God’s Sovereignty Is The Basis Of Evangelism

Have you ever considered on what basis Christians can evangelize the lost?  Now think about it a moment before you blurt out something like “because God tells us to”.  That is a true, God does indeed command us to evangelize but that does not address the basis for the evangelism.  So, what is the basis?

Alan Kurschner answers this question in this post over at Alpha & Omega Ministries.  He starts this way

God’s sovereign election is the only basis by which any believer has confidence to evangelize the lost. We do not know who the elect are in this lifetime, but what we do know with certainty is that there are elect out there.

All Christians, if they believe the Bible, must agree with this.  Read the rest of Alan’s post to see how he further explains this.  Let me know what you think.

Some Points to Consider When Examining Limited Atonement

I think I prefer the term Particular Redemption over Limited Atonement but the concept is the same.  In this article, Robertson lists several points in favor of limited atonement Roger Nicole made from chapter 5 of his book Our Sovereign Savior.  One of the best points is

The real issue is the design or intent of the Father when he sent his Son to die on the cross and purchase redemption for sinners.  Since all sinners do not get saved then there is either a limit in the effectiveness of the atonement or a limit in its intent.  Was God doing something to save all sinners and failed?  Or was God purchasing the salvation of the elect and succeeded?

I have heard this before.  I have used this myself.  I have yet to hear a reasonable response to this.  That does not mean that one does not exist but I have yet to encounter it.  Please read the list and leave a comment with your response to any one or all of them.

2 Peter 3:9 – Who does “all” refer to?

2 Peter 3:9   The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Does 2 Peter 3:9 mean that God wants everyone to be saved?  Does all mean all all the time?  Can all ever mean something else?  Does this verse disprove the Doctrine of Election?  Lets see……..

This brief article, written by John Samson, seeks to explain this verse in context.  His explanation of this verse is the way I understand it too.  His conclusion is:

Rather than denying election, the verse, understood in its biblical context, is one of the strongest verses in favor of it.

Please take a moment to read the article to see how he comes to this conclusion.  Let me know what you think.

Election – Explained Clearly By Mark Driscoll

This is one of the clearest explanations of the Doctrine of Election that you will ever hear.  Take 8 minutes and watch this….you will be glad you did.

John MacArthur & Jeff Noblit Teaching Through Ephesians Via Podcasts

It is awesome to live in a day where we have so many great preachers available to us no matter where we live.  Through the use of the internet and podcasts we can hear just about any preacher that we desire to.  John MacArthur and Jeff Noblit are two of my favorites to listen to.  I listen to both via podcast.  Currently both are teaching through the book of Ephesians.  I don’t know when the sermons were originally delivered but they are being released now.  I use iTunes to subscribe to these (and many others).  Ephesians is on of my favorite books and so far I have not been disappointed by either series.  If you are interesed you can listen to them as well.  Click here to subscribe to MacArthur’s podcasts and click here to subscribe to Noblit’s podcasts.

Differences Between Pelagians, semi-Pelagians, Arminians, Sub-lapsarians, and Supra-lapsarians

This article was posted over at the Society of Evangelical Arminians. The author uses an analogy to illustrate each. I am not sure if these are accurate and if they have any problems. I would be interested to see what you think of the analogies

If Election Is True, Why Evangelize?

This is an awesome video I first saw over at Crumbs Which Fall.  It answers one of the main objections that people have when evaluating Calvinism.  It is well worth your time to watch it.

Human Will….Sovereign or Servant?

In Chapter 7 of The Sovereignty of God, A.W. Pink has the following discussion on the nature of the human will.

What is the Will? We answer, the will is the faculty of choice, the immediate cause of all action. Choice necessarily implies the refusal of one thing and the acceptance of another. The positive and the negative must both be present to the mind before there can be any choice. In every act of the will there is a preference-the desiring one thing rather than another. Where there is no preference, but complete indifference, there is no volition. To will is to choose, and to choose is to decide between two or more alternatives. But there is something which influences the choice; something which determines the decision. Hence the will cannot be Sovereign because it is the servant of that something. The will cannot be both Sovereign and servant. It cannot be both cause and effect. The will is not causative, because, as we have said, something causes it to choose, therefore that something must be the causative agent. Choice itself is affected by certain considerations, is determined by various influences brought to bear upon the individual himself, hence, volition is the effect of these considerations and influences, and if the effect, it must be their servant; and if the will is their servant then it is not Sovereign, and if the will is not Sovereign, we certainly cannot predicate absolute “freedom” of it. Acts of the will cannot come to pass of themselves-to say they can, is to postulate an uncaused effect. Ex nihilo nihil fit-nothing cannot produce something..

He makes an interesting point in this paragraph. He proves that the human will is NOT sovereign. I have struggled with this concept of human free will for a long time. I was always taught that we must choose to accept the gift of salvation when God offers it to us. I also thought that we could choose to reject His offer of salvation. If the will is not sovereign then that calls into question our ability to accept or reject the offer of salvation.

If the will is servant…then servant to what? Pink addresses this a couple paragraphs later. He says

That which determines the will is that which causes it to choose. If the will is determined then there must be a determiner. What is it that determines the will? We reply, The strongest motive power which is brought to bear upon it. What this motive power is varies in different cases. With one it may be the logic of reason, with another the voice of conscience, with another the impulse of the emotions, with another the whisper of the Tempter, with another the power of the Holy Spirit; whichever of these presents the strongest motive power and exerts the greatest influence upon the individual himself is that which impels the will to act. In other words, the action of the will is determined by that condition of mind (which in turn is influenced by the world, the flesh, and the Devil, as well as by God) which has the greatest degree of tendency to excite volition.

So we see here that the will chooses that which has the greatest influence on it. Another way of saying this is that we will choose the thing that we want more and is in agreement with our nature. This is why that an unregenerate person cannot choose God. In their fallen sinful nature the sin has the most influence over their will (For a discussion of how our sinful nature permeates us read this post on Total Depravity). We could actually go a step further and say the the sin nature has control over the will because the will can never choose something against its nature. Pink sums it up this way “if the will is controlled, it is neither sovereign nor free”.

What does all this mean to us? It means that until God chooses to change our nature that we will never be able to choose God. Calvinists call this regeneration. Arminians call it Prevenient Grace. Either way God has to initiate the process of Salvation. We are not free to choose to accept or reject salvation.

John MacArthur – Doctrines of Grace

John MacArthur is doing a series on the Doctrines of Grace on his show Grace To You. The series started on 9/17/07. Click here to go to the first one. They have been very good. Today’s show was on reprobation.

Ordo Salutis (Order of Salvation)

 This (Arminian Today: Brief Notes On Ordo Salutis) was posted over at the Arminian Today.  It is a brief article listing the difference in the order of salvation between Calvinists and Arminians. 

The author points out the primary difference is the timing of Regeneration.  Calvinists believe it to be the first step in process while Arminians believe it to only occur after a person has put their trust in Jesus.