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.

How does God discipline and punish today?

I was asked “How does God discipline and punish today?”

Wow, but this is an involved question. Its not easy to answer.

First we  have to realize that what we might consider punishment is not always punishment. Some things are done by God so His work/power/majesty might be displayed.

John 9:1-3

As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Recall the story of Satan and Job? Job was doing nothing and God pointed him out to Satan. Satan tempted him. But that was not punishment.

Job 1:8-12

8 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.

Peter was sifted by Satan when Jesus was arrested.

Luke 22:31

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;

Also, when speaking of punishment, we know that each person is responsible for his own sin.

Deuteronomy 24:16

Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.

Ezekiel 18:20

The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

But this does not mean that someone’s punishment will not affect others. Sometimes they affect different generations to the third and fourth generation.

Exodus 34:7

7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

Deuteronomy 5:9

9 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me

Indeed, this was the case for the people of Israel when they disobey God about going into the land He had promised and so God made the entire nation walk in the desert for 40 years. It was not to punish the children, but the adults. Even so, the children were affected.

Deuteronomy 8:2-5

2 You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.
In the past, God destroyed cities/nations because of disobedience.

Genesis 19:24-25

24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

Indeed, God has caused people to be frightened, sick, and will cause things to happen so your enemies enjoy the fruit of their work instead of them.

Leviticus 26:14-16

14 ‘But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments, 15 if, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, 16 I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that will waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you will sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies will eat it up.

God has struck people with consumption, fever, inflammation, fever, blight, mildew, and will use the rain to destroy people’s land:

Deuteronomy 28:22-24

22 The Lord will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish. 23 The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron. 24 The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.

God has caused people to be defeated by their enemies:
Deuteronomy 28:25-26

25 “The Lord shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your carcasses will be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away.

God has given people boils, tumors, scabs:
Deuteronomy 28:27

27 “The Lord will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed.

God has caused people to be blind, insane, and confused:
Deuteronomy 28:28

28 The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart

God has caused people to serve others in bad conditions because they would not serve God joyfully – making one nation a captive of another nation.
Deuteronomy 28:47-50

47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 “The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young.

So then the question comes up – do these sort of punishments still happen today?

We know that God does not lie or change His mind.
1 Samuel 15:29

29 Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”

Malachi 3:6

6 “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

We know that Jesus warned that God is able to punish by destroying the soul.
Matthew 10:28

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

And that is what we have to fear if we deny Christ:
Matthew 10:32-33

32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

Indeed, it will be worse in that region than it was for Sodom and Gomorrah when they were judged and destroyed.
Luke 10:12-15

12 I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city. 13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!

We have to realize that facing eternal consequences do not change the fact that we face physical consequences today also.

Hebrews 10:26-31

26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But even so, God disciplines people so they might seek his righteousness:
Hebrews 12:4-11

4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Part of God punishing/discipling people involved turning them over to their own desires, to impurity, to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.

Romans 1::18-32

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

God determines when and where people live so they might find Him.

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;

We avoid God’s wrath and punishment by what God does. God sent Christ to die for the ungodly. God justified those who believe. God will save us from His wrath.

Romans 5:6-10

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 

On the other hand, those who do not follow Christ will not have their names written in the book of life. These people will end up in the second death, the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:12-15

12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:6-8

Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be inthe lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

God disciplines us today much like He did in the Old Testament times – with nature, with sickness (physical, emotional, spiritual), with our enemies, with our loved ones, with natural consequences of our actions, with divine intervention, with conviction of heart.  He does it to help us move towards Him and to show His glory and to defend His name. He does it to help us grow in righteousness. However, if we choose to refuse to follow God, then we will ultimately bend our knee in submission to Him as we are judged and sent to the lake of fire.

Whom should I marry?

The question came up about whether there are ever any conditions where divorce is allowed, and if so, then can that person remarry? We will address divorce and remarriage in a differnt post. This post will focus on whom should a person marry.

First let us realize that mankind was created male and female in the image of God. Second, we have to realize that marriage was instituted as a blessing with the intent to procreate in order to fill the earth and subdue it by ruling over its animals.

Genesis 1:26-28

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

We see in Genesis 2:7-8 that man was formed from the dirt and put in the garden of Eden.

Genesis 2:7-8

7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.

In Genesis 2:15, we see that God put Adam in the garden to cultivate it.

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

In Genesis 2:18-24, we see God said that man needed a suitable helper and fashioned her out of his rib. This is where God implemented marriage between a man and a woman. This relationship is to take precedence over that of the relationship with mother and father, as we see the man leaves his father and mother and builds a live with his wife. This new life is ot be so close they are to become as one – this includes sex (“multiply”, “join”, “become one flesh”).

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Now, as to whom you should marry… It should always be someone who loves God.

Ezra 9:12

12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.’

Nehemiah 10:30

30 ”We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the peoples around us or take their daughters for our sons.

1 Corinthians 7:39

39A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.

2 Corinthians 6:14

14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

Not only must the person you marry be from the people who love God, but it must be someone of the opposite gender.

It is clear that Leviticus 18:22 is a prohibition against men having sex with men, which automatically makes it a prohibition against marraige – since sex is one of the reasons to marry.

Leviticus 18:22

22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

We see the same thing in the New Testament. Notice that the apostle Paul (inspired by God) called having sex with someone of the same gender as being sexual impurity, shameful, unnatural, indecent, perversion, deserving of death. This makes it evident that homosexual sex is prohibited, which makes homosexual marriage prohibited in God’s eyes.

Romans 1:24-32

24 Therefore God gave them over in the SINFUL DESIRES of their hearts to SEXUAL IMPURITY for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to SHAMEFUL lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for UNNATURAL ones. 27 In the same way the men also ABANDONED NATURAL RELATIONS WITH WOMEN and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed INDECENT acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a DEPRAVED MIND, TO DO WHAT OUGHT NOT TO BE DONE. 29 They have become filled with every kind of WICKEDNESS, EVIL, GREED AND DEPRAVITY. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 ALTHOUGH THEY KNOW GOD’S RIGHTEOUS DECREE THAT THOSE WHO DO SUCH THINGS DESERVE DEATH, THEY NOT ONLY CONTINUE TO DO THESE VERY THINGS BUT ALSO APPROVE OF THOSE WHO PRACTICE THEM.

More than that, Paul said each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband – not a man with a man nor a woman with a woman.

1 Corinthians 7:1-8

1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. 3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 But this I say by way of concession, not of command. 7 Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.

8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

In fact, we see that Jesus said who should marry – male and female, a man and his wife.

Matthew 19:3-12

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7 They *said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

10 The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

Even so, the person you marry can not be cloesly related to you. This is because incest (sex between people who are related, with the exception of a husband and his wife) is a sin (Leviticus 18:6-15; 20; Deuteronomy 27:20-23; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13). Examples found in scripture are: close relative (Leviticus 18:6), sister/brother (Leviticus 18:9, 20:17; Deuteronomy 27:22), grandson/granddaugher (Leviticus 18:10), aunt/uncle (Leviticus 18:12-13; 20:19-20), daughter-in-law (Leviticus 18:15), the wife of your father (Leviticus 20:11; 27:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13), mother-in-law (Deuteronomy 27:23), your brother’s wife (Leviticus 18:16, unless your brother died without issue – see Deuteronomy 25:5-9), a woman and her mother (Leviticus 18:14), a woman and her granddaughter (Leviticus 18:17), the sister of your wife, while your wife is living (Leviticus 18:18).

To sum up, you should seek the person God has fashioned for you from among God’s people. It should be someone who is not closely related, and it should be someone of the opposite gender.

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