C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do You Perfer D.E.S.I.R.E. over T.U.L.I.P.s?

I was recently presented an article, whereby the author suggest the concept of D.E.S.I.R.E over T.U.L.I.P.; stating “There it is—God’s “D.E.S.I.R.E.” for you. It isn’t the T.U.L.I.P., but its not Arminianism either!”

I am not so sure even this article (belief or conviction of D.E.S.I.R.E) gives one “a model of election that would allow me, or any preacher, to expound every verse of Scripture with equal confidence and not have to soft pedal or ignore those passages which are problematic to one view or the other,” as the author hopes himself.

Can Abrahamic Election and Salvation Election (as presented by the author) really be limited to only corporate (Abrahamic) and individual (Salvation)? I mean, we also have those that could be “cut off” individually from their people (the Jews) by breaking the covenant, and a corporate “church” or body of Christ (similar as collective groups seen in “all that the Father giveth me” and sheep “folds”) spoken of in scripture. And wasn’t the picture of individual fleshly circumcision a picture of individual spiritual circumcision? I am not saying Israel and Church are synonymous in Scripture, but I’m not sure I can agree with the author’s limitation of corporate vs. individual regarding Abrahamic and Salvation Election.

Here is a little confusing, or where I am failing to see what the author is saying:
"From God’s perspective there can never have been a single moment when God has not had the totality of His experience (their acceptance and after, or their rejection and after) with each and every human being as part of His “present” (i.e. eternal) experience and knowledge.
God has always experienced those accepting him and praising him in the New Heaven and New Earth as well as those who have rejected him and have been sent to perdition. Thus, the ones He has always experienced accepting and worshipping him are elect and He works in an especially solicitous way to make their call effectual and they will believe as opposed to must believe.”

I can understand the “present tense” of how God sees things (past, present, future as present), but it appears the author suggest that because God sees presently (though future to us) “those…praising him in the New Heaven and New Earth” THEN or BECAUSE OF THIS “He works in an especially solicitous way to make their call effectual and they will believe.”

So, it seems the author is saying that since God experiences the presence of certain individuals in the scope of eternal salvation (future), He works effectually in them (presently) so they “will” believe.

If such is what the author is saying, then by equal contrast, those “He (God) has always experienced the rebellion and the rejection of those who are lost and they will not accept his invitation and call” He will NOT “work in an especially solicitous way to make their call effectual and they will believe.”

I don’t see how the author escapes having foreknowledge contradictions or questioning as he claims TULIP have.

If God works effectual within an individual toward salvation “based” (as the author appears to note) on whether He “experiences” the individual in salvation (New Heaven and New Earth) or perdition (Hell), then how is this different than saying foreknowledge is based on God “looking forward into time” (our time) to see who will accept Christ and who will reject Christ – then only working effectually in those He already knows will accept Him? To me, it seems what the author has done is base God’s “effectual working” choice on man’s “electoral” choice to accept or reject Christ.

And if God presently (though our future) sees an individual in Heaven or Hell, can it not be said one “must believe” or “cannot accept” – for if the future is set (for in God’s eyes it is), then how can the individual do anything but believe or reject – even without the effectual calling of God (per the author)?

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.