Etikettarkiv | glorify

How should Calvinists live to PLEASE God?

calvinsm 49Here is another thought for Calvinists – who believe that God is micromanaging all of our steps.

The Bible tells us what is pleasing to God and what is not pleasing to him, and surely a behavior that is not pleasing to God is also against his will? Or why would God predestine things to take place which he does not even like happening? The problem here is of course the Calvinistic idea that nothing comes to pass against the will of God, and in order to be consistent with the Calvinistic doctrines it is not enough to suggest that God merely ”allows”  evil things to happen because that is rather the free-will approach. Calvinists do not believe that man has a will apart from God’s will, so they must believe that all things are predestined to happen precisely as they pan out (again – in order to be consistent with Calvinism). Therefore Calvinists are not really entitled to criticize anything or anyone, because that would be the same as criticizing God himself.

What is NOT pleasing to God?

1 Cor. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

Seems like God was not pleased with all of Israel’s behavior during the Exodus (despite that Israel was ”chosen”), due to their idolatry, fornication, tempting God, etc. Neither did they enter the land of Canaan due to their unrighteous behavior, and this punishment could serve as a warning to us – so that we will maybe learn to not act in the way they did. Paul is listing things we simply should not do, and his warnings would be in vain if we were unable to act against the will of God. If Paul were a Calvinist, he would not need to spend time warning us about various matters but he would rather relax and remind himself of that God is behind whatever happens (which is fatalism). Unless of course people do evil things against the will of God, but that thought is not allowed for consistent Calvinists due to their understanding of God’s sovereignty (an unbiblical word that is much highlighted).

1 Thess. 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

Above we can read about some Jews who were guilty of having killed Jesus Christ, killed God’s prophets, persecuted Christians as well as forbidding them to speak to Gentiles about salvation. It is not surprising to learn that they did not please God due to these sins, and that they had to expect God’s wrath due to their evil behavior. So was is Satan or God who caused them to act in a way that did not please God?

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.

They that are in the flesh cannot please God, so the solution is to not be in the flesh but to live after the Spirit. Paul is clearly laying out the options for us – obeying sin or righteousness and if we obey the former we will be slaves to sin and not free. To be carnally minded is the same as enmity against God, and why would God cause anyone to have a carnal mind? Some Calvinists might suggest that God did not cause such things at all but that it is rather in some people’s own nature to be carnally minded. But were they carnally minded against God’s will? Did they have an option to not be born as wicked non-elect individuals with carnal minds? Did Jesus die for them? The answer would have to be No to all those questions in order to be consistent with Calvinism.

What IS pleasing to God?

Hebr. 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Apparently God is well pleased when we praise him continually, give thanks to his name and do good. Should we conclude that God is only pleased when the elect do such things, but not when it comes to the non-elect? Why would God prevent certain people (those who are born as non-elect, and for whom Jesus did not die) from behaving in a way that is pleasing to him?

Hebr. 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was notfound, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.6 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.

Without faith it is impossible to please God (and already when we come to God we must believe that he is), so would not this mean that God wants people to believe in him so that he will be pleased? It is easy to understand why God is pleased each time a person believes and repents for his sins, because that would mean yet another saved soul. There is joy in heaven each time a person repents. In the Calvinistic world, however, the only way to try to save their doctrines would be to somehow suggest that God does not want all people to repent, believe and do good (the non-elect).

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance

How is God glorified?glorified

John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

Surely it is good for man to glorify God, or is it the same thing here that God only wants some people to glorify him? Above, Jesus is talking to his disciples (and all of us) and tells them that his Father is glorified when they bear much fruit so that they can be his disciples. Jesus continues to say that IF they keep his commandments, they shall abide in his love. Why would God prevent some people from glorifying him, bearing much fruit and keep his commandments? Did those unfortunate people who were chosen to be wicked non-elect sinners from the foundation of the world have a chance to do good deeds which could glorify the Father? Hardly if they were born as the non-elect natural sinners they were chosen to be long before birth. Salvation would be out of their reach due to being doomed from the very start.

1 Pet. 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Seems rather clear that it is pleasing for God to in all things be glorified, because he certainly deserves it and because we need to focus on our Creator and Savior. Yet, we are supposed to believe that God would not enable all people to do this? And he would still send people to hell for refusing to glorify him – which he prevented them from doing?

Rom. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 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:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Above we can read about people who choose not to glorify God despite that they have been shown all about God and his creation by God himself. So despite having the opportunity to accept the Creator, they still refuse to glorify him or being thankful for what he has done for them (of course, if Calvinism is true there would not be anything for the non-elect to be thankful for). Due to their failure to do so, God’s wrath is revealed from heaven over all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. It certainly looks like all forms of unrighteousness is detested by God, so it is hard to believe he would not only tempt people but cause them to perform evil deeds.

Annonser

God is GLORIFIED if we praise him and obey him, so contrary actions are AGAINST HIS WILL

glory of god 3

It should be rather self-evident that God gets the most GLORY if we praise him, worship him, obey him and tell the world about him, but strangely enough there are christians who force themselves to believe that God also gets glory if we transgress the law and sin! I of course think about our calvinistic friends here, because they have chosen to believe in TULIP (which you can read more about here), and the idea that nothing that comes to pass happens against the will of God. Some of them will protest and say that they do NOT at all believe that God is glorified when people sin against him, but if they insist on believing in TULIP and in calvinism, that is the only outcome of their doctrines. They frequently phrase themselves as though they believe that all men have the ability to repent, avoid sin and freely decide to become good citizens, but then they are not consistent with calvinism that instead presents a closed-door for most people – namely all those who Jesus didn’t even die for according to L in TULIP. They will be left in the darkness only because their God doesn’t want them to be saved (or else he would save them).

“God NOT ONLY foresaw the FALL of the first man, and in him the RUIN of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure ARRANGED it” .(John Calvin (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, XXIII)

“The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 8)

”So my aim in this second message is to commend to you this absolute sovereign control of God over all things, including evil, because it is Biblical, and because it will help you become stable and deep and God-entranced and God-glorifying in all you think and feel and do”.”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 passconsidering 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.” ”Therefore I conclude with Jonathan Edwards, ‘God decrees all things, even all sins.’ Or, as Paul says in Ephesians 1:11, “He works all things after the counsel of His will.’”/John Piper

“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

Examples of how we can glorify Jesus, as per the New Testament

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Jesus explains that his Father is glorified IF WE BEAR MUCH FRUIT. With other words we do NOT glorify him if we do NOT bear fruit, and this must mean that all those individuals who do not show good fruit are acting against God’s will. Jesus is warning his own spiritually alive disciples – and all of us – that we must make sure to abide in him, or else we will be cut off the vine (Jesus) and thrown in the fire. (Jesus doesn’t say that he is glorified if the elect bear fruit and the non-elect do not bear fruit.)

Rom. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 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:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things

There wouldn’t be any reason for God to show any wrath against a people who always did his will, but if we do NOT do his will it makes perfect sense that we can be affected by his wrath whether we are non-christians or not. We can read that ”ungodliness and unrighteousness” are two things that God is angry about, and consequently showing such attributes would not be according to his plans. The people spoken of did NOT glorify God, and neither were they thankful and instead became vain individuals with darkened hearts. They changed the glory of God into something sinister and started to idolize elements in God’s creation instead of God himself. Clearly all those things are against the will of God, because he is certainly not glorified by people who are rebellious and worship false gods.

Rom. 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

If all have sinned and for this reason fallen SHORT of the glory of God, this must surely indicate something didn’t go as God intended. If ALL sinned, it must mean that both elect and non-elect have sinned and we already know from the verses above that God is glorified if we live holy lives and show good fruit. So if we live in the opposite way, we do not glorify God and consequently act against his will.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 

Rom. 15:Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Above are a few verses about spreading the gospel also to the gentiles. From these passages we understand that they can be influenced to glorify the Lord if they see the jews doing good works, and of course by hearing the gospel. All gentiles will obviously not be saved but only those who repent for their sins. Evangelizing, praying and showing good fruit are some things that we can do to influence others to seek the only true God, and if someone ends up glorifying God thanks to our witnessing and behavior, something good has been accomplished and there is much joy in heaven.

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

”On their part he is evil spoken of (or ”blasphemed”), but on your part he is glorified”. Apparently some people will cause God to be glorified and those in opposition will cause God to be blasphemed. Which option do you think will glorify God the most? There is no need to even answer this question due to the obvious answer, and we can only remain puzzled as to why some people still insist on that God can somehow be glorified by people who speak evil against him and his followers.

Phil. 1:And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Above we can see that we are giving glory to God if we are being filled with the fruits of righteousness and living without offence till the day of Christ. Each time we deviate from this road, would consequently be against the will of God. 

Phil. 2:Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

If it gives glory to God if every knee should bow down to him and every tongue should confess him, it would be strange indeed if someone would be prevented from doing just that. If such things give glory to God, then it would make more sense if he enabled everyone to perform such signs of adoration. To force people to bow down and confess him, on the other hand, wouldn’t be true worship or love.

Glorifying God in the Old Testament

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Also here we can see that God is glorified if he is praised and worshiped. Daniel explains that Belshazzar did NOT glorify God by not being the humble man he could have been. Instead Belshazzar rebelled against God by praising false gods and doing other evil deeds.

Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the
garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Daniel 5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified

Psalm 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

If God is glorified by people on the earth praising him and worshiping him, then all those who reject him are walking on their own ways away from God and contrary to his plans.

”I form the light and create darkness, I make peace, and create EVIL”? (Isaiah 45:7)


Is. 45Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create EVIL: I the Lord do all these things (KJV)

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create CALAMITYI, the Lord, do all these things.’ (NKJV)

God was causing physical CALAMITY on Israel due to their disobedience. God cannot even tempt anyone much less causing people to SIN, and the ”evil” he caused was in the form of calamity due to people who rebelled against him contrary to his will. We can read throughout the Bible that God HATES SIN, and that he PUNISHES sinner. Clearly then God is NOT causing people to commit evil acts, because he would never ordain people to do something that he hates – which is SIN.

The word ”evil” is a translation from the Hebrew word ra (Strong’s 7451) and is in KJV translated as: evil,  wickedness, wicked, mischief, hurt, bad, trouble, sore, affliction, ill, adversity, favoured, harm, naught, noisome, grievous, sad, etc.  

James 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:

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Habakkuk 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Psalm 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Hebrews 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

If a righteous life glorifies God (1 Cor. 6:20), how could evil acts also glorify God?  The calvinist John Piper suggests that God forordains evil because it can ”make the glory of Christ shine more brightly”, but that does not make any sense at all. The truth is that goodness and righteousness glorifies God (Micah 6:8, Rom. 2:7, 10), and evil/sin dishonors God (John 8:49, Rom. 2:8-9, 23). If anyone claims that he commits an evil act for the glory of God, then we know that person is not speaking Biblical truths.

God talks about bringing “evil” (as in calamity) to a city to punish their sins (Neh. 13:18; Jer. 21:10; 25:29; Amos 3:6). Evil i not contrasted with righteousness but with peace. Let’s check a couple of verses which talk about God causing EVIL (when a more appropriate word could have been ”calamity”).

Amos 3:You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be EVIL in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.—10 For they know not to do right, saith the Lord, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.11 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.

If God is the one ordaining sin/evil, why is there a need to punish people for doing the iniquities that God has caused/ordained/predestined/forced them to do? A just God would never punish anyone for doing his will (or for doing what he caused them to do). That people know not to do right means that they have no intention or willingness to do what is right. This often happens when people have been so accustomed to do evil and hardened their heart to such an extent that they no longer know to do right. God has the right to enforce physical judgments and punishments, and he often does this with the hope of seeing people converted.

12 Thus saith the Lord; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.14 That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.15 And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord.

More examples of horrible calamity that awaits those who sins against God. God will visit Israel due to its transgressions, he will smite and he will make their important possessions perish. A better choice would of course had been to be obedient to God in order to prevent all the calamity from happening.

The context of Isaiah 45

Isaiah 45:1 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to CYRUS, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;—And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

God is addressing Cyrus about what is about to happen in the near future involving himself. Cyrus will be able to achieve much, but not necessarily because he is such a great guy but because God might want to use Cyrus’ plans to punish Israel, maybe with the hope that his people will repent. With other words, God can make use man’s evil plans (or neutral plans) and make them very prosperous by preventing others from interfering with them. This doesn’t mean it’s God’s idea to make people start unholy wars and harm others, but it’s rather his idea to make use of such plans for something good in SOME occasions. God very rarely act in this way but there are a few occasions in the Bible where we can see this happening, and the death of Jesus Christ is of course a famous example of this which you can read about here. (Judas certainly wasn’t forced to betray Jesus in any way.)

For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

Jacob was chosen to be the seed which would bring forth God’s own people, and therefore elect in that respect. The fact that Israel was ”elect” doesn’t mean that all Israel will be saved. Israel was singled out for a reason, and the idea was that this nation would bring light to the rest of the world.

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I  the Lord have created it.

Here is a focus on that God created the heavens and the earth, and the hope is that God’s creation and righteousness would be obvious for all to see and to bring forth salvation.

Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

According to this verse there is a risk that people will strive with God, since we can read a severe warning about it. That people strive with God, argue with him and rebel against him shouldn’t really surprise us because the Bible is full of examples to this effect, and of course the same thing can be seen today. Christians certainly don’t act properly all the time and some even blame God for their misfortunes. This verse doesn’t say that the clay CANNOT answer back and strive with the potter, but that he SHOULD not. Each time a person sins, it’s always against the will of God.

10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

Here is another warning needed to be disclosed, due to the risk for that people might act in the opposite way.

12 I have made the earth, and created MAN upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.13 I have raised HIM up in RIGHTEOUSNESS, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts.

Here God is pointing out that he is the Creator of all things, and he is speaking about MAN and that he has raised him up in RIGHTEOUSNESS. Despite that man is brought up in righteousness, he hasn’t always remained on that road but walked his own ways. We have all been given the light, but we must make sure to keep walking in the light,. God will apparently also direct all his ways but this doesn’t mean man will always be cooperative.

16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.

If people are making idols they are naturally being disobedient to God, and particularly his first commandment to have no other God beside HIM. If someone is told to be ashamed of himself for something he did, he has clearly acted against God’s will or else he shouldn’t be told to be ashamed of himself but rather be praised. If people are transgressing his laws, there will be confusion among them.

20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

We can read that God is a JUST God (so clearly not a God who predestines people to sin and then turns around and punishes them for it), and a SAVIOR. He asks the Israelites to bring all those idol worshipers near and let them be counselled.

22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

Here is a clear universal offer of salvation. All the ends of the earth can be saved, under the condition that they LOOK UNTO GOD. This sounds just like the ordeal with the fiery serpent in the desert which people were asked to look at it in order to be free from their snake wounds.

23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.24 Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

Apparently people can act against God since we can read that ”all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed”. Surely this couldn’t be something that God predestined them to do. Why would he cause people to work against him?

God sometimes causes ”evil” (or calamity) as a punishment on people who act against his will

Jeremiah 32:23 And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: THEREFORE thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them

1 Kings 9:9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: THEREFORE hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.

1 Kings. 14:But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:10 THEREFORE, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.

2 Kings. 21:11 Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:12 THEREFORE thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.

2 Kings. 22:16 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; THEREFORE my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.

2 Chronicles 7:22 And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: THEREFORE hath he brought all this evil upon them.

Isaiah 47:10 For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.11 THEREFORE shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.

Jeremiah 11:8 Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart:THEREFORE I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do: but they did them not.—11 THEREFORE thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them

Joshua 23:15 THEREFORE it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the Lord your God promised you; so shall the Lord bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.16 When ye have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.