John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of
the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
I was reading an article about how people should learn how to become critical thinkers and use logic when determine what to follow in theology thinking. I found that amusing as that is the same argument many atheists use to challenge the concept of God. The article was really about making a statement for the Calvinist stance and trying to deem the Arminian point of view as emotionally based.
I can see how they can come to the thought that God chooses who He will save if we look at such a small passage and make it standalone. We have the right to become children of God, but not by natural birth or through works or by the choice/desire of man. Does that really eliminate the choice of man to accept God’s offer of becoming His child? I am not bashing Calvinism here. If God truly sent Jesus to become sin and to take our place for all sin, then the gift of adoption should be open for all. If I choose to accept Jesus, I am not saying my acceptance has placed me into the kingdom, but rather it is the power of Jesus on the cross that did it for me. All my acceptance does is not reject the gift from God.
Another passage that was used:
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
The passage is saying that those who have been made to see the heavenly gift, and experienced it, and have partnered with the Holy Spirit, experienced Jesus and the miracles of the Messianic period. If they apostatized, it is impossible to restore them by repentance again, as they are trying to crucify Jesus again and shaming the act that Jesus did on the cross. Fun isn’t it.
I love Hebrews 6. it starts out with:
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.
Here we get the basics of Christianity. The writer is saying, we have already laid the foundations of Christianity so lets move on to maturity (meat) if God so allows us. Why? Because it is impossible to re-crucify Jesus when you fall away from God as Jesus died for all sins. To try and crucify Him against only shames Him as your behavior and thoughts declare what He did as insufficient. It isn’t about when someone stops believing in God that they can not come back to the kingdom or that they are still saved if they fall away. It is saying you can not keep trying to claim the blood of Jesus to wash you clean each time you fall away as Jesus did it for all of mankind once and that once is more than sufficient.
Look at it this way. Jesus lived in perfect obedience to the Father. He is the only one who has never sinned nor been under the sin nature of man. He went to the cross and became sin in order to atone for us. In order to atone for all sin, God knew all of the sins that each person would commit to the very second of their death until the Day of Judgment. Jesus had to take all of that on Himself. If we fall away and sin, to say that those sins were not covered says that what Jesus did was not enough. All sins were forgiven, so we need to move past this part of our belief doctrine and move on to other areas.
We have to trust God when He says He will not leave nor forsake us. Once you accept Jesus and give your life to Him, you enter into salvation. Hold on to that knowledge because we can trust God. The other side is that we have to hope we are one of the elect that God wanted to save but we wont know that until Jesus comes again. Then we could share our uncertain eternal hope with Muslims and Atheists. Personally, I will stick with my beliefs.