Calvinism vs. Arminian

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Want to see Calvinism, Arminianism & free will explained clearly by 136 verses? Calvinism, Arminianism & Creditism? Who Gets the Credit for Your Decision for Christ: The Evangelist, You or God? How to Evangelize with Confidence In God's Power to Change Sinners �Which came first, your decision or regeneration by God? �Where did you get the desire and ability to come to Christ? �Where did your repentance and faith come from, you or God? By Greg Gibson Two identical twins vi
  Want to see Calvinism, Arminianism & free will explained clearly by 136 verses? Calvinism, Arminianism & Creditism? Who Gets the Credit for Your Decision for Christ:The Evangelist, You or God?How to Evangelize with Confidence In God's Power to Change Sinners � Which came first, your decision or regeneration by God? � Where did you get the desire and ability to come to Christ? � Where did your repentance and faith come from, you or God?By Greg GibsonJesusSaidFollowMe.orgTwo identical twins visit the same church service. They hear the same gospelmessage. One twin believes on Christ, is baptized, and follows Him. The other twinscoffs at the gospel, and continues in unbelief and sin.Why did one twin receive Christ, but the other reject Him? (cf. Jacob & Esau, Rom.9:11-13.) Who gets the credit for the one twin's decision: The evangelist, the hearer,or God? Or, to ask the question another way, who made the difference in conversion:The evangelist, the hearer, or God? (And, how can Calvinism and Arminianism helpyou understand the answer?)How Does Your View of Who Makes the Difference in Conversion Affect Your Life?If you're a beloved child of God, have you ever thought about who made thedifference in your conversion: The evangelist, you, or God? Where did your repentance and faith come from, you or God?What you believe about who makes the difference in conversion affects how you'llwitness Christ to the lost. And, it will also affect your... � Humility?Do you ever struggle with the temptation of pride, looking down on sinners, lackingcompassion for them? Do you ever feel like you're better than them, because youwere more moral or smarter than them to choose Christ? � Thanksgiving?Have you lost that fresh sense of thanksgiving to God for His miracle of saving you? � Worship?How long has it been since your heart was filled with reverence, wonder, and love toGod for including you in so great a salvation? 1. If the evangelist makes the difference in conversion:Then, if you're an imperfect evangelist, there's little hope God can use you. For, if sinners' response depends on the evangelist's clarity and persuasiveness, then weshould despair of their conversion. Even the most persuasive, logical, clear gospel presentations are often rejected. It can be very frustrating to faithfully give out thegospel only to see it rejected time after time.2. If the hearer makes the difference in conversion:Then, if you're witnessing to an extremely hard-hearted sinner, there's little hope Godcan save them. For, if unbelievers' response depends on their interest, intelligence,morality, desire or ability, then we should despair of their conversion.Sinners' hearts are so hardened by sin that most show no interest in the true Christ.Often, their hearts are hardened by false religion, pride, greed, sexual immorality, or some other secret sin. Some even go so far as to publicly criticize the gospel and resistHim.Unbelievers reject Christ not just because they're not persuaded the gospel is true. If   they do try to claim skepticism, it's often only an excuse to justify their sin. Theyreject Christ because they love sin and hate Him. (Plus, if unbelievers make thedifference in their own conversion, then what if their faith is imperfect?)3. If God makes the difference in conversion:Then yes, there's hope He can use even imperfect evangelists, like you. And yes,there's hope for even the worst of sinners. God by His power can change evenhardened occultists like King Manasseh. He can change even persecutors like Saul. If God makes the difference, then we can evangelize with confidence in His power tochange sinners.There are 2 popular views of how God saves sinners:1. Some believe all sinners are born with the desire and ability to cooperate with theHoly Spirit, and exercise their own free will to choose Christ. (Arminianism)2. Some believe that in the Fall, all sinners lost the desire and ability to come toChrist. So, God graciously gives to some both the desire and ability to freely will tochoose Christ. (Calvinism)So, before we examine what God has said in the Bible about who gets the credit for salvation, let's consider a few introductory thoughts...Beware of Doctrinal Slander!Some Christians slanderously misrepresent others by accusing them of believinghumans don't make choices. No major, Bible teacher has ever taught that humansdon't make choices. If anyone tries to claim otherwise, then ask them to documenttheir charges with a quote, naming the teacher. Watch them dodge. Anyone who triesto claim this is guilty of slander or lying.Our Finite, Human Brains Can't Fully Understand theSupernatural, Divine, Infinite, Omniscient Mind of GodIf we could fully understand God with our finite, human brains, then He would haveto be like us, and therefore not worthy of human worship. When trying to contemplatethe One Who existed eternally, and Who made the universe, we shouldn't be surprisedif He tells us that His thoughts are bigger than ours... Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?... therefore I have utteredwhat I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know (Job38:1-42:6) Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. (Ps. 145:6) His understanding is unsearchable. (Is. 40:28) My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,...says the Lord. Asthe heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, & Mythoughts than your thoughts. (Is. 55:9) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! Howunsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has knownthe mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? (Rom. 11:33-34) I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age?Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1 Cor. 1:19-20)Divine Revelation Overrules Human ReasonDo you understand: � Creation: How God spoke, making the earth out of nothing? � Miracles: How Christ changed the water into wine? � The nature of Christ, how He was fully man and fully God? � The Trinity, how 1 God = 3 persons?Of course we can't understand them! Yet, we believe them, because God said it. (I  speak here to Christians, not non-Christians, who have already considered theevidence for the Bible's reliability.) Then, do you have to understand who makes thedifference in conversion? Of course not. So, if God says it, then you're ready to believe it, right?Anyone who says, But, that doesn't make sense, denies what God has clearly said,exalts reason over revelation, and has fallen into humanism-rationalism. So, if GodHimself says sinners can or can't come to Christ, then may we revere Him enough tosubmit and follow Him. Anyone who says, 'But, that doesn't make sense,' denies what God has clearly said,exalts reason over revelation, and has fallen into humanism-rationalism. When we received the Lord Jesus Christ, we acknowledged His Lordship over bothour mind and our body. He is Lord not only of our practice, but also our doctrine(teaching.)When Christians learn to exalt revelation above reason, then they're maturingdoctrinally. Mature Christians don't care what human reason says. Mature Christiansonly want to know, What has God said in the Bible? Their attitude is, Speak Lord,your servant is listening. What is your reference starting point in life, yourself or God? Is your view of theuniverse man-centered or God-centered? And, is your view of evangelism andsalvation man-centered or God-centered? Learning to submit your reason to God'srevelation is a sign of growth in the knowledge of Christ, Christian maturity. Truthsanctifies.If these deep thoughts cause fear in your heart, fear not if you know the Lord, for Heis with you. Is not fear His built-in warning alarm to pray and commit the matter toHim?So, before going any further, why not stop right now and pray, asking the Lord to giveyou wisdom to understand what He's said in His Word about how sinners come toChrist? The Lord Jesus calls to you, Follow Me. So, how do sinners come to Christ - by using their own desire and ability to cooperatewith the Holy Spirit, or by the Holy Spirit giving them new desire and ability?The question is settled if we can find only one verse clearly stating:Sinners can come to Christ.or Sinners are able to come to Christ.or It's possible for sinners to come to Christ.Human logic or reason could never ever explain away such a clear statement of sinners' ability to come to Christ.Or, the question is settled if we can find only one verse clearly stating:Sinners can't come to Christ.or Sinners are not able to come to Christ.or It's impossible for sinners to come to Christ.Again, human logic or reason could never explain away such a clear statement of sinners inability to come to Christ.Many Doctrinal Errors Interpret One Set of VersesAt the Expense of Another Set of VersesThis common interpretive error is made by both cultists and Christians. The Jehovah'sWitnesses are a good example. You quote a verse about Christ's deity. Then, they  reply by saying, But, what about this other verse? (It's as if their verse makes your verse false.) When you hear the reply, But, what about this verse, it may be a signof interpreting Scripture against itself.Instead of harmonizing both verses as true, the JW's interpret one verse at the expenseof another verse. In effect, one verse is true, while the other verse is false, or has nointerpretation. They interpret Scripture as either/or, when they should interpret it as both/and. If you have no interpretation for a verse or set of verses, that's always the wronginterpretation. It's a sign that something is wrong with your system. When a versewon't fit into your system, it's time to reconsider your system. If you have no interpretation for a verse or set of verses, that's always the wronginterpretation. In each of the 2 columns below, there are several verses. Which verses are true, theones on the left, or the ones on the right? Since the Bible is true ( inerrant, ) we mustinterpret both sets of seemingly contradictory verses. How can we harmonize bothsets of verses so they're both true at the same time?Look for any verses that clearly state sinners can/can't or are able/unable to come toChrist...Are Sinners Able, or Unable to Come to Christ?Human Responsibility to Come to Christ1. choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve (Josh. 24:15)2. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Mt.11:28)3. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it isfrom God. (Jn. 7:17)4. If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (Jn. 7:37)5. Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized (Acts 2:38)6. Repent therefore and be converted (Acts 3:19)7. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31)8. but now commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30)9. Whoever wills, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev. 22:17)Human Inability to Come to Christ1. Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? (No!) Then may youalso do good who are accustomed to do evil. (Jer. 13:23)2. How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heartthe mouth speaks. (Mt. 12:34)3. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree bear good fruit. (Mt. 7:18)4. 'Who then can be saved?' But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With menthis is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' (Mt. 19:25-26)5. unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (Jn. 3:3)6. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him (Jn. 6:44)7. no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father. (Jn. 6:65)8. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to Myword. (Jn. 8:43)9. They could not believe, because Isaiah said again: He has blinded their eyes andhardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understandwith their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them. (Jn. 12:39-40)10. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for theungodly. (Rom. 5:6)
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