The following are questions I received from a person who believes in Calvinism. His questions will be in blue and my answers in green and scripture that I quote will be in red. Because the questions don't always convey the whole idea behind them let me set up this discussion. This man who asked the questions is trying to prove me wrong when I say that God loves all mankind (the whole world). You will see in his questions that he attempts to say that God hates some people and has created them with the express purpose of willing their destruction and torment for all eternity.
1. Joh 10:25-30 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, (26) but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. (27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (28) I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (29) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. (30) I and the Father are one."
In verse 26 above, tell me... Why do they not believe? Does Jesus say you are not part of my flock because you don't believe or does He say something different?
This is a favorite passage for both OSAS and 5 point Calvinist, but does it say what they think it says? Well I think you have heard me say before that you have to take scripture as a whole to understand it, not just take something you like and use it. So let me show you what Jesus said just a few verses before the part that was quoted:
Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. [NIV]
Now my question is this, are the sheep that are not part of His flock not part because He didn't choose them, or because they refused to enter through Him and thereby be saved? They are not part of His flock because they refused to believe, not because He didn't choose them! Yes the verse he quoted says all that the Father has given me, but what does that mean? It could mean that God chose them and gave them to Christ, or it could mean that all those who believe are given to the Son (Jesus). To know which it means you have to look at the whole of scripture.
As for the no one can snatch us from His hand or the Father's hand, I agree, but nowhere in there does it say that we can't decide to stop being part of His flock of our own free will. Of course the Calvinist deny we have free will so of course they deny we can choose to quit being part of the flock.
2. With regard to 2 Pet. 3:9, go and tell me what the original Greek word is for the highlighted words "some" and "any". 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some (Greek count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any (Greek should perish, but that all should reach repentance.)
This is just smoke and mirrors. Just for a moment let's assume he is correct, and the word should be some instead of any. That only changes the passage slightly and still gives the Calvinist a problem. Do you see the problem? See the Calvinist believes that God chooses and then gives irresistible grace to those He chooses, again let's say they are correct, they still have a problem here. If God does the choosing, then He chooses who to draw to repentance and He also chooses when to do so. So why would God be patient with a person He has not decided to enable yet? If He were being patient with anyone it would have to be Himself, since all the decisions are in His hands, after all man has no free will, so there is no reason for God to be patient with anyone!
But of course I don't believe that the word should be some instead of any. I find this funny, that he is saying that the Greek word is the same as the word for some and therefore it should be translated here as some not any. I am going to quote 5 different versions of the Bible and you can see that ALL the translators decided that the word should be any not some, why? Is the questioner smarter than all these translators spread out over 400 years of time and using two different versions of the original manuscripts?
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. [NIV]
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. [KJV]
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. [NKJV]
2 Peter 3:9
the Lord is not slow in regard to the promise, as certain count slowness, but is long-suffering to us, not counselling any to be lost but all to pass on to reformation, [YLT]
Now why would all of those and many other translations all use the word any and all instead of some? Either it really is any or because the Greek could be translated either way God has made sure they did it the right way. My point is simple, the Calvinist always try to claim the words all and any, and everyone don't mean what they say, that they really mean just he Elect, but yet God's word over and over again in many different translations says what it says.
One last thought on 2 Peter, he makes a big deal out of what the Greek word is, but does it matter? The reason I ask is this, when the books of the Bible were written, what language were they written in? Well the Old Testament of course was written in Hebrew, the New Testament was written in two or three different languages. The disciples, excluding Paul weren't scholars, they were fishermen, tax collectors, common men, not unlearned, but common men. They would have most likely written in either the formal Hebrew or even more likely in the more common Aramaic. The books written by Luke the doctor (Acts and Luke) were probably written in Greek and Paul probably wrote his many letters in Greek, but Peter was a fisherman who most likely wrote in Aramaic. So what the Greek word means is probably meaningless in this discussion anyway.
3. Go and read the Scriptures and tell me if God wills the destruction of persons or not!
More smoke and mirrors, the simple answer is that God doesn't will the destruction of anyone, as 2 Peter 3:9 shows. But that doesn't mean that He will keep everyone from going to destruction. He has given us a free choice, to follow Him and escape hell or reject Him and send ourselves to hell. It isn't His will that ANY perish:
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! [NIV]
God says He takes no pleasure in the death of anyone, so if He willed their death (destruction) then He is a liar! Of course we know that God isn't a liar, so the plain fact is that He doesn't will anyone's destruction, but He also won't force them to escape it either.
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? [NIV]
Again, either God doesn't want anyone to go to destruction, or He is lying.
Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?' [NIV]
Once more... So I think God has answered this question pretty straight forwardly.
4. Who created hell anyways?
This one is more of a straw man instead of smoke and mirrors. Of course God created hell, God created all things, but did He create it for man?
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. [NIV]
Now this verse speaks of the lake of fire, but hell is just the waiting place until it is thrown into the lake of fire, so again, his question is meaningless. God didn't prepare hell or the lake of fire for men, but men put themselves there. I will admit God certainly knew men would end up there when He prepared it, but I stand by what God Himself said, it wasn't made for man it was made for the devil and his angels.
5. Exo 10:20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go. (So God hardened Pharaoh's heart 10 times to make sure Pharaoh wouldn't perish since God is not willing that any, including Pharaoh, would perish.)
He is just wrong here. You have read the story carefully so see what really happened. Did God harden Pharaoh's heart? Certainly He did, but the answer isn't that simple, God gave Pharaoh chances and then hardened his heart, which of course God knew before hand would happen, but I will get back to that in a moment:
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Pharaoh's heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. [NIV]
I am just going to quote one or two verses in this story at a time, but feel free to go read the whole thing in context. So above we have number one and who hardened Pharaoh's heart? Pharaoh.
But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh's heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. [NIV]
Number 2 and again it was Pharaoh who did the hardening.
But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. [NIV]
Number 3 again Pharaoh does the hardening.
The magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." But Pharaoh's heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said. [NIV]
Number 4 and again Pharaoh.
But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go. [NIV]
Number 5 again we see it was Pharaoh.
Pharaoh sent men to investigate and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go. [NIV]
Number 6 and no surprise it is still Pharaoh who is doing the hardening.
But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses. [NIV]
Number 7 and finally it is God who hardens Pharaoh's heart, but why? Of course we know from other places in the Bible that God was using Pharaoh to show His glory, but also it is because we all get just so many chances and then finally God gives us over and we no longer have a choice, this is what happened to Pharaoh, I guess you could say at this point God took his free will away!
6. Rom 9:17-24 For 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." (18) So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (19) You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" (20) But 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? (22) What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, (23) in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- (24) even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (What are vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, prepared by Who? Yeah, I guess your right Ralph, God is willing that any would perish so He made sure He didn't create any vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. Nope, no indication here that God is willing any should perish!))
I said I would get back to the other point, and this is a good place to do it. I want to quote from the same page I sent you about Esau:
God gives us all choices, but there is a point past which those choices disappear and God no longer deals with us but rather takes us to the logical end of our actions and choices. But that still does not explain the statement that we should not question God's ways. Again this is not always what we first think of when we hear those words.
Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth." [NASB-U]
What does this mean? Well again let me go to other Scripture to interpret this passage:
Esther 4:14 "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?" [NASB-U]
Here is the point. Esther was born at a specific time for a specific purpose. Her purpose was to follow God and thereby save her people. Pharoh was also born at a specific time and for a specific purpose; his was to bring glory to God by hardening his heart so that God could show His glory. But don't miss the point. God did not make Pharoh who he was, but God knew who Pharoh was before he was born and God arranged for him to be born when he was and in the position that he was for God's purposes. This does not take Pharoh's choice away, it just shows that God knows the beginning from the end and we don't and therefore we have no right to question why things happen.
Again it is important to understand the context of all this. Remember Paul is talking about the physical Jews who claimed to be saved because they were descendants of Abraham. Now Paul is telling them that many of them are going to spend eternity in hell because they rejected Jesus Christ. Their argument was that God was unfair, why would He cause them to be born as Jews just to send them to hell. Paul is making the point that it is their choice whether to reject or not, but they should not question God's judgment as to who is born when and into what nation, Jew or Gentile. God is saying that He will have mercy on the Gentiles and reject the Jews and they have no say in the matter nor does any man. The Jews could not just have babies and expect them to be saved, because the physical didn't matter, it was what was in the person's heart that counted.
Again he uses one passage to try to claim God specifically created some people to be destroyed because He wanted them destroyed, but in doing so he misses the very point the passage is trying to make. Also back again to the idea that you have to take scripture as a whole, if he is right in his thoughts on this passages then God is a liar because He really does take pleasure in the death of not just some, but most of His creation. God isn't a liar, He takes no pleasure in anyone's death, He would rather that all men repent and live!
7. Num 14:35 I, the LORD, have spoken. Surely this will I do to all this wicked congregation who are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die." (Nope, no indication here that God is willing any should perish!)
More smoke and mirrors. He tries to claim that I have said that God isn't WILLING that anyone perish, that isn't the same thing and God not wanting everyone to be saved. Since God has given us freedom to choose, there are consequences to our decisions. God's holy character demands death as the penalty for sin, and yet He offers to take our place and pay that price for us, but if we refuse then His holy nature demands justice. So while God is willing for people to make the choice to take their own punishment and die that isn't the same thing as saying He wants that to happen, rather His will is that we ALL choose to be saved, repent and live!
Again he is selective in his quotes, but to see what is truly going on we need look no further than the beginning the very chapter he quoted from:
That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.  All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert!  Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?"  And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt."
 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there.  Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes  and said to the entire Israelite assembly, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.  If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.  Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them."
 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all the Israelites.  The Lord said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?  I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they." [NIV]
Notice that the people are rejecting God, the very God who saved them! If anything this is a picture of the false claim of Perseverance of the Saints, the P in TULIP! But let's keep reading:
"Now may the Lord's strength be displayed, just as you have declared:  'The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.'  In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now."
 The Lord replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked.  Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth,  not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times--  not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.  But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.  Since the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea." [NIV]
Notice God is slow to anger, He wasn't happy that they rebelled and He was willing to forgive them because of Moses. Then a couple more verse and what he quoted:
Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.  As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.  But you--your bodies will fall in this desert.  Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert.  For forty years--one year for each of the forty days you explored the land--you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.'  I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die." [NIV]
Again it says God forgave them, but He declared that they would die without entering the land He had promised them because they rejected Him. Notice in context this isn't even about God passing judgment on these people's sin, since He forgave them, but it is about the consequences of their sins.
8. Josh 11:20 For it was the LORD's doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the LORD commanded Moses. (Nope, you are right again Ralph. I can see in this verse no indication that God is willing any should perish!)
This is the same type of thing, is punishment for rejecting God the same thing as God wanting you or anyone else to reject Him so that He can take pleasure in your or their demise? Of course not, but that is what he tries to make these passages say.
When Jabin king of Hazor heard of this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon, to the kings of Shimron and Acshaph,  and to the northern kings who were in the mountains, in the Arabah south of Kinnereth, in the western foothills and in Naphoth Dor on the west;  to the Canaanites in the east and west; to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites in the hill country; and to the Hivites below Hermon in the region of Mizpah.  They came out with all their troops and a large number of horses and chariots--a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore.  All these kings joined forces and made camp together at the Waters of Merom, to fight against Israel. [NIV]
Notice again that I quote before the quote that he used. These kings came out to fight against God and Israel, they made that choice.
So Joshua took this entire land: the hill country, all the Negev, the whole region of Goshen, the western foothills, the Arabah and the mountains of Israel with their foothills,  from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, to Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings and struck them down, putting them to death.  Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time.  Except for the Hivites living in Gibeon, not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites, who took them all in battle.  For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses. [NIV]
Notice that they came out to fight against God and Israel and then God hardened their hearts. But we need to understand why? As I always say you have to take the Bible as a whole, not just a portion or you are bound to be mistaken. So let me quote from the Old Testament, before the time about which he quoted happened.
Hear, O Israel. You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky.  The people are strong and tall--Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: "Who can stand up against the Anakites?"  But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.
 After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, "The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness." No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you.  It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people. [NIV]
God was punishing these people for their wickedness! There are consequences for sin and God is judging the nations and giving the land to His chosen people, but remember some of His chosen people will fall dead in the desert and never get to this land and all because they rejected Him too.
These passages and the answers to them aren't hard to find if a person wants to know the truth. Is God happy that people reject Him and His long suffering and that His holy nature therefore demands their punishment? No, I find nowhere and in fact I find the opposite in scripture that God would much rather that all men repent and live. But He won't allow sin to continue to fester and not be punished either.
The fact that God punishes people for their sins isn't inconsistent with His wanting all men to be repent and be saved.
9. 1 Sam 2:25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death. (Thanks for the help Ralph, otherwise I would have thought it was the will of the Lord to put them to death! Nope, no indication here that God is willing any should perish!)
To be honest I am getting tired of restating this; for God to will to put someone to death for their sins, isn't the same thing as Him willing them to sin so that He can put them to death. God would much rather that they turned from their sins and lived, but He gives them the choice!
10. 1 Sam 16:14 Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the LORD tormented him. (No doubt this is God's way of ensuring Saul wouldn't perish!)
Very strange verse for someone who believes in predestination to quote don't you think? So God's Spirit was with Saul and then He took it away. Why?
1 Samuel 15:17-19
Samuel said, "Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel.  And he sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.'  Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?" [NIV]
Notice that God chose Saul and then Saul disobeyed God and God in turn rejected him and took His Spirit from him. His point is well point less, in fact as I say it does more to refute his own doctrine than to support it.
As a side note here, I find it sad that people like the questioner will make God out to be this dark, evil, monster who takes pleasure in not giving people a chance to repent and then taking pleasure in their death and eternal suffering. Not my words, think about what he has been saying, those are his words, that God does hate some people, that God does take pleasure in the death and suffering of some people. Sorry, but that isn't the same God that I know or the same God that explains who He is in scripture.
11. 2 Sam 17:14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel." For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring harm upon Absalom. 2Sa 18:14 Joab said, "I will not waste time like this with you." And he took three javelins in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the oak. (Man, I can't believe how much you have helped me Ralph. I would have interpreted this section of scripture to mean God actually intended that harm be brough upon Absolom and he gets a javelin in the chest by God's doing! Nope, no indication here that God is willing any should perish!)
2 Samuel 15:10-12
Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, 'Absalom is king in Hebron.' "  Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter.  While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom's following kept on increasing. [NIV]
Notice that Absalom, long before the part that he quoted rebelled against God and God's chosen King, who just happened to be his own father. Again what we see is that at some point God will give you or anyone over to your own evil desires if you continue to reject Him. So after a period of rebellion by Absalom God gave him a hard heart and made him choose the wrong council, but it was a punishment for his free will choice to rebel against God before this.
12. 1 Kings 12:14-15 he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions." (15) So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfill his word, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
1 Kings 11:29-33
About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, and Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him on the way, wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone out in the country,  and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces.  Then he said to Jeroboam, "Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand and give you ten tribes.  But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe.  I will do this because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molech the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon's father, did. [NIV]
Without the above you can't possibly make sense of what is happening in the passage quoted. As you notice in context what is happening is that God is punishing Solomon and his son, but for the sake of David God doesn't take all of Israel away from the descendants of David. So what exactly is his point here anyway? I am not sure, but again it just shows God's judgment, not His lack of love as the questioner seems to keep trying to claim.
13. You are saying that God loves the whole world, without exception, right?
Am I claiming that or does God claim that? But since I stand by what God has said, yes I am saying God loves the whole world without exception, but I am not claiming that means the whole world will be saved.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." [NIV]
Without exception God offers His Son to take the punishment we all deserve, but He allows us to choose to either accept it or reject it. So yes I and God are both saying God loves the whole world without exception, but don't take that to mean you can reject God and not face the consequences of your sin. I truly believe that God loves every soul that ends up in hell, and would rather that they had repented and lived, but He will not take away their free will to make that decision themselves.
14. Luk 2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. So the whole world, without exception, was taxed?
What is his point? Yes the whole known world, at least known to the Romans, so yes the whole world without exception. I guess he is trying to say this says the whole world but since it didn't include the people in South America which weren't known to Caesar Augustus that means that God doesn't love the whole world, because whole world doesn't mean whole world. Sad, maybe that would be a valid point if God didn't know about the people of the literal whole world like Caesar Augustus didn't.
15. Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." I guess God does love everybody, He gives life to the whole world, without exception!
More smoke and mirrors, God did send His Son to save the whole world, but not the whole world would accept it, does that mean it was truly for the whole world? You know our salvation is often called our marriage to God or to Christ and it is so that we understand the idea of salvation. In the old Jewish wedding ceremony the bridegroom would hold up a glass of wine and offer it as his covenant to his bride. Then it was up to the bride to take that cup that was offered, if she did then they were married, she had accepted his covenant. But if she refused to reach up and take the cup signifying his covenant with her, then they weren't married. It wouldn't mean he never offered her the cup it just meant she rejected it. Christ hold that cup of His blood, His covenant with man up and it is up to us to either take hold or not take hole, but He is offering it to the whole world, yes without exception!
16. Joh 12:19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him." So the whole world, without exception, went after Christ?
These are silly word games he is playing. Does he truly not see the difference between the world here and the world as stated in John 3:16?
17. Joh 14:17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. tSo, the whole world, without exception, CANNOT get the Holy Spirit?
More silly word games, not worth answering.
18. Act 19:27 And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship." Hey, I thought the whole world, without exception, went after Christ and now we are reading the whole world without exception is worshipping Artemis?
Ditto with the word games. This is what Calvinist are made to do, is play word games because otherwise they couldn't buttress their doctrine. So if he is right and we can't really tell what God's word says, what are we to believe anyway? So that means that God doesn't want all men to come to repentance, God isn't really patient wanting all men to come to repentance, God doesn't really love all men, God does actually enjoy the death of most of his creation, etc… I find that very sad.
19. 1Co 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?
Okay, I guess he is still trying to say that the world can't mean all people, but to be honest I am not sure at this point.
20. 2Co 5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. I guess God does forgives everybody, not counting their trespasses against them. He reconciles the whole world, without exception, to Himself! Without your help I would have thought this was referring to only believers.
I am really getting tired of this line of thought, but I will show you that in fact he is partly right. God does reconcile the whole world to Him through Christ, but not the whole world will benefit from that because just as I said before this is the idea that Christ holds out the cup of His forgiveness and new covenant to all men, but not all men take hold. Now look at this:
1 Tim. 4:10
(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. [NIV]
Savior of all men, does that mean that all men will be saved? No, but it sure says that all men COULD be saved if they would reach up and take hold of the covenant that Christ is offering to them. It also refutes the L in TULIP, which for Calvinist stands for Limited Atonement, meaning that Christ only died for a select few. And you can't say well all men just means the elect since the verse then goes on to explain 'especially of those who believe' meaning the others don't believe.
This is exactly why I find this view and his doctrine so sad, because God has plainly stated in His word that it isn't true. He has plainly stated that He loves all men and wants all men to come to repentance, that He takes no pleasure in the death of anyone, and that Christ died for all men. And yet these are the very things they deny.
21. Dan 4:35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to him, "What have you done?"
So what is the point? Do I believe that I or anyone else can keep God from doing whatever He chooses to do? But what is different between the questioner and me is that I believe God will do what He says He will do and that He is who He says He is.
22. Job 9:4 He is wise in heart and mighty in strength --who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?--
I am not going to answer all of these passages, because they all pretty much say the same thing, that God can do anything He chooses to do, but again we disagree on what God will choose to do according to His own words.
23. Job 42:2 "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
24. Job 23:13 But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does.
25. Psa 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
26. Isa 14:24 The LORD of hosts has sworn: "As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand,
27. Isa 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'
28. Isa 55:11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
29. Does He harden those whom He loves?
I have no idea what this means, other than he is trying to claim God didn't love those whom He hardened, those we have already looked at, so I won't go back to them, but I will say, yes I believe God loved Pharaoh, and gave him a chance before finally hardening his heart. Yes I believe God loved those whom He hardened as punishment for their rebellion and yes as I stated earlier I believe God loves all men who end up in hell, it isn't that He wants them there, but rather that they reject Him and His plan for their salvation.
30. Do you believe that God hated Esau, or hates the wicked?
No, I don't. Above I have already addressed the idea that God didn't hate Esau as we understand hate, but rather He rejected him.
31. Isa 53:11-12 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. (12) Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. Do you think this verse says Christ died for ALL or MANY?
Same old, same old thing, Christ died for ALL men but not all men will accept that offer and therefore only some will be saved in the end.
32. Mat 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." ALL or MANY?
Where either of the terms ALL or MANY in that passage? More smoke screen.
33. Mat 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." ALL or MANY?
I will let God answer that from His word:
1 Tim. 4:10
(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. [NIV]
Again I have to stress that doesn't mean they will all be saved, Christ did His part for all men, but then the choice is up to all men whether to accept it or not, and sadly most do not accept it.
34. Mat 26:28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. ALL or MANY?
All of his all or many verses are the same and I won't answer them all, I repeat Christ died as the savior of ALL mankind but only those who place their faith in Him will be saved.
35. Mar 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." ALL or MANY?
36. Mar 14:24 And he said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. ALL or MANY?
I got weary of responding to the ALL or MANY questions. I find it hard to be civil with people who try to prove that God is a monster who created billions of people just so He could have the pleasure of watching them suffer for all eternity. Yes in the end that is what will happen to many billions of people, but it will be theri choice not God's choice; that is what free will is all about.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)