Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Verses

John 12:32 "And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” - NLT
John 12:32 "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." - NASB

I think Jesus is trying to tell us something. I haven't always looked as closely at who He was drawing to Himself.

Colossians 1:19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
20and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. - NASB
Colossians 1: 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself.

Yup. Definitely a lofty and grand goal. But everything? All?
Definitely something to think about.
To be honest, I can see the arguments and disagreements already.
That's good. If we don't work it out, we won't really understand God quite as well, will we?

Have a great week.
I am hoping to as well.

51 comments:

Jeff Greathouse said...

I don't think that we are suppose to figure it out. We need to embrace mystery.

Wonder Woman said...

I love mystery, especially when eating a meal...

;-)

WayneDawg said...

Just remember what the Scripture actually says: "...will draw all men..."

The key word to me is 'draw'.

Christ will draw all men. Not all men will repent and believe, we can obviously see that in our world today. This 'drawing' is used by Calvanists to imply that only the elect will be called (as well as verses like John 6:44, 6:65).

I believe that, in context of where this is at in Scripture, that Jesus is talking about the saved/born-again people that fully follow Him.

Just look at a few verses before john 12:32.....

John 12:26 - If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Jesus is talking about the folks who truly follows Him the Father will honor. The opposite could be said.....if you don't follow Christ, the Father will not honor.

I believe Jesus said this to show the Jewish peoples that they were not the only ones that salvation could come to. Christ will also draw from all nations and tongues those who are saved and follow Him.

Just some thoughts!

Roland said...

Jeff, right along my line of thinking. :)

WW, lol!

Wayne,
Did I say all men would repent and believe?
Why did you assume that then?
I'm just noticing who God draws to Himself.
So do you agree that He draws all, or not?

WayneDawg said...

Roland - I know you didn't say that and I didn't assume you meant that.....Don't assume I was assuming that...lol. :)


He, Christ, draws all that are born-again to Himself. That is the context from 12:20-36.

This 'draw' cannot mean all people. We know that that only people that can come to Christ are the ones the Father draws to Him (John 6:44). Jesus continues on in John 6:44 to say that "..I will raise him up on the last day".

In other words, these verses are in harmony with each other.

The Father will draw men to Christ. Those who repent and trust in Him, Christ will draw to himself to raise up on the last day.

This is an easy one! No mystery here.

Nator said...

Waynedawg, do you subscribe to the Calvanist view of John 12:32?

WayneDawg said...

Nator - Good question.....I think I'm somewhere in between a Calvinist and Armenian view.

Here’s why…….Scripture tells me these things:

God desires that none should perish and all come to repentance (2Pet 2:9). God so love the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall have eternal life (John 3:16). Whosoever calls on the name of the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom 10:13,14,17). God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of God (1Tim 2:4)

But I also know that Scripture teaches this:

Only those that can come to Christ are first drawn by the Father (John 6:44) Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. (Rom 8:33) For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ.(Eph 1:4,5) who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.(1Pet 1:2) "For many are invited, but few are chosen." (Mat 22:14)

We could go on and on to support both sides of the issue……Here’s my final thought……

I believe that everyone deserves to go to Hell because they have broken God’s Law and sinned against Him. We all deserve death. God has given us a way out of going to Hell. He has offered us His Son. The intent of God was to offer His Son for the whole world. The Scripture is clear that the only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ. First God draws that person. That person has an opportunity to respond with repentance and faith.

Salvation is offered to all with the condition of repentance and faith. I don’t believe that contradicts Scripture.

Nator said...

Trying to understand your position. So God wants to save everyone, but he only draws some to him to be saved. I don't think those two things go together. I must be missing something.

Geppy said...

Has the Father called or drawn Satan? There are chosen and fallen angels as well. Jesus died so that all might be saved. So, with whatever terminology you wish to use:

1. Was Satan called?
2. Was Satan drawn?
3. Will Satan be saved?

Why not just use the worst-case example? :)

WayneDawg said...

"Trying to understand your position. So God wants to save everyone, but he only draws some to him to be saved."

God desires all men to be save, to repent and come to the knowledge of Jesus.

That's what Scripture says. Like I said, salvation is offered to all with the condition of repentance and faith. I don’t believe that contradicts Scripture.

God draws who He will draw....but still desires all men to repent and be saved.

Jeff Greathouse said...

Geppy:

There is a doctrine that believes even Satan will be restored and it was a very common doctrine and believe among the 1-3 Century Christias.

Nator said...

Geppy, there is also a doctrine that say Angels are not the same as humans, so therefore couldn't be called.

Nator said...

Waynedawg,

So God is chosing some but not all, even though he wants everyone to be saved.

Jeff Greathouse said...

Just to throw this into an uproar. Warning: Long and controversial .. should be a post :)

God's Plan For All is to universally reconcile all things to Himself through Jesus Christ. The whole purpose of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is for God to reconcile without exception, all things in heaven and all things on earth to Himself. God’s plan is clearly, wonderfully and powerfully given in Colossians 1:15-20. These scriptural verses definitely and unambiguously include the reconciliation of ALL fallen angels through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Colossians 1:15-20
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities (arche) or powers (exousia). All things were created through Him and for Him.

17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

These are the key scriptural verses of our book 'God's Plan For All' and we would therefore like to repeat as a reminder, our comments on them as given in Chapter 4 'Universal Reconciliation Scriptures'. The construct of these verses is such that it leaves absolutely no room for any doubt whatsoever that the word ALL can only mean ALL without exception. The Holy Spirit, who inspired Apostle Paul to write these verses, repeats the word ALL seven times before coming to the key verse, verse 20, where it says that God will reconcile all things to Himself through Jesus Christ. If you believe verse 16 that Jesus Christ created all things in heaven and on earth, all things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, then you have no option but to also believe verse 20, which says that Jesus Christ will reconcile the same all things that He created.

‘Thrones or dominions or principalities or powers’ as given in verse 16, definitely include Satan and the fallen angels. The truth that God will even reconcile Satan and the fallen angels exalts God’s power, wisdom, love, mercy, forgiveness and His justice to the full. God tells us to overcome evil with good, (Romans 12:17-21) and God will ultimately overcome all evil with good, so that the purpose of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the universal reconciliation of all things is absolutely and fully achieved.

Let us see clearly from the Bible that the expression, ‘thrones or dominions or principalities or powers’ as given in verse 16 above include Satan and the fallen angels. God through Jesus Christ created angels before He created the physical universe. A third of these angels rebelled against God under the leadership of Lucifer who became Satan. These fallen angels are referred to in the Bible as principalities and powers. A Christian fights spiritual battles against principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness of this age.

Ephesians 6:11-12
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities (arche), against powers (exousia), against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The Greek words arche and exousia used for principalities and powers in verse 12 above are the same Greek words used in Colossians 1:16. All things that Jesus Christ created; visible and invisible, principalities and powers, most definitely include all fallen angels. Let us believe the Bible that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is all-sufficient to reconcile to God not only all fallen men but also all fallen angels. Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world, which includes the sins of fallen angels. (1 John 2:2)

Nowhere in the Bible, does it say that God punishes an unbeliever or a fallen angel forever. As previously explained in this book, there are four words in the Bible, two Greek words aion and aionios, and two Hebrew words owlam and ad, which have often been misinterpreted and mistranslated in most but not all bible versions to mean forever, everlasting or eternal. All of these four words are age-related, referring to an age of a definite time duration having a beginning and an end. Mistranslation or misinterpretation of these four age-related words in most versions of the Bible are the main reasons why Christians have failed to understand God’s Plan of the Ages to reconcile all things through Jesus Christ. For a full explanation of this important subject, please refer back to Chapter 6 'The Seven Ages in God’s Plan'.

There are three so called 'proof texts' normally used by those who believe that Satan and the fallen angels will not be reconciled. These are Hebrews 2:14-18, 2 Peter 2:4 and Revelation 20:10. Let us examine these texts in detail.

Hebrews 2:14-18
14 In as much then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

Jesus Christ through His work on the cross destroyed Satan, who is the devil, who had the power of death. Not only did He destroy Satan by His work on the cross, but He also destroyed death itself, which is called the last enemy.(1 Corinthians 15:25-26)

From God’s perspective both Satan and death no longer exist, because it is only a matter of time, at the creation of the New Heaven and the New Earth, that the work of the cross will be fully realised when everything on earth and in heaven will be reconciled to God Himself because of the finished work of the cross.

When death is destroyed, the only thing that can burst forth is life. Similarly when Satan is destroyed or disempowered, then Satan must revert back to his original created being as a holy ministering angel. It is God’s nature to overcome evil with good, and ultimately God will overcome all evil with good. (Romans 12:21) The false doctrine of hell teaches that God overcomes evil with more evil, which is completely against the nature of God.

In this present age, it is not God’s purpose to deal with Satan or the fallen angels, and He is not ‘giving aid to’ or trying to reconcile them. In this age, God is only calling and choosing His Elect, Christ’s Brethren, and preparing them for a special salvation. (1 Timothy 4:10) God has allowed Satan and the fallen angels as well as the majority of human beings to remain in spiritual darkness until the final Lake of Fire Judgement.

2 Peter 2:4
For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell (tartaroo) and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.

In this verse, the Greek word tartaroo is mistranslated as hell. Tartaroo is used only once in the Bible and the context in which it appears reveals the meaning of the word as a prison of spiritual darkness.

Satan and the fallen angels were cast back down to earth when they first sinned during the Pre-Adamic Age and they remain confined to this earth in spiritual darkness, reserved for their final judgement in the Lake of Fire. The Bible says that true believers, God's Elect who are the Bride of Christ will rule and reign with Jesus Christ and they will have the privilege of judging fallen angels. (1 Corinthians 6:3)

Revelation 20:10
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (theion) where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented (basanizo) day and night forever (aion) and ever (aion).

In this verse, the Greek word aion meaning an age has been mistranslated to mean forever. The Lake of Fire judgement of Satan and the fallen angels including the beast and the false prophet will last for a further two ages i.e., for the final two ages of the seven Ages in God’s Plan of the Ages, and not forever and ever.

Please note in the verse above, that the Greek word for brimstone is theion. According to Strong's number G2303, the meaning of theion is “divine incense, because burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify, and to ward off disease.”

Also the Greek word for torment in the verse above is basanizo. According to Strong’s number G928, the primary meaning of basanizo is “to test (metals) by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal”

All of these three Greek words:

aion for an age with a definite duration having both a beginning and an end,

theion for brimstone indicating divine purifying power,

basanizo for its characteristic of testing purity,

clearly proves that the purpose of the Lake of Fire is to purify and refine Satan and the fallen angels rather than to endlessly torture them. Angels were created to be ministering spirits to God and men, and not to be kept in a prison of spiritual darkness forever. (Hebrews 1:14)

God’s power, His love, and His justice will ensure that Satan and the fallen angels will repent and be transformed back to their original holy state, which they enjoyed when they were first created. They will willingly, humbly, joyfully and thankfully minister forever like the other two-thirds of the holy angels in God’s Eternal Kingdom of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

The Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth, where there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain and no more curse, will not be established on this earth until God has reconciled all things in heaven and all things on earth through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. This includes the reconciliation of Satan and the fallen angels as the key scripture Colossians 1:15-20 clearly and powerfully states.

Wonder Woman said...

Jeff, or is that Mister Great, or perhaps Mr. Wordy...

ARGH!

KISS = KEEP IT SIMPLE...SIMON?

:) WW

Geppy said...

So, is that Jeff saying yes to all three and Nator saying no to all three? ;)

For me: all are called, few are chosen. What does that mean for the end state? I don't know; only the Father knows. That is not and never was meant to be our concern.

Linda said...

Salvation is not finally in the hands of man to determine. His choices are crucial, but they are not the final, decisive power in bringing him to glory, God’s sovereign grace is.

1. God elects, chooses, before the foundation of the world whom he will save and whom he will pass by and leave to unbelief and sin and rebellion. He does this unconditionally, not on the basis of foreseen faith that humans produce by a supposed power of ultimate self-determination (= “free will”).

Acts 13:48, “When the gentiles heard this they were glad and glorified the word of God. And as many as were for ordained to eternal life believed.”

Romans 11:7, “Israel failed to obtain what is sought. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened.”

John 6:37, “All that the Father gives to me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out.” John 17:6, “I have manifested my name to them whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me.” (John 6:44, 65).

2. The Atonement applies to the elect in a unique, particular way, although the death of Christ is sufficient to propitiate the sins of the whole world. The death of Christ effectually accomplished the salvation for all God’s people.

Eph. 5:25, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Heb. 10:14, “By a single offering he perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

John 10:15, “I lay down my life for the sheep.”

Rom. 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things?”

3. Because of the Fall, humans are incapable of any saving good apart from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. We are helpless and dead in sin. We have a mindset that “cannot submit to God without divine enabling.

Rom. 8:7-8, “The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.”

Eph. 2:1,5, “You were dead through your trespasses and sins.”

4. God’s call to salvation is effectual, and, hence His grace cannot be ultimately thwarted by human resistance. God’s regenerating call can overcome all human resistance.

Acts 16:14, “The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul.”

John 6:65, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by my Father.” (Matt. 16:17; Luke 10:21)

1 Cor. 1:23-24, “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

5. Those whom God calls and regenerates He also keeps, so that they do not totally and finally fall away from faith and grace.

Rom. 8:30, “Those whom he predestined, he also called and those whom he called he also justified and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me; and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

Phil. 1:6, “I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.” (1 Cor. 1:8).

1 Thess. 5:23, “May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”

Conclusion

Romans 11:36, “From him, through him, and to him are all things, to him be glory forever amen!”


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© Desiring God

Linda said...

After I was saved, the first verse that got me thinking about how or why a person is saved (or not saved) is from John 3:8 "The wind blows where it wishes..." The wind is being compared to the Holy Spirit, so the Holy Spirit is free (sovereign) as to whom and when a person is born again. Being born again is not conditional to our trust in Jesus, you must be born again so you will trust in Jesus. Once you trust in Jesus you will have everlasting life (John 3:16).

WayneDawg said...

Jeff - Your post is so full of doctrinal heresy that it would take a post twice as long as yours to unravel and Scriptually explain; and there is really no need as Linda did a fine job already.

Roland said...

Wayne,
If you didn't think that I thought that, then why did you attempt to clarify what I wrote?
I was focusing on a different portion of the topic. I'm not saying your point isn't valid, just not what I wanted to focus on.
So...
why did you assume I didn't know? lol

Nator,
Wayne wrote this:
"God draws who He will draw....but still desires all men to repent and be saved."
Which does line up with scripture.
When you read the verses I put up, it leaves no doubt about who He draws.
Think about Judas. He was drawn to be a disciple, but was still lost according to Jesus.
Complicated stuff.
But it does show God's earnest desire to save.
Save who? (read the verses again) ;)

Geppy,
Good Satanic questions. :D
From reading Revelation, I get the feeling that Satan is past the point of no return.
I have limited knowledge on the matter. And if one day, God tells me it was some kind of metaphor, and Satan is gone, but Lucifer repented (not sure how that might work) then I'll take it.
Here's the tough part.
Satan is God's enemy.
We are God's.
We are supposed to love and show kindness to our enemies.
Now the tough part.
What if I don't want to? (sometimes I don't, know what I mean?)

Jeff,
I hadn't heard that take before. Would that same application apply to Isaiah 66 as well?
And out of curiosity, think about this for a moment.
Pretend for a minute that you never trusted God. You never placed faith in Him. Never did the things He said to do, because you didn't see it as that important. You die. You are carried to a place of torment (hell). You languish there in misery and fiery pain. (Is this self inflicted? Hmm...)
Anyway, after an age, God turns the oven off and says, "Did you want to be on my team now?"
IF and I use caps for a purpose, IF God is punishing someone for that long, WHY would they want to follow HIM?
- I truly don't know myself, I'm just wondering about it. My parenthetical question has got me to thinking, though.

Linda,
What do YOU do with verses like 1 Tim 2:4 and 2 Pet 3:9?

- Thanks all of you for your comments.
I have been very busy (which is good sometimes, you need to actually LIVE your life).
I have also been having a struggle with someone I considered a friend. Some comments in particular helped me to remember that he is still someone God loves and desires. I knew it anyway, but its good to have it thrown in my face to have it attached to the foremost of my thoughts, so when I reply to him, I will do it with as little bitterness as possible.
I am encouraged.
Again, thanks.

Roland said...

Wayne,
Linda just twisted in a different direction. ;)

Nator said...

A lot of talk lately has been about "false converts" and how you must use the law in order to avoid creating false converts. If Linda is right, then false converts don't exist. God calls who he calls and those he doesn't call don't have a chance. Right?

Jeff Greathouse said...

Waynedawg:

The question was asked and I answered the question. This is the view that ALL means ALL.

That is what I showed.

It is very nice for you to say it is heresy and then do not respond to what is heresy and how it is heresy and how they use the greek and greek words in the wrong way.

Roland said...

I won't even be able to see how all this plays out until Friday night or Saturday.

Linda said...

In regard to 1 Timothy 2:4,6 "Who... for all", we scarcely need point out that in Scripture the word "all" is used in various senses. Oftentimes it means, not all men without exception, but all men without distinction - Jews and Gentiles, bond and free, men and women, rich and poor. And in 1Ti 2:4-6 it clearly is used in that sense. Through many centuries the Jews had been, with few exceptions, the exclusive recipients of God's saving grace. They had become the most intensely nationalistic and intolerant people in the world. Instead of recognizing their position as that of God's representatives to all the people of the world, they had taken those blessings to themselves. Even the early Christians for a time were inclined to appropriate the mission of the Messiah only to themselves. The salvation of the Gentiles was a mystery that hat not been know in other ages (Eph 4:6; Col 1:27). So rigid was the pharisaic exclusivism that the Gentiles were called unclean, common, sinners of the Gentiles, even dogs; and it was not lawful for a Jew to keep company with or have any deals with a Gentile (John 4:9, Acts 10:28; 11:3). After an orthodox Jew had been out in the marketplace where he had come in contact with Gentiles he was regarded as unclean (Mark 7:4). After Peter had preached to the Roman centurion Cornelius taken the others who were gathered at his house, he was severely taken to task by the Church in Jerusalem, and we can almost hear the gasp of wonder when, after Peter told them what had happened, they said, "Then to... (Acts 11:18) Consequently this was a truth that it was particularly necessary to enforce at that time, and it was brought out in the strongest terms. Paul was to be a witness "unto all men" (Acts 22:15), that is, not to every individual in the world, but to Jews and Gentiles alike. Used in this sense the world "all" has no reference to individuals, but simply to mankind in general.

Linda said...

2 Peter 3:1-9 - This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation." For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

The first thing we notice is that the subject of the passage is not salvation but the second coming of Christ. Peter is explaining the reason for the delay in Christ’s second coming – He is still coming, and will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (v. 10).

The second thing to notice is the clear identity of the people he is addressing. He speaks of the mockers as “they”, but everywhere else he speaks to his audience as “you” and the “beloved.” This is very important because the assumption that is usually made is that the “you” the “any” and the “all” of 2 Peter 3:9 refers to everyone on the planet.

But surely "all" means “all,” right? Well usually, yes, but not always. This has to be determined by the context in which the words are found. For example, when a teacher is getting ready to start a class and asks his students, "Are all here?" he is not asking if every last living person on planet earth is present in the room. Rather he is referring to all the students enrolled in the class. It is context that provides the basis for a sound interpretation.

So, the question in 2 Peter 3:9 is whether "all" refers to all human beings without distinction, or whether it refers to everyone within a certain group. The context indicates that Peter is writing to a specific group and not to all of mankind – “to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours” 2 Peter 1:1. The audience is confirmed when Peter writes, “This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved.” (2 Peter 3:1)

Can we be even more specific? Yes, because if this is the second letter addressed to them, the first makes it clear who he is writing to. 1 Peter 1:1 - “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect…” So Peter is writing to the elect in 2 Peter 3, saying:

“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved.... But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (v. 1, 8, 9 - emphasis mine)

If the "any" or “all” here refers to everyone in human history, the verse would prove far more than Arminians would want to prove - it would prove universalism rather than Christianity. (Universalism is the false doctrine that teaches that everyone will ultimately be saved, with no one going to hell). If God is not willing that any person perish, then what? No one would ever perish! Yet, in context, the "any" that God wills not to perish must be limited to the same group he is writing to, the elect, and the "all" that are to come to repentance is the very same group. Christ’s second coming has been delayed so that all the elect can be gathered in. God is not willing that any of the elect should perish, but that all of them come to repentance.

Rather than denying election, understood in its biblical context, it is one of the strongest verses in favor of it.

Jeff Greathouse said...

Roland:

On your question about IF.

My response would be that they are tired of the punishment and now want to follow Him.

They see that the "light" was the best way to live.

Linda:

Thanks for sharing Scripture and the way that you came to the conclusion of what you believe and how you hold onto it.

Doorman-Priest said...

My sense is that God wants all to be saved (draws to himself) but only some respond to the invitation.

Jeff Greathouse said...

DP:

and I could/would not argue with that ....

my only contention (is that the word) is that I believe that with him being God,

He can do what He wants

Nator said...

Linda, great ...., nevermind, I didn't read anything you wrote. Sorry. No one has answered my question!

Jeff Greathouse said...

Geppy:

I amsaying that if god wants to save Satan and be reconciled to him in the future, He has the power to do it.

Roland:

I tend to agree with you on point of no return. HOWEVER, what if Revelations is not about the end times. What if, it is was 'code'. The 'evil' was the goverment. This was a popular style of writing at the time.

WW:

Kiss

Nator:

Do you want me to answer you so you don't feel left out ?

Roland said...

Linda, I've heard that some people see the word all as some. I even hear tell that people can redefine the word 'is'. ;)
How come your definition of 'all' is okay, but Jeff's definitions are wrong?

Nator, You're question is rhetorical. Quit whining and answer it yourself. :p

Jeff, Keep commenting.

DP, We're on the same page and I have to stop by and read your blog this weekend.

WW, Same to you. I want to see pictures of women. :)

Geppy, Hi. :)

Nator said...

My question is not rhetorical! I am very concerned about all the false coverts. I am going on tour to help them this summer and so I need some answers. Someone please answer my question! What about the false converts?

Craig said...

As much fun as it can be discussing the sides of election and free will. I thought that maybe this verse is talking the time when all people will recognize Jesus Christ as Lord.

Philippians 2:9-11 "therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

This passage includes all (including Satan).

By the way if I tend to think there is a balance of predestination and free will, but lean a little towards the Calvanist side. You can't help to after reading Ephesians.

Geppy said...

Roland, hi back. :)

I've said earlier in this thread that I didn't think the question of who is saved was ever meant to be our concern. I wanted to reiterate with some more, as it relates to Nator's question.

Was it not the Pharisees who were all concerned about who the righteous were? Didn't Jesus have a coniption over this mindset of the Pharisees?

What part of Love God, Love Neighbor involves worrying about who the righteous are? How does our worrying about who the righteous are affect our ability to do the deeds of righteousness?

Since the Day of Salvation is in fact our salvation at the return of Jesus, isn't there many opportunities left for every living person to accept Jesus as Lord? So, isn't it our duty to speak of God's grace and of our great Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

So election vs choice, the chosen few vs universal salvation - what has any of this to do with what we are actually tasked with? Isn't that the Father's pervue?

Doorman-Priest said...

Yes, He can do what He wants and so can I. ie: I can refuse to listen and although He could make me, that would not be an act of a loving God who gave me free will.

Jeff Greathouse said...

DP:

In their arguments, they would say that you (or them) would never lose their free will.

Nator said...

Geppy, thank you for making my point! Seriously, that was great.

Roland said...

Nator, if Geppy made your point, then you weren't really asking the question and it was rhetorical. ;)

Nator said...

I really was asking a question, but no one wanted to answer it, so Geppy's had to do.

I get no respect.

Roland said...

Rodney Natorfield?
;)

Nator said...

I will not be doing any belly-flops in order to go back to school.

Kate Morningstar said...

Okay, I came in late, but no-one's yet told me (in this discussion) why "All" doesn't mean "All"? (We'll leave out how I feel about the tranlation "All men", which leaves me and Linda out of it entirely.)

There are those who will not hear Christ's message IN THIS LIFE. But when we cross over, and the soul encounters the Living God, without the barricade of the human face, and all the other barricades -- ego, money, power, selfishness, etc. -- in between? If God is all-knowing and all-loving, do you think any mortal could resist?

That doesn't mean some kind of get-out-of-jail-free card in the afterlife. I believe it means that we're not deprived of any another chance to say "Yes!", in all eternity, and that our work in God is not done just because we are doing it from the other side.

I'll say it so y'all don't have to -- I believe this makes me a universalist heretic.

Jeff Greathouse said...

Kate:

I will call you a universalist but I will not add the word heretic.

On my post, many slammed it for being heretic filled but yet, they never showed where the greek was wrong or where it shows it is for eternity (punishment).

I am still unsure how everything will play out, but I think that we as a christian community have come to quite a few wrong conclusions over the years.

Kate Morningstar said...

Thanks, Jeff. There's one thing I'll happily admit -- whatever my mind can conceive of and decide God is, it's wrong. God is more vast than whatever I can come up with:

"How weighty Your thoughts seem to me, O God,
how great their number!
I count them--they exceed the grains of sand;
I end--but am still with You.
--Ps 139:17-18

Roland said...

Why does it seem that some of the most insightful stuff comes after the post is 'old'?

Kate and Jeff
Thanks for your insights. Very very appreciated.

MikeT said...

Craig,

You also cannot read Romans and not conclude that there is at least something to the argument for predestination.

Roland said...

Yes MikeT, but exactly how does that predestination work?
Are things foreordained or foreknown?

Kate Morningstar said...

Roland said:

Why does it seem that some of the most insightful stuff comes after the post is 'old'?

******************************

And don't you just hope that Jesus and Paul and Moses and Isaiah and Luke are up there, looking down and wondering the same thing once in a while?

Roland said...

Kate,
LOL!
Yeah, I think that does happen sometimes.
:)

MikeT said...

I think it's obvious from scripture when it says "those he foreknew, he also predestined."