Count it all joy when you face various trials. --James the brother of Jesus

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Election of 2008 and the Comming Apocalypse

As election day draws near. Premellinnial Dispensationalism is looking a little more plausible to me. As I think of what might happen on that day, visions of the seven seals come to mind like something you might see in a "Left Behind" book.

However, I must be reminded that I have nothing to fear. For one, if the end times are upon us, believers can rejoice in the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can also remember that our God sets up kings and tears them down at his will. He holds the hearts of kings in his hands and turns them which ever way he wishes. Regardless of how bleak the political situation seems, our God reigns and His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

John 3:16 and Particular Redemption

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

Probably no verse is used more as an objection to the Calvinist "L" (LIMITED ATONEMENT) than John 3:16. Those who object quote the verse and point to the word "World." They say that Calvinists try to make the word "world" mean "elect." The accusation is that Calvinists are not taking the plain sense of the word "world" here. However, I don't think that this is a fair objection. For one, this is not how Calvinists understand the verse. Maybe some do, but a better understanding is to accept what the text actually says. God loved the whole world--EVERYONE--Universally. This is not saying at all that Jesus died in the place of every person in the same sense. All this part of the verse speaks to is God's LOVE for the world--not who was purchased in the transaction that took place on the cross.

The second half of the verse (in my view) is actually in the favor of a Calvinistic interpretation. "That whosoever believeth...." Now, some emphacize the "whosoever," and emphacize the unlimited nature of that word. However, that word is not alone. It says, "whosoever believeth." The word "whosoever" is limited by the word "believeth." For this reason, all Christians have to "limit" the atonement to some extent. Not everyone is saved--only those who believe.

In the end, John 3:16 is no verse to use as an objection to particular redemption. It is untrue to claim that Calvinists have to go against the plain meaning of the "world" in this text. What the text does imply, is that anyone who believes can be saved. This is something that both Calvinists and non-Calvinists can agree on. We all must preach the gospel in the power of God, knowing that the gospel is freely open to anyone who believes. God is powerful enough to soften the hardest heart and open blind eyes, and to breath life into dead men.

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