know you think that's what we are doing, but stay with me here). Craig's argument hinges on his (mis)understanding of Limited Atonement--if you really believe this, why bother doing what the Scripture commands us to do (his exact words were: If you truly believe in limited atonement and predestination, don't pray for the lost. God has already decided,and oyur prayers will have no effect anyway.).

There is a proper application of logic, as long as it is faithful to all of Scripture; this isn't it.

CraigS said...

In fact, I think if your children go to hell and you didn't warn them and you didn't pray earnestly for their souls, then their blood will be on your hands.

Absolutely right and a huge exhortation to prayer. Indeed, the only reason I pray is because I believe God is sovereign in salvation. Why would I bother otherwise?

CraigS said...

CraigB, the Arminian believes that some men are dead to God. That is, they reject Him and His revelation.

The Calvinist believes that ALL men are dead to God until God brings them to life.

Isn't the Calvinist position more logical? I mean, in Arminianism, why is it that only SOME men are spiritually dead? Is it genetic?

Doesn't it make more sense to believe that ALL men are dead, rather than just some at random?

Also, just because we say that God's choice is a mystery doesn't mean it is irrational, random or arbitary. God has good reasons for everything He does - He just hasn't revealed to us His reasons for electing who He elects. Thats what a mystery is - something hidden.

As Luther said, He would be a poor sort of a God if He had to justify Himself to His creation...

craig said...

I am glad then that you guys have cleared this up for me about the doctrine of Predestination.

I always thought this doctrine said that God before the creation of the world decided who would be and who would not be saved, and that man had no say in the matter.

But here you are saying men do have a say in it, via their prayers, as to who will be saved and who will not be.


Thanks for clearing up my misconceptions, blessings craig b

CraigS said...

Cheers Craig, and many blessings!

donsands said...

craig,

It matters not what we think, really. What does the Bible say, is the question for us. I know you agree.

I know how I see Romans 9. You stated that the context of this chapter, specifically verses 18-19, teach that Israel is being hardened, and not individuals.
To be blunt I think this is an incredible statement to make, (though others may agree with you).
Would you be able to elaborate, or at least, give a short explanation of your interpretation?
All for the Cross, Galatians 6:14.

craig said...

G'day Donsands,

There is a danger of reading Romans 9:18-19 out of context of the whole passage, and you do so if you don't take into consideration that Paul is talking about the Jewish nation in verse 3, which is the key to understanding what Paul is meaning later on.

It is interesting that Paul uses the word hardens only once in his epistles in that God will harden to dend to hell whom he wants.

Yet the author of Hebrews, which most likely is Paul, uses it 3 times to say we need to ensure we don't harden our hearts against God.

This is where spiritless theology causes problems. When you analyse the work of God in a trinitarian approach, you realise that the hardening of heart comes as God withdraws his Holy Spirit from working in a persons life, and so it is not so much God who hardened Israel, it is they who rebelled against God and indoing so God withdrew from them in in doing so hardened them.

You see this happening time and time again through out the scriptures.

BLessings craig b

CraigS said...

Certainly Luther taught something similar to this - that when God "hardened" someone it was by withdrawing his grace from their heart.

And a number of modern Calvinists seem to come down on Luthers side in this (I'm thinking of Sproul in "Essential Answers").

donsands said...

craig,

I agree. We need to look at the immediate context. For me the context is that God is sovereign, and He has mercy on whom He wills. It's not to HIM, who wills, or to HIM who runs, but to God, who shows mercy. And not only that He hardens whom He wills.
Whom did Paul use in the context to show us God hardens whom He wills?
Pharaoh is the one hardened by the sovereign will of God.
God is the potter. He makes vessels of honor and of dishonor.
He takes the clay, and He makes a beautiful vase, or a spittoon.

I believe the context, not only going back to verse 3, but back to chapter 8 verse 33: "who shall bring a charge against God's elect?", is very important indeed.

God has an elect group of people He died for. All of Isreal is not Israel, but the elect are those chosen by His grace. As Jacob was chosen before he was born.
I believe the immediate context is very clear, and I must be honest and say I don't know how you can see this context is God hardening Israel.
Verses 18-19 pose a question for this very reason. "Who can resist His will?" God hardens, and God has mercy.
We disagree on the context, so I suppose that's it. I can agree to disagree respectfully.

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! ...For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen." Rom. 11:33,36

centuri0n said...

This thread is what blogging is all about. Nice work people.

Except for CraigS, who is still mad that his pizza market gew but not enough to suport a whol other pizza joint.

>-P

Gummby said...

Craig B is just lucky that these aren't Haloscan comments--he's long passed the clown threshold.

Phil Johnson said...

Nice sig.

centuri0n said...

I was looking for a kid running with scissors, but that'll have to do.

craig said...

What do you mean,

Haloscan and clown threshold?

CraigS said...

Except for CraigS, who is still mad that his pizza market gew but not enough to suport a whol other pizza joint.

Yeah, the pizza shop that closed re-opened. Our sales have dropped - but not yet by as much as they increased.

Now, either more people have developed a taste for pizza, or we have won over some of the other shops customers. Or, possibly, people aren't yet aware that the shop has re-opened.

But there is 1 shop too many to be supported by our local area. One must fall...

CraigS said...

By the way Frank, where did the nickname "Centurion" come from?

centuri0n said...

It came from me marching groups of 100 people from here to there.

Gummby said...

Craig B: Something like this.

CraigS said...

Frank, thanks for clearing that up...

Aaron said...

Centuri0n,
I tried to find a kid running with scissors, but the best I could find was this.

Mike Y said...

Steve, you may not see this post, since it's rather aged. I re-read your original post and apologize for reading into your stance. I understand, now, the point you were trying to make. Just for the record.

-Mike

centuri0n said...

Oh wait --

CraigS was serious!

Craig: to make it up to you, I'm going to make it a TeamPyro post. Thanks for asking.

centuri0n said...

Ah, the heck with it. Mt 8 and Lk 7, CraigS. Think about what it means to have a Roman centurion confess that in the same way he (the centurion) can order anyone to do whatever he says, Christ has the authority to order a sick man to be well by just saying that it be done.

That's the confession of Christ I want to make. I hope it's the one you want to make.

CraigS said...

Ok, all clear - cheers mate!