Does God cause some to go to heaven and others to go to hell? Does our free will come into play in regard to our eternal destiny? ●Does This Scriptural Evidence Provide Clear Support for the Calvinist Point of View? ●Am I Caused to Provide This Summary Or Am I Allowed to Provide This Summary? CHAPTER 5 Does This Scriptural Evidence Provide Clear Support for the Calvinist Point of View? The following verses appear to be pretty conclusive that the Calvinist view of salvation is correct. What do you think? Children of Promise “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” Suggested Reading: Romans 9:1-14 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect.For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (Romans 9:6) This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:32-33, 36, 38-39) Paul in this dissertation is talking about the Jews to whom he makes what seemingly appears to be a contradictory statement, that they are not all Israel that are of Israel. What in the world does this mean? He clarifies this by saying that in this dispensation the natural descendants of the Jews are not the children of God, but it is the children of promise, who are regarded as God’s spiritual descendants. Who are the children of promise? The children of promise are those Jews, who would believe in God’s Son as the Messiah/Savior during the dispensation of the church and as such would receive the indwelling Spirit. (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (Romans 9:11-13) After which, Paul provided an analogy of what he just said. Rebecca, the wife of Isaac, the son of Abraham, had two sons, one named Jacob and the other named Esau. Before they were born having done neither good nor evil God by election chose Jacob as the one through whom the chosen line of promise (the spiritual children of God) would go through. God’s choice of Jacob clearly indicated that God chose Jacob and not Esau when he said, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. We could conclude therefore, that God chose Jacob in his foreknowledge to be one of the elect, because God is sovereign. There was nothing that either Jacob or Esau did whether good or bad that was a determining factor in God’s choice. Furthermore, God didn’t choose Jacob based on his foreknowledge of him believing in him in time. This seems to give us clear evidence that God chooses some (the elect) to go to heaven and others (the lost) to go to hell. Does this convince you that the Calvinist perspective that mankind cannot even choose to believe in God in their free will is correct? CALVINISM God chose Jacob as one of the elect. Esau was rejected. The decision to choose Jacob as favored and Esau as rejected was made before they were born, before either one had done anything that was good or bad God made this decision, because he is sovereign. He willfully chooses whom he decides to choose and rejects whom he decides to reject. ARMINIANISM Another way to look at this election by God is to focus on what the selection of Jacob was referring to, and that was the children of promise. When the names of Jacob and Esau were mentioned there was nothing stated about either of them in respect as to whether a decision was made to believe in God as he was revealed in time. Why not? The reason for this was because this election by God had to do not with individuals, but nations. Jacob is by analogy representative of the nation of Israel, while Esau is representative of the nation of Edom. This can be best illustrated from verses taken from the book of Malachi. The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever. 5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel. (Malachi 1:1-5) With this in mind, we can conclude that God’s later decision to choose Israel, which we could call a national election, was made to secure his glory as the primary consideration8. This is the last scripture section we will look at. We have saved the best for last. How will the Calvinist and Arminian address the revelation that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart? Pharaoh ‘”and whom he will he hardeneth” Romans 9:15-23 God preserved Pharaoh from ruin in circumstances where he continually oppressed the Israelites in opposition to His will. In response to Pharaoh’s defiance in not allowing the Israelites to leave Egypt, God showed forth his power not only to him by means of the 10 divinely orchestrated devastating plagues, but also so that His name would be announced everywhere throughout the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. This illustrates that God will bestow mercy (blessings) on certain people or groups of people and on the other hand he will bestow hardship on certain people or groups of people. In regard to Pharaoh, the scripture says that God hardened him. Some would say that what this means is that God overruled Pharaoh’s will and forced upon him a stubborn resistance to Himself. If this is to be interpreted in this manner, then this evidences that God is Calvinist in his approach Is there an Arminian interpretation of what it means for God to harden someone? CALVINISM God hardened Pharaoh. Another word, he caused him to continue to resist him and do evil. Likewise, God chooses some (the elect) to go to heaven and others (the lost) to go to hell. In time, the elect are caused to believe in salvation, and subsequently the lost are caused to not believe in salvation. ARMINIANISM It is true that God hardened Pharaoh, but it doesn’t mean that he caused him to resist him further and do evil. The word “hardeneth” means to leave a sinner to his own course, and to place him in circumstances where the character will be more and more developed. God is not the author of evil, meaning that he does not cause man to sin. Another way to describe God hardening Pharaoh is to say that God abandoned him to the hardening influence of sin. From what I remember from my interaction with the Baptist pastor years ago on this topic, I believe that what is presented here is a more balanced approach in teaching this subject. Now I have a better understanding as to why the Calvinist looks at the subject of salvation the way they do and why the Arminian looks at the subject of salvation the way they do. Before we close, I would like to leave you with some final thoughts. Am I Caused to Provide This Summary Or Am I Allowed to Provide This Summary? This was a difficult paper to write. Trying to understand God’s perspective as to how he interacts with mankind in respect to salvation and other decisions which involve free will can be quite challenging to say the least. This is one example as to why there are so many differences of opinion not only regarding God’s foreknowledge, election, and predestination, but on most biblical topics. I hope that you enjoyed reading this study and were able to understand what was explained concerning it. I also hope that I answered the questions as thoroughly as I could from opposing perspectives. Do you know more about this topic now than you did before you read about it in this setting? Do you think that if you were to dialogue with another Christian on this topic whose view is different from yours that you would be more tolerant toward them, because you have a better understanding as to why they believe what they believe? I hope this study has provided you with the motivation to study it further on your own. I hope this study has provided you with the motivation to study other biblical topics in the same manner. Well I’m ready to begin another study incorporating opposite views. Do you have a topic in mind? God Bless! Weekly Messages: Website: Twitter: Facebook Author Page: Facebook: Facebook Fan Page:

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Does our free will come into play in regard to our eternal destiny?