Friday, November 16, 2018

What's Wrong With Irresistible Grace? Why?

Irresistible Grace - Is It Biblical?

Question: Irresistible Grace - is it biblical? Can you explain to me why irresistible grace is wrong?

Answer: Greetings in Jesus wonderful name!

The doctrine of irresistible grace refers to the biblical truth that whatever God decrees to happen will inevitably come to pass, even in the salvation of individuals against their own free will and choice. In other words, this has mainly been associated with Calvinism, which teaches that the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save and, in God's timing, overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to faith in Christ.

Irresistible grace is not Biblical and wrong as we cannot make a case to support it because God has clearly revealed in His word that He,
"desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:3-4), "The Lord is not slow about his promise [of His coming again to this earth to judge and rule it with His saints], as some think of slowness [of fulfillment], but is patient with [all humans including us], not wanting any [humans to] perish, but all to come to repentance." (2 Pet 3:9), and further God continues saying, "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all [(i.e.) humans]." (Tit 2:11). In other words, this shows that grace of God has been dispersed to all humans through the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the past two thousand years, and God waits for a response from humans in reply to the grace that has been dispersed in all the world. Every good choice of humans to accept the grace of God will bring salvation to them and their household (Acts 16:30-31).

Here are the verses that prove that God is looking for man to choose the right and reject sin to be saved,
"...choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served [or] ...the Lord" (Jos 24:15), "if the wicked turn away from all their sins...they shall surely live; they shall not die..." (Ezek 18:21-22) "all who received [Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of their life], who believed in his name, [God] gave power to [them to] become children of God." (John 1:12) and above all there is a promise from God to all humans that says, "If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Rom 10:9). So what do we understand from the above Scriptures that speak to us, if we don't respond to God's promises or continue to believe Him through faith, we won't be saved. But if any human will respond and follow through in faith, any one can be saved.

When someone who even calls him 'Lord, Lord..' and can resist the grace of God against doing the will of the Heavenly Father to not to get saved
(Matt 7:21), when at the time of the end anyone can become cold because of the increase of lawlessness, which can show to them that they were never saved as they fail to endure to the end (Matt 24:12-13), and that any believer can get disqualified in the race of faith to lose their eternal reward anytime if they themselves do not practice what they preach to others (1 Cor 9:26-27), then we can only come to the conclusion that grace can be resisted and there is nothing that can be called as 'irresistible grace'. God's salvation grace is available to all, anyone who receives the grace of God through faith will be saved at the end. Those who fail to receive grace will resist grace and therefore will remain unsaved.

For how could a good loving God who want the whole world to be saved (1 Tim 2:4), and have sent his son to die for the whole world (John 3:16), but ultimately only select certain, elect few by irresistible grace when He Himself calls by election all humans and pleads with them to choose the Gospel and reject one self to become saved and live in friendship with Him for eternity ahead
(2 Cor 5:19-20)? All of the above truth cannot go in the same direction, until they all agree that God does not work without man, man cannot work without God. Thus only when both God and humans work together, people get saved and people are also saved through them and their testimony for Him, nothing is impossible to us humans when we are in partnership with Him (Luke 1:37; Matt 19:26).

When people respond to God's drawing towards Him through the Gospel by the Holy Spirit, it is the grace of God extended towards those unsaved by God that get utilized without wasting it in vain. But when an unsaved resist the Gospel without responding to God's initiation, the grace of God is wasted towards him or her
(1 Cor 15:10). Yes, Father God “has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into” His kingdom (Colossians 1:13). Or, as Psalm 3:8 puts it, “Salvation belongs to the Lord,” but how can someone be saved unless people are sent to preach the message, and the people who hear believe the report of the Lord's messengers and believe the message of the Gospel which builds faith in them to save them from sin and death (Rom 10:14-18)?

Natural man is
“dead in his trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13), and, because humans are spiritually dead, he must first hear the Gospel and respond to it in order to be made alive or regenerated and not vice versa. Lazarus being raised from the dead cannot be compared with a unsaved man being converted, because Lazarus was already a saved man who died physically because of some sickness (John 11:24), it was a pre-demonstration of how the Lord himself will raise Himself from the dead and also other believers who will be raised in the times to come to be made alive for the Glory of God (John 11:25-27).

The greatest problem with Calvin and the proponents of irresistible grace is that, none of them has concentrated on the message of the proclamation of the Gospel, that is why they bent themselves to thrown their weight on God's sovereignty and have washed their hands of human responsibility, unlike the first century apostles who went on preaching and teaching the word of God in all the world demonstrating the Kingdom of God so that all people in all the world might be able to believe the Gospel and be saved for eternity
(Mark 16:15-18, 19-20). If the great apostle Paul who was used by God to bring millions and millions of souls in to the Kingdom of God in the first century says with urgency, "Indeed, preaching the gospel is no reason for me to boast; it is an obligation that has been imposed upon me. And woe to me if I do not preach the gospel." (1 Cor 9:16), then we need to ask ourselves, why does he need to have the urgency to preach the Gospel if God is able to bring people forcefully in to His irresistible grace without the Gospel being preached? That shows the folly of such thinking that is unbiblical and wrong to mislead people in to a false sense of security and lethargy in fulfilling the great commission of the Lord (Mark 16:15; Matt 28:19-20). When we value the Gospel which looks foolish to the natural man (1 Cor 1:21-23), God saves us according to the promises He has given us in His word. In other words, if we choose God, we become God's chosen though we may be looked as though we are foolish from the side of the world, from God's side we have become wise in trusting Him and Jesus Christ becomes our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption from God (1 Cor 1:26-31). So God's election is a call to the whole world, of which those who chose God become chosen of God to be conformed to the image of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ (Rom 8:28, 29-30).

Though the secret thing of God's foreknowledge of who will be saved and who will not be saved is something that God knows already in His omniscience
(Deut 29:29; Matt 24:14, 36; Luke 21:24; Rom 11:25), only the revealed things belongs to us of which the Gospel of grace through faith is one among them that we may keep the covenant to which we are invited and rejoice to reap the blessing of God on earth as it is in heaven (Eph 2:8; Matt 26:26-30; Eph 1:3-4; Matt 6:10; 22:1-14). Let us not trespass in to the unknown territory of the mysteries of God and lose the blessing of the present in the know area to which we are called to experience.

The preaching of the Gospel through His messengers is not just a general call but a specific call through which God pleads with people to accept the gospel message that is preached, so that they can be saved. This specific call of God can be resisted and rejected to remain unsaved or accept it and be reconciled to God to be saved by Him, all those that receive the Gospel humbly by faith will be saved
(Matthew 22:14; Romans 1:18-32; 2 Cor 5:19-20). When Jesus speaks about the call of God in John 6:37-47, it is this call of the Gospel which He speaks about and not a surreal inward call other than this which is not mentioned in the Scripture. The certainty of this outward call for which people respond is seen in John 6:37: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me [by accepting the message of the Gospel to be saved], and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out [because of their inadequacies or weaknesses of sins or transgression due to the influence of iniquity against their new will from their new nature].” John 6:44 confirms this: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day.” In other words, Jesus emphasizes that those who respond to the message of the Gospel are drawn by the Father God and therefore they will be saved to rise up in their new glorious body at the time of rapture or the last day. Gospel is the power of God to salvation, saving everyone who believes, apart from it, none can be saved (Rom 1:16; Acts 4:12)

Other verses like
2 Corinthians 4:1-6; Acts 13:48; Acts 16:14 and Romans 8:30 which are promoted as irresistible grace can be seen to be wrongly proclaimed, because it is not the 'whole counsel of God' as it does not contain both the goodness and severity of God in balance, rather while the goodness is speculated by those who preach irresistible grace, to repeat it again and again to make it to become another different gospel, the severity is hushed up to be kept as though it is not present at all (Acts 17:30-31; 20:27, 31; 24:25; Rom 2:4; 11:22-23). But the bottom line is, faith in God's goodness leads to repentance, unbelief in God's goodness or partial belief in goodness without severity leads to death and God's judgment without mercy. When God initiates his goodness through the Gospel, it is passed on through his messengers so that humans may respond to it by faith and receive the grace of God to get saved. When humans resists and reject the goodness of God by rejecting the Gospel message, severity of God is faced by them because of rejecting the goodness of God. This is the reason before the worldwide Tribulation starts and the time for the wrath of God of to be released from heaven comes, because of severe human resistance on earth against the proclamation of the Gospel, God will send a angel to finally proclaim the good news to the whole world one last time to make up their mind to either receive his goodness of salvation, or reject it to face his wrath so that none may say that they never were given the opportunity to get saved through the Gospel (Rev 14:6-7).

2 Corinthians 4:1-6, after explaining why some people do not believe the gospel (it is veiled to them and their minds have been blinded toward it), Paul writes, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6), which clearly teaches us that without receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ by our voluntary will and praying to God for salvation, light cannot shine in to our dark hearts (2 Cor 4:5). The difference between the day of creation and all that is in the earth (Gen 1:31), and the day of salvation in which he creates new creation for the world to come is that (2 Cor 5:17), all the creations were made for man in its own image (Gen 1:25), but human were made in the image of God for God with a free will to choose (Gen 1:26-27), and further after humans fell in to sin and rebellion against God, God made a way of faith to receive salvation and relationship with God back by their own choice, so that, that which was lost in the first Adam our forefather is restored to us back through receiving the light of the Gospel which shines in our heart through Christ Jesus the last Adam who has acted as Mediator and God's bridge to cross the river of death and bypass it altogether to live now in the power of the age to come by His mercies and grace (2 Cor 6:1-2; 4:4; Rom 5:17; 1 Cor 15:45; 1 Tim 2:5; John 11:26; Col 1:13-18; Heb 6:5). The God who said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) is the same God who gives the light of salvation to those who choose Him by receiving the Gospel now, and the result is that they become sure of salvation as the elect of God and chosen by Him before the foundation of the world as He was the one who wrote and sent the Gospel to them through his messengers knowing that they are in need of salvation and it is not them who sought Him first (Rom 3:9-18, 23; 2 Pet 1:19-21; 1 Pet 5:13; 2:5, 9). In other words, all those in need and poor in spirit (Matt 5:3), God will save them by sending His Gospel for His Glory (Luke 4:18; 6;20), so that they can become rich in faith and be saved from sin and eternal death (Jam 2:5)!

When Luke the writer and the first historian of the Church wrote in
Acts 13:48, “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed,” it does mean that God knew who were in need of salvation and were hungry for God's touch (Acts 15:18), even some without knowing that it was God they need, came and heard the Gospel by appointment of God (Isa 65:1; Rom 10:20), these were those who were appointed to eternal life and they believed the Gospel when it reached them, and no way there is any kind of irresistible grace involved in this verse to make it mean to be something different from what it conveys. Gospel hearing creates faith and saves people (Rom 10:17, 13-15).

Acts 16:14
, is not another example of God’s irresistible grace in action, but rather it is a demonstration of God's fore knowledge to know who is in need and who is not in need of the Gospel, just because God knows whom to save and at what time they are in need doesn't mean that He forces his will on those people, though outwardly it may seem like that to us. Say, God is the story writer and has called humans to participate in it as play actors by their free will of choice given to them, just because the story writer knows the story to act exactly according to the need of the actors, doesn't mean he forces them to act though he is the one who has given them a limited choice of either accepting or rejecting his type of voluntary participation, in favor for him or against him in the same story which He expects them to decide voluntarily and participate in the way He wants them to through believing the Gospel so that at the end of it in His pleasure He will reward them or judge them for their choice of life as He is the Creator who created them all for His own purpose and His pleasure and His Glory.

Finally as misconceived,
Romans 8:29-30 is not the call and a election of God for heaven as though humans are forced to accept Christ and men are dragged kicking and screaming into heaven, but rather it is a call to be conformed to the image of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ for which God requires a voluntary response and for that which He has promised to reward in eternity with Glory. The transforming power of the Holy Spirit whereby He takes a man dead in his trespasses and sins and gives him spiritual life so that he can recognize the surpassing value of God’s offer of salvation, does not come before hearing and accepting the Gospel of salvation but only after hearing and receiving it (Eph 1:13-14). Thus once after the man willingly comes to Christ by accepting the good news of the Gospel to get saved, then at that moment of salvation he is set free from the bondage of sin and death.

What God decrees or determines will come to pass. This truth is seen throughout Scripture. In Daniel 4:35, we see that
“He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand!” Psalm 115:3 declares, “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” The above does not mean God’s grace in salvation is irresistible, but rather the purpose of His salvation to humans is irresistible because it was His plan to save the humans who are affected by sin and who are in need for deliverance from it. As we know that God when he sets out to fulfill His sovereign purpose, no person or thing can successfully resist Him with their limited wisdom by rejecting the Gospel through which He has planned to fulfill His plans and purposes (Rom 9:19; 1 Cor 1:18, 19, 20, 21; Acts 17:27, 30-31, 34).

Thus what people wrongly call as the doctrine of irresistible grace does not accurately summarize what the Bible teaches about the nature of saving faith, because they magnify God's sovereignty and downplay man's responsibility to take a quality choice to accept the Gospel and reject man’s depraved nature of self and sin, rather it mixes the two and causes more confusion to people regarding salvation by grace through faith, to promote a surreal grace of God forcing Himself upon human heart to save them rather than humans seeking God to be saved which is the right way of salvation man is called to 
(Isa 45:22). God need to be trusted and we need to be tested, and irresistible grace teaches actually vice versa which is completely wrong and misconceived.

May God help us walk in the true grace of God that comes through the Gospel to transform our heart and be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ our Lord and not be deceived by the so called irresistible grace.

Much Blessings....


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