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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:32 am 
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theJack wrote:
Now, with due respect, you're back to the nonsense. The analogy of God's love with a whiner is absurd. The reason the whiner bothers us is that it is trivial and self-aggrandizing. Love, particularly God's love (His essence), is the opposite of that. Moreover, when you understand more fundamentally that the will is necessarily attracted to the Good, and that God is Good itself, then the will will be drawn to God necessarily. It will never be averse to Him. Put differently, to suggest that one could have an aversion to God if they are in His presence would be to say that the will could prefer evil, which is, again, meaningless nonsense. People can have an aversion to God in this life, but that is completely a defect in intellect. They have failed to grasp what God is and are actually averse to something of their own creation. But in the presence of God Himself, such aversion would be impossible. If anything, the agony would be related to wanting what they cannot have -- God Himself.



But that's exactly what happens with habitual sin. It's not just the intellect but the will also that is so distorted that what is actually evil and contrary to their nature they perceive as their ultimate good. God is completely ugly, the very image of the tyrant that demands that they abandon what they really want and He who seeks to rip them away from it.

So its not "meaningless nonsense" at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:02 am 
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Here is a perfect example from Scripture of how one event can be seen in two different manners:

Exo 14:19

And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

Exo 14:20
And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

The same presence of the Lord in the pillar was darkness to the Egyptians, but light to the Israelites.

It all depends on what side of the fence you are on, spiritually speaking.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Gollum from the Lord of the Rings is a great image of someone who's will is dominated by sin. It's not just a broken rule, its a broken nature. He has knowledge of who he is/was, and Frodo sort-of awakens him to that seemingly distant memory, but he's been so disfigured by his passion for what he wants more than anything (the Ring, his "precious"), every act is ultimately directed to achieving that end. That is his only good.

Everything in the story that is considered good, the Valar, the elves, and the great beauty and subtlety of their works, are utterly abhorrant to Gollum. He despises the sunlight, the rope given to Sam from the elves that Sam uses to bind Gollum "burns" him in torment.

And this can be the spiritual reality of even the most ardently professed "bible-believing" christian. It'd be nice to believe that what we believe has a direct effect on how we live, and to some extent it can and does. But we've seen plenty if examples of people who, to borrow a phrase from someone else, the cognitive dissonance in their minds must be like standing in the middle of a mosh pit.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:07 pm 
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Light of the East wrote:
Here is a perfect example from Scripture of how one event can be seen in two different manners:

Exo 14:19

And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

Exo 14:20
And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

The same presence of the Lord in the pillar was darkness to the Egyptians, but light to the Israelites.

It all depends on what side of the fence you are on, spiritually speaking.



Or there's the examples of Pharaoh and the "hardening" of his heart because of the presence of God in Moses. The sheer fact of God's presence in Moses makes Paraoh even more obdurate and resistant to God, not less.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:44 pm 
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Quote:
The sheer fact of God's presence in Moses makes Paraoh even more obdurate and resistant to God, not less.
That's not what the verse says. You're reading that into it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:58 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
The sheer fact of God's presence in Moses makes Paraoh even more obdurate and resistant to God, not less.
That's not what the verse says. You're reading that into it.


It says "I (God) will harden Pharaoh's heart."

So then it seems to me that in what sense should that be read that is consistent with God's nature?

Is it the sense in which God reaches into someone's feelings or will and alters it on purpose, to make soneone have a hardened heart?

Or is it that God, because He is omniscient, knows that sending Moses with His word will by doing so make Pharaoh hardened? That Pharaoh will perceive this as an affront to his own perceived divinity?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:00 pm 
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The former, while not entirely accurate, is closer to the truth than the second, in which God is not sovereign.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
The former, while not entirely accurate, is closer to the truth than the second, in which God is not sovereign.


But how does that have any affect on God's sovereignty when He includes our free-will acts in the achieving of His Providence?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:12 pm 
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Our free will acts are part of His sovereignty. God hardened Pharoah's heart but did not take away his freedom in doing so. God is not a cause like other causes.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:15 pm 
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The essential problem with the way you state it is that God's knowledge is reactive to Pharoah's mindset. God's knowledge is not reactive; it is causative. God does not know things because they are; they are because God knows them.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:36 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Our free will acts are part of His sovereignty. God hardened Pharoah's heart but did not take away his freedom in doing so. God is not a cause like other causes.


That's what I'm having trouble grasping because that seems to be exactly what happens when you purposefully alter someone's will. If you forced by someone to do a thing, then you are not free, you're being coerced.

I think I understand what you mean by God being a cause unlike other causes, but I'm having trouble making the connection. If you could elaborate I'd appreciate it.



I ask because in my experience as an atheist, when I encountered other Christians, I had a habit of assuming certain airs of flippancy and superiority around them. I treated what they said as ridiculous and ridiculed them and purposefully looked for ways to embarrass them.

I never percieved that my reaction was anything else but my decision based upon my views and opinions of Christians and Christianity at the time. That God actively hardened my heart, that He would alter my disposition to make it so that instead of accepting His Word I would ridicule it and those who, with every good intention, wanted to deliver it seems to me to be completely counterintuitive.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:41 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
The essential problem with the way you state it is that God's knowledge is reactive to Pharoah's mindset. God's knowledge is not reactive; it is causative. God does not know things because they are; they are because God knows them.


If that's how it came off, that's not how I meant it.

The hardening of Pharaoh's heart comes from Pharaoh's reaction to God, a response that God knew that Pharaoh would have tp Moses, not that God is reacting to Pharaoh's hardness.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:06 pm 
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You're still having God react to Pharoah, even if it's foreknowledge b


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:16 pm 
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I think the Biblical phrase 'the Lord hardened pharaoh's heart' has to be taken at face value. Not that God forced pharaoh to disbelieve against his will, but God could have given pharaoh the grace to believe, and he deliberately chose not to do that. Why did he choose not to do so? Because it gave God the opportunity to display his power to the Israelites, if pharaoh had believed Moses, there never would have been a parting of the Red Sea or the establishment of the feast of Passover.

St. Paul discusses this at length in the epistle to the Romans, even going so far as to say that God creates some vessels for dishonorable use and some for honorable use. At fact value, that sounds a lot like God deliberately damns people to hell just for giggles. That isn't quite what St. Paul meant, but if you're going to be like The Jack and go for the ostensible 'plain meaning' of the text, it seems difficult to avoid that conclusion.

Literally every single person who has ever been lost could have been saved if God had chosen to give them the grace to be saved, but he intentionally chose not to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:27 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You're still having God react to Pharoah, even if it's foreknowledge b



I just don't see how that is, especially when that foreknowledge follows from Divine Providence itself, by which God placed Pharaoh in that time and in that place, and ordered all of the events and circumstances in Pharaoh's life which led to that encounter with Moses.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:41 pm 
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Doom wrote:
I think the Biblical phrase 'the Lord hardened pharaoh's heart' has to be taken at face value. Not that God forced pharaoh to disbelieve against his will, but God could have given pharaoh the grace to believe, and he deliberately chose not to do that. Why did he choose not to do so? Because it gave God the opportunity to display his power to the Israelites, if pharaoh had believed Moses, there never would have been a parting of the Red Sea or the establishment of the feast of Passover.


Another "why" to me would be that God knew that Pharaoh would never possess to disposition to accept that grace on any regard, so to offer it would be an utter waste AND that God used that to show forth His power.


Quote:
St. Paul discusses this at length in the epistle to the Romans, even going so far as to say that God creates some vessels for dishonorable use and some for honorable use. At fact value, that sounds a lot like God deliberately damns people to hell just for giggles. That isn't quite what St. Paul meant, but if you're going to be like The Jack and go for the ostensible 'plain meaning' of the text, it seems difficult to avoid that conclusion.


Agreed

Quote:
Literally every single person who has ever been lost could have been saved if God had chosen to give them the grace to be saved, but he intentionally chose not to do that.


That seems to me to call to mind the example of the fig tree. If it utterly refuses to bear fruit, then it's not worth being watered or fed or cared for. It's not doing what it was created to do, not acting according to its nature.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:58 pm 
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Jon Snow wrote:
Doom wrote:
I think the Biblical phrase 'the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart' has to be taken at face value. Not that God forced pharaoh to disbelieve against his will, but God could have given pharaoh the grace to believe, and he deliberately chose not to do that. Why did he choose not to do so? Because it gave God the opportunity to display his power to the Israelites if pharaoh had believed Moses, there never would have been a parting of the Red Sea or the establishment of the feast of Passover.


Another "why" to me would be that God knew that Pharaoh would never possess to the disposition to accept that grace in any regard, so to offer it would be an utter waste AND that God used that to show forth His power.


The problem with that is that makes pharaoh in charge and God only reacting to what he does, this ultimately means that we can save ourselves with our own efforts. It's ultimately Peligian.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:12 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Jon Snow wrote:
Doom wrote:
I think the Biblical phrase 'the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart' has to be taken at face value. Not that God forced pharaoh to disbelieve against his will, but God could have given pharaoh the grace to believe, and he deliberately chose not to do that. Why did he choose not to do so? Because it gave God the opportunity to display his power to the Israelites if pharaoh had believed Moses, there never would have been a parting of the Red Sea or the establishment of the feast of Passover.


Another "why" to me would be that God knew that Pharaoh would never possess to the disposition to accept that grace in any regard, so to offer it would be an utter waste AND that God used that to show forth His power.


The problem with that is that makes pharaoh in charge and God only reacting to what he does, this ultimately means that we can save ourselves with our own efforts. It's ultimately Peligian.


Okay.

Now flip that around. If it is specifically God's will that all be saved, (1 Tim 2:4) and yet man can withstand God to the ends of eternity, then doesn't that again put man in charge and having power over God's will? Is there some lack of omnipotence and omniscience which fails to be able to find a way to break through even the toughest of exteriors?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:29 pm 
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Light of the East wrote:
Okay.

Now flip that around. If it is specifically God's will that all be saved, (1 Tim 2:4) and yet man can withstand God to the ends of eternity, then doesn't that again put man in charge and having power over God's will? Is there some lack of omnipotence and omniscience which fails to be able to find a way to break through even the toughest of exteriors?


Ultimately, all heresy on this issue is the result of an attempt to try to completely understand the unknowable will of God

What we do know is the following:

God gives sufficient grace to everyone to be saved

God does NOT give efficacious grace to everyone

God can give efficacious grace to anyone he chooses ('I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy')

If a person has not been given efficacious grace, it is because God has chosen to withhold this gift, for reasons that are beyond our ability to understand, but we do know that this decision is NOT 'based on foreknowledge of our sin.'

If a person is not saved, it is because God chose not to save that person, which he could have done

And despite all this, our free will is not in any way restricted or reduced, God is not the author of sin and anyone who is condemned is condemned due to his own fault, and not because God 'forced him to sin'.

Does that make complete sense? No. But a merely human mind cannot understand the mind of God.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:37 pm 
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The distinction between God's antecedent will that all be saved and His consequent will that not all are saved has already been mentioned in this thread. St. John of Damascus (an Eastern Father who died in 749) is credited, IIRC, with formulating this distinction in the form it is now used.


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