No Choice

Calvinism is correct; we have no choice when it comes to choosing Christ. God has decreed that to be true. There is a problem with HOW Calvinism frames that statement.

Read Isaiah Chapter 1. God has called Israel into the courtroom of confrontation to get them to see the foolishness of their sinful ways the utter futility of their continuing down that same path. Listen to His discription of their choices:

Hear God’s indictment:

2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; 3 The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.” Hear God’s complaint: My people do NOT acknowledge Me!
4 They have forsaken the Lord, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward… 6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment. 7 Your country is desolate, Your cities are burned with fire; Strangers devour your land in your presence; And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

Hear God’s indignation:

10 Hear the word of the Lord, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the law of our God, You people of Gomorrah: 11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the Lord. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats. 12 “When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts? 13 Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies — I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. 14 Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.

Hear His instruction…

16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, 17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

Finally hear His invitation:

18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Court adjurned.

God’s decree is simple… you MUST choose. God has chosen for you… the consequences of YOUR choices! You get to choose; you do not get to choose the consequences of your choices. God has done that too.

God has spoken. You and I need to hear what He has said and we MUST make the right choice. We must come and “reason together” says, who? Says the Lord! Our obedience to His Word will bring His blessings and our continued disobedience will bring His judgment.

God has spoken. Court is adjourned. He will take His seat again and the next time we will all hear His verdict. “Obedient” or “Disobedient” are the only two indictments He will hand out; “Well done” or “Depart from Me”. God’s choice has been made. “Not Guilty” or “Guilty”.

It is NOW your choice to choose.

Grateful to be in His Grip!

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6 responses to this post.

  1. I am not sure what you are trying to say in this piece. Isaiah 1 is written to God’s people, they were God’s elect, chosen by God to be his people. They had rebelled against God and God was calling them to repent. These are not pagans or gentiles who were outside the fold, they were God’s people and their choice was to be obedience or disobedient to God. So this gets you no closer to your complaint against Calvinism in regard to choice.

    Reply

  2. I disagree that these were God’s elect as the Calvinist defines them. Or let me correct that; I believe the nation was God’s chosen people; not each individual. I am not sure how the Calvinist will defend Israel being God’s elect unless they are willing to accept the fact that EVERY Israelite is going to heaven. Unless the latter is the case, your objection falls by the wayside. Seems like the Apostle Paul had something to say about that somewhere.

    In addition to the issue of who actually is the elect, there is the issue in verses 18-20 that creates a serious problem in calling Israel “the elect” because it appears to me that God is warning them to repent to avoid His wrath.

    One other thing. You are looking at what I have written from a Calvinist mindset. I am not. My opening comment was a play on words. Obedience to God’s Word is the foundation that God has set as the condition for a relationship with Him. That can be seen in the giving of the 10 Commandments and the Covenantal nature of the Old Testament and even the sacrificual system itself. That relationship begins with being obedient to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and coming in saving faith and repentance to regeneration or new birth. God’s complaint in this passage is that His people do not acknowledge Him much less follow Him. According to the Calvinist’s 5th point, the perseverance of the saints, this would disqualify them as being the elect in and of itself.

    These people needed God’s forgiveness! We need His forgiveness today. God is doing the same thing today he was doing in that day; He is reaching out to those who are without Him and saying, “Come now, and let us reason together,”Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

    Grateful to be in His Grip

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    Reply

    • They were chosen in Abraham. And the sin of one caused the whole nation to fall, remember Achan. it is the fact of the text whether you or a Calvinist believes it. Isiah was calling God’s people to repent or be destroyed.

      Reply

  3. Let me see if I understand what you just said… are you saying that the sin if Achan caused the whole nation of Israel to fall… and that his sin affected God’s elect, which is what we were taking about in the first place? What… because Achan sinned all Israel fell?

    Never heard that one!

    More Grateful to be in His Grip

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    Reply

    • You have to be smarter than that. If not, I have wasted my time in conversation. My time is valuable and I only care to engage in serous theological discussions. Get you Bible out and read. Joshua, Achan stole what was supposed to be under the ban. At the next battle at Ai, Israel was defeated and several killed because one man sinned and his sin brought judgment on the whole people. Since they are all elect, all called to be one people, one sin by one man caused them all to stumble. If their election had been as individuals, this would not have happened. And you might note that the Day of Atonement was a covering for the general, incidental sins of the whole nation. Individual sins, sins of a high hand were not included in that sacrifice.

      Reply

  4. Well… I am assuming then that you are saying Achan is sort of an Adam to Israel? I am familiar with the story and the defeat at Ai… I just have not heard this idea that Achan’s sin brought judgment against the elect! Does that happen today too?

    I do not see the correlation in your remarks about the day of Atonement and Achan’s sin or the issue of their election. There were other sacrifices that dealt more specifically with individual sins. Of course, I would assume you already knew that.

    If I remember right, sins of “high hand” usually cost the offender that hand, or worse.

    Grateful to be in His Grip

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    Reply

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