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Thread: Pivotal Verses

  1. #1
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    Default Pivotal Verses

    The following are a few more of the scriptures that Calvinists attempt to escape. Heb. 2.9 ("that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man") is given the familiar Calvinist interpretation which simply does not agree with the context. First White quotes verse 17: "made like His brethren...a merciful and faithful high priest...to make propitiation for the sins of the people." He goes to "explain":
    What "people is here in view? It is the "many sons" of 2.10, those He "sanctifies" (2.11), "My brethren" (2.12), "the children of God gave Me" (2.13).... In light of this we understand the statement of Hebrews 2.9, "so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone." Another passage often cited without context by Arminians yet defined so plainly in the text."
    Let us consider the context. Even when the writer uses "we," he doesn't always refer to only the believers: "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation...?" (Heb. 2.3). Surely this is addressed to all mankind, and not just to the elect, unless the Calvinist is willing to admit that the elect can neglect their salvation and thus be lost. That solemn admonition introduces this entire section of Hebrews, which continues in the same vein into chapters 3 and 4. Readers are given numerous warnings and exhortations to hold fast to the faith and not to harden their hearts lest they perish like the children of Israel perished in the wilderness through unbelief.

    It would seem to flow that after stating that He "should taste death for every man" (2.9) to then talk about in subsequent verses those who receive His once-for-all sacrifice. That this section contains reference to those given to Christ by God through His sacrifice does not warrant interpreting "taste death for every man" means He tasted death only for the elect. Undoubtedly the entire epistle is addressed to believers, as are all epistles and the entire Bible--but much is also said both to and about the unsaved. Because much is said about the unsaved should not warrant the assumption every time we come across a verse about the unsaved it must demand the contortion of making it about those who have received God's gift of eternal life. The fact that such contortions exist by calvinists when they read the Bible indicates something is quite wrong in their hearts that they go to such extremes to rationalize their extreme view of human depravity. They are forced into such an approach because of the mistaken assumption of total depravity. Such an assumption is demanded by their own spiritual condition being unregenerates who don't want to come to the cross [first] as a helpless sinners to receive the Lord Jesus as Savior, because it is easier to just assume they are the Arian nation!

    All of Israel was not saved and many perished, so Israel could hardly signify the Calvinist elect. The entire context surrounding Heb. 2.9 contains some of the strongest verses Arminians cite in support of the belief that one's salvation can be lost (i.e. they were never born-again to begin with), including the following:
    • To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.... (Heb. 3.7-8)
    • Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (Heb. 3.12)
    • For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.... (Heb. 3.14)
    • Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (Heb. 4.1)
    • ...they to whom it [the gospel] was first preached entered not in because of unbelief. (Heb. 4.6)
    Oddly enough, in his book written to refute Arminianism and to defend Calvinism, White completely avoids these verses, which make up the entire context of Heb. 2.9. And he does so in the process of chiding Arminians of avoiding the context!

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    WHAT ABOUT 2 PETER 2.1?

    "There shall be false teachers...denying the Lord that bought them" (2 Pet. 2.1). Clearly the false teachers are lost-yet they have been "bought" with the blood of Christ. This is a clear denunciation of Limited Atonement. Though apparently accepted as "teachers" within the church, they never were saved, as is the case with those to whom Jude refers who have "crept in unawares...ungoldy men...ordained to this condemnation" (Jude 4). This passage, too, is completely neglected by White and most other Calvinist apologists.

    Very few Calvinists have attempted to deal with scriptures such as Heb. 10.29 and 2 Pet. 2.1, telling of the destruction upon those who despise the "blood of the covenant wherewith [they were] sanctified" and "despise the Lord that bought them..." Sproul's Geneva Study Bible attempts to escape by simply ignoring the obvious contradictions of Calvinism. Vance cites most of those who have made such attempts.
    Charles Bronson insists that it "approaches blasphemy to say that Christ shed His precious blood for some and then, after all, they perish in hell." Then what do these verses say? Dabney dismisses both verses because: "The language of Peter, and that of Hebrews...may receive an entirely adequate solution, without teaching that Christ actually 'bought' or 'sanctified' any apostate, by saying that the Apostles speak there 'ad hominem'."
    "Ad hominem"? What does that mean in this context?! There "may" be a solution that explains away such clear language? If there is, Calvinists haven't yet been able to agree upon it.

    Concerning those who Heb. 10.29 say were sanctified, Beck claims they were "sanctified but not saved." But how can a Calvinist admit that any except the elect have been sanctified, as MacArthur clearly asserts in his Study Bible? Scary study Bibles to say the least! Are they for people to study or for people to be studied, grabbed and manipulated by the evil spirit? That those described in both passages are lost eternally cannot be questioned. Thus we are left with only two choices: 1) they were once saved and lost their salvation (as taught by the great harlot of Religious Rome-the Roman Church); or 2) they were never saved, yet were purchased and sanctified by Christ's blood. Neither choice fits Calvinism! No wonder, then, that Calvinists generally avoid these two passages.

    Gill maintains that Christ himself "is said here to be sanctified"-which doesn't fit the context at all. Owen makes them mere "professors of the faith of the gospel," with which we would agree-but that doesn't explain how these non-elect "mere professors" could be "sanctified" with Christ's blood? (A question posed to all Calvinists!) Other than a few isolated comments, most Calvinists are strangely silent on these two passages. Even in his Hebrews commentary, Pink avoids Hebrews 10.29.

    Surely Limited Atonement must be renounced. John 3.16 means what it says. Christ's blood was shed for the sins of the entire world and, in that sense, all are "sanctified." As Paul writes in 1 Tim. 4.10, Christ "is the savior of all men" inasmuch as salvation has been purchased for all, even for those who reject Him; and He is the savior "specially of those that believe," because they have believed the gospel, received Christ, and are thus saved eternally.

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