LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Monday, February 18, 2008

Why Evangelise?

Shortened YouTube.com presentation based on the comments below:
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Here's a thought for you. I'm sure you have heard/read the old anti-Calvinism argument that if God really has ordained that a certain number will saved, and that they will invariably be gathered in - as Spurgeon words it: We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death not only may be saved but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved - then why bother evangelising? We give elsewhere 7 solid reasons why Calvinists evangelise. This page will supplement the arguments found there. If this non Reformed argument carried any weight, then we could also logically ask:
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WHY BOTHER VOTING? The Bible says that the powers that be are ordained of God (Romans 13:1) God says, By Me, king's reign and princes decree justice (Proverbs 8:15) The Most High rules in the Kingdom of men and gives it to whomsoever He will (Daniel 4:25) and that he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Daniel 4:35) He ordained that Tony Blair would be the British Prime Minister again after the last election, that George W. Bush would defeat John Kerry in America and Bertie Ahern, here in Ireland, would be returned to Dail Eireann. He ordained the exact number of votes each candidate would get and who would vote and who wouldn't and why they so voted and why they didn't. He ordained the exact number of die hard voters each election would have, the not so dedicated ones and the "floating voters" who judge each election and candidate on its merit. Although there were many devices in a man's heart - and there is nothing like a good hard fought electioneering campaign to bring them out - nevertheless the counsel of the LORD stood (Proverbs 19:21) and there was absolutely no chance that it would be overthrown. There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. (Proverbs 21:30) This applies to good men getting into power and evil men - the final result is ordained of God.Do we quit voting? Do we disenfranchise ourselves? Do we say "Why bother voting?" when the result is not only known in Heaven but also ordained? No we don't. We go out and we exercise our democratic rights, because we believe that God uses our votes to put the men whom He has ordained into power. He ordains the means as well as the end. We vote to put good men in and to keep bad men out. Our vote in itself may not amount to very much. Millions of other people with other agendas have the exact same voting power in the same election, but nevertheless, we know that every vote counts, especially when it is joined by others for the same candidate(s) Nor does it negate our responsibility to vote according to our God instructed conscience. We ought to think twice about voting for those who are determined to push through God dishonouring agendas etc., We will give an account to God where we put our "X" on voting day. But if we applied this argument against Calvinism then we would argue that it is useless to vote.
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WHY BOTHER PRAYING? God knows what we have need of before we ask (Matthew 6:8) He declares in the most definite of language, And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24) Do we quit praying? Do you cancel the prayer meeting in our church? Do we refuse to go through all that getting alone privately into the closet and struggling against the flesh and the devil and all the distractions, when God knows everything and has already ordained the outcome? Do we ignore the prayer cards of missionaries with their well ordered and specified little lists of prayer requests? Do we throw away our books like EM Bounds on "Power through Prayer" and have no regard for the great prayer warriors whose praise in the churches? No we don't. We pray because God ordains the means as well as the end. We obey the precepts to pray, noting the additional instructions like "ought always" (Luke 18:1) and "without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) We note the great examples which are given in Scripture (Acts 12:5/2 Thessalonians 1:3) and the great promises (James 5:17) and we pray. But if we applied this argument against Calvinism then we would argue that it is useless pray.
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WHY BOTHER SOWING? God says that the harvest will not cease (Genesis 8:22) Do we quit ploughing the fields and sowing the seed and getting it watered and trying the keep the birds away? Do we just stand in our field or in our garden and think positively that the harvest will not cease and wait for the green shoots to appear? No, we don't. We notice that Genesis 8:22 says that seedtime and harvest will not fail. We only reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7) We read the Book of Proverbs about the satisfying lot of the diligent man and the blasted loss of the sluggard, noting that the sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. (Proverbs 20:4) We take the time to sow the seed etc., because God ordains the means as well as the end. If we scatter but a few seeds, we will reap but a few sheaves (2 Corinthians 9:6) but if we applied the argument that is applied against Calvinism, then we will smirk at those who argue that we must sow in order to reap.
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WHY BOTHER STAYING SAFE AND HEALTHY? The day of your death is appointed of God (Hebrews 9:27) You will not die one split second before your God ordained time. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. (Psalm 91:7) We may not know the day of our death (Genesis 27:2) but we know that God knows, and God knows because it is written down in His diary in indelible ink. God has never missed an appointment yet. Doubtless, you have heard this old story, but I repeat it again and slip in the reminder that the one who decides where and when is not fate, but God:
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Death speaks:
There is a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to buy provisions from the market and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said,
"Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city to avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me."
The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.
Then the merchant went down to the market-place and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said,
"Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?"
"That was not a threatening gesture,"
I said,
"it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra."
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Do we quit eating and drinking? Or looking both ways when we cross the road? Do we stop avoiding notorious areas at night or wrapping up in suitable clothes in cold or wet weather? No, we don't. If we are ill, we go to the Doctor. We take the prescribed medicines and tablets or go to hospital and consent to surgeons etc., operating upon our bodies. We know it would be foolish to disregard those warning notices that adorn electric boxes or other dangerous sites. We do not swim out of our depth or pick fights with violent people. Why not? Because we know that God has ordained the means as well as the end and that our health and safety is , under God, dependent upon our own actions. But if we applied the argument that is applied against Calvinism, then we will cease observing such common sense matters and by the evening we might well be dead or fighting for our lives in some hospital bed.
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WHY BOTHER EVANGELISING? Because it pleases God by the foolishness of preaching to save those that believe (1 Corinthians 1:21) That these believing souls have been ordained to such saving faith is undoubtedly true ( Ephesians 1:4) That they will infallibly come is also true (John 7:37a - the bit many folk leave out) but they will come through the means of our evangelism, therefore we do not quit evangelising and seeking by all means to save some, just as we do not quit voting etc., just because the result is ordained of God.
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THE END

50 Comments:

Blogger Baptist Girl said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 18, 2008 5:04 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

We know God knows the beginning to the end, but we do not who the Elect are. As the Gospel is presented it will attract itself by the power of it through the Holy Spirit to those whom God has ordained unto eternal life. Great Post Collin! God place whom He pleases in postions, God uses the Elect to sow the seed...and all of this is for His purpose.

Cristina

February 18, 2008 5:06 PM

 
Blogger Doulos Christou said...

Thanks Colin!

Paraphrasing something I understand John Gershner once said, if you need reason beyond "the fact that the Sovereign God of the Universe commands it" then I think these (along with the others on your website) are excellent reasons! What a privilege to be asked to participate in God's plan for reaching His children!

February 18, 2008 5:24 PM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Thanks, Colin.

I grew up with the misunderstanding that the purpose of evangelism was to get people saved. Everything about evangelism was focused on the person who was hearing the gospel message. Our training was based on learning how to refute the arguments of our "mark" and how to persuade him that he had to make a decision for Christ right now or he was risking eternity in hell. The motivation was, "If you don't go out and do evangelism then who knows how many people will turn and point at you at the judgment and ask why you didn't tell them about Jesus."

Evangelism has one purpose and one purpose only. That purpose is to glorify God by announcing the good news that salvation can be had through faith in Jesus Christ. People may well be saved through this announcement; it is God's purpose that they will. But telling the gospel has the primary design of bringing glory to God and that is why I exist!

By the way, Doulos, I can affirm that Dr. Gerstner did assuredly say those words in my own hearing. Like most of his pithy comments, rather sound logic, wouldn't you say?

February 19, 2008 9:36 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Colin,
Point well taken........

Why bother commenting on blogs and defending the faith since God has ordained all that will occur. Why bother to encourage sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it if God has ordained the final outcome.
Etc. etc. etc. etc..

February 19, 2008 9:51 AM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Isn't it wonderful how even the verse which Paul gave us about the foolishness of preaching etc., starts of with the words; "It pleased God by..." There is the end and the means in the opening phrase.

Regards,

February 19, 2008 10:25 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

The foolishness of the message preached. God the Holy Spirit has always worked in concert with His written word to save the elect... But I guess the nonCals love to play their games - You know, misquote, misrepresent... accuse us of "pretending"...

"It pleased God by..."

Amen!

February 19, 2008 11:13 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

"I grew up with the misunderstanding that the purpose of evangelism was to get people saved. Everything about evangelism was focused on the person who was hearing the gospel message....and ask why you didn't tell them about Jesus."

Exactly. Same here.

And I agree with you, as well, about the purpose - glorying God.

Might I add one element to that? My pastor spoke about this; it really made sense - and it was quite freeing:

Could it be that evangelism is more about our own walk (sanctification) with Christ than it is about the "mark?" (as you put it!) Think about it...what a thrill, and what a faith booster, to have had an opportunity to share Christ with someone - EVEN if that doesn't lead to their coming to faith at that exact moment.

When maybe you've been ministering to someone at work, maybe talking "around" the gospel, but then you get that opporunity to really share your testimony, share Christ. It is truly a boost to your faith! It is for me anyway. Just recently I was able to pray with a lady at work who was getting ready to undergo a scan b/c they found a breast lump. I doubt she is saved, but I haven't found anyone yet who will turn down an offer of prayer. Anyway, it's given me a bit of an inroad with her.

It's very freeing to not be "under the gun" to get someone to "make a decision for Christ." Salvation is of God alone, and maybe He's allowing me a small part in His process of saving someone.

Just a thought. :)

February 19, 2008 4:18 PM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Gayla...very nicely said. Thanks for adding to my comment. Sometimes I'm afraid to go on and on in the comments section. I appreciate your thoughtful words and they express my own thoughts (only mine would not have been so thoughtful!).

Dave

February 19, 2008 4:23 PM

 
Blogger Doulos Christou said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 19, 2008 10:27 PM

 
Blogger Doulos Christou said...

"Evangelism has one purpose and one purpose only. That purpose is to glorify God..."

I know that you already said it, but it's worth repeating! I'm working on a post over at the other site expanding on the thought - maybe I could have you collaborate! I think you've touched on a foundational problem in Evangelical thinking!

Gayla, your point is well taken too - after all, "... neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth." (1 Corinthians 3:7)

Thanks again Colin for raising such an important subject.

February 19, 2008 10:33 PM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 20, 2008 2:45 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 20, 2008 3:09 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

maalie, you have been asked to stay away. Do so, please.

February 20, 2008 6:36 AM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Why bother voting? Are you really saying that Tony Blair getting voted as Prime Minister was pre-ordained? Labour was voted because for the last fifteen years or so the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher and John Major had made such a mess of our country we all felt a change was needed.
Has Gordon Brown been pre-ordained even without actually being voted in?
The Conservative party will almost certainly get re-elected next time as the Labour Party appears to be going pear shaped.
Was Nixon pre-ordained. He was hardly a good president. What about Clinton and his lying? What about all those cheating votes in Florida that got George Bush elected?

Why bother to pray? I thought praying wasn't about a list of requested but a matter of communication between God and the person who prayed.

February 20, 2008 9:12 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Hi Lorenzo,

I'm reminded of these passages when it comes to the leadership of any country.

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. ~Romans 13:1

The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes. ~Prov 21:1

Ultimately, those in authority/power are placed there by God. That's not to say that we're excused from participating in the process; we are still responsible and accountable. But God's plans are never thwarted, and even though Clinton (for example) betrayed his wife and his country with his antics, there is no doubt that He was providentially put in his position by God.


Praying isn't merely a matter of placing our orders with God and expecting Him to give us the "things" we want. It is intentional/purposeful communication with God. The Bible speaks a lot to prayer - we're told "how" to pray, "what" to pray, "when" to pray, etc. Prayer is how we talk to God, not how He communicates to us.

February 20, 2008 9:35 AM

 
Blogger Doulos Christou said...

Well said, Gayla - you beat me to it! It's a struggle to understand humanly, but Romans 13:1 seems pretty much on point... especially when you consider the character of the governing authorities that Paul would have been thinking about!

February 20, 2008 9:45 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Loren,
You mentioned the subject of communication with God.

Prayer is good and important, but God has communicated clearly with humans through the Holy Bible. The things that are being affirmed at this blog come from his Word, the Holy Bible. For example, the fact that he is sovereign and ordains all that happens is taught clearly in the Bible. Any revelation that man gets from other men or from encounters through prayer, etc. that contradicts the Bible is not from God. The Bible is reliable and true. What religious teachers say that contradicts the Bible is not true.

February 20, 2008 10:07 AM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

I have no quarrel about what you say on praying. You are saying what I very clumsily tried to write myself.

I do have problems on presidents, prime ministers etc. Didn't Jesus say "Render under Caesar that which is Caesar and to God that which is God's". He doesn't appear to accept that Caesar was there because God ordained it. In fact from what I can make out Jesus didn't give a damn about who was in government.

February 20, 2008 10:16 AM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

"We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number"

Please could you tell me if you think that little babies who die in infancy are included among this multitude?

February 20, 2008 11:00 AM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Please could you tell me if you think that little babies who die in infancy are included among this multitude?

Yes, on both occasions. I can and I do.

February 20, 2008 11:21 AM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

Thank you Goodnight, that is most reassuring. You see I was told with absolute conviction that only elect-infants went to heaven and all the others went to hell. And that didn't seem fair to me.

So, my six-month old baby is safe for a while. Can you tell how old he has to be before he has to be elected by God, and is no longer regarded as an infant? Is there some sort of "cut-off age"?

(I mean absolutely no pun in connection with the election issues that Loren has made).

February 20, 2008 12:00 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Election took place before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) There is a capability here of asking many questions of which answers are not revealed in the word of God.

Let me deal with Bible principles rather than take individual questions:

1) The Judge of all the earth will do that which is right (Genesis 18:25)

2) God is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4) and delights in mercy (Micah7:18)

3) We should seek the Lord while He is to be found and call upon Him while he is near (Isaiah 55:6)

There is enough here in these basic Bible principles to keep us all busy.

Regards,

February 20, 2008 12:11 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

There is an interesting discussion about this very thing going on at Rose's blog.

Personally, I don't think there is solid Scriptural support to know whether or not all infants who die go to heaven.

Here's what I said there:

"I'm in the reformed camp, and I don't agree with MacArthur on this. I don't think there is enough Scriptural support to know for certain that all babies who die in infancy go to heaven.

I trust that God is right in whatever He does. Does the thought of infants possibly NOT going to heaven trouble me? Certainly. It's unsettling, and I just don't 'get it.' But again, I must trust in the righteousness and goodness and mercy of God. Whatever He does IS right and good and just - even when/if it runs contrary to my own preconceived notions.

As I was typing, I was reminded of this passage: Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Romans 11:33-34

We don't have the mind of the Lord. Who are WE that we should counsel Him? We don't counsel Him.

If babies indeed go to heaven, praise God! But if they don't, then I must praise God for that as well - resting in the fact that He is sovereign, and that His actions will bring about the glory of His Name."

And in response to Matthew:

"Matthew: "Gayla, if you think a child may go to hell, do you also think that children should be put in prison?"

I don't know, Matthew. As the discussion is about babies/infants/toddler types, I don't know that they're out breaking the law so much. There is a built-in age accountability in our man-made laws (in which we are to submit), and is it stands, infants & toddlers aren't subject to prison terms.

My point above was though, that God (and God, alone) exacts perfect justice, perfect mercy and perfect grace. What He does - whether it be something that might cause me to bristle - IS right. His ways are right, not mine. His thoughts are perfect, untainted by a sinful nature, not mine.

I'll just refer you back to the passages in Romans 9 and 11. We human beings tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought - in relation to the just, holy and righteous Creator and Owner of the universe."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"So, my six-month old baby is safe for a while. Can you tell how old he has to be before he has to be elected by God, and is no longer regarded as an infant? Is there some sort of "cut-off age"?

See, there is no indication in Scripture of a "cut-off age." These thoughts can be troublesome to our finite minds. And I don't think this issue can be definitively nailed down. I think we have to trust God in His mercy and grace, and His righteous justice. We must TRUST. HIM.

I mean think about it - if ALL babies go to heaven (and I'm not saying they don't - we, frankly, cannot know that), then it would be preferable for our children to die in infancy so they would "for certain" be in heaven, rather than risk growing up and not being saved. It's absurd.

February 20, 2008 12:19 PM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

"rather than take individual questions"

With due respect, Goodnight, I did not find this reply as helpful as your first. I would rather that you DID take my actual question as I am worried about it. If my baby is "elected" now simply because he is a baby, there will come a time when he becomes de-elected, at which point he will (or will not) be re-elected. But as God knows everything already, he already knows whether my baby will be elected or not.

I am simply asking, at what age do babies become de-elected and have to be re-elected again? It's driving me insane worrying about this.

February 20, 2008 12:20 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

It's driving me insane worrying about this.

Really?

Would it not to better to pray for your child's salvation and seek to instruct it in the things of God as it is able to understand it? That is what Scripture urges us to do and we cannot improve upon that.

Regards,

Gayla: This is why I keep to the general principles which I am applying here. If we keep to that which is written and revealed in the Bible, then we have sufficient to work on.

Regards,

February 20, 2008 12:25 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Here's the million dollar question:

Is God still worthy of praise/ adoration/obedience/glory (etc) if babies do go to hell?

February 20, 2008 12:27 PM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

Gayla, I see that your reply went up as mine did. Yes, it does seem absurd, doesn't it? There is so much that seems absurd, I agree with you there.

February 20, 2008 12:32 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

"I am simply asking, at what age do babies become de-elected and have to be re-elected again? It's driving me insane worrying about this.

There is no de- and re-election, estelle. This is not a biblical concept.

I suspect that since you are indeed concerned over this, perhaps God is stirring your heart on the matter. I don't know anything about you - whether or not you are a believer - but I would encourage you to get in the Scriptures. Chew on the passages Colin provided. We have a great, great God who tells us that if we seek Him, we will find Him.

All of us parents beg God for the souls of our children. We plead with Him to save them. And we teach and raise them in the knowledge of the Lord. Salvation is of God alone, and that includes the salvation of our kids.

February 20, 2008 12:35 PM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

"Would it not to better to pray for your child's salvation"

What would be the point? What can I, a mere mortal, do to change the decisions that God has already made. At least, that is what I am told.

February 20, 2008 12:36 PM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

Could a child be among the elected even if one (or both) of the parents are not?

February 20, 2008 12:38 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Estelle

Do you know Christ as your only hope of salvation?

February 20, 2008 1:01 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

"What would be the point? What can I, a mere mortal, do to change the decisions that God has already made. At least, that is what I am told.

Two things:

One: Prayer is not about changing what has been decreed from eternity. Prayer is setting the sails to catch the prevailing wind. The first prayer I would offer if I were you is "God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13

Two: Why would you want to change what God has decreed from eternity, if what God decrees from eternity is a most wise decree?

Could a child be among the elected even if one (or both) of the parents are not?

Let me ask two or three questions here:

1) Have you sought God for salvation?

2) If not, why not?

3) Are you an atheist?

Regards,

February 20, 2008 1:32 PM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

I find this all terribly upsetting.

Are you really saying that God decided before anyone was born who was going to Heaven and Hell? That means that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. However much one prays and attends Church, if your name hasn't been pre-recorded, then we are deluding ourselves.

I really feel for Estelle. I have four children and also had two miscarriages. I often wondered what happened to the souls of the little ones I lost. When does a soul inhabit a baby? Is it at conception, at birth or some way during the pregnancy?

February 20, 2008 1:43 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

I often wondered what happened to the souls of the little ones I lost.

Do you believe that people have souls?

Regards,

February 20, 2008 1:46 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Oops! This last bit should read:

Could a child be among the elected even if one (or both) of the parents are not?

Anser: Yes

Let me ask two or three questions here:

1) Have you sought God for salvation?

2) If not, why not?

3) Are you an atheist?

Regards,

February 20, 2008 2:37 PM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

I came here to try to find answers to some questions that were worrying me and now I find I am being interrogated like a villain. I am a protestant (Anglican, Church of England). I go to church quite regularly but of course the little one makes that difficult sometimes. We have a lovely vicar who told me that when a baby is christened it is washed free of original sin and will go to heaven. Also that Jesus died to atone for our sins, so we were ALL saved. In the words of the hymn "who died to save us all".

Then a woman at work told me it isn't like that at all. God is supposed to have already decided who is and isn't going to heaven, including babies. Goodnight reassures me this isn't true and I feel relieved. Then Gayla says we should plead for our babies to be saved and I am told to pray so that I can go with the wind. But what if the wind is blowing the wrong way? Maybe I haven't been elected and the wind is blowing me to hell. I tried to find some answers on the internet and now I'm more confused than ever.

February 20, 2008 2:43 PM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

Right at the top, Baptist Girl says "We know God knows the beginning to the end, but we do not who the Elect are"

This seems pretty clear to me. God already knows if me and my baby son are going to heaven or not.

February 20, 2008 2:51 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

I came here to try to find answers to some questions that were worrying me and now I find I am being interrogated like a villain.

Why should you feel that you are being interogated like a criminal? The questions I asked are straightforward and the first and last really require only a "yes" or "no" answer. The questions you are asking are deep enough, but I need to know where you stand on some issues in order to apply the answers accordingly.

At the risk of unsettling you again, think about this great promise from the gospel and two simple questions which flow from it:

"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved" (Romans 10:13)

1) What does "whosoever" mean?
2) What is the result of "whosoever" calling upon the name of the Lord?

This will answer your fears about the great eternity that awaits us all.

Regards,

February 20, 2008 2:54 PM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved" (Romans 10:13)"

Not according to Baptist Girl, above, who agrees with others I know who says you have to be elected, and that has happened already.

I'm getting sick of this contradiction and lack of clarity. The bible seems to mean anything you want it to.

February 20, 2008 3:05 PM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

"but I need to know where you stand on some issues in order to apply the answers accordingly"

Why should you need to know that? Will the answers be different for different people? What kind of faith is that?

February 20, 2008 3:07 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Hmmmmm!

OK...I'll stick my neck out on this one, (although admittedly, I don't think by very much) I don't think that you are all that you either say or are pretending to be. I think that you came here to make a few wee rather insignificant and sceptical points and basically they haven't washed. All you have done is shake your fist into the face of your Creator God and if that gives you satisfaction, then your pleasure is as empty as that aluminum
can that blows about the street on a windy night.

If (as you claim) that you are getting sick of this contradiction and lack of clarity (as you put it) then, all I can say is that the Internet is a big place. www.google.co.uk is as good as a place as any to start.

Regards,

February 20, 2008 3:33 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Estelle, I apologize if anything *I* said or asked made you feel like a villian. I know that is certainly not my intent, and I know it's not the intent of the others. I think we're just trying to find out where you're coming from - that's all.

As I said before, please seek God in the Scriptures. Those who seek Him, find Him. The very fact that you ARE questioning and that you ARE unsettled about all this, leads me to believe that God is indeed stirring your heart. And that's a good thing!

You said, "We have a lovely vicar who told me that when a baby is christened it is washed free of original sin and will go to heaven. Also that Jesus died to atone for our sins, so we were ALL saved. In the words of the hymn "who died to save us all".

Estelle, certainly I don't know your vicar, so this isn't an attack on him personally - but this patently false. Christening babies does NOT cleanse them of sin. You will not find such an example of this in Scripture. Also, the (false)teaching that Jesus died, saving all people is called 'Universalism.' This concept is also not supported in Scripture. Jesus died to save those who would believe in Him.

The Bible certainly doesn't mean anything we want it to - that's why I'm arguing against the "feel good" notion that "all babies go to heaven," when we just don't know. God IS merciful, He is just - perfectly so - and we must trust Him.

I appreciate your coming in and asking us questions, but inevitably we will answer you imperfectly. I can guide you to the Scriptures, and I can encourage you to pray and simply ask God to reveal Himself to you. Salvation is a supernatural act of God; it is He alone who saves and it is He who can give you understanding. I pray that for you, Estelle.

February 20, 2008 3:43 PM

 
Blogger Estelle des Chevaliers said...

Goodnight, so you can't (or won't) try to answer my questions and therefore you resort to being patronising. I know all about google thank you very much, how do you think I blundered into this snake pit? I have also been looking elsewhere between coming back to look here.

I'll tell you what I believe. I believe what my vicar says. I believe that God sacrificed His Only Begotten Son in order that we might be saved. I believe that if I don't screw up on earth I will go to heaven. I don't believe that God would sacrifice his Son to cleanse us of our sins and then hold the sword of Damocles over us with ongoing threats of yet more punishment in some sort of double-jeopardy. So if I haven't been elected, well, there is nothing I can do about it.

Goodnight Goodnight.

February 20, 2008 3:57 PM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Goodnight: Of course I believe in souls! Is this a trick question? Do you no believe in souls?

February 20, 2008 4:18 PM

 
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

That means that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.

This is a common recurrence in the thinking here. Yet the answer lies in the Scripture itself:

"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved" (Romans 10:13)

1) What does "whosoever" mean?
2) What is the result of "whosoever" calling upon the name of the Lord?

it would be nice if someone could answer these questions!

Regards,

February 20, 2008 4:28 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Eternal life comes by faith alone in Chirst alone for dying on the cross to pay penalty for our sins and not by trying to figure out if one is elect or not.

Since man is incapable of responding to God unless God intervenes with his saving grace, there is no one who come to faith unless God changes their heart. If you place your faith in Jesus Christ you are saved and are one of the elect. If you are relying on your works and not screwing up instead of Christ, you are not saved.

February 20, 2008 4:41 PM

 
Blogger Doulos Christou said...

Well said, Jazzy.

The topic of God's sovereignty seems to inflame the passions, and of course it should because it point directly to the problem and the solution - that we are dead in sin and unable to help ourselves and we are in need of a Savior. As long as one hasn't come to terms with the Bible's indictment of mankind and the depths of their depravity, they won't understand or appreciate their need for a savior - and the amazing love God has shown for us in Christ.

Lorenzo - you said "are you really saying that God decided before anyone was born who was going to Heaven and Hell? That means that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it."

Yep. Bingo. That's what the Bible teaches!

"However much one prays and attends Church, if your name hasn't been pre-recorded, then we are deluding ourselves. If your confidence is in what you are doing, your confidence is misplaced. Trust God and in His mercy through Christ, not in your own effort... Romans 9:16.

February 20, 2008 10:21 PM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

"Trust in God and his mercy". But you agreed that it is already decided what will happen to me, either Heaven or Hell.
Yep, Bingo as you eloquently put it.

February 21, 2008 4:55 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Estelle, Jill - Goodnight, Doulos, Gayla and Jazzy all care about where you'll spend eternity. That is why they're asking the questions they ask. They care and wish to steer you in the right direction.

Is Christ your ONLY hope of salvation?

February 21, 2008 7:22 AM

 

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