Why would God command all to repent but not everyone will?

Some want to believe that we have a choice to be saved or not because God said we must repent and believe to have eternal life.

It seems to me that God said to repent and believe because some within the group were intended to hear and respond affirmatively, or at least be prepared to do so in the future – but not all were intended to respond affirmatively.

Let me give an example: Let us say I own a soup kitchen and would love to feed everyone. But I know most people are too proud to do so. I know someone within a group is hungry and no one else is, but that someone else will be in the future, and I say to the group, “Everyone who chooses to go to the soup kitchen will be fed.” I know no one else but the one person is hungry will go. The choice is available to all, but none but those for whom the message was intended and who would chose to go right then will actually go when I first make the choice available. Now let us say that later someone else within the group is fired from their job (and that I knew it would happen), gets hungry and recalls the message (as was intended) and choose to go to the soup kitchen. Now we have two people in the group who heard the message who responded affirmatively – one immediately after hearing the message, and one later (after undergoing an experience which prepared them for the message they had already heard). The others were not prepared for the message, were never intended to take up the invitation, and never did take up the invitation, yet the invitation was made available to all.

We have our choice – but it is only after God has done the work.

It is all God, not us. God foreknew us. God chose us. God moved us to repent. God gave us faith. God saved us by grace through faith.

Chosen…

Many times I have heard or read where people are adamant they chose Christ. They protest that they made the decision to follow Christ, that if they had not made such a decision, then God could not have saved them. Some say they ALLOWED God to save them. Then they claim its not an egotistical idea to say they chose to be saved, but it is some how egotistical to say that God chose to save them.

When people say they chose Christ, I think of John 15:16

16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

Some might complain, “Context. Jesus is speaking to His disciples, the men He physically chose in person while He was here on earth in His pre-glorified body.”

And I would agree. He was speaking to the men who chose to follow Christ – yet he is reminding them that HE chose them. This is no different than you and I choosing to follow Christ. We made a decision to do so. Yet, Christ chose us first.

God chooses who will be saved, and hardens the rest.

Romans 11:2-7

God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;

Indeed, God chose us before the foundation of the universe (which is the first meaning “kosmos”, which is often translated as ‘world’ and often taken to mean all people every where and ever when). We were predestined to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ. We see this repeatedly in Scripture.

Ephesians 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Some want to argue that there is a difference between God ordaining (or pre-ordaining, or predestining) something and something being destiny because God knows what someone’s choice will be.

Yet, God tells us our salvation depends NOT on what we want or do, but on GOD. God has mercy upon whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Romans 9:15-18

15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Soooo many people call that heresy – yet it is what God said, so it can not be heresy.

Soooo many people say the God they follow would never do that. They claim that because God is love, and they do not see that as loving, then it can not happen. Yet, it is in scripture. So if the God they follow would never do that, perhaps they need to reevaluate whether they are following the God of the Bible, or a god of man’s own construct….

People want to argue that if that were the case, then how could they be held liable for their own sins, since God made them that way and no one can resist God’s will? Paul addressed this in Romans 9:19-23. It upsets some people to think that God may have made some people to be saved, and others not to be saved. Yet, this is exactly what scripture says. And Paul says the clay, the things formed, the creature, has no right to complain to the creator about it.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

 

And then there are those who say God chose them because He saw that they would choose Him first. But this goes against scripture.

Romans 9:16
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
In fact, God says He predestined those whom He foreknew to be chosen because He knew us – not because of what we would do or choose. The idea of foreknow here does not say God knew what they would do, but that He knew THEM beforehand.
Romans 8:28-30
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
Some would still argue that God knew they would choose Him, but that is not what scripture tells us. We are told people who do not believe are appointed to doom.
1 Peter 2:6-8

For this is contained in Scripture:

Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,

The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,”

and,

“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”;

for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

 

Some would complain that is for people who have not chosen God. But notice something – it was appointed that they disobey and stumble. Not that they stumbled and then were appointed to the doom – but the appointment came first.

Some would say they have the right to choose and God cannot and will not cause them to choose Christ.

Others would say that everyone will be saved. But Jesus said ALL that the Fathers gives Him WILL COME TO HIM. Yet, we see Jesus speaking to some who disbelieve, and so were obviously not given to Christ. So there will be some who will not be given to Christ, otherwise they would come t Christ.

John 6:35-40

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

There are some who say they can come to Christ without God working on them – but this is not what Christ said – NO ONE CAN COME TO CHRIST unless God draws him.

John 6:44

44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

EVERYONE who has heard and learned from God comes to Christ.

John 6:45

45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

EVERYONE who has heard and learned from God comes to Christ. So that means that if someone does not choose Christ, they have either not heard or not learned from God.

In fact, Jesus reiterated that no one can come to Him unless God gives permission.

John 6:63-65

 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

Still, there are those who say they must choose God before they can be saved. I say God has to gift faith and grant repentance and work in them to desire to be saved. And if God does that in you, then you will not refuse to be saved.

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God
Jesus grants repentance and forgiveness of sins.
Acts 5:31

31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 11:18-19

17 Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

2 Timothy 2:24-26

24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

Indeed, according to 2 Timothy 2:26 , those who are in opposition to God, who do not choose God, are snared by the devil, captive to do his will.

But if you believe, it is because it is God at work in you to desire and to do for His good pleasure.

Philippians 2:13

13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

 So yes, those whom God foreknew, He predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son. Those He predestined, He also called. Those whom He called, He justified. Those whom He justified, He glorified.

If you still believe you chose God without Him first working in you to desire to choose Him as if you were able to prevent God from saving you, please remember that you were dead in trespass and sin – what dead man do you know can do things and make choices? dead men lie there and have things done to them.

Ephesians 2:1-10

1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

GOD made you alive in Christ – because of His great love with which He loved us – NOT because He knew we would choose Him.

Almost all of us remember making a choice for Christ. But that choice is something God worked in us to ensure we would make. We have a human responsibility, but it was a foregone conclusion. Yes, from our perspective, we choose God. But from God’s perspective, God did it – from start to finish. Before time began, God chose people to be saved (Romans 8:28-29) and gave them to Jesus (John 6:37-40). God worked in those He chose (Philippians 2:13). Only those God gives to Christ can come to Christ (John 6:65), and all those who God gives to Christ will come to Christ (John 6:44-45). God grants repentance (Acts 5:31, 11:17-19; 2 Timothy 2:24-25). Jesus is the author of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10). Jesus is the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2). God gifts faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). God raised us from the dead while we were still dead in our trespasses (Ephesians 2:5).

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Miller: Evangelicals have dummed down the Gospel. Episode 1339

Too many times, evangelicals dumb down the gospel…

David Miller: Evangelicals have dummed down the Gospel. Episode 1339.

Does man choose God, or does God choose man?

Some people think their salvation depends totally upon their choice of God. But what does the Bible say?

We need to realize God doesnt NEED you to do anything – GOD gives life, breath, and all things. GOD decides when and where people live so they would seek God.

Acts 17:24-27

24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

You can’t come to Christ if He does not call you. EVERYONE GOD gives to Christ WILL come to Him and not be cast out.

John 6:37

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Realize that if God gives someone to Christ, they WILL come to Christ. So, if you were given to Christ, and you WILL come to Christ because God gave you to Christ, did you really have a choice?

ONLY those GOD gives to Christ CAN come to Him. Christ WILL raise those who are given to Him up.

John 6:44

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

Realize that NO ONE can come to Jesus unless God calls him. So how much choice did you really have? You couldn’t come to Christ without the Father sending Jesus and without the Father drawing/calling you.

John 6:65

And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”


If you were not given permission by God, you could not come to Christ.

In fact, you are saved by grace through faith – and that is a gift from GOD.
Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;


Christ is the author and perfecter of our faith.

Hebrews 12:2

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Christ is the author of our salvation as well.

Hebrews 2:10

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.


It is GOD who works in you to even desire to His will, but not only that, GOD works in you to DO His will.

Philippians 2:13

13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.


Without GOD working in us, none of us would seek God.

Psalm 14:2-3

2 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
3 They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.


Romans 3:10-12

10 as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”

Some use John 3:16 to say that verse is saying that people have the right or responsibility to choose and that God cant and wont save them unless they choose to be saved.

Lete us look at John 3:16

16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Look at the word translated as ‘world’.

Strong’s Number: 2889
Original Word Word Origin
kosmoß probably from the base of (2865)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Kosmos 3:868,459
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
kos’-mos Noun Masculine
Definition
  1. an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government
  2. ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens. 1 Pet. 3:
  3. the world, the universe
  4. the circle of the earth, the earth
  5. the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family
  6. the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ
  7. world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly
    1. the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ
  8. any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort
    1. the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)
    2. of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16; 3:17; 6:33; 12:47 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19

 

The Greek word is actually ‘kosmoß’ (cosmos). Although this word is most often translated as ‘world’,  it is creation. God loves His creation, which includes mankind. But that does not say you can choose. It says those who believe in Christ have eternal life. It describes those who have eternal life – not how you get there.

God must grant people repentance. Without that, they can’t repent.

2 Timothy 2:24-26

24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correctingthose who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

John 3:3-7 tells us what must happen to gain eternal life – one must be born again – a spiritual birth.

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

But remember, no child ever had part in deciding to be born. We are born at the will and action of our parents.

The same is true for us spiritually – we were dead in our trespasses and sins. GOD made us alive with Christ when we were dead in our sins GOD raised us up with Him. GOD seated us with Christ in heaven. GOD gifts us with faith. It is not a response to what we do (including being able to make a choice without GOD working in us). We are GOD’s workmanship, created for good works.

Ephesians 2:1-10

1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Unbelievers are DEAD in their trespasses and sins. What dead man ever came back to life as part of his own volition? None. GOD chooses who lives and dies. GOD chooses who will be in heaven and not.

2 Timothy 3:1-7 tells us some people will never be able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power ; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Does this mean God destines some to damnation? Maybe. It looks like it. Romans 11:7-11 tells us God sent a stupor to Israel so they could not believe.

7 What then ? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened ; 8 just as it is written, “GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.” 9 And David says, “LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM. 10 “LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER. 11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.

Yes, God does love us. It is becausse of God’s love for us that He sent Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4-5

4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

God has chosen the poor to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom HE promised to those who love Him.
James 2:5

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

But CHRIST authored our faith and our salvation.

It is clear that some are chosen by God and some are destined for stumbling and disobeying the message.
1 Peter 2:4-10

4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”

7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”

8 and,

“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

We know at least Judas was doomed for destruction.
John 17:12

12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

In fact, enemies of the cross of Christ are destined to destruction.
Philippians 3:18-20

18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

So yes. God predestines some to be saved to eternal life, and others to destruction. I’m not certain I see in scripture where everyone not predestined to be SAVED is predestined to be destroyed. But an argument could be made that that is the case. And if so, then I still stand by the idea that only some are predestined to be saved because that is what scripture says. And God does that because HE is the potter and can do what He wants. As a righteous and Holy God, He demands people be righteous to be able to enter into heaven. Those who are righteous will enter, and those who are not will not. God works to ensure His will is accomplished, but that does not mean EVERYONE will be saved. Nor does it mean we have the right to choose God. GOD chooses us.

 

 

Should Christian men who are able to work do so?

Some have asked whether men are expected to be the bread winner of the home.
To address this, we must look and see what scripture tells us.
Solomon told his son, and us, to prepare (plan and actively work) food ahead of time, gather provisions. Otherwise poverty and need comes upon you.
Proverbs 6:6-11

6 Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,
8 Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.
9 How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 “A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest” -
11 Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man.
In biblical times, women worked outside the home when needed, or able, so long as their other duties were met. The role model Proverbs 31 woman works with her hands, brings food home, feeds her household (including servants), purchases a field, plants a vineyard (again, most likely beside her servants), makes clothing, clothes her family and servants, sells clothing and belts, is wise and kind and not idle, and fears the Lord.
Proverbs 31:10-31
10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
So there’s no problem from God’s perspective of women working, so long as their house is in order. Indeed, women were expected to work at home.
Titus 2:3-5
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
BUT, we must recognize that a man must provide for their family.
People should not steal, but should work, so he has something to share with those in need.

Ephesians 4:28

28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

To not do so is to deny the faith.
1 Timothy 5:8

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Indeed, Paul went so far as to say that who who are not willing to work is not to eat. Instead, they must work quietly and eat their own food, rather than mooching off of others.

2 Thessalonians 3:6-13


6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; 9 not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. 10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. 13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.
It was not just once, but three times that the apostle Paul adressed this issue.
1 Thessalonians 4:10-12

10 for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, 12 so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.
So yes, women can work. But men must provide for their families. If a man is unwilling to do this, they should be admonished to do so. No one should feed those who are able to work but will not.

Is forgiveness necessary and do I forgive if they have not asked for it?

“Is forgiveness necessary and do I forgive if they have not asked for it?”

These are two very difficult questions to deal with for most people who have been hurt. Many of us would like to nurse our wounds and some of us would like to strike back when we have been hurt. But we need to look at what scripture says regarding forgiveness.

Jesus told us that things which cause us to stumble are bound to come. But we must forgive if people sin against us and we tell them and they change (repent), we are to forgive them – even if it is something they do over and over again.

Luke 17:1-5

 1He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.

The aposles thought an increased faith was needed to be able to do this. But Jesus said to use the little faith they had – because that could move trees.

We see this echoed in Mark 11. Jesus told Peter and the other apostles that if they had faith, if they truly believed – without doubt, then they could tell a mountain jump into the sea and it would happen. But notice something else – IF while you are praying you realize you have ANYTHING against someone, you need to forgive them so you will be forgiven as well. Your unforgiving heart can affect your own forgiveness and whether your prayers are heard.

Mark 11:20-26

20 As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Being reminded, Peter *said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus *answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. 25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26 [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]

Again, no mention is made of theperson you have something against needing to ask forgiveness before you forgive – its not for him, but for you. This way you release your anger; you soften your heart; you live the love God demands us to have and to show to others.

Jesus also tells us that you being angry with someone will send you into hell. This is very likely to be another aspect of having an unforgiving heart.

Matthew 5:21-24

21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

By asking forgiveness from someone who has something against you, you are having to humble yourself and soften your own heart, and will likely help him soften his.

Some might think that we only need to forgive others if they ask for forgiveness. But that is not what Jesus said – he said that if they ask, you must forgive. In verse 26 (which some manuscripts do not have), we need that if you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven.

In Matthew 6, Jesus was more clear on the need to forgive people – and no mention is made of them having to ask forgiveness.

Matthew 6:9-14

9 “Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Just to be sure people understood that Jesus was not simply speaking of financial debt, He was clear – if you forgive people for their transgressions, God will forgive you and if you do NOT forgive, God will not forgive either.

We see this also in the book of Luke.

Luke 11:2-5

2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:

‘Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread.
4 ‘And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”

We ask God to forgive us because we have forgiven others. Its not so we will be forgiven that we fogive. We forgive because God has changed our hearts, softened our hearts. And since God has done this, which caused us to forgive, we are forgiven in the same way.

When it came to Jesus living as he taught, look at what Jesus did on the cross itself:

Luke 23:33-34

33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

No one asked Jesus to forgive them, or to ask God to forgive them. They did not repent and change and ask forgiveness first – Jesus simply forgave them and asked God the Father to forgive them as well.

We see a perfect example of how we need to forgive in the martyr Stephen.

Acts 7:54-60

54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

 Stephen forgave and asked God to forgive his murderers – which included he who would become the apostle Paul. And this forgiveness of others is the same thing Paul taught.

Colossians 3:13

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you

In fact, we need our eyes to be opened, and to turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to the power of God. If we do that, we will have our sins forgiven and have a place  with those sanctified by Christ.

Acts 26:15-20

15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.

IF we do not do that, we are not forgiven, and are not obeying God, and will not have the Holy Spirit.

Acts 5;30-32

30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

But if we do believe, we will have forgiveness of sins.

Acts 10:42-43

42 And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

So. We must forgive others. If we do not forgive, it is because we do not have forgiveness. Our sins will not be forgiven if we do not forgive. Its not that our forgiving causes our sins to occur, but that our forgiving others reflects the changed heart we were given when God forgave us our sins when we believed in Christ.

 

 

Why would a good and all powerful God make some people who were destined for hell?

The question has been asked, “Why would a good and all powerful God make some people who were destined for hell?”.

The answer is simple, but not one most people would like to hear. I will first answer in the form of a question:

Why make a bar of soap, when you know it will be destroyed through its intended use? Because it was made to be used to make people clean. 

Why make a whetstone, when running a knife over it will eventually wear it through and destroy it as it sharpens the knife?  Because it was made to sharpen a knife. That was the reason for which it was created.

Why does a good and all powerful God allow suffering? Because it is used to discipline and grow us.

Not everyone is destined for heaven. Some are destined for hell. This is what scripture tells us.

We have to realize that God has predestined some people to destruction.

1 Peter 2:8

and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

John 17:12

12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled

God has made everything for its own purpose – even the wicked.
Pro 16:4

The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.

In fact, enemies of the cross of Christ are destined to destruction.

Philippians 3:18-19

18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

In fact, whatever we have obtained as an inheritance, it was because it was predestined by God to works everything according to the counsel of HIS will.

Ephesians 1:11

also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

 

 

There is no choice after death – again, what scripture says. 
Hebrews 9:27

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,


I dont think Adam and Eve had free will to not sin. It was destined – otherwise there would have been no need forGod’s perfect and all encompassing plan to include the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. It was planned from before the beginning. 

Realize that if God gives someone to Christ, they WILL come to Christ. So, if you were given to Christ, did you really have a choice?

John 6:37

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Realize that NO ONE can come to Jesus unless God calls him. So how much choice does someone really have if they cant choose unless God makes it possible for them and that for those God has made it possible, God has guaranteed will come? You couldn’t come to Christ without the Father sending Jesus and without the Father drawing/calling you and you must come If the Father sends you to Jesus.

John 6:44

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.


If you were not given permission by God, you could not come to Christ.

John 6:65

And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”


God gifts us with faith. 

Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God


God works in us to desire and to do as HE desires.

Philippians 2:13

for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.


Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Jews, and the Gentiles ALL played the part that GOD predestined them to play so Jesus would be born when and where He was born, live his life, suffer and die and be resurrected on the third day.

Acts 4:27-28

27 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, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.

So, God planned things out from the beginning. This plan included everything. God makes all things work according to HIS purpose. People are created for a purpose. Some will be given faith in Christ, while others will not. And that is on purpose. It was all planned for, and God works his plan to ensure the desired outcome is what happens.

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