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More Questions on Predestination
In the following e-mail exchanges, the e-mailers' comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
>Gary sorry to bother you with this issue again, but it has been an important topic in my life and few like to discus it. After much study and praying here is my view please correct me if you see anything not biblical. Seems to me Calvinists and Arminians are in the same boat when it comes to hell. God created the world knowing people would go to hell. But it was because of Adam and Eve sinning of their own freewill and our sinful natures.
Over and over the Bible says people reject the gospel and are sinners and that is why they go to Hell not because God predestined them there. Why to the elect go to heaven not because God foreknew that I would believe in him the Bible doesn't say this. It says because God foreknew in advance he was going to save me it is all him, none me.
This in no way takes freewill away from the Fall. He predestined me based on his foreknowledge that he was going to save me by grace. This does not mean he predestined people to Hell they go to because of their rejection of him and their sin. The Bible is clear people go to Heaven because God chooses them before the world was made. Why God chose me I don't know but am eternally grateful. It is clear though he chose us! But the Bible is clear if he your not part of the Elect your going to Hell.
I guess the part I disagree with is saying he predestined certain people for Hell , it was the actions of Adam and Eve's on freewill that got them there. Besides people going to Hell receive justice for what they have done (it is exactly what they deserve). The Elect receive Eternal Life serving God which they truly don't deserve. The only one who got a bad deal out of this was Jesus who suffered horrible and unjustly for our sins. He truly deserves our praise. Well, what do you think about my views anything not Biblical, or do they agree with the Bible as far as you can see. Any comments would be appreciated.
You need to consider that there are two different versions of Calvinism: supralapsarian and sublapsarian. The supralapsarian view teaches that before (supra) the Fall (lapse), God decided that to glorify Himself, He would create people. Some He would save while others He would damn. By damning some it would show how gracious He was in saving others. So in this view, the elect and the reprobate were destined before the Fall. Moreover, Adam's sin was predestined in order to bring in effect the plan.
OTOH, in the sublapsarian view, after (sub) the Fall, God then looked down the corridors of time and decided that, by His grace, out off the mass of sinful humanity, all of which now deserved damnation, He would save some. So in this view, Adam's sin was not predestined. It was a "freewill" decision. But after the Fall, due to us all being corrupted by Adam's sin, we no longer are "free" to follow God. Hence why God must first choose and regenerate us before we are able to believe in Him.
All of that said, it sounds like you're rather close to the "sub" view, but would definitely disagree with the "supra" view. And this is where most Calvinists are at, my myself included.
>Yep that's exactly what I believe, I'd been saved for years and very thankful, but didn't truly understand his grace until Wed. night. And after I did I have been smiling since. Boy I'm lucky!! See I had done a lot of apologetics studying and thought while Jesus did all the work I figured out he was the Truth. Sorry I had bothered you so much I just didn't want to accept the teaching. But God used your site to show me just how lucky I am!! The verses on your site about Sovereignty really helped!! God's grace is truly amazing!!
I am not christian, in fact I am a humanist. I have studied the bible in great detail over the past 15 years and had come to the conclusion that the concept of salvation was flawed. Then I found Calvinism...;-)
Calvinism, is the only way that the bible makes any sense at all with regard to the concept of salvation, and after looking over your site, I am even more convinced that this is true.
The bottom line is; Does God save you? Or Do you save yourself by utilizing the mechanics of gods promises? For example.. "I take a step in faith through my own free will, and through god's grace I am saved" .....This has never made sense to me when looked at in context with the rest of scripture.
So, that having been said, I want to compliment you on an informative site, that in my opinion is the most reasonable interpretation of christianity based on the bible.
For myself, I have no use for it. I don't believe god exists at all. It is possible, but unlikely based on what I know. If the bible is a true account of absolute reality, then I will either be saved, or I won't. I do keep an open mind, believing that to be critical is the discernment of truth. So, we will see.
I do have one question for you. WHY? Why would god predestine (X) amount of people to be saved, and (X) amount of people for destruction? If God exists, then he is God, so I suppose the answer is "because he can." However as one of those created to be "hell fodder" as it stands right now, I would have to say...Nice god you got there...;-)
Thank you for your e-mail. Your e-mail is interesting for a couple of reasons. First it's interesting that as a humanist you're even reading the Bible. And second it's interesting that as a humanist you seem to understand the bible better than some Christians.
In any case, to answer your question, I would say you need to start with the conception that all people are sinners and deserve to be damned. To me, what is amazing is not that God doesn't save everyone, but why He saves anyone. He did not need to save anyone. He was under no obligation to do so. And if He decides to save some, that does not obligate Him to save all. It is pure grace that any are saved.
Just wanted to say thanks for the response. At last count there were 2015 million christians in the world, including family members, friends, etc. I thought I owed it to myself, in my search for truth, to give christianity a look with an open mind. Just to shed some light on why I read the bible.
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