Etikettarkiv | everyone

If God only loves SOME – his elect – why cannot also we love SOME people?

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Why not loving only SOME people if our God only loves SOME people?

We are told to love one another because God loved us and to be merciful as him, but if the truth is rather that God only loved SOME of us – his elect – then why would it be wrong for us to act in a similar way by loving and being merciful to only a select few?

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God—11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

The calvinistic view is that God chose some to be elect and others to be non-elect (ending up to be wicked sinners unwilling to repent) from the creation of the world, and surely it wouldn’t be accurate to say that God ”loved” the non-elect since he predestined them to be damned? Some calvinists might insist on that ”he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45) means that God pours out his love and blessings also on the non-elect. However, that’s like saying it’s true ”love” to invite someone out for a delightful picnic with lots of wonderful treats, just to push the same person off a cliff when the dinner is over. (It’s a better choice to trust the Bible which says that God doesn’t want anyone to perish and whose only son died for everyone.)

The Bible says that ”IF God so loved us, we ought to love each other”, but what if he did not love us? Wouldn’t this give us a logical reason to not love everyone? It certainly sounds as though we are only expected to love God if he loves us, and if God fails to do his part (loving us) then we are not bound to do our part either (loving one another). So the point remains the same however you turn it. If it’s ”love” for God to show mercy and good intentions only on some people (creating most people for hell), then why would it be wrong for us humans to act in a similar way by being selective about which ones to love?

Calvinists might protest and say that unlike God we don’t know who is elect or non-elect and therefore we should be merciful and loving to everyone, but wouldn’t this at least show that you would not be speaking the truth if you told non-christians that you (or God) love them? There is a huge risk that they might remain non-christians throughout their lives, and if they died as non-believers it would prove (if we want to be consistent with the ”God-loves-some-doctrine”) that God in fact did not love them but predestined them to be fuel in the fire. So why would you have concern for their souls and love them if God doesn’t love them? Do you have a greater heart than God?

The Bible tells us that there will be few people who find the narrow way that leads to life (Matt. 7:14), and that means that there is a greater chance that God does not love a person than that he loves him/her (again, if we want to be consistent with this doctrine). The Bible however, tells us repeatedly that God ”loves” Israel, despite that some Israelites were later destroyed by God due to being disobedient. Apparently it’s possible to love people who will later perish.

What if we truly behaved just like the calvinistic God – and showed the same kind of ”love” and ”mercy” as he does – and selected some unfortunate individuals to torture and even kill. We would still not reach the same horrible type of love and mercy as the calvinistic God, because he turns people in to non-elect sinners (with no choice whatsoever) and sends them to suffer for eternity. Note, that they won’t suffer due to their sins, but due to having the nerve to be born as the non-elect wicked sinners as God predestined them to be.

Greater love has no man than the one who lays down his life for his friends says John. 15:13, and there are even agnostic/atheistic soldiers who have done this both for friends and for others despite not really knowing them well at all. Many atheists would gladly die for anyone of their children, regardless if the children were good kids or not. Do agnostics have a greater love than Jesus who apparently didn’t lay down his life for all people even though he could? What if a father treated some of his children really well and left the rest to suffer, and defended his case with ”I’m just showing the same type of love as God does”? 

The question is; if God can be selective about the ones he decides to love and be merciful to (by making a certain amount of people elect and much-loved), then why can’t we do the same? Why would it be wrong for us to select certain individuals that we decide to pour out our love on, while turning our backs on the rest? Are we not told to be merciful as God, to be perfect like him, and to love one another just the way God does?

Some verses to studygreatest commandment

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Suffice to say that the loving and merciful God of the Bible is completely different from the made-up calvinistic God, whose ”love” is both frightful and harmful.

Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.—33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, 

Our neighbors might be both believers or unbelievers, but Jesus tells us to love them period.

Ezek. 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?—32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Matt. 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.—21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.—11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.—18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.19 We love him, because he first loved us.20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Jude 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

1 King. 10:9 Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.

1 Chron. 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

ALL doesn’t ALWAYS mean ALL in the Bible, but we don’t get to choose when it doesn’t

alla4It’s absolutely true that the word ALL in the Bible doesn’t always mean ALL as in the entire world and 100% of the population even if it says ALL MEN, but it’s equally true that we don’t get to choose whether or not the word really means ALL ourselves. Sometimes ALL actually means ALL and the entire world and it’s the context that decides which one it is and not our own personal preferences. Maybe this is rather-self-evident but there are some people seem to reason:

”Since I can prove that ALL and ALL MEN do not always mean the whole world or all of the population of the earth, then I get to choose when ALL means ALL myself and I can do this as I see fit”.

They might not be aware of that they are reasoning in this way, but it’s common that especially reformed believers try to refute the verses which say that Jesus died for ALL (which is painfully clear in the Bible), by suggesting that ”all doesn’t always mean all”, and this shows that they feel they can save their doctrine of Limited Atonement by narrowing down the word ALL to a certain group of people even though the context itself doesn’t call for this procedure. Yes, sometimes ALL means a certain group of people but not always, and again, we cannot determine this simply by resorting to personal preferences. That would be nothing else but picking and choosing, and you would end up with the invisible rule ”ALL means ALL except when it doesn’t fit the reformed doctrine because then it means ALL of a certain group”. 

The saying among reformed believers is that when Jesus died for ALL it means ”Jesus died for some of every kind of people from ALL  tribes, languages, people and nations”. And/or that it refers to ALL classes and conditions of people, and to all sorts of human beings without any distinction or exception. That is a convenient understanding if one wants to maintain that TULIP (calvinism) is what the Bible teaches, but if they get to choose this translation of the word ALL,  do I get to do the same whenever I don’t like that ALL means ALL as in every individual? What if I for instance don’t like that ALL people have sinned as Romans 3:23 seems to suggest.

Romans 3:23 For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

Do I get to interpret the above verse as ”some  from all tribes, languages, people and nations have sinned”? No, because then reformed believers might say ”NO! It says ALL, and ALL means ALL! Don’t twist the verse and make it say something it doesn’t say! ALL is what it is!” It’s rather unfair that only the reformed believers get to use the ”some out of every tribe-idea” but no others.

Rom. 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and DEATH by sin; and so death passed upon all men, FOR that all have sinned

My claim is that babies cannot sin and Rom 5:12 doesn’t say that all people who have ever lived have sinned (which you can read more about in this blog article). We already know that Jesus has not sinned so this means that ALL couldn’t possibly mean the entire world with him included. (Jesus mother Mary was related to Adam and Eve just like the rest of us and she would have given Jesus a piece of her nature as well.) What qualifies ”all men” can be read in the context, and Paul is talking about individuals who have become enemies of God (v. 10) but how could babies possibly be enemies of God? Especially babies who are unborn? That is impossible, and Paul’s aim is not to convey that babies can be guilty of sin and rebellion. He is talking about ”men”, and that could mean 1) men 2) men and women, or 3) all mankind. We can’t decide to jump to No 3 and suggest it must mean every individual, at the same time as we refuse to do this in other verses which very clearly show that it means exactly that. That, again, is picking and choosing depending on our own preferences. All people who have the ability to sin have chosen to sin, except Jesus.

Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

The above verse is interesting because here reformed readers would like to interpret the first ”all men” as ALL individuals who have ever lived (so ALL means ALL), but the second ”all men” they prefer to interpret as ”SOME men” namely the elect – despite that the verse contains a clear parallel where Adam is compared with Jesus and where the two ”all men” MUST be understood in the same way. You can’t understand it one way in the first half of the sentence and in another way in the second half! Moreover, if ALL are automatically condemned through Adam then ALL must be automatically justified through Jesus, but that would lead to universalism which we know is not true. So the condemnation and the justification could not come about automatically, but they are dependant on whether a person disobeys or obeys, as the next verse says:

19 For as by one man‘s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Reformed believers often read the above verse as though it says  ”ALL were made sinners” by one man and ”MANY be made righteous”, but it says MANY in BOTH cases.

Examples where ALL couldn’t possibly mean the entire world

If a child comes home to his mother and says ”I had my sweater on backwards in school today, and everyone laughed at me”, then his mother  obviously wouldn’t ask her son ”Do you mean to tell me that everyone in the entire world laughed at you?” Clearly the mother would understand who ”everyone” is in this case, and we usually have no problem at all to understand who ALL and EVERYONE are when we speak to people on a daily basis or when we read the newspaper. Why then is there such a risk for misunderstandings when we read the Bible? Is the Bible not clear enough and is God the author of confusion? There will be a platform for misunderstandings if we insist on reading the Bible through a doctrine-filter that we have made up ourselves, and if we really want to avoid the notion that Jesus died for all as in every individual who has ever lived, then we might subconsciously try to change verses which declare that this is exactly what Jesus has done for us, in a way that suit our own theology. It’s almost like some christians believe they can escape the ”horrible” idea that Jesus actually laid down his life for every single person if they can only find examples where ALL doesn’t mean ALL. Anyway, here are some examples where ALL doesn’t mean ”every single person”, but it’s also rather obvious by the context so not confusing at all.

Mark 1:And there went out unto him ALL the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were ALL baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

John 8:And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and ALL the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

Acts 22:15 For thou [Paul] shalt be his witness unto ALL MEN of what thou hast seen and heard.

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of ALL MEN for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

John 3:26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and ALL MEN come to him.

Matthew 21:26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for ALL hold John as a prophet.

2 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of  ALL MEN

Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of ALL MEN.18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with ALL MEN.

Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto ALL MEN. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

Acts 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth ALL MEN EVERY WHERE against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.

2 Timothy 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto ALL MEN, as their’s also was.

2 Timothy 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but ALL MEN forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for ALL MEN

3 John 1:12 Demetrius hath good report of ALL MEN, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

Acts 4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for ALL MEN glorified God for that which was done.

Acts 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to ALL MEN, as every man had need.

John 11:48 If we let him thus alone, ALL MEN will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

Examples where ALL must mean ALL – as in every individualalla

There ARE cases where ALL means every single person, and this is also rather clear in the Bible.

Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of ALL, and to the spirits of just men made perfect

Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to ALL life, and breath, and all things 26 And hath 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

Acts 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of ALL MEN, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew ALL MEN

1 Corinthians 7:7 For I would that ALL MEN were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

Should we be kind and honor ALL MEN (everyone) or just some? Perhaps we should be kind and gentle only to those we like? I vote for that we should be pleasant to ALL men – whoever we might encounter.

1 Peter 2:17 Honour ALL MEN. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with ALL MEN, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto ALL MEN.

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto ALL MEN, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto ALL MEN, apt to teach, patient,

1 Thessalonians 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward ALL MEN, even as we do toward you

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward ALL MEN.15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to ALL MEN.

So if people agree with me that the Paul and Peter above try to convey that we should be kind and gentle to everyone, then this section can remain under the topic ALL means ALL – as in every individual

Verses which are in dispute by those who don’t accept that Jesus died for everyone (leading to that reformed believers feel they get to use the ”died for some out of every tribe-card” for these verses)

Did Jesus die for ALL? The Bible is clear that he did this in numerous ways:

He died for ALL (1 Tim. 2:6).
He died for ALL MEN (Rom. 5:18; 1 Tim. 4:10).
He died for US ALL, for ALL OF US (Isa. 53:6).
He died for the UNGODLY (Rom. 5:6).
He died for CHRIST-DENIERS (2 Peter 2:1).
He died for SINNERS (Rom. 5:8).
He died for EVERY MAN (Heb. 2:9).
He died for MANY (Matthew 20:28).
He died for the WORLD (John 6:33,51; John 1:29 and John 3:16).
He died for the WHOLE WORLD (1 John 2:2).
He died for the WHOLE NATION of Israel (John 11:50-51).
He died for the CHURCH (Eph. 5:25).
He died for His SHEEP (John 10:11).
He died for ME (Gal. 2:20)

Here are some examples where we can read that Jesus died for ALL – or ALL MEN.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to ALL MEN liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

2 Peter 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.

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth ALL MEN EVERY WHERE to repent:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the WORLD in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto ALL MEN, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to ALL MEN,

John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that ALL MEN through him might believe.

1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ALL MEN, specially of those that believe.

1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto ALL MEN. The Lord is at hand.

Ephesians 3:Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;9 And to make ALL MEN see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL MEN unto me.

John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:23 That ALL MEN should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.alla5

Paul seems to believe that he (Paul) can save some people (naturally through Jesus) if he becomes weak for the weak. If Paul was reformed he would know that he can’t change the outcome of anything for anyone and that all things were written in stone before the foundation of the world.

1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some

We have a big King with a big heart, and Jesus Christ did not shut the door for anyone but died for the whole world. Why then are not all saved? Because some refuse to seek God and come to him to get life. God’s will does not always happen.

John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.