Re: Whats your beleif on being saved?
Whosoever… Who is whosoever???
Let’s not forget the opening clause of that verse: “For God so loved the world…” So, your analogy is misleading because it is based on your assumption of a chosen minority. To be more accurate, you’d have to say that the boss goes to all secretaries (and only the secretaries) and tells them that they have to take the next day off, while he requires the rest of his employees to work.
In context, “whosoever” is taken from the pool of “the world”. The subset (“believeth in him”) are the Christians. Interestingly, believing implies a decision, or “works” as you’ve put it.
John 3:17 adds support to this idea that “whosoever” is “the world”: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Jesus didn’t say “…but that a hand-picked minority through him might be saved.” He said “the world”. So, Jesus died to give everyone in the world the opportunity to believe in him and have eternal life. Some choose to believe, some choose to reject, but the offer is there for all.
Now, for a list of other thoughts, questions, and clarifications….
1. To say that, without predestination, we all go to Hell is a fallacy. You’re saying that, if God didn’t choose just some, He wouldn’t/couldn’t choose any. (There’s that assumption again.) I’m simply saying that He chose to offer the gift of salvation to all.
2. I have not said (nor has anyone else IIRC) that God is lost or that we are the initiators in the relationship. “We love because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19) Yes, God initiates. We can not come to Him without Him first reaching out to us. I agree 100%. Again, I’m just saying that God reaches out to and woos all, not just some. “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27). Clearly, although God is the initiator, we are to respond to His call. The word “perhaps” there is interesting. It would seem to imply that God initiating doesn’t guarantee a reciprocal “reaching out”. That, in turn, would seem to imply a choice on our part: (1) reach out and respond to Him or (2) refuse to reach out.
3. Just a tangent: You said that you have assurance of your election because you now hate the sin that you used to love. As I see it, the Bible puts evidence of salvation much more in terms of love (of God and others) than of hatred (of sin). “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
4. Speaking of your election, I again am truly curious: If you didn’t do anything to accept your election, how/when did the transition from loving sin to hating sin occur? Did you turn off your alarm clock one morning, sit up in bed, and suddenly realize that you now hated your sin? I’m not trying to be disrespectful. I just honestly don’t understand how that happens, if not by a conscious decision to respond to God, which you have labeled as “works”.
5. Finally, Sean, I’ve gotta say that your attitude in this thread has been hostile, condescending, and insulting. Shouldn’t self-righteousness be one of those sins that you now hate? Jesus took the Pharisees to task pretty heavy about it.
With that, I’m finished with this thread. I don’t want to continue what is truly not a discussion, become angry, and sin in my anger. I’m choosing to leave before that occurs so that I can have a clean conscience.