You are hereConsider The Kindness of God

Consider The Kindness of God

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 149.

By Sam - Posted on 31 August 2006

by Samuel Frost
Paul tells us to consider God’s kindness in a passage where “wrath”, “judgment” and “hardness” are mentioned. God “hardens” hearts of individuals. He has “mercy” on whom he has mercy. It’s his choice. The problem is, we humans don’t like God’s choices because we deem them as “unfair.” But Paul’s only response to this is: “who are you, O’ man, to talk back to God?” That’s a deep question.Paul tells us to consider God’s kindness in a passage where “wrath”, “judgment” and “hardness” are mentioned. God “hardens” hearts of individuals. He has “mercy” on whom he has mercy. It’s his choice. The problem is, we humans don’t like God’s choices because we deem them as “unfair.” But Paul’s only response to this is: “who are you, O’ man, to talk back to God?” That’s a deep question.Who are we to say that God can and God cannot do this and that because, in our great estimation, it is “unfair”? When did our sense of fairness become God’s standard? I am recently translating the Book of Micah, and I noticed where the NIV again drops the ball in its quest to be a “dynamic equivalent” linguistically speaking.

In Mi 2.1 the prophet wrote, “Woe to those who plan sin…who plot evil…” The word for “evil” here is ra. The NIV got this right. However, they miss the boat when, in verse 3, they translate: “Therefore the LORD says: I am planning disaster against this people…for it will be a time of calamity.” Notice the words “disaster” and “calamity” there. Both are the same word in 2.1: ra. In reading Hebrew, one cannot fail to miss the lexical force of the prophet’s use of this single term in three instances here: woe to you who plot evil. I, the LORD, am going to plot evil myself against you!” Micah, and I add, the Holy Spirit who so guided Micah to use the word ra, is making an incredible statement concerning God’s prerogative over the affairs of men. But, I can hear the post-modern, politically correct crowd began their whine: that ain’t fair! And, I can hear their argumentative protests that this makes God arbitrary. Perhaps the more sophisticated PC pendants would give us a lesson in semantics, noting that ra does not always mean evil. Well, there were other terms our dear brother Micah could have used, but he uses this single one three times in one passage…think he has a point? Man’s plotting evil versus God’s plotting evil?

Christians have a hard time dealing with a God who is sovereign and very much aware of human suffering. At this moment a child is being raped, a limb is being hacked, a baby is being aborted and a pornography film is being made – add a homosexual pornography film. And God knows each of the people involved. He knows their very thoughts while they raise the knife or roll the camera. He knows every detail of their evil acts. The prophets let us know that he has a little evil in store for them, too. It may strike us strange, but the prophets never conjure up the so called “question of evil” or “problem of evil” in the world. After all, why should they? It’s God’s world.

Some may notice that God here is repaying evil with evil. True. What’s the problem? Where does it say that he can’t? Who will say to him, “hey, man, peace! Smoke a doobie!” (which is the source of much of the now fifty something politically correct used to be hippies). “Doesn’t the Bible say not to repay evil with evil”? Yes, it does. But that’s written to man, not to God. God is under no law and no obligation except his own being. Kant, the nineteenth century German rationalist, developed the idea that God cannot command man to do that which man is not able to do. Similarly, some have the idea that God cannot do or break commandments that he gives to men. But, these ideas are rooted in freewill philosophy, of which Kant was.

Let me give an example of this reasoning: God commands men to love him with all their strength, mind and soul. Ask yourself, is that humanly possible apart from the grace and power of God? 24 hours a day? Heck, if I could do that in my own strength and mind, then why do I even need “the power of God”? That ought to settle the first problem. The second one raised is that God says to “love your enemy.” But, God is under no obligation to love his enemies. Just because he tells a man not to lie, does not put God under the obligation that he cannot “bring such a powerful deception so that they believe the lie” (II Thes 2.11). God causes people to believe lies? God forbid, says the dope smoking, tree hugging postmodernist. That’s not cool, dude!

These are just some thoughts I thought I’d share from my studies in Micah, which will be available soon on our website in a lecture format (www.thereignofchrist.com). I did have one other thought, since there is so much “love” going around. How can a God who loves as much as some say that he does turn around and condemn a person who was once saved and believed? That is, how can a truly converted person, saved by the love of God, turn around and sin to the point that God says, “that’s it, you’re not saved anymore!” Wouldn’t love mean that “I saved you and love you regardless of your sins. In fact, I am with you the rest of your life, furiously pursuing you, in spite of you defects and shortcomings, and I will always love you and never separate myself from you.” Man, now that sounds like some heavy duty love action! Oh, yes, but that involves that pesky evil Calvinist doctrine of perseverance of the saints, the P in the TULIP. And, well, we can’t have that, because that would require that God did love us in such a way, and, well, we just can’t have God loving us that much. Hey, but the homosexual pastor, he’s gold! Besides that, that much love from God would negate freewill, and that’s the one sacred cow that must not, can not, ever be even questioned! Ask yourself again, in the words of Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend, who are you?

rfwitt's picture

It says in the word "The soul that sins shall die" not the soul that's born a sinner shall die.

Eze 18:20 The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, nor shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.
Eze 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins which he has committed, and keep all My statutes, and do justice and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
Eze 18:22 All his transgressions that he has done, they shall not be mentioned to him; in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.
Eze 18:23 Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Jehovah. Is it not that he should turn from his ways and live?
Eze 18:24 But when the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked do, shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be remembered; in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them he shall die.
Eze 18:25 Yet you say, The way of Jehovah is not fair. Hear now, O house of Israel: Is not My way fair? Are your ways not unfair?
Eze 18:26 When a righteous one turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and dies in them; for his iniquity that he has done, he shall die.
Eze 18:27 Again, when the wicked turns away from his wickedness that he has committed and does that which is lawful and righteous, he shall save his soul alive.
Eze 18:28 Because he looks carefully, and turns away from all his sins that he has committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
Eze 18:29 Yet says the house of Israel: The way of Jehovah is not fair. O house of Israel, are not My ways fair? Are not your ways unfair?
Eze 18:30 So I will judge you, O house of Israel, each one of you according to his ways, says the Lord Jehovah. Turn and be made to turn from all your sins; and iniquity shall not be your stumbling-block.
Eze 18:31 Cast away from you all your sins by which you have sinned; and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will you die, O house of Israel?
Eze 18:32 For I have no delight in the death of him who dies, says the Lord Jehovah. Therefore turn and live.

jmarvin's picture

Hi and thank you for the article.

Your comment: "Similarly, some have the idea that God cannot do or break commandments that he gives to men. But, these ideas are rooted in freewill philosophy, of which Kant was."

Now I can't speak of Kant's freewill philosophy which I've not studied but this comment does raise some questions.

1) If God can and does (?) break commandments which He himself has given to men then on what basis when we proclaim the "good news" can we suggest that God is utterly faithful?

2) Could not one suggest that since God gives eternal life to all those that believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, (once saved always saved), watch out because God can break his "commandment" (Covenant)? Can one every be sure if one believes that God can deny Himself?

3) Concerning Preterism, could not one extrapolate from this idea that God can break His own commandments to men by saying that what Preterists have come to understand about God's ability to tell time and communicate it accurately to men (prophetic time statements)is easily defeated because God can deny what He has established in reference to "time statements." Again how is one to be sure of anything prophetically?

4)Are thre any Scriptures that indicate that God has broken His own commandments to men? I would like to look at them to get a more fuller understanding of what is meant by the idea that God can (and maybe has) broken His own commandments to men?

I admit that these may be very simplistic questions and possibly ignorant ones. Yet they are mine and I would appreciate your thoughts.

Blessings,
jmarvin

Sam's picture

Good questions, but slightly confusing as to subject matter. "Commands" are different from "promises", especially when it states, "he swares by Himself" since there is none greater. Second, "commands" are not prophetic. Commands are what men OUGHT to do; prophecy is about what WILL happen, regardless. For example, Judas OUGHT to have not betrayed Jesus, and the commandment to love God was broken. Yet, Judas acted according to prophecy, foreordained, broke the command and did just that which God ordained of him.

Kyle Peterson's picture

And where does that leave us if all prophecy has been fulfilled?

Barry's picture

"And where does that leave us if all prophecy has been fulfilled?"

In the new eternal age that has no eschatology.
With over 1900 years (and counting) since anything thing else was written.
With the harvest behind us.
With the tares burnt up many years ago.
With all things that offend gathered out of the kingdom, many years ago.

At least that is what it seems to be saying IMO.
What do you think Kyle?

Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

Kyle Peterson's picture

Barry,

If Sam is equating foreordainment to prophecy..
and all prophecy has been fulfilled..
then there is no longer any foreordainment.

-Kyle

Barry's picture

I'm sorry Kyle for the delay in answering.
IMHO your assessment is at least partially correct. Biblical (eschatological) foreordainment (as we know it) cannot continue beyond fulfillment.
Barry

we are all in this together

vento's picture

Right, Sam. Let us not forget that Jesus was nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men, yet by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God. Quite an "evil" event, my we say?

Then the LORD said to Job,
2"Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Let him who reproves God answer it."

The question "who are you?" is a good one.

Thanks,

Scott

davo's picture

vento: Let us not forget that Jesus was nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men, yet by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God. Quite an "evil" event, my we say?

Absolutely Scott yes in deed, yet even from the Cross did unconditional forgiveness reign over their in their godless rebellion -- "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". The question remains – belligerent as they were in their unrepentant wantonness, did the Father answer Jesus' prayer?

What consequences flow from our conclusions on this?

davo

vento's picture

"Unconditional forgiveness?"

What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others.

davo's picture

Vento: What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others.

The difference between the diversion you raise and what I asked is this – Jesus is giving a parable/story prophetically indicative of temporal consequences of temporal actions; as opposed to the unconditional and heartfelt plea for forgiveness to God his Father on their behalf.

So Scott, the question still remains – belligerent as they were in their unrepentant wantonness, did the Father answer Jesus' prayer? i.e., through absolutely NO initiative, act or intent of their own, but that of Christ's alone, were they forgiven of the Father? What consequences might flow from your conclusion on this matter, what do you think?

This again illustrates and demonstrates to a tee the difference between what WE SEE as "enemies" and that of how God views things. No one least of all me is denying the FACT that some indeed DO hold God in contempt in their hearts, i.e., in their carnal minds – as per what Paul said, BUT that is a far cry from how God sees those made in His image, a cry that I believe did reach far into the heart of God from the Cross – so, DID the Father answer his Son? – what are the implications of unconditional forgiveness?

Grace can be so uncomfortable, as it strips away "our" power.

davo

vento's picture

Hi Davo,

Wasn't trying to "raise a diversion." You changed the subject!

I understand you believe they were only TEMPORALLY judged. That's fine, buddy. I've read a lot of your stuff, so I know pretty much your position. I won't get into it here.

I think Jesus said their father was the devil...

Take care,

Scott

davo's picture

Scott, I didn't change the subject -- YOU raised the query as to "unconditional forgiveness" -- I simply qualified my thoughts on that; you then raised a potential objection, the answer to which I gave you are choosing not to deal with, well that's ok.

As for "temporal" judgment, I wouldn't use your word "only" with that -- like losing one's life is pretty full on; had they have but "called upon the name of the Lord" they would have been saved, i.e., delivered etc.

davo

vento's picture

Okay, cool...take care.

Scott

davo's picture

No worries mate...take care too.

davo

paul's picture

Sam,

The necessity is always, in all generations, for Christians to proclaim the absolute sovereignty of God. Thank you.
The fact is that large numbers of Christians cannot tolerate the thought. Too often, Christians who reason from a Reformed perspective simply "preach to the choir" and Christians who oppose predestination "preach to the choir".
Whatever else can be said of Planet Preterist, it is a truth that Christians have been invited to a serious and vigorous discussion, outside of our comfort zones. At least, as they say, we're not "preaching to the choir". God bless you, Brother Sam, as well, as those many, many, Planet Preterist contributors who strongly oppose this view.
I have discovered this: when mature Christians engage in discussions about the sovereignty of God, good things result, after the dust settles. Thanks again.

Paul Richard Strange, Sr.
dadprs@hotmail.com

davo's picture

Sam: Micah, and I add, the Holy Spirit who so guided Micah to use the word ra, is making an incredible statement concerning God’s prerogative over the affairs of men. But, I can hear the post-modern, politically correct crowd began their whine: that ain’t fair!

It may strike us strange, but the prophets never conjure up the so called “question of evil” or “problem of evil” in the world. After all, why should they? It’s God’s world. I have to agree that the issue of "evil" is more "our problem" than God's. Just as we do with the issue of "repentance", we so easily, readily and naturally associate evil with sin – yet such need not be the case carte blanche. For instance, who created the Tree of the Knowledge of Good AND Evil? – God did. And who in the OT is more associated with "repentance"? – God is:

Ex 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

God REPENTED of EVIL – kind of give you an angle on repentance and evil that is somewhat foreign to popular fundamentalism.

Sam: God commands men to love him with all their strength, mind and soul. Ask yourself, is that humanly possible apart from the grace and power of God? .24 hours a day? Heck, if I could do that in my own strength and mind, then why do I even need “the power of God”?I would be so adventurous to say that even WITH "the grace and power of God" such is not possible – yours, mine and everybody else's life IS testimony to this fact – this is why we NEED/ED Jesus and HIS life in our stead. Even Israel demonstrated repeatedly they could not do it, and they were the elect.

This Idea that God is under no obligation to bow to the whims of man is a convenient furphy and reframing of the issue in order to avoid the logical – that He expects of lesser ones more than He in example ["imitate God" Eph 5:1; 1Cor 11:1] is Himself is prepared to do IN LIGHT OF THE NEW COVENANT – and THAT'S the difference, the new covenant. You who so readily rush to judgment and condemnation [exclusivity] do so from an old covenant mind-set; and for so-called preterists this is a joke considering what we know of that which was "ready to vanish away".

Sam: The second one raised is that God says to “love your enemy.” But, God is under no obligation to love his enemies.Again, this is reasoning that hankers after the smell of a 'tulip' than the scent of 'the rose of Sharon'. To be sure – God is under NO obligation – but what does He do? The unthinkable – He loves the unlovable. God "in Christ" HAS resolved the "enemy" issue – that's the good news of the Gospel – He is no longer angry, He has no more enemies. In the Parousia whatever enemies were left were dealt with, the very LAST ENEMY we are told was "DEATH" itself; that pretty much covers ALL other enemies from God's perspective – there can be nothing beyond "the last". Therefore, IF as we teach the last enemy to be destroyed was death [1Cor 15:26], then regardless of what you, I or anybody else thinks or reasons – God has no more enemies!!.

Having made peace through the blood of Christ's Cross, God has reconciled all things in heaven and on earth to Himself [Col 1:20]. So even if in the ignorance or arrogance of some men's feeble minds they consider themselves "enemies of God", from HIS perspective they are not; Paul affirms this:

Col 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled…

IF God as the inspired Paul says, has made peace through Christ, then to further quote Paul: "O man who are you…" to question His will?

Sam: How can a God who loves as much as some say that he does turn around and condemn a person who was once saved and believed? That is, how can a truly converted person, saved by the love of God, turn around and sin to the point that God says, “that’s it, you’re not saved anymore!”Interesting; can a true Calvinist genuinely ask such a question? Perhaps in the light of a prêteristic understanding one might consider "from what" did one have the possibility of being "unsaved" if they didn't "P" for persevere?

Sam: Wouldn’t love mean that “I saved you and love you regardless of your sins. In fact, I am with you the rest of your life, furiously pursuing you, in spite of you defects and shortcomings, and I will always love you and never separate myself from you.” Yes indeed, it does sound like the inspired Paul's 'Gospel of Grace' – something that even Paul knew David understood:

Rom 4:7-8 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”

Perhaps we could ReConsider The Kindness of God.

davo

DavidF's picture

God has no more enemies!!.

Hi Davo: After I read your statement I thought of a few things that seem to question the notion.

The context of 1 Cor. 15:26 does not say God has no more enemies but rather they are now under his feet. The idea veiled in the term “destroyed“ here simply means all His enemies are now losers, subjugated under His feet, under the curse of devastation because they are not in Christ. As it says in John 3:18 “whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son” and in Romans 8:9 “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

He still has enemies, but they are condemned rejects because they are outside of Christ, and they are outside the gates of New Jerusalem. Rev. 22:14 shows us a clear picture of God’s view post A.D. 70. The ones He loves are inside the city, and the ones who remain His enemies are defeated (and consciously existing) outside the gates. "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

Also see Rev. 21:25-27 “On no day will its gates ever be shut... Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.”

The best to you in Christ Jesus,
DavidF

Englishman's picture

DavidF, Virgil, et. al.,

I am not sure how some of you understand the “destruction of death” after the Parousia. Some seem to embrace the “total unilateral abolition of death” (my paraphrased terminology) while others seem to embrace “limited abolition of death”.

May I explore a couple of things with you:

Do you think that there is something to learn from the fact that Moses never ordered the scorpions (serpents) to be exterminated? (In other words, the people may yet again confront death in the future.)

Would it be correct to conclude that the remedy against death (as prescribed by Moses) was a "voluntary immunization" rather than a "unilateral extermination"?

When we hear that the "last enemy to be destroyed is death" does this inescapably insist that death is unilaterally annihilated throughout the entire universe or can it contemplate that death is overcome by a prescribed voluntary immunization?

Does the Christian say "Oh death, I cannot find you! Oh grave, where are you?" Or does the Christian say "Oh death, where is thy sting! Oh grave, where is thy victory!"

In other words, would it be safe to say (even after the Parousia) that Death still has full force and effect over those who have not received the prescribed immunization? If so, then Death was *not* exterminated in an unbridled universal sense. (The Prince of Death, our mortal enemy, was indeed cast out and bound. But the power of death did not go with him. It was transferred, en toto, to the one who said “All power is given unto Me.”)

I submit that the power of Death is an attribute of sovereignty. I submit that Jesus now is and will always be the King of Death. After the Parousia an entirely new administration of Death begins. It is directed specifically at the enemies of His people. For us it is the administration of Life. For them it is the administration of Death. We have Life precisely because Jesus is now the reigning King of Death. And that is precisely why peace with Him is the prize of life.

Our very security and peace after the Parousia rests upon the vital continuance and application of the sword of Death in the hands of our one and only.

-EM

Paige's picture

"Do you think that there is something to learn from the fact that Moses never ordered the scorpions (serpents) to be exterminated? (In other words, the people may yet again confront death in the future.)"

If my recollection is correct, the scorpions (serpents) were faced during the 40 year wandering. This actually displays perfect biblical typology, IMO. For instance, the book of Heb. (written during the 40 year eschaton) warns against returning (or falling away). The author admonishes his audience to hold fast until the end. I don't believe he is talking about the end of each one's individual life, but rather the end of the eschaton. Did Israel ever face the serpents again once inside the promised land?

As for your thoughts on Jesus now being the King of Death, I don't see it. The ministry of death and condemnation was that of the OC (2 Cor. 3:7-11). If God's plan was for death to be eternally meted out, then why allow the OC to pass away at all?

Englishman's picture

Paige writes: “Did Israel ever face the serpents again once inside the promised land?”

I do not think so. At least not within the same instructional setting. But the pressing question is the durability of the “lesson” of Moses with regard to the solution to death.

I submit that this lesson survived that ancient episode because the Lord himself calls upon it in His discourse with Nicodemus. So the next question is: Does the “born-again” discourse with Nicodemus, and its conclusion, have only a pre-Parousia application?

On the other items:

I would say that the ministration of death under Moses was glorious. But that ministration was wholly ineffectual to displace the Prince of Death.

In contrast, the ministration of Death under the new covenant is far more glorious precisely because it dislodged the Prince of Death from his office.

It is through this power of Death, and its continuing new-covenant administration, that the promise of “no Canaanite in the Holy City” is maintained for the benefit of His people. It was the former Prince of Death who abused his power to keep *us* out. So now Jesus is newly crowned the King of Death, is forthwith handed the keys of Death, and promptly turns the tables on them by using his newly acquired power to keep *them* out.

With regard to the “King 0f Death” I was encouraged to subsequently learn from a web search that studied men like Spurgeon is among those expositors who used this appellation from his very earliest days and throughout his whole life.

-EM

DavidF's picture

These comments make sense Englishman. Romans 14:9 does support your “King of death” thought. “For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.” And in Rev.1:18 He holds the keys, “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

The best to you in Christ Jesus

davo's picture

DavidF: The context of 1 Cor. 15:26 does not say God has no more enemies but rather they are now under his feet. The idea veiled in the term “destroyed“ here simply means all His enemies are now losers, subjugated under His feet, under the curse of devastation because they are not in Christ.

Actually, it was after all other enemies were thus subjugated in Christ's "end-of-the-age" AD30-70 millennial reign that in finality "the death" itself, i.e., all that was bound up in the OC system, WAS summarily destroyed – this was the eschatological reality of the AD70 Parousia.

With regards to John 3:18 – in context it makes sense understanding such as applicable to those in the "last days" who refused to "hear" Jesus, i.e., they likewise perished in their sins – died in Israel's 'lake of fire' not knowing "in life" the forgiveness that was theirs. Their OC mindset robbed them of knowing such reconciliation "in life" and brought about a cursed end, as prophesied by Jesus in Lk 13:3-5.

DavidF: He still has enemies, but they are condemned rejects because they are outside of Christ, and they are outside the gates of New Jerusalem. Rev. 22:14 shows us a clear picture of God’s view post A.D. 70. The ones He loves are inside the city, and the ones who remain His enemies are defeated (and consciously existing) outside the gates.

Whether pre or post – those "outside" were those who remained in the darkness of the old covenant. Without repeating so much here, I'll refer you to my thoughts on this [HERE].

KingNeb: So, you're telling me that God, TODAY, has absolutely no enemies?

The only enemies God has today are those as I pointed out, who in their own feebleness of mind "think" they are; OR those, whom we in our self-righteous piety, ascribe as such. There are so many "Jonahs'" in Christendom – cantankerous, sour and unbelieving, and practically preferring death themselves than allow any notion that God has grace for the so-called unlovely. But what was God's understanding and unilaterally demonstrated attitude?

Jonah 4:11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”

Such a Jonah type attitude seems self evident in your own words:

KingNeb: …anyway you want to slice it doesn't matter - there are those who are in and those who are not. Friends of God / Enemies of God.

Such "in-out", "up-down" or "blessed-cursed" judgments shows an attitude that even Paul said should NOT be entertained:

Rom 10:7 …“Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” …or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’”

Paige: What I find disturbing is that so many want ongoing eschatology to coexist with fulfilled eschatology.

Exactly, good point Paige – a consistent prêteristic hermeneutic would realise that with regards to the New Covenant age THERE IS NO ESCHATON – the new covenant has no rolling "last days", or subsequently parallels that went with the likes of the end of the Mosaic age.

davo

DavidF's picture

Davo: I still believe that post A.D. 70 "if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ." Ro 8:9. Therefore death and sin still have power over these individuals, they are subjugated under Christ's feet and they are barred outside the gates of New Jerusalem.

Are you telling us that everyone post A.D. 70 has the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them?

The best to you in Christ Jesus

davo's picture

DavidF: I still believe that post A.D. 70 "if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ." Ro 8:9.

G'day David,

If you believe that, according to the fuller context of the passage, then you must also believe that post Parousia the Law was still a factor -- because that is the contrast wherein Paul makes this "comparative" statement -- is that what you truly believe? This must be true because you go onto say "Therefore death and sin still have power…". Do you have scriptural warrant to re-impose what Christ through His Cross-Parousia event abolished? The "them/us", "believer/unbeliever" mindset is nothing more than a religious carry-over of the "Jew/Gentile" exclusion – it is anti Gospel.

DavidF: Are you telling us that everyone post A.D. 70 has the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them?

What I would say is that, as per the context of the whole passage such was applicable post Parousia as it was then pre Parousia, and thus spoke of those called of God to serve the world – and in this specific setting of Romans it was toward the redemption of Israel, all Israel, into which the Gentiles were being called. Those who had/have "the Spirit of Christ" do so by the call of God to minister to those in the darkness of ignorance – and what are they ignorant of? God's righteousness as opposed to their own; which is not righteousness at all [Rom 1:17].

Paul desired to "save" Israel from her ignorance [Rom 10:1-3], i.e., her supposed gaining of righteousness through performance based religion, and according to such were constituted "enemies", wherein they were in fact and reality "loved" of God – and it was THIS latter reality that in the Parousia quashed the former status of "enemies" [Rom 11:28].

davo

DavidF's picture

Davo, you said: "you must also believe that post Parousia the Law was still a factor."

Yes, I do. “The law of the Spirit of life” is still a factor post parousia!

Romans 7:4 and 8:1-2 shows us two law systems intact pre-parousia:

7:4 “you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another…”

8:1-2 “the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

So then, we have two laws in effect pre-parousia; the law of sin and death, and the law of the Spirit. At the parousia the law of sin and death was permanently overthrown for the sake of all who are indwelled by the Spirit of Christ.

The law of the Spirit of life still remains post A.D. 70; it is the only way we can have the requirements of the God’s law fully met in us!

To maintain your position you have to come right out and admit that the law of the Spirit was done away with at the parousia and subsequently no one is constrained by it, or that everyone has the Spirit of Christ living them post parousia. Which one are you going to hold to?

The best to you in Christ Jesus

davo's picture

DavidF: Davo, you said: "you must also believe that post Parousia the Law was still a factor."

Yes, I do. “The law of the Spirit of life” is still a factor post parousia!

C'mon David, surely you are playing games, or just avoiding the obvious logic – did you really not know that my reference was in relation to the continuance of the OC Law post Parousia; thus back to what I was implying, i.e., that your logic "according to the context" does not gel, IMO.

DavidF: At the parousia the law of sin and death was permanently overthrown for the sake of all who are indwelled by the Spirit of Christ.

Actually, "sin and death was permanently overthrown" for ALL – the difference is, those "born again" know it, and so live in the blessed thankfulness of it. It is not the truth that sets people free, it is knowing the truth that sets them free – they are already free, but ignorant of it – our good news is "you are free [forgiven] because of Jesus".

DavidF: To maintain your position you have to come right out and admit that the law of the Spirit was done away with at the parousia and subsequently no one is constrained by it…

???So how do you come to that spurious conclusion – how can someone be thus constrained IF YOU then also have "the law of the Spirit was done away" – what are you saying???

davo

DavidF's picture

Davo: you said “did you really not know that my reference was in relation to the continuance of the OC Law post Parousia…”

I am not sure what you believe about the two law systems that were active at the parousia, or if you even knew their were two active law systems at that time. My suspicion was that you were referring to the "law of death" but you were not specific. I maintain that “The law of the Spirit of life” is still a factor post parousia!

Davo: “how can someone be thus constrained IF YOU then also have "the law of the Spirit was done away"

I did not say "the law of the Spirit was done away". I said the opposite. Again, “The law of the Spirit of life” is still a factor post parousia!

As for your question on constraint. Anyone who has the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Law of the Spirit) will also have the fruit of the Spirit, one of which is “self control”, synonymous with “self constraint” or “self government”. Furthermore the “law of the Spirit” constrains anyone without the Spirit from ever entering into God’s rest (New Jerusalem).

It sure would be much easier to know in frank words what your answer to my previous questions are. You seem to have difficulty to come right out and say “yes” or “no” to them. So I’ll try again.

Do you think that the law of the Spirit was done away with at the parousia?

Do you think that everyone has the Spirit of Christ living them post parousia?

The best to you in Christ Jesus

davo's picture

DavidF: It sure would be much easier to know in frank words what your answer to my previous questions are. You seem to have difficulty to come right out and say “yes” or “no” to them. So I’ll try again.

Do you think that the law of the Spirit was done away with at the parousia?

Do you think that everyone has the Spirit of Christ living them post parousia?

That "seems" a little unreasonable, especially the second, as I DID answer it in some detail – maybe not quite to your liking but that cannot be helped. As to the first proposition – the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus came to fruition in the Parousia and ministers beyond. Your requisites of "yes" "no" are invariably laced with bias when such has already been explained, again, maybe not to your satisfaction, but then it might be a case of challenging or exploring the answer already give, in stead of blatantly ignoring it – so here is my answer to that question again:

What I would say is that, as per the context of the whole passage such was applicable post Parousia as it was then pre Parousia, and thus spoke of those called of God to serve the world – and in this specific setting of Romans it was toward the redemption of Israel, all Israel, into which the Gentiles were being called. Those who had/have "the Spirit of Christ" do so by the call of God to minister to those in the darkness of ignorance – and what are they ignorant of? God's righteousness as opposed to their own; which is not righteousness at all [Rom 1:17].

This is obviously linked to what Paul elsewhere calls or speaks of as "in Christ" – you can see my thoughts on this teased out in my article response to Sam's article on universalism [HERE] – for this, scroll down to Sam's first quote and my thoughts following.

davo

DavidF's picture

I am sorry Davo, I just cannot understand your answers. I simply cannot decipher a "yes" or "no" in any of it. I am not ignoring it, it just appears very unclear to me what you are trying to say.

The best to you in Christ Jesus.

davo's picture

hmm ok, let me try explaining it this way -- when you frame your enquiries in terms of needing "yes/no" answers you are determining to a large degree the answer that best works for you, i.e., what aligns with your given assumptions -- as opposed to maybe being open to other unexplored options etc [we all tend do it, it's human nature].

There is IMO a distinction between the breadth of what it means to be "in Christ" and your earlier question as to whether everyone post Parousia has the spirit of Christ dwelling in them.

I think it's a bit of a two-fold issue – on the one hand we have Paul generically speaking of all being in Adam and all being in Christ, and in each "belief" [works] had naught to do with either – no one had to "believe", "confess" or "acknowledge" the first Adam to be consigned as being "in him", likewise is the case with the last Adam. The dividing point between the two Adam's was, I believe, the Cross-Parousia event, NOT one's personal response or the lack thereof to either. There was a unilateral and universal inclusion into Adam which Christ unilaterally and universally undid, thus redeeming that which was separated from God – an inclusive "in-Christ-ness".

On the other hand we also have those specifically "called" of God in the outworking of this redemptive scheme identified by Paul as those "in Christ" – specifically the "first-fruit" saints; this DOES NOT preclude "believers" post Parousia as inclusive in this "in Christ" "called of God" reality – the purpose just is different, i.e., we maintain in witness and worship what they in Christ established in the transition of the ages period. So it's NOT a case of either-or [yes-no] but BOTH, but for different reasons.

Did that make sense or confuse things further?

davo

Englishman's picture

Davo,

In contrast to what I think you said to DavidF,

Would you allow for the possibility that Adam lost a “choice” when the two trees were no longer before him? And with the coming of Jesus the *choice* was restored to Adam’s progeny?

Are you saying that John 3:14-16 has no application after 70 AD?

-EM

davo's picture

EM, could you maybe teast out a bit more exactly what you're saying re choice being lost and or restored -- I'm not quite getting what you're driving at. As for Jn 3:14-18 I would say its "primary" application is/was that of the AD30-70 "world".

This is how I tend to read this passage taking what I see as a fulfilled perspective into account:

Jn 3:16-17 For God so loved Israel that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever of Israel believes in Him should not perish in the Parousia but find life unto/into the age. For God did not send His Son into Israel to condemn Israel, but that Israel through Him might be delivered.

As you can see from the high-lighted, this puts "the world" of the apostle John squarely with "Israel" – of whom Jesus WAS the great redeemer Messiah [Mt 1:21; Lk 1:68], and as Rom 11:15 states without equivocation: Israel's redemption [acceptance BY God] wrought the world's reconciliation – and again in context, "world" here for Paul CLEARLY extends beyond that of historic Israel – so there is secondary continuity beyond the Parousia.

davo

Englishman's picture

Davo writes: “There was a unilateral and universal inclusion into Adam which Christ unilaterally and universally undid, thus redeeming that which was separated from God – an inclusive "in-Christ-ness".”

Since you said “unilateral” and “universal” I posed a couple of questions to learn if you see any Adamic “choice” as having any part of being “in Christ”. I mean “choice” as contrasted to “automatic inclusion”.

In your response you seem to convey that the term “in Christ” has a certain meaning before the Crucifixion, and a different meaning after the Crucifixion (as distinguished by the differences in the covenantal eschatons).

Okay. Thanks.

Your model appears to contain elements of “universal universalism”.

So for clarification (or for confirmation):

After the Crucifixion or Parousia are you saying that there is no one left “in Adam”?

After the Crucifixion or Parousia are you saying that everybody is automatically “in Christ” in the best soteriological sense?

After the Crucifixion or Parousia are you saying that everybody that is “in Christ” has eternal life?

After the Parousia, does anybody need to be born again to receive eternal life? (By “born again” and “eternal life” I mean “born again” and “eternal life” as those terms are used in John 3:3 and John 3:15.)

You made a significant observation when you said: “There was a unilateral and universal inclusion into Adam which Christ unilaterally and universally undid”. “Undid”? Well, upon contemplation I would say “confirmed and ratified”, not “undid”. Because by the acts of Jesus it was confirmed, ratified, and laid bare that Adam and his posterity were “in Christ”. Not merely since the Parousia, nor since the since Crucifixion, but since the “foundation of the world”. This means that Salvation is come to Adamites precisely because they were “in Christ” all along. Over 6,000 years and running.

(Consider this. The fact that Christ was David’s Son does not defeat the fact that Christ was David’s Lord during all that time. So the fact that Christ was Adam’s Son does not defeat the fact that Christ was Adam’s Lord during all that time. It is highly significant that Christ was (and is) an Adamite. When seen in this light, to be an Adamite, especially while in a transitory state of orphanage, is one of the greatest blessings in the universe.)

Christ came to *preserve*, not undo, the relationship between Adam and Himself and to glue it back together in the bonds of love

-EM

davo's picture

EM, thanks for the questions.

Englishman: In your response you seem to convey that the term “in Christ” has a certain meaning before the Crucifixion, and a different meaning after the Crucifixion (as distinguished by the differences in the covenantal eschatons).

Well actually there was only one eschaton and that was relative to the OC age – the NC has no eschaton. When Paul, who specifically uses the term "in Christ" does so, it is usually understood that he is speaking of those who have come to "faith in Christ" – I have no argue with that. What I am saying is that in the "gospel story" there is an inclusiveness of "meaning" of in Christ that is broader than just this. The gospel story was that of the restoration of Israel, all Israel. All Israel, the good the bad and the ugly who were redeemed out of Egypt ALL partook of Christ i.e., were "in Christ" as per 1Cor 10:1-4. So from generic to specific Israel found restoration "in Christ" – the Cross was the decisive event between the ages where this was coming to fruition, and it was those specifically "called" into Christ in that AD30-70 eschaton, that is the first fruit saints, that this fruition outworked to completion on behalf of the whole harvest.

Englishman: You made a significant observation when you said: “There was a unilateral and universal inclusion into Adam which Christ unilaterally and universally undid”. “Undid”? Well, upon contemplation I would say “confirmed and ratified”, not “undid”. …This means that Salvation is come to Adamites precisely because they were “in Christ” all along.

"Undid" was probably a poor choice of words on my part – I meant undid in terms of undoing and the separation that Adam brought, and thus restoring what had been lost; again this preserving of the relationship between God and man was "confirmed and ratified" through the Cross-Parousia event.

Englishman: After the Crucifixion or Parousia are you saying that there is no one left “in Adam”?

Again, our definitions flavour "how" we mean these things. IF by "in Adam" is meant "separation from God due to sin" then no, humanity has been placed in Christ through Calvary.

Englishman: After the Crucifixion or Parousia are you saying that everybody is automatically “in Christ” in the best soteriological sense?

Again, how are YOU meaning "in the best soteriological sense?" How I understand Paul's "so all Israel will be saved" is that Israel now through Christ has been fully delivered [redeemed] from ungodliness [sin], having had her sins taken away – this was the unilateral act of God's mercy toward Israel in renewing covenant with Israel; this WAS Israel's resurrection. It was this resurrection of Israel that then brought about the total reconciliation to the wider world. This is what Romans 11 is all about.

Englishman: After the Crucifixion or Parousia are you saying that everybody that is “in Christ” has eternal life?

No, not if by "eternal life" we take Jesus' definition for it as in: And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. Jn 17:3

According to Jesus' own words "eternal life" is "knowing God" through Christ = personal relationship. Everybody does not have this, yet all are redeemed and reconciled by and to God regardless – just as faithful AND unfaithful Israel were redeemed by and to God out of Egypt. It was only those who in faith believed that went on to receive that fullness of that redemption in the Land of Promise i.e., salvation. This I believe is the difference between redemption-reconciliation and that of salvation. Israel in the Promised Land were to serve God – believers are likewise saved to serve.

Englishman: After the Parousia, does anybody need to be born again to receive eternal life? (By “born again” and “eternal life” I mean “born again” and “eternal life” as those terms are used in John 3:3 and John 3:15.)

Yes. Although I believe this primarily was applicable to national Israel I see no reason that such is not relevant on an individual basis also. I believe Paul's principle of "these things were written for our admonition…" applies post Parousia.

Englishman: Your model appears to contain elements of “universal universalism”.

Noting the difference between salvation and redemption, my view [pantelism] is universalistic in that in the first Adam all had died and so in the last Adam all have been resurrected. Not all realise this reality in life, those that do are "saved" in this life – as THAT is where salvation is applicable, this life.

davo

Englishman's picture

Davo,

Thank you for your detail and your desire to be accurate.

I was able to follow you nicely until you said this:

“…in the first Adam all had died and so in the last Adam all have been resurrected”.

If you had said “in the last Adam all have been redeemed“ it would have been more consistent with your previous analysis. And more palatable. There is nothing you have said in your brief analysis that would compel the conclusion you have stated. (I understand that you have a much fuller exegesis elsewhere.)

I can easily see how a “universalistic” understanding can spring from legal principles. For example, if someone is born with a birthright then he is entitled to something as a matter of law. This benefit is automatic without the need for a “personal decision”. The key to success, though, is to accurately describe the nature of the birthright.

I think you are going to be difficult to follow in some circles because you are using resurrection metaphors that many are not familiar with.

This is probably a good place to wind up my involvement in this thread, but there is one thing that I would sure like to know.

In your many contacts with Olivet preterists, do they believe that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are still waiting to be raised from the dead?

(In all of the wonderful Olivet preterist articles I have read recently they are saying that the resurrection of the dead is yet future. So it seems that they are denying the resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But is this done openly and emphatically? What I usually find is silence. Do you know of any Olivet preterist that has insisted in plain bold print that Jesus has not yet raised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from the dead?)

No need to answer that.

But I submit that discovering the correct timing of the resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, will have a lot to do with how one sees hundreds of other verses.

-EM

davo's picture

Englishman: I was able to follow you nicely until you said this:

“…in the first Adam all had died and so in the last Adam all have been resurrected”.

If you had said “in the last Adam all have been redeemed“ it would have been more consistent with your previous analysis. And more palatable.

Again it is probably more my use of "words" etc – I guess I was giving my end conclusion, for had I said in stead: "made alive" as per Paul, the same conclusion would be no less the case but just stated differently. As to that conclusion – resurrection life was established through Christ, those of "faith" grasp it i.e., they comprehend and apprehend it, and to that degree it works salvation [deliverance] in one's life – or as Jesus "life to the full" – present reality resurrection life; the stuff of relationship with God.

Englishman: (In all of the wonderful Olivet preterist articles I have read recently they are saying that the resurrection of the dead is yet future. So it seems that they are denying the resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But is this done openly and emphatically? What I usually find is silence. Do you know of any Olivet preterist that has insisted in plain bold print that Jesus has not yet raised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from the dead?)

Hmm, sounds very much like the position of partial preterism, i.e., partial futurism.

Hey EM it's been good to talk :), blessings!!

davo

Virgil's picture

David, I believe that perhaps identifying God's enemies as you do could take away from those passages. I believe the point of God having enemies, as ridiculous as that may sound, is to teach us about OUR OWN enemies. The death and the sin personified throughout the biblical narrative are the "enemies" that God seems to be concerned with, and not necessarily the adversarial and purely behavioral aspects of sinful mankind.

In other words, how can an infinitely powerful, sovereign God that transcends our dimension could even have any kind of enemies to be taken seriously? By exaggerating the influence of those "enemies" we are in fact minimizing God himself, and that is not something I am willing to do. From my perspective, either God destroyed his enemies or did not, either death has been destroyed or it has not...there really is little place for a middle way here, isn't there?

DavidF's picture

Hi Virgil: death and sin are personified because they apply to persons, and the persons that death and sin no longer have power over are those persons who are in Christ. Death and sin have been crushed as they relate to persons in Christ.

However, “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” RO 8:9 - and if they do not belong to Christ, death and sin still have power over them. Remember, “Nothing impure [those without the Spirit of Christ] will ever enter it [New Jerusalem]… but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.” God did destroy His enemies by putting them under His feet, and so, death and all who love it are outside the city, under His feet, and life and all who love it are inside the city, victorious over death and separated from it.

God exaggerates the influence of those enemies for our sake, to show us His victory over them for us. Of course they are nothing to Him, but they are impossible adversaries to us and the Scriptures were written for us, to teach us.

If I were to accept your position I would have to believe that every human being has been given the Spirit of Christ, and it is obvious that post parousia this is not the case.

The best to you in Christ Jesus

KingNeb's picture

Isaiah 66:24 24 "And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

Zechariah 14:18-19 18 And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which the LORD afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. 19 This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths.

Try again.

thereignofchrist.com

Virgil's picture

Jason, you are quoting eschatological passages fulfilled in AD 70 to suggest a post Parousia existence of God's enemies? What the heck was the victory of God in AD 70 all about? WHEN exactly will God's enemies be fully and completely defeated?

KingNeb's picture

Revelation 21:27 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

try again.

Virgil, your attempt at trying to get everyone in the gates is absolutely untenable and is in direct contradiction to Scripture.

"What the heck was the victory of God in AD 70 all about?"

Great question Virgil! Ad70 was a perfect example of what God does to His enemies!

Psalm 2:4-5 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury,

again Virgil, anyway you want to slice it doesn't matter - there are those who are in and those who are not. Friends of God / Enemies of God.

your denial of this is extremely disturbing for me.

thereignofchrist.com

Virgil's picture

Jason,

All the passages you have quoted so far are eshcatological in nature, dealing specifically with the events of A.D. 70.

You should not find my questions disturbing, rather you should seek out why I ask the questions I ask, without calling them "disturbing" or showing any willingness to step outside of your own paradigm. As uncomfortable as it gets, it's worth it.

The point of the Biblical story is not to get as many through the gates as possible (as you accuse me of doing) or to get only the special people through the gates (as you seem to believe). The point of the story of mankind, at least from a Biblical perspective, seems to be that of the King creating and maintaining a relationship with his kingdom.

You sum up the story as "God beat up his enemies and continues to do so." I sum it up as "God beat up his enemies and set in place a kingdom of love and acceptance." Our disagreements are over what the resolution leads to and what it is all about.

I do not believe that (as Paige rightly pointed out) that the eschatological story continues in the sense that God is having a never-ending epic battle with his enemies (which implies that he can never win the battle). I do however believe that the "destruction of enemies" magnified by the passages you quoted, was a one time event which took place in AD 70 where God's enemies were literally destroyed and burned outside the city of Jerusalem. That puts a whole new spin on the ever-fighting enemies of God - and that should be a new and GOOD way to look at things from your perspective...not a "disturbing" one.

Paige's picture

Well...

As per my understanding, the Lamb's book of life was Israel specific in nature, as was the book of Rev. To read it your way, Christ has never and will never put down the "last" enemy, correct? What does the word "last" mean? Does it have any significance?

As for what God does to His enemies...Matt. 5:43-48 gives a great summation of how our perfect heavenly Father (Whom we are told to EMULATE) treats(ed) enemies.

What I find disturbing is that so many want ongoing eschatology to coexist with fulfilled eschatology.

KingNeb's picture

Paige,

So, since the book was Israel specific, God only beat the heck out of Jews then?

Even Virgil says,

"a one time event which took place in AD 70 where God's enemies were literally destroyed and burned outside the city of Jerusalem."

wow! God literally BURNED His enemies! So let me get this straight...as long as it was "Israel specific" and a "one time event" then God having (had) enemies and beating the crap out of them is ok to say?

lastly, "last", just as any other word, is determined by context.

So, you're telling me that God, TODAY, has absolutely no enemies?

thereignofchrist.com

Paige's picture

What can "enemies" do (and what could they ever do) to God?

I think people today can be at "enmity with God" in their minds (as even my own kids can be at enmity with me at times). Their feelings toward me don't change my feelings toward them, and it also doesn't alter my desire to do what is best for them. Does God always do what is best? I believe that is exactly what He HAS done and continues to do.

I also don't think I would ever say that God "beat the crap" out of His enemies. The way I see it, God allowed Israel to suffer the consequences of her choosing. There is plenty of scriptural evidence that God was not sitting around hankering after the day He could "beat the crap" out of those He wanted to gather to Him like chicks under a hen's wings. ( Matt.23:37; 2 Pet.3:9)

Jer's picture

According to Calvin, God not only “knows...their evil acts,” but he created them with the proclivity to commit evil. “We call predestination God’s eternal decree, by which He determined what He willed to become of each man. For all are not created in equal condition; rather, eternal life is ordained for some, eternal damnation for others.” (John Calvin)

We can conclude from Calvin that no one can choose to do other than God's will with regard to salvation. In fact, each one's fate is sealed from eternity.

However, consider, Matt 7:21: “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven--only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”

If we structure Matthew 7:21 as an argument, the implicit conclusion contradicts Calvin.

1) If one does the will of God, then s/he will enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 7:21b)
2) Not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 7:21a)
Therefore, not everyone does the will of God. (Implicit)

According to Calvin, no one can “will” against God's will with regard to salvation. The truth of the implicit conclusion above is guaranteed by the true of the premises. So which premise is untrue? Perhaps Calvin is wrong. Perhaps my understanding of logic and/or Matt 7:21 is colored by my perceptions.

Of course, it's more complicated than a single argument or an acronym. IMHO, Calvin's Adam / Fall problem is not remedied in Preterism's Post-Parousia Christ. (For example, see my comments on Sam's other article here: http://planetpreterist.com/news-2590.html) The manifestations of man's so-called sin nature are apparent even in Christians today. Calvin did not envision this Post-Parousia reality.

For example, he writes:

"All of us, therefore, descending from an impure seed, come into the world tainted with the contagion of sin. Nay, before we behold the light of the sun we are in God's sight defiled and polluted. 'Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one,' says the Book of Job, (Job 14: 4.)

We thus see that the impurity of parents is transmitted to their children, so that all, without exception, are originally depraved. The commencement of this depravity will not be found until we ascend to the first parent of all as the fountain head. We must, therefore, hold it for certain, that, in regard to human nature, Adam was not merely a progenitor, but, as it were, a root, and that, accordingly, by his corruption, the whole human race was deservedly vitiated. This is plain from the contrast which the Apostle draws between Adam and Christ, 'Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned; even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord,' (Rom. 5: 19-21.) "

We may ask: If a child is born to Christian parents, in light of Preterism, is the infant still “impure” and “originally depraved”? (BTW, if I'm not mistaken, Sam argues against Calvin's "universal" view of Romans 5 in the article link I mentioned above.) Perhaps the problem of Adam has been ill-defined. After all, he did sin before he had a “sin nature.” I think there is more to learn in our efforts to harmonize the end and the beginning. Just a few thoughts.

Jer

Windpressor's picture

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

That was my simple logic posted at Virgil's Blog:
..............
If the matter of predestination be absolute, does not Calvinism thereby embrace universalism? If all are predestined, do not all then accomplish the will of God? Who then is excluded by the proscriptions of Matthew 7:21-23 -- 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. ..."

If the matter of predestination be conditional, some measure of free will is possible and the question is about choice, circumstance, and consequence. Where then is Calvinism?
..............

.
.
If time allows, Sam's article and the posts might be a good review
Universalism and Preterism: Bedfellows or Bedlam?

The "Original Sin vs. Accountability Age" debate fills more volumes than I can possibly know about. The best summation I am aware of notes that it was "death", not a "sin nature", that passed to all men. Because death is a circumstance pervasive to the human condition innocence in choice is limited by a reduced selection of options. The result is that no amount of "Original Innocence" is sufficient to dislodge the condemnation of death. All that survive eventually sin to accountability. As I posted on another earlier blog --

....................
The idea of Original sin is a doctrine from an overwrought preconception, similar to exaggerating the modern concern that children being born now are saddled with umpteen thousands as their portion in the national debt. Go ahead give your kids the past due bill with their own account number and demand payment.

Well, duh, if I am liable for my 17th century ancestors' iniquities which made the zygotes which grew and combined thru adulthood to lead to me as their progeny, then certainly my immersion for remission for sins must reach back into the past as a "baptism for the dead" to absolve them all. Children may bear a level of ancestral debt yet they are innocent of any liability until accountability can be accessed.
.............................
.
.
How do these issues play out in the Post-Parousia schema? Well, I think that might be part of the $64k question.

G1
........................

G-Juan Wind

Virgil's picture

Some may notice that God here is repaying evil with evil. True. What’s the problem? Where does it say that he can’t?

Can God create a rock so big that he can't lift? :) These are the wrong questions to ask!

My dear brother, the entire Biblical narrative is a love story, not a payback story. That is the story of our lives, and it accounts for love, sovereignty and suffering without much discord. God does not allow children to die and porn to be made...WE DO! And to God, from his infinite position, sitting down outside of time and space, our petty Calvinism vs. Free Will discussions are likely irrelevant while we do let children suffer, to use your own example.

There is a reason John wrote: " Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

We can have our theology all lined up and nice, and it means nothing as long as we lack love. But the problem with Calvinism (as I see it) is that it justifies things like "paying evil with evil" or "hating certain people" and "only loving some people" because if God himself does these things, why should we not do them?

On the other hand, if God does love all people (as I believe the Scriptures to be teaching) and does not pay evil with evil, and truly pursues all people with the offer of love and redemption, then I can say, what an awesome example God has given us to live by, and what a thing to copy in our daily actions, interactions and relationships; God wants us to do exactly what he himself does!

I love ya Sam! :)

Flakinde's picture

I don't consider myself a Calvinist . . . but I hope you realize you are forcing into your assessment one phrase which I believe has no support: "if God himself does these things, why should we not do them?" This is what is driving much of your critique, at least in this particular post.

But is that true? Meaning, should we negate God the possibility of doing things differently than what He has commanded us to do?

Aren't His ways higher than our own?

And do we really have all the information to conclude that God's actions can be deemed evil in an absolute and ultimate sense?

Or shouldn't we rest instead on what He has told us about His character, instead of what we think it could be by any other standard?

I am perfectly fine with Father doing things differently than what He wants me to do. Why, I even make my children go to bed at the same time every night, even though I don't ever do that, and even though in their minds I'm doing something evil by sending them to bed. That's the natural thing a person with more information and authority could (and sometimes, should) do for someone he/she loves.

Blessed in His rest,

Alexander Rodríguez

Recent comments

Poll

Should we allow Anonymous users to comment on Planet Preterist articles?
Yes absolutely
23%
No only registered users should comment
77%
What are you talking about?
0%
Total votes: 43