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Does God predestine people to be non-elect, or do people corrupt themselves?

calvinism 19Is God making people wicked, or are they wicked against his will?

This is a hard question to answer for someone who believes that God forces no one to sin while at the same nothing comes to pass against his will.

Calvinists often speak from the both side of the mouth when they on the one hand claim that God predestines people to become elect or non-elect from the foundation of the world, and on the other hand claim that God forces no one to be wicked. Sometimes they try to blame Adam for people’s ”sinful nature”, but this does not solve the problem since he arrived on the scene after the ”foundation of the world” (and the Bible does not claim we have inherited his sin anyway).

So which one is it? Are people wicked against his will or according to his will? (Any of his wills …) Does God force people to be sinners or not?

Calvinists might suggest that God merely ”passes over” people and leaves them to their own devices, which means that such people will do what their nature urges them to do – which is performing all sorts of evil (like being wicked by default). Although, what choice do they really have? If only one single choice is available to them, and if God determines  to turn them into non-elect (for no apparent reason), must they therefore not become exactly as God has determined? Surely they could not have become elect if God wanted them to be non-elect? Would it not be surprising if someone who God did NOT want to become elect – but rather non-elect – still ended up as elect? That could not possibly happen, right? Again, I can see no other option but one (1) for the victims that were forced to become non-elect. Is not ”forcing” the proper word here?

The Bible tells us that people are separated from him due to their transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). This means that it is when people choose to SIN as they are  spiritually ”dead” and therefore also lost (until they repent, if they ever do). Calvinists often make a similar claim, but do they really mean it?

The whole Calvinistic process:

  1. People go to hell due to their sin. (So long it is fine, but it gets worse …)
  2. Why do they sin? Because they are bound by a sinful nature.
  3. Why are they bound by a sinful nature? Because they are wicked non-elect sinners.
  4. Why are they wicked non-elect? Because God created them as such from the foundation of the world – before they even existed, before they were born and long  before they could sin.
  5. This means that people are not dead due to their sins after all, but due to their bad luck of having been chosen by God to be wicked – with no way to escape from this misfortune.

Again, this Calvinistic process means that sin is NOT the reason for their damnation, but GOD’S CHOICE is. So why do Calvinists so often say that people are lost due to their sin if they do not really mean it? (Sinning would just be a consequence of God’s refusal to let people seek him and do good – from the foundation of the world.) Add to this the Calvinistic idea that 1) God is sovereign in such a way that he micro-manages everything, and 2) nothing comes to pass against his will. This means that if we criticize anything or anyone, we are criticizing God himself who caused it all to happen.

Not all Calvinists would agree that this is a proper understanding of their belief system (but many do agree). Still, they cannot escape from the many contradictions resulting from trying to save Calvinism.

Sinners commit sin against their nature

The Bible teaches that sinners do wicked acts against their nature, and not according to their nature:

Rom. 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is AGAINST NATURE

Once I heard in a podcast where a Calvinist asserted that a person bound by his wicked nature would not choose the right thing (like seeking God). He was then asked by the host ”Could he?”. The Calvinist replied ”He wouldn’t!”. He was asked ”Could he?”. The Calvinist replied ”He wouldn’t!” He was again asked: ”Could he, though?”, and the Calvinist continued to say ”He wouldn’t!”. It is easy to understand why the Calvinist was reluctant to answer the question (which was ”could he?” and not ”would he?”). If a non-elect person not only would not choose the right thing but neither is capable of it (by no fault of his own), the guilt must be placed on someone else but him. Namely on the one who caused this awful dilemma – namely God.

Fortunately this is not the God of the Bible. If people are wicked, it is their own blame and not God’s. God pleaded with his people Israel to do right, just like he pleads with all of us.

Ex. 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

People corrupt themselves

God is not the one corrupting people by determining/orchestrating/choosing/forcing/ordaining/predestining people to become wicked sinners before they are even born. The Bible says that man himself is to be blamed for being corrupt and not God. In order for someone to corrupt himself, he must first exist (and have a heart and a brain) in order to make choices. Man does not corrupt himself until he chooses to make sinful actions. Not a single day before.

Gen. 6:12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Deut. 9:12 And the Lord said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.

Deut. 32:5 They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.

Judge 2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.

Hosea 9:9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.

2 Pet. 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

2 Pet. 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

God works all things after the counsel of his own will? Eph. 1:11

secret willGod’s will is that man should use his free will and seek him (see Acts 17)

God has a sovereign freedom to accomplish whatever he chooses, like guaranteeing the proper inheritance to the children of God (which are those who are following Jesus). The promise is to those and no one else.

The following verse is a popular Calvinistic proof text, often quoted (by itself) to support the idea that everything under the sun occurs precisely according to God’s plans, down to every single detail:

Eph. 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel  of his own will

The verse of course say no such thing (that God’s will always happens), unless we are talking about his will to give man free will and make man responsible for his own actions. Note that it says ”works” all things and not ”cause” all things … The verse does not say that all thoughts, words and deeds are predestined by God, but it rather explains what God does, in terms of providing wonderful promises through Christ.

Councel in Eph. 1:11 is a translation from the Greek noun βουλή (boulé, Strong’s 1012) and could also be translated deliberate wisdom. This noun derives from the verb βούλομαι (boulomai, Strong’s 1014) and means will, intend, desire or wish. 

Some theologians claim that it is also about God planning and arranging all physical circumstances in order to achieve his exact plans which always take place down to the finest detail. This is something the Bible does not say.

The noun boulé occurs 12 times in the KJV Bible. Examples:

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.

Quite clearly God’s counsel can be rejected.

Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 

If God caused and scripted Calvary in all details, why does the text not say so? Instead we can read that his foreknowledge was involved. Knowing about future events is not the same as causing future events.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Paul is clearly not a Calvinist since he does not relax and trust that God’s will always happens and that the elect will remain elect (and the non-elect remain non-elect). He warns people with tears night and day because disciples will be drawn away from the gospel. Why does he do that if nothing can go wrong but always turn out as God wants? Paul rather believes the scriptures, and understands that prayers can make a difference!

Acts 27:12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. — 41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.42 And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.

1 Cor. 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.  

Unfortunately Calvinists usually believe that God decrees ”whatsover comes to pass” and are keen to interpret “work all things after the counsel of His will” as though everything pans out exactly as God wills it, both good and bad. That would include God deterministically scripting every murder, rape and abortion that will ever take place! The text, however, must not be read in this sweeping and all-inclusive way. The “all things” refers to all things that God accomplishes in Christ (in a general sense) because this is what the previous verses talk about.

Eph. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ

Paul provides examples of the above mentioned blessings and promises, which are only meant for those who are IN CHRIST which is the condition for salvation. The eternal purpose is that God’s children, his church will be able to look forward to a guaranteed inheritance waiting for them in the heavenly places. Again, the condition is to be IN CHRIST, and if someone does not endure to the end that person is no longer IN CHRIST and the promises are therefore not tied to him. The ”salvation bus” is predestined to go to heaven and guaranteed to be blessed, but who is in and who remains to the end? That is totally up to us and we know the conditions which are presented to us. Those who are in Christ are considered to be his holy children. The text does not say that the promises are provided with no conditions.

It might be a help to ask oneself what is predestined according to His purpose. In order to get the answer one must of course go back to the previous verses, because a verse can never be read in a vacuum. The answer is again ”the inheritance in Christ! The verse right (v. 12) after says ”That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ”, and v. 13 continues to talk about ”trusting” and ”believing”. It is possible that Paul includes the very first belivers in this sentence, and we should note that ”trusted” is an action that people might choose to do. God will not ”trust” for us or instaed of us. It is rather a condition for salvation. V. 19 says ”the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe. The believers are in Christ – again, the condition.

If I would tell someone about my work and say that ”all things” worked out perfectly fine – maybe even after the counsel of my will – the listener would not assume that I just claimed that every single thing in the entire world worked out absolutely great, and that I have solved all the world’s problems. Neither would the listener assume that I claimed to be the cause of all things that I said took place.

Compare:

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Paul is here talking about being content no matter what state he is in (in both good and bad circumstances) and to be able to do the good works which God has prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:10). Paul is not including everything under the sun in ”all things”, but the term must of course be understood in its context. The verse certainly does not say that byall things” you can do all forms of evil and wickedness through God who strengthens you. Similarly, Eph. 1:11 does not say that the “all things” would include evil and wickedness.

All things work out for good for all people  -more than in a general term?free will 3

Paul promises us in Rom. 8 that all things work out together for good to them that LOVE GOD, which of course is a condition for salvation. If Paul had meant that all things work out for good for all people everywhere, including all details from God’s perspective, then he could have skipped the condition of having to love God.

Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

In the same chapter Paul explains which conditions that apply for escaping condemnation: 1) You must be IN JESUS, and 2) you must not walk after the flesh but after the Spirit. This is something that WE must make sure to do, and God will not do it for us:

Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. — 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

He goes on to explain, that if we live according to the flesh (not an obligation), we cannot please God. The solution to the problem is of course to NOT live according to the flesh but after the Spirit:

Rom. 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Paul explains that we definitely do not have to live after the flesh. The choice is clear; if you live after the flesh you will die, and if you live after the Spirit you will live. Who are the sons of God? Those who have chosen to be led by the Spirit of God. If someone lives after the flesh, he can certainly not blame God for it but only himself. The better option is always to live by the Spirit in order to get life:

Rom. 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Paul tells us about the same wonderful promises of glorification just as in Eph. 1, but again, only for those who are God’s children who live after the Spirit:

Rom. 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Paul repeats again that all things work together for good to them that love God. The ”calling” is widespread because we know from the parable of the King’s wedding feast (Matt. 22) that many of those who were called to participate in the feast (they were even on the guest list) declined to go. One person who actually did go to the feast was still thrown out because he had neglected to wear appropriate clothes (his own responsibility). We are justified when we are cleansed from our past sins, and after this point our goal is to be conformed into the image of Jesus which is something to look forward to. We have an assurance in the hope of salvation while on earth, as long as we abide in Jesus of course. Rom. 8:29 is referring to those in v. 28, who love God. Do read about Rom 8:28-30 here.

Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God provides provisions and works all things after the counsel of his will, but he does not cause people to act according to some predestined plans. If God forces people to think and act in a certain way, what is the point of judging them for things they cannot possibly avoid?:

1 Cor.10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. He would prefer that they would repent in order to live:

Ez. 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

If someone ends up with an interpretation which makes God the greatest culprit and a lover of sin, this is clearly an erroneous understanding. A religion that blames the sin of all mankind on God is clearly incorrect. We should rather use this verse as a filter:

Ja. 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, NEITHER TEMPTETH HE ANY MAN 

We are requested to not excuse our sin by suggesting ”God made me do it”. God does not tempt anyone, much less causes anyone to sin, but in order to save the philosophy of Calvinism God must be blamed for the sin of all mankind even though it is blasphemy? Calvinists might try to solve the problem with ”it’s a miracle” or ”God’s ways are higher than our ways”, but in that case anyone can introduce contradictions into the Bible and excuse them by saying ”God’s ways are higher than our ways” and ”who are we to question God?”. 

It is a lot safer to agree with the Bible which says that God’s will does not always happen. Yet, he is still in control (does not mean micro management) and all things work out wonderfully for those who love him.

The philosophy of Calvinism more important than GOD for Calvinists?

tulips-2Why is it so important for Calvinists to believe in Calvinism, and that God predestined people to be elect and non-elect before they were even born?

Do they LIKE this story and the way it turns God out to be?

Is it because Calvinism is taught in the Bible? Or is it because Calvinism COULD be taught in the Bible if we ignore certain verses and read other verses in a vacuum to make the text conform to Calvinism? MUST we read the Bible as though Calvinism is taught in it, or is it possible that we can get another outcome (more flattering to God) without having to ignore or twist any verses at all? I would of course vote for the latter. Below are the options as I see it, and the absolutely most negative aspect of Calvinism is that it makes God out to be the author of sin, turning him into a tyrant who prevents most people from being saved. Or maybe there is something even worse – namely the idea that he does this FOR HIS GLORY! The mere thought should make a Christian cringe.

The Calvinistic option 

Note that I do not believe there are any Calvinists who are able to be consistent with their own doctrines, and consequently I do not believe they strictly believe what I write below. I believe they are way smarter than their own doctrines and that they more or less choose to be non-consistent Calvinists. Some try to be more consistent than others and openly admit that they believe God predestines even child molesters to commit their crimes, whereas others do all kind of gymnastics in order to avoid the absurd outcome that Calvinism demands.

  • This alternative makes God responsible for our actions, including our sins. Bringing up the topic of compatibilism does not help, because we cannot make mutually exclusive ideas become true just by describing an invented process with fancy words.
  • The idea is that nothing comes to pass against the will of God (at least if Westminster Confession of Faith is valid). Meaning that sin therefore (if we want to be consistent) happens according to his will. This God apparently also has at least two opposing wills, and one of his wills is attributed to his desire that get people to sin in order to accomplish his purposes.
  • Since God is the author of sin, he is someone who sadly does not make sense and is therefore difficult to approach with a sincere heart. How is it possible to love someone above everything else, knowing that he has predestined most people to be wicked non-elect sinners before they were even born, and even gets so mad at them for being what he created them to be that he sends them to hell?
  • Jesus did not die for everybody but only a select few, indicating that God never intended to offer salvation to all in the first place.
  • A Calvinist has good reason to be boasting, considering that God chose them to be the bright wise stars in the world and not others.
  • Ja. 1:13 must be ignored since it says that God does not tempt any man. Calvinists takes a step further since Calvinism teaches that God not only tempts people but makes them sin.
  • Why Jesus had to die on the cross is a complete mystery is Calvinism is true. Could the elect not remain elect unless Jesus died on the cross? Did Jesus die because something went wrong? Something against God’s plans? Exactly what went wrong, and against God’s will?
  • Hell is a place replete with people who have obeyed God to 100% (by being the wicked non-elect sinners that God predestined them to be.)
  • The word ”sovereign” is added to the Bible (in relation to KJV), which is not a problem per se, but the Calvinistic interpretation of this non-Biblical word is. By excluding the possibility that God could very well have created man with free will, this word must then by necessity mean that only God’s will could be in force on earth, leading yet again to that sin happens according to his will.
  • Preaching and praying do not make any sense if Calvinism is true. The elect cannot perish, and the non-elect can never be saved. Must we do these things because God has told us to? What will then be the horrible outcome if we do not obey?
  • Why all the fuss about sin, if Calvinism is true? If the idea is that nothing comes to pass against his will?

The free will option.

  • This alternative makes MAN responsible for his own actions, which means that sin must be blamed on man and not on God.
  • God does not want anyone to perish and there is much joy in heaven each time a person repents and can get his life restored. God’s sovereignty is not disturbed just because he chose to create man with free will and responsibility for his own actions. God does not have contradictory wills, and every single time a persons sins it is always against his will.
  • Man sins according to his own will and against the will of God. This means that the God makes perfect sense when he constantly persuades people to avoid sin. God is holy and therefore disobedience separate us from him. We are created to seek him and find him (Acts. 17).
  • Jesus died for everyone, showing his true love for every man. We are told to be merciful just like he is.
  • We have no reason to be boasting about our salvation since we are 100% lost without God. We have no authority to forgive ourselves our own sins, but we are completely dependent on the mercy of God. He expects us to repent for our sins, and doing so is not ”boasting” since all has been given this ability.
  • Freewillers totally trust the Biblical information that God does not tempt any man and does NOT make people sin.
  • Jesus death on the cross makes perfect sense. Something went terribly wrong and against God’s plans (sin), and there is no forgiveness without sacrificed blood. God was not surprised that Adam and Eve disobeyed him since he created them with the ability to love/hate and obey/disobey, and naturally then disobedience was a possible outcome. This is why it also makes sense that God made sure to warn Adam and Eve ahead of time about sinning, telling them that sin produces death. He told them NOT to eat, and they ate.
  • Hell is a place for disobedient people who have acted against God’s commandments. They had the opportunity to be sent to heaven but due to their pride and their choice to not be followers of God, they deserve hell.
  • Freewillers do not believe anything is too difficult for God, which means he is capable of creating man with free will and making man responsible for his own actions.
  • Preaching and praying make perfect sense, since by doing so we can make influences on the spiritual world and the outcome of things.

Why is not the Freewill option above the better one, and the only option that saves us from having to blaspheme God by suggesting that he somehow orchestrates sin?calvinism-41

I have spoken to many Calvinists and I sense that most of them do not even want the Freewill option to be true because then they would have to give up Calvinism. It seems like saving Calvinism is much more important than God himself. They have all chances in the world to study on apologetic sites that could help them overcome their Calvinistic hurdles and help them to see the Bible in  a different light, but they decline. They prefer to stick with their Calvinistic teachers and books, and whenever they run into a contradiction they choose to go to such sources to see if there is a solution. They would not consider going to freewill sources, since their goal is to save Calvinism. Saving the character of God from being attacked is not important? It is as though they already have their mind made up. They might ask me if they same does not apply to me – maybe I have also made up my mind beforehand? OK, but does it not make more sense to start off checking those sources that save God from being a selfish tyrant, and where there are no mutually exclusive contradictions that I have to battle?

Many Calvinists commonly ask why it would be a better alternative if God created
people knowing that there would be people denying him. It would be a better alternative since it would place the responsibility and culpability with man and not on God. Knowing something is a possibility ahead of time is not the same thing as predestining it to take place. Instead of ”God made me do it”, a person must face the consequences for his own choices.

Even if it is not a perfect example, I often compare it with a Christian parent living in a secular country (much like my own) and where she/he ”knows” that not all of his/her children will grow up to be believers, or even good respectful citizens, due to the agnostic/atheistic propaganda taught in school, among friends, in the media, and everywhere. Even if the Bible would be taught at home, and even if the parents would spend a lot of time encouraging their children to maintain their Christian faith, it is also close to a certainty that not all their children will make the better choice. So would the parent therefore decide to not have any children at all due to this sad reality? I have not met one person yet with this approach. Even if the parent would be told through a prophesy that not all his/her children would be saved, the parent might still decide to have children. If some of the children would turn out to be agnostics as adults, it would not be the parent’s fault. Each person must be responsible for his own actions and choices in life.

There are Calvinists who admit that there are contradictions in Calvinism, but then they often try to excuse their hopeless situation with this verse:

Is. 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For them this verse means that even if they have no idea how to solve their theological contradictions now, they expect to do so when they get to heaven. A freewiller, however, does not have to wait until heaven before the Bible makes sense, because there are no verses which must be ignored or twisted.

A Quiz for Your Calvinist Friends

Wesleyan Arminian

A little quiz for your Calvinist Friends. Inspired by the ever resourceful JC Thibodaux and by a Calvinist dude named Jay Banks. Enjoy.

Genesis 25:23 The LORD said to [Rebekah], ”Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

Q: What was in Rebekah’s womb?

A. Two nations and two peoples.
B. One elect person and one reprobate person.
C. Don’t even try to refer to the Old Testament for your exegesis of Romans 9. Heretic.

Ezekiel 18:23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

Q: How much pleasure does the Sovereign Lord take in the death of the wicked?

A. No pleasure
B. Much pleasure

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QUOTES about EVIL and SIN, from preachers who are CALVINISTS

john piperCalvinists often take refuge behind the curtains of ”God’s ways are higher than our ways” and “it’s a mystery!” whenever they are faced with Bible contradictions, but if they would just start accepting the fact that man has free will, and that God’s will doesn’t always happen (which doesn’t reduce his sovereignty) then all their contradictions would disappear at once. In order to be consistent with calvinism, one must believe that even evil happens according to Gods will, whereas freewillers believe that evil is merely allowed by God and always happens against his will.

Plainly it was God’s will that sin should enter this world, otherwise it would not have, for nothing happens except what God has eternally decreed. Moreover, there was more than a simple permission, for God only permits things that fulfill his purpose./-A.W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, 2009, 162

So when I say that everything that exists — including evil — is ordained by an infinitely holy and all-wise God to make the glory of Christ shine more brightly, I mean that, one way or the other, God sees to it that all things serve to glorify his Son.”/ John Piper, Spectacular Sins: And Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ, 44

God is able without blameworthy ‘tempting’ to see to it that a person does what God ordains for him to do even if it involves evil./ John Piper,  Spectacular Sins: And Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ, 24

Moral evil we usually refer to as sin: murder, lying, adultery, stealing, all the ways that people fail to love each other. So what we are considering here is that God rules the world in such a way that all calamities and all sin remain in his ultimate control and therefore within his ultimate DESIGN and PURPOSE. / John Piper on his website 1 July 1998

The death of Jesus offers another example of how God’s sovereign will ORDAINS that a SINFUL ACT COME TO PASS  /John Piper on his website 1 July 1998These specific examples (which could be multiplied by many more instances) where God purposefully GOVERNS the sinful choices of people are generalized in several passages. — Therefore I conclude with [Jonathan] Edwards, ”God decrees all things, even all sins.” /John Piper

God may hate a thing as it is in itself, and considered simply as evil, and yet . . . it may be his will it should come to pass, considering all consequences. . . . God doesn’t will sin as sin or for the sake of anything evil; though it be his pleasure so to order things, that he permitting, sin will come to pass; for the sake of the great good that by his disposal shall be the consequence. His willing to order things so that evil should come to pass, for the sake of the contrary good, is no argument that he doesn’t hate evil, as evil: and if so, then it is no reason why he may not reasonably forbid evil as evil, and punish it as such. /  The Works of Jonathan Edwards, A.M.: With an Essay on His Genius …, Volym 2

So evil is necessary, in order to the highest happiness of the creature, and the completeness of that communication of God, for which he made the world; because the creature’s happiness consists in the knowledge of God, and the sense of his love. And if the knowledge of him be imperfect, the happiness of the creature must be proportionably imperfect. / The Works of Jonathan Edwards, A.M.: With an Essay on His Genius …, Volym 2

We sin out of a kind of MORAL NECESSITY because we act according to our fallen nature./ R.C. Sproul, What is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

God wills all things that come to pass…God desired for man to fall into sin. I am not accusing God of sinning; I am suggesting that God created sin. / R.C. Sproul, Jr. Almighty Over All 

If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled. / R.C. Sproul.

I wish very frankly and pointedly to assert that if a man gets drunk and shoots his family, it was the will of God that he should do it…”+ Let it be unequivocally said that this view certainly makes God the cause of sin… / Gordon Clark, Religion, Reason, and Revelation, (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian & Reformed), 1961, 221

Sin is one of the ‘whatsoevers’ that have ‘come to pass’, all of which are ‘ordained’…Nothing comes to pass contrary to His decree. Nothing happens by chance.Even moral evil, which He abhors and forbids, occurs by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God… man’s inability to explain how God can make things certain, but not compulsory… is no reason to deny that [God] can do it or that he has done it./ W.G.T. Shedd, Calvinism: Pure and Mixed, 32-33, 38-39

Foreordination means God’s sovereign plan, whereby He decides all that is to happen in the entire universe. Nothing in this world happens by chance. God is in back of everything. He decides and causes all things to happen that do happen. He is not sitting on the sidelines wondering and perhaps fearing what is going to happen next. No, He has foreordained everything ‘after the counsel of his will’ (Eph. 1:11): the moving of a finger, the beating of a heart, the laughter of a girl, the mistake of a typist –even sin…Although sin and unbelief are contrary to what God commands…God has included them in his sovereign decree (ordained them, caused them to certainly come to pass) / Edwin. H. Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism, 24-25

Yes, someone says, but can’t Christians put themselves outside God’s grace? What about those who commit ABOMINABLE SINS? Don’t they nullify the work of redemption in themselves? Don’t they forfeit the love of God? CERTAINLY NOT …. it’s preposterous to think that we can forfeit it [salvation] BY ANYTHING WE DO / John MacArthurThe God Who Loves: He Will Do Whatever It Takes To Draw Us To Him

God controls everything that is and everything that happens. There is not one thing that happens that he has not actively decreed – not even a single thought in the mind of man. Since this is true, it follows that God has decreed the existence of evil, he has not merely permitted it, as if anything can originate and happen apart from his will and power. Since we have shown that no creature can make completely independent decisions, evil could never have started without God’s active decree, and it cannot continue for one moment longer apart from God’s will. God decreed evil ultimately for his own glory, although it is not necessary to know or to state this reason to defend Christianity from the problem evil. / Vincent Cheung – Problem of evil 

Those who see that it is impossible to altogether disassociate God from the origination and continuation of evil nevertheless try to distance God from evil by saying that God merely “permits” evil, and that he does not cause any of it. However, since Scripture itself states that God actively decrees everything, and that nothing can happen apart from his will and power, it makes no sense to say that he merely permits something –nothing happens by God’s mere permission. / Vincent Cheung – Problem of evil 

Here they have recourse to the distinction between will and permission. By this they would maintain that the wicked perish because God permits it, not because he so wills. But why shall we say “permission” unless it is because God so wills? Still, it is not in itself likely that man brought destruction upon himself through himself, by God’s mere permission and without any ordaining. As if God did not establish the condition in which he wills the chief of his creatures to be! I shall not hesitate, then, simply to confess with Augustine that “the will of God is the necessity of things,” and that what he has willed will of necessity come to pass. / John Calvin, Calvin’s Institutes (III, xxiii, 8 & II, iv., 3)

James White (in a debate with Hank Hannegraaf and George Bryson) was asked,”When a child is raped, is God responsible and did He decree that rape?” His reply:

”Yes, because if not then it‟s meaningless and purposeless and though God knew it was going to happen he created without a purpose…and God is responsible for the creation of despair. If [God] didn‟t [decree child rape] then that rape is an (sic) element of meaningless evil that has no purpose.”/ James White.

Charles Spurgeon did not believe that Jesus died for all men, or that God even desired to save all men. His words also show what damage the satisfaction theory has done to us, since Spurgeon and others start with this unbiblical falsehood and try to build their case on it – which leads them in the wrong direction. Can a person be saved who is engaged in the most monstrous, horrible and repulsive iniquity, and worse than diabolical deities could think of perform? That is what Spurgeon call those who believe that Jesus died for all:

Once again, if it was Christ’s intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption, were bought with His blood. That seems to me a conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those consequences which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of special and particular redemption. To think that my Saviour died for men who were or are in hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to entertain. To imagine for a moment that He was the Substitute for all the sons of men, and that God, having first punished the Substitute, afterwards punished the sinners themselves, seems to conflict with all my ideas of Divine justice. That Christ should offer an atonement and satisfaction for the sins of all men, and that afterwards some of those very men should be punished for the sins for which Christ had already atoned, appears to me to be the most monstrous iniquity that could ever have been imputed to Saturn, to Janus, to the goddess of the Thugs, or to the most diabolical heathen deities. / Charles H. Spurgeon

Can a person be saved if he/she refuses to believe in the true gospel but rather believes in heresies? If Spurgeon is correct here, only calvinists can be saved:

And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified,unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else / The Autobiography of Charles H. Spurgeon, Curts and Jennings, Cincinnati – Chicago – St. Louis, 1898, Vol. I., Page 172.

“Some of the sermons on sex were R-rated, and we gave warnings to parents and sometimes saw whole visiting youth groups walk out blushing halfway through the sermon.  On other occasions, people walked out during the sermon and flipped me off on their way out, a trend that has continued.”  /Mark Driscoll (Confessions of a Reformission Rev. p.134)

“Pastor James continues to lead our monthly film and theology class, at which attendance rises to more than two hundred people depending on the film.  He continues to show an occasional unedited R-rated movie to train our people to think critically about the themes preached through film, which is the new cultural form of preaching.”  / Mark Driscoll  (Confessions of a Reformission Rev., p.157)

“This season [at church] was messy and I sinned and cussed a lot, but God somehow drew a straight line with my crooked Philistine stick.” / Mark Driscoll  (Confessions of a Reformission Rev p.130)

I do believe God does cause people to think they are saved just to damn them but to call that grace is crazy. / a Calvinist

Also free-willers can of course be in error about sin, even if it’s not built into their doctrine by necessity the way calvinism is (I’m not claiming that calvinists therefore sin more than others, but I’m talking about the necessary outcome of their doctrines IF they want to be consistent with what they teach):

Paul wrote most of his epistles to correct error in the church. But he doesn’t say that even the most carnal Corinthians are not saved. /Dave Hunt The Berean Call, January 2007, p. 5.)

Some of you are weak and sickly and some of you sleep. Some of you died because God just brought judgment upon you for the way you have conducted yourselves … there are some sins that are so heinous … and God takes them home for that./ Dave Hunt

A list of reasons why calvinism is not what is taught in the Bible

Biblical reasons why Calvinism is not Biblical Christianity

Thanks to Stephen Thomas for this list!

1. ”For the Grace of God that bringeth Salvation hath appeared to ALL MEN” [Titus 2:11]

2. “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin… He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” [1 John 3:5-8]

3. ”I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” [Deuteronomy 30]

4. ”But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” [Jeremiah 23:22]

5. ”O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” [Jeremiah 4:14]

6. ”They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy” [Jonah]

7. ”[Christ] was the true Light, which lights EVERY man that comes into the world.” [John 1:9]

8. ”Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” [Acts 7:51]

9. ”Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.” [1 Tim 5:12]

10. ”…’Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..” [Acts 16]

11. ”And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” [1 John 2:2]

12. ”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” [John 3:16]

13. ”O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often WOULD I HAVE gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT [you were not willing]!” [Luke 13] (exclamation mark in the text.) 

14. ”Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live.” [Ezekiel 18]

15. ”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]

16. ”God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though GOD WERE PLEADING through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, BE RECONCILED TO GOD.” [2 Cor 5:19]

17. ”Because that which may be known of GOD IS MANIFEST IN THEM; for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when THEY KNEW GOD, they glorified him not as God…” [Romans 1]

18. ”[God] has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, [in the hope that] they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from EVERY ONE OF US: For in him we live, and move, and have our being… For we are also his offspring…now commandeth all men every where to repent. ” [Acts 17] [spoken to a city full of pagan heathens]

19. ”And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, BECAUSE we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” [1 Jn 3:2]

20. ”God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in WELL-DOING seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life...” [Rom 2:6]

21. ”brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for IF YE DO these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:9]

22. ”And if you will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk *contrary* unto me [resisting the Spirit of Grace (as per Hebrews 10:29 / Acts 7:51)]; Then will I also walk contrary unto you.. And if you will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you… if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, ” [Lev 26]

23. ”Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that RIGHTEOUS MAN dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his RIGHTEOUS SOUL from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” [2 Peter 2:7]

24. ”Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS, saith the Lord GOD.” [Ezekiel 14:14]

25. ”And [Jesus] marvelled because of their unbelief” [Mark 6:6]

26. ”Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” [Acts 10:24]

27. ”Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” [James 1:13]

28. ”Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness” [Acts 8]

29. ”And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL MEN unto me. This [Jesus] said, signifying what death he should die.” [John 12:32]

30. ”And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? [Why] then, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?…” [Isaiah 5]

31. ”But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore PURGE HIMSELF from these [sins], he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and [useful] for the master, and prepared unto every good work.” [2 Tim 2:20]

32. ”Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, ..to KEEP HIMSELF unspotted from the world.” [Jas 1:27]

33. ”But let every man prove[test/examine] HIS OWN WORK, and then shall he have REJOICING IN HIMSELF alone, and not in another.” [Gal 6:4]

34. ”He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But *as many as received him*, to them gave he power to BECOME the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” [John 1:12] (i.e. receive Christ, THEN become a son of God by regeneration.)

35. ”brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you OUGHT to walk and to PLEASE GOD.. Therefore he who rejects this does not REJECT man, but GOD, who has also given us His Holy Spirit”. [1 Thess 4]

36. Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD [Man’s initiative / responsibility], and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. [God’s response]” [Isaiah 55:6-7]

37. ”Enoch…had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” [Hebrews 11:5-6]

38. “he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the 1.) lusts of men, but to the 2.) will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the 1.) will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries…” [1 Peter 4:2-3]

39. ”For all that is 1.) in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is NOT OF THE FATHER, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth 2.) THE WILL OF GOD abideth for ever.” [1 John 2:16-17]

40. ”When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.” [Ezekiel 18:27]

41. ”For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” [1 Tim 2:3]

42. ”Bless, LORD, his substance, and accept the work of his hands; smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.” [Deut 33:!1]

43. ”The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” [Psalm 111:7]

44. ”How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me?” [Numbers 14:27]

45. ”And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” [2 Peter 3:15]

46. ”Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? ” [Matt 17:17]

47. ”Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah” [1 Peter 3:20]

48. “and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man…” [Acts 11:22]

49. “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, **Strive to enter in** at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” [Luke 13:23-24] [Strive = Agōnizesthe = Struggle with antagonistic difficulties and dangers, Agonise, Endeavour with strenuous zeal, labour, contend earnestly (as in an athletic contest, or warfare

50. “Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to HIS righteousness.” [1 Kings 8:32]

51. “Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” [Hebrews 11:5] 

52. “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers” [James 2:”2]

53. “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” [Genesis 6:9] 

54. “just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations” [2 Peter 2:7]

55. “as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:” [1 Kings 9:4]

56. “LORD rewarded me according to MY righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them. I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to MY righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright. With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure..” [2 Samuel 22:21]

57. “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” [Job 1:1] 

58. “Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” [Psalm 7:9]

59. ”Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” [Ecclesiastes 7:29]

60. ”the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and *forgetteth the covenant of her God*. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. That thou mayest walk in the way of *good men*, and keep the paths of *the righteous*. For *the upright* shall dwell in the land, and *the perfect* shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.” [Proverbs 2:16-22]

61. ”That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.” [Psalm 78]

62. ”If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured...” [Isaiah 1:19]

63. ” Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” [1 John 3:7]

64. ”Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God..” [Romans 6:12]

65. “And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And IF it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” [Luke 13:2-9] 

66. “It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” [Jer 36:3]