by John Hendryx
If God only chooses some and it is not based on him forseeing who would choose, then he essentially is predestining many to hell. I say that because if he passes over the non-elect, "does not draw them", then they... are doomed and there is NOTHING they can do about it! Why in the world create many who he would completely pass over and then send them to hell if they have a will bent on not pleasing, not believing in him? The will is bent to sin yes, but they cannot free themselves from it.I have heard it is said that it's for his glory, but the Bible also says that "we" meaning all men were created in the image of God. Why would he do such a thing to someone who is created in his image when they can't choose him of their own will anyways and then not draw them to himself, and passes over them?
1) It appears from your email that your objections are moral rather than exegetical. 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.
2) Further, you cannot consistently say that God foreknew who would be saved (by foreseen faith) and then preach that God the Holy Spirit does all He can do to save every man in the world. The Holy Spirit would be wasting time and effort to endeavor to convert a man who He knew from the beginning would go to Hell. If God already knows the outcome of every man before he created the world then the result cannot be otherwise. In other words, even you cannot escape the fact that man has no free will, but in this case it is not man or God choosing but some kind of fate since the future cannot be otherwise. This is why many Arminians have jumped ship and become Open Theists because your position is untenable. If God foreknows all things then it is, in a very real sense, his will that they take place. From your synergistic viewpoint, why would God create people he knew were going to hell even before he created them? Your position does not escape this very same dilemma, it only hides or couches it behind an elaborate man-made system made to look (from the outside) as if it were protecting God.
3) Next, your response would seem to indicate that God is somehow under obligation to save everyone ...that he would be unjust to condemn anyone who has no moral ability to carry out their responsibility to believe the gospel. But your conclusion does not follow the premise. Consider if I were to borrow $100 million from a bank as venture capital to fund a new company but then squander it in a week of wild living in Las Vegas ... Does my inability to ever repay the bank alleviate me of the responsibility to do so? Of course not. In the world of finance and law we cannot use inability as an excuse for not carry out our duty. How much more with God. Your idea wrongly presumes that inability alleviates us from our responsibility, but just like the man who is unable to repay his $100 million debt squandered in Vegas still has a responsibility, so likewise we are responsible to obey God and believe the gospel, even though (because we fell in Adam) we are morally unable to do so. It is perfectly just of God to let us pay our own debt when we so steadfastly refuse Him. As Jonathan Edwards once said, "If damnation be justice, then mercy may choose its own object." The greatest curse God can give us in this world is to leave us in the hands of our own boasted free will. So it should forever awe us that he has had mercy on us, disarmed our rebellion, and saved us, in spite of ourselves.
4) Lastly, being created by God does not make all human beings his children. J. I. Packer once rightly said, “What is a Christian? The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father. But cannot this be said of every person, Christian or not? Emphatically no! The idea that all are children of God is not found in the Bible anywhere. The Old Testament shows God as the Father, not of all, but of his own people, the seed of Abraham…. The New Testament has a world vision, but it too shows God as the Father, not of all, but of those who, knowing themselves to be sinners, put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their divine sin-bearer and master, and so become Abraham’s spiritual seed…. Sonship to God is not, therefore, a universal status into which everyone enters by natural birth, but a supernatural gift which one receives through receiving Jesus…. The gift of sonship to God becomes ours not through being born, but through being born again”. (Packer, J.I. Knowing God, Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1973, p. 200-201.).
The Gospel of John explains, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13). Man does not “will” his way into the family of God, but the Spirit works faith in us, uniting us to Christ. Likewise, the Apostle Paul said, “…He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…” (Ephesians 1:5). Now it may feel good to say that everyone is a child of God and it may be politically correct, but it is not biblical.
And remember, Paul answers the very question you are asking in Romans 9:15-23
"What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 19You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory..."
Likewise, in the parable of the Vineyard in Matthew 20 Jesus tells the story of the master who hires people to work in his vineyard. When the workers told him they pay was not fair, the master....
"... answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn't you agree with me for a denarius? Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen."