Mike wrote: "Enter ye at the strait gate.." sounds like wisdom speaking, followed by the reasons to listen and respond. What it does not sound like is that he is speaking to those who cannot respond.
Mike. Jesus is NOT speaking to those who cannot respond. (They cannot hear. They are dead in sin) That is the whole point of the Bible it is written to those who are given the ability to respond BY GOD. That is faith the gift of God. Eph 2:8/9. NOT the works of man. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which enables the sinner to respond by faith from God.
Pre-indwelling sinners are enemies of God and hate Him thus they would not even begin to think of responding.
"Responding" also comes from God and is by faith. The elect of God are the people who are enabled by the Holy Spirit to respond in a positive and Christian way.
Many call Christ Lord, Lord but HE does not know them in a saving way. Thus there are religious unsaved sinners who remain in their natural estate but go to church. Thus there will be much "theology"(?) out there that is man made and not Biblical. The most popular one which can be seen in many churches and in all cults is the ideology that man can contribute to his own salvation.
John UK wrote: Of all those who are born again by God's Spirit, I reckon 99% are living out of their flesh rather than walking in the Spirit. It may even be 100%. I believe the fundamental blueprint for God's people has been abandoned
John. You have left God and grace out of your equation for the "perfect" Christian. Is that because you are convinced that human abilities and faculties of the mortal contributes predominantly to Christian witness and salvation?
Obviously you have recorded in your post what your personal observation is of the work and purpose of God on earth today is.
God sent His Son Jesus to earth to die upon a cross. Now from your perspective that act of God must seem wrong and wicked. Why would a Father do that to His child?
This is what is reflected in your post - The question of why God is failing to be nice and save everybody.
Or why is man not jumping over the "Strait Gate" using his all too human but arbitrary saving faculties.
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Mat 7:13,14.
Michael Hranek wrote: You have my permission to go play with yourself and your friends in the snow
Christians don't say things like that in doctrinal debate. If you cannot debate in an adult way on the forum perhaps you should think seriously about debating, it may not be your forte.
btw: The verses I quoted are not from the Canons of Dordrecht (Dordt). They come from a book called the Bible which was written by God.
Jesus commands us: 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
PS: Dictionary: Definition: "Forte" = "a person's strong suit, or most highly developed characteristic, talent, or skill; something that one excels in:
Michael Hranek wrote: worse may fail to exercise the free will God has given you to choose to receive His Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
MH Aaahh "Free-Will" - I love it when you Roman Arminians bring on the free will of man - What that immediately does of course is remind us that you guys can't deal with SIN properly.
Remember Michael that there is no such animal as free will in the sinners. Nope as Katy Perry demonstrates in her life she does not have free will she is dominated by sin like all reprobates. The human will is DOMINATED by sin. Get it?
As for the sinner "choosing" Christ/Saviour - he can't. The sinner in his natural estate is at enmity with God and cannot even discern never mind think spiritually. He cannot see the need for a Saviour = BECAUSE OF SIN.
1Cor 2:14 "But the natural man RECEIVETH NOT the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: NEITHER can he KNOW THEM, because they are spiritually discerned."
Rom 8:7 "Because the carnal mind is ENMITY against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
In his natural state the sinner HATES JESUS:- John 15:25 "They hated me without a cause" They cannot seek or receive Christ, someone they hate - can they?
Michael Hranek wrote: Your premise is seriously flawed
No MH. Just that one of us is right and the other is wrong. When you look back at the history of theology you find that the Sovereignty factor of God has been argued against by the free will of man advocates. So it is nothing new that man thinks he can save himself or at least contribute to salvation. Faith and the knowledge and understanding which comes with it is vastly different in its end product than human effort. Yet both build churches.
Michael Hranek wrote: know the things of the Spirit of God, therefore know/identify "religious apostates" because they do NOT love one another but only "their religion"
MH What the religious reprobate "knows" is from his own speculations. (eg: Matthew 7:21-23). Similar to the reprobates who "believe" in evolution which is just mans speculations on what he cannot understand and not truth.
The True Christian By Grace, By Faith is providentially given knowing access to the truth of Scripture. The Holy Spirit works in the heart and mind of the True Christian to reveal the ways and mind of God and His Son.
Thus the non-Christian who may even attend church cannot read Scripture and comprehend the truth and doctrine of the Word of God.
An example of this are the Doctrines of Grace. Coming, as they do, from "Grace" is a revealing truth in itself, AND a litmus test of Christian doctrine.
For example are you aware that God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Paul and the apostles are all Five Point Calvinist in their doctrines?
With accurate exegesis one can reject the utterances of the likes of Katy Perry and religious reprobates and see the truth - the whole counsel of God.
Frank wrote: Christ is a 5 pointer and since all true Christians are 5 pointers
"So-called four-point Calvinism fails the test of biblical Calvinism because this view tends to see the TULIP as an abstraction rather than seeing it Christocentrically. The TULIP only works when we see Christ at its center. Consider the TULIP as a chiasm with the "L" at the top of the pyramid. It is Jesus Christ which makes sense of all the doctrines of grace. Four-point Calvinists who reject Limited Atonement but embrace irresistible grace must consider this: Irresistible grace is not some abstract doctrine but must be seen in relation to Jesus Christ, specially in relation to the grace purchased by Christ upon the cross. The Spirit of Christ illuminates, regenerates and effectually brings to faith his elect." http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/interpretivekey.html
Michael Hranek wrote: (A) While I am not a fan of BG While I believe he has some serious errors that need correction
(B) When Calvinism goes bad. Part 1 and Part 4 are helpful to me in understanding what seems to be a hyper out of control
(A) Serious errors in theology are called heresy Michael. And heresy is dangerous sinful and destroys churches and God's witness. Serious errors such as Arminianism Graham's style of preaching is called false witness in the Bible and true Christians are warned against it. Beware of Satan's confusions.
(B) There Can Be No Compromise Between Calvinism & Arminianism, Refuting Arminian Heresy http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=5713132409
1John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Westminster Confession Catechism. Excellent Bible teaching and sound doctrine by true Christians.
Q12: What are the decrees of God? A12: Godâ€™s decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will, whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained: Whatsoever comes to pass in time, especially concerning angels and men.
Q13: What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men? A13: God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory; and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof: and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will (whereby he extendeth or withholdeth favor as he pleases), hath passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonor and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice.
1. I Tim. 5:21 2. Eph. 1:4-6; II Thess. 2:13-14 3. Rom. 9:17-18, 21-22; Matt. 11:25-26; II Tim. 2:20; Jude 1:4; I Peter 2:8
John UK wrote: (1) Another thing I would like to say, is that even the elect need persuasion when it comes to the gospel.
(2) Indeed, faith is a persuasion.
(3) I'm glad that men like Spurgeon will tell sinners that if they have not faith, ask God for it
(1) John FYI and edification *ONLY* the ELECT can receive the Gospel, the truth and the doctrines of grace. Which makes your point null and void as usual. Again we see your leaning towards the power of the human faculty and salvation by self Arminianism.
(2) Wrong again John. Faith is the gift of God which God provides to His elect and once born again and filled with the Holy Spirit (indwelling) the sinner does not require persuasion but truth which only the elect can receive. Only the elect can read the Scriptures with understanding.
(3) How can a sinner ask for faith when he cannot discern and is in enmity with God? 1Cor 2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Rom 8:7 "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
Michael Hranek wrote: "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: ..." John 6:44 Read that carefully, apparently Jesus acknowledges (1) the real Biblical depravity of man (2) the real Biblical ability of men, in this case, 'drawn by the Father' to indeed come to Him And also
There is 'no' - 'zero' ability in sinners to come to Christ - THAT is why GOD MUST draw them. 1Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Born again believers with the indwelling Holy Spirit can come - Natural carnal man cannot and will not. Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, NEITHER INDEED CAN BE.
Michael Hranek wrote: So please reconsider Total Depravity
MH Here is Biblical verse confirmation of Total Depravity ......
Total Depravity in all mortals prevents salvation which can only come by Christ Jesus. Please be very aware of TD to ensure your conviction of the absolute necessity of the atonement by Christ Crucified, and the complete inadequacy of the sinner.
"8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." 1John 1:8/10
Check out these verses::- "The doctrine of total depravity (or total inability) says that all men, as a consequence of the Fall, are born morally corrupt, enslaved to sin, at enmity with God, and unable to please Him or even of themselves to turn to Christ for salvation. (Thus the necessity of a gracious, unconditional election.) Here is a sweeping survey of the biblical support for the doctrine."
John UK wrote: "God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent". Yes, it is a command. So that if you don't do that, you will not get saved. The apostles preached repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, and if you don't repent and believe, you won't get saved, no matter what excuses you bring to the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Repentance, like faith is the GIFT of God. Acts 11:18 Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." Only those who receive the gift can believe and repent. They are the elect.
Remember the excellent teaching of the WCF Catechism. Q76: What is repentance unto life? A76: Repentance unto life is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit  and word of God, whereby, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, and upon the apprehension of Godâ€™s mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, he so grieves for  and hates his sins, as that he turns from them all to God, purposing and endeavoring constantly to walk with him in all the ways of new obedience.
Obey God! 'If' you can?? Obedience comes by grace alone.
Rom 13. "He calls them the higher powers, not the supreme, who possess the chief authority, but such as excel other men. Magistrates are then thus called with regard to their subjects, and not as compared with each other. And it seems indeed to me, that the Apostle intended by this word to take away the frivolous curiosity of men, who are wont often to inquire by what right they who rule have obtained their authority; but it ought to be enough for us, that they do rule; for they have not ascended by their own power into this high station, but have been placed there by the Lord's hand. And by mentioning every soul, he removes every exception, lest any one should claim an immunity from the common duty of obedience.
"For there is no power," etc. The reason why we ought to be subject to magistrates is, because they are constituted by God's ordination. For since it pleases God thus to govern the world, he who attempts to invert the order of God, and thus to resist God himself, despises his power; since to despise the providence of him who is the founder of civil power, is to carry on war with him." (John Calvin)
Michael Hranek wrote: He Himself puts His children to praying btw, so that He might answer them, .... He puts His preachers to TEACHING His Word and Preaching His Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior so that lost people whom He has choosen before the foundation of the world would be saved
Why Michael that's much better you have actually involved God in the work of His disciples and Ministers.
Remember; Phil 2:13 For it is GOD which WORKETH in you both to WILL and to DO of HIS GOOD PLEASURE. Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the PURPOSE of him who WORKETH all things after the counsel of ***HIS OWN WILL.***
And remember "faith" is the gift of God to HIS Elect only.
So you are doing well now Michael I am impressed. And that last phrase about the elect being chosen at the foundation of the world is Great Biblical Calvinism. Keep it up Michael.
Oh BTW tell your buddies below all about the SOVEREIGNTY of God being absolute - NOT limited.
Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Prov 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Isaiah 46:9,10. Prov 19:21. Rom 8:28. Rom 9:18. Rom 9:21. And much much more....
Michael Hranek wrote: If we were seeing the Gospel really preached in the fear of the LORD, in the Power of the Spirit, real Christian preaching (as in preaching Jesus Christ not just a little lip service to Him) in churches fervant in their praying we would be seeing people genuinely saved, born again, converted
I guess what you are saying here Michael is that the Lord is failing in His duty to save the elect, some of whom you can obviously perceive are not being saved???
Perhaps you should complain directly to God that He is not achieving the levels of conversion and saving which you consider to be essential to your standards of building the church.
BTW For your edification:- Q73: How does faith justify a sinner in the sight of God? A73: Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the fruits of it, nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his justification; but only as it is an instrument by which he receives and applies Christ and his righteousness. 1. Gal. 3:11; Rom. 3:28 2. Rom. 4:5; 10:10 3. John 1:12; Phil. 3:9; Gal. 2:16