John MacArthur Speaks on Predestination: A Rebuttal

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John MacArthur Speaks on Predestination Question:

A Grace-Based Rebuttal

Source of the MacArthur Interview: Shepherdsconference.org, 2010, Media, General Session 5, an Interview with John MacArthur
Johnny Mac
Introductory Comments:
Generally speaking, when I review an article or interview, I will select several salient statements upon which to comment. This methodology usually works well, but, at times individuals have made the accusation that the writer’s or speaker’s statements have been misquoted or taken out of context. In order to head off this dodge, I have chosen to print the MacArthur interview on the subject, “The Question of Predestination,” in its entirety. My brief, clearly-labeled comments or responses to MacArthur’s open questions and statements will be inserted throughout the text of the interview; they will be in [brackets].

Note: To view the article in its entirety, go to:

http://califgracer.wordpress.com/

John MacArthur on Predestination:

A Grace-Based Rebuttal

Source of the MacArthur Interview: Shepherdsconference.org, 2010, Media, General Session 5, an Interview with John MacArthur

[Interspersed with bracketed comments]

Question posed to MacArthur:

“Why witness? How do we tell people that God loves them and that Jesus Christ did not die for them? Or do we tell them that?
[Inserted comment: A great question posed to John MacArthur. I have often myself asked Calvinists a similar question: "If God's got it all slated as to who gets to go to heaven and who must go to hell, and the individual has abolutely no say in the matter, then, WHY HAVE MISSIONS?" To date, I have never heard anyone give a logical biblical answer to that question. Let's see whether John MacArthur will be the first] . . . .

MacArthur answers:

Well, you tell them whatever the Bible tells you to tell them. And the Bible tells you to go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature. That’s what you do because that’s what the Scripture says.”

[Inserted Comment: Right so far, John: Mark 16:15. And verse 16 tells why Jesus commanded the preaching of the gospel (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, 1 Cor. 15:1-8)---so people would believe and become saved (cf. Acts 16:30-31); he also warns that those who refuse to believe (right through the point of death) will be lost (cf. John 3:18, John 5:40, 47). Christ Jesus would never command something be preached to the world if that proclamation had no possibility of efficacious results, i.e., if the individual had no ability to respond to the message in belief (Calvinists teach "Total Inability," the "T" of the Calvinist acronym "TULIP," that is, that men and women are completely dead in their sins and have absolutely no ability to respond in believing faith to the gospel of Christ Jesus). In view of the multitude of verses that call people to believe and thus be saved, e.g., John 3:16-18; Acts 16:30-31; John 5:24; John 6:29, 40; John 7:37-38 (ALL are welcome); John 11:25-26, this (Calvinist) teaching is UNBIBLICAL and illogical.]

MacArthur continues: “Any tension you have between that and the doctrine of divine election and predestination; any tension you feel in those areas, I feel. I feel the same tension. I ask the same question. I don’t know that there’s some kind of quick answer to the question. I am, however, happy to concede that God can resolve all things that I can’t (crowd laughter and applause). Really! I don’t expect the view and you shouldn’t expect of me to be able to unscrew the ‘unscrutable’ [inscrutable?]. Uh, you, you, really don’t think that I’m going to solve all the vast theological dilemmas that have existed since the Scriptures were penned. [Interviewer inserts, ‘Actually, some people do.’ (crowd laughter; then MacArthur continues)] Ya; the best answer to this question is, ‘My brother, I feel your pain’ (crowd laughter).”

[Inserted Comment: Really, Dr. MacArthur? The best answers that you can give are, "I feel the same tension," "I ask the same question," "I feel your pain"? Might it be that these issues are "painful" and "unresolvable" only because you view the Bible and the gospel through skewed Calvinist lenses? Christ called us, not to live in tension, anguish and fear, but in trust and rest in his finished work on our behalf. Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." ]

Mac Arthur: “I, uh, I’m not here to give you an answer, but, I will tell you this: I do not believe that Jesus died for nobody. I believe he died for somebody. And I believe he died specifically for those who would believe in him, and those who believe in him are those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit based upon the eternal sovereign electing purpose of God. I think his atonement was an actual one, not a potential one. I don’t think that it was a general one; I think it was a specific one. I think it was a real death for sin. The issue here is the nature of the atonement.”

[Inserted Comment: Wow, Dr. MacArthur, you are speaking at a leadership conference at a question and answer session, and you say, "I'm not here to give you an answer"? Let's look at some of your statements: "I do not believe that Jesus died for nobody. I believe he died for somebody." Response to MacArthur: The Bible declares that Jesus died for everyone, for the world: John 6:33 "The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto THE WORLD." John 3:16 "For God so loved THE WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have eternal life." 1 John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of THE WHOLE WORLD." 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some me count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH but that ALL should come to repentance." 1 Timothy 2:3-6 "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time."

Yet, sadly, NOT ALL THE WORLD WILL RECEIVE his gracious gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) of salvation: John 3:36 (which clearly demonstrates man's free will to accept or reject God's gracious gift of salvation through believing in his Son, cf. Matthew 23:37; John 3:18) "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."]

To view the entire article, go to:

http://califgracer.wordpress.com/

118 responses to “John MacArthur Speaks on Predestination: A Rebuttal

  1. Great article Bruce!

    MacArthur’s non-answers are like Spurgeon’s non-answers to the same questions.

    Following is a quote from Spurgeon’s sermon entitled “A Defense of Calvinism”:

    “That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.”

    Gobbledygook then, gobbledygook now!

  2. Thanks John,

    Throughout MacArthur’s conversation, I sense a bit of despair, almost an apologetic tone to what he says. It’s as though he is saying, “Well, I know that this Calvinism stuff seems pretty self-contradictory, and, uh, I can’t really make complete sense of it myself; but that’s what I believe and teach, so I guess I’ll stick with it.” I say, “How about discarding those Calvinist glasses and just see what the Bible has to say, WITHOUT all the man-made filters of Calvinist theology.”

  3. Bruce, let’s pray that MacArthur takes off those Calvinist glasses and turns, or returns, to Christ!

  4. Bruce, funny, when I watched that, I was actually amazed at the fact that he had it repetitively placed all over his site. Because other than the fact they laughed at his seemingly clever answers, I felt he failed miserably to give Biblical answers in each of those places.

    I shared that conference a few days back with some close friends, and the applause and laughter is something we all sickeningly noted. And recently I was re-reading your note on “Grace Baiting” to quote on something I was writing.

    MacArthur has sure coined a lot of terms to attack the true meaning of grace hasn’t he? To me, one of the most dangerous men, very clever, subtle, (to many) and his grandfatherly looks, glasses, sports background along with his 150+ books seem to commend him to many…

    Thank you for taking the time to do this, will love sharing.

    Keep answering error, keep speaking the truth!

    This gospel of “works” cannot save. I am reminded of a quote from Chapter 16, pg. 173-174 of “The Gospel According to Jesus”, by MacArthur of course.

    Faith consists of ‘a firm conviction’…a ‘personal surrender’…[and] ‘conduct inspired by such surrender. According to this definition, faith includes conduct, that is, works. Faith is conviction, surrender, and conduct.

    This is totally characteristic of MacArthur. He starts his books/sermons with a seemingly Biblical approach, then he segues into a little deception that people don’t seem to notice. He just totally contradicted the Bible’s definition of faith without works and actually came right out and used the word “works” in conjunction with what faith is…

    Still shocking to me…

  5. Amen John!

    Blessings!

  6. Thanks Holly for your astute comments!

    I, too, was quite troubled by the crowd laughter and applause in the MacArthur video—made me think that they were all in lock-step with his “theology.” And you correctly picked up on his frequent invention of unbiblical John-made phraseology or terminology. Some examples: “I feel your pain,” “I do not believe that Jesus died for nobody,” “unscruitable,” “You always want to live in that tension,” “You don’t want to resolve that tension by asking philosophical questions,” “I’m, uh, profoundly exercised over the non-resolution,” “I just don’t wanna find the answer to the dilemma of um—the death of Christ by diminishing the nature of the atonement.” That last line is a Duzie of an unbiblical heretical statement! Since when is the death of Christ for our sins a “dilemma?” And how does preaching the biblical grace gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-8) constitute a “diminishing of the nature of the atonement?”

    Startling comment, by the way, on your MacArthur quotation that “faith requires works.” It looks like he isn’t even trying to disguise his works-based Calvinist/LS beliefs and teachings any longer.

  7. Bruce,

    Great article about a pitiful man, JMac. And those are excellent comments from John and Holly.

    JMac is pitiful because he seems to reach a dead-end when teaching and, instead of examining Scripture in context, he seems intent upon preserving his Calvinist “theology.” His prejudice prevents him from preaching the obvious Biblical “no works” Gospel of Grace.

    And that is such a shame, especially when we see his deceptive but seductive web site named, “Grace to You.” There is NO grace there.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  8. Bruce, good job with this article. I also read through the rest of the dialog at your site. I can agree with Jack that MacArthur comes across in a pitiful fashion. Take this quote for example:

    “I’ve said this so many times, I don’t even know how my own spiritual life works.”

    Doesn’t the Bible tell people how their spiritual life works!?

    Further he makes a statement about obeying scripture but precedes that by this: “But I don’t think it’s a good solution to diminish the nature of the atonement and have Jesus dying for everybody.”

    I mean, which is which? In order to obey scripture, wouldn’t you at least try to stop denying key truths like the fact that Jesus died for all?

    Then he says this, “But I do feel your pain because I don’t have an answer to all those questions and I’m, uh, at times, profoundly exercised over the non-resolution because I like to find the resolution to things.”

    My advice to him would be to give up on the Calvinist delusions and accept the true free grace Biblicist view of the atonement and salvation and see how the seemingly unresolvable problems are then actually dealt with Biblically.

    Jim F

  9. Thanks Jack!

    I, too, have noticed that, along with MacArthur, other Calvinists LOVE to use the word “grace.”

    Now, why don’t they just believe it???

  10. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for that great nutshell summation of the MacArthur video. Yes, I agree with you and Jack about how pitiful MacArthur sounded throughout the interview. He seemed like someone floundering about in rough seas on a dinghy and unsure of his position. Did you happen to notice how, over and over, he kept saying, “I believe this,” or, “I think that.” A few times he referred to the Bible, but he did so only in vague terms, partially quoted, with no references. If he would just, as you say, give up on his Calvinist delusions and accept the grace gospel of the Bible, he would step back onto solid ground indeed!

    Blessings friend!

  11. I am so glad to hear voices of reason that see what I see…

    This is what I said to them when I shared the link.

    He gets a number of laughs, the first was very disturbing, to a question somewhat like this.
    Speaking from the prior question, as to IF Limited Atonement is true, The guy asks Mac:

    “Then why witness, how do we tell them, God loves them, and Jesus Christ did not die for them, or do we tell them?”

    Mac: “You tell them, whatever the Bible tells you to tell them”. (then the audience laughs)

    That’s funny? Meaning, they have to figure out how you tell them Christ did NOT die for the whole world and that’s not quite right….

    My friend’s comments were,

    “he sure likes to hear himself talk doesn’t he?”

    Another: “Oy, is he ever so FULL of his OWN words & LENGTHY LONG-WINDED answers, that are REPLETE with ALL SORTS of fancy shmancy $100 words (hey, how’d you like my $25 word “replete”?? LOL LOL). I was having a hard time keeping my eyes from going into figure 8s at his dizzying explanations. I mean they went round & round & round in his circular explanations, TRYING to SOUND humble”.

    Another: I’d like to SHUT HIM UP LONG ENOUGH TO INTERRUPT his long-winded answer, & ask him point blank “WHO then EXACTLY are the WHOSOEVERs in the Bible?? The WHOSEVER shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved?” And WHERE does he get the scriptural support to back his claim that it’s only the ELECT that call upon His name because they have been “regenerated” just prior to salvation? How is that a FREE GIFT if we are FORCED INTO regeneration to ACCEPT it? Do we not then become in essence pre-programmed “robots” with no minds or wills of our own?

    I know I know… this is all rhetorical…I just have to get it off my chest, cuz the more I have studied what it TRULY MEANS to be saved, the SIMPLICITY of it all THROUGH my OWN PERSONAL STUDY of the Word, the more I have become aware of those like JMac who do indeed TWIST scripture.

  12. I want to comment on some of the other great comments, but my daughters are leaving shortly for a mission. They are going to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia for a couple of weeks with my mom. God bless you all, thank you for the good work Bruce, and great comments Jim, John and Jack.

  13. Thanks Holly! All good comments. The “robot” comment was especially appropriate.

  14. John MacArthur believes that it is hard to believe on Jesus (hence the title of his book Hard to Believe). But if faith is something that God gives to believers after salvation, as Calvinism teaches, why does he think it’s hard to believe? Wouldn’t it be easy to believe?

    On the other hand, if one believes that faith precedes salvation and also believes that believing on Jesus is hard, wouldn’t one have room to boast about his or her salvation (see Romans 4:2, Ephesians 2:9, and I Corinthians 4:7)? How can it be that they can characterize Free Grace as a prideful Gospel if anyone can believe it? All false gospels operate on the concept that there is some secret knowledge that is not revealed to everyone. God does not want the Gospel hidden but proclaimed to all (Mark 16:15).

  15. She really nailed it on the head didn’t she? I liked what she said here, it sure aptly described MacArthur’s answers:

    I was having a hard time keeping my eyes from going into figure 8s at his dizzying explanations…

  16. Hello Alan,

    Nice to hear from you again. Over the past several months I have enjoyed your comments, especially on the subjects of Calvinism and lordship salvation. You seem to always have interesting thoughtful angles on these subjects and you are not afraid to ask the tough questions of those who hold to these unbiblical beliefs. Thanks for making us all think. Come back again soon.

  17. What part of the first words of Isaiah 1:18 don’t these Calvinists get? “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ saith the Lord: ‘though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'”

    To reason implies a use of logic. Logic implies valid, rational and consistent thought.

    There is a dearth of logic and reason in Calvinistic theology, to put it mildly.

    They can’t have it both ways. There is simplicity in Christ, as cited in Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians (11:3): “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

    I don’t find contradictory things the least bit “simple.” As John said, “Gobbledygook then, gobbledygook now!”

    There are no “vast theological dilemmas that have existed since the Scriptures were penned” as MacArthur puts it. The only dilemmas that exist stem from man’s religion which come from a misunderstanding of The Bible and/or man’s refusal or inability (through negligence or apathy) to be led by the Holy Spirit to discern them. True, The Bible does speak of certain MYSTERIES, but how to get saved surely isn’t one of them.

    The idea of God inviting us to reason with Him as He does in His word, and then withholding information from us in order to understand the gospel in a clear and simple manner (for whatever reason), which is implied by LSers like MacArthur and Spurgeon is inconsistent with His character and borders on outright blasphemy.

  18. Greetings FryingPan,

    Great comprehensive comments. I hadn’t thought of the Isaiah verse, but it’s a fitting quotation—thanks! Yes, the true Biblical gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-8) IS INDEED REASONABLE. Why do these LS/Calvinists want to make it so complicated to get saved?

  19. Alan, such simple yet apt reasoning is bound to be met with some circular argument :) I appreciated your insight.

    But if faith is something that God gives to believers after salvation, as Calvinism teaches, why does he think it’s hard to believe? Wouldn’t it be easy to believe?

    Touché!

  20. Jim Floyd….

    In quoting MacArthur you posted:

    “I’ve said this so many times, I don’t even know how my own spiritual life works.”

    Doesn’t the Bible tell people how their spiritual life works!?

    I was AMAZED at that comment along with you when I heard it…. what????

    A pastor who doesn’t know after all these years, and has a seminary, and has written 150 plus books, and has his OWN Bible, and he doesn’t even KNOW how his spiritual life works….

    Just flabbergasted…

  21. Frying pan, excellent comments. No mystery in the preaching of the gospel, that is very true…

    But men of worldly wisdom, do not tremble when they bring the gospel account to people, instead they add all their words of wisdom to the preaching of the gospel…The gospel is the testimony of God regarding His Son Jesus, that we are to believe (I John 5:9-13), but they spoke the wisdom of God to those who were believers, who had the Spirit and were able to understand the mysteries of God. The gospel can be believed and understood by those hearing the Word, by the preaching of the foolish message that it pleased God to save men by.

    I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:1-5

  22. macarthur likes to say john 3:8 to mean that just like wind blows and you dont know where it comes from but you know the sound, it means the Holy Spirit chooses whom He will to regenerate. can anyone explain what this verse is representing or talking about?

    thanks

  23. Hello David,

    Nice to hear from you again. MacArthur filters everything through Calvinist lenses so it doesn’t surprise me that he comes up with such an interpretation of John 3:8 as you describe.

    John 3:8 is really not that complicated. Jesus is utilizing a simple metaphor to make a point: Speaking to Nicodemus he is saying, in effect, “Just as the wind blows and you hear (and feel) its effects, yet you don’t understand all the facets of how that happens, so, also, the Spirit moves in a person’s mind, leading him or her to trust in Christ alone by grace alone through (simple, uncomplicated) faith alone for salvation.”

  24. Hello Everyone

    It’s has been some time since the last time I made a comment.

    On this subject (Mr. MacArthur) all you have to do is to look at how he explains his “salvation” as a youth. Mr. MacArthur describes of always being in a grace. Never once do you hear him say that he believed in the gospel (Death, burial, and resurrection of Christ 1 Cor 15: 1-4).

    Just sad to hear
    Trust in Jesus
    Levi

  25. Hi Levi,

    Great to hear from you!

    Yes, MacArthur’s “testimony” is like so many Calvinists’ testimonies. They teach that God regenerates “the chosen ones,” whoever they may be, before they even have any opportunity to trust in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). They call this “irresistable grace.” So, for them, believing in Christ Jesus for salvation (Acts 16:30-31; John 3:3,7,16-18) becomes kind of irrelevant. Trouble is, to Calvinists, all the rest of humanity (Calvinists call them “the non-elect”) have NO opportunity to come to Christ, in belief, and become saved. At the same time, the Calvinists themselves, (that is, those who have never put their trust in Christ Jesus alone for salvation), would remain lost, yet they continue down the treadmill of religious good works to try to prove to themselves and others that they are really part of the elusive “elected ones.”

    Thanks again for your comments.

  26. I think that is beyond odd, that he can’t even pinpoint a time period. You know I remember about how old I was when I knew I believed and I went to tell my mother and we prayed. I pestered them to allow me to be baptized for quite some time.

    But MacArthur when asked about pinpointing a time, his answer (as well as saying he was never rebellious and always believed)…?

    “And so when God did His saving work in my heart, it was not discernable to me. I went away to high school and for all I knew, I loved Christ…”

    Seems to me he didn’t ever see himself as a sinner. And becoming saved was not discernable? For all he knew he loved Christ?

    I do not understand why this doesn’t trouble people when they hear it. Because the rest of his testimony is about his sports career and a lot of me, me, me…

  27. Levi – that last comment was because of what you shared, sorry I didn’t address you in it. Good to see you again. In His love, Holly

  28. “Yes, MacArthur’s “testimony” is like so many Calvinists’ testimonies. They teach that God regenerates “the chosen ones,” whoever they may be, before they even have any opportunity to trust in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone”

    A version of this is found with a false teacher named Arnold Murray that is basically a one-man show, and has his personal disciples sprinkled here and there around the world. He claims that the “special elect” are already in place, they don’t even have to believe, but they’re already in position.

    I rebuked a lady that was teaching that to a group we were in. When you compare it to calvinism, it really is calvinism in reality. Calvinism does an end-run right around believing in Jesus, and goes to works to prove yourself as part of the “elect”. Satan will do anything to get a person to not believe in Jesus.

  29. Oh I am amazed Abe!

    As I started to read, I thought when I was done, I would tell you about Arnold, and there you were speaking of him. I didn’t know that about him, I had heard he was into some of the mystical stuff. I was just sharing with some friends of mine about something in Ray Comfort’s Bible, and wondering how these people think of themselves….

    I wonder do they think they have arrived? Or sin so infrequently they can remember or recognize immediately each sin? Doesn’t sin kind of go hand in hand with other sin? You get impatient, because you are thinking maybe of yourself before someone else, get irritated, say something you should not… Do they consider all those sins and deal with it immediately? What if the source of that aggravation is a teen while you are driving and you crash and die and don’t have time to ask forgiveness. Hell? You were never saved?

    I wonder truly what they say to themselves to explain this…

  30. Hello Everyone…….Bruce…….Holly

    It is good to be back……Thank you.
    What we see here with Mr. MacArthur has been going on for some time. He is not the only one who is doing it (Tim Tebow, Kirk Cameron, and the list goes on) what you may call a general reduction of the gospel. I feel that this reduction makes it easier to promote a false gospel.

    It maybe a little surprising when you see men like Mr. MacArthur talk about “commitment of your life” or “Lord over your life” when he does not even know when he was “saved”, how he was “saved”, or why he was “saved”. How can you commit to something when you do not know when it took place?

    Trust in Jesus
    Levi

  31. Levi – great insight….

    How DO you commit your life, or make Him Lord over all your life,, or submit to His Lordship, when you don’t remember when?

    Trust in Jesus! Amen! Have a God blessed day Levi :)

  32. mac arthur a very dangerous man with unbiblical doctrines stay away from them all including washer,chan,piper,sproul.

  33. As much as I wish I could agree with the conclusions presented in this rebuttal and comments, I do have a major question that many seem to have overlooked. You quote passages and critic MacArthur. That’s find and good; it is good to state what the Bible says and to present your views when you believe someone has gone wrong. However, how would some of you respond to the below passage in Romans 9? This passage is essentially the “textbook” for Predestination, so to speak. As far as I can tell, verses 18-23 seem to be saying very clearly that God, of His own will and because of His choosing, created humans for the express purpose of sending them to hell so that He can demonstrate His mercy to others.

    I don’t like that one bit. It bothers me very much. However, this is the inspired word of God and we can’t simply ignore this passage. If we only quote passages that support our view but ignore others that question our view, then we are no better than a pagan or skeptic ripping out verses with the intent to present God as a murderous, jealous, genocidal maniac.

    So what is the rational behind ignoring this passage and only quoting verses that support a non-Calvinist view? I do not consider myself a Calvinist, but I cannot ignore these verses. This is what God says. Are any of you going to simply ignore what God has revealed to us? What is the answer to Paul’s arguments presented below?

    Romans 9:14-24
    14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!
    15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
    16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
    17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
    18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
    19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?”
    20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ”
    21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
    22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?
    23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—
    24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

  34. Hi there, do you have more texts on other nowadays calvinist preachers? I know John Piper seems to be one of them. I´m a little confused about Spurgeon? I´ve heard many preachers, pentecostals, baptists, etc. (all who have always sounded to me as arminians) praising him as a great theologian and “the prince of the preachers”. Did he also wear Calvin´s lenses?

  35. Welcome Gerson,

    If you go to the Expreacherman.com search bar and look up any of the following: Chan, Platt, Stearns, Bell, Cameron, Comfort, MacArthur, or Piper, you’ll get a pretty good sampling of the modern crop of LS/Calvinists along with some of their quotations. Regarding Spurgeon, I will defer to recent statements by two very knowledgeable regular commenters who are integral contributors to this ministry, John and Holly G. John said, as best I recall, that Spurgeon was a famous preacher of a bygone era who vacillated between preaching Lordship “Salvation” and Calvinism to occasionally preaching a grace-sounding message [Spurgeon was very inconsistent]. Holly said the following (I trust that it’s okay to quote you Holly):

    Miguel, I too am aware of those sites, at least two I can specifically think on, that defend him because it’s too hard to extricate themselves from all the people this ‘prince of preachers’ deceived for so long.

    Here are a couple quotes.

    SPURGEON QUOTE: “O sirs, In God’s name let me tell you, it is not the giving up of one sin, nor fifty sins, which is true repentance; it is the solemn renunciation of every sin. If thou dost harbour one of those accursed vipers in thy heart, thy repentance is but a sham. If thou dost indulge in but one lust, and dost give up every other, that one lust, like one leak in a ship, will sink thy soul.” (from Turn and Burn).

    SPURGEON QUOTE: “There must be a true and actual abandonment of sin, and a turning unto righteousness in real act and deed in every-day life. Do you say you are sorry, and repent, and yet go on from day to day, just as you always went? Will your now bow your heads, and say, “Lord, I repent,” and in a little while commit the same deeds again? If ye do, your repentance is worse than nothing, and shall but make your destruction yet more sure; for he that voweth to his Maker, and doth not pay, hath committed another sin, in that he hath attempted to deceive the Almighty, and lie against the God that made him. Repentance to be true, to be evangelical, must be a repentance which really affects our outward conduct.” (not only Lordship but impossible standards…)

    SPURGEON QUOTE (I find this one very ironic) “Repentance,” my dear friends, is the gift of God. It is one of those spiritual favors which ensure eternal life. (if it is a gift of God then what can we do about it?)

    SPURGEON QUOTEon Calvinism: “Calvinism did not spring from Calvin. We believe that it sprang from the great Founder of all truth.” (Charles Spurgeon, Sermons, Vol. 7, p. 298).

    SPURGEON QUOTE“I question whether we have preached the whole counsel of God, unless predestination with all its solemnity and sureness be continually declared.” (Charles Spurgeon, Sermons, Vol. 6, p. 26).

    SPURGEON QUOTE“You must first deny the authenticity and full inspiration of the Holy Scripture before you can legitimately and truly deny election.” (Charles Spurgeon, Sermons, Vol. 3, p.130).

  36. Califgracer- Absolutely don’t mind. All I can take credit for is a couple of the quotes from the turn and burn and and repentance, I have more, I started collecting quotes from the internet, and did it over time, and wasn’t wise enough to keep footnotes to attribute properly, not that you have to on quotes, but I would like to give credit, just didn’t keep it. Over time and so many, you just start lists all over and compile over time…

    One thing I’ve noticed over the years just on FB alone, is the winds of doctrine, it seems certain charismatics might not mind at all quoting Catholics, and might not mind at all quoting Calvinists, and then turning around and quoting an Arminian, seemingly oblivious to the irony in the diverse doctrines, yet, one thing the ones they play or quote seem to have in common is a man-centered ‘look at what I’m doing’ and/or ‘I am going to judge your salvation by what you are not doing’. So perhaps works is just the common factor, instead of really understanding His Great love He showed for us and really even wanting to hear or understand that His grace is indeed without cost.

    They seem to love the preachers that scream at them, yell at them with intensity and fervor and condemnation. How sad… I love a teacher who will commend me to the Word of His grace…

  37. Welcome Gershon. I’d definitely say Spurgeon seems to be a cross-over artist if you will :)

    Seems like he is liked across the spectrum. The Holiness people like him, the Calvinist, the Arminians, Pentecostals, not sure I’ve seen too many even dare question him since he is the “Prince of Preachers”.

    Here is another quote, I did keep tabs on this one for it came with a link to his sermon direct (opinion in parentheses), but I won’t provide the sermon link, but it was 044. Notice how you have to work yourself into some state, or thought process, even really wanting something, seems like an awful lot of additions….

    SPURGEON QUOTE – If a man says, “I want to believe,” and tries by some mechanical means to work himself into repentance, it is an absurdity, and he will never accomplish it. But the way for him to repent is by God’s grace to believe, to believe and think on Jesus.

    If he picture to himself the wounded bleeding side the crown of thorns, the tears of anguish—if he takes a vision of all that Christ suffered, I will be bound for it he will turn to him in repentance. I would stake what reputation I may have in spiritual things upon this—that a man cannot, under God’s Holy Spirit, contemplate the cross of Christ without a broken heart. If it is not so, my heart is different from any one’s else. I have never known a man who has thought upon, and taken a view of the cross, who has not found that it begat “repentance,” and begat “faith”.

    ( Isn’t it preaching of the cross that is important, or just the ‘thinking on it’? Doesn’t Rom 10:17 and 2 Tim 3:15, Rom 1:16-17, 1 Cor 1:17-18, among others tells us that the Preaching of the Word/Gospel beget’s faith? No doubt the gospel is the power of God, but is it the “thinking on it”? )

    SPURGEON CONTINUES: We look at Jesus Christ if we would be saved, and we then say. “Amazing sacrifice! that Jesus thus died to save sinners.” If you want faith, remember he gives it, if you want repentance, he gives it! (SO AGAIN – SAYING GOD GIVES THE FAITH, AND THE REPENTANCE, but if we want it?)

  38. Gershon – I am sure you know, but also add Paul Washer to that list, extremely popular, Mark Driscoll comes to mind too. Even Rick Warren calls himself a Kuyper Calvinist.

  39. Wow I didn’t know Spurgeon was so far off track. How can he have ever had assurance of salvation. Even John said when we sin in 1 John so even the apostle John missed it and he walked in love so much so that they couldn’t even kill him in oil. You would have to be deceived to think that you never sinned. Spurgeon if he sinned after being saved then he would have to say he wasn’t saved to verify his preaching. Sad they must rub their heads when they read Romans 12 where Paul says to the already saved present your bodies a living sacrifice which is your reasonable service. Salvation comes first then a commitment to serve the lord is a choice to make once you are saved. Salvation is a gift discipleship takes commitment day by day.

  40. Dlegr250, thank you for your comment.

    You asked: “So what is the rational behind ignoring this passage and only quoting verses that support a non-Calvinist view?”

    My comment: I don’t ignore any passages. I just don’t think there are any passages that support Calvinism. I believe that God’s offer of eternal life for anyone who will trust in Christ alone for it is genuine. It is not in God’s character to lie, nor contradict Himself.

    You said: “As far as I can tell, verses 18-23 seem to be saying very clearly that God, of His own will and because of His choosing, created humans for the express purpose of sending them to hell so that He can demonstrate His mercy to others.”

    My comment: You appear to be quoting text from the NIV. I prefer to use the KJV, which reads as follows:

    [18] Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
    [19] Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
    [20] Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    [21] Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
    [22] What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
    [23] And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

    If God “created humans for the express purpose of sending them to hell” how could they be responsible for responding to the Gospel? On what basis would a perfectly holy and righteous God condemn them? If they are guilty of sin, is God the author of their sin? Would a perfectly holy and righteous God be the author of sin? Not even possible.

    Look at verse 20. If God, in the Calvinist view of sovereignty, predestines us to heaven or hell, doesn’t he also predestine our every thought and action? If so, it is not man who is replying against God, but God Himself.

    Look at verse 22 in conjunction with the following verse – 2 Peter 3:9:

    The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    Note the use of the word “longsuffering” in both places. God is willing to show His wrath and He will. But He is patient with us, because it is His will that all men be saved. Please note that ALL OF US are vessels fitted to destruction, but God wishes to show mercy to all. And He will make known the riches of His glory on those who trust in Christ alone as Savior, as He has preordained that anyone who accepts Christ as Savior will be glorified.

    We see language similar to 2 Peter 3:9 in 1 Timothy 2:3-6:

    For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    The Bible also says that few will be saved:

    Matthew 7:14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    Why would God’s will be thwarted? Because, He allows us to choose whether or not to believe.
    *************************************************************************************************************
    Please find additional commentary from Bruce, below:

    Just a couple of added thoughts on Rom. 9, a favorite text of Calvinists (gleaned from Dave Hunt’s expose of Calvinism):

    When speaking of Jacob and Esau, Paul was making a composite quotation from Gen. 25:23 (God told Rebekah), “Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people . . . the elder shall serve the younger” and Malachi 1:1-5: Clearly two nations are spoken of; God has chosen to work out his plans through Jacob (the people of Israel) and not through Esau’s descendants, the Edomites.

    The issue is not the salvation of one individual and the damnation of another; Romans 9 indicates that God chose the Hebrew race, not Edom to carry out his purposes, including the race to whom the Messiah was to be born. Re. Pharaoh, God did not cause Pharaoh to sin; he simply allowed Pharaoh’s evil to run its course. When God sent Moses to Egypt, God declared, “I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go (Ex. 3:19). God did not create Pharaoh’s hard sinful disposition. Pharaoh’s heart was hard from the beginning. God simply firmed him up in the hardness of his own heart. For one who stubbornly refuses to receive God’s grace, God’s Spirit will not always strive with him (Gen. 6:3; Ps. 103:9).

  41. I was looking at John MacArthur’s church’s website. It is unlike any church website I have ever looked at. The only pictures on the site are of MacArthur. No children, families, etc. The video about the women’s ministry is even narrated by MacArthur. It’s almost like he is a cult-like figure.

  42. John and Bruce, thank you for laying the reasoning why this passage does not speak to God assigning some people to hell with no chance to hear and believe.

    God showed much patience with Pharoah, and gave him many chances as he does with all mankind. Sin hardens our hearts, and we give way to more. Until we know Him, we are all children of wrath…headed to destruction, blinded by the god of this age.

  43. dsamples

    What an astute observation… I also noted that in a JMac video the idolization that goes on there, some of the words in the rap song by his Master Seminary Chorale,

    “I wanna be like JMac”
    “He’s the BigMac”,
    “I want to be like John Mac” (repeated over and over)
    “Nothing beats the John Macarthur study Bible…”

    At the end?

    They are playing basketball and John Macarthur comes in waving and they faint. Then he makes a ton of baskets while they look on in utter amazement.

    At the end he says: “My name is Johnny Mac and you know I’m fresh…”

  44. Wow . . . bizarre. Totally bizarre. I suppose the video’s supposed to be funny? Not laughing . . .

  45. MacArthur apparently believes that someone can take the mark of the beast during the tribulation, and still be saved. The link below has the audio to hear him say it.

    You might choose to delete the link for any reason of your discretion, and if so, that is fully understandable

    [link deleted by admin.]

  46. Jan Kotlarski

    While the blog post linked is very informative, I just need to warn people here about the blog in the link, as it is very focused on christian leaders dealing with conspiracy theories, deals a very lot with conspiracy theories itself, [exposing the darkness is good, 2 Corinthians 2:11, but this blog overfocuses on that, Galatians 5:22], overfocuses on America, has a warped view on scripture and does not rightly divide [2 Timothy 2:15] and presents a false gospel of obedience to Gods laws for salvation [Galatians 1:7-9].
    I am convinced it is quite spot on with naming names and exposing darkness, but in everything else it is dangerously flawed.
    My warning is: Caveat lector, reader beware!

  47. Jan, Welcome back.

    I recall you previously said you are in Holland. It is always exciting to hear from a fellow Grace believing Brother in Christ from Europe.

    I must admit that upon first reading I assumed you must have meant Exp web site when you said,”My warning is: Caveat lector, reader beware!” On second reading I understand you referred to the “Ephesians” web site. My error.

    Abe gave us permission to delete the link… and I think we should.

    Thanks for your faithfulness to the Gospel of God’s Salvation by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.. Good to know that you are there spreading the Word.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  48. The source was an interview with Brannon Howse and Jimmy DeYoung discussing a Q & A with MacArthur on the mark of the beast, specifically the passage in Revelation 16.

    I went directly to the source, MacArthur’s site. I searched for Revelation 16 the Scripture and found only 1994 sermon, yet searching for Revelation 13, found Q & A on Revelation 13 as new as 2012 (only searching for the chapter itself by Scripture). I find that odd, that there would be teaching all the way up to 2012 on Revelation 13, but stop at 1994 for Revelation 16, the chapter in question. I did take screen shots in case that changes.

  49. Same goes with Mark of the Beast search that includes many with Revelation 13, but not Revelation 16, except for 1994.

  50. john macarthur gets paid about half a million a year by his church. rc sproul gets paid a quarter million a year by his church while the rest get paid 40k. i think this is really weird…is it normal for pastors to get paid THAT much? sounds a bit fishy to me…

  51. David (J) since we have other Davids)

    Thanks for your interesting observation.

    Scripture says:

    “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour {pay or dignity}, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” 1 Timothy 5:17

    “Honor,” if it means pay, have some ministries teaching that the norm would be to take a guess at the average income of the congregation and “double honour” should be doube the average as a Pastor’s salary. When I was Pastor our church, I did not want to know any household income, gifts or donations to the church from anyone — nor anyone’s guess at others’ income. If a Pastor knows much financial info about their congregation, that is a temptation to be partial to some.

    I imagine JMac takes whatever he wants from his church, College, radio. TV, books, etc and the folks are OK with it — since so many virtually worship him.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  52. Let me ask you all a question. John MacArthur in his part 2 of “Why he is a Calvinist”, defines Calvinism with one portion of Jonah 2:9, which he says is the ‘epitome of Calvinism’…. He doesn’t use the entire verse, nor cite that it’s only a portion, and alludes to this deliverance speaking to eternal life.

    MacArthur speaks to what Spurgeon has said regarding Calvinism being the gospel, “I absolutely agree with what Spurgeon says there, in the sense that he meant it. And the context of that statement explains clearly what he meant. He was pointing out that the principle at the heart of all gospel truth is the same principle that drives Calvinism: “Salvation is of the Lord.” Salvation is God’s work; it’s not something we do for ourselves. That’s the truth he was defending.

    Comments on the type of salvation spoken of in Jonah 2?

  53. Holly, verses 9 and 10 suggest that Jonah is speaking of physical salvation:

    [9] But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
    [10] And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

    I think Jonah was a already a believer when God first commanded him to go preach to the people of Nineveh. His refusal brought discipline (not the threat of loss of eternal life), from which God delivered him.

  54. But it’s always “When in doubt, err on the side of the threat of loss of eternal life” when it comes to the LSers, isn’t it?

  55. FryingPan, with LSers, it’s either err on the side of the threat of loss of eternal life or err on the side of promising something to gain eternal life. Either way, it’s antithetical to grace.

  56. John, I completely see it as the salvation/deliverance being physical in context, but find it interesting that not only Spurgeon and MacArthur use it, but it seems to be a favorite proof-text of those who are not really saying that eternal life is of the Lord, but also ‘proving’ that faith is the gift in Eph 2:8-9. I saw a conversation today that reminded me of that, thought I’d share. Interesting part is, the guy used women being ‘saved’ in childbearing to prove “Arminians” take Scripture out of context (speaking to the people who disagreed with him).

    Sad, but interesting to note.

  57. Frying pan, to me, it seems like their sermons are totally focused on ‘are you really saved’ and never on the solution of how to have the free gift of eternal life. Just plenty of accusations. I usually tell them the job of accuser of the brethren is taken.

  58. Oneofthechosen

    Why do you say things like “God would never do this or that?” Why do you think this whole story is about man? It is not;it is about God. And He plainly said that he can have mercy on whoever he choses. Period. He’s God; you’re not. He also said “Many are called, few are chosen.” And He said “No one comes unless the Spirit draw him”

  59. Reminded again of this exchange with John MacArthur… Further reminded of what wrong doctrine can do in twisting Scripture. Where do people find comfort, solace, hope, counsel, instruction, wisdom, help and so forth, if they are not getting fed with the truth of God’s Word?…

    What is so hard for them to accept, Christ drew ALL men. True, none could come to Him except the Father draw them, so they try to say that Christ is not the Father, so John 12:32 doesn’t apply.

    Really? I would just use another Scripture and let it answer (for which I know they tend to have another long winded explanation, either that or ‘tension’).

    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
    and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
    and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
    The mighty God,
    The everlasting Father,
    The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

  60. One of the Chosen..

    So you are basing your eternity on your handle?

    Welcome and thanks for that illuminating comment. You are right, none of us are God, though JMac seems to think he is.

    You said, “Many are called, few are chosen.” Matt 22:14, CONTEXT — You may be unwise to base your eternal destination on a parable about acceptable wedding garments.

    Likewise Jesus said in John 12:32

    “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth [He was], will draw ALL men unto me.”

    “ALL” includes you and me are drawn to Jesus, but like Judas who was drawn to Jesus and was even CHOSEN by Him for service as a Disciple, some refuse to believe in Him as their Savior. HUGE difference between being a disciple and believing in Jesus as Savior. Until you use your personal faith (which is not God given) you are among the condemned. (John 3:18) See our intriguing new article at:

    http://expreacherman.com/2014/03/23/john-318-denudes-and-proves-false-the-main-tenet-of-calvinism-predestination/

    You have a God given will (you use it every day), so you need to use it to make the decision to believe in, trust in Jesus Christ by Grace through your personal faith decision in Jesus Christ alone as your only Savior.

    Eternal Life For You: http://expreacherman.com/eternal-life-for-you/

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  61. OneoftheChosen…

    Chosen for what might I ask? Have you considered you can’t possibly know (by Calvinist standards) until you’ve lived out a life and proven you did?

    But by God’s standards, you better make sure you are covered by His righteousness and not still seeking to establish your own.

  62. Dlegr250, the parts of Romans 9 that you point out seem fatally inconsistent with John 5:24 “. . . He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation . . . .” John 6:40 is equally clear. Even verses 30-33 of Romans 9 make clear that one can attain righteousness by faith. I’m not a believer or a Biblical scholar myself, so take this with a grain of salt, please.

    That said, the above to me establishes a giant contradiction for the Calvinists to deal with. There isn’t just “tension” between the two ideas, as Dr. MacArthur would have it. And he doesn’t just “feel the same tension,” he dismisses “the tension” and lands with both feet on the Calvinist square.

    I get it that my lack of faith according to what I have always understood Christian doctrine to be doesn’t bode well for me. At least, that interpretation of Scripture dangles the keys before me to escape my predicament, which keys I am able to grasp up until the very end of my life.

    However, it strikes me as absurd that at the moment of my birth God could might consider me a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction while another infant could be bound for Glory, independent of what either of us believes. That’s a pretty hideous doctrine, not to put too fine a point on it.

    Isn’t the correct approach to interpret Scripture in light of other Scripture? The Atonement gives men a way out. Calvinists say to some, “See the mercy that is shown to some people. God wants you to know about that mercy. Unfortunately, that mercy is only something you appreciate as an abstract proposition. You didn’t make the cut and now, notwithstanding that mercy shown to those other guys, you’re going to roast on a spit for eternity and a day.” That is the essence of Calvinism, isn’t it? As the kids say these days, “How cool is that?”

  63. Welcome Col Bunny, my longtime personal friend.

    We are happy to see your comment — and I am especially thrilled to see that you are aware of and reject the horrible lie of John MacArthur and Calvinism in general.

    You still confirm that you have not made the decision to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior which, as you know, distresses me greatly. Why? Because, without hesitation or fear, you speak the words which accurately describe your eternal destiny without Christ, an eternity in Hell. And you know the solution but refuse to believe the Truth of the Gospel.

    I am inviting our dear friend and co-Administrator John [johninnc] (and any others who will chime in), to take a stab at making the Gospel clear and appealing to you. John has a friend Ron Shea, who is a secular attorney and wonderful Bible expositor/teacher. John can give you some links to Ron’s writings which may help answer your doubts and questions.

    Shirley and I will continue praying for you, our dear friend.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  64. Col. Bunny, welcome!

    It sounds like you understand that the Bible is internally consistent. That’s a great start. Not only is internally consistent, it is also true!

    I would invite you to read the attached booklet that Jack mentioned:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3

    Please let us know if you have any questions. I have prayed for you.

    Thanks. John

  65. Col Bunny,

    I find it interesting that you find enough Biblical evidence to know the sham of Calvinism but not enough evidence to believe the simple Biblical Truth of the Gospel, the simplicity that is in Christ, Apostle Paul to the Corinthians:

    2 Corinthians 11:3
    But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

    Incidentally, recalling your memorable visit with us, your conversation with the Chinese waiter in his native Chinese language, here are three links to John’s Attorney/Christian Evangelist friend Ron Shea’s Gospel message in three languages. (Attorney/Christian Evangelist sounds almost like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?)

      Chinese – Simplified (Mainland)

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=15

      Chinese – Traditional (Taiwan)

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=2

      English

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3

    Thanks again for dropping by.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  66. That is what all other twisted and perverted gospels do apart from Eph 2:8-9 . They “Trouble You ” and that Trouble sells books books books and sold out leadership conferences who are all looking for peace from a Troubling gospel and yet there is no peace. With them all attempting to get you into the same snare they are in.

    Gal_1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    Gal_5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

    Curtis

  67. Curtis, I am amazed that these miserable people can peddle their books. But, as they say, “misery loves company”!

    I am amazed that people buy books written by (and attend conferences presented by) people who distort the most elemental concept in the Bible – the Gospel.

    If someone cannot get the most straightforward statements in the Bible right (such as soils two, three, and four in the parable of the Sower all representing eternally secure believers), I have no idea why they think they can teach you deeper Biblical truths.

  68. Dear Colonel,

    I wonder if you might think on a few things a stranger would share with you. We are not promised to live until tomorrow. Surely, as you look on the earth and the heavens and the beautiful star filled skies each night, you know there is a Creator that has made all these things. You are reading His Word it appears, so I pray that means you are seeking.

    You spoke of a lack of faith, but I want to encourage you that faith does come by hearing His Word. Ask God to open up your hearing, your heart, to what is said there.

    I’d like to add a personal note. My husband I lost a few years ago at 51. He was the father of our 10 children, I am still raising 5. Several now on their own. But when he died, I had seven at home, the youngest was 7. I am so thankful that Gilbert knew the Lord, because you cannot know when you are going to die and it will be too late. I never thought my beloved friend would be taken so early in life, and I think all of us kind of think in some ways, that we have lots of time. We just don’t know. Our life is but a vapor…

    My husband had two best friends, one died six months after him, he was Chinese, and was raised Buddhist. I shared quite a bit with him when he asked, but didn’t seem to come to believe. I really am so very thankful to this day that he came to believe on what Jesus Christ did for him. Harry, like you, just did not believe, he didn’t quite get it, but in the end, the Lord was gracious and merciful to bring people to tell him.

    Another friend of mine became sick, she too was early 50s, and I was given the opportunity to share the gospel with her while she was on a respirator. She tried to speak to tell me that she believed, and nodded, and squeezed my hand, so I believe Nancy will be in heaven also. A little girl, a neighbor, who started going to church with us after Gilbert died, became a Christian about a month later. One night, about 5 months after Gilbert died, we were bringing her home, her dad, our neighbor, had shot and killed himself. Never did I think anything was wrong, but the little girl has the Lord as her comforter.

    Then there is our last friend, who was undergoing surgery, and I knew it was quite serious. (All in their early 50s by the way). He had a birth defect since he was little, with his heart, and already had one surgery, but it hadn’t been successful very long. So he was slated for yet another surgery. So I wrote him a letter, hoping and praying something might stick with him, that he might consider it vs. just shutting me down when we spoke. He is a thinking man, and so from this woman’s point of view, it’s sometimes hard to relate to a stoic personality, so i just tried to share what I thought he might not know.

    He had the surgery, it was successful, and this last August after reading my letter, searching, and reading God’s Word, he has come to believe that what Jesus Christ did for him is true. I pray you will too, for we never know when our time will come, and I can’t stand the thought of one not coming to understand His great love.

    My mom’s sister died last night, reminding me again how brief life is. My dad, has been in and out of hospitals for the last six months, and I’ve been doing a bit of caregiving, but it reminds me yet again, and we walk through the corridors of the hospital or nursing facility, how short life is even for the one who hits 100, it’s nothing in terms of eternity. Where will all these people go I wonder, and I pray for opportunity to speak to them….

    When my friend Harry died, and I didn’t know if he was saved, I grieved and was heart broken. But thank the Lord, after the funeral, I found out from His sister-in-law, that Harry had believed on his death bed. How fortunate for him that he didn’t die before he believed, we’re talking about eternity…no turning back. How grateful and relieved I was to know that Harry was present with the Lord and my husband.

    If you feel like it, I would be so honored if you would like to read my letter I wrote to Jason (I inserted John in the public letter).

    Here is the link. God bless you friend to find, seek and you will find… ask, knock… it’s worth it! In His love, Holly Garcia

    http://redeemingmoments.com/2013/09/30/a-plea-to-consider-believing-on-jesus/

  69. Dear Colonel Bunny.

    I wonder if you got a chance to read this. Praying you will still consider looking into it. In Christ’s love.

  70. Col. Bunny

    Dear Jack,

    Thanks for your kind words, as always, and for your friendship, which I treasure. There aren’t many people on this planet whose company I enjoy more. You’ve led an interesting life and I’ve always been interested in your insights.

    I do love to analyze language and the Bible seems clear on the salvation by faith angle. End of story for the Calvinists it seems to me. However, it’s not my fight as, alas, I simply do not find the Bible to be compelling or even persuasive evidence of God. The idea that God would condemn someone like me to live in a lake of fire for all eternity because of my lack of faith seems absurd to me, a punishment out of all proportion to the “offense.”

    Too, I have never known prayer by anyone to effect any result in human affairs different from pure chance. I am completely unpersuaded of the existence of any Divine Being. I can’t even bring myself to read the Bible. That’s not because I am repelled by or think that it is empty of valuable moral lessons. It’s simply that it bores me to death within three minutes of beginning to read any passage. The only passage in scripture that I find truly amazing is the one that describes Jesus’ visit to the place where he visited with the town elders and a sick fellow had to be lowered from a hole in the roof because the people were crowded too tightly around the house. Now THAT is a convincing story. Not of His divinity, but of the fact that he was seen at the time as an extraordinary man. I get that and believe that. Also, the people who lived immediately after the time of Jesus clearly thought the same thing. They believed something extraordinary had happened. Ordinary men do not create such a sensation as that, and certainly not a religion for which people would give up their lives, which many did.

    Still, I’m unconvinced. Far from seeing the hand of God in human affairs, I am much more convinced in the existence of Satan, for whose existence and influence in the last century and this one there is abundant evidence. How else to explain the degree to which the Western world has been suffused by the most appalling lies which are formulated and broadcast by our highest officials, journalists, teachers, and the most comely and beguiling info babes and Hollywood stars.

    That said, you will probably be surprised to know that I generally prefer the company of believers and occasionally enjoy going to church. I like to go to Bible studies and bristle at the insistence of some of my fellow citizens that this is not a Christian nation. Our debt, the world’s debt (!), to Christianity is immense and I would never want my words or deeds to diminish the Christian religion in any respect. The braying of atheists repels me. I very much agree with Joseph Sobran’s thought that the opposite of belief is not unbelief but crassness. I regret so much ever having been crass in my life (or unkind or thoughtless or selfish or ungrateful).

    I constantly think about what makes a truly big person (other than an excess of calories). Admittedly, I apply a human standard, but my thought is that it involves living life with an awareness of the feelings and property of others, as well as of the desire in the hearts of others to do their duty and the right thing. It never occurs to me to ask do they profess faith in Jesus Christ. No doubt this is a dangerous sidling over into the dreaded land of “good works” as the measure of a man but there you go. I’m just discussing what makes sense to me and what doesn’t.

    I read your blog with interest and I thoroughly enjoy reading about church history. Of late, I’ve been very interested to read about the Reformation and the Puritans in England. The intellectual anarchy that was unleashed by the Reformation has, it seems to me, not been all that healthy on balance. Exhibit A would be the stupidity of socialists and all those who have cultivated a hatred in their hearts for tradition, religion, law, and custom. Exhibit B would be the risible thinking of the Adamites of the 16th century. You can’t make that stuff up.

    Bottom line is I’m headed for that lake of fire that I hear about and it’s not like I didn’t know. I don’t believe in an after life but if there is one I hope I might get ten or twenty thousand years off my sentence for being a lowly spear carrier in the Army of the Lord down here. Which I am, though your readers may heartily disagree on that point.

  71. Col. Bunny

    Dear Johninnc,

    Thank you for the link to that booklet. I appreciate your giving it to me. I’m afraid that I find it unpersuasive for the reasons I mention in my reply to Jack. I have absolutely zero hostility to such materials. I simply cannot muster the interest to explore them. I mean no disrespect to you whatsoever and I recognize your kind intent.

    I’m toast. :-)

    Kindest regards,

    The Colonel.

  72. Col. Bunny

    Dear Ms. Garcia,

    Thank you for your extensive comments and for the time you spent writing them and thinking of how to open my eyes or pique my curiosity. Forgive my long delay in responding to you, in part explicable by a bout of computer anxiety and transferring files and accursed Microsoft Word settings and macros to a new (but defective) laptop.

    No one can fail to be awed by the immensity of creation. However, it all seems pretty impersonal to me in its operation. As to its creation or its Creator, my state-of-the-art opinion is “Who knows?” The world seems empty of any evidence of any kind of a Divine Consciousness, certainly not one that is concerned with the daily lives and faith or lack of faith of those of us living in the outer arm of a plain-vanilla galaxy where we orbit around a minor star, mere specks in an unfathomable vastness. If a Creator, would He be the least bit interested in what might charitably be called the “thought processes” of a bipedal mammal concerned with his mortgage payment and whether Coke or Pepsi is the better choice?

    Kindly believe that there’s no sarcasm or condescension in what I say. Far from it. I see only kindness and concern in what you say.

    I am sorry for your husband’s untimely death and thank you for sharing his story and those of the others whom you mentioned. The imperative to avoid eternal damnation is not important to me, for that presupposes a belief on my part in an afterlife, a Creator, and the particular details of the plan of salvation for man in the Christian view. As I indicated to Jack today, I simply don’t have that belief and lack all curiosity to explore its details within the Bible. I don’t look down on others who believe for the simple reason that the reality of things is nigh impossible for us to know and I certainly have little of value to say to suffering humanity on just about any topic, excepting perhaps whether hollow point ammo is better than the jacketed kind.

    I’ll try to give your letter the attention it deserves but I will have to contend with my usual impatience with the details of Christian doctrine. I say that not to be obtuse but to raise the point for this forum about how some people can be shown the truth and yet turn away from it. The best I can do is muster a genuine respect for any person who professes the Christian faith and note, let it be said, that the Cambrian explosion has not been explained by the Darwinists.

    Too, and more importantly, I recall an absolutely hideous experience I had with depression almost 40 years ago. Humans were of no solace to me at that time. I will tell you, however, that Ray Stevens’s “Turn Your Radio On” and some of the words to the Messiah about the trials of Jesus were immensely consoling to me. I will always be thankful to whatever bit of the Christian religion impelled those and other musicians to express their faith in their music as they did. It did and they did and, together, it was all more powerful a testament to acceptance of and a love for a very broken man at that time than ten tons of Scripture. (Ok. ok. The lines from the Messiah are right out of Scripture.)

    Kindest regards,

    The Colonel.

  73. Colonel ,
    I have been to that rock bottom of depression and found Jesus is the Rock at the bottom. I could not read scripture. There was no help from no one let alone a church assembly , NO one. I didn’t think someone could really cry all night long as the scriptures say but I lived it night after night. At the end I cried out one more time to God and said I need to hear from you or I will not be going through another night of this. 10 minutes later a dear sweet friend of mine who is a pastor called me who has not called me in a long time and asked how am I doing . I simply said not good at all and he started praying for me. I don’t remember what he said but i remember him crying as well for me. That is what happened to me personally you may believe it or not but that is my experience . I hope you would see the “Truth of the Gospel” asking God to show you and He Will. I could flat out prove to you that God exist but what good would that really do for you ? you need to own it for yourself.
    My works of faith does not save me (eternal Life) , thankfully it is the ” Faith of Christ ” i need only believe in Jesus that he Paid my sin debt. It is the “Faith of Christ” that keeps me eternally. You believe you are going to Hell , well that is enough Faith to save you From Hell.

    No sinner is condemned to hell because they are sinners they are there because they rejected Jesus payment for their sin and they know it

    There is a Faith That Pleases God

    Heb_11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
    Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

    Ps. I am intrigued that you love to analyze language , There is a rhythm and Cadence in languages that can be identified with Fibonacci numbers ?

    Curtis

  74. Col. Bunny,

    Thanks for dropping back to visit. We likewise enjoyed your visits to our home — but were always distressed to see you leave with “I just don’t believe in God.” I have always been amazed by that statement coming from you, a man with above average intelligence, moral values, and incredible insights into things scientific. How can such a man as you see, feel and experience the indescribable intricacies in the Universe, the world, the marvelous machine that is the human body — and say that it was all accidental or a fluke with no Creator.

    You seem to ignore one of the foundations of scientific inquiry, the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Things do not self perpetuate and without outside Influence, tend to degrade and run down.

    Let me observe your oft repeated statement that you are just “a spear carrier in the Lord’s Army.” (1) You do not believe the Lord exists so from whom do you take your orders? (2) Members of “The Lord’s Army” are only those volunteers who have believed/trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior so you do not qualify.

    You must understand, whether you believe it or not, there are only two classes of people in the world; unbelievers who are condemned already and Believers in Jesus Christ who are NOT condemned, who are set for eternity in Heaven.

    He that believeth on him [Jesus] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.[Jesus]“ John 3:18

    We will continue to pray that you will not allow your personal pride and worldly wisdom to deter you from the simple understanding and believing that Jesus died in your place [took your deserved death penalty condemnation], rose from the dead and is alive today. He will either be your Eternal Judge or your Eternal Savior… You choose — and so far you have made the wrong decision. Of course that is reversible any time before you draw your last breath, tonight, tomorrow, next week or next year. It will happen — your choice. The sooner the better.

    In Jesus Christ eternally Jack

  75. Col. Bunny

    Dear Curtis,

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. I see that you know exactly what the experience of depression is like. I mean, exaaaacccctlyyyy.

    I dimly recall what Fibonacci numbers are. I’m sorry. I’m not aware of any way in which they relate to the rhythms and cadences of language.

    Kindest regards,

    The Colonel

  76. Dear Jack,

    I take your point about spear carriers. I mean it more in the sense of “heathen but nonetheless friend to any genuine Christian enterprise anywhere.”

    Kindest regards,

    The Colonel

  77. Col. Bunny,

    may i offer a few words to you. first i would like to ask a question, however.
    1. did you believe in God or that there was a God as a child, or did you already have these views you’ve mentioned?
    and if you did believe, when did you stop believing? could it be that you became more intellectual and complicated, which led to you rejecting the evidence that is so clearly laid out? i say this with zero offense.

    secondly, do you not believe that the bible, written thousands of years past, is just beyond human intelligence? no single person or even a collective group of people, without the aid of a higher being, can produce the content in the Bible. the writing, the language, the stories, the teachings, etc. are beyond human intelligence. the Bible confirms this is so in 2 Timothy 3:16. if the Bible is true and is what it claims to be, it is wise to deal with what is true and to not get wrapped up in our own thoughts and concepts. frankly, everyone can have his own world, but his world may not be true.

    thirdly, your comment:
    ” The idea that God would condemn someone like me to live in a lake of fire for all eternity because of my lack of faith seems absurd to me, a punishment out of all proportion to the “offense.”

    you must understand that even one imperfect deed renders one imperfect, and short of perfection. God is just, God is fair, God is holy, and God is perfect. it seems out of proportion because we cannot understand His holiness (set apart). do you admit that you are imperfect? if so, you must be perfect to enter heaven, and the only way to be perfect is through faith in Christ. sin must be judged, and although God desires not to send anyone to hell, He is righteous and holy and must ALWAYS do the right thing. there is no sin in the presence of God, and the penalty of sin is eternal separation from God. understanding some of the attributes of God shows that sending people to hell for a lack of faith is not out of proportion, but consistent with Him doing the right thing. furthermore, as you are present evidence, He gives everyone the opportunity to trust Him as Savior and is actively drawing those who don’t believe to believe in Him.

    if you already knew all of this, then i have nothing to say. perhaps the only other way to convince you is through bible prophecies.

  78. Hi dear Col. Bunny. You have so much to consider if you are planning on it, so I don’t want to add a lot at the moment.

    I just do want to ask one short question. Where is it you think you will go when you die?

  79. Col. Bunny

    Hello, David.

    Sorry for my delay in replying.

    By all means, fire away.

    In answer to your questions:

    1. I have never believed in God. Not at any time in my life. No offense whatsoever is inferred.

    2. No, I don’t believe the Bible is beyond human intelligence. Some 2300 years ago, Aristarchus posited that the earth revolved around the sun. Around 2500 years ago, Pythagoras is credited with devising the Pythagorean Theorem. They both were born in a tiny island in the Aegean Sea. Over hundreds of years, it is possible for similarly intelligent people to chronicle their experience and distill moral principles. I am sure that the Bible describes with reasonable accuracy the life of Jesus and his extraordinary personality. Miracles, prophecy, and Christ’s divinity, however, I take with a grain of salt. No offense intended. Just me. I believe that people of His time and before believed these things, however. I see nothing since those times that is comparable, so the times of Jesus seem unique and frozen for all time. Frankly, I would have to see evidence of God’s presence with my own eyes. Really direct evidence, not such things as the wonders of the vast universe. Gabriel in my living room kind of evidence. God speaking to me kind of evidence. Not all hearsay is unreliable (speaking of the Bible as authority for Christ’s divinity) but 2,000-year-old hearsay is stretching it.

    Short of that direct evidence, it all leaves me cold, but not the moral teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, etc. Standard agnostic protestations, I suppose. I simple see no evidence of the existence of God as a Personality, a Being, who has the least bit of interest in the humans and their doings. You’re correct. My view may be incorrect but that is not proof that the Bible is true either.

    3. Of course, I am imperfect. No question. Proven a thousand times. God, as understood by Christians, would surely be beyond mere human understanding but what He would do or think or what He would require by way of entry into Heaven are moot points since I find it unnecessary to speculate about Something in which I do not believe.

    I am mindful of Jack’s excellent site being a place for believers to discuss matters of interest to them. My original contribution was merely to offer an opinion that as a matter of textual interpretation the Bible makes clear that only faith is sufficient. Text is text and it’s always fun to look carefully at what is being said and what is not being said. However, I’m very likely a negative presence here as no one of you needs to hear of my doubts or skepticism. May I please beg off from further discussion of the reasons for my lack of faith.

    I do have to be honest and admit that I find Jack’s blog to be quite insufferable. He has thousands and thousands of more visitors than I do to my blog and I find that very irritating! :-)

  80. Col. Bunny

    Dear Ms. Garcia,

    Also, my apologies to you for my delay in replying.

    To answer your question, I don’t think I will go anywhere when I die.

    This quote from the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius about sums it up for me:

    Of human life the time is a point, and the substance is in a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of judgment. And, to say all in a word, everything which belongs to the body is a stream, and what belongs to the soul is a dream and vapour, and life is a warfare and a stranger’s sojourn, and after-fame is oblivion. What then is that which is able to conduct a man? One thing and only one, philosophy. But this consists in keeping the daemon within a man free from violence and unharmed, superior to pains and pleasures, doing nothing without purpose, nor yet falsely and with hypocrisy, not feeling the need of another man’s doing or not doing anything; and besides, accepting all that happens, and all that is allotted, as coming from thence, wherever it is, from whence he himself came; and, finally, waiting for death with a cheerful mind, as being nothing else than a dissolution of the elements of which every living being is compounded. But if there is no harm to the elements themselves in each continually changing into another, why should a man have any apprehension about the change and dissolution of all the elements? For it is according to nature, and nothing is evil which is according to nature.

    As I said in my previous comment, I don’t want to distract from the discussions on this site that are surely more interesting and important than my casual opinions about Biblical truth and insistence on more direct evidence of God. The Christian faith and the history of the Christian religion are very interesting to me but that’s about it for this perpetual outsider.

  81. Jack, John,

    feel free to send him my email address, I will take a “crack” at it; with the utmost respect and love of course

    if he never believed in God then the logical conclusion is “evolution” which can logically and mathematically be dismissed…..but if taught at a young age; can have a stronghold on anybody (see religion as an example)

    I am sure many have said why the bible is of the supernatural; I do have a paper on that. As for 2000 years ago; one of the MOST AMAZING prophecies in the bible is the rebirth of Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 (much less then 2000 years ago). There punishment started 2500 years ago and the bible mathematically predicts when the punishment would end (in 1948)…….truly an amazing book.

    God Bless,

  82. I appreciate your honesty Col Bunny

    to me the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius is non sense .
    I see letters in my own language but do not have a clue what he is saying.

    wonder if Marcus Aurelius ever opposed to the fighting to the death Olympics ?
    How about feeding men women and children to wild animals ?

    do you realize that a Roman Emperor at the time was considered god on earth?
    so if you believe the writings of Marcus you believe in god and are religious and don’t even know it ?

    Marcus Aurelius a Roman Emperor and a Stoic philosopher is more religious than I hope to never to be.

  83. Col. Bunny

    Dear Preston,

    Thank you kindly for being willing to share your email address. Forgive me if I beg off on any extensive discussion of matters of faith. I have been awash in Christian culture and apologetics all my life and have not moved an inch toward having faith. My alleged mind is, for better or worse, at this point in time, made up.

  84. Dear Curtis M.,

    We see MA quite differently then. I accept your different take on him.

    MA persecuted Christians and I don’t know what his position was on the Roman games. As Roman emperors go, he was, I believe, one of the more rational ones and does not appear to have ruled arbitrarily or without justice. All societies have difficulty in dealing with movements believed to be subversive of the governing ethos. For example, Catholics had a rough time of it in 16th-c. and 17th-c. England but there were distinctly political aspects to the persecution of Catholics. The Pilgrims were not shy about opposing the Church of England root and branch and hence directly challenged the authority of the king. The Puritans were only somewhat less defiant.

    Christians who chose to be martyred were clearly fanatically devoted to their faith. But fanatical they were and appear to have been willing to take on the state without compromise of any kind. That may not be the most accurate history you’ll read on the subject but it’s probably close enough for me to say that an unpleasant reaction from the state should not have surprised Christians. Also, it’s not clear that Christian doctrine requires martyrdom. Could Christians have trimmed their sails, retained their personal convictions, found a way to get along with the reigning orthodoxy? I rather suspect so, but that’s just my opinion.

    Too, ancient times need to be understood in the context of the times. You raise a troubling question indeed. How could a seemingly decent man countenance practices we consider barbaric? That is a vast topic that I can’t even begin to deal with here, even assuming I have any special insight where this is concerned. Suffice it to say that the Romans did not have a monopoly in this world on barbaric practices. That said, people who were Roman citizens were probably extremely fortunate in the scheme of things.

    I think the idea of the emperor as a god got started with Augustus. Even assuming that was the case by the time of MA on the part of the Roman populace, I do not see that reflected in his writing. I know of nothing in stoic philosophy that encompassed worship of the ruler as a god, and MA was nothing if not a stoic of the first rank.

    That certain Romans of the time of MA still did or may have looked upon the emperor as a god does not alter the value of what he said, assuming it was based in fact and reason. Even if he believed he was a god, which I doubt very seriously indeed, the fact that I agree with something he wrote is not an acknowledgement that he was a god. It is simply my conclusion that he said something that was rational and plausible. If MA– considered by some to be a god — said that a nutritious breakfast is good for you, and I agree with that, it doesn’t mean I think he was a god.

  85. Good day bunny,

    YOU SAID – How could a seemingly decent man countenance practices we consider barbaric? That is a vast topic that I can’t even begin to deal with here, even assuming I have any special insight where this is concerned

    Bunny, you used the word barbaric to define practices. makes one wonder why humans; knowing what is right, do what they do.

    May I assume, from your comment of barbaric, that you believe in evil?

    with the utmost respect,

    Preston

  86. Col. Bunny,

    I still pray for you every day as I pray for Jack and others here.

    Interesting you should choose a ‘good’ Roman emperor, who may or may not know that he ‘borrowed’ a bit of his philosophy from the Bible, but unfortunately he has a lot wrong, and he has already found out (unless he believed at the end) that it is not just the dissolution of the elements or oblivion that he faced with a ‘cheerful mind’, but instead he would trade anything now for his soul to be saved. He was right about dull perception.

    By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Matt 13:14-15

    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Col 2:8

    And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2:7

    For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:36-37

    From Ecclesiastes 3, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die.

    How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. Jeremiah 23:26-27

    For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

    And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 1 Pet 1:17

    On the body’s putrefaction, even that is God’s doing…
    thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Ps 104:28

    For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God 1 Cor 10:3-5a

    There is more than one story of a man, who planned his life, and it was to be over that day. But it doesn’t end, you might consider Lazarus, the Rich man and Abraham. Some consider it only a parable, I believe it is literal.

    I do pray somehow you will find the truth, seek for His truth, vs. vain wisdom of men.

  87. Col. Bunny

    Dear Preston,

    I do indeed believe in evil. The evidence of pure intelligent malignancy in just our own time is absolutely compelling.

    Huge numbers of people living in free societies gave their allegiance to, or turned a blind eye toward, the hideous acts of leftist totalitarianism in the last century. Today, Western elites tell their countrymen that inundation by millions of foreigners is an unalloyed blessing to them. Western nations are simply awash in lies that can only lead to economic ruin and civil war, yet those who have attended what are supposedly the very best of our universities are the authors of those lies. Our own president taught his beloved community organizing from a book dedicated to Satan and Hillary Clinton wrote some kind of an adulatory college thesis based on that same book. (Before she went off to work for a communist in California.) Call me old fashioned but no matter how much a book is an obvious work of genius, if it’s dedicated to Satan, I’m going to put it down and walk away from whatever place is selling it.

    I’ve heard Christians speak of the author of all lies. Given the extent to which lies dominate our culture, I believe that evil, that being, is transcendent in our time and that a time of great tribulation will soon come.

    Best wishes,

    The Colonel

  88. Col. Bunny

    Dear Ms. Garcia,

    I would not be surprised to learn that Marcus Aurelius was conversant with Scripture and was willing to incorporate some of it in his thinking. I do myself. What reasonable person would turn his back on the wisdom to be found there? I also don’t think that MA would quarrel with you if you told him his perception is dull. I think he wrote at length on the difficulty of correct thought and action.

    I am all too aware of the vain wisdom of men. We are too clever by half in the Western countries. Socialism is sold as a kind of infallible formula for an earthly paradise but the result will be the opposite, either destruction or a long slow slide into scarcity and neighbor against neighbor. Socialism carried all before it, fueled as it was by pride and greed, but the one thing it could not do was repeal the laws of arithmetic. Though it gave it a good shot.

    I thank you for your kindness in offering prayers for me.

    Kindest regards,

    The Colonel

  89. Good day bunny,

    I am going to keep it simple as I am not a smart man….ask my wife. :)

    you said that you believe in evil….then you must believe in good….correct???? there cant be evil without good.

    with the utmost respect,

    Preston

  90. “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat”,

    Gen 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
    Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
    Gen 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

    Gen 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

  91. Dear Colonel,

    I was just comparing the comment by M.A. regarding dull perception with what the Word says about it. The Bible says that a man that says “there is no God” is a fool. And that they are corrupt and have done abominable things. He says the wicked in his haughtiness does not seek God, that all his thoughts are, “there is no God”.

    But God in His wisdom, and great love for mankind, has shown us in the heavens, galaxies, all through creation, that there is indeed a God and He is good. Everywhere we look, we can see His hand. There will be no excuse it says in Romans 1 for the one who denies Him.

    In God’s sight, (and of course we know) we all have sinned, so therefore we are separated from any relationship with Him, a Holy God that cannot stand the grievous stench of sin. Our just punishment for rebelling against a Holy God, will be separation forever, in torment, without Him, without anything beautiful or good ever again. It is appointed to all men, once to die, then the judgment, no one will escape.

    Everything good comes from God alone. Even our ability to think, breathe, see, hear, all are gifts from God so that we can see His glory and understand His undeserved love for us. Read Job chapters 38-42 sometime. It declares things that science didn’t even know (such as the earth being round).

    Just like M.A., Satan used some of God’s Word in his own ‘wisdom’, he just twisted it for his own gain and in his pride and rebellion. I don’t say this to be flippant, but in all gravity. As I saw my young husband die, I can tell you, it teaches you to number your days aright that you might gain a heart of wisdom. I’d rather lean on the truth then on the flimsy wisdom of fallible men. I do hope you will consider seeking Him before it’s too late, and you will be weeping and wailing and gnashing your teeth. And what of your loved ones? Will they also face that same fate because you never told them the truth but clung to disbelief?

    I don’t know why God seemed to lay you upon my heart to pray for you each day, but I will continue.

    Jesus loves you, I imagine that sounds pretty simplistic to you. He came as a man to pay the price for you Colonel, suffered a horrible death He didn’t deserve, but He did it willingly that you might have life. But you will not come to Him that you might have life. I pray you will before you are in darkness and torment forever.

    In Christ’s love to you, although I know you not understand that. I pray one day you will, we are not promised tomorrow. Tonight could be your night to find out the truth, too late.

  92. Dear Preston,

    You are correct. If there is evil there must be good, evil being, I suppose, “not good” or, better, “extremely not good.” What is remarkable to me is the current state of play, which is that the influence of evil on the earth in the last century, in particular, has been so massive and so beguiling to otherwise intelligent people. It’s as though evil has been able to neutralize that intelligence and cause the affected persons to articulate and believe in things that are manifestly completely contrary to nature, to common decency, and to logic itself. I do not see a correspondingly large Good at work in the world, though there is good. Good seems in retreat on just about every front.

    I erred in describing evil as a being. I should rather have said that evil is so palpable in our time that it is almost as if it is orchestrated by a malevolent, sentient being. “As if” being the operative phrase, but it’s a heck of an operative phrase.

    Dear Curtis M.,

    The Scripture you highlight describes the essence of the current human tragedy. Untold numbers of people do indeed think they will be “like God.” It has been an idea that has been dangerous attraction for minds influenced by the enormous feats of intellect that have multiplied exponentially since the Enlightenment. It has been hard at work even earlier if we recall that some of the Roman emperors used to require that some courtier or slave follow them around to remind them constantly “You are mortal. You are mortal.”

    Mary Shelley thought she’d written a dandy story about Frankenstein but her creation pretty much defines the modern age, namely, pride and ignorance on steroids. With occasional input from yours truly, alas.

    Dear Ms. Garcia,

    I don’t think that Marcus Aurelius denied God, though I’m not a scholar of his writings and could be wrong on that score. Certainly, I do not myself. I hide under the agnostic’s cloak and say I don’t know. I know you look at the same world and see compelling evidence of God’s existence and goodness. Please accept that I have not drawn the same conclusion as you.

    I consider atheism repulsive. Invariably it lives in people who have a disturbing desire to direct hate (that seems invariably to infest them) at believers. The logic of their lives is exemplified by the life and pathetic end of that O’Hare woman.

    And now I ask that we lay to rest further discussion of these topics. I am grateful to all of you for your sincere interest and concern.

    Kindest regards,

    The Colonel

  93. Good day Bunny,

    since you ended “lay to rest, this will be my last”, this will be my last so as not to offend you. I would like to finish what I started.

    with the UTMOST respect; CAPS are for emphasis ONLY

    so you believe in good and evil….I believe you are correct.

    Logically, as a result, there MUST be a “moral law” that differentiates good from evil….correct?

    IF there must be a moral law; then there HAS to be a moral law GIVER.

    THE POINT – if we are a product of evolution (time + matter + chance) THEN morals ALSO have to be a product of evolution (time + matter + chance).

    IF our morals are a matter of time + matter + chance THEN there is NO SUCH THING as evil or good. Evil and good would THEN be defined BY each individual or a “group” of individuals.
    – nothing to tell us Hitler was wrong
    – nothing to say abortion is wrong
    – nothing to say Manson was wrong
    – nothing to say the catholic church was wrong; killing protestants during the inquisitions.

    EVEN Dawkins ADMITS this. The biggest backer of evolution logically says there is NO EVIL; for IF he admits there is evil; he UNDERSTANDS that he HAS TO admit there is a God—logically.

    ONLY ARGUMENT THAT HAD ANY MERIT (although VERY little merit) – cant we evolve morally as a people?
    1. NO – why is it then we often EVOLVE in the wrong direction – look at the USA today – we are definitely not “evolving”
    2. how many people would it take to say “abortion is ok” to make it morally right? How many muslims does it take to say killing jews is good; morally right? How many people would it take to say “rape” is ok to make it morally right? How many children have to starve today without little help to make it morally right (ultimately because of GREED).

    SUMMARY – basically (logically; because I see from your comments you ARE a thinker) if we are here from complete randomness—THEN so are morals. logically, there is NOTHING to say who is right except the individual or a group of individuals; we see above…that carries NO merit. (AGAIN, Dawkins admits this)

    Each person was born with a conscience (did a conscience evolve???). you can see it in a child when “their hand was in the cookie jar”, and their head goes down when asked about it.

    There is good and evil; any logical mind can see that; as YOU see it. if good and evil exist THEN there MUST BE a moral law to define good and evil as well as a moral law giver (God).

    Per your request, no more comments. I believe you have my email. there is more “logically” that proves a God. email me for some “fun”. :)

    CAPS were for emphasis ONLY.

    Hope your day is a great one!!!!

  94. Dear Col. Bunny, thank you for allowing me the time to discuss things with you, and maybe we’ll get another chance, maybe not, but will continue to pray that you may some day come to a place of understanding the good news. Jesus loves even you, even me :)

    In Him, Holly

  95. Hi, I just noticed you quoted  2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some me count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH” to help prove free will in salvation, but for me(and many others) this verse only reaffirms election in that it states that God is not slack concerning his promises but rather is longsuffering that all the elect should come to repentance, because if it meant all men then surely I would think the LORD wouldn’t be slack at all because the more longsuffering he is, the more people are born and therefore perish. The “us-ward” being the elect will “all come to repentance” in due time and none will perish. Believers in election do have to humbly say we don’t have all the answers but only what God revealed in his word.

  96. Richard, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    We reject all five tenets of Calvinism, including unconditional election.

    There is no verse in the Bible, including 2 Peter 3:9 that supports the notion that God chooses only some for eternal salvation, while leaving others hopeless to eternal damnation.

    Your exegesis of this verse is REALLY reaching. Why would someone who God has chosen for salvation even have to come to repentance? If God has chosen him, then it is a done deal. And, if God has chosen someone for salvation, would that person really come to repentance, or would God give him repentance?

    Here is one for you:

    John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    If someone who God has chosen for salvation has not yet believed (or come to repentance), how can he be condemned already?

  97. Welcome Richard
    Praying for you to see the “Truth of the Gospel ” that is my prayer for myself as well .
    I got this quote from above at the beginning of this thread and would like you to prayerfully consider a comment I would like to make for an answer to what John MacArthur is saying . My answer comes from being caught up in this type system of thought for over 10 years.

    “Mac Arthur: “I, uh, I’m not here to give you an answer, but, I will tell you this: I do not believe that Jesus died for nobody. I believe he died for somebody. And I believe he died specifically for those who would believe in him, and those who believe in him are those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit based upon the eternal sovereign electing purpose of God. I think his atonement was an actual one, not a potential one. I don’t think that it was a general one; I think it was a specific one. I think it was a real death for sin. The issue here is the nature of the atonement.” end quote.

    Please consider this prayerfully

    Jesus died for ALL soul’s in Heaven and ALL soul’s in Hell

    to say Jesus only died for those in heaven This is a lie trying to hide behind Truth
    Jesus died for ALL in Heaven and ALL in Hell , there is not one soul in Hell who is there because they are sinners they are there because they rejected the Love of God by unbelief every soul in Hell was Loved and with out excuse.

    Of sin, because they believe not on me;
    Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
    Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

  98. I personally don’t believe in limited atonement because I struggle with that one, so please don’t interpret what I was saying to back up that point, but just that I believe God is waiting for all the elect to come to repentance.

  99. Richard, God did not choose anyone for salvation to the exclusion of anyone else. All people who receive eternal life receive it in the exact same way. By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

    Unconditonal election is the false Calvinist belief that certain people are predestined to faith in Christ. The Bible calls eternal life the gift of God. If one has eternal life imposed upon him (unconditional election), it is no longer a gift.

    Calvinism – any of it – is unbiblical.

  100. Thanks for your response Richard .

    Please consider that you added to scripture “the elect” in your response.
    I do agree I don’t have all the answers as well but I am to study my workmanship to catch myself in the details

    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    that ALL ALL should come to repentance

    “that all the elect should come to repentance”

    “Believers in election do have to humbly say we don’t have all the answers but only what God revealed in his word.”

  101. In context the all is referring to “us-ward” and thats where I am getting the elect. How do you interpret it relating to Gods longsuffering? The longer God waits the more people go to hell because more people are born so I can’t see how it is talking about the non believers.

  102. Richard, us-ward is mankind. The more people are born, the more people have the opportunity to accept Christ.

    If you don’t accept that in this verse, look to:

    1 Timothy 2:4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    Hebrews 2:9: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

    Based on your logic, God doesn’t want all men to be saved. Only the elect. God doesn’t really love the world (everyone), only the elect. Jesus didn’t taste death for every man. Only for the elect.

  103. Thanks for your comments Richard I am praying for you
    you said “don’t believe in limited atonement because I struggle with that one”
    you struggle with it for a purpose and I think you are here on this blog like us all for a purpose to seek Truth .

    ” I believe God is waiting for all the elect to come to repentance.”
    what is the definition of this ?

    who are the elect ?
    what is definition of repentance ?

  104. Richard, John is correct. Pleas consider this message on the elect.

    (Note: original link didn’t work, so removed)

  105. Jim, the youtube message doesn’t appear to be loading. Can you try and re-post?

    Thanks. John

  106. Praying for you Richard Praying you will study what has been posted here and above to your questions and comments

  107. I truly apologize if I offended anyone in not responding directly to what you have said to me. I have read it all(and even watched some of the sermon), but I was rude, and I had a conviction I believe to be of the LORD related to my sin of self glorification/lust, and I thought if I only spoke on one topic I could avoid it rather than battling 5 things at once, but I have to withdraw from this conversation, and all online debate in general for the time being because this is not in Gods plan for me right now. Please forgive me for any disrespect, my conscience is weak and so I am here to humble my heart, and respectively leave this conversation as I seek growth in God. I have severely offended the LORD with my online debating in the past, and somehow didn’t think before I engaged in this conversation…

  108. I am a very proud and arrogant person but God is so merciful, thanks for your prayers

  109. Richard, consider 1 John 2:2, a lot of Calvinists explain that the propitiation is not for all, and you say you struggle with Limited atonement, so then look to Rom 3:21-26, and also consider 2 Pet 2:1 (the false prophets Jesus Christ bought). Consider 1 Timothy 4:10, and Titus 2:11. Consider also Is 53:6, and Rom 3:23. We have all sinned. All. All fallen short of His Glory. If limited atonement fails, so does the T and the U, along with the I and really the P.

    God didn’t need to desire that the elect should not perish in 2 Pet 3:9, (since according to Calvinism they will Persevere (P), nor did God need to be willing that the elect come to repentance, because remember, TULIP teaches that God grant’s repentance so they will receive it according to the doctrine. As you know, It also teaches that God gives the faith to believe. The elect are given life without believing on their own, so instantly it can happen at that moment.

    That passage would really be kind of dishonest if it were about the ‘elect’. Because none of those things would happen (should unconditional election be true), so it would be unnecessary to say. It would read more honestly to say ….but is longsuffering to the elect, not willing that any of the elect should perish, but that all the elect should come to repentance. ??? How does that make sense, considering the doctrine?

    God is not a liar, this would be a dishonest statement. Since in the teaching of Calvinism the elect WILL persevere and not perish, and in Calvinism the elect WILL be given repentance. So then this verse then would really have no purpose and again, would be dishonest and not useful. That doesn’t fit either with 2 Tim 3:17-18.

  110. IF TULIP WERE TRUE…

    Another thing that happens with unconditional election, ALL the means God has given us for people to come to salvation have been made null and void and actually a farce.

    Lifting up Christ on the cross to draw ALL men. (Jn 12:32)

    The Gospel would not really be the POWER of God UNTO salvation, but the gift of faith and repentance and regeneration before belief would be. (Rom 1:16-17, 1 Cor 1:17-18)

    The hearing of the Word would not really bring faith, as it then would be waiting for the gift of faith (Rom 10:17)

    The Scriptures would not really make people wise unto salvation because the regeneration of the Spirit would have to raise the dead to ‘understand’. (2 Tim 3:15)

    Prayers for ALL MEN would really be an exercise in futility because we’re wasting prayers on men whom God has not supposedly chosen to salvation. 1 Tim 2:1-4, in addition, it would be a lie that He would have all come to a knowledge of the truth.

    Also, Jesus was not REALLY a ransom for all MEN, 1 Tim 2:5-6 and BOUGHT must have meant something else in 2 Pet 2:1, when it says He bought even the false prophets.

    And praying for Laborers for the harvest is dishonest, for if man has no free will then this is not just about disobedience, but we are now complicit in preaching a gospel that says, the WHOLE WORLD, EVERY MAN, EVERY CREATURE, ALL MEN, etc.

    And Jesus did not really come to seek and to save that which was LOST since we ALL are lost without Him, so He only came to seek and save the LOST ELECT? Since when? If it WILL BE DONE, why does He need to say these things?

    If FAITH is the GIFT then WHY oh why does Jesus chastise the disciples for their lack of it? Isn’t He just chastising Himself? How can this be since James 1 says every gift from Him is perfect?

    Why do we plant and water, just to obey? Why would we sow in TEARS, wouldn’t that be ridiculous KNOWING that He WILL save those He has chosen to salvation?

    Why does Jesus say they are NOT WILLING to come? Isn’t that a lie if they CANNOT COME?

    Why does Jesus commend others for their GREAT FAITH? Isn’t He then just patting Himself on the back?

    I could go on and on with my questions, but I truly hope YOU will go on and on with questions in His Word, and let His Word teach you. Keep asking questions, praying for you Richard.

  111. Richard :
    “I am a very proud and arrogant person but God is so merciful, thanks for your prayers”

    To me you are just being honest with yourself and speaking your heart . I appreciate that myself.
    God used people to show me how self righteously ignorant I was and can be and can become of the Truth of the Gospel.
    I still don’t like correction and anger can flare up in me quickly over the Gospel. I am learning to simply flee to the word of God asking for wisdom and understanding and try and turn off all the noise and wait on the Lord.

    I have taken no offense to what you said Richard it helped me seek Truth.

    Curtis

  112. Richard, Please forgive me, I don’t know if your comments were made above mine, but I did not see them last night, so it surely must have seemed insensitive of me to continue with you.

    There will be no ‘debates’ here, only going over what the Word says, and people are pretty kind here, and I sure hope mine didn’t seem like ‘too much’.

    it’s just that I’ve actually been working on that very thing yesterday from a Calvinist’s perspective first, I took their own words, then an Arminian perspective on Total Depravity and Unconditional Election, and have been working on a Bible Verse Picture series on Limited atonement.

    Anyhow, God bless you, just spend some time with Him in His Word, and just keep praying as you read. John 7:17 comes to mind. In Christ’s love to you.

  113. BTW Richard, I think more of us than you might realize started to see in ourselves as believers that this doctrine was destructive to us, at least for me, it began to render me ineffective, my gospel was another because it was added to, and although I really truly didn’t think I was proud, I was, because God was resisting me for the works I did, even if supposedly for Him, made me think I was a ‘pretty good person’. (I didn’t do this or that like other people….) How self-righteous I was, especially trying to make my non-believing friends conform to my standards…. Praise God even for that as they started to see me change and were perplexed. Where was my judgmental attitude? I finally found out that it was not my job to judge the world….

    Where was the good news? My set of rules? I don’t want to be resisted by God again, thank the Lord that He showed me truth from His Word, and little by little, I began to be set free from my stinkin’ thinkin’….

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