If the elect are saved, and if the rest are damned . .


#1

**VociMike asked me a question I get asked alot. **

If the elect are saved, and if the rest are damned, then what is the point of any of your posts? What difference can all of your scripture citations possibly make to anybody? I am very serious in asking this question.

**Our 21st Century notion of what predestination means is not the same as what Paul wrote about in the 1st Century. I don’t say this to boast, my intent is to share what I’ve learned. I’ve studied the doctrine of predestination on a weekly basis for nine years. Over the course of the past two years, through the help of many thoughtful catholics within this board, I have studied RCC doctrine regarding predestination. I agree with the Church doctrine that I’ve read, and I’m not a RC.

In order to study predestination, or any doctrine of scripture is to first, define the word. I know it may sound elementary to most, but it is always worth repeating, the Bible was not written in English. The Old Testement was written in Hebrew. The New Testement was written in Greek. The English Language, as we know it, was a 1000 years away from even being thought of – let along written down. Therefore, the King James Bible – and all other English Bibles are full of bad translations. Is that important? For that reason along, I don’t believe in Sola Scriptura.

**


#2

Questions:

Does anyone deserve salvation?
Is God obligated to save anyone?
Is man able to come unless it was “given to him of the Father” - John 6?
Does God have the right to do with fallen humanity what he wants?

Romans 9:21-22 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

When we tell God how he should save…who are we trying to take the place of??? (remember the serpent said - “you can be like God”)


#3

**Thank you for the questions. I’ll try to answer as many as time premits.

No, God is not obligated to save anyone.

The Lord said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts (Isa. 55:8,9).”

Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased (Psa. 115:3).

He doeth whatsoever pleaseth him (Eccl. 8:3).

Thou, O Lord hast done as it pleased thee (Jonah 1:14).

Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and earth, and in the seas, and in all the deep places (Psa. 135:6).

He does all his pleasure (Isa. 46:10; Isa. 44:24-28; Eph. 1:5,9; Phillipians 2:13).**


#4

We’re not telling God how he should save - but scripture says (I believe in one of Paul’s epistles) that God desires the salvation of all.


#5

That word ‘all’ in 1 Tim 2:4 does not mean every man, woman, and child that ever lived. But that is another topic for another thread. :slight_smile:


#6

DR Bible Haydock Commentary:

1 Tim 2:
Ver. 4. All men to be saved. They contradict this, and other places of the Scripture, as well as the tradition and doctrine of the Catholic Church, who teach that God willeth only the salvation of the predestinated, of the elect, and as they say, of the first-begotten only: and that he died only for them, and not for all mankind. But if it is the will of God that all and every one be saved, and no one resists, or can frustrate the will of the Almighty, whence comes it that every one is not saved? To understand and reconcile divers places in the holy Scriptures, we must needs distinguish in God a will that is absolute and effectual, accompanied with special graces and assistances, and with the gift of final perseverance, by which, through his pure mercy, he decreed to save the elect, without any prejudice to their free will and liberty; and a will, which by the order of Providence, is conditional, and this not a metaphorical and improper will only, but a true and proper will, by which he hath prepared and offered graces and means to all men, whereby they may work their salvation; and if they are not saved, it is by their own fault, by their not corresponding with the graces offered, it is because they resist the Holy Ghost. (Acts vii. 51.) If in this we meet with difficulties, which we cannot comprehend, the words of St. Paul, (Romans ix. 20.) O man, who art thou, who repliest against God? may be sufficient to make us work our salvation with fear and trembling. (Witham)


#7

**thistle . . .thank you. I will read this citation and comment bit by bit.

Firstly, lets quote 1 Tim 2:4 . . .(God our Savior,)
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

This verse does not mean that God has willed that everyone should come to salvation, for elsewhere Paul clearly teaches that only those who believe in Christ will receive salvation (Rom 1:16, 17, 3:21-26; 5:17). Christ died for the sins of all, but only those who believe receive the benefits of that sacrifice (2 Cor. 5:14, 15).
What Paul might be saying here is that the Savior God extends the offer of salvation to all (Jew or Gentile).

Also, the word ‘all’ in 1 Tim 2:4 is the same greek word, pantos in Acts 22:15. . . .

When Ananias tells Paul “You will be his witness to all (pantas) men of what you have seen and heard”(Acts 22:15), was it Paul’s duty to speak personally to each and every human being? The idea being expressed is that the gentiles shall share in the Spirit along side the jews. The all (pantas) is clearified in Acts 22:21 and 1 Tim 2:7.

Acts 22:21
"Then the Lord said to me, 'Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles."

1 Tim 2:7
And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.**


#8

**
Romans 9:22 – What if God willing to show his wrath, and make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he hath afore prepared unto glory.

* fitted - Greek: katartizo- to complete thoroughly; fit; frame; arrange; prepare

Luke 16:26–(speaking of the rich man in hell)–there is a great gulf fixed.

* gulf- Greek: chasma: from chao (to gape or yawn); chasm or vacancy (impassible interval); a separation

**


#9

So God desires the damnation of some? God creates some humans in his own image and likeness knowing full well that he will not give them the grace to be saved? He creates them knowing that they must spend eternity in hell even though, had they been given the grace, they may have chosen him and heaven?


#10

Let me get straight to the point; do you ever get around to actually answering the real question? For those of us who may not be the sharpest needles in the haystack, :wink: all the posts featuring word studies etc., and they are perhaps interesting on an academic level, do not feature any practical answer to why anyone should care about the Calvinist view of predestination. VociMike asked a straightforward question, as am I now:

Why should anyone care that the elect are saved and the un-elect are damned if there’s nothing we can do about it? (What I’m hoping for here is a two or three sentence reply that most likely begins with the word “because.”)

Peace,
+N


#11

I refuse to believe in god who sends people to damnation just because he likes.

What if I am one of those damned? Why should I believe then?


#12

Yeah… that position completely ignores important verses like.

**John 12:32: and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." **

1st Timothy 4:1-4
**1: First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men,
2: for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.
3: This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4: who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. **

You have to ignore these verses and focus on others while twisting their interpretation in order to get that position. I’ll never buy into it. It’s unscriptural. If it was true then there is no need to share the Gospel because it doesn’t matter.

Nope, sorry, no thanks…


#13

“BECAUSE . . . the elect are predestinated to do something. They are predestined to conform to the image of Christ.”


#14

**Thank you for providing another predestation verse…

The word men is not in the orginal text.

The orginal text reads 'And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto me.

The orginal greek word for ‘draw’ is helko - it has the idea of throwing a net over the side of a boat and drawing in the fish. Where is the free-will of the the fish that got caught in the net and were pulled into the boat?

The orginal greek word for ‘all’ is Pas – is an adjective. It tells how and in what fashion. It is not a noun or a pronoun.**


#15

What is the point of preaching the gospel to the damned? What was the point of Christ preaching the gospel to the damned, those to whom he at the same time refused to offer the grace necessary for their salvation?


#16

**I know you really ment to say 1 Tim 2:1-4 . . . .I’ve already commented on these verses . . . but just for you . . . . here it is again . . .

Firstly, lets quote 1 Tim 2:4 . . .(God our Savior,)
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

This verse does not mean that God has willed that everyone should come to salvation, for elsewhere Paul clearly teaches that only those who believe in Christ will receive salvation (Rom 1:16, 17, 3:21-26; 5:17). Christ died for the sins of all, but only those who believe receive the benefits of that sacrifice (2 Cor. 5:14, 15).
What Paul might be saying here is that the Savior God extends the offer of salvation to all (Jew or Gentile).

Also, the word ‘all’ in 1 Tim 2:4 is the same greek word, pantos in Acts 22:15. . . .

When Ananias tells Paul “You will be his witness to all (pantas) men of what you have seen and heard”(Acts 22:15), was it Paul’s duty to speak personally to each and every human being? The idea being expressed is that the gentiles shall share in the Spirit along side the jews. The all (pantas) is clearified in Acts 22:21 and 1 Tim 2:7.

Acts 22:21
"Then the Lord said to me, 'Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles."

1 Tim 2:7
And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.**


#17

The view of those who believe in the unconditional election, limited atonemen and irresistable grace is that God has predestined those who will be saved. However, they believe in something called secondary causes whereby God uses evangalization by men to effect His will. Therefore it is necessary to preach to all since you can’t know who is predestined and who is not. The emphasis is on the sovereignty of God. God decides everything according to His will. If man has any part to play, like freewill to choose God, then it diminishes the glory of God in salvation.

I disagree that giving a freewill affects God’s sovereignty. If God does everything according to His will, who are we to tell Him that in the exercise of His sovereignty He cannot decide to give us freewill. It is the only way I can see that the passages that say God desires all men to be saved with the fact that all are not saved. God desires all to be saved but also desires his creatures to choose him. No one would deny that if it was the only part of His will to save all that He could do so. Jesus’ sacrifice is enough to atone for all. Not all are saved because they do not exercise the freewill given to them to choose God.

I know there are passages that talk as if God has predestined people. I am perfectly content to accept God’s ability to predestine and allow freewill at the same time. Can I understand how He can do this? No, but I am not God. Jesus tell us “With men this is not possible, but with God all things are possible”. We should stop trying to explain or understand every detail. God has told us what He has told us. It is not for us to attempt to understand things He has not made absolutley clear. To do so is pride and adopts the view that we should be able to understand everything because we feel we have the right to understand. I think that is the reason for much of the division in Christianity, men trying to explain things God has not plainly revealed and insisting that their interpretation of what they want to know is right. I think this is true of both Catholics and Protestants.


#18

if we do not have any free will, then we cannot sin by ourselves, and ultimately God created even evil. right?


#19

Since we are to begin trying to conform to the image of Christ now, how does the Calvinist view of predestination encourage and help someone conform to the image of Christ?

Peace,
+N


#20

God gives all of us enough grace to be saved. Whether or not we avail ourselves of that grace is up to our free will. None of us will be able to face God on our Judgement Day and say, “You didn’t give me the opportunities or graces I needed to be saved, so your condemnation (if that is the judgement) is unjust.”

That’s my short answer. I can go long if I try, but I have dental patients to see today.


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