The Value of Evangelism in Reform Theology

TomFL

Well-known member
Now look, you should give some thought to what you are saying before you say it. The church of Jesus Christ is formed from two people groups that God recognizes on this earth sine the birth of his nation in Egypt. The church had it's beginning in Acts 2 when the Spirit was sent from God for this ministry.

Here is that division now and it does not include the elimination of the two people groups, Jew and gentile as you propose. It represents an addition of one.

1 Cor 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
??????????????????????????

Three groups are named

The church is differentiate from Jew and gentiles (non church)

While the church of God consisats of Jews and G
No, of course not. You cannot be said to be saved UNTIL you have repented and believed in Jesus Christ; however, you MUST be born again, in order to enter the kingdom of God (John 3 - Jesus talking to Nicodemus), which we do by faith in Jesus Christ.

The biblical order is:

1) Born again by the power of the Holy Spirit

2) Repent/believe the gospel

3) Justified and forgiven

4) Given the Holy Spirit to indwell

5) Adopted into God's family
A number of verses would lead to the idea we are born again through faith in the Gospel

James 1:18 —KJV
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

1 Pet. 1:23 —KJV
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

1 Cor. 4:15 —KJV
“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
 

praise_yeshua

Active member
No, of course not. You cannot be said to be saved UNTIL you have repented and believed in Jesus Christ; however, you MUST be born again, in order to enter the kingdom of God (John 3 - Jesus talking to Nicodemus), which we do by faith in Jesus Christ.

The biblical order is:

1) Born again by the power of the Holy Spirit

2) Repent/believe the gospel

3) Justified and forgiven

4) Given the Holy Spirit to indwell

5) Adopted into God's family

You've left out at least one very important step. A step that Paul explicitly required.

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Where would you incorporate this verse into your list?
 

praise_yeshua

Active member
No, of course not. You cannot be said to be saved UNTIL you have repented and believed in Jesus Christ; however, you MUST be born again, in order to enter the kingdom of God (John 3 - Jesus talking to Nicodemus), which we do by faith in Jesus Christ.

The biblical order is:

1) Born again by the power of the Holy Spirit

2) Repent/believe the gospel

3) Justified and forgiven

4) Given the Holy Spirit to indwell

5) Adopted into God's family

Also, I would like to point out that your very first point isn't explicitly stated in the Scriptures. It is a logical argument not explicitly stated in the Scriptures.
 

TomFL

Well-known member
Also, I would like to point out that your very first point isn't explicitly stated in the Scriptures. It is a logical argument not explicitly stated in the Scriptures.
Indeed

One is born again through faith in the gospel

James 1:18 —KJV
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

1 Pet. 1:23–25 —KJV
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
¶ For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

1 Cor. 4:15 —KJV
“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
 

JDS

Member
LOL What has any of this to with Hebrews and why did you not address directly what was stated


Heb. 13:20 —ESV
“¶ Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,”

Are you agreeing this is speaking of the New covenant ?

Denying ?

If agreeing Christ is the great shepherd of the sheep

Does he Shepard just some that are his or all ?

If denying what blood is in view here ?

Now what covenant is spoken of in Hebrews 13

................................................

Now Hebrews speaks particularly of two (though there were others) The Old covenant and the new

The blood of this covenant brought Christ back from the dead

What covenant would that be ?

Heb. 8:8 ¶ For he finds fault with them when he says:3
g“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
Heb. 8:13 ¶ In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Heb. 9:10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
Heb. 9:15 ¶ Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.8
Heb. 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

Your problem arises because you are trying to stuff your theology into a passage with no regard for context

and you cannot cover that up with run on verbiage
I have been offering commentary in the context of the "sheep" metaphor that God uses for Israel. You have taken the position that it, the sheep metaphor, is applied to the church and to gentiles as well and it has no special and prophetic significance because of it. if I understand your theology, you do not see any "ages" after the church age when God will take up his cause in these people. I have quoted a number of passages from the OT where that metaphor is established for these people and the Messiah is prophesied to come and gather them back from the mountains and hills where they have been driven because of past unfaithful shepherds. It is in that sense that these Jewish Christian epistles have a dual application.

Whatever you believe about the ages, (that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Eph 2:7), the fact is that you have not been able to present a single passage where the sheep metaphor is applied to the gentiles. You have made the two letters to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, the letter addressed to the "Hebrews," of all people, and the gospel of John, where Jesus said he came to his own as proof that God has called gentiles sheep. You have 13 letters written by the apostle Paul, who says he is writing to the gentiles and he did not use the metaphor a single time in relation to them as he explained God's mercy and grace in including them into his redemptive plan. Not even once.

Why is this important? It is because of the cavalier way that professing Christians approach the words of the scriptures as if they have no meaning and by devaluing the words God has chosen to reveal his person and his ways and have been able to lead many into error and even rejection of him. I intended to deal with Calvinists about this but you showed up and it seems you are as confused as they are. This is important to Calvinist evangelists because of the way in which they mishandle words and context of scripture.

Unless you can produce a clear example of God using the sheep metaphor in the context of gentiles I have nothing more to say to you on the subject.
 

JDS

Member
I abandoned Dispensationalism close to 30 years ago. It didn't take a rocket science book to know that was an inconsistent ever changing invention of a few men. The very name is based upon a poor English translation of a very common Greek word.

As far as 1 Cor 10:32. Yes. There were Jews when Paul wrote 1 Cor 10:32. There were also Gentiles. Literally national cultures on the earth. He wasn't trying to offend them.

That has nothing to do with the facts of what I mentioned. There is no wall that stands between them anymore. You don't believe that. You have that wall still standing in your theology. All peoples of the earth are God's offspring just like Paul preached to a ton of Gentiles in Acts 17.
I have not been presenting an argument about dispensationalism, I have been presenting an argument about word meanings and context. You seem confused about this.

So you are taking a well known talking point method when you make a statement like this following.

"an inconsistent ever changing invention of a few men"

The real change in the scriptures by the addition of doctrinal words and phrases that cannot be found in any bible, even the really bad ones. Take a look.

total depravity
irresistible grace
sovereign election
sovereign grace
limited atonement
unconditional election
original sin
determinism
solas
sovereign

I could go on but God says none of these things and here you are presenting yourself as the smartest person in the room because you believe things God has never said. It is God's words that he is asking us to believe, not yours.

I reject your claim of superiority as the chosen of God above all others and your practice of adding to the word of God.
I am asking you to believe the words without changing them and to honor context. That is all.
 
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TomFL

Well-known member
I have been offering commentary in the context of the "sheep" metaphor that God uses for Israel. You have taken the position that it, the sheep metaphor, is applied to the church and to gentiles as well and it has no special and prophetic significance because of it. if I understand your theology, you do not see any "ages" after the church age when God will take up his cause in these people. I have quoted a number of passages from the OT where that metaphor is established for these people and the Messiah is prophesied to come and gather them back from the mountains and hills where they have been driven because of past unfaithful shepherds. It is in that sense that these Jewish Christian epistles have a dual application.

If I see no ages beyond the church age where God is dealing with Jewish people in a particularly Jewish manner with restored sacrificial and ritualistic practices it is because the New Testament does not teach any such thing

Rather the bible teaches universal resurrection, rapture and judgment at Christs return

And I follow the principle of hermeneutical priority of the New Testament

As the New Testament revelation is the clearest revelation we have; old testament prophesy should be understood within the context of it

Further restoration of the old testament sacrificial and it's relational practices fly in the face of Christs once and for all sacrifice which is the true reality the old testament economy pointed to

It was but a shadow which pointed to the true reality

Having established the reality why go back to what was described as beggarly

Gal. 4:9 —KJV
“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?”

In any case what you extoll appears to be Scofield dispensationalism
 
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TibiasDad

Member
So, how does God love the world? Like this: everyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved, which is exactly what I posted.


You have made two unwarranted assumptions here.

1) You have assumed what "not very from any one" means, without providing any evidence for your claim and without considering any other possibilities.

2) You have assumed that God has wants that he cannot fulfil (i.e. wishful thinking).

I assume nothing! ἑνὸς ἑκάστου ἡμῶν means "each one of us", which can only mean every single one of us, us meaning all human beings, because Paul is not referring to only believers in context, but each one, each member of the human race!

And God loves the world, which means the whole of mankind, by sending his only Son to all of mankind, so that whoever of all mankind believes in the given Son, will not perish but have everlasting life.


Doug
 

TomFL

Well-known member
So, how does God love the world? Like this: everyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved, which is exactly what I posted.

By giving his son for the world

John 3:16 —KJV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 6:51 —KJV
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
 

civic

Active member
I have not been presenting an argument about dispensationalism, I have been presenting an argument about word meanings and context. You seem confused about this.

So you are taking a well known talking point method when you make a statement like this following.

"an inconsistent ever changing invention of a few men"

The real change in the scriptures by the addition of doctrinal words and phrases that cannot be found in any bible, even the really bad ones. Take a look.

total depravity
irresistible grace
sovereign election
sovereign grace
limited atonement
unconditional election
original sin
determinism
solas
sovereign

I could go on but God says none of these things and here you are presenting yourself as the smartest person in the room because you believe things God has never said. It is God's words that he is asking us to believe, not yours.

I reject your claim of superiority as the chosen of God above all others and your practice of adding to the word of God.
I am asking you to believe the words without changing them and to honor context. That is all.
Are you dispensational ? yes or no
 

JDS

Member
Rather the bible teaches universal resurrection, rapture and judgment at Christs return
No, it does not teach that at all. The resurrection is pictured in the scriptures as a harvest after a growing season. In the OT physical harvest there was a first fruits of the harvest, a main harvest, and the gleanings. The spiritual harvest will follow the pattern given in the types and will consist of the 3 parts of one resurrection for all the saved and justified believers. We already have the firstfruits of the harvest. here

Matt 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Here is the order and the complete whole ina single passage, if you will receive it.

1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.


The trinitarian signature is on all God's handiwork and the denial of modern day churchianity of his magnificent wisdom is clouded greatly by it's doctrines. The OT feasts of Israel with 7 feasts and 3 festivals making one complete teaches the whole of NT truth.

1) Passover
2) Unleavened bread
3) Firstfruits

Festival

4) Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)

Festival

5) Trumpets
6) Day of Atonement
7) Tabernacles

Festival

This is the OT picture of the NT truths. Spring, summer, and fall. Four of these feasts have been fulfilled. The harvest is all that is lacking.


1) Jesus Christ came to die for sinners and rises from the dead -
2) He comes in the air in the clouds for the church, his bride
3) he comes with his bride to put down anarchy and establish his earthly kingdom through the chief nation, Israel.

The next feast day is trumpets. The day is far spent.

God always paints spiritual truths with a physical paint brush. That is the way of God.
 
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TomFL

Well-known member
No, it does not teach that at all.
Well lets see

Resurrection is on the last day

John 6:39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of hall that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
John 6:40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who look's on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
John 6:54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
John 11:24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

Whoever believes on the son is raised up at the last day

It is at the last Trumpet

1 Cor. 15:51–54 —ESV
“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.””

at Christ's return

1 Cor. 15:22–23 —ESV
“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”

1 Th. 4:15–17 —ESV
“For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them
in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

and the living will be caught up as well at that time
 

Matt Slick

CARM President
Staff member
In the prologue of the book Deconstructing Calvinism by Hudson Smelley, is found this statement:

Calvinism completely compasses God's redemptive plan and teaches that God saves a small percentage of humanity based on His elective determination before creation and passes over the rest. Since God's redemptive plan excludes most people, there is no basis for us to tell a lost person that God loves them, that Jesus died for them, that they should believe in Christ for salvation, or that there is hope beyond the grave. If the lost person is not elect, we would be misleading them if we said any of those things. Indeed, it is difficult to see how we could make any honest gospel presentation knowing most people are by God's purposes not savable. Not only that, since salvation hangs on God's elective determination before creation and not on a present decision for Christ, we must make this TULIP reality personal. We must come to grips with the fact that many of those we know, and perhaps some of those closest to us, have no possibility of being reconciled to God because they are not elect.

What caught my eye is the idea that "there is no basis for us to tell a lost person that God loves them, that Jesus died for them, that they should believe in Christ for salvation, or that there is hope beyond the grave. If the lost person is not elect, we would be misleading them if we said any of those things."

I had always thought the Calvinistic evangelism was like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack,, the rare Elect person in the mass of reprobates, but had never thought of the effect of the presentation of the gospel to those who would never be able to experience it. Smelley terms it "misleading" them to think that they might be savable, when in fact, there isn't a sliver of hope that this would happen.

What are your thoughts, either pro or con to Smelley's thought?


Doug
It is not necessarily true that God loves everyone. Read Psalm 5:5; 11:5.

Furthermore, given the verses in Psalms, you don't know if God loves anybody that you are speaking with.

Finally, I witness a great deal and I simply say Jesus died for sinners. I tell them that they need to repent and believe in Christ. All of the statements are true. If, in God's great mercy, he opens their mind to understand the truth and receive Christ (Acts 16:14), then they will be justified by faith... Same as anyone who trusts in Christ.
 

TomFL

Well-known member
It is not necessarily true that God loves everyone. Read Psalm 5:5; 11:5.

Furthermore, given the verses in Psalms, you don't know if God loves anybody that you are speaking with.

Finally, I witness a great deal and I simply say Jesus died for sinners. I tell them that they need to repent and believe in Christ. All of the statements are true. If, in God's great mercy, he opens their mind to understand the truth and receive Christ (Acts 16:14), then they will be justified by faith... Same as anyone who trusts in Christ.
As a note John Piper of desiring God seems to think he does

 

TibiasDad

Member
It is not necessarily true that God loves everyone. Read Psalm 5:5; 11:5

Matt, thank you for chiming in on my thread, I appreciate it.

With all do respect, I think you're reading to much into the meaning of the Psalmist's words. I hate it when those in my life do wrong things with arrogant pride, but that does mean that I don't desire better of and for them, that I don't sincerely desire them to change.

The thieves on the cross with Jesus are a good example. The one showed remorse and acceptance of his guilt and punishment, the other remained arrogant and belligerent. But this doesn't mean that Jesus didn't want to speak to the second thief the way he did to the first. God can hate the way we live our lives and yet desire better and love them for what he intended and wants them to be.

I think the tenor of Psm 5:5 and 11:5 are ultimate endings, not necessarily the current state of activity. God certainly will hate those who ultimately choose to be arrogant and hateful as their way of life, and he will destroy all liars in the end, but this does not necessitate a lack of love for them as they are going through life. You are, I think, logically forced into your conclusion because of the decreed, and not by the language of scripture directly, for I don't think these verses in Psalms carry the meaning you portray in them.

I have no doubt that you do a great deal of evangelizing, or that there is sincerity in your efforts. I just think that you are practicing better than your theology allows, and that you have to temper your message to eliminate the very motivation that point prices the gospel that we share and preach, that God showed his love of the world of mankind by the gift of his Son. There is no gospel sans the love of God, and that is the one thing you cannot say with certainty to those you to which you preach.

Thank you for your perspective, I am truly grateful,

Doug
 

brightfame52

Well-known member
Td

And God loves the world, which means the whole of mankind

Could not be further from the truth. God hates all the workers of iniquity Ps 5:5

The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity
 

JDS

Member
Td



Could not be further from the truth. God hates all the workers of iniquity Ps 5:5

The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity
Here is a rule that will help determine the historical and prophetical context in the psalms. If you are reading about the King, then most likely you are reading of a time when our Lord is prosecuting his office on the earth as King. You will notice in Ps 5 that David says the Lord will destroy them that speak leasing. Since the earthly kingdom of Christ is described by the prophets of Israel as a glorious and peaceful, and as a righteous kingdom and that rebels and unbelievers are destroyed through great tribulation and by the second coming of Jesus Christ before it's institution, it is perfectly reasonable and logical for the psalmist to foresee a kingdom without rebels in it as citizens.

We have this context in Psa 5;

2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

This is a Psalm of David. He is a prophet and his songs are prophetic.

Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

History shows that our Lord Jesus occupies 3 offices over the earthly concurrently. He is the perfect prophet, he is the perfect priest, the office he is occupying at the Father's right hand in this very day, and the office of the perfect King, which is future.


Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

Hebrews 4:14
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Re 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.

The Psalms are wonderful.
 

JDS

Member
It is not necessarily true that God loves everyone. Read Psalm 5:5; 11:5.

Furthermore, given the verses in Psalms, you don't know if God loves anybody that you are speaking with.

Finally, I witness a great deal and I simply say Jesus died for sinners. I tell them that they need to repent and believe in Christ. All of the statements are true. If, in God's great mercy, he opens their mind to understand the truth and receive Christ (Acts 16:14), then they will be justified by faith... Same as anyone who trusts in Christ.


Love is not an itchy feeling that you can't scratch. The fact that God must judge sin because of his character does not mean he has not expressed love through his provisions for even those who oppose him and disobey him. His anger is against sin but he pities sinners. This is why he sent his son so he could express his love and mercy towards them.

The scriptures calls it the work of God. It has been a real effort for him to save us.

Jn 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

It rains on the just and the unjust and all good and perfect gifts come down from above, from the father of lights....

The men he was talking to were men who opposed him and he said this to them in the same context;

Jn 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

He said ye will not come to me, not that you cannot come to me.
 
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