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
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:
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] . . . .
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.”]
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Theodore, welcome and thanks for your comment.
We agree that God does not predestined anyone to Heaven or Hell. If He did, we would have to ascribe all of our choices to Him, making Him responsible for our sin, which is not part of His character.
We reject all of the five tenets of Calvinism.
Over the last month I’ve been exposed to calvinism and Armenian. I simply can’t wrap my heart and soul around the idea of predestination unless it means God knows what’s going to happen but we decided via our free will to accept or reject. I can’t imagine ever bringing a child into the world if I knew no matter what I did or he did he was going to hell. That is pure evil and my God is not evil.
William Parker, thanks for commenting.
Yeah, that sounds like an answer a Calvinist might give.
Kind of like “why does Baskin Robbins have 31 flavors? Because God decided 32 would give people too much choice.”
God did determine that faith in Christ as Savior is how people can receive eternal life. But, He did not choose who will believe.
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?”
BECAUSE GOD ALSO PREDESTINES THE MEANS OF YOUR SALVATION.THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE MISSION TO PREACH THE GOSPEL AND THROUGH GOSPEL YOU BELIEVE
May the Lord bless you Colonel with a desire to look into things of the Lord. Warmest regards for you, Holly
Curtis, I wouldn’t say that about myself but perhaps some of what I say belies my actual words. I think all humans yearn to believe that we are each lovable and capable. I have faith in that idea (that they yearn for that) if that’s not too much of an evasion regarding what your point is. There is an earthly aspect to Christian belief I think (see TC). Helping suffering humanity in this simple way seems like a righteous activity for anyone (not that I have any special talent for it). However, I know it’s not sufficient for purposes of salvation as it’s definitely “workish.” Yet, it’s sufficient for me. Bear each other’s burdens is a related idea. If the “something more” of faith is what determines one’s chances for salvation, well then it’s Outer Darkness time for me.
As I’ve said before, I am not sure that my remarks in this forum are useful or positive. My hair splitting, sophistry, and impatience with and superficial grasp of what’s in scripture surely are a distraction. The plan for salvation makes no sense to me and the Bible is unreadable. I’m a recalcitrant by any measure you want to name and I can only frustrate kind efforts to reason with me. I really shouldn’t be such a negative presence among you kind people.
Colonel You are showing faith in the words you have strung together . gotta have faith to post what you did
Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Steve. I’m aware of that quote. I do think Jesus knew of the yearning of humans to be free of their human imperfection. He understood that man has a powerful conscience that will not be denied and he also understood that the human affections are famished and that human life is full of sorrow, not least from the ignorance and malevolence of other humans. His message was enormously appealing, especially if one contemplates the alternative, the status quo in His time. Hint: the savagery and pure evil one can see demonstrated among certain primitives in the Middle East at this very moment. Someone who could move human thinking in a more positive direction had a lot going for Him from the moment He opened his mouth.
The claims of divinity and the difficult concept of the Trinity and the scheme of salvation (faith) is where I hang up and no matter how I’ve approached in this life it’s just never made sense. I don’t have to say Jesus was a madman, just that his claims make no sense. I’ve read that the Middle East was littered over the centuries with men wandering in out of the desert purporting to be this or that. (No sarcasm intended.) Probably . . . emphasis on probably . . . he was one of those who, with good will and astonishing insight, found just the right message that transformed men’s thinking.
The miracles are another matter and, if truthfully reported, I have no answer to them, except to say that the state of the magician’s art is such that astonishing tricks can be performed. I saw one fellow hold a cell phone or some object in his hand and smash it against the side of a bottle whereupon the object appeared inside the unbroken bottle. I wasn’t there and only saw it on TV but I ask could similar techniques have been employed by people in other times?
The healing by the pool of Bethesda and the man lowered through the roof when Jesus visited a town are evidence of much more than trickery. As I said above, I like Hudson’s theory the best on that, though it too posits something that has not been proved.
Merry Christmas to you, Sir.
John, please see my reply to Steve.
Merry Christmas to you.
Pardon my delay in responding, Holly. It’s true I study the thoughts of others but perhaps I don’t convey my great skepticism toward people who are besotted with words but miss out on the fundamental attributes of man and nature. Everything goes through that sieve in my mind and hopefully I’m left with something that makes me appreciate the trials and essential nature of my fellow humans. Some might say that what has gone into my mind has gone back out through that same sieve, but that’s another story. 🙂
Thank you for your prayers and Merry Christmas to you.
Thanks Col. Bunny!
It’s good to hear from you.
Thank you for you kind words, Preston. I appreciate the kindness and concern of all who share their insights with me. Certainly, there’s no reason to take offense, or give it. I do worry that my recalcitrance detracts from what all of you like about this blog.
BTAIM, I wish you all a joyous Merry Christmas and give thanks that Jack was on this earth to do the work that he loved. Obviously, his spirit touched many.
Thank you John for linking that, as you know, it’s basically just His Word.
Colonel, The Lord is drawing you, and you have the right to resist Him, or the right to look into His claims. I sure pray (and Jack did) that it is the latter.
Steve, welcome and thanks for your comment.
I agree that reading the gospel of John would be a great idea for Col. Bunny, and anyone else.
In this particular instance, C.S. Lewis was right. Jesus’ claims of who He is are real. If they are not, then Jesus’ claims would be lies, and He would not be a great moral teacher. The two are mutually exclusive.
Holly wrote a great article, linked below, on how God draws everyone.
I have noted your admiration of Jesus. Have you ever seen this quote by C.S. Lewis from his book “Mere Christianity”?
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Jesus is the one you need to consider. Was he who he said was? If not, he is not someone to admire. But, I believe he is who he said he was, and that being said, everything else in the bible is easy to believe.
And what you really need to consider is the bible’s claim that he rose from the dead on the third day. It was an attempt to disprove the resurrection that brought C.S. Lewis to faith.
I believe Jesus is alive, that he created the world, and he died for the sins of all men, and offers us everlasting life if we believe in him.
If you want to know if God exists, I would suggest you truthfully tell him you do not know if he does, but if he does, then you ask him to reveal himself to you. If he exists, he can do that. Then I encourage you to read the gospel of John.
John 20:30 gives the reason that the apostle John wrote his gospel: ” And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
Here is a link to John online:
What have you got to lose?
Dear Colonel Bunny. I meant to respond to you yesterday, but my days aren’t always predictable. What I meant by trusting others is all the stock you put in wisdom of men, quoting men, etc. It will do you well to look at the whole picture, examine prophecy whether it bores you, it speaks to things that have historically happened and if one will do their homework in sincerity, they have to find that it is much more compelling than any words of philosophers.
Jack also asked me to pray for you, his friend. He wanted you to know your end, where you will be, and he desperately didn’t want it to be eternal death for you.
William – briefly, I just saw your comment. Forgive me if missing an answer or something else led you to believe my firm convictions in certain areas would divide me from a brother/sister in Christ. Division can happen when one is corrected about railing/drunkenness, or even not obeying the epistles, but they are still brethren. I believe in separation if they become enemies of the cross of Christ, a heretic or preach an accursed gospel.
I’ve never considered you any of the above 🙂 Love in Christ, Holly
P.S. Context, context, context with His approval in mind as we study, we will all do well.
I don’t think we need to bring up “just because we don’t like or agree with something does not negate truth” – we BOTH have already agreed with that.
I concur with John. Nobody ever “loved” you enough and did exactly what Jesus did for YOU. For God so loved “the world”. Are YOU part of the “world”, then He loved YOU.
When He was being beaten, spit on, mocked, crowned with thorns, crucified……He was thinking of YOU.
Always good to hear from you. Appreciate the way you conduct yourself here. Hopefully, one day, when I grow up, I will be just like you (although not perfect) 🙂
Thank you, John.
OK, Preston. There’s me, of course, but I doubt you’ll buy that. I’ll keep my eye out for the perfect ones.
Colonel, God did everything He needed to do and that He is going to do to reconcile mankind to Himself. Giving Jesus to be our Savior was the ultimate act of love.
John 3:17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Benchap, I’ve always wondered what the exact status of the unbeliever is in God’s scheme. If it’s the case that God considers unbelievers as his enemies I have to say that’s a harsh doctrine. It’s not insignificant but, alas, highlights the incomprehensibility to me of Christian doctrine. I can’t think of a concept better suited to persuade any interested person that Christianity is a harsh and inhuman belief system. It may be doctrinal truth but it drives all thought of God as a loving Father from my mind. I can certainly relate to the idea of man as fallen, weak, and much given to sin but my personal failings don’t make me the enemy of God.
I wish I could say I’m being drawn by His love but I can only think, if I’m considered an enemy, of a being whose love is highly conditional and who is angry and vengeful if His fallible creation thinks the wrong way. Seems like that is right out of the Old Testament.
The suffering that man experiences is to me proof of the logic of the deists. It makes more sense to conceive of an indifferent Creator than one who can alleviate suffering — often decades in duration — but does nothing.
Well, I’ve undoubtedly shed no light on anything. I was a friend to Jack and am one to all his friends. I’m very likely to live out my life unsaved. Guaranteed. Perhaps I contribute something here by way of exemplifying certain errors. Not that all who come here aren’t already well aware of all of my concerns, no doubt having had themselves at certain times.
I think I don’t have much to contribute here as I share few of the assumptions and beliefs of people who visit here.
Best wishes to you.
yes I catch your drift. the bible says that too. Proverbs 14:12 – 12 There is a way which SEEMETH right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death
it really does not seem right that heaven is for those who believe (by faith) without any works; does it?
So the question we must then ask ourselves…..WHY the bible? what makes the bible “truth”?
Otherwise, you are correct (from a human perspective). I am sure you know from your relationship with Jack, according to the bible, you don’t have to be “better” to go to heaven. you don’t have to be “good” to go to heaven, you must be “perfect” to go to heaven.
– when you find a perfect person; please share it with me. (your wife and daughter don’t count!!) 🙂
Thank you, Matt. I’m touched that Jack asked you to do that and that you did.
I suspect it boils down to that — revelation. It may be that logic is what brings some to the Lord. It would have to be a lighting bolt in the living room for a guy like me. Persuasive. On the point of the unpredictability of lightning, that’s for sure.
Preston, I’m fresh out of ZimmerInsight(tm) on evolution. I’ve never looked at it closely. There is evidence of small horses being followed by large horses. I assume the connection can be shown to the satisfaction of many. However, I’ve read there are certain things that don’t appear to fit that gradual adaptation through natural selection. The human eye? I’m just indifferent to it all.
Whether the Bible can be shown to be true through logic is a general proposition. Suffice it to say that I’ve been exposed to a lot of Christian debate and doctrine through my life long interest in Christian radio and my late-in-life interest in church history. None of the logic put forward by those commenters and found in the interstices of church history has appealed to my logical mind. None of it has appealed to me in the least. What does appeal to me is that it is sometimes possible for human beings to achieve an insight into the human condition so that they are able to mirror in part the love of the Savior for mankind. As I’ve said earlier, I see no evidence of the latter phenomenon and think logic is more on the side of the deists who accept that there is or might be a Creator but that He is indifferent to what humans do.
Still and all, what seems Divine to me is when humans achieve a certain enlightenment and show in their personal lives that they understand the trials and weaknesses of others. I think Jesus hit on the truth that humans live their lives in a constant state of famished affections. Families and friends and nations help to fill the hole in humans but there needs to be a central insight that identifies the void in our lives and points the way to ways of thinking that make human life more tolerable. The Buddhists have the concept of the bodhisattva which, if I understand it, is a person who commits to “the complete enlightenment of all sentient beings.” There’s a lot of ascetic discipline in becoming one of those gents but the general idea is attractive. The rawness of human nature needs to be ameliorated by embracing kindness, respect, self discipline, and, above, all a heightened consciousness that is aware of the selfish urges that we all have and how the minds of others work. (The Sikhs have a most Christian-like way of thinking, btw. Awareness of others can be found outside of our own traditions.)
If there is anything that is compelling in the Bible it is that Jesus was obviously an extraordinary man who taught a revolutionary way of thinking about life. Christian ethics are examples of a revolutionary way of looking at others. The divinity of Christ is just hard to swallow. Making faith the cornerstone of salvation is equally hard to swallow. Were I a parent I wouldn’t for a moment think it important for my child to believe in my existence or not. Of course, I’d be right there (and see my comment above on the “logic” of having billions of individual visitations) but what would please me most would be to see the kid grow up and do his best to live as a decent person. Works not faith, if you get my drift. 🙂
I understand. One little problem with your view is that God doesn’t consider everyone His child. An unbeliever, for instance, is not a child of God in His eyes, but an enemy who hates Him and resists His will (to believe) and breaks His law. He does tell us (and showed us in the person of Christ) that He loves us and wants us with Hjm, but that’s not the same as treating unbelievers as sons. Thus, when you talk about how an earthly father treats his son, you missing the point – only Christians are His sons. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father by by me”. Offensive but, according to Jesus, true.
Anyway, that might be an insignificant piece of information to you.
As for God not just appearing to you, I really don’t know what to say. I agree that this would be nice, but you’re right in saying that this isn’t happening. I can’t explain to you why.
I also can’t explain why God allowed me – as His son and prior to becoming His son – to suffer through anxiety, OCD and depression for 10 years. I don’t fully understand why He allows me to suffer through loneliness and doesn’t answer my prayers.
However, Col, none of that which I don’t understand changes the only things that matter:
We often do what I know is wrong, yet judge people who do the same, expecting them to receive judgement. We know, to a degree, right and wrong. Bible calls this the conscience.
Jesus did die on a cross. Jesus was buried. Jesus’ followers and a skeptic turned preacher claimed He rose again. These are historical facts, witnessed by unBiblical sources.
And 500 years before Jesus died, a prophecy spoke of a man who would die for the sins of the world…
God, despite you not believing it, is chasing you and drawing you through His Spirit and Gospel. It might not be in the way you’d like – through an angel – but you are being drawn by His love!
Anyway, sorry, I really feel like I’m just rambling. Hope you’re having a nice day!
Hello Col. Bunny,
Expreacherman Jack asked me to pray for you several years ago, and I have regularly done so. God loves you, and I expect that He will reveal Himself and His truth to you in His way, manner and time.
keep Zimmering!!!! 🙂
although off topic, I would consider some Zimmification on….
1. why evolution is impossible (big bang)
2. why the bible is truth through logic.
By the way, you KNEW this was coming. 🙂
Although, we are more concerned with YOU and YOUR well being; as well as your families, what a great gift for Jack; to see one of his best friends in heaven. He might hug you and never let go. 🙂
Thanks, johninnc. I’m glad you do. Life wouldn’t be worth living unless I could drop in here occasionally to propagate error and confusion. 🙂
Mostly my error and confusion, some might say, but let’s not go there.
That’s quite accurate. What one likes isn’t what’s true. Another one of my favorite expressions is Robert Louis Stevenson’s ”Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.” Consequences are out there and can’t be avoided forever, any more than I can repeal the laws of arithmetic. The West is going to be re-educated on that score. Our leaders really are depraved and our “fellow” citizens do demand “theft by legislature” and all manner of consequent “free” stuff. But ain’t nothing free in this life except, maybe, a parent’s love.
Gift will have to signify an unearned blessing regardless of the reason for or origin of that blessing. It probably follows from the initial Big Bang by virtue of impersonal forces. What or who created the initial stew of super-condensed matter is the mystery or mysteries.
Yup, I’m still around. I knew a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge named Zimmer. Our secretary used to say he was in his office Zimmering so you can say that’s sort of what I’m doing.
Col. Bunny, I like your monicker!
I will continue to consider you a potential brother in Christ.
>> My comment: Yes you can! <<
All things are possible. However, that's probably likely only after the Rockies are worn down to a level plain (again).
But I take your point. It's been shown many times that people have acquired faith who seemed like unlikely candidates for that prior to that.
P.S. I really should find a more dignified moniker but I'm stuck with it for the time being.
Thanks for your thoughtful response, which I read with interest.
The eternal torment idea is a bit much and it’s interesting that “Christianity’s biggest promoter” didn’t mention that. I assume you mean Paul.
I’ve long thought that the West is neck and neck with Sodom and Gomorrah and that the unreal attitudes of millions about what should pass for normal are, as we speak, being measured against an objective standard. That might usefully be spoken of as God’s law — it really is useful — or simply the laws or physics, economics, and human nature (there being overlap between these categories). Solzhenitsyn spoke of the “pitiless crowbar of events” that will crash into the lives of people because they have “a self-deluding interpretation of the contemporary world situation” that prevents them, in that case, from seeing the reality of communist monstrosity. (Change “communist” to “Islamic” and you’re good to go for 2015, but that’s another story.)
So there are consequences in life. If it is argued that there’s a loving God and no eternal torment, there’s still the question of what punishment is appropriate. Apparently the punishment is still horrendous. The Catholics attempted to ameliorate the harshness of this with the idea of Purgatory, which is actually more just if you axe me. Depending on the nature of your non-spiritual sin (treason, murder, adultery, theft) you went to different levels, etc. There was an attempt to make the punishment fit the crime.
The “God doesn’t operate that way” is repellent to me for the simple reason that if one is to suffer some horrendous punishment for not believing then it is cruel beyond belief to make belief such a complicated process. If I want you to believe that I own a Ford Mustang, I’ll meet you on Main Street and show you the darn thing. It’s impossible for me to believe there’s oil 2,000 feet under my feet without some proof. But oil can be shown to exist in the present. When something is separated by 2,000 years not 2000 feet and I’m asked to believe something happened then because of what’s in the Bible, well I can’t see that as the highest and best proof of that thing. Not only are we to be punished if we don’t “get it” but the book itself is maddeningly boring. I simply can’t read more than a page of it, if that, without becoming impatient at the rambling, disorganized, disjointed treatment of the subject at hand. But I’m to suffer in some substantial way because God doesn’t operate that way, namely, to provide direct easily understandable proof. Angel in my office right now kind of proof.
If I were a father, I can’t, moreover, imagine that I would punish my child disproportionately for some offense. And I certainly wouldn’t consider it an offense if he didn’t believe in my existence. My job would be to show that I exist not punish him for my failure to make the effort to offer proof. If God can create the universe, how hard would it be to “operate that way” and appear to each individual? And there’s the proportionality idea. My child might err but would I reject him for eternity because he told a lie or took crayon to the living room wall?
Prophecy leaves me cold. I have predicted that Angela Merkel will be gone by January 3 for her insane policies that are betraying her people. I base that on my analysis of objective facts. I did it for fun and I didn’t prophesize anything, I just predicted it. People can’t predict the future because they say so. Period.
I don’t dispute that Jesus was an extraordinary person. The story about visiting the town and having the sick fellow lowered through the roof is hardly a central story of the Bible, to my knowledge, but it is one of the most compelling to me on this point. I do not blame people if they focus on such stories. I just disagree that they are evidence of anything divine. Evidence of the extraordinary but not the divine. Same for the disciples. They saw something. The part about the rising from the dead and the loaves and the fishes I just have to take with a grain of salt. No way will I take the Bible at face value. Easy solution. Send me the angel.
Of course I don’t consider deeply flawed thinking like the Westboro Baptists’ as admirable. Jack Wheeler is closer to what I have in mind. Some Christians can be censorious but the secularists are leaving them in the dust, truth be known. A little bit of /Christian community pressure is healthy and anyone who thinks otherwise should take a look at life now where there is no community pressure in some places. E.g., the U.S.A.
I sympathize if you have a mind similar to mine. Please. Get help soon! 🙂
I shouldn’t bother you and the kind people on this site with my recalcitrant thinking. I do try to understand how the values that human have lead them to certain earthly results. It’s clear that Americans, or at least the Treason Class that runs America, no longer cares for the Constitution, never mind Christianity. That has had predictable results, chief among which is an alarmingly fast slide into oligarchic rule with an unhealthy serving of rule by decree by a certain freak who shall remain unnamed. Christianity solves the problem of being without it, to paraphrase Gilda Radner. The modern passion is to reject everything possible from our past and to revile the ancestors. We’ll pay.
I welcome your friendship.
“Col”, whats up!!!!!!!!!!
hope things are going well for you these days. Not being argumentative but thought provoking.
Just because we don’t agree, like or understand something, does not make that thing any less “true”.
I don’t like our system of money (Fed Res) that steals wealth from the people; but its true
I don’t agree with abortion and it being legal, but its true
I don’t understand how anyone can say there is no God when looking at the world (it appeared from time + matter + chance), but its true.
I don’t like the fact that I am a smoker, but its true.
Point being, not agreeing, understanding nor disliking something does NOT negate truth. So what we need to ask is this, is the bible “truth”?
To be honest, I HATE the doctrine of hell and people going there for en eternity, but according to the bible; its true.
oh, you said,” life is a precious gift”. Gift from whom??????
Glad to see you still around.
First of all, hi!
Mate, I too (even as a Christian) cannot comprehend or fully accept that my loving Lord and God will torment people forever. I have struggled with this lately and have found that many Christians cannot explain it either. However, that isn’t what you are being asked to believe in order to receive a free gift of eternal life. I know this, because Christianity’s biggest promoter of the Gospel never mentioned eternal torment. Thus it’s not a necessary cog. Salvation from God’s wrath – in whatever form that will take – is though.
You are being asked to believe that there is a creator of the universe; a moral code that you break daily and, like human law, a punishment for doing so in the form of eternal exclusion (perhaps in the form of eradication; perhaps eternal torment – who cares) from heaven. In response to these truths, you can may understand why Jesus paid for your guilt on the cross, was buried and rose again – to freely deliver you you from this end now and forever if you simply believe. You already know this but, as you said, you don’t choose to accept your need (for you have rejected the notion of God altogether) and thus you don’t see a need to believe.
You said: “Thomson Jay Hudson’s The Law of Psychic Phenomena is the best explanation for some of the things that Jesus appears to have in fact done (Lazarus, beggar at the pool of Bethesda, raising the daughter of the centurion). It’s a very credible attempt to explain Jesus in mortal terms”
Take that logic (and let me state right now that none of I will write to you will be malicious – so I’m sorry if it seems so) and apply it when analysing the prophesies that relate to the Messiah – many that were fulfilled by Jesus, as witnessed by secular history, not merely scripture.
What explanation do you have for the historical data that indicates that Jesus’ closest followers choosing torture and death instead of renouncing their claim that they were with a risen Jesus? How do you explain Paul, a dogmatic Pharisee who persecuted Christians, and his transformation?
I have seen many like you. That is, I have seen many who are clearly intelligent and analytical and who truly give thought to these issues, only to seemingly turn off these attributes when a piece of information appears to support Biblical claims?
How did nothing explode and create everything? How did water falling upon a rock create a living organism that evolved, over billions of years, into us? These are rhetorical.
As for: “I’m also still warmly disposed to Christians for what their faith brings to their lives”. I don’t assume that you fully understand what a true Christian is, so how can you make this claim? Have you not seen the “Christians” who proclaim “God hates fags” or the Baptist preachers who say “We should kill all homosexuals” or the many churches that manipulate their congregations and provoke them to hate and act piously towards others because of their “faith”. I, as a Christian, have come across and been hurt by this many times and, unless I knew what a true Christian believed, I don’t know how I could come to your conclusion that “Christian” faith (and all religion in general) is anything but a malignant cancer that needs to be eradicated – as many atheists indeed believe.
“the mental process necessary to acquire it are foreign to me indeed”
I can see where you are coming from. I too have struggled with how hard it seems to be to actually believe the Gospel. “I have to not believe this, this or this. If I believe this, I don’t believe that and therefore need to eradicate the former bel…..argh, this is too hard”.
It’s not hard. Man just makes it so. We are guilty. We need to be perfect. We can’t. There’s punishment. Jesus took the punishment against our guilt, was buried and rose again. He did this to offer a free gift of deliverance from punishment and guilt if we accept it through belief. He doesn’t force it upon us. We either reject it through rejection of the truth or accept it through belief.
“If He wants me to have faith, let Jesus or an angel appear to me in the flesh”
He could, but that’s not how God has chosen to work. He does, however, promise to grant wisdom to ANYONE (that includes you) who asks. So if you want to know truth, you only need to ask.
“It’s a tragedy that the West has turned against Christianity”
Christianity has always been hated, especially by those who call themselves “Christians”. The West hasn’t turned against Christianity, it is turning against the self righteous, man-centered religion that tells them what to do and how to act and dress and talk and that threatens them daily with self righteous rants, rather than informing them of Jesus’ free gift of acceptance through belief in His act of love.
“But entrance to Heaven is premised on faith, not endurance, so the suffering serves no purpose.”
Eternal rewards. Chastisement. Emotional and spiritual growth. And humility, because pride leads all of us to hurt other people.
“Moreover, there’s zero evidence that God involves Himself in human affairs”
To repeat myself, secular history declares that Jesus was crucified, buried and that His closest followers later proclaimed that He was the Messiah foretold in Moses and the prophets rose from the dead. They died for this claim, rather than choose to renounce it. The Gospels, although only written a few years prior to it’s demise, proclaimed that Jesus had taught that Jerusalem would be destroyed. It was. Prophecy is God’s way of giving you evidence, while His creation also informs you of His existence. He sends you preachers and teachers (us) to tell you about His love. You are willingly, although I can understand your reasons for doing so, rejecting it
I answer you because I have had many of the doubts and thoughts that you have provided here, only to come to a different conclusion.
If what I have said is correct, then you are missing out on eternal life in bliss (again, that alone is more important than the possibility of eternal torment – LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON!). If you are correct, meh. Who cares. We’ll never actually know, for when we die, we die. So it doesn’t really matter if you’re right – only that many people are wasting their time and money in “service” of a God. However, God is true and this is occurring anyway.
Anyway, I’ve written plenty (probably too much – sorry). If you are still resistant to God’s Gospel due to these questions and wonderings you have put forth, please go and research them deeply.
If you have already, well I’m out of answers for you for now, but love that we are able to talk and would appreciate your friendship – not to debate or fight. You just seem to have a similar mind to myself.
Thanks for reading!
Col. Bunny, I’m glad that you’re still reading.
You said: It might be reasonable to say endurance of pain is proof of character of a sort and thus endurance is something of a test for admission to Heaven. But entrance to Heaven is premised on faith, not endurance, so the suffering serves no purpose.
My comment: You are right. Entrance to heaven is premised on faith. But, suffering for Christ does bring rewards to believers.
You said: So, as before, I’m strongly pro-Christian. I just can’t become one.
My comment: Yes you can!
Thanks for thinking of me John and Holly. Alas, I am still completely unsold on the plan of salvation or even the need for salvation. My father thought I had a closed mind even when I was 15 though I don’t want to repeat his exact way of saying that here. 🙂
The idea that God would subject unbelievers to eternal torment for not believing seems strange indeed to me. If He wants me to have faith, let Jesus or an angel appear to me in the flesh. No disrespect intended. It’s just beyond strange to appear 2,000 years ago and then have the screen go dark so to speak.
Moreover, there’s zero evidence that God involves Himself in human affairs. It rains on the just and the unjust, I think I read somewhere. This is a strange God that inflicts pain on those whom He supposedly loves. It might be reasonable to say endurance of pain is proof of character of a sort and thus endurance is something of a test for admission to Heaven. But entrance to Heaven is premised on faith, not endurance, so the suffering serves no purpose. How strange.
I love what faith does to people I just can’t understand the basis for it. Or, the mental process necessary to acquire it are foreign to me indeed. And scripture is meaningless to me. All of it. Proof of nothing about Divine matters, though it does show Jesus was an amazing person. Thomson Jay Hudson’s The Law of Psychic Phenomena is the best explanation for some of the things that Jesus appears to have in fact done (Lazarus, beggar at the pool of Bethesda, raising the daughter of the centurion). It’s a very credible attempt to explain Jesus in mortal terms but even then it does posit a mental power that does not exist to my knowledge, although the author went no further I recall than to pose it as a hypothesis.
I’m sure I am just repeating what I’ve said here before. Zzzzz.
We’ll undoubtedly end up where we did last time with me being totally unmoved. I’m also still warmly disposed to Christians for what their faith brings to their lives. It’s a tragedy that the West has turned against Christianity, as though the human substitutes therefor were anything but excuses for mass murder, or theft by legislature. The current madness in the U.S. and Europe is just satanic (sic). The people are beset on all sides by lies, betrayal, perversion, theft, and invasion by savages (Europe).
So, as before, I’m strongly pro-Christian. I just can’t become one.
Holly, I don’t put my faith in any particular person on matters of faith or lack of faith. I am very sorry that your father is ill and that your son has been injured. Life is indeed precious and a great gift.
Holly, I am praying for your dad who is ill and still praying for Adam. Even though we disagree on the interpretation of some of our Lord’s parables, but you are still my sister in the faith. Let’s not let the evil one Satan divide just because of our differences. I still believe in faith alone in Christ alone apart from works. God bless : )
Funny, likewise Colonel, I have been thinking about you. Most specifically as another one I know is suffering from the end stages of mesothelioma, and she too doesn’t believe she will go anywhere when she dies. Her husband is a very kind atheist. I am very sure if she doesn’t come to believe, she will be horrified to learn of her eternal existence.
How awful it will be to be wrong, to put your faith in the words of another man without doing some more investigation. I wonder, why do you put your faith in something with no evidence of what you believe to be true? I wondered that with her. How has she come up with this belief, and what propels her to maintain it, in the face of so much Biblical evidence.
Time is short Colonel, since we spoke last, my dad is very ill, my son had a traumatic brain injury in August and still cannot sit, stand or most of the time even focus by himself. We are not promised tomorrow. For your sake, I pray you will sincerely do some research.
In the love of Christ, Holly
Col. Bunny, I thought about you again recently and you are in my prayers.
You know, they don’t seem to get the irony in not being able to make choices, but insist one perform until the end. C
I had a Bible study teacher who worked as a missionary for Chosen People ministries. She was really knowledgeable in the Scriptures, and did a very good job of connecting the dots as she would put it. She started not making sense now and then, and fumbled if you’d ask questions vs. saying, “let’s see what the Scriptures say” (as she used to). She had a John MacArthur study Bible and started saying, “MacArthur says”, or a bevy of other teachers.
At the end of the year, she was saying faith was the gift spoken of in Eph 2:8-9. Which flies in the face of Romans 5 and Rom 6:23. The gift is never spoken of as faith even if they don’t understand the grammatical structure of the sentence. (I believe if you ask any child, they understand instantly it is salvation that is being spoken of in Eph 2:8-9).
What I found interesting (yet sad) as she said she was believing the T, the U, and parts of other points, was the obvious that Israel is the elect, His chosen. Surely she knew that not all Israel was saved, even as His elect, His chosen people. What could she not see there?
I still pray she sees soon, as I believe her own teacher corrupted her with his ‘brilliance’. Another friend taking class from this same teacher (who taught my teacher), said that she had no idea what Calvinism was. However, weekly, the teacher and his wife were keeping her after class to push and press Calvinism on her. She asked me to explain TULIP to her. Funny that it seemed obvious to her immediately that something was wrong with it, but if you give place to them for more than an hour (Gal 2:4-5), you’re likely to be bewitched at some point.
Holly, the question for Calvinists is why do people make any choices whatsoever? Why does Baskin Robbins offer 31 flavors?
For someone who believes in free will, it would be because people can choose what flavor they are going to order. For the Calvinist, it would be because God decreed that Baskin Robbins would offer 31 flavors.
I’d like to see the rest of the article, the link to Bruce’s site only has two videos (which are both good, I’ve seen them).
Looking on the original post, and thinking on a question one asked in our group. I have no idea the motive behind the question, I assume sincere from her other questions. But it’s so terribly ironic if you really consider that one might actually mean this question.
I have heard various reformed people say that it is man’s pride that keeps people from accepting God’s election/choosing of some to save and that God is able and does commit some to hell yet He is not the author of evil.
How would you answer that?
Of course various people answered that they see it exactly the opposite way, that it is Calvinists who often display an attitude of pride or arrogance. To come back and read this again by Bruce, it’s typical of any Calvinists to respond that way regarding why preach the gospel. Although most will say simply because God commanded them too, and they are persevering to do His work. It’s such convoluted thinking, I wonder how they keep it all straight.
If you look at both Romans and Hebrews. When a lamb was sacrificed according to the Law of Moses it’s blood was shed and the lamb died. In this, God’s will was accomplished. In Romans 5 Paul says that Christ died for our sins. Christ’s blood was shed and he died. Hebrews says, not with the blood of goats or lambs are our sins taken away completely, but only by the shed blood of Christ. In both Romans and Hebrews both shed blood and death are necessary for our salvation. It doesn’t say that either the OT lamb or the Lamb of God had to bled to death: it says that both Christ shed blood and death are necessary for the taking away of our sins.
The picture of our salvation is of the sacrifice and not camping on one or another; the blood or the death of Christ by themselves.
Thank you for your gracious responses Col. Bunny. Of course you can stump any of us. It’s the Word of God that is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12)
Stumping God through His Word, a little different for any of us 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts on spiritual matters. I will indeed come back if I have questions. I have GOT to be able to stump SOMEone here. 🙂
The GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.
I think you will enjoy Tom Colonel.
If X commits A B or C and any violation of the three, one or three = death penalty, does it matter? 🙂
The point is, it’s all the same to Him, and the reason you don’t get it, is that you are comparing a perfect Holy God to imperfect people. We do the same, we figure we don’t want to be living around a lying, cheaping, raping murderer, but we figure we’re much better, and it human terms that may be so, but in God’s ways and thoughts, (which are higher than ours), nothing imperfect will ever enter Heaven.
Rev 21 and chapter 22 is clear, even one lie will keep you out of heaven. God is not a man that He should lie. We don’t view sin like God does, it’s ‘no big deal’ to us UNTIL someone does it to US. Do you like being lied to? I sure don’t. Especially with someone I love. But a stranger? Would you put up with them lying to you or cheating you? Stealing from you or something worse?
Regardless of the depth of the crime, (how we make comparisons), in God’s sight, all sin is not only vile, but it is sin and rebellion against Him. In Psalm 51, David, after he had been having an adulterous affair with Bathsheba, his best friend Uriah’s wife, he sent Uriah off to the front lines to a sure a certain death. And he was right, Uriah was killed. So he has his best friend murdered so he have her wife, yet David says, against You and You only have I sinned. Now wait a minute, Uriah might beg to disagree if he weren’t dead. Bathsheba, well, not knowing where she stood on the subject, it takes two to tango. It wasn’t that he hadn’t sinned against Uriah and Bathsheba, however, his sin was against God, because God made them both, and David violated both marriage and friendship and rebelled against God in coveting his neighbor’s wife and in not murdering.
God’s law is simple, the wages of sin is death.
We all sin. We ALL are under the death penalty whether we agree, disagree, or think somehow we are a more righteous judge than God. Our sin-impaired minds cannot be right. Jeremiah 17 says our hearts are DESPERATELY wicked and deceitful….
So we think we’re good, but He is the only One who is good. There is no one good, no one… Only through belief in His Son’s shed blood on the cross (we are washed in His blood – Rev 1), and His resurrection means we too will come to life again, some to condemnation eternally, and some to life eternally, and there is only One way.
Jesus said HE was the only way. So again, He was either a madman, a liar, or He was who He claimed to be. The eternal God. God the Messiah. Jehovah is salvation. The anointed one. Shiloh the sent one. The Savior of the world. The Lord of Glory. He is the way, the truth and the LIFE, (only God can give life) and NO MAN comes to the Father but BY Him (excuse the caps — easier than formatting).
I sure hope you will look into it, I hope you’ll read Jack’s letter to George again, or keep even sharing your disagreements so we can share more with you. While there is breath there is hope.
This gift is free. There is a story in the Bible of a man who went out to get workers for his field. And He went out early in the morning to get those laborers and agreed with them with a certain wage for the day. Three hours later, He saw some standing around and told them to go to the field too and He would give them whatever was right. Three hours later, Three hours again, and three hours again (the 6th, the 9th, and the 12th hour he goes and gets more to go to the vineyard).
So at the end of the day, he calls the foreman and tells him to call the last ones first. And He gives them the amount He agreed to give the first guys, but they waited thinking He was going to give them more and when they didn’t get more, they grumbled for Him making them equal to them.
He called them friend, and said He was doing no wrong, that they agreed to the terms. He said if He wished to give the same to the last man, it was lawful or right for Him to do what He wanted with His own.
He has a right to do as He wishes with the people He created, but He desires none should perish, and He has given us an offer. Even someone can believe on their deathbed and be saved, I know, I believe my friend Nancy on her respirator let me know when I took her through the Scriptures, that she believed, by blinking, squeezing my head, nodding slowly and trying to speak through the tube. She died two days later, but I believe she is with the Lord.
The Lord is merciful, gracious and full of compassion. I pray you will seek Him and find Him. In Jesus Christ’s love to you…
I have the mind of a lawyer but that should be the same as the mind of a judge. Both understand the principles but play different roles. Judges are just lawyers in a robe. Politicians too, but that’s another story.
Those are not arguments I would ever make. An advocate or defendant has his hands full trying to escape culpability or to minimize consequences on the applicable charge. A judge would ask me if I’d taken leave of my senses were I to point out all the laws that my client did not violate.
Yes, there should be consequences for every crime with the judge making a determination what factors to take into consideration. That will often enough involve previous convictions. Note that actual violations of the law in the past are considered, not non-violation of other laws.
It seems more accurate to me to say that a violation of any of God’s laws is a violation only of that law not all of his laws. If He has decreed otherwise, then I’m wrong on that.
If two or three laws are broken then the Judge would logically say, Oh, I see we have more than one law that’s been broken here. There is thus an extra element of culpability to be considered. One violation bad. Two violations worse. Three . . . .
It seems a minor point to me. The simpler approach seems to me to ask what particular law has been broken. Saying other laws are then deemed to be violated muddies the water. If X commits adultery, does it really make sense that he didn’t honor his mother and his father? Adultery is adultery and nothing else.
Thanks for the link, Holly. I’ll check it out.
Col. Bunny 🙂
You are right, that man’s heart has grown cold, and hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. His sin is not believing the power (denying the power of God) which is the gospel. If he can say as many things as he has said to me for just using the Word of God, you can imagine his heart is not soft towards his grandchild.
I’m not sure Jack would consider what he had growing up a benefit, in fact the opposite. Same with “Christian radio”, unfortunately many of them are Calvinists or other ‘religious’ sects which aren’t clear Christianity. Don’t know if Bibleline is still on in your area with Yankee Arnold (he used to work for Jack, so you probably know him), but he would be one to listen to.
Tom Cucuzza is very pleasant and clear to listen to, You can find him at this
link if you’d like.
my friend, let me apoogize, but i couldnt help myself. 🙂
you said – Being a lawyer, I have a hard time with the idea that if you break one law you’ve broken all laws
the point of that verse is simply -sin is sin, and one sin cant enter heaven
would it be safe to say, you would have the “mind” of a judge and the law; correct????
So what if a man “murdered” someone. His argument to the judge would be, “well, i didnt murder the other 300 people in the area. Look at how many people i didnt kill”?
– would that argument “fly”?
So what if a man was drinking and driving; had a car crash and “severely injuried” many people. His argument in front of the judge was “look how often i drive and have not severely hurt anyone else”?
– would that “fly”?
So what if a man “robbed” a grocery store for his drug problem.His argument in front of the judge was “there were many stores in that strip; look how many i didnt rob”?
– would that “fly”?
So what if a teenager cheated on his history test. His argument to the priciple was “Look how many tests i have taken without cheating”.
– would that “fly”?
no matter how big or small the sin/mistake (murder or cheating on a test), the punishment must be paid. So either the “defendant” pays for the sin/mistake or someone pays it for him.
from a judicial perspective.
I could have written a ton but will say “you know a christian living in sin wont get a way with it”?. YES – they are still going to heaven BUT it is not without consequences.
– again, from a judicial perspective.
EVEN WARMER regards,
That was one cold fellow who made that remark about the baby in the ultrasound picture. It’s one thing for a guy like me to have a choice about accepting Jesus but to think that certain people are just in or out regardless of the choices they might make is just absurd.
I’m not under any illusions about my own sinful nature, it goes without saying. Being a lawyer, I have a hard time with the idea that if you break one law you’ve broken all laws. That’s just illogical. Even repellant, given my heretofore expressed views on the disproportionate nature of the punishment for lack of faith. There’s no point in having multiple laws if violating one is a violation of them all. Rationally then there should just be one law: “Do not sin such as by violating any one of my commandments.”
I think I’m like Jack BEFORE he went to that concert. I have nothing like the biblical understanding (or just time spent being exposed to scripture) that he had at that time. It all seems to abstract and circular and irrational and loveless. The doctrine, I mean, of course. It’s just meaningless to me and I do mean all of it. Instructive, for sure, but authoritative on nothing.
I like what it does to believers as a general rule though I confess when I think of particular believers of my personal acquaintance I think they would be sweet, kind, and generous whatever their faith. And I certainly appreciate, at a minimum, your kindness in thinking of my welfare and sharing what you have about your beliefs.
The Golden Rule seems a sufficient lode star for me. I can’t imagine not trying to ease the burden of any person I encounter each day. Just small stuff. I hate that I’ve been petty or stupid at times but for the most part that’s how I’ve lived just trying to be kind and, especially, generous in my understanding of the burdens that other have to bear. I wish I weren’t so darn ordinary but sometimes you just have suck it up and accept reality. And I mean that exactly. If it’s lake of fire time for me after I reach my expiration date, well, oh well. I can’t imagine that’s really Divine justice but scripture probably is quite clear on that. It is what it is but I don’t have to believe that it makes sense. Preston correctly points out that believing doesn’t necessarily make it so.
Obviously, I am interested in ways to think and live better. Now in my 70s — and at this awful point in the Western world — I am very inclined to rethink a lot of things. We HAVE to stop doing what we are doing. Everywhere. It’s just insane.
I don’t want to be negative presence on this site where I think believers really come to expand their knowledge of scripture and deepen their understanding. I think the Christian religion is interesting and interaction with believers is fun, but no matter what I read or hear I believe I’m destined to be a friend of believers but never actually one of them. I shouldn’t be a distraction form the purpose of this blog or, very possibly, an irritation.
I always listen to Christian radio so there’s that. But how hard is it to be more interesting than what you hear on the other stations?
Col. Bunny – – Once I thought I was a really good person. I really did care about the underdog, the unloved, the hurting, the poor. Now I believe I knew Him back then, but I had no fellowship with Him, sort of like a husband and wife living in separate wings of house, waving at each other every now and then.
As I got back into reading the Bible (I actually had to pray for God to help me, because honestly? It was a little similar to what you said. Didn’t really interest me). And I also had to ask for help to even pray for more things and so I did. But God honored that prayer to help me, and as I began to read just a little each day with the right attitude of ‘show me Lord, what you want me to understand’, I began to see the power and excitement in God’s Word, not just mere stories, but real happenings, real prophecies fulfilled, more to come in the future. I also saw more of my own failings. The more I got to know how wonderful, loving, tender, and merciful He was, the more I began to see the flaws in myself in contrast, which oddly made me wonder why He loved me after all. (What is man that You are mindful of us?) My husband was one of those men who loved unconditionally, (as unconditionally as a human can love), he helped me understand Christ’s unconditional love for us, yet His hatred for sin. Sin destroys.
Why did I fail so much after knowing Him? Because I was trying to be a better person on my own without Him. In the eyes of the world, a lot of people loved me. I related well in my business with athletes, celebrities, and wealthy people, and I could easily speak with them or be around them. But each day, I’ll look back on a thought, or an action and remember something in my past, and I thank God for His forgiveness as I begin to see more clearly. God is perfect, no imperfection can dwell with Him, it is heinous in His sight, along with (as I mentioned) our own works of righteousness, so we may not understand why all sin has to be destroyed, along with the ones that refuse to accept His offer of full pardon, but that is His justice, maybe we cannot understand because His ways and thoughts are above ours. A criminal can go before a judge and say he’s been good, but he’s still guilty of the crime he was given the death penalty for. The wages or penalty for sin is death. If that criminal was offered one way out and rejected it, he will still receive the death penalty.
As I said, through His Word, I started to see my sin more. I read that if you break one law, you have broken them all. So we may see things as greater and lesser sins, and indeed in God’s eyes, there is greater condemnation for things, yet His goal is for all things to be perfect again as they once were. That is why we will have a new heavens and a new earth one day, along with new bodies.
God is longsuffering, not desiring anyone should perish, but all that is imperfect, all who reject His Son, He will not allow in His presence (and He is everywhere), so eventually one must make a choice. It is either reject Him and enter the second death, or it is to live with Him forever by believing upon Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved (His work to die in our place for our sins), and His resurrection to prove He is God and we will be given eternal life. Seek Him while He may found He says.
This is what I said I wanted to share with you. Jack wrote this, you may have already read this in your past, he wrote it to a cancer patient named George who worked for Peter Jennings. I re-posted it today with Shirley’s permission. God bless you and keep you ❤
Col. Bunny, since you wrote more than once, I’ll answer your first post, I don’t want to make it too terribly long, but I do want to share something in a minute with you. First I’d like to respond regarding your very kind words comparing me to Jack.
Jack may have had the courage, I’m not so sure exactly about me being courageous, except I do love people, and I love the Lord, so it’s like introducing two of your great friends and wanting them to know and love each other. I have experienced an awful lot of the ridicule and animosity you speak on, but mostly from ‘religious’ people more so than a non-believer although I’ve been scorned and mocked in that crowd too, and from some of the friends I love.
You made me laugh here when you said, I think Calvinism is just nuts which I am sure will win me major points in this forum .
Yes! You got major points with me, lol! I agree completely, it is against the very nature of God. I wrote an article on my site about a grandfather to be who posted his daughters ultrasound, and said he didn’t know if God had elected this baby to damnation or not, and also later that he/she might have been created to be a mass murderer among other things.
As far as Jesus and His works and miracles, and the stories, well they either were true, or He was a madman who said He was God, and led all His disciples but one to death, what kind of a friend does that? He was either the Way, the truth, and the life as He said, or He was a liar and a psychopath, no in-between on that one. The Jewish historian Josephus got in a little bit of trouble with the Jews for recording the death and resurrection as history.
God has intervened with men, but God foremost has allowed men both good and evil, free will to do some pretty awful things and also some pretty good things. But none of our good works are good enough, our righteous works are likened to filthy rags, I think on trying to clean a car with filthy oily rags and how God sees it vs. us (see Isaiah 64:6). God is perfect, and has done everything other than completely make us puppets to draw us to Him. You think He doesn’t care? If you care to check this, read some of the things about God even storing our tears. (This is the article I did on that Calvinist man – who called me a heretic and stupid. He said I was too stupid to be allowed to even read or understand the Bible) 🙂 I’ll stop here so I can keep reading, but want to share something from Jack.
Thank you very much, Sir.
Not sure by send if you meant by email or posted here. It, like most of my papers, can be lengthy (for a blog). But glad you asked for it and are willing to at least read it. #4 is the one to examine first.
Why the bible?
Although this chapter does not flow within the context of this book, I decided to put it in to help grow your faith in the Bible itself. IF you are trying to spread the good news of the gospel, you will inevitably run into someone who has no belief in the Bible whatsoever. As a result, you need to have reasons why you believe the Bible to be from God. An answer similar to “I don’t know, I just believe” will probably not help your cause with a non-Bible believer. The following are logical reasons why I believe the Bible to be from God
1. NEW TESTAMENT ACCURATE AS A HISTORICAL DOCUMENT
University Professor Bruce Metzger of Princeton University analyzed, determined and was quoted as saying that the NT had a minimum accuracy of 99.6% as a historical translated document ONLY. No other document has that kind of accuracy due to human error/perspective. The remaining 0.4% was not dis-proven or a translation error.
Other scholars include: Westcott and Hurt – 98.3%; Ezra Abbott 99.75 %; A.T. Robertson (greek scholar) – 99.9% I believe only AT Robertson, of these scholars, MIGHT have been Christian. This results are from NON-believers when one attacks the validy of translation of many years.
2. THE BIBLE HAS STOOD A MAJOR TEST
Since its inception, the bible has been analyzed, scrutinized, beaten and tested. It has yet to be disproven. For example, I recently debated the bible with a muslim. He gave me 10 contradictions in the bible. Within an hour; I could answer 7 of them (I am no scholar). For hundreds and hundreds of years, the bible has stood a major test – it has stood the test of TIME. One would think after this many years and that much scrutiny; it would have been disproven by now. But it has not. For something to last THAT LONG under intense study and scrutiny; gives credence to the books validity.
SUMMARY – There is an extremely high probability, because of ALL the dissection and investigation that the bible would have been completely dismissed by today. It still stands without being disproved – it has withstood the TEST of time.
3. THE AMOUNT OF AUTHORS INCREASES PROBABILITY OF DIVINE SUPPORT
The bible has 44 different authors. If the bible cannot be disproven over hundreds and hundreds of years and was written by 44 DIFFERENT people; something of the supernatural had to be guiding them. For example, if a thief ran into a room with 10 people in it, stole a purse, and quickly ran out, you would get 8 different descriptions of the robber. WHY does this happen? Human perspective. There would be different perspectives on height, weight, jacket color, etc. (This is proven to be true). Because the bible has 44 DIFFERENT authors and was written over thousands of years (DIFFERENT time periods), the amount of errors SHOULD be numerous (based on human error and probability)!!! But again – it has not been disproven. This is not HUMANLY POSSIBLE!!!
SUMMARY – because of the amount of authors; the probability for errors increases exponentially. Yet has yet to be disproven. Something of the “divine” MUST have been “driving them”.
4. THE BIBLE PREDICTS THE FUTURE OVER AND OVER AGAIN
Bible prophesy takes the book from a MUST read to the SUPERNATURAL. At least 20% of the bible is prophetic in nature. It is humanly IMPOSSIBLE to predict the future hundreds or even thousands of years in advance. The bible DOES this and has NEVER been wrong. There are many prophesy points that the bible predicts. They concern Jesus, Israel, world governments and end times. I could write a 50 page paper on this but will attempt to keep it much shorter.
1. The bible predicted the death of the Jesus, TO THE YEAR, 550 years before Jesus was crucified. It might be to the day – one would have to study a little astronomy.
– Jesus fulfilled at least 20 Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah (i.e. Born in Bethlehem, would be a Nazareen, sold out for 30 pieces of silver, buried in a rich mans tomb, bruised for our iniquities, entering the city on a donkey, ETC)
– A mathematician stated that to fulfill only 8 of them with the amount of people on the earth…the chances were 10 to the 17th power. That is 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. What is that number called (mega-zillion?????) If that’s the chances with 8 prophecies, what’s the number for 20 fulfilled prophecies?
2. The bible foretold Israel becoming an INDEPENDENT nation in 1948 TO THE YEAR. It prophesied this 2500 years ago.
– This disproves anyone that says prophesy was written after the event occurred. The bible was written WELL before 1948. Not to mention-archeology has proven when each book was actually written.
3. World governments were predicted Babylon, Medes-Persians, Greece and Rome.
– Greece was predicted 250 years prior to Alexander the great. It is historically documented that he died an early death and that the land was divided among his 4 generals. The bible predicted that Greece would not only rule but that the kingdom would be divided by 4 – 250 years prior!!!!!!
4. End times prophesy over the last hundred years predicted over 1900 years ago- below are just a couple.
– Man would be traveling to and fro throughout the world. Until the last hundred years, everyone was on horseback. Today people are traveling in cars, trains, airplanes, etc.
– Man would be capable of destroying every living person – until the last ½ century, man used guns and swords for war. Today we have nuclear, biological and chemical weapons capable of wiping out the human race several times over.
– One that hasn’t happened yet but interesting – in the OT (Daniel) the antichrist will cause the sacrifices of Israel to cease. For this to happen 2500 years later, there needs to be a jewish temple built – today Israel wants a temple to be built and the rabbis are being trained how to sacrifice animals properly. This ceasing of sacrifices happens in the middle of the last seven years of the age. It looks like we are getting close.
SUMMARY –It is impossible for man to predict the future without divine help. The bible has much more prophesy than this. These are only a few examples. 44 different authors and its prophesy has NEVER been wrong. THE BIBLE IS OF THE SUPERNATURAL!!!!!!!
5. THE HUMAN BEHAVIOR OF THE APOSTLES SHOW THAT JESUS WAS RESURRECTED
Most of the apostles/disciples were murdered for their faith. Many of them suffered horrible deaths to include: crucifixion, beheading, stoned to death, speared to death. The bible only tells of ONE of their deaths. There is valid historical data supporting how the others died. All they would have had to do to live was to deny Jesus. They couldn’t do it. Why….they saw His sinless nature, His divine miracles and His RESURECTION from the dead. It has been argued that they were lying and it was all made up. Well, who do you know that would die a horrible death for a lie? There is NO human alive that would die for something they KNEW was not true. People die for a lie all the time (suicide bombers), however they BELIEVE that lie to be true. Most of the disciples wouldn’t attend the crucifixion. They were miserable. One of the disciples (Thomas) wouldn’t believe Jesus rose from the dead until he literally saw Him (even though other disciples did). BUT when they saw Jesus RESURRECTED from the dead; they were willing to tell the world and die horrible deaths to proclaim the “good news” of Jesus Christ; WHY were they willing to die? THEY WITNESSED IT!!!!! Again, there is valid historical data concerning their deaths (only one in the bible).
SUMMARY – No human dies like this for a known lie. They were able to endure horrible deaths because of what they literally saw with their OWN eyes. This gives more validity to the bible from a human behavioral perspective.
6. GOT TO LOVE THE FINDINGS OF SCIENCE (bible verses written from 2000bc to 500bc)
1. After Columbus, we discovered the earth was round. The bible stated…….
– It is he that sitteth upon the CIRCLE of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in (ISH 40:22)
2. For years ATLAS or an elephant held up the earth. Later we discovered it was some kind of gravitational pull. The bible stated……..
– He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing (Job 26: 7)
3. Until meteorologist had the technology to capture the winds’ circular motion, wind direction was unknown. The bible stated…
– The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits (ECC 1:6)
4. Scientists have recently discovered that life is contained in the blood. The bible stated 3500 years ago…
-For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. (Lev 17:11)
SUMMARY – these are a few examples from the bible. The book already told us things that apparently took us a few thousand years to discover. When will we learn?
Through the eyes of probability; logic and human behavior; the bible CAN be proven of the supernatural. This book that is of the SUPERNATURAL says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 6:23). Because of sin (breaking the law) WE are ALL condemned to hell. However, as a FREE gift, God offers salvation to those who put their faith (trust) in Jesus (God in the flesh) and His sacrifice on the cross (the gospel). Salvation has NOTHING to do with how you live or the works that you do. Salvation is FREE.
It’s true, Preston. I’d rather associate with Christians as a general rule. They think that golden and cast the first stone rule ought to govern their lives.
That catechism is seriously wrong. Allah is clearly the moon god that was worshiped in Arabia. I don’t know why Westerners are so idiotic as to try so very hard to see some similarities between Islam and Christianity. Lord only knows where the current pope is taking the Catholic Church these days. Global warming has spiritual dimensions it appears.
Agreed on point 2 as well.
By all means please send me that piece on why the Bible is true.
thanks for calling us “friends” even though we are in disagreement. I personally thought that was “nice”.
not giving anything too long winded but thought you might like to research this one. There is evidence that the Vatican actually created Islam. Did you know in the RC Catechism # 841 – that muslims are a saved people? According to the bible, that is nuts. the point – because of that there seems to be a possible “connection”. – thought that might interest you.
point 2 – something to consider from a “logical thinking perspective” Just because what “we think” something is right or good doesn’t; cannot determine it is truth. OR, if we think something is “wrong” does negate truth either.
1. I don’t like the “fact” that the Fed Reserve robs the people of its wealth – but is true
2. I don’t like the fact that we abort so many babies; but its true
3. I don’t like the fact that evolution is taught in schools (mathematically impossible); but its true
4. I don’t like the fact that I AM A SMOKER, but its true.
Again, the point. just because one does not “like” something or “does not agree” with something doesn’t make it any less “truth”. So the real question one must ask is “what is truth”? not “your truth” OR “my truth” BUT “the truth”.
I have a 15 minute read on why I believe “the bible” to be “truth”. it is through a logical perspective, not a faith based paper. You seem to do a lot of research and reading, so I thought I would offer it up.
have a great day “friend”.
I know exactly how Jack must have approached you though I think he spared me some of the “rigors” that you probably experienced. It’s always good to have an interpreter to make sense of things as, presumably, they’ve thought it all through down to the last detail.
Thank you for your prayers and your kind concern. I once experienced a terrible depression and I recall that songs with a Christian message had the most soothing properties and meant the most to me. Would you be surprised to think that Ray Stevens was enormously helpful with his song “Turn Your Radio On”? Worth ten tons of doctrine. Magnificent stuff, and just as good as some of those wonderful J.S. Bach choral works. E.g., the Messiah. So after those times I never looked down on Christian religion. (I actually quit that a little while earlier, but that’s another story.) Those musical pieces were hints of great love and peace. Now, unfortunately for our purposes here, that peace and love did not materialize in any way. It was only that the hint of them in certain music was soothing. Perhaps more than anything it reminded me that, even if there is no Creator, there are still people who are willing to trade in the coin of spiritual sustenance and who are willing to ease the journey of other humans. That’s probably all that we can ask for in my opinion. The companionship of those people.
I have found humans generally to be unkind, impulsive, thoughtless, lacking in introspection, and judgmental. The Great Ones here on earth are who have meant the most to me. And my weaknesses and moral failings have caused me great discomfort because they teach me that I am failing to be like those people. So the task is not to beat the bushes for what I think is a kind of artificial and counter intuitive “faith” but to keep trying to improve myself to be a bigger and bigger person every day until the end.
At a minimum that means being aware of others trials, going easy on them for having the same weaknesses as I have, showing kindness and respect to each and every person, understanding that the perception is dull (as I’ve earlier remarked here), making amends for mistakes, rejecting expediency, and being brutally faithful to the facts and logic of any matter.
@hollysgarcia | March 23, 2015 at 4:28
Thanks for those suggestions of where to look for scripture. I like for believers to discuss the stories in and lessons taught by scripture rather than get into just trading chapter and verse. I don’t accept scripture as authority on anything. It doesn’t prove anything (other than that Jesus was an extraordinary man who caused a sensation in his time). It does contain much wisdom.
Thank you, Holly. One of the things I admired about Jack is that he had the courage to witness to EVERYone. We went to lunch once and he witnessed to the waitress! He had the courage of his convictions. And that’s a fact. Plus, he was candid about his less-than-perfect life before he found Jesus and as a certified sinner I could relate to him on that score. There was nothing fake about that guy.
So I see you also having the courage to witness to strangers and I respect that. Certain smug people think that doing that is sort of, what?, for “evangelicals” and simple minded people. As though it is a huge mistake to live according to your beliefs. Well, not in my view. I’m very interested in the Constitution, for example, so I take what opportunities I can to urge people to rely on it rather than on the latest socialist community organizer and his plans for our transformation. No names, of course. We can all contribute in different way and we should all do what we can to try to save this country and make life better for others now, if not in the hereafter.
I remain very interested in church history and think a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of the Puritans (and modern religious currents). Of course, I think Calvinism is just nuts which I am sure will win me major points in this forum. The Reformation is endlessly fascinating and I read Hillaire Belloc’s book, Why the Reformation Happened to learn more. It was a catastrophe for Western man. Rome failed to deal with the Islamic threat and head off the incipient schism in Europe at the same time. And it had become more venal than spiritual, which is the point I think Luther wanted to make rather than see Europe torn in half. Institutional decay is not a phenomenon just of our own age.
I find discussion about Jesus, historical or otherwise, most interesting. I find the story about Jesus visiting the the village and meeting with the elders while people crowded around the house so tightly that the man needing healing needed to be lowered through the roof. Now THAT is one heck of a convincing story. It doesn’t convince me that Jesus was divine, worse luck, just that there’s no doubt he was an extraordinary man. By way of comparison, I like to think what it would take for the elders of my town to want to meet with me and have the townspeople throng around the building to get a glimpse of me. On my best day of all time that would not happen. (I think the local police would like to meet with me but that’s a whole nother different story.)
I don’t know about Satan working it so that I find the Bible boring. I think it’s boring because it’s boring. Maybe impenetrable, recondite, poorly written, and repetitious would more accurately describe my thoughts about it. Which views I don’t record here to be in any way insulting, of course. I know the Bible’s very important to you all and so be it. One of the finest women I know is a strong Christian and is an avid student of the Bible, jot and tittle. She is who she is because of that and that is just spectacular.
For me, I just know what’s boring or not, though I think I’ve commented here earlier on my views of forces at work in the world today that are just satanic in nature. And, yes, I do see daily manifestations of pure evil. They are so many and so compelling that I have to say that I think there is more positive, palpable evidence of the reality of Satan than there is for God or Jesus. I don’t actually go that far and say I believe that Satan is real but there’s sure a heck of a lot of evidence that “makes you think.”
I don’t mean that to be blasphemous but it does get to the heart of the matter for me. Want God to intervene for you? Well good luck with that. Lack of intervention is more like it.
And the heart of the matter is that I think the Deists are right. There is (may be in my view) a divine Being but He has no interest at all in the spiritual quests, sins, or travails of humans. Even if he did, I doubt He would devise a system where a person clearly seen as a decent human being would be consigned to a lake of fire for eternity if he or she doesn’t have “faith,” but that a really evil person will escape that if he will but repent at one stroke before midnight and have “faith.” To me, that’s just an absurd way to set things up. If I had a kid and he turned out well, I’d be happy to know that he was living right by himself and others, maybe even with some of my advice firmly in mind. But he does good without my influence, well, I would be just as happy. And I sure wouldn’t administer 100,000 lashes if he went his own way entirely but was still decent.
So that pretty much puts me in a “salvation by works” frame of mind which is rank heresy according to most Christians. Be that as it may, it makes the most sense, as does the Catholic idea of Purgatory. I’m not expert on Church doctrine, regardless of the flavor, but that (Purgatory) seems to me to be a heck of a compromise between sola fide, the difficulty of penetrating the illogic (as I see it) of basic Christian doctrine, and recognizing gradations of awfulness in what men actually do. We humans (properly) try to fit the punishment to the crime so why is that approach completely rejected by the Creator? And how about a visit from Gabriel with a fiery sword in my bedroom if it’s all that important that I believe?
I’m not out to persuade anyone. Another man’s faith is his business and I’d for sure rather live among practicing Christians than anyone else. Being around people with higher morals than you have is always a positive thing! 🙂
Well, that’s enough heresy for today, don’t you think? 🙂 I thank you for your concern and if you were a friend of Jack’s you’re for sure a friend of mine.
Colonel, I admit that ‘Christianity’ seemed ‘boring’ to me too, and heaven as well, because well… Hollywood.
I thought we’d be up there in white robes, with dull voices, angel wings and strumming harps with no personalities. But although we go up to heaven for a moment 7 years (during the greatest time of war, famine and killing this earth will ever see, the tribulation), we will come back down to this earth, to live, work, etc, but eventually at the end of 1000 years there will be a new heavens and a new earth, and we will live the way we were meant to, in great joy and without sorrow, pain, death, fear, torment, cruelty, bullying etc.
There will be food, and a new wine that’s nothing like any wine one has tasted, assuming one likes wine. It won’t have the viper’s bite either.
1 Cor 2:9 tells us that our future with Him so great, it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen or heard, and our hearts cannot even imagine the things He has prepared for those of us who love Him.
Think on the most beautiful sunsets, the most joyous moments in your life, laughter, humor, belly laughs, the beauty of a hibiscus opening up on your new plant, a rose colored in a way it’s different than the one next to it. The hummingbird so tiny, delicate, intricate in it’s creation, we cannot mimic what God has made, although we try. Yet those little things, get in the way of their food, and they will chastise you with their chirps. God’s creation has been sullied and dirtied, and sin has caused illness and death along with all the other things and more I’ve mentioned above.
Jack would surely rejoice to see you there, that I know from my conversations with him. It may seem boring, but why don’t you look into the book of John and just notice things like His miracles. His answers to religious people (some are pretty funny, I think you’d like His sense of humor too, He always got them, even though they were there to trap Him). Notice how and why He is God. Why He came. His compassion for the sorrowful, for the hungry, for the poor, for the lame, the blind. The story in John 9 is hysterical if you read the way the blind man answered the Pharisees. Pray first, ask God to show you His truth. Give it ia shot….
Love in Christ, Holly
Hello, Colonel Bunny. I’ll also be praying the Lord helps you see. Jack was the very first one I talked to about the true gospel. I was under the wrong impression of who God truly was due to this confusing world. Jack helped open my eyes with His Word lovingly at first then, when I was doubtful, a little more forceful. Okay a LOT more forceful. Haha….even so he did all of it with love which makes me very happy I was honored enough to have the Lord allow this wonderful man into my life.
Colonel Bunny the fact he was concerned for you as he was makes me as concerned for you. You were of importance to him and so you are to me as well.
Please don’t ever doubt the Lord loves you as well as everyone on this earth. He longs for you to be home with Him but He can’t force you to as its not His nature. I pray the Lord will help lead you home and into the family of the Most High. Theres no where you would rather be. 🙂
That’s a pleasant thought, Preston. Jack was a unique individual in absolute terms and he was unique in my personal experience. He liked me, had a sense of humor, and a lively, inquisitive mind. He was a better friend to me than most of the fair weather imitations I’ve encountered in this life.
I once casually told him that I pray such and such a thing would happen, change, or turn out right. His reply was classic, Jack. “Who is it that you’ll be praying to?” He didn’t miss a beat and, yes indeed, it would be nice to see that great guy again.
I will pray too.
First for the obvious, the Colonel, that God might open the ears and the heart, and simply believe the gospel (that Jesus died for Him and rose again) – its a FREE GIFT
A second thought; can you imagine “Jacks” joy when the Colonel gets to heaven??? I see the Colonel getting one of the biggest hugs in the history of the world!!!! I KNOW Jacks heart “ached” for him. With that “Ache” the opposite “joy” would be……..”unimaginable”.
Colonel, in your world of intrigue, you might want to consider there is a spiritual world, and you are being deceived by the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience (those who do not believe) and they are still under the wrath of God (Eph 2:2). He is patient desiring none should perish (2 Pet 3:9), but it is appointed unto men once to die then the judgment (Heb 9:27), no second chances….
I pray for you Colonel Bunny because I believe the Lord wants me to, it says He desires all men to be saved. But He doesn’t force anyone to believe. But He does ask us that we pray and intercede and even give thanks for ALL men, for those who are in authority and leadership, so that we might lead a quiet and peaceable life with all godliness and reference. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior because He desires all men to be saved, and to come the knowledge of the truth. Why? Because there is One God, and only One Mediator between you and God. That is Jesus who gave Himself for you so that you might be able to approach God and be in His presence. Jesus was a ransom for ALL men and there will come a day where you will know that and if you haven’t sought Him, you will weep and it will never end….
Everything we know that is good, the Lord has given, and maybe you don’t really believe in a presence of Satan, evil, wickedness, who blinds unbelievers from the gospel. How does he blind them? Making it boring, making them unable to understand. But Jesus tells us to come to Him that we might have life. He even showed such grace to place us in certain places and time so that we might actually seek Him, grope for Him, and find Him (see Acts 17 if you want). The Bible comes alive when men seek Him with the right motives (to find the truth).
You are in spiritual crisis dear friend, and do not know it. To be without Christ, is to be without light and anything good. Right now, you are in His light, because He gives light to every man that comes into the world. But there will come a day that it will be too late. Don’t be foolish, please consider looking into it more. I know Jack really wanted you to come to know the Lord, we talked about that together. God bless you. Will continue praying. Holly
Hello, Holly. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers. I appreciate that very much.
Alas, I’m as faithless as ever. I just can’t grasp the logic of salvation v. lake of fire for eternity. Still, it’s clear that the West’s hatred and rejection of the Christian religion is a catastrophe. Of course, I don’t reject Christianity; I’m just not persuaded by it. I simply am bored stiff by the Bible and have no interest at all in exploring it. I don’t think I ever read more than one page of it at any one time. I just tune out. No anger or distaste, just bored silly. I wish I could think otherwise but I don’t think anything will ever change my mind.
I don’t know what will wake Western man up. We’re in a monster spiritual crisis from which there appears to be no way out. All logic has left the public sphere, unless one wants to consider the logic of betrayal. That reigns supreme these days.
I will miss Jack. He was a great friend to me when I was trying to get a handle on a cancer diagnosis. He was just a kind and good natured fellow who cared enough to befriend me at a tough time.
Best wishes to you and to all of Jack’s friends here.
Wow that cross is breathtaking! Holly you made a comment above about Jesus Christ’s Sonship. I am unfamiliar with this as far as JMac is concerned. Could you enlighten me? Thanks for your time in advance.
Colonel Bunny, you are on my mind. Now that Jack is gone and with the Lord, I pray somehow you are considering your end. Jack worried very much about you.
Great post Jan – let’s see if this will show up here for you.
Yes Curtis & Holly there are so MANY beautiful verses on the blood of Christ. One I like: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5, 6 KJV)
JMac states Revelation 1:5 is “confusing” in the King James. God’s word addresses Dr. MacArthur’s confusion: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”(1 Corinthians 2:14 KJV)
As far as JMac’s more recent defense of approx. 30 years (since 1976) of consistent denial of the blood of Christ, I’ve heard the word ‘attack’ used, as in: John MacArthur attacks the blood of Christ. I think this is a most appropriate verb.
Hebrews 9:13-14: “”For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” In The MacArthur Study Bible (copyright 2006), John MacArthur states in his notes regarding God’s use of the word “blood” in this verse that “blood is used as a substitute word for ‘death’.
In the YouTube video, “John MacArthur Defends Himself on the Blood of Christ,” JMac attempts to defend himself against his accusers by making the following blasphemous (my opinion) statements: “You have to stop short of saying ‘We are saved by the blood of Jesus,’ in the sense that there is some efficacy in the fluid that poured out of His body.”
“We don’t want to get caught into this bizarre notion that somehow in the actual fluid that came out of the body of Jesus there is saving power or saving efficacy.”
“There is nothing in the fluid in His body that in any way in itself could save us.”
“When the New Testament refers to salvation by His blood, it is not talking about salvation by His fluid; it uses blood as a metaphor or a synonym for death because it conveys the violence of it.”
“Blood is a euphemism for His death.”
At least all the videos & columns/articles I’ve seen/read regarding JMac’s ‘clarification’ on the blood of Christ controversy, frankly he digs his heels in deeper, albeit cunningly, avoiding the word ‘blood’ in connection to cleansing and redemption.
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” (Romans 3:24, 25 KJV)
Curtis, one time I was doing a study of names, and somehow came across Fuller for Jesus and also looked up that verse. Then I started a little research in Biblical dictionaries for what a Fuller did. I just remember that the soap is what made the wool white (Isaiah 1:18) and so when I see that passage in Heb 13, I cry. I don’t remember but all the unworthy people, the sinners, the lepers, the unclean were sent outside the camp. And there our Savior went….
“I love this passage from Heb 13, even the Fuller’s made their soap outside the camp because of the stench and they were considered the lowliest, and Jesus humbled Himself unto death and went there for us.”
This is the first I heard of fullers soap in scripture
Mal 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
Amen Curtis – the blood of bulls and goats never took away sin, but by one offering, we were sanctified and perfected forever, (Heb 10:10,14) and by His blood we are able to enter the Holiest of Holies, by a new and living way.. (vs 19). The blood of His covenant is how we are sanctified.
I love this passage from Heb 13, even the Fuller’s made their soap outside the camp because of the stench and they were considered the lowliest, and Jesus humbled Himself unto death and went there for us.
11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Joy Founder, you are right, JMac has tried to back away from that teaching without totally admitting he was wrong. He explains it rather, somewhat as he does the teaching of Jesus Sonship not being eternal. Or the mark of the beast — being able to ‘repent’ from it and be saved. He lets his people ‘explain’ what he really meant. Yes, flee the false teacher!
remission of sins
Act 10:43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
without shedding of blood there is no remission
Heb 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
After hearing a sermon on Romans 9 I’m revisiting this whole election & predestination topic. I re-read this excellent rebuttal of JMac’s interview. What stood out this time was JMac’s usage of Jesus’ ‘death’ on the cross: “I think it was a real death for sin.” JMac is calculating and cunning with his terminology and refusal to acknowledge Jesus’ shed BLOOD. JMac has been quoted saying: “Not His bleeding but His dying”. He does not believe in the redeeming and cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ: “It was His death that was efficacious. . not His blood. . . Christ did not bleed to death. The shedding of blood had nothing to do with bleeding. . . it simply means death. . . Nothing in His human blood saves…It is not His blood that I love. . . it is Him. It is not His bleeding that saved me, but His dying.”
JMac seems to only accept Jesus Christ’s completed work on the cross as an either/or option. God’s gift of salvation through His Son is dependent on Jesus’ virgin birth, His sinless life, His shed blood AND death on the cross and finally His resurrection from the grave after 3 days.
I have never been to a communion service at JMac’s Grace church. If the church is consistent with their Pastor/Theologian’s teachings I can only assume the church elders & members can only partake of the symbolic bread and refuse any symbolic liquid? Clearly this teaching creates a conflict: refusal of the symbolic blood is a blaspheme to God and at the very least disobedience to “this do in remembrance of me”.
“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28 KJV).
One more reason to stay AWAY, far, far away from this false teacher and any person under his shadow of deception.
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’….
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.
“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.
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.
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.
I am a very proud and arrogant person but God is so merciful, thanks for your prayers
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…
I’ve also posted it here if that link doesn’t work,
Praying for you Richard Praying you will study what has been posted here and above to your questions and comments
Here, I’ll help a tad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpr7f1NxSBA
Jim, the youtube message doesn’t appear to be loading. Can you try and re-post?
Richard, John is correct. Pleas consider this message on the elect.
(Note: original link didn’t work, so removed)
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 ?
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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;
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?
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.
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
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!!!!
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.
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.
“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.”
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,
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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 ?
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.)
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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)
Chinese – Traditional (Taiwan)
Thanks again for dropping by.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
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:
Please let us know if you have any questions. I have prayed for you.
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
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?”
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.
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
“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:
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.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
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
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”
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.
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.
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.
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?
Holly, verses 9 and 10 suggest that Jonah is speaking of physical salvation:
 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
 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.
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?
David (J) since we have other Davids)
Thanks for your interesting observation.
“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
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…
Same goes with Mark of the Beast search that includes many with Revelation 13, but not Revelation 16, except for 1994.
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.
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
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!
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.]
Wow . . . bizarre. Totally bizarre. I suppose the video’s supposed to be funny? Not laughing . . .
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…”
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.
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.
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:
 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
 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?
 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
 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:
 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).
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.
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.
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?)
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…
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).
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?
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?
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?
mac arthur a very dangerous man with unbiblical doctrines stay away from them all including washer,chan,piper,sproul.
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 🙂
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
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…
“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.
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
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…
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.
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
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.”
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?
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
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….
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?
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?
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.
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.
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…
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).
Thanks Holly! All good comments. The “robot” comment was especially appropriate.
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.
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.
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!
I, too, have noticed that, along with MacArthur, other Calvinists LOVE to use the word “grace.”
Now, why don’t they just believe it???
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.
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
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.
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…
Bruce, let’s pray that MacArthur takes off those Calvinist glasses and turns, or returns, to Christ!
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.”
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!