Dr. Jerry Vines @ John 3:16 Conference

March 22, 2013

“This is currently the burning question in Southern Baptist life: ‘For whose sins did Jesus die?’”

Dr. Jerry Vines — organizer of the John 3.16 Conference held at North Metro First Baptist Church March 21-22 – was the conference’s initial plenary speaker.

“I want to attempt to answer the  question biblically.… I want to know — what does the Bible say? To be sure I am interested in what Christian history has to say. I want to know what theologians have to say. But, ultimately, what does our inerrant Bible say? For Bible believing people, this will settle the matter. Jesus said, ‘Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.’(John 5:39).”

Vines said the question was “no small, minor, or secondary question,” and noted it is answered in two prominent ways: 1) Jesus died for the sins of the elect only (limited atonement or particular redemption); or, 2) Jesus died for the sins of all humanity (universal atonement).

“The correct answer to this question is crucial,” Vines said. “The answer impacts missions and evangelism, our church life, our preaching and how we live our life.”

Examining 1 Cor. 15:1-8 through an exegetical lens, Vines tackled the question of the availability of the gift of Christ’s sacrifice to all. He emphasized the importance of humility and faith in the discussion. He answered the question in three ways from scripture, explaining that the answer is only found in God’s love and His gift, working together as one.

Vines answered his initial question from three perspectives, the first of which included this statement: “Christ died for my sins individually.” Citing Galatians 2:20, Vines explained that the idea of love in this passage “gives not on the basis of the worth of the one to whom it is given but on the basis of the character of the one who gives.”

He described the individual, based on Scripture, as a sinner, ungodly and unjust. This affirms that God died for man while he was still dead in his sin.

Ephesians 5:25 provided Vines’ second approach in that “Christ died for the sins of the Church especially” and that God loves the Church with an eternal love. Vines defined the Church as Christ’s flock, His people, His nation, and His friends.

Vines also made an “interesting observation: Nowhere does [the Bible] say Christ died ONLY for the elect. To be sure, He did die for the elect: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” Rom. 8:32-33.

Vines said the Bible never isolates the elect, Christ’s sheep, His people or nation or His friends and says He died “ONLY for them.”

“It is a logical fallacy to say that, when Scripture says Christ died for me or for his church, his flock or his sheep, his people or nation or his friends that it means he died ONLY for me and them and DID NOT die for all. For me to say I love Dr. Allen and Dr. Cox does not mean I love only them and not Dr. Caner and Dr. Gaines,” said Vines, adding, “God’s salvation is sufficient for all men. It is efficient for all who believe.”

In this statement, Vines paved the way for the third and final answer to the question as found in John 3:16: “Jesus died for the world’s sins universally.”

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Jesus Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all,” said Vines, citing Rom. 5:15.

Vines cited this among other passages as those which he believes settle the question. Noting the Greek word used for “all” is pas, Vines intimated sincere curiosity as to how it is that the some persons can cite Rom. 3.23, which states that “all (pas) have sinned” but can ignore “pas” in Rom. 5.15, or reinterpret it as meaning the elect.

Vines believes the word all is neither limited nor exclusive, but includes the entirety of mankind, making salvation available to each and every person on the planet.

Dealing with John 3.16, Vines noted how some will translate “cosmos” as having some connection to “eklektos,” meaning, for some, that Jesus didn’t die for the sins of the world, but he died for the world of the “elect.”

Vines rejected that out-of-hand “because that’s not what the verse says.”

He defined the word world in John 3:16 as including every member of the race of humanity.

Vines said that Isaiah 53:6 teaches “the same truth in a most captivating way: “ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us ALL.”

The Hebrew word in that verse means “all, every, the whole,” Vines said. “In the Greek Septuagint the word is the same as the one translated ‘all’ in John 3:16. The verse teaches that ‘all’ without exception, are sinners. And that upon Christ was laid the iniquity of ‘all,’ without exception.

The evangelist D.L. Moody was departing from a citywide campaign, Vines said. “As the train was pulling away, a man came running to Moody, asking how he might be saved. Moody hastily quoted Isaiah 53:6, then shouted, ‘Go in at the first ALL, come out at the last ALL.’”

Leave a Comment:

All fields with “*” are required

 characters available

Todd Burus

Is this really THE burning question in Southern Baptist life? I would doubt that, but who’s to say. Even if it is it is a fallacy to say that belief in limited atonement or particular redemption prima facie affects missions and evangelism. It only affects missions and evangelism if the person also claims special knowledge as to who are the elect. To my knowledge, no mainstream modern Calvinist believes this. Once again it appears that the John 3.16 Conference is going after the hyper-Calvinist boogey man that doesn’t really exist to any appreciable extent in the SBC today.

    Norm Miller

    Todd: You wrote: “… it is a fallacy to say that belief in limited atonement or particular redemption prima facie affects missions and evangelism.” The witness of history in some instances instructs those who live in the present to avoid historical errors.

    You wrote: “To my knowledge, no mainstream modern Calvinist believes this.”
    Perhaps so. But, many “mainstream, modern” Calvinists who do support 5-point Calvinism are splitting churches and are being fired for the espousal of such beliefs. Indeed, this does affect missions and evangelism if a church must stomach and subsequently deal with such preaching/teaching. — Norm

      Todd Burus

      Norm,
      These are all speculative issues. There is nothing normative about what you are saying. The “historical errors” are errors involving HYPER-Calvinism. It may be informative for people to read “Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism” by Iain Murray to understand the difference.

      As for church splits, I would wonder how many of these splits are due to ill/misinformed congregations? I have sat in Sunday school classes where people shut their Bibles and stared into space whenever election was mentioned. There was no teachability there; simply a cold aversion to the discussion. I fear that this type of attitude has been bred by the way influential men like Dr. Vines have approached Calvinism in the past. Few congregations are prepared for serious discussions on Calvinism vs. Non-Calvinism/Arminianism, so encouraging them to “test” pastors on these issues (as Dr. Caner and others have done) can be treacherous/counter-productive.

      By the way, just by the numbers, I can guarantee that more SBC churches are split by non-Calvinist pastors than Calvinist ones. Somehow this never gets mentioned.

        David (NAS) Rogers

        “Few congregations are prepared for serious discussions on Calvinism vs. Non-Calvinism/Arminianism, so encouraging them to “test” pastors on these issues (as Dr. Caner and others have done) can be treacherous/counter-productive.”

        “By the way, just by the numbers, I can guarantee that more SBC churches are split by non-Calvinist pastors than Calvinist ones. Somehow this never gets mentioned.”

        It is certainly true that ignorance runs rampant. But the way to dispel it is to increase information. Calvinists can educate, and non-Calvinists can educate. Let all become accurately aware. Both sides have severely mis-characterized the other.

        Surely you are not for letting congregations remain in ignorance. The goal is “testing” pastors with informed background and not remaining silent and letting non-disclosing Calvinist pastors come into non-Calvinist churches and change them without full disclosure. Surely you are for full disclosure. Calvinist churches for sure test their candidates.

        By the way it misses the point to reference that non-Calvinists split more churches. Of course they do, they are the statistical majority. But that is irrelevant. The issues is whether they split them over the soteriological controversies more than Calvinists split churches over the soteriological controversies.

          Tommy

          “The issues is whether they split them over the soteriological controversies more than Calvinists split churches over the soteriological controversies.”

          Interesting observation, “Traditional” pastors are not getting fired for being traditional however the “Calvinists” are.

            volfan007

            Tommy, maybe that’s because some Calvinists are going into Non Calvinist Churches and trying to convert them.

            David

        Norm Miller

        Todd:
        I take great exception to commentors making undocumented, pontifical generalizations as facts. If I were allowed to breach confidences, I could trot out church after church that has a garden variety 5-pointer (not hyper) pastor who has split or even closed churches.
        For you to say: “There is nothing normative about what you are saying” is ill-informed, misleading and wrong-headed. I would advise you not to say such things without documentation.
        I have the facts and you are wrong. Just this morning I talked with someone who cited a church and pastor by name and can prove the pastor lied about being a Calvinist, and later revealed himself. Dozens of people have left the church and the church budget has been cut. Yet, if you look at the church website, there is not a hint of hyperism — not one.
        Also, I would remind you that there is no hyper-Calvinist who was not a Calvinist first. Historically, this is true. Hypers come from Calvinism, and that is why Calvinism will forever remain suspect.
        I would also speculate you are wrong about who splits more churches, Trads or Calvinists. I suspect if there were a known, accurate percentage of Trad-to-Calvinist pastors, we would see that Cals are splitting and killing far more churches than Trads.
        What an utter shame that it happens at all. — Norm

          Todd Burus

          Norm,
          I don’t think you know what the word normative means, nor did you seem to read what I said. There is absolutely nothing about Calvinism as traditionally stated that would lead to a failure in evangelism or missions (i.e. it is not normative). Just because this may have happened historically doesn’t mean it is a problem with the system of doctrine–it means it is a problem with the person applying it. And if a person is applying Calvinism in such a way that they believe God will save all he has elected apart from the means of men sharing the gospel with other men or apart from their explicitly confessing faith in Christ then he has crossed over into hyper-Calvinism. It is a borderline malicious misrepresentation to say that this is the pattern of all Calvinism as mean like Dr. Vines seem to imply.

          Second, I didn’t say that all splits charged to Calvinists are the fault of the congregation. Surely Calvinist pastors have been deceptive in order to push an agenda or acquire a job. However, I propose that more than a handful of non-Calvinist churches (whatever that means, by the way) have been antagonistic towards Calvinist pastors simply out of their ignorance as to the true statements of Calvinist doctrine.

          Finally, my assertion that non-Calvinist pastors (who, despite the misinformation are not the “traditional” SBC leaders) split more churches than non-Calvinists is purely a numbers game. At most Calvinists make up 25% of the convention. Do you actually think that Calvinist pastors cause three times as many church splits as non-Calvinists overall? That is a ratio that seems far too outrageous to be true.

          I agree that splitting churches is a shame no matter how it happens, and so is propagating disunity out of ignorance and stubbornness.

            Norm Miller

            Todd: I do know what normative means, and I did read what you wrote. Please don’t insult me like that.
            The double-predestination that Calvin espoused, is that hyper? — Norm

            Todd Burus

            Norm,
            You may want to be careful barking up the Calvin tree. There is historical debate as to whether he held to double predestination/supralapsarianism, but there is absolutely no question as to whether he believed that evangelism and a faith assent to the gospel were necessary. If you were to label Calvin as a hyper-Calvinist then he would be a horrible example for the case you’re trying to make.

            If you do understand what normative means then this is not clear, since you combated my claim on normality with a narrative. But of course as we all know, narrative does not make normative. I did not mean to insult you, I just wanted to make sure you understood what I was saying.

              Norm Miller

              No barking here, Todd. If you consider double predestination to be supralapsarian, then such is “normative” Calvinism. So, my initial point holds true while Calvin himself makes your rebuttal impotent as well as incorrect.

              To wit:
              “By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestined to life or death.” (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3:21:5)

              I do know the difference among normative, narrative and non-sense. — Norm

            Todd Burus

            Norm,
            I’m not sure what you are trying to prove. That Calvinism is hyper-Calvinism? This is patently false. That Calvin was a hyper-Calvinist? This is highly debated, and honestly plays not into the normative debate at all since most “Calvinists” adhere to the Synod of Dort and not Calvin himself (who never formulated TULIP). That Calvin, if a hyper-Calvinist, is an example of how Calvinism leads to a failure in evangelism? This is demonstrably false. Am I missing something?

              Norm Miller

              Are you missing something? Yes, you are. Let me recall your words for you, and you will see why I commented the way I did to this post of yours:

              “You may want to be careful barking up the Calvin tree. There is historical debate as to whether he held to double predestination/supralapsarianism…”

              You will recall that I pasted from the Institutes a selection that proves Calvin espoused (and Calvinism must, too) double-predestination. This charges God with damning some to hell. So, my only immediate point is to help you and all those “historical” debaters to see the truth about Calvin and Calvinism. Calvin’s (-ism’s) double-predestination is undeniable. Will you claim that as historical Calvinism? Will you deny it is held by you? Do you know Calvinists who deny double-predestination?

              As for “normative,” sure, I take your ‘point’ on paper. However, “normative” and “narrative” are not matching up. Some non-calvinists may be splitting/closing churches, or may be experiencing termination for a variety of reasons, but not b/c of their soteriology. However, some Cals are doing all of the above based on their theology/soteriology. I therefore stand by my assertion that some pastors who espouse Calvinism are hindering evangelism b/c the churches they ravage are in no condition to evangelize. So, “hyper” has nothing to do with it at all. It is the methodology of incognito Cals that is causing trouble and thus hindering any effective church ministry, including evangelism. Undeniably, that is Calvinism hindering evangelism. — Norm

            Norm Miller

            Todd:
            You wrote: “I agree that splitting churches is a shame no matter how it happens, and so is propagating disunity out of ignorance and stubbornness.”
            What you characterize as ignorance and stubbornness others may say is enlightened exegesis and contending for the faith. Nonetheless, who are you accusing of ignorance and stubbornness? — Norm

          Alan Davis

          Norm,
          I still pastor in the county I was raised in and have raised my family in. My family has been involved in SB life in this county for many generations. In talking with the ones still alive and from the church history’s I have read (I had to do a paper on our association church history) there have been numerous splits with many coming since I can recall myself in the 70’s. None of the splits were over soteriology. Some were over pastors wanting to go Independent, some because the pastor wanted to start a school or mission etc. Some were because the church wanted the pastor to leave over a preference issue and he left and took part with him, some were because the pastor brought in charismatic practices and more than one spilt because the pastor left his wife and started another church with some of the members. But none over Calvinism. Some split over women deacons and elders (yes elders) none on record split because they had elders or not just that some wanted women elders. Some have made up and are part of the association now and some are not. Several new churches started on the splits have died but not because of Calvinism.

          Of the 62 Baptist churches here about 30 are and have been in a long decline. Not one of these have a Calvinistic pastor nor had one. It has been my experience in this small section of the world that Calvinism has had little to no effect in splitting churches or killing them. Now given there is over 44,000 SB churches so a small sampling of 62 is far from scientific.

          Alan Davis

dr. james willingham

Amazing that the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church from which came the first Southern Baptist missionary to China, Matthew T. Yates, was organized in 1814, and its articles of faith speak of Christ dying for the church. Not a word about His dying for the world. That was in 1814, In 1816 the messengers of that church were present at the 1816 meeting of the Sandy Creek Assn. in which Luther Rice, the father of missions, enlisted the folks of that organization and its churches in the modern missionary movement and also led them to adopt a Calvinistic Confession of Faith. The question might be put: Did Jesus preach a limited atonement view or a someone else is benefited with no mention of hope for the particular person addressed? And the answer is yes, He did. In Mt.15:21-28 we find our Lord saying to the woman of Canaan, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and that woman was not a Jew. Her response was one of worship, contrary to the response of the people of Nazareth to the same kind of message, namely, Elijah and Elisha helped no widow or leper in Israel but they did some Gentiles. Whoa. Our Lord’s fellow citizens tried to murder Him. Could it be that His words to them in the messages of Elijah and Elisha were the same as that in the message to the woman of israel, an invitation to worship? Could it be that these troublesome truths are really therapeutic paradoxes that can produce the moral transformation of our Society, a thing so badly needed, like they did in the Awakenings in 1741 and 1801 and in the Great Century of Missions? I think that Dr. Eusden’s statement in his Introduction to his translation of William Ames’ Marrow of Divinity, to wit, that “Predestination is an invitation to begin one;s spiritual pilgrimage,…” is the really new perspective on these doctrines of grace, that they are all invitations to salvation, to trust God, to realize the true humility of our position as sinners? I think so. Even Reprobation, if our Lord and Savior is to be believed, can serve as an invitation to argue with Christ and be saved. “It is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it to dogs.” So our Lord said, and the woman of Canaan agreed with Him and then argued: “But event he dogs even of the crumbs that fall from their little masters table.” Dogs serve as an illustration of reprobation (they return to their own vomit as Peter says, the essence of uncleanness.). The Awakening that is coming, if it follows the patterns of the first two will involve sinners getting saved by these truths that are winsome beyond words to engage the sinful souls of a lost and dying world.

    David (NAS) Rogers

    “The Awakening that is coming, if it follows the patterns of the first two will involve sinners getting saved by these truths that are winsome beyond words to engage the sinful souls of a lost and dying world.”

    And the Lord’s engaging of sinful souls includes his being “the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2 NASB)

rhutchin

“Vines said the question was “no small, minor, or secondary question,” and noted it is answered in two prominent ways: 1) Jesus died for the sins of the elect only (limited atonement or particular redemption); or, 2) Jesus died for the sins of all humanity (universal atonement).”

I think that is ignoring the issue. When God created Adam, He already knew who would be saved and who would not. The issue, unaddressed, is whether God sent Christ to consummate the salvation of those that He knew would be saved, and had chosen to save (regardless how God chose them), and what meaning the death of Christ has for those that God knew would not be saved.

Until those who oppose Calvinism address this, nothing will be resolved.

    Godismyjudge

    Rhutchin,

    Election is in Christ (Eph 1:4-5). No one was either foreknow or elected to salvation apart from Christ’s work. So saying they were elected first, then Christ was sent to save them is putting the cart before the horse.

    God be with you,
    Dan

      rhutchin

      That is not the issue. Let’s take your position that God sent Christ to save those who would accept Him (and thereby be elected by God).

      The point is that God knew who would accept Christ and knew these people when He created Adam. Thus, in creating Adam God decrees that outcome – those known to accept Christ will be saved and those known to reject Christ will not. Sending Christ brings to past that which God has foreknown – the salvation of the elect and the judgement of the reprobate.

      So, by creating Adam, God initiates a sequence of events that lead to the salvation of the elect and the judgement of the reprobate. However, throughout this sequence of events, we read of God’s direct intervention in the affairs of men that greatly affects the outcome. For example, God directly intervenes to save Saul/Paul and then uses Paul as the vehicle to present the gospel to others even directing Paul to go to certain places while restraining him from going to others. God’s fingerprints are all over the elect it seems and against the reprobate.

      Given this, how are we to deal with the reprobate. God knew them when He created Adam and knew that they would not be saved. Many would never hear the gospel preached. The question: In what sense can it be said that Christ died for them? If one is to oppose Calvinism, this issue needs to be addressed; it isn’t. (Is it?)

        cb scott

        rhutchin,

        You may have missed my question from an earlier post. Therefore, I shall pose it again. Do you currently serve a local Baptist church as pastor?

          rhutchin

          No.

            cb scott

            Seminary student?

            Alan Davis

            Hey CB,

            I think I understand what your asking and why of Rutchin. However I have the same question and have had for a long time. I am not looking for you or anyone to answer it due to me writing this. But I have never felt i have gotten a solid answer (even after reading Brother Roberts rather long reply several times now) My point right here is not to get an answer but just to point out the question is a valid question still in more than one mans mind and still unanswered sufficiently as we see it. Rutchin and I are not the only ones who feel the answers we have received are insufficient. I just hadn’t said too much about it before. And I am SB and a lead pastor of a SB church and was born into a strong SB family with rich SB heritage (though that sounds like endless genealogy). Anyways, just saying more than Rutchin has that question.

            Alan Davis

    Preach BlackMan Preach

    The Rich man who ended up in hell, knew exactly why he was there, it wasn’t a mystery to him. He also knew why he wasn’t in Abraham’s bosom and that wasn’t a mystery to him. He also knew why his five brothers were on their way to the same exact eternal, destructive, “end”, that also was no mystery to him. Why is it such a mystery here?

    In His lifetime he had failed to repent at the preaching of the word of God, which is “resisting” the Holy Ghost. In hell the Rich man knew “literally” His unrepentant brothers were in the same condition topside the earth as he was when he lived and would follow him into the same place of torments for no other reason. And he, the Rich man, said “Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will “repent”. The Rich man could have said it like this “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise “perish”.

      Norm Miller

      It took hell to make an evangelist out of the rich man. — Norm

        Preach BlackMan Preach

        Evangelist and concerned Missionary, let me tell you, Brother!

      sbcissues

      Very good Word my brother! Very good Word indeed!

        Preach BlackMan Preach

        Thank you Brother, I truly appreciate you and the share of Christ ministry assigned to your hands as we see The Day approaching. -Preach BlackMan Preach

Preach BlackMan Preach

God calls the sinner by the glorious gospel to His written word, the perfect law of liberty. He draws Him by His Spirit of Truth to His Eternal Word, His Son, once the repentant sinner is convicted and convinced of his eternal dilemma before The Only God who Alone Holy. Now the only condition standing between “faith” in His Son, or “believing” or “receiving” even “coming” to Jesus The Christ, is the oldest problem known to mankind, the issue of sin, Friends. Sin and unbelief is dealt with exclusively when the fruit of repentance is made know to God and realized in the spirit of the desperate sinner, having absolutely no hope in himself and none in this present world.

Now as it concerns the world, The Lord Jesus said, the world is condemned already, but not without conviction. For the Spirit of God at His predicted arrival, would, as He is right now, convict the “world” 1.) of sin, because they believe not on Me, 2.) of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; 3.) of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. Now, the unbelieving “world” will be convicted and one day convinced and someone has said it like this in a song. “IF I DIE AND GO TO HELL, IT AIN’T NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE. I HAVE A BIBLE AND I CAN READ. IF I DIE AND GO TO HELL IT AIN’T NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE. Beloved, you can probaly tell by now I’m beginning to “feel” this thing (song) right about now (smile). Listen, Abraham put it like this, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. In other words they have Christ in the Scriptures, let them hear Him. John 5 :39 Search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life, “these” are “they” which testify of “Me”.

Christ preached Himself from this territory and we would have all liked to been somewhere in the number.

James M. Leonard

Calvinism on the Sly continues to be an extremely relevant issue for Baptist churches:

http://arminianbaptist.blogspot.com/2008/04/churches-beware-calvinism-on-sly.html

    Alan Davis

    The sight referenced above assumes that the majority of SB are Arminian. This particular sight we are on right now purports this is not true and they deny the use of Arminian or semi-Arminian to describe them or the majority of SB. They reject that title outright actually. I visited this article and after one reading i would say it is almost a false alarm at least in my neck of the woods. Also the 62 churches in the association where i serve would be interested also if a candidate held Arminian views as well and to what extent. We just extended a call to an associate pastor of familys at the church I serve and we asked both questions. As we were looking for someone who had more Calvinistic view (or better spoken, a Spurgeonist view).

    Alan Davis

Ken

Todd:

Allow me to address the issue of whether or not a belief in Calvinism can effect evangelism and missions efforts for which I sense you conclude that it does not.

I believe the entire issue is grounded in the Gospel message that is used to evangelize. Webster’s, for instance, defines evangelism as “the preaching or promulgation of the gospel.” I just don’t see how a Calvinist can preach and teach the commandment to fulfill the Great Commission that Jesus commanded when by the very definition of Calvinism God’s plan of salvation – that I am convinced the Bible teaches – is rejected out of hand by the belief in limited atonement. As an example, one of the most missions-minded church organizations that has ever existed is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormonism). The problem is, they are preaching a false gospel. And I could add to the Mormons Roman Catholicsm and all the other “isms” around the world.

Although I would never be so arrogant as to profess to know the eternal dwelling place of any individual(that is God’s prerogative alone)I feel comfortable in inquiring of God whether any individual who rejects outright His plan of salvation can really be saved.

Perhaps you can enlighten me as to how a Calvinist would approach a lost person to evangelize them. Yes, you could tell them that God loves them but cannot assure them that they are bound for Heaven when they die but that they just won’t know whether or not they were one of the persons that God pre-selected for salvation before the foundation of the world until the Rapture of the Church or after they die, whichever comes first. Contrast that with the preacher or missionary who can assure the lost one that the Bible offers many, many assurances that if they repent and accept Jesus as Savior they will be eternally saved.

My intent is not to be argumentative but to provide you with what I think represents the thinking of most Traditionalists and why we believe that Calvinism … growing within the SBC which needs immediate attention.

Ken

So, yes, Dr. Vines is correct, Calvinist beliefs and doctrines

    Todd Burus

    Ken,
    I don’t mean to be derogatory, but is this a serious question? Honestly, I can’t believe you basically imply that a 5-point Calvinist is going to Hell! This is part-and-parcel of the problem with this debate–people are forgetting that Calvinism vs. non-Calvinism is a question that BELIEVERS have to deal with! To say that belief in limited atonement is a rejection of the gospel is to too broadly define what the gospel is, to the point at which you are in a sense saying, “The gospel is identical to the teachings of non-Calvinism.”

    As to the question of how a 5-point Calvinist approaches a lost person to evangelize them, they would say, “You are by nature a sinner, separated from God by your sin, and wholly unable to put yourself back into a right relationship with him. However, out of his great love and mercy God came to the earth in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, who lived the life that you couldn’t live and died the death that you should have died for your sin so that through his obedience his righteousness might be counted to you. If you repent of your sins and put faith in Jesus alone as your savior then you can trust that your sins are forgiven, and that no matter what you do nothing can separate you from the Father ever again.” This is true to the gospel and is consistent with 5-point Calvinism. In particular, it remains consistent with limited atonement because it says, “If you repent of your sins and put faith in Jesus alone as your savior then you can trust that your sins are forgiven.” I can honestly say this to anyone because I know two things (1) it is not for me to know who the elect are,but only God, and (2) it is all and only the elect who will put their faith in God.

    Does this clarify how a 5-point Calvinist would deal with the proposed “problem”?

    Alan Davis

    Ken,

    You said “I feel comfortable in inquiring of God whether any individual who rejects outright His plan of salvation can really be saved.”

    Not wanting to read more into this statement than I should, are you saying that any Calvinistic view is a rejection of God’s revealed plan of salvation? And if your answer is yes, may I ask if the 3:16 conference fostered this idea with you?

    Alan Davis

JB

“I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.”

Max

To paraphrase Dr. Vine’s illustration from D.L. Moody in the last paragraph of this post: The train is pulling away in the lives of lost souls as they ask Southern Baptists today “What must I do to be saved?” We need to answer that question boldly and clearly with one plan of God’s salvation, not two. We can’t compromise on this point to agree to disagree, go along to get along. This matter is literally a death or life crossroads for the SBC in our evangelism efforts.

Robert

Rhutchin keeps repeating his argument from foreknowledge over and over again. It has been answered again and again. Since he repeats it yet again, I will repost my answer to it yet again.

Notice his latest post were he writes:

“The point is that God knew who would accept Christ and knew these people when He created Adam. Thus, in creating Adam God decrees that outcome – those known to accept Christ will be saved and those known to reject Christ will not. Sending Christ brings to past that which God has foreknown – the salvation of the elect and the judgement of the reprobate.”

Yes, God has foreknowledge so He knows where everyone will end up as their eternal destiny. All who believe that God foreknows everything readily acknowledge that to be true.

Rhutchin tries to argue it again with:

“So, by creating Adam, God initiates a sequence of events that lead to the salvation of the elect and the judgement of the reprobate. However, throughout this sequence of events, we read of God’s direct intervention in the affairs of men that greatly affects the outcome. For example, God directly intervenes to save Saul/Paul and then uses Paul as the vehicle to present the gospel to others even directing Paul to go to certain places while restraining him from going to others. God’s fingerprints are all over the elect it seems and against the reprobate”

And note that he repeats yet again his claim that no one here has dealt with his argument:

“Given this, how are we to deal with the reprobate. God knew them when He created Adam and knew that they would not be saved. Many would never hear the gospel preached. The question: In what sense can it be said that Christ died for them? If one is to oppose Calvinism, this issue needs to be addressed; it isn’t. (Is it?)”

Notice in particular his words at the end: “this issue needs to be addressed, it isn’t. (Is it?)”

This is not true at all, it has been addressed over and over with rhutchin. I will repost my answer to his argument yet again, and will keep doing so until he stops claiming that his argument has not been addressed:

[I have seen this poster who posts as “rhutchin” repeatedly bring up his “argument” for Calvinism based upon the reality that God foreknows all events, all actual outcomes. rhutchin seems to think that if God foreknows all things then we must not have what is ordinarily referred to as a free will or that Jesus was provided for the whole world.

Rhutchin states:

“Non-Calvinist have ignored the controversial issues posed by Calvinists on this question.”

This is not true at all in fact Johnathan Pritchett gave an answer to this argument in a previous thread, but rhutchin ignored it and just keeps presenting this argument over and over and over again.

Here it is again:

“As Vines says, “Southern Baptists overwhelmingly hold the view that Jesus died for all the sins of all the people of all the world.” Southern Baptists also hold the view that God is omniscient and knew the names of the elect and the non-elect when He created Adam. Further, we know that the number of the elect cannot increase nor the number of the non-elect decrease. Southern Baptists seem to believe contradictory positions. Are they contradictory?? Perhaps Conference speakers will sort this out.”

I am going to answer this argument and hopefully never ever see rhutchin bring it up again. Note my answer will be **based upon non-Calvinist beliefs** (i.e. things that non-Calvinists believe about God’s foreknowledge and free will and plan of salvation) which should not be shocking! ?

First note that rhutchin claims that it is a CONTRADICTION for someone to hold simultaneously that God foreknows all future actual outcomes and that we have free will (cf. “Southern Baptists seem to believe contradictory positions.”). Let’s note that most non-Calvinists who are orthodox (excepting open theists who deny that God foreknows all future events) believe BOTH: (1) that God foreknows all future actual outcomes, and (2) that people at least sometimes have what is ordinarily understood to be free will (i.e. I have a choice between two different alternative possibilities, I then make a choice between these possibilities, choosing to actualize one possibility while not actualizing the other possibility and the choice of which option that I choose is up to me and not necessitated by some necessitating factors, which also means that while I choose one possibility I could have done otherwise and chosen the other possibility).

rhutchin brings up the first belief when he writes: “Southern Baptists also hold the view that God is omniscient and knew the names of the elect and the non-elect when He created Adam. Further, we know that the number of the elect cannot increase nor the number of the non-elect decrease.” And this is true, if God is omniscient and knows all future actual outcomes, then before he even created the world he knew the names of all who would be believers/elect and all who would be non-believers/non-elect. This has to be true due to the nature of God’s foreknowledge. God’s foreknowledge involves knowing what will in fact take place. Let’s call an event that will in fact take place, an ACTUAL OUTCOME. Actual because it will in fact occur, an outcome because it is an event produced by some causes. When we speak of God’s foreknowledge we are not talking about events that will not occur, events that may have occurred but did not occur, but only events that will in fact occur.

rhutchin brings up the second belief when he writes: ““As Vines says, “Southern Baptists overwhelmingly hold the view that Jesus died for all the sins of all the people of all the world.” The majority Southern Baptist belief is that God provides Jesus as an atonement for the whole world (1 John 2:2), that God desires the salvation of everyone (1 Tim. 2:4), and that out of love the Father gave the Son as this atonement for the world (John 3:16).

rhutchin seems to think that holding all of these beliefs simultaneously is a contradiction.

Exactly how so?

How is God’s foreknowledge of all future actual outcomes contradictory to God providing Jesus as an atonement for all people?

Rhutchin seems to think that because God does foreknow who will be saved and who will be lost before he creates Adam, that that somehow contradicts his plan of salvation which involves Him giving Jesus as an atonement for the whole world.

There are four additional beliefs that non-Calvinists hold that need to be kept in mind here. First, the non-Calvinist believes that people are saved through a freely chosen choice to trust in Christ alone for salvation (so all who are saved are human persons who freely trust the Lord for their salvation). The second belief which is actually closely connected with the first is that non-Calvinists, contrary to universalists believe that the Bible teaches that not all at the end will be saved (so some are saved and some are not saved, those who are saved had faith and those who did not freely chose to reject God and his offer of salvation through Christ). Now calvinists may detest our belief that people must freely (and determinists have devised various arguments to ridicule and question that the choice occurs freely) choose to trust in order to be saved, but that is in fact our belief. The third belief is that God is sovereign and so He does as He pleases. This means that He creates the world to be the kind of world that He wants it to be AND that He decides the nature of the plan of salvation. So if HE decides before creating the world that people will be saved through a freely chosen faith in Christ, then that will be the way it is no matter how many Calvinists question or reject or mock this reality. And fourth, if He decides beforehand that human beings will have the capacity to have and make their own choices (i.e. free will as ordinarily understood), then that will be the way that it is not matter how many Calvinists question or reject or mock the existence of free will.

Now let’s put these beliefs together and compare them with rhutchin’s claim that they are contradictory. So say that God decides before he creates Adam that the plan of salvation will involve the atonement of Christ on the cross. And say that God knows there will be exactly say 1 million believers in history, that precisely 1 million will freely choose to believe in Jesus and be saved (and all the rest who reject Jesus will not be saved). God provided Jesus for everyone but knows that of the whole world 1 million will freely choose to trust in Jesus and be saved. How is that contradictory? Rhutchin has an unspoken assumption operating here. His assumption is that if God knows everything that will happen before it happens, then everything is fixed, but if everything is fixed, then how can people be freely choosing to trust in Christ for salvation? If this was the Hans Christian Anderson story, right about now the little boy would be pointing out that rhutchin’s assumption has no clothes! The little boy might ask: Ok, it is true that God knows what every future outcome will be, but the question is HOW are these future actual outcomes brought about??? Are they brought about because of God’s foreknowledge? Does God’s foreknowledge cause all future events? Or are they the result of freely made choices?

Let’s invent two people to show how this works out practically speaking.

Tom is born in Germany. Because Tom is a human person he is part of the whole world for which Jesus was provided as an atonement. Tom lives much of his life freely living his own way apart from God. Then through a series of circumstances Tom repeatedly hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit reveals things to him including that Jesus is the only way of salvation, that Tom is a sinner that needs to repent of his sin, etc. etc. Over years time Tom is a convert to Christianity, he freely chooses to trust in Christ alone for his salvation. Did God know before creating Tom that Tom would be a believer/elect? Yes. Did God control Tom like a Robot and make him choose to trust? No. Tom freely chose to trust Christ alone for salvation.

John is born in the United States. Because John is a human person he is part of the whole world for which Jesus was provided as an atonement. John lives much of his life freely living his own way apart from God. But John is also born in a Christian home with believing parents and siblings. He is exposed to the gospel from practically the day he was born. He goes to Christian schools, goes to Christian camps; he gets lots of exposure to Christianity. And though all of this the Holy Spirit is revealing things to John. John knows he is a sinner, knows Jesus is the way of salvation; John has many things revealed to him. His parents and siblings are genuine and consistent Christians so he sees the Christian life right in front of him. Unfortunately, John keeps rejecting the work of the Spirit, he keeps rejecting God. He does not want Jesus to be Lord over his life: no one tells him what to think, say or do!. John sadly continues in this way for his whole lifetime. Only after years of freely rejecting God and the gospel does John die. John was never saved. Did God know that John would end up unsaved before God created Adam? Yes. Did God control John like a robot and make him not believe? No, John’s repeated choice to reject was his own freely made choice.

In the case of both Tom and John God knew everything about them before they were ever born. But Tom chose to trust and John did not. Both acted freely, both made free will choices. God knew all the choices they would ever make in their lifetimes. Did God not love John? No, because Jesus died on the cross for John as he did for every person. God through the Spirit revealed things to John. The problem is that John kept freely rejecting God and the offer of salvation.

Where is the contradiction in all of this rhutchin? ? ? ?

God created this world where our choices are real and meaningful and even have eternal consequences. God created this world knowing that some would freely choose to accept Jesus and some would freely choose to reject Jesus. And in this case there were a million people who freely chose to trust. Could it have been otherwise? Yes, if more had believed then more would have been saved. If instead of 1 million freely choosing to trust in the Lord, 100 million freely chose to trust, then that would be the actual outcome, 100 million people would freely choose to trust the Lord. No matter what the numbers end up being, God foreknows exactly what those numbers would be. No matter what the numbers end up being, people freely choose both to accept and to reject Christ.

There are no contradictions in holding non-Calvinist beliefs that God provided Jesus for the whole world, that only those who freely choose to trust will be saved, that God knew who would and would not choose to trust before he even created Adam. Now some will not ***like*** this scenario, they will then argue something like: so why didn’t God not create the world if he knew such and such number would freely choose to reject Him? The problem with that question is that the world is the way it is because God is sovereign (i.e. it pleased Him to create human persons with the capacity to freely choose) and God does love everyone because He provided Jesus for everyone and desires for everyone to be saved. It is not like people will be damned because they never had a chance (as is true in Calvinism by the way, where God fixes the number of saved and unsaved and if you are unsaved you never had a chance to be saved, you were damned from eternity). In the Bible people are damned for the willful rejection of the light they have been given. So if anyone is damned it is their own choice and if anyone is damned they had to have continually and repeatedly rejected God and his revelation given to them, over and over and over again. Now I know determinists/calvinists may hate what I am saying here. But that is not the issue, the issue is that rhutchin thinks that non-Calvinist beliefs are contradictory: when in fact they are not. They are not contradictory, they are just beliefs that calvinists/determinists reject. So then the question becomes if these beliefs held by non-Calvinists are true, what are calvinists in fact freely choosing to do? They are rejecting the truth.

Robert

    rhutchin

    “Did God not love John? No, because Jesus died on the cross for John as he did for every person.”

    Then, God did not love John. If you maintain that God loved John but passively allowed John to reject Christ, then you need to explain what you mean by “Love” as applied to God. Do you mean it in the sense described by Vines in the book, “Whosoever will…”? I don’t think so. God’s love is active bringing the elect to salvation. You are arguing that God’s love can be passive which is to emasculate that love of all meaning. Free will is not the issue. Love is the issue.

    Sound reasoning can be explained in a simple logical argument. Many words mean a person has have little to say.

Preach BlackMan Preach

Christ is the “righteousness” of God. Christ is the “elect” of God. Those who have believed on the Son of God are now the righteousness of God in Christ and the same is true of election. Those who leave this world under condemnation are deserving of eternal punishment not because of God but for the same reason the world is condemned, they “believed” not on Him that God has sent. It’s not that they could not believe, nor cannot believe, it is because they would not and will not believe. For anyone to suggest that The God who is love, the same God who “so loved” the world, had only a particular segment of the first man, Adam, posterity in mind when He decreed salvation is to diminish the Second Man, The last Adam and to dilute this particular divine attribute of His love. This dogma makes the fall in Genesis 3 greater than the only Remedy decreed by the Sovereign in giving His Son for the world. The Last Adam is far more greater, exceedingly Superior to the first man Adam. Even His name that is, The Last Adam, delares “all” of the first man Adam’s decendents in view. Listen, where sin abound grace did much more abound and is available to all who will believe in His Son, to the Jew first then the Greek. Sin is the issue here, not God or His election. God’s election is sure in Christ but He will not make the sinner repent and believe the gospel, but I can assure you of this great spiritual truth, He will make the sinner wish in the next life “he” had! This is life eternal life, that they may know thee, the only True God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Those who “choose” not to “receive” Jesus Christ is due to their own sinfulness and direct assistance from the Wicked One, do “resist” the Holy Ghost which is to “reject” the Only True God plain and simple. The future “eternal’ punishment will fit the “crime” of the “age”. This is true of the Lucifer and his angels as well as unbelievers from this world. Hell was not created for man, but if he must go, there will be plenty of room when he arrives, I can assure you of that.

Preach Blackman Preach

Any doctrinal position in which God is used and His Son to exalt the “work” and “belief” system of some man or group men must be scutinized. When I engage some out in the market place, some of these men of old are actually exalted beyond even the holy apostles. For instance, to some, not all, but the greater question is not if you are a christian or believer but are you a calvinist. The doctrine of Christ was given directly to His apostles who were commanded to obey and committ to faithfull men. His doctrine always glorifies His Father and He is exalted by the ministry of the Holy Spirit in His New Testament Church.

Preach BlackMan Preach

Even the so-called Church fathers don’t get the same “run”, that is, the exposure, as those whom we seperate from in our doctrinal camps. Many “gloss” themselves with these men from the Reformation. “Classic”.

Ken

Robert

That was a masterful reply to Rhutchin’s points, particularly the treatise on God’s omniscience and how his foreknowledge in no way amends his Plan of Salvation. Oh, how I wish he and his fellow Calvinists would grasp the Biblical truth that God’s one and only plan for salvation is clear and unmistakable, i.e. He gave his only Son to die on the cross for the sins of all mankind and that whoever believes in him should have everlasting life. Conclusively, there is no other way given under Heaven by which a man can be saved.

What a joy it would be if Calvinists copuld accept those truths so that our SBC could present a united plan of salvation to the world just as Dr. Vines indicated and to which you alluded.

I heard a radio preacher a few years back, I believe it was Warren Worsby, but I’m not certain of that, who, in a sermon to pastors made this remark, “I don’t understand the stupidity of any pastor who does not believe thet the ‘whosoever’ in John 3:16 doesn’t refers to every person born into this world.” I would invite Calvinists to consider those remarks seriously.

Thanks again for your remarks.
Ken

Ken

Robert:

Woops, Sorry! In my last paragraph the word doesn’t should not be there. Hope it didn’t confuse anybody.

Ken

JB

Ken,

Are there people in hell whose sins are completely paid for?

    Norm Miller

    JB:
    Why are people in hell, b/c their sins weren’t paid for or b/c they rejected Jesus? — Norm

Robert

First of all, rhutchin are you going to cease bringing up your argument (i.e. from God’s foreknowledge of everyone’s eternal destiny as a supposed problem for non-Calvinists) that I have dealt with yet again?

I answered your argument as have others, so I hope you cease trotting out this argument.

You wrote:

“Then, God did not love John. If you maintain that God loved John but passively allowed John to reject Christ, then you need to explain what you mean by “Love” as applied to God.”

God demonstrates his love for the world in that Jesus died for the world. That is what the Bible explicitly states as being true. You reject that truth and instead pose a counter claim that God does not love the world but only loves the preselected elect. Your claim is contradicted by the Bible and so it is false.

Besides the fact Jesus died on the cross for the world, we have the incarnation itself which also demonstrates the love of God for all people. The Father did not have to send the Son in the flesh; he could have rightfully damned every one of us. Instead He sent the Son knowing what the response would be (i.e. sinful men would plan and then actualize his crucifixion). God did all of this out of love for people. You minimize both the incarnation and the crucifixion of Jesus when you question the love of God by writing: “If you maintain that God loved John but passively allowed John to reject Christ, then you need to explain what you mean by ‘Love’ as applied to God.”

I am not the one who questions and minimizes the love of God for mankind, you are.

You do so by your erroneous and false theology of limited atonement and unconditional election. You reject the clear and explicit teaching regarding the love of God for mankind. You then have the gall to question the love of God by insinuating that if God allows people to reject Him He is unloving to them. This is not true at all. God through the Spirit speaks to people and reveals things to people enabling a faith response to the gospel. If they keep rejecting the Spirit’s work, keep rejecting the things that God has revealed to them, they are the ones responsible for their rejection of God, not God.

And there was nothing ***PASSIVE*** about either the incarnation or the crucifixion of Jesus.

“Do you mean it in the sense described by Vines in the book, “Whosoever will…”? I don’t think so. God’s love is active bringing the elect to salvation.”

That is false, God’s love is active in leading all to salvation (even those who ultimately reject God and His love for them): that is why when it speaks of the work of the Spirit in convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. It does not say the Spirit does this only for a few lucky preselected ones as you believe and your false theology claims. No the scripture says the Spirit does this for the WORLD. So you have the Father demonstrating his love for the world b sending the Son to die for the sins of the WORLD. The Son demonstrates His love for the WORLD by his incarnation and crucifixion. And the Spirit demonstrates His love for the WORLD by convicting THE WORLD not just a handful of preselected lucky ones. Your problem is not with me it is with scripture what God has explicitly and clearly revealed.

“You are arguing that God’s love can be passive which is to emasculate that love of all meaning.”

Again the incarnation and crucifixion of Jesus were not passive.

Nor was the sending of the Son by the Father, nor is the work of the Spirit in convicting the world.

“Free will is not the issue. Love is the issue.”

And in consistent calvinism God has no love for the majority of mankind.

What God does in Calvinism to the “reprobates” is the most hateful thing that could be done to a person. Calvinism minimizes the love of God by restricting it only to a few lucky preselected ones. That is not the Bible and so it is false. Calvinists deny the love of God for the world, so you really are not in the place to speak on the love of God as long as you hold your Calvinistic theology. Calvinism restricts the grace of God and the love of God to only the preselected elect. This restriction of both grace and love is not biblical. That is why Calvinism will never be (nor has it ever) been the majority view of the Christian church. The Catholics reject it as do the Easter Orthodox as well as the majority of Protestants. So you are fighting a losing battle when you endorse and promote Calvinism. Your view of the love of God being restricted only to the elect is rejected by the vast majority of Christians today and throughout church history. And worse yet, your view of the love of God being restricted is contradicted by clear and explicit scripture. So you have church history against you as well as the scripture against you.

Robert

Ken

Todd:

Wow, how you ever deduced from my statements that I am saying the gospel is identical to the teachings of non-Calvinists is so far from reality it is unthinkable. My intention was to say just the opposite.

You are correct to state that this entire matter of Calvinism/non-Calvinism rests with the understanding of what represents the Gospel. For my part, I am satisfied with what is commonly referred to as the Gospel in Miniature, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever(anyone, anywhere, at any time) believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16)

Now, in comparison, let’s consider the “U” and “L” doctrines of the Calvinism “TULIP” as I understand them. Please correct me if I am misstating those doctrines.

U – Unconditional Election – Because man is dead in sin, he is unable to initiate response to God; therefore, in eternity past God elected certain people to salvation.
Election and predestination are unconditional; they are not based on man’s response because man is unable to respond, nor does he want to.

L – Limited Atonement – Because God determined that certain ones should be saved as a result of God’s unconditional election, He determined that Christ should die for the elect alone. All whom God has elected and Christ died for will be saved.

Those beliefs are so far from John 3:16 and many similar verses on salvation that it is impossible for me to believe that a Calvinist could address a lost person using the language you presented unless done so in total deception.

The other point which you address which requires comment is the subject of “the elect” or “election.” Calvinists have a way of using those terms in a manner which seems scriptural but in fact is contrary to my understanding of The Scriptures. Let me make it clear that I believe that the only thing God predestinated regarding salvation is His Plan of Salvation (John 3:16). I am also convinced that “the elect” consists of anyone who repents and accepts Jesus as Savior and not any predetermined individual selection by God. While you correctly state that it is not for us to know who will comprise “the elect,” which I made clear in my initial submission, I would reject your comment that “it is all and only the elect who will exhibit faith in God by accepting his Son as Savior” and replace it with “it is every individual who elects to freely put his/her faith in God by repenting and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior who will be included among the elect.”

To answer your last question, No, your response didn’t clarify the doubts in my mind about how a Calvinist would witness to a lost person because they appear entirely illogical to me in light of the “U” and “L” doctrines I addressed previously.

Ken

    Todd Burus

    Ken,
    I’m not quite sure what you’re saying about the gospel, but that’s neither here nor there. As for your understandings of U and L, the following:

    On U–you are somewhat exceeding the bounds of unconditional election and meshing it with total depravity. The ultimate reality is that they are connected in the Calvinist soteriology, but not to the extent that we can’t define them separately. That said, if one were to take your definition of U as a definition of T and U it would be a good start.

    On L–as opposed to your saying too much on U, you actually say too little on L. When you say that God “determined that Christ should die for the elect alone” you leave a lot of wiggle room. What I mean is, Calvinists who hold to L differ in what they believe as to the nature of Christ’s death for the elect. In fact, the position that is quoted above by Vines (that “God’s salvation is sufficient for all men. It is efficient for all who believe.”) is actually a Calvinist understanding of limited atonement! (Who knew that Vines was a closet Calvinist?) It is important for us to clarify where we stand on this issue, for some of them have more Scriptural support than others. The last statement you make (“All whom God has elected and Christ died for will be saved”) is more a statement of irresistible grace than L.

    As for your understanding of election, I would challenge you to look and see if this is really how this term is used in the New Testament. Particularly if we are to take Peter’s parallel usage of the word in regards to Jesus in 1 Peter 1.20 and the biblical theological analogy with Israel, who certainly didn’t become God’s people by their own choice.

Ken

JB

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

Also see Norm’s reply which covers my thoughts nicely.

Ken

    JB

    Ken,

    So Christ did not pay for the sins of people in who are in hell? I thought you said he died for all the sins of all men?

    Norm,

    You didn’t answer the question.

      Norm Miller

      Neither did you.

      The answer to the question is answered biblically. I am surprised you don’t know the references. — Norm

        JB

        Norm,

        I asked Ken the question, he answered it. You answered it by asking another question, which is not an answer. I’ll answer your question.

        “JB:
        Why are people in hell, b/c their sins weren’t paid for or b/c they rejected Jesus?”

        People go to hell because they do not repent and believe in Christ. But why do they not believe in Christ?

        “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

        They do not believe because God has not chosen them. And Christ did not die for those whom God did not choose.

        If all men’s sins were paid for, then there would be people in hell whose sins were atoned for; that would be unjust…double jeopardy.

        So I suppose a fuller answer to your question would be that they are in hell because they rejected Christ, which they were destined to do because their sins were not paid for.

          Norm Miller

          So Jesus did NOT die for the sins of the whole world? Hmmmm?
          Your argument is not with me, but with God the Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures.
          When you set God the Holy Spirit straight, get back to me, will ya? — Norm

            JB

            Once again you have not answered my original question, but it’s fine. Yes, I believe that Christ did not die for the all the sins of the entire world. Ok, now I’m going to ask you a question Norm, please try to answer it. Here it goes; if Christ did in fact die for the sins of all men, then why are not all saved?

              Norm Miller

              Christ’s death made the payment for all sins, but that atonement must be appropriated through repentance and faith if one is to be advantaged by the atonement.
              Christ’s atonement is sufficient for all, but only efficient for those who repent and believe.
              Like a recent LifeWay survey, too many Calvinists insist on only two theological positions: theirs and Arminianism. Similarly, many Calvinists also insist that, those who believe that Jesus died for the sins of the world must be universalists. That, of course, is not true of me and of any other Trad I know. — Norm

          Norm Miller

          JB:
          “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden” Rom. 9.18
          I sure do believe that. I take a look at Pharoah, e.g., who repeatedly hardened his own heart until God sealed his choice by permanently hardening Pharoah’s heart.
          While I unreservedly embrace Rom. 9.18, I believe Pharoah’s experience is instructive in understanding the verse. — Norm

Preach BlackMan Preach

Listen, Christians are commanded by our Great God to love God, commanded by God to love one another, commanded by God to love our neighbors, commanded by God to love our selves, but wait, He has even commanded us to love our “enemies”. Jesus Christ loved His enemies because God loves them, why because God is love. For it is written, Father, forgive them… now that is love right out of John 3:16. For God commended His love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Listen, God has commanded His adopted children to even love our enemies. Our God will never command us to do anything He hasn’t already done and continues to do on the “regular’. Now, who among us can plumb the depth of the manifold love of God and then come up and make the declaration, “God only loves the elect.”

If that statement is true, should we cease to love our enemies? We are commanded by God to love our enemies for the simple truth, God loves them. If He doesn’t love our enemies, why should we love them. Just to be on the safe side, I’ll keep on loving mine, as we say here in rural Virginia, you can “suit” yourself.

JB

Norm,

“Christ’s death made the payment for all sins, but that atonement must be appropriated through repentance and faith if one is to be advantaged by the atonement.”

If someone does not repent and place their faith in Christ, is that a sin?

Ken

JB(or should I refer to you as distorter in chief?):

I think I answered your question specificaLLY when I replied “absolutely not.” I’m sorry, if I seem to be unable to sink to an intellectual level necessary to satisfy your questions.

As to your follow-up question, Jesus did die for the sins of all mankind but in order to receive the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice one must, as John 3:16 so clearly states, accept Jesus as his savior.

May the Holy Spirit enlighten your understanding on these matters. Until such an event occurs, any further discourse between us will be a waste of time for me. It is obvious that you are a died-in-the-wool Calvinist and I am just as strongly a Traditionalist so it appears we will never state anything to change each other’s minds.

Ken

JB

So, would that be a sin that Christ did not die for?

JB

Ken,

I acknowledged that you answered my question in a follow up comment. I said that Norm did not answer the question, sorry for the confusion.

Anyway you said,

“As to your follow-up question, Jesus did die for the sins of all mankind but in order to receive the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice one must, as John 3:16 so clearly states, accept Jesus as his savior.”

So, there are people in hell whose sins are completely paid for. If someone doesn’t accept Jesus, is that a sin?

Alan Davis

Norm,

If I had your email I would have used email for this. Since I don’t here goes.

You and I have had some good conversations, Brother Prittchard (hope I spelled that right Jonathan), Dr Harwood and Dr Brad and Bob H (and a few others) have all engaged with some common bond as Baptists and wanting to see souls saved and discipled for God’s glory. I thank all of you for that.

However, the tone and words of some (some) of these posts seems to be with the idea of getting rid of the Calvinists. Now maybe this lets me better see what you guys have told me of some of the New Calvinists with the same idea. I do not have that idea. That said, since I wasn’t at the 3:16 conference my question is did the conference foster this tone that I am seeing here? I have a hard time believing Jerry Vines would foster such a tone (at least I do not want to believe it) but at least 4 different posters have used words and a tone to that effect, even an assumption that those who hold any Calvinistic beliefs is not saved. (I know some may say that’s how they felt and that’s ok, I can take that). It was my thought that we were to have a convention wide conversation on this. Maybe this will be the result, I don’t know but I can not (at least right now) see how that will glorify God (purging the convention of one soteriolgy or the other). Anyways thanks for the time and I will finish reading all the addresses of the conference.

Grace to you,
Alan Davis

Ken

JB

I know I said that I would not engage in any more dialogue on this subject and I apologize for not honoring that promise but I thought I would try one more time to show you that many of us are driven with a genuine concern about this matter of salvation and, like God, desire to see all men come to Jesus and be saved eternally. At least, we feel deeply that every man should be given the opportunity to choose whether to accept God’s offer for salvation.

So, to address your ststement that “there are people, in hell whose sins are completely paid for,” I will state that I reject that notion out of hand. Let me use a very amateurish example to explain why not. Suppose someone advises me that there is a new auto that has been completely bought and paid for which is sitting in a certain dealership but that I must go to that dealership and claim it in order to receive it. If I fail to go to that dealership and clsaim the auto, it will, of course, never be my possession.

Now, that is what this Traditionalist believes the Bible is very clear about. Jesus said he came to earth to save the lost and through His shedding of His blood He bought and paid for our sins and provided a way for our salvation; thus He provided for the forgiveness of our sins and our salvation. However, He also decreed that in order to be forgiven of our sins and be saved one is required to accept Him as Savior. So, while that offer is always existent as long as a man lives no man will ever possess that forgiveness or salvation until or unless he meets Jesus’ condition – repenting and accepting him as Savior.

To address your final question as to whether it is a sin not to accept Jesus, I will say that I have often heard preached and taught that there is only one unpardonable sin, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. But I say there are two, the second one being the rejection of Jesus.

My bottom line is, no mans sins will ever be forgiven and no man can be saved unless he accepts Jesus as Savior. And there are no people in hell who are not sinners.

Once again, I hope, you will see my comments as eminating from a deep concern that every person be accorded the opportunity to accept God’s plan of salvation.

Ken

Preach BlackMan Preach

Brother Alan,

The question you asked was directed to Bro.Norm but I will respond in this manner. My library contains perhaps most of the theological writings of old in which you have on the shelves. If I got rid of, let say, my books from the Reformation era up until Martyn Lloyd Jones and few years later, a good portion of my collection would be gone. Several years ago when I din’t see me going to South America I supported Brother Paul Washer. I have listened to Bro. Pratt’s lectures without discimination as I have listened to others. These are my brothers and sisters and there are other doctrinal subjects where we agree.

Now take for instance when I spent some time among Independent Fundamental Baptist, and I still do, if you mentioned anyone or anything concerning the Protestant Reformation, some would stop breaking bread with you. Not only that, some of them have an unfavorable opinion of SBC, go figure!

I have in the past and Lord willing, will in the future, continue to conference with them all. Listen Bro. they may not care for me because I do, since none of the above may be their “flavor” of the “month”, but as someone has said, “None of these things move me”! – Preach BlackMan Preach

Alan Davis

Dear PBMP,
Thank you for the comments, enjoy your replys Brother. I have friends in the Independent movement , that would call themselves tarditionalists and many more who refuse all three of the labels now being batted around and hope i can keep them all and make more.
Alan Davis

    Preach BlackMan Preach

    Amen, Amen, Brother Alan

JB

Ken,

The atonement that you put forward is only a potential one. It has no power, but is dependent upon sinful men to be enacted and a potential atonement is no atonement, because dead men will never choose Christ without the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

God is not sitting back waiting for us to pick up the car keys. He brought our dead carcass out the grave, made us alive and placed us in the corvette himself.

But as you said in a previous post, I am just as convinced of my position as you are of yours. We both have a desire to see lost men saved and as Norm talked about in his Nascar piece, a time is coming when we will have to band together.

    Norm Miller

    JB & Ken:
    You two will be interested to see our post tomorrow taken from Dr. David Allen’s presentation at the John 3.16 Conference.
    He asked and answered the question, ‘Does Regeneration Precede Faith?’ I found it interesting that all Cals don’t agree on the answer, and even Calvin himself has a surprising take on it. — Norm

Jeff White

Basically, what Jerry Vine’s believes, since he believes in unlimited atonement, is that Jesus on the cross died for the sins of people who were already in hell paying for their sins eternally. And since Vines is a premillennielist, he also believes Jesus died for the sin’s of the coming anti-Christ. He might be great at homiletics, but his hermeneutics needs some development.

    volfan007

    Jeff, I am about to say something that I know I’ll regret saying later on…but, I have just got to say….this is the most stupid, ignorant thing I have read in….well, I cant remember when….

    Bro., not only is this stupid, but it’s arrogant. Dr. Vine’s is one of the best Bible expositors we have in SB life. And, he’s one of the finest preachers I have ever heard. And, for you to come into this thread, and arrogantly and ignorantly say something like this…well, I just have say this….sorry, but I just have to…..while smh.

    David

      Jeff White

      David, you need to repent brother. It sounds to me like you’re the one with the problem. I never called anyone names. I simply stated my opinion about his hermeneutics. I think Vines is a great preacher, but he just isn’t right.

        Johnathan Pritchett

        No, I am with David here, what you said was just plain dumb, and David should feel no regret doing you the favor of pointing this out. I consider it an act of charitable kindness.

        You need to rethink your atonement theology, rethink what atonement is, how it functions, why it encompasses, how it’s benefits are applied, etc.

        Lydia

        “David, you need to repent brother. It sounds to me like you’re the one with the problem. I never called anyone names. I simply stated my opinion about his hermeneutics. I think Vines is a great preacher, but he just isn’t right.”

        One of the biggest problems with the YRR movement is they cannot hear themselves. This is their normal and they think since it is “the truth” then it is right to make such declarative statements. They have leaders who do some of the same but not in front of the audience who pays their salary.

    Norm Miller

    Jeff: Here is what Dr. Vines believes, along with the overwhelming majority of Southern Baptists:
    “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” 1 John 2.2.
    “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1.29.

    I’m so sorry that Calvinists are not inerrantists; for if they were, they would believe these verses. I recognize such verses stands their theology on its head, so that have to twist the scripture like the cults do (cf Jn 1.1, New World Translation) and say that “cosmos” means “eklektos” in these instances. Curious, though, isn’t it, that the Holy Spirit inspired the use of “eklektos” elsewhere, but not in these instances? Wonder why?

    Or, if non-inerrantist Calvinists don’t twist the scriptures, they ignore that God is just and that the Rich Man in hell had a chance to follow God, but didn’t. If such were not the case, then God is not just in sending him there. So, your point “falsely ascribed” to Dr. Vines about Jesus dying for the sins of folks already in hell makes God an unjust God. You can take that up with Him, if you please. — Norm

Leave a Comment:

All fields with “*” are required

 characters available