Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"How Did Lazarus hear Jesus? He was dead."

In 8 minutes, Paul Washer explains the Doctrine of Election, the goodness of God, and the evilness of man. He does so in a loving and beautiful way. A student had approached Pastor Washer at the Deeper Conference, asking him to explain the doctrine of Election. The link to the sermon that Paul Washer recommended can be found here: http://www.anchoredintruth.org/sermonplayer#!/swx/pp/media_archives/106081/episode/22276

13 comments:

  1. Awesome video! Thank you for posting it!

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    1. You're welcome! I think he embodies the truly loving, wise pastor. Plus, I learned a lot!

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  2. This can be so confusing for me. So is it this way, some are predestined and some He foreknew. Or is it that God predestines those who will be saved. If it is the latter than do we have a choice to be saved or not? Are we just lucky that we are chosen and others are unlucky because they will not be predestined to be saved. Can you help clear this up for me? Thanks and God bless

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    1. Hi Yvonne,

      Thanks so much for looking at the video!

      Election is the act of God whereby in eternity past and uninfluenced by man's actions, He chose those who will be saved. Election is said to be unconditional, because it does not depend on anything outside of God, such as good works or foreseen faith (Romans 9:16). In other words, God did not look down the long hallway of time and see that Joe Smith would be saved and THEN write Joe's name in the Lamb's Book of Life. God simply decided beforehand who would comprise those would inherit salvation. This doctrine is constantly and repeatedly taught in the Bible.

      Yes, we are lucky we were elected to salvation, or more appropriately, our gratitude should deepen that in His sovereignty He chose a set of people to inherit grace. But I would not use the word 'unlucky' for those who are not chosen. By definition, every man on the face of the earth deserves hell. We are all sinners, and an offense to Holy God. We are ALL destined for hell. It is the default condition of humanity. In His grace he decided to remove some people from that larger set of people who are rebelling against Him and place them into eternity with Him instead of leaving them in the eternity without Him.

      The doctrine of election is a biblical teaching. You can learn more about it from men/pastors here. I chose some short, some long, and in different media. I believe the responses below are from four or five different men.

      Thanks again Yvonne, for reading the blog, for watching the video, and for asking your follow up question :)

      Q&A: Salvation by Grace Assembly, Pr Jim McClarty
      http://www.salvationbygrace.org/default.aspx

      Here, a Q&A, John MacArthur, Phil Johnson
      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/GTY106/answering-the-key-questions-about-the-doctrine-of-election

      Here, a video, (51 min explanation by Pr. Jim McClarty
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOVw9UlXhR8&feature=share&list=PL8CCD3C459D44AA86

      A video, by John Piper, 9 minute vid advance to 2:34)
      http://youtu.be/hGCh7dxs3JA
      In this one, Piper acknowledges the difficulty in accepting the teaching. He explains it between minute 2:35 and about 7:30 and then offers some pastoral thoughts.

      An essay, by John MacArthur
      http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/A132/considering-election-not-politics

      Got Questions essay answering the question of "Unconditional election - is it biblical?"
      http://www.gotquestions.org/unconditional-election.html

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  3. Thank you answering my question. I will be doing some prayerful studying on this subject and will check out the information that you posted.

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  4. Hi Elizabeth,
    God gives everyone a chance to be saved! 2Peter 3:9, Titus 2:11. God permits us the dignity of choice, we have free choice, free will, as He most wonderfully created us. All through the Bible people are encourage to make good free will decisions in regard to their relationship with God. Laura

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    1. Hi Laura,

      I encourage you to watch the video on this post, and to check out a few of the links I offered. Also, if read Ephesians 1 it is pretty clear. :)

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  5. To J.L.

    Thank you for offering the link to the e-book on predestination. Unfortunately I can't publish it because it is from the cult church left over from Herbert W Armstrong...Armstrong's teachings were in contradiction to the bible in many cases. David C Pack has his own issues with doctrinal purity. I'm sorry...

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  6. Hi Elizabeth,
    Ok, I've watched the video twice now and I cannot understand it or make sense of it, sorry. I will check out the other recommendations though. Thanks, Laura

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    1. Hi Laura,

      Thank you so much for watching it diligently! What pastor Washer is saying is that man is too drenched in sin to be able to choose Jesus. Faith is a gift from God and since we need repentance too He gives that as well. If left to our own devices, we would never choose Jesus.

      The example of the dead man on the street was a vivid one. You come along and you say to the dead man, come along with me to the hospital, they have zappers there and you can get revived. Just telling the dead man about the hospital where he could get saved doesn't save the man. God has to revive the man.

      The point Washer was making is that God saves men. We do not "decide" for Jesus. We can't. We're dead.

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    2. Hi Elizabeth,
      I googled Paul Washer and found that he believes in lordship salvation. This was a new one for me. It says that one must turn from his sins to be saved. I believe that salvation is by Grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone without one's works. Ephesians 2:8-9.

      I am learning everyday and God is truly helping me. I have come a long way as the saying goes. About a year ago I first heard of Calvinism and have been learning about it too.

      Elizabeth, if I may be so bold, may I recommend a book that has been helpful to me, What Love Is This by Dave Hunt. I would truly be interested in your thoughts about it. Thank you as always, Laura

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    3. Hi Laura,

      Thank you for being smart to check Paul Washer out yourself. You're a good Berean.

      Let's make sure we both understand the definitions. I believe that salvation is of grace alone and faith alone. Not works.

      I believe that part of the faith that Jesus gives us is salvation through His grace. But also that we must turn from our sins to be saved. I believe this turning happens after justification and is part of the sanctification process. One cannot believe in Holy and resurrected Jesus and NOT be sorry for our sins!

      The definition of Lordship salvation is whether a person who claims to be a Christian yet does not show evidence of good works is truly a Christian. Lordship Salvation proponents argue that the Bible teaches faith in Christ will cause a person to live differently. This is consistent with what the bible teaches- that a person who has been saved will not continue to desire to live in sin (Romans 6:2).

      Their fruits of this changed life (works) are not the cause of salvation but the result of it. In other words, Washer believes that there is no such thing as a Carnal Christian. I agree with this.

      So that is belief in lordship according to my understanding.

      A new kind of debate is going on. Some claim that repentance is not necessary for salvation, calling it a work, and offering the Ephesians verse you shared. Others say that both repentance and faith is necessary and that God delivers both and therefore that neither are a work. I am of the latter camp.

      Paul Washer, correctly, in my opinion, asserts that we must believe on Jesus as Savior AND Lord. That He saves from sin but that the proof of a submitted life is also necessary if one is to be called a Christian. We are called to show our faith by our actions (James 4:7)

      To this end, Jesus said, "Why do you call me Lord and not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46). The proof of a submitted Christian life is obedience to Him as Lord.

      Dave Hunt's book is a treatise of misrepresentation of reformed beliefs. His book is a misundertanding of the doctrines of grace, and saying that Reformed belief is denying the power of the gospel. He believes that the gospel must be joined to the personal act of human faith for faith to come to fruition. I reject that stance. Man is too depraved to accept Jesus on His own. Without the sovereign will of God to choose us, we never would.

      The bookt was a wayward presentation of an important subject that has been at root of a centuries-old debate. I do not recommend the book.

      The fact is, the bible teaches that people go to hell because they refuse to believe. The bible also teaches that we cannot believe unless God draws us, chooses us, elects us. Yet He still makes us morally responsible for our failure to choose and we will be judged for our willful rejection. This is a paradox.

      The Spirit put *both* the doctrine of election AND the doctrine of personal responsibility in the bible but He did not resolve them for us. One needs not reject both doctrines, and one shouldn't, because they are both taught in the bible. However, we cannot resolve that debate in our finite minds, but we can acknowledge them as biblical. Needless anger and divisions have occurred over this and it isn't necessary.

      Why? Because He is God, they are resolved in His own mind. Until we 'get there' and we (perhaps) will finally understand, we need to always just see what the bible says and believe it, because it is God's word, while at the same time accepting there are things we will not resolve.

      I hope I haven't upset you but instead brought some light to new angles of the things the bible teaches. Pray it through, meditate, check them out fully. The Spirit will help affirm or reject the things I said here. :)

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  7. Thanks Elizabeth,

    I appreciate all of your time and effort and only hope to grow in the understanding of the Bible. Laura

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