Etikettarkiv | limited atonement

Bibelverser som visar att Jesus dog för ALLA människor i hela världen

händer

Om monergism är sann (vilket bland annat kalvinister ansluter sig till) så dog inte Jesus för alla människor och det är Gud som väljer ut vem han vill ska bli frälst oberoende vad vi tror och gör (han vill alltså inte att alla ska bli frälsta för då hade han utvalt alla). Synergism betyder att människan har ansvar att reagera på frälsningserbjudandet och att välja mellan att tacka ja (tro och omvända sig) eller tacka nej.

I 1, 2 och 3 Johannesbrevet så används ordet ”världen” inte i relation till endast troende människor utan hela den skapade världen, och i Joh. 6 kan vi läsa följande:

Johannes 6:45 Det står skrivet hos profeterna: De skall alla ha blivit undervisade av Gud. Var och en som har lyssnat till Fadern och lärt av honom kommer till mig.

Det är precis som i ett klassrum där ALLA undervisas om en och samma sak medan alla inte tar till sig det som lärs ut – vilket alltså beror på åhörarna och deras egen vilja och  ansvar (synergism). Om Jesus inte dog för alla och därmed inte erbjöd ALLA en chans till frälsning, så kan det bara innebära att han inte vill att alla ska bli frälsta utan föredrar att vissa av oss hamnar i helvetet. Fast då handlar det inte om Bibelns Gud längre! Om inte Jesus dog för alla så innebär det ju att vissa människor är fördömda från start och aldrig fått en ärlig chans att söka och finna honom, men de sanna och goda nyheterna är ju att Gud är fullständigt rättvis och hans son dog för ALLA människor! Alla har vi fått en nyckel till himmelriket och vi måste se till att ta hand om den och inte slarva bort den. Under gamla testamentets tid kunde människorna förstås inte ta del av Jesu försoningsoffer på korset eftersom det ännu låg i framtiden, men de levde under det s. k. djuroffersystemet vilket innebar temporära blodsoffer. Både i gamla och nya testamentet så gäller det att 1) det finns ingen förlåtelse för synder utan utgjutet blod (djuren var felfria och Jesus levde ett felfritt liv för oss), och 2) vi måste leva rättfärdigt för att vara frälsta. Ingen kan bli frälst i sina synder, och detta har gällt i alla tider.

Bebisar och små barn behöver ingen som dog för dem eftersom de inte har kapacitet att synda (se denna bloggartikel), och de riskerar därmed inte att hamna i helvetet, men vi andra behöver blodsoffer för att täcka våra synder – och få förlåtelse för dem – och Jesus fantastiska blodsoffer gjordes en gång för alla. På sätt och vis kan man säga att försoningsoffret är begränsat eftersom det endast är de som väljer att omvända sig och ta emot offret som kan bli frälsta.  De är de ”många” som Jesus dog för, och han kände till att hans död skulle innebära frälsning för dem. En del försöker göra gällande att Jesus endast dog för sina får eftersom det står:

Joh. 10:14 Jag är den gode herden, och jag känner mina får, och mina får känner mig, 15 liksom Fadern känner mig och jag känner Fadern, och jag ger mitt liv för fåren.

Om vi ska tro att Jesus gett sitt liv endast för sina får eftersom det står så, varför då inte tro att Jesus gett sitt liv endast för PAULUS eftersom det står så?:

Gal. 2:19 Ty jag har genom lagen dött bort från lagen för att jag skall leva för Gud. Jag är korsfäst med Kristus, 20 och nu lever inte längre jag, utan Kristus lever i mig. Och det liv jag nu lever i min kropp, det lever jag i tron på Guds Son, som har älskat MIG och UTGIVIT SIG FÖR MIG

Verser som visar att Jesus dog för ALLA människor och vill att ALLA ska bli frälsta

Det finns många fler verser än dessa men de är ett axplock.

Rom. 11:32 Ty Gud har gjort alla till fångar under olydnaden för att sedan förbarma sig över alla.

Apg 17:30 Gud har länge haft överseende med okunnighetens tider, men nu befaller han människorna att de alla och överallt skall omvända sig. 31 Ty han har fastställt en dag då han skall döma världen med rättfärdighet genom den man som han har bestämt till det, sedan han erbjudit tron åt alla genom att uppväcka honom från de döda.”

2 Petrus 3:Herren dröjer inte med att uppfylla sitt löfte, så som en del menar. Nej, han har tålamod med er, eftersom han inte vill att någon skall gå förlorad utan att alla skall få tid att omvända sig.

1 Tim. 2:Sådant är gott och välbehagligt inför Gud, vår Frälsare,4 som vill att alla människor skola bliva frälsta och komma till kunskap om sanningen.Ty en enda är Gud, och en enda är medlare emellan Gud och människor: en människa, Kristus Jesus,han som gav sig själv till lösen för alla, varom ock vittnesbördet skulle frambäras, när tiden var inne. (1917)

1 Tim 4:10 Det är därför vi arbetar och kämpar, ty vi har satt vårt hopp till Gud, som ger liv och är Frälsaren för alla människor, först och främst för de troende.

Joh. 1:9 Det sanna ljuset, som ger ljus åt alla människor, skulle nu komma till världen.

Lukas 19:10 Ty Människosonen har kommit för att uppsöka och frälsa det som var förlorat.”

Rom. 5:Ty medan vi ännu voro svaga, led Kristus, när tiden var inne, döden för oss ogudaktiga.Näppeligen vill ju eljest någon dö ens för en rättfärdig man — om nu ock till äventyrs någon kan hava mod att dö för den som har gjort honom gott —men Gud bevisar sin kärlek till oss däri att Kristus dog för oss, medan vi ännu voro syndare. (1917)

John 12:46 Jag är ljuset som har kommit till världen, för att ingen som tror på mig skall bli kvar i mörkret. 47 Om någon hör mina ord och inte håller dem, så dömer inte jag honom. Ty jag har inte kommit för att döma världen utan för att frälsa världen48 Den som förkastar mig och inte tar emot mina ord, han har en domare över sig: det ord som jag har talat skall döma honom på den yttersta dagen.

John 3:14 Och liksom Mose upphöjde ormen i öknen, så måste Människosonen bli upphöjd,15 för att var och en som tror på honom skall ha evigt liv16 Ty så älskade Gud världen att han utgav sin enfödde Son, för att den som tror på honom inte skall gå förlorad utan ha evigt liv. 17 Inte sände Gud sin Son till världen för att döma världen utan för att världen skulle bli frälst genom honom18 Den som tror på honom blir inte dömd, men den som inte tror är redan dömd, eftersom han inte tror på Guds enfödde Sons namn.

1 Joh. 2:Han är försoningen för våra synder, och inte bara för våra utan också för hela världens.

Joh. 12:32 Och när jag har blivit upphöjd från jorden skall jag dra alla till mig.

Rom 1:20 Ända från världens skapelse ses och uppfattas hans osynliga egenskaper, hans eviga makt och gudomliga natur genom de verk som han har skapat. Därför är de utan ursäkt.21 Fastän de kände till Gud, prisade de honom inte som Gud eller tackade honom, utan förblindades av sina falska föreställningar, så att mörkret sänkte sig över deras oförståndiga hjärtan.

Joh. 6:33 Guds bröd är det bröd som kommer ner från himlen och ger världen liv.”— 35 Jesus svarade: ”Jag är livets bröd. Den som kommer till mig skall aldrig hungra, och den som tror på mig skall aldrig någonsin törsta.— .  —  51 Jag är det bröd som ger liv, det bröd som har kommit ner från himlen. Den som äter av det brödet skall leva i evighet. Och brödet jag ger är mitt kött, för att världen skall leva.”

Joh. 11:49 Men en av dem, Kaifas, som var överstepräst för det året, sade till dem: »I förstån intet,50 och I besinnen icke huru mycket bättre det är för eder att en man dör för folket, än att hela folket förgås51 Detta sade han icke av sig själv, utan genom profetisk ingivelse, eftersom han var överstepräst för det året; ty Jesus skulle dö för folket. (1917)

Jesaja 53:6 Vi gick alla vilse som får, var och en gick sin egen väg, men all vår skuld lade Herren på honom. (egentligen ”all vår skuld hamnade/föll på honom”)

2 Kor. 5:14 Ty Kristi kärlek tvingar oss, eftersom vi tänka så: en har dött för alla, alltså hava de alla dött.15 Och han har dött för alla, på det att de som leva icke mer må leva för sig själva, utan leva för honom som har dött och uppstått för dem. (1917)

Heb. 2:Men honom som en liten tid hade blivit gjord »ringare än änglarna», honom, Jesus, se vi för sitt dödslidandes skull hava blivit krönt med härlighet och ära, för att det genom Guds nåd skulle komma alla till godo att han smakade döden. (1917)

Hes. 18:32 Jag finner ingen glädje i någons död, säger Herren, Herren. Vänd därför om, så får ni leva.

Han dog för ALLA (1 Tim. 2:6).
Han dog för ALLA MÄNNISKOR (Rom. 5:18; 1 Tim. 4:10).
Han dog för OSS ALLA (Jesaja 53:6).
Han dog för DE OGUDAKTIGA (Rom. 5:6).
Han dog för KRISTUS-FÖRNEKARE (2 Petrus 2:1).
Han dog för SYNDARE (Rom. 5:8).
Han dog för MÅNGA (Matt. 20:28).
Han dog för VÄRLDEN (Joh. 6:33,51; Joh. 1:29 och Joh. 3:16).
Han dog för HELA VÄRLDEN (1 Joh. 2:2).
Han dog för HELA ISRAEL (Joh. 11:50-51).
Han dog för FÖRSAMLINGEN (Ef. 5:25).
Han dog för SINA FÅR (Joh. 10:11).
Han dog för MIG (Gal. 2:20)

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.

Jesus did not PAY a DEBT and was not PUNISHED on the cross (penal satisfaction)

cross1

The error of the Penal Satisfaction theory

/Thanks to my friend Lyndon Conn for the below

Jesus suffered greatly, taking many stripes, was bruised and beaten, etc. He did all of this FOR us, but those things were not Atonement themselves. It was His death (shedding of blood and Life for a life – innocent for the guilty) that made atonement. Animals were never beaten or punished BEFORE they were finally killed for atonement.

The Penal Satisfaction atonement teaches that Jesus was punished in our place as He was beaten and bruised by God. This is not true at all! He was mistreated by MEN as a form of punishment for something He did not do. He could not be truly punished by God for any reason whatsoever since He was without sin. God not only NEVER punished a sacrifice (but only accepted the acceptable sacrifice), but sin was never literally on either the animals or on Jesus – since sin is not a substance that can be moved or transferred. When the Bible speaks of ”Taking away” sins, it is talking about the born again experience and the transformation that takes place when a person confesses their sins. Sins are then ”taken away” but the person being made into a new creation – as old things pass away and all things become new. Jesus made provision for all men so that all they need to do is confess Him as the acceptable sacrifice, and in turn also offer themselves a living sacrifice. These are likened unto the day of atonement in the 2 goats for the entire nation (as Christ represents both, the acceptable sacrifice in goat 1, and the scapegoat in goat 2 by taking away the sins of the world). And our repentance is likened unto the offering of the bull for personal sins.

Sin is not punished in Christ and they are not ”paid for”! These are both lies passed down through the RCC and not biblical at all. We have had bad theology so heavily imparted into our thinking that we think many things are fact that are not at all. We have never questioned them, and hear it all the time, preach it all the time, and never think otherwise, but I will challenge this thinking. Not to teach a different doctrine, but to show a different understanding of the same doctrine. The end is the same, but the path that takes us there is flawed.

Nowhere does the Bible literally teach the following: Jesus PAID FOR sins; He was PUNISHED by God;  He ”took our place”; He ”paid our debt”, and other financial terms that should only be understood figuratively. The literal is that He ”provided” for forgiveness; He did for us what we could not do for ourselves; and so on. Incorrect terms lead to many false doctrines like Limited Atonement and Universalism, and many are very inconsistent by not believing one or the other. Incorrect terminology can lead in 2 directions – one towards truth and the other towards error. With payment for sins – we might be able to draw a proper understanding from it (as I did for many years as well) – understanding that Jesus died for our sins and making the way of salvation for us – but the problem with the terminology is that it’s misused and could lead to error.

If Jesus ”paid for” our sins on the cross, then something that is paid for is completely finished and nothing else needs to be done at all. If Jesus ”paid for” the sins of the whole world, then all men are saved and do not even need to repent because their sins are already paid for. It is all done for them. This is why Calvinism has to create their doctrine of Limited Atonement – teaching that Jesus only died for the elect – in order to prevent Universalism. So then, Jesus ”paid for” the sins of the elect only, and did not die for the sins of the non-elect. As wrong as this is, it is actually more consistent with the teaching of ”payment for sins”.

The fact that WE are ”bought with a price” does not teach a payment for SINS. ”We” and our ”sins” are 2 different things. The wages of sin is and always will be death! Men still go to hell for their sins. Our only hope is to confess our sins to Jesus, the scapegoat of God, so He can ”take them away”. This is figurative! Sin is not a substance that can be put on another or literally taken anywhere. Sin is an attitude of the heart. It is a mindset that leads to actions that displease God. Man’s only hope is to have this part of him changed (transformed). It all starts with being Born Again. Old things are PASSED AWAY, and all things are become new. Sins are never punished IN man in this life (except by chastisement for the Christians if they sin and need to learn something). Sin itself is not punished at all. Man is punished and will be punished in eternity. So our only hope is to have sins ”taken away”.

Atonement terminology is mostly all figurative, but the figurative ALWAYS points to the literal! So we have to seek understanding of the literal, and be careful not to take the figurative itself too literally. This WILL lead to error. You cannot have ”actual and factual” without literal.  We just need to understand what it actually and factually is! It is NOT a payment, but a provision! It is not punishment of Christ by God, but abuse of Christ by men – which He endured FOR us – but not literally in our place. No man could ever die for his own sins, therefore it could never be our place, but only HIS place to die as atonement. Men will still die for their own sins. There is no ”debt” that we owe, but only ”wages” to be paid. A debt is something to be paid to another, while wages are what we have earned and have coming to US. We do not owe God anything, but repentance and our lives. There is nothing at all that we could possible ”pay” to God to ”buy” our souls back. These are all financial terms, including ransom and redeem, which both refer to the work of Christ on our behalf. The financial terms are all used to help give us understanding by using terms we can understand , but they are all figurative and not to be taken too literally. We must look to the literal they point to.cross7

The Bible says that He is the ”propitiation” for our sins – which literally means, ”He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins”. Propitiation is a term used in pagan rituals of offering their children to their gods as a sacrifice to appease their anger. It can give a picture of Jesus removing the anger of God against us, but should not be taken to the extreme to teach that He was an object of God’s wrath – with our sins literally on Him! Truth can be drawn and understood from this word; yet error can be as well if taken too far. There is no forgiveness of sins at all without repentance. There is provision for forgiveness that has to be received, but there is no actual forgiveness until then. The idea of a payment gives a false idea here, and it leads to false doctrines – making it easy for those who teach them to draw others into their errors. And Calvinism is growing stronger every day. I just heard a story yesterday about how so many Churches are turning Calvinist, and this has a great deal to do with it!

If you believe atonement is a literal payment,  then who was paid? The devil? The Father? And if paid, then a payment cannot be unpaid, right? A provision is something that is done FOR us that we could not do for ourselves; while we must RECEIVE it through faith – or reject it. Sins are not ”carried away” until we receive Him and confess our sins to Him so He can take our sins away – and then, where there are no sins and there is no guilt. But if sins are ”paid for”, you cannot have them paid for one a person is ”justified”, or have payment applied only at that time. This can work in the figurative, but not in the literal.

If we go back to Leviticus, sins were never ”paid for”. The only difference is that Jesus was without sin and He could be the one-time sacrifice for all time. But the idea of atoning for sins was the same. There had to be an ACCEPTABLE sacrifice and a scapegoat for the yearly offering. This was provision for the nation as a whole, but individuals still had to bring their own personal sacrifices of a bull for their owns sins – which is likened unto our repentance and offering of ourselves unto God as a living sacrifice. Neither were any form of a payment! Such an idea is added by men, starting with the RCC in the 12th century under Anselm.

We are figuratively covered in His blood, in that because of the shedding of His blood and out acceptance of Him as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, as the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled, we receive Him and all that He did for us as we confess our sins before Him. Our acceptance of Him as the one-time sacrifice that was without sin allows us to confess our sins and be forgiven of our sins. Our act of true repentance and accepting Jesus is accepted as if His blood were literally sprinkled on us, but no person has ever had His blood literally on them. Let’s get real here. This is what the RCC would have us believe. In communion they teach that the literal body and blood of Jesus is transferred to the bread and wine. So then we are cannibals and guilty of drinking blood – which is forbidden in the law of God.

True atonement is very simple and not half as complex as men have made it. God provided a Lamb in Jesus. We can accept His provision and confess our sins over Him and have them taken away, or we can choose to go our own way. God did not die for only some. He did not choose some and reject others. His atonement was for ALL men – the WHOLE WORLD as a provision for whosoever will call upon His name. Now it is up to men to offer themselves (their bull) to God in the confession of sins and acceptance of His provision. Very simple. Very biblical. And with no need of the additions of men. God’s wrath does not need to be appeased! If sins are ”taken away” by changing the man, then there is nothing for wrath to be against. However, if sins return, and repentance does not, wrath will be against such a man – as it is against the world. Very simple and completely scriptural.

Can sins be inherited?sheep 2

Sin is not a substance that can be passed down from one to another, but men inherit a condition that is passed down, and this condition is one that could lead us to sin. Romans 5:12 says that death is passed down. Men are born innocent, and therefore a baby is without sin and saved in its innocence. Sin is a choice – NOT something we inherit. Can the murderer blame their crime on their Father, or on Adam? No. Each man is responsible for his own choices and will be judged for them justly. Blame can never be passed to another, and neither can sin. Sin is defined in scripture as knowing to do right and not doing it, in which the opposite is just as true, in knowing something is wrong and doing it anyway. Sin is therefore a willful rebellion against a known law of God. For those who do not have His laws, Romans 2 says that their conscience becomes a law unto them. So whether we go against God’s law or our conscience, these are what define sin.

Every man and women are faced with choices between right and wrong. And each have the ability to choose what is right. Otherwise they could not be rightly judged for their choices, but because of spiritual death (separation from God), mankind will turn to his own lusts, having no guidance in life. They cannot choose what they do not know.

John 3:19 – ”And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”

Men are sinners because they sin – which is contrary to popular belief. It is the majority of the Church today that has been infected with false teachings and cannot see it. They are not the worst errors out there but they do lead to them. If we want to rid the Church of error and keep Christians from confusion, then we need to get rid of the little errors that serve as stepping stools for the true heresies. The ”Sinning Religions” of our day, the OSAS teachings (once saved always saved), and Calvinism all gain strength from these erroneous atonement ideas and false understandings of sin and death.

Tertullian – On Repentance, chapter 6 ”For repentance is the price at which the Lord has determined to award pardon: He proposes the redemption of release from penalty at this compensating exchange of repentance. If, then, sellers first examine the coin with which they make their bargains, to see whether it be cut, or scraped, or adulterated, we believe likewise that the Lord, when about to make us the grant of so costly merchandise, even of eternal life, first institutes a probation of our repentance.”Chapter 9 – ”but inasmuch as by confession satisfaction is settled, of confession repentance is born; by repentance God is appeased.”

The unbiblical TULIP (five points of calvinism) stands or falls together

Calvinist theology is usually identified with the five points of Calvinism – TULIP, and this concept derived around the year 1619 due to the happenings in the famous Synod of Dort. John Calvin himself died 1564, so long before the ”five points of calvinism” started to be used in this way. While not all calvinists necessarily agree with John Calvin to 100%, most of them (if not all) would agree with the five points of TULIP.

If a person chooses to believe in T in TULIP (Total Depravity) then he MUST believe in the rest of the points/letters in TULIP because TULIP stands or falls together. However, it is possible (and common) to believe only in P (which boils down to ”unconditional eternal security” or ”once saved always saved”) and not in the other points. There are some believers who still SAY they are 2-point/3-point/4-point calvinists but it’s not possible for obvious reasons. I can also say that I’ve encountered NO calvinists who are consistent with their own teachings. They all frequently express themselves as though man has free will to accept/reject God and that we all have an option to get saved, but this is not what their own theology allows.

The doctrines within Calvinism was originally introduced to church by Augustine (who the Roman Catholic Church views as one of their founding fathers) in the fourth century, and he taught that Christ did not die for all men but for a chosen few whom God had chosen and predestined to become His children. John Calvin revived this teaching and continued to spread this idea, and today this dangerous soul-damaging doctrine continues to spread and deceive people. This is why we must not be silent and let it spread in peace, because we are dealing with people’s SOULS here. TULIP is based on the gnostic idea that we are all born with a sinful nature, but do we get this nature according to God’s will or against his will? Calvinists will not tell us.

  • Total Depravity. Also called ”total inability” . This doctrine asserts that every person born into the world is enslaved to  sin and not by nature inclined to seek or love God. (Whose fault is that?). This means, that in order to ENABLE people to seek and find God, God must first ”wake him up” from his spiritual death (calvinists wrongly use the term ”regenerate”). The ones God chooses to wake up are the same as those who will get saved. This doctrine results in that 1)  GOD is the one CHOOSING whom to wake up. 2) The ones he does not wake up have no chance to get saved which God is aware of 3) God does not want all to be saved because then he would have ”woken up” more people 4) Most people will remain in their wicked sinful way of living only because God want them to, 4) It wouldn’t make sense for Jesus to die for people who God never intended to save, but for the elect only.
  • Unconditional election. This doctrine asserts that God has chosen from before the foundation of the world those whom he will save, and this choice is not based on anything the individual does or believes (not merit, faith, etc) because it’s unconditional. Rather, this doctrine means that God’s unconditional election causes individuals TO repent and believe in him, and further that the chosen ones WILL end up in the Kingdom of God. This doctrine results in that 1) God has WITHHELD mercy from all the rest and those individuals WILL end up in hell 2) Repentance and faith are not conditions for salvation since God WITHOUT them will choose to whom he will provide the means of repenting and believing, 3) God could save everyone if he wanted but he wanted to save only some, 4) It wouldn’t make sense for Jesus to die for people who God never intended to save.
  • Limited atonement. This doctrine asserts that Jesus’ only died for a few people (the elect) and his death was CERTAIN to bring about salvation for all those he died for. This  doctrine results in that 1) only the sins of the elect were covered through Jesus’ death and not the sins of the whole world, 2) God never had a goal to save ”as many as possible” but only the elect, and that’s why the atonement was limited for the elect only, 3) Those who end up in hell do NOT do so for rejecting Jesus sin offering because his sin offering was never meant for them or intended for them. 4) Most individuals are born doomed (even if we can never know exactly who they are) since the atonement was never meant for them.
  • Irresistible grace. This doctrine asserts that God’s desire/decision to save individuals cannot be resisted, but WILL cause them to obey his calling. This means that when God sovereignly purposes to save someone, that individual WILL be saved. The Holy Spirit causes the chosen individuals to cooperate,  repent and believe. This doctrine results in that 1) God chooses who will end up in heaven or hell and we have nothing to do with this choice, 2) It’s not totally fair to say that individuals are saved through ”faith” since the truth is that they are saved by ELECTION, 3) Those who are lost were never offered any grace because IF they were offered grace they wouldn’t be able to reject it,4) It’s not fair to say that individuals end up in hell due to their SINS, since they are only doomed because God never enabled them to believe in him, and he never intended to save them in the first place. This choice was made BEFORE they were born and BEFORE they could think about sinning, so sinning has nothing to do with their destiny.
  • Perseverance of the saints. This doctrine asserts that the ”saints” (those individuals who God has chosen to save before the foundation of the world) WILL continue in faith until the end. Those who apparently fall away either never had true faith to begin with or will return. This results in that 1) It’s impossible for an individual to at any time know if he is truly saved and ”eternally secure” because if he falls away in the latter part of his life this shows ”he was never saved to begin with”. 2) Individuals can safely place the responsibility to avoid sinning on GOD since HE is the one who are to ”preserve” those he has chosen to save. 3) Christians might easier fall for temptations because they know they will be preserved to the end anyway, if they are among the elect (which all calvinists believe they are). 4) It can bring a false sense of security and that you can be saved in your sins.

P in TULIP is the most dangerous point since the TRUTH is that we cannot serve two masters and be saved in our sins – and Satan knows it. This doctrine might cause people to easier fall for temptations, and then their SOULS are at risk! This is a good reason to highlight the danger of Calvinism/Gnosticism to the world to prevent more people from being deceived.

When exposed to the contradictions within TULIP (which makes God the author of sin), the ordinary excuses are soon to follow:

1) God’s ways are higher than our ways!

2) Who are YOU to question GOD?

3) It’s impossible for our finite minds to fully understand the infinite mind of GOD!

4) This only seems contradictory to us – NOT to God!

5) The potter always forms the clay to what he wants!

6) I believe in paradoxes – so what? The trinity is a paradox…!

7) The Roman Catholic Church teaches like you do!

Any cult in the world can defend any contradiction at all by using the above excuses, resulting in that anything goes even if it’s totally against the Bible and makes no sense whatsoever.

NONE of the early church fathers taught against free will the first 300 years AD (this can easily be proven), and none of them taught that we are born with a sinful nature or that we are unconditionally eternally secure. ONLY the gnostics taught such unbiblical doctrines. Calvinists have no answer for why ALL the church fathers were ”wrong” (and the gnostics actually RIGHT) for so many years until Augustine entered the scene and got it ”right”. Most will say that it’s the Bible that is important for us and not the views of the church fathers, councils, etc. While it’s of course true that it’s the BIBLE that should correct us, they must still explain why both the Bible AND the early church fathers taught free will, and they must also explain why they put so much emphasis on the events in the Synod of Dort, and the unfair treatment of Pelagius in councils where he was not even present to defend himself. Suddenly councils are very important….

2 Tim. 4:2-3 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.

Descent into error (about division among christians due to doctrines)

Thanks to blog.savetheperishing.com

This is the true story of a witnessing team’s birth and its subsequent fall into the errors of Calvinism by some of its members. I decided to write this as a warning to others who may be involved with Calvinists who evangelize or who may be on the verge of embracing the doctrine.  Looking back on my experience I am amazed at the subtle shift in behavior, doctrine, interpretation, attitude and mindset of the group due to Calvinism.  Its interesting to see how a doctrine like this can change humble, smart, loving people into prideful, contradictory, unthinking, unloving people.  It wasn’t one thing per se that caused problems nor was it one person but an accumulation of events with many people over a few years.  It took me a several years of prayer and bible study to come to the conclusions I am writing about in these posts.

Way of the Master Radio

One day in 2006 I heard on the radio that Kirk Cameron, the actor, had his own Christian ministry.  I decided to do a google search on him.  The Way of the Master website popped up and I started reading its material and watching the witnessing videos.  They also had a radio show where they record themselves witnessing to others.  I decided to share this with my friends.

What started out as a mere curiosity turned into a full-blown ministry.  Some of my friends and I took Way of the Master classes, read their books, and studied the bible to see if this method of evangelism were true.  It seemed to be so we started witnessing to the lost using this method.

For the first two years it was great.  We would go to the bus stops or the Sprint Center downtown, perhaps to a festival, we had the ministry listed in our church’s bulletin so we could have others join us if they wanted to, we could see God moving in the conversations we had with the lost.

Along the way we had others join our group and 4 of them were Calvinists.  We didn’t have Calvinists in our group before and at the time I was undecided on the doctrine but was leaning away from it.  Months later I started to notice some disturbing trends emerging in the witnessing group.

Shift of Interpretations

I was at my friends house before a bible study and there were four us standing in the kitchen.  We were talking about the lost and then the verse from  1 Corinthians 1:18 came up, “the preaching of the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing.”   Up to this point we had understood this mean’t the gospel is foolishness to those who have pride and think they are good.  This is the context of Corinthians and was in fact taught this way by Ray Comfort on the Way of the Master Training Course.  In other words, “Why would you preach the gospel to me?  I’m not a sinner!  I’m a good person!  Go preach to a sinner.”  The preaching of the cross is foolishness to someone with… pride.

While I was standing in the kitchen I was amazed to hear the reason why the “preaching of the cross is foolishness” is because sinners are “totally depraved” and unable to believe.  When I objected to that interpretation another verse was used, taken out of context, to further demonstrate how total depravity is true.  While it is true “totally depraved” sinners have pride it is also true Christians have pride, so I can’t say the reason why people have pride is because they are totally depraved.  Besides, the chapter in Corinthians we were discussing has nothing to do with total depravity.  It has to do with the pride of man and how God uses the weak things of the world to confound the wise.

What in the world was going on?

The Gospel Tract Enigma

When we witnessed we mainly gave out million dollar bill tracks.  They look like a real million dollar bill even though there is no such thing as a million dollar bill.  Several times after an evening of witnessing we would either have dinner or meet afterwards for fellowship.  Some questions would arise in the minds of my friends who later became Calvinists.  “Why do certain people take the tracks we give out and others don’t?  Its a mystery they say.  Twenty people don’t take a tract and then a bunch of people do.”  Some concluded this MUST MEAN God is drawing only those people who took the tract.

There are many reasons people don’t take tracts:

1) They think its a political ad because there is a president on it.

2) They think we are selling something and aren’t interested in buying.  This is a normal reaction.  People rarely give away material to people without selling something.

4) People in the back who see people in the front reject the tract also reject it.  “If the person ahead of me didn’t take it than I probably don’t want it either.”

5) Maybe they are upset, or tired, or who knows how many other reasons for avoiding taking a leaflet from a stranger.

There are many reasons for people taking tracts as well:

1) They are curious about what it is.

2) They like political ads.

3) They don’t want to be in an awkward situation where they must reject what someone is freely giving them so they take it.

4) People in front of them grab one so they grab one.

5) God is drawing them.

Calvinists attribute everything that happens to God.  While Calvinists vary in their opinion as to the amount of control God has on His creation many believe natural disasters, and even sin as something God has ordained, so its not a surprise the people in the witnessing group are focusing on why certain people take a gospel tract.

When I mentioned to them the different reasons why people may grab or not grab a tract it went in one ear and out the other.  Suggesting these ideas makes their exciting discovery that God controls everything not so exciting.

Popular Preachers and Popery

My friends in the group spent a great deal of time listening to Calvinist preachers such as Paul Washer, Alestair Begg, John MacArthur, James White, RC Sproul, and John Piper to name a few.  If you spend all your time listening to Calvinists preachers you will eventually be… a Calvinist.  Particularly if you spend more time listening to them than reading the bible for yourself allowing the Holy Spirit to interpret the Word.  Every Calvinist I have known or debated with spend far more time reading reformed titles, or listening to popular reformed preachers than they do reading the bible.

After they do this they believe Calvinism and then later tell me how “God opened my eyes to this truth.”  How deceived they must be to think “God opened my eyes” when in reality they spent more time reading theinterpretations of men rather than the words of God.  They have not learned the “deeper things” of God but rather what someone else thinks the bible says.  How can they possibly say “God opened my eyes” when in fact they are being told what to believe by human fallible preachers?  Are they confusing a preacher as God Himself?  Is this the Catholic church with a magisterium who speaks infallibly for God?  It seems so.

This is called indoctrination and thats what happened to the witnessing group over time.  They were becoming indoctrinated right before my eyes.

I used to be a Catholic and after that I was in the occult for several years.  Its not difficult to be indoctrinated, all you have to do is keep on listening, and believing it little by little until eventually it will take hold.  Before I was a Christian I was on the brink of worshiping the Earth due the shamanistic teachings I was studying.  I had the sudden realization that the next step in my learning was to worship the earth.  It made sense because of what I learned and knew.  Once I realized I was about to do this I stopped myself because deep down I knew it was wrong.  As a side note how would I know it was wrong?  I was “totally” depraved!  Perhaps the concept of total depravity is wrong, but thats another topic for another post.

Listening to the same preachers over and over again amounts to a type of popery similiar to the Catholic church.  Instead of one person as a pope there are several that teach the same things.  These people cannot be questioned because they are “Godly” men who preach hard on sin.  They couldn’t possibly be wrong about this doctrine!  They spend all their time studying this and are smarter than us, they know Greek and use fancy theological terms such as “doctrines of grace.”  Who am I to question them?

Oh what an insult to Christ!  The Holy Spirit, through His Word, is “unable” to teach believers better than men!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to forsake all preachers…I’m saying their interpretations are not the final word.  If you spend more time listening to other human beings than reading God’s Word you do indeed have a Pope, whether its in the form of one preacher or many.  If someone asks you “What do you believe about election” and your answer is “Read this book by James White” or “Here is an article on this by John Piper” or “Here is a sermon from RC Sproul” or “Here are some commentaries on this” you may possibly have a “pope” in your life telling you what to believe.

An objection to what I just wrote might be “I don’t have time to write a full answer to your questions, its easier to show you what <insert preachers name> believes.”  Yes I know.  You have spent so much time studying the interpretations of others you know what these other preachers believe.  Thats my point!  Do you honestly think you can listen to preachers everyday in podcasts or on the radio and not be influenced by them?  The reason you are listening to them is because you WANT to be influenced by them.  Perhaps its true you don’t have enough time to study.  Maybe your job forces you to drive frequently or you have many family responsibilities.  If thats true, why not listen to the bible on CD instead of a preacher most of the time?  Are you confident enough in the abilities of the Holy Spirit to teach you directly through His Word?

Furthermore if you know words like “monogerism” or  “synergism” or if you automatically think since I am not a Calvinist that makes me an “Arminian” or I’m a “free-willer” you spend way too much time studying the writings of men rather than the word of God.

The extent to which this idea of popery was entrenched in the witnessing group was made evident one day.  Tony Miano, a well known Calvinist who evangelizes, was saying some things to sinners on video which were questionable and confusing.  When someone in the witnessing group was asked to reexamine what Tony said he refused to do it.  He felt examining Tony would make him “sick” because he is after all a “Godly” man who apparently cannot be questioned.  Accusing Tony of teaching questionable doctrines would definitely disrupt the peace among the group and we can’t have that!

This is a far cry from the Bereans who examined what the Apostle Paul had to say to see if what he said was true.

It seems the witnessing group is not so interested in truth after all.

Cont.:

Descent Into Error Part 2 – Mottos to live by?
“Descent Into Error” Part 3 – Judgement Without Discernment
“Descent Into Error” Part 4 – Love waxes cold to the unsaved
“Descent Into Error” Part 5 – The Bible as a spell-casting device

A question that calvinists cannot answer – because it’s a paradox

CHALLENGE to CALVINISTS to please explain the contradiction of Westminster Confession of Faith 3.1:

A Calvinist writes:  ”[God] does not actively work unbelief into the non-elect. All are already under sin. God is not responsible for the sin of Adam, or the fall of mankind. God is not the author of evil. ”

Q. Who then *is* the author of evil? Who did work unbelief into the heart of men? If all men are under sin, what was God doing when it happened – did it occur behind his back / outside his sovereign causality? Calvin wrote: (quote): 

“..the will of God is the supreme and primary cause of everything…” (The Institutes of Christian Religion, Book I, Ch. 16, Sect.

 “We also note that we should consider the creation of the world so that we may realise that everything is subject to God and ruled by his will and that when the world has done what it may, nothing happens other than what God decrees.” (Acts: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.66)

“…the devil and all the ungodly are reined in by God, so that they cannot conceive, plan or carry out any crime, unless God allows it, indeed commands it. They are not only in bondage to him, but are forced to serve him. It is the Lord’s prerogative to enable the enemy’s rage and to control it at will, and it is in his power to decide how far and how long it may last, so that wicked men cannot break free and do exactly what they want….” (The Institutes of Christian Religion, Book I, Ch.17, Sect. 10)

= And again. WCF3.1 says God ordains EVERYTHING that happens.

Q. How then, having asserted this position, can Calvinism claim God is not authoring these things – THAT’S WHAT AUTHORING MEANS – (to conceive a plot, and via third parties cause a narrative to come into being, and then to publish it via secondary agents, for the world to experience it’s reality.) i.e. by the normal definition of the words, Authoring IS ordaining / decreeing / causing / predetermining, by creative design.

I really hope you guys can take this challenge on – because it lies at the heart of Calvinism’s claims of sovereignty. These are not complex questions, and are based on what Calvinism clearly states. I’m not pulling a clever trick on you here, but asking how you reconcile this contradiction: To quote Calvin again:

”First, it must be observed that the will of God is the cause of all things that happen in the world; and yet God is not the author of evil.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.169)

“Whatever things are done wrongly and unjustly by man, these very things are the right and just works of God. This may seem paradoxical at first sight to some….” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.169)

Too right it seems paradoxical!….. It IS. Again. My questions have not been answered -I’ve received lots of references to God being ”passive” while people go do things that God is not *actively* in control of, whilst simultaneously claiming God is in control of everything.

PROBLEM 1.) If God stands back and lets a man do something that God himself has not actively caused to be, then you are opening up space *outside his sovereign will* by claiming he stands by and lets things happen he did not cause.

PROBLEM 2.) Calvinists seem to also be claiming God IS in fact in TOTAL control of every atom in this universe etc. Thus you cannot claim God is in total control and at the same time shelve the effective causailty onto someone else… This question is normally responded to by Calvinists by stating ”you do not understand Calvinism – go back and relearn”. I am – I have – I am taking you at your word and asking questions about it – please dont refer to charts or other material – I need to know how you square this circle personally. Or do you switch your mind off and accept mutually exclusive opposites as compatible truth… ie ‘A = NotA’

Sovereignty = total control / causality (predestination = ordination).
Soveriengty = active causality to salvation
Sovereignty does not = active causality to sin
Sovereignty does not = total control / causality

(Thanks to Stephen Thomas. Also read his long list of verses which show that TULIP is incorrect here)

Why did Jesus say ”I pray not for the world” in John 17:9?

I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine (John 17:9) 

The above verse is sometimes used as an attempt to prove that God does not want everyone to be saved and that Jesus did not even bother to pray for all people for this reason. However, in the same chapter we can also read:

20NEITHER PRAY I FOR THESE ALONE, BUT FOR THEM ALSO which shall believe on me through their word 

The world” is often contrasted with christian believers, and often stands in relation to Satan’s dominion and to all which is evil. It is obviously not a sin to be born into this world and to live in it, but we must make sure to not live OF this world by blending in with it – or love it more than God. This present world is considered to belong to Satan and in this sense prayers for it would not accomplish much since it i represents the root of all evil. Why spend time praying for Antichrist when we already know the future result of his evil actions against God’s plans? Prayers for individuals would make more sense – that they will be able to escape the temptations of this wicked world and turn to Jesus Christ – who does not want anyone to perish. As Paul says to the Ephesians ”For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world”. If all things were already determined (individuals chosen for heaven or hell before the world began), then of course there would be no reason to wrestle against anyone, nor to pray at all.

Isaiah 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is 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.17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

Jesus is in this particular passage focusing on his disciples (apart from Judas who has already fallen), just like we sometimes focus on only some of our family members or friends in our prayers. Jesus sends his disciples on a mission to be the light of this dark world, and this of course requires lots of strength and prayers. Jesus is not giving ”the world” this particular task because the world is against him and everything he stands for. The world is the reason why believers, like his disciples, need to be protected. By reading the rest of the passage (v. 2–8), we can see that those who the Father has given Jesus are those who have passed certain requirements:

  • They must KNOW the only true God
  • They must KEEP THE WORD
  • They must RECEIVE the word
  • They must BELIEVE that the Father has sent the son to the world

2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.3And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.—6I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD.—8For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and THEY HAVE RECEIVED THEM, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and THEY HAVE BELIEVED that thou didst send me.

Even though certain people are ”given” Jesus and thus very special, they still need to be prayed for so that they will be kept and so that they may be ONE as Jesus and his Father are one in thoughts and goals. It is not a certainty that they will be kept, and we already know that Jesus lost one of his disciples given him – Judas Iscariot. Moreover, Jesus did not pray that his disciples would be taken out of this world but he prays that they will be KEPT while still living in this world. So Jesus prayers concerned his disciples who were with him (v. 12), but not all disciples were with him from the start. In. v. 20 he continues to pray also for all those who would believe on him through their words.

11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. —15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Jesus also prayed for others besides his disciples, like those who would be hearing the gospel from the mouths of the disciples.

20NEITHER PRAY I FOR THESE ALONE, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 

One of many prophesies in the OT about Jesus is that the Messiah would be praying (make intercession) for his transgressors:

Jesaja 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 23:33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Obviously Jesus prayed also for non-believers. If we are to believe that Jesus never prayed for anyone else but a certain lucky crowd (the elect), should we take his example and pray only for a select few? No, the Bible says that we should even pray for our enemies.

Matt. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

You can read verses that say that Jesus died for the whole world in this blog article