Saturday, 7 March 2015

Conversion

I will get to the topic of Total Depravity, I promise! For now I shall touch on something that leads up to that.

Today's topic continually comes up and it ties together all "tulip" points. That topic is CONVERSION. Jesus said "You must be born again". We cannot do the works that the Lord desires from us unless His Spirit resides in us to be able to do so. Any other "works" no matter how holy seeming, are all for nothing. Sure the Lord can use them if He desires, but for that person's salvation it adds or subtracts nothing...it is what the Lord does, has done, and will do that matters. There are lots of scripture verses that substantiate that; I'll leave it for another time. However it would behoove us to look up study those verses, to do the digging.

It (the topic of conversion) goes back to the "U", "L" and the "I" of the 5 points. http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/dabney/5points.htm however there is something that we can find from delving deeper into the reformers writings that we do not get from a superficial study of the 5 points....the drawing of the Lord (irresistible grace) includes a determined seeking (which of course also comes from the Lord, because we cannot do anything good unless it is from the Lord to do it). His word goes out, those who act on it and receive it do so because the Lord has activated this call in those He calls, causing them to seek Him and not stop in that seeking until He allows us to find Him.

"But (you may ask) aren't there many who seek and yet never find Him?" Only the Lord knows who it is that TRULY seek Him. The proof (for us) is in the pudding, as the saying goes, because those who sincerely seek Him will do so until they find Him. Those who give up or turn away, were never sincere, no matter how much they argue to the contrary. How do I know? It is because of the fact that they stopped and they turned away, that is the proof given to us in scripture (gospel of John ch 6 and 1 John ch 2) and since the Bible says so, I believe God before I believe those who protest their own innocence in the matter.

Isaiah 55:6-7  
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found
call ye upon him while he is near:  
Let the wicked forsake his way, 
and the unrighteous man his thoughts: 
and let him return unto the LORD, 
and he will have mercy upon him; 
and to our God, 
 for He will abundantly pardon.(KJV)

Luke 11:9-10
  And I say unto you, 
Ask, and it shall be given you;
 seek, and ye shall find;
 knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
   For every one that asketh receiveth;
 and he that seeketh findeth;
 and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.(KJV)

In these the Arminian or semi-pelagian will flatter himself with the notion that it is his own seeking and perseverance that forces God's hand to move. Nothing of the sort. He is not moved by our manipulation. It is His choice that He answers, His goodness that moves Him, His promise that He honors to answer us, and not our pleadings (which may or may not be sincere).

Then there are those that say: "But God DOESN'T always answer, in fact, more often than not, He does not answer when suffering people cry unto Him" and I would argue that He always does, but not according to our fleshy notions of what an answer is supposed to look like. Jesus had plenty to say about the foolish generation that seeks after a sign, and yet He supplied the sign needed, the sign that meant exactly what He meant about moving mountains and spiritual blessings, the sign which was rejected...but that would be another topic for another time.

There is a passage in the book of Esther...the Jewish people are about to be annihilated because evil Haman wants all Jews murdered. Esther asks Mordecai to tell the people to fast and pray for 3 days. After the 3 days she approaches the king to bring him her request. If he leans his scepter towards her it means he honors her presence, if he doesn't she would face execution. That is the same situation we face if we stand before an almighty and holy God, He has the right to kill us on the spot and we would be powerless to say anything in our own defense. It is God's grace (and often prayers of others who are faithful in Christ) who make way for the Lord to receive us unto Himself. When we see Him we will know it is all because of Him, not anything we did, not our choice, that saved us.
 
Likewise, those that are left outside, eternally without God, seething, ever hateful, ever shaking their fist at God, will know that their choices brought them nothing, and will forever hate the Lord for not choosing them saying that He denied them their rights. We do not have the "rights" that we demand of God. We are beggars before our sovereign. Like Esther, we come before God knowing HE has THE RIGHT to kill us for our imperfections, our inner hidden sins, our pride that we would consider ourselves to be equal or higher than Him. Yet these will go on seething with this idea of their rights having been denied them, and will do so for all eternity, gnashing their teeth, weeping that they didn't get what they feel they deserve.

However, this little blog article won't convince anyone that believes in "their rights" being denied by God. It won't convince those who see the Bible by the "light" of their own darkened understanding....those who have determined (for themselves and do their best to try to convince others) that the Bible doesn't make sense, or contradicts itself...
 
 2Peter 3:16  
As also in all his (Paul's) epistles,
 speaking in them of these things;
 in which are some things hard to be understood, 
which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (torture, pervert),
 as they do also the other scriptures, 
unto their own destruction. (KJV)
 
I won't convince anyone, but I do hope the Holy Spirit will convict some, and bring them to true repentance in true humility before Him.
 




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