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Even Jesus Can Have a Bad Day in the Pulpit A Meditation on the Gospel for the 14th Sunday
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | July 8, 2012 | Msgr. Charles Pope

Posted on 07/08/2012 2:51:23 PM PDT by NYer

The gospel today portrays the Lord Jesus as preacher and prophet. But as we shall see, even the greatest preacher in the world (Jesus), can find his powerful and precious words falling lifeless on the rock hard surface that is the heart of many a soul. Yes, even his words can meet resistance and hostility, indifference and ridicule. Indeed, the gospel today shows forth the ruinous result of rejection.

We sometimes think that if Catholic priests were better preachers, all would be well. But that is only half the battle, for the Catholic faithful must have ears to hear and hearts that are open and eager to hear the truth. A well known preacher and fine Protestant teacher, William Barclay has this to say:

There can be no preaching in the wrong atmosphere. Our churches would be different places if congregations would only remember that they preach far more than half the sermon. In an atmosphere of expectancy, the poorest effort can catch fire. In an atmosphere of critical coldness or bland indifference the most spirit-packed utterance can fall lifeless to the earth. (Commentary on Mark, P. 140).

Yes, of this I am a witness. I have preached before congregations that were expectant and supportive, and watched my words catch fire. I have also preached in settings where “I couldn’t hear nobody pray!” And Oh the difference!

I have been blessed to serve most of my priesthood in African American settings and there is a deep appreciation that the preaching moment is a shared moment with shared responsibilities. The congregation does not consider itself a passive recipient of the word, but an active sharer in the proclamation.

There is an air of expectancy in the Church as the faithful gather and listen and begin to sing and pray. This air of expectancy is sometimes called “the hum.” And, during the reading of the Word and the sermon there are nods, hands may go up, even a stomp of the foot, and an acclamation or two pock the air: Amen!… Yes, Lord!…Well?!…Go on now!….Take your time!…Make it plain preacher!…You don’t mean to tell me! Ha!, My, my my!

And as a preacher too I can call for help: Are you praying with me Church?!….Somebody ought to say Amen!…..Come on Church!…..Can I get a witness?!……Kind quiet in here today….Amen?! Yes, together we craft the message as inspired by the Holy Spirit. And while it belongs to the priest to craft the content, it belongs to the congregation to affirm the truth and acknowledge the Spirit.

How precious and necessary is the preaching task. But the preaching task, as today’s gospel affirms, is more than the preacher. But before looking at the text itself, a few more insights about both preacher and congregation from Pope (Saint) Gregory the Great.

First on the obligation of the preacher and the solemnity of his task to preach:

Pastors who lack foresight hesitate to say openly what is right because they fear losing the favor of men. As the voice of truth tells us, such leaders are not zealous pastors who protect their flocks, rather they are like mercenaries who flee by taking refuge in silence when the wolf appears.

The Lord reproaches them through the prophet: They are dumb dogs that cannot bark. On another occasion he complains: You did not advance against the foe or set up a wall in front of the house of Israel, so that you might stand fast in battle on the day of the Lord. To advance against the foe involves a bold resistance to the powers of this world in defense of the flock. To stand fast in battle on the day of the Lord means to oppose the wicked enemy out of love for what is right.

When a pastor has been afraid to assert what is right, has he not turned his back and fled by remaining silent? Whereas if he intervenes on behalf of the flock, he sets up a wall against the enemy in front of the house of Israel….[But] they [who] are afraid to reproach men for their faults…thereby lull the evildoer with an empty promise of safety. Because [such preachers] fear reproach, they keep silent and fail to point out the sinner’s wrongdoing.

The word of reproach is a key that unlocks a door, because reproach reveals a fault of which the evildoer is himself often unaware. That is why Paul says of the bishop: He must be able to encourage men in sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For the same reason God tells us through Malachi: The lips of the priest are to preserve knowledge, and men shall look to him for the law, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. Finally, that is also the reason why the Lord warns us through Isaiah: Cry out and be not still; raise your voice in a trumpet call.

Anyone ordained a priest undertakes the task of preaching, so that with a loud cry he may go on ahead of the terrible judge who follows. If, then, a priest does not know how to preach, what kind of cry can such a dumb herald utter? It was to bring this home that the Holy Spirit descended in the form of tongues on the first pastors, for he causes those whom he has filled, to speak out spontaneously. [Gregory the Great, Pastoral Guide].

Second on the reason for poor preaching:

Beloved brothers, consider what has been said: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest. Pray for us so that we may have the strength to work on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, and that after we have accepted the office of preaching, our silence may not condemn us before the just judge.

For frequently the preacher’s tongue is bound fast on account of his own wickedness; while on the other hand it sometimes happens that because of the people’s sins, the word of preaching is withdrawn from those who preside over the assembly.

With reference to the wickedness of the preacher, the psalmist says: But God asks the sinner: Why do you recite my commandments? And with reference to the latter, the Lord tells Ezekiel: I will make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be dumb and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house. He clearly means this: the word of preaching will be taken away from you because as long as this people irritates me by their deeds, they are unworthy to hear the exhortation of truth.

It is not easy to know for whose sinfulness the preacher’s word is withheld, but it is indisputable that the shepherd’s silence while often injurious to himself will always harm his flock. (Ibid.)

Note well then, the shared task and responsibility of the preacher and the people. And let these texts serve as a worthy back ground to what is now to come in this gospel which we can see in three stages:

I. Real Rejoicing - The text says, Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!

Thus the initial reaction of Jesus’ hometown is positive. They are filled with amazement and joy. And the text sets forth two sources of their joy:

1. His Wise Words - and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? Yes, what a blessing it must have been to hear Jesus preach. Could Jesus preach! Scripture says of his preaching:

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. (Mat 7:28).
Sent to arrest him the temple guard returned empty handed saying: No one ever spoke like that man (Jn 7:46)
And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; (Luke 4:22)
And the common people heard him gladly. (Mark 12:37)

2.His Wonderful works – They also say: What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Yes, Jesus had worked many miracles up to this point:

Cast out demons
Turned water to wine
Raised up paralytics
Cured the man with a withered hand
Cast out blindness
Healed deafness
Multiplied loaves and fishes
Calmed storms
Raised up Jairus’ daughter from the dead

And so we see that the initial reaction to Jesus preaching is good. Their remarks and rejoicing are a sign that the Spirit is working and prompting them to belief.

Yet as we shall see, things are about to turn sour. For it remains a sad but prevailing truth that the word of God can fall on the rocky soil of some hearts where it springs up but soon withers because the soil is rocky and shallow. Or the Word of the Lord can sown on the paths of some hearts where the birds of the sky come and carry it off. Or the Word of the Lord can call on divided hearts and where the thorns of worldliness and anxieties of the world choke it off. And yes, sometimes it falls on good soil where it yields thirty, or sixty, or a hundred fold. (cf Matt 13:1-9). Sadly things are heading south.

II. Rude Rejection - The text says [But some began to say] Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Notice how sudden their change is. There is an old spiritual that says: Some go to church for to sing and shout, before six months theys all turned out!

They harden their hearts – Yes, the tide mysteriously and suddenly turns against Jesus. Sin has set in and hearts have hardened and the joy is jettisoned. Though the Holy Spirit prompts them to faith and to call Jesus Lord, they harden their hearts. It is a grim and tragic sin.

They also exhibit a kind of prejudice or unjust discrimination, dismissing him as a mere carpenter and a home boy. It is an odd kind of thing that the poor and oppressed sometimes take up the voice of the oppressor. And thus, these simple people of a small little town of only 300, take up the voice of the Jerusalemites who regarded Galileans as “poor back-woods clowns” and as unlettered people. Yes, his own townsfolk take up the voice of the oppressor and say to Jesus, in effect, “Stay in your place. You have no business being smart, talented, wise or great. You’re just one of us and should amount to nothing.” It is the same sort of tragic rebuke that sometimes takes place among minority students who excel in school. Some of their fellow minority students accuse them of “going white.” Tragic and sick. And thus for Jesus, they ignore his actual words and his works and focus only on appearances and background.

They also exhibit the sin of envy. Envy is sadness or anger at the goodness or excellence of another person because we take it to lessen our own excellence. The text says here, And they took offense at him. St. Augustine called envy THE diabolical sin. This is because it seeks not to posses the good of another, (like jealousy does), but it seeks to destroy what is good in others so that the destroyer can look better.

The result of these sins was that Nazareth was NOT a place where excellence was known, even among its own! Indeed, John 1:46 records Nathanael as saying of Nazareth “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” It would seem even the townsfolk of that place would agree” (But Philip who surrendered his prejudice said to Nathanael, “Come and see.”).

But an even more awful result of these sins ensues as we next see.

III. Ruinous Result - The text says, Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” SO HE WAS NOT ABLE to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

So as we see, they judge him to be nothing, so they get nothing. They have blocked their blessings.

Jesus says, He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward (Mat 10:41). But they will get nothing. When we banish or discredit God, we should not expect to see many and mighty works. These things come only from faith.

Miracles are the result of faith not the cause of it. Thus the text says, So [Jesus] was NOT ABLE to perform any mighty deed there…He was amazed at their lack of faith.

There are some things even God can’t do not because he has no power but because he respects our choices. Pay attention. The Lord is offering us salvation and the Kingdom of Heaven. And either we reach out to take it or we don’t. But the choice is ours. If we take it, He’ll go to work. But if we refuse, he who respects our freedom will “not be able” to perform any mighty deeds.

And what a ruinous result for Nazareth and all who reject the prophetic utterances of our Lord and His saving help. Scripture says:

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would have none of me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their foes. Those who hate the LORD would cringe toward him, and their fate would last for ever. I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” (Psalm 81:10-16)

Either we will accept God’s word and yield to its healing and saving power or we can expect little or nothing but ultimate ruin. It is as though you or I were in a raging stream heading soon over the falls to our death. And then a hand is stretched out to save us, the hand of Jesus, but mysteriously we reject that hand and ridicule its power. And the ruinous result of our hideous and foolish rejection is only one thing: our death. The text says, He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Pay attention, God is preaching a word to you every Sunday, every day. Will you heed and be healed, receive and be rescued, or reject and be ruined. Will the Lord be able to do mighty deeds for you? Or will he be amazed at your lack of faith? The choice is yours, it is all yours.

Even Jesus can have a bad day in the pulpit. Make sure you’re not the reason why.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Theology; Worship
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1 posted on 07/08/2012 2:51:29 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Catholic ping!


2 posted on 07/08/2012 2:52:26 PM PDT by NYer (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? - St. Augustine)
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To: NYer

I love how the story ends in Luke when the crowd tries to kill Jesus:

“But He, passing through the midst of them, went His way.”

What an understatement!


3 posted on 07/08/2012 2:58:22 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: NYer

“Even Jesus Can Have a Bad Day in the Pulpit”

Pffft! Poppycock!


4 posted on 07/08/2012 3:35:54 PM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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To: NYer
"There are some things even God can’t do not because he has no power but because he respects our choices."

This statement typifies the errant mindset underlying the article. God the Father does not make mistakes, Jesus the Son does not make mistakes, the Holy Spirit does not make mistakes. All of the "mistakes" you perceive are intentional actions taken to accomplish the plan conceived before the foundation of the world. They are just too clever for your author to understand how they fit.

5 posted on 07/08/2012 4:01:52 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: NYer
When I was young, I hated the phrase "fear God." To me, God was love and forgiveness, to such an extreme extent I only had to look as Jesus' sacrifice to be instantly reminded of what lengths God would go to reach me - or anyone. So the idea of "fearing God" was a anathema to me, since it seemed to just make people avoid God, rather than reach out towards God's love.

Yet, when I was honest with myself, I realized that I DID fear God, and I wondered at how this could be so, since I also loved God. How could I feel both things at the same time? I came to understand (after longer than I want to admit), that the fear was of violating God's law. Because deep down I realized that there was no way around it, because it came from God's love. And that meant I couldn't argue it was unfair.

That single contemplation led directly to the deepest spiritual experiences of my life. And it's also led me to see th world in a kind of black-and-white way - there really are only two kinds of people in the world: those who fear violating God's law, and those who don't.

It's kind of a spiritual intelligence test that measures a single concept: whether a person understands that God's law literally cannot be broken. It might seem that we have that choice, but ultimately, we don't. The only thing that gets broken against God's law, is us.

And from that, we learn everything we need to know - humility, awe, wonder, and love for God deeper than anything we ever thought we could experience.

6 posted on 07/08/2012 4:19:51 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Dutchboy88

I reread the article. The word “mistake” does not appear anywhere. The point of the article is that even when Jesus himself preached in person, some people were too hard-headed to get the message. And they had freedom of choice to go their own way (to disaster, but we have free choice).


7 posted on 07/08/2012 4:26:05 PM PDT by mkmensinger
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To: Talisker

Thank you, Talisker, for sharing such profound insight! No doubt, along the way, you also began to comprehend something you heard early on in your life: Wisdom comes with age. The two go hand in hand. Again, thanks for the post and ping.


8 posted on 07/08/2012 4:27:31 PM PDT by NYer (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? - St. Augustine)
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To: WKUHilltopper
“Even Jesus Can Have a Bad Day in the Pulpit”

That's because the author is believing in some Mexican named Jesus, not the soul saving Jesus Christ, Son of God, those of us who are saved believe in.

Fools shouldn't write such articles, it reveals so much about them, and sheds no light on any other truth.

9 posted on 07/08/2012 4:34:42 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: Dutchboy88
"There are some things even God can’t do not because he has no power but because he respects our choices."

This statement typifies the errant mindset underlying the article. God the Father does not make mistakes, Jesus the Son does not make mistakes, the Holy Spirit does not make mistakes. All of the "mistakes" you perceive are intentional actions taken to accomplish the plan conceived before the foundation of the world. They are just too clever for your author to understand how they fit.

I don't see an accusation of a mistake there. Perhaps it would be better said with a little punctuation:
"There are some things even God can’t do, not because he has no power, but because he respects our choices."

Though I'd personally think replacing the "can't" with "won't" would be better, there is a point to be made there:
God gave us free-will, to override that will or even limit it, is to make it no longer free. (That is, the idea of a "limited free-will" is self-contradictory.)

10 posted on 07/08/2012 4:37:03 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: WKUHilltopper
That is typical of today's mindset.

It is the people who rejected the truth who are having 'the bad day', the message did exactly what it was suppose to.

11 posted on 07/08/2012 5:21:31 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration (Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation:but sin is a reproach to any people)
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To: Balding_Eagle
That's because the author is believing in some Mexican named Jesus, not the soul saving Jesus Christ, Son of God, those of us who are saved believe in. Fools shouldn't write such articles, it reveals so much about them, and sheds no light on any other truth.

"Any other truth"?

Truth is one, friend. And contempt, per se, is not intelligence - or faith. It is a luciferian light that draws people into darkness.

You even indicat, in your scathing post, that there are "those of us who are saved". Which means, of course, that there are "those who are unsaved" - right? Now, does God randomly choose people to save or not? Or are we all given a choice? If the latter, then there are those who choose to turn away from God, even when they hear the truth.

Right?

That's what this article is about - those people, who choose to turn away when they hear God's truth.

God's ONE truth.

If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with the ways of God - not the author.

Many, many people have the same problem. They mistake the message, for the Source.

Kind of like worshipping a "light in the darkness" without realizing - until it's too late - that's it's an oncoming train in a tunnel.

With inevitably similiar results.

12 posted on 07/08/2012 5:30:43 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Dutchboy88

Amen


13 posted on 07/08/2012 6:48:37 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: mkmensinger
. The point of the article is that even when Jesus himself preached in person, some people were too hard-headed to get the message. And they had freedom of choice to go their own way (to disaster, but we have free choice).

Funny, my bible says those that Jesus did not intend for them to hear or understand

14 posted on 07/08/2012 6:51:15 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7

Can you elaborate a bit? You wrote a dependent clause. Please finish the thought.


15 posted on 07/08/2012 7:03:12 PM PDT by mkmensinger
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To: NYer
Excellent article, NYer!

(Like the Monsignor illuminates here, I think there are still quite a few of those rocky hearts around, here and there.)   :-)

Thanks for the ping and the article.

16 posted on 07/08/2012 9:30:08 PM PDT by Heart-Rest ("The Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15))
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To: NYer

I use to think the big lie...er heresy was “Bible Alone” but no, it’s

“Faith Alone.”

Non-Catholic Christians believe “Faith Alone” does everything, there is no cooperation on our part. Messes them up on all matters of faith.

James 2:24
Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?


17 posted on 07/09/2012 12:20:35 AM PDT by stpio
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To: RnMomof7
The text in question is Mark 6:1-6. Please post the name of the translation, as well as the exact citation of Mark 6:1-6, that says anything about Jesus "intend[ing] that they not hear or understand".

I've looked at 4 Protestant translations (KJV, NKJV, NASB, ASB) and can't find that language. All of them (except for some archaic English ... "thence" and the like) are substantially similar to the reading I heard at Mass yesterday.

18 posted on 07/09/2012 6:32:57 AM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: OneWingedShark
"Though I'd personally think replacing the "can't" with "won't" would be better, there is a point to be made there:

God gave us free-will, to override that will or even limit it, is to make it no longer free. (That is, the idea of a "limited free-will" is self-contradictory.)

With all due respect, the point of my post is that the misperception that free-will exists is the error at bottom. If you disagree, please give us the passage where it is taught that man's choosing is free from God's influence. I believe it is possible to provide upwards of 50 passages wherein man's choice is directed by God.

19 posted on 07/09/2012 11:13:50 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Campion; RnMomof7
RnMomof7 is absolutely correct. Try checking Mark 4:10ff

"And as soon as He was lone, His followers along with the the twelve began asking Him about the parables. And He was saying to them, 'To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are OUTSIDE get everything in parables, IN ORDER THAT WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE; AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND LEST THEY RETURN AGAIN AND BE FORGIVEN."

This fact described by Jesus is why there are those humans who are among the elect (and are caused to hear and believe) and those who cannot be rescued.

Check also John 6:44, 65

Rom. 9

Acts 13:48

Eph. 1

and dozens of other passages describing the "chosen", the "elect", the "adopted".

The text leaves us with a peculiar situation...if we are called to choose Christ AND only those whom Jesus allows to come, may come, then the calls to choose Him must be subsumed by the larger picture of the God limiting the "choosing". Both "freedom to choose" and "God's choice standing" cannot be true at the same time. Mutual exclusivity, and all that. This likely does not comport with RC tradition, but the Scriptures are clear.

20 posted on 07/09/2012 11:42:10 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: mkmensinger

Parables were never intended to reveal truth but to hid it from the reprobate ...Over and over in the OT and the NT we see that only those that are His can her His word..

I recently heard that the reason the unsaved can not understand the scriptures is because the Bible is written for the saved

Luk 8:9 ¶ And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

Luk 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

Luk 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Luk 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and [he] to whom the Son will reveal [him].

Luk 10:23 And he turned him unto [his] disciples, and said privately, Blessed [are] the eyes which see the things that ye see:

Luk 10:24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen [them]; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard [them].

Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Mat 13:16 But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Jhn 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

Col 1:26 [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

Rom 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:


21 posted on 07/09/2012 11:44:44 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: stpio
I use to think the big lie...er heresy was “Bible Alone” but no, it’s “Faith Alone.” Non-Catholic Christians believe “Faith Alone” does everything, there is no cooperation on our part. Messes them up on all matters of faith James 2:24 Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?

Funny it seems Catholics think they are saved by faith in Rome alone.

Sola Ecclesia Romanus Only the Church of Rome is the Rule of Faith

.Given the choice I will place my faith were the Bible tells me..Jesus Christ

Now perhaps, if you can rightly divide the word of God you might want to look at James again

If one believes he is saved or damned by his works , then one comforts oneself with the idea that "I am not as bad as my neighbor"

The Bible tells us "ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." That is the inspired word of God . It does not say that some have fallen short and some are "close"

May I quote James to you?

Jam 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all.

So the thief is also a murder in Gods eyes.

No where does Jesus say or imply that one is saved by works.

The book of James was written to a converted church , not heathens seeking salvation . It tells them how their conversion is seen by the unsaved world . It is not about becoming saved or being saved. It is about the fruit of your salvation.

Jam 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Jam 2:18 Yea, a man may say,/B> Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

This is an amplification of the teaching of Jesus that we know a tree by the fruit it bears. It is how we know the saved from the unsaved. It does not declare that the man has faith ...but that he SAYS he has faith.

This addresses a hollow profession of faith , not a saving one
.Can a hollow profession save him? NO, any more than works can save.This scripture says to the church that this faith is non existent , it is dead.

The bible is clear that it is God that gives the faith and it is God that ordains the works of the saved

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Hbr 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Phl 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

22 posted on 07/09/2012 11:54:13 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Dutchboy88

Amen


23 posted on 07/09/2012 11:55:20 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Campion

Mar 6:10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.

Mar 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

because they were not intended to hear


24 posted on 07/09/2012 11:59:32 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Campion

Mar 6:10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.

Mar 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

because they were not intended to hear


25 posted on 07/09/2012 12:00:08 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7

RnMomof7 >>>>Funny, my bible says those that Jesus did not intend for them to hear or understand<<<<<

Gospel of Mark >> He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. <<

Hmmm... what bible are you reading?


26 posted on 07/09/2012 2:55:57 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

Matthew 13: 58 gives the reason

And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Did not many mighty works - Miracles. This implies that he performed some miracles. Mark tells us what they were: “He laid his hands upon a few sick folk and healed them,” Mark 6:5.

Because of their unbelief - That is, it would have been useless to the great purposes of his mission to have worked miracles there. We are not to suppose that his power was limited by the belief or unbelief of people; but they were so “prejudiced,” so set against him, that they were not in a condition to “judge of evidence” and to be convinced. They would have charged it to derangement, or sorcery, or the agency of the devil. Compare John 10:20. It would have been of no use, therefore, in proving to them that he was from God, to have worked miracles. He did, therefore, only those things which were the proper work of benevolence, and which could not easily be charged on the devil. He gave “sufficient” proof of his mission, and left them in their chosen unbelief without excuse. It is also true, in spiritual things, that the unbelief of a people prevents the influences of the Holy Spirit from being sent down to bless them. God requires faith. He hears only the prayers of faith. And when there is little true belief, and prayer is cold and formal, there the people sleep in spiritual death and are unblessed.
(barnes note)


27 posted on 07/09/2012 4:50:15 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Dutchboy88
With all due respect, the point of my post is that the misperception that free-will exists is the error at bottom. If you disagree, please give us the passage where it is taught that man's choosing is free from God's influence. I believe it is possible to provide upwards of 50 passages wherein man's choice is directed by God.

All one needs to understand is the philosophy (I will provide sources)... tell me, how valuable is love that is not freely given? I mean I can make my computer print "I Love You." a hundred times, a million, what-ever I want... and how much is that worth compared to a friend saying it?

There is no comparison precisely because there is no obligation or even predisposition for it (as there would be in familial relations) because he is my friend. Freely chosen and freely given.

God, in the form of His son Jesus, has called us friends: John 15:15-17
"I don't call you servants now. A servant does not know what his master is doing. But now I call you friends because I have told you everything I heard from my Father. You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and make fruit. I want this fruit to continue {in your life}. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. This is my command: Love each other." (ERV)

Furthermore, to posit that man has no free will is to posit that God created intentionally flawed people (Adam and Eve) and therefore predestined them to sin. But we know that is against God's character, for if he does not even tempt us (James 1:13-14) then how could he predestine out forefather Adam to sin, and thereby infect us all with sin-nature? That is, if free will does not exist, then God is evil in that he purposely made man to sin; but if free will does exist then it was given fully and perfectly (James 1:17); and if it was given fully then the possibility that we would chose to sin must be included therein.

Deuteronomy 30:19 and Joshua 24:15 both deal with choosing; if free will does not exist then the conditional promises are of a fact utterly meaningless. Would you call God's promises nothing? When you deny free will you do so.

Furthermore, the Psalms declare free will (which Jesus recognized as being scripture needful of fulfillment [Lk 24:44]):
Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offering of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments. -- Psalms 119:108

28 posted on 07/09/2012 5:04:26 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: mkmensinger
"The point of the article is that even when Jesus himself preached in person, some people were too hard-headed to get the message. And they had freedom of choice to go their own way (to disaster, but we have free choice)."

Ping to 20

29 posted on 07/09/2012 5:26:09 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: OneWingedShark; RnMomof7; mkmensinger

I read your entire post, but am very interested in the request for you to provide a passage where man’s choices are free from God’s influence. The passage about the “freewill” offerings (notice one word), and the dozen or so other uses of this in the OT are in regard to the sacrafice called, “The freewill offering”. It was called such because there was no written or verbal (from another authority figure) which mandated the giving. A man could give it, if he chose to. The question you must answer, however, is what would cause him to choose? Is the man’s choices unaffected (or perhaps more biblically, “uneffected”) by God?

Your claim that love “...not freely given,” (the old CS Lewis argument) is not biblically supported. You were compelled to use a computer analogy. Please give us a biblical reference to the “philosophical” perspective you claim derives from Scripture. You may have needs to be loved. God does not have that need. What He desires is to display His glory to all of creation. That is its purpose...not to return love to Him. Love existed adequately within the Triune Godhead long before creation.

Additionally, you must deal with
Job 37 – 41
Job 42:2
Jer. 32:17
Prov. 16:9
Is. 45:1
Prov. 16:4
Eccl. 3:1-14
Prov. 21:1
Dan 4:35
Prov. 20:24
Job 14:5
Phil 3:12
Eph. 2:10
Ex 4:11
Ex. 35:35
James 4:13-15
Lam. 3:37-38
Is. 53:10
Acts 4:27-28
I Kings 22:19-23
I Sam 16:14-23,
I Sam 18:10
I Sam 19:9
II Sam 24:1
(1 Chronicles 21:1)
I Cor. 14:33
Ex 14:24
Ex 23:27
Deut 7:23
Deut 28:20
II Thess 2:11
Rom 11:8
II Chron 34:24
Is 37:26,
Amos 3:5,
John 6:44
John 6:65
Isaiah 43:6-7
Rom 14:4
Jude 24, 25
Ephesians 1:11-12
Jeremiah 31:34ff
Phil 1:6

and lot of others making the same claims. God fashioned creation ex nihilo...out of nothing (John 1:1ff). The origin of evil and everything else is obviously from Him. Why does that bother you? He has determined not to use it unfettered, the way you think He must if He created it. Why is that? Because it comports with your categories? Because the philosophers say so, (Bertrand Russell, Epicurus, et al). God has determined to restrain its effects and use after the counsel of His own will...the only “free will” in existence. This is at least one reason to “fear” God. He can do anything He wishes.

And, of course Adam and Eve were created with the propensity to sin. That is what James 1 describes. The extant lust (appetite) was on board at creation. When the opportunity for it to express itself arose (Satan: Has God really said...), it was carried away, conceived and gave birth to sin. Please tell us where the Scriptures say Adam had “free will”? James is dealing with God not “tempting” by dangling a thing in front of you and watching what you will do? It is planned, orchestrated, executed in every man. At least that is what the text says.

I say again, the “calls” for a man to choose (as Joshua said, “Choose this day whom you will serve...” are conditioned upon God directing the man to choose (or not). That is why the prophets would cry, “Why have you caused us to rebel?” and other such tragic truths. If you notice a man “choosing”, you are seeing the operation of God upon His creation. Check Vincent Cheung’s work on the origin of evil.

You may not like it, you may dislike its philosophical implications, you may not even “feel” the effect of God performing His amazing work...that does not change what the text says about man being managed by God. Again, please tell us where the Scriptures teach that man is free from God’s influence.


30 posted on 07/09/2012 6:04:55 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88
please tell us where the Scriptures teach that man is free from God’s influence.

Never did I claim, or even hint at, man being free from God's influence.
I fully believe that if God "recalled his spirit" from mankind we would cease to live; that is actually irrelevant to free will though.

God fashioned creation ex nihilo...out of nothing (John 1:1ff). The origin of evil and everything else is obviously from Him. Why does that bother you? He has determined not to use it unfettered, the way you think He must if He created it.

And evil must have the good already present to exist. A lie is meaningless without the Truth; rottenness is meaningless without the fruit; a rust-hole cannot exist independent of the thing rusted.

But to say that God created evil is quite akin to the unforgivable sin: to attribute to God's Holy Spirit the work/evil of Satan.

Your claim that love “...not freely given,” (the old CS Lewis argument) is not biblically supported. You were compelled to use a computer analogy.

Because I happen to be a Computer Scientist; Jesus himself recognized we speak of the things we know.

You may have needs to be loved. God does not have that need.

I never said that God had that need; I said that our love would be utterly worthless if not given freely.

31 posted on 07/09/2012 6:26:25 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark
"I don't call you servants now. A servant does not know what his master is doing. But now I call you friends because I have told you everything I heard from my Father. You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and make fruit. I want this fruit to continue {in your life}. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. This is my command: Love each other." (ERV)

This was not a general declaration..HE WAS ADDRESSING HIS DISCIPLES He did not call YOU His friend..

32 posted on 07/09/2012 8:04:27 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: OneWingedShark; Dutchboy88
"I don't call you servants now. A servant does not know what his master is doing. But now I call you friends because I have told you everything I heard from my Father. You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and make fruit. I want this fruit to continue {in your life}. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. This is my command: Love each other." (ERV)

This was not a general declaration..HE WAS ADDRESSING HIS DISCIPLES He did not call YOU His friend..

33 posted on 07/09/2012 8:05:59 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: OneWingedShark; Dutchboy88
But to say that God created evil is quite akin to the unforgivable sin: to attribute to God's Holy Spirit the work/evil of Satan.

Actually God created Satan and ordained the fall of satan.. ..and He is still the God of Satan . Satan can not act outside the will of God.. ..so yes the temptation in the garden was ordained by God..as was the fall...

34 posted on 07/09/2012 8:10:35 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
This was not a general declaration..HE WAS ADDRESSING HIS DISCIPLES He did not call YOU His friend..

Ah, so then he didn't intend for them to tell others about his work on Earth? (You know, the thing He said made them his friends.) Wow, so much for the Great Commission.
He's not a personal savior? Guess the group-salvation stuff of liberation theology must be right after all.

Do you even think about the consequence of your theological positions?

And besides that; if things are as you say and I have no free will, then what does it matter that I do or don't? If God is not my friend, then why shouldn't I tremble in terror at the Great Despot? If God is as you paint, giving me no free will and not being my friend; then why should I believe that He intends any good thing for me?

But hey, maybe you're right. Maybe God created me to hate. Maybe God made me simply so he could laugh at my pathetic attempts at life.
After all, your God, being perfectly free creates man in his own image, but without any freedom and with an inherent sin-nature.

No, you must be right and the apostles wrong; surely God did not send his son to die for my sin because He loved me. Surely Jesus never thought of me at all, despite being God himself, and despite him forming me in the womb.

35 posted on 07/09/2012 8:58:32 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark
Ah, so then he didn't intend for them to tell others about his work on Earth? (You know, the thing He said made them his friends.) Wow, so much for the Great Commission. He's not a personal savior? Guess the group-salvation stuff of liberation theology must be right after all.

HUH?

You used that scripture to imply that Jesus was speaking about YOU..he was not ..unless you are saved you are an enemy of Gods..not His friend. .

And besides that; if things are as you say and I have no free will, then what does it matter that I do or don't?

If you are not saved it does not matter what you do.. every thing you do is sin.. EVERYTHING even works the world calls good

If God is not my friend, then why shouldn't I tremble in terror at the Great Despot?

Because He is Holy and Righteous and will oe day be your judge.. He can send you to hell..

If God is as you paint, giving me no free will and not being my friend; then why should I believe that He intends any good thing for me?

If you are not saved he has no good intent for you..

But hey, maybe you're right. Maybe God created me to hate. Maybe God made me simply so he could laugh at my pathetic attempts at life.

The purpose of creation is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.. Men will never choose to love God without a movement of His grace on them first..Free will? Man will NEVER choose God.. so his "free will " is no gift .it damns him

After all, your God, being perfectly free creates man in his own image, but without any freedom and with an inherent sin-nature.

Is man still in the image of our Holy and perfect God now? What does the bible tell us?

Gen 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

You need to learn to read scripture..all promises in the scripture do not belong to all men..they were specific to the audience.. and Jesus called the disciples His friends..not you

36 posted on 07/09/2012 9:42:23 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
If you are not saved he has no good intent for you..

Wow! How utterly repugnant, and how utterly stupid, and how utterly contrary to the whole of the bible: If God has no good intent for me then he did not send Jesus to die for my sins, BEFORE I WAS SAVED, in order to save me -- such would be good intent and, according to you, require me to already be saved.
(Indeed, the New-covenant [Jesus], the Abrahamic-covenant, the Noah-covenant, the Adamic-covenant ALL require God's good intent.)

1 John 4:19 (KJV) -- We love him, because he first loved us.
Romans 5:8 -- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

But God does have good intent toward me; He sent Jesus do be the propitiation for my sins. Now let me ask: Who are you to tell me that I am not saved? And who are you to tell me that God has no good intent for me?

No, I think that it is you who has no good intent for me.

37 posted on 07/09/2012 10:05:58 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark; RnMomof7
"Never did I claim, or even hint at, man being free from God's influence."

Certainly you did. The term "free will" has no meaning if it does not mean that man can make choices completely free from the God. Otherwise you are back to that hybrid, "limited free will" which is not free, at all.

"But to say that God created evil is quite akin to the unforgivable sin: to attribute to God's Holy Spirit the work/evil of Satan."

How is it that God possessed a "knowledge of good and evil" when He ordered Adam to not eat from that tree, if the concept did not exist until creation and someone other than God invented it? Did God "learn" something new? Gen. makes clear, God said that the man had "...become like one of Us, knowing good from evil". If we agree that the Scriptures claim God is immutable, unchanging, thus has always known what He knows, what did He know about evil if it did not exist?

If a man is going to pick red or green sox out of the drawer tomorrow at 10am, free will requires that God not know what choice He would make. Otherwise, God is seeing something which cannot possibly occur differently. If it cannot occur differently, then exactly how "free" is the man? And, if God does not know, are you claiming that God has no foreknowledge? Does He not see what will happen tomorrow? That is a pagan god, not Yahweh, the God of Heaven & Earth.

What is it about the need to be free from God that even those who call themselves believers cling to such a concept? The Scriptures plainly say He turns the hearts of Kings, He causes the dice to roll a certain number, He sics Satan on men, He controls who believes. What is it that makes this an unwelcome truth? Here is my suspicion: They possess a reward system theology, rather than grace.

38 posted on 07/10/2012 8:46:31 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88
"Never did I claim, or even hint at, man being free from God's influence."

Certainly you did. The term "free will" has no meaning if it does not mean that man can make choices completely free from the God. Otherwise you are back to that hybrid, "limited free will" which is not free, at all.

Saying that free will does not exist if there is any influence is absurd. Is your choice to, say, paint your house red or blue, or green suddenly not your choice if your mom suggests blue or purple? She certainly has influence, but you have the choice.

How is it that God possessed a "knowledge of good and evil" when He ordered Adam to not eat from that tree, if the concept did not exist until creation and someone other than God invented it? Did God "learn" something new?

Knowledge of something does not necessarily mean the implementation thereof; that is to say that the knowledge of something not the same as the doing of it. You're falling into a mode of thinking similar to those who say one cannot condemn something if they haven't tried it.

Gen. makes clear, God said that the man had "...become like one of Us, knowing good from evil". If we agree that the Scriptures claim God is immutable, unchanging, thus has always known what He knows, what did He know about evil if it did not exist?

Again, you are confusing existence with the possibility of existence; the practice with the theory.

If a man is going to pick red or green sox out of the drawer tomorrow at 10am, free will requires that God not know what choice He would make. Otherwise, God is seeing something which cannot possibly occur differently. If it cannot occur differently, then exactly how "free" is the man? And, if God does not know, are you claiming that God has no foreknowledge? Does He not see what will happen tomorrow? That is a pagan god, not Yahweh, the God of Heaven & Earth.

No, that's wrong; that's like saying that you knowing your drug dealing mouthy brother is going to get himself killed [if he doesn't stop] invalidates your brother's choice to stop or continue. Furthermore, it assumes that knowledge of the future invalidates the choices of the present. (This is hard to convey properly precisely because we are temporal beings, bounded by time.)

What I'm saying is that God's foreknowledge does not invalidate free will; they are not mutually exclusive.

What is it about the need to be free from God that even those who call themselves believers cling to such a concept? The Scriptures plainly say He turns the hearts of Kings, He causes the dice to roll a certain number, He sics Satan on men, He controls who believes. What is it that makes this an unwelcome truth? Here is my suspicion: They possess a reward system theology, rather than grace.

Ha! You really seem hung up on the concept that "free will" means "free from God [and all of God's power]" that is not so, God supports and sustains the whole of the Universe.

Why do you claim that the belief that I am responsible for my own actions, having free will, utterly negates a claim that I exist/am-sustained (as all in the universe are) because of God? It's akin, to use the computer metaphor, to saying that I believe that computers don't use electricity because I believe that they can compute; but the truth is that w/o electricity the whole thing is moot because that necessary component is missing.
Just because God keeps me in existence does not mean that I do not have free will. Not any more than not being arrested means that I have committed no crime.

God sends rain to the just and the unjust? (Yes or no).
How can a man be just [or unjust] if he is not responsible for his own actions? and if he is responsible for his own actions, how can it be just for God to punish him if he had no free will? (After all, if he has no free will then he had no choice but to act in that unjust manner and therefore holding him to account for them would be just as absurd as trying to hold a computer to account for following its program.)

Here is my suspicion: those who deny free will make excuses to sin. ("Oh, but Trayvon couldn't help attacking Zimmerman, it was his being raised in a poor neighborhood!")

39 posted on 07/10/2012 10:39:41 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Dutchboy88

Isn’t it amazing how men hate the idea of a sovereign God interfering with their free will?


40 posted on 07/10/2012 11:58:16 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: OneWingedShark

If one is not saved... what is Gods future plan for them?

if you are trusting what Rome teaches to save you..nope not saved


41 posted on 07/10/2012 12:00:17 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7; Dutchboy88
Isn’t it amazing how men hate the idea of a sovereign God interfering with their free will?

Isn't it amazing to think that free-will diminishes God's sovereignty?
Oh, wait, you apparently do believe that.

If we draw your theology into a parallel with governance then either the State is sovereign and you have no free-will (ala ObamaCare), or the mere act of being able to choose whether to eat "bad fats and sugars" nullifies the sovereignty of the State.

Do you see how ridiculous your stance is now? Whether or not I can eat "evil fattening foods" has no bearing on the sovereignty of the State; but the same confluence that you have regarding sovereignty/free-will is exactly the same as the Statists --who worship the state as their god-- have embedded into their mind and therefore hate, just as you do, the very concept of free will.

42 posted on 07/10/2012 1:45:08 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: RnMomof7
if you are trusting what Rome teaches to save you..nope not saved

Who said anything about Rome? I haven't even mentioned it on this thread... at all.

If one is not saved... what is Gods future plan for them?

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Got that; it is the will of God that none should perish. So then, why should you say that God plans hell and destruction for them that are not saved?

43 posted on 07/10/2012 1:49:54 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark
Isn't it amazing to think that free-will diminishes God's sovereignty? Oh, wait, you apparently do believe that.

LOL..read that again.. who is sovereign over your free will? Who has the last word on your salvation? Sovereign God or your free will???

Most of us have been raised to worship at the altar of free will and choices

The fact is that all choices are made within a restricted set of circumstances

A man jumping off the empire state building can not exercise free will half way down.

Did you chose your sex? Did your chose your parents? Did you choose your country or city of birth? Did you chose your intelligence?

All of these things were predestined by your creator

He set up for you that parameters of the decisions and choices that will be available to you.

He could have had you born in India to Hindu parents in a low class. You never would have had an opportunity to go to school or to make the life choices you make today. You may never have heard the gospel to be saved.

Acts 17 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

All of our choices are governed by our preferences. Our preferences are part of that same creative process of the Father

Have you read the twin studies?

I read one that blew me away

Two brothers separated at birth. both had the same IQ, Both the same level of education, both loved firefighting (one was a professional and one a volunteer), both married women similar in appearance and both wives were named Jean. Both men had the same number of kids...and both drove red cars

Now these studies are done to show us the effects of genetics.

I know the designer of genetics. And His name is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He is the great "I AM"

God has designed each of us in such a way that we will have preferences that will lead us to certain choices.

Because of the fall men will never seek God

Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

In order for man to choose Christ he must have a preference for Christ. But the fall removed that preference. Man is spiritually dead.He can not choose life

Jhn 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Note here that Jesus says a man cannot SEE the kingdom of God. Man can not desire or choose what he can not see

So God gives those that are His a New heart

Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

God then gives us a heart that will desire Him.. A heart that can see Him and choose Him...

Our will was put in bondage in Eden. The will we have is the will of Adam. Only the new birth gives us a truly free will. The desire and the will to choose Christ

I find it so interesting that people resent the idea that God has foreordained our eternity. If our father so loved us to foreordain our present, how much more important is our eternity?

44 posted on 07/10/2012 5:29:13 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: OneWingedShark
Isn't it amazing to think that free-will diminishes God's sovereignty? Oh, wait, you apparently do believe that.

LOL..read that again.. who is sovereign over your free will? Who has the last word on your salvation? Sovereign God or your free will???

Most of us have been raised to worship at the altar of free will and choices

The fact is that all choices are made within a restricted set of circumstances

A man jumping off the empire state building can not exercise free will half way down.

Did you chose your sex? Did your chose your parents? Did you choose your country or city of birth? Did you chose your intelligence?

All of these things were predestined by your creator

He set up for you that parameters of the decisions and choices that will be available to you.

He could have had you born in India to Hindu parents in a low class. You never would have had an opportunity to go to school or to make the life choices you make today. You may never have heard the gospel to be saved.

Acts 17 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

All of our choices are governed by our preferences. Our preferences are part of that same creative process of the Father

Have you read the twin studies?

I read one that blew me away

Two brothers separated at birth. both had the same IQ, Both the same level of education, both loved firefighting (one was a professional and one a volunteer), both married women similar in appearance and both wives were named Jean. Both men had the same number of kids...and both drove red cars

Now these studies are done to show us the effects of genetics.

I know the designer of genetics. And His name is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He is the great "I AM"

God has designed each of us in such a way that we will have preferences that will lead us to certain choices.

Because of the fall men will never seek God

Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

In order for man to choose Christ he must have a preference for Christ. But the fall removed that preference. Man is spiritually dead.He can not choose life

Jhn 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Note here that Jesus says a man cannot SEE the kingdom of God. Man can not desire or choose what he can not see

So God gives those that are His a New heart

Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

God then gives us a heart that will desire Him.. A heart that can see Him and choose Him...

Our will was put in bondage in Eden. The will we have is the will of Adam. Only the new birth gives us a truly free will. The desire and the will to choose Christ

I find it so interesting that people resent the idea that God has foreordained our eternity. If our father so loved us to foreordain our present, how much more important is our eternity?

45 posted on 07/10/2012 5:29:21 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: OneWingedShark
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9,p context, context, context
46 posted on 07/10/2012 5:43:39 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7

Oh, I agree context is vital.

But in 2 Peter 3:9 it clearly says that it is God is not willing that any should perish [but instead that all should come to repentance].
(The context is the question of “why Jesus hasn’t returned?”/”why hasn’t the day of judgement happened?”, and more specifically in the erroneous argument that because it hasn’t happened that it won’t happen.)

Question 1: Do all come to repentance?
Question 2: Do those who do not repent perish?
Question 3: Does this mean that the will of God is not done?


If #3 is yes, then God has acquiesced and allowed men to make their own choices and therefore men have freedom to choose, that is free will.
If #3 is no, then one of two things: either God’s word contains error OR God a liar and he really does will that some should perish.

Which would you say is correct for #3?
Or are my premises in error? If so, which ones and why?


47 posted on 07/10/2012 7:11:18 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: RnMomof7
A man jumping off the empire state building can not exercise free will half way down.

Of course he can; he just can't alter physics (or his predicament).
That argument is like saying that because the universe doesn't bend to my mere whim that my whim does not exist.

Free will is not the same as unbounded power/control, as you seem to imply. (Possession of free will is distinct from omnipotence.)

Did you chose your sex? Did your chose your parents? Did you choose your country or city of birth? Did you chose your intelligence?
All of these things were predestined by your creator.

And how does not being able to choose any of them alter free will? Again, you conflate unbounded power and free will.

He set up for you that parameters of the decisions and choices that will be available to you.

Wait... what? Didn't you just say earlier in the thread that everything was predestined? that I had no choice?
I can't find it, but some of your replies rather come off that way.

Jn 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Note here that Jesus says a man cannot SEE the kingdom of God. Man can not desire or choose what he can not see

Can you see the Holy Spirit? How then, if the Holy Spirit's job is to teach you, can you choose to listen if he must be visible to choose?
Further, if it is the holy Spirit that works in a man to bring him into a saving knowledge of Jesus, then how can that man choose to follow; after all he cannot see the Holy Spirit, and you have declared that one cannot choose what one does not see.
PS -- Lots of game shows prove you wrong; too. One certainly can choose what is unseen.

Our will was put in bondage in Eden. The will we have is the will of Adam. Only the new birth gives us a truly free will. The desire and the will to choose Christ

And you have said that God does not have any good intent for those who have not already been saved; is not the act of saving dependent on God's good will?
Post #36:

If you are not saved he has no good intent for you..

Is it not obvious that God's saving is the ultimate act of good intent?
So then I ask, if God has no good intent for those who are not saved and being saved requires God's good intent then is it not true that no one can be saved?
The only way that someone could be saved in such a situation is if there is some other way to be saved; however, scripture plainly states that is not the case... therefore, because some have been saved the premises cannot both be true (as required by AND) so, which is false:
That being saved requires God's good intent?
Or that God has no good intent for those who are unsaved?

Indeed, Jesus shows us God's good intent toward us not only in his incarnation but in his teachings as well:
but I -- I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those accusing you falsely, and persecuting you, that ye may be sons of your Father in the heavens, because His sun He doth cause to rise on evil and good, and He doth send rain on righteous and unrighteous.
`For, if ye may love those loving you, what reward have ye? do not also the tax-gatherers the same? and if ye may salute your brethren only, what do ye abundant? do not also the tax-gatherers so?
Matt 5:44-47

Or would you call God a hypocrite, commanding us to a higher standard of righteousness that He himself attains: if God has no good intent for the unsaved, then He does not love them, and if He does not love them who hate him (the unsaved) then He is commanding us to do something that even He does not do.
But this is obviously wrongheaded. God does show good will (that is good intent) toward even the unrighteous, the unsaved.
So, it must be your assertion that is in error. No?

48 posted on 07/10/2012 8:05:52 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark
2 peter

Who was the letter sent to? Who was the audience?

2Pe 3:1** This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance

The beloved are the saved

What is it's topic? It is a teaching to the church on the end times.

It is not a salvation teaching it is an end time teaching

What is the theme?

Judgment and destruction of the wicked

The passage in question begins with the remembrance of the first judgment on the world.

The Flood

** 2Pe 3:5** For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
** * 2Pe 3:6** Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

Here he is speaking of the judgment men by the flood.

The judgment theme continues ;

2Pe 3:7** But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Now he speaks of the type of judgment to come. no longer from rain and flood, but from fire.

Now again Peter restates who these words stating who they are written to, the saved brethren

2Pe 3:8* * But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

It is a teaching for the elect . It is written ,It is a promise TO THE BRETHREN NOT THE UNSAVED

Pe 3:9** The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Now in the text in question who is He long suffering toward? He says it clearly ..it is the audience that he is addressing ..The brethren.. the elect..US-WARD .God is long suffering . He will not rain down the punishment until all the elect are saved.

If we were to read the Arminian reading into the text the Lord could never return because there will never be a day when the entire creation of men will be saved. So Christ could never come..He would be stuck in heaven waiting for men to make up their mind.

*Back to a judgment text : * 2Pe 3:10** But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Referring back to 3:6 &7

The reading of the text as a salvation teaching or promise in the center of a text in the center of an end time teaching breaks the flow and meaning of a text that tells how God intends to judge the reprobates in the last days .

That reading gives this text an impossible rendering . Because it would be saying the judgment He has just taught could never occur ,because God is long suffering to ALL men That makes is an impossible rendering of the text . __________________

49 posted on 07/11/2012 6:37:50 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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the all is defined by the context


50 posted on 07/11/2012 6:38:52 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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