Can I Miss God’s Plan?

I read this statement this morning and am wondering how it “squares” with irresistible grace?

“Wondering this morning how many prayed for Messiah’s kingdom to come before Christ was born but missed it b/c they were expecting something different…and how often I pray the same (Luke 11:2) with my own agenda at heart and, thus, set myself up to miss God’s plan b/c I have my heart set on something different.”

Your thoughts?

Grateful to be in His Grip!

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59 responses to this post.

  1. Bob,

    I don’t know about this quote you made and how it relates to irresistible grace. But I love the reminder about postmillennialism. The Lord’s prayer teaches,

    “…expects that the gospel will be successful in winning a majority of people to faith in Christ, such that righteousness will triumph over evil.

    I love that William Carey was both a Postmillennialist and a Calvinist, as am I.

    So, irresistible only reinforces that God WILL bring all “His people” into His expansive kingdom. Amen!

    Reply

    • I can agree with the following statement, God’s PREDESTINED PLAN only reinforces that God WILL bring all “His people” (who believe in Him by faith) into His expansive kingdom. AMEN!

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      Reply

    • Since this subject was raised:

      I love that William Carey was both a Postmillennialist and a Calvinist, as am I.

      Perhaps I am misunderstanding what it means to be a “Postmillennialist”, but could someone explain the logic of how the resurrection of the saints at Christ’s return is supposed to happen 1000 years before Christ’s return?

      Rev 20:5-6 KJV
      (5) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
      (6) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

      As I read this passage, the dead in Christ will not be raised until Christ’s return (and also we know this from other scriptures) and the rest of the dead shall not be raised until after that thousand years are finished.

      Although I might be able to guess motivations of why this would be taught, I am unable to understand how “Christ will not return until 1000 years after Christ returns” is justified with logic or scripture. Maybe you cannot answer for Carey, but how would you (Les) explain this?

      Reply

      • Andrew I guess I did open up a can of worms.

        I do hold to the postmillennial viewpoint as well as a partial preterist understanding of Revelation and the Olivet discourse. Therefore, I see Rev. 20 having to do with the millennium as having already occurred in the first century. I will not have a lot of time to try to lay out all the reasons why, so I suggest you do some research on that interpretation if you are not familiar with it.

      • I have done some research on that concept, however I haven’t been able to find a live Preterist that can justify the theory when questioned.

        In my research, it seemed to me that the entire “Partial Preterist” position was based upon a misreading of the literal words of Matthew 16:28 (also Luke 9:27).

        Mat 16:27-28 KJV
        (27) For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
        (28) Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

        It seems that the Preterist usually reads something additional into this verse without even realizing what they are doing. I remember that John warned us that we should pay careful attention to the exact words Christ used in situations like these (see John 21:23).

        But since this “can of worms” is drifting off the original blog topic, I’m OK if this went to direct email.

      • Andrew,

        We can try the email, though we already are backed up on another topic and I’m not seeing much daylight for much interaction at the moment. Just short spurts here and there such as today on this site.

        But let me ask you one thing: Are you an Authorized Version only man? Or do you accept other English translations?

      • In this case, Matthew 16:28 probably has the same reading no matter which English translation you might choose. At least, there was no difference in the ones that I keep in my Bible software program. Why do you ask?

        Perhaps it might help if you were to clarify what you meant by “accept” with regard to other English translations. For example, what if I were to ask you if you accepted the New World Translation?

        A couple years ago I was “snagged” by a couple Jehovah’s Witnesses who wanted to talk to me about the name of God. I asked them if they had a bible on hand that I could read from. I read one passage from their book, asked a question, and before they realized it one of them had named “Jesus” as the name of “Jehovah of armies.” It had a devastating effect because it was from their own private translation from which they probably thought they were “safe” (and the double-take of his friend making sure I was reading their bible correctly was worth it.)

        So, did I accept their New World Translation? I suppose you could say I did, either after a fashion, or with limited application. If you are willing to explain what you mean by “accept other translations” I might be better able to answer your question.

      • Andrew,

        The reason I ask is this. You wrote,

        “I remember that John warned us that we should pay careful attention to the exact words Christ used in situations like these (see John 21:23).”

        Now, what are the “exact words of Christ?” The ESV renders the Greek as,

        “For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
        (Matthew 16:27-28 ESV)

        The KJV you cited says,

        (27) For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
        (28) Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

        And in prior posts, you have cited the KJV, especially advancing your understanding of “not willing…” where the ESV for instance, says, “not wishing.”

        Here is what you wrote,

        “1Ti 2:3-4 KJV
        (3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
        (4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

        You then went on to say,

        “But I maintain that there is a far simpler explanation if we simply allow the word “will” to be read with the common English meaning.”

        But the ESV renders 1 Tim. 2:3-4 as,

        “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
        (1 Timothy 2:3-4 ESV)

        So, wich English word should we use? “Will” or “desires?”

        On your website you say,

        “After this much testing, I have proved to my own satisfaction that the King James Bible, also known as the Authorized Version, is indeed faithfully preserved, perfect and inerrant, and contains the word of God as he intended it to be spread throughout the world in the latter days, in the commonly recognized international language of English. People may not always perfectly read this Bible, but the text itself, including the words, grammar, and punctuation, does pass the test.”

        So, you say the KJV or AV is “perfect and inerrant.” Right?

        Your position on this, certainly an “out of the mainstream” position, makes a difference when we engage in the meanings of passages.

      • Les asked,

        So, you say the KJV or AV is “perfect and inerrant.” Right?

        It would be accurate to say that I have specifically tried to find flaws with the Authorized Version for the past eleven years, and I have not yet been able to demonstrate a single error in source text or translation.

        I have compared quite a few bible translations in this process. I cannot say the same of many others, including the New International Version, the New American Standard Version, the English Standard Version, the Douay-Rheims Bible, the Geneva Bible, the New King James, and many others. I have found only one other English translation which passes my tests.

        Although others have put forth claims of “biblical contradictions” or “mistranslations” they are unable (or unwilling) to prove their claims when challenged. Many people make statements that they’re not willing to back up. It is often sufficient for their purposes to accuse someone of not being “mainstream” without concern for the validity of any particular facts.

        For the time being, at least until someone is able to demonstrate at least a single source or translational error in the King James, I am willing to accept the whole text on faith, much like I might accept a roller coaster as being sound after it has been load tested far beyond normal specifications.

        Unless you are basing your doctrine on specific differences from the Authorized text, I don’t understand why this should be a difficulty for you. I am not going to claim that a verse is “mistranslated” or “should have been better translated as…”

        As to the practical effect of your question concerning 1 Timothy 2:3-4:

        So, wich English word should we use? “Will” or “desires?”

        Again, at least in this case, it makes no difference. Look up the word “will” in the dictionary or any proper handbook of English grammar. The use of “will” in the third person means “desires”, not “decrees.”

        The irony is that you were arguing that one translation should be accepted over the other where there was no difference in the meaning. Therefore, we should use the word “will” until we all learn how to use it with the normal English meaning as the bible was meant to be read in the first place.

        As a closing question, isn’t it a little suspicious when someone has doctrines that require “hopping” from one translation to the next, or when their explanations require a “that’s not translated correctly” at specific spots?

        The question of translation only matters if we read the words in the first place.

        1Ti 2:4 KJV
        (4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

        So Les, considering your list below of all the things that you believe that God is sovereign over, do you exempt God’s sovereignty over the biblical text? I’ve always wondered how a Calvinist would answer that question.

      • Andrew,

        You replied,

        “So, you say the KJV or AV is “perfect and inerrant.” Right?
        It would be accurate to say that I have specifically tried to find flaws with the Authorized Version for the past eleven years, and I have not yet been able to demonstrate a single error in source text or translation.”

        You did not really answer my question. It was,

        “So, you say the KJV or AV is “perfect and inerrant.” Right?
        So…did you write that or not? Is that your position? Yes or no?

        You said,

        “Look up the word “will” in the dictionary or any proper handbook of English grammar. The use of “will” in the third person means “desires”, not “decrees.””

        I prefer a Greek lexicon and context based decisions on word usage, along with the analogy of scripture.

        You wrote,

        “The irony is that you were arguing that one translation should be accepted over the other where there was no difference in the meaning. Therefore, we should use the word “will” until we all learn how to use it with the normal English meaning as the bible was meant to be read in the first place.

        Where did I make that argument? I don’t remember making that argument.

        You wrote,

        “As a closing question, isn’t it a little suspicious when someone has doctrines that require “hopping” from one translation to the next, or when their explanations require a “that’s not translated correctly” at specific spots?”

        Yes. I’m glad to not have done that.

        You said,

        “So Les, considering your list below of all the things that you believe that God is sovereign over, do you exempt God’s sovereignty over the biblical text?”

        No I do not exempt God’s sovereignty over the biblical texts.

      • As a disclaimer, I recognize that this is fast veering away from the blog topic:

        You had actually asked three questions before. I actually skipped over the first, directly answered the second, and gave additional confirmation on the third. So I find it rather strange that you have picked out that third rhetorical question to claim that I left it unanswered.

        Concerning http://occupy-till-i-come.webs.com/bibleintegrity.htm

        Are you seriously questioning whether I authored the introductory paragraphs on my own web page? If you believe that I have said something in error, then you are welcome to address me to attempt to prove your point . In fact, all of my web pages contain this open invitation, even especially on the Contact page.

        As to our case in point, you seem to have taken specific objection that I have actually tested the integrity of our English translations and reached a conclusion based upon empirical evidence. It is a sad testament to the state of Christianity when following the admonition to “prove all things” marks one as being “outside of the mainstream.”

        Unlike the proponents of Calvinism, I have considered a proposition that allows for the possibility of being disproved. If you were able to show me even a single contradiction in my biblical text, I would be forced to reconsider my premise. In contrast, I can show a Calvinist a thousand instances of free will, and the Calvinist will answer that the free will is only an illusion, and that God forced that will invisibly behind the scenes.

        I wish you could appreciate the irony of your position. Considering that you have just conceded that God might even be sovereign to the extent of being able to guide the transmission and/or translation of his own Word. Thus allowing for God to fulfill his promises to preserve his Word and even submitting translations to testing hardly seems extreme…

        especially when compared to the extreme (and unprovable) claims of Calvinism.

        So I cannot help but think that you are seeking to create a distraction from the other outstanding questions and loose ends. I have already granted that it wouldn’t matter which translation you used of Matthew 16:27-28 in our context above (for this question we can overlook the grammatical difference.) Have you actually started looking carefully at the words, or have you spent your time objecting because I have tested our translations?

        Use the Geneva bible in this instance if you like, but make sure you are reading the actual words and not reading something else into the text:

        Mat 16:27-28 Geneva
        (27) For the Sonne of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his Angels, and then shal he giue to euery man according to his deedes.
        (28) Verely I say vnto you, there bee some of them that stande here, which shall not taste of death, till they haue seene the Sonne of man come in his kingdome.

        I wanted to make sure that you weren’t reading that as if it said, “…there bee some of them that stande here, which shall not taste of death, till the Sonne of man haue come in his kingdome?” There’s a difference between the “seeing” of a thing, and the “happening” of a thing, and I was hoping that you recognized the distinction.

        As to your objections concerning my acceptance of the King James, if you think that I have said something that is mistaken, then please step forward and to prove your point, and be ready to answer in response to cross-examination. Simply complaining because I have reached conclusions based upon facts and evidence isn’t going to get us anywhere.

        If you can move past this, I would like to get back to the Calvinism and Preterism discussions…

      • Posted by Les on December 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm

        Andrew,

        So I can be assured you are the one and the same Andrew who wrote,

        “that the King James Bible, also known as the Authorized Version, is indeed faithfully preserved, perfect and inerrant, and contains the word of God as he intended it”

        So, you believe the KJV is inerrant and contains the word of God as he intended.

        That makes all other translations Not what he intended per your analysis.

        Anyway, just confirm my summary please. Don’t need a lot of words and challenges. I’m simply trying to make sure what you believe about the bible.

      • Les, you reached that site from following the link from my Blogger profile, the same profile matching my icon above. Additionally, both these posts and my writing on that site share a similar (and unique) writing style. I have trouble believing that you were really doubting my identity.

        But since you are wanting confirmation, let’s break this down slowly…

        “So, you believe the KJV is inerrant and contains the word of God as he intended.”

        Correct. In fact, that’s pretty much the same words I used, albeit divorced somewhat from their original context.

        “That makes all other translations Not what he intended per your analysis.”

        False. If you reached such a conclusion, it wasn’t from my analysis. The basic rules of logical proof should indicate why your conclusion was flawed. Are you sure that you’re really trying to make sure what I believe about the bible?

        Perhaps you should be asking more practical questions, such as:

        Do you allow for any other translations to be faithful representations of the word of God?

        Except that this was already answered if you were reading this blog. So perhaps it might be more useful if you asked questions about specific translations if that’s what you really care about.

        So maybe it’s my turn to ask you a question. Considering how you just said that you do not hop from one translation to another, and even specifically that your explanations will not require a “that’s not translated correctly” at specific spots (see posts, above), and considering that I have only seen you quote the English Standard Version (ESV) so far,

        Question: Do you believe that the ESV (that you quote) is an inerrant reproduction of the word of God as He intends the bible to be preserved?

        * If you answer yes, then I have a few other questions for you, so that we can test to see if your bible is actually inerrant or not.

        * If you answer no, then how can you explain the Bible without admitting error? You would have to say that “that’s not preserved/translated correctly” at least from time to time… which would contradict your previous statement.

        If you can answer this question, I can make this very simple very fast.

      • Andrew,

        OK. So you believe that the KJV is inerrant.

        You hold that possibly other translations are what [God] intended per your analysis.

        So, is it fair to conclude that there are other inerrant translations besides the KJV according to your thinking? Notice I used the word “inerrant” here, not “faithful translations.” Please answer this.

        You wrote,

        “Question: Do you believe that the ESV (that you quote) is an inerrant reproduction of the word of God as He intends the bible to be preserved?”

        ESV inerrant? No.

        I’ve done a little study on this through the years and I’ve come to agree with the following as a faithful representation of my position on inerrancy:

        “We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.”

        and…

        “we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both record and means of his saving work in the world. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks.”

        Now, I know where you are coming from related to the scripture. We can move on from there. That’s all I was trying to find out.

      • You specifically asked me to address:

        So, is it fair to conclude that there are other inerrant translations besides the KJV according to your thinking? Notice I used the word “inerrant” here, not “faithful translations.” Please answer this.

        No, that’s not a fair conclusion. I allow for the possibility of inerrant translations, which is different from concluding that there “are” other inerrant translations. This is actually an important distinction.

        I don’t have unlimited resources or even access to every translation (and there are other translational languages besides English.) I am able to eliminate a lot of translations because I have learned various places to test, but I wouldn’t make such a conclusion without first obtaining a fair amount of evidence. Maybe I’m just contrary, but I require a lot of testing before I can accept something on faith.

        As to your personal statement concerning the bible text, I would point out that even by your own stated standard, the ESV does not attempt to faithfully represent the original texts.

        For example, the Hebrew text of 2 Kings 8:26 reads “forty” but the ESV has chosen to substitute “twenty.” I chose this example because it’s easy to prove and because it doesn’t tend to ruffle feathers by threatening any specific doctrine, but it does demonstrate a point. There are other examples which are far more severe than this which would be more likely to make people upset.

        However, we both seem to agree that the ESV is not an inerrant translation of the Hebrew and Greek scriptures and you haven’t put forth a better candidate. Regardless of whether you personally accept the Authorized Version as inerrant or not, it would seem to be to your advantage to accept it for purposes of discussion, because I would not be able to casually claim that my scripture is mistranslated.

        But since we both agree that the ESV is not perfect and that neither of us are able to prove an error in the Authorized text, then I think that it is reasonable to paraphrase from Pirates of the Caribbean and say “It’s my translation we be trusting.”

        Unless you’re unwilling to prove your doctrine from the AV text, this ought to be very convenient for you. I’ve made it that much easier for you to have the possibility to persuade me.

        But if you really want to quiz me on this or ask all sorts of detailed questions, why not use email so that we don’t fill up Bob’s board? I think he’s really hoping that these discussions can stay somewhat close to the original subject, and blogs don’t display Hebrew and Greek text very well anyway…

      • Andrew,

        Yes, we both agree that the ESV translation is not inerrant. Only I state that the KJV is also not inerrant. I did not previously state that explicitly, but rather by way of my affirmation of two statements on inerrancy. i.e. only the original manuscripts are inerrant and we have none of the originals.

        And while I like the KJV in many respects, I think there are better translations, ergo the ESV and the NASB.

        As for as accepting the KJV for purposes of discussion, I am unwilling to do that since I think there are better translations AND, most importantly, you continually appeal to the exact wording of the KJV on which to build your case, even attempting to use modern day English dictionaries as substantiation. So, if you are at this time only prepared to argue your views fro what you see as an inerrant translation whereas you refuse to view my chosen translation as inerrant, then we can go no further. You will always, in your view at least, be able to appeal to your “inerrant” source.

        But since you brought up 2 Kings 8:26, how does the KJV render that Hebrew word עֶ&ְ רִ י?

      • OK, let’s see if I understand you correctly.

        1. You are claiming that the King James bible contains errors, even though you are unable to demonstrate your assertion by example.

        2. You have admitted error with the ESV (and persumably the NASB) yet you claim that they are superior translations.

        3. You had essentially admitted that you are unable to prove your doctrines of Calvinism and Preterism from a King James bible.

        While I applaud your trick of getting Hebrew text to display in this blog, are you sure that’s showing up the way you wanted? Why is the ampersand in the middle? Are you sure you got all of the letters (or that you were even referencing the right verse?)

        If this was a guessing game, I would suggest that you were trying to use the word for twenty, עשׂרים (will that even show up properly?) But ah! I see my mistake… I meant to refer to 2 Chronicles 22:2

        To clarify,
        * the Hebrew does say “twenty” in 2 Kings 8:26, and all translations that I know of properly render this as “twenty”
        * the Hebrew does say “forty” in 2 Chronicles 22:2, but the ESV translates this as “twenty” and thus does not faithfully render the original text

        All of this proves my point, that blogs are a bad way to discuss Hebrew text. I mistyped the reference in English, but you mistyped the Hebrew text itself.

        But back to the thrust of your reply, it seems that another point has been proven. Specifically, it seems you were looking for any excuse possible to avoid answering questions or to be held accountable to scripture.

        You will not prove your doctrine because I already accept the Authorized text? That’s pretty lame. It seems that you were trying to look for any “escape” from those questions to begin with, thus the continual spam of red herrings.

        You were saying…

        …even attempting to use modern day English dictionaries as substantiation.

        Which is a far cry more reliable than relying on the Definitions of Calvinist Theologians as substantiation (a circular logic if there ever was one.) In that case, both of our translations use the word “election” – but what you are really complaining about is that I used the normal English meaning instead of your theological dictionary.

        It’s difficult to trust your sincerity in this.

      • Andrew, quickly b/c I’m heading out to see Sherlock Holmes with my three sons. Then I’ll be back later. Couple quickies:

        “1. You are claiming that the King James bible contains errors, even though you are unable to demonstrate your assertion by example.”

        I claim inerrancy for the original manuscripts. So by deduction, all transcriptions and translations are subject to human error. It’s not that I’m unable, I’m unwilling. I’ve already spent several years doing that in seminary for GRADES. For my degrees. I don’t need to prove anything to you. I choose to be here on my “own free will.” Ha!

        “You had essentially admitted that you are unable to prove your doctrines of Calvinism and Preterism from a King James bible.”

        Nope. That’s your deduction, in error I might add. I choose NOT to use the KJV to prove anything.

        “Why is the ampersand in the middle? Are you sure you got all of the letters (or that you were even referencing the right verse?)”

        I referenced the verse you referenced. I copied and pasted from the online Hebrew. If the pointing came thru incorrectly, not my fault.

        “But ah! I see my mistake… I meant to refer to 2 Chronicles 22:2”

        Yup, your mistake.

        “To clarify,
        * the Hebrew does say “twenty” in 2 Kings 8:26, and all translations that I know of properly render this as “twenty”
        * the Hebrew does say “forty” in 2 Chronicles 22:2, but the ESV translates this as “twenty” and thus does not faithfully render the original text”

        So which is it according to you and the KJV? Twenty or forty?

        Here’s your homework: How old was Jehoram, Ahaziah’s father, when he died and Ahaziah succeeded him?

        Later after the movie!

      • Les, did you try looking this up on Google first?

        * First, Google “how old was Ahaziah”
        * Second, click on #4, “How Old Was Ahaziah 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles”
        * Third, read the article and take up your discussion with that author

        While we’re at this, do you understand the difference between a legal father and a biological father? Who was the father of Jesus, and what right did he have to the kingly line?

      • Andrew, Sherlock Holmes was great. I recommend it.

        I read your analysis on Ahaziah. You make a good case, though I did not give it a detailed read. Maybe later.. However, I have no problem agreeing with the hoards of theologians and Hebrew experts who ascribe the variation to a scribal error. They collectively make a great case. And since I affirm that only the original manuscripts are inerrant…well. I’m good. Apparently the Septuagint agrees with the scribal error theory.

        And yes, I do understand the difference in a legal and a biological father.

      • Thank you Les.

        Concerning the Septuagint, something to consider is that it seems to have been written by Greeks that had a very low view of the Hebrew. In some places direct tampering is quite evident. Meaning, that the LXX authors were quick to edit the Old Testament when reading a scripture they didn’t understand, as if they had a bias of “Greek scriptures correct, Hebrew scriptures wrong.”

        So I’m suggesting that the LXX proves to be an unreliable witness. For example, I can demonstrate at least one instance where its is obvious that it must have been revised (or written) after the New Testament (or at least the book of Acts) and not before.

  2. Let me help your confusion…

    “how often I pray the same (Luke 11:2) with my own agenda at heart and, thus, set myself up to miss God’s plan b/c I have my heart set on something different.”

    I am asking if this is even possible in the reformed mindset?

    i am curious. It sort of goes to my contention that many times Calvinistic preachers make statements that are inconsistent with what they say they believe.

    For the record, i agree 100% with WHAT this pastor said. I am asking if it squares with Calvinist theology?

    ><>”

    Reply

    • Bob,

      Let’s see if we can come up with a real world example.

      Suppose I really, really want to go skydiving. And I pray about it and I believe that there is no reason I shouldn’t go and I believe that I can successfully make the dive, exercising all necessary precautions. But my wife says I shouldn’t go. She’s afraid of something going wrong and that I might die. She begs me to counsel with our pastor who also says I probably shouldn’t go. Too dangerous. He had a friend in college who died in a skydiving accident.

      My parents also warn that I shouldn’t go. In fact, the only person encouraging me to skydive is my best friend and the skydiving instructor.

      I have my heart set on it.

      I decide to take the plunge.The chute fails and I die when I hit the ground.

      Question: Did I “…set myself up to miss God’s plan b/c I have my heart set on something different?”

      Did I cut my life shorter than God planned because I insisted on doing something I had my heart set upon?

      Reply

      • Les,

        Been real busy…. replaced the convertible top on my corvette and that was a CHORE! Did it myself BUT… it looks great.

        Now…. to your example here… Before I make any comment… let me get your comment on the following modification…

        God’s Word says…. Do not skydive. It actually does say… Lo, I will be with you always. So… assume God says no and you do it anyway.

        Does that change your example?

        ><>”

      • Bob, I’m impressed on two counts. 1. You have a convertible. 2. You replaced the top yourself.

        Now to the example, your modification changes everything. Now it becomes God’s word says to do X or God’s word says not to do X.

        You wrote above,

        “…with my own agenda at heart and, thus, set myself up to miss God’s plan b/c I have my heart set on something different.”
        I am asking if this is even possible in the reformed mindset?””

        Of course that is possible and actual. How often do we both (and everyone else) NOT do what God has commanded or do what He has forbidden?

        All too often I’m afraid. So is it possible for a Christian to go against God’s precepts (His preceptive will. His will expressed in His precepts and commandments)? Absolutely.

        Does that mean that we frustrate God’s plans? Not at all. Nothing we can do will knock His plans off course.

        Hypothetical with me a moment. Do you agree that Judas from eternity past was in God’s plans and designs to betray Jesus? I’m pretty sure you’d affirm that. So, was it ever possible for any other human to thwart God’s plan for Judas to betray Jesus? For instance, was it ever possible for Judas to walk out in front of a speeding chariot and get run down and killed? No, and I suspect you’d agree.

        Am I answering what you’re asking?

      • OK… Here is the real point to this whole discussion. I believe this is the real problem with conversion just as it is with sanctification, both of which are part of the salvific process. People “miss God’s plan because they have their minds set on different expectations.” This includes conversion as well as sanctification.

        The thing that also really amazes me is the appearance that so many have no ability to see beyond their own personal theological suppositions. Let me ask you a question… do you see people in one of two camps? Arminian and Calvinist?

        Can you even fathom the possibility of total depravity being in error or any other possible explanation for man’s plight with respect to his relationship and position with God?

        If someone does not believe in unconditional election and irresistible grace, does that make him Pelagian or Semi-pelagian?

        Just curious.

        ><>”

      • PS… on the impressed part… actually I am pretty impressed that I was able to change it out myself… with NO instructions either! Was worrying at one point!!!

        As for the convertible in Daytona it is almost a given that everyone who is anyone rides a Harley… I thought the convertible would be safer so that is the route I took… so nice cruzin around with the top down… which I do 10 months out of the year unless it is rainin!

        ><>”

      • Bob,

        You wrote, “The thing that also really amazes me is the appearance that so many have no ability to see beyond their own personal theological suppositions.”

        We all have some level of presupposition, do we not? I’ll admit that. Do you?

        “Let me ask you a question… do you see people in one of two camps? Arminian and Calvinist?”

        No. Theology is far too complex on soteriology, for instance, to say that.

        “Can you even fathom the possibility of total depravity being in error or any other possible explanation for man’s plight with respect to his relationship and position with God?”

        No. I can affirm the PCA definition of TD:

        “Sin controls every part of man. He is
        spiritually dead and blind, and unable
        to obey, believe, or repent. He
        continually sins, for his nature is
        completely evil.”

        Which is consistent with Genesis 6:5:

        “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

        You, “If someone does not believe in unconditional election and irresistible grace, does that make him Pelagian or Semi-pelagian?”

        I believe that SP believes that the first steps toward God are made humanly w/o any Holy Spirit action. Arminians, I think, believe the first steps are taken by the Holy Spirit. As one writer says, though, “but still leaves man with a small island of righteousness, as it affirms that, unregenerate man can think spiritual thoughts, perceive the beauty and excellency of Christ, create affections for Him and thus turn in faith to Him, apart from the quickening of the Holy Spirit. They affirm that God’s grace is always resistible, therefore, when one believes, it is not grace which makes one to differ from another person, but naturally produced faith.”

        BTW, I would encourage all of you to read Piper on the wills of God. May be fund here. http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/are-there-two-wills-in-god

      • How would anyone attempt to prove that Judas existed from “eternity past” from scripture? I can’t even find that phrase “eternity past” in my bible, let alone applied to Judas. Is that something found in your ESV text, Les?

      • Andrew, you should read more carefully. Did I say “Judas existed from “eternity past?”

        No. I said, “Do you agree that Judas from eternity past was in God’s plans and designs to betray Jesus?”

        “I can’t even find that phrase “eternity past” in my bible.”

        Can you find trinity in the bible? The KJV? Or do you not ever use “trinity?”

      • I thought you were at the movie?

        1. My question remains the same. Where is “eternity past” in the bible? It seems to me like someone made that term up and is building a doctrine on it.

        2. You’ve seen my website, so you tell me. Do I use the word “trinity?” Oops! You just got me… I just used it right then. You are SOOOOO tricky.

        3. Did you figure out yet how old Jehoram was when he died?

      • Andrew,

        “My question remains the same. Where is “eternity past” in the bible? It seems to me like someone made that term up and is building a doctrine on it.”

        Man you are a picky one. I’ll remember that. I already clarified this. I said that what I wrote was, “Do you agree that Judas from eternity past was in God’s plans and designs to betray Jesus?””

        I never said that the phrase “eternity past” is in the bible. Perhaps I should have said, “Do you agree that Judas was in God’s plans and designs to betray Jesus from eternity past? Tip: I’m using eternity past to refer to some time in the past going back infinitely since God is eternal.

        Let me know if you need more help.

      • I cannot speak for Bob, but I wouldn’t be able to agree that Judas was in God’s plans to betray Christ from eternity back before Genesis 1:1. Actually, I wonder if you could even agree with that if I were to remind you of something you were just saying…

        That is, when I gave a bunch of examples of free will, you at least conceded that Adam and Eve did have free will. If they truly had a choice, then they could have chosen to obey God, and I can only speculate what would happen from there, but it could have been entirely different.

        Eternity Past

        Part of this discussion might hinge on what you mean by “Judas.” If you mean the actual person himself, I would most certainly protest because he didn’t exist yet. If you meant “a Judas” as in “a betrayer” then again, we could only speculate how far back these plans were determined.

        The reason I was targeting the phrase “eternity past” is because when I have heard that term before, it was always used in an unquestioned sense as if it was some sort of accepted doctrine. Use (and acceptance) of the term automatically assumes that God exists in some sort of science-fiction sense that produces some very strange theories.

        Plainly speaking, the science fiction time sphere explanation isn’t necessary, and doesn’t fit with the scripture evidence. For example,

        * God has changed his mind on multiple occasions, thus the future cannot already be written in stone.

        * The whole concept of prayer is another demonstration that the future has not yet come to pass, and that God has the ability to alter our world in response to his creation.

        * Prophecy does not require that God has “seen” things already happen in a crystal ball, because an active God can make his promises come true. Some prophecies may seem very complex to us, but I’m sure they’re easier for God.

        * There are examples when God has chosen to specifically override someone’s will. This wouldn’t be necessary if God had already “seen” it happen.

        * God is certainly wise and powerful enough to adjust things as they occur, and doesn’t require that everything be scripted down to the last detail ahead of time.

        Judas and Free Will

        You asked about Judas before, and I didn’t answer because the posts were getting long. Specifically, you asked if Judas had free will. The answer is that it certainly looks like he did, and for this I will point to the gospel of John.

        Joh 13:26-27 KJV
        (26) Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
        (27) And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

        When combined with this gospel, Jesus dipped the sop and gave it to Judas, but then spoke directly to Satan. That wasn’t obvious from your earlier quotation of Matthew.

        When Jesus was to be betrayed, this was an absolute requirement or the scripture would be broken. This was not left to chance… or perhaps it might even be that God could see the heart of Judas and knew that he would turn back from his role without outside influence. Just because God can read us better than we know ourselves doesn’t mean we don’t have free will.

        Regardless, my point is that if Judas had to be overridden by Satan to fully betray Jesus, that demonstrates that he was exercising free will before that point.

        Thus my objection to buzzwords like “eternity past.” Words that have been created outside of scripture tend to carry built-in assumptions that after a while can become hard to recognize. It’s nothing personal here, I was questioning the assumption.

        I apologize if my response seemed punchy. You may think I’m being picky, but I I am consistent (or at least I think I am.) You asked if I use the word “Trinity?” Nope, that’s not my word either. God is described in many ways in scripture already, and “trinity” isn’t among them. We are given more than enough names and titles to describe God already, so I’d prefer to stick with the biblical ones.

      • Ok Andrew, since you are still hung up on my use of “eternity past” to prove that Judas could not have done anything different than what he did, let’s scrap Judas. Let’s look at another situation in the bible:

        “When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

        “‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
        and the peoples plot in vain?
        The kings of the earth set themselves,
        and the rulers were gathered together,
        against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

        for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”
        (Acts 4:23-27; Acts 4:28 ESV)

        Now, according to this passage, could Herod and Pontius Pilate along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel…could have they done anything different than what God had predestined to take place?

        It is amazing how some people squirm and dance around this passage. It seems clear that God predestined these individuals would “gather together,
        against the Lord and against his Anointed.’”

        OT predicted it. It happened. And God predestined it. Yet, we know from Acts 2 that these people DID THE DEED. God holds them responsible.

        “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
        (Acts 2:22-23 ESV)

        Definite plan, by the way.

        The truly incredible thing here is that God can predestine or have a definite plan that certain events take place and even have predestined who would be involved, and yet still work all these things through the choices of the persons involved.

      • I have a few observations:

        Predestinated Does Not Prove Calvinism

        1) Calvinism has taken the word “predestined” and assigned a theological definition that goes beyond the normal English meaning. It simply means “ordained” or “determined before” and I noticed that where the AV text uses “determined before” your ESV has chosen to use “predestined” which lends a certain Calvinist theological flavoring to the passage.

        Act 4:26-28 KJV
        (26) The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
        (27) For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
        (28) For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

        I have noticed before that the ESV tends to have a “Calvinistic” sound to it.

        Actors Have Latitude and Freedom Within the Script

        2) Now, if I am allowed to answer this question according to the normal rules of the English language without first assuming Calvinistic Theology, I will answer your question:

        Now, according to this passage, could Herod and Pontius Pilate along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel…could have they done anything different than what God had predestined to take place?

        Any individual Israelite or Gentile person may have been able to think or act in a different manner, but they would not have been permitted to prevent the fulfillment of the prophesies. Herod and Pontius Pilate could have taken different actions, but if they threatened to deviate from the script too much I am sure they would have been kept on course, for the fulfillment of the prophecy, and God could have accomplished this through visible or invisible means.

        For example, there was no prophecy that Jesus would be taunted by one thief and worshiped by another, and this serves as a counter-example for your broad statement. The repentant thief was not gathered together against Christ… but neither was he in the position to overthrow the Pharisees and the Roman government to alter the prophesied scene.

        Did God Hold People Responsible for Fulfilling Prophecy>?

        3) However, your Calvinist theology seems to lead to this obvious mistake:

        OT predicted it. It happened. And God predestined it. Yet, we know from Acts 2 that these people DID THE DEED. God holds them responsible.

        My gospel says something different:

        Luk 23:34 KJV
        (34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

        You said that God holds them responsible for fulfilling prophecy that God has predestined, but Jesus on the cross said that He was not holding them responsible for fulfilling prophecy that He had predestined. Because this was God speaking, this statement cannot be so easily dismissed.

        I am inclined to believe that God forgave them for they knew not what they did.

        This seems to cause trouble for the Calvinist supposition that men have no other choice but to sin, and cannot come to repentance, but yet are somehow held responsible for not repenting. Not only would this be unjust, but it also seems to directly contradict Christ.

      • Andrew,

        You: “Now, if I am allowed to answer this question according to the normal rules of the English language without first assuming Calvinistic Theology”

        So I assume you are looking at passages without any assumptions? How’d you pull that off?

        It is quite amusing that you, who trumpets over and over that we need to let the “inerrant” text speak for itself are employing English dictionaries to try and make your case. Give me the Greek and hebrew man.

        But given that you do, you say:

        “It simply means “ordained” or “determined before” and I noticed that where the AV text uses “determined before” your ESV has chosen to use “predestined” which lends a certain Calvinist theological flavoring to the passage.”

        Can you explain this distinction you make that has no difference? Ordained and Determined before carry a different meaning than predestined? Splain please, from the original text.

        You: “My gospel says something different:
        Luk 23:34 KJV
        (34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
        You said that God holds them responsible for fulfilling prophecy that God has predestined, but Jesus on the cross said that He was not holding them responsible for fulfilling prophecy that He had predestined. Because this was God speaking, this statement cannot be so easily dismissed.”

        Your conclusion that Jesus forgave them is, well, unbelievable. Unless there is some evidence that they turned from their unbelief…all of them. And, are suggesting that sins of ignorance are no accounted to people? Really?

    • Here is your reply to my question, “If someone does not believe in unconditional election and irresistible grace, does that make him Pelagian or Semi-pelagian?”

      You responded,
      “I believe that SP believes that the first steps toward God are made humanly w/o any Holy Spirit action. Arminians, I think, believe the first steps are taken by the Holy Spirit. As one writer says, though, “but still leaves man with a small island of righteousness, as it affirms that, unregenerate man can think spiritual thoughts, perceive the beauty and excellency of Christ, create affections for Him and thus turn in faith to Him, apart from the quickening of the Holy Spirit.”

      It would appear to me that you do see maybe 3 soteriological positions then… P/SP or Arminian or Calvinist… would that be correct?

      If a person did not begin with TD… you would automatically see them as P/SP Correct? if they begin with TD then they would be A or C?

      Seems that would be accurate in your response to my question.

      Just asking. Not trying to put words in your mouth… I hate it when people do that to me.

      ><>”

      Reply

  3. Bob,

    “how often I pray the same (Luke 11:2) with my own agenda at heart and, thus, set myself up to miss God’s plan b/c I have my heart set on something different.”

    I am quite sure that far too often I pray with my own agenda. I know that my heart is far too often selfish and self serving and self seeking. I am sure that “I have not because I ask not.” I think this is universal among Christians. Our sins have been forgiven but not eradicated, so we often have our hearts set on our own agendas.

    So I think this is not a Calvinist or a Reformed issue. It’s a Christian issue. Selfishness affects us all.

    As to Calvinists preachers making statements inconsistent with what they believe…absolutely that happens. It happens to Arminians. It happens to those in between the two camps who refuse the label of either.

    As one preacher said, “I have holes in my theology. I just don’t know where they are, or I would plug them.” We are all blinded to our errors and inconsistencies, right?

    Reply

  4. My point is, in the calvinist midset, it is impossible to miss God’s plan unless I am missing something.

    ><>”

    Reply

  5. Actually under the biblical mindset. I saw this somewhere:

    “God is sovereign over the entire universe: Ps 103:19; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11
    God is sovereign over all of nature: Ps 135:6-7; Mt 5:45; 6:25-30
    God is sovereign over angels & Satan: Ps 103:20-21; Job 1:12
    God is sovereign over nations: Ps 47:7-9; Dan 2:20-21; 4:34-35
    God is sovereign over human beings: 1 Sam 2:6-7; Gal 1:15-16
    God is sovereign over animals: Ps 104:21-30; 1 Ki 17:4-6
    God is sovereign over “accidents”: Pr 16:33; Jon 1:7; Mt 10:29
    God is sovereign over free acts of men: Ex 3:21; 12:25-36; Ez 7:27
    God is sovereign over sinful acts of men and Satan: 2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chr 21:1; Gen 45:5; 50:20″

    Reply

  6. So, I am correct that the statement made could be considered inconsistent for a calvinist to make, correct?

    ><>”

    Reply

  7. “So, I am correct that the statement made could be considered inconsistent for a calvinist to make, correct?”

    No. God is sovereign over the means as well as the ends of man.

    Reply

  8. No. Christians cannot miss God’s plan. Ever.

    Reply

    • You do realize that you are saying in effect, that Christians cannot sin.. since sin is DEFINED as falling short of the glory of God.”

      Just in case you did not catch it, This is NOT my statement… I am copying someone elses statement… so the scriptural reference was his.

      My question was, can someone miss God’s will because his heart is set on something different?

      ><>”

      Reply

      • Bob and Debbie, these posts really demand some definitions. I’m pretty sure I agree with Debbie is she affirms what I just wrote above:

        “All too often I’m afraid. So is it possible for a Christian to go against God’s precepts (His preceptive will. His will expressed in His precepts and commandments)? Absolutely.
        Does that mean that we frustrate God’s plans? Not at all. Nothing we can do will knock His plans off course.”

        Bob, this where definitions of what “God’s will” means come in handy. For instance:

        1. It was God’s will (decree) that His only son be born and live perfectly and die on a cross and be resurrected. Could NOT have happened any other way.

        2. It is God’s will that people not murder each other and commit adultery, etc. How do we know that’s His will? He said so in Exodus. It is His will, not His decree that murder will not happen. We can obey and we can disobey.

        There is generally a third “will” but we can save it for later.

      • Can you point to ONE passage of Scripture that justifies this distinction of “wills”… or would it be fair to say that this is a theological supposition to explain a seemingly difficult textual problem.

        If this whole notion of Decretive will is in correct, then would that not create some serious problems for the Calvinist theological position?

        I am not asking if what I suggest is wrong, I am asking about the possibility… the first statement or question has ONLY one answer.

        ><>”

      • Bob, I’m out the door to a movie. Be back later.

      • Bob,

        I can no more point to one passage “of Scripture that justifies this distinction of “wills” any more than I can point to one passage which explicitly says God is a triune God.

        Is it a theological supposition? I rather call is theology based on good and necessary inference and the application of logic to biblical passages. We should not be afraid of using logic. We all do it all the time.

        “If this whole notion of Decretive will is in correct, then would that not create some serious problems for the Calvinist theological position?”

        In what way?

      • No Bob, that is not what I said. I said a Christian cannot miss God’s will.

      • Debbie,

        If a Christian cannot miss God’s will THEN how can he fall short of God’s glory?

        Les,

        You wrote, “I can no more point to one passage “of Scripture that justifies this distinction of “wills” any more than I can point to one passage which explicitly says God is a triune God.” There is a profound difference in the use of “decretive will” and “triune God” in theological discussions.

        As to the question “how would an incorrect view of decretive will cause serious problems for Calvinism”, I suggest it would cause serious problems. If you do not allow for differences in God’s will, then 2 Peter 3:9 would derail Calvinism immediately, not to mention all the whosoever will passages in the NT.

        “Is it a theological supposition? I rather call is theology based on good and necessary inference and the application of logic to biblical passages. We should not be afraid of using logic. We all do it all the time.” There is a big difference in taking the Scripture and saying, it is Scripturally correct to use the term, triune God because the Scripture speaks of “the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” often and interchangeably at times, to speak of God. Each are different while at all times completely God.

        Does this apply to the term “decretive will”? I say no. In fact there is no reference whatsoever to that term in the Bible, that I am aware of. This term has been suggested, as I see it, to attempt to answer this difficult question for WHY God’s will in one place is different from God’s will in another.

        I am not so sure that God’s will is exactly that; His will. It is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Sin is always sin. God’s love is and always has been there. His desire and will I believe is that all men be saved. So why are not all men saved?

        There is only one of two answers. First, man’s response determines his eternal destiny or God’s will determines it. I believe the first answer is correct. Calvinists contend the second and that requires some fancy footwork with the will of God and that is why terms like “decretive will” even exist.

        There is even a profound difference in speaking of God’s permissive will. There is no question as to His permissive will or one would have to ascribe sin to God and the Bible clearly states that God is not even the author of confusion much less sin. God’s permissive will allows man to stay and fall short of His glory or else he would not. That is a very good example of “good and necessary inference and the application of logic to biblical passages.”

        Introducing terms to “fit ones theology” does not fit that same application. This is exactly what I believe “decretive will” does. I never even heard the term used until I began this quest to understand Calvinism.

        ><>”

      • Bob,

        I think what you really object to are the implications of using terms like “decretive will.” Yes, the term is not in the bible. “Permissive will” is not there either. But you don’t seem to have any problem introducing other terms into theological discussions. You have:

        “An Argument for Total Lostness
        An Argument for Unconditional Love
        An Argument for Limitless Atonement
        An Argument for Irrefutable Gospel
        An Argument for Perseverance of the Savior”

        These terms are not in the bible.

        But anyway, did you take the time to read the Piper article I linked to? What did you think?

      • I do not want to “make a mountain out of a mole hill” but I think I can defend man being totally lost, unconditionally loved, and God’s limitless atonement and irrefutable gospel easier than you can decretive will.

        I did not read Piper’s article you referenced; I have read some of his work on the subject and may have read this one. Since I do not see TD as man’s problem, I do not see his explanations related to salvation as valid. I will take a look at it though.

        ><>”

      • “I do not want to “make a mountain out of a mole hill…”

        My point was that we all use terminology in theological discussions that do not derive directly from the scripture.

        But I do think I can, and have, defended well the idea of “decretive will” s a valid theological category. Simply, there are things that God has determined to do that will surely get done…e.g. the cross. It is His will these things happen. He decrees they happen. Hence, His decretive will.

        Anyway, perhaps we’ve gone around enough on this one.

        BTW, Piper’s belief in TD of man should not negate listening to him on other theological matters.

      • This is a very important discussion so I am ok with it here. It does apply to the discussion of “missing God’s will.” You wrote in an earlier post,

        1. It was God’s will (decree) that His only son be born and live perfectly and die on a cross and be resurrected. Could NOT have happened any other way.

        2. It is God’s will that people not murder each other and commit adultery, etc. How do we know that’s His will? He said so in Exodus. It is His will, not His decree that murder will not happen. We can obey and we can disobey.

        I really disagree that God’s decree caused Jesus to do what He did. Jesus did what He did because it was His Father’s will. Jesus was born to die but He died because He did what He was sent to do. There is a profound difference in the two concepts.

        It is fair to say that the cross was God’s will and it was His will that Jesus be the sinless sacrifice to be offered at Calvary. While it is fair to say that salvation could not happen any other way, I do not believe it is equally fair to say that “it could NOT have happened any other way.” (Where Jesus’ life and death are concerned.)

        ><>”

      • Bob,

        You: “I really disagree that God’s decree caused Jesus to do what He did. Jesus did what He did because it was His Father’s will. Jesus was born to die but He died because He did what He was sent to do.”

        I think you are making a distinction without a difference. Call it “God’s will” or God’s decree.” Either way, the Father planned that His son go to the cross.

        “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
        (Acts 2:23 ESV)

        and…

        “for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
        (Acts 4:27-28 ESV)

        And…

        ” All we like sheep have gone astray;
        we have turned—every one—to his own way;
        and the LORD has laid on him
        the iniquity of us all.
        (Isaiah 53:6 ESV)

        and…

        ” Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
        he has put him to grief;
        when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
        he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
        the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
        (Isaiah 53:10 ESV)

        God planned beforehand to crush His own son. Whether you simply want to use “will” or “decree” or see, as I do, a distinction in this Cross “will” from His “will” that you and I not murder, it seems inescapable that the scriptures use “will” in different ways with different meanings.

      • Les,

        I think you were at the movies too late or bloggin when you got home. You completely missed my point with reference to Jesus’ going to the cross relative to God’s decretive will as YOU used it. You wrote,

        1. It was God’s will (decree) that His only son be born and live perfectly and die on a cross and be resurrected. Could NOT have happened any other way.

        I was simply saying Jesus in His humanity, in His incarnate state did NOT do what He did because of God’s decretive will… or wahtever you want to call it. I am arguing against your statement “it could NOT have happened any other way.”

        I am emphatically saying “yes it could have.” Jesus did what He did out of obedience to His Father’s will. He did not do it because He had no other choice. He had plenty of choices. Now had He chosen to do anything other than what He did, we would not be having this discussion today because we would all be lost an on our way to a devil’s hell.

        Jesus did have options and choices and He could have at ANY moment in His life changed the course of eternity but He did not.

        That is the point I was making in my last post.

        ><>”

      • Bob,

        I probably was up too late. But Sherlock Holmes was worth it.

        You said, “Jesus did have options and choices and He could have at ANY moment in His life changed the course of eternity but He did not.”

        Me: Wow! I will just let your words reverberate around cyberspace on their own merit. You are choosing not to deal with the passages I cited, I suppose.

      • Les,

        I did not comment on the passages you cited for the following reasons… the ones in Acts are looking back at what Jesus did and Isaiah is looking ahead to what Jesus was to do.

        i did not say that it was not God’s will that Jesus go to the cross. Certainly it was. What I was commenting on was your statement, “1. It was God’s will (decree) that His only son be born and live perfectly and die on a cross and be resurrected. Could NOT have happened any other way.”

        The last sentence was what I picked up on. I maintain Jesus could have done anything He chose to do… period. Otherwise the temptation experience in the wilderness was a waste of time and the agony in the garden of Gethsemane all for show… Jesus could have said it is finished long before He did…

        My point is, Jesus did all that He did NOT because of God’s decrees…. He did what God sent Him to do and so it was His obedience to God’s will for His life that qualified Him to go to the cross and it was His continued obedience on the cross that brought about our redemption,

        It certainly COULD have happened another way. Had that happened, salvation would no longer be a possibility, but your statement “it could not have happened any other way than God’s decretive will” is not correct in my opinion.

        ><>”

  9. As for the passage you referenced. This was not speaking of born again Christians who were looking for another Messiah, but unbelieving Jews who were looking for someone to free them from the politics at the time. They were looking for someone in Kingly attire to ride up and free them not from their sins, but from outer persecution.

    Reply

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