Bible Versus...

I am new here. I have a question about a bible verse. In Romans 9:18, the new testement, it syas that “therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden”. Can someone please tell me what this means?? Does this mean that not everyone will get into heaven?? He just picks and choses who he wants?? Please explain. Thanks in advance…

Hi sffan.

ROMANS 9:18 So then he has mercy upon whomever he wills, and he hardens the heart of whomever he wills.

This is from Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.


(Romans) 9:18 he has mercy . . . he hardens: The pattern of God’s dealings with Israel (9:15) and Pharaoh (9:17) during the Exodus is a pattern repeated in Paul’s day, when a remnant of Israel is shown mercy (9:23-24) and the rest remains hardened (11:7, 25). Divine hardening does not cause a person to sin but is a disciplinary measure for those like Pharaoh who are already stubbornly resisting God (Ex 7:14, 8:15).

This is from me.

The concept of God hardening a heart . . .

Why would God “harden” some (Romans 9:18) if he desires every single person to come to salvation?

You were referring to this verse:

ROMANS 9:18 So then he has mercy upon whomever he wills, and he hardens the heart of whomever he wills.

When God “hardens” someone’s heart He is NOT saying, “I’m not going to give this guy grace for salvation!” No. Rather quite the opposite and God hardening their hearts illustrates free will. How?

Scott Hahn does a good job explaining this concept. God gives grace that the people freely reject. This is the “hardening” of their . . . . (more depth here if interested). [/INDENT]

The in depth explanation was very enlightening! Thanks Cathoholic :thumbsup:

Thanks for your quick replies. So…What I am hearing is that God’s heart is not hard, but he can harden other people’s heart thru free will. God also does not have mercy on whom ever he feels. He can do this to other people thru free will right???

Can someone please explain this bible verse to me. It is from Romans 9:18, the new testement. “therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy” I understand the second part of this verse, about the hardening of the heart, but am having a hard time with this first one. Thanks in advance…i have a hard time beleiving that God only has mercy with only some people and not all.

Paul’s audience is “unbelieving Israel”. Envision yourself as a Jew, who follows the law but refuses to believe that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life”. Now you’re being told that Jesus has extended His offer of salvation to even your sworn enemy, the Samaritans. And your salvation is in peril because of your unbelief. Paul is telling them that God has mercy on whomever He pleases. Paul continues in subsequent verses to admonish them by asking who they think they are to tell the Creator of the Universe that He should only show them mercy and not the Gentiles. V.24 "Even us, whom also He hath called (Jews), not only the Jews, but also of the Gentiles.

So…Paul is telling people this, not God?? Thanks for your quick reply…

I realize that Americans just don’t understand how it is that the Creator and Judge doesn’t exists for the loving care of their all important happiness according to their judgement because they were born into the world. Many people don’t get that the Almighty has no problem with making things even living things such as men to serve and or fulfill His purposes, and discard that which doesn’t. He already knows that He is good and His Judgement is Good and Righteous without man’s input on the matter.

Farmers discard living things that are lesser then them in their own judgement, that don’t serve and or fulfill their purposes without concern for the view of the animals, all the time. Hence men have the same treatment of God’s creation and creatures.

Besides what Jesus did on the Cross is to all for all, so that all who, wait for it, the big requirement, “BELIEVE” may be saved. Hence if one refuses to believe, then.

If you notice not all men embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior do they?

D. Paul.
I am still a little confused. From what i understand from the first person who replied , this is Paul speaking about “God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy”

Paul wrote the letter to the Romans through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. As the audience in Ch 9 was “unbelieving Israel”, he cites passages from the OT (that they would be familiar with) to explain to them how Jesus has perfected the law in the New Covenant. Much the same way the priest explains the scriptures to us at Mass.

What does “through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit” mean?? Thanks in advance…

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