"How am I to think that any of my eloquence or presentation of the gospel can persuade such a person to even want to repent, or want to love God?"
Though God calls many, few are chosen. He doesn't leave them in a state of ignorance, but implores them to be saved. They understand there is a God as God has created that understanding within them. What they don't understand is that they are in need of the Savior. That's where the preaching of the gospel comes in and why it is so important. To say someone is "dead is a metaphor. It doesn't mean they are lifeless physically, it means that their relationship to God is dead. God, by Grace, intervenes through the word so that they can know Him and have a relationship with Him.
I appreciate your prayers! However, in the context of what me and John UK are talking about. There was no solid example of Calvie philosophy. Maybe you will learn that people can have disagreements on Scripture and it doesn't necessarily mean one or the other is unsaved. I am simply trying to point out that to believe in what the Reformed churches teach, one must read into Scripture. As John UK has with the man's healing by the pool.
So if Jesus healing this man had nothing to do with salvation, why bring it up? Though unbelievers are dead in a sense, they are still alive and most are able to make decisions relating to their eternity. Thanks be to God for His intervening because He wants all to be saved.
"John, you are incorrect that I am theorizing it somehow and relating it to salvation. Not at all, that never entered my mind."
Now you are theorizing like with this man's healing, God doesn't select all for salvation and like with this man being healed, they don't complain about being saved by force afterward. You have tried to justify your views on this one instance where this man was healed. To do so is, not only adding to scripture what it doesn't say, but also, disregarding the times people had to do something to be healed or physically protected!
I think those men didn't quite understand faith and salvation. Salvation is complete in Christ and faith is not a work. So we can trust in Jesus to save us from the judgement we deserve and give us new sinless bodies at the Resurrection and that is not a meritorious work unto salvation.
I was just playing along, but I really don't agree with your first point.
"The first thing to notice is that by this Pool of Bethesda there was a MULTITUDE of very sick people."
It just says that many lay there to get healed. It doesn't say how many were there on that day. It may have been only during the season they laid there. It could be that this man was first in line, so to speak. It could be there were others there who Jesus healed also or others there He didn't heal. I don't think enough information is really given to say.
You do realize the man wanted to be healed? It's not like the man was opposed to God healing him. He had often times tried to get in to be healed, just to be beaten into the water, as he explained to Jesus. So Jesus healed him. This scenario doesn't work for your argument because it wasn't against the man's will and the man had been trying to be healed for sometime. Jesus desired to heal someone who had a desure to be healed and couldn't heal himself.
Not so, Pelagius believed everything that Calvin did except Pelagius believed nonbelievers would be enlightened to the truth supernaturally and then had a choice in the matter of whether they would believe or not. Calvin believed there was no choice (fatalistically determined). Pelagius was also open to the idea that one could become unsaved once they were saved. So there, I'm not Pelagian!
"1) What I am showing you is that the Lord Jesus Christ makes choices, and those choices are according to his own will, irrespective of the person he is making choices about.
2) ...this gets your goat, so that you say, "Unfair, unfair! Jesus is unfair! Therefore I don't believe it!"
3) The other thing you can't get your head around is that I came to my beliefs from the Bible."
1. Of course Jesus made choices. To say His actions don't take into consideration anything is like saying His actions are irrational. Scripture teaches God wants people saved, but they would not believe.
2. I never said or implied any such thing. Jesus healed the man. That doesn't disprove salvation by faith because it had nothing to do with salvation.
You are proving my point! All the scripture says is that Jesus healed the man. But you have theorized that it somehow correlates to salvation, when in fact it never mentions whether the guy was a believer or not. You have tried to find an example to fit your Reformation theory of fatalism and have not succeeded!
When God says He will quicken believers, He is talking about the Ressurection of their mortal bodies. He doesn't teach that He forces who will believe and won't believe. That is fatalism! It can be traced back to the dark ages and who lived back then? Philosophers like Luther and Calvin. Paul spoke out against that sort of thing. Some are still saying, "I am of Luther, I am of Calvin". Let's just stick with scripture!
In all fairness Dave, I believe in the Lord Jesus as my Saviour. All you have showed me time and time again is your belief in a Reformed philosophy. Is that philosophy what saves or is it Jesus Christ?
I appreciate your comments. I have put on a little bit of weight on as I've aged. So in ladybug's defense, maybe I am a little bit of a pig. I think there is alot we would agree on, but what's the point of posting on those topics if I am just preaching to the choir?
2) You ignore that the predestination happened when?
1. So they can hear and believe, but knowledge of the truth isn't enough. They must also believe. It is their choice to reject the truth! Of their own free will.
2. Those baptized in Christ are believers. God predestined that believers will one day be holy and without blame before Him. Before a person believed, they were appointed to wrath. After they believed, they become predestined to be confirmed to the image of Christ. This has not happened yet.