Saturday, February 4, 2017

God's Love is NOT Unconditional?


One of the most fundamental truths of salvation by sovereign grace is that God’s love for his chosen people is utterly unconditional so far as any actions on their part are concerned. This is an unavoidable consequence of the well-founded doctrine of total human depravity in the scriptures. The moment one affirms the abject depravity of the human race as a result of the fall, they have likewise affirmed man’s total inability to meet any spiritual conditions whatsoever (Galatians 3:21). It is this observation that forms the basis for why eternal salvation must be totally by grace and not according to our works rather than by works through some conditional scheme. Salvation by sovereign grace insists that ALL of the conditions required for the salvation of God’s people were met by God himself, not by man (Romans 8:33). So I’ll pause here to state this as bluntly as I possibly can so that there can be absolutely no misunderstanding on the matter: Any man who does not believe that eternal salvation is unconditional so far as man’s actions are concerned, does not believe in salvation by sovereign grace, irrespective of how audaciously wrapped in sovereign grace language he may present himself. Those who insists that God’s love for his people is not unconditional while also insisting that this theological position should be called “salvation by sovereign grace” are evident Christian Irrationalist of the most egregious sort.


In this short video we find so-called “sovereign grace” ministers RC Sproul, John MacArthur, and Steve Lawson, objecting to and even mocking the notion that God’s love is “unconditional.” Again, it is incredibly important to note that if God’s love for his people is in any sense “conditioned” upon anything they do, then it is not salvation by the monergistic sovereign grace of God. Indeed, apart from affirming God’s immutable and unconditional love for his people, then there is no basis up on which to affirm God’s unconditional election of a people. That biblical fact is established in no uncertain terms by the bible’s statement, “We love him because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19) I believe that when we biblically and rationally assess the statements made by these men, who are commonly regarded as the “heavy-weights of sovereign grace theology” in our time, we find that this is yet another good example of the ridiculously self-contradictory notions promoted as “sovereign-grace, gospel truth” by modern Calvinists.  Let’s listen….


How Would You Respond to - God Loves Me Just As I Am?

"When everyone is talking about the love of God and “God loves me just as I am” how would you respond?" (Moderator)
I believe that a proper response to this question is to point out that “We love him because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19) This observation establishes that God loved us while we were in a state of fallen, abject, evil, depravity wherein we were totally incapable of meeting any conditions. It establishes that God loved his people IN SPITE OF what they were. That is the proper understanding of the grace of God and it is utterly, utterly unconditional love. Let’s see how Sproul addresses the question…
"The kingdom of God is not Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. <audience laughs> I think there are few things out there more dangerous than preachers out there preaching that God loves everybody unconditionally." (RC Sproul)
Sproul’s statement has two components that we must examine. The first is the notion that God loves “everybody.” All three of these men teach that God loves everybody, at least in some sense, as Sproul will go on to explain by insisting that God has more than one kind of love. While they do not describe it this way, I have often described their position as “God has two kinds of love – the saving kind and the burning kind.” This unstable notion cannot survive the bible’s statements regarding God’s immutability, eternal purposes, and the absolute efficacy of the blood of Christ (Romans 8:31-39), but I’m getting ahead of myself... Stated plainly, God most certainly does NOT love everybody and the bible explicitly states this incredibly unpopular truth many times over (Malachi 1:3, Romans 9:13, Psalm 5:5, 11:5). Indeed the reality of an eternal hell with human occupancy should make this a matter of no controversy whatsoever.

With respect to Sproul’s rejection of God’s love as “unconditional” – he seems totally oblivious to the fact that the moment he admits that God’s love for his people is conditioned upon something that man does that he has likewise departed from salvation by sovereign grace.  I’ll state this again – if God loved us before we loved him (I John 4:19) then it is certain that his love was unconditional, because man in his fallen condition is devoid of any capacity to meet any righteous conditions whatsoever (Romans 3:10-12) and is totally devoid of any capacity to procure God’s favor. Frankly, it is pretty well incredible that this nonsense can be pawned off as “salvation by sovereign grace” when it so evidently contradicts the simple fundamentals of grace.  That so many “grace believing” evangelicals fall for this nonsense is a strong indication that they are not nearly so rooted in a firm understanding of the faith once delivered to the saints as their “grace” moniker would lead one to believe. It is no overstatement to say that “sovereign grace” Christianity is a far more rare commodity than the popularity of the “sovereign grace” moniker would indicate.
Because the message that is heard by the people who hear that is: there are no conditions, I can continue to live just as I am living in full rebellion against God and I have nothing to worry about because there aren’t any conditions that I have to meet, God loves me unconditionally and I don’t have to repent, I don’t have to come to Jesus, I don’t have to leave my life of sin, no conditions, no strings attached. God loves me just the way I am. He’s glad that I turned out so nicely and so on. (Sproul)
I do not doubt that there will be some who will take the notion of unconditional love and respond in this way. But the fact that some people bring forth an improper response to the truth is no reason to suggest that God’s love is not unconditional. God’s love for his chosen people is undeniably unconditional as this is an unavoidable corollary of total depravity.


Paul Anticipated Illogical Responses - But Affirmed Unconditional Love Nonetheless


More to the point, it seems completely lost on Sproul that the apostle Paul fully anticipated that the preaching of God’s unconditional love and saving grace for his people would be met with this very objection. As a result he developed a response to this reaction in the Roman epistle. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” (Romans 6:1-7)

It is important to note that Paul’s response does not back away from the notion of God’s unconditional love for his people, not one bit, because to deny God’s unconditional love would completely undermine the notion of salvation by grace. Instead, Paul seeks to establish that continuing to live in sin is an improper, presumptuous, and illogical response to the gospel truth of God’s unconditional love. Paul addresses the error of that reaction to gospel truth. He does NOT seek to correct the problem by suggesting that God’s love is conditional, as this would clearly decimate the premise of sovereign grace from which his entire argument proceeds. Later in the Roman epistle Paul refers to our response in obedient discipleship as our “reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1) But he does not back away from the unconditional nature of God’s love for his people one bit, and neither should we, for indeed if we do then we will have abandoned the grace of Christ in salvation (Galatians 1:6) to enter the religion of works, irrespective of the so-called “sovereign grace” banners we may waive.


Sproul's Three Loves of God Theology

But, there is a sense, I’ve written a book on the love of God where I talk about the three ways in which theologians speak about the love of God: (Sproul)
Here we go. MacArthur’s got his “Two loves of God” and Sproul, never to be out done in ponderous egg-head-ery, must go one better with his “Three loves of God” which he defines as benevolence, beneficence, and complacence. We’ll let him explain what he means before we add our commentary…
God’s love of Benevolence – where God has a good will towards everybody, believers and non-believers. Beneficent love of God – God gives benefits to people whether they’re believers or not believers, the rain falls on the just as well as on the unjust. But the most important consideration is the love of complacency, not the love of smugness. But what is meant by the love of complacency is the filial love that God has for the redeemed. And that love is directed first to Christ and then to all who are in Christ, our elder brother. (Sproul)

Sprouls Conditional Love of God Doctrine


But then Sproul makes this absolutely incredible, grace destroying statement regarding the saving love of God for his chosen people.
And that salvific love is not something that God has for everybody unconditionally. (Sproul)
While it is possible to interpret this statement in a way that is consistent with the unconditional covenant love of God, Sproul's book Loved by God plainly settles the question of where he stands on the matter beyond any dispute. Sproul's wacky "conditional salvation by sovereign grace" is on full display in quotes like this one:
Where in scripture do we find this notion of the unconditional love of God? If God's love is absolutely unconditional, why do we tell people that they have to repent and have faith in order to be saved? God sets forth clear conditions for a person to be saved. (Loved by God, RC Sproul, page 112)

Loved by God, RC Sproul, page 112. 

Sproul and other modern Calvinists fail to understand that a man cannot repent in sincerity without faith (Hebrews 11:6) and that by the time a man has faith he is already born again and in possession of eternal life (I John 5:1). This critical observation makes it absolutely certain that men do not repent and believe in order to meet the conditions of salvation. They repent and believe as evidence that they have ALREADY passed from death unto life. Stated another way, repentance and faith are not conditions of the covenant; they are provisions of the covenant. They do not make salvation effectual; they make it manifest. Sproul continues on.
And sometimes we close our eyes to what the bible says frequently about God’s posture towards the impenitent. God, the bible tells us, abhors the wicked. That’s strong language. God abhors, detests the wicked, who are impenitent. (Sproul)
But RC, you just explained that God loves everybody, at least in some sense. Now you say he hates them if they are impenitent? Moreover, if God’s hates us until we repent then it is evident that he did not have “saving love” for us before we ever loved him, rather his love was predicated upon us choosing to love him first whereby we subsequently qualify for God’s conditional love of salvation. Sproul is spinning up a colossal mess of logical contradictions that are completely ignorant of the fact that God’s love for his chosen people is everlasting and unconditional so far as man’s actions are concerned. It is the result of a covenant that is ordered in all things and sure, not conditions to be met by the creature.
And then people say, “Well, God loves the sinner he just hates the sin.” But he doesn’t send the sin to hell he sends the sinner there. And so this is very dangerous stuff when we tell people that God loves you unconditionally. (Sproul)
Well it’s certainly unstable to walk up to any random person and proclaim that God’ loves them unconditionally, no argument there. But it is a matter of ironclad, sovereign grace certainty that God’s love for his chosen people is absolutely unconditional so far as man’s actions are concerned, because man in his fallen state is utterly incapable of meeting any righteous conditions. It is God who met all the conditions whereby his people are eternally saved. Men do not met salvific conditions at all. Period.


Sproul's "Grace" is Conditioned on Repentance

So, we have to do it from a biblical perspective rather than trying to change the biblical character of God. (Sproul)
Stated another way – What RC Sproul means when he refers to “salvation by sovereign grace” is that “God’s eternally saving love is conditioned upon your repentance.” One wonders where a natural man, whose mind is enmity against God (Romans 8:7), could find this parcel of righteous and good repentance in order to meet God’s condition for being loved by Him? The idea that the eternally saving love of God is conditioned upon man’s repentance is so utterly opposed to the concepts of total depravity and salvation by sovereign grace that it boggles the mind that Sproul would make such a statement. It honestly makes me sick to my stomach that so many people regard this as an accurate representation of the grace of God in saving his people. Sproul is not within 1000 miles of gospel truth on the matter.
God is angry every day against the wicked and justly so. And every impenitent sinner is exposed every second to the rage the fury of God’s wrath as Paul tells us in Romans 1:18 and following. (Sproul)
One wonders how a “totally depraved” sinner could possibility extricate himself from this state of being under the anger, rage, and fury of God? The simple fact of the matter is this: If he is totally depraved, and he undeniably is (Romans 3:10-18, 8:7), then he is totally unable to extricate himself from his condemnation by his own actions (Ephesians 2:1). He cannot believe God (Galatians 5:22, Romans 8:9), love God (Romans 8:7), receive truth (I Corinthians 2:14), do good (Psalm 14:1, Romans 3:12), or seek God (Psalm 10:4, Romans 3:11) – all of which are required for a man to sincerely repent of his sins. With this observation we once again establish a truth that is fundamental to the faith once delivered to the saints – We love him because he first loved us (I John 4:19) Stated another way, God’s love for his people preceded their love for him and superseded his just wrath for them through the intercession of Christ, established in a covenant that preceded their very existence. God’s banner over his people has ever and always been love (Song of Solomon 2:4, Jeremiah 31:3) and his purpose for them has ever and always been a loving purpose (Jeremiah 31:31-33) and that loving purpose chose to save them when they were without strength and ungodly (Romans 5:6), not when they rose to the occasion of meeting the condition of repentance, for their state of abject depravity makes it absolutely certain that they could never meet that condition (Romans 3:10-18). That is a gospel fact and Sproul’s eternally-saving-conditional-love-of-God doctrine is diametrically opposed to it, irrespective of his contradictory attempts to affirm TULIP. God loved us BEFORE we ever loved him (I John 4:19) and it is this biblical fact whereby we have eternal salvation, not some act of repentance that met a condition laid upon us. Indeed God’s loving purpose for us is immutable and it is for this reason that we have eternal salvation – “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

Those who promote Sproul’s  doctrine of Calvinistic contradictions and confusion (and they are many in this age of rampant biblical ignorance) are guilty of thinking far too much of what man does in the vapor of his temporal existence, and thinking far too little of what the creator God of the universe (Hebrews 1:2) has done in purposeful fulfillment (II Corinthians 5:21) of a covenant promise (Jeremiah 31:31-33) that he established before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5) to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21), to perfect them before the throne of divine justice (Hebrews 10:14), to obtain their eternal redemption for them (Hebrews 9:12), to by himself purge their sins (Hebrews 1:3), and to make them righteous by His one obedience (Romans 5:19) though they were without strength and ungodly (Romans 5:6) based on a love that was totally and utterly unconditional.  That is the gospel truth and those who fail to affirm it with clarity do a great disservice to the understanding of God’s people everywhere.  This is an hard saying – who can hear it?


Good News / Bad News Theology

But again, like you said earlier, there’s no understanding of the good news apart from the bad news. (Sproul)
This is a VERY popular notion among Calvinists today, the idea that there is no “good news” without the “bad news.”  This notion is inherently tied to Sproul’s previous assertion – namely that a man is under the abiding, eternally damning wrath of God until he repents of his sins, upon which God’s disposition toward him changes to that of eternally saving love. As we have previously pointed out, this line of reasoning is contrary to the concept of God’s “everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3), contrary to God’s eternal purpose in saving his chosen people from their sins (Ephesians 1:4-5, Matthew 1:21), contrary to the immutability of God (Malachi 3:6), contrary to the notion that God’s love for his people preceded and cause their love for him (I John 4:19), and contrary to well-founded doctrine of total depravity (Romans 3:10-18).


The Well-Meant Offerism of Modern Calvinism


I believe the reason for this common error stems from an improper view of the nature and purpose of the gospel message – namely the belief that the gospel is a Well-Meant offer of salvation to all of humanity, rather than the proclamation of the finished work of Christ on behalf of his chosen people, identified in this world as those who have the faith to believe this testimony. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I believe that error becomes more apparent as Sproul continues…
Christ came into the world that was already under the universal indictment for rejecting God the father, for living in a sense where the clear revelation of God, as you’ve pointed out Steve, was so made manifest to every human being but our nature is so fallen that we don’t want God in our thinking we don’t want God in our minds and we want so much to win people to Christ that we’ll do everything we can to hide from them the reality of the wrath of God. (Sproul)
While it is true that all of humanity fell as a result of Adam’s transgression (Romans 5:12), it is most certainly NOT true that this is the full picture of the circumstances and purposes for which Christ was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). I would want to point out God’s purposes in saving his people PRECEDED the fall of humanity in time. It follows that God’s banner over his people has ever and always been one of purposeful love that covenanted to save them (Jeremiah 31:31-33, Ephesians 1:4-5). It follows that the gospel is not that which materially and vitally delivers eternal salvation to God’s people, indeed the Lord Jesus Christ himself taught that a man must already be born again in order to have the ability to receive the spiritual truths of the kingdom of God heralded in the gospel (John 3:3); no, the gospel is that which affirms the love of God toward his chosen people. It instructs them in the light of truth so that they may understand what Christ has done on their behalf, not because they repented, but so that they may have the grace to repent and live in obedient discipleship as their reasonable service to God in thanksgiving for what the Lord has done for them in an act of unconditional love. (Romans 12:1)


Scare the Sheep With the Wrath of God That Christ Took For Them

We don’t’ tell them that every moment that they refuse to repent that they are heaping up wrath, Steve, <laughs> against the day of wrath. (Sproul)
A couple of observations here. First, if we accept the preceding reality and unalterable efficacy of the everlasting covenant, which all sovereign grace bible-believing Christians must, then it is certain that it is absolutely impossible for God’s covenant people to heap up eternally damning wrath against themselves. Indeed the gospel proclaims liberty to the captives, not the conditional heaping of the eternally damning wrath of God toward his covenant people. Moreover, those who are not among God’s covenant people most certainly can do precisely nothing other than store up wrath for themselves given their abject depravity and lack of covenantal intercession required to extricate them from this condition.  Secondly, it makes me uncomfortable how easily these ministers chuckle at the notion of the eternally damning wrath of God.  I realize that the strange context of public speaking often leads to unusual reactions from people, but when the damning wrath of God is in view, such reactions are at a bare minimum incredibly awkward and unbefitting.
But people aren’t afraid of the wrath of God and it’s because we’re out there telling them, “You don’t have to be afraid of God because God is so nice and it’s Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.” (Sproul)
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7) and that knowledge is NOT imparted through the instruction of men, but rather implanted via the life giving fiat of regeneration (Ephesians 2:1), because a characteristic of the unregenerate man is that “there is no fear of God before his eyes.” (Romans 3:18) One can be sure of this, if God has not given you the faith to believe in the fear of the Lord, then no amount of gospel preaching can ever impart it to you, because man in his natural state is incapable of receiving spiritual truth, because he regards it as utter foolishness. (I Corinthians 2:14) This is another example of where Sproul’s theology assigns to the gospel preacher that which can only be accomplished by a direct act of God himself.  Plainly put, if a man does not ALREADY have the fear of God, he will not be taught any such fear by a gospel minister, neither will he believe the gospel’s testimony.  Let’s see how MacArthur responds to this…


What Manner of Man is Capable of Spiritual Persuasion?

It takes the terror out of it. Knowing the terror of the Lord, Paul says, we persuade men. (John MacArthur)
But what manner of man is capable of such spiritual persuasion? A natural man who is dead in trespasses and in sins? No. The natural man has no fear of God before his eyes (Romans 3:18) and regards all such revelation as foolishness. (I Corinthians 2:14) So while Paul was interested in persuading men, it is evident that the only men who can be thus persuaded are those who already possess the fear of God and the ears to hear spiritual truth, else they would remain unmoved by the things of the spirit of God. Simply put, neither fear of God nor fear of eternal damnation can motivate one who is dead in trespasses and in sins unto the eternal salvation of his soul, because the unregenerate have NO FEAR OF GOD (Romans 3:18) and any man who fears God is already in possession of eternal life. It follows that no matter what one might say of the purpose of his fear, it is NOT for the purpose of helping him obtain the eternal salvation he already possesses.
It’s a fearful thing, a terrifying thing, to fall into the hands of a living God. (MacArthur)
This verse gets quoted quite a bit by modern Calvinists – the implication being that “falling into the hands of a living God” designs the eternally damning wrath that will fall upon the unregenerate and impenitent. I must admit that this is ALWAYS the context in which I hear this verse invoked in modern preaching. But a closer look at that passage in its full context is helpful in dispelling the myth of how this sound bite is so frequently and carelessly employed by modern evangelicals. Consider the following….


Rightly Dividing Hebrews 10 - The Lord Shall Judge HIS PEOPLE


Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (Hebrews 10:19-20) Here we see that these remarks are made to “brethren” whose salvation has been “consecrated” for them by Christ.  Can this possibly design the unregenerate who will end up in hell?

And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:21-22) Those addressed by these remarks have “an high priest,” have “faith,” and have “sprinkled hearts,” and have been “washed with pure water.” All these allusions design aspects of our eternal salvation. Can such people be devoid of the grace of God? Can those who meet this description ever fall under the eternal condemnation of God? Let’s listen on…

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25) These “brethren” have “faith” and “love” and are exhorted to use that unto “good works” which a natural man is incapable of producing (Romans 3:12).

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29) These remarks design the willful practice of sin by “brethren” who are none other than God’s regenerate people who fear God and have faith. Given that such people are in possession of eternal life and shall never perish (John 10:28), it is evident that the judgment described in this passage is not eternal damnation but rather God’s severe rod of temporal chastisement which falls upon the disobedient in this lifetime (Hebrews 12:5-8) and which is so evident in the lives of the saints of God in numerous biblical examples. (Genesis 19:30, II Samuel 12:10, Deuteronomy 34:4) But if any doubt remains, let us hear the conclusion of the matter so that we may establish this beyond any reasonable dispute…

For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:30-31) So there it is, “The Lord shall judge HIS PEOPLE.” When the bible speaks of falling into the hands of the living God, it is not talking about the eternal punishment of hell, because “HIS PEOPLE” have been eternally delivered from all such eternal consequences by the intercession of Christ. This passage is speaking of the paternal chastisement of God, that may come upon his chosen people if they persist in disobedience to the precepts they are taught in discipleship.
Preaching that “God loves you unconditionally” is the wrong message. (MacArthur)
If spoken indiscriminately to a random audience, that is certainly true. Nevertheless God’s love for his chosen people is most certainly unconditional. It follows that to insist that God’s love for them is conditional is not the teaching of salvation by sovereign grace, it is not the teaching of scripture, and it is NOT THE GOSPEL.
The sinner needs to be terrified about his condition. He doesn’t need to feel comfortable in the fact that he’s turned out so well, as RC put it. (MacArthur)
And this is precisely how the modern Calvinist presses his “You gotta know the bad news before you can learn the good news” philosophy of ministry upon the sheep. What stark contrast this is to the Lord’s sermon on the mount, which declares the regenerate, beatified sheep of God as already in a blessed state.


Scaring the Hell Out of the Sheep

You know, just in the last year, John, I’ve had two guys come into membership in our church as adults, baptized as adults, by the way, <laughs> who in their testimony, their testimony is that what drove them to the gospel was they realized they were on their way to hell. And that scared them, literally scared the hell out of them. <laughs> Right? (Sproul)
That notion, while popular, is actually totally contrary to the gospel message. The gospel informs one who has the ears to hear that Christ has accomplished their salvation, that the battle for their redemption is over, that the warfare of eternal salvation is complete. Now if that person says, "I heard that and I realized that I was going to hell," then it is certainly evident that they have not heard it aright! The gospel declares that while God’s people were certainly deserving of hell, that God’s love for them is unconditional and that it purposed their salvation long before they ever even existed. They were never bound for hell (though their sin certainly made that their just punishment) because God’s loving covenant of salvation has EVER PURPOSED to make them holy and without blame before him in love. (Psalm 32:2)
Yeah, and rightly so. (Steve Lawson)
Yeah. (Sproul)
You know that’s part of what Steve was saying, excuse me Chris, that’s part of what Steve was saying, if we’re gonna ever call a nation into righteousness the preaching has to dramatically change. It has to dramatically change. <applause> (MacArthur)
MacArthur seems to be saying, "Steve and RC, if we don’t get out there and scare the hell outta some folks they’re going to end up in the lake of fire. Now let’s go scare some sheep!"


THE TRUTH: Sovereign Grace Means that God Met ALL of the Conditions


This analysis is pretty painful to have to make but I hope that it serves to reveal some of the absolutely ridiculous notions that are being pawned off as “salvation by sovereign grace” by some of the biggest names in so-called “sovereign grace” in Christendom today. It honestly pains me to see the confusion that these men visit upon the flock of God. It is disturbing to see how little they understand of the “grace” they claim to promote. It’s disturbing that virtually none of their followers are capable of seeing through the bevy of grace-destroying contradictions they promote. I don’t question the sincerity or the profession of faith of these men, but I must point out that their teaching on the matter of God’s love does a great disservice to the cause of truth and visits a great deal of pharisaical vexation of spirit upon the flock of God.

The bottom line is this – God’s love is most certainly unconditional where man’s actions are concerned. Sovereign grace teaches that it is God that met all of the conditions for the eternal salvation of his people. It is my sincere prayer that more of the Lord’s people would come to lay hold of this truth in the coming year and that they would depart from the unscriptural, pseudo-grace confusion that is served up by these men.


31 comments:

  1. TETH I love the work God is doing through you. You ably showed in this post that one error just leads to more errors.

    I started a blog recently too.
    http://www.theformofthefourth.com

    Like you, I decided to be anonymous on my website, and used a favorite Bible verse as my moniker. And like your website, mine prominently features the sovereign grace of God!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    God bless your efforts,

    The Form of the Fourth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind remarks. May God bless your efforts to share what you believe with others.

      TETH

      Delete
  2. Since God does not love everyone, then why do we need to love everyone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ANON: Since God does not love everyone, then why do we need to love everyone?

      TETH: God's love for his chosen people was a love for his enemies because all of them were by nature children of wrath even as others (Ephesians 2:3). When we love our enemies (Matthew 5:44) we are entering into the same SORT of love that God had for his undeserving people and this teaches us something of the magnitude of grace that was extended toward us in eternal salvation.

      TETH: The more intriguing questions to me are:

      1. If Christ loves his people as the Father loves him (John 15:9) can such a love consign any of them to hell when salvation is by the work of Christ alone? I believe the only possible answer to that question is a resounding "No" and this tells us that God does NOT love all of humanity, even as the bible explicitly states (Romans 9:13, Psalm 5:5, 11:5). It is God's divine prerogative to show mercy on whom he will and this is a manifestation of his goodness toward a people chosen by grace (Exodus 33:19).

      2. If the love of God is that from which people cannot be separated (Romans 8:31-39) and hell has human occupancy then is it not evident that God did not love all of humanity? It seems there are a couple of ways that one might reconcile this dilemma. One might say that hell is an expression of God's love and thus they are loved in hell just as much as they were prior to hell. This is daffy at the outset in that it defines the everlasting love of God as the eternally abiding wrath of God - which is an identify fallacy in that it defines a thing by its antonym. What's more, in this view it is evident that the love of God is NO DETERMINING FACTOR in the eternal salvation of anyone - a clear violation of scripture (John 3:16). On the other hand, one might suggest that salvation is synergistic and that God's love alone is insufficient to procure salvation. In such a system the deficiency that caused any man to fall shy of salvation is found in man and thus God could cay, "I loved you all but you didn't love me back, so I'm sending you to hell." This synergistic system is likewise contradicted by many scriptures that attribute ALL of our salvation to the work of God and NONE to us (Ephesians 2:8-9, II Timothy 1:9, Romans 9:16, John 1:13, Titus 3:5, etc.)

      TETH: So while the notion that God does NOT love all of humanity is very unpopular in Christendom today, I believe it is utterly unavoidable if we have a sober, biblical, and rational view toward reconciling the claims of scripture. Indeed, God himself describes his goodness in salvation as a particular mercy extended to some but not all (Exodus 33:19).

      God bless,
      TETH

      Delete
  3. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If God chooses some to be saved and others to be condemned, doed it not mean that He is playing favouritism?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God's choice to save some and not all of fallen humanity does NOT, of necessity, mean that God "is playing favouritism." That is because the reason for the choice does not arise from some attribute of any person that God favors. The bible teaches that his motivation is based entirely in his own sovereign choice to have mercy on whom he will have mercy (Exodus 33:19) and that the motivation was his love for a chosen, covenant people whom he purposed to save for his own glory.

      Consider this: What could God "favor" among a group of fallen people? Any attribute to which one could ascribe favor would be an evil attribute of a fallen people. Thus any choice based on such an attribute would be a choice based upon that which is evil. God's election and salvation is NOT evil and therefore the cause and motivation must be found in the sovereign prerogative of God himself and not in some human attribute external to himself which he chose to "favor" - even as the bible states.

      God bless,
      TETH

      Delete
  4. I believe God chose some to be saved and others to be condemned. God does as he pleases. So wouldn't it mean that he takes pleasure in the condemnation of the wicked?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ANON: I believe God chose some to be saved and others to be condemned.

      TETH: I believe that God chose to set his love upon some and to save them from their sins and that the motivation for this election was based entirely on God's good pleasure (Ephesians 1:4-6) and not on anything found in the chosen themselves (Exodus 33:19). The rest of fallen humanity God passed over and will justly punish for their sins (Matthew 25:41).

      ANON: God does as he pleases. "

      TETH: True. But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased." (Psalm 115:3)

      ANON: So wouldn't it mean that he takes pleasure in the condemnation of the wicked?

      TETH: Not exactly. It means that the condemnation of the wicked is in keeping with "whatsoever he hath pleased." Since their condemnation is just, the judgment is also just, and therefore in keeping with God's holy character. "The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works." (Psalm 145:17) There are verses that indicate God's delight at meeting out justice to the wicked. (Psalm 2:4) This is an aspect of God's holiness that most in Christendom today turn a blind eye to. It underscores the abject sinfulness of man and God's disposition toward sin that is not covered by the intercession of Christ. Sin is a serious matter and God's attitude toward it is a consuming fire, having dreadful temporal consequences for men in this world, and horrible consequences for the non-elect in the next. Thus Paul warned, "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." (Romans 11:22) How much more dreadful is the "severity" of God toward those tainted by sin who are outside the perfect intercession and salvation of Christ?

      God bless,
      TETH

      Delete
  5. So its clear God will is for everyone to be saved. 1 Timothy 2:4 ,2 Peter 3:9.

    So if God is the one bypassing the free will of those who believe because his desire is for us to be saved as your understanding of election says. Then why does he not bypass everyone's will and make everyone saved? So do you believe in the free will of man?

    Couldn't you be mistaking the use of words such as election,predestined,chosen? Consider how all of us stood condemned and the Work of Messiah being sent was all preplanned even though God knew we would sin. He didnt even have to do it. Pretty much we were hanging over a cliff and he put a rope for us to grab through Jesus. If we dont grab the only rope available to save us it is on us not Him and that will be clear in the judgement. Frankly your view does mean God is liable for sitting on his hands and letting others perish when he clearly could have just bypassed free will to stop all from perishing if your notion of election is truth. But its not on him and he doesn't force us to grab onto the rope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TETH ANSWER ANON 101

      ANON: So its clear God will is for everyone to be saved. 1 Timothy 2:4 ,2 Peter 3:9.

      TETH: The bible’s states, “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psalm 115:3) God does as he pleases. The bible furthermore states that the sends some people to hell (Matthew 25:41). It follows that this too is an act of God doing “whatsoever he hath pleased” and thus it is most certainly NOT CLEAR that God’s will is for everyone to be saved as you suggest. If this was his will, and nothing can defeat the plan of an omnipotent God, then all men would certainly be saved – and this is not the bible’s testimony.

      TETH: So you’ll need to look more closely at what is being said in those two verses if you are to properly understand them in context. The following short video provides a biblical analysis of II Peter 3:9 that you might find interesting.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVrRlevPrtI

      ANON: So if God is the one bypassing the free will of those who believe because his desire is for us to be saved as your understanding of election says, then why does he not bypass everyone's will and make everyone saved?

      TETH: Because it he evidently was not pleased to do so (Psalm 115:3). The Lord describes his sovereign choice to show mercy on whom he will as a display of his “goodness.”

      “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Exodus 33:19)

      TETH: God was not inherently obligated to save ANYONE, but he chose to display his mercy by covenanting to save SOME and he is at liberty to do so with the world he created. Paul describes the arrangement in the following terms:

      “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,” (Romans 9:21-23)

      ANON: So do you believe in the free will of man?

      TETH: I do, provided one has a proper definition of “free will.” I would recommend the following for your consideration on that topic: tinysa.com/sermon/7101708105

      ANON: Couldn't you be mistaking the use of words such as election, predestined, chosen?

      TETH: I don’t think so. Election is a choice made by God (I Thessalonians 1:4). Predestination is the predetermining of one’s salvation (Ephesians 1:5,11, Romans 8:29-30), and chosen often refers to the choice made in election (Ephesians 1:4-6). All of these terms refer to God’s choice of a people and his purpose in saving them and conforming them to the image of His Son.

      ANON: Consider how all of us stood condemned and the Work of Messiah being sent was all preplanned even though God knew we would sin.

      TETH: True.

      ANON: He didn’t even have to do it.

      TETH: True. And if he didn’t have to save ANY of humanity then he likewise did not have to save ALL of humanity. It was his sovereign prerogative to have mercy on whom he will have mercy (Exodus 33:19).

      Delete
    2. TETH ANSWER ANON 102

      ANON: Pretty much we were hanging over a cliff and he put a rope for us to grab through Jesus.

      TETH: No. If that had been the arrangement then none of us would ever be saved. Dead men don’t grab spiritual ropes of salvation because they are spiritually incapacitated. That means that all they are able to do are things of the flesh, because they are devoid of the Spirit of God, and Jesus Christ taught that the flesh profiteth nothing (John 6:63). It is for this reason that Jesus Christ taught, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Even if you sent down a “kingdom rope of salvation” to the spiritually dead they could neither see it nor move toward it, because their carnal mind is enmity against God (Romans 8:7) and they regard the things of the spirit of God as foolishness (I Corinthians 2:14).

      ANON: If we don’t grab the only rope available to save us it is on us not Him and that will be clear in the judgment.

      TETH: That is not the arrangement. You are suggesting that salvation is the result of a bilateral covenant wherein God does his part and man must do his part in order for the covenant to be fulfilled. This arrangement requires of natural man that which he does not possess and thus it will not save ANYONE. It is for this reason that the New Covenant is unilateral and not bilateral (as the Old Covenant was). In this unilateral covenant God meets all of the conditions of salvation and the actions of the covenant beneficiaries are not conditions required to fulfill the covenant, but rather provisions of the covenant that flow from God’s covenantal promise of fulfillment based entirely upon HIS works, not ours (Titus 3:5).

      ANON: Frankly your view does mean God is liable for sitting on his hands and letting others perish when he clearly could have just bypassed free will to stop all from perishing if your notion of election is truth.

      TETH: God chose to save some, but not all and this is a manifestation of his “goodness” by God’s own testimony regarding himself and his actions (Exodus 33:19). It is a gross contradiction for you to state “He didn’t even have to do it.” (i.e., God did not have to save anyone) and then turn around and accuse him of “sitting on his hands” because he did not choose to save some. If he did not have to save ANY then he did not have to save SOME and it is therefore all of grace and goodness that he chose to save his elect.

      ANON: But it’s not on him and he doesn't force us to grab onto the rope.

      TETH: Salvation is not about man grabbing a provided rope. It is about a good shepherd who covenanted to deliver ALL of the sheep of the Lord’s flock unto eternal salvation without the loss of one. Those who believe in eternal salvation by rope-grabbing are guilty of not understanding man’s spiritual incapacitation as a result of the fall and setting forth the blasphemous assertion that Christ’s work of salvation, in and of itself, is insufficient to the task of populating heaven and it only achieves that end when it is ratified by man’s faith. Brother, faith is not a condition of the covenant, it is a provision of the covenant and it is only given to God’s covenant people (II Thessalonians 3:2, Galatians 5:22, Romans 8:9).

      God bless,
      TETH

      Delete
    3. 1 timothy 2:3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

      This isn't my opinion. This is a stated fact in the Word of God that his will is for everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Stating otherwise means God plainly did not want everyone to be saved.
      If it was all On God to save us then every man ever to live would because I actually do believe that he is omnipotent. but one of the things he chose to do in his omnipotence was give us a will to do as we please and obey or disobey.(Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

      Its your view that sees God as sitting on his hands. Not mine. When I said he didn't have to do It I was referring to extending us a way out of being judged by Him in his son paying for our transgressions. You mean it as he grabbed us and pulled us up against our will so that's the only way its a contradiction, in your view. Especially when considering the verse that clearly said it was his will to have everyone saved. So in his omnipotence as you claim all men will be saved regardless of their choices(if it were true which it is not as clearly revealed by scripture). What is the point of The day of judgement when all that mattered was that the judge had to pardon all the sin without our input(what you say he has done to the elect). If God wanted puppets he would have made yes men puppets that could not choose Him but had to chose Him. I dont blame Him in the slightest. Just give it a try get a doll who says "I love you" over and over and spend some time with it see how stimulating (or real for that matter) the relationship is.

      If you were in massive debt and a man offered you a check to pay it off but you refused to cash it or even take it for that matter for whatever reason. The debt would still stand and it would be your fault for refusing the offer not the offer-er.

      If it was always What god wants he gets then he wanted sin and he wanted people in Hell. And he wanted Satan to rebel and God would only be slightly less evil in that he wants some in hell as opposed to satan wanting all in hell. This is not the God I love and tbh The notion sickens me if that was true and I know he is not the cause of those who will be cast into hell because of verses like 1 timothy 3-4 and I will summarize with one the best representations of what I just described as truth given in scripture concerning the will of God and mans refusal to comply.

      Matthew 23:37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

      I only say any of this out of love so that you will realize the error and correct yourself as the very character of God is slandered by your interpretation.

      Delete
    4. TETH ANSWER ANON 201

      ANON: I Timothy 2:3 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” This isn't my opinion. This is a stated fact in the Word of God that his will is for everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

      TETH: There are two things we should consider when interpreting this verse: systematic reconciliation and immediate context. As I previously quoted to you, Psalm 115:3 makes it plain that God does whatsoever he pleases. It is evident that God does NOT save all men (Matthew 25:41). It therefore follows that the salvation of all men is not what God pleases to do, by unavoidable consequence. That systematic observation runs headlong into your interpretation of I Timothy 2:4 which insists that what is being said is that God desires the eternal salvation of all of humanity. This interpretation casts God as a walking contradiction who desires things that he does not desire and who does not do all that he pleases while claiming that he does. I believe the matter is only resolved when one looks at the immediate context of 1 Timothy 2. The first two verses help to clarify Paul’s point: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (I Timothy 2:1-2) Paul’s reference to “all men” is further clarified by a reference to certain types of men, namely “kings” and “all that are in authority.” Paul’s point here is that God is a SAVIOUR of ALL SORTS OF MEN, not that he desires the salvation of all of humanity. So I believe your interpretation of I Timothy 2:4, while very popular among evangelicals, is systematically and contextually short-sighted and ends up positing a contradiction as the correct interpretation. Since the scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35) we know that cannot be the proper interpretation of that passage. What’s more, if God wanted to save all men, and salvation is a function of the love of God (John 3:16) then it is impossible for any of them to be eternally damned because nothing can separate a man from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). Systematic considerations that overturn the common interpretation of I Timothy 2:4 could be multiplied but those I have set forth should cause the reasonable disciples an occasion to reconsider their position on the matter.

      ANON: Stating otherwise means God plainly did not want everyone to be saved.

      TETH: He plainly did not (Exodus 33:19) and he states this more than once in the word of God (Malachi 1:2, Romans 9:13, 9:18). Notice that last verse in particular: “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” There is no way to interpret that text as “God desires the salvation of all men.”

      ANON: If it was all On God to save us then every man ever to live would because I actually do believe that he is omnipotent.

      TETH: That’s not true. Having the POWER to save all men does not of necessity establish that one has the PURPOSE to save all men. God has the power but he did not purpose to save all men (John 10:11, 26; Matthew 25:41).

      Delete
    5. TETH ANSWER ANON 202

      ANON: but one of the things he chose to do in his omnipotence was give us a will to do as we please and obey or disobey.(Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

      TETH: Man’s fallen will is enmity against God. It is incapable of spiritual obedience because it is devoid of faith (II Thessalonians 3:2 Galatians 5:22), being devoid of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9), and thus every motion of the fallen will of man is SIN – because whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

      TETH: More devastating to the case for salvation by “will” is the bible’s explicit statements which exclude man’s will from having anything to do with how one is eternally saved:

      “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Romans 9:16)

      “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13)

      TETH: So man’s will is NOT involved in how he obtains eternal salvation at all and all systems of salvation that place the will in the critical path to eternal life are abject misrepresentations of the bible’s testimony. It is GOD’S WILL that determines who will be saved, not man’s:

      “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:5)

      TETH: Incidentally that’s yet another proof that God did not purpose to save all men, because he did not predestinate all men unto adoption.

      TETH: Finally, you should look more closely at Deuteronomy 30:15-20. Let’s do that and answer some specific contextual questions:

      “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

      Delete
    6. TETH ANSWER ANON 203

      TETH: There are several observations that are important to understanding this text:

      1. God is speaking to His people under the Old Covenant, not to all of humanity.

      2. God’s people under the Old Covenant are the type of God’s people under the New Covenant – also not all of humanity.

      3. God’s people were clearly capable of obedience to God at times (as there were regenerate among them) but all such men are regenerate already. Thus their obedience cannot be for the purpose of obtaining eternal salvation, which they already have.

      4. Notice that the rewards and punishments described are TEMPORAL in nature, not eternal. This passage is not even talking about eternal salvation at all, but temporal blessings that would come upon God’s people if they obeyed, and the chastening rod of God that would attend their disobedience.

      TETH: So I believe you rally that Deuteronomy text completely out of its context in support of your take on New Covenant eternal salvation when the passage has precisely nothing to do with eternal salvation but with the blessings of temporal obedience. This is why paying close attention to the context is important. We can’t simply rip passages out of the Old Testament and ignore their context because we think it supports our theology. I’m not saying you’re doing that on purpose, but it is a very, very common interpretive error among evangelicals in our day.

      ANON: It’s your view that sees God as sitting on his hands. Not mine.

      TETH: God’s not sitting on his hands. He simply did not purpose to save all of humanity. Hell is an indisputable monument to this fact.

      ANON: When I said he didn't have to do It I was referring to extending us a way out of being judged by Him in his son paying for our transgressions.

      TETH: Salvation is not God merely “extending us a way out.” It is God actually accomplishing our salvation by his work ALONE. If God had only extended a way, none of us would have taken it because our carnal minds are enmity against God and regard the things of the spirit of God as foolishness (Romans 8:7, I Corinthians 2:14).
      ANON: You mean it as he grabbed us and pulled us up against our will so that's the only way its a contradiction, in your view.

      TETH: There is no doubt that the salvation of man is AGAINST their carnal will. But in regeneration God writes his law upon our hearts and implants his spirit within us which changes our affections, giving us spiritual sensibilities that we did not possess when we were dead in trespasses and in sins (Jeremiah 31:31-33, Ephesians 2:1,5). The fact is that regeneration is a resurrection from the dead (Colossians 2:13) and no mere man ever willingly or actively participates in their own quickening.

      Delete
    7. TETH ANSWER ANON 204

      ANON: Especially when considering the verse that clearly said it was his will to have everyone saved.

      TETH: I’ve explained why that interpretation is a contradiction.

      ANON: So in his omnipotence as you claim all men will be saved regardless of their choices(if it were true which it is not as clearly revealed by scripture).

      TETH: Omnipotence does not insist that God will save all men. That simply does not follow. However, it does insist that his plan to save those whom he intends to save cannot be thwarted.

      ANON: What is the point of The day of judgment when all that mattered was that the judge had to pardon all the sin without our input (what you say he has done to the elect).

      TETH: The day of judgment shows forth to all the word, a great many of whom either reject or are ignorant of, God’s power in saving his people. God’s salvation will be revealed to all as a work that is TOTALLY, 100% a work of God alone without any assistance from fallen man whatsoever.

      ANON: If God wanted puppets he would have made yes men puppets that could not choose Him but had to chose Him.

      TETH: We’re not puppets, but fallen man would NEVER choose God. Consider the following testimony regarding his woeful conditions (Romans 3:10-18, Romans 8:7, I Corinthians 2:11-14, John 3:3). Men in that fallen condition are incapable of choosing God, thus the plan of election and salvation by sovereign grace which is all of God and none of man.

      ANON: I don’t blame Him in the slightest. Just give it a try get a doll who says "I love you" over and over and spend some time with it see how stimulating (or real for that matter) the relationship is.

      TETH: Of course this example does not resemble God’s relationship to his people. We are not inanimate objects. We have a will, a fallen will that would never choose God. So he chose to save some of us and to impart to us of his Spirit so that we could freely pursue a relationship with him based on love. But until God regenerates a man, he remains incapable of loving God, because love is a fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit that an unregenerate man does not have (Galatians 5:22). Ask yourself this – can an unregenerate man, whose carnal mind is enmity against God (Romans 8:7), can such a man choose to love God in sincerity? That is the complete undoing of your “salvation by choice” soteriology.

      ANON: If you were in massive debt and a man offered you a check to pay it off but you refused to cash it or even take it for that matter for whatever reason. The debt would still stand and it would be your fault for refusing the offer not the offer-er.

      TETH: That’s true, but that is not the arrangement of salvation. Salvation is not a offer of potential payment that is looking for your approval to find its efficacy. Salvation is finished payment by the Lord Jesus Christ made in a temple not made with hands proclaimed as a done deal in the gospel along with the assurance that those who believe this testimony are the beneficiaries thereof. THAT’s the gospel.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=algHC_OpXuo

      Delete
    8. TETH ANSWER ANON 205

      ANON: If it was always What god wants he gets then he wanted sin and he wanted people in Hell.

      TETH: There is no doubt that God’s plan included the permission of sin to enter the world and the ultimate punishment of some of the fallen in hell. That is just relentlessly unavoidable. Paul put it this way:

      “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,” (Romans 9:22-23)

      TETH: That may be difficult to accept, but it is the testimony of the bible regarding the Lord’s purpose and plan.

      ANON: And he wanted Satan to rebel and God would only be slightly less evil in that he wants some in hell as opposed to satan wanting all in hell.

      TETH: God created men and angels and gave them a commandment to conform to. Those creatures DID NOT adhere to the arrangement and thus stand justly condemned for their rebellion. Punishing them in hell is just, not evil. Those who would suggest that God’s punishment of the wicked is “evil” are just completely out of touch with what is good and what is evil. God is under no inherent obligation to save the fallen – you admitted this yourself – now you suggest that eternal punishment of some is “evil.” That is a gross contradiction. I believe you have not sufficiently thought through the ramifications of the things you claim to affirm.

      ANON: This is not the God I love

      TETH: That is a frightening admission given that this is the testimony of who God is in the scriptures (Romans 9:21-23, Exodus 33:19)

      ANON: and tbh The notion sickens me if that was true

      TETH: You’re sickened by a God who shows mercy on whom he will and whom he will he hardens? (Exodus 33:19, Romans 9:18) That should make you shudder, brother, because that is precisely who the God of the bible reveals himself to be. Indeed your own admission that God did not HAVE to save anyone affirms that he is perfectly within his rights to NOT SAVE all men. I believe you are very confused and that your assertions tie you in irreconcilable logical knots.

      ANON: and I know he is not the cause of those who will be cast into hell because of verses like 1 timothy 3-4

      TETH: God is not the CAUSE of them being thrown into hell. Their sin make them justly condemned. It is their sin that is the CAUSE of why God would send them to hell, because he is just and must punish sin. He either does it by condemning the person, or by condemning their substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, who took the punishment of his people at Calvary.

      Delete
    9. TETH ANSWER ANON 206

      ANON: and I will summarize with one the best representations of what I just described as truth given in scripture concerning the will of God and mans refusal to comply. Matthew 23:37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

      TETH: That verse is not even talking about eternal salvation. Indeed if it was it would be promoting the daffy notion that a few wicked Jewish rulers succeeded in sending a host of folks that Jesus was trying to save to hell. That is nonsense because NOTHING can separate a child of God from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). This passage is speaking of how these wicked leaders prevented many from entering the temporal gospel ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ – not eternal salvation. For more on this passage, as well as others that are often rallied in a similar vein, I would recommend you check out my biblical analysis of John Murray’s Free Offer of the Gospel.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3cDQSyluj8

      ANON: I only say any of this out of love so that you will realize the error and correct yourself as the very character of God is slandered by your interpretation.

      TETH: I appreciate your love, but cannot accept your accusation of slander. Let me summarize what I believe:

      1. God chose a people to save (Ephesians 1:4-6).

      2. Jesus promised to save ALL of them (John 17:2).

      3. The chosen does not include all of humanity (Matthew 25:41).

      4. Neither is God inherently obligated to save all of humanity (Exodus 33:19).

      5. Men are responsible for their own disobedient sins (Romans 5:12,19).

      6. God is just to condemn sin because he is holy (Revelation 20:10,14-15).

      7. Man is saved by what God does (Hebrews 1:3, 9:12, 10:10-14).

      8. Man is NOT saved by what man does (Titus 3:5, Ephesians 2:8-9).

      9. Man in his fallen state is spiritually dead and enmity against God (Ephesians 2:1, Romans 8:7).

      10. Thus salvation is not a function of the will (John 1:13, Romans 9:16).

      11. Nothing can separate a child of God from God’s love for him (Romans 8:31-39).

      Delete
    10. TETH ANSWER ANON 207

      TETH: Those points of doctrine are utterly unassailable and they are major reasons why salvation is by the sovereign grace of God. I would ask you to consider several ways that these precepts contradict the view of salvation you are setting forth here:

      - Your system depends on human will and the bible excludes the will (Romans 9:16).

      - Your system insists that Christ’s blood alone does not save anyone. Man’s ratification must take place for the blood of Christ to find its efficacy.

      - Your system posits a Jesus who is trying to save everyone but failing in many, many instances.

      - Your system posits a Jesus who does NOT keep the covenant promises.

      - Your system relies upon carnal man, who is enmity against God, to make a decision to love and follow God.

      TETH: All of these ideas, while rampantly popular in Christendom today, are totally unscriptural in equal measure. The truth is, your doctrine that suggests that the blood of Christ FAILS in millions of cases to save people is the true assault on the character of God. Paul says, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34) and your doctrine rises up and says, “The death of Christ accomplishes absolutely NOTHING because man has total veto power.” It should give you considerable pause that your answer is totally contrary to Paul’s case for the absolutely efficacy of the blood of Christ in procuring the salvation of his people.

      God bless,
      TETH

      Delete
    11. Well you seem to have all this rehearsed out and dialed in to answering objections and blinding yourself to the truth of Gods love and will for all man to come back to him. There is no paraphrasing 1 timothy 3-4 and Matthew 23:37 there is no context for that plain statement needed. It says what it says and if someone said to you on the street "I wish/will all people on earth had a sandwich this second" you would not question whether he meant that he wanted all humans on earth to have a sandwich this second" because it is obvious what he meant. I dont doubt that realizing the Picture of God you worshipped / heard men reason of and or created in your mind and have preached for so long is a false evil fabricated confused picture of what the true God is hard to swallow. your concerns over me not holding to the same evil picture of God you get from wrong interpretations of his word dont alarm me. Its a grotesque and shameful lie to say God is responsible for the sins of the wicked and made beings that he gave no chance to become His nor did he care to help them in there time of need. Satan Had His will and its unfortunate that others followed but thats part of What God desired is that Satan wasnt a Compliant Robot Either.

      instead of trying to make 1 timothy 3-4 say what you would rather it say and fit into your interpretations like smashing a puzzle piece into a wrong spot of a puzzle and calling it good, you could accept the plain truth it says and realize all the other verses you quote make a whole lot more sense when you branch back from the understanding that Our God DOES want everyone saved. No single shred of scripture can be ignored or else you can make a mess of this magnitude and lead to evil conclusions like Painting God as an evil senseless torturer of his creation who doesn't desire to be with his very own created beings from the outset for no reason. That last sentence I typed should appall you and make you realize how wrong you and other calvinists/ psuedo calvinist are. and If it doesn't then Im very saddened for you..
      Its like having children and then desiring one of them to fail and the other to succeed. Its Disgusting when you draw this error out to its conclusion into a reality setting and not a theological faceless puzzle. If you ever have children would you give a good gift to one of your children and bad gifts to the other when you had the ability to provide good for both? they could both deny you and walk away and not accept your gifts i might add.

      Delete
    12. There's a lot of contextual and systematic qualifiers for I Timothy 2:4 and Matthew 23:37, such as John 17:9 and Romans 8:31-39 respectively. I won't belabor that point here but you're at liberty to find those cases elsewhere in my writings.

      The truth is the bible teaches sovereign election (Ephesians 1:4-6). It teaches the absolute efficacy of Christ's blood (Romans 8:31-39). It teaches that Christ did not so much as pray for the salvation of all men (John 17:2). It teaches that he shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). The suggestion that God wants everyone eternally saved is ludicrous in light of the fact that God does not elect all men nor does Christ pray for all men nor does the Spirit covenant to regenerate all men (Galatians 4:6). To suggest that God wants all men saved but that some are eternally damned nontheless is also contrary to the declaration that "our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased." (Psalm 115:3) Your doctrine insists instead that, "our God is in the heavens: he hath done SOMEWHATSOEVER he hath pleased." That is nonsense. What's more its the blasphemous notion of a failure Christ who tries to save men but fails in most instances.

      You are at liberty to believe such things, but to do so only posits a failure God whose shed blood is of absolutely NO SAVING EFFICACY whatsoever in and of itself. Apart from being ratified by man's approval, it is totally ineffectual in the salvation of men.

      The truth is - Jesus Christ is a successful savior and everyone for whom Christ died will live in Glory with God for all eternity based on God's work alone and nothing else. The simple truth is that Christ came to save the sheep (John 10:11) and some men are not sheep (v26) nor will they ever be (Matthew 23:33).

      This is an hard saying. Who can hear it?
      TETH

      Delete
  6. Yes God does pass judgement on those who do not believe and carry out evil. That is a fact but it doesn't change the fact that he wishes that he did not have to and that they would have escaped His judgement By believing in his son.

    Ezekial 33:11 Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that THEY(Emph Mine.. Not "I" turn them) turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?'

    Yes we cannot save ourself alone and if God judged us all as he could have without sending christ we would have all perished with Satan in Hell.
    Our righteousness comes because WE (WE) believed God and this belief in His righteousness and Trusting Him is Seen as righteousness in His sight. This is How he wills to remedy this bad situation and separate the sheep from the goats. Upon Being Declared Right and washed By the Work of Messiah we are a able candidate in Gods sight to receive the Holy spirit thus sealing us. God did all the work Our works did not enter this equation so we cannot say our faith was a work and boast about it, before God especially. That is why those verses you quote abut it not being us can be true while God still desiring for the ones who didnt accept his salvation without excuse.. Belief is not a work. It is the method with which God deems Us Righteous Through His Sons Sacrifice. This was a Predestined Scheme and No glory can go to the elect, Only God.

    I wasn't suggesting God is Evil for being the Judge who sends People to hell if it is warranted (judges THEM for their works not Himself for failing to try to save them i might add). This is the Plan that he wills in those verses you quote. Im just thankful God has Granted me the Truth to see the Calvinistic Lie of blatantly hateful God for what it is. Satanic Slander.

    The blood of Christ is 100% effective for those who drink. Jesus will come through the door people open for him, all who look to the raised snake in the wilderness were healed, all who eat the Flesh and Drink the Blood of Christs sacrifice through belief will be saved. Note that all those scenarios involved definitive action on the part of the man. How else do you explain Jesus standing at the door and knocking? Why would he even knock if we didn't have free will to open but he could just barge in at any time? The Blood of Christ is 100% effective and all men could grab a hold of this Gift of God but we know God declares not all men do and it is tragic but true that they didn't want it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment slipped past me some months ago. I would recommend that you check out my article on John Murray's Free Offer of the Gospel available on my blog and YouTube channel as it deals with the sister passage to the Ezekiel passage you reference above and explains why the interpretation set forth by many is invalid.

      https://theearstohear.blogspot.com/2012/10/book-review-01-john-murray-free-offer.html

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3cDQSyluj8

      May God bless our studies and understanding of his word,
      TETH

      Delete
  7. Teth, what does it mean by "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" in Hebrews 10:26?

    And why are there so many warnings given to believers concerning salvation if it is God who secures it?

    These warnings are — Rom 8:13; 1Cor 15:1-2; Gal 5:19-21; Gal 6:8; Eph 5:5-6; Col 1:22-23; Col 3:5-6; and Heb 10:26-27.

    ReplyDelete
  8. ANON: Teth, what does it mean by "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" in Hebrews 10:26?

    TETH: It means there is no sacrifice for sin other than Christ. If they're struggling with that as sufficient cause to root out their willful practice of sin there's nowhere else to point them. But it is important to recognize the full context in which those remarks are made. The next verse (v27) speaks of a judgment that will come upon them and the next verse affirms that that this judgment falls upon "His people" (v28). That is speaking of a temporal judgment falling upon disobedient children of God (the elect), because they alone are His people (Matthew 1:21, John 17:2). So context is incredibly important in understanding the latter part of Hebrews 10 and it is often overlooked by those who invoke this verse to speak of eternal damnation.

    ANON: And why are there so many warnings given to believers concerning salvation if it is God who secures it?

    TETH: Because there is eternal salvation which was secured by Christ for ALL of his elect, and the salvation from this untoward generation (temporal salvation) that has to do with how we live as disciples and speaks of the various temporal punishments and consequences we will encounter in this life if we sin willfully against God. David was eternally saved. When he sinned with Bathsheba and subsequently murdered Uriah he did not lose his eternal salvation, but he lost temporal salvation in many respects because he brought great consequences and the chastising rod of God into his life that he would have avoided had he been obedient to God. The manifold admonitions to obedient discipleship design the latter - temporal salvation from this untoward generation, from the natural practice of sin which so easily besets even the regenerate child of God.

    ANON: These warnings are — Rom 8:13; 1Cor 15:1-2; Gal 5:19-21; Gal 6:8; Eph 5:5-6; Col 1:22-23; Col 3:5-6; and Heb 10:26-27.

    TETH: All of those are dealing with temporal punishments (loss of temporal salvation) that result from walking in disobedience.

    TETH: So to summarize all of that I'd want to just say that any sober interpretation of Hebrews 10:26 must be reconciled with John 10:28.

    God bless,
    TETH

    ReplyDelete
  9. Teth, I don't understand what you mean by "If they are struggling with that as sufficient cause to root out their willful practice of sin, there's nowhere else to point them."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ANON: I don't understand what you mean by "If they are struggling with that as sufficient cause to root out their willful practice of sin, there's nowhere else to point them."

      TETH: I mean that the remarks in Hebrews 10 are made in reference to a gospel converted audience who are backsliding. They've already heard the gospel of their salvation which when properly understood is the greatest motivation for rooting out sin in one's life. If someone is losing sight of that motivation, what could you proffer to motivate them more? Those who know gospel truth and who persist in sin after hearing such are being warned of the temporal judgments that will fall upon "His people" during this lifetime as a result even as temporal judgments of the law fell upon God's people under the Old Covenant.

      TETH: In essence it's saying, "They've already heard the greatest motivation possible. If that doesn't move them to earnestly strive to depart from sinning willfully, then nothing else will motivate them." Incidentally, I believe the bible provides examples of "His people" who fell into this woeful state through their own willful disobedience such as Samson, Lot, and Solomon.

      TETH: Again, the key point in understanding the nature of the "judgment" (v27) and "punishment" (v29) of Hebrews 10 is found in the "His people" (v30).

      God bless,
      TETH

      Delete
  10. Teth, I don't understand how you get the idea that that verse means "no more motivation."? Isn't that verse talking about "no more sacrifice"? So how did you get the idea of "losing motivation" from that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ANON: I don't understand how you get the idea that that verse means "no more motivation."?

      TETH: The hearing of the truth of Christ's sacrifice is the primary motivation of love that inspires a child of God to serve his loving Father in heaven.

      ANON: Isn't that verse talking about "no more sacrifice"?

      TETH: Yes, it is talking about the sacrifice. That sacrifice demonstrates God's love for us (John 15:13) and as such it is the greatest motivator for us to serve God in loving and obedient discipleship (II Corinthians 5:14, John 14:15). When someone has heard of Christ's loving sacrifice through the gospel, and yet finds it insufficient to constrain their behavior and they choose to sin willingly, there's no OTHER or NEW sacrifice to point to in order to renew some sense of dedication. In essence, if the sacrifice they've already heard is not motivating them, there's nowhere else to point them and if they persist in disobedience they will be harshly punished for it. So the concept of Christ's sacrifice and our motivation for obedient service are integrally conjoined.

      ANON: So how did you get the idea of "losing motivation" from that?

      TETH: Because the loving sacrifice of Christ is the ultimate motivator for obedient discipleship. There's nowhere else to look for motivation if that motivation is not working in someone's life. You can't say, "Christ died AGAIN" and expect any additional motivation, because the primary motivation is already known and rejected and because no such additional sacrifice exists. You can't say, "But God is your creator." That's not more compelling that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross out of love for you when you were ungodly and without strength.

      TETH: So the entire passage is a warning against the dreadful hardness of heart that can arise in the lives of God's sheep if they lose sight of Christ's loving sacrifice for them. Again, key in all of this is to recognize that this is speaking of "His people" who will be judged if they fall into this error, and since they cannot lose the salvation they already possess (John 10:28) then the judgment in view is temporal in nature - the chastisement of God that comes upon disobedient children of God in this lifetime.

      God bless,
      TETH

      Delete
  11. Teth, please don't mind me for not thanking you for clarifying my doubts. I just want to ensure the information I received from you is indeed the truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ANON: Teth, please don't mind me for not thanking you for clarifying my doubts.

      TETH: I don't mind. We are told to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" (I Peter 3:15) I enjoy sharing what I believe whether folks choose to thank me or not because the truth is delightful and it is a great source of comfort and stability in my life.

      ANON: I just want to ensure the information I received from you is indeed the truth.

      TETH: That is a noble pursuit and I admire your dedication to it. No one should believe something simply because I have said it but they should search the scriptures to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11). That is how we grow as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and how we avoid being cast around by every wind of doctrine, by looking to the word of God as the source of what we believe about our Lord and Savior and how we ought to live.

      God bless,
      TETH

      Delete