Dec 6, 2006

How would YOU answer these questions?

Now, I know the answers to the following questions, but someone I care about is asking them and I'm having a hard time explaining them in biblical terms. I've always had a problem of clearly articulating myself so people understand what I'm trying to get could you guys help me so I can help someone in turn? REMEMBER: I ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS AND CONSIDER MYSELF A 5 POINT CALVINIST. ALSO, feel free to respond EVEN IF you do not agree with my theology! All opinions are welcome!

1. What if you were not elected to receive salvation, but you really wanted to come to Jesus? He'd just say, "No, you weren't chosen"?

2. Why should I witness if some people aren't chosen?

3. Isn't it a lie to say while witnessing, "Jesus died for your sins" if He didn't actually die for their sins if they were not elected?


Stan said...

Hey, what happened to the post about witnessing??? I liked that one! (I didn't have anything to say about it, but I liked it.)

1. This is a contradiction in terms for those who believe that natural man is dead in sin. No one who is dead in sin wants to come to Jesus. No one. Even the elect. So the question is nonsensical.

2. Very good question. Very easy answer. If I were to ask God, I suppose the first answer He'd give me is "Because I said so." In other words, the first part of the answer is "Because we are commanded to do so." That's no small point. The second part of the answer is that, because we don't know who is and who isn't elect, we are to spread the Gospel like seeds, not decide who is and isn't elect and just give it to them. The third part of the answer is that in so doing we get to be a part of God's work in the world, and what could be better than that?!!!

3. This is a mistaken understanding of "Limited Atonement" that cannot be handled in an "easy answer". The Bible is clear that He "died for the sins of the world." It is equally clear that not all sins are paid for (atonement). We (those of us who are "Reformed") dare not deny that He "tasted death for every man" or that He is "the Savior of the world", but we cannot also affirm that all sin is paid for else we would affirm Universalism. (In other words, the problem isn't just ours; it's theirs as well.)

You know, of course, that these are the common "pat questions", the typical smokescreen that is sent up to ignore Reformed theology rather than discover it. This isn't always the case; sometimes these are sincere questions. Understand, however, that sometimes they are asked as "Gotcha!" questions and answering them will not solve the dilemma.

Samantha said...

Stan, this is awesome. Thank you so much!

I think this person's questions are sincere. They agree with all 5 points of Calvinism, but they are having a hard time figuring out who God really is. It's so much to take in and so different than the "modern" gospel!!

OH, I didn't like that last post. I thought it sounded stupid. Just one of those days when I was too nit-picky! :(

I'm weird sometimes.

Ancient Clown said...

I would like to preface this response with a statement; "To find the right answers, we must first find the right questions." Numerous people attempted to trick Jesus with the questions they asked.
God hates the sin, not the sinner. Jesus attempted to make this very clear when he shared the 'Golden Rules', both of which revolve around LOVE. The LOVE of GOD and LOVE of our neighbor as we LOVE ourselves. Thrice mentioned in two commandments and noted by Christ as being the cornerstone of understanding and living as GOD commands...also often ignored by self proclaimed followers.
Jesus taught us that no matter how far from GOD we may have strayed, we are STILL loved. "Many are called, few are chosen" is a phrase that highlights how we refuse to LISTEN even when GOD calls us personally. Those that listen and live according to GOD's Will are the children of GOD, by our actions shall our names be written in the 'Book of Life'.
Walking the talk, instead of talking our way out of walking, is the method Jesus left us. LOVE is the direction to go, Grace is the path to take and Mercy is the tool most often used, as those who show no mercy shall receive none.
I don't know if this info answers your questions to the degree I'm hoping, but maybe it at least gives you something to think about.
your humble servant,
ancient clown

Samantha said...


Thanks for your thoughts! I'm wondering though....this idea that God only hates the sin and not the sinner is confusing to me, since God Himself said, "Jacob I loved, Esau I Hated" ??

SOB said...

I think Stan did a great job of answering the questions.. As for as God hating sin or sinners. I would have to agree that Esau is a prime example of God's hating a man. I don't see how any Bible believing Christian can deny that God both loves and hates certain people and he is justified in both.

Susan said...

I do hope you are going to give us your answers. I'm not a calvinist and don't even know what the 5 points are but I'm really interested in your veiw point.
My answers:
1. If you were not elected you would not want to come to Jesus.
2. As said previously - the gospel is like seed - you never which ones will sprout
3. I think it is true to say Jesus died for your sins because Romans 6:10 and other places says 'once for all'. So I think Jesus died for all sins regardless of whether or not people accept His forgiveness.

Also when God said, I hate Esau I think He meant it in the same way as Luke 14:25 where Jesus said we are to hate our father and mother. Our love for God should be so great that our affection for our parents will seem like hate in comparison. Likewise God's plan for Jacob was so amazingly great it seemed like God hated Esau. For me, God is Love and therefore doesn't hate like man does.

Samantha said...

Thank you Susan for your thoughts. I'm going to post on this today. :D

ann_in_grace said...

Go here:
Excellent study on how to refute antiTULIP claims.

Samantha said...

Thank you Ann!

Bob said...

Number one is easy enough:
The fact that I want to come to Jesus is proof that God is calling . After all, I didn't choose Him, He chose me!

bob said...

Number two:
We "witness" (that's a noun, though, not a verb, in Scripture) because Jesus said to. His Spirit in me drives me to tell others. When I give out the Word the same Spirit will take that same Word that saved me and save someone else.

Number three seems to be a laid trap :)
I say this because I am of the persuasion that men should not have to choose sides and form denominations over this issue. Godly men have seen free will and predestination in Scripture. Only a few can see both. But when you see authors like Peter on both sides (calling the saints elect and saying God is not willing any should perish) you have to stop, scratch your head, and weep a long time over the unnecessary division in the Body of Christ!
Spurgeon talks about the words we see as we approach the city of God, "Whosoever will!" and then the words on the inside of the gate, looking at it from God's perspective, "saved from the foundation of the world."
I think that only when we can see both truths do we become a whole Christian.

To answer your question, only those set apart by the Spirit will hear you say "Jesus died for YOUR sins."

how'd i do?

Samantha said...

Agreed Bob :D