Perseverance: A Reply to Randall

Randall challenged me to re-open the discussion on the perseverance of the saints (POTS) or “once saved, always saved.” Historically, the Churches of Christ have rejected this view uniformly, but now there is movement in some circles toward a more Calvinistic or Baptist understanding.

I may not post on this question at quite the same pace as on other topics, but it’s something I have thought about. And I’ve offered my views on the perseverance of the saints (POTS) many times (I disagree). And I’ve been disagreed with many times, usually very articulately.

And so, Randall, I’ll make these deal with you. Since here we are in the midst of a discussion of Hebrews, let’s talk about the views in Hebrews on POTS. Too often, when we run into a difficult passage, we respond, “It can’t mean that because of what John or Paul said somewhere else!” But we can’t just write Hebrews out of the New Testament. I’m not saying you can’t refer to other passages; I’m just saying let’s not talk past each other. The discussion needs to be about what Hebrews says — at least for a while.My comment box is filled with very clever arguments for why — on principle — Hebrews can’t mean what I think it says, but I don’t recall any POTS supporter ever actually wrestling with the text in his comments. And I’m all about the text.

I take the apparent POTS verses in John and elsewhere to refer to the “perfect forever” parts of Hebrews, which, if read out of context, would seem to also support POTS. Indeed, they do make POTS normative in a healthy church. It just doesn’t make POTS exclusive. Hebrews seems to pretty plainly say the Christians can fall away — and I think I’ve seen it actually happen.

But if I’ve misread Hebrews, what does it really mean?

PS — I take no ownership of my position. I’d be perfectly happy to learn that POTS is always true. I just don’t think it’s the best reading of the texts.

Even if it is true, it doesn’t seem to change much of anything, because the corollary is that there are many people who feel and act saved who really aren’t — we just won’t know until they fall away.

As a result, I find little comfort in POTS compared to what I teach. After all, both permit someone to fall away, it’s just that I teach they were saved until they weren’t, whereas the POTS teacher concludes that they were never saved, even though they showed every outward sign of having been saved and subjectively felt and believed themselves saved.

Therefore, under POTS, there’s little assurance of present salvation. Indeed, someone could die while showing every sign of having been saved, but a POTS teacher would have to conclude that they may have never been saved — they just didn’t live long enough for their true condition to become manifest.

I think my view is actually stronger and more comforting than the POTS view. But I know plenty of good Christians and congregations that teach POTS.

Advertisements

375 Responses

  1. Jay,
    I am surprised, indeed honored, that my opinions and objections carry enough weight with you that I would see my name as the first word of this post. No doubt your regular participants already sense the limitations of my biblical and theological education. That is, I have a minor in Bible from ACU – graduated in the early 1970s – and no formal study of Greek at all.

    On the other hand, I was raised and in the CofC and have spent most of my life there so I grew up on the Bible and the principle that scripture is what is important and we should meditate on it and regard it as authoritative. Of course, I also learned that we ALL place more weight on one scripture than another and read some passages dozens of times for every one time we skim another. Without even realizing it I had Acts 2:38 memorized by the time I was six or eight. It was even suggested that Paul wrote Hebrews, frequently so that we could use Hebrews to discount Paul.

    I also love theology and only consider something to be “good” theology if it is of practical value. I think POTS is very practical, and the knowledge that God will see me through to the end has been a great comfort to me, especially in times when I might have considered giving up. Knowing that since God is for me it does not matter who is against me (including myself) can be quite an encouragement to continue on i.e. I may have stumbled but I know it is not so as to have fallen headlong. While “systematic theology” is secondary to “biblical theology” that does not mean it is w/o some appeal in this type of discussion.

    A few decades ago I was involved in a study of Systematic Theology. I loved that study: we met one Friday night per month for many years. We took breaks around the holidays and when necessary and it really gave a person time to mull things over, both when we were together and when we were not. There was a lot of value in that study. It was also during that time that I learned again it was more important to be biblical than to be systematic. It did not happen often, but there were times when I felt like some teaching was being pushed more for the sake of being systematic than b/c it was biblical. The pounding a square peg into a round hole thing. I suspect you may feel that way about the doctrine of POTS. Anyway, it should be worth discussing.

    Focusing this discussion of POTS on Hebrews may be a little like focusing a discussion of salvation by grace through faith (not works) on James rather than the Pauline writings, but Hebrews should be considered so long as one knows there won’t be a comprehensive discussion w/o drawing on other scriptures. I am certainly willing to go along with it since you have indicated you’re “not saying you can’t refer to other passages.”

    Above you said: “But if I’ve misread Hebrews, what does it really mean?” I think that is a very appropriate question to ask but no more so than my question: If I have misread texts from John and Paul, what do they really mean? After all, we don’t even know who wrote Hebrews and whoever it is, the person wrote only this one letter that became canon. It is not altogether illogical to assign more weight to Paul or John than an unknown author.

    More importantly though, I think both of us regard ALL of the Bible as inspired, profitable, and authoritative. Both of us simply want to understand it well, indeed, better than we understand it now. I hope this continues to be participated in by other readers and does not become simply a dialogue. Royce and others have made many contributions in their comments. I suspect John Mark Hicks has lurked here from time to time and he would be a really valuable resource for those that do not affirm POTS. I have high regard for his scholarship and much appreciation for the tone of his on-line comments, but I have no idea as to whether he has the time or participate.
    Peace,
    Randall

  2. I am confident of my salvation but at times as I have said before I have not always enjoyed the abundant life that comes from a true relationship with Christ.

    When I read Hebrews 6 :9 and Hebrews 11:39I feel more confident. There are however passages in2 Peter 2:20-22 that make one wonder. I am not at all skilled in Greek and at times have no idea what Paul or Peter may have in mind or what the Greek context may mean.

    I truly believe if you have received and acknowledge the holy Spirit your salvation is assured because you have been or in the process of transformation.

    It will be interesting to hear from you who are more skilled at the Greek and grammer.

    Bob

  3. Over on Question 5 at California Letter, a Royce Ogle asked me the following:

    “Rey, why would you ever imagine that a Christian would run with whores, want other people’s stuff, worship idols, etc?“

    I think my answer is sufficient to destroy the silly doctrine of OSAS.

    Why would Paul? I’m just quoting him. And the answer to some extent is because we’ve seen it (both Paul and myself). That’s why he has to urge “let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;” (Eph 5:3) because he knows it is being named among them. As in 1 Corinthians 5:1 “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.”

  4. (2 Pet 2:20-22) If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

    It is possible to become so hardened that you’ll separate yourself from Jesus, never to repent again. God will always take you back, if you repent, but some will never repent.

    But you quite obviously aren’t in that category — because you obviously have a penitent heart.

  5. I think most people come to a pretty firm conclusion on a topic like this based on a set of passages they have been taught, and then later, when they encounter “difficult” passages, they try to find a way to fit them into their conclusion. So which side you come out on depends on which set of passages you were taught first.

    And when we get into these discussions, each side wants to start from “their” set of passages, and then make the others fit. So we end up talking past each other.

    There was a time when it was widely believed that Paul wrote Hebrews. I wonder whether the doubts people raise about that today are based on the supposed difference between the Hebrews view and the Romans view of grace, POTS questions, etc. But if both were inspired by God, it really doesn’t matter whose pen He used. If both are scripture (of course they are!) then they are in perfect agreement. If they appear to contradict, that means we really don’t understand them correctly. In all likelihood we don’t understand either one quite right.

    So maybe we shouldn’t act so confident about our conclusions, on either side.

  6. Jay, I recently discovered your blog. I really appreciate what I see here. Raised in a very conservative COC, I have heard one side of these arguments for years, and I am so pleased the Spirit is opening up doors for us to reconsider some of our traditional positions.

    On this subject of POTS, I think what you wrote above is especially poignant:

    “Even if it [POTS] is true, it doesn’t seem to change much of anything, because the corollary is that there are many people who feel and act saved who really aren’t — we just won’t know until they fall away.

    As a result, I find little comfort in POTS compared to what I teach. After all, both permit someone to fall away, it’s just that I teach they were saved until they weren’t, whereas the POTS teacher concludes that they were never saved, even though they showed every outward sign of having been saved and subjectively felt and believed themselves saved.

    Therefore, under POTS, there’s little assurance of present salvation. Indeed, someone could die while showing every sign of having been saved, but a POTS teacher would have to conclude that they may have never been saved — they just didn’t live long enough for their true condition to become manifest.”

    I too wonder how anyone can ever truly feel saved under these conditions. It seems to be the other side of the coin to the stress-ridden “in again out again” experience of purely works-based salvation.

    The arguments back and forth on POTS are in a large sense academic. Both sides claim salvation is by grace and emphasize Rom. 6:1. In practice, both sides believe the “believer” who has abandoned all evidence of godly living either is no longer a believer or never was one in the first place. To rip Paul completely out of context, “There is no difference”. 🙂

    Keep up the good work on this blog.

  7. Amazing Grace

    While living in east Asia some years ago I became acquainted with a Baptist missionary. I recall him saying that he never ceased to be amazed at the grace of God. That God would continue to love us (and this Baptist missionary) in spite of our rebellion and low down ways truly is an amazing thing. Of course, his comment immediately brings to mind Newton’s hymn, Amazing Grace. I believe it was my comment that we use the word “grace” but don’t mean the same thing by it that may have prompted Jay to write this post and take my comment as a challenge. I even went so far as to suggest that using the same words but reinterpreting the meaning and claiming to be the only ones saved are marks of a cult. I don’t think the CofC is a cult, but it does share some marks of one. These are the most striking examples and these are the ones that those that do call us a (borderline?) cult cite most frequently.

    Here are the lyrics to the song Amazing Grace:

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
    That saved a wretch like me.
    I once was lost but now am found,
    Was blind, but now I see.

    T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
    And Grace, my fears relieved.
    How precious did that Grace appear
    The hour I first believed.

    Through many dangers, toils and snares
    I have already come;
    ‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
    and Grace will lead me home.

    The Lord has promised good to me.
    His word my hope secures.
    He will my shield and portion be,
    As long as life endures.

    Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.

    When we’ve been there ten thousand years
    Bright shining as the sun.
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’ve first begun.

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
    That saved a wretch like me.
    I once was lost but now am found,
    Was blind, but now I see.

    Note that Newton never makes any reference to our free will nor our ability to persevere on our own. He suggests that we were blind with regard to spiritual matters and God made us to see. It is God’s grace that brought us this far and it is God’s grace that will lead us home. That is, our conversion is a work of God’s grace and our perseverance to the end is the work of God’s grace.

    Try reading the hymn and every time you see the word “grace” replace it with “my free will.” When we do that it sounds silly. Only a hard core Pelagian could do such a thing and mean it. I understand that all of us (self included) are inconsistent in our theology. I would suggest that we love Calvinism (at least much of it) until someone points out that it is Calvinism and then we back away from it. Nearly all of us love this hymn, we just never took the time to understand what Newton is actually saying. But the thoughts sound good to us when we think of God’s providence in our lives.

    But do we really mean the same thing Newton did when we speak of the grace of God? Many in the CofC do not. We use the same word that other Christians use but we mean something different, something less when we say it. It is something that makes up for the little that we lack, that we couldn’t do on our own, rather than something to which we owe all that we have and are.

    Do we really believe that I was lost but now am found? That credits God with seeking and saving me, not me with finding my way to God. “The Lord has promised good to me” i.e. salvation, NOT damnation. We don’t really believe this do we? I think some of us would like to reduce that phrase to God has promised to do some good things for us, but in context it speaks of promising us eternal good. Do we understand that “His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.” That is saying my security is based on Him, not on my ability to follow through. He will shield me from evil and I know I can endure because of his word. It is worth so much more than my own.

    And there is that word “wretch.” How many times have I heard church folks, even elders, dispute it as being appropriate to us. After all, we are men made in the image of God. We are not wretches according to many. I hear popular preachers talk about “My imago dei is …” and then they go on to talk about some positive attribute they have like it is not a gift straight from the hand of God. That would be the most appropriate time to acknowledge what God has done for, to or through them. How Pelagian and how American of us. In the CofC (and other American churches) there actually is an intellectual current that teaches we are pretty good people, better than much of the rest of the world, and that is doubly true if talking about the third world e.g. Haiti.

    We have slipped a ways in our theology so there may be room for us to move back towards our Calvinistic Presbyterian and Baptist roots. By His grace, they love God too.

    Peace,
    Randall

  8. Wish I’d known you were going to write this before I started my own series on this topic. I’ve got more questions than answers, so hopefully I can tag along behind you.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  9. Jay, I totally agree with you anyone can fall away. I do have a difference with your thinking, in this way.
    Jay said “it’s just that I teach they were saved until they weren’t, whereas the POTS teacher concludes that they were never saved,”
    I say they were on the way to salvation, before they took that last detour. No one who is truly within the hands of God can be lost, but you are never in those hands until Jesus judges you fit to be there. Justified.

  10. Our family has been looking at this issue very critically lately for personal reasons and I have to say we don’t buy into the OSAS belief as our background is conservative C of C. We are afraid it can be looked at as a license to sin after being saved.

    But we have found a church that has this belief yet it is very obvious that God is working in this church and their highest priority is reaching the lost which we believe is a very important. After much discussion and study about it, we still do not buy into OSAS but are coming to the belief that this is a disputable matter that should not get in the way of joining God’s people who are passionately going after the lost.

    Question. Could the verses in Hebrews and 2 Peter and elsewhere (parable of the sower, etc.) be talking about someone hearing the Gospel yet turning their back on it and never accepting it and therefore having a harsher judgment? Does the Greek indicate anything either way on this? The English translation simply talks about those who “know” the truth (ex. “known the way of righteousness” as stated in 2 Peter). It does not say those who “acccept” the way of righteousness. Is that me looking too hard at the English translation or is their a difference in the Greek?

    Thanks so much for this blog as I have come across it the last couple of weeks and am growing and being encouraged tremendously because of it.

  11. What church would ever believe or follow after a false teacher who admits they are a false teacher?

    2 Peter 2:20-21 is about false teachers. Careful not to take verses out of context.

    2 Peter 18-19 “For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.”

    They have gained knowledge of the Savior and claim to be Christians, claiming to be one of us, but their words and ways prove them to be false teachers.

    The Lord will help and deliver those who are truly His from their destructive devices.

    2 Peter 2:9 “then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.”

    1 John 2:18-19 “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”

  12. I think the controversy over OSAS is a consequence of a Modern / Age of Reason approach to scripture — parsing words, as if the scriptures were a computer program, taking each statement as comprehensive, unambiguous, absolute, meaning everything it could possibly mean, independent of what is said elsewhere. We read it like a legal contract. I don’t think it was intended to be read that way. And because we do read it that way, we end up confused and divided.

  13. The perseverance of the Holy Spirit is far different that the perseverance of the saints.

  14. 2 Peter 2:20-22 is about false teachers. Careful not to take verses out of context.

  15. In this comment I would like to reply to a comment or two above. Some are of the opinion that a belief in POTS has no practical value or that there is little comfort in believing it. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I would not deny anyone that liberty. On the other hand, it is interesting that these statement are made by those that deny that God will cause the Christian to persevere to the end. Just as I can not know the heart of another, so another can not know the heart of a person that does believe in POTS – not to be confused with OSAS or once saved, always saved sometimes called the doctrine of eternal security – although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

    POTS is the P in TULIP i.e. that God will cause those that he has called and saved to persevere to the end. Those that affirm TULIP of even four or those points (dropping the “L”) believe that just as their calling and justification was the result of the work of God, that same God will cause them to persevere in faith. That is, their faith rests on God’s ability to make it happen rather than confidence in their own ability to make it happen. I find much comfort in this as I trust God, his unfailing love toward me so much more than I trust my own ability to remain true to Him. I not only could fail, I almost certainly would fail. But God cannot fail at that to which He is committed, in this case my salvation. If others have difficulty understanding the comfort there then that is for them to wrestle with, if they are so inclined.

    In Hosea (representing God) we see his wife, Gomer (representing Israel), be the harlot and Hosea goes and buys her back out of the slave market for 15 shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley which is worth an additional 15 shekels of sliver – total price: 30 pieces of silver, what a coincidence! He did this b/c of his unfailing love for her, not b/c she was all repentant and begging for his forgiveness. This is representative of God’s unfailing love towards those that are his in spite of their worse than reprehensible behavior. I believe the Hebrew word for this unfailing love, or lovingkindness (mercy in Psalm 23) is “hesed.” We see it in the NT as agape and speak of unconditional love. But note how unconditional love is not taught so much in the CofC. In fact the congregation I attend has had at least one elder (I think more) deny God’s unconditional love precisely b/c he understands the term. In the CofC we do not believe that God loves us unconditionally. We believe he continues to love us if we do everything right aka DAISY or among the progressives (as taught by Jay) he continues to love us i.e. we do not lose our salvation, until we become unrepentant and harden our hearts towards him and walk away. There is NO assurance of salvation under DAISY and a fair amount of assurance of salvation in the progressive view, but never the assurance of salvation to be found in POTS. In my opinion there is much comfort to be found in the knowledge that God has loved me with an everlasting love and by his power and wisdom and love and guidance I shall persevere. He knows all my frailties, all my corruption, all my weakness, yet he created me and set his love upon me and no power on earth can shake my standing with him. Indeed it is Jesus who died for me sitting at his right hand interceding on my behalf. Who shall separate me from the love of God … please read the rest of the passage for your own edification and encouragement.

    What we grew up on: Above Alan said: “I think most people come to a pretty firm conclusion on a topic like this based on a set of passages they have been taught, and then later, when they encounter “difficult” passages, they try to find a way to fit them into their conclusion. So which side you come out on depends on which set of passages you were taught first.” Alan said it as well as anyone could and I suspect most of us have found his comment to ring true in our won experience. In my case it was different. I was raised on the belief that once could fall in and out of salvation almost daily aka the doctrine jokingly referred to as DAISY. You were saved b/c you believe the right things and acted the right way and when you didn’t act the right way you were lost until you repented and prayed for forgiveness and then you were saved again until the cycle repeated itself. In the case of a teenager with impulse control issues and raging hormones that could be problematic. 😉 I may have been in and out of salvation dozens of times per week, every week without fail. I didn’t want to be bad, it seems I just enjoyed it so much. With no assurance of salvation, no belief in the indwelling Spirit, no confidence in God to strengthen me, you can easily imagine that I gave up on this stuff. Sure I would return from time to time, only to repeat the cycle again and again. Then I went off to college and was introduced to other Christian thought and emphasis on other scriptures that were glossed over in the my past. But after college I attended a CofC, a progressive congregation, but still a CofC and thoughts lay dormant.

    However, I knew how to read, and I had been taught of God’s love for sinners in the CofC (I qualified as much as anyone I knew) and in the CofC I was also taught that we believe what we believe BECAUSE THE BIBLE teaches it (sorry didn’t mean to yell, it was just for emphasis), not b/c our priest told us to believe it like those silly Catholics. So I began to actually listen to other teaching and read books and eventually changed my thinking on the matter. Of course, I attribute this to God’s response to my prayer that he lead me where I should go and that he teach me to understand his word and his will – and I believe he put it in my heart to ask him to do these things for me and so to him alone be the glory. I also readily acknowledge that much of my theological understanding is necessarily flawed (as is yours) b/c we are finite men and women struggling to understand God and his eternal will and purpose for us. Being finite creatures, chances are high that we are confused about some of the details. May the person that disagrees with that please explain the doctrine of the trinity or how Jesus could be fully God and fully man at the same time. So when Alan says “So which side you come out on depends on which set of passages you were taught first” is generally true, but I assure you there are more than you may think that were raised on DAISY and have now come to think a lot more like TULIP. God can enable us to overcome even ourselves.

    One key factor that influenced my thinking is known as the Analogy of faith. I have copied a few paragraphs from Theopdia – http://www.theopedia.com/Analogy_of_faith – to introduce the concept though it is well known to many of us:
    BEGIN THEOPEDIA
    The analogy of faith was a key principle of interpretation taught by the Reformers which which teaches that Scripture should interpret Scripture. This principle is stated in the Westminster Confession (1.9) in this manner: “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.”

    “There must be a consistency in all revealed truth because it represents absolute truth in the mind of God. Therefore each passage can have only one certain and simple sense. As the infallibly inspired word of God, the Scriptures are reliable, self-consistent and carry within them all that is needed for clarity. Since all that God makes known fits with what He knows perfectly, it is always proper to assume that no contradictions or dual realities can be attached to what He speaks.” Bob Burridge

    Charles Hodge, in his Systematic Theology, has expressed the idea this way: “If the Scriptures be what they claim to be, the word of God, they are the work of one mind, and that mind divine. From this it follows that Scripture cannot contradict Scripture. God cannot teach in one place anything which is inconsistent with what He teaches in another. Hence Scripture must explain Scripture. If a passage admits of different interpretations, that only can be the true one which agrees with what the Bible teaches elsewhere on the same subject.
    END THEOPEDIA

    So it is more than a little difficult to discuss POTS only from the letter to the Hebrews just as it would difficult to discuss salvation by grace through faith only from James – after all the CofC has gone there to preach the doctrine of salvation by grace PLUS works just as Hebrews is perhaps our favorite place to go to refute POTS. But I suspect we could agree that we should understand the difficult passage of scripture from the clear passages of scripture. The hard part for some of us may be in determining which we should consider to be which and that is where the problem lies. Thus my previous comment about the writings of Paul or John possibly carrying more weight than that of a single letter by an unknown author. And just what was meant by an a Jew writing to other Jewish converts, and those in their midst who may not be true believers, might differ from someone immersed in a particular Gentile culture writing to Jewish and Gentile converts. Then again, maybe that has no bearing on how one writes when inspired, or does it?

    Peace,
    Randall

  16. It seems to me this entire debate hinges on viewing salvation as a particular point in time, rather than as a process.

    If salvation entails justification, sanctification, and glorification (and it does), it makes arguing either side seem a little silly. Maybe we should rephrase the question to ask what we’re really wanting to discuss: “Is it possible for a person to be be in a position in which, if he died today, he would go to heaven — but three years later would not.”

    We’re talking about whether or not someone goes to heaven, not salvation.

  17. Great observation, jamesbrett. The Kingdom of God is about more than going to heaven. Jesus taught us to pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What we do in this life matters to God. Salvation is a lifelong process, not a point in time.

    Heb 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
    Heb 12:29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

    1Pe 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
    1Pe 1:9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

  18. Randall

    Your explanations are great…a bit hard to follow, partially because we in the COC have been systematically brainwashed.

    Gomer (Israel) , a worn out whore that no one wanted was redeemed by Hosea. She probably would have spit in his face in return. No gratitude at all.

    How precious did that Grace appear, the hour I first believed.

    I believe that Grace is the unmerited favor of God to one that is completely undeserving. God has been working on me for many years and will do so until I die.

    I am that whore and I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. I can never merit anything. God should have exercised justice on me many times.

    I do not comprehend the mercy of God at all. We are no better than Israel. Our nation is going to Hell and the COC is so badly divided that we are mocked by the outsider and the lost who say, save yourselves before you try and save us. We don’t want all your double talk, hate and division. We can stay at home a get that. I do not know why we still use the name.

    Randall, we need to try and understand GRACE.

    Bob

  19. God IS love. He doesn’t just do it. He is it. He is the definition.

    Stepping back and assuming the Calvinistic and Reformed views of unconditional election, POTS and irresistible grace are the reality (i.e. true), I am forced to ask myself these question about life and this drama called earth:

    What is the point?

    What benefit is it to God?

    How does it satisfy His heart of love?

    How does it bring glory to Himself?

    How does it shame the principalities of darkness?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but love without choice is not love at all.

    If I am not free to choose to love God or hate God, where does He get any satisfaction at all by my life?

    I know all the verses (more or less) for both sides of the doctrinal argument.

    But big picture, I simply don’t understand the point of UNCONDITIONAL election.

    Why even have an earth? If there is no true free will, God should have just just created heavenly beings that loved and served only Him?

    My answer is: because that removes reciprocal love that is by definition a choice.

    “Blessed is the man who believes without seeing.”

    There is a supernatural gift that I offer to the Father and the Son when I choose to believe. And that belief will, by the Spirit that dwells in my heart through faith, allow me to walk in a way that is pleasing to the Father.

    Could I have done that entirely on my own? No, I desperately need His help. My love toward Him is a response to His love expressed toward me through the death of Jesus (and innumerable other gifts He lavishes on me).

    But the choice is still mine. However flawed and selfish my choice is at the beginning, it is still my choice. I can’t boast in it or foolishly find any identity in it.

    But my choice is my gift of love to Him and THAT satisfies His heart AND brings Him glory AND shames His enemies that rebelled against Him before the earth began.

    Are there details in there that need to be resolved biblically? I’m sure there are.

    But love requires choice. I don’t see any way around it.

    And either I’m progressively choosing to love Him more, with His help OR I’m choosing to love myself more.

    When can THAT choice be made? Anytime… Before the sealed covenant (baptism) or after. But it is a process not confined to singular loving or unloving choices.

    And grace as noted by Ben Overby recently: “As Dallas Willard points out in his lecture series on the kingdom, the sinner uses some grace, but it’s the Christian determined to GROW in Jesus, to develop Christ-likeness, who burns grace like a 747 burns fuel at takeoff.”

    If we use THAT grace, POTS is a moot point except for the possible comfort of those who lost a love one who seems to have turned their back on God. God will judge the dead. So let’s not invent doctrines just to make ourselves feel better. Because we the Living need to make it our number one aim to please Him and not hide behind grace to justify any lukewarmness or apathetic obedience. Not works… but obedience from a heart of love and faith in what Christ has done.

  20. As one who attends a “conservative” congregation, let me make a few comments.

    God’s love is unconditional. Picture the Father in the parable of the prodigal son. He kept watch on the road wanting his son to return.

    However, his son had left, his son was dead, his son was lost.

    The son had to “come to himself” and return.

    Does God force His children to return? No. God will not drag someone kicking and screaming to be with Him eternally.

    If OSAS or POTS is correct, then any child who is engaged in “riotous” living will always return. They may be hurting themselves temporarily, but there is no ultimate danger. The Father would not have been worried about his son returning, because, by definition, a son will always return and cannot not return.

    Of course, TULIP is a terrible set of teachings.

    God chose whether I would be saved (or not) before the foundation of the world? Wow. Sure hope he picked me.

    Jesus died only for the saints? “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” I have a difficult time with this one as well.

    No, POTS is false. TULIP does a great deal of harm.

  21. I have some sympathy for what James has said, but I think the question is broader than he makes it. I suggest that we are studying whether or not someone can be one of the saints, then cease to be that. Put another way, whether or not you can become part of the body of Christ, then cease to be part of that body.

    It’s not just about future judgment. It’s about our present state.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  22. Would God waste his time with sending the Holy Spirit or Angels to those he already knows are going to by their own temperament reject God in the end?

    Or God would not purposely hell bound people who are incapable due to inconceivable maladies or never mature enough to make a decision for salvation

    .

    !

  23. Tim, you’re right. My post probably was a little too narrow in thought. I think I “oversaid” what I intended in an attempt to make a point. I do understand our question deals with more than heaven, though I still believe our minds shift pretty far that direction when talking about OSAS or POTS. We begin to see salvation as a single point in a line, a day in the past.

    On another note, I wonder how much value there is in using what we logically can deduce about love and the like to bear on what God can and can’t do. To ask if God would waste his time doing this or that — well, we don’t really know, do we? If a thousand is one, maybe he would do just that…

    Or even on some level to say what love does and doesn’t do — as far as allowing choice, etc. If God is love, and we’re struggling to understand what that means and how to play it out in our lives, I just wonder if our logic ought to be used to determine how God acts in the world?

    That being said, I do believe we can have the mind of Christ through the Spirit. So maybe we’re fine to do that if we’re indeed in tune with the Spirit. It’s just that it seems in most issues, we use human intellect and logic alone… well, that and some scripture we found that seems to say what we want it to.

  24. Tim,

    I’m sorry for the parallel series. I saw your post in Google Reader this morning, and my heart sank.

  25. Someone said that your position depends on which set of verses you learned first. But why should that be? Jesus does tell a parable about wheat and tares both being sown in the same field. The whole notion of predestination is a tare, even the word, which the enemy sowed in the 2nd century while men were asleep (or while he had Christians on the run from the lions in the Colosseum). i dare say the same applies for the whole concept that God knows the future exhaustively. Such knowledge would render creation totally pointless, and would reduce God to the nature of an inanimate objects. A spec of dirt already knows everything it will ever know. Its mind is outside of time (as it were). So also God, if he really did know everything, would have no thoughts just like a spec of dirt. Thought require new information to spawn them. If nothing ever surprises you, then you have no thoughts. God says ‘my thoughts are higher than your thoughts’ not ‘I have no thoughts.’ Therefore, by very definition, he cannot know everything that is yet to come because then he could have no thoughts for his mind would be totally static. Such is abject blasphemy, and it is the corruptions of the philosophers of predestination and all-knowityness that the devil used to sow tares in the Scriptures that cause the majority of problems for Christians. Once you reject these tares, you can have peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Until then, you will constantly bicker and argue over meaningless nothings and vain philosophies that Satan has sowed into the field of Scripture.

  26. Thumper,

    It’s important to distinguish OSAS and POTS from each other. The idea behind POTS is that those who’ve been saved will continue to live as the saved should live until the end. The Spirit will effectively keep their hearts penitent.

    OSAS is not the original teaching of Calvin and yet is taught in some places. Some who teach OSAS teach that you can do whatever you will and still be saved — and it is indeed a bit antinomian (lawless).

    The well-instructed preachers for Baptist and Reformed Churches teach POTS not OSAS. But, at least around here, many of the guys who preach on the AM radio seem to be OSAS — and not very well instructed.

    Notice that most Southern Baptist Churches are generous in their giving, active in evangelism, strict on morality, and otherwise show no evidence of teaching antinomianism. They have their fair share of hypocrites, as do we, but they are far from teaching it’s okay to sin.

    If I thought POTS was necessarily antinomian, I wouldn’t be having this discussion. It’s a much more respectable point of view than that.

  27. Tim,

    I agree. Being saved is about more than: would you go to heaven if you died today? It’s also about: do you presently enjoy the work of the indwelling Spirit? And: are you part of Christ’s body? And more.

  28. James,

    I agree. Why speculate on what would bring the most glory to God? Some say getting all the elect into heaven. Others say having people freely choose to be a part of his church. All nice and clever.

    But what does the Bible say? After all, I’m not sold that (a) it’s purely about God seeking the greatest glory or (b) we are qualified to tell him how to gain glory. It’s just about the text.

  29. […] was going to post on the same subject yesterday. I’d encourage you to read his post “Perseverance: A Reply To Randall,” especially reading through the comments […]

  30. Jay,

    Many people’s hearts sink when they see what I’ve posted. 🙂

    The discussion here has been very profitable for me. I’m thrilled that you posted on the same subject.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  31. Some have suggested that salvation is a process rather than a one time act and we are never saved until the end. Other make a distinction between justification being a one time act and sanctification being a process that will ultimately end in glorification. I do not intend to address all this as it is just too broad. Also, I have zero interest in debating rather than discussing.

    For those that are interested John Mark Hicks blog currently has a nine part series on salvation in all its aspect and I would recommend it to all of us. Also, Arthur W. Pink (died during the 1950s I think) has a sermon available on line titled a Four Fold Salvation. Anyone could Google it and read it if they were interested.

  32. Jay, I would respectfully disagree (and I do mean respectfully).

    As Calvin’s sequence of teaching is laid out, POTS really is OSAS.

    If God fore-ordained before the foundation of the world the individuals who would and who would not be saved such that the number is fixed, then there cannot be any difference between POTS and OSAS.

    If I’m on God’s list, then either:

    I can do whatever I want and God will save me anyway…

    or

    God picked me because He knew in advance I would not fall away, although this position is more like the Arminian doctrine of conditional election.

    The key point is the unconditional election. If God has chosen me before I was born, then nothing I do or don’t do can possibly influence that. The way unconditional election is taught

    OSAS and POTS are a necessary part of the whole program. If God has chosen you and decided that you WILL be one of the saved, you cannot possibly fall away and you must persevere to the end.

    If you are not one of the unconditionally elected, then you’re out of luck.

  33. Thumper,

    1 Peter 1;1,2 says it this way. “To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 ELECT according to the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God the Father”.

    I have identical twin grandsons. I can ask them which flavor ice cream do you want? Or, I can ask do you want on your hot dog or burger and I know with certainty what the answer will be. My knowing in no way violates their free choice/will. How much more does our omniscient God know us?

    This has never been confusing to me.

    Royce

  34. Thumper,

    You seem to be confusing election and POTS. They don’t have to go together. The Southern Baptists, on the whole, teach POTS and not election.

    I have a lot of problems with the notion that God created people and chose to damn them without regard to any choice they might make. But POTS is quite another thing.

    The Wikipedia explains —

    On a practical level, Calvinists do not claim to know who is elect and who is not, and the only guide they have are the verbal testimony and good works (or “fruit”) of each individual. Any who “fall away” (that is, do not persevere unto death) must not have been truly converted to begin with, though Calvinists don’t claim to know with certainty who did and who did not persevere.

    Essentially, Reformed doctrine believes that the same God whose power justified the Christian believer is also at work in the continued sanctification of that believer. As Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and work for His good pleasure.” Thus, all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ, and can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but will persevere in their faith to the end, and be eternally saved. While Reformed theology acknolwedges that true believers will at times will fall into sin, they maintain that a real believer in Jesus Christ cannot abandon himself to the dominion of sin.

    In other words, in POTS, the Christian will live as Christias are supposed to live and so be saved in the end.

    However, as to OSAS,

    The Free Grace doctrine views the person’s character and life after receiving the gift of salvation as independent from the gift itself, which is the main point of differentiation from the traditional Calvinist view, or, in other words, it asserts that justification (that is, being declared righteous before God on account of Christ) does not necessarily result in sanctification (that is, a progressively more righteous life). Authors such as Charles Stanely have even claimed that “Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy… believers who lose or abandon their faith will retain their salvation.” Elsewhere he writes, ““The Bible clearly teaches that God’s love for His people is of such magnitude that even those who walk away from the faith have not the slightest chance of slipping from His hand.”

    While I disagree with POTS, it’s a respectable teaching. OSAS, however, runs counter to all of scripture and is, in my view, irresponsible in the extreme.

  35. “You seem to be confusing election and POTS.”

    Logically they do. Sure inconsistent people can claim to believe one without the other, buts its pure illogical stupidity.

    “While I disagree with POTS, it’s a respectable teaching. OSAS, however, runs counter to all of scripture and is, in my view, irresponsible in the extreme.”

    They are exactly the same thing, and both depend on unconditional election. Unconditional election is Satanism pure and simple, and therefore everything built on it is too.

  36. Oops. My response “Logically they do” was to “They don’t have to go together.”

  37. Jay,
    Thanks for commenting on the distinction between POTS and OSAS. I don’t see how you find the time to do that you get done! I couldn’t do it and still find the time to eat and sleep.

    You also wrote: “I have a lot of problems with the notion that God created people and chose to damn them without regard to any choice they might make. But POTS is quite another thing.”

    When I became acquainted with Calvinism my biggest objection was that it offended my sense of what is fair and not fair. Maybe I am just projecting my objection onto others, but I believe this is the biggest objection that most people have to Calvinism i.e. it just doesn’t seem fair that God would choose some for salvation and be gracious to them in a special way grace and leave others in their lost condition without providing them with special grace. Is this also your objection to the doctrine, or at least one major objection?
    Peace,
    Randall

  38. I am sure there are some nuts who understand election the way it has been characterized here. To even hint that God could be unfair is a grievous sin.

    It is clear that some will be finally lost, and , according to Jesus’ teaching, more will be lost than saved. However, none of those who will be finally lost can justly say “I was not given a fair shot”. I know of no prominent Calvinist who believes that “Whosoever will let him come” is error or out of date.

    In back of all this silliness is a sovereign God who chooses. He didn’t choose all the peoples of the earth, he chose Israel. Again and again through the pages of scripture this is repeated. He didn’t choose all the Pharisees, he chose Paul to represent him.

    Jesus in John 17 spoke of those whom the Father had “given him”. He did not give him everyone. That fact in no way means that everyone is not treated fairly.

    Jay, some of your commenter’s have said God doesn’t know everything. But, he does know everything. That divine knowing allowed him to know before the foundation of the earth who would and would not come to the light of his grace. 1 Peter 1 says clearly I think that election/predestination is according to God’s foreknowledge.

    I will never understand why so many of my brothers desperately cling to a theology of salvation that puts the weight of security squarely upon the shoulders of the Christian so that he lives in constant fear. This, God never intended. The Bible is very clear that one can know he has eternal life, that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are saved, etc. I suggest that those who have no security might not be saved. Perhaps it is time to repent and trust Christ alone and not Him plus being right, being in the right church, and doing the right things on Sunday, a prescription for hell.

    Royce

  39. POTS says, “Any who ‘fall away’ (that is, do not persevere unto death) must not have been truly converted to begin with.”

    So here’s the way I see it:

    Adherents to POTS simply use a more “full” definition of ‘salvation,’ to include sanctification and glorification. If you are “truly” saved, you won’t “fall” away, because you’d complete the full process of salvation.

    Those who aren’t for POTS use a more specific point in time for ‘salvation.’ We’re speaking more about justification only — a POINT at which you were called righteous. Baptism for many of us.

    In the end, though, we believe the same thing: any individual who is not becoming more like Christ, who is living a life of sin is not saved, not a citizen of God’s kingdom. We only differ on whether they were “saved” at one point in time. Which, if I understand correctly, means we only disagree on whether or not that individual would have gone to heaven if he/she had died earlier in life.

    And while it’s interesting, and I enjoy the conversation, this is one of the least important questions in the world — because the very question (if an individual had died earlier…) requires that the situation can never indeed be reality. No one can die earlier than they do….

    Tim is right to say the question addresses whether someone can be “one of the saints” and then fail to be. However, until this person has fallen away (to one group) or proven they weren’t actually saved (to the other), both groups treat them as “one of the saints.” And I think we must; let the weeds be pulled in the end.

    Is this an oversimplification?

  40. jamesbrett,

    I don’t think it is an over simplification at all.

    I think everyone agrees with your statements. I also believe though that for the “in then out” brothers much of their beliefs arise from observing men as much or more than understanding scripture.

    Not long ago I had this discussion with a dear brother. His first reason for believing he could loose his salvation was that he knew a man who was faithful for many years, taught in a school of preaching, and then became an atheist and led his family down the same road. My reply was, “Why should you believe he was ever saved? Is it because he was a faithful church member? He had been baptized? He knew lots of scripture? What biblical text leads you to believe he was saved and then lost? He had no answer. The Bible way to know is if a man keeps walking in the light, loving his fellows, etc. There is no room in the kingdom for someone who is on and then off and then on again.

    Matt 7 makes it pretty obvious there are imposter’s among the saints. Should we think that those who cry Lord Lord have we not done so and so in your name….only to hear Jesus say “I never knew you” are only in churches other than churches of Christ? I don’t think so.

  41. While its interesting to read and discuss both these positions of thinking, really what difference does it make?

    Does having one position or the other cause you to do anything differently in your walk here on earth?

    It makes me nervous for any of us to think and analyze too much of Gods thinking. It’s way above me.

    One day we will all know when the only one that can judge will do so.

  42. Royce said, “I will never understand why so many of my brothers desperately cling to a theology of salvation that puts the weight of security squarely upon the shoulders of the Christian so that he lives in constant fear. This, God never intended.”

    Rom:11:19: Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
    20: Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear.
    21: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
    22: 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.

    I noticed Paul said “fear” I noticed Paul said “if thou continue in his goodness” and I noticed he also said ” otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”
    I noticed Royce said people are “nuts” if they believe what Paul plainly said, because God never intended to say this.
    You have a choice, believe Paul, or Royce your choice.

  43. Laymond,

    I suggest these words of Paul too.

    Romans 3:20, 3:24, 3:27,28, 4:2, 4:4, 4:6, 4:16, 5:15, 5:17, 5:21, 9:11, 9:32, 11:5,6 ; 1 Cor 15:10, Eph 2:5, Eph 2:8,9, Gal 2:16, Gal 3:10, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5, Titus 3:7,

    If my memory serves me well, you are the guy who staunchly denies the deity of Jesus and yet expects to be approved by God based on your goodness. Is this the same Laymond?

    Royce

  44. Paul is speaking about Gentiles as a people group, Roman 11:13 “For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry.”

    Paul tells Gentiles that part of Israel as a people group was broken off because of their disbelief, Romans 11:20 “Because of unbelief they were broken off.”

    Paul tells Gentiles as a people group they will continue to be grafted in as long as they continue in the goodness of God, that is as long as they believe, Romans 11:22 “but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness.”

    Paul said that there will be a time all of Israel will be brought back into the good goodness of God, that is when the fullness of the Gentiles has been grafted in, Romans 11:25 “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”

  45. Royce I will take one of your scriptures, Romans 3 that you say did away with the law , or replaced the law with faith. might I remind you of the lesson taught there.

    Rom:3:31: Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

  46. God’s grace reigns over law, sin, and death. Grace is a gift, it cannot be demanded nor earned. We all fall short of God’s glory. Our actions are full of imperfections, all our righteousness are as filthy rags. On our best days we fall short. We are not saved through deeds/works.

    Romans 3:20-22 “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.”

    Romans 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.”

    Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

    Galatians 2:16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

    Galatians 3:11 “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”

  47. It amazes me there are so many who can’t separate the works commanded by Jesus, from those commanded by “The Law” the law given to Moses. I believe we all agree the “Law” of Moses was replaced by the commands of Jesus.

    Lk:6:46: And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

    I believe this requires we do the works given us to do by Christ. our works show we have faith, that Jesus is our Lord. That said when I stand before Jesus, He will decide where I go, not you, not me, not Paul.

    but believe it or not, I haven’t sacrificed a single small animal for forgiveness of sins. I haven’t looked up all the laws of Moses to be sure I haven’t broken any of them.
    But I try not to run contrary to what Jesus said.

  48. The royal law is from the Hebrew Scriptures.

    James 2:8-10 “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

    Are you ever greedy, selfish, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful, proud, gossiping, untrustworthy, covetous, envious, quarrelsome, do you never complain, do you always love people as you should, do you always help those in need as you should?

  49. Randall,

    I wouldn’t put my objection in terms of fairness. Rather —

    * I don’t find the verses that supposedly support election all that convincing because they nearly always are speaking of the election of a people, not individuals.

    * God is love. He wishes that everyone be saved. While there are passages that speak in terms of God acting for his own glory, the overwhelming theme of scriptures is God working out of love for those whom he has created.

    * Jesus presents God to us as God wishes himself understood. And Jesus was love incarnate. He did not act arbitrarily just to show his power and ability to damn.

    * Jesus speaks extensively about the risk of Gehenna and of being damned — while speaking to the people who were then God’s elect. Indeed, in scripture, no one speaks more about hell than Jesus.

    * The arguments that proceed from the notion that God always gets his way are contradicted by countless Biblical accounts of God not getting his way.

    In short, the God described in Calvinism is not the God I read about in the Gospels.

  50. Royce,

    I might agree with you if the only choices were DAISY and TULIP. TULIP is infinitely better than DAISY. But I teach neither one.

  51. James,

    While I have real problems with the theology behind the Calvinistic view of election, POTS is in many ways functionally like what I teach — except I think what I teach offers greater security.

    You see, in POTS you never know that you are saved. In the atonement theology of Hebrews, we are promised confidence and assurance.

  52. Jay,
    I think I understand your view of election. When I wrote my previous comment about fairness I had in mind passages like we see in John’s gospel where Jesus says thing like no man can come to me unless the father draw him and then he goes on to say that all that the father gives him will come; his sheep hear his voice … ; No one can snatch them out of his hand etc.

    It has been suggested that God loves all of his creatures the same and wishes redemption for all. Of course we see that he does treat some people very differently than others. And when it comes to the angels it appears no effort was made to ever save the fallen ones.

    Of course we agree that God never did anything arbitrarily and I do not know of any Calvinist that teaches that. It is a caricature of Calvinism frequently used to misrepresent the doctrine.

    I must respectfully disagree with you that God does not always get his way. I see people use examples like Moses talking some sense into God when he (God) was so mad at Israel that he couldn’t see straight. I think this type of thing is to misunderstand scripture. Ultimately, God will not be frustrated. On the contrary, those that oppose God will be the ones that are frustrated. God works ALL things according to his own counsel and will. He is not a man that he should repent of what he has done. He has always known the end from the beginning.

    And of course Jesus speaks of Gehenna as a place for those that do not love God, even non believing Jews. I feel we both believe in the punishment of the wicked. Because the Jews were an elect nation does not mean that every Jew w/o exception was elect to salvation any more than it would mean that no Gentile could come to salvation – or that now only Gentiles can be saved but Jews can’t be saved. God may save whoever he wants to save. God can anything that God wants to do.

  53. Jay, you said in your comment to James, “You see, in POTS you never know that you are saved. In the atonement theology of Hebrews, we are promised confidence and assurance”. With respect, I don’t know where you get these ideas. In my view the reverse is true in regard to POTS and assurance. I agree with the last part of your statement.

    Hebrews 3:14 says “For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end;” The words “have become” are past tense. Our salvation/justification is settled upon the promises of the gospel that eternal life is a free gift. How do we know we are truly saved? If we hold fast we have become partakers of Christ. Holding fast (perseverance) does not cause us to become partakers of Christ, it shows us that we already have.

    What about those who do not hold firm until the end? They have not become partakers of Christ. Many make a start, they say a sinners prayer, are baptized, join a church, but when the going gets tough they wander away. There is but one answer, they were “professors” but not “partakers”. This Hebrews text is only one of scores that seem to me to teach the same truth.

    It is common in our fellowship for people to believe and teach that “holding firm” adds to them becoming “partakers of Christ” which is false and voids God’s grace. There is a lot of gray in coc teaching on the doctrine of justification while the Bible is black and white. A man is either dead in his sins or alive in Christ, there is no gray middle.

    I don’t consider myself a Calvinist but I also cannot ignore or explain away dozens of Bible passages that support at least some of Calvin’s conclusions. On the POTS subject, I believe rather in the perseverance of the Holy Spirit. Everyone following God in faith is able to do so only by God’s activity and enabling. “God is in us both to will, and to do, His good pleasure”.

    Thanks again for what you are doing in making this forum possible.

    Royce

  54. Its really obvious Royce. The chamber POTS says that you can fall away at any time even if you seem like the strongest Christian on earth, because its possible to look like Superman and do everything right and yet to have never been saved, to have never really been zapped by unresistable force (I mean irresistible grace). In other words, God sent you a strong delusion and made you live like a Christian FOR YEARS but you never really were. So when you fall away you only fall away from a dream, since you never really were saved. How can this chamber POTS provide any comfort to anyone but an insane asylum patient? It is a demonic doctrine suited only to the possessed.

  55. rey,

    Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

    Let me ask you. Do you think these deceivers were regarded as good Christians by their fellows? I think they were. You and I can’t see the heart of a man, only God can. I believe there are likely those in most churches who are trusting in their own goodness, their own correct doctrine, faith heritage, giving, etc. at the expense of trusting Christ alone. It is a bit foolish to think otherwise.

    Royce

  56. These guys must have believed in POTS and thought they were saved. They felt real secure. But in the end they were wrong. So, how does POTS ensure you of anything? If anything, everyone who believes in POTS should be assured that they are deceived and surely not elect, for the elect would never believe in POTS but would believe in the possibility of falling and avoid it like the plague.

  57. rey, do people have to remind you to take meds?

  58. Randall said:

    I must respectfully disagree with you that God does not always get his way.

    Jesus wanted to gather the children of Jerusalem as a hen gathers her chicks. But they were unwilling.

  59. Royce wrote:

    Many make a start, they say a sinners prayer, are baptized, join a church, but when the going gets tough they wander away. There is but one answer, they were “professors” but not “partakers”.

    But consider this passage, describing “partakers” who later fall away:

    Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
    Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    Rocye wrote:

    This Hebrews text is only one of scores that seem to me to teach the same truth.

    But of course you must be aware that there are scores of texts that say salvation is conditional upon what we do — that we must stand firm to the end in order to be saved. For example:

    Mat 10:22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

    Mat 24:12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
    Mat 24:13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

    Rom 2:7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

    Heb 3:14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

    Rev 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

    Those promises are conditional. We must hold firm to the end in order to receive them.

    I admit there are also passages that speak of God keeping us safe to the end. But the passages above make it clear there is something we must do in order to be saved in the end. So I believe there is nothing outside our own unwillingness that can cause us to be lost. But we can be unwilling, and can be left desolate, just as the Jerusalem leaders were.

  60. Royce and anon, have you two been sneaking a peak inside “the book of life” but that said if your name were in there it can still be removed.

    Phil:4:3: And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

    Rv:3:5: He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

    Rv:13:8: And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

    Rv:17:8: The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

    Rv:20:12: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

    Rv:20:15: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    Rv:21:27: And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

    Rv:22:19: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    Those which labor, those who overcome, according to their works. this is the way John saw it, John and Paul saw it this way. do you know what overcome, labor and works mean,? I believe we all do.

  61. rey, without calling any names, there are some people who had rather be right than saved, and those people do follow Calvin, no matter if they deny it or not, the only way Calvinist message makes any sense at all is the universal salvation route “Jesus paid the price for all, no exceptions” one saved all saved. They have to be right because they can’t meat the requirements placed on salvation by Jesus. Calvin even conspired to kill some who disagreed with him. ask Michael Servetus.

  62. Some good points Rey and laymond. And good job with reminding the one brother of the Rom. 11:19-22 passage.

    I sure know how challanging it can be here to swim upstream.

  63. Perhaps it would behoove us all to season our words and make it a point to avoid name calling, directly and indirectly. We are all Christians so should we act like it, especially when writing on a Christian blog? Perhaps we should also pay attention to how we describe the beliefs of someone with whom we disagree. This is hardly ever done with goodwill toward the other person. When one person tells another person what they believe when engaged in something like a debate they frequently put words in the other persons mouth that the other person would never say. For example: someone who believes in POTS cannot have real assurance of salvation. What an uninformed and inflammatory thing to say unless you have been inside that person’s heart. People that believe this doctrine claim to have great confidence in God’s ability to cause them to persevere to the end. They find encouragement and comfort in this belief. It is probably best to allow each of us to speak their own mind and say what they believe rather than suggesting all of these people think this way and that’s really stupid and evil of them.

    someone said: “Jesus wanted to gather the children of Jerusalem as a hen gathers her chicks. But they were unwilling.” I think this was to prove that Jesus didn’t get what he wanted. I would simply ask if you think this surprised God or if he knew it in advance. I think the scriptures teach God knows everything and he always has known everything. I do understand that others deny this belief, but I am not one of them. I don’t think God ever had to resort to plan “B.” Everything will work out just he has always known it would. As we said when I was growing up “Its a free country, believe what you want.”

    Above someone said:
    “I admit there are also passages that speak of God keeping us safe to the end. But the passages above make it clear there is something we must do in order to be saved in the end. So I believe there is nothing outside our own unwillingness that can cause us to be lost. But we can be unwilling, and can be left desolate, just as the Jerusalem leaders were.”
    I assume all can see that this position is inconsistent with the view that God loves his children unconditionally. Generally the CofC denies unconditional love so this is not a surprise. I point it out simply so we will understand that either we do or do not affirm the unconditional love of God for his children. I affirm it and am not embarrassed by it.

    Since someone brought up Servetus: Please read a good church history book and put things in context. Servetus was not orthodox on the person of Jesus that is, he did not believe Jesus was God. I believe he could have stated he believed Jesus was the son of the eternal Father, but not that Jesus was the eternal Son of the father. For this heresy the church ordered him to be burned at the stake. This was the norm of that age. It happened to lots of people in that age and it is tragic and very wrong. Calvin consented to the execution of Servetus but asked for mercy in that he suggested Servetus should be beheaded rather than burned.. It was this type of behavior, Christians abusing Christians in so many ways that led the Campbells to start a unity movement in which Christians that believed differently from other Christians could be full fellowship with one another. Today we don’t burn people alive. We may burn their books, we may attempt to humiliate them in some public manner or we may call them name on a blog. People are self-righteous (depraved) and think up all kinds of way to betray their Lord by the way they treat his children.

    Someone else wrote: Rv:3:5: He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. —-
    Interesting concept. I believe in Sardis a person could have their citizenship erased from the book for failing to worship the local diety or Caesar. But God is not like that. As the scripture says: ” I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” What a great god we have!!!
    Peace,
    Randall

  64. It is nearly impossible to have a serious discussion with men who are not serious. If each of you will read carefully my last comment you would know you have mis-characterized what I believe and have said.

    Just for the sake of being very clear I’ll say it once more. The assurance of my salvation does not rest in my ability to perform. My assurance rests in the faithfulness of God to keep his promises given in the gospel. When I put my whole trust in Jesus I was counted righteous, given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee, and the Holy Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God. So, God lives in me both to WILL and to DO his good pleasure. I was created FOR GOOD WORKS and walking in the light and saying NO to unrighteousness is motivated by God’s grace toward me.

    I ask each of you this question. For which of your sins did Jesus die? It is obvious to me that you must not believe he died for all of them. It seems that each of you are insisting that there are things I must “DO” to help God save me. I say that is the Galatian heresy. The strongest words Paul had for anyone was to those who wanted to insist that to be a Christian, faith in Christ was not enough. Telling people that Christ’s sacrifice and payment for sin is not enough comes from hell and not heaven.

    So, you are welcome to go on in your self righteousness, trusting your own goodness, or you can throw yourself upon the mercy and grace of God and repent. Jay has listed again and again some of the man made lists of things coc men believe one must do or not do to be approved by God, what a sad state of Movement that has largely lost its way from loving all Christians to being self righteous, legalistic hypocrites.

    The gift of grace paid for by Christ’s living and dying is not a new chance to keep a new set of laws. Rather it is eternal life. It is a gift. Those who receive God’s gift walk in the light. Those who are not walking in the light are lost.

    The message of grace is hated by many in churches of Christ, illustrated by the upcoming Contending for the Faith’s lectureship where they will damn most every man in the brotherhood who has ever written a book teaching on the grace of God. I think some of you might be comfortable there.

    Royce

  65. Randall wrote:

    I assume all can see that this position is inconsistent with the view that God loves his children unconditionally. Generally the CofC denies unconditional love so this is not a surprise. I point it out simply so we will understand that either we do or do not affirm the unconditional love of God for his children. I affirm it and am not embarrassed by it.

    You assume incorrectly. God does love his children unconditionally. (Your assumption violates your own admonition not to characterize others’ beliefs in words they would never say.) I think that’s why it broke Jesus’ heart that the children of Jerusalem were unwilling to come to him. But the fact that he loved them unconditionally didn’t prevent him from saying they would be left desolate.

  66. Alan,

    Good observation(s) there.

  67. Alan,
    I appreciate your gentle spirit. Please allow me to explain that when I say I assume something it is an invitation for someone to correct me if I have assumed incorrectly.

    Now I am simply confused as it seems that you have asserted that God can love someone unconditionally and still leave them desolate. This does not seem like a loving response in my opinion. Am I missing something here?

    In Sunday School class I used to ask the following question: “What conditions must we meet to be recipients of God’s unconditional love. I actually had people make short lists of conditions we had to meet. Definitionally, if one has to meet any condition then the love is not unconditional.

    So do we believe God loves his children unconditionally or does his child have to meet one or more conditions to be the recipient of unconditional love? Or (and I hesitate to eve say this) would God eternally damn a child that he loved unconditionally? If so, I need something more than the unconditional love of God.
    Peace,
    Randall

  68. “It is nearly impossible to have a serious discussion with men who are not serious.”
    Royce are the following men serious enough for you to discuss things with.

    about predetermined salvation?

    Romans 2:11 ….. “There is no partiality with God.” “Neither is there respect of persons with Him” (Ephesians 6:9).
    Colossians 3:25 ….. “For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.”

    Peter’ words on partiality, works and fear.

    Acts 10:34-35 ….. “And opening his mouth, Peter said, ‘I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him.”

    I Peter 1:17 ….. “And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth.”

  69. Royce said; “what a sad state of Movement that has largely lost its way from loving all Christians to being self righteous, legalistic hypocrites.”
    Royce I have to summit to your judgment, you are certainly the expert on such things as, calling other Christians names, and claiming such righteousness as being among the few that are saved, and judging all others lost.

  70. Randal said; “So do we believe God loves his children unconditionally or does his child have to meet one or more conditions to be the recipient of unconditional love?”

    Randal, you have already received it, how quickly we forget, do you not remember the sacrifice of his only begotten Son.

    Now the only question is whether your love for him is as strong.

  71. Now I am simply confused as it seems that you have asserted that God can love someone unconditionally and still leave them desolate. This does not seem like a loving response in my opinion. Am I missing something here?

    Consider this passage:

    Rom 11:22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.

    Do you believe God loves those who will be cut off? “For God so loved the world…” Of course he does. Does that mean everyone will be saved? Not according to how I read the Bible. So, necessarily, some whom God loves will be condemned. Consider *both* the kindness and the severity of God.

  72. God knows every hair on every person’s head, God wants every person to be saved, He knows every person’s name before they were born. I believe every person’s name from the beginning was written in the book of life, a child conceived is in the book of life. Those who are saved remain in the book of life those who aren’t saved are blotted out.

    The writer of Hebrews at times was speaking to certain people present that they need to have genuine faith in the gospel.

    The unsaved participate partaking that which is of Christ all the time. The gospel had been preached to these people, they gained knowledge of Christ, they have been to churches, they have tasted heavenly things, they have seen the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit manifested in their presence. They were to go on to a full genuine acceptance or to fall to a willful conscious enmity against Christ, and the sin of rejecting Him, and putting Him to an open shame. Those who don’t hold firm were never saved. The writer of Hebrews is speaking to the unsaved who have heard the truth, but who have hesitated to embrace Christ.

    As we see the writer also speaks to the beloved present to those who have genuine faith as in verses 6:9-20.

    Hebrews 6:9-20 “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

    The Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”(John 10:27-30), Paul gives us assurance saying, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 8:38-39), “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14). We can be confident that God keeps us as He promises to complete what He started in us, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6).

  73. Laymond,

    The verses you quoted have nothing to say about what you think they do.

    A person who claims to be one thing and is in reality another is a hypocrite, if it is me or if it is you.

    People who have Christ are safe people who do not are not safe. You can preach salvation by works until you turn blue in the face and the truth will still be the truth. God justifies sinners based upon the obedience of Jesus alone, my obedience and yours are not good enough.

    Royce

  74. It seems that we are using the same word/phrase – unconditional love – but we mean two very different things by it. It is also apparent to me that continuing our discussion is not likely to be edifying or encouraging so please do not be offended as I withdraw from the thread.
    Peace,
    Randall

  75. Royce, you state

    “I don’t consider myself a Calvinist but I also cannot ignore or explain away dozens of Bible passages that support at least some of Calvin’s conclusions. On the POTS subject, I believe rather in the perseverance of the Holy Spirit. Everyone following God in faith is able to do so only by God’s activity and enabling. “God is in us both to will, and to do, His good pleasure.”

    I agree w/ith you. I believe in the perseverance of the Holy Spirit. I believe God enables, but not to the point of making us robots. I also believe the Spirit can be so grieved that it will turn to anger . . . just as God responded to the Israelites.

    The text from Hebrews 3 reads as follows:

    ” 1Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
    7So, as the Holy Spirit says:
    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    8do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the desert,
    9where your fathers tested and tried me
    and for forty years saw what I did.
    10That is why I was angry with that generation,
    and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
    11So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ “[a]
    12See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15As has just been said:
    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”[b]
    16Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed[c]? 19So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” End of text.

    What is the writer trying to tell us? Is he trying to tell us that we will know that we are saved if we hold on to the end? That God will enable us . . . even if we don’t want him to? Or is he trying to tell us . . .
    1. To fix our thoughts on Jesus. vs 1-6
    2. To not let sin’s deceitfulness harden our hearts. vs 12-13
    3. To keep our fix on the prize . . . an appointment in heaven with Christ . . . if we hold firm to the end. vs 14
    4. That we should not rebel from what we have heard. vs 15
    5. That we should strive for lives of obedience because lives of disobedience lead to unbelieving hearts. vs 16-19

    What do all the other verses in the above text mean if they don’t mean . . . to some degree . . . what I summarized above? Please don’t assume that I think the summary above to be exhaustive or to imply that we are saved by our works. I know that we are saved by faith in Jesus alone. Obedience protects faith. It does not take the place of faith but it strenghens faith.

    God said “They will never enter my rest?” Isn’t it because He was angry that their hearts were always going astray? The text says that is how God saw it. vs 7-11

    We know that God can harden hearts, but did God harden the hearts of the Israelites who rebelled? The text says the Holy Spirit said “Don’t harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion during the time of testing in the desert.” God said that the people tested . . . Him . . . yes that’s right . . . Him . . . for 40 years . . . and He finally had enough! The text does not say God hardened their hearts. The people hardened their own hearts, and that is why they were rejected . . . GOd finally spewed them out of him mouth. Not every heart that is hardened is hardened by God.

    What proceeds chapter 3? Starting with verse 1 of chapter 2 we find
    “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” If we cannot drift away, are you saying there is a problem with the translation into English? Does the translation into English not carry the meaning in the Greek? Does the Greek text carry a different meaning than “so that we do not drift away”?

    Verse 17 of chapter 2 says, “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” Is there also a problem with the translation into English? The English text says Christ died for the sins of the people. Does the Greek say something different? Does the Greek imply something different from “the people”?

    Does the text say Christ died for the sins of the people, to be contradicted by 3:14 . . . interpreted by some to mean that God is only going to select certain people to save in the end. In other words, Jesus really only died for the sins of a few?

  76. Paul is speaking about Gentiles as a people group, Roman 11:13 “For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry.”

    Paul tells Gentiles that part of Israel as a people group was broken off because of their disbelief, Romans 11:20 “Because of unbelief they were broken off.”

    Paul tells Gentiles as a people group they will continue to be grafted in as long as they continue in the goodness of God, that is as long as they believe, Romans 11:22 “but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness.”

    Paul said that there will be a time all of Israel will be brought back into the goodness of God, that is when the fullness of the Gentiles has been grafted in, Romans 11:25 “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”

  77. Randall,

    I have never even hinted that Jesus died for the sins of “a few”. What I have said is that only “a few” will be saved according to Jesus.

    I think many people who read Hebrews especially, and other NT books, make the incorrect assumption that the writer is addressing only people who are everyone already saved. This passage is a good illustration of that.

    Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath,’They shall not enter my rest,'” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.”
    6Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,

    Unbelief is disobedience and disobedience and unbelief always disqualify one from God’s perfect rest. In the crowds this letter would be read to were some who had trusted Christ, some who were trying to depend on God’s promised Messiah but were still hanging on to the law and self righteousness, and others were just in the process of learning about what Christ had accomplished for sinners.

    There are in todays churches those who are trusting Christ alone, there are those who are depending on their baptism, church attendance, personal goodness, and rule keeping, and those who are only now learning about God.

    The writer says to some specific ones of the group at large. “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”

    Anyone who thinks Hebrews is an easy book to understand is much smarter than I. After pouring over it for many years it offers sweet assurance for those who are daily depending on Jesus and looking for his coming. At the same time is is a scary warning for those on the fringes who are on the verge of spurning Christ’s offer made in the gospel.

    Faith in Christ is not a one time thing many years ago. Neither is it an event like baptism that you can always lean on. Faith is a day by day, hour by hour dependence upon Christ, quickly agreeing with God about sins and doing one’s best to forsake them. It is a life marked with love for all the saints of every stripe and love for those “other sheep” who are not yet in the fold. Believers are safe and make believers and unbelievers are living in grave danger.

  78. “We are all Christians so should we act like it.” Sorry Randall, but Calvinists aren’t Christians. When you say that God doesn’t so love the world that he sent his only-begotten Son, but that he only loved the “elect” then you forfeited the right to use that name. Calvinism is the anti-gospel and worships an anti-Christ. (They worship and anti-Christ that is imaginary, but is an anti-Christ nonetheless, since he’s a monster that damned so many to hell on only a dice roll.) It is high time for Christians to stop putting up with the Calvinist pretenders and give them the boot.

  79. YOWSER!

  80. Rey:

    Allow me to say that I doubt I will ever agree with any part of TULIP but I have many friends who do. God never said we had to understand doctrine correctly to be saved. Salvation takes place when you enter into a relationship with God not because I agree with a doctrinal statement. What will you do if on the day of judgment you find that Calvinists were right all along or if we’ve all got it wrong? Would this mean God did not save you? God has children in a lot of places we seem to think are just too far out of bounds. I look forward to spending eternity with my Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, and even Aryian bothers and sisters. I thank God that my salvation isn’t dependant on what I believe about whether I can fall from grace or whether hell is an everlasting fire or whether I believe Christ’s divine and human natures stayed distinct or merged together. Salvation is thankfully free from doctrinal requirments other than those laid out in the New Testament: believe, repent, and respond.

  81. God never said we had to understand every doctrine correctly to be saved, but He did say “whoever is not for me is against me.” And Calvinists are not for him. They try as hard as they can to convince Christians that God is a monster and evil lottery commissioner so they can turn them into atheists. They have an anti-Christian spirit, not the Spirit of Christ. Its not some small difference on doctrine. Its not about whether you call the Lord’s Supper communion or eucharist, or whether you believe in spiritual presence or mere symbol, or whether you baptize with a single immersion or triple immersion, etc. etc. Its about whether you even acknowledge that God is motivated by love or whether you take the Satanist route that God is a malevolent glory-hog who will do any and every evil thing to increase some sadistic glory that isn’t even glorious at all. “The more people I damn on nothing but a dice roll, the more glory I get! Woohoo!” Calvinists have no hope unless they leave Calvinism. A Calvinist cannot be saved without ceasing to be a Calvinist anymore than an atheist can without ceasing to be an atheist. Really a Calvinist is just an atheist who attacks God from the inside, who tries to turn Christians into atheists without admitting to being one himself.

    “Allow me to say that I doubt I will ever agree with any part of TULIP but I have many friends who do. “

    And I have many friends who believe there is no god, but they’ll end up the same place as your Calvinist friends who are atheist god-haters pretending to be Christians so they can destroy more Christians and make them atheist god-haters like themselves.

  82. YIKES!!

  83. In the end isn’t it a disputable matter and not something to get so nasty about? OSAS, POTS, or the C of C view, don’t they all have the expectation that you continue to grow close in your walk with God? And if we are doing that, doesn’t this at some point become Satan getting us off on a tangent?

    It’s good to examine this but not to the point of divisiveness, name calling, and judgment if it is indeed a disputable matter.

    Love God, love others. Everything else needs to be put in perspective around these two things.

  84. rey,

    In your mindless rant you described yourself to a tee.

    “The more people I damn on nothing but a dice roll, the more glory I get! Woohoo!”

    You need serious help pal.

    Royce

  85. Rey:

    Now you are being dishonest and slanderous. You expect someone to believe that all Calvinists are secretly working for Satan and have a secret agenda of damning as many people as possible to hell? You need to get a grip. Your slanderous remarks and attitude will do more to damn people than Calvinist doctrine.

    Personally, I don’t get Calvinism. I can’t wrap my head around it. I’ve tried. However, I know many Christians who find great comfort in Calvinism and live good Christian lives while believing this doctrine.

    While Calvinism sounds very strange to the ears of those who believe differently it is in practice not that different from what most of us teach. The goal is believe and grow in Christ and people can do that whether they’re Calvinists, Arminians, or Semi-Pelagian.

  86. A comment on the point about Romans 11:22.

    Even if God is talking about a group of people and not about individuals, the point is still the same. God will cut off people who were once His. Maybe the only comforting thing we can get from Israel rebelling against God in the Old Testament is that it took a LOT for God to finally cut off his people. Praise God for his mercy and grace because I know I am in constant need of it!

  87. God never cut His people off, Romans 11:2 “God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew”, Romans 11:5 “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

    Not all Jews in the Hebrew Scriptures were saved, not all were of the believing Jews, there were Jews who died in unbelief. The situation got so bad in Elijah’s day that he became convinced that he was the last believer left. There are people today in churches who are unbelievers.

    Those who looked forward to the Messiah knew Jesus when He came.

    Matthew 9:27-29
    “When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”

    Luke 18:35-43
    “Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.”

  88. Romans 11:19-22

    19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

    22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. (NIV)

    Verse 22 refers to the whole process as being cut off, refering to is readers being cut off just like the Jews were.

    I say this out of love, but I honestly don’t know how much plainer it could say that God did “cut off” His people.

  89. New American Standard also uses the phrase “cut off”

  90. You are not arguing with me you are arguing with the Bible, Romans 11:2 “God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.”, Romans 11:5 “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

    Not all Jews in the Hebrew Scriptures were saved, not all were believing Jews, there were Jews who died in unbelief. They were not true Israelites, God’s people looked at these Jews to be that of unbelieving Gentiles.

  91. But if they were cut off then they were connected at one time.

    God reserved 7,000 for himself during Elijah’s time because they did not bow to the knee of Baal. He choose them because of His grace and because of the actions and loyalties they chose.

    The interpretation I get out of it is that all of Israel was saved just by being God’s chosen people. But each Jew could take himself out of God’s grace by doing things such as bowing to Baal (of which God then gave a spirit of stupor to as mentioned in Romans 11). Those who did not do these kind of these but remained true to God are the remnant that are elected and covered by God’s grace because they remained true to Him. So Israel as a nation did not obtain what they were earnstly seeking because they denied God and looked for His salvation in false gods but this elect who were orginially saved like the rest of Israel was and remained faithful to God did.

    Again, it seems to me that God is a God of grace and this is not emphasized enough in the C of C. It takes a lot to get out of that grace once you accept it as evidence by how patient He was with Israel. But there is a point that God no longer covers someone with his grace because of decisions they make. The good news is that those kinds of people can always come back to God as Paul mentions in Romans 11 and by the example of the Prodigal Son. But my fear in this type of teaching is it is somethingt Satan is able to use to decieve a lot of people though I do believe it is a disputable matter and not worth getting too outraged about on either side iof you are making efforts to love God and obey his commands.

    Good discussion brother Anonymous. Please give me your feedback as we are sharpeing one another.

  92. King Ahab was an unbelieving Jew, he was very wicked and corrupt. There were Jews then who lived all their lives as unbelievers just as people today live all their lives as unbelievers. People weren’t automatically believers then no more than they are now.

    God’s people can and will mess up and fall down, but God is always there to help us back up again, King David a great man of God knew this.

    Psalm 18:1-2 “I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

    Psalm 18:28 “For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”

    Psalm 32:7 “You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.”

    Psalm 36:5 “Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”

    Psalm 37:39-40 “But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.”

    Psalm 48:14 “For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”

    Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”

    Psalm 63:7-8 “Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.”

    Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

    Psalm 91:1-2 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

    Psalm 94:18 “If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up.”

    Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

    Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.”

    Psalm 138:7 “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.”

  93. “Now you are being dishonest and slanderous.” Oh please Joe. I could only wish.

    At the atheist website Debunking Christianity, two guys commenting on Why People Walk Away From Their Faith saying the following:

    Jer says “I came to the conclusion that if there was a God, he would have to be closer to the Calvinist vision of God than to the loving God I was raised with. And if such a God exists he’s a monster not worthy of worship.”

    stamati anagnostou says “Studying Calvinism began my eventual release from Christianity. I decided I would never worship a God like that, and it turns out certain aspects of predestination are unavoidable. Then I was put into a mental health clinic due to the panic caused by my doubts and I realized my faith at least was a sham, and I found it odd that a good father would let me go on so long as a fake.”

    I can guarantee you that these two people are representative of trillians over time, and millions who are alive today, who were made into atheists by the pretend Christians, by the atheist agitators and evangelists that we know as Calvinists.

    Royce says that in my “mindless rant” I described myself rather than Calvinism’s god when I said “The more people I damn on nothing but a dice roll, the more glory I get! Woohoo!” Yet the fact is that I only condemn Calvinists and homosexuals (and therefore, atheists). All the tomfoolery that goes on here doesn’t call down any “you’re going to hell.” Did I say anyone was going to hell but Calvinists and atheists? No.

    The Calvinists’ disgusting doctrine hasn’t pushed me out of the faith like it did these guys, but it has pushed me to a sort of limited universalism where everyone who lives a good moral life is saved because God isn’t petty enough to not apply the blood of Christ to them just because they didn’t hear the gospel or because they noticed a contradiction in the gospels and therefore didn’t believe it. In other words, Calvinists have driven me to believing that as long as they aren’t a murderer, rapist, adulterer, Calvinist, or homosexual, non-Christians have a good chance at being saved by the blood of Christ.

    “Again, it seems to me that God is a God of grace and this is not emphasized enough in the C of C. “

    Perhaps not, but the exact opposite is emphasized in Calvinist churches. Oh, yes, the Calvinists may use the word ‘grace’ more, but they render it meaningless by their doctrine that God already damned a large section of humanity from eternity past by nothing but a stinking dice roll! In the CoC, perhaps the word grace is used less, but when it is used its not an illusion!!!! The view of God in the CoC is a more gracious view than the Calvinist view.

    Here are several points showing how the CoC God is more gracious that the Calvinist God. (And remember, due to what I revealed about myself above, I don’t even classify as CoC exactly, so I’m defending that view because it isn’t Satan’s religion of Calvinism, not because I’m in perfect agreement with it.)

    (1) God judges you only on your own works. In other words, you aren’t condemned for anyone elses’ sins (see Ezek 18). In Calvinism you’re born damned because Adam ate an apple. So, here, the CoC God is by default from the very beginning more GRACIOUS simply because he is more Just.

    (2) Jesus died for everyone. In Calvinism he only died for lottery winners. Again, the CoC God is more gracious because he actually sent Jesus for all humanity, not just lottery winners.

    (3) Everyone is capable of believing the gospel. Again, the CoC God is more gracious because he actually granted everyone the ability to believe if they will just do so, not just lottery winners.

    (4) Now the CoC may teach that worshiping according to a certain set of regulations is essential to salvation, so for example, to some of them, unless you use one cup in the eucharist you won’t be saved even though you are a Christian and faithful otherwise. Even HERE the CoC God is more gracious than the Calvinist God. At least the smucks who go to hell for using the wrong number of cups in the eucharist HAD A CHANCE. In Calvinism they would have been born damned for Adam’s sin and non-elect for already having lost the cosmic lottery of the evil lottery commissioner known as the Calvinist God.

    In short, even where the CoC view of God seems the least gracious, it is a BILLION times more gracious than Calvinism. Calvinists just use the words ‘grace’ and ‘Jesus.’ They have no clue what they mean.

  94. rey,

    Oh, now I get it! You are getting your information from atheists and personally believe in some warped view of universalism, and you are then qualified to lecture others on the ills of their poor theology. Is that about it?

    If you are being sincere, and I assume you are, you should seek some professional help at once.

    Royce

  95. rey, do you know what all other churches believe and teach? You seem to imply that all other churches believe and teach that “He only died for lottery winners”, which is far from the truth. Some churches do teach such but many other churches do not.

    From your own comment suggesting that people don’t need to know Christ to be saved, you are a very confused person who doesn’t understand the Word of God at all. If this is what you are being fed from the church you attend I suggest you quickly find a Bible teaching church.

  96. “rey, do you know what all other churches believe and teach? You seem to imply that all other churches believe and teach that “He only died for lottery winners”, which is far from the truth. Some churches do teach such but many other churches do not.”

    Are “all other churches” Calvinist, Anonymous? No. So of course “all other churches” don’t teach that “He only died for lottery winners.”

    The Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Methodists certainly don’t teach that “He only died for lottery winners.” Some Lutherans don’t. Baptists are divided into Free Will Baptists that don’t preach that “He only died for lottery winners” and then Calvinist Baptists (sometimes called Particular Baptist or Reformed Baptists) that do preach that “He only died for lottery winners.” I doubt that Mormon preach “He only died for lottery winners.” It certainly seems unliklely that 7th Day Adventists preach “He only died for lottery winners.” Mennonites also certainly don’t preach “He only died for lottery winners.” Presbyterians are Calvinists, so they do preach “He only died for lottery winners.”

    “From your own comment suggesting that people don’t need to know Christ to be saved, you are a very confused person who doesn’t understand the Word of God at all. If this is what you are being fed from the church you attend I suggest you quickly find a Bible teaching church.”

    Its not, of course. (What church would teach such a thing?) As I said, this is what Calvinism has driven me to. And this is what Calvinism will drive you to as well, unless it drives you into becoming a god-hating Calvinist or an atheists. There are only these 3 things that Calvinism will do to you: (1) Drive you into atheism (2) Make you a god-hating Calvinist who turns Christians into atheists (3) Drive you to some sort of universalism.

  97. Anonymous,
    I agree obivously with all of the quotes from Psalms. The only thing I would say about them is that they were written by a man who was conintually going back to God when he messed up and was known as a man after God’s own heart. The trajectory of his life was moving towards God though he messed up many times like we still do.

    The other King Ahab example is where I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. The defense with OSAS is that someone was never really a Christian when examples of people who gave their lives to God then turned away from the faith ares brought up. Just like you say Ahab was never a believing Jew. From my limited search I’ve just done in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, I can’t find anywhere that it says he was not a believing Jew. Just that he did evil in the eyes of the Lord.

    Now obvioulsy there was a point where he didn’t care if there was a God or not and turned is back to worship other gods. But my understanding of the promise that God made with Abraham was that God had chosen him and his descedants to be his people which he would later of course bless all of humanity through. God claimed the Jews first before they were even born. They had to actively reject God. And after a certain amount of rejecting God, God cut them off except the remnant which we talked about previously.

  98. There you go again assuming things, you want to say anyone who disagrees with you is a Calvinist, sorry to bust your bubble but I’m not a Calvinist.

  99. God’s people were the Jews who were believers not the unbelieving Jews.

  100. Can you give me some scriptual references on that to back that up or would it be based off our disagreement on what the remnant is? Because it seems at any point a believing Jew could become an unbelieving Jew just like there are people today who profess to be Christians then later in life become athiests.

  101. The only thing I would say about them is that they were written by a man who was conintually going back to God when he messed up and was known as a man after God’s own heart

    David said when doing so that it was God who was holding him up.

  102. But he had the choice to go back to God or not. That is what the Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the garden was about – free will. They had eternal life at one time but made decisions that caused them to lose it. Thankfully God sent his son to give us all another chance.
    Good discussions!

  103. God is my strength, my stronghold, He always revives me, God helps me and holds me up even when I am at my weakest.

    Psalm 18:28 “For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”

    Psalm 48:14 “For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”

    Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”

    Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

    Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.”

    Psalm 138:7 “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.”

    John 10:27-30 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

  104. Agree with it all. We are weak and strong during our walk with God just like the Footprints In the Sand poem talks about. I don’t see God abandoning us during our times of weakness. I see him being active in our lives during these times like he was when he sent Nathan to David to bring him to his senses. But I believe this is all in reference to people who are actively chasing God’s heart like David did who wrote most of what you quoted. Though there are times in our lives that we are not chasing God as actively as other times. As long as you choose to be God’s, you can not be snatched from His hand because you are His sheep. But even sheep get eaten by the wolves because they choose to stray from the flock.

    There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I just think it’s very possible to not be in Christ Jesus even though you once were in Christ Jesus. But I do believe it takes more than a person simply messing up from time to time in their life to get there. It’s a continual lifestyle that is saying no to God just like the Jews.

    But we don’t have to agree. We are still one in Christ!

  105. None of us are are greater than God neither is Satan greater than God. I trust God with all of my life, everything about me is in His hands, my weaknesses, my fears, my doubts, whatever Satan wants to throw at me, God is with me, He will protect me.

  106. Amen!

  107. Rey:

    I understand that you must feel angry that your faith has been severely damaged. I also understand that some have come to an atheistic view due to their exposure to Calvinism. However, many others have saved their faith by finding Calvinism. Many times those of us who grow up in a works-based view of Christianity give up because we live lives of fear. We believe any false move could send us to hell. To many of those people Calvinism comes as a great relief. Again, that’s not to say I agree with it but everyone processes information differently. What is a living hell to some can be paradise to others. We all struggle with how the Bible fits together and sometimes our thinking goes to some very dark places but it is possible to find the light again. If you’ll let go of your anger, hatred, and bitterness you’ll be a lot closer to finding an understanding that makes sense to you and will allow you to live a life that grows closer and closer to God each day. I pray you find peace and faith in this life Rey. I think you’ll find that it makes all the difference. May God bless you and send you peace.

  108. All five points are against the grace (and justice) of God. Rey is right about that…

  109. Calvism is Satanic and not only are Calvinists not Christians but neither are those who defend this Satanism while claiming to not personally be Calvinists.

  110. rey, you claim to know what’s in everyone’s heart, just by claiming such shows you really don’t. I very much express to people that don’t know Christ that God loves them, that Jesus came and died for their sins, that they need to come to know Him as their Lord and Savior so that they can have eternal life.

  111. I hope I didn’t start this.

  112. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” — 1 Tim. 4:1

    Based on the passage above, I would say that to teach that Jesus only died for a small portion of humanity rather than for the entire world… indeed qualifies as satanic. As does the teaching that children are born separated from God at birth and that it will not be possible for most of them to ever have faith in God due to their not being selected as lottory winners. To teach that God is not calling and/or drawing everyone to be saved is evil. Whereas the Lord said that if he be lifted up, he would draw all men unto him. God calls us by his gospel (2 The. 2:14), and Jesus wants the gospel preached to every creature. Therefore, God is calling everybody to be saved….not just lottory winners. Imagine telling a group of small children that they were born separated from God and that God has only called for some of them to ever be saved. The rest will have no chance because God did not select them?!

    If forbidding meats and marriage is from Satan… teaching any part of TULIP must certainly be as well.

  113. “Jesus only died for a small portion of humanity rather than for the entire world.”

    I have never said that and do not agree with that. I do believe we all are born with a sinful nature.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” (Genesis 6:12), “The imagination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21), “all our righteousness are like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6), there is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

    A child’s mind isn’t developed to understand when they are selfish and rebellious, that doesn’t mean it is right, it still isn’t how God wants anyone to behave, Proverbs 22:6 shows there is a time when we are accountable, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” People seem to think that God cannot be trusted, but He can be trusted, a child that dies does go to heaven, a child’s undeveloped mind unable to make a decision toward Christ, God is just and accountability is perfectly known to God.

  114. Anonymous,

    Either children are born innocent of (and without sin), or, they are born guilty of sin. It’s an “either or” proposition. The law of “excluded middle.”

    Now, if children are born sinful…then they are born separated from God and therefore, in need of trusting in Jesus for forgiveness. If such a one died (before being forgiven by grace through faith), then they would be lost. If however, children are born without sin and innocent, then they are guiltless and are not separated from God until they become gilty of sin themselves.

    But, a child can not be born a sinner and still be in fellowship with God. It is one or the other.

    The idea that a child is a sinner from birth is unscriptural (Ez. 20, etc, etc, etc,), and unjust by nature.

  115. Hank, is it your understanding that we are all subject to individual fall? If yes, then it is possible that some would never fall and never need a savior? Is that your understanding?

  116. Hank,
    Your pronouncements regarding children are interesting, but I didn’t note any scripture to support them. None the less, you are entitled to your opinion. Many people believe that all people are born with a sinful nature ,but are not guilty of sin in practice until they actually sin, and many even speak of an age of accountability even though it is not directly addressed in scripture.

    It seems clear to me that scripture does not directly address the eternal destiny of children that die young. Therefore, people choose to not directly address the eternal destiny of children. We simply trust God to do what he considers right. If you choose to take a position one way or the other then that is your choice but no one else is obligated to see it the same way.

  117. Randall wrote: “many even speak of an age of accountability even though it is not directly addressed in scripture. ”

    Yeah, that age of accountability thing is hard to find. But, even if you believe that there is an age below which a child is not accountable for the consequences of sin (as many faith traditions believe), does that mean they haven’t actually sinned? Is “not accountable” the same as “sinless”?

  118. Hank, I guess people need to take your say so and not tell Ralph he is being bad when he pulls out his brothers hair for holding a toy of his.

    You are not arguing with me you are arguing with the Bible.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12), “Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21), “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”(Psalm 51:5), “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”(Isaiah 64:6), “There is none righteous, no, not one.”(Romans 3:10)

  119. And Ephesians 2:1-3 ” And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

  120. Do children have to be taught to be selfish, to steal, to lie, to disobey their parents? Or, do they have to be taught to do good?

    Why is the obvious true? They are by “nature” sinful. Even though this is true of course they are not accountable to God until they are mature enough to know right from wrong. The fact is that every last one of those sweet little children will choose to do what is wrong on purpose because they were born in sin, that is with a sin “nature”. So those who are not in Christ are described as being “by nature children of wrath”.

    By one man sin entered the world and death by sin and so death passed to all men. By the disobedience of one man many were made sinners. (Thats everyone of us) Thank God, by the obedience of one man (Christ) many will be made righteous.

    The doctrine of total depravity does not mean that every person is as evil as he possibly can be. It means that every man is as lost and helpless as he can be. He cannot be more alienated from God than he is.

    Royce

  121. This may come as a surprise to some, but you are accountable for what your children do, because you are liable for their teachings.
    Unless God changed his mind from Old testament times, the age of accountability is older than you might think.
    Yes the Old testament sets the age of atonement

    Ex:30:14: Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
    15: The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

    Twenty years old, is what Ex:30:14 says. Jesus was 30 or there about when he was called to do the work of God.
    Unless you have proof that God changed his mind, we must accept what the bible says.

  122. Laymond,

    Interesting. Compare 32:11 —

    (Num 32:11-13) ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob– 12 not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly.’ 13 The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the desert forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.

    I’m not entirely sold, but interesting …

    Even more interesting to me is this post from John Mark Hicks —

    http://johnmarkhicks.wordpress.com/?s=accountability

  123. Thikk about it this way…

    If Jesus was NOT born with the same human nature as were you and I, then he could not have been tempted in the same way as we are.

    If however, Jesus WAS born with the same nature as were you and I…well, who believes that Jesus was born with any “sinful nature.”

    And it seems as though according to Isa. 7:14 ff., that even with Jesus, there was a time when he did not know how to “refuse the evil and choose the good.” Even still, the point is that that does not mean he was born with a “sinful nature,” only that he was born a human.

    But, either Jesus was born just as human and with the same nature as were we…… or, having a non sinful nature, he was not tempted as we are.

  124. So you don’t think Jesus’ birth was different than ours. The seed of the woman is the title for the Lord Jesus Christ in virgin birth. The Sin Nature Adam’s imputed sin is passed down through the man. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Lamb of God had to be without spot or blemish. That doesn’t mean He was able to be tempted, the Incarnation required that the Son of God must have the ability to be tempted Philippians 2:7.

  125. That doesn’t mean He wasn’t able to be tempted, the Incarnation required that the Son of God must have the ability to be tempted Philippians 2:7.

  126. But was Jesus tempted in every respect as we are (as the BIble teaches), or was he born any less likely to sin than every other man?

    IOW, was Jesus born with a different nature tan us?

    You write:

    “So you don’t think Jesus’ birth was different than ours.”

    That’s not true. I know his birth was different (being born of a virgin via the Holy Spirit). But, that does not mean he was born with a different human nature than we were.

    Besides, sin separates humans (and angels) from God. If babies are born sinful, then they are born separated from God. It just that simple.

    People should be willing to follow through with the logical conclusions of their beliefs.

  127. The sin nature Adam’s imputed sin is passed down through the man. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Incarnation required that the Son of God must have the ability to be tempted Philippians 2:7 “but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

    So you are saying there are people living who are equal to God.

  128. Is it fair to say that the traditional position of the coc throughout the centuries (or decades) has been that:

    1. Babies are not born sinful. They are innocent and free from sin until they actually do sin themselves (wherein they separate themselves from God).

    2. That Jesus shed his blood for the sins of ALL men and that God’s desire is for EVERY person to have faith and be saved. That God’s calling is for ALL men.

    3. That the redeemed can forfeit their salvation if/and when they become lukewarm and/or fall away.

    The above statements are true. To teach (as many do), that babies are born in sin (and therefore separeated from God), and/or that Jesus only shed his blood for a preselected few…is wicked and evil.

    What concerns me is how it seems as though the more “progressive” an individual becomes, the more likely he or she is to believe the unbiblical and unjust doctrines that babies are born separated from God and/or that Jesus shed his blood for only a pres-elected few. And that rest of the “born sinful” human race was not chosen by God to be saved and that God does not call them to salvation. Which is satanic teaching.

    Also, it seems as though the “progressives” which do still hold to the historic teaching of the coc (that babies are not sinful and that God wants everyone of them to be saved), have a hard time correcting those who believe and teach the lie (the Calvinistic view).

    Either they now believe the lie themselves….or, they refuse to stand up against it anymore. It seems as though such is a requirement for virtually evevy “progressive.”

  129. “So you are saying there are people living who are equal to God”

    No. Of course not. I am only saying that Jesus was born with the same exact human flesh and desires that babies ae still born with today. Otherwise, having a different flesh and desires than us, he could not have been tempted in every way that we are. But the Bible says he was. Therefore, he was born equally fleshly and human as us. Not sinful.

  130. Seems you are the one leaning on much of man’s logic. I am a student of the Bible who is following Christ.

  131. I never said He wasn’t both Man and God.

    Jesus’ birth was different than ours. The seed of the woman is the title for the Lord Jesus Christ in virgin birth. The sin nature Adam’s imputed sin is passed down through the man. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Lamb of God had to be without spot or blemish. That doesn’t mean He wasn’t able to be tempted, the Incarnation required that the Son of God must have the ability to be tempted Philippians 2:7 “but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

  132. Hank,

    Why do you think it is that every child to the last one lies, cheats, is selfish, rebellious, takes things that are not theirs, etc.even when they are very young? And, why is it that as soon as they are old enough to know better everyone of them will choose to do wrong? Is it a giant coincidence? You would think that out of all humanity at least one of those innocent children would make all the right choices.

    It just doesn’t add up does it?

  133. If you think the reason we all lie, cheat, and are selfish is because we were born sinful, then why did Adam and Eve sin? Was it because they were born (created) sinful? Even Jesus had to learn to refuse the evil and to choose the good, didn’t he?

    Adam and Eve were created with just as much flesh and with just as many fleshly desires as were the rest of us. And Jesus was born with the same flesh and fleshly desires too. It’s part of being human.

    If it doesn’t add up….perhaps your math is wrong?

  134. Why does everyone sin? Is a lie a lie if a person 21 years old tells it? How about 16 years old? 10? 7? 5? 3?

    This isn’t that hard to figure out if you only think a bit. Would you hold a 15 year old more accountable than you would a 2 year old? Of course you would and why should you think God would be any different?

  135. Temptation is a big word and used with much latitude in religious circles. When an attractive woman walks by and a man lusts he might say he was tempted to sin. In fact, he has already sinned. His sinful nature has led his mind to lust. If Jesus lusted after a woman then he was not sinless.

    If Jesus had a fully human nature, apart from sin, as is the orthodox doctrine, then an attractive woman could walk by and he could be tempted but w/o sin. The opportunity to lust was present, but in his pure and sinless nature he did not have the desire to abuse the woman or use her in any mere self serving way.

    Sin is like putting a weight on a man’s shoulders. If the man is weak he will buckle under the weight. A stronger man could withstand more weight and Jesus could withstand all the weight in the world w/o buckling. In this sense he was tempted in every way we are – every imaginable scenario was presented to him, but he thought and acted righteously in every situation.

    I recall being younger and speaking my mind with little thought. Perhaps we still do that today. I argued that Jesus could not have been tempted as we are if he was unable to sin. It was b/c I misunderstood what temptation actually is. The orthodox teaching is that Jesus was unable to sin i.e. he was impeccable. The typical CofC teaching is that he was able to not sin i.e peccable but w/o sin. My personal belief is that as the completely unique God/man Jesus was able to not sin AND not able to sin, for God is not able to sin..

    Like I have said in other comments, POTS is just one of many doctrines that we have to struggle with. And when we get the answer to one question it brings three new questions with it, but they are better questions.

  136. Hank If you, and I, had the insight some claim to have, oh say Anon. and Royce, we could read the bible less and preach more.

    Royce said; “This isn’t that hard to figure out if you only think a bit. Would you hold a 15 year old more accountable than you would a 2 year old? Of course you would and why should you think God would be any different?”

    Seems some know by logic, (although they say it is only prudent to use it, when it fits their argument) what God is thinking all the time.
    I guess some failed to read. ” The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.”
    (all who are 20 yrs of age will be held accountable, the same, no favorites, no exceptions) Royce I don’t know that a 15 yr old is more accountable than a 2 yr old “before God” even if you have figured it out. I believe we are told when we compare God’s thinking to Man’s we error. Royce you are not God, and you can’t figure him out. We can only accept what he has told us about himself .

  137. Like God, I would not hold a fetus accountable for anything done by its father or mother. I wouldn’t hold a 6 month old accountable for anything done by sombody else either.

    What needs to be remembered is that unforgiven sin separates a soul from God. Period. Now, either babies are born separated from God because of the sin of somebody else (which is a wicked and unjust concept), or they are born free from all sin and NOT separated from God.

    Why are we even arguing this when Ez. 18 says emphatically that the son shall not bare the iniquity of the father?

    Why did Adam and Eve sin if they were not created sinful? Or do you believe that even they were sinful from the jump?

    I wish the NIV never incorrectly translated sarx as “sinful nature.” Perhaps then people would be less confused.

    But, this is for sure the worst thing about most progressives (that they believe and/or tolerate the satanic doctrine which says that little babies are born guilty of another man’s sin and that God’s does not desire them all to be drawn to him).

    I am sure God was happier when more people believed the truth and vehemently opposed the demonic teaching that claims God has only chosen a preselected few to ever be drawn and come to him.

    For instance:

    Royce, do you believe that God draws ALL men to be saved? That he is calling for All men to be saved?

    Years ago, a member of the Church of Christ would never believe and/or embrace such lies. Never.

  138. Hank wrote: “People should be willing to follow through with the logical conclusions of their beliefs.”

    Then, is it your understanding that each person is subject to a personal fall? Is it possible that there would be some that don’t sin and aren’t in need of a savior? Is that the logical conclusion to your belief?

  139. Hi Nancy,

    I’m not sure of your question.

    But, I would say that a child born today is just as likely to fall as was Adam and Eve.

    However, I would also say that a child born today started out just as pure and free from sin as did Adam and Eve.

    Again, the Bible teaches that “the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father.”

    And Randall,

    James wrote that “EVERY MAN is tempted WHEN he drawn away of his own lust and enticed.” Now, either Jesus was at times drawn away of his own lust (desires) and tempted like everybody else, or he was never tempted.

    The ESV says that “each person is tempted WHEN he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”

    Since Jesus was tempted…he was also “lured and enticed by his own desire.” That’s what God says temptation is! The difference is that the desires of Jesus never “conceived” nor “gave birth” to sin. He was sinless, of course. But that fact that he had the same desires of the flesh as you and I and Adam and Eve does not mean he had a “sinful nature.” It means he was full human. It’s par for the course.

    Remember that Adam was created perfect and without sin and yet he was still drawn away of his own desire too. Having fleshly desires does not mean you were a born sinner. If you were a born sinner….you were born separated from God because unforgiven sin is what separates souls from God.

    That is what I meant when I said people should own up to the logical conclusions of their beliefs. If you believe a child is born sinful…then go ahead and say that children are lost. Be consitent and say it. If you believe God loves all ittle babies and that they are in a right relationship with God at birth….then don’t call them full of sin. Just don’t do it.

  140. Hank, my question is if you believe that man (babies) are not born with a sin nature, then is the logical conclusion of this belief that each person is subject to their own individual fall (think “fall of man”) and therefore there will be some that won’t sin and not be in need of a savior.

  141. Hank, If babies don’t have a sinful nature passed on from Adam, then what is your logic that they die. Adam would have lived forever had he not fallen? What is your logic that babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?

  142. My logic is that babies are not born separated from God at birth due to the sins of somebody else. I say that because if babies WERE born sinful….then they would be born separated from God because that’s what sin does — it separates souls from God.

    I also say that babies are not born sinful because the Bible says that “the soul that sins shall die. The son SHALL NOT bare the iniquities of the father..”

    Just because we all end up sinning does not mean that we were born sinful. Sin is breaking the law of God and a fetus (or newborn baby) just can’t do that.

    Rember, Adam and Eve sinned. Why? Because they were created sinful? Why did they ever sin if they did not start out sinful?

    And what about Jesus? Was there a time when he “did not know how to refuse the evil and choose the good”? (Isa. 7). Just because he was like every other child does not mean he was sinful.

    But, the truth is that children are born without sin. Otherwise they would be born separated from God because ALL unforgiven sin separates souls from God. It really does.

    Now if you insist on believing that children are born sinful….then follow the teaching through and go ahead and say all babies are born lost (because unforgiven sin separates souls from God).

    Just, know that such a teaching is a truly demonic.

    And it used to be that no Church of Christ member would EVER tolerate such a wicked idea. Ever…

  143. Hank, Is God drawing and or calling everyone to be saved?. No

  144. Hank, in my opinion, every one of these people you are arguing with would say, abortion is the killing of innocent souls, innocent blood, yet they say there is no such thing, as innocence, all are guilty.
    Up the thread somewhere someone said this doctrine creates more atheist than anything else. I have to agree, it would be hard for me to believe in their god too.
    I was asked once, what if you do make it to heaven and he is a vengeful god as the bible states, would you be any better off than me.
    My answer,” not if he pointed his vengeance to ward his children, but he points his vengeance toward those who try to steal his children. ” God is also a jealous God, but he is not jealous of me, I have nothing he wants, Satan does.

  145. Hank, if man (babies) are born without a sinful nature, then is it possible that some will never sin and not have need for a savior? Is that the logical conclusion to this belief?

  146. It continues to surprise me (I know it shouldn’t) that people that do not understand Calvinism and deny the doctrine of the sovereignty of God as it is understood by Calvinists continue to say what Calvinists believe, and they continue to be very wrong about what Calvinists believe.

    It is also noted that they continue to refuse to answer Nancy’s questions.

    Is it possible for a baby to be born that will never sin? Could anyone on this blog go ever 24 hours w/o sin. could anyone on this blog go 24 hours loving God with all of their being. This answer is cl;early “no.” And the reason is that we have a sinful nature i. we sin b/c we are sinful. We didn’t become sinful b/c we sinned one time. We were born that way. It is human nature ever since the fall, though not before the fall.

    If babies do not inherit a sinful nature and are innocent in EVERY sense then why do babies die, sometimes after just a few hours after they were born?

    Could Jesus sin? If Jesus is God, the second person of the trinity, then could Jesus sin, which is to say could God sin? For example, could Jesus lie?

    This is one of my problems with the CofC, so many make claims that they think everyone must agree on when they have not studied nor thought deeply on the subject matter. We continue to major in lesser important doctrines and minor in more important doctrines and then speak dogmatically about things we hardly understand.

    We also teach theology is a bad word so we never study systematic theology and end up having one doctrine contradict another doctrine. Sometimes I feel like it is hopeless.

  147. This topic has been debated by biblical scholars for around 2000 years. Somehow I doubt that the few people on this thread are going to be the ones finally to settle the matter. So…

    (1Co 8:2) The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.
    (1Co 8:3) But the man who loves God is known by God.

    (Rom 15:5) May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
    (Rom 15:6) so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    (Rom 15:7) Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

  148. Alan,
    You make a very good point: knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. So I believe we agree it is more important by far to love God and our fellow man than it is to think correctly about a variety of doctrines. Jay has repeatedly made that point.

    This does not mean that we should not strive to understand scripture. As Paul says to Timothy, “All scripture is inspired by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

    To the extent that these exchanges challenge and ultmately lead another to search deeper they edify. If they do not encourage another to study more, under the direction of the HS, they are simply a waste of time at best and destructive at worst

    In my case, had I not been challenged through similar exchanges, I would never have studied more. I was forced to admit to myself how little I knew (and currently know). The goal is to get the answer to one question knowing that will bring on three more questions, but better questions than I had previously. Also it is possible, even likely, that the point of view I affirm is acknowledged by me to be flawed. With finite intellect we will not fully grasp the nature of an infinite being. I hope it is the same for everyone.

    When people accuse another of being the devil’s workman they simply tear down and judge another whose heart and standing before God they do not know.

  149. Randall said; “We continue to major in lesser important doctrines and minor in more important doctrines and then speak dogmatically about things we hardly understand.’

    do you mean like the “Trinity Doctrine”

  150. Nancy asked Hank, if man (babies) are born without a sinful nature, then is it possible that some will never sin and not have need for a savior? Is that the logical conclusion to this belief? ”
    Hank, Pardon my interruption, yes it is possible, the life of Jesus proved that very thing. are we apt to live that kind of life, highly unlikely, I personally have known people who lived their entire life without sin. And I have no doubt they will be in heaven when it is all over. and all those to which I refer was never, repeat never baptized into Jesus.

  151. So I’ve been standing by, reading what everyone else has been writing. First, (and I hesitate to say this because it feels like throwing stones, and I’m for sure not the one without sin — I can only assure you that is not my intention to be hurtful or accusatory, but…) it hurts me to see such a spirit of dissension and even anger on a Christian site, in which we’re only striving to understand better some of the theology behind the lives we’re living. The name-calling and haste with which we put others into the category of God’s enemy are both shocking and disappointing. I may have been wrong to write anything about this, but I felt within me that I should.

    Secondly, I’d like to add something to the actual conversation. I am wondering what definition of sin we’re using? If I understand the word correctly, it means to ‘miss the mark,’ as in God has a particular way in which he’d like us to live and act (both in general and in specific situations). And when we fail to live in just the way he desires, we have sinned. Now put that thought on hold for a moment.

    My wife and I recently had our first child. She is incredibly selfish. Whenever she needs something, no matter what it is, she cries. She only thinks of herself and doesn’t pay any attention to anyone else’s needs. I would offer that selfishness is at the very core of most (if not every) sin. And if my daughter is held accountable and responsible for the selfish lens through which she views the world, she (not Paul) is the chiefest of sinners.

    I assume (and I hate to do that — I also don’t like when we’re left to use our human logic to come to theological conclusions) Jesus cried when he was a baby. If Jesus was fully human (and I believe he was), I bet he bawled when he was hungry… and dirty…. and sleepy. I bet he was as selfish a baby as any. [Again, all conjecture on my part.]

    The way I view all this is that human beings, even Jesus, are born with a “sinful nature,” meaning they are selfish at their core and have a leaning towards acting on that selfishness. I personally don’t believe there is present any guilt whatsoever at birth — but the nature is there, along with the selfishness. I just don’t think babies are held responsible for it at that age.

    [Back to the definition of sin…] I believe God has not set a mark for babies to live their lives without acting on their selfish nature. I believe God has no intention of them overcoming the “sin” of being selfish — which, then, makes it not sin. I would even argue that God put in babies an ability to express their needs, as selfish as it may seem. So I don’t believe Jesus sinned by being selfish when he was a baby, and I don’t believe my daughter sins when she cries either. I also believe she is guiltless before God (as Jesus was) until the point at which the Father (in his knowledge) begins to hold her accountable for not living life as he intended it. When is that? I have no idea. But I can’t see that it matters, because I know my daughter will sin when that point comes.

    But Jesus didn’t. Praise God.

  152. Nancy asked:

    “Hank, if man (babies) are born without a sinful nature, then is it possible that some will never sin and not have need for a savior? Is that the logical conclusion to this belief?”

    Not any more than saying that Adam and Eve came into this world without any “sinful nature” and yet, they still needed a savior. Think about it, Nancy — if we sin because we were born sinners and Jesus did not sin because he was not a born sinner…the why did Adam sin?? Was he created sinful? If not, why did he still sin??

    The truth is that nobody has ever ever been born guilty of another mans sin because God said the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father. The wicked and satanic teaching that children are born separated from God and that God will only call and or draw a small few of them is a lie.

    God loves everybody and wants everybody to go to heaven. Babies are saved (not born sinners). All souls guilty of sin are lost. God draws ALL men to him even though some choose not to come.

  153. Laymond! Say you are joking! Sinless people? I think you have finally peaked out with that.

    Ugg, my head is about to explode! I can’t believe this is a forum among adults who are not institutionalized.

  154. Here is why I say the teachin is satanic. Randall wrote:

    “If babies do not inherit a sinful nature and are innocent in EVERY sense then why do babies die, sometimes after just a few hours after they were born?”

    See that? Here is a guy who believes that if your baby died (even just a few after its birth), it is because your baby was a born sinner who merely had it coming!

    Which, if he is correct….then not only did your baby die, but he or she will be eternally separated from God because that is what happens to every soul who dies without his or sin forgiven!

    Wicked and evil is the entire concept…

  155. Randall also said,

    “could anyone on this blog go 24 hours loving God with all of their being. This answer is cl;early “no.” And the reason is that we have a sinful nature i. we sin b/c we are sinful”

    He thinks we sin BECAUSE we are born sinners. But then, why did Adam sin? Was he a born sinner?

  156. Royce, there have been millions of people who died sinless. Just think about all the babies who have been created in God’s image but then murdered by the hands of abortionists. Do you think those humans died while guilt of sin? Or, were they sinless?

    Remember that if you say they were born sinners and then died before having trusted in Jesus for forgiveness….that you’ll have to argue that every aborted baby died separated from God and lost. Because again, sin (any unforgiven sin), separates a soul from God an causes them to be lost.

    The ides is not only rediculous, it is satanic.

    Also, does anybody care to weigh in on the fact that even Jesus had “to learn to refuse the evil and to choose the good”? I mean, when he was a kid and chose the evil (took another childs toy or something), was that because of his alleged “sinful nature”?

  157. The notion that God is NOT drwaing all men to himself (that most people CANNOT come to God because they were not pre-selected) is also satanic. Pure and simple.

    Think about it. A baby is born sinful, God did not choose (nor is he calling and/or drawing him), he therefore CANNOT ever be saved because he was not pre-selected!

    So entirely wicked is that doctrine.

  158. Wow, there’s a lot to respond to from the last few comments.

    First to Laymond: Yes I believe the doctrine of the Trinity is one of the more important doctrines of Christianity. It goes to the core of who God is; his nature and attributes. Of course it is impossible to grasp how one plus one plus one equals one. Perhaps it is infinity plus infinity plus infinity equals infinity. But all explanations fall short. I affirm it b/c it is the best explanation I know of, but clearly there are problem texts to lots of doctrines as I have mentioned in previous comments.

    B.W. Stone did NOT affirm the Trinity and spoke of it as speculative theology. He was even so public about it that Thomas Campbell counseled him that he was entitled to his own opinion but to please keep it quiet as it was used by other to accuse us of being a cult. The Jule Miller filmstrips suggest the findings of the early ecumenical councils were in error. (In these councils the doctrine of who Christ is and trinity were worked out and have regarded as orthodox ever since.) Even many of our songbooks in the song Holy, Holy, Holy do NOT contain the words “God in three persons, blessed Trinity” and have replaced that line with other words. I believe there are still some today that do not affirm the Trinity nor that Jesus is God. Laymond, do you know anyone that would agree with that?

    James Brett has some interesting observations, especially when speaking of his baby’s selfish nature. I have often speculated in my own mind what Jesus may have been like as a child and assumed (there’s that word again) that he was not selfish like other children. I believe he was always sinless and that is why he was the perfect sacrifice for sinful men. I believe scripture supports this, but must admit I am speculating about his behavior as a baby and small child. There is at least one individual whose scholarship I respect very much that believes that if Jesus had not laid down his life on the cross he had the potential to grow old and die of a worn out body or some disease. I have never believed that way, but I can’t prove it. It is just too difficult for me to think that God could die of old age.

    As to those that affirm it is possible for a baby to be born and grow up and never sin I would appreciate an explanation (even if it is just speculation, and this is not a demand – it is just a request)as to why no one has ever done it. (BTW, This doctrine/teaching is known as Pelagianism.) In all of history Jesus is the only man that lived a sinless life and he was the completely unique God-man. All other people, billions of them have lived and not one has even come close to being sinless. If it is possible to be sinless with our human nature then why has it NEVER happened in so many billion cases? I believe I could appeal to numerous scriptures to support this, but I don’t want to get into proof texting right now.

    James Brett also had some appropriate comments about name calling and appropriate behavior in this forum. If we would take his admonition to heart we could have a worthwhile discussion and treat each other appropriately. After, we are to love even our enemies.

    Peace,
    Randall

  159. So then, are aborted babies sinful? If yes, then all 10 zillion of them are lost because of their inherited yet, unforgiven sin. That means they are eternally separated from God because thats what happens to evry soul that dies without his or her sin forgiven.

    The horror of such an evil doctrine.

  160. Hank, the point is that we just don’t know the answers to some of these VERY difficult questions. We have theories that as Alan pointed out have been debated by godly people for 2000 yrs. and with biblical support for these theories. To insist what God does or must do based on our limited human understanding and our pathetic standards is sinful. Seems to me that’s what tripped up Adam & Eve in the first place.

  161. Royce I knew you could not remain silent, as a matter of fact what I said was for your benefit, I knew you would throw a shoe.
    But if you tell me My great granddaughter who lived a grand total of three days was lost because she was nor baptized, I will meet you in that bug house you are always referring to. Tell me what sins she committed.
    And I have had to comfort others who have had the unfortunate experience of loosing children before the age of one.
    I don’t believe God sees any of those as sinful, so yes they lived a sinless life.
    As you might recall, if you would take the time Nancy was talking about newborns being burdened with sin at birth. Really a ridiculous idea but hers anyway.

  162. Randall said, “All other people, billions of them have lived and not one has even come close to being sinless.”

    question; How do you know this?

  163. “if you would take the time Nancy was talking about newborns being burdened with sin at birth. Really a ridiculous idea but hers anyway.”

    Where was I talking about his Laymond? I simply asked a question of Hank who insisted that every statement must be taken to it’s logical conclusion. I asked for clarification of what the logical conclusion is of man (babies) not being born with a sinful nature. Can you please point me to where I have asserted any ridiculous ideas concerning newborns being burdened with sin. Or maybe it is your view that it is ridiculous to ask any question that does not really have a good answer. In my experience that is a commonly held view in the CofC.

  164. Can a baby not be born with a sinful nature and a tendency towards sin, but without carrying guilt for that nature or another person, and without having those counted against him/her?

  165. … until God decides to count them against him/her, that is?

  166. I believe I have read all the comments here and I don’t remember anyone saying that aborted babies and babies who die young go to hell. No one person has purposed that nonsense.

    Jamesbrett asked “Can a baby not be born with a sinful nature and a tendency towards sin, but without carrying guilt for that nature or another person, and without having those counted against him/her?? Yes, I believe so.

    In the same way an adult who does not have and has never had the mental capacity to know right from wrong I believe Christ’s blood takes away their sins. I can’t get around those passages that declare all are guilty, all have sinned, all are unprofitable, and everyone has gone his own way.

    Whatever your view of these subjects, God is just and the justifier of the ungodly. Eternal life is in His Son Jesus Christ and no man woman or child comes to the Father but by him. The mistake we make is thinking God requires something external, some act, to count us righteous. Not so. God is God and he shows mercy and grace to whomever he wills and that without our approval.

    Royce

  167. Nancy your insistence on an answer to your question, appeared , to me anyway, that it was your belief that children are born in sin, if I misunderstood, I apologize.

  168. Laymond, apology accepted. I’m guilty of forming opinions based on your posts too.

  169. Laymond,
    You brought up the doctrine of the Trinity. It seems to me you have commented on this matter in the past (maybe on a different blog) but I can’t recall for sure so I need to be reminded. Since you brought it up would you please tell us whether you affirm or deny the Trinity and whether you affirm or deny orthodox Christology that Jesus’ nature is fully divine just as it is fully human?
    Thanks in advance,
    Randall

  170. Laymond asked how I know that my assertion that “All other people, billions of them have lived and not one has even come close to being sinless.”

    How do I know this? The Bible tells me so. Do you have any reason whatsoever to doubt it?

    The fact that you questioned the assertion suggests that you doubt it and think there may have been some people besides Jesus that lived a sinless life. This doctrine also goes to the fundamentals of the Christian religion. Right after the nature of God the nature of man comes into the picture. The belief of Calvinists and non-Calvinists has traditionally been that there is none righteous, no not one.

    If you don’t affirm it you are certainly entitled to your own opinion. I ask b/c I think most of us on this blog take it as a given that God is infinitely holy and all mankind is sinful. I believe we all assume that the others on this blog accept these basic doctrines. Would you please share what you believe regarding this issue?

  171. “So then, are aborted babies sinful?” Of course. That’s why they get aborted, as punishment for sin.

  172. Royce wrote:

    “I believe I have read all the comments here and I don’t remember anyone saying that aborted babies and babies who die young go to hell. No one person has purposed that nonsense.”

    Royce, if you’re going to believe and teach that aborted babies and small children are born sinful…then to be consistent, you will have to go ahead and teach the logical conclusion of such. Namely, that all aborted babies and children who die young go to hell.

    Here is the reason — sin separates souls from God. If a human (any human) dies without being forgiven of their sin, then they die lost. Therefore, IF babies are born sinful, and IF they die before being forgiven by trusting in Jesus, then they are lost.

    If nobody here wants to believe that babies who die are lost… then nobody here ought to believe that babies are born sinners.

    But, its simply inconsistent to believe that babies are born sinners but that if they die, it’s AS IF they were born free from sin. Either they are born guilty of sin and are sinful or they are not born guilty of sin.

  173. Nancy,

    Did you get what I was trying to say about Adam and Eve? If people sin BECAUSE they are born sinful, then why did Adam and Eve sin?

  174. jamesbrett wrote:

    “Can a baby not be born with a sinful nature and a tendency towards sin, but without carrying guilt for that nature or another person, and without having those counted against him/her?”

    No.

    First of all, “sinul nature” is an extremely poor (and misleading), tranlation of the Greek “sarx.”

    Second, Adam and Eve had a “tendency towards sin” but, that does not mean they were created with any so called “sinful nature.”

    Third, if Jesus was not born with a sinful nature (and if everybody else is), then Jesus was not tempted in every way that we all are today. Again, even Jesus had to learn to refuse the evil and to choose the good (Isa. 7). But, that does not mean he was born sinful (or with a sinful nature).

    Fourth, a baby CANNOT be born with a sinful nature at all. Why? Because God said that the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father. To teach that our very nature is sinful (because of the sins of someone before us), is to contradict Eze. 18.

  175. John Wesley (and I’m in no habit of quoting him) says it right when he says in his Sermon titled Free Grace:

    Such blasphemy as this, one would think might make the ears of a Christian to tingle! But there is yet more behind it; for just as it ‘honours’ the Son, so doth this doctrine ‘honour’ the Father. It destroys all his attributes at once: It overturns both his justice, mercy, and truth; yea, it represents the most holy God as worse than the devil, as both more false, more cruel, and more unjust. More false; because the devil, liar as he is, hath never said that he willeth all men to be saved: More unjust; because the devil cannot, even if he would, be guilty of such injustice as you ascribe to God, when you say that God condemned millions of souls to everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, for continuing in sin, which, for want of that grace he will not give them, they cannot avoid: And more cruel; because that unhappy spirit seeketh rest and findeth none; so that his own restless misery is a kind of temptation to him to tempt others. But God resteth in his high and holy place; so that to suppose him, of his own mere motion, of his pure will and pleasure, happy as he is, to doom his creatures, whether they will or no, to endless misery, is to impute such cruelty to him as we cannot impute even to the great enemy of God and man. It is to represent the high God (he that hath ears to hear let him hear!) as more cruel, false, and unjust than the devil!

    This is the blasphemy clearly contained in the horrible decree of predestination! And here I fix my foot. On this I raise issue with every assertor of it. You represent God as worse than the devil; more false, more cruel, more unjust. But you say you will prove it by scripture. Hold! What will you prove by Scripture? That God is worse than the devil? It cannot be. Whatever that Scripture proves, it never proved this; whatever its true meaning be. This cannot be its true meaning. Do you ask, “What is its true meaning then?” If I say, ” I know not,” you have gained nothing; for there are many scriptures the true sense whereof neither you nor I shall know till death is swallowed up in victory. But this I know, better it were to say it had no sense, than to say it had such a sense as this. It cannot mean, whatever it mean besides, that the God of truth is a liar. Let it mean what it will, it cannot mean that the Judge of all the world is unjust. No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works; that is, whatever it prove beside, no scripture can prove predestination.

    This is the blasphemy for which (however I love the persons who assert it) I abhor the doctrine of predestination, a doctrine, upon the supposition of which, if one could possibly suppose it for a moment, (call it election, reprobation, or what you please, for all comes to the same thing) one might say to our adversary, the devil, “Thou fool, why dost thou roar about any longer? Thy lying in wait for souls is as needless and useless as our preaching. Hearest thou not, that God hath taken thy work out of thy hands; and that he doeth it much more effectually? Thou, with all thy principalities and powers, canst only so assault that we may resist thee; but He can irresistibly destroy both body and soul in hell! Thou canst only entice; but his unchangeable decrees, to leave thousands of souls in death, compels them to continue in sin, till they drop into everlasting burnings. Thou temptest; He forceth us to be damned; for we cannot resist his will. Thou fool, why goest thou about any longer, seeking whom thou mayest devour? Hearest thou not that God is the devouring lion, the destroyer of souls, the murderer of men? Moloch caused only children to pass though the fire: and that fire was soon quenched; or, the corruptible body being consumed, its torment was at an end; but God, thou are told, by his eternal decree, fixed before they had done good or evil, causes, not only children of a span long, but the parents also, to pass through the fire of hell, the ‘fire which never shall be quenched; and the body which is cast thereinto, being now incorruptible and immortal, will be ever consuming and never consumed, but ‘the smoke of their torment,’ because it is God’s good pleasure, ‘ascendeth up for ever and ever.’ ”

    O how would the enemy of God and man rejoice to hear these things were so! How would he cry aloud and spare not! How would he lift up his voice and say, “To your tents, O Israel! Flee from the face of this God, or ye shall utterly perish! But whither will ye flee? Into heaven? He is there, Down to hell? He is there also. Ye cannot flee from an omnipresent, almighty tyrant. And whether ye flee or stay, I call heaven, his throne, and earth, his footstool, to witness against you, ye shall perish, ye shall die eternally. Sing, O hell, and rejoice, ye that are under the earth! For God, even the mighty God, hath spoken, and devoted to death thousands of souls, form the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof! Here, O death, is they sting! They shall not, cannot escape; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Here, O grave is thy victory. Nations yet unborn, or ever they have done good or evil are doomed never to see the light of life, but thou shalt gnaw upon them for ever and ever! Let all those morning stars sing together, who fell with Lucifer, son of the morning! Let all the sons of hell shout for joy! For the decree is past, and who shall disannul it?”

  176. For the full sermon http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/128/. The part I quoted is from page 2.

  177. Hank, you don’t believe Jesus to be the only person on earth who lived a sinless life?

  178. Hank asked “Did you get what I was trying to say about Adam and Eve? If people sin BECAUSE they are born sinful, then why did Adam and Eve sin?”

    No, I didn’t understand what you were trying to say.

    Adam & Eve sinned because they were deceived into thinking they could be like God, they desired to know good and evil. The doctrine of imputed sin does not deal with why Adam and Eve sin so much as it deals with man’s struggle to how sin is charged to to every person. There are two maybe three views being discussed here…the Pelegian, the semi-Pelgian or Arminian, and the Federal view. I could type what I understand of each of these, but it would be just as easy for you to refer to a theology handbook or even a few google searches to read about these various views.

  179. Nancy wrote:

    “The doctrine of imputed sin does not deal with why Adam and Eve sin so much as it deals with man’s struggle to how sin is charged to to every person.”

    The doctrine of “imputed sin” is wrong because the Bible says that the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father.

    The soul that sins shall die.

    Nancy, sin is not charged to a person until after they actually sin. The Bible clearly teaches that the son is not charged for the sin of his father.

  180. Hank,
    you don’t believe Jesus to be the only person on earth who lived a sinless life?

  181. Anon asked:

    “Hank, you don’t believe Jesus to be the only person on earth who lived a sinless life?”

    It depends on how long you believe one must live before he or she qualifies?

    Technically, every time a small child dies, there is another person who lived a sinless life. Otherwise (if they were not sinless), then they would be sent to hell. Becasue the only way sin is forgiven is through genuine faith in Christ. If babies are sinful, and if babies cannot have genuine faith in Christ, then babies that die are lost. See why the doctrine of inherited sin is so demonic?

  182. Anon,

    Do you believe that unforgiven sin separates a soul from God?

  183. It isn’t sin that separates us from God. Its reprobation.

  184. To have a relationship with God we need His forgiveness.

    I believe a child a that dies who’s undeveloped mind was unable to make a decision toward Christ, God is just and accountability is perfectly known to Him.

  185. You still haven’t said why children do bad things such as being selfish, rebellious, lying, cheating, etc. without being taught to, they need to be taught not to do, you know, all that sinful stuff they do.

  186. Hank wrote: “Nancy, sin is not charged to a person until after they actually sin. ”

    So, why do you think it is that a person sins? Is it a learned behavior?

  187. Nancy asked:

    “So, why do you think it is that a person sins? Is it a learned behavior?”

    I think that a person sins when they are drawn away by their own desires and enticed. Then, when their desires have conceived, it brings forth sin, and sin, when it is finished brings forth death.

    But, because a person ends up sinning does not mean that they were born sinful. Otherwise, why did Adam sin? Was it because he started out sinful?

    Nancy, did you know that in the Bible it clearly says that “the soul that sins, IT shall die. The son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father”? That means that we do not inherit any sin of anybody else. We are only sinners AFTER we actually sin.

    And Jesus had the same physical body (flesh), with the same desires as every other person. He was born with THE SAME human nature as all men are. We kcnow this is true because the Bible says he was tempted in every respect as we are today.

  188. Randall said the bible told him Jesus was the only person who ever lived sinless. Randall, did you forget about Enoch and Elijah ” they each walked with God” and was taken up without death, did they walk with God in sin, or without sin.

    I believe both are spoken of in the bible, do you think the writer is just lying about Elijah and Enoch?

  189. Anon wrote:

    “You still haven’t said why children do bad things such as being selfish, rebellious, lying, cheating, etc. without being taught to, they need to be taught not to do, you know, all that sinful stuff they do.”

    I have mentioned the fact that when Jesus himself was a child, there was a time when he did not know how to “reject the wrong and choose the right” (Isa. 7), but nobody wants to acknowledge the fact.

    Here is the point Anon (and all else), that for a time when he was young, JESUS did not know how to reject the evil and to choose the good.

    Now, are you going to suggest that because Jesus was just like every other child in not knowing how to reject the wrong and choose the right, that he was born sinful too?

    Think about it.

  190. Hank wrote: “Nancy, did you know that in the Bible it clearly says that “the soul that sins, IT shall die. The son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father”? That means that we do not inherit any sin of anybody else. We are only sinners AFTER we actually sin.”

    Hank, have I indicated in any of my posts that I wasn’t familiar with the Bible? I asked a question based on your assertion that any position must be taken to it’s logical conclusion. I asked if you (or any person) believes that man (babies) are born without a sin nature (or a sinful nature) then is it possible that some would never sin and not need a savior. You answered with the question why did Adam and Eve sin. I’m really just trying to understand the logical conclusion to your assertion.

    Is it you understanding that if a person does not sin then they will live forever? Or do you believe that the entire human race is subject to death having been affected by the sin in the garden?

  191. Hi Nancy, you asked:

    “Is it you understanding that if a person does not sin then they will live forever? Or do you believe that the entire human race is subject to death having been affected by the sin in the garden?”

    No, just because a person dies (physically), it does not mean that he or she was guilty of sin. Which is why I brought up the 50 zillion babies that have been murdered by abortionists. They all stopped living and died…but it was not because of any sin of their own. They were not sinful because God says that children DO NOT bare (inherit), the sin of their father.

    As far as the effects of the “sin in the garden,” from that point, all of creation was cursed. But Nancy, that does not mean all of creation was made guilty of sin and would experience death. After the fall, everything dies physically. Plants, fish, trurtles, cats, dogs, dolphins, aborted babies, Jesus…. But none of the above died because they were born (or created), sinful.

    Pure and sinless babies are born into a world full of sin and might be murdered in the womb, they may be born mentally damaged, they may get sick 3 and die three weeks after birth, etc. None of those things mean that they were sinful though.

  192. Hank:

    You asked if forgot about Enoch and Elijah and said ” they each walked with God.” So it is now fair to say that you do believe these men were w/o sin. If this is not correct please tell me so.

    No, I did not forget about Enoch and Elijah, nor even Daniel. I do believe these men were righteous relative to other men, but not when compared to Jesus. I believe that Jesus is the only sinless person that ever walked on earth. I believe the scriptures teach that all mere humans are sinful by nature and practice.

    Even babies are born with a sinful nature that predisposes them to sin even before they have actually committed any sin. I also believe God may save anyone he wants to, and he may save babies apart from faith in him. He is God and he can do anything he wants to do. The scriptures tend towards dealing with adults of sound mind and do not directly address the fate of babies, though there implications they are saved. Hank does not have the right to tell anyone else what they must or should believe.

    Calvinists and classic Arminians believe the doctrine of total depravity – the “T” in TULIP. So far as I know, only Pelagians believe the human race did not fall as a result of Adam’s sin. As to Adam’s decision to sin, I wish I knew more about it. The scripture does not tell us a great deal. We do know Adam was created good, indeed God saw all that he had created and it was very good. Apparently Adam was created good but peccable, that is he had the ability to sin. After he sinned God cursed Satan, and the earth was cursed b/c of Adam’s sin. Romans tells us we all sinned b/c of Adam’s sin.

    Jesus was impeccable, that is in his divine nature he did not have the ability to sin. I know that is hard to grasp – how could he be human and God – how could he be tempted like us if he could not sin. There are lots of things in the Bible that are hard to understand. Perhaps rather than passing judgment on those of a different point of view we should study more and pray that God would give us better understanding. The scriptures admonish us to do that. They do not direct us to pass judgment on others for thinking differently.

  193. Randall, you confuse me with somebody else. I never mentioned Enoch and/or Elijah.

  194. Randall wrote,

    “Hank does not have the right to tell anyone else what they must or should believe.”

    Yes I do.

    For example, I will tell you again that (if you care about the truth), you shouldn’t believe that babies are born sinners. And that when an innocent life is “aborted,” you should believe it was a sinner who was murdered in the womb because babies are not sinful. Neither are the born with the sin of the father because God says the son shall not bare the iniquity of the father.

    And when you realize (or remember), that unfrogiven sinners go to hell, you write:

    “God may save anyone he wants to, and he may save babies apart from faith in him. He is God and he can do anything he wants to do.”

    That is how you “fix” your dilemna? You know unfrogiven sinners are lost. You know forgiveness comes only through faith in Christ. You know that newborn babies cannot have faith in Christ. Therefore, your entire set of beliefs here logically have aborted babies going to hell by the jillions.

    So what do you do? Rather than reject the wicked notion that little babies are sinful and born separated from God in the womb….you hold to that eveil teaching and then just suggest that God can go against his word. What?!

    You see, God’s word says that without faith in Christ, you CANNOT be forgiven. And you know a newborn baby (or fetus) cannot have faith in Christ. But, somehow, you know that God will not stick to his word about that when it comes to littles children.

    Wouldn’t it be easier to simply believe the truth? That children are not guilty of other people’s sins and that they are not born separated from God? At least then, you would not have to teach that God can go against what he had written in the Bible if he wants to.

    That, without faith….sin is not forgiven. Period.

  195. Hank, without projecting what you think I believe into your post, can you please articulate for me, the logical consequence to the view that man is born without a sinful nature? Is it possible that there could be a person that does not sin and therefore would not be in need of a savior?

    Do you equate not guilty (or accountable) of sin with being sinless?

    Randall..yes, exactly, we aren’t really told what happens to young children when they die. I like believing that they are safe in the arms of our Lord, but for me (or anyone) to expect God to do or act a certain way based on my view is sinful. We just can’t do that.

  196. Hank, what is your understanding of Ephesians 2: 1-10?

  197. Randall, I believe you were referring to something I wrote, now let me digest your answer. “No, I did not forget about Enoch and Elijah, nor even Daniel. I do believe these men were righteous relative to other men, but not when compared to Jesus.”

    So you believe in relative righteousness, That in my opinion is like saying, you don’t have to outrun the bear to be saved, you just have to outrun the other person. Just be more righteous than the next person, and God will save you like he did Enoch.
    What happened to that “you can’t be saved by the work you perform thing” ?

  198. Enoch and Elijah were saved by faith, neither were sinless.

    Being born with a “sin nature” is far different than being “born sinful”. There is no other way to explain the natural proclivity of every child to do what is wrong and have to be taught what is right. Children are born facing the common death that came because of sin.

    Some good advice, before you go to great lengths to bash a theological or doctrinal position you should first know what that position is. Otherwise you only make yourself look foolish.

    Your final destiny will not be determined by your views on a particular theological position.

    After reading and participating in this thread of comments one should see clearly why much of the watching world thinks coc folks are a bunch of self righteous wackos.

  199. Randall said; “Perhaps rather than passing judgment on those of a different point of view we should study more and pray that God would give us better understanding.”

    Randall, we finally agree totally on something.If we read our bible from the beginning as if it were the very first time, without any preconceived beliefs formed by listening to other opinions
    Without skipping around to find what we think agrees with our already formed opinion, you would be surprised what can be found within those pages. and when we find something that runs contrary to what you have been taught. Make up your mind then if you are going to believe what you read or what someone else tells you. If you believe the bible continue, if not put it down, you are wasting your time.

  200. Royce said, “Enoch and Elijah were saved by faith, neither were sinless.”

    Royce I am going to ask you the same question I asked Randall “how do you know that”?

  201. Nancy wrote:

    “Hank, without projecting what you think I believe into your post, can you please articulate for me, the logical consequence to the view that man is born without a sinful nature?”

    Sure, it is a result of believing the word of God. For, in it, we are told that the son shall not bare the iniquity of the father. Sin is the transgression of God law. A fetus cannot do that. The “logical conclusion to the view that man is born without a sinful nature,” is that babies are not sinful! Which means, they are not separated from God at conception, which means that if they die in that state — they will be saved. To argue otherwise means you have these choices:
    1. Babies go to hell when they die.
    2. Not all unforgiven sin separates souls from God.
    3. Infants can have faith in Jesus.
    4. Or, and as Randall suggests, God does not have to limit his actions by what he has had written in the Bible. God can change his mind about sin, faith, and forgiveness.

    She also wrote:

    “Is it possible that there could be a person that does not sin and therefore would not be in need of a savior?”

    Sure. A fetus does not sin. A newborn infant does not sin. If they did, and then if they died, they would go to hell. Let me ask you this Nancy, do you believe Adam was created sinful? If not, was it possible for him to not sin and therefore not need a savior? Does the fact that he was going to sin and need a savior mean that he must have been born sinful and with a sinful nature? You tell me.

    You asked:

    “Do you equate not guilty (or accountable) of sin with being sinless?”

    I equate not guilty as either: 1) sinless or, 2) forgiven by faith in Jesus. You see, there are only these groups of people:
    a. Without sin / sinless = not guilty (fetus’, babies, small children)
    b. guilty of sin / unforgiven = lost (unrepentent sinners)
    c. guilty of sin / forgiven by faith in Jesus = saved (believers)
    Don’t forget that the wages of (unforgiven) sin is death. And don’t forget that forgiveness only comes through faith in Jesus. Therefore, is babies are sinners, then they go to hell if they die because they cannot have faith in Jesus yet.

    You also wrote:

    “…we aren’t really told what happens to young children when they die. I like believing that they are safe in the arms of our Lord, but for me (or anyone) to expect God to do or act a certain way based on my view is sinful. We just can’t do that.”

    See what I mean? You believe they (small children) are sinful at birth, but you “like to believe they are safe in the arms of our Lord”. But, you don’t know how to fix the dilemna of not wanting all babies that die in hell with the fact that sin is not forgiven apart from faith in God. So, you just hope that God will forgive their sin apart from any faith at all.

    Nancy, I have addressed your questions. Allow me these three of you:
    1. do you believe that unforgiven sin separates a soul from God?
    2. Do you believe that forgiveness only comes through genuine faith in God?
    3. Do you believe a newborn child can have faith in God?

  202. You didn’t ask me, but doesn’t Paul tell us that in Romans ch. 3. vs. 23 reads..”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

  203. Royce wrote:

    “Being born with a “sin nature” is far different than being “born sinful”. There is no other way to explain the natural proclivity of every child to do what is wrong and have to be taught what is right. Children are born facing the common death that came because of sin.”

    Royce, since Jesus did not know how to refuse the wrong and choose the right when he was little (Isa. 7), mean that he too had a “sinful nature?”

    Also, since Adam had the same “proclivity to do what is wrong” does that mean he too had a “sinful nature?”

  204. Nancy writes:

    “You didn’t ask me, but doesn’t Paul tell us that in Romans ch. 3. vs. 23 reads..”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.””

    Yeah, he did, But, I think he meant “all” in the sense of Jew and Gentile. That was his point, that both Jew and Gentile have bot sinned. We know he did not mean every human has sinned because Jesus did not. Neither do unborn children and newborn babies.

    I have answered another question. How bout you Nancy? Allow me to ask these three of you again:
    1. do you believe that unforgiven sin separates a soul from God?
    2. Do you believe that forgiveness only comes through genuine faith in God?
    3. Do you believe a newborn child can have faith in God?

  205. I believe sin in general separates us from God
    I believe that forgiveness comes only through geniune faith in God, that is through acknowledging our sinfulness and our need for a savior and believing in what He accomplished on the cross on our behalf.
    I do not believe that newborn children can have faith in God.

    Hank, can you answer the question that I have asked you about a dozen times now? Pretty please. And, while you’re at it, can you comment what Paul wrote to the Ephesians?

  206. Laymond,

    You said, Royce said, “Enoch and Elijah were saved by faith, neither were sinless.”
    Royce I am going to ask you the same question I asked Randall “how do you know that”?

    Because that is the only way anyone was or is ever saved. The consistent teaching of the Bible is that ALL men are sinners.

  207. Hank, can you say more about your understanding of Isaiah 7?

  208. Royce wrote: “Because that is the only way anyone was or is ever saved. The consistent teaching of the Bible is that ALL men are sinners.”

    and saved by God’s grace.

  209. “I believe sin in general separates us from God.”

    Does that mean if someone has unforgiven sin that they are separated from God?

    Not sure about the “in geneal” part.

  210. Sure, Isaiah 7 says that when Jesus was just a youth, that there was a time wherein he himself did not know how to refuse the wrong and choose the right.

    My point is for everybody here who thinks that because little children “be bad” sometimes…it does not mean that they had to have been born sinful. Look at Jeus. He was like every other chld in the sense of having to be taught to choose “the right.” But, that does not mean he was born with a “sinful nature.” Same thing with Adam. He was not bnorn with a sinful nature (was he). Why then did he sin?

    BTW “sinful nature” is a terrible translation of the Greek word “sarx.” I reaaly is.

  211. Sin, plain ‘ol sin separates man from God.

  212. What is a better translation Hank?

  213. Royce I am not saying anyone can be saved outside faith in God, that would just be silly. but the bible said Enoch “walked with God” and Elijah was taught the ways of God from his father, and it is evident that they pleased God, so it stands to reason they were not sinners.
    And they will not have to stand judgment on that final day, they will be among the first raised. It is plain they will not have to suffer the second death.

    I was just asking how you know they did sin.

  214. 1. Then if babies are born with sin…they are separated from God. I deny that.

    2. The word means “flesh.” Adam had it, Jesus had, you and I still have it. We were all created (born) with it. It does not mean “sinful nature.” Perhaps the NIV should get the blame for so many people thinking chldren are born separated from God and lost.

  215. And Nancy, I apologize if you did not know the NIV was unique in translating the word “sarx” as “sinful nature.” I assumed you knew that that was a poor translation of the word there and that you defended it anyways (as many do). But, if you were unaware, I apologize and hope the information will help.

  216. And what does the Bible tell us about the “flesh”?

    I’m gonna throw in the towel on this discussion. I feel badly that we have strayed from the original topic of POTS. If you fellas have another place that you’d like to continue this discussion, I’m game. Just let me know where. Jay’s probably getting exasperated with us.

  217. Hank, I don’t read exclusively from the NIV. Thanks though for your concern.

  218. Just a thought to consider…maybe Paul was using “flesh” as a metaphor. You reckon?

  219. There are many definitions of the word used, and defined as “sin”, but it seems Christians prefer to use the following definition, for all and any use of the word.

    ” that which is done wrong, sin, an offence, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act”

    When we use this definition in every instance where the word sin is used it is plain we fail to use it correctly.
    It is plain this definition of the word, did not exist before the “Law” was given. there was no violators of the law before there was a law.

    hamartia—

    a) to be without a share in

    b) to miss the mark

    c) to err, be mistaken

    d) to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong

    e) to wander from the law of God, violate God’s law, sin

    2) that which is done wrong, sin, an offence, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act

    3) collectively, the complex or aggregate of sins committed either by a single person or by many

    Do any here, think a newborn fits the definition of a sinner in any way.?

  220. Jesus’ birth was different than ours. That doesn’t mean He wasn’t able to be tempted, the Incarnation required that the Son of God must have the ability to be tempted. Jesus was able to be made subject to temptations without having any sin in Him. Jesus is the only sinless person on earth to have ever lived.

    It was obvious Jesus was very unique from every other child.
    Luke 2:46-47 “Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.”

    Paul also thought Jesus’ manifestation was a great mystery 1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.”

  221. Hank said “Randall, you confuse me with somebody else. I never mentioned Enoch and/or Elijah.”

    Hank is correct as I did confuse him with Laymond and they are two different individuals. I appreciate Hank for pointing this out and I am sorry I made this mistake. I intend no ill will towards Hank and have no desire to misrepresent him in any way.

    Hank, Please accept my sincere apology for my error, I hope it has not maligned you an any way and that if it has my apology will be read and understood as an attempt to correct my error.
    Peace,
    Randall

  222. Hank,
    I do not believe I have ever said or believed that aborted babies are lost. I do not recall mentioning aborted babies at all. Please do not attribute beliefs to me that I do not hold.
    Thank you,
    Randall

  223. Thanks Randall,

    What I mean, is that if babies afe born sinful, than they must be lost if they die before placing their faith in Jesus to be forgiven. If you don’t believe babies are born in sin, then you ae right. If however, you believe that babies are born with “inherited sin” (because of Adam), then, to be consistent, you would have to say that all babies who die are going to hell.

    So, while you may not have said that “babiesare lost,” if you believe they are born sinful….well, you would have to say that if you were to be cosistent. Because, all unforgiven sin will keep a soul separated from God.

    Fortunately, God has assured us of fairness. Namely, that “the soul that sins will die” and thet “the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father.

    Peace bro, and thanks.

  224. In Romans 7 Paul talks about not doing what he would do and instead doing the very thing he would not do. Then he says it is not him doing it but sin which indwells him. What is the meaning of “sin” which he speaks of as being active in his life and causing him to do what he does not want to do?

    And like Royce said, when reads all of this “stuff” one could easily understand why people might think the CofC is a bunch of wackos. I am hesitant to participate any further in most of these threads.

  225. Fine. Don’t participate then….

    But, I trust that all of the discerning readers here will have seen both sides of the argument.

    I hope more people will quit believing (and teaching), that souls are created sinful in the womb. It’s just not true because God promises us that the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father!

    I hope people will understand the implication that babies are born sinful (that unforgiven sin separates a soul from God).

    I hope that all believers will quit teaching that aborted babies die in sin without evr having a chance to place their faith in Jesus.

    The whole thing is wicked and a doctrine of demons.

  226. Hank, being the expert you are please answer the questions you have avoided answering.

    If babies don’t have a sinful nature passed on from Adam, then what is your logic that they die? Adam would have lived forever had he not fallen. What is your logic that babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?

    You haven’t said why children do bad things such as being selfish, rebellious, lying, cheating, etc. without being taught to

  227. Anon,

    All living things now die. Turtles, plants, birds, aborted babies, etc., but it was because they were born sinful and deserved it. The world got messed up once it was cursed. But, God didn’t ever make anything in it “sinful” unless it actually commited sin.

    Lions were killed during the flood too. But, that doesn’t mean they were sinful.

    Children do bad (wrong) things because it takes awhile to learn to refuse the wrong as to choose the good just like Jesus. All the while, they are not born sinners….merely “human.”

    Why did Adam sin? Was it because he as born sinful?

    We all have fleshly desires (even Jesus did), but that doesnt mean we were born with a sinful nature. The NIV did really bad with that.

  228. Anonymous, I see why you remain anonymous, do you actually intend to say that sin is the reason for the body to die. sin causes cancer, all sicknesses which kill the body. Sin caused car wrecks, sins cause wars, don’t be so ridiculous

    Death is said to be the price paid for sin, but there is no place where I see the human body was intended to live forever. The death spoken of here is what is called the second death, the death of the spirit and soul. the separation from God.

    Hank is a super expert in comparison to some on this thread.

  229. “By one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death by sin so that death has passed to all men”. Sound vaguely familiar Laymond?

    Yes, Laymond the only one here who seems smarter than You and Hank is the famous rey.

    Perhaps we should be asking if some are “brainless” rather than “sinless”. LOL

    ALL of us arm chair theologians have accomplished little except exposing our inability to make our points in ways that others can understand or believe.

    A tactic often used in these sorts of discussions is to ignore what is said and respond as if someone had said something different than they actually said. Another is when you just can’t come up with something legitimate to go on attack. And some of you guys have actually damned those you disagree with to hell. Nice huh?

    I think this thread proves beyond doubt the sinfulness of mankind (me included). So, try to make it without me from here on.

    Royce

  230. You still didn’t answer my question,

    What is your logic that babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21),

  231. And you haven’t answered why children do bad things such as being selfish, rebellious, lying, cheating, etc. without being taught to

  232. Don’t take it personal Anon. It’s not just you, I have a question pending too.

  233. To make it more clear for you, why is it that children do bad things before they are taught not to?

  234. Nancy I’m with ya, these are some hard people to get an answer from.

  235. Please don’t forget the Laymond could still tell us if he affirms or denies the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus. Thus far that has been ignored.

    I know of no one that teaches or believes that aborted babies are eternally lost, but that accusation has occurred over and over. As Royce said: “A tactic often used in these sorts of discussions is to ignore what is said and respond as if someone had said something different than they actually said. Another is when you just can’t come up with something legitimate to go on attack.”

    Is it any wonder Jay has chosen not to become involved in this mess, even if he is out of town. Just look what he has to look forward to when he returns.

    We have people claiming that others beside Jesus lived sinless lives; that the human race did not fall as a result of Adam’s sin. People are accused of believing things that neither they, nor anyone else believes or teaches; and that one person has the right to tell another person that they must believe something they do not believe. Another chooses to not affirm the doctrine of the Trinity and divinity of Jesus. Still others are condemned as lost as any hairy tick b/c they disagree. Every attempt is made to talk past each other rather than have a meaningful conversation.

    And some people accuse the CofC of being cult like. I can hardly imagine why. Like Royce said, this is a testimony to man’s sinful nature.

    Over and out, at least for now.

  236. Love the Lord your god with everything you got.
    Love one another.
    Love.

    Singing joy to the world
    All the boys and girls now
    Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
    Joy to you and me.

  237. Royce I’m sure we will struggle without you, but I’m just as sure someone will pick up the slack.
    My parting advice is physical death is caused because humans are not supernatural beings.
    and sin is the cause of spiritual death, the second death.

    Gen:6:3: And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

    I believe God gave the reason man would not physically last forever. because he was made of flesh.

  238. Hank has constantly given the correct answer to the question “why do children do bad things such as being selfish?” He’s answered it about 10 times, and correctly, with the question: Why did Adam sin?

    Adam was born innocent and without a “sin nature” and yet he sinned.

    Eve was born innocent and without a “sin nature” and yet she sinned.

    Everyone is born innocent and without a “sin nature” and yet they sin.

    Get over it already all you semi-Calvinists. There is no such thing as a sin nature. Sin is an ACT not a nature.

    To call sin a nature is a cop-out. You just want to blame your sin on Adam, or perhaps on God. You don’t want to admit that you CHOSE it, so you say its a nature. This is a devilish attitude, and it also is a choice. You can choose to stop blaming God for your sin and admit you chose it. Quit saying its a nature. You weren’t born that way and you can do better, so do better.

  239. Randall:

    According to Wikipedia the three groups that don’t believe in a fallen nature are the Restoration Movement, Mormons, and the Orthodox.

    The Orthodox have this to say:
    The Orthodox Church in America makes clear the distinction between “fallen nature” and “fallen man” and this is affirmed in the early teaching of the Church whose role it is to act as the catalyst that leads to true or inner redemption. Every human person born on this earth bears the image of God undistorted within themselves.[40]

    In our Tradition there is no such thing as fallen nature. There are fallen persons, but not fallen nature. The implication of this truth is that we have no excuses for our sins. Do Not Resent, Do Not React, Keep Inner Stillness, 2-3

  240. Here’s a quote from Orthodoxwiki (really..seems like there’s a wiki for everything)

    “The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that no one is guilty for the actual sin they committed but rather everyone inherits the consequences of this act; the foremost of this is physical death in this world. This is the reason why the original fathers of the Church over the centuries have preferred the term ancestral sin. The consequences and penalties of this ancestral act are transferred by means of natural heredity to the entire human race. Since every human is a descendant of Adam then ‘no one is free from the implications of this sin’ (which is human death) and that the only way to be freed from this is through baptism. “

  241. Ephesians 2:3 “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

    The questions not being answered is why is it that children do bad things, what is it that they would do bad things, does that make the question clearer? And what is your logic that babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

  242. Hank:

    While I agree with you that we are not born sinners, I don’t think the verse you’re using is as convincing as you’re making it.

    Consider this verse:
    Exo 34:7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

  243. Exodus 34:7 is a clear Phariseeic interpolation. How can he both “forgive iniquity and transgression and sin” and yet at the same time “by no means clear the guilty”? Who needs forgiveness of iniquity and transgression and sin if not the guilty????? That’s a total contradiction and there’s no way to save it. It shows this verse is an interpolation, as does the fact that it teaches a plainly demonic and asinine doctrine that is at odds with Ezekiel 18.

  244. God is the author of evil. Just admit it and worship him for his malevolence.

  245. “God is the author of evil”

    I really don’t believe any Calvinist would say that, many athiests would, you know, the people rey gets advice from.

  246. Joe,
    Us and the Mormons – hope we are not known too much by the company we keep. And thanks to Nancy for her contribution to this thread.

    BTW, a protege of Alexander Campbell by the name of Sydney Rigdon defected to the Mormons and became a close associate of their top leadership, including Joseph Smith. I suspect a good bit of their emphasis on being the restored church came from Mr. Rigdon as well as the notion that the great ecumenical councils were in error. I wonder if there is some link between our belief that man did not fall in Adam and theirs???

    I think Richard Hughes has written some on the links between the Stone Campbell movement aka the restoration movement and the Mormons.
    Peace,
    Randall

  247. Randall:

    Don’t forget the Orthodox. They really weren’t influenced much by Augustine, who originated the idea.

  248. “We have people claiming that others beside Jesus lived sinless lives; that the human race did not fall as a result of Adam’s sin. People are accused of believing things that neither they, nor anyone else believes or teaches; and that one person has the right to tell another person that they must believe something they do not believe. Another chooses to not affirm the doctrine of the Trinity and divinity of Jesus. Still others are condemned as lost as any hairy tick b/c they disagree. Every attempt is made to talk past each other rather than have a meaningful conversation.”

    Randall you can put at the top of the list rey’s slander against God as he just commented “God is the author of evil.”

  249. Joe,
    I suspect Augustine may have gotten much of his support for the idea from the writings of Moses. It seems pretty clear in Genesis, if not the 3rd chapter then it there by chapter six. Of course, Paul’s writings provide ample support if one wants a NT writer. Augustine didn’t simply pull it out of the air.

    I thought Nancy’s additional information from Orthodoxwiki on their view of ancestral sin was telling. Her citation included the following: “The consequences and penalties of this ancestral act are transferred by means of natural heredity to the entire human race. Since every human is a descendant of Adam then ‘no one is free from the implications of this sin’ (which is human death) and that the only way to be freed from this is through baptism. “

    Perhaps your source is at odds with Orthodoxwiki. Anyway, thanks for the information.

  250. Royce writes:

    “A tactic often used in these sorts of discussions is to ignore what is said and respond as if someone had said something different than they actually said. Another is when you just can’t come up with something legitimate to go on attack.”

    Which, Royce would know, as he has already implied that members of the Churches of Christ are “self righteous wackos.”

    Then, before ejecting himself from yet another discussion, he writes, ” Perhaps we should be asking if some are “brainless” rather than “sinless”. LOL”

    Later, Royce.

  251. Any position which results in an absurdity is itself absurd.

    The idea that babies are created sinful in the womb (without ever commiting a sin themselves), is truly absurd.

    It’s absrurd because:

    1. God says that children DO NOT bare the iniquity of their parents.
    2. It would mean every baby who dies is separated from God. Because, unforgiven sin separates a soulf from God. And, because sin is only forgiven by grace THROUGH faith (and babies cannnot have faith).

    Also, the teaching that we sin BECAUSE we were born sinners is also absurd. Remember, every body here believes that Adam was not born sinful, but yet he still gave into the desires of his flesh, (not some alleged “sinful nature.”

    Also, when Jesus was a child the Bible says that he did not know how to refuse the wrong and to choose the right (Isa. 7). Again, that was because of his fleshly desires too (but not a “sinful nature).

    Again, “sinful nature” is an absurd translation of the Greek word “sarx” and is hugely responsible for the absurdities so commonly believed. I do not know of any “word for word” or “essentially literal” BIble translations to ever use the expression “sinful nature.” The only ones that do are paraphrases and Bibles which offer “more than a word for word translation” (like the NIV).

    Adam had “sarx” (flesh), Jesus had “sarx” (flesh), we have “sarx” (flesh. None of us were born with some inherited sinful nature though.

  252. Ephesians 2:3 “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

    Why is it that children do bad things before they are taught they are bad, what is it that they would do bad things? And what is your logic that babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

  253. Whoever you are…..what are you talking about?

    I mean, you write:

    “Why is it that children do bad things before they are taught they are bad, what is it that they would do bad things? And what is your logic that babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?”

    I would give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you just didn’t proofread the above before you hit “submit” (I have been guilty of that myself), but you have submitted the same statements before. And they don’t even make sense.

    I will address whatever it is you have to ask of me (if you so desire), but, it has to make sense first.

    I mean, you have written this at least twice now — “Why is it that children do bad things before they are taught they are bad, what is it that they would do bad things?”

    Huh?!

  254. I think it should read “….why is it that they would do bad things?”

  255. Then, I would answer (as I have already), that children today do “bad things” for the same reason that Adam and Eve did a bad thing. Namely, they were lured away by their own lust and enticed.

    However, and what keeps being ignored, is the fact that Adam sinned EVEN THOUGH he was created sinless. You see, the case of Adam proves the fact that people can do “bad things” without having to be born (or created), sinful.

    Anon wants to believe that if a person ends up sinning….the he had to have been born sinful. Adam proves that such is simply not the case.

  256. What is your logic that babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

  257. Again, what do you mean? Your question makes no sense. What do you mean, “what is (my) logic”?

    Are you trying to ask why I think that God would allow all of the babies and children to die in the flood?

  258. Before we move on though… do you al least see and understand that a person can do bad things without first having to have any kind of “sinful nature”?

    LIke Adam?

    That is a very important truth to grasp.

  259. Please answer, why were babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

  260. Probably because God knew that taking care of millions of little babies and small children would be too hard for the 8 adults on the ark!

    I know it wasn’t because all the living babies (in and out of the wombs), were not sinful! Come on now, what are you getting at?! Do you really believe that all the little babies were killed BECAUSE they were sinful? You believe that all the babies that died in the flood are in hell! Shame on you.

    Besides, why would God kill the infants for being born sinners and then instruct the people on the ark to get busy and give birth to some more sinful creatures?!

    Your doctrine is satanic. It is totally wicked and against the will and word of God.

    It just is!

  261. Hank wrote: “Then, I would answer (as I have already), that children today do “bad things” for the same reason that Adam and Eve did a bad thing. Namely, they were lured away by their own lust and enticed.”

    Is sinning a learned behavior? Is it possible that man could choose not to sin and not be in need of a savior?

    What did Paul mean when he wrote:
    “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.(NKJV)

    What is your understanding of this passage?

  262. Hi Nancy,

    One brother put it this way:

    The the doctrine of (inherited sin) assumes that the word “nature” refers to a fallen nature inherite from Adam’s transgression. The word “phusis” is defined here by Thayer as referring to “a mode of feelinig and acting which by long habit gas become nature…” He (Thayer) cites Ephesians 2:3 as an example of this idea, and then comments, “this meaning is evident from the preceding context with the change of heart and life wrought the the Christ by the blessing of divine gace….” That fact that alien sinners had given themselves to wickedness and that by contrast, the Ephesian saints had “not so learned Christ” (Eph. 4:20), stresses both the change and its cause! One LEARNS to do evil and by practice makes it a part of his personal constitution.

    In fact, everyone — think about it this way:

    If one inherits the guilt of Adam’s sin, then why not all the sins of our ancestors? If we can inherit the guilt of THEIR sins, then why not also the effects of their piety or righteousness? Why not start teaching the notion that if one has godly parents thta makes them godly? One could cal it “hereditary, total godliness” or “hereditary, total piety.” If not, why not?

    Seriously though…..

  263. Pardon the typos…

  264. Nancy,

    What did Paul mean when he wrote:

    “Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death..” (Romans 7:9-11)

    What is your understanding of this passage?

    As for my understanding of the phrase “by nature children of wrath” here you go, Nancy:

    Galatians 2:15 “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,”

    Is anyone really a Jew by nature? You can’t take these “by nature” passages literally.

    Romans 2:27 “And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?”

    How can anyone be a “Jew by nature” seeing we are all “uncircumcised by nature” (Jews too) and yet circumcision is what defines a Jew.

    Even those who are “Jews by nature” were at once time “uncircumcised by nature” — so what does “by nature” even mean?

    You are placing too much emphasis on a phrase that you have literally no clue about.

    Rom 2:14 “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:”

    Do you take this “by nature” passage totally literally too?

    No, of course not. The only “by nature” passage a Calvinist will ever take literally is the one that they can twist into making God into an ogre, which is only Ephesians 2:3 “by nature the children of wrath.”

    All the others will simply be ignored, just as you all have ignored Hank’s point about how that Adam sinned without being born with a “sin nature.” You’re wasting your breathe here Hank. Calvinists don’t care about the truth nor about consistent interpretation of the Bible, but only about constantly throwing the same old verses out and twisting them constantly in the exact same way like a bunch of spoilt babies.

  265. Hank,

    does the brother that you cite have an answer for the question that I asked? Is it possible then to never sin and not be in need of a savior?

    Hank wrote: “One LEARNS to do evil and by practice makes it a part of his personal constitution.”

    part of his personal constitution? Can you say more about this? From where/who do we learn sin?

  266. Thank you George. The tone of your post (and others too) mystifies me. I’m sorry that you find my questions so irritating. If you will take the time to go back through this thread and read my posts, I think you will find that I have not declared my understanding of this very difficult doctrine. I’ve only asked questions for clarification with most going unanswered or met with unrelated questions and posts.

    I appreciate and applaud Jay’s efforts with this site, but I’m afraid his dream of understanding and unity is well, a pipe dream.

    Hank, please do not trouble yourself to address my latest post.

    Godspeed

  267. From the same place Adam learned to sin. But, not from any “inherited sin,” that’s for sure.

    Unfortunately Nancy, I think Goerge is probably right when he said:

    The only “by nature” passage a Calvinist will ever take literally is the one that they can twist into making God into an ogre, which is only Ephesians 2:3 “by nature the children of wrath.”

    All the others will simply be ignored, just as you all have ignored Hank’s point about how that Adam sinned without being born with a “sin nature.” You’re wasting your breathe here Hank. Calvinists don’t care about the truth nor about consistent interpretation of the Bible, but only about constantly throwing the same old verses out and twisting them constantly in the exact same way like a bunch of spoilt babies.

    Nancy, you know that unforgiven sin separates a soul from God. You know that forgiveness onl comes through faith in Christ. You know that babies cannot have faith. And you know all of that means that if babies are born in sin, then they are separated from God and lost. But…I believe that deep down you know you are wrong and that even feels wrong. At least, I hope you do and it does.

    It is a doctrine of demons for real.

  268. Nancy, you ask the same question over and over and Hank answers it over and over with a very salient point Adam wasn’t born with a sin nature and he sinned. But you ignore the fact that he answered it because the answer he gave destroys your agenda, and you just keep asking the same question still. How should anyone with eyes interpret this but that you will defend the Calvinist agenda to the end with no concern for the truth? Acknowledge that he answered the question and explain how the fact that Adam wasn’t born with a sin nature and he sinned fits into your silly system. Or just admit that Calvinism is false and being to worship the true God who doesn’t count our ancestors sins against us rather than the false idol that men invented that they say does. And you leave now only because you see that someone as forceful as yourself in pushing a question has arrived. I will not let the sort of shenanagins slide that you’ve been pulling of acting like Hank is crazy or stupid. He isn’t. The problem is your allegiance is to a godless agenda not to Christ.

  269. Dear readers,

    Tim Archer has posted on this topic at —

    http://www.timothyarcher.com/kitchen/?p=2759

    http://www.timothyarcher.com/kitchen/?p=2768

    http://www.timothyarcher.com/kitchen/?p=2774

    Some readers have already discovered Tim’s posts and commented there. Interesting discussion.

  270. being to worship = begin to worship

  271. Nancy, you wrote:

    “I think you will find that I have not declared my understanding of this very difficult doctrine.”

    From what you have been writing here, I hope you won’t (declare your understanding of whether or not a fetus is created sinful and therefore separated from God).

    But more than that, I hope you will rather believe and embrace the fact that the son shall not bare the iniquity of father (Ez. 18:20) any more than the father will bare the faithfulness of the grandfather.

  272. Hank wrote: “Nancy, you know that unforgiven sin separates a soul from God. You know that forgiveness onl comes through faith in Christ. You know that babies cannot have faith. And you know all of that means that if babies are born in sin, then they are separated from God and lost. But…I believe that deep down you know you are wrong and that even feels wrong. At least, I hope you do and it does.”

    But Hank, I haven’t told you or anybody else what I believe concerning babies. You have projected this on to me. I’ve just asked some questions. I could very well agree with you.

    I’m pretty much done with this discussion. Thank you for your time.

  273. Right on George. Thanks and, no doubt…

  274. And the funny thing is… she plays like she’s being honest throughout…

  275. Well, this is exactly what Calvinism does with the term grace. They call this doctrine that God condemns people for their ancestor’s sin and all the rest of it “the doctrines of grace” so that when you attack these horrid doctrines they can say “you’re attacking the doctrines of grace” in order to try and shame you for defending grace! Calvinism operates on backwards definitions. They say if you deny Calvinism you are trying to hold glory back from God. Damning babies is glorious? “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) I don’t know any doctrine that better fits that bill than TULIP.

  276. Why were babies and children killed when the earth was flooded?

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

    All Hank could come up with was, “Probably because God knew that taking care of millions of little babies and small children would be too hard for the 8 adults on the ark!”

    Are you saying God could not have made it possible to keep babies and children from dying in the flood?

  277. Hanks answer is the best answer that can be given to this silly question. If only 8 adults were to be saved then obviously there weren’t enough humans to take care of all the innocent babies of all mankind.

    Yet I can add something to Hank’s answer. Why were all animals killed? What did they do wrong? Were they also born with a “sin nature”?

    Were all the lizzards and dogs and cats being punished because the original cat Meow Meow also ate a forbidden fruit?

    Genesis 6:7 has the LORD say “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

    Why did he repent about making the animals? They must have had a sin nature, huh? Animals all must be going to hell.

  278. How about a Biblical answer instead of man’s logic.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

  279. Are you saying God could not have made it possible to keep babies and children from dying in the flood?

  280. I hope all have been noticing just how deplorable and undefendable the wicked doctine of these Calvinists really is.

    Anon,
    You are like acting like the little child who plugs his ears and sings, “I can’t hear you, blah – blah – blah- I can’t hear you….”

    As far as the millions of born and unborn babies who died in the flood. The reason they all died was not beacuse they were born sinful and separated from God their time in the womb as a fetus. Come on now, what are you getting at?! Do you really believe that all the little babies were killed BECAUSE they were sinful? You believe that all the babies that died in the flood are in hell! Shame on you.

    Besides, why would God kill the infants for being born sinners and then instruct the people on the ark to get busy and give birth to some more sinful creatures?!

    You probably think is smelled good and that it was quite pleasing to God when wicked people murdered their own offspring to their pagan idols!

    Do you honestly believe the satanic notion that God destroyed the infants with the flood because they were born with the inherited sin of people before them? Even though God says that the children SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father?

    Anon, you questions and points have been addressed repeatedly, yet you never show your cards.

    I think you are much like Nanvy was. Namely, afriad (ashamed) to actually come on out and admit that you believe babies are born sinful. You are afraid (or ashamed) to admit that if what you believe is true, then every aborted baby and every small child who dies is lost and will be in hell for eternity. Because we all know that unforgiven sin separates a soul from God and that neither babies nor small children are able to do that.

    At least be a man (or a woman –which ever you are anonymous), and admit the logical conclusions of your wicked and satanic doctrine!

    Go ahead and see how it feels to actually admit what you believe…..and then turn from it.

  281. George
    that is what I was going to post. Good point!

    What I see missed in all this discussion is in addition to being born “In Sin” and of a “Sinful Nature”, there is a third element and its the “law of nature” itself.

    Somehow all you city folks have not considered it unless I missed it.

    I have a hen “setting” now and will have chicks in about 19 more days. When they are born, its the survival of the fittest and what pushing and shoving for food and water like you’ve ever seen. Any deception of the others will be done to gain an advantage for food and warmest places under the Hen which is very important this time of year as its cold. Those that are less aggressive will die. Survival of the fittest!

    Humans children are born with that same fight to survive even though its not needed in this country like it was way back in history. Lets not call their survival nature of taking, deception, crying, self absorption, etc. sin, its nature.

    Don’t confuse that nature with sin or a sinful nature.

  282. Why were babies and children killed when the earth was flooded?

    How about a Biblical answer instead of man’s logic.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

    Hank, are you saying God could not have made it possible to keep babies and children from dying in the flood?

  283. Where does it say in the Bible that there were children and babies at the time of the flood?

    Mans logic?

  284. So you are saying that among millions of people there were not any babies or children, now that is exactly what man’s idiocy logic would say.

  285. Jay,
    It appears Pelagianism does not lack adherents in the CofC.
    Peace,
    Randall

  286. People at that time, according to the Bible, lived to be hundreds of years old. At least we know some did. Did all?

    Methusaleh, the oldest recorded man died the same year of the flood, Since his folks were saved, did he die hanging onto the side of the ark begging to get in, or die just before the flood?

    Could all folks at Gods direction of stopped bearing children years prior to the flood so there were no innocents alive to be drowned? Sure took a long time to build and as it says, PREPARE. What all was prepared?

    We do know in Genesis 10 that Shem, Ham, and Japheth had sons AFTER the flood. The Bible says so. No record of them having any children before? Mans logic?

    WE discuss and debate this story based on todays logic which certainly doesn’t allow for men to live hundreds of years old either.

    All this seems like vain janglings to me!

  287. Anonymous,

    You asked for a Biblical answer, not a logic one so I just simply asked you for the same.

    Instead of giving one, which you can’t, you answered with mans logic which you distain.

  288. You would have to give Scripture that man was no longer multiplying at the time of the flood.

    “Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

  289. Anonymous (who ever you are),

    I think you are much like Nancy was. Namely, afraid (and/or ashamed) to actually come on out and admit that you believe babies are born sinful. You are afraid (and/or ashamed) to admit that if what you believe is true, then every aborted baby and every small child who dies is lost and will be in hell for eternity. Because we all know that unforgiven sin separates a soul from God and that forgiveness only comes through faith. And we know that neither babies nor small children are able to have real faith.

    At least be a man (or a woman –which ever you are anonymous), and admit the logical conclusions of your wicked and satanic doctrine!

    Go ahead and see how it feels to actually admit what you believe…… Go ahead and tell us.

    Admit that you believe babies are created sinful and separated fro God. Which means they are lost.

    My hope and prayer is that there are many honest individuals here who will repent from the satanic teaching you espouse.

    And that per adventure God grants you the time….that you will turn from it.

    Let all know how real and active satan still is today.

    Just think about what these people believe and are teaching.

    God have mercy.

  290. And go ahead and quote Gen. 6-8 again….

    That section of God’s book doesn’t help you.

    You need to repent.

  291. Hank, I know that you are passionate about this issue, but your continued efforts to attribute to me what you think I believe are offensive. To put your mind at ease, please know that I believe that babies and young children go to heaven..and yes, that feels good to me way deep down. It’s a VERY comforting thought. But, it is just a feeling, I don’t have strong biblical proof…we just simply are not told. I have to accept God’s sovereignty on this issue.

    You do believe that God is sovereign right? Please don’t feel like you have to answer, I really need to quit. I feel a little like Paul, I do what I don’t want to do.

  292. Nancy, don’t let Hanks bitterness bother you. We can pray that Hank would turn to God and give his bitterness to Him.

  293. These questions and opinions are what I always got in a teenagers class.

    Millions of people in the world at the time of the flood? Where in the Bible do you get that?

    Genesis list ALL the generations from Adam to Noah. Was that all of the people in existance at the time of the flood? If not how many more? Where is that number in the Bible?

    Look at the age folks were that gave birth, etc.

    These questions also come up in study with unbelievers starting studies of the Bible of any age.

  294. I was repeating that number of people from Hank, being he is the expert. 😉

  295. Anonymous, quit playing games and answer the question: Are animals sinners? Do animals have a sinful nature?

    According to your “man’s logic” everyone who died in the flood including babies must have been sinners. Well, therefore, the animals must have been sinners too, right?

  296. I’m not playing games, I am very serious when it comes to God’s Word. Why do so many COC denomination people insist they know what’s in everyone else’s heart?

    Why don’t you give the Biblical answer to why babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

    I guess you would try to say when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, where people were having sex with anyone they could, people weren’t multiplying.

  297. Anon,
    You are STILL acting like the little child who plugs his ears and sings, “I can’t hear you, blah – blah – blah- I can’t hear you….”

    As far as the millions of born and unborn babies who died in the flood…..the reason they all died was not beacuse they were born sinful and separated from God their time in the womb as a fetus. Come on now, what are you getting at?! Do you really believe that all the little babies were killed BECAUSE they were sinful? You believe that all the babies that died in the flood are in hell! — Shame on you.

    Besides, why would God kill the infants for being born sinners and then instruct the people on the ark to get busy and give birth to some more sinful creatures?!

    You probably think it smelled good and that it was quite pleasing to God when wicked people murdered their own offspring to their pagan idols!

    Do you honestly believe the satanic notion that God destroyed the infants with the flood because they were born with the inherited sin of people before them? Even though God says that the children SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father?

    Anon, your questions and points have been addressed repeatedly, yet you never show your cards.

    If what you believe is true, then every aborted baby and every small child who dies is lost and will be in hell for eternity. Because we all know that unforgiven sin separates a soul from God and that forgiveness only come through faith. And neither babies nor small children are able to have that.

    I know you are not listening. But, I hope that others are.

  298. Hank,

    Why do so many COC denomination people insist they know what’s in everyone else’s heart?

    Why don’t you give the Biblical answer to why babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

    I guess you would try to say when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, where people were having sex with anyone they could, people weren’t multiplying.

  299. Nancy,

    Yesterday, you either did not know what you believed or else you were unwilling to say it. I know this is true, because yesterday you wrote — “But Hank, I haven’t told you or anybody else what I believe concerning babies. You have projected this on to me. I’ve just asked some questions. I could very well agree with you.”

    After pointing out your unwillingness (or fear, or shame), to admit whatever it is you believe, today you write — “To put your mind at ease, please know that I believe that babies and young children go to heaven..and yes, that feels good to me way deep down.”

    We are making progress. However, you need to realize that IF you truly believe that infants who die go to heaven…then you need to know that if you want your belief to make sense, you cannot also believe that they are born sinful.

    Because:

    1. Unforgiven sin separates a soul from God (you admitted that).
    2. Forgiveness only comes through a genuine faith in Christ (you admitted that too).
    3. Babies cannot have genuine faith in Christ (you admitted that too).

    Therefore, if you believe infants who die are saved…
    Then, you cannot believe that they are born sinful.

    At least, not without contradicting your own self and going against the word of God. Because God says that the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father.

    If you don’t believe me, read it for yourself. It’s in Eze. 33:20.

  300. I am really praying for you Hank, give your bitterness to God. God wants you to have peace not bitterness.

  301. Okay Anon,

    I’m giving up on you bro.

    100 times you have asked — “Why don’t you give the Biblical answer to why babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?”

    Go ahead and tell us. WHAT IS the “Biblical answer” as to why God killed all the babies when the earth was flooded?

    But you know what, I am betting you are not even man (or woman, whichever you are), enough to answer your own question!

  302. Thanks Anon,

    Only I’m not sure how swell God listens to the parayers of people who believe and teach the satanic things like you do.

  303. People seem to think that God cannot be trusted, but He can be trusted, I believe babies and children that die go to heaven, a child’s undeveloped mind unable to make a decision toward Christ, God is just and accountability is perfectly known to God.

    Hank I don’t believe anyone has said “that all the babies that died are in hell.”

    No one but God decides something like that.

  304. People seem to think that God cannot be trusted, but He can be trusted, a child that dies does go to heaven, a child’s undeveloped mind unable to make a decision toward Christ, God is just and accountability is perfectly known to God.

    Hank I don’t believe anyone has said “that all the babies that died are in hell.”

    No one but God decides something like that.

  305. “WHAT IS the “Biblical answer” as to why God killed all the babies when the earth was flooded?”

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

  306. Anonymous, quit playing games and answer the question: Are animals sinners? Do animals have a sinful nature?

    According to your “man’s logic” everyone who died in the flood including babies must have been sinners. Well, therefore, the animals must have been sinners too, right?

  307. Genesis 6:7 “And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

    Are animals sinners? Do animals have a sinful nature?

    Answer it Anonymous.

  308. Anon writes:

    “People seem to think that God cannot be trusted, but He can be trusted, a child that dies does go to heaven, a child’s undeveloped mind unable to make a decision toward Christ, God is just and accountability is perfectly known to God.”

    And that (the above), may very well be the most accurate thing Anon has written thus far. The problem though…is that Anon doesn’t even believe his (or her) own words! Notice how Anon writes that “a child’s undeveloped mind (is) unable to make a decision toward Christ.” Anon admits that, but believes they are still guity of the sin of their parents. Even though their minds are undeveloped as children, Anon believes they are born sinners. But he believes these sinful babies are saved when they die because their “undeveloped mind (is) unable to make a decision toward Christ.”

    Anon says he doesn’t want to say that “all the babies that died are in hell.”

    But he has no problem in proclaiming that God killed the little babies in the days of the flood because according to him (Anon), the thoughts of their hearts (including little babies) was only evil continually. He applies these verses which talk about the corrupt, and wicked sinners to little (even unborn) babies!

    Thes are the verses he uses to expain why God killed the little babies. That the infants were corruted too and needed to die with the equally wicked and sinful adults of the day. All because they were born sinners.

    Even though God already said that the son shall not bare the iniquity of the father…

    Anon sure thinks taht they do. Don’t you Anon?

    (But, he wont answer that one either — no way )

  309. Anon,

    You got some answering to do. Everybody is waiting bro (or sister).

    Do the right thing and answer the questions anon.

  310. “because according to him (Anon), the thoughts of their hearts (including little babies) was only evil continually.”

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

  311. You haven’t given a Biblical answer to why were babies and children killed when the earth was flooded?

  312. When you really think about it, God says in the flood narrative “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth” and “The end of all flesh is come before me…and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”

    How then can he save Noah without going back on his word, for he says he will destroy the entire race–it is the end of all flesh!

    In the Epic of Gilgamesh the council of the gods determines to wipe mankind out with a flood, but a dissenter god (Enlil I think) goes and speaks to a wall “Oh wall build an ark because the gods will flood the world” (or some such) and Utnapishtim (i.e. Noah) behind the wall takes heed and builds the ark.

    When we find God in the Hebrew version of the flood story saying “I will destroy man” and and “The end of all flesh is come before me…and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” and yet saving some men (what?) shouldn’t we immediately question if perhaps the original narrative was polytheistic?

    If you read the statements “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth” and “The end of all flesh is come before me…and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” as the statements of Yahweh, and the statement “Make thee an ark of gopher wood” as a statement of another god, (El perhaps) then suddenly it finally makes sense.

    Otherwise the one and only God in the text promises to do something that he actually doesn’t do: wipe out humanity and bring it to an end!

    The text is contradictory. God says he will end all flesh, but he doesn’t. Therefore the text cannot be used to establish doctrine. It is a monotheistic reworking of an old polytheistic story. Just this time Utnapishtim is called Noah and instead of the council of the gods condemning the world and Enlil commissioning Utnapishtim to build an ark, the very same god who intends to totally destroy humanity ends up thwarting his own evil self by commanding one man to build an ark. What a silly stupid story.

  313. rey, you really shouldn’t be getting advice from athiests.

  314. In the same vein is the story of the fall, i.e. that God didn’t want man to know the difference between good and evil but the snake (generally interpreted as the devil) apparently did. How does that make any sense whatsoever with what we know of God as revealed in Jesus Christ? To quote Ephesians 4:20, “ye have not so learned Christ”!

    This Adam and Eve story is clearly mythology meant to explain death to children too immature to understand that death is just a natural part of life. It is sad to see grown men taking this story seriously and actually thinking that death is punishment for some jerk eating an ‘apple’ thousands of years ago. I mean come on!

    Anyone who bases their theology on the story of Adam and Eve is a child. But Paul says in 1st Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

    You will say “But Paul bases theology on the story of Adam and Eve.” Paul also admits that he once thought as a child, and those places where he uses this story in such a way are proof that he wasn’t lying when he said he used to think as a child.

    Let us grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, not in literal interpretations of “Jewish fables that turn from the truth.” (Titus 1:14)

  315. ‘rey, you really shouldn’t be getting advice from athiests.’

    Says the man who can’t think at all for himself but only regurgitate what some loser like RC Sprawl puts in his mouth.

  316. To this wonderful statement:

    Let us grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, not in literal interpretations of “Jewish fables that turn from the truth.” (Titus 1:14)

    I must add Paul’s other statement:

    2 Corinthians 3:6 God “also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

    The letter has truly killed the Calvinists, for insisting on the literal letter of the Adam and Eve story they have invented a malevolent god that is totally contrary to the spirit of the God that is revealed in Jesus Christ. And God is a spirit not a letter!

  317. I am a student of the Bible who is following Christ.

    rey however was caught slandering against God commenting “God is the author of evil.” and now he wants to slander the Word of God.

  318. I did not say that God is the author of evil. That is your doctrine. Everything I have said is against that notion.

  319. And as to the word of God, it is slander to teach that God commanded genocide and child rape (as in Numbers 31 “kill everyone, men, boys, women who aren’t virgins–but keep the young virgin girls alive for yourself!”) The letter of the Old Testament kills, Anonymous, for it is full of Jewish fables that turn from the truth, and we have no so learned Christ for the God revealed in Christ loves all humanity–he is no genocidal loon. Nor would the God revealed in Christ flood the world and kill all the babies, for he says “let the little children come unto me.” Those Old Testament stories are Jewish fables that turn from the truth, that turn from Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If you could be saved by a slavish adherence to the story of Adam and Eve or the flood or any of the genocidal war stories of the Old Testament, then Jesus would not have died on the cross to save us. These stories damn, not save, for they confuse men into worshiping Satan as God. Does not Jesus say to the Jew “you have never seen my Father’s shape nor heard his voice”? and does not John say “no man has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son in the bossom of the Father has declared him”? But you say that Adam and Eve, and Moses and all the Jewish prophets saw and heard God. Therefore you make Jesus and John into liars.

  320. I don’t believe you rey.

    Rey said on February 6th, 2010 at 3:20 am “Its about whether you even acknowledge that God is motivated by love or whether you take the Satanist route that God is a malevolent glory-hog who will do any and every evil thing to increase some sadistic glory that isn’t even glorious at all.”

    Rey aka Calvinist said on February 9th, 2010 at 9:24 pm “God is the author of evil. Just admit it and worship him for his malevolence.”

  321. I’ve never been a Calvinist. Nor could I ever be. The very idea of worshipping a “god” who damns people on a coin toss is nauseating. That’s not what Jesus reveals the Father to be. And it is Jesus alone that reveals the Father for “no man knows the Father but the Son and he to whom the Son will reveal Him” (Matt 11:27) you cannot know the Father from these OT myths but only from Jesus.

  322. rey has shown you exactly what man’s logic will do to you, it will make you deceitful and bitter.

  323. rey you need to turn to God and away from your deceitfulness and bitterness.

  324. For whatever it is worth, the word of God says:

    “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”

    Notice how the Anonymous one ignores this fact.

    And notice how he (or she?), CANNOT answer whether or not the animals who died in the flood were sinful.

    The Anonymous one obviouslt refuses to answer because we all know that:

    1. if he (or she?) says that they WERE NOT sinful…then his whole theory that every living thing which died in the flood, died because it was sinful is wrong.
    2. If he says that the animals were in fact sinful….well, he seems to know that such is rediculous.

    Neverthelss, the silence of Anon is deafenning.

    The Anonymous one won’t answer, but here is what we would all like to know?

    1. Were the animals that died in the flood sinful?

    2. Why won’t you believe God when he promisis that the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father.

  325. I agree with Joe, I don’t think the verse you’re using is as convincing as you’re making it.

    Exo 34:7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

    And you still haven’t given a Biblical answer to why babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded?

  326. Anon wrote:

    “I agree with Joe, I don’t think the verse you’re using is as convincing as you’re making it.”

    Yeah, but that’s because you just refuse to believe it! And so, you persistently ignore the clear teaching of the fact that the son shall not bare the iniquity of the father.

    Now either:

    1. You are are being dishonest with the truth

    or,

    2. You are not that smart.

    Because Ex. 34:7 does not even come close to saying that children are born sinners. I don’t know if I have even ever heard of any respected Bible scholar to ever use that passage to support what you are trying to make it say. Ex. 34:7 DOES NOT teach that children are born sinful because of the sin of their father. It just does not say what you want it to say Anon.

    ON THE OTHER HAND —

    Ez. 18:30 says (in language that is CRYSTAL CLEAR), that “the son shall not bare the iniquity of the father.”

    So there you go. You are deceiving yourself anon!

    You ignore the fact that God said the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father. And instead, you tell yourself that Ex. 34 somewhow (in your minds only) contradicts the plain statement of Ez. 18.

    Any honest readers here will see 1 Tim. 4:1 being played out in you (whoever you are).

  327. You ignore.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

    Why weren’t keep babies and children kept from dying?

  328. I think Rey actually may have a point. How can a Christian really believe that the God who so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish ever was as hostile and petty to humanity as the Old Testament presents him as being? Perhaps the Old Testament is just book of parables and we shouldn’t take all of these atrocities as being truly historical.

  329. People are so self-righteous thinking God has no right to destroy them whether they be men, women, children, babies. God is Holy, anything that is corrupt God has every right to destroy. He can destroy and He doesn’t need our permission to do so. That doesn’t mean that babies and children will be in hell.

  330. All,

    I’ve been out of town and busy at work trying to get caught up, and I’ve let this discussion get a bit out of hand. I apologize to the readers for not intervening sooner.

    I don’t moderate comments, but there are limits. This is not the place to argue against the inspiration or the authority of the scriptures.

    We are charged to conform to the scriptures, not to conform the scriptures to ourselves.

    And kindly desist from personal attacks. Don’t accuse the other side of dishonesty or lying. Don’t question their intelligence. If you really think someone is a liar, email me privately and ask me to ban them.

    I’ll be deleting posts that don’t conform to these principles.

  331. Glad to have ya back Jay. 🙂

  332. The strength of Calvinism returns. All glory to our malevolent God for Jay’s return to delete the comments of the infidels.

  333. Anon writes,

    “People are so self-righteous thinking God has no right to destroy them whether they be men, women, children, babies. God is Holy, anything that is corrupt God has every right to destroy. He can destroy and He doesn’t need our permission to do so. That doesn’t mean that babies and children will be in hell.”

    So, anon believes that babies are born corrupt and that because he is Holy, sometimes he wishes to kill and destroy said babies. And after God (in his Holiness) sometimes kills and destroys little babies…they still go to heaven.

    I am sorry Jay for suggesting that some have been dishonest and/or not that smart. I will try to avoid as much in the future. But, can we say that a particular postion is absurd and satanic (when for sure it is)?

  334. Jay, Hank is wanting to know if he can accuse people of being satanic who don’t agree with him about this.

  335. Actually, I want to know if I can say theat THE TEACHING that because God is Holy….that he sometimes kills babies BECAUSE they (little babies) are sinful and corrupt (allegedly).

    Can I say that whole concept (that the Holy God in heaven killed babies because they were allegedly sinful) is from satan rather than the Bible?

  336. Anonymous, I see you still are dodging the question: Are animals sinners? Do you not know the answer to this???

  337. “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

    You avoid answering, why weren’t babies and children kept from dying?

  338. Quit posting the same thing over and over, and answer the question of whether animals are sinners or not..

  339. Seriously

  340. Oh, it’s ok for you to post the same thing over and over but no one else is allowed to??

    Please answer, why weren’t babies and children kept from dying?

  341. “Please answer, why weren’t babies and children kept from dying?”

    For the same reason that animals weren’t. Unsustainability of the population after the lack of vegetation caused by the flood would have starved them out if they hadn’t been killed in the flood.

    Now, answer the question: Are animals sinners?

  342. That’s not a Biblical answer, but I am rather patient, please answer, why weren’t babies and children kept from dying?

  343. [deleted]

  344. [deleted]

  345. “…why weren’t babies and children kept from dying?” — Anon

    Because God is Holy and (according to anon), newborn babies are corrupt. Therefore (according to anon), it pleased God to kill and destroy all the babies.

    And anon has somehow convinced him (or her) self that every living thing that died in the flood, died BECAUSE of its own sin. Which is why anon refuses to answer the question regarding the animals that died. Anon knows that the answer to that question disproves his satanic belief that children are born sinners and that God sometimes likes to kill and destroy them for being born that way.

    Even though God himself has said that “the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father,” anon insists that the son DOES bare the iniquity of the father and is therefore born sinful and corrupt. It is the direct opposite of the teaching of the Bible and is purely wicked.

    Now, anon somehow believes that Ex. 34 is his (or her) verse and that is teaches that infans areborn WITH the iniquities of their parents. Of course, Ex. 34:7 does not even come close to saying that children are born sinners. I don’t know if I have even EVER heard of ANY respected Bible scholar to EVER use that passage to support what anon is trying to make it say. Ex. 34:7 simply DOES NOT teach that children are born sinful because of the sin of their father. It just does not say what you want it to say Anon.

    ON THE OTHER HAND –

    Ez. 18:30 says (in language that is CRYSTAL CLEAR), that “the son shall not bare the iniquity of the father.”

    So there you go. You are deceiving yourself anon!

    You ignore the fact that God said the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father. And instead, you tell yourself that Ex. 34 somewhow (in your minds only) contradicts the plain statement of Ez. 18.

    [deleted]

  346. You keep ignoring Exodus 34:7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

    Also you ignore “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12), “Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21), “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”(Psalm 51:5), “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”(Isaiah 64:6), “There is none righteous, no, not one.”(Romans 3:10), Ephesians 2:3 “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

  347. Anon,

    Just because I refuse to pretend that Ex. 34 somehow teaches that babies are born sinful and corrupt….does not mean that I am “ignoring” it.

    You keep quoting verses that do not teach what you think they do (that babies are created sinful and corrupt), and I don’t understand why you keep doing it?

    The fact of the matter is that God himself declares that “the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father.”

    What it says is true anon (the son really SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father). And as the Bible is inspired, you just won’t be able to find another scripture to contradict Ex. 18.

    And frankly, it is discouraging to see a guy (or girl) try as hard as you do to espouse the wicked notion that the God of heaven has in times past killed and destroyed infants and small children because they were (allegedly) born in sin and therefore corrupt. And at no fault of their own.

    When I really think about what you actually believe and attribute to God, it makes me feel like…. [deleted]

    and [deleted]

    and finally, [deleted]

    There, I feel better now.

  348. Ezekiel 18:20 is the Law of the Pentateuch and deals with the man’s legality aspect within the Jewish court system. God gave people a legal system to what certain sins were punishable to execution.

    You would probably say as the people did, “The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?” (Ezekiel 18:25)

    God said He will judge those who say such, and He tells people again to not to stumble in sins but to repent of them, that He doesn’t take pleasure in any persons death, “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.” (Ezekiel 18:30)

    You keep ignoring Exodus 34:7″ keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

    Also ignoring “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12), “Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21), “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”(Psalm 51:5), “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”(Isaiah 64:6), “There is none righteous, no, not one.”(Romans 3:10), Ephesians 2:3 “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others

  349. Anonymous and Hank,

    I think it’s well established that you all disagree as to the theological signficance of the Flood. Continuing to accuse one another of ignoring your verses isn’t advancing the discussion. It’s time to move on.

  350. I realize this discussion is basically dead, but I must make one last comment.

    Anonymous, you said to Hank:

    You would probably say as the people did, “The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?” (Ezekiel 18:25)

    It is ironic for you to emphasize this portion of the text. Specifically in context the reason why the people say to God “The way of the Lord is not fair” is because the people think that children ought to inherit their parents sins and God says they don’t. The people find it unfair for children to NOT inherit sin. Read the chapter a few times over. This is exactly what is going on. This is why God’s response is: “Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

  351. Ezekiel 18:2-4 “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge’? “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.

    What the people meant by the proverb ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge’ was that the children inherit the father’s sins. God tells them this is not so!!!!

    Therefore, the people who believed that children inherit sin, when told by God that this is not so, said ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’

  352. God gave people a legal system to certain sins that were punishable to execution, what sins an individual was to be put to death for. People wanted to make their own judicial laws, they thought they could execute whoever they wanted. God told them that was not so.

  353. You guys are trying to hang your theology on a single verse that doesn’t say what you want to make it to, as you seemingly ignore.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12), “Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21), “keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”(Exodus 34:7), “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”(Psalm 51:5), “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”(Isaiah 64:6), “There is none righteous, no, not one.”(Romans 3:10), “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:3)

  354. If a mans father committed murder it doesn’t mean that man is a murderer too and the people should not execute him. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an inherited sin nature, it merely means we don’t all stumble in the same sins as another.

  355. Just to give some advice, don’t hang your theology on a single verse, don’t try to make verses fit to your theology, and look at what else Scripture says, for instance in this case the Scipture says,

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12), “Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21), “keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”(Exodus 34:7), “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”(Psalm 51:5), “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”(Isaiah 64:6), “There is none righteous, no, not one.”(Romans 3:10), “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:3)

  356. And it is still noticed that none of you guys ever answered why babies and children were killed when the earth was flooded and why they were killed when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed?

    I guess you would still try to say when the earth was flooded and when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, where people were having sex with anyone they could, people weren’t multiplying.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12),“Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21).

  357. Sorry if that was too many comments, I had more time to comment at the moment.

  358. Something I would like to say is that I am just as sincere about what the Bible says as any of you guys are, I absolutely love studying God’s Word, I haven’t made comments toward you such as, you are satanic, or that you are going to burn in hell, or that God doesn’t hear your prayers. I believe Jesus is the only sinless person to have ever lived on the earth, I believe God is Holy, and anyone that is corrupt whether they be men, women, children, babies, God has every right to destroy. He can destroy and He doesn’t need our permission to do so. I believe it is by God’s grace He allows any of us to exist.

    As Jay said we obviously disagree about this.

  359. This passage is not about executions. This is not a death inflicted by man but by God. See for example verse 31-32.

    Ezekiel 18:31 “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”

    Verse 26 also features the righteous man who leaves righteousness and becomes wicked dying twice.

    Ezekiel 18:26 “When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.”

    Since he died in wickedness, he will die again. A clear reference to the second death is found here. Therefore the Calvinist myth that this chapter is about human inflicted executions is exposed.

  360. God is telling them to have a new heart and spirit and to repent. God wanted people not to stumble so not to be put to death.

    Wonder if there is any sins we have done that we haven’t repented of?

    And I believe there is other Scripture that should be recognized that you don’t seem to be focusing much at all on.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12), “Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21), “keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”(Exodus 34:7), “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”(Psalm 51:5), “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”(Isaiah 64:6), “There is none righteous, no, not one.”(Romans 3:10), “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:3)

  361. I’m writing you off, whoever you are as someone who simply is totally opposed to the grace of God and wants to paint God as worse than Satan. May you repent before it is too late.

  362. Everytime someone disagrees with you, you go into it’s all evil and satanic mode.

  363. Lol George. Remember when you said I had been wasting my breath?

    Surely though, the discerning readers will have have benefited in seeing just how carelessly some will handle the scriptures in an attempt to advance the wicked notion that babies are born guilty of sin and separated from God.

  364. I’m sure there are readers who understand the single Scripture you try to hang your theology on is not what you make it out to be. I’m sure they also notice the other Scriptures you continued to ignore.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12), “Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21), “keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”(Exodus 34:7), “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”(Psalm 51:5), “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”(Isaiah 64:6), “There is none righteous, no, not one.”(Romans 3:10), “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:3)

  365. I doubt it.

    Your understanding that God sometimes “destroys” infants because they were born sinful (without ever sinning), is wicked. You have deceived yourself into believing such evil things about God.

    Having said that, you (anonymous — whoever you are), are proof positive that there are indeed people who have embraced as much.

    Hopefully, most will rather believe and teach the truth.

    Namely, that the son SHALL NOT bare the iniquity of the father.

  366. Ezekiel 18:2 “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel”

    God was speaking about the law of the land, the Law of the Pentateuch, the passages are dealing with the man’s legality aspect within the Jewish court system. God gave people a legal system to what certain sins were punishable to execution.

    “The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son.” (Ezekiel 18:20)

    If a mans father committed murder it doesn’t mean that man is a murderer too and the people should not execute him. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an inherited sin nature, it merely means we don’t all stumble in the same sins as another.

    You seemingly continue to ignore these Scriptures. I think the fact that they don’t fit your theology is why.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5), “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”(Genesis 6:12), “Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”(Genesis 8:21), “keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”(Exodus 34:7), “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”(Psalm 51:5), “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”(Isaiah 64:6), “There is none righteous, no, not one.”(Romans 3:10), “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:3)

  367. So according to you, the law of the land is more just than God’s eternal law. Real smart. But that’s exactly what Calvinism says. After all, in or courts of law you are innocent until proven guilty. It would be impossible to prove anyone guilty of Adam’s sin but Adam, and yet in Calvinism (since God is less just than human courts according to this doctrine) there is the presumption of inherited guilt from Adam. What a wonderful demon you serve.

  368. The man who puts to death another man is a sinner. I believe God was very smart to limit what men could do to another man. God is Holy, anyone that is corrupt God has every right to destroy. He can destroy and He doesn’t need our permission to do so.

  369. Anonymous,

    We’re discussing POTS, not election. Original sin is even more remote from the topic.

  370. Why are you only speaking to me Jay, there are others speaking on it too, and I wasn’t who brought it up in the first place.

    I hope there is any prejudice in that I don’t attend a COC denomination that you diected that to me.

  371. diected (typo) directed

  372. I hope there isn’t any prejudice in that I don’t attend a COC denomination that you directed that to me.

    Sorry about typos, been a long day.

  373. Jay?

  374. Anon,

    No prejudice — I just don’t see the original sin discussion going anywhere. And I was really hoping to discuss POTS.

  375. I agree that the discussion isn’t going anywhere. And this has been a long and rather hectic day and my attention is needed to be somewhere else right now than on a worn out discussion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: