Bothersome Questions & Biblical Answers
From A Former Arminian Baptist
Question: Has God purposed or decreed all things that have come to pass and all things that ever will come to pass?
Answer: "But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased" (Ps. 115:3). "Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places" (Ps. 135:6). "That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (Isa. 45:6-7). "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure" (Isa. 46:9-10). "Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?" (Lam. 3:37-38). "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?" (Amos 3:6). "The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ . . . For to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done" (Acts 4:26,28). "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" (Eph. 1:11). "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Rom. 11:36).
Question: Is Gods eternal purpose or plan ever thwarted or defeated by any of His creatures? Does God ever fail to achieve anything He determines to do?
Answer: "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as Head above all. Both riches and honour come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all" (I Chron. 29:11-12). "But He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth" (Job 23:13). "Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: He maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations" (Ps. 33:8-11). "The LORD hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all" (Ps. 103:19). "A mans heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps" (Prov. 16:9). "There are many devices in a mans heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand" (Prov. 19:21). "Mans goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?" (Prov. 20:24). "The kings heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will" (Prov. 21:1). "The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand" . . . "For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?" (Isa. 14:24,27). "So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55:11). "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?" (Dan. 4:35). "Ah Lord GOD! behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee" (Jer. 32:17). "For with God nothing shall be impossible" (Lk. 1:37). "Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will?" (Rom. 9:19).
Question: Does the natural man have any desire to seek God or any ability to understand the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Answer: "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God" (Rom. 3:11). "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:3). "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" (I Cor. 2:14). "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (II Cor. 4:3-4).
Question: Does the natural man have any ability to come to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation without God the Father graciously granting him that ability and effectually drawing him to Christ?
Answer: "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day" (Jn. 6:44). "And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father" (Jn. 6:65).
Question: Were certain members of Adams fallen race unconditionally elected to salvation by God the Father in eternity past?
Answer: "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will" . . . "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" (Eph. 1:4-5,11). "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" (II Thes. 2:13). "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (II Tim. 1:9).
Question: Were certain members of Adams fallen race given to the Lord Jesus Christ by God the Father in eternity past and designated as His sheep? Do all of Christs sheep come to Him for salvation and follow Him as Lord? Were they His sheep before they repented and believed on Him?
Answer: "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" (Jn. 6:37). "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given" . . . "I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word" . . . "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine" . . . "Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world" (Jn. 17:2,6,9,24). "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd" . . . "But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Fathers hand" (Jn. 10:16,26-29).
Question: Were certain members of Adams fallen race ordained to eternal life by God the Father in eternity past? Did their ordination to eternal life precede or follow their belief or faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? When were their names written in the Lambs Book of Life?
Answer: "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47). "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:48). "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is" (Rev. 17:8).
Question: Were certain members of Adams fallen race redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ when He shed His blood and died on the cross in their place for their sins?
Answer: "I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep" . . . "I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep" (Jn. 10:11, 14-15). "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Pet. 1:18-19). "He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken" (Isa. 53:8). "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Mat. 1:21).
Question: Is regeneration or the new birth produced by the will of God, the will of man, or by both the will of God and the will of man? Does repenting and believing (i.e., conversion) precede or follow regeneration? Can man be taught how to be born again?
Answer: "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn. 1:12-13). "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy" (Rom. 9:16). "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures" (Jas. 1:18). "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (Jn. 3:7-8). "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (I Pet. 1:23). "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of Him" (I Jn. 5:1). "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (Jn. 5:24).
Question: Are repentance and faith exercises of the natural mans will or gifts given by God to those whom He has regenerated or quickened?
Answer: "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:31). "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18). "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth" (II Tim. 2:24-25). "Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him Whom He hath sent" (Jn. 6:28-29). "And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace" (Acts 18:27). "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference" (Rom. 3:22). "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (Rom. 12:3). "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" . . . "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:16,20). "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith" (Gal. 5:22). "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (Phil. 1:29). "Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2).
Question: Does God love all men? Is He trying to save all men?
Answer: "The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity" (Ps. 5:5). "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Rom. 9:13). "For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion" . . . "For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth" . . . "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Rom. 9:15,17-18,21-24).
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