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​Will vs Desire

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  • ​Will vs Desire

    God “desires all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1Tim 2:4), for He is “not desiring that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Pet 3:9). Is God’s will being done in all? Yes! Is God’s desires being done by all? No. Thus His will and desire are being done only in the believer. Though God’s desire is that nobody perishes, His will is that those who “have done evil” are to inherit “the resurrection of damnation,” and those who “have done good” are to inherit “the resurrection of life” (John 5:29).

    “It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phl 2:13). This is a work that every individual believer undergoes. Wherefore, if this “work” be not externally evident, it reveals the absence not only of the Father’s work within, but also that of the presence of the Spirit within, in “bearing witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom 8:16).

  • #2
    This is one of the most controversial passages in my opinion when taken out of context. Your commentary is refreshing to say the least NetChaplain.

    God has at heart the salvation of all, because He invites all to the acknowledgement of His Truth - “The gospel is the power of God for salvation to every one that believeth,” (Romans 1:16).

    1 Timothy 2:4 in its context address different classes of people. From kings to laymen - all have sinned, and we are to pray for them without distinction. There are those that represent this passage as being opposed to predestination. “If God” say they, “wishes all men indiscriminately to be saved, it is false that some are predestined by his eternal purpose to salvation, and others to perdition.” They might have had some ground for saying this, if Paul were speaking here about individual men.

    John Calvin writes:

    The Apostle simply means, that there is no people and no rank in the world that is excluded from salvation; because God wishes that the gospel should be proclaimed to all without exception. Now the preaching of the gospel gives life; and hence he justly concludes that God invites all equally to partake salvation. But the present discourse relates to classes of men, and not to individual persons; for his sole object is, to include in this number princes and foreign nations. That God wishes the doctrine of salvation to be enjoyed by them as well as others, is evident from the passages already quoted, and from other passages of a similar nature. Not without good reason was it said, “Now, kings, understand,” and again, in the same Psalm,
    “I will give thee the Gentiles for an inheritance, and the ends of the earth for a possession.” (Psalm 2:8.)

    In a word, Paul intended to shew that it is our duty to consider, not what kind of persons the princes at that time were, but what God wished them to be. Now the duty arising out of that love which we owe to our neighbor is, to be solicitous and to do our endeavor for the salvation of all whom God includes in his calling, and to testify this by godly prayers.

    With the same view does he call God our Savior; for whence do we obtain salvation but from the undeserved kindness of God? Now the same God who has already made us partakers of salvation may sometime extend his grace to them also. He who hath already drawn us to him may draw them along with us. The Apostle takes for granted that God will do so, because it had been thus foretold by the predictions of the prophets, concerning all ranks and all nations.
    We also have another great article to compliment your write up NetChaplain: What is the difference between God's sovereign will and God's perfect will?

    God bless,
    William


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    • #3
      Hi Will - Good reply and comments! I believe what might need the most attention concerning predestination is that God's foreknowledge of all who will be saved and all who will perish does not interfere with peoples decisions, He just already knows all of everyone's decisions!
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      • #4
        Why does it say “all” men to be saved? All is the English translation of the Greek word, pas, which means all, any, every, the whole. Is God powerful enough to save all? Yes. Does He? No. Why? How is it that some men are given a will to come to Christ and others are not? Man has no control over that. This is a perfect example of finding the context and having to rightly divide the word of truth. We cannot just look at one verse and go AHA! See? Free will! What about the rest of Scripture? If we had free will to choose salvation, that doctrine would call God a failure because most people are going to perdition. We need more Scripture to find out what God means.

        We are told that He gave Himself a ransom for all, but the verse continues, to be testified or so that the truth will be revealed before Him at the judgment of each of our lives in due time. Believers in free will essentially state that God is willing to use His power to save all. The problem is, the Bible doesn’t say that, but that all are wicked, so why would He save any of us? Yet we know from other verses that He saves a relative few compared to how many are fitted to destruction. You will see that God is willing to save all that are His own, but most are not His own, but are of the devil. This is explained in Matthew 13 in the parable of the wheat and the tares.

        One of the arguments I hear regarding free will is that while God is sovereign, He shares a kind of "cosovereignty" with man's free will to decide whether to come to Christ. This is nonsense, as sovereignty means to be in total control. If it has any exceptions, it is no longer sovereignty. The English word "all" could just as well mean "any" from the Greek pas. God's will be done in earth as it is in Heaven is spoken in present tense. There are at least two crucial verses concerning God's will, desire notwithstanding. One is Revelation 13:8, where the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world clearly indicates that before man is even created, it is predestined that when he is created he will sin and God, having this as part of His plan not put into action yet, has the solution for man's sins, Jesus Christ, our Lamb. His plan is to have sinful man in need of a Savior before the world began.

        The other is the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13, where Jesus both gives the parable, then to His disciples, explains or interprets the parable, which is something He seldom does. He often uses agronomy in His parables so that there can be no mistake. A wheat seed cannot become a tare seed and vice-versa, The tares are from the devil, so God is not saving the devil's seed, just all His wheat seed. Those are whom He is not willing that any should perish, and they won't. All the tares are gathered up and burned in due time.God's desire for salvation is directed at His seed, not Satan's. We don't know who is who, as a nonbeliever today could be a believer tomorrow and so forth. That parable is amazingly understated, but must not be.

        Another argument against predestination is that to believe in that means God sins. That is a cop-out non sequitur rationalization, as anyone knows God doesn't sin. Our lack of understanding cannot box God into a corner. His word stands. "You have not chosen me but I have chosen you" - John 15:16. Call it desire, call it will, either way God gets His way, as He made His plan from before the world began. Now it plays out.
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        • #5
          HI SC - Thanks for the good reply! Myself, I find it more Scriptural-correct to lean toward man's choice because it's often shown through the entirety of Scripture, and it avoids the confusion of presenting God as a "respecter of persons," even though this would never be the intention of any believer. I believe the predestination doctrine is easiest to comprehend when I realize that just because God foreknows everyone's choices doesn't mean He controls them, though those choices will incur the result of His will concerning their eternity, regardless of how great is His desire for their good.

          I see no need to think there are some He would want saved and not others, for His desire is for all, but He knows most will not be saved. Some may think that choosing God takes His control out of the issue concerning being saved, but His control is all that is in the provision of salvation, and also has control in those who choose Him.

          Still looking at both sides of this issue, and fortunately it is nonessential doctrine, e.g. believing or disbelieving either way concerning this issue does not alter receiving and retaining salvation.

          God's blessing to your Family!

          p.s. are you a pilot?
          Comment>

          • #6
            No, I'm not a pilot, but I play one on TV! lol

            Actually the B-24 Liberator icon is in remembrance of my father who was a pilot and bombardier in N. Africa against Rommel in WWII. I live across from a medium-sized airport, which get visits from the B-24, P-51 Mustang, and B-17 Flying Fortress about once a year for a fly-in and public tours.

            As far as predestination is concerned, I am absolutely convinced that everything, including who gets saved and who doesn't is predestined from the foundation of the world. I am not so sure it is non-essential regarding salvation, but am not dogmatic about that part of it either. Here a a couple more verses to ponder: Psalm 65:4 and John 15:16-19. Enjoy the fact that God chose us, and that our no-good will, which is against God (reference Romans 9), would never have chosen Him, so He causes us to come to Him so that we will be saved.

            God Bless you and your Family as well!
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
              No, I'm not a pilot, but I play one on TV! lol

              Actually the B-24 Liberator icon is in remembrance of my father who was a pilot and bombardier in N. Africa against Rommel in WWII. I live across from a medium-sized airport, which get visits from the B-24, P-51 Mustang, and B-17 Flying Fortress about once a year for a fly-in and public tours.

              As far as predestination is concerned, I am absolutely convinced that everything, including who gets saved and who doesn't is predestined from the foundation of the world. I am not so sure it is non-essential regarding salvation, but am not dogmatic about that part of it either. Here a a couple more verses to ponder: Psalm 65:4 and John 15:16-19. Enjoy the fact that God chose us, and that our no-good will, which is against God (reference Romans 9), would never have chosen Him, so He causes us to come to Him so that we will be saved.

              God Bless you and your Family as well!
              So strat is short for stratosphere as I thought. Nice to know about your location and family history.

              To me, God foreknowing who will and will not be saved does have some to do with His choosing one's salvation, but I've yet to find any clear teaching in Scripture which indicates that He would choose one to perish. I know the Father has to "draw" one to Christ to come, but I'm still not certain that the drawing can't be resisted. One could think it strange that He doesn't draw everyone, and that the drawing can't be resisted.

              Concerning my meaning of nonessential doctrine, it is Biblical teachings that do not relater to receiving salvation but rather growing in it. Essential doctrine is that which is mandatory to receiving salvation, i.e. believing "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" (1Jhn 4:2, 3); believe God raised Him from the dead (Rom 10:9), etc.
              Last edited by NetChaplain; 05-28-2015, 11:07 AM.
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