If All is Predetermined Then How Can you Speak of Danger?

I recently commented on Facebook that our greatest danger is not from without (Satan, the world) but from within ... and a long-time visitor and commenter on our Facebook page (who holds to synergistic doctrine) critiqued the statement with the following objection:

There is no danger according to your doctrine. All is already predetermined and no one is really at risk of anything. Those that are saved have always been saved [and can never lose salvation] and those that are left to die will die. So what danger?. 

I have noticed that in all of our discussions about these issues, your arguments against my position are almost exclusively moral and philosophical, but not exegetical. You never show me how the Scripture contradicts my assertions, only how your extra-biblical human logic contradicts me.This reveals to me that your authority for drawing conclusions about what the Bible teaches are based on your own unaided reasoning, not what Scripture says. You are, therefore, basing your considerations and thus your theological future on shaky ground. The conclusions you eventually reach, I would contend, should be based on what the Scripture says. For the alternative is to draw your highest presuppositions from something other than an authoritative source, such as unaided human reason. It is important to note that the Bible doesn't ever take your course of reasoning when it talks about God's sovereignty. Your conclusions, therefore, are presumptuous. You don't know the entire mind of God and what reasons He has warnings for believers. He very well may simply use them as means to make certain they persevere to the end. This appears to be the case in 1 Cor 11:30-32 "...if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world (1 Cor. 11:30-32)."

This discipline is not a removal of our status as children of God in Christ, but rather, SO THAT WE MAY NOT BE CONDEMNED WITH THE WORLD, as the Scripture testifies. The warnings and  purpose of discipline is to save us, not hurt us or abandon us. Judge yourself or God will discipline you. That is the crux of the warnings and danger in Scripture. Warnings of danger do not ipso facto mean "ultimate danger" as you seem to think .... Good parents will discipline their children when they do something wrong. Young children are always warned beforehand that if they do something it will have consequences. But such warnings to our children NEVER include a warning that if they do "such and such" and evil deed they will lose their status as our children. No, we discipline them because we love them AS our children. Likewise when God warns us to obey, he is warning us to stay on the path or receive discipline which will force us back on the path.

Consider in Hebrews 6:9 after the severe warning given the author says

"Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that BELONG TO SALVATION."

And in Hebrews 10 after the warning He again says of the elect

"But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved."

That is precisely why Jesus makes the promise:

"And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:39-40

According to your view God's will can actually be thwarted. But this text says it is God's will that Jesus lose none of those the Father has given him. Doesn't that even scratch the surface of your heart that your logic is being contradicted by God Himself right here in the above text?

Also your own augment dies by your own logic. Of course there is no real ULTIMATE danger, if by that you mean, that God's plans can be thwarted. That something else can actually get the upper hand over God. That seems to be the conclusion you are drawing ... that God can actually be taken by surprise and has no real control over whether evil will or will not get the upper hand in the end. That he really does not know the future or what the outcome of events are so is helpless and at the hands of fate? That appears to be your conclusion. If not, and if God already infallibly knows how the future will come to pass, then you are in the same boat and your criticisms are directed at your own position just as much as they are mine. Therefore you believe the VERY thing you are criticizing. So rather than lean so heavily on human logic (which was so easily demonstrated to be self-contradictory) you should lean, rather, on God's word alone.

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. - Job 42:2

"For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?" Isaiah 14:27

"There is no wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the LORD." Prov 21:30

For a good exegetical study on the issue of warnings and perseverance I recommend Tom Schreiner's book on the isssue

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 16:53 -- john_hendryx

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