Well done my good and faithful servant.
That’s a good point. If they were predestined then it was God who did the doing and not them.
In the OT God said “my ways are not your ways nor are your ways my ways”. You see even thought it is God that does the saving, it is your responsiblity to being the gospel even the the elect. We do not know who the elect might be so we are to tell everyone of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospelis what God uses to being someone to salvation (Romans 1 : 16) Some will reject it, others (the elect or those predestine) will accept it
I do expect to hear the Lord say “WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVENT”
God so loved the world and not just a select bunch that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him and not just a preselected bunch of people but whoever believes in him may not perish but have everlasting life.
Christ came so that the world could be saved through him and not just a bunch of people that were picked beforehand.
We are predestined to do works prepared for us out of Gods foreknowledge and not by some preselection process.
Everyone who calls on the name of The Lord shall be saved and not just a preselected bunch who call on the name of The Lord.
God is no respector of persons. God does not show favouritism.
Calvinist predestination is against Gods charachter.
Limited Atonement insinuates that Christ didn’t do enough at Calvery. :mad:
My goodness, by George!! I think you’ve got it!!
Our good works were “planned for us from the beggining” we do nothing of our own only what the Father allows and plans for us, and nothing good we do comes without the prompting of the Holy Spirit, so God gets ALL the credit!!
God is the Author and Perfector of our Faith so “OF COURSE” I exect to hear ‘Well done my Good and Faithful Servant’, since the Faithful Servant is Jesus, and I will be covered with His blood. The Father will look upon me, and see the righteousness of Jesus, just as He looked upon Him, and saw my sin and turned His face away and forsook Him on the cross.
Thank God that He will say that exactly because of what He did, and not what I do/did.
If you get that point, that very very reformed point, you will be much closer to getting the humility and depth of your need, hence the magnitude of your gratitude and Love…those forgiven much, love much. If you think YOU did it and ‘earned’ the phrase “well done…”, it will be hard for you to see just how much you have been forgiven, or just how much your sin cost Him.’
In Christ I offer this in love. I hope your not offended.
At the risk of sounding heretical or whatever, IMO God does not get all the credit. He credits us, and not in any way whatsoever because he has to, but because he wants to. You could say he deserves all the credit and out of his goodness shares some of it with us. We get credit because, and only because, we freely choose to cooperate with him. If we have no free will we do not deserve any credit (or condemnation, for that matter). He says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” - he doesn’t credit himself as having done a good job himself. God needn’t credit himself; he is perfect. You say, “God will say that exactly because of what He did, and not what I do/did.” No he won’t! That doesn’t even make any sense. He is crediting us by this statement. You seem to have a different idea than I of what “well done! … my servant” means. Why does Jesus talk about God rewarding us for doing good or about storing up for ourselves treasure in heaven? If we do good works for the primary purpose of being rewarded, and not out of love of for God and our neighbor and for his greater glory, we will obtain nothing. However, there is nothing wrong with this being a lesser motivation. I for one just try to do my best to follow Christ and live up to the Gospel and let God take care of the rest. I don’t think of any rewards for doing something but at the same time I certainly believe God will live up to his promises. Jesus is precisely trying to motivate us by statements such as these. How about “the cup with which you measure (good and bad) shall be measured out to you” or the “hundredfold reward” (there’s that word again - Jesus’, not mine). In the sermon on the mount, Jesus uses the word “reward” no less that six times. If you don’t get any credit for doing something, then certainly you do not deserve any reward either. How can this not be so? Without God we can do nothing, we are nothing. Without his grace we can do nothing good. This does not imply that we do not deserve credit for working with, or accepting, if you like, God’s grace, as opposed to rejecting it. It takes work to act rightly by God and neighbor in this world. Good works are not automatic. Sometimes it’s very hard to say something kind to someone or to forgive someone when they have wronged us or to do something good in the world when we just don’t feel like it or would rather do something else, yes? Doesn’t a worker deserve a wage? Isn’t this only more true with God, who is most just and the most generous giver? Will he not give to each according to his works? He says so, and I believe Him.
OK let’s go Sola Scriptura shall we?
2 Corinthians 5:19
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
God was reconciling The World to himslf and not just a bunch he had preselected.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world and not just a bunch of people he predestined before hand that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him and not just a bunch he preselected, shall not perish but have eternal life.
Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Everyone who calls on The lord shall be saved and not a bunch God picked beforehand.
15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved and not a bunch of people God preselected .
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
We are predestined to do works prepared for us out of Gods foreknowledge and not by some preselection process
As I have demonsrated that the predestination mentioned in the epistles is through Gods forenknowledge and not a prior preselection there is no point in replying with the other predestination verses.
If salvation was by a preselection process then God couldn’t allow anyone to go to Hell as they didn’t have any choice in not excepting him. If we have no free will thent here is no point praying for change because God has already decided who will do what and when.
I would also like to add that I’m enjoying some joint communion services and tthings with my Anglican Church and The baptist Church up the road at the moment. Lord, don’t let the baptists bring this subject up.
I like your thoughts, and I see how it may seem like ‘we get the reward for our actions’ and…we do. However, the bible clearly states our rewards are based on good works that were **planned for us before the foundations of the world. ** Even our good works were designd so that He could reward us, by His will and His plan for our eternal life.
Of course, I see the human reason you laid out, unfortunately that is not what scripture says. God does get the glory and credit, even for our good actions. We can do nothing good unto salvation without the Holy Spirit as “even our good works are as dirty rags before the lord” (those rags have the connotation of the bloody discharge rags from womans menses).
God always intended to be able to reward us, so He enabled, and puts before us even our good works. In Isaiah King Ahaz begins to ‘boast’ about all he had done for the Lord. Isaiah responds very clearly in rebuttal to your point. He says (paraphrase): Who are you to talk back to the Lord. Does the axe say to the woodsman ‘look how I cut down this tree? Or the sword say to the swordsman, look how I have wielded then’?
In this exchange Isaiah is clearly point out that even when we think ‘we’ are doing something, it is really God.
Scriptural insight is not the insight of man. Your explanation makes total sense from a temporal and human perspective. God is not contained in time, nor bound by our choices. He is sovereign in all things, and nothing comes to pass that He does not will, and all things come to pass that He wills.
If you want to debate using scripture, know thats been done for centuries, and it comes down to ‘a perspecitve’. However, I do think that unquestionably scripture does not agree with you.
Notice the verses you have chosen to use as proof texts: each one says “everyone who believes” or " all who call on His name" etc. The key in each verse is thisWho will believe, who will call on His name?>. Scripture is very clear: The Elect are the ones who heed the call, who will believe, who will call on his name. Your proof texts are silent as to ‘who’ will do these things unto salvation and you impose on the text (eisegesis) your perspective that anyone can do these things. This theory is not inherent in any of the passages you quote.
However, there are a number of passages that do address who the ‘who are’. In John 17 during Jesus High Priestly Prayer He says “I don’t pray for the whole world, but only those You have given Me”, or in John 6 where he says** “only those that are appointed by the Father can come”.**
Or certainly in exodus/Romans 9 where Paul says “He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion, and mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will harden whom He will Harden.”
Romans 9 also clearly states:
Rom 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
Further in Romans 9 we see that there are vessels made for glory, AND those made for destruction or dishonor.
Know also that through out scripture the words ‘to know’ or to ‘foreknow’ were always terms of ‘placing love upon someone’ , not a ‘Gods using a crystal ball to see the future’. That is a misinterpretation of these terms. So we see in many places where the term ‘predestined’ (Ephesians Acts Romans and many more) is used and the Greek term for his is unambiguous.
To summarize: None of your proof texts address ‘who the who are’, yet the small number of verses I have given you (and there are SOO many more) are inescapable in their meaning and clear in their intent. I have yet to hear a good explanation that gives any other meaning than what is clearly the context of these verses. Most of the time the rebuttals use more proof texts out of context and do not address the verses I have supplied.
Lastly to address your prayer issue: God ordains that His actions are a result of prayer. So, who prays? Those He ordains, they pray what is His will, and He hears these prayers. He has chosen to act through prayer and He does. Yet, even your prayers are ordained by God.
Your aversion to this is clearly the ‘automaton’ view of who and what we are, and I agree, from a human perspective, this is repugnant. Unfortunately, our opinion is not whats important. Scripture is very clear. God is not whimsical, He is not subject to our actions, He is sovereign in all things. What we want, or think is a product of our 3 dimensional mind and temporal view. If your very fingers are predestined to type a specific response and was so before the foundations of the world, how could you tell, or how could you perceive it? Answer: you could not, your actions would ‘feel totally independant and free’. So, in this dimension of time and space, you experience free will and choice, yet in Gods atemporal existance, He predestined all things.
Consider this question:
If a buzzard is flying high overlooking a rotting carcus of a possum on a road, and you were to lay next to it a red velvet cake. Which food item would the Buzzard choose?
Inevitably the Buzzard will choose the rotting carcus. Why?? Its his nature, he was ‘designed that way’ and his choices are programed into who, and what he is: a Buzzard.
The elect WILL always choose to believe, will do the works He has designed for us and we will make the choices programed into our hearts that is part of our nature “the chosen of God, the Elect”. Those not chosen will not chose to believe, they will choose those things contrary to His will, and they will so because He has choosen NOT to give them a nature that would make a choice for Him (red velvet cake), rather they will chose the rotting carcus because thats their nature. They will be judged for this, as their nature will condemn them. They will choose, and they will be responsible for it.
You will say “How can God condemned them if he made them this way” and I will say: Read Romans 9, as Paul addresses this very question (which is why we know this is exactly what he was implying.)
I have never heard of this idea of the “elect” Can someone explian to me what it is? I get the general idea of what it is, but it seems to contradict free will. Am I perhaps misunderstanding what it is?
The elect refers to those who will be saved. The controversy is how the elect are chosen. For example, are they chosen purely by God’s good will or are they chosen because of God’s foreknowledge?
"Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of **the elect **those days will be cut short. "Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. "Behold, I have told you in advance. "So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. "For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. "Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. "But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. "And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
(Matthew 24:22-31 NASB)
"Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. "And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. "But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance. "But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. "Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory. "And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.
(Mark 13:20-27 NASB)
And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for **His elect **who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
(Luke 18:6-8 NASB)
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
(Romans 8:33-34 NASB)
Read Romans 9 throughout. Read Ephesians 1 the whole chapter.
Romans 8 has a lot, and the OT is totally full of the doctrine of election.
The Gospel of John is pretty full of it too, but my goodness, I don’t think you can go to any NT book and not find it. As I type this, Thessolonians, Galations, Colossians, verses all start coming to mind. Its ‘everywhere’, but start with Romans 9, as that chapter was written specifically on this topic and is pretty thorough on it.
The whole ‘foreknowledge’ issue is a redherring. God always (oh well, i know your never supposed to say 'never, or always) uses the phrases: “To know”, and To Foreknow" as phrases of placing his love upon someone. ‘Never’ (there I go again) as a means of ‘crystal ball’ seeing. The word is translated in a way that our culture does not get it.
A simple word study in the OT and NT will reveal this.
Anyway, Paul clearly differentiates between “foreknowing” and “predestination” and they are NOT the same thing, and yet God does both.
See Romans 8 for further details.
As someone pointed out scripture has been used to bolster all sides of the argumentation (Arminianism—Calvinism…etc). So someone who adheres to Reformed Theology can prove using scripture that Calvinism is correct. In fact, they can also use the scripture some have provided here to prove that Calvinism is wrong to prove the opposite (i.e why that word meaning world in terms of Greek, scripture and logic does NOT mean the entire world).
As to the above…most Calvinists I would encounter would absolutely say that they expect to hear “well done…”. Why? Because we are not robots. God holds us accountable for what we do with our time talents and treasure. That is separate from the concept of being saved (salvation). Scripture supports there are degrees of reward in heaven and punishment in hell. So for a Calvinist they are still called to do the best with what they have been given to honor God and he holds us accountable.
If I recall correctly, according to Christianity Today there is an increasing Calvinist movement among young educated evangelicals. Certainly it has strong scriptural support.
Ok, so I get that the elect are the faithful Christians. What I don’t understand is why anyone would think that God doesn’t call everyone to be faithful Christians or the elect. I seriously doubt God would create some people that are predestined for heaven and some that are predestined for hell.
**Rom 9:21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
Rom 9:22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
Rom 9:23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- **
You may not like the doctrine, but its clear.
I did not like it either, until I understood it. Then, and depth of humility, and gratitude, unachievable without this understanding, bathed my heart and advanced my relationship with God in a mighty way.
In the OT we see “Isreal, I chose you amoung all nations, even though you were small in number, and nothing mighty that I should desire you, but because I have called you, other nations will be condemned” (this is a paraphrase, I cannot locate the exact verse right at the moment.)
We see throughout scripture Gods calling and His predestination, we see it with the example in Romans of Pharoh, and with Judas, as well as those destined for Glory.
The vessels in the verses I quoted you the ones made for honor was the greek term akin to ‘art’ or something attractive, while those made for ‘dishonorable’ or ‘common’ as some translations say, is the greek term for ‘waste pots’ or in common terms “**** pots”. Read the verses carefully, and tell me how it does ‘not’ mean exactly what you don’t want it to say.
How about Pauls use of "God will have mercy on whom he will, and Harden whom he will’? How do you escape this?
**Rom 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. **
Where it clearly says ‘our will’ has nothing to do with it?
Note the context as he just explained Jacob and Esau, as well as Pharaoh and how God was the author of his hard heart.
Also in Phillipians and Ephesians we see verses that say ‘God is the Author and Perfector of our salvation’.
**Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Eph 2:9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. **
We always want credit for our own salvation yet, unless you throw out huge parts of scripture, or use semantic gymnastics you just cannot avoid the conclusions.
Its the hardest topic in all Christianity. One I did not come to naturally, or lightly. It was forced upon me by a scriptural authority that I cannot deny, whether I want to or not.
Good luck in your study, may God bring wisdom in your search.